Please replace Adventure Path fiction with better maps!


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

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Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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FYI, a full-page map costs about 4–5 times as much as a page full of text. Words are cheap. :p

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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James Sutter wrote:
Sebastian is right on the money

The sweetest words in the English language...

James Sutter wrote:

So what do you think?

Here's a random idea for a column that's cropped up based on the logistics conversation - what about a retrospective column on prior APs. A last opportunity to fix/patch problems, expand portions, or otherwise re-visit a topic raised by a prior AP. It could be additional rules for kingdom building, Nualia's more detailed backstory, or another encounter that ties together two volumes of an AP or provides a bridge into a module. Think of it as an advertisement for the Paizo back catalogue and reward for your long term, continuity minded readers (plus, an additional incentive to subscribe).


I'll echo Gorbacz and Zaister on this. I really like Pathfinder fiction and I buy all the novels and try to keep up and read all the web fiction. However, with this increase in content for fiction there is less need to keep it in the APs as well. I always understood why it was there for years as it was the only outlet Paizo had to release in-world fiction for Golarion. Fair enough and I enjoyed it, but now with two new avenues for fiction (possibly more efficient: with the web series occurring more frequently than AP fiction and the novels reaching a wider audience than AP fiction) is there really any need for the fiction in the APs any more? Certainly, more gaming content is always welcome.

Adam Daigle wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
The real thing isn't cutting an author's turnover. The real thing is the second part of hogarth's post—there's just not enough time to expand the adventure that much more. As it is, it takes a month to develop the adventure in each AP installment. Since they come out each month, adding more content to the adventure would make us slip our schedule, which is something no one wants to see.

Does this include support articles that are specifically related to the AP at hand?

If so, why, and how does it differ from the fiction?

Nope. I was speaking mainly to the adventure, which is Rob's and James' job. The rest of the book is my domain, aside from the fiction that James Sutter outlines, assigns, and develops. If the fiction was removed from the AP I wouldn't imagine seeing longer adventures, but rather additional articles.

And that's just fine. I can only speak for myself, but I certainly don't expect the adventures to become longer if the fiction is cut. Replacing it with more articles or larger articles is what I would like to see anyway. And it seems to be the standard request by others as well whenever this issue crops up - less fiction, more support articles.

Now, obviously, replacing the fiction with maps is not the way to go; or anything else that would cause a jump in production costs and the like. However, I don't think it's too far-fetched to say that the support articles could benefit from a little extra breathing room. Sometimes we only get one article because there's not enough space or articles need to be moved around from one issue to another to make room or things get cut.

Also, the size of support articles have shown to be much more flexible than the size of the fiction. Which means that when authors do turn over more material than can be fit into an adventure there's more flexibility on what to cut - trim a little from the adventure and maybe trim a little from a support article. Or, if the support article hasn't been written yet before the adventure turn-over comes in you have the option of ordering a smaller support article. Just to reiterate, I don't see this last benefit (cutting less from the adventure) as an expectation if the fiction is replaced, merely as an additional and occasional bonus. If the adventures as still always cut to the same length regardless of turnover and we always get the same-sized additional support article (in place of the fiction) that would be just fine.

Dark Archive

I'd like to see the fiction dropped.


Sebastian wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

So what do you think?

Here's a random idea for a column that's cropped up based on the logistics conversation - what about a retrospective column on prior APs. A last opportunity to fix/patch problems, expand portions, or otherwise re-visit a topic raised by a prior AP. It could be additional rules for kingdom building, Nualia's more detailed backstory, or another encounter that ties together two volumes of an AP or provides a bridge into a module. Think of it as an advertisement for the Paizo back catalogue and reward for your long term, continuity minded readers (plus, an additional incentive to subscribe).

I like it! +1 to this in addition to my prior suggestions.


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I vote for the fiction being replaced by something that is related to the adventure path, if not maps then something detailing the story of the AP more, troubleshooting, or more detailed background. The fiction is good, but if I am buying an AP I want as much content related to the AP as possible.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If the fiction gets replaced I'd rather see it replaced with something equally player friendly. Some of us who subscribe to the AP line might not get to read much of the adventure until after someone has run it for us. The fiction is player safe and whets my appetite for the AP.

So what does that mean:

Worm Food was an okay model for this. Each month a player friendly article tied to the themes or needs of the adventure. With Ultimate Campaign coming out, this style of article could expand on the rules in that book while also utilising the flavour of the AP.


Orthos wrote:
drumlord wrote:
I realized that amid my complaints I didn't address the OP. I don't need more maps in the AP usually, and certainly not 1" scale maps. PDFs are great for that kind of thing. I see Adam's point too about not being able to simply expand the adventure. Mostly I'd like the pages to be used for expanded or extra supplemental material (city, creature, npc, deity articles) related to the AP. This is why people love Sandpoint so much, because we got so much information about its locations and NPCs.
This is the kind of thing I could go for as well.

Thumbs up for this.

Sebastian wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
So what do you think?
Here's a random idea for a column that's cropped up based on the logistics conversation - what about a retrospective column on prior APs. A last opportunity to fix/patch problems, expand portions, or otherwise re-visit a topic raised by a prior AP. It could be additional rules for kingdom building, Nualia's more detailed backstory, or another encounter that ties together two volumes of an AP or provides a bridge into a module. Think of it as an advertisement for the Paizo back catalogue and reward for your long term, continuity minded readers (plus, an additional incentive to subscribe).

The problem with this would be that, as stated, modules are written by different authors and when the first comes out, the second is already being revised for the final release. It would be difficult to add something like this at the last moment, I think.


I like the fiction in the AP's (no surpise there). When I run an AP, I can have my players read the fiction to get an idea for the "feel" of where their characters come from and what to expect in the adventure. Some of the novels are also good for this purpose.

Also, although I subscribe to the AP's, two other folks in my gaming group ALSO subscribe to them. We all have an unwritten understanding that, to avoid spoilers, we don't read the actual adventure unless we are planning to run it for the group. So there are a couple AP's that I read the backmatter for, but not the actual adventure.

The fiction is what I read first.

-Aaron


MistChild wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
So what do you think?
Here's a random idea for a column that's cropped up based on the logistics conversation - what about a retrospective column on prior APs. A last opportunity to fix/patch problems, expand portions, or otherwise re-visit a topic raised by a prior AP. It could be additional rules for kingdom building, Nualia's more detailed backstory, or another encounter that ties together two volumes of an AP or provides a bridge into a module. Think of it as an advertisement for the Paizo back catalogue and reward for your long term, continuity minded readers (plus, an additional incentive to subscribe).
The problem with this would be that, as stated, modules are written by different authors and when the first comes out, the second is already being revised for the final release. It would be difficult to add something like this at the last moment, I think.

Key word is "Retrospective". He means looking back to APs before the one in which the article is printed.

For example, have a few articles looking back on Shattered Star inside Reign of Winter, or a few on Reign of Winter inside Wrath of the Righteous.

Dark Archive

I'd rather have more detailed maps of the locales (the Shackles Isles for example) than some added on fiction. The fiction just wastes space that useful maps can take up. Aggregate the fiction for the AP and put it in the players guide PDF for download. Make more detailed maps for the AP in that space.


Orthos wrote:
Key word is "Retrospective". He means looking back to APs before the one in which the article is printed.

Got it. I thought he was talking about the modules of the same AP. In this case, thumbs up for this too.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I'd be happy with the fiction being dropped and replaced with more articles. I'm not a huge fan of short stories and like them even less when they are divided up among 6 books.


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James Sutter wrote:
So please, regardless of which side of the fence you're on, don't be shy about giving us your opinions! If you'd rather that space be filled with more support articles (longer adventures is *not* an option), tell us that, as well as what sorts of additional articles you'd like to see.

More support articles. What kind of support articles? Anything that's not random fiction! Articles that directly tie into and support that specific AP.

Examples?
- Gazetteers are always good. For example, actually detailing Turtleback Ferry in RotRL #3. Or an ongoing gazetteer detailing/expanding Westcrown in CoT. (But not Iobaria in Kingmaker #3, which was simply too divorced from that specific AP.)
- Magic items and/or spells (again, tied to that AP). So, RotRL could have items/spells related to the Runelords.
- Expanded monster section
- Expanded NPC backgrounds that are important to that book (or that AP)
- Designer notes for that book
- Maps (yeah, I know they're expensive... but you asked)
- Side adventures (yeah, I know there were issues in the past... but they're still better than the fiction)

Etc.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

"Restrospective" was definitely the intended key word (along with the adjective "prior" immediately preceding the word "APs"). It also seems like an ideal entry point for new talent - a lot of good resources/modifications/etc. get developed on the forums over the course of an AP (and I'm sure even more gets developed at home and doesn't make it into the forums), and having that published in an official capacity would be great. Sure, it wouldn't directly relate to the contents of the AP in which it appears, but if it replaced the fiction, that's a net zero change.


Sebastian wrote:
the adjective "prior" immediately preceding the word "APs"

That's what I missed, thanks for the clarification.


More support articles would be good.

Another possibility: short, fairly generic encounters set in the same area as the AP. Some examples:

- In an outdoorsy adventure such as Kingmaker, a 1 page encounter in which a tearful six-year-old boy asks the PCs to rescue his cat from a tree it's gotten stuck in -- complicated by the fact that the tree is a treant taking a nap.

- In an urban adventure (I'm thinking Ashes at Dawn from Carrion Crown), a 2-3 page mini-adventure: local heiress Kirala Anjostou needs a security detail for her wedding festivities. Looks like a cakewalk, till the parents she poisoned show up as a revenants.

Stuff like that. Short. No maps, maybe a stat block if a stock one won't do. No direct tie to the main campaign plotline, but set in the same area so it can be thrown in as a side quest or just a fun stand-alone encounter.

Sczarni

I'm surprised that I don't find myself reading the AP fiction. In principle, I ought to really like it. I read most of the website fiction. And the AP fiction is not badly done. I even love the black & white art in them. But somehow, I just don't read the stories. Okay, I'll probably read the Reign of Winter pieces, since I love Norret and Orlin. :) But when I pick up my monthly AP chapter, I'm reading it for the adventure or the articles, not the fiction.

If the AP fiction were to go away, it seems to me that the main challenge would be coming up with an alternative that preserves the delicate balance of workload for the editors. So the adventures can't expand, and there's probably very little "crunch" that could be added. Also, the alternative will need to not cost significantly more than the fiction costs to produce. So no super map sections.

My ideal replacement would be more flavor-type articles. What would be coolest to me would be some "surprise" stuff that might be completely different from issue to issue, rather than repeated features. Here are some ideas:

* I'd love more details on locations, cultures, and organizations.
* Maybe some descriptions of strange magical goings on, things that are more mysterious than a straightforward magical item or creature.
* Maybe features that have been designed by Paizo already, but have not found a place in the main published books. Stuff like archetypes or items that didn't quite make the space cut in other books. They could be presented as "design sketches," not-quite-finished ideas to inspire home GMs.
* Descriptions of characters, but without stat blocks. For example, you could have an entire thieves' guild, with their jobs, personalities and individual quirks described, but all their stats would just be from the NPC Codex.
* I like the idea of having follow-up articles on past APs, too. I could see this being a really good way to encourage continuing subscriptions.

Scarab Sages

Sebastian wrote:

"Restrospective" was definitely the intended key word (along with the adjective "prior" immediately preceding the word "APs"). It also seems like an ideal entry point for new talent - a lot of good resources/modifications/etc. get developed on the forums over the course of an AP (and I'm sure even more gets developed at home and doesn't make it into the forums), and having that published in an official capacity would be great. Sure, it wouldn't directly relate to the contents of the AP in which it appears, but if it replaced the fiction, that's a net zero change.

While I agree with you, that there's a lot of talented troubleshooters on these forums, do you think the Paizo staff would go for a regular column on "How I Fixed That Gaping Plot Hole, In The Last AP"...?


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Damon Griffin wrote:
Christopher Rowe wrote:
The fiction is one of my favorite parts of the APs, and I heartily support its continued inclusion.

Is it really part of the AP, though? or just part of the book that includes the AP?

Can you give me an example of how reading the fiction contributes to the DM's understanding of or preparation for the story the players will be playing out? I'm not trying to be antagonistic here, I just don't know how, or how well, the two are supposedly related.

Pick any AP except Serpent's Skull for your example, as I'm currently a player in that story. I don't want any spoilers.

Actually... I can.

I'm GMing Council of Thieves right now. I've read everything - literally everything - I can find that exists about Cheliax. I've read up on the histories in the pathfinderwiki, I've read Cheliax, Empire of Devils, I've read all the Campaign Setting books (the old and the new Inner Sea World Guide), and I've even skimmed for monsters on the pfsrd (although now that it's changed I'm out of luck). I've read the articles on Westcrown, Egorian, and other places. It just didn't click well.

And then I've read the fiction. And suddenly, it clicked.

There's a definitive difference in reading 'about' something in a sterilized 'empty space' of things in the way they're presented in the majority of places. There's nothing wrong with that at all - in fact, it's exactly how most history books do it (only better and with more accurate detail). It still doesn't immerse me in the culture.

A more real-world example on a different topic: languages. I speak two languages very poorly: Spanish and Lithuanian.

I learned Lithuanian when I was a kid. I had little formal training, but as we lived in Lithuania, you kind of picked it up and became fluent anyway. It was easy. My friends spoke it, the people at the market spoke it, and I just picked it up and was fully fluent by being immersed in it, even after a very short time. And then we moved away. While I retained it for some years thereafter, I've slowly lost it to the point that while I can sometimes recognize it, if I hear it on the street, and occasionally I remember a word or phrase (though I couldn't write any of them for the life of me now, I can tell someone "I love you" and "I understand very little Lithuanian" and "see you later").

I learned Spanish in High School from a teacher fluent in Spanish. I had a formal education, had charts, had exercises to do, and tests to make sure I knew what I was doing. I spoke it daily. After I graduated highschool, I couldn't speak Spanish. At all. Was Highschool 'doing it wrong'? No. I just wasn't immersed. None of my friends spoke Spanish, no one that I talked to spoke Spanish, I didn't live in a Spanish-speaking culture. I'd never seen it in any sort of practice, except, well, practice. And then I moved to Miami. While I still suck at Spanish, I actually used it. I learned it enough to begin selling things in Spanish... successfully (my confusion of and inability to distinguish the words "dollars" and "pain" - amusing as that may be - aside). The thing that changed was immersion. I learned far more, and retained far more, from three years there than I did from three years of Highschool that technically taught me more and taught it better.

So, what does this mean?

It's similar with the fiction, to me. Sometimes I can "get it" right away. Other times, however, I don't. And Cheliax didn't work for me at all until I read the fiction. It just didn't click. Then... it did. Suddenly I saw the society I'd read facts about in a living, breathing fashion. It made sense because I saw it working.

That helped me make sense of the story and people that I was playing as GM. It actually has made the story work right, because it makes me, as GM work right.

Now, I'm not saying that the fiction is an absolute necessity... in fact, I never buy the APs to read the fiction myself. But personally, I do like it, it's entertaining, and on at least this one occasion, it helped me "get it", which is why I responded to your question at all.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

If the fiction gets replaced I'd rather see it replaced with something equally player friendly. Some of us who subscribe to the AP line might not get to read much of the adventure until after someone has run it for us. The fiction is player safe and whets my appetite for the AP.

So what does that mean:

Worm Food was an okay model for this. Each month a player friendly article tied to the themes or needs of the adventure. With Ultimate Campaign coming out, this style of article could expand on the rules in that book while also utilising the flavour of the AP.

This is also true for me (both as a Player and as a GM).

Also as a Golarion-fan, I like the expansion of the world. Since I don't have money to distribute to other fiction stories regularly, it aids in getting me in the world that much more.

Now, all that said, I wouldn't mind seeing the fiction elsewhere, or Paizo changing things a bit (as it always does). I was frustrated that they discontinued the Iconics stat blocks in Carrion Crown (especially since it had the new APG classes in it), but that's worked out pretty well, especially as said stat blocks are available elsewhere in many cases. I'd still love the art continued as it currently does and occasional game-rule add-ons as they apply in the fiction (though I'd also appreciate seeing said rules reprinted elsewhere in more-accessible locales).

Again, I'm actually kind of avoiding voting on this, but since there are a lot of negatives, I figured I'd throw out some of my positive responses and reasons for it.

I could definitely see it being cut for various reasons, and I'll respect Paizo if they do (though I really, really hope they provide the same fiction somehow or another).

Dark Archive Contributor

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Tacticslion wrote:

Actually... I can.

I'm GMing Council of Thieves right now. I've read everything - literally everything - I can find that exists about Cheliax. I've read up on the histories in the pathfinderwiki, I've read Cheliax, Empire of Devils, I've read all the Campaign Setting books (the old and the new Inner Sea World Guide), and I've even skimmed for monsters on the pfsrd (although now that it's changed I'm out of luck). I've read the articles on Westcrown, Egorian, and other places. It just didn't click well.

And then I've read the fiction. And suddenly, it clicked.

Now and then a post on a thread like this can make you think, "Why did I bother?"

Then you see a post like this one and think, "Oh, it was for this guy."

Thanks, Tacticslion. I understand some folks don't care for fiction in the APs, but I'm glad it worked for you.

On a related note, if any of you ever enjoyed the AP fiction or the web fiction that Paizo's been posting for free--and I don't mean just the few that I wrote--post a review, especially for those that don't have any yet. Like Tacticslion, you'll make somebody's day.


I don't read the fiction parts of the APs. I tried it, but I didn't like it. That said, I used to think they were a great addition to the APs.

With the growth of the Pathfinder Tales line, I think paizo could well drop them and put another AP-related article instead, especially since the latest changes (major NPCs and items section, which are great by the way) "ate" a good deal of the room available for those articles.


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Tacticslion wrote:
I could definitely see it being cut for various reasons, and I'll respect Paizo if they do (though I really, really hope they provide the same fiction somehow or another).

Based on everything you said, it sounds very well-suited to the Campaign Setting line.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

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And here I was about to post to say thanks to Tacticslion as well for the recommendation - converting somebody, including me, into a fan of the fiction solves the same problem (not getting use of the fiction) in a different way (by showing how the fiction can be/was useful) - with the caveat that some people, including me, are absolutely terrible about reading fiction, even when they've met a certain author, like Dave Gross, multiple times and said each time "I have a book of yours, and I'm really going to read it" and that such authors, like Dave Gross, have the right to punch certain people, like me, in the jimmy for their continued failure to read such fiction.

But then Dave posted, and now I just look like a suck-up/glutton for a jimmy punching.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Snorter wrote:

While I agree with you, that there's a lot of talented troubleshooters on these forums, do you think the Paizo staff would go for a regular column on "How I Fixed That Gaping Plot Hole, In The Last AP"...?

I was going to suggest that as the title!

(Seriously though, I see your point, and agree that a full article of crow eating isn't that great. I prefer to think of them as either Marvel no-prizes (a continuity error fixed through creativity) or as something different, such as an expansion of a topic of interest from a prior AP. We all have APs we love, and revisiting or expanding them in some form would be cool, particularly in small, bite sized chunks.)


Sebastian wrote:
(Seriously though, I see your point, and agree that a full article of crow eating isn't that great. I prefer to think of them as either Marvel no-prizes (a continuity error fixed through creativity) or as something different, such as an expansion of a topic of interest from a prior AP. We all have APs we love, and revisiting or expanding them in some form would be cool, particularly in small, bite sized chunks.)

My bigger concern with retrospectives on the prior AP (or even further back) is the advice that will come from that for AP GMs. Right now the advice, which I think is wise, is to not start playing until you've purchased and read the whole path (or at least the adventure part of the books). If retrospectives become the norm, people may start recommending you wait even longer to start playing, which means Paizo would get less feedback and overall less people would be playing what they just released.

Whether these fiction pages are filled with fiction or something else, it's best that what's there encourages people to play the AP or at least makes you very excited to be reading it. I think we can all agree on that.

Sczarni

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

The fiction is the only part of the AP I have read in every single AP (the bestiary is a close second- crunchy new rules sets are the least commonly read)


Personally, I´d love it if Paizo replaced the fiction with content more closely related to the adventure itself. Maps would be the best (DMing City of the Seven Spears right now...), but I´d settle for anything that would help me run or expand the adventure at hand.

Sovereign Court Contributor

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I like fiction. It gives me a sense of the game world in a way that more technical bits can't do as elegantly. Also I generally have enough time to read but at the same time more gaming material than I can ever play... The story sometimes - like the bestiary - gets read first.
Of course, I don't necessarily run APs as written or even run them per se - I pillage them for ideas or use them as setting material for my own adventures much of the time. Sometimes the fiction is more compelling as a source to me than the AP itself.
I can see how more closely mingling the content of the fiction and the AP would be more satisfying, though difficult to micromanage from a design perspective, unless they share a writer, or are plotted out well in advance and involve intensive collaboration.
I say yes to having characters in the fiction have cameos in the AP.

Dark Archive Contributor

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Jeff Erwin wrote:

I can see how more closely mingling the content of the fiction and the AP would be more satisfying, though difficult to micromanage from a design perspective, unless they share a writer, or are plotted out well in advance and involve intensive collaboration.

I say yes to having characters in the fiction have cameos in the AP.

So often the fiction I most want to read--or write--is something that occurs to me only after I see the AP. For instance, after I read CotCT, the AP story I'd most like to write is The Adventures of Blackjack.


I for one have never read any of the fiction in the back. I think that having maps would be much more useful, a little more expensive perhaps, but worth the time and the money I would save for having to draw out every encounter.


I'd rather see bigger maps. I need maps I can extract and that I can blow up and print out...when there are 6 tiny maps on a page it makes them impossible to manipulate. It's a digital world now and more emphasis should be made to cater to it.

If this cost space for fiction, I'd be all for sacrificing it.


I'm not concerned enough to make a fuss about it but because I like to have my voice counted put down one more for cutting the fiction. I'd far rather have more information about virtualy anything that appears in the AP than fiction about a world I don't run.

- Torger


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dave Gross wrote:
So often the fiction I most want to read--or write--is something that occurs to me only after I see the AP. For instance, after I read CotCT, the AP story I'd most like to write is The Adventures of Blackjack.

Yes, please!

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I have enjoyed the fiction, but I would love it if it tied more closely into the AP. The Kingmaker fiction had some gems that I decided to use in my game, but not everything I read helped.

It would be better if we can keep the fiction but have it tied closely to the AP.

Kingmaker Spoilers:

For example, in the first part we could have a short fiction related to the Stag Lord, the Levetons, or Kressle. The second part could cover Hargulka or the bandits that were killed by the owlbear. The third part could relate how Willias Gundrson found the treasure that woke up the slumbering lich. The fourth part could be related to the cult of Gyronna or Fort Drelev. The fifth part could tell the story of King Irovetti. The sixth could cover how Nyrissa was banished by the Eldest.

This would help give more information about the AP plot, give the fiction a space, and may even provide some fiction that could be handed over to the players at some time.


Dave Gross wrote:


So often the fiction I most want to read--or write--is something that occurs to me only after I see the AP. For instance, after I read CotCT, the AP story I'd most like to write is The Adventures of Blackjack.

Yes! Have you seen the Batman: Gotham Knight anime? It's a series of shorts about Batman as told by bystanders who saw Batman in action. I would love to see the same thing, as told by people who witnessed or were involved in Blackjack events over the last 100 years.

Scarab Sages

It's tough for me to speak to the quality or the usefulness of AP fiction across the board, as I'm still running Legacy of Fire, but I haven't found the fiction there to be of much value. I'd have loved to have other supporting information instead.

One example that comes to mind is how to handle things like Pathfinder menbers in the group. I know Legacy of Fire is OGL and also isn't intended for organized play but there's at least a campaign trait for someone who wants to be a Pathfinder... really, by the time you get to Jackal's Price, assuming that your Pathfinder is a good agent and reporting in, that they'd be involved at some level by the time the PCs are looking for a buyer for the Scroll of Kakishon.

Heck, one little sidebar on PFS interest (or lack thereof) and maybe an extra line or two for a few of the factions, would be wonderful. Right now, I wing it and that's fine but extra hooks are always welcome.

As an example, I fleshed out the Temple of Nethys significantly and the question of what El-Nebi was and who gave it to Haidar ended up coming into play. In my game, the weapon was given to him (indirectly) by a Qadiran spymaster knowing it would curse him and destabilize Ipeq. My PFS player was Osirion faction... and here we have a Qadiran attempting to destabilize an Osirion city state loyal to the Ruby Throne.

Boom... faction war. It's still playing out within my game.


Sebastian wrote:

And here I was about to post to say thanks to Tacticslion as well for the recommendation - converting somebody, including me, into a fan of the fiction solves the same problem (not getting use of the fiction) in a different way (by showing how the fiction can be/was useful) - with the caveat that some people, including me, are absolutely terrible about reading fiction, even when they've met a certain author, like Dave Gross, multiple times and said each time "I have a book of yours, and I'm really going to read it" and that such authors, like Dave Gross, have the right to punch certain people, like me, in the jimmy for their continued failure to read such fiction.

But then Dave posted, and now I just look like a suck-up/glutton for a jimmy punching.

I just had a total epiphany here.

Sovereign Court Contributor

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Dave Gross wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:

I can see how more closely mingling the content of the fiction and the AP would be more satisfying, though difficult to micromanage from a design perspective, unless they share a writer, or are plotted out well in advance and involve intensive collaboration.

I say yes to having characters in the fiction have cameos in the AP.
So often the fiction I most want to read--or write--is something that occurs to me only after I see the AP. For instance, after I read CotCT, the AP story I'd most like to write is The Adventures of Blackjack.

Yet more evidence that with a time machine, all of our problems would be solved. And we'd have some awesome fiction...

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Spanky the Leprechaun wrote:
Sebastian wrote:


But then Dave posted, and now I just look like a suck-up/glutton for a jimmy punching.

I just had a total epiphany here.

About jimmy punching?


Naah; I got that one all figured.


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Dave Gross wrote:


Now and then a post on a thread like this can make you think, "Why did I bother?"

Then you see a post like this one and think, "Oh, it was for this guy."

Thanks, Tacticslion. I understand some folks don't care for fiction in the APs, but I'm glad it worked for you.

On a related note, if any of you ever enjoyed the AP fiction or the web fiction that Paizo's been posting for free--and I don't mean just the few that I wrote--post a review, especially for those that don't have any yet. Like Tacticslion, you'll make somebody's day.

Just to be clear, and at risk of looking like a suck-up, I'm a huge fan of fiction including yours. I've got all three of your current Pathfinder novels and I've enjoyed them immensely. There is definitely a place for Pathfinder fiction and now that we have the Tales line as well as the web-fiction I just think the AP line may no longer be it. Before these two avenues came about, the AP line was absolutely the best place for fiction and I also really dug Hell's Pawns throughout all of Council of Thieves. But now, stories like that can be told through other means.

Dave Gross wrote:
So often the fiction I most want to read--or write--is something that occurs to me only after I see the AP. For instance, after I read CotCT, the AP story I'd most like to write is The Adventures of Blackjack.

Is this scheduled for a novel or the web-fiction? Because if not, it definitely needs to be. That sounds like a fantastic idea.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the fiction section being in the APs... I can't say why. Particularly as I've never read so much as a single word of any them. I think I'm still victim to a "Wow, there's everything in here! Even fiction!" type response. I enjoy it being there on some sort of inexplicable level. Although I've never read the New Yorker, I know it has fiction in it, and it just creates the impression of a more rounded product, or something with a little bit of value for everyone. At the same time, the wonderful picnic segment in Kingmaker 6 had to be squeezed into the foreward due to lack of space, and I know other things have been cut over the years as well.

I do think cutting the fiction would cost the volumes some charm, but then I think of how many pages of a full 6-volume AP could really be fleshed out if that fiction was replaced. Keeping the fiction is a neat idea, and helps make each volume feel like more of a monthy magazine 'issue', but there is probably more value for most subscribers in replacing it.


The AP fiction is fine, but I don't think it adds value to the AP line. I mean: if the AP and the fiction were sold separately, buying one would not make me more likely to buy the other. It's just two products incidentally packaged together. Like two kinda/sorta related minis in the same package.


I like the AP fiction, personally. It's one of the things I consistently read every time a new one drops through my door - I don't get enough game time to run all the APs, but I can certainly devour the fiction. I also find it brings Golarion into much sharper focus than even the gazeteer articles can.

Sovereign Court

I like the AP fiction, it is often the first thing I read.

As I am playing in CotCT I have not been able to read Shattered Star for fear of spoilers (and my fiance is playing RotRL, so she can't read it either).

As such, I've only really read the fiction in the last 6 APs.

I did a similar thing with Legacy of Fire because my fiance intends to run that in the future.

Please, keep the fiction.

The Exchange

I've never read any of the fiction in the APs, though mainly though lack of time - I have no great dislike of it.

Is it possible to provide the full-resolution final image of the maps in the AP as a free download to satisfy those who want the best possible quality map for use on a VTT without doing any rework of the cartography? Or is that what is already provided when you copy the image out of the AP PDF? I'm pretty sure that giving the maps away won't harm sales of the APs.

As to what could replace the fiction in the APs, I suppose a readers letters column and short articles submitted by the fans is always an option. I'm only half joking.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
brock, no the other one... wrote:


Is it possible to provide the full-resolution final image of the maps in the AP as a free download to satisfy those who want the best possible quality map for use on a VTT without doing any rework of the cartography? Or is that what is already provided when you copy the image out of the AP PDF? I'm pretty sure that giving the maps away won't harm sales of the APs.

Since Kingmaker (Ithink) they've been providing 'interactive maps' as a separate file in the AP downloads


Dave Gross wrote:
So often the fiction I most want to read--or write--is something that occurs to me only after I see the AP. For instance, after I read CotCT, the AP story I'd most like to write is The Adventures of Blackjack.

So... write it! Write more than just Radovan/Jeggare fiction for Paizo. Don't get me wrong. I like the boys. They are a lot of fun to read, but I think this would make a great 6 or 8 week Webfiction run, or a fun novella. I would buy it.

As far as AP fiction goes. One of the best things Paizo did with the AP fiction was to start releaseing it as eBook novellas. I buy those and I read them. When I finished re-reading Blood of the City last week and didn't want to start a new novel right away, I read Husks because I knew I'd be able to finish it before I got on a plane to fly home. If Paizo continued getting the AP fiction but publishing it as eBook only, I would still buy it. I'm just not sure that it would pay for itself in that format.

Also, has anyone here given the AP fiction to their players to read? How did that go? I understand that you can point a player to the Novels as a way to give players a non-spoiler feel for where the AP is taking place, but the AP fiction will do it too. It's less for them to read, but still conveys a sense of the locale. Also, you've already paid for it, and that will give it some use.

-Aaron


Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Since Kingmaker (Ithink) they've been providing 'interactive maps' as a separate file in the AP downloads

To address those who want more/better quality/bigger maps: are the "interactive maps" too small? I'm honestly not trying to troll here, I don't game on a screen. We draw everything out on a battlemat or Gaming Paper.

I don't work for Paizo. I'm a fan like you. I'm trying to explore options/ generate discussion/feedback that Paizo developers can look at and explore. It seems like a lot of folks posting here would trade the fiction for maps. Especially maps that they can turn into battlemats/use use on a computer (I'm assuming using a program like d20 Pro).

What if Paizo started selling battlemat scale electronic versions of the maps as an "Extra" for the AP's?
-Would that meet your needs?
-Would that be seen as gouging the fans for more money?
-Would you purchase Flip-Mats of the major mapped areas/buildings from an AP?
-Who would not buy them?
-Would you be more/less likely to purchase them if they were bundled by AP?

Just throwing it out there for discussion!

-Aaron

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