I would stick to a AP with a strong story line and which avoids adding new rules/subsystems.
1. Rise of the Rune Lords
2. Jade Regent (without the Caravan Rules)
3 Possibly Serpents Skull
4 Shattered Star
Not Kingmaker, Skull and Shackles, Wraith of the Righious or Iron Gods.
Just some person thoughts
I'd go with the revised/compiled edition of Rise of the Runelords as being generally-easiest for newcomers. It's updated to Pathfinder and has a mostly-traditional plot (and avoids complex subsystems).
If you like fantasy blended with sci-fi, I'd also suggest Iron Gods. It's fairly fantastic (currently standing as what I think is the second-best adventure path behind Crimson Throne, which is for 3.5). It does require learning the Technology rules, but compared to some of the other subsystems and stuff, they're pretty easy to learn and slot in nicely next to the Magic Item rules. I think it could be run by someone with only mildly more work than Runelords.
Shattered Star also works. It's more of an artifact-hunt than something with a defined main villain, but it avoids complex subsystems and has several solid dungeon crawls.
The main ones to avoid would be Wrath of the Righteous (uses Mythic rules and requires an experienced GM/party to run well; more likely to require GM-modification / power-scaling of the enemies than pretty much any other AP due to a wonky inherent power-balance between the PCs and opposition), Kingmaker (great AP, but relies heavily on learning multiple new subsystems for hex-exploration, kingdom-building, and army combat), and Skull and Shackles (lots of ship combat, uses aquatic combat rules at points, has other things that can be tricky).
I would also suggest Rise of the Runelords (Anniversary Edition) for the reasons listed above plus the fact that there is a huge amount of community created material for it on the forums.
Along with the community created material is a huge resource of threads answering almost any question you can come up with about the adventure, and if its not already answered you can get good answers quickly.
I'm currently on book 3, and the resources here have made it much easier and interesting to run.
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Another option, if you're not sure you can get commitment to a 1 year+ game, is the Dragon's Demand module. It's a huge level 1-7 adventure, culminating with an epic showdown with the titular dragon. It's pretty awesome, and very easy to run, with a good mix of RP and dungeon exploration.
As an alternative to an AP, there's an extended module out there called 'Emerald Spire'... its simple and easy to run, has lots of little opportunities to flesh bits and pieces out should you get the writing bug and while its not quite as long as an AP, its much longer than your typical module - 1st to 13th, I believe.
I agree with Rise of the Runelords as an ideal 'starter' AP with many excellent and classic fantasy gaming elements... I have to disagree with Dragon's Demand, however. I found it to be an inspiring concept that was ultimately very poorly executed.
|Drs. R. H. S. P. Stuart-Mill|
I've you really want a good start with a new group the best choise is
Rise of the Runelords (Anniversary Edition). You can't find a better AP for new players. The jade regent (even without the caravan rules) is to complex (unless all the players are familiar with Eastern scenery).
On the other hand ... you are the GM and preparing a AP is a lot of work and with a new group of players there's always a chance that some players going to quit. And there are some players who are not great fans of AP because of the lenght of the campaign.
I stongly recommend Dragon's demand it's almost half a AP and it give your new players a chance to test out the system, to get them familiar with lots of classes. And it may give you as GM an idea how the group is going to play a AP and what they like. Because there a great diverence between the Jade regent (on the road) & the curse of the crimson throne (urban adventure)
Mummy's Mask has a very straightforward first book. I'm running brand new groups through both Mummy's Mask and Rise of the Runelords, and I'd have to say that the former had an easier time getting the hang of things. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Just be careful because the very beginning can be pretty lethal to a group that isn't prepared to deal with hardness/DR.