[Point Builds] What build are the APs designed for?

Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I have asked this before but never got a good answer. So, I am trying again.

Were the APs designed for a point build higher then the "Standard" 15 point build?

Rise of the Runelords, for example, is pretty brutal.
Can "standard" characters hope to survive all the way to the end of Book 6?

Curse of the Crimson Throne is the same way.

With Second Darkness Paizo seems to be dialing down the lethality a notch, but there are still plenty of TPK situations.

So, what "point base" was intended to be used for the Adventure Paths?
Or was it actaully intended that the players would create new characters periodically throught the course of an AP?

Dont know what the official word is but ive pretty much used 20 point buys exclusively. It gives the players decent stats but not high enough to break every encounter.
Given the lethality of low level modules in the APs, especially in the early 3.5 APs (just read any obituary thread), I think 15 point buy is a tad too low. YMMV of course.

My playstyle is more even-handed as I dont expect every single encounter to heavily damage the party. Some of the encounters should be easier than others, thats why they are the heroes.

APs vary though, For example- I found Kingmaker's first module a tad easy at the beginning with a 3 PC group ....

The Bandit Camp- I thought would give my group problems, but their strategy and creative use of spells mopped the place up pretty well

But ....

The Mite lair, especially the Centipede, almost nailed them all

Ive never used less than 4 PCs before and I planned to add an NPC warrior type later anyway.

It's been mentioned more than once that they're designed for 15 point buy (at least the PFRPG ones) and four PCs. The iconics provided, for example, are built using that method.

Before Council of Thieves though, the adventures were made for 3.5 rules. The iconic characters still used the 15,14,13,12,10,8 array which was standard at the time. Of course, with many more feats, classes, etc. the characters were no doubt more powerful.

I'm DMing Kingmaker right now and while there have been some PC deaths, most were due to poor planning or a failure to realize they were out-gunned until too late. Only one or two deaths came from lucky rolls on my part (or unlucky rolls on their part).

I've also seen 15 as the intended stated a number of times.

I do think the assumption is that there will be some casualties throughout an AP.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The APs are robust enough to handle a nice range of builds. The assumption for all adventures we publish is that PCs use the standard build (15 points) since that's the baseline. We generally build the adventures on the tough end of things, though, so if you have an inexperienced group of players, a 20 point or even a 25 point build might be a better choice.

Of course, I generally just let my players roll for their stats...

In any case, player skill can affect game play as much as whatever starting ability score array you use, which can all be negated anyway depending on luck of the dice. You as the GM know your players' skill level, and you know what kind of game you want to play, so the actual ability method you choose is 100% up to you.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Dire Mongoose wrote:

I've also seen 15 as the intended stated a number of times.

I do think the assumption is that there will be some casualties throughout an AP.


My players tend to get disheartened if they have character deaths. So, while I don't what to remove the element of risk, keeping down the need for replacing characters is a good thing.

In that case, then I should treat them as being built for an "epic" array.

Shadow Lodge

I would look at it this way.

Beginner: 20-25 point buy
Intermediate: 15-20 point buy
Advanced: 15 point buy
RPG stud: 10 point buy

Edit: hah, just saw James' post, didn't see it when I posted this.

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