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Old 04-09-2021, 12:19 AM   #21
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Old School Renaissance?

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Originally Posted by DeadParrot View Post
What I do miss is the feeling that the characters have some control over their lives. Many of the modern 1-20 adventure paths seem like poorly disguised movie scripts where most of the action is pre-determined.
You can't really write a 1-20 adventure path that isn't pretty railroady; the complexity just explodes. You can write a sandboxy adventure if you focus on a narrower range of levels and have a way to keep the PCs contained (e.g. Curse of Strahd is basically a 3-10 campaign and you're confined in a modest sized region). Most of the classic adventures were a much smaller level range (though I will say that we tried to play the Dragonlance module series, and it was most certainly a railroad).
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:25 PM   #22
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Old School Renaissance?

If the Adventure Paths are really a series of adventures meant to carry a party from 1st to 20th level (I have no idea, Pathfinder was not my thing and neither were published 3e adventures) then I agree that its hard to do that without railroading. It would be easier in a system without such drastic changes in the capabilities of characters over time. But railroady adventures are common regardless of system, like Mary Sues and Marty Stus are common in beginners' novels.
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Old 04-13-2021, 05:47 PM   #23
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Old School Renaissance?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
You can't really write a 1-20 adventure path that isn't pretty railroady; the complexity just explodes.
Similarly, you can't publish a pre-written adventure that's both extended in scope and open-ended. Paizo Adventure Paths have a plot, which some will call a railroad. But imagine trying to cover levels 1-20 in a pure sandbox mode, where the GM does nothing but ask the players "what do you do?" What does the adventure look like? Obviously it would have to anticipate every possibility, detail every location, list all important people the PCs might ever come in contact with... that is, it would look a lot more like a setting book, vastly larger and more expensive than an "adventure". (And you know none of those setting books are ever complete anyway; the GM still has to invent and improvise all the stuff that wouldn't fit into several hundred pages, never mind several dozen for an adventure at a fraction of the price.)

If you have to invent it all yourself anyway, then what are you paying for?
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:18 AM   #24
dbm
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lancashire, UK
Default Re: Old School Renaissance?

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If you have to invent it all yourself anyway, then what are you paying for?
This is a valid question, and the Sine Nomine range of books is a great example of a good answer to the question. His line of books major in GM tools to generate details that matter. So, for example, Silent Legions focuses on modern Lovecraftian style horror, but one of its key features is a set of generators for creating a completely new and unique pantheon of elder gods and associated cultists.

So, not an adventure and not a world book but a set of tools to make the GMs job quick and easy to respond to what the PCs are doing.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:08 PM   #25
ak_aramis
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: Old School Renaissance?

@Polydamas
AP's are not all designed for 1-20... but they are all designed to be a long term campaign which needs no outside adventures. A few have higher level starts. The D&D 5E ones don't run to 20th.

Some are single volume. EG: The Traveller Adventure, Dragonlance 25th Anniversary volume
A few are multi-volume... EG: Horde of the Dragon Queen + Rise of Tiamat.
The DragonLance campaign in the DL series modules can be seen as an AP.

The best known is the Warhammer FRP The Enemy Within sold as a series of separate modules, and then later, sold as a literal bundle of books.

The term itself dates to the 3E era, but the concept predates it.
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