Age of Ashes - What am I missing?


Age of Ashes


As a GM, I tend to run campaigns in my own world. I have only used the Bestiary and the CRB. I'm wondering if I've made a mistake by not getting the first Adventure Path for Second Edition. The second Adventure Path, Extinction Curse, seems like a fantastic adventure if the synopses are to be believed. I'm seriously considering running that campaign next in my own setting.

What kind of extras am I missing out on without Age of Ashes. I understand that the Adventure Paths add new creatures and items. Is this all I'm missing without purchasing Age of Ashes?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If you're not going to run it, yeah, a few items, a couple archetypes, and a nice pile of some monsters--all of which are on Nethys, so you shouldn't need to feel it necessary to buy.

The only stuff you will be missing out on from not buying the AP itself are some gazetteer stuff. If you're in a homebrew world, those won't do much for you though. Frankly, if you never plan to run it, I wouldn't put the cash down on it. That's a lot of money for some minor mechanical additions. It is, however, a pretty fun campaign (not that I'm not stoked for the next two, which have brilliant synopses).


Sporkedup wrote:

If you're not going to run it, yeah, a few items, a couple archetypes, and a nice pile of some monsters--all of which are on Nethys, so you shouldn't need to feel it necessary to buy.

The only stuff you will be missing out on from not buying the AP itself are some gazetteer stuff. If you're in a homebrew world, those won't do much for you though. Frankly, if you never plan to run it, I wouldn't put the cash down on it. That's a lot of money for some minor mechanical additions. It is, however, a pretty fun campaign (not that I'm not stoked for the next two, which have brilliant synopses).

Thanks for your response! I'll take a look at the Archives of Nethys. I thought that AP related stuff wouldn't be covered there.


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Actual plots won't be, but any relevant monsters, spells, feats, archetypes etc will be. Basically if it's part of the story itself, it won't be there, but if it's a mechanical thing it will.


Grankless wrote:
Actual plots won't be, but any relevant monsters, spells, feats, archetypes etc will be. Basically if it's part of the story itself, it won't be there, but if it's a mechanical thing it will.

That's good to know! I'll have to keep an eye on Archives of Nethys for extra additions.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't own all of the Age of Lost Omens material, but I think the rules for rebuilding and running a castle are unique to this AP.


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I like the APs. Stories are usually good. You get lots of little extra bits in them as well that might be useful like magic items, monsters, and lore. Paizo APs are way better than anything Wizard has put out since 2E and 3E. Their 5E material doesn't have the bang for the buck in modules and such.


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The other thing that may be of interest, even if you aren't running it, is just seeing how the professionals write an adventure in general. There's definitely fun lessons to be learned from that for other work. Age of Ashes does suffer a little bit on this front because the system was still being designed while the adventure was being developed. There has been a thing or two I was surprised wasn't included in book 1. But it is still an interesting read to see how things like skill checks, treasure seeding, and unconventional encounters are seeded in.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Captain Morgan wrote:
The other thing that may be of interest, even if you aren't running it, is just seeing how the professionals write an adventure in general. There's definitely fun lessons to be learned from that for other work. Age of Ashes does suffer a little bit on this front because the system was still being designed while the adventure was being developed. There has been a thing or two I was surprised wasn't included in book 1. But it is still an interesting read to see how things like skill checks, treasure seeding, and unconventional encounters are seeded in.

This is an EXCELLENT point, and one that I don't see folks talk about much.

Apart from running published adventures, I've always found them to be the best GM resource to run campaigns, for the following reasons:

1) They inspire my own stories by reading other writers' ideas and seeing how they integrate rules and world lore into workable adventures. You can be inspired by novels and movies and video games and the like too, of course, but only from published adventures can I see a story told WITHOUT the Main Characters active, and that's a huge difference in writing adventures from doing pretty much any other sort of storytelling exercise.

2) They give me "backup" adventures I can whip out at a moment's notice if I'm running a sandbox game and the players take an unexpected turn toward something I've not prepared for in advance.

3) The stat blocks are pre-made NPCs and creatures I can lift entirely and drop into encounters—since the players don't know the stats for an NPC are for, you can change physical descriptions and presto, brand new NPC.

4) Maps! Even if I never run an adventure, having a large collection of maps handy gives me a constant supply of locations to drop into my setting as needed.

5) Also, by practicing at copying maps by hand onto graph paper, either in play on a battlemat or just into a pad of graph paper while I'm watching TV or whatever, I build up my own map drawing skills. Transcribing maps from adventures like this is the best way I've found to build up your own map drawing skills.

6) Art: I can use art from published adventures for my own NPCs in games to show the players as they explore and interact with NPCs. It's so much easier for a player to connect to an NPC when you have a picture of them to show off when they meet them, and it also helps make that NPC feel more important and meaningful to the table.


Yup, all that is the true. I've been running converted PF1 content, and having a PF2 adventure to use as a baseline has been extremely valuable.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
The other thing that may be of interest, even if you aren't running it, is just seeing how the professionals write an adventure in general. There's definitely fun lessons to be learned from that for other work. Age of Ashes does suffer a little bit on this front because the system was still being designed while the adventure was being developed. There has been a thing or two I was surprised wasn't included in book 1. But it is still an interesting read to see how things like skill checks, treasure seeding, and unconventional encounters are seeded in.

You know, I hadn't thought about it that way before. Back before APs were "a thing," I would write my adventures very differently. They were very episodic, with little self-contained stories that could have been picked up or dropped anywhere.

I actually remember getting my first issue of Dungeon that had the Shackled City AP in it and just losing my mind. I didn't even get to run an AP until Age of Worms, but ever since then I started taking a lot more care and emulating this sort of style. Creating NPCs that felt grounded in the story, putting in a lot more dynamic set pieces, and (for me, this was a big one) peppering in sessions without combat. When I ran "The Prince of Redhand," a social, non-combat module, my players had a blast. I spent months afterwards trying to replicate that experience.


The Extinction Curse AP book 1 comes out in January, so if you're interested in running that one, it'll be here pretty soon. Hang in there!

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