Know Direction 79 – Analysing APs

Know Direction 79 – Late February 2014

Without a guest joining them, Ryan and Perram have plenty of time to unravel the layers of GMing an Adventure Path.

Listen Now!



Café Chimera Games

Special Feature:
Analysis of Running an Adventure Path

Rather than just bantering about what’s on our minds and seeing what’s in the news, we thought we would start today’s episode with a special look into a topic of relevance to Pathfinder enthusiast. An analysis of the anatomy of Adventure Paths.

As someone who came to Pathfinder by way of the RPG, someone who always wrote his own campaigns and played in homebrew campaigns, it used to confuse me that Paizo considered the Adventure Paths their flagship. But as I’ve gotten to know the campaign setting, I realize products like the Campaign Setting line and the Inner Sea World Guide, as useful as they are on their own, are essentially previews for the grand adventures that can take place in Golarion. Now I am playing in three adventure paths and on the cusp of running my first. And I have some concerns. Fortunately, Perram is here! Not only is he a veteran of running adventure paths, he has run the specific adventure path I plan to run, Rise of the Runelords. Today, while avoiding spoilers, we will go into his process for GMing an adventure path, and he will answer questions about his experience. These questions will not just be mine; we invite fans listening live via YouTube to post your questions in the comments section of this video, and we will do our best to weave those questions into this conversation.

Picking an AP:
Where do you find out about the APs that exist?
How do you know what is available?
Resources for feedback from GMs and players who have gone through these APs.

Before the Campaign:
How do you prepare for a published campaign that can go on for years?
How much macro prep, how much micro prep?
Mitigating metagame knowledge;
What can you expect to spend?
Setting expectations;
Allowing options.

IndyGamer Steve
Mini AP’s? Crypt of the Everflame (etc) seems like an interesting Mini-AP of 3 modules.
Are there others like this? Are they planned?
Is this what some of the new module lines are aiming for?

The First Session:
Starting with a bang;
PC Meet-Cute;
Conveying the scope.

As Time Goes By:
Tracking the details;
Staying focused;
The rails;
Adjusting to the unexpected;
What if you need help?
The cult of the new.

Alexander Augunas
I do something similar, Perram, except I randomly select a player to do a recap and award everyone at the table a free Hero Point so long as that player does a decent job.

Crystle Stevenson
How do you balance giving your PCs downtime to craft and resupply (or retraining via Ultimate Campaign) with the urgency of certain plot elements?

Joshua Paulus
What do you guys think about using campaign websites?  If you have used them, were they successful?

Howard Black
Don’t forget the Obituary threads…those are fun to read

News & Banter
RPG Superstar 2014
Final 4 revealed
Module Pitch—Urban Adventure Proposal
Round 4 judges: Rich Baker, James Jacobs, Amber E. Scott

SKR Leaves Paizo

PFS Comic Support
Dynamite will be partnering with Paizo’s Pathfinder Society Organized Play program to connect retail stores with volunteer Game Masters to run in-store Pathfinder RPG demo events based on the encounters in the series. (In the launch scenario, Pathfinder goblins attack the hosting comic book store, and players must stand in defense on New Comic Book Day.)  Interested store owners can contact their nearest Pathfinder Society Venture Captain regional coordinator from the list on Paizo’s website.

PFS Minute – season 5 goals

Hi! Welcome to Know Direction’s Pathfinder Society Minute. This is the  Inland Empire of California’s Venture lieutenant Brian Darnell and I am here to answer you PFS questions. Back after a long break due to vacation and of course, Paizocon! I have a bunch of questions this segment so I’ll get started right away.

Last time on the PFS minute we talked about the Secondary success conditions introduced in season 5 and it got me thinking about another big change in Season 5, faction missions being replaced with faction goals. Have you sat down at a table and not known what your faction goals are?

Carlos Robledo, Atlanta Georgia venture lieutenant thought of this too and he compiled a handout which includes all the faction goals for season 5. You can get it by going here.

Thanks Carlos for providing such a great resource

That’s it for today’s PFS Minute. If you need to contact me directy, feel free to e-mail me at or tag me on the Know Direction facebook page.

This is Venture Lieutenant Brian Darnell signing off, I hope to catch a game with you soon.

Shout Outs
Listener Chemlak e-mailed after listening to Know Direction episode 70, in which we reviewed Ultimate Rulership from Legendary Games. I speculated on whether anyone in the community had put together a spreadsheet for the Ultimate Rulership/Ultimate Campaign kingdom building rules. In fact, he took over responsibilities for an Ultimate Campaign kingdom building spreadsheet from Brad Turner, and updating it to include the Ultimate Rulership rules is on his to do list. Check it out here.

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Jefferson Thacker

Before Perram joined Know Direction as the show’s first full time co-host, the podcast could have best been describe as a bunch of Pathfinder RPG stuff. Perram brings a knowledge of and love for Golarion to Know Direction, something any Pathfinder podcast is lacking without. On top of being a man on the pulse of the Pathfinder campaign setting, Perram is the founder of the superlative site for Pathfinder spellcasters, Perram’s Spellbook, a free web application that creates customized spell cards.

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