Infamous Adversaries: Cytheria the Blasphemer (PFRPG) PDF (based on
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CYTHERIA THE BLASPHEMER—CR 9, LE human female antipaladin 9/holy vindicator 1
Fiendishly beautiful, and steely-eyed, this dangerous woman leaves a swath of chaos and death in her wake. Disguised as a glowing holy champion of good, Cytheria takes willing local innocents while disguised and converts them to serve her dark masters.
The world is filled with colorful characters of many hues. Not all within subscribe to black or white; many are shades of grey. Infamous Adversaries characters, by TPK Games, shows you villains in their true light—insidious. These are not merely NPCs to fill your game; they are villains in the truest sense of the word, complete with stories that don’t just tell the character’s tale, but enrich your game. Our adversaries are not villains because they have evil alignments; they are villains because your players will despise them.
Infamous Adversaries contains: one ready to use villain, complete with equipment, a rich background including motives, history, personality, network, resources, lair, tactics, morale, advancement options, a quote, plot hooks to easily insert them into your campaign, local lore, full color art and a vibrant description. The Infamous Adversaries characters are designed to challenge an entire party; not just in combat, but also through less direct methods requiring careful planning and confrontation.
This Infamous Adversary sourcebook contains Cytheria the Blasphemer, a female Antipaladin of the Order of Eternal Torment and her babau demon servant Azual.
Give your players a reason to hate again. You can blame it on us...
Infamous adversaries... this pdf is aptly named. It introduces an NPC (or more like an antagonist, really) called Cytheria the Blasphemer. She is evil and understandable so, she was taken as a child and tortured until she herself broke and killed her torturer.
What you get for your money... a nicely written archenemy for your PCs, complete with a detailed history, motives, tactics etc. You also get stats for both Cytheria, but also for her fiendish servant. However, even at this low cost, I would have loved to see something new brought to the table, like a new magic item, feat etc.
The pdf has an ok layout, but nothing impressive. It is quite useful, even though I have no use for all those hyperlinks. Overall, worth buying if you are a GM looking for a nasty villain to challenge your players.
Nice villain, cool formal ideas, falls a bit short of other excellent products
This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 8 pages for Cytheria, the first commercial release of TPK games. Does she hold up to her name?
Well, before getting to the mechanics, you should know that she gets a cool 1-page hand-drawn artwork by Michael Fall that shows her true depravity in the mirror while presenting her angelic, innocent exterior. Nice!
So, who is Cytheria? Mechanics-wise, she is a level 9 Antipaladin 9/Holy Vindicator 1, which, from a crunch point of view, didn't impress me at all - with Faces of the tarnished Souk's extremely complex multi-templated statblocks, one PrC is not too exciting. Good fluff, though, can save a lot, a does presentation, so how does she fare in these regards?
Cytheria was bought and indoctrinated into an order devoted to spreading pain at a young age and the Zon-Kuthonesque clergy purged any vestige of goodness from her she might have had. In order to soothe her damaged soul and to pay homage to her order's master, she now repeats this vicious cycle, manipulating peasants and buying their children for a supposedly better life, only to subject them to the same depravities that broke her. I hate to say it, but story-wise, that's not interesting or imaginative - in fact, I've seen this background-story executed x times.
What is interesting, though, is the duality of her being - her adaption of good cleric roles to fulfill her vile goals and her contrasting true appearance hint at some kind of deep-seated psychological issue and could have easily been expanded into a full-blown MPD, which would have not only added a dimension to the character, but also would have made for a good basic for some unique rules, but oh well. Morale, Network and resources as points to consider have also been addressed, which I consider a definite plus. Even better, her tactics (involving kidnapping and taking hostages) make for cool Mexican stand-off-like situations and might well offer an aspiring DM easy ways to let her get away from the PCs. She also comes, with a quote, a babau servant and plot hooks.
Presentation-wise, the pdf gets some things right and some things wrong - almost all of her items, traits, feats and special qualities come with hyperlinks to d20pfsrd, which is a boon for any GM running her from a laptop or wanting to check out some rules details. Her babau servant does get some of his abilities hyperlinked as well, but e.g. not all feats, which is a pity. The layout itself is printer-friendly, clear and concise, however: I don't get why the statblocks have a grey background. That is just an unnecessary drain on the printer.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any mistakes. Layout adheres to the two-column standard and the one piece of artwork rocks. The pdf has two bookmarks - more would have been nice. I'm a bit torn on this one - this pdf feels like it didn't realize its own potential, either with regards to her mental state or its d20pfsrd-implementation.
While Cytheria is a nice adversary, she unfortunately is also one I could improvise on the spot.
Having all her gear ready to go is neat, yeah, and if there were no other 3pps out there, I'd rate this higher. However: Rite Publishing's Faces of the Tarnished Souk offers 3 statblocks of one character per installment, each being more complex than Cytheria. NeoExodus' Widowmakes Scarlet is also 3 creatures in one and has the superior artwork. And then there are Raging Swan Press' excellent Antipaladins and Villains I + II books. Unfortunately, all of the blow Cytheria out of the water in at least some regard. The d20pfsrd-innovation, her central advantage over the other pdfs, has unfortunately not been implemented to its logical conclusion. Don't get me wrong. This is a good file. It does nothing truly wrong. However, it has to be judged among peers that can be considered excellent and thus trump her. Cytheria is a step into the right direction from Slogar, but can't yet play on a level field with her contemporaries, who offer universally more content and/or content you couldn't easily put together yourself. Unfortunately barring any striking argument why you should/must buy Cytheria, my final verdict will be 3 stars. I definitely hope the guys and gals from TPK-games continue their endeavors to create more villains and expand upon their significant potential.
Infamous Adversaries: Cytheria the Blasphemer by Total Party Kill Games
This product is 13 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits and full cover art of Slogar. (3 pages)
Cytheria the Blasphemer (7 pages)
It starts off with Cytheria's stat block. Cytheria is a human 9th level Anti-Paladin and 1st level Holy Vindicator with a fiendish servant named Azual. It is a full stat block extensively hyperlink to d20pfsrd. Next it gets into her motives, appearance, History, personality, network of allies, resources, lair, tactics, moral, advice on how to level her up, a personal quote, some plot hooks, a lore table to learn about him, and ends with the full stat block of Azual.
It ends with a OGL and back cover. (3 pages)
Closing thoughts. The only art is the single full page, full color art of Cytheria at the beginning of the book. The art is fair in quality. Layout and editing where pretty good. Unlike Solgar I thought she had a much more interesting history and makes for a much better long term villain. I especially liked that while she is a melee combatant first and foremost she is built for social encounters with Chr being her second highest stat. She is subtle and uses her wits and charm to get what she wants and only resorts to combat which she excels at when she has to. She comes across as a much better long term villain or possible someone the PC's might want to try and “Save” from evil.
So what's my rating? Well I thought this one was better than the first one, in that I can see her sticking around as a recurring villain and the PC's may not even try to kill her, but instead try and counter her actions with role playing. While I think the book could have used a little more polish, for the cheap price of 2 bucks I am going to settle on a 4.5 star review for the price. A fun villain well worth the asking price.
Trust me, I'm a Succubus.
Excellent and Fully Developed Villain for Your Game
Let's be honest, GM's are the true heroes of our games. What our GMs prepare all week for, we blow through in a couple hours with our PCs. It's hard work but luckily, TPK Games is here to help!
The book contains Cytheria's Stat Block, complete with helpful links to d20PFSRD for quick reference. It also contains tactics, the stat block for her fiendish servant, a great backstory for her and her organization and two plot hooks to work her into your game. The art is also top notch.
Cytheria is great for your home brew campaign or even an AP. She'd fit in very well in Curse of the Crimson Throne or Carrion Crown, especially.
This character is not merely a sketch and some stats and a battle tactic, but an entire character design with development, history, motives and reasons. This particular PDF references everything from her training to her methods if she should fall in combat. Need a quick, but well-designed NPC? This is for you! (Especially if you are feeling sadistic to your players...)