Party of pre-gens smokes Bone Keep Level 3. woot!


Pathfinder Society


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Hey All,

So I'm a newbie to the Pathfinder Society and got my first couple adventures in at Gen Con. I played the Paths we Choose as a Pregen Level 7 Warpriest and the Bone Keep as a Level 7 Fighter.

I talked a buddy in to playing Bone Keep with me to have him check out Pathfinder. Since it was new for both of us and levels 5-9; we had to use pre-gens.

We were sitting outside waiting for the game to start and I swear at least 30 people came up to us telling us we'd get wiped in 10 minutes and we didn't stand a chance and blah blah blah.

We were rounded up with a group of 6 total. The 6th person decided he didn't want his character he spent 3 years building getting ghosted since the rest of us were using pre-gens.

Welp, we beat the odds soundly. We cleared I think 5 or 6 of 8 rooms with barely a scratch. Actually, I think 1 or 2 of the party weren't touched at all.

Would have liked to have capped the big bad but ran out of time.

All n all, it was annoying to be told by so many people we were wasting our time; but thankfully due to the group and especially our DM Matt, it was a lot of fun and we beat the odds.

Anywho, to all those who played it; how well did you do? Hope everyone had fun. :)

Sovereign Court 3/5

I have ran all 3 parts of this now. None were as deadly as the first one was. The 2nd one was pretty mediocre and the 3rd just didn't feel like it could kill much of anything. The biggest flaw is coming from the maps designs. The 2nd one was a mess and the 1st and 3rd just bottle neck and cause things to boil down to 1v1 encounters most of the time.

5/5 *

Just as a note (not to belittle your accomplishment, this sounds pretty neat), if you were all level 7 in a 5-9 scenario, you were then probably playing in the 5-6 subtier, which is probably quite doable for all level 7's since you are all above the average target party level.

The next subtier is 8-9, which would have probably been a much more greater challenge.

4/5 5/55/55/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Central Europe

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If they were 6 level 7 characters, they should have played 8-9 subtier according to the rules.

4/5

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Nils Janson wrote:
If they were 6 level 7 characters, they should have played 8-9 subtier according to the rules.

Not true. If no one is in the subtier (everyone is level 7 or below for a 5-9), then they can choose to play down instead of whatever APL they get.

Sovereign Court 3/5

Quote:
A party of five to seven characters whose APL is between two subtiers must play the higher tier with the four-character adjustment.

Plus there isn't a 4 party adjustment from what I recall for this scenario.

4/5 5/55/55/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Central Europe

Andrew Roberts wrote:
Nils Janson wrote:
If they were 6 level 7 characters, they should have played 8-9 subtier according to the rules.
Not true. If no one is in the subtier (everyone is level 7 or below for a 5-9), then they can choose to play down instead of whatever APL they get.

That would only be the case in season 0-3 scenarios, in season 4-6 they have to play the higher subtier.

Sovereign Court 3/5

So sounds like theres a bit of confusion on this. I know I ran it at tier 5-6 and my table was basically pregens. I doubt that its the last time a Bonekeep 3 table is made up of pregens so it would be nice to be certain what we throw at them exactly.

4/5

Yes. It seems bad that a party of (1) level 5 and (4) level 7 pregens should play up in Bonekeep 3.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Tennessee—Memphis

Makes me wonder what kind of tactics the GM used in a couple rooms. I know at my table, had it not been for the 30+ armor classes that seemed to be standard at the table, I likely would have TPKed in 2 rooms (playing the 8-9 tier). Pregens with 20-25 armor classes would have dropped pretty hard. And I know I didn't run the tactics as brutal as I should have.

5/5

Andrew Roberts wrote:
Yes. It seems bad that a party of (1) level 5 and (4) level 7 pregens should play up in Bonekeep 3.

It may seem bad, but unfortunately, by the Guide that is what should happen, as stated by Nils above.

Guide wrote:

Starting with Season 4, scenarios are designed for six

characters and contain instructions on how to adjust the
scenario for four-character parties. When the APL of a table
is between two subtiers (like APL 3 for a Tier 1–5 scenario),
a party of four characters must play the lower tier without
any adjustments for party size. A party of five to seven
characters whose APL is between two subtiers must play
the higher tier with the four-character adjustment.

While there may be no 4 person adjustment, that would not negate the rest. Bonekeep's supposed to be extra hard.

3/5

Andrew Roberts wrote:
Yes. It seems bad that a party of (1) level 5 and (4) level 7 pregens should play up in Bonekeep 3.

7 x 4 + 5 = 33

33 / 5 = 6.6

If I had this five player table, I would have run it with the lower subtier as there is no 4-player adjustment in Bonekeep 3.

5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Swiftbrook wrote:
Andrew Roberts wrote:
Yes. It seems bad that a party of (1) level 5 and (4) level 7 pregens should play up in Bonekeep 3.

7 x 4 + 5 = 33

33 / 5 = 6.6

If I had this five player table, I would have run it with the lower subtier as there is no 4-player adjustment in Bonekeep 3.

According to the APL and subtier rules in the Campaign Guide you don't have the option to run it at the lower subtier. They average 6.6 which rounds to 7, and bumped up to subtier 8-9 because of 5 players. The option to play down is only available in season 0-3 scenarios, and Bonekeep 3 is a season 6 release.

Since there isn't a 4man adjustment in Bonekeep they would have to play the full power 8-9 subtier.

4/5

Sniggevert wrote:
While there may be no 4 person adjustment, that would not negate the rest. Bonekeep's supposed to be extra hard.

Just because Bonekeep is supposed to be hard doesn't mean that people should get hammed over by the APL rules. It's supposed to be hard for *level-appropriate* characters for that subtier, not just for people who happen to fall into an unfortunate calculation of APL. The same thing can happen in any scenario.

3/5

Brian Lefebvre wrote:
Swiftbrook wrote:
Andrew Roberts wrote:
Yes. It seems bad that a party of (1) level 5 and (4) level 7 pregens should play up in Bonekeep 3.

7 x 4 + 5 = 33

33 / 5 = 6.6

If I had this five player table, I would have run it with the lower subtier as there is no 4-player adjustment in Bonekeep 3.

According to the APL and subtier rules in the Campaign Guide you don't have the option to run it at the lower subtier. They average 6.6 which rounds to 7, and bumped up to subtier 8-9 because of 5 players. The option to play down is only available in season 0-3 scenarios, and Bonekeep 3 is a season 6 release.

Since there isn't a 4man adjustment in Bonekeep they would have to play the full power 8-9 subtier.

Hrm. Doesn't the guide say that they must play up with the 4 person adjustment? If so, it would seem like the guide's rules really don't apply correctly either way. You can't play down AND you can't play up with a 4-player adjustment.... so a call has to be made. I think that really this sounds like a fault in the scenario. It should explicitly state how to handle this otherwise impossible situation. Now whether the solution is "the 4-person adjustment is the same as the full-power scenario" or "for this scenario such parties may play down" I really don't know or care. But it should state it with the scenario.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Swiftbrook wrote:
Andrew Roberts wrote:
Yes. It seems bad that a party of (1) level 5 and (4) level 7 pregens should play up in Bonekeep 3.

7 x 4 + 5 = 33

33 / 5 = 6.6

If I had this five player table, I would have run it with the lower subtier as there is no 4-player adjustment in Bonekeep 3.

I believe I was the GM at this table, and that is exactly the judgement call I made. There was no 4 player adjustment, they were all playing pregens, and had started playing Pathfinder that con. I will say that this was an awesome table and one of the most fun I had at the Gencon. They learned fast, and had great attitudes, and I never expected to laugh so much running Bonekeep.

The pregen characters were:

Paladin x2
Fighter
Skald
Arcanist

Through a combination of skill and dumb luck they made it through 5 of 8 rooms. (If you are familiar with the scenario, they turned right in the front room.) They read their character sheets, and used all the gear and abilities on them, and the ACG pregens are noticably better than the older ones. In one case, a player remembered how to deal with a hazard from D&D. In another case, a full attack from a bad guy that would have killed one of them rolled 1,1,1,2.

They played smart, used teamwork, and earned their success with a little luck. They paid attention to every resource on their character sheets. If they were experienced pathfinders, I might have turned up the time pressure a bit and that would have caused them to make more mistakes. If these guys came back with their own characters after a year of PFS, I know they would take the place apart.

The next room would have really taken a toll on them and the last encounter would absolutely have destroyed what was left.


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Thrawn007 wrote:
Makes me wonder what kind of tactics the GM used in a couple rooms. I know at my table, had it not been for the 30+ armor classes that seemed to be standard at the table, I likely would have TPKed in 2 rooms (playing the 8-9 tier). Pregens with 20-25 armor classes would have dropped pretty hard. And I know I didn't run the tactics as brutal as I should have.

Actually, the DM critted several times. The party was 2 paladins, a fighter (played by yours truly), a skald, and a wizard.

AC's weren't that great but Hit points were I think 60+. We all were rolling quite well on saving throws as well.

Don't want to mention any possible spoilers, but we went to the right after first room. Probably would have had a harder time had we gone left. Which I normally do; due to playing the old school dnd days where the treasure always seemed to be left. hahaha. But I was too busy stuffing my fat face full of chips and beef jerky to say anything. hahaha. :)


Matthew Smith wrote:
Swiftbrook wrote:
Andrew Roberts wrote:
Yes. It seems bad that a party of (1) level 5 and (4) level 7 pregens should play up in Bonekeep 3.

7 x 4 + 5 = 33

33 / 5 = 6.6

If I had this five player table, I would have run it with the lower subtier as there is no 4-player adjustment in Bonekeep 3.

I believe I was the GM at this table, and that is exactly the judgement call I made. There was no 4 player adjustment, they were all playing pregens, and had started playing Pathfinder that con. I will say that this was an awesome table and one of the most fun I had at the Gencon. They learned fast, and had great attitudes, and I never expected to laugh so much running Bonekeep.

The pregen characters were:

Paladin x2
Fighter
Skald
Arcanist

Through a combination of skill and dumb luck they made it through 5 of 8 rooms. (If you are familiar with the scenario, they turned right in the front room.) They read their character sheets, and used all the gear and abilities on them, and the ACG pregens are noticably better than the older ones. In one case, a player remembered how to deal with a hazard from D&D. In another case, a full attack from a bad guy that would have killed one of them rolled 1,1,1,2.

They played smart, used teamwork, and earned their success with a little luck. They paid attention to every resource on their character sheets. If they were experienced pathfinders, I might have turned up the time pressure a bit and that would have caused them to make more mistakes. If these guys came back with their own characters after a year of PFS, I know they would take the place apart.

The next room would have really taken a toll on them and the last encounter would absolutely have destroyed what was left.

Thank ya sir. It was great fun playing. haha. I only wish we did have more time to try out those last 2 fights; that would have been a lot more challenging.

All in all; I look forward to playing again. Now to decide on what I want my 1st level actual character to be! weeeeeeee! :)

The Exchange 3/5

bonekeep 3 is a cakewalk. i ran it for 5 level 8-9, and they won it before even going in, based on the buffs they decided to put on themselves. i have a level 7 that could solo the whole thing.

that being said, i recognize how hard it is to balance a high tier adventure. if you make it hard enough to actually be a challenge for a team of 6 optimized characters, it will completely destroy a table of 6 unoptimized characters. the variance in power between character builds becomes bigger and bigger as people get higher level. it becomes just save vs death for most people, and if they are built well the same goes for the bbeg. the best way to accommodate these differences is environmental effects, more bad dudes, and/or traps, but those all just bog down encounters, and make them harder to run.

The Exchange 4/5

3 was by far the easiest of the bonekeep's. between 1 and 2 I think it's closer, though it did come down to 1 character with really high AC laughing at the monsters in both 2 and 3

1/5

We played Bone Keep 1 at U-Con earlier this month and--today--
we are playing the 2nd part. We are all level 7,
except 1 5th or 6th now.
The first one was a blast (not scared!) and I am really looking forward to today's!

4/5 *

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Bonekeep doesn't have a 4-player adjustment, but the rest of the rules still stand - you play the subtier the Guide tells you to. At least, that's what Mike Brock told us when we ran it at our con last year.

The Exchange 4/5 5/5

I don't agree with all the "cakewalk even with pregens" comments. I have GMed all 3 Bonekeeps and my record in all of them is nearly identical despite having completely different players each time.

-Party of 6
-2 pregens
-low tier
-2 deaths, 3 rooms complete, the other 4 run away (this was the result in each of the 3 scenarios!)

I will say that it completely depends on how your GM runs the scenario. From convention travel I have discovered that our local area has one of the most. . . accepting. . . attitudes toward character deaths (they happen, it's part of the PFS experience). Elsewhere I've been a player when a 3-star GM bragged about how he'd never killed a character and GMed for a player who *quit the convention* when the BBEG killed his level 7 character (yes, he had the prestige for a raise).

For each of the Bonekeeps at GenCon I wandered the room a bit after my players escaped with their tatters of dignity. I saw several "softballs" being lobbed when it came to monster tactics in various rooms. Deliberately not flanking a PC was a very common one. At another convention I talked to a lot of the GMs who ran Bonekeep (this convention was doing one table a slot) and some of them told me they had pulled punches to avoid killing characters - especially in the first 3 or so rooms.

I'm not saying this is the norm or that Bonekeep is impossible (my own well-tuned party triumphed with a lethal GM with only one death in Part 3) but the experience can be a lot more deadly than many of the commenters make out.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

Way to go woganator! I'm glad your PFS experience was outstanding.

Kudos to Matthew for running what sounds like an awesome table!

Dark Archive 4/5

Bonekeep 3 really was not that hard with prior preparation and understanding of what you have come up against in the earlier bonekeeps

The boss was solid but due to a well timed combo from me and the Paladin combining a Litany of Righteousness with a Imbued Aura + Crit from a Scythe Wielding Barbarian on the final boss (after hitting him hard earlier but leaving him quite comfortable on his HP pool).

We had a Sacred Shield Paladin for the litany, LG Cleric of iomedae with 6 scrolls of heal (me to give the Barbarian a good aura so he can benefit from litany), Barbarian and a Wizard. Yes we had a 4 player party but honestly 4 players really does not matter in this one and 6 would be overkill

The problem of course is that the first Bonekeep had the advantage of using stuff PC's had not seen before, the second one had a few new things the third basically just reused elements of 1 and 2 with a few small things that PC's are supposed to be prepared for.

Tactics Quite a few Spoilers hence the Spoiler Tag:

Enervate was never going to be effective against a party of 9th level PC's as we were all immune to it due to communal Spell immunity it is the most overused 4th level spell for NPC's, the other spell chosen was Confusion (I dont recall that one ever coming up).

Mass Hold person was a moderate issue, but due to me as the cleric being under freedom of movement and having 5 scrolls of remove paralysis (in a bag of holding just containing useful scrolls, and 6 PoP 1's) we had very little issue dealing with the condition

Green Slime is countered by Fire (which we dealt with using a 9d6 fireball (which the GM decided pretty much would destroy the whole lot), Restoration fixed up the Barbarian after the fight as he was the only one hit.

The Rogues were a moderate annoyance, the wizard was tossing up using his obscuring mist, but their damage was too low to drop the barbarian and their to hit too low to hit anyone else.

The Rat Demons were from Bonekeep 1 so people had already prepared adequate defences against them.

The brain spiders were much the same as Bonekeep 2 just fewer in number and easy to deal with

Black Tentacles was beaten with Liberating Command abuse (Delay till just after NPC caster, Cast LC as a swift, draw Pearl as a move activate Pearl as a Standard, end turn, Cast LC as a Immediate taking my swift from next round to give the PC 2 chances to escape at a +18 for no action on his part)

Magic Circle negated the greater command (as the room is too small to spread out)

Remove fear negated the Mummies fear auras, and no one failed against mummy rot.

Grand Lodge 1/5

I've seen these Bone Keep outcomes:

Group 1 - Cleared 5/9 rooms then fled with 2 deaths, carrying the bodies.

Group 2 - Cleared 5/9 rooms then ran out of time. No deaths, quite, but several close calls.

Group 3 - Cleared 9/9 rooms with time on the clock and resources to spare. We started with two very clever totally awesome all-day buffs, which helped immensely. No one was ever in serious danger of death, but I still won't say it was easy. Teamwork was excellent. Sixth level Rodinia got several personal bests: a total of 24 AoOs in one scenario; twice ran out of AoOs; in a single combat round got 11 attacks (all 7 AoOs and 4 hasted full attacks), all of which hit and inflicted total 189 HP on 5 foes, killing all of them.

Dark Archive 5/5

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woganator wrote:
We cleared I think 5 or 6 of 8 rooms with barely a scratch.

so you didnt smoke anything....

you made it almost to the end...
show me a party of pre gens who beats it in the time limit..and i will be impressed..

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