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Way of the Wicked—Book #1: Knot of Thorns (PFRPG)

***** (based on 17 ratings)
FRM1001E

Backorder Print/PDF Bundle: $24.99

Add PDF: $10.00

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BE THE BAD GUY!

The Kingdom of Talingarde is the most noble, virtuous, peaceful nation in the known world. Herein is the story of how you burned this insipid paradise to the ground.

It's only fair. They burned you first.

They condemned you for your wicked deeds. They branded you. They shipped you to the worst prison in the kingdom. In three days, you die. In three days, the do-gooders pray they'll be rid of you.

They've given you three days. The fools, that's more than you need to break out. And then, it will be their turn to face the fire.

Welcome to the first chapter of the "Way of the Wicked" adventure path! Inside you'll find:

  • "Knot of Thorns," an adventure for 1st level villains compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Gary McBride.
  • Full color art and maps by Michael Clarke
  • A gazetteer of brave, noble, doomed Talingarde
  • Advice for running a successful villainous campaign
  • Rules for creating wicked PCs
  • A 100-page full color PDF (including printer friendly version) full of vice and villainy.
  • And more!

You've saved the world plenty.

This time, the world needs saving from you.

Product Availability


Print/PDF Bundle: This product is a backorder. The PDF will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase.

PDF: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

FRM1001E


See Also:

Product Discussion (1,390)
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Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
For those groups without a rogue or other dexterous character to open the locks, I suggest to change the Veil. Instead of masterwork thieving tools, you can give them a Skeleton Key (from Adverturer's Armory). It gives you a flat out +10 in lockpicking, whatever your skill is. You'll ned to roll 12+ to open the first lock, and 8+ (that is doable just Taking 10) for the rest.

I let the catfolk rogue with high Dex pick the locks even though he didn't have Disable Device trained. They knew it wasn't normally possible but I ruled the locks were in such poor repair it was possible. Prison with no gear is a tough scenario for any player to deal with and I didn't want to derail the AP by making the first room so tough they didn't want to continue.


I'm actually getting to the nine trials part and am looking for a way to add xp so the party can level up, so I was looking for them to take part in a mock fight with the seventh knot. I was looking for advice to de-level them from the second book, any advice would be appreciated.

Qadira

Randomdonkey wrote:
I'm actually getting to the nine trials part and am looking for a way to add xp so the party can level up, so I was looking for them to take part in a mock fight with the seventh knot. I was looking for advice to de-level them from the second book, any advice would be appreciated.

I actually gave them a side quest in which Thorn told them that they were too weak and squishy to join the knot just yet. He sent them out into the woods to cut lumber for the kitchen stove. However, he noted that they must not go into the cave. What cave? Who cares? They were stay out of it. They're evil, so why would they listen? He knew they'd do it anyways. That was the whole point. While there, they had a few random encounters. Namely a few monsters that mimicked treasure and gems. They barely survived, but they learned that when they're told to do something, it's in their best interest to listen.

You can make up a few random encounters for them pretty easily. Once they're ready, and less squishy, they can enter the trial. I also gave xp to my players after each encounter during the trial. That was important for a couple of them.


Randomdonkey wrote:
I'm actually getting to the nine trials part and am looking for a way to add xp so the party can level up, so I was looking for them to take part in a mock fight with the seventh knot. I was looking for advice to de-level them from the second book, any advice would be appreciated.

It's easier to build them from scratch.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Just finished my 2nd Session, and my players are having a hoot. Some lovely bluff checks making the session have some interesting moments. And I think my house rules are helping to keep the players invested in their characters (ie Villains are like Cockroaches = auto stabalize).

Spoiler:
2nd Session – Escape from Branderscar
After successfully butchering both the Warden and Sgt Blackerly, the party decided to see if they could loot the prison. First they ransacked the Warden’s tower and then the Sgt’s rooms. Lastly they found the armory and found some other weapons than swords, bows or non-lethal clubs. With the uniforms three of them decided to see if they could bluff their way into the gatehouse. They succeeded quite handily and also convinced the two servants there that it was safe to return to the main building….

Alas, the two servants ran into the goblin, half-orc and Grumblejack. The servants were taken by surprise and the half-orc decided he needed a prisoner of his own and jumped the female servant and managed to pin her and be intimidating enough that she froze.

Meanwhile back at the gatehouse the 3 spellcasters (for some reason they left the melee characters back in the main building) bluffed their way into the mid-level where they ambushed 3 guards. A couple of burning hands spells caused two of the guards to flee from low wounds, while the third was put to sleep by the witch and then rendered completely asleep. The guards fled to the next floor where they meet up with three more guards, rallied and headed downstairs.

The goblin, half-orc, ogre (now carrying the ‘hostage’) made their way to the gatehouse as the guards on top left to deal with the intrusion and arrived just in time to see two of the three casters take near fatal wounds (both the sorcerer and witch went down, and the tiefling cleric was getting close). Channelling negative energy the cleric managed to down two guards, and then the goblin and half-orc rushed in with Grumblejack pulling up the rear. Alas the remaining guards had some luck and put the goblin and the half-orc both into the negatives. Fortunately evil prevailed with Grumblejack killing the last guard. Causing his allies to be treated as undead and then channelling to heal undead the cleric managed to revive most of the party who decided that leaving the prison was the best course of action.

They found that the guard post was abandoned (that guard was pulled in to assist when the alarm sounded) they fled into the moors and decided to rest for about 8 hours. Unfortunately at daybreak the day time servants arrived to find the prison in less than pristine condition and raised the alarm in town, thus guard patrols and the baying of hounds forced the party to push on to the manor house.

As they recovered in the manor house, the cleric decided to kill and animate the servant who was assigned to him (Tiadora was not impressed). When Cardinal Thorn made his offer the party jumped at it whole heartedly. (Quote of the night from the goblin ‘You had me at burn.’ One of the disturbing questions when they were signing the Pact of Thorns ~ ‘Do we have to use our own blood?’)

At that point we called the session so folks can make their equipment purchases and level up. Due to the battering they took, I decided to skip Lashtongue.


So far so good, but it looks like this will be an AP to remember! Thanks again for the great work Gary!


John,

Thanks for posting the play summary -- an interesting read!

"Do we have to use our own blood?" Hah!

And of course thanks for the kind words and for supporting "Way of the Wicked".

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

John,

Thanks for posting the play summary -- an interesting read!

"Do we have to use our own blood?" Hah!

And of course thanks for the kind words and for supporting "Way of the Wicked".

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

In my game they have to sign with their own blood. So there is a small surgeon knife


Gary, I have a question. It's possible one of my players will make a Flame Oracle. If so, I think he might have a bad time in certain Cathedral in a Vale in Book 3, due to the amount of flame based outsiders there.

I plan to let him to take a "hellfire". Something in the realm of Diabolist's Channel Hellfire ability (hellfire does 1/2 fire damage, and 1/2 unholy damage that does double against good outsiders). How would you make such? A metamagic feat (something like "+2 spell levels" similar to empower? A magic Item?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I'm finally getting to start this campaign this week. Here's the group my players put together:

female elf rogue
male human cleric of Asmodeus
male human fighter
male elf conjurer (spellbinder)
male human double-cursed oracle of time (haunted, legalistic curses)

I'm thrilled to see how it goes.

Qadira

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Gary, I have a question. It's possible one of my players will make a Flame Oracle. If so, I think he might have a bad time in certain Cathedral in a Vale in Book 3, due to the amount of flame based outsiders there.

I plan to let him to take a "hellfire". Something in the realm of Diabolist's Channel Hellfire ability (hellfire does 1/2 fire damage, and 1/2 unholy damage that does double against good outsiders). How would you make such? A metamagic feat (something like "+2 spell levels" similar to empower? A magic Item?

There are two metamagic feats in Super Genius Games - Fire Magic. One of them is called Sacred Flames. It's only a +1 and it does half divine/half fire. It requires Knowledge (religion) as a class skill. The other is Steam Spell, and it costs +2, but it counts as cold damage against the fire subtype. It requires Spell Focus (evocation). To answer your hellfire question, a +1 would suffice.


I don't think +1 would sufice, as it's not the same half divine/half fire than hellfire. Divine damages does not do extra damage to evil outsiders, as far as I know, while Hellfire does double damage against good outsiders. A Sacred Flames fireball vs a Fire Inmune Devil does 5d6, half on a save. While a Hellfire fireball vs a Fire Inmune Angel, does 10d6, half in a save (it does 5d6 unholy, x2 vs creatures with Good Descriptor). Hellfire is more powerful than sacred flames, and actually on par with Steam Spell (x1.5 vs a subset of enemies, work as a workaround vs fire inmunes)


kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Gary, I have a question. It's possible one of my players will make a Flame Oracle. If so, I think he might have a bad time in certain Cathedral in a Vale in Book 3, due to the amount of flame based outsiders there.

I plan to let him to take a "hellfire". Something in the realm of Diabolist's Channel Hellfire ability (hellfire does 1/2 fire damage, and 1/2 unholy damage that does double against good outsiders). How would you make such? A metamagic feat (something like "+2 spell levels" similar to empower? A magic Item?

There are two metamagic feats in Super Genius Games - Fire Magic. One of them is called Sacred Flames. It's only a +1 and it does half divine/half fire. It requires Knowledge (religion) as a class skill. The other is Steam Spell, and it costs +2, but it counts as cold damage against the fire subtype. It requires Spell Focus (evocation). To answer your hellfire question, a +1 would suffice.

Super Genius Games also has a PDF for Hellfire Magic that would work wonderfully. I have a copy, and it's got plenty of fiery spells to deal with even the most flame-resistant good outsider.


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

Man I would love to run this campaign, but prep time is a factor for me currently. Has anyone created Hero Lab portfolios or d20Pro maps for any of the WotW adventures? I didn't see any packages available at d20pfsrd.com yet. The person who posts these (if they aren't somewhere already) is gonna earn the Pathfinder MVP award for sure...


So, this hasn't actually come up in my game yet, but I know my players, and I know their characters. What does Thorn do if the characters sell the Iron Circlets, with or without realizing what they actually do? The entire party is charisma based characters (Antipaladin, charisma rogue, sorcerer, bard) with max ranks in bluff and disguise across the board. I can easily see them at this point trying to sell off the Iron Circlets for some quick gold.

So my question is, do you think that Thorn would care? Would he punish them for selling his gifts?

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Well one way to do it would be to mark the Iron Circlets with the symbol as Asmodeus... after all when they aren't being worn the magic doesn't conceal their true form... try selling a magic item of a forbidden diety in a LG society and the inquistors will be coming to find the ones who offloaded these items.

At least that would be how I would do it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Any word on Book 5 yet? Just looked at the webpage/facebook page and didn't see a date yet. You know, just curious ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

How can I not answer post #666?

We spent all day finishing layout. It is done. Last round of editing and its out the door. Should be next week some time.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Qadira

W. John Hare wrote:

Well one way to do it would be to mark the Iron Circlets with the symbol as Asmodeus... after all when they aren't being worn the magic doesn't conceal their true form... try selling a magic item of a forbidden diety in a LG society and the inquistors will be coming to find the ones who offloaded these items.

At least that would be how I would do it.

That's fine, but there are ways around it. You'll get black market contacts later in the game, or so it's assumed, so they'd be able to deal with that.

No, I wouldn't mind knowing about this as well. I'll likely have the same issue myself. Haven't yet, which I'm grateful for.


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

How can I not answer post #666?

We spent all day finishing layout. It is done. Last round of editing and its out the door. Should be next week some time.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Oh yes!


MalignantMind wrote:
So my question is, do you think that Thorn would care? Would he punish them for selling his gifts?

The question is not if Thorne will care. The question is if players think he'll do.

Make the Cardinal say "this is a personal gift from me" when the Iron Circlets are given. The Players should understand that there's a risk about angering such powerful guy, and that might work as a deterrant for selling them.


kevin_video wrote:

That's fine, but there are ways around it. You'll get black market contacts later in the game, or so it's assumed, so they'd be able to deal with that.

No, I wouldn't mind knowing about this as well. I'll likely have the same issue myself. Haven't yet, which I'm grateful for.

The spoony rogue (our rogue is more spoony than the bard. Go figure.) plans on taking Black Market Connections as his next rogue talent when he hits 4th level. While I know the talent has no impact on selling items, I'm inclined to allow it to let characters sell ill-gotten or forbidden goods. They've already gotten the circlets, they're currently on the viking boat heading north. So them finding a way to sell it likely won't be an issue. It's how Thorn would react. I'm leaning towards him giving the characters to Tiadora for the night like he would have if they had failed the trials.

Also, fun fact about my players in this campaign. They managed to talk their way out of prison with a combination of disguise, bluff, and forged documents (with the ogre, mind you. They were transferring him to the salt mines). Only killed the guards that were guarding them in the cells. Everyone is really enjoying the game thus far, and "We're taking him to the salt mines." has already become a running joke with the group.


So my take on this is...

Spoiler:

Selling the iron circlets isn't impossible. Yes, they are clear Asmodean so it will be tough, but with black market contacts, foreign merchants in Ghastenhall, etc. not impossible.

That's why Tiadora goes around the manor house collecting hair/momentos in Book One. Thorn believes in a backup plan.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Please say he has cloned the complete knot Andi te players must fight their clones... <3

Qadira

Fire Mountain Games wrote:

So my take on this is...

** spoiler omitted **

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

So what happens later...

when:
they get rewarded for doing well on their missions and they're given those additions to their circlet for the mental stats? Just give them regular headbands instead?

Cheliax

my crooks have just liberated Aldencross from the Sarenraen fanatics. I changed this part of the game to a greater time scale : one round for each morning / afternoon / night.
I'd state normal business in town for that part of the day, and every player could state what they would do i.e. gather information, spread false rumors, gather ingredients, join the army, whatnot.

Most of the players had plans that spanned multiple days, so I wrote out a 14 day calendar and gave each player a pawn. Each player then had their own timeline; they could not go back, just forward, until their plans had either completed or they decided to abandon their plan and join up with (or wait for) another player who was still on the same day or behind.
It was clear for the guys who were hanging back that they had to get up and do their part - and the guys who initially had good ideas, could immediately take the spotlight for a great chance to shine.

Given the number of possible leads to follow, this has worked really well for us. It kept the game moving at a fast pace while a whole lot got accomplished in a short time. So I heartily recommend using a calendar with pawns for this part of book 1!

Cheliax

Dr. Johnny Fever wrote:
prep time is a factor for me currently.

Well...We've just completed the old 3.5 RotR campaign with this WotW group, and I'm running Council of Thieves for another group, but I found WotW to be far easier to prep than either of these. We play for +/- 8 hours each session and we steadily go through 16 pages of book 1 every time so far - That might give you a rough estimate. But the best part of WotW: Everything you need is Just There - with the other campaigns I found myself looking up stuff in the Core books constantly, but now the answers are just a page away. And it's such a giggle ^_^

Also, you could read through the PbP games here on the messageboards, they should help avoid pitfalls.


increddibelly wrote:
Dr. Johnny Fever wrote:
prep time is a factor for me currently.

Well...We've just completed the old 3.5 RotR campaign with this WotW group, and I'm running Council of Thieves for another group, but I found WotW to be far easier to prep than either of these. We play for +/- 8 hours each session and we steadily go through 16 pages of book 1 every time so far - That might give you a rough estimate. But the best part of WotW: Everything you need is Just There - with the other campaigns I found myself looking up stuff in the Core books constantly, but now the answers are just a page away. And it's such a giggle ^_^

Also, you could read through the PbP games here on the messageboards, they should help avoid pitfalls.

I've noticed this as well for WotW. You really don't need much prep time, because everything you need is there, unless you are adding something else to it (For example, I frequently change spell lists of major casters, and will occasionally change feat selections and archetypes of major NPCs to make them more of a challenge for my group). But if you're just running it exactly as printed, then you're set. My group has gone through book 1 pretty quickly so far. I'm expecting Aldencross/Balentyne to slow them down a bit though. I'm actually kind of hoping for that. I don't want them to tear through the campaign and then have to wait for the next book to come out.

Speaking of which, is there a release date (rough or otherwise) for book 5 and 6?


kevin_video wrote:
Fire Mountain Games wrote:

So my take on this is...

** spoiler omitted **

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

So what happens later...

** spoiler omitted **

I would give them the gem and make the NPC say "this fit in the iron circlet. Wait, what? You sold it? Oh, fine. Then you already got the gold for it, which is what you wanted. This gem is otherwise useless. It's a pity"


Just a suggestion for GMs: in Dungeon #2 (yes, way back) there is a scenario 'Caermor' which would make a great side adventure to this AP. The fit is uncanny - and it has a great village description with a collection of NPCs.

Anybody else run across other similar material? More stuff = bigger sandbox!


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

I probably should have explained the situation better. My gaming group gets together once a week for an online game using a VTT (virtual table top) called d20Pro. In order to vastly streamline the creation of NPCs, we use Hero Lab and export the files in a format that can be imported into d20Pro. If we were still gaming face-to-face like we did for years then, yes, WotW seems like it would be very straight forward to prep for. Unfortunately, given our current gaming situation, an adventure that doesn't at least have pre-built Hero Lab portfolio files ends up getting passed over by us...

Qadira

Tony the Tiger wrote:

Just a suggestion for GMs: in Dungeon #2 (yes, way back) there is a scenario 'Caermor' which would make a great side adventure to this AP. The fit is uncanny - and it has a great village description with a collection of NPCs.

Anybody else run across other similar material? More stuff = bigger sandbox!

While they're up North, I had my players talk to the troll blacksmith that's talked about and he sent them on a quest (WotC D&D Frostburn, Iceforge). Had to do a bit of conversion, but overall kept it the same.


Just posted a review.

Chewbacca aka Major Longhorn

Cheliax

our cleric seems to enjoy turning or at least tainting the good guys.

Spoiler:

He cast Corrupting Touch on Father Donnigan before sunday mass - made the good priest appear evil, and the Archon gestalt kicked him out of his own church with a hundred witnesses.


One of player didn't have much time to create his background so all he told me was "My character is suffering from amnesia. So he doesn't "know" his background". a la "John Doe".

Basically it's up to me to decide his background and my aim is to give him bits as we run the AP.

The character is a drow, ninja and we settled for a crime "consort with dark powers", all he remembers is that when he got arrested he was covered in blood with many corpses around and a pentagram.

Adriastus Thorn told him he was called "Seven Deaths" as he was dead seven times already. I told him that but I had no idea where I was going to.

Now if you have some ideas to flesh his background.I would like to create something rather extraordinary. May be he WAS one of the pale Horsemen. This could lead to some additional abilities as his memory comes back.

I 'm open to any ideas you may have. ;o)

Qadira

Major Longhorn wrote:

One of player didn't have much time to create his background so all he told me was "My character is suffering from amnesia. So he doesn't "know" his background". a la "John Doe".

Basically it's up to me to decide his background and my aim is to give him bits as we run the AP.

The character is a drow, ninja and we settled for a crime "consort with dark powers", all he remembers is that when he got arrested he was covered in blood with many corpses around and a pentagram.

Adriastus Thorn told him he was called "Seven Deaths" as he was dead seven times already. I told him that but I had no idea where I was going to.

Now if you have some ideas to flesh his background.I would like to create something rather extraordinary. May be he WAS one of the pale Horsemen. This could lead to some additional abilities as his memory comes back.

I'm open to any ideas you may have. ;o)

What is it with people playing amnesiac drow lately? Got one in the Friday game as well. No one really knows his true background, but he used to have the arms of a lich, giving him the paralysis touch. Apparently he used to be really evil, not that he remembers.

As for a background for the drow,

maybe:
you could have him be somewhat demonic blooded. Maybe he's not a true drow. He could actually be a half-fiend, and his father be a horned devil (Book 4). The ritual might have been to unlock his true potential, but it wasn't quite enough. He needed something more. So maybe he can drink from the same fountain that Grumblejack's supposed to later on in the game, and he too can become a half-fiend. Granted you'd have to adjust things to make him balanced with the rest of the group, unless he's a few levels lower than everyone else at that point. You could probably also go third party and use WotC devil blooded bloodlines
.


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

What did people end up doing with Grumblejack? How did they advance him? Is he advanced later on by the books, since it does reference him being a good fit in a later book?


Major Longhorn/Chewbacca,

Thanks for the review. I'm flattered and humbled by your praise.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


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

I can't wait for the ability to search within these product threads.

What are some things people have done as mini-adventures for people who've escaped prison woefully under leveled?


Cheapy wrote:
What did people end up doing with Grumblejack? How did they advance him? Is he advanced later on by the books, since it does reference him being a good fit in a later book?

I'd let the PC decide what to do with him. If they buy him a big two handed sword, or a shield and a flail, or make him to train into Asmodean faith, that should make a difference in what feats does old Jack learn.

Other than that, he is a classed NPC now. Just raise his levels a bit, as you think it fits your party. Probably Fighter with two handed weapons focus is the most common bet.


Cheapy wrote:
What did people end up doing with Grumblejack? How did they advance him? Is he advanced later on by the books, since it does reference him being a good fit in a later book?

I've been leveling him up as a fighter. Since the groups tank (the Antipaladin) can't show up all the time, he serves as the backup tank, and I've been trying to spread his meager skill points around a bit so he can fill in on certain skills that the party doesn't have, currently survival, but he also picked up some knowledge (engineering) during the training montage. I basically made him a full fledged member of the knot, since the players have grown attached to him.

What I'm wondering right now is, how do people recommend bringing in new characters? Either a new player in the group, or if one of the original characters dies but the party can't afford a raise dead. I was thinking about having Thorn raise them if any happen to die, but I was also thinking about having Thorn use any fallen members for other things later on.

Qadira

Grumblejack levels up as a fighter normally in the books. I just made a copy of him and reverse engineered him so that he'll level up to how he's stated later.

As for mini-adventures, I just found 3pp adventures that fit fairly well with 1st level parties and got them to do that. I also homebrewed a couple. Like before Thorn has them do his test, they have to build up stamina by cutting down trees. Unfortunately, the trees have annoying inhabitants that don't like their homes being used as firewood.

As for deaths, I've got it set up that during their training, but before the test, Thorn has them learn CPR so that they won't die as easily. There's a "Horrifically Overpowered" feat from Super Genius Games called Extra Lives. You can die and come back 3 times, but not until after the encounter ends, or one week later at Thorn's home. However, I house ruled it so that you needed a PC to do a Heal check first. I gave it to them for free once. That's it. They use up all three, then they're doing something very wrong.


A new player (new to PF... he played 3.5 for years with us) will join our game and wants to play a necromancerlike pc. I suggestet cleric but are a bit unsure. Is there any archdevil who has the undead domain he could pray to?
Or should I go with a wizard necromancer (maybe even thassilonian)?


There is a malebranche (basically the generals of the devils) that has undeath as a area of interest:

Circiatto, LE, gluttony, greed, undead
Domains: Death, Evil, Law, Magic
Favored Weapon: warhammer


increddibelly wrote:

our cleric seems to enjoy turning or at least tainting the good guys.

** spoiler omitted **

That was a good one. Maybe your PCs should tell Master Thorn what they did, I'm sure he'll have a hearty evil chuckle at it.

Cheliax

Major Longhorn - I've just finished reading this novel - sword of the gods where the main character is exactly like your player's. except, in the novel he's not evil, but that's easily remedied.


MalignantMind wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
What did people end up doing with Grumblejack? How did they advance him? Is he advanced later on by the books, since it does reference him being a good fit in a later book?

I've been leveling him up as a fighter. Since the groups tank (the Antipaladin) can't show up all the time, he serves as the backup tank, and I've been trying to spread his meager skill points around a bit so he can fill in on certain skills that the party doesn't have, currently survival, but he also picked up some knowledge (engineering) during the training montage. I basically made him a full fledged member of the knot, since the players have grown attached to him.

What I'm wondering right now is, how do people recommend bringing in new characters? Either a new player in the group, or if one of the original characters dies but the party can't afford a raise dead. I was thinking about having Thorn raise them if any happen to die, but I was also thinking about having Thorn use any fallen members for other things later on.

Deaths are easy to solve, with Thorn being a high level cleric. He can afford to Raise Dead his favourite Knot without problems. Maybe make him charge the cost to the PC in the next reward (and make him to say so. "this is your reward... once I discounted the cost to keep you alive. Try to be more cautious. You learn't a few lessons in the tests in my manor, didn't you? Put them into practice..."

A new player, it depends on how far you are into the game. If they are in Book I, but after the prison break, you can have the PC in the Manor. He maybe escaped from his captors when being transported to Brandescar.

If you already delivered the weapons with the Frosthamar, make him join the group in Sakkaroth's horde. He might have a bit of info about Balantyne, being an ex-soldier there.

Another good moment is when they go to the Horn. The player(s) might be the only survivor(s) of the 4th knot, the ones who died in the horn, and Cardinal Thorne order the Ninth to absorve it.

In the Book 3, just make the Knot to recruit one extra ally beyond The Exile, the Medusa and the vampires. The new player can be one of the drow, or one completelly new ally which Tiadora suggest the PC to join forces with (maybe he has some knowledge or skill that might be useful to attack the vale)

In Book IV, the PC might be a survivor of the failed assassin group.

Just flow with the story and find a spot where Thorne or Tiadora might want to add a bit of help.


gustavo iglesias wrote:


A new player, it depends on how far you are into the game. If they are in Book I, but after the prison break, you can have the PC in the Manor. He maybe escaped from his captors when being transported to Brandescar.

I actually did that for the Half-drow bard in the party. Had Tiadora charm her way through the guard escort, and then tell the bard that if she can escape from them, Thorn has an offer for her. The bard...talked/charmed her way out of being a prisoner.

Mind you, the players have talked their way out of just about everything so far, unless they knew without a doubt that they could slaughter the opposition. The total body count in my game so far, and they're currently at the inn at Aldencross, is 10. Not counting monsters, of course. Which is kinda low, really. I suppose that's what happens in a group where everyone has a 20 charisma (Not counting our favorite ogre).


Help me get my campaign back on track!

We just finished up book 1... sort of:

derailment:
The session finished with one PC in Balentyne's prison (captured days earlier for trying to "mug" captain Barhold), one hiding in a supply barrel after destroying the rookery and other various sundry acts of sabotage, and two trying to hold the 2nd level of the gate house for another 15 minutes against Havelyn, Tacitus, the ice golem and about a dozen soldiers attacking through the bridge of death. Grumblejack died trying to signle handedly hold said bridge while the PCs sabotaged the portcullis and drawbridge mechanisms . Speaking of, could those mechanisms be jammed "open" with disable device checks so that it would take more than an hour of work for the soldiers to get them closed again?

I don't want to end the campaign with the PCs defeat, but I don't want to reward poor planning and bad luck with a hollow, fudged victory either.

Qadira

IronDesk wrote:

Help me get my campaign back on track!

We just finished up book 1... sort of:

** spoiler omitted **

I don't want to end the campaign with the PCs defeat, but I don't want to reward poor planning and bad luck with a hollow, fudged victory either.

You could have it so that a Disable Device check does leave the mechanisms open (DC 10, jam a lock in 1 round; DC 25, cleverly sabotage a clockwork device but takes 2d4 rounds).

As for getting the guy out of prison, they could always go in and get him. That being said, they could always get a new guy and just abandon that PC to his execution date.
Maybe Tiadora is ordered to get him out via teleport, but it'll cost the group some of the reward they would have gotten if they'd done everything in a proper manner.


IronDesk wrote:

Help me get my campaign back on track!

We just finished up book 1... sort of:

** spoiler omitted **

I don't want to end the campaign with the PCs defeat, but I don't want to reward poor planning and bad luck with a hollow, fudged victory either.

That sounds as a very poor possition... :/

Maybe suggest them to launch the firework, and make Sakkaroth to attack Balantyne faster than usual. Then make the Fireaxe win the battle, but hardly, with a lot of losses, and keep the campaign going, but with the horde much less powerful due to losses.

I'll help the guy in the barrel to go to the jail without that much opposition (they have the iron circlets... don't they?? He can disguise and go walking), then free the other guy. Allow the guys in the door to jam the lock as Kevin_video suggested. Then they have to resist or hide for one hour, until Sakkaroth comes.

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