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Newbie GM Question; How much gold rewarded? Lv 2 chars in Lv 3-4 Sub tier.


Pathfinder Society GM Discussion

Lantern Lodge *

Hi. I'm going to GM my first PFS game this week and I need a clarification on gold rewarded at the end of a scenario.

Say I run a season 0-2 module at sub-tier 3-4, with a table of 6 level 2 to 4 characters. Their average player level is above 2.5+ and they want to play high.

At the end of the scenario... how much gold should the lv 2 characters get?
(The level 3-4 taking the proper gold as per the sub-tier of 3-4.)

Do they:
1) Get as much gold as the lv 3 & 4 players? (Sub-tier 3-4). Therefore making them getting "more" gold then their lv should?

2) Get gold at sub-tier 1-2, but get the "unlocks" of 3-4?

3) Both above are wrong and there is a proper way to do this?

Please help! I have read the Guide, but I'm still unsure what is correct.
Links to FAQ or official posts will be also much appreciated.

***** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Boston aka Harley Quinn X

They get the gold and rewards for the subtier in which they played. Step 5 in the Guide, on page 27 says:

Quote:

Step 5: Determine the Max Gold for the scenario based

on the PC’s advancement rate and the subtier played and
circle the applicable value (F). This value represents the
total gold piece value a character may receive for defeating
all enemies and finding all treasure in a scenario. If the
player is playing a non-1st-level pregenerated character,
he may choose instead to apply this Chronicle to a newly
created 1st-level character. If this is the case, reduce this
value to 500 gp (or 250 gp for the slow advancement track).
If the PCs failed to earn any of the rewards listed in an
individual act, deduct the amount listed for the applicable
subtier from the Chronicle’s Max Gold. Place the sum of
this calculation in the shaded GP Gained field and initial
the adjacent box (Q).

Lantern Lodge *

David Montgomery wrote:

They get the gold and rewards for the subtier in which they played. Step 5 in the Guide, on page 27 says:

Quote:

Step 5: Determine the Max Gold for the scenario based

on the PC’s advancement rate and the subtier played and
circle the applicable value (F). This value represents the
total gold piece value a character may receive for defeating
all enemies and finding all treasure in a scenario. If the
player is playing a non-1st-level pregenerated character,
he may choose instead to apply this Chronicle to a newly
created 1st-level character. If this is the case, reduce this
value to 500 gp (or 250 gp for the slow advancement track).
If the PCs failed to earn any of the rewards listed in an
individual act, deduct the amount listed for the applicable
subtier from the Chronicle’s Max Gold. Place the sum of
this calculation in the shaded GP Gained field and initial
the adjacent box (Q).

Let me get this right.

1) The Lv 2 characters in my above post, gets the gold for the sub-tier of 3-4.

2) It is LEGAL for these lv 2 characters to take part in the sub-tier of 3-4? And therefore get more gold then similar leveled characters that played lower tiers, sub-tier 1-2?

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Secane wrote:


Let me get this right.

1) The Lv 2 characters in my above post, gets the gold for the sub-tier of 3-4.

2) It is LEGAL for these lv 2 characters to take part in the sub-tier of 3-4? And therefore get more gold then similar leveled characters that played lower tiers, sub-tier 1-2?

1/ Yes.

2/ If the calculated APL of the table is at least 2.5 and they chose to play up, then yes. It would still be yes if they played up to sub-tier 4-5 on a 1-5 scenario. If the calculated APL of the table was less than 2.5, then no, they would be required to play subtier 1-2. Even if they'd crush it.

Andoran *

Secane wrote:
David Montgomery wrote:

They get the gold and rewards for the subtier in which they played. Step 5 in the Guide, on page 27 says:

Quote:

Step 5: Determine the Max Gold for the scenario based

on the PC’s advancement rate and the subtier played and
circle the applicable value (F). This value represents the
total gold piece value a character may receive for defeating
all enemies and finding all treasure in a scenario. If the
player is playing a non-1st-level pregenerated character,
he may choose instead to apply this Chronicle to a newly
created 1st-level character. If this is the case, reduce this
value to 500 gp (or 250 gp for the slow advancement track).
If the PCs failed to earn any of the rewards listed in an
individual act, deduct the amount listed for the applicable
subtier from the Chronicle’s Max Gold. Place the sum of
this calculation in the shaded GP Gained field and initial
the adjacent box (Q).

Let me get this right.

1) The Lv 2 characters in my above post, gets the gold for the sub-tier of 3-4.

2) It is LEGAL for these lv 2 characters to take part in the sub-tier of 3-4? And therefore get more gold then similar leveled characters that played lower tiers, sub-tier 1-2?

yes it is legal for a lvl 2 to play in tier 3-4.

***

Gold is rewarded based on the sub-tier played, not the level of the character.

Yes, it is legal for a lvl 2 to play in a Tier 3-4. If memory serves me (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) a character can be one level away from either end of the tier and still play.

Cheliax ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Craig Stokes wrote:

Gold is rewarded based on the sub-tier played, not the level of the character.

Yes, it is legal for a lvl 2 to play in a Tier 3-4. If memory serves me (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) a character can be one level away from either end of the tier and still play.

There is no tier 3-4; we should be careful to use proper semantics.

A level 2 character playing in a Tier 1-7 adventure could play in the Sub-tier 1-2 or Sub-Tier 3-4 version.

The same character could not play in a Tier 3-7 adventure.

A level 2 character playing in a Tier 1-5 adventure could legally play in the Sub-tier 4-5 version, but would be taking on high risk and it might be more appropriate for them to play a pregen 4 and delay the credit until their level 2 PC attained 4th level.

Lantern Lodge *

Thanks for the answers. I needed to get this right.

I do however, have two concerns about this.
1) Won't this means that some players will have characters that have A LOT more wealth then others by lvls 6+?

2) Won't these lv 2 characters be "riding on the tailcoats" of high level characters to reach better rewards?

Aka, it feels a little unfair to the higher level players.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Craig wrote:
If memory serves me (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) a character can be one level away from either end of the tier and still play.

No, a character has to be in-tier. (So neither a 2nd level character nor an 8th level character could play "Sewer Dragons of Absalom".)

A character in-tier can play in a neighboring sub-tier. (So, a party with one 2nd-level PC and 5 6th-level PCs would be stuck, even in a Tier 1-7 module. The party would have to play subtier 6-7, and the 2nd-level PC can't play two sub-tiers away.)

***

Thanks for the clarification, TetsujinOni and Chris! I will be careful to use "tier" and "subtier" properly in the future. :-)

Lantern Lodge *

So does anyone know of any complains about lower lv chars playing higher level sub-tiers as being unfair?

Sczarni *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I have had some low level players (say lvl 5 in a 5-9) try to play up to 8-9, knocking a higher level player out of that game. Sometimes, its okay to split the game like that, but lately, I wouldn't want people to weaken 1 party so that another group could play up for more GPs.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Secane, I haven't heard any complaints. The low level characters are taking a much greater risk, and the rewards are commensurate.

(I have one fellow in my PFS-legal home campaign whose druid died when everybody else was ready to start 5th-level. His replacement wizard has been catching up -- thank you, slow progression -- and he mentioned to me last week that the wizard has *never* played an adventure in his proper subtier.

Silver Crusade **

There are people who try to "game the system" by playing up a lot for extra wealth, but the risk is high enough to make up for it.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

In the overall scheme of things, there really isn't that much more gold to be gotten. I'm sure that someone has run the numbers of always playing up if possible, but I doubt over the course of a character's career it isn't that bit of an increase.

Qadira **

I have seen plenty of players weasel their way into subtiers they should really not be playing in and... DIE. It always brings a smile to my face. That being said, I do the exact same thing. :)

Spoiler:
I have a character that played his second scenario at sub-tier 4-5 . He survived and made 1906g and gained permanent endure cold to boot (Shades of Ice, Part 3). He had enough money after 2 scenarios into level 1 to buy masterwork full plate armor and a masterwork nodachi.

Andoran **

Ive no issue with it, as long as the DM isnt taking pity on the character playing up. If you are playing with the big boys , you are expected to be a big boy.

Grand Lodge *****

level 1 characters can play in sub-tier 4-5 too.

Sometimes I'll "go easy" on a low level character playing up by picking on the other characters instead if the low level character is a new player and is not trying to game the system. But for those APL 2.5 groups playing up, I've learned to be as hard as the adventure will allow since they are asking for it.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules Subscriber

They are asking for it and they'll LIKE it, Don! :>

Lantern Lodge *

Ok. No mercy then! :P

Thanks for the info.

Qadira **

Late to the party but I just wanted to add that if you get GM credit for this scenario, you get the rewards as if you had played in the subtier of your character level. In other words if you are assigning the credit to a level 2 character, he gets the subtier 1-2 rewards regardless of what subtier the players were in.

Cheliax ****

Belafon wrote:
Late to the party but I just wanted to add that if you get GM credit for this scenario, you get the rewards as if you had played in the subtier of your character level. In other words if you are assigning the credit to a level 2 character, he gets the subtier 1-2 rewards regardless of what subtier the players were in.

To add to this, if you are applying credit to a level 3 character in a tier 1-5, you must take the lower tier.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Minnesota—Anoka

Secane wrote:

Ok. No mercy then! :P

Thanks for the info.

Right, however, if you feel the scenario could be particularly deadly playing up, then warn the players.

Don't just sit there quiet-like and say, "its your choice." Then destroy them with the scenario. Bad form in my book. I've had a GM do this to me, and I hated it.

If you honestly don't think they'd survive, tell them (you don't have to give particulars). If they persist, then destroy them with the scenario.

Lantern Lodge *

@Belafon & Mergy

Ok... I'm now totally confused. Why do I have to take the lower tier? :?

I thought I will gain GM credit for the sub-tier I'm running? In this case, for sub-tier 3-4? (In a tiers 1-7 Scenario.)

So why can't I apply this to my lv 3 character?

-----

@ Andrew Christian,

Thank for the advice. Some of the players clearly stated they want to play up, but I will let the rest know and make sure that EVERYONE at the table agrees to it.

I hope my warning gets through......

Qadira **

Secane wrote:

@Belafon & Mergy

Ok... I'm now totally confused. Why do I have to take the lower tier? :?

I thought I will gain GM credit for the sub-tier I'm running? In this case, for sub-tier 3-4? (In a tiers 1-7 Scenario.)

So why can't I apply this to my lv 3 character?

You can apply subitier 3-4 credit to your level 3 character. I was just pointing out that the rules for GM rewards are different than the rules for players. The exact rule from the Guide to Organized Play is

Quote:

The subtier for which a GM’s character receives credit depends on the character’s level. If a GM with a 1st-level rogue runs a Tier 1–5 scenario using Subtier 1–2, she takes a Subtier 1–2 Chronicle sheet for her 1st-level rogue. If she instead runs a Tier 1–5 scenario using Subtier 4–5, she still takes a Subtier 1–2 Chronicle sheet, as her PC clearly falls within the lower subtier...

Should a GM receive a Chronicle sheet that indicates her character is between subtiers (for example, if she runs a Tier 1–5 scenario with Subtiers 1–2 and 4–5 but has a 3rd-level character), she must always play down, taking a Chronicle sheet for the lower subtier. This rule is meant to balance the fact that the GM’s character does not have to expend any resources or risk death while gaining a Chronicle sheet for running a scenario.

If you run at subtier 3-4 the players all receive 3-4 rewards regardless of character level. You receive the chronicle based on the current level of the character you are applying it to (a level 2 character gets a 1-2 reward, a level 3 character gets the 3-4 reward, a level 5 character gets the 3-4 reward, and a level 6 or 7 character gets the 6-7 reward).

Lantern Lodge *

@ Belafon

Thanks! I re-read the guide and kinda understand how it works now.

---------------

I will also need to talk to my fellow GMs here and try to have games at the right level for the players.

We are facing a problem where, some players are at the 3-5 level range, while others are still level 2. This means that many games are being "up" and the level 2s are getting a lot more gold then they should for their levels. (Their kinda like riding the coattails of the lv 3+ players.

Qadira **

Secane wrote:

@ Belafon

Thanks! I re-read the guide and kinda understand how it works now.

---------------

I will also need to talk to my fellow GMs here and try to have games at the right level for the players.

We are facing a problem where, some players are at the 3-5 level range, while others are still level 2. This means that many games are being "up" and the level 2s are getting a lot more gold then they should for their levels. (Their kinda like riding the coattails of the lv 3+ players.

I suggest the 1-7 scenarios (playing at subtier 3-4) or 1-5 at subtier 4-5. It may seem like a big boost for the lower level players but in the grand scheme of things it's really not much at all. By the time you hit subitier 10-11 scenarios you are averaging around 7500 gold a scenario. It's not going to "break the game."

There was one local player who *refused* to play unless he was playing up (and with people who could protect him) but it doesn't sound like you've got that problem, just an unfortunate imbalance in scenarios played.

**

It would probably be a good idea to index rewards to character level rather than the level the scenario plays at, just to discourage this mode of "power leveling"; that said, I've not really seen it be a problem in PFS yet... so why fix unbroken things?

That said: the fact that lower level characters *do* get better rewards for playing up means to can be just as merciless GMing them as you can GMing the higher-ups who are carrying the table. If they've been playing up a lot, they can afford Raise Dead, right? :)

Andoran ****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Secane wrote:
We are facing a problem where, some players are at the 3-5 level range, while others are still level 2. This means that many games are being "up" and the level 2s are getting a lot more gold then they should for their levels. (Their kinda like riding the coattails of the lv 3+ players.

Even if the higher level characters are doing the heavy lifting, the lower level characters are still at risk from getting hit by a higher CR than they can handle and dying. If they have to spend that gold on a few raise dead spells, they will end up about the same or even behind on gold.

Higher risk for higher rewards. The only way I could see this as possibly being a problem is if they choose the slow advancement and go out of their way to play up as often as possible. The GM or event coordinator should have a talk with those players about keeping in the spirit of the campaign.

**

Secane wrote:

Thanks for the answers. I needed to get this right.

I do however, have two concerns about this.
1) Won't this means that some players will have characters that have A LOT more wealth then others by lvls 6+?

2) Won't these lv 2 characters be "riding on the tailcoats" of high level characters to reach better rewards?

Aka, it feels a little unfair to the higher level players.

It depends on the character, the scenario and the party. A well built and well played character will likely be able to contribute (both the barbarian with 22 Str and the bard with 18 Cha can be pretty effective while playing up, for example.) Some scenarios are more forgiving than others: I remember one GM telling the table that we were at an APL that would allow us to play up, and that the higher sub tier really wasn't much more dangerous than the lower sub tier, another scenario the GM told us "Even if you play it smart, you're pretty much going to die if you play up." And some groups are more capable than other groups, a well rounded group can handle more difficult encounters, or a couple PCs at the high end of the spectrum can balance out one or two that are playing up. Just be careful not to force that one PC who's at the top end of the level to pull an entire group of PCs playing up, that's really dangerous for him.

As far as wealth goes, that's why fame is so valuable. Sure you can get that +1 weapon early, and even +1 armor, but most things that really change your power level won't be available until you're at the proper level. You might get lucky and find a usable big ticket item on a chronicle sheet. But that seems pretty rare, and my experience has been that it's really easy to spend your extra money on little things that add up, like alchemist's fire and tanglefoot bags and a traveller's any tool and masterwork weapons from different materials that are handy when you need them but not really power bumps, and not have enough left over to get the big ticket items significantly earlier than you would normally, due to fame pacing.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Akerlof" wrote:
...I remember one GM telling the table that we were at an APL that would allow us to play up, and that the higher sub tier really wasn't much more dangerous than the lower sub tier, another scenario the GM told us "Even if you play it smart, you're pretty much going to die if you play up." And some groups are more capable than other groups, a well rounded group can handle more difficult encounters, or a couple PCs at the high end of the spectrum can balance out one or two that are playing up. Just be careful not to force that one PC who's at the top end of the level to pull an entire group of PCs playing up, that's really dangerous for him. ...

As a GM, I really try to avoid doing this. Sorry, Andrew, but as a GM, I don't have a dog in the fight, and I don't know what tricks the PCs have up their sleeves. I don't want to be in the situation of recommending a high sub-tier and then watch the PCs get butchered, or suggesting a low sub-tier for a party that, as it turns out, could have easily handled the more dangerous threats.

I do (1) let players decide after the VC mission briefing, and (2) operate under the policy that a single "low" vote by anyone playing a character under the breakpoint means we play down.

Shadow Lodge *

I'm just making sure, but if a GM has a group of 6 level twos who qualify for and played a subtier 3-4, and he also has a level 2 that has been gaining experience with the group, he still has to take the subtier 1-2 rewards, correct?

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Serum,

If the GM applies that credit to that character, yes.

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