Looking for an Adventure Path to run with limited roleplaying elements


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


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Hi all,

So a little background to the question. I am running a RotRL campaign with a few friends who are all invested in the campaign and enjoy the roleplaying aspect.

Myself and a couple of the guys from RotRL introduced a few of our video gaming friends to Pathfinder with one of the Society scenarios and, whilst they did enjoy it, they were not too keen on the roleplay aspect of the game.

So what I was thinking of trying is to take an AP and deliberately try to "railroad" them, within reason. Keeping things like in-character conversation to a minimum, mostly third person narrative, and try to make the adventure move along almost as if the NPCs will give the PCs quests and clues, and leave it up to the PCs to figure out how best to complete the quest.

I understand this would take some work on my part to convert an AP to this format but I'm willing to put in the effort if it means the PCs have a good time.

So the question really is, do you have any recommendations on which APs could possibly work well in this format, or any to avoid entirely?

I know this flies in the face of what an RPG is about, and maybe the APs aren't the best source material for this type of adventure but any help would be massively appreciated!


You may want to provide posters with the PFS scenarios that you put them through as a base line for what others might suggest to you to run.

You could also just design a bunch of war game type linked encounters for the players to run through with some short interludes (text on what happened in between) provided by you.

MDC

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Last year I found a posting on the boards for turning a series of PFS modules into a 'campaign'. PFS is kind of designed to be very low on the roleplay aspect of things (which I suppose varies based on the DM).

Here is the link to the posting:

PFS Paths

That may be of help.

As far as actual APs go I would avoid Curse of the Crimson Throne, Hell's Rebels, Strange Aeons, Jade Regent, and Council of Thieves I think.

Definite possibilities of ones to try include: Wrath of the Righteous, Giantslayer, Hell's Vengeance... Reign of Winter maybe?

Silver Crusade

I would recommend Mummy's Mask. It's a lot of dungeon crawl and hex crawl with few allied NPCs and can be done without a lot of roleplay. There is a part where you have to do library research, but even that is very gamified and doesn't require much role play.


From what I've seen, any of them could work in this format.

Adding role-playing takes work. Taking it out is simple.

All conversations can be reduced to a Diplomacy check and a summary of what was discussed. Complex scenarios can be reduced to a simple multi-choice decision.


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As far as actual APs go I would avoid Curse of the Crimson Throne, Hell's Rebels, Strange Aeons, Jade Regent, and Council of Thieves I think.

Add Skull & Shackles to the list of the ones to avoid.

Remove the roleplaying and the sandbox elements and what remains is kinda boring.

Dark Archive

I'm not sure about the beginning, but the back portion of Giantslayer seemed very dungeon crawl heavy.


I agree that any of them can have the roleplaying removed. Although if you want to cut out in-character conversation, there's no need to have planning. The NPCs give them a quest in bullet points, they cut-scene straight to the room with the first encounter in it, cut-scene out of it, tell them the treasure that fell out and give them XP, then run another encounter. Remove any mystery solving or talking bits to avoid roleplaying.

Even RotR can be run like this.

RotR Book 1 Spoilers:

- Inform the PCs they are in Sandpoint. Goblin attack encounter.
- Cut through all the Ameiko and Glassworks plot with a simple sentence text crawl "after some investigation, you discover the Goblins are attacking from Thistletop."
- Cut to Thistletop. Run it room by room, fast-forwarding over any room that doesn't contain combat. Itemise the treasure and XP into a big group at the end (people on the boards have already done this) and just hand it out in a big pile at the end, including everything the PCs haven't completed like the investigation portions.
-Book one, completed!

Unfortunately, there's not much to an AP by the time you cut out mystery solving, plot and roleplaying - those are what the AP adds between dungeon based encounters!

I think you'd be much better to run a few cut-down PFS scenarios, or convert a few of the old WotC 3.5 or 4th Ed "Encounters" scenarios, which tended to shortcut right to "You've come to the necromancers lair looking for a gem. Mayor X is paying you 200gp. Here come some skeletons. Go".

I certainly wouldn't bother buying an AP for this purpose if you don't already own a suitable one - if you're looking strictly for non-roleplaying encounters, there's a LOT of "wasted" space in an AP.


A very old module that is not PF is Ruins of Undermountian which might be more of what you are looking for in flavor. Please note it has been quite a while since I looked at the product but it provided that video game fix from my group(s) in the mid-late 80's and some of the early 90's when I used it. So your experience may vary.
It is just a huge crawl that is designed to reduce $ and consumables and eventually kill parties.
IMHO it is very video game like but it can also be enjoyable.

I do not think it would take much to update it to PF but doing so would also add more to the product based on my memories. ie skills were not such a big things back then so inserting some skill based rooms/challenges (besides traps) would be good.

MDC


You might be better Looking for a MegaDungeon or 3pp module too. Paizo's Emerald Spire perhaps?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The mega dungeon suggestion reminded me. If you want that 0 to little roleplay feel and also want to kill their characters wholesale...

You can't find much more effective work than Rappan Athuk, the Dungeon of Graves. I believe it's been updated to pathfinder.


After seeing someone recommend the Giant Slay AP above I wanted to say I am a bit on the fence about it do to the fact that there are some non-combat sections that state, if your party does this you will lose as this happens.
So you could as a GM just modify those parts and and in things so that big bad thing does not happen.
But I think that you will have to do some of that no matter what AP you pick and you should just be prep'ed for it and insert your own scenes/encounters as needed or even re-create whole chapters as needed.

MDC


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What do you meat by that?

Both GS and MM are light on RP, btw. At least, what is required. There are elements in both where it can be rather heavy if so desired, but those situations can also be turned into skill checks instead.


taks wrote:

What do you meat by that?

Both GS and MM are light on RP, btw. At least, what is required. There are elements in both where it can be rather heavy if so desired, but those situations can also be turned into skill checks instead.

What I mean by that is that there are sections that say if all you do is attack then X will happen which will most likely result in the parties death.

I you want to send me a PM them I will explain it more but I will not do it over the open forum. I know there are spoiler tages and the Ap has been out a while but it just goes against my nature to post important stuff in the open. That is unless there is a problem I am asking about and need some help or info.

MDC


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have the AP. We're in book 4 now. I don't recall that other than "don't assault the entire <whatever it is> or you will die" in a few places. That doesn't seem to fall under "role-playing" as much as finding alternate solutions to problems, which doesn't seem to be a problem for the OP.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I should add that my GS group consists of 3 teens (13/14) that have never played till this AP, and 1 experienced player that's pretty light on RP himself. They do some, but I can't remember any in-character discussions. I do a little bit for show, but they don't typically respond in kind.


Thank you for all the help on this one, I've started to have a read through MM, Wrath of the Righteous and Reign of Winter messageboards to get a feel with how the paths run.

I did also have a look at the Jade Spire, which is definitely an option, but I like the idea of a campaign with a story at least so if they do decide to have a go at the roleplaying I can include it.

Silver Crusade

Not exactly what you asked for, but have you considered any fantasy board games? There are several out there (some good) that are very dungeon-crawly: Descent is a big old dungeon crawl format (one player is the Overlord who is actually trying to destroy the players); Warhammer Quest I recall being combat after combat; there are likely many others similar.

Sorry again not exactly what you asked for, but there are a lot that are light or nil on the role-playing.

Or as suggested above, Emerald Spire. Alternately, many years ago AEG (I think) published The World's Largest Dungeon, like 1000 pages of Dungeon crawling.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_Largest_Dungeon

Game on!

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