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Pathfinder Adventure Path: Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Hardcover – Special Edition, July 18, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
So far, so good. Good plot. Lots of choices, but not too sandboxy. Important NPCs have full stat lines, and running it is very easy, I don't really have to do ANY prep work so I just get to just run straight out of the book.
So, you're thinking about running this, but you're not sure if you need all the Bestiaries or the APG? Don't worry! I will explain!
REQUIRED / RECOMMENDED BOOK LIST:
Required: Core Rulebook (obviously)
Required: Bestiary 1 (most monsters are from here)
Highly Recommended: Bestiary 2 (an okay number of monsters from here, but enough to merit buying it if you have the cash, otherwise just print out the stat blocks online)
Recommended: Bestiary 3 (FEW monsters from here. If you already have it, great. If you don't, don't bother and just print out stat blocks from the -FREE- rule/monster databases online)
Kind of Recommended: Gamemastery Guide (rules for haunts are used. easily obtained online)
Kind of Recommended: Advanced Player's Guide (There are campaign traits in the Player's Guide, which are basically free extra mini-feats. If you don't know what traits are just let your players take 1 mini feat, instead of the two the APG normally allows. Some NPCs have APG classes, BUT they are fully described in the ROTRL book so you do not need to know about the classes)
All in all a very good purchase - a full level 1 to level 18 campaign in one handy book! This thing will last you for at LEAST half a year guaranteed (unless you somehow manage to run games 4 or more times a week)
EDIT: Note about traits: The free (online) Player Guide describes traits, players can pick one of the free minifeats from that PG. If you don't have it, just ignore traits altogether.
Also, if you just own the Bestiary 1 and Core Rulebook, seriously do not hesitate to buy this. The other books are optional - see something that you don't have? Find it online or swap it with something else.
As any GM knows, preparation is key and although I did have them play a quick-slapped-together campaign of my own making and they did have lots of fun, I was looking for something a little more substantial and better prepared where I would not have to stumble when asked for the name of an NPC or to fudge dice to avoid too easy an outcome or, Sarenrae forbids, a TPK.
This 420 pages long campaign book is just what I needed.
It is well bound and printed full color. The art is great and the content is dense.
It contains almost everything you need to play the whole campaign, probably at least a year of gaming considering how much we play with my kids.
I have only read about a third of it so far but I can already state the following:
* The campaign has been thoroughly thought through and seems very well balanced between RP, mystery and combat.
* It should take four characters from 1st to about 17th or 18th level
* The world is very well described, with tons of leads to side quests should you need them,
I compared it with the original publication 10 years ago and although there is more material in the original, it has been condensed in a logical and appropriate way, resolving apparent contradictions and replacing the original art by improved versions in many cases.
The original scenarios are still useful for background information to provide to the players, including handouts etc.
Just a word of caution: my kids are 13 and 10 and we are playing the first of the six parts. I had to tone down a few horrific passages and maneuvered my players around some parts of the adventure to keep the fun up. This is probably better played by at least teenagers.
You will need the CRB and most likely the Bestiary to play it. Some monsters are in the Bestiary 2 but if you prepare a littel you will have time to go get their stats on the web.
I have seen tons of RPG material in my time; this is certainly one of the best if not the best.
This is how it is done.
The book is fully illustrated and includes many maps. The art ranges from good to excellent, with a variety of artists contributing. The design of the book is great, it is laid out in such a way that everything is easy to find. The only drawbacks are that you would need to buy the Core rules and the Monsters book to compliment this book, in order to play. The information is available online for free but not presented in an easy to digest fashion as it is in the books. But lets face it if your checking this review out you most probably already own those or are ordering them together with this one.
New game masters need this book! It'll basically teach you how to set up a game and continue with the campaign. If you want to come up with your own stories, it'll serve as a great example of how to structure it and what you would need to come up with. As reading material it's not all that but it's not intended to be.