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Hello! I'm running a group through Mummy's Mask, and they've just discovered Chisisek's Tomb. We've been using milestone leveling, and I've been debating when I should level them up next. They are currently level 9. The guide for milestone leveling just says "they should reach level 10 by the end of the book".

I guess I just don't really know when would be appropriate. Part of me wants it to be after the Seps battle, but idk how challenging that fight will be for this party. Then part of me wants to make them wait until after they face Jamirah, but I also don't want that fight to seem too challenging (Jamirah's statblock is pretty crazy, so a level bump might help). But I also don't want it to be underwhelming. They also tend to be kind of completionists, so we spent a lot of time in the dessert, hitting most encounters except for the Roc's nest, so part of me wants to do it sooner to represent how much they uncovered on the way to the tomb.

They will probably have Tetisurah with them, because they are all high-charisma and all good-good boys.

Party comp wise, no one's really that "optimized", but they are competently built and smart players. We have a swashbuckler, a casting/buffing shaman, a paladin (who is the least optimized and kind of under-equipped), and a melee oracle (who focuses more on tanking than damage).

Hello! I am a first time GM currently running Mummy's Mask. The party has just finished book 2 and will be starting book 3 soon.

So far, I think I've done a pretty good job of integrating character backstories with the story. Our changling oracle has been receiving dreams form her mother, who I'm setting up to be a mute hag that lives in the desert that the party will encounter in the end of book 3 or 4, the paladin has been receiving care packages from her family in Katapesh and getting perks from the church in Sarenrae, and the halfling shaman has discovered some clues about his long-lost family members.

The only one I've been neglecting has been the swashbuckler, who is a Taldan nobleman named Constantine. He is adventuring to earn money to help keep his family out of debt, and his backstory also involved the exile of his uncle, which was party his fault, and the arrest (basically house arrest) of Constantine's love interest, Irene. I'd had plans for the uncle to be in Tephu, coincidentally one of the party goers on the "pleasure barge", but then I had inspiration to make it a more orchestrated meeting, with his uncle meeting with him to ask for aid in escorting the recently-escaped Irene further south, and protecting her from her husband's goon squad. I like this plan a lot, especially since so little of Constantine's past have come up in the adventure so far.

The problem is, I had originally planned for the shaman to be reunited with his long-lost brother in Tephu during this event, the idea being that his brother is working at the Old God's temple there. I feel like all of these things, especially with the library research and the cult being after them and the religious order being after them and them having to entertain Mumiofrah is just a lot of different plot lines. I wouldn't mind having the reunion of the brothers take place at a different time or location, but I just have no idea when or where would make sense, especially since the rest of this book and the next book are big desert exploration segments.

Sorry if this is just a big wall of nonsense, but the only friends I've got to discuss this with to hammer out ideas are all players in my game, so I've got to try and bounce ideas off the internet.

Name: Saralota
Race: Human
Classes/levels: Paladin of Sarenrae 5
Adventure: Empty Graves
Location: Streets of the Necropolis
Catalyst: Corpulent Ghoul Sneak Attack
The Gory Details: I rolled a few times for random encounters and had gotten ghouls. I decided to ignore them for the time being, since an encounter with 2 ghouls would just slow down the adventuring. To make up for it, I decided to get inventive and have an encounter waiting at one of the empty red herrings the party investigates. Going through the bestiary, I find the corpulent ghoul: a fat ghoul that command other ghouls, has sneak attack, and explodes on death. It's also within the CR. I give him three ghoul henchmen and the party comes across this fight in the streets of the Necropolis. Everything is going well, all but one of the mooks are down, and the corpulent ghoul has 16 hit point remaining. It's his turn, and he's flanking the paladin with his remaining ghoul underling. I haven't hit anyone this whole combat, so I see my moment to bring the pain. I hit. Full round attack hit with 2 out of 3 attacks. Awesome. Oh... each attack will also deal 3d6 sneak attack... oh. I think the total damage was 54, just enough to bring my paladin down to exactly negative con.

I let her retroactively activate her Cloak of Heavenly Fire. I had forgotten what it did, exactly, so I thought she was just going to be hurting the guy a bit on her way out, but she got 22 damage on this guy, so her death was averted by "divine providence".

The group I'm GMing for is the Varrus Vanguard. One of the party members is a wealthy Taldan nobleman named Constantine Varrus. He took the rich parents trait and the idea is he's funding the expedition and has hired/ recruited the other members. (Which in and of itself is pretty funny, as the group consists of an incredibly cursed teenaged oracle, a teenaged paladin who is saving up for her future wedding, and an elderly halfling shaman. He's not good at finding typical adventurers.)