Help understanding someting in Doomsday Dawn


Doomsday Dawn Game Master Feedback


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So I'm looking through the Doomsday Dawn book and I can't help but notice something that I can't find explained for the life of me, and it's driving me crazy.
Several times I see things written like "Trivial 1", "High 1", "Severe 1", or "Low 4". I understand what the words mean, they're obviously referring to the Experience Point table and advising how much XP to give for completing the section. The thing that's driving me nuts is the number afterward.
I don't know if it wasn't explained, or if I'm just crazy, but I can't seem to find it for the life of me. Any help here would be greatly appreciated guys.


That to me seems like a reference to a skill DC, which refers to a table you can find near the end of the Rulebook, page 336 (Difficulty Classes).


It's the party level that the encounter is calibrated for. All of the encounters in each scenario use the same number, so I assume that's the case, although I don't think I saw it directly stated anywhere. (I have only briefly skimmed the books so far.)

If a party goes through an encounter at a different level than originally intended, you now know to adjust the XP reward.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thebazilly has the right of it; they're short descriptions of the difficulty of the encounter for a party of the listed level.

Trivial 1 is a trivial encounter for 1st level groups, while severe 6 would be a severe encounter for 6th level groups. Page 21 of the Playtest Bestiary PDF gives more rules for it.

Since the presentation and construction of Doomsday Dawn does not require the use of handing out XP points to track leveling up (you just build PCs of the right level for the chapter and don't level up during a chapter), this information isn't really even necessary for the adventure to be played, but we needed to put the words and numbers in there to get a head start on figuring out how to present and lay out adventures so we went ahead with the information anyway.

Sorry we weren't a bit more clear about what it all meant in the text of the adventure.


James Jacobs wrote:

Thebazilly has the right of it; they're short descriptions of the difficulty of the encounter for a party of the listed level.

Trivial 1 is a trivial encounter for 1st level groups, while severe 6 would be a severe encounter for 6th level groups. Page 21 of the Playtest Bestiary PDF gives more rules for it.

Since the presentation and construction of Doomsday Dawn does not require the use of handing out XP points to track leveling up (you just build PCs of the right level for the chapter and don't level up during a chapter), this information isn't really even necessary for the adventure to be played, but we needed to put the words and numbers in there to get a head start on figuring out how to present and lay out adventures so we went ahead with the information anyway.

Sorry we weren't a bit more clear about what it all meant in the text of the adventure.

No need to apologize! Thanks for the answer. Now that it’s pointed out to me it seems very obvious, haha. And besides, playtests are exactly for working out kinks like these before the full release anyway. Loving everything so far!


I would definitely have appreciated a brief explanation of the format - ideally IN the Doomsday Dawn document. I don't want to be forced to hunt through three PDFs to find one piece of information.

I'm confused about the icons used in the adventure - the claw, the treasure, and the exclamation point. Is that combat, treasure, and information? The claw especially seems really unclear, and it frustrates me that I can't seem to find a quick explanation anywhere.


The icons seem to stand in place where a typical Paizo AP would list 'Creature', 'Treasure', and 'Development' (iirc) for each room, so your intuition is pretty much spot on.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Yeah, that's what those icons are. I'm pretty convinced that if we keep those we'll be dropping the words "Creature" and "Hazard" and "Reward" and "Special" back in though... not convinced that just icons do the trick.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yes, I'd prefer the test as well, at least alongside the icon.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Ha! I thought they were referring to terrain or something. Like, "High 1" was a very terse way of saying that the ceiling is 20 feet high, or "Severe 1" was a way to indicate that there was difficult terrain in the room or something. I was a bit annoyed that I would need to go look up in the rulebook what these meant rather than just having it in the room descriptions.

It didn't even occur to me that these terms were related to encounter difficulty or XP awards :-P

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

James Jacobs wrote:
Yeah, that's what those icons are. I'm pretty convinced that if we keep those we'll be dropping the words "Creature" and "Hazard" and "Reward" and "Special" back in though... not convinced that just icons do the trick.

In contrast to my previous comment about not understanding the difficulty tags, I immediately understood the creature/treasure/hazard icons.


I've never run a pregen adventure of any kind before, much less a "typical Paizo AP", so my frustration with the format can probably be traced back to my unfamiliarity with it.

Silver Crusade

I like the icon, but also think that also adding the text makes it easier to find the relevant parts.

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