I have 3 players that want to start playing Pathfinder. One of them has played a few sessions of a tabletop RPG, the others only have video game experience. They watched, and loved, Titansgrave on YouTube, which is what had them approach me to GM. I've been GMing in PFS and a home AP for a couple years, so I'm confident I handle things.
That being said, I'm having trouble deciding where to start. If you had the choice, would you prefer to play through the various adventures set in/near Falcon's Hollow, or run through the adventures in Dragon's Demand?
I'm running a Falcon's Hollow campaign for workmates, and Dragon's Demand for family, all of the players are new. Both games are going really well, so I'll just add some comments based on my experiences:
- Falcon's Hollow is a lot more work. As well as the obvious conversion from 3.5 (easy for monsters, a bit more work for NPCs) there's some gaps in the story and leveling curve that need filling. Thuldrin Kreed is the obvious BBEG, but plays almost no part in the modules as written. I've mostly filled the gaps by finding appropriate PFS scenarios to plug in, changing their storylines to suit, but even that is a lot more work than running a module as written (for Dragon's Demand).
- Dragon's Demand is much quicker to get through than the Falcon's Hollow series. This is good because it gives players a chance to see how their power increases in a relatively short time, but it can also cause some new players to quickly get overwhelmed if they earn new toys too quickly. The longer game of Falcon's Hollow has also let my players there to get much more attached to their characters. Both games run from level 1 to about level 7ish, so the rate of leveling is just slower in the Falcon's Hollow modules.
- Falcon's Hollow has a lot of kobolds, undead and fey, and not much of anything else. Dragon's Demand is a little more varied in the critters you encounter. That said, it's easy to pad out the list of creatures encountered, and the focus on particular types of creatures encountered gives the campaign a tighter feel. I actually like both approaches.
Hope that helps! Let me know if you want more details on what I did with my Falcon's Hollow campaign.
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Cool, no worries.
Lots of old module spoilers below. It turned into a bit of an essay, sorry for the wall of text...
The campaign hook saw my PCs become caravan guards, escorting Lumber Consortium supplies from Almas to Falcon's Hollow. The first module was Into the Haunted Forest: stopping en route to the Hollow at the inn, and getting into a scuffle with the evil party. I'd intended to make them recurring villains, but most of them were killed... ah well, that's pretty normal!
When they got to Falcon's Hollow, they found the town in the grip of a plague. What I actually ran was a mashup of Hollow's Last Hope and PFS 43: The Pallid Plague - the hook from HLH and the actual mission from TPP. The reason for this was that Into the Haunted forest was a "get 5 things" quest, and HLH is a "get 3 things" quest, and I didn't want my players thinking that was all they'd be doing.
The plague eventually cured, we went straight into Crown of the Kobold King, mostly as written, and using the above ground monastery section from Hollow's Last Hope before descending into the dungeon (my party hit level 2 by clearing the monastery).
After this, the party was level 3, and there's a gap in the modules here. We did a few mostly RP sessions to get to know the town a bit. The party became deputies for Sheriff Baleson, and were introduced to Kreed (who they instantly hated). Other recurring characters are Lady Cirthana, Ralla, and Deputy Splint. Also Shavaros Vade, who's role was a little changed: he's actually Drazmorg in my campaign.
I wanted to bring in the werewolf theme a bit, so on the first full moon after they arrived at the hollow, I ran PFS 3-16: The Midnight Mauler. I rethemed it so that the mauler was Ralla's husband, presumed dead from a lumber accident. Splint's partner, Vamros Harg, was the magistrate in trouble.
A couple more home-brew sessions brought the party up to level 4, ready for Carnival of Tears, which I ran as a single all day session, and was amazing.
In the aftermath of the carnival, Shavaros was discovered missing, presumed by most to be amongst the dead in the carnival. My party decided to rob his tower in his (and our Paladin player's) absence, so I ran a very modified version of PFS 49: Among the Dead to represent his basement, where he was experimenting creating undead for the Whispering Way. The PCs now know he's up to no good, and have heard the name Drazmorg, although since Shavaros is a bit mad and refers to himself in third person in his writing, they don't really know that they're the same person.
We've just started Revenge of the Kobold King, which will bring the animosity with Kreed to a head. I'm going to make him a natural lycanthrope, and head of one of the local wolf packs (see reasons below). I imagine the party will want to storm his mansion after the events of Revenge, not sure what I'm going to do with that. As soon as he knows they survived, Kreed will be expecting them, and I think having him rig his whole mansion as a trap for them will be fun. He won't be there, though: his villainy exposed, he'll flee the town.
After that, we'll do Hungry are the Dead. As mentioned, Drazmorg is Shavaros. During the carnival distraction, he fled town to the monastery; having heard the PCs stories from rescuing his son helped him realise that it was what he was searching for: the location of a seal of Tar Baphon's prison. Breaking the seal and absorbing its necromantic energy was the last stage in his ritual to become a lich, although he'll still be alive when the PCs face him. He'll put up a good fight, but ultimately wants the PCs to kill him. He's hidden his phylactery in the ruins of Northsap, the lumber town that existed before Falcon's Hollow was built, and will be reborn as a lich there.
With Drazmorg thought defeated, and Kreed gone, the town celebrates the party's successes. During the party, however, a strange fog rolls over the town, setting up Realm of the Felnight Queen. This will be the conclusion of the Fey arc, with the Felnight Queen being the one responsible for the events of Carnival of Tears. The party's worked with Syntira before (in The Pallid Plague and Carnival) so she'll play the role of Basil Exposition for this one, with Rhoswen being her sister.
The big finale will be the final act from Carrion Crown part 3, Broken Moon. Drazmorg, now a full lich, will raise his army of undead, and work with Kreed to kill the current leader of the werewolves in Darkmoon Vale. Kreed has agreement that he can eat what's left of the heart after Drazmorg completes his ritual to free Tar Baphon, making Kreed the new wolf leader. The other wolf packs of the vale are obviously upset about this. This sets up the finale of the AP issue, moved to the ruins of Northsap, with a lich-led undead army battling the wolf packs of the Vale, with the party caught in the middle. The 'boss fight' will obviously be Kreed and Drazmorg together: a werewolf with class levels and a lich should be a pretty epic encounter for a level 8 or 9 party!
Hope that's helpful, or at least mildly interesting!