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Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide

Thursday, July 5, 2012

With the imminent release of the new Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition (and its super-special Deluxe Collector's Edition), we've released a free Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide PDF! Within these pages, you'll find new traits for your characters, a thorough gazetteer of Varisia, and... well, why are we even talking about it? It's free—go download it already!

James Sutter
Senior Editor


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Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Path Rise of the Runelords
Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yay!


Is that Belor Hemlock looking like an axe-wielding badass on page 10?

Star Voter 2013

So much win!!!!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love you, Paizo!


Kajehase wrote:
Is that Belor Hemlock looking like an axe-wielding badass on page 10?

That's Vale Temros, I think.

I'm at a loss to determine who the lady with the shocking great sword is, though!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

That's Vale Temros, I think.

I'm at a loss to determine who the lady with the shocking great sword is, though!

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. The only think I could think of when I looked at her was that she looks like a member of the Forsworn.

On another note, has Lyrie been rewritten to be a good guy? Or is she getting more face time so the PCs don't auto-attack her when she is encountered? Or are her loyalties ambiguous?

Paizo Employee CEO

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
Is that Belor Hemlock looking like an axe-wielding badass on page 10?

That's Vale Temros, I think.

I'm at a loss to determine who the lady with the shocking great sword is, though!

I think she is a Warrior of Wrath if I remember correctly.

-Lisa

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The three images chosen for the front cover were semi-randomly selected, as far as I know. They're not hidden hints as to who is more important to the campaign than anyone else.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I have to ask...

Spoiler:
is Xin-Shalast supposed to be on the map of the region? Or has that portion of the adventure been re-written?

Spoilered just to be safe.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cydeth wrote:

I have to ask...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoilered just to be safe.

That's something we'll be hopefully fixing...

Spoiler:
Xin-Shalast's location is still unknown for the purposes of Rise of the Runelords, so if your players use a copy of the player's guide that shows its location, you'll have to ask them to separate player knowledge from character knowledge for that bit.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very cool, now if only my book would ship so I could get those PDF's. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Incidentally, I've received an email indicating the map on page 6 had been updated. It was mentioned on the product thread but thought it bore repeating here.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
The three images chosen for the front cover were semi-randomly selected, as far as I know. They're not hidden hints as to who is more important to the campaign than anyone else.

Now I'm suspicious!!


I just want to say finding this in print for cheap the first time around is the reason I took notice of Pathfinder in the first place.

I really wish these would be in print again.


Lisa Stevens wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
Is that Belor Hemlock looking like an axe-wielding badass on page 10?

That's Vale Temros, I think.

I'm at a loss to determine who the lady with the shocking great sword is, though!

I think she is a Warrior of Wrath if I remember correctly.

-Lisa

Dang! Literally one week too late for my MapTool campaign.

At least I'll get to roll out with the new version of Part 6!

Man, I can't wait to see this thing.


James Jacobs wrote:
Cydeth wrote:

I have to ask...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoilered just to be safe.

That's something we'll be hopefully fixing...

** spoiler omitted **

The ads in the back are also rather spoilerful, some more than others.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cydeth wrote:

I have to ask...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoilered just to be safe.

That's something we'll be hopefully fixing...

** spoiler omitted **

The ads in the back are also rather spoilerful, some more than others.

I don't know what you mean...:

Flip Mat: Town Square
Set the scene in style for the Swallowtail Festival goblin raid or the brutal giant attack on Sandpoint...

"So, this lovely festival... I think I'm going to attend it fully armed, and with combat spells prepared."

Or:

The enemies and allies of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path leap into battle on your tabletop in this all-new collection of prepainted plastic miniatures produced in cooperation with WizKids! This 65-figure set includes favorites like goblins and ogrekin as well as specific NPCs like Nualia and Karzoug!

"What was that idle passing reference to Nualia when we asked about the priest? I think I might just follow that one up." [puts down player's guide]

The combination of the spoilerific ads and the daft top-corner images of the anniversary book on each page (if you print it, that's the first thing you see when you turn the page... that's a marketing gimmick) plus the CS spoilers in the area text and the daft use of 'photos of minis as art' in the Free RPG Day module makes me concerned.

Over the past five years Paizo have been a company smart enough to realise that great art and awesome layout helps to sell their stuff. People are drawn to this product because of the intangibles... now it seems like a marketing 'genius' is sticking their nose into Sarah's work and forcing compromises that spoil the overall product.

The Player's Guides don't sell APs because they have adverts in them.

They sell APs because they're so intriguing and well-designed that we want more. They're a taster, not a free magazine that you shove ad spots in.

It's the same with the modules. Making Hollow's Last Hope a brilliant product which just happened to tie-in with a bunch of other modules is much more attractive and tempting to me as a consumer than the clumsy crowbarring of mini-figs into a module which caused the actual adventure to creak at the seams.

At least the APG pre-gens in Master of the Fallen Fortress were subtle.

Imagine how much more exciting it would have been if the last free RPG day adventure had seen a bunch of characters hunting down Jervais Stoot! That would have been buzz-generating advertising for RotRL but it wouldn't have felt tacky or clumsy and the art team would still have been able to do that brilliant Sarah Robinson thang!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
Imagine how much more exciting it would have been if the last free RPG day adventure had seen a bunch of characters hunting down Jervais Stoot! That would have been buzz-generating advertising for RotRL but it wouldn't have felt tacky or clumsy and the art team would still have been able to do that brilliant Sarah Robinson thang!

Actually, that is only one of the things they could have done:

  • How about a short adventure vs. the Sczarni (with could either be run separately or as part of the Shattered Star AP - would have made for a vastly stronger tie in)?
  • How about a Pathfinder society diplomatic enounter with a previously unknown race (to tie into the Advanced Race Guide - which provides both the normal the write-up and ARG breakdown of this new Player Character balanced race)?
  • How about an short adveture on a tropical island (which could drop right into the then current Skull & Shackles installment or be run separately)?
  • The minuture idea wasn't bad, but they should not have been so obvious.

  • Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Spoiler:
    On page 9, under the entry of the KODAR MOUNTAINS it shouldn't be revealed, that Xin-Shalast is to be found in that mountain range!

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Dryder wrote:
    ** spoiler omitted **

    That information is only a DC 20 on a Knowledge (history) check. Unusual, to be sure, but not exactly spoiler-y. Of 5 typical 1st-level wizards or bards, 1 or 2 of them probably know it. This is not a Great Campaign Secret(tm).

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Shisumo wrote:
    Dryder wrote:
    ** spoiler omitted **
    That information is only a DC 20 on a Knowledge (history) check. Unusual, to be sure, but not exactly spoiler-y. Of 5 typical 1st-level wizards or bards, 1 or 2 of them probably know it. This is not a Great Campaign Secret(tm).

    True. I debated whether or not to give the PG to my players as is or not. In the end, I decided to give them a modified PG that excised all references to "the city" or "the ancient empire". The only exception being that I left in the trait that allows Thassilonian as a bonus language.

    I figured I want to reveal the info organically throughout the adventure, the less they know, no matter how insignificant, the better.

    Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

    GeraintElberion wrote:
    ...the daft top-corner images of the anniversary book on each page (if you print it, that's the first thing you see when you turn the page... that's a marketing gimmick)

    Those are there because the Player's Guide uses the same basic layout as the Anniversary Edition, where that's a very handy thumbnail that shows the original cover of the adventure for each chapter. It quickly—and very effectively—helps you find spot you're looking for in the book. (And the person who made that decision? Sarah.)

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
    Vic Wertz wrote:
    GeraintElberion wrote:
    ...the daft top-corner images of the anniversary book on each page (if you print it, that's the first thing you see when you turn the page... that's a marketing gimmick)
    Those are there because the Player's Guide uses the same basic layout as the Anniversary Edition, where that's a very handy thumbnail that shows the original cover of the adventure for each chapter. It quickly—and very effectively—helps you find spot you're looking for in the book. (And the person who made that decision? Sarah.)

    I appreciate the role it plays in the actual AP, so now it makes more sense.

    It's still pretty ugly and needless though.

    Generally, does Paizo regard the PG as the first 15-20 pages of an AP? Or as an add on? It is the start of the AP for me, and for my players it is the only bit they ever read.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

    GeraintElberion wrote:
    Generally, does Paizo regard the PG as the first 15-20 pages of an AP? Or as an add on? It is the start of the AP for me, and for my players it is the only bit they ever read.

    I consider a player's guide as an add-on. If it were to appear in print with the AP, I'd actually put it in an appendix in the back.

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
    James Jacobs wrote:
    GeraintElberion wrote:
    Generally, does Paizo regard the PG as the first 15-20 pages of an AP? Or as an add on? It is the start of the AP for me, and for my players it is the only bit they ever read.
    I consider a player's guide as an add-on. If it were to appear in print with the AP, I'd actually put it in an appendix in the back.

    The first one was brilliant. I hope that now you're folding them into Companion books we'll see a return to that kind of quality.

    Silver Crusade

    Just writing my review, now.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I hated it... I truly did. there is not much information for the actual players to use. There is almost half a page with some vague suggestions on what skills might be useful and another page with some truly awesome traits, and I liked the map of Sandpoint. Now as for the other 15 pages, in a 17 page product... I'm wondering if I got the wrong Player's Guide. There is nothing about the town that they will be spending time in, but there are 12 pages of blurbs on various parts of Varisia that they may or may not be seeing at some later point in the campaign. There is nothing to address the various roles that specific classes, races and alignments might fit into this campaign, which is something that has been available in every other AP Player's Guide till now, at least since the last one I read.

    The product blurb reads as follows:
    "The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player’s Guide gives players all the spoiler-free information, inspiration, and new rules they’ll need to create characters prepared for the daring and adventure of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path.

    Within, players of this campaign will find everything they need to create character backgrounds tied to personalities and events vital to Pathfinder Adventure Path’s initial expedition into the exciting frontier of Varisia, along with new campaign-specific traits to give bold adventurers the edge they’ll need to take on the unpredictable dangers of that untamed land."

    Load of bull-puckey... it has almost nothing the players can really use past the first few pages, and at that point reads like an encyclopedia or travel guide more than an actual tool to help integrate new characters into a flavorful and richly developed campaign.

    I honestly feel this had to have slipped through the cracks. I was really disappointed.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Maveric28 wrote:
    Schtuff

    Yeah, there were a few things that I liked, as well as a number of things that I didn't like (lots of name dropping). I ended up writing my own that combined elements of this PG with elements of the original PG. I didn't put in the full-blown location-by-location description of Sandpoint, but I did give basic info on the city.

    A Link to what I did in my Players Guide

    Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Rise of the Runelords / Paizo Blog: Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide All Messageboards

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