Greetings, Damon from Shotgun Angel Games here. Today I am going to give you a look at some features of our upcoming adventure Goblin Punk for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Many premade adventures you find for your Pathfinder games are for low level groups. They are a handy way to start out a fresh game, but once you are several sessions and level into a game, they lose some or all of thier utility. Of course there are adventures for higher level groups out there, but we wanted to make Goblin Punk applicable to a large number of games.
So what did we to achieve this? The main issue with premade adventures that limits their usability is that the encounters are designed for a specific average party level, or a small range of levels. Of course, the game master can always change the opponents and dangers of each encounter. This however removed some of the utility of a premade adventure. Having the encounters and enemies set up and ready for you as the game master is one benefits. It saves you a lot of prep time. We wanted Goblin Punk to be just as useful and fun for parties between level one and level ten. So the encounters needed to be meaningful to parties of those levels. There are two main thing in the adventure that achieve this. First, all of the npc enemies in the antagonist section have three variations. Each one is a higher level and more experienced version of the earlier ones. Secondly, each encounter in the adventure has an encounter sidebar with suggestions on what numbers and versions of the antagonists to used for your party based on it average party level. Every adventuring party is different, so these suggestions may need to be altered to match the strengths (or weaknesses) of your party. Of course, this is true for every adventure ever printed. The first encounter in the adventure is actually meant to not only to help set up the story, but will give you an idea on how the encounters numbers match your party.
Another issue that can often come up when using a premade adventure is the players themselves! Or more accurately, the decisions of the players. One of the things that makes roleplaying games great is the open world nature of them. The players are free to forge thier own paths. This is also one of the things that can make running the game a headache. Your players may very well decide to do things that will surprise both you, and us as the authors. Those decisions can lead well away from the intended events and locations of the adventure. For example, maybe your group decides to wait for the army troopers that are expected to arrive in the near future before heading out to deal with the goblin threat. The adventure as written expects them to head out on thier own, so this will change a number of things. Well, we tried to account for a number of these types of things. Near the end of the adventure if a section dedicated to describing how events will play out based on alternate choices by your players. Did we think of everything? No, but we tried to anticipate some of the more adventure derailing ones and give you an idea on how Watchtooth and his minions would react.
Have fun storming the castle! (Yes, there is a castle in the adventure.)