I think they've always been like this. Which isn't to say I think all APs are bad, more that they all have high points and low points.
This is definitely true for me, even my most liked AP's have a weak book in them where either the plot goes off the rails for a tangent or it just feels like it's not giving to the same standards of other books in the same AP.It's also more often than not a later book, usually a bk4 or a bk5.
Your issue though is one created by available materials. A huge percentage of 1st ed stuff was printed for and about Avistan with only sampler looks at outside regions. Thus the real reason Ap were set up to begin in Avistan and feature Avistani characters is because that's where all your options were.
I've said before that the next Tian AP should start somewhere in Tian, and I still hold to that, but it's going to require support materials from Paizo to give you the depth you need to make your local PC's feel part of the setting and the setting feel like home to them.
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
So, I assumed Barzillai Thrune's edict against night tea was him imposing his values regarding when people should and should not drink caffeine on others. But one of my players pointed out to be that the Adventurers Armory has an herb called "night tea" that's brewed into a contraceptive. So is Thrune's proclamation really about birth control?
I like your take better than the official answer. If/when I get around to doing HR I'll definitely steal it.
I completely agree, Jade Regent takes too long to get to where you want to be. A future Tian Xia AP really needs to start somewhere in the region.
Darth Game Master wrote:
Yes and no.I mean Cheliax may have viewed Sargava as it's colony in the same way Taldor, still views Andoran, Galt, and Cheliax, as it's colonies but it wasn't actually still a colony as such, in the fact it was run by people who lived there without taking any notice of the home nations.
Also I quite like the idea of historical colonies, it's a reminder of how greedy the old Taldor Empire and the more recent Chelish empire were/are.
I mean, they made a CR 25 creature in the Bestiary, and its only the first one printed. We'll see more high level monsters of which Tar-Baphon is undoubtedly one of.
Lot's I expect, and I should imagine there will be some discussion about if/how to introduce some equivalent to mythic in 2e, and if they decide they will, you may not see the Tyrant's new stats until then.
Also what's the CR 25 monster please? And was it that good in 1st ed? (I didn't move to 2e so I'm only looking at getting lore books now)
And that is where our tastes differ.
Yeah we're always going to be at opposite ends of this one I think. Still, opinions are what keeps the board going, and for me learning.
I've only been with PF for just over two years and there's a lot I didn't know or realise until I came to the boards.
The major thing I like to change is adding a decent amount of foreshadowing for major NPC's and major enemies who are not supposed to be a surprise before the party meets them. Even just a few rumours or name drops helps.
For me this worked particularly well for Kingmaker and made my second time DMing it far more well received than my first.
The main thing I like to take out on the other hand are the many Ap specific rules sub systems. I have a special dislike for the caravan system in Jade Regent, but the one in Hell's Rebels' doesn't fill me with joy either.
Do you not find all AP's have a weak book though? Even with my beloved Curse of the Crimson Throne I read bk 4 and thought 'er why'.
Also, over here penguins are chocolate biscuits, and delicious!
Cori Marie wrote:
Heroic sacrifices that accomplish the mission are a lot different from a generic TPK. Sturm Brightblade for example. Gandalf in Moria. The whole cast of Rogue One. It's obviously a trope you hate, but you're not the sole audience.
With the exception of Sturm, those are books & films and even then DL leaned towards books made into modules and Sturm didn't have the rest of his party die with him and then have it called a win.
There is, or should be, a different set of rules for modules, and although James Jacobs and others will not like me using this term again it requires putting the players and their characters ahead of the writers precious NPC. Every time.
Darth Game Master wrote:
My Cheliax is a little more Spain oriented than you would draw from the sourcebooks, although that probably comes from little more than where it is on the map.
Phillip Gastone wrote:
Or just pick up Way of the Wicked for all your evil needs.
I'm almost certainly going to be a minority of one here. But I thought way of the Wicked was pretty poor and that as an adventure Hells Vengeance is a better AP.
I'm by no means saying I loved HV, it's not really my thing, I like to root for the good guys. But if I had to pick one, HV over WotW every time
Cori Marie wrote:
"Feels like" is very subjective. I for one would not feel that this ending is a loss for my character, nor a win for the bad guy. You obviously do, and that's fine. Not every AP is for everyone. I had no desire to play Skulls & Shackles or Hell's Vengeance, that doesn't make either AP a bad AP for those that did.
To be fair most of my opinions are subjective, this is not the kind of thing you can really bring evidence to.
I 100% take your point about not every AP is for everyone, but this one tends to divide opinions less along theme and setting and more along writers decisions.
Again I'm the exception, I thought it was a pretty bad AP from book 1 before I knew the ending and really only collected it for a complete the set of 1st ed thing.
Cole Deschain wrote:
The power that was invented for him for this AP you mean and he didn't really need to cause the world a ton of trouble previously.
I'm afraid I don't buy into any of the TG apologist points of view. If it feels like a loss for the PC's and a win for the bad guy then it probably is one.
Maybe the Tyrant didn't achieve all his aims, but he's still kicking and the party are not.
That's because your leaders keep secret the hobgoblin menace from the east (or west depending on your home country). Beware the green peril!
Even ignoring Geb himself, I think an AP set there would be a really tough ask for a party unless they were somehow either acting as or pretending to act as agents of either the state or a powerful in country sponsor.
I'm not saying a tough AP would be a bad thing, but you may have to go in prepared to see PCs die if they make a wrong move. To me it would almost like being the resistance in a war movie if not played for evil.
I do sometimes feel like in 1e they could have cut art from cool action images to show more old school handout images. Though that might be some sort of weird nostalgia speaking since I have never played original D&D adventures, but I like "ooh retro" stuff whenever I read them through :D
I would certainly have preferred a few less beautifully crafted full page spreads of Iconics in action in the story line in favour of NPC's or locations that the PC's will actually see and interact with.
Or even just an ambitious would be successor.
Curse of the Crimson Throne for me too, it may be a little linear for some but it's a good story, the separate parts roll together nicely and it's got a couple of nice surprises for the PC party along the way.
Kingmaker is a good story and with a bit of work in foreshadowing threats becomes very enjoyable. The Kingdom building mechanics are not to my taste, but I can disassociate that from the plotline in ranking the AP
A proper high fantasy Arabian Knight style adventure with evil wizards, flying carpets, genies and treasure of princely worth. All set in the heart of the Padishah Empire where you rise from commoner to national hero.
I'd even be quite happy with "a rescue the prince from the evil wizard" adventure (it doesn't have to be a princess, royal young men can get captured too)
I was pondering in an idle moment what's going to happen next with Razmir.
Or be the focus of maybe a PFS story where we learn a bit more of what's going on with him and what he's plotting.
Or do you think it will be a while before he crops up and nothing concrete is currently planned for him?
Please chip in with your opinions of where, how or even you think Razmir is going to make an impression.
James Jacobs wrote:
Okay then James, thank you for at least noting my complaint even though you clearly don't agree. I wanted Paizo to understand that I and perhaps others saw an issue and now you do, so I'll leave it be.
So Xanderghul can take a plot bullet but Sorshen can't?It could have just as easily been written in to give the PC's a crack at her too
The evidence lies in her background and the history of Thassilon.
Are you trying to suggest she was never a monster or are you arguing the party would not know it?
1) So was Xanderghul but it was made so he could be killed by the party half way through the AP
2) really I'd assume by the time you're even part way through this AP without even touching on any research you'd have a pretty good idea how vile the runelords were.
What peculiar outburst.Are you suggesting then that everyone who visits another country is doing so out of colonial privilege, not tourism, not expanding their minds or any other reason that could equally apply to foreign adventurers, but because they think they should own it.
Michael Sayre wrote:
When I asked you to stop being so precious with your NPC's it wasn't a confrontational thing or indeed patronizing. It was meant as a sincere plea not to keep making the same mistakes you have been making with NPC's in 1st edition. If no one ever has the stones to call out Paizo on this you will never know your customers find this an issue.
Nowhere did I suggest on the way to victory players should not be challenged, forced to change their styles to survive, adapt, or face loss. However the object of the game is co-operative storytelling and in such a way that guarantees player satisfaction. For many that means a win and it certainly should never mean that an enemy or potential enemy NPC placed in an adventure be made untouchable for whatever reason.
I have said this before and I will say it again and many adventure writers have offered this advice to starting DM's over the years too. If you do not want the party to kill your bad guy then do not put him in the adventure with the party. And that advice goes all the way back to Gygax and through many others since.
And with that if you find me annoying, confrontational or patronising, I suggest you take a look at my user name.
There is info for if your party doesn't want to work with either and/or if they attack, but your characters aren't really coming across as Good if they attack Sorshen in Return. They also wouldn't survive that.
And your last sentence, is the nature of my complaint. The other runelords are fair game but they do their level best to make sure even if you go after Sorshen you cannot get her.
And why would they not be good, she is a monstrous evil with a list of crimes against humanity Genghis Khan would be proud of. At no time can you justify that she deserves to be let off just because "she isn't like that anymore" without it coming across as protecting the NPC
You did direct this to a Paizo employee.
Yes because it was his opinion I was quoting, and his colleagues that are responsible for the matter in question.There would be little point in addressing such a complaint to fellow board members attention as they have no control over what's published.
Why do they need to be allies at all? They are clearly NPC's the characters should be opposed to based on the mindset of a good party. Introducing such characters if you're going to writer armour them just leaves an unsatisfactory feeling.I'm not saying you have to kill them but the option should be there to allow you to do so, and I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that some will want to.
I'm harking back a couple of years now but I think you can kill Vordecai permanently in Kingmaker, but other than Carrion Crown I'm not sure I can recall fighting another lich, not that I've played or Dm'd every AP
Why pray tell is my opinion "an outburst".
Does that perchance make yours demented ramblings? No?
Then kindly do not make assumptions on the tone of other people's opinions when there is no evidence to support it.
I have no intention of validating your comment with a further reply to the matter under discussion until you choose a less confrontational and biased manner in which to make it.
We're never going to agree on whether the ending of bk 6 was sufficient reward for the party or not. Being nuked isn't so bad when you can come back from it.
And I would also like to disagree whole heartedly with your second point. The Whispering Tyrant is one of several too precious NPC's Sorshen and Noticula also spring to mind. Even up to and including the fact that Return of the Runelords was written in such a way to protect Sorshen from having to fight the PC's
And liches have been killed before, especially while they're reforming. It's only impossible because the writers say so.
I thought Ruins of Azlant was the last decent AP, it's not perfect but I'd certainly run it and I intend to at some point.
I have a couple of issues with War For the Crown that left me feeling largely dissatisfied with the whole thing. But I won't bore you at length details of my personal dislikes of it here (I can always bore you somewhere else instead)
My problem with Return was very similar to Dracovar, I wanted to be able to kill all of the Runelords and finish the AP with a full set accounted for. I felt cheated out of Sorshen's much deserved demise at the partys hands through what is essentially writer armour.
That should have prepared me for Tyrant's Grasp where Writer Armour overshadows the whole book and spoils what could have been a great finale to 1st ed.
Michael Sayre wrote:
Please stop being so precious with your NPC's, particularly this one.
THE ultimate point of the game is for the PC's to defeat every single one of your bad guys and then queue up for the next lot that comes along.
This BBEG has already suffered from a severe case of writers armour, please don't make it any worse.