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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.

Product Availability


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

Print/PDF Bundle: Unavailable

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

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Product Discussion (708)
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Qadira

MalignantMind wrote:

Yeah. After seeing the rules in play, we realized they need a massive overhaul, and really don't work in a game not designed to use them.

Yeah, he's small, but still packs a 22 strength. The walls of the horn are going to be covered in crayon. And he wants to build a treehouse in the hangman tree. I don't think that'll happen. But its still amusing.

Yeah, they're really not. Unless the entire game is revolving around mythical stuff, and you're essentially doing a Hercules/Popeye/Class of the Titans campaign, it doesn't work.

Ah, children. So what did you guys do to offset the -1 CR from the template?


We used a slightly different Half-ogre. It's a base CR of 1. So with the template, it evens out.

I'm not sure if the horn is an appropriate place for children to be. So many sharp corners...

Qadira

MalignantMind wrote:

We used a slightly different Half-ogre. It's a base CR of 1. So with the template, it evens out.

I'm not sure if the horn is an appropriate place for children to be. So many sharp corners...

That's really quite interesting. I don't even remember seeing that and I've got that book.

Sharp corners can be fun for everyone sometimes. Especially if those sharp corners break off and you can make them into shivs.


Finally, last night we ended Book II.
Really interesting, but has been a loooooong time to finish, and we all wanted to end it.
Our Villains celebrated it with a Silver Dragon Rostbeef.

Spoiler:
Just one little complaint. The party clearly win the iniciative on the last fight, and the fight was a bit anticlimatic. The final encounter has really good attack, but the defense was lacking on the defense.

For Book III, I will make that the two PCs tiefling sisters are native from Ghastenhall, and have many unfinished business there. Can be interesting.

Cheliax

p78:
Every creature in the upper three levels of the Horn, the Spiral and the Sanctum must make a DC 15 Reflex save as stone and masonry collapse throughout the entire dungeon. Failure results in 4d6 damage; success equals no damage. Creatures in the lower caves are slightly less affected. They still must make the Reflex save but failure
is only 4d6.

so - no point in hiding downstairs then ;)
I'm thinking this should read 8d6 upstairs / 4d6 downstairs? or 4d6 up/2d6 down?

Cheliax

Alaryth wrote:
The party clearly win the iniciative on the last fight, and the fight was a bit anticlimatic. The final encounter has really good attack, but the defense was lacking on the defense.

what would you recommend? simply cheat the initiative, so the defenders go first? I break the rules all the time if that means more fun for everyone.


increddibelly wrote:
Alaryth wrote:
The party clearly win the iniciative on the last fight, and the fight was a bit anticlimatic. The final encounter has really good attack, but the defense was lacking on the defense.
what would you recommend? simply cheat the initiative, so the defenders go first? I break the rules all the time if that means more fun for everyone.

I'll make Erik The Falconer to give up divination instead of Illusion, so he has access to Mirror Image and other buffs (invisibility ftw!)

Also, I'd trade "stoneskin" for "communal stoneskin". That, and a couple of buffs for saving throws (like Communal Protection from Evil) should make them resistant to the first round nova from the players. Also, this fight should happen after a long winding serie of battles (against every monster alive, who betray them), so it's not like they have a lot of resources to spend.


I have a few questions about Farnholde and the Horn...

Spoiler:

How many thugs there are in the Orphanage? How many recruitable thugs in Drowingtown? Are Arkov's men Recruitable?

I'm not sure how, or where, can the Players safely recruit asmodean cultists (or even death cultists for a fake Sons of Pale Horsemen 2.0.
Boggards can work, sort of, for violent missions and hard labor. But they lack any kind of stealth, subterfuge or ability for trained labor.

Maybe an Asylum near the Abbey? Mad men can become mad cultists? How have other DM played this? Where did the minions come from? Did you just handwave them because someone got a feat?

Cheliax

gustavo,

Spoiler:

at this point, the ninth knot is a lot more capable than your average thug. They'll stand out. Given enough people, e.g. Drownington, it makes a lot of sense that folks will try to learn from someone more skilled than themselves, or try to make a few GP by helping those who are most likely to be on the winning side.
If you run one or two conversations in a tavern, where an aspiring thug mentions to the PC's that he'll'do anything for them because he wants to join their organisation, the PC's will feel powerful and they can send the thug on a quest to do their dirty work. should work great.


Increddibelly:

Spoiler:
Maybe I can suggest something like that to my players, but right now, my PC don't stand out. They are average run of the mill adventurers. Or travellers. Or guards. Or peasants. Thanks to Circlet of Disguise

In any case, I don't doubt my players can convince a few thugs to join the crusade. They have high bluff, diplomacy, intimidate and sense motive in the group. My question is... how many can they gather? How many are in the Drowningtown Inns and the Orphanage to be recruited?

Also, I think my players, specially the Necromancer and Inquisitor, might want to start some kind of cult that require slightly better minions. Things like lvl 1-3 adepts or clerics, able to command undead, for example. Maybe a sidequest to free people from "Brandescar 2.0" should be enough.


Well, my group has finally finished book two.

And we're all happy to have it behind us. Being in one location for so long really dragged on. It's a great book, but it took forever to get through. Doesn't help that my group (me included) gets easily distracted by anything shiny. Otherwise we might have finished two or three weeks ago. :P

Spoiler:
The final battle was a bit entertaining. The magus (the bard players replacement) was taken down in the first round. He can do insane amount of damage to a single target, especially if he crits (and with a keen rapier, he does that fairly often). But he can't take a hit very well. Especially from a smiting paladin that is fully buffed and lands a crit. He opened the fight with a fireball on the good guys, and then ran up to them. Which was a horrible mistake. But after that, the rest of the party made pretty short work of them all. Grumblejack flying charged the paladin and crit him with a raging power attack with the warhammer the dwarf from earlier in the book was carrying. Sooooo, there went the paladin. The barbarian got handled pretty well by the player playing Grumblejacks kid (whos battlecry is "I'm so g*&&!@ned happy!" the face the player makes while saying that makes it even better). The antipaladin cleaned up the wizard and cleric pretty quickly with Grumblejacks help.

The dragon fight wasn't that bad on them either, but that was mostly because of lucky rolls on saves for the party. Two came very close to failing the save on the paralyzing breath in the opening round. And the Antipaladin got a lucky crit with his first hit with smite good. So that turned into 2d8+48+2d6. The dragon was not pleased. And then the magus got a crit with his rapier, after using one of his arcana to change all his damage to fire. They now plan on stuffing the dragon and using it as decoration in the future.

Book 3 starts next week.

Qadira

MalignantMind wrote:

Well, my group has finally finished book two.

And we're all happy to have it behind us. Being in one location for so long really dragged on. It's a great book, but it took forever to get through. Doesn't help that my group (me included) gets easily distracted by anything shiny. Otherwise we might have finished two or three weeks ago. :P

** spoiler omitted **

Book 3 starts next week.

How'd they fair with Vetra-Kali?


They asked for Half-fiend. Well, two of them did. One, the magus that died that day, didn't want anything from him (and he was dead anyways).
I gave it to them. It'll make part of book five more interesting. Because the way I'm gonna do it, if they kill the source of their power, they lose it.


MalignantMind,

Great play report! Sounds like the campaign is going well.

Onward to Book Three! Keep the reports coming.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


MalignantMind, did Erik save Richard with Teleport? Or did they kill all the good guys?


They didn't last long enough. The fight was over pretty quickly. Barely lasted two full rounds. Plus, can't teleport out of the horn.

Qadira

MalignantMind wrote:
They didn't last long enough. The fight was over pretty quickly. Barely lasted two full rounds. Plus, can't teleport out of the horn.

Normally. Can't teleport out of the horn, normally. Erik can. He's the only one who can. It's specifically in his write-up.

Erik:
discovered a journal of a wizard who travelled with the Victor and using that journal discovered a method to bypass the shield. Erik (or Tacitus) can teleport out of the Horn. And he will -- taking his friends with him -- if things go bad. The wizard has a safe house prepared in Ghastenhall (where he keeps his spellbook by the way) and will teleport the entire party there if defeat looks eminent.

It's alright though. It also says that if Richard does die, then Mitra will intervene and a true resurrection can be used.


*expletive deleted*
That's what I get for DMing from 6pm until 5am. which is around the time the last fight took place.


He THINKS it was Mitra who intervenes!

Qadira

Mirrel the Marvelous wrote:
He THINKS it was Mitra who intervenes!

True. Gary did say it would be him, but then again Book 5 makes you think otherwise. Maybe we get the true story in Book 6.


Session report for my group today:

Spoiler:
The group went back to find the horn. This time they are ready to face Jurak The Elder. The fight is quite one-sided, despite Jurak taking the jump and animating a tree. I made Jurak an Advanced Treant, which made him to have 25 armor, but even then, it was no match. The Grease from the Wizard drop the treant, and that was the end of the fight. They decide to make Grumblejack go back and bring the corpse of Jurak to Farnhold, as they can make some magic items from it's wood (As I have to increase the treasure by 50% with a group of sI ruled it's worth 3000g to build wood-based magic items, such as bows, staffs, wands, and some other items, such as amulets of natural armor/barkskin)

The group entered the caves, being ambushed by Kumanda Slays-Nine-Men. The fear from the terryfing croks make half the group to run, but the three that stayed killed them, thanks to a good fireball from the wizard's wand.

Later they find the Boggards in their huts, and Zikomo Hears-The-Father starts to talk with them. Being a group of high bluff and charisma, they quickly make an alliance with him. The summoner's Eidolon dispatch a rebellius boggard (loyal to Kumanda), which quickly finish any resistance in the tribe. Under Zikomo rulership, the boggards submission is a given fact.

They explore the whole cave, and find it very interesting as a future lair. They find the hole in the blue-slime cave, and with some bribing and intimidate, they convince the Earth Spirit in the Onyx Cave (I changed the cristal cave of false diamonds for Onyx. This will help the group Necromancer with a weekly supply of Onyx, just like the Acid and the Venom from the fish pool.). The spirit enter the hole, and bring back a book and a very big and priced gem. The aura of Obedience of the Antipaladin is enough to make the spirit to give up the gem, and they learn about the Ritual needed to summon Vetra Kali and get the Tears.

They explore the first two levels of the temple, and they find most the hidden things there (they spent quite time searching, with methodical use of detect magic, and very good perception -23 taking ten-). They used the stone salve to recover Halthus the Flayer, and they learn that the thrones are linked teleport gates.

They are quite surprised, and very pleased, to find such a great lair. They are specially happy with the possibility to summon creatures: Hell Hounds, Nightmares, and Will O'Wisps -a small change from the adventure-

All in all, another good session. Different from every other session so far, much more dungeon-oriented, but a good change of pace.
They still have two floors left to study (third+sanctum), and then they need to think about how to start the ritual.


Timing question:

What's the monthly count?

Spoiler:
As I understand it, the taking of Balantine take place in the begining of the spring. Adrastus Thorn train them during the three months of winter. I made Odenkirk to arrive in the last days of the winter (around february 25th). Then the travel to the north, the settlement with Fire axe, entering Balantyne, that's the first days of Spring. Around March 20th. They took 3 weeks to take Balantyne, plus an extra week or so plundering it. That's April 20th or so. Then they go to Farnholde. With about one week of travel, and several days in Farnholde getting familiar with the town and learning rumours, that gets near May, 1st. They then start to Take the Horn, which is what we are doing today. Let's suppose they take one or two weeks to start the ritual (they'll need to build up things in the horn, and recruit some cultist, before they start) So let's suppose they start the Ritual in May, 15th. Let's add 222 days. That's... December!
So I don't see how can I make it to be possible to give them 1 month of respite in Glastenhall and be ready to attack Valtaerne before winter :(

Am I missing something? What I'm doing wrong?


well, no answer about the timing :(

My players have struck a wall of Decision Paralisys this week. They spent a bunch of time discusing what's the best course of action.

Anyways, they did a few things:

Spoiler:
They finished exploring the Horn. They found Hexor and Vexor, which were going to wipe them, but the PC with the higher initiative (and the only one above the Daemons) used his action telling them they were here to free Vetra Kali. While the CeustoDaemons do not speak common, they understood "Vetra Kali". They delayed action, and then the Wizard of the group started a small chat in abyssal. They decided to let them to further explore the Horn, as they were convinced that the PC are going to help the Brotherhood of Pale Son, but they aren't binded to them yet. So they don't work as minions, but they don't interfere the characters.

They find Ezra, which almost make the Inquisitor to pee in his pants, as he found himself suddenly surrounded by 3 wraiths and a Dread wraith when he left the group behind to explore the treasure vault. :) Ezra, however, knowing about the knot because of Aideen Kaiel's group being destroyed and his memories absorbed, intimidate and bully him instead of killing. He makes him clear that they are welcome to the horn, if, and only if, they try to free Vetra Kali.

They find, and kill, the lightning elemental, and the statue of Vetra Kali with the Silver Seal. The summoner's pet touch the seal "to test", and almost die and is banished to his own world.

After a few arguments about what to do next (some don't want to recruit minions, as they are dangerous because it's more people knowing what's going on), they split in two groups. The Wizard and the Magus stay in the tower, learning about the rituals to summon the hell-hound, nightmares, and will o the wisps. The other four go to Farnholde to learn rumours and gather more info. In the route, they are assaulted by Callista and his cohorts (the fiend-like eidolon make this a fire first and ask later encounter for the Azata). Hallucinatory Terrain, stealth, charm monster (to the Eidolon), and a bunch of arrows in the surprise round made the group fear for their lives. A good crit from the inquisitor bow leveled the field, though, and Callista fleed, followed by one of the Fey Elfs.
BTW, when the elf was fleeing, I noticed they can fly. I didn't before, fortunatelly. A group of *flying* elves with bows in hallucinatory terrain ambushing the party might easily be a defeat against most parties, those without serious ranged characters and/or AOE magic. Be careful with that, or just remove the fly from the elves

They reported to Tiadora (through the clay seal), and met with the White Ravens. Then we finished the session, we probably won't have another one until january 13th (As january 6th is Reyes Magos here, most people will be opening presents with their children :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

For those that use Hero Lab and are running or playing in Way of the Wicked I have good news as Book 1 & 2 are inputted in HL by the community. These are 100% free to download and use.

The packages are broken up into into two pieces. One is for GM's that has both the player equipment and the DM monsters and a Player pack that has just the stuff that Players need.

If you have not setup the Powered by HL feature for the Community start with this Setup Post then. If you have this setup already for say the Mythic Addon then proceed below.

For GMs you need to install the Community Bestiary which requires a bunch of the Official Packages to load. But once installed you have access to all the Player content and to all the monsters and encounters for Book 1 and Book2. You can download the portfolios and the encounter .por files from d20pfsrd. The file is AP(FMG) - Way of the Wicked.zip.

For Players you need to install the Community Player Pack which requires nothing more then the base HL license and contains the traits, gear, and magic items for Book 1 & 2 currently.


So we're about halfway done with this module, and my players are having a blast. One thing that popped up during the last session was that they found the

Spoiler:
alchemical golem, Artephius. They deciphered from the schematics what would be needed to rebuild it, and when it came to the part of the brain, the bard piped up and said he might put his own brain in it. I think I'm going to use the old 'yes,but...' strategy and require will saves so that his brain can overpower the golem's programming/spirit/whatever.

So 1) is this feasible? And 2) what happens if he succeeds? I can see a few ways of handling this. Use Artephius's stat block as a base and give him bard levels (can alchemical golems even cast magic?). Or create a new race using the race builder for constructs and alter his race. Or create a template and slap it on him. Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Qadira

DystopianDream wrote:

So we're about halfway done with this module, and my players are having a blast. One thing that popped up during the last session was that they found the

** spoiler omitted **

Sure, no problem. There's a few different ways of doing it, but all result in the same thing.

Options:
Firstly, there are three templates that are +0 CR. Clockwork Automaton from the PFSRD, Clockwork Construct from The Inner Sea World Guide, and Gearforged creature template from Player's Guide to the Crossroads. There's also a +1 CR template called Clockwork Creature that's got more of the construct's abilities, such as DR, SR and bonus hp. And as per the Races Guide, if you go with the +1, the character just can't level for like 5-10 HD, so as to balance things out. The reason I say that is because the golem is large size, and gaining the Giant Creature template is another +1 CR. Finally, for the golem to have intelligence, it becomes a Lifespark Construct. That's +0 CR for the first 11 HD, and +1 afterwards. This way the character continues to gain skill points and feats. So in total, the bard could end up with a +3 CR, and unfortunately never level up again for the rest of the 20 level campaign. At least according to the Races rules that's how it's supposed to be. Personally, I'd just give him 30% less XP for 5 HD, then 20%, then 10%.

If you guys end up going the route of taking the actual construct, and giving it Lifespark, that's cool too, but again he'll never level up due to the CR of the creature, and he'll lose all of his class abilities.


My players keep being scraped over too much bread. I hope they get focused again now they have advanced a bit:

Spoiler:
They went here and there in Farnholde, looking for newcomers, hoping to find a hint about the Lillend. They did learn about a blackskinned elf, but as soon as they tried to search for her, she misterously vanished to never appear again.

they decided to go and track one rumour, about a one-eyed tiger. They took him alive (although the inquisitor archer almost died), and Trak, the White Raven's ranger, has been told to "tame it", at least until it is somewhat trainable by other players.

They strengthened the relationship with Baron Arkov Vandermir, which had a cold introduction a few weeks ago. Now they find him to be a valuable asset, which can help them to get some dangerous spells (like animate dead) and magic items. He takes a 10% from sold items, but now they are a bit more confident about an alliance with him).

They cleaned a bit of the horn, bringing Grumblejack and the corrupted Franz Mott to the new base, and they animated a few skeletons from the cave's boneyard. They also summoned the hellhounds (6 of them, one for each evil lord) and one nightmare, as well as 3 Will O The Wisp. with such cohort of evil (including Hexor and Vexor, Ezra, Grumblejack, 3 wisps, 1 nightmare, 6 hell hounds, 10 skeletons, 15 bugbears, they finally found themselves with enough strength to start the ritual.

The flash of green balefire gets them by surprise, they had hopes to keep the ritual in secret for a while. But now they are the lords of an evil lair, soaked in balefire, with undeads, daemons, evil spirits, hellhounds and the dark power of Asmodeus backing them. It's an evil lord's wet dream. What can possibly go wrong?

I spent the rest of the session teaching them the (heavily modified) rules for evil organizations, and we called it a day.

Next week, Hallack's Crew will invade the Horn. They already got the notice from the White Ravens. So the receivement will be interesting


Hey, one of my players got chaotic evil last sessions thanks to the meditation chamber in the Horn. I already opened a thread. Would be nice if you can give me some insight how to handle the pc...

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pcz8?Improved-Familiar-Witch-and-Alignement-Ch ange

Qadira

Patrick Kropp wrote:
Hey, one of my players got chaotic evil last sessions thanks to the meditation chamber in the Horn. I already opened a thread . Would be nice if you can give me some insight how to handle the pc...

Fixed that for you.


Well, another slow session without too much improvement.

Spoiler:
The PC ambushed Hallack's crew with the boggards, using the Clamor Box for it -which is a very wicked and useful item in evil hands-. The PC were a bit overconfident with the White Ravens description of non-experienced and ill-equiped adventurers, and the description of them and the picture. They thought they were vastly inferior, but got surprised with Yorgun and Hallack (which had the teamwork feat "improved flanking" or whatever is called, with +4 to hit when flanking). That took out the Eidolon in a single round, with Yorgun being quite a threat. But however, the ambush was rightly done, and they quickly overcome the adventurer party, capturing Marta, Hallack and Yorgun, with O'Toole and Bianca dying in the fight.

The party then started to try to corrupt Hallack (using temptation of gold, due to his debt) but it didn't work very well. Finally they torture him, ask him a few questions about the city watch, and let Ezra to kill him and produce a new wraith, so he could absorb his memories and tell the players more. This might end being ... fun... if the PC take it as a staple tactic. Yorgun was chained, and forced to work in the forges from now on. Marta is also chained, with the magical chains to forbid her an escape attempt.

Then we spent about half the session explaining the rules for evil organizations (which I heavily modified, running them in a similar fashion than Kingmaker AP, with the PC being members of the "evil Council" and Henchmen NPC such as Grumblejack or Ezra being part of the organization as councilors, advisers, and such.

I have 3 main stats (power, subterfuge and loyalty), with 4 skills each (violence, enforcement, labor, endurance for power; crime, espionage, interrogation and secrecy for subterfuge, and conections, competence, rituals and conviction for loyalty). Each of those skills is governed by a member of the council, either a PC or an NPC (Pc add their stat, while NPC add *half* their stat). Those members are Warlord, Overlord, Taskmaster, Beastmaster, Crime Lord, Spy Master, Torturer, Con Man, Councilor, Master Mind, Warlock and Demagogue). There are rooms and buildings that give bonus to those (like the Ritual chamber to rituals, or temples for conviction). Every action also has drawbacks of some sort. Some of them make Damage to the organization (which is mitigated by Power), others produce Alert (which is mitigated by Subterfuge) and some other produce Unrest among the minions (which is mitigated by Loyalty). In addition, the amount of extra gold that is kept unspent or in pieces of art (such as the ton of silver plates) help to avoid penalties from unrest.

They seem to be intrigued. They leveled to 7th level, so they can take the Leadership feat (or Tyrannic feat or Mastermind feat, which allow to use Str or Int instead)

Osirion Reaper Miniatures

Play report!

Spoiler:
So this is two sessions play, since i neglected to do a play report for session one.
The PCs arrived in Farholde, and immediately set to learning everything they could about the Horn. One of the players was paranoid as heck about finding a cure for the disease first before even beginning to look for the horn (he doesn't want to become infected) but I managed to convince him that he was jumping ahead and he'd be fine. They asked really good questions, investigated the town for rumors, learning much. They bought magic items, shopped around, and pretty much spent the entire first session of book 2 in non combat situations, acquainting themselves with the local smith and crafters of magic items.

Session two they left the town in search of the horn, having found Aiden Kael's map. They battled the Hangman's tree, which really did a number on them - I don't know if they were unlucky and I was lucky, or they were just not thinking right for the challenge, but most of the group was very low on HP by the end of it. Knowing dark was approaching, they sallied on. They made it past the Treant by stating that they knew of the great evil within, but Aiden Kael was missing, this map made them think he might be inside, and they needed to find him. Sense Motive failed the Treant, and he believed the PCs to be there on a mercy mission, so he pointed them to the boggard's caves. They made it inside, past the cave with the acid pool, and decided to hold up for the night in the dead-end on the other side of the acid pool.

It sounds uneventful, but much was learned, Next week, explorations of the caverns!


concerned about some enemies.

Spoiler:
the moon dogs. They'll fight vs 2 of them (plus a Lillend, in my game). Those dogs can cast... a 9th level spell !!!. shades allow them to cast any Conjuration spell, at 80% of real damage. That means they can summon 1d3 tyrannosaurus each, or a couple of Elder Elemental. Even with 80% damage... that's a TPK unless the DM pull punches or missuses the NPC on purpose (such as going to bite and trip instead of using 9th level spells)

How did other people deal with this? How do you plan to run it?


Nobody has any advice about Moon Dogs? I think they'll fight them tomorrow, and I fear a wipe.

Two improved invisible dogs that can cast summon monster VIII... I don't even know how can the PC defeat that.


Gustavo,

Spoiler:
Do they have access to Hexor and Vexor? For my group, the two daemons caught the moon dogs coming in and tore into them rather nastily. The DR on Hexor and Vexor and the ability to see invisible attackers came in quite handy. Also, keep in the mind the size of said tyranosaur and elder elemental. Having a fight occur in one of the longer passages means limiting size options for summoning.

At least those are my thoughts and what I experienced running the game.


John Malueg wrote:

Gustavo,

** spoiler omitted **

At least those are my thoughts and what I experienced running the game.

good points in a few spots. 2d3 Tyrannosaurus are beyond scope, probably :) An Elder Air Elemental in whirlwind form use a 5' square only, though. And 80% effective Creeping Doom or Incendiary Clouds are powerful as well. I wonder how someone can give a 9th level spell to a CR 9 creature... that thing is creepy. It's from Tome of Horrors, isn't it?

My players have Hexor and Vexor, but they don't control them yet. They haven't made the conection between the iron amulets and the iron tablets (failed the Knowledge rolls). Hexor and Vexor recognize them as allies, but keep guarding the entrance to the sanctum, so it won't be a lot of help unless the dogs go that route, which is unlikely, as they enter by the 2nd floor.

However, I wasn't taking in account the rest of the allies they have. A nightmare, hell hounds, half-daemon ogre, wraiths, etc. Some of those might help if things go the wrong side.

To make things worse, the Lillend escaped the first encounter. It'll join the Moon Dogs as well, giving them some extra help. Tough fight.


You know how you nerf villains sometimes by having them pause to gloat? Or capturing the hero so they can get information, instead of just killing them?

It works the other way 'round just as well. For instance, a good antagonist may try to capture one or more PCs to "bring you to justice, monster!" instead of just delivering a death blow. This opens up the possibility of rescue -- by one of the PC's allies, say; the other Knot, their minions, whoever.

Doug M.

Cheliax

Our last game ended with a great victory at the end of book I, and a bit of travel, but tomorrow, we're hitting Farholde.

I've got at least 50 MB of documents in my mailbox from the players, explaining ideas and character development and organisation schemes and long-term plans and all sorts of player-generated content, instead of the usual 500kB of character sheets that I'm used to with other campaigns.
I don't know what you've done, Gary, but don't stop. You're doing it right.


Yep, I agree with increddibelly. I also have wassapps during the weekdays with proposals of things to do, characters trying to know more about NPC, and such.
Best AP I've played or DMed so far. I'm waiting for the last book to do a Review of all the AP.


Finished the session.
Today, dissapointed. Several players came late, and we had a slow starting.

They started to put the Horn and the evil organization ongoing, with several players taking Leadership/Tyrant/Mastermind feat to search for followers.

Spoiler:

They get in better relationship with Vandermir, which is flirting with the drow half-elf which wanted to kill him before.
The rogue also managed to pull a nice trick within Drownington. He went there to gamble, and through an impressive serie of rolls in bluff, he managed to fool Rubal Thraan (the owner of Drownington Manor) to play a gambling card game. With a very good sense motive roll (natural 20!) he found exactly the moment where Rubal had a winning hand. Then he bluffed, made a huge bet, and managed to appear very nervous when doing so. When Rubal revealed his cards, he used Sleight of Hand (which he has nearly maxed!) to cheat and take cards from his sleeve, winning the hand. A short knife fight begun, with the PC being a knife-master, so the fight was over in a few seconds. He spared the life of Rubal, and told everybody the next one was on the house. He was instantly cheered, and then talked to Rubal in a private room. Now they own the worst inn in the city, which is a damn good recruiting point for minions.

About the combat: The two moondogs were, indeed, very powerful. Even with a good purge invisibility spell cast, and one of the dogs falling unconscious to a poison in nearly the first two rounds, the other one managed to cast Summon Monster VIII, an Elder Air Elemental. The lilend cast Hold Person, but was soon overwhelmed by a summoned fiendish grizzly bear, the necromancer slow, and the antipaladin smite evil. The other moondog, also slowed, fall into a hungry pit. He altered self to a winged form, and went out of the pit, while the air elemental in Whirlwind form started to "collect" players into the whirlwind. When the Magus arrived, she finished the Moondog, with a crit from a intensified shocking grasp blade (like 16d6 +2d6+ 18 or something like that) and another hit with a vampiric touch blade. The air elemental finally drop the players, which were taking quite a lot of damage, after a Command cruelty from the antipaladin, which also was rightly before the Air elemental finished his whirlwind ability.
Hexor, Vexor and Grumblejack got into combat right after, and as I had to go, we declared that the combat was over, with the shadow air elemental dissipating, as one the moon dogs was dead, the other one was unconscious, and the Lillend were dead too.

If the PC wouldn't had been lucky with the first Moon dog dying in the first round, two air elementals would had been way too much


I have an odd question here, one which I can't believe took this long to think of. Warning, slight spoilers:

If someone who would normally have an animal companion willingly sacrifices said companion to summon either the hellhounds or the nightmare, can they take them as a cohort or 'animal' companion like the Imp companion the Diabolist PrC* gets?

Normally I'd say no, but this is a rather unusual sort of campaign.

* -- From that first fiend book, the one about the devils. Sorry, but I'm blanking on the title right now.


By Raw, he could do with the leadership feat, using the efective level shown in the bestiary as the cohort level. A hell hound is CR 7. It wouldn't get advancement as an animal companion, but it *would* level up (taking approiate class levels, normally fighter). That does not preclude them to take another regular animal companion, but doing so gives you a -2 in the leadership table.

I'd let the player to just take the hellhound as animal companion.

Qadira

If your player wants, give him access to this feat for a hell hound animal companion. You could fluff it that the sacrifice was actually a ritual that transformed it into one.


Gustavio, Kevin_Video, thanks both of you for the suggestions.

And I agree on the leveling up as a fighter as a substitute for the more normal advancing as an animal companion.


This week report:

Spoiler:
Some roleplaying, a bit of Evil Sydicate Administration, and a fast combat.

PC went to Vandermir birthday party. They bought him several presents: a vogue royal outfit, elvish absinthe, and some giant crabs from Wrecker Island (where they found a wight, which they controlled, and the druid's treasure). They talked to several movers and shakers of the town, and found a few corrupt ones (Sir Bonder of the Beacon, the nephew of the harbormaster, Mallory Ritkin, and Lady Marsten).

They also talked about the war with Valiant Darian. He seemed very confident about winning. He invited the PC to a boar hunting in one month.

Later during the party, news arrive. The Duke has died in Upandeshire Ford. People leave the party, in a depressive mood. The summoner PC get a romance interest with Elise Zadaria, while the Half-Drow magus continue his relationship with the Baron.

They keep progressing their minion recruiting. They have nearly 100 thugs now, as well as 35 skeletons, 30 boggards, and several utility minions (shopkeepers, noble scions, a pair of celebrity bards...). The horn is fully functional, and full of traps.

Regardless, they were attacked by Traya's Raiders. Very easy fight (too easy) They had a long debate about allowing Twelve Knives to join the cult, or maybe trying to force Traya into submission (everybody else was dead). After the discussion, they killed both, using Traya's brain as a component for Artephius.

They saw a dragon going to Farnholde, and they are ready for the hunting party. Probably, it will happen at the same time than certain inquisitor first assault to the Horn...


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I worked out the Dirges of Apollyon. English is not my first language and I have done them in german. This is only the inferior translation to english. I hope it makes sense and is readable.

Supplication of darkness
I call thee, because you, Vetra-Kali, will listen. You may be blind in your rage, but turn your ears to me and hear my speech. Oh mighty bringer of plagues, I invoke you. I pray for your absolution - because we were unworthy of you. Master, in the darkness we are aware of our failure. Our misconduct is visible for everyone in our eyes. Vetra-Kali forgive me and my brothers and sisters - until the day the riders will hold judgement. Because we belong to the darkness and to the darkness we will return. I will be what you want me to be, I will become what you want from me. Hear my supplication und forgive us. Now I will close my lips - cause words are nothing to you. In their place I give you this offering.

Cursing of the light
Oh darkest Abaddon, I call you. Grant me your merciful embrace and blot out our sight, because we can´t stand the sight of creation no longer. Absorb all light - the genesis of this agonizing life, which defiles your countenance. Because out of the silent darkness the first light was born, and exactly the same darkness will devour it once again. In this cursed bright hour I invoke you and curse the light and this seal which bounds Vetra-Kali.
In the name of Abaddon - I curse you. In the name of the riders - I curse you. In the name of the three eyed prince - I curse you.

Call across the void
He who is named Vetra-Kali, Eater of Eyes, Creator of the Tears of Achlys, Bringer of Plagues and Suffering, Highest of the Leucodaemons, archdeacon of the Pale Rider, hear my prayer. I send my call across the void and darkness to Abaddon. There where he persevers for his return. Raise your head and follow my call. Blind he may be, but my voice will lead him on his way thru the maelstrom of the void. Return home my lord. Don´t remain silent and don´t pause for even a moment. Return home and let us infect, decimate and devour the mortals of Talingarde until they are not a nation anymore. They shall turn scarlet red in your countenance and decay thru your gifts. The sick and disabled shall know their plagues as the fountain of your blessings. Recur and with you your gift to this world - the Tears of Achlys. Hear my voice Vetra-Kali - and follow.

Qadira

Those are pretty good.


I have to second what Kevin_Video said. That's some great invoking of eldritch evil right there.


hope they find some use on the main ritual days. We played out each sacrifice and every prayer on the last days.


Patrick Kropp wrote:

I worked out the Dirges of Apollyon. English is not my first language and I have done them in german. This is only the inferior translation to english. I hope it makes sense and is readable.

Can you provide me with your german version?


Ilvani wrote:
Patrick Kropp wrote:

I worked out the Dirges of Apollyon. English is not my first language and I have done them in german. This is only the inferior translation to english. I hope it makes sense and is readable.

Can you provide me with your german version?

Ok, here the german version.

Bussgebet an die Finsternis
Ich rufe dich an, denn du, Vetra-Kali,erhoerst mich. Blind magst du sein im Zorne doch wende dein Ohr mir zu, vernimm meine Rede! O Maechtiger Ueberbringer der Plagen wir flehen dich an. Wir beten um deine Vergebung – denn wir waren deiner unwuerdig. Herr in deiner Finsternis erkennen wir unser Versagen. Unsere Verfehlung steht uns in den Augen geschrieben. Vetra-Kali vergib mir und meinen Bruedern und Schwestern bis zum Tage an welchem Abrechnung durch die Reiter gehalten wird. Denn wir gehoeren der Finsternis und in die Finsternis kehren wir zurueck. Ich will das sein, wozu Du mich haben willst; ich will all das werden, wozu Du mich machen willst. Erhoere mein Flehen und vergib uns. Ich verschließe nun meine Lippen – denn Worte gefallen dir nicht.

An Ihrer statt gebe ich dir dies Opfer, denn du begehrst ein Zeichen unserer Reue.

Verdammung des Lichts
Oh dunkelster Abaddon, ich rufe nach dir. Gewähre mir deine gnädige Umarmung und verdunkle unsere Sicht. Verzehre das Licht – den Ursprung dieses quälenden Lebens welches dein Antlitz besudelt. Denn aus der Stille des Finsternis ward erst die Unnatürlichkeit des Lichtes geboren, und von der Dunkelheit wird das Licht einst wieder verschlungen werden. In dieser hellen Stunde rufe ich dich an und verdamme das Licht und dies Siegel, welches Vetra Kali gefangen hält.
Im Namen des Abaddon – ich verdamme dich.
Im Namen der Reiter – ich verdamme dich.
Im Namen des dreiäugigen Prinzes – ich verdamme dich.

Ruf durch die Leere
ER der da heißt Vetra-Kali, Verzehrer der Augen, Schöpfer der Tränen von Achlys, Überbringer von Siechtum und Leiden, höchster der Leukodaimonen, Erzstatthalter des fahlen Reiters; erhöre mein Gebet zu dieser heiligen Stunde. Ich schicke meinen Ruf durch die Leere und Finsternis des Abaddon. Dorthin wo er seiner Wiederkehr harrt.Erhebe dein Haupt und folge meinem Ruf. Blind mag er sein, doch meine Stimme soll ihm den Weg weisen durch den Mahlstrom des Nichts. Dies Opfer das ich ihm bringe soll ihn leiten auf seinem Weg. Kehre zu uns zurück, oh Gebieter. Schweige nicht und halte nicht inne. Komm wieder, wir wollen die Sterblichen Talingards infizieren, dezimieren und vertilgen auf das sie kein Volk mehr seien. Sie sollen scharlachrot werden in deinem Angesicht und vergehen an deinen Geschenken. Die Kranken und Behinderten sollen ihre Plagen als Quelle deines Segens erfahren. Kehre wieder und mit dir dein Geschenk an diese Welt – die Tränen von Achlys. Höre meinen Ruf Vetra Kali – und folge.

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