Tarondor's Guide to Pathfinder Adventure Paths


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

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James Jacobs wrote:

For those playing the home game... we knew that the Isle of Dread was in Mystara, but decided to bring it into Greyhawk for Savage Tide because it was such a great location, and because we wanted to show in print that it was okay to borrow something from one campaign and put it into another.

Considering how many AP's I've stolen for my Mystara game*, I would be a hypocrite if I didn't agree. It was just surprising to see it done (semi)officially.

*and StarDrive/Alternity, GH, Star Trek, Ringworld, etc. stuff I stole for Dragonstar, and the Mythago Wood stuff stolen for Ars Magica, and various stuff stolen for Laundry Files, and...


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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
There's no "GM school" out there. The best ways you can become a good GM, as a result, are by being a GM, by playing with or watching other GMs, or by reading published adventures. I've learned a LOT of my skills as a GM and adventure writer by reading adventures and running published adventures. I've long felt that a GM who deliberately avoids reading (much less running or incorporating) adventures written by other people is denying themselves one of the best ways to self-improve.

I've been GMing for more than forty years. When I started, the -only- published adventure I was aware of was "The Temple of the Frog" in the "Blackmoor" supplement. We just dove in and did whatever crazy thing seemed cool to us. When they started to become available, modules, adventures and campaigns were revelatory because they almost always included ideas we hadn't seen before or hadn't considered for inclusion in our own stories.

Becoming a good GM is not just about experience. I know some very inexperienced GMs who shock me with their excellent storytelling skills. Most of these have expressed concern at their lack of experience while simultaneously being great GMs.

Being, or becoming a great GM involves:

1) Emotional intelligence, a willingness and ability to work with your players to deliver a fun experience for all concerned;

2) A willingness to improvise when preparation inevitably isn't enough (and believe me, I'm an over-preparer);

3) Preparation; No set amount - just know your setting and characters.

4) Reading. Read fantasy fiction, history, game modules, other games, anything you can. It will enrich your game.

But most of all, be willing to try again. Very few people are great right out of the gate.


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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

For those playing the home game... we knew that the Isle of Dread was in Mystara, but decided to bring it into Greyhawk for Savage Tide because it was such a great location, and because we wanted to show in print that it was okay to borrow something from one campaign and put it into another.

Considering how many AP's I've stolen for my Mystara game*, I would be a hypocrite if I didn't agree. It was just surprising to see it done (semi)officially.

*and StarDrive/Alternity, GH, Star Trek, Ringworld, etc. stuff I stole for Dragonstar, and the Mythago Wood stuff stolen for Ars Magica, and various stuff stolen for Laundry Files, and...

My own home campaign is a gloriously messy mix of Tolkien, Moorcock and Byzantine history with a dash of Le Morte D'Arthur thrown in. And then a vast asteroid full of Gygax slams into all that.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Wonderful guide! I had - some years ago - started something similar to this guide before realizing that I just didn't have enough experience yet with all the APs out there and setting it aside. It's fantastic to see a single reference that talks about all these different APs.

Of course, my own opinions are quite different than what's listed in both the poll and your ratings Tarondor (I was bored to death by Kingmaker by the end of Book 2 for example, and think its probably one of the worst APs they've made), but the summaries and discussion on each rating are quite a good reference for GMs looking for their next game. Having GM'd Iron Gods for example, your comments there are spot on and I think very helpful to a prospective GM.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

For those playing the home game... we knew that the Isle of Dread was in Mystara, but decided to bring it into Greyhawk for Savage Tide because it was such a great location, and because we wanted to show in print that it was okay to borrow something from one campaign and put it into another.

Considering how many AP's I've stolen for my Mystara game*, I would be a hypocrite if I didn't agree. It was just surprising to see it done (semi)officially.

*and StarDrive/Alternity, GH, Star Trek, Ringworld, etc. stuff I stole for Dragonstar, and the Mythago Wood stuff stolen for Ars Magica, and various stuff stolen for Laundry Files, and...

It's also hardly the first time that something like this has been done officially, of coruse... Bloodstone Pass was originally in Greyhawk and shifted to Forgotten Realms by the end of that four part series. And Ravenloft's snatched up all sorts of stuff from all sorts of settings.


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Tarondor wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

For those playing the home game... we knew that the Isle of Dread was in Mystara, but decided to bring it into Greyhawk for Savage Tide because it was such a great location, and because we wanted to show in print that it was okay to borrow something from one campaign and put it into another.

Considering how many AP's I've stolen for my Mystara game*, I would be a hypocrite if I didn't agree. It was just surprising to see it done (semi)officially.

*and StarDrive/Alternity, GH, Star Trek, Ringworld, etc. stuff I stole for Dragonstar, and the Mythago Wood stuff stolen for Ars Magica, and various stuff stolen for Laundry Files, and...

My own home campaign is a gloriously messy mix of Tolkien, Moorcock and Byzantine history with a dash of Le Morte D'Arthur thrown in. And then a vast asteroid full of Gygax slams into all that.

Wow. You and I use similar material for inspirational source material.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Thorfinn's maps are awesome.

Thorfinn is a hero.


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He and all the other Mystara mappers, like Robin and her series of 1 mile per hex maps.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
He and all the other Mystara mappers, like Robin and her series of 1 mile per hex maps.

Mystara is the original Golarian. Always wanted to run a game in Ierendi.

Dark Archive

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Gygax is one of those people where more I learn about them personally more I get disappointed ^_^; And I haven't seen most of his work so I don't have same type of attachment to his work as lot of D&D fans do.

I am however wondering if I should try to find Vance's or Moorcock's books that helped inspire lot of D&Disms(and apparently were super popular back in 70s or whenever they were written again), though I am kinda worried if writing style has aged and is hard to read nowadays. I've never been able to read Lord of the Rings x'P

(yeah I say lot of fantasy fan heresy here)

Acquisitives

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CorvusMask wrote:

Gygax is one of those people where more I learn about them personally more I get disappointed ^_^; And I haven't seen most of his work so I don't have same type of attachment to his work as lot of D&D fans do.

I am however wondering if I should try to find Vance's or Moorcock's books that helped inspire lot of D&Disms(and apparently were super popular back in 70s or whenever they were written again), though I am kinda worried if writing style has aged and is hard to read nowadays. I've never been able to read Lord of the Rings x'P

(yeah I say lot of fantasy fan heresy here)

Haven't read Vance, but Moorcock's Elric stuff is just fantastic.

Liberty's Edge

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The other Eternal Champions (Corum, Erekose, Ulrich von Bek, Hawkmoon) are pretty good too.

The Princes of Amber by Zelazny are classic IMO.


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CorvusMask wrote:
though I am kinda worried if writing style has aged and is hard to read nowadays. I've never been able to read Lord of the Rings x'P

I also couldn't get through LotR, but I did read and enjoy the Dying Earth stories by Vance that I read.


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CorvusMask wrote:


I am however wondering if I should try to find Vance's or Moorcock's books that helped inspire lot of D&Disms(and apparently were super popular back in 70s or whenever they were written again), though I am kinda worried if writing style has aged and is hard to read nowadays. I've never been able to read Lord of the Rings x'P

I'm of the opinion that the Elric books are pretty same-y. Good, but it gets old quickly. I'd stick with Stormbringer and "Sailor on the Seas of Fate", at least to start with. Moorcock on the whole is decent, but he's not my favorite.

Vance is good, and I highly recommend him. Start with "The Dying Earth" and its successor stories, which is where most of his D&D genes come from.

Paizo Employee Director of Community

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Clearing out older flags. Removed a harassing post re GM skillset.


Just wanted to thanks for putting something like this together. Still going through growing pains a GM myself, and this is going to be pretty damn useful.

I'm curious though. Has anyone gone through a similar reviewing process for the smaller adventure modules, and the PFS modules?


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tarondor wrote:
Honestly, I was flabbergasted that anyone would bother responding to a poll, but not bother responding to all 8 questions.

I answered the poll but not all of the questions as they didn't all apply to me. One asked what APs you've played in and I have played in none since I am the forever GM for Pathfinder in my group.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I took the survey, started reading through the write-ups, and am planning to return to this thread (and the guide) when I have more time. This is a great overview of Paizo's story-telling in past years!


Regarding the Isle of Dread, in addition to Oerth and Mystara, I believe it has "canonically" (for whatever that's worth) showed up in the Feywild and the Elemental Plane of Water. Personally I am found of the idea that it is a "shiftrealm" that moves amongst them.

_
glass.

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