Pathfinder Adventure Path #32: Rivers Run Red (Kingmaker 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 12 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #32: Rivers Run Red (Kingmaker 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 2: "Rivers Run Red"
by Rob McCreary

With the heart of the Stolen Lands explored and the bandits who ruled there scattered, the long-contested realm finally lies open for pioneers and settlers to stake their claims. Amid the rush of opportunistic travelers, the PCs find themselves stewards over a new domain, tasked with the responsibility of guiding and guarding a fledgling nation struggling to grow upon a treacherous borderland. Yet the threats to this new nation quickly prove themselves greater than mere bandits and wild beasts, as the monstrous natives of the hills and forests rampage forth to slaughter all who have trespassed upon their territory. Can the PCs hold the land they’ve fought so hard to explore and tame? Or will their legend be just one more lost to the fangs of the Stolen Lands?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
  • “Rivers Run Red,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 5th-level characters, by Rob McCreary.
  • Expansive new rules for running your own cities and nations, by James Jacobs.
  • Insights into the rugged faith of Erastil, god of the hunt, by Sean K Reynolds.
  • Pathfinder Ollix Kaddar and Phargas get themselves to a nunnery in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by Richard Pett.
  • Five new monsters, by Adam Daigle, Rob McCreary, Sean K Reynolds, and James L. Sutter.

Pathfinder Adventure Path is Paizo Publishing's monthly 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover book printed on high-quality paper. 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. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-233-3

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

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****½ (based on 12 ratings)

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Good back material, poor maps

****( )

I ran this adventure with moderate modifications for a group of 5 players (4 experienced, 1 novice). We switched to the fast advancement track here, which meant cutting some encounters to bring the xp gain in line, and expanded Candlemere Tower slightly. With these modifications and a few kingdom turns, the adventure took 8 sessions of three or four hours each, for a total of ~30 hours. The players had a lot of fun.

The back material of the adventure is fantastic and pulls the book up to four stars. The kingdom rules are legendary, although they work best as something between sessions and are now replaced by the rules in Ultimate Campaign. I found the random event table in this version better than the one in Ultimate Campaign - it's less detailed but that makes it easier to tie in to existing plot threads. SKR's Erastil article is good, and the rorkoun from the bestiary fit in to my side quest involving Old Ones perfectly.

The adventure itself continues some of the same great trends from the first one in the series, with a rich world to explore full of fun and unique NPCs that make roleplaying a blast. Unfortunately, the bigger locations fall flat. The maps in particular are boring and often symmetrical. The last dungeon also makes no sense. A potentially awesome rush back to deal with a threat to all the PCs' hard work in front of their own walls gets turned into an 8 room dungeon with three set of monsters that logically shouldn't be living together.

If you're willing to put in the time to tailor this adventure to your group, this book is great inspiration. If you want to run an adventure as is, it's still good but could be better.


Build a Kingdom to rival Camelot!

*****

Kingdom building was such an amazing added bonus and new level of fun and excitement! Great encounters and wonderful opportunities throughout the book for not only roll playing but true role playing as well.


Very entertaining

*****

In my campaign we ended up switching out the city building rules for the updated version in Ultimate Campaign.
We also added more "kingdome events" to build a story for the region. Otherwise it turns into a hex cleaning campaign leaving the PCs high level and the kingdom undeveloped.


Blood Will Run in the Gutters Until...RIVERS RUN RED


The second installment of the Kingmaker Adventure Path gets down to the nitty-gritty of building a barony. This can be almost as much fun as slaying the trolls! Check my full review: Rivers Run Red


Recession Review gave this a bump see link for that review at end

****( )

My review format is bullet points if you want to read a book, well read the book :)

The Good: -I feel like I've been waiting for good kingdom building rules my entire gaming career, this will also be under ugly its a love hate system.
-End villain is amazing if you steal ideas from DM_Dudemeister's thread, if not so so.
-Sandbox style which I still approve of.
-NPCs become way more interesting and critical as the PCs need them for the kingdom building rules which is a great story building tool.
-At the end of the day I had a blast running this despite its flaws

The Bad: -Hexploration gets really old and there's 3 more books of it.
-Candlemere is a waste of location opportunity, lose the story about the annoying kid and his priest friend and make this a real location.
-I end up disliking Erastil.

The Ugly: -Not for novice DMs, this book broke a GM I took over.
-The kingdom building system provided the base of the system I've been looking for without knowing it all my life a a DM, that said I have reworked it extensively as it wasn't nearly comprehensive or balanced enough. Maybe get the John brazier product if you're too lazy or use the system I posted....
-Unless you mod the Owlbear at the end is redundant as an enemy and king H makes no sense as written.

Overall: The kingdom building will divide most groups as some will love some will hate. Again you get out what you put in have to think of this AP as an outline, use the forums Luke...

Recession Review is located here.


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Dark Archive

Defending their own area and establishing it. Thats what I was hoping for in this adventure path.

Sovereign Court

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

Yay for the Erastil article!


This AP sounds truely awesome for so many reasons - can see huge scope for roleplay and rollplay; can't wait...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Callous Jack wrote:
Yay for the Erastil article!

I'm wondering which god will be the second for this AP. For now it was usually one more or less good god and one more or less evil god. I'm guessing it might be Gorum in #35.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zaister wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:
Yay for the Erastil article!
I'm wondering which god will be the second for this AP. For now it was usually one more or less good god and one more or less evil god. I'm guessing it might be Gorum in #35.

We haven't 100% nailed that down yet. At this point it's looking like Gorum though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This AP sounds completely different from anything done before. I'm curious how this AP will link with story, since all the former ones have had a very theatrical plot to them. This seems more free-flowing, like Chronicles adventures linked together rather than an AP. Not that I'm not excited, it will be nice to have something for the players who whine about railroading.

The Exchange

the product description reads: "by Paizo stuf". does this mean that what it sounds like (all of the stuff working togather to make the adventure) or that a writer havnt been assienged yet?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Lord Snow wrote:
the product description reads: "by Paizo stuf". does this mean that what it sounds like (all of the stuff working togather to make the adventure) or that a writer havnt been assienged yet?

Writers have been assigned but not announced/solicited. Sometimes James or other Paizo editors reveal these things in the weekly chats. In this case, I believe it's Rob McCreary, but authors have been known to change during the writing or development of adventures, so don't take my word for it. When they're less busy or when they're ready to, this and all the other books with "Paizo Staff" and "James Jacobs" listed as authors will be changed to the actual authors.

Liberty's Edge

This looks great. Domain management is something that has been absent from the game for a long time. I know I really miss it. The rules for running a kingdom are worth the price alone.

March 2010 is so far away. :)


count me in on the excited for Erastil article group


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This AP seems really cool. Settlers of Catan meets dnd. Anyone got wood for sheep?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

P.H. Dungeon wrote:
This AP seems really cool. Settlers of Catan meets dnd. Anyone got wood for sheep?

Only in Scotland.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
This AP seems really cool. Settlers of Catan meets dnd. Anyone got wood for sheep?
Only in Scottland.

1)Scotland, one T.

2) It's Wales that has that dubious reputation. The Scots are the drunkards.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Paul Watson wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
This AP seems really cool. Settlers of Catan meets dnd. Anyone got wood for sheep?
Only in Scottland.

1)Scotland, one T.

2) It's Wales that has that dubious reputation. The Scots are the drunkards.

Fixed.

Then why is the joke "Why do Scotsmen wear kilts? So the sheep won't hear zippers."

Scarab Sages

Matthew Morris wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
P.H. Dungeon wrote:
This AP seems really cool. Settlers of Catan meets dnd. Anyone got wood for sheep?
Only in Scottland.

1)Scotland, one T.

2) It's Wales that has that dubious reputation. The Scots are the drunkards.

Fixed.

Then why is the joke "Why do Scotsmen wear kilts? So the sheep won't hear zippers."

It appears to be a cross cultural celtic joke, as a Welshman I've heard a million and one versions of the same tired joke. Welsh, Irish, Scottish and even Cornish (I'm not even sure they have a sheep farming tradition).


Yeah, it's a british joke, all the other ethnicities are brnaded with it, but scots get the worst of it I think, and I'm Irish, so that's not woe is me bias.

That said there are probably still some 'no irish' signs floating around london and the U.S.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Updated description with correct author credits. (The cover image is still a placeholder, and has not been updated.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Also corrected starting party level.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Vic Wertz wrote:
Also corrected starting party level.

Um, Richard Pett is doing the Journal? I thought it was Jeff Grubb...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Also corrected starting party level.
Um, Richard Pett is doing the Journal? I thought it was Jeff Grubb...

It appears that Richard Pett is doing this installment, James L Sutter is doing the first bit and John C Hay the third bit...

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
yoda8myhead wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Also corrected starting party level.
Um, Richard Pett is doing the Journal? I thought it was Jeff Grubb...
It appears that Richard Pett is doing this installment, James L Sutter is doing the first bit and John C Hay the third bit...

Yeah, it took me a post in each of the three threads before I picked up on that.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Callous Jack wrote:
Yay for the Erastil article!

Additional 'yay's on this - seems to be a perfect god for playing in Council of Thieves (or at least my PC thinks so...)

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Facebook says this went to the printer. Can we see the shiny new cover now?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the image and description to match the finished product. If you see more purple than green, clear your browser's image cache.

Dark Archive

Pretty cool cover.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Too bad the Gnome in the Background isn't a Monkey-Goblin!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Who/what is the green dude on the cover with the spikes?


The Painted Oryx wrote:
Who/what is the green dude on the cover with the spikes?

Looks like a Scrag to me

Dark Archive

A really cool cover! :)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

I'll have to go back and check the outline, but I think it's supposed to be a lizardfolk.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The green dude on the cover is a troll who thinks he's people, and wears armor and uses weapons, which is unusual for a troll. But being a troll, he can't do much about his tusks!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They have a cave troll

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kevin Mack wrote:
They have a cave troll

They did, actually, at one point. I cut it from the adventure because there was already quite enough types of trolls in there...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Ah...yep...verified. Troll. Not lizardfolk. My bad. :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
They have a cave troll

Or even more than one. There is no hope fleeing that way.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wait wait, Sir Pett writes a piece of fiction and a NUNNERY is involved ?

This is ... so wrong ... on oh so many levels ... wait ... there's some movement outside the window, I shall light the lantern ... what ? No ... NOOOOOOOOOOARGHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM'NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:

Wait wait, Sir Pett writes a piece of fiction and a NUNNERY is involved ?

This is ... so wrong ... on oh so many levels ... wait ... there's some movement outside the window, I shall light the lantern ... what ? No ... NOOOOOOOOOOARGHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM'NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR

It's the lantern... light draws the Pett out of its cozy lair on the attic. Slithering and crawling the Pett stalks, always hungry for mortal flesh...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

SKR: can you spoil us a bit on the Erastil article? I'm going to take a (welcomed! :P) hit for the party by playing the cleric, and the god of farming and community seems a natural fit for this frontier-town type of setting.

How much "community" vs. "hunting" themes (i.e. cleric vs. ranger) are we looking at roughly?


What is the party size assumed in this (and for that matter any)adventure path? I already read that the rulership part has 11 possible roles, so that shouldn't be an issue.

However, we tend to play with a 6 PC party, and I was wondering to which extend I would have to beef up the monsters for that.

Also are there any monsters covered in (relatively) large numbers in King Maker 2, beside the trolls?

I am starting to collect some mini's for the adventure path, so would be glad to know what to collect.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I believe that the assumption in the Pathfinder RPG is that a standard party consists of 4-5 players. I doubt they'll move away from that particular number

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rob Vermeulen wrote:

What is the party size assumed in this (and for that matter any)adventure path? I already read that the rulership part has 11 possible roles, so that shouldn't be an issue.

However, we tend to play with a 6 PC party, and I was wondering to which extend I would have to beef up the monsters for that.

Also are there any monsters covered in (relatively) large numbers in King Maker 2, beside the trolls?

I am starting to collect some mini's for the adventure path, so would be glad to know what to collect.

All Pathfinder adventure paths assume a party of 4 PCs.

If you play with 6 PCs, you should probably add a few extra bad guys to most encounters, but be careful trying to beef up encounters by increasing monster HD or level or simply subbing in higher CR monsters. Even though your PCs are more numerous, they aren't individually more tough and a higher CR monster will bring a much-increased chance of killing PCs simply because it doesn't matter how many targets there are on the monster's turn... he's using his attacks against one foe regardless.

I've found that a great way to quickly, on the fly adapt an adventure for 6 players is to simply increase the hit points of all the monsters by 50%; keeps them in the fight a bit longer and keeps folks going pretty well.

As for other monsters in Kingmaker 2...

Spoiler:
There's the aforementioned trolls, lots of fey, a few undead, a fair amount of humans, and lots of variety otherwise... including a GIANT owlbear...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I've found that a great way to quickly, on the fly adapt an adventure for 6 players is to simply increase the hit points of all the monsters by 50%; keeps them in the fight a bit longer and keeps folks going pretty well.

That doesn't really make up to the fact that the players have 50% more actions than the encounter is designed for, though. Especially in higher level campaigns this is an important factor.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zaister wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I've found that a great way to quickly, on the fly adapt an adventure for 6 players is to simply increase the hit points of all the monsters by 50%; keeps them in the fight a bit longer and keeps folks going pretty well.
That doesn't really make up to the fact that the players have 50% more actions than the encounter is designed for, though. Especially in higher level campaigns this is an important factor.

Which is a good reason to also add in more targets for the PCs... or maybe up the hit points by 100%.

(or maybe fire some players! :-P)


James Jacobs wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:
Yay for the Erastil article!
I'm wondering which god will be the second for this AP. For now it was usually one more or less good god and one more or less evil god. I'm guessing it might be Gorum in #35.
We haven't 100% nailed that down yet. At this point it's looking like Gorum though.

That would be appropriate. I think I'm really looking forward to this adventure path.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Zaister wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I've found that a great way to quickly, on the fly adapt an adventure for 6 players is to simply increase the hit points of all the monsters by 50%; keeps them in the fight a bit longer and keeps folks going pretty well.
That doesn't really make up to the fact that the players have 50% more actions than the encounter is designed for, though. Especially in higher level campaigns this is an important factor.

Which is a good reason to also add in more targets for the PCs... or maybe up the hit points by 100%.

(or maybe fire some players! :-P)

Personally we tend to just add 50% more monsters. That tends to balance out fairly well. Or sometimes a mix of extra hp and monsters if you can't add a even amount of 50% more... like if the encounter has 3 monsters. We would bump it up to 4 and then bump up all their hp by say 25%.

So far that rule of thumb has worked well for us.


An expanded bestiary in the back of each book would be appreciated.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

FenrysStar wrote:
An expanded bestiary in the back of each book would be appreciated.

more than the ten or so pages the Bestiaries already get?


Rob Vermeulen wrote:


However, we tend to play with a 6 PC party, and I was wondering to which extend I would have to beef up the monsters for that.

I have the same problem with "too many PCs". I tend to find that simply adding more monsters isn't enough, they need to be more deadly as well.

A quick solution that works reasonably well for me is to add +2 to everything the monster has. +2 Attack, +2 Dmg, +2 Saves, +2 AC, +2hp/HD, etc. For me the problem isn't that there aren't enough monsters, just each individual monsters doesn't pose enough of a threat to my PCs.

Scarab Sages

Having a party of 9-10 players every week, plus a druid companion and a wizard who I frustrated by only allowing him to summon 1 creature at a time, I have similar issues. I discovered that often times, by adding a few levels of a core class or changing the terrain/environment of an encounter, I rarely had to do much else. It also keeps the players on their toes.

This works very well in my game because we are using level up points, I would imagine the XP increase may throw things off in a XP based game though.

I will have to experiment with the 50% hp increase and the +2 to all methods, they sound even quicker and easier for adjusting an entire AP.

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