What level of support do you want in your Adventure Path?





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  1. #1

    What level of support do you want in your Adventure Path?

    On the topic of Adventure Paths, I am curious what people are finding they enjoy, look for, and want out of an AP, regardless of what edition it is written.

    The question was sparked for me while reading the WOTC forums regarding Scales of War. Just to keep things genuine, two of the relevant threads were Characters of War and Scales of War - Rescue at Rivenroar

    Some of the posters are looking for more support. However, as one poster pointed out, that with a "Points of Light" default setting, Dungeon Magazine is and will continue providing all the support that is intended. That is, their design approach and philosophy is different from that of Paizo, so of course the two products are not going to be the same. Scales of War is not being written with any campaign setting in mind.

    A quote from Dave Noonan supports this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Noonan from Dungeon Magazine 366
    The setting of the Scales of War Adventure Path is more implied than actual. Thatĺs intentional on our part. We want you to make the world your own rather than define it for you...
    And that is a legitimate approach. I'm not quoting Mr. Noonan to put him on the spot, but in one sentence he explains it well, and he speaks with fair authority for WOTC.

    The reason for posting this poll and initiating this discussion, however, is whether it is working for you the EnWorld community and the respondents to this thread. A design approach can be legitimate and still not make the consumer base happy. On the other hand, people might be quite happy with it. I don't know.

    Because I donĺt know and I'm not presuming to judge know the minds of everybody else, I thought it would make a good conversation topic and intelligent poll.

    If the Poll itself isn't a conversation kicker in of itself:

    What do you look for or want in terms of support in any Adventure Path? Please try to frame your answer in terms other than what Edition your hypothetical 'dream' AP might be written. What I'm contrasting is the level of support desired, not who might be writing it.

 

  • #2
    Aw crud...

    My intention was to post a poll, but I took over ten minutes, so it wouldn't let me.

    I suppose this will just have to be a discussion only then.

  • #3
    Considering "adventure path" is something I have only heard related to 4th.....

    An adventure should be self-contained.

    All monsters needed for it that are not in the core 3 books should be fully detailed. Even the core monsters should have basic stats.

    Prefereably the monsters should be located where they are found in the adventure.

    The adventure and its sequels should be able to be inserted anywhere in a home game without relying heavily on tthe previous adventure.

    Didn't get Whelm but have Blackrazor, then the adventure is too specific to insert elsewhere.

    Stand alone adventures are fine so long as they follow the stroy correctly.

    There should be a story.

    What are you doing, who are you to this adventure, and why are you the one doing it?

    This means NPCs need to be able to re-introduce themselves in the event you are entering an adventure in the second part, but didn't play the first, and the backstory needs to be plentiful, but small enough to allow someone to pick it up quickly. Again, unless it is made as a whole adventure closer to a setting would be.

    Still those adventures should be able to reduce what is needed from the previous to continue.

    You need good NPCs. They need to be informative. Have a list of information the NPC knows and what may trigger them to respond to specific information, and allow for the red herrings to be thrown by the DM.

    Places need life. Town A may have the name Frederickburg, but what is Frederickburg and why are you there? There has to be people and a culture enough to make it somewhere if there is a point to the adventure.

    This Frederickburg can then be placed into any game seemlessly where the world map has holes in it for such undeveloped/undesigned areas.

    If an adventure is to be a self contained thing, then it needs to have its own setting. If it is made for insertion anywhere, then it still needs some background and story. Otherwise you might as well grab up and shuffle your tiles and spread them out and see what turns up and throw random encoutner groups into locations, as without a story that is all there is.

    So far for 4th, it seems there could be a bit more setting or story for the adventures. They are generic to be able to fit anywhere, but then don't stand out as special really to stand own their own.

    I hope that makes sense with how split it sounds.

  • #4
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    I really don't know.

    I found some of the Pathfinder stuff interesting, for example the Savage Tides background. But ultimately, as a player I didn't use much of it, and it wasn't really of use during the campaign (except maybe as a power-up for the characters in general). If we would play a little more loose with the path, we might get more out of this background stuff, but most of the time, everything we need to know is in the adventures already!

    For the H/P/E series of 4E (not precisely an adventure path), I used only the idea (but not the implementation) of the ritual skill challenge in the final encounter.

    Maybe mere background material is useless (to me). It should tie into the Path - maybe put a different spin on a villains (that the PCs will notice), add some spice to a particular encounter, propose an alternate solution or implementation of a situation. But I might go without that, too.

    I am not sure about creating a fully fledged setting with an adventure path - it hinders adaptability, I think, so keeping a lot of loose ends might be good. On the other hand, considering that a path can bring you from level 1 to 20/30, it might make sense to establish a setting for it. Question is - do you really want to re-use the setting? I don't think that can be answered on a general basis...
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    ° Ignore Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by justanobody View Post
    Considering "adventure path" is something I have only heard related to 4th.....
    Really? That's surprising.

    "Adventure Path" was coined by Paizo, and used extensively in DUNGEON magazine for the (ENnie winning) Shackled City Adventure Path, as well as the Age of Worms Adventure Path, and the Savage Tide Adventure Path.

    WotC took the DRAGON and DUNGEON licenses back,a nd presumably decided that the term "Adventure Path" had gathered so much brand recognition that they would continue to use it for their new Scales of War project.

    EN Publishing used the term "Campaign Saga" instead (for War of the Burning Sky) because Paizo had coined "Adventure Path" and asked us not to use it. I don't know if they got round to trademarking the term, but I notice that other companies these days seem to feel free to use it willy-nilly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Really? That's surprising.

    "Adventure Path" was coined by Paizo, and used extensively in DUNGEON magazine for the (ENnie winning) Shackled City Adventure Path, as well as the Age of Worms Adventure Path, and the Savage Tide Adventure Path.

    WotC took the DRAGON and DUNGEON licenses back,a nd presumably decided that the term "Adventure Path" had gathered so much brand recognition that they would continue to use it for their new Scales of War project.

    EN Publishing used the term "Campaign Saga" instead (for War of the Burning Sky) because Paizo had coined "Adventure Path" and asked us not to use it. I don't know if they got round to trademarking the term, but I notice that other companies these days seem to feel free to use it willy-nilly.
    Of course, this means that EN Publishing is way cooler then those copycats - you made your own term. And we all know that SAGA = WIN.
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  • #7
    Not much a fan of paths, myself. I don't like, as a DM, feeling like I'm part of someone else's story, instead of mine and my players. You can always tweak of course and make the setting your own, but you have to worry about going off script sometimes, with unknown ramifications down the road for unexpected twists (unless your playing with the completed AP in front of you, of course). "The real villian turns out to be Baron Evilonia and he's an dragon archmage? But the PCs killed him in the 2nd adventure!"

  • #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    EN Publishing used the term "Campaign Saga" instead (for War of the Burning Sky) because Paizo had coined "Adventure Path" and asked us not to use it. I don't know if they got round to trademarking the term, but I notice that other companies these days seem to feel free to use it willy-nilly.
    They fully intended to trademark it (and I say that so you won't feel silly because they made that request of EnWorld)...

    ...but then they decided it wasn't worth it. Another person might point out that maybe they couldn't, I don't know for sure. In any case, they intended to and then changed their mind.

  • #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    I am not sure about creating a fully fledged setting with an adventure path - it hinders adaptability, I think, so keeping a lot of loose ends might be good. On the other hand, considering that a path can bring you from level 1 to 20/30, it might make sense to establish a setting for it. Question is - do you really want to re-use the setting? I don't think that can be answered on a general basis...
    That is a fair point. Paizo is the continuing process of developing and selling a campaign setting, which is not an Adventure Path, but integrates with that Adventure Path seamlessly.

    WOTC is selling (through the medium of Dungeon Magazine) an Adventure Path without the campaign setting.

    But, I think you're considering the "big picture" from too far away in terms of what the WOTC forum posters were complaining about.

    They weren't asking for an entire campaign setting, but information about the town and interesting/prominant NPCs to be found there. Characters that they PCs might interact with, depending on the taste of the GM.

    My question back to you would be: does that much detail constitute an entire setting, which then might never be used again as you pointed out, or is just what is required to give the ongoing story some depth, customizable hooks, and some flavor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    "Adventure Path" was coined by Paizo, and used extensively in DUNGEON magazine for the (ENnie winning) Shackled City Adventure Path, as well as the Age of Worms Adventure Path, and the Savage Tide Adventure Path.
    No, they didn't. The term "Adventure Path" was coined long before Shackled City and was used in relation to the original 3E modules (Sunless Citadel, etc.) Paizo/Dungeon were the first to commercially use the term for their adventures, but they certainly didn't invent the term.

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