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Giantslayer

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Probably a lost cause, but an AP centered on roleplaying instead of constant fighting would really be appreciated.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Probably a lost cause, but an AP centered on roleplaying instead of constant fighting would really be appreciated.

I'm not sure why I'm commenting as, to use your phrase, I'm sure it's a "lost cause." I've seen your interactions with James over the years, and my approach to the game, as well as my experiences with it, line up pretty much 100% with James'.

I am an incredibly story-oriented GM. I HATE combat-centric plots and campaigns. Which isn't to say I hate combat (if I did, Pathfinder wouldn't be the game for me), but the story and roleplaying always has to come first, with the combats serving the story.

With that said, I have never had any issues running Pathfinder APs. In fact, since I started running them rather than homebrew, I've had more fun gaming, and have had more memorable roleplaying experiences than ever before. As far as I'm concerned, Paizo gives the GM all the tools they need to make an AP as roleplay or combat heavy as they choose. I always choose the former, and have had nothing but positive experiences.

Next, I'm gearing up to start running Iron Gods. I probably won't end up running Giantslayer, but I greatly look forward to reading and being inspired by it!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Using the AP's as written, combat is about 75% of the time you spend in an AP. Since combat encounters take so long to set up and play out (even an encounter which is totally harmless to the PC's will take at least half an hour to draw up a map and then get through the entire thing), they constitute so much of the time spend playing Pathfinder. If that is your kind of game, I'm happy for you.

I'd prefer more roleplaying scenarios, like at the start of book four of Jade Regent. That were four and a half pages of RP scenario and this was enough to fill two evenings of gaming. Since AP modules often spend a page to explain to GM's who the villain for a certain fight is (and those explanations will never be known to the players, for whom s/he is just "that weird thing we fight now") and single stat blocks can also eat most of a page, I think exchanging fights for roleplaying scenarios would work out quite well.

But overall I have become disenchanted with many of the published AP's because of just the reason of combat > story in AP's and other things related to storytelling, like lack of plot coherency, lack of recurring and evolving characters and so on, so maybe I am simply wanting to move into another direction with my storytelling as a GM.

Liberty's Edge

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magnuskn wrote:
Using the AP's as written, combat is about 75% of the time you spend in an AP. Since combat encounters take so long to set up and play out (even an encounter which is totally harmless to the PC's will take at least half an hour to draw up a map and then get through the entire thing), they constitute so much of the time spend playing Pathfinder. If that is your kind of game, I'm happy for you.

I'd strongly disagree with this. Almost all APs include quite a bit on how to play the various NPCs encountered, with the clear intention that it be used in roleplaying said characters, and a fair number of suggestions for both non-combat encounters and how to resolve potential combat encounters peacefully. You certainly can focus primarily on the combat, but you're hardly required to do so or not given the tools to focus away from it.

And if you want to minimize how long setting up fights takes, scrapping the use of a map is a pretty easy way to do it that doesn't actually change the game all that much.

magnuskn wrote:
I'd prefer more roleplaying scenarios, like at the start of book four of Jade Regent. That were four and a half pages of RP scenario and this was enough to fill two evenings of gaming.

I haven't read Jade Regent (I still intend to play it one of these days), so I can't comment here.

magnuskn wrote:
Since AP modules often spend a page to explain to GM's who the villain for a certain fight is (and those explanations will never be known to the players, for whom s/he is just "that weird thing we fight now") and single stat blocks can also eat most of a page, I think exchanging fights for roleplaying scenarios would work out quite well.

Who says those descriptions don't get used? I think I've used most of them fairly extensively in running APs precisely because I really enjoy the roleplaying aspects of things more than I really do combat.

magnuskn wrote:
But overall I have become disenchanted with many of the published AP's because of just the reason of combat > story in AP's and other things related to storytelling, like lack of plot coherency, lack of recurring and evolving characters and so on, so maybe I am simply wanting to move into another direction with my storytelling as a GM.

The issue with a lot of your complaints is that, by their nature, all the chapters of an AP are written pretty close to simultaneously by different authors (and have to be, since they take more than a month to write). That makes doing the kinds of things you suggest here rather logistically difficult. Nonetheless, they manage to add recurring characters in several APS (Serpent's Skull and CotCT leap to mind)...and I actually don't want any character evolution to be pre-scripted, since that really damages the players' ability to influence that sort of thing.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'd strongly disagree with this. Almost all APs include quite a bit on how to play the various NPCs encountered, with the clear intention that it be used in roleplaying said characters, and a fair number of suggestions for both non-combat encounters and how to resolve potential combat encounters peacefully. You certainly can focus primarily on the combat, but you're hardly required to do so or not given the tools to focus away from it.

Sorry, if most modules contain a page-count of (grabbing random module from the shelf, gets... The Empty Throne from Jade Regent) about 28 pages of combat related stuff (including flavor text for rooms, obviously) and 10 pages of role-playing related things, then I think my assertion of 75% combat-related writing is well founded.

Remember, I highlighted as written to make clear that I am talking about how the modules are presented to us officially. What individual GM's make of them is not what Paizo writes.

Also, solving encounters peacefully is most often undermined by the morale statblock, which way more often than not specifies that the opponent will fight to the death.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
And if you want to minimize how long setting up fights takes, scrapping the use of a map is a pretty easy way to do it that doesn't actually change the game all that much.

Which I do more often than not, but the more important encounters can easily fill a single session completely. One encounter, one session. That's just how the system works, especially at the higher levels when things like option paralysis, stacking effects and lots of different enemies crop up much more frequently.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Who says those descriptions don't get used? I think I've used most of them fairly extensively in running APs precisely because I really enjoy the roleplaying aspects of things more than I really do combat.

Again, as written is the operative word here. If you have some dude spouting off his sob story why he became Slanderous the Obliterator to the party (and they are even inclined to listen.), then that's not how the official module plays it out most of the time. Mostly, it is "party enters room, find weird looking dude who attacks immediately" and the GM gets half a page of "Slanderous was abandoned as a youth by his hateful parents and raised by the League of Extreme Evil to kick puppies and burn villages or the other way around".

Deadmanwalking wrote:
The issue with a lot of your complaints is that, by their nature, all the chapters of an AP are written pretty close to simultaneously by different authors (and have to be, since they take more than a month to write). That makes doing the kinds of things you suggest here rather logistically difficult. Nonetheless, they manage to add recurring characters in several APS (Serpent's Skull and CotCT leap to mind)...and I actually don't want any character evolution to be pre-scripted, since that really damages the players' ability to influence that sort of thing.

Yeah, well. That is what makes AP's very different from any other decent storytelling medium. In about every other medium, characters are allowed to evolve, change their motivations, grow attachments and so on. In AP's, since writers cannot predict if Player X is playing "Dimwit the Slaughterer, Chaotic Stupid Anti-Paladin", they give us some NPC's in one module and afterwards all is put onto the GM to give them their story.

And while I had the very same discussion with James about how coordinating the six writers and their editor(s) is too difficult, I refuse to accept that explanation. Every other company in the world is able to hold a telephone/chat conference. Nobody is expecting those seven to nine people to stay in contact constantly, but you can't tell me that it is logistically impossible to schedule two or three brainstorming sessions over the period of six months.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:
Sorry, if most modules contain a page-count of (grabbing random module from the shelf, gets... The Empty Throne from Jade Regent) about 28 pages of combat related stuff (including flavor text for rooms, obviously) and 10 pages of role-playing related things, then I think my assertion of 75% combat-related writing is well founded.

I suspect that depends on how you define what's roleplaying and what's combat. Are you counting things like adventure background and summary, and location character backgrounds/descriptions? Because I'd be inclined to, and that makes a big difference.

magnuskn wrote:
Remember, I highlighted as written to make clear that I am talking about how the modules are presented to us officially. What individual GM's make of them is not what Paizo writes.

I, too, am talking about what Paizo writes. Paizo doesn't write a story in an AP volume, not really. Nor should they. Paizo provides a set of characters, locations, and ongoing sequences of events for the PCs to step into and act on as they see fit. That's not a story, it's the framework to hang a story on. And that's pretty much the way it should be for pretty much any roleplaying game module.

But that means that, if discounting background information, or only counting it as part of combat, obviously there's not gonna be a lot of roeplaying stuff unless you throw in scripted conversations...and scripted roleplaying stuff tends to be a bit awkward anyway. There are other ways to throw in roeplaying, don't get me wrong...but they tend to be rather singular events (big parties, for example) and thus hard to shoehorn into every adventure. And besides, Paizo does those. There's a major interaction in part 3 of Legacy of Fire, several in almost all of the parts of CotCT, at least one in Serpent's Skull...and so on and so forth.

magnuskn wrote:
Also, solving encounters peacefully is most often undermined by the morale statblock, which way more often than not specifies that the opponent will fight to the death.

Firstly, that's once it's become a fight (which isn't always a given by any means). Secondly, that's actually pretty rare in all the modules I've looked through. It's more common for things like demons and non-intelligent creatures, but few humanoid adversaries fight to the death if they can avoid it. To take a random module, in the Snows of Summer there are three enemies who will fight to the death who aren't undead, constructs, or summoned and bound creatures. That's a lot less than the number who will surrender or flee at some point.

magnuskn wrote:
Which I do more often than not, but the more important encounters can easily fill a single session completely. One encounter, one session. That's just how the system works, especially at the higher levels when things like option paralysis, stacking effects and lots of different enemies crop up much more frequently.

Important encounters can indeed take a whole session. And that is indeed the way the system works...so what exactly is Paizo supposed to do about that? I mean, seriously, it sounds like you're complaining about the adventure writing...but this is a system assumption. It's built in. Only by removing combat entirely can you avoid this (And in that case...why are you using Pathfinder at all? It's a very combat oriented system.)

magnuskn wrote:
Again, as written is the operative word here. If you have some dude spouting off his sob story why he became Slanderous the Obliterator to the party (and they are even inclined to listen.), then that's not how the official module plays it out most of the time. Mostly, it is "party enters room, find weird looking dude who attacks immediately" and the GM gets half a page of "Slanderous was abandoned as a youth by his hateful parents and raised by the League of Extreme Evil to kick puppies and burn villages or the other way around".

Of course that's not how the game plays out. Or how it's written. The point of the backstory isn't to recite it, the point is that it informs how you play the character, which is often highly relevant if they actually interact with the PCs (which many, if not most, do in one way or another). And that makes it useful, borderline essential, from a roleplaying perspective.

magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, well. That is what makes AP's very different from any other decent storytelling medium. In about every other medium, characters are allowed to evolve, change their motivations, grow attachments and so on. In AP's, since writers cannot predict if Player X is playing "Dimwit the Slaughterer, Chaotic Stupid Anti-Paladin", they give us some NPC's in one module and afterwards all is put onto the GM to give them their story.

Indeed. But this is an unavoidable part of the medium...there's no good way around it. So, once again, what exactly do you want done differently in this regard?

magnuskn wrote:
And while I had the very same discussion with James about how coordinating the six writers and their editor(s) is too difficult, I refuse to accept that explanation. Every other company in the world is able to hold a telephone/chat conference. Nobody is expecting those seven to nine people to stay in contact constantly, but you can't tell me that it is logistically impossible to schedule two or three brainstorming sessions over the period of six months.

What you're talking about is gonna require more than a couple of Skype meetings, it's more like a full collaboration. You know how many is the most authors I've ever seen write one good book collaboratively? Four. Y'know how long most authors take to write a collaborative work? From what I can tell at least a year. You're asking for a six person (many of whom have day jobs) full collaboration in six months. That's a trifle unreasonable.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Using the AP's as written, combat is about 75% of the time you spend in an AP. Since combat encounters take so long to set up and play out (even an encounter which is totally harmless to the PC's will take at least half an hour to draw up a map and then get through the entire thing), they constitute so much of the time spend playing Pathfinder. If that is your kind of game, I'm happy for you.

I'd prefer more roleplaying scenarios, like at the start of book four of Jade Regent. That were four and a half pages of RP scenario and this was enough to fill two evenings of gaming. Since AP modules often spend a page to explain to GM's who the villain for a certain fight is (and those explanations will never be known to the players, for whom s/he is just "that weird thing we fight now") and single stat blocks can also eat most of a page, I think exchanging fights for roleplaying scenarios would work out quite well.

But overall I have become disenchanted with many of the published AP's because of just the reason of combat > story in AP's and other things related to storytelling, like lack of plot coherency, lack of recurring and evolving characters and so on, so maybe I am simply wanting to move into another direction with my storytelling as a GM.

This actually reminds me of a panel discussion at ConnectiCon last week (July 12 to be precise), when cartoonist Michael Terracciano talked about effective protagonist and antagonist depiction. He brought up Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series and how the protagonist defeated the Mule... using dialogue. And set up the defeat of the Mule 11 pages prior at the start of the verbal debate.

He then went on to mention this option was available as a method of defeating an enemy in Fallout 3 if you had increased your Science Skill sufficiently. That's right, Fallout 3 pulled an Asimov. (Michael went on to mention how tolerant his wife was being woken up at 2 in the morning when he had a nerdgasm over the inclusion of an Asimovian solution in the game.)

It would be nice if more "Asimov Solutions" were included in the game. Now admittedly Book 5 of the Mummy's Mask DID include a rather nifty noncombat solution for one of the larger potential enemies (and how the players could screw that up). There was also a similar diplomatic and storyline method of getting around the Dancing Hut's guardian in Book 3. Unfortunately there were fewer of those options in Book 5, which is a shame. It would have been absolutely awesome if one of the ways to defeat Rasputin was to talk his ear off. ;)

The best and more memorable moments in my D&D and Pathfinder games did not revolve around combat. They inevitably revolve around roleplaying and finding solutions to problems that were not just "kill it with fire." We need more of these solutions for games. Even better is if there was a way to involve the ENTIRE group in that roleplay, rather than just the dominant roleplayer who comes up with the bright ideas. How we'd do that though, I've no idea.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I suspect that depends on how you define what's roleplaying and what's combat. Are you counting things like adventure background and summary, and location character backgrounds/descriptions? Because I'd be inclined to, and that makes a big difference.

I went through the module in a pretty unscientific way, so maybe you can add one or two pages to RP related things and substract two pages from combat related stuff, due to villain background being in the pages concerned to storming a location. I don't see the big difference, because, as I pointed out in my last post, large sections related to background information about villains who only serve as a speedbump to the main villains lair are wasted wordcount to me. Because, unless you force a conversation in, most of the times the encounter will go "party opens door, roll initiative".

Deadmanwalking wrote:


I, too, am talking about what Paizo writes. Paizo doesn't write a story in an AP volume, not really. Nor should they. Paizo provides a set of characters, locations, and ongoing sequences of events for the PCs to step into and act on as they see fit. That's not a story, it's the framework to hang a story on. And that's pretty much the way it should be for pretty much any roleplaying game module.

I don't necessarily disagree, but nonetheless it is noticeable that a much larger section of the modules is dedicated to combat related things than to roleplaying related things. And then those combat related writings take a much, much longer time to play out, due to the nature of the game, than the roleplaying related things.

I put up the Jade Regent example in my first post because it was one of the rare instances where a writer brought evening filling scenarios up in an AP module, giving only a loose framework what the players and NPC's wanted to accomplish. I can and did work with that and got one of the most enjoyable roleplaying experiences out of it I had with AP's. And that is what I want more of, not more dungeon delving and slaying of "fight to the death" enemies.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


But that means that, if discounting background information, or only counting it as part of combat, obviously there's not gonna be a lot of roeplaying stuff unless you throw in scripted conversations...and scripted roleplaying stuff tends to be a bit awkward anyway. There are other ways to throw in roeplaying, don't get me wrong...but they tend to be rather singular events (big parties, for example) and thus hard to shoehorn into every adventure. And besides, Paizo does those. There's a major interaction in part 3 of Legacy of Fire, several in almost all of the parts of CotCT, at least one in Serpent's Skull...and so on and so forth.

I disagree. A roleplaying scenario can be succinct, put goals to hit before the GM and give him only a rough outline of how the NPC's will behave. Again I am recurring to said situation in Jade Regent. As I heard, Council of Thieves also has a very roleplaying oriented plot in its second module.

So it definitely is possible to include involved roleplaying scenarios in AP's without scripted conversations (which, I agree, are painful and awkward to work in). The problem is that Paizo very much seems to favor combat over RP.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Firstly, that's once it's become a fight (which isn't always a given by any means). Secondly, that's actually pretty rare in all the modules I've looked through. It's more common for things like demons and non-intelligent creatures, but few humanoid adversaries fight to the death if they can avoid it. To take a random module, in the Snows of Summer there are three enemies who will fight to the death who aren't undead, constructs, or summoned and bound creatures. That's a lot less than the number who will surrender or flee at some point.

The "fight to the death" thing varies between enemy types. Death cultists will almost always fight to the death, as do demon cultists (of which I am getting very many in Wrath of the Righteous). So it varies from AP to AP. But in my experience, the majority of enemies have a "fight to the death" morale statblock, outside of special scenarios.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


Important encounters can indeed take a whole session. And that is indeed the way the system works...so what exactly is Paizo supposed to do about that? I mean, seriously, it sounds like you're complaining about the adventure writing...but this is a system assumption. It's built in. Only by removing combat entirely can you avoid this (And in that case...why are you using Pathfinder at all? It's a very combat oriented system.)

I am using Pathfinder because I like D&D. That's about it. I think, while the skill system of D20 systems has some glaring flaws, it still is one of the best skill systems in roleplaying games. I like the magic system. And high-magic fantasy has always been dear to my heart.

That Pathfinder is very combat oriented does not preclude AP's being more roleplaying oriented. Roleplaying XP are just as good as combat XP. It is a choice by the developers that they put the focus so heavily on combat.

And as for combat length, the way to solve the ratio of combat to RP seems to me to be the removal of "trash" encounters. Trash is to mean the term as used in MMO's, i.e. lesser monsters between boss monsters. I am not against a pulse pounding combat encounter which takes an entire evening. I am against all the mook monsters whose encounters eat tons time to resolve but do not have a chance of stopping the party.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Of course that's not how the game plays out. Or how it's written. The point of the backstory isn't to recite it, the point is that it informs how you play the character, which is often highly relevant if they actually interact with the PCs (which many, if not most, do in one way or another). And that makes it useful, borderline essential, from a roleplaying perspective.

Yes, that is exactly how it plays out 90% of the time. Players are in a dungeon to stop evil cultists from sacrificing virgin puppies, they are not going to stop and chat with evil cultist #31 after kicking in the door to his 10-by-10 foot Cubicle Of Evil.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Indeed. But this is an unavoidable part of the medium...there's no good way around it. So, once again, what exactly do you want done differently in this regard?

Instead of wasting word count on detailed backstories for Speedbump the Impotent #3, assume that most groups do not include people who want to channel their inner sociopaths and include some further story for NPC's who are supposed to be still alive in later modules. Yeah, that may be wasted wordcount for some groups, but so is the explanation on the oh-so-tragic backstory for the next guy with weird markings on his face, who will catch an axe to said face in 12 seconds, anyway. Mooks can be used to great effect by being meatshields to stop the party from bumrushing the BBEG of this section of the dungeon. Them staying in their rooms when they can hear the party approaching two minutes before is just lazy writing. And, YES, that still happens way too often in AP's.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


What you're talking about is gonna require more than a couple of Skype meetings, it's more like a full collaboration. You know how many is the most authors I've ever seen write one good book collaboratively? Four. Y'know how long most authors take to write a collaborative work? From what I can tell at least a year. You're asking for a six person (many of whom have day jobs) full collaboration in six months. That's a trifle unreasonable.

No, it is not. Nobody is asking for a full collaboration. What I am asking for is, when you introduce, say, three important NPC's in adventure one, the writers and editors coordinate at the beginning of the AP development cycle where those characters are supposed to go during the campaign. Every writer gets a starting and ending point for his module. After they deliver in their story progression for those NPC's (which would be, maybe, one or two pages per module), the editor then cleans up the whole thing so that the story progression is smooth for the entire AP.

And, hell, there are other recurring AP's story foibles that need to be cleaned up after years and years of new adventure paths. Like, introduce your main villain before the last module (or even the last fight)! Have him interact in non-dangerous ways with the party during the AP, so that the last encounter is not literally a "And who the hell are you?" first meeting.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

With all due respect can this discussion please be moved to a different thread as it is now unrelated to what we know about the forth coming Giantslayer AP. Thank you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Of course, I'll open another thread on the topic.


My friend and I take great pride in doing the work to use the NPCs involved in the APs to craft stories for the characters. By leaving that RP up to us, it opens up way more options than scripted events. What I heard from Mr. Magnuskn is scripted events which are going to up the page count severely and limit the options for GMs like myself.

If I don't like an NPC, I axe them and replace them. If I love them, I extend their appearances. The toolkit approach to RP Paizo has given us makes that depth of customization fantastic.

And the same way Fighters are only good at fighting, I typically only have one Face in a group who is good at Facing. So if I have 4 players, and only one wants to do social encounters, having 25% of the writing going to him is pretty balanced.

Edit: Apologies!


EDIT: Ignore me! (Someone else already addressed it...)

Ummm.

So other things we'd like to see in Giantslayer? Besides giants and orcs?

How about Giants on Giant-Sized Mounts?


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

what i would like expanded on:
i would like to see creatures that live symbiotically with giants, like the birds that pick bugs off Rhinos.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:

EDIT: Ignore me! (Someone else already addressed it...)

Ummm.

So other things we'd like to see in Giantslayer? Besides giants and orcs?

How about Giants on Giant-Sized Mounts?

Frost giants wielding ice lances on charging mammoths must be a thing.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Svathurim!
Nuff said.

Ruyan.


Humphry B ManWitch wrote:
I am feeling my inner Dwarf channeling forward for this one. Orcs Mountains and giants.. here to the all dwarf party that rocks this one..

I'm GM'ing an all-dwarven group that's currently running through Emerald Spire - might be just the ticket for this kind of AP...


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RuyanVe wrote:

Svathurim!

Nuff said.

Ruyan.

I loved these guys and was kind of disappointed they didn't show up in the B4. Still, hoping to see more of these dudes in Giant Slayer

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

Odraude wrote:
RuyanVe wrote:

Svathurim!

Nuff said.

Ruyan.

I loved these guys and was kind of disappointed they didn't show up in the B4. Still, hoping to see more of these dudes in Giant Slayer

Y'all aren't the only ones!


Odraude wrote:
RuyanVe wrote:

Svathurim!

Nuff said.

Ruyan.

I loved these guys and was kind of disappointed they didn't show up in the B4. Still, hoping to see more of these dudes in Giant Slayer

Reign of Winter didn't really make the cut off for the last Bestiary, although somehow the weasels got in...


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

i think by the time most of RoW came out bestiary 4 was set monster wise

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

Are we going to get the opportunity to explore Koldukar?

Shadow Lodge

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Ooh... based on this blog post...

Can we see Munguk again?

And Conna?

Because, bringing some iconic giant NPCs back would be dandy.

Waves hands around.

Make it so!


Personally...I feel that Hag's go with Orcs/Ogre/Giants like peanut butter and jelly ;)


Yes, but Hags also go well with evil fey creatures as well.


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

Hags DON'T go with liquor:)


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If you drink enough liquor, you will go with the Hag;)


Given the choice of Hag with liquor or Hag without liquor, I'd take the first.

Definitely want to be drunk.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

Given the choice of Hag with liquor or Hag without liquor, I'd take the first.

Definitely want to be drunk.

but you know what they say "Where theres a Hag theres a Coven":) not my idea of an ideal saturday night:)


Dragon78 wrote:
If you drink enough liquor, you will go with the Hag;)

This reminds me of something my monk did. Or someone.

She was a hag :)

Liberty's Edge

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captain yesterday wrote:
but you know what they say "Where theres a Hag theres a Coven"

I don't know, I've met some pretty hot witches...

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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I'm hoping there's some dwarven love in this AP. Between fighting giants and the Sky Citadel of Janderhoff being in the Mindspin Mountains, dwarves seem like a good fit.


James Jacob is running the AP after Giantslayer and he is not a fan of Dwarves so I doubt it.


Timothy Hanson wrote:
James Jacob is running the AP after Giantslayer and he is not a fan of Dwarves so I doubt it.

Maybe it will be Dwarfslayer? :p

Liberty's Edge

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:


I do love me some Sinister Secrets of Saltmarsh etc, but I'm hoping Marc Radle's sahuagin adventure for Raging Swan Press scratches that itch...

Hey, wow! I'm reading through the thread, learning all this cool stuff about the upcoming Giantslayer Ap and never expected to see a shout out! I REALLY appreciate it though - I'm incredibly proud of the The Sunken Pyramid, which is absolutely an homage to the awesome Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh AD&D adventure!

I actually wrote a couple of design blogs about the adventure over on the Raging Swan site including this one which goes into more detail about how the adventure really is kind of my love letter to the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh:)

Since I'm feeling all nostalgic about the Sunken Pyramid, I'll leave you with a few teachings from the sahuagin cal’mecac ("sayings of the old"):

Where is your heart?
You give your blood to each thing in turn
Carrying, you do not carry it...
To give your blood is to give your soul
To spill blood from your enemy is to know strength
There is much blood to spill - everyone is your enemy

— from the sahuagin cal’mecac ("sayings of the old")

Blinding light and flowing dark,
Life, death, strength, weakness, blood and stone
From the Time of the Seven Caves, to the Time of the End
and all is for us!

— from the sahuagin cal’mecac ("sayings of the old")

No one comes to the world to stay
Not stone, not gods, not bone or sea
Yet blood is eternal,
Soul and forever, flowing like fire in the deep.

— from the sahuagin cal’mecac ("sayings of the old")

Battle is the song of a thousand cries
Let yours sound loudest
Your beating heart the most sought after prize
To give it, the most sacred gift

— from the sahuagin cal’mecac ("sayings of the old")

OK, enough of that! Back to more Giantslayer goodness!

Liberty's Edge

Wow, I think I killed the thread! ;(

Liberty's Edge

Marc Radle wrote:
Wow, I think I killed the thread! ;(

Don't feel bad, I often seem to have that effect. :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

The feeling I am getting on the boards is that some people are looking past this AP and on to what comes after it. I REALLY want to play/ run this AP and wish that those whom have overlooked it would give it the opportunity it deserves. I cannot make it to the AP panel at GenCon so I will be looking to this thread in the coming weeks for more teasers on this AP.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
mikeawmids wrote:
That breakdown sounds a lot like Against the Giants. Good ols Snorri Ironbelly. :D

Yes, yes it does.

mikeawmids wrote:
Considering the old school fantasy vibe, I reckon this one will steer clear of the pervasive Lovecraftian elements that have crept into the game in prior APs.

But what better to replace the "secret bosses" of G1-3?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
the Haunted Jester wrote:
The feeling I am getting on the boards is that some people are looking past this AP and on to what comes after it. I REALLY want to play/ run this AP and wish that those whom have overlooked it would give it the opportunity it deserves. I cannot make it to the AP panel at GenCon so I will be looking to this thread in the coming weeks for more teasers on this AP.

I wouldn't say people are overlooking GiantSlayer

rather people love it when they reveal the next Adventure Paths at the two Cons:) i for one am excited for GiantSlayer:)

The Exchange

James Jacobs wrote:

When you file off the plot, and then file off the actual NPCs, and file off the locations... a LOT of APs start sounding the same, frankly.

There are certainly similarities in some of the creature mix between Runelords and Giantslayer... but they're different stories.

Fair point.

To a different question: will the NPC "method" from WotR continue here? that is, will we have inner covers detailing allies and villains? just generally speaking, how important would the supporting cast be?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Snow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

When you file off the plot, and then file off the actual NPCs, and file off the locations... a LOT of APs start sounding the same, frankly.

There are certainly similarities in some of the creature mix between Runelords and Giantslayer... but they're different stories.

Fair point.

To a different question: will the NPC "method" from WotR continue here? that is, will we have inner covers detailing allies and villains? just generally speaking, how important would the supporting cast be?

No. We make choices for the inside covers based on the nature of the campaign. WotR had a LOT of recurring NPCs, and that was the right choice for that book. Giantslayer will have a different inside cover treatment more appropriate to Giantslayer than to Wrath of the Righteous.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What JJ said. If you look at the inside covers of all the AP's they have been different every time. Kingmaker & Shattered Star had Mini Quests. Reign of Winter & Mummy's Mask have 'setting color'. I don't have my copies of the original Rise of the Runelords or Second Darkness, but I'm not sure they had anything; of course, both of those were 3.5...

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

When you file off the plot, and then file off the actual NPCs, and file off the locations... a LOT of APs start sounding the same, frankly.

There are certainly similarities in some of the creature mix between Runelords and Giantslayer... but they're different stories.

Fair point.

To a different question: will the NPC "method" from WotR continue here? that is, will we have inner covers detailing allies and villains? just generally speaking, how important would the supporting cast be?

No. We make choices for the inside covers based on the nature of the campaign. WotR had a LOT of recurring NPCs, and that was the right choice for that book. Giantslayer will have a different inside cover treatment more appropriate to Giantslayer than to Wrath of the Righteous.

Which means that the inside covers will have maps of the main adventuring locale drawn entirely in light blue.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
What JJ said. If you look at the inside covers of all the AP's they have been different every time. Kingmaker & Shattered Star had Mini Quests. Reign of Winter & Mummy's Mask have 'setting color'. I don't have my copies of the original Rise of the Runelords or Second Darkness, but I'm not sure they had anything; of course, both of those were 3.5...

Rise of the Runelords had a big picture of the Sihedron as a decorative element.

Why such a simple thing?

Because we were paying one way or another to have color printing on the inside covers, and if we didn't put something in there, Erik would have had us put advertisements there. I'm still not sure to this day if he was serious, but the idea of advertisements on the inside covers kinda made me feel yucky inside, so we put a decoration on the cover and immediately began planning for something more robust for Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Crimson Throne used that space to present family trees and NPC organization charts for the various NPCs in the campaign, changing the charts as the AP progressed.

Second Darkness used it to show the relationships between the drow noble houses and the demon lords they worshiped.

Grand Lodge

I came up with something for giants in one of my Homebrew games that I am quite proud of and players in four groups have commented on.

I wanted the traditional boulder-throwing giants because I'm a Grognard but I also wanted something a bit innovative to make an interesting encounter. And since they were Rune Giants under Mokmurian....

I let the Giant spellcasters imbue their boulders with spells and spell-like abilities in much the same way a Magus puts a spell into his or her weapon -- like a magic sword with the spell storing quality.

So while most giants are throwing standard boulders, some are throwing boulders with Fireball or Inflict Serious Wounds or Dispel Magic or Contagion. (Of course, after looking at Alchemist, Magus & Warlock (3.5) for design strategy, I built the mechanic based on my PCs' APL and what they could handle in a tough fight; that turned out to be 2nd & 3rd Lvl spells -- but anything would be cool.)

Anyway, I think it's a strong, novel idea for a classic giant encounter -- maybe some Paizo designers will like it enough to include it in the AP.

The Exchange

James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

When you file off the plot, and then file off the actual NPCs, and file off the locations... a LOT of APs start sounding the same, frankly.

There are certainly similarities in some of the creature mix between Runelords and Giantslayer... but they're different stories.

Fair point.

To a different question: will the NPC "method" from WotR continue here? that is, will we have inner covers detailing allies and villains? just generally speaking, how important would the supporting cast be?

No. We make choices for the inside covers based on the nature of the campaign. WotR had a LOT of recurring NPCs, and that was the right choice for that book. Giantslayer will have a different inside cover treatment more appropriate to Giantslayer than to Wrath of the Righteous.

OK, let me rephrase - I care less about the inside covers and more about the number and nature of friendly/ally NPCs in the AP. Will it lean closer to the Curse of the Crimson Throne/Wrath of the righteous end of the spectrum, or to the Shattered Star/Serpent's Skull end? How important are the NPCs to the story?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I wouldn't count on lots of recurring friendly NPCs. This AP sounds like it's built to be well-suited to a wandering band of murderhobos.

The Exchange

logic_poet wrote:
I wouldn't count on lots of recurring friendly NPCs. This AP sounds like it's built to be well-suited to a wandering band of murderhobos.

They don't have to be recurring. If in every one of the adventures there will be NPC allies that are interesting and matter to the story of that adventure, that's really cool too. For example, part 4 of Curse of the Crimson Throne introduced several NPCs that were important only to that adventure and make for a very nice cast.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
logic_poet wrote:
I wouldn't count on lots of recurring friendly NPCs. This AP sounds like it's built to be well-suited to a wandering band of murderhobos.

i think you are grossly underselling what Paizo is capable of with a whole AP about Giants and probably Orcs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
I wouldn't count on lots of recurring friendly NPCs. This AP sounds like it's built to be well-suited to a wandering band of murderhobos.
i think you are grossly underselling what Paizo is capable of with a whole AP about Giants and probably Orcs.

Since when has Paizo ever had an adventure without "NPC allies that are interesting and matter to the story of that adventure"?

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