The Shackled City (PFRPG Version)
The Shackled City
The Shackled City Adventure Path (or simply Shackled City) is a role-playing game campaign designed for Dungeons & Dragons, originally appearing as a series of modules in Dungeon Adventures, later published in a hardcover edition collecting all previous installments plus an additional chapter written especially for the book release and then converted as a Pathfinder Adventure Path by IronHawk1976 for a campaign played in 2012-2013. Various elements of the game were revised for the collection. The setting was enlarged to better suit the needs of a typical high-level game.
The adventure is primarily set in the city of Cauldron. Cauldron itself is nominally located in the World of Greyhawk, although the series is designed to be easily adapted to other Dungeons & Dragons campaign settings. Thus in the related campaign, it has been adapted to Pathfinder and set in the world of Golarian.
Shackled City’s Impact on Cauldron
The Adventure Path was released by Paizo Publishing as series of 11 modules, printed in Dungeon Adventures over a period of almost two years. Prior to the publication of Shackled City, Cauldron was an obscure part of the Greyhawk landscape without significant background or development. In the Adventure Path, however, the city was greatly expanded upon and became the center of multiple plot threads within the overall evolving Greyhawk lore that Paizo developed, eventually dovetailing with the later Adventure Path Age of Worms, which was centered on a city not far from Cauldron.
In general, the Adventure Paths were widely lauded throughout the gaming industry, and the collected issues of Shackled City, including extensive background and location notes on Cauldron and its residents, were nominated for and received multiple ENnies in 2006.
Geography and population
Located in the caldera of a dormant volcano, Cauldron is a medium-sized city founded by Surabar Spellmason around 500-600 years before the nominal “present day” in the campaign. The city has extensive subterranean caverns that connect at various places to the Underdark.
In Pathfinder, the city is set in the The Shattered Range near The Screaming Jungle, east of the Inner Sea and west from the Obari Ocean.
The adventures are designed to begin with first level characters and to end with characters at or near twentieth level, taking them through twelve distinct adventures that span basic dungeon crawls, urban adventures, political intrigue, and even extra-planar excursions.
Other Adventure Paths
The Adventure Paths are an ongoing element of Dungeon magazine, of which Shackled City was the first. The next adventure path is called Age of Worms, and it contains a few elements that carry over (such as the Ebon Triad, who are minor characters in Shackled City) but each Adventure Path stands on its own as a campaign.