Return of the Runelords Begins!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I've been looking forward to working on the Return of the Runelords Adventure Path since the very start. As development on Rise of the Runelords wrapped up over ten years ago, we started a tradition that's lasted ever since—the inclusion of a tiny little message at the end of the sixth volume's legal text. In Rise of the Runelords, this message simply read, "The runelords will return." Likewise, in the sequel to Rise of the Runelords, the last volume of the Shattered Star Adventure Path teased, "Sorshen lives!"

Now, with Return of the Runelords, we finally get to see the payoff to these hidden messages, as well as wrap up the epic storyline that began with a now infamous goblin raid on the little town of Sandpoint. If you've played through either Rise of the Runelords or Shattered Star, you'll find a lot of callbacks in Return of the Runelords to events, characters, and treasures that first debuted in those earlier campaigns, and you'll even be able to see what became of prior PCs who played through those earlier games!

Illustrations by Ekaterina Burmak

But even if you haven't played these prior campaigns, there's plenty of reasons to play Return of the Runelords. This Adventure Path features longer adventures than most volumes, with the final installment being the longest adventure we've ever run in an Adventure Path volume! This increased length allows us to cover every level from 1st to 20th, without using Mythic Adventures to speed level progression along (as was the case in Wrath of the Righteous, the only other Adventure Path we've published that reached 20th level), but also pits your PCs against some of the most infamous and dangerous villains of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting.

So... if you think you've got what it takes to stand against the runelords, now you'll have a chance to prove it!

James Jacobs
Pathfinder Creative Director

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Tags: Ekaterina Burmak Pathfinder Adventure Path Return of the Runelords
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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Huzzah!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The Zutha image is not loading. I think there's a typo in the URL linking over to "Zuthai.jpg".


Kvantum wrote:
The Zutha image is not loading. I think there's a typo in the URL linking over to "Zuthai.jpg".

Yep!

Just remove the "i" at the end.

Awesome pics!

Carry on,

--C.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Now I want miniatures based on this art of the Runelords. Nice!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Any word on the release of a Player's Guide? Or is that not happening for this AP?


I'm very happy.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I KNEW there was something happening there. I thought it was just stray text... FOR YEARS!!! OMG, I am SOOO happy to know, I'm not insane!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

16 people marked this as a favorite.

There is a Player's Guide coming very soon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm ecstatic at this! This is the one I've been waiting for all these years without even realizing I've been waiting for it.

Mr. Jacobs . . . Bring it! =D

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Feels strange not to see Karzoug in that bunch, but I love seeing all of them!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Eh, kinda strange seeing Xanderghul being more of a libertine than Sorshen, but otherwise very nice images!

Paizo Employee Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:
Eh, kinda strange seeing Xanderghul being more of a libertine than Sorshen, but otherwise very nice images!

He is so PROUD of those abs tho!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cyrad wrote:
Feels strange not to see Karzoug in that bunch, but I love seeing all of them!

He's stuck in his mom's basement. Still waiting on hot pockets. LOL!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:
Eh, kinda strange seeing Xanderghul being more of a libertine than Sorshen, but otherwise very nice images!

That is, in fact...

Spoiler:
...a plot point of the Adventure Path.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Will there be a Second Edition version of Return of the Runelords? :)

To that point, will there be one for Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star?! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gloom wrote:

Will there be a Second Edition version of Return of the Runelords? :)

To that point, will there be one for Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star?! :D

Well, this blog post is headed by the Pathfinder Playtest logo...


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is just a joyful post. I love them, Everyone looks amazing. Please Paizo, dont let that artist go... she is killing it. Those outfits, the design elements on each guy... holy mother of art... I love this, I'm such a fanboy of her work now... Dx

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Barbaric Gug Swarm wrote:
Now I want miniatures based on this art of the Runelords.

You and me both!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Eh, kinda strange seeing Xanderghul being more of a libertine than Sorshen, but otherwise very nice images!

That is, in fact...

** spoiler omitted **

Wait, does this mean that

Spoiler:
The Runelord's schools are shuffling, or are being taken over? Taking a closer look at the Sorshen picture(who didn't...) Is that a coin-purse in her hand and Karzoug's ponytail on her guisarme???

CrimsonVixen wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Eh, kinda strange seeing Xanderghul being more of a libertine than Sorshen, but otherwise very nice images!

That is, in fact...

** spoiler omitted **

Wait, does this mean that ** spoiler omitted **

The "Heroes of Sandpoint" killed Karzoug, so I'm not sure how she would have gotten it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Seriously need those Rune Lord miniatures in the Deep Cuts line... Can't wait to get this in my hands!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Cat Whisperer wrote:
The "Heroes of Sandpoint" killed Karzoug, so I'm not sure how she would have gotten it.

A woman of her talents could probably get it just by asking nicely.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Eh, kinda strange seeing Xanderghul being more of a libertine than Sorshen, but otherwise very nice images!

That is, in fact...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Ah, that makes sense after reading the relevant parts. Looking forward to it!

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Gah, it's so tempting to just buy the pdf instead of waiting for my subscription to process. I shall be strong.

I'm super excited about this one!


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Got my shipping note!!!!

Downloading now!!!!

-- david


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All of the Runelords look amazing! I’m super stoked to read this AP!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You know, I'm fairly certain that's the first time I've seen all the Runelords together.

Liberty's Edge

I just want to know if the death of the Runelord of Sloth at the hands of Pathfinder Society agents will be made canonical...

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

6 people marked this as a favorite.

It's canon.


thecursor wrote:
You know, I'm fairly certain that's the first time I've seen all the Runelords together.

Well, 6 out of 7 ain't bad . . . .


7 people marked this as a favorite.

The illustrations of the Runelords are absolutely fantastic. Ekaterina Burmak is my favourite among your excellent stable of artists - tied with Wayne Reynolds, of course! I really love her realistic and incredibly detailed style. The characters come to life, in a way a more 'comic booky/anime' (as per Reynolds et. al.) style can't achieve, and their personalities just leap out at you.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wonderful artwork!

Any chance of getting Karzoug and Xin done by the same artist? Those two plus the six above would make a wonderful wallpaper ...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just realised that Sorshen's polearm is double-headed in the sense that there is a blade at both ends. Wasn't the original plan that it be double-headed in the sense that one end has two blades?


Will there be a new art for Karzoug as well? Sorshen had an art in Inner Sea Magic but it seems she now has a new art. I really wish we have a new art for Karzoug too.

PS Why is this blog post headed by the Pathfinder Playtest logo? I thought Return of the Runelords has nothing to do with Second Edition.

Grand Lodge

Is Krune still alive for this AP? Or was he put down by the Pathfinder Society in canon?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Super excited to start playing this soon! :)

Wow, that picture of Sorshen is incredible — much more appropriate than the portrait printed in Shattered Star. :) My character Laslo is very grateful for that, given that...

Shattered Star spoiler:
...a fellow party member triggered the body swap trap, and they are now a couple. :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Lyoto Machida wrote:
Is Krune still alive for this AP? Or was he put down by the Pathfinder Society in canon?

The state of certain Runelords:
Krune's death is canon, but some dead Runelords' souls become relevant, and there are attempts to resurrect a couple.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Why does it have the playtest banner above it? has this been stealthily been released with playtest rules?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I will be very much tempted to run this after Strange Aeons.

Liberty's Edge

This one looks like it will be one the the best APS Paizo ever published.
One thing that caught my attention is that

Spoiler:
it seems Sorshen getting somewhat redeemed. I hope this doesn't paralel Nocticula too much.

Liberty's Edge

Also, why are the forehead gems gone?


I am looking forward to this


Davido1000 wrote:
Why does it have the playtest banner above it? has this been stealthily been released with playtest rules?

Nope -- they've said elsewhere that this is Pathfinder First Ed. This, and the next one (Tyrant's Grasp Adventure Path) are the last two APs for PF1.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:
Just realised that Sorshen's polearm is double-headed in the sense that there is a blade at both ends. Wasn't the original plan that it be double-headed in the sense that one end has two blades?

Nope. The original plan was to have two side-by-side blades at the end, but a mixup with the artist the first time we ordered her with her weapon combined with the fact that we got the final art in at the very last minute and it was too late to make changes ended up scuttling that plan.

Her weapon does have blades at either end, but it is not used as a double weapon. Among other things it's a speed weapon, and its flavor is that when one makes the additional attack with the speed quality that strike comes from the second blade.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:

Will there be a new art for Karzoug as well? Sorshen had an art in Inner Sea Magic but it seems she now has a new art. I really wish we have a new art for Karzoug too.

PS Why is this blog post headed by the Pathfinder Playtest logo? I thought Return of the Runelords has nothing to do with Second Edition.

Sorshen's new outfit is not just a result of "new artist" but a deliberate plot point that'll be revealed in the AP. There'll be some new art of Karzoug, but not a new body shot.

And the post being headed by the Playtest logo is an error. Return of the Runelords is 1st edition Pathfinder all the way.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Paladinosaur wrote:

This one looks like it will be one the the best APS Paizo ever published.

One thing that caught my attention is that

Spoiler:
it seems Sorshen getting somewhat redeemed. I hope this doesn't paralel Nocticula too much.

Spoiler:
It in fact does parallel Nocticula's arc. Intentionally so. That's a plot element in this AP.
Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Paladinosaur wrote:
Also, why are the forehead gems gone?

Because sometimes they wear different stuff.


Starfinder Superscriber

When do we get the player's guide?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
Also, why are the forehead gems gone?
Because sometimes they wear different stuff.

Aren’t those like... surgically implanted though?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I truly hope that Paizo does one of two things. Either they put out some rules on how to translate these APs over to 2nd edition (as I'm liking what I'm seeing of 2nd edition but truly love the Runelords series of APs) or that you put out new hardcover books for the Runelords Trilogy as 2nd Edition APs.

I mean, I'd buy them. I suspect a lot of folk would. But you could always do a Kickstarter or the like on that to gauge preorders and how much of these should be printed and adapted to 2nd Edition.

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