D&D General Why 5E Adventurs Suck!!!!!

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
You ... you made it that far in Kingmaker? I was holding it together by sheer willpower by module 3. Partly because they didn't playtest the city building for module 2 (and it wasn't fun). Partly because they tried to tell the players what to do at the start of module 3 and that they would stay home and fort up rather than going and buying time and making bodies.

But yes I agree with the basic issue. There is a limit to what you can pre-write for players and expect them to stay on the rails. (I had the same issue as a player in Runelords; by about module 3 my dynamic character had to follow the plot)
I actually finished running Kingmaker. In PF1.

It's what convinced me that Paizo (at least the crew there at the time) were incompetent at designing rules. And barely competent at writing adventure paths.

This isn't to say that there isn't good stuff in Kingmaker - there definitely is. The hexcrawling in particular was a lot of fun, with plenty for the players to encounter. But the overall story was so badly constructed, especially as the final enemy comes out of nowhere with no foreshadowing. The less said about the mass combat system the better - which again, comes out of nowhere after an adventure or two of building your nation, suddenly you need an army!

(And, after a lot of encounters that were on the easy side, was in full Overpowered mode - that game almost ended in a TPK, but required one PC to roll and confirm a critical hit).

If anything exposes the weaknesses of the 6-volume Adventure Path more than Kingmaker, I don't want to know! (Much as some of the more recent adventures at Wizards, designing with a team requires the team to be in communication and on the same plan, and have a plan from the start. Otherwise you get the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy).

We played through all of it because I complete adventures, and my players sign up for completing them with me. Moment to moment gameplay is fun regardless, and having the right players together makes a big, big difference.

This isn't to say we'll play through everything. A different group I ran tried playing The Abomination Vaults using PF2 rules, and it was a dreadful experience. They were not a fan of the PF2 rules, nor of the lots and lots of encounters where they could barely hit the monsters. (I also had major problems with some of its story beats). We gave up after level 3.

I was never happier than when covid struck and I had to give up running Descent into Avernus.

But generally the adventure has to really not click with the group before we abandon it. We're five sessions into running Vecna: Eve of Ruin and we're having fun, despite my overall dissatisfaction with components of the adventure.

Cheers,
Merric
 

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Retreater

Legend
You ... you made it that far in Kingmaker? I was holding it together by sheer willpower by module 3. Partly because they didn't playtest the city building for module 2 (and it wasn't fun). Partly because they tried to tell the players what to do at the start of module 3 and that they would stay home and fort up rather than going and buying time and making bodies.

But yes I agree with the basic issue. There is a limit to what you can pre-write for players and expect them to stay on the rails. (I had the same issue as a player in Runelords; by about module 3 my dynamic character had to follow the plot)
I made it to module 4 in PF1. Currently taking a brief break from the PF2 version - and we're about midway through Book 3.
I think the key is to ignore the minigame component, regardless of the edition. And really, regardless of the minigame in any AP.
 

aco175

Legend
Is there anything with the people playing 5e instead of just being the writers? The last 10 years have been more social media and YouTube showing play where I think earlier days of internet had less exposure like this, or it was a more infant style before 5e. This may lead players to think that an adventure needs to be a certain way.

Is there something about PC builds that do not play well with certain play styles? the way 5e has builds and sub-classes that allow you to play whatever and not need a whoever to make the game work. There is no player forced to play the cleric, or whatever to make the game work. Does this make it harder to make a module work?
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Is there something about PC builds that do not play well with certain play styles? the way 5e has builds and sub-classes that allow you to play whatever and not need a whoever to make the game work. There is no player forced to play the cleric, or whatever to make the game work. Does this make it harder to make a module work?
There are certain combinations of characters that will make any D&D group struggle to work, unless there are a lot of accommodation by the DM, regardless of whether it's a published or homebrew adventure.

The design consideration is more something you should do anyway: allow more than one solution to a problem. The old D&D technique (seen in some Gygax adventures, for instance) of you need exactly this spell to proceed isn't something you should be doing.

Of course, adventure designers still get this wrong. But it's been a problem for most of the history of D&D.

Cheers,
Merric
 

GrimCo

Adventurer
It's not that adventures suck per se. It's just that they require lot's of commitment to play them. 8-10 months for one adventure is long time. That's 32-40 sessions per adventure if you play consistently every week.

They are just too long. Chopping them into several smaller pieces, which can be used independently or as single longer campaign would work better. That's what lot's of DM's i know do anyway. Use pieces of published adventures and transplant them into their games.
 

You ... you made it that far in Kingmaker? I was holding it together by sheer willpower by module 3. Partly because they didn't playtest the city building for module 2 (and it wasn't fun). Partly because they tried to tell the players what to do at the start of module 3 and that they would stay home and fort up rather than going and buying time and making bodies.
This was our experience with Kingmaker as well. Our group fell apart at the end of Book 2. The survival module was very good, so we ditched it. Nor was the city building module. At the end of the day, all that was left was mini-hooks that were difficult to care about.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
This was our experience with Kingmaker as well. Our group fell apart at the end of Book 2. The survival module was very good, so we ditched it. Nor was the city building module. At the end of the day, all that was left was mini-hooks that were difficult to care about.

We liked the exploration part. City building meh.

Think it varies on what group likes and how the DM runs the hook etc.
 

On the points about King Maker. I've never played it. I wanted to back in the day. I was under the impression it was one of the better APs. Doesn't seem like the whole of the adventure was very good. So was it just the first couple of volumes that were good?
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
On the points about King Maker. I've never played it. I wanted to back in the day. I was under the impression it was one of the better APs. Doesn't seem like the whole of the adventure was very good. So was it just the first couple of volumes that were good?
I love the first couple chapters. It meanders in the middle, and the end is a bit of WTH?. I heard that the updates are better, but cant confirm. I had a great time playing it even with the kingdom rules and mass combat. Though, im hardly the average gamer and like sub-systems and adventuring beyond dungeon crawling.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
On the points about King Maker. I've never played it. I wanted to back in the day. I was under the impression it was one of the better APs. Doesn't seem like the whole of the adventure was very good. So was it just the first couple of volumes that were good?

1st one was great, second one was good, 3rd one was OK and the kingdom building aspects were fun at first but became monotonous/abusable.

I've used pt 1 as a template for years though and use its blank hexmap template.

Hence my OP. A lot of the APs started off strong and often they weren't completed I suspect.

Savage Tide there is no honor might be one of the greatest adventures ever maybe better than LMoP. Then it's all down hill.

Age of Worms pt 1 was also really good. The 1st Pathfinder one is also well regarded.

For a while Paizo made multiple LMoP quality adventures at least early on.
 

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