An humble product suggestion: system neutral, redced APs?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Hi all,

I'm chiming in just to make an humble suggestion to Paizo. I love your company, the one and best at making not only rich RPG adventures but also enriching it with all sorts of possible goods: cards, minis, mats...everything is there, great ideas and great support.

But...there's a but...I do not play, nor I want to, PFRPG. I'm 41, 2 children, been playing since my 10's and still running a weekly game with many friends.

PFRPG (nor DD 5 to tell the truth) just isn't suit for our needs: we no longer want to focus on many of the very accurate, but also time consuming, things of such systems.

Not that they are wrong: they are great. Still buying now and then books just for the read.

But, not for playing: we are getting old, we are many (as many as 7) at the table, we need simple, fast rules, simple sheets, few things to remember between sessions if one weekend is missed.

So, we turn to other systems, more suited to our lives and to the impossibility to follow a more complex game. Yet, we love good stories, we love minis, mats, cards, everything that enriches the experience.

In fact, we now can spend more than when we were younger in gaming, and we do, but the one thing I never buy is AP.

I love them. I love the stories, the ideas, the big battles. But, as I do not use PFRPG, many,many pages of material are lost to me.

Monster appendix, item appendix, lore things, many stat blocks and similar.

So, I do not buy them because if I did, I would have huge chunks of material I would never use and that would make running a game a chore just to skim that material.

So, here the dirty proposal: what I would love is a reduced version of APs, in one single book, streamlined down to the story and main events, quests, battles, but no stats.

Perhaps also some trimming down the subquests, something 100% from the original material but more apt to simpler systems.

I would buy something like that in one heartbeat and I think I'm not alone. In simpler system you can just make up checks, simple monsters and the like.

Now, I realize that APs are meant to support PFRG, but there are so many now that perhaps it's possible to make some experiment on old APs, the best selling ones.

I'm not a serial poster, please do not take this as anything more than an humble suggestion and wishfull thinking of a Paizo fan...just getting older and lazier :)


There's a lot of fan work translating products to various table-top gaming systems, both on this site and on those publishers' sites. You might try those?


People do sell epic fantasy stories condensed down to a single volume and presented without mechanics and stats. They're just called novels rather than games.

The mechanics are what makes Wrath of the Righteous a game about the Worldwound and their lack makes The Worldwound Gambit a novel about the Worldwound. If you want to set a game there and don't care about mechanics you could use either as your source material.


Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

People do sell epic fantasy stories condensed down to a single volume and presented without mechanics and stats. They're just called novels rather than games.

The mechanics are what makes Wrath of the Righteous a game about the Worldwound and their lack makes The Worldwound Gambit a novel about the Worldwound. If you want to set a game there and don't care about mechanics you could use either as your source material.

Not quite.

The novel includes all the characterization and the main characters decisions. And nothing on the areas and plots the protagonists don't see.
A product with the non-mechanical aspects of an AP or module could still be useful as a game. It wouldn't be much like a novel at all. You could have all the maps and layouts and what enemies were where information, just without the stats or mechanical implementation. It wouldn't be a game, but then an AP isn't a game either - it's a game supplement. Can't play it without actual game rules.

That said, I'm not sure how broadly useful it would. There are a lot of PF assumptions baked in to the adventures, in terms of what's an appropriate challenge and how quickly the characters get more powerful and all that. Whatever game you're trying to use it with would have to have similar assumptions.


I dont see Paizo selling this. Theyre adventure path line as it is is probably their biggest seller. Theyre not gonna sell a stripped down version that encoirages people to not buy the rest of their products and spend on other systems. Theres no incentive for them there.


Elegos wrote:
I dont see Paizo selling this. Theyre adventure path line as it is is probably their biggest seller. Theyre not gonna sell a stripped down version that encoirages people to not buy the rest of their products and spend on other systems. Theres no incentive for them there.

In truth, I think you are right, but it also depends on how many "old" AP they are still selling today.

I mean, if they release a streamlined, shorter version of, say, Skull & Shackles, not sure if this is chipping down their actual sales. I may be wrong, of course.


roguerouge wrote:
There's a lot of fan work translating products to various table-top gaming systems, both on this site and on those publishers' sites. You might try those?

I didn't know this and I'll check it out, thanks! I doubt they'll use my system but still worth to check it out.


thejeff wrote:
Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

People do sell epic fantasy stories condensed down to a single volume and presented without mechanics and stats. They're just called novels rather than games.

The mechanics are what makes Wrath of the Righteous a game about the Worldwound and their lack makes The Worldwound Gambit a novel about the Worldwound. If you want to set a game there and don't care about mechanics you could use either as your source material.

Not quite.

The novel includes all the characterization and the main characters decisions. And nothing on the areas and plots the protagonists don't see.
A product with the non-mechanical aspects of an AP or module could still be useful as a game. It wouldn't be much like a novel at all. You could have all the maps and layouts and what enemies were where information, just without the stats or mechanical implementation. It wouldn't be a game, but then an AP isn't a game either - it's a game supplement. Can't play it without actual game rules.

That said, I'm not sure how broadly useful it would. There are a lot of PF assumptions baked in to the adventures, in terms of what's an appropriate challenge and how quickly the characters get more powerful and all that. Whatever game you're trying to use it with would have to have similar assumptions.

Agreed on point one and thanks for answering to that.

On the second one, you may be right but in my opinion not so right as you may think. I did run parts of some Paizo modules and a couple part of APs (I found Carrion Crown irresisitible) in other system(s) by cutting many fights and adjusting the rest on the flight.

I agree the system still needs to be an "heroic fantasy, high magic" one, but there's no shortage of those.

It's also true that I have many, many years of experience as a DMs and it's not something I would advice to everybody, but it can be done.

To stay on this example: I did not follow up CC APs after the 2nd module as fights and stats were taking more and more space, both in page numbers and gameplay. Those fights and stats ARE interesting if you are playing PFRPG or 3.5, less so if you are playing lighter systems.

That's why I think they COULD (if there is a market, if they wanted etc etc) condensate the experience without ruining the formula, just changing the flavour...


Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

People do sell epic fantasy stories condensed down to a single volume and presented without mechanics and stats. They're just called novels rather than games.

The mechanics are what makes Wrath of the Righteous a game about the Worldwound and their lack makes The Worldwound Gambit a novel about the Worldwound. If you want to set a game there and don't care about mechanics you could use either as your source material.

I respectfully disagree, as explained by thejeff above. There are lots of adventure modules with no rules out there, the differnece is the organization of the material, the maps, the NPCs, the branching stories, the possible alternatives...not the same as a book.

That said, of course books can inspire an adventure, but if I have the time to read a book and then set up and adventure around it I could rather read the full AP (even if not at the same price) :)


Rotolord wrote:
I respectfully disagree, as explained by thejeff above. There are lots of adventure modules with no rules out there... <snip>

Are there? I'm not at all trying to be snippy, I'm legitimately curious, because I haven't seen many.


Elegos wrote:
I dont see Paizo selling this. Theyre adventure path line as it is is probably their biggest seller. Theyre not gonna sell a stripped down version that encoirages people to not buy the rest of their products and spend on other systems. Theres no incentive for them there.

Our gaming group is ONLY here because of the AP's, and we're not playing them in a particular order, so we're often buying .PDFs of older material (running through Jade Regent now).

I'm 36 with a young son; our group also has over 7 members. I picked up the hobby from my dad when I was a teen and he was in his 40's (he had three kids).

Frankly, I think you're looking at the wrong gaming company/game. There's nothing wrong with more casual options.

You might consider checking out the Pathfinder Adventure Card game, or older adventure board games like Hero Quest.


Why cant you buy the AP, and take out the stuff you dont need, and put in the stuff you do need?

The complex rules and options are why many of us are here. It's not hard to find easier systems, but those systems also restrict my options.


AaronUnicorn wrote:
Rotolord wrote:
I respectfully disagree, as explained by thejeff above. There are lots of adventure modules with no rules out there... <snip>
Are there? I'm not at all trying to be snippy, I'm legitimately curious, because I haven't seen many.

Well, parhaps "lots" is an exageration, ok, ok...but there are some, the first one that comes to mind is this one: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151278/WishTaker

There are more on DTRPG, and many of recent KS products/campaigns include system neutral options.

But these are indie products, nowhere near the level of coolness and support that Paizo offers, which is exactly why I'd love if Paizo did some.


Gulthor wrote:
Elegos wrote:
I dont see Paizo selling this. Theyre adventure path line as it is is probably their biggest seller. Theyre not gonna sell a stripped down version that encoirages people to not buy the rest of their products and spend on other systems. Theres no incentive for them there.

Our gaming group is ONLY here because of the AP's, and we're not playing them in a particular order, so we're often buying .PDFs of older material (running through Jade Regent now).

I'm 36 with a young son; our group also has over 7 members. I picked up the hobby from my dad when I was a teen and he was in his 40's (he had three kids).

Frankly, I think you're looking at the wrong gaming company/game. There's nothing wrong with more casual options.

You might consider checking out the Pathfinder Adventure Card game, or older adventure board games like Hero Quest.

Not sure if you're being ironic or what, I'll grant the benefit of doubt and I'll answer as if not.

I don't think I'm looking at the wrong company, no, even if I respect your opinion and I am the first to think that my proposal will never happen, but hey, this is something I'd love so I'm just suggesting.

There's nothing wrong with you playing PFRPG with kids and many pleayers, too, as there's nothing wrong with people enjoying bungee jumping at 40, but I think both are things I wouldn't enjoy personally. I am not criticizing anybody with plays PFRPG in our conditions! I'm just saying there are reasons if some (like me) don't.

Also, not really central in the discussion, but please note that the game your father taught you 30 or so years ago was not today game, as good as it can be, it was faster and lighter (even if as bugged as hell).

Lastly, I am a proud owner of HQ and yes, we play boardgames now and then, but there's a sea of options and complexity ranges between HQ and PF, no need to go to the extremes: I like RPGs, just not anymore very complex and slow ones.


wraithstrike wrote:

Why cant you buy the AP, and take out the stuff you dont need, and put in the stuff you do need?

The complex rules and options are why many of us are here. It's not hard to find easier systems, but those systems also restrict my options.

I can, but it is expensive and cumbersome. Not sure how simpler systems restrict your option: you can simply stick to PFRPG and don't bother with anything simpler.

Guys, I agree that APs are a staple of PFRPG and a strong way to move it forward. I know that my suggestion will probably not see the light of day.

But, Paizo is widely recognized as very, very good at making strong and well supported adventures, in fact PFRGP exists also because they still wanted to go on making them when DD 4th came out.

Now, if they made 5E APs (which many would love, I'm sure) I see the competition point, but system neutral (and somehow "lesser" than the PFRPG ones)...that could allow Paizo to grow even more as a company, tapping the (large) market of people playing something different, that is something that makes sense, I think.

But it's just a (improbable, dreamy) suggestion, nothing more.

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