New Players, Which Are Best Avoided?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


When I last attended my local PFS session, I noticed that a lot of players were new to not only PFS but Pathfinder overall. From there I decided that I want to run a long module, or an AP to help teach them. I am still trying to decide on which. I was hoping that you can tell which APs were best avoided. I do want to stick with sanctioned material, but plan to run in campaign mode. Thank you for helping me to grow the community.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I'm fairly new to GMing and am running Rise of the Runelords in campaign mode. It seems to be pretty solid and the fact that it's been re-written after several years (the Anniversary Edition) seems to leave the overall quality of editing and balance fairly well above average.


Tough call... of the sanctioned ones, I think only Iron Gods might be a bit too wild for newbies. Jade Regent might be a bit too... long-term goal, for a new group. Skull & Shackles would accommodate players coming and going pretty well (though harder to assign credit in that case). Shattered Star defaults to the party actually being Pathfinders. The rest should work fine. I always recommend Runelords.

Sanctioned APs:
Runelords, Carrion Crown, Jade Regent, Skull & Shackles, Shattered Star,
Reign of Winter, Mummy's Mask, Iron Gods, Giant Slayer.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Majuba wrote:

Tough call... of the sanctioned ones, I think only Iron Gods might be a bit too wild for newbies. Jade Regent might be a bit too... long-term goal, for a new group. Skull & Shackles would accommodate players coming and going pretty well (though harder to assign credit in that case). Shattered Star defaults to the party actually being Pathfinders. The rest should work fine. I always recommend Runelords.

Sanctioned APs:
Runelords, Carrion Crown, Jade Regent, Skull & Shackles, Shattered Star,
Reign of Winter, Mummy's Mask, Iron Gods, Giant Slayer.

Do you already own the AP books for these adventures?

Else, I would say that the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary would be your go to for this; as a collection it would be much cheaper then buying the six books of any other AP.

Also, as a sanctioned AP, your players could apply the chronicle sheets to their normal PFS characters.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I would likely rule against going for Reign of Winter as a teaching tool. On top of it being a lot of difficult rules for a GM to hang onto and enforce but it's significantly brutal and the first adventure in particular is hard on characters.

Can't recommend Runelords enough. Mummy's Mask and Shattered Star would both be very good for new players.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I suggest you to wait until September and buy Curse of the Crimson Throne Hardcover, definitely the best ever written Adventure Path.
The plot is full of twists that players, especially those beginners, will appreciate.


User69 wrote:

Personally, I suggest you to wait until September and buy Curse of the Crimson Throne Hardcover, definitely the best ever written Adventure Path.

The plot is full of twists that players, especially those beginners, will appreciate.

While I am sure that CotCT is a good AP and will be something that I would enjoy running, I feel that I am faced with an opportunity that I need to act on soon in order to grow my local community.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nohwear wrote:
User69 wrote:

Personally, I suggest you to wait until September and buy Curse of the Crimson Throne Hardcover, definitely the best ever written Adventure Path.

The plot is full of twists that players, especially those beginners, will appreciate.
While I am sure that CotCT is a good AP and will be something that I would enjoy running, I feel that I am faced with an opportunity that I need to act on soon in order to grow my local community.

Given the urgency, then I support the suggestion of Lord Fyre, Rise of the Runelords Anniversary is definitely the right choice


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Do you have a specific group of people in mind that you're looking to play with, or is this a more general question? Because I think an important factor in teaching new people is also picking an AP/storyline they'll be interested in. For example, if none of them are into Egyptian-themed stuff and you run Mummy's Mask, they probably aren't going enjoy themselves as much as if they were playing a game where they really liked the storyline. Might be something to ask your group, if you've got a specific one, to find out what they're interested in.

I'd think any of the sanctioned ones listed would be fine. Iron Gods would be a little more complicated for a new group since it's got the technology rules on top of everything else, but it could still be worth it as an intro if they're really interested in sci-fi.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay. The Adventure Paths to AVOID running for new players?

Wrath of the Righteous. Having to learn the Mythic Rules on top of regular Pathfinder can be quite problematic, as the players end up with more and more abilities which can overwhelm new players. Or even some older ones.

Iron Gods. Much like WotR, IG uses technology rules which can be confusing to new players. Best to be avoided.

Reign of Winter. While there aren't much in the way of alternative rules, the environmental rules do slow things down. Being unable to take five-foot-steps because of snow can also hurt players and increase the lethality of the game.

Second Darkness. There are several problems with the AP, and the players might be thrown for a curve when at the start they're becoming businessmen and women in Riddleport and suddenly have to abandon all that to save the world. Also it's not the best of the APs.

Hell's Vengeance. I'm not sure running evil characters is well-suited for new players. There is the temptation for backstabbing with newer players running evil, and HV is meant to be evil without backstabbing. But if they're newer but otherwise mature players...

Giantslayer. This is primarily because of the last part of the AP, which wasn't really the best-thought-out part of the adventure. Your mileage may vary, however.

And while I regret adding this one... Hell's Rebels could be confusing if you use the Rebellion rules. That said, you can skip the Rebellion rules (and the AP explains how to compensate) and just run it straight, at which point it's a very good AP.

And that's pretty much it. As for games worth playing... I will say that Rise of the Runelords uses a lot of core rules content, with some extra stuff edited in afterward. However, it also runs off the Fast Advancement Track, so you will have a problem of people leveling up fairly quickly - perhaps before they really get a feel for their characters. You can add in extra content (and there is a lot of small modules and fan-made content which can be used) and run it off of Medium Advancement, if you so desire.


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

I absolutely 100% disagree that technology is hard for new players to understand, they're literally no different than magic items. :-)>


Nohwear wrote:
When I last attended my local PFS session, I noticed that a lot of players were new to not only PFS but Pathfinder overall. From there I decided that I want to run a long module, or an AP to help teach them. I am still trying to decide on which. I was hoping that you can tell which APs were best avoided. I do want to stick with sanctioned material, but plan to run in campaign mode. Thank you for helping me to grow the community.

Before committing to the long slog of an AP, I'd suggest modules first...such as Crypt of the Everflame. or Master of the Fallen Fortress.

Once you've got that down, then I'd suggest something on the order of Dragon's Demand.


I have to say council of thieves is good for new people. It is low level so. It will be easiear to handle it for DM and players

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
I absolutely 100% disagree that technology is hard for new players to understand, they're literally no different than magic items. :-)>

I'd avoid Iron Gods for new players for other reasons though, the low-level encounters are absolutely brutal.

A certain 4-armed zombie very nearly TPKed a well-optimized party of experienced players in our first session.

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