Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pathfinder Encounter Design Help

Okay, so I decided to really give my encounters a look see. Maybe I am throwing things too hard at my players as I mentioned in my last post. For those of you who missed it; I've been having lots of PCs die lately and was wondering if my challenge ratings are a bit off--maybe my encounters are too imbalanced. So I looked up Encounter Design in the Gamemastering section of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and did some number crunching.

Only, now I'm more than a little puzzled. Maybe some of you Pathfinder gurus could help me out.
I have 11 1st level players and I want a challenging campaign. So PF says that comes out to a CR of 3.

APL = 1
+1 for above 6 PCs
+1 for challenging
CR = 3

Which means that a challenging encounter would amount to like 5 or 6 Goblins.

Really!? For 11 PCs? That somehow seems off to me. But it is definitely less than what I've been throwing at them.

Any thoughts?


Dak Ultimak said...

I'd double it. You have effectively 2 parties worth of players, so I'd go with CR 4. Or I'd add +1 for every 2 PCs above 6 (which would be the same thing.)

Sean Holland said...

Wow, 11 PCs, that is quite a horde. If they work well together, Dak is totally correct. I would consider them effectively at level 5 for encounter design, just watch out for creatures with DR or really high AC they can cut like a knife through low level characters.

Chris said...

Yeah, so when I threw 12 goblins at them (effectively a CR 5 or so) I wasn't out of line?

Tho' the CR might have been more like 6 with some environmental challenges (they were stuck on a shaky wooden deck with only one rope bridge for egress when the goblins attacked).

I still feel like it's bad decisions that's killing them more than encounter imbalance, but I wanted to be sure.

Rory Klein said...

Either that or I would add a higher level goblin, maybe a spell caster or mix it up and add a couple of wolves. They you get to use the trip rules that should help make it more of threat.