Yeah the whole idea of people breaking freaked out by a synthesist anymore than other pretty common things in elf land doesn't really hold water.
The synthesist is not worth the headache it will give you at the table. I like the concept but the archetype as written isn't workable. Not really a fan of the class either.
Carrion crown could probably be scooby doed fairly easily. The problem solving/investigative aspect of it really depends on the group and as a GM its quite easy for you to dump the key clue in the party's lap if you feel things are lagging. Plus there's a variety of helpful NPCs for each adventure that can provide aid.
Yeah oddly enough the horror AP would probably be one of the better APs to tackle with kids (though not sure what to do with Wake of the Watcher, the lovecraftian adventure)
Ran this not too long ago, encounters varied wildly in difficulty. The erinyes nearly wiped the party on the bridge. As for the other encounters I'd say they ranged from easy to middle of the road. However, the Promethean as others have noted is generally not defeat able without the aid of the Beast and it is very likely the Beast will be killed by the promethean.
Just curious why you don't have the heart to continue RoTRL? It sounds like your players want to continue.
I'd agree with the recommendation for Curse of the Crimson Throne as quite possibly the best of the APs. Running Jade Regent currently and also quite good (though Book 3 needs to be stripped down quite a bit).
Jubilex. Sure Orcus has the ruby wand, Demogorgon is weird and unique but Jubilex is gross and kind of fascinating as a very alien force. Plus oozes, molds, fungus stuff is creepy. Ever since 1e and the strange picture of him in the MM, I've thought Jubilex was a demon lord that I should use sometime in a campaign. Never have though. Which just goes to show he's not the most out-of the box villain to use like say Orcus (who I'd say is 2nd for me, though I do like Shax as well)
New to Pathfinder...Experienced GM / DM / ST looking to give his RPer's a more role playing experience rater than a fantasy dungeon crawl
I would recommend a test drive with your group. Use the prd online to access rules and build characters. Then either try creating an introductory adventure or using a published one. Hollow's Last Hope is a solid starting adventure with rping potential or you could try looking at the PFS scenarios (I quite like Mists of Mwangi, I've used that a couple of times to introduce people to the game).
See what your group thinks. It may not be to their liking as PF or 3.5 is pretty big on mechanics as opposed to more flexible rules-lite systems such as Savage Worlds.
Carrion Crown wiped our party out 6 times over before we made it to the third module...we kind of gave up on it after that.
Not to sidetrack the thread, but how? We just started the third book and the party is not at all optimized and while the cleric has been on deaths door numerous times I often ramp up the difficulty to keep it challenging.
I would too that while we've had adventures like Scarwall which present a great haunted castle we haven't seen the gothic castle adventure yet. Scarwall had a lot going on between Zon-Kuthon, dead blue dragon stuff and miscellaneous undead. Even Carrion Crown didn't really have it (harrowstone was great but not a castle). Would be great to see something really in the classic mood. Plus a chance for the DM to talk like Bela Lugosi is always a good thing.
Jack London's Yukon stories have a pulpy punch to them. Though I would add, To Build a Fire is overrated.
Some good non-fiction recommendations:
Ancient Mariner by Ken McGoogan covers the life of Samuel Hearne, an explorer with the Hudson Bay Company who explored much of the Canadian arctic.
Fatal Passage (also McGoogan) is a bio of John Rae the man who discovered the northwest passage and was involved in trying to locate the Franklin Expedition.
Both books do an excellent job of conveying their subjects experience and the harrowing conditions they worked in.
The Deck of Many Things often comes up with some great complications. One example from a campaign I ran was the elven ninja in the party drew after everybody else (all of which had received something positive) and got 1d6 evil version of himself are created who oppose his goals. Now he wasn't aware of the outcome when he pulled the card, I just asked to roll a d6. He got a six. I left hanging until next session when the party encountered a host of elven ninjas with black goatees during their conference with their newfound allies.
There was another encounter that party fought where the party was going up against an efreeti and a band of goons who used the efreet's wish powers as a way to attack the party. After a goon said I wish you'd go to hell, the same player, the elven ninja failed his Will and was promptly sent to the Nine Hells.
I would suggest if your group tends to the rp heavy before jumping (and investing) into an AP you may want to try a stand alone module. A really strong rp module that is also level 1 is Hangman's Noose. It was designed for 3.5 but should be minimal work to run in PF. See how the players like the system before jumping into a full on campaign. Another good (and again 3.5) rp introductory adventure is Hollow's Last Hope (and its free). It also has some good rp qualities. I don't know much about Crypt of the Everflame which was the PF introductory adventure.
That said if your players like to rp they will create those opportunities. The system while not as rules-lite as Savage Worlds is not necessarily the most relevant item when it comes to rping.
I would also add there is also simply the bloat factor. Paizo's material has a wealth of options and possibilities I generally restrict options to Paizo published content with the caveat of if you have something you really want to try show me. That said I'm a bit of hypocrite as I usually DM and I do often use monsters from other companies.
I do have a good opinion of a few companies namely Kobold Press, Frog God and a few others.
All very good advice. CocT was I think the best campaign I've ran, and the best of the APs I've read.
1. Be upfront with the players, the characters need to have a stake in the city. A motivation to want to save it. If they build this into their background they'll have much more enjoyment plus they'll also create some backstories that you'll be able to weave into the events of the AP.
2. Books 4 and 5 are good but I would suggest cutting it down a bit to keep the plot going forward. My group actually really liked History of Ashes (again it helped that we had two Shoanti characters who had a connection to 1000 Bones) Scarwall is a kick-ass dungeon but it is huge so it can be a bit of a slog.
3. I made the re-taking of the city a bit more epic as the party had worked hard to forge alliances with the Shoanti and Magnimar. Nothing like leading an army on the field to say hey we're high level.
THe only suggestion I would make is browse the site and read the descriptions. A lot of the APs are geared towards specific genres (e.g. horror =Carrion Crown) so if you're group likes pirates then S&S might be the thing.
For overall crowd-pleasing APs I'd suggest Kingmaker or Jade Regent. Shattered Star is very heavy on the dungeon-crawling but looks fun. Its a bit more work but Crimson Throne is in my opinion the best overall AP but will need some conversion work as its 3.5
Hi all, an odd request but I thought I'd put it out on the boards. Putting a group together and we've more or less agreed on Carrion Crown. However, I ran the first book before and one of the players has also Gmed that adventure. I quite like Harrowstone and might just run it again (the player has no problems doing that either and I would change things up enough to keep him on his toes) but I would be curious to hear any suggestions for adventures I could use to replace Harrowstone? Even a PFS scenario(s). The only thing is I still want to incorporate Lorrimor and the funeral as the hook to tie the group together. Any thoughts?
That or suggestions as to how to put Lorrimor into Trial of the Beast?
I completely replaced the dungeon part with the Ruby Phoenix Tournament. The four NPCs are doing the dungeon while the PCs are away at the tournament. ;)
Will have to check that module out. That said I like the setting of the Forest of Spirits, the first part with the Prince and meeting the kami, just the House of Withered Blossoms seems so ho-hum especially plunked in the middle of this fantastical exotic setting.
Truthfully, I feel this AP is very sandbox-y.
The first adventure leaves a fair amount of choice, Brinewall is a dungeon crawl but theres lots of opportunities to make alliances, interact with the factions or just kick the door down.
The second adventure is an investigation and how the party accomplishes that is really up to them. I know that I tailored quite a bit to how the party deciding to go about it.
The third adventure is really the only travel adventure and I'm halfway through it with my group. In order to make it interesting I've added quite a bit to the encounters and overall feeling so that each session has some kind of story to it.
Not sure what I'm going to do with Forest of Spirits, I really loathe the dungeon crawl in it.
The last two books would benefit greatly from upping the sandbox quality as they are essentially about organizing a revolt and launching a coup.
That and I would add we've made fair use of the cheating death rule just remember they need to have two Hero Points in 'storage'.
That and I would add we've made fair use of the cheating death rule just remember they need to have two Hero Points in 'storage'.
I've tried them out for the first time during my Jade Regent campaign. I was a bit skeptical but thought I'd try them as we weren't doing xp so I use them as a reward for individual rping, derring-do etc and each player gets one each time they level as well.
On the whole I like them and the players seem to enjoy them as well. My group notoriously hoards them not using them even when they probably should have. However, they do tend then to unload them in boss fights which has worked out fine in this campaign so far as all the end fights have been pretty bloody for them. That said if your group follows this behaviour be prepared to toughen up your final encounter.
There's a lot to like about the finale and even this season but unfortunately there also seemed to be a lot of missteps in plotting, and story in favour of whiz bang pacing. The GI has a lot of potential as a villain but seemed really undeveloped and underused.
I love the Deck of Many Things. Its funny how many times it showed up in games I played as a kid (and usually ended poorly, I do remember my low level wizard going up against Death single-handedly).
I used it as a DM in an AP campaign and we had a lot of fun, used the Harrow Deck of Many Things and on the whole it helped the PCs though my favourite was the last player to make a draw (and it should be noted this player often had bad luck) after everyone else got something shiny pulled the card that created 1d6 evil versions of himself that sought to thwart his plans. He rolled a six. Needless to say next session the party met a lot of elves with goatees and sneak attacks. Good times.
I'd ask the group what they're interested in terms of styles, genres. Carrion Crown is great for instance if you're group is up for gothic horror but probably won't work as well if they're not. In terms of recommendations I'll second Crimson Throne as the best of the APs and has broad appeal but it is 3.5. I'm halfway through running Jade Regent for a group of mostly new PF players and it has been going well on the whole (the 3rd book needs some re-work).
Different strokes for different folks. But really the OPs remarks aren't get anything more than leave Numeria, Distant Worlds out of your campaign. The only thing I'd add is that the boundaries b/w fantasy and SF used to be a lot less distinct and this was reflected in the early days of D&D (not just Expedition to Barrier but other SF/pulp-ish influences). I always think of that Gray Mouser story where they bump into the German time travelling scientist...
So really the robots and John Carter of Mars stuff isn't anything new, if anything Golarion's inclusion of these themes are harkening to the roots of the hobby. And lets face it the roots of the hobby are still in the imagination of a 12 year old saying wouldn't it be cool if the fighter, elf, wizard and dwarf had to travel through time with the Doctor to rescue a Princess and obtain the plans for a new battle station from the evil empire of kill-bots?
Canticle For Leibowitz - as other posters mentioned is the best starting point if you're looking for a novel to incorporate into the curriculum.
I will also mention The Chyrsalids by John Wyndham. I personally don't like the novel and didn't care for it when I was a teenager but there are a lot of students that react positvely to this material and its themes.
For my money you may want to track down short stories:
The Winnowing Issac Asimov
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream Harlan Ellison (this one gets violent and disturbing but depends on the group)
History Lesson Arthur C. Clarke
Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury (I can't remember the name of it but the story where the death of the Earth is witnessed by the martian colonists, chilling stuff)
If i think of more I'll post em
I've ran both and the group had a great time (I did however truncate the last several adventures of Savage Tide, I think the party ended around 16th-17th lvl).
ST - obviously pirates, lots of demons, amazing locale with the Isle of Dread and a trip into the Abyss. VV makes for a good recurring villain. Tides of Dread is one of my fav adventures.
Downside is the sea journey can drag, Lightless Depths is interesting but recommend cutting half of it down for pacing. The Abyss adventures aren't really all that good aside from some D&D namechecking. A lot of the adventures will require some footwork to be able to actually communicate the background to the party.
CoCT boasts a great setting and offers lots of opportunities for the party to feel connected to the city. However, players need to buy-in to the idea that they have a reason to want to save the city as well its not the nicest of places to live. Great cast of NPCs, memorable villains and varied adventures. The first two are great, the third has a very strong first half with the second half being not quite up to snuff, the rest of the AP plays nice with a big dramatic sweep and lots of potential for swashbuckling it up. The last adventure needs some additional work to make it feel as epic as it should be (the party spent quite some time building alliances with the Shoanti and Magnimar to build an army and a fleet to take the city) and the final villain will need to be adjusted to make it satisfyingly challenging.
Out of the two, I feel that on the whole CoCT is the stronger one and it is probably the strongest of all the APs but both are a blast.
Jade Regent has very little undead and even if your players don't tend to work well with groups its an easy fix as the supporting group is not all that necessary. And Ameiko is not necessary for the campaign to go forward (and really its better to have a player fill her role anyways)
Strangely as terrible how that fell out for the party, the added pressures, conflicts and need to fix their f*%ck up sounds like it would make for an engaging game. (Assuming the players arent' at cross purposes)
I'd bring the Sczarni hard down on the party, have Sheila let the party know they need to up their game, as for Natalya yeah the Tower Girls seems the most elegant solution.
Unfortunately, I moved away and only ran CC as far as the ToB but my plan was to have Kendra be the
living heir to tar-baphon and thus replace Count Galdana. I had planned to pepper clues about Lorrimor's old adventuring party that had broken up over some terrible falling out. Essentially, the party's paladin discovered Kendra's mother's heritage (who was part of the party) and killed her leading the party to split up and the paladin to fall from grace. I had plans to introduce these old adventurers throughout the AP. They had a brief run in witht he paladin who was running Tamrivena but due to the campaign ending didn't have a chance to see it unfold
Assuming you're running through Brinewall from JR. While a fun dungeon it isn't too challenging (a few encounters here and there) and should be just right for a group of new players especially. I agree with whats been posted re rationing of spells but if the 15 min adventuring day has them down consider adding another NPC from the caravan perhaps Sandru or at least coming across a wand of cure light wounds in the treasure from the next encounter.
Courtesy of googleshng in the Hungry storm thread:
To Iqaliat: 128 miles/4 days
Crimson Throne (3.5 rules) is probably the best overall if you're looking for a unified campaign arc.
I'd recommend Carrion Crown too and am halfway thru running Jade Regent (our group is on the north pole trek) and its been enjoyable so far.
As for Book 3 in JR
I agree with magnus as is the book is heavy on the slog. I made significant revisions essentially taking some of the proposed encounters and making them full on stories that could be played in a session. So for instance, the village of lost children took an entire session with additional encounters both combat and rp, the witchfire I had trying to create an undead frost giant jarl to combat the new menace created by Katiana etc. So each session while it includes some travel has a loose plot and story for the players so it is n't just a grind. I'm just coming up to Iqaliat next session