Concerned about the Caravan


Jade Regent

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Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
You know... this is a good point, and it's absolutely where my head was when I designed the rules. These are VARISIAN caravans, for the most part, and that means that they're essentially mobile home bases first and everything else second. They're not designed to be profitable trade ventures as much as they are tiny little mobile villages.

Anyone who ever owned or rented an RV or Winnebago knows there's no way in heck you can run these things without losing money. Mobile home bases are costly!

Shadow Lodge

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PhineasGage wrote:

Outright Attack - add a d4 or d6, maybe depending on caravan level or add in a feat, etc. Perhaps even have something which increases the size of the die by a step...say like maning the balista?

Distraction - Hero draws the enemies to him/her decreasing the likelihood of the Caravan itself being attacked (AC) and taking some damage personally.

Rally - Hero can increase the Caravan attack bonus (as per normal) by rallying the fellow travelers.

Makeshift - a Wainwright Hero can attempt to make some "on the fly" repairs in the midst of battle. (personally, I would treat these as temporary hit points, as doing full repairs in battle would be a challenge)

I love that these are specific and tangible effects. I wanted to expand on this, and give each of my players the opportunity to roll dice during every round of caravan combat, so I rewrote the Hero role. I don't write a lot of rules, though, so I'd love to hear where this falls apart. Ideally, most of the actions can be chosen by a magic user, a fighter-type or a skill monkey equally, and provide about the same result.

Hero: Every PC counts as a Hero, and can also take on one other caravan role. A Hero can choose the effect of his or her actions during any turn in which the Caravan is in combat. If the caravan is not in combat, each Hero provides a +1 bonus to Security, Resolve and AC equal, with an additional +1 for every four levels the character possesses.

Hero combat actions:
Defend: The Hero can cast a spell that provides an enhancement to AC (such as reinforce armaments and ironwood), adding one point of AC to the caravan per level of the spell (regardless of its other effects). Alternately, a Hero may make an “aid another” roll, directing the roll’s result worth of damage dealt to the caravan on the next attack to the Hero.

Battlefield Repair: The Hero can cast a spell that repairs objects (such as make whole or fabricate) to provide the caravan with 1d6 temporary hp per spell level (minimum 1d6). A Hero with the appropriate skill can make a skill check to provide the caravan with temporary hp equal to the check result.

Attack: The Hero can add his or her might to the caravan’s attack, increasing its damage. The Hero can roll to attack the enemy, adding 1d4 (1d6 if using a ballista) to the caravan’s damage pool, gaining iterative attacks according to his or her Base A. A Hero may cast an offensive spell that requires a roll to hit and does damage, adding 1d4 points of damage per spell level, regardless of the normal damage done by the spell.

Rally: The Hero may use Diplomacy, Intimidate to inspire the caravan to attack, granting a +1 bonus, with an additional +1 for every 5 points by which the Hero exceeds the check DC (10+the encounter level). The Bard’s inspire courage ability may be use to Rally the caravan, as can any spell that inspires courage or provides an attack bonus in an area (such as bless) to a siege engine (such as magic siege engine). These effects provide their usual bonus to attack. Using Intimidate in this manner gives 1 point of Unrest for every point of bonus provided.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Nelson wrote:

The attack, damage, and hit point values for the various caravan encounters, at least in the Hungry Storm, were derived based on average monster values in the Bestiary for monsters of the same CR. Given that it seems to be the case that caravan values don't really measure up combat-wise in the same way that PCs would (unless you go absolutely all-in for combat, and even then not definitely), it seems likely that some adjustment is in order. As James said, it's far easier to adjust monster values (which are unknown to the players) than to have them rejigger their entire caravan plan, especially for those already well along in the campaign.

You could still run it as is, if you want to emphasize that crossing the pole is hellaciously dangerous and difficult.

If you want to make it easier for PCs to feel successful, however, my wholly unofficial seat-of-the-pants workaround suggestion might be to drop the encounter attack bonuses by -5 and have their attacks in cause half the listed damage. I don't think I'd cut the monster hp, though, because otherwise the encounters might be over too quickly; if I did cut them, it might only be like 20 or 25% rather than in half.

It's a simple solution that still conveys a sense of danger without making caravan encounters regularly overwhelming. Nothing grand and glorious in terms of design, but if it works... :)

I think adding another d6 or two to caravan damage by simple leveling would also help. As it is, unless you buy the Increased Damage feat multiple times, the caravan damage is so anemic that encounters last far too long and the caravan suffers way too much damage.


Our group's experience with caravan encounters:
Almost had a second session TPK versus the ogre caravan encounter just because we could not hit them and they hit so hard.
Goblins were a joke. Big gulf between 1d8 damage and 3d4+6 damage, though. Ultimately we took 1 wound to the caravan the entire fight.

81 damage out of 110 hp versus the ogres, however. If we didn't buy wagons, it would have been a TPK. 4 days of repair to recuperate, and now we've barely got enough supplies to immediately leave Brinewall to return to Roderic's Cove to get food. And Ameiko is now in a life or death coma or something, so we can't. Awesome.

I noticed when researching that damage for Caravan encounters was based off of the CR system. Did anyone stop and realize that a caravan does not have economy of actions in its favor like most PC groups do?

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Ice Titan wrote:

Our group's experience with caravan encounters:

Almost had a second session TPK versus the ogre caravan encounter just because we could not hit them and they hit so hard.
Goblins were a joke. Big gulf between 1d8 damage and 3d4+6 damage, though. Ultimately we took 1 wound to the caravan the entire fight.

81 damage out of 110 hp versus the ogres, however. If we didn't buy wagons, it would have been a TPK. 4 days of repair to recuperate, and now we've barely got enough supplies to immediately leave Brinewall to return to Roderic's Cove to get food. And Ameiko is now in a life or death coma or something, so we can't. Awesome.

I noticed when researching that damage for Caravan encounters was based off of the CR system. Did anyone stop and realize that a caravan does not have economy of actions in its favor like most PC groups do?

It's a fair point: CR assumes 4 PCs vs. one CR-leveled enemy. Caravans presume one caravan vs. one CR-leveled enemy.

Perhaps a solution is to allow the caravan to make one attack for EACH person acting as a Hero.

Other PCs could take actions as suggested above, to protect or heal the caravan or boost its other rolls, as Doram suggests a few posts above, or they could focus on offense and each make an attack roll. It's a thought.


I'm pretty sure that I'll be dropping the Caravan Rules when I run Jade Regent. I intend to replace the caravan combat encounters with more normal combat encounters or skill challenges or whatever. Also to make the caravan roles still mean a damn, I'll institute more frequent skill challenges to spice things up.

We'll be starting up Jade Regent right after our Kingmaker campaign finishes and most of my players have just had it up-to-here with those kind of building/consumption rules and seemingly arbitrary combats. After Kingmaker, they're just going to be a headache that we can't bear to face.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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What if you SUPERCHARGE how much damage a caravan does? I'd be interested to see feedback on what happens if you let a caravan do damage equal to its level in d6s. So a 1st level caravan would do 1d6 damage, while a 10th level one would do 10d6 damage, and so on.

A variant would be to let caravans follow the rogue's sneak attack progression on d6 damages. At 1st level, 1d6, at 3rd 2d6, at 5th 3d6 and so on.

Might not have been a bad idea to set up the caravan level progression as an actual character class table presentation... but the Player's Guide was already WAY over its expected wordcount as it was, which unfortunately caused some internal problems getting it laid out and edited and all that, so adding more to it would have been bad...


James Jacobs wrote:

What if you SUPERCHARGE how much damage a caravan does? I'd be interested to see feedback on what happens if you let a caravan do damage equal to its level in d6s. So a 1st level caravan would do 1d6 damage, while a 10th level one would do 10d6 damage, and so on.

A variant would be to let caravans follow the rogue's sneak attack progression on d6 damages. At 1st level, 1d6, at 3rd 2d6, at 5th 3d6 and so on.

I did some quick math, and found that a ridiculously combat-optimized level 10 caravan (3x Enhanced Damage, enough ballistas to always hit, and 26 AC) could take down a CR9 enemy in 2-3 rounds with supercharging, 3-4 rounds with "sneak attack," and 5-6 rounds "as is." During the fight, they are looking at around 25 damage a round.

My gut says the supercharge would be the best answer. Few caravans are going to be as combat focused as the test one I stated up, and with all the extra abilities many of the encounters have, supercharging is the best bet for survivable (though still relevant) encounters. Heck, even with supercharging, optimizing, and situational bonuses that one back-to-back encounter is uncomfortably close.

James Jacobs wrote:
Might not have been a bad idea to set up the caravan level progression as an actual character class table presentation... but the Player's Guide was already WAY over its expected wordcount as it was, which unfortunately caused some internal problems getting it laid out and edited and all that, so adding more to it would have been bad...

Obviously, you need to switch the APs to Word documents filled with grammatical errors. It seems like every AP thread is full of awesome stuff that had to be cut for stupid lame wordcount. Which, while understandable, is still sad.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Obviously, you need to switch the APs to Word documents filled with grammatical errors. It seems like every AP thread is full of awesome stuff that had to be cut for stupid lame wordcount. Which, while understandable, is still sad.

Even IF the laws of physics and time would allow us to do longer adventures in a monthly product (they don't—50 pages is pretty much the limit of what a developer can develop in a month)... we'd still have more ideas than we could fit into an adventure. That's one thing I've learned in the last 10 years or so working with adventure writers—the good ones are never low on good ideas.


OK, this may be a dumb question, but I can't seem to find the answer in the JR Player's Guide.

How do the Caravan's primary stats increase? All I see is a reference to adding a feat at each level and adding 3 additional points at first level.

Also, Zaranorth, could you post your trade goods chart, please? I like the sound of it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@ Spiral Ninja -- The primary stats do not increase aside from feats that you take. I think James or one of the Devs said there may be points in the AP where the party is awarded some points to spend, but I can't recall the specifics at the moment.


SnowHeart wrote:
@ Spiral Ninja -- The primary stats do not increase aside from feats that you take. I think James or one of the Devs said there may be points in the AP where the party is awarded some points to spend, but I can't recall the specifics at the moment.

Thanks, SnowHeart.


Spiral_Ninja wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:
@ Spiral Ninja -- The primary stats do not increase aside from feats that you take. I think James or one of the Devs said there may be points in the AP where the party is awarded some points to spend, but I can't recall the specifics at the moment.
Thanks, SnowHeart.

The Hungry Storm is "the big caravan module" and I don't recall there being any point increases in it.

Spiral_Ninja: I'll get the doc up on google docs here soon. The numbers I used are total WAGs so it requires some salt to go with it. :)

The Exchange

Zaranorth wrote:
The Hungry Storm is "the big caravan module" and I don't recall there being any point increases in it.

There are two:

Spoiler:
+2 Morale for rescuing Iqaliat
+1 Morale for killing Katiyana


LeadPal wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
The Hungry Storm is "the big caravan module" and I don't recall there being any point increases in it.

There are two:

** spoiler omitted **

I recalled poorly.


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Zaranorth wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:
@ Spiral Ninja -- The primary stats do not increase aside from feats that you take. I think James or one of the Devs said there may be points in the AP where the party is awarded some points to spend, but I can't recall the specifics at the moment.
Thanks, SnowHeart.
Spiral_Ninja: I'll get the doc up on google docs here soon. The numbers I used are total WAGs so it requires some salt to go with it. :)

OK, finally got it up on Google Docs. Here's the link. Unfortunately, due to a sickness in the group, there was no chance to test it in action. As I mentioned, it's a total WAG on a lot of the numbers with no real testing (myself or playtesting with the group), so change as you see fit. As it is, trading isn't going to be much of a concern anyways. I think Sandpoint to Brinewall has the most trading opportunities run in the first 3 modules. (Although I'm curious about what's in the 1100+ miles between NoFS and THS.) My players realize the "mobile village" aspect of it and are accepting of the fact that they're going to have to likely bankroll it out of their own pockets.

As it is, I'm more concerned/focused on the damage output of the caravan.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AoDhphDFfEq6dGQ2dmJqbzZoTlVQSX BFMnp2SU9oQkE


Just for feedback on the whole "Hero role lets each character take an action during combat" piece.

We ran the Caravan from Sandpoint the Brinewall the other day. We had only one Random Encounter, and a few other combat encounters that I had writter up.

Generally the party liked the idea of the being a bit more hands on. The "assault" option seemed a bit overpowered at lower levels (and I tweaked things a bit so that adding a ballista to the Caravan changed the added damage from PC's assaults from a d4 to a d6 as well) but I imagine that will quickly not be the case.

So, all in all my players thought it was fun, but it'll need to balancing for scaling.


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On reflection (and lying awake with ideas racing around my head early on Sunday morning) I am definitely going to be scrapping the caravan combats and the caravan 'tier' of rules (i.e. the caravan resolve, morale etc. stats). I'll keep the supplies and consumption and so on - the logistics side of things rather than the caravan 'mini-game'.

I have started tweaking the caravan roles so that they all relate to character-level (as opposed to the now defunct caravan-level) actions and rules.

I'm going to tweak the random encounters next to make them relevant to (and playable at) character level. I might well post all that here when I've done it, if anyone would be interested.


gang wrote:

On reflection (and lying awake with ideas racing around my head early on Sunday morning) I am definitely going to be scrapping the caravan combats and the caravan 'tier' of rules (i.e. the caravan resolve, morale etc. stats). I'll keep the supplies and consumption and so on - the logistics side of things rather than the caravan 'mini-game'.

I have started tweaking the caravan roles so that they all relate to character-level (as opposed to the now defunct caravan-level) actions and rules.

I'm going to tweak the random encounters next to make them relevant to (and playable at) character level. I might well post all that here when I've done it, if anyone would be interested.

I've had very similar thoughts, keep the logistics but toss the combat. I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with.


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Here's what I plan to do with the caravan rules and roles. It's in a nicely formatted 8-page word document. I've copied and pasted it under the tag due to length, without the nice formatting. I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts.

Loooooooong:

CARAVAN ROLES

Every person associated with a caravan who accompanies on its journey is known as a traveller, and every traveller on a caravan fills a different job during the caravan’s journey – even if that job is simply being a passenger. Individual characters can only perform one job at a time. Characters who meet the prerequisites for more than one job must pick which job they’re performing at the start of a day – they can switch to a different job after 24 hours have passed.
Jobs can be performed by PC’s, allied NPCs, or NPCs hired for the position. Note that not all job positions can be hired for – some, like fortune teller or spellcaster, must be filled by PCs or allied NPCs they meet during the course of the campaign. All higher-level travellers must be allied with on a case-by-case basis as they are encountered during the course of play; allies need not be paid for their services.
A hired NPC is a 1st-level expert or a 1st-level warrior. All hired NPCs require a specific wage-this wage must be paid in full when the NPC is first hired, and then again on a monthly basis. A hired NPC who is not paid his wage leaves the caravan at the first opportunity, and until he leaves, he functions only as a passenger.
During the course of the Adventure Path you will have many opportunities to venture away from the caravan (such as in towns or when you want to go exploring), and you can choose to leave NPCs back at the caravan site to ensure they don’t come to any harm.
Multiple travellers may perform the same role, but only to a maximum equal to the number of wagons in the caravan. In some instances, there will be no benefit to having multiple travellers performing the same role.
The price in brackets is the monthly wage for a hired NPC to fill the listed role.

Cook (10gp): As long as a caravan has at least 1 cargo unit of stores (10 units of provisions, see PG p.22) in storage in the caravan’s cargo, a cook reduces the caravan’s consumption score by 2 (to a minimum consumption equal to your total number of wagons). Each additional cook reduces the consumption score by 2, to the minimum listed above.
Requirement: Any character with at least one rank in Profession (baker, brewer, cook, fisherman, gardener, innkeeper, or tavern keeper) can serve as cook.

Driver (10gp): A driver is required for every wagon in the caravan – a wagon without a driver cannot move. Drivers provide no additional benefit to a caravan but may be called upon to make skill checks to avoid exhausting the horses if they are pushed beyond 12 hours of travel in any one day.
Requirement: Any character with at least one rank in Handle Animal or Profession (driver) can serve as a driver.

Entertainer (50gp): An entertainer keeps the rest of the travellers distracted and amused during the journey, and grants a +1 circumstance bonus on travellers’ saves against fear effects. This bonus remains for 24 hours after leaving the caravan, thereby enabling adventuring PCs to retain the benefit. Each entertainer also adds a +1 circumstance bonus to any checks that the travellers might need to make to prevent the effects of starvation and thirst.
Requirement: Any character with at least one rank in Perform can serve as an entertainer.

Fortune-Teller (PC or allied NPC only): Fortune-tellers play a unique role in a Varisian caravan like Sandru’s – they serve as advisors, inspirations, and proxy mothers to everyone in the caravan. Fortune-tellers are traditionally elderly women, although this isn’t always the case. Members of a Varisian caravan without a fortune-teller take a -1 penalty on all rolls. Once per week, a fortune-teller can give advice on how best to handle the coming week’s perils. Once in the week following this advice, each member of the caravan may roll twice on any one dice roll and take the better result. Multiple Fortune-Tellers provide no additional benefit to a caravan.
Requirement: Any PC or NPC capable of casting divination spells can serve as a fortune-teller. The caravan must have a fortune-teller’s wagon to benefit from this role.

Guard (100gp): A guard remains with the caravan and is responsible for securing and protecting the wagons and travellers. A guard provides a chance (3% per point of base attack) to avoid a random encounter at night. The XP for any ‘avoided’ encounter is still awarded. Additionally, each guard grants a +1 circumstance bonus to the initiative of all travellers during combats that directly threaten the caravan.
Requirement: Any character with a base attack of at least +1 can serve as a guard.

Guide (50gp, NPC only or GM’s discretion): For certain parts of the caravan’s journey a guide will be required that has specific knowledge of the lands ahead. If no guide is present for that portion of the route, the caravan cannot safely move forward without the chance of becoming lost. The role of guide will usually be filled by an associated NPC or hireling, but may (at the GM’s discretion be filled by a player character). Multiple guides for the same route provide no additional benefit beyond having a back-up in case of a mishap.
Requirement: NPC only or GM’s discretion. Taking the preceding stipulation into account, a character with at least one rank in Knowledge (geography) can serve as a guide.

Healer (50gp): A healer can help the wounded and the sick to recover more quickly. Each healer in a caravan can provide long-term care to up to six travellers – these travellers automatically gain the benefits of long-term care when they spend the night in a wagon.
Requirement: Any character with at least one rank in Heal can serve as a healer.

Passenger (none): Passengers provide no benefit to the caravan beyond any payment they may have made to be delivered safely to their destination.
Requirement: Any character can serve as a passenger.

Scout (100gp): A scout spends her days travelling not with the caravan but in the surrounding wilderness, looking out for possible trouble on the route ahead and seeking out stores in the form of water and game. A scout can provide 2 units of provisions in a day’s work if she focuses on hunting for the day, or provides a chance (3% per rank in Survival) to avoid a daytime random encounter if she focuses on scouting for the day. The XP for any ‘avoided’ encounter is still awarded. Scouts provide their own food, and do not count against the caravan’s total consumption. A caravan can benefit from only three scouts at any one time even if they focus on different tasks.
Requirement: Any character with at least one rank in Survival can serve as a scout.

Spellcaster (PC or allied NPC only): Spellcasters are versatile characters who can fill one of several job roles in a caravan, choosing from entertainer, guard, guide, healer, or scout, regardless of whether they meet the job’s requirement. Spellcasters must sacrifice a 1st-level spell or spell slot each day to perform one of these roles if they do not meet the normal requirements. Where the spellcaster performs a role that requires and makes use of a specific skill (e.g. the Scout’s Survival ranks reducing the chance of random encounters), substitute the spellcaster’s caster level for that skill or other named statistic. Bonuses granted by spellcasters stack with those granted by any other job, but for that day they count towards the limit on the number of roles of that type that the caravan can benefit from.
Requirement: Any PC or NPC capable of casting spells can serve as a spellcaster. Spellcasters must be recruited during the course of the adventure; they cannot simply be hired.

Trader (10gp): A trader enables a caravan to conduct business transactions whenever the caravan is stationed at a settlement. Upon arriving at a city, a trader allows a caravan to spend 1 cargo unit of trade goods (which must have been purchased in a different settlement than the current one) in order to make a special skill check (using one of the skills listed as a requirement, below). This check earns the caravan (not the character) a number of gold pieces equal to the result of the roll. Each trader may attempt one such roll (spending one cargo unit of trade goods per check), and a maximum of five cargo units can be traded in any one settlement. Gold raised in this manner is set aside for use on improving the caravan and/or buying supplies or caravan equipment.
Requirement: Any character with at least one rank in Bluff, Diplomacy, or Profession (merchant) can serve as a trader.

Wainwright (10gp): A wainwright is required for field repairs to a caravan and the smooth running of non-standard equipment. If an accident or deliberate damage should occur to wagons, a wainwright can spend one cargo unit of repair materials to repair one wagon as long as the caravan spends that day without moving. A wainwright is required for the caravan to add or benefit from any additional caravan equipment (e.g. ballista, cold weather gear, or enhanced undercarriage). If the caravan has any additional caravan equipment, it can only gain the benefits of that equipment on days when at least one traveller fills the role of wainwright.
Requirement: Any character with at least one rank in Craft (carpentry) or Profession (engineer or wainwright) can serve as a wainwright.

CARAVAN STATISTICS

Speed: This value is the caravan’s base speed when travelling over open ground on a road. The base speed for all caravans is 32 miles per day – this speed can be increased by horse trains or enhanced undercarriages.

Traveller and Cargo Capacity: These values indicate the maximum number of travellers and cargo units your caravan can carry. If either of these values is exceeded by your total number of travellers or cargo units, your caravan cannot move. Your caravan’s total traveller and cargo unit capacities are determined by the sum of its wagons’ values, modified further by any appropriate bonuses or penalties.

Consumption: This value indicates the amount of provisions that your caravan consumes every day. Your caravan’s consumption equals the total number of travellers in your caravan plus the total of all the wagon’s consumption values, modified further by any appropriate bonuses or penalties.

Gold: When you first join the caravan, there will be an additional fund of gold that is intended only for use in buying more wagons, improving existing wagons, buying supplies or trade goods, or hiring people to fulfil specific roles. The trader role can add to this fund by selling trade goods at settlements (see trader role, below). Any extra funds must be donated by the player characters.

Wagons: Your caravan starts with three wagons and initially has enough room in it for five in total. Each wagon must have a driver, and a driver must be a traveller in the caravan – while filling the role of driver, that character cannot fill any other role in the caravan.

Travellers: Travellers are all creatures who belong to the caravan with the exception of any draft animals used to pull the wagons. Player characters, NPCs, animal companions, and mounts are all considered travellers for this purpose. Familiars are covered by their master as far as traveller count is concerned. Every traveller (save for passengers) provides a benefit to a caravan in some way.

WAGON STATISTICS
Each wagon in a caravan serves a specific purpose that helps to bolster the caravan’s statistics – and thus its chances of success at reaching its eventual destination. Each type of wagon is presented in the same format along with its cost in gp, its traveller and cargo capacity, its consumption, and any special benefits it conveys to caravans. When you buy a new wagon by spending its cost in gp (this cost includes the horses needed to pull the wagon), add its capacity limits and consumption cost to the caravan’s overall totals.
Although you can add many wagons to a caravan, there are limits to how many wagons of each type a caravan can effectively maintain. This limit varies by wagon type, and is listed in each entry. Wagons in excess of this limit in a caravan do not grant additional Special Benefits, but do add to the capacity and consumption totals.
A caravan can have up to 5 wagons in it at any one time.

ARMOURED WAGON
Cost 5000gp
Traveller Capacity 6; Cargo Capacity 4
Limit 2; Consumption 2
Special Benefit Up to 4 characters can perform ranged combat from within this wagon each round. Such characters gain the benefit of improved cover (+8 to AC, +4 to Reflex saves and improved evasion when appropriate). However, only 2 characters can attack to each side of the wagon in a round, and only 1 character can attack either ahead or behind each round.
Description
An armoured wagon functions like a covered wagon – it gives travellers a place to shelter. Unlike covered wagons, however, an armoured wagon has heavily armoured sides that provide much more protection to the caravan than do those of a simple covered wagon. Additionally, an armoured wagon has only one door allowing access to the interior. This door can be locked (simple, DC20).

COVERED WAGON
Cost 500gp
Traveller Capacity 6; Cargo Capacity 4
Limit none; Consumption 2
Special Benefit none
Description
A covered wagon gives travellers a comfortable if basic place to shelter, both during a caravan’s travels and when it stops for the night in the wild.

FANCY CARRIAGE
Cost 2500gp
Traveller Capacity 4; Cargo Capacity 2
Limit 1; Consumption 2
Special Benefit Doubles the benefits provided by entertainers in the caravan.
Description
A fancy carriage is a beautiful wagon that lifts the spirits of the entire caravan, provided at least one of its travellers is filling an entertainer role.

FORTUNE-TELLER’S WAGON
Cost 500gp
Traveller Capacity 2; Cargo Capacity 4
Limit 1; Consumption 1
Special Benefit Allows the caravan to benefit from fortune-teller role.
Description
A cross between a covered wagon and a supply wagon, a fortune-teller’s wagon is a specialised wagon tailored to house the caravan’s spiritual guide – its fortune-teller. A traveller capable of filling a fortune-teller role cannot provide any benefits to the caravan without this wagon.

HORSE TRAIN
Cost 1200gp
Traveller Capacity 6; Cargo Capacity 1
Limit 3; Consumption 6
Special Benefit Adds 4 miles per day to the caravan’s speed.
Description
Adding horses to your caravan can help increase its speed, although at a significant increase to consumption.

SUPPLY WAGON
Cost 300gp
Traveller Capacity 2; Cargo Capacity 10
Limit none; Consumption 2
Special Benefit none.
Description
These wagons are designed to carry cargo rather than travellers.

CARAVAN EQUIPMENT
Not only can caravans be used to transport large amounts of gear (including treasure the PCs may have found in the course of play), but some equipment can actually enhance a caravan, making it easier to defend or repair or enhancing its speed.
Each of these items takes up the space of a certain number of cargo units, as indicated.

Ballista (500gp, 4 cargo units): The only siege weapon capable of being mounted and used from a caravan, a ballista cannot be mounted on a fortune-teller’s wagon.

Campsite Traps (1,000gp, 2 cargo units): This collection of portable traps consists of items such as bear traps, noisemakers, tripline-activated light crossbows, and the like. Setting up campsite traps around a caravan grants a +4 bonus on Perception checks made to avoid being surprised if a combat occurs while the caravan is camped, and grants a +4 bonus on attack rolls in the first round of combat to all those travellers who were not surprised.

Cold-Weather Gear (200gp, 1 cargo unit): Cold-weather gear consists of furs and various tools that aid in de-icing caravans, helping them move through snow, and otherwise providing comfort to their travellers. A caravan that is equipped with cold-weather gear does not take any additional penalties on its speed when travelling through extremely frigid environments. Additionally, travellers that remain with the caravan in such environments do not suffer the effects of cold temperature hazards. This does not apply to scouts or others who leave the caravan for long periods of time.

Enhanced Undercarriage (500gp, 1 cargo unit): These improvements consist of a combination of reinforced wheels, masterfully-engineered axles, and other enhancements meant to increase a wagon’s speed. As long as a caravan possesses one enhanced undercarriage for every wagon in the caravan (not including horse trains), the caravan’s speed increases by 8 miles per day.

Repair Materials (25gp, 1 cargo unit): Repair materials are required to repair a wagon after it has been damaged or suffered a mishap. A wainwright can use one cargo unit of repair materials to restore a wagon to full functionality, as long as it remains stationery for one day while she works on it.

Stores (5gp, 1 cargo unit): A single cargo unit of stores equates to 10 units of provisions. See the Resting section below for an explanation of how consumption and provisions work.

Trade Goods (10gp, 1 cargo unit): A single cargo unit of trade goods consists of a combination of metals, spices, cloth, wood, salt, and such. Depending on a trader’s check(s), significant profit can be made selling trade goods to new settlements the caravan visits along its route.

Treasure (n/a, varies): This unusual form of cargo can’t be purchased. Treasure consists of all manner of loot, gear, treasure and clutter that you collect during your adventures, but that no one in your party wants to use or even carry on their own. Things like looted armor, weapons, coins, gems, and other valuable objects can be combined into one big pool of treasure. You’ll need to track the total value yourself. Whenever the caravan reaches civilisation, you can assume that the unwanted treasure is sold off so that the profit can be split among the PCs. As a general rule, 50 pounds of treasure takes up the space of 1 cargo unit, although in some cases, treasure might take up even more room at the GM’s discretion.

Wagon Reinforcements (500gp, 1 cargo unit): These additional wooden struts, metal plates, and extra supports use up some of a wagon’s cargo space, but in return they reduce the chance of a wagon suffering a mishap during the journey by 50%.

NB: Extradimensional Storage Once you have the cash, you might want to consider buying bags of holding or even a portable hole to increase your caravan’s cargo storage. Anything smaller than a bag of holding, such as a handy haversack, isn’t large enough to hold a significant amount of cargo.
The amount of cargo space each of these items can provide is listed below. (Note that anything stored in an extradimensional space is tough to get to, and can’t provide bonuses to your caravan).
Bag of Holding (type I): 1 cargo unit
Bag of Holding (type II): 2 cargo units
Bag of Holding (type III): 3 cargo unit
Bag of Holding (type IV): 4 cargo units
Portable Hole: 5 cargo units

CARAVAN ENCOUNTERS

While you, as player characters, won’t have much control over the type and number of encounters your caravan is destined to have, you do need to know the rules for how to play out these encounters when they occur.

TRAVEL
A caravan’s speed determines how many miles it can travel in a day – the speed doesn’t really affect much on a tactical scale and so in an encounter a caravan moves at 40 feet per round. A caravan’s base speed is 32 miles per day, but this can be increased by purchasing horse trains, or by purchasing enhanced undercarriages for every wagon in your caravan. This speed assumes travel on a road over clear terrain – use Table 7-8 on page 172 of the Core Rulebook to adjust the number of miles you can cover in a day if you find yourselves in other types of terrain.
A day of travel for a caravan assumes 12 hours of travel and 12 hours of rest. Caravans typically travel during daylight hours – if they travel after dark, their speed is halved. A caravan that pushes itself to travel more than 12 hours in a day, halves its base speed, and gives travellers the fatigued condition. Every hour that a caravan continues to push beyond the 12 hour mark, each driver must make a DC15 Handle Animal check to avoid exhausting the horses. The DC of this check increases by +1 with each successive check. If any one driver fails this check, the entire caravan comes to a stop and cannot move at all. A full 12 hours of rest is enough to make an exhausted caravan fatigued, and to return a fatigued caravan to normal.

RESTING
A caravan must rest for 12 hours after 12 hours of travel to avoid becoming fatigued. In order to gain the restorative effects of resting, the caravan must consume a total number of provisions equal to the caravan’s consumption score; otherwise, no benefits are gained from rest. A caravan that doesn’t have enough provisions to pay its consumption uses up all of the remaining provisions, and becomes fatigued. From this point on, all travellers are considered to be in danger of undergoing the effects of starvation and thirst (see pages 444-445 of the Core Rulebook).
Provisions can be purchased in any settlement by buying stores – a single cargo unit of stores grants 10 units of provisions. Units of provisions can also be gathered by scouts at the rate of 2 per day. They can also be supplied by the spells goodberry (1 unit of provisions), create food and water (3 units of provisions), or heroes’ feast (1 unit of provisions per caster level). All provisions magically created in this manner must be consumed on the same day they are created.

As for random encounters, I'm planning on replacing the rolled encounters with things that can be resolved at a character level. So, a CR2 bandit attack would be resolved in normal combat. If the scout (see roles) detects the encounter they can choose to avoid it or face it (I think my players won't want to pass up the chance of a fight and to grab some loot). If they choose to face it, it would be sensible to have them move ahead of the caravan rather than risk all those supplies and NPCs falling into a trap. This way I can resolve low CR encounters without having to have them deal with a caravanful of 5th level NPCs plus the PCs.

If the scout doesn't detect the encounter then I'm considering bumping up the numbers of the opponents and having the NPCs hold their own against them, giving the PCs an appropriate number to deal with and awarding xp accordingly.

Non-combat encounters will be resolved with roleplay/skill checks/whatever is required.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm considering adding an "Economy of Action" rule for Hero characters in combat, wherein each round each PC can state they're doing one thing (cast a spell, chuck a bomb, etc) to assist the Caravan as a whole. Damage from such area effect attacks would stack on with the base damage the Caravan does, while healing effects heal the Caravan's HP. A key element of this is that it has to be able to affect a group of targets, so Fireballs and Channel Energy would work fine, but single target effects would not. Obviously this would require a little judicious GM adjudication (since I'm really unwilling to write up another 20+ pages of rules just for all the random things PCs might try to pull), but otherwise should work well for giving the players the feeling they add significantly to the battle.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@ Grendel
it wouldn't be a bit underwhelming for warriors?


Has anyone tried running the caravan using vehicles rules from UC ?

Juat curious if it would make them to long or if it would be a possible solution.


Mezme wrote:

Has anyone tried running the caravan using vehicles rules from UC ?

Juat curious if it would make them to long or if it would be a possible solution.

Ask again tomorrow. :)

It will definitely lengthen combat. We had two RAW caravan combats last session and they were a total of 8 rolls by the players (4 attack rolls and 4 damage rolls). But, the frequency of combat is so low it's worth it, at least in the first module.

I plan on an ambush with raiders attempting to cut out a wagon and ride off with it. Since that's going bring in most of the NPCs and make it fairly heavy in favor of the party, I've got a rather large force attacking them.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Diego Rossi wrote:

@ Grendel

it wouldn't be a bit underwhelming for warriors?

True, that is a problem for single-target combatants. A few solutions that might work (depending on the build of the character) would be to tack on their damage if they have Cleave or other extra attacks (making the argument they can hammer multiple targets in short order). I'd also been considering applying Precision damage (from sneak attacks and such) under the theory of ambushes, hit and run tactics, etc. The key point here is to give each player the option of coming up with an argument for how their Hero can affect the tide of battle - even if it's easier to see how a spellcaster can do it with spells/bombs/whatever, all PCs should get a shot at doing something cool.

I haven't really gotten a chance to test any of the rules yet (RAW or otherwise), but reading through the design notes for coming up with your own encounters I can already see monsters get a much more consistent upgrade in to-hit/dmg/AC progression by CR vs. Caravan by level. Where the Caravans have an edge is in HP, though that advantage swiftly drops off at higher levels/CR. The best a caravan can get for damage output is 4d6+lvl(+1 per Balista), if I recall correctly. I don't like just bumping up damage per level, as has been suggested though. Much prefer a system where PC actions (or at least caravan jobs) are important to evening up the inequalities. Perhaps each Guard and Ballista could grant an additional die of damage?


Zaranorth wrote:
Mezme wrote:

Has anyone tried running the caravan using vehicles rules from UC ?

Juat curious if it would make them to long or if it would be a possible solution.

Ask again tomorrow. :)

Actually, don't. They avoided that fight.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Has anyone given any thought to having the PCs handle the small number of monster encounters (like a giant and bears or an ooze or half a dozen ogres) while the caravan is their fall back position?

If the PCs can't take down the encounter and retreat, then reduce the HP of the enemy by the percentage of damage that the PCs did.

Rather than supercharge the caravan, I am thinking of following the ideas suggested above of having the PCs be able to contribute to the defence, offense, healing and morale of the caravan - make them shine.

This would also explain why the route is considered dangerous and caravans disappearing on a regular basis - no heros.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Greetings everyone!!

I have not posted much in the past (I make a better lurker than a poster). But I have been following this tread was a good deal of interest. I'm running Jade Regent right now and my group will finish Brinewall this Friday.

I have been mulling about some ideas for caravan improvements. I will be running the math simulations this weekend to try and find some solutions that do make the system fun and exciting. One of the issues I want to fix is to make the caravan encounters more interactive for the group. The one player show concept does not sit will in larger groups.

First Option -

Combat Roles
I'm thinking of allowing each of the PC's (and possibly the key NPCs) to fill one of a few takes during the encounters. These tasks will require a skill or attack roll of some kind. The simple combat tasks are as follows.

Attack – The character would make some type of attack check vs the enemies AC to increase the caravan damage.

Defend – The character would do some action to boost the caravan's AC. I'm thinking something using aid another roll to boost an allies defense.

Repair – Using magic or skill checks to apply repairs to the physical caravan or the Travelers. I liked the idea of granting temporary HP and requiring the actual repairs to be made after the fight.

Rally – The character will uses skills, ability or magic to boost the caravans to hit roll making. I'm imagining this as a leader using diplomacy or intimidate better motivate or coordinate the caravan. Abilities like Bardic songs or a lot of the cleric buff I see falling into the category.

Weaken – The section if for abilities that will weaken the enemy. Intimidate checks to demoralize the enemy or bluff checks to distract and confuse the attackers. CMB check is a good option as well to weaken a foe. The character could be disarming, tripping or other such attack to prevent or weaken the foes ability to effect the caravan.

Second Option -

Advanced caravan jobs

I like the jobs system set-up but I think all of the jobs are kind basic. I thinking of add a second tier of jobs based on a higher skill requirements. Here are some of the samples advanced caravan jobs I was thinking of.

Hunter – Grants bonus like the favored terrain or favor enemy from Ranger class
Merchant – Greater income from trade
Warrior – Increases the caravan's damage output
Healer – Grants combat only fast healing to the caravan
Engineer – Can repair the caravan during combat and make custom upgrades the caravan
Thief – Increase income at settlement but has a risk of getting the caravan run out of town
Battle Mage – Increases caravan's damage based on caster level
Master Chief – Cooking providers morale bonus to the caravan
Defender – Increases the caravan's AC
Caravan Master – Increase the general effectiveness of the caravan.

All the advanced job will have around a +7 skill ranks or BAB requirement. This will limit the number of people that can fill one of these rolls. Also the players will not be able to easily hire someone to do one of these advanced jobs.

I'm still working on this concept and I know I have to post a lot of the math I'm thinking of using. I want to see everyone opinion on the concepts. I suspect I will be using some mixture of both of the option I listed above. This weekend I will be running a lot of trials and mathematical reviews. I hope to post some specific results next week.


My group is getting set to head out a'caravanning, any conclusions on best practices for rules mods?


My group started the caravan part last game session. It took a while to build the caravan, but the players had fun hiring new NPCs, managing caravan resources and whatnot. When I described the combat to them, they all pretty much said, "That's it?" While, they understood it was abstract and simple, it was boring that only one person would need to roll. So I made a houserule on the fly during the first caravan encounter, the caravan is moving while a pack of wolves burst out of the woods to attack.

The hero caravan job has one added benefit: The players get to announce an action they want to take during combat. It could be as simple as an attack (making a single attack, rolling the PCs normal attack/damage), casting a spell to damage/demoralize the foe or fortify defenses, help the wounded, or complex as "I want to move to the back of the caravan and throw my alchemists bombs at the threat" or "I go to the driver's seat and steer a wagon to push enemies off the narrow ridge" or whatever their imagination can come up with. And they perform that action(s) as normal. And since caravan combat is abstract, I also abstract time as well. If we can see that it takes a reasonable amount of time, then that player can perform his action(s) in a single round.

In addition to player actions, the caravan also gets to act in the round as normal. My players usually take turns rolling for the caravan in this case.

My players really liked this houserule, while abstract, it gave them a lot of freedom to act and they really feel like the heroes and not just another abstracted combatant in the caravan. However, this does houserule is not neatly defined, so this requires group cooperation and DM fiat to rule fairly, so YMMV.


ArisRedwind wrote:

Greetings everyone!!

I have not posted much in the past (I make a better lurker than a poster). But I have been following this tread was a good deal of interest. I'm running Jade Regent right now and my group will finish Brinewall this Friday.

I have been mulling about some ideas for caravan improvements. I will be running the math simulations this weekend to try and find some solutions that do make the system fun and exciting. One of the issues I want to fix is to make the caravan encounters more interactive for the group. The one player show concept does not sit will in larger groups.

First Option -

Combat Roles
I'm thinking of allowing each of the PC's (and possibly the key NPCs) to fill one of a few takes during the encounters. These tasks will require a skill or attack roll of some kind. The simple combat tasks are as follows.

Attack – The character would make some type of attack check vs the enemies AC to increase the caravan damage.

Defend – The character would do some action to boost the caravan's AC. I'm thinking something using aid another roll to boost an allies defense.

Repair – Using magic or skill checks to apply repairs to the physical caravan or the Travelers. I liked the idea of granting temporary HP and requiring the actual repairs to be made after the fight.

Rally – The character will uses skills, ability or magic to boost the caravans to hit roll making. I'm imagining this as a leader using diplomacy or intimidate better motivate or coordinate the caravan. Abilities like Bardic songs or a lot of the cleric buff I see falling into the category.

Weaken – The section if for abilities that will weaken the enemy. Intimidate checks to demoralize the enemy or bluff checks to distract and confuse the attackers. CMB check is a good option as well to weaken a foe. The character could be disarming, tripping or other such attack to prevent or weaken the foes ability to effect the caravan.

Second Option -

Advanced caravan jobs

I like the...

I like this approach and have been thinking of trying to develop something along thse lines. However, I had'nt done the work so...thanks for posting! I'm thinking at some point most encounters will become pc specific but this type of approach will allow them to participate in the overall caravan aspect prior to that. For example, if a bandits were trying to jump from horseback onto a moving wagon, I could ask "what are you doing to prevent?" and use this system behind the scenes to help adjudicate. Still thinking on this topic, and how to best use, but appreciate your sharing on the forum.

Liberty's Edge

I like many of the ideas that people are coming up with regarding how to make these caravan rules fun. As they are, its more of a distraction to my game table which has 6 PCs. As such I think Im just going to scrap them entirely. Unfortunately this means I have to do major rewrites on Hungry Storm which has some of the best flavor in any AP module yet. I just wish that in the future an optional rule like caravans doesn't come to dominate a module like it does in that one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
J-Bone wrote:

I like many of the ideas that people are coming up with regarding how to make these caravan rules fun. As they are, its more of a distraction to my game table which has 6 PCs. As such I think Im just going to scrap them entirely. Unfortunately this means I have to do major rewrites on Hungry Storm which has some of the best flavor in any AP module yet. I just wish that in the future an optional rule like caravans doesn't come to dominate a module like it does in that one.

I actually pretty much did this. What I found was key to the rewrite (which were surprisingly fewer than I was expecting and simple) was instead of rolling for the randoms as the game progressed I did up a spread sheet and preplanned all of the encounters for the duration of what the trip should be (thanks to several others on this board for the original suggestion and the person who did the time v. distance calcs). After I had the scripted list it was pretty simple to alter the encounters (aurora gives a +2 bonus to will saves instead of its caravan bonus for example).

Liberty's Edge

atheral wrote:
I actually pretty much did this. What I found was key to the rewrite (which were surprisingly fewer than I was expecting and simple) was instead of rolling for the randoms as the game progressed I did up a spread sheet and preplanned all of the encounters for the duration of what the trip should be (thanks to several others on this board for the original suggestion and the person who did the time v. distance calcs). After I had the scripted list it was pretty simple to alter the encounters (aurora gives a +2 bonus to will saves instead of its caravan bonus for example).

Could you post your modifications. I have a 6 person party that is finding caravan combat dull (aside from one player, who loves the caravan minutia), and I'm dreading running/modifying The Hungry Storm given nearly 20 possible caravan encounters. I'd love to see what you did, or at least a few examples so I can get started.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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brreitz wrote:
atheral wrote:
I actually pretty much did this. What I found was key to the rewrite (which were surprisingly fewer than I was expecting and simple) was instead of rolling for the randoms as the game progressed I did up a spread sheet and preplanned all of the encounters for the duration of what the trip should be (thanks to several others on this board for the original suggestion and the person who did the time v. distance calcs). After I had the scripted list it was pretty simple to alter the encounters (aurora gives a +2 bonus to will saves instead of its caravan bonus for example).
Could you post your modifications. I have a 6 person party that is finding caravan combat dull (aside from one player, who loves the caravan minutia), and I'm dreading running/modifying The Hungry Storm given nearly 20 possible caravan encounters. I'd love to see what you did, or at least a few examples so I can get started.

For reference, the caravan encounters were created based on the benchmarks in Table 1-1: Monster Statistics by CR on p. 291 in the Bestiary. However, as has been pointed out, those CRs were based on the operating principle of a PC party, with 4 PCs vs. one opponent. However, the mistake that we made, apparent in retrospect, is that the caravan isn't 4 PCs; it's *ONE* PC. As a result, those target CR benchmarks ended up 4 CR's too high.

This means you basically have two choices:

1. Give the PCs in your party the ability to create their own "caravan combat" roles. In essence, your caravan would get up to 4 attacks per round of caravan combat (assuming each PC used their "caravan action" to fight). You'd also need to increase the overall hp of the caravan. I haven't done the math on that, but I'd guess a rough eyeball would be to simply double the caravan's hit points.

OR

2. Use the caravan combat rules as-is. Make no changes there. Instead, re-benchmark the encounter stats based on a CR 4 lower. Reduce the DCs for Security, etc. checks by 2. Look at the caravan CR that you see in the module, then use the following conversions instead of the base combat stats you see there:

CR 5 - AC 12; hp 15; Atk +2; Damage 2d6
CR 6 - AC 14; hp 20; Atk +4; Damage 4d4
CR 7 - AC 15; hp 30; Atk +6; Damage 3d8
CR 8 - AC 17; hp 40; Atk +8; Damage 4d6+2
CR 9 - AC 18; hp 55; Atk +10; Damage 8d4
CR 10 - AC 19; hp 70; Atk +12; Damage 7d6
CR 11 - AC 20; hp 85; Attack +13; Damage 6d8+3
CR 12 - AC 21; hp 100; Attack +15; Damage 10d6

This should give you properly calibrated challenges for the caravan acting alone against the challenges placed in the adventure.

None of this is official or RAW, of course, but if you're looking for an authorial suggestion that should better fit the numbers, feel free to use this if you'd like. :)

The Exchange

Jason Nelson wrote:

CR 5 - AC 12; hp 15; Atk +2; Damage 2d6

CR 6 - AC 14; hp 20; Atk +4; Damage 4d4
CR 7 - AC 15; hp 30; Atk +6; Damage 3d8
CR 8 - AC 17; hp 40; Atk +8; Damage 4d6+2
CR 9 - AC 18; hp 55; Atk +10; Damage 8d4
CR 10 - AC 19; hp 70; Atk +12; Damage 7d6
CR 11 - AC 20; hp 85; Attack +13; Damage 6d8+3
CR 12 - AC 21; hp 100; Attack +15; Damage 10d6

Thanks for that...My group starts the caravan next week, and I've wondering how to run it for them, with all the issues people have been having. That's a big help.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
brreitz wrote:
atheral wrote:
I actually pretty much did this. What I found was key to the rewrite (which were surprisingly fewer than I was expecting and simple) was instead of rolling for the randoms as the game progressed I did up a spread sheet and preplanned all of the encounters for the duration of what the trip should be (thanks to several others on this board for the original suggestion and the person who did the time v. distance calcs). After I had the scripted list it was pretty simple to alter the encounters (aurora gives a +2 bonus to will saves instead of its caravan bonus for example).
Could you post your modifications. I have a 6 person party that is finding caravan combat dull (aside from one player, who loves the caravan minutia), and I'm dreading running/modifying The Hungry Storm given nearly 20 possible caravan encounters. I'd love to see what you did, or at least a few examples so I can get started.

Sure

Aurora- As described except party gains a +2 bonus on will saves instead of a resolve check.

Creeping Rot- Changed this to be able to be beaten with a combination of quick thinking/magic. Knowledge(arcana,nature or which ever you feel appropriate to diagnose may be a heal check) Then d% of food is tainted each casting of a purify or remove disease spell reduces by d10 units each day until its removed it spreads to d10 more units party can dump all tainted food immediately to remove the issue as well.

Death from below- bullette and remorhaz just became combat encounters, frost worm same just make sure you utilize the young template.

Dragon sighting-will save or shaken for 1d4 days

Frozen Dead - as written except 51-70 all became d8 skeletons or zombies with vunerablity to fire and add 1d6 cold to damage

Horned Herd was difficult - herd became 2d10 animals of random type listed if the caravan stopped then nothing happend, otherwise if they slowed they had a 1 in 10 chance of spooking the herd (no reduced speed upped to 1 in 5 ) herd is spooked then combat vs the herd as they tried to run through the caravan animals flee tword the party but only attack if someone is in their way.

Hungry predators just became a combat vs the creature in question

Hunting party I used as a frost fallen encounter but the creatues had sithud markings on them.

Ice Hunters I changed to a pair of Ice Troll brothers who tried to ambush the scouts.

Pleasant weather gave a +2 bonus on fortitude saves for its duration.

Polar Pudding was a fight with a variant black pudding (immune cold, vulnerable fire, and +1d6 cold damage)

Wings of hope- + 2 to perception checks for duration.

Those are the ones I modified as I rolled up my encounter plan the others never occurred so I didn't bother trying to come up with alternates.

As far as the regularly scripted go Encounter D. I gave them 2 survival rolls to find a ford DC 20 then each wagon that crossed I made the d% roll for the combat encounter.

M. The dead guarding the tower became 4- 20 skeleton units marching around the tower I just used based skeletons for this if they were detected each unit would arrive at 1d10 round intervals

Thats as far as the group has gotten so any thing further would be unverified

Liberty's Edge

Excellent! Thanks.


Jason Nelson wrote:

For reference, the caravan encounters were created based on the benchmarks in Table 1-1: Monster Statistics by CR on p. 291 in the Bestiary. However, as has been pointed out, those CRs were based on the operating principle of a PC party, with 4 PCs vs. one opponent. However, the mistake that we made, apparent in retrospect, is that the caravan isn't 4 PCs; it's *ONE* PC. As a result, those target CR benchmarks ended up 4 CR's too high.

Is it perhaps the same just make the caravan level = highest player level + 4 from the start (so starting the caravan at level = 5), and leave the encounter stats unchanged? Or, since the level just determines how many feats a caravan has, just start with 4 more feats and pretend that a first level caravan has 5 feats?

Could it introduce other problems?


Kelebrar wrote:

Is it the same just make the caravan level = highest player level + 4 from the start (so starting the caravan at level = 5), and leave the encounter stats unchanged? Or, since the level just determine how many feats a caravan has, just start with 4 more feats and pretend that a first level caravan has 5 feats?

Could it introduce other problems?

It wouldn't cause problems, but I doubt it would really help. The enemies as written just have too many hitpoints and too destructive attacks. Meanwhile, the Caravan's power is limited more by money and the built in limits (no more than 3 copies of "Increased Damage," few ways to boost AC, etc) than number of feats. A superior optimized caravan that uses the extra feats for lots of copies of "Extra Hitpoints" might be able to survive, but it would make the battles even longer slogs. Using some of the options posted would probably get better results.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I hope that Paizo will playtest their next "new system" a bit better. :-/

I guess we'll get one for the pirate AP.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

My group didn't like the 'mini-game' aspect of Kingmaker, so I know I'll have to change the Caravan rules for Jade Regent.

I'm going to use a nice middle ground between the RAW crunchy caravan rules and 'hand-wave':

Caravan combat will be based on a PC set-piece battle (not the other way around). How the PCs handle themselves in battle is a reflection of the overall battle around the caravan. (The GM just describes 'extra' creatures battling all around them. If the PCs do something heroic, then so do the NPCs, etc).

I'll track all the damage the PCs took in the battle. 50% of that amount will be re-applied to the caravan, and 50% will be re-applied to the other NPCs (guards, Sandru, etc).

So, for example, if the PCs are attacked by (an appropriate amount) of goblin bandits. And these goblins dish-out a total of 40 points of damage to all of the PCs by the end of the encounter, then 20 points were inflicted on the caravan, while 20 points were distributed to the other NPCs.

Caravan feats/equipment/wagons/etc will be adjusted to reflect this change in rules.

Simple.

Grand Lodge

My group has just made it to Brinewall proper and we've been using these changes to the caravan rules:

Caravan rules:

The Trader caravan job has been modified to allow each Trader to attempt to sell additional Trade Goods if they are able to make a Bluff/Diplomacy/Profession (merchant) check with a DC based on the size of the location they are in (DC is inverse to the size of location, lowest being DC 15). Once that Trader fails a check, they may not sell any more in that location.

The Guard caravan job will allow each Guard to make an attack roll (using the caravan Attack total) in addition to the standard caravan attack. Each successful Guard hit inflicts 1d6 + (caravan level) damage. The number of Guard roles may not exceed the number of Hero roles filled.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I have given the caravan rules a lot of thought and think I have a workable rules change for those rules.

I was influenced by Dorma Ob'Han, Jason Nelson and James Jacob's suggestions. As part of the problem seemed to be based on low attack value and low AC of the caravan, I decided to provide an additional attribute point per level of the caravan, which should even things out a bit.

Let me know what you think or if you see any glaring holes.

Mistwalker's Caravan Rules:

Every level, a caravan not only receives a feat, but an attribute point as well.

Masterwork Wagons are available from the start of the adventure (stats are in the last AP)

Caravan damage increases at the same rate as that of a rogue’s sneak attack extra damage dice.

The feat “Extra Wagons” is a free feat.

The caravan rule for the spell “Create Food and Water” is removed and the spell works normally.

Masterwork Wagon
Cost: 1200 GP Hit Points: 40
Traveller Capacity: 6 Cargo Capacity: 6
Limit: None Consumption: 1
Special Benefit: +1 bonus to AC

Hero combat actions:

Attack: The Hero can make an additional attack, using the caravan statistics (basically providing another attack for the caravan), up to three heros may take this action.

Defend: The Hero can aid the caravan in repulsing the next attack, providing a +2 bonus to AC.

Rally: The Hero may use Diplomacy, Intimidate or Magic to rally the caravan, granting a +1 bonus to the resolve check, with an additional +1 for every 5 points by which the Hero exceeds the check DC (10 + the encounter level).

Battlefield Repair: The Hero can cast a spell that repairs objects (such as make whole or fabricate) to provide the caravan with 1d6 hp per spell level (minimum 1d6). A Hero with the appropriate skill can make a skill check to provide the caravan with temporary hp equal to the check result.


Mistwalker wrote:

I have given the caravan rules a lot of thought and think I have a workable rules change for those rules.

I was influenced by Dorma Ob'Han, Jason Nelson and James Jacob's suggestions.
[...]

Let me know what you think or if you see any glaring holes.

[...]

That's pretty much what I've done. These are my changes:

- Forget about the economics of caravans and trade.
- Begin with 5 attribute points, and win 1 every level
- The PCs can add an additional "Hero Combat" feat every even level. These are very, very similar to the ones you use:
* Attack: PC attacks vs. AC, with multiple attacks for high BAB. Each one would add an additional +1d4.
* Defend: PC attacks vs 1o+EL to add +2 to AC (+1 / every 5 points...)
* Rally: My rules also add +1 to the caravan attack roll
* Repair: Same exact rules

However, my party is only at level three, so I cannot give indications about the scaling up. My PCs took the defend feat and so far have complained that the caravan combat mini-games are too long. They have a pretty high armor class so most enemy attacks fail, but they needed to hit about 8 to 10 times to overcome a 3rd level enemy. Next weekend we'll be leaving Brinewall at level four, and we will have the chance to see how they fare. I'll post something next week.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group decided to ditch the whole package and RP it. The combat encounters will be done as normal encounters.


ArisRedwind wrote:

Second Option -

Advanced caravan jobs
I like the jobs system set-up but I think all of the jobs are kind basic. I thinking of add a second tier of jobs based on a higher skill requirements. Here are some of the samples advanced caravan jobs I was thinking of.

Hunter – Grants bonus like the favored terrain or favored enemy from Ranger class
Merchant – Greater income from trade
Warrior – Increases the caravan's damage output
Healer – Grants combat only fast healing to the caravan
Engineer – Can repair the caravan during combat and make custom upgrades the caravan
Thief – Increase income at settlement but has a risk of getting the caravan run out of town
Battle Mage – Increases caravan's damage based on caster level
Master Chief – Cooking providers morale bonus to the caravan
Defender – Increases the caravan's AC
Caravan Master – Increase the general effectiveness of the caravan.

All the advanced job will have around a +7 skill ranks or BAB requirement. This will limit the number of people that can fill one of these rolls. Also the players will not be able to easily hire someone to do one of these advanced jobs.

I'm still working on this concept and I know I have to post a lot of the math I'm thinking of using. I want to see everyone opinion on the concepts. I suspect I will be using some mixture of both of the option I listed above. This weekend I will be running a lot of trials and mathematical reviews. I hope to post some specific results next week.

@ArisRedWind: I like the idea of this concept. I too feel that the roles could possibly be improved upon as the caravan advances in levels. This would encourage players to improve their skills past the +1 base requirement for roles they wish to excel in.

@Mistwalker: Our group is going to playtest your suggestions to see if it helps improve the caravan play. Next session will begin our trek to Brinewall.

Liberty's Edge

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James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

A relatively simple way that wouldn't require a feat would be to put in a chart similar to what Al-Qadim had for its merchant-rogues. They established trade companies rather than caravans, but the concept of a monthly profit is similar enought to a trade profit, and it kept the average profit manageable. On a trade, roll 1d10:

1: Disaster! There is a glut of these goods, and you can only sell them at a 30% loss.
2: Goods were damaged in transportation, and you lost 20% of the money invested.
3: Interest is low right now, and you lose 10%.
4-5: Business is business. You make no profit or loss.
6-7: People are mildly interested in your goods, and you make a 10% profit.
8-9: Business is quite good, and you make a 20% profit.
10: Luck of luck! You brought exactly what people were looking for, and profits are 30%.

On average, this chart generates a 3% profit on any goods traded, with losses on 30% of goods and profits on 50% of goods. If characters choose to do research on what's needed further along their route, they may get a +1 bonus. Conversely, if wagons are badly damaged or they choose improper goods (bringing thin cotton tunics into the frozen north), they may be penalized with a -1 penalty.


Rhishisikk wrote:
(BAB, since there isn't a Tactics skill)

There is.

Quote:
History (wars, colonies, migrations, founding of cities)

This doesn't mean "wars that have alreddy occurred" but "wars" (3.5 acknowledged it in a few places like the Red Knight Paladin sublevels)

The Exchange

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Here's what I'm doing with it. I don't think the caravan is too far off, but the damage dealt/repaired both scale WAY slower than the HP/damage dealt from the enemies.

I went with a few things to help the caravan out by level.

I added 1/2 the caravan's level to all checks, I also had it deal (1d6+1)/2 levels (min 1d6+1).

I made guards better. +1 ac OR +1 to attack and damage. Much like scouts I split their job, so you hire guards, and you get to put them on defense or offense :D

I also gave PCs actions in each combat. All actions come down to Aid another for the caravan, but it's based on which jobs they can perform. and they perform them against the DC of the situation.

Ex: in a fight a guard Hero can make an attack against the AC of the enemy to give the caravan a +2 AC or +2 on it's next attack.

on a security check a PC who's job is guide can make a survival check DC equal to the encounter to provide a +2 bonus.

I want spell effects to do nifty things. Like wall of stone making battlements, or greater magic weapon working normally.

I also think you should get an additional attack for each 2 ballistas you buy, they are expensive, and they take up a lot of room they should actually do something :-p.

I chose to make the provisions 25gp but boxes of 50 (making them more in line with trail rations. 1day=1pound).

Making hunters/create food less caravan defining, since you can actually store enough food for a months journey having 5 people consume food each day.

Probably the easiest conversion, if you want to save on work, and still do caravan encounters. you can do the super simple version.

SUPER EASY CARAVAN RULES THAT WORK.
Change caravan damage to 1d6/level.
Give the caravan +1 to a primary statistic/level.
Repair Action - Repairs equal to the Security check + Caravan level.

I did rolled up some caravan's and tried encounters at all tiers with these changes and it works fine in all of them.

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