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The Rise of the Runelords was Paizo's first post-Dungeon adventure path and it was the first indication that Paizo had some really ambitious ideas. One of the great ideas was a fully-developed Player's Guide to serve as an introduction to the campaign and they went all out with this one.

The Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide is a 16-page, full-color, saddle-stapled book (it's also available in pdf). The inside front cover includes an attractive, full-color map of the central hub of the entire adventure path (the town of Sandpoint) while the back cover is a color map of the entire Varisia region. The map, as well as all of the art work, is excellent quality and consistent in style.

As far as the content goes, the book opens with an overview of each of the races present in the region, followed by a similar overview of the various classes. The point of these aren't to tell players what they already know, but rather to provide a context in to which each of the setting and adventure. The goal is to provide players with enough background information that they can create characters that are tied to Varisia. The last third of the book provides an overview of the equipment (weapons & armor), and lands of Varisia. More importantly it includes details about the town of Sandpoint, including a list of rumors to get the players started.

The Verdict
Given the cost ($2.00; free for the pdf), there's a lot to love about the Player's Guide. Perhaps its biggest value is that players can get enough of an overview to help players create characters that fit right in to the Runelord adventure path without having to spend hours reading page upon page of history. Instead, the guide gives just enough of background and detail for players to make meaningful choices and jump right in to the first adventure.
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Troy Crayson
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Nice little review.

What does "post dungeon adventure path" mean?

Also since its an odd small-sized printed thing, you might say something about the printing quality. I assume it is in color? Is it glossy magazine style paper?
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paz AKA Matt Lewis
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Be aware that this product has been somewhat superseded by the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Player's Guide.

Troy Spiral wrote:
What does "post dungeon adventure path" mean?

Rise of the Runelords was the first adventure path that Paizo did after they stopped being the publishers of Dungeon magazine.

Quote:
Also since its an odd small-sized printed thing, you might say something about the printing quality. I assume it is in color? Is it glossy magazine style paper?

It's in colour and on 'normal' glossy paper (better quality than a magazine).
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