Kid friendly AP


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What do people think is a good KID FRIENDLY AP? The age range is between 8-11. Kids can pick up the combat rules pretty quickly but some story lines are really gruesome. Suggestions?

Liberty's Edge

DISCLAIMER: I have read all the AP's, but have only prepared Runelords and Crimson Throne. Memory may be sketchy on some details.

I would say that Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Council of Thieves, and Carrion Crown are definitely out off the top of my head. Runelords and Crown habe some major horror aspects. Curse and Council habe a major infernal influence to them. I would also say that Skull and Shackles, as written, is kinda dark and gritty, but maybe if you toned down the more gruesome, realistic aspects it could work.

Shattered Star is kinda iffy to me. It really relies on some knowledge of the earlier Varisia AP's, most of which aren't really that kid friendly. There are also some morally gray areas, and some disturbing themes that may not be kid friendly.

I think your best bets are Legacy of Fire, Kingmaker, and maybe Jade Regent. They are the ones that have the least problematic major themes, at least to me. LoF you could probably emphasize the Arabian Nights aspect. Kingmaker is all about building the kingdom, with a kind of dark fairytale undertone. I would probably scale back some of the political aspects, but it could work for kids.

I would definitely read through the entire AP just to make sure there is nothing specifically objectionable. All kids are different. You know them better than we do, and you can better make the call on what is appropriate.

I know this has come up before, and I remember reading some of the posts where people had actually run the AP's for kids. Maybe some of them can give you more specific advice.

The Exchange

Go for the traditional "PCs are good guys who save the day against bunch of EVIL bad guys" APs, those with the most heroic feel (kids love it) - "Legacy of Fire", "Rise of the Runelords", "Jade Regent" all work but I think "Second Darkness" is the best for this purpose as long as you tone down the grittines in the first adventure.

AVOID: "Curse of the Crimson Throne", "Council of Thieves", "Carrion Crown", "Serepent's Skull, Reign of Winter"

OK but no ideal: "Skull and Shackles", "Kingmaker", "Shattered Star"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Jade Regent should almost be perfect. It has very little horror elements ( aside from, y'know, monsters ) and is quite kid-friendly. The House of Withered Leaves is the only part I can think of which really needs to be looked at and, at least in my campaign, I replaced it completely with the Ruby Phoenix Tournament adventure module. Although I did so because I am just so tired of extra-long dungeons. Soooo tired. ^^

The Exchange

magnuskn wrote:
Jade Regent should almost be perfect. It has very little horror elements ( aside from, y'know, monsters ) and is quite kid-friendly. The House of Withered Leaves is the only part I can think of which really needs to be looked at and, at least in my campaign, I replaced it completely with the Ruby Phoenix Tournament adventure module. Although I did so because I am just so tired of extra-long dungeons. Soooo tired. ^^

Do mind that the focus on the oriental in Jade Regent might not be up ideal for some people. I know I would never want to play through Jade Regent.

Liberty's Edge

Skull and Shackles should be fine. Nothing in it is worse than Pirates of the Caribbean and I would absolutely let ten year olds watch that

Silver Crusade

Kingmaker is pretty light (book 3 has a kidnapping scene you'd want to modify) and involves group decisions on how to build one's kingdom from scratch as well as playing "king" and "magister." However, being "sandbox" it is very free-form and may be difficult for younger kids to grasp when the adventures don't come to them. Out of all the paths, it is probably the most adaptable for content.

Liberty's Edge

Legacy of Fire or Skull and Shackles. I ran Legacy already and it is straight forward enough to keep kids on track. It is written in 3.5 but there are a ton of conversions that have already been done on the bad guys so you don't have to.

Liberty's Edge

I agree, I'm playing in Skull & Shackles right now and so far there is nothing really inappropriate for pre-teens.

Silver Crusade

I'm always amazed that anyone recommends Rise of the Runelords for kids. It is NOT a kid friendly AP.

James Jacobs himself said that he had to tone down Hook Mountain Massacre because there was no way that he could possibly publish the first draft.

Adult things that happen in this AP:

Burnt Offerings:

A player character is potentially seduced into sex by a starstruck girl.
A farmer is murdered and has his face eaten off by a goblin.

Skinsaw Murders:

One of the main villains is a gruesome serial killer.
Farmers are strung up as scarecrows and are forceably turned into ghouls.

Hook Mountain Massacre:

Hillbilly cannibal rapist ogres who skin their captives. That's all I need to say.

Fortress of the Stone Giants:

This is actually OK

Sins of the Saviors:

A BDSM Succubus and her submissive Alu-fiends.

Spires of Xin Shalast:

Yeah that's OK too.

My recommendations would be Kingmaker, Legacy of Fire and Serpent's Skull.


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Legacy of Fire would be my vote. It is fairly tightly focused in terms of player direction, the monsters are monstrous, and it will give them a pretty healthy taste of the fantastic. Kingmaker and Jade Regent are probably legit from a topical standpoint, but I think Legacy of Fire is a better bang-for-the-buck with youngsters.

YMMV


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is a funny thread and a funny neverending topic. Makes me smile quite often.

Personnaly i think you could play all AP´s. You only have to do some work as a GM.
The game is already quite violent and needs some pedagogics so the kids think twice about it and what the difference between things they do in the game and those things in real life is.
I assume you know the kids and their mental facilities, so you can adapt the storylines to them. Leave away or change the too cruel and graphic parts, break down complicated adult things into kid language. Put it in fairytale language.

As mentioned above, doing strategic and tactical decisions is probably more difficult for the kids and the story arc should be suited for kids to follow.


FallofCamelot wrote:

I'm always amazed that anyone recommends Rise of the Runelords for kids. It is NOT a kid friendly AP.

My recommendations would be Kingmaker, Legacy of Fire and Serpent's Skull.

I know, yet, every time this question pops up RotRL gets mentioned. To be fair, it's an honest mistake to make since it is a very heroic AP so people tend to associate it with kid-friendly. It's the villain content of RotRL that's the problem.

I agree that Kingmaker and Legacy of Fire are your best bets. Serpent's Skull can be a little iffy since you've got cannibals, the urdefhan, and some pretty nasty and vile villains scattered throughout the modules. If the kids are anything like me when I was young that would still be fine but every kid is different.

Silver Crusade

The Block Knight wrote:
I know, yet, every time this question pops up RotRL gets mentioned. To be fair, it's an honest mistake to make since it is a very heroic AP so people tend to associate it with kid-friendly. It's the villain content of RotRL that's the problem.

Absolutely. I think it's the Goblins that push people to recommend it but really it's quite dark and nasty in places.

The Block Knight wrote:
I agree that Kingmaker and Legacy of Fire are your best bets. Serpent's Skull can be a little iffy since you've got cannibals, the urdefhan, and some pretty nasty and vile villains scattered throughout the modules. If the kids are anything like me when I was young that would still be fine but every kid is different.

Hmmm... Yeah. Fair point. Let's look at how kid friendly each AP is:

SCAP: Can't remember anything outrageously iffy here. Should be OK.
AoW: Oh hell no. This one disturbs me and I'm running it.
ST: There are some very dodgy moments in this one, especially later on.
RotRL: No for previously mentioned reasons.
CotCT: Some dodgy stuff in book one and book 5 could well be inappropriate as well.
SD: No. Book 4 is full of inappropriate material.
LoF: Perfect for kids. Has a real Arabian Nights feel to it.
CoT: A bit dark maybe. Nothing especially bad though.
KM: Pretty good. I can't remember anything that would give me pause.
SerS: Some minor dodgy moments as The Block Knight has mentioned.
CC: Yeah, just no. Full of scary imagery but it's a horror AP, what did you expect?
JR: Pretty reasonable, just tone down some of the descriptions in book 4 and you should be fine.
S&S: Only played through book 1 of this but the casual floggings of player characters give me pause on this one. Don't know how dark it gets from there but my impression is no.
ShS: I have no info on this one as I will be playing it in the future but from the looks of things it appears pretty vanilla. May be wrong though.
RoW: It's not fully out but the first two volumes seem pretty innocuous. Might be a bit too weird for kids though. Actually thinking about it one of the encounters in book one is really creepy. Err on the side of avoiding this one.

That's my opinion. YMMV.


I think they're all either extremely adult or kid friendly, it depends on how the GM modifies or presents them. You can leave out disturbing or adult content fairly easily imo.

At that age, I had an appreciation for horror and some fairly serious and adult content, but maybe your kids don't. If you were going to for more kid orientated stuff, I would make it more "superhero" like(straightforward and heroic). I'd say either Kingmaker, Legacy of fire, Shattered Star, Jade Regent, or Reign of Winter.


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As many have already said, kids have different tolerance levels and it also depends on what the parent is comfortable with exposing to their kids.

That being said, to follow Fall of Camelot's style, my thoughts in more extensive list form. Lists are fun! There might be some spoilery stuff here so I'll put in the tags just in case. Extended AP commentary:

Rise of the Runelords:
FallofCamelot already went over this one pretty extensively. Right out.

Curse of the Crimson Throne:
There are certainly uncomfortable themese and imagery throught most of this AP. Books 1 and 5 are the worst offenders but book 3 and 6 have some nasty moments as well. Basically, any AP that features heavy involvement from the church of Zon-Kuthon is probably a miss for children.

Second Darkness:
Drow are nasty and all of Book 4 is about hanging out with these "wonderful" model citizens. Way too mature for kids.

Legacy of Fire:
This one is pretty harmless. Some of the cultists of Rovagug might be a little gruesome but nothing over the top. The Genies and Divs aren't too bad either. This is one of your best bets, but even Paizo's "lightest" fare does tend to skew a bit dark.

Council of Thieves:
I'm on the fence with this one. The only issue with this AP is the heavy involvement of devils and some involvement with the church of Asmodeus, but they're all villains. If you do have any religious issues then this might be a no-no but for most kids it's just another kind of monster to fight.

Kingmaker:
Traditional heroic fantasy and kingdom building. Depending on the exact age the kingdom building sub-game might be a bit too crunchy but probably not. Also, there are fairy-tale elements. Fairy tales are scary but they are also awesome. Kids do like to be scared when it's done right and with a bit of whimsy. Just play up the whimsy. This is your other "best bet" alongside Legacy of Fire.

Serpent's Skull:
As mentioned, there are cannibals and other nastiness. It gets really dark when you get the lost city and the other lost city buried underneath. Scenes playing homage to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom may also be a bit much. There's a lot of gore in this one rather than other mature subject matter. Gore can be cut out, but there is a lot of it.

Carrion Crown:
This one is Gothic Horror. A lot less gore than the last one but a lot more atmospheric horror. Depending on your kids' sensibilities this one probably isn't appropriate. Then again, I would have loved this AP when I was 9 or 10 but I was watching stuff like The Blob and the hammer horror films and just eating it up. Do your kids like Edgar Allan Poe?

Jade Regent:
The first three books are fine. There are some scary and mildly-mature themes in books four through six but nothing too serious. Most of it can be downplayed with some preparation. Still, you'd be better off going with Legacy of Fire or Kingmaker first and settling on Jade Regent as "Plan C". Unless your kids are really into eastern-themed mythology in which case the small bit of effort it would take to tone down the tiny problem spots in the last three books would totally be worth it.

Skull and Shackles:
There is some obvious mature elements in this AP since it is about pirates. However, most of the really risque stuff can be found in NPC backstories and the like which can all be glossed over to give a more Pirates of the Caribbean feel. This AP shares several things in common with with Serpent's Skull. The first is the fact that they both take inspiration from PG fare (Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean). The second is that the later books of each AP feature ruins containing ancient Daemonic influence. And where there's Daemons there's gore and mutilation. Best to avoid unless heavy editing is applied.

Shattered Star:
Good Lord NO!! Yes, it's an old-fashioned artifact hunt AP through six dungeons, but they are six dungeons that contain horrifying creatures and subject matter. While creatures and tone can be swapped out it would do a disservice to the AP and you may as well run a different one. The atmosphere is very important to the respective dungeons. Lots of Lovecraft. Lots of Qlippoth. Lots of alien horrors from beyond. Even the first book has some of the most horrifying artwork I've ever seen for the devil villains; beautiful artwork but horrifying. Since the artifact is based around the seven deadly sins, sin and sinful acts also play a fairly big role in the AP. Granted, the sin-focus is mostly painted onto the villains and BBEGs of each module but they are very sinful villains indeed.

Reign of Winter:
This one has just started so I can't speak to the whole AP but it's heavily fairy-tale themed but much darker in tone than Kingmaker. Like FallofCamelot said, err on the side of avoiding this one.

There, I hope that helps shed a bit more light on some of the APs. Now, if you excuse me, it's past my bedtime. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Did those kids see Lord of the Rings or similar movies?
Ask yourself how much heavy content is really in there, if you distract the childish language often used.


Thanks for the input. Now has LoF been updated to Pathfinder and not using 3.5 rules? The reason I say this is because my better half is running it and she's a real noob when it comes to this.

Liberty's Edge

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

LoF is 3.5 only but you can run NPCs as 3.5 without much trouble. I did that for CotCT with a Beta party and it worked fine. It may makwe things a littel easier but only a little. Your better half might reqauire q liattle help for some of the tiems but really not that much.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

A couple thoughts.

One: attention-span. An AP is a good year or two of continual storytelling. You'll have to judge if your kids are going to be interested in the same theme for that long.

Two: moral content. The APs do have "adult themed" material but to me that's not the biggest problem. It's easy to just skip over gory details or romantic interludes. On the other hand, a big part of Paizo's APs is that there's moral impact. Often there are difficult decisions, some of which don't have a clear "best" answer.

To wit, it might be best to consider running a traditional dungeon-crawl. Clear lines where monsters are bad and people are good.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would say that any AP can be made kid-friendly with a little effort. Look at the Graul farmstead in RoRL, as written it's pretty horrific - but all you have to do is gloss over the gruesome descriptions and present it as a farmhouse overrun by a group of stupid ogres and you no longer have a problem. Have the farmer and his family cocooned in the barn by the ogre spider where the PC's can effect a daring rescue. Play Mam Graul as the obesely fat matriarch and ignore the whole inbreeding aspect entirely.

And the Skinsaw murders, ignore the gruesome stuff and just tell them that someone is killing people and marking them with the Sideheron rune, you don't need to tell them that they've also had their face eaten/been thrown into a woodchipper.

I imagine this applies to pretty much any AP you might care to run, so I wouldn't let it limit your options. :D

Shadow Lodge

I'm running S&S right now, and it's really not kid-friendly. There's hookers, booze, torture, dismemberment, undead hookers, suicide...

Silver Crusade

mikeawmids wrote:

I would say that any AP can be made kid-friendly with a little effort. Look at the Graul farmstead in RoRL, as written it's pretty horrific - but all you have to do is gloss over the gruesome descriptions and present it as a farmhouse overrun by a group of stupid ogres and you no longer have a problem. Have the farmer and his family cocooned in the barn by the ogre spider where the PC's can effect a daring rescue. Play Mam Graul as the obesely fat matriarch and ignore the whole inbreeding aspect entirely.

And the Skinsaw murders, ignore the gruesome stuff and just tell them that someone is killing people and marking them with the Sideheron rune, you don't need to tell them that they've also had their face eaten/been thrown into a woodchipper.

I imagine this applies to pretty much any AP you might care to run, so I wouldn't let it limit your options. :D

True. You could make anything into a light hearted romp with work. However, the OP has stated that his better half doesn't want to convert stuff hence the recommendations.

Dragios wrote:
Thanks for the input. Now has LoF been updated to Pathfinder and not using 3.5 rules? The reason I say this is because my better half is running it and she's a real noob when it comes to this.

Not really a major issue IMO. Mrs Camelot ran Second Darkness and Shackled City in Pathfinder and she didn't experience too many issues.

I ran Legacy of Fire and didn't encounter too many problems converting it on the fly.


You're right in the fact that kids have low attention spans. Lol. But each session would only be 1-2 fights long. At that pace, RotRl would have been reprinted at its 10th anniversary edition. And it's true, the moral and gory details could easily be glossed over. Probably run with that: 1 book, not several with a very heroic theme. See what she says. Thanks for all the input.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

LoF is the best choice. Some declawing of Rovagug-related elements, a few tweaks and hey presto, a kid-friendly fantasy Arabian Nights campaign.


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I had another thought. Maybe modules and Pathfinder Society scenarios would be better? Modules take between 6-10 hours typically and scenarios take only 3-6 hours. Since the themes and adventure would only continue over 1-2 sessions, this might be better suited towards children of that age.

With tight themes, it's a lot easier to see if there's a lot of adult content in any one module or scenario as well. And it's easier on you the GM.

Crypt of the Everflame would be a great module to start imo.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Jade Regent should almost be perfect. It has very little horror elements ( aside from, y'know, monsters ) and is quite kid-friendly. The House of Withered Leaves is the only part I can think of which really needs to be looked at and, at least in my campaign, I replaced it completely with the Ruby Phoenix Tournament adventure module. Although I did so because I am just so tired of extra-long dungeons. Soooo tired. ^^
Do mind that the focus on the oriental in Jade Regent might not be up ideal for some people. I know I would never want to play through Jade Regent.

Arabian themed movies are also not very popular lately, yet Legacy of Fire seems to be the most recommended AP so far.

I think that Jade Regents content stands very well on its own and is mostly kid friendly. "Oriental" themes aside ( isn't that kind of a racist term nowadays? ), it has strong characters, a good plot and a good roleplaying to combat ratio in most modules, outside of Munasakurus Penance, which just is horribly too long and dreary.

Liberty's Edge

Oriental is donsidered a slur by some Asian-Americans. In the rest of the English speaking world not so much.


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

I am currently running Jade Regent for my wife and two kids (ages around 8-9) and they are having a blast!! i only had to switch out one monster in book 1. we are currently ankle deep into book 2, i would recommend Jade Regent or Kingmaker.

The Exchange

Anguish wrote:


Two: moral content. The APs do have "adult themed" material but to me that's not the biggest problem. It's easy to just skip over gory details or romantic interludes. On the other hand, a big part of Paizo's APs is that there's moral impact. Often there are difficult decisions, some of which don't have a clear "best" answer.

This is exactly why I recommanded Rise of The Runelords. Unlike other APs, it has VERY clear cut distinctions betweem "good" and "evil" - with the exception of some few NPCs and maybe an encounter with human cultists in part #3, in RotRL monsters are evil and humans are good, the PCs are humans (or elves or whatever) which means they are good. The evil monsters threaten the good people, so they should be killed. I get that there are some horror elements to the AP and some gore and extra violance, but I firmly believe kids can handle that.

What I believe is important when running a game for kids is making sure to get the point across that the violance in the game is directed against made up monsters and that it's not a real solution to real problems. To create this distinction, I belive it is idea to use an AP with no moral shades of grey. RotRL is perfect for that purpose, but MANY of the other APs are more problematic.


Lord Snow wrote:
Use an AP with no moral shades of grey. RotRL is perfect for that purpose, but MANY of the other APs are more problematic.

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you on the moral shades of gray aspect. But, in terms of content there are some pretty gruesome presentations in Rise of the Runelords. Not that it couldn't be glossed over or padded a bit for younger imaginations, but to say that it is perfect is off the mark.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Somewhere between Skinsaw Murders, Hook Mountain Massacre, the Runeforge and several bits here there (honourable mention: Vekker Cabin + Wendigo, Lovecraftian elements) RotRL requires quite a lot of intensive declawing. And honestly, if you declaw the very essence of two adventures, you're pretty much killing the geist of the AP. "Monsters are monstrous not just because they run around at night and yell ooga booga, they're monstrous because of THIS and THAT" is a very important central motif of RotRL and was Paizo's loud "this isn't Sunday Morning FR fantasy" thump.

LoF is much easier in this regard. It's a weird tale of 1000 and 1 nights, and it doesn't set out to make sure you know that Golarion isn't a kid's cartoon, because by this time there were 3 APs that more or less drove the point home.

Dark Archive

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How about doing Pathfinder Society instead of an AP. I just ran The Sanos Abduction, and that woud be great for a bunch of kids. Had some really funny moments, nothing gruesome. Just fun + fey. Rise of the Goblin Guild would be a good one too.


Lord Snow wrote:

This is exactly why I recommanded Rise of The Runelords. Unlike other APs, it has VERY clear cut distinctions betweem "good" and "evil" - with the exception of some few NPCs and maybe an encounter with human cultists in part #3, in RotRL monsters are evil and humans are good, the PCs are humans (or elves or whatever) which means they are good. The evil monsters threaten the good people, so they should be killed. I get that there are some horror elements to the AP and some gore and extra violance, but I firmly believe kids can handle that.

What I believe is important when running a game for kids is making sure to get the point across that the violance in the game is directed against made up monsters and that it's not a real solution to real problems. To create this distinction, I belive it is idea to use an AP with no moral shades of grey. RotRL is perfect for that purpose, but MANY of the other APs are more problematic.

I think you meant to reference #2 with regard to the human cultists. #3 has different nastiness in it. And I don't see the distinction between humanoids = good and monsters = evil at all in the AP. Heck, the BBEG of the entire campaign is human. The theme of rising ancient evil and sin comes from a human empire. The power-mad leader of the goblins in #1 is humanoid (and an aasimar to boot which is a big play on race vs. moral subversion). 90% of the evil masterminds in #5 are human (Xaliasa and the Runeforge leaders).

I actually see Rise of the Runelords as one of the more "fight against the dark-side of humanity" APs there is. Certainly, I don't see it as a "rise of the monsters" AP. That would Legacy of Fire, Serpent's Skull, or Carrion Crown.

The Exchange

The Block Knight wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:

This is exactly why I recommanded Rise of The Runelords. Unlike other APs, it has VERY clear cut distinctions betweem "good" and "evil" - with the exception of some few NPCs and maybe an encounter with human cultists in part #3, in RotRL monsters are evil and humans are good, the PCs are humans (or elves or whatever) which means they are good. The evil monsters threaten the good people, so they should be killed. I get that there are some horror elements to the AP and some gore and extra violance, but I firmly believe kids can handle that.

What I believe is important when running a game for kids is making sure to get the point across that the violance in the game is directed against made up monsters and that it's not a real solution to real problems. To create this distinction, I belive it is idea to use an AP with no moral shades of grey. RotRL is perfect for that purpose, but MANY of the other APs are more problematic.

I think you meant to reference #2 with regard to the human cultists. #3 has different nastiness in it. And I don't see the distinction between humanoids = good and monsters = evil at all in the AP. Heck, the BBEG of the entire campaign is human. The theme of rising ancient evil and sin comes from a human empire. The power-mad leader of the goblins in #1 is humanoid (and an aasimar to boot which is a big play on race vs. moral subversion). 90% of the evil masterminds in #5 are human (Xaliasa and the Runeforge leaders).

I actually see Rise of the Runelords as one of the more "fight against the dark-side of humanity" APs there is. Certainly, I don't see it as a "rise of the monsters" AP. That would Legacy of Fire, Serpent's Skull, or Carrion Crown.

You are correct about the cultists being in part #2, of course :P

I actualy mentioned that a (very small) number of the villains are humans, but when you look at it, you notice that:
1) there are barely any human mooks - nearly every evil human in the campaign is an important character and a leader of a tribe of monsters
2) With maybe the exception of book 5, there is rarely more than 1 human villain per adventure. For sure there are never a significant numebr, when you compare this campaign with other like Council of Thieves.
From those two facts I understand that the message Rise of the Runelords is conveying is that in humans, evil is not a facet of everyone's personality, it's only a trait some very few and far between bad guys have. Sure, every now and then there's an evil human and when there is, the human is usualy more evil than even the monsters serving him. But mostly, you are evil <=> you are a monster, in this AP. Which is why I still think it's a morally simplified campaign that is O.K for kids. I read "The Wizard's first law" when I was in 7th grade and "A game of thrones" in 8th grade, so I really do believe kids can handle adult content as far as gore, violance and even sex are concerned. However confusing them will the actual dark concepts of how every human can be sometimes a little bit evil is probably too much for a game.


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I'ma go against the grain and RECOMMEND Serpent's Skull.

It's very Indiana Jones-esque. While Indiana Jones has some gruesome bits, it's still very kid friendly. At the very least, pretty much everyone I've ever talked to saw the movies as a kid, and they're no worse for wear because of it.

Kids see worse in your average Saturday Morning cartoon than "heavy demonic influence" somewhere in it. If they're old enough to watch stuff like the old-ish DC cartoons (BTAS, Justice League/Unlimited), Ben 10, and other such shows with "nightmare fuel/fridge horror" elements they should be fine.

Tone down the extremely gruesome bits somewhat and you're gold on this AP.


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Well, aside from the AP collapsing in on itself in the middle, as noted in many of the reviews for the middle modules.

Silver Crusade

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I ran a session of RotRL on Saturday and mentioned this thread. This is how part of the session went:

ME: You find a book.
MRS CAMELOT: I flick through it.
ME (directly quoting from the book): "The book has detailed descriptions of how to disembowel, decapitate, drown and otherwise slaughter all major types of giants and humanoids especially in ritual killings and sacrifices. Many of these horrific sacrifices involve the opening of a victim's belly, inserting a small but ravenous creature like a rat, and then magically healing the belly wound shut so that the creature is forced to gnaw its way to freedom in a mock birth..."
[PAUSE]
ME: Y'know? For kids!

RotRL is full of this stuff. It is not kid friendly unless your kid happens to be Wednesday Addams.

Shadow Lodge

I figure this thread is a bit dead, but based on your time frame The Price of Immortality trilogy of modules my be more what you're looking for. I haven't fully read through books two and three, but unless you have religious complications from cult activity, these seem pretty kid friendly and should last a while. I know you were looking for an AP, but this trilogy is like a mini-AP and I've heard of people running their kids through it. Best of luck!


Lord Snow wrote:

I actualy mentioned that a (very small) number of the villains are humans, but when you look at it, you notice that:

1) there are barely any human mooks - nearly every evil human in the campaign is an important character and a leader of a tribe of monsters
2) With maybe the exception of book 5, there is rarely more than 1 human villain per adventure. For sure there are never a significant numebr, when you compare this campaign with other like Council of Thieves.
From those two facts I understand that the message Rise of the Runelords is conveying is that in humans, evil is not a facet of everyone's personality, it's only a trait some very few and far between bad guys have. Sure, every now and then there's an evil human and when there is, the human is usualy more evil than even the monsters serving him. But mostly, you are evil <=> you are a monster, in this AP. Which is why I still think it's a morally simplified campaign that is O.K for kids. I read "The Wizard's first law" when I was in 7th grade and "A game of thrones" in 8th grade, so I really do believe kids can handle adult content as far as gore, violance and even sex are concerned. However confusing them will the actual dark concepts of how every human can be sometimes a little bit evil is probably too much for a game.

I suppose it's true when comparing RotRL compared to APs such as Council of Thieves, Skull and Shackles, or Kingmaker. Especially when you factor in the mooks compared to the leaders. Still, the leaders are primarily human so I suppose it's all a matter of perspective.

I completely agree that kids can handle a lot more than most give them credit for. I started reading heavy fantasy novels in Grade 3 and by Grade 4 I was devouring much darker material (Lovecraft, Poe, King, etc.). I also started watching horror movies around Grade 3, classics like Halloween and The Blob and more recent fare such as Child's Play and IT (granted, clowns still freak me out). However, I'm also careful not to associate my childhood with the average or the norm so I tend to err on the side of caution with my recommendations just in case.

Sovereign Court

I've been in a couple of the AP's and I think that Legacy of Fire would be PERFECT. It doesn't coddle the player with morality, it's mostly about freedom and taking life as it comes. Not to sound like a broken record, but the Arabian knights theme will work great for the little tykes!

The Exchange

MetalMunch wrote:
It doesn't coddle the player with morality, it's mostly about freedom and taking life as it comes. Not to

Really? Iv'e found that the earlier half of LoF is actualy about what makes the difference between a man and a beast. The theme is shown through

legacy of fire spoilers:

1) Fighting Gnolls, who have forms of humanoids but also those of beasts, and as a race they walk a very thin line between being human and being hyenas
2) Dashki, the Gnoll hunter. What makes Dashki any more human than the gnolls he hates? when I ran LoF I gave very vivid descriptions of how animalistic Dashki was and how much that of a hyena his fighting style was.
3) The Jacklewere, in #3, who unlike a lycanthrope is actualy an animal that wears human form - his cold and cunning ways show him to be nothing more than a predator, and certainly not a human as he pretends to be.

I'm awere that this is a bit off topic, but I think if anyone is going to run this AP it might to them good to be awere of this theme, which is actualy child apropriate and can be the center of some interesting discussions.


Just a little bit from my experience in young kids and APs.

I was running SD for a group and my friend's girlfriend's nephew wanted to play. He was about 13 I think...I mentioned that there was themes not suitable for kids his age maybe.

I got laughed at by his aunt, his motheer, and his grandmother. All of them pointed out that stuff he picks up at school is alot worst than anything in this AP. Now I have to say he handled the subject matter in a mature fashion...heck at times even more maturely than another of my players. But I am left wondering 'What the heck is going on in schools now a days."

Liberty's Edge

It's not "these days" it's "all days". Thirteen is an adult physically if not culturally. Thirteen year olds would go to war (and still do in some places). When me and my friends were 8 or so our favorite movies were Aliens, Predator and Terminator. Even hook mountain massacre, arguably the most gruesome AP module is perfectly fine for a well adjusted kid.


Coridan wrote:
It's not "these days" it's "all days". Thirteen is an adult physically if not culturally. Thirteen year olds would go to war (and still do in some places). When me and my friends were 8 or so our favorite movies were Aliens, Predator and Terminator. Even hook mountain massacre, arguably the most gruesome AP module is perfectly fine for a well adjusted kid.

Very true. But it is hard to make recommendations without knowing the particulars of the people involved. I personally remember watching Silver Bullet, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Terminator by 9 or 10. I happen to think I turned out okay(ish). But I wouldn't recommend those movies to a stranger to show to their kids. To me, the same kind of thing is going on here. Yeah some kids are gonna do just fine with the excised content dealing with the Grauls. I personally feel like I'd be somewhat culpable if I didn't flag some "adult" material. I certainly can't speak for anyone else though.


For those saying Skull and Shackles is alright.. I guess your DM (or if you are the DM, you) have been playing it very lightly, as when I ran it, it was by far the darkest campaign we've ran (though only our first adventure path). My players went from being Pirates of the Caribbean scoundrels to.. well, lets just say the dark gods looked favorly upon them for the brutal things they did to those who they didn't like.

Ears were ripped off, tongues cut out, fingers lopped off at the knuckle, people were beaten bloody until they cried for mercy, people were waterboarded, and one gnome in particular was tied to the front of the ship until he died of dehydration.

These were my players doing this in revenge. The NPCs.. well.. they did deserve it with the things they were planning on doing (and the things they did do).

Unless the DM plays it with a very Pirates of the Caribbean theme, it can get very dark very fast, especially when the NPCs piss off the players (as they're designed to do).

Then theres the scene in part 5.. *shudders* That alone, unmodified in any way, is not something kids should be subject to. Makes you really hate Harrigan, I can tell you that. :X


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A scooby-doo version of Carrion Crown might be untapped gold, but it'd require a fair bit of prepwork. Still... Scooby!

Silver Crusade

My list in order from most kid friendly to least:

1. Legacy of Fire.
2. Kingmaker
3. Jade Regent
4. Second Darkness
5. Council of Thieves
6. Serpent's Skull
7. Skull & Shackles
8. Shattered Star
9. Carrion Crown
10. Curse of the Crimson Throne
11. Rise of the Runelords

Not on list as incomplete: Reign of Winter


Kudaku wrote:
A scooby-doo version of Carrion Crown might be untapped gold, but it'd require a fair bit of prepwork. Still... Scooby!

This made my morning. Thanks! Off I go to Hero Lab to create a gawky and socially awkward summoner with an eidolon named Scooby.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kudaku wrote:
A scooby-doo version of Carrion Crown might be untapped gold, but it'd require a fair bit of prepwork. Still... Scooby!
Herbo wrote:
This made my morning. Thanks! Off I go to Hero Lab to create a gawky and socially awkward summoner with an eidolon named Scooby.

That's a great idea! Daphne as a Bard? Velma as either an archivist archetype Bard or some sort of Wizard? Freddy (or is it Freddie?) as a Fighter?

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