Isle of Misfit Pathlosers


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Creative Director

flash_cxxi wrote:
And I also agree with the statement about the Delve Format. I have all of the "Expedition to" Adventures (cheers for the signed Greyhawk btw) and have found them to be an extreme pain in the arse to read.

That's nothing! Try writing some encounters in that format. MADNESS! And I shudder to think what violence would be inflicted upon me if I tried to get our art directors to lay out a delve format book... shudder...

Liberty's Edge

Takasi wrote:


Compare how many people rerun the Dragonlance modules vs the Greyhawk classics.

With that said, I was able to pick up the Fortress of the Yuan-Ti and very easily drop it into a Sword Coast campaign; it was incredibly easy to adapt the adventure. I was told long ago that good modules need to be flexible, and that's something you don't see often in railroads.

Agreed - yet oddly the most reused module I've ever used is the "dungeon" from DL1 Dragons of Autumn Twilight. That dynamic map and the evocative descriptions of the place in 3D just has me pumped as a DM. And I've reused the map and descriptions many times and players love it! The other most cannibalised adventure I've ever used is "Eye of the serpent"

I love that in modules - maps and people and art and encounters you can steal. Helps for me cause we game at my house and my players will do whatever they like (very inventive and a little ADD and they like playing like it's a George RR Martin novel). When they run off the map there is another just in arms reach.

I am however reading the pathfinder modules as novels like a lot of you. And I find them immensivly and captivatingly visceral. But if my PCs ever get to play in them they'll turn it into a sandbox as they always do - cause that's what they're like.


It's interesting to see how much different people get from different styles of gaming. Its odd before coming to the paizo message boards I'd never really heard of 'simulationist' and 'gamist'.

Anyway I think CotCT isn't too railroady. If you ran it as is written your players might realise that they were being railroaded. I personally think that it will work better if you incorporate the hooks into already made NPC's who your players have shown an interest in. I can't recommend highly enough the guide to Korvosa. It has given me so many interesting angles that I intend to incorporate in the adventure path. I really think it might be what simulationist gamers are looking for. It gives a great sense of the city of Korvosa and therefore the context of the adventures. Like I said I plan to change many of the hooks and events of CotCT depending on what aspect of Korvosa the players take an interest in.

Spoiler:

You could end up ith vastly different perspectives on the campaign depending which organistaion your players most strongly associate with.

Also for all those more into sandbox type modules I would recommend J3 crucible of choas. It is very well written but does not have a set order, a set conclusion or even a set goal. All the encounters could easily be pilfered for other usage. Plus the artwork is top knotch even for paizo.


Lisa Stevens wrote:
Takasi wrote:
I'm a player and a DM. And I've never met a DM who didn't also wish to be a player at some point.

Well, I can help you cross that one off your list! Ever since I picked up my D&D Basic Set back in 1980, I have wanted to be the DM and the DM only. Sure, I played in early RPGA games at GenCon and such, but I never really want to be a player. Ever. We just ended our SCAP campaign and Skaff Elias volunteered to DM a campaign if I wanted to play. I shot him down so fast, his head spun. I just don't like being a player nearly as much as I like DMing and if I am never a player in a D&D game again, that would be fine with me.

-Lisa

Which probably explains why you are the CEO ;-)

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Good thread...a couple of comments:

1. I think there is some good middle ground between a very open campaign structure and a very linear one. Too open and I think the players start wondering what they are suppose to do. There has to be an initial hook to get them going in the right direction. In my campaign I just finished (modified Ptolus campaign, and they ended up picking the NoD scenario), I fed the players several plot hooks, and let them decide which one to follow.

2. For Adventure Path design, I think the key is to give them several leads to track down. As long as they have some choices to make, it will not feel like they are getting railroaded. I also like the idea of side adventures to throw at the party, just to mix things up and break up the linearity of an AP.

3. I think James is spot on when he says that most folks will not run the Pathfinder Adventures, but they still read them. The Delve format is challenging to read through. I like the Delve format for complex encounters, but I do not need it for all the encounters in the module.

4. I really like to DM, and I have read through quite a few modules. I do not mind playing through a module that I have already run through. For me, its the enjoyment of the group, and the shared experience.

Scarab Sages

I don't think that player's having read adventures is a real problem.

Consider: I like going to Shakespeare productions. I've read most of the plays, and those that I haven't I've seen produced before. I know the story, I know what's going to happen. But I still enjoy seeing productions.

Part of this is because every production is unique in its own ways. I see the new production of Julius Caesar not because I desperately want to know what happens, but because I want to see what actor X or director Y has done with it. I go because it's a fun thing to do with my fiancé. And I don't stand up the first act and yell "Brutus is going to stab you!"

Similarly, when I play in an adventure that I've read, that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy it. I enjoy it because it's fun to see how other DMs interpret it. I enjoy it because it's something fun to do with my friends. And I don't let my metaknowledge ruin it.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

There are two issues going on in this thread. The larger one is campaign-design.

Takasi wrote:
That's a huge difference in opinion then. I would much rather play in a campaign with no story on the DM's part, where I build a backstory and explore the world than play in an intricate, linear plot where I, as a player, know the outcome.

From my perspective, one of the fundamental strengths of a table-top role-playing experience is the DM's ability to customize the campaign according to the interests of her players. And novice GM's, running an Adventure Path, sometimes have a hard time exploiting that strength.

Let's say that I'm getting ready to run, oh, say, RotR. And two players bring in characters like Lem (with his sense of responsibility towards his race) and Sajan (with his quest to find his sister). And if I'm a green enough DM, I get to tell them, "Sorry, folks. There's nothing in this entire campaign for your backstories." Even if I do twist some of the plot points around to introduce a side-adventure with halflings, or stick Sajan's sister in the Stone Giants' dungeon, the campaign really isn't about those characters.

This may be why RPGA-play characters are often pretty simple. People who build characters for Organized Play modules know that their own PC backgrounds and interests have to take a back-seat to the pre-written themes and plot of the adventures.

This may also be the reason that 2nd Edition AD&D has gotten a reputation for "the edition with the best characters". Unlike 3rdEdition's rapid Experience Level progressions, the 2nd Edition rules let players hold onto a character for years, and the game "led by example" with Dragonlance, showing how a campaign and its PC's could be molded together.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

The other issue is adventure-design.

When I write an adventure for my campaign, I fall back on the style that Mark Acres developed (for those old Pacesetter games and for his DC Heroes modules):

  • Important NPC's, their goals, their methods, and their resources.
  • A timeline of "What Happens if the PC's Don't Do Anything", which usually ends in disaster.
  • A list of common actions the party can take, and the reactions each one triggers in the NPC's.
  • A collection of (hopefully, exciting) encounters and locations.

One of the reasons I've liked running "Red Hand of Doom" is that it meshes with that style of gaming.

Before I run most adventures, I sit down and re-write them into this format.

On the other hand, I remember WEG's old TORG adventures, which had Acts and Scenes. Rail-roading was one of the bases for the Drama Deck game mechanic.

As a player, I admit I chafe at linear plots. I'm not thinking "What would my character do here?" Rather, I'm thinking "What should our next step be?"

James Jacobs wrote:
One thing to keep in mind... I suspect a sizable amount of Pathfinder's readers WON'T run the adventures. I know that, for several years after college, I wasn't playing D&D at all, but I kept my subscriptions to Dragon and Dungeon going, and I kept buying D&D books because they were enjoyable to simply read.

I'll count myself among these folks. (I think it was GDW which once commented that over half of their customers bought Traveller modules just to see how the Spinward Marches were doing and what Solimani plots were being hatched. Very few of them were actually running Traveller campaigns.

Spoiler:
(Which meant, I supposed, that they were surprised when Mega-Traveller debuted and people complained that the new rules system was unplayable.)


Chris Mortika wrote:
This may also be the reason that 2nd Edition AD&D has gotten a reputation for "the edition with the best characters". Unlike 3rdEdition's rapid Experience Level progressions, the 2nd Edition rules let players hold onto a character for years, and the game "led by example" with Dragonlance, showing how a campaign and its PC's could be molded together.

This was true for me and my group. We briefly tried 3.0, and I quickly discarded because of numerous problems. We switched back to 2e and over the course of about 15 months, the players had characters that got to 8th-9th level. I finally decided to run 3.5 once I picked up the first RotRL module. At our current rate of play on the Pathfinder stuff (which is a little less frequent that we used to play) the characters will be level 8th-9th in about 3 or 4 months.

There's good and bad there. The players actually kind of like knowing they'll get a reasonable chance to run more than one character. They may not be as attached to their 3.5 characters, but they say they are having just as much fun. They like the "speed" of 3.5 since we don't have as much gaming time as we used to. Maybe we've all just gotten old and lazy... I am finding it refreshing to not have to do as much work on a campaign as I used to, though I don't know how long that will last before the need to create my own stuff surfaces again.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
One thing to keep in mind... I suspect a sizable amount of Pathfinder's readers WON'T run the adventures. I know that, for several years after college, I wasn't playing D&D at all, but I kept my subscriptions to Dragon and Dungeon going, and I kept buying D&D books because they were enjoyable to simply read. That's one of the areas, incidentally, that WotC's delve format fails to deliver on—it makes it very difficult to simply read an adventure for entertainment.

Very true. I wish I could run all the adventures I have. Heck, no. Just the good ones. But neither my players nor I have enough time on our free hands.

I'll add that WOTC delve format is harder to run for me as I am so used to the previous one, that it is a pain. But that's just my personal opinion.

However, I was having plans of launching a new home campaign again this summer, based on Kalamar, and Pathfinder is looking ever better the more I read it. So, after all ...

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
One thing to keep in mind... I suspect a sizable amount of Pathfinder's readers WON'T run the adventures. I know that, for several years after college, I wasn't playing D&D at all, but I kept my subscriptions to Dragon and Dungeon going, and I kept buying D&D books because they were enjoyable to simply read. That's one of the areas, incidentally, that WotC's delve format fails to deliver on—it makes it very difficult to simply read an adventure for entertainment.

Chalk me up in that camp...no campaign to run, too busy with a dissertation, but I am loving the monthly read. Once the pathfinder supplements begin to roll out, and I devour those, It will be as if I know all this stuff from heart and any AP I run will be integrated into the larger whole. I will be able to be more open ended simply because I'll have more to work with. It's why game-world fiction *cough* publish it *cough* is so important.


I have yet to run any of the Adventure Paths. Rise of the Rune Lords sits on my shelf, occasionally getting love when I flip through to an article, or read some encounter that amused me. I haven't even finished reading the Seven Days to the Grave yet. My games are all dissolving permanently: several of my players are moving for the summer, and I'm moving in July, in about 3 weeks I may not be running a game any more. Currently the only thing I have been running is a play test for PFRPG and even that will soon go the way of the dodo.
Until I can get a new campaign started with my nephews and nieces after I move (as I will be closer to family) and possibly with some old friends from high school, I'll be getting my fix from reading through adventures. This means primarily Pathfinder AP's, but also any thing I can get my hands on (old Dungeons, OOP adventures from 1st and 2nd edition, soon to be OOP adventures from 3rd). One thing this does is gets the juices flowing. And while the OP has a valid concern, for me personally I think the benefit of the AP isn't as an adventure to run (though I'm certainly eager to run them), but as an example and idea generator for my own adventures.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

L,

I had the same problem with groups over the last year, until I started up a campaign using a virtual tabletop, Maptool. Now I can get old friends together, or whomever no matter where they live. It has been awesome. I strongly suggest it for those who have seen their party-mates move away.

Best.

lojakz wrote:

I have yet to run any of the Adventure Paths. Rise of the Rune Lords sits on my shelf, occasionally getting love when I flip through to an article, or read some encounter that amused me. I haven't even finished reading the Seven Days to the Grave yet. My games are all dissolving permanently: several of my players are moving for the summer, and I'm moving in July, in about 3 weeks I may not be running a game any more. Currently the only thing I have been running is a play test for PFRPG and even that will soon go the way of the dodo.

Until I can get a new campaign started with my nephews and nieces after I move (as I will be closer to family) and possibly with some old friends from high school, I'll be getting my fix from reading through adventures. This means primarily Pathfinder AP's, but also any thing I can get my hands on (old Dungeons, OOP adventures from 1st and 2nd edition, soon to be OOP adventures from 3rd). One thing this does is gets the juices flowing. And while the OP has a valid concern, for me personally I think the benefit of the AP isn't as an adventure to run (though I'm certainly eager to run them), but as an example and idea generator for my own adventures.

Dark Archive

Takasi, recalling a simulationist article, wrote:
"The PCs will walk around and look in different places, not find anything special, and be bored. Indeed, if the players are conditioned to expect a prepared adventure, this can be just what happens. The players search around for hints about what the GM wants them to do, and fail to find it.

I'm not sure what the point would be for a GM to stand by and let PC's 'poke around' until they've discovered the starting point of the adventure.

DM: "Okay, so you're ready to start adventuring. What now?"

Player: "I dunno, I guess I wander around poking through woodpiles, spelunking caves and traversing sewers and stuff. Can I take 20 on a random encounter?"

Takasi wrote:
In Simulationist play, the onus is more on the players to drive play.

See, I want the illusion that I'm driving play, but I don't want a lazy megalomaniac sitting back providing arbitrary die rolls while I create every impetus for adventure.

Put another way, I want my character to be a part of someone else's world, and I don't want that empty "Elder Scrolls" feeling where I'm the only entity in the universe that matters, and it's on me to make the world turn.

I find gaming sessions where every PC simply 'changes channels' and always finds exactly what they were suspecting or looking for _dreadfully_ boring. Suspension of disbelief for me requires a feeling of being a part of a world which persists outside the PC's lives, and occasionally imposes limitations (weather) or obstacles (mobs, fences, mountains) outside of their control.

Takasi wrote:
Without contrived situations to force the PCs into action, the PCs need to be more pro-active.

Published (hell, prepared)adventures, without contrivance? Seems like an oxymoron to me.


In many campaigns there is no 'starting point' of a specific 'adventure'. The DM creates a world with locations and independent events and the PCs explore them freely. There is no expected reaction from the PCs, and events aren't created for the purpose of driving the PCs to respond. Events are created because they make sense in the world, not because they make a good story or setup an interesting challenge.

You do not have to sit back and arbitrarily roll dice to generate this world. The difference in narrative games is that a 'lazy megalomaniac' is trying to force a group to trigger event x to ensure event y.

And you can certainly have adventures without contrived situations. Contrivance is obvious and forceful. Triggering a major NPCs death and riots on the defeat of a minor NPC is contrived. Adventures can have independent timelines and include events and locations that do not need implied party reactions to work properly.


Takasi wrote:

In many campaigns there is no 'starting point' of a specific 'adventure'. The DM creates a world with locations and independent events and the PCs explore them freely. There is no expected reaction from the PCs, and events aren't created for the purpose of driving the PCs to respond. Events are created because they make sense in the world, not because they make a good story or setup an interesting challenge.

You do not have to sit back and arbitrarily roll dice to generate this world. The difference in narrative games is that a 'lazy megalomaniac' is trying to force a group to trigger event x to ensure event y.

And you can certainly have adventures without contrived situations. Contrivance is obvious and forceful. Triggering a major NPCs death and riots on the defeat of a minor NPC is contrived. Adventures can have independent timelines and include events and locations that do not need implied party reactions to work properly.

Then there is clearly no reason for you to subscribe to Pathfinder if you detest 'adventures' so much. There is not much room for discussion in an absolute backdrop of: 'all story, environment elements, purposed npcs are railroading except what I deem to be accceptable.'

It's the same as telling someone you beleive the the Tooth Fairy is the true power behind George Bush because that's the way it is and people that don't agree with you are idiots...but you'd like to discuss it with them further.

I guess I don't understand the point of your original post Takasi. Using words like "Pathlosers" doesn't really mark you as a legit debater. Time to let this thread die, its silly trollishness is not up to snuff with the rest of the threads around here.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Takasi wrote:
Contrivance is obvious and forceful. Triggering a major NPCs death and riots on the defeat of a minor NPC is contrived.

I take issue mostly with your word choice here... "Contrived" implies that an element is strained or forceful or obviously planned. If you're going to call the start of "Curse of the Crimson Throne" contrived... you pretty much have to extend that to the ENTIRE CAMPAIGN or you have to drop the word and use a different one. Cliched, if you're feeling antagonistic.

The fact of the matter is, I suspect (as I have for many months now) that you're basically having issues with Pathfinder because it isn't the right tool for you to use to run your campaign. You shouldn't use a wrench to hammer in nails, even though technically you can. Doing so damages the wrench and makes the nail go in ugly and probably dings up the wood. By extending the metaphor, you wouldn't use an adventure to run an open-ended campaign where the storyline is driven by PC choice and there's no railroad. You should use a campaign setting or a gazetter-type product. We're doing our best to include those types of tools to a certain degree in every Pathfinder, but that doesn't change the fact that the primary focus of each Pathfinder is the adventure itself, cliches and contrivances and railroads and all. For Golarion, what you want is the articles in the last half of Pathfinder, and the books we're printing in the Chronicles line. Right now, there aren't that many Chronicles books (Guide to Korvosa and Classic Monsters being the only two out so far), but there's a LOT more on the way. Soon!

But basically, I'm just kind of tired of hearing complaints that "this wrench sucks for hammering nails." Just go get a hammer.


I am so tired of hearing the term "Railroad". Some times a story has to unfold a certain way to progress. There is nothing wrong with side treks as long as the "main story" elements still progress.

The APs are just that, Paths. We follow the main path primarily, and we often explore side treks along the way.

For the folks who tend to see anything as railroady, make up your own adventures (I say this respectfully) if its a freeform rpg that you are into more.
I prefer the plot driven stories of the APs (starting from The Shackled City), I prefer the modules as written as I only run the ones with stories that my group would like. I also alter them as any DM does. I throw side treks where they might be needed or if I think my group would enjoy them at a particular point, etc.

As James said, go get a hammer if you are tired of the wrench.

All premade modules are somewhat "railroady". Its written by someone else and follows that authors story. Some folks mine ideas from them, some alter them, etc.

Did I mention I hate the term "Railroad"? :)

Paizo, keep up the great stories.


I don't want to pile on Takasi.

But I want to say again... If it weren't for Adventure Paths I wouldn't be playing DnD, and I wouldn't be a Paizo customer.

I would not have introduced Pathfinder/Golarion to over new ten players (who are actively playing in two iterations of Runelords). Not everything I buy from Paizo is strictly AP related (like the Chronicle products), but it is Adventure Paths that brought my spending money and particpation to Paizo.

I'm sorry Takasi isn't finding what he wants.. but I'm really pleased with Paizo. I hope eventually the product schedule will give Takasi the things that he'd enjoy.


Herbo wrote:


Then there is clearly no reason for you to subscribe to Pathfinder if you detest 'adventures' so much. There is not much room for discussion in an absolute backdrop of: 'all story, environment elements, purposed npcs are railroading except what I deem to be accceptable.'

It's the same as telling someone you beleive the the Tooth Fairy is the true power behind George Bush because that's the way it is and people that don't agree with you are idiots...but you'd like to discuss it with them further.

I guess I don't understand the point of your original post Takasi. Using words like "Pathlosers" doesn't really mark you as a legit debater. Time to let this thread die, its silly trollishness is not up to snuff with the rest of the threads around here.

Bingo! Well put!

I am also slightly put out by Takasi's suggestion further up in the thread that players shouldn't read the adventures (APs) because it ruins things for the DM. I'm one of the many who have chimed in who enjoy reading (voraciously) every RPG supplement, rulebook, gazetteer, and adventure I can get my hands on. It's part of what I love about the hobby and it allows me to extend my enjoyment beyond the once every two weeks that I can afford to get together with my group (I miss Dragon mag).

My DM is smart enough to know to ask me if I've read something in particular and if so, smart enough to alter it for the group.


Elorebaen wrote:

L,

I had the same problem with groups over the last year, until I started up a campaign using a virtual tabletop, Maptool. Now I can get old friends together, or whomever no matter where they live. It has been awesome. I strongly suggest it for those who have seen their party-mates move away.

Best.

Thanks for the heads up Elorebaen. I'll check it out. If it works out, maybe I can get the crew to check it out too and we can get together that way a couple of times a month.

In some ways it'll be good to have some downtime from running adventures (I'll still be playing in a couple as a player till July). It'll give me time to work on some homebrew stuff and start prepping stuff for some introductory adventures for my nephew's. A few play who are in highschool, a few are all grown up but could probably be talked into playing again, and one who's nine is excited to start playing. I've given him my old 3rd edition Monster's Manual and he's apparently memorized the damn thing forward and backward.

I rarely run adventures (despite the many i have on my shelf). I usually do a rough outline of the plot goals, stat up monsters that need stating up, and design the 'dungeon' if the players might go into that direction. I've very free form and the game is very much about the players characters. I do have a plot, but it's a gentle nudging and soft hints that help it develop. My gaming style, for the most part, is very free form go with the flow.
That being said... I'm ready to switch gears and start running some pre-written stuff. Will I switch back to my old style? Yeah, probably at some point. But there's some great stories here and I think they'd be fun to interperet (as playing in them isn't quite the right expression).


rclifton wrote:

Bingo! Well put!

I am also slightly put out by Takasi's suggestion further up in the thread that players shouldn't read the adventures (APs) because it ruins things for the DM.

I agree with him.

Of course, if you and the DM are fine with it - not to mention the other player - it's OK I guess.

Personally, if I found out that a player was reading the stuff, it would have consequences. And if I caught anyone abusing the knowledge gained from the reading, he'd be uninvited.

The Exchange

Takasi wrote:
In many campaigns there is no 'starting point' of a specific 'adventure'. The DM creates a world with locations and independent events and the PCs explore them freely.
Herbo wrote:
Then there is clearly no reason for you to subscribe to Pathfinder if you detest 'adventures' so much.

I think you are both missing something here. I wonder why people do not see that the Pathfinder Adventures are creating a detailed gazeteer over time. By the end of the 2nd adventure path we basically have as flavored-filled a campaign setting as you will ever find. I thought that was the point of Paizo using a shared world for their Adventure Paths. It is also why I don't understand people who declare they are ending their subscriptions based on whether Pathfinder is 3.5, 3.Paizo or 4.0. Paizo is giving us a rich adventure landscape no matter what version of D&D you playor or what style of adventure you like. If you like Paizo in the past, you should stay with them through this roller coaster. No matter what version you settle on a year from now, Glorion is dynamic, flavor-filled and original. IFf you don't like the connecting story line, ignore it and just use the sub-elements of the adventure.

The Exchange

Takasi wrote:
In many campaigns there is no 'starting point' of a specific 'adventure'. The DM creates a world with locations and independent events and the PCs explore them freely.
Herbo wrote:
Then there is clearly no reason for you to subscribe to Pathfinder if you detest 'adventures' so much.

I think you both missed one of the points of the Adventure Path. By using a shared setting, Paizo is creating a detailed gazetteer. By the end of the second path, I think we have about as detailed a setting as you could want. If you don't like the story line, just use the sub-elements you like and the campaign setting. And who knows, your players might just actually follow the path most travelled.

I also don't understand why people are dropping subscriptions based on what version of D&D Pathfinder uses. Whether you eventually settle on 3.5, 3.Paizo or 4.0, Golarion gives you a rich, flavor-filled, and detailed setting. If you like the Paizo's work, I believe you should stay with Paizo while you see what these various versions have to offer. When this edition roller coaster is over, we still have a great campaign setting in Golarion. Maybe a year from now you will be looking for something that supports your edition, but now we only have 3.5 (no offense to Grognards).

Paizo offers you great value no matter what your decision on which edition to play or what style of play you prefer. This has been an unpaid endorsement.


Duncan Clyborne wrote:


I also don't understand why people are dropping subscriptions based on what version of D&D Pathfinder uses.

I can explain that: While Golarion sure is a great world, the allure of adventure modules and paths is that you get something you can use right away, with little preparation. Now, if that module uses a different game than the one you play, that advantage goes away, since the encounters become virtually useless - statted enemies have to be converted, and even those who are merely mentioned must be checked, because a pushover enemy in one game might be certain death in another.

And by the way: Pathfinder is going to keep using 3.5 until August'09, and then switch to Pathfinder RPG, which is an advanced, but backwards compatible version of 3.5. So the 4e fans are fresh out of luck.


James Jacobs wrote:
One thing to keep in mind... I suspect a sizable amount of Pathfinder's readers WON'T run the adventures. I know that, for several years after college, I wasn't playing D&D at all, but I kept my subscriptions to Dragon and Dungeon going, and I kept buying D&D books because they were enjoyable to simply read. That's one of the areas, incidentally, that WotC's delve format fails to deliver on—it makes it very difficult to simply read an adventure for entertainment.

This is true, I also had a period when I read D&D books just for enjoyment and didn't have a group to play with, but for me it holds even stronger than your statement. Frankly, as a DM, I am not even interested in running a pre-made adventure that I don't enjoy reading - there is simply no motivation unless the adventure inspires or excites me through its storyline.

Indeed, the same reasoning, in my case, applies to pre-made campaign settings. The campaign setting has to interest me, excite me and inspire me, otherwise I won't be interested in running it. Hence, making a campaign setting that is very easy to run and having the main book include essentially only information useful to an adventuring party, but little to inspire me, excite me and get my imagination running will likely mean I will not be interested in the setting no matter how easy to run it might be or how well-suited to running adventures.

(I mention this latter statement, as I think this is a philosophy that is being applied to the new Forgotten Realms in 4e D&D and will result in me not being interested in the new FR.)


James, just want to chime in with a positive voice, which is sometimes too quiet here. I love Pathfinder as-is. It is exactly the sort of products I like to use in my games at home. Having said that, I have found a great outlet for a more PC-driven game in an online PbPost game where I both Dm and have a PC.

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