The party have just started book 2, and we have a new player (huzzah!). I'm aware that I have to add some more monsters and max hp, and all that stuff, but how do you calculate xp with an extra player?
I have to give out xp at the end of each session (the players wants it), but I don't want them to be dragging behind the xp progression.
Give out XP as normal. Total up the amount of XP earned, then divide by the number of party members (in this case, 5.) Adding extra mooks should help keep them from falling too far behind one the expected levels. (And if they fall a little behind, it's not the end of the world, as the extra party member will let them take on tougher fights.)
If you feel they're falling too far behind, you can always boost the XP given for the various story awards (or even add some story awards of your own.)
I've been running with larger parties, and not wanting to just give out extra story XP I had to add some material. I'm now up to 11, so I'm sure I'll need to add some more for Book 3 as well. Probably a bit more fighting with the Giants.
Book 2 went pretty much to plan, but Book 1 got some big additions. I added a reverse We Be Goblins (the Goblins had the rockets and were bombarding Sand Point at night), and the party failed to kill the BBE at Thistle top so that one ended up in Magnimar where the party had to track her down in the sewers (canabalized a couple of PFS scenarios involving goblins in Magnimars sewers).
I started book 3 off by adding a side adventure (pulled a PFS scenario into the Gnome Woods on the way to Turtleback). Since reaching Turtleback the party jumped from 6 to 11, so I added some Hill Giants at Fort Rannick and the Dam will have some Hill Giants, A commanding Stone Giant, and more Trolls.
Basically I made it a bigger adventure. The party has spent more time in, and knows Magnimar better than in the original. Also, while not in the PFS, they have assisted them, and so have those contacts as well.
Basically more monsters and more story give you more XP.
I ignore XP. Each chapter of the AP tells you approximately when the players should advance. So, just advance them then. I did that with my group, and after two levels, they loved it. And the players that miss sessions still level as well. Just makes it easier than balancing XP earnings. You have enough to deal with as a GM. Why make your job THAT much harder?
I've got five players, and they're a bit behind where the AP expects them at the moment. They just hit fourth level after clearing out most of Thistletop, so I'm not quite ready to spring Skinsaw Murders on them just yet. Instead, I use the extra time to develop the characters' own personal stories and deal with the repercussions of the AP so far. The Trial of Lyrie Akenja is this week - can't wait to see how that goes!
|Greycloak of Bowness|
I ran through with 6-7 PCs and so had to do a bunch of adjusting on a night by night basis.
With just 5, I would probably do no adjustments at all (save for adding an occasional extra mook to a battle with plenty of mooks present already). Then I would divide the XP as if there were just 4 players and have the PCs be a bit under their wealth by level.
Being a shade poor should balance the extra action economy somewhat and it's way easier on you.