Why no love for Giantslayer?


Giantslayer

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Liberty's Edge

Too the issue of troops shutting down martials, perhaps if one or some of them have cleave or any others in that line you could rule that it hits them for damage or partial or even 1.5x the damage as a AoE spell might.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm sorry. I do not see the problem with having overconfident PCs facing a swarm of a dozen hellhounds and finding out that when working together, these things are dangerous once more. Especially as you could go with two swarms of hellhounds that are a little less powerful and individually at or below the CR of the party.

The game is supposed to remain challenging for players. And how is it any different than having an uber-Hellhound that is more powerful than normal ones? In essence the only difference between a Troop of Hellhounds and a couple uber-Hellhounds is the description of how many are attacking, and the fact swarms do auto-damage. And even that can be mitigated against through various methods.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In my experience the player response to something like a troop of hellhounds is not "oops, guess we were overconfident, we'd better play more carefully." It's "gosh, that's cheesy and hard on suspension of disbelief. Okay, if that's the way you want it--" followed by game-destroying levels of PC escalation.

I need my players' goodwill to make the game work, and for whatever reason, troops really rub them the wrong way. They rub me the wrong way too, and I'd be very unhappy as a player with the proposed solution to the hellhound problem. It breaks my understanding of how creatures and combat work, and without that understanding I don't feel I can play well. Should I be developing a new set of tactics to break up groups of creatures, on the grounds that any group may suddenly develop unexpected new abilities and immunities and turn into a lethal threat? Is that the general understanding in the gameworld? (If so, arcane casters will be even more favored than they are now--they are best at this by far.) Or is it actually impossible to break up groups? Why? How? Can we turn into a troop of PCs and become unbeatable? :-)

If your group lacks the immediate reaction of "This is not how the world works" then this solution could work for you. But it doesn't for us.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

And I'd explain it as "I'm using the troop rules on these Hellhounds to speed up combat. Of course, if you prefer I can have these things attack as a group and use flanking rules and dozens of attack rolls, of which I will get a natural 20 in some of them and you will get hurt by this."

And is it any different to say "Oh, these only look like Hellhounds. They're actually Uber-Hellhounds that are far tougher and more powerful than you've encountered before"? Isn't that also basically a "basic" monster and making it difficult to suspend disbelief?

Hell, in my game last night, I had mummies actually give the group a run for their money. But it was because of where they were fought. The first group of six mummies were in a chamber. They used their Surprise Round to open secret doors and take a five-foot step out. Next round the mummies attacked, failed to do more than hurt a couple players, and got massacred. The second group? Identical in every way? Attacked in tight corridors. Only a couple mummies could attack at a time but only a couple could be attacked in turn. And several natural 20s against the players caused the frontline character to be taken down to half hit points and infected with mummy rot.

There is a story called "Tucker's Kobolds" You can find it here in the forums - it's about 1st or 2nd edition Kobolds without class levels or the like being such a threat that 10th level characters RAN IN FEAR of these things. I mean, look at goblins. You could consider them to be comical. Laughable. And yet without class levels I can take a group of goblins and use the environment to make them absolutely terrifying to a group of PCs.

Look at ghouls. Ghouls are simple! Not a problem! Now put them in a cornfield. Have some ordinary scarecrows... and others being ghouls having just turned... and a couple ordinary people so you see a scarecrow, you shoot it, and you just killed some farmer. Or his wife. Sure, they were dying of ghoul fever but they could have been cured and you just shot randomly because they might be ghouls and killed an innocent person.

Now let's add in a thunderstorm coming in. There are spats of rain. It is getting dark so the illumination level is only dim. You have peals of thunder. You have screeching in the dark and you don't know where it is coming from. And out of the seven-foot-high cornstalks suddenly a body lunges and starts ripping away at one of your characters...

All at once "simple" ghouls are a bloody threat.

I can take ordinary hellhounds and using the environment to their advantage, make even high-level characters worry about them. Would your players go "hey, this is cheesy and hard for me to suspend my disbelief, you are cheating!" or would they be drawn into this? Further, I could describe the mass of hellhounds NOT as "you see a dozen hellhounds" but "you see a swarm of burning hounds, a liquid mass of movement with the gnashing of teeth and bursts of flame and burning eyes as they descend upon you..." and all at once you took something that is an "ordinary" encounter of hellhounds... and turned it into something new, some new creature that is a threat.

A troop.

It is all about presentation.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or you can just "holy cow, I rolled another natural 20! Who'd of thunk it possible to do this 10 times in a row!" Granted, the lynching that goes with that is likely unpalatable to most GMs.

Grand Lodge

Has Anyone tried starting this at Level 2? Would it throw the game off that much?

Also are there some fights in the first book that are really difficult? I was going to buy the GM portion on Heorlab and do some of the fights in a play test with my children.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

It shouldn't throw things off too much. You're talking 2,000 XPs which in the long run is insignificant. (My Skype-based Runelords game started at 2nd level and they're now at the recommended level - that XP boost didn't last long.)

Conversely you could just give them double 1st level starting hit points to improve survivability.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Raltus wrote:

Has Anyone tried starting this at Level 2? Would it throw the game off that much?

Also are there some fights in the first book that are really difficult? I was going to buy the GM portion on Heorlab and do some of the fights in a play test with my children.

There are a couple of fights in the first book that will be very difficult if you aren't careful. Yes, I'm looking at you, shadow-rat swarm.


Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Raltus wrote:

Has Anyone tried starting this at Level 2? Would it throw the game off that much?

Also are there some fights in the first book that are really difficult? I was going to buy the GM portion on Heorlab and do some of the fights in a play test with my children.

There are a couple of fights in the first book that will be very difficult if you aren't careful. Yes, I'm looking at you, shadow-rat swarm.

The worst low level fight I remember in any AP was in Second Darkness. Something Incorporeal that had DR 10 on top of it against a group that would normally have no real way of dealing with the combo (no magic weapons and nothing to provide ghost touch on an even temporary basis). Ouch.

Grand Lodge

They all seem to have something funny like that eh? In Serpent Skull there is the fight against the ghost Captain when all you have is maybe the +1 dagger.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Raltus wrote:

Has Anyone tried starting this at Level 2? Would it throw the game off that much?

Also are there some fights in the first book that are really difficult? I was going to buy the GM portion on Heorlab and do some of the fights in a play test with my children.

My buddy starts at 2nd in APs he does (and he's playing in a GS campaign that started at 2nd as well), and I started my Saturday crew at 2nd level for Mummy's Mask. I won't do that any more - the effort required to balance the first act of the book was too much for my liking (though it quickly balances out).

GS is a special kind of dangerous for 1st level characters, however. Without GM fiat, or someone in the party that knows what's coming, one of the very first battles is beyond the party's ability to respond. They literally could all be killed (or even coup de grace'd, which level can't help) in the first round.


Raltus wrote:
They all seem to have something funny like that eh? In Serpent Skull there is the fight against the ghost Captain when all you have is maybe the +1 dagger.

We didn't notice so much is Serpent's Skull, but our party of 6 included a Paladin, Sorceress, Cleric, and Alchemist so we were a little better set up to run into something like that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I started my PCs at 2nd level too and it didn't change anything. Although, I don't use XP either and level people up at appropriate spots.

Grand Lodge

Seannoss wrote:
I started my PCs at 2nd level too and it didn't change anything. Although, I don't use XP either and level people up at appropriate spots.

Do you start all your APs at 2nd level? If so does it change much?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've done it for two APs and it seems to work fine. 1st level characters can be squishy and my players don't like starting at level 1 either.

It especially worked in Giantslayer as the majority of the first level section is the mystery or event based NPC introductions.


Typically, I give my players max starting hp and gold, then while they are leveling up I give exactly average hp (for example, 4hp on the even levels, 5hp on the odd levels for a Cleric). That seems to make them durable enough, but on this particular AP, I will push for them to take both Stealth Synergy (so they can sneak and ambush giants) and Toughness so they won't so easily be critted.


Tangent101 wrote:
And I'd explain it as "I'm using the troop rules on these Hellhounds to speed up combat.

The problem is, you would not be saying truth.

Tangent101 wrote:
Of course, if you prefer I can have these things attack as a group and use flanking rules and dozens of attack rolls, of which I will get a natural 20 in some of them and you will get hurt by this."

Or not. Do not consider your players to be so incapable of calculating the odds that they see no difference between an unfairly hard fight and an effortless stomp.

Tangent101 wrote:
And is it any different to say "Oh, these only look like Hellhounds. They're actually Uber-Hellhounds that are far tougher and more powerful than you've encountered before"?

This of course also sucks, but not quite as badly as trying to implement bad rules. Saying that monsters in a new area magically level up to match the party is a reason to consider that I may better spend my time at home, playing Wicher III or something, yes. Using rules crafted specifically so that players would be challenged by things that have no businness ever challenging PCs of that level is a reason to become sure about that.

Tangent101 wrote:
There is a story called "Tucker's Kobolds" You can find it here in the forums - it's about

...how to be a short-sighted GM who does not value relaxed attitude (or suspension of disbelief) of his players and is signaling to them that the campaing is but a cage for paranoia deathmatch.

Which he is probably going to lose terribly.

Even when imprecision of rules at the time allowed to GM-Fiat lots of stuff against PCs and RNG wasn't structured in a way that low-level monsters are expected to drop off it, a moderately competent OD&D (never mind AD&D 2E) wizard could have annihilated everything described single-handedly in several different ways. Sure it would have been boring methodical butchery, but it was easily doable.

As about the actual solution, may I propose, you know, reading the AP beforehand and replace trash encounters altogether, if you are not satisfied with "okay, I'm not going to roll the rest of this effortless stomp, time to move onto something more interesting".


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

FatR writes:
As about the actual solution, may I propose, you know, reading the AP beforehand and replace trash encounters altogether, if you are not satisfied with "okay, I'm not going to roll the rest of this effortless stomp, time to move onto something more interesting".

This is of course true. But it's disappointing that from module 3 on this is somewhere between half and two-thirds of the encounters. That's a lot of rewriting. I am puzzled by the heavy reliance on too-weak foes. What were the rukhs in #3 supposed to accomplish, for example? There is a risk that "move on to something more interesting" becomes "skip the whole module."

And heaven help you if you use EXP, because this is never going to work. I replaced every single hellhound in #5 with a Nessian hellhound, and nearly doubled the number of giants. If I'd have been using EXP my problems would be made worse instead of better by the resulting doubling of EXP awards.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've tried combining battles where possible. It's pretty easy to do in Mummy's Mask since encounters are only separated by rooms typically. I've not read through book 3 enough to see if it is possible - I'm working on Nargrym's tomb now.

Liberty's Edge

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We've been playing Giantslayer for about 7-8 months now and are in Book 3, about to head in to Nargrym's Tomb.

All five PCs are playing Dwarves from Janderhoff and members of the same clan -- all brothers. The Dwarven vibe has been excellent and that aspect of the game has made it truly unique. No other gaming group has felt like this one, ever. And after playing for going on close to 40 years -- that is saying something.

I have made some changes to the plot with the aim of bringing the Orcs of Belkzen back into the story at times as I thought they were extremely well done. Droja, the half-orc Oracle, is a fascinating character. I LOVE this NPC.

Giantslayer has been a blast and for our group has been as enjoyable as Kingmaker. It takes some time to customize all of this for your own players and what appeals to them. Maybe that's not the sort of thing that appeals to many GMs who want more of the work done for you.

I don't want to suggest I have done all THAT much to the AP, but I have made changes here and there to make it all fit a little better for my group and their tastes. It has been hella fun to play and run and is one of my faves. I happen to think that Tim Hitchcock's Forge of the Giant God is especially well done and calls back to his Kingmaker 1: Stolen Land in terms of its design. He's left enough open in the module that I can plop in a huge centrepiece custom designed explicitly for my players in one part of the Valley.

I won't berate people for liking what they like; but Giantslayer is an excellent AP and I think it will "find love" and its audience over time, in much the same manner as Carrion Crown has.


By an interesting coincidence, the thread right above this one in the Messageboards sidebar at the moment is titled
"Party TPK'd twice in book 1"
(of Giantslayer). That might have something to do with the AP's relative lack of popularity -- first impressions are important. I note there is some discussion upthread of starting the party for this AP at level 2, or giving them double normal hit points at level 1, which would go some way toward mitigating the problem raised in that other thread.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I agree, Steel_Wind, I really like it as well. The changes I've made were necessary, but not so significant as to change to story. I think Nargrym's Tomb will be a blast, too.

Liberty's Edge

I have thoughts, but they're likely not popular.

First, is that it's a super generic adventure. With so many places to go in Golarion and explore, so many stories to be told that can only be told by Paizo, this feels uninspired.
Almost a reaction to 5th Editon, pulling back from the experimentation to a safe bet.

Second, is that giants have been done. That's Runelords, which is one of the most supported adventures of all time. It's hard to top that or remain interested in giants.

Third is the level range. Giants are a high level threat, but the APs always start at 1. So you have one to two volumes of mostly filler until you can face giants.

Fourth is the system. The early parts are also the closest Pathfinder is coming to the orc horde/ Lord of the Rings war adventure path. Which doesn't work because NPC oppoenents are under-CRed compared to monsters, more complicated to run, and require too much gear which quickly breaks wealth-by-level. So it's trying to work the orc war square peg into the giant round hole.

I'm sure it's fine and a lot of fun. But when you're competition is some of the best adventures of all time "fine" is underperforming.

Grand Lodge

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This was the "Back to Basics" AP, if you want Wild new things go with WoTR or IG. Those have interesting sub systems.

The AP delivers 100% on what they want it to. I am about to start RoTRL but is the whole AP giants? How many of the books?

This is 6 books with a Giant as a BBEG so I guess they again delivered on what they said they would.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jester David wrote:
Third is the level range. Giants are a high level threat, but the APs always start at 1. So you have one to two volumes of mostly filler until you can face giants.

Have you actually read it? This claim is patently false.

Liberty's Edge

taks wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Third is the level range. Giants are a high level threat, but the APs always start at 1. So you have one to two volumes of mostly filler until you can face giants.
Have you actually read it? This claim is patently false.

Flipped through it at store. Didn't see any real giants.

Lacking infinite money and time (and already owning a half-dozen APs I'll never run), I‘m only buying and reading APs that will see use.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Then maybe you should refrain from reviewing those you haven't actually read? As noted, your claim is patently false regarding both of the first two books

Liberty's Edge

taks wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Third is the level range. Giants are a high level threat, but the APs always start at 1. So you have one to two volumes of mostly filler until you can face giants.
Have you actually read it? This claim is patently false.

It's pretty much a math thing.

The lowest CR classic giant in the Bestiary is the hill giant at CR 7. First parts of APs generally *just* get you to 4, with the characters being level 3ish in the final bit. But assuming they hit 4th level early, that means you can have *A* hill giant as an end boss (APL +3).

Second volumes tend to slow down to 4-7ish. So by the end you're just starting to get into giant killing range. But you're still limited to the less interesting base giants without class levels, save as bosses: can only fight a Bestiary hill giant so many times before it gets uninteresting. Or maybe 1-2 hill giants at the end.
It's not until the 3rd part when the party is at a level where they can regularly fight back-to-back giants that aren't just the big bags of hit points from the Bestiary.

It's a little like if Iron Gods didn't introduce tech until the final encounter. Of if Mummy's Mask didn't get you to Osiria until the second volume.

Runelords suffered from this as well, as the giant aspect didn't kick in until the pseudo-giants (ogres) of part 3. Giantslayer just replaces the goblin level padding with orcs. Which does a disservice to a race and region that really deserves its own AP.

Had the AP started at level 4 or 5 they could have jumped right into the giants.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Man, you have got to be kidding me. You haven't even read the book, YOU ARE WRONG!!!

For *)^*^& sake, read the book! Both book 1 and 2 have giants, period. Get over yourself. And, hill giants are not the only low-level giants, period.

Liberty's Edge

taks wrote:
Then maybe you should refrain from reviewing those you haven't actually read? As noted, your claim is patently false regarding both of the first two books

I'm not reviewing. I'm giving my opinion on why no love.

Giantslayer apparently didn't wow people or Paizo would have responded by giving it more support. I'm giving the reasons I was uninterested and extrapolating why others might have felt the same.

But since you read it, how many giants do the adventurers really slay in the first two volumes? In the 50 odd encounters it takes to get to level 7, how many are giants?

Liberty's Edge

taks wrote:

Man, you have got to be kidding me. You haven't even read the book, YOU ARE WRONG!!!

For *)^*^& sake, read the book! Both book 1 and 2 have giants, period. Get over yourself. And, hill giants are not the only low-level giants, period.

Buying the books are $40 plus shipping. I'm on a budget. (Low hours are work, family, Canadian dollar reduced to Monopoly money, etc)

That's just not money I'm going to spend solely to have a debate on the Internet.


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Jester David wrote:
taks wrote:

Man, you have got to be kidding me. You haven't even read the book, YOU ARE WRONG!!!

For *)^*^& sake, read the book! Both book 1 and 2 have giants, period. Get over yourself. And, hill giants are not the only low-level giants, period.

Buying the books are $40 plus shipping. I'm on a budget. (Low hours are work, family, Canadian dollar reduced to Monopoly money, etc)

That's just not money I'm going to spend solely to have a debate on the Internet.

The you might just want to avoid talking points easily refuted by anyone who has purchased the actual book (or pdf). And stop doubling down.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

To hell you aren't reviewing. You said, specifically

Quote:
Third is the level range. Giants are a high level threat, but the APs always start at 1. So you have one to two volumes of mostly filler until you can face giants..

This statement is patently wrong. The first giant you face is ON THE COVER of book 1.

And, for the record, you are also wrong about giants. The lowest true giants are all CR 6: cave giant, river giant, and wood giant.

In the first 2 adventures you kill probably 20 or so. As noted, the BBEG is a giant in every book (technically, you face the cave giant before the BBEG in book 1).

If you can't afford the book, or haven't bothered to read it, that's your business, but you certainly don't lend any credibility to your opinion when it's base purely on a guess of what you think may be true, and noted as false by not just one poster.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sorry, 8 or 9. Cave giant, marsh giant, and the rest are hill giants. There's also a hill giant skeleton, but he's nerfed relatively speaking.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The reason for the "lack of love" for the AP is that there are numerous encounters that are not challenging... mixed in with areas of extreme difficulty that have resulted in Total Party Kills. Add into that the final book which continues the adventure from the previous game without a chance to rest or recuperate and which gives the party a method by which they can avoid most of the encounters and end the game early, and you get "no love."

I will say this. I've been collecting APs since Reign of Winter. GS was one which I had hopes for, being a fan of Against the Giants. I ended up not all that interested in it as the AP got into the final couple of books. It's like the story just lost steam.

Ah well. Hopefully Paizo will take up a challenge I've been suggesting for a while - a non-Mythic AP that strives to reach level 20 by cutting out easy encounters and having every encounter be CR+1 or higher, with most being CR+2 or CR+3. In this situation, a "Hard Mode" AP that did end up with some weaker encounters... would still be a decent challenge instead of a cakewalk as some have complained of in GS. (As for how? An early level artifact that makes it difficult to kill off the PCs perhaps, or allows reincarnation or resurrection.)

But that's neither here nor there.

Liberty's Edge

taks wrote:
To hell you aren't reviewing. You said, specifically
Quote:
Third is the level range. Giants are a high level threat, but the APs always start at 1. So you have one to two volumes of mostly filler until you can face giants..

This statement is patently wrong. The first giant you face is ON THE COVER of book 1.

And, for the record, you are also wrong about giants. The lowest true giants are all CR 6: cave giant, river giant, and wood giant.

In the first 2 adventures you kill probably 20 or so. As noted, the BBEG is a giant in every book (technically, you face the cave giant before the BBEG in book 1).

If you can't afford the book, or haven't bothered to read it, that's your business, but you certainly don't lend any credibility to your opinion when it's base purely on a guess of what you think may be true, and noted as false by not just one poster.

Okay, fine, it's a cave giant not a hill giant. That's a semantic difference. The fact remains you fight a single giant in the penultimate encounter. So the remaining 95% of the encounters in part one are unrelated to giants.

If you're right and part two has 19 giant encounters, then that's a lot. But there's still no reason the AP couldn't have started at the events of part two, jumping right into the meat of giant slaying.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Jester David wrote:
taks wrote:
To hell you aren't reviewing. You said, specifically
Quote:
Third is the level range. Giants are a high level threat, but the APs always start at 1. So you have one to two volumes of mostly filler until you can face giants..

This statement is patently wrong. The first giant you face is ON THE COVER of book 1.

And, for the record, you are also wrong about giants. The lowest true giants are all CR 6: cave giant, river giant, and wood giant.

In the first 2 adventures you kill probably 20 or so. As noted, the BBEG is a giant in every book (technically, you face the cave giant before the BBEG in book 1).

If you can't afford the book, or haven't bothered to read it, that's your business, but you certainly don't lend any credibility to your opinion when it's base purely on a guess of what you think may be true, and noted as false by not just one poster.

Okay, fine, it's a cave giant not a hill giant. That's a semantic difference. The fact remains you fight a single giant in the penultimate encounter. So the remaining 95% of the encounters in part one are unrelated to giants.

If you're right and part two has 19 giant encounters, then that's a lot. But there's still no reason the AP couldn't have started at the events of part two, jumping right into the meat of giant slaying.

The first AP has trolls, and 2 giants (one undead). The second has lots of ogres.

Btw the first AP is actually excellent imo and quite challangening too.

Edit: also, they are right you know? Don't make "informed statements" about stuff you don't know much about, some people don't look kindly on that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes. There is. Level 1 characters die with one shot when facing Giants. It's like having your brand new Skyrim character run up to a non-scripted Giant encounter in the middle of the wild. You will end up launched into the air while your character's body does ragdoll effects.

Okay, now let's use another example. Let us say Paizo decided to do a dragon-centric AP. The first book could have as its culmination a Red Dragon Hatchling. It is a CR-6 encounter. It would be the Boss Encounter for the first book of the AP, probably with several Kobalds giving assistance to boost the CR to 7 or 8, so that level 3 or 4 characters would have a fairly hard time.

If that baby dragon encounters level 1 PCs, they will die. It's AC 19, has 59 hit points, and one lucky flame breath could kill everyone (2d10 damage) - and all it has to do is fly around and breath on the PCs several times to kill them off otherwise. So obviously you're not fighting a dragon with level 1 characters! Instead, you fight things stirred up by the dragon and things that the dragon has started controlling.

Likewise with Giantslayer... you are fighting lackeys of the giants - in this case orcs. Because level 1 characters can't fight giants and live. And you don't fight a bunch of giants and have a chance until you're pushing 8th or 9th level. Or higher.

Liberty's Edge

Rogar Valertis wrote:
also, they are right you know? Don't make "informed statements" about stuff you don't know much about, some people don't look kindly on that.

The thing is, I disagree that I don't know much.

I may not know the specifics, but I can look up the level range of giants and know how encounters are built. So I can make an educated guess at how the first part was designed.
It's not rocket science that there aren't going to be many actual giants at low levels and a high percentage of the book will be fights with non-giant creatures.

Tangent101 wrote:

Yes. There is. Level 1 characters die with one shot when facing Giants. It's like having your brand new Skyrim character run up to a non-scripted Giant encounter in the middle of the wild. You will end up launched into the air while your character's body does ragdoll effects.

Okay, now let's use another example. Let us say Paizo decided to do a dragon-centric AP. The first book could have as its culmination a Red Dragon Hatchling. It is a CR-6 encounter. It would be the Boss Encounter for the first book of the AP, probably with several Kobalds giving assistance to boost the CR to 7 or 8, so that level 3 or 4 characters would have a fairly hard time.

If that baby dragon encounters level 1 PCs, they will die. It's AC 19, has 59 hit points, and one lucky flame breath could kill everyone (2d10 damage) - and all it has to do is fly around and breath on the PCs several times to kill them off otherwise. So obviously you're not fighting a dragon with level 1 characters! Instead, you fight things stirred up by the dragon and things that the dragon has started controlling.

Likewise with Giantslayer... you are fighting lackeys of the giants - in this case orcs. Because level 1 characters can't fight giants and live. And you don't fight a bunch of giants and have a chance until you're pushing 8th or 9th level. Or higher.

Right. And the adventure can have you spend 4+ sessions getting to the appropriate level... or it could just start at a higher level. It's not like there's a requirement that every Module needs to start at level 1.

Why are APs shackled to starting at level one? Paizo sets their own guidelines, and can change them if they want. If they can have a mythic or science fantasy or evil AP, they can have one that starts at level 5.

There's no shortage of alternatives. They could have released a module for low level characters at the same time as a "prologue". Or directed players to existing APs, modules, or PFS scenerios.

A dragon-centric AP where you barely fight dragons for the first third isn't a very satisfactory dragon-centric AP. It's a kobold centric AP that changes tone 30% through the adventure.

It's a flaw. Whether or not it's a flaw you and your group can work around will vary from group to group. If your players are okay with waiting a couple months to face a giant, then sure, Giantslayer can work for them. But for others, the amount of padding needed to hit the level range so the actual story can begin is problematic, and that's worth noting.
It's a point worth considering.

Liberty's Edge

I think the reason I'm arguing so much on this is this discussion could be summarized as:

"Why isn't Giantslayer more popular??"
"Well, here's one of the reasons I didn't buy..."
"Your opinion doesn't count, you didn't buy the AP!"


Jester David wrote:

I think the reason I'm arguing so much on this is this discussion could be summarized as:

"Why isn't Giantslayer more popular??"
"Well, here's one of the reasons I didn't buy..."
"Your opinion doesn't count, you didn't buy the AP!"

The problem is you are presenting your opinion as objective fact about what is in the AP. Other people have said they didn't buy based on other factors, but have never presented it as facts about what must be in the books they never opened, and didn't get the same reaction.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In Jester davids defence and as someone who ran the entire Ap He's not wrong about the first book (3 giants total 2 of which are from that issues bestiary and are only medium sized.)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also on that note for me the best parts of the ap were the none giant parts (Mainly the orcs/half orcs/lover sabatour) from the first two books.)


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
In Jester davids defence and as someone who ran the entire Ap He's not wrong about the first book (3 giants total 2 of which are from that issues bestiary and are only medium sized.)

He's said none. Three is more than none. The cave giant and hill giant skeleton are both large, btw.

I don't count the troll, FWIW.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

It's been stated outright that Paizo will not start an AP at a level higher than 1st. This has been requested before, in hopes of having an AP that runs to level 20. The problem is that you need to start at level 7 or so in order to end at level 20.

I've incorporated new players into existing games. The higher the level game, the more time it takes. One potential player ended up never able to meet with me online so we could work on her character so I stopped asking. It's a shame really... but creating a level 13 character takes time and work.

Another created a Sorceress at level 7 or 8. It was also a lot of work (though the player has turned out to be perhaps the most innovative and disruptive in a good way by using spells I'd dismissed otherwise). And there is less investment in your character when you start at a higher level.

So... no. Paizo isn't going to create an AP starting at higher level. They have found a format that works. They also tend to sell more of the first couple parts of an AP and then have purchases slide afterward. Economically it's not in Paizo's interest to do what you want. And no, the customer is NOT always right. That is a fallacy that costs companies money, especially as customers start manipulating events so to "be right" and get free stuff as a result.

tl;dr: There IS a requirement that every AP start at level 1. It's Paizo's policy and is born out by economics and sales.


Mary Yamato wrote:
taks wrote:

Your player? Like, a single person?

{. . .}

Yes, one player/three characters; pretty standard for our house games. This is what happens when two gamers marry each other....

{. . .}

Off-topic, but could somebody tell me how to do this? I'll even play in a Giantslayer campaign if it helps . . . .


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

Marry a gamer, or play three characters...


Yes.


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

Not sure I can help there. I had to go deep cover, quit gaming for 15+ years then roped her in after we'd been married a few years.

I always had a weakness for long winded circuitous plans. :-)


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

Maybe douse yourself in Axe Body Spray and hang out at the local game store and see what bites. Otherwise I hear internet dating sites have come a long way. :-)

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