I have never run or played an Adventure Path campaign but I am considering starting the subscription. If I understand it correctly each of the 6 part Adventure Paths start the player at 1st level and run then up to 15th or so (or higher even).

The "Shattered Star" path is coming out in the next month or so. Would it be a good idea to start play with this one? Or would I be missing something by not going back to "Rise of the Runelords" and playing through all of them? Basically is there a storyline that carries over from one path to the next?


2 Answers 2


The Adventure Paths are all standalone; each takes a new set of characters from level 1 to somewhere in the teens. Some NPCs or relatives of NPCs show up in later APs (like Sandpoint from Rise of the Runelords reappears in Jade Regent, and various Vancaskerkin relatives appear in many of the APs), but that's more of a cool Easter egg than a necessary plot point.

Start with whichever AP you'd like, based on whether you want traditional mixed-field D&D (Rise of the Runelords), horror (Carrion Crown), sandbox empire building (Kingmaker), Asian (Jade Regent), etc. I'd recommend starting with a recent one just so it's easily available and so there's active discussion going on on paizo.com. Also, APs before Council of Thieves were all actually 3.5e rules and not Pathfinder. Rise of the Runelords does fit that category, though - they are re-releasing a Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition this month (July 2012) all in one volume, updated to the Pathfinder rules, with lots of other hullaballoo around it. So if I were starting from ground zero, I probably would go with this reissue of the classic personally. (And I own all of them, have played most of them, and have GMed some of them.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. That is just what I was hoping to hear. I am fairly certain that I am going to start the subscription when the first book of Shattered Star is released. \$\endgroup\$
    – etank
    Jul 13, 2012 at 22:16

I'm a bit late to the party, but maybe this will still be useful to someone with the same question.

Usually, what Mxyzplk said in their excellent answer is true, but for Shattered Star specifically there's a lot of moments where the adventure references the events of Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne and Second Darkness.

They are still nice easter eggs, but having the choice I would wait playing it until after playing those other three.

At the same time, the much later Return of the Runelords is better played after Shattered Star.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey! Did I get it right that it's all APs for which it can matter in which order you play them? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2020 at 22:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Baskakov_Dmitriy Not really, no. As the accepted answer from Myx says, the majority of the APs have no real link to each other, or any sort of continuity. The two Runelords and Shattered Star APs are really the only exceptions. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Oct 6, 2020 at 5:08

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