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Pathfinder #2—Rise of the Runelords Chapter 2: "The Skinsaw Murders" (OGL)

****½ (based on 36 ratings)
Pathfinder #2—Rise of the Runelords Chapter 2:
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Chapter 2: "The Skinsaw Murders"
by Richard Pett

A sudden string of brutal killings terrorizes Sandpoint, and the killer’s mark bears a disturbing similarity to the strange rune the goblins in the previous adventure had taken as their tribal totem. Investigation leads the heroes to confront a sinister murderer who has claimed a notorious haunted mansion as his lair. Yet this murderer is one of many, a member of a group of killers who call themselves the Skinsaw Men and have adopted an ancient magic involving the seven deadly sins. The PCs must travel to the bustling city of Magnimar to unravel the truth behind the rune, but in so doing may become prime suspects in the killings themselves!

This volume of Pathfinder includes a detailed description of the city of Magnimar, several new monsters, and a detailed description of the goddess of dreams and travel, Desna, along with notes on her faithful.

For characters of 4th to 6th 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: 978-1-60125-037-7

NOTE: An additional map of Magnimar may be found in the Paizo Blog entry for July 27, 2007.

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

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Product Reviews (36)
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Average product rating:

****½ (based on 36 ratings)

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Glad to own it


The Skinsaw murders is by far a better work overall and shows how Paizo gets their fan base and the fantasy RPG. The foxglove theme is done perfectly in this "who done it scenario" and gives the players a run for their money in all aspects. Reading this one was a complete joy being a GM. Players should become captivated by the story and investigative process in which to follow through on, while continuing the Runelord AP. Happy hunting on this Sherlock Holmes insert.

Seasonal Genius


This is probably my favorite of any pathfinder AP

Thick atmosphere, chilling, gut churning set pieces, and genuine hack and slash intensity click together in what could easily become a stand alone module with minor tweaks, yet fits well into the ROTR continuity.

Even if the overall structure of the module (linear, three chapter) leaves little room for narrative inventiveness on the player's part, the moment to moment play is still quite open ended. A certain trek through a corn field is a particular highlight of nonlinear horror in a controlled narrative structure.

Although an ending grind and particularly ferocious bbeg required a bit of nerfing, Skinsaw is the rare AP that succeeds in integrating horror into a fantasy roleplaying environment. The call of cthulhu style investigations and fiendish haunt system mesh shockingly well with the combat, which is a rarity.

I'll definitely be picking this one up this month with an unsuspecting party

One of my favorite adventures of all AP's.


Adventure did a great job challenging the players with a variety of encounters. Adventure flowed together very nicely.


Just great


Pro :
- A three-parts story (a murders mystery to solve, a great haunted house to explore and a bunch of mad cultists to "unmask") interesting and well done.
- The handling of the haunts in the house is brillant and provide a nice and transparent way to learn the backstory of the AP for the players.
- The ghoul's fever use is smartly done.
- A great and useful article on Desna (with a 5-level prestige class).

Con :
- The part of the story in Magnimar is really too short and too straightfordward. It lacks some material to be DMed correctly as Magnimar is quite a big city. --> the new Magnimar book will be highly recommanded to run this adventure

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