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Holy Heck Random Encounters (Kingmaker possible spoiler)


Kingmaker


So our party is playing the kingmaker adventure and whilst exploring on the first charter. We happen accross 3 trolls (The GM suggested we run), our party stands and fights I managed to convince the party to fight on account of me (being a dwarf) being the slowest party member, so if it went horribly wrong I'd be the one they get.

We fight it out, and after a long battle we emerge victorious over the Trolls. We later found out that the encounter was CR 7 or so (Trolls are CR 5 right?). Good tactics won the day for us. We started about 200' away from the trolls when we noticed each other. Our druid readied entangle, our oracle (dark tapestry) readied murderous command on any troll that didn't get entangled. And the rest of us pulled out alchemist's fires.

Due to the luck on saves the druid stopped 2 of the trolls and the oracle got the third that avoided entangle with the murderous command. At this point it was a matter of focusing ranged attacks on one at a time drop them before they forced their way out of the entangle. One troll is killed to ranged attacks (bowfire from inquisitor and samurai, and alcemist's fire from dwarf artificer) and the mindscrewed troll that the oracle was messing with. Eventually one (further behind his buddies due to low initiative) backs out of entangle and goes around the affect. And is joined by the survivor of the front two to reach the dwarf. With buffs I had gotten my AC up to 29 vs the trolls (Breastplate, Shield spell, 3 dex mod, shield of faith from inquisitor, and dwarven dodgy awesomeness). At this point I was flanking the troll with a summoned fire elemental from the druid. Just as the second troll closes to melee with me one gets dropped (inquisitor had been spamming acid arrow to keep regen turned off while it was stuck in entangle apparently the damage added up and it dropped. The other followed shortly after having fought a dwarf, 1 fire elementals, and 2 stirges (the stirges being summoned 1 at a time with summon nature's ally I by the druid only got one hit each as the troll squished them)

TLDR Good long fight, Druid and oracle out of spells, dwarf only hit once, All trolls dead.

Party comp for this was.

Human Druid 3
Human Inquisitor 3 (Spiked Chain, 3.5 Style)
Halfling Oracle 3 (Dark tapestry/Deaf)
Human Samurai 3(The variant from dragon empire primer I think)
Dwarven Artificer 3 (spell progression modded by DM, uses summoner's spells per day for number of devices so no second level spells)

Do other AP's have random encounters that are that disparate from the party level? Granted we only fought it out because trolls are kinda stupid and we had the right tools for the job (Druid with entangle, dwarf AC monkey to tank when they got out, oracle to lock down trolls, and a fair DM put the encounter at a distance to give us the opportunity to run), but a party without these tools could get destroyed by three trolls.


Not just other APs, but the game in general. The Bestiary/PRD has a host of random encounter tables, for various CRs, and they usually have a big range. The CR 6 "Desert" table ranges from CR 1 to CR 13, for instance, and the CR 8 "Ocean" table ranges from CR 1 to CR 19. Most of the tables range from level -3/4 to level +3/4.

One thing to remember is that not every random encounter needs to be a combat encounter. For instance, if you happen to roll a random encounter with a Dragon 7 levels above the party, the encounter might well simply be that you notice the Dragon flying in the skies above, or hunting something else on the ground nearby.

Good job dealing with the trolls :)


I have to say I'm a little puzzled why your DM would advise you to run from an APL+2 encounter (and it arguably could only be APL+1 due to terrain favoring the PC's). But in any case, good job using your tactics and abilities to win the day without any casualties. It's fun to pull through as a team on those combats.

In general, I find that APL+1 and APL+2 encounters make for a challenging day when using multiple encounters per day. If you only work the 15-minute adventuring day (1 encounter per day, basically) then you can attempt tougher encounters, but they can be risky. Good luck on the rest of the AP!

Edit: My head was elsewhere, this was an APL+4 encounter (or APL+3 if you want to give the benefit of the doubt to the PC's having ranged attacks while the trolls did not). Yes, I can see why your DM might have advised that. My apologies.


Yeah we are drowning in (+1/2 Mighty) Composite Longbows from the bandits we've killed. I really don't see how the parties equipment really affects the CR. Having the correct tools is part of character design.

Sovereign Court

Kingmaker is a sandbox. The encounters are tailored for the terrain and location (Greenbelt, Kamelands, Hooktongue Slough, etc.), not to the pc's in any way. You can run into something well beyond your abilities. Fortunately, for the most part, especially later on in the ap, you generally have to wander... But that's not guaranteed. Part of that ap's appeal is that survival VERY DEFINITELY depends on knowing when not to fight.

Also, encounters on the table aren't necessarily fights. For example, my players ran into that troll encounter at levl 1!!! Rather than have a tpk, when they camped along the banks of a river, they could see the light of another camp on the opposite bank and about half a mile or so upstream. In the deep of night, they heard screams from that camp. Having no special means to deal with the darkness nor the river, they were too far to do anything about it. They opted to head that way at first light to offer what help they could to anyone that may have been injured.

When they got there, they found a grim scene. There were no survivors to aid. The camp was ripped apart.. as were a couple of the campers. The ranger identified the attackers as trolls... Two of them. All that remained were whatever the trolls didn't eat. There were signs of survivors but those were taken with the attackers when they left... almost certainly to become meals for another day. I described the terror of these poor survivors having to watch the trolls dine sloppily on their fallen companions knowing that they would be next... and having to march with your captors until they decided they were hungry.

The "encounter" actually had a better effect than if they had run away. They were nervous and afraid.. Points I capitalized on when they'd leap to battle readiness at every sound - usually only finding a deer or rodent. The Greenbelt became a terrifying place and any notion of "the module wouldn't make us fight something we copuldn't defeat." melted away immediately.


Thaylen wrote:
I managed to convince the party to fight on account of me (being a dwarf) being the slowest party member, so if it went horribly wrong I'd be the one they get.

This line of reasoning can easily, and probably will, eventually lead to a TPK if there's any sand to speak of in the sandbox. If the CR encounter is that far off-base a lot of DMs will give you a great chance to run without much of a token effort from the monster(s) in the way of pursuit. That, or they will be favorably inclined to reward thinking outside of (kill)box for resolving the encounter.


Doug OBrien wrote:
Thaylen wrote:
I managed to convince the party to fight on account of me (being a dwarf) being the slowest party member, so if it went horribly wrong I'd be the one they get.

This line of reasoning can easily, and probably will, eventually lead to a TPK if there's any sand to speak of in the sandbox. If the CR encounter is that far off-base a lot of DMs will give you a great chance to run without much of a token effort from the monster(s) in the way of pursuit. That, or they will be favorably inclined to reward thinking outside of (kill)box for resolving the encounter.

It was only that we had things in our favor that I even suggested it. Had I not been a dwarf, and the druid not had entangle, Fighting them would be suicide.


Thaylen wrote:
Yeah we are drowning in (+1/2 Mighty) Composite Longbows from the bandits we've killed. I really don't see how the parties equipment really affects the CR. Having the correct tools is part of character design.

It's not the party's equipment, per se, that affects the EL. It's the terrain that (seemingly) favored the PC's. You had an encounter that started at long distance. The party had ranged attacks. The trolls did not. Advantage = you. When terrain offers an advantage to one side it can (but doesn't have to) adjust the EL. In this case, it clearly helped the PC's get off at least 1 round of attacks without reprisal. Is that right?

In any case, I still say the PC's did a great job in defeating the encounter.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dosgamer wrote:
Thaylen wrote:
Yeah we are drowning in (+1/2 Mighty) Composite Longbows from the bandits we've killed. I really don't see how the parties equipment really affects the CR. Having the correct tools is part of character design.

It's not the party's equipment, per se, that affects the EL. It's the terrain that (seemingly) favored the PC's. You had an encounter that started at long distance. The party had ranged attacks. The trolls did not. Advantage = you. When terrain offers an advantage to one side it can (but doesn't have to) adjust the EL. In this case, it clearly helped the PC's get off at least 1 round of attacks without reprisal. Is that right?

In any case, I still say the PC's did a great job in defeating the encounter.

Yes, good job!


Note that three trolls is CR 8 encounter (trolls, are CR 5, three creatures of the same CR are +3 bump). The party APL would be about 3.5 or 4 (APL 3 for four 3rd level characters, one additional character would bump it by 1/2 and abundance of equipment by another 1/2). That's why the GM suggest running away - a decent suggestion by the numbers alone. the successful entangle changed circumstances completely preventing the monsters from threatening the party together - so divide and conquer tactic won the day again. It's a good show of cooperation between party members.

Scarab Sages

Congrats as well on handling the trolls!

One thing I will give to Kingmaker is that enterprising players can easily find out about random encounters ahead of time. Many of the rumors deal with such powerful monsters, and there are key events that broadcast their appearance.

My favorite was

Spoiler:
in the 4th adventure, the party camped while journeying to the Tiger Lord demesne, and were ambushed at night by a hezrou (EL + 3 at that point). It was one of the best fights of the campaign so far, and totally random. They spent a good 10 minutes discussing how it had come to be there, drawing an incorrect conclusion that will play out rather surprisingly!

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