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Tips on boosting the new RotRL coming out this year...


Rise of the Runelords


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Hi all.

Looking for some tips on running RotRL (updated edition coming out soon) with the following parameters:

6 Players!

25 point buy!!

We have all been playing together for quite some time (3 of us for almost 20 years). 2 of the players are cranked up go getter gamers (playing a wizard and the cleric), the others are good players as well, but a tad more casual in their play. :)

Soooooo, I was wondering, to keep the encounters challenging, increase the baddies’ numbers by 25 to 50%? Max HP’s? Increase important NPC’s to 20 point buy and boost some of their treasure to keep 6 players happy?
All of the above?

Any other suggestions?


Greetings, fellow traveller.

I would


  • Add the advanced template to all the monsters in the AP - basically +2 to every roll.
  • Max hp for all monsters.
  • Add (more) mooks. Should be easily done. Just make sure there's enough room to manouver if the encounter is indoors.
  • Add treasure - just multiply money x 1.5 (including gems), don't add magical items.

Ruyan.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Sounds easy enough (I use Hero Labs)!

What about NPC's?

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, if you don't want to get fancy, you could just sorta give them the Advanced Template as well: add 2 to all of their rolls.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Veldan Rath wrote:

Sounds easy enough (I use Hero Labs)!

What about NPC's?

Well, if you don't want to get fancy, you could just sorta give them the Advanced Template as well: add 2 to all of their rolls.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are you set on the 25 point buy? You could do 20 (or even 15) and that might help on the front end. After that you could get away with adding in a few extra mooks to each encounter so you don't have to work too much math.

Personally, I gave my players the option of 4d6 drop lowest or Heroic array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I second the 15 point buy. I have recently switched to 15 pt buy, and I am enjoying the overall effect.

Grand Lodge

I changed the race for Karzoug to True Azlanti, basically just adding +2 to all of his ability scores except INT. I don't know if they changed it for the Anniversary Edition, but it made sense to me, since Thassilon was created by Xin and his Azlanti exiles.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

While I would love to play 15 or 20 my group is stuck on 25.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You group is stuck as in they won't even play, or they're just used to that? Would it make a difference if you asked them to do a lower point buy in the interest of the betterment of the campaign and/or make your job as GM a little easier?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't have much to add to RuyanVe's advice.

I'm running a group of 6 PCs with 20-point buy. In hindsight, I wish I'd done a 15-point buy, as upping the threat level for every single encounter has become a bit tedious (in addition, of course, to converting the encounters to PF rules).

I haven't been adding the Advanced template; instead I've been adding class levels to most of the bad guys, but it's about the same. Be sure to add +50% more treasure, since you have +50% more characters.

I'm eagerly waiting for the anniversary edition, as I'm hoping that I won't need to do as much conversion when it's out.


Seriously: see if you can get them to reconsider the 25 point buy.

25 points vs. 15 is almost like adding +1 ECL. Not quite, but almost. And 6 players instead of 4 means you already have to to considerable rejiggering. Putting the two together means rewriting that goes well beyond "50% more mooks, give everything the Advanced Template".

I mean, if you enjoy that sort of thing, okay, no worries -- go to it.

Doug M.


The group has no problem with a lower point buy. Although we've run our last several APs with 25 point buy and I haven't seen any issues, especially if you don't increase the wealth of the AP.

Oh, and you'd love to "run" a 15 Point Buy, but you'd hate to "play" in it. After all, nothing requires you to play a 25 point buy in Kingmaker ;)

Seriously though, there are several classes I wouldn't consider touching with a 15 point buy (I'm looking at you mr. monk).

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm currently running RotRL with a group using a 15 point buy that started with 6 players and ranged up to 8 at points and just adjusting for the PF rules and adding extras to fights was a big enough headache, I would not even consider doing it with a 25 point buy.

IMO the 25 point buy even with a 4 man party is way overpowered if the characters optimize just a little.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Veldan Rath wrote:
Any other suggestions?

I'm currently running RotRL with 6 players. Generally, I just increase the numer of foes in the encounter. Running 6 skeletons, for example, isn't much different from running 4 skeletons. For milestone foes, I usually increase their HPs. Since I'm running this under PFRPG rules, I use bestiary stats where available and rebuild as necessary (or desired).

-Skeld


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Our group is used to running gestalt characters on a much higher point buy. Problem is, the GM that runs ends up with a hard time trying to adjust the bad guys and mooks to make the encounter challenging. (Gestalt adds another 25% to the CR of the individual creature/player).

We just started the Jade Regent campaign with a 20 point buy. We had to then modify all the main NPCs to the same buy (they are more like 15 in the books) and re-optimize their stats.

It really boils down to, what is going to be the best balance between player fun and GM upkeep? If you're fine making modifications to everything in the book to make up for the player 25pt buy and extra PCs, then go for it. If not, explain to the party that with 6 players they're already going to wipe the floor with your enemies and you just want to make it a better challenge overall.

I would also add in addition to the other suggestions listed thus far, that if you have a solo bad guy encounter, add a second creature if it is a monster (think mated pair), or a small passel of mooks to aid your bad guy in battle. Otherwise, its surround and slash. Believe me, a few stepping stones in the way of reaching the boss goes a long way in making a battle last longer than 1-2 rounds.


There are some interesting ideas, but all of them take a lot of work. I'm not sure how well it would work out in the long run, but I'd simply run the campaign on the slow advancement track and not add any extra monsters.
Sure, they'll power through the early encounters, but after the first few encounters they're a level or two behind, so higher point buy and more characters should be balanced against the threats they face. The one NPC I'd watch is Big X, but the rest should be fine.


I don't see the appeal with using a higher point buy system. A character should have some flaws in their attributes. The amount of work required to adjust NPCs and monsters to accomodate the change is just not worth it.

As for a group of 6 players. I wouldn't advocate adding MORE monsters per encounter. You already have more players bogging down combat, I don't think adding more monsters is the solution. Combat would take forever.

I would use one of the following: slower xp advancement, lower point buy (10), or maybe even get rid of some of the loot.

My time as a GM is better spent developing NPC characteristics and incorporating my PCs into the plot than it is spent adjusting stats. And my players want to spend their time during the session doing the same. During combat they want to perform their actions, not wait for 12 skeletons to perform theirs.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Astralplaydoh wrote:
I don't see the appeal with using a higher point buy system. A character should have some flaws in their attributes.

The appeal for higher point buy is to allow characters that are larger than life. Usually this means a character with very little or no flaws. It's like making Batman with higher point buy oppose to making darkwing duck who had to lower his int (or wis depending how you view mental stats) because of the lower point buy.


Are you certain? I mean, Batman dresses up like a bat and swings around the city, constantly messing up crime scenes and chain of evidence, and so on. Are you sure he has a Wisdom above ten? Six, maybe.


I dont enjoy playing at point buys less than 25, and I dont like foes being made harder to "compensate". I also dont mind less challenge, I am playing for fun heroics, not for challenge. I realize I am in the minority on these forums, where people who enjoy 25 point buys are viewed with some scorn, but I am glad my own group is on the same wavelength as I am.


Sorry if this is a little thread necro, but Yikes, 6 players and 25 point buy? I'm going to be honest with you, I'm running RoTRL with 6 players at 18 point buy, and they will steamroller anything the book puts in there path without serious encounter modifications (with the exception of a few of the very hard encounters). Just adding the advanced template will not cut it.

You need to be honest with the players and tell them that the adventure is not designed for 25 point buy, or 6 players. The combination of the two is too much. To put it into perspective, this is going to be like running 3rd level characters in a 1st level adventure (no challenge, bored players... Imagine having the lowest init and not getting a turn 3 fights in a row because the other players are turning the battles into 1 round fights).

If that's not an option, be prepared for ALOT of work. Additional text with suggestions below.

Spoiler:

You need to add mooks (low level foes) to almost every encounter. The problem with this is going to be space... a lot of the combat in the first 3 books takes place in close quarters. The reason this is important, is that even if you max the HP of the humanoid foes, with 6 players your foes are going to be badly outnumbered and on the losing side of action economy. Adding more foes is generaly better then beefing up foes (a balance of the two is of course best).

Its a lot easier to explain that the last 3 surviving goblins/ghouls/ogres/giants flee dew to a moral failure then to explain that the guys who have been hitting every round for 20+ damage are suddenly full of fail, missing the cleric/witch/oracle in melee, and only does 8 damage when they do connect.

Even a simple Daze spell (0 level cantrip) is going to have a better then 50% chance of locking down most of the low level stuff because of the massive point buy (20 Int, plus spell focus and you're looking at DC 16 cantrips!). Thats a problem when there are 6 players facing 4 foes (see need for mooks above). If you're mage can get away with spamming something like Daze against every foe he run's into he's going to have his full arsinal availible for every big battle. Add in a two-handed fighter/barbarian, with 20 Str, 18 Con, Power attack, and Cleave (who's dropping two guys a turn) and you can see why fights featuring less then 4-5 foes are over in seconds.

Any of the named NPC's will need to be reworked to be more optimized, and have better stats or the advanced template (Id go with better stats, because those will effect save Dc's and the like).

Like I said, a lot of work. I strongly suggest 15 point buy lol

I understand playing in 25 point games, I play in one (In fact my character died in it last night). But 25 point Buy and 6 Players throws the balance so far over the rail that, as a GM, I'd run away and run fast.


60 point buy for the group = 10 point buy characters for 6 PCs, which should let you run the campaign out of the book (asides from amping mundane loot by +50%).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Thread Necro:

Well, the group does NOT really optimize, even the 2 'power gamers' of the group really don't optimize build.

I'm looking at a channel focused cleric with the Animal Domain, and Elven Evocation Wizard (he LOVES to blow stuff up), a monk, and 3 as yet unknowns...

I'm gonna go with boosting mook #'s, 25 point buy and max HP for named villains. (Again, thanks Hero Lab!)


Veldan Rath wrote:
While I would love to play 15 or 20 my group is stuck on 25.

What I tell my group is this:

Increasing the point buy only means I need to increase the challenge to do my job as GM.

If I can run things as they appear in the book, I will go that much longer before I burn out.

You (players) want to finish this campaign, right?

It doesn't need to be 15, but I dislike going above 20.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Veldan Rath wrote:
While I would love to play 15 or 20 my group is stuck on 25.

What I tell my group is this:

Increasing the point buy only means I need to increase the challenge to do my job as GM.

If I can run things as they appear in the book, I will go that much longer before I burn out.

You (players) want to finish this campaign, right?

It doesn't need to be 15, but I dislike going above 20.

I have always done 20 or 25 pt buy, though i never thought too much about it, until I recently decided to try 15 pt buy. I love the feel of the 15. I didn't realize I would notice a difference, but it definitely feels different. I feel, as a GM, that I have wiggle room. I don't feel like everything has to be an arms race, and perhaps most importantly there is a palpable sense of danger amongst the players. Now, when they come across a magic item, it is, more than ever, an important find.


I will be starting a group of 5 players with 25 points in a couple of weeks. They asked me if they could start at 2nd level, but with 0 XP. It is my initial AP so I want to be fair to all concerned. Would lowering the build down to 15-20 allow for 2nd level start?

Andoran

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The adventure is balanced for 4x15 point first level characters.

They're already 20% stronger because of the extra character and maybe another 20% for the extra 10 points.

If they would accept 15 point second level characters (0 xp or no is immaterial in the long run), you'd be better off unless your group really enjoys plowing through baddies without much challenge.

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