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Help me choose an AP


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


I decided to GM an adventure path.
I'm Fabio from Milan: if you are one of my players please stop reading NOW.

Spoiler:

Our main campaign is nearing its end.
We have two GMs of choic: one who is running it and has said he does not wish to run another right after this one, and another who has interrupted too many campaign and now does not want to start another.
None of the rest of our group has the time to GM and two of them could not run a campaign anyway (too inexperienced, we are picky).
This leave only me but, even if I can often waste my time here while at work, I can't consistently keep up with the load implied by creating a story and a setting. The story is the main problem, since I tend to get stuck on stuff and plan too much in advance in order to avoid improvising: basically I spend a lot of time figuring out what the players could decide to do and make lot of contingency plans in advance.

So, I decided to GM an adventure path.
Problem is that we are picky, and I don't know a lot about APs (we never tried one before).

Ideally I'd want to GM something that will last for about a year (all APs qualify, I think), that will not involve too much railroading and that will give more to my players than a simple dungeon crawl.
All of the players enjoy fights, except one who whines whenever the dice get rolled. It's pathfinder so there will be fights, I'd like at least one per session, but I'd also like some social interaction.
So, I'd be glad if you could help me decide which one to run.
Thanks

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

If you are happy converting from 35 then I would suggest Curse of the Crimson Throne. It has strong investigation elements and plenty of RP opportunities, plus a good mix of combat.
Alternatively, you might try Council of Thieves.

Both are set in a city, so support a lot of social interaction alongside the fighting.

If you would rather head out into the wilderness then Jade Regent has major NPCs who the PCs escort across the globe: that can present some richly developed PC/NPC interaction.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Kingmaker looks like a combination of world-building and fighting, but I haven't read it.

My group loved Council of Thieves, but it can get into extra GM time if you want to make Westcrown more sandboxy and immersive.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Seconding Kingmaker. Very open, very sandboxy, with very little railroad - there's certain "checkpoint" fights that are sort of designed to gauge the party's strength in a "you probably don't want to tackle this until you've reached a certain point" manner, but the game is very open and random, with lots of opportunity for interaction and exploration as well as combat. Just make sure your players understand that retreat is always an option - rolling 2d4 trolls or a Will-O-Wisp on the random encounter chart can lead to a quick TPK in player groups who are used to the GM only throwing things at them that they can always beat.

Grand Lodge

Sounds like you are looking for more a sand box type of AP, I would suggest either Kingmaker or Skulls and shackles. I'm currently running Skulls and shackles right now, it starts out a bit railroady but from level 4 on it seems to be pretty open.

I'm playing in Carrion Crown right now as well, and that one is not a sandbox at all. We have been on a time crunch from the start, it may change later but we're half way through the second book.

Those are the only one's I've had any real experience with so hope it helps.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

+1 for Kingmaker.


I didn't say anything, but I was expecting kingmaker to came up: everywhere I look for APs I hear people talking about it. I like the idea, my only concern is that at a first glance it seems a bit too plain.
Other APs have genies, undeads, demons or pirates: kingmaker seems a little boring compared to those. Am I wrong? I've just started reading the first module, I really don't know much about it...

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kingmaker.

Just wanted to mention all the APs have a free downloadable players guide so you can always look those over before you choose. Also each AP has a summary written up on this website. To top it off each AP has a forum page where if you narrow it down you can ask even more specific questions since you say y'all is picky. Have fun!

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Crysknife wrote:

I didn't say anything, but I was expecting kingmaker to came up: everywhere I look for APs I hear people talking about it. I like the idea, my only concern is that at a first glance it seems a bit too plain.

Other APs have genies, undeads, demons or pirates: kingmaker seems a little boring compared to those. Am I wrong? I've just started reading the first module, I really don't know much about it...

There is an overarching theme, and an underlying solid plot to it.

Spoiler:
There is a LOT of Fey influence in KM. A LOT.

Crysknife wrote:
kingmaker seems a little boring compared to those.

When directly comparing kingmaker and carrion crown I really can's say kingmaker is the one that I find boring.

Ok, I don't like undead. And I don't like fighting undead very much. But even apart from that in my opinion kingmaker is by length the better AP.
In CC the NPCs don't seem authentic and the story is somewhat O RLY?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have two suggestions for you. Kingmaker is very much open world and sandboxy, you can throw in plenty of combat and diplomacy. My other suggestion would be Legacy of Fire, your player may consider it a little railroading at times, but it's altogether my favorite AP.


Don't do second darkness. After book 2 you get on the train and never get off.
+ 1 to kingmaker. It takes a little more work from you to keep the sandbox from killing everyone, but its worth it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Curse of the Crimson Throne gets my vote. Yes, it needs conversion but it is a super-solid AP with a great mix of RP and combat and the NPCs are ACE.

Liberty's Edge

Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition. No question about it.

Kingmaker -- the first half at least is great fun, I can't say the same about the second half though.

RotRL is a better overall experience and with the Anniversary edition -- much cheaper too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I loved loved *LOVED* Curse of the Crimson Throne because of all the NPC interaction and the PC's need to investigate, "Oh, what the heck is going on here?"

My group has essentially abandoned Kingmaker because there isn't enough motivation. "Here you go. Wander around. Build a kingdom. It'll be epic!" They would prefer to be led through something far more specific where I give them clues as to what they should do next. I can see Kingmaker being great for some groups, but they have to be self-motivated, and willing to do more than "just follow the charter", which ends up with a depressed GM and apathetic players.

We just started Rise of the Runelords on Saturday, and it's epic. We have one player who is abandoning his day off work just to drive 90 minutes to the house and play. That's a sign of a good AP/group.

Similar to Kingmaker, we abandoned Council of Thieves because none of the players could bring themselves to care what happened to Westcrown. "The government is evil. Why should I try to help? I'm just going to sit here and watch all of the jerks burn."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I'd go with Curse of the Crimson Throne first (best AP) and RotRL Anniversary second. CotCT is a marvelous AP, with some amazing moments, memorable fights, the best BBEG of all APs and some other NPCs that will haunt you forever (Laori freakin' Vaus). Prime time stuff, even if you have to convert from 3.5

RotRL is great and from what I heard the Anniversary edition fixes those few shortcomings that the original had, so it's more than worth a look. Epic scenery and battles, amazing first and second adventure, hours of classic dungeon crawlin' oh and some wonderful boss fights. Good stuff.

Council of Thieves has several problems. While the individual adventures are fine, the overall plot is lacking - one would expect an urban AP set in Cheliax to feature guerilla warfare against the corrupt government, infernal church of Asmodeus and Hellknights, what you get is pretty much nothing of that. Also, unlike Magnimar and Korvosa, there is no campaign setting book for Westcrown, a crippling weakness for an urban AP.


ok , you are going to struggle

The more railroad an adventure is, the less prep it needs. If they are about to enter a 30 room dungeonl thats all you need to keep you busy for 2-3 sessions

In a sandbox you have to have a lot of stuff ready in your head, and read ahead more of the mod in case the party do something very unexpected

In KM, we are in book 6, there is lots of...ok you step out of your house...what are you going to do today!!

railroads often only have 1-3 hooks dangling at a time, in KM your to do list can often be a dozen long.


Ok, first of all thanks for all of your reply.

I'm reading through Kingmaker since it's the one which is getting the most support.
I've read about Legacy of Fire but the railroading aspect is a bit too much I think. This is strange, since our best campaigns have always been railroads: I fear that being an AP this would be felt in a worse way by my players, just for the fact that the story is written.

What about skull and shackles, which is a bit more peculiar than Kingmaker, requires less interest in kingdom building and seems a sandbox like Kingmaker?


go with skull and shackles all the way, BEST ADVENTURE PATH EVER!!!

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Crimson Throne and Skull and Shackles are definitely your best bets.

Dark Archive

We are about to finish book 5 of RotRL (2 years and a half after starting the AP).
The first 3 books are top class, the fourth isn't so good, 5th is good but is a big big dungeoncrawl which can easily be improved on the sins thing.

The bad things in RotRL are the hooks between each books are quite lame.

Each BBEG killed at the end (more or less) has a diary with the name of the boss to go to.

So that should be changed to make better links between each books

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi, I'm from Italy too (Grosseto).
Go with Curse of the Crimson Throne, my group played this AP up to level 8 (3rd volume) before a TPK....

Very good AP!

p.s. There is 2 AP published in Italian too, Second Darkness and Council of Thieves.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Chewbacca wrote:

We are about to finish book 5 of RotRL (2 years and a half after starting the AP).

The first 3 books are top class, the fourth isn't so good, 5th is good but is a big big dungeoncrawl which can easily be improved on the sins thing.

The bad things in RotRL are the hooks between each books are quite lame.

Each BBEG killed at the end (more or less) has a diary with the name of the boss to go to.

So that should be changed to make better links between each books

The new anniversary edition took this gripe on-board and has many more eleents linking the whole thing together.

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