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Pathfinder 2E Opinions on APs available on Roll20

Kretz

Villager
After a long spell playing D&D 5e my group is willing to try something new and we figured PF2 would be a good place to start. Since the start of the pandemic we moved to Roll20 and will probably keep it that way for a while, since we found it a lot easier to gather everyone online than in person. Having very little time to write adventures, I have transitioned a while ago to buying modules, specially ones with VTT support.

So, looking at the Roll20 Marketplace I found three APs: Extinction Curse, Agents of Edgewatch and Strength of Thousands. To be honest, I am not too excited about any of these. From what I've read, EC has the group start the adventure as part of a circus troupe, which I don't think my players would enjoy; SoT, on the other hand, seems to have a "Harry Potter"-like flair to it, which I wouldn't enjoy; AoE seems to be ok, but not too enticing.

So, what are your opinions on these APs? Am I being too harsh on them? Are they worth a try?

Thanks!
 

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payn

Legend
Most folks who use VTTs for PF2 avoid Roll20. Folks seem to really really like Foundry instead.

I ran many PF1 APs and enjoyed them. So far, the themes from PF2 have not been too exciting so its not just you.
 

JmanTheDM

Explorer
while its not a true AP - I ran a group through: Plaguestone -> the slithering -> Fists of the Ruby Phoenix. While it did take a bit of work linking them together, and I did handwave a few of the levels inbetween the modules (in a sort of montage to get the players where they need to be at). it did work, and IMO, what was fun about it, was it was 3 totally different "adventures" instead of a single huge monolithic story arc. the Adventurers felt a bit more "free" in the world like they kept stumbling onto these different adventure opportunities.

I agree with Payn. Roll20 is the least out of the box capable VTT for PF2. I've run PF2 adventures in Roll20, FGU, and Foundry. FGU IMO (don't hate people) is still the all around better integrated RPG Game running engine, but Foundry wins for pure PF2 experience. if your players are familiar with Roll20, Foundry will feel more familiar (but there will be a learning curve), and if you own the PDF's, you can be up and running pretty fast (but not as fast as FGU).

Cheers,

J.
 

Lord Shark

Explorer
Strength of Thousands is set at a magic school but it's not really Harry Potter -- the PCs are more like grad students than elementary school, and they are expected to become members of the school's faculty after the second adventure. The African-inspired setting is interesting, and there's more of an emphasis on non-violent problem solving than you get in the typical Pathfinder adventure.

Agents of Edgewatch is ... generally okay, but makes some really bad and problematic choices in how to handle fantasy-world police, especially in light of the last couple of years. In particular, the first adventure really needs a rewrite.

Extinction Curse isn't really about circus stuff; the PCs are members of a circus, yes, but it's more an excuse for them to travel around rather than a focus of the adventures. Which can be disappointing if you were really excited for fantasy circus action.
 

Retreater

Legend
Here's my experience with PF2 on Roll20.
I was running Age of Ashes in person before the pandemic, when we decided to go to Roll20. It was a free option because no one wanted to pay to play online for an event that we thought would last for a few weeks or a month. (Hahaha.) Also, I didn't have a computer that could handle any of the other options so we had to have a browser-based VTT.
I would describe the experience of putting Age of Ashes on Roll20 as pretty time-consuming and sometimes inaccurate regardless of the care I put into it.
After that game fell apart for reasons involving the group's dislike of the system (and not really gelling together personality-wise), I decided to play around with the system some more.
I started loading up Abomination Vaults into Roll20, more as a challenge to myself. It had good reviews, and I thought it was time to give PF2 another chance. Found a few players here on ENWorld and folks they knew and my wife wanted to play, and we had a group to try it.
I did play around with Foundry, and if we decided to stick with PF2 maybe we would've transitioned to that VTT, but we didn't complete the first book of Abomination Vaults. The AP didn't work for us. Whether it was the problem of my GMing style, the system itself, or the theme of the AP, it just didn't work.
Anyways, long story even longer, I was considering if we were going to quit Abomination Vaults but wanted to keep exploring PF2 in a new adventure (and limited to Roll20 content), what could I present to the group that was already on Roll20. Like you, I didn't like the themes of any of the APs available on Roll20. Even the ones not on Roll20 (which were the ones that I've partially run), were not really my speed.
So my advice to you, as one Roll20 PF GM to another, is to make your own game. Don't use the APs if they don't appeal to you. It's a big commitment, and if you don't like the theme, don't run it. From what I've gathered, none of them are excellent anyway.
If you need help crafting a plot, designing encounters, putting stuff into Roll20, etc., there are people on these boards (myself included) who will be happy to help.
 

payn

Legend
Also, Paizo boards do seem to be dying off, but during my PF1 run the specific forums were of great use to running the APs.
 

Retreater

Legend
Also, Paizo boards do seem to be dying off, but during my PF1 run the specific forums were of great use to running the APs.
They've been fairly active talking about the latest controversies but not a lot of helpful gaming advice.
The discussion about PF2 (on here too) seems to be focused on criticizing the changes in the system more than actual advice.
 

payn

Legend
There is, of course, the Pathfinder public discord but I find it very disorientating and difficult to track conversations as opposed to forums. At least in discord servers where you have thousands of participants.
 

Teemu

Adventurer
Roll20 is fine if you’re buying the APs on the platform. You’d probably want the Core Rulebook on Roll20 too however. You can also buy the PDFs and then import them on Foundry, but that’ll take you hours of learning Foundry and setting everything up, including the finishing touches on the AP itself. Roll20 does all the prep work for you for the extra cost. Of the 3 APs, Strength of Thousands should be the best because the other two have some issues with encounter balance being too brutal for the average party, especially in the first books.
 

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
Earlier this week I ran session 46 of a homebrew campaign that has been running on Roll20 since around session 15. It works fine for me, but the minimalist way I use it is probably atypical. I would strongly advise against paying to use it, though. I mean, if you have spare cash buring a hole in your pocket, sure, but there are better ways to spend that money. Everyone I have talked to tells me that Foundry is a far superior platform, and you only pay once (not counting server hosting costs, if necessary) but it does require more time investment up front to get everything running right.

I use Roll20 only for the maps, moving players and adversaries around the maps, and for the player-side combat rolls, spells and skill checks. I keep all my DM-side notes, monster statblocks and accounting on paper, just like I would for a tabletop game, and make all my DM-side die rolls with physical dice. I liken the experience to a DM rolling behind his screen, so that works just fine. We use Discord for voice, and occasionally for posting pics of creatures or setting locations.

My Roll20 prep has gotten more streamlined over the 30+ sessions I've been using it. All I really need to do is find or create maps that I then import, find monster pics that I can convert into tokens and import them, and that's job done.

If I were running a published AP in Roll20, I wouldn't bother paying for it. I'd just extract and import any necessary maps and NPC portraits or monster portraits exactly as I do now for my homebrewed campaign.

If you're still wondering which Paizo AP to choose for your group, just be aware that many of the earlier APs are very, very deadly, and you may need to tweak some situations to avoid repeated TPK events - never fun for anyone. Such adjustments are easy to make.
 

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