Questions regarding Rappan Athuk

Product Discussion

Hello, sorry if this is the wrong thread to post this in, but I'm considering eventually purchasing the Rappan Athuk AP, but had some questions.

First and foremost, is it overwhelming for less experienced DMs to run? I'm not new perse, but I'm not seasoned either as a DM, but this seems like a fun adventure to run my friends through. Is it difficult to keep track of everything? Is it overwhelming?

Second, what point buy does the book suggest starting the party at? (If any)

Lastly, does it take a good knowledge of Golarion or other geography to run? Because... geography (where things are in relation to other things) doesn't tend to interest me in the slightest. I still don't know most of places in Golarion, partly because I run in one section of it, and partly because I don't care quite that much personally. Can this be run with little to no geographical set up?

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You'd probably have better luck elsewhere, but I can take a stab at it.

1) It's not overwhelming to keep track of things. However, it's also not an AP. It's just a very large dungeon. A dungeon that can last you for well over 20 levels. Little story, mostly history, much dungeon.

2) You can start wherever you like, if you create an entry point to an appropriate dungeon floor. 1 works just fine.

3) As a third party product, it exists completely independently of Golarion. FGG has their own setting material, but none of it is super important to Rappan Athuk.

Thanks for the info. It actually sounds like something I'm looking for. I'm fine with minimal story as long as there's at least something still there and a way to bring the players together at lv. 1 when they first start out. I had heard something about a wilderness trek that would challenge them too, so I think I may get this when I can.


I have an additional question if you don't mind?

What do you need to run the Rappan Athuk campaign? Obviously the main book but what else is really "needed" if anything? Are the supplements worth it (in particular the map book and the additonal level books)? Are there any maps that can be laid out for figurines without all the traps, secret doors, and other goodies marked?

The main book. Nothing else. The Player's Guide is a nice addition. The maps in the book/pdf were sufficient for my run, but aren't full-blown battle-mats.

Rappan Athuk is a bit minimalistic compared to the production values of a Paizo AP, but the content is definitely there, and no amount of the extras are really going bridge the gap. You'll be perfectly fine with just the main book.

Don't get this if you want to run it online. The maps don't copy well and you can forget placing grids. It's very oldschool in a low quality production kind of way. I wanted to run it in combination with Tsar, but decided against it, as we played on roll20.

For the original OP, RA is actually two products considering levels of characters. The original product is the massive dungeon and a few surrounding wilderness areas (some of which serve as alternate entrances). This portion suggests a strong party of six characters of at least fifth level (for basic survivability). However, if you are looking to really start players off at first level, the expansion product, (appropriately named) RA Expansions has the information (and expanded content) to do so. As with all FGG products, this is not a linear adventure, so at any time PCs can encounter something either too easy or too hard for them to defeat. Further, some levels have many pathways in and out which could lead PCs to an area you are not prepared for yet. Knowing what is around the corner in this product is essential to running it well (although there are times you can simply read the text as they encounter it without any special foreknowledge).

For the second question, this depends on how old the product is that you purchase. It has had several incarnations, the latest of which contains most of those additional products in it, so you would only want to get them if you like to have them in a separate booklet and not need to flip lots of pages. There are times I find them useful and times I do not. It mostly comes down to user preference. Additional products you may find useful include Cyclopean Deeps, which details additional underdark locations to supplement the original dungeon (including a few pathways between them and the dungeon) and Borderland Provinces which is the sourcebook containing the area surrounding the dungeon itself on a grander scale than the RA Expansions product.

I agree with most of what has been said so far. As for the different iterations FGG has updated RA for Pathfinder and it can support level 1 PC's. I do agree that the dungeon levels and the encounters are not linear. Your players may encounter a difficulty level 3 (comparable to CR)on one level and a DL/CR of 17 on the next. As an example level 3A contains access to levels 3, 3B, 4A, 6A, 7A. There are 15 numbered levels in total, but counting the lettered levels there are a total of 54. The lettered levels are at the same depth of whatever number it is but accessed from different places. So you need to be familiar with a couple of levels that they may want to go to.

If your players think they might want to explore the surrounding area Borderland Provinces is an excellent resource. There is a Players' Guide and a Players' Gazetteer available. The Gazetteer has a map included. For RA itself there is a Players' Guide which is storyline based that will give the players a good idea of what they may want as equipment.

I hope this helps.

Rappan Athuk is a great megadungeon that supports all levels of play (though if you have heavy optimizers, they may find some stuff fairly easy) in the old-school style. It is a deadly dungeon full of critters, traps, evil clerics and demons. There is a pretty robust background that has several ties to events and places in the Lost Lands (the Frog's campaign setting) but it can just as easily be dropped in to any campaign setting.

The outlying areas around Rappan Athuk - in particular the village of Zelkor's Ferry and the recently discovered Mouth of Doom dungeon are the perfect place to start out your fresh meat... er ... characters. All of this is available in the main book.

As noted, the Expansions book also contains several areas of low to moderate level - the main book has more than enough to keep any party happy though.

Bring extra character sheets, and remind the players, "Don't go down the well!"

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