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Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I heard there were spell clarifications in Ultimate Intrigue, and now Ad Lib guides here... I can't help but feel there should have been a GMG2 or some such that had these instead, rather than using space for broader stuff in books with a narrower focus.
Pathfinder hardcovers regularly feature GM-focused content relevant to the book's topic. Discussing spells from an "intrigue friendly" point of view in Ultimate Intrigue is relevant to Pathfinder players running "intrigue" games. Exploring the importance of game pacing and improving your ad-libbing game to maintain a creepy atmosphere is relevant to Game Mastering a horror adventure (more so, I'd argue, than to other sorts of adventures).
We could squirrel such material away in a separate product, but to date we've preferred to keep like information together.
That said, if folks would like to see a GameMastery Guide 2, hit up the general discussion board and let us know!
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
Hellknights, even the most magically inclined orders, are still a martial organization. Commanders seen as weak or as unwilling to stand in the front ranks are less respected and, thus, have a more tenuous grip on their authority. As a result, even spellcasters who rise to significant rank among the Hellknights often go through the same trials as rank-and-file members, preventing any from claiming they're not "true" Hellknights.
Also, as you'll soon see, Lictor Torchia and Lictor Wrens are far too pretty to hide behind signifer masks.
Did you think of adding a useful bonus for the gate hellnight reckoning or is it really bad on purpose?
I think a lot of folks will be excited to have that bonus after they read the section on the Order of the Gate.
Thought police sure aren't immune to being accused of thought crime. ;)
Oooh! Though, on a serious note about the "batlike" description, that's deliberately chosen as Havenguard Asylum is a small Kirkbride Institution. Maps of Caliphas show the asylum's architectural similarity to famous institutions like Danvers, Weston State, Buffalo State, and, my personal favorite (and childhood backyard) Spring Grove. So that's where that came from!
Thanks for the chance to point it out and for reading! :D
Strong, well considered commentary. :D
Wow! Thanks a ton LoT! Glad you enjoyed it and I seriously appreciate the kind words.
I really tried to explore "small evils" in this—real hurts that have the potential to lead people to resentment and hard heartedness; like Cimri's background.
I also wanted to give the PCs insight into the NPCs' vulnerabilities—because that's how you become a bully. Once the PCs know how to hurt people, its up to them how to do it. If they were playing good guys, they might help or they might walk away. As evil characters, how they exploit their knowledge is entirely up to their depraved imagination.
So again, thanks for the feedback! And, as always, thoughtful reviews are always greatly appreciated—and help us know down the line what we should do more of!
Awesome cover! Didn't expect crunch in this product, though I do like cavalier orders and more disciplines . Can't wait.
Wooboy, are you in for something then. There's quite a bit in here.
As a bit of a teaser, here's something I realized halfway through: You know what class works great for Hellknights? Vigilante.
So, if you haven't snagged Ultimate Intrigue yet...
Neither Sarah nor I know anything about them TV vidja games.
Largely what Philo and Samy said.
"Be evil" is not the plot of the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path any more than "be heroic" is the plot of any past AP.
Those who want to create an evil empire (of any form) might be better suited playing Kingmaker with an evil tinge.
If I had the compare this AP to any previous one in play-style expectations, I'd liken it to Skull & Shackles. In that one you play pirates. In this one you play rising stars in an evil empire.
If you'd like a different evil campaign—evil Kingmaker, perhaps—my biggest suggestion would be to check this one out and help us prove that the occasional evil campaign is just as viable an AP as any other.
I hope you like omelets.
From the tiny female minority, god bless you for the male dryads. ;)
Ha, nice. If you're interested in a bit of my thinking on this, I talked about it a bit on my personal blog last year. And Mark Moreland coined a word.
Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
Ah yes, of course there must be male dryads. Where else would nuts come from?
Linda Zayas-Palmer wrote:
Knives! Is it knives?
Why do I get the distinct, perhaps precognitive, impression it's knives?
Adam Daigle wrote:
I mean... Dance, puppets! Dance!
Rob McCreary wrote:
Some clarifications about swearing the Hellfire Compact here. I think the GM Reference thread is a better place for such discussions.
Summarizing what Rob says over there:
"Kill them all."
Thanks, Rob. You're hardcore.
Should I emphasize the pain and anguish they are creating. Is that part of the point of an evil AP?
That entirely comes down to the game you and your group want to play.
With any game—but especially with ones that don't conform to common fantasy RPG expectations—before you start playing you and your players should discuss what you all want to get out of the game. That discussion should form the foundation of the experience you, as GM, seek to provide.
In the case of an evil Adventure Path, you should pose exactly the question you just asked to your group.
Maybe your players want the experience of being juggernauts of evil, fighting and crushing monsters they don't usually get to and indulging '50s comic book villain expressions of evil. If so, great! Go for it. Cackle along as the PCs burn every orphanage of wicker lesheys they encounter.
Maybe your players want an exploration into what it means to be evil, with all the ramifications and hurt laid bare, pitting their characters' angst and dark pasts against a world that scarred them. If so, great! Let them lash out, let them feel bad, let them push the boundaries of what they can bring themselves to do and see if their characters weep when finally their humanity breaks.
Maybe your players want something in between, 'cause there's quite a gulf there.
In any case, it's for you and your group to figure out what's right for all of you.
Along with that, you should CERTAINLY set some ground rules for what is and isn't too far. Evil games do NOT mean that everyone's filter gets switched off and every imaginable expression of id is suddenly okay. Talk with your group about what they do want to see in the game and what they certainly don't. Having these guidelines will help you run a game everyone enjoys and will serve you in defining what is too far.
There's a lengthy discussion about exactly this in our upcoming Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures book, and it makes sense that this comes up here—an evil game and a horror game have many similarities.
But ultimately, if you're going to try and make the players feel something negative—fear, discomfort, sorrow, etc—you should have that conversation upfront, let them know what they're in for, and let them make the fully informed call on whether or not they want to play.
Evil can be fun, but evil can also be unsettling, and that's entirely in your and your groups' hands. Make sure you're all on the same page about the story you're going to tell/play so everyone can have the best possible time.
I hope the corruption system will have a lot more then vampires and lycanthropes.
Woo. Might be hard. Hitting EVERY ANIMAL with lycanthrope options doesn't leave a lot of space in the rest of the book. We weren't initially sure whether to do this or not, but ultimately couldn't bring ourselves to leave our small but vocal were-koala audience in the lurch again.
We'll see how things shake out in editing.
Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
But I need this now! One of my players just got raised from the dead by Bishop Senir, and a tag along spirit come along for the ride...
Well, good luck with all THAT. O_O
Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
These corruption rules sound like the exact type I've been wanting for years, since Heroes of Horror came out. Exposure to the darkness might make you part of it... and you might not object to it at first... when it seems beneficial...
Heroes of Horror keeps coming up, and while I can't say that that product had much impact on this book, looking back it does look like some of the remits are similar. That said, there will be tons of new content in here for GMs as well as players. If you like the mixes you've seen in past "Adventures" books, particularly Occult Adventures, you'll be well served here as well.
N. Jolly wrote:
I'm sure I can't reassure you until this book's release, but, again: eyes open. Thanks for being interested! :D
Lucus Palosaari wrote:
Horror often has a great deal to do with your GM's storytelling technique, a topic thoroughly treated in this—whether she's trying to creep your character (or you) out.
As for upcoming products: Stay tuned.
N. Jolly wrote:
While I'm looking forward to this (Heroes of Horror was one of my favorite 3.5 books), I'm slightly worried about the amount of realism that will be involved in 'madness' and such. I do actually trust Paizo to do this well, so this isn't me saying they're going to do anything offensive, but it's also a very easy subject to be make offensive, so I hope we'll see some previews on this to assuage my fears.
We are keenly aware of this. I can't say don't be concerned, but certainly, don't think we're going into this with our eyes—or those of several partners—shut.
New monster templates are always nice but will there be any monsters that are not template based?
New monsters are not a major thrust of this product. But, you'll be getting plenty of new options to make your beasties plenty spooky.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Can't ever have a enough creepy mon-stars.
There's probably not going to be a competing new Hellknight PrC, but there might be a few tinkers and ways in.
Fringe cases are always going to be fringe cases.
Most Hellknights are not paladins. Some paladins are Hellknights. The overlap on that venn diagram is not especially large, but it canonically does exist.
Hellknights are fanatics. Paladins are also fanatics. In some orders, some members are capable to making their fanaticisms align. This is not commonly the fast track to the echelons of paladin or Hellknight power, but it can happen. Those that can straddle both worlds are uncommon exceptions, but interesting for being exceptions. They are also likely to face unique challenges to both their faith and their allegiance.
If you can imagine exceptional ways in which a Hellknight might also be a paladin, go ahead and add paladin-Hellknight to your roster of characters to play.
If you can't or otherwise don't like that idea, don't.
It's your game, include/exclude whatever you want.
Nice. Javert is CERTAINLY the major inspiration behind the whole group.
After I first wrote about these guys in the Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide folks started mentioning "Oh, like Judge Dredd." To which I've always been like, "Oh, yeah, I guess him too." :)