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What Other RPG has APs equal to Paizos?


Other RPGs

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As the subject says - What other RPG has APs equal to Paizo's?

Shadow Lodge

Define equal. Equal in quality, equal in length?


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Do other RPGs even have Adventure Paths?


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Brian E. Harris wrote:
Do other RPGs even have Adventure Paths?

Wotc put out one for 4E, but it was PDF only, through DDI. There's also a 3PP one (zeitgeist, I think?) which I believe was converted from 3.5 to 4E.

Swords and Wizardry has the splinters of faith series.

The Dark Heresy game has a couple of APs spread over three hardcovers and Rogue Trader has one. (Not sure about Deathwatch - they seemto have moved away from multiple book Adventure arcs now).

There are a few from early editions of D&D (not sure if the OP was referring to only currently in print games?) Things like the various Darksun linked adventures which came in pseudo-boxed sets, The Night Below campaign boxed set. Perhaps the Cormyr-Shadowdale-Anauroch (?) series of modules from 3.5 counts?

In my view, to answer the OP, nobody does them as well as paizo do them. I rarely run Pathfinder, but will generally prefer to convert a paizo AP (or part of one) rather than utilising adventures designed for whatever system I'm actually using.

Shadow Lodge

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Do other RPGs even have Adventure Paths?

It depends how narrowly or widely you define the term.

Some might consider the larger, more epic Call of Cthulhu campaigns like "The Masks of Nyarlathotep" to be the equivalent to an AP. This one isn't just eual to Paizo's APs, its generally considered to be one of the best RPG adventures ever published.

T1-4 (The Temple of Elemental Evil), A1-4 (Scourge of the Slave Lords), and GDQ1-7 (Queen of the Spiders) all form one giant campaign, and could be considered an AP.

Trail of Cthulhu had "The Purist Adventures", which sort of formed a loose AP.


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You could also consider the pre-pathfinder APs that Paizo did in Dungeon for 3.0/3.5 (Shackled City, Age of Worms, and Savage Tide)

Or the 3.5 large campaigns that started at low levels and ended epically like Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil and Red Hand of Doom.

3.0 started off from WotC with a linked series of modules beginning at level 1 with The Sunless Citadel and ending at 20 with Bastion of Broken Souls.

The one grouping that Kthulhu did not mention, but is also a collected series starting at 1st is Desert of Desolation for 2ed.

But as Steve said, there is no other published monthly adventure path-ish product out there right now.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Let's ask the question in a different way:
- What RPGs have good quality linked Adventures or Mega-Adventures that perform the function of an AP? (i.e., provide the roadmap for a campaign)


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The ones I listed are all good quality, in my opinion. I don't think any of them are as good as paizo's APs, but then again they have different philosophical approaches, so others may well disagree:

(The Darksun 2E linked adventures are extremely railroads, for example. Splinters of Faith includes a temple/settlement with each instalment as well as the actual adventure. They're not as suited to what I want in an AP as paizo's are).

For 4E Scales of War was very good (and you can download the whole thing for ten bucks and a little effort) the H1-E3 series was poorly linked though (and I personally find it difficult to convert from 4E to other systems, though that might just be me).

I really like the night below boxed set if you can find a complete copy (I've had bad luck buying them from amazon and eBay only to receive an incomplete adventure with the poster maps missing.

I think the dark heresy trilogies are both great - but it's a particular style of play/genre so probably not worth the effort of translating to another system. I haven't read the rogue trader series, but it looked of a similar quality.


The Enemy Within campaign (as it was called back in the day) for Warhammer FRP 1E was easily on par with anything paizo has put out. In a large swath of it I would say it is much better.
Sadly it falls apart in the last 2 adventures which is a damned shame considering the outstanding build up they got.

WFRP also had the Doomstones campaign (only finished years later by a different company) and it was much more a hack n' slash 'D&Desque' adventure designed in such a way as to make fights unavoidable (for those who don't know getting into a lot of fights in WFRP is a sure path to death no matter how experienced your PC is).


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Call of Cthulhu has a few, Masks of Nyarlathotep and Horror on the Orient Express immediately coming to mind.


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Lord Fyre wrote:

Let's ask the question in a different way:

- What RPGs have good quality linked Adventures or Mega-Adventures that perform the function of an AP? (i.e., provide the roadmap for a campaign)

What follows is my opinion:

The episodes one, two and three of the 'enemy within' for warhammer fantasy roleplay is easily better than the vast majory of all pathfinder adventures paths. Book three, the power behind the throne is easily the best pre-written adventure ever.

The power behind the throne is a sprawling city adventure that has at its heart a multi-pronged political conspiracy. The most of the adventures actions takes place over eight days of a large festival, and offers 21 significant NPCs, whom the PCs must befriend, cajole or black mail, to uncover who is behind a series of bizzare taxes that seem designed to weaken the mountaintop city's defences.

Each Major NPC gets a fairly large chunk of background, interconnected motivations and quirks of personality and appearance, which mean they are memorable and relatively easy to play as believable individuals. They also each have different bits of the story, and might or might not give up such details to the party, over the course of a number of meetings at various festival events.

But the talky isn't the whole story. Their robbers, mutant attacks, kidnappers to kill, tests of arms to undertake at the festival, and A climactic battle with the shadowy power behind the throne. My foundest memory in role-playing was throwing his butt over the edge of the via duct to what I thought was his death.

Then there is the festival itself. Part of what makes the enemy within so awesome, is that the PCs don't have to get involved with the plot at all to enjoy every minute. Their are a thousand distractions and subplots scattered throughout the city, a character can become the Graf's champion, she can win singing/poetry contests, she take part in archery and swordsmanship competitions. She can dine at fine restourants with paramours or slum it in drinking dens. Their are cults to bust, pockets to pick, and stds to catch

From the outside it looks like a glorious mess, which never plays quite the same way, but from GM's side of the screen it is tightly ordered, with pre scripted events and set peices, allowing numerous opportunities to bring the PCs back into the main action if they so desire.

It is amazing

Shadow Lodge

Steve Geddes wrote:
I think the dark heresy trilogies are both great - but it's a particular style of play/genre so probably not worth the effort of translating to another system. I haven't read the rogue trader series, but it looked of a similar quality.

Thing is, the OP didn't really say if this was for translation to Pathfinder of another fantasy RPG. It's a hard question to answer, really, because it's so vague. There are tons of campaigns out there for various RPGs, but many of them are for systems that are completely unlike each other.


The Enemy Within has already been mentioned, and is quite amazing in most respects - Something Rotten in Kislev is the weakest part, and that's more because it doesn't really seem to fit into the series than because it's a bad adventure in it's own right.

Very hard to get hold of is The Grand Tour of the Imperium, DGP's excellent series of linked adventures. An amazing set of magazines, and if you could get all of them you'd find some other high quality adventures in them too.

Another Traveller series, the Sky Raiders Trilogy from FASA. All their adventures are good, but this is a favourite. While it's only three parts, and doesn't look that big, the scope is very broad.

There's a Call of Cthulhu adventure book, five linked scenarios, I think it's called the Eye of Azathoth. I'm not usually a fan of CoC, but that made me want to play.

Borderlands for Runequest, partly a sourcepack but with a seven adventure series in the area. And if you pick up some of the other Valley of Cradles material, there's some quite awesome adventures around it.

The Witchfire Trilogy, which I think was reprinted later in one book with extra material, is excellent. And since it's OGL based, mechanically quite recognisable to Pathfinder players.

City of Lies, for Legend of Five Rings. Not exactly an adventure path, but it's a sourcebook for the city with several related adventures included.

And if you want epic scope, The Great Pendragon campaign.


DMFTodd wrote:
As the subject says - What other RPG has APs equal to Paizo's?

I am playing 'Shattered Star' a few times every few weeks, when the group gets together, and I am having fun on a Temple of Elemental Evil 2nd ed pbp game too.

An AP that I just started playing last week on the boards called Way of the Wicked by Fire Mountain games is a really well thought out campaign with the spicy twist that you play the bad guys.

Shadow Lodge

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It amuses me that there's such an overt d20/pathfinder bias in the responses, despite the fact that the OP specifically asked about other RPGs.


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Kthulhu, what is weirdest about it is that it is in the Other RPGs forum too. I mean between the title, OP and the forum it is in, you'd think that maybe people would pick up on it. ;)


Bluenose wrote:


And if you want epic scope, The Great Pendragon campaign.

What are your thoughts on the great pendragon campaign? I never got the chance to check it out.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
What are your thoughts on the great pendragon campaign? I never got the chance to check it out.

80 years of events, news, rumours, adventure hooks, people, action, adventure, war, tournaments, romances, family, grudges, hatreds, love affairs, intrigues, and chivalry. It's pretty epic. I've told the people who've played it with me that this isn't a story about their character; it's a story about their bloodline. Which at one point led two PCs to fight a duel over which of them would have the first go at courting a heiress. You can also jump into the campaign at any point, and still find things happening. It's a lot of work for the GM, but as a sandbox where things are happening all the time, it's going to be. If there's a flaw, it's the size of the campaign and I'm nearly certain that very few groups will start in 479 and play all the way through. It's awesome for ideas and adventure hooks anyway, for any Pendragon campaign, or for any campaign in a similar sort of world.


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The Traveller Adventure from 1983 was something of an adventure path as well.


Kthulhu wrote:
It amuses me that there's such an overt d20/pathfinder bias in the responses, despite the fact that the OP specifically asked about other RPGs.

Oh lack of sleep and speed reading made me miss that. Does the original Knights of he Old Republic count ? I did mention Temple of Elemental Evil which was before the days of D20, come to think of it, it was before my day!

Andoran

It's been mentioned before, but I feel the need to plug "Masks of Nyarlathotep" for Call of Cthulhu. It's obviously a very different kind of experience from a Pathfinder AP, but if you can get into playing a more fragile character in a less combat-oriented game then Masks is great fun.

You can think of the campaign as two parts HP Lovecraft and one part Indiana Jones; a globetrotting adventure that begins with a murder investigation and ends in a race to save the world from dark forces. Along the way you'll have to infiltrate sinister cults, escape from ancient tombs, consort with alien intelligences, and piece together clues both modern and ancient in order to uncover the plans of a vast conspiracy.

It's not a perfect campaign, and not all gaming groups will get into it, but if it sounds like something you'd be interested in then I highly recommend it. One final word of warning, though; even for Call of Cthulhu, Masks is a meat-grinder of a campaign, so expect to loose more than a few characters before you're through.

Cheliax

Kthulhu wrote:

Some might consider the larger, more epic Call of Cthulhu campaigns like "The Masks of Nyarlathotep" to be the equivalent to an AP. This one isn't just eual to Paizo's APs, its generally considered to be one of the best RPG adventures ever published.

T1-4 (The Temple of Elemental Evil), A1-4 (Scourge of the Slave Lords), and GDQ1-7 (Queen of the Spiders) all form one giant campaign, and could be considered an AP.

One of these days I want to meet Kthulhu and buy him a drink and give him a hug.

"The Masks of Nyarlathotep" has more than a few fans and is indeed among the best beloved of the pre Adventure Paths (proto Adventure Path?) APs, and has huge number of old school fans. With the likes of James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan being hard core Cthulhu fans, I don't think my love for all things Mythos runs too deep, it is barely a wicker to thier torches, but even I realized early on "Masks of Nyarlathotep" was a work of art.

The Temple of Elemental Evil, Scourge of the Slave Lords and Queen of the Spiders is perhaps the first mega campaign, and it holds a special place in my heart, I played all of the above as a player then run all of them as a DM as well.

The Desert of Desolation series was great as well, I have fond memories of Polymorphing the Purpleworm into a 16 HD War horse (who when left alone would start to DIG).

Star Wars West End Games

Spoiler:
From 1987 to 2004 (17 years! ), on three different continents, I ran a HUGE Star Wars campaign that at its hieght had 18 FULL TIME players, some with multiple Characters, Rebels and Smugglers but heroes all, in three separate parts of the Galaxy.

We started the timeline 7 years before the events of a New Hope and kept it going (in games years, 10 months in a Star Wars year) for 9 years in game, bringing us to the events of The Empire Strikes Back.

I have some 700 pages of notes, maps, pictures and many fond moments, and still keep threatening to continue this massive campaign and "getting the band back together".

Edit: Got Sandwiched between Gnoll and Bill while I typed that.


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To jump on the bandwagon, Masks of Nyarlathotep is f---ing brilliant as a major campaign. The various segments have interlocking clues pointing you around and the NPCs are given immersive detail. I loved playing it and I love running it. Great fun.


It's a very different approach to the concept, but two games have methods for generating quick stories with little to no prep.

Fiasco has play sets. It generates relationships between players, important locations and objects and goals. It's designed for a 2-4 hour one shot that doesn't require a GM.

Technoir took that concept and applied it to a GMed game. City transmissions include contacts for the PCs, events, important locations and objects and factions. As the players pick their contacts, the game has a method of drawing a plot web and when certain things happen, the GM gets to decide where a connection is drawn and what it means. It's meant to give the GM something that is easy to build a shadowrun style plot from a few simple ingredients on the fly.


"Even the brave know their lot..."

If you know who says that to the PCs, then I don't have to explain to you how great an adventure "Masks" is.

In general, Call of Cthulhu is resplendent with an embarrasment of riches in the form of great adventures.

"Beyond the Mountains of Madness" -- I've run this twice and I have still have players, a decade later who when we get together talk about things that happened in that campaign.

"The Fungi from Yuggoth"

"Hidden Masters"

"Tatters of the King"

...

So, if any one game can equal Paizo's adventure support, its Call of Cthulhu. Of course, they aren't putting out adventures anywhere near Paizo's pace anymore.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games
Check out our kickstarter! Creature Cards


Fire Mountain Games wrote:
So, if any one game can equal Paizo's adventure support, its Call of Cthulhu. Of course, they aren't putting out adventures anywhere near Paizo's pace anymore.

Chaosium never did release at a schedule approaching the current Paizo one. But my word, the quality was high over all the lines. There are Runequest adventures and (rather more) sourcebooks that I'd say match up in quality to the best CoC ones, and Pendragon also has more than it's fair share of quality material.


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I'm surprised no one has mentioned "Shadows of Yog-Sothoth" for Call of Cthulhu yet. That one actually has its climax at a certain raised, underwater city in the South Pacific against a well-known Old One.

I have to agree with Gary of Fire Mountain Games; if anyone put out complete campaigns for another RPG as well as Paizo, it was Chaosium Inc.

Qadira

Zeitgeist and war of the burning sky are both great campaigns, written by EN games.

They released these for 4th edition, which is why I got them. They also have Pathfinder versions.

In both campaigns, politics and role play seem to play as much a roll as combat.

Worth reading if you can get them.

Cheers


Feros wrote:

I'm surprised no one has mentioned "Shadows of Yog-Sothoth" for Call of Cthulhu yet. That one actually has its climax at a certain raised, underwater city in the South Pacific against a well-known Old One.

I have to agree with Gary of Fire Mountain Games; if anyone put out complete campaigns for another RPG as well as Paizo, it was Chaosium Inc.

I don't rate shadows of yogsothoth very highly.


Bluenose wrote:
Chaosium never did release at a schedule approaching the current Paizo one. But my word, the quality was high over all the lines. There are Runequest adventures and (rather more) sourcebooks that I'd say match up in quality to the best CoC ones, and Pendragon also has more than it's fair share of quality material.

I love both Pendragon and Runequest, but they are completely overshadowed by the volume of material out for Call of Cthulhu. I personally own every Pendragon sourcebook and adventure ever professionally published (even Stafford's newer house-published). There is simply no comparison in quantity between Pendragon and CoC.

However, Pendragon more than makes up for that by having one of (if not THE) greatest fantasy adventure ever published for an RPG -- The Great Pendragon Campaign.

That plus Larry DiTillio's Grey Knight (same author as Masks of Nyarlathotep) -- you have gaming greatness.

Runequest has some great adventures -- Griffin Mountain, The Colymar Campaign (in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes), Apple Lane -- but personally I don't think any of them quite match up to "Masks" or "The Great Pendragon Campaign".

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games
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Grand Lodge

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DMFTodd wrote:
As the subject says - What other RPG has APs equal to Paizo's?

Is there a point to this post besides trolling?

Not all RPG's are suited for or are even aimed for this kind of approach. It'd be downright silly to construct something like this for a Storyteller game which aims specifically at storytellers who tell their own tales. Most people who GM White Wolf games would rebel at a spoonfed Adventure Path. Adventure Paths are good for wargames who cater to a market that wants things uniform and spelled out.

And you obviously wouldn't do something like this for Amber Diceless.

More to the point, the gaming industry is in a considerably contracted state from it's heydey. Putting out something like an Adventure Path isn't for a company anything smaller than Paizo which had a hell of a long track record BEFORE Pathfinder was anything more than a brand name for 3.5 modules.


LazarX wrote:
DMFTodd wrote:
As the subject says - What other RPG has APs equal to Paizo's?

Is there a point to this post besides trolling?

Not all RPG's are suited for or are even aimed for this kind of approach. It'd be downright silly to construct something like this for a Storyteller game which aims specifically at storytellers who tell their own tales. Most people who GM White Wolf games would rebel at a spoonfed Adventure Path. Adventure Paths are good for wargames who cater to a market that wants things uniform and spelled out.

And you obviously wouldn't do something like this for Amber Diceless.

More to the point, the gaming industry is in a considerably contracted state from it's heydey. Putting out something like an Adventure Path isn't for a company anything smaller than Paizo which had a hell of a long track record BEFORE Pathfinder was anything more than a brand name for 3.5 modules.

Mmmm... I was a pretty massive whitewolf fan boy for years. I still think storyteller is a great game, so it goes against the grain to do this but I have to disagree.

I mean

Giovanni chronicles for Vampire: the Masquerade

Immortal eye trilogy for Changling: the Dreaming

Both spring easily to mind as examples of multipart pre-written campaigns by white wolf.

You could even included, in a weird sort of way games like Orpheus, with their very heavy campaign structure.

Now their are games that would not work in the pre-written campaign mold. Burning wheel and houses of the blooded both stand out to my mind for this.


Fire Mountain Games wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Chaosium never did release at a schedule approaching the current Paizo one. But my word, the quality was high over all the lines. There are Runequest adventures and (rather more) sourcebooks that I'd say match up in quality to the best CoC ones, and Pendragon also has more than it's fair share of quality material.

I love both Pendragon and Runequest, but they are completely overshadowed by the volume of material out for Call of Cthulhu. I personally own every Pendragon sourcebook and adventure ever professionally published (even Stafford's newer house-published). There is simply no comparison in quantity between Pendragon and CoC.

However, Pendragon more than makes up for that by having one of (if not THE) greatest fantasy adventure ever published for an RPG -- The Great Pendragon Campaign.

That plus Larry DiTillio's Grey Knight (same author as Masks of Nyarlathotep) -- you have gaming greatness.

Runequest has some great adventures -- Griffin Mountain, The Colymar Campaign (in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes), Apple Lane -- but personally I don't think any of them quite match up to "Masks" or "The Great Pendragon Campaign".

Gary McBride

Griffin Mountain is as much sourcebook as adventures, to be fair. And I'll admit some of my favourite adventures were from the 'zines Tales of the Reaching Moon and Tradetalk. Even so, I'd add parts of Borderlands, plus Shadows on the Borderlands, and the "Cradle" scenario from Pavis as among the best adventures around, with the first being part of an Adventure Path too. Plus the "Grey Company" scenarios are excellent, from Book of Tentacles and elsewhere.


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LazarX wrote:
Is there a point to this post besides trolling?

Is there a point to that question besides trolling?

I enjoy APs and am interested in others I may not know about. Since I've never heard of Masks or Pendragon, the question has worked out wonderfully.


Well... The Great Modron March, Dead Gods and Faction War is a pretty awesome trilogy, if you want some Planescape alternative stuff.

But no, the Avatar trilogy is not a good AP. =)

Shadow Lodge

DMFTodd - It might help if you told us what systems you play. If I recommend Masks of Nyarlathotep, but you've never played Call of Cthulhu, then my answer hasn't been as useful as it could have been.


Personally, the APs are more important than the rule system. I'm not going to play a cool rule system that doesn't have quality adventures - neither the time or desire. I would consider any ruleset that had a cool AP.


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LazarX wrote:
DMFTodd wrote:
As the subject says - What other RPG has APs equal to Paizo's?

Is there a point to this post besides trolling?

What the hell?!? I thought it was an excellent, if brief, question. Lots of good examples are being brought up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:
LazarX wrote:
DMFTodd wrote:
As the subject says - What other RPG has APs equal to Paizo's?

Is there a point to this post besides trolling?

What the hell?!? I thought it was an excellent, if brief, question. Lots of good examples are being brought up.

The only thing I can think of is that LazarX interpreted the question as being rhetorical.

i.e. What other RPG has APs equal to Paizo's? None.


Shadowrun had a couple based around Harlequin and Erhan the Scribe. They were a story arc designed to create a narrative link. Each advenure in the campaign was to be inserted inbetween other modules.

It was a very clever way of letting a GM have the freedom to explore his own adventures or the published modules he wanted to run and to have a common theme at the same time.


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Since people are using different editions of D&D as well as alternate RPGs, it would be remiss to leave out Al-Qadim for 2nde AD&D. They had eight small box sets that expanded the campaign setting and usually had a complete campaign written in. Golden Voyages was very good, capturing the feel of old Sinbad and Aladdin films as well as the Thousand and One Nights stories.


LazarX wrote:
Not all RPG's are suited for or are even aimed for this kind of approach. It'd be downright silly to construct something like this for a Storyteller game which aims specifically at storytellers who tell their own tales. Most people who GM White Wolf games would rebel at a spoonfed Adventure Path. Adventure Paths are good for wargames who cater to a market that wants things uniform and spelled out.

That's interesting because one of the things that annoyed me about White Wolf games was how much the source books were tied to the overarching plot of their game world. I never played a lot of WW, but it seemed like you if played a campaign and had anything significant happen you'd quickly get off track from what all the important NPCs and factions in the source books were doing. Always annoyed me. Some of the metaplot stuff was interesting, but didn't seem appropriate for a game, since you couldn't predict it to work it into your home game. Shadowrun was much the same way.

APs would have been a perfect way to line up important events in the metaplot with peoples games.


Sissyl wrote:

Well... The Great Modron March, Dead Gods and Faction War is a pretty awesome trilogy, if you want some Planescape alternative stuff.

But no, the Avatar trilogy is not a good AP. =)

Which edition are those three?


Icyshadow wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

Well... The Great Modron March, Dead Gods and Faction War is a pretty awesome trilogy, if you want some Planescape alternative stuff.

But no, the Avatar trilogy is not a good AP. =)

Which edition are those three?

Those were 2nd Edition adventures and I agree that they were pretty good, though as a fan of Planescape I'm probably biased.

Andoran

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

Drgonlance. Surprised no-one's mentioned the grand-daddy of APs yet.


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Paul Watson wrote:
Drgonlance. Surprised no-one's mentioned the grand-daddy of APs yet.

The Slavers, Giants and Drow must be the great grand parents :-)

Cheliax

Do not forget the first AP ever:

G1 G2 G3 D1 D2 D3 Q1

Shadow Lodge

Tharen the Damned wrote:

Do not forget the first AP ever:

G1 G2 G3 D1 D2 D3 Q1

Actually, it's more like T1-4, A1-4, G1-3, D1-3, Q1


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Personally I didn't mention GDQ, A1-4, T1-4, or Dragonlance because I don't think they're particularly good compared to the other things being mentioned in this thread. Parts, yes, but overall I'll pass on them.


Yeah, similar things exist, but I've personally never seen an officially published adventure, as part of a path or otherwise, that I would ever really want to run, outside of Paizo's. Honestly, before some friends dragged me into their Shackled City game to replace someone, I thought prepublished adventures were just inherently unworkable, because they hinged entirely on making a bunch of weird assumptions about the characters and their motivations.

Turns out it's just that the bulk of published adventurers are written by hacks.

And yeah, the whole AP angle doesn't work so great with games that aren't D&D/Pathfinder since, well, there's no real level progression to build up a mounting threat across.

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