Just wondering if everyone followed the levelling guidance in the beginning of each volume?
Book 5 is mostly 14 and 15 with 16th at the end, and book 6 is 16 and 17 with 18th at the end.
I'm tempted to accelerate a little and have 17th at the end of book 5 and allow everyone to get to 20th at the end of book 6.
Any thoughts, experiences, or recommendations?
Go for it!
I let my players level up from experience points. And, because they are an oversize party and very good at combat, I usually increase the difficulty of the encounters. In other adventure paths, my players skipped enough non-essential encounters to level up at the rate the modules intended. In Ironfang Invasion, my players added extra encounters to free enslaved villagers. This has given them extra levels. They began Siege of Stone at 13th level. That module begins at 11th level.
I left many of the encounters in Part 1, The Goddess Below, and Part 2, The Long Walk, at their original difficulty, easy encounters interesting more because of the strange creatures and exotic people involved. The Long Walk had a lot of CR 8, 9, and 10 creatures against an expected 12th-level party, so it was not intended to be tough. Their enemy is Ironfang Legion, not the Darklanders, so I want to save their most brutal battles for the Ironfang Legion.
Due to low-xp encounters, they will be only halfway to 14th level when they begin Part 3, Judgment of the Sky Citadel. Thus, I could arrange for the party to begin Prisoners of the Blight at 14th level as intended.
But I am tempted run maximum-difficulty challenges in the 2nd half of Siege of Stone to let them begin Prisoners of the Blight at 15th level. The players are agreeable to ending the adventure path at 20th level. And since I am converting Ironfang Invasion to Pathfinder 2nd Edition, I have to rewrite a lot of the creatures, anyways.
Go for it!... And since I am converting Ironfang Invasion to Pathfinder 2nd Edition, I have to rewrite a lot of the creatures, anyways.
I've kept things pretty much on par with the recommendations up to now (Book 5), but I'd guess with you rewriting for 2ed it is a learning experience all round.Good point on the main enemy being the Ironfang, but I do feel that for my group, having book 5 with the fey, has opened a small door on them considering negotiations rather than just charging into combat, and that is something that I think will become much more important for book 6.
There are a lot of encounters (24) between the beginning of book 5 (recommended start 14th) and the descent to the lower palace (which is the recommended spot for everyone to be level 15) which seems overly excessive.
I think post-Naphexi might be a suitable extra bump spot in book 5.