Party size?


Age of Ashes

Wayfinders

I may have overlooked it somewhere, but I did not see any notes indicating what size party the challenges In Age of Ashes are written for. I assume it's a 4-player party, but would love to know for certain.

I'll be running a 6-person party through, and would welcome any general advice as to how to easily increase the challenge of the various encounters. (I know, add more monsters...but I was hoping I had missed a section in the bestiary or core rule book that gave a little guidance as to how to increase the challenge without going overboard).

Thanks


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It is indeed for 4 players. I have 5 players so what I did was go through each room to see how much XP I needed to add based on the rules (table 10-1) for bigger parties. Some places I added Elite to the enemy and sometimes just had to add some small monster or just up their number. The hardest part was solo monsters, as with 1 extra player Elite seemed like overkill based on the guidelines, so a there's quite a few vipers and rat pets.


Adding Hazards might also be a way to add some spice and xp to an encounter to put it on level.


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PocoLoco wrote:
It is indeed for 4 players. I have 5 players so what I did was go through each room to see how much XP I needed to add based on the rules (table 10-1) for bigger parties. Some places I added Elite to the enemy and sometimes just had to add some small monster or just up their number. The hardest part was solo monsters, as with 1 extra player Elite seemed like overkill based on the guidelines, so a there's quite a few vipers and rat pets.

seems like you've done all of it adjusting for 5 PCs, would you mind putting a list here of what you did? my party is also gonna be 5 - thx


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I only started with the first two parts. We probably won't play it for a few weeks or months yet and didn't want to get too far ahead. Mostly did it to learn the rules. I can try to clean up my notes and get them posted.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Let me preface by saying that I'm not 100% sure my math is right. A lot of this were done when I was tired and in an attempt to learn the rules. But here's how I added for 5 players:

Encounter 1: Elite Fire Mephit

Encounter A1: Add one Weak Goblin Dog (though a trapped door might work better)

Encounter A3: Added a Viper. As I looked over the monster list I got a mental image of tYoletcha picking up and tossing the viper at one of the weaker looking characters (spellcasters).

Encounter A4: One Centipede Swarm should equal 2 Spider Swarms for 4 characters. Unsure about this one, and think a possible Hazard might be better to add.

Encounter A10: Another one where I'm unsure. Another Imp will be overkill to keep it at the same difficulty (though not having played it might work out fine). But adding a Lemure or a Weak Lemure (or another level -1 creature) should be right. I hadn't looked at that closely at Hazards when I did this, and might look at a Hazard here instead.

Encounter A12: Just make the Grauladon Elite.

Encounter A13: Added a Bloodseeker. Just another creature that sees something it can actually sting.

Encounter A14: Made the Warg Elite.

Encounter A17: Add a Giant Rat.

Encounter A19: Elite Giant Bat.

Encounter A21: Add a Skeleton Guard.

Encounter A22: Need to add a level -1 (creature -1 and not 'character level -1') creature. I must have been tired because my notes says "Animated Broom?"

That was as far as I came. I never got any further as we won't play for a while yet.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

As a general rule of thumb, the adjustment for a 5th PC is going to 25% increase in the XP of a given encounter. So take the encounter's XP total, divide it by 4, and then add that amount of enemies/level buffs/hazards to the encounter.

There's a table and explanation of this in the core rulebook, but its really just those principles. Remember not to reward additional XP when you do this-- the level up rate should be unchanged.


PG 489 has the rules for XP adjustments per party size increase or decrease. It specifically says its better to add enemies or hazards vs increasing power of a enemy. Or subtracting enemies and hazards vs making them weaker.

I find the rules very simple to use personally. I have a group of only 2-3 so the adjustments are simple enough based on how many play. Generally 'groups' of enemies will be cut down significantly and only big bads will find a nerf bat coming their way.

Though to be fair I like PocoLoco's approach of a nice mix of additions and elite's. Always coming across large groups, or a single enemy could get boring depending on group size.

Grand Lodge

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How would you scale the first encounter for 7 characters?


My adjustments for 6 players were to:

. Add a second Fire Mephit

. Add a fourth Goblin Dog

. Add a Goblin Dog to Yoletcha's encounter

. Add a 3rd Spider Swarm

We didn't get past this, but it worked very well. The PCs are currently pushing on towards the devils in A10 with the intention of pressing to the battlements with about half their resources remaining.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Ice Titan wrote:
. Add a 3rd Spider Swarm

How did you wedge a third swarm into the room? I'm noticing it's not even big enough for two Large creatures...swarms don't seem to be deformable by rules in 2E. I also have 6 players, and I'm thinking of going with 3 swarms and moving them into A5.


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evilvolus wrote:
Ice Titan wrote:
. Add a 3rd Spider Swarm
How did you wedge a third swarm into the room? I'm noticing it's not even big enough for two Large creatures...swarms don't seem to be deformable by rules in 2E. I also have 6 players, and I'm thinking of going with 3 swarms and moving them into A5.

You could rule that the swarms are on the walls and ceiling in addition to the floor to help them concentrate in confined spaces.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Fumarole wrote:
You could rule that the swarms are on the walls and ceiling in addition to the floor to help them concentrate in confined spaces.

The problem is that swarms deal their damage by sharing a square with the player. Which means that either you're shrinking the swarm, which isn't fair to the monster, or you're allowing two swarms to attack the same character, which is unfair to the player.

I'm going to say that A5's rafters have been entirely colonized by a massive spider colony, and when they come boiling out, the 3 swarms basically fill the northern two-third of the room.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

For A13/A16 (6 players)
Rather than boosting either encounter, I'm knocking out A16's doors--by the text, the Warg should be able to get into A15 anyway. If players go in through A13 and trigger the Graveshells, I'll have the Warg try to stealth in during the second or third round (depending on how the fight's going) and try to gobble up a small PC. It's more than a Moderate, but delaying the Warg's entrance should balance that out.

If players go through A14-15 first, the Warg will be the puppies' mother and I'll run it as a social encounter with a possible easy fight.


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evilvolus wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
You could rule that the swarms are on the walls and ceiling in addition to the floor to help them concentrate in confined spaces.
The problem is that swarms deal their damage by sharing a square with the player. Which means that either you're shrinking the swarm, which isn't fair to the monster, or you're allowing two swarms to attack the same character, which is unfair to the player.

I meant that a swarm that is normally 2x2 squares could fit into a 5' corridor by having all of the swarm be in two squares. The alternative is that the swarm cannot enter the corridor, and that's just silly.

I wouldn't have two swarms overlap one square where possible. If they absolutely had to be arranged so due to lack of space, I wouldn't subject a medium/small PC to more than one attack.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Oh, sorry. When I said they're not deformable, I didn't mean to suggest they can't fit through a 5-foot hall. I mean that in 1e, swarms were basically 4 5-foot squares that can be arranged however, so long as they're all connected. In 2e, they appear to be a 2x2 creature period.

As written, putting two 2x2 into the room requires a little overlap, but that's alright. But expanding to 6 players, Ice Titan suggested adding a third swarm, and there's just no reasonable way to play with three 2x2 creatures in a 3x3 room. I was curious how Ice Titan played that, and gave my own suggestion of moving the encounter into the larger room to the north.

Similarly, the three rats in A17 probably need to become 5 rats for 6 players, and I'll be swapping them with the bat in A19. 2e's a more mobile sort of combat, and cramming extra creatures into an already-small area really loses out on that benefit.


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evilvolus wrote:
Ice Titan wrote:
. Add a 3rd Spider Swarm
How did you wedge a third swarm into the room? I'm noticing it's not even big enough for two Large creatures...swarms don't seem to be deformable by rules in 2E.

In the Swarm Trait in the Bestiary, pg 347: A swarm can occupy the same space as other creatures. So the swarms can overlap.

They'll hit eachother when they use their swarm attack, but they only do 1d4 damage and have resistance 5 vs piercing so they don't harm or poison one another. I have a feeling this was intentional.


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Part 2 of the adventure is way easier to adjust for +2 players than part one was. The XP math ended up where it was almost always the best option to just add +1 creatures to the encounter, except in two cases-- the gelatinous cube, where I added the cultist skeleton inside that animates if the cube reaches half hp (a residual effect from the ward in B15), and the hellknight skeletons in the hall of graves where I added 2 more skeleton guards.

Very easy to adjust and I have a feeling it will be very easy for every level past 1. Thanks Paizo!

The Exchange

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Ice Titan wrote:
where I added the cultist skeleton inside that animates if the cube reaches half hp (a residual effect from the ward in B15)

I _love_ that.

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