AP XP Question


Jade Regent


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ok,

So I've never run any Paizo APs (down in front, muzzle, muzzle!). My GM is currently running Jade Regent, and we're having some confusion.

Per James Jacobs, XP in the AP should be split up. However, we're at the point where the AP says we should be mid 2nd level, with 5 players. However, we're at about 5100 xp total, which pins us at 1100 xp total, and the GM is sure we haven't missed much XP along the way.

James Jacobs Creative Director Aug 29, 2012, 04:10 PM wrote:


All XP awards earned in Pathfinder adventures should be split evenly among the party.

We've experimented once with individual awards at the start of Skull & Shackles, and in that case we specifically said "these awards should not be split up."

In all other cases, the assumption is that all XP earned in a Paizo published adventure is split evenly among the characters.

So, what are we missing? One thought was that we were 5 instead of 4, but that would still leave us way short of being 'well into 2nd level' as indicated by the AP.

The other option we thought up was that Story Arc XP was straight to each player (IE: 800 for story arc was 800 per person). However, that seems to be contradicted by JJ's quote above.

Anyone offer some insight?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally I just dont use XP in AP's anymore. The AP tells me where the party should level up. Thats where they level up.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:
Personally I just dont use XP in AP's anymore. The AP tells me where the party should level up. Thats where they level up.

Thanks, but the GM likes XP, and I'm not the GM. :)

Also, I don't have the AP, so it's hard for me to check the numbers. Thus my asking on here.

Hopefully someone with actual feedback will respond.

Paizo Employee

Sometimes the amount of XP in the APs is not quite enough to get PCs to the "expected" level without some additional encounters. A few more encounters (random or otherwise) is usually enough to close the gap.In general, the APs have a random encounter chart in the front of the Bestiary at the back of each part with some reasonable encounters. Another resource you could refer your GM are the Legendary Games plug-in adventures.

This one in particular is designed for 2nd level Jade Regent PCs:
Adventure Here

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also running Jade Regent right now (just finished Book 1) so maybe I can help.

First APs are designed with 4 players in mind.

That being said if you are using the CR Chart: http://paizo.com/PRD/gamemastering.html

It shows you should be awarding the same XP per player for a 4.
Are you dividing by 5 or using the chart where it shows 4 & 5 players?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Marie wrote:

Sometimes the amount of XP in the APs is not quite enough to get PCs to the "expected" level without some additional encounters. A few more encounters (random or otherwise) is usually enough to close the gap.In general, the APs have a random encounter chart in the front of the Bestiary at the back of each part with some reasonable encounters. Another resource you could refer your GM are the Legendary Games plug-in adventures.

This one in particular is designed for 2nd level Jade Regent PCs:
Adventure Here

Ah, ok, so the AP assumes that there will be random encounters then? She doesn't have much experience with APs, and I think maybe she assumed only the listed encounters were supposed to be there.


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Pretty much all APs assume that the GM will do a certain amount of adjusting, random encounters, sidequests, on-the-fly additions, etc.

The notes about "PCs should be level X at point Y" are general guidelines, I think, not intended as absolute commands. It's more "the PCs should be this powerful before running into these encounters."

The only time I had a GM try to run an AP exactly as written it was not particularly successful. This may have been more of a GMing issue than a adventure design one, however.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nope the AP does not assume random encounters.

Jade Regent assumes 4 characters using Medium progression.

Did you guys hit every encounter (not random ones) in the swamp?

I know for my 4 person table I used the Chart I referenced above and divided the Story awards by 4 and it came out fine.

Again don't divide by 4 (or 5) as some of the lower CR monsters award more XP than if you divided.


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Yar. Remember, APs are designed with a 4 man party in mind, so that's how the XP is allotted. If you have 5 there needs to be some random encounters in there, or simply leveling when the little blurb says you should.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Hmm, we did get all the encounters, per the GM.

SpOIlErS:

Rescued Ranger in old House
Goblin Village
Goblin Chief
Spider in Cave
Undead Skeletons
Undead Samurai
Salvaged Wrecked Ship
Found Barkeep's Mom's Skeleton
Told Barkeep about history

Something we did the AP didn't expect was to use 'restore corpse' to put the flesh back on the skeletons (including the Samurai) in order to identify them. :) Helped us a bunch.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks like you missed some actually.
I'm putting it in spoilers so you can decide if you should look or tell your GM to look

Encounters - Spoiler:

Ranger in house - Did you get both the Kill & the story award

Goblins - Did you get the goblin story award?

Soggy River Monster isn't listed.

Dire Rats & Skitterfoot aren't listed.

Giant Amoeba in cave isn't listed.

Here is my record of all the encounters with the XP set for 4.

Volorog - 150
Warden Story Award - 150
Goblins - 525
Goblin Chief - 150
Goblin Story Award - 200
Soggy River Monster - 150
Dire Rats - 105
Skitterfoot - 150
(Shipwreck) Human Skeleton - 105
Giant Spider - 100
Giant Amoeba - 100
Human Skeletons - 600
Tsutamu - 200
Adv1 Story Award - 300

Total: 2985 xp


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

well the thing is ALL APs assume four players so the GM should adjust encounters accordingly also he or she needs to adjust story awards for the extra player.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yeah; using 5 players will dilute the XP per player, since the total XP awarded is divided by 5 instead of by 4.

That said, having 5 players instead of 4 gives you other advantages over the lack of XP you'd get if you had 4 players!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
LukeM wrote:

Looks like you missed some actually.

I'm putting it in spoilers so you can decide if you should look or tell your GM to look

** spoiler omitted **

Hmm, ok, I'll yell at my GM then. I don't know why she's asking me what she did wrong and telling me we had all the encounters when obviously we didn't. :)

Spoiler:

We chased off the shapeshifter, so that's a defeat, so we got the kill award for him.

Soggy River Monster - 150
Dire Rats - 105
Skitterfoot - 150

EDIT - Oh wait, we did kill the amoeba. Forgot that.

So, that's 405 (edit) xp per person.

Sounds like that might be our missing XP. We're at about 1200 xp, with it being split by 5. Split by 4, we'd be in the 15-16 hundreds.

The Exchange

I'm running this AP as well, and we're in Book 4 currently. I use the medium progression with my group as is usual for APs, but I started with a 6 person party and now have 7 in the group, so some XP adjustments have to be made by making the encounters more challenging...adding more monsters, making them tougher, adding more class levels, etc.

The awards in the AP are for 4 person party. So, Encounter XP (and CR!) should be adjusted, Story Awards should be adjusted, etc.
If a story award says 1600 XP, that's 400 per person. So award 2000 for your 5 person group, which gives 400 each.
If the CR of an encounter is say, 4, 1200 XP, you want to increase that by 25% because of your 5th person. So you need to add 300 XP of monster toughness (by numbers or templates or something). That might be tough to do each encounter, so maybe you adjust every other one by a little more. It will require more prep. if you have a GM that can't or chooses not to do that on the fly. Personally, I do the prep. I want to make sure the templates are properly applied and the XP awarded is what is needed.

Before I run the book I have to go through the encounters and awards one by one and add up the XP and compare that to where the PCs are (I track their XP not them)
In book 1 of Jade Regent, there are not enough planned encounters to progress from level 2 to level 3 - that entire level depends on random overland encounters. As stated before, there are some really excellent "Adventure Path Plug-Ins" by Legendary Games, and one of them covers this issue, and has a mini-campaign/adventure to run on the way to the group's destination called "the road to destiny"
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8zyt?Road-to-Destiny
They have another one designed to run between book 2 and book 3 called "The Baleful Coven", and another one designed to run in the middle of book 3 called "Under Frozen Stars".
The first one did not come out in time for me to include it, and I modified Baleful Coven to run during book 4 by heavily increasing all the encounters, again, because it came out too late for me to run in the correct place.
I've enjoyed running the plug-ins though, they do have good story elements that play into the NPCs and events in the main AP. They are not expensive and have a good production value.

After every book, I total up the XP of the PCs and compare it to the programmed XP in the next book. Then I start adjusting encounters so that the party's average XP will be where they need to be.
With the increases added from the extra Plug-ins, my group has reached 11th before they are supposed to, and so I'm further increasing the CRs of encounters by 1 before adjusting for a 7 person party, until the adventure catches up to them.
I'm further planning on using the Mythic rules but not sure if I want to add them in book 4 or wait until book 6.

Its a lot of work to basically redesign every encounter, but I don't mind. I want to challenge my group - they're very experienced gamers and can create quite powerful PCs - and the campaign will feel that much more Epic.

The Exchange

Also the relationship awards I found are to be divided equally, and not awarded to each person individually, which I thought was odd.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just level them at the appropiate places, the whole relationship rules thing is just slightly less horribly implemented as the caravan rules.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Just level them at the appropiate places, the whole relationship rules thing is just slightly less horribly implemented as the caravan rules.

Again, not really useful as I'm the *player* not the GM, neh?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Chernobyl wrote:


In book 1 of Jade Regent, there are not enough planned encounters to progress from level 2 to level 3 - that entire level depends on random overland encounters. As stated before, there are some really excellent "Adventure Path Plug-Ins" by Legendary Games, and one of them covers this issue, and has a mini-campaign/adventure to run on the way to the group's destination called "the road to destiny"
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8zyt?Road-to-Destiny
They have another one designed to run between book 2 and book 3 called "The Baleful Coven", and another one designed to run in the middle of book 3 called "Under Frozen Stars".
The first one did not come out in time for me to include it, and I modified Baleful Coven to run during book 4 by heavily increasing all...

We're at the castle, and we're honestly not too far from hitting 3 (about 1200xp), so we should level up shortly into the castle.

I'll point this link out (and the post) to my GM however, thanks for the pointers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
mdt wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Just level them at the appropiate places, the whole relationship rules thing is just slightly less horribly implemented as the caravan rules.
Again, not really useful as I'm the *player* not the GM, neh?

Then just pass along what I said to your GM, after all you are asking for advice on XP allotment, right?


Couple options we have used in the past have been the "level when AP says to level", level when DM says to level (because they seem to know best what is coming and what they think we can handle), fast and dirty adjustments per encounter (for simple ones) was to maximize HP on mobs and in your case would be to divide XP by 4 and give that amount to all 5 players (1k xp for encounter divided by 4 = 250 per player). Another fast and dirty using the same math as above is to add another mob (from say 4 to 5) in the encounter.

Honestly we look at XP as "experience", what did your character learn from the last fight? your group? even, your GM? The numbers and levels are just there as a guide, you can min max them all you want but the end result is supposed to be fun. So my advice is suggest the GM do what they feel comfortable doing, and as a group work with what they come up with.

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