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The Brinewall Legacy (GM Reference)


Jade Regent

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This thread is a GM Reference thread for Part 1 of the Jade Regent Adventure Path. Links for the individual threads for each part are as follow:
The Brinewall Legacy (Part 1)
Night of Frozen Shadows (Part 2)
The Hungry Storm (Part 3)
Forest of Spirits (Part 4)
Tide of Honor (Part 5)
The Empty Throne (Part 6)


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A post from James Jacobs on another thread on this forum regarding some of Ameiko's timeline which ended up left on the cutting room floor:

James Jacobs wrote:

Here's my own Kaijitsu Timeline—it got cut, alas, for space from Jade Regent. There's a certain amount of "adjustment" going on here—I had to make those adjustments mostly based on the fact that the times we'd set for Ameiko related stuff and the times we'd set for Brinewall related stuff weren't quite exactly as in sync as I'd hoped they would be back in Pathfinder #1 and #3.

I'm spoilering it because there's some pretty significant Jade Regent and Rise of the Runelords spoilers built into the timeline. I'm also truncating it to start at Ameiko's birth in the year 4689. Which makes her 22 years old at the start of Jade Regent, and 18 years old at the start of Rise of the Runelords... ASSUMING you played that campaign in your own Jade Regent history. We don't necessarily assume that RotR started in 4707, after all...

She first ran away from home to Magnimar at age 13, then returned at age 14 and stayed in Sandpoint for a few years, then went on her adventure at age 16, then "retired" from that life and bought the Rusty Dragon at age 17, in any event.

Spoiler:
Date Event
4689 Ameiko Kaijitsu is born to Lonjiku and Atsuii. She is destined to be the only one of Lonjiku’s legitimate children, and thus the only Kaijitsu scion with a legitimate claim to the Jade Throne in Minkai.
4702 After a disastrous attempt to reconcile the bad blood between her half-brother and her father results in her brother striking her, Ameiko runs away from home shortly before the events of the “Late Unpleasantness” bring tragedy to Sandpoint. Atsuii Kaijitsu dies during these events of a mysterious fall from the sea cliff near her home.
4703 Word of her mother’s death causes Ameiko to return home, but she finds home as unpleasant as ever. Tsuto walks out on the family at the funeral, leaving Ameiko alone with her bitter father.
4705 Aged 16, Ameiko leaves home for the second time to take up life as an adventurer with several like-minded youths. Her adventuring career lasts just over a year.
4706 Rich from her adventuring success, Ameiko returns to Sandpoint to purchase an old tavern, “The Rusty Dragon,” and scandalizes her father by becoming a bartender and tavern keeper.


The Players Guide states that the caravan is level 1 when the PCs first get it. However, by my calculations, the party will be Level 2 by this point (assuming they do everything in the swamp). Will the caravan immediately level up to 2 in that case?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Darkbridger wrote:

The Players Guide states that the caravan is level 1 when the PCs first get it. However, by my calculations, the party will be Level 2 by this point (assuming they do everything in the swamp). Will the caravan immediately level up to 2 in that case?

Yup.

Had we said, "You won't get the caravan until you're 2nd level" in the player's guide... that would sort of be a spoiler and even then not entirely accurate.

And there's certainly a possibility that by the time the PCs get to that point in the adventure that they'll be 1st level still. Or maybe even 3rd level. All that depends on the GM and how many encounters the PCs have up until that point.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I just wanted to say, I love Brinewall Castle! The encounters are fun and interesting, and make use of the layout well, and the castle map itself is one of the better ones I've seen. Knowing my group, I may run into trouble - they sometimes decide to move in and claim ruins, and this is one of the better ones.

I'm suddenly envisioning a Jade Regent/Kingmaker mash-up, and not where I was originally expecting to see one.


The state block for the lovely Advanced half-fiend decapus mentions 10 tentacles, 2 with claws. so should the OFFENSE state blaco have 8 tentacle attacks?

thanks,

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Plotty Fingers wrote:

The state block for the lovely Advanced half-fiend decapus mentions 10 tentacles, 2 with claws. so should the OFFENSE state blaco have 8 tentacle attacks?

thanks,

Decapus have only one tentacle attack, despite their large number of tentacles, as it states in the stat-block. So two of the decapus' tentacles are decked out with claws, and its fiendish blood gives the rest enough oomph to make up for those lost.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Plotty Fingers wrote:

The state block for the lovely Advanced half-fiend decapus mentions 10 tentacles, 2 with claws. so should the OFFENSE state blaco have 8 tentacle attacks?

thanks,

A low CR monster with that many attacks is overkill. That's why we generally lump low CR monsters with lots of tentacles into the "It uses all of its tentacles to attack at once" category.

So yup; the decapus stat block is correct.


James Jacobs wrote:
Plotty Fingers wrote:

The state block for the lovely Advanced half-fiend decapus mentions 10 tentacles, 2 with claws. so should the OFFENSE state blaco have 8 tentacle attacks?

thanks,

A low CR monster with that many attacks is overkill. That's why we generally lump low CR monsters with lots of tentacles into the "It uses all of its tentacles to attack at once" category.

So yup; the decapus stat block is correct.

cool. thought it might be. :)


We just finished session #1 of new Jade Regent Campaign. I love how our previous Runelord campaign helped set the stage.

(one of the character is actually Shayliss Vinder, now a cleric of Desna.)

---
got me reminiscing.
Epic Conclusion of Rise of the Runelord campaign from 01/2010
(yes, Santa was standing in for a Rune Giant.)

http://danielmcdeavitt.com/runelord

group art portrait


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Recently ran the first session of my Jade Regent campaign and thought I might have to post this in the obituaries thread instead of here.

I decided to post this due to the fact it will probably never happen again due its improbable nature.

The rest will be in the spoiler tag.

Spoiler:
The party had just arrived in the Licktoad village and begun exploring. After players split up the party (division was group 1 magus, wizard, barbarian Group 2 oracle, samurai, paladin) b/c they were confident that "its just a couple of goblins they are what? CR 1/3?".

I randomly assigned goblin group to the various buildings Group 1 found the first lot (note per the encounter all of the goblins in the first building were shaken).
The barbarian kicked in a door surprising the three goblins inside. After missing his first blow on the goblins he surprised, the barbarian was hit with a critical threat not once but twice both times confirmed. Then the wizard was also hit with a Critical threat also confirmed dropping him to -1. The barbarian proceeded to miss the goblins two more times until the magus dropped one goblin and the rest of the party arrived.

So the short of it is 3 shaken goblins managed to critically hit (nat 20 for both hit and confirm 3 times in two rounds while the players nat 1 to hit the goblins 3 times in two rounds almost wiped half the party. The rest of the fight went as expected though by the end the party had exhausted every resource they had to clear the village.

The lesson is never underestimate goblins, they can be horrible little creatures.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Spivey is listed as having a Mwk Studded Leather Armor giving a +3 AC bonus.

However, being tiny, shouldnt the armor only give a +1 bonus ?


atheral wrote:

Recently ran the first session of my Jade Regent campaign and thought I might have to post this in the obituaries thread instead of here.

I decided to post this due to the fact it will probably never happen again due its improbable nature.

The rest will be in the spoiler tag.

** spoiler omitted **

The lesson is never underestimate goblins, they can be horrible little creatures.

Cramped conditions..poor LoS all adds up to even things up for the goblins.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Another question, for Dancing Wasp, is the summoning a standard action or a full round one ? I guess its a full round (as with most summoning stuff) but the wording says both ...


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Overspace wrote:
Another question, for Dancing Wasp, is the summoning a standard action or a full round one ? I guess its a full round (as with most summoning stuff) but the wording says both ...

I believe it has been said somewhere (not sure which topic) that its full round to summon and a standard action to maintain.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Overspace wrote:
Another question, for Dancing Wasp, is the summoning a standard action or a full round one ? I guess its a full round (as with most summoning stuff) but the wording says both ...

It's a full round to activate, but then you have to keep whirling the weapon above your head as a standard action to keep the summoned wasp around. Essentially, using this power sort of "replaces" your actions in a round with the giant wasp's actions. It's less efficient than actually using a summon monster spell, but that's because the weapon itself needed to be more inefficient than that spell in order to keep its costs down.

It's basically a power you use when you're not in combat, but want to send a minion into, say, the next room or down the stairs to fight for you.


This is a bit off topic here,but does anyone know if the Creature at the end of Brinewall Legacy,is the same one that was developed at Paizocon? as I remember being involved in a design workshop there!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lorimir wrote:


This is a bit off topic here,but does anyone know if the Creature at the end of Brinewall Legacy,is the same one that was developed at Paizocon? as I remember being involved in a design workshop there!

Nope; the creature we designed at Paizocon has not yet manifested in print.


Overspace wrote:

Spivey is listed as having a Mwk Studded Leather Armor giving a +3 AC bonus.

However, being tiny, shouldnt the armor only give a +1 bonus ?

EDIT: Just noticed on the table it says "divide armor bonus by 2 for tiny or smaller guys!"

Armor provides the same AC bonus regardless of size. weight and cost are reduced for tiny, but I don't see anywhere that it says AC is reduced.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

chrids wrote:
Overspace wrote:

Spivey is listed as having a Mwk Studded Leather Armor giving a +3 AC bonus.

However, being tiny, shouldnt the armor only give a +1 bonus ?

EDIT: Just noticed on the table it says "divide armor bonus by 2 for tiny or smaller guys!"

Armor provides the same AC bonus regardless of size. weight and cost are reduced for tiny, but I don't see anywhere that it says AC is reduced.

That rule is pretty high on my list of rules that we need to abolish because they're needlessly cluttery and editor traps. And they create illogical situations—why doesn't armor for Huge or larger creatures INCREASE its AC bonus? And having it squirrled away as an asterisk on table 6–8 and not mentioning the rule on the main armor table or in the description for armor/shield bonuses is sloppy.

Anyway, adjust Spivey's AC as you wish in your game... but I'll not be doing so for games I run (even though I suppose I'll have to do so for characters that show up in print... maybe I'll just not give Tiny or smaller creatures armor ever again!).


This might not be the best place to discuss it, but since it came up here, I will post my idea.
I think disallowing Tiny or smaller creatures from using armor is the only simple solution; their smaller and more importantly thinner armor couldn't provide the protection the armor bonus implies.

Of course a more comprehensive solution would be to give the armor an additional quality: Thickness. Thickness would be rated in the same categories as size. By default an armor would be the same thickness as size category.

Thickness Armor Bonus Change
Colossal x2
Gargantuan x5/3
Huge x3/2
Large x4/3**
Medium Normal
Small x3/4
Tiny x1/2
Diminutive x1/3
Fine 0*

* Fine armor is too thin to provide any protection
** This should be x5/4, but since Pathfinder always rounds down, x4/3 is used to make it a notable difference.

Armor can be made of a thickness unusual for it's size. Thinner armor is more maneuverable and lighter; thicker armor heavier and more cumbersome.

For every step the armor is thinner reduce weight by one third, increase max Dex bonus by +2, and reduce ACP by 2. In addition the armor counts as one size category lighter for all purposes except proficiency, to a minimum of light armor; this bonus applies only for the first reduction in thickness. Arcane Spell Failure Chance is reduced by 5% per thickness category the armor is thinner; the maximum reduction is equal to half the armor's initial Arcane Spell Failure Chance.

For every step the armor is thicker increase weight by one third, reduce the max Dex bonus by 1, and increase the APC by 1; the maximum Dex bonus can become negative. In addition the armor counts as one size category heavier for all purposes except proficiency after the first and third increase in thickness. Arcane Spell Failure Chance increases by 5% per thickness category the armor is thicker.


James Jacobs wrote:


That rule is pretty high on my list of rules that we need to abolish because they're needlessly cluttery and editor traps. And they create illogical situations—why doesn't armor for Huge or larger creatures INCREASE its AC bonus? And having it squirrled away as an asterisk on table 6–8 and not mentioning the rule on the main armor table or in the description for armor/shield bonuses is sloppy.

Anyway, adjust Spivey's AC as you wish in your game... but I'll not be doing so for games I run (even though I suppose I'll have to do so for characters that show up in print... maybe I'll just not give Tiny or smaller creatures armor ever again!).

Agreed that is an odd rule couched away on a small table...especially since it goes one way and not other, definitely something that could be streamlined and cut.


I wouldn't adjust it by size. It's a game. A lot of it has some great realism, but other parts are just an abstraction. Armor is one of them. Does it make you more difficult to hit (not in reality... frequently it makes you easier to hit by slowing you down), or should it be damage reduction? Why should it decrease if you're smaller but not increase if you're bigger? To me, the answer is it's an abstraction and creates an unnecessary and obscure penalty for playing a smaller character. I've never noticed the chart and wouldn't use it anyway. Armor is armor and it's tailored for your size. But, yeah, it's ultimately up to GMs as a judgment call and how they want to run their game.


Just to add a bit to my previous post, will the said creature from paziocon, be appearing at some point in this adventure path? If not what book will it be apperaring in?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lorimir wrote:


Just to add a bit to my previous post, will the said creature from paziocon, be appearing at some point in this adventure path? If not what book will it be apperaring in?

It will not be appearing in this adventure path.

When we were doing that seminar, the idea was that the monster might end up part of the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path, which is why we started out talking about a tropical flying creature that might live in a region of tropical islands like the Shackles.

Whether or not it actually ends up in that AP as a new monster... I can't say for sure yet. But it was never intended to be part of Jade Regent.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

in area W2. the secret vault on page 50 of the Brinewall legacy the treasure mentions that you should customize the treasure to suit your players group. It says that the items should cost no more than 9000 gp. Is that supposed to be for each item or for the total value of all items?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mortagon wrote:
in area W2. the secret vault on page 50 of the Brinewall legacy the treasure mentions that you should customize the treasure to suit your players group. It says that the items should cost no more than 9000 gp. Is that supposed to be for each item or for the total value of all items?

The intention is that the items IN TOTAL shouldn't cost more than 9,000 gp. But I kind of only put that in there out of a sense of responsibility; go ahead and put whatever type of customized treasure you want in there. You know what level of magic your game can handle better than me.

If I were running the game, I'd probably put in something that's worth about 4,000 gp for each PC... and if there were more than 2 PCs, that would bloat the treasure reward a LOT over 9,000. But I tend to give out a lot of treasure in games I run, so I'm used to how that impacts the game later on.


An idea: drop the +1 returning Starknife from the earlier pile of treasure. This gives you 8000gp extra to play with, which allows a lot more customization for the items while maintaining wealth by level. It is hard to make customized items with 9000gp, but 17000gp is more than enough. Mithril armors, fancy wondrous items... all are game. Unless everyone really, really wants a +1 weapon of some exotic sort.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My plan is to make sure everyone has at least one "offensive" item and one "defensive" item. By the end of Brinewall Castle.

For the fighter types, they should all have their primary weapon as +1. Casters are a bit harder since most want to get their ablitiy stat boost item and 4,000gp is a bit much for single item at level 4. Granted a nice wand of magic missles can be a good non-permenant item.

Spoiler:

Though I might put in a wand of something that can deal with annoying swarms.

On the defensive side, any +1 AC or +1 cloak of resistance will do.

With what ever budget is left, add a interesting utility item or so for the party itself. Might look at some of the advanced books for some ideas there.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
An idea: drop the +1 returning Starknife from the earlier pile of treasure.

But that is the greatest treasure of all time!

Spoiler:

Well second greatest. The best one was the Tiny +1 returning dagger that you can get in the Rise of the Rune Lords. My barbarian actually used it once, nothing like 1d2+8 throwing damage. We even made it one of the special infused weapons that was required for the end of the mod.

Osirion

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

On page 35 the Giant Toe-biter has 800 hp. I assume this is in error and we should use 35 that it lists on page 82.


Matthew Trent wrote:
On page 35 the Giant Toe-biter has 800 hp. I assume this is in error and we should use 35 that it lists on page 82.

yeah the oni has a hp typo too...the stats in the back are correct.

Osirion

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The haunt on page 35 implies that it has a duration, yet doesn't list one do the keep facing the bloody warrior until they make their save or is it a one off effect? The earlier seems kina annoying to run.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Odd question...and I'm probably just missing something, but...

NPC Stat block details:

Chief Gutwad uses a Spear and a mwk comp longbow. The bonuses, as far as I can tell are determined as follows:

mwk comp lb (+9) = +4 from dex, +3 from BAB, +1 from mwk, +1 from PBS
Spear (+5) = +1 from str, +3 from BAB, +1 from ????

It's the spear that's getting me...where is he getting the other +1 from?

-Michael


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Madison wrote:

Odd question...and I'm probably just missing something, but...

** spoiler omitted **

-Michael

Stat block answer:
As a goblin, Gutwad is size Small, which gives a +1 attack bonus.

I don't think PBS has been included in the ranged attack since it's a situational modifier, but I could easily be wrong. I'm guessing that the +1 damage for his bow attack is from strength, but in that case the strength rating is missing from the bow. So YMMV.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Madison wrote:

Odd question...and I'm probably just missing something, but...

** spoiler omitted **

-Michael

Yep, I had found the size modifiers (I forget them on my own chars since I mostly play medium...don't know where the +1 on the damage is coming from, though), but was curious about something else:

Different NPC question:

Muthildah uses a +1 flail and a spiked gauntlet. Since she has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, I calculate her bonuses at +7 on the flail and +6 on the gauntlet...is this correct?

-Michael

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Madison wrote:
Michael Madison wrote:

Odd question...and I'm probably just missing something, but...

** spoiler omitted **

-Michael

Yep, I had found the size modifiers (I forget them on my own chars since I mostly play medium...don't know where the +1 on the damage is coming from, though), but was curious about something else:

** spoiler omitted **

-Michael

Actually,

Forgot something:

Should be +8 on the flail since she has weapon focus.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Madison wrote:

Actually,

** spoiler omitted **

I think you're correct. +8 for the onhand attack, +6 for the offhand attack.


Hopte this is correct Tread.

Regarding the caravan mechanics, it seems that the only change to the base stats come from the feat enhanced caravan. This gives +1 to two attributes to a maximum of 10 each. The feat can stack as long as all attributes are at 10. As from the 40 max points you have 5 at start, one can take the feat 17 times with full benefit.

Therefore this feat is up to char level 18 as good as twice +1 to offence,ac,security or resolve skill checks under all cicumstances.

A lot of other feats are "get +2 to skill check under condition X" e.g. courageous crew gives + 2 resolve against fear and rout and terrain mastery gives + 2 security in a specific terrain.

Therefore such feats should nearly never be picked, as twice enchanced caravan gives same bonus and owrks always. E.g. instead of courageous crew and terrain mastery pick twice enchanced caravan and get +2 to all security checks and +2 to all resolve checks.

Of course at some high levels the limit of 10 might play a role, but there are several other interesting feats, which means that if you want improved check values, pick enhanced caravan. Anything else is a waste of feats.

Do i miss something?
IS there any reason to pick +2 feats?

Qadira

carn wrote:
A lot of other feats are "get +2 to skill check under condition X" e.g. courageous crew gives + 2 resolve against fear and rout and terrain mastery gives + 2 security in a specific terrain.

The only feats that work like that are Courageous Crew, Efficient Repairs, and Terrain Mastery. That's not actually a lot of them. Every other one grants a bonus that can't be imitated by Enhanced Caravan alone.

Also, if a caravan focuses exclusively on two primary statistics at the expense of the other two, it's possible to hit the cap on both of them by level 8. Of course most parties are going to build roving murder wagons with minimal Mobility and Morale, but for a merchant caravan that wants to max those stats, those three feats are acceptable endgame choices. Still not particularly good, but not worthless.


LeadPal wrote:
carn wrote:
A lot of other feats are "get +2 to skill check under condition X" e.g. courageous crew gives + 2 resolve against fear and rout and terrain mastery gives + 2 security in a specific terrain.

The only feats that work like that are Courageous Crew, Efficient Repairs, and Terrain Mastery. That's not actually a lot of them. Every other one grants a bonus that can't be imitated by Enhanced Caravan alone.

Also, if a caravan focuses exclusively on two primary statistics at the expense of the other two, it's possible to hit the cap on both of them by level 8. Of course most parties are going to build roving murder wagons with minimal Mobility and Morale, but for a merchant caravan that wants to max those stats, those three feats are acceptable endgame choices. Still not particularly good, but not worthless.

As i understand caravan master each two +1 from selecting the feat can be put anywhere. So taking caravan master twice allows to increase all stats by 1. Therefore no weaknesses have to arise.

Regarding other feats, most are questionable against +1 on 2 stats. Take the offensive feat (or whatever its called), which gives +2 attack, -2 ac, +2 dam.
Instead picking enhanced caravan gives +1 att, +1 ac. So the deal would be +1 to att, +2 to dam for -3 to ac.

OFC if party wants to neglect some stats, they hit the limit earlier. That doesnt change, that enhanced caravan is for a long time the only feat to pick, if improved rolls are the target. (OFC there are other feats with reduced consumption or more speed,that are completely different.)


In the list of caravan encounters, it says that those marked with an asterisk have a 50% chance of occurring at night... but I didn't see any with asterisks.

Granted, it was pretty late so I might have missed them, but thought I'd check. :P


osuracnaes wrote:

In the list of caravan encounters, it says that those marked with an asterisk have a 50% chance of occurring at night... but I didn't see any with asterisks.

Granted, it was pretty late so I might have missed them, but thought I'd check. :P

It's an editorial miss.

At one point, I had a MUCH larger caravan encounter section, which included day and night encounters. Alas... changes to how we present the APs (namely, using 8 to 10 pages for NPCs and magic items) meant that I had less room for the adventure than I thought I had when I started writing it, and the caravan encounters themselves were the least invasive part to cut. We moved them entirely out of the adventure, in fact, relocating them to the volume's bestiary.

Alas... that bit about the asterisk stuff snuck past editing/development.

You can either ignore that asterisk comment, or you can go ahead and assume that it applies to ALL the caravan encounters, since that's kinda how the day night cycle works anyway. ;-P


A little information about the XP values of the module: The advertised character progression in the front of the book ( the party should reach second level still in Brinestump March and be third level before entering Brinewall Castle ) does not correspond with the actual XP values in the adventure.

Doing every encounter ( excluding any random encounters ) will have a party of four just barely reaching second level at the very end of Brinestump March. Unless James seriously wanted people to make another whole level from random caravan encounters, this suggests that players are supposed to enter the castle at second level.

Furthermore, there are enough XP in the castle itself to get the party almost exactly at the end of the adventure module to fourth level.

So the progression in the front of the book is erroneous. I just wanted to put that out there, so that GM's are warned.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:

A little information about the XP values of the module: The advertised character progression in the front of the book ( the party should reach second level still in Brinestump March and be third level before entering Brinewall Castle ) does not correspond with the actual XP values in the adventure.

Doing every encounter ( excluding any random encounters ) will have a party of four just barely reaching second level at the very end of Brinestump March. Unless James seriously wanted people to make another whole level from random caravan encounters, this suggests that players are supposed to enter the castle at second level.

Furthermore, there are enough XP in the castle itself to get the party almost exactly at the end of the adventure module to fourth level.

So the progression in the front of the book is erroneous. I just wanted to put that out there, so that GM's are warned.

Deleted my post; Rob's got a more detailed response coming soon!

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

I have to disagree here. During development, we track XP and treasure totals for each adventure to ensure that each adventure gives the PCs enough XP and treasure to get where they need to be, and that information is used to create the "Advancement Track" at the beginning of the adventure.

While we generally assume that most groups will also have random encounters, not every group does, nor will every group meet every encounter, but we hope that the combination of the two averages out. And the Advancement Track is there to help GMs know where their players should be at certain points in the adventure, so that if they miss some of the encounters in the adventure, the GM can add more to get them to the correct level.

In any case, we assume that the PCs will hit every encounter, and add up all of the scripted encounters in the adventure to reach the XP totals in the Advancement Track.

Looking back at my tracking worksheet, the PCs can each acquire just over 2,700 XP by the time they finish the swamp, bringing them to 2nd level. After exploring the first level and environs of Brinewall Castle, the PCs should each have about 6,800 XP, bringing them to 3rd level (and thus able to make a "serious attempt" at exploring the remainder of the castle). At the end of the adventure, if they have met every encounter, each PC will have over 11,000 XP, well above 4th level.

As a side note, the assumption is that there are 4 PCs in an average party. If a PC party is larger or smaller than this, the GM will need to make adjustments to the encounters (and the XP given) to reflect this.


I don't know how you are getting your XP values, Rob, but ( given my parameters of "no random encounters" ) they are incorrect as far as Brinestump March goes. I'll list the encounter XP in detail:

600 XP - Soggy River Monster (CR2)
600 XP - Volorog ( not counting the Vipers here, as they are a very optional part of the encounter )
600 XP - Saving Walthus
2025 XP - All normal Goblins
600 XP - Chief Gutwad
800 XP - Dispersing the Licktoads
400 XP - 3 Dire Rats
600 XP - Skitterfoot
400 XP - 3 Skeletons
400 XP - Giant Spider
400 XP - Giant Amoeba
800 XP - 6 Skeletons
800 XP - Tsutamu

Total: 9025 XP, 2256,25 per character.

I missed the story award ( 800 XP ) for dispersing the Goblins and just found that there are another 1200 XP after leaving Brinestump March, so the party should be at least a few hundred XP into second level at the end of Brinestump March. I still take a bit of an issue of declaring that a "serious attempt" to explore Brinewall Castle can only be declared after already clearing the first level and environs of it, but that is more a case of semantics.

In any case, there are definitely enough XP to get to level four without one random encounter in the module, but the declared level breaks are a bit off, IMHO.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:

I don't know how you are getting your XP values, Rob, but ( given my parameters of "no random encounters" ) they are incorrect as far as Brinestump March goes. I'll list the encounter XP in detail:

600 XP - Soggy River Monster (CR2)
600 XP - Volorog ( not counting the Vipers here, as they are a very optional part of the encounter )
600 XP - Saving Walthus
2025 XP - All normal Goblins
600 XP - Chief Gutwad
800 XP - Dispersing the Licktoads
400 XP - 3 Dire Rats
600 XP - Skitterfoot
400 XP - 3 Skeletons
400 XP - Giant Spider
400 XP - Giant Amoeba
800 XP - 6 Skeletons
800 XP - Tsutamu

Total: 9025 XP, 2256,25 per character.

I missed the story award ( 800 XP ) for dispersing the Goblins and just found that there are another 1200 XP after leaving Brinestump March, so the party should be at least a few hundred XP into second level at the end of Brinestump March. I still take a bit of an issue of declaring that a "serious attempt" to explore Brinewall Castle can only be declared after already clearing the first level and environs of it, but that is more a case of semantics.

In any case, there are definitely enough XP to get to level four without one random encounter in the module, but the declared level breaks are a bit off, IMHO.

Of COURSE if you arbitrarily label some XP awards "optional" or ignore story awards, your totals are going to be off. We don't assume that in calculating our totals... and the fact that wandering monsters ARE a part of most games means that there's a "slush fund" of sorts of XP points out there waiting to make up for when the PCs miss or skip encounter elements.


James Jacobs wrote:
Of COURSE if you arbitrarily label some XP awards "optional" or ignore story awards, your totals are going to be off. We don't assume that in calculating our totals...

Actually, I was wondering about this. Do you have a recommendation about getting the PCs to fight the vipers? If the fight just happened to spill out into their area, would the vipers attack everyone, or side with their "master?"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Of COURSE if you arbitrarily label some XP awards "optional" or ignore story awards, your totals are going to be off. We don't assume that in calculating our totals...
Actually, I was wondering about this. Do you have a recommendation about getting the PCs to fight the vipers? If the fight just happened to spill out into their area, would the vipers attack everyone, or side with their "master?"

If the PCs stumble into the area, the vipers attack them. The bad guy there knows about them and might try to lure the PCs in there. Or the PCs might try to sneak in the back way. Or they could "recruit" the vipers to aid them via charm animal or wild empathy (that should get them XP as well).

And if the PCs miss the vipers... that's fine. They'll be a few XP short until they have some sort of additional encounter.

Frankly... when the PCs level up during the course of an adventure isn't really all that important. If they stumble into part of an adventure that's "too tough," they'll realize that soon and, hopefully, take action to remedy that (such as by deciding to focus on a less dangerous part of the adventure—the classic "let's clear out level 1 before progressing to level 2 of this location" is a great example). In the end, reaching the appropriate level to start the next adventure is what's important for an Adventure Path.

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