So, has this AP's plot mistep appeared yet?


Council of Thieves

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The Exchange

FatR wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


While to a certain extent the entire AP is all about #3 above, it's most certainly not about overthrowing House Thrune or eradicating the Hellknights. We've spent a lot of energy and time building up the various nations of Golarion, Cheliax included, and it's not a good idea to cause such sweeping world changes as overthrowing the leaders of one of the major countries or eradicating one of the most popular organizations. Maybe someday, but not for a while. We want to be able to play in the world we've created and let folks do the same rather than introduce some cool concepts and then yank them away by changing them a year or less later.
Such attitude always make me want to headesk hard enough to leave an indentation. Who gives a damn about effort put into building-up Golarion if all the best parts are non-interactive background elements, and not something that PCs can change, control or influence? As about "not changing the established world", Golarion does not even have an advancing timeline and APs are clearly not suppozed to happen in parallel even assuming that PCs win every single time (for example, any party that won RotR can and will make as much impact on Varisia as Karzoug, for example, even if they are unwilling to take over, they can eliminate BBEGs from other two Varisian APs for sport, and in case of Second Darkness have a compelling reason which can be divined as a part of their standard precautions), so how events in one of them are now supposed to be different?

I don't think there is anything preventing a home campaign from doing that. However, big changes in continuity in a published setting only serves to alienate people who are vested in it. Look at the various tribulations in FR, from the Time of Troubles onwards. I think you fail to appreciate the commercial realities.


SirUrza wrote:


Sounds more like a DM mistep to me. Soldiers should have gotten tired of the PCs and kicked them out.. politely.

Bad idea. Even if Black Arrows had their original strength, by this point PCs can take on all of them at once and win. Impolitely. Being a dick to high-level PCs or trying to cheat them out of their spoils is not very conductive to one's continued existence, as this usually pisses players off more than roasting babies on a spit.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

[

I don't think there is anything preventing a home campaign from doing that. However, big changes in continuity in a published setting only serves to alienate people who are vested in it. Look at the various tribulations in FR, from the Time of Troubles onwards. I think you fail to appreciate the commercial realities.

Once again, Golarion does not have continuity. The timeline does not advance and there is no indication that it will. And FR, somehow, managed to survive four editions, which no other setting did, so, from commercial standpoint, it is something to examine as a positive example of how you should develop a setting.

The Exchange

Well, the timeline does advance through the organised play, but since they have ruled out big changes that differentiation is moot. Nevertheless, like I say, a sure way to annoy your audience is to have big changes in the setting. We can quibble over the meaning of continuity but since they have only had the world in the public domain for a brief time I don't think there need for a big refresh yet anyway. FR is about 30 years old - Golarion about two. There are plenty of plotlines which can make use of the existing setting without overthrowing one of the major empires in the first AP.


FarmerBob wrote:


My advice to those starting CoT is to have your players be good, and have them be born and raised in Westcrown with an extended family and network of friends. That will help your cause considerably. A bunch of neutral loner orphans don't really have the same motivation to improve the city.

Of course, immunity to being roped into adventures they don't like is the main reason why people play Neutral Selfish characters. I prefer to make a strict condition, that any PCs generated for my DnD games, must actually be adventurers, i.e., always motivated to go out and gamble on their lives, for money, power, glory and adrenaline, if they can't think of other reasons.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
FatR wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

[

I don't think there is anything preventing a home campaign from doing that. However, big changes in continuity in a published setting only serves to alienate people who are vested in it. Look at the various tribulations in FR, from the Time of Troubles onwards. I think you fail to appreciate the commercial realities.
Once again, Golarion does not have continuity. The timeline does not advance and there is no indication that it will. And FR, somehow, managed to survive four editions, which no other setting did, so, from commercial standpoint, it is something to examine as a positive example of how you should develop a setting.

FR is 22 years old, Golarion is something like ... 2 years old ? Give it some time, let it grow. The setting is still in the "ooh so that's Golarion !" phase, and introducing sweeping changes could be damaging for newcomers (See, there's this and that in the CS but in the meanwhile there was this changed in book X and that one died in book Y so Z is no longer valid...)

Besides, I strongly believe that one needs a solid novel line to help advancing a continuity. Again, FR is a great example.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


I don't think there is anything preventing a home campaign from doing that. However, big changes in continuity in a published setting only serves to alienate people who are vested in it.

I agree with this totally (as a fan of FR since the Grey box), I hated what FR became the further it so called "evolved". Every tom, dick, and harry author destroying some part of FR with an RSE was another nail in the coffin.

FatR wrote:


And FR, somehow, managed to survive four editions, which no other setting did, so, from commercial standpoint, it is something to examine as a positive example of how you should develop a setting.

FR survived fourth edition? lol. I felt bad for Ed Greenwood with every bit of news on FR as 4E was being previewed. Personally FR was great from the Grey box until about "the time of troubles". While I didnt mind a few gods in a too large pantheon being killed off all that much, this was the start of FRs decline.

Each novel took away more of the sandboxy-ness of the setting (alongside making most setting supplements out of date). There were other issues that destroyed the setting such as God-like protectors like Elminster, and Drizzt (another example of how novels contributed to the decline of the setting). Back in the days, alot of my players (when we had alot of players :) ) used to say "bah, if we fail, elmister wouldnt let X happen to his beloved Dalelands" eh. Same with Drizzt in Ten Towns or around the Silverymoon area.
When I created my own adventures I had to use lesser used areas like Moonshae and Cormyr (wasnt Cormyr nuked in 3E?) and not as well documented areas like Berdusk, etc.

The Novels did sell, Im fine with this as long as newer Campaign setting supplements do not add the RSE changes from Novels into the Mythos/Continuity. Novels are great at showing possible adventures and give an area great flavor and detail. Great! Just leave the gamer's version seperate. We can build our own mythos if we choose from table to table.

A Campaign setting should be a semi-sandboxy framework that lets us build on it as we see fit, like the Grey box and the FR# line of supplements that described certain areas in FR (FR2 Moonshae, FR5 The Savage North etc).
Right now Golarion is at its great phase IMHO, it isnt too sandboxy that it loses its Identity, it has plot hooks aplenty, and doesnt wreck any place with its APs. The Paizo staff has managed to balance it all perfectly. We are in our GREY BOX days atm, we should keep our arses parked here for as long as possible. :)
my 2 coppers.


Sunderstone wrote:


And FR, somehow, managed to survive four editions, which no other setting did, so, from commercial standpoint, it is something to examine as a positive example of how you should develop a setting.

Cash in Wizards' pockets say so. Although it is possible that 4E will drag it down with the rest of DnD.

Sunderstone wrote:


Right now Golarion is at its great phase IMHO, it isnt too sandboxy that it loses its Identity, it has plot hooks aplenty, and doesnt wreck any place with its APs. The Paizo staff has managed to balance it all perfectly. We are in our GREY BOX days atm, we should keep our arses parked here for as long as possible. :)

Who are those "we"? Because to my eye Golarion, starting from Second Darkness (although the signs were there before, just not as overwhelming) reproduces the worst pasts of late-3E FR. Power scale that goes beyond the range of levels at which the game is expected to be played and far beyond the range of levels at which it is typically played. Loads of NPCs whose function in the world is being Better Than You, so they sit at the upper end of this power scale. Large parts of setting being practically non-interactive as a result, because PCs do not have power, necessary to interact with them in non-conforming fashion and survive (this noninteractivity is presented in this very thread as a desirable goal). Pseudo-medieval countries in the world where ridiculous, world-transforming magical stuff is incredibly commonplace. Impact of beings on the setting being assigned by fiat, as opposed to stemming from their CR (Xotani is supposed to be a country-wrecking legendary horror at CR 20, but beings of even higher CR can be minor NPCs, that appear just to rub PCs faces in the fact that they suck). And - if we assume that events of all APs are supposed to happen in the world, instead of just one - so many destructive plots that one wonders how the world isn't a devastated wasteland yet. So, while APs still might be good (Legacy of Fire was, if we discount the fact that no one cares about the outcome, besides a couple thousands of peasants, whom BBEG will burninate if he wins, for lulz and to give PCs at least some reason to care; and that BBEG is sort of a small fry), the setting itself is a wreck that already requires at least a FR-style nuking.


FatR wrote:

Cash in Wizards' pockets say so. Although it is possible that 4E will drag it down with the rest of DnD.

You managed to miss my whole point about FR as a setting. Had nothing to do with WotC's coffers which I couldnt care less about as a GM/Player.

You are right as far as 4E finally killing it though. 4E FR isnt even a shadow of what it was.

FatR wrote:


And - if we assume that events of all APs are supposed to happen in the world, instead of just one - so many destructive plots that one wonders how the world isn't a devastated wasteland yet.

Thats just it, we dont have to assume they happen at all. They havent changed any setting supplement. We could be in a plague-free Korvosa if we wished, Westcrown can remain how it is, etc.

As long as they dont do let RSEs constantly reshape Golarion, we are still "grey-boxing". Again IMHO and YMMV.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

FatR wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

[

I don't think there is anything preventing a home campaign from doing that. However, big changes in continuity in a published setting only serves to alienate people who are vested in it. Look at the various tribulations in FR, from the Time of Troubles onwards. I think you fail to appreciate the commercial realities.
Once again, Golarion does not have continuity. The timeline does not advance and there is no indication that it will. And FR, somehow, managed to survive four editions, which no other setting did, so, from commercial standpoint, it is something to examine as a positive example of how you should develop a setting.

Time in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting progresses at the same rate as it does in the real world, so saying that time doesn't pass is incorrect. in summer 2007, when the line launched, it was 4707 AR, and in a week it will be 4710 AR. If Paizo wrote adventures that had to be played in order, they'd make earlier APs obsolete for players who first experienced the world in a later AP. As it stands, you can run Legacy of Fire (set in 4709 AR) first, and then Rise of the Runelords (set in 4707 AR), and then Kingmaker (set in 4710 AR). Or you can play them all in order.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

FatR wrote:


And - if we assume that events of all APs are supposed to happen in the world, instead of just one - so many destructive plots that one wonders how the world isn't a devastated wasteland yet.

Well, happily, we do not assume that ANY of the APs have "happened" unless the player characters play them.


Erik Mona wrote:


Well, happily, we do not assume that ANY of the APs have "happened" unless the player characters play them.

Then why in the Abyss the justification for PCs not being able to waste the House of Thrune is "avoding changes in the setting"?

The Exchange

Erik Mona wrote:
Well, happily, we do not assume that ANY of the APs have "happened" unless the player characters play them.
FatR wrote:
Then why in the Abyss the justification for PCs not being able to waste the House of Thrune is "avoding changes in the setting"?

Out of curiosity, why do you feel the need to have permission to overthrow House Thrune in your game from Paizo? Why not just do it? The setting is intended to inspire, not to be a straitjacket if you don't want it to be. Sure, you won't get much official support for it but then again most people's home campaigns won't get personalised support from Paizo either.


A few things that come to mind with the most recent posts.

Being able to avoid "entanglements"

If the GM says, "I want to run (Insert AP Name Here)" and you say "okay," then you should at least be trying to go along with the campaign. Its part of agreeing to play in the game. Perhaps if you don't know the GM is running an AP and he presents the game as "follow whatever option you want to," then its fine, but otherwise, you're just being difficult.

Major changes to the setting

Golarion is still establishing itself. Changing major aspects of the setting "officially" seems to be a really bad idea at this point, especially with things like Cheliax that have proven really, really popular.

Not officially changing something is a far cry from following the more recent FR model. In fact, its the exact opposite, as the campaign setting was greatly out of date by the time 3.5 ended due to "official" changes that happened in novels and adventures over the years.

Not assuming APs have happened

On one hand, I completely understand what Erik Mona is saying about not assuming an AP happened, but the reason you don't overthrow the House of Thrune is that, even if Paizo doesn't assume the AP has happened if the group hasn't played it, people may still get the impression that it has happened, for one, and if the PCs have played the adventure, and succeeded, and overthrown Cheliax, it would be kind of a let down to see the next new sourcebook not reference changes to the status quo in Cheliax.

James Jacobs comments on overthrowing the House of Thrune

James has mentioned that overthrowing the House of Thrune is much more of a 20th level undertaking. On top of that, the APs work best, as the sales numbers have shown, to run more or less from 1-15, although they are trying to push to 1-18 in Kingmaker.

So overthrowing the House of Thrune, even if it was done in an AP, would be a different sort of AP than Paizo has currently done, going all the way up to 20th, and probably not the AP they would want as their first Pathfinder RPG AP.

Dark Archive

FatR wrote:
And - if we assume that events of all APs are supposed to happen in the world, instead of just one - so many destructive plots that one wonders how the world isn't a devastated wasteland yet.

1) As pointed out they don't happen. I think part fo the Charm the Pathfinder capaign setting has, is they create these campaigns, and these campaigns will not in any way affect the world. Think of the world being in stasis. The consequences range greately. Lets take a look at a few...

Rise of the Runelords

Spoiler:
Karzoug takes back his empire, greatly changing the Varisian lands, and eventually overthrowing the world. Unless of course the PC's didn't deactivate the Leng Device, in which case it might be up to the BBEG to save the world from his little pet project.

Curse of the Crimson Throne

Spoiler:
Empowered by the crown of Fangs, Queen Illiosa uses the Runelord of Lust's incantation to devastate the city of Korvosa, perhaps finally getting rid of the poorer townsfolk she had been trying to kill since book 2. This use of powerful Enchantment magic would possibly wake up the Runelord of Lust from her slumber, and start the war of the Runelords all over again.

Second Darkness

Spoiler:
The Drow nuke Kyonin, utterly devastating the elves in the process, and bringing about the second darkness. This would have implications above and beyond anything the other AP's have.

And that's just the first three. The point is, by putting all of these into official canon, it makes the campaigns feel cheaper. They're no longer these awesome campaigns that could impact Golarion for ages to come. They're just a rather intricately created choose your own adventure novel at that point.


Eh, to me the AP's and stand-alone adventures are all optional in what they may or may not do to Golarion's history and time line, except for in one way which I will mention in a minute. The only adventures published by Paizo that I could see making any official impact on the history or time line would be the PFS scenarios, since they are official for "living" Golarion. But any official changes in Golarion's ongoing history from these would probably be minor or incidental at best, since the scenarios are so short and not epic in scale. Now, on the other hand, if a PFS scenario had the PC's hunting for the assassin of some major noble or other big wig in Absalom or Korvosa or Westcrown, etc, then I would expect to see some mention of their deaths in any future setting update for that city or country.

In other words, if an adventure has major changes in it that only happen depending on what the PC's do, then do not expect to ever see those plot elements become official history for Golarion. On the other hand, if some major event, like an assassination or the conquest of a country, is a part of the back story and has happened before the PC's get to influence the story, then it better be part of Galarion's official history or it will invalidate that module for me and make me not want to buy it and run it or even play it.

Dark Archive

One big problem with overthrowing Thrune and changing Cheliax is you've just removed one of the larger sources of conflict in the setting. Less conflict = less stories. By all means in your home campaign your party takes down Thrune, the devils etc. and restores the Empire. Have fun but there is no need to make that published canon and remove one of the better sources for conflict in the world for other groups.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
Time in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting progresses at the same rate as it does in the real world, so saying that time doesn't pass is incorrect. in summer 2007, when the line launched, it was 4707 AR, and in a week it will be 4710 AR. If Paizo wrote adventures that had to be played in order, they'd make earlier APs obsolete for players who first experienced the world in a later AP. As it stands, you can run Legacy of Fire (set in 4709 AR) first, and then Rise of the Runelords (set in 4707 AR), and then Kingmaker (set in 4710 AR). Or you can play them all in order.

And that's one of the things I like about the world write now. If a group were the run 3 different APs and in the last group have a sorceress from Varisia in the last AP, she might know about the events of Runelords because they happened in her neck of the woods while the other characters might not (but the players do!)

We ATLEAST know that CotCT takes place after Conquest of the Bloodsworn Vale. :)

Erik Mona wrote:
FatR wrote:


And - if we assume that events of all APs are supposed to happen in the world, instead of just one - so many destructive plots that one wonders how the world isn't a devastated wasteland yet.
Well, happily, we do not assume that ANY of the APs have "happened" unless the player characters play them.

You must admit however that you'll have to create some kind of continuity when the novels start coming out. You can't have novels (or products) start to contradict eachother.


SirUrza wrote:


You must admit however that you'll have to create some kind of continuity when the novels start coming out. You can't have novels (or products) start to contradict eachother.

Why not? why cant novels and gaming supplements be different?

Do the fiction portions of every AP module need to become Canon as well?

IMHO, the fiction should remain fiction and leave us as much sandboxy-ness as possible.


Its funny, but the longer I'm away from the Realms, the more I'm really leery of fiction doing any kind of fiddling with the setting in any way. I'm all for getting to read a novel about the House of Thrune rising to power, or about Andoran's revolt against Cheliax, but I'm not sure I really want novels always set in the current year of the setting with events that aren't described, even in passing, anywhere else that then have to be considered canon.

I loved my years in the Realms, but after seeing the problems a fiction driven campaign setting can develop, I'd much rather see fiction flesh out and supplement the setting rather than drive it and have to serve the purpose of creating continuity.

That's not to say I'm against novels being canon, per se, just that, if they are, I'd rather the novel be about something already established and giving us more details about it from a character perspective rather than creating brand new major events of any kind.

I feel that a lot of earlier Realms novels actually worked this way. Either they were about a small group of adventurers in an area that didn't affect any established parts of the setting, or the novels where about an event we already knew about or that already happened, and thus the repercussions were already part of the setting.


KnightErrantJR wrote:

Its funny, but the longer I'm away from the Realms, the more I'm really leery of fiction doing any kind of fiddling with the setting in any way. I'm all for getting to read a novel about the House of Thrune rising to power, or about Andoran's revolt against Cheliax, but I'm not sure I really want novels always set in the current year of the setting with events that aren't described, even in passing, anywhere else that then have to be considered canon.

I loved my years in the Realms, but after seeing the problems a fiction driven campaign setting can develop, I'd much rather see fiction flesh out and supplement the setting rather than drive it and have to serve the purpose of creating continuity.

That's not to say I'm against novels being canon, per se, just that, if they are, I'd rather the novel be about something already established and giving us more details about it from a character perspective rather than creating brand new major events of any kind.

I feel that a lot of earlier Realms novels actually worked this way. Either they were about a small group of adventurers in an area that didn't affect any established parts of the setting, or the novels where about an event we already knew about or that already happened, and thus the repercussions were already part of the setting.

I think the novel affecting the game limits the authors also since Paizo would probably say don't write about X, Y, and Z in order to keep confusion to a minimum. I think the game(Golarian), and the novel(Golarian) should be kept separate also for that reason, if for no other.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I love Knight Errant's suggestion... the best way to avoid any problems would be to write in the past (Aroden's death, Sarenrae vs. Rovagug, etc.)

Failing that, the next best thing is novels based on character development, like the early FR harper series (which did not affect the world in any way... one way to do this easily in Golarion would be stories about the Pathfinder Society).

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

I love Knight Errant's suggestion... the best way to avoid any problems would be to write in the past (Aroden's death, Sarenrae vs. Rovagug, etc.)

Failing that, the next best thing is novels based on character development, like the early FR harper series (which did not affect the world in any way... one way to do this easily in Golarion would be stories about the Pathfinder Society).

I'm not actually convinced there's going to really be Pathfinder fiction published outside the Pathfinder's Journals. I know Paizo's said that it's eminent, but I think it's all a lot of smoke up our chimneys. I'd love for them to prove me wrong. Officially. Soon. But until then, all discussion of how to handle a line of novels is pure speculation.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I'm pretty sure yoda... I'm pretty sure... :)


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

I love Knight Errant's suggestion... the best way to avoid any problems would be to write in the past (Aroden's death, Sarenrae vs. Rovagug, etc.)

Failing that, the next best thing is novels based on character development, like the early FR harper series (which did not affect the world in any way... one way to do this easily in Golarion would be stories about the Pathfinder Society).

I'd love to see books about interesting characters and situations that are interesting in and of themselves, without the artificial emotional baggage of . . . ahem . . . Golarion Shaking Events.

I got to the point that, even when I enjoyed an author's work, the announcement of a new trilogy left me to wonder the following:

Will this trilogy--

A. Have a ton of hype and be filled with really big, massive, over the top events and action that still, in the end, don't really matter, revolve around characters that are never referenced again, and aren't really referenced anywhere else even when they should have been noted at some point in time by someone.

B. Completely destroy or significantly change a part of the setting I've loved for decades, often times very abruptly and in ways that ignore a whole lot of other canon that has developed over the years.

C. Take characters that I have grown to really like and turn them into the exact stereotypes that most fans have really been fighting against for years by making them into the Chosen of the Week.

I'd much rather go back to stories like Parched Sea, where most of the tension was about an individual Harper agent and some desert tribesmen struggling against a given band of Zhentarim, or even a novel like Cormyr, that dealt with a fairly limited but important current event but mainly delved into the past of an established nation.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Out of curiosity, why do you feel the need to have permission to overthrow House Thrune in your game from Paizo?

For the same reason I use the published adventures at all. I have neither time nor inclination to stat dozens of NPCs at the levels where stock templates no longer suffice. Rest assured, about the only things that my current RotR game has in common with the original are its villains and its maps (most of them, anyway). Sandpoint does not exist in it, for example, and most of the events are centered on a lower-level Magnimar-equivalent. I expect that the same will hold true for my starting AoW game. Besides themes and characters (mostly villains) that inspire my imagination, the main thing I need from adventures are locale maps and Big Piles of Charsheets. Particularly for high levels.


KnightErrantJR wrote:


James has mentioned that overthrowing the House of Thrune is much more of a 20th level undertaking. On top of that, the APs work best, as the sales numbers have shown, to run more or less from 1-15, although they are trying to push to 1-18 in Kingmaker.

So overthrowing the House of Thrune, even if it was done in an AP, would be a different sort of AP than Paizo has currently done, going all the way up to 20th, and probably...

And how is this a good thing? No, seriously.

First, if you can't do things that about any character with enough morality to go through the AP in the first place will likely want to do, because they require higher level than is feasible for published APs, then level caps, necessarily to do those things must be rethought and beings that make doing these things so hard must be downpowered.

Second, making leadership of any major country CR 20-24 is a sure way to FR-style crazytown (where Golarion currently is). And the big problem with FR-style crazytown is that as soon as high-level NPCs start to use their abilities enough to not seem obviously braindead to PCs, the world will stop resembling anything medieval - and anything where low-level PCs can find a comfortable niche - even a little. If leaders of Cheliax are CR 20-24, why it still uses armies, instead of using teleporting death squads whenever the problem is too big for the local police force, for the most obvious example? And, taking it a little bit further, how outlying cities have any degree of autonomy, when the central goverment is tyrannical and has means of instant communication and transportation? And so on.

As a side note, whenever heroic PCs are confronted with capital-E Evil and are not given at least a chance to stab it right in the face, I perceive it as a personal insult to them (doesn't matter, whether I play or GM), and as a genre shift to dark fantasy. It's an equivalent of letting a proven serial killer or unrepentant mass murderer go scott-free in a modern game. Except that said criminal also usually has superpowers that, depending on CR, can make him completely untouchable to anyone except PCs and a small bunch of people like them.


Dissinger wrote:


And that's just the first three. The point is, by putting all of these into official canon, it makes the campaigns feel cheaper.

I'm not arguing for this. In fact, I prefer having no official canon and no advancing timeline.

As a side note, you reminded me of one gigantic flaw endemic for Paizo APs, and indeed, DnD adventures in general. The world only changes if PCs lose. If they win, everything is supposed to stay the frikking same. Even the most cursory glance at fantasy literature demonstrates, that this is completely anti-thematic. Even low-fantasy characters tend to shape the course of history for centuries, as opposed to merely not letting the villains do this. And this (thematic necessity of massive, irreversible world changes after each campaign that goes into high levels) is another reason why I prefer official canon frozen forever at a certain point.

The Exchange

FatR wrote:
KnightErrantJR wrote:


James has mentioned that overthrowing the House of Thrune is much more of a 20th level undertaking. On top of that, the APs work best, as the sales numbers have shown, to run more or less from 1-15, although they are trying to push to 1-18 in Kingmaker.

So overthrowing the House of Thrune, even if it was done in an AP, would be a different sort of AP than Paizo has currently done, going all the way up to 20th, and probably...

And how is this a good thing? No, seriously.

First, if you can't do things that about any character with enough morality to go through the AP in the first place will likely want to do, because they require higher level than is feasible for published APs, then level caps, necessarily to do those things must be rethought and beings that make doing these things so hard must be downpowered.

Second, making leadership of any major country CR 20-24 is a sure way to FR-style crazytown (where Golarion currently is). And the big problem with FR-style crazytown is that as soon as high-level NPCs start to use their abilities enough to not seem obviously braindead to PCs, the world will stop resembling anything medieval - and anything where low-level PCs can find a comfortable niche - even a little. If leaders of Cheliax are CR 20-24, why it still uses armies, instead of using teleporting death squads whenever the problem is too big for the local police force, for the most obvious example? And, taking it a little bit further, how outlying cities have any degree of autonomy, when the central goverment is tyrannical and has means of instant communication and transportation? And so on.

As a side note, whenever heroic PCs are confronted with capital-E Evil and are not given at least a chance to stab it right in the face, I perceive it as a personal insult to them (doesn't matter, whether I play or GM), and as a genre shift to dark fantasy. It's an equivalent of letting a proven serial killer or unrepentant mass murderer go scott-free in a modern game. Except that said criminal also usually has superpowers that, depending on CR, can make him completely untouchable to anyone except PCs and a small bunch of people like them.

Well, the reason the APs go to the levels they do are due to commercial demand, as I'm sure you are aware. The issues of player morality are somewhat different (to say the least) and while it's obviously good to have motivated players that is to some extent your problem as a DM and not Paizo's. (As an aside, I find it amusing that on the one hand you found the motivation in Legacy of Fire poor because "all" it saved was a bunch of peasants, and suddenly your players want to off Cheliax for "moral" reasons. Anyway...)

Secondly, the CR of the leaders of Cheliax is largely moot. I'm not aware of any stats existing for the. Frankly, if you are going to discuss terms with the forces of Hell on a roughly equal footing, 20+ seems reasonable, but even so it isn't particularly a necessity. Perhaps they do teleport death squads about - I see nothing to particularly prevent it (but on the other hand, a load of powerful people might also be a threat to the regime, especially if they are also trained to be members of death squads). I doubt that the outlying cities do actually have much autonomy in a Lawful Evil society. You are making the mistake that power demands that it be chucked around when diplomacy and politics are also perfectly useful to an evil regime. Perhaps there are metaphysical reasons why Asmodeus can't just show up and conquer the world (there are other gods out there too, and they do show up in the world from time to time). And, in any case, who says that offing the high command would necessarily solve the problem - a lawful regime would probably have succession planning in place, frankly, and you have an entire evil society, not just a few evil people (which has tended to be how the APs have worked, incidentally, even in Westcrown where the main actors are not members of the regime). Your analogy of comparing a regime with an individual person is off - there are plenty of regimes in the world at the moment that the powers-that-be don't simply wipe off the map for having the "wrong alignment" (North Korea, for one) and indeed, attempts to do so have been disastrous (Iraq, Afghanistan). Perhaps the powers that border Cheliax don't particularly fancy the collapse of the Empire as they wonder what might follow. Arguably, the last thing they might want is a bunch of adventurers teleporting in to kill the Empress.

Perhaps you are thinking about it too hard, frankly. The point is there are counters to the points you make, which a DM can think of to justify the status quo. And, as pointed out above, the main reason that the overthrow of Cheliax is not being contemplated at the moment is that it is too interesting the way it is. Why destroy the evil empire when it can be the spur for lots of different adventures? Paizo quite like dark fantasy, so I don't really see that as being a problem for them.

Personally, your comments about it being "insulting" to the PCs that they can't off Cheliax (besides being somewhat hyperbolic) to me betray a lack of imagination. On the one hand you are insulted that the offer isn't out there, yet you are simply sitting there passively waiting for something to be plonked in your lap. Now, that isn't to say there are all sorts of interesting things that an AP-style campaign which involves the overthrow of Cheliax for high level characters could include. But since Cheliax is the quintessential evil empire in the setting, has already been used in a few adventures as a source of conflict, and has only really been detailed to any significant level in the last six months, I think an AP with its overthrow is going to be very unlikely in the near future. And that's just business, frankly.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Secondly, the CR of the leaders of Cheliax is largely moot. I'm not aware of any stats existing for the. Frankly, if you are going to discuss terms with the forces of Hell on a roughly equal footing, 20+ seems reasonable, but even so it isn't particularly a necessity.

Then "discussing terms with the forces of Hell on a roughly equal footing" is not reasonable for a nation that is supposed to exist in a pseudo-medieval world.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Perhaps they do teleport death squads about - I see nothing to particularly prevent it (but on the other hand, a load of powerful people might also be a threat to the regime, especially if they are also trained to be members of death squads). I doubt that the outlying cities do actually have much autonomy in a Lawful Evil society.

Uh, doesn't Westcrown have it? Then there are Hellknights that, despite their name, are not a private army of House Thrune by a long shot. That's some amazing tolerance for alternative centers of power in the society that consciously models itself after the Ultimate Tyranny and has means to lay brimstone-flavored smackdown on those centers of power.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


You are making the mistake that power demands that it be chucked around when diplomacy and politics are also perfectly useful to an evil regime.

Yes it is. They are evil. No, make that Evil. The fact that they opress people out of paranoia/desire for control/for sheer enjoyment of power is written in the "Alignment" row of their character sheers. Moreover, diplomacy and big stick works much better than just diplomacy.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Perhaps there are metaphysical reasons why Asmodeus can't just show up and conquer the world (there are other gods out there too, and they do show up in the world from time to time).

The reason why creatures from outer planes don't appear in the world to wreck mortals' s*~& and duke it out amidst the ruins of civilization is a whole other can of worms. Let's stick to Cheliax for now.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


And, in any case, who says that offing the high command would necessarily solve the problem - a lawful regime would probably have succession planning in place, frankly, and you have an entire evil society, not just a few evil people (which has tended to be how the APs have worked, incidentally, even in Westcrown where the main actors are not members of the regime).

IIRC, succession in House Thrune happens by offing the previous throne-holder (presumably in a way that prevents resurrection, although I don't remember one in PF material). Society cannot do anything but shut up and accept reforms implemented by PCs, once the current leaders and credible pretenders for their positions are eliminated. By definition, at this point PCs can take on the rest of Cheliax and win, because they just offed the people who had united the country through military might before them. The only threat to PCs at this point (assuming no attacks from outside of Cheliax border) is internal corruption and becoming even worse tirants.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Your analogy of comparing a regime with an individual person is off - there are plenty of regimes in the world at the moment that the powers-that-be don't simply wipe off the map for having the "wrong alignment" (North Korea, for one) and indeed, attempts to do so have been disastrous (Iraq, Afghanistan).

This has no bearing whatsoever upon whether PCs should have ability to wipe off the map regimes they don't like. Also, no, there are no analogies to Cheliax in the real world.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Perhaps the powers that border Cheliax don't particularly fancy the collapse of the Empire as they wonder what might follow. Arguably, the last thing they might want is a bunch of adventurers teleporting in to kill the Empress.

Yes, these powers might be idiots who want to keep a regime that is hostile to them at their borders. Too good, that they won't do anything, because they never did anything about the situation in Cheliax previously.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Perhaps you are thinking about it too hard, frankly.

No, I think about it just as much as is required to keep up with thought processes of players and things they do.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


The point is there are counters to the points you make,

Too bad I haven't seen any.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


which a DM can think of to justify the status quo. And, as pointed out above, the main reason that the overthrow of Cheliax is not being contemplated at the moment is that it is too interesting the way it is. Why destroy the evil empire when it can be the spur for lots of different adventures?

Don't ask "why?". Ask "why not?" And answer to this question must be very compelling, because destroying evil empires is seriously what heroic fantasy characters do. And the chance of returning to Cheliax within Pathfinder product life seems to be fairly slim anyway.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Personally, your comments about it being "insulting" to the PCs that they can't off Cheliax (besides being somewhat hyperbolic)

No, it is not hyperbolic in the slightest.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


to me betray a lack of imagination. On the one hand you are insulted that the offer isn't out there, yet you are simply sitting there passively waiting for something to be plonked in your lap.

Of frikking course. If I'm supposed to pay money for an AP, it should better give me what I want. I'm not obligated to write add-ons to

it. Once again, I use published adventures because I don't want to write things by himself. Logical, isn't it?

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Now, that isn't to say there are all sorts of interesting things that an AP-style campaign which involves the overthrow of Cheliax for high level characters could include. But since Cheliax is the quintessential evil empire in the setting, has already been used in a few adventures as a source of conflict, and has only really been detailed to any significant level in the last six months, I think an AP with its overthrow is going to be very unlikely in the near future. And that's just business, frankly.

So, you say that Paizo businness dictates that my PC must remain a small fry? Even though events of APs aren't even supposed to happen in the canon? (Or they are. As you see in this thread, there is obvious lack of unified position on this point.) Screw that noise. I'll continue to cannibalize APs from Dungeon for ideas, maps and stats.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Personally, your comments about it being "insulting" to the PCs that they can't off Cheliax (besides being somewhat hyperbolic) to me betray a lack of imagination. On the one hand you are insulted that the offer isn't out there, yet you are simply sitting there passively waiting for something to be plonked in your lap. Now, that isn't to say there are all sorts of interesting things that an AP-style campaign which involves the overthrow of Cheliax for high level characters could include. But since Cheliax is the quintessential evil empire in the setting, has already been used in a few adventures as a source of conflict, and has only really been detailed to any significant level in the last six months, I think an AP with its overthrow is going to be very unlikely in the near future. And that's just business, frankly.

Can anyone explain to me why overthrowing Cheliax has to be a level 20+ adventure? I mean, I get that the leadership is all epic++ baddies (or is allied with them or whatever). But why does the evil empire need to have a bunch of guys who can boss around pit fiends leading it? Since there's no canon, there's no reason you can't overthrow Cheliax (and totally give Cheliax heavy-duty setting treatment while you're at it) in one AP, then make them Team Badguy in the next.

Fiction is crammed with stories where the plucky underdog adventurers overthrow the evil empire, but that's not possible when the setting has ridiculously high You Must Be This Hardcore To Even Try barriers like giving the queen a pit fiend regent. When the opposition's power level is set to More Hardcore Than You Will Ever Be, then you might as well just say Team Badguy Leadership, stats: invincible.


Oh yes, and why is inability to take out House Thrune is worse than inability to take out Asmodeus himself (or to level City of Brass in Legacy of Fire - although I also think that storming the Ninth Hell by themselves or reforming efreeti into humble pacifists totally should be a viable option by level 20, because at this level the game ends). Various planar evils are relatively distant, and, like most efreeti in Legacy of Fire are rather tangential to PCs goal motivations, even if PCs are good (which is not a given in LoF). While kicking their asses is a worthy goal on a theoretical level, PCs will hardly feel a personal urge to do it. House Thrune is here, laughing in your face about your puny deeds. Any Good PC - and, as I recon from this threat, CoT does not work particularly well for non-Good PC - will rightfully see it as both an abomination and a massive imminent threat to everything they previously achieved. I, personally, lost my interest in CoT once it was revealed that the final enemy is not them, or at the very least their key agents, but some fiend-blood punks out of nowhere.

Dark Archive

Personally, having just run my players through offing one queen (Curse of the Crimson Throne), I am happy that the point of this adventure path is not the elimination of another.

I try to limit myself to one regicide a year :)

Paizo could have quite easily written a path for the elimination of the House of Thrune but it seems to me that they were aiming for a different type of campaign.

Revolution instead of Assassination.

It may work, it may not, but as far as I am concerned they get points for trying. I find it harder to come up with new material than to change the new back to the standard.

The Exchange

FatR wrote:
Lots of stuff

I get your gist - you are basically too lazy to create the campaign that you want. I'm the last person to decry laziness but I do think that it is your problem and not Paizo's. Unless you are going to employ a writer full-time to create a bespoke product for you you are always going to be stuck with what the company chooses to give you. At the moment, they don't want Cheliax overthrown. Tough luck, and in any case it seems a reasonable decision to me. I'd like to have a private income so I don't have to go out to work, but I can't get that either. Them's the breaks. However, arguably, it isn't Paizo "insulting" your players (assuming they actually feel insulted at all, of course) but you and your unwillingness to pull your finger out and produce the adventures you say they want (after all, I don't feel my family have insulted me by failing to provide me with a trust fund). Nothing is preventing you other than a desire not to have to put any work in. That's fair enough, you are a busy guy and have other stuff to do. But that is your choice, and not Paizo's failing.

Dark Archive

Personally i like that they are not advancing the time line myself and not making major changes to the setting officially.

One of the things that made my stop buying FR books and the novels was the constant changes they did.

Another good example is Iron Kingdoms. I thought it was a wonderful setting and then like a year after the campaign world is out, they have one of the countries take over another one. Completely changing a large chunk of the world as it devolved into a major war. Yeah i get their bread and butter is in their mini war game but it just annoyed me they felt the need to change the RPG line as well. I would have rather they just advanced the mini war game and just left the RPG unadvanced.

If Paizo does novels and I really hope they do. I hope they do them in one of two ways.
1) Do the novels set in the past where the major events that take place in them is already established.
2) Set currently but not have their be events that dramaticly change things. Why do novels have to be epic anyways? Personally i like novels that focus on character development with interesting characters. They could focus on things like the characters in the novels saving a single town, or taking down a slavers ring(someone will fill the power vacuum as is often the case in RL) stuff like that.

As for the overthrowing Cheliax, it is more involved than just killing those in charge. For the current rules it took them a 30 year civil war to take over the country and it took some time later before they had firm control which in some area's is still a little shaky.

Personally to me that seems to go beyond a simple AP a event that could span three decades.

The Exchange

FatR wrote:
Oh yes, and why is inability to take out House Thrune is worse than inability to take out Asmodeus himself (or to level City of Brass in Legacy of Fire - although I also think that storming the Ninth Hell by themselves or reforming efreeti into humble pacifists totally should be a viable option by level 20, because at this level the game ends). Various planar evils are relatively distant, and, like most efreeti in Legacy of Fire are rather tangential to PCs goal motivations, even if PCs are good (which is not a given in LoF). While kicking their asses is a worthy goal on a theoretical level, PCs will hardly feel a personal urge to do it. House Thrune is here, laughing in your face about your puny deeds. Any Good PC - and, as I recon from this threat, CoT does not work particularly well for non-Good PC - will rightfully see it as both an abomination and a massive imminent threat to everything they previously achieved. I, personally, lost my interest in CoT once it was revealed that the final enemy is not them, or at the very least their key agents, but some fiend-blood punks out of nowhere.

Yeah, to some some extent this is out of Denizen Central. I remember K going on about how all dragons should be Huge as it didn't feel special killing a dragon the size of a spaniel, even if it was a level-appropriate challenge. The baddies in Westcrown aren't special enough for you so you feel a bit disappointed. That's fair enough up to a point, and doubtless once your expectations were confounded you it was disappointing. I also get your point about not liking the fact that many challenges as lvl 21+ -appropriate challenges are not supported by the game. It's not something that bothers me personally, as I see the Cheliax sitaution as much more akin to the Cold War than something that can be dealt with via a butt-kicking. I'm also a bit surprised that on one hand you are saying you like worlds where nothing changes, and then with the next breath want to eliminate an entire impreial regime. I would personally be disappointed if Cheliax could be solved with a few kicks to the groin (and it's my understanding that Thrune didn't just teleport in and kill the previous occupant of the throne, but instead there was a protracted civil war). Doing justice to an "overthow Cheliax" AP would be a serious task in my view and could quite easily be made very crap if it is facile and lacks proper a political dimension (something which is incredibly hard to pull off in a published product with its need to cater for a relatively broad range of playing styles). Otherwise if the Cheliax regime is just made into a series of BBEGs for the players to assassinate, what's really special about that?


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
FatR wrote:
Lots of stuff
I get your gist - you are basically too lazy to create the campaign that you want.

And you are basically too lazy to put any intellectual effort at even the very basic understanding what other people write and their actual arguments, as opposing to demonstrating a knee-jerk reaction to a stimulus. Of course, there is also a possibility that you are trying to score points in the discussion by posting random s$*+ to paint me in the negative light, but, considering that everyone can scroll up and see what I actually wrote, this is a quite feeble attempt.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


Yeah, to some some extent this is out of Denizen Central. I remember K going on about how all dragons should be Huge as it didn't feel special killing a dragon the size of a spaniel, even if it was a level-appropriate challenge. The baddies in Westcrown aren't special enough for you so you feel a bit disappointed. That's fair enough up to a point, and doubtless once your expectations were confounded you it was disappointing. I also get your point about not liking the fact that many challenges as lvl 21+ -appropriate challenges are not supported by the game. It's not something that bothers me personally, as I see the Cheliax sitaution as much more akin to the Cold War than something that can be dealt with via a b!*~-kicking.

Unfortunately, in published DnD adventures there are only two types of problems, if we count actual problems, not those a party basically solves by showing up and possibly having key plot items/pieces of knowledge. The first type can be solved by asskicking. Sometimes you need to do something else as well, such as finding and destroying a philactery, but asskicking is the key part. And the second type cannot be solved at all, in 99% of cases because the problem can kick your ass. That's because the overwhelming majority of your mechanically codified powers in DnD boils down to asskicking (even if aren't always targeting enemies' HPs), because nearly all the enemies cannot be neutralized except by asskicking (particularly because written adventures are all about fighting, in the end - so, for example, villains that actually can be talked down are few and far between), and predicting how a particular group might try to solve a situation through roleplay or deviousness is hardly possible.

Also, a Cold War requires a balance of power. And in Cheliax, one side has enormous edge over everyone else.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:


I'm also a bit surprised that on one hand you are saying you like worlds where nothing changes, and then with the next breath want to eliminate an entire impreial regime....

And see my post above. I doubt that understanding how a frozen official timeline is compatible with PCs doing world-changing stuff is actually beyond your ability, so you either did not read my posts or chose to not understand that.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Guys, stop being dicks.

How fiction will impact the continuity of the setting is a valid concern, and one that we strongly share. The plan is to focus on smaller stories that don't "blow up the world." You can have a novel that involves great personal impact to a character, or a town, or what have you without killing gods or nuking a major country.

Or at least we think you can, and will be putting it to the test shortly.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Whether a PC-led overthrow of Cheliax is desirable or not depends greatly on whether you see the Adventure Paths as something to play through or something to read.

Once you begin playing a Golarion-set campaign, you have two options, either adhere to canon ("No, your characters may not become a Venture-Captain in Absalom, because we know who all the Venture-Captains in Absalom are, and your PC isn't one of them.") or else diverge and start writing your own campaign history.

If you're looking at Golarion chiefly as an engaging backdrop for exciting stories that are written in the form of role-playing adventures, then you're necessarily going to want that backdrop to be resistant to change. This is the perspective that calls those kinds of events "world-breaking".

None of the APs so far have been orchestrated to make big changes in the backdrop if they proceed as written. But in a personal campaign, the characters might not stop the second darkness, or might overthrow Cheliax, or might ally with the wicked ruler.

I suppose you could call it a misstep, if the group sees an AP naturally leading up to a situation, and then veers off, leaving the GM on her own when she tries to allow her players to follow what they think is the natural next step.

Dark Archive

Erik Mona wrote:

Guys, stop being dicks.

How fiction will impact the continuity of the setting is a valid concern, and one that we strongly share. The plan is to focus on smaller stories that don't "blow up the world." You can have a novel that involves great personal impact to a character, or a town, or what have you without killing gods or nuking a major country.

Or at least we think you can, and will be putting it to the test shortly.

Ah can't you just smell the holiday spirit? Oh wait thats nerd rage not holiday spirit I am smelling. :)

I am very glad to hear thats what you have planed when it comes to novels, that is what I was really hoping for.


Dark_Mistress wrote:

Personally i like that they are not advancing the time line myself and not making major changes to the setting officially.

One of the things that made my stop buying FR books and the novels was the constant changes they did.

Another good example is Iron Kingdoms. I thought it was a wonderful setting and then like a year after the campaign world is out, they have one of the countries take over another one. Completely changing a large chunk of the world as it devolved into a major war. Yeah i get their bread and butter is in their mini war game but it just annoyed me they felt the need to change the RPG line as well. I would have rather they just advanced the mini war game and just left the RPG unadvanced.

The time line should advance, just not in the world changing/shattering ways that have been used in other settings. Or, I should say, continuity is more important to me when I game, whether it is in a setting I write for my group or in a published setting. I want everything to flow smoothly. I don't want two, or more, modules happening at the same time calendar-wise in a game setting, especially if they are one-shots and not an AP, because then I can't play the same character in them. Of course, the flow of time is much more important in PFS play, where a season of scenarios marks the passing of a year of time in Golarion. So if you do not do PFS, then you can have your world stagnate at the exact same point on the calendar all you want. But even if you just play casually and a month of game time goes by while you are running an adventure, is the rest of the world sitting there frozen except for where your players are?

Dark_Mistress wrote:

If Paizo does novels and I really hope they do. I hope they do them in one of two ways.

1) Do the novels set in the past where the major events that take place in them is already established.
2) Set currently but not have their be events that dramaticly change things. Why do novels have to be epic anyways? Personally i like novels that focus on character development with interesting characters. They could focus on things like the characters in the novels saving a single town, or taking down a slavers ring(someone will fill the power vacuum as is often the case in RL) stuff like that.

Or 3) Set the novels in parts of Golarion that have little detail other than a mention in the Campaign Setting book. Then when the official Companion or Chronicles book comes out that details that part of the world, what happens in the novels will be an established part of that region and not a change to it. I would LOVE to see a series of novels set in Tian Xia before any official setting material or oriental rules are published. :)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber
KnightErrantJR wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

I love Knight Errant's suggestion... the best way to avoid any problems would be to write in the past (Aroden's death, Sarenrae vs. Rovagug, etc.)

Failing that, the next best thing is novels based on character development, like the early FR harper series (which did not affect the world in any way... one way to do this easily in Golarion would be stories about the Pathfinder Society).

I'd love to see books about interesting characters and situations that are interesting in and of themselves, without the artificial emotional baggage of . . . ahem . . . Golarion Shaking Events.

I'd much rather go back to stories like Parched Sea, where most of the tension was about an individual Harper agent and some desert tribesmen struggling against a given band of Zhentarim, or even a novel like Cormyr, that dealt with a fairly limited but important current event but mainly delved into the past of an established nation.

From all that I understand, Paizo is doing exactly that in their Pathfinder Novels. There will be no "Chosen One" that breaks the RPG. No blades of grass bent. No animals harmed, etc. I have a feeling Paizo is looking for a meld of great literature and Pathfinder fantasy. These fantasy novels will have to stand on their own regardless of the setting around Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Sunderstone wrote:
Why not? why cant novels and gaming supplements be different?

Because I don't want the famed one eyed gnome king of sillytown to become a peg legged dwarf queen of sillytown. It's sloppy, lazy, and will confuse people.

Sunderstone wrote:
Do the fiction portions of every AP module need to become Canon as well?

If one official product says there's a gnome king ruling sillytown, then another official product shouldn't say a dwarf king is ruling sillytown.

Sunderstone wrote:
IMHO, the fiction should remain fiction and leave us as much sandboxy-ness as possible.

If the fiction can't be true to the setting then there should be no fiction.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
KnightErrantJR wrote:
That's not to say I'm against novels being canon, per se, just that, if they are, I'd rather the novel be about something already established and giving us more details about it from a character perspective rather than creating brand new major events of any kind.

It did indeed work well. The early Drizzt novels were exactly this. Drizzt wasn't fighting the Matron Mothers of Menzo, he was fighting their henchmen. On the surface he was fighting equals or lessers, not the super powers of the Realm.

Ed Greenwood's Spellfire books were like this too. Sure she had a bit of a power boost, BUT she was fighting henchmen while the BBEG watched in his crystal ball? Why? Well let's look at Ed Greenwood's last trilogy, which wasn't about Elminster either. It was about the Knights of Myth Drannor, their origin story. They were fighting henchmen and once they pissed off the BBEG, he showed up. What happened? Well not death of course. One of the Chosen showed up and it looked like all out war.. but then Elminster showed up and literally spanked both of them over his knee and sent them home to with a red toosh. Which IMHO was not only comical but a great parting display by Ed of how the super powers of the Realms should only be used if they must be used (in fiction or in gaming.)

KnightErrantJR wrote:
I feel that a lot of earlier Realms novels actually worked this way. Either they were about a small group of adventurers in an area that didn't affect any established parts of the setting, or the novels where about an event we already knew about or that already happened, and thus the repercussions were already part of the setting.

Inded. Used the setting without altering the setting. It was grand and the continuity was there. You didn't have to worry about something contradicting another.. unlike WOTC who couldn't even get the number of eyes one character had right.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Guys, stop being dicks. How fiction will impact the continuity of the setting is a valid concern, and one that we strongly share. The plan is to focus on smaller stories that don't "blow up the world." You can have a novel that involves great personal impact to a character, or a town, or what have you without killing gods or nuking a major country. Or at least we think you can, and will be putting it to the test shortly.

I think the main concern many Realms fans have, or atleast this one has, is that the little details will be over looked. Hair color, how many eyes a character has, some factual tidbit created in a novel for an area not yet given supplement attention and then completely ignore and possible contradicted (or made impossible) when it does get supplement attention.

The Exchange

FatR wrote:
And you are basically too lazy to put any intellectual effort at even the very basic understanding what other people write and their actual arguments, as opposing to demonstrating a knee-jerk reaction to a stimulus. Of course, there is also a possibility that you are trying to score points in the discussion by posting random s~#* to paint me in the negative light, but, considering that everyone can scroll up and see what I actually wrote, this is a quite feeble attempt.

I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to insult you. I consider myself to be a lazy person, so it wasn't meant to be perjorative. And I'm not scoring points, just having an honest conversation. Perhaps I should have emphasised that you are too busy, which probably puts a better spin on it. Your points are well put, and the logical flaws you point out are real (though arguably not insurmountable, especially as I get suspicious of story elements being subsumed in rules arguments). Either way, though, it is your choice (for whatever reason) to rely on Paizo to bring you the goods for your desired Cheliax campaign and they have basically said it isn't going to happen, or not in the near future. To some extent it is caveat emptor.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Erik Mona wrote:
How fiction will impact the continuity of the setting is a valid concern, and one that we strongly share. The plan is to focus on smaller stories that don't "blow up the world." You can have a novel that involves great personal impact to a character, or a town, or what have you without killing gods or nuking a major country.

Do you mean the plan is to focus on novels which are smaller stories, or APs which are smaller stories?

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

I was speaking specifically about novels in this case, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some "local scale" APs that don't involve demon lords or summoning extinction-level comets and stuff. We like to jump around a bit to keep things interesting, and many of the "Oh noes, the world is ending!" plots have been done before.

By us.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Erik Mona wrote:

I was speaking specifically about novels in this case, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some "local scale" APs that don't involve demon lords or summoning extinction-level comets and stuff. We like to jump around a bit to keep things interesting, and many of the "Oh noes, the world is ending!" plots have been done before.

By us.

Then I'm curious. Why has the leadership of House Thrune been written such that any AP that would involve overthrowing them would necessarily have to be so high level that it is near-impractical? This is what's baffling me, and what (I believe) is annoying FatR. If Thrune weren't so high-level, you'd have an obvious story arc where the party thwarts a Thrune plot, then overthrows Thrune, then goes and does Paladin In Hell shenanigans to defeat the Real Power Behind The Thrunes. That could start at any level and end at level 16-ish, with the party infiltrating the fortress of the pit fiend behind the Thrunes and breaking the Thrune's pact with the forces of Hell once and for all.

Right now, that plot requires that the party is in the 17-20 range already to even have a chance against some of the Thrune leadership that does have stats (e.g. the pit fiends running around), and once you're at that point the story either ends there or goes into epic levels, and neither top-of-level-range nor epic-level published adventures are terribly practical in a moving-books-out-the-door sense.

Also, you mention "Oh noes, the world is ending!" plots, or what I like to call "Let's go save the world!" plots. FatR was complaining about the lack of "Let's go out and fix the world!" plots. There seems to be a conscious decision in APs to make the bad guys the ones who are out to change the setting and the PCs the defenders of the status quo, even though there are plenty of status quo situations that heroically-inclined PCs would want to go and change. How many stories about the bad guys trying to change things do we get before there's a story about the good guys trying to change things?

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