Concerned about the Caravan


Jade Regent

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Grand Lodge

I'm starting a Jade Regent campaign in a few weeks, and here is my plan:
use the sneak attack progression for damage dice.
I will be using Hero Points - one use will be to upgrade the base stats of the caravan, by every PC spending a Hero Point.

I'd appreciate feedback from those who have already run the AP.


Benrislove wrote:

...

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.

I really like this. My in-person group just playtested through the caravan section in "The Brinewall Legacy" and we picked up on the flaws right away. I think these "Super Easy" rules are definitely the way to go, not much else needed.

Grand Lodge

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With help from Jason Nelson's post this is what we are doing in our campain. I will update the community on the results of this formula as soon as Hungry Storms is concluded.
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The party will usually have a separate encounter alongside the caravan of the same type of creatures appropriate to the heroes level. To keep them busy and happy and have the caravan and caravan enemy go at the end of the round.

We will use the caravan combat rules as-is. Make no changes there. Instead, re-benchmark the encounters damage based on a CR 4 lower than given which comes out to this. All other stats will stay the same.

CR 6 - Damage 4d4
CR 7 - Damage 3d8
CR 8 - Damage 4d6+2
CR 9 - Damage 8d4
CR 10 - Damage 7d6
CR 11 - Damage 6d8+3
CR 12 - Damage 10d6

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

Damage from the caravan will be 1D6+caravan level. There are feats to take that gives an extra D6 to the damage and can be taken 3 times. The caravan level bonus to damage is adequate for higher levels.

When the encounter is over with the heroes, they can help the caravan by adding 1D6 damage on a sucessful caster level check and the expenditure of a spell that could possibly help or an attack roll against the AC of the caravans enemy.

If the caravan finishes first, the heroes enemies will usually flee and the caravans NPC's can help the heroes out.

Lantern Lodge

Fun I have been currently having is this adventure path was great.... up until the caravan encounters book 3 and beyond, only the first caravan encounter we had we walked away from with no problem... the others we had (1 story, 1 random so far) the caravan was wiped out both times.

The caravan for the PCs I feel does too little damage, while the Caravan for the NPCs (opposition) does ridiculously higher amounts of damage. The DM has allowed us to use the constructs as a total replacement for the normal horses in the caravan by the fact when the caravan gets destroyed the constructs get repaired equally with the caravan repairs. Otherwise we would have never made it over the crown of the world due to consumption.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

See the earlier pages of this thread. Caravan combat simply does not work, because nobody at Paizo had the time to playtest what they had created in actual gameplay. Players have been looking for fixes ever since.

I am very near to completing Night of Frozen Shadows with two groups and am also looking for a good solution to exchange the whole rest of the system ( minus the consumption part, since that seems to work out okay ), meaning security and resolve checks, for something do-able with the normal rules of play. Probably Survival checks and other stuff. As for the combat part, run them as normal encounters, after all those involve everybody, not just two persons rolling some dice.


My advice, if I wanted to discard the caravan combat aspects of Jade Regent, would be to try to design some major encounters where the Major 4 fight alongside the PC's.

I realize this is the 'common' advice but it seems like the best choice for keeping the caravan I would try to use the CR system as a basic guideline as well to keep the encounters in check from an EXP standpoint. Also gives you a chance to give the NPC's some more screen time, which is a good thing.

One downside to discarding the caravan encounter system across the Crown of the World is that it makes things turn into that 5 minute adventure day. One positive thing I've liked about keeping the system is it does require the party feel the strain of travel a bit more than just dumping all their spells and patting themselves on the back. I would try to figure out some way to incorporate this type of 'mechanical fatigue' in some way. Possibly making the DC 25 security check to avoid damage/fatigue while on the high ice do more damage to the wagons, or cause some sort of other cumulative effect? Reduced speed? Cumulative penalties?

I'd want to think on that for a bit.

For those wishing to keep the caravan combat system, here are some suggestions I would make for keeping things moving and enjoyable, here are some quick guidelines that I've used to success with both of my groups. Here are the three rules I've used to help fill in the weak(non mechanical) points of Caravan combat with my groups to keep it 'epic'(by their description).

-Be Descriptive!
Explain to your players the cinematic aspects of having such a combat, it allows your characters to do things and be cool and heroic without being tied down to things like how much damage my bomb does, or how to lineup my fireball perfectly to hit everyone. Think of it like a group improv session with your players where the dicerolls are determining some sort of outcome for a scene.

-Take turns!
The player that has the dice has the 'camera'. When you tell them of whatever great trial and tribulation they are facing this turn urge them to be creative in their solutions. See rule one, give them situations, problems to solve, ect. Then pass the dice and do the next round! This is helpful because caravan turns can be rather short(but should still be descriptive!).

-Reward Creativity
Give ad-hoc bonuses for good roleplay, creative problem solving, or just using plain ol' common sense. This is your key to making it through 'mechanically tough' encounters that you will see throughout book 3 and allow the players to feel like their actions contribute to the overall outcome. Give extra damage dice, give a few points of AC, a few situational bonuses to morale.


Don't know if it was mentioned earlier in this thread, but I really liked the Expanded Caravan Rules from LPJ Design.

I don't have Kingmaker, so I haven't read the originals. But I thought this was pretty nifty.


i just begun with the caravan rules and i have a bunch of questions about:

offense, defense and morale, how do i get those scalling in number?
i mean, it start at 1 point +3 random points...
but how do i make them rise?

for the encounters:

i run a testing caravan encounter, and my players and I decides to split the round in two ways.
1.- caravan round
2.- characters round

first, concerned whats concerned with the caravan (how it moves, damage issues and so), and second, what the players do for help the caravan.

As an example, i set an encounter vs 4 ogres running against the caravan (so, they throw rocks to them, using the chase rules, and the melee players stay waiting for the ogres proximity for attacks as always, and ranged players, set a rain of throwing things against them...)

meanwhile the caravan resolves its own checks, the players rolls for they´re encounter as well... it was much fun, but we still need to figured out how the main caravan´s abilities rise!!

someone?

Shadow Lodge

RAW the only way to do it is with the Improved Caravan feat, which raises three of them by 1. A lot of people (myself included) let the party raise one stat by one point every level, though.


So apparently, people have done the testing on the standard 1 attack per round with more dice caravan combat tweak, but what about variations where the party is taking a more active roll?

I'm scaling up for 6 so I'm going to have to tweak tweaks, but I'm thinking...

- Sneak attack curve for base damage progression

- The choice per character per round pitch people have been tossing about.

- An extra option to directly engage on foot (melee heavy party here), where you can make a regular attack roll/spell casting with all the fixins' but in addition to attacking the caravan, an attack (with massive bonuses) is applied to each directly engaging character in a given round.

- Individual wagon HP tracking (with risk of life and limb to those inside), because the potential 4 regular PC power-attacks will end combat damn quick.

Thoughts?

I'm also working up a real elaborate flavor-packed trade goods variant rule where you still don't really make money, but have mini random encounter type vignettes based on charts of potential specific goods you're hauling. Exotic foods (may spoil/attract animals/boost chef effectiveness), clothing (may be moth-ridden/cursed/enchanted/just look rad), knick-knacks (anything goes), hitchhikers (may pay you, may rob you), angry buyers if you sell bad things to them, some bluff/appraise negotiation/identification. Seems like an easy way to use extra space to just generally spice up play in ultimately harmless fashion.


One thing to fix is the rediculous wages paid to the hirelings. Using the Lodging and services section of Ultimate Equipment, the typical daily pay for a hireling is 1 sp (unskilled) to 3 sp (skilled).

None of the listed caravan hirelings would be considered unskilled. Most should get 3sp per day. Perhaps add 1 sp per day because of the long distance nature of the work and don't dock wages because you provide their meals.

Mercenary warrior (guard) is specifically mentioned as a 3sp per day skilled worker so 100 gp per month is about 10 times too much. I do agree the guard should be paid danger pay, call it 6 sp per day.

The healer should make 7sp per day (nurse base pay) plus something for the travel involved.

Using a 30 day month, most hirelings should make 12 gp per month at 4sp.
The guards and scouts should make 18 gp per month at 6 sp per day.
The healer should make 24 gp per month at 8 sp per day.

Grand Lodge

SnowHeart wrote:

So, I'm looking over the rules for running the Caravan and what was initially a lot of excitement over an interesting idea is turning into concern that it won't be that much fun. I was wondering what others thought and if folks have begun to run this part of the AP for their players yet.

Basically my concern is that for encounters, the caravan is it's own character and it is the only character for the encounter. The PCs don't do anything. So, only one person is rolling for what the caravan does, while the other players just sit around the table and watch. Add to that the somewhat unheroic task of managing calculating resources to get from point a to b, and encounters that don't tie into the story, and... well, I think I'm looking for ideas here to help me brainstorm ways to make it a little more interesting and involved for all of the players. Or am I completely wrong and misunderstand how this is supposed to work?

Ok, I made Some DM/GM excetuive decicions during this caravan period as I felt the same as you. We started the first week and found the caravan/player model boring as hell. So I made some changes the following week. 1) Have a 2 encounters per day system. One in the day and 1 in the night. 2)Anytime the group encounters a fight or Varisan caravan the Players caravan stops. The players get out and fight the attackers but the attackers attack the caravan only. In this way, the players get to use all of their bounuses from the NPC's and they get to fight which is why we are all here right? 3) Healing the caravan can only be done using mend during a fight not after. After the fight the wainright must spend the groups time 1 day and money 10gp 1/2repair unit. 4)Keep track of the days so you can track the distance traveled. It is supposed to take 2 months so that is 112 encounters before getting to Brinewall. I am giving the group the gold from the encounters but no exp as my group is already level 4. I am also letting the group manage the 4 main NPC's but not the others (drivers,cooks...) I consider them non-combatants and they are not part of the fight. I consider them as hiding inside the wagons. If the caravans HP goes down to 0 the group loses all of the NPC's save the main characters. So far it has been a very entertaining way to travel and the players really like the many fights we get into. There is a whole 20 page information set in Ultimate Combat about travel. Ok thats my solution. Have fun with yours.


112 encounters getting to Brinewall?!?
It's supposed to take 16 days with a one in ten chance of an encounter per day.

I rolled a ten-sided dice 16 times and generated no encounters at all. (But I threw in a goblin attack and a bandit attack anyway.)

Grand Lodge

Matthew Downie wrote:

112 encounters getting to Brinewall?!?

It's supposed to take 16 days with a one in ten chance of an encounter per day.

I rolled a ten-sided dice 16 times and generated no encounters at all. (But I threw in a goblin attack and a bandit attack anyway.)

After reading the players guide I saw you were right 16 days but I will still use the same format so it will be 32 encounters. We (the group) like to fight so I will keep it interesting.


Is the AC of a caravan supposed to be that low? Or did I just miss a "base 10" somewhere?


Ed Girallon Poe wrote:
Is the AC of a caravan supposed to be that low? Or did I just miss a "base 10" somewhere?

Yea, as written I believe it is supposed to be that low. Caravan combat is too stacked against the players as you move through the AP. Although I've implemented the 1d6 damage per caravan level fix and also some bonuses in to hit and damage based on spells/actions the players take during caravan combat (to make things a bit more interesting for the players), the low AC is still a problem. I've been thinking of adding a +1 to AC per caravan level above 1st just to get their AC in the same ballpark as the foes they are meeting.

The Exchange

Genth Morstag wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

112 encounters getting to Brinewall?!?

It's supposed to take 16 days with a one in ten chance of an encounter per day.

I rolled a ten-sided dice 16 times and generated no encounters at all. (But I threw in a goblin attack and a bandit attack anyway.)

After reading the players guide I saw you were right 16 days but I will still use the same format so it will be 32 encounters. We (the group) like to fight so I will keep it interesting.

That's 32 random encounters... and the reward for plowing through that is getting to a dungeon crawl? you guys have guts made of iron.

Last time I used a random encounter must have been years ago... in a Serpent's Skull game I think.

Scarab Sages

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Here are the Rules I'll be using (based on combining many of the ideas provided by earlier posters). I'd love any suggestions beyond this:

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

Guard Job: +1 AC or +1 to attack.

Advanced Caravan Jobs: These jobs have a requirement of 6 skill ranks in the relevant skill, ability to cast 3rd level spells, or +6 BAB. All bonuses listed stack with related job (listed in parenthesis)

Chef (Cook): +1 Resolve
Coachman (Driver): +1 to Security checks
Warrior (Guard): +1 to damage rolls
Navigator (Guide): favored terrain (specific): +1 to caravan Security checks while in this type of terrain
Doctor (Healer): while in combat, fast healing 2 to the caravan
Hunter (Scout): favor enemy (specific): +1 to caravan attack, damage, and Security checks vs this creature type
Battle Mage (Spellcaster): gain the benefit of the Advanced Caravan Job you are acting as
Merchant (Trader): may spend 1 additional cargo unit during trade (and gain gold for each cargo unit)
Engineer (Wainwright): make upgrades to caravan while away from a settlement. If this is a Hero, this enables the Battlefield Repair Hero Combat action to repair during a combat.

Masterwork Wagons are available from the start of the adventure (stats are in the last AP)
Masterwork Wagon
Cost: 1,200 GP Hit Points: 40
Traveller Capacity: 6 Cargo Capacity: 6
Limit: None Consumption: 1
Special Benefit: +1 bonus to AC

Caravan attack is now removed, and replaced by the Hero Combat action described below. If no heroes are present, the caravan gets one attack.

Caravan damage increases at the same rate as that of a rogue’s sneak attack extra damage dice. At 1st level, 1d6, at 3rd 2d6, at 5th 3d6 and so on.

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

Hero Combat actions: DC is set to 10 + the encounter level

Attack: The Hero may make a caravan attack against the enemy AC, up to four heroes may take this action.
Defend: The Hero may make a caravan attack roll against DC, to aid the caravan in repulsing the next attack, providing a +2 AC with an additional +1/ 5 points exceeding DC.
Rally: The Hero may use Diplomacy, Intimidate or Magic to rally the caravan against DC, granting a +1 Resolve check, with an additional +1/ 5 points exceeding DC.
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 in the Engineer Advanced Caravan Job can use the appropriate skill to provide the caravan with temporary hp equal to the check result.

Summarized here

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