Has anyone else notice that most AP volumes follow this basic layout? You get presented with an environment which leads to a series of encounters. These encounters may be an investigation or a journey but what they have in common is that they act as a lead up to the big climatic dungeon.
In every AP there are at least two of these, often far more. Personally, I love the first part of these scenarios, the mini encounters and investigations, but I am slightly less fond of the dungeons themselves.
This isn't really a complaint. Dungeons are OK but I usually prefer the build up to the payoff. When I do like the dungeon part it tends to be because the dungeon is quite short or thematically interesting. Dungeons with more than about 10 rooms tend to be less interesting to me.
I'm curious what the Paizo community thinks. Do you like this format or do you prefer it when the dungeons are short or non-existent?
Depends on the adventure. It's a pretty solid format, the issue is if you don't have a dungeon it gets difficult to present multiple encounters in a day (see Kingmaker). I am a little weird in that I swing from one extreme to the other preferring either 6-8 room encounter heavy dungeons or massive book spanning mega dungeons. I have no qualms about cutting dross encounters when it'll slow down plot momentum.
welcome to the last 40 years of that style of adventure
I have been playing 32 years and still enjoy the
mystery in a town
journey into the wilderness
find the dungeon
for my Fantasy RPG needs
although as i have got older im of the mind...if the dungeon cant be done in 12 rooms im no longer that keen!!