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.

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Paizo Employee Sales & eCommerce Assistant

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Announced for July! Product image and description are not final and may be subject to change.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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!


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

Happy for dwarf content, also sad it's not a 6-parter. )-: VERY happy to see Crystal Frasier's name on this too, she can do no wrong in my eyes.

Hoping that the last quarter of 2023 gives us an 11-20 rather than furthering the unbalance between 1-10 APs versus 11-20 ones.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

It's safe to say I was not expecting a third 3-volume AP next year! This was a total surprise.

If the team is excited enough about the dwarf stuff they have coming to commit four releases to the subject, then I'm eager to see what they've got to show - plus, it sounds like this might scratch the itch for some Darklands exploring! I'm curious how well non-Dwarf PCs will fit in? It sounds like this is going in pretty deep on dwarven history and (likely) their past with the Orcs.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Senior Developer

15 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:

It's safe to say I was not expecting a third 3-volume AP next year! This was a total surprise.

If the team is excited enough about the dwarf stuff they have coming to commit four releases to the subject, then I'm eager to see what they've got to show - plus, it sounds like this might scratch the itch for some Darklands exploring! I'm curious how well non-Dwarf PCs will fit in? It sounds like this is going in pretty deep on dwarven history and (likely) their past with the Orcs.

Based on my own design objectives, early work on the Player's Guide, and some playtesting a while back, I'm feeling good about how much this Adventure Path offers dwarves and non-dwarves alike. Too soon to say much more!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
keftiu wrote:

It's safe to say I was not expecting a third 3-volume AP next year! This was a total surprise.

If the team is excited enough about the dwarf stuff they have coming to commit four releases to the subject, then I'm eager to see what they've got to show - plus, it sounds like this might scratch the itch for some Darklands exploring! I'm curious how well non-Dwarf PCs will fit in? It sounds like this is going in pretty deep on dwarven history and (likely) their past with the Orcs.

Based on my own design objectives, early work on the Player's Guide, and some playtesting a while back, I'm feeling good about how much this Adventure Path offers dwarves and non-dwarves alike. Too soon to say much more!

Happy to hear! I imagine a good number of players might reach for Orcs, or even bend canon for Dwarf Half-Orcs.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm betting this is tied to Taargick and the letter he left the Donguni King in some fashion.

Scarab Sages

willfromamerica wrote:
Hoping that the last quarter of 2023 gives us an 11-20 rather than furthering the unbalance between 1-10 APs versus 11-20 ones.

That imbalance is intentional, so I think the Q4 release will be another 1-10, like Vaults, Quest, Outlaws, and Gatewalkers.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Went looking into LO: Legends for any hints it might provide, and I think I have our premise:

Spoiler:
Quote:

As Taargick approached an impressive 600th year, a grand tomb was built for him in Koldukar, but the aged High King feared entombing him within it would subject the first Sky Citadel to endless attacks by those who hated his legacy. Instead he abdicated the throne, donned his old adamantine armor, and marched off to find a place to die and be buried in obscurity. Despite his sacrifice, long after Taargick’s reign ended, Koldukar fell to orc invaders, who renamed it Urgir and claimed it as the capitol of their own nation.

[...]A single scrap of adamantine armor with the dwarven runes for the King of Sky has turned up in a small market hidden in the alleys of Absalom, supposedly sold by an adventurer who took it from an orc bandit’s corpse. The location of Taargick’s final resting place remains unknown, and if orcs have breached that holy site, it is imperative it be located and reconsecrated so the first High King may rest in peace.

And in Dongun Hold, a long sealed-away library was uncovered as High King Anong Arunak prepared the undercity as a shelter for a potential war, and the last papers of Taargick were found. They included a long missive where Taargick admitted his regrets for not seeking a more peaceful solution to the war that drove the orcs from their homeland, and a wish that an orc king existed that Taargick could send his apologies to. High King Anong Arunak thinks she may have found one in Overlord Ardax of Urgir, yet ponders her next course of action, knowing that such a letter could prove more explosive than the gunpowder in her citadel’s stores.

It's not a for sure thing, but there's a legendary lost grave and a complicated dwarven political legacy, and Legends has been a good predictor of 2e plotlines so far. This could potentially be setting up some really interesting shifts for Dwarves and Orcs going forward, or at least explain how they can stand against the Whispering Tyrant together.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
keftiu wrote:

Went looking into LO: Legends for any hints it might provide, and I think I have our premise:

** spoiler omitted **

It's not a for sure thing, but there's a legendary lost grave and a complicated dwarven political legacy, and Legends has been a good predictor of 2e plotlines so far. This could potentially be setting up some really interesting shifts for Dwarves and Orcs going forward, or at least explain how...

Yep, this is what my comment was referencing, it was brought up again in Impossible lands and I was so happy to see it hadnt been forgotten, incredibly hyped we're getting a path exploring it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It was time for the dwarves to get some love. I'm excited for an AP with one of the Sky Citadels. I would have preferred an AP for level 11-20 since when I think of the Darklands, I imagine things like Purple worms, Gugs and Umbral dragons which are strong monsters. Plus in six months my group should be done with Abomination Vaults so the timing would have been perfect.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
willfromamerica wrote:
Hoping that the last quarter of 2023 gives us an 11-20 rather than furthering the unbalance between 1-10 APs versus 11-20 ones.
That imbalance is intentional, so I think the Q4 release will be another 1-10, like Vaults, Quest, Outlaws, and Gatewalkers.

I know it’s intentional, I just want more 11-20 options for all the 1-10 adventures I’m going to be running :P


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Awesome! Always wanted a Dwarven AP, this has me incredibly excited!


Wait is that a neothelid on the cover? I‘m guessing this book might be the worm one then


not_a_kobold wrote:
It was time for the dwarves to get some love. I'm excited for an AP with one of the Sky Citadels. I would have preferred an AP for level 11-20 since when I think of the Darklands, I imagine things like Purple worms, Gugs and Umbral dragons which are strong monsters. Plus in six months my group should be done with Abomination Vaults so the timing would have been perfect.

I believe JJ has said Stolen Fate can work pretty well as an 11-20 after Abomination Vaults!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean, I'd imagine that is because as dungeon crawling AP, any 11-20 ap works decently after AV since most of them assume you are famous adventurers rather than regional heroes

Anyway, I'm honestly bit worried whenever devs say "Nah actually we trying to make sure it works with all flavors" because that often kinda leads to "We could have leaned stronger into the flavor, but we didn't to avoid discouraging players not into the flavor" thing in aps x'D

But yeah not surprised that dorf ap is three parter. I've figured out by now that 3 parters are pretty good for "We aren't sure everybody will like this flavor or that we want to have world shattering event on this part of region or we aren't sure how to write 1-20 ap without tons of filler just in this region" :'D


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
CynDuck wrote:
Wait is that a neothelid on the cover? I‘m guessing this book might be the worm one then

It's placeholder art, not the final cover. I don't recognize where the neothelid background image is from, but the undead dwarf art is a reused asset from Blood Lords.


16 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm not a fan of dorfs, but if Crystal is back to freelancing for Paizo, some things must have improved in the company. That's a Good Sign, oh and Crystal is awesome.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
That imbalance is intentional, so I think the Q4 release will be another 1-10, like Vaults, Quest, Outlaws, and Gatewalkers.

That may be so, but it doesn't stop it from diminishing my excitement and desire to purchase any of the AP's.

Don't get me wrong, I like that 1-20, 1-10 and 11-20 all exist rather than just having 1-20s or 1-10s... But unlike a certain other RPG PF2e actually runs so well at 11-20 that I want more of it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Folks do know we’re getting a second 11-20 right before this, right?

Silver Crusade

Dwarves are not my cup of tea, but anything written by John Compton has my attention.

Grand Lodge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I, personally, love PF2's myriad takes on dwarves, and am thoroughly pleased to be getting an AP focused on them. I'm also very interested in Crystal and Compton working on this, for a lot of reasons. Crystal wrote Shardra, the iconic trans dwarf shaman in PF1, and I don't think Compton's name has graced an AP volume before. Let's see how this goes.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Glad to see John writing an AP volume, and glad to see Crystal back to freelancing. I guess it makes sense 2023 is the year of 3-parters, huh?


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

John Compton brought us two excellent urban-focused AP volumes in the past in the form of The Reaper’s Right Hand (War for the Crown) and Against the Scarlet Triad (Age of Ashes), so I’m very excited to see what he does with a dwarven metropolis.

keftiu wrote:
Folks do know we’re getting a second 11-20 right before this, right?

I fully acknowledge that it’s really just an issue for freaks like me who run every AP that Paizo puts out, but if another 1-10 comes out after this, that’s six 1-10 APs and only two 11-20 ones. That leaves a lot of level 11 characters sitting around with nothing left to do! But again… this is very much a me problem and not one that affects the wider customer base, so I’m not going to try not to harp on it too much. There’s an argument to be made that if the stories the writers want to tell are ones that make more sense as a 1-10 adventure, that’s what they should be releasing - and that argument is a strong one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah I'm very excited for Stolen Fate but the simple fact of the matter is high level play in this game rocks and I always want more opportunities to experience that!

So it would be great to see another 11-20 after this, but for now I am just so so happy to see this particular story being explored, in whatever form! :D

Dark Archive

John also wrote "What Grows Within" from Strange Aeons


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

DWARF AP

DWARF AP

DWARF AP


2 people marked this as a favorite.

looking forward to dwarfs and darklands
but have to agree that with that many 1-10 AP's around more 11-20 are needed. or even small 11-15 ones would be great.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

also hoping that all future AP's always would get released for foundry too


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Putting my money now that the ap following this one will be a 11-20, 3 parter that deals with Treerazor, Tanglebriar, and is a heavy elf theme. Also with a tied in Lost Omens: Iadara. Where this ap will allow for metal and earth kinetisist to shine this elf ap will allow the same to wood. Just my theory.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

15 people marked this as a favorite.
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.)


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

Anecdotally, I know that Strength of Thousands has a ton of people playing it, but obviously it’s going to take a lot longer for reviews to start coming in for those later volumes at the rate most people are able to play. I would guess that the number of people who leave reviews for products make up less than 1% of the people who buy them.

Purely from a sales perspective, I can absolutely see how 3-part APs would be more profitable; they’re less daunting of an endeavor, they’re a cheaper investment for the buyer, and there’s a greater chance a GM can keep a group together long enough to run one. But I also think it’s fair to say that a large number of players want to see their characters go all the way from level 1 to 20, and personally I feel that that’s far more satisfying to do when your character is tied to a single, cohesive narrative.

I wouldn’t want to see 3-part APs go away entirely either, as it allows for stories like Outlaws of Alkenstar to be told which would really overstay their welcome if stretched out over 6 volumes. I just hope that we don’t lose the chance to see vast stories which desperately need 6 whole parts to tell them at the scope they deserve, like Strength of Thousands, Hell’s Rebels, Kingmaker, etc. The stories where the characters go from absolute nobodies to widely known heroes.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ooh, this looks great, I am very interested!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow, cool! Dwarf AP with Crystal Fraiser on the byline? Very exciting!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sasha Laranoa Harving wrote:
I don't think Compton's name has graced an AP volume before. Let's see how this goes.

Besides the two urban PFAP volumes John wrote that will from america mentioned, he also wrote Starfinder AP Temple of the Twelve (a.k.a. Dead Suns book 2), which I just finished running, and was an absolute blast!


Bring on the beards!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
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 rhythm 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.)

Yeah, I can feel how this is a catch-22. The idea of a 6 part/20 level adventure definitely appeals to me in theory, but at the speed my group runs (playing monthly) it's a huge multi-year commitment, and there is so much good stuff out there grabbing my interest.

As for the three-parters, I can easily imagine that the level 1-10 APs sell better than the 11-20s, but I would love to see more of the latter as options and I feel like the more that are out there the more likely people would be to use/buy 'em. I fear that Ruby Phoenix, cool as it is, may have not been the best upper level one to throw out first as it's one of the hardest to bridge thematically & geographically with the 1-10s available. I am eager to learn more about Stolen Fate for this very reason.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path 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.)

Hopefully this isn't derailing too much, but since it was brought up...count me in the camp that'd love more 6-part APs. I like to run/play long campaigns, and chaining together 3-parters in a way that thematically makes sense can be tricky. (And, as others have pointed out, there are currently more lower-level ones than higher-level.)

This does look very cool, though! Dwarves haven't been something I've been super interested in historically, but I have every confidence this and the Highhelm book are about to change my mind. :-)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to wonder if a Darklands 11-20 might be in the works, to act as a potential capstone for this and Abomination Vaults? Maybe not immediately following this, but somewhere in PF2's lifespan.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:


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.)

I’m not as much of a fan of the 6-parters. I find that 1) it’s *extremely* rare to find a group whose interest and schedules line up long enough to finish it; and 2) few (if any?) paths in this or any other fantasy ttrpg work well at both low and high levels. They just feel off, in one part or the other; since the scale and scope can’t really transition smoothly and still be believable.

But *hoo boy* am I starving for official (preferably foundry-enabled) 11-20 pf2 content. More of that, please! There doesn’t need to be a ton, but there needs to be more than one

(Side note: I really wish level ranges were *much* easier to find in product descriptions. I understand there’s some standardization, but that’s not obvious to newcomers. Even now with a few APs and stand-alones under my belt, I’m never sure unless I really hunt for it.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

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.)

I definitely am enjoying the 3-parter content as you seem to be picking places that haven't gotten a lot of attention (Alkenstar, Realm of the Mammoth Lords). Their quality can vary, though for my part I really loved Realm of the Mammoth Lords.

And of course, Abomination Vaults was fantastic.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A dwarven AP? I'm in, I'm all in. Here, take my money.

Radiant Oath

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

I'm excited! All it needs is a little moooood muuuusic!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

This is the first we've said anything about this Adventure Path publicly so far. We'll have more to say soon!


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.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

10 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:

I mean, I'd imagine that is because as dungeon crawling AP, any 11-20 ap works decently after AV since most of them assume you are famous adventurers rather than regional heroes

My comment about Stolen Fate working well to follow up Abomination Vaults is not just because of the level match-up, but because Stolen Fate starts in Absalom, which is right next door to where Abomination Vaults takes place.

(NOTE: Stolen Fate does not STAY in Absalom for long!)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ooh boy. Treasure hunting underground with some political intrigue involved. Sign me up


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I love both 3-part and 6-part APs but I think a neat compromise could be to have Two 3-part APs that can go together but are otherwise separate arcs (which I know is a lot to ask) but I can see how some 6-part APs already kind of play with this idea like how in Blood Lords, parts 1-3 and 4-6 while connected, seem to form two arcs in of themselves, that being the whole "proving yourself to be blood lords" and the "now we're blood lords and getting more involved in the plot and politics" so to speak. I know Keftiu has mentioned an 11-20 darklands AP that could serve as a possible followup to either this AP or Abomination vaults since it deals with themes of the darklands and underground most likely. 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 hate to see 1-20 APs go away entirely but I do absolutely love the 3-part APs and the many new stories we're able to tell as a result! Outlaws of Alkenstar wouldnt exist if 3-parters didn't and I'm excited to see what else is coming, so I feel like its ok if 3-parters are much more common and 6-parters are sprinkled in every now and then after some 3-parters but thats just me


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

On the topic of this AP though, Im very excited, I love APs like this or Outlaws of Alkenstar that are just begging for specifically themed parties to play in! Plus the idea of treasure hunting and spending time in Highhelm as a party of dwarves and such is very exciting! I can't wait to see what this one holds

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