Worst Adventure Paths?


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I'm picking the next adventure path I'll be running for my group, and was wondering if there are any that people would absolutely avoid. I've heard bad things about Second Darkness, and had a not great time playing through Serpent's Skull, so I'm trying to make sure I don't sink any money into picking up books I won't end up finishing.

RotRL, Fire's Legacy, Mummy's Mask, Serpent's Skull, Skull & Shackles, Hell's Vengeance, and Kingmaker are all off the table for my group as different players have already played/run them... but hey, if you had a bad time with one of them, I'm not going to stop you from warning others away.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Giantslayer starts strong, but takes a nose dive later and devolves into a mind-numbing slugfest. It also has a rather unremarkable story and villains. And since you're pretty much exclusively fighting low Will and Ref and touch AC giants from halfway on, it's ridonkulously easy to build a party of PCs that'll simply wreck the AP.

Second Darkness has a lot of cool moments and set pieces, but it suffers from two major weaknesses: there's a strong disconnect between heroes being assumed to be shady types working for a criminal early on and altruistic saviours of elvenkind later on ... to make matters worse, how the AP portrays elves helps very little in making PCs invested in the story. Also, adventure 5 is eeeeugh bad.

But it's certainly possible to make SD a fantastic AP by taking out the bad and keeping the good, because some stuff in there is jaw dropping. You just need to put far more work into it than into your average AP.

Council of Thieves is, well, maybe not bad, but quite bland and completely missing the expectations, people wanted an epic struggle against evil Cheliax, they got a watered down tussle against a miffing criminal ring with Cheliax pretty much hanging in the background.

Wrath of the Righteous is bonkers thematically and oh so awesome story, but you need to dial back the mythic powers of PCs because with mythic advancement as written in the AP they'll just zomgbbqwtf the encounters. Limit them to three Mythic Tiers throughout the AP or for an extra challenge, ditch the mythic from PCs altogether.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

well... what are your people into? that's probably easier than eliminating everything else...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Serpent's Skull has a pretty bad rep overall.

I am very much not a fan of Kingmaker, but that is due to my own idiosyncrasy and it work perfectly for many other GM's.

Shadow Lodge

Kinda surprised you didn't warn the OP off Wrath of the Righteous. Hell's Vengeance is also pretty poor.


Depending on your group, Shattered Star can be either great or awful.

Do they like big dungeons? Cause thats what Shattered star is. 6 huge dungeons in a trenchcoat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Kinda surprised you didn't warn the OP off Wrath of the Righteous. Hell's Vengeance is also pretty poor.

Gorby did a good job with his warning about WotR, I didn't have anything particularly important to add to that. Also, quite grateful to get an advance warning about Giantslayer.

Elegos wrote:

Depending on your group, Shattered Star can be either great or awful.

Do they like big dungeons? Cause thats what Shattered star is. 6 huge dungeons in a trenchcoat.

Actually some small dungeons in a row in some modules. And there's some diplomacy, if the group is up for it. But, yeah, mostly dungeons. I'm running it now and the whole Runelord vibe helps along a lot. The two middle modules sag a bit, compared to the first and last two ones.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Gorby did a good job with his warning about WotR, I didn't have anything particularly important to add to that. Also, quite grateful to get an advance warning about Giantslayer.

Giantslayer has a great Book 1, a good Book 2, a really interesting Book 4, and the opening "Act" of Book 6 is one of the coolest things I've read in an AP, and it's not a bad book, with some of the coolest "continuing the adventure" suggestions Paizo's ever done.

So... I wouldn't entirely dismiss it.


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I loved Second Darkness as a player. Had a fantastic GM who did characters and voices and everything. Great time.
I thought Council of Thieves was a lot of fun with all the Pathfinder Society lodge tie-ins.
Serpent's Skull had a great story and some epic fights.
So I guess I'm the only one who liked them, from what I've been reading.


So the one I played which everyone at the table had the least fun with was Hell's Vengeance. I'm not categorically opposed to "stories in which you are evil" but the particular implementation of that one wasn't working for us at all. If you want to play evil characters, I think Reign of Winter and Skull and Shackles are better choices.

I personally really liked Wrath of the Righteous, but it's a question of how much bonkers can you enjoy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm playing Way of the Wicked at the moment and if you want an AP where you go evil, take that one. It's not from Paizo, though, so the artwork out GM shows is rather not up their standards. But, man, it's innovative on many levels.

Reign of Winters works well for any alignment.


magnuskn wrote:
Reign of Winters works well for any alignment.

I was just saying that for Paizo APs, the ones where you can really justify any aignment whatsoever are probably a better choice if you want to play an evil person than the "you've got to be evil" one which leans into the EEEEEE-VIL a bit much for my tastes.

Like Strange Aeons is a great choice to play a completely awful person, but you don't *have* to.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Giantslayer starts strong...

Thanks for the input! Yeah, a good GM is going to be able to make something out of most material, but to me, the point of an AP is to save me time and effort - I'm sure I could "fix" any AP given enough effort, but if I'm going to put down money on a book, I'd rather just pick one that's good and then do more minor tweaks to suit the group's taste.

Yakman wrote:
well... what are your people into? that's probably easier than eliminating everything else...

We've had to pick up some new players for the next path, so I don't personally know about half of the group going into this one. It's one of the reasons I'm having trouble making a selection. I've asked via email but I think they're trying to avoid being "demanding" for a group that they haven't been part of for long.

magnuskn wrote:

Serpent's Skull has a pretty bad rep overall.

I am very much not a fan of Kingmaker, but that is due to my own idiosyncrasy and it work perfectly for many other GM's...

I'm playing Way of the Wicked at the moment and if you want an AP where you go evil, take that one.

Thanks for the input! I think we're going to stick with Paizo APs at the moment, and we just finished another campaign (different GM) where we played a group that could charitably be called "morally flexible". But in another path or two we might take a look at that one.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Kinda surprised you didn't warn the OP off Wrath of the Righteous. Hell's Vengeance is also pretty poor.

Thanks for the input! I didn't say in the original post, but WotR is off the table as well - I don't personally like the Mythic rules much, and stripping them out of NPC statblocks and such would be more work for me that I don't want to bother with.

Elegos wrote:

Depending on your group, Shattered Star can be either great or awful.

Do they like big dungeons? Cause thats what Shattered star is. 6 huge dungeons in a trenchcoat.

Thanks for the input! Big dungeons are nice - I personally like having at least one in a path, but an entire path of big dungeons would probably be a bit much.

Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:

...

So I guess I'm the only one who liked them, from what I've been reading.

Thanks for the input! It's definitely worth noting that a great GM can definitely make even mediocre material shine. The problem here is that I don't think I'd describe myself as a great GM. :)

PossibleCabbage wrote:
So the one I played which everyone at the table had the least fun with was Hell's Vengeance...

Thanks for the input! Yeah, we had an ok time with Hell's Vengeance, but the GM was losing interest in running it toward the middle and we also had an absolutely rotten time in Serpent's Skull to compare it to.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HighPriest wrote:
feedback

is there anything which you enjoy playing or DM-ing? if your group isn't giving you guidance, than what would you like to run, or can see yourself having a good time running?

horror? intrigue? exotic locations? hack-and-slash?

that would make giving advice a little easier rather than the "tell me what's not good" approach.

Dark Archive

You can also run Return of the Runelords. It's technically Part 3 after Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star, but SS is not necessary because you can assume another set of heroes completed that AP "in the background" for Return to easily work. I'm planning to run this AP with my group next month as soon as we finish Mummy's Mask.

From what I've read so far, Return is very much like Rise with the variation of diplomacy, dungeons, and locations (including extreme locations).

My opinion with Mummy's Mask is that we had fun with it. It about 60% dungeons mixed with diplomacy and investigation. VERY Egyptian theme throughout the entire AP, and it ran smoothly together between all the books. Very fluid story. My only "gripe" if I were to have one was the enemies were primarily undead, constructs, and swarms and characters built with this mind will crush the combats.


Personally I'd advice against Reign of Winter. The story often doesn't make sense or doesn't get properly communicated. This leads to trouble keeping the players motivated and the the AP decided to solve this with the most blatant form of railroading: during the first book the entire party receives a geas that lasts for the entire AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Which, OTOH, is the main reason why you can easily mix in some evil characters.


Something from the other side:

With the hindsight of the resources created by those who have come before, Wrath of the Righteous is perfectly viable and fun so long as you are open with the group you are running. There is a specific list of changes to do in multiple places and even a Mythic Re-balance that fixes a lot of the issues.

Hell's Vengeance is also fine with the right mindset and group of PC's.

Dark Archive

Bah, Reign of Winter is great :D

You just have to remember: Climax of the overall AP isn't the final boss fight, its finally meeting Baba Yaga.

But yeah, if you already played through parts of Second Darkness and Serpent's Skull, you already played the APs that need most fixing(I don't think any AP is unfixable or doesn't have great ideas or parts). Third in the list would be Council of Thieves mostly because its themes aren't clear to players(its not about rebellion or such which is the impression most people get, its basically about group of activists vs conspiracy ruling the city) and it spams too many rogues(and like second and third book of Serpent's Skull, final book of CoT had deadline problems)

Rest of the APs? That is completely up to opinion of the GM. Like I think Reign of Winter is great and someone else doesn't. Heck, I'm annoyed Shattered Star is underrated, it actually show cases greatly how Paizo dungeons have lot of roleplaying opportunities :P They aren't just combat and looting.

(heck I haven't seen anything wrong with Hell's Vengeance. I mean, only problem with Hell's Vengeance to me is that its counterpart hell's Rebels is one of the bests APs so it suffers in comparison)

Heck Wrath of the Righteous is pretty great even with just minor tuning, apparently restricting mythic tiers to 3 works great, but some people have done it with hero points instead and books do give suggestions on tuning it down if you want to have normal PCs without giving them any boosts.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
mostly because its themes aren't clear to players(its not about rebellion or such which is the impression most people get, its basically about group of activists vs conspiracy ruling the city)

So is Hell's Rebels, ultimately, yet it never gets called out for thematic dissonance.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Quote:
mostly because its themes aren't clear to players(its not about rebellion or such which is the impression most people get, its basically about group of activists vs conspiracy ruling the city)
So is Hell's Rebels, ultimately, yet it never gets called out for thematic dissonance.

The REAL thing that doesn't get called out in Hell's Rebels is the lack of proletarian revolution! The PCs aren't benevolent figures such as Lenin or Chavez, they're capitalist monsters sponsored by America, I mean, Andoran! They're failing to address inequality, serfdom, lack of popular democracy, disrespect for social and economic rights! All they do is launch a foolish libertarian crusade with no regard to the collective needs of the downtrodden! It's almost like if the AP was written by people who live in a country where "socialism" is a swear word! Attica! ATTICA! WAVE THE RED FLAG AND PASS THE PPSh, COMRADE ZIMMERWALD! WE WILL HAVE THIS BARRICADE! NO, I DON'T MEAN THE DECEPTICON YOU UNEDUCATED 'MURICANS WHO DIDN'T EVEN TRY TO GET A PHD IN HUMANITIES!

C'mon, that's what you really wanted to say. ;-)

Shadow Lodge

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Gorbacz wrote:
C'mon, that's what you really wanted to say. ;-)

I can neither confirm nor deny that >_>

Dark Archive

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Quote:
mostly because its themes aren't clear to players(its not about rebellion or such which is the impression most people get, its basically about group of activists vs conspiracy ruling the city)
So is Hell's Rebels, ultimately, yet it never gets called out for thematic dissonance.

That is incorrect. In Hell's Rebels you do actually perform(and prepare for) armed revolution against Barzillai. In Council of Thieves, armed revolution was never the goal, goal was to perform good deeds(in secret, so kinda vigilanteism) in Westcrown so that people of the city can start to believe things can be better and so WANT things to be better. It just happens that in the process you find out about conspiracy about criminal syndicate who truly rule the city :P In Hell's Rebels you are trying to overthrow Barzillai, in Council of Thieves you are trying to inspire people to want to improve their own life in the city. Also Barzillai isn't a conspiracy, sure you don't know initially his real goals, but he is pretty open the bad guy :P

Soo yeah, activism.


I've hardly seen Legacy of Fire in high regard. Any opinion on that AP?

Dark Archive

I think it kinda gets looked over since final 3.5 AP. I haven't heard anything bad OR good about it <_<


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I personally LOVE Legacy of Fire, but i will admit it has ts faults.

Book one is actually a solid adventure and has a lot of interesting NPCs a GM can expand on do a lot with. It also works well as a standalone adventure. Also pugwami are the best monster ever, and your players will likely want to strangle you from how often you say "oh how unlucky"
The second book can easily be derailed if the PCS do not take the bait, or do not go and find the magical mcguffin they need to find. Then they need to take said magical mcguffin, prove that it is what it is, and (ultimately a very bad choice) activate the item. As a dungeon though it is very interesting and is a solid living dungeon if you want to make it one woth enemies moving around and showing tactics.
The third book of Legacy of Fire is not the best. You get the an AWESOME big city like Katapesh and end up.... going into an uninspired dungeon in the end.
Book 4 however is absolutely FANTASTIC as a sandbox adventure that the PCs can approach many ways.
Book 5 should be interesting, but your in another massive dungeon (after having done one for all of book 2), while again being stuck in another "prison" (much like book 4) and unable to buy or sell loot. Some parties may not like going through 2 whole books unable to do pretty much anything with loot and feeling trapped. Compound it that your in the CITY OF BRASS but unable to go and explore the awesomeness that is that location for most of the book, its a little jolting.
The climax of the AP is honestly solid with a BBEG with clear goals and the outcome should they fail be obvious. The weakest part of book 6 is the NPCs the players meet to help them can come off a bit whiney, entitled, or stingy in ways and annoy some players. Also the AP has very clear rules set forth by how wish spells work that some people dont like.


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Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
Also pugwami are the best monster ever, and your players will likely want to strangle you from how often you say "oh how unlucky"

Can confirm. 10/10. Would strangle again.


You could look at the posting activity level on the various AP-specific forums on this very board. There are a handful of AP's that are visibly less interesting to the community based on number of posts/threads compared to the rest of the AP product list. Four of them seem notably less popular than the others: Shattered Star, Mummy's Mask, Giantslayer and Hell's Vengeance. Ruins of Azlant looks like it might qualify as well but it's newer so the data may be misleading.

Conversely, on those fuzzy grounds, a handful of AP's are notably more popular by total posting volume and/or volume in comparison to contemporaries: Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Kingmaker, Carrion Crown, Wrath of the Righteous, Iron Gods and Hell's Rebels. Strange Aeons and War of the Crown look like they are headed that direction as well.

This is of course a crude measure but if you're asking the posting community which AP is "better," they have, in a way, spoken. And continue to do so each day.


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I'm willing to venture a significant percentage of the posts in Wrath of the Righteous are arguing about that one Iomedae scene.

It's a good AP, but mythic is extremely an acquired taste.

Dark Archive

Its not because of mythic itself though, its because it doesn't actually feel like AP for balanced for it <_<

But yeah, on those you mentioned, Shattered Star is underrated and better than what people seem to think, Mummy's Mask I want to play so I don't know much about it, Giantslayer has good first book and then becomes pretty predictable meat grinder(I think originally Against the Giants trilogy worked because it was three parts, five books of fighting different type of giants becomes kinda predictable), Hell's Vengeance just suffers in comparison to Hell's Rebels and because people have different idea of what Evil AP should be like.

Ruins of Azlant seemed pretty good to me, but it does have some funny minor issues. Strange Aeons is similar, good, but has some issues.

RotR, CotCT, IG and Hell's Rebels are among the best APs yeah. War for the Crown is also one of the best APs if you ask me, I'd say Returns seems great to me as well, but I guess that might differ based on your opinions on Runelords.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, it was because of RAW mythic. The AP otherwise would have been fine, if a bit standard in how it was told.

Dark Archive

I mean, I don't think its even just RAW mythic. Like even if you nerf the most obviously broken mythic abilities(aka take away what are essentially exponential damage modifiers), there are still some encounters that are written as "This encounter is supposed to be really difficult or borderline impossible" when in practice they aren't that bad. Aka strength of some enemies is vastly overestimated for mythic PCs

I mean, it tells a lot that difficulty of the AP stays in balance if PCs have only 3 mythic tiers through it, its not "Mythic gets too OP after 3 tiers", its also that encounters underestimate the power of mythic PCs with more than 3 mythic tiers way too much <_<

(This is just me talking on basis of doing playtests with mythic house rules and RAW and CR 26-30 monsters. RAW mythic with exponential damage abilities is straight up rocket tag, with it taken away, they can if they get lucky solo some of them but only if they get lucky match with their abilities vs monster's abilities(good example of unlucky match is ranged character vs grapple monster, or most combos involving stun lock monster))

(Basically, 4 level 20 mythic tier 10 vs cr 30 solo monster isn't impossibly hard(if you assume that in theory each PC should equal CR 25 creature or bit higher), even if its still dangerous because of save or die abilities and such. But Wrath as written assumes Babhomet is impossible at time you encounter him when combination of levels and mythic tiers tells otherwise))


CorvusMask wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Quote:
mostly because its themes aren't clear to players(its not about rebellion or such which is the impression most people get, its basically about group of activists vs conspiracy ruling the city)
So is Hell's Rebels, ultimately, yet it never gets called out for thematic dissonance.

That is incorrect. In Hell's Rebels you do actually perform(and prepare for) armed revolution against Barzillai. In Council of Thieves, armed revolution was never the goal, goal was to perform good deeds(in secret, so kinda vigilanteism) in Westcrown so that people of the city can start to believe things can be better and so WANT things to be better. It just happens that in the process you find out about conspiracy about criminal syndicate who truly rule the city :P In Hell's Rebels you are trying to overthrow Barzillai, in Council of Thieves you are trying to inspire people to want to improve their own life in the city. Also Barzillai isn't a conspiracy, sure you don't know initially his real goals, but he is pretty open the bad guy :P

Soo yeah, activism.

CoT also has the big problem of being in Thrune controlled Cheliax. Which to make things simple is a slaver nation who sells halflings by the crate. Even if you make people all gung-ho about their city again the slaver problem isn't goign away.

Slaver:Things are so much better now! Before, with the shadowbeasts and run down parts of Westcrown, it was just too expensive and dangerous to do business. But now that it has gotten cleaned up, I can sell those slips for a profit again!

It has been argued that the PCs can try to do things like choke down the slave trade and get other lawfully aligned faiths into the city but that is pretty much homebrew/epilogue stuff. So I have posted in the past that it might be better that the players get told up front what things are about and even make PCs who are Thrune aligned and get sent down to whip the city back into shape.

Inquisitor: Good Mayor(sarcasm) while I do appreciate the arts, I really believe you need to focus on your duties.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

I mean, I don't think its even just RAW mythic. Like even if you nerf the most obviously broken mythic abilities(aka take away what are essentially exponential damage modifiers), there are still some encounters that are written as "This encounter is supposed to be really difficult or borderline impossible" when in practice they aren't that bad. Aka strength of some enemies is vastly overestimated for mythic PCs

I mean, it tells a lot that difficulty of the AP stays in balance if PCs have only 3 mythic tiers through it, its not "Mythic gets too OP after 3 tiers", its also that encounters underestimate the power of mythic PCs with more than 3 mythic tiers way too much <_<

(This is just me talking on basis of doing playtests with mythic house rules and RAW and CR 26-30 monsters. RAW mythic with exponential damage abilities is straight up rocket tag, with it taken away, they can if they get lucky solo some of them but only if they get lucky match with their abilities vs monster's abilities(good example of unlucky match is ranged character vs grapple monster, or most combos involving stun lock monster))

(Basically, 4 level 20 mythic tier 10 vs cr 30 solo monster isn't impossibly hard(if you assume that in theory each PC should equal CR 25 creature or bit higher), even if its still dangerous because of save or die abilities and such. But Wrath as written assumes Babhomet is impossible at time you encounter him when combination of levels and mythic tiers tells otherwise))

I won't get into the details (for reasons stated in other threads), but the problem definitely was that mythic monster needed an HP buff for about x5 what they really had or that the damage multipliers should never have been this crazy. Also if you really built for it, you could generate crazy DC's with massive damage in the thousand HP range and no allowed resistances with your casters.

Dark Archive

Yeah, I tried to avoid going to too much detail, but RAW mythic also has problem of "Nothing prevents you putting all mythic stat bonuses into your main stat" which for casters means impossibly high DCs <_< That combined with various abilities that allow stacking metamagic is just evil.

I wouldn't say monsters need HP buff, but there definitely needs to be less "move and full attack" abilities because while that is nice for mooks, its impossible to counter for most parts and kinda only works for solo bosses as ability rather than PCs.

(But yeah, for record, Champion and Archmage are most broken mythic paths, rest of them are alright for most parts)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Monsters definitely needed a massive HP buff. I had people one-shotting bosses left and right.

Dark Archive

Can't really speak based on your game though because I think you run the RAW mythic version?

Also depends on what you mean with one shotting, like one attack or one full attack? My experience is that even without mythic, characters tend to one shot enemies with full attacks in high levels. Depends bit on buld and enemies yeah, but martials tend to do lot of damage and have decent chance of hitting with every attack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually applied a few nerfs and used quite boosted versions for the enemies. The players just fished for crits, which with the damage multipliers available actually one-shot enemies, with hits in the end in the 500 range. If that didn't happen, a single full-attack (which you could get every round with the available movement options) was normally enough to finish whatever opponent the AP threw at you.


I think the thing about mythic is that it's really not possible to balance something like that very much, so a mythic game works best when everyone is on the same page as to "we will not push this as far as it can be pushed". In particular "social contract game balance" doesn't work at all when you are running off of a printed adventure unless the GM is basically prepared to rewrite most of it.

I think we benefited in WotR by having 3/5 of our group having a lot of Exalted experience, which is similarly a high power game where unapologetic optimizing makes things absurd (combat at the extreme ends is a comparison of "whose 'instant death' and 'avoid anything' combo suite is most efficient), and having these folks (which thankfully included the GM) set the tone for the whole game.

It is a really good opportunity for optimizers to play something that is frankly not very strong and push that. Like I've already played it but I kind of want to run a Shifter through WotR (I played a Swashbuckler the first time.)

But one of the things about mythic is that any martial who takes the champion path (which is the obvious one) gets very easy access to pounce, which is why bosses go down so fast.


Exalted is better suited for epic/mythic play since it goes full blown anime/wushu to make a world where One Punch Man would fit right in.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Phillip Gastone wrote:
Exalted is better suited for epic/mythic play since it goes full blown anime/wushu to make a world where One Punch Man would fit right in.

Congratulations, you've just described high level PF played by competent players who play to win.

Dark Archive

Elegos wrote:

Depending on your group, Shattered Star can be either great or awful.

Do they like big dungeons? Cause thats what Shattered star is. 6 huge dungeons in a trenchcoat.

It's a very minor thing, but what put me off the idea of running Shattered Star was when the adventure seems to expect you to be literally scraping your loot off the walls. I prefer a bit more of the "that belongs in a museum" style of play.

Dark Archive

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Lintecarka wrote:
Personally I'd advice against Reign of Winter. The story often doesn't make sense or doesn't get properly communicated. This leads to trouble keeping the players motivated and the the AP decided to solve this with the most blatant form of railroading: during the first book the entire party receives a geas that lasts for the entire AP.

That was easy enough to solve when I ran it.

Instead of the geas, each character was given a +2 inherent bonus to the ability score of their choice for as long as they kept (more or less) focused on their quest. The carrot worked much better than the stick would have, at least with my group.

That's what I like about the older APs. There is lots of warning available about potential pitfalls so I can give it some thought before running them.

I've just started running Legacy of Fire and there doesn't seem to be much I will need to change. However, getting trapped two adventures running might be a bit much for my group, and for me personally not being able to explore the City of Brass seems like a massive wasted opportunity, but hopefully I'll think of something.


I honestly figured "Baba Yaga will only ask so nicely when she wants you to do something for her" was extremely appropriate. Covering up the bitter wormwood of "you are helping Baba Yaga and you will die if you don't" with just the tiniest bit of sugar in "you are saving the world, oh and here's a +2" worked for me.

Dark Archive

I mean, as written you get BOTH +2 to one stat and geas <_<

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

CorvusMask wrote:
I mean, as written you get BOTH +2 to one stat and geas <_<

But that is what Amethal is saying. Ignore the part about the Geas. Rather imposing the geas, the +2 bonus being tied to what the geas conditions were works better.

(So the player characters aren't "forced" to go on her quest, but if they abandon it, Baba Yaga simply stops payment on their checks.)

Shadow Lodge

Lord Fyre wrote:
(So the player characters aren't "forced" to go on her quest, but if they abandon it, Baba Yaga simply stops payment on their checks.)

Seems rather out of character for Baba Yaga.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
(So the player characters aren't "forced" to go on her quest, but if they abandon it, Baba Yaga simply stops payment on their checks.)
Seems rather out of character for Baba Yaga.

That's the thing with Baba Yaga, she is rarely predictable.

In any event, this is the solve the meta problem of the player's rebelling if the quest is Imposed upon them.

Shadow Lodge

Where does the assumption come from that the PCs will ever learn about the geas, unless they actually abandon the quest? It certainly reads to me like a nasty surprise that is sprung on the PCs rather than something to tell them up front - and if the GM does a proper job selling the adventure to the players, it will never come up.

In any event, if the PCs end up resenting Baba Yaga for making them save the world, and embark on a post-campaign quest for revenge on her personally, that is a good thing.


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I mean, the geas is kind of hardly relevant if your players realize:
- they are playing an adventure path.
- these things kind of expect you to stay on said path, and deviating from it too much involves "no longer really playing the adventure path"
- there is a world threatening event they are uniquely positioned to fix.

Like there's no geas involved in Skull and Shackles- once the PCs get their own ship, nothing is keeping the PCs from just deciding to sail for Arcadia instead of sticking around in the Shackles to seek fortune and revenge... except for the meta-knowledge players have that if they do that then they aren't playing Skull and Shackles anymore.

Like the main thing that keeps the PCs from continuing on to book 2 of Carrion Crown is "they promised someone they would bring these books back to the university" which is super tenuous and it would be totally plausible for the PCs to just take the books and go home instead of continuing on the AP, except "then we're not playing the AP anymore."

I figure the geas is mostly to hammer home that Baba Yaga is not nice and is not your friend and doesn't really care what you think. "Preventing eternal winter" is already a better thing to keep the PCs going than "gotta return some books" or "man, I *hate* that one pirate captain". Players often have to backfill their character motivation "why am I doing this specific thing" based on the player knowledge that "this is what is involved in completing the AP" so the geas just does the work for you so you don't need to keep rationalizing "why am I helping Baba Yaga of all people".

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