Pathfinder Adventure Path #1: Burnt Offerings (Rise of the Runelords 1 of 6) (OGL)

****½ (based on 75 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #1: Burnt Offerings (Rise of the Runelords 1 of 6) (OGL)
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We Be Goblins—You Be Food!

The Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path begins here, in the small coastal town of Sandpoint. Five years after a tragic fire and spate of brutal murders, the people of Sandpoint eagerly anticipate the Swallowtail Festival to commemorate the consecration of the town's new temple. At the height of the ceremony, disaster strikes!

In the days that follow, a sinister shadow settles over Sandpoint. Rumors of goblin armies and wrathful monsters in forgotten ruins have set the populace on edge. As Sandpoint's newest heroes, the PCs must deal with treachery, goblins, and the rising threat of a forgotten empire whose cruel and despotic rulers might not be as dead as history records.

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path and includes:

  • "Burnt Offerings," and adventure for 1st-level characters by James Jacobs.
  • An exploration of your PCs' new hometown of Sandpoint, by James Jacobs.
  • A history of the ancient empire of Thassilon, by Wolfgang Baur.
  • The first installment of the Pathfinder's Journal, by Erik Mona.
  • Six new monsters by James Jacobs, Richard Pett, and F. Wesley Schneider.

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

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

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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.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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****½ (based on 75 ratings)

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*****

One of the best campaigns ever starts here. Runelords has everything for the traditional fantasy adventure: a village base, some wilderness adventure and a couple dungeons to explore. I can't recommend it enough.


It All Begins Here!

*****

NO SPOILERS

"Burnt Offerings" was the first issue in Paizo's Pathfinder Adventure Path monthly series and the first part of the oft-praised and (deservedly so) Rise of the Runelords campaign. Each issue of the series is 96 full-colour pages and comes with 1 part of a 6-part adventure and several useful pieces of supplemental material. The back-matter fleshes out locations, monsters, NPCs, prestige classes, historical events, magic items, or almost anything else that could be in some way relevant to either the present adventure path or other adventures in the campaign world of Golarion. Some of the supplementary articles are perfectly suitable for players to read, but others may contain spoilers of varying degrees, and thus players should always consult the GM before reading any of the issue.

Before trying to track down each of the individual issues of the adventure path, which can be difficult to do since some issues are out of print apart from PDFs, keep in mind that the entire thing has been collected and updated in the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path hardcover. These early adventure paths were published before Paizo had actually released the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and thus they're based on D&D 3.5 rules--which are very similar, but different in a few spots. Realistically, you only need to buy the individual issues if you're a true completist or can't afford the hardcover; even most of the back-matter has been reprinted somewhere or another.

I'm going to start this review, counter-intuitively, by starting with the back-matter first. The method to my madness is that the first 2/3 of the book are the adventure, and that needs to be put underneath a spoiler warning. Before going into great detail, a word for readers who are in a hurry: the quality of the writing in this book (both the adventure and the supplementary material) is simply fantastic, and I can't imagine anyone regretting taking the time to read it or use it in their games.

The first part of the back-matter is a thirteen page gazetteer of the town of Sandpoint, the small town on the southwest coast of Varisia where the adventure path begins. Sandpoint is inspired by author James Jacobs' hometown, and the loving and detailed attention it receives makes it a great place for the PCs to spend their time. Sandpoint isn't a crazy, exotic starting location; in many ways, it resembles a traditional fantasy small town. The NPCs and locations within it, however, are fleshed-out so well that players will quickly start to care about what happens to it, and that's why it works. There's enough history and secrets to Sandpoint that, even apart from the adventure path, it could serve as the perfect homebase for PCs undertaking a wide variety of campaigns. This section contains a nice map of the town with all major locations noted. There are cartoony pictures of some NPCs, and frankly they're not very good; that art style has long since been abandoned by Paizo in favour of a more "realistic" style.

The second part of the back-matter is an eight-page history of the ancient, fallen empire of Thassilon. Due to the title of the adventure path and references in the Rise of the Runelords Players Guide, it's no secret that the campaign relates, in some way, shape, or form, to the legacy of Thassilon. This section talks about the domains and rulers of Thassilon, their strange relationship with magic, the gods they worshipped (some still recognized, others lost to time), and, finally, speculation on what caused the fall of the empire. Much of the information here is not directly relevant to the adventure path, but it's extremely well-written and could serve as the seed for many campaigns in the future; as indeed it has, given my understanding of later adventure paths. This section contains sidebar summaries of what happens in later chapters of the adventure path, so it shouldn't be read by players.

Next, there's a six-page section "Opening Moves" that is an overview of the Pathfinder Society, an in-universe organization of lore-seekers and treasure-hunters. In later issues, this will be replaced by fiction, but I found it helpful to see some background on what the Society's leadership, lodges, and chronicles are like.

The last major section is a ten-page bestiary, introducing five new potential threats: the Sandpoint Devil, the Goblin Snake, the Sinspawn, the Attic Whisperer, and the Goblin Dog. Only two of the five appear in the adventure path (and only one in a significant way). Of the five, I think the most interesting and original are the Sandpoint Devil (a one-of-a-kind "cryptid" inspired by the Jersey Devil), the Attic Whisperer (a really creepy idea of an undead that forms around orphanages and schools), and the Sinspawn (aberrations from ancient Thassilon). These entries are all written in to 3.5 specification (as discussed above) and have been updated elsewhere to their "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" format, but I still enjoyed seeing them here because I think, oddly enough, they're often given more description than they receive in more constricted format of a bestiary.

The back-matter concludes with a page of four pre-gens for players who just can't wait to have fun, and then a couple of pages of ads for the next issue.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy the back-matter so much I regret that I'm avoiding spoilers on other adventure paths, because otherwise I'd consume all of it!

*SPOILERS*****

I finished running players through Burnt Offerings several weeks ago, so my review is premised on that. I should note that I used the Anniversary Edition, but my understanding, based on the Paizo forums, is that this part is not significantly changed from the original except for the addition of one (admittedly quite useful) non-combat encounter. My plan for reviewing adventures like this is to cover them just as the book does, by dividing them into separate parts.

Burnt Offerings starts with about 2 1/2 pages of background to both the adventure path as a whole and to this particular chapter. At first blush, the meta-plot might not sound all that original: an ancient, incredibly powerful wizard, is planning his return and will dominate the land until heroes rise up to stop him. What sets this story apart, however, is the incredibly rich detail given this wizard (a Runelord of ancient Thassilon named Karzoug), his minions, and his plans. There's a lot to be written about Karzoug, but I'm going to wait until reviews of later chapters of the adventure path because he's not directly relevant to this chapter. Indeed, the events of this chapter are almost accidentally caused by his awakening. Instead, the primary villain for this chapter is an aasimar (a celestial/angel-like race) woman named Nualia, who grew up in Sandpoint but now seeks vengeance upon it for wrongs she perceives have been done to her. To this end, Nualia has started assembling an army of goblins to wreak havoc on the city, and this is the ultimate threat the PCs must stop in Burnt Offerings. This section offers background on Nualia and her evolution from the beautiful child of the town priest into a demon-worshipping evil cleric with a monster claw for a hand!

Before going further, a brief word on the artwork. It's a mixed bag. Some of it is quite well-done and of the type you would still see Paizo publishing today; other bits of it are quite ugly, and has been replaced in the Anniversary Edition collection.

Part One, "Festival and Fire", sees the PCs assembled (for their own individual reasons) at Sandpoint's Swallowtail Festival where the dedication of a new cathedral is about to take place. The event is marred by a surprise attack from goblins coming from multiple points in the town and, of course, the PCs have to help repel the attack. The one thing you and your players will take away from this chapter (if not the adventure path as a whole!) is that Pathfinder goblins are not generic "D&D" goblins. Instead, Pathfinder goblins are crazy, ridiculous, vicious, murderous sociopaths! Hilarious oafs one second and gruesome spree-killers the next, the way author James Jacobs has reoriented goblins really makes this chapter "pop." This first part of the chapter definitely gets the PCs into the stream of things quickly and forges that "bond of battle" that is important to keep groups going forward. GMs should pay careful attention that an NPC who is (presumably) saved from a goblin attack is extremely important in Chapter 2, and some advance thought should be given into how to role-play him. My only critique is that I wish the Swallowtail Festival had been fleshed out better (before the attack) to give some better role-playing opportunities; there are some extremely useful fan-made ideas on the forums that do this, which I really liked: content to the speeches given, rules for the festival games that are played, etc. This part is playable in a single evening and gets the adventure path off to a good start.

Part Two, "Local Heroes", sees the PCs lauded in Sandpoint for their role in foiling the goblin attack. This is actually my favourite part of the first chapter of the adventure path because it includes several standalone encounters in Sandpoint (combat and non-combat) that can be run organically, and for the most part in different orders, so that the GM can drop them into the campaign as necessary while still allowing plenty of time for the PCs to get to know and love their new hometown. The mix of encounters is strong: a boar hunt (that may or may not involve combat but builds crucial narrative later), dealing with a goblin commando trapped behind "enemy" lines (quite gruesome, and just to my taste!), hearing about rising danger from the goblin tribes around Sandpoint (a bit of an "infodump", but done well and featuring the introduction of an important NPC ally), and, perhaps the most fondly remembered early encounter for most groups: "The Shopkeep's Daughter", wherein a male PC might find himself in deep trouble for "seducing" the lascivious daughter of a grim shopkeeper. It's laugh-out loud hilarious in concept and meaningful in execution: my group hasn't been able to shop at the Sandpoint General Store for something like twenty sessions running now! The session ends with the kidnapping of another well-realized NPC, Ameiko Kaijitsu (owner of The Rusty Dragon, a tavern many PCs will end up staying at during their time in Sandpoint). This event sets up the next part.

Part Three, "Glass and Wrath", sees the PCs on what's really their first organized mission as a team: rescuing Ameiko from goblins (led by her brother!) who have taken over the town's glassworks and slaughtered its employees. There's a lot more detail given to the Glassworks than is probably necessary since this was a cakewalk for my players and (from what I understand on the forums) most groups. However, a trail leads the PCs to catacombs far under Sandpoint dating to ancient Thassilon, and there they get a first hint that the dangers they face aren't just goblins. The Catacombs of Wrath are a good "mini-dungeon" to give the PCs a taste of dungeon-delving and a good chance for them to start to develop some of the tactics they'll need to survive later parts of the adventure path. I have to note that the "boss" of the Catacombs of Wrath, a quasit (tiny winged demon) named Erylium, is a really unusual monster: she's very tough to kill (high DR, invisibility at will, flying) but also does hardly any damage. The unusual combination means that fighting her can last a *long* time; my group had to give it three tries, each lasting the better part of a session, to finally kill her! Of course, your mileage may vary.

Part Four, "Thistletop", sees the PCs venture out of Sandpoint and to an island-based goblin fortress. Their goal is to hunt down Nualia and put a stop to her wicked ways before she can launch a mass invasion of Sandpoint and/or free a mysterious, incredibly powerful ally from the catacombs beneath the fortress. Taking on Thistletop will probably require some good forethought by the PCs or multiple "brute force" expeditions. There's a lot to deal with: a well-guarded approach on the mainland, a trapped bridge (that killed one of the PCs in my game) to the island, a main level infested by goblins, and two subterranean levels filled with other threats, including Nualia. Perhaps the coolest thing about Thistletop, which most players probably don't realize, is that the whole island is actually the head of an enormous statute from ancient Thassilon sitting on its side! Anyway, there's a good mix of encounters here, with the goblins fairly easy to mop up but some of the other NPCs much tougher. Assuming the PCs do capture or kill Nualia (mine didn't; she escaped after managing to kill half the party), the players will finish Burnt Offerings with a sense of achievement and satisfaction, and be well-primed to start the next chapter of the adventure path.

When I think of Rise of the Runelords, what sticks out to me the most is how pitch-perfect it is in tone. It is intelligent, edgy, clever, and dark, all while still allowing plenty of room for the PCs to make their mark on the world. I know I've had a blast running Burnt Offerings, and I'm confident you will too.


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.


awesome

*****

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


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I'm rabbidly awaiting my copy of Pathfinder #1, but in the meantime my friend has graciously let me borrow his copy he picked up at Gen Con '07 this year. I think it has the potential to outstrip Dungeon magazine. In your face WotC. Sadly it doesn't have as many crunchy bits as Dragon magazine. But that is what GameMastery Item cards are for.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree with everyone who says that this is a gorgeous product. And the $19.99 pricetag (less if you subscribe) is very reasonable considering all the 32-page modules out there for $10-$13.

I also have to agree about the tiny print being a problem, though. I'm glad that the staff is cramming as much info as possible into the available space, but the tiny type is off-putting. (At least I also get a free PDF of the issue, so I can view the text at larger size on my PC if I have to.)

I picked up Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale yesterday, and the font in that module is much easier to read. I would love to see Pathfinder use the same layout as the GameMastery modules.


The font, the font, oh my... the font! After years of reading a magazine with the same size font, one would think that the complaints about font size would have occurred prior to their subscription running out. If the font size is that much of a factor, Paizo sells a magnifying glass, as does the local pharmacy (hint, pick one up). Most everything in the module (I began in the eighties, I use old school terminology, deal with it) creates an atmosphere and setting that is unique, above all that is essential for creating a long term game. Some of the elements are left open for questions to allow people to go their own route or await further development. It works rather nicely, although creation of a new world is difficult, it seems to be handled rather well by the people at Paizo. Well done.


The only thing that makes me sad about the new Pathfinder is that Paizo has to keep reinventing the wheel by building an entirely new game world and wasting so much space fleshing out a new world. If only they had a setting that was already in existence, as they were able to do with the Dungeon and Dragon magazines, there'd be a lot more substance for the gaming material. I give them a ton of credit for relegating much of that background to the Player's Guide, however. The adventure looks like it'll be a lot of fun to run, the art is beautiful, and the whole thing is well-worth the value for a person who just wants to pick up an adventure and run with it. I hope the next one is worthy of it; I have no doubt it will be.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Can we ask questions about the material in Burnt Offerings here? I don't think any of them are spoilers, just have some background questions I'd like to ask.


cambion wrote:
The font, the font, oh my... the font! After years of reading a magazine with the same size font, one would think that the complaints about font size would have occurred prior to their subscription running out. If the font size is that much of a factor, Paizo sells a magnifying glass, as does the local pharmacy (hint, pick one up).

Go on, I'm sure if you try hard enough you can be even more condescending!

First of all, not everyone who buys Pathfinder has been a Dragon and/or Dungeon subscriber (or even casual buyer).
Second, so, you have no problem with the font size, even though Paizo has confirmed that it's actually a wee bit smaller than in the magazine since it's a different font (yet held at the same font size), that's great, but what on earth gives you the right to belittle those who actually DO have a problem with the smaller font???

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

James Laubacker wrote:
Can we ask questions about the material in Burnt Offerings here? I don't think any of them are spoilers, just have some background questions I'd like to ask.

You'd probably do better to post such things on the Pathfinder boards.


I really was impressed today when I received my first Pathfinder issue. I have had the pdf for a couple of weeks now, but the actually magazine is really gorgeous. Its a really slick product. I have heard a number of complaints regarding the font size, and well I agree that it is a tad small I haven't had trouble reading it in the printed issue (it was a little frustrating reading the pdf on my laptop). Of couse the trade off to larger font would either be less content or a larger page count, which would cost more money to print. Therefore, I'm happy to read the smaller font if it means more content packed into those pages. However, if there was a way to keep the same ammount of content and have a larger font without an increase to the price of the mag I would be in favor. What font is it by the way (I have a mild typography fetish)?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

A couple of questions then:

The population of Sandpoint is listed as 1200 - does that include the farmlands homesteads, or just the inhabitants of the walled part of the town. Does it include the residents of the manors? What's the racial mix?

Could someone at Paizo possibly come up with a list of the Core deities that we might use to replace the deities (some) in the pantheon in the module? I'd rather not use a 100% entirely new pantheon, but I also don't want to omit one that's key to the future story line.

Thanks, Jim

Paizo Employee Creative Director

James Laubacker wrote:

A couple of questions then:

The population of Sandpoint is listed as 1200 - does that include the farmlands homesteads, or just the inhabitants of the walled part of the town. Does it include the residents of the manors? What's the racial mix?

Could someone at Paizo possibly come up with a list of the Core deities that we might use to replace the deities (some) in the pantheon in the module? I'd rather not use a 100% entirely new pantheon, but I also don't want to omit one that's key to the future story line.

Thanks, Jim

The population of Sandpoint doesn't include the farmlands, but it DOES include the residents of the manor houses just south of downtown. The racial mix is given in the Sandpoint stat block on page 59 (90% human, 3% halfling, 2% dwarf, 2% elf, 1% half-elf, 1% gnome, 1% half-orc).

The deities of the PHB/Core D&D pantheon are the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast, which is why we built an entirely new pantheon (and, indeed, an entirely new world) for Pathfinder. As such, we can't really provide anything like a Core deity to Pathfinder deity conversion chart.

That said, if someone here on the boards wants to take a stab at that conversion chart, that'd be neat. It just can't come from someone here at Paizo—there can't be an "official" conversion chart.


James Jacobs wrote:
That said, if someone here on the boards wants to take a stab at that conversion chart, that'd be neat. It just can't come from someone here at Paizo—there can't be an "official" conversion chart.

*gets out a sharpened dogslicer*

Alrighty, here's what I got...

Boccob = Nethys
Corellon Larethian = Iomedae, Cayden Cailean
Ehlonna = Erastil
Erythnul = Norgorber
Fharlanghn = Desna
Garl Glittergold = Abadar
Gruumsh = Rovagug
Heironeous = Torag
Hextor = Asmodeus
Kord = Gorum
Moradin = Torag, Irori
Nerull = Urgathoa
Obad-Hai = Gozreh
Olidammara = Calistria
Pelor = Sarenrae
St Cuthbert = Sarenrae, Iomedae, Torag
Vecna = Norgorber, Zon-Kuthon
Wee Jas = Pharasma
Yondalla = Shelyn

Tharizdun isn't a core PHB deity, but I would use Lamashtu in his place.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I'd disagree with equating Hextor with Asmodeus. They are quite different deities - one is a warlike deity focused on combat and warfare, the other is more of a politician. Besides which, Asmo, as a devil, exists in both realms so doesn't need an equivalent. That being said, I'm not sure where Hextor fits.


James Laubacker wrote:
Besides which, Asmo, as a devil, exists in both realms so doesn't need an equivalent. That being said, I'm not sure where Hextor fits.

Probably Gorum, upon further reflection. Asmodeus is treated as a deity in Pathfinder, so I tried to find an equivalent deity in the standard issue whose realms overlapped. I think I did the Asmodeus = Hextor comparison because of the "tyranny" angle more than the combat/warfare angle.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


The deities of the PHB/Core D&D pantheon are the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast, which is why we built an entirely new pantheon (and, indeed, an entirely new world) for Pathfinder. As such, we can't really provide anything like a Core deity to Pathfinder deity conversion chart.

That said, if someone here on the boards wants to take a stab at that conversion chart, that'd be neat. It just can't come from someone here at Paizo--there can't be an "official" conversion chart.

Hmmmm, the core pantheon isn't OGL???....Well, that stinketh!

(AND more evidence that Lawful Neutral "is the worst alignment you can be because it sucks the life out of everyone." :-) Thank goodness, I have Chaotic tendancies...)

Can Paizo make "official comments" on a submitted conversion chart?

(ie. "We see housecreated-god as more closely associated with copywrited-deity #2 than with copywrited-diety #1." )


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Will you be presenting a calendar? My players like to keep track of the time. Wierdos.


Excellent product! It looks like the magic system is going to be lots of fun, not to mention having the power to enrage fundamentalists. A bit of condemnation should provide lots of free advertising, just like the good old days...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Builds on the APs from Dungeon and then some. Bought Dungeon the past three years and Dragon for two for the AP and Pathfinder feeds that need perfectly. Outside a couple of Malhavoc book I don't think I've seen better material available for D20. Great concepts, evocative text and well handled art work. Plus the more mature, 'realistic' tone to the material is a real nice change. I don't mind the font size if the content is worth it, which it is and then some. I haven't been this satisfied with a campaign product since Ptolus, or as inspired to game. Congrats to the Paizo team; Pathfinder rocks! If you haven't purchased the book yet, do it, you won't regret it for a minute.


To James Jacobs,
Serious question that I feel I must ask. As much as I love what you're doing with Pathfinder and as much as I want to support Paizo, I'm not sure I can justify paying the cost of Pathfinder every month. Realistically, is there any chance at all that the price will be dropped?
I've read commentary on many gaming sites to the effect of "I'd like to buy Pathfinder but it costs too much."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ghendar wrote:

To James Jacobs,

Serious question that I feel I must ask. As much as I love what you're doing with Pathfinder and as much as I want to support Paizo, I'm not sure I can justify paying the cost of Pathfinder every month. Realistically, is there any chance at all that the price will be dropped?
I've read commentary on many gaming sites to the effect of "I'd like to buy Pathfinder but it costs too much."

While I understand that Pathfinder's an expensive option for some... its price is pretty much set in stone and won't be changing in the near future. It's actually a relatively GOOD price for a full color RPG product of its size and print run, to be honest.

I suppose if we saw a mass reaction of "it costs too much" we'd consider lowering the price, but that would also mean lowering the page count or switching to black and white art or some other drop in quality as well, which would, I think, also cost us customers.


From the description:
"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."

I've read the first three parts of the adventure and I've read absolutely everything else, yet I found no mention of a disease/plague. Did I miss it? Did the adventure change since the description was written?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
cambion wrote:
After years of reading a magazine with the same size font, one would think that the complaints about font size would have occurred prior to their subscription running out.

You don't know what you are talking about. The font size is NOT the same as the font size from either DUNGEON or DRAGON.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mr.Moose wrote:

From the description:

"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."

I've read the first three parts of the adventure and I've read absolutely everything else, yet I found no mention of a disease/plague. Did I miss it? Did the adventure change since the description was written?

That element got cut from the adventure when it became apparent that it would have required another 30 pages. Originally, the runewell of wrath below town was going to infect several folks above and start transforming people into sinspawn, and that was going to be the hook to lead the PCs down into the Catacombs of Wrath. Again... there was no room in the adventure (both pagecount wise and level wise) for that whole new section, so it turned into the glassworks section. Which frankly, I think, works better. It would have been a shame to have so much chaos in the streets of Sandpoint that the PCs got the idea that goblin invasions and sinspawn invasions and what not were everyday occurances. Getting rid of the wrath infection and sinspawn invasion makes for a better adventure, I think.


James Jacobs wrote:
ghendar wrote:

To James Jacobs,

Serious question that I feel I must ask. As much as I love what you're doing with Pathfinder and as much as I want to support Paizo, I'm not sure I can justify paying the cost of Pathfinder every month. Realistically, is there any chance at all that the price will be dropped?
I've read commentary on many gaming sites to the effect of "I'd like to buy Pathfinder but it costs too much."

While I understand that Pathfinder's an expensive option for some... its price is pretty much set in stone and won't be changing in the near future. It's actually a relatively GOOD price for a full color RPG product of its size and print run, to be honest.

I suppose if we saw a mass reaction of "it costs too much" we'd consider lowering the price, but that would also mean lowering the page count or switching to black and white art or some other drop in quality as well, which would, I think, also cost us customers.

I appreciate the response James. I'll continue to support Pathfinder for as long as I can.


Runelord saga are setted in a relative little area (a kingdom size).
A bigger world setting will be released later ?

Scarab Sages

Raskal wrote:

Runelord saga are setted in a relative little area (a kingdom size).

A bigger world setting will be released later ?

While the RotRL AP happens in the Varisia region (and the second AP too, since it begins in Korvosa and lets us travel a bit around that location), Varisia is but a portion of Golarion, the new world that Paizo staff created to house both Pathfinder Adventure Paths and Game Mastery Modules.

Most of the Modules out or announced so far happen outside of Varisia (save for Sword of Seven Sins and arguably Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale which happens barely outside the southeastern corner of the Varisia map). It seems there will be a big metropolis in Golarion, named Absalom, and there will be other regions as well, to be discovered as the products come out. You can also find some hints of those regions, like the origin of the Kaijitsu family in Burnt Offerings.

From what I understand, the whole setting is a work in progress and will be detailed as we explore it through the AP and Modules lines, as well as in the Pathfinder Chronicles line. I'm pretty sure that the authors have a general idea of the main parts of Golarion. But they will probably discover regions, explore their mysteries, meet local NPCs and understand their cultures, only a few months before we do, while they are writing the products...


Superb! I was very pleased with all of the content. The downloads as well. This really appears to be an excellent trade off for the discontinued magazines. I am a fan for sure. Thank you.

Dark Archive

Raskal wrote:
Runelord saga are setted in a relative little area (a kingdom size).

It is set in Varisia, part of the world of Golarion. Varisia is about the size of California.

Raskal wrote:
A bigger world setting will be released later ?

Yes. The Pathfinder Chronicles Gazeteer will be out in January.


I will add my voice to the choir to the tune of "pleeease raaise the foont siize" :-)
Otherwise the book is wellcrafted and a good read. I have some trouble with part of the artwork, which I don't as gorgeous as some appearently do. Wayne Reynolds is a god! And I also like the funky style of downer artist Kyle Hunter. But the blocky style of whomever it is on page 16, 19 and 23 is not my cup of tea.


I'd like to add my vote about the 'darkness' of Burnt Offerings. Please make future modules a bit less dark. Especially considering the whole Mike Vick thing, the goblin in the closet and dog encounter was too much, and so are a couple of the other aspects of the module. I'd rather not edit your module and destroy the continuity by mistake, please just make it less dark. Its just not necessary. In case you are wondering, I am running this for teens, so it is relevant. They don't need M rated content.

Silver Crusade

I have been strangely absent from the boards for a while now (the Real is a very demanding place indeed), but when I got my copy of Pathfinder 1, I tore into it with glee and was surprised by what I got. The quality of the adventure is above anything Paizo ever did with WOTC's mags (as it should be, IMHO). And the details...oh, I loved the details. I especially commend you on the situation involving the goblin trapped in the house. Your sensitivity toward its use is admirable and well-founded but the fact that you included it makes the setting more compelling for me. I look forward to the arrival of issue 2 with more anticipation than I did the first.

Keep em coming....


I realize that this is probably not the best place to bring this up, but I have not recieved my copy of Burnt Offerings and I ordered it mid September. Has anyone else had problems with recieving their copy? I am currently in Iraq, but i talk with my wife daily and she has assured me that it hasn't come to the house. Also, I thought you got the PDF version if you ordered the book copy. So I have neither the book copy nor the PDF. Do you only get both if you are a suscriber? I had planned on suscribing starting with Issue 2, but I wanted to see Burnt Offerings first.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Datdude wrote:
I realize that this is probably not the best place to bring this up, but I have not recieved my copy of Burnt Offerings and I ordered it mid September. Has anyone else had problems with recieving their copy? I am currently in Iraq, but i talk with my wife daily and she has assured me that it hasn't come to the house. Also, I thought you got the PDF version if you ordered the book copy. So I have neither the book copy nor the PDF. Do you only get both if you are a suscriber? I had planned on suscribing starting with Issue 2, but I wanted to see Burnt Offerings first.

The shipping window for Pathfinder in the States is 5-14 business days if I recall correctly. If you ordered it any later than Sept. 17th, it might not be there yet. If you ordered it before then, it might be time to look into talking with customer service for a replacement copy. Also, only subscribers get the free .PDF, so if you are not a subscriber, you would not have gotten the .PDF with your order.


Thanks Fatespinner. I am considering becoming a suscriber for the second installment, although I am worried that I haven't recieved my book yet.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Datdude wrote:
Thanks Fatespinner. I am considering becoming a suscriber for the second installment, although I am worried that I haven't recieved my book yet.

If you have a particularly small mailbox, sometimes the mail carrier will leave a little note in your box that says "Come pick it up at the Post Office." If you've gone past the shipping window and haven't seen it yet, I'd give the P.O. a call and see if they're holding it for you. Otherwise, it might be time to call Paizo customer service @ 425-289-0060.


First off I love the first pathfinder. I will most likely never use it as an adventure, but it was a fascinating read (kinda like a good book), and I was able to grab some traps and creatures that I will use for upcomming adventures.

Personally I love dark so it didn't bother me, but it definately wasn't suitable for younger children. Maybe a rating in the product description?

While copying the stats for an adventure later this week I noticed something: The goblin snake has an initiative modifier of +8. Dex gives a +2 and no feat or special abilities are listed. Is this a typo or was some ability that granted it a +6 initiative accidently cut out?

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place, but I don't know of any errata page/file for pathfinder products.


ok, this is cool. Im actually playing it at the moment, and its one of the funnest modules i have ever done. the art is great, i can read the font, and the setting of varisia is very cool.

BUY IT!!!!!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I haven't played D&D in a while and finally got to DM the Rise of the Runelords adventure. I have to say that I really enloy the storyline, and the pacing seems good as well.

One thing I really like is how the material is set up in the book. It is much more handy than the D&D modules I've run. Things seemed to be set up where I would use them and are not as confusing.

Anyway the new Pathfinder series seems to be a new favorite of my group, and we've played together on and off since 1992. I can't wait to continue through the next 5 parts of the campaign. Having PDF's has realy added to my experience as a DM because I can take the material in more places.

Liberty's Edge

Well I LOVE the new world ... really the sense of ancient wonder that is cyclopian ruins (It made me toss some big old inscrutable background ruins into my Eberron game) and the rise of BBEGs is awesome. I love the flavour and the way the PAIZO guys describe what movies and books that they read to get there. EVERYTHING has flavour. The characters have motivation and follow thru and for once an adventure path feels like a REAL novel. Man o' man well done.

Oh and I love the new stat blocks too
soooo flavour, statblocks, characters ... and our beautiful red capes

Dark Archive

hello im just statting to prepare the adventure for my player i think
its great story but we miss a couple of photo ...exp (the other sign for deities adter the player handbook only 6 on 20 ,photo of some npc in sandpoint

sorry for my complane but my player are experimente and like a lot of photo

anyway i still think is a great story and amazing magazine

see you

Scarab Sages

I can't realy help you for the NPC pictures, and can't provide symbols for all 20 gods, but at least here is the list of what those symbols look like (scroll down to Sept 7 blog entry).

Liberty's Edge

If I get Rise of the Runelords AP, does it describe enough of the setting (both descriptive and visual) to show my players? Or will I have to eventually purchase the campaign setting book?

Has anyone played this in a different campaign setting like Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Plissken wrote:

If I get Rise of the Runelords AP, does it describe enough of the setting (both descriptive and visual) to show my players? Or will I have to eventually purchase the campaign setting book?

Has anyone played this in a different campaign setting like Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms?

Everything you need to run Rise of the Runelords is in Pathfinder and the (free to download and cheap to buy print) Player's Guide.


Plissken wrote:

If I get Rise of the Runelords AP, does it describe enough of the setting (both descriptive and visual) to show my players? Or will I have to eventually purchase the campaign setting book?

Has anyone played this in a different campaign setting like Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms?

I have almost finished Chapter One, and between the actual Chapter One Book and the Player's Guide- it contained everything I needed.

The free forums here also filled in a lot of gaps----- let me rephrase that! :) There weren't a lot of gaps! But.. when I had questions, I found all my answers on the Forums. It's an additional resource.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

James Jacobs wrote:
Plissken wrote:

If I get Rise of the Runelords AP, does it describe enough of the setting (both descriptive and visual) to show my players? Or will I have to eventually purchase the campaign setting book?

Has anyone played this in a different campaign setting like Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms?

Everything you need to run Rise of the Runelords is in Pathfinder and the (free to download and cheap to buy print) Player's Guide.

(We're also assuming you have access to the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual, of course.)


OK, I'm a latecomer here, but I've very recently picked this up as part of pulling a group together to start tabletop role-playing again after a long break. I haven't yet read cover to cover, but I must say I'm very impressed with my dips in and out so far - so much so that I've put in my subscription (starting from #6), and I'll be looking to fill in the gaps once we get playing.

Very nicely presented, seems a good mix of combat, non-combat and background material, intriguing foreshadowing and plot hooks, seems like plenty for 1st-level PCs to do without being relegated to just talking or a lot of running away. The re-imagining of goblins is inspired!

I'm avidly looking forward to future volumes...


Hey all, I recently bought #1, Burnt Offerings, and have been running it online as a PBP. Don't have the other ones yet, but what a great adventure!

Beyond the quality, richness and originality in the work, James shows obvious dedication with his ubiquitous and patient participation on the messageboards. This personal touch, I'm sure, is one of the reasons Pathfinder has been so successful, and with such a great online community.

My only request is to make the messageboards a bit more organized. It's hard to find subjects, especially older posts. I'd really like to see a classic PHPBB-style forum, with categories, sub-categories, and where threads take a bit longer to disappear. It would also be awesome to have a "user-created resources" area of the web site, where we could find maps and handouts without having to dig through the threads.

In any event, keep up the amazing work! Thanks to everyone for all the maps, handouts, etc.


Any chance we will see # 1-6 compiled in one volume for all us late-comers?

Scarab Sages

Peter Robinson wrote:
Any chance we will see # 1-6 compiled in one volume for all us late-comers?

They have said before that they do not plan doing a compilation like that.

It encourages people to wait for the compilation instead of subscribing.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I was reading the older pathfinders and in the chapter about ancient Thassilon, in the section about the domains of the empire, the name some cities that supposedly still exist today, like Torandey or Melesa. but i can´t find them in any published map, they were forgotten, cut from the world or just so far that they are beyond the scope of current maps (or maybe i just missed my spot check) ?
I am curious about how far Thassilon existed in the continent and the localizations of this two cities would be a great help into that.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Draco Bahamut wrote:

I was reading the older pathfinders and in the chapter about ancient Thassilon, in the section about the domains of the empire, the name some cities that supposedly still exist today, like Torandey or Melesa. but i can´t find them in any published map, they were forgotten, cut from the world or just so far that they are beyond the scope of current maps (or maybe i just missed my spot check) ?

I am curious about how far Thassilon existed in the continent and the localizations of this two cities would be a great help into that.

James Jacobs addressed this concern a few weeks ago, and the answer was that these were never followed up on, but might be in the future. There will be a map of Thassilon overlaid on top of the current landscape in the Campaign Setting, so you might want to check that out when it comes out in August.

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