Am running the Savage Tide right now - first real campaign we've run in GH for 10 years or more (the other DM in the group runs mostly FR)
Given the ST modules are set in such a isolated location, i think it will be pretty easy to minimise any world-shaking events (at least i hope so, am planning on running something like your Ur-Flan outline next, but with lower level characters).
Am looking forward to the fast level gain, we've never really run characters much above 9th level, will be interesting to see just what a party of 15th level characters is capable of - will definitely be retiring/NPC'ing the party afterwards though.
Only at the second module at the moment, will re-post in a few months.
For anyone planning on running them, beware of the "Savage" template - is likely by the second module the party will only have one magic weapon (and its likely a rapier), and the DR coupled with the Fierce ability means they effectively have x3 or x4 hit points
I skipped Shackled City b/c I never collected Dungeon until halfway through it and also because it wasn't GH until after the fact. Now Age of Worms on the other hand fit like a glove for my campaign. I had been running a long campaign involving a group of dragonslayers (via Draconomicon) in of all places, Maure Castle. When that place kicked their **** I got them involved in a 'homebrew subplot' with Dragotha. Then lo and behold paizo comes out with this mega-AP involving Dragotha. It was too late to use that group and too early to see what part Dragotha had in the age of worms so I put them on a long hiatus and we started a new group.
It has been clunky at times because of the 'genericizing' but all in all that AP used areas of GH I rarely tried to use. Diamond Lake, Alhaster, Amedio and currently the edge of the Rift Canyon. There is alot of it that is over the top or ridiculously a red herring like the Ebon Triad. If I ever ran it a second time I'd save myself 2-3 mods of time by cutting them out. But the Kyuss elements have been among the most player-scaring encounters I've had in a long time. One of my favorites involving a hasty surgery to extract a kyuss grub (they foolishly had no cleric).
Now that the focus is finally on Dragotha I have unleashed my old dragonslaying group as a secondary party to assist in stopping the age of worms. This ties up two campaigns at once nicely, and yes the last few mods are THAT tough. I just toggle back and forth between groups.
The biggest gripe about AP's are the rapid rise in level yes. But I suppose in essence you could say at best in one's career you have only one big quest in you. Quests usually find the hero not vice versa. The chances a second 'save the world' event comes knocking on your door should be highly unlikely in a world built on adventuring. My only fix for rapid level advancement is what I'm going to use next campaign and that is the optional rules on training for skill points, feats, etc. Weeks will fly by then.
Run "Age of Worms", currently running "Shackled City" and "Savage Tide".
How did you deal with the rapid rise of the characters from 1st to 20th Level?
IME, almost every PC rises rapidly from 1st to 12th level, even in 1e. Six months or a year... whatever. 20th level in 3e is what 12th level was in 1e, and this is the first time I've had PCs reach there (our other campaigns have ended about 15th).
Did the party just retire at the end?
Yes. They will probably be used as NPC cameos the next time I run a campaign up that end of the world.
SC and ST are likely to not have that much effect on later campaigns, as they're totally in the wrong part of Greyhawk (and one I don't really have much interest in).
Just running part 3 of Age of Worms now but my pcs were levels 9-12 when they started so the first two mods, even advancing npcs and monsters by a few hit dice or levels, were still a bit too easy. If I advance part 3 villains by 2 levels, that should be a reasonable challenge.
However, I divide all XP awards by 4, place restrictions of magical items, and I'm integrating RttToEE so I'm not running it from 1-20
I've run the first two and am currently running the third one.
The biggest problem I've had with any of them is that a certain amount of railroading is necessary to keep the plot moving in the right direction. the rapid advancement of the PCs was a bit of a problem since I was playing with four players who were unfamiliar with 3.5e rules. They did not have time to adequately master their characters' capabilities. They did really well, though, considering.
I can't see Savage Tide or the Shackled City having any lasting repercussions on the campaign. The loss of Demogorgon in Savage Tide could be problematic, but there are ways around that.
The only problem I could see with the Age of Worms is that the PCs might lose at the end. If they fail to stop Kyuss at the end, then the whole world changes forever.
If your campaign is heavily involved with Demogorgon, Dragotha, Kyuss, Alhaster, Tenser, the Wind Dukes of Aaqa, the Rod of Seven Parts, the Cairn Hills, the Hand of Vecna, the cult of Vecna, the Tomb of Horrors, or the Rift Canyon you might have make minor adjustments here and there with the APs.
Yes, I'm currently running the Savage Tide adventures. Half the group is unfamiliar with D&D, the rest are long time world of greyhawk players. So far, i'm 4 adventures into the campaign and no complaints from anyone yet.
Yes, I've played Shackled City from 1-20 and loved it.
I've run Age of Worms but the game was play by post and stalled out due to real life time investment.
The adventure paths are great if you can make the time to run them and the fact that they are pure GH is even better.
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