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

***** (based on 18 ratings)

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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.

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Product Reviews (18)
1 to 5 of 18 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***** (based on 18 ratings)

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Excellent Evil Campaign


I am sure that the opportunity to play through an evil adventure path is enough of a lure for many gamers. However, what is special about Way of the Wicked is that it does evil so well. This book contains a helpful article about the pitfalls of running an evil campaign and how to avoid them. This advice is spot on and faithfully followed by the writers themselves.

Player creativity is heavily encouraged. There are lot of scenarios that require problem solving and can't be resolved with brute strength alone. This gives players a lot of opportunity to put the lawful evil in their alignment to good use.

Talingarde is an interesting place. At first glance, the country seems like a Lawful Good utopia. However, it actually has a lot of issues, such as restrictions on academics, religious intolerance and general complacency. This really helps with backstories and roleplaying, as the characters, despite being evil, have believable reasons to resent their home country.

There is a lot of inspiration for how to make the NPCs feel vibrant and memorable. Everyone delighted in taking down the magister because he had been so rude to them, but they all felt awful about killing the man who ran the rookery. Then of course, who doesn't love Grumblejack the ogre?

While the entire book is strong, the final act is on another level. Unlike the rest of the book, players are given almost total freedom as to how to solve the task they are assigned. This freedom allows almost every build a chance to bring their skills to the table. Most importantly, up until the final act, the players are mostly just fleeing the law and following orders from their new master. The final act is where they finally get to feel like they are evil puppet masters, manipulating things from the shadows.

The boat ride in the third act is a little uninspiring, compared to the rest of the book. It feels a bit like a string of random encounters, most of which don't further the story. If your players enjoy that, go for it. Personally, I cut about half of the encounters, especially since we were using story based leveling.

The story is very linear and can easily lead to players feeling railroaded. This is by far the book's biggest problem. There is a built in assumption that players will follow along the path provided for them. If this doesn't happen, the AP's method of dealing with it is fairly unpleasant, going as far as to outright kill non-cooperative characters at one point. There is a line in the character creation guidelines about the AP assuming that players say yes to an opportunity to work with Asmodeans, so build a character that can say yes. Find it. Bold it. Underline it. Circle it. Make sure that your players understand that it is 100% required. If everyone is clear on this point, your game will most likely run smoothly, without this being a major issue.

Knot of Thorns or I am the villain!


This book took me by surprise, not just in the fact you get to play the evil character but more in all the assistance they give new GM’s for running an evil game and run it coherently. The book gives good lore about the world and how to bring it into others.

It does railroad the players a bit at start but does use that railroading to build the seeds nicely instead of only explaining why the players are together. The adventure pushes nicely through its pace and really lets the players tackle a problem as they feel their characters would.

Combat is solid, challenging, but not restricting. Players are offered lots of side missions to help finish the main task and all are enjoyably evil.

Wickedly delightful!


I don't give any product five stars lightly. I am truly impressed. Our GM just ran us through the beginning adventure, and we had a blast. Well-written, interesting, and well thought-out. We're hooked.

Not to insult the good folks at Paizo (who do make excellent adventures, which we adore), but we actually all agree that this product outdoes any of the adventure path products produced by Paizo. Truly superlative work for me to say something like that.

Way of the wicked from an Anti-paladins view


Hello Minions
To all who think that this is a game to be played!
If you don"t play it you missing out on the most creative paths I've played yet, as my GM says all the time" i wish i was Playing!" and he honestly regrets not, but has been the best GM yet! (many thanks to the detail and organised books)
Its hard, challenging and allows for total role-play and the brutal hack and slash!!!
theres a genius to the story and the way the books are put together plus theres no way your able to guess outcomes(which is refreshing). Its so much fun I'm constantly anticipating the next session!

buy it and you"d not regret it!

i"ve had to agree to play as GM for Fire Mounatains other Campaign when this is concluded and I can say I'm excited to do that also!!

Wicked Game


My players and I absolutely love this adventure. Several of them have told me that they look forward to the game all week. Now that we have finished the first book, here are a few of my thoughts.

The Good:
I didn't initially plan to buy an adventure path. I was looking for tips to run an evil campaign, and my search led me here. Buying all 6 books was expensive, but it was certainly worth it. The authors did a great job designing a campaign for evil PCs. We have been playing for 6 months, and we have not fallen into any of the typical traps of an evil campaign (i.e. infighting between players or a desire for wanton and *thoughtless* slaughter).

The book does an excellent job describing all the NPCs and locations the PCs will visit. There are portraits for most of the important NPCs and monsters. There are maps for most of the dungeons, but there is no map for one of the important towns in the game.

My players range in experience from complete newbie to lifelong RPG player. This path is challenging for the newer players, but not so much that they haven't been able to adapt.

The Bad:
Some parts of the game were a little too open ended for my players. The final act of the book gave a lot of freedom to the PCs. My players wanted to act like typical heroes and assault the final fortress all at once, in a single day. I had to introduce a new PC to help talk them out of this disastrous plan. Still, the open-endedness of the final act was mostly fun. And what would an evil campaign be if the villains didn't make at least one greatly flawed plan?

Some of the future books in this series contain information that really should have been in this book. For instance, the 2nd book contains information on an alternate class and race options for the group. There is no way to know this information exists unless you look at the 2nd book, but it is information that the GM should know *before* the PCs roll their first character. It's nice to have all this extra information, but I didn't know about it until after the campaign had already started.

The Ugly:
The book is really beautiful, for the most part. So, I don't have much to say here. There are a few small typos that made it to the final version. These are easy to ignore. The one complaint I might have is that most of the drawings of NPCs look like cupcakes, especially Squire Timeon of Balentyne. But even this led to a lot of fun. One of my players brought a bunch of blue cupcakes to the game as a half-joke. They were tasty.

Overall this is an excellent book, and I do not hesitate to recommend it.

1 to 5 of 18 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

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