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  1. #1
    KILLGORE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Connecticut, USA

    Adventure Paths are too long...

    I have tried to run 4 of them over the years and only seem to get into the 2nd maybe 3rd module before 1 or more people decide it's time to quit. Then it's a chain reaction of "is this taking a long time?, do I have other things to do" feelings start creeping into the thoughts of the group and DM.

    Has anyone else come across this? I am not a bad DM and I dont have bad players. We play for 4 hours per term once per week almost every week and it took us 10 months to get to the 3rd module in the Age of Ashes AP.

    What do you do? Just run custom made stuff or short modules? I am coming to the point of deciding people just dont play this long anymore. So should I consider the AP's over with for me? I have already.

  2. #2
    Trenloe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Newcastle, UK (for a bit)
    The complete adventure paths are a big commitment to get them all done, that's for sure. If you combine all six parts into one book, you're well over 500 pages - if that was sitting on the shelf at your FLGS you'd think it's a HUGE adventure.

    Maybe a reason why the most recent AP is a three part offering...

    Other than that - I like the 64-page stand-alone adventures that will take approximately a similar amount of time to an AP part. If the players really enjoy the game and their PCs then a campaign can be spawned from that.

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2020
    sunny southern California
    "I" don't think they're too long, but my general experience has been built around campaigns that run for years, so that could warp my expectations. I ran a 4E campaign in a homebrew world that lasted for over 4 years, and 4E dnd is NOT a great system - but the people were having fun - I lost a lot of players just to real life events (I mean lost as in they had to leave the campaign, not that anything bad happened to them) and got a lot more as slots opened up - so, what you describe above sounds totally normal in my estimation. It's entirely possible that the AP's that you've run are built along similar expectations, and, like Trenloe mentioned, why perhaps some of the new AP's seem shorter - in order to accommodate different game-play length expectations.

    "I" also tend to run a lot of custom made stuff, but it hardly "solves" the problem mentioned above, again, as I'm used to very long-term campaigns, so my custom-made stuff is just as long (if not longer) than most AP's. Also, depending on your players, and on you, any module you run could extend in gameplay time significantly depending on how much faffing about you all do. I have a bad (good?) habit of loading up what I think are the rather bland AP encounters with some flavor detail, which I'll admit, bloats the runtime - and then, reacting to my "flavor", the players faff about at least 4 times longer than the AP content alone really warrants, and that also bloats the time to run...and so on and so forth

    anyway - if you're looking for shorter, more direct routes to endgame, it sounds like 1 - shorter ap's are your way to go, and or 2 - time to embrace the DM railroad! Woooo wooooo! Push those players along from point to point in the longer AP's by shutting the door on anything but the written AP content - trust me, things'll move along at a brisk pace if you stick to only whatever's written in the AP, unless your party takes forever to run their combats, like mine also, my games take a long time...

    on second thought, I may be a lousy person to ask about making games shorter - sorry

  4. #4
    As said above the next two APs are 3 part adventures level 1-10 and levels 11-20 respectively. I REALLY like abomination vaults btw, so much so that I am half way finished converting it into FG because I don't want to be disappointed if the wait for it turns out to be lengthy.

    Adventure modules might be a better fit for you though or homebrew simple adventure concepts for a part rather than sprawling campaigns if your players dislike the larger narrative format.

    It took me 20 4-6 (mostly 5ish) hour sessions to get to the third Age of Ashes book, 9 sessions more to get to the fourth (heaps of roleplay, fortnightly games)

    I think it is a GM and player style thing, I like to run faster than others. I would consider my group considerably slower than it ideally would have been too.
    Nobody had played it and I hadn't run it when I started, only two players read the CRB before playing and of the five three had never used a VTT before let alone FG.

    Here is a link to a copy of one of my player's notes (up to the end of book 3) if you want to get a rough idea of what happens in a session

    Google Docs Link

    When I was running more 5e it would take 5-6ish months with weekly 3 hour games for a full adventure book, but that system runs obscenely fast when correctly automated and with a group that knows the system well.

    On the flipside.

    My PF1e game (homebrew world I am a player in) is 3 years 3 months old and we only got to level 9 two sessions ago. Different groups have drastically different pacings :P.

  5. #5
    Thanks lostsanityreturned for sharing! I'm almost finishing book 3 and your notes were really helpful. On the topic, I think that AP are definitely long, but that is the reality of adventures going from 1-20. They also add a lot of material to the game, and there is also a lot you can steal from them to your homebrew campaigns. For example, I'm stealing a lot from Ruins of Azlanti to my homebrew in PF2.
    Daniel Salles de Araújo

  6. #6
    hawkwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    London Calling
    the stack of AP's on my bookshelf suggest that adventure paths are first designed to be read rather than actually played. Saving that I am currently running book 5 of the AoA having only lost two players along the way. the biggest problem with it and AP's in general is the variable quality of books, Book 4 was great and book five is struggling to compete so far

  7. #7
    You can always use the APs to fill your own campaign. You don't have to follow them by the letter. My biggest issue with them that it's way better to run them once all the parts of an AP are released so you can plan ahead more easily and sprinkle in some foreshadowing.

  8. #8
    Larsenex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Ventura, California
    (SPOILERS > AoA)

    My group only got halfway through AoA ap3. We ended that campaign at lvl 10 for the group. I found that the story was thin at best and trying to get my group (who are really a group of chaotic/independent ogres) realized that it was one combat after another with either long stretches (see elf treehouse city) of stretch role play or combat after combat. In AP 3 what was my groups compelling reason to go thru the door? Where is this even stated?
    So some guy shows up tries to murder them but his home base is very far away.
    This is completely disconnected from the main story but somehow the 'door' leads to exactly where they need to be to get revenge?

    We quit and restarted a new homebrew using many of the very nice quests/pathfinder missions offered here on FG. I just adjust where things are are offer the hooks. I let the players do or go wherever they want, investigate at their leisure and its been a really fun time.
    I do spend a lot more time prepping areas ahead of time but I am really enjoying recreating old school monsters like Heucuva, Darkmantle, Juju Zombies, Coffer corpses......Players cant find them in the bestiaries and they are oh so slightly different so the caution brakes are applied now to each encounter > fun times.
    Oh and Trenloe, I am soo looking forward to the Bestiary 3. I bought it today on Paizo and look forward to buying it here.

  9. #9
    The AP that just came out goes from level 1 to 11. Then the next AP will go from 11 to 20. Both are three-parters. So looks like Paizo is trying something new (previously only done on their Starfinder line).

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