Pathfinder Adventure Path is a series of monthly 96-page publications released by Paizo Inc. Each volume consists of one segment of a six-part series of adventures linked together by a story arc and theme. In addition to the main adventure, each issue also features support articles on the Pathfinder campaign setting, new monsters, and (through the end of the Strange Aeons Adventure Path) serial Pathfinder's Journal fiction.
Each Adventure Path includes a free Player's Guide that provides a spoiler-free overview of the path, as well as tips and content to help players create characters for the campaign. Some Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Pathfinder Player Companion products are released in concert with specific Adventure Paths to provide related setting context and rules options.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
The tradition of Adventure Paths was begun by Paizo when they published the official Dungeons & Dragons periodicals Dungeon and Dragon. When these magazines were discontinued in summer 2007, Paizo continued the popular tradition, now set in their own proprietary game setting—the world of Golarion. The line was originally titled simply Pathfinder but was changed to the current Pathfinder Adventure Path when additional Pathfinder-branded product lines were introduced.
Each path is intended to take a party of characters from 1st level to upwards of 15th level over the course of the series, but individual adventures can be run independent of the overall path should a GM wish to do so.
Each Adventure Path is helmed by a particular lead developer, who sees it from concept to outline and from six raw turnovers from freelance authors into a coherent whole. The first six APs were helmed by Creative Director James Jacobs, who then co-developed Serpent's Skull with Developer Rob McCreary. Beginning with the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, McCreary and Jacobs alternated lead development of APs through Hell's Vengeance. Thereafter, Developers Adam Daigle and Crystal Frasier alternated development on the next four APs. Jacobs returned to the lead developer seat for Return of the Runelords, while Developer Ron Lundeen helmed the Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path.
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game
With the launch of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Paizo and Lone Shark Games began adapting Adventure Path stories for card game play. An adapted Pathfinder Adventure Path has an equivalent Base Set, and each issue has a corresponding Adventure Deck.
Other product lines
In addition to the primary Adventure Path game products, Paizo produces several lines of complementary products for individual Adventure Paths.
- Pathfinder Battles: Paizo's official line of prepainted plastic miniatures, produced under license by WizKids Inc., sometimes features sets of miniatures depicting monsters and characters from specific adventure paths.
- Pathfinder Cards: Decks of item and face cards provide visual aids and tracking tools for gear and NPCs that appear in Adventure Path issues.
- Pathfinder Legends: Audio drama performances produced by Big Finish Productions bring Adventure Path stories featuring the iconic Pathfinder characters to life.
- Pathfinder Pawns: When paired with the Bestiary Boxes, these Adventure Path-themed sets of cardstock miniatures serve as gameplay aids capable of representing all monsters in each of a Path's encounters.
- Poster Map Folios: Poster-sized maps show locations that play prominent roles in each Adventure Path.
Pathfinder Adventure Paths
There are 24 released or announced Adventure Paths:
|Released Pathfinder Adventure Paths|
|Rise of the Runelords||Released August 2007–January 2008|
|From the idyllically peaceful coastal town of Sandpoint to an ancient lost city at the top of the world, Rise of the Runelords takes a party of adventurers from 1st to over 18th level and delves into the mysteries of Varisia's ancient past. Millennia ago, the powerful empire of Thassilon ruled the land, dominated by despotic runelords who maintained their power through harnessing the power of rune magic. Thought gone forever, the workings of Thassilon are not so far beneath the surface and one of the runelords plans a return to power. Only the brave adventurers stand in his way.|
|Curse of the Crimson Throne||Released February 2008–July 2008|
|The king is dead! In the Varisian port city of Korvosa, the death of a monarch leads to chaos, and only the PCs can hope to save the city from its own darkest tendencies. As the rule of the young queen grows more and more draconian, it's up to a band of bold adventurers to stop the spread of tyranny before all of Korvosa is crushed beneath her iron fist.|
|Second Darkness||Released August 2008–January 2009|
|A strange shadow lurks in the sky above the city of Riddleport, and the doomsayers take it as a sign of the approaching end of the world. The thing is—they're right. But the source of the menace facing Golarion comes not from the skies above, but the Darklands below. The Second Darkness Adventure Path takes heroes on a sweeping quest that begins in a star-struck city, weaves through ancient elven ruins, and unmasks the terrible secret of the subterranean dark elves!|
|Legacy of Fire||Released February 2009–July 2009|
|Long ago, two warring armies of genies fought on the slopes of Pale Mountain, and the world shook under the power of their wishcraft. Today, the armies are wakening, and one potent efreeti warlord is ready to pick up where he left off unless the PCs can stop him! The Legacy of Fire Adventure Path takes the heroes to all corners of the desert land of Katapesh and beyond, with journeys to strange demi-planes and even the fabled City of Brass, home to genies and beings of living fire.|
|Council of Thieves||Released August 2009–January 2010|
|Don't go out after dark! In the run-down Chelish capital of Westcrown, fallen from grace generations ago by the rise of the devil-worshiping House of Thrune, strange beasts of shadow prowl the streets after nightfall. At the same time, the head of the city's all-powerful crime syndicate, the notorious Council of Thieves, has grown unstable, and a new power is determined to take control—even if it means burning Westcrown to the ground.|
|Kingmaker||Released February 2010–July 2010|
|The land rush is on! Sent south by Brevoy, the heroes have the unenviable task of venturing into the infamous Stolen Lands and annexing the territory, facing down monsters, bandits, and worse. It's hard enough to conquer territory—but does a ragtag band of adventures have what it takes to found and defend a burgeoning kingdom from the terrors of the wild?|
|Serpent's Skull||Released August 2010–January 2011|
|Race to the lost city! Deep in the southern jungles, a fantastic city of wonders lies ruined and forgotten by the outside world, ripe for plundering and exploration by the heroes. Yet they aren't alone—several other factions, from deadly Red Mantis assassins to the avaricious Aspis Consortium—have also been tipped off to the city's existence, and the race is on to see who will reach it first. Of course, nothing in the jungle is as easy as it seems. For once they arrive, the heroes discover that the city may be lost, but it is not uninhabited...|
|Carrion Crown||Released February 2011–July 2011|
|From the whispering shadows of haunted Ustalav an ancient evil rises to grip the world in a new age of horror! Amid the mists of this land of dark superstition and dread secrets stand both those who would defy the return of evil and those who would seek its terrible favor. Can the heroes discern their allies from their enemies in time to save a tortured realm from a tyrant's return? Pathfinder's darkest and most frightening campaign ever sets the heroes against the agents of Golarion's most notorious villain, the Whispering Tyrant, in a terrifying trek across a land of lurking horror and ancient mysteries.|
|Jade Regent||Released August 2011–January 2012|
|When a decades-old secret is exposed, an unassuming local tavern-owner and a close friend of the PCs discovers her birthright is to rule one of the ancient Dragon Empires of Tian Xia—the empire of Minkai. Yet the current ruler of this empire, the mysterious and increasingly cruel Jade Regent, has no intention of giving up his hold over the throne. In order to save Minkai from a would-be tyrant, the PCs must not only escort their friend from Varisia to Tian Xia, braving the frozen horrors of the Crown of the World, but must aid her in gaining the trust and support of a nation on the edge of anarchy.|
|Skull & Shackles||Released February 2012–July 2012|
|There's adventure to be had on the high seas when a group of press-ganged strangers seizes a ship and becomes embroiled in the plots and politics of the Shackles—an infamous island chain dominated by pirate warlords. But as these new swashbucklers make names for themselves, rival scalawags, enemy navies, legendary sea monsters, and the infamous Hurricane King himself seek to see them walk the plank. Who will survive when there's glory to plunder?|
|Shattered Star||Released August 2012–January 2013|
|The ancient empire of the runelords may be long dead, yet the legacy of Thassilon continues to haunt the frontier realm of Varisia. With the rise of one runelord only narrowly thwarted, Korvosa reeling after the curse of the Crimson Throne nearly brought the city to its knees, and Riddleport rebuilding after a close call with a falling star, the people of Varisia fear that the greatest threat to their land has yet to play its hand. When agents of the newest Pathfinder Society lodge in Magnimar learn of a fragmented artifact scattered throughout the lands of old Thassilon, it falls to a new band of heroes to step in and gather up the seven fragments of this Shattered Star. For if the greatest prize of Thassilon's first ruler cannot save Varisia... what can?|
|Reign of Winter||Released February 2013–July 2013|
|It has been a century since the immortal witch Baba Yaga last visited the world, and the hour draws nigh for her return. But when she fails to appear in the frozen realm of Irrisen to usher in its newest ruler, pockets of winter begin to grow throughout the Inner Sea. After 1,400 years of perpetual winter, the icy curse of Irrisen is spreading! What links do these strange blizzards and swaths of wintry landscapes have with Irrisen, and is there any truth to the growing rumors that the Witch Queen Elvanna has taken full control of the realm? Can her plans for the Inner Sea be thwarted, or will the Reign of Winter engulf the world?|
|Wrath of the Righteous||Released August 2013–January 2014|
|The Worldwound tore reality apart at the dawn of the Age of Lost Omens, murdering the nation of Sarkoris and unleashing a ravenous demonic horde upon the world. Only the quick action of several other nations of knights, barbarians, and heroes stemmed the demon army and contained it within lost Sarkoris, and for the next century, crusade after crusade tried to defeat the demons only to fail time and time again. Their greatest success, the line of magical artifacts known as Wardstones that stand sentinel along the Worldwound's border, barely manages to contain the demons. So when one of the wardstones is sabotaged, a city falls and the demons within surge out in a massive assault like none before. Even before the Fifth Crusade has begun a city has fallen and some of the crusaders' greatest defenders and heroes are slain. Can anyone rise up against the demon host to prevent the armies of Deskari, the demon lord of the Locust Host, from swallowing the world?|
|Mummy's Mask||Released February 2014–July 2014|
|The ancient lands of Osirion are blanketed by the sands of time, and eldritch secrets and vast riches lay just beneath the sun-blistered surface. As modern Osirion opens its vaults and tombs to outsiders for the first time in centuries, many of these lost treasures and secrets are now emerging—some more troublesome than others. Hakotep I, a now-forgotten pharaoh, was robbed upon his burial. A secret sect took his heart and his funerary mask, both containing a portion of his soul. Betrayed the chance to pass on into the afterlife during his burial, Hakotep has existed in a state between life and death for millennia. The recent rediscovery of one of these lost soul fragments has allowed the trapped pharaoh to once again work in this world to redress the wrongs committed against him, and a cult worshipping him as a god-king grows in the heart of Osirion. Can a group of heroes brave terrible guardians, foul cults, and the burning sands of the desert to stop the rebirth of this ancient tyrant?|
|Iron Gods||Released August 2014–January 2015|
|Numeria has a long history of mystery and wonder buried under its rugged landscape, for on that one fateful night thousands of years ago, the Rain of Stars scarred the land. The fragmented remnants of a ship from beyond the stars fell from the sky, scattering strange technological ruins and deadly perils across the land. Today, these sites are feared by the barbaric tribes and coveted by the sinister spellcasters of the Technic League. Yet something worse than brutish berserker or super-science wizard has risen to power in these hidden technological halls. The Iron Gods are ready to make their presence known, and if they are not opposed by the region's newest heroes, a scourge unlike any the Inner Sea has seen will arise!|
|Giantslayer||Released February 2015–July 2015|
|Deep in the Mindspin Mountains, a storm giant warlord known as the Storm Tyrant has seized control of a cloud castle and an Orb of Dragonkind, and is gathering an army of giants from across western Avistan—first to bring the orc hordes of Belkzen under his banner, then to conquer the neighboring realms. Heroes defending the human town of Trunau from an orc raid discover that the attack is just a precursor to the Storm Tyrant's larger plans. Working their way through an abandoned border fort, an ancient giant temple, the tomb of an undead frost giant, and an elite fire giant training facility beneath a dormant volcano, the heroes eventually take the fight to the Storm Tyrant himself inside his flying fortress. Can the giant army be defeated before it can conquer the human lands of the Inner Sea, or will all of Avistan bow down in fealty to the Storm Tyrant?|
|Hell's Rebels||Released August 2015–January 2016|
|The city of Kintargo has a new lord-mayor, but he's not someone interested in maintaining that city's free spirit. Paracount Barzillai Thrune has placed the city under martial law, and his cruel proclamations and sinister plans for the city bode ill. Can a small group of heroes and would-be rebels stand against the might of the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune and the Church of Asmodeus and save their home town from being crushed under the boot of an infernal tyrant? Will one of Cheliax's most powerful inquisitors make the city his playground, or can the rebels known as the Silver Ravens rise up to bring a new era of freedom to the so called Silver City of Kintargo? Join the rebellion! Save Kintargo! DOWN WITH THRUNE!|
|Hell's Vengeance||Released February 2016–August 2016|
|Under the leadership of a zealous paladin of Iomedae—goddess of honor, justice, and valor—a new knightly order called the Glorious Reclamation seeks to purge Cheliax of its diabolical taint by overthrowing the House of Thrune and reclaim the country for its people in the name of Iomedae. As the uprising gathers strength, the evil adventurers must defeat the valiant knights and their celestial allies to stop the rebellion's spread through Cheliax and preserve Thrune's oppressive rule. Will the wicked antiheroes quell dissent and uphold the infernal laws of Cheliax and its diabolic rulers, or will the heroic knights of the Glorious Reclamation overthrow the corrupt House of Thrune and usher Cheliax into a new age of peace, prosperity, and glory?|
|Strange Aeons||Released August 2016–February 2017|
|In a distant land polluted by an alien menace from beyond the stars, a great cancer grows within the earth. As its tendrils reach out through the dreams of those who learn and study its existence, a sinister cult grows more active in preparing the way for a devastation that will destroy more than the minds of would-be heroes. Can the adventures reclaim lost memories in time to stop the advance of a cataclysmic contagion that could threaten all of Golarion? Can they resist the mind-shattering truths revealed by the Yellow Sign, and the monstrous force it symbolizes?|
|Ironfang Invasion||Released March 2017–July 2017|
|When the PCs witness their hometown of Phaendar destroyed in the first steps of an all-out war of conquest, they begin a quest that leads them from desperate survival to heroes of legend as they push back against the monstrous Ironfang Legion. This ruthless army—helmed by the hobgoblin General Azaersi and empowered by an ancient artifact known as the Onyx Key—intends to claim both Nirmathas and Molthune while the isolated nations bicker with one another. The heroes' quest will take them deep into the fey-haunted Fangwood Forest, to the craggy bluffs of western Nirmathas, and delve deep into the earth to explore the Darklands. Can a small band of refugees grow into champions and push back against Azaersi's horde, or will the Ironfang Invasion give way to an Ironfang nation|
|Ruins of Azlant||Released August 2017–January 2018|
|Thousands of years ago, a barrage of meteors called forth from the vastness of space by humanity's greatest enemies rained down on Golarion, cutting short the remarkable human empire of Azlant while plunging the world into an era of darkness. Since then, the shattered continent of Azlant has lured intrepid explorers to its broken shores, but few have the mettle to survive in the remains of this dangerous and mysterious land. Now, a hopeful expedition has established a colony on one of the nearest islands across the sea, but danger has struck the fledgling settlement. An ancient enemy was accidentally released from its prison and has resumed its millennium-old machinations to punish the hubris of humanity once again. Can the adventurers survive in a faraway land and track down this enigmatic being before its sinister plans can come to fruition?|
|War for the Crown||Released February 2018–July 2018|
|As the political scene in the ancient kingdom of Taldor explodes into chaos, players take the roles of agents, advocates and saboteurs working for Princess Eutropia to help secure her claim to the throne and prevent the nation from collapsing into civil war. Along the way, the heroes must recover hidden secrets of Taldor's past — many deliberately hidden — and grow from relative nobodies to powerful politicians and spymasters in the deadliest political arena in the Inner Sea!|
|Return of the Runelords||Released August 2018–January 2019|
|The all-powerful Runelords, near-immortal wizards who ruled Varisia in ancient days, stir to terrible life once more, surging across the frontier with plans to reignite their time-lost empire. Years ago, Pathfinder's classic Rise of the Runelords campaign explored the return of just one of these terrible masters from the depths of time—now the rest of his scheming allies have returned, their brilliant minds turned solely to conquest!|
|Announced Pathfinder Adventure Paths|
|Tyrant's Grasp||Released February 2019–July 2019|
|The heroes awaken already defeated—slain by a superweapon unlike anything seen before on Golarion. They must fight their way back to the land of the living and warn the rest of Lastwall of this new threat in the grasp of the newly returned lich-king long thought consigned to history. Will hubris damn the last bulwark against the Whispering Tyrant's return? And can a handful of heroes stand against one of the most ancient threats ever to loom over Golarion?|