Pathfinder Adventure Path #193: Mantle of Gold (Sky King’s Tomb 1 of 3)

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Preorder expected July 2023

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Invited to a prestigious storytelling festival in Highhelm, the greatest dwarven city, a clan’s eclectic guests explore every corner of the metropolis to build their own legends. Yet when these budding celebrities find a relic linked to one of dwarvenkind’s greatest heroes, they’re drawn into a mysterious ancient urban intrigue that kicks off a deadly treasure hunt.

Mantle of Gold is a Pathfinder adventure for four 1st-level characters. This adventure begins the Sky King’s Tomb Adventure Path, a three-part monthly campaign in which a group of adventurers travel deep underground to discover a legendary dwarven king’s tomb, seek subterranean treasures, and heal millennia-old injustices—all while stopping an ambitious villain from weaponizing those same discoveries. This adventure also includes a detailed look at lost dwarven treasures, tricks for adventuring in the dark, potent relics, and several monsters to threaten underground explorers.

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the world’s oldest fantasy RPG.

Written by: John Compton, Crystal Frasier, and Caryn DiMarco.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-530-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

Product Availability

Preorder, expected approximately 3 Aug 2023

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO90193


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Lonesomechunk wrote:
Likewise there could be something like a 1-10 AP set in Tian Xia as self contained story leading into the Fists of the Ruby Phoenix etc etc

I would absolutely eat this up! I've proposed before that Shokuro might make a perfect origin for some small-scale Tian heroes, fending off some kind of invasion and getting to Seven Samurai it up, but there's a lot of other stories you could do with the continent.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

ooooh thats a cool idea! Heck, theres a lot of fun to be had with the idea of breaking a 6-part AP into two-3 part Arcs since thats essentially what I did with Strength of Thousands, turning Books 1-3 into the student focus and then edited Book 3 to be about proving your worth and graduating with books 4-6 focusing on the professor stuff and the other regions of the mwangi expanse (even though I did tweak things a bit to make it work that way)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
silversarcasm wrote:

Oooooooh im so excited, i was talking recently about how excited I was a certain story thread form legends was brought up again in Impossible Lands and now it seems we're getting a whole ap about it? Lets gooooo

Am sad to see its not a 6 parter though, hope they havent been completely abandoned!

If folks want us to do more 6-part Adventure Paths... PLEASE let us know! The 3 part ones seem to be engaging people more and allow for more stories to be told in a year, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to settle into a rhythum that allows for more frequent higher level 3 part arcs, but if people do still want 6 part ones... we need to know. (And that includes seeing evidence in sales and reviews and the like for parts 4–6 of those Adventure Paths, not just requests at the front end.)

Hm. I suppose this is a call for me to get off my ass and do some reviews, something I haven't done. I do have the AP sub though, so 3 part or 6, if you publish it, I'll be buying it. That said, 2 threes and a six each year seems about right to me. I like the sixes for their ability to go more in depth, and the threes for their ability to switch more quickly. Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other. If folks want fewer six parters, maybe one every two years, but for myself I still like one a year better.

Somebody commented about "too many" 1-10s as opposed to 11-20s. Dunno where he's coming from, since the only 1-10 that hasn't been followed immediately by an 11-20 so far is this one, and that's only because we haven't reached the point where'd you'd announce the next AP.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
silversarcasm wrote:

Oooooooh im so excited, i was talking recently about how excited I was a certain story thread form legends was brought up again in Impossible Lands and now it seems we're getting a whole ap about it? Lets gooooo

Am sad to see its not a 6 parter though, hope they havent been completely abandoned!

If folks want us to do more 6-part Adventure Paths... PLEASE let us know! The 3 part ones seem to be engaging people more and allow for more stories to be told in a year, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to settle into a rhythum that allows for more frequent higher level 3 part arcs, but if people do still want 6 part ones... we need to know. (And that includes seeing evidence in sales and reviews and the like for parts 4–6 of those Adventure Paths, not just requests at the front end.)

Hm. I suppose this is a call for me to get off my ass and do some reviews, something I haven't done. I do have the AP sub though, so 3 part or 6, if you publish it, I'll be buying it. That said, 2 threes and a six each year seems about right to me. I like the sixes for their ability to go more in depth, and the threes for their ability to switch more quickly. Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other. If folks want fewer six parters, maybe one every two years, but for myself I still like one a year better.

Somebody commented about "too many" 1-10s as opposed to 11-20s. Dunno where he's coming from, since the only 1-10 that hasn't been followed immediately by an 11-20 so far is this one, and that's only because we haven't reached the point where'd you'd announce the next AP.

Frozen Flame was followed by Outlaws of Alkenstar, both 1-10


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

having more 11-20s would be nice, Id love it if we had 11-20 APs that could work well as "followups" to 1-10 APs but I understand thats a difficult task to manage, I just think of how Devastation Ark for Starfinder has a lot of lore and thematic followups to Dead Suns while still technically being its own AP


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Yeah, with everything that’s been announced now, there are five 1-10 APs and only two 11-20 ones. If this is followed up by an 11-20, we’ll at least be looking at 5 vs. 3, but if the last quarter of 2023 is another 1-10, we’ll have three times as many 1-10 APs as there would be 11-20 ones.

Ultimately, it’s not that big of a deal - as long as the books keep being good, I’ll be happy! And again, I’m in the slim minority as someone who plays everything adventure that comes out, so I understand why my preferences might not align with the wider customer base.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For me, whether an AP should be a 3-parter or a 6-parter depends on the nature and scope of the story. Age of Ashes, Strength of Thousands, and Blood Lords are definite 6-part APs. The stories of each don't just warrant that, but rather demand it. I don't want those stories to go away. *gestures at APs all the way back to Shackled City* Breathtaking. More variety is good, so I have no objections whatsoever to 3-parters. More 11-20s would be nice, though.

Back on to the topic of Sky King's Tomb: this could be a game-changer for the Whispering Tyrant meta-plot. Ardax is reaching out to Tar-Baphon's other foes, but this could hasten the alliance process. If the orcs* can reach an understanding with the dwarves*, they can make peace with anyone.

*-- of Avistan; the orcs and dwarves of Garund have presumably peacefully coexisted for millennia.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I was only a player my dm only played long campaigns. And although they are great, we always noticed that by lvl 11/12 we wanted a change of scenery and get a taste of a different class and such. So now that I DM for mostly the same group, I very much welcome 3 parts ap’s. We run AV now. Afterwards planning to run a different 1-10 AP and then continue with PC’s from AV to a 11-20 AP. Probably indeed the one that starts in Absolom.
I do believe it makes sense that there are more 1-10 AP out there to give introductions to certain places and themes. But just has to be a bit in balance. As for the big ones from 1- to 20 I would say 1 every 2/3 years that is really polished and does have some variety in it.

Still want to know if we can expect this ( and future AP’s) to also be released in foundry at the same time?


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I think the biggest thing I'm afraid of losing is how the long APs often have room for one truly oddball volume - thinking primarily of various trips to other planets the line has taken, or our lovely jaunt to Xopatl in Tyrant's Grasp - but it seems like Gatewalkers and Stolen Fate have no reservations about wandering further afield.

What matters most to me is that the stories are those the team is excited to tell... and that we hit one or two of my big favorites soon :p


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It all depends on the story being told. Rise of the Runelords, the only AP I have run to completion is spectacular, but Book 5 felt like filler and Book 6 was a mess.

Age of Ashes feels like a 6 volume epic, whereas Outlaws of Alkenstar was only three books long and still managed to outstay its welcome (despite having an awesome theme/setting).

IMO, Blood Lords should definetely not have been a 6 book project.

I have read a lot of threads/articles on other forums discussing how best to convert Pathfinder APs to other game systems, and one thing that comes up over and over again is to cut all the pointless/speed bumps encounters and fluff text. One poster over on the Pinnacle forums suggested you could cut as much as 80% of the AP and still run a fine campaign.

Perhaps Paizo could consider releasing 3x 4 part Adventure Paths, which would still feel like a epic quest, without having to dedicate whole books to seemingly pointless filler content.

I want to love your stuff Paizo, but by God, in comparison to other adventures available from Drivethru, they are often over-written, meandering and dull.

That's my two cents, for what it's worth.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

One thing I appreciate about Starfinder is that because of the smaller budgets they're alotted, their adventures are VERY tightly organized while still fun. We got through part 3 of Drift Crashers in 2 back-to-back day sessions.

willfromamerica wrote:

Yeah, with everything that’s been announced now, there are five 1-10 APs and only two 11-20 ones. If this is followed up by an 11-20, we’ll at least be looking at 5 vs. 3, but if the last quarter of 2023 is another 1-10, we’ll have three times as many 1-10 APs as there would be 11-20 ones.

Tondro said last year that the reason you don't see more of the later AP's is that they don't sell. It sucks, but I get that not everyone has the grit to knuckle down and get through something that's asking for a year of your attention. It took me one year to get through Horizons of the Vast meeting twice a month, and that was with delays due to not receiving the AP. I probably could have done it in 10 months if everything had shipped on time, but that's still asking for quite a lot of commitment from players. And by the end of it they wanted to play something not based off d20 SRD. (Which was good for Deadlands and Witcher!)

Some people on Reddit have said it's taken them 2-3 years to get through Dead Suns and I don't know how it took them so long or how they had the stick-to-it'ness to get through.

Dark Archive

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I would strongly argue that filler is a semi-subjective term. Different parties (even with the same group of players some role-playing hooks just work differently). Different choices even in a dungeon crawl can make different encounters feel of different weight. And then there is personal preference. As a GM trimming or speed running things makes a lot of sense, but as the game and party dictates to an extent. I trimmed almost nothing from Return of the Runelords but did speed some encounters. I trimmed probably 1/2 to 2/3 of a book total from Strange Aeons and Shattered Star. While some of those trims are more likely then others across differnet GMs I think of it more as maintaining a pace. Some speed bumps are fun for the party, but especially at higher levels which sections are speed bumps can be very unpredictable. On a personal level part of an epic feel is some level of unexpected, if the thread gets to tight then it is more like watching cut scenes on a video game then interacting with the story.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

13 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:


So was this really never previewed before the product page was set up? I do not recall reading or hearing anything about this AP before today.
Nope! A good number of PF2 products are first announced when their store pages go live at a month's end.

Inside story:

For most of my time here new products have made stealth entrances—slipping in while no one was looking. Our distributors require 9 months notice and have deadlines that drive the schedule. Our marketing team has been so small, so it was a capacity issue, and also y'all are not big on pre-ordering products 9 months out, so the benefit seemed... not clear. Experienced fans know to look at the site at month's end for new product pages. The exceptions are the products that are announced at Gen Con and PaizoCon. This time of year does not have a big con tied to it, well, one that we participate in anyway. (Waves at PAX Unplugged.) And we want to move towards making announcements that are not always tied to cons in any case.

Anyway... Wargamer Magazine in the UK approached me at Gen Con asking for exclusive previews when we announce new products to the marketplace. Honestly, our editorial team wants a bigger hype surrounding these new products, because they are excited about their babies, and I'll bet you do to. I've permission to grow the size of our Marketing team. (More on that soon.) Plus, subscriptions > preorders around here. So I'd be crazy to say no, right? Well, we executed the exclusive previews of Pathfinder Lost Omens Highhelm. But this month the Holiday weekend made it tough to execute previews before the product pages went live. However we are still working on some exclusive interviews. And now those articles will be able to link to the product pages, so we like that.

Every month is new opportunity to get the new workflow streamlined. Plus that one more person I still need to hire. It will be great. The key to success is persistent effort over time. We will get there. Thanks for playing Pathfinder.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Appreciate all the hard work that goes into everything, even (especially) for the folks who don't get the relative glamor of the writing team. Excited to see those interviews!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Aaron absolutely crushing it with drumming hype.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Since my daughter is in her last year of marketing I learned that marketing in the current day and age is no small feat. So thumbs up for you guys!


Very, very curious to see what the backmatter articles look like for this whole series. Dwarven deities? Niche dwarven lore? Darklands stuff? Orcish stuff?

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
silversarcasm wrote:

Oooooooh im so excited, i was talking recently about how excited I was a certain story thread form legends was brought up again in Impossible Lands and now it seems we're getting a whole ap about it? Lets gooooo

Am sad to see its not a 6 parter though, hope they havent been completely abandoned!

If folks want us to do more 6-part Adventure Paths... PLEASE let us know! The 3 part ones seem to be engaging people more and allow for more stories to be told in a year, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to settle into a rhythum that allows for more frequent higher level 3 part arcs, but if people do still want 6 part ones... we need to know. (And that includes seeing evidence in sales and reviews and the like for parts 4–6 of those Adventure Paths, not just requests at the front end.)

There are some six part APs that are truly spectacular and there are some 1e APs that would have been so much better as 3 parts. So I don't want to see the six part games go away. In fact, ideally for me, I think 6, 3, 3 yearly would be awesome. A yearly massive AP and a couple smaller ones that tell big but not as far reaching of stories. I can't imagine AoA as a three parter but Extinction Curse could easily have been two separate but related APs.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Exclusive: Pathfinder Adventure Path: Sky King’s Tomb preview
Senior Pathfinder developer John Compton uncovers details for Mantle of Gold, the dwarf-heavy first volume in the upcoming Sky King’s Tomb Adventure Path


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:

Exclusive: Pathfinder Adventure Path: Sky King’s Tomb preview

Senior Pathfinder developer John Compton uncovers details for Mantle of Gold, the dwarf-heavy first volume in the upcoming Sky King’s Tomb Adventure Path

Super exciting!

I hope this can soothe all the Darklands fans out there; a Lost Omens book still proves elusive, but this entire AP is for you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The article was definitely intriguing, the start being an urban sandbox in Highhelm sounds super fun.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I loved that interview! I hope we see more like it going forward. (-:


willfromamerica wrote:
I loved that interview! I hope we see more like it going forward. (-:

Oh, totally - they're a great way to build hype and relieve some of the tension that builds up during the long wait to release.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think this has a great change of becoming my favourite AP. Love dwarfs, love the darklands.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
silversarcasm wrote:

Oooooooh im so excited, i was talking recently about how excited I was a certain story thread form legends was brought up again in Impossible Lands and now it seems we're getting a whole ap about it? Lets gooooo

Am sad to see its not a 6 parter though, hope they havent been completely abandoned!

If folks want us to do more 6-part Adventure Paths... PLEASE let us know! The 3 part ones seem to be engaging people more and allow for more stories to be told in a year, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to settle into a rhythum that allows for more frequent higher level 3 part arcs, but if people do still want 6 part ones... we need to know. (And that includes seeing evidence in sales and reviews and the like for parts 4–6 of those Adventure Paths, not just requests at the front end.)

Sorry if I'm derailing it too much, but for me and the groups I've been playing, looks like the biggest issue with APs is the time it takes to leveling up (and the excess of "unnecessary" battles for the story — looks like they are there just to fill the excessive XP needs).

Considering that nowadays most people use to play weekly sessions that have 2-3 hours in length, an 6-part AP takes as long as 3 years (or even more!). The problem is that it's very rare that nobody wants to change their PCs in that long, long time. Also looks like that if we take an AP to play, we are never able to enjoy the other books that Paizo releases in those 3 years, specially in terms of character options and optional rules (and other APs...).

So my opinion is that 3-part APs are way better, but not able to solve our groups problems. Of course, as the stories are always incredible, we just have to adapt it to a faster leveling up, but having it printed or RAI would be waaaay better for us (and, I dare to say, for most groups/parties nowadays with those common 2-3 hours weekly sessions).

Now, about the AP itself: CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY IT! DWARF ONLY PARTY, OF COURSE!

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

Bruno Mares wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
silversarcasm wrote:

Oooooooh im so excited, i was talking recently about how excited I was a certain story thread form legends was brought up again in Impossible Lands and now it seems we're getting a whole ap about it? Lets gooooo

Am sad to see its not a 6 parter though, hope they havent been completely abandoned!

If folks want us to do more 6-part Adventure Paths... PLEASE let us know! The 3 part ones seem to be engaging people more and allow for more stories to be told in a year, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to settle into a rhythum that allows for more frequent higher level 3 part arcs, but if people do still want 6 part ones... we need to know. (And that includes seeing evidence in sales and reviews and the like for parts 4–6 of those Adventure Paths, not just requests at the front end.)

Sorry if I'm derailing it too much, ...

Now, about the AP itself: CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY IT! DWARF ONLY PARTY, OF COURSE!

Conversation about AP's in general would be better suited elsewhere.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Quick question if you'll indulge me: I'm wondering what season this AP takes place in?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Quick question if you'll indulge me: I'm wondering what season this AP takes place in?

Following the convention of "APs taking place in the AR (Current Year) + 2700 and Month of the module's release," the AP will be starting in 4723 AR, Erastus (in the Summer).

Radiant Oath

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Benjamin Tait wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Quick question if you'll indulge me: I'm wondering what season this AP takes place in?
Following the convention of "APs taking place in the AR (Current Year) + 2700 and Month of the module's release," the AP will be starting in 4723 AR, Erastus (in the Summer).

Good to know! The character I have in mind for this AP is a brewmaster druid so he's gonna want to have the right flavors on tap for the party!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Really excited to see what angle an Orc character might have on this adventure, though the chance to Rivethun it up or bust out my faux-Azer Kineticist might be too great to resist.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Half-Orc (or Orc) bf/Dwarf gf, naturally


3 people marked this as a favorite.

All Dwarf party.
Wanted it since AD&D.
My players would never go for it.
.
.
.
Except with the new update to character building (+2, +2 to any stats) option, I might get to see it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I have to ask, based on something keftiu mentioned somewhere else:

Is this AP about digging up Taargick's tomb and finding something in there about the Quest for Sky and Orcs?

If it is, I might still buy it, but that would wildly change the tone of the AP and might make it inappropriate for an all-dwarf party.

Race war and cultural guilt are pretty heavy subject matter, and might warrant a content warning.

Quote:
all while stopping an ambitious villain from weaponizing those same discoveries

...also, this might lead to a "Killmonger was right" moment among the player-characters, depending on the reveal. Not sure that's what they were going for.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I struggle to imagine what else in dwarven history “heal millennia-old injustices” could apply to, especially in the context of what’s been scaffolded elsewhere in 2e lore around Taargick’s missing tomb and late-in-life regrets. The Wargamer article doesn’t come out and day it exactly, but does a lot of hinting at that, and says that Dwarf and non-Dwarf PCs will have pretty different approaches available to them in some scenes.

I’m not sure how that would make an all-Dwarf party problematic, though. Digging up lost history and trying to somewhat set right a bloody ancestral feud feels deeply heroic to me.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

In fact, you're playing as members of a clan that focuses on better understanding the history of the dwarfs so as to better be able to portray it accurately. Finding Taargick's tomb and, presumably, finding evidence that it was his wishes to try and account for the harm done by the Quest for the Sky seems highly appropriate for an all-dwarf party that belongs to that clan!

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