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First time Pathfinder GM preparing for RotRL - in dire need of advice

Rise of the Runelords

Hi all.
We're starting off RotRL next sunday and there are some things I couldn't find an answer for here on the forums.

1. I understand that Paizo made all the D&D 3.5 --> Pathfinder conversions of RotRL disappear because of the upcoming campaign book. I am planning on getting the book when it comes out, but since we wish to start right now I'd need some pointers on what do convert and how to convert on Burnt Offerings. I compared the Goblin in RotRL book and the one in Pathfinder Bestiary and they are pretty close the same. I don't really see much difference between D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder, so is there something I need to look out for?

2. When trying to decide whether to play Carrion Crown or RotRL I found that Carrion Crown players guide had some campaign specific feats. I really liked those, but RotRL players guide didn't have them, only Varisian feats which imho don't do the same thing. Has someone done a homebrew campaign feat list for RotRL?

We were actually planning on starting with the Beginner Box, but then everyone got greedy. The players wanted stuff from the Core book and I'm thinking jumping right in the deep end might be doable and I'd save money (got Core book from the library!). Do you think it would be better to start off with Beginner Box and then upgrade to Core rules after Burnt Offerings? Or maybe just pick attacks of opportunity and a couple of feats from the Beginner Box. Would that work? We have played a lot of RPG's together, but I wish to get playing rather than use the first sessions for rules lawyering and system checking.

Thanks, really need some advice here.

There are some conversions at D20PFSRD.

The differences are fairly small. NPCs with PC class levels have a CR of +1 in 3.5 compared to PF; you could either convert by adding a level or by reducing CR. Make sure to use CMB/CMD instead of grapple. Monsters are typically fairly similar, so using the PF version instead of the 3.5 version should work fine.

Yep, when you can just flip and use the monster out of the bestiary. Also I know its not exactly the same... but in a hurry I just find a similarly CR monster as long as the fighting style is similar.

I've never used the beginner box, but I'm betting it wouldn't be to hard to jump right into RotRL and Pathfinder Core.

I would however highly recommend getting a GM screen, has a bunch of really useful stuff that keeps you from having to look it up, specifically the skill checks.

Edit: I don't have my copy, but I believe the feats/traits in the back of the RotRL player's guide are traits. Either ways, I'd make sure my players pick one up, even if you had to give it to them for free, which I believe is what I did. I made them write a half page backstory to get one, it really helps.

Grand Lodge

It has been suggested to use the Campaign Traits in the APG for RotRL. (They were originally for James Jacobs' Shadows Under Sandpoint campaign...)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

If it helps, I literally just posted my campaign trait list a few hours ago in the campaign log thread for my campaign.

Very nice. Yes, I meant campaign traits. The ones which help the players to flesh out their characters. I'll check out if I get Advanced Players Guide and let the players choose traits from there. I think any carrot I can wiggle in front of the players to flesh out the characters is very helpful.


Grand Lodge

I think there are only 4 in the APG... maybe 6...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would also suggest, if you find the time, to read through the GM Sticky threads for each module. There are a lot of great ideas and accessories (maps, handouts, etc.) that others have created and shared.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah one of the best ideas I used from these forums are the games at the sswallowtail festival thread.

Had our first session today. The four heroes fought off the Goblin assault bravely and saved the day. Yay! I printed out some battle maps for the first encounters and everyone seemed to have good time. I did have some slight rules issues as I didn't have time to read all the exact combat maneuvers and didn't have Pahtfinder conversion for the warchanter. All the players rolled very well (4d6 drop the lowest) for their characters, so a normal goblin wasn't really any real threat to them (high AC's). The commando put up a fight and almost killed the cleric, which was nice.

Now I'm wondering how should I award the experience to the players. It seems that if the first part of the AP is supposed to take the characters to the 4th level, there just isn't enough experience there to be awarded if I go by the book. I certainly could run some extra stuff in between, but at least for now I'd like to stick to the story as I want to get to the meat as soon as possible. According to my calculations the first three encounters give four characters something like total of 600 experience. I was thinking of giving them 200 extra for saving the city, 200 for playing their characters (nothing super, but just to award the effort) and 300 if they write the basic personality and history for the character. With fast advacement that would mean that they gain a level, which I think would make the players commit to the game even more.

Still I'm afraid that giving the players level already will break the upcoming encounters. Does anyone have any insight on this? Which advacement table should I use? And what is a perfect advacement speed for the group so the first part of the AP feels challenging (today really wasn't) and in the end of the AP the heroes reach 4th level.

Thanks for your help. The game is great and fun it just has some things I need to get used to in order to make things run smoothly.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you run RotRL on the Pathfinder "Fast" experience track, you should be fine.

I'm running my party on the "Medium" experience track, but I'm adding a fair amount of homebrew content (both my own and stuff I've stolen... er, I mean "borrowed"... from elsewhere). My players are all pretty experienced and have done a reasonable job optimizing their character, plus I have a party of 6. Therefore, in addition to converting the bad guys to PFRPG stats, I've added new encounters and upped the challenge of most of the existing ones. (e.g. add 25%-50% more mooks, given villains an extra level or three, added lieutenants to the ranks, etc.) The result is that we're advancing pretty well on the Medium track.

But if you don't want to do that level of work, go ahead and use the Fast track. That's the pace that 3.5 assumed.


Liberty's Edge

@Hal, there is a pretty decent 6-player conversion guide out there if you're interested. It makes suggestions on adding mooks and/or buffing up bosses, as well as supplemental treasure to keep the wealth by level reasonably correct.


I am also running Medium-XP with a stripped-down second campaign layered on top (Kingmaker, and just a little fudging of XP rewards from time to time to keep the group where I want them). I think Fast for the RotR path alone would be about perfect.

The one comment that comes up quite often is that treasure can be a bit light unless the PCs strip every baddie they find and unless you allow for good churches to pay a bounty on the many capital-E Evil items that come up in the game. If your PCs are diligent about selling items and you allow for some way to dispose of the nastier loot, your group's wealth by level shouldn't get too far off.

Again thanks for the help. I have absolutely no problem giving extra XP for roleplaying and good deed to keep the characters on suitable level. Also wealth level is shouldn't be a problem as I can just add some coins and treasure here and there if needed. Or is wealth level something I should really look into game rules wise?

My concern is to know which encounters in Burnt Offerings are such that the characters will die if not leveled accordingly. I was thinking of giving lvl2 after Glassworks unless Tsuto is going to be too much to handle for four 1st level characters (Barbarian, Cleric, Rogue and Monk)?

Does the following sound like good advacement rate:

2nd level after Glassworks
3rd level after Catacombs of Wrath
4th level after Thistletop

I'm thinking of using the fast advacement to keep the ball rolling and tweaking the XP awards as needed.


Liberty's Edge

There is a read on here that talks about that jazz well. Use the forum search and look for advancement points.

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