[Spoilers] Adventure Path "Weak Links" [Spoilers]


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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Did I mention that this thread will contain spoilers?

What are the weakest books in each of the published adventure paths? (If you know of a fix, please link it.)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Lessee... based on paths I've run:

Rise of the Runelords: Can't really put my finger on a definite dud, but I recall the party getting antsy in the middle of Spires of Xin-Shalast. The crawl through the city proper, not the wendigo haunts before or Karzoug's palace after.

Curse of the Crimson Throne: I got some decided negative feedback on the first act of Seven Days to the Grave. The party felt like they were mere observers, rather than active participants, in the whole "early days of the plague" thing. Once they started getting missions, they perked up considerably and had a great time with the Gray Maidens and the plague doctors. Unlike many of the anecdotes I've seen on the board, they liked the trip abroad to the Storval Plateau and Scarwall quite a bit.

Legacy of Fire: The Impossible Eye bored most people at my table. They thought that the "trapped in a weird planar location" had already been done better in the previous adventure and that the fights were tedious slogs. And this was after I cleaned them up. Greg Vaughn was definitely thinking more like 4e than PF at that point--lots of fights with mooks incapable of doing much to the PCs, over and over again.

Council of Thieves: I ran this path in spite of Bastards of Erebus, not because of it. Janiven acts like a complete idiot in the beginning, the sewer crawl is tedious and the Hellknights end up looking like buffoons instead of worthy and frightening adversaries. I ended up scrapping the entire first half of this adventure.

Serpent's Skull: I dunno if there's a weak link to point out, or if the whole AP is a weak link. We quit it towards the end of Book 2, simply because the party was bored and had no motivation. The cognitive disconnect between trying to motivate a good-with-a-capital-G party and the factions and hooks presented ended up tearing that group apart. I'll say Racing to Ruin was the weak link, because it made motivation so difficult, but reading City of Seven Spears did not make me want to run it.

Jade Regent: The Hungry Storm relies heavily on the caravan rules, which are broken and stupid. The individual encounters waver between the ludicrously easy and the ludicrously difficult. The dungeon crawl/caravan hybrid at the end, with the yetis, struck me as so repetitive and obnoxious that I cut it entirely.

Shattered Star: No one adventure sticks out as a bad experience, but I will note that the fights in Beyond the Doomsday Door were considerably more difficult than in other chapters. My PCs rose to the challenge (there were only three of them, but they were all very experienced players), but each player suffered at least one death in that module.


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I might be alone on this, but I really couldn't get behind Kingmaker: Sound of a thousand Screams. The whole book felt out of place and didn't provide my group with a satisfying ending to a great campaign.


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Yes Gratz you are alone, its a classic:)


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captain yesterday wrote:
Yes Gratz you are alone, its a classic:)

Care to elaborate why? Because neither me, nor my players had fun with it.


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Cant, phone sucks, kids captured computer:(


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Re: Sound of a Thousand Screams

I'd say that instead of being a weak link, it needed better/more foreshadowing in the earlier parts; in other words, the build-up was weak, not the adventure itself. Other than the dead unicorn in Stolen Land and the ring made out of her hair in Rivers Run Red, there is very little material for the PCs to find that indicates a powerful fey entity is behind many of the problems they are facing until they recover Briar; at which point, the AP climax is pretty much already on them (as the blooms start appearing).

Adding more explicit links with the Stag Lord (IIRC, someone suggested a diary like Tsuto in Burnt Offerings), the Dancing Lady (maps, messages, and other indicators that she's Nyrissa's primary agent in the region), Hargulka (some sort of token, possibly having the necklace of fireballs made from Nyrissa's braided hair), the spriggans in Varnhold (make the ring of friend shield there and in Vordakai's tomb* out of braided hair), Ngara (make the headband of mental prowess out of braided hair and have indicators like the Dancing Lady of being Nyrissa's agent), and playing up Irovetti's obsession with Nyrissa (artwork, costuming/makeup of servants, etc.) would probably make for a stronger climax, as the PCs finally come to grips with the power behind many of the troubles they've been facing.

*- The spriggans sent one of their number to negotiate an alliance, but Vordakai killed him/her.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

IMHO These are the problems I am seeing. I am only including the APs with which I have direct experience.

Rise of the Runelords had two problems for me.


  • First is a general "disconnectedness" between modules. (The Anniversary Edition tries to help with that, but still ... )
  • Second is that The Hook Mountain Massacre grossed me out.

Curse of the Crimson Throne didn't appear to have any serious weaknesses (or I have an outstanding Game Master for that AP).

Second Darkness has one HUGE problem, and one minor one.


  • The "bait and switch" in The Armageddon Echo is very serious. The Player Characters are expected to switch between self-centered Neutrals to self-sacrificing heroes with no explanation as to why they would do so.
  • Also, A Memory of Darkness is just a weak scenario.

Council of Thieves has four weak links.


  • Bastards of Erebus: Demiurge 1138 is completely right. I also jettisoned the first half of this book.
  • The Six Fold Trial: The danger here is that the heroes might (understandably) refuse to perform in the murderplay. The GM needs to plan accordingly.
  • The Infernal Syndrome: This book adds almost nothing to the AP's main plot, though it becomes important for Book 6.
  • The Twice-Damned Prince: The actual plot of the CoT ends in Book 5 (Mother of Flies), so this book tries (lamely) to pick up on the theme introduced in the first half of Bastards of Erebus (and which had been ignored until this point). It doesn't help that it is also a weak scenario.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Running through Skull and Shackles and I'd have to nominate Raiders of the Fever Sea as being pretty weak.

The encounters in part 1 are mostly unconnected and almost have to be expanded upon or dropped. Part 2 is sandbox go and be pirate stuff. Part 3 is based upon folklore and sayings (the weakest part of all, I had to drop it from my campaign)


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Look at Plunder & Peril Seanoss, its built to swap and has a connected storyline, super awesome to boot:-)


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Brilliant idea... and I did!

I substituted and blended the Three Reasons to Live into a torn up treasure map for the PCs to assemble. This frees up Inkskin to be a reappearing villian and removes another underwater dungeon.


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Wrath of the Righteous has a few... strange spots.

The Midnight Isles (book 4) isn't bad, but it's weird, given the context of the rest of the campaign. After slaying demons and building a holy stronghold in the middle of a ruined landscape, the players go and treat with an exceptionally cosmopolitan demon city. It's not the worst, it's just... irrelevant to the plot. As a story, it would have fit far better with being a corrupted Sarkoris city IN the Worldwound itself - not some strange planar area completely unrelated to the main plot.

City of Locusts (book 6) is atrocious. As endings go, it is hands-down the worst of any AP. You don't fight Deskari (the demon lord who rules the worldwound) because it's "beyond the scope of this adventure"; you don't actually do anything with the City of Locusts, i.e. the conquered capitol of old Sarkoris; the only things you do is faff about in a demon brothel with some inexplicably mythic-level, murderous succubi-prostitutes (who are also drug dealers!), followed by solving the "mystery" of the origins of the worldwound (which isn't a mystery because everyone already knows how it originated; this subquest just fills in some of the particulars like "it wasn't just in may, but may FIFTH that the worldwound formed! wow!). It ends with fighting some succubus queens, then another BIGGER succubus queen, after fighting some other succubus queens.

Considering that The Ivory Labyrinth (book 5) ends on the incredible high note of slaughtering a demon lord in the middle of his own stronghold, City of Locusts is unbelievable in... just how much of a let-down it is. It's been almost a year and I'm still very bitter about it :(

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
xeose4 wrote:

Wrath of the Righteous has a few... strange spots.

The Midnight Isles (book 4) isn't bad, but it's weird, given the context of the rest of the campaign. After slaying demons and building a holy stronghold in the middle of a ruined landscape, the players go and treat with an exceptionally cosmopolitan demon city. It's not the worst, it's just... irrelevant to the plot. As a story, it would have fit far better with being a corrupted Sarkoris city IN the Worldwound itself - not some strange planar area completely unrelated to the main plot.

City of Locusts (book 6) is atrocious. As endings go, it is hands-down the worst of any AP. You don't fight Deskari (the demon lord who rules the worldwound) because it's "beyond the scope of this adventure"; you don't actually do anything with the City of Locusts, i.e. the conquered capitol of old Sarkoris; the only things you do is faff about in a demon brothel with some inexplicably mythic-level, murderous succubi-prostitutes (who are also drug dealers!), followed by solving the "mystery" of the origins of the worldwound (which isn't a mystery because everyone already knows how it originated; this subquest just fills in some of the particulars like "it wasn't just in may, but may FIFTH that the worldwound formed! wow!). It ends with fighting some succubus queens, then another BIGGER succubus queen, after fighting some other succubus queens.

Considering that The Ivory Labyrinth (book 5) ends on the incredible high note of slaughtering a demon lord in the middle of his own stronghold, City of Locusts is unbelievable in... just how much of a let-down it is. It's been almost a year and I'm still very bitter about it :(

Uh you do fight Deskari?


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Well, you can fight Deskari...

But only after you close the Worldwound. It's not required and has pretty much no bearing on the rest of the AP (or even any real repercussions, as even if you kill him he just reforms after a year).

And then there's the non-mythic Aponavicius... Who still counts as a mythic trial somehow. Just remove one fighter level and add the invincible mythic simple template (plus a permanent heroism spell at CL 20 if you feel she needs a bit more of a boost).

Shadow Lodge

Eugh. When I run that I'll be changing that.


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Orthos wrote:
Eugh. When I run that I'll be changing that.

Dont do it Orthos! you'll get P.T.W.D. like the rest of these poor saps:-p

That would be Post Traumatic Wrath Disorder, usual tell tale signs include twitchy eyes, reams of frenzied stat blocks and irrational yelling of "You can't use that ability as a swift action here, the FAQ told me so!!!!" at random people, its not pretty:-p)

Shadow Lodge

Joke's on you, I'm running it in Neverwinter Nights. I don't have to worry about all that stuff, the game automates it for me. =D


I'll add my vote for Kingmaker: Sound of a thousand Screams, due to insufficient foreshadowing for the PCs. As the GM, you get some foreshadowing, but it really needs to be re-worked in order for the PCs to pick up on it.


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Volaran wrote:
I'll add my vote for Kingmaker: Sound of a thousand Screams, due to insufficient foreshadowing for the PCs. As the GM, you get some foreshadowing, but it really needs to be re-worked in order for the PCs to pick up on it.

Yay, I'm not the only one.

Liberty's Edge

Serpent Skull books 5 and 6 - the story the party started has finished and this ends up feeling like a tack on.

Jade Regent 3 + 4: The Hungry Storm is just tedious and unconnected to the main story, book 4 brings you to Minkai only to stick you in a massive dungeon crawl.

Second Darkness 1: Very little to connect the party to the rest of the story in this.

Mummy's mask 1: 3 little dungeons full of *yawn*

Dark Archive

Lord Fyre wrote:

Did I mention that this thread will contain spoilers?

What are the weakest books in each of the published adventure paths? (If you know of a fix, please link it.)

Rise of the Runelords: the connection between book 2 and 3 is weak as written, and the GM should orchestrate a bit better the involvement of the PCs with Magnimar's destiny. Even just having some background ties should suffice.

Book 4 is a big brawl fest, some groups may not like it. Book 6 is a bit of a sandbox in the eploration of the city of Xin-Shalast, and finding the good rythm between fights and various stuff is not always easy; also it's difficult to manage the loot.

Second Darkness: the first book is plainly... wrong sided. Reverse the plot: the PCs work for rivals of Saul and try to sabotage/investigate the Golden Goblin saloon.
Book 5 is too much of a railroad, break it apart, take the crunchy elements and the general idea and rework it from the ground up.
Book 6 is more a mini-setting than a full blown adventure, you should build lots of thematic encounters and mini-adventures.

Legacy of Fire: book 5 should be an exploratyion of the City of Brass, not being trapped (again!) in another dimension.
Collecting informations, tricks, and maybe an exotic magic item or two by doing favors and errands on behalf of powerful extraplanar beings in an unusual and inherently dangerous place.
Reverse engineer the encounters in many different places instead of a single big dungeon.

Council of Thieves: what demiurge 1138 and Lord Fyre have said.

Serpent Skull: book 3 suffers the same mini-setting and no adventure problem seen elsewhere. Also some players may not like the long voyage in book 2.

Jade Regent: the artic trek part may bore some players to death. Scrap the caravan rules altogether. Be cautious of the large cast of NPCs, they may make encounters too easy or steal the spotlight.
Book 5 should be hugely expanded: building up a national rebellion is in no way doable with an handful of encounters.
Be very, very, very cautious of the ever present narrative chokepoint, in which a deus-ex machina NPC provides the means to go forward in a place/moment/situation the PCs have no other way of getting through (this alone has been the biggest roadblock for me).


For Legacy of Fire, I think things get a lot better for The Impossible Eye if you change it to the last book, swapping it with The Final Wish.

It's not a weak volume on its own, it has good maps and a lot of cool ideas.

The Jackal's Price on the other hand, is extremely weak. It fails to exploit the awesomeness of Katapesh as a backdrop, the maps are nonsensical, and it does a really poor, railroady job of the most important plot handoff in the entire AP -- the scroll of Kakishon.

I didn't even run it. I replaced it with a homebrew adventure that was more focused on the Pactmasters' interest in the scoll.


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Runelords: Not so much a weak link, but a pitfall to avoid: In Burnt Offerings, be sure to spend as much time as possible building up Sandpoint as an interesting, quirky, nice place filled with people that the PCs care about. Because if you don't, as soon as the PCs get to Magnimar in Book 2, they'll never want to bother going back. At the start of Book 3, I got an audible groan of 'Man, here again?!" when they returned to Sandpoint, and their defense of the town against the giants was somewhat... half-hearted.

Shadow Lodge

Haladir wrote:
Runelords: Not so much a weak link, but a pitfall to avoid: In Burnt Offerings, be sure to spend as much time as possible building up Sandpoint as an interesting, quirky, nice place filled with people that the PCs care about. Because if you don't, as soon as the PCs get to Magnimar in Book 2, they'll never want to bother going back. At the start of Book 3, I got an audible groan of 'Man, here again?!" when they returned to Sandpoint, and their defense of the town against the giants was somewhat... half-hearted.

Seconded. Our group really only got along with Ameiko and Shalelu in Sandpoint; almost everyone else we encountered was either seemingly hopeless and in constant need of rescuing or fixing something (the priest in particular comes to mind) or made it very clear we weren't exactly welcomed (the mayor and pretty much everyone else in charge).

Admittedly our group also exacerbated this a bit by some of the characters we played (one person played a magus who would rather be in a library than adventuring; another played a particularly take-no-BS witch who ended up threatening the mayor with a grenade at one point after she wanted to blame my crusader for the Skinsaw Man's murders), but - and we discussed this with our GM at the time, who agreed at least a little - if some things had been done a little differently in the first chapter, hostile reactions later on might have been somewhat reduced.

Granted we were playing the original, rather than the Anniversary Edition, so some of these things might have been cleaned up between the two, for all we know.


Middle of Book 6 for Rise of the Runelords, while the PCs are exploring lower Xin-Shalast. A lot of extra work is left to the DM in terms of filling out the rather large amount of city that is left under- or un-detailed.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Haladir wrote:
Runelords: Not so much a weak link, but a pitfall to avoid: In Burnt Offerings, be sure to spend as much time as possible building up Sandpoint as an interesting, quirky, nice place filled with people that the PCs care about. Because if you don't, as soon as the PCs get to Magnimar in Book 2, they'll never want to bother going back. At the start of Book 3, I got an audible groan of 'Man, here again?!" when they returned to Sandpoint, and their defense of the town against the giants was somewhat... half-hearted.

One element of Fortress of the Stone Giants that struck me wrong is that the Sandpoint Militia is totally uninvolved in the battle. One would think after the goblin invasion from Burnt Offerings that they would have tried to make the down a bit more defensible.

The Exchange

Rise of the Runelords: I'd say parts 4 and 5 together are the weak links, as both are repetitive dungeon crawls with very little to make them stand out.

Curse of the Crimson Throne: If there is a weak link, it is part 6. I found the final adventure did a very poor job of creating a meaningful conclusion to the story. Mostly it was a very detailed description of a palace.

Second Darkness: Unlike most I don't mind the bait and switch so much (I think that given that I know about it I could prepare for it) and I happen to really like the Armageddon Echo. However, part 6 was just very forgettable.

Legacy of Fire: Part 5. Couldn't even ever finish reading it it was so boring. Just room after room of repetitive encounter instead of what could have been a really exciting adventure in the City of Brass.

Council of Thieves: Others before me surmised it well.

Serpent's Skull: Parts 4-6. Avoid this AP at all costs.

Shattered Star: part 3 was really disappointing. It's disjointed and weird - and not in the good Kaer Maga way, just weird.

Reign of Winter: Again part 3, yet another unimaginative and overlong crawl through a dungeon. Part 6 was also a let down as for the most part it was a loosely tied collection of short and generic high level mini adventures. Some of the connecting tissue was really good though, so I'm willing to let that one slide and say that the weak link is part 3.

Wrath of the Righteous: The middle part of the AP is weak (#3,#4) and the last part really had me scratching my head and asking myself if this was the kind of story the James Jacobs felt demanded the mythic rules before it could be told - because nothing quite says "mythic" like an entire adventure focused on brothels, small scale encounters (with big monsters, admittedly, but that's just a reality of CRs at such levels) and a general feeling of unimportance. I mean, the worldwound is about to consume the world and it really seems like the PCs are the only ones doing anything about it. I really thought the AP would be about a crusade, about gigantic "save the day" type scenarios... it ended up being non of that. To the extent that if I ever run the AP I'll revise the story, run it without mythic and end in the superb 5th adventure.


The weak link from Shackled City is definitely Strike on Shatterhorn. "Hey, remember that epic battle against the organization you've been fighting for the past ten adventures? Well, you missed a few of them!"

Although, come to think of it, Drakthar's Way was kind of a dud, too. Not surprising, considering it's filler that was added afterwards.


I've only run into two real show-stoppers in the APs I've dabbled in.

Volume 2 of Serpent's Skull, "Racing to Ruin," did not at all live up to the expectation of racing to the ruins. I would love to see more options in allowing the PCs to choose their route, but at the very least there needed to be more encounters with the competing factions as each group f'd with the other to try to slow them down. Because I'm one of the eight people who absolutely loves the whole rest of the AP, this speedbump so early on is very disheartening.

But the worst in my book is volume 3 of Skull & Shackles, "Tempest Rising." This is the book that made me stop buying APs entirely. It's so contrived, with pointless, empty challenges that the PCs aren't allowed to fail, and convoluted quest chains that string them along from point to point just seemingly to get them to go from point to point. It's terrible.


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Lord Snow wrote:
Wrath of the Righteous: The middle part of the AP is weak (#3,#4) and the last part really had me scratching my head and asking myself if this was the kind of story the James Jacobs felt demanded the mythic rules before it could be told - because nothing quite says "mythic" like an entire adventure focused on brothels, small scale encounters (with big monsters, admittedly, but that's just a reality of CRs at such levels) and a general feeling of unimportance. I mean, the worldwound is about to consume the world and it really seems like the PCs are the...

this was spot-on! Book 3 I could see being argued as a potential "break" from the crusading action, but to follow it up with Book 4? It really does completely negate the "crusade" feel of the AP and suddenly make all the holy-rollers that this campaign is perfect for into at-odds, fish-out-of-water planar travellers to a realm of sin and debauchery... where they're expected to play nice/be interested in/do anything at all with the crazy lust/sin demons they encounter. it really gets in the way of the story, rather than helping it.

As a whole, the AP runs amazing if it's just tweaked to be about PCs slaying Baphomet and that being the entire point of the campaign (since Baphomet is actually the one constant threat, instead of Deskari's rare/nonexistant presence before his unscripted, unstrategized, "unnecessary" battle at the end of book 6).

Dragonchess Player had the right of it too - the AP flat-out says that "whether the players defeat Deskari or not is irrelevant"; the AP is "over" and they could leave immediately without battling him at all. The author of the 6th book might as well have not even bothered to reference Deskari on that page at all.


I think racing to ruin is the worst part of the 8 APs I've played


Orthos wrote:
Joke's on you, I'm running it in Neverwinter Nights. I don't have to worry about all that stuff, the game automates it for me. =D

NWN 1 or 2? Plus link to the modules if it can be done single player. Plzkthx.

I was disappointed that restoring the city in Book 3 was given such short shrift. The PCs really don't have the time to use downtime before the demons start attacking and they have all those mythic trials to do..
COT, as I have said before can leave a sour taste in the mouth since the PCs, while restoring Westcrown are still doing it with Thrune's permission at the end.("Pass a law that forbids kicking halflings? Outrageous!") So perhaps have Westcrown be a contested city between Cheliax and Andorian, and if the PCs do well enough, Andorian can annex the city.


Carrion crown: No evident connection between book 1 and 2 and no meaningful reason given to go to the castle after rescuing the beast.
In the castle, no loot whatsoever unless you go murderhobo-style about ransacking the place you know is owned by someone you came to visit/rescue.
I walked away from it during the castle.

Shadow Lodge

MannyGoblin wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Joke's on you, I'm running it in Neverwinter Nights. I don't have to worry about all that stuff, the game automates it for me. =D
NWN 1 or 2? Plus link to the modules if it can be done single player. Plzkthx.

1 and no, via an online community server. I really don't play NWN single player ever.


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Orthos wrote:
MannyGoblin wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Joke's on you, I'm running it in Neverwinter Nights. I don't have to worry about all that stuff, the game automates it for me. =D
NWN 1 or 2? Plus link to the modules if it can be done single player. Plzkthx.
1 and no, via an online community server. I really don't play NWN single player ever.

you know about the issues with mythic adventures right?

;-p

sounds like fun, if anyone can do WotR without developing anger issues its you Orthos:-)

Liberty's Edge

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I'm currently in book 3 of Carrion Crown and we keep scratching our heads about why we are at the lodge and supposed to remain there while the Whispering Way is out doing nefarious deeds. It may just be my player perspective but its striking me as rather weak.

Shadow Lodge

captain yesterday wrote:
Orthos wrote:
MannyGoblin wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Joke's on you, I'm running it in Neverwinter Nights. I don't have to worry about all that stuff, the game automates it for me. =D
NWN 1 or 2? Plus link to the modules if it can be done single player. Plzkthx.
1 and no, via an online community server. I really don't play NWN single player ever.
you know about the issues with mythic adventures right?

Again NWN, meaning 3.0 (with tad bits of 3.5), meaning no Mythic. ;)


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i know nothing about NWN actually besides it probably involves neverwinter, at night:-)


Orthos wrote:
MannyGoblin wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Joke's on you, I'm running it in Neverwinter Nights. I don't have to worry about all that stuff, the game automates it for me. =D
NWN 1 or 2? Plus link to the modules if it can be done single player. Plzkthx.
1 and no, via an online community server. I really don't play NWN single player ever.

Whoah.

I was completely unaware that game was still alive!

Is NWSigil still a thing?

I thought it was really cool when a bunch of persistent worlds were closing down, and the refugees would end up in Sigil and it made total sense in the game world...


J-Bone wrote:

I'm currently in book 3 of Carrion Crown and we keep scratching our heads about why we are at the lodge and supposed to remain there while the Whispering Way is out doing nefarious deeds. It may just be my player perspective but its striking me as rather weak.

? You're at the lodge because you know your quarry went there, and you're trying to figure out where to go from there to continue the pursuit.

If you already know where your enemy has gone somehow, then no, you don't need the lodge.

The tie for book 1 to book 2 is that you're going to Lepidstaht to carry out one of the good Professor Lorrimar's last requests - delivering certain tomes to Judge Daramid. Judge Daramid in turn hires your party to help out with the Trial - if Lorrimar trusted you, that's a good enough recommendation for her.

Now, whether you give enough of a damn to go the Castle probably depends on whether the GM was able to get you to care about the Beast. (Though depending on circumstances, Judge Daramid may hire you to go there an investigate.)

Yeah, the treasure issue in CC is goofy - my understanding is that CC conducted an experiment with treasure that I don't think that's been repeated. The treasure is deliberately lower (and proportionally more consumables) in order to help reinforce the "horror" theme of the AP.

I really enjoyed running CC, but it's a goofy AP in a lot of ways (such as one of the most important events in Book 3 is a completely missable bonus objective, and thus may never actually happen in a given game).

Serpent's Skull is weird. Book 2 is weak but at least it's over pretty fast. Book 4 is very weak and takes quite some time to get through, though it also has some of my favorite moments of the campaign (SPIDERCROC!). I really enjoyed Books 5 and 6 though, as the "real plot" finally arrived and we got down to business.


golem101 wrote:
Rise of the Runelords: the connection between book 2 and 3 is weak as written, and the GM should orchestrate a bit better the involvement of the PCs with Magnimar's destiny. Even just having some background ties should suffice.

This. So much this. I did NOT change things, and I actually had to have an out-of-game discussion with my group to continue the AP. They were like, "why should we do this?" and I couldn't really think of a reason on the spot other than "because the book says so".


Zhangar wrote:


The tie for book 1 to book 2 is that you're going to Lepidstaht to carry out one of the good Professor Lorrimar's last requests - delivering certain tomes to Judge Daramid. Judge Daramid in turn hires your party to help out with the Trial - if Lorrimar trusted you, that's a good enough recommendation for her.

It may be a good recommendation for the judge. But where is the reason for the PCs to abandon their hunt for the whispering way? It's nice to help someone wrongly accused but there is a greater evil out there. No time to get bogged down with unimportant stuff.

At least that was my feeling when the judge asked us to help.


RotR: Spires of Xin Shalast: Again not the Vekker cabin (which is actually one of favorite parts of the AP), but everything after that before Karzoug. It feels like a giant slog through enemies that can't adapt or form a cohesive defense plan.

CotCT: Some people have issues with the railroad nature of the fourth module and the massive amount of combat in the fifth module. Still, I think out of all the APs, this one is the most flawless.

SD: Memory of Darkness: When your lead designers have commented about how the would fix the module, there's obviously something going on with it.

LoF: Jackal's Price I agree is the weakest. It also contains one of the biggest acts of railroading in any AP yet: the transition from module 3 to module 4.

CoT: The Thrice Damned Prince is just awful. I've never had to almost completely rewrite every encounter both social and combat for the endgame to have any semblance of cohesiveness, but that was the case here. I won't ever again say that about any module and love Paizo and all that, but this one is bad. Hey, out of nearly 100 volumes of APs, one is bound to be bad.

KM: Playing in it, and have loved every part of it. We're in part 5, so we'll see about Book 6. (Our DM has foreshadowed the BBEG in every module)

CC: Broken Moon in my opinion is the weakest for the reasons stated above, but also because its so geographically ambitious; there's a 124 mile journey through the heart of Ustalav that has nothing written for it. Still, I had a blast running it and my players loved it to.

I also own Shattered Star and Wrath of the Righteous, but have not had a chance to run or play them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Due to the glacial pacing of my groups, I'm only a little over halfway through Runelords and only approaching the one-third mark of Reign of Winter.

That said? I always felt Reign of Winter started on the wrong note. Why should the players be interested in saving Helgren? You know, outside of being adventurers that is. All Helgren is for the game a town-version of the Tavern where the Adventurers Meet. The GM is left to craft any encounters prior to the start of the winter weather, and is the one who has to build the group's interest in the region and a desire to save lives.

As an aside, another problem with quite a few APs I've seen is the fact the players are always on the move. Seriously, what's wrong with staying in one region? Runelords is so much fun because the players stay in one area... they can build businesses or have a home if they want. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea. There are groups that get off on a wrong foot with Sandpoint and want to leave. But it is that Home Town aspect that had me fall in love with Night Below, and with Runelords. I want more of that. I want players to want to be heroes not because it's expected... but because they want to save the lives of the people around them. People they consider neighbors and even family.


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Ivan Rûski wrote:
golem101 wrote:
Rise of the Runelords: the connection between book 2 and 3 is weak as written, and the GM should orchestrate a bit better the involvement of the PCs with Magnimar's destiny. Even just having some background ties should suffice.
This. So much this. I did NOT change things, and I actually had to have an out-of-game discussion with my group to continue the AP. They were like, "why should we do this?" and I couldn't really think of a reason on the spot other than "because the book says so".

Yea, very important for Runelords (don't have enough experience with them to speak to other AP's) - if your players are not heroic you're going to have problems. By heroic, I mean the pc's should react to Bad Things Happening to Good People with a desire to directly intervene without a lot of other (financial) motivation. As the AP progresses, these groups of Good People have less and less ability to compensate the pc's at the rate implied by WBL. As mentioned in posts above, it will also help if the pc's care about the town of Sandpoint itself since it is, on a per capita basis, afflicted with a disproportionately high level of Bad Things.

Now if your pc's have a motivational focus on self-promotion instead of self-sacrifice, you can make Runelords work but you need to add/emphasize an additional element. Not only is there a conspiracy afoot to do Something Really Awful (see the title of the AP) but the participants in this conspiracy likely know the location of a City of Unimaginable Wealth (Xin Shalast.) Even within the AP as written there are tidbits that make clear Xin Shalast is a real place and literally has streets of gold. These elements would need to be enhanced a bit or made more transparent to the pc's. Why should I go to some podunk town in central Varisia? What do I care what happens to them? Because the people causing trouble know how to find Shangri-La.

Luke Skywalker: She's rich.
Han Solo: [interested] Rich?
Luke Skywalker: Rich, powerful. Listen, if you were to rescue her, the reward would be...
Han Solo: What?
Luke Skywalker: Well, more wealth than you can imagine!
Han Solo: I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit.


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Latrecis wrote:
Yea, very important for Runelords (don't have enough experience with them to speak to other AP's) - if your players are not heroic you're going to have problems. By heroic, I mean the pc's should react to Bad Things Happening to Good People with a desire to directly intervene without a lot of other (financial) motivation.

It's not necessarily just compensation. In some modules I ask myself "Why are random passersby supposed to solve this problem instead of the local town watch/feudal lord/other people who have a much higher investment in helping out the locals?"

For instance, in the Age of Worms adventure Three Faces of Evil, there's an evil cult beneath the town of Diamond Lake...and nobody cares except the heroes? Umm...okay?

Shadow Lodge

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Orthos wrote:
MannyGoblin wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Joke's on you, I'm running it in Neverwinter Nights. I don't have to worry about all that stuff, the game automates it for me. =D
NWN 1 or 2? Plus link to the modules if it can be done single player. Plzkthx.
1 and no, via an online community server. I really don't play NWN single player ever.

Whoah.

I was completely unaware that game was still alive!

Is NWSigil still a thing?

I thought it was really cool when a bunch of persistent worlds were closing down, and the refugees would end up in Sigil and it made total sense in the game world...

There are still a few scattered communities. I play on/DM/admin for one called Cormyr & The Dalelands. I've played on a handful of others before, some of which are still around, most not. We're still around mostly because we have a decent community (with some bad eggs here and there from time to time, inevitable as that is) and for one reason or another newer games haven't pulled us away for long if at all. Over ten years active and counting. =D

I've not heard of NWSigil before, but a quick Google search turns up nothing more recent than 2005 with regards to it, and its own website (a Tripod page, no less) nothing later than September 2004. So I would assume it's not still around.


Carrion Crown 3, Broken Moon has a lot of problems. In addition to what's already been mentioned it's this murder mystery but it's laden with many red herrings that might make for good story but they don't work in an adventure.

The players don't necessarily have the investigative skills needed to solve the mystery, and the characters don't yet have enough information about the Whispering Way's plot to discount false leads. The characters are already suspicious and any given detail that is out of place could be significant. You are basically pixel b%&#$ing about the lodge, potentially eating up multiple game sessions, accomplishing nothing and even in the inevitable failure of a particular lead going cold (or derailing the adventure) you still don't wind up at a situation where you've found out more about the enemies overarching goals by process of elimination. It's literally just a huge waste of time.

It doesn't help that the immediate next book, despite being a good stand alone adventure, is basically a segue where you get pulled into an adventure by being in the wrong place at the wrong time while on the trail of the Whispering Way.

Silver Crusade

Just finished up Mummy's Mask a couple weeks ago. It was a lot of fun overall and everyone enjoyed themselves! Here's the things that my group didn't like though.

Book 1) They felt the reason to be in Wati was pretty weak overall and took some handwaving to get into the adventure at this part. They enjoyed the dungeons themselves though (well except Haunts but that could be it's own thread).

Book 3) Making the lead to go to Tephu following book 2. I ended up doing the "Okay, this is where the AP goes next. Either we go to Tephu or the campaign kinda goes completely off rails." talk.

They also particularly didn't like the research rules and felt that kinda bogged the game down. This was probably the group's least fun book for story though the encounters ended up being a lot of fun. They enjoyed the scenes with Muminofrah though. Especially when they got to be a jerk back to that Priestess of Nethys.

Book 4) If Tephu was the least fun story wise, this ended up being the least fun encounter wise. They felt the whole Sphinx just dragged on and on and on for way to long. The fight between the two factions inside was mostly ignored as well. By the end I had to remind them pretty much every session why they were even in the Sphinx.


Gratz wrote:
Volaran wrote:
I'll add my vote for Kingmaker: Sound of a thousand Screams, due to insufficient foreshadowing for the PCs. As the GM, you get some foreshadowing, but it really needs to be re-worked in order for the PCs to pick up on it.
Yay, I'm not the only one.

I too had that problem, so instead I wrote Nyrissa out of the story, the ease with which this was accomplished speaks volumes for her involvement.

My Kingmaker:
Instead of book 6 I was going to have a Brevik civil war, but the campaign ended at the beginning of book 5 because I couldn't DM anymore.

Also hilarious things happened in books 3 and 4 that would've made things interesting sprouted up. To compensate for a large party I added the cyclops anti-paladin/grave knight mid-boss from the Kingmaker threads. The players failed knowledge checks and just looted his armor for selling later. When he reformed inside of the bag of holding later the grave knight was right next to the Eye of Abaddon (DOH) and at night he stole it and fled on his huge horse into the night.

After swearing vengeance upon the PCs Grave Knight found out who their gravest enemy, Pitax, was and went to join them. After showing his prowess to Irovetti he was knighted as Sir Thomas Strong, given a helmet, and made into one of Irovettu's castle guards.

Armag... got to complete the ritual because my PCs decided bunker down at Fort Drelleb and fight the Barbarian horde with their own armies. I gave him the anarchic template and replaced his fighter levels with Barbarian levels. His army steamrolled over Fort Drelleb since my players didn't bring their best armies and 3 of them didn't want to learn the army mechanics to transform into one man armies.

Armag the strong, the swift, the brave, and the not very clever decided that since he was so awesome that no man should rule him and decided to kill Irovetti. He arranged a meeting to discuss reward for wrecking my players and slew Irovetti on the spot then got impaled by a large number of bad ass guards, including Thomas Strong.

The ruling council decided resurrecting Irovetti was unnecessary and returned to the previous form of government. Sir Thomas Strong took Ovrinbahn and used the Eye of Abbadon to make it submit. The eye gave Strong the insight to find the epic weapon I replaced Briar with and then Strong became a complete melee monstrosity dual wielding 2 artifact weapons.

Whatever book of Skulls and Shackles had the naval fleet was sad. We won that mass naval combat in 2-3 rounds and less than 30 minutes with only a few sunken ships. It was unsatisfying easy.

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