Since we're exploring the low levels of Pathfinder I started reading through some of the adventure paths that have been published and I have three main thoughts:
- They don't go to 20?! I thought that was the whole point! I know Savage Tide did, and I thought Age of Worms and Shackled City did too, and that was back when they had to share a magazine! Now we get almost 600 pages of adventure and some of them only get the party to 15th level? I feel let down.
- One module per month for 6 months - I like the schedule. I like that they've gone to making the player guides for each one a free PDF. I like that there's plenty of supporting material about the setting. I like that the first one contains a summary of each of the subsequent adventures. I just wish it only took us 6 months to play through one of them.
- So...much...backstory! My old school roots may be showing here, but I don't need to know that the main villainess had a bad childhood and an unhappy relationship that led to her swearing an oath to an evil goddess and deciding that burning her hometown down was a good idea - I don't need to see extensive justification for the actions of a crazy person! She's doing bad things and she needs to be dealt with - good enough for me! I'm seeing space used for this kind of thing (and there are quite a few villains with a whole lot of backstory in Runelords at least) that could have been used for short side encounters in the wilderness or some more notes (or maps) of places around town. It's not a huge negative thing but does anyone remember that we used to do interesting adventures in 16 pages? When my players see a chick with a demon arm standing in an evil temple pulling monsters out of a summoning circle they aren't going to have much of a conversation about her personal chance for redemption - at most it's going to be dueling monologues and then a throwdown. I wonder if the writers sometimes forget that this is a game (and a world) where party members can quickly and reliably scan for evil - PING! - "Yep she's evil - take her down!" - no confusion, no debate.
That's the initial take anyway. I've read the initial adventure of several paths now and between the backstory and the plots - some of which make supervillain plots to take over the world look concise - there's a lot to read through and I don't know how much of it is going to come out at the game table. I do like a lot of them though so they will probably make an appearance at the table down the road.