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

4.60/5 (based on 27 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.

Q: What is included in the digital version?
A: In addition to the full version, the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition download includes the Interactive Maps and a Lite version for reading on portable electronic devices.

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

Bring your campaign to life!
The Rise of the Runelords Mega SoundPack from Syrinscape is a complete audio solution for playing through the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path.

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).

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
SoundSet on Syrinscape
Archives of Nethys

Product Availability

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PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Non-Mint:

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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 store@paizo.com.

PZO1002


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5/5


Epic introduction to Golarian, updated beautifully.

5/5

This is a beautiful update to the first Golarion based AP Paizo released. It consolidates all the volumes of the original into one easy to use book. Lots of the artwork has been updated significantly improving on many of the pieces from the original. The original stuff wasn't bad, just a big cartoony. It also updates the stats of everything using the Pathfinder 1st edition rules.

It was what kicked off the world's introduction to Golarion. This volume gave it a facelift and nice boost. My group took about 2.5 years to play through it to completion. Right around 500 hours of play. So tons of game play in it. It was the first campaign I've ever "completed" as a GM. It was only the 2nd campaign I've ever "completed" as a player or GM. I've played in dozens of other campaigns that never completed and only fizzled out. My players loved it and still talk about it and we are 1/3 of the way through Skull & Shackles having been playing it for a year.

Of all the APs Paizo has released this one likely has the most official and unofficial support for it. There are thousands of pages of fan material done for it. Paizo message boards, Facebook groups, fan pages, fan zines (Wayfinder #7 is completely devoted to it) and more have been done for it. Giving GMs unparalleled resources and support for it. It's no wonder it is one of the most popular APs they've done. I highly recommend all the additional support for it. Especially the fan stuff, it fills in lots of missing holes that just couldn't be filled in the AP itself.

I'm not sure how I feel about the construction quality of the book itself. We played for 2.5 years, but we played virtually via Fantasy Grounds with the data module for it there. A lot of my referencing and work was done through the module on the computer. I'd say in the end I only used the printed book about 1/3 the time I would have if I would have played through it in person. The binding is very loose for what I consider a small amount of usage. Other than the binding the cover itself is in good condition. I've got a feeling that had it gotten nothing but in person play and reference the binding would have fallen off by now. I'm not hard on my books, I always use the proper method of easing the binding of a new hardcover book, and I'm not rough in my handling of them. So this feels like it isn't made with the quality I would expect.

Book construction quality aside, this AP checks all the high adventure checkboxes. Wizards, dragons, goblins, magic, ancient civilizations, epic treasures, giants, ogres, dungeon crawls, sieges, wilderness exploration, haunted houses, city based stuff. You name it. This fully deserves the 5 stars I give it.


A Legendary Campaign Receives the Deluxe Package it Deserves

5/5

NO SPOILERS

I honestly don't even know where to start in reviewing this book. It was my bible for the longest campaign I've ever ran, and I've paged through its 428 pages so many times, I'm surprised my copy is in as good of shape as it is. Equalled only by the Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover compilation, the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition is the most detailed, impressive, and gorgeous presentation of a campaign I've ever seen. It's a testament to James Jacob and the wonderful visual and art design folks at Paizo for putting it together. In addition to the core adventures, the book includes an incredible array of supplementary material throughout its appendices: gazetteers, bestiaries, new magic items, and more. And interspersed throughout are full-colour, detailed maps, high-quality artwork of NPCs and monsters, handouts, useful sidebars to help the GM in running particular scenes, and more. I really can't rave enough about it.

I've already reviewed the substance of each of the six chapters of the adventure path in my reviews of issues # 1-6 of the monthly publication they originally appeared in (available on the Paizo website). This Anniversary Edition is no lazy cut & paste compilation or mere updating of the original 3.5 rules to Pathfinder. Everything has been refined, revised, polished, and packaged together to make a whole that is even better than the sum of its original parts. James Jacob read through countless posts on the forums about the original adventures and added encounters, explanations, and more to help everything flow even better. I've compared the original versions to this revised package, and with only a couple of exceptions, the revisions are a sound improvement.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best presentation of a classic fantasy role-playing campaign available. You'll get hundreds of hours of gameplay out of it, experience characters growing from battling goblins at level 1 to battling the greatest threats the setting has to offer at level 18. It's a satisfying, meaty, epic campaign, and this Anniversary Edition does it full justice.


Also on Fantasy Grounds!

5/5

I don't understand why this is not mentioned here but by paying 60$ you get both the pdf version of the adventure as well as the Fantasy Grounds VTT plug in that saves you TONS of prepping. This adventure is excellent, with a lot of scary and funny moments and is a must-buy for all Pathfinder fans out there!


They all need this treatment

5/5

I have the original softcovers. I collected them up to the 50's and when I changed jobs money was tighter and I couldn't keep up. Recently going back to pick up some of the ones I missed I was shocked to see prices as high as 234.00 for a single softcover. There are a lot of Pathfinder fans who didnt get the softcovers when they were first released and these hardcovers are excellent as well as being affordable.

The book itself is solid. Takes up less space on my shelf, is a great first series of adventures, looks beautiful, is fun to play and is just overall well worth the money i spent on it. I will also be picking up Crimson Throne hardcover and hope they continue on and it was the adventure paths that drew me to PF in the first place.


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Grand Lodge

Will we be seeing any more previews for this one? :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Maybe as we get closer to its release date. May... June... somehwere in that zone.

Silver Crusade

Apologies if this has been asked before, but my search has brought up nothing:

I am preparing for a Rise of the Runelords campaign, and have pre-ordered the anniversary edition and the minis to go with it. My question is, what gamemastery products (flip-mats, map packs, etc.) go with it? It can take some time to order things in to my local store, so I want to make sure I get everything in advance. I'm trying for the most deluxe campaign evar!

Thanks

Grand Lodge

Cool, thanks James... it can't come soon enough... >.<

Grand Lodge

@Uriel - There is the Map Folio that helps a lot. Then, if you want to get the Item Cards, they are visually very nice, but I must admit, they are not for every GM. I bought them, but ended up giving many more custom magic items. Though it helped for items such as the sihedron medallion and such.

Silver Crusade

Yeah, I knew about the Folio (though thanks for mentioning it). I was disappointed with the Kingmaker item cards, though, so I'm not sure about getting them for RotR.

What I was thinking of we're the products not specifically branded with RotR, but really useful nonetheless, like the forest map for Kingmaker, or Mountain Pass for Jade Regent.

Grand Lodge

I think you could make use of them for the inbetween sessions, especially since you are encouraged to give them some down time between book one and two... :)

Sovereign Court

uriel222 wrote:

Yeah, I knew about the Folio (though thanks for mentioning it). I was disappointed with the Kingmaker item cards, though, so I'm not sure about getting them for RotR.

What I was thinking of we're the products not specifically branded with RotR, but really useful nonetheless, like the forest map for Kingmaker, or Mountain Pass for Jade Regent.

It was the first AP. I don't think things were so integrated then so no gamemastery connections.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Actually... we had a Rise of the Runelords item card set, and some of the initial map products were intended to work well with the AP—Flip-Map Mountain Pass, for example, came out at about the same time as the last installment of Runelords, which took place entirely in the mountains.

The stunt of actually using the map products and the AP at the same time did take us a while to sort out, though.

There WILL be this level of support with the revised book—we've got a Flip Map coming soon that has a few key locations in Sandpoint that should help folks run the first parts of "Burnt Offerings" and "Fortress of the Stone Giants," for example.

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
Actually... we had a Rise of the Runelords item card set, and some of the initial map products were intended to work well with the AP

Thanks, James. Do you remember which ones.specifically, though? Other than Mountain Pass, of course.

Sovereign Court

Aeshuura wrote:
I think you could make use of them for the inbetween sessions, especially since you are encouraged to give them some down time between book one and two... :)

Yeah, do that. You have plenty of space into which you can add your own events, or old dungeon modules, or that stand alone module (Feast of ravenmoor ?) or, or ...

It lengthens the campaign, but if you do it right, you can increase the fun and campaign coherence.

For the record, in my ongoing campaign I have or will use :
from Shore to Sea
Seven Swords or Sin
Crucible of Chaos
The Pdf about Chopper's isle
Reaper's 3.5 The Eldest son
a custom module from a mag about "The hangover" movie
and, and ... Akrasia thief of time from Eden studios.

I had additional ideas, but I cut some of them.

Best,

Paizo Employee Creative Director

uriel222 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Actually... we had a Rise of the Runelords item card set, and some of the initial map products were intended to work well with the AP
Thanks, James. Do you remember which ones.specifically, though? Other than Mountain Pass, of course.

I don't, alas. Been a long time, and the dozens of map products we've released in those years kidna all ran together...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

James Jacobs wrote:
There WILL be this level of support with the revised book—we've got a Flip Map coming soon that has a few key locations in Sandpoint that should help folks run the first parts of "Burnt Offerings" and "Fortress of the Stone Giants," for example.

When you're looking at Flip-Mat Town Square, think "Swallowtail Festival."

Also, I removed a string of completely off-topic posts.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm definitely looking forward to this - I'll be pre-ordering it as soon as I can start an AP subscription with "Skull and Shackles". It's been a while since I GM'ed anything (back in the days when Dungeon and Dragon came from TSR, Forgotten Realms was the most common setting, and WotC weren't even in the picture), so Runelords will be totally new territory for me. It's not quite my first encounter with Golarion, as I'm currently playing in a Jade Regent campaign (which is why I'm not already an AP subscriber).

Liberty's Edge

Will the PDF for this book include an "Interactive Maps" doc, like the recent APs have?


Robert Little wrote:
Will the PDF for this book include an "Interactive Maps" doc, like the recent APs have?

It's entirely possible, but I don't have a definite answer at this point. Once we get closer to the release date and wrapped up on the production of the book, I'll have a better idea what the Interactive Map situation is. :)

Dark Archive

I've tried to keep up the the thread commentary here, but I fear I may have missed a page or two (or three) since the announcement.

I have two questions, really:

From time to time I've seen people exclaim there were parts of Skinsaw and/or H.M.M. that were "unpalatable" or just "wouldn't be something Paizo would do now with a larger fan base" etc.

Were there any changes to the tone in these parts?

Second question

Spoiler:
Xanesha is still a complete badass, right?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Greetings, fellow traveller.

Hm, postmonster ate my post :-(

Concerning content: Hopefully they keep this stuff - the grittier content and their way of humor is one of the things I especially like about the Paizo stuff (and there have even existed more grittier parts, which were apparently cut from the final manuscript - or put on the interwebs by request from some GMs/players).

Concerning Xanesha: updated version.

Ruyan.


So will this be Fast or Medium Track?
Apologies in advance if this was posted already, I skimmed through each page but didnt find a definitive answer beyond it being "the same level range" as the original AP.

I was hoping with the dumped articles, the freed up space might have made it medium track. :)


Sunderstone wrote:

So will this be Fast or Medium Track?

Apologies in advance if this was posted already, I skimmed through each page but didnt find a definitive answer beyond it being "the same level range" as the original AP.

I was hoping with the dumped articles, the freed up space might have made it medium track. :)

The articles were dumped to create space for the whole AP.

Liberty's Edge

Sunderstone wrote:

So will this be Fast or Medium Track?

Apologies in advance if this was posted already, I skimmed through each page but didnt find a definitive answer beyond it being "the same level range" as the original AP.

I was hoping with the dumped articles, the freed up space might have made it medium track. :)

James Jacobs wrote:
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 Creative Director

I'm sure now.

It uses the fast track.

The "freed up space" is not nearly enough to allow it to expand to the Medium track with ease.

Paizo Employee CEO

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've almost finished a read through on Burnt Offerings and James has done a really nice job of adding a few things that help the adventure flow more logically. I think everyone will be pleased!

-Lisa

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huh, at this rate I'm going to be *still* running my RotRL game that we started in March 2008 when this comes out so ... errr ... right on time, Paizo! :)

Liberty's Edge

If I pre order, will the money be taken right after I make the order or will the money be out of my account when it ships like regular APs?


James Jacobs wrote:

I'm sure now.

It uses the fast track.

The "freed up space" is not nearly enough to allow it to expand to the Medium track with ease.

Thanks for the reveal. I never liked the speed of low level progression in the old edition, especially levels 1-5. There wasn't enough time to really enjoy the level. It'll be easy enough to fit extra stuff and make it medium track. Murder's Mark looks like it may be a good fit for a possible Prequel. Ravenmoor is another low level in the area too.

This will be good.


When it ships.

-- david
Papa.DRB

I am sure it is somewhere in one of the FAQs, but I am feeling lazy this morning.

CapeCodRPGer wrote:
If I pre order, will the money be taken right after I make the order or will the money be out of my account when it ships like regular APs?

Contributor

The FAQ about preorders is here.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lisa Stevens wrote:

I've almost finished a read through on Burnt Offerings and James has done a really nice job of adding a few things that help the adventure flow more logically. I think everyone will be pleased!

-Lisa

WHEW...

(stops holding his breath in dread!) :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sunderstone wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

I'm sure now.

It uses the fast track.

The "freed up space" is not nearly enough to allow it to expand to the Medium track with ease.

Thanks for the reveal. I never liked the speed of low level progression in the old edition, especially levels 1-5. There wasn't enough time to really enjoy the level. It'll be easy enough to fit extra stuff and make it medium track. Murder's Mark looks like it may be a good fit for a possible Prequel. Ravenmoor is another low level in the area too.

This will be good.

I would actually suggest NOT doing a prequel—starting the campaign with the goblin raid is a pretty important sendoff to the rest of the campaign, since it also helps establish Sandpoint as the PCs' home town. Ravenmoor as a side adventure between Parts 1 and 2 though... that works pretty good. And while the upcoming "Dawn of the Scarlet Sun" is intended to be tied in to "The Shattered Star" it also works pretty perfectly as an extra short adventure to run between parts 2 and 3 of Runelords as well.


Is there a players guide with Sandpoint oriented traits? I was assuming there wasn't going to be one. If there is then I could see why a prequel outside of the Sandpoint vicinity wouldn't really fit too well.
When I ran Burnt Offerings for my previous home group, my players wanted characters from different places, so I had them arrive in Sandpoint escorting wares for a merchant which included a wagon bearing butterflies for the festival.

Grand Lodge

I would suggest the APG campaign traits. They were used in James Jacobs' Sandpoint campaign and were quite suitable for Rise of the Runelords.


Can't remember if that was asked already, but will there be a new map portfolio for the reprint as well?
On a side note: are there any news about the (interactive) maps accompanying the pdf-version?

Ruyan.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

RuyanVe wrote:
Can't remember if that was asked already, but will there be a new map portfolio for the reprint as well?

There's no new map folio... but check out the upcoming Flip-Mat: Town Square.

RuyanVe wrote:
On a side note: are there any news about the (interactive) maps accompanying the pdf-version?

Chris Lambertz won't even start looking at that until the product is through layout and editorial passes.

Grand Lodge

Are there logical breaks between the mods so if i wanted to do medium advancement for my pcs I could do it.Without feeling like there are forced breaks between modules?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
fasthd97 wrote:
Are there logical breaks between the mods so if i wanted to do medium advancement for my pcs I could do it.Without feeling like there are forced breaks between modules?

Spoiler:
Generally, yeah. You could easily fit stuff in between most of the modules, except maybe 5-6, where there is certainly a feeling of wanting to push forward on a clock. Certainly each of the modules have something happen that starts the events, with the ends of modules generally revealing more information about the threat rather than directly initiating the events. You could probably also put stuff in to the middle of part two (on the trip to Magnimar), part three (on the journey to Hook Mountain) part four (on the way to Jorgenfist) and part five (whilst looking for the entry to Runeforge). These would probabvly be limited to 'whilst on the trip you run into x' sort of scenarios though.

I cannot wait..well not for the scorching hot summer weather but Rise of The Runelords will definately make my shelf...I was going to run some new players and old friends from 1st ed. DnD days thru it but will wait for this nice set to come out and get the miniatures for it as well..thanks for the good work and continued excellent material you guys work on..it sure brings back memories from the first time i opened my first red box set for basic dnd years ago when i was 10..32 years later it is great to see where you guys have come with the game.I never was a fan of 3.0 or 3.5..and 4th edition seem to take the path of one of my favourite pastimes and a old tradition going years back in time of great storytelling from around a campire in primative times to ward against hunger, cold and to pass the time to contuinue to entertain thru the years when there was no radio or television nor media..4th editon mad eit less a story and more a game (like chess)which is fine for some but i enjoy the art of a good tale and glad to see you stuck thru and delivered on several of your products i own..thank you again


Thanks for answering my questions, Vic.

Ruyan.


I don't know if this has been asked already, but is there also gonna be an updated player's guide for RotRL? I can't wait to start running this for my players as soon as it comes out.

Liberty's Edge

Quote:
Preorder expected July 2012

Hey, wasn't the expected pre-order in June 2012? Damn you China! You are ruining my summer!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kriss Lambert wrote:
I don't know if this has been asked already, but is there also gonna be an updated player's guide for RotRL? I can't wait to start running this for my players as soon as it comes out.

Nope... but there'll be a bit of stuff like player traits and getting started advice in the hardcover itself. Alternatively, you can use the campaign traits from the back of the Advanced Player's Guide.


James Jacobs wrote:
Nope... but there'll be a bit of stuff like player traits and getting started advice in the hardcover itself. Alternatively, you can use the campaign traits from the back of the Advanced Player's Guide.

Sweet there will be player traits in the hardcover

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joey Virtue wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nope... but there'll be a bit of stuff like player traits and getting started advice in the hardcover itself. Alternatively, you can use the campaign traits from the back of the Advanced Player's Guide.
Sweet there will be player traits in the hardcover

Don't get TOO excited... they're going to be very slim and not many of them. Not sure how much room I'll have for them at all yet...


James Jacobs wrote:
Joey Virtue wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nope... but there'll be a bit of stuff like player traits and getting started advice in the hardcover itself. Alternatively, you can use the campaign traits from the back of the Advanced Player's Guide.
Sweet there will be player traits in the hardcover
Don't get TOO excited... they're going to be very slim and not many of them. Not sure how much room I'll have for them at all yet...

Could be a blog topic

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

HangarFlying wrote:
Quote:
Preorder expected July 2012
Hey, wasn't the expected pre-order in June 2012? Damn you China! You are ruining my summer!

The lateness is our doing, not our printer's. Sorry...

Liberty's Edge

Bah, I still blame China for my woes. Carry forth young man and accomplish greatness!

Scarab Sages

So will the Runelord be a bit tougher than in the original verison, ie stats and higher level?

I'm on book 2 of the original books so this is great to see coming out as I don't have to adjust the 3.5 version to pathfinder.

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