And they lived happily ever after…. How did APs end in the offical story line?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Now that there are PFS sheets for APs, I was wondering if there are official end results for the adventure paths? While I would assume the final Boss is going to be beaten and Glorion saved, there are often very serious ramifications that can have a serious effect on how people might interact in-game, especially if they have one or more of the AP sheets on their character.

For instance...

:
who rules Korvosa? Or Irrisen? Who is the Hurricane King? What is the status of Westcrown? Or that new country that might now exist in the River Kingdoms? Was Magnimar badly damaged at the end of Shattered Star?

The same question could be asked about some of the Society specials too, but I'm assuming that would be based on the characters experience playing the scenario. But with the APs being such huge, world changing events, the final outcome would be good to know for character back story if nothing else.

So somebody spill.
Or tell me how I missed it in the search.

Dark Archive

Paizo has been waiting until they do another AP in the same area as an existing one before they give the existing AP any sort of official resolution. This means that Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Shattered Star are the only ones that have answers to those sorts of things yet (and information on what the default that happens with them is somewhat sparse), with most of that info coming from Shattered Star (though there's a bit related to Runelords over in Lost Cities of Golarion). All these official end results are assumed to be overridden by what has happened in the past of a home game that ran the original AP.

Only one of your listed questions has an answer:

Crimson Throne:
Sabina Merrin is currently running Korvosa's provisional government.

I think James Jacobs mentioned at one point that some of APs may actually end with the default assuming the villain won. That hasn't actually happened yet with any of them, though.


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If I had to guess:

AP Results:

Runelords- heroic victory, Karzoug slain, Xin Shalast found
Crimson Throne- spoiled above
Second Darkness- heroic victory, no asteroid
Legacy of Fire- heroic victory, no Firebleeder, though this is possible for a villain victory, with Jhavhul in charge of the area around Kelmarane
Council of Thieves- heroic semi-victory, no change in politics in Westcrown
Kingmaker- kingdoms come and go, doesn't really matter what happens
Serpent's Skull- heroic victory, no return of snake god
Skull and shackles- villain victory, no change to pirate politics, Cheliax does not attack
Jade regent- heroic victory, Ameiko on the throne
Shattered Star- heroic victory
Reign of Winter- playing, haven't read

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The way an AP ends is how they end in YOUR game when YOU play/run them.

At this point in time, we made some assumptions only for Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Second Darkness, and then only for how they relate to the Shattered Star Adventure Path. Even then, we remain pretty cagey and coy about the details, because we don't want to increase the difficulty of anyone (be they writer or gamer or both) getting into the world by forcing them to be experts on an ever-increasing amount of world canon.


Though I'd assume it's safe to say none of them ended with absolute disaster: The world is not locked in an endless Reign of Winter for example.


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Eric "Boxhead" Hindley wrote:

If I had to guess:

** spoiler omitted **

Legacy of Fire's 'What if Bad Guy wins' section notes that:

Spoiler:
Even if Jhavhul wins, he leaves Katapesh to woo Ymeri, which has his plan all along. He has no interest in Material Plane whatsoever.


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Lost Cities of Golarion describes post-RotRL Xin-Shalast in detail, though it has little effect outside it beyond a flood of cash.


Assuming the heroes failed all the APs would make the world really interesting.

Failing Rise of the Rune Lords, Second Darkness, and Reign of Winter would result in particularly drastic changes. The three expansionist powers would probably also clash with each other.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Failing Carrion Crown may or may not have mattered, since the BBEG...

Spoiler:
Would have probably exploded anyway
, unless you failed it at the point where you had to save the person that the Crown was intended for, in which case, TB may have found an escape from his prison.


If Xin had won Varisia would be a very different landscape.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'll confess to wanting to know the 'official' ending of RoW, just so Ksenia knows who the new queen is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

There are no official endings for any of the APs so far as Golarion is concerned. Golarion is a quantum world that exists in multiple states simultaneously, and the observation of each viewer fixes Golarion in that state insofar as the viewer and those he or she directly interacts with is concerned... and that view may even change should he or she re-observe Golarion.

Or in other words, you create the ending and the world when you play. Paizo isn't going to say "such-and-such happened" because it means they won't sell books. ;) Why play Runelords if you know the end?

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

thejeff wrote:
Though I'd assume it's safe to say none of them ended with absolute disaster: The world is not locked in an endless Reign of Winter for example.

If the players fail to achieve the AP's main goals, things could get pretty dire (spoilers for Wrath of the Righteous).


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I love the Paizo "code of silence" on AP continuity.

I think it might be the best idea in the history of published linked modules.


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^ +1 ^


Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I love the Paizo "code of silence" on AP continuity.

I think it might be the best idea in the history of published linked modules.

I personally dislike it when a company (I'm looking at you, BioWare) gives you all the neat options, then goes and makes a "Canon" version that totally wipes out all those options in later games.


KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I love the Paizo "code of silence" on AP continuity.

I think it might be the best idea in the history of published linked modules.

I personally dislike it when a company (I'm looking at you, BioWare) gives you all the neat options, then goes and makes a "Canon" version that totally wipes out all those options in later games.

While I believe we're safe from any earth-shattering canon events occuring on Golarion, I hope we're given more APs where they can occur as options in our own campaigns :)

The problem of course is then how to provide future APs to people that have pretty much trashed their Golarion in past campaigns but still want to continue. Still, I'm willing to live with that as it's far preferable to finding out all APs produced after this year will be based upon a Golarion which has massive tectonic shifts resulting in a total map change.

However, if Paizo were to produce some "What if...?" Golarion supplements, I'd be all for that!


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Matt Thomason, I believe you just came across an idea that Paizo could and SHOULD take up!

Even just as single "expansion" books so to speak that would add to each adventure path.

For instance: Rise of the Runelord What If? And number it Book 6.5. Inside would be a collection of ideas from those who wrote the 6 AP's about what failing certain things would do to the campaign world.
The understanding would be that these books aren't canon for Golarion, just a helpful way to assist DM's IF the worst happens and the BBEG TPK's the entire party.
Each book could also include a way to rematch the BBEG, and perhaps a new location they have built/obtained once they defeated the previous heroes.

Damn I wish this could be made!!!


I love this idea.

Dark Archive

My only issue with no official endings is that, until an official stance on how an AP has ended is determined, most of the APs leave it very difficult to ever revisit an area again.

For example, I'd love to see a Viking vs. Witches AP set in the Linnorn Lands and Irrisen. But that's not going to happen until a RoW ending is at least touched upon.

We saw this in Shattered Star where in order to revisit Varisia, some sort of resolution on RotRL, SD and CotCC had to be determined.

Now the GOOD thing is that Paizo has been fantastic in being as vague as possible how they ended. Yes we know that

slight Spoiler I guess:
Karzoug didn't conquer all of Varisia, Illeosa is deposed from power and a meteor didn't destroy everything
but the exact details are left suitably vague.

I would expect to see similar in the future if an area was revisited by another AP. *shrug*


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This is the stuff of fanfic, I know, but I would love to run knowledgable players through a Golarion in which all the APs had ended in some degree of loss, especially in the Northwest...

Spoiler:
where an asteroid destroyed much of Varisia, unleashing creatures from The Dominion of the Black on the Karzoug-controlled countryside, while the few Ulfen holdouts fight the oppressive rule of the Winter Witches. It wouldn't matter how CotCT ended, because Xin controls the southern half of the country, anyway. The humans of Cheliax, Andoran and Taldor fight demons in the bitter cold, and the war between the demons and the witches is the only reason either hasn't taken over the world. The heroes might have to find a way to travel back in time and change key moments in each AP...

Actually, now that I think about it, this might be a good frame to hang the "best module of each AP" adventure path idea that I've been kicking around. Sadly, my current group isn't as steeped in Golarion lore as I am, so they wouldn't get as much enjoyment out of it, I think.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber
Matt Thomason wrote:
The problem of course is then how to provide future APs to people that have pretty much trashed their Golarion in past campaigns but still want to continue. Still, I'm willing to live with that as it's far preferable to finding out all APs produced after this year will be based upon a Golarion which has massive tectonic shifts resulting in a total map change.

One solution -- and not a solution for everybody -- is to view each AP as a separate campaign. This is how I do it. I'm running a couple of PbP games, and a homebrew game, and they're all set in Golarion, but I don't view them as the same Golarion. If I ever manage to finish an AP and start another, I'll almost certainly make it a new campaign, and will reset Golarion.

I wouldn't want to do this with modules-- the characters only gain one or a few levels in a module, and so it's reasonable to want to play multiple of them with the same characters. But with APs, unless you're doing a lot of customization you have to start over with new characters to start a new AP. Since the story is really about the PCs anyway, and they're all new, I figure, what the heck, why not just make it a reset Golarion?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Apart from Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Second Darkness (and even then, only to a limited extent with how they relate to Jade Regent and Shattered Star), the default assumption appears to be that the events of the adventure paths have not yet occurred. This basically allows GMs to use the setting material as published, without needing to worry about canon being drastically changed twice a year.

After the Realms treadmill, where you basically had to buy multiple setting books on the same areas every couple years to keep track of all the changes to "official" material, I think that Paizo's approach is a better one for them. It allows them to concentrate on writing good adventures (their bread and butter) using the Golarion setting as a baseline; minimizing changes to the baseline setting keeps the bar of entry for new players/GMs low, as they can start at any adventure path or module with minimal investment.


What I would like to know is if the APs have not occurred or are all assumed to be in alternate universes where the others have not occurred besides the Varisian ones why does the place on the timeline each AP happens in keep progressing as if they are occurring one after another? At least if Paizo goes on the assumption that nothing in one AP has anything do with another one or Golarion canon in any way and they all start at the same time it's easier to figure things out because absolutely nothing in another AP or module counts and nothing has to ever be taken into account besides the base Golarion info. If nothing is canon all the APs and other products Paizo makes should blatantly state that as so there is never any confusion now or in the future and everybody is one the same page. As it is it's almost like they are trying to have it both ways where they are leaving the possibility of someday the APs and other stuff having really occurred in canon, but also tying to keep it from effecting the products they make at the same time. It seems like a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

Also if the APs don't really occur in canon or if one doesn't know what ones really happened how does one know what parts of the background of each one are true, not just the endings or what happens in the APs? Does that mean the NPC and characters of each AP might not even exist across them all unless stated otherwise somewhere in the base setting?

I think someday trying to have it both ways is going to create a GIGANTIC mess for them trying to figure out all this in the future if they try to work all of what has really happened, if it's even reasonably possible by that point. It's better to either have nothing count and all extra things in products they produce be assumed to happen in imaginary independent universes that have nothing to do with each other and stick with that almost no matter what, or to have everything they make count towards Golarion canon and almost completely stick with that.

Then there is the part where if the APs will count someday how the bi-annual Golarion shaking events are going to be explained. A few of them might only effect a small area, but a lot of them could be continent or world wide problems. People complain about the Realm Shaking Events of the Forgotten Realms that happen decades apart as it is.

What if someday Golarion really takes off as a fictional setting? Scores of non-table-top books can be made for a setting like the Realms and others because it has a concrete timeline, and people can know the history of the setting. That can't be the case for Golarion, and if material is ever ratcheted up in that department it will become suspicious when none of the overarching history and events beyond the base setting is ever mentioned. Not everything can be about small time issues and local things, and it will strain credulity to never have any event or outcome in any AP ever mentioned.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The other APs influence your campaign if you so choose to have them. You can have them end however you want. So if you want the Bad End for all the previous APs, do so! If you want a world full of heroes that succeeded, whatever! And if you want to have none of the other APs have happened? Vola! You can do this.

It doesn't matter. We don't need to know an "official" end for the other APs because it shouldn't impact your campaign unless you want it to. Why should we even want an "official" ending? Seriously. There's no point.


As I was saying, I believe having just some suggestions from the authors of the 6 books in each AP combined into one document as to how THEY would have different events effect their campaign world as non-canon would be interesting.

All these incredible authors would have been thinking of long term repocussions of the actions heroes would take, regardless of the fact that they weren't printed. Each has an invested interest in Golarion as a setting, and I'm sure that they would love to share what they would individually do based on heroes outcomes. Almost as if:

If the heroes fail Book 1, then X happens. If they fail book 2, Y happens, etc. The reason for it all being non-canon would be because they may each have drastically different ideas. I'm more interested in their opinions of what COULD happen.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All of the adventure paths since Kingmaker have a separate section on "what happens after" the conclusion in the 6th book (both Legacy of Fire and Council of Thieves have a couple paragraphs instead of a separate section). Since the outcomes are dependent on how a particular group of PCs handles an adventure path, Paizo not tying themselves to a specific "this is the way it should have happened" is probably wise; it reduces the temptation of GMs to "force" the results so they match the "official" line and also reduces the presence of "spoilers" in material published afterwards (allowing GMs/groups more flexibility in which adventures they run and in which order they run them).

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