Return of the Runelords


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Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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CorvusMask wrote:

So being excited again and started to wonder if we are finally going to visit the other "Xin-" capitals of other Thassilonian realms, but then realized I'm not really sure were they are detailed.

Like, umm, ok so Hollow Mountain is Xin-Bakrahkan so its detailed in hollow mountain comic bonus articles and Dungeons of Golarion, Xin-Gastash is in Hold of Belkzen campaign setting book I think, Korvosa is on top of ruins of Sorshen's capital I think, but I have no clue about Krune(I know hes dead, but not sure if his city was ever visited in pfs), Belimarius' or Xanderghul's capitals <_< So umm, yeah, in which book are they detailed further than what is stated in Lost Kingdoms? I wanna buy all even tangentially Thassilon detailed material and read them before Returns :D

Xin-Edasseril is sort of detailed in a section I wrote in Occult Realms under the part on the Temple of Desna's First Dream. It's not precisely about her capital but it is about the Runelord's means of surviving Earthfall.


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James Jacobs wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Balancer wrote:
I hope they'll be the option for the start of the AP to have an old pc being the reason for calling the PC's together. I know my old wizard would be using the gold from RiseotR to send adventurers all over Varina to dig up signs of the other Runelords.
There won't be; that's not the plan. Of course, a GM can change things as needed, but having a 17th level character be in the mix from the very start like that breaks the verisimilitude of why a group of 1st level characters would be the ones going on the adventure in the first place.
Depending on the sidebars and story elements that are GM-eyes-only, and pending advice on waiting to acquire the entirety of the AP before running in such circumstances, I don't believe that it will be as difficult as it seems. *grin*
Maybe not for your group. That's the advantage a GM has over me. She/He knows the players and knows what will and won't work when it comes to potentially upstaging PCs with powerful NPC allies.

It is not a matter of upstaging new characters for us ... it is a matter of viability as a direct sequel, that's all.

To reiterate we're stoked about Return of the Runelords. The sidebars addressing what the veterans of Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star are doing is going to shape our decision to run it either for new characters or to make it work for the veterans.

Looking forward to the epic 'Third Season' no matter what! *grins*


CorvusMask wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Yeah, it totally was.

They also published, "Ways to End your Campaign" on the website - it was pretty much filled with advice the boiled down to, "Make sure everyone dies. The game world is ending, after all!" (though it allowed for a few victories, those were suggested to be kind of hollow.

I have to say, I'm bit confused by "...So wait, why does campaign need to end with either npc cast dying or world ending? Isn't end of the campaign just end of the story" ._.

Anyhoo, wohoo Elder Evil fans : D Thats one of rare classic D&D books I have actually read and I feel like its pretty unappreciated

It was confusing, sure, but the transition from 3-to-4 E was severe enough that it really was t possible to run the 3.X worlds the same way they had been published (by assuming the rules for PCs and NPCs are more or less the same) which gave designers a fun chance to suggest ways that the campaign world might end.

The only thing I would have changed about Elder Evils was getting more of it - more of the basic plots and adventures fleshed out and more explicit and specific information on the elder evils themselves. One example was Pandorym: it seemed pretty clearly implied that he's a super variant of the epic uudivums (I may be mixing up different epic foes, as I'm super bad with names - I mean the ones that are like living spheres of annihilation, not the iron spike face guys from the far realm.) Since you're here, master dinosaur, do you have any insight/recollection whether this was supposed to be true...?. Or how it intersected with divine ranks or powers and whatnot.

I would have loved to see those stats and to see how it was supposed to function out in play! So cool!

I also would have loved sidebars discussing multiple elder evils, or using elder evils against each other - like what happens if you count Ragnorra into Atropus, for example.

Regardless, I've built more than one campaign around the things in that book, so it was wealth well spent! So thanks!


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As nice as it'll be to see the likes of Alaznist, Sorshen, and Xanderghul making a comeback and threatening all of Avistan, I was kinda hoping for an adventure path based on Geb starting a large scale war with all the other kingdoms of the continent of Garund.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
One example was Pandorym: it seemed pretty clearly implied that he's a super variant of the epic uudivums (I may be mixing up different epic foes, as I'm super bad with names - I mean the ones that are like living spheres of annihilation, not the iron spike face guys from the far realm.)

Pandorym isn't explicitly tied to any existing creature, whether the "blackballs" from the Epic Level Handbook or anything else. I highly recommend the Bruce R. Cordell novel Darkvision, where Pandorym originates. Fair warning, though; you won't learn a lot more than Elder Evils had to tell.

Also, interesting trivia: there's a hint of Pandorym in the 4e FRCS. If you've read the novel, you'll know it when you see it.

Tacticslion wrote:
Since you're here, master dinosaur, do you have any insight/recollection whether this was supposed to be true...?

If I recall correctly, Mr. Jacobs was only responsible for the sections on Father Llymic (the icy horror from the Far Realm) and Sertuous (the obyrith serpent). That said, he might know something about the rest...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
One example was Pandorym: it seemed pretty clearly implied that he's a super variant of the epic uudivums (I may be mixing up different epic foes, as I'm super bad with names - I mean the ones that are like living spheres of annihilation, not the iron spike face guys from the far realm.)

Pandorym isn't explicitly tied to any existing creature, whether the "blackballs" from the Epic Level Handbook or anything else. I highly recommend the Bruce R. Cordell novel Darkvision, where Pandorym originates. Fair warning, though; you won't learn a lot more than Elder Evils had to tell.

Also, interesting trivia: there's a hint of Pandorym in the 4e FRCS. If you've read the novel, you'll know it when you see it.

Tacticslion wrote:
Since you're here, master dinosaur, do you have any insight/recollection whether this was supposed to be true...?
If I recall correctly, Mr. Jacobs was only responsible for the sections on Father Llymic (the icy horror from the Far Realm) and Sertuous (the obyrith serpent). That said, he might know something about the rest...

I only wrote the Sertorus section. I don't recall who wrote Father Llymic but it wasn't me.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Ah. My mistake! Thank you for the correction.


Sorry, James et. al., I just realized how super off-topic this was:
I read the novel! The fact that it's body was hinted at (I think in EE?) being something like a sphere of annihilation was what made think of the Umbral Blot/Blackball creature (thanks for the name! I always get it confused because I think, because the name of the spike-headed other thing is on the page with the picture of the Umbral blot due to formatting). Pandorym itself is a psychic presence capable of manipulating others, but it seems that it's body had hints or traits of others. Given the propensity of the ancient Imaskar to do phenomenally stupid things and almost get away with them seems quite in line with "let's conjure a god-killing thingy" which lines up nicely with the implied history of the blackballs - they were constructs made by "old gods" that supposedly killed their own divine(?) creators. This would also for with Pandorym coming from "outside reality" as these entities wouldn't have existed in FR or immediately-related cosmology.

Heck, up until they did whatever it was in 4E to it, I'd been under the impression that the sphere of annihilation worshiped by the Chessentans (was this right? I think it was them, but I'm starting to forget) was actually Pandorym's lost body, and was fairly eager to see how that all played out!

Ah, fanon - you so cray-cray!

Anyway: Sertous!! I had a campaign centering around him! I don't recall your name on the Fortress of the Yaun-Ti series, though, Mr. Jacobs? Was that before your time there, and/or did you use or have anything to do with those in the development of the foes?

Sorry - in my Irma-addled state, it seems I've allowed things to get wildly off topic. >.<

Anyhoo, hype for the Runelords! I'm especially interested in what's going to happen to anyone with Sorshen's clone body!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Tacticslion wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Sorry - in my Irma-addled state, it seems I've allowed things to get wildly off topic. >.<

Anyhoo, hype for the Runelords! I'm especially interested in what's going to happen to anyone with Sorshen's clone body!

Fortress of the Yuan-Ti was long after I had moved over from WotC and was working at Paizo. (I've actually never heard of "Fortress of the Yuan-Ti" and had to google it to find out what it was... or if I HAD heard of it, I'd totally forgotten it.)


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So I thought only two runelords are assumed dead at the start of this adventure but everybody keeps saying the four survivors. Who's the third casualty?


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Sadnerd wrote:
So I thought only two runelords are assumed dead at the start of this adventure but everybody keeps saying the four survivors. Who's the third casualty?

Karzoug (RotRL), Krune (PFS) ... erm, not sure. Zutha's currently pulling his version of a horcrux, so perhaps Zutha is the 'third casualty'?


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OMG's....I don't know how I missed site of this till just now....I think I pee'd myself a little bit :P

So when are we expecting this ???


James Jacobs wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Sorry - in my Irma-addled state, it seems I've allowed things to get wildly off topic. >.<

Anyhoo, hype for the Runelords! I'm especially interested in what's going to happen to anyone with Sorshen's clone body!

Fortress of the Yuan-Ti was long after I had moved over from WotC and was working at Paizo. (I've actually never heard of "Fortress of the Yuan-Ti" and had to google it to find out what it was... or if I HAD heard of it, I'd totally forgotten it.)

Oh! Cool! I didn't know!

That's interesting: I suppose they used your Surtous entry to inform the creation of that module/AP!

Spoiiler!:
He doesn't actually make an appearance, if I recall, but he's supposed to possess/resurrect an old king's corpse, causing lots of problems, if you don't stop him!

Anyhoo, I'd altered it to allow a player to run it as a slowly-awakening aspect of some gods (especially Bast/Sharess), who would have to face down Surtous and then his "full" form, using 3.0's deities and demigods Apep as a base for stats, in immediate succession! Alas, folk moved and it fizzled early on, but it's been one of those I've wanted to complete, someday...

(Along with Serpent's Skull: what is it with serpent-themed games and me that just end? Sigh...)


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm still kinda stunned at the thought of a 22,000 word *outline*

And there was a runelord in

Spoiler:
Wrath of the Righteous. You encounter him in book 5. The Runelord of Wrath. Alderpash.


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Mogloth wrote:

I'm still kinda stunned at the thought of a 22,000 word *outline*

And there was a runelord in

** spoiler omitted **

Is that who that was? *chuckling* ... oopsies

uh:

However, Alderpash is not showing as one of the final runelords ... so he doesn't figure into the answer of "who was the 3rd casualty".

The Exchange

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Mogloth wrote:

I'm still kinda stunned at the thought of a 22,000 word *outline*

And there was a runelord in

** spoiler omitted **

would be nice to see him show up.

Dark Archive

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Wait, who has been saying four survivors? .-.

But yeah, if there is third dead runelord, wouldn't be surprised if Belimarius failed to survive Earthfall :P


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mogloth wrote:

I'm still kinda stunned at the thought of a 22,000 word *outline*

And there was a runelord in

** spoiler omitted **

He was

Spoiler:
the Runelord of Wrath at one point, but he was ousted before Earthfall. The ruling Runelord of Wrath at that time was Alaznist.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:

Wait, who has been saying four survivors? .-.

Not me!

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's probably Xanderghul behind the misinformation. Making people believe he died is exactly the sort of stunt he'd pull.


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There's nothing stopping this Return including Runelords that weren't the last ones. Could be undead, traveled through time, or some other mysterious reason for their prior absence. Ancient empire of wizards leaves a lot of options open.


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So when does this AP release ?


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Next August.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Wrath of the Righteous spoiler:
The lich that had been Runelord Alderpash (a Runelord of Wrath before Alaznist) showed up in Herald of the Ivory Labrynith.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Fortress of the Yuan-Ti was long after I had moved over from WotC and was working at Paizo. (I've actually never heard of "Fortress of the Yuan-Ti" and had to google it to find out what it was... or if I HAD heard of it, I'd totally forgotten it.)

You're not the only one to forget about this one. When I read your post, I was sure I'd never heard of this adventure either, but then I found it on my D&D shelf. Well... :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am late to this party, because I was on vacation between the end of August and just now, but YESSSSSSSS!!!!!

And NOOOOOOOO!, because this means aside from wanting to run Hell's Rebels, War of the Crown, Dead Suns, a homebrewn AP and having to finish Reign of Winter (which alone will take about a year at least), I now have to also run Shattered Star before this. Can someone buy my group and me Rings of Sustenance or some sort of time dilation device, please?

James Jacobs wrote:

Yes.

Return of the Runelords takes place about a decade after Rise of the Runelords and about 5 years after Shattered Star, but before Jade Regent (although if you've run Jade Regent in your game, that won't really impact your Return of the Runelords game much at all).

That means that we'll be seeing how the events of those two previous APs have impacted Varisia. You will be visiting Magnimar, Riddleport, Korvosa, Sandpoint, and Kaer Maga during the AP in any event.

Well, damned, continuity finally in AP's. :p I'm really looking forward to this. Although not sure how the Jade Regent timing could work out with this timeline. Eh, guess I gotta import Amaya into Sandpoint.


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Sadnerd wrote:
So I thought only two runelords are assumed dead at the start of this adventure but everybody keeps saying the four survivors. Who's the third casualty?

Zutha is the BBEG of Lord of Runes, not sure if he meets Final Death, however.


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I think they're still looking for a way to destroy his phylactery at the end of that book. Where does one find a virtuous king willing to fast for a month?

Shadow Lodge

magnuskn wrote:
And NOOOOOOOO!, because this means aside from wanting to run Hell's Rebels, War of the Crown, Dead Suns, a homebrewn AP and having to finish Reign of Winter (which alone will take about a year at least)

Well, you can skip or safely bump down the bold, at least, in favor of an AP that the creators cared enough to actually make good.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
And NOOOOOOOO!, because this means aside from wanting to run Hell's Rebels, War of the Crown, Dead Suns, a homebrewn AP and having to finish Reign of Winter (which alone will take about a year at least)
Well, you can skip or safely bump down the bold, at least, in favor of an AP that the creators cared enough to actually make good.

A) War Of The Crown isn't out yet. B) the rest is a matter of opinion.

An opinion a lot of people don't share. :-)


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What captain yesterday said.

Also, you're going a long way to attack certain creators' work. I mean, you had to reach for an unreleased AP to make your attack. I know why certain parts of the Internet don't like Hell's Rebels, after all... and it's easy to see the connection between that and an AP led by Ms. Frasier.

It's probably nothing. Just curious, is all. Very curious.


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I personally have yet to read something Crystal Frasier has written that I didn't love. :-)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
And NOOOOOOOO!, because this means aside from wanting to run Hell's Rebels, War of the Crown, Dead Suns, a homebrewn AP and having to finish Reign of Winter (which alone will take about a year at least)
Well, you can skip or safely bump down the bold, at least, in favor of an AP that the creators cared enough to actually make good.

I, uh, throughly disagree, having already extensively read through all the modules of Hell's Rebels and, y'know, War of the Crown not being out yet. But if you want to all salty, be my guest. I guess.


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Phantom of Truth wrote:
I know why certain parts of the Internet don't like Hell's Rebels, after all...

I'll admit, I'm curious about that. Shoot me a PM, so that we don't derail the thread?


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Phantom of Truth wrote:

What captain yesterday said.

Also, you're going a long way to attack certain creators' work. I mean, you had to reach for an unreleased AP to make your attack. I know why certain parts of the Internet don't like Hell's Rebels, after all... and it's easy to see the connection between that and an AP led by Ms. Frasier.

It's probably nothing. Just curious, is all. Very curious.

It' s OK for people to have different opinions.

I ran the entire AP and one player thought he would hate the rebel management and it was his favorite part, while another player had the exact opposite reaction.

For the record I liked it overall and I am looking forward to Return of the Runelords. I am hoping for good continuity between modules and foreshadowing of the end boss. Those ugly problems seem to rear there heads in the AP's a little too often.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Phantom of Truth wrote:
I know why certain parts of the Internet don't like Hell's Rebels, after all...
I'll admit, I'm curious about that. Shoot me a PM, so that we don't derail the thread?

I'm interested in that, too. Hell's Rebel is constantlöy being called out as one of the best of paizo's adventure path as far as I have seen. Thsi is the first time I'm hearing this.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't know, insinuating that the creators of Hell's Rebels and War for the Crown, which isn't even out, have willingly and knowingly conspired to make an inferior product is highly disrespectful.

Shadow Lodge

Zaister wrote:
I don't know, insinuating that the creators of Hell's Rebels and War for the Crown, which isn't even out, have willingly and knowingly conspired to make an inferior product is highly disrespectful.

Well really, it's obvious that Varisia's and the Runelords' stories are the favored child, having now by far the most APs and a PFS season devoted to them. That other aspects of the setting get less attention and care is hardly a conspiracy, more a matter of course.

It would probably have been better for everyone involved had the setting not branched out beyond Varisia, at least, not until years after it actually did.

But back to the original point, that means this product will likely be superior. And having a superior product is a good thing.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Now you're just being silly.

Seems like they put a ton of effort into every AP, from the artwork on down, and they're always tweaking and adjusting the format according to positive and constructive feedback.

Maybe you should try it sometime. :-)

Shadow Lodge

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captain yesterday wrote:

Now you're just being silly.

Seems like they put a ton of effort into every AP, from the artwork on down, and they're always tweaking and adjusting the format according to positive and constructive feedback.

Maybe you should try it sometime. :-)

Considering objectively the best AP remains Curse of the Crimson Throne (to which I actually prefer Hell's Rebels and a number of others, but I have bad taste), that feedback doesn't seem to have helped much. And really, it shouldn't. The boards are a place to vent giddiness at or frustration with a product, while the really helpful data concerns sales.

And I'd take claims about universal care more seriously if Paizo's business model didn't depend on sweating independent contractors like so much of the modern gig economy.

Dark Archive

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Umm, I'm not sure what you just said or if it was trolling. If you meant with "feedback doesn't seem to have helped much" regarding one of best APs being the second pathfinder ap, I don't think that sentence really makes sense. I mean, every AP is different in style and design :P So its not really "quality has gone down" thing its more of them offering different pastry every year, sure some people like cakes less than muffins, which is bizarre to me indeed. And now I wanna eat cake.

Ahem, besides bizarre metaphors and getting off track, anyhoo, wanted to ask that isn't it less case of "Varisia is creator favourite, so it gets good aps put in it" and more case of "Varisia has had awesome stories told in it, so its favorite"?.. Dunno if that makes sense, I'm writing again when I'm being really sleep deprived

Sovereign Court

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Zaister wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Phantom of Truth wrote:
I know why certain parts of the Internet don't like Hell's Rebels, after all...
I'll admit, I'm curious about that. Shoot me a PM, so that we don't derail the thread?
I'm interested in that, too. Hell's Rebel is constantlöy being called out as one of the best of paizo's adventure path as far as I have seen. Thsi is the first time I'm hearing this.

Spoiler:

So, back in the day, some people were big fans of Queen, then they found out that Freddie Mercury had a different lifestyle to them and they started saying Queen were rubbish, started calling the music they once loved 'melodramatic' and 'soft'.
It's that kind of thing...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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magnuskn wrote:


Well, damned, continuity finally in AP's. :p I'm really looking forward to this. Although not sure how the Jade Regent timing could work out with this timeline. Eh, guess I gotta import Amaya into Sandpoint.

This is nothing new. We've had it before with Curse of the Crimson Throne, Shattered Star, Hell's Rebels, and Hell's Vengeance to name a few.

And it's looking more and more like the timing of Jade Regent is irrelevant, since...

Spoiler:
while there IS a short stop at Sandpoint, it's not a major role in Return of the Runelords and a trip to the Rusty Dragon isn't part of the plot.

Dark Archive

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Yeah, there has been continuity since Crimson Throne <_< I'm kind of surprised that people keep bringing it up since APs have had a form of continuity for a while already... Heck, it shows up in APs without connections to others, like Iron Gods doesn't have official start date(though since Numeria's campaign setting book has current year as 4714, its pretty much 2014 yeah), but it does have happen several years after 4709 because of what happens in that year in numeria.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
Yeah, there has been continuity since Crimson Throne <_< I'm kind of surprised that people keep bringing it up since APs have had a form of continuity for a while already... Heck, it shows up in APs without connections to others, like Iron Gods doesn't have official start date(though since Numeria's campaign setting book has current year as 4714, its pretty much 2014 yeah), but it does have happen several years after 4709 because of what happens in that year in numeria.

Here's the thing.

We DO have a very strongly implied continuity in the Adventure Path line if you look close; they happen in the order they're created, because that's the order we create them in more or less. Some of them we have planned well in advance (Reign of Winter taking place at a specific time, for example), and others are pretty self-contained, but they all are implied to happen in the order they're published.

We don't shout that from the mountaintop though because it's not something you need to know to play any one AP. You CAN play them in any order, and it's perfectly fine to start subscribing at volume 103 or whatever... you don't need to have read and played every one of them, and if we were more blatant and aggressive about the continuity, we'd have the same problem comic books have; diminishing returns due to new customers assuming that there's too much back issue stuff to read through in order to enjoy the new stuff.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Also... if you have grievances against Paizo or how we do things, please don't get into it here. That's off topic. Start a different and dedicated thread.

Dark Archive

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Yeah, but I'm still surprised that people keep not noticing it ._. I mean, you can have continuity and still ability to play APs in any order, only thing required for that is that you don't need knowledge from old ones to understand what is going on in newer ones. People keep speaking about it as if continuity is incompatible with ability to play them in any order, that is not true.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
Yeah, but I'm still surprised that people keep not noticing it ._. I mean, you can have continuity and still ability to play APs in any order, only thing required for that is that you don't need knowledge from old ones to understand what is going on in newer ones. People keep speaking about it as if continuity is incompatible with ability to play them in any order, that is not true.

And again, that's by design that it's not supposed to be super noticeable. If it were, then we'd run the problem of an incorrect perception that in order to understand each volume, one would need to have read those that came before. And that's not good for sustainability.

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