Way of the Wicked—Book #6: The Wages of Sin (PFRPG) PDF

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Reap what you have sown!

Talingarde is yours! Once the people of this noble nation called you a criminal and branded you as one of the forsaken. Now, by blood and guile, you have seized control of the kingdom.

You are at last victorious.

And this is only the beginning. What shall you do now that you are in power? Will you lead your army in wars of conquest? Will you take revenge on those who once oppressed you? Will you write your name across the pages of history in blood and fire?

There will be no one to stop you this time!

Welcome to the sixth and final chapter of the “Way of the Wicked” adventure path. Inside you’ll find:

  • “The Wages of Sin,” an adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game designed for 18th level villains by Gary McBride
  • Full color illustrations and maps by Michael Clarke
  • New character options for villains by Jason Bulmahn
  • A complete campaign timeline for all six books
  • And More!
Become the tyrant you were born to be! Conquer all who oppose you and fear not—surely there will be no repercussions for your reign of terror.

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***** (based on 4 ratings)

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Reap what you have sown indeed

*****

The end-game where we're used to the good guys catching up to the bad guys and stomping a mud-hole in 'em. Only now you're the bad guys. Will you indulge in the rewards so long denied you?

Personally, I recommend thoroughly abusing your power over the island. Crush the inevitable rebel scum and try to anticipate the sudden yet inevitable betrayals by (almost) all of your mini-onions.

I strongly recommend the GM exercise the "second option" to conclude the campaign. In other words, give the villains a properly sound thrashing by the Good Guys.

Kill them, kill them all, permanently.


Wages of Sin Review

****( )

Warning: Potential spoilers. Written from a GM's perspective. I ran this for 6 PCs.

Finally, after nearly two years, my group has been able to complete this entire Adventure Path. Like the entries before it, this chapter did not disappoint.

Strengths:
This chapter is jampacked with content. Wages of Sin is basically a giant villain sandbox and the author outright states that the GM will likely have to fill in some gaps for options that they didn't think to include. This is true to a certain extent. For example, my PC were rather interested in the world outside of Talingarde, for which the campaign offers only minimal information. However, for the most part, it seemed like almost everything my PCs wanted to do had been accounted for. I was thoroughly impressed by how often I was able to rely on the prewritten material given the open-ended nature of the campaign.

Another thing that I loved about this book was how it really made the players feel like they were powerful villains. Fights with weaker creatures were mostly handwaved, while the creatures they actually fought all felt legendary and threatening. Also, making them leaders of Talingarde they were empowered to make decisions that would affect the entire nation and have consequences for generations to come. My players really latched on to the politics of it all. Every decision was weighed heavily, as they tried to get all the things they wanted, while trying not to drive the general population into supporting the rebels.

Last, but not least, I have to talk about the final battle. At first I was a little concerned. I saw that the PCs fought the titan and his planar ally, then the combination of Belinda, Antharia and the Solar. Two encounters didn't seem like enough for an epic finale to an almost two year campaign. Boy, was I wrong. The titan went down fairly quickly, but the fight with final three took over two sessions. Belinda looks weak on paper, until you realize that she can combine Mind Blank with Greater Invisibility to become practically unfindable. Antharia is an absolute beast and borderline unhittable by traditional means. The Solar can heal like no one's buisness, all the while still attacking with her dancing greatsword. Add in the fact that all three of them have access to long duration protection spells, like spell immunity and protection from energy...well, your PCs should have a tough time. The combination is an appropriately epic final boss battle.

Weaknesses:
One criticism I had, that I have seen other reviewers mention, is the way the the game handles Princess Belinda. Essentially, she has fled the island to form her army and Mitra has given her a magic item that literally makes it impossible for the PCs to find. Now, Way of the Wicked is no stranger to railroady plot elements. However, for the most part I have been pleasantly surprised by how little of an issue that was for my players. The path the writers provided always seemed to intrigue them enough that they walked down it willingly. However, the Belinda situation in this book was noticeably frustrating for them. Essentially they had to sit there waiting for three years for her to act and they couldn't do anything to stop her.

Probably the biggest weakness of this book is pacing. When I say that this campaign took almost two years, what I really mean is that books 1, 3, 4 and 5 took about 2 months a piece. Book 2 took about 5 months. Book 6 took the rest of the time. With Book 2 I was able to cut out a lot of material, due to its fairly linear nature. However, with Book 6 that was almost impossible, since the content was entirely driven by the actions the PCs wanted to take and initially the players were reluctant to accept time skips because they wanted to get as much done as possible. It took them a while to realize that there was no shortage of in game time to do everything they wanted. The most noticeable impact was on leveling. I used the story based leveling suggestions at the back of this book for most of the campaign. However, I had to modify it a bit for this book, overwise the players would have been level 17, 19 and 20 for about two sessions each and level 18 for the remaining ten months. Instead, I let the PCs level to 19 early and did some rebalancing of later encounters. Still, while I would have liked to have seen this book paced a little more evenly and I think the players would have appreciated a bit more combat, the content was dynamic enough that the game never became too stagnant.

Conclusion:
Ulimately, despite the uneven pacing, this is another excellent addition to the Way of the Wicked adventure path. It thoroughly does its job in offering an epic conclusion to the campaign. Regarding the campaign as a whole, while I have had minor criticisms throughout, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking to run an evil game. It can be challenging for a GM, due the high level game play and it's unconventional nature. However, the payoff, at least for my table, was a unique and memorable gaming experience.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

The final chapter in the evil AP Way of the Wicked is 102 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, 2 pages maps of Talingarde, leaving us with 94 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This being a review of the final part of this AP, the following contains SPOILERS - not only for this module, but for the whole AP. Potential players are strongly advised to jump to the conclusion.

All right, still here? Cardinal Adrastus Thorn lies slain, Asmodeus has proclaimed his support of the PCs and they have risen to be High Cardinals of the lord of the ninth - but they still need to clean p their house - the knots are in place, but depending on the actions of the PCs, the remaining knots may prove to be problematic. Take for example Barnabus Thrane (who is called Thrain in text once - unfortunately but one of numerous, accumulating editing glitches throughout the module) - the spymaster and Asmodean sleeper that has infiltrated the clergy - he most definitely will become a mayor problem if the PCs have not secured his cooperation. The man knows much, but can just as well be a worthwhile asset to the PCs claiming Talingarde and changing the clergy of Mitra from within. General Barca, on the other hand, is not a valuable asset - indeed, if the PCs have not killed him and opt to put him on the throne, they'll see their grip weakened by his growing paranoia. The Devils are unproblematic allies as long as the PCs serve the Dark Lord, but what if they falter? For falter they might:

After having slain Chargammon, princess Belinda, the paragon sorceress has been granted a solar and an artifact by Mitra - a veil to hide her from the eyes of all evil-doers and from all mortal magic. A powerful tool indeed to conceal her from the prying eyes of the PCs and plot with her draconic mother Antharia Regina the downfall of the tyrants to be - but more on that later.

If you recall the Hadean Signet in Book V, well the ring awakens and starts beckoning its master to sacrifice an angel, a fiend and a creature of titan-blood to unlock its vast powers - upon the third sacrifice, though, the thanatotic titan bound to the ring is released, seeking to enslave (or kill) all. Wise villains know when to stop and may use the properties of the ring's first two phases - though honestly, I would have expected a way for the ultimate tyrants of Asmodeus' reach in Talingarde to have some way of enslaving the vastly powerful titan - perhaps by besting him in combat thrice (he respawns after 66 days as long as the ring is not destroyed...) or by torture? After all, all spirits can be broken... A bit of a pity here, but oh well. It's not that they need the titan for now, for one of the knots has actually done his job well - Cedrick malthus has gathered a vast army of deadly mercenaries and cutthroats under the command of Volker Eisenmark - provided they can pay the ships to get them to Talingarde, the PCs have a vast army of cutthroats, murderers and people eager for a fresh start - at least 20 thousand strong.

These will be the saviors of Talingarde, for another army waltzes south - Sakkarot's Horde has done its job admirably. But in order to rule a proper land and not some heaps, in order to have a capital, the betrayal must be sprung - and while Sakkarot may falter, he will not fail. Following the plan, if the PCs can show that they are the favored of the Dark Lord, he leads his army to the slaughter in fields where the PCs have a chance to shine in a grand narrative battle where they have pivotal roles in ensuring that no elite humanoids escape the slaughter to hamper the first weeks of their reign. If the PCs have hired the elite mercenary general Eisenmark and brokered a deal with the Frost Giant Queen, they may even have more benefits from this battle - chief of which would be rekindling the hope for a place to be for the Fire-Axe himself - universally loathed and sans home, the PCs could tie him up - or make him one of their fiercest allies.

Speaking of allies - if the PCs have managed to corrupt Sir Richard, he returns from the shackles of hell as an anti-paladin, presented by Dessiter as a candidate for the throne of the puppet-king - and, unbeknownst to the PCs, walking scrying focus for Dessiter. Sir Berithor is his new title and yet another piece falls into place. With the Fire-Axe defeated, the PCs can walk into the city and, after meeting a delegation (including a relative of Barca) that welcomes the unlikely saviors, present their claim to the throne. Meanwhile, the princess is off to a quest on the mainland, gathering her forces - protected, unfortunately, by a plot-fiat device. Honestly, I would have expected some clever rules, ways to bypass the artifact, at least kill her allies - instead, the artifact essentially binds the PC's hands in that regard until the final battle.

Till then, though, the tyrants run free - and the best part of the module happens. The Tyranny-sandbox. Establishing a court of people with varying degrees of usefulness (and ambitions), the PCs have 3 years to enjoy their reign and manage their kingdom. While in the background, the might-score of the kingdom represents the overall power of Talingarde - and almost all decisions have consequences. And oh boy, are there things to do: From the court's machinations to the religious question of whether/how to legalize Asmodeus/ treat the Mitran church, coronation ceremonies etc., the PCs will have to make decisions fast: Whether to worm their way into the hearts of the Mitran believers or usher in brutal pogroms, it's all up to the PCs. Speaking of purging opposition - exterminating the blood of house Darius is an option, though taking them hostage might be wiser and aid them in the long run. Speaking of aid: If they are smart, they may find records of the remaining Knights of Alerion as well, netting them a chance to surgically remove the best remaining soldiers of the Talingarde resistance. Speaking of resistance - if the PCs take heed of their traitor's court, they may get the necessary information to take down one superbly stealthy leader of the resistance.

But there are also tasks that require the PCs to deal with: Take the problem of the Irean barbarians of the Caer Bryr: These clans may be unified - a free bonus army for the PCs - but only if they manage to exploit a prophecy of the people and kill a primal bandersnatch, the legendary Caothach Ool to show that they are the chosen ones. In the Caer Bryr, the PCs may by the way also revive the noble tradition of unicorn hunting to fill the coffers of their nation... Of course, cracking down on the resistance, razing a village to the ground that openly defies their rule, gaining the service of the Barcan nobles and their griffon knights, redecorating the palace, legalizing prostitution and/or slavery - the latter serving as a prerequisite to legalize bloodsports (and gladiator veterans), rebuilding Balantyne and fortifying and finally conquering the North, rebuilding Daveryn etc. are a lot of interesting things to occupy the PC's time. Finding a way to ensure their army remains happy is yet another issue to handle, as are the battle-nuns and the fact that the duergar are problematic allies at best, prime candidates to be betrayed to the regular dwarves to gain their loyalty as a vassal state.

Allying with the reclusive Yutak, killing an elder kraken plaguing the trade-routes, side-quests in the Agathium, Grumblejack having prophetic dreams, dealing with a duke that could spell trouble, surviving an assassination-attempt by 2 mariliths and their demonic servants, rooting out the last outbreak of the Tears of Achlys, children praying for salvation and an angelic host(a great way to really screw up public relations),marrying a beautiful, wicked lady and make her queen - there is a lot going on. While darkness stirs in the North - a seeping shadow of invulnerable antilife seeps from a cavern where ancient tables lie, guarded by shoggoths: Stopping the all-consuming shadows and claiming the tables may add yet another dread weapon to the PC's arsenal. The Minions the PCs may still have also have up to 23 different tasks waiting for them - and then, after 3 all too short years....she returns.

The Pcs will reap what they have sown, with each of the different decisions resulting in modifications to Belinda's army or their own. And the saviors waste no time - the final stretch of the AP kicks off with 2 angels showing up above the city, preaching hope and seeking to wreck the palace. An aerial battle thus kicks off the final battle for Talingarde's soul -soon to be followed by an assassination attempt by Solomon Tyrath, high inquisitor of Mitra - hopefully they can make Naburus join their cause - and hopefully, they did not make Berithor king. For the ghost of his mother shows up - and he repents. Kills Dessiter. Becomes a paladin again. And delivers a final stand - to die and be claimed by the heavenly host, his contract voided by repentance.
And then, the final battle is upon them. They may even study the battle of the Victor fought in the same locale. And then lead their army into the final battle. Versus the last hope of Talingarde, Princess Belinda, Antharia Regina, the elysian titan God-hammer and a solar of Mitra. And then, there are two ways to end the campaign - win the insanely difficult final fight. Or suffer the fate of villains - abandoned by allies, more Mitran angels join the fray, ensuring the fate of the PCs. And thus, in which way you choose, ends the Way of the Wicked.

The supplemental material of this issue has Jason Bulmahn contribute 6 additional Asmodean spells, 8 magic items to insert into the campaign if you choose to. And finally, the last 3 pages contain a timeline for the whole campaign.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are the weak spots of this pdf - much like almost all issues of the AP, several easily avoidable typos, glitches and minor issues mar the AP and show that a second set of eyes editing this would have helped. Layout adheres to FMG's drop-dead gorgeous 2-column full color standard and the book is BEAUTIFUL. Michael Clarke's renditions of key enemies, almost all of them spanning full pages, rank among the best in the whole AP. On a formal level, the scarce bookmarks feel a bit unpleasant, much like in the predecessors - nested bookmarks would especially in the tyrant-section been appropriate. The pdf comes in two versions, one slightly more printer-friendly and, rather cool, the AP comes with an 9-page pdf of player-friendly maps and handouts - awesome!

Oh boy. Usually the editing glitches would mean that I rate this module down. And e.g. a certain archmage's plot-thread has not been addressed. But the sheer amount of loose ends being tied in this module is AWESOME. The Tyrant-sandbox is glorious and something only all too rarely seen. The final battle is brilliant.

This module is epic and ranks among the finest final installments of any AP I've ever read. The power of the foes arrayed, the amount of consequences the PCs face - all these made me grin and want more - and look forward to Throne of Night. Since part 2 of the AP, not a single installment has had me that excited, that euphoric, that delighted by offering something truly different - at levels not usually supported by APs. Cool, deadly and truly a book centering on being villainous, I only wished more space in the overall AP would have been devoted to doing such things. Running Talingarde - for better or for worse for the villains is a sufficiently epic change of pace before a final confrontation of insane difficulty. If I had one complaint regarding the narrative, it would be the magical gizmo-stealth of Belinda. At least offering a chance to take down the solar or the dragon would have been more prudent in my mind - but then again, this is not about being fair. This is about reaping what was sown - and Fire Mountain Games, in spite of the scarce bookmarks and editing glitches, for this stellar module, reaps 5 stars + seal of approval for being innovative, cool and providing a joyous read that will have you cackle with glee - just remember that the fires of hell are waiting to claim you and that failure is not an option in the eyes of the dark lord...

Endzeitgeist out.


The PCs have finally become true masters of evil...but to what end?

*****

It is said that all evil needs to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That may be true, but what about when good men (and women…and dragons, celestials, and so many more) do, in fact, do something? Can evil still be triumphant then? That’s the question that has been posed throughout the Way of the Wicked adventure path, from Fire Mountain Games, and the final answer is presented in the sixth and final book in the series, The Wages of Sin.

The Wages of Sin is presented in three files: the main book, a printer-friendly version thereof, and a set of player handouts. The player handouts are, for the most part, maps with the GM-only information removed, though one illustration is there too. The counterparts, with the GM information added, are found in the main book.

The printer-friendly file is the main file down to a “T,” save for turning the page borders into grayscale and removing the page backgrounds. This may sound like a lot, but it still preserves all of the interior illustrations, all in full color. I maintain that this detracts from the “printer-friendly” part of the equation, especially since several of these illustrations take up an entire page (though, to be fair, that does mean you can skip over those pages altogether).

It’s on that note that I do need to talk about the illustrations again. Michael Clarke’s talent is on full display once again, with a large number of full-color illustrations, many of which, as noted, take up an entire page. The artwork here is gorgeous, enough so that I wish that there was a separate file of just the art so that it could be shown to the players without needing to let them see the accompanying text (on the non-full-page illustrations, I mean). Heck, I just wish that there was an artbook of this material for its own sake.

The main file is just over a hundred pages long. While it does allow for copy-and-pasting the text, and there are bookmarks present, said bookmarks are to each of the book’s major sections only; there are no nested bookmarks to go to sub-sections, which is a shame.

The Wages of Sin opens with the usual introduction from the author, which is noteworthy this time because he talks about the issue of how to end the campaign; specifically, he calls into question whether you want to end on a note of evil victorious or evil undone, and discusses, albeit briefly, the pros and cons of each, insofar as what your players would like. I was actually somewhat impressed with this, since it brings up what I think is an interesting distinction in how the campaign ending can be approached – whether from a more personal point of view (e.g. “I don’t want my character to be defeated while on the cusp of total victory!”) or from a more poetic, narrative standpoint (e.g. “and so our PCs’ evil finally catches up to them, and they earn their just deserts.”). It’s an interesting dichotomy to consider.

The adventure background presents, well…the background for the adventure. More specifically, it goes over some of the things that have been happening outside the PCs knowledge to set things into motion, which isn’t unbelievable despite having five books’ worth of material behind them at this point. More specifically, we get the background on what Princess Bellinda (the last, best hope for Talinguarde) has been up to, and the information about the here-to-fore unknown Sixth Knot.

We then move on to the first major section of the book, which takes place shortly after the PCs successfully overthrew their master at end of the previous adventure. Now, the PCs are in charge…or are they? In fact, being in command is more than just having thrown off the shackles of servitude; it means actually taking control of the existing operation, enforcing their will on their comrades in evil, and keeping the late Cardinal Thorn’s plans on track.

Several events in this section focus on just that, as the PCs need to deal with the various factions remaining in the service of Hell, ending the “threat” of the humanoid army marching towards the capital, and then formally assuming control of the nation. Several of the events here revolve around existing NPCs that the PCs have dealt with before, and the author does a fairly good job of noting not only how these scenarios could play out based on what the PCs have done before now, but how they still could depending on what the PCs do.

My major complaint about this section was the sidebar near the end on why Princess Bellinda can’t be discovered and hunted down prematurely by the PCs. It’s not necessarily that she has a mcguffin item that makes her impossible to find, it’s that this is plainly acknowledged by the text, rather than giving her mcguffin stats. While all adventure paths are railroads to some degree, the major draw of this last adventure is that after so long being under the command of another, the PCs are now free to do what they want. This freedom is, for the most part, celebrated in this adventure…except where Bellinda is concerned. The text about her artifact makes it clear that there’s nothing the PCs can do to find her, and so the endgame can’t be tampered with (very much). It strikes me as a bit of a cop-out; at least give the thing game mechanics so that it’s conceivable, if unlikely, that the player-characters could have a chance of overcoming it.

Act two is the real meat of the book, being fully half of its page-count. It’s here that the PCs are at their pinnacle of glory. They are now in command of the nation that once condemned them; this section is given to all of the things that they can do – and that they must do – now that Talinguard is theirs. While various points in the campaign have been fairly open-ended in what the PCs could do, this is the largest the sandbox has ever been in the Way of the Wicked.

For one thing, the PCs are given several years of game time to indulge themselves. Over this, thirty different events are presented. Some of these are things that the PCs can do for themselves (do you want to legalize prostitution? How about the slave trade?), while others are things that happen during the course of their reign (e.g. assassins!). Insightfully, these events are set to take up set blocks of time, making them easy to adjudicate during the PCs’ rule over Talinguarde.

What really makes these events stand out is their scope. While some of these are issues of domestic policy, such as whether or not to erect temples to Asmodeus, others are much more grand. Do the PCs want to send their army to the north and wipe out the remaining humanoids (and other creatures) there, conquering the whole island? What about opening trade with foreign nations? There are many things the PCs can do to reshape the political and social lay of the land as they desire. As a bonus, there are almost two dozen additional actions that are specifically meant for the PCs minions (using the rules first introduced in the second adventure).

Event three is where it all starts to fall apart. Bellinda is back, and depending on how the PCs ran things, the degree to which the domestic populace flocks to her banner can vary wildly. Only a half-dozen events are here, and some of these are fairly low-key events like tallying up the respective sizes of the PCs army versus the Princess’s. Several individuals play out their last scenes, and the stage is pretty well set by the time things are ended here.

The fourth event is the finale to everything, as the two major armies clash. The PCs’ main opponents here are Bellinda and her immediate retinue, set against the backdrop of the battle. The bulk of this section discusses the battlefield itself, and the hefty stat blocks for the good guys, each one taking up about a page.

Somewhat disappointingly, what’s here doesn’t quite seem to tie together as strongly as I would have liked. For example, there’s several paragraphs of discussion given to the nature of the terrain on the battlefield, but the practical context of this (e.g. what happens if the PCs try to march their army through disadvantageous terrain) isn’t discussed. Likewise, the book uses a numerical score as a shorthand for determining the strength of the PCs’ army versus Bellinda’s…but while the results of this score are indicated clearly, it’s only in terms of how the setup looks, and not the actual outcome (e.g. you can read that score X means that your army outnumbers Bellinda’s four to one…but that doesn’t mean that you win).

The outcome appears to be entirely predicated on whether or not the PCs can kill Bellinda and her retinue, the lynchpin of the final battle. Hence, this seems to make the preceding sections somewhat superfluous. Whether the PCs have their army avoid the rough terrain, or whether or not their forces are a match for Bellinda’s army…all seems to come to naught, regardless of the final outcomes. What matters is this one last fight, and as that goes, so does the final battle. It’s a very poor integration of the wider implications for the PCs large-scale tactical knowledge, and the practical ramifications of how they conducted themselves as rulers of the nation.

A single-page epilogue is given next. It’s surprisingly poignant, allowing each player a turn to write their character’s final impact on the campaign, before the GM brings the curtain down. I was slightly surprised at the tone of finality here; I’m much more used to how Paizo gives us an entire section at the end of each of their adventure paths devoted to what you can do to continue the campaign, if you and your players are so inclined. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by that, but I find the absence of such a section here to be somewhat disappointing. Three or four meaty adventure hooks, and a CR 20+ stat block for some future foe, could have made for some very interesting material for enterprising GMs.

Several new evil spells and magic items appear next, courtesy of Jason Bulmahn. A sidebar addresses the irony of virtually none of these (save for one item) appearing in the adventure itself; of course, that’s somewhat expected, since the PCs are likely to be the one using these. What’s far more interesting, however, is the campaign timeline that’s presented as the last item in the book. This walks us through a chronological reading of the entire campaign, denoting which book the various events occur in, and what the PCs’ levels are, alongside dates and years. This really helps to lay down the feeling that this is a campaign that takes some time, as by the end of it over five years have passed. This chronology was far more interesting than I’d have suspected.

One thing I haven’t noted thus far is that the book does have some errors that crop up periodically, which is irking. For example, I noticed several spelling and grammatical errors throughout the book; not many, but enough. Likewise, some stat blocks had errors in them. While this can’t be helped much when you’re facing such high-level creatures, things like incorrect CRs were a recurring problem.

Of course, these don’t detract from the adventure very much at all. It’s here that wickedness reaches its fullest flower, and your PCs get to enjoy it greatly. They’ve become not only mover and shakers, but at last have reached their full potential as conquerors and tyrants, and they get to enjoy all that comes with it. This is the payoff that they’ve been working towards from the beginning of the campaign, and it’s in spades. If you and your group manage to get this far, you’ll have a great deal of fun reveling in The Wages of Sin.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Your long wait is over—Way of the Wicked #6 PDF now available, and print/PDF bundle up for preorder!


Thanks for the heads up. Already downloaded and ordered. Now off to read the bad-goodness.


Pre-ordered! Huzzah!


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Out at last! We hope everyone enjoys the thrilling conclusion of Pathfinder's only villainous adventure path.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Hooray! I'm so excited for book 6, I've loved every other WotW book so far! Just need to wait until payday. Congrats to Gary and the rest of Fire Mountain Games on finishing it! :D


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Finally!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Great!

Any chance of a bound copy of all six installments together at some point? I've opted for PDFs along the way, but for a print copy of the whole thing I'd happily cough up more cash. Especially if it came with a little bonus artwork.


A compilation is something we've certainly tossed around, but for now there are no definite plans. These books are only available individually.

But yeah, if we ever do a reissue, there are definitely some issues I'd like to fix and expansions I'd like to make.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Now I can say it openly: Tyranny Sandbox.

Enjoy, my friends. Enjoy.

Doug M.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

How long before this becomes available to those of us who subscribed on DriveThruRPG?


Justin,

Should be today. I've submitted it to DriveThruRPG and as quickly as they approve it, I'll add it to the subscription.

Gary


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Hooray!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Justin,

Should be today. I've submitted it to DriveThruRPG and as quickly as they approve it, I'll add it to the subscription.

Gary

Excellent! I'm very interested to see how this ends. :D


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

Any word on when print copies of the other books will come off backorder?

edit: Just saw this

Webstore Gninja Minion

mordion wrote:

Any word on when print copies of the other books will come off backorder?

edit: Just saw this

I'm expecting a restock of printed books Soon(TM).


I have already read most of book VI.

This is wonderful. A great finishing for a great campaign.

THIRTY events, that may or may not happen depending on the Players choices? That's crazy

Best.AP.Ever.

Silver Crusade

Purchased, can't wait to dig into it!

Dark Archive

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

Love the cover any chance of getting a copy of it without the writing?


Like others I'm just waiting for it to be added to my subscription pack for supporting the Kickstarter. I honestly cant wait to read this adventure, I hope Throne of the night will turn out to be just as badass.


Gustavo,

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed it.

Kevin,

Perhaps. Let me talk to my artist and see what we can do. Just out of curiosity, would you be interested in a poster or print of that cover?

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Dark Archive

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

Either would be fine.


Wow.
The last battle can only be described as "epic".

Bellinda, Antharia, Phaethysa and Brontes. That's what I call a croup of epic good "adventurers".

Given the fact that the weakest of the four is

Spoiler:
A TITAN!!

it's hard to come with something more epic.

I'll check mythic rules before we finish the campaign. If the rules are good (the Playtest rules are not), this battle surely call for it.


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Out at last! We hope everyone enjoys the thrilling conclusion of Pathfinder's only villainous adventure path.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Hey, so long as you didn't pull something like "all the villains get killed at the end by Mitra when he descends on them in his wrath" or the like, I very much doubt that we'll be disappointed.

And YAY, IT'S HERE!

I beg whoever gets this, please share the juicy details!


wow...I read through this adventure..I can honestly say that I shed a few tears at the very end of the adventure.

Grand Lodge

I haven't read the whole thing through yet, but this is going to be a monster of an AP for the us poor GMs. So much to keep up with, make note of, etc. This could end up being a lot of paperwork.

Grand Lodge

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Major question regarding Grumblejack.

Spoiler:
Why is his CR 18? The math doesn't add up at all. Also, what's Exalted and how does that affect him, if at all? He's an ogre (CR 3) fighter 10 (+10 CR) half-fiend (+3 CR). That's 16, not 18. Even if you give him PC wealth, that's still only 17.

Grand Lodge

Just finished the book. CRAZY! I'm glad I'm just the GM.


And now it's time for me to bug Gary once again when the print's finally ready. ;P

Kidding aside, immensely looking forward to this one!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

the table of contents bookmark goes to the introduction

page 27
there are seven crisis, but in Talingarde's might score it says sixth and final

page 30
in time it says 1 month, in the second column it says 3 months

page 47
visiting Farholde is not event eight, it's event eighteen

page 68
event twent one -> twenty one

page 70
event four: wickedness they will stop to -> stoop to
bellinda will here none of this -> would hear none of that

Is it just me or does the module seem to expect and and even encourage the PCs to behave as CE barbarian savages and not LE tyrant overlords?

It talks everywhere of the fall of house Darius, although presenting the new king as a darian scion was stated as the best bet to claim the throne.

I think I like the final book, but I'll have to reread it to be sure. All the fights except the final and maybe the bandersnatch strike me as pretty easy.


Amaranthine Witch wrote:

Is it just me or does the module seem to expect and and even encourage the PCs to behave as CE barbarian savages and not LE tyrant overlords?

I don't think so. Why do you feel it?

I don't see anything that Thrune wouldn't had done in Cheliax
Quote:


It talks everywhere of the fall of house Darius, although presenting the new king as a darian scion was stated as the best bet to claim the throne.
It gives several options. The most obvious is Vastenus Barca. It also gives several options about House Darius. The PC are not going to do alll the 30 events, it depends on their actions
Quote:

I think I like the final book, but I'll have to reread it to be sure. All the fights except the final and maybe the bandersnatch strike me as pretty easy.

The fights are pretty easy. If they weren't you couldn't have that much fights, because of XP budgets. It happens through the whole AP, in this and other advetures. I don't use XP anymore, I find them an anachronysm. I level up the party in the right moments. So I can raise the difficulty of the encounters without rewarding more XP *evilgrin*. However, I find it is right that the PC overwhelm some encounters. They ARE level 20. They SHOULD destroy most opponents easy. Not every single half-arsed knight they face can be lvl 20 only because they are. The AP makes a great job making interesting challenges to a 20th level party, in my opinion. The best one I've seen published. Lots of the events aren't solved by PC force. They are militar challenges, political issues, things they have to do as Governors, and not encounters they can solve with Time Stop and Gate a Pit fiend. The resistance, for example. Or the Knights chapter house. Sure, the PC can OBLITERATE those with a single spell (or without spells, for that matter). I doubt honestly that those encounters could simply HIT a 20th level PC. Nor that it matters. The challenge in those events is to FIND the resistance and to DISCOVER the secrets of the Chapter House.

It's like Superman. The interesting stories about superman, are those where he can't simply use superspeeed and heat vision to crush any oponent he faces. I like this book, a LOT. Because it is damn hard do build interesting stories for 20th level characters.


Amaranthine Witch wrote:

Is it just me or does the module seem to expect and and even encourage the PCs to behave as CE barbarian savages and not LE tyrant overlords?

I'd say it's just you. The module gives the PCs a wide array of options. They can certainly play as CE. They can also play as LN. I don't think it really encourages one or the other. It does encourage your PCs to be *evil*, but that's right on the label, yeah? They're encouraged to be brutal, selfish tyrants who crush all resistance and rule by terror. That's the "evil" part. Whether they do it in an organized and structured manner or just lash out randomly and whimsically is up to them.

Doug M.


I don't even see Chaotic Evil options, to be honest. The PC could go CE, if they want, but it is not something that the AP encourages.

They can go any range around LE, which is the majority of the suggested events. Some of them are even LN (like the

Spoiler:
Dwarven vs Duergar issue, if you go Dwarven route
). Most of them are LE (like reintroduction of Slavery or legalization of brothels). Some are NE (egoistic use of some resources for personal gain). But I don't see random destruction, whimsical chaos and burning down the kingdom for no reasons.

Sure, they can do a lot of villain things against the Church of Mitra, the rebels, or old House Darian. But that's *revenge*. And revenge is a very highly praised virtue for Lawful Evil. It's not like the AP suggest the PC should assault random nobles (the opposite way. It suggest things you can do to gain their service or corrupt some of them, something really LE too. Devils corrupt. Demons obliterate.). It suggest the PC anhilate the remnats of House Darian, the Mitran clergy, or Knights of Alarion (with more or less subtetly, depending on the PC attitude). But that's something that any self-respecting LE will do.

I don't thing anyone can envision a LE evil lord conquering a realm and sparing the life of their much hatred ancient foes. Duergar won't spare the life of Dwarves if they conquer a kingdom. A Pit Fiend won't spare the life of Angels if they conquer a portion of Heaven.

Grand Lodge

As with my previous question, can anyone explain why Grumblejack's now "Exalted"? And why his CR is what it is?


*sighs* I broke down and bought the PDF copy, I'll just have to also buy the print version when I can.

Just a few points:

1) When they said 'tyranny sandbox' they weren't kidding! Wow but you can really mess Talingarde up if you want. Or of course, make it even mightier, what with

Spoiler:
options to recruit the Yutak, conquer the Ice Elves and bring these savages into your army (note to self, get that People of the North book for Pathfinder), bring back the great dwarven kingdom (oh, I am SO happy to see that option; I love the idea of an Asmodean dwarf helping to bring the Mitrans to their knees!... So he can look them in the face), conquer the Iraen, and so forth.
Kind of a shame that they didn't give us either (a) on option on making the east coast a pirate haven again and (b) how to use the knowledge in Eiramanthus' Library to bring some high technology into your new kingdom of evil, but we got plenty, and it's not like those would be hard to extrapolate from what we got.

2) That final battle! Yikes! Not just the sorceress princess, but

Spoiler:
her advanced silver wyrm mother, complete with mithral barding(!), a titan, and at least one and maybe TWO solars?
No wonder we get a 'what if the villains lose?' option.

3) Great assortment of new spells and magic items! Okay, I'd have loved to see some more, but there are probably at least a dozen other PDFs here on Paizo that can be referenced for potential Asmodean goodies o' evil.

4) I loved the 'whatever happens too...' arrangement with the NPCs. We discover what becomes of Sakkarot, Sir Richard, Grumblejack, and so many others. Heck, even the minions get some attention (with almost 2 dozen new missions and tasks for them; something that delighted me to see). Plenty of opportunities for self serving treachery all around!

Great finish to the campaign, and I am looking forward to 'Throne of Night'.

Grand Lodge

So will the print be available before the 10% off code expires on 28th Feb....


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I found the book pack full of WOW. it is really great. i read the book and talked to my players about meta-game. lol they nearly killed me about allowing good to win in the end. so i will allow the dice to fall as they may but "evil laugh" the good guys are alsome i love the ring even if they defeat the good guys they have the finial boss to fight
thank you for a trully alsome book. that is true evil
if Throne of night is half as good as this AP yiu got your self a follower

Webstore Gninja Minion

mach1.9pants wrote:
So will the print be available before the 10% off code expires on 28th Feb....

The discount applies at the time of order, so we'd have to have some in-stock before next week, which is not likely to happen.

Grand Lodge

Thought so, ah well.


Eric Hinkle wrote:


2) That final battle! Yikes! Not just the sorceress princess, but ** spoiler omitted **

I had a suggestion for making that fight even crazier, but I think it wasn't incorporated into the final version -- likely would have made things too weird, and running the battle even more insanely complex. Oh well, next time.

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:


2) That final battle! Yikes! Not just the sorceress princess, but ** spoiler omitted **

I had a suggestion for making that fight even crazier, but I think it wasn't incorporated into the final version -- likely would have made things too weird, and running the battle even more insanely complex. Oh well, next time.

Doug M.

You could always say it here :)

At the very least it can serve as inspirarion


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:


2) That final battle! Yikes! Not just the sorceress princess, but ** spoiler omitted **

I had a suggestion for making that fight even crazier, but I think it wasn't incorporated into the final version -- likely would have made things too weird, and running the battle even more insanely complex. Oh well, next time.

Doug M.

I'd like to see it myself!

Oh, and I hate to be a jerk, but: in book 4 we are told about Tiberius Feign, the archmage who

Spoiler:
made the mithral golem that defends Princess Bellinda
. There's a suggested side adventure where you can enter his workshop to get some hints and magical tools to defeat his creation.

We were also told in book 4 that you'd have a chance to recruit him in this book, presumably to create a magical school in the new and improved Talingarde (and if you failed, he'd help the Princess against you); but he gets no mention whatever. Does anyone have any guidelines for how to handle this event?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:


2) That final battle! Yikes! Not just the sorceress princess, but ** spoiler omitted **

I had a suggestion for making that fight even crazier, but I think it wasn't incorporated into the final version -- likely would have made things too weird, and running the battle even more insanely complex. Oh well, next time.

Doug M.

I'd love to hear what it was. I'm thinking of going all out epic for the final, FINAL encounter after this one if my PCs survive.

Time to Repent:
Mitra is displeased with how things have turned out and sends down an emissary to relay a message to the PCs. It'll be an aeon. Particularly, a Pleroma.

Opening the scroll, the Pleroma Aeon speaks:

"You are true villains indeed. I see this now. While I have regrettably failed to keep Talingarde safely out of your hands, I know too well now the depths of what you are capable of, and I cannot allow your travesties to defile this island any longer, nor can I allow any more to be corrupted or fall by your hand. I give you three days to repent your sins, once and for all. Step down and let Talingarde be restored to its former glory. No more unnecessary blood need be shed. Do not dirty your souls anymore than they already are. Do not drag anyone else to your level of debauchery and illmoraled ways. I offer you this chance. Leave the Dark Prince, and worship me. Like, Sir Richard of Havelyn, I will help you see the light and allow you into my kingdom after your rediscovering. However, continue your ways, or ignore my mercy, and I will show you the true extent of my power. This is your one and only warning."

With that, the aeon rolls up the scroll, and is ready to leave after answering any questions the PCs might have as to how they would be expected to repent. Destroying the Asmodeus temples, destroying their unholy symbols, and fasting and praying to Mitra for forgiveness, are just a few examples of what they could do. Using True Resurrection on Bellinda and allowing her to be the Queen would be yet another idea. If they have nothing, or more importantly they wish to fight, the aeon is only too happy to oblige them their destruction. He will fight to the death.

In three days time, if the PCs refuse to accept Mitra's mercy, he has no choice but to unleash the only creature that should never be awoken from its slumber. He hopes that only the corrupt and defiled are taken out by this monstrosity, and not the few innocents left on the island. Maybe someday the people will forgive him for having to use his one and only ace in the hole.

Known only in ancient legend, "The Destructor", is an apocalyptic being that will rise from the heart of the Savage North, buried for an untold millennia. No one really knows where it originally came from except a few of the elder gods. Cast down into the ground, with the hope that it'd never again see the light of day, this unforgiving creature of destruction was put into what was to be an eternal slumber. Mitra knows of it though. Knows of its power. He also knows that there is no going back now. He would rather see Talingarde destroyed and it someday rebuilt from the ground up, than be forever tainted and eventually become part of Hell itself. At least this way the people of the island have a chance at redemption. As it stands now, they have none.

"The Destructor" is a tarrasque. However, it's not just any regular tarrasque. This has been brought back to this world with the power of Mitra. It's an advanced half-celestial tarrasque (CR 29). On top of that, it is female and has with her, a dozen young. This, Mitra did not know, and is now feeling some regret over what he's done. Because they were nursing from their mother at the time of their slumber, and were still there during Mitra's summoning them, they too became empowered by the same power as their mother (CR 20). The baby tarrasques use the same statistics as a juvenile bronze dragon with the following changes: Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 12, no fly speed except for what the template gives it, no breath weapon, regeneration 10, and a gore attack that does 1d8+3. They lose the dragon spells and spell-like abilities, but gain back the spell-like ability control water 3/day as a 15th level caster.

If the Pleroma Aeon still somehow lives, he is nearby watching the tarrasque and its young hopefully destroy the villainous regime of Asmodeus. If the PCs ever gain the upper hand, the aeon will assist the tarrasques.

If the villains somehow to still manage to defeat this, the pinnacle of Mitra's power, he rescinds. The power of Asmodeus is truly too powerful and too well rooted in Talingarde. He only hopes that their evil remains on the island, and doesn't carry over to the mainland. If that should happen, it's very unlikely that anyone could put up much of a challenge against the villainous threat, and the entire world might very well be consumed by Hell itself.

Grand Lodge

Eric Hinkle wrote:

I'd like to see it myself!

Oh, and I hate to be a jerk, but: in book 4 we are told about Tiberius Feign, the archmage who ** spoiler omitted **. There's a suggested side adventure where you can enter his workshop to get some hints and magical tools to defeat his creation.

We were also told in book 4 that you'd have a chance to recruit him in this book, presumably to create a magical school in the new and improved Talingarde (and if you failed, he'd help the Princess against you); but he gets no mention whatever. Does anyone have any guidelines for how to handle this event?

YEAH! I totally forgot about that.


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kevin_video wrote:
YEAH! I totally forgot about that.

D'oh! Me too. Hmmm...its certainly not a major plot point. Tiberius is barely mentioned.

But yes, in Ghastenhall you should be able to either recruit him or slay him to get him out of the way.

Heh, I'll write up an optional sidequest about him sometime in the future.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

In addition to my previous topic "Time to Repent", another optional epic final battle for the subject "What Comes After?"

Through the Looking Glass:
Mitra's forces have been decimated. There is truly nothing left in this realm that can defeat our villains. And this is true. There is nothing left, in this realm.

Ages ago, back when the great wyrm silver dragon, Antharia Regina, was still just an old adult dragon, she was one of the many dragons who had the misfortunate of meeting Razzia the Ruin, a lesser jabberwock. He had come from another world to destroy Talingarde simply because it suited him. Chaos and destruction were his creed. Together with the combined powers of the other dragons, including that of an adult Eiramanthus, and a reluctant very old Chargammon, the combined effort was enough to drive Razzia away, but not without a great number of casualties. 'For all eternity', was what they thought when he finally disappeared back to his plane. He surely couldn't be mad enough to come back a second time. That likely would have been the case if it wasn't for our villains. Their final sin. With the exception of Chargammon, and Jeratheon, they personally took out the very protectors that had at least made him reluctant to return. Now that they're no longer here, he has no reason to stay away.

Razzia has been biding his time. His scars from the battle with the other dragons took its toll, and still ache when he looks at them. He's trained for this day. He is now an advanced jabberwork (CR 24). He is no longer weak like he was back then. Talingarde will burn to the ground. That much was always certain. There won't even be ashes if he can pull it off. He had hoped to also get revenge against the last three dragons and their offspring while he was at it, but it seems that someone has already beaten him to it. That's fine, he'll be content enough with just Chargammon's insipid child. And if he can destroy the ones that took down the others, then he'd truly know that his power was without equal once more. With him, he has a small band of six lesser jabberwocks (CR 20), a gift from the unknowable godlike entities that dwell in his realm.

During his time back in his world, Razzia was forced to reflect on his one and only defeat. It was something he couldn't stand, and refused to accept. Unsure of what to do, he decided to look for answers. Try to find his purpose. For decades he searched for some kind of sign, through prayer, fasting, whatever he thought would work. There, he found the strange creators of the Tane. Intrigued by the plight of the jabberwork, they told him of how they only ever created ones such as him as they were needed. Razzia pleaded with them that what they created was no strong enough. That he required more power. That he required more of his kind to match their numbers. They agreed and gave him what he wanted.

Now ready, he strikes, and woe to anyone who dares stand in his way of his fun.


I have a sneaking suspicion that my party will not be satisfied with the absolute slaughter of all Mitra's servants in Talingarde. From the mutterings coming from the table, they actually want to kill Mitra! (Plus two of them want to become Gods!)

Not sure how I can resolve this without them feeling cheated!

Grand Lodge

Mirrel the Marvelous wrote:

I have a sneaking suspicion that my party will not be satisfied with the absolute slaughter of all Mitra's servants in Talingarde. From the mutterings coming from the table, they actually want to kill Mitra! (Plus two of them want to become Gods!)

Not sure how I can resolve this without them feeling cheated!

Well, it'll never actually happen, that's for sure. Kind of like the same way that the party will never get to personally see Asmodeus walk the island. Gods don't get personally involved. The absolute best they can hope for is an avatar, at most. If you really want to go for it, I'd suggest having him be an elite solar cleric with six arms. Check out Obah-Blessed. You want to be truly evil, have them off against the True Solar. That'll learn 'em.

As for the characters becoming gods, there's a 3.5 legend that you can use, but it'll likely happen out of game. You'll just need to change up when it happens (3.5 feat progression vs. Pathfinder feat progression).


Fire Mountain Games wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
YEAH! I totally forgot about that.

D'oh! Me too. Hmmm...its certainly not a major plot point. Tiberius is barely mentioned.

But yes, in Ghastenhall you should be able to either recruit him or slay him to get him out of the way.

Heh, I'll write up an optional sidequest about him sometime in the future.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Great to hear!


Excellent end to an excellent campaign. Really wants to arrive there with my party (we are on the laberynth garden of book III). Just want to say one specific think: I LOVE the character of Sakkaroth Fire-Axe. One truly magnificent monster warmaster. Indeed, I make Sakkaroth my Charr Warrior alter on Guild Wars 2.


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One thing I'd try to add somehow during the three years, is some sidequest or event that involves the Endless Winter.

Endless had become something tangible in my campaign. With Elise Zadaria believe in it, and then

Spoiler:
betraying the knots for its further glory
, and the constant, almost magic winter I have described beyond the wall, it has developed some personality that I'd like to see.

When the PC pacify the north, if they do, they'll have to face some kind of embodiment of Endless Winter. If they don't, somewhere in the middle of the summer during the Reign of Asmodeus, they'll find that The Winter is Coming (duh!).

I'm open to suggestions about the encounter. I'm thinking about a huge, living sleet storm (like the spell), with several KM of radius, that hinder fly and spellcasting (as per Concentration rules), and in the middle of it, the Endless Winter itself. Unless somebody has a better suggestion, it'll be a Colossal Ice Elemental with 32 HD, ability to fly, and Spell Resistance 32, Ice Strike as an At-will spell-like ability.

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