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The Genius Guide to Hellfire Magic (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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Hellfire—the stuff of legends and nightmares. Classically associated with the wrath of the gods and the acrid scent of brimstone, hellfire is also one of the background elements of hell and the torments that await there. Hellfire represents a common element of many fantasy stories and classic mythologies, but has very little presence within the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The Genius Guide to Hellfire Magic adds hellfire as a new option for a broad range of spellcasters, adding options for grim antipaladins wielding hellfire scourges, determined inquisitors calling down hellfire cages to imprison their enemies, and even good-aligned clerics and wizards drawing on the building blocks of hell to fight for justice and honor—though facing constant temptation to call upon more vile forces as they do so.

So, what is hellfire? For purposes of this product, hellfire is both a supernatural form of energy (which is similar to, but not exactly the same as, the mystic fires mortal spellcasters call upon to fuel such spells as burning hands and fireball), and a planar material (similar to magic force effects, such as those used to create everything from a simple shield to a forcecage, though not as resilient as force effects). Entire planes of existence are composed largely of hellfire, where it serves as both unescapable prison and endless and unforgiving torment to the spirits and outsiders consigned to those planes. Like the magic forces it is similar to, hellfire can be conjured, evoked, and bound into tools and defenses by mortals using powerful spells.

Hellfire is an important part of Hell and the Abyss, and as a result of being exposed to its supernatural heat, most demons and devils are either immune to normal fire or extremely resistant to it. Many evil outsiders have been so infused with hellfire that they can call upon less cosmic flames as natural abilities, and their constant manipulations and exposure have infected hellfire itself with a link to the raw powers of evil.

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Product Discussion (40)
Minister of Propaganda, Super Genius Games

Straight Outta Hell...fire!


Bought it at RPGNow the second the tweet went out, review is up here and there....FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Been looking for something that'll help me do a proper Ghost Rider type of NPC for my players to deal with. Looks like this may be just what the doctor ordered. Can't wait for the PDF.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Love it. Will review it soon.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Will check it out as soon as I can afford it.


My gaming stuff budget has been tight lately, but by gorsh this thing is a must have. I ordered it a bit ago, read the whole thing, and shivered like a psychotic chihuahua the whole time. This baby is going in my game this weekend!!!


Oh, this looks great. Maybe we'll finally be able to recreate something like the 3.5 warlock again!

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

KTFish7 wrote:
Bought it at RPGNow the second the tweet went out, review is up here and there....FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

Many, MANY thanks for the really quick review!

And yes, this was inspired in part by a certain cinder-headed cyclist. But I started writing it quite a while ago -- I'm not thatfast! :D

Blayde MacRonan wrote:
Been looking for something that'll help me do a proper Ghost Rider type of NPC for my players to deal with. Looks like this may be just what the doctor ordered. Can't wait for the PDF.

Things like this make me giggle! (Or is that "laugh maniacally"?) Let me know how the PCs handle it. :)

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
My gaming stuff budget has been tight lately, but by gorsh this thing is a must have. I ordered it a bit ago, read the whole thing, and shivered like a psychotic chihuahua the whole time. This baby is going in my game this weekend!!!

That is, of course, exactly the reactions I was hoping for. Although "spasmed like a sociopathic pit bull" would also have been okay. :)

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Oh, this looks great. Maybe we'll finally be able to recreate something like the 3.5 warlock again!

I hope you do end up enjying it, despite the lack of anything particularly warlock-y. Though I do have a witch variant class in playtesting that might end up working for you, if it ever gets through the balancing process...


First, let me say I love this product and I especially apprecate that it has so much antipaladin and witch support, without shorting any other class.

That said, I'm confused by the planar torment major hex. It says there's no limit to how often you can hit an extrapalanr target with it, but then it does 1d6 less damage each time you hit the same target in a day. After five uses, doesn't that lower it to 0d6? Do you actually fire a 0d6 bolt of hellfire at someone? If so, why?

Shadow Lodge

Dungeon Grrrl wrote:

First, let me say I love this product and I especially apprecate that it has so much antipaladin and witch support, without shorting any other class.

That said, I'm confused by the planar torment major hex. It says there's no limit to how often you can hit an extrapalanr target with it, but then it does 1d6 less damage each time you hit the same target in a day. After five uses, doesn't that lower it to 0d6? Do you actually fire a 0d6 bolt of hellfire at someone? If so, why?

Just to watch them (non-lethally) burn. Seriously, at that point it beomes a flavor thing.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Oh, this looks great. Maybe we'll finally be able to recreate something like the 3.5 warlock again!
I hope you do end up enjying it, despite the lack of anything particularly warlock-y. Though I do have a witch variant class in playtesting that might end up working for you, if it ever gets through the balancing process...

Thanks. And hmm, I wonder, is it a coincidence that this came out just as the "Way of the Wicked" Adventure Path, filled with devils and hell-fire loving villainy, started selling? ;)

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
First, let me say I love this product and I especially apprecate that it has so much antipaladin and witch support, without shorting any other class.

Glad you like it!

Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
That said, I'm confused by the planar torment major hex. It says there's no limit to how often you can hit an extrapalanr target with it, but then it does 1d6 less damage each time you hit the same target in a day. After five uses, doesn't that lower it to 0d6? Do you actually fire a 0d6 bolt of hellfire at someone? If so, why?

Okay, the planar torment hex deals 5d6 damage the first time you shoot anyone with it. What happens if you shoot the target a second time within 24 hours depends on what kind of target. If it is an extraplanar target, they take 5d6 again. If it's NOT an extraplanar target, they take 4d6. And if you shoot them a third time in 24 hours, extraplanar targets still take 5d6, and other just 3d6. And so on.

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Thanks. And hmm, I wonder, is it a coincidence that this came out just as the "Way of the Wicked" Adventure Path, filled with devils and hell-fire loving villainy, started selling? ;)

Let's just say we try to keep an eye on things like movie releases, AP themes, major holidays, and so on. :D

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Owen K.C. Stephens wrote:

Blayde MacRonan wrote:

Been looking for something that'll help me do a proper Ghost Rider type of NPC for my players to deal with. Looks like this may be just what the doctor ordered. Can't wait for the PDF.

Things like this make me giggle! (Or is that "laugh maniacally"?) Let me know how the PCs handle it. :)

Bought the PDF today and as I looked through it, I couldn't help but smile. The spells just scream to be used to create the Ghost Rider (I'm looking right at you nightmarish transport). Though I like the domains presented, I can't wait to see the witch archetype you were talking about in a previous post. That actually is something I'm interested in.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Blayde MacRonan wrote:
Bought the PDF today and as I looked through it, I couldn't help but smile. The spells just scream to be used to create the Ghost Rider (I'm looking right at you nightmarish transport).

I'm willing to confess nightmarish transport is an example of a spell strongly inspired by outside sources. :D

Blayde MacRonan wrote:
Though I like the domains presented, I can't wait to see the witch archetype you were talking about in a previous post. That actually is something I'm interested in.

If I can get it balanced, I'll be pretty interested in releasing it!

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Many thanks to KnightErrantJR for the review!

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

A big "Thank You!" to Azazyll for his review!

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, a lot of people seem to be enjoying the effect of the hellfire descriptor, that makes the spell work slightly differently if you cast it as an evil spell, and I'm really happy about that. It was one of the things that convinced me the idea was worth turning into a full product.

That said, I've had a few people suggest that mechanism (spells that work differently depending on some other condition, such as alignment, race, material components, and so on) is worth exploring a lot more. Anyone have thoughts on that?


What exactly is the evil temptation version for Pocket Hell? I found that part of the spell noticeably vacant. Also I think the thought of spell that change depending on the person casting them is a great idea. Kinda reminds me of a spell secret from the Behind the Spells: Walls.


Jericho Penumbra wrote:
What exactly is the evil temptation version for Pocket Hell? I found that part of the spell noticeably vacant.

It's in the last paragraph, right after the rules for making a pocket hell permanent. "A pocket hell can be made permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 20,000 gp. If cast as an evil spell, a pocket hell can include a single door, up to 20 feet square, that opens and closes as the caster wishes, to permit items and creatures to enter and leave the prison."

Jericho Penumbra wrote:
Also I think the thought of spell that change depending on the person casting them is a great idea. Kinda reminds me of a spell secret from the Behind the Spells: Walls.

I appreciate the feedback!


OWEN STEPHENS wrote:

It's in the last paragraph, right after the rules for making a pocket hell permanent. "A pocket hell can be made permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 20,000 gp. If cast as an evil spell, a pocket hell can include a single door, up to 20 feet square, that opens and closes as the caster wishes, to permit items and creatures to enter and leave the prison."

I appreciate the feedback!

1)Whoops... guess I missed that. Thanks.

2) No problem! :D


Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Many thanks for the review!

Cheliax

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
KTFish7 wrote:
Bought it at RPGNow the second the tweet went out, review is up here and there....FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

Many, MANY thanks for the really quick review!

And yes, this was inspired in part by a certain cinder-headed cyclist. But I started writing it quite a while ago -- I'm not thatfast! :D

Blayde MacRonan wrote:
Been looking for something that'll help me do a proper Ghost Rider type of NPC for my players to deal with. Looks like this may be just what the doctor ordered. Can't wait for the PDF.

Things like this make me giggle! (Or is that "laugh maniacally"?) Let me know how the PCs handle it. :)

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
My gaming stuff budget has been tight lately, but by gorsh this thing is a must have. I ordered it a bit ago, read the whole thing, and shivered like a psychotic chihuahua the whole time. This baby is going in my game this weekend!!!

That is, of course, exactly the reactions I was hoping for. Although "spasmed like a sociopathic pit bull" would also have been okay. :)

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Oh, this looks great. Maybe we'll finally be able to recreate something like the 3.5 warlock again!
I hope you do end up enjying it, despite the lack of anything particularly warlock-y. Though I do have a witch variant class in playtesting that might end up working for you, if it ever gets through the balancing process...

looks interesting.


You're welcome, Owen! I'm curious who gets the references in my review...


Endzeitgeist wrote:
I'm curious who gets the references in my review...

Could you repeat that, I couldn't hear you over the Voltaire that is cranked in my office.

Gary "I did it all because I'm evil" McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
That said, I've had a few people suggest that mechanism (spells that work differently depending on some other condition, such as alignment, race, material components, and so on) is worth exploring a lot more. Anyone have thoughts on that?

I think it's a great idea that deserves further exploration.

Fantasy fiction (across various media) is filled with the idea that only X creatures can use Y magic, or that when X creatures use Y magic, said magic is different/more powerful. This isn't something that Pathfinder does very well - a fireball is a fireball is a fireball, whether it's coming from a human wizard or a pit fiend. Varying it up by the nature of the spellcaster is a fun way to change things.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Nice review End.


Thanks,D_M!

Gary, you not only write excellent adventure paths, you also know and listen to Voltaire?!

I think I like you!

I'm currently reading Call forth Darkness and it rocks! Review coming sometime next week, I think...

Cheers!


End,

There was a time I was deeply plugged into all things goth (thanks to my Vampire and Camarilla-obsessed third fiance'). And who wouldn't love a string cabaret extoling the virtues of vice and wickedness? That's just good wholesome family fun. :)

Anyways, glad you're enjoying "Call Forth Darkness". I look forward to your review.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Alzrius wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
That said, I've had a few people suggest that mechanism (spells that work differently depending on some other condition, such as alignment, race, material components, and so on) is worth exploring a lot more. Anyone have thoughts on that?

I think it's a great idea that deserves further exploration.

Fantasy fiction (across various media) is filled with the idea that only X creatures can use Y magic, or that when X creatures use Y magic, said magic is different/more powerful. This isn't something that Pathfinder does very well - a fireball is a fireball is a fireball, whether it's coming from a human wizard or a pit fiend. Varying it up by the nature of the spellcaster is a fun way to change things.

I agree. I also like the fact with with hellfire magic it's not WHO you are that matters, but HOW you cast the spell. Everyone CAN cast it as an evil spell and get a small power boost, but there are consequences. I'd love to see some more options like this, where a caster has options, but may face a price to be paid.

I'd ALSO love to see some that vary based on something about the caster. Varying by class, race, and alignment are obvious, but some other options might be fun too. Spell that work differently when case by different genders, or when cast at different hit point levels, for example.


I have to admit, I like the whole "extra power if cast as an evil spell" idea myself. Hmm, maybe we can see some spells that grant extra power if done as good spells? Who says evil is the only one to use the carrot as well as the stick?

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Eric Hinkle wrote:
I have to admit, I like the whole "extra power if cast as an evil spell" idea myself. Hmm, maybe we can see some spells that grant extra power if done as good spells? Who says evil is the only one to use the carrot as well as the stick?

Spells with extra oomph for being cast as good spells are a great idea, as are a lot of the others that came up in this thread. I've got a lot of thinking to do...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It does make me wonder about the nature of spells though. I would think spells should be the same for whoever casts them (modulo the CL). It seems like if they behaved differently, they should be different spells.

This is, of course, based on the supposed musings of an in-game magic scholar.


I think the interesting point is not spells that work differently based on who you are, but how you cast the spells.

The reason I find this interesting, is that if a spell functions differently based on who is casting it, then that seems like some sort of meta-magic ability that the caster is applying to the spell (perhaps innately). However, if the spell is different based on how it is cast, that is a function of how the spell works.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Spells with extra oomph for being cast as good spells are a great idea, as are a lot of the others that came up in this thread. I've got a lot of thinking to do...

Say it ain't so, Owen.

I really don't like the idea of a "good" version of hellfire magic. Since most games feature good-aligned characters anyway (unless you're running an evil campaign, or have one of those "I'm neutral to avoid alignment-based effects" players), this is essentially giving the vast majority of all PCs a free bonus when using such magic. Likewise, what's the thematic opposite? That evil characters really want to use these spells, but have to grapple with going to the good side? That seems a bit silly to me.

The whole thing also smacks of unnecessary parallelism. Must everything have an opposite equivalent?

By itself, the idea of "good-based magic" isn't a bad one, but make it function differently. Make it the first example of creature-based magic, and have it be the spells that only angels can use (followed by some mechanics that let mortals spellcasters access that same power).


The Dresden files have Soulfire, which is the creative force. In that setting, both devils and angels can use Soulfire (a couple of fallen angels get pissed off at the hero for using soulfire.) Soulfire functions in a way quite different than Hellfire and when the hero charges his spells with soulfire, the effects are very different than when he charged his spells with Hellfire.


Alzrius wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Spells with extra oomph for being cast as good spells are a great idea, as are a lot of the others that came up in this thread. I've got a lot of thinking to do...

Say it ain't so, Owen.

I really don't like the idea of a "good" version of hellfire magic. Since most games feature good-aligned characters anyway (unless you're running an evil campaign, or have one of those "I'm neutral to avoid alignment-based effects" players), this is essentially giving the vast majority of all PCs a free bonus when using such magic. Likewise, what's the thematic opposite? That evil characters really want to use these spells, but have to grapple with going to the good side? That seems a bit silly to me.

The whole thing also smacks of unnecessary parallelism. Must everything have an opposite equivalent?

By itself, the idea of "good-based magic" isn't a bad one, but make it function differently. Make it the first example of creature-based magic, and have it be the spells that only angels can use (followed by some mechanics that let mortals spellcasters access that same power).

Agreed. While there are other things you could do with "cast it for extra effect and X happens," just making good spells that do the same as the evil ones doesn't feel that evocative for me.

In part, evil tempts and corrupts. "Have some extra power . . . don't ind that blemish on your soul. Hardly felt that, did you? Why not do it again?"

Good, on the other hand, is something that you work at or that comes to you when you really, really need it, not when you want it.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

KnightErrantJR wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Spells with extra oomph for being cast as good spells are a great idea, as are a lot of the others that came up in this thread. I've got a lot of thinking to do...

Say it ain't so, Owen.

I really don't like the idea of a "good" version of hellfire magic.

By itself, the idea of "good-based magic" isn't a bad one, but make it function differently. Make it the first example of creature-based magic, and have it be the spells that only angels can use (followed by some mechanics that let mortals spellcasters access that same power).

Agreed. While there are other things you could do with "cast it for extra effect and X happens," just making good spells that do the same as the evil ones doesn't feel that evocative for me.

In part, evil tempts and corrupts. "Have some extra power . . . don't ind that blemish on your soul. Hardly felt that, did you? Why not do it again?"

Good, on the other hand, is something that you work at or that comes to you when you really, really need it, not when you want it.

I did day I had some thinking to do. :D

One of the things I liked about the [hellfire] descriptor was that it lent itself well to some of the stories and events of fantasy fiction I enjoy -- a kind of magic that can be used safely by the forces of good, but is a constant temptation to do evil, and the very fact a character uses it may lead others not to trust him.

Obviously just having a spell be more powerful if you cast it as a good caster isn't nearly as interesting. I could, however, see ways to make an interesting design. For example, what about a spell that calls on the power of outsiders to heals you a little and gives s minor buff to all allies in an area. By itself, an unaligned spell with useful if uninspired results.

Now, what if you can cast it any of seven other ways? If you cast it as a lawful spell, everyone gets exactly the same results,(both healing and a buff), but thus neither healing nor buff is as powerful per person. As a chaos spell, it gives one person in the area a buff and one a heal, but they are determined randomly among your allies (more powerful, but fewer people). Cast as a good spell, it increases the healing but decreases the buff. Cast as an evil spell, it increases the buff but decreases the healing.

ALL the alignment options should be balanced against each other [welcome to my playtest night mare -- :)], but exactly how the spell functions differs if you cast it as Lawful Good, Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, Lawful Evil, Chaotic Evil, Neutral Evil, Lawful Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, or true Neutral.

I'm not sold on this yet (and I'm not sure I could do a whole book of them) -- but it's the kind of thing I've been pondering recently.

Minister of Propaganda, Super Genius Games

Now updated with bookmarks and the Hero Lab data file!

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Many thanks to Monkeygod for the 5/5 review!

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