Welcome back! My last post described one adventure in my adventure path, Cat's-Paw Deception, for 3rd-level characters. That outline isn't quite yet done, because the adventure doesn't yet have any treasure. Fortunately, the Pathfinder Core Rulebook makes choosing treasure easy. Page 509 provides that a 3rd-level adventure should give out a total of 500 gp of treasure. This breaks down as 2 Level 4 permanent items, 2 Level 3 permanent items, 2 Level 4 consumable items, 2 Level 3 consumable items, 2 Level 2 consumable items, and 120 gp. I find it easier to pick items than hit a specific budget. So let's pick some treasure! 

Oh, wait, before we do, let's realize that the adventure already has some treasure, in the items carried by foes we already picked. That's gear on the catfolk pouncers (which sells for 2 gp times 7 catfolk is 14 gp) and on the redcaps (which sells for 1 gp times 3 redcaps is 3 gp). Okay, that's only 17 gp, which doesn't cover very much. But this is something you should always look at!

Keep in mind that this adventure has 3 parts. The first part is facing off against great cats assaulting a town. This might not have very much treasure at all; perhaps a gem-studded collar on one of the animals. The second part is going up against the catfolk in their temporary lair. That could certainly have some treasure. The final part is raiding the redcaps in Rust Gorge; it seems like most of the treasure will be there. Looking at the treasure tables in the Core Rulebook, the following items seem thematically appropriate and of general use to a party:

Consumable 2: jade cat
Consumable 2: onyx panther 
Consumable 3: moderate alchemist's fire
Consumable 3: moderate quicksilver mutagen
Consumable 4: viper arrow
Consumable 4: barkskin potion
Permanent 3: coyote cloak
Permanent 3: lesser maestro's instrument
Permanent 4: +1 striking weapon
Permanent 4: staff of healing

While it's tempting to just map these to the combat encounters I designed last time, it's good to keep in mind that treasures can also come in non-combat encounters, such as a reward from grateful NPCs or discovered in storerooms in a lair. I'll plan on the staff of healing coming at the end of Part 1 from a grateful NPC, when the heroes have first saved the town. That puts one of the most powerful treasures in the heroes' hands early on, but that's fine. I'll put the +1 striking weapon at the very end; perhaps Rinda Rustboots has a +1 striking longsword, and she's planning to transfer the +1 and striking runes to her scythe but hasn't done so yet (if she had, she might be a bit too powerful for her level).

There's the gold to think of. Perhaps each great cat in Part 1 has a valuable collar that the catfolk use to mark them as their own. The heroes fight a total of 9 great cats; if we say each collar is worth 15 gp, that's 135 gp. We're up to 152 gp available in the adventure so far, which is above the budgeted amount, but it's always good to go a bit higher so the heroes don't end up under-value if they miss an encounter or two.

In Part 2, I'll say that the cat's lair has both of the cat-like talismans and the barkskin potion. That's not a lot of treasure in this part, but that's okay; it's possible the heroes try to negotiate their way through this part and they shouldn't be penalized for doing so by losing out on much treasure. In fact, maybe these items are kept in a sleeping area or other cache so the heroes can get them regardless.

Part 3 is where the bulk of our treasure would be. The redcaps probably have a couple of victims, to show that they're unrepentant little murderers. A dead bard could have the lesser maestro's instrument, and an alchemist could have the moderate alchemist's fire and moderate quicksilver elixir, and possibly some formulas useful to an alchemist in the party. That already tells something of a story: the redcaps have killed a party of adventurers and stashed their bodies, which also included the +1 striking longsword that Rinda Rustboots kept for herself. The party is a fighter, a bard, and an alchemist, and maybe a cleric or druid. This last person might still be alive, and able to give valuable information. in fact, I'll make it a lizardfolk stargazer, so the Gamemaster has stats in the Bestiary in case the heroes want this rescued prisoner to adventure with them for a little while (NPCs who accompany the heroes work best if they are "background" or "buffing" characters, and the lizardfolk stargazer is great in that role.)

There are a few other items to place, such as the coyote cloak and the viper arrow, and it's usually good to pick another item or two to add, just in case the heroes miss something. So I'll find a place for those, too, somewhere in Part 3.

Finally, I have to figure out precisely what the cat's-paw amulet is; the heroes certainly recover it from the redcaps, and likely return it to the catfolk, but maybe they don't. So it should be an item that isn't so powerful they're tempted to betray the catfolk and keep it, but powerful enough to be worth all the fuss. I think it works well if it functions as a choker of eloquence (a Level 6 item) that grants the catfolk language, Amurrun.

Let's put it all together with the encounter breakdown from last time, and call this our completed adventure outline.

Part 1: Assault on the Village
A village is under attack by feral great cats, and the heroes must travel from spot to spot to rescue townspeople and defeat the cats. Each has a strange collar marked with a paw rune worth 15 gp, so plainly they're trained (or semi-trained) by some other force. 
Encounter 1: The first encounter: 2 lions in the village square
Encounter 2: 3 leopards menacing workers in a mill
Encounter 3: 1 tiger and 1 leopard killing horses in the village stable
Encounter 4: Once the heroes have defeated the above, 1 tiger and 1 catfolk pouncer seek them out and attack them.
Out of gratitude, a village leader rewards the heroes with a staff of healing and encourages them to find the reason for the attack.

Part 2: Forest Base of the Catfolk
The catfolk are currently encamped in a thicket near town; it's clearly makeshift and not intended for long-term use, but it has several connected "rooms" with thicket walls. One empty room is something of a storeroom, with a jade cat, obsidian panther, and barkskin potion.
Encounter 1: On the way here, the heroes are ambushed by 1 lion and 2 catfolk pouncers. 
Encounter 2: 4 catfolk pouncers are guards; they call the heroes "thieves" and such.
Encounter 3: 1 intelligent smilodon named Crookfang stalks the thicket and fights the heroes. It doesn't care if they insist they aren't thieves or want to talk; the evil Crookfang is out for blood.
The catfolk leader is in a planning room deepest in the thicket; this leader parleys with the heroes instead of fighting them. She insists that other catfolk are coming to avenge the theft and destroy the village, and basically tries to shame the heroes into giving up the amulet they stole. When the heroes express ignorance, the leader says the catfolk have heard the village stole a sacred cat's-paw amulet from the catfolk tribe. The thief's trail led right to the village. The catfolk agrees to convince his tribe to hold off their attack if the heroes will find and return the sacred amulet.

Part 3: The Redcap Thieves
Encounter 1: When the heroes return to town to look around or ask around, they come upon a redcap dragging a sack of catfolk body parts through the town, clearly to cause more friction between the catfolk and the villagers. This redcap fights to the death, but villagers relate stories of similar creatures in Rust Gorge outside of town.
Encounter 2: 2 animated statues protect the entrance to Rust Gorge; the redcaps know a charm to keep the statues from animating, but the heroes have to fight them.
Encounter 3: The gorge is several caves off of a rocky valley floor. A redcap fights the heroes as they arrive here, and shouts a warning. This redcap wears a mangy coyote cloak pinned in place with a viper arrow.
Encounter 4: Rinda Rustboots releases 2 cockatrices into the gorge, where they eventually find the heroes and attack.
Another chamber is a corpse pit with the bodies of three dead adventurers: a fighter with broken full plate that still bears a dragon turtle scale, a bard with a lesser maestro's instrument, an alchemist with a satchel containing a moderate alchemist's fire, a moderate quicksilver elixir, and formulas for both of these as well as for lesser bomber's eye elixir and stone fist elixir.
Still another chamber is a prison that requires moving something heavy to open. Inside is a lizardfolk stargazer named Lex; she's a companion to the now-deceased adventurers whom the redcaps have been keeping alive so she can heal them (they like that her magic is primal instead of hated divine magic). Lex had just about given up hope of escape or revenge, but she eagerly joins the heroes if they free her.
Encounter 5: The final fight at the rear of the gorge is against Rinda Rustboot. A filthy stream flows through her chamber, which is part of a drowning pit trap at a chokepoint the heroes must cross. Rinda's private chamber contains a +1 striking longsword that used to belong to the fighter; she plans to transfer its runes to her personal scythe. Clues to the next adventure are also here, along with the cat's-paw amulet, which functions as a choker of eloquence granting the catfolk language.
The catfolk leader calls off the rest of his tribe's pending attack if the heroes return the cat's-paw amulet to him.