This is my first time as a GM, and our second session played, and I need this answered: how big is an encounter?

I'm doing the emerald spire and I'm trying to figure out: is the entire level an encounter or is it the room? The main reason for asking this is do I give any treasure for killing a room of goblins, or do I distribute the encounter among the entire level? (i.e. 260g for a room or the entire level?)


1 Answer 1


As defined in the Pathfinder SRD:

An encounter is a short scene in which the PCs are actively doing something. Examples of encounters include a combat with a monster, a social interaction significant to the adventure’s plot, an attempt to disarm a trap, or the discovery of a mystery or clue requiring further investigation.

So, unless the whole level of goblins are rushing the PCs all at once, it is one room.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that I can picture a whole dungeon level's worth of goblins rushing a party quite well. And it looks Awesome. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nigralbus
    Oct 22, 2014 at 7:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As someone about to run Emerald Spire for our group, I can see several of the first few encounters being one running combat. But not the whole first level. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBlake
    Oct 22, 2014 at 12:02

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