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[Shackled City] My players finished Ch.1 at level 4 - should I just skip to Ch. 3?

Duo Maxwell

Explorer
Situation: The 5 PCs that are participating in the Shackled City campaign (hc edition) just finished Life's Bazaar at level 4. I skimmed ahead and saw that chapter 2 (Drakthar's Way) revolves mostly around fighting goblins.

What I'd like to know: Should I just have my group skip ahead to chapter 3 (Flood Season), since it is recommended for 4th-level characters? Will my players miss anything important if I have them skip chapter 2 and move on to something that's more in line with their current level, or should it be run in the order that it was written? I really don't feel like they should be clobbering their way through goblins; any adventure whose battles come off as underpowered (and I don't feel like giving those goblins extra hit points) will make the evening a dull one for my group.

Those of you who ran this campaign from both the magazine and/or hardcover format, your input is greatly appreciated!

By the way, I understand that Chapter 2 did not appear in Dungeon Magazine when this Adventure Path was originally published.
 

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Cthulhudrew

First Post
I don't have chapter 2 myself, and am not at home to check any of my other issues, but is there a "Scaling the Adventure" sidebar in the adventure? I know that is listed as a mandatory feature of all adventures, but I couldn't tell you whether that means that it always shows up or not offhand.
 

Sunderstone

First Post
If you just made 4th level with a slightly larger party of 5, I would probably run "Drakthar's Way". If you all are well into 4th level, I'd skip it.

Being 5th level just in time for the Korpru ruins is optimal.

Just my 2 coppers. :)
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
The only plot point really introduced in Drakthar's Way is that someone is smuggling supplies and half-orc mercs in and out of Cauldron through those caves. It's not really needed, but it provides some foreshadowing for later adventures.

Drakthar's Way was written specifically for the Shackled City hardcover to bridge the level gap between Life's Bazaar and Flood Season. It makes the first couple modules seem a bit repetitive (oh look, another cavern complex below Cauldron...). I'd say you'd be safe in removing it, although you might consider expanding a few random encounters on the way to the Lucky Monkey or adding some more Alleybashers to ensure your party is high enough level for the Kopru Ruins. They're tricky.

Demiurge out.
 

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