count me in as someone who'd love to see a sequel to Second Darkness, which to this day is still the most underrated AP Paizo put out. There's so much great stuff in there, even though the AP as a whole needs a lot of work, obviously.
But, sincerly, if you do a sequel to a PF1/3.5 AP, please include an option to actually play this AP in PF1 for all of us not interested in PF2. It's simply too much work to convert the PF2 APs back into a system that's actually fun to play.
sooooo, long story short, finally the time has come for me to prepare the RotRL epilogue. plotwise it's 'Go to Spindlehorn, find a way there to enter Jandelay and then get the Oliphaunt to destroy Karzoug's glaive', pretty simple stuff but it should be a one shot before my CotCT GM can breathe new live into her campaign after 1 1/2 years of the epidemic induced pause to our adventuring sessions.
And while the plot is simple, Spindlehorn is giving me troubles. Since it's the first time we can play together since before SARS-CoV 2 stopped our group playing, I wamt to come back with a bang, but I'm completely lost atm when it comes to ideas how to utilize the poem in Spindlehorn in an epic way. A riddle? If so, what's the answer? A puzzle? Great, but it has to be one that's extremely hard to solve - the characters are lvl 18, their obstacles should reflect that.
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Nope. I just had to find a rich aristocratic family in Magnimar that fit the the PC's personal background and had a history with half-elf bastards
just out of interest: how does your party react to jubrail vhisky?
as I see it, you have two options: either lean into it and transform hemlock into an antagonistic force - in which case there are plenty of npcs that could fill the void of the questgiver. and making him an obstacle that needs to be solved might turn into a chance to give some party members huge responsibilities later on, as they would have to step up and take over law enforcement in sandpoint themselves.
the other option is to have a talk with your players and simply ask them, why they feel this way about hemlock
it just means, no matter how good and/or detailed your preparation is, players tend to do things you didn't expect them to do. all the preparation is meaningless if you are not able to sponanously come up with ideas.or, as Werner Herzog might put it: there is no order in this universe
The first step for me is reading the whole AP from start to finish to get a good grasp of what will await my players, the themes and plot. Once I'm done with that I start planning. I reread the AP book by book, making notes of NPCs, background informations, do my research on Golarion lore on the wiki if necessary and try to find out where the beats in the plot are, where my players will turn it sideways or get hooked on seemingly irrelevant details. This is the phase when I will make excessives notes that come pretty handy later on.
Once it is time for the players to come up with characters, usually about 6 months or so before we start playing I sit down with them individually and try to get as much information as they can provide about their goals with that character and about their character's background. Then I cross reference with my notes, consult the wiki again if necessary and start building story arcs with twists and turns for each character within the frame of what the AP provides. Usually I have another round of talking with my players after that, gently fine tuning backgrounds, nothing drastic, but minor details if they are okay with it.
A month or so before we start our first session I go over my notes again, try to get a feel of what's still missing, connect a couple of dots and start prepping earnestly, which means rereading the first book, focussing on combat situations and encounters this time. I look up spells or abilities if necessary and copy/paste them into a master document for encounters. This is also the time when I start photoshop and create the handouts, translated to German, the battlemaps and a newspaper template which will serve as a lifeline throughout the campaign, providing mostly useless but fun information with tidbits of relevant info that they might have missed sprinkled through it.
A day or two before each session I reread that section of the AP that is in front of us, plan and modify the encounters for the evening and look for roleplay opportunities in every NPC description.
Once the session starts, all hell breaks loose, naturally but at least I tried.
I personally like that every damn guard in the dungeon has a page long backstory and motivation to be at the exact place they are at the moment the group encounters them. As a GM I rely much on that content. It helps tying loose threads together that sometimes happen while excessive roleplaying, it helps tying NPCs to the backstories of my PCs, which came in handy a couple of times already, and it also fleshed out the world the PCs were running around. Granted, 80% of the time, my group will never learn anything of that, but for the 20%? It certainly pays off.
I really would miss that content, if they stopped doing that.
nah, I'm childish, but not THAT childish. I'm just saying, if losing customers to a rival company would be on their mind, a system change wouldn't have happened. It's obviously nothing they worry about that much
so, they are untrained naturals?
Warped Savant wrote:
And funny enough, my players began to ask the right questions halfway through book 1 and knew about Karzoug very early on. It's not the AP, but how it is presented and what the PCs do with the clues they are given
I think this is really the Gm's job to use the PC's personal backstory, and most importantly their interactions with people in the 1st book of the AP to set the stage for the rest of the AP. Recurring antagonist/allies adding tidbits of a PC's past and weaving it to the adventure storyline is the best way to integrate. Make sure you get a blurb on a PC backstory dont let them just materialize a bunch a numbers and add a name to make a PC.
Agreed. Make it personal for the PCs and the players will pay attention, since it's not just an adventure but it's about them. Diving deep into their backstories and making sure it stays relevant throughout the AP is one of the first things I do, when preparing an Adventure Path. And my players know, the more story give me to work with, the better the experience will be for them in the end. And if you have players that like to plan ahead with their characters and have various goals they want to achieve with them it usually doesn't hurt to know that before you start the campaign and plan accordingly to weave those threads into the existing narrative too.
Rise, tbf, had the whole "tracking Sin Points" going on which was not a subgame itself, but like the caravan ruules in JR just a little bit of extra rules for the GM to look at.
And, to be honest, I naver tracked them. When the time came for the payoff, I knew the player's characters well enough to have the dungeons work appropriatley
If you go that route, you might want to include the Spindlehorn https://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Spindlehorn at the shores of storval deep as a point of research or even as a gateway to the Maelstrom. And if your party hasn't defeated the Black Magga but only drove her away to return another day, that's a good place for an encounter with a now stronger version of her, that should give 18th level characters a good fight
Kevin Mack wrote:
I seriously doubt second darkness would ever get an anniversary edition due to a certain thing thats a main plot point in it and I doubt Paizo would want to touch with a 100ft long barge poll these days.
I honestly don't think that's a huge problem. The sad fact that Paizo decided to abandon 3.x for whatever PF2 is supposed to be is probably a bigger hinderance.
sadly, I have to agree with the OP. The last AP that was up to the earlier standards was Strange Aeons. Every AP since then has been a little bit dissapointing. Return of the Runelords has potential and an interesting premise but it doesn't really live up to it.
Backgrounds are probably the one good thing in PF2, so backrounds earned by playing an AP is an awesome idea. I just hope those Backgrounds can easily be adapted into PF1 traits (and it also would be nice if you go down that path, that the old APs are not forgotten when it comes to those Backgrounds)
James Jacobs wrote:
^THIS might be the best thing I read on this boards for almost a year
James Jacobs wrote:
well, PF2 is still young, I can accept that. Maybe in a month or two?
James Jacobs wrote:
In the same way you can run a 1st edition D&D adventure in Pathfinder 1st edition. I know. I've done that a LOT. It's actually kind of fun revisiting older adventures and converting...
Yeah, I've done that too, back when I had way more time on my hands and were not forced by society to work. Maybe I'll do it again when I'm retired in a couple of decades. In the meantime, I'm happy about any short cut I get.
James Jacobs wrote:
Please give the new rules a chance.
As I said, the Backgrounds look fun.But seriously, I might give the new CRB a chance if I stumble across a free copy of it and maybe the Dwarves feel even dwarfier as was promised, but I just have that feeling it still resembles the playtest version of it and that system just was not fun enough to consider changing from PF1 to a new system.
I'd prefer 1E conversions over D&D5E conversions.
I second that! (since PF1 is the game we're VERY invested (and proud) of, and it's the game we're going to be focusing on playing. It's the game we know, the game we love, and the game we want to spend most of our time supporting. at least when it comes to my gaming groups. other milages may vary)
neither.ideally, I'd prefer a PF1 version but since that ship has sailed, I'm kinda ambivalent to the question. SD would benefit from an update, storywise, but I'd have to convert that updated content back to PF1 anyway.
Maybe after PF2 bombed and Paizo returned to the 3.x ways
I don't think anyone believes this will be the best roleplaying game ever. personally I'm just glad that at the moment the game doesn't look as bad as it looked a week ago
Playtest rulebook pdf wrote:
We’re attempting bold strides in this new edition of the game, but it’s far from finalized. This is where you come in—this book is only a playtest of the final version of the game, which we’ll release in August 2019. Over the next few months, we hope you’ll help us refine the game to make it even better.
refine /rɪˈfʌɪn/ verb make minor changes so as to improve or clarify
if what they were trying to say was "well, major stuff can change of course!", REFINE was a very poor choice of words.
that said, I'm glad major changes happened. Now all I have to do is get that good news that the playtest wasn't at all was the final product will be to my group somehow, so that we might give PF2 another chance
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
"Does a 17 hit?"
in any way faster?
And even those that are core races, depending on the story the GM wants to tell, might not always be playable. I can certainly see not allowing Goblin characters for reasons just like I would not allow Elves if I ever GM Second Darkness
Then why are the loudest and most toxic posters on this forum the ones that are complaining about the changes right now? the ones that made feedback during the playtest on these boards hell for everyone that disagreed with them; the very same people that whine in this very thread the loudest.
I know, but being a nice GM, that I usually am, if my bard wants to sing and the effect doesn't matter in that situation anyway, I let him sing. I'd probably rule it like "Well, you have used up 3 rounds of your performance in the last fight, so in case another fight begins, you will have x rounds left. in the meantime you continue singing with no effect but the effect will start immediatly with a new encounter."
It's not strictly a by-the-rules approach, but if the player decides to continue to shred the same accords on his ukulele for the whole time Roguey McRogueface does his thing the time for going straight into his magic song again would be reduced. It is not a complete illogical train of thought and for me, outside of combat, story and fun trumps a strict ruleset anyway.
Dire Ursus wrote:
GM:Now that the fight is over, you have time to notice the unusual interior of that room. You see a delicately ornated mantlepiece in the east (continues to describe the room in detail)Bard:I'll continue my performance just in case we're getting attacked again while Roguey McRogueface searches around.
Are you trying to tell me that scenario wasn't possible in PF1?
I actually don't think that exploration mode will make it into the final product. it adds nothing to the game, takes most of the RP elements out of it and I highly doubt most groups that finished DD used that mode till the end of the playtest. I suspect most of them ditched it after chapter 2 if not earlier. Luckily, even if it would make it into the final product it is so easy to be simply ignored
while I agree, the thing is: I KNOW why the Dwarves don't feel dwarfy and therefore it is easier for me to come up with my tables own version of Dwarves and Dwarf-related feats within an otherwise working system than changing a system that doesn't work but get the Dwarves right. Or, as presented in the playtest, a system that doesn't work AND sucks at getting Dwarves right.Of course, I'd prefer a system that works AND provides us with dwarfy Dwarves, but the dwarfiness of Dwarves is, for me at least, easier to fix if necessary
probably exactly the same I felt in PF1 whenever I used a waepon I hadn't invested in the proficiency for it. maybe even better, because I don't have a -4 malus and in PF2 it is still ridiculously easy to roll a crit
as long as you can be untrained, it effectivly is. and I'm pretty sure not every character starts being trained in every weapon group.Saves are uneffected though, and as such less diverse than in PF1. that's unfortunate, but someting I can actually live with
Well, to be fair, the Paladin not working like a Paladin or the Dwarf not being nearly dwarfy enough to be considered a Dwarf or some spells being nerfed into uselessness are very, very minor things compared to the +level mechanic that was the broken backbone of the PFPlaytest system. Those things can easily be rewritten or adapted or houseruled if necessary (although I'd prefer to not have to do that extra work myself of course).
getting rid of +lvl was important. homogenize building rules for PCs and NPCs still is. The rest of my complaints are relativley minor, compared to the important stuff.
Matthew Downie wrote:
Thank Cthulhu, they came to their senses