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Heroes of Kleenex


Council of Thieves


So...I may have a problem.

I am prepping CoT for my group, and they've started getting their characters back to me. We have a sorcerer, a rogue, and an alchemist. Player four is a tentative paladin but not sure if they will be able to manage staying in the game for the long run.

Excluding the potential paladin, the sorcerer has the highest constitution score of the group.

I have never run an AP before, and I've not done much GMing at all. I'm not sure how much I can tweak encounters without making the campaign an anticlimactic cakewalk, but I'm not wanting to outright stomp them, either. They're all quite attached to their concepts and not really willing to rebuild for better overall survivability.

Any advice on handling a party made of tissue paper?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am DMing a party that, while it wasn't tissue paper, it completely lacked arcane magic and the players were new to PF. I used the Children of Westcrown to provide some GMPC options for them until they could get on their feet.

Now they don't need the help as the party has grown from 3 to 5 players, as well as the fact that they can deal with/cover their weaknesses better due to player and character experience. But having Gorvio tag along early on prevented at least 2 TPKs.

I would recommend seeing how they fair a bit before starting to worry about it too much. Aside from the fact that having a paladin makes a significant portion of the AP a cakewalk, I think most party compositions can work well if they know what they are doing.


Good to know. The rogue and I are the newest to the game, so I'm pretty confident in the others' ability to not walk into obvious death. I'm only worried because the pally isn't sure their schedule will let them stay in the game. Thanks. =)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I did something similar with the CoW, though instead of adding a GMPC I handed NPCs to players as appropriate, complete with roleplaying guides and notes as to motivations and goals. I let the group take as many NPCs along as they like, and then it's up to them how much they want to split the loot/XP.


Change Janiven from a damage dealer to more of a tank, and hand out more of Arael's healing potions. Yu can always scale back later.

You could also increase the point buy, use hero points, or give more and better equipment.


Point buy's set at 20; they're starting at 2nd level. I'll look over Janiven when I'm not having to work and see what I can do there. Thanks.

Sczarni

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You don't *really* know what they can do until they actually see combat. If the players are skilled at combat, they might be fine even with low defense. If not, they might only need to learn a few new tricks.

So I recommend you use a few low-risk "random" encounters to dial in on how hard things will need to be.

First, throw a couple of easy encounters at them, just to let them get a feel for how their characters play and how well they work as a team.

Then, throw a really hard encounter at them, something 2 or 3 CRs above theirs with plenty of different opponents. Something you can expect them to lose. But here's the trick: make it so that when they lose, they don't die.

For example, they stumble into the middle of a pack of ferocious escaped circus animals in the middle of the city. They might all get mauled, but the city watch and the medics are already on their way, so they can all wake up in the hospital afterwards.

This will give you a good opportunity to see how powerful they actually are. It can also have the nice side-effect of teaching your players that they'll have to play smart and work hard to win fights.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Trinite wrote:

You don't *really* know what they can do until they actually see combat. If the players are skilled at combat, they might be fine even with low defense. If not, they might only need to learn a few new tricks.

So I recommend you use a few low-risk "random" encounters to dial in on how hard things will need to be.

Actually, if the Paladin is with them, then you don't have to big of a problem - because they will have a proper tank. (They'll be a little light on healing, but with the Alchemist they should be okay.)

Trinite wrote:

First, throw a couple of easy encounters at them, just to let them get a feel for how their characters play and how well they work as a team.

Then, throw a really hard encounter at them, something 2 or 3 CRs above theirs with plenty of different opponents. Something you can expect them to lose. But here's the trick: make it so that when they lose, they don't die.

Before you do that, if the Paladin is not with them, hit them with a CR approprate encounter leaning to heavy melee.

If you are using the Sewer Chase section of the AP, for example, I would hit them the Hell Knight Armiger from the NPC Guide,if you have it. (If you don't build a Lvl 3 Fighter using pages 450 to 454 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rules - For "Order of the Rack" use human (or Dwarf if you want to be mean), select feats from "Sword and Shield Fighter" list, buy him/her heavy armor such as Half-Plate.) This works out to a CR 2.

If things still go south, this gives you the "in story" option of having Janiven is a despirate battle with the Hell Knight when the PCs regain conciousness (so that they can come to her rescue).


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Welp, panic averted. Even if the paladin doesn't stay in the game, a fifth player just stepped in with a barbarian. I'm still going to keep these suggestions in mind, just in case (Paranoid GM is paranoid), but it doesn't seem nearly as severe a concern anymore.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Be aware that this AP has some extremely lethal points, and many others where a bit of bad luck/bad planning can make things go horribly horribly wrong. Even for a well constructed group.

I have killed 6 PC's so far, and I'm usually a pushover.

I advise checking out the Obituaries thread to give you advance warning of some of the particularly nasty encounters (like a certain dinosaur in Delvehaven).


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Ha! Kleenex.

Grand Lodge

One piece of advice..Please have "The Trial" in book 2 copied for each player to read. As a GM this was awsome....


Oh, I've already looked over the obit thread. It's why I panicked to begin with.

And I've already had to edit Six Trials for distribution - it's a homebrew setting, so a crapton of dialogue had to change. I'm making sure to save it for the very last minute - I'd like to keep the play a surprise as long as I can. =)

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