At the end of our last Rise of the Runelords session, the Saviors of Sandpoint were in a bad way. They had split up to rush through a funhouse of terror, which turned out to be what’s commonly referred to as “a bad idea.” With party members bleeding to death on the ground, bleeding to death on their feet, and some just disappearing and leaving casters vulnerable to some “aggressive structural reconfiguration”, things looked bleak for the heroes.
Did they survive? And who is the handsome green fellow in the picture above? That’s about as clickbait as I get, so clicky-clicky and find out in Rise of the Runelords Episode 34 – Mite Makes Right!
Recently I did something I hadn’t done in a long time – I watched a UFC pay-per-view. UFC 269 had several fights on it that I thought would be interesting to check out, including the two main even title fights. One of the title bouts was for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title, pitting the Number-Three ranked Julianna Pena against the most dominant female fighter in mixed martial arts, the Two-Division Champion (holding titles in both the Bantamweight and Featherweight division) Amanda Nunes.
Nunes has brutalized every woman in her path with her immense power advantage, beating her opponents with her striking and grappling. This fight was not expected to be much different. It was the pay-per-view’s co-main event under the lightweight title fight. Most people saw this as an appetizer of violence before the Main Event. Julianna Pena was being thrown to the wolves, and everyone from the Las Vegas oddsmakers to the UFC announcers themselves never seemed to give Pena much of a chance.
Then Julianna Pena shocked the world in what many consider the biggest upset in MMA history and defeated Amanda Nunes to become the new UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
Pena didn’t just beat Nunes. She beat her at her own game, standing toe-to-toe with the champ and outstruck the stronger striker. Pena wore out Nunes, fighting off grappling submissions before getting a submission of her own in the second round of the scheduled five-round bout.
How could this happen? Nunes was the superior fighter. So how did the superior fighter lose?
Reality punched her square in the face.
This kind of thing has happened to a number of dominant champions. They train hard to reach the top, but after crushing everyone they face they sometimes begin to see themselves as unbeatable. They take their foot off the gas a little and begin to cruise. They don’t see any opponents as a threat. They take their opposition lightly, maybe get a little cocky. That’s when they get caught and lose everything they worked so hard to achieve.
This brings me neatly along to my Rise of the Runelords campaign.
When Paizo created many of their adventure paths, they balanced them around a group consisting of four players, each using a character created with a 15-point buy system. That may not make much sense to folks, especially old-timers like me who are used to the 3d6 method of rolling out stats, but that’s okay. Just know it’s more of a baseline method of determining character ability scores.
My players are not baseline. They created their characters using a 20-point buy system, and there are 5-6 players at a time. As you might think, they tend to steamroll many of the combat encounters, especially now that they have a level or several under their belts. I try to adjust the situation to account for this, but for the most part, the party has not been threatened in a long time.
Like the now-former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, the Saviors of Sandpoint did not heed the warnings. They brutalized everyone in their path and chose to take risks without taking into account the possible ramifications of those decisions. But at the end of this session, the players – much like Amanda Nunes – had received a violent reality check.
Read how it went down in Rise of the Runelords Episode 33 – Home Invasion!
In our latest Rise of the Runelords session, the Saviors of Sandpoint proved to be saviors to animals as well as people when they rescued a firepelt cougar that had been caught in a nasty trap. Of course, the person who set the trap didn’t appreciate the whole “catch-and-release” philosophy and voiced their displeasure quite physically. But things go from bad to worse when they discover what else – or who else – the hunter has been hunting.
See how the nightmare continues to unfold in Rise of the Runelords Episode 32 – Farm of Blood!
These days, folks tend to run their tabletop RPG maps in a digital format. Maybe they’re playing over Roll20, or they have a TV or giant monitor that they use to project their maps. But what does one do when they have a map so big, so epic, that it simply cannot be contained on a screen?
The Miniature Mash-Up Youtube channel just may have the answer you’re looking for. Inexpensive, practical, and quick to put together!
Rise of the Runelords – Episode Twenty-Five
Now I know what you’re thinking.
“Donny, I mean what the Hell man! I know you were looking for content for your blog. I know you wanted to post your Rise of the Runelord campaign session summaries. Tell the people about your party’s shenanigans, and maybe offer up some tips and things for other people who might run the Adventure Path someday.
But last time I checked, you posted something for the Rise of the Runelord campaign called Session Two. Session Two! You’re talking about Episode Twenty-Five now! You either have a wacky naming convention, or you missed TWENTY-THREE EPISODES!
As stated above, WHAT THE HELL MAN!”
Allow me to retort.
I’ve got nothing. Nothing except the fact that I tend to forget to post things on here. Then when I remember that I have a thing called a blog, which hungers for a thing called CONTENT, so much time has passed that I tell myself I’ll start posting these things all right after the next session. But then the cycle starts all over again.
I am a horrible, horrible blogger. And for that, I give an apathetic shrug.
So, yes, I am posting a link to our latest session of Paizo’s Rise of the Runelord campaign (or Adventure Path, as the marketing geniuses like to say). And yes, I call it an Episode on the blog and a Session over on the World Anvil page because I’m just zany like that!
Here’s the link to
Episode Rise of the Runelord Session Twenty-Five – Dropping the Dragonhammer!
Also, for the sake of full transparency (Editor’s Note – and to prevent having to go back and generate twenty-three new posts), I will post the link to the World of Golarion where you can find all of the previous Rise of the Runelord session summaries, along with some NPC’s, Locations, Organizations, and all that kind of good stuff.
Here’s the link to the World Anvil page for the World of Golarion!
Now that I’ve linked up everything, is there anything else I should add to these posts? GM thoughts and notes maybe? Tips? You know, like the stuff that was mentioned in the hypothetical quote that started this whole post in the first place? Let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see.