An Adventure Path Featuring -- and about -- Dragons


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Many years ago, before DragonLance took TSR and the gaming world by storm, the genesis for the idea that ultimately became DragonLance was to feature a series of linked modules for 1st edition AD&D "featuring dragons". From that first spark, DragonLance was born.

As APs go? That was the first "monster hit" in the industry. It made TSR a boatload of money and helped "rescue" the company from the Blumes' financial mismanagement of TSR.

Now, I admit that I have always had a soft spot in my heart for DragonLance, but like so much in life, you just can't go back. And we don't NEED to go back to that specific well, either.

But, that said, the fundamental idea of a series of linked adventures featuring dragons at the heart of the story remains a sound idea. So sound, I have to wonder why this does not seem an obvious point of departure for an AP.

I know that the "Monster Hunter"/Dragonslayer idea has been kicked around the Paizo offices before. I'm not sure how that idea really works. It seems to me that isn't a AP featuring dragons, but an AP about slaying a specific dragon; while it is a closely related concept, something nags at me about this one as not being "all it can be".

Perhaps it's this: the one aspect of the Monster Hunter tale which was mentioned last Gencon of a "home town" that is wrecked by a Dragon and the party eventually manages to kill it in Volume 6 seems a little... empty. I don't see how that works as a long-running arc on its own. Or perhaps, I see it all too clearly -- and that's the point: it isn't epic enough on its own to build an AP around. A fine sub-arc, but not the whole of a tale.

But looking back over the past 37 years -- the central premise that dragons are the most iconic monsters in the game remains true. It follows that an AP premised upon -- and dealing with -- dragons in a way that we have not seen before can't be a bad idea for an AP.

It needs hella more, but it's got a heartbeat. I'd want to play something like that. I think.

Just sayin'.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Would LOVE an AP featuring dragons. I was SO bummed when I realized it was going to be Age of WORMS... not Age of WYRMS. It was still a great AP, and Dragotha was sweet, but with The Rage running around the same time it was announced, I assumed it was all going to be dragons.

Never quite got over that let down feeling...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dragons are an iconic part of the game but James Jacobs and the team basically scrapped the idea of a "Dragon Themed" AP when they couldn't find the inspiration to tell that story. Who could blame them?

Dragons are primarily a High-Level threat, and the fact is they are solo-style bosses. It's difficult to come up with a Dragon themed AP that can sustain 6 books.

Dark Archive

Dragonlance was great, I was in a campaign that lasted almost two years set in that world. I am not really familar with how APs are written, are they like settings or actual modules? I do use settings, but I never use pregen campaigns or modules it really takes away the fun of being a GM for me. If you feel that strongly I would suggest you start writting your own, even if you only have time to work on it a few hours a week or so.

Sovereign Court

Dragons probably get the most Paizo action in RotRL.

Also, James Jacobs wrote The Red Hand of Doom - lots of dragons in that one, lots and lots.

Both of those are 3.5 though.


I definitely want a dragon adventure path. That would rock. They gotta have a dragon themed adventure path at some point.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Dragons are an iconic part of the game but James Jacobs and the team basically scrapped the idea of a "Dragon Themed" AP when they couldn't find the inspiration to tell that story. Who could blame them?

Dragons are primarily a High-Level threat, and the fact is they are solo-style bosses. It's difficult to come up with a Dragon themed AP that can sustain 6 books.

Goodness, I can't believe that such great minds as Paizo has couldn't find the inspiration to work with the greatest fantastical beast ever to grace the legends of the world. These creatures are truly majestic, and all the undead, demons, devils, or whatever else they want to throw at people don't inspire the sheer dread, fascination, and imagination that dragons do. They make for the most memorable encounters in the game, period.

As to the high-level threat, I'll argue that, as well. Looking at the Bestiary, a young black is CR 7, a young white CR 6. Either of these could be encountered without problem by the end of the second book. But, you don't even have to go that route if facing off against such a young dragon might seem "uninspiring." Just because the AP is specifically dragon-based, doesn't mean we can't look to other draconic enemies at earlier levels, such as drakes, just as an example. The point is that there are many avenues that could be explored in such an AP, and the mythological sources that could be used both from our world (which Paizo loves to do) and from Golarion would easily make for a truly exciting and fresh take on the theme!

The Exchange

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Sub-Creator wrote:
As to the high-level threat, I'll argue that, as well. Looking at the Bestiary, a young black is CR 7, a young white CR 6. Either of these could be encountered without problem by the end of the second book. But, you don't even have to go that route if facing off against such a young dragon might seem "uninspiring." Just because the AP is specifically dragon-based, doesn't mean we can't look to other draconic enemies at earlier levels, such as drakes, just as an example. The point is that there are many avenues that could be explored in such an AP, and the mythological sources that could be used both from our world (which Paizo loves to do) and from Golarion would easily make for a truly exciting and fresh take on the theme!

Heh, I remember a previous campaign, the party fights and kills off a bunch of trolls followed by several baby black dragons that emerged from the river... We stood proudly over their remains, and then found all this treasure nearby, the slow realization/dread sunk in that momma dragon is gonna be unhappy...

There was an entire session of us eluding her, riding hard through the trees, doubling back along the roads, constantly scanning the skies for her dark shadow, huddling in the campsite at night and hoping the tiny hut will conceal us... We later found she had destroyed our manor. Then again, later on, we did do a sending to taunt her. Basically she became a looming threat in the background of the campaign, too bad we never finished this campaign. :-(

Contributor

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We recently spent a few weeks working on ideas for a dragon themed AP. The end result was a no go.

The biggest problems were how to retain a sense of awe with dragons when you have to use them in six adventures, how to keep things interesting when you're seeing the same breed of monsters in every adventure, how to keep dragons feeling as rare and wondrous as they are in Golarion but still having one in every adventure, how to do six distinct plots using monsters that all do about the same thing, and how to do all of this and make it distinctive when there are numerous well remembered adventures (some of which members of our own staff wrote) that draw from the exact same creative well.

I'm not saying that it can't be done, but after numerous long discussions and some really neat ideas - some that got as far as being foreshadowed in published works - we decided the path we were on wasn't taking us toward a place with ground fertile enough to grow a healthy Adventure Path. Aka we said "Screw it, lets do pirates!"

Maybe we'll take another hack at a dragon themed AP in the future, but the consensus of the current staff is that if we're dedicating 6 months of our lives to each of these campaigns we'd rather work on and tell the stories that we're really passionate about (of which we have about a dozen in the hopper) rather than trying to stretch a gimmick.

Contributor

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Also, don't forget that we've used a ton of dragons in our existing APs. I can think of a prominent red; a legendary blue (who I'm actually writing about right now); a sneaky green; one AP volume with a black, a tarn linnorm, a jabberwock, and a CR 25 red; a hardcore ravener; and a tricky white dragon, all just off the top of my head. So it's not like we don't do anything with dragons. We just tend to save them so when you do run into them they're something more special than a random encounter.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You know I had the same idea years ago for a homebrew game and came up with the same problem. So I understand completely.

My only complaint about Dragons in the APs so far is that many of them are used as minions rather than masterminds. I hope the next time we see a chromatic dragon grace the pages of Pathfinder it will be as the final boss, who is behind every wicked thing the players had faced.

My thinking is rather than an "Against the Dragons" series it's "Against the Dragon". Fighting against someone equivalent to
CotCT SPOILER

Spoiler:

Kazavon without him being a g,g,g,ghost!

So while there might be other Dragons in the AP; in the same way Dragons were a sub-theme of Kingmaker, an against THE Dragon would have those other Dragons, Drakes and Wyrms keep the flavour without turning Dragons into a common monster. More shifting the rarity down one step from Rare to Uncommon.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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I think perhaps that's the trick of doing dragons as an AP in Golarion: There aren't supposed to be lots of dragons around. Period. As Wes said, in Golarion dragons are supposed to be rare. Good, bad, or indifferent, that is the setting.

Because of that, a dragon AP would end up having to have rare individual boss dragons here and there throughout the AP, either alone or encountered along with their minions and their allies (or their bosses, if the dragon is the chief enforcer of the true BBEG).

In my mind, a true DRAGON AP would have metric craploads of dragons in it, of every age category. I don't mean all dragons, all the time, but the dragons would be all the frick over the place. Families of dragons, clans of dragons, organizations of, by, and for dragons. Cult of the Dragon here, oathsworn dragonriders there, rivalries between warring groups of dragons, or groups of dragons warring on everybody else.

The problems with something like this in Golarion are twofold:

1. Where are all of these dragons coming from?
2. How can you introduce so many dragons without creating a WORLD-SHATTERING EVENT?

The answer to #1 is that the dragons are coming from somewhere else, be it another plane, another continent, another planet, or what have you. Perhaps THIS is why Sarusan is so remote and unknown and strange - it is entirely peopled with dragons, who exist mostly within dream-time and hibernate in the real world, and SOMEBODY somehow disrupts the dream-time and awakens all of these dragons into Golarion, which spawns a sh**storm of draconic activity the likes of which no one has ever seen as they try to find out who wrecked their continent (good dragons) or say "screw it, let's just nuke everybody" (evil dragons).

Hey, even Dragonlance had an entire continent worth of "unknown" dragons over on Taladas. It could work. Ditto for planar dragons or planetary dragons. Perhaps a flare-up of activity in the world gates brings in dragons from different planets. Maybe that's what's REALLY at the bottom of the Pit of Rovagug - a nest of a bazillion dragons!

Anyway, the real trick, though, is #2. You have to have the event of this draconic invasion, which is essentially what it would be, be big enough to fill out an entire AP, yet not so big that it unalterably breaks the continuity of Golarion. Must the dragons be sent back where they came from? Can they be?

Anyway, I'd love to work on a dragon AP, but even if you had six authors all geeked up for the concept, you also have a small army of developers, editors, artists, and managers who ALSO need to work on the project, and their time investment is greater than that of any one author, who might spend say 2 months writing their AP chapter, while the Paizo central crew has to spend 6 months banging through it, including making sure that authors aren't duplicating each other's plot points, scenario ideas, an adventure concepts.

It would be tricky, but I sure hope it could be done.

Scarab Sages

What about a dragon-themed module or a series of two or three modules?

Additionally, the "dragon-theme" doesn't have to be all dragons, all the time. I'm sure Daralathyxl has plenty of minions to cause problems for the PCs without the PCs even realizing a dragon is behind it until later in the AP - similar to how several APs have worked so far - you don't know what the end goal or who the end boss is until about the fourth book.

Alternatively, you could fill-in another continent on Golarion with a dragon-based society. Perhaps they try to keep outsiders away with high-level magics?

Shadow Lodge

Jason Nelson wrote:

I think perhaps that's the trick of doing dragons as an AP in Golarion: There aren't supposed to be lots of dragons around. Period. As Wes said, in Golarion dragons are supposed to be rare. Good, bad, or indifferent, that is the setting.

Because of that, a dragon AP would end up having to have rare individual boss dragons here and there throughout the AP, either alone or encountered along with their minions and their allies (or their bosses, if the dragon is the chief enforcer of the true BBEG).

In my mind, a true DRAGON AP would have metric craploads of dragons in it, of every age category. I don't mean all dragons, all the time, but the dragons would be all the frick over the place. Families of dragons, clans of dragons, organizations of, by, and for dragons. Cult of the Dragon here, oathsworn dragonriders there, rivalries between warring groups of dragons, or groups of dragons warring on everybody else.

The problems with something like this in Golarion are twofold:

1. Where are all of these dragons coming from?
2. How can you introduce so many dragons without creating a WORLD-SHATTERING EVENT?

The answer to #1 is that the dragons are coming from somewhere else, be it another plane, another continent, another planet, or what have you. Perhaps THIS is why Sarusan is so remote and unknown and strange - it is entirely peopled with dragons, who exist mostly within dream-time and hibernate in the real world, and SOMEBODY somehow disrupts the dream-time and awakens all of these dragons into Golarion, which spawns a sh**storm of draconic activity the likes of which no one has ever seen as they try to find out who wrecked their continent (good dragons) or say "screw it, let's just nuke everybody" (evil dragons).

Hey, even Dragonlance had an entire continent worth of "unknown" dragons over on Taladas. It could work. Ditto for planar dragons or planetary dragons. Perhaps a flare-up of activity in the world gates brings in dragons from different planets. Maybe...

Want! Want a lot! That sounds so great.

That said, I would settle for a dragon BBEG in an AP, too. Love it to see one that isn't just a big lizard with wings, but a truely long-lived Machiavellian schemer.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

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Personally, I'd suggest a Worldwound crusade AP whereby the BBEG at the end is a demon-possessed ancient wyrm...preferably a red. The campaign would have undertones of "Dragon Age" to it (obviously)...but not a simple duplication, mind you. It would just play well for those already familiar with that game.

The AP would also avoid having dragons in every adventure. But I'd spend the "capital" provided by the BBEG by demonstrating the dragon's handiwork in every adventure. That way, the PCs know from the beginning what they're up against. In fact, I'd make it a "dragon hunt" on top of the crusade. And, the PCs would very likely have to set off on that adventure already assuming they'd give their lives to defeat such evil and protect their friends and family back home.

General Outline:

Spoiler:

Adventure #1: Word arrives from the front lines of the Worldwound that a terrible red dragon has marshalled the demonic forces there, threatening to overrun the crusaders. The PCs are sent from Lastwall with a group of reinforcements.

Adventure #2: The PCs travel through Mendev, encountering crusaders coming from other parts of the world (i.e., Andoran, Taldor, Brevoy, etc.). At the same time, one of the dragon's minions...a demon-possessed spy...is stirring up trouble to delay the crusaders' reinforcements from ever reaching the frontlines and/or assassinate one of the key leaders.

Adventure #3: The PCs arrive at the Worldwound. They're pressed into immediate service and sent to rescue a group of knights whose fort is cut off from the main force. Dragons make their first appearance...small ones...descended from the ancient wyrm. The PCs have to deal with them and put them down while rescuing their fellow crusaders.

Adventure #4: Rewarded for their heroic actions, the PCs meet with some of the higher officers among the crusaders. They learn some of them aren't quite as commited to the cause as everyone else. Morale is down, but perhaps worse, some of the low templars have abused their position by taking advantage of the locals. The knight who leads them has fallen from grace and the PCs are sent to undo the damage he's caused.

Adventure #5: The demon hordes finally attack, assaulting the crusaders' positions from all angles. The PCs are tasked with putting down these outbreaks before slipping behind enemy lines to locate a holy artifact lost earlier in the conflict. Their superiors believe it could prove vital in not only turning the tide, but also in allowing the crusaders to go back on the offensive and strike back at the dragon.

Adventure #6: The final chapter. Armed with the holiest of weapons ever brought to the Worldwound, the PCs must locate the dragon's lair and slay it. While this doesn't end the demon threat, it does deprive them of a significant "general" and put things back to "normal" in Mendev as the crusade soldiers on.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil


It doesn't fit the Golarion setting concept of dragons, but I've long liked the idea of there being a lot (relatively speaking) of the younger dragons around, but damn near everyone, including older dragons tries to kill most of them off because letting them grow up is too dangerous. Other dragons see them as potential rivals. Everyone else sees them as threats.

In my concept, though very intelligent, dragons are very instinct driven. Even the good aligned ones are territorial, solitary and acquisitive. They don't pair bond, they lay large clutches of eggs and leave them on their own once they hatch. Generally ignore much younger dragons, but will kill or drive off any old enough to be viewed as a rival.

All of this only applies to other dragons, of course. They're still smart, potentially magic-using, manipulative, cunning, etc. They'll still work with or use lesser races.

Hmm, I'm starting to have ideas for an actual game using this. I'll have to think on it.

Shadow Lodge

Neil Spicer wrote:

Personally, I'd suggest a Worldwound crusade AP whereby the BBEG at the end is a demon-possessed ancient wyrm...preferably a red. The campaign would have undertones of "Dragon Age" to it (obviously)...but not a simple duplication, mind you. It would just play well for those already familiar with that game.

The AP would also avoid having dragons in every adventure. But I'd spend the "capital" provided by the BBEG by demonstrating the dragon's handiwork in every adventure. That way, the PCs know from the beginning what they're up against. In fact, I'd make it a "dragon hunt" on top of the crusade. And, the PCs would very likely have to set off on that adventure already assuming they'd give their lives to defeat such evil and protect their friends and family back home.

General Outline:
** spoiler omitted **...

Neil,

That sounds like a fantastic AP! I for one would be greatful for an AP where the BBEG is known from the get-go, and not these seemingly-tacked on guys like in CC.

"Yea, you've heard of him. Your mom used to tell you stories about him when you were a kid so you would eat your peas. Now go kill him."

Contributor

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Interesting, Mr. Spicer.


I love your idea, Neil, mostly because it wouldn't be an AP only "about dragons", but much more than that. It makes *sense*, puts the dragon in an interesting role as well as opened enough to address the concern of some other APs where the BBEG is only revealed late in the AP.

@Jason Nelson: Good thinking. One could even further the reflexion to make the seed of a dragon AP (or modules series) as such: a cult of dragon worshippers aims to open a rift between Golarion and a far away planet where dragons live. They want the dragons to seize power and rule the world. The rift may or may not actually open in the course of the AP, but if it opens, the grand finale could be a daring plan to close it and swallow the dragons that it spitted out. To answer your concern about it being a world-shattering event, the dragons would only take over the country in which the rift was opened, and didn't have time to conquer other nations by the time the PCs close the rift.

@Deirdre Tiriel: As for the dragon-themed module, may I suggest the "Blood of the Dragonscar" module? It's a great one that perfectly fits the classical role of a dragon (PCs defend a city from a dragon, and end up striking back to its lair).

Liberty's Edge

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

We recently spent a few weeks working on ideas for a dragon themed AP. The end result was a no go.

Maybe we'll take another hack at a dragon themed AP in the future, but the consensus of the current staff is that if we're dedicating 6 months of our lives to each of these campaigns we'd rather work on and tell the stories that we're really passionate about (of which we have about a dozen in the hopper) rather than trying to stretch a gimmick.

Thanks for the candid reply Wes. Sounds like a reasonable position to me.

Whilst I have you here: Rob McCreary + Shattered Star + Hobgoblins = Win

Gimme some Hobgoblin luv!

And none of dat fool wussy comic relief Hobgobbie stuff either. I'm talkin' kick-ass, elf hatin', free people enslavin', surface world and Darklands dominatin' MF'in mean Hobgoblins that pick their foul, sharp teeth with a Paladin's bones. Dat's what I'm talkin' bout.

[Why, exactly, I'm talking about it like Mister T is not entirely clear; however, Hobgoblins do need some Paizo love in an AP.]


I would want a dragon themed AP as well and yes the big bad at the end should be a Dragon but lets not get to cliche with chromatics. It could be a tarnished metalic, a primal(but not ubral) or a unigue type of dragon. Besides even though each AP is dragon themed they do not have to be true dragons, one Ap with drakes, another with linnorms, and also not every AP does the dragon have to be a villian.

Also I am sick of Devils and Demons and whole point of a dragon AP is so there are no powerful outsiders or undead as the bad guys...again.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

I'm not saying that it can't be done, but after numerous long discussions and some really neat ideas - some that got as far as being foreshadowed in published works - we decided the path we were on wasn't taking us toward a place with ground fertile enough to grow a healthy Adventure Path. Aka we said "Screw it, lets do pirates!"

"Skull & Shackles" Adventure Path: "Here could have been dragons!"


I do like Mr. Spicer's idea. It would at least be a start at getting a dragon to have a major role in an AP.

I would also like to point out that a dragon-themed AP wouldn't necessarily need to have dragons as enemies all the way through it either. It means that the over-arching story line could be draconic in origin. Play with a dragon artifact (I know Shattered Star would probably take this one off the map) or dragon mythology. Unlocking secrets about dragons of Golarion, their past, and/or their gods could all make for interesting story lines. Obviously, it would have to be epic because that's what APs are, which is why I can understand how something along these lines would take time to develop, but I certainly believe a dragon-themed AP is a viable option.

Contributor

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Steel_Wind wrote:

Whilst I have you here: Rob McCreary + Shattered Star + Hobgoblins = Win

Gimme some Hobgoblin luv!

And none of dat fool wussy comic relief Hobgobbie stuff either. I'm talkin' kick-ass, elf hatin', free people enslavin', surface world and Darklands dominatin' MF'in mean Hobgoblins that pick their foul, sharp teeth with a Paladin's bones. Dat's what I'm talkin' bout.

[Why, exactly, I'm talking about it like Mister T is not entirely clear; however, Hobgoblins do need some Paizo love in an AP.]

Sounds reasonable. We just sent Pathfinder AP #43 "Forest of Spirits" off to the printer and you'll find a lot of hobgoblin love in there, as well as our first look at the creatures as illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (on the cover), which will become the new standard for how these beasties look.

Contributor

Lithrac wrote:
I love your idea, Neil, mostly because it wouldn't be an AP only "about dragons"...

That's the part that interests me about this this most. When we were asked to come up with a "Dragons!" AP, no one on staff had been just waiting to make out with this idea, and on top of that we wanted to put it in a place that wouldn't be wrecked by heavy dragon action (Who's just be WAITING for that Isger and Druma AP! WOOT! [/sarcasm]). So the best we came up with kind of felt like a bad 80's NES game: play a gimmicky level, fight a dragon boss, play another gimmicky level, fight a dragon boss that's just a different color than the last one. That's a gross over simplification (we didn't get knocked stupid/contrived while we were working on this), but I know all four of us (James, Rob, Sutter, and me) have other plots we're much more interested in developing.

Linking one of those to the dragon-wagon for more than a single adventure, though, that's got some appeal, IF we can find one that it feels like it works with. Already we've talked about a dragon villain in a volume of Shattered Star, but if we're going to do something in Varisia there's other themes we want to exploit. So it becomes a matter of finding a series we want to do that dragons would complement, not steal the show from.

But in general, lots of fuel for some long standing fires here. Thanks all! We reserve the right to pilfer liberally. :P

Contributor

Sub-Creator wrote:
Play with a dragon artifact (I know Shattered Star would probably take this one off the map) or dragon mythology.

See that's funny, because maybe the one thing on the canned dragon AP that did get us fired up was when someone mentioned Orbs of Dragonkind. (And that got a few other balls rolling....) But yeah, if we did something like this, we'd want to pull in all the things that make dragons cool and let players touch all the fun, really epic bits. So something like this would be pretty high on my list of things I'd like to see in a ________ + dragons AP.

Contributor

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Lanx wrote:
"Skull & Shackles" Adventure Path: "Here could have been dragons!"

Oh boo-bloody-hoo. :P

We'll get to everything in due time, no holding grudges against particular APs. Anyway, it's appropriate that the pirates AP would shanghai another. :)

Contributor

Dragon78 wrote:
Also I am sick of Devils and Demons and whole point of a dragon AP is so there are no powerful outsiders or undead as the bad guys...again.

Considering that I think we've been quite meticulous in our selections of AP end guys (if that is indeed what you're referring to here) I can't think of any demons or devils who closed out a campaign. We have had one undead guy and three outsiders - but one was a genie, one was a native outsider, and one was a unique. And that's been over the span of nearly half a decade. So while I'm sensitive to the advice that we not take all our ink from the same well, I can't even say we've done a full on fiend AP yet. That said, devils as plot drivers we pretty much got out of our system with Council of Thieves, and Jade Regent has oni more than covered, but there's still some really big crayons in the box that we're still eager to scribble with.


Dragon78 wrote:
so there are no powerful outsiders or undead as the bad guys...again.

You make horribly evil fiend of uncertain nature and motivations a sad, sad fiend. D:


Having a thematic reason besides ´Dragon, dragons, and more dragons!´ is definitely necessary.
I could see an AP focused around ´the destiny of man´, using Hermea as a major setting focus,
but also bringing in other actors and dynamics:
besides other dragons (allying/breeding w/ rebels to Mengkare, who´s had strayings of his own),
Rahadoum would make alot of sense (´atheistic´ like Hermea, pursuing man´s destiny free of interference),
and some Hellknight Orders would make sense also (Cheliax´s conflict with Rahadoum to start, but the Hellknights themselves have some rather relevant philosophies completely apart from the interests of Cheliax... I could see different Orders playing contrasting roles here).
Throw in dash of Azlanti or Aboleth connections, a Cult or Major Religion, and mix!

Of course, then there´s always the Isger and Druma AP... (+Molthune?)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So a Mendev AP might be Demons and Dragons.

A Chelosh AP might bs Devils and Dragons.

A Land of the Linnorm Kings AP might be Vikings and Dragons.

What about a journey to the centre of the world AP... Dungeons and Dragons! ... Nah that idea could NEVER work.


Dragons should be rarer, before Golarion in my FR world there were only a few, for example the Spine of the World mountains was one sleeping dragon.


Neil Spicer wrote:

Personally, I'd suggest a Worldwound crusade AP whereby the BBEG at the end is a demon-possessed ancient wyrm...preferably a red. The campaign would have undertones of "Dragon Age" to it (obviously)...but not a simple duplication, mind you. It would just play well for those already familiar with that game.

The AP would also avoid having dragons in every adventure. But I'd spend the "capital" provided by the BBEG by demonstrating the dragon's handiwork in every adventure. That way, the PCs know from the beginning what they're up against. In fact, I'd make it a "dragon hunt" on top of the crusade. And, the PCs would very likely have to set off on that adventure already assuming they'd give their lives to defeat such evil and protect their friends and family back home.

General Outline:
** spoiler omitted **...

I like this idea, Neil.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Lanx wrote:
"Skull & Shackles" Adventure Path: "Here could have been dragons!"

Oh boo-bloody-hoo. :P

We'll get to everything in due time, no holding grudges against particular APs. Anyway, it's appropriate that the pirates AP would shanghai another. :)

How about a pirate Dragon? (or a pirate riding a Dragon?)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Lanx wrote:
"Skull & Shackles" Adventure Path: "Here could have been dragons!"

Oh boo-bloody-hoo. :P

We'll get to everything in due time, no holding grudges against particular APs. Anyway, it's appropriate that the pirates AP would shanghai another. :)

How about a pirate Dragon? (or a pirate riding a Dragon?)

Or a dragon riding a pirate!

Contributor

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I've toyed with the idea of dragons as a focus for a campaign before. It's, as the Paizo team has gathered, difficult to do without growing stale. However, I also think a dragon theme rather than a laser-guided focus on them is the way to go.

My propsal? Start killing the dragons before the AP even begins.

Why are dragons so rare? Well, unbeknownst to the majority of the world, they have been murdered systematically for ages now. Some unknown force has been killing dragons left and right for years under everyone's noses. For the AP, it, of course, would be a dragon that's been doing this. Ideally, it's some kind of new breed or alien dragon, making the reveal of the villain a bit more crazy and overwhelming.

The AP would begin with the death of the villain's latest victim, a brass dragon. Normally, the death of a dragon would go unnoticed. However, the brass dragon put up a fight and escape its attacker, but not before being mortally wounded. The brass dragon crashes in the nearby countryside, leaving the PCs to investigate. The AP would go down something like this:

Spoiler:

Adventure #1: The death of a brass dragon in the immediate area has the PCs tasked with an investigation. After a treacherous trek through the nearby woods and mountains, the PCs arrive to find the dying brass dragon. The dragon warns of a threat to to life on Golarion. It requests the PCs speak with Mengkare in Hermea about the circumstances.

Adventure #2: The PCs must secure voyage to Hermea to fulfill the dragon's dying wishes. Once there, they must aid the people of Hermea in defeating attackers sent to destroy the nation. The attackers are led by a bitter Hermean-born woman who was banished from Hermea when she did not pass the initial citizenship test. Once the threat has been nullified, they are allowed to speak with Mengkare as a reward for their actions.

Adventure #3: Having just earned a court with Mengkare, the PCs present the plea of the dying brass dragon. Mengkare is hesitant to aid the PCs in their quest. However, at this time, a dragon appears in Hermea, also looking for Mengkare's aid. This silver dragon also escaped an attack from our villain, but is relatively unhurt. The silver dragon explains what went down in the attack on his life and reveals the face of the villain. After hearing this, Mengkare agrees to work towards defeating their common enemy. The adventure would be mostly composed of the PCs travelling the Inner Sea region recruiting the aid of the others in the land for their cause. Along the way, they would discover that some of the other dragons are not so compliant and are actually agents of the villain.

Adventure #4: With the help of a newly recruited copper dragon, the PCs learn of a dragon who may know the exact nature of the villain slaying the dragons. However, this dragon has been under captivity for centuries by the Aboleth down below the Steaming Sea. The PCs head underwater on a rescue mission to a lost Aboleth city. After fighting through various gillmen and underwater menaces, the PCs slay the necessary Aboleth and liberate the dragon.

Adventure #5: Their latest ally comes in the form of a bronze dragon. This bronze dragon has been hot on the tail of the villain behind the attacks and has learned much about them in the past centuries. With newfound knowledge of their enemy, the PCs are chosen to lead the armies of the Hermeans and dragons against the remaining agents of the villian, including those dragons that have allied with the villian.

Adventure #6: With the villian's armies defeated, it falls on the PCs to enter the realm of the villian and put an end to the looming threat. They are not without help, though, as any remaining dragon allies would join them in the fight. This would conclude the AP with a final push towards the villain and climactic battle against a villian the likes of Golarion has never seen.

Just an idea that doesn't depend on dragons to work. Replace dragon with humans, unicorns, or whatever, and the basic premise remains the same. I just feel it would be more threatening knowing something out there is killing dragons willy nilly, which makes for a scarier villian. At least, in the eyes of PCs. However, I rather fancy Neil's proposal as well.

Liberty's Edge

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
We just sent Pathfinder AP #43 "Forest of Spirits" off to the printer and you'll find a lot of hobgoblin love in there, as well as our first look at the creatures as illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (on the cover), which will become the new standard for how these beasties look.

I assume you meant #52. Very exciting! Looking forward to Wayne's new Hobgoblin illustration very much.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Steel_Wind wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
We just sent Pathfinder AP #43 "Forest of Spirits" off to the printer and you'll find a lot of hobgoblin love in there, as well as our first look at the creatures as illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (on the cover), which will become the new standard for how these beasties look.
I assume you meant #52. Very exciting! Looking forward to Wayne's new Hobgoblin illustration very much.

Once again looks like numbers aren't the editorial staffs strong suit.:)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Justin Franklin wrote:
Steel_Wind wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
We just sent Pathfinder AP #43 "Forest of Spirits" off to the printer and you'll find a lot of hobgoblin love in there, as well as our first look at the creatures as illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (on the cover), which will become the new standard for how these beasties look.
I assume you meant #52. Very exciting! Looking forward to Wayne's new Hobgoblin illustration very much.
Once again looks like numbers aren't the editorial staffs strong suit.:)

And it looks as if the Internet still runs strong with snark! :)

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

donato wrote:

I've toyed with the idea of dragons as a focus for a campaign before. It's, as the Paizo team has gathered, difficult to do without growing stale. However, I also think a dragon theme rather than a laser-guided focus on them is the way to go.

My propsal? Start killing the dragons before the AP even begins.

Why are dragons so rare? Well, unbeknownst to the majority of the world, they have been murdered systematically for ages now. Some unknown force has been killing dragons left and right for years under everyone's noses. For the AP, it, of course, would be a dragon that's been doing this. Ideally, it's some kind of new breed or alien dragon, making the reveal of the villain a bit more crazy and overwhelming.

The AP would begin with the death of the villain's latest victim, a brass dragon. Normally, the death of a dragon would go unnoticed. However, the brass dragon put up a fight and escape its attacker, but not before being mortally wounded. The brass dragon crashes in the nearby countryside, leaving the PCs to investigate. The AP would go down something like this:

** spoiler omitted **...

This AP concept sounds pretty fun too!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
Steel_Wind wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
We just sent Pathfinder AP #43 "Forest of Spirits" off to the printer and you'll find a lot of hobgoblin love in there, as well as our first look at the creatures as illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (on the cover), which will become the new standard for how these beasties look.
I assume you meant #52. Very exciting! Looking forward to Wayne's new Hobgoblin illustration very much.
Once again looks like numbers aren't the editorial staffs strong suit.:)
And it looks as if the Internet still runs strong with snark! :)

But of course!:)

EDIT: And at least in this case good natured snark.


Jason Nelson wrote:
donato wrote:

I've toyed with the idea of dragons as a focus for a campaign before. It's, as the Paizo team has gathered, difficult to do without growing stale. However, I also think a dragon theme rather than a laser-guided focus on them is the way to go.

My propsal? Start killing the dragons before the AP even begins.

Why are dragons so rare? Well, unbeknownst to the majority of the world, they have been murdered systematically for ages now. Some unknown force has been killing dragons left and right for years under everyone's noses. For the AP, it, of course, would be a dragon that's been doing this. Ideally, it's some kind of new breed or alien dragon, making the reveal of the villain a bit more crazy and overwhelming.

The AP would begin with the death of the villain's latest victim, a brass dragon. Normally, the death of a dragon would go unnoticed. However, the brass dragon put up a fight and escape its attacker, but not before being mortally wounded. The brass dragon crashes in the nearby countryside, leaving the PCs to investigate. The AP would go down something like this:

** spoiler omitted **...

This AP concept sounds pretty fun too!

I agree

Contributor

Steel_Wind wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
We just sent Pathfinder AP #43 "Forest of Spirits" off to the printer and you'll find a lot of hobgoblin love in there, as well as our first look at the creatures as illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (on the cover), which will become the new standard for how these beasties look.
I assume you meant #52. Very exciting! Looking forward to Wayne's new Hobgoblin illustration very much.

Yah, that one. (Turns out the volume I'm referencing at a particular moment is not always the one I'm posting about :P. But it sounds like you got it.)

Justin Franklin wrote:
"Making friends and influencing people."

Hum. [Additional comment self-redacted]

Scarab Sages

donato wrote:

I've toyed with the idea of dragons as a focus for a campaign before. It's, as the Paizo team has gathered, difficult to do without growing stale. However, I also think a dragon theme rather than a laser-guided focus on them is the way to go.

My propsal? Start killing the dragons before the AP even begins....

This sounds pretty cool, and I would love to see this developed. Paizo, hire this guy. 8^)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Steel_Wind wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
We just sent Pathfinder AP #43 "Forest of Spirits" off to the printer and you'll find a lot of hobgoblin love in there, as well as our first look at the creatures as illustrated by Wayne Reynolds (on the cover), which will become the new standard for how these beasties look.
I assume you meant #52. Very exciting! Looking forward to Wayne's new Hobgoblin illustration very much.

Yah, that one. (Turns out the volume I'm referencing at a particular moment is not always the one I'm posting about :P. But it sounds like you got it.)

Justin Franklin wrote:
"Making friends and influencing people."
Hum. [Additional comment self-redacted]

Well if we didn't make fun of you..... You would probably have things much easier, but what fun would that be. ;)

Scarab Sages

Do the dragons of Golarion play Xorvintaal (The Great Game)? If so you could have a "dragon themed" AP without them needing to constantly fight dragons... they would be dealing with the machinations of dragons...

It would be especially interesting if by the fourth or fifth adventure the dragon who was manipulating them decided to "sacrifice" them as pieces...


Going waaaay back, one of the first home-made adventure arcs I did for AD&D started with a bunch of 1st level characters tasked with slaying a green dragon who'd roamed into the area.

Not a lot of details needed, but half the fun was watching the players realize over time that yes, I really was expecting them to eventually fight a dragon. When they finally faced the dragon with their hard-won arrow of dragon slaying and then miss the shot...oh mercy. One of my fondest gaming memories.

But I do want to comment on the probably unintentional mini-AP subplot about dragons in 'Age of Worms' when...oh what the heck...spoilers:

Spoiler:

The PCs' first encounter with dragons is the dragon's egg in Blackwall Keep.

Then they actually have to fight the mama dragon three adventures later.

Their next dragon encounter was with mama dragon's baby dragons as a swarm.

Then it was dealing with a silver dragon socially.

Then it was trying to find the 'guffin under the threat of an entire armada of dragons.

Then it was fighting the most dangerous dragon ever invented.

Each encounter was different and there was a noticeable growth to how each one built on the last.

In summary, it's possible to make multiple dragon encounters distinct and memorable. I know 'cause you already did it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
And it looks as if the Internet still runs strong with snark! :)

Also, remember who you are quoting there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cele wrote:

Do the dragons of Golarion play Xorvintaal (The Great Game)? If so you could have a "dragon themed" AP without them needing to constantly fight dragons... they would be dealing with the machinations of dragons...

It would be especially interesting if by the fourth or fifth adventure the dragon who was manipulating them decided to "sacrifice" them as pieces...

Since I've never heard of a "Xorvintaal" and had to go Google it, and since that seems to indicate it's Wizards of the Coast's intellectual property... no. Golarion dragons have nothing to do with it.


James Jacobs wrote:
Since I've never heard of a "Xorvintaal" and had to go Google it, and since that seems to indicate it's Wizards of the Coast's intellectual property... no. Golarion dragons have nothing to do with it.

Thank god I always thought it was dumb

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