PFS2E 1-18: Lodge of the Living God


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Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 ****

Bill Tobin wrote:
Nathan Schwalm wrote:
The group of 6 I ran it for had 4 gp left in 11 days work having made a decision to avoid hiring workers for some of the last few days. It seems like it can run close, but should still be doable.
Nathan, how much were you charging? 3 gp per day or 3 gp per person each day?

1 gp per hireling per day (with everyone hiring 3 at a time), which I think is what you mean by the 3 gp per day. The 40 gp of incense required for the shrine takes a big chunk out.

Scarab Sages 2/5 ** Venture-Agent, Oregon—Portland

No, that would be what Bill meant by 3 GP per person per day, i.e., each PC pays 3 GP to hire three workers. 3 GP per day is the other interpretation — 3 GP each day to hire a number of workers equal to 3 x number of PCs.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 ****

Tom Parker wrote:
No, that would be what Bill meant by 3 GP per person per day, i.e., each PC pays 3 GP to hire three workers. 3 GP per day is the other interpretation — 3 GP each day to hire a number of workers equal to 3 x number of PCs.

And this is why the language is so confusing.

**

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When I played, we paid 3 gp/NPC/day and we finished pretty handily, even with one person dedicated to improving villager attitudes. That being said, my character was an Expert Crafter, so that really helped in terms of both being able to work a few things in parallel, as well as critical successes.

It is almost certainly the intention of the writers for the PCs to spend 3 gp/NPC/day rather than 3 gp/day. On the macro level, there's 160 person-days worth of work. Each gp is a person-day, so 110 gp = 110 person-days work from NPCs (however they're divided), plus 20 days x 6 players = 120 person-days work from PCs, which adds up to 230 person-days work possible. A 60-ish percent success rate will allow completion.

The big issue is the very stiff penalty that arises from going from 1 gp left to 0 gp left. I agree that seems like a disproportionately small infraction for the very large loss of 3 Treasure Bundles. However, this seems in line with loss of Treasure Bundles in a few other scenarios (not sure what the policy is on cross-scenario spoilers, so I'll refrain from examples), which I also feel are disproportionate, bordering on capricious.

When I run this, I plan to give escalating warnings/hints so that nobody gets sticker shock when they get their Chronicle. Put another way, if they decide to use the very last of their money (rather than not hiring NPCs and finishing with just PC labor), it should feel like a 3 Treasure Bundle decision, not a 0 Treasure Bundle decision.

Scarab Sages 3/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue

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I'm going to argue the counterpoint in the intended cost assessment.

The services table (CRB, pg 294) indicates a skilled hireling costs 5 sp / day and an unskilled hireling costs 1 sp per day. So for 3 gp, I could hire 3 skilled hireling (the scenario provides a stone mason and 2 carpenters) and 15 random non-skilled hirelings.

That totals 18 NPCs which would be the maximum for a 6 person PC group to hire for a single day. I think it's much more likely that the 3gp per day approximates this. A four PC table could technically pay less, each day, but the math difference is minor, (1.5gp plus 9sp = 2.4gp per day). Not really worth the effort math wise.

If you want to push what the PCs spend (and this isn't in the scenario), ask the PCs where they are staying and what they're eating. The keep isn't habitable until they clear out the barracks. The one Inn probably charges 1sp per day per person. Food wise, figure 2 square meals and a poor meal (sack lunch?) and each PC will spend another 1 sp per day.

Honestly, I think rounding all that to 3gp per day for the group is a simple and easy way to account for the above. I don't think the intent is to turn this into an accounting drill.

**

At 3 gp per day, the group physically cannot spend all the money in 30 days.

I would explain the inflated price by saying prices are higher than CRB in unknown or unfriendly places.

Scarab Sages 3/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue

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Watery Soup wrote:

At 3 gp per day, the group physically cannot spend all the money in 30 days.

I would explain the inflated price by saying prices are higher than CRB in unknown or unfriendly places.

True. But looking at worst case (high sub-tier, 5 players)

5 PCs x 23 days x 3gp each = 345gp
add 10gp for the bribe at the docks
and 40gp for the ritual
The grand total is 395 gp. 145 more than what is given to them. Does the scenario intent to bleed the PCs personal gold and then not award the final 3 treasure bundles?

Or the other way, worst case (high sub-tier, 4 players)
28 days x 3gp each = 84g +10 +40 = 134gp.
Can't fail and the PCs get the final 3 treasure bundles.

Given - the check table provide assumes the PCs hire 3 workers
Given - the prices given in the CRB as noted above
Given - the only purchasable items in the scenario (healing potions) are not marked up and no local inflation is mentioned.
Given - the somewhat vague wording of the that we have gone back and forth about

I tend to believe the 3gp is an attempt at a simplification of bookkeeping an an already complicated downtime/skill challenge.

**

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John Brinkman wrote:
Does the scenario intent to bleed the PCs personal gold and then not award the final 3 treasure bundles?

I don't think so, but I think this has a pretty easy solution - the GM should warn the players about draining the account and/or putting in their own money. If they are to spend the last gp, they should be aware that this is a significant decision with (potentially) severe consequences.

It should be a possibility that the PCs catastrophically fail, lose 3 Treasure Bundles, and put in their own gold -- it just shouldn't come as a surprise at the end.

At 3 gp/NPC/day, the challenge seems pretty reasonable - you need a 60% success rate over 30-40 checks. You run out of NPC money very early on, which is a little troublesome, but there's enough time to finish on your own.

The worst case scenario is bad, yes, but the worst case scenario is supposed to be bad.

John Brinkman wrote:
Or the other way ... Can't fail and the PCs get the final 3 treasure bundles.

If the PCs physically can't fail, then it's not a challenge. As a matter of fact, if the PCs can't fail, then there's zero point in accounting at all - the whole point of the accounting system is that there's supposed to be some chance of failure.

That the PCs can't fail would be an argument against design, not an argument for design.

John Brinkman wrote:
Given - the prices given in the CRB as noted above

I agree there's a discrepancy. However, we're left trying to resolve the situation in one of two ways:

Option 1: 3 gp/NPC/day. The challenge is doable and reasonable, with the dynamic range spans barely succeeding within a few days (best case scenario) to catastrophically failing (worst case scenario); however, it is inconsistent with the prices in the CRB.

Option 2: 3 gp/day. The challenge is underpowered and obviates the need for a complicated accounting system specifically put into the scenario; the dynamic range spans auto-succeeding (worst case scenario) to critically succeeding (within a few days); however, it is consistent with the prices in the CRB.

I choose Option 1; my in-character explanation is that the labor costs differ for regional reasons or a pre-negotiated sweetheart rate. To be clear, I don't actually think that's the reason - I think the "real" reason is that the author didn't know that the CRB had these prices listed, so he/she created an internally consistent system that seemed like a proportional challenge.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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I ran this with a 3GP "Full-Time Equivalent" instead of a flat 3GP per day for the whole town. As Watery points out, there's no reason to even have the accounting challenge if there's no risk of failure in the first place.

If it turns out the no-risk option was the authors' intent:
I'd recommend that they remove any wheel-spinning from future work. Handwave unnecessary checks; instead, write something like "you receive enough gold to complete the project." As a GM and as a player, I'd rather suspend my disbelief than play an Accounting Simulation Game. I have enough of that as a PFS player as-is.

The exorbitant labor cost has very plausible in-world explanation: the Razmiran clergy are probably collecting all the Pathfinders' gold in the form of "taxes." I saw this whole project as nothing but a money-laundering scheme. Narsen got the Pathfinders to rebuild a valuable fort for free, exploited the local citizenry, and filled his coffers with foreign gold.

This is exactly what Razmir — thrice-blessed be his name — would want!

5/5 5/5 **** Venture-Captain, Vermont—St. Johnsbury

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I ran this four times at PaizoCon. After running it with 3 gp/day for the first three sessions, the entire downtime activity became silly. It felt like the entire exercise was nothing but a time waste.

However, on my last session, each day I deducted 1 gold per npc hired. Sometimes it was fifteen gold. Sometimes it was nine gold. It finally all made sense. That is what was clearly intended. Most groups will be able to finish all of their tasks, but they may need to do some of the work themselves. It certainly helps players to have a character or two trained in crafting.

I built a page on Roll20 where I had one token for each task as well as a token for each npc. NPCs were labeled with a C for carpenter, B for blacksmith, S for stonemason, and SG for a sage. Everyone had control over all the tokens and they also moved the progress on each token that I used for downtime tasks. They crossed out tasks that were completed. I also gave them the DCs of the tasks in each task token and this helped speed up the process.

We finished in about four hours fifteen minutes, however I did skip the midge fight and the second wave of undead. Overall, I loved this scenario, and my players did as well. I admit, it runs long, but it really helps when players are organized and can communicate well with each other. Otherwise, you are certain to run out of time.

Radiant Oath 1/5 *

I ran this as 1g per NPC, so generally 3 gold per player, but it varied day by day, and the fifth player spent nearly every day talking to the
locals. They completed the last steps of a number of projects solo, and finished with a couple of gold left over and a few days left on the time limit. It worked well, as they were keeping an eye on their expenditures and it felt tight without being overly restrictive.

**

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Doug Hahn wrote:
I saw this whole project as nothing but a money-laundering scheme. Narsen got the Pathfinders to rebuild a valuable fort for free, exploited the local citizenry, and filled his coffers with foreign gold.

That escalated quickly.


As written, the cost is 3gp per day to hire 3 npcs per pc. It does not say 3gp per day per pc. As posted above by John Brinkman, according to the CRB, it does not in any way cost 1 gp to hire someone to clean the rubble. He posted the BEST examples I've seen yet. His numbers add up almost exactly. I just don't see how any other arguments hold up with any weight. We need to see if staff says anything in particular about this point.

I don't get why others are ignoring John's explanation.

Spoiler:
John Brinkman wrote:

I'm going to argue the counterpoint in the intended cost assessment.

The services table (CRB, pg 294) indicates a skilled hireling costs 5 sp / day and an unskilled hireling costs 1 sp per day. So for 3 gp, I could hire 3 skilled hireling (the scenario provides a stone mason and 2 carpenters) and 15 random non-skilled hirelings.

That totals 18 NPCs which would be the maximum for a 6 person PC group to hire for a single day. I think it's much more likely that the 3gp per day approximates this. A four PC table could technically pay less, each day, but the math difference is minor, (1.5gp plus 9sp = 2.4gp per day). Not really worth the effort math wise.

If you want to push what the PCs spend (and this isn't in the scenario), ask the PCs where they are staying and what they're eating. The keep isn't habitable until they clear out the barracks. The one Inn probably charges 1sp per day per person. Food wise, figure 2 square meals and a poor meal (sack lunch?) and each PC will spend another 1 sp per day.

Honestly, I think rounding all that to 3gp per day for the group is a simple and easy way to account for the above. I don't think the intent is to turn this into an accounting drill.

***

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So here's a million dollar question: If one of the townspeople becomes hostile (due to critical failures on making an impression) can they ever be 'won back' or are there any negative effects for the failure? I'm not seeing anything.

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