Hi there... my group just finished Rise of the Runelords (anniversary edition) and I need something new for them in about three weeks. I've been taking a break as DM for a bit but I'll be expected to start up again soon. I had been planning to start the Wrath of the Righteous as my next big AP but everything I've read about it here in the forums seems negative, so now I'm starting to have second thoughts.
So I'm asking, if you were ME, which AP would you choose to run for my players? Here's what you need to know: 1.) I don't have time to create my own full-blown campaign, (though I'm adept at making tweaks and changes to encounters on the fly to suit my group) so it absolutely HAS to be a Pathfinder adventure path. No home-brew campaigns.
2.) My group consists of 5-6 players (not counting myself), with an average of each of them having 6-10 years experience playing D&D/Pathfinder. Most of them are reasonable to excellent role-players and there are no min-maxers among them, though no one likes playing weak characters. The group enjoys combat mixed in with opportunities for role-play and puzzle/problem solving.
And 3.) We've already played and completed Rise of the Runelords and have previously started (played 1 to 2 chapters) of Second Darkness, Kingmaker, and Carrion Crown. Also I don't own the Skulls & Shackles or the Jade Regent APs.
Suggestions? Which APs do you like best as a GM, and why? For that matter, which ones do you hate to run, and why? I could really use your advice.
As a GM I have ran parts of Curse of the Crimson Throne, Mummy's mask, and all of Carrion crown. That said I find Mummy Mask to be the easiest to run and quite enjoyable. I really enjoyed Curse and Carrion crown but I made quite a few GM edits to make the game work for my table.
That said if you want an AP that seems to work well with little GM fiddling I think Mummy's mask is the ticket.
My pro tips for 5 players are to keep them a level behind the advancement track starting about level 5. I also max all enemy HP. Good luck!
We've already played and completed Rise of the Runelords and have previously started (played 1 to 2 chapters) of Second Darkness, Kingmaker, and Carrion Crown.
Of the listed options, Kingmaker is my favorite. But it requires a lot of DM input and work, especially making the plot make a bit more sense... which the Kingmaker forum here has done a lot to help out.
Second option would be Carrion Crown.
Second Darkness takes a LOT of work to get running, requires the DM be willing to tweak some things and fill some plot holes, and requires converting up from 3.5. Add on that it focuses around Drow and my interest personally is extremely low.
If you're willing to pick up something not on this list... Crimson Throne. Gods above and below, Crimson Throne. A strong contender for the best AP ever put out by Paizo - right up there with Age of Worms, Savage Tide, and Rise of the Runelords - and even the need to convert up from 3.5 doesn't hamper this one. This story is a masterpiece and I highly, highly recommend running it if you can.
I'm also running Mummy's Mask and find it to be good straight out of the box. My groups are having fun. Fair warning, the first book is all dungeon crawl and not a lot of plot. The entire AP is pretty dungeon crawl heavy, though it's also got some unique spots and fun rp as well.
Yes MM is dungeon heavy, however, the first book is ripe with RP potential. My group spent a ton of time investigating/meeting the other delving groups so there is absolutely RP opportunities for the group to enjoy.
Really depends on your play style, your preferences for "feel", and your PCs preferences for "feel." Case in point, I won't run Kingmaker because I know I can't do 'sandbox' games all that well, and I won't run Iron Gods because I don't particularly want sci-fi in my fantasy. :P
As far as personal favorite, though? Probably Mummy's Mask (but again, personal choices; I'm a big Osirion/Egypt buff)