There are so many incredible, official Pathfinder Adventure Paths that it can be difficult to choose just one – but some are certainly better than others. Covering diverse genres, Pathfinder players can explore campy horror romps, Western revenge tales, and martial arts tournaments, to name just a few. Pathfinder Adventure Paths vary in terms of length, themes, scale, and breadth of choice. Some have a greater focus on combat, exploration, or roleplaying than others. Some are better for beginners, while others are targeted at veteran players. With so many unique choices, there’s an Adventure Path for just about everyone.

The prospect of crafting a campaign from scratch can be daunting to beginners who want to play a Pathfinder game. That’s where pre-written Adventure Paths come in. They provide GMs and players alike with all the tools necessary to play through a richly detailed, complete campaign without spending weeks preparing. The following are some of Pathfinder‘s best Adventure Paths to suit a variety of player and GM needs.

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5 Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Is A Thrilling Combat Gauntlet For Advanced Pathfinder Players

Four characters engage in a battle in a crowded arena as part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Fists of the Ruby Phoenix

Fists of the Ruby Phoenix is a combat-focused Pathfinder campaign that takes inspiration from classic martial arts films like Enter the Dragon. It begins with players receiving an invitation from the powerful sorcerer Hao Jin to participate in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament. The tournament pits players against some of Golarion’s toughest warriors and fiercest monsters in a three-part gauntlet for the championship – and all the bragging rights that come along with it.

Fists of the Ruby Phoenix is great for players who can’t get enough of combat. Barbarian, Monk, and Fighter Pathfinder player characters will love this option, along with anybody who wants to blow off some steam with flying fantasy fists. It’s a great opportunity for GMs to introduce some well-rounded NPCs with unique motivations for entering the tournament, or underhanded ways of trying to win it. However, since it’s focused almost entirely on combat, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for creative roleplaying choices. It’s also balanced for 11th level characters and up, so it’s not the best starting point for new players, but it’s perfect for seasoned players who want to unleash their characters’ full potential in battle.

4 Abomination Vaults Is Pathfinder’s Ultimate Dungeon Crawl

Two Pathfinder characters, one armed with a sword and a parrying dagger and the other with a scimitar and a spell that produces yellow light, fight off three goblin-like Morlocks in a subterranean dungeon in the Pathfinder Adventure Path Abomination Vaults.

The Adventure Path Abomination Vaults takes players to a sprawling megadungeon beneath a mysterious lighthouse. They’ll have to fend off hordes of Pathfinder’s most unusual monsters and fervent cultists as they dodge ancient traps and natural hazards. It all leads up to a confrontation with the power-hungry, undead sorcerer Belcorra Haruvex, who’s bent on unleashing her own army of monsters to exact revenge on the city that scorned her.

Pathfinder players who love a good dungeon crawl will find everything they could ask for in the Abomination Vaults Adventure Path. There are plenty of dank corridors to explore, deadly traps to skirt around, and creepy creatures to slay. It’s intended for 1st level characters, so it makes for an excellent first campaign – it’ll also help to get Pathfinder beginners acquainted with the mechanics of classes, combat, and exploration. Its menacing menagerie of monsters will certainly appeal to GMs who enjoy crafting challenging encounters, and players who enjoy overcoming them. However, because it’s limited to one location, there aren’t many opportunities for characters to set personal goals and branch out on their own.

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3 Outlaws of Alkenstar Has Pathfinder’s Most Unique Setting

An orc and a small, mechanized creature escape from an explosion by swinging on a rope in the Pathfinder Adventure Path Outlaws of Alkenstar while a cloaked, clawed creature is caught in the middle of it

Outlaws of Alkenstar pushes the boundaries of what a fantasy RPG campaign can be. Taking place in Alkenstar City, Pathfinder‘s City of Smog, the Adventure Path encourages players to take on the roles of disgraced outlaws on a mission for vengeance against the highfalutin robber barons that ruined them – and maybe to save the rest of the city along the way. It’s closer to a gritty Western epic than a sword-and-sorcery quest, and Alkenstar, known for its powerful firearms and rocky wasteland setting, is the perfect backdrop.

Outlaws of Alkenstar is a truly unique campaign. It’s perfect both for groups who are about to start playing Pathfinderfor the first time, and for seasoned groups who want to try something new. Starring a motley crew of renegades and rogues, this Adventure Path is a wonderful opportunity for players to create interesting, motivated characters and develop them into multi-faceted heroes. There’s a lot of opportunity for roleplaying in terms of how characters interact, but Outlaws of Alkenstar does railroad characters into undertaking certain actions that somewhat limit player freedom.

2 Blood Lords Is Pathfinder’s Goofiest Horror Campaign

Nobles fend off cloaked creatures with glowing red eyes in the Pathfinder Adventure Path Blood Lords

Blood Lords won’t make Pathfinder players choose between a brooding, Gothic horror campaign and a good time. Set in the nation of Geb, populated mostly by the undead, Blood Lords has players joining the ranks of the titular nobility – one that uses zombie serfs to till its fields. They’ll start off investigating strange happenings at a zombie farm and slowly rise through the ranks of the landed class. Chaotic good (or chaotic evil) Pathfinder characters will shine particularly bright in this one, as players find themselves taking down man-eating cults, taking in supernatural stage plays, and finally taking a trip into a reality-bending realm of shadows at the behest of Geb’s ghastly king.

Sure, there’s plenty of potential for gory necromancer action here – but there’s also plenty of potential for fun. The plot reads like a B-movie, and in the hands of a GM (and players) with the right sense of humor, Blood Lords can make for a lively caper. There are also ample opportunities for player choice, especially in the later chapters, where players can vie for power against their noble rivals and gather arcane knowledge in Geb’s capital city. Balanced for 1st level characters at the beginning and 18th level characters by the end, it’s one of the best Pathfinder books for beginners, but requires a fair amount of commitment. Still, Blood Lords can be an endless source of entertainment.

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1 Kingmaker Gives Pathfinder Players Near-Infinite Freedom

Four Pathfinder characters and a leopard companion traverse a thick forest towards a gnarled hand that appears to be emitting magic. They're beset by a dark, winged creature

Kingmaker was actually one of the earliest Adventure Paths developed for Pathfinder‘s first edition, but in 2019, Paizo put out an updated version for the game’s tenth anniversary. The new Kingmaker is modified to work with Pathfinder‘s second edition, and comes with a wealth of supplementary materials: a bestiary of monsters and traps, and a guide to helpful companions.

Kingmaker tasks players with one of the loftiest goals of any Adventure Path: they’ll have to establish their very own kingdom from the ground up, fending off tyrannical raiders, immovable wildlife, and unknown horrors. It’s an unbelievably expansive campaign – and it even has a video game adaptation, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, that’s also worth playing.

The opportunity to create a kingdom from scratch puts an incredible amount of freedom within players’ reach. There’s endless potential in Kingmaker for nuanced roleplaying, character-specific sidequests, strategic battle planning, collaborative storytelling, and much, much more. Although it provides a basic framework of lore, geography, and plot, this Adventure Path can go in any number of directions at the players’ and GM’s will. Because it leaves so much room for player choice and imaginative roleplaying, Kingmaker is by far the best Pathfinder campaign for just about any group.

These Adventure Paths might not fit everyone’s fancy, but they’re just a few of the many official campaigns that Pathfinder has to offer. Although they’re some of the best in terms of detailed settings, varied roleplaying options, and player freedom, each and every Adventure Path has its own merits. Almost every Pathfinder GM and player will find an Adventure Path they want to play – the trouble is getting a group to agree on one. Pathfinder is an extremely flexible ruleset that allows for any number of unique player experiences, and its variety of distinctive Adventure Paths reflects that flexibility.

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