Treasure value per encounter / Wealth by level question(s) / Emerald Spire.


Rules Questions


So, my players got together and picked up the PDF for The Emerald Spire for me to run for them. Without even asking first, the bums :p . They finally managed to smack around Sartoss and clear level 7 and are about half way into level 6(there's 5 of them). My problem is their WBL seems a bit lower than it should be. They get plenty of RP from the other game I'm running and just wanted a dungeon challenge, so I turned the town into pretty much a repository to sell loot. I took out the quests and used the extra xp/gold they may have gotten and worked it into each level as extra loot or opponents so they don't miss out. So far, they've stripped every level bare and they still seem under-geared. Am I missing something? I don't want to get into a "Monty Haul" situation, but I don't want a TPK because they were undergeared.

Grand Lodge

Well, Emerald Spire, like Paizo's other modules, is designed for a 4 PC party, so they are probably about 25% low, since it is being split 5 ways instead of 4.

Then again, 5 PCs is more powerful (in many ways) than 4 PCs, so it is usually considered something of a wash.

Did you grab the side-quests that actually go into the Spire, as well as the ones that go away from it? I believe there are a few about missing folks, or dealing with certain bosses in the Spire that may help the wealth issue. And you can always throw in something via quest or sidebar, if you want.


Major Spoilers!

Spoiler:

I just finished running that mod last week. We had 6 players. It was crazy. I ran all the creatures at max HP +50% more creatures. The PCs destroyed everything. 2 different levels were completed in one night each. I never knew what levels they should be as they worked their way down. I capped them at 11 and the normal WBL.

The last level only had 4 players due to illness and they still kicked butt. I even ran the "higher" level BBEG minus all the mythic stuff.

The only time they were in danger was the water level and the lava level. The only creature that was a challenge was the Grave Knight.


kinevon wrote:

Well, Emerald Spire, like Paizo's other modules, is designed for a 4 PC party, so they are probably about 25% low, since it is being split 5 ways instead of 4.

Then again, 5 PCs is more powerful (in many ways) than 4 PCs, so it is usually considered something of a wash.

Did you grab the side-quests that actually go into the Spire, as well as the ones that go away from it? I believe there are a few about missing folks, or dealing with certain bosses in the Spire that may help the wealth issue. And you can always throw in something via quest or sidebar, if you want.

I took all of the side quests and the opportunities for extra gold and rolled them into the spire in the form of extra monsters and treasure. They wanted to play it as a "kick down door, kill everything" game. Though they DID talk their way through level 3. Good point about there being 5 players kind of balancing it out. Even then, it still seems a bit low. I guess, my question could be altered to: Do published modules expect the GM to add additional loot according to the Treasure Values per Encounter table? I seem to be running into the same problem with our regular RP game(Wrath of the Righteous).


Komoda wrote:

Major Spoilers!

** spoiler omitted **

(Sorry, forgot I could respond to more than one person in a single post)

I'm running into similar issues with my players, though I haven't really adjusted the encounters. The entire party is comprised of Path of War and Spheres of Power characters as I want to see how they do without me futzing with the encounters. On level 7, last room, at roughly half spell points(they rest between levels), the Warder Leeroy Jenkins'd the room and pulled the CR6 boss and the CR8, 2 CR3's, and 2 CR2 minons(roughly EL12 I think). They got smacked around pretty hard, but they prevailed.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cranky McDuff wrote:
kinevon wrote:

Well, Emerald Spire, like Paizo's other modules, is designed for a 4 PC party, so they are probably about 25% low, since it is being split 5 ways instead of 4.

Then again, 5 PCs is more powerful (in many ways) than 4 PCs, so it is usually considered something of a wash.

Did you grab the side-quests that actually go into the Spire, as well as the ones that go away from it? I believe there are a few about missing folks, or dealing with certain bosses in the Spire that may help the wealth issue. And you can always throw in something via quest or sidebar, if you want.

I took all of the side quests and the opportunities for extra gold and rolled them into the spire in the form of extra monsters and treasure. They wanted to play it as a "kick down door, kill everything" game. Though they DID talk their way through level 3. Good point about there being 5 players kind of balancing it out. Even then, it still seems a bit low. I guess, my question could be altered to: Do published modules expect the GM to add additional loot according to the Treasure Values per Encounter table? I seem to be running into the same problem with our regular RP game(Wrath of the Righteous).

Generally in the AP there is about enough gold and items to get you WBL+20%. At least, that is the value I recall JJ saying, surely it is above what you need to get WBL as they account for missed loot and used consumables.

Single modules generally are way more generous.

Simply WBL at low level is enough for the basic items, not for the extra nice stuff or things like mithral or adamantine equipmment.


WBL is not a hard rule, there are many parties that vary from it.

The real measurement is to look at how well your party is adapting/overcoming encounters. If they're steam rolling them then be cautious about giving them too much more money.

Besides if they do vary too much then you can run some really interesting encounters later.

Grand Lodge

OH, another thing to bear in mind is that Emerald Spire is not designed for the party to level up every level, even though they may get enough XP to do so.

16 levels, expected to be 12th level at the end.

THE EMERALD SPIRE CAMPAIGN wrote:


If you begin in the Tower Ruins with a 1st-level party of PCs, the characters should reach 12th level by the time they reach the Emerald Root. This adventure assumes you are using the fast XP track and a party of four characters. If your group consists of five PCs, they will often be a level behind where they’re expected to be in their progression, but the extra member compensates for that in most encounters. For six or more PCs, increase the number of monsters encountered to keep the expected advancement on track.

Lantern Lodge

Emerald Spire is sanctioned for Society play, so you can always issue chronicle sheets, or use the chronicle sheets as a guide as to what each character is expected to receive from each level.

Grand Lodge

Deadmoon wrote:
Emerald Spire is sanctioned for Society play, so you can always issue chronicle sheets, or use the chronicle sheets as a guide as to what each character is expected to receive from each level.

Not really. The chronicles use PFS Standard module gold, and XP for each level, with a note in the rules for PFS that some levels should be played on Slow mode so you can play the same PC all the way through.

So the PFS chronicle gold amounts are the standard amounts given out in PFS for Level X modules, so 1398 for The Tower Ruins, for example. And teh XP given for PFS is 3, or enough to level for every level.

The only use for the chronicles, for a non-PFS Emerald Spire run would be to point out what unusual items are findable on each level.

Lantern Lodge

kinevon wrote:
Deadmoon wrote:
Emerald Spire is sanctioned for Society play, so you can always issue chronicle sheets, or use the chronicle sheets as a guide as to what each character is expected to receive from each level.

Not really. The chronicles use PFS Standard module gold, and XP for each level, with a note in the rules for PFS that some levels should be played on Slow mode so you can play the same PC all the way through.

So the PFS chronicle gold amounts are the standard amounts given out in PFS for Level X modules, so 1398 for The Tower Ruins, for example. And teh XP given for PFS is 3, or enough to level for every level.

The only use for the chronicles, for a non-PFS Emerald Spire run would be to point out what unusual items are findable on each level.

Right, so you play slow when you're supposed to, to keep with the expected level. PFS does a great job of allowing the GM to not micromanage loot, so you can use it as a model when available.

Actually selling loot and buying it is a waste of table time. Organized play avoids this problem deftly.

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