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RPG Superstar 2015

The Tome of Adventure Design

***** (based on 4 ratings)
FGGTOADE

Add Print/PDF Bundle: $42.00

Add PDF: $21.00

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A fantasy adventure game, at its very heart, is about developing an open-ended "story" of the characters. The referee is in charge of the fantasy world, and the players direct the actions of their characters in that fantasy world. Neither the referee nor the group of players has complete control over what’s going to happen, and the result is an evolving set of surprises for both the referee and the players. Unlike the players, as the referee and creator of the game world, most of your “work” is done ahead of time. To some degree or other, you have to create the groundwork for the adventure before the game starts. Even though no battle plan survives contact with the enemy—and if you’re an experienced referee you know exactly what I mean—the game has to start...with a starting point. This might just be a vague set of ideas, or it might be as complex as a set of maps with a detailed key and well thought-out encounters for the players to run into.

The Tome of Adventure Design is organized as a series of "books," each one providing resources at every step of the way. The vast majority of the content of each book is made up of random generation tables that we created over a quarter of a century (sigh) for our own use. It shoud be said up front that these are tables for deep design—in other words, most of them are too long, and contain too many unusual or contradictory entries, for use on the spot at the gaming table. There are already many excellent books of tables for use on the fly; the tables in these books are different. They work best as a tool for preparation beforehand, providing relatively vast creative resources for browsing and gathering, rather than quick-use tables designed to provide broad, fast brushstrokes. Our shorter tables tend to deliver cryptic results designed to shock the reader’s creativity into filling in the gaps, whereas the longer tables are unusably vast for easy random generation, being designed to shock the reader’s creativity into operation by presenting a sea of possibilities.

Product Availability


Print/PDF Bundle: The PDF will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase.

PDF: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

FGGTOADE


See Also:

Product Discussion (51)
1 to 50 of 51 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Now available for preorder here at Paizo!

Editing, Frog God Games

Thanks Liz!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Dawn, any idea how long until the preorders ship?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I so want one of these, still need to buy ToH though. I think I might need to sell a kidney to keep up on my RPG buys. Now to find some young athletic person to steal a kidney from...

Editing, Frog God Games

Justin Sluder wrote:
Dawn, any idea how long until the preorders ship?

Bill is expecting them to arrive at his place before the end of the week, next week. I am not sure how long it will take to get them all out to pre-order customers. I may not be around to help if they arrive too late next week.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dawn R Fischer wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:
Dawn, any idea how long until the preorders ship?
Bill is expecting them to arrive at his place before the end of the week, next week. I am not sure how long it will take to get them all out to pre-order customers. I may not be around to help if they arrive too late next week.

Excellent! This means I will hopefully have it for when I get snowed in at work. :D

Scarab Sages

Having perused the PDF of this product, I have to say that it is a tremendous resource, and well worth the cost.

Thank you, FGG!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

definitely something I'm interested in picking up, although the PDF price is a little steep for my liking.


How many pages long is this book? Any chance of a preview?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Denim N Leather wrote:
How many pages long is this book? Any chance of a preview?

308 Pages and you can see a preview HERE


Wow, thanks! I will have a look at this!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Betts wrote:
definitely something I'm interested in picking up, although the PDF price is a little steep for my liking.

Pre order the print an you get the PDF for free.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If I pre-order, is there anyway to hold and merge the shipment with my next monthly Pathfinder subscription?

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Brutal Ben wrote:
If I pre-order, is there anyway to hold and merge the shipment with my next monthly Pathfinder subscription?

When you place your order, you should get an option to move the new order to your sidecart. Sidecart orders ship with your subscription if the items are available.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

I'm looking at my copies from the printer now and I can't believe how excited I am to be holding this book of tables that I spent so much time on. I thought that I'd not want to see another table for at least 2 more years! <grin>

I love, love, love it!

Can't wait for you guys to all get your copies and hear what you have to say!

Matt Finch is a table-master.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Thank you for your in-depth review on RPGGeek, Caelum!


Chuck Wright wrote:
Thank you for your in-depth review on RPGGeek, Caelum!

It's a pleasure to write a review for a great product like this one!!!

Swords and Wizardry Lead Developer, Frog God Games

caelum wrote:


It's a pleasure to write a review for a great product like this one!!!

Caelum, I'd like to thank you for that review also -- I know that it's an odd and quirky book when you read it closely, and I was worried about how people would react to tables that are "processes" rather than lists. I think you did an incredible job (better than I've been able to write) at describing WHY the tables are so unusual compared to the normal approach.

It's also very nice to have the distinctions between ToAD and the Ultimate Toolbox spelled out; I think several people have wondered whether it makes sense to have both books or not.

It's an incredibly in-depth review, too!


Matthew Finch wrote:
It's an incredibly in-depth review, too!

Yes, I am nothing if not long-winded!!!

Seriously, I'm very glad you liked it, and congrats on an excellent product. I can't wait to receive my hardcopy!

Matthew Finch wrote:
It's also very nice to have the distinctions between ToAD and the Ultimate Toolbox spelled out; I think several people have wondered whether it makes sense to have both books or not.

Yes, that is a bit of a tricky area, but they are very different books indeed (quite complementary. I do think you spell it out well in the book itself. You might also find this thread entertaining - an attempt to generate an entire adventure from Ultimate Toolbox. It works, but not as easily as I think ToAD would. I'll try a similar exercise with yours once I have the hardcopy!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Any update on when they start shipping? :D

Editing, Frog God Games

Justin Sluder wrote:
Any update on when they start shipping? :D

The Frog God says they start shipping today.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dawn R Fischer wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:
Any update on when they start shipping? :D
The Frog God says they start shipping today.

Fantastic!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Got mine a a few minutes ago, nice and slimy new.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The T.o.A.D has landed. I repeat, the T.o.A.D has landed! :D

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

If you ordered from Paizo, we should begin shipping the print edition today.


Received T.o.A.D. today from mail carrier. No dirty look as when Tome of Horrors Complete arrived.

Dark Archive Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Will the interior art be color or black and white?


Interior art is black and white.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

silverhair2008 wrote:
Interior art is black and white.

Until Frog God Games has the resources and sales figures of Paizo or WotC that's going to be the answer for any print product.


Why is the Print/PDF combo so expensive? Other Frog God combos aren't nearly as much.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Twin Dragons wrote:
Why is the Print/PDF combo so expensive? Other Frog God combos aren't nearly as much.

That is the price of the book, the PDF is free.


bigkilla wrote:
Twin Dragons wrote:
Why is the Print/PDF combo so expensive? Other Frog God combos aren't nearly as much.
That is the price of the book, the PDF is free.

Add Print/PDF Bundle: $42.00

Add PDF: $21.00

PDF is not free.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Twin Dragons wrote:
bigkilla wrote:
Twin Dragons wrote:
Why is the Print/PDF combo so expensive? Other Frog God combos aren't nearly as much.
That is the price of the book, the PDF is free.

Add Print/PDF Bundle: $42.00

Add PDF: $21.00

PDF is not free.

You asked
Twin Dragons wrote:
Why is the Print/PDF combo so expensive? Other Frog God combos aren't nearly as much.

The price for the book alone is 42.00. Frog God games always gives you a free PDF with all of their books (if you buy them directly from their website, and a few of their bigger books here). So if you buy this book the PDF is free.You did not ask what was the price of the PDF if you bought the PDF without the book which is 21$.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Twin Dragon — It's a 300-page hardback book, most of our other products are softcover adventures.

Also, if you buy the book for the price of $42 you get the PDF for free. "Add Print/PDF bundle" means that you can add the bundle option of Book + PDF to your cart. "Add PDF" isn't required if you opt for the bundle.


Sounds like an excellent deal to me. If you get the print/pdf bundle, its as if you are getting the book for half price if you choose not to think of the pdf as free.

You know you want it, nay, need it. Pick yours up before the only way to get one IS the pdf. :-)


I'm curious, should this be listed as an OGL product? As far as I can tell there isn't any open content in the book, and I didn't see a copy of the license.

Not that it matters I guess, it's just that I saw the designation and it got me curious.

I'm totally digging this book! It's a greatly inspiring read, and really does the job of getting the creative juices flowing. I'm going to send my players to the Curious Tower of the Brain Golem once they fight their way free of the Decaying Asylum of the Feathered God. ;)

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

You are correct, SolitonMan, it shouldn't be listed as an OGL product as it's rules independent.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps in this case OGL is just an abbreviation for ogle, which is what everyone is doing who received a copy.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Chuck Wright wrote:
You are correct, SolitonMan, it shouldn't be listed as an OGL product as it's rules independent.

Adjusted. Thanks!

Editing, Frog God Games

Thanks Vic! :)

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just got this and am thumbing through it now. Looks like an amazing resource, and I'm already having fun using the tables to come up with names of locations like the "Silent Pagoda of the Smoke Tyrant." I can see this book living on my GM desk for quite a long time.

Swords and Wizardry Lead Developer, Frog God Games

Glad everyone's liking it so much!

Editing, Frog God Games

Wow! Thanks leem for the glowing review! We at FGG think that TOAD with TOHC together make an effective arsenal for creative GMs.


Dawn R Fischer wrote:
Wow! Thanks leem for the glowing review! We at FGG think that TOAD with TOHC together make an effective arsenal for creative GMs.

It was my first review. :) Wasn't there a game that was suggested on these forums by someone at Frog God Games where you combine random tables from ToAD and random pages from ToH? I am trying to remember where I saw it now that I have both books.


Does anyone have both this product and AEG's Ultimate Toolbox? How do they compare? I have the Ultimate Toolbox, but wonder if there's any point in also getting the Tome of Adventure Design?

Editing, Frog God Games

leem wrote:
Dawn R Fischer wrote:
Wow! Thanks leem for the glowing review! We at FGG think that TOAD with TOHC together make an effective arsenal for creative GMs.
It was my first review. :) Wasn't there a game that was suggested on these forums by someone at Frog God Games where you combine random tables from ToAD and random pages from ToH? I am trying to remember where I saw it now that I have both books.

That was by the author of TOAD, Matt Finch. Here's the link

Editing, Frog God Games

TwiceBorn wrote:
Does anyone have both this product and AEG's Ultimate Toolbox? How do they compare? I have the Ultimate Toolbox, but wonder if there's any point in also getting the Tome of Adventure Design?

I can't speak with any authority on the Ultimate Toolbox by AEG as I don't have it.

Tome of Adventure Design is intended primarily to "get the creative juices flowing" of game masters or even adventure or story writers. It isn't intended as a toolbox to come up with stuff on the fly during game sessions, as many of the toolboxy products do.

Editing, Frog God Games

Thanks Cat-thulhu for taking the time do do a review!
Sorry your book got damaged on the way. One has to wonder sometimes if the odd mailtruck gets picked up and tossed about by a tornado the way some boxes get thrashed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

So I played my first round of "Two-Tome Bingo.

I rolled a 172 for the Tome of Adventure Design, and I got the NPC Interaction Table. My three d100 rolls for the table got an NPC as a Infiltrator that is inimical to the party but has benefits to the party and treachery down the road. It is as suspicious to the party members as they are of it. And finally it holds a key to a treasure, obstacle, or inaccessible area.

I rolled a 355 for the Tome of Horrors and got Grimstalker--an elf-like fey creature that is evil, lives deep in forest, and represent nature at its' worst. It gets sneak attack damage. They work with traps, nets, and sometimes work with Redcap (from ToH) or are summoned by evil druids. They employ trained plant creatures and attack from ambushes using the advantages of the terrain.

Here is my result: A very powerful hermit druid is believed to live deep in a forest. He has restored/brought forth vibrant wild life and a rain forest ecosystem to to what was originally grass plains. His desire for the immensity of nature a rain forest has to offer has resulted in him directly and indirectly killing off entire nomadic tribes that were living on the plains.

The druid loves the bloody part of nature's survival of the fittest and is happy to see people die or be displaced. He has summoned Grimstalkers to protect his hide out and to harass the people who adapted to the new environment.

The forest is dark, deep, and filled with the worst nature has to offer.

Lately desert has started to encroach on the area and nature is dying. The forest is already starting to succumb to this erosion. THe surrounding area is already lost.

The characters must find and confront the Grimstalkers, live through the encounter, and have someone convince them (or one of them) to guide them to the Druid. Is he dead? Is he causing it? Has his tampering backfired? Will a Grimstalker eventually help the PCs so it can protect it's dark forest? Or will it just verify the druid is ok (is he?) and then kill the PCs?


I have owned this book for about a year and I've just recently come to realize it is probably in the top 3 most valuable RPG books I've ever used.

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