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The Emerald Spire Superdungeon Discussion Thread


Pathfinder Modules

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Grand Lodge

Twiglet Sparkle wrote:

Hi all,

Our GM wants us to run the Superdungeon as a party of three, but we are worried about character and level progression.

We have been doing Rise of the Runelords as a party of three and have run into severe power issues at level 10. We seem to be lacking the challenge rating as a party, so we are looking into the mythic tiers to help us for the Superdungeon.

I would like to know if this would make the party completely overpowered? We are unsure how to bridge the obvious gap that has happened with RotR. Gaining additional XP from having one person less hasn't really helped.

Suggested adjustments below:

Level/Superdungeon CR/Party CR

01/02/01.5
02/04/03
03/08/06 (Mythic T01 would make the party CR 7.5)
04/12/09 (Mythic T02 would make the party CR 12)
05/16/12 (Mythic T02 would make the party CR 15)
06/20/15 (Mythic T03 would make the party CR 19.5)
..../..../....
+2/+8/+3 (Mythic T+1 to match/near-match Superdungeon CR)

That'd help:
and so would higher point buy. I run these with PFS groups and even with four optimized builds and 20 pt buy it gets dicey. I would suggest having an NPC join you and give everyone darkvision. If an NPC is not allowed, and it's just going to be three of you, I'd say 25 pt buy, mythic, and races closer to 20 RP. Being human is not the best plan for this scenario. Aasimar variants and fletchlings all the way.

Twiglet Sparkle wrote:

Hi all,

Our GM wants us to run the Superdungeon as a party of three, but we are worried about character and level progression.

We have been doing Rise of the Runelords as a party of three and have run into severe power issues at level 10. We seem to be lacking the challenge rating as a party, so we are looking into the mythic tiers to help us for the Superdungeon.

I would like to know if this would make the party completely overpowered? We are unsure how to bridge the obvious gap that has happened with RotR. Gaining additional XP from having one person less hasn't really helped.

I currently run the dungeon for a party of three players, two of whom are not really min-maxers. They have reached dungeon level 7, using Point Buy 20.

First of all: it was my impression that the dungeon is pretty harsh. Several things on the first levels can kill a character pretty quickly (level 5 can be especially dicey) regardless of the number of characters in the party. I suggested to the players that they create back-up characters before we started.

That being said: I didn't change much regarding the challenges. While I managed to kill two characters already, one was due to a mistake of mine.

I recommend running the first, maybe even the second level without any adjustments and see how the party does.


Fabius Maximus wrote:

I currently run the dungeon for a party of three players, two of whom are not really min-maxers. They have reached dungeon level 7, using Point Buy 20.

First of all: it was my impression that the dungeon is pretty harsh. Several things on the first levels can kill a character pretty quickly (level 5 can be especially dicey) regardless of the number of characters in the party. I suggested to the players that they create back-up characters before we started.

That being said: I didn't change much regarding the challenges. While I managed to kill two characters already, one was due to a mistake of mine.

I recommend running the first, maybe even the second level without any adjustments and see how the party does.

As above, we were looking at running the Superdungeon as-is until level 3, and then take a rain check on how we are faring...

I have looked into the Gamemastery section of the CRB and it handily says that our APL should have one subtracted from it because we only have three PCs. Once we get to around 45k Superdungeon XP (level 6 for 3 players), our APL matches the APL of a four-player group better than half the time.

Our GM has said enforced 15-point buy, and was tentative about having PCs with over 20RP. We've agreed on our group: a LN Wyvaran Warpriest, a Human Antipaladin, and me, a Sylph Arcanist.


Applying CR to APL is an art, not a science. Various creatures with the same CR vary in power.

PB 15 is a bit on the weak side, though. Combined with that party composition, I'd suggest creating back-up characters


Twiglet Sparkle wrote:

As above, we were looking at running the Superdungeon as-is until level 3, and then take a rain check on how we are faring...

I have looked into the Gamemastery section of the CRB and it handily says that our APL should have one subtracted from it because we only have three PCs. Once we get to around 45k Superdungeon XP (level 6 for 3 players), our APL matches the APL of a four-player group better than half the time.

Our GM has said enforced 15-point buy, and was tentative about having PCs with over 20RP. We've agreed on our group: a LN Wyvaran Warpriest, a Human Antipaladin, and me, a Sylph Arcanist.

A possible house rule that could help a small party is to change Summon spells from rounds/lvl to 10min/lvl, This way it will still cost you ressources (spell slots), but you will always have some meat shield and additional actions available.

Otherwise maybe, you can all start with level 2 and always be one character level above suggested


Fabius Maximus wrote:

Applying CR to APL is an art, not a science. Various creatures with the same CR vary in power.

PB 15 is a bit on the weak side, though. Combined with that party composition, I'd suggest creating back-up characters

After some discussion and research, we're switching around our ability scores:

*Point Buy 20
*No ability score lower than 10 after racials
*No ability score at 20 after racials
*Mythic tiers granted at the GM's discretion, starting at level 3 at the absolute earliest

I'm expecting the Antipaladin to change class/race again as well; however, all this did was raise the Warpriest's Cha from 7 to 11.

Grand Lodge

Twiglet Sparkle wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:

Applying CR to APL is an art, not a science. Various creatures with the same CR vary in power.

PB 15 is a bit on the weak side, though. Combined with that party composition, I'd suggest creating back-up characters

After some discussion and research, we're switching around our ability scores:

*Point Buy 20
*No ability score lower than 10 after racials
*No ability score at 20 after racials
*Mythic tiers granted at the GM's discretion, starting at level 3 at the absolute earliest

I'm expecting the Antipaladin to change class/race again as well; however, all this did was raise the Warpriest's Cha from 7 to 11.

Sounds fair. Can't say I'm all that optimistic seeing an antipaladin listed as one of the PCs, given that this is Hellknight territory.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:
Sounds fair. Can't say I'm all that optimistic seeing an antipaladin listed as one of the PCs, given that this is Hellknight territory.

If the antipaladin is taking the tyrant archetype, they should fit in just fine...

Grand Lodge

Dragonchess Player wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Sounds fair. Can't say I'm all that optimistic seeing an antipaladin listed as one of the PCs, given that this is Hellknight territory.
If the antipaladin is taking the tyrant archetype, they should fit in just fine...

I guess it just depends on the kind of antipaladin. Wasn't made clear, hence the reaction.


My players finished level 6 successfully, although both Klarkosh and the minotaur brought one player to negative hp.

Now I'm looking at level 7 and I'm interested in your experience with that final fight. My group is the opposite of stealthy having a paladin among them and Sartoss will obviously fortify himself together with Sanaz. Together they make up a very dangerous team. I imagine that a DC 20 Dominate on the party witch will quickly end the fight with everyone asleep. Sartoss will not want to kill everyone, because they'd make great minions to send down, but won't shun it either.

tldr; the shrine of the awakener is a potential tpk for a party of lvl 6, isn't it?


That depends on how quickly the paladin can get to Sartoss. He didn't last 3 rounds in my campaign. Sanaz took much longer, because she's harder to hit.

My party just got split up at the beginning of level 8. Dispelled magical traps stay dispelled, right?


How are his stats (Str 10, Dex 20, Con 19, Int 18, Wis 19, Cha 20) calculated? Serpentfolk start with Str 8, Dex 21, Con 17, Int 18, Wis 15, Cha 16 and get +4, +4, +2, +2, +0, and –2 from added class levels plus +1 from level 4.

And why is Sartoss CR 6, when a Serpentfolk is already 4 and 4 levels of cleric at NPC wealth add 3?

Grand Lodge

Ellioti wrote:

How are his stats (Str 10, Dex 20, Con 19, Int 18, Wis 19, Cha 20) calculated? Serpentfolk start with Str 8, Dex 21, Con 17, Int 18, Wis 15, Cha 16 and get +4, +4, +2, +2, +0, and –2 from added class levels plus +1 from level 4.

And why is Sartoss CR 6, when a Serpentfolk is already 4 and 4 levels of cleric at NPC wealth add 3?

Str +2, Dex -2 (-2+1 from Cleric 4), Con +2, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +4.

Cleric isn't a key class for serpentfolk so it's +1 CR/2 levels.

The math is sound.


kevin_video wrote:


Str +2, Dex -2 (-2+1 from Cleric 4), Con +2, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +4.

found my mistake.

kevin_video wrote:
Cleric isn't a key class for serpentfolk so it's +1 CR/2 levels.

Thank you, didn't know this.

Ok so, Sartoss + his snake + Sanaz would be something like a CR 9.5 encounter. So more than epic for a 6th level party. I'm looking forward to that Oo


Question for anyone that has GMed this module. I'm about to start this in a week or two, and some of my players Andrew in love with Psionics and Path of war.

Would it be too much for balance to let in these options?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can't speak for Path of War, but Dreamscarred Press's Psionics is definitely balanced. The pc may be able to single-handedly deal with an encounter once (and he might need to), but will probably be suffering from a lack of power points afterwards.

The most important rule to remember is that psionic characters cannot spend more power points on any one power than their manifester level.


It has been quite deadly so far, so PoW wouldn't be too strong early on. Just don't mix with core martials, so nobody feels underpowered.


So does anything happen really with the story if the players side with the seven foxes or the hellknights? It seems weird to give the players a quest that might turn the town upside down and then do nothing with it.

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