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Pathfinder #5—Rise of the Runelords Chapter 5: "Sins of the Saviors" (OGL)

****½ (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder #5—Rise of the Runelords Chapter 5:
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Chapter 5: "Sins of the Saviors"
by Stephen S. Greer

After defeating the giants of Mokmurian, the heroes discover that Karzoug, an ancient wizard from the long-dead empire of Thassilon, has returned to life. From his city fortress of Xin-Shalast high in the mountains, he has been using the giants to harvest souls to reclaim his lost power.

The secret to defeating him before he can reclaim his realm and enslave the region lies hidden in a deadly dungeon called Runeforge. After defeating the dragon that guards the entrance to Runeforge, the PCs must rave the haunted vaults below to discover the ancient forge capable of empowering weapons so that they can strike true against Karzoug. Yet in order to master this ancient magic, the heroes of Sandpoint must embrace the darkest magic of ancient Thassilon as their own.

This volume of Pathfinder includes a detailed description of the goddess of monsters and her hideous minions; an examination of ancient magics from the ancient empire of Thassilon for use in your campaign, including rules for the lost art of sin magic; and six new monsters.

For characters of 12th to 13th 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: 978-1-60125-040-7

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Originally posted to the Paizo blog for Pathfinder Adventure Path #5.

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Product Reviews (13)
1 to 5 of 13 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 13 ratings)

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Just a dungeon, but an interesting one

***( )( )

I like the way sins are tied to schools of magic in Varisia and the whole Thassilon empire story. Paizo have done a brillant job with that. But I also tend to not like "old school" dungeons (cf. my AP4 review), so I was not expecting something good with this "megadungeon" issue.
But if AP4 have disappointed me, AP5 have surprised me. It's an old school megadungeon, indeed, but I see a lot more opportunities for roleplaying in this AP, with few NPCs but strong ones.

Jorgenfist in AP4 was a zoo mess and I didn't like it, but in comparison most wings feels too empty in AP5. It totally makes sense that only faction's leaders remain after more that 10000 years, but a few additionnal minor NPCs could have increased the number of ways to solve the scenario. As written, there are only a few ways. For this reason AP5 is still interesting but is far from the outstanding political dungeon announced in the book introduction.

DMs have to be careful with the wing of anger : PCs seem to be expected to finish their exploration with this wing (no possible alliance there, the hardest fights and the escape). Depending on your group, it could be a problem ("No, don't go there, not now, level up and meet the other NPCs first !" :-)).

The side article are great additions, as usual :
- The Magic of Thassilon article only add 1 feat, 7 spells, 7 marks (create with the new feat) but they can add flavour to characters
- The Lamashtu article is really great


We turn downward, dungeon crawling and self examination....

*****

The threats have been getting taller; goblins, cultists, ogres, then giants. Now the real enemy is the character's own weaknesses and the sins that rule them! Great adventure: read my full review: Sins of the Saviors


Portuguese - Br

****( )

Eu posso compreender o motivo da existência dessa aventura, a Paizo queria testar o gosto do publico. Não é meu estilo de jogo, mas mestres que gostem de dungeons mortais sádicas vão adorar. Agora, como fonte de ideias para magos especialistas e as defesas de seus lares é interessante. Outro ponto diferencial é que uma masmorra onde quase todos os oponentes são magos de uma forma ou outra, isso é bem raro.


Soild dungeon crawl, uneven at times

****( )

The fifth instalment of Rise of the Runelords is a straight up dungeon crawl. The adventure quickly sends the PCs into a massive complex, divided into 7 wings, each themed after a deadly sin of ancient Thassilon.

Well, make that 5 wings - the adventure is a clear victim of limited space available in a 96-page book, and 2 wings are pretty much "castrated". On a plus side, it allows the DM to plug in any dungeons of his own creations or from other sources.

The remaining part of the adventure is old-school deadly, bringing back memories of killer dungeon crawls from D&D history. The quality of encounters and locales ranges from excellent to "meh". There are several nice bits of backstory scattered here and there, but the overall link with the main plot of the campaign is rather hazy.

The adventure does a good enough job of introducing the players to Thassilonian magic, culture and history firsthand, and sets the tone for campaign finale. Yet, the adventure didn't lodge itself in memory of me and my group as much as the first three RotRL modules did.

Of course, the backup material is of prime quality. The article on Lamashtu, the evil demon queen, was wickedly - and at times revoltingly - fun to read.


***( )( )

Disclaimers:
Review may contain spoilers
My Experience with it:
DM for one 3.5 Group and one PFRPG Group (as is, no conversion)
Overview (no spoilers):
Dungeon Crawl, solid but not great, nice theme
Changes (with spoilers):
Not much, fleshing out the Maze of Sloth a bit
Details:
Solid dungeon crawl, the dragon attack was a nice surprise, some of the wings of runeforge are a bit boring, iron cages was fun role-playing, ravenous crypts was creepy and by far the toughest fight, both groups had to retreat with one member down from there and came back buffed up to finish it. The sin-Point revelation was a nice touch and a unusual way to reflect on the last 4 adventures (by telling where they "earned" their sin-points). Role-playing was non-existed in this adventure with the exception of the iron cages, everything else was solved by beating on it with swords
overall:
When I was reading it I loved it, when we played it it was nothing memorable


1 to 5 of 13 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

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