A question for all GMs who run Adventure Paths


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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With 2nd edition, our Adventure Paths are going to hit 20th level each time as the norm. As such, the concept for a "Continuing the Campaign" article at the end of a volume makes little sense, because at this time, 20th level is the capstone of the game and there's not much else to go on to accumulate for PCs beyond that point.

Currently, the plan is to close out each Adventure Path with information similar to what we've done in prior APs that hit 20th, like Wrath of the Righteous or Return of the Runelords, in the "Beyond the Campaign" articles. These articles would discuss ramifications of the adventure path on the world at large and could present stat blocks for future foes that you could use in your game that we'll be unlikely to follow up on in future publications.

But I'm not sure how useful that would be.

Which brings me to this question—what sort of information would you like to see in the very last volume of an Adventure Path, in place of the "Continuing the Campaign"? I'm about to work on the first one of these for Age of Ashes in a few days and I have my own ideas (as indicated above) but would love to hear some more from you all in the meantime.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Reading about ramifications of the adventure path on the world at large is one of my favorite parts of the entire AP. I would love it if you guys continued to do something similar. For those of us that play all of the APs in our own campaign worlds, it's fun when the backgrounds for the next set of characters are influenced by those of a previous AP. Just my 2 cp.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ooooh...

Backgrounds that you can unlock for your next character after completing a prior Adventure Path is a REALLY cool idea.

Well done!


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I like the ramifications for the world, including if the PCs happen to fail. When I read the "What if Ileosa Wins" section of Curse of the Crimson Throne, I was suddenly inspired with all kinds of adventure ideas to deal with the heroes' failure. Of course, that's only for enterprising GMs who don't mind making up a new storyline. Different GMs read these APs for different reasons, not solely to run them. One reason is to gather ideas to create their own adventures and dealing with the failures of past heroes is aways an interesting launch for a different kind of adventure.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

yes, the 'what if the villain wins' articles are lots of fun.

ramifications for the world at large are also good fun - there was an excellent article in Hell's Vengeance on the implications of either side winning the war; similarly there was the 'aftermath' mechanic in War for the Crown

BUT what I'd really like is a quick paragraph or two to help a GM either develop a new campaign/adventure from material in the AP (a loose hook for instance, or an unexplored lower level of some dungeon, or a fresh evil awakened/introduced)


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

Slightly different than "continuing the campaign" but some sort of epilogue of what the characters might get up to after the campaign and what the ramifications of their winning are. I don't mean in terms of more adventures for them, but maybe what role the heroes of that AP are expected to play in the larger world afterwards. Kind of like the end of Baldur's Gate Throne of Bhaal where it'd give a coda for each character depending on the path the player took.

At the end of each AP for a group there's this high level group of adventurers that just kind of canonically disappears once the adventure is over. So something like the way Return of the Runelords let you know in retrospect what the Heroes of the Sidheron were up to, except at the end of each AP instead.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Phaedre wrote:
At the end of each AP for a group there's this high level group of adventurers that just kind of canonically disappears once the adventure is over. So something like the way Return of the Runelords let you know in retrospect what the Heroes of the Sidheron were up to, except at the end of each AP instead.

That's something we kind of have to leave in limbo, since the nature of those heroes is the one part of the game we can't code—they're YOUR characters, after all. Return of the Runelords was a special case in that this AP specifically took place in the shadow of a prior group (or 2 groups, in this case).

Without that framework, I'm really stumped as to how to present a "How do your PCs continue to play roles in the game" other than to just talk about general ramifications. I don't want to set things up so that the more Adventure Paths you play at your table, the less of a reason there is for you to play them since you'll have more and more high-level PCs out there to do the job for you, after all.

It's probably best to either assume prior PCs go into retirement, head off into the Great Beyond for off-world adventures, or maybe just "reset" the world after each Adventure Path so that the prior AP you ran never took place—in this way, you would have numerous side-by-side stories with their own continuities, in much the same way you can have multiple stories like "Pet Semetary" and "Crimson Tide" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Jurassic Park" and "Catch 22" and "Insert Novel Here" all take place on Earth but not have to interact with each other.


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Personally, I love seeing the impact that the characters have, for good or for bad, so I really hope that there's at least some mention of what kinds of ripple effects the campaign has on the world, and how some of the interested parties might react. Also, I do like the 'what if the villain wins' explanations, as either way, you get a ton of new ideas for potential future campaigns.

The idea of including new backgrounds (even just 1 or 2) based on the campaign is absolutely brilliant, and is now something I'm really hoping actually comes up (speaking, admittedly, as someone who will be sticking with 1e for a while). That would be a stunning way to really bring the world into a cohesive whole. (Do various backgrounds have Rarities? I haven't been keeping up with that.)

In a similar vein to new backgrounds based on the AP, having new Capstones (or just class feats) might be really cool as well, based on the major themes of the campaign. So, for example, there might be a special level 20 Wizard feat for Return of the Runelords, or Paladin for Wrath of the Righteous. Or even a lower level ability. Basically, something that GMs could use to say, "So, thanks to all this ancient Thassilonian research you uncovered, as a level 20 ability, you have the option to take this instead." Or, even better, "Thanks to your successful defeat of the Ironfang Legion, their military techniques have become more widespread- in any future campaign in the area, this is a new level 5 Fighter feat that you can select."

Basically, showing how the PCs have made an impact is awesome. Giving that impact some mechanical significance in the current or future campaigns is beyond amazing.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Using Mummy's Mask as an example, the "Demonic Civil War", "Other Flying Pyramids" and "Shory Interest" all give some good plot affected hooks that propel the story in the region forward, without really requiring Top-Tier PC's to handle. Giving them a bit more meat, perhaps a few sentences about where a campaign in that theme could go, is a substantial improvement over the "This is the situation, here is where its at, and here are some vague motivations" that we get with limited word and page count. Turn the adventure hooks into adventure trot-lines.

Expanding on Daedalus, perhaps some of the interesting unique powers showing up on enemies could be codified into class feats, so that your players can then (with new PC's) pull out a trick one of their former PC's had been a victim of.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Ooooh...

Backgrounds that you can unlock for your next character after completing a prior Adventure Path is a REALLY cool idea.

Well done!

One thing that worries me about Backgrounds as a reward for an AP is that if you only play APs, you either can't use it (because you want one of the new AP's backgrounds for the more relevant benefit) or don't get the useful Lore and hook of the new backgrounds.

Mind you, that's already a slight concern of mine with just the CRB backgrounds and don't have a good solution for either problem

Grand Lodge Contributor

Dαedαlus wrote:

Personally, I love seeing the impact that the characters have, for good or for bad, so I really hope that there's at least some mention of what kinds of ripple effects the campaign has on the world, and how some of the interested parties might react. Also, I do like the 'what if the villain wins' explanations, as either way, you get a ton of new ideas for potential future campaigns.

Very much ^this. When wrapping up an AP, it's always great if the GM has some assistance filling in the epilogue and 'post-credits scene' to let the players understand the ramifications of their actions. I'd like to see at least three such conclusions - if their actions result in complete success, if they are partially successful, and if they fail. They don't need to be long, but just a paragraph each that clearly spells out the effect on the status quo in each instance would be a big help.

AND/OR

I enjoy being given new tools and toys, so you could use some of the space to provide new rules/NPCs/monsters with suggestions of where they might crop up in the Adventure Path. I realise this will only be useful to GMs who wait until all the chapters are released, but I really liked the extra material we got in Midwives to Death and A Song of Silver. Just more stuff all the time. More more more! :p

Dark Archive

I'd be curious for some alternate ideas, side quests or material for earlier in the adventure path. The last volume isn't the natural place for that exactly, but even if you start playing as it is released you might barely be through book 2 by time book 6 is released.


3Doubloons wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Ooooh...

Backgrounds that you can unlock for your next character after completing a prior Adventure Path is a REALLY cool idea.

Well done!

One thing that worries me about Backgrounds as a reward for an AP is that if you only play APs, you either can't use it (because you want one of the new AP's backgrounds for the more relevant benefit) or don't get the useful Lore and hook of the new backgrounds.

Mind you, that's already a slight concern of mine with just the CRB backgrounds and don't have a good solution for either problem

As with everything, it would just be a GM tool, I'd imagine. If there's a similar campaign you've run in the past, just swap out a few proper nouns in the flavor, and you're good to go, I'd imagine.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dαedαlus wrote:
In a similar vein to new backgrounds based on the AP, having new Capstones (or just class feats) ...

Way ahead of you there. That's something I planned to do from the very start, but now it won't be a surprise! :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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3Doubloons wrote:

One thing that worries me about Backgrounds as a reward for an AP is that if you only play APs, you either can't use it (because you want one of the new AP's backgrounds for the more relevant benefit) or don't get the useful Lore and hook of the new backgrounds.

Mind you, that's already a slight concern of mine with just the CRB backgrounds and don't have a good solution for either problem

I'd set these up as rare backgrounds. Which would do two things:

1) It'd mean that in order to earn them, you would have to play through the adventure path, and they probably wouldn't make sense to players who didn't know how that AP played out and might even be spoilers for players who havent. (For example, a post-Rise of the Runelords background might be "Looter of Xin-Shalast" or "Legacy of Slain Karzoug" or the like.)

2) But as with ALL rules elements, a GM can always simply decide to give out anything that they think is a good fit for their game. So any GM who sees these backgrounds can take any of them and make them common for their game as they see fit.

THAT SAID... coming up with a way that these backgrounds could work as "templates" on existing backgrounds is an interesting idea, so that you could play a new AP with that AP's specialized backgrounds, but adjust them for the prior game's results.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Davor Firetusk wrote:
I'd be curious for some alternate ideas, side quests or material for earlier in the adventure path. The last volume isn't the natural place for that exactly, but even if you start playing as it is released you might barely be through book 2 by time book 6 is released.

I don't think this is the right place to add in "cutting room floor" or "developer's addition" type content. That stuff is more useful during play, not after the campaign is over.

That said, we ARE looking for ways to get more stuff like web enhancements or bonus material out there via other routes, so hopefully some day we'll be able to do web enhancement type things more easily and quickly and efficiently.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
THAT SAID... coming up with a way that these backgrounds could work as "templates" on existing backgrounds is an interesting idea, so that you could play a new AP with that AP's specialized backgrounds, but adjust them for the prior game's results.

That kind of template is what I was hoping for out of that comment ^_^

That's the best of both worlds in my opinion: You get a nice reward for completing your previous AP, but still start your next character in a way that fits the new adventures. Although if I had a time machine, I'd go back to suggest you include background templates in the Core rules and make the AP backgrounds templates that can be applied to any background

Dark Archive

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As someone who runs(and has run) multiple aps in same setting, info on ramifications on larger setting is definitely something I love :D


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Suggestions on how to port new AP into the old system.

That aside;

Ramifications on the larger setting could be good, as I think most of us who have run more than one AP like to reference that. I did Iron Gods and Wrath of the Rightous afterward and made a new order of knights/paladins to go with the PCs based off Tech found in Iron Gods.

Or maybe find ways to link the AP from one book to another. Now of course this would be a giant task if you do it for all the APs but maybe link them based on Region or style? It doesn't even need to be the same characters, maybe the retainers of the PCs are sent to deal with an issue near by, but if you're going to link them based of PCs(And their levels) maybe give a broad suggested stat bonus to give monsters? I don't know.

Like if you completed Skull and Shackles, your next character for say, Serpent's Skull or Ruins of Azlant was a retainer/helper of your old PC and gets a small Pirate bonus?

Something to help flesh out where they're from or at least what "Completed" AP they are from. You don't even need to beat the AP but can now go "Okay this AP was completed and here's the fallout" in an easier way.

I think Reign of Winter mentioned a Module that might have been played before the AP and goes "So here's what's up if that happened" or something. More of that be interesting to see.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MerlinCross wrote:

Suggestions on how to port new AP into the old system.

I get it that folks are eager to be able to play 1st edition still. If in the future the customer base decides that 1st edition Pathfinder is the better one, who can say what we might do.

But now is not that time. I hope that folks accept and embrace 2nd edition overall, and that we will be able to continue producing products for the game we want to write for and the game we're the most proud of having created.

Converting 2nd edition content to play in 1st edition (or vice-versa, converting 1st edition stuff to use in 2nd edition) is going to be something that anyone can do once they're used to the new rules. In the same way you can run a 1st edition D&D adventure in Pathfinder 1st edition. I know. I've done that a LOT. It's actually kind of fun revisiting older adventures and converting... and when you get adroit enough in both systems you can do the bulk of the conversion during play. Because the types of adventures and stories that they wanted to tell in 1st edition D&D are the same as the ones we wanted to tell in 1st edition Pathfinder. And likewise, the stories we told in 1st edition Pathfinder are ones we want to keep telling in 2nd edition.

If 2nd edition Pathfinder won't let us tell a story like Rise of the Runelords... or if 1st edition Pathfinder won't let us tell a story like Age of Ashes... then we failed.

I don't think we failed. Please give the new rules a chance.


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Yeah no I wasn't expecting instant rules on how to revert back in the first couple APs. Unless said APs are retreads/repeats, like Rise of the Runelords 2.0. Just a little "Hey here's what to do to update it" or something like that.

But again unless it's retreads I don't expect to see rules on how to convert back till later.

I get that you guys want to keep working. I even get you guys want to move on. And I wish you luck.

I just hope your new game doesn't get broken and answered in a year or two.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
3Doubloons wrote:

One thing that worries me about Backgrounds as a reward for an AP is that if you only play APs, you either can't use it (because you want one of the new AP's backgrounds for the more relevant benefit) or don't get the useful Lore and hook of the new backgrounds.

Mind you, that's already a slight concern of mine with just the CRB backgrounds and don't have a good solution for either problem

I'd set these up as rare backgrounds. Which would do two things:

1) It'd mean that in order to earn them, you would have to play through the adventure path, and they probably wouldn't make sense to players who didn't know how that AP played out and might even be spoilers for players who havent. (For example, a post-Rise of the Runelords background might be "Looter of Xin-Shalast" or "Legacy of Slain Karzoug" or the like.)

2) But as with ALL rules elements, a GM can always simply decide to give out anything that they think is a good fit for their game. So any GM who sees these backgrounds can take any of them and make them common for their game as they see fit.

THAT SAID... coming up with a way that these backgrounds could work as "templates" on existing backgrounds is an interesting idea, so that you could play a new AP with that AP's specialized backgrounds, but adjust them for the prior game's results.

i think that's pretty cool.

it's sort of like Society boons as well. You don't need them, but you can show up with one and it's pretty cool.


Backgrounds are probably the one good thing in PF2, so backrounds earned by playing an AP is an awesome idea. I just hope those Backgrounds can easily be adapted into PF1 traits (and it also would be nice if you go down that path, that the old APs are not forgotten when it comes to those Backgrounds)

James Jacobs wrote:


I get it that folks are eager to be able to play 1st edition still. If in the future the customer base decides that 1st edition Pathfinder is the better one, who can say what we might do.

^THIS might be the best thing I read on this boards for almost a year

James Jacobs wrote:


But now is not that time.

well, PF2 is still young, I can accept that. Maybe in a month or two?

James Jacobs wrote:
In the same way you can run a 1st edition D&D adventure in Pathfinder 1st edition. I know. I've done that a LOT. It's actually kind of fun revisiting older adventures and converting...

Yeah, I've done that too, back when I had way more time on my hands and were not forced by society to work. Maybe I'll do it again when I'm retired in a couple of decades. In the meantime, I'm happy about any short cut I get.

James Jacobs wrote:
Please give the new rules a chance.

As I said, the Backgrounds look fun.

But seriously, I might give the new CRB a chance if I stumble across a free copy of it and maybe the Dwarves feel even dwarfier as was promised, but I just have that feeling it still resembles the playtest version of it and that system just was not fun enough to consider changing from PF1 to a new system.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
But seriously, I might give the new CRB a chance if I stumble across a free copy of it

Ta-da! :D


Joana wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
But seriously, I might give the new CRB a chance if I stumble across a free copy of it
Ta-da! :D

As much as I love AoN, it's not as easy to read as a book ;p


James Jacobs wrote:
3Doubloons wrote:

One thing that worries me about Backgrounds as a reward for an AP is that if you only play APs, you either can't use it (because you want one of the new AP's backgrounds for the more relevant benefit) or don't get the useful Lore and hook of the new backgrounds.

Mind you, that's already a slight concern of mine with just the CRB backgrounds and don't have a good solution for either problem

I'd set these up as rare backgrounds. Which would do two things:

1) It'd mean that in order to earn them, you would have to play through the adventure path, and they probably wouldn't make sense to players who didn't know how that AP played out and might even be spoilers for players who havent. (For example, a post-Rise of the Runelords background might be "Looter of Xin-Shalast" or "Legacy of Slain Karzoug" or the like.)

2) But as with ALL rules elements, a GM can always simply decide to give out anything that they think is a good fit for their game. So any GM who sees these backgrounds can take any of them and make them common for their game as they see fit.

THAT SAID... coming up with a way that these backgrounds could work as "templates" on existing backgrounds is an interesting idea, so that you could play a new AP with that AP's specialized backgrounds, but adjust them for the prior game's results.

I don’t mind the possible spoilers, especially given the idea of a living world, and would be perfectly happy allowing them even for people who hadn’t played the requisite AP just to better hook them into the world.


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

Its definitely an interesting question. I've GM'd multiple 1e APs and setting up to GM Age of Ashes. But its typically been with new groups of players or minor overlap and we've been 'resetting' to canon Golarian before each one so ramifications from one don't really carry over. As a result the story telling hooks in the continuing/beyond haven't been particularly useful, inspire of being very interesting.

Part of me loves the idea of custom/templatable backgrounds as carry over rewards, but another part worries that it encourages players to read the last book searching for cool things to pickup. Same would apply to alternate capstone feat style things. I'd rather see rewards of that nature show up in the players guide (even if you need to be a little vague/abstract in the name/descirption to avoid spoilers), but I know that's a major change from what typically enters the players guide.

I would love to see a 'troubleshooting the campaign' section. Assuming there's time to get enough feedback from the field (all of us) on chapters 1 & 2 at least to give some advice before book 6 gets locked down for publication.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Davor Firetusk wrote:
I'd be curious for some alternate ideas, side quests or material for earlier in the adventure path. The last volume isn't the natural place for that exactly, but even if you start playing as it is released you might barely be through book 2 by time book 6 is released.

I don't think this is the right place to add in "cutting room floor" or "developer's addition" type content. That stuff is more useful during play, not after the campaign is over.

That said, we ARE looking for ways to get more stuff like web enhancements or bonus material out there via other routes, so hopefully some day we'll be able to do web enhancement type things more easily and quickly and efficiently.

I know that you already answered this but I still feel I want to second the "cutting room floor/developer's addition" content idea. Many GMs don't run APs as they come out for various reasons and I think this is an opportunity to further link the individual adventures tighter together. I've read enough anecdotes about published adventures that sometimes things get missed, forgotten, or not entirely lined up with the overall story that this provides an opportunity to resolve some of this at the very end.

I completely understand that this could lead to a lot of work and that perhaps producing this in the final volume is still too soon to notice these sorts of errors/omissions but I think it would be great if you tried the concept at least once in the future to gauge community feedback. I think this sort of thing can only enhance the overall AP in my opinion.


How about an epilogue for major NPCs?


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Lawrencelot wrote:
How about an epilogue for major NPCs?

I wrote an epilogue for the Jade Regent adventure path that included the fate of Ameiko Kaijitsu and her half-sister Amaya: Amaya of Westcrown - The Empty Throne. This would not match an official epilogue because in the default adventure Amaya is not included.

Thank you, Lawrencelot, for rekindling this thread. I had been busy at the end of July and sick for most of August and missed this.

I have run three Paizo adventure paths and remember them all well. I continued the Rise of the Runelords adventure all the way to 20th level, with one story taking place at 20th level, just so that a few players could experience those high levels. One player, Greg Moe, had managed to stay with the campaign all the way from 1st level to 20th level. He deserved bragging rights.

When the PCs finished Spires of Xin-Shalast, the 6th module of Rise of the Runelords, at 17th-level, I continued the campaign with The Witchwar Legacy, one of the few Paizo modules written for high-level play. Meanwhile, I was busy inventing homebrew material for after The Witchwar Legacy, based on loose plot threads caused by my changes to the original Rise of the Runelords story. My players liked intrigue more than combat, so I had added that.

In Sins of the Saviors, D&D 3.5 version, I had changed the Wrath section of the Runeforge to a lost colony, a warrior people trapped in the Runeforge for thousands of years, still speaking ancient Thassilonian (fortunately, the wizard spoke ancient Thassilonian) and worshipping Lissala, the Peacock God, and Desna, though the first two had gone silent. After initial combat, the Wrath people and the party discovered a mutual love of Desna and became allies, until a little girl Albedo died of poison right after the party shared their food (the Wrath people had a food shortage and often resorted to cannibalism). The party had to solve the mystery quickly or be blamed for the girl's death. The paladin used an ultimate mercy to resurrect Albedo, questioned her, and uncovered a secret cult of Lamashtu that was trying to frame the party. However, Albedo had risen with a prophecy from Desna that soon she would return the Wrath people to her world where they would have plenty of food and be able to see Desna's stars. At 18th and 19th levels the party fulfilled this prophecy by reversing the process that had put the Runeforge into the astral plane and transported it to a new island south of Riddleport in Varisian Bay.

For the rest of 19th level, they dealt with Xaliasa, a villain who had escaped, reached 20th level off-scene, and created a high-level cult in Nidal. For 20th level, an evil party of giant-hating 19th- and 20th-level humans and dwarves had conquered Xin-Shalast and the party had to liberate the place again.

The players had liked the continuing adventure.

In contrast, when the Jade Regent adventure path reached the end of the 6th module, that felt like a natural stopping place. I wrote the epilogue to wrap it up.

My Iron Gods campaign ended neither of these ways. My adorable wife, a grandmaster player, had derailed the 6th module, The Divinity Drive, in a major way. In the middle of the 5th module, the party landed their spaceship next to Starfall to flee from the Technic League (details here). This was the first time that their tiny salvaged spaceship was close to Silver Mount and the computer mastermind Unity took control of it. My wife's character Boffin talked to Unity over the radio and explained that they would be glad to visit Silver Mount, because they were a repair crew trained by Casandalee, Unity's lost high priestess. Unity realized Boffin was lying, but it really wanted Casandalee back, so it played along.

And thus the party spent weeks as employees of Unity, working to clear the Divinity of ghosts and repair its systems. And my primary source material for 6 months of game sessions was the Divinity Gazetteer on pages 64 and 65 in the Continuing the Campaign section of The Divinity Drive. We had to continue the campaign before we finished the original plot.

I have an unfinished chronicle, "The Divinity Heist," that one day I will post to the Iron Gods subforum to give the full story. The campaign ended at 17th level when the party returned from Androffan with a fully-functional 300-foot exploration cruiser, the Meriwether Lewis (I use American names to represent a similar figure in fantasy history). They parked the cruiser levitating over Technic League headquarters, and the magus Elric, who had infiltrated the Technic League, declared, "Rank in the League is determined by mastery of technology. I claim leadership. We will have a new era of greater power and influence where we make and share technology instead of hoarding it."

My point is that I and my players frequently deviate from the published path in the adventure paths. The supplementary material about the local towns and peoples and Continuing the Campaign lets me quickly invent new encounters for my game sessions away from the original encounters. I appreciate that material.


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James Jacobs wrote:
It's probably best to either assume prior PCs go into retirement, head off into the Great Beyond for off-world adventures, or maybe just "reset" the world after each Adventure Path so that the prior AP you ran never took place—in this way, you would have numerous side-by-side stories with their own continuities, in much the same way you can have multiple stories like "Pet Semetary" and "Crimson Tide" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Jurassic Park" and "Catch 22" and "Insert Novel Here" all take place on Earth but not have to interact with each other.

Yes, my campaigns tend to the parallel realities approach, with overlap only in exceptional cases -- and I'm also prone to borrowing/remixing individual AP volumes or subplots into homebrew campaigns -- so I'm less interested in "continuity" info that assumes a prior group of PCs have succeeded or failed an AP.

Perhaps this section could be more of a butterfly effect of spinoff adventure hooks -- not just "what happens after this AP if the PCs fail," but "what happens if the PCs let the underboss from Book 2 go, or never encountered them? what happens if this NPC wasn't rescued / helped in Book 3? what if that macguffin was actually significant in its own right?"

I don't envision this as side quests written for a group that is playing through the whole adventure, so much as a collection of single-paragraph ideas supporting other ways of using the AP content: if Council of Thieves isn't your group's cup of tea, but the Sixfold Trial is, what else could have happened as a result of that module?


Another vote for 'cutting room floor' and 'troubleshooting' material, speaking as another GM who wouldn't run an AP until all of the books were available. More info on ramifications for the setting at the end of an AP would also be good (though easier for some cases than others, obviously).


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'd prefer it used for something related to that AP's final chapter.

Looking around, it appears that most of the "Continuing" sections are about 5 pages, which is 2.5 more NPCs in the NPC Gallery, as one example.

If used for direct adventure content expansion, it could have a notable impact. For example, Part 1: Siege of Citadel Rivad in Hell's Vengeance is 7 pages, so another 5 pages here is 70% extra content for that part! Even for something like "Entering the Vault" in Ironfang's last chapter, 5 pages would be more than 30% extra content to flesh out NPCs and background info, detail tactics/environments/hazards, or throw in another map and some art.

If not so directly, 5 pages as an extra side adventure or helpful additions to the main content would be fantastic, and serve sort of the same purpose that the "Continuing" section did in the first place. Something like the "Sellen River Encounters" and "Sellen River Vessels" additions did for Dreams of the Yellow King.


I really don't like the idea of traits that are unlocked if you finish an AP :(
Partially because I worry that they won't be obvious enough and get mixed in with the other traits (unless they're called "completion traits" or something), and partially because it feels like they'd be full of spoilers for anyone that sees the trait before playing through the AP.

Talking about how it affects the world would be really nice though, that way you can alter the world accordingly. Similar to "what the if PCs lose" it could be "what happens when they win" and have a nice write-up about how the world was impacted.

Or more details on NPCs. The write-ups for the NPCs in the later books of an AP are mostly stat blocks so their backstory and what-not doesn't really include much information. Having more details, especially for the enemies in the last book, would always be appreciated.


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James Jacobs wrote:

With 2nd edition, our Adventure Paths are going to hit 20th level each time as the norm. As such, the concept for a "Continuing the Campaign" article at the end of a volume makes little sense, because at this time, 20th level is the capstone of the game and there's not much else to go on to accumulate for PCs beyond that point.

Currently, the plan is to close out each Adventure Path with information similar to what we've done in prior APs that hit 20th, like Wrath of the Righteous or Return of the Runelords, in the "Beyond the Campaign" articles. These articles would discuss ramifications of the adventure path on the world at large and could present stat blocks for future foes that you could use in your game that we'll be unlikely to follow up on in future publications.

But I'm not sure how useful that would be.

Which brings me to this question—what sort of information would you like to see in the very last volume of an Adventure Path, in place of the "Continuing the Campaign"? I'm about to work on the first one of these for Age of Ashes in a few days and I have my own ideas (as indicated above) but would love to hear some more from you all in the meantime.

The details about how the conclusion of the AP impacts the outside world have always been the most important parts of the "Continuing the Campaign" sections of the APs I have run.

Over the last decade, with the help of different groups of players and GMs, my friends and I have crafted a living world of Golarion based off the conclusions of the APs we have run. We're reaching the conclusion of Shattered Star right now, run as the sequel to our game of Rise of The Runelords where Karzoug won at the end (so the new heroes are assembling the Sihedron to take him down). Also involved are some of the former PCs that were in the Skulls and Shackles game we ran. And one of the my players even turned an NPC that was redeemed in our Wrath of the Righteous game into a full fledged PC for Book 6 of Shattered Star.

The best part of these APs and Golarion/Lost Omens for me, personally, has been weaving these storylines together and showing my players how their actions have impacted this entire world even after the campaign has ended.

So, I'd love for more "how the rest of the Lost Omens setting reacts" at the end of a Book 6 (or even... any book where applicable??). I'd love to read about how the NPCs my players have met and got to know over the AP might influence things in the future. What do these NPCs do after the AP is done? Could they show up again in another AP? Of course, that couldn't be very specific but maybe some ideas for what kind of role they could fill in the future (e.g. "This NPC could show up to encourage the PCs in another campaign when they need to achieve something that relates to Iomedae")

I am so in love with reading about the changes to Golarion and the Lost Omens setting with PF2e since you've assumed all the previous APs have already happened and I'd love to see that philosophy continue forward with each PF2e AP. Even if it's not something that's set in stone... those What If? sections of "Continuing the Campaign" are awesome!

Scarab Sages

Having digested it some, a 2E 20th Level is still super powerful but not as unmanageable as a 1E 20th (though the 2E feels more flexible /versatile). I'd still love some idea of where to take these adventurers as part of the logical outcome of the adventure. I could reward them with more wealth, multi class options, skills, some kind of capstone mythic level as they start ascending, etc. I'd love to see a little guidance on this in the GMG too if possible.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

<with snippage>

Currently, the plan is to close out each Adventure Path with ... "Beyond the Campaign" articles. These articles would discuss ramifications of the adventure path on the world at large.

What sort of information would you like to see in the very last volume of an Adventure Path, in place of the "Continuing the Campaign"?

I use the APs as a framework to hang my campaign on, and run them in my long term homebrew world. The end of campaign ramifications is always great, as I've been running my campaign since the 80s - the successes and failures of previous campaigns often plays a role in the game.

I'd really like to see some ideas about other elements (adventures/plots) that could play into the campaign. Even ideas for replacing/reskinning whole chapters. Sometimes you don't want to run another haunted castle, or there isn't a badlands/giant mountain/tribe of barbarians near where I want to run the campaign.

To play off of that I'd also like to see ideas for slower progression, and additional elements to add, potential side treks. Some of the discussion forums have some really creative and interesting ideas for things that that they added and its super helpful, even outlines of events that were cut would be useful.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I would like to see additional info for NPCs in the AP. That stuff is always helpful.

But, if you are looking for something similar to continuing the campaign, how about list any local or regional ramifications may arise from this particular AP. Such as how a certain country arose from a recently concluded AP. That kind of thing.

Something like that could help people integrate an AP into an ongoing world.


Two things would be useful here.

First of all, like many people have suggested before, I would love to read about the impacts of the adventure path (assuming PCs win, of course) on the geopolitical situation. A mini setting update, sort of like the changes Pathfinder 2e has compared to Pathfinder 1e for individual areas. This would be very useful for groups who run all their adventure paths in the same continuity, which I've been lead to believe is very common.

I'd also like to see a few alternative scenarios for how the adventure could be changed, now that the writers have the whole picture in mind and could easily see whatever flaws or missing pieces had been in the story. Ideas like how to foreshadow the final villain if they came out of nowhere, or how to expand on important NPCs in the campaign if they seem underused, or even ways to replace a certain segment with another (say, replacing a dungeon in a book, with another dungeon published later in an adventure module). Obviously this is aimed more towards people who are only picking up a complete adventure path after it's complete, but from my experience not many DMs decide to modify adventure paths to suit their liking BEFORE having read the entire thing anyway.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

More lore. since we are now combing 128 pages of chronicles books, and 96 pages of player guides into a quarterly book, the line is still a bit too crunchy for my tastes. I like articles to be about 90% fluff.

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