I would love to get 3-part APs for Pathfinder...


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yes, I would!
I really love the Starfinder format and with a 3-parter, I also wouldn't mind at which level it starts.
I know, some of the 1e APs could be run as a 3-parter (with some work), but getting such a product from Paizo would be awesome.

In my earlier days, finding time to play was never an issue. Now my players are grown up (well, at least one or two ;) , we have jobs, families, some work in shifts - so its getting harder to find time to play.

Another aspect is the huge commitment, both in time (for everybody) and workload (for the GM).
I am a Paizo fan since they took over the Dungeon and Dragon magazines and I am a AP-subscriber from the start. In all those years we managed to play three (yes, only three) APs. I GMed 2 and played in one. We play once a month and like to immerse ourselves into the world and story. That's why we would also like to experience more stories in AP format, but that's just so hard with 6 parts, which take us sometimes three years to complete. Sure, that's not everybodies problem, but I am sure there are people out there with similar issues.

I really wonder how many APs most of you have run or manage to run in a year?!

Anyway... can we have 3-part APs for Pathfinder, pleeeease?! :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love paizo APs but they cast a pretty wide net for player and DM interests. As a result I find it is pretty common for groups to adjust to suit their interests.

For example, my group tends to trim encounters that don't progress the plot and find ways to cut short extensive dungeon crawls.

If 3 part APs meant clumping parts that my group did not find interesting into a different AP OR adventure design more focused on story or character progression I'd be all for it.

From a product publication perspective instead of splitting an AP you could instead publish 3 "adventure modules" that are written to be run back to back with a continuous story.

They could be marketed as "Pathfinder Adventure Arcs". I'd sub to that.


Definitely interested in a 3-book adventure as well. They're more manageable, you can actually complete them and have some finality, plus you could link related trilogies together.

Alternatively, making a 6-book AP with the 3rd book easily changeable to an ending would work well too.


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Council of Thieves and Ruins of Azlant both had distinct parts and could have befitted from a split into two APs.


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Some APs work well as 2, 3, or 4 part adventures.

I'm planning on ending Hell's Rebels away the end of Book 4.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if they do publish some 3 part APs like Starfinder.


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You could very easily run the first two books of Mummy's Mask as a full levels 1-6 campaign and the only thing a GM would need to change would be removing a couple of descriptions that hint towards the plot that happens later.
The first two books of this AP was some of the most fun adventuring my group has had.

Spoilers for Books 1 & 2:
Explore some tombs, stop an undead uprising, find and kill the evil bad-guy.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Carrion Crown works *best* as a 3-part (1-3) AP.

Also warped savant is right. You can easily change the book 2 macguffin to be an off switch, and Mummy's Mask is a very solid 2-parter.

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I think the three-parters are more valuable in Starfinder, which lacks a modules line. Pathfinder is nicely set up with full campaigns in the adventure path line, story arcs in modules, and one-offs in Society.

That said, I wouldn't complain about an experiment with some three-parters if the demand seems to be there.

Dark Archive

Yeah I don't think 3 part APs are as interesting in Pathfinder due to modules actually being a thing. I wouldn't mind having two of them (like levels 1-10 ja 10-20) but I wouldn't really want it to be a regular thing while with Starfinder I think having more of them is useful since page amount in Starfinder doesn't lend as well to longer adventures

Dark Archive

How about a 3-part pathfinder classic AP, not now but it takes awhile so it's a good mention.


archmagi1 wrote:
Carrion Crown works *best* as a 3-part (1-3) AP.

Really?

I'm going to message you about this; I hope you don't mind.

Dark Archive

Another reason why its not reaaaaally necessary for Pathfinder: Most of APs are easily cut short and made to be 2 or 3 part APs anyway. So 3 part ap would only really work for the tables that are never able to stay together 6 parts so they can feel like they officially managed to complete an ap.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Another reason why its not reaaaaally necessary for Pathfinder: Most of APs are easily cut short and made to be 2 or 3 part APs anyway. So 3 part ap would only really work for the tables that are never able to stay together 6 parts so they can feel like they officially managed to complete an ap.

Or for groups, who would like to experience more different stories in a shorter time.

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archmagi1 wrote:

Carrion Crown works *best* as a 3-part (1-3) AP.

Also warped savant is right. You can easily change the book 2 macguffin to be an off switch, and Mummy's Mask is a very solid 2-parter.

Serpent's Skull also works very well as a 3-part campaign.


I would love shorter APs.

Dark Archive

Dryder wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Another reason why its not reaaaaally necessary for Pathfinder: Most of APs are easily cut short and made to be 2 or 3 part APs anyway. So 3 part ap would only really work for the tables that are never able to stay together 6 parts so they can feel like they officially managed to complete an ap.
Or for groups, who would like to experience more different stories in a shorter time.

You could do that by just cutting APs short though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Dryder wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Another reason why its not reaaaaally necessary for Pathfinder: Most of APs are easily cut short and made to be 2 or 3 part APs anyway. So 3 part ap would only really work for the tables that are never able to stay together 6 parts so they can feel like they officially managed to complete an ap.
Or for groups, who would like to experience more different stories in a shorter time.
You could do that by just cutting APs short though.

I found the earlier posts here about some AP's working really well when cut short encouraging.

But I'm not sure they work as a cut down version due to any deliberate design decision.

Which is in essence the suggestion proposed: plan, plot and write a more concise version of the current AP publications. Story's with a clear beginning middle and end over three books.

Trilogies are all the rage now! Just ask hollywood.


Crivens wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Dryder wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Another reason why its not reaaaaally necessary for Pathfinder: Most of APs are easily cut short and made to be 2 or 3 part APs anyway. So 3 part ap would only really work for the tables that are never able to stay together 6 parts so they can feel like they officially managed to complete an ap.
Or for groups, who would like to experience more different stories in a shorter time.
You could do that by just cutting APs short though.

I found the earlier posts here about some AP's working really well when cut short encouraging.

But I'm not sure they work as a cut down version due to any deliberate design decision.

Which is in essence the suggestion proposed: plan, plot and write a more concise version of the current AP publications. Story's with a clear beginning middle and end over three books.

Trilogies are all the rage now! Just ask hollywood.

Three Act structure is far more common and easy to work with than any 6 part format.

Could go with a classic Shakespearean 5 Act approach.

Dark Archive

Crivens wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Dryder wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Another reason why its not reaaaaally necessary for Pathfinder: Most of APs are easily cut short and made to be 2 or 3 part APs anyway. So 3 part ap would only really work for the tables that are never able to stay together 6 parts so they can feel like they officially managed to complete an ap.
Or for groups, who would like to experience more different stories in a shorter time.
You could do that by just cutting APs short though.

I found the earlier posts here about some AP's working really well when cut short encouraging.

But I'm not sure they work as a cut down version due to any deliberate design decision.

Which is in essence the suggestion proposed: plan, plot and write a more concise version of the current AP publications. Story's with a clear beginning middle and end over three books.

Trilogies are all the rage now! Just ask hollywood.

I think devs did actually say some of them ARE written with intention of it being easy to cut them short by small alterations if GM prefers that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group wrapped up the 1st 3-part AP, AGAINST THE AEON THRONE this fall. It was a lot of fun, especially because nothing got old.

That being said, plenty of Pathfinder 1E APs can be cut into pieces with minimal effort on the DMs part, and still provide excellent fun for the party and complete resolutions.

The aforementioned Mummy's Mask works perfectly as a 2 or 4 parter; Giantslayer can be reskinned as a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 parter, Ruins of Azlant works fine as a 3 parter, etc.

So, now that 2E's APs are going from 1-20; I dunno if this is a reasonable, or even worthy request. You can always just start at book 4 if you want a higher-level adventure.


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I'm all for a 3 chapter AP. I'd wager only a small fraction of APs are ever completed by the people who buy them. But practical utility at the table matters less in RPG publishing than the collectors and readers segments of the market. Presumably, catering to those who enjoy reading an epic level 1-20 story makes better business sense than creating material for the typical gaming group that can manage maybe 15 or 25 sessions before a campaign fizzles out.

As for just cutting an existing AP in half, the whole point of APs is that they're a coherent story that build to a long-anticipated conclusion. They aren't just a bunch or adventures jammed together (or at least they shouldn't be). So revising a full AP to conclude the campaign at level 9 would take significant changes to the whole and to all sorts of details in each chapter.


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Haffrung wrote:
As for just cutting an existing AP in half, the whole point of APs is that they're a coherent story that build to a long-anticipated conclusion. They aren't just a bunch or adventures jammed together (or at least they shouldn't be). So revising a full AP to conclude the campaign at level 9 would take significant changes to the whole and to all sorts of details in each chapter.

Some of them, sure. Others, not so much.

My favorite AP, Second Darkness (I know), could come to an end after one book,

Shadow in the Sky:
"The PCs take over a casino and become players in Riddleport politics!"
two books,
Children of the Void:
"The PCs defeat the drow who called down a meteor full of skymetal on Devil's Elbow!"
three books,
The Armageddon Echo:
"The PCs defeat the drow armies using the ruins of Celwynvian to attempt a second Earthfall!"
four books
Endless Night:
"The PCs infiltrate a drow city to defeat the mastermind behind the attempt to create a second Earthfall!"
or five books*
A Memory of Darkness:
"The PCs uncover the traitor on the Winter Council who is behind the attempt to create a second Earthfall!"
veyr easily. It's just a matter of making a previous book's boss into the BBEG.

You could even start with book 2 ("The PCs are sailors who notice strange goings-on on a nearby island"), book 3 ("The PCs are elven soldiers"), or book 4 ("The PCs are an elite elven task force") and go from there as far as you like.

*:
Book 5 needs a lot of work whether you're running it as written or not; it's kind of a mess.


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I'd love this from time to time. It allows the occassional change of tone from "foil an earth changing threat" to just "defeat the rival thieves guilds and become crimelords of magnimar" scope of game.

Ive cut APs short before but its not quite the same feel, imo.

Dark Archive

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I'll add that I wouldn't mind it occasionally happening, but as someone who DOES actually run aps to their conclusion (weekly roll20 games have easier time with not breaking up than live games :p), I've been really hungry for 1-20 level aps 1e almost never had that I would be annoying if 3 part aps became regular thing.

Sooo yeah, having two 3 part ap every 10 or 5 years would be enough for me :p Especially since modules exist in 2e and they are quite lengthy... Plus to be honest, 2e is even easier to prep your own material for than 1e was.


Steve Geddes wrote:

I'd love this from time to time. It allows the occassional change of tone from "foil an earth changing threat" to just "defeat the rival thieves guilds and become crimelords of magnimar" scope of game.

Ive cut APs short before but its not quite the same feel, imo.

Especially as someone who... basically never wants those crazy epic save the world plots.


CorvusMask wrote:

I'll add that I wouldn't mind it occasionally happening, but as someone who DOES actually run aps to their conclusion (weekly roll20 games have easier time with not breaking up than live games :p), I've been really hungry for 1-20 level aps 1e almost never had that I would be annoying if 3 part aps became regular thing.

Sooo yeah, having two 3 part ap every 10 or 5 years would be enough for me :p Especially since modules exist in 2e and they are quite lengthy... Plus to be honest, 2e is even easier to prep your own material for than 1e was.

Haven't they already said all planned 2e paths go 1-20?

Silver Crusade

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keftiu wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I'd love this from time to time. It allows the occassional change of tone from "foil an earth changing threat" to just "defeat the rival thieves guilds and become crimelords of magnimar" scope of game.

Ive cut APs short before but its not quite the same feel, imo.

Especially as someone who... basically never wants those crazy epic save the world plots.

Fantasy slow burn coffee shop story yessssss

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keftiu wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I'd love this from time to time. It allows the occassional change of tone from "foil an earth changing threat" to just "defeat the rival thieves guilds and become crimelords of magnimar" scope of game.

Ive cut APs short before but its not quite the same feel, imo.

Especially as someone who... basically never wants those crazy epic save the world plots.

Pathfinder could tell many more types of stories if things were not so EPIC in scope. :)

Remember: Just because a story isn't about the "End of the World," doesn't mean that it isn't about the end of someone's world.


Lord Fyre wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I'd love this from time to time. It allows the occassional change of tone from "foil an earth changing threat" to just "defeat the rival thieves guilds and become crimelords of magnimar" scope of game.

Ive cut APs short before but its not quite the same feel, imo.

Especially as someone who... basically never wants those crazy epic save the world plots.

Pathfinder could tell many more types of stories if things were not so EPIC in scope. :)

Remember: Just because a story isn't about the "End of the World," doesn't mean that it isn't about the end of someone's world.

I could go for a lot less end of the world stories.


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keftiu wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

I'll add that I wouldn't mind it occasionally happening, but as someone who DOES actually run aps to their conclusion (weekly roll20 games have easier time with not breaking up than live games :p), I've been really hungry for 1-20 level aps 1e almost never had that I would be annoying if 3 part aps became regular thing.

Sooo yeah, having two 3 part ap every 10 or 5 years would be enough for me :p Especially since modules exist in 2e and they are quite lengthy... Plus to be honest, 2e is even easier to prep your own material for than 1e was.

Haven't they already said all planned 2e paths go 1-20?

Yes. I don’t think it’ll happen in the first few years. One day I’d like it if they tried the 3-3 approach of mini APs they did with Starfinder (and seem to be repeating there, so good sign, I guess).

I wouldn’t expect it until quite late. I have thought that one of the reasons issue 100 of the AP line fell a little flat with the customer base (though was a big deal at the company) was that it occurred mid-AP.

I wonder if a micro-arc for AP issues 199 and 200 might be a neat celebration (albeit a pretty radical departure from the norm). Followed by a 4-issue arc 201-204 and then back to regular programming.


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The modules line is definitely an alternate way to explore this kind of thing, however that product line has always seemed to be “the thing we stop when we get flat out”.

My perception may be off, of course but it means I no longer put as much faith in the existence of those as an ongoing thing (unfortunately as I really, really loved them when they were shorter, monthly releases). With any luck the edition shift will allow them to reset the schedule/staffing allocations and modules will become a regular, more frequent thing going forward.


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One option is to pair the trilogy APs with more experimental APs of concepts that wouldn't necessarily support a full 1-20 campaign.

Liberty's Edge

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I feel like the modules that have been announced so far for PF2 are designed to take the storytelling slot that a 3-issue AP would fill. They're lengthy, in the sense that most of them are probably multiple-session stories for most groups, and cover several levels. They just happen to be in one book instead of three.

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