Do my characters absolutely HAVE to get real jobs in upcoming APs?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


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I know I’m probably in a weird minority on this, (really, that’s where I am most times in life), but I was just wondering if the next two APs might include sidebars on how how to run them NOT as part of a circus or as Absalom cops?

My characters all may have wildly different motivations, but at the end of the day, they’re all simply adventurers. They don’t have to get up at a given time in the morning, they don’t care about gluten or saturated fats or health care costs. They adventure. One thing they would never, ever do is hold down a real job - that’s exactly the kind of thing I play to NOT think about. I don’t want to answer to employers, or deal with unreasonable clients, or deal with anything that comes close to looking like actual responsibilities.

I certainly don’t mind the occasional AP that says you might not want to be a paladin in this, or a cleric of X might really do well here, but when it’s themed that you simply ARE real estate agents in Nidal or a crack team of building superintendents from Druma, it just kind of makes me hope there might be some tips on reworking things to make them suitable for traditional adventuring parties. Or am I just really weird in thinking this? OK, maybe real estate agents in Nidal has some potential...


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You do realize that circus performers ARE adventurers, right? Circus troupes travel to a lot of different places to perform, and in a world like Golarion, the wildernesses between cities are dangerous enough that the average troupe has probably defeated (or tamed!) an owlbear or two. Besides, "adventuring" often is a real job in a world like Golarion. In fact if you've read the blog pages on Lost Omens World Guide organizations, like 3 out of 5 of them are "real jobs". Being a hellknight is a full time job, so is being an explorer or archaeologist for the Pathfinder Society, or a professor in the Magaambyan college.

As for city guards, have you never watched a police procedural show? Trust the developers to give you plenty of action. If anything I find "simply adventurers" really hard to run from a DM's perspective, because it often ends up with a party that has nothing in common with each other in terms of background and motivation.

Not every PC needs to be Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, or Nathan Drake. Sometimes they're also Harry Dresden.


I mean... I’m not sure why having a premise is so upsetting to you. And the edition has literally started with an AP like you describe.


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Like I said, I realize I'm probably in a weird minority. My group has tried variously-themed campaigns numerous times (including city constables) - each with a varying degree of failure. I think the problem is coming up with a theme that all within the group find equally engaging enough to devote the next couple of years of gameplay to.

It's no problem whatsoever - worse case scenario overarching plots get used and encounters/individual elements get lifted/reworked. I was just hoping for maybe some sidebar advice within the APs to help in doing so - especially early on when it's hard to tell what given element you're leaving out becomes important in the 3rd book or something.

Silver Crusade

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That's the thing with premade adventures, you need to make your character to suit the AP rather than make a character sight unseen and hope the adventure syncs up with them.

And also sync up with the party as well.

As for these next two APs, being circus performers or cops are the theme of the AP so you're very likely not gonna get a little sidebar saying what to do if you don't want to, you need to get a different AP, or VERY heavily rewrite these ones.

It'd be like having a character that refuses to do absolutely anything involving politics or intrigue in War for The Crown.


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Actually, with most AP's our best success comes from playing the characters we want, and kind of letting events of the AP mold them organically as we go along.

But no problem - worst comes to worst I just try my hand at converting 1E stuff for a bit.

Sorry to bother everyone!

Silver Crusade

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You're not bothering anyone, just a little confusing is all. Like, this

Sir NotAppearingInThisFilm wrote:
Actually, with most AP's our best success comes from playing the characters we want, and kind of letting events of the AP mold them organically as we go along.

is at odds with the current situation, which leads me to think you played very theme light APs or the characters were blank slates. What other APs have you plaed?


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In our group, as for actual AP’s I’ve run ROTRL, Shattered Star and currently Age of Ashes. Someone else has run Mummy’s Mask. and yet another Carrion Crown. In Shattered Star it was fairly easy to omit the Pathfinder Society membership stuff, hence my hope with the upcoming APs.

In my group, our best campaigns have started off as simple adventuring parties. There might be siblings among them, childhood friends, sometimes total strangers thrown together by events, what have you. Everyone pretty much played whatever class/ancestry/background they wanted - the course of the AP or campaign might lead you down a given developmental path, but that’s simply a character choice to take or leave as you see fit.

Failures tend to be heavily themed campaigns (these are generally home-brew ideas). This has included the whole party starting off as city constables, campaigns where a few people had a “we should all be elves/dwarves/gnomes/what have you” idea, the party’s part of some military campaign, etc.

I think the problem with a themed campaign (at least with our group) is that even if you find something that 4 out of 6 people are ready to dive into, it kind of means that 2 people might feel that the character they’ve been wanting to play has to be put on hold for a considerable length of time. Thus, when I’m GMing for the group, I find the best way to avoid that is to keep it theme-light - you're certainly welcome to play an elf ex-constable with a couple of your fellow elf ex-constable buddies, and if life throws you in with a gnome barbarian, well, life does that sometimes.

Like I said - if we wrap up Age of Ashes before the next 2 APs are done & I’m still GMing for the group, I’ll just finish up my Age of Worms conversion. No problems!

Silver Crusade

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Sir NotAppearingInThisFilm wrote:
In Shattered Star it was fairly easy to omit the Pathfinder Society membership stuff, hence my hope with the upcoming APs.
Really?
Quote:
Like I said - if we wrap up Age of Ashes before the next 2 APs are done & I’m still GMing for the group, I’ll just finish up my Age of Worms conversion. No problems!

*nods*


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Having jobs when you are an adventureer is rather redundant since stabbing things and getting stabbed is your job. Plus a dungeon haul of several thousand GP is enough to effectively retire in faux-fantasy England where soup is a SP a bowl(Plus you don't have to work a week to get enough for food). Once you hit say 6th level, you can pretty much write your own check if you do get a day-job(Officer of the guard/military, magic consultant, guild leader)


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If the Extinction Curse PCs run a circus, are they still murder hobos?


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It feels like "your PC intersects the path of a traveling circus" is a vastly looser hook than "your PC is from Kintargo" or "you were visiting Sandpoint on the wrong day" or "you have a prior relationship with a specific Ustalavic academic/noble" (they did this one twice!).

The circus needs lots of different people, after all, and lots of different kinds of people will find "traveling with a circus" to be useful for them.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It feels like "your PC intersects the path of a traveling circus" is a vastly looser hook than "your PC is from Kintargo" or "you were visiting Sandpoint on the wrong day" or "you have a prior relationship with a specific Ustalavic academic/noble" (they did this one twice!).

The circus needs lots of different people, after all, and lots of different kinds of people will find "traveling with a circus" to be useful for them.

Not to mention that almost every class can use their skills as a circus performer. Rangers and druids make for great beast trainers, rogues excel as acrobats, wizards, bards, and sorcerers all make for good stage magicians, fighters, monks and barbarians work well as strongmen (or women), and clerics are good fortune tellers. The only classes that take a little big of work are alchemists and champions.

And even if you really don't want to perform, you can still play a guard hired on by the circus to protect them from bandits, wild beasts, and city thugs. That's as "adventurer" as can be.

Grand Lodge

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Yes, and one of them has to be a scullery maid. It's in the rules.

-Skeld


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Not all APs will be suitable for all groups.

Scarab Sages

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There is also the rework of Kingmaker coming out next year. That could work well for you, and the hard work of conversion is already done.


Sir NotAppearingInThisFilm wrote:

I know I’m probably in a weird minority on this, (really, that’s where I am most times in life), but I was just wondering if the next two APs might include sidebars on how how to run them NOT as part of a circus or as Absalom cops?

{. . .}

Not sure about the circus, but I could see that the Absalom police local commanders might need to turn to someone not in the police force for certain services that they can't do themselves (including but not limited to Private Investigator), and might even have to turn to someone who doesn't have and doesn't even want a 9-to-5 job.

Frogliacci wrote:

{. . .}

Not to mention that almost every class can use their skills as a circus performer. Rangers and druids make for great beast trainers, rogues excel as acrobats, wizards, bards, and sorcerers all make for good stage magicians, fighters, monks and barbarians work well as strongmen (or women), and clerics are good fortune tellers. The only classes that take a little big of work are alchemists and champions.
{. . .}

I don't know about Champions, but Alchemist = good candidate for pyrotehnician (or even other type of elemental technician in ways that haven't gained much favor on Earth . . . but even here you can find the occasional example -- and yes, this video really does have examples of Fire and Cold).


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deuxhero wrote:
If the Extinction Curse PCs run a circus, are they still murder hobos?

No, I believe this would qualify them as carnage carnies.


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Frogliacci wrote:
wizards, bards, and sorcerers all make for good stage magicians

Are stage magicians popular in Golarion?

Magician: "And when I say the magic word, abracadabra, the rabbit disappears! Amazing, yeah? Like, where did it go?"
Audience member: "You probably cast Invisibility on it. It's a pretty common spell."

Dark Archive

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:
wizards, bards, and sorcerers all make for good stage magicians

Are stage magicians popular in Golarion?

Magician: "And when I say the magic word, abracadabra, the rabbit disappears! Amazing, yeah? Like, where did it go?"
Audience member: "You probably cast Invisibility on it. It's a pretty common spell."

Where magic is common for adventurers, for commoners its rare and scary judging by pathfinder tales books :p

Liberty's Edge

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CorvusMask wrote:
Where magic is common for adventurers, for commoners its rare and scary judging by pathfinder tales books :p

Maybe not quite that rare. It's certainly at least as uncommon as being good at sleight of hand in real life, though.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Are stage magicians popular in Golarion?

Magician: "And when I say the magic word, abracadabra, the rabbit disappears! Amazing, yeah? Like, where did it go?"
Audience member: "You probably cast Invisibility on it. It's a pretty common spell."

Real stage magicians use Summon Monster.

Magician: "And the rabbit will disappear in 6 ... 5 ... 4 ... 3 ..."


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Where magic is common for adventurers, for commoners its rare and scary judging by pathfinder tales books :p
Maybe not quite that rare. It's certainly at least as uncommon as being good at sleight of hand in real life, though.

It's unusual to find a village without a magic potion shop, a local cleric who can summon monsters and miraculously heal wounds, etc.

At least, those are the villages I tend to run into while adventuring.

Liberty's Edge

Matthew Downie wrote:

It's unusual to find a village without a magic potion shop, a local cleric who can summon monsters and miraculously heal wounds, etc.

At least, those are the villages I tend to run into while adventuring.

Sure. Indeed, even small villages probably have several spellcasters.A long time ago I did a level demographics thread based on this fact and the settlement rules in PF1, which pretty accurately reflects printed Golarion content.

But, well, in a village of 100 people, you probably have five spellcasters total, of which only one or two can cast 2nd level spells (and unless one's a Wizard, likely neither have Invisibility). I'd say that's around the same percentage of people who can manage some card tricks or other sleight of hand. 5% of people being able to do a little bit of something (and more like 1% able to cast 3rd level or better spells), makes someone doing so impressive in a small way...exactly as you'd expect a magician to be.

Which was rather my point. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Dear OP, I think you will not have that many troubles with Paizo APs. Way I read it, the problem you describe lies with players not being able to play the character they envision.
The Paizo APs all have a theme but it does not completely forbid any concept. The AP's Player's Guide, which is a free download, gives all the tips you need to ensure your players' PCs will give them as much fun as possible and warns in advance about potentially complicated choices. In my experience, all of the Player's Guides offer reasons to include pretty much any PC concept in their AP.

And if you find yourself stuck on why a given PC would adventure in an AP, just ask for advice on the boards. We will find together a great in-story reason for the player to play their chosen concept in the AP ;-)


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deuxhero wrote:
If the Extinction Curse PCs run a circus, are they still murder hobos?

they are murder clowns.


I know I'm a little late to the party here; but with the Absalom one, there might be a way to have at least one of the PCs be a consultant rather than a full-time cop (I'm thinking of how Sherlock Holmes works with the NYPD in Elementary).


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As soon as I read that the PCs are part of a circus troupe in the next AP, I thought "Ugh, hard pass on that". I wanna play an adventurer, not a clown.

I'm with the OP, I hate APs where the PCs are assumed to have a 9 to 5 job.

Silver Crusade

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… you're a fantasy carnie, not an office worker.


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The next AP will start when a clerical error in the PC's W-9 forms results in an underpayment of income tax. The first three books will follow the party as they dig through income ledgers and tax forms to identify the source of the error and get it rectified in time to prevent an underpayment penalty...with compounding interest.


This does kind of show the problem with crafting skills in PE1 at least, one has to work a long time to make some armor that they could afford (scale to plate for example) with one AP book loot hauls.

Plus once channeling, wands and scrolls become more available, bunking down for a few days is just unviable especially if they are on the clock(Say rescuing a bard who happens to be a secret heir to the throne). Even a fighter can pop a healing potion down someone's mouth


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Rysky wrote:
… you're a fantasy carnie, not an office worker.

Or just someone on the run from some authority or another who is hiding out in the circus.

Or someone who is using the cover of "being with the circus" to get in or out of somewhere without scrutiny.

I mean, it's not harder to come up for reasons for "why you are with the circus at the start of the event" than it is to come up with reasons for "how did you know that one Ustalavic academic" or "why were you in Sandpoint today" or "why did you go to the protest in Kintargo" etc.


HeHateMe wrote:

{. . .}

I'm with the OP, I hate APs where the PCs are assumed to have a 9 to 5 job.

This Council of Thieves PbP did exactly that with a large subset of the PCs and came out great (except for the last little bit where GM loss occurred too close to the end for the final GM to get into the swing of things). The day job aspect lent itself perfectly to the theme of the PCs being townspeople getting fed up about the rot in Westcrown and deciding to do something about it.


Which AP is the one where you play Absolom cops? I haven't heard of that one.


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HeHateMe wrote:
Which AP is the one where you play Absolom cops? I haven't heard of that one.

The one after the circus one. That the Investigator is so appropriate for the "police procedural AP", is why the Investigator was put into the first batch of new classes.


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I imagine you can modify most APs to fit without the hook the game came with using a bit of creative elbow grease. Maybe they are doing temp work for a week because the Absalom guard is currently short on staff or the circus had some trapeze artists drop out unexpectedly (yes, that is a pun). That gets them there long enough to find the plot, and if the plot is engaging enough having an adventurer mindset will keep them through to the end.

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