• Review: Pathfinder Battles – Rise of the Runelords Miniatures

    A stack of cardboard and plastic is sitting in my living room. That can only mean one thing.
    Huge Booster

    New Pathfinder Minis

    After January’s, “Heroes & Monsters,” Paizo has now released something more specific, tying into the release of the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition. This 64 piece set (well, 65 piece, but you need to be special to buy the 65th piece, the Rune Giant) features allies and adversaries from the first adventure path, and comes in either Standard boosters (containing 1 large and 3 medium or small miniatures), or Huge boosters (containing 1 huge miniature).

    (Having no real basis on which to judge these miniatures, as they relate to the adventure path, my review will regard them mostly as a standalone product).

    Seoni, Human Sorceress
    The Good

    Much like the last set, all of these minis are made of a very rigid, sturdy plastic. None of the minis suffered from any kind of lean. As well, the poses vary greatly, from calm and reserved, to, “I’m about to put a mace through your skull!” Even among the villainous minis, it’s not all ferocity and gore.

    The already high bar already set by the first line has been raised when it comes to the paint. Issues like those seen on the manticore from last time is virtually nonexistent. All of the paint is immaculately applied, and all of the minis have a unique appeal to them; they each stand out in their own way.

    But it’s the huge minis that really stand out. The already outstanding detail is even more evident on each of the four huge figures; you can tell that quite a lot of effort was put into each one. The Treachery Demon is probably my personal favorite of the bunch, but I think the Karzoug Statue is the real gem of the lot. Towering above the rest of the minis in the line, it’s hard to believe that something like that can be called a “mini.”

    And again, I got goblins.
    Karzoug StatueGoblinsTreachery Demon

    The Bad

    Given that the set is touted as a, “huge set,” I was somewhat disappointed to find that there were only four, in total. The huge brick I bought from Battlegrounds Gaming – an awesome store local to me, that you should totally check out – came with six boosters, and when two of them contained duplicates, I felt cheated. Finding out there were only four didn’t remove that feeling; only changed it. I suppose there’s some sort of solace, from a collecting standpoint, in the fact that I have all of the huge figures. But as you might have surmised, I’m not in it for the collection.

    Considering what I spent on it, however, I might as well consider these collector’s items. Steve from Battlegrounds (we’ll call him Battlegrounds Steve) cut me a deal on the bricks, and it still ended up costing me around $200 (which does work out in my favor, to be honest, since the same setup would’ve cost me about $50 more through Paizo’s site). It’s not as though I feel like I didn’t get my money’s worth; I just wish I knew on what exactly I was spending my money.

    (Perhaps it’s a fault on my part, for not researching the line before doing my review, outside of, “I’m gonna review it! ^(^_^)^” But I feel the point still stands).

    As you might have guessed from the intro line, there was, again, quite a fair amount of packaging that I had to work through to get at my little plastic treasures. As Sean K. Reynolds pointed out in a comment of my last review of the miniatures, it’s a circumstance of the medium. And I understand that. But it seems like there could be room to reduce the packs (pun partially intended) – especially in the standard booster (the huge boosters, to co-opt a phrase, have their packaging almost painted on).

    DM’s Ruling

    Don’t get me wrong. These are all well made, striking minis, fitting of any gaming table. And all in all, I feel like my money was well spent. And I really hate to speak ill of the huge minis, considering how much incredible detail went into each one. But $25 on a miniature gamble is not something I feel a lot of gamers are willing (or able!) to justify. A lot of the errors I saw in the first set were corrected, though, and I’m happy to see that.

    Maybe there’s a hidden value I’m missing. Were I actually running the Rise of the Runelords adventure path, perhaps I would see them as invaluable tools, being offered for a pittance compared to their usefulness.

    Bottom line: if you’re a fan of the adventure path, then these will do absolute wonders for your immersion; if you’re a casual observer, just starting out in your miniatures habit, stick to the standard boosters, and wait until the huge figure you really want goes on sale in a singles listing.

    I Command You to Rise!

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