Playing Up


GM Discussion

Scarab Sages 1/5

Doug Doug wrote:

The scenario went fine even though they played Tier 3-4 with one 1st and five 2nd level PCs.

Is this legit? I had thought you ran at the tier aproprate to the math for average party level. If so I know some of my PCs would be glad to play up for extra challenge.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

I'm fairly sure that you can only play up when:

1. Your APL is between two sub-tiers.
2. Playing up is the only way to make a table (under the Play, Play, Play rule).

But I'm no official :P

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

Matthew Trent wrote:
Doug Doug wrote:

The scenario went fine even though they played Tier 3-4 with one 1st and five 2nd level PCs.

Is this legit? I had thought you ran at the tier aproprate to the math for average party level. If so I know some of my PCs would be glad to play up for extra challenge.

The average level of the party (six PC's) is 1.83, but you add one for the sixth PC. APL 2.83 is closer to 3 than it is to two, so "playing up" would seem to be acceptable in this case. If the scenario was a 1-2/4-5 break, then "playing up" would not have been appropriate.

Scarab Sages 1/5

Oh right. My math is weak. NM

Grand Lodge 5/5 ****

If you play with 6 players you will notice that if you are high in your tier you are actually pushed up to the next one. In my experience this is right as having 6 players gives you some advantage. It's sometimes worthwhile doing the math. A group of mainly level 1 will never be pushed up due to size.

You shouldn't underestimate the difference between a level 2 and a level 1 playing his very first game. Provided the players have invested wisely in some potions and scrolls they should be able to handle the next tier with a bigger group.

I just played a game on the weekend at the very lower edge of tier 3/4 with only 4 players. We had a blast - but it took us quite a while and I burned (literally - as I used a scroll of fireball for the very last encounter that I had bought for the really tough situation) through more then half the gold I got from the scenario in consumables.

Thod

Shadow Lodge 5/5

TwilightKnight wrote:
The average level of the party (six PC's) is 1.83, but you add one for the sixth PC. APL 2.83 is closer to 3 than it is to two, so "playing up" would seem to be acceptable in this case. If the scenario was a 1-2/4-5 break, then "playing up" would not have been appropriate.

I would like to see Josh's response.

I was under the impression that one "always rounds down" in Pathfinder/D&D. So the 2.83 would always round to 2 (which would not allow you to play up a tier).

Grand Lodge 5/5 ****

MisterSlanky wrote:
TwilightKnight wrote:
The average level of the party (six PC's) is 1.83, but you add one for the sixth PC. APL 2.83 is closer to 3 than it is to two, so "playing up" would seem to be acceptable in this case. If the scenario was a 1-2/4-5 break, then "playing up" would not have been appropriate.

I would like to see Josh's response.

I was under the impression that one "always rounds down" in Pathfinder/D&D. So the 2.83 would always round to 2 (which would not allow you to play up a tier).

Unless this changes in the next version - Version 2.1 page 25 says:

You should always round to the nearest whole value.

in addition it says:

If there are six or more players at your table, add +1 to your APL.

He even has an example - 2 4th level, 4 fifth level = 28 - rounded up = 5, +1 = 6.

He makes it clear that though you added a +1 for table size that the same group above could play in a tier 5 instead as well.

So in the above case playing tier 3/4 was what you get applying the rules - but Josh leaves a backdoor for a level 1-2 tier. Maybe best if you read it yourself.

Thod


MisterSlanky wrote:


I would like to see Josh's response.

I was under the impression that one "always rounds down" in Pathfinder/D&D. So the 2.83 would always round to 2 (which would not allow you to play up a tier).

In the Calculating Average Party Level section in the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play it says to round to the nearest whole number for APL calculation.

Guide to Pathfinder Organized Play wrote:


In order to determine what Tier a mixed-level group of PCs should play, they have to determine something called their APL, or average party level. You should always round this number to the nearest whole value.

EDIT: ninja'ed by Thod.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

To me this is a bit strange (I'm not doubting that it's what's written in the guide).

I was under the impression that Josh did not want players playing "up" a sub-tier (level 1 or 2 players playing in the 4 or 5 pool) except under the pretense of the Play! Play! Play! rule, but allowing groups to round up on their APL calculation would make this a FAR more likely scenario because of that +1 due to party size.

The one opportunity we've had to play up to this date half the table was level 3/4 and the other half was level 1/2 though so I'm hardly what you'd call an expert.

The Exchange 5/5

MisterSlanky wrote:

To me this is a bit strange (I'm not doubting that it's what's written in the guide).

I was under the impression that Josh did not want players playing "up" a sub-tier (level 1 or 2 players playing in the 4 or 5 pool) except under the pretense of the Play! Play! Play! rule, but allowing groups to round up on their APL calculation would make this a FAR more likely scenario because of that +1 due to party size.

The one opportunity we've had to play up to this date half the table was level 3/4 and the other half was level 1/2 though so I'm hardly what you'd call an expert.

I believe the restriction you are thinking of was that he doesn't want players to play in a higher tiered adventure (note: not sub-tier). Meaning he would prefer that 6 level 4s (APL 5), not play in a 5-9 adventure (Tiers 5-6 and 8-9). However you should always play within one sub-tier of your level. In a 1-5 tier adventure this theoretically means that a level 1 could play in a 4-5 sub-tier, so long as the APL was in 4-5 range, although this is stretching the rule slightly. A level 2 or 3 would be much more appropriate for a sub-tier 4-5 adventure.

In any event the only time when you "choose" to play up is when your APL is in between the sub-tiers of the adventure. In a 1-7 adventure this means your APL is 5, in a 1-5 adventure it would be APL 3, 5-9 is APL 7, 7-11 is APL 9. Otherwise you play at the tier that the APL determines you should play at. Hopefully this helps.

P.S. to add in, you use normal math rounding rules when calculating APL, not D&D rounding rules.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

1. Figure out APL.
2. If APL is in a sub-tier for the scenario you're playing, play in that sub-tier.
3. If it's between sub-tiers, then and only then the party may choose to play up or down one sub-tier only.

Done :)

Grand Lodge 5/5 ****

MisterSlanky wrote:

To me this is a bit strange (I'm not doubting that it's what's written in the guide).

I was under the impression that Josh did not want players playing "up" a sub-tier (level 1 or 2 players playing in the 4 or 5 pool) except under the pretense of the Play! Play! Play! rule, but allowing groups to round up on their APL calculation would make this a FAR more likely scenario because of that +1 due to party size.

The one opportunity we've had to play up to this date half the table was level 3/4 and the other half was level 1/2 though so I'm hardly what you'd call an expert.

See reply from Austin Morgan - that's how it should be.

In one discussion in the last few weeks - and I can't find it right now - one group claimed they always played up a tier as otherwise it wouldn't be 'challenging. Josh made it clear that this isn't an option.

So if your APL is 2 you can't go ahead an play sub-tier 3/4 just because you think your group is well balanced/experienced or for whatever reason. In this regard Josh was pretty clear.

Having said this - I was under the impression that the group claiming to play up also just got the rounding wrong as the example they cited would also have resulted in a 2.75 or so that should have been rounded up. But that was just my impression I got from the post - I might be wrong in this aspect.

Thod

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

Alizor wrote:
P.S. to add in, you use normal math rounding rules when calculating APL, not D&D rounding rules.

I believe that most are used to rounding up/down based on the next digit being > or < 5, although I believe that the convention from core math dictates that you round to the closest even number.


TwilightKnight wrote:
Alizor wrote:
P.S. to add in, you use normal math rounding rules when calculating APL, not D&D rounding rules.
I believe that most are used to rounding up/down based on the next digit being > or < 5, although I believe that the convention from core math dictates that you round to the closest even number.

Actually that should be rounding to the nearest whole number, otherwise everything would get rounded to 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10.

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