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Pathfinder Adventure Path #103: The Hellfire Compact (Hell's Vengeance 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #103: The Hellfire Compact (Hell's Vengeance 1 of 6) (PFRPG)
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All Hell Breaks Loose!

The Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path begins with "The Hellfire Compact," an exciting new adventure in which the players take the roles of evil characters in the diabolical empire of Cheliax! A paladin of Iomedae and knight-errant of the Glorious Reclamation comes to the town of Longacre, inspiring the citizens to join the uprising against the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune. First as amoral mercenaries, then as retainers of the wicked archbaron of Longacre, the evil adventurers must move quickly to put down the insurgency and keep the town from falling to the knight's rebellion.

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path and includes:

  • "The Hellfire Compact," a Pathfinder adventure for 1st-level characters, by F. Wesley Schneider.
  • A gazetteer of Longacre, the small town in Cheliax that serves as the setting for this adventure, by F. Wesley Schneider.
  • Details on the Glorious Reclamation, a knightly order dedicated to Iomedae that sparks the events of this campaign, by Rob McCreary.
  • Magical mayhem and ill tidings from afar in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Josh Vogt.
  • A bestiary of frightful new monsters, by Paris Crenshaw, Mikko Kallio, and Jason Keeley.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-818-2

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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Product Reviews (9)
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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 9 ratings)

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But I want to be evil my way! ... No you can't. We're LAWFUL evil here

***( )( )

What I like is the nice and detailed town of Longacre with all the characters that populate it.

The NPCs are nicely fleshed out with their motivations and background.

The history of the Glorious Reclamation opposing the Thrice Damned House of Thrune gives an interesting context.

The art is wonderful as it is in most of the paizo books.

But the first and foremost advice about playing the adventure - as written in the adventure - is: Don't be a jerk! Well, I thought being a jerk is an essential part of being evil. Killing your companions might be a tad too much, but people who can't differentiate between their player friend who they like and his in game character, who steals from their character for the fun of it, should stay with heroic APs. Just my 2cent worth.

But it doesn't stop there. If you take Rise of the Runelord for example, you start with a fair and one page later you are leaving a trail of blood and dead bodies all through the book. As good heroes.

Here, as evil characters, we got through half the book without killing anyone, because we're not supposed to. Every NPC quest giver whines about only roughing them up.

When I think about playing evil I think of Bonnie&Clyde. This is not it. Here you are at the lowest end of a LE Kingdom and have to adhere to the whims of those ordering you around. It's like it was written by a paladin who wanted to rub it in, that being evil is no fun at all.

Or maybe I'm not evil enough to understand that I shouldn't care about what the adventure wants and should go marauding and killing through town anyway... muhahahaha.

Real bad AP start, get's better.

***( )( )

maps, enemies and Starting town are great.

No motivation to start the first mission beyond money and "just do it!".

Only easily playable for lawful evil characters.
Chaotic and neutral evil characters may have a hard time cooperating.

All in all the worst AP start of all.
Way of the Wicked is far superior.

Pretty good, but...

***( )( )

... the opening is a bit of a jolt, and also presumes a great deal about the motivation of your collection of scumbag ne'er-do-wells. For a scratch group, I wouldn't mind, but considering the way the campaign traits work, motivating the PCs for

a grubby little heist that may not even pay as much as trait choices start you with
can involve a fair bit of GM editing.

But if you're fired up to play the bad guys, things rapidly get more nuanced. There's a rebellion to crush for the Evil Empire, and you're just the guys to do it!

However, the conclusion can be a bit jarring if the essentially awful nature of life in Cheliax is glossed over, and some of the NPC interactions feel a mite... forced.

Worth a go if you want to try your hand at being evil, but be prepared for some extra work on the sidelines.

While marketed as "any kind of evil," in practice, only the more subtle forms of Chaotic Evil seem likely to do terribly well- there's some room for flexing it, but a solid bank of Lawful Evil or a few Neutral Evil opportunists seems the best fit.

Excited to see the rest!

****( )

+ Characters are not one dimensional on either side. I really like that the antagonists are profoundly good guys, but are not some paragons of virtue without blame. Same thing with friendly npcs.
+ The little twists in the story are good, especially the one at the beginning and the one near the end. These work really well in the story.
+ There's a really heart-tugging moment in the adventure that can come out of nowhere and can make the players not ready for such feel surprised. I love that.
+ Hard battles ahead!

- "Villain" of the piece while is good, he can feel bit estranged. There is one character that is more of villain with all the build up, but is not the main bad guy.
- Events are fun, but I can see that the periods of reacting to events and getting orders can be a strain on the characters not in the Lawful end of the alingment pool. Though only time will tell what the Anti-paladin of the party will think of all this.

Overall: Great, I love this. Already excited to run this in the future. The Western-aesthetic can be seen and works definitely on it's advantage.

But dogs? Yeesh, you guys are evil.

Gathrix's Review of Hellfire Compact

***( )( )

I have played or GMed most of Paizo's APs so I was very excited to hear that an evil campaign had been developed. Here is my review.

So far the AP seems like it has all the basic elements from the classics going all the way back to Rise of the Runelords. However, considering the characters are coming from a mainly Lawful Evil background (or should if they know what's good for them!) the first chapter might require some tweaking to get the more Lawful characters of the group a decent hook.

My only other gripe so far is that there is no archetypes offered in the Player's Guide, and not much offered in the way of would be Hamatulatsu monks. I was happy to see the traits for the Hellknight aspirants though.

I am currently running this as a PbP with some of my own additions[url=] The Road to Hell[url]

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