Tarondor's Guide to Pathfinder Adventure Paths


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

1 to 50 of 69 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

19 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I made a guide to the Pathfinder Adventure Paths. You can find it HERE.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
Adventure paths, like any other role-playing game, are just ingredients and signposts along the way. GM’s should be deviating from the published modules. Skipping some stuff, inserting other stuff and making the storyline their own.

I'm only on page 7, but I wanted to jump in here and say that I'm glad you've included this discussion. I'd love to see it expanded to really drive the point home to those GMs that just read the boxed text and roll the dice, ignoring anything "extra" that the PCs try to do.

(Maybe you do talk about it more further into the guide; I'll have to see.)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think that's probably all. This is intended as a "what's what", not a "how to."

But yeah. Good GMing means making the world feel real, not simply conveying someone else's story. Sometimes I write down the major plot points of an adventure or adventure path and ignore all the many, many battles, inserting only those I think are most interesting and expanding on smaller plots my players may have decided to pursue.

Of course, some times I don't because I'm tired or inspiration isn't striking. Then, it's great to have the written path to follow!

Radiant Oath

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for putting this together!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Loving your thoughts on Iron Gods - though I hold just how many dungeon-crawls it has against it. Dearly hoping for a 2e sequel.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Age of Ashes rated that high? Must be recency bias. Age of Ashes will not stand the test of time. It was not that good.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I glanced through the guide at the four adventure paths I ran: Rise of the Runelords, Jade Regent, Iron Gods, and Ironfang Invasion--and one other I played in: Serpent's Skull. It looks accurate for those five. Good work!

Andostre wrote:
Quote:
Adventure paths, like any other role-playing game, are just ingredients and signposts along the way. GM’s should be deviating from the published modules. Skipping some stuff, inserting other stuff and making the storyline their own.
I'm only on page 7, but I wanted to jump in here and say that I'm glad you've included this discussion. I'd love to see it expanded to really drive the point home to those GMs that just read the boxed text and roll the dice, ignoring anything "extra" that the PCs try to do.

My players seize narrative control of my campaigns, so I rewrite half of each adventure path to follow their choices. Thus, I cannot judge Tarondor's discussion of roleplaying opportunities, because my players create their own roleplaying opportunities.

One high-quality feature of the Paizo adventure paths is that the settings in the adventure and the supplemental articles about the setting give me enough source material to run a sandbox campaign when the players depart from the predicted path. The most extreme example is that in The Divinity Drive, the 6th module of Iron Gods, the PCs talked the final villain Unity into hiring them as repair crew. They were very, very good at technological repairs. Thus, I had to convert as story about the party fighting through Unity's minions into a story about befriending half of those minions while running off on repair missions (Make a roll for existential philosophy--Divinity Drive spoiler). The gazetteer in the back of the module gave me enough information to invent some repair missions.

Sometimes I anticipate what won't work with my players and make my own changes. Everything Tarondor listed as Bad about Jade Regent I had dropped or rewritten. I dropped the caravan rules, I dropped the relationship system because I had 8 players and little time to highlight any NPC, and I had replaced too-high-level NPC Ameriko Kaijitsu with her half-sister Amaya. I heard two other bad features of later modules, so I made changes that I chronicled in my thread Amaya of Westcrown. By the way, the first three modules of Jade Regent are a wilderness adventure as Tarondor labeled them, but the last three are in cities, villages, a dungeon, a fort, and a tomb.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Age of Ashes rated that high? Must be recency bias. Age of Ashes will not stand the test of time. It was not that good.

From what I read, there was very little middle ground of opinion. Folks loved it or hated it.

I considered the recency bias, but that doesn't explain the love for Kingmaker and Rise of the Runelords. There are very few objectively true statements we can make about the quality of an adventure. If you like it, that's quality. If you don't, it isn't.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Age of Ashes rated that high? Must be recency bias. Age of Ashes will not stand the test of time. It was not that good.

From what I read, there was very little middle ground of opinion. Folks loved it or hated it.

I considered the recency bias, but that doesn't explain the love for Kingmaker and Rise of the Runelords. There are very few objectively true statements we can make about the quality of an adventure. If you like it, that's quality. If you don't, it isn't.

Kingmaker and Rise of the Runelords were both DM playgrounds with lots to play around with. Kingmaker put the motivation for the adventure in the hands of the player. This is your kingdom, build it as you wish. Rise of the Runelords had a lot of great elements to use to tie everything together and give the players motivation to move through the adventure.

Age of Ashes had some great ideas with some not so great execution, which I generally see as middle of the pack. It's one of those APs that had a lot of promise, but as a DM the plot hooks were way too contrived for my tastes. The way it all came together was like a defective puzzle that didn't fit very well. Even my players reached a point where they expected to be handed the next MacGuffin to carry the adventure on with no real motivation as to why they would care.

Tastes differ as expected. My group found Giantslayer fun. Felt like a throwback to Against the Giants. The major item you get at the end of the adventure was an excellent item to get.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Even my players reached a point where they expected to be handed the next MacGuffin to carry the adventure on with no real motivation as to why they would care.

I'll grant you that the villain of each book having the key to the next portal is more than a little contrived, but my players are driven by their dislike of the Scarlet Triad. Hubert Thropp's attempted strong-arming and Illsrah Embermead's "Not going to spoil what happens" was all the motivation they needed to follow the corruption to its source.

I love Age of Ashes. I definitely foresee myself running it again in the future.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to disagree with you on "no bad adventure paths", I read Hell's Vengeance and hated every line of it. I'm so repulsed by the very concept of playing the fantasy Gestapo that I've sworn I'll never play or DM it except a pre-agreed deliberate sabotage game, played with the intent to "survive, but dramatically fail every adventure".

If there is a bad AP, IMO that's the one.

Anyway:

I've DMed Hell's Rebels and despite everyone's complaints about Shensen, that was an easy fix. In my game she was an Andoran CIA-equivalent agent undercover as a opera singer, so she pulled some Batman antics with the arcanist's dimension door scrolls to evacuate the arcanist's adoptive family, who were being forced at knifepoint to put on an opera about how Barzillai Thrune is the most amazing person ever, went to Heaven despite his sister begging him to have sex with her and showed the gods how to rule, then came down to bless the primitive peasant bumpkins of Kintargo with his infinite wisdom. She was well-received.

Overall, Hell's Rebels is damn near the perfect game considering its format. At worst, the middle of book 5 can be slow, and adventure 1 can be a killer. Books 3 and 4 definitely require a savvy, well-prepared party. The Thrune gifts at the end of book 2 I reworked to be gifts from the resistance after the heroes ruined Barzillai's birthday party and put an illusion on a 50 foot gold plated marble statue Barzillai made of himself. (as in, a Comrade Lenin Strides Towards The Progressive Future type statue)

Outside of that, it's a fun ride that can be run out of the box with no issues.

WRT. the rebellion having a known open base--that's only an issue in book 4, where it's become an open street war. Up until that point, you're implicitly or explicitly working in secret, and the party are just some local civic-minded do-gooders who caught a serial killer as far as the authorities are willing/able to admit.

Oh, and I turned the tiefling girl who guides you on the tooth fairy mission into the party mascot. She was always getting into the thick of events--she was murdered by the first serial killer after leaving an "I'm gay and I love you" note under her crush's door, so the party told Hetamon to use their Raise Dead scroll on her. She was at the masquerade of doom on a date with her girlfriend but escaped death due to the party's competence, then joined the Hellknights under Octavio to be a badass like the heroes. She helped the party fight off a squad of mooks that tried to retake the records hall, then her fiancee got killed by the second serial killer in a pretty horrible way, so the heroes had her fiancee resurrected. The whole campaign actually ended with their wedding. The barbarian walked her down the aisle iirc and the arcanist bawled her feline eyes out.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Ian G wrote:

I have to disagree with you on "no bad adventure paths", I read Hell's Vengeance and hated every line of it. I'm so repulsed by the very concept of playing the fantasy Gestapo that I've sworn I'll never play or DM it except a pre-agreed deliberate sabotage game, played with the intent to "survive, but dramatically fail every adventure".

If there is a bad AP, IMO that's the one.

I'm not sure it's particularly helpful to conflate distaste for the premise with assessment of how well the execution works, on which I would rate Hell's Vengeance second tier but not at the very top. I've always thought the primary fun and benefit both of role-playing is getting inside the heads of people who think differently from you, and the more differently they think the better; if nothing else, getting inside the head of someone whom the player would find repellently evil is a useful exercise in knowing the enemy. (And in maybe getting a bit more player sympathy for the DM who has to do this constantly to play memorable villains.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am in disagreement with rather a lot of these assessments, largely because I strongly favour longer APs over shorter ones, and also because, with a handful of exceptions like Barzillai Thrune, I am generally very much in favour of not knowing who the climactic villain will be (if there must be one at all) until late on in the AP, and I particularly like Kingmaker in this regard and am very much afraid that aspect of it may be screwed up in the re-release.

The elves in Second Darkness coming across as generally jerks, rather than having a complex political situation in which the jerks have the upper hand, seems to me a failure of DMing rather than of the path as written - "Death to the enemies of the Winter Council!" is shouted at the PCs out loud at one point, that could not be more obvious. Finding the end of Tyrant's Grasp an unpleasant and unsatisfying surprise bemuses me because as expected my player group figured that was where it had to be headed before halfway through book 1. And the thought that Serpent's Skull would be better for being shorter is just mind-boggling - what that AP needs is more content, specifically about how all the various power groups and potential sponsors default to interacting with each other in books 3 and 4 absent PC interference because there are way too many of them for the PCs to be a controlling influence on all of that at once; as written there are good reasons for the local power groups in each region of the city to stay where they are, but the PCs' sponsors plus the expeditions of the other four possible sponsors interacting with all of those groups and each other has the potential to be a really complex situation with lots of moving parts.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I doubt you're going to get many people jumping on the "let's make AP's longer" bandwagon!


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
I doubt you're going to get many people jumping on the "let's make AP's longer" bandwagon!

3-parters are one of the most exciting things Paizo’s ever done, IMO. There’s no chance my group ever makes it through a six volume behemoth.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I would not necessarily mind a longer AP. But it heavily depends on the genre. Hell's Rebels was about the right length, but Wrath of the Righteous could easily be significantly lengthened IMO.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:


3-parters are one of the most exciting things Paizo’s ever done, IMO. There’s no chance my group ever makes it through a six volume behemoth.

It massively increases the difficulty of selling an AP to my plausible player groups if it's not full-length, and that fits with my own "character arcs are more fun if they cover your whole adventuring career" preferences; pretty much the only upside 3-parters have in this context is the remote hope that someday there will be a PF2e equivalent of epic/mythic that actually fits on the end of regular progression so that we could fit one 3-parter and one 9-parter in a year and get more APs with endings on the scale of Wrath of the Righteous and Savage Tide.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm ok with 3 or 6 or 4 and 2 or 2 and 4 as long as the AP that is linked ties together well into a larger adventure. When I played we had everything from cool standalone adventures like White Plume Mountain to megadungeons like Temple of Elemental Evil to 3 module Against the Giants and linked adventures like Fate of Istus. We had it all and as long as the module was well done, we had fun.

6 part APs are fun if done well because my players like to know they'll make it to level 20 if we finish. We like to play to relatively high level to see how characters work at higher levels.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Count me in for more flexibility in AP schedules.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Even my players reached a point where they expected to be handed the next MacGuffin to carry the adventure on with no real motivation as to why they would care.

I'll grant you that the villain of each book having the key to the next portal is more than a little contrived, but my players are driven by their dislike of the Scarlet Triad. Hubert Thropp's attempted strong-arming and Illsrah Embermead's "Not going to spoil what happens" was all the motivation they needed to follow the corruption to its source.

I love Age of Ashes. I definitely foresee myself running it again in the future.

I found it redundant. I did not finish Age of Ashes. I found the villains uninteresting and random. It was extremely disconnected. If I ran it again, I would heavily modify the plot which I started doing around book 3.

The players did not even develop an idea of who the Scarlet Triad was until book 5. They were barely present in book 1. Barely present in Book 2. And in Book 3 you randomly came upon them doing something, but they still hadn't launched much of a direct against the PCs they had to worry about. In Book 4 Droskar seemed like the bigger enemy. When in Book 5 they finally started to more fully understand who the Scarlet Triad were, they had to do so by being told by some gnomes that randomly showed up near a gate.

I don't know how you discuss Age of Ashes in an objective way and consider it anything but middle of the pack at best compared to Paizo's stop APs like Kingmaker, Rise of the Runelords, and Wrath of the Righteous which either had a great story tied together well or a incredible self-directed adventure with lots of political roleplaying with crunchy mechanics. I had immense fun playing Game of Thrones style politics in Kingmaker as the players ran into other kingdoms looking to undermine them. Rise of the Runelords had a great metaplot as the players tried to figure out what was driving the Sihedron Rune's return to prominence.

Wrath of the Righteous started off amazing. The fight into a demon-infested wasteland as heroes of legend filled with the holy power of a god-created protective ward was amazing. Too bad the mythic rules were terrible.

When you compare the underlying plot elements of Paizo's top APs, Age of Ashes is just kind of ok.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I love long-form APs. I doubt I'll ever GM one of the shorter ones. But I think that six acts is more than enough for -most- stories.

Then again, I combined "The Banewarrens" and "Night of Dissolution" for my Ptolus game and that comes out to a LOT of chapters (though most of them are shorter than an AP volume).

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I have rewritten the speech of Janiven Key for "Council of Thieves" where the players join the "We are Batman" troupe. It's very easy to shift the tone of the AP from "We are Rebels" to "We want to make the city liveable again".

With the hardest strike against the AP removed, it becomes a much better experience.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good to have the first ever free guide to adventure pathin' stuff for both versions of PF [and 3.5 D&D/OGL too], Tarondor. ;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's definitely not the first!

I looked at other guides in helping to frame mine.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Deriven Firelion wrote:


The players did not even develop an idea of who the Scarlet Triad was until book 5. They were barely present in book 1. Barely present in Book 2. And in Book 3 you randomly came upon them doing something, but they still hadn't launched much of a direct against the PCs they had to worry about. In Book 4 Droskar seemed like the bigger enemy. When in Book 5 they finally started to more fully understand who the Scarlet Triad were, they had to do so by being told by some gnomes that randomly showed up near a gate.

To my mind this can be a feature, rather than a bug. Player groups can get tired of "you are starting this AP fully aware of a looming menace that you're going to have to wait sixteen levels to be able to address".

I quite agree that the "each chapter gives you a plot coupon that lets you open the next gate" element of AoA is not great, but it is easily fixed; make the gates all identical, pick a suitable method for opening each one (which can be identical also), and then have the next chapter occur behind whichever gate they happen to open next. Quantum DMing on a macro-scale.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Except that they'd open them all and do small forays into each.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really enjoyed reading through the guide to get perspectives for both the APs I've experienced and those I haven't. I appreciate that you took a poll (polls?) to get opinions about the various APs that you incorporated into this guide so that it's not all one person's opinion.

How many people participated in the poll? Were they allowed to answer only some questions and not others? Do you feel like there were any APs that you didn't have a good number of responders for?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
Except that they'd open them all and do small forays into each.

This is not the first time I've seen what feel like equivalent comments, and it makes me think that either your players are putting a lot more effort into securing their avenues of retreat than I have seen any player group do, or you are going easier on them wanting to get out and go home than I would as a DM. (For more general values of "you" than just Tarondor.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:


The players did not even develop an idea of who the Scarlet Triad was until book 5. They were barely present in book 1. Barely present in Book 2. And in Book 3 you randomly came upon them doing something, but they still hadn't launched much of a direct against the PCs they had to worry about. In Book 4 Droskar seemed like the bigger enemy. When in Book 5 they finally started to more fully understand who the Scarlet Triad were, they had to do so by being told by some gnomes that randomly showed up near a gate.

To my mind this can be a feature, rather than a bug. Player groups can get tired of "you are starting this AP fully aware of a looming menace that you're going to have to wait sixteen levels to be able to address".

I quite agree that the "each chapter gives you a plot coupon that lets you open the next gate" element of AoA is not great, but it is easily fixed; make the gates all identical, pick a suitable method for opening each one (which can be identical also), and then have the next chapter occur behind whichever gate they happen to open next. Quantum DMing on a macro-scale.

If I ever run this again, I'm going to make the Scarlet Triad a lot more interested and aggressive going after the gates.

Make it so they know what they're doing in taking control of the gate exterior areas with the firm intent of establishing operations near each gate so once they secure the gates, they have an operation ready to start using the gate to expand operations.

I don't think Age of Ashes is a bad AP. I just don't think it is upper echelon for the reasons I stated. It still has a lot of good ideas that had I known about them earlier, I would have developed the plot and story differently.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
To my mind this can be a feature, rather than a bug. Player groups can get tired of "you are starting this AP fully aware of a looming menace that you're going to have to wait sixteen levels to be able to address".

Isn't there another option, though? Namely, to fuse the two approaches - the looming menace is visible, but distant, and early on one focuses on the knock-on effects of their actions. Then one gradually moves from reacting to securing a safe zone, then becoming more proactive, until at the end it's the menace which is on the back foot, defending itself in its sanctum.

This is helped a lot by plots which feature a threat that grows in power over the course of the AP, and has a plan which requires its full focus: you avoid the "why doesn't the villain just nuke the PCs when they first become an issue?" problem, and can form a parallel arc. The party grows stronger as they protect their home, then move out to make safe areas ravaged by the villain, while the villain delves into sources of power that strengthen them at the cost of these effects.

Alternatively, an organization can be the villain from the get-go, without being a distant thing: they are messing with you right now, and you have to stop them! That you can't wipe them out immediately doesn't mean you can't score wins along the way. Kick them out of your village, secure allies so that when they come back you have friends to beat them, fight off their next attempt, then take the fight to them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
YourNewShoe wrote:


Isn't there another option, though? Namely, to fuse the two approaches - the looming menace is visible, but distant, and early on one focuses on the knock-on effects of their actions. Then one gradually moves from reacting to securing a safe zone, then becoming more proactive, until at the end it's the menace which is on the back foot, defending itself in its sanctum.

This is helped a lot by plots which feature a threat that grows in power over the course of the AP, and has a plan which requires its full focus: you avoid the "why doesn't the villain just nuke the PCs when they first become an issue?" problem, and can form a parallel arc. The party grows stronger as they protect their home, then move out to make safe areas ravaged by the villain, while the villain delves into sources of power that strengthen them at the cost of these effects.

Alternatively, an organization can be the villain from the get-go, without being a distant thing: they are messing with you right now, and you have to stop them! That you can't wipe them out immediately doesn't mean you can't score wins along the way. Kick them out of your village, secure allies so that when they come back you have friends to beat them, fight off their next attempt, then take the fight to them.

Both of those are entirely workable, but they are subsets of knowing who the principal villain is from the start, and my feeling is that in general Paizo APs do lean more in the direction of knowing who the principal villain is early on than I would favour. (Presuming an AP must have a principal villain at all, which is not something that entirely convinces me.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Andostre wrote:

I really enjoyed reading through the guide to get perspectives for both the APs I've experienced and those I haven't. I appreciate that you took a poll (polls?) to get opinions about the various APs that you incorporated into this guide so that it's not all one person's opinion.

How many people participated in the poll? Were they allowed to answer only some questions and not others? Do you feel like there were any APs that you didn't have a good number of responders for?

You can check out the poll yourself. It's still active and linked on the front page of the Guide. BUT HERE IT IS AGAIN.

Anyway, at the time I wrote the guide, 172 people had responded to the poll. It's now at 216. To the question "Which Adventure Paths would you most recommend to other GM's and players?", I received 142 answers at the time of the poll. That number is now at 162.

Honestly, I was flabbergasted that anyone would bother responding to a poll, but not bother responding to all 8 questions.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
You can check out the poll yourself. It's still active and linked on the front page of the Guide. BUT HERE IT IS AGAIN.

Thanks for the link! (When I thought of my questions, I was at work, and anything Google Drive is blocked, so I couldn't look at it or the guide when I thought of asking above.) Anyway, I filled out the poll.

Quote:
Anyway, at the time I wrote the guide, 172 people had responded to the poll. It's now at 216. To the question "Which Adventure Paths would you most recommend to other GM's and players?", I received 142 answers at the time of the poll. That number is now at 162.

Is that the only question that you based the "Poll Rating" part of each AP's section on? Or did you somehow incorporate multiple questions into the ratings?

Quote:
Honestly, I was flabbergasted that anyone would bother responding to a poll, but not bother responding to all 8 questions.

There are so many APs (or options for the last question), that I can see someone getting decision paralysis and just skipping a question. Another reason could be that responders didn't feel knowledgeable enough about certain questions to respond to those specifically. Plus, you're always going to have people that just aren't paying attention or start and then run out of time or even just stop caring enough to finish.

Incidentally, I'm reading the first book of Serpent's Skull based on your comments in your guide. Thanks!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Andostre wrote:
Is that the only question that you based the "Poll Rating" part of each AP's section on? Or did you somehow incorporate multiple questions into the ratings?

Nope. Just the one question. I didn't write the poll with the Guide in mind or I would have asked different questions.

I'll give it a year and see what people are thinking then.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tarondor wrote:
Andostre wrote:
Is that the only question that you based the "Poll Rating" part of each AP's section on? Or did you somehow incorporate multiple questions into the ratings?

Nope. Just the one question. I didn't write the poll with the Guide in mind or I would have asked different questions.

I'll give it a year and see what people are thinking then.

Huh, that definitely gives me a different perspective on the results then. I feel like the ranking being based on that question favors APs that people are more aware of, while APs that are more obscure are going to do badly since naturally less people are aware enough of them to recommend them.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I am slightly annoyed how Ruins of Azlant is underappreciated but kingmaker (1e at least) is overrated x'D

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Becoming King/Queen and doing as you wish has always been extremely appreciated.

I do not remember another AP giving this to PCs. Most seem to be thwart this NPC or help that NPC become King/Queen. Strangely, the greater spotlight seems to usually be on the NPC rather than the PCs.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Quick note about the Savage Tide:
the Isle of Dread is actually from Mystara (the original Mystara location, one can argue), and Skullport is from Forgotten Realms. I don't know why they were put in GH for this AP.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
willfromamerica wrote:
Tarondor wrote:
Andostre wrote:
Is that the only question that you based the "Poll Rating" part of each AP's section on? Or did you somehow incorporate multiple questions into the ratings?

Nope. Just the one question. I didn't write the poll with the Guide in mind or I would have asked different questions.

I'll give it a year and see what people are thinking then.

Huh, that definitely gives me a different perspective on the results then. I feel like the ranking being based on that question favors APs that people are more aware of, while APs that are more obscure are going to do badly since naturally less people are aware enough of them to recommend them.

And that's why it's not just a poll. I went through each AP and tried to summarize its best and worst points for just this reason. For instance, I noted two APs which the poll rated low but which I felt deserved a higher ranking.

Ultimately, it's all opinion, of course. There is no definitive ranking.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Quick note about the Savage Tide:

the Isle of Dread is actually from Mystara (the original Mystara location, one can argue), and Skullport is from Forgotten Realms. I don't know why they were put in GH for this AP.

According to THIS WEBSITE the Isle of Dread is part of Greyhawk.

And according to THIS ONE it's part of Mystara.

And according to THIS ONE its publishing history has had it set in both. I was a player and GM back then. I assume that TSR was trying to push its new D&D rules for younger audiences while still keeping older audiences with its AD&D rules. Or just as likely they didn't understand that they were splitting their own market and spending twice as much to make the same dollars. Anyway, the two rule sets were on parallel tracks and I think Cook and Moldvay were looking to use their setting in both worlds.

You're surely correct on Skullport, though. Doesn't change the review, though.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Quick note about the Savage Tide:

the Isle of Dread is actually from Mystara (the original Mystara location, one can argue), and Skullport is from Forgotten Realms. I don't know why they were put in GH for this AP.
You're surely correct on Skullport, though. Doesn't change the review, though.

Skullport isn't in Savage Tide, as I recall. At least, not in the original version - it might be mentioned in the incomplete FR conversion notes from the time.

I think you may be mixing it up with Scuttlecove.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Frak.

You're right. <bangs head on keyboard>


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:


According to THIS WEBSITE the Isle of Dread is part of Greyhawk.
.

Written after the AP from a GH persepctive, and notes that the GH version is 'based on' the original.

Tarondor wrote:


And according to THIS ONE its publishing history has had it set in both.

Again, originally Mystara, adopted/stolen into GH at a later date. The article pretty clearly says so.

Tarondor wrote:


And according to THIS ONE it's part of Mystara.

Thorfinn's maps are awesome.

The point still stands: the Isle of Dread is an iconic place and module in D&D history, taken from the Known World/Mystara and stuffed into Greyhawk for the AP.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:

Frak.

You're right. <bangs head on keyboard>

Chin up, buddy. You still did a great job!

<Gives awkward pat on the back>

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tarondor wrote:

Frak.

You're right. <bangs head on keyboard>

Not a big deal. Memory slips happen, especially if you haven't read through the material in a while.

Main reason I caught it is because I've been outlining an Eberron conversion/AP-mashup based around Savage Tide for quite some time, so it's pretty fresh on my mind.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

10 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

The idea that an adventure written for Greyhawk was impossible to use in Forgotten Realms, or that an adventure set in Mystara could not be adapted to a homebrew game, and so on, was a mental block that we'd been pushing back against for the entire time Dungeon magazine was a thing. Sure, those adventures fit best into their respective settings, but for most D&D settings, things were similar enough that you could lift one from campaign A and drop it into campaign B with very little work.

Some settings that started to deviate from the implied baseline as set up in the Player's Handbook and Monster Manuals were tougher, sure, but Mystara and Greyhawk share an awful lot of compatible DNA.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or encourage people to expand, because if you're a "bad" GM but never actually try to improvise you're never going to get better, so I absolutely agree with the OP. APs are frameworks, and if you need to use it all, it's there, but you should never, ever feel beholden to it if it doesn't work for your style or your group.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

9 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

Even if those adventures make mistakes or are things that DON'T work, you can learn from the errors and mistakes made by others.

I hope that our published adventures avoid falling into this category, of course! :)

1 to 50 of 69 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / General Discussion / Tarondor's Guide to Pathfinder Adventure Paths All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.