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1-10 Urban sandbox thieves guild.
Think kingmaker but the “wilderness” is a single city and each neighbourhood has it's own flavour, gangs and legal obstacles.
As much talking and skulduggery as combat. I’d really go ham on non-combat encounters that have repercussions for failure (one of those might be a potential combat). When making my own encounters I like to go by a guideline of: social, stealth or combat, each encounter can be solved by at least two of the three.
Multiple choice finale depending on player choices. Do you end up as ruthless crime lords or Robin Hood folk hero's?
I’d like to see the talented Pathfinder writers step away from the linear encounter design for one book and make something more modular. Less adventure path and more adventure guide. Detail 7 gang themes for a 5 zone city so you can pick the ones you like. Is prostitution or slavery a no go for your table? Don’t chose those gangs. Encounter templates could be written for each player level and then the GM could skin those encounters with a choice of per-written gang themes.
Multiple city options for extra choice could also be cool. Thronestep (Razmiran), Elidir (Isger), Canorate (Molthune) and Katapesh could each work for the thieves guild theme but pull focus in very different directions.
If done right this might also bring a whole new aspect to the product: replayability.
I don’t know if this theme would fit into a 3 book AP mould. Perhaps a 6 book level 1-10 or 1-12 AP instead. Perhaps a 4 book AP. Then a quick 2 book level 16-20 plane skipping romp?
I don’t like the idea that the publishing template restricts the artistic merits of the written product. I don’t claim to know if or by how much this happens but I imagine if you tell an author they can only ever tell stories in 6000 word blocks their 4000 word masterpiece either gets cut, stretched, chopped or sits in a drawer, presumably to the detrement of the quality of the product.
Anyway, I’ve digressed from the topic. Sorry OP.