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Pathfinder #1—Rise of the Runelords Chapter 1: "Burnt Offerings" (OGL)

****½ (based on 73 ratings)
Pathfinder #1—Rise of the Runelords Chapter 1:
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Chapter 1: "Burnt Offerings"
by James Jacobs

The Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path begins in the small coastal town of Sandpoint. In a time when rumors of rampaging dragons and massing armies of giants have everyone on edge, the people of Sandpoint eagerly anticipate the coming festival to commemorate the consecration of a new temple. Yet, at the height of the ceremony, disaster strikes. A band of goblins assaults Sandpoint, and it falls to the heroes to defend the new temple.

In the days that follow, a mysterious malady that leaves its victims monstrously deformed and dangerously insane spreads through the town. The PCs must not only determine what’s causing this strange contagion, but also discover the sinister connection between the plague, the goblin attacks, and the emergence of a strange rune from an empire thought to be long dead.

This volume of Pathfinder also includes extensive details on the town of Sandpoint, several new monsters, and information on the mysterious ancient empire of Thassilon, whose cruel and despotic rulers may not be as dead as history would have us believe.

For characters of 1st to 3rd level.

Pathfinder is Paizo Publishing's 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover Adventure Path book printed on high-quality paper that releases in a monthly volume. Each volume is brought to you by the same staff which brought you Dragon and Dungeon magazines for over five years. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Because Pathfinder uses the Open Game License, it is 100% compatible with the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-035-3

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Print Edition: This product is out of print.

Non-Mint: This product is out of print. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products.

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Product Reviews (73)
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****½ (based on 73 ratings)

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Changes between single issue & hardcover collection comparison!


Because enough reviews about this excellent product have been written, i´m gonna compare it with it´s upgrade to the Pathfinder rulesset in the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition hardcover and list the differences for people who are wondering what got lost on the cutting room floor.

Inside covers: The sihedron symbol with the seven runes is not reprinted.
The rather crude old goblin artwork throughout the book is completely replaced by new art.
"Nualia´s story get´s an illustration in the HC.
The "Swallowtail Festival" get´s a map: Flip-Mat: Town Square - i wish Paizo would produce one for every AP book.
"The desecrated vault" scenario is added. Aldern Foxeglove´s head art is replaced by a fullbody image (fbi).
"Trouble at the Rusty Dragon" scenario is added. Shalelu Andosana´s head illu is exchanged for a fbi. Tips for additional encounters are given.
The battle maps in AP#1 are not cut off at the edges like the ones in the HC and show more as a result. Also the room numbers are all inside the rooms and not at the end of some added lines, which makes the maps look much better in AP#1. Tsuto Kaijitsu´s fbi is replaced with a new one. Handout 1-2 is added.
Erylium get´s a new fbi. The half-page illustration of Seoni vs. a vargouille from page 28 is not reprinted. Koruvus fbi is exchanged for a new one. There is a new half-page illu on page 39 of the HC of Merisiel vs. a Sinspawn. Foreshadowing the sinkhole is added.
The half-page illu of Valeros and Seoni vs goblins atop Thistletop is not reprinted.
Bruthazmus´ old fbi is replaced with a new one.
Orik Vancaskerkin´s old fbi is replaced with a new one.
Lyrie Akenja´s old fbi is replaced with a new one.
Nualia´s old fbi is replaced with a new one.
The half-page illu of valeros vs Malfeshnekor is replaced with a new one.
The half-page illu of Sandpoint on page 58 is replaced by a new one on page 371.
A half-page illu of Junker´s Edge is not reprinted.
Das Korvut´s, Niska Mvashti´s and Ameiko Kaijitsu´s (very different looking) upper body illu is not reprinted.
Jubrayl Vishki´s headshot is replaced with a new one.
Kendra Deverin, Abstalar Zantus, Aliver Podiker, Ven Vinder, Shayliss Vinder, Norah the Hagfish, Titus Scarnetti and Lonjiku Kaijitsu get an upper body illustration, Brodert Quink a fbi.
The Thassilon article and it´s two half-page illus are not reprinted in the HC.
The Pathfinder´s Journal article is not reprinted in the HC.
The Giant Gecko third-page illu on page 89 is not reprinted elsewhere, the rest of the Bestiary creatures are reprinted in Bestiary, Bestiary 2, Bestiary 3 and the Inner Sea World Guide.

While the HC collects, expands and updates everything needed for the campaign, a lot of things (mostly illustrations) are not reprinted.
If you wonder what the now iconic characters looked in the past or if you want to play this in 3.5, this pdf is certainly worth it.

List of miniatures needed for battles:

10 Goblins (54 in all)
4 Goblin Dogs (13 in all)
2 Skeletons
1 Boar
1 Half-Elf
2 Sinspawn (3 in all)
1 Vargouille
1 large Goblin Mutant
11 zombies
1 Quasit
1 Firepelt Cougar
1 Horse
1 Giant Gecko
1 Bunyip
1 Bugbear
1 human male fighter
1 human female wizard
1 human female fighter
1 Tentamort (as no mini exists use a Darkmantle)
2 Yeth Hounds (3 in all)
3 Shadows
1 Giant Crab
1 Greater Barghest

Good AP start

****( )

Like the layout as its easy to read with a good flow to it. Broken into chapters helps to gauge the module progress. Don't like the creatures, but the way Paizo has made the goblins so very different, makes for a different template not to be expected. Having done this I have come to hate the goblins with a real passion as they are meant to be. Good module in a AP to help initiate players into the RP genre for sure is extremely valuable. The extra material at the end provides more flavor or the GM if so desired. Nice option there to have if so needed. Nice way to kick it off James Jacobs.



this AP is an amazing game to run i am currently running a group of 2 threw it and if they know how to play there charecters it is so much fun (especialy with GM changes here and there) like i added some extra empty chests that are traped to see if they are awake or i reduce the amount that the bridge to thisteltop can hold from 4 medium creatures to just ovver 100 pounds makeing them think about how they are doing things i think they are enjoying it. the only thing i recomend is that you dont just run off what the book says add a little here and there and add stuff that will make them regret it if they mess up but make it able to recover from and i also cut the whole crypt out cause i really didnt see a point. but thats just what i did

****( )

Classic, and for good reason.

****( )

Sure, it may be a bit stereotypical with the whole "Help! Goblins are attacking the town! Quick, chase them back to their lairs and finish their leader!" beginning, but there's a lot more to Burnt Offerings that makes it a very classy introductory chapter to a campaign.

1. It's familiar and accessible for nearly everyone, even those not familiar with Pathfinder.

2. It offers a great town with well-established characters and an enormous wealth of roleplaying to be done. I have found that Sandpoint allows for some great character development and superb adventure hooks.

3. It's possibly the best introduction to Pathfinder's beloved goblins, who have far more character than their counterparts in most fantasy settings.

My primary trouble with this chapter in Paizo's original adventure path is that it feels the most like a "standard" fantasy adventure- there's definitely some work to be done on the part of the GM to create a captivating atmosphere. There's really little wrong with this, and the incredible variety of side quests/tangents that are prepared in Sandpoint are great, but it doesn't stick out as particularly outstanding.

I do feel, however, that all the hype over Rise Of The Runelords is well-deserved, and Burnt Offerings is an extremely solid beginning.

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