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Way of the Wicked—Book #2: Call Forth Darkness (PFRPG)

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A DUNGEON OF YOUR OWN!

The Horn of Abaddon was once a place of primal darkness. And then the forces of good moved in and ruined everything. It’s been eighty years and the kingdom of Talingarde sleeps soundly knowing that darkness has been vanquished. Now, it’s your turn to prove them wrong.

You will find the lost temple and do what no one else has ever dared. You will call forth the banished daemon prince. And from his unholy hand, you will recover a plague so virulent that it shall shake Talingarde to its foundations.

And then the fools will sleep no longer.

Welcome to the second chapter of the “Way of the Wicked” adventure path! Inside you’ll find:

  • “Call Forth Darkness,” an adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for 6th-level villains by Gary McBride
  • Full color art and maps by Michael Clarke
  • A gazetteer of the frontier town of Farholde
  • Optional rules for building your own evil organization and managing your minions.
  • Advice for crafting unique variants of this adventure path
  • And more!

You’ve raided countless dungeons. Isn’t it time you had a horrid little dungeon of your own?

A 106-page full color Pathfinder Roleplaying Game-compatible PDF perfect to either stand alone or continue the "Way of the Wicked" adventure path. Includes a printer friendly version and seperate player handout PDF.

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

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Product Discussion (714)
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Spoiler:
Yeah, one of the first things they did was capture more villagers for Artephius, although this week they fed him one of the adventurers they had captured. All in all, this last week of gameplay was pretty brutal.
To begin with, the fighter, rogue, and former monk decided to try to track the messenger, leading them into a rather brutal fight with The Hangman Tree. Both the rogue and monk came a handful of hitpoints from death, but eventually they wore it down. It was something of a dark omen for the rogue. A couple more relatively uneventful weeks went by, with the PC's discrediting Hawthorne, and further consolidating their defenses. Oh, and completing the second sacrifice. Then the Ashen Nightmare rose at midnight, murdering Tastker Twelve-Knives in his sleep (he was in the room right next to where it spawned), then moving on to kill the rogue in his sleep as well. Grumblejack and the former monk were on patrol and safe for the moment. The monk sadly, ran into the Ashen Nightmare on his patrol, tangled with it for a bit, a fight which did not go well for him, but bought time for the witch and Artephius. The monk left the fight, in bad shape but under his own power. Between Artephius and the witch, they wittled the Nightmare down, although the Nightmare pursued the witch, who then fled to floor two, where the oracle opened the door in his nightcap, saw the Nightmare appear above the throne, blasted it with fireball. All in all, an eventful evening. The player of the rogue is now bringing in an anti-paladin, so that should be interesting.


John,

And the story keeps on rolling. Poor Twelve-Knives.

Thanks for the update, John.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Hey Gary, just thinking a bit ahead for later in the module:

Spoiler:
When it comes time for my PC's to take on the Knot Hibernal, as their are only four NPC's and my six PC's tend to travel as a group with a significant amount of backup (i.e. Grumblejack, Artephius, Hexor and Vexor, any other cohorts the group may have), any suggestions for increasing the CR of the Knot Hibernal (beyond adding levels. Being outnumbered two or three to one tends to make adding levels less challenging without becoming overpowering)? The same idea could go for some of the other NPC bands the PC's come across (Banner Verdant, Lord Darian's group, etc.).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Malueg wrote:

Hey Gary, just thinking a bit ahead for later in the module:

** spoiler omitted **

John,

You make a good point.

Spoiler:

The solution is obviously either to add a few more members or make them tougher.

Of course, in the case of the Knot Hibernal, I would probably increase Elise and Dostan, giving them each a level or two. I also might give them some minions. Doubtless they've been recruiting their own thugs and footsoldiers from Drownington. A few low-level toughs could make the fight more challenging.

Hope that helps,
Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Andoran

Hi, Gary -

So, I asked in the Book 4 thread about starting there, and the group opted instead to start here, in book 2. I think it's going to be exceedingly easy to adapt as a starting point, but I did have one question:

Spoiler:
The book keeps referencing iron circlets - a wondrous item apparently found in book one. I don't have book one, though, and was wondering if you have any problem with giving me the lowdown on this item, as they seem pretty interesting, and the book definitely assumes that the party has them.

Side note: I literally cannot believe the quality of this product. It's, like, insane. I kind of think this should be owned by every GM, everywhere. Just wanted to say: Kudos!

JM


Jeremiziah,

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying "Way of the Wicked".

No I don't mind giving you the low down, though to get the full description/flavor text -- that's in book one.

But in brief... (and for those reading, this is a REAL spoiler. Open at your peril).

Spoiler:

An iron circlet is basically a hat of disguise described as a cool Asmodean circlet of thorny wrought iron.

It has another hidden property however...it also allows Cardinal Thorn to very easily scry on you. This property is not easily found by low level characters.

Hope that helps,
Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Andoran

Thanks a ton, Gary. That helps a lot!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

In the Farholde City gazetteer you refer to Sir Bonder, head of the beacon watch.

1. How many toughs are in the watch?
2. You wrote that Sir Bonder my be corrupted. This would be detailed in Act 1 Event 3. I find no Info there. Is that missing?

Qadira

Patrick Kropp wrote:

In the Farholde City gazetteer you refer to Sir Bonder, head of the beacon watch.

1. How many toughs are in the watch?
2. You wrote that Sir Bonder my be corrupted. This would be detailed in Act 1 Event 3. I find no Info there. Is that missing?

I didn't even notice that. Good catch.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Patrick Kropp wrote:

In the Farholde City gazetteer you refer to Sir Bonder, head of the beacon watch.

1. How many toughs are in the watch?
2. You wrote that Sir Bonder my be corrupted. This would be detailed in Act 1 Event 3. I find no Info there. Is that missing?

Hah! Yeah. Can you say "cut for space" and I forgot to get rid of the reference to it.

Yes indeed good catch.

Spoiler:

Under "What Can the Baron Do For You?"

There could be these paragraphs:
The Baron can also introduce our villains to Sir Hagan Bonder, leader of the Beakers (see page 96). Sir Bonder (N male human fighter 4/aristocrat 2) is ambitious and has been aching to take advantage of the Duke's absence to make some personal wealth. Alas, Sir Valin Darian has made this impossible so far. A bribe of one thousand gold will earn his loyalty for a time. Permanently getting rid of Sir Darian will please him even more. Sir Bonder commands fifty armed "watchmen" (in truth little more than thugs).

Sir Bonder likes to think of himself as an important man about town even though he is currently given little respect. If the PCs earn his favor and demonstrate their power, he could easily be corrupted into the worship of Asmodeus and made into a servant of the Knots. He could even become a cohort if the PCs so desire. Sir Bonder dreams of day when Farholde will be his personal empire. If the PCs can make this happen, they will have his absolute loyalty.

Incorporating the Beakers into your evil organization earns you a Ruthless +2, Secrecy -1, Survivability +1, Connections +1.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Gameplay update:

Spoiler:
A few weeks have now passed. A new anti-paladin, an exile from foreign lands, has been sent by Thorn to replace the lost rogues. With him comes a band of new, loyal minions, finally allowing the Masters of the Horn to fully defend and take advantage of their home base. Despite a minor setback while dealing with Thatcher's Crew, and a reduction in the number of Orphans, the week is otherwise positive. Numbers and disposition of the battle nuns is being assessed, and rumors of (started by the PC's about a black dragon being in the area)Chargammon returning have begun to flow in Farholde. But then, near disaster strikes, as the Banner Verdant, with the assistance of two moon dogs and an azata named Calliaste, snuck past The Maw (freeing the defending assassin vines) and One-Eye the dire tiger (also freed) and entered the spiral staircase to the Daemon's Charge. It is there that a terrible fight ensued, as Hexor is caught first alone, swiftly outnumbered, before the arrival of Vexor. Within 3 rounds, Hexor is sent back the pits whence he came, and Vexor the following round thanks to a brutal strike by Angus (pretty much one-shotted it). But joining by way of dimension door are Artephius and the witch Ivo Shandor. Assistance from other portions of the Horn are slower to arrive, so they hold the line. It is a costly battle, Artephius being brought down to under 50% health, Ivo collapsing from his wounds once, getting paralyzed once and being put to sleep another time. Timely intervention by the monk/fighter saved the witch and prolonged the devastation wrought by Artephius. Fineas is captured, Vethia nearly escaped, only to come face to face with Longrut the 1/2 orc fighter, who pounded her into paste on the spiral staircase. Angus was obliterated by Artephius, and Brunhild put to death while still unconcious from the fight. The captured Fineas is bound and gagged by the gnomish fire oracle, and after perusing Fineas' journal, the oracle cuts off Fin's hands and pokes out his eyes with his flame touch. Then he summons Thorn, there is much to discuss.

Looking forward to the next session. :)


John,

Another awesome update. I await the next session eagerly.

Spoiler:

Sounds like the White Ravens are ... in trouble. To put it mildly.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


A Knot Undone

Spoiler:
Thorn is, needless to say, furious with the evidence provided by the Ninth, and with gnome present to vouch it's authenticity, Thorn releases the gnome with a gentle caress of the cheek, turning the gnome to a dessicated corpse. He returns an hour later with the erinyes in tow. In the meantime, the rest of the Ninth had not beed idle. Two messengers were sent, one to retrieve the recently arrived anti-paladin from his oversight of minion activities in Farholde and a second messenger sent with a message of urgency to the Knot Hibernal, a message calling for aid, as the Ninth has been all but elimnated by the Banner Verdant. The Seventh wastes no time heading for the Horn. Little do they know of the trap being laid for them.

Back at the Horn, the ambush is set. Grumblejack and the monk will remain hidden in the temple of floor 2, ready to race to the juncture of the hallways to cut off the Seventh's escape route, along with one of the Erinye allies, meant to provide fire support. The other is stationed in a far room, past the fountain of the 2nd level courtyard. It is here, near the fountain, that the 1/2 orc fighter and the recently arrived anti-paladin will play their parts as wounded soldiers needing aid. It is a ruse swiftly dropped with the arrival of the Seventh, as Z calls the "wounded" warriors failures, stating she is their on Thorn's behalf for their weakness and that they are to be destroyed immediately. At this point, the magus burts from the northern room, crying out that they are the betrayers. All hell breaks loose (given the forces involved, this is not surprising), as the erinyes step forth and Trik begins to see that perhaps he has been dooped. He calls for calm discussion, which is drowned out by the sound of combat between Z, Dostan and several members of the Ninth. The battle is brutal, but short. In the end, Z lies dead, head dashed upon the floor after being knocked unconcious while in flight by the equally flying oracle. Dostan as well, lies dead, transfixed by a javelin from the 1/2 orc fighter, who never quite made it into melee, due to the ice storm in the room. The anti-paladin is the only other casualy of the Ninth, nearly dead after a devastating assault by Dostan (had to spend villianous action points to remain living after Dostan critted on him)and being pierced by 4 of Trak's arrows, before Trik tackled him, along with the monk. In the end, the brothers were left alive. Even after seeing Z's corpse, Trak would not relent from the Ninth's destruction. Making a hard choice, and to prove his worth to his lord Asmodeus, Trik slit Trak's throat with Snick. The Ninth has persevered and gained a new cohort, the newly reaffirmed cleric of Asmodeus. Now, on to finish the rest of the ritual undisturbed (and somehow capture an heir of the Victor). What else could go wrong?


John,

An awesome update! What a dramatic session. Very well done.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Thank you. And now, more. (sorry, it's a long one)

Spoiler:
With Trik now under their control and with no further interference, the PC's spent a quiet few weeks building their organization. The request of Juko Five-Croaks was met with a violent demise for Juko and refusal of the request. Ironically, the PC's had already purchased ten masterwork spears specifically for the boggards months ago, but the players had forgotten. Oh well, the better to outfit the other humanoids. The request for aid sent by the Abbess was also intercepted, with a false message that aid would be coming to arrive in a few weeks. The crime wave was an excellent opportunity for the PC's to branch out of simple smuggling and delve into the drug trade as another of their illicit activities.
Lady Shalyn Masten is now one of the only remaining merchant lords in the city, after a rash of bizarre occurences.
Targun Harbold - mugged, stabbed and left dead in alley.
Max Strickland - strangled, authorities believe by a rope (close, actually someone's beard)
Maria DeVandle - Death by way of spontaneous human combustion.
Tomacina Vanderville - dead by way of a heart attack (or vampiric touch, but who would do such a thing?)
Richard Marks - died in a house fire
Harlyn Brackler - brutally beaten to death, apparently with the corpses of his guards.

The PC's also managed to save the Baron's life when a silver dragon appeared out of nowhere and destroyed his home. The Baron is currently hiding out at the Orphanage. The following week brought a fair, and marked the arrival of special orders for items that the PC's had placed weeks before. Then Sir Valin arrived at the Horn with his knights. It was a doomed battle from the start. The knights charged in to the second floor, Sir Valin leading the way, to be greeted by several spears popping through murderholes, to minimal effect against Sir Valin's charge. Signal horns resounded throughout the horn. Unfortunately for Sir Valin, Grumblejack was in a room just down the hall, as he and his knights came through. Darkness engulfed the knights, throwing them into confusion, save for Valin. Grumblejack laid waste to horse and rider alike in the darkness, the group split by an opened pit trap. Valin urged his mount forward to an intersection, out of the darkness, only to be cornered by the anti-paladin, 1/2 orc fighter and monk accompanied by Vexor. Needless to say, the knights lost, badly. Technically the anti-paladin completely killed Sir Valin, the player was determined to do so for some reason, despite the other players telling him he was needed alive (in game and out). I had the player spend a villianous action point to keep Valin just barely alive.

I have noticed that there is something of a flaw (well, mostly a complain by my lazy PC's) in the Horn design, mostly that if they can't fly or teleport, getting around the Horn is a pain, particularly if they are up in the Sanctum. Personally, I delight in their misery, I enjoy the image of the characters having to run up or down a few hundred feat of stairs to get to a combat. Maybe I should give those that have had to do it Endurance as a bonus feat after the module for all the running. :)


John,

No need to apologize for a long post when it has so much coolness packed in it.

I have become to greatly look forward to your posts and hope they continue apace!

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


I've recently started a game of Call Forth Darkness. I'm a player in this game and everyone is a wizard. We're only level five and at the moment we're just exploring the dungeon but I'm worried that we're slightly underpowered, seen as there's only four of us, and none of us are especially combat focused.


Vordoth,

The game is written expecting only four average-power player characters so you should be fine.

I guess it depends how non-combat focused you truly are.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Gary, a couple of questions

Spoiler:
Near the end of the ritual, those that the PC's have left alive unite for a final assault on the Horn on day 221. So far, my PC's have left little alive in their wake. I plan on sending Zikomo and the boggards after the PC's (a fight I expect them to walk through). It also mentions the Baron, which despite the PC's having saved his life from the dragon, I can completely see the Baron betraying them, since they have taken over his orphanage and are trying to get him out of town. Would he return with a band of evil cohorts, perhaps something balanced against what he knows of the PC's? Should they be of comparable level or slightly lower (probably not a lot of 8-9th level evil-aligned help floating around).
My other question is what route do you envision for Sir Richard to take through the Horn. It's stated that he and the "Sons" arrive at the Maw. Do they make their way through the former boggard caves and up the spiral staircase, only to be derailed by its collapse on floor two due to the earthquake? Or are they aware of the teleporters? A combination of both (which could make sense, i.e. they know that the teleporters do not directly connect to the Sanctum, but go as far as they can, then choose to try to find an alternate route up.)? Just wondering what your solution would be.

Also, looking forward to the next adventure path you announced!


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Vordoth,

The game is written expecting only four average-power player characters so you should be fine.

I guess it depends how non-combat focused you truly are.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Only two of us have weapons, even though one person is a necromancer with three undead followers. It just worried me after it took us ages to kill two oozes.


Vordoth,

You actually did quite well then. I have six players in my game, plus one powerful NPC cohort. They chose to rewind time and leave the oozes alone after they nearly killed all but one of the party.


Closing in on the completion of book two...

Spoiler:
For once the villians preperations worked as planned. Sir Darian was drugged (the PC's have used their criminal enterprise rolls to create a drug supply chain)and imprisoned in the holding cells on the third floor, with Grumblejack left to keep watch. Poor Grumblejack, Vetra-Kali is scary. He saw the wytch lights, went to investigate, forgot to say the phrase upon entering the fane, and promptly ran to the first floor, being shot at along the way by the lights. Returning with the witch and anti-paladin (as well as Vexor and Artephius), the will'o'wisps didn't stand much of a chance.

The following week brought the gorgimera thundering onto the third floor. In a rather surprising turn, both the 1/2 orc fighter and dwarven monk were turned to stone during the course of the battle (ironic for they had the highest saves in the group for specifically that). The gorgimera attempted to escape after being pounded by Hexor and the anti-paladin, but was blasted from the sky by a fireball from the oracle and a lightning bolt from the wizard (plus a rather lengthy, bouncy fall down the side of the Horn). After a quiet month, the scrolls of stone to flesh finally arrived to release the petrfied PC's.

While relaxing in the Death's Head tavern, and feeling more secure now that they have installed an iron grate on the third floor balcony to bar exterior access, the Horn begins its heaving and quaking. Most of the characters in the tavern escape injury, but the anti-paladin failed to reach safety, tumbling 50ft. down with the rubble. The witch is also surprised, being caught in the chamber of delights with newly arrived prostitutes when the wall collapsed. Looking forward to the final charge to the end. Currently, Farholde is gripped by rumors of Chargammon attacking outlying villages, Sir Darian is dead and the endtimes are coming. Farholde is a city in fear.


John Malueg wrote:

Closing in on the completion of book two...

** spoiler omitted **

John,

The great updates keep coming. I now anxiously look forward to how you close out Book Two and what you make of Book Three.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


I'm looking forward to running the end of Book Two, I like pushing my PC's to their limits. Sadly it'll be a bit before I get to run Book Three, my group has decided to alternate between the Way of the Wicked adventure Path and the Jade Regent adventure path. It will be a nice change for me to get to play in a game, plus it works better with school starting, work, child, moving, etc. But I will definitely keep you posted as we finish and when we start up Book Three (and I'm dying to get them to Book IV, which I think is really fantastic).


John,

Hah! You know the irony here is that I am right now running "Way of the Wicked" and playing "Jade Regent" myself.

Parallel lives.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


That is pretty awesome! :)


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

John,

Hah! You know the irony here is that I am right now running "Way of the Wicked" and playing "Jade Regent" myself.

Parallel lives.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Just so long as you don't get them confused and start playing one character the way you should the other.


I don't know, that could be very fun. Just wake up one morning, looking around confused and yelling "Who are you people?! Why are you doing that? Oh gods..."

Qadira

Gary,

Two questions for you:

1) Did you know that a single-use ring of teleport only costs 162 gold? It does. I know this, and so do my players. We know because three of us have shared another GM who invented it and gave us the math to do it.

2) How would the eater of eyes feel about being teleported to Matharyn and fighting there first?

The plan was to talk to some contacts and buy a few rings of single-use teleport. At 162 gold these guys will have no problems affording it. Then, they'll have a few of their minions make their way to Matharyn. Not necessarily inside the city, just close enough so you can see it. Then, at least one of them has to teleport back and take three of the PCs back to the location that their minion figures is the best spot. Then teleport back. This way when the eater of eyes comes out and is going to destroy the world, it can start there.

What would you say to this? Note that I had them roll percentile to see if the rings were even a possibility in this part of the world. I didn't make it impossible, but it was a really minimal chance. They succeeded.


Math is good but numbers can be fooled. As said in the creation paragraphs, these are just guidelines. Although the best way is to compare it to already existing items.

A single use ring of teleport is really equivalent to a teleport scroll (only the casing is different).

For a scroll lvl 5 it's 2500 gp to buy it. Now since scrolls can only be used by wizards but a ring can be used by anyone. So i would at least add 50% or even 100% to the cost for 5000 gp
It's not stopping creative ideas, it's just avoiding some inconsistencies.


kevin_video wrote:

1) Did you know that a single-use ring of teleport only costs 162 gold? It does. I know this, and so do my players. We know because three of us have shared another GM who invented it and gave us the math to do it.

Using that very same "math", single use rings of cloud kill also cost 162. Which is cheaper than a str adjusted composite bow, and by far, much much much more powerful in a warfare. Kings also have intelligent wizards as cohorts and councilors.

Unless your ex-DM is the only clever guy in the world, why does any king have archers in his army? Why does not King Markadian buy 2000 rings of single teleport and 2000 rings of single cloud kill, and instantly finish the bugbear threat? It's waaaaaaayyyy cheaper than 2000 knights with full plate, heavy warhorse, bard, longsword and lance.

That's what happens when people follow "math" as "gospel" and use "guidelines" as "stone-set rules". You end destroying any kind of world inmersion, based on a loophole.

As Major Longhorn said, there's no way such item could cost lower than a scroll, which has spell activation.

Qadira

I have to correct you both as you're both looking at this as "OMG broken, I disallow it" and comparing it to a scroll, which is completely different math. It's not like I'm trying to create a ring of true strike here. Although, that was made later, and it's over 300k. Besides, who says Markadian's smart? Or that he'd ever use such tactics to win a war. That's what the bad guys do. Not what good guys do. Especially LG ones. There's no honor in it.

Here's the exact write up for it.

1,800 (command word) x 5 (spell level) x 9 (caster level) = 81,000 gp divided by 5 (one charge per day) = 16,200 gp divided by 2 (50 charges, 1/2 unlimited use base price) = 8,100 gp divided by 50 (1 charge) = 162 gp

It matches exactly the pricing example of the Ring of the Ram, which uses telekinesis, a 5th level spell just like teleport. There's only a 500 gp price difference and I'm guessing that's for the "ornate ring forged of hard metal" listed in the description.


Well there's been many statements by Paizo staff that the formulas were just rough guidelines and in any case, the price of the item should be compared to an already existing equivalent item.

These formulas really have their flaws and many have tried to exploit them

Now if your GM agrees with this bug exploit then whatever goes really.

Oh by the way if you go this way why bother ? Buy yourself a ring of a a single 9th level spell for 5382 gp which you can do once you are level 5....or a ring of a single cure light wounds for 3.6 gp ?

Buy 30 of these at first level and you're fine really.

I know for sure I would never agree.

Being bad guy doesn't mean exploiting any metagaming bug you find.

Qadira

Major Longhorn wrote:
Well there's been many statements by Paizo staff that the formulas were just rough guidelines and in any case, the price of the item should be compared to an already existing equivalent item.

Um, I did. Read: Ring of the Ram. It's 8600 for 50 charges. A ring with one charge left is 172 gold.

And why would I bother with a ring of cure when a wand is 15 gold and much more likely?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

kevin_video - I'll join the chorus and say that with all due respect, you're perverting the magic item system's RAI by allowing rings to be made with single charge uses of spells.

Your math is also wrong (in my opinion). You should not be dividing by 5 for 1/day and then also dividing by 2 for it being charge driven. It is an either or.

Qadira

Mark Sweetman wrote:

kevin_video - I'll join the chorus and say that with all due respect, you're perverting the magic item system's RAI by allowing rings to be made with single charge uses of spells.

Your math is also wrong (in my opinion). You should not be dividing by 5 for 1/day and then also dividing by 2 for it being charge driven. It is an either or.

First off, not perverting the magic system. Also, not my math. Other DM's from another campaign world where magic is extremely common. Heck, teleport and greater teleport are now one combined spell. Interesting house rule.

Secondly, math is not wrong. It's the same math you use for Ring of the Ram.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

kevin,

Ring of the Ram does not directly replicate the spell telekinesis, so it's cost cannot be based on that spell. You state yourself higher up in your justification that there is a 500gp discrepancy between the costs. Similarly my statement that the math is wrong is valid based on the fact that two separate discounting methods have been used (charge / day and total charges) where only one should be applicable.

The ability to create / purchase magic items with a single charge is generally in the area of DM fiat. I might allow it to be done once or twice - but generally never for so few charges, nor would a magic shop have a huge quantity of them available for purchase.

kevin_video wrote:
1) Did you know that a single-use ring of teleport only costs 162 gold? It does. I know this, and so do my players. We know because three of us have shared another GM who invented it and gave us the math to do it.

This statement is based on house rules and your GM not using the magic item creation system in accordance with RAW / RAI. While it may be correct in your world it isn't universal and shouldn't be stated as such.

The rules that you operate under in your game are subject to however you want to play them (and I say that with no animosity - if it's fun for you please by all means continue) - but general RAW and RAI does not intend for multiple single use rings of 5th level spells to be freely available for ~170gp or so.


Closing in on the completion of the ritual...

Spoiler:
Pulling themselves from the rubble in the wake of the earthquake, the PC's now scrambled to cover all of their new entrances and defend the Sanctum. And so it was on the 217th day of the ritual that Brastius Star-Feather assaulted the Horn, just as the midnight ritual began. A single acolyte maintained the ritual while the 1/2 orc fighter and elven magus took turns keeping watch. A lightning bolt through the Sanctum alerted the villains that they were no longer alone in the Sanctum. Brastius kept his distance, occasionally swooping in for a fly-by attack against Vexor (summoned there) or one of the two defenders. The defenders realized that they did not have the capability to truly bring down the winged do-gooder and faced defeat. Timely intervention by the witch and oracle wrested failure from their hands. Brastius attempted to flee, but was incinerated in mid-air by a fireball by the oracle (about 20 points past the point of death. It was a good fireball.).

On the next day, a greater mud elemental drove the remnants of the boggards from the Maw, then crawled its way up the horn, past the newly earthquake-remodeled Death's Head tavern (and past the anti-paladin of Asmodeus left to guard it)entrance and up to the Sanctum. The oracle and monk were on watch. A short combat ensued as the oracle blasted the elemental with fire repeatedly, leaving little behind but a lot of dirt. After 10 minutes the monk broke free of his mud coating to resume his duties.

Once again on watch for the midnight ritual for day 219, the 1/2 orc fighter and magus stayed alert, and brought two acolytes this time, just in case. "In case" happened. Six hounds of Tindalos crept in, then emerged from the walls, cornering nearly all of the combatants. It was a savage fight, with the magus dishing out significant damage before succumbing to his wounds (but not quite dead yet, my PC's have found the villianous action points to be very handy), leaving the fighter alone for a few rounds to deal the intruders. The hounds had swiftly locked down Vexor and then Hexor, so aid was going to be delayed. The ritual itself was nearly disrupted, as the hounds swallowed two of the Eyes (I gave the PC's a couple of rounds to try to save the ritual). In the end, villainy prevailed against the forces of other Evil and the ritual was maintained, despite the loss of two more acolytes. Little do they know what further blessings await them.

As a side note, Gary, for the upcoming day of betrayal, they have killed nearly everything that has crossed their path. All that is left are the wraiths, the boggards, and possibly the Baron. The Baron is interesting because they did save his life, but also pushed him out of town and business. If I were to have the Baron return for revenge, about what CR do you think would be good?


kevin_video wrote:

I have to correct you both as you're both looking at this as "OMG broken, I disallow it" and comparing it to a scroll, which is completely different math. It's not like I'm trying to create a ring of true strike here. Although, that was made later, and it's over 300k. Besides, who says Markadian's smart? Or that he'd ever use such tactics to win a war. That's what the bad guys do. Not what good guys do. Especially LG ones. There's no honor in it.

As I said, a ring of 1 use of Cloud Kill cost just as much, "by math". Again, my question: why would ANY king (lawful good or not) buy a bow, to give to a soldier, to kill enemies with it, when he can give a ring to the same soldier, and kill a LOT of enemies with it? If you feel "cloud kill" is too evil, make it a ring of "flame strike". I'm pretty sure Markadian V wouldn't have a problem to smite bugbears with the holy fire of Mitra.

Not only that, but there are a *lot* of kings in a *lot* of campaigns that aren't LG. The question is not why *Markadian* does not do it. The question is why doesn't this kind of "technology" made bows obsolete. BTW, it is not Markadian who has to be clever (and he is). It is his wizard councilor, which has INT beyond 18, which is more than enough to find loopholes. I'm pretty sure your ex-DM doesn't have INT beyond 18, and he found it. Why wouldn't the NPC do as well?

It's not that it is overpowered. It is DUMB. You can remove the magic scrolls from the game if you allow this. There's NO reason to EVER buy a scroll of Teleport, when a RING of Teleport cost only a small fraction, AND can be used by anyone (unlike the scroll).

If you follow the math *guidelines* as they were *gospel*, and you work hard enough to find bargain loopholes, then the world coherence wrecks apart.

I repeat my question. Why would ANYONE buy a scroll? At any given level, rings of single use are a TON cheaper and have a TON of adventages.


I also agree with Mark. The maths are wrong

A teleport ring with 1 charge left would cost
1,800 (command word) x 5 (spell level) x 9 (caster level) = 81,000 gp divided by 2 since it's charged and divided by 50 = 810 gp not 162 gp

The example given is the ring of ram with 50 charges you give (see p550 of CRB)
Charged (50 charges) 1/2 unlimited use base price Ring of the ram

Therefore such a ring would cost 810 gp. It's either the ring 1/day (i.e 81000 gp) or 50 charges. Not both.

May be you should use common sense instead of maths also as it doesn't solve all and that's how you end up with rings of cure light wounds for 3.6 gp, 4 times cheaper than a wand and which has the huge advantage of being usable by any class.

This single ring charge would cost less that the price of the ring by itself (high quality since it's a magic item).

I mean we know pathfinder, D&D and so on have many flaws. Sometimes, common sense is better than a set of rules if they fail.

But mind you, if that suits your game, who am I to disagree with that?
As MArk says I would never agree to have some of these available regularly and on top of that my idea qould be that they have a minimum price (at leat a couple of thousand gold).


Even at 800 gold, they are cheaper than scrolls of teleport. Nobody would buy scrolls of teleport, ever.

In adition to that, the charged rings have 50 charges. You *might* find one with one single charge remaining, although why would someone with such a ring willingly sell it is beyond me. But how many rings with 50 charges of teleport have been built in the world? How many of those have been used 49 times? How many of those who have 1 charge left belong to someone who needs 162 (or 800) gold so desesperatedly, that they are going to loose a very useful item for such small amount of money? And how many of those willingly wanting to sell it, actually live in the town where the players are going to buy it?

This is nothing more than a loophole in the rules. Sure, it might be mathemathically correct. Just like in 3.0, it was "correct" to wear a bag full of 200 rats, drop it as a free action, use Whirlwind, kill them all, and then do 190+ attacks to the big bad guy using Great Cleave. Fine. You found something that, following the letter of the rules, is ludicrously powerful. You "win at D&D". Can we keep roleplaying now?

Qadira

@ Mark Sweetman -- I misspoke. The ring of the ram difference is 10 gold, not 500 gold.

@ Major Longhorn -- Nothing annoys me more than people telling me to use "common sense". Sorry to disappoint, but it doesn't exist. All you do by saying that is tell me that you're way is right and I'm wrong and that's how it is. BTW, thanks for inventing a 1/day ring that's more expensive than Boots of Teleport. Also, the Ring of the Ram costs 8600 gold, not 81000.

And with that, I believe we're done here. I think we've gotten off topic of this thread well enough.


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John Malueg wrote:
...In the end, villainy prevailed against the forces of other Evil...

Okay, this line nearly made me spit coffee out of my nose. Very funny.

Another great update, John.

I look forward to the thrilling conclusion and to answer your question...

Spoiler:

The baron is written us as a CR 9 bad guy (pg. 11). You might have him come to the Horn with a squad of thugs (either use stats from pg. 10 or the GM's Guide has some nice thug stats in it) to bump us his CR and make him a respectable foe.

He comes their intent on slaying the PCs and taking his town back. However, he may have enough doubts that it the PCs actually talk to him, he might be convertible into a new servant.

Make him the last betrayal. Wraiths, plus bolstered boggards trying to take their home back, plus Baron equals a great "day of betrayal."

Maybe in the middle of discussions with the Baron, the dragon attacks and a decision about loyalty has to be made quickly...

Just suggestions of course.

Anyways, keep up the good work.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


I was thinking along much the same lines Gary. Should be an interesting next session (which will be in two weeks, moving into a new house on our regular game day next week).


Yeah, my "Way of the Wicked" campaign is cancelled tonight as well (I'm only three sessions in) because of my wife's birthday.

Ah, well. I look forward to the next report.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


kevin_video wrote:
@ Major Longhorn -- Nothing annoys me more than people telling me to use "common sense". Sorry to disappoint, but it doesn't exist

Oh, common sense does exist. Common sense is that quality that make people to buy rings of cure light wounds, instead of wands of cure light wounds, and save a 75%, or buy rings of teleport at 165 each, instead of harder-to-use scrolls of teleport, which cost 1125 and are class-restricted. So in a world that follow the item creation guidelines as item creation gospel, common sense is what make scrolls and wands obsolete, and dissapear from the world, just like gunpowder did with arrows in real world and DVD did with VHS.

And with that, I also believe I'm done with this.


I have a quick question about Kumanda - the leader of the boggards.
How did you expect to run the encounter with the boggards? Do they all attack til Kumanda is slain? Do Zikomo talk to them first? Does Zikomo interrupt the battle as soon as Kumanda is slain?

I fear that if I attack my players with Kumanda and a few boggards they will just kill em all - so no boggard minions.

Another question: Kumandas listed ability scores and attack bonus. Is this already including rage? It seems so. His Attack bonus seems wrong. Must be +15 (+7 BAB, +6 Str., +1 Mwk, +1 weapon focus). Even when subtracting Power Attack it should be +13. In the book he has +11. Have I overseen something?

Please a quick answer. I will play in a few hours! :)


Gary, I have a question.

At the end of this adventure, the players

Spoiler:
Release Vetra Kali. The adventure states that if the PC use his third order to send him back to the lower planes, the Horn is destroyed. But what happens if they don't? What if they ask for anything else, such as a magic item, a peanut sandwich, or help in the war agains the talingardeans? What happen with both the Horn, and Vetra Kali?

Qadira

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Gary, I have a question.

At the end of this adventure, the players
** spoiler omitted **

I believe that's somewhere in the book, or Gary's mentioned it before.

Supposedly:
the Horn will stay exactly as is, and Vetra Kali will laugh at his new found freedom, and start attacking the countryside. Either the PCs will have to take him down, or they'll have to hope that the kingdom does. If not, then he'll essentially destroy this world and there'll be nothing left for them to burn or rule over.


In Book V...

Spoiler:

There's an encounter called Vetra-Kali's Regards that answers this very question in some detail.

The brief version -- if you leave Vetra-Kali in charge he begins rebuilding his death cult and eventually, this island isn't big enough for the both of you...

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

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