The third act of Andy Slack's gaming blog

This is the third drop for the Pathfinder for SWADE Kickstarter, and at the time of writing is still in beta.

Archetype Cards Set 1

Ever since I first saw them in the West End Games version of Star Wars, I have felt that all RPGs need example PCs, and the more complex the game, the more essential they are. They can be handed out as instant PCs for one-shots, used by people who just want to jump in and play without having to learn the chargen rules first, or show GM and players how to build the iconic PCs for the setting. They can of course be tweaked to better suit your own view of the ideal PC.

In short, they’re a great idea, and I personally consider this one of the most useful props or handouts I could have, especially at the start of a campaign.

This set gives you novice and seasoned versions of 11 Pathfinder icons statted up for SWADE; Amiri the barbarian, Lem the halfling bard, Kyra the cleric of Sarenrae, Valeros the fighter, Merisiel the elven rogue, Ezren the wizard, Lini the gnome druid, Harsk the dwarven ranger, Seoni the sorceress, and Sajan the monk.

Each is on a half-page card roughly 5″ x 8″, and has a full-colour illustration, capsule backstory, attributes, skills, powers, hindrances, edges, class features (they have each taken the appropriate class edge), and gear. The hindrances, edges and class features have one-line descriptions as well.

Rise of the Runelords Book 1: Burnt Offerings

This 84-page PDF is the first of six parts in the Pathfinder Rise of the Runelords adventure path. This popular adventure has been around for a while, having been first released in 2007, and like several other Paizo adventure paths has been frequently (if informally) converted and run under Savage Worlds by fans. Its age and popularity mean I am less concerned about spoilers than usual, so bear that in mind. Like all the adventure paths, it is set in Pathfinder’s world of Golarion.

The overall story arc is a high fantasy horror story, in which the PCs must thwart the rise of an ancient evil.

This first book is intended to establish the party in the base town of Sandpoint, and get them invested in it and its citizens. It has a background and synopsis for the GM, followed by four scenarios, then a short appendix of new rules and magic items. At various points through the adventure, the GM is prompted to reward the PCs with an advance, a Conviction point, or another suitable reward.

The scenarios are:

  • Festival and Fire, in which the party attends a festival in the small town of Sandpoint, and deals with gatecrashing goblins.
  • Local Heroes, a collection of seven sidequests that can be tackled in any order, and serve to establish the PCs in Sandpoint.
  • Glass and Wrath, in which the heroes uncover treason in the town and catacombs beneath it. Some investigation work here, but it’s mostly a dungeon crawl.
  • Thistletop, which is a bit of outdoor travel followed by a straight-up dungeon crawl.

The new rules cover tracking PCs’ sinful and virtuous behaviour, as it will have an impact late in the campaign, and runewells, which react to sins and can be persuaded to disgorge spawn. I don’t have the Pathfinder version of the adventure, but from the looks of things this is a straight conversion, the same story material with the Pathfinder statblocks replaced with SWADE ones. It’s combat-heavy, which is OK for an introductory adventure, but I hope for more variation in later parts.

I have a particular fondness for Pathfinder goblins, which are a cross between more traditional goblins and Gremlins from the movie of the same name. They are completely insane, which can be played for horror or humour depending on how the GM is feeling.

Again, I’m pleased to see statblocks in useful places and directions on tactics the opposition will use.

The adventures in the first book set up and foreshadow later events, but don’t seem critical to the plotline to me. I think if the campaign isn’t grabbing players, you could walk away at the end of this and be no worse off; likewise, you could probably start at the beginning of book two if you wanted to – I won’t know until I see the next book.

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