3 - Runeplague (GM Reference)


Return of the Runelords

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This is a spoiler-filled resource thread for GMs running the Return of the Runelords Adventure Path, specifically for the third adventure, "Runeplague."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spoiler:
So this adventure ties in directly with the Tyrant's Grasp and the return of the Whispering Tyrant. Can anybody tell me how the first seal was destroyed?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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theLegend76 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
The first seal was destroyed in the setup for our very first adventure, "Crown of the Kobold King," well over a decade ago. It's been part of the game's story from the start, but I probably should have put a reminder into the adventure about it I suppose. In any event, I'm sure it will be more blatant/obvious in Tyrant's Grasp's history stuff, since that plot point is significant to that AP and not just a side-note as it is in this one.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

James, thanks for the bit of lore! No need to worry about it, I'm sure you'll put it in the next AP. I'm just excited about it!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Xanesha's Ghost! My Evil GM Soul cackled out loud with unholy delight!


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yea, what an awesome idea! Of course my players know the death machine that was the original Xanesha… can't wait to put the ghost template on her!

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It seems like Erigantus doesn't have the permanent bonus from reading through the Bone Grimoire. Is this because he was studying for destruction of the seal rather than reading the entire book, a mechanism to make the encounter(s) slightly easier, or possibly an oversight?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alizor wrote:
It seems like Erigantus doesn't have the permanent bonus from reading through the Bone Grimoire. Is this because he was studying for destruction of the seal rather than reading the entire book, a mechanism to make the encounter(s) slightly easier, or possibly an oversight?

It's because he was studying for the seal destruction, but feel free to adjust that in your game if you wish.


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In an ask James thread, it was stated that Sorshen is generally amused by a PC in a clone body(either from that trap, or the campaign trait). In this book, during part 3,

Spoiler:
Sorshen seems quite the extroverted playful social creature, however she is not looking like herself due to the agents against her. Would she want the PC-clone to disguise herself as well? Would the Peacock cultists still wait until Midnight to attack with a PC-clone running around all evening?

I picture Sorshen being quite content letting the PC-clone be the fall-girl body-double. I also get the feeling she'd not be above playing 'twin shenanigans' with the other party goers(think "Freaky Friday" type pranks).


CrimsonVixen wrote:

In an ask James thread, it was stated that Sorshen is generally amused by a PC in a clone body(either from that trap, or the campaign trait). In this book, during part 3,

Spoiler:
Sorshen seems quite the extroverted playful social creature, however she is not looking like herself due to the agents against her. Would she want the PC-clone to disguise herself as well? Would the Peacock cultists still wait until Midnight to attack with a PC-clone running around all evening?

I picture Sorshen being quite content letting the PC-clone be the fall-girl body-double.

Came here wondering the same thing.

side question would be: how would Sorchen react to someone born from such a clone?

and considering how that one worked made me wonder what the stats of an half-azlanti would be?


So the Brothers of the Seal's namesake is (was) one of the lesser seals to Gallowspire? Interesting.

Also, from looking at the adventure's leveling track, it looks like the PCs are supposed to hit level 11 after the fourth part (dealing with Erigantus and the Whispering Way beneath Kaer Maga), and then hit level 12 after the fifth part. However, the fifth part is literally only the fight with Zutha's fragment. Do they really gain an entire level after one fight?


Zhyth wrote:

So the Brothers of the Seal's namesake is (was) one of the lesser seals to Gallowspire? Interesting.

Also, from looking at the adventure's leveling track, it looks like the PCs are supposed to hit level 11 after the fourth part (dealing with Erigantus and the Whispering Way beneath Kaer Maga), and then hit level 12 after the fifth part. However, the fifth part is literally only the fight with Zutha's fragment. Do they really gain an entire level after one fight?

They have to go from Kaer Maga to the island, so probably encounters along the way.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zhyth wrote:

So the Brothers of the Seal's namesake is (was) one of the lesser seals to Gallowspire? Interesting.

Also, from looking at the adventure's leveling track, it looks like the PCs are supposed to hit level 11 after the fourth part (dealing with Erigantus and the Whispering Way beneath Kaer Maga), and then hit level 12 after the fifth part. However, the fifth part is literally only the fight with Zutha's fragment. Do they really gain an entire level after one fight?

If the PCs play through this adventure in a linear manner...

Spoiler:
...they should start the adventure VERY far into 8th level. THere's a lot of XP to earn in the prior one.

The adventure in Magnimar should kick them into 9th level.

Riddleport and Korvosa, taken together, should result in them being quite a bit into 10th level—one of the two won't be enough to level them up but should get them close, and then the other should send them DEEP into 10th level's progress.

So, coming out of Magnimar, Riddleport, and Korvosa, they should be well into 10th level. They then do the Kaer Maga section. Once that dungeon is done, they should emerge at 11th level.

So, no, they don't gain an entire level after one fight. They gain a chunk of that level doing either chapter 2 or chapter 3, and then gain the rest of that level during chapter 4. Chapter 4, remember, is not an insignificant number of encounters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Part 2: The Zincher Siege. Having the players defend against npc's trying to break into the "dungeon" is a really refreshing role reversal. I already know my players are going to love it.


James Jacobs wrote:

Hey James, Ive got a question :) My group now have scroll of True Ressurection and want to try ressurect Thybidos (because they liked him,lol) is this possible?:)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrei sverkunov wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Hey James, Ive got a question :) My group now have scroll of True Ressurection and want to try ressurect Thybidos (because they liked him,lol) is this possible?:)

If they redeemed him by the method as presented, he went on to judgement by Pharasma. So I'd say no.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Andrei sverkunov wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Hey James, Ive got a question :) My group now have scroll of True Ressurection and want to try ressurect Thybidos (because they liked him,lol) is this possible?:)

Your GM gets to make the call.


James Jacobs wrote:
Andrei sverkunov wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Hey James, Ive got a question :) My group now have scroll of True Ressurection and want to try ressurect Thybidos (because they liked him,lol) is this possible?:)
Your GM gets to make the call.

I'm GMing it, thanks for reply.


Man, the part with Sorshen is *brutal*. A cr14 encounter when the party is level 9? My party chose to go there before doing anything else in the book too, so they are still level 8. We ended last session on the Time Flayer, if they beat him I'll give them 9, but they won't have level 5 spells... is the CR adjusted by the fact Sorshen is there or something? Her tactics are to invis and GTFO, so we'll see how that goes lol. I don't think I've ever seen an APL+5 combat before in a pathfinder AP though - am I misreading and they should be 10 before that combat?

Scarab Sages

Parrakarry wrote:
Man, the part with Sorshen is *brutal*.

My party ran through it at 10 and had zero difficulty. I can definitely see how it might be challenging at 8 though. I think that's why the book generally recommended doing the sections in order, so parties don't get overwhelmed.

For the Time flayer fight I stuck the Mythic Agile template on it and gave it the ability to teleport as part of a 5 foot step and they still destroyed it fairly easily.

The fight with the peacock phoenix was challenging mostly because it was both flying and incredibly hard to hit with ranged attacks. The monks were trivially dispatched (only hitting my melee PCs on a 20). The phoenix finally bit it when the party landed a hold monster to bring it down to ground level. Their lesser talismans of freedom from book 1 negated the beast's grab and the party made short work of it.


Well, after all that, it ended up being a 130 damage Finger of Death from Erigantus that melted one of my members. Sorshen's fight was challenging but never really incredibly threatening, except when the kineticist almost got trapped in melee.

I believe level 9 should be the proper level for Korvosa though unless I'm mistaken? Were you running milestones or tracking XP? Also, I know James has already addressed it, but it's still funny to me how quickly you level up in this campaign - we almost hit lvl 11 and lvl 12 in the same session.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Same thing happened in Wrath of the Righteous, only there you had the added mythic tiers to that as well. ^^

Scarab Sages

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Parrakarry wrote:

Well, after all that, it ended up being a 130 damage Finger of Death from Erigantus that melted one of my members. Sorshen's fight was challenging but never really incredibly threatening, except when the kineticist almost got trapped in melee.

I believe level 9 should be the proper level for Korvosa though unless I'm mistaken? Were you running milestones or tracking XP? Also, I know James has already addressed it, but it's still funny to me how quickly you level up in this campaign - we almost hit lvl 11 and lvl 12 in the same session.

I use milestones. I find XP tracking far too fiddly. Here is what I use (note that I also gave my PCs a mythic rank after defeating Zutha, and have been up-scaling most encounters appropriately)

My Milestone tracker:

2nd: Clear Rodericks Wreck
3rd: Free the Dwarven Merchants
4th: Defeat Dolland / Get Runeward Gauntlets
5th: Defeat the Peacock Cult or Mozamer
6th: Defeat Viralane & Cora / Arrive in Magnimar
7th: Defeat Hira / Discover the Gauntlet
8th: Defeat Thybidos
9th: Defeat the Polymorph Plague (Magnamar)
10th: Defend the Manor House (Riddleport)
11th: Defeat the Peacock Phoenix (Korvosa)
M1: Defeat Zutha
12th: Learn the Viridian Transcendence ritual
13th: Reach the Temple Gate
14th: Reach the Refuge of Violent Vanity
15th: Defeat Lyraesia
16th: Discover the Time Anomalies/Defeat Solethex
17th: Defeat Belimarius
18th: Acquire Zinlun’s Skull
M2: Activate the Cyphergate
19th: Close 3 Temporal Wounds
20th: Enter Alaznist’s Demesne

Optional Mythic Bumps:
Defeat Incariax
Defeat Tawil At’Umr in combat
Defeat the Oliphaunt of Jandelay in combat
Close all of the Temporal Wounds without a single failure

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