I haven't been a GM/DM since Ad&D 2nd edition in high school, but I have been playing in Pathfinder games recently with a face-to-face group as a player. I would really like to get back into GMing, especially as my regular GM rarely has a chance to sit back and play a character. Having seen the PDF sale, I really want to pick up one of the APs that is discounted and try my hand at running it for the group.
So far, the contenders are looking like: "Shattered Star", "Council of Thieves" and "Carrion Crown". As I have recently relocated to China from the US, this is going to have to be done via Roll20 and Google Hangouts. Does anyone have any advice about these APs that I have listed, or is there one that would be great for a new GM that I haven't put up there? I know the group I am in has already played through a number of APs including: Runelords, Legacy of Fire, Kingmaker, Jade Regent, Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, Serpent's Skull, and Reign of Winter.
Now, honestly, I am not the biggest fan of the Pathfinder rules, as they seem to emphasize "roll-playing" over "role-playing" but it is what the group is used to. I would also be interested in picking up some setting material to flesh out any AP adventures. Do any of these APs emphasize actually playing your character and interacting with the setting as opposed to bashing monsters and stealing loot? Is there one that seems more forgiving of a noob GM?
Thanks so much for any advice, it is much appreciated!
I guess it depends how experienced your players are, Carrion Crown is a pretty brutal AP as far as difficulty for players, as my last group discovered. It's also not the easiest game to run as a DM. There's a lot you need to keep track of in the early goings, and you may need to do some juggling to keep everything straight.
I don't have any experience with Shattered Star or Council of Thieves, but Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne were both really fun AP's to run for me. Crimson Throne isn't updated with the new pathfinder rules, but I don't think it's a lot of work to convert that and I think it would be worth it as it's probably still my personal favorite AP to date.
I'm currently GMing Council of Thieves, and it's fairly easy to run. The second module actually expects a fair amount of social interactions, while still having a fairly interesting dungeon romp. Can't say much about Carrion Crown or Shattered Star since I haven't played in either, however I was gearing up to play in a Carrion Crown adventure that fell through, and the two things I heard from players who played it was that they loved the gothic setting, but it could be really challenging.
I'm a session or two from finishing running CC. It is one of the better APs out there though not without its flaws. The pluses gothic horror atmosphere, lots of role playing opportunities (save for the last book which turns quickly as written into a grind), loads of support material both published and on the boards. Recommended but will need work in adapting/tweaking to get the most mileage out of it.
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and comments! A member of my group has the "Shattered Star" AP so we are going to end up running that. I picked up the Magnimar setting book as well as some of the maps to supplement the AP. "The Dragon's Demand" looked really cool, and I would actually like to run that some day, so thanks for the suggestion. Once again, I appreciate everyone's input!