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Thanks for the answer, but let me clarify one thing here : My players and me are NOT fighting. Most of the responses here seems to see a fight between players and GM. It's not the case. Everyone is like "your players are stupid, they should follow the Path, why do they play this!!!" They play this because they wanted to play an Adventure Path with a lot of roleplaying, and they wanted me to DM them, but I was very busy (and rusty) so I asked them to use a published adventure. But the players have been frustrated by the Path when they had a 4-5 sessions long dungeon (Really, who the hell designed Brinewall Castle. It's way too long) when they wanted to roleplay. Last game, after the assault on Asvig house (in which the players devised a clever plan that made us skip most of the combat, they asked me to drop the books encounters, follow the story arc but design the encounters myself because I would be better without a badly designed crutch (their words, not me).

Again,my players don't want to take a boat just to be pain in the ass - but because it seems more logical for them to pass through sea then through a frozen inhospitable wasteland. I can't really fault them - they are thinking logically with the money they have. ANd the fact that the price of the viking boat is officially triple what is written in the AP did put me in a very uncomfortable position.


Well, now my player have suggested an alternative route - going north,around the north pole, and emerging on the eastern side of Tian Xia. Now, that I can more easily say is a bad idea (imprevisible Glacier, Iceberg) but two of my players still refuse to see the danger. (This discussion took place out of game, so nothing is set in stone here).

<i>Finally, the PCs should know the "five storms" ONI are just that- storms. They're going to be much better off facing the "five storms" mystical powers over a 1-2 month land journey in the north than a 3-6 month ocean voyage. Remember that's how Ameiko's family almost got wiped out 45 years ago.</i>

Now, THAT is interesting. Maybe I can use Suishen to give them that info? Or maybe another vision from the seal. Or from Kora. I had a vison-based Oracle I could have used, but she will be leaving next week (no time anymore).


ruemere wrote:

This is winter season. Sailing anywhere is a suicide.

Make it clear to them that someone is looking for them - maybe a friend of Sandru lets them know that there is a bounty on information related to them. Remember, the ninjas do not know about this caravan except that it teems wit aggressive adventurers. So, a few burglaries, beatings or even an attempted kidnapping by independent professionals should give them a reason to look deeper into the matters.

Regards,
Ruemere

It's winter season? I did not know that. Somehow, I missed any indication of when it is taking place exactly.

The players know all about the people looking for them. That's not a problem - I expect them to clear the second adventure with no problem. It's the third one I'm worried about. And of course the PCs are not looking for a guide, but that is okay, because the villains will still have anticipated that move, and Ushalka will come to seek the PCs help anyway, so they'll find Ulf one way or the other. I just wanna make sure they will want to use him as a guide afterwards...


thebwt wrote:

Read the third part, and it will become more clear. Those oceans are not safe right now.

Also there is a section in part 1 that talks about why not to take a boat.

Although I guess if you/they are really adamant about it, you could rejig part 3 to work on the ocean.

That section in part 1 was about the journey to Brinewall - it doesn't really cover the "Why the inhospitable frozen wasteland is a better option than the ocean" part.


Vigil wrote:
They can't just sail west or they really will pull a Columbus, they'll sail right into Arcadia. After sailing through the shattered and inhospitable remains of Azlant. Remember, the world map we have right now is not even remotely to scale, the oceans are much larger than they appear.

I don't have the map with me right now, but I think that, if they leave from the Varisian Coastline, they'll sail right above Arcadia. I might be wrong. What is Aztlan again? I'm not as familiar with the setting as I could be.

Even the map in the Inner Seas Guide is not to scale?

I wish the modules would include a sidebar about why the Crown of the World is the best passage, despite the fact that it's an inhospitable frozen wasteland. Just so I could know what to reply to my players.


Ok, so I am a veteran DM of 3.5 but a bit rusty, and a somewhat new Dm of Pathfinder, which is why I started with an Adventure Path. I'm now at the point where my NPCs have entered Karlsgard. Until then everything went well, except the Brinewall dungeon was WAY too long. I had to nix some encounters and fusion others because my players were getting fed up.

But then I've hit a snag - the Aril's Hammer. So, the book says "Your players are not going to be dumb enough to sail a stolen boat into Karlsgard." The problem is - my players have no indication who those vikings are at that point of the adventure, no indication there is a whole organization of ninja wanting their death (all they know is that there are big demons far away), and no way to know this boat belongs to anybody else than viking raiders.

So, of course they took the boat. But they did not sail it mind you: they used a few days and their Profession: Carpenter to jury-rig a set of wheels to carry the boat. Not one to deny my players to use their skills in a clever way, said okay. But then they got even more clever, and removed the name of the boat - it is only a matter of changing a plank after all. So okay, the Rimerunners will probably know it is their boat, but they have no proof. Anyway, I give them the NP and all that.

Then, they try to sell the boat.So starts the haggling for the price part - but surprise, the price for a keelboat in the PFSRD is much higher than the price in the AP. So we lost half-an-hour looking for the correct price in the books, and then I twisted the situation to remove the boat from their hand - I had the guild buy it back in exchange of the PCs becoming partners in the guild (which means that the FS now have tabs on the PC). But that is a huge derivation from the AP.

Problem is, now they got this idea that they can probably look for a boat instead to go to Tian-Xia, and they started looking at the maps in the Inner Sea Guide, and where like: Hmm, why would we bother going through the fricking inhospitable North Pole (must I say I'm playing this game in Northern Quebec - my players knows what cold is) when we can just do what Christopher Columbus only dreamed of - sailing west over Arcadia and landing on the other side of the world! And the worst part is, from a geographical point of view, they are right.

So, my question is:Why should my players go over the Crown of the World instead of just doing a Chris Columbus? As for the "because Sandru will not want to leave his caravan behind", my players characters hates Sandru (mostly because they are jealous of him) and will have no trouble coercing him. So, is there something I could had that would make the Journey to the Crown of the World necessary, or must I railroad them?

Also, I took all that time posting my story to exemplifies a point: this Adventure Path is fun, but the boat is nothing but trouble.