Paizo's Flagship Product -- A Possible Change?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

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Erik Mona wrote:

It's the room with the monster and the treasure in it.

What...an orc and a pie?

Edit: ninja'd. Twice.


Erik Mona wrote:

It's the room with the monster and the treasure in it.

Ok Mona, that one made me wet my pants so you owe me new pair. +1

I'm constantly gushing about my experience with the Kingmaker AP. It turned into a campaign world using only the first two books, that's pretty freakin impressive. I'm older than dirt, so I'm impressed when a company pulls something like this off. Granted, it was developed as a sandbox giving it the ability to do that, but if the story wasn't there, it couldn't have done it. Kudos.

For me, I like be arching stories. Using one AP, and only a third of it, my group has been playing and having a great time over a year. So, for me, I don't buy "the APs are too big" argument. There is plenty of room for a GM to expand the players' experience in the first books of all the APs I've seen. Heck, use the fast level track if you want to see all there is to see in a 6 book AP. Your a GM for pete's sake, make it yours.

Like to play modules due to time or whatever? They're there. Like the big doggies that span levels, APs are there.

With these two options (and let's not forget PFS), to take effort and resources away from the APs I think would leave a hole and is totally not in the financial playbook anyway (reading the other comments).

With all the 5e/D&Dnext talk, I'm sure there's a "well, what are you going to do about that" hitting the walls of Paizo. So without sounding like a kiss-***, the model is working, leave it be.

So, bring on Skull and Shak, I've got some money burning a hole in my pocket. ;)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I know it will never happen, but still, the idea of a one-time-only 2013 change to the APs excites me. Alter it to an 8 and 4 system, 8 books for the Return of Baba Yaga and actually get up into the Mythic realms, and then another, shorter 4 volume AP catering to the lower level E8 crowd.

It'll never happen, and I know all the reasons behind it, but we can all dream.


I still wish that the APs were pure "Dungeon" and there was a separate "Dragon" monthly book. I would buy both, but I guess the fear is that less people would buy a more "Dungeon"-y Adventure Path with a "Dragon"-y book out there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
W E Ray wrote:

Paizo ain't broke.

But it CAN be fixed!

Yeah, we saw how that worked out with the Forgotten Realms. :-/


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TOZ wrote:
Ah, that's the one I was missing. I was rather impressed to see in on the PX shelves in Afghanistan however.

KOBOLD QUARTERLY: Afghanistan's #1 RPG magazine!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo's doing very well. Don't change the Adventure Paths. There's plenty of room for innovation/experimentation re: different plots and settings within the system.

Liberty's Edge

I know it will never happen -- unless a 3PP does it -- but I'd like to see a Slow Advancement AP, preferably another sandbox based one (though not necessarily one focused on dominion rule).


I loved when Polyhedron was on the back of Dungeon. It was awesome. Shackled City was one of the first series of adventures I ran with any kind of continuity.

Dungeon was awesome. APs so far, just buying and reading them with the eventual intention to run them (if I can wrangle my group) are awesome.

Personally I would kill to see Polyhedron in print from Paizo. It was and still is my favorite RPG related thing. I LOVED seeing new games every other month/every month. The value of those magazines is enormous I think. You got so much in one issue it was amazing.


I only read about a third of the thread, and maybe this has been mentioned before, but what if Paizo did more connected modules. For example Crypt of the Everflame, Masks of The Living God, and The City of Golden Death (Though City of Golden Death was kind of bland) all tied in. They had options for running them separately.

On a side note if you do run those three Masks of the Living God is the most fun.

Back to the topic at hand. This model could represent your smaller AP want, and it would allow for them to take risks, but it would also mean that 3 modules are tied up in one story-line.

I would really like more modules to be tied in together, but that's me, and I'm also happy that every time a module comes out I have an option to buy a campaign that I probably haven't done.


Jay159 wrote:

I only read about a third of the thread, and maybe this has been mentioned before, but what if Paizo did more connected modules. For example Crypt of the Everflame, Masks of The Living God, and The City of Golden Death (Though City of Golden Death was kind of bland) all tied in. They had options for running them separately.

On a side note if you do run those three Masks of the Living God is the most fun.

Back to the topic at hand. This model could represent your smaller AP want, and it would allow for them to take risks, but it would also mean that 3 modules are tied up in one story-line.

I would really like more modules to be tied in together, but that's me, and I'm also happy that every time a module comes out I have an option to buy a campaign that I probably haven't done.

I really like the linked module series as well. Not that every module needs to be part of one, but a 2- or 3-issue series every 12 to 18 months would be cool.

A) They're easier to insert into GM-campaigns (as opposed to APs)

B) They scratch my nostalgia itch

C) There's a lot of cool ideas in the module line that could be fleshed out further in this kind of approach.

D) (and this one's a biggie, IMO), the level spread is easier to control where the APs have to follow a more rigid advancement progression.


What I would like to see added would be a yaerly book with the changes and events that took place over that year.

The first part could be a summarization of the modules and APs that took place, where they were and what impact they had on the setting. The idea is that the Golarian's years go by 1 for 1 with ours right?

If a larger-than-normal adventure could be released with that has another higher-than-average event that would take us into the next year, that would be great.

That way we could get a higher scale event, with a listing of all the canon events that took place that year without having to play through an entire AP every time.

Paizo would also be getting free self-advertising for their own products wrapped in.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wouldn't work for people new to Golarion or the APs who want to go back and play Curse of the Crimson Throne or Legacy of Fire if that stuff has officially already played out. Obsoleting their own products makes it harder for Paizo to sell their back catalog. Officially, nothing happens in each individual group's version of Golarion unless their DM chooses to make it canon or until they've run that AP. With a few exceptions (the upcoming Shattered Star AP takes place after the events of RotRL and CotCT), Paizo products don't have to be played in any particular order.


Nobody said they could not play it out whenver they wanted at whatever time scale THEY elect to, but the implications of the APs are that there is a sequence of events that are taking place at any given time. No one is telling people how/when to play the products.

I am just saying that there has been an effort in their products already to emphasize that the world rolls along at a nearly year for year pace, why not cap it with an event as well? Those could be played whenver the DMs decided as well.

I like the idea of an organic world that has a bit of change to it. FR had the same thing to an extant, EXCEPT that when they decided to change thigs, or make world wide events, they tended to mark drastic, sometimes horrible alterations.

This would be on a smaller scale, but still worthy enough to mark a yearly occurance.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wes Schneider on mega-events in Golarion

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
JohnLocke wrote:
To be honest, Paizo might do well by avoiding big metaplotty events for Golarion altogether.

That's definitely part of it. Nearly everyone playing in Golarion bought a big expensive campaign setting book and the last thing we want to do is say "Oh that's all wrong now" for whole sections or, worse, the whole thing. That said, if you look at the differences between the first incarnation of the campaign setting and the second, the timeline has advanced. Although we generally assume with the Adventure Paths that none of the APs have happened - allowing GMs to choose how the world has moved from the campaign setting text - we do have some plots coming down the line that have different assumptions.

By and large, though, we want GMs to make the calls about how and when the world's big changes take place. We don't want to put out some supplement that says "Oh yeah, that home campaign you've been running, we smashed its setting. Hope you weren't enjoying it." However, we do plan to advance the timeline again in the future, but that's the sort of thing that will be a big deal - not something that just sneaks by.

(Not sure if that's exactly what you're talking about, but the official Paizo take on it, as a rule, is that changes to the campaign setting are made by the players and DM, not just by time advancing.)


I recently took the plunge and subscribed to the adventure paths, although I have a decent collection of them on my shelves. I subscribed because of my playgroup, who finally voiced their hatred of unconnected, random adventures. That's right, a playgroup that wants an adventure that will take a while, and I agree with them. The 2 campaigns a year format is perfect, and changing that to do anything resembling Dungeon magazine (a periodical I can honestly say only ever gave me one usable adventure, and that itself was an adventure path; The Shackled City) would be an instant way to get me to cancel my subscription. If I want a handful of tiny encounters I can go to the 3PP's and spend a few dollars and get just that, there are quite a few companies making them, and their decent, for what they are. But I like an adventure that has a story to tell, and needs time to do it.

@OP There are several 3PP's out there producing their own Adventure Paths as well since you seem to be worried about Paizo's creativity, perhaps you could supplement your AP's with a few of those? And as far as now being a great time to shake things up simply because a bloated company that has taken advantage of its customer base financially for far to long has decided to have yet another identity crisis....I think paizo is doing just fine working off of their own schedule.


James Jacobs wrote:
... but those changes are, nowadays, relatively small. Things like adding an NPC index and magic item appendix like we did with Jade Regent.

Wow, I didn't realize those were recent additions. Granted, I started with Jade Regent but the NPC galleries and Magic Item appendixes are very handy sections. Great reads too. So is it safe to assume that these are here to stay for future APs?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Yup; folks have reacted VERY positively to the NPC and magic item inclusions.

I suspect that they MIGHT indirectly result in APs not getting to as high level, though... so in the future the NPC sections will be reducing to 2 to 3 per adventure, and the support articles might be shortening a little as well. We're still figuring it all out!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I suspect that they MIGHT indirectly result in APs not getting to as high level, though...

As much as I like the NPC and Magic Item articles, I like the high level adventures more. I hope you continue to make room for them if this is the case!


I like the magic item articles a lot and of course really like the Beastiaries. The other articles very greatly in the interest department so I can take them or leave them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

i also like npc and magic item galleries. however like the pre-gen pcs at the back of previous aps i'd sacrifice them in a heartbeat for more adventure content and the extra articles included. also i LOVE the bestiaries so more in those is appreciated.


I have not seen the appendices yet but I don't like the idea of shortening the adventures to support them. I don't mind at all shortening or even occasionally removing the other articles and/or bestiaries though. I believe the adventure part of the AP should always take precedence over the rest. My 2 cents.


I'm curious why there isn't a separate product for NPC's stats in which there is no room to stat out within the AP. The core AP could still be used but there is somehting else that can be used as a companion. Maybe not a print edition but a PDF version that costs maybe something like $5.99 to non-subscribers and free to subscribers. I would buy it for sure. In Kingmaker I would have spent a pretty penny on seeing stats for Loy, Oleg, Svetlana, Lord Varn, etc.

I know you do this for maps, but some map products are worth it and some aren't. Kingmakers was critical, SS was nice, but I had no need for the CC maps (so I didn't buy the CC maps).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

captain yesterday wrote:
i also like npc and magic item galleries. however like the pre-gen pcs at the back of previous aps i'd sacrifice them in a heartbeat for more adventure content and the extra articles included. also i LOVE the bestiaries so more in those is appreciated.

On a monthly schedule, we simply can't really add more adventure content, really. It's more or less the laws of physics—45 to 50 pages is about the limit of what can be developed by 1 person in 1 month. And... like gestating babies... adding more workers to the task does not let you speed the process up. You can develop multiple 50 page things at the same time in the course of a monthly window, just as multiple women can gestate multiple babies in a 9 month window... but throwing more people at the problem doesn't speed that process up.

Therefore, while the contents of an AP often shift and change, the length of the actual adventure content (which DOES include the NPCs and magic items in this case, since they're so tightly integrated into each other) maxes out at about 50 pages. Which means the rest of the volume HAS to be something else.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Biobeast wrote:

I'm curious why there isn't a separate product for NPC's stats in which there is no room to stat out within the AP. The core AP could still be used but there is somehting else that can be used as a companion. Maybe not a print edition but a PDF version that costs maybe something like $5.99 to non-subscribers and free to subscribers. I would buy it for sure. In Kingmaker I would have spent a pretty penny on seeing stats for Loy, Oleg, Svetlana, Lord Varn, etc.

I know you do this for maps, but some map products are worth it and some aren't. Kingmakers was critical, SS was nice, but I had no need for the CC maps (so I didn't buy the CC maps).

Because folks get really angry when faced with the idea that in order to run an adventure, the publisher is "tricking or forcing" them into buying other books. I think we're already kind of pushing the limits on what we DO assume folks buy in order to run adventures—the fact that the rules are all online for free is what lets us really get away with things like short stat blocks for critters from Bestiaries.

Part of the point of an adventure is that it has all the tools you need to do the job in the adventure. We've never quite hit that 100%, but we aim to be as close to 100% self-support as we can, and calving off important NPC stats to a separate product is going too far.


Biobeast wrote:

I'm curious why there isn't a separate product for NPC's stats in which there is no room to stat out within the AP. The core AP could still be used but there is somehting else that can be used as a companion. Maybe not a print edition but a PDF version that costs maybe something like $5.99 to non-subscribers and free to subscribers. I would buy it for sure. In Kingmaker I would have spent a pretty penny on seeing stats for Loy, Oleg, Svetlana, Lord Varn, etc.

I know you do this for maps, but some map products are worth it and some aren't. Kingmakers was critical, SS was nice, but I had no need for the CC maps (so I didn't buy the CC maps).

Not a bad idea. I could see buying it.

BTW, and I think this was already raised as a topic, the CC map portfolio IMHO has not been useful at all. In fact, I've stopped even bringing the maps to my sessions.

In the future I'd like to see the map portfolio contain at least one 5' square battle map suitable for figures. It doesn't need to be a specific AP location but it should have the flavor of the AP in mind. From now on I won't be buying any map portfolios. They have been getting less and less useful right up to now, where for CC they are not used at all in my games.


James Jacobs wrote:
Biobeast wrote:

I'm curious why there isn't a separate product for NPC's stats in which there is no room to stat out within the AP. The core AP could still be used but there is somehting else that can be used as a companion. Maybe not a print edition but a PDF version that costs maybe something like $5.99 to non-subscribers and free to subscribers. I would buy it for sure. In Kingmaker I would have spent a pretty penny on seeing stats for Loy, Oleg, Svetlana, Lord Varn, etc.

I know you do this for maps, but some map products are worth it and some aren't. Kingmakers was critical, SS was nice, but I had no need for the CC maps (so I didn't buy the CC maps).

Because folks get really angry when faced with the idea that in order to run an adventure, the publisher is "tricking or forcing" them into buying other books. I think we're already kind of pushing the limits on what we DO assume folks buy in order to run adventures—the fact that the rules are all online for free is what lets us really get away with things like short stat blocks for critters from Bestiaries.

Part of the point of an adventure is that it has all the tools you need to do the job in the adventure. We've never quite hit that 100%, but we aim to be as close to 100% self-support as we can, and calving off important NPC stats to a separate product is going too far.

I can see that but I'm not talking about the main people needed to run the adventure. I'm talking about the NPC's that are currently not stated out. the secondary ones in which you currenly only publish name, level, race, class, & alignment


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Personally I've found the NPC appendix and other supplemental articles in Souls for the Smuggler's Shiv to be essential and very worthwhile. Also, the corresponding high-resolution large-area map of the island really helped out my game a lot compared to battle maps of areas that the party might only visit a single time.

IMO, that should be the key factor that determines whether a locale is included in a Map Folio: if it's a location that will see repeated use then print it, otherwise I'd rather not spend money on a collection of generic 1-shot areas that I could easily make myself in MapTool or draw on a Flip-Mat.


James Jacobs wrote:


Because folks get really angry when faced with the idea that in order to run an adventure, the publisher is "tricking or forcing" them into buying other books. I think we're already kind of pushing the limits on what we DO assume folks buy in order to run adventures—the fact that the rules are all online for free is what lets us really get away with things like short stat blocks for critters from Bestiaries.

Part of the point of an adventure is that it has all the tools you need to do the job in the adventure. We've never quite hit that 100%, but we aim to be as close to 100% self-support as we can, and calving off important NPC stats to a separate product is going too far.

Maybe, but to me this is different. If these "NPC Guides" were branded as part of the AP (like the players guides and map folios are today) that would be quite different from the rules bloat issue. With the additional rules issue the main problem is that you are expected to purchase (or otherwise acquire) select rules from an enormous tome that you wouldn't otherwise be buying. With the "NPC guide" approach you would know exactly what you need to buy (the guide for the AP you are running) and you would know that everything in the guide will be used in the AP, no wasted purchases.

For example, Carrion Crown uses rules from the APG occasionally, but if I go out and buy the APG I will only utilize it in the AP (as written) a handful of times and only utilize a tiny fraction of the content of the APG. This gives the appearance of a "forced and bloated" purchase.

However with the "NPC guide" idea you know 100% of the content will be utilized in the AP and the content you are purchasing would be much smaller than a rule book and the "NPC guide" would be labeled as specifically for the AP you are running so there would be no issue of what to buy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Biobeast wrote:
I can see that but I'm not talking about the main people needed to run the adventure. I'm talking about the NPC's that are currently not stated out. the secondary ones in which you currenly only publish name, level, race, class, & alignment

Ah. Well... that brings up a similar concern. Since the amount of editing, design, layout, and development that goes into a PDF product is identical to the amount of work that goes into a print product, doing a supplementary stat block booklet would take up a lot of time that we don't currently have to spare.


James Jacobs wrote:


I suspect that they MIGHT indirectly result in APs not getting to as high level, though... so in the future the NPC sections will be reducing to 2 to 3 per adventure, and the support articles might be shortening a little as well. We're still figuring it all out!

In my humble opinion, there's no reason whatsoever to include massive backstories and statistics for certain characters.

Off of the top of my head-- Goti Runecaster is a throwaway encounter with someone who hardly even matters, but he has a 2 page statblock, backstory and personal art. O-Sayumi doesn't even engage in combat-- why does she need a highly personalized stat block? Vesundvaag is only tolerable because she's a dragon type that doesn't show up in the bestiary (and less tolerable because I'll likely be increasing her CR to make up for her being a single target on the battlefield). Sikutsu Sennaka is take-or-leave.

I felt like book 4 had it correct-- three stat blocks, one of of which was a two-page statblock, for the two main villains and the PC's new ally.

And while I'm giving feedback... no more split tactics between book and the NPC's statblock. :(

Shadow Lodge

Wow. A long thread and I've missed out a lot of posts, so apologies if this comment has been said by someone else...

My thoughts of the ADVENTURE PATHS are that they are absolutely superb, and deliver a great series of modules that propels a party from 1st up to higher levels having a linked, common theme with enough difference in each module that the players stay interested and motivated with fresh challenges and new encounters, 'bad guys' and terrain...

I would say Paizo would be utterly insane to move away from a stable product model such as these, which is guaranteed, predictable income for the designers, and represents conintual deliverance of bottom-line from a business perspective.

From a gamer's point of view, they could of course be enhanced in many ways... I would personally enhance them by the use of online pdfs like MINIATURES FLOORPLANS that could be downloaded, so that encounters using miniatures can use awesome-looking 'official' battle layouts, making use of the old wipe-off pens on the battlemat less frequent. The use of more pictures, HANDOUTS and the like would also not go amiss - I feel this is one of the weakest areas of the Adventure Paths, and I would be happy to pay extra for these as available downloads - the good old-fashioned hand-out booklet.

So, for me, make each ADVENTURE PATH available as follows:

1) Purchase the hard-copy module booklet.
2) Download a module pdf.
3) Download the Miniatures Floor Plans pdfs for each module.
4) Download a booklet of pictures and Handouts in pdf for each module.

Of course, Paizo could ALSO still release modules in the traditional 'one-off' format, and in MEGA MODULE formats that contain all manner of extra goodies (like all the above four points in one physical boxed set, plus special limited-edition dice etc. BUT, I'd make this a 'both-and' on top of the usual Adventure Path system.

So, in summary:
- Keep the ADVENTURE PATH system,
- Add more optional pdf download options,
- Keep singular MODULES,
- And add the occasional release of limited release, all-singing, all-dancing MEGA MODULES/CAMPAIGNS (like the old D&D boxed sets such as Menzoberranzan, but turbo-charged).

Just my thoughts...

The Exchange

Biobeast wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Biobeast wrote:

I'm curious why there isn't a separate product for NPC's stats in which there is no room to stat out within the AP. The core AP could still be used but there is somehting else that can be used as a companion. Maybe not a print edition but a PDF version that costs maybe something like $5.99 to non-subscribers and free to subscribers. I would buy it for sure. In Kingmaker I would have spent a pretty penny on seeing stats for Loy, Oleg, Svetlana, Lord Varn, etc.

I know you do this for maps, but some map products are worth it and some aren't. Kingmakers was critical, SS was nice, but I had no need for the CC maps (so I didn't buy the CC maps).

Because folks get really angry when faced with the idea that in order to run an adventure, the publisher is "tricking or forcing" them into buying other books. I think we're already kind of pushing the limits on what we DO assume folks buy in order to run adventures—the fact that the rules are all online for free is what lets us really get away with things like short stat blocks for critters from Bestiaries.

Part of the point of an adventure is that it has all the tools you need to do the job in the adventure. We've never quite hit that 100%, but we aim to be as close to 100% self-support as we can, and calving off important NPC stats to a separate product is going too far.

I can see that but I'm not talking about the main people needed to run the adventure. I'm talking about the NPC's that are currently not stated out. the secondary ones in which you currenly only publish name, level, race, class, & alignment

Don't suppose you have a copy of the dungeon mastery guide?

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

Chernobyl wrote:
Biobeast wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Biobeast wrote:

I'm curious why there isn't a separate product for NPC's stats in which there is no room to stat out within the AP. The core AP could still be used but there is somehting else that can be used as a companion. Maybe not a print edition but a PDF version that costs maybe something like $5.99 to non-subscribers and free to subscribers. I would buy it for sure. In Kingmaker I would have spent a pretty penny on seeing stats for Loy, Oleg, Svetlana, Lord Varn, etc.

I know you do this for maps, but some map products are worth it and some aren't. Kingmakers was critical, SS was nice, but I had no need for the CC maps (so I didn't buy the CC maps).

Because folks get really angry when faced with the idea that in order to run an adventure, the publisher is "tricking or forcing" them into buying other books. I think we're already kind of pushing the limits on what we DO assume folks buy in order to run adventures—the fact that the rules are all online for free is what lets us really get away with things like short stat blocks for critters from Bestiaries.

Part of the point of an adventure is that it has all the tools you need to do the job in the adventure. We've never quite hit that 100%, but we aim to be as close to 100% self-support as we can, and calving off important NPC stats to a separate product is going too far.

I can see that but I'm not talking about the main people needed to run the adventure. I'm talking about the NPC's that are currently not stated out. the secondary ones in which you currenly only publish name, level, race, class, & alignment

Don't suppose you have a copy of the dungeon mastery guide?

Shhhhh... the IP lawyers will hear you! That's GAMEmastery Guide, thank you very much... :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
i also like npc and magic item galleries. however like the pre-gen pcs at the back of previous aps i'd sacrifice them in a heartbeat for more adventure content and the extra articles included. also i LOVE the bestiaries so more in those is appreciated.

On a monthly schedule, we simply can't really add more adventure content, really. It's more or less the laws of physics—45 to 50 pages is about the limit of what can be developed by 1 person in 1 month. And... like gestating babies... adding more workers to the task does not let you speed the process up. You can develop multiple 50 page things at the same time in the course of a monthly window, just as multiple women can gestate multiple babies in a 9 month window... but throwing more people at the problem doesn't speed that process up.

Therefore, while the contents of an AP often shift and change, the length of the actual adventure content (which DOES include the NPCs and magic items in this case, since they're so tightly integrated into each other) maxes out at about 50 pages. Which means the rest of the volume HAS to be something else.

I accept it wouldn't double the output, but why can't you give the developer a longer lead in time and give them two months to work on the first AP instalment with a different developer beginning work on AP2 halfway through so that development could be "offset" whilst still releasing monthly instalments?

hmm, hope that question makes sense...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Steve Geddes wrote:

I accept it wouldn't double the output, but why can't you give the developer a longer lead in time and give them two months to work on the first AP instalment with a different developer beginning work on AP2 halfway through so that development could be "offset" whilst still releasing monthly instalments?

hmm, hope that question makes sense...

That's actually exactly what we're trying to do now with Skull & Shackles and Shattered Star. We haven't tried this before for the simple reason that until recently, we didn't have the manpower or resources to have two people dedicated to different APs in that way—it was pretty much just one person (me) doing the adventure development from Runelords to Kingmaker, then a different person (Rob) doing adventure development from Serpent's Skull to Skull & Shackles while I shifted gears to the Pathfinder campaign setting line and things like the Inner Sea World Guide and the Runelords hardcover.

But starting with Shattered Star, if all FINALLY goes to plan, I'll start developing that one before Rob finishes developing Skull & Shackles... and then he'll start developing the (still unannounced) AP after Shattered Star while I'm still working on that one.

(Switching developers in the middle of an AP is not a good idea, in any event, since there has to be at least ONE person who follows through from start to end on an entire AP!)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sooo ... about dropping fiction out of APs? Now that we have a fiction line, weekly blog fiction and stuff...

*Gorbacz's hopeless post on the matter, episode 352*


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
(Switching developers in the middle of an AP is not a good idea, in any event, since there has to be at least ONE person who follows through from start to end on an entire AP!)

Cheers. That makes sense.

I never really understand what all the roles are, to be frank.


I'm quiet happy with the APs as they are. Yeah there are a few rough spots in them and they can sag a bit in the middle and/or at the end, but I think they're really well put together.

If Paizo is to do anything new I'd really like to see a regular book of challenges and set piece encounters that you slip into adventures. I'd say thats probably about all they could add to the line up without ramping up the added rules.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

It's the room with the monster and the treasure in it.

I prefer that room to the one with the monster and no treasure. Repetition of that one gets old real fast...


Gorbacz wrote:

Sooo ... about dropping fiction out of APs? Now that we have a fiction line, weekly blog fiction and stuff...

*Gorbacz's hopeless post on the matter, episode 352*

FWIW, now that we have plenty of PF fiction around, I'm not totally against this anymore. Maybe let parts 5 and 6 of the AP breathe a bit more by suspending the fiction in them.

Grand Lodge

@ Prime Evil,

Mona was making a very funny reference to the famous Orc N Pie "teacher" module by Monte Cook back in the 90s. I think the actual title is "The Official Shortest Adventure Ever" or something like that but it's universally known as Orc N Pie


Gorbacz wrote:

Sooo ... about dropping fiction out of APs? Now that we have a fiction line, weekly blog fiction and stuff...

*Gorbacz's hopeless post on the matter, episode 352*

*raises hand* you have my vote

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

I like the fiction. A lot. Especially since I rather dislike reading prose online.


I don't know if it would fit the production pattern that Paizo wants, but I'd like to see the Adventure Paths cut down to four installments. I've read about half of the APs, and six installments is just too long to avoid down spots and maintain a strong momentum.

It's like taking a good short story and making it a two hour tv movie instead of a 60 minute regular episode. Something the Jeremy Brett/Granada Sherlock Holmes tv series ran into.

Make one AP installment equal to 3 modules for purposes of page count (that's an uneven assertion with the fiction, etc). But that would be about an 18 module adventure. Yeesh! Instead, a few linked modules (like the Darkmoon Vale stuff) would be nice. Or a shorter AP.

Might result in more completed AP PbPs if they had four episodes instead of six, as well..

And with the supporting products tie in, if you don't like the theme of the AP, you're not interested in a significant number of pathfinder products in a year. Shorter AP, less time to be 'stuck' with an asian-themed deluge of products.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@HolmesandWatson, there are already people complaining the APs don't take PCs to a high-enough level. Topping out at level 11 or 12 after book 4 isn't going to make the people wanting to go to level 20 happy. And James has stated elsewhere that the quantity of actual adventure text is already at the limit for what can be fit into a monthly schedule, so you can't stuff more adventure into each book.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gorbacz wrote:

Sooo ... about dropping fiction out of APs? Now that we have a fiction line, weekly blog fiction and stuff...

*Gorbacz's hopeless post on the matter, episode 352*

Nope.

I've said it before and it hasn't changed.

Fiction in the AP may be polarizing, but more people like it than not. And it lets us explore portions of the world in ways we can't explore in other print products. And it lets us find and try out new fiction authors. And it REALLY helps to distribute the workload—if we didn't do fiction, those 6 pages would have to be handled by the AP's other developers who are already scrambling to handle the rest of the product's contents. Six pages might not seem like a lot, but being able to hand off 6 pages a month (along with the concept and development work—which is VERY different for fiction than it is for adventures and game material) to James Sutter, our Fiction Editor, is immensely helpful.

And we at Paizo enjoy the fiction. That counts for a lot.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joana wrote:
@HolmesandWatson, there are already people complaining the APs don't take PCs to a high-enough level. Topping out at level 11 or 12 after book 4 isn't going to make the people wanting to go to level 20 happy. And James has stated elsewhere that the quantity of actual adventure text is already at the limit for what can be fit into a monthly schedule, so you can't stuff more adventure into each book.

In addition... the middle adventures are the easy ones. The HARDEST part of an AP is starting it and ending it, because that involves more than just adventure development. Starting it requires the creation of an outline and concepts for the entire thing—a process that takes a LOT of work. Ending it requires the creation of a "Continuing the Campaign" article. Increasing those two sets of tasks to 3 times a year instead of 2 times would make it more difficult to pull off a monthly AP product, and as you can see by the fact that we're constantly struggling with keeping the thing on schedule... ANYTHING that makes it more complicated to produce is not really an option.

Especially, as in the case of doing 3 four-parters, that change would not only increase complexity, but result in an overall poor reaction from most of our customers, who, if anything, are asking for LONGER adventure paths overall (in that, as mentioned above, folks want APs that go to 20th level).

We've taken more steps recently to address the fact that our current methods of producing an AP aren't as efficient as they need to be, and I'm confident that over the course of 2012 we'll be able to get back on schedule and, more importantly, STAY on schedule—I can't really talk too much about those plans for the moment, but once we're comfortably on schedule... THAT'S the point to start thinking about making things more complicated. And even then I'd step carefully.


1) have someone make a version of the PRD that can be viewed while offline (can be easier/faster to search than print and PDF), sell it cheap or give it for free... etc ...

2) make a faster XP track thingy; less XP needed = less encounters needed = ... well you can figure it out.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Sooo ... about dropping fiction out of APs? Now that we have a fiction line, weekly blog fiction and stuff...

*Gorbacz's hopeless post on the matter, episode 352*

Nope.

I've said it before and it hasn't changed.

Fiction in the AP may be polarizing, but more people like it than not. And it lets us explore portions of the world in ways we can't explore in other print products. And it lets us find and try out new fiction authors. And it REALLY helps to distribute the workload—if we didn't do fiction, those 6 pages would have to be handled by the AP's other developers who are already scrambling to handle the rest of the product's contents. Six pages might not seem like a lot, but being able to hand off 6 pages a month (along with the concept and development work—which is VERY different for fiction than it is for adventures and game material) to James Sutter, our Fiction Editor, is immensely helpful.

And we at Paizo enjoy the fiction. That counts for a lot.

We will fight...at the beaches... in the air... we'll never surrender!

Unless it's all going to be written by Sutter.

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