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Southern Garund is way down my list. I'd like to see Vudra more on Tian Xia, Arcadia and Casmaron all before Southern Garund

Uqbarian wrote:
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.

Strand Gamers Kingmaker podcast featured a Kobold rogue pc he wasn't good aligned but he was lots of fun.

RIP Festerscale

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So a male one is quite literally a Spider-man

Frogliacci wrote:

The issue is that an overwhelming number of adventure paths assume the PCs come from the Inner Sea regardless of whether or not the campaign is set predominantly in that region. Golarion is huge, with plenty of continents and tons of ethnic groups on each (and not just for humans), so going forward we'd like the developers to take advantage of that and write adventure paths that are set in different regions AND assume local characters are default.

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.

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It's about the why someone from Irrisen would be in the middle of nowhere in Taldor that I find tough to explain.

Still, if a player came up with a creative enough answer to that I'd go with it.

pjrogers wrote:
Wounded Wisp has a whole section on The Shrine of the Fallen, and it seems that folks are regularly trying and failing the Test of the Starstone.

If I recall correctly there's a little group that tend and update a memorial to all the failed candidates quite close by.

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Arachnofiend wrote:

Also maybe make it so that the next Tian Xia AP involves you playing characters that are from the region any interest in playing Jade Regent I get out of my friends immediately drops when they find out you start in Varisia

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.

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Darth Game Master wrote:

I meant that Avistan has colonies in Garund (well, had a colony in Garund) and Arcadia and Tian Xia but those places don't have colonies in Avistan. Not that they necessarily should, but it's a bit problematic.

Also, Kelesh doesn't have a colony in Garund anymore? What happened to Tirakawhan?

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.
A warning from history should they ever gain enough power to look avariciously at their neighbours once more.

Rysky wrote:

Thank you.

Krathanos wrote:

No love for RotRL? It used to be a regular favorite around here.

Rise is a good AP, there's lots to like, it's just not my favourite.

Kasoh wrote:
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)

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Rysky wrote:
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.

Nice work.

An all Dwarf party for GS is something I've long pondered trying, I'll be reading up on how it's going for you.

Lord Fyre wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Reign of Winter.

You are not done. ;)

The OP asked for the "why" also.

I'll admit to be curious about that too. I've seen some quite critical posts on the boards about Reign and would be interested in your counterpoint.

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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.

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It's only a rough guess here, but I'd say as the region gets more developed it will spring it's own organisations, which should negate the need to import them from Avistan.

Neriathale wrote:

Strange Aeons.

Book 1 was good. Book 2 was excellent. Book 3 was an absolute masterpiece, books 4 and 5 were a little weak by comparison, but still very good, and book 6 returned to the reality bending weirdness of book 3.

Just... don’t trust the penguins.

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!

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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.

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Tangent101 wrote:
Remind me never to run a character in the campaigns of those folk who feel killing Tar-Baphon isn't a win because he can just reform from his phylactery

Here is your reminder,

never run a character for me in your campaign. :)

Darth Game Master wrote:

Agreed. Andoran as not!America annoys me on many levels, and it having an Italian-inspired culture fits better with its location in the south of not-Europe (especially given pre-Thrune Cheliax's similarities to the western Roman Empire).

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.

I'd imagine it's pretty cold too.
Maybe they've avoided art with snow and ice so as not to make seem too much like Irrisen or the Land of the Linnorm Kings.

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

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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.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:

Don't put white people on continents other than your Europe analogue, kids, it never, ever ends well.

I think Golarion must be one of the few game worlds I've seen where a US-ish expy is actually in "Europe".

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Cole Deschain wrote:

Said lich is stopped. Sent back to square one.

Yeah, he's still semi-active... but the power he used to grind Lastwall into dust? Gone. Finito. Every nation around him? No longer subject to Radiant Fire nuking- and on notice, so they have time to prepare for the more conventional worries caused by armies of undead.

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.

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keftiu wrote:

Dismissing people’s faiths as “fiction” is unnecessary.

And refusing to recognise atheist or agnostic beliefs as valid is both very short sighted and intolerant

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CorvusMask wrote:

I find that to be an exaggeration <_<

That or I'm not sure what real life nations Kaoling, Chun Ye, Shenmen, Kwanlai and Wan Shou among others are supposed to me

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.

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CorvusMask wrote:
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.

Set wrote:

Because of the mask-thing, he's a perfect person for someTHING to show up and replace, gaining a free country / religion for the effort. (That something would have to be able to sneak up to and gank Razmir, who, I'd suspect is neither easy to sneak up on, or gank, but that's just a challenge to the mythic-Rakshasa-with-class-levels who sets their sights on this goal!)

Or even just an ambitious would be successor.

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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

lowfyr01 wrote:

The discovery is something that would be too easy. That is one reason I think he stays at 19th level .

Do we know he's still 19th level or is it at all likely he might have levelled up when the new World Guide comes out this month?

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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.
Will he get his own AP?

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.

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James Jacobs wrote:
NotBothered wrote:

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

It absolutely could have been written that way, but that's not the story I wanted my authors to tell.

One of the joys of being the author or architect of an adventure or story is that you get to decide what that adventure or story is about. It's also a curse, because inevitably someone won't like what you decided to write about... but the only real option for a writer to avoid this is "Just don't write at all." And that option sucks.

Sorry the plot of Return of the Runelords isn't what you would have preferred. It's the one I wanted to present, and I'm VERY proud of it and of the hard work the six authors poured into bringing the story to life.

And keep in mind that as a GM you're free to change and alter an adventure's plot however you wish to improve it for your table. I don't know your players, personally, so I have no idea what sort of adventure to write for them. You do, though. And if that means changing Return of the Runelords so that you get to take out Sorshen at the end, by all means make the change! If that means that Return of the Runelords is beyond salvage for your game... then don't run it at all.

And if you're REALLY bothered that we at Paizo seem to have favorite NPCs, feel free to run adventures with them as the villains for your PCs to defeat. Shensen's stats work just as well whether she's an ally or an enemy, after all. The game rules don't care what side of the screen an NPC schemes on.

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.

Totally off topic, for which I apologise, but shout out to Berhagen for coming from the Netherlands. Without doubt my favourite country I've ever visited.

Once again sorry for the off topic

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Rysky wrote:

1) The PCs never encountered Xanderghul at full strength. Asking for that to happen to Sorshen is asking for a plot bullet just so you can kill her, that they didn't do that doesn't mean plot armor was in effect.

2) And will have been interacting with Sorshen most of the time and learning what she's currently doing what she's doing.

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

I wouldn't
If i were playing in a Return game I'd avoid her like the plague. Why would you trust anything she says? She's an evil wizard out of the dark ages who says she's got over it.
No thanks I'd stay well clear until I could end her thanks. I don't think it's too much to ask for the PC to assume her agenda is to sue them against her rivals and sweep to power not unlike Alaznist is attempting to do.

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Zaister wrote:
NotBothered wrote:
[...] she is a monstrous evil with a list of crimes against humanity Genghis Khan would be proud of.
Do you have any evidence for these allegations?

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?

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Rysky wrote:

1) Because she's way higher level than your party and with mythic tiers, she never stopped being one of the strongest wizards in the setting, that's not plot armor.

2) That they most likely don't know about.

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.

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vagrant-poet wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
political views have no real place anywhere.... especially in politics

I always think this is so funny.

Just to be generous, you could mean political as pertaining to how a governing entity should set it's laws and budgets, or political in a more relaxed sense meaning, like, literally opinions people have about the world.

The ideas that are being discussed are whether it's better to write adventures in regions outside of the Inner Sea with the PCs as visitors from the Inner Sea as default assumption, or as local PCs from the region in questions. Thus clearly the latter.

There are lots of reasons of convenience or comfort that the former is useful, as a touchstone, requiring almost no extra information to be learned, and as a trope.

But the trope's roots are in colonial privilege, and the extra effort required would both benefit players and GMs and make the game more accepting and less infused with the occasionally subtle toxicities of colonialism, and the erasure of non-White people it tends to entail.

So basically, this discussion literally belongs here, it's not politics anymore or less than any other discussion of interpreting Paizo products outside of maybe a treatise on governance in Taldor.

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:

Rysky's point, I believe, was that it's fairly hypocritical to dress someone down for being "biased and confrontational" when your own post used patronizing and confrontational language like "stop being so precious with your NPCs". When you come into a thread apparently looking for a fight and then try to tear someone apart for responding with (honestly in my opinion notably less aggressive but arguably) similar levels of posting energy, it doesn't really engender positive energy or create much likelihood of getting a response.

That being said, I'm someone who often comes off much more harshly online than I intend to, and I'm going to extend the courtesy of engaging in this conversation under the assumption that it's intended in good faith.

I fundamentally disagree with your assessment that "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". Frankly, that sounds intensely boring unless the whole group agreed that all we wanted was an RP-lite dungeon crawl. In my experience, many players actually enjoy a game where they're forced to think, adapt, and sometimes even lose.

In the case of Tyrant's Grasp specifically, Jacobs and the authors knew they were creating a story that could be somewhat controversial, but they also decided it was the right story to tell (I agree). It's unlikely to be a type of story we'll tell in the Adventure Path format anytime soon, but that doesn't mean it wasn't worth telling. For a different ending, Tar-Baphon's phylactery would need to be destroyed in order to truly remove him as a threat, and frankly that was far outside the scope of the AP. Discovering Tar-Baphon's phylactery and destroying it so that he can be defeated is an entire AP unto itself, and perhaps one we'll tell someday. Who knows what the future might bring? But finding a power capable of destroying Tar-Baphon's phylactery, once the PCs have even figured out what and where it is, will be a significant undertaking in...

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.

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Rysky wrote:
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

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Rysky wrote:
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.

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Rysky wrote:

You mean not having them as antagonists. Which they've never been in the APs. Having them be allies isn't plot armor.

Aside from the end of Carrion Crown where have liches been permanently destroyed in APs?

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

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vagrant-poet wrote:

I mean, it doesn't even have to be an exception. It's just building up the scale of Tar-Baphon, so that either in your own games, or as a part of a final campaign to PF2 he can be defeated, and anyone paying attention will understand just what the scope of his threat is.

That's not being precious, that's establishing a setting, and the dangers posed to it.

What a bizarre outburst. Do what you want in your own games with him, why is it a problem to have him as a very potent villain in the printed setting?

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.

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Rysky wrote:
NotBothered wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:

In all likelihood, the next time Tar-Baphon makes a true play for godhood, he'll probably be the most powerful non-deific being in at least the Inner Sea, and quite probably all of Golarion.

Please stop being so precious with your NPC's, particularly this one.
He got nuked in the face.
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.
And this is one exception.
This BBEG has already suffered from a severe case of writers armour, please don't make it any worse.
... he has a phylactery, like all Liches do and those tend to be hard to get to and destroy.

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.

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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.

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Michael Sayre wrote:

In all likelihood, the next time Tar-Baphon makes a true play for godhood, he'll probably be the most powerful non-deific being in at least the Inner Sea, and quite probably all of Golarion.

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.

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