Adventure paths.... why do they only go from lvl 1-15?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Creative Director

If we do a Test of the Starstone adventure... the whole point of it is to provide GMs with the info. Doing an entire adventure but then leaving out the climax is bad adventure design, I fear.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Iridal wrote:
Yes? These are great news. I was going to cancel my subscriptions after reading "The Bastards of Erebus" (which I did not like anything), but now I'll wait. I still have faith in Paizo.

Thanks for sticking it out! As for "not liking anything" in Bastards of Erebus... what specifically did you not like? We can't fix problems in our adventure design if we don't know what folks are not liking in them, after all!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I understand your point. My thought was more 'here is the inner halls of the Starstone, the guardians to be bested, the traps and obstacles to overcome' and when they reach the final point 'here are some suggestions on how to tailor the final test to your PCs'.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

artemis_segundo wrote:
I'm not convinced that Kingmaker is the best AP for that try (is an AP very experimental) but I prefer a Kingmaker of eighteen levels that a Kingmaker of ten levels ^^

The reason I think Kingmaker's suited to go to high level is twofold:

1) It IS something new. And since high level adventures change the way the game is played, and that makes the same old adventure plots and methods you use at low and mid level outdated, something new is precisely what a high-level adventure needs to work well.

2) A long-standing tradition of the game (one that's been downplayed and/or ignored in 3rd edition, alas) is the idea that once you hit 11th level or so, you have reached your "name level" which means you're significantly powerful enough in your class that the kingdom or world or area's inhabitants can't help but accept the fact that you're a hero or a leader. At these levels, EVERYONE in previous editions started to attract cohorts and followers, and there were rules for building keeps and wizard towers and thieves' guilds and all that. With Kingmaker, I hope to capture some of that; you get high level and then start building castles and towns and ruling them, and the fact that you're high level and have access to powerful new abilities should play right into this new type of game play.

That's not to say there won't be fights and dungeons at those high levels, of course, but they'll be increasingly not the focus of an entire adventure.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TriOmegaZero wrote:
A high level NPC stat block is pretty hefty. Ditto for advanced/unique monster manuals. Warriors less so, but a spellcaster needs to have spells known planned out. Then add on those magic items you were mentioning. THEN plot out their strategy and tactics. There is only so much room in the modules for this information, limiting just how many of these unique and complex enemies you can use. Hence the reliance on 'see MM pg. XX'

While that's true... the high level monster stat blocks in the Bestiary are never more than a page long, and in most cases are only half a page long, with room for art and some flavor text. This is a design philosophy I'm going to try to stick to when I can; high-level stat blocks that run for more than a page are intimidating and counter productive.

That said... one of the ways we accomplished this was via the creation of universal monster rules. We don't have stat blocks bloated now with repetitive text that tells how constrict or pounce or swallow whole works; there's just a single short entry in the stats for these common monster attacks and then the rules themselves are consolidated at the back of the Bestiary. You'll want to have the Bestiary handy for these monsters as a result, but it makes navigating the stat blocks (and presenting them in a less intimidating way) a lot easier.

And beyond that, we did try to fit in a bit more high level monsters in the Bestiary so that we'll be able to save a little bit more room there.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The Bestiary is one book I'm very much looking forward to James. I'm hoping to have it for the plane ride back to the States in December. And I think that tidbit about bloat removal just made my day.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

delabarre wrote:
Outside of the Pathfinder AP, plan a trilogy of three special, high-level modules under the Pathfinder Modules line. These can form an epilogue to one of the APs, if you like, or a stand-alone story. Figure the APL for the first module around 15, second around 17, and third at 19. Spend a bit more to produce these, as mentioned above, and then give them a premium charge to compensate. Make the climax of the third module really epic (as in, epic movies, not "post-20th level play", although the foes will have to be >20 to be challenging).

It's not just as easy as that, alas. We're pretty much at capacity right now... BEYOND capacity, to be honest... for how much stuff we're producing. Doing a brand new type of product like a stand-alone high level big adventure would be cool (and I have done a LOT of preliminary thought and work on how concepts like these in the past year or two), but we'd have to cancel another product or several products to make it happen at this point. And that's not something we want to do. A better solution would be to put the high-level big adventure in an already existing product line... one that's NOT the Adventure Paths, since that's the flagship line and the most successful line and not one we want to tinker with too much as a result.

That said, we did just post job openings for an editorial assistant and an editorial intern, and if we can get those filled, the workflow part of things starts to be less of a problem.

I would expect to see Paizo offer something significant and exciting in the arena of high-level adventures within a few years, but not within a matter of months, is what I'm saying.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

MisterSlanky wrote:
Only because this thread would make it appear that everybody loves high-level play I'm going to throw in my two cents.

Thank you for posting this. It's easy for a thread like this to get a "ship in a bottle" type of group-think going on, where it looks like the demand for high-level adventures is REALLY high.

In fact, if sales figures and overall market research over my past 10 years of working at Paizo and at Wizards of the Coast in the sales department have taught me much, it's that mid level adventuers are the best selling and most popular ones; they're also the ones that the vast majority of writers want to write.

No joke! In the days of Paizo running Dungeon, I was constantly entertained by the fact that the majority of the submissions we got for adventures were for mid-level. And the majority of those were for 7th level adventures. I never ran the numbers (and now wish I had) but I would guess that nearly 60% of the unsolicited proposals we got were for about 7th level. Low level came in after that, and high level always trailed last. This was part of the reason we set aside half of each Adventure Path in the Dungeon Days to fill the high level slot; we just didn't have enough submissions in the 100 or so we got a month to fill those slots. Folks didn't want to write them, folks didn't want to play them. And lo and behold, the high level installments of an Adventure Path were consistently the worst selling parts of an adventure path on the whole.

SO! The unfortunate combination of "High level is hard to write and edit and create" and "High level isn't as popular" is the main reason there's not more high level content out there. I hope to get SOME out there in a few years' time, but it'll never be the majority. And being a fan of high level adventures (as evidenced by the fact that several of my adventures for Dungeon and articles for Dragon were high level ones) I do find that frustrating.

We'll see what Paizo can do. But again... we've got other things we're doing and so high level stuff will come slowly, not quickly.


While I would like to see a few good high level adventures once in a while, for the most part, I think the 1st-15th level spread for the Adventure Paths is just about perfect.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

One more thing!

At low or mid levels, adventures are shorter because they don't have to cover as many options. When folks can't fly, you don't have to worry about explaining what's on the roof of the castle. When folks can't speak with dead, you don't have to create backgrounds for all the dead bodies in the dungeon. When folks can't teleport, you can build long travel times into your adventures and build fun resource-management elements into dungeons.

The higher level folks get, the more they can do, and as a result you have to take a more macro view of your adventure. This goes beyond the stat blocks. You quite simply just have to include MORE OF EVERYTHING in your adventure. And it's really easy for a designer to not even realize this, especially if he only plays or runs low or mid level games.

The fact that you need to RUN or PLAY high level games in order to be a good writer of high level adventures is also something that limits their appearance on shelves. There's just not enough talented and skilled game designers out there who want or can do the work, because they lack the experience.

This is getting into another topic though... the "in order to write for the game you must play the game!" topic. And I've been posting here enough this morning... gotta go in to work and get some catch-up time with Pathfinder #28!


James Jacobs wrote:

One more thing!

At low or mid levels, adventures are shorter because they don't have to cover as many options. When folks can't fly, you don't have to worry about explaining what's on the roof of the castle. When folks can't speak with dead, you don't have to create backgrounds for all the dead bodies in the dungeon. When folks can't teleport, you can build long travel times into your adventures and build fun resource-management elements into dungeons.

The higher level folks get, the more they can do, and as a result you have to take a more macro view of your adventure. This goes beyond the stat blocks. You quite simply just have to include MORE OF EVERYTHING in your adventure. And it's really easy for a designer to not even realize this, especially if he only plays or runs low or mid level games.

The fact that you need to RUN or PLAY high level games in order to be a good writer of high level adventures is also something that limits their appearance on shelves. There's just not enough talented and skilled game designers out there who want or can do the work, because they lack the experience.

This is getting into another topic though... the "in order to write for the game you must play the game!" topic. And I've been posting here enough this morning... gotta go in to work and get some catch-up time with Pathfinder #28!

'Tis Labor Day weekend - aren't you supposed to be home or something? ^_^


I just want to thank James for all his posts this morning and in general throughout this thread. I am not a fan of high level play myself (well at least not of play above say 14th level or so), but I am intrigued by the "Kingmaker" ideas floated by James and look forward to reading and seeing more of them.


MisterSlanky wrote:

Only because this thread would make it appear that everybody loves high-level play I'm going to throw in my two cents.

I hate playing PCs past 15th level (and even that point is getting into the yuck territory). The game gets burdensome, and at my age, my group only gets together once a month at times. Our spellcastes spend half their night remembering what their spells do and everybody forgets SOMETHING about their character after not playing for a month (or more sometimes).

Mr. Slansky I'm not a big fan of the high level adventures but I think that ONE high level AP can be something god (at least an intesant variation of the habitual progression).

KnightErrantJR wrote:
While I would like to see a few good high level adventures once in a while, for the most part, I think the 1st-15th level spread for the Adventure Paths is just about perfect.

That's exactly my opinion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Turin the Mad wrote:
'Tis Labor Day weekend - aren't you supposed to be home or something? ^_^

Perhaps in theory... but since the RPG, the Bestiary, Gen Con, and moving offices all more or less happened back to back, Pathfinder itself got behind schedule. Now is not a good time for me to not be at work getting it back ON schedule.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Irony of the situation is I was excited about Kingmaker Until I heard it was going to be high lvl Mainly because A trying to make your first sand box adventure path and high lvl one at the same time is going to be incredibly hard to pull of writing wise and Dming wise and B I wasn't going to be the one dming this it was going to be one of my players who liked the sound of it because it seemed it would be fairly low lvl.


MisterSlanky wrote:

Only because this thread would make it appear that everybody loves high-level play I'm going to throw in my two cents.

I hate playing PCs past 15th level (and even that point is getting into the yuck territory). The game gets burdensome, and at my age, my group only gets together once a month at times. Our spellcastes spend half their night remembering what their spells do and everybody forgets SOMETHING about their character after not playing for a month (or more sometimes).

This problem compounds with each level the PCs get. Last night we took 4 and a half hours to resolve an 8 round fight. Every time the turn hit the wizards the game ground to a complete halt as they cast quickened X with empowered Y and then later that round did an immediate Z. Our fighters (and Favored Soul) often would take 2 minutes to take their action followed by an hour waiting for their next turn. This has always been one of the problems with high level play and for my group. I don't see it changing any time soon simply because we don't get to play as much as we'd like.

I know some people like high-level play, but I'm going to say (because very few in this thread appear to be members of this group) that we LOVE the APs because they fit our group's schedule. We can play them and they cap out about the time we can't control our own characters anymore. I would not buy (although as a subscriber I apparently automatically would buy) a module that took the AP past 15.

I know there are plenty of people that would, but there are plenty of us that really do prefer the play that starts at about level 5 and goes to about level 11-12.

The reason for such long fights and the forgetting of spells is also probably because your group is not as familiar with the game as others are. In my group if it gets back around to your turn and you don't know what to do we start a countdown from 10. If you dont go you lose your turn. The reason for this was people would wait until it was their turn before they would think about what they wanted to do sometimes. In your group that may not be the case. I dont know if the quickened and immediate spells was literal or an example, but if you take an immediate action it takes up your swift/free action for the next turn.

I do know that high level play is not for everyone, but the thing is that 1-20 level games normally last a year or more so Paizo wont be having to push them out back to back. Another options is to create an optional 16-20 level expansion for their 1-15 level APs.

Grand Lodge

concerro wrote:
I do know that high level play is not for everyone, but the thing is that 1-20 level games normally last a year or more so Paizo wont be having to push them out back to back. Another options is to create an optional 16-20 level expansion for their 1-15 level APs.

I'm not an expert, but I think one way to do a continuation of an existing AP would be to combine it with the modules line. Basically, the design behind it would be to create a high level module that could stand on it's own as an epic style adventure, but, for those that have played through the relevant AP, it would blend seamlessly into the AP. The method for writing such a product would, in my opinion be challenging. For one, integrating it into the AP would require intricate knowledge of the AP and already existing skill in writing high level adventures. Top it off with having to add additional information for those that didn't play through the AP only makes it that much harder to develop. Kudos to the writer that could pull it off, and if it happened, I would buy it, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kevin Mack wrote:
Irony of the situation is I was excited about Kingmaker Until I heard it was going to be high lvl Mainly because A trying to make your first sand box adventure path and high lvl one at the same time is going to be incredibly hard to pull of writing wise and Dming wise and B I wasn't going to be the one dming this it was going to be one of my players who liked the sound of it because it seemed it would be fairly low lvl.

Well... wait and see. I'm not sure we can pull off a 1st to 18th level Adventure Path in the first place. I'm gonna try, but I won't know how it's gonna work out for some time yet. It might end up being the same range of adventures we've done before, from 1st to 15th or thereabouts.

That brings up another reason why going to 15th level is sort of a "sweet spot." It's not so high that you can't skew things lower for your group, and not so low that you can't skew things higher.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CD8D wrote:
I'm not an expert, but I think one way to do a continuation of an existing AP would be to combine it with the modules line. Basically, the design behind it would be to create a high level module that could stand on it's own as an epic style adventure, but, for those that have played through the relevant AP, it would blend seamlessly into the AP. The method for writing such a product would, in my opinion be challenging. For one, integrating it into the AP would require intricate knowledge of the AP and already existing skill in writing high level adventures. Top it off with having to add additional information for those that didn't play through the AP only makes it that much harder to develop. Kudos to the writer that could pull it off, and if it happened, I would buy it, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

An interesting idea, and certainly one that we've thought about, but in practice it's one that's really hard to pull off since the writers and developers of such a module would have to be as familiar with the AP for which they're doing a sequel to as the writers and developers of that AP. And since the AP writers and developers generally don't have time to ALSO do double duty on modules (or vice versa)... it's tricky.

Plus, there's a certain amount of wisdom in keeping the modules self-contained and limiting the buy-in requirements for the line.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

James Jacobs wrote:
Plus, there's a certain amount of wisdom in keeping the modules self-contained and limiting the buy-in requirements for the line.

For the Coliseum Morpheuon mega-adventure/mini-setting, a LOT of my Patrons requested that it should serve, in some way, as a "sequel" to one or more of the Adventure Paths; all I could tell them was that since I don't have the rights to Paizo IP, I couldn't do it ... legally.

The truth is, pulling off a 15th-20th level super-sequel to an AP (either ongoing or past) would be a real feat; the time & energy necessary to execute such a thing in a way that pleased both rabid fans of the AP and newbies-to-the-story would make it nearly impossible.

... also: James, you work too darn hard. Spending a Saturday editing my turnover of 'Infernal Syndrome' and also posting here? Get yourself a Snickers or something, man!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Clinton Boomer wrote:
... also: James, you work too darn hard. Spending a Saturday editing my turnover of 'Infernal Syndrome' and also posting here? Get yourself a Snickers or something, man!

Mmm... snickers...

And thankfully, while it is work, it's FUN work! It's not like I'm mowing someone's lawn or chopping wood all day...

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Clinton Boomer wrote:
... also: James, you work too darn hard. Spending a Saturday editing my turnover of 'Infernal Syndrome' and also posting here? Get yourself a Snickers or something, man!

Mmm... snickers...

And thankfully, while it is work, it's FUN work! It's not like I'm mowing someone's lawn or chopping wood all day...

mowing the lawn, chopping wood, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, putting new wallpapers up, cleaning the garage............Hellfire, I knew I have forgotten something.....is that the handle of the mower showing just above the top of the lawn.... ahmmm .....wilderness???

Hope no high level Gobbos hide there!

Shadow Lodge

concerro wrote:
The reason for such long fights and the forgetting of spells is also probably because your group is not as familiar with the game as others are. In my group if it gets back around to your turn and you don't know what to do we start a countdown from 10. If you dont go you lose your turn. The reason for this was people would wait until it was their turn...

I've been playing D&D for 25 years now, as has most every person in my group. We started 3.0 the day it came out. In fact the LEAST experienced gamer in our group (at only about 8 years of experience) tends to have some of the faster turns.

Fact of the matter is that we're getting old. Not everybody has time to remember the exact nature of ever spell, every magic item, every special ability, and ever nuance of their character anymore, especially when we may play these characters at most once a month. Leveling always gives you more options, and around level 15 those options can (and do) start to overwhelm a lot of players. I've seen it happen time and time again over the years.

My complaints about high level play aren't new and I know I'm not the first to have them. I tend to be a memorizer and don't have the same problems, but it's not easy. Heck last night I completely forgot about my travel domain special ability and nearly got killed because of is. I'd just rather play in what I consider the "sweet spot" of 5-9 where you're plenty effective and the play is fun, but characters and fights tend to still be manageable. I know this is subjective, but I was merely trying to bring some balance to a thread that had nearly every comment indicating that high-level play was the preferred play style.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

The reason I think Kingmaker's suited to go to high level is twofold:

1) It IS something new. And since high level adventures change the way the game is played, and that makes the same old adventure plots and methods you use at low and mid level outdated, something new is precisely what a high-level adventure needs to work well.

2) A long-standing tradition of the game (one that's been downplayed and/or ignored in 3rd edition, alas) is the idea that once you hit 11th level or so, you have reached your "name level" which means you're significantly powerful enough in your class that the kingdom or world or area's inhabitants can't help but accept the fact that you're a hero or a leader. At these levels, EVERYONE in previous editions started to attract cohorts and followers, and there were rules for building keeps and wizard towers and thieves' guilds and all that. With Kingmaker, I hope to capture some of that; you get high level and then start building castles and towns and ruling them, and the fact that you're high level and have access to powerful new abilities should play right into this new type of game play.

That's not to say there won't be fights and dungeons at those high levels, of course, but they'll be increasingly not the focus of an entire adventure.

My players have expressed more excitement/anticipation around kingmaker than any of the other APs for precisely the second reason you list - nostalgic memories of reaching high level and founding your own domain. We are looking forward to this more than we were looking forward to the PRPG.


But they all boil down to: "Why negotiate with him if I can simply lay waste his entire kingdom?" In 1e, individual power "flattened out" after 9th level or so, keeping armies and nations relevant. Unfortunately, by the way personal power scales in 3.0/3.5/3.PF rules, high-level characters are totally unstoppable by armies of low-level charcaters, no matter how large in manpower those armies might be. Now, the only way a king can prevent high-level (17th+) characters from doing whatever they like to his kingdom is to field equally high-level characters to stop them, at which point it devolves into combat again.

After posts like this one, and posts similar to it--they point to that high-level play is simply complex.

Would it be too far-off to suggest a "leveling off" after levels 16-X, as a method of retooling that others have hinted at?

Where power "levels off" in certain ways, but--give it ways to grow in other methods that while powerful, are more simply managed?

This is a slight tangent, I know, but has anyone ever published something akin to that?

Instead of gaining more spells--a wizard might gain their own pocket plane. A different sort of "power" and a different sort of "capstone."

I'm likely full of blarny, here, but that's alright. I'm used to proposing the oddballs. :)


James Jacobs wrote:


The reason I think Kingmaker's suited to go to high level is twofold:

1) It IS something new. And since high level adventures change the way the game is played, and that makes the same old adventure plots and methods you use at low and mid level outdated, something new is precisely what a high-level adventure needs to work well.

I suppose that is a philosophy like to if you go to take a risk take it fully mixed with a changing your mind. But I'm of the cautious.

James Jacobs wrote:

2) A long-standing tradition of the game (one that's been downplayed and/or ignored in 3rd edition, alas) is the idea that once you hit 11th level or so, you have reached your "name level" which means you're significantly powerful enough in your class that the kingdom or world or area's inhabitants can't help but accept the fact that you're a hero or a leader. At these levels, EVERYONE in previous editions started to attract cohorts and followers, and there were rules for building keeps and wizard towers and thieves' guilds and all that. With Kingmaker, I hope to capture some of that; you get high level and then start building castles and towns and ruling them, and the fact that you're high level and have access to powerful new abilities should play right into this new type of game play.

That's not to say there won't be fights and dungeons at those high levels, of course, but they'll be increasingly not the focus of an entire adventure.

You conviced me with that, it remember me the old fighters of AD&D at ninth level with his followers or the "Dragon Kings" handbook for Darksun with its filosofy about the importance in the world of the high level characters.


Personally, I'd like the APs to end at a lower level. Like maybe 8th. It would be terrific if there was an AP designed for slow track progression.


hazel monday wrote:
Personally, I'd like the APs to end at a lower level. Like maybe 8th. It would be terrific if there was an AP designed for slow track progression.

¿Eight? At level and third for module?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It would certainly give more time to try out each new levels abilities.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
SO! The unfortunate combination of "High level is hard to write and edit and create" and "High level isn't as popular" is the main reason there's not more high level content out there. I hope to get SOME out there in a few years' time, but it'll never be the majority. And being a fan of high level adventures (as evidenced by the fact that several of my adventures for Dungeon and articles for Dragon were high level ones) I do find that frustrating.

You and a few others (at least). I think part of it (as I stated in this thread) is that a significant number of people don't want to deal with the demands of high level play:

Dragonchess Player wrote:

The issue that many groups run into is that they aren't prepared to change their style as they move into high level play. This applies to both adventuring techniques and the PCs' interactions with the campaign setting. By the time the PCs reach 12th level, they are becoming some of the movers-and-shakers of the nation/region/world; their concerns and responsibilities should be growing to match their abilities. Also, high level threats should be rare; the higher level the threat, the rarer it should be. This means that the time between adventures (or adventure arcs) should increase as the PCs gain levels, allowing PCs to spend more time on their "non-adventuring" concerns and responsibilities. Paizo's Adventure Paths are somewhat of an exception, in that they are a single adventure arc designed for a party to go from low level to high level while following a single plot-line.

One other problem that some groups run into is the demand that high level play places on preparation; not just for the GM, but for the players. GMs should pre-plan NPC/monster tactics and have the effects for each action ready to implement quickly (notes and cards helps greatly, even something as simple as pre-rolling base damage for attacks/spells can speed things up tremendously). Likewise, players should be prepared to decide and perform actions quickly during their turn (again, simple things like notes and cards with all the modifiers pre-calculated can speed things up). What usually bogs down play at higher level (in my experience) are people who have to constantly look things up before deciding what to do and then have to look things up again to determine the effect.

I'm glad that you are looking to revive the traditions of earlier editions. The following makes me think that Paizo is on the right track for making high level play more than just "mid level play with bigger numbers:"

James Jacobs wrote:

2) A long-standing tradition of the game (one that's been downplayed and/or ignored in 3rd edition, alas) is the idea that once you hit 11th level or so, you have reached your "name level" which means you're significantly powerful enough in your class that the kingdom or world or area's inhabitants can't help but accept the fact that you're a hero or a leader. At these levels, EVERYONE in previous editions started to attract cohorts and followers, and there were rules for building keeps and wizard towers and thieves' guilds and all that. With Kingmaker, I hope to capture some of that; you get high level and then start building castles and towns and ruling them, and the fact that you're high level and have access to powerful new abilities should play right into this new type of game play.

That's not to say there won't be fights and dungeons at those high levels, of course, but they'll be increasingly not the focus of an entire adventure.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
[Making modules as sequels to APs is prohibitively resource-intensive.]

Maybe you could pull it off by doing the design process backwards:

Start by creating a high-level module. Provide a copy to everyone working on an upcoming AP with the instructions that the AP must be a prequel to the story in that module. Then withhold the module until the AP is out, at which point you release it as a sequel.


My two euro-cent:
Play above Level 11 or 12 gets so painfully slow, with all the options and spells to prepare and items to consider, that I can’t imagine EVER playing above Level 15, I am not even sure that my two groups will manage to play to 15 (both groups play ROTL).
Kingmaker sounds like a great idea, it would be really sad if my groups could not end it because it goes to a level that is beyond the point of fun for us.

I personally, as player and DM, love the levels 1 to 6, you have to really think to solve problems as a player in these levels, not just use items or spells and every fight is a challenge.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Epic Meepo wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
[Making modules as sequels to APs is prohibitively resource-intensive.]

Maybe you could pull it off by doing the design process backwards:

Start by creating a high-level module. Provide a copy to everyone working on an upcoming AP with the instructions that the AP must be a prequel to the story in that module. Then withhold the module until the AP is out, at which point you release it as a sequel.

This is an incredibly fascinating idea. It's too late to move on this for Kingmaker, but still. Fascinating!

Grand Lodge

aeglos wrote:

I personally, as player and DM, love the levels 1 to 6, you have to really think to solve problems as a player in these levels, not just use items or spells and every fight is a challenge.

I like the entire range 1-20. Though in all honesty, I did like the tapering off of levels in earlier editions as well. I do enjoy solving high level problems as well. Just because it is high level, doesn't mean the characters don't have to think. The problems are just different. My issue is that we game either infrequently, or via message board (which is slow anyway). I would love to see the Kingmaker AP go from 1-18. It will just be one long game for us is all. To give a few examples of what I am playing in and what I mean by long:

Homebrew Forgotten Realms Game - I DM, Started in August 2001. Characters are 10th level.

Rise of the Runelords PBP Game - I DM, Started in Novemeber 2008. Characters are 2nd level.

Greyhawk Homebrew Game - I play, no idea when it started, I came in around 2006-2007. Characters are 15th level.

Age of Worms Game - I play, started last month. Characters are 1st level.

We are also playing around with the idea of Pathfinder Society modules to increase frequency as it allows a wider range of us to get together. Our gaming group has a total of 11 of us. Of the games mentioned above (not counting the pbp) there are approximately 4-5 players in each. Different campaigns for different groups of us. Pathfinder Society modules will allow a mix and match of players and DM's, something we are seriously considering.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
Start by creating a high-level module. Provide a copy to everyone working on an upcoming AP with the instructions that the AP must be a prequel to the story in that module. Then withhold the module until the AP is out, at which point you release it as a sequel.
This is an incredibly fascinating idea. It's too late to move on this for Kingmaker, but still. Fascinating!

What can I say? If you ever need a non-linear approach to adventure design, I'm your man.


just wanted to mention that im really intrigued by the idea of Kingmaker going to lvl 18. i really hope you pull it off:)


Quote:

What's the projected date for when the adventure will be open to the public?

And how can people get it?

Projected dates with patronage projects are extremely hard to gauge, this has to do with us waiting on and reacting too patron input. I would expect a general public release sometime in the first quarter of 2010 if not sooner.

It will be on sale as all Rite Publishing products via the paizo store, drivethrurpg, and our Lulu Print on Demand storefront though the cost will be exactly the same as a standard patronage (there will never be a sale or special on this product).

Steve Russell
Rite Publishing

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Devlin 'Dusk' Valerian wrote:


I cant judge on that since I don't have any statistics on other gamers preferences, but at least my players are ALLWAYS complaining that the AP does not bring them to a Level where they can send their characters into retirement (20+).

Technically an adventurer can "retire" at any level, very in fact the majority of adventurers will reture at levels far far below 20 for various reasons, usually among them crippling injury, insanity, or they've made thier big score and have decided to check out of the game while they're ahead.

Note on the last... that "big score" could easily be marriage and a family, especially if they marry into position.

My last character for instance "retired" at level 13 as a fighter/rogue/wizard/eldritch knight after finding herself vaulted into a position of rulership. She's the one sending adventurers out now.


James Jacobs wrote:

2) A long-standing tradition of the game (one that's been downplayed and/or ignored in 3rd edition, alas) is the idea that once you hit 11th level or so, you have reached your "name level" which means you're significantly powerful enough in your class that the kingdom or world or area's inhabitants can't help but accept the fact that you're a hero or a leader. At these levels, EVERYONE in previous editions started to attract cohorts and followers, and there were rules for building keeps and wizard towers and thieves' guilds and all that. With Kingmaker, I hope to capture some of that; you get high level and then start building castles and towns and ruling them, and the fact that you're high level and have access to powerful new abilities should play right into this new type of game play.

That's not to say there won't be fights and dungeons at those high levels, of course, but they'll be increasingly not the focus of an entire adventure.

Yes !!! Yes !!! Yes !!! I love that idea !!!!

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