Pregens & APL?


Pathfinder Society

Shadow Lodge 3/5

I've recently heard A LOT of weird rulings on how Pregens should be used when determining APL. I've heard that you simply don't count them AT ALL, you just pick a Pregen for the tier and play. I've also heard that since you're not counting them APL wise that if you have a party of 4 + a Pregen that you play with the 4 player adjustment. Is ANY of this true? I've looked through the guide, FAQ and searched the forums and couldn't find anything to corroborate this. Usually I'm pretty good at finding stuff so I'm kinda questioning these assumptions. If they are true (which is fine by me) can someone point me to where to find said rulings. Thanks!

5/5 5/55/55/5

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A party of 3 (Tom, Marry, Sue)+ a pregen being run by the DM* is a party of 4 and uses the four player adjustment.

A party of 3 (Tom, Marry, Sue) + a pregen being run by Bob is a party of 4 and uses the four player adjustment.

A party of 4 (Tom, Marry, Sue, Billy)+ a pregen being run by Bob is a party of 5. That pregen is no different than any other character

*ostensibly. The dm can hand control over to someone because he's got enough going on as it is, but someone still has their own character in the game isn't tied to the pregen.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

If someone is running a pregen, I will calculate APL twice. The first time is without the pregen, and is used to figure out what level pregen to run. (This keeps someone from running a 4th level pregen in a 1-5 with a bunch of level 2 & 3 characters, and inadvertently pushing the APL to high tier.) The second time is including the pregen, and this is the official calculation used to determine the tier of play.

5/5 5/55/55/5

pH unbalanced wrote:
If someone is running a pregen, I will calculate APL twice. The first time is without the pregen, and is used to figure out what level pregen to run. (This keeps someone from running a 4th level pregen in a 1-5 with a bunch of level 2 & 3 characters, and inadvertently pushing the APL to high tier.) The second time is including the pregen, and this is the official calculation used to determine the tier of play.

Can those ever be different or do we have schrodingers pregen?

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
If someone is running a pregen, I will calculate APL twice. The first time is without the pregen, and is used to figure out what level pregen to run. (This keeps someone from running a 4th level pregen in a 1-5 with a bunch of level 2 & 3 characters, and inadvertently pushing the APL to high tier.) The second time is including the pregen, and this is the official calculation used to determine the tier of play.
Can those ever be different or do we have schrodingers pregen?

No.

You can have situations where the choice of pregen determines the tier. But by doing it this way the pregen reinforces the existing average, instead of changing it, so you always end up the same place you would have been without a pregen.

Scarab Sages 5/5

It's in the guide. On phone app can't copy and paste.

But in a 1 to 5, 1 to 7, and 3 to 7, you determine what subtier you are playing without the pregen, use that level of pregen. Then recalculate as it may change whether 4 player adjustment is being used or not.

In a 5 to 9 or 7 to 11, you have one option, a level 7 pregen, which figures into the inotial APL calculation.

The intent is, pregens should match the subtier being played as closely as possible and should not be used to change the subtier being played.

Scarab Sages 5/5

pH unbalanced wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
If someone is running a pregen, I will calculate APL twice. The first time is without the pregen, and is used to figure out what level pregen to run. (This keeps someone from running a 4th level pregen in a 1-5 with a bunch of level 2 & 3 characters, and inadvertently pushing the APL to high tier.) The second time is including the pregen, and this is the official calculation used to determine the tier of play.
Can those ever be different or do we have schrodingers pregen?

No.

You can have situations where the choice of pregen determines the tier. But by doing it this way the pregen reinforces the existing average, instead of changing it, so you always end up the same place you would have been without a pregen.

Despite that being the intent, a level 7 pregen in a 5 to 9 or 7 to 11 can absolutely change the subtier being played.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Tallow wrote:


Despite that being the intent, a level 7 pregen in a 5 to 9 or 7 to 11 can absolutely change the subtier being played.

Sure, but that's because you don't have a legal pregen in the other subtier, not because of the method.

Scarab Sages 5/5

pH unbalanced wrote:
Tallow wrote:


Despite that being the intent, a level 7 pregen in a 5 to 9 or 7 to 11 can absolutely change the subtier being played.
Sure, but that's because you don't have a legal pregen in the other subtier, not because of the method.

I'm not sure what distinction you are trying to make.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

A time when I think you should figure out subtier first:

A table of 6 players with 4 level 2s and 1 level 3.

Give them a lvl 1 pregen.

Times when I think you should figure out subtier last:

A single player with a lvl 10 character and 3 pregens.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

pH unbalanced wrote:
Tallow wrote:


Despite that being the intent, a level 7 pregen in a 5 to 9 or 7 to 11 can absolutely change the subtier being played.
Sure, but that's because you don't have a legal pregen in the other subtier, not because of the method.

+1

You are supposed to calculate without the pregens, then choose the pregen closest to the tier (preferably inside) to use. Then if the calculation changes which to play (low/high) that is ok. But it is rare.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I calculate APL without Pregens, but I did run into Pirate Rob's instance once where I ran a 7-11 at a Convention with a single Level 11 and three Pregens that the front desk sent me (there had been three actual players signed up but only the one showed).

For that game, we played Tier 7-8. But I treat that as the excpetion, not the rule.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Tallow wrote:

It's in the guide. On phone app can't copy and paste.

But in a 1 to 5, 1 to 7, and 3 to 7, you determine what subtier you are playing without the pregen, use that level of pregen. Then recalculate as it may change whether 4 player adjustment is being used or not.

In a 5 to 9 or 7 to 11, you have one option, a level 7 pregen, which figures into the inotial APL calculation.

The intent is, pregens should match the subtier being played as closely as possible and should not be used to change the subtier being played.

I can find no such rule in the guide. The closest thing to a rule about pregen levels is this:

S8 Guide p. 11 wrote:

Roleplaying Guild Scenarios are designed so that players of a variety of levels can participate in a given adventure together. Every scenario has a tier range and many have associated subtiers. Tiers indicate which character levels are legal for that scenario. If a PC’s level does not fall within the tier, that character cannot legally play in that scenario.


  • Tier 1 (no subtier)
  • Tier 1–2 (no subtier)
  • Tier 1–5 (Subtiers 1–2 and 4–5)
  • Tier 1–7 (Seasons 0–2 only, Subtiers 1–2, 4–5, and 6–7)
  • Tier 3–7 (Subtiers 3–4 and 6–7)
  • Tier 5–9 (Subtiers 5–6 and 8–9)
  • Tier 7–11 (Subtiers 7–8 and 10–11)
  • Tier 12+ (Seeker Content; Subtiers 12–13, 14–15, and 16+)

Within each tier, PCs or pregenerated characters should be used in the subtier in which they fall whenever possible, but they may be adjusted up or down, based on the average party level at the table, as outlined below. For scenarios with more than two subtiers, characters must be in adjacent subtiers to play together.

That passage can be interpreted really fanatically or taken as a "please y'all try to be in the same subtier m'kay?".

Note that it's drawing a distinction: you MUST be in-tier, and SHOULD be in-subtier.

If you're a fanatic you can read that as saying someone should rather grab a pregen than play an out of tier PC, but I don't think that's right or the intent. It would be particularly cruel if someone really wants to play a trilogy with the same PC but the subtier for the last part gets messy and they can't complete it on a puritanical technicality.

---

For pregens it's usually much easier to pick a pregen close to the subtier. Jut calculate

A) What would the subtier be if we used low-tier pregens
B) What would the subtier be if we used high-level pregens

The result that has the most characters in-subtier or close to it, is the desirable choice.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I can find no such rule in the guide. The closest thing to a rule about pregen levels is this:

That's because (as you pointed out) it doesn't actually say what they're implying. That may have been the intent, but the wording has never matched that intent.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

EDIT:

Looking over the turnover, it appears that what is in the guide is what we sent them.

But the intent is certainly that the pregen level should equal the sub-tier being played whenever possible.

If you do the math, it is impossible for the pregen to play out of sub-tier in a 1-5 or a 3-7 scenario.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Andrew Christian wrote:

EDIT:

Looking over the turnover, it appears that what is in the guide is what we sent them.

But the intent is certainly that the pregen level should equal the sub-tier being played whenever possible.

If you do the math, it is impossible for the pregen to play out of sub-tier in a 1-5 or a 3-7 scenario.

Well pregen selection happens before APL calculation.

But I agree that it's always possible to select a pregen in a 1-5 or 3-7 so that it'll be in-tier. You just calculate the outcomes of both choices and then take the choice that lands correctly.

I'm interested to hear how strongly you meant the "should play in subtier" bit, both for PCs and pregens - the text in the Guide is wide open to interpretation. As written the rule would apply equally strongly to PCs and pregens.

For example: most people in our area would agree that it's undesirable for a high-tier PC to play in a low-tier game, because it can make things too easy. Playing up is seen as risky/reckless but doesn't have this stigma. And (although we'd mention the possibility), we would not push people to play a pregen if they had no PC in the correct subtier.

In fact most games involve at least one PC that's not precisely in-tier, although the far end of the pool is unusual.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Well pregen selection happens before APL calculation.

I disagree.

That should only happen in corner case scenarios, such as the one I mentioned up thread.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Nefreet wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Well pregen selection happens before APL calculation.

I disagree.

That should only happen in corner case scenarios, such as the one I mentioned up thread.

in a 1-5 or a 3-7, you do APL calculation and only if the APL is in middle would you care about the level of the pregen.

So you shouldn't be able to get what should be a sub-tier 1-2 but the level 4 pregen makes it playing up with the 4 player adjustment. If the sub-tier before pregen is 1-2, then you bring a level 1 pregen. If the sub-tier before pregen is 4-5, then you bring a level 4 pregen.

Only time the pregen should help determine the sub-tier in a 1-5 or a 3-7, is if you are sitting right in the middle.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

When you calculate APL first, it is literally impossible to have an out-of-subtier Pregen in a 1-5 or 3-7 scenario.

Hence why my extreme example above involved a 7-11 scenario (and obviously in a 5-9 the Pregen will always be out-of-subtier).

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

BTW, this isn't the first time this discussion has been had.

Let's just wait until the new Guide comes out, and hopefully it will finally be addressed.

I'm glad Starfinder won't have this problem.

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