Rise of the Runelords with two PCs - help with balancing?


Advice


So I already know that this is HIGHLY inadvisable, but me and my friend kind of have a vision here. We want to take an unorthodox approach to the Rise of the Runelords AP.

What I have is one PC with his sidekick, a DMPC(me). I also have a couple of other NPCs with class levels prepared to jump in and out based on need, though my goal here is to have my one PC be the main hero with a small supporting cast. So, I'm hoping for some advice on balancing the game. We don't really expect to win this thing by any stretch, but we want to make it through at least a chapter or two and have some fun.

So far, I have my player as a Paladin. I figured I could give him some buffs (25 point buy stats, an extra feat or two, extra gold for starting equipment, and am considering a lower level magic item or two). His sidekick will be my character - a Druid that will be doing a fair amount of summoning to help deal with hordes as well as some crowd control spells. I'll also have the Druid pretty tricked out, but not to the same extent as the Paladin. I also figured I'd go through encounters in my prep and adjust them as necessary. Maybe remove a goblin or two here and there, etc.

As neither of us are the most experienced players, can anybody help me figure out if I'm on the right path here?

Thanks in advance!


Okay so I'm actually doing this. The pcs are gestalt though, which helps a little there.

One thing I plan to do is less 'to death' fights. Most things run if injured.

Also, reduce the overall number of creatures in fights that have multiple.

Spoilers for the RotR game:
Fight 1: Reduce to two goblins in the first part, and to 1 warchanter and one goblin in the next part. 605, 302xp for each pc.

Fight 2:Keep the ranger and the dog, axe the three hanger-ons.
That's 600/300xp.

Subevent 1: The skeletons are fine. Keep them as they are. 270/135xp.

Subevent 2: I personally find this scene awkward as f&#!, and will be replacing it with something. Either way, the fight is fine as is.
600/300xp, or 800/400xp depending.

Subevent 3: Keep it as-is. 600/300xp.

Subevent 4: This is roleplaying xp. Keep as-is for 400/200xp.

Glass: There's two groups to be had here. The goblins and Tsuto. Since, in all likelyhood, the party is still level 1, 8 goblins + the monk will crush them completely. Just the 8 goblins will be very dangerous. I suggest keeping only 4 of them, and even then, make sure that they don't encounter the goblins together with Tsuto.

The glassworks is one of the harder fights of this adventure path - you can really tell that it was supposed to have been used with the 3.5e xp system, which had them level up before the glassworks fight.

I do believe you can keep Tsuto as-is, but you have to make sure he's encountered alone. If you want to have him in a fight with backup, he should be de-leveled to monk 1/rogue 1, which I honestly think would be a bit of a shame.

4 goblins and Tsuto makes 1205/602xp total, so could level up after that, even if they don't screw up the story awards they could have gotten so far. The adventure also adds 1200xp in there to make sure it happens that way, which I suggest you award unaltered.

In the long view, they get extra treasure and xp for running with less people, so in theory you should be able to turn down the amount of 'help' you give them more and more over time. But keep aware that having multiple creatures is abnormally dangerous for a two-person party.


I've heard mention of gestalt and get the general idea of it, but maybe I should take a closer look at it. I see it suggested in a lot of threads like this.


Honeslty in all of my groups games we've gotten rid of exp we just follow the progression of what Lvl the party/pcs should be at X point


Declindgrunt wrote:
Honeslty in all of my groups games we've gotten rid of exp we just follow the progression of what Lvl the party/pcs should be at X point

Normally that's the right thing to do, but for very small parties tallying XP might be a good idea because they'll level slightly faster than expected with the XP split fewer ways which offsets the lack of warm bodies. Just don't award separate XP. Everyone needs to have the same XP even if one of the PCs is dead when it's awarded because Pathfinder doesn't have the elastic effect 3.5 does.


Just follow the AP level wise, you will have NPCs with you? Amieko is in there so that's one NPC with them, along with a few others that I can't think of there names also.


Thanks for all your help, fellow adventurers! I've been considering the idea of starting the PCs at level 2 or 3 instead of level 1. Does anybody have experience with this?

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