Return of the Runelords


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Runelords isn't capitalized unless it's at the start of a sentence or if it's used in conjunction with a name.

So... you would write Runelord Sorshen is a runelord.

Just like you'd write King Arthur is a king.

Grand Lodge

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I'll throw in the positive comment from the otherwise silent viewer!

Excited for this... currently running Rise.

My only complaint... too many awesome APs to play and so little time... and now there's Starfinder!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Throwing in some more, thank you James, for all the hours upon hours upon hours of entertainment you have given us all these years, for being a major presence on these boards in one capacity or the other and communicating with us like this, and for igniting our own imaginations and allowing them to continue to grow like crazy.

Thank you.


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James Jacobs wrote:

Runelords isn't capitalized unless it's at the start of a sentence or if it's used in conjunction with a name.

So... you would write Runelord Sorshen is a runelord.

Just like you'd write King Arthur is a king.

Or Empyreal Lord Arshea is an empyreal lord. Got it.

Dark Archive

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I hope Lortach isn't plot important in this one because I plan to have him as bbeg when I continue Crimson Throne(I really hope they get fiend card from many things) after the ap :P After all, dat artifact needs infernal duke blood, among other things, to be destroyed. Now to figure out where players could find titans... Or who the heck would be appropriate empyreal lord for that purpose(I guess they could just petition any of them for blood sample)

I don't know why he would be important in this one, but I assume Algae had some reason to mention him. In general, I hope there isn't stuff in it that becomes impossible because gm decided to continue from advice given in "wanna continue the campaign after ap" section, but I think thats just variant of "Hey, I hope this ap doesn't assume that artifact players can easily destroy and probably should destroy wasn't destroyed" xD

Shadow Lodge

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If the AP goes to Korvosa, is it too much to hope that the Ironworks feature in some way? I missed them, and their associated content, in the Crimson Throne hardcover.


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I like this idea. I'll buy the AP when it's printed.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

First off, let me start by saying how much I love Pathfinder.

I have been here since before the beginning, and hope to never see it end. James Jacobs, I love Varisia, currently running a 10-year and still going play-by-post campaign there. The runelords are awesome, and I thoroughly enjoyed Wrath of the Righteous.

I am also one of the hopefuls waiting for a Second Darkness hardcover reprint one day, so that it can take the place of the softcovers on my shelf.

Now, on to what I want to see in this Adventure Path...

One map I really want is Thassilon before Earthfall.

Specific, sin-themed creations of each runelords.

More of Sorshen... I don't mean like that...though, I guess I wouldn't complain, haha

Inside and underneath the Devil's Platter

Shadow Lodge

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Nathan Nasif wrote:
One map I really want is Thassilon before Earthfall.

That exists.

Unless you were talking about something more detailed, or with the inundated lands filled in properly.


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MrVergee wrote:
This might just become an existential crisis: nothing left to wish for anymore.

Dude! Vikings vs. Witches! Seriously!


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Sorshen and Xanderghul should be incredibly dangerous foes. Not just in combat, but for how effective they can be at being puppet masters, infiltrators par excellence and oh so ridiculously subtle should they so choose to be. They have eons of experience at ruling kingdoms, having sparred with each other all throughout that time.

Sorshen should be able to whisper the most ludicrous of lies in the ears of the powerful to see them believed heart and soul. Just by skill alone, let alone interweaving powerful 9th level spells into the mix. Slinking into the halls of power throughout the lands she can drive her new foes against each other with the merest hints of the fulfillment of their strongest desires. Is there an army of orcs in the way of an ally's return to their domain? Whisper dark desires of conquest and savagery in the ears of a susceptible purple-skinned giant.

Xanderghul is apparently capable of making entire nations appear as something utterly fantastical and no one can nay-say him, very few even have the option to try (i.e., attempt a saving throw). Greater, subtler and longer-term after being overt for eons may well have suited his disposition upon emerging from stasis a few centuries past. Set up shop in an out-of-the-way island, don the glamered mantle of a great gold wyrm with a 'utopia' of humanity seeking to improve the entire population over generations into the 'best they can be'. A bit of irony in that this takes a similar mindset to the veiled masters' operations within Azlant and Thassilon prior to Earthfall.

These two compared to the other two surviving runelords should be severely difficult to overcome. Xanderghul moreso than Sorshen despite Sorshen's powerful capability with Enchantments. She can subvert, co-opt, corrupt and utterly dominate your family, friends, enemies and colleagues. Xanderghul can make you appear to them as that which they most fear, hate and loathe without having to know exactly what that is.

If they are cooperating together to rise the Empire of Thassilon from the ashes within the creaking dustbin of history, they may even happen upon a ridiculously audacious plan.

Aroden's rebirth.


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James Jacobs wrote:


Thanks for the kind words! And indeed, the toll the internet has taken on my attitude is pretty significant; it's why I stopped answering questions on my Ask James thread, after all. And why I've increasingly not been posting much here, or going to conventions, and so on. It wears one down, which makes it all the more important to hear when someone empathizes and compliments. So... thanks again! :-)

But the advice of "not engaging when you don't like something that you see other people DO like" is GREAT advice. It's something I've been trying to do myself for the past several years when friends get excited about shows or books or games or whatever that I'm ambivalent toward or actually do not like. I just get quiet, let them talk and enjoy things, and don't worry about the fact that they like something I do not.

James, I met you at PaizoCon this past year, and although I didn't get much of a chance to talk to you, I deeply enjoyed listening to you at the Ultimate Wilderness preview.

I've generally found that aside from dinosaurs, my personal views of the game match up very close to your own. I've enjoyed the vast majority of the game material that you've created, and purchased a number of products where you were a key contributor without even realizing you were the writer, like Red Hand of Doom.

I ran Wrath of the Righteous, and were mythic rules over-the-top? Yes! That was the entire point of them, in my view. I deeply enjoyed the AP, and my players so brutally overpowered the villains in the last module that the Big Bad didn't come after them, instead they had to go hunt the coward down in his own plane of existence! I really wish they could be used again for PCs in an adventure path, even if it's only a handful of tiers.

I'm sorry you've been burning out on the internet, and I'll try my best to make my interactions on the forums better. It'll be a lot easier with two adventure paths in a row that I'm outright excited for, both War for the Crown and Return of the Runelords. The only things that could make me more excited would be seeing Second Darkness redone in an anniversary edition, and

Spoiler:
Nocticula's deific ascension/redemption in an adventure path.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Anguish wrote:

I'm kind of annoyed. Not at you. It's just... folks who don't like a thing are extra eager to spread sour. Meanwhile, people who like a thing are content, so silent. And if a situation arises where there's one of each, it ends up an argument, which is bonus-sour.

It sucks.

This. For my part, I am thrilled by this AP. I can't wait to see it. As someone that was around for the first AP, I am glad to see this story continue.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Runelords isn't capitalized unless it's at the start of a sentence or if it's used in conjunction with a name.

So... you would write Runelord Sorshen is a runelord.

Just like you'd write King Arthur is a king.

Or Empyreal Lord Arshea is an empyreal lord. Got it.

Technically correct, but we almost never refer to demigods in that way. That's less like saying "Runelord Sorshen" and more like saying "Devil Ice Devil" or "Genie Marid."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Nathan Nasif wrote:
One map I really want is Thassilon before Earthfall.

That exists.

Unless you were talking about something more detailed, or with the inundated lands filled in properly.

That's not what he's talking about, I think. He's talking about a map that shows Thassilon before Earthfall, not Thassilon's borders overlaid over the modern map. Earthfall changed a LOT... not the least of which is that pre-Earthfall there was no Varisian Gulf.


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Sweet! With this, Ruins of Azlant and the upcoming Wizards for the Coast ;-) it seems I'll be keeping my sub on for quite a while.


So.

Azlant and Thassilon were quasi-foes: rivals at best. Certainly seeking to show eachother up, and hopefully gain so much power as to dominate the other, as Thassilon was considered heretics.

Aroden was the Last Azlanti.

There are two claimants for being the inheritor of Azlant.

One has been turned to heresy and devil worship.

The other has just undergone a civil war to determine its rightful heir... a civil war ripe for an enterprising runelord to exploit (or exploit the aftermath of...)

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
But the advice of "not engaging when you don't like something that you see other people DO like" is GREAT advice. It's something I've been trying to do myself for the past several years when friends get excited about shows or books or games or whatever that I'm ambivalent toward or actually do not like. I just get quiet, let them talk and enjoy things, and don't worry about the fact that they like something I do not.

As someone who has been seriously burnt out by negative behavior (and compared to you, it only took me the tiniest amount of time to get there) I can empathize a lot with what you've been going through. And I second everything Anguish said about you in his post.

This said, part of the problem might be that a forum like this is partly used to give feedback to the publisher and that includes positive and negative feedback. So "not engaging when you don't like something" basically means that I can't tell Paizo if they are doing products I don't care about (which is rarely the case, btw.). I know that more often than not, the problem isn't the criticism but the form in which it is presented, but on the other hand I've also seen things escalate because the fanbase seems to be very sensitive when someone critizises anything. And that's when things tend to get ugly.

But yeah, we often forget to comment on the things we actually like, so let me just add that this AP is exactly what I have been waiting for for a very ong time. And that it goes to level 20 is the next thing I was waiting for. Meaning that I'm way beyond exited :)

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


That's not what he's talking about, I think. He's talking about a map that shows Thassilon before Earthfall, not Thassilon's borders overlaid over the modern map. Earthfall changed a LOT... not the least of which is that pre-Earthfall there was no Varisian Gulf.

Exactly this. I want to see the pre-Earthfall landscape in that area. I want to be able to see everywhere the Giant's Causeway ran. I want to see major cities and sites of each Thassilonian realm.

I want a gazateer to go along with this map, done like your typical ones, with just enough info to spark adventure ideas, for both current people discovering the ruins, as well as an idea of who or what lived there before Earthfall and what they may have been up to.

Dark Archive

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Nathan Nasif wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


That's not what he's talking about, I think. He's talking about a map that shows Thassilon before Earthfall, not Thassilon's borders overlaid over the modern map. Earthfall changed a LOT... not the least of which is that pre-Earthfall there was no Varisian Gulf.

Exactly this. I want to see the pre-Earthfall landscape in that area. I want to be able to see everywhere the Giant's Causeway ran. I want to see major cities and sites of each Thassilonian realm.

I want a gazateer to go along with this map, done like your typical ones, with just enough info to spark adventure ideas, for both current people discovering the ruins, as well as an idea of who or what lived there before Earthfall and what they may have been up to.

Ye, that would be cool for those reasons yeah. Then again, I've always wanted book that depicts maps for each "age" of Golarion ever since I read that time traveling artifact because its one thing to hear "Okay serpent folk ruled in age of serpents" and seeing on map how long their rule stretched over the place


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The Mad Comrade wrote:

{. . .}

Sorshen should be able to whisper the most ludicrous of lies in the ears of the powerful to see them believed heart and soul. Just by skill alone, let alone interweaving powerful 9th level spells into the mix. {. . .}

Xanderghul is apparently capable of making entire nations appear as something utterly fantastical and no one can nay-say him, very few even have the option to try (i.e., attempt a saving throw). {. . .}

Scary part is: These have both been demonstrated to work quite well on our Earth . . . .


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:

{. . .}

Sorshen should be able to whisper the most ludicrous of lies in the ears of the powerful to see them believed heart and soul. Just by skill alone, let alone interweaving powerful 9th level spells into the mix. {. . .}

Xanderghul is apparently capable of making entire nations appear as something utterly fantastical and no one can nay-say him, very few even have the option to try (i.e., attempt a saving throw). {. . .}

Scary part is: These have both been demonstrated to work quite well on our Earth . . . .

Agreed ... which makes them all the more terrifying ...

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


That's not what he's talking about, I think. He's talking about a map that shows Thassilon before Earthfall, not Thassilon's borders overlaid over the modern map. Earthfall changed a LOT... not the least of which is that pre-Earthfall there was no Varisian Gulf.

Wait, was Varisia connected to Azlant by a land bridge?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There still was a sea - Azlant was a seperate continent from Avistan and Garund. It's just the Varisian Gulf which didn't exist back then. (And the Inner Sea - or just parts of it - IIRC.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Stratagemini wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


That's not what he's talking about, I think. He's talking about a map that shows Thassilon before Earthfall, not Thassilon's borders overlaid over the modern map. Earthfall changed a LOT... not the least of which is that pre-Earthfall there was no Varisian Gulf.
Wait, was Varisia connected to Azlant by a land bridge?

No.


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These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?


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Glad to see another high level adventure path!


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The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?

Not sure I see the advantage in that. Lot of people truly enjoy those lower levels, and there's still a lot of fun to be had there. But I'm certain that Mr. Jacobs and crew have a good idea of how they want to tackle those lower levels with those wacky runelords about!


Sub-Creator wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?
Not sure I see the advantage in that. Lot of people truly enjoy those lower levels, and there's still a lot of fun to be had there. But I'm certain that Mr. Jacobs and crew have a good idea of how they want to tackle those lower levels with those wacky runelords about!

Every Paizo AP starts at 1st level. Some very, very good 3rd-party campaigns start out at 7th level, for example. Should Return of the Runelords be 2018's 'experimental AP', then why not one that functions as a sequel in more than just name? :)

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Sub-Creator wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?
Not sure I see the advantage in that. Lot of people truly enjoy those lower levels, and there's still a lot of fun to be had there. But I'm certain that Mr. Jacobs and crew have a good idea of how they want to tackle those lower levels with those wacky runelords about!
Every Paizo AP starts at 1st level. Some very, very good 3rd-party campaigns start out at 7th level, for example. Should Return of the Runelords be 2018's 'experimental AP', then why not one that functions as a sequel in more than just name? :)

The AP would have to start at about level 17-18 to "a sequel in more than just name" to Rise of the Runelords and/or Shattered Star. There are no rules for play beyond level 20, except Mythic, and there's no apparent appetite for Mythic PCs. That means the AP would cover something like 2-3 levels to be a true sequel (meaning, it's played with the same PCs), which would be artificially slow.

Starting at level 7, or some other arbitrary level, doesn't make any sense for a sequel either.

The best place to start is at the beginning.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

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Would be cool to have a way (optionally) for characters used in the prior paths to find their way into chapter 5 or 6... little crossover episode...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm toying with a "passing the buck" idea where, as new character realize how out of their depth they are, they go looking up the old PCs...

Note that this is only even remotely feasible because we've all run this bad boy and have old PCs to dust off. Even then... I might not like how it scans.

Grand Lodge

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Cole Deschain wrote:

I'm toying with a "passing the buck" idea where, as new character realize how out of their depth they are, they go looking up the old PCs...

Note that this is only even remotely feasible because we've all run this bad boy and have old PCs to dust off. Even then... I might not like how it scans.

I think it'd be cool not to let the players know... suddenly, there they are!

In any case... this, and Ruins of Azlant have me really trying to figure out how to play more!!!


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Skeld wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Sub-Creator wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?
Not sure I see the advantage in that. Lot of people truly enjoy those lower levels, and there's still a lot of fun to be had there. But I'm certain that Mr. Jacobs and crew have a good idea of how they want to tackle those lower levels with those wacky runelords about!
Every Paizo AP starts at 1st level. Some very, very good 3rd-party campaigns start out at 7th level, for example. Should Return of the Runelords be 2018's 'experimental AP', then why not one that functions as a sequel in more than just name? :)

The AP would have to start at about level 17-18 to "a sequel in more than just name" to Rise of the Runelords and/or Shattered Star. There are no rules for play beyond level 20, except Mythic, and there's no apparent appetite for Mythic PCs. That means the AP would cover something like 2-3 levels to be a true sequel (meaning, it's played with the same PCs), which would be artificially slow.

Starting at level 7, or some other arbitrary level, doesn't make any sense for a sequel either.

The best place to start is at the beginning.

-Skeld

What says level advancement past 20th is even necessary? Take a page out of E-6, awarding boons pertinent to the campaign every so often instead. Say, for example, one of those boons is being able to pierce Xanderghul's otherwise impenetrable mythic illusions. No non-mythic character will ever get a save to disbelieve without such a boon. This bunch of characters because of [insert accomplishment here] are able to perceive Xanderghul's illusions - and his illusions alone - for what they are. Whichever kind it is that is used to cloak vast swathes of terrain as something other than what it actually is. Something, anything, other than the 20-odd AP-old same-same formula.

I view this as an opportunity to stretch creative muscles by development and writers to the nth degree, should they desire to do so. If not, it'll probably still be awesome. A missed opportunity to be sure.


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Skeld wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Sub-Creator wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?
Not sure I see the advantage in that. Lot of people truly enjoy those lower levels, and there's still a lot of fun to be had there. But I'm certain that Mr. Jacobs and crew have a good idea of how they want to tackle those lower levels with those wacky runelords about!
Every Paizo AP starts at 1st level. Some very, very good 3rd-party campaigns start out at 7th level, for example. Should Return of the Runelords be 2018's 'experimental AP', then why not one that functions as a sequel in more than just name? :)

The AP would have to start at about level 17-18 to "a sequel in more than just name" to Rise of the Runelords and/or Shattered Star. There are no rules for play beyond level 20, except Mythic, and there's no apparent appetite for Mythic PCs. That means the AP would cover something like 2-3 levels to be a true sequel (meaning, it's played with the same PCs), which would be artificially slow.

{. . .}

Actually, rules for advancing beyond 20th level do exist, although they are not very fleshed out.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?

Well, since the AP goes all the way to level 20, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that you can just take the higher level modules and add them to a previous campaign. If the material lends itself to such a thing, I might do that myself as a follow-up to my Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. After all, my group takes years to complete one single AP, so there is no way we can ever play all of them. This could be a good way to use some of the books at least and to give my high-level PC veterans the chance of a second career in which their considerable powers are required.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One thing I disliked about the 1st WOD's Gehenna was that after telling us that one antediluvian waking up early was almost an extinction event, they had to find ways of explaining why the rising of all the others in the maturity of their power could be somewhat countered by PCs
This ended up cheapening said rising IMO

I fervently hope that this will not be the case for the Runelords

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Every Paizo AP starts at 1st level. Some very, very good 3rd-party campaigns start out at 7th level, for example. Should Return of the Runelords be 2018's 'experimental AP', then why not one that functions as a sequel in more than just name? :)

Because that might be, from all what I've heard so far, be a very bad decision business-wise, as it seems that a lot of long-time campaigns seem to run into serious problems around level 12/13 and stop there. Dunno if I'm any kind of representative, but I do know for a fact that an AP that didn't start at level 1 would probably immediately make me reconsider my subscription for that specific AP. Ok, probably not canceling it because of the setting content, but I very much hate creating characters at higher level and I much prefer the gameplay in the lower half of the level range, so to take that out of an AP would be a big deal-breaker for me.

But then it's on Paizo to decide if that would be a feasible endeavor and if there's a big enough market for that, then I could easily live missing out on one AP as there are many more that I still have to run or play.

But not this one, please, because I'm really stoked for this sequel and I don't want to miss out on that one :)


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WormysQueue wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Every Paizo AP starts at 1st level. Some very, very good 3rd-party campaigns start out at 7th level, for example. Should Return of the Runelords be 2018's 'experimental AP', then why not one that functions as a sequel in more than just name? :)

Because that might be, from all what I've heard so far, be a very bad decision business-wise, as it seems that a lot of long-time campaigns seem to run into serious problems around level 12/13 and stop there. Dunno if I'm any kind of representative, but I do know for a fact that an AP that didn't start at level 1 would probably immediately make me reconsider my subscription for that specific AP. Ok, probably not canceling it because of the setting content, but I very much hate creating characters at higher level and I much prefer the gameplay in the lower half of the level range, so to take that out of an AP would be a big deal-breaker for me.

But then it's on Paizo to decide if that would be a feasible endeavor and if there's a big enough market for that, then I could easily live missing out on one AP as there are many more that I still have to run or play.

But not this one, please, because I'm really stoked for this sequel and I don't want to miss out on that one :)

I won't cancel my sub for this AP solely based on what the starting level is. What I read earlier up thread is that James Jacobs and his development team are looking at in this thread at a very early point on the development process is for ideas, comments on what to consider for this AP that may have been missed, and so forth.

Figure it's worth throwing a few darts at the board to at least get consideration.

The veterans of the previous APs are not more than a decade older than when the previous APs concluded. That they would not show a direct interest in these events is something very much to be accounted for. What could possibly distract them from the events of the first two APs, without 'rocks fall, all of you die, gimme your stuff' via Xanderghul. No one is going to be particularly happy about being snuffed off-camera to further a bunch of 1st level scrubs' AP.

The veterans of Rise of the Runelords have the vast wealth of Xin-Shalast at their disposal. This buys a lot of high-end divination spells cast at the apex of capability short of mythic. With mid-level spells available in plenty, it won't take that long to extricate the lion's share of the wealth from that ancient city, leaving probably another five years or so of time to be accounted for.

The veterans of Shattered Star have the intact and fully operational Sihedron at their disposal and the largest city in Varisia very happy to have had their protection for the past 2 years or so since that APs conclusion. Probably not as proactive as the RotRL veterans since they have less incentive as-scripted to dig further.

Individual campaigns will vary of course.

There is a strong likelihood that at least some these prior characters have been attempting to dig up further information all over Varisia regarding the whereabouts of the surviving four runelords. With 5 or more years worth of 8th and 9th level divination spells applied to this effort, the reasons why those 18th-20th level characters have not discovered whatever it is that gets this AP started will hopefully be accounted for.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Mad Comrade wrote:
I won't cancel my sub for this AP solely based on what the starting level is.

As said, I probably won't either. But the difference to me is that, while I'm fully knowing that I'll never run or play probably 90% of the Aps I buy with my sub, there is not a single one I wouldn't consider a potential choice if I decided to run a new game (or play in one).

But I also know that I'll never start running a game at a level other than level 1 (I might start campaigns at level zero, though), and I'll probably never ever again try to play a character that was built at a higher level (did it once, hated every second of the experience).

You see how that might clash with an AP starting at a higher level.

As far as your point about the veteran PCs goes, I agree, but I also think that James has already addressed this point in this very thread. I'm used though to make up my own reasons for that, so that's actually not a new problem as far as I'm concerned.


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I've had a different experience, playing in and having run more than once connected APs/campaigns with high-level characters. Managing expectations is key, no question.

I'm not trying to say that this AP should start at 7th level with new characters per se. More that it will be very important to account for what is keeping 8-10 or so 18th+ level characters from not participating in this campaign when by all rights they probably should be.


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WormysQueue wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
I won't cancel my sub for this AP solely based on what the starting level is.

As said, I probably won't either. But the difference to me is that, while I'm fully knowing that I'll never run or play probably 90% of the Aps I buy with my sub, there is not a single one I wouldn't consider a potential choice if I decided to run a new game (or play in one).

But I also know that I'll never start running a game at a level other than level 1 (I might start campaigns at level zero, though), and I'll probably never ever again try to play a character that was built at a higher level (did it once, hated every second of the experience).

You see how that might clash with an AP starting at a higher level.

As far as your point about the veteran PCs goes, I agree, but I also think that James has already addressed this point in this very thread. I'm used though to make up my own reasons for that, so that's actually not a new problem as far as I'm concerned.

Yep, Messr. Jacobs does mention my concerns re: veteran PCs. I had forgotten in my enthusiasm. :)


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UnArcaneElection wrote:


Actually, rules for advancing beyond 20th level do exist, although they are not very fleshed out.

In which we should politely request that those rules be further developed.


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I'm very curious to see how the PCs from Rise o/t Runelords and Shattered Star are explained.
Before I ran Shattered Star, I was running Skull & Shackles. In the S&S campaign, I dropped hints to things going on in other places of the world as a vague explanation of why the RotRL PCs would be missing/occupied when the events of Shattered Star happened.
My players didn't trust the PCs from RotRL with the knowledge and power they discovered in SS, so they never thought to seek out "The Heroes of Sandpoint" for help/advice.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?

Because...

1) I've already got a pretty excellent (I think) story for 1st to 20th level characters for this AP.

2) An AP that starts at 1st level is stronger, not only because that allows for the full character growth and development, but more importantly on our end, because we can make stronger and more stable assumptions about what the PCs were doing before the AP begins. If we start an AP at higher than 1st level, then what the PCs have been up to is 100% uncontrolled by us, and as such we can't as elegantly build a campaign. An adventure for higher level characters is a better tactic for a stand-alone module.


The Mad Comrade wrote:


Figure it's worth throwing a few darts at the board to at least get consideration.

That's fine, but if yocould be so kind to not throw this specific dart at an AP I'm very excited to play, this would be appreciated.

To be honest, I'm not extremely wild about this going to Lvl 20 either, but I can live with it. But starting the AP later than lvl 1? That's a deal breaker for my group as th early levels usually are the most fun


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James Jacobs wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
These are runelords, the mightiest of the archmages of Thassilon. How about writing this AP for characters that are already high-level?

Because...

1) I've already got a pretty excellent (I think) story for 1st to 20th level characters for this AP.

2) An AP that starts at 1st level is stronger, not only because that allows for the full character growth and development, but more importantly on our end, because we can make stronger and more stable assumptions about what the PCs were doing before the AP begins. If we start an AP at higher than 1st level, then what the PCs have been up to is 100% uncontrolled by us, and as such we can't as elegantly build a campaign. An adventure for higher level characters is a better tactic for a stand-alone module.

Very cool. Thanks for the answers. Rest assured a great many are looking forward to Rise of the Runelords. :)


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Hythlodeus wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:


Figure it's worth throwing a few darts at the board to at least get consideration.

That's fine, but if you could be so kind to not throw this specific dart at an AP I'm very excited to play, this would be appreciated.

To be honest, I'm not extremely wild about this going to Lvl 20 either, but I can live with it. But starting the AP later than lvl 1? That's a deal breaker for my group as the early levels usually are the most fun

Answer's been provided. I know I can adapt this to my needs when the time comes. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Mad Comrade wrote:
More that it will be very important to account for what is keeping 8-10 or so 18th+ level characters from not participating in this campaign when by all rights they probably should be.

This is going to be a SIGNIFICANT plot element, and one that is also something of a spoiler, so I'm not going to be saying anything more about it other than to confirm that the role of those prior 17th level or 18th level PCs and how they interact with the story of Return of the Runelords is very very very "load bearing."


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James Jacobs wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
More that it will be very important to account for what is keeping 8-10 or so 18th+ level characters from not participating in this campaign when by all rights they probably should be.
This is going to be a SIGNIFICANT plot element, and one that is also something of a spoiler, so I'm not going to be saying anything more about it other than to confirm that the role of those prior 17th level or 18th level PCs and how they interact with the story of Return of the Runelords is very very very "load bearing."

Awesome! Thanks again for the reply!

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