Carrion Crown: # of PCs and Experience


Carrion Crown

Liberty's Edge

Hi

I suspect this has been asked many times before (but I've not managed to find it!) but how many PCs is this AP designed for?

I've built an XP tracker in Excel and loaded all the monsters/etc they encounter and I cannot make it work out so that they meet the guidelines in the module. To whit:

HofH pp7 wrote:
“The Haunting of Harrowstone” assumes the medium experience point track, detailed on page 30 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Characters should be 1st level when they begin the adventure. The PCs should be nearing 2nd level before they attempt to venture into Harrowstone itself, achieving 3rd level before they delve too far into the dungeons below Harrowstone. By the adventure’s conclusion, when they exit the prison, the PCs should have reached 4th level.

I am liable to have 6 or 7 PCs playing this AP and I want to know if I have to scale the encounters up to provide a challenge to them and, if I do, what is the recommended approach.

Thanks

Taz

PS Has anyone complied a set of paper minis for Carrion Crown?


All APs are designed with a party of four characters in mind. This is pretty much the standard party size.

If you wish to scale up or down, use a four person party as a baseline.

To my knowledge there is not compiled set of paper miniatures for Carrion Crown, nor are there any traditional pewter miniatures. I suspect (and hope) that at least the latter will change in the future.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Four PC's, 15 point buy. That's the standard assumption for AP's. I always play with five players, which makes it a good bit easier for them. They ROFLstomped every encounter today, although some of them had very entertaining mechanics.


Steve 'Taz' Cansdale wrote:

Hi

I suspect this has been asked many times before (but I've not managed to find it!) but how many PCs is this AP designed for?

I've built an XP tracker in Excel and loaded all the monsters/etc they encounter.

PS Has anyone complied a set of paper minis for Carrion Crown?

Would you mind sharing the experience tracker?

I'll second the question about paper minis for Carrion Crown. That would be a great resource.


I also use Excel for Kingmaker (which is fairly simple to set up). However in CC, with two gestalt PCs, I'm using a modified version of SKR's step system and dropping XP all together. If I had a larger party I'd likely use that there too.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for the responses...

So, FOUR PCs on the MEDIUM XP track... Okay... Well, I reworked my XP Tracker and, even with the assumption they make EVERY research DC before moving towards Harrowstone, then the numbers still do not work out...

When they reach 2nd level:
My calculations show that they don't make level 2 on the MEDIUM XP track until after defeating the Giant Stirge (R8)... On the FAST XP track, they make 2nd after Event 1: (Gibs).
which is more in line with the guideline on pp7

So what am I doing wrong??

Also, if I have to scale the encounters up from four to six PCs, any guidelines on how??

Liberty's Edge

Karameikos wrote:

Would you mind sharing the experience tracker?

I'll second the question about paper minis for Carrion Crown. That would be a great resource.

Sure, as soon as I get the last few bugs out, I'll happily post it here...


Part of what I like about running AP's is that you don't have to track XP. Every module tell you what level the party is supposed to be at each milestone. I've switched to purely story awards and it works fine.

Liberty's Edge

Czar wrote:
Part of what I like about running AP's is that you don't have to track XP. Every module tell you what level the party is supposed to be at each milestone. I've switched to purely story awards and it works fine.

Y'know, there's no fool like an old fool... SHEESH! Why didn't I see this before... I can just announce - at the appropriate juncture! ;-) - that they have leveled up. That would solve all sorts of problems.

However, I'd still like to understand how the XP awards *should* work to meet the requirements of the AP...

Liberty's Edge

Karameikos wrote:
Would you mind sharing the experience tracker?

I've worked the kinks out of the XP tracker sheet (it now tells you what level the characters are for all three advancement rates), now how do I post the darned thing up here? :O


I don't think you can embed the file directly into the message boards. I think you need to post somewhere else and then post the link.


well - that being said (story awards) -- if you are running a large group (as I am about to) then maybe the party will be slightly more powerful with this method. Leveling up 4 PC's is less of a power bump than leveling up 6 PC's, and the Xp in the module would have to be spread out more thinly with a smaller group so it stands to reason that the party would be slightly less advanced....

Im running HoH starting this wed - I'll just prolly just level all 6 PC's at the same time (unless a player pisses me off bwahahaha -- everyone level up --EXCEPT you CHRIS) maybe throw a few more centipedes and zombies at them as well. I'm a pretty loose DM when it comes to this kinda stuff. My advice is just to go with what works, and save your self headaches. If your game is fun your players wont mind whatever liberties you take with the RAW.


Just had another thought - The lake that was once the prison graveyard is a source of as many skeles / zombies / undead as you would like.

I have a 6 player group - I'm thinking of having the courtyard overrun with skeletons at any given time to boost XP and provide more challenge.

Shadow Lodge

I started playing HoH and I'm lost with the XP awards...
I seriously don't see my players getting the levels they should have in the time sugested in the AP...


Mmm it seems you need to look this one
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8tgb?The-Murmuring-Fountain

and this one too
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8tgc?The-Fiddlers-Lament

Those are two add ons for the campaign, and work pretty well adding some more xp, and a beutiful plot history.

Sovereign Court

If you're having trouble with XP ditch it. I started using Sean K Reynolds alternate "Step" system for XP. The AP tells you what level the PCs should be by what event in the story.

This way you can pace the adventure the way you want it, can make encounters harder (esp for larger parties), or add side treks in. It ends up working a lot like PFS advancement.

--Vrocky Horor


alternatively, you could increase the effective level of the baddies by 1 point, because that compensates for the extra 2 characters you have in the PC party.

Grand Lodge

I am running this AP with two different groups. One has 7 players that I met through local postings and online. They are running roughshod over the game. I suppose it stems from my lack of willingness to up the difficulty. Of course the majority of them are min maxers so that hurts difficulty as well.

I just hope I resist the urge to start be overly fatal. They do have caromarc coming and I hear some of those encounters chew people up and spit them out. Preparation isnt their thing.


My PCs spent very little time investigating before they hooked onto the Prison as a place to go to check into the death of the professor. While it was quite dangerous, and I was on edge the whole time as I anticipated them diving into a TPK around every corner, I found they managed to play relatively smart (maybe the last time in this campaign :P ) and only ventured through a few of the creepier but not deadly encounters. Early entry into the Prison XP combined with Pharismin Cache, a lonely zombie or 2, investigation XP and so on, and I felt like things went ok in getting the group to level 2.

On a side note, I do everything I can without breaking immersion to get the PCs to level 2 in all my campaigns. When at the lower levels in particular, if they're planning on going someplace too dangerous and still only a few hundred XP short of a level, I jump them up with either a creepy but easy encounter or some flavor/RP bonuses. The level 1 to 2 jump is one of the biggest leaps in survivability, from a purely mechanical perspective, and everyone feels better about it after words.


It would have been nice if less of the treasure was consumables, and more of it was simply gold. That way the party could outfit itself as it needs to, instead of being dictated the process.

For example, not one scroll of magic weapon which is necessary for incorporeals, yet lots of potions and even remnants of wands full of restorative magic that wasn't needed, save the Cures.


Piccolo wrote:
...lots of potions and even remnants of wands full of restorative magic that wasn't needed, save the Cures.

Perhaps not for your players.

My party’s had a rough time with stirges, first when a pair attacked them as they led a rowdy sing-along in the Laughing Demon, then when they stumbled into the Piper’s lair from the executioner’s balcony, leading to them dealing with haunt, skeletons and stirges all at once. They suffered serious constitution drain from blood loss, then one of them contracted filth fever. They also suffered dex drain from the centipedes and strength drain from the spiders. If they hadn’t had the lesser restoration items, they’d have had to spend days resting even with help from the Heal skill--days they felt they couldn’t waste, since I have the Splatterman defiling the monument every night.

If your players would rather have a scroll of Magic Weapon than a potion of Lesser Restoration, nothing’s stopping them from selling the latter and buying the former. I like the treasure selection; someone with a lot of con damage gets pretty excited when the party finds a wand of Lesser Restoration.


I am just saying I would have appreciated more of a balance between the two. RIght now my PC's don't want to sell the items because they'd take a loss (used items are half off for most games).


Piccolo, you might point out that many of the items are got in the course of the adventure, and that from an in-character perspective, 50% of 100gp is still 50gp for free. I personally don't worry too much about low level wealth by equations, as I believe its immersion breaking and takes away from the Role Playing if everyone is checking the chart every time they get a bag of coin. Additionally, nothing will be lost or suffer if you add more treasure (simplest is a hidden bag of gems/coins) in the first 2 books. An AP is more than anything a framework to hang a game on, not a strict codified lesson writ in stone.


Do you happen to know what treasure is in the 2nd book? I sure hope it isn't a repeat of this one, all in consumables and zilch in simple moolah. It's that same gold that is used in buying mithral armor, for example, or other items that players get their hearts set on.

I like to make my players happy by ensuring they get what they want, but they've got to work for it. Makes them feel they've earned it, and thus they value it more.

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