Pathfinder RPG Pathfinder: Encounter Design Simplified




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  1. #1
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    Pathfinder: Encounter Design Simplified

    Step One: Determine the Encounter Budget

    For each PC in the party, look up his level, and add the indicated amount of XP to the encounter budget.

    Example: Party of four 1st level PCs each add +100 to the budget; total budget = 400 XP.

    Code:
    Level	XP Budget (per PC)
    1	100
    2	150
    3	200
    4	300
    5	400
    6	600
    7	800
    8	1200
    9	1600
    10	2400
    11	3200
    12	4800
    13	6400
    14	9600
    15	12800
    16	19200
    17	25600
    18	38400
    19	51200
    20	76800
    Step Two: Determine Desired Difficulty

    Multiply the total XP budget by the following multipliers:

    Easy: x2/3 (-1 EL)
    Average: x1
    Challenging: x1.5 (+1 EL)
    Hard: x2 (+2 EL)
    Epic: x3 (+3 EL)

    Example: Initial budget 400, challenging encounter x1.5, final budget = 600.

    Step Three: Purchase Creatures from the Budget

    Using the Creature XP values provided by Pathfinder, "purchase" creatures out of your encounter budget.

    Code:
    CR	XP
      1/10	40
      1/8 	50
      1/6 	65
      1/4 	100
      1/3 	135
      1/2 	200
    1	400
    2	600
    3	800
    4	1200
    5	1600
    6	2400
    7	3200
    8	4800
    9	6400
    10	9600
    11	12800
    12	19200
    13	25600
    14	38400
    15	51200
    16	76800
    17	102400
    18	153600
    19	204800
    20	307200
    21	409600
    22	614400
    23	819200
    24	1228800
    25	1638400
    NOTE 1: If you have to purchase more than 10 of any creature, it's probably not going to add much to the challenge of the encounter.

    NOTE 2: Buy the most expensive creatures first. When you are done, if you have points left over, you can either toss them aside, or you can "overspend" just enough to buy one creature of the closest available amount.


    Pathfinder Examples
    These examples are taken directly from the Alpha 2 document.

    Let’s say you want your group of four 5th-level characters to fight a group of ogres (CR 3).
    Four 5th level characters each add 400 XP to the budget, for a total of 1600 XP.

    An average fight (x1 budget multiplier, 1600 budget) is 2 ogres (CR3=800 each).

    A challenging fight (x1.5 budget multiplier, 2400 budget) is 3 ogres.

    A hard fight (x2 budget multiplier, 3200 budget) is 4 ogres.

    An epic fight (x3 budget multiplier, 4800 budget) is 6 ogres.

    Let’s say you want your group of six 8th-level PCs to face off against a group of gargoyles (CR 4) and their stone giant boss (CR 8). This is to be a challenging fight.
    Six 8th level PCs is a base budget of 6 x 1200XP, or 7200 XP.

    It's to be a challenging fight, x1.5, final budget = 10800 XP.

    Stone Giant (CR8) costs us 4800 XP, leaving 6000 XP to spend on gargoyles.

    Gargoyles cost 1200 XP each; 6000/1200 = five gargoyles.
    Last edited by Wulf Ratbane; Wednesday, 9th July, 2008 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Added attachment here http://www.enworld.org/forum/showpost.php?p=4368372&postcount=82

 

  • #2
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    I like that! Seems like a simple, consistent system. I think I will steal it right now.

    The Auld Grump, tired enough that he thought yelling 'Look it's a monkey!' and grabbing the system would be funny....
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    And the Bo'sun tight,
    And the crew of the captain's gig...

    I got a Silver Level subscription to EN World for
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  • #3
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    That is pretty good work.

    Did you post this over on Paizo?

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    Very nicely done Wulf.
    Just be thankful I'm not a twin.

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  • #5
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    Ignore Wulf Ratbane
    Quote Originally Posted by Wicht
    That is pretty good work.

    Did you post this over on Paizo?

    No, I emailed it directly to Jason Buhlman a couple of days ago.

    However, I did not hear back from him, presumably because (if I may paraphrase him from his blog) he is trying to get the next alpha out and he has literally thousands of emails and forum posts to comb through.

    At the time I also suggested a couple of other things to Jason that I did not include in my initial post here, chief of which is changing the "base" XP from 400 to 240.

    • 240 is evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10. It makes it easy to calculate the XP values of creatures less than CR1 without any rounding off.
    • It's also easier to divide that XP award equally among a greater number of typical party sizes (obviously missing only 7 and 9). (If you have 11 or more PCs in your party, you need to share some players around, you greedy prick.)
    • If you use 240 as the baseline XP, and following Pathfinder's advancement assumptions of 20 average encounters or 13.33 challenging encounters, then the Character Advancement table looks like this (the 3rd column is rounded to the nearest 500 xp):

      Code:
      Level	XP req.		(rounded)
      1	0		0
      2	1,200		1,000
      3	3,000		3,000
      4	5,400		5,500
      5	9,000		9,000
      6	13,800		14,000
      7	21,000		21,000
      8	30,600		30,500
      9	45,000		45,000
      10	64,200		64,000
      11	93,000		93,000
      12	131,400		131,500
      13	189,000		189,000
      14	265,800		266,000
      15	381,000		381,000
      16	534,600		534,500
      17	765,000		765,000
      18	1,072,200	1,072,000
      19	1,533,000	1,533,000
      20	2,147,400	2,147,500
      If you change the base value from 400 to 240, the other tables change as well, obviously, but the format is the same.


    Anyhow, I posted this here for comment, and in the hopes it might raise the profile a bit.

    Obviously I have a vested interest in making sure that the things I am working on are as compatible with Pathfinder as possible.

  • #6
    Clever. Spiffy mathing, I say!

  • #7
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    Thanks for the alternate system, Wulf! I'm looking forward to trying "point buy" encounter design in my PF game.

  • #8
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    Ignore Wulf Ratbane
    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham Gamemaster
    Thanks for the alternate system, Wulf! I'm looking forward to trying "point buy" encounter design in my PF game.
    Much more to come.



  • #9
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    This is exactly the sort of stuff I want to see in Pathfinder. Keeping the basics of 3E but giving us ways to do things quicker and easier.

    Awesome job Wulf! Yoinked.
    Certainty of death, small chance of success. What are we waiting for!

  • #10
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    I am getting ready to plat test the alpha release with some friends here really soon. This is going to be a great help!

    thanks!
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