Preparing an Adventure

Because adventures are written for a variable number of characters across a range of levels, GMs need to adjust the scenario to their table using the Average Party Level and Table Size Scaling.

Determining Average Party Level

If the adventure has multiple level ranges, the GM will need to calculate the group’s Average Party Level (APL) to determine which range to use.

APL = (sum of character levels) / (number of characters)

Divide the total number of character levels by the number of characters in the party, rounding to the nearest whole number. (This is an exception to the usual ‘round down’ rule.) If the result of the Average Party Level calculation ends with 0.5, the players decide whether to round up or down.

Adjusting the Adventure

Level Range: Nearly all encounters list two different sets of creature statistics, one for each of the two level ranges the adventure is designed for. The adventure often also refers to important skill checks and saving throws in room descriptions or during events, listing one DC for the lower level range and one for the higher level range. In each of these cases, use the numbers, creatures, and other information listed for the selected level range.

Scaling: Within a level range, the scenario will also contain instructions for adjusting the difficulty of the scenario based on the number of PCs. These scaling instructions are usually in “scaling sidebars” but might also be in the text of the room description or encounter.

Legal Table Size: Starfinder Society adventures are written for four to six PCs. However, a GM can run a table with two or three players in some situations. In those cases, all four-player adjustments written into the adventure still apply. Make the following adjustments:

  • Adventures with a minimum level of 8 or lower: can be run for a table of two or three players by adding pregenerated iconic characters at the appropriate level to meet the minimum table size of four PCs. The GM can either play these characters themselves or have one or more players play them, provided the player or players agree.

    Pregenerated iconic characters are available for 1st, 4th, and 8th level. Use the pregens closest in level to the party’s APL, then recalculate the APL including the pregens since adding them may change the APL.

  • Adventures with a minimum level of 9 or higher: can be run for a table of 3 players, but only if all players at the table agree. A “hard mode” playthrough like this is expected to be satisfying, but remember that adventures are designed for a minimum of four PCs. Players and GMs are cautioned that playthroughs on "hard mode" will be more difficult than normal.

  • All levels: If there are still not enough players even with these adjustments and there is a player available who has already played the adventure, they can join the table, playing for no credit.

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