What Character Creation Methods Do You Use for APs?

Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

As the title says, what methods do you use?
Point buy (what value?) or rolling?
How many players do you typically have?
Does the GM make adjustments to the monsters to compensate? Do they add more enemies?
Are any classes restricted?
What about races?
Can the players create custom magic items? Can they stack two magical abilities onto one item?
Do you use any house rules/modified rules (eg: from Pathfinder Unchained)?

I assume it changes from AP to AP for people, but I'm curious to see what others do.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I've developed a pretty standard set of guidelines for all of my games:

Ability: 20 Point Buy
Alignment: No NE or CE (LE requires GM approval)
Traits: 1 Campaign Trait, 1 unrestricted Trait (+1 unrestricted trait with 1 Drawback)
Feats: World Is Square Feat Tax Mod
HP: Average (rounded up) per level, max for first level
Skills: Background Skills (with Artistry & Lore)
Starting Wealth: Maximum starting wealth for class, PC starting wealth at level (if making a character after level 1)
Starting Equipment: Relevant Class Pack (may substitute with GM approval)
Bonus Rules: Hero Points, Automatic Bonus Progression, Skill Unlocks (Signature Skill Allowed)

As for my reasons...

Stats: 20 point-buy is what I've always played with and always used for my games. I just like the choice it offers and I prefer letting the players build their characters around the story they want to play. Maybe it's the game-economist in me, but I'm ever so slightly biased in the anti-luck/pro-player choice orientation personally.

Player Count: 4 players is my sweet spot, though anything at or below 5 is fine. The last game I played in was 3 players and it was a blast. However my first game was 6, and I've come to find that it was really more than I cared to handle, at least all at once.

Monster Balancing: I'm still trying to figure out what the right balancing method is for my games. I've so far always ended up with a mix of very knowledgeable players and at least one novice, so it's tricky. From my first game I discovered that adding more monsters was not a very tenable solution in the long run (it just slowed my games down). Instead I've found setting max HP and assuming that enemies at higher levels are pre-buffed before a fight breaks out is just enough to do the trick. That said, I also tend towards slightly easier fights more often than not. But my games are more narrative-focused anyway, so it tends to work out.

Restrictions: I'll rarely put in restrictions unless the AP calls for it, though I'm more strict now than I used to be. I was too lenient in my first game (which had a LN and a CN that both were unnervingly murderous for a Hell's Rebels game) and I learned from that mistake. My rule now is "if you can convince me that your character concept would actually be able to go through with the adventure without getting killed by the rest of the party, I'll allow it". My current group of regulars do tend to know better than to be unreasonable, though.

Magic Items: I actually played around with the idea of giving each player a unique magical item that grew in power throughout the AP in my first game. It was a neat concept, but I need to refine it a bit more to balance it properly before I try it again. Otherwise, I'm generally fine with players doing stuff with magic items if they want to. I'm very lenient when it comes to most player requests, since the players I know that could abuse my trust know better than to do so, and the ones that do it by accident usually need the help, or are doing it in the name of a cool concept that is more fluff than game-breaking. Actually, very few people take advantage of all the stuff I would let them get away with, or even the standard stuff...

House Rules: The set listed in my standard character guide above are my current favourites. I am actually also a big fan of the Unchained Action Economy in principle, though it does complicate things enough for me sometimes that I've left it for now (or at least while I'm running an AP with so many Magus NPCs in it). If Pathfinder were more built to accommodate it, I'd use it in a heartbeat.

Most of my games are intrigue-focused and have a heavy emphasis on narrative, skills, social stuff, and comedy, so I naturally tend towards things that let the players do cool or wacky things and not have to worry too much about optimising their characters, and pretty much every variant rule and ruling I do is in service of that principle. I'll also often allow rule bending and fudging if I feel it makes sense for the character or the game, and so long as it's to do something interesting, and not just to get better stats. It's turned out quite well so far, in my estimation at least. I'm just lucky that my players respect and appreciate the spirit of what I try to run for them, and will work with me for the most part.

Shadow Lodge

I tend to make a House Rules Document for the players that I can show everyone, and update based on general consent/necessary changes. It usually goes something like...

Stat Points: 20 Point-Buy. Rolling for stats sounds like fun in theory, but I've had roll-for-stats PCs with an equivalent of 40 build points, or with two stats start out as 18 and another one with 5.

Number of Players: 4-5.

Traits: 2 or 3 with a drawback, Campaign Traits recommended, if you want a drawback, work with me to figure out what it should be. Preferably something 1) expected to become relevant a few times and 2) humorous when it does.

Alignment: Evil PCs are a privilege, not a right. Regardless of alignment, PCs are expected to at least be team players, not interested in killing their friends or ruining everything. Also, obnoxious/troublemaking players need not apply.

Restrictions: Not many. If you want to play as someone uncommon, I can't wait to read their back story. If your build relies on this spell that was developed by this one civilization in this one splatbook, and your character wasn't from there, either give me a good reason why, or your character will have to spend time & money figuring it out later. Magic item creation is perfectly fine, but custom ones may be unfeasible. Also: no team-killing, and no provoking team-mates into team-killing. If all the players and the GM have something planned out that'll improve the team dynamic, perhaps.

House Rules: I like using Unchained Automatic Bonus Progression, Background Skills (hey, 2 extra skill points for everyone!) and the Revised Action Economy. Though it does involve re-jiggering some feats & class abilities, we can figure it all out. Also, when anyone levels up, they can either roll the die (rerolling any 1s), or presume they got their Hit Die's median +1.

As for fiddling with opponents and enemies, usually if I'm playing with System Mastery Build Optimizers, I give everyone max HP and better tactical awareness. If the players are newer or trying out tricky setups, I like playing violent NPCs with sub-par tactics if they're over-confident or furious. Then, as they level up, villains will get more cautious and ruthless.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

We use 15 point buy, or rolled stats where the final roll has to be between 10 and 20 point buy. We find 20 PB by itself to be too powerful for APs with a coordinated party.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ability: 4d6 and lose the lowest die x6, arrange as player chooses
Alignment: No CE (LE and NE requires GM approval)
HP: Max for first level, roll thereafter
Skills: Background Skills (with Artistry & Lore)
Player Count: 4-6, balanced by splitting fixed experience award (e.g. average party lvl for larger parties tends to be one lvl lower than recommended); with six players, assume bad guys are ready buffed at start of encounter.
Races/Classes: Any official Paizo content
Item Crafting: Only if both RAW and story allows...
House Rules: Uncapped skill points (if a player wants to dump 40pts in Escape Artist then they can!); 1st Ed D&D resurrection survival rolls, and max number of 'lives' equal to starting Con; crits do not need a confirmation roll; critical hit and fumble tables; all clerics are pantheists unless they want to take an archetype to specialise as cleric of a specific deity.

As you can see, my table plays up the random!

My current game (as GM) is midway through the last level of the Emerald Spire. For this game, we did,

Headcount: I like 5 players, because we're all busy, mostly parents, so can almost never ever get the entire group for a session. 5 players lets us have 1 absence and still enough players to run the party (with one fo the more experienced players running the "spare" PC).

Abilities: 4d6 drop lowest, *in order* -- unless you don't like what you get, then rearrange. (I don't think anybody chose to rearrange.)

Hit points: Max at 1st level, then you can either choose (before you roll) half+1 or roll, depending on how dangerous you're feeling.

Races / Classes: no hard restrictions, but generally folks stick to CRB / APG, because that's what we have handy. (The fighter died a few levels back and was reincarnated via download into an Android because it was plot-appropriate, but that's the only deviation from core we have.)

Alignment: Don't be unable to work with the rest of the party. The story we're playing at the table is the one where you all find a reason to work together; the parallel universe where you didn't figure that out is annoying and unfun, and we're not playing that one.

Traits: 2, including 1 campaign trait.

Automatic Bonus Progression from Unchained, because nobody at the table particularly likes shopping trips. (This has the side effect of allowing much more protracted dungeon crawls, since there's a lot less need to trade in loot.)

Question about using Automatic Bonus Progression:
When you use it do you adjust the treasure listed in the AP? Or simply make all weapons and armor masterwork instead of magical, take out the cloaks of resistance (and whatever other items would be affected) and leave everything else as is?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Stats: Roll 4d6 and drop the lowest, arranged as the player chooses (we roll three sets and choose one so no one's stuck with truly abysmal stats, hopefully).
Alignment: Any, though your PC must have a reason to work with the party and fit within the adventure.
Number of Players: This one's odd for me because my partner and I moved states a few years ago and haven't found a group in our new location. So we play with the two of us, each of us runs two PCs and one of us GMs. I like it, although it would be nice to have a larger game at well at some point. I probably wouldn't want to run for more than 4-5 people.
Monsters: I don't usually significantly adjust pre-published encounters, but I do add a lot of custom mini-adventures into APs. Our parties tend to be pretty good at what they do, so I try to build their opponents well when I'm making them.
Class/Race Restrictions: None, usually. Some exceptions made for specific adventures (wouldn't allow running an evil character in WoTR, for example). Otherwise, as long as you can explain why your character is/has something, go for it. We use a lot of 3PP as well.
Custom Magic Items: I'd allow it as long as it wasn't broken, but no one's ever expressed interest. They might not always have time to craft, though, depending on what else is going on.
Traits: 2 + campaign trait
House Rules: Background skills from Unchained, double crits, a bunch of minor things that I tend to forget aren't actually official rules until I'm reminded.

My games also tend to be very narrative-focused and it's not uncommon for us to spend more time interacting with NPCs than in combat.

I've tried a few different things, which is why I'm looking to see what other people do.
I've done:
Stats: 25 point buy with applying the Simple Advanced template to all enemies (and occasionally powering things down a little after the template is applied). I found this made things at levels 1-6 pretty deadly to the PCs, 7-14 or so was pretty balanced, 15+ and the enemies starting being nearly impossible to hit so I stopped applying the template for book 6 of the AP.
20 point buy and the characters seemed to hit fairly easily (usually on a 7+ or so), mooks usually needed a 20 to hit the PCs, but a decent number of fights seemed really difficult, especially solo monsters (which surprised me).
I'm thinking my next AP will be 20 point buy with Trichotome's idea of maxing hit points of the enemies and possibly giving some enemies a +1 or +2 to attack.
Hit Points: Average (rounded up) per level, max for first level. (Too often I hear people wondering if they remembered to roll hit points while leveling up; this makes it easy.)
Alignment: Never had to set a limit as it's always been understood that the group has to get along and killing each other isn't fun. (Also, the world has enough bad people in it, why would you want to play a bad person in your spare time?)
Players: 4. I'd possibly be willing to try 5, but more than that and combat starts to take too long between a players turn and the quieter players become even quieter. I'd also be willing to try 3 with 20 point buy, any races, and not adding anything to the enemies.
Class/Race Restrictions: Depends on the campaign. I've tried allowing all races as well as core only unless the adventure fits a certain race. Core only plus the occasional odd race seemed to work really well so I might stick with this going forward.
Custom Magic Items: I've done it for one AP. It was a hassle trying to figure out if what the players wanted were balanced for the price. I'd consider allowing crafting again, but only for making things that already exist in Pathfinder.
Traits: Two, and highly suggest (but not force) that one is a campaign trait.
House Rules: I've used Background Skills before but removed some depending on the campaign and Perform doesn't count as a background skill when it can be applied to abilities (eg: bard). I think I might try just giving 1 extra point per level that can go to Craft/Artistry, Profession, or Perform, depending if the typical background skills are pretty much required for the AP (eg: Handle Animal in a wilderness game with a lot of animals seems like it shouldn't remain as a background skill).
And I'm considering Automatic Bonus Progression but I'm undecided so far.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Warped Savant wrote:

Question about using Automatic Bonus Progression:

When you use it do you adjust the treasure listed in the AP? Or simply make all weapons and armor masterwork instead of magical, take out the cloaks of resistance (and whatever other items would be affected) and leave everything else as is?

I've only used it for my latest game (or rather, the prologue to the AP I will be running). I turned the magic items masterwork and took out the relevant ability/save items. I also put in their value as extra gold instead, that way the players can still use the loot to buy other equipment (since half the time spare magic weapons are sold off anyway). It's probably much more than I needed to give them, but I found that it worked reasonably well, provided I put a proper limit on what they can buy with it (i.e. the shops don't have every magic item under the sun).

I'd say ABP is worth it if you have players that make use of it to get neat flavourful stuff for their characters. Ideally things that help them do more interesting things they wouldn't normally be able to spec into because of "mandatory items" filling their slots. If they just use it to power game though, then there's not much of a point.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Stats: Roll 4d6 and drop the lowest, arranged as the player chooses. If the total stat adjustment is a net negative, a re-do is permitted. If one player has a net adjustment five or grater than everyone else, I just hand out free points to the hindmost, which must be used on their best scores where feasible. Preserves some element of chance without creating ludicrous disparity in capabilities. Sometimes we roll with the equivalent of a 30-point buy. Sometimes, when the dice are cold, it's more like 10-15.

Alignment: Convince me.

Number of Players: I've been lucky enough to have a steady four to work with (and play as one of when we rotate).

Monsters: I'll tweak 'em if the party's stats are exceptionally strong, not that it matters much. We've got some evil genius stuff in our group, and I've seen a bad hand played to a dastardly win. I've also seen them nearly loose to goblins put in place as a speed bump... weird crew I run with.

Class/Race Restrictions: We tend to stick to official Paizo stuff, with some flavor biases informing absences- as a group, our opinion of Cayden Cailean ranges from annoyed boredom to outright loathing, so clerics dedicated to him never show up and his faith is pretty conspicuously absence. I utterly despise catfolk, so they may as well not exist.

Custom Magic Items: This is a fun one... my party doesn't generally bother making their own (I've run a crafter a time or two, which was fun, but I digress...). If the baseline item isn't listed in the adventure (including availability in communities), they're not getting it without making it, although I do tweak weapon types (especially when the weapon's just lying around) so nobody's stuck with a magic rapier when they built for a two-hander build.

Traits: 1 + campaign trait. One more if they buy it with a drawback. Names and ascribed backgrounds don't really count for much with unrestricted traits. Traits can mean anything. "Rich Parents" can be "was a trophy wife for a rich guy who had an unfortunate accident" (Hell's Vengeance). Reactionary can reflect a monastic background. And so on.

House Rules:
On stats, straight sixes is a natural 19. Straight ones is a natural 2.

We did Bulk before Bulk was cool- "how many greataxes your strength score says you can carry is irrelevant. Where are you putting those?"

I generally mandate a "day job" Skill choice (Craft, Profession, Perform, Survival, that sort of thing) to explain what you did before picking up a sword to go fight monsters in trap-infested locales. Skill choices can be sold with the right backstory. ("I grew up a pickpocket" means yes, Sleight of Hand can be your choice)

Our action economy is... odd. It's a bit more ad hoc than the official rules, with circumstance playing a major role.

Shadow Lodge

Warped Savant wrote:

Question about using Automatic Bonus Progression:

When you use it do you adjust the treasure listed in the AP? Or simply make all weapons and armor masterwork instead of magical, take out the cloaks of resistance (and whatever other items would be affected) and leave everything else as is?

Yep, all +Numbers magic items become masterwork, and other magic objects that have, say, +Numbers to saves in addition to other stuff become "1 daily reroll on a saving through, made if you don't like the number you rolled." Sometimes I add a little more money or a scroll or potion to compensate. You can also give PCs magic weapons that are way too magic for them, but give them reduced abilities until they level up enough to get its full power!

Also, to answer your question, "Why would people want to play as Evil characters" all my Evil-aligned characters are either tragic in some way, so they can hopefully shift to Neutral or even Good if their allies take an interest; or they can suffer humorous comeuppance as a result of their bad behaviour. Though those are just my reasons.

Similarly, I do like the Ultimate Intrigue rules for everyone joining in to help magic item creation, though I've never gotten a chance to use them. None of my players even want to scribe any scrolls, for whatever reason.

Stats are 20 point buy.

Alignment: No Evil, no CN.

General Restrictions: I limit my players to options only found in official Paizo Supplements that they can physically bring to the table. So If no one owns Ultimate Combat as a physical book, any content from that book is disallowed.

HP: Max HP at level 1. Roll or take the average. If you choose to roll, then you get what you get.

Traits: 1 Campaign trait and 1 unrestricted trait.

Favored Class Bonuses: My group stopped using favored class bonuses a year or two after Pathfinder released because when auditing character sheets, players would either completely forget about them, or not document when they put them and I'd have to guess if the random +1 skill point is favored class bonus or mistake.

Crafted Gear: Even if players take Crafting skills or feats to begin with, they cannot spend starting gold to craft gear before the game begins.

Other than that, depending on the AP if I decide to use extra rules (like Sanity and Madness from Horror Adventures) I usually print-out those rules from a off and provide a copy to each player.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Warped Savant wrote:

As the title says, what methods do you use?

Point buy (what value?) or rolling?
How many players do you typically have?
Does the GM make adjustments to the monsters to compensate? Do they add more enemies?
Are any classes restricted?
What about races?
Can the players create custom magic items? Can they stack two magical abilities onto one item?
Do you use any house rules/modified rules (eg: from Pathfinder Unchained)?

I assume it changes from AP to AP for people, but I'm curious to see what others do.

This got long ...

Ability Scores: 15 point buy. No final starting ability score may be above 18, none may be below 8, and only one may be in the 8 - 9 range. Anything more than that is just extra work to re-balance the math underpinning the game (which is already a bit shaky in some places).

Alignment/Behaviour: Characters should not be evil, anti-social, or worship evil deities. They should also be interested in adventuring/exploring.

Number of Players: Currently 3 in one group (plus one easy-to-run "full NPC" run by the most experienced player), 4 in another. If necessary, I'd be willing to have only 2 players (each with a secondary, easy-to-run "full NPC"). No more than 5 players.

Monster Balance: Most of my players are experienced grognards, so even with 15 point buy they can be pretty deadly. At a minimum, I will give the monsters maximum hit points. I often change their feats from the Bestiary versions (e.g., Toughness is not necessary with maximum hit points, and feats like Quickened Spell-like Ability are good substitutions). For example, my players hate my glabrezu/type III demons, which now have quickened Mirror Image 3/day. If the party has five full members (not counting Leadership cohorts), then I might add some monsters.

Restricted Classes: No Magus in any new campaigns, unless testing a specific homebrewed archetype. No Bloodragers. No Occult Adventures classes except for Kineticists and Psychics. (This may open up later but there will never be a Mesmerist.) No synthesist Summoners. In general no evil-only archetypes or base/prestige classes (this prohibition extends to Hellknights).

Barbarians, Rogues, and Summoners must be Unchained. Monks may be Unchained.

Brawlers and Shamans are discouraged unless the player is very experienced. I usually will try to re-direct the player respectively to an Unchained Monk or to an Oracle or Witch.

Certain classes and rule sets will only be allowed in certain APs. For example, the Technology Guide and firearm-using Gunslingers are only allowed for the Iron Gods AP, and Aquatic Adventures character options for the Ruins of Azlant and Skull and Shackles APs.

Restricted Races: I prefer to keep it to the CRB options plus any relevant racial traits from other Paizo sourcebooks. If persuaded, I will open it up to more exotic races - but then the ARG comes into play with a maximum of 10 RP. You want to play an aasimar? Then most variants will have a -2 Constitution penalty* and probably no daily spell-like ability.

* For some unknown reason, when aasimar were converted from 2e to 3.0 they lost their Con penalty (which actually would have become -4 if converted faithfully by RAW). I wonder how many of those aasimar Paladins and Clerics out there would still be in play if they had had to take a -4 hit to their Constitution? :/

Crafting and Custom Magic Items: I allow crafting if the downtime permits or the crafter can snatch enough time while adventuring. I really don't like allowing custom magic items because the pricing can be difficult to work out correctly.

Rule Options/House Rules:

Pathfinder Unchained: Unchained classes (see above), background skill points plus Lore/Artistry, and fractional bonuses for BAB and saving throws. (Although I'm considering restricting Bard characters to only one background Perform skill.) Combat stamina and skill tricks are restricted to Fighter bonus feats only (only Fighters can use combat tricks and they get the Combat Stamina feat for free). I really want to get the poison/disease rules into play in the next APs that I'll be running, and maybe the wound threshold rules too. I am also eyeing the revised action economy, and wondering if it will fly with my groups.

Advanced Race Guide: see Races above.

Damage Reduction: I use the 3.5 version. I don't care how many magical enhancement bonuses that weapon has, it must still have the correct shape (B/P/S) and be made of the correct material (or alchemised/bespelled to act like it). Golf bags for the win!

Smite Evil/whatever: a Paladin's smite will only ignore DR based on Magic, Good, and/or Law. Paladins have magical abilities based on their close connection with the forces of Lawful Good. They are not connected with the forces of Adamantium, Cold Iron, Silver, Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing, Evil, Chaos, or the ever-popular "-". Basically the same house rule for other varieties of smite.

Traits: one free non-campaign trait and one free campaign trait. Optionally one more non-campaign trait if a drawback is also taken.

Flaws: up to two may be taken, from 3.5's Unearthed Arcana and/or Dragon magazine (converted to PF, of course). I have created a few home-brewed flaws.

Other settings: if playing in the Forgotten Realms, the character gets a Regional feat instead of the traits. (We have yet to combine the FR with an AP, so I'll cross that campaign trait bridge when I get to it.)

Feats: no Crane Style feats. Other style feats which have Improved Unarmed Combat as a pre-requisite will only work with unarmed combat or weapons with the Monk quality. Style feats in general only work with the weapon(s) that the individual feat mentions.

Spells: only from the CRB and APG. (No Psychic characters have been created to date, so no need yet to open up the OccA spells.)

Deities: characters with divine spells must choose a patron deity (or group, like the Green Faith). Deities do not grant spells from other cults (even if that spell later got into a "setting neutral" rulebook).

Sourcebooks: From now on I will restrict the players to one Player's Companion each with respect to feats, archetypes, class options, etc. Spells are still restricted to the CRB and APG. Also, Golarion flavour must be preserved. For example, a L 1 character from the Land of the Linnorm Kings may not have traits from either Garund or Minata. In a similar vein, religion/cult/group-specific spells are kept within that group. If a character steals a faction-specific spell from a spellbook or scroll, then he can expect a reckoning at some point.

No 3PP for the players. The GM only uses the 3PP material which is already in the AP. (Forgotten Realms sourcebooks can be used if the setting is in play.)

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Warped Savant wrote:

As the title says, what methods do you use?

I assume it changes from AP to AP for people, but I'm curious to see what others do.

Point buy

20 points, to allow for MAD classes. One attribute to 8 allowed and you can only get your attributes up to 16 before race/age adjustments.

How many players
Currently six for the group I GM.

Do you add monsters/adjust
Varies from encounter to encounter. But, yes, with six players and a dislike for faceroll encounters I adjust about everything.

Are any classes restricted?
No Gunslingers, had a really bad experience with them in Carrion Crown.

What about races
Kinda done with Aasimars, cause they are better than everything else in the "allowed" tier. Other than that, obvious stuff like noble drow and so on.

Can the players create custom magic items? Can they stack two magical abilities onto one item
No to the first, yes to the second with the usual 50% added cost.

Do you use any house rules/modified rules (eg: from Pathfinder Unchained)
Quite a few. Background skills, automatic bonus progression (with adjustments to how armor/weapons work), no Blink spell, Ultimate Campaign adjustment to magic item crafting, but highly accelerated crafting times (mostly stolen from PF2E), buffs limited to 3 per character (excepting self-cast buffs), spell DC always is the highest your character generates (except for Spell Focus, etc). People roll twice for hitpoints and take the better result until level 10 and can spend a hero point (which I also use) to reroll as well. Some of those may not make it into the next campaign, depending on player feedback.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Warped Savant wrote:

Question about using Automatic Bonus Progression:

When you use it do you adjust the treasure listed in the AP? Or simply make all weapons and armor masterwork instead of magical, take out the cloaks of resistance (and whatever other items would be affected) and leave everything else as is?

That's normally by far not enough to get enough gold out of the AP for the 50% WBL reduction, so I adjust everything.

Point buy
Point-Buy 20, no attribute below 8

Exactly 4 players. Saves time of adjusting everything and decreases the likelyhood of someone missing a session compared to larger groups.

No third party content and if you want to play a summoner, you take the unchained one.

Core races are fine, everything else needs approval and might get adjusted to fit in balancewise.

Magic Items
No custom magic items or merging of abilities. Everything not PFS legal needs approvement.

Every PC with a written backstory gets one free resurrection.

Scarab Sages

Ability Scores
25 Point Buy. I want heroic characters. I am not a fan of the dirt farmers to heroes narrative. I want my PCs to start off impressive.

3-6. If 3 They get a tag along NPC to fill out whatever combat role they are missing.

Any Paizo

Any Paizo

The only allowed evil is Lawful Evil, unless you have a compelling reason otherwise. Regardless all characters must be willing to work with the party and advance the shared narrative.

Unless the AP has significant downtime build in: all PCs are considered to have all crafting feats for which they meet the prerequisites and get 8 hours of craft time every evening. Also, mundane crafting works on the same timescale as magic crafting. That is to say 1,000g worth of work every night.

Each player can have at most 1 combat buddy. This can be an animated undead, a built construct, an animal companion, a summoned monster or a cohort. If you gain multiple over the course of play only 1 can be active at a time. Leadership may be disallowed based on the nature of the AP.

Everyone must take one of the AP Campaign traits, and then may pick 2 additional

Encounter Balance
After around level 3 everything has the advanced template. Around level 5 everything starts getting about a 50% HP bump. Around level 7, I start adding 1 or two additional monsters to each encounter. Depending on how optimized the PCs are (which is usually very) mythic templates might start getting added to boss monsters.

I only use milestone advancement. XP is not tracked, and killing more things does not advance your character. Only achieving plot points counts. This sometimes leads to periods where PCs will level up multiple sessions in a row (usually at low levels), and other times the PCs will go 7+ sessions (typically 2.5 hours each) without leveling. Its worth it not to have to track XP.

Warped Savant wrote:

Question about using Automatic Bonus Progression:

When you use it do you adjust the treasure listed in the AP? Or simply make all weapons and armor masterwork instead of magical, take out the cloaks of resistance (and whatever other items would be affected) and leave everything else as is?

The latter -- just leave out the magical stuff that gives bonuses (but leave the NPCs' stats unchanged; assume they're using ABP too!).

If the magical gear is a weapon or armor that has a mundane function, it just becomes the mundane equivalent.

If it has a special power other than the stat / AC / save / attack bonus, it remains a magical item with that other power, but no plus. I'm a little looser with this than the RAW, where the special ability soaks up points of your weapon/armor attunement -- I figure the limit of "that icy burst dagger is just a plain dagger unless you've attuned it for the day, so you kinda have to choose just one special weapon to use today" is enough of a limit.

No replacement treasure for the stuff that gets left out, for the most part, though I will swap some things out or throw in a few extra consumables or minor wondrous items if the loot is getting too sparse.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It won't. Most Paizo AP's are way overstuffed with treasure and exceed the WBL by about 50%. If you really want to cut it down to 50% of WBL, you have some work to do.

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