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Pathfinder Adventure Path: Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 18 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path: Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition (PFRPG)
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In the sleepy coastal town of Sandpoint, evil is brewing. An attack by crazed goblins reveals the shadows of a forgotten past returning to threaten the town—and perhaps all of Varisia. The Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path begins with this goblin raid and takes players on an epic journey through the land of Varisia as they track a cult of serial killers, fight backwoods ogres, stop an advancing army of stone giants, delve into ancient dungeons, and finally face off against a wizard-king in his ancient mountaintop city. This hardcover compilation updates the fan-favorite campaign to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules with revised and new content in more than 400 pages packed with mayhem, excitement, and adventure!

Celebrating both the fifth anniversary of the Pathfinder Adventure Path and the tenth anniversary of Paizo Publishing, this new edition expands the original campaign with new options and refined encounters throughout, incorporating 5 years of community feedback.

    The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition contains:
  • All six chapters of the original Adventure Path, expanded and updated for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
  • Articles on the major locations of Rise of the Runelords: sleepy Sandpoint, the ancient Thassilonian city of Xin-Shalast, and others.
  • Revelations on the sinister magic of Thassilon, with updated spells, magic items, and details on tracking sin points throughout the campaign.
  • A bestiary featuring eight monsters updated from the original Adventure Path, plus an all-new terror.
  • Dozens of new illustrations, never-before-seen characters, location maps, and more!

The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition is not part of any subscription.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-436-8

FAQ:

Q: Will you be doing hardcover compilations of all of your Adventure Paths?
A: No. This is a special celebration of our very first Adventure Path on its 5th Anniversary. Several of the original volumes of Rise of the Runelords have been unavailable in print for a long time, yet it remains one of our most popular adventure paths; that circumstance presents a unique opportunity for us to expand and update it for use with the Pathfinder RPG, and to apply lessons we've learned about making Adventure Paths over the last half-decade. Our other adventure paths are largely still in print, and many of them were designed for use with the Pathfinder RPG to begin with; we have no plans to recompile them.

Q: Is there anything missing from the original AP volumes?
A: Yes—otherwise, this book would be more than 600 pages long! Some of the monsters and other things created for Rise of the Runelords are now part of the official Pathfinder RPG rules, so they're not reprinted here. The original volumes also included monster ecologies, bestiary entries, and other campaign setting material that isn't directly used in the adventure itself; those items are also not present in this collection. The Pathfinder Journal fiction featuring Eando Kline is not presented here either, but it has been compiled—along with the installments from the subsequent two Adventure Paths—as The Compass Stone, now available in ePub form. We have also replaced some of the artwork from the previous edition, and replaced the six individual introductions with one new one.

Download the Web Enhancement! - (180 KB zip PDF)
Originally posted to the Paizo blog for Pathfinder Adventure Path #5.

Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules and Chronicle sheets for running this Adventure Path are available as a free download (438 KB zip/PDF).

Product Availability


Hardcover: Ships in 2 to 6 business days.

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

Non-Mint: Ships in 2 to 6 business days. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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

PZO1002


See Also:

Product Discussion (1,486)
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Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:
Will you restat the encounter with Xanesha? Every time I played it it's been a TPK or almost... when I did some math after PFRPG was released, I think I realized that encounter was 6 or 7 CRs above the party level.
That encounter is probably the single most cited encounter in the category of "overpowered TPK machine." So... yes. Rebuilding that encounter is very much going to happen. In fact, we'll be rebuilding and rebalancing a lot of the encounters... some in small ways, some in big ways.

I remember the blog post of the Lego lineup of Paizo Runelords characters. So, what I learned from running our AP might be a good blog series.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What's so bad about that encounter? I don't know anything about RotR at all.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
What's so bad about that encounter? I don't know anything about RotR at all.

Spoiler:
Xanesha is a famous Lamia Matriarch boss with Sorcerer levels, nifty gear, DPR way above her CR 10, with a huge tactical advantage due to terrain and a tricked-out spell loadout, facing a bunch of level 7 (at best) PCs who likely aren't optimized up the wazoo.

That resulted in many grown men crying, biggest TPK count south of some AoW adventures, more grown men crying, grown girls giggling at grown men crying, and Richard Pett ascending to the throne of Deadliest Adventure Author, much to Greg Vaughan's chagrin.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
What's so bad about that encounter? I don't know anything about RotR at all.

Spoiler:
Imagine being 4th level or so, up against a creature several levels higher who is inside a fortress, firing out murder-holes, the door is the only way in, it's locked and takes at least three rounds to bash open, during which the creature dominates everyone in sight who doesn't make a DC82 Will save. Oh, and if you ever make it past the door, the creature had a secret tunnel that it used to sneak outside, it follows you in, and eats you while you're trying to find it.

Basically, the physical attributes of the encounter plus the abilities of the creature together make it very, very, very tough.

Osirion

The scariest part is that iirc, Richard Pett hinted in one of the RotRL threads that she originally had a poison stinger tail attack that got taken out.

Cheliax

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
What's so bad about that encounter? I don't know anything about RotR at all.

Spoiler:
Xanesha is a CR 10 BBEG vs a 6th-7th level party (remember, 3.5 stats and power level).

Given its many magical abilities and highly favorable terrain advantage, that makes for an encounter that takes the full brunt of door-bashing headlong rushing gamers, turns it around, and blasts them to smithereens.

Many, many complaints.

"But it's just one monster holed up in there, we're experienced heroes now!"

"Yup, it's a single monster. And it's waiting for you. In its lair, chosen for usefulness rather than cool factor"

"But..."

From me, it's another vote to keep Xanesha as an heroes-mincing machine. It has a very specific purpose: give the players an hint of the danger that their enemies pose for the whole land, rather than a band of critters manageable by just any adventuring group.

Contributor

It was James...


redcelt32 wrote:


Personally, I hope she doesn't get downgraded too much. I think the fact that she IS so deadly is what makes her such a standout encounter. Not the setting, her personality, or anything else. All things being equal I found the Staglord much more engaging from that perspective. Its the fact that fighting her is so devastating that ensures that five years later, everyone who has played RotRL remembers Xanesha, usually with a shudder. There are aspects to the fight that are easily overcome or compensated for even adding one more level to the characters. The fact that they face her power level at their power level is what sets this apart.

Sure many remember this encounter. It's the last their characters ever faced. Because without the GM seriously toning down both her stats and her tactics or characters being ridiculously overpowered, that snake chick is going to wipe the floor with what little remains of the party.

Nobody wants her to be turned into a human commoner 1. Nobody wants her to become a pushover. She just has to be manageable.

The book says CR 10, but 12 is more like it with those stats. Add how she can prepare and cripple their spellcasters (while retaining her own spell abilities) and flying out of range of mêlée warriors to blast them with impunity, and things get nasty.


There is a mention of some new art. I'm hoping most of the Book 1 art is replaced (especially the Laubenstein stuff - especially especially the Laubenstein Ameiko abomination).


golem101 wrote:


From me, it's another vote to keep Xanesha as an heroes-mincing machine. It has a very specific purpose: give the players an hint of the danger that their enemies pose for the whole land, rather than a band of critters manageable by just any adventuring group.

The problem is that they have to defeat her. It's not an optional encounter.

I have no problem with optional encounters that teach players they're not the pre-ordained winners. Like the big bad barghest in Burnt Offerings that will tear you several new ones if you don't leave you alone. That works because the thing is locked in. Even something you can run away from could work.

But not an enemy you have to defeat, and who wants to defeat you so she will not just let you get away (she can fly, chances are not everyone in your party can.)

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Just wanted to pop in and say "Woot!" for the compilation, and a +1 to keeping Xanesha as is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Part of the problem with Xanesha is that she's not just a speed bump, or a warning, or a hint of things to come. She's basically unbeatable for many party builds.

"Sorry, the characters you built seven levels ago and have been enjoying playing all this time... don't have the particular abilities required to get pass this part of the adventure path. Let's kill them off, then you roll up new ones that you don't care about."

You basically need an optimized party with optimized spells prepared to get past her. That's a problem when odds are those who learned what she can do got killed.

I'm all for lethality and danger. But it should't be a given. Especially not in a 6-book adventure path.

I never completed runelords as a player. Eventually I gave up. Why? Because it stopped meaning anything. I suffered enough TPKs or multiple character deaths, often repeatedly at the same encounter, that I realized in book 5 that the replacement replacement replacement replacement characters just didn't have the same investment in the situation as those who started out in Sandpoint. They didn't care, and neither did I. Xanesha started that. If she hadn't nuked several parties, some of the later TPK-in-a-box encounters wouldn't've been so depressing. By the time everyone died in the runeforge, I just didn't care to roll up yet another set.

Bottom line is that encounters shouldn't be demoralizing to players.


Xanesha would never work for my group. Not because she's so super bad but because they are so super not.

Let's face it...in so many of the TPK examples we see either teams that go up against her wounded and out of spells or else we see teams full of suboptimal multiclass characters instead of solidly built teams. I'm not nocking the people playing those kinds of characters either. The GMs running those parties aren't stopping to think about the fact that these APs are built around the assumption of the optimal Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard team.

Xanesha is often only half the equation (the badder half to be sure).

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Question for James,

You have stated that this will remain as true to the original as possible. With that in mind does it mean that the AP will still use the fast XP advancement or will it be adjusted to the PF standard medium XP advancement? If the latter will part of the additional content being added be additional encounters to make up for the needed xp?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Reckless wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:
Will you restat the encounter with Xanesha? Every time I played it it's been a TPK or almost... when I did some math after PFRPG was released, I think I realized that encounter was 6 or 7 CRs above the party level.
That encounter is probably the single most cited encounter in the category of "overpowered TPK machine." So... yes. Rebuilding that encounter is very much going to happen. In fact, we'll be rebuilding and rebalancing a lot of the encounters... some in small ways, some in big ways.
Sure, revise her. But keep her fairly tough/deadly. I mean, that encounter is very memorable and it would be a shame to loose that kind of impact.

Oh, never fear. She'll remain the boss of the adventure and thus she'll remain deadly. The problem mostly arises from the fact that she's just way TOO powerful. A CR 10 encounter for a group of 6th level characters is already a rough encounter, but when you add in the fact that the terrain significantly favors her, that encounter should probably bump up to a CR 11 encounter at the least. And then, assuming she casts mage armor and shield on herself as her tactics advice, she'll be running at AC 33 or something like that... which is what we would expect to see on a CR 18 creature.

It's a bit much for those poor 6th level characters.


I am getting this for sure!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gururamalamaswami wrote:
There is a mention of some new art. I'm hoping most of the Book 1 art is replaced (especially the Laubenstein stuff - especially especially the Laubenstein Ameiko abomination).

We've already replaced Ameiko's art, of coruse... but yeah. The art budget for this book is significant; there's a lot of great art we can reuse, but particularly in the first couple Pathfinders, we were sill doing the magazines and thus sort of had an "artist shortage" as well as a shortage on time to actually do things like order art and write art orders. It was actually something of a miracle that we DID manage to get Burnt Offerings out by Gen Con, in fact. That Jeff Laubenstein managed to get us that art (along with some other artists) is actually what let us get Pathfinder #1 to the printer in time for a Gen Con launch; had we not had those artists step in to help, we would have missed Gen Con and that probably would have resulted in a LOT differently structured Paizo today. I don't wanna say we would be gone or wouldn't have done the Pathfinder RPG... but it's certainly possible that type of butterfly effect could have happened.

Now that we've both got more resources and more time, and now that we actually have a for-real style for Pathfinder's art, we'll be able to address that and get a LOT of fancy brand-new art in the hardcover.


Gururamalamaswami wrote:


Let's face it...in so many of the TPK examples we see either teams that go up against her wounded and out of spells or else we see teams full of suboptimal multiclass characters instead of solidly built teams.

So why isn't there a huge outcry about every other path?

Gururamalamaswami wrote:
The GMs running those parties aren't stopping to think about the fact that these APs are built around the assumption of the optimal Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard team.

That's absolutely wrong. The APs might not be pushovers, but they don't require optimal characters, either. Somewhat optimised at best.

And that's good. Because those "optimal" characters, i.e. those who are optimised to the nines are ridiculous. If some people need that to enjoy the game, that's their business, but the APs do not encourage it, and they certainly won't require it.

And if an encounter requires munchkin characters to make it, something is wrong.

My group would have been slaughtered by her if I had not fudged the dice. And they definitely didn't play underpowered characters. They were just not ridiculously munchkinised.


Pathfinder Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really need to stop clicking the new posts for this thread.

Have not played and filled with spoilers!


James Jacobs wrote:
A CR 10 encounter for a group of 6th level characters is already a rough encounter, but when you add in the fact that the terrain significantly favors her, that encounter should probably bump up to a CR 11 encounter at the least.

Actually, the monster creation guidelines place her somewhere between 11 and 12 all by herself.

Sorry if it sounds like If I'm putting you guys down. It was one of the first APs, and things were wild. Beginner's troubles and all that. And the fact that you listen and then do something about these things make you the best.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

dracomancer wrote:

Question for James,

You have stated that this will remain as true to the original as possible. With that in mind does it mean that the AP will still use the fast XP advancement or will it be adjusted to the PF standard medium XP advancement? If the latter will part of the additional content being added be additional encounters to make up for the needed xp?

I'm not sure yet. It might use the Fast XP track. It might use the Medium one but have more stuff added in there to increase XP. Putting it on the Fast XP track is probably the easiest solution, but until I actually get in there and figure out exactly how much room I have to add new encounters and new areas and new stuff... I won't know for sure.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hobbun wrote:

I really need to stop clicking the new posts for this thread.

Have not played and filled with spoilers!

Yes, please, folks... use spoiler tags in this thread! I've gone back and tagged some of the more egregious spoilers.

Andoran

There are 17 monsters from RotRL bestiaries that have not been updated to PRPG. They are:

Goblin Snake
Carrionstrom
Smoke Haunt
Skull Ripper
Argorth
Mother of Oblivion*
Deathweb
Scanberig
Shining Child of Thassilon*
Runeslave*
Ercinee
Night Monarch*
Yethazamri*
Crag Spider
Kuchrima
Harridan
Hungerer

The ones with a * are the ones I think my be one of the six monsters, either because they feature prominently in the AP or are too setting specific to go in a Bestiary book.

What does everyone else think, or have some of these been updated while I wasn't looking.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mike Silva wrote:

There are 17 monsters from RotRL bestiaries that have not been updated to PRPG. They are:

Goblin Snake

Spoiler:
Goblin Snake appeared in its Pathfinder form in The Godsmouth Heresy module.
Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mike Silva wrote:

There are 17 monsters from RotRL bestiaries that have not been updated to PRPG. They are:

Goblin Snake
Carrionstrom
Smoke Haunt
Skull Ripper
Argorth
Mother of Oblivion*
Deathweb
Scanberig
Shining Child of Thassilon*
Runeslave*
Ercinee
Night Monarch*
Yethazamri*
Crag Spider
Kuchrima
Harridan
Hungerer

The ones with a * are the ones I think my be one of the six monsters, either because they feature prominently in the AP or are too setting specific to go in a Bestiary book.

What does everyone else think, or have some of these been updated while I wasn't looking.

Spoiler:
After drawing all these guys for the paper minis, my guess would be some will be in there for easy reference and because of their iconic nature to the AP.

-Sinspawn
-Faceless Stalkers
-Mother of Oblivion
-Taiga Giant
-Scanderig
-Shining Child
-Rune Giant

Now the mystery monster is what I'm dying to know about.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any chance of have an option for Xanesha's encounter? The new hardcover could have bot the old way and the new revised way in?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mike Silva wrote:

There are 17 monsters from RotRL bestiaries that have not been updated to PRPG. They are:

Shining Child of Thassilon*

The shining child is in Bestiary 2.

At least 2 of the ones on your list will be in Bestiary 3, and thus won't be in the RotR hardcover's bestiary.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CapeCodRPGer wrote:

Any chance of have an option for Xanesha's encounter? The new hardcover could have bot the old way and the new revised way in?

Nope. There'll just be the one (revised) encounter. Folks who want to retain her CR 18 AC (aieeee!) can certainly do so, though, but I won't be apologizing for it on the new "OMG TPK!" threads that'll generate. ;-)

Osirion

Isn't the Taiga giant going in Giants Revisisted?

Cheliax

Considering that Night Monarch and Yethazamri are tied to the deity description, I'd be surprised to find them in there.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Maybe Paizo could include two Xanesha statblocks, one with a super-bad Xanesha and one with a less crazy encounter.

Spoiler:
Don't forget how worrying the lead-up to Xanesha can be as well. The Scarecrow can do serious damage with the crit potential of that scythe. And it only takes one bad roll to take 16d6 damage from the falling bell (it has +15 to hit against flat-footed AC, so will probably hit level 6 characters. The unlucky roll is the reflex save to avoid falling 100ft)


KaeYoss wrote:


Gururamalamaswami wrote:
The GMs running those parties aren't stopping to think about the fact that these APs are built around the assumption of the optimal Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard team.

That's absolutely wrong. The APs might not be pushovers, but they don't require optimal characters, either. Somewhat optimised at best.

And that's good. Because those "optimal" characters, i.e. those who are optimised to the nines are ridiculous. If some people need that to enjoy the game, that's their business, but the APs do not encourage it, and they certainly won't require it.

And if an encounter requires munchkin characters to make it, something is wrong.

My group would have been slaughtered by her if I had not fudged the dice. And they definitely didn't play underpowered characters. They were just not ridiculously munchkinised.

No, that's absolutely right. I'm not talking optimization. I'm talking about the assumption on the part of the game designers that the party has access to 3rd and 4th level spells (probably from two different casters). There's a lot about Xanesha that can be fixed with a Dispel Magic or two.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hm. What to say.. :D

I'm GMing RotL atm, and we're at the last part of part 6. I've spent hours converting the monsters and balancing the encounters.

I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep now, I just don't know if it's from happyness or sadness :D


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

On the othaer hand the encounters at the sawmill were really ridicolous. All the skinsaw cultists were reaped in.a single round by the bwrbarian. I had to rebuff itonbriar and add two summoned babaus to make at least the final encounter moderately challenging. The cultists were just an annoyance and despite the spells and poers, were wiped out in a second.

Also, i know lots of players a have read about karzoug so far, bud i would not like to have spoilers on the cover. When westarted the campaign the runelords were only legends of the past, but then they found spoilers jus abou anywhere. When hey saw cover of sknsaw men they saw the ghouls on cover, and same went witn the stone giants...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:

Also, i know lots of players a have read about karzoug so far, bud i would not like to have spoilers on the cover. When westarted the campaign the runelords were only legends of the past, but then they found spoilers jus abou anywhere. When hey saw cover of sknsaw men they saw the ghouls on cover, and same went witn the stone giants...

Covers have to do more than hold the pages of the book together, though. They really REALLY have to serve to make the product attractive. Attractive enough for someone who sees the cover in the store to want to pick the book up and investigate its interior and, hopefully, thus enticing the customer to buy it. Furthermore, no matter WHAT we put on the cover, the expectation is going to be that the cover itself is going to be very important, and thus if we put something on the cover that's not important, readers will feel mislead, almost as if baited and switched. And of course, if we put an important thing on the cover, that's more or less guaranteed to be some level of spoiler.

And frankly, that's what we want. Covers to RPGs SHOULD tease the contents, in the same way a movie trailer teases the movie.

As a result, there will indeed be what you would probably quantify as a spoiler on the cover... but if that cover does more to excite players to play the game than it does to disappoint them that the adventure's lost a fragment of its unknown... I count that an overall win.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, if the worry is "when we started the campaign Runelords were only legends of the past," there's going to be a spoiler regardless: the title.

I'm honestly not sure what "spoiler" you might get from an unlabeled humanoid picture anyway; the fact that the same figure also appears on the cover of the GameMastery Guide surely isn't going to tell you much of anything. (What? The big secret is that your game is going to have a GM?) The background art might be a bit more spoilery, but Karzoug? Nah. Not an issue.


Mike Silva wrote:

There are 17 monsters from RotRL bestiaries that have not been updated to PRPG. They are:

Goblin Snake / Carrionstrom / Smoke Haunt / Skull Ripper / Argorth / Mother of Oblivion* / Deathweb / Scanberig / Runeslave* / Ercinee / Night Monarch* / Yethazamri* / Crag Spider / Kuchrima / Harridan / Hungerer

The goblin snake, smoke haunt, skull ripper, argorth, ercinee, night monarch, yethazamri, crag spider, kuchrima and lamia hungerer never really appear in the AP itself.

Some do appear on random encounter tables or in ecology write-ups, and the new edition might have more of these, but I think at least some of those monsters can easily be omitted completely from the new edition without making the AP any less awesome.

The night monarch and yethazamri are the heralds of Desna and Lamashtu, respectively. They're in there because the deity entries are in the same books. They never even remotely appear in APs (same goes for all other heralds), and since the deity articles will not make the cut, I think those heralds have almost no chance of being reprinted (unless Paizo finds they have a few pages they can't possibly fill with anything else).

All in all, I'd guess that those monsters that are more support monsters (like many of the articles in the back of the book are more support articles, often there to help you expand your game beyond the scope of the AP), so they're probably a low priority.

Nowadays, the critters that appear in an AP's bestiary tend to show up in the adventures themselves. RotRL had such monsters, too, and I think they're a sure thing (if they're not already in a bestiary). And maybe some of the "support monsters" will make it into the new version of the AP.

Gururamalamaswami wrote:


No, that's absolutely right. I'm not talking optimization. I'm talking about the assumption on the part of the game designers that the party has access to 3rd and 4th level spells (probably from two different casters). There's a lot about Xanesha that can be fixed with a Dispel Magic or two.

That is definitely something they should try if they can. However:

Spoiler:

They need at least two dispels to even have a chance of getting her power down to remotely manageable levels:

The first is to get rid of the silence effect. And to do that, they first have to go back outside of its area or they can't cast dispel magic.

If that works (note that this will not be easy, since Xan's caster level is higher than the characters'), they can target her with a dispel magic after she becomes visible (or if they use see invisible first). Since we're talking about PF rules for this rematch, that will take care of no more than one of her spells.

And then she just casts it again, provided she hasn't re-established the silence before. Note that she can play this cat and mouse game a lot better than the party, since she'll probably be invisible and able to recast silence with impunity.

Remember that the b!#+% is wicked smart in addition to all her other strengths.

No, unless the GM dumbs her down and "forgets" some of the preparations she is in all likelihood able to pull off, or the characters are way beyond their power level, they don't have much of a chance to escape. And only a 1:999999 chance to actually beat her. Not one in a million, because we all know that one in a million chances crop up nine times out of ten.

We're talking about a party of level 6 or maybe 7.

Her CR is listed as 10, but her base AC is for a monster of CR 11/12 - and the boosted AC is fit for CR 18! The characters will have at best a 50% chance to hit her base AC, and the flat 5% for her boosted AC. And she has mirror image 3/day at CL 10 (i.e. at least 4 extra images)

And her HP are par for the course for CR 12, too. 142 (144 under Pathfinder) plus 1d10+5 is a lot to whittle away with only occasional hits.

Combine that with CR 18 (i.e. probably less than 50% chance for characters to get through) and her extremely high saves (+11/+15/+16) and most characters will not do much.

And all the while, she will attack. With her divine favour and haste (or just one divine power under Pathfinder), she'll have +23/+23/+18/+13 (2d6+11/19-20/x3). She'll probably hit more often than not. Three hits per round aren't an unreasonable assumption. That is, on average, 54 points of damage. Enough to simply drop many 6th-level characters in one round or less, and the rest won't last two rounds (especially since the healers can't keep up with that sort of punishment)

In normal circumstances, the characters will have to figure out they have no chance of beating her and flee, hoping they get far away (from a foe who is probably faster than them and can fly, swim, climb and do short-distance teleportation.

"Not playing sorcerer/oracles or alchemist/bard/summoners" is not enough to make this. Not nearly. You'll have to break out the cheese to make this. Or bribe the GM.


Shisumo wrote:
Also, if the worry is "when we started the campaign Runelords were only legends of the past," there's going to be a spoiler regardless: the title.

Exactly.

Plus, some spoilerage (spoilage? spoiling? spoils? ah, to heck with it!) is good. The players should know a bit more than their characters.

In RotRL, they will know it is about "Runelords". It doesn't take Holmes to guess that those are some powerful spellcasters. And when the characters find out early enough about Thassalion and how they rolled back then, no player should be surprised when the end boss is a powerful wizard. That guy is Chekov's Wizard!

It's like when someone complained that the Kingmaker Player's Guide revealed that (gasp!) the characters are going to create a kingdom in the area they are to explore at first. That's not something to keep from the players. I'd say it's criminal negligence not to tell the players that.

As long as Paizo won't print Karzoug's stat block as an ad, everything's right as rain. Players find out stuff like "Legacy of Fire is a planes-spanning love story", and that's exactly as it should be.


@KaeYoss: I was thinking in 3.5 terms. Forgot about nerfed Dispel in Pathfinder. That would put a crimp on things.


At least you're giving us plenty of time to sock away the pennies for when this officially becomes available.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

KaeYoss wrote:

The goblin snake, smoke haunt, skull ripper, argorth, ercinee, night monarch, yethazamri, crag spider, kuchrima and lamia hungerer never really appear in the AP itself.

Some do appear on random encounter tables or in ecology write-ups, and the new edition might have more of these, but I think at least some of those monsters can easily be omitted completely from the new edition without making the AP any less awesome....

All in all, I'd guess that those monsters that are more support monsters (like many of the articles in the back of the book are more support articles, often there to help you expand your game beyond the scope of the AP), so they're probably a low priority.

Correct—the bestiary section of the hardcover will only include monsters that actually appear in the adventure.


In like Flynn.

I hope it gets updated to Medium XP advancement, but I won't be picky. This and Kingmaker are my 2 faves, I'm unbelievably happy Runelords is getting Pathfinderized (along with the rebalanced encounters).
Awesome. :)

Cheliax

Consider this a vote for the fast track of XP. I would prefer the chance to get through all of the campaign before the high likelihood of the group falling apart or time contraints.


Gururamalamaswami wrote:
@KaeYoss: I was thinking in 3.5 terms. Forgot about nerfed Dispel in Pathfinder. That would put a crimp on things.

Even then, you'd need at least two dispels as you need to get rid of the silence first. And better not hope she just puts it back up.

And the fact that her caster level is higher remains.

And at those levels, the chance that the party has that many dispels at their disposal is not that high.


Since we're voting, I'd vote for fast, too, unless they find a really good way of making it medium without changing the AP too much.

After all, the original AP had the 3.5 track, which is equivalent to the fast track, and already, NPCs need to be adjusted (since in 3.5, NPC CR was equal to their class level, provided they were from the base classes, but in Pathfinder, such NPCs get level - 1).

Add the required +50% for medium, and you need to either add 50% more critters or add a level to every critter. Too many "advanced whatevers" will get boring fast, and I'm not sure you can easily add 50% more crunch to too many encounters. After all, those locations are probably often designed so the group can explore them in one go, encounter-wise. If there is suddenly 50% more encounter there, some might not work that well any more.

Andoran

Joseph Wilson wrote:
Mike Silva wrote:

There are 17 monsters from RotRL bestiaries that have not been updated to PRPG. They are:

Goblin Snake

** spoiler omitted **

I saw the goblin snake in GMH but it was a specific goblin snake as opposed to a generic writ up. I have a feeling the golbin snake will make it into Bestiary 3.

Callous Jack wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

Most of these have already been covered in the two bestiary books out. I imagine they'll give us six monsters that haven't been updated yet.

James Jacobs wrote:
Mike Silva wrote:

There are 17 monsters from RotRL bestiaries that have not been updated to PRPG. They are:

Shining Child of Thassilon*

The shining child is in Bestiary 2.

At least 2 of the ones on your list will be in Bestiary 3, and thus won't be in the RotR hardcover's bestiary.

Totally caught the Shinning Child in Bestiary 2 last night. Excited to seem which monsters get chosen.

Yea, I put in the heralds because I don't know which book you could put them in to update them.


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

Xanesha is a pretty legendary encounter. It is non-sense to suggest that a party needs to be munchkinned to the max to take her on: for the simple reason that Xanesha is going to tear up a munchkinned party with just a bit more effort than your average party. She's just that good. Honestly, I like it that way. It is the point where a GM can take the party to the bone and really see what they're made of.

A purely simulationist approach to Xanesha is probably ill-advised though, as the numbers simply favor her too much. But the very real threat of death (and perhaps one or two actual PC deaths) can open up a whole new avenue of roleplaying to explore as the survivors run for their lives and try to make good their escape - then attempt to build a plan to lure out and trap the lamia matriarch.

Andoran

Vic Wertz wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:

The goblin snake, smoke haunt, skull ripper, argorth, ercinee, night monarch, yethazamri, crag spider, kuchrima and lamia hungerer never really appear in the AP itself.

Some do appear on random encounter tables or in ecology write-ups, and the new edition might have more of these, but I think at least some of those monsters can easily be omitted completely from the new edition without making the AP any less awesome....

All in all, I'd guess that those monsters that are more support monsters (like many of the articles in the back of the book are more support articles, often there to help you expand your game beyond the scope of the AP), so they're probably a low priority.

Correct—the bestiary section of the hardcover will only include monsters that actually appear in the adventure.

That makes sense. Hopefully some of those will get reprinted in other books, as many of them are super awesome.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If the list won't include Bestiary 1 or 2 monsters then I guess:

-Carrionstorm
-Harridan
-Kuchrima
-Deathweb
-Runeslave
-Scanderig

Cheliax

Callous Jack wrote:

If the list won't include Bestiary 1 or 2 monsters then I guess:

-Carrionstorm
-Harridan
-Kuchrima
-Deathweb
-Runeslave
-Scanderig

I hope that Deathweb and Carrionstorm will make it (I'm guessing Runeslave will definitely be in it). :)

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