Best Volume One


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

Grand Lodge

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Over the years lots of folks have agreed that the early volumes of each AP are the best and it made me want to start a poll about the best Volume 1 AP adventures.

My list:

1) "The Haunting of Harrowstone" A -Michael Kortes .... Carrion Crown

2) "Souls for Smuggler's Shiv" A -James Jacobs .... Serpent's Skull

3) "Howl of the Carrion King" A -the Erik Mona .... Legacy of Fire

4) "Burnt Offerings" A -James Jacobs .... Rise of the Runelords

5) "Stolen Land" B+ -Tim Hitchcock .... Kingmaker

6) "The Brinewall Legacy" C+ -James Jacobs .... Jade Regent

7) "Shadow in the Sky" C -Greg Vaughan .... Second Darkness

Note: I've not read Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path, Council of Thieves Adventure Path or Skull and Shackles Adventure Path so they're not available on my list.

Liberty's Edge

My order

Life's Bazaar
Burnt Offerings
Haunting of Harrowstone
Shadow in the Sky
Whispering Cairn
Edge of Anarchy

Bottom 3
Souls for Smugglers Shiv
Brinewall Legacy
Bastards of Erebus

Honorable mention for Wormwood Mutiny. It didnt make the best list because of the weak final island/dungeon.

Jzadirune was such a fantastic dungeon crawl.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Burnt Offerings
Haunting of Harrowstone


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Souls for Smuggler's Shiv
Burnt Offerings
Howl of the Carrion King
The Wormwood Mutiny
Whispering Cairn


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hmm, tough choices:

Howl of the Carrion King
Souls for Smugglers Shiv
Edge of Anarchy
Burnt Offerings
Whispering Cairn
Shadow in the Sky
Stolen Land
Life's Bazaar
Haunting of Harrowstone
Bastards of Erebus

I haven't caught up in my reading to Jade Regent or Skull & Shackles. I would have once placed Howl of the Carrion King lower down the list, but it played great. Other than Life's Bazaar it's the only one I've run, although I did play in Shadow in the Sky.


My top 5 in order...
Burnt Offerings
Stolen Land
Souls for Smuggler's Shiv
Haunting of Harrowstone
Wormwood Mutiny

I didn't include the 3.5 APs because I'm all PFRPG now, but the following choices were way beyond excellent and in order.
There is No Honor (Savage Tide)
Whispering Cairn (Age of Worms)
Life's Bazaar (Shackled City)
Edge of Anarchy (Crimson Throne)
Howl of the Carrion King (Legacy of Fire)

I'm convinced that anything from James Jacobs and Erik Mona is gold in word form.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Howl of the Carrion King - 10 (out of 10)
Whispering Cairn - 9.2
Stolen Land - 8.5
Burnt Offerings - 8
The Wormwood Mutiny -7.5
Shadow in the Sky - 6.7
Bastards of Erebus - 6.5

Can't speak to the others.


Souls for Smugglers Shiv
Stolen Land
The Wormwood Mutiny
Edge of Anarchy
Burnt Offerings


Howl of the Carrion King (GM'ed)
Souls for a Smugglers Shiv (Played)
Brinewall Legacy (GM'ed)
Burnt Offerings (GM'ed)
Stolen Land (GM'ed)
Edge of Anarchy (GM'ed)
Shadow in the Sky (Played & Read)
Bastards of Erebus (Read)

I haven't read Part 1 of Carrion Crown or Skull and Shackles since I may actually get a chance to be something called a Pleigh-ur K'araktor in one or both of them...But seeing as how one of the potential GM's just skipped the country for Singapore, and the other one has been enslaved by Blizzard video games...hmmm maybe I should just read em.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Of the APs I own, Burnt Offerings and Haunting of Harrowstone are the best. Brinewall Legacy was okay, but it just didn't feel catchy enough for me knowing my players. Wormwood Mutiny will be hilarious if I run it for my group, so once it gets run it may be ranked high.


Howl of the Carrion King and Haunting of Harrowstone. DM'ed both, players loved it, I enjoyed it.

Liberty's Edge

An interesting question.I've read or played all of them, except for the first installment to Curse of the Crimson Throne, as I am saving that one to play in some day.

My favorite Vol. 1 installments in an AP would have to be Erik Mona's The Whispering Cairn from the Age of Worms AP. (Whispering Cairn is still my overall favorite 3.5 module and I have recently converted it to Golarion and run it again under Pathfinder RPG and it's STILL a great module). My other favorite is James Jacob's The Brinewall Legacy (Jade Regent).

I enjoyed Burnt Offerings very much, don't get me wrong, but I think JJ distills and improves upon that overall experience in The Brinewall Legacy. Burnt Offerings is good -- but The Brinewall Legacy is better.

Stolen Land is a strong collection of vignettes which turns out to be one of Paizo's best 1st AP volumes. If Stolen Land suffers anywhere, it is that the NPCs in the module are perhaps not as strong or memorable as they might have been. (GM's should tweak this aspect of the module). While I think that Rivers Run Red is overall a better module (Grigori is the standout NPC/Event of the Kingmaker AP) -- RRR is only a wee bit better than Stolen Land. As far as one AP volume flowing seamlessly into the next, the transition between Stolen Land and Rivers Run Red is the best of any AP Paizo has ever done, whether that is in the pages of Dungeon, in the 3.5 APs series or in the Pathfinder RPG AP line.

There are some fine 1st Vols. that otherwise suffer defects either in the module itself or as part of the overall campaign. Haunting of Harrowstone, apart from some difficulties in the CR and tactics with the final boss, integrates into the rest of the following AP volumes poorly (indeed, this is the entire problem with almost every volume in that AP). So while it is a good module, it has to take some deductions which prevent it from achieving "greatness".

Souls for a Smuggler's Shiv potentially has a great piratey flavor to it in the beginning. It's a shame that this module (and, indeed, the series) becomes a bit of a bait and switch in many respects from how it starts. I would have vastly preferred that the opening scene in the module carried over into a piratey campaign or at least sea-going campaign.

Bastards of Erebus similarly suffers from some bait and switch elements. What promises to be an urban advanture featuring thievery turns out to be something very, very different. I enjoyed the Prison Wagon encounter a LOT and it's a great encounter that can be run in many campaigns. Indeed, I urge all GMs to do so. Awesome encounter. The rest of the book? Not so much.

I am in the midst of The Wormwood Mutiny right now and I have to say that at this stage I am surprised to find myself absolutely HATING it. I think we are only about half-way in so it's still early going and there is time yet to improve my overall impression. Still, at this point, there are far too many similarities to Masks of the Living God in terms of how the players' emotions are brazenly manipulated and toyed with on this Choo-Choo Train to Hell. I simply cannot get off of The Wormwood fast enough. I want this module to turn into Souls for a Smuggler's Shiv and wake up from this bad dream yesterday.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In order-

1. Edge of Anarchy- I just loved the basic outline- the PCs are looking to settle a (relatively petty in the scheme of the AP but utterly heartfelt) score with a lowlife scuzzbucket, and get swept up in the wider events only after they've had a chance to confront someone they all have a built-in grudge against. It neatly sets up later party cohesion, since they've already got a bond that goes beyond mere pragmatism- all of them have been hurt by Lamm in some way, and they finally made the bastard pay for it. Mechanically not as slick as many later examples, but one of the finest specimens of setting the stage I've ever had the privilege of working with. Yeah, sure, the PCs are all

Spoiler:
recruited by a ghost
- if you want them to be. It doesn't have to happen at all if a little creativity is employed.

2. Howl of the Carrion King- Mostly because it bookends the conclusion to the AP nicely. One of the better openers in terms of fitting the larger plot, and a heck of a nice monster mash to boot.

3. Souls For Smuggler's Shiv- A simply great adventure. If it didn't sorta... mislead the players about the overall tenor of the AP, I'd probably rank it first.

4. A tie between Burnt Offerings and The Brinewall Legacy- Both are a heck of a lot of fun. Brinewall does a better job of actually linking to the AP as a whole, but Burnt Offerings has a "feel" I enjoy more on purely personal grounds.

5. Stolen Lands- Solid, very solid, and the bandit gangs are actually well fleshed-out, and there's no shortage of things to do. Sadly, aside from the bandits, none of the NPCs from this adventure really "clicked" with my group. Could be poor DMing, could be a picky group, but there it is.

6. Wormwood Mutiny- Railroady? Sure. But so are actual press-gangs, and this adventure manages to avoid the worst of the rest of the AP's excesses by allowing the party to focus solely on escaping their overseers. It's really not that bad- there were others I found far, far worse (obviously).

7. Another tie: Haunting of Harrowstone and Bastards of Erebus- Both suffer from a certain disconnect for the rest of their fellows- and while others I've rated higher were guilty of it, neither of these makes up for it in terms of mechanics or internal story. I loved the Haunts in Harrowstone on a thematic level, but at least in Wormwood Mutiny PCs can shirk their unwelcome duties and try to secretly dump their rum ration. In HoH, they just sort of get batted around by various haunts (and some other nastiness) in a largely passive manner. Bastards of Erebus, on the other hand, aside from the "Maze Maps don't work" and the awesome rescue from the prison carriage, doesn't really stand out in my mind- and that's why it's down here.

8. Shadow in the Sky- Purely because a bunch of curiosity-seekers in Riddleport end up banding together to fight off space aliens on an asteroid before swanning off to face the drow- after finding themselves in charge of a bar. It's just a bit of a mishmash, in my opinion.


Burnt offerings i really didnt enjoy
Stolen Lands was great fun to GM
Haunting I really enjoyed playing
Really disliked Shiv
Our group doesnt want to play Skulls, so i read mutiny and really dont like the look of it, despite being a pirate fan
Start JR 1 in a few weeks

there are lots APs to suit all types, so no one will be happy 100% of time

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