Encounters for running "The Lost Star" with 5 PCs


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Hi all!

I'm starting the playtest with 5 PCs tomorrow so I went through to expand the encounters to accommodate this. I didn't want to add only to existing encounters to avoid overwhelming the PCs, especially with the players new to the system and also because it's hard to do so considering level 0 creatures are considered party level -2. There aren't any creatures considered party level -1. I chose to make 2 new encounters by adding to a non-encounter room and a hazard. For the third I did make an encounter harder. I added 4 goblin zombies to the motivation room, another quasit to the purification to the fountain, and an air mephit to the Choking Sands.

I hope this helps others, but also if you modified things differently let us know!

Here's the breakdown below or here's the google doc I'm using:

XP building:/b] denotes XP to add or subtract for handling 5 pcs based on page 21 of the Bestiary
[b]Total Extra XP for 5 players:
160

A1. Slimy Cistern - Trivial
Sewer Ooze 1; XP building 10

A2. Mudchewer Central - High 1
4 Goblin Warriors (0); XP building 20

A3. Vermind Den - Severe 1
6 Centipedes (0); XP building 30

A4. Motivation Room - NEW High 1
NEW 4 goblin zombies (0); XP building -80
After a hero examines one of the intact bodies and starts to step away, the bodies rise as zombies from the corruptive negative psychic energies that have built up here from what Drakus has done.

A5. Fungus Bloom
Mindfog Fungus - Hazard 2

A6. Purification Fountain - High 1 NEW Severe 1
2 Quasits (1); XP building 20
NEW 3 Quasits (1); XP building -40

A7. Goblin Headquarters - Severe 1
Various Goblins; XP building 30

A8. Room of Ruined Repose - Severe 1
6 Skeleton Guards (0); XP building 30

A9. Choking Sands - NEW Low 1
Sands of the Boneyard - Hazard 1
NEW Air Mephit (1); XP building -40
When the sands are released, so too is the Air Mephit that was bound here to protect the shrine. It attacks anyone that remains in the air or tries to continue on into the shrine. It is immune to the Sands of the Boneyard as Elemental do not need to breathe.
Note: Normally this would be a Trivial threat but due to the combo with the Hazard, I made it Low.

A10. Befouled Shrine - High 1
Drakus (3) Dire Rat (0); XP building 20

A11. Pharasma’s Sanctum

A12. Drakus’s Lair
Poisoned Lock - Hazard 1

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally, I'm adding creatures using that same table (I LOVE that table) but I also have a party of 7, so it works out quite well for me so far. The numbers aren't always exact, but it's close enough to still work.

So far I added 1 sewer ooze, 3 goblin warriors, 4 centipedes, and 1 quasit. I haven't finished the conversion yet, but this is by far the easiest time I've had in terms of increasing encounters for higher numbers. That table is invaluable, and one of my favorite things to come out of PF2.


Runnetib wrote:

Personally, I'm adding creatures using that same table (I LOVE that table) but I also have a party of 7, so it works out quite well for me so far. The numbers aren't always exact, but it's close enough to still work.

So far I added 1 sewer ooze, 3 goblin warriors, 4 centipedes, and 1 quasit. I haven't finished the conversion yet, but this is by far the easiest time I've had in terms of increasing encounters for higher numbers. That table is invaluable, and one of my favorite things to come out of PF2.

I also have 7 players, also added one ooze, 3 goblin warriors. Now... when it came to the centipede room... I didn't want just more centipedes, so I tossed in 2 rat swarms and a giant rat.

Also added in a quasit to the idol.

Almost lost half the party.

One went down to an ooze because he stopped at the edge of the light of a fellow player's hooded lantern, thankfully managed to get back up. Another almost went down to the same ooze helping them up. The rest of the party had just run past the oozes instead of trying to fight them for some unknown reason, except the wizard and the alchemist (second who almost went down, first was a bard). Go figure.

The goblins retreated into the mindfog shroom room and were hiding for an ambush they wound up not doing since the party went a different direction. The quasits... were surpising deadly with that poison with how badly my players were rolling. And then on the way out they decided to toss some alchemist fire at the rubble pile that contained the adjusted centipede encounter, with only one player in the room.

It... went about as expected at that point, but no full on deaths.


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

Thing is for the OP by adding new encounters rather than buffing the existing, you're just making more low & trivial encounters -- while dropping the threat rating of all he encounters by about a tier.

What I'm looking at (with a 6 player adjustment)
A1 (Maybe unchanged, didn't see anything thematic that fits, as a warm up I don't care if its under powered) Didn't see a level 0 ooze or something that I thought would hang around oozes

A2) I can add 2 goblins or 1 goblin pyro. Will probably see what classes people pick and which would be more interesting leaning towards the pyro, since a3 is already about crowd control.

A3) adding 3 fire beetles, feels like 9 centipedes would have been boring

a5) Trap, I'm not buffing, first trap they encounter, can go very poorly fast

a6) +1 quasit

a7) add two goblin warriors and one extra pyro/commando

a8) add a ghoul or zombie + 1 skeleton

a10) add either a bat swarm or a stirge, depending on if I think they have a hope at handling a swarm. Both feel themetic (but maybe a little counter-purpose to the truth)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
NielsenE wrote:

Thing is for the OP by adding new encounters rather than buffing the existing, you're just making more low & trivial encounters -- while dropping the threat rating of all he encounters by about a tier.

What I'm looking at (with a 6 player adjustment)
A1 (Maybe unchanged, didn't see anything thematic that fits, as a warm up I don't care if its under powered) Didn't see a level 0 ooze or something that I thought would hang around oozes

A2) I can add 2 goblins or 1 goblin pyro. Will probably see what classes people pick and which would be more interesting leaning towards the pyro, since a3 is already about crowd control.

A3) adding 3 fire beetles, feels like 9 centipedes would have been boring

a5) Trap, I'm not buffing, first trap they encounter, can go very poorly fast

a6) +1 quasit

a7) add two goblin warriors and one extra pyro/commando

a8) add a ghoul or zombie + 1 skeleton

a10) add either a bat swarm or a stirge, depending on if I think they have a hope at handling a swarm. Both feel themetic (but maybe a little counter-purpose to the truth)

Yeah I thought about trying to go up in existing encounters, but the lack of challenges at party level - 1 makes that pretty difficult. Maybe adding 2 x PL-2 (i.e. 2 creatures at level 0) is the way to go. That's add 40 xp instead of 30. Or maybe it's better to use only one level 1 creature so the action economy is better.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
SilentInfinity wrote:
NielsenE wrote:

Thing is for the OP by adding new encounters rather than buffing the existing, you're just making more low & trivial encounters -- while dropping the threat rating of all he encounters by about a tier.

What I'm looking at (with a 6 player adjustment)
A1 (Maybe unchanged, didn't see anything thematic that fits, as a warm up I don't care if its under powered) Didn't see a level 0 ooze or something that I thought would hang around oozes

A2) I can add 2 goblins or 1 goblin pyro. Will probably see what classes people pick and which would be more interesting leaning towards the pyro, since a3 is already about crowd control.

A3) adding 3 fire beetles, feels like 9 centipedes would have been boring

a5) Trap, I'm not buffing, first trap they encounter, can go very poorly fast

a6) +1 quasit

a7) add two goblin warriors and one extra pyro/commando

a8) add a ghoul or zombie + 1 skeleton

a10) add either a bat swarm or a stirge, depending on if I think they have a hope at handling a swarm. Both feel themetic (but maybe a little counter-purpose to the truth)

Yeah I thought about trying to go up in existing encounters, but the lack of challenges at party level - 1 makes that pretty difficult. Maybe adding 2 x PL-2 (i.e. 2 creatures at level 0) is the way to go. That's add 40 xp instead of 30. Or maybe it's better to use only one level 1 creature so the action economy is better.

If your five players are experienced in PF1 or similar statement, I'd probably round amortise the rounding errors into extra budget for high/severe at let low/trivial lag a bit.

If your group is newer, it's a lot harder to decide.


The XP additions go to each encounter, not to adding new encounters. This isn't a rules issue (okay, it might be to Paizo), but it's because adding new encounters just adds danger if there's attrition or time as a factor (which it really isn't w/ a 7 day window). So instead of resting once or twice they rest two or three times, but without that extra danger showing up in actual play (except when you do add it on top).

It's simple to add another Goblin here or there or upgrade a regular one for an elite one to get that extra XP. Also, there are simple templates in the Bestiary for +1/-1 level adjustments which you could do for some of the skeletons or centipedes (who already clog up the battleground too much to add more).
I tweaked those templates a bit to get a middle ground for level 0s, so instead of +2 to lots of stuff and +10 h.p., I added +1 & 5 h.p. to some critters.
Worked pretty well for example, with the rats because I added the XP there instead of via smarter foes who would flank better w/ the BBEG or the BBEG itself. Then they (yes, they) could take a regular hit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Unfortunately the numbers just don't easily work for 5 PCs to do that. At level 1 you can either do level 0 or level 1 monsters. Level 0 actually counts as level-2. You add a template to a level 0 and it's a level 1 so getting that level-1 in there isn't so easy.

I had a buddy's water heater bust so he couldn't come anyway. The sewer ooze was easy, but I dropped a character in A2 with the 4 goblins and in A7 one character dropped to 0 or below 3 times while 2 others dropped once. Thus, I can both see the point of ensuring you add to the same encounter to keep the threat there but I also think it might be too much as currently designed anyway. And my group is extremely comfortable and experienced with Pathfinder (and really most variations of D&D).

I'm going to try to do some spot on encounters depending how many PCs we have for session 2.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Remember there is the elite and weak modifiers in the bestiary.
That can modify the Level of the monster (thus alter the budget)


While the numbers don't work out perfect you can average things out over the course of the adventure. That's my plan.

A1 - Make ooze elite (which would be +10xp over budget for 5P)

A2 - Add 1 goblin warrior. (+0 XP for 5P)

A3 - Add 1 centipede. (-10 XP for 5P)

A6 - Make 1 quasit elite (+0 XP for 5P)

A7 - This one is already a bit out of wack. Supposed to be Severe which is 120 XP building budget. Commando (40) Pyro (40) 3 Warriors (20x3=60) totals 140 XP or halfways between Severe (120) and Extreme (160). Adding 1 PC to Severe = (150) and Extreme = (200) so maintaining the halfway point would be A 175 xp budget for the encounter. Adding 2 more Goblin Warriors adds +40 xp for a total of 180 in the encounter. (+5 XP for 5P) [Note you could also add a Commando or a Pyro for the same amount of xp.)

A8 - Add 1 skeleton. (-10 XP for 5P)

A10 - I'm adding in the dire/giant rat as a pet but any level 0 that makes sense works for this. (+0 XP for 5P) [FYI in another thread James confirmed the dire rat is a copy/paste error and should not be part of the basic encounter.]

RUNNING TOTAL FOR ADVENTURE (-5 XP for 5P)

That's my plan and math behind it.


Shade325 wrote:


A7 - This one is already a bit out of wack. Supposed to be Severe which is 120 XP building budget. Commando (40) Pyro (40) 3 Warriors (20x3=60) totals 140 XP or halfways between Severe (120) and Extreme (160). Adding 1 PC to Severe = (150) and Extreme = (200) so maintaining the halfway point would be A 175 xp budget for the encounter. Adding 2 more Goblin Warriors adds +40 xp for a total of 180 in the encounter. (+5 XP for 5P) [Note you could also add a Commando or a Pyro for the same amount of xp.)

Yeah I noticed that too, I can only guess it's some kind of error and either it's supposed to be labeled extreme, or they accidentally had one too many Goblins in the encounter.


I am attempting to add more monsters rather than up their power, just to have more things to interact with.

The basis of it, though, is considering that an Elite CR 0 enemy is treated as a PL-1 enemy for a PL1 party, rather than a PL= enemy.

Here's my planning:

A1. SEWER OOZE replaced for ELITE SKELETON GUARD + NORMAL SKELETON GUARD (30 XP + 20 XP maybe???) Not sure if an Elite CR 0 enemy counts as Party Level -1 or is actually treated as an actual CR 1 enemy. Anyway, these are going to be GOBLIN SKELETONS! Just to show how evil the Mudchewers have gotten.

A2. Four Gobbos now FIVE Gobbos (100 XP). Seems simple enough.

A3. 6 giant centipedes now 6 + 1 elite centipede mom (120 + 30 maybe?? Same reasoning as A1.

A6. 2 Quasits now have +1 Homunculus (80 + 20 XP) Giving them a little monstrous fella.

A7. 3 Gobbos + 1 Commando + 1 Pyro are now 2 Gobbos + 1 Elite Gobbo + 1 Commando + 1 Pyro (40 + 30 + 40 + 40 XP for a total of 150 XP). This keeps the encounter size with 5 to 5 goblins vs party.

A8. SIX SKELETONS (120 XP) NOW 2x GOBLIN DOG + 2x FIRE BEETLES + WEAK HOBGOBLIN SOLDIER (80 + 40 + 30 XP for a total of 150 XP). Changing this encounter from an undead-based encounter to more of a menagerie – they'll be fighting an accomplice of the BBEG.

A10. DRAKUS now has an Unseen Servant (80 + 20 for 100 XP) Thought an occult creature would be a good addition.

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