Secondly, the grumpy old man of the OSR, The Chicago Wizard, has some great feedback regarding my musing regarding a theoretical OSR Adventure Path:
"...Paths limit what a player can do. I'm not interested in appealing to mass market. If someone isn't going to "grok" out-of-the-box thinking, then probably old school gaming isn't what's going to appeal to them.Those are pertinent points; firstly, I think there is no shame in a railroad as long as that's what all of the participants expect and want (just as long as they are made aware of other options!); secondly, although I care little for mass market appeal, I think such an OSR Adventure Path could be a great way to bring folks that do not care for complex iterations of D&D into the OSR, you grab a copy of Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord and an Adventure Path and you've got a campaign, ready to use!
In those "paths", certain things "have to happen" just like in a computer game or our favorite later editions. How does that promote out of the box thinking, original creativity or freedom?"
However, what I would be interested in would be an Adventure Path without the "Paths"; an Adventure Path where "certain things do not have to happen," an Adventure Path that does promote out of the box thinking, original creativity and freedom.
That's why I think an archipelago treasure hunt could be a great framing device for a non-railroady, creative Adventure Path...one that encourages lateral thinking, originality, unconventional play. An Adventure Path that won't be broken if the players don't follow the script.