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  1. #1

    Questions/Advice on sub-tiers and party size

    I have the following party assembled for the scenario #2-01: 2 x level 1, 3 x level 2 and 1 x level 3. The average level is rounded up to 2, and because it has 6 characters and it's a module for season 2, the party's APL is increased to 3. I should run the scenario at subtier 3-4 with this party.

    First question: will this be too nasty for the two level 1 characters and the party as a whole?

    Second question: a larger party, especially if the subtier is more challenging, will slow down the game. If I kept the above party together and ran at subtier 3-4, will the scenario likely run beyond 5 hours?

    Since there is an alternate level 3 character, the other option is to break the party up in two and recruit a 4th player for the second party.

    Thanks for the advice.

  2. #2
    These are good questions

    If the average party level is coming to 3 in total the party has the choice to either play up to subtier 4-5 or play down to subtier 1-2. As you say, having 1st levels in a subtier 4-5 will be challenging to them as there will probably be creatures and traps that can take them out with one shot. I would say that in this instance, as the apl is 3, the party would probably be better playing at subtier 1-2. It is up to them though if they want to take the risk.

    Getting a balanced group can be a problem. I have been trying to run two sessions f or the tier 1-5 scenarios, so there is a subtier 1-2 game and a subtier 4-5 game. I think this has worked well and I will continue to do this. Having higher level players in low subtier games is not really good for anyone as the character gets less loot than they should for their level. There is a lot more treasure available at subtier 4-5. Also, 3rd and 4th level characters tend to find subtier 1-2 games quite routine and it doesn't give the other party members as much to do.

    If you can, and you want to, I would post a second session at subtier 4-5 and see if you can get it to float. It also means that you are getting value for money for you scenario

    I haven't found that the subtier 4-5 sessions go on longer than the 1-2's. It could be that everyone is kicking out more damage and/or is more used to their characters and fg etc by then.

    Hope this helps - good luck with it
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. Oddly enough, PFS #2-01 (tier 1-7) has subtiers 1-2, 3-4 and 6-7 instead of the subtier 4-5.

    (SPOILER ALERT: If you will be playing in this scenario, you may want to skip the remainder of this post!)

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    The encounters in the scenario at subtier 3-4 are 1 x CR3, 2 x CR4 and 3 x CR5. Most of these are run in a sandbox, so the order for most is unpredictable, but they won't necessarily all happen in the same day, so there could be rest time in there for casters.

    The six character party I have posted earlier will definitely be bored by the encounters at subtier 1-2. A six character party will always outnumber foes at tier 3-4; I'm thinking it'd be challenging, but not overly lethal... Hmmm...

  4. #4
    fair enough - its your game at the end of the day - just roll with what you think is best
    Last edited by Skellan; November 14th, 2012 at 17:21.
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  5. #5
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lachancery
    First question: will this be too nasty for the two level 1 characters and the party as a whole?
    Playing up with a 1st level always has the chance that it will be too nasty for these characters - especially if they try to mix it up in melee combat. I recommend players not playing up with a level 1 as it usually ends up with the player keeping a low profile. But, as along as the player is aware of the risks it is up to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by lachancery
    Second question: a larger party, especially if the subtier is more challenging, will slow down the game. If I kept the above party together and ran at subtier 3-4, will the scenario likely run beyond 5 hours?
    Any party of 6 slows the combat down - I don't think it really applies to the subtier level - in fact, at higher subtiers sometimes the strikers do lots of damage and clear the deck quicker than at lower tiers.

    As you've already mentioned, this is a more sandboxy adventure - you will have to keep an eye on the clock throughout the adventure and keep the players on track if they aren't moving along. When I ran this we ended at 4:30 (I originally advertised it as a 4 hour slot, now I do 5 hours) and we didn't do the final encounter.

    Quote Originally Posted by lachancery
    Since there is an alternate level 3 character, the other option is to break the party up in two and recruit a 4th player for the second party.
    If you don't mind running it twice, then this is always an option - hopefully the players being moved to the second slot can make it if you decide to do that. Then you'd have to run part 2 twice also!
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Trenloe
    Playing up with a 1st level always has the chance that it will be too nasty for these characters - especially if they try to mix it up in melee combat. I recommend players not playing up with a level 1 as it usually ends up with the player keeping a low profile. But, as along as the player is aware of the risks it is up to them.

    If you don't mind running it twice, then this is always an option - hopefully the players being moved to the second slot can make it if you decide to do that. Then you'd have to run part 2 twice also!
    Thanks for the advice on playing up with level 1 characters. On the topic of running it twice, I just want to confirm what I understood of the PFS rules: I would only get a GM chronicle sheet once for it, right? In which case, it might be a good thing to "share the love" with so someone else who has played it so they too can get credit for it? Am I mistaken?

  7. #7
    Yes, you would only get gm credit once for each scenario so running each one once is best to level your characters up.
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  8. #8
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lachancery
    On the topic of running it twice, I just want to confirm what I understood of the PFS rules: I would only get a GM chronicle sheet once for it, right? In which case, it might be a good thing to "share the love" with so someone else who has played it so they too can get credit for it? Am I mistaken?
    Yes, for non tier 1 (i.e. level 1 only scenarios/sanctioned modules, e.g. first steps, we be goblins, etc.) the GM can only ever get one chronicle sheet. Extra games still count as a session towards your Paizo GM star rating though.
    Private Messages: My inbox is forever filling up with PMs. Please don't send me PMs unless they are actually private/personal messages. General FG questions should be asked in the forums - don't be afraid, the FG community don't bite and you're giving everyone the chance to respond and learn!

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