The Pathfinder tabletop RPG system, now available in its second edition, finally brings the legendary Runelords to life. A new set of seven miniatures from WizKids will be available this summer, featuring the Cabal of Supreme Wizards that has plagued the world of Golarian since 2007.
The genesis of the seven Runelords is summed up in the birth of Pathfinder itself, which emerged from the 3.5 edition of Dungeons & Dragons in 2007. At the time, lead designer Jason Bulmahn was involved in developing the first edition of Paizo’s marquee tabletop RPG – and the rich, intertwined narratives that Pathfinder would become famous for.
Unlike D&D’s modern incarnation, which can feel a little absent-minded as you transition from one setting and villain to the next, those who have played Pathfinder know the rune lords very well. They were the focus of the first six Adventure Paths (the Pathfinder term for a storytelling campaign) ever published for the TTRPG. Titled Burnt offering
“You were at the core of three of our adventure trails in the first issue,” said Mark Moreland, director of branding strategy, in an interview with Polygon. “You really were the connective tissue that linked our first Pathfinder AP together. Rise of the Runic Lords, one of the last ones to complete the arc of our first issue in 2018 Return of the rune lords. ”
The rune lords themselves are each paired with one of the seven classic deadly sins, including Alaznist (anger), Belimarius (envy), Karzoug (greed), Krune (sloth), Sorshen (lust), Xanderghul (pride) and Zutha (gluttony). Each of the new 28mm miniatures are sold individually, either online or at local hobby stores. They are also paired with their own runewell.
“It is a magical artifact that every rune lord possesses and that enables them to use sin magic,” said Moreland. “Anger is associated with evocation because it is about blowing things up. Lust is enchantment because it is about manipulating others for your own desires. Greed is about transmutation – the ancient alchemist who could turn lead into gold, and so on. So they use these runewells to perform magical rituals and spells. “
Both the miniature lords and their fountains will play a prominent role in Pathfinder’s signature tactical battles. They are also fully compatible with the WizKids WarLock tabletop. While the adventures with the Runelords themselves haven’t been updated on Pathfinder’s second installment, Paizo hopes that the final transformation into physical miniatures will inspire players to make them the focus of their own homebrew campaigns.
“These would be useful in three different adventure trails from the first issue,” Moreland said, including The shattered star Next Rise and Return of the rune lords. “Two of these rune lords actually survived – within the canon of the world – and now share rulership […] And these two characters are still around. Even if you don’t run a Runelords campaign, your player characters can still meet them. “
So is this a joke for Pathfinder Diehards? A sign of the future and perhaps a return of the rune lords to the second edition? Aaron Shanks, Marketing and Media Manager at Paizo, said nothing is planned at the moment. But for malicious magic users with 10,000 years of in-fiction history, anything could happen.
No price or release date has been set for the return of the Runelords. However, WizKids says more information should be available soon.
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