Why no love for Giantslayer?


Giantslayer

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Tangent101 wrote:

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.

It's also possible to shove in more leveling- Wrath did this.


captain yesterday wrote:
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. :-)

I think I went on dates with 3 different women I met at a used bookstore. Although nothing really panned out in the end.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You guys are just not quite right. ;)


taks wrote:
You guys are just not quite right. ;)

My wife tells me that quite often. Normally followed with a comment about that being how we work so well together. Even more so when we watch Bodacious Space Pirates and comment on the subtext (which borders on text).

Granted, my business in this thread was to try and ecide if I wanted to pick up Giantslayer to run for my gaming group, but moving away put a damper on that. It's a little tougher when playing via Skype, especially when you can't see half the players. I'd hate to try and run a game that way.


taks wrote:
You guys are just not quite right. ;)

Me too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Skype and Roll20 can work for games. I do it for my Runelords game and it's a lot of fun. Except when Skype isn't working well...


Tangent101 wrote:
Skype and Roll20 can work for games. I do it for my Runelords game and it's a lot of fun. Except when Skype isn't working well...

It works for playing, although the house everyone games at has basic DSL instead of cable internet (I have slightly faster DSL), and a pile of people who can't put down their internet devices. I'd hate to try and run from where I live based on that alone.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I always read through an AP in full before running it for my gaming group. As with anything else, it is critical for the GM to know what his or her players will enjoy, and how to present the material to them in a way that will make it worth their time. Some gaming groups like challenge. Others like story. Those two are not exclusive, as some appreciate both. Pretty much any AP is wide open for the GM to have to make modifications for his or her individual gaming group. So I always judge APs based upon how much material they already have in them that can be used to satisfy a diverse collection of players.

One of Giantslayer's strengths is that it is a classic trope. Man vs. Giants. Or, in my case, Dwarves vs. Giants, which is almost the same but adds a new layer due to the traditional animosity between the races. There is a lot within this that a GM can take advantage of when weaving a story that should keep the players interested...if they are interested in the story. And the module itself throws a few bones the GMs way for this - the enraging insult over what led to Grenseldek's attempted sacking of Trunau and the great loss of life there, for example. Discovering what prompted the attack is a detail that should infuriate any character (and maybe player!) that successfully bought into "love for Trunau" in the first book, as well as openly display the kind of regard giants have for the lives of "others races" when compared to their own priorities.

Another strength I found is that certain individual encounters are exciting, and some of the scenarios presented for challenge are great. Again, if challenge is something that excites your group. My players are longtime optimizers who concern themselves (overmuch, imo) with mechanics, and so overcoming what they perceive as a genuine challenge gives them a feeling of accomplishment that they will continue to talk about for months. Or, if I'm lucky, years. The siege section of the first book was great for them because of what it forced them to do - go, go, go, go, facing several encounters with no opportunity for rest, scrounging resources as best they can, trying to fight tactically and with whatever help they can get to conserve resources (and HP!) It was this fact that made them actually want to take advantage of some of the terrain and tactical features of the encounter areas instead of just bumrushing everything with axe raised. They also enjoyed planning out their approach to Fort Redlake and how exactly to take the place down. They sort of enjoyed infiltrating Minderhal's Cathedral in the third book.

The dynamics of Skirgaard did not work out as well for them. Although they appreciated and understood the mechanics, they became aware that their own power level made it seem like they should not have been pussyfooting around with the village. They opted to play it safe, but I fear their own restraint maybe made it less fun for them in the grand scheme of things.

I am now in the midst of the fifth book and I am making it something of a bittersweet return to the challenge they experienced in the first book - the rapid fire approach with little to no chance for rest and the need to think critically and conserve resources in order to accomplish a goal. When they discover this will bleed right over into the final book I fully expect to blow their minds.

Giantslayer's strengths appeal, overall, I think, to players who like the theme of the AP and those kinds of tactics-based challenges.

One of the AP's weaknesses, perhaps, is that the challenges are not uniform. Some work better than others. And in the cases of the third and fifth books in particular, it can seem a terrible slog through a bunch of seemingly disconnected encounters. The GM has to do some significant work (at least I had to) in order to really make them pop. To make them relevant, and not seem like a waste of time that couldn't be handwaived as "you kill these giants that are not of any particular challenge to you" (which I did do a few times). Because they made it easy for me due to the way they planned their tactics, this party of plucky dwarves managed to draw the ire of several giant encounters in one area at the same time, and this very muchly satisfied their "giantslayer" desires, as their battlefields became littered with corpses in mass battles that lasted most if not all of a night's three to four hour session.

Another weakness is that for players who appreciate a story behind the campaign or running with it, well, the GM has a lot of work to do there.

I think they give you something to work with in the beginning. You have a home you fight to defend and that you apparently love, if that is how you built the character. Mine were built that way. This carries over a little into the second book, but then after that, it becomes easy to lose sight of what you are fighting for, what this war against giants means in the grand scheme of things. My players made this a little easier for me because they all played dwarves, so I was able to invent a large side story in Janderhoff involving one of the PCs (the one who took on Steelhand's steel hand) becoming the new "poster boy" for dwarven heritage and tradition, being used as a political tool by the royalty and ambassadors to support various legislation, promote various campaigns, etc. I also invented a side story involving the mines they discover in the third book and having to negotiate with a bunch of other people who had shares of interests in the mine. I also created an entire "background" that I liked for Nargrym Steelhand since his legacy (and the truth of his life) became so critical for my players due to the side stories I was running and how it will dovetail in the final book. The AP doesn't get into overmuch, nor should they have, really, because it allows for GMs to custom tailor that as necessary if it will even be meaningful for their group. It is for mine. But since the fifth book is, in essence, a massive dungeon crawl, I replaced the lower levels of the book with a Hell's Rebels style contract negotiation with multiple parties in Janderhoff that was more story and investigation based, and the mines themselves led to a secret entrance into Ashpeak. Ignore how far Minderhal's Valley is from Ashpeak, of course. I didn't exactly have to get into that with my players!

All in all, I can see why there might not be as much love for Giantslayer as for other APs. What I view as its primary strength isn't one that appeals to every players, and it also isn't entirely consistent through the whole of the AP. And since it is fairly linear, a GM has a lot of work to do from a story perspective to tailor the AP to his players and give them a motivation either beyond "giants must die" or that justifies a "giants must die" mindset.

In my campaign, I am deliberately troubling the "giants must die" mindset, and I think my players enjoy it. They are all dwarves, and as players they see what I am doing and realize how in some cases they are dancing on dangerous ethical grounds, and it has generated some entertaining/heated conversations between this tightly knit family.

So, Giantslayer isn't everyone's cup of tea. Or, it gives you fine bone china teacup and saucer along with a decent herbal blend, but you have to boil the water yourself and find out from each player how much sugar they want.

Grand Lodge

I have a fair amount of experience now running Giantslayer for the past few months. We have just about reached the end of book two. The characters are completing the Vault of Thorns and then moving onward. As others have said the AP has issues. But your creative juices as a DM/GM should flow. I get to thinking on my feet and even sometimes get up to walk outside to just think for a minute. Pacing is an issue in the first book and rest could be an issue depending on how much information the characters get and do due diligence about. Orc ferocity can be frightful. Criticals with falchions are also scary. A GM may have a problem figuring out how Roderick/Kurst/Sara and all the others of the town work with each other. I would wholeheartedly recommend all players get the players guide PDF for free for the giantslayer series. It gives tons of info about the area and Trunau.

Spoilers ahead

Plot spoiler:

The boat encounters worked amazingly well. The whole sabotage schtick and having the captain/coxswain conversation about how it could happen was key for the players find out there was something going on after the railing broke and Oogrukh fell in the water. The group then had a pirate on their side after they saved him and he became integral to the story. When the girallon escaped the next day and busted through the wall in the rowing galley the power of the ape was shown when he tore the first orc limb from limb. The party then expended hero points to actually take it down. Thoroughly mean encounter!! After the huge loss of money by the captain losing the ape. I mean imagine the girallon was caught, caged, drugged, fed for weeks on end then it rips apart one of his crew destroying a wall in the galley and the party kills it. I played it off that the captain was going to retire using the money from the ape sale to be comfortable. This didn't come to be so he thanked the party for saving the boat and actually gave them the belt he had as thanks. His liver/kidney damage was taking its toll and he actually was dying. He has a few weeks left before his time in the pits and the poisons/drugs he used take their toll and he fades away. He is planning on giving the boat over to Ooogrukh or the Coxswain. This book gives you plenty of space to ad lib. So back to the ape....The party member who was rowing near the wall saw the door, which was previously locked, with a big padlock the previous day now without the lock on it. He didn't give it a thought till the cage rattled and the ape escaped. After this encounter the group searched the boat with the captains blessing from top to bottom to discover the other hidden secret...not revealing in case others are reading.
Further up river the drake encounter was kind of stupid with the horse just standing there when it was taken to be eaten at a later time. IMHO The Blix encounter went great. The dam encounter was awful. A waste of a day of time since they killed one of the mobs in the first round and the others ran away. After getting this dam cleared by using the horses with ropes ripping the dam apart so the water could do the rest of the work the party waited till they could get the boat up river. Plus they used the power of enlarge to help clear it. The party made it to the marsh and Targ gave them the fight of their lives the whole crew and party got into the fight. Afterwards the party took the longboat into the marsh. A skeltercat followed the party when they met the hydra the blood and burning flesh of the hydra gave the skeltercat reason to attack the group after screaming and exuding its musk the priest ran off the group finished off the skeltercat.(random encounter) Afterwards, from the fear exuded by the cleric as he was running through the marsh, Mossmoon came to investigate and followed the party and led them further into the marsh. The party was led to the area where Ingrahild made her camp. After great roleplaying the group figured out she was afflicted with a malady and as she floated in and out of lucidity they determined when she said Ulmo ran off before she could cure him and reached for her belt that they could use her potion. She then tried to attack them and they all grappled her to the ground and tied her up to get more info and were getting ready to feed her the potion when the cleric came up with a way to give her another saving throw on her insanity/curse check and she made it. She snapped out of it with the potion intake. So now, if they do find Ulmo they will have a potion to save him. Ingrahild joined, a rogue half archer, a human priest of Iomadae, and a human wizard along with Oogrukh the pirate(who was rowing the boat for them) further into the marsh. Mossmoon then confronted the group as a wisp and the group was going to attack the wisp but because he saw the lantern and the group used diplomacy and actually made 2 rolls and beat the odds to change Mossmoon's dislike to friendliness towards the group. He led them to the husk's and then said his goodbyes. The group made it to the circle of stones and while they washed the menhir with the light out of a summoned fog bank the bodyguard of the hags Gripwort attacked. It was an insane fight ending with Oogrukh our favored pirate friend being cursed and running off into the swamp. The battle of the ring finished with the wizard blasting a lightning bolt into the outer stone and it fell on the marsh giant. The party hurt terribly by the gaff wielding giant then entered the portal without their pirate friend. Once inside they used linguistics to determine what the portal said and as they were getting ready to enter the twigjacks, mean little fey creatures, that used their 4d6 blast to great effectiveness but in the end fell. The party took a day off rest and then entered the next door which led over the bridge which left Ingrahild blind. The party then went back out to see if they could find Oogrukh and searched the area and gathered water. In the process they found the two dwarven bodyguard bodies eaten by Gripwort amongst a skeleton of a skeltercat and other bones. The also found a pair of boots of the winterlands worn by one of the dwarves, a magical figurine of wondrous power of an owl attached to the front of a dwarven pipe (This figurine actually helped the party, unbeknownst to me that it was going to) It is able to turn into a giant owl (I gave it 1d20-- 18 charges, the book says 3) but in turn the group was not only able to have knowledge nature from the owl, the 18 foot tall owl!!! Which none of them had and this whole dungeon is one big nature knowledge mecca it also can see as if true seeing. While the group went in to talk to the elf on the dais Ingrahild was led in. When Ewigga saw the dwarf she spoke to her and in the process of the conversation Ingrahild, who was blind, asked the wizard if the person standing in front of them was a big green hag looking thing. The wizard, who was using the owl at the time asked me if the doors were still open I said of course, you never closed them. He asked the Wise old giant owl to look in the door and these huge eyeballs peered in and the owl saw the hag in true form. The wizard got a surprise attack on the hag and blasted her with his scorching ray beginning another life or death battle with the hag. After this great encounter the group is taking a two week break and will be back after memorial day. If you have any questions about the adventure up to this point let me know. And if you are in the south central PA/Western MD/WVA panhandle area and are looking for the game. Feel free to message me.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Good info, guys. It really does seem that everyone has a different experience, though certain pieces all tend to work out similarly. I have another update for my noob group from yesterday that I'll post in the Hill Giant's Pledge thread. It is going sort of like I expected in terms of difficulty, but the boys are getting the hang of tactics and really thinking through what they are doing. They are having a blast (as am I).

Dark Archive

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SMNGRM wrote:


The problem is that I don't see much love for it when I'm reading forums for reviews. Is there something inherently wrong with the AP, is it because it's still relatively new, or is it backlash for traditional fantasy after Paizo did something so out there with Iron Gods?

Besides many of the other items that folks have already said in this thread about items in giantslayer.....the answer is yes, actually. There is a segment that does feel that way. To quote another person in this very forum:

"It's the most boring Paizo AP to date. I mean, it's not badly written or with structural problems, but it just doesn't have a single theme, NPC, location or idea which grabbed me. It feels like if after Iron Gods Paizo decided to put out a super turbo conservative AP to placate the grognards and compete with WotC in the field of traditional adventures."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Giantslayer was an attempt to modernize and homage Against the Giants.

Compared to the first book of Iron Gods, which was also an homage to a great TSR module, it failed.

I actually had high hopes for it. AtG was a favorite of mine. Sadly, it just didn't succeed. And I'm honestly baffled as to why... but there are some APs I've read several times. This one I read once and put it aside. (Mind you, Hell's Vengeance appears to be another I will read once and put aside. The three APs that have genuinely caught my attention and kept me drawn to them are Reign of Winter, Rise of the Runelords, and Hell's Rebels. Wrath of the Righteous started strong... but it lost steam.)

There is of course another reason why some APs draw less attention from me than others - time. My Skype group meets between 15-18 times a year. My tabletop group (with a couple Skype players) died, and after being brought back as pure tabletop, has languished because of real life concerns and I'll be lucky to pull off a dozen games in this year. Probably less.

So I'm limited as to what I can run. And those APs that fail to ignite my interest and passion... just get put into storage. Maybe someyear I'll be able to run a weekly game again and can start running old Paizo APs. I can hope.


You didn't list Iron Gods as one that caught your attention. How is that even possible.

Dark Archive

Starship Captain Yesterday wrote:
You didn't list Iron Gods as one that caught your attention. How is that even possible.

Some folks dont like tech mixed with their fantasy game. Iron Gods has no interest for me either......if I wanted them mixed together, I'd pull out my shadowrun books......


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But that's really no different than Iron Gods. :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I listed the three top ones that got my attention. Iron Gods did, but it wasn't in the top three. WotR got an honorary because I really liked its start... and then it fell apart.

Maybe someday I'll run just Book 1 of WotR. It's the best part of the AP.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Part of the reason I like GS is that it's easy to run. Mummy's Mask is as well. GS is also particularly easy to modify. Both chapter 3s of those 2 start out rather sandboxish (a bit harder to run), but I'm thinking MM's will be better.

Hell's Rebels will be more of a challenge, but the parts I've read are compelling. We should be starting in a week or 2... I hope.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sorry to hear about your issues, Tangent101. Unfortunately, I wonder if I'm about to hit a similar dry spell. After playing off and on for nearly 40 years, I finally decided I enjoy this more than my various other hobbies, and it's actually less expensive in the long run. At this age, however, life tends to interfere.


When I finish DMing Serpent Skull this AP is next in the queue for our group, we rotate DMing duties, so I'll be playing. Totally excited about this AP since like Taks eluded to it's a nod to the "D" series of modules which I can remember playing in my high school lunch room way way back in the day lol.


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carmachu wrote:
SMNGRM wrote:


The problem is that I don't see much love for it when I'm reading forums for reviews. Is there something inherently wrong with the AP, is it because it's still relatively new, or is it backlash for traditional fantasy after Paizo did something so out there with Iron Gods?

Besides many of the other items that folks have already said in this thread about items in giantslayer.....the answer is yes, actually. There is a segment that does feel that way. To quote another person in this very forum:

"It's the most boring Paizo AP to date. I mean, it's not badly written or with structural problems, but it just doesn't have a single theme, NPC, location or idea which grabbed me. It feels like if after Iron Gods Paizo decided to put out a super turbo conservative AP to placate the grognards and compete with WotC in the field of traditional adventures."

To be fair, the people who are saying that were the exact same people saying the exact same things before the AP ever came out, so it seems pretty safe to say that they already had their minds made up... might not make them the best source on the subject.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am the people. The Leviathan, the will of many given singular shape and form. It makes me feel so ... special. Thanks Wiggz!


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I was actually quite pumped for Giantslayer.

Until it came out and it's escalating theme of different giant armies or dungeons turned me off, even with a recent opportunity to purchase it at 60% off, it still didn't do anything for me.

Admittedly, I didn't read too deeply, but nope, not a fan.


Well, I'm so far into the second Giantslayer adventure, and I don't see anything wrong with it. Granted, I did change the treasure a bit so as to be more useful to my players, but I do that with all AP's.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Sorry, I'm with Cap here. I went into the modules all enthused because I'm a fan of the old TSR module series Against the Giants. And... this AP fell flat. It just never really drew me in.

Not all APs do. Reign of Winter and Rise of the Runelords are the two that truly caught my imagination. Hell's Rebels has done so as well. But some of the APs just fumble the ball, like GS, WotR, and SD.


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Tangent101 wrote:

Sorry, I'm with Cap here. I went into the modules all enthused because I'm a fan of the old TSR module series Against the Giants. And... this AP fell flat. It just never really drew me in.

Not all APs do. Reign of Winter and Rise of the Runelords are the two that truly caught my imagination. Hell's Rebels has done so as well. But some of the APs just fumble the ball, like GS, WotR, and SD.

I think a lot of it can be what you make of it... the AP's as presented are, to me, a starting point. With the characters we made, Wrath of the Righteous really came alive - sure, we ditched the Mythic rules, but that seemed like the right choice from the get-go... a little adjustment of the backstory, a few tweaks here and there and it played like a dream.

Giantslayer looked a little generic on the surface, but again, its what the group makes of it. We created an all Half-Orc party patterned after the movie 'Four Brothers' that tied into the opening book really well, and it became more about the group and character development than the novelty of the adventure. To that end, it worked out superbly. It was very exciting and very rewarding, though I'll admit we didn't get past the fourth book, gaming groups being what they are.

I get that some who want to run an AP as written, who don't have the time or the energy to re-write it as needed, to fix what needs fixing in some cases... they might find this adventure or that one less appealing, but every campaign has passionate fans and every campaign has detractors... kinda tough for me to write one off knowing that others have enjoyed it immensely. For instance, Iron Gods and - I suspect - Strange Aeons will do nothing for me. In fact, I'm cutting my subscription out before it begins... just not my cup of tea, but that doesn't necessarily make them bad APs.


captain yesterday wrote:

I was actually quite pumped for Giantslayer.

Until it came out and it's escalating theme of different giant armies or dungeons turned me off, even with a recent opportunity to purchase it at 60% off, it still didn't do anything for me.

Admittedly, I didn't read too deeply, but nope, not a fan.

You were quite pumped for an AP titled 'Giantslayer' and were ultimately 'disappointed with its escalating theme of different giant armies'?

What, exactly, were your expectations? Then again, despite your being 'quite pumped' for it, you admit that you didn't read too deeply either... perhaps you missed something? It might be worth a second look...


This AP is what I would personally deem "fun, not amazing".

Its no Runelords, or Crimson Throne, or Kingmaker, but more of a solid straightforward middle ground AP that works for what it is.

I have hopes for Ironfang Invasion to be a high quality classic style campaign.


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Wiggz wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

I was actually quite pumped for Giantslayer.

Until it came out and it's escalating theme of different giant armies or dungeons turned me off, even with a recent opportunity to purchase it at 60% off, it still didn't do anything for me.

Admittedly, I didn't read too deeply, but nope, not a fan.

You were quite pumped for an AP titled 'Giantslayer' and were ultimately 'disappointed with its escalating theme of different giant armies'?

What, exactly, were your expectations? Then again, despite your being 'quite pumped' for it, you admit that you didn't read too deeply either... perhaps you missed something? It might be worth a second look...

What were YOU expecting? Why should I give it a second look? Why should I spend my money on it?

You ask a lot of questions Wiggz, but you haven't yet provided answers. Except that I'm, evidently, reading it wrong. :-/


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I was expecting something interesting, not an Orc attack begat a hill giant invasion, which begat a stone giant temple, which begat a frost giant tomb, which begat a fire giant training camp, which begat a storm giant with a monocle (the one thing that is interesting)

Honestly, from Paizo, I expected something with a bit more imagination. If I'm wrong, by all means, let me know how. :-)


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captain yesterday wrote:

I was expecting something interesting, not an Orc attack begat a hill giant invasion, which begat a stone giant temple, which begat a first giant tomb, which begat a fire giant training camp, which begat a storm giant with a monocle (the one thing that is interesting)

Honestly, from Paizo, I expected something with a bit more imagination. If I'm wrong, by all means, let me know how. :-)

The first book is actually very interesting and well connected imo, and the second isn't bad either. You might have a point about how strange it is for the party to have to face more powerful species of giants as main antagonists as the AP evolves, but that's a partially a problem with CR.

I like Giantslayer and I think it's very challangening (especially if your players like to go nova asap...), yes, it could have been done better in certain parts (it feels like a mega dungeon at times imo)but all in all the AP does what it was meant to do.
Certainly people who like IG are not going to fall in love with GS, but it having a classical feel is actually what other people like about it.


As a players, I played this as acgoliath druid. Playing the game with a Giant (more or less) made it cool enough, despite the plot being pretty basic


Rogar Valertis wrote:


Certainly people who like IG are not going to fall in love with GS, but it having a classical feel is actually what other people like about it.

But Rise of Runelords is a pretty classic adveture, and lotcof people who liked Iron Gods, liked RotR.

The problem with Giant slayer is not that it's classic. It's that it is unspiring, specially books 3 to 5. I played it and liked it (msinly liked my char), but will not put it ahead of RotR, CotCT, Kingmaker, Iron Gods, Reign of Winter, Skull and Shackles, Hells' Rebels...


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Oh! i love Iron Gods and Rise! also Shattered Star is one of my favorites. :-)


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Part of the problem with Giantslayer wasn't Insert Giant of Appropriate CR Here. It was that it was piecemeal. Now, the first two parts did work together - you learn about a treasure in Book 1, and in Book 2 you seek it out and recover it.

What if you hadn't?

What if at the end of Book 2 you find out the Giants made off with it? And you head to Book 3 seeking the item and you fail to recover it.

What if what you were seeking was the key needed to activate the Cloud Castle or whatever it was in Book 6? And the Giants are one step ahead of you each and every time... and you are desperately seeking to stop them, heading further and further into badlands where more powerful giants dwell because you are seeking this artifact, and then seeking to RECOVER this artifact, rather than "oh hey looks like the Giants are busy arming themselves for an invasion."

What is it about Runelords that works so well? Urgency. You find out halfway into Runelords that Karzoug is trying to escape a 10,000-year-old prison (of sorts). And what's worse? You're already too late. The timer is ticking down. You cannot stop that prison from opening unless you somehow find the entry to the prison and then enter it and defeat Karzoug himself.

What is it about Reign of Winter that works? At the end of the first half of Book 1, you learn Baba Yaga has been usurped, Queen Elvanna will entomb the world in ice, and there is no way YOU can stop this. Only Baba Yaga can.

Heck, the part that works with WotR is that you start out having lost. The demons have seriously damaged a Wardstone, they are invading the surrounding regions, and all you're trying to do at the very start is stop the demons from corrupting tens of thousands of warriors.

There is no urgency with Giantslayer. It loses its way and eventually lives up to its name. The game is about killing giants. That's all. And most of the giants haven't even directly threatened your home! This is learning "X is arming itself! We must destroy it!" rather than gaining vengeance against giant hordes that have destroyed your homes and caused so much grief (as is the backdrop for Giantslayer's origin point - Against the Giants).


Tangent101 wrote:
Stuff

Nothing there that I necessarily disagree with, not at all... but then, I have a habit of tweaking or even re-writing entire parts of AP's to make them fit one another better, to make them fit my particular group better, and its something I've felt was necessary in every single AP that I've read, even the ones I've loved the most. I don't consider the fact that that holds true for Giantslayer as well to necessarily be a weakness in the AP.


captain yesterday wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

I was actually quite pumped for Giantslayer.

Until it came out and it's escalating theme of different giant armies or dungeons turned me off, even with a recent opportunity to purchase it at 60% off, it still didn't do anything for me.

Admittedly, I didn't read too deeply, but nope, not a fan.

You were quite pumped for an AP titled 'Giantslayer' and were ultimately 'disappointed with its escalating theme of different giant armies'?

What, exactly, were your expectations? Then again, despite your being 'quite pumped' for it, you admit that you didn't read too deeply either... perhaps you missed something? It might be worth a second look...

What were YOU expecting? Why should I give it a second look? Why should I spend my money on it?

You ask a lot of questions Wiggz, but you haven't yet provided answers. Except that I'm, evidently, reading it wrong. :-/

I expected an AP named 'Giantslayer' to be about, well, slaying Giants... no big surprises there for me.

And I didn't say that you read it wrong, you said that you didn't read it very deeply... and I'm agreeing that no, it seems like you probably didn't. When I'm really 'pumped' for something, generally I don't give it a cursory glance and then dismiss it out of hand. The wording choices just seemed odd to me, that's all... just trying to understand where you're coming from.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh, I can understand rewriting elements of an AP, or adding in bits from here and there. I mean, I kept tossing in the Moathouse from Temple of Elemental Evil in several of my campaigns. With my Skype Runelords game I inserted the adventure that focuses on a succubus going after worshippers of Saranrae, and instead of having the dam having broken and Black Magga at Turtleback Ferry, I had the party fighting on the dam itself as Magga wiped the floor with 20 Ogres and an Ogre Fighter - the party had four rounds to drive off Black Magga before the dam broke. (They killed her in three, thanks to Mythic.)

That said, I don't have the time I used to as a young GM. So I want an AP that I don't need to do a lot of editing with. Giantslayer is not an AP I would run. It might be an AP that I lift encounters from... but I'm not even sure about that, seeing I'd need to code everything into Hero Labs myself... and the AP is currently in storage.

It wasn't memorable.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Welp, unlike 99% of people who slammed Iron Gods without evening having read it, I have all 6 volumes of Giantslayer on my shelf. Even if the AP is weak, you can still mine it for statblocks/maps and support articles are as great as ever.

So, as to Giantslayer itself. Tangent101, gustavo and Col. Tomorrow said all good points, but let me point to one special offender: adventure 5.

Adventure 5.

In Adventure 5, a level 13+ party is expected to trudge through a complex of caves, fighting no less than 45 vanilla Fire Giants and 13 Fire Giants with some levels of Fighter. Also, some caster Fire Giants, too.

I'm not even considering the fact at level 13, the Party can use magic to bypass most of the adventure. Or the fact that with their Ref and Will saves, it's shooting range for casters. Or that the dungeon layout is so linear that you are going to erect an altar to Greg Vaughan and his ninja skills of making sandbox dungeons where you can poke around many paths and find several routes to the BBEG/McGuffin and not feel like you're a cheapskate who decided to wand of stone shape shortcut to the boss.

If I was this adventure for my players, I would get chased out of my own house somewhere around 21st Fire Giant. If an adventure relies on large numbers of one type of enemy, it really must include memorable and unique environments and some breaks between the mook platoons. Here, you're just moving from cave 22 to cave 33 and face 3 Fire Giants, ad nauseam.

Sure, there are other kinds of opponents, but there's exactly 1 solid role-playing opportunity, and the whole thing is just a 0e/1e throwback of "the room is 2d6x10' by 2d6x10' and there are 3d6+1 Fire Giants, 1d4+2 Fire Giant Lieutenants, 1d2+1 Fire Giant Captains and 1 Fire Giant Cleric inside". Which, I suppose, some folks will enjoy, but for me and my groups this is antithesis of fun.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For me it was parts 3 and 4 that killed it. They were way too similar, and it was odd having to tell my players not to kill all the giants because that isn't the goal. Not that giants can defend themselves versus mid to high level magic.

Yes, Giantslayer should be about killing giants. No it shouldn't have the same story in chapters 3-5. (maybe 6 too)

I really enjoyed the first two chapters and think they work very well together. They tell a complete story in themselves and would be well suited as a mini AP.


Wiggz wrote:

We created an all Half-Orc party patterned after the movie 'Four Brothers' that tied into the opening book really well, and it became more about the group and character development than the novelty of the adventure.

I never understood why people play half orcs in the first place. Mechanically, they are very similar to humans. I'd rather play a straight up human or an orc. In fact, we have an orc Fighter in the Giantslayer party right now. I ditched the Wisdom penalty, gave her Endurance for free, but otherwise didn't modify the race.

Anyway, I have just gotten done with Carrion Crown, and I hope to also finish Giantslayer with this group. Gonna buy Strange Aeons, the new horror Lovecraftian AP.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Let's see. First? They have darkvision. That can be handy, and it's one of the core races (along with Dwarves) who get it. Next, they get one round of being below 0 hit points where they can still act. While normally you could consider it for fighting further... you could also take a five-foot-step back and drink a healing potion. And third, they don't get a racial penalty like Dwarves get.

And let's see. You eliminated the racial penalty and gave her a free Feat to boot, and don't say you modified the race? That sounds like you made the race to be better than Fetchlings or Aasimar.

Dark Archive

It's totally the same race. Except better.


Tangent101 wrote:


And let's see. You eliminated the racial penalty and gave her a free Feat to boot, and don't say you modified the race? That sounds like you made the race to be better than Fetchlings or Aasimar.

Orcs normally take a -2 to all 3 mental attributes.

Therefore, in my game, they get a +4 to Strength and a -2 to Int and Cha.

Normally, races get approximately +2 to attributes once you take the racial penalties and bonuses into account. To account for this, I figured the Endurance feat (appropriate given their racial book) would compensate for getting an effective +0 to attributes.

You are full of bull.


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

Surely I can resist the chance to derail the conversation further...

Nope, turns out I can't.

No offense, but if someone can't find a race and alternate traits that make them happy without me adding goodies on top, then they're s*$! out of luck.

I'm not sure why you insist on making everything "better" have you asked your players what they want.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

In the Advanced Race guide, Orcs are an 8 point racial build as-is.

You gave them a hybrid Greater Paragon. Instead of having a -2 to one mental and one physical trait, they have a -2 to two mental traits. (Paragon is +4 to one physical and -2 to three mental.) Since Greater Paragon is +2 points (compared to Paragon being +1), we'll just call yours a +3. So now it's a 10-point racial build.

You also gave them a Static Bonus Feat. That's +2 points.

So your Orc went from an 8 point build, to a 12 point build.

You are right that this isn't better than Fetchlings or Aasimar. Aasimar are a 15 point build. Fetchlings are a 17 point build. However, they are better than every. single. Core. Race. All of them. Even Dwarf.

You can look up the rules for yourself in the PRD. Under Race Builder in the Advanced Race section.


I wasn't changing the orcs to be better than aasimar. I was simply trying to get the orc race up to par with the other PC races. Goblins and kobolds are another pair of examples of PC races that are inherently weaker than the other races.


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

Kobolds yes, Goblins however, yeah, I have a Goblin Magus in the party for Hell's Vengeance, I can't hit him with s%%+, a +4 to dexterity really adds up.


That's not a fault of the race. Racially, a Goblin gets +2 Dexterity AC, and +1 size AC. That's normally balanced out by the fact that they don't get bonuses to spellcasting attributes (indeed, they have a penalty to Charisma). To be honest, goblins make great Rogues, but not much else.

Goblins basically get a +4 to one stat, and a -2 to two other attributes. That's weaker than the standard PC races. Their size kinda balances out, since they can't use Medium sized weapons or wrestle (CMB, CMD).

Kobolds get shafted six ways to Sunday with their attributes. Orcs are almost as bad, with a collective -2 to attributes without GM modification.

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