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Pathfinder Adventure Path: Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player's Guide (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 9 ratings)

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The Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player’s Guide gives players all the spoiler-free information, inspiration, and new rules they’ll need to create characters prepared for the daring and adventure of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path.

Within, players of this campaign will find everything they need to create character backgrounds tied to personalities and events vital to Pathfinder Adventure Path’s initial expedition into the exciting frontier of Varisia, along with new campaign-specific traits to give bold adventurers the edge they’ll need to take on the unpredictable dangers of that untamed land. This player’s guide features a full gazetteer of Varisia, revealing spoiler-free details of the land, both to chart their backgrounds and future adventures.

True heroes don't need to take on a risen Runelord unprepared! Gather your allies and let the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player's Guide be your first step of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path.

This product is designed for use with the Pathfinder Adventure Path: Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition.

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Product Reviews (9)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 9 ratings)

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Not really very useful for players.

**( )( )( )

First, ask yourself, what is the purpose of a Player's Guide? It's to tell the players what they need to know about a campaign. That includes providing information about the location they'll be visiting and providing potential hooks for their characters.

This does a little bit to provide hooks in the way of campaign traits. There are a handful of suggested traits that would give the PCs a reason to be in Sandpoint, and some of them are very powerful -- I'd say they should almost be feats instead.

After that, there's very little useful information for the players. There's about nine pages' worth of descriptions of locations that the players will never visit unless they go completely off the rails of the campaign. There is very little information about the actual culture and history of Varisia as a whole. There's a map of Sandpoint, but the actual description of Sandpoint is only two sentences long. Your players will find themselves asking, what roles do the different races and classes play here? What deities are commonly worshipped, and what role does religion player in your average citizen's life? What languages are commonly spoken? What is the (known) history of Varisia like? What types of unique equipment or creatures are found in the area? The player's guide does not provide answers for any of these questions.

In short, they're better off just reading the original player's guide and skipping this one.

Useful for its Purpose

****( )

I found this Player's Guide to be useful for my group. However, I will note that we ran the original RotR arc 2-ish years ago, so the fact that the opening parts hint at what you're going to be facing was a bit of a moot point with us; they already knew what to expect and when.
Overall, I thought the traits were fitting, and I liked the paragraph entries on some the 'lesser known' sites and towns in Varisia. As for not including the town of Sandpoint itself, I used the map and entries in the actual AP; again, more as a refresher for my regular group.
As for the cover art, I see nothing wrong with it. You have women in real life who dress in more revealing clothing, and no one bats an eye. Also, it seems the woman in the center is garnering all the attention and causing people to jump to conclusions about girls in fantasy settings. I would like to call everyone's attention to the woman on the right of the cover.

All in all, it was a decent supplement to refresh my players' memories, and to provide a little extra info on the area for them to sow seeds for potential tangent side stories. What else do you really need from a rehashed/revamped adventure?

Useful campaign traits, but otherwise lacking

**( )( )( )

Read my full review on my blog.

Overall, the various player’s guides for the different adventure paths make up one area where Paizo still seems to be figuring out what works, given the vastly varying levels of usefulness from one to the next. Unfortunately, the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player’s Guide is one of the less successful. Apart from some campaign traits to choose from during character creation, players will get very little use out of this book.

Great stuff

****( )

First to tcavagne, what is wrong with the cover? Seriously, I think you neeed to mature a bit, there is nothing degrading to women about the cover.

I loved the cover, more like it please, in fact can we do more like this? If only to annoy the crazy feminists who have an aversion to anything cool.

On the product itself, great book, looking forward to doing the adventure when it gets re-released.

No Sandpoint, No Happy

***( )( )

I'm a bit surprised to see four 5-star reviews here, none of which refer to the content of this Player's Guide.

First of all, why no info on the starting city of Sandpoint?

Longer review at my blog

In my opinion, the Player’s Guide for Paizo’s second AP, Curse of the Crimson Throne, set a high bar for what I’m looking for in these player guides. It gave information about the city the PCs start in that made it a living, breathing place, offered feats and equipment that further gave life to the people and culture of the city and the land of Varisia, and offered traits that didn’t giving anything away about the bigger story, while hooking people into the AP’s opening events.

As for this product, it is a lost opportunity to charm people into wanting to play or run Rise of the Runelords. I have read through the original run of RotRL, and what I thought were the most appealing elements of enticing people into playing the beginning of RotRL – description of the most of the PCs’ home, the charming village of Sandpoint, and description of Paizo’s fresh and unique take on goblins – have zero word count in this Player’s Guide.

(Granted, there is a map of Sandpoint, but only 2 landmarks are labeled on it, and absolutely no information on NPCs or the history or the buildings within the city.)

Instead, we have 2 sections:

1 – First, a collection of campaign-specific traits for PCs. As a GM, I will not let the players look at these because they telegraph ahead of time precisely what types of creatures and areas the players will face. Instead, I’ll be working with the players to decide what traits make most sense for them.

2 – Second, a gazetteer on the land of Varisia. There is a lot of interesting information here, but again I think it totally misses the ball — barring the cover and credits page, the designers had only 12 pages to work with but devoted 9 pages to Varisia. NO information on Sandpoint, and no narrative “tour” that’s cohesive — instead, we get a paragraph on each place.

Granted, perhaps information was omitted from the Player’s Guide to spur us into buying some of Paizo’s Companions. But the PCs’ hometown not to get any love is a bit confounding.

What we have in this Player’s Guide is high quality — the traits are well-conceived, and the descriptions of Varisia’s key places are evocative. But what’s sorely lacking is… well, sorely lacking.

Paizo has set a high bar for itself in past products, which this Player's Guide unfortunately does not meet.

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