Interesting Observation


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


The group that i play in is quite diverse, with some of the people playing in other groups as well. My campaign is a homebrew, and we were discussing the different adventure paths since 5 of the other campaigns that the different folks play in are all adventure paths. I have found the general interest in people wanting to play adventure paths to be very high and attributed this to an AP guarenteeing a uniform play experience with a promise to advance to higher levels.

Some of the others though, noted another factor; that they had observed the other players in their group to have intimate familiarity with the adventures to the point where they seemed to intuit where the hidden treasure was, or what to do next on a consistent basis. In a way, their characters were able to advance and suceed without challenge. Tangentially, i noted that some of the players in some of these groups appear to frequent these forums a lot and also appear to be reading up APs on a regular basis, and even appear to be subscribers. Personally, it rubs me the wrong way. Do others find any validity to this observation?


Given the rurally small sample size I have ( four), I can say that I don't have that problem. Of course, I play with adults who understand that ultimately, that means less fun for them.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's definitely a topic for the group to discuss if you're playing an AP.

In my game, I have no problem with a player reading ahead if they think it's going to give them more enjoyment - provided it doesnt impact on the other players' enjoyment.

I suspect your reaction is more common though - that there's something not right about players reading adventures they're playing in. Especially if they use that information.


If you're surreptitiously reading an adventure path in order to gain an advantage, that's cheating.

If you have some previous knowledge of an adventure path and you're up front about it and you're trying not to let it affect your gameplay, that's not cheating.

I don't know enough about your friends' cases to comment on which category they would fall into.


hogarth wrote:

If you're surreptitiously reading an adventure path in order to gain an advantage, that's cheating.

If you have some previous knowledge of an adventure path and you're up front about it and you're trying not to let it affect your gameplay, that's not cheating.

I don't know enough about your friends' cases to comment on which category they would fall into.

+1 to what Hogarth said.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've got the same issue in my group. Two of the other players also have AP subscriptions. The three of us have an "honor system" agreement that we won't read adventures we're not running. Otherwise, as Hogarth said, that's just cheating. And what's the point of that? Are you looking for "mad propz" by "winning" Pathfinder? :)

The only exception to the "no reading" rule is the gazeteers in the back. If they want to read up on the area we're adventuring in (specifically for more indepth character backgrounds, regional history and flavor), that's great! I have no problem with that and will often make handouts of those sections anyway.


I'd suggest that if you wanted to keep playing with these people then the DM probably has to "man up" and change the adventures - move some of the secret doors, treasures, monsters etc. around and change them to kee[ the "cheaters" on their toes..

Grand Lodge

I think it's much easier as a Player to use Metagame knowledge in published adventures, homebrew adventures from the same ole DM, and other cases where there's a consistent designer behind it all.

I think we as experienced Players automatically, subconsciously metagame once we get used to a particular DM, group or publishing company.

If you've never played in one of my games, for example, you're gonna build your PC the way you usually do -- but if you've gamed with me in the past and we start a new game, you'll build your PC making a few assumptions based on what typically shows up in my games. Likewise, if I join your group for the first time, the minutia of PC-builds and rulings-assumptions I bring are gonna be slightly different than what your group, and the DM, is used to. So it starts at the beginning with the PC build, but it continues to assumptions about BBEGs, mooks, traps & dungeon encounters -- everything.

Maybe the best strategies to combat this are to use a variety of DMs, some published adventures & some not, to use the Messageboards regularly to challenge yourself to see other ways to "play" your own game and to try to go to the occasional Con or Society event where you can play with totally different gamers, taking ideas and styles from them.


W E Ray wrote:

I think it's much easier as a Player to use Metagame knowledge in published adventures, homebrew adventures from the same ole DM, and other cases where there's a consistent designer behind it all.

I think we as experienced Players automatically, subconsciously metagame once we get used to a particular DM, group or publishing company.

If you've never played in one of my games, for example, you're gonna build your PC the way you usually do -- but if you've gamed with me in the past and we start a new game, you'll build your PC making a few assumptions based on what typically shows up in my games. Likewise, if I join your group for the first time, the minutia of PC-builds and rulings-assumptions I bring are gonna be slightly different than what your group, and the DM, is used to. So it starts at the beginning with the PC build, but it continues to assumptions about BBEGs, mooks, traps & dungeon encounters -- everything.

Maybe the best strategies to combat this are to use a variety of DMs, some published adventures & some not, to use the Messageboards regularly to challenge yourself to see other ways to "play" your own game and to try to go to the occasional Con or Society event where you can play with totally different gamers, taking ideas and styles from them.

I agree with this 100%. Especially after reading Jade Regant I think I would almost require my group to read another AP just so they can get an idea of some of the things that AP would require them to do.

There are some things that people should not know from playing other APs, but there is a play style that should be very familiar to them, and they should have no problem settling into that style and cruising through the APs naturally.


hogarth wrote:

If you're surreptitiously reading an adventure path in order to gain an advantage, that's cheating.

If you have some previous knowledge of an adventure path and you're up front about it and you're trying not to let it affect your gameplay, that's not cheating.

I don't know enough about your friends' cases to comment on which category they would fall into.

They've said that some of the folks in their games appear to know where to look for stuff, and exactly what to do in situations that you wouldnt necessarily know without intimate knowledge of the APs.

What kind of highlighted it to me was when i had a few folks who were looking for games who would only play in APs. I found that a bit odd at first, then chalked it up to uniform game experience, or a specific type of adventure that they might be looking for. However, i later came to realize that a couple of the folks appeared to be intimately familiar with APs based on their postings here and elsewhere.


Coltaine wrote:
What kind of highlighted it to me was when i had a few folks who were looking for games who would only play in APs. I found that a bit odd at first, then chalked it up to uniform game experience, or a specific type of adventure that they might be looking for. However, i later came to realize that a couple of the folks appeared to be intimately familiar with APs based on their postings here and elsewhere.

On a personal note, I much prefer to play in adventure paths because I've been in too many really shoddy home brew campaigns. :-)


hogarth wrote:
Coltaine wrote:
What kind of highlighted it to me was when i had a few folks who were looking for games who would only play in APs. I found that a bit odd at first, then chalked it up to uniform game experience, or a specific type of adventure that they might be looking for. However, i later came to realize that a couple of the folks appeared to be intimately familiar with APs based on their postings here and elsewhere.
On a personal note, I much prefer to play in adventure paths because I've been in too many really shoddy home brew campaigns. :-)

Blah. It's easy to run a non shoddy campaign; all you need are ninjas, dinosaurs, pirates and Sharks. Oh, and monkeys; if nothing else is working, toss a monkey at the party. :)

I hear ya though; hence the "uniform game experience" comment.


Coltaine wrote:


Oh, and monkeys; if nothing else is working, toss a monkey at the party. :)
I hear ya though; hence the "uniform game experience" comment.

where we play we call this "monkeying the guns"

Grand Lodge

With only a handful of exceptions over my last 31 years of gaming, homebrew campaigns suck boatloads when compared to published adventures.

But of course, this is a bit skewed because A, DMs choose the good published adventures to run instead of crappy ones and B, often modify the published material to fit the group specifically. (At least in my experience.)

But I will say this: In the last 5 or so years I've played in or DMed about 3 or 4 dozen adventures and with only two exceptions, the Homebrew adventures have royally SUCKED. Like you didn't want to even show up they were so pathetic (and I quit all but one of the sucky ones). Whereas the published adventures have all been "strong" or better, often spectacular.


I never run an AP exactly as published - well, not any more, at any rate. During the first one I ran, one of my players was "eerily precient" and it rankled me - so I decided to make some changes. He suddenly went from having an uncanny ability to know what to do, to being the worst prepared player. He was clearly miffed about it, but there wasn't anything he could do about it. The AP still followed the same general path, but I changed enough minor details to keep it from being "cheatable".


Coltaine wrote:
Oh, and monkeys; if nothing else is working, toss a monkey at the party. :)

I threw a swarm of rabid monkeys at my PCs in our SS campaign. They loved it! Got a great laugh from the whole situation.

And, yes, there was poo flinging . . .


W E Ray wrote:

With only a handful of exceptions over my last 31 years of gaming, homebrew campaigns suck boatloads when compared to published adventures.

But of course, this is a bit skewed because A, DMs choose the good published adventures to run instead of crappy ones and B, often modify the published material to fit the group specifically. (At least in my experience.)

But I will say this: In the last 5 or so years I've played in or DMed about 3 or 4 dozen adventures and with only two exceptions, the Homebrew adventures have royally SUCKED. Like you didn't want to even show up they were so pathetic (and I quit all but one of the sucky ones). Whereas the published adventures have all been "strong" or better, often spectacular.

I have never had this problem. Although my experience has been more with modules and adventures, and less with the APs, I think I would even go as far as to say that the Homebrew stuff has been even better then published stuff we have run. Maybe it is just the fact I play with the same people, and it has sort of been the same style of play the whole time. It seems to me that you would loose so much with published campaigns. There is not a lot of room to wing things and personalize everything the way you can in a homebrew.


+1 to that

much prefer homebrew. more character centred game than plot/setting centred AND everyone can have stronger ties if it is written for them

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