Big Finish Review – Pathfinder Legends 1.01 – “Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings”


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Synopsis

Sandpoint. An ordinary town on the Lost Coast of Varisia. When Ezren, Merisiel, Valeros and Harsk arrive, seeking rest from their adventures, it seems the town’s annual Swallowtail Festival will give them what they need – until goblins attack during a ceremony to consecrate the town’s rebuilt church.

After defending Sandpoint, the adventurers discover a sinister plot to return an ancient evil to Varisia. Can they discover the sinister connection between the goblin attack and the removal of mortal remains from a crypt in the town’s graveyard?

This is just the beginning of a new quest for the iconic Pathfinder characters Ezren, Merisiel, Valeros and Harsk. The Rise of the Runelords begins with burnt offerings – and only four heroes stand against it.

Written By: Mark Wright
Directed By: John Ainsworth

Cast

Trevor Littledale (Ezren), Ian Brooker (Harsk), Stewart Alexander (Valeros), Kerry Skinner (Merisiel), Yuriri Naka (Ameiko), Toby Longworth (Hemlock), Kevin Shen (Tsuto), Katarina Olsson (Nualia), Duncan Wisbey (Foxglove), Helen Goldwyn (Deverin), Sunny Ormonde (Townswoman)

I’ve been technically playing in a Pathfinder game for a couple of years now. I say “technically” because we don’t play as often as I’d like, ie: daily. For those unfamiliar with the game, it’s a papers and pencils RPG that is very similar to, but legally distinct from, Dungeons and Dragons, and it’s quite a lot of fun.

This audio takes place in the basic Pathfinder universe, and features four characters (an elf rogue, a dwarf ranger, a human mage and a human fighter), who are traveling around doing their thing. They come across a small town that gets attacked by goblins and then take the lead in hunting down and destroying the goblin menace. It seems like a decent party, aside from the fact that they have three DPS, one tank and no healer.

As a fan of the game and of Big Finish, I’d been very much looking forward to hearing this audio. To my annoyance it was delayed by two months, but when it finally came out, I was pleased. Big Finish did their usual great job of creating an audio landscape, and while the story seemed rushed (something I blame on the one hour run time), it also was quite coherent and entertaining. I also have to cite the way they were able to tell us everyone’s race and class without getting overly bogged-down in exposition, something not many people could pull off.

The voice acting is excellent, as one would expect from Big Finish. They did manage to avoid having the dwarf speak with a thick Scots accent, which was appreciated, but the fighter sounds almost American, which is kind odd. There’s also some anachronistic dialogue, but, eh, no worse than you’d hear in an average gaming session.

I do feel that the audio is a bit overpriced. Now I don’t often criticize Big Finish’s pricing structure, and I assume it’s more expensive than usual due to licensing fees from Paizo, but $12.99 for a one hour audio is…not great. I can buy the latest Doctor Who monthly story for that price, and that’s two hours long.

That minor complaint aside, I was very pleased, and look forward to the next chapter in this story. Hopefully it will be somewhat less than two months late.

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