No Foreword?


Return of the Runelords


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First of all, I'd like to start by saying that I'm a huge fan of what I've seen - the campaign outline has some absolutely fantastic ideas and a whole bunch of things that I absolutely didn't expect - so bravo to everyone involved!

But what has me curious is the apparent lack of a foreword in the first volume of the AP. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't every installment in every other AP had a foreword to set the tone for the rest of the book? I know that I've always loved reading them, not only to set the stage but also to give some insight into the mind of the people behind the adventure, and learn a bit about why the adventure was chosen to go in the direction that it does. Is the lack of a foreword here a part of the space-saving exercises to push this AP all the way to level 20, or is it an unfortunate oversight?


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Less intro means more adventure!


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

Yup, I'm pretty sure it's to pack as much adventure in as possible.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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We cut the foreword for 2 reasons.

1) Because we really needed all the room we could get for the adventure.

2) They're difficult to write and not very popular in-house, plus we haven't seen a lot of feedback online that folks liked them and in fact have a lot of anecdotal evidence that they weren't often read (we'd often use the forewords as "overflow" for adventure content and folks would miss it as a result.)

If folks REALLY miss them, let us know, but they're unlikely to be back for Tyrant's Grasp at this point either.


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Fair enough! I enjoyed reading them, but it's hardly a deal breaker if they're not included. I thought that length might have been the reason, but you had mentioned before (in this post) that they might be present, so I was just curious. Thanks for the quick response, Mr. Jacobs!


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the forewords are one of the highlights of every AP issue for me. there are APs that I had no interest in thematically, but the forewords were highly entertaining


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I adore them. They’re the last fragment of the old vernacular of Dragon, and they give me enormous insight into what the creative lead was thinking when developing the AP. They are the first thing that I read in every issue, and the only thing that I have read in every single one.


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I like the intros as well. As a potential player, I simply don't read any adventure that I am not 100% going to run, and that includes the introductions. This leaves most of them sitting around waiting to be read once I either start to run the adventure or have had the chance to play it.


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Always enjoyed the Forewords. The contextualized the adventure from a designer's standpoint really well, and gave me a sense of what to expect. I'm a GM that likes to change and play around with adventure paths, and I felt like they helped me do that, while staying true to what the designers liked about it.

I love more content though, very much support that.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I liked the Forwards as well, loved hearing the Designer's thoughts and the like ^w^

But if the Designer's themselves didn't like writing them then I'd be okay with them going.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've kind of never read any forewords. Anything that isn't adventure/artwork/support article is kind of lost on me, so just as I was glad to see AP fiction gone, so am I happy to see more "meat".

Now if only the ads could go away ;-)


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The foreword is usually the first thing I read, even in AP volumes that I do not read directly. I would be sad to see them go completely, but I understand the need for more space in this AP.


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Forewords are something that are admittedly hit or miss. I do always read them, and sometimes they are invaluably excellent and can prove very useful in adding in some additional content or aids (the soundtracks for Carrion Crown for example). Othertimes they are just a neat bit of meta-design which I read but I don't know if they add 'value'

Personally I would prefer the two pages provide a bit of that developer outside perspective and occasional nugget of enhancement, versus two extra pages of adventure content. However that preference is not so strong that, if they are a difficult chore to produce, that I would throw up arms if they left permanently.

Of course, I don't necessarily plan to purchase PF2 APs, so perhaps my opinion on this is irrelevant as I'm no longer a long-term customer.

Grand Lodge

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I usually skip them, tbh. The only ones I read are usually for the first and/or last chapter of an AP, and even then I'm pretty hit or miss.

I did noticed this volume didn't have a Foreword, which I would've read because it's the first chapter AND it's the final(?) Runelord AP, which have been my favorites. But I'll happily accept two more pages of adventure content in its place.

I also don't read the adverts at the end of the book, so feel free to remove those too. ;)

-Skeld


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I used to never read the forwards.

A few months ago, I went back through every single forward from every single Adventure Path, and read them. I really liked what I read most of the time. I especially liked most of what mr. Jacobs wrote, the one in Legacy of Fire where he got a little 'spicey' is my all time favorite.

Part of me will miss forwards. BUT, if it means more room for the adventure Path, then they have to go.


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James' forwards are always invaluable. The ones Crystal Frazier wrote for Ironfang Invasion are really great and inspirational at times.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Could add even more by cutting the 4 pages of ads...


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I've always read the forewords and enjoyed most of them. Many of them offered cool designer commentary or bonus content. I will be sad to see them go.

Grand Lodge

The Editorial was always my absolute favorite aspect of Dungeon and Dragon -- the page I immediately read when the mags came in the mail. ....And reread time and time again. An occasional adventure or article really inspired me and I'd reread and use them in play, but in a mag, it was hit or miss. ALL the Editorials I loved.

The Forwards in the APs, though, never seemed to live up to the editorials in the magazines -- to my tastes, at least.
Old gaming anecdotes about James Jacobs' friend who screamed 'Loliadac' at the gaming table, and childhood memories of cover maps pointing 'To Dragotha's Lair,' and tales of Erik's PC with a vocabulary limited to "Door" and "Not Door" and the time Erik gamed in Boston with the pot-head who gave him 50 XP for recognizing an dinosaur -- experiences of gaming for the first time with music in the background, or the guy at the table who talks in a squeaky voice,.... these are all the things that I loved about the Editorials. And the Forwards (with of course some good exceptions) just don't seem to have that. I miss the stories of when Wolfgang Baur named the Tiefling and 'discovered' Chris Perkins; I miss reading about how the office stopped for a minute as everyone had to discover what was the cause of laughter -- an adventure proposal titled "Devil Box" from some new guy named Richard Pett. I loved that stuff.

I understand why you guys would take out the Forwards for a trial period. And you're right, we can and do get this stuff on The Boards nowadays.
Nonetheless, as the APs have come in my mailbox every month since Burnt Offerings(*), I've read the Forwards and sadly longed for the editorial of Dungeon magazine.

So I'd love for you to return to more 'editorial-like' content, not that that's really realistic -- Forwards and Editorials are not the same animal despite their location.

Well anyway, that's my 2 cp, for whatever it may (or may not) be worth.

.

* Except for 'Skull & Shackles' and 'Iron Gods' when I turned off my Charter Subscription for six months at a time


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I've always read the foreward when I'm DM because I like behind-the-scenes insight, but I'm not upset they're gone in favor of more content. I'd sacrifice the damned covers to support goes-to-20th-level.


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I do like hearing what the folks working on an adventure have to say about it.

I'm also quite happy with a longer adventure.

I think I'm basically satisfied either way.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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For what it's worth, I'm pretty active on these boards and I'm always eager to talk about stuff like adventures. ;-)

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

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Same.


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I am quite fond of the forewords. Feel to me like extras on a collector edition DVD with the director commentary track.
I know I can ask you on the forum, but the foreword was a window at the time. A register of your thoughts and hopes at the time.

But things change, you can write on the blog too, be interviewed on the twitch. Could even do a Collector edition with commentaries of the AP developer and all the adventure authors.

Be criative, we love you all.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Perhaps some sort of compromise for later Ap's with a foreword in the first and/or last adventure of the Ap only?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or in the Player's Guide? or would that not gel well?


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James Jacobs wrote:
If folks REALLY miss them, let us know, but they're unlikely to be back for Tyrant's Grasp at this point either.

I’d definitely like to see them feature in PF2.

I like the occasional behind the scenes looks they sometimes afford. They also give me a “handle” and get me excited about an AP when it’s a campaign I think someone else in the group might like to run so don’t plan to read myself.


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I always read the forewards, and generally find them interesting, but I won't really feel put out about their absence.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd love to see the foreword back. It was the second thing I'd read when the Pathfinder Journal was still a thing and I have to admit that there are quite some AP issues where even after years, I still haven't read more than those two things. So to see the foreword go is kind of a bummer to me, especially when I do not frequent these boards as often as I used to do


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I like to read the forewords. Even more when I read again an older adventure, it give a good idea how the developer think at the time, what was the context...

If its for more adventure content, its not all bad as I like long path..

Maybe a good compromise would be in 1st and last volume? Set up foreword ans wrap up..?

A couple of poster mention the ads at the end and I think its not as crazy as it seems to remove them... I understant Paizo want to promote other line, but specifically for the adventure path, the target market is mostly GM or collectors who I think know well what products exist in the other lines. Maybe I'm wrong.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DanyRay wrote:
but specifically for the adventure path, the target market is mostly GM or collectors who I think know well what products exist in the other lines. Maybe I'm wrong.

Not sure, but I think that for new GMs or GMs that just started the Pathfinder experience, those ads might still hint at products they don't know about yet. And even as a seasoned Pathfinder veteran that has been there from the beginning, I'd have it happen that while reading through an older AP issue, I thought "Oh wait, I totally forgot about that book". Or that I learned about a new product by seeing the add because I had missed the announcement on the Paizo page (especially now with the new layout that I do not really like very much)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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Could the Forewards just be included as the Blog-Post for when the adventure releases?
It takes up no space in the physical product, and drives some traffic to your website, and you don't have to worry about how long or short the foreward is.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Grumpus wrote:

Could the Forewards just be included as the Blog-Post for when the adventure releases?

It takes up no space in the physical product, and drives some traffic to your website, and you don't have to worry about how long or short the foreward is.

Nope.

Forewords are not easy to write, and in fact one of the main reasons for discontinuing them (apart from needing more room from adventures and the perception that most folks didn't read them) was the fact that for many folks, they're difficult to create.

Furthermore, our blog has a pretty full schedule, particularly now with the playtest, and forewords are also often intended for the GM, not for everyone—putting them up as blog posts makes them too public for potential players to read and potentially get spoiled on contents.

Sorry folks, but the forewords are pretty much a thing of the past at this point.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Grumpus wrote:

Could the Forewards just be included as the Blog-Post for when the adventure releases?

It takes up no space in the physical product, and drives some traffic to your website, and you don't have to worry about how long or short the foreward is.

Nope.

Forewords are not easy to write, and in fact one of the main reasons for discontinuing them (apart from needing more room from adventures and the perception that most folks didn't read them) was the fact that for many folks, they're difficult to create.

Furthermore, our blog has a pretty full schedule, particularly now with the playtest, and forewords are also often intended for the GM, not for everyone—putting them up as blog posts makes them too public for potential players to read and potentially get spoiled on contents.

Sorry folks, but the forewords are pretty much a thing of the past at this point.

I, too, was going to suggest that the Foreward moves to the Blog Post. As others have mentioned, the peak behind the curtain, or the overflow GM advice was nice because it provided some context for the adventure or the AP.

Despite it likely not happening I’d still like my voice out there for some blogs that contain this sort of info - even if it’s tucked away under a different blog title

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