Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight (PFRPG)

***** (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight (PFRPG)
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Champions of Unwavering Law

Merciless, black-armored enforcers, Hellknights care nothing for good or evil, only their absolute, unflinching vision of law. In Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight, you'll join the ranks of Golarion's harshest champions of order—knights with ironclad discipline forged in the flames of Hell. Learn the ways of all the Hellknight orders, their true relationship with the legions of Hell, and how to tie your characters to one of Pathfinder's most fearsome organizations. Players and Game Masters can also lay claim to the complete Hellknight arsenal, from terrifying battle arts and grim equipment to the secrets of masked signifers' frontline magic. The Hellknights' unstoppable might is yours to command as you impose unshakable order—whatever the cost.

Among the grim secrets within you'll find:

  • Details about joining a Hellknight order, as well as a timeline of the orders' histories and a comprehensive look at the Measure and the Chain, the philosophies that guide these knights.
  • In-depth descriptions of the seven major Hellknight orders, including the brutal physical reckonings from which they draw great power.
  • An arsenal of feats, spells, and equipment these lawful crusaders typically use, plus class options such as the order of the Ennead Star cavalier order and new disciplines for the Hellknight prestige class.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-843-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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***** (based on 3 ratings)

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They ARE the law!

*****

So, my first attempt at writing a review when I got my copy got eaten by my computer.

My second attempt at a review got eaten by one of those pre-GenCon days when the Paizo site was acting a little odd.

With all the excitement of Gen Con and even getting to talk with Wes at the Paizo booth and geek out over this book and everything Hellknight...I guess I forgot to redo my super long review? I shall have to perform a pretty serious Reckoning for that kind of an offense, but gladly!

When the Inner Sea World Guide came out, I swore that no other Golarion-centric book would ever top that one as my favorite...well...apparently I need to do another Reckoning for blasphemy! Path of the Hellknight is just dripping with plot hooks and deep cuts of Golarion's unique bastions of law.

In my opinion, Hellknights are one of the things that makes the Golarion setting so unique compared to any other out there. Sure there are Paladins and Antipaladins upholding the extreme ends of the spectrum, but no other setting has a bulwark of law-above-all-else, and this book peels back the curtain on them to help the players and GMs of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting understand and experience them like never before.

This is my absolute #1 favorite book to have ever come out of Paizo, and I do not see that changing for a very, very long time!


A Mercilessly Good Read

*****

Hellknights are probably the Golarion-specific organization I've been most looking forward to reading about, and so I was really looking forward to release when this book was announced.

Happily, it doesn't disappoint. The overviews of the Hellknight orders are all interesting, and while it is true that they are all meant to be ultimately lawful, the different philosophies of each order are broad and varied enough that making heroes or villains belonging to the Hellknights doesn't require jumping through mental hoops to justify their alignments. Each order also comes with a smattering of options to add to a variety of classes, and serves to broaden the possible character builds that can call themselves Hellknights without necessarily having to take either of the Hellknight-centric prestige classes. My personal favorites are the Godclaw Mystery for oracles and the Faceless Enforcer archetype for the vigilante.

If this book does have a weakness it is the relative poverty of its items section. While there are a few items, and they are interesting and serve to help broaden options for Hellknights who don't feel like being heavily armored wrecking machines, the almost utter lack of any magic items, particularly weapons or armor, is noticeable and slightly disappointing. The magic spells, feats, and traits serve to soothe the sting slightly, but still.

Overall, if you are looking for adventure seeds, encounter ideas, or just background on one of the more iconic organizations in the Inner Sea, then this book is a must-have. If you are looking specifically for ways to be a Hellknight without having to play the armored tank, this book is a must-have. If you are searching for a treasure trove of Hell-themed and Hellknight-themed items this book may not be your first pick, but all in all is still definitely worth getting.


Excellent, and well worth the wait

*****

I'm really impressed with how much content this book included - I expected solid flavor (and got it), but the book is also full of amazing game content and written with an in-depth knowledge of the various options available across all of the product lines. The art is amazing - the lictor of the Pyre is one of my favorite Paizo pieces, and the art for the Godclaw's lictor is brilliant.

There's a lot of stuff I could see being great for any campaign, like Caster's Champion and Gate Breaker. Then there's the great Hellknight-specific options, like the Godclaw oracle mystery and the new Hellknight prestige class disciplines.

There are some minor disappointments. I wish the obedience boons had a method of early access, similar to that of the Inner Sea Gods prestige classes. I'd been hoping for unique content for the minor orders, especially the Scar and Coil.

All in all, though, an excellent book - well worth the price of admission. ^_^


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Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Order of the Scaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar! :D

Dark Archive

Hell yeah!

This is for the Hell's Vengeance path.


Well, technically it comes out around the time that AP will be finishing up.

But also, finally. Wanted something like this for a while.


Wonder why this isn't coming out for Hell's Veangence.
Seems like it would be the perfect supplement to those aspiring Hellknights.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
bigrig107 wrote:

Wonder why this isn't coming out for Hell's Veangence.

Seems like it would be the perfect supplement to those aspiring Hellknights.

Because there is more to The Hellknights than being a jack booted thug for the Cheliax Empire.

Also it is coming out in time for Hell's Vengence...in that people should not start running a AP till it is all out anyway.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

dot


1 person marked this as a favorite.

YAY!!! More HELLKNIGHTS!!!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sweet - been wanting some more meat to hellknights, rather than finding those two issues of Council of Thieves. Would like to know more about Pyre and the branch in Garund.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, its really nice to see more Hellknight material.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Hmm, I wonder if it will have anything on the Order of the Crux...


I am happy to see this one coming out. I've wanted to see extended information on te Hellknights for a long time. Thank you, Paizo!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope we get a nice spread showing all the variations on Hellknight armor, and rivalries. Also maybe hints at what is going on with the Order of the Gate, or how Hellknights have interacted with other orders of Knights.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I Plan on getting this book as I rather like the Hellknights

Editor-in-Chief

8 people marked this as a favorite.
John Kretzer wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

Wonder why this isn't coming out for Hell's Veangence.

Seems like it would be the perfect supplement to those aspiring Hellknights.

Because there is more to The Hellknights than being a jack booted thug for the Cheliax Empire.

Also it is coming out in time for Hell's Vengeance...in that people should not start running a AP till it is all out anyway.

There's PLEEEEEENTY of time for this to still be relevant to the end of the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path—particularly the issue that releases in the same month.

This might have been slated for earlier, but we bumped it back because I needed to finish volume one of this AP and can only write these things so fast, YOU. JACKALS.

Editor-in-Chief

Dragnmoon wrote:
Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?

Like, what did you have in mind?

Editor-in-Chief

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Hmm, I wonder if it will have anything on the Order of the Crux...

REJOICE! This will have more details on ALL of the Hellknight orders that you want!

Editor-in-Chief

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
I am happy to see this one coming out. I've wanted to see extended information on te Hellknights for a long time. Thank you, Paizo!

No, no. Thank YOU for being so enthusiastic!

Editor-in-Chief

David Neilson wrote:
I hope we get a nice spread showing all the variations on Hellknight armor, and rivalries. Also maybe hints at what is going on with the Order of the Gate, or how Hellknights have interacted with other orders of Knights.

Any particular other orders you're interested in?

Editor-in-Chief

Andrew Winder wrote:
I Plan on getting this book as I rather like the Hellknights

Good man.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?
Like, what did you have in mind?

what do you have in mind?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

All I know is my mind is aswirl of joy at more Hellknight info. :)

Editor-in-Chief

6 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?
Like, what did you have in mind?
what do you have in mind?

The fastest path to that answer involves the "Add to Cart" button. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really didn't care for Hell Knights, one way or the other, then I got Turn of the Torrent.

Bravo! A Hell Knight order I can totally relate to, and the armor! Yes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?
Like, what did you have in mind?
what do you have in mind?
The fastest path to that answer involves the "Add to Cart" button. ;)

I'm almost positive there's a couple of more steps after that, unless of course, you wanna pick up the tab ;-D


*feels like he can relate to Order of the Godclaw and Order of the Nail*

I haven't found much else other than the extinct order, Order of the Vice.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
I hope we get a nice spread showing all the variations on Hellknight armor, and rivalries. Also maybe hints at what is going on with the Order of the Gate, or how Hellknights have interacted with other orders of Knights.
Any particular other orders you're interested in?

Well Knights of Ozem, and the Eagle Knights strike me as ones most likely to come up. Also if they do anything related to the Mendevian Crusade, which being that its against the forces of Chaos (and Evil) would be something they would have at least academic interest in.


I think Wesley was saying more about the other HELLKNIGHT orders than Knightly Orders, David.

Though I freely admit I could be wrong.


On one hand, I hate the Hellknights, being the epitome of unforgiving law and all. On the other, I find a lot of the orders have an interesting story to them. Either way, I want this book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

*wants this book just because Hellknights are cool* :)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Psi-signifiers! Hellbringers! Hellmaster mounts!

Ahem.... actually more on Citadel Enferac and the Gate within would be awesome.

Actually Psi-signifiers would still be cool...Thanks!


I think psionics isn't probably going to be a huge part of Hellknights.

No idea about psychic magic or occult rules...


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Thomas,

I was referencing a certain British comic strip which the Hellknights refer to. See this thread which also forecast this book seven and a half years ago! All good things take time...


I know takes time. I'm still waiting for a HC of Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Regardless, I'm happy it's coming.

Dark Archive

Thomas Seitz wrote:

I know takes time. I'm still waiting for a HC of Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Regardless, I'm happy it's coming.

+1

I also want the "Curse of the Crimson Throne Anniversary Edition" to come out for Paizos 10th Anniversary in 2017 - that's next year!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

Wonder why this isn't coming out for Hell's Veangence.

Seems like it would be the perfect supplement to those aspiring Hellknights.

Because there is more to The Hellknights than being a jack booted thug for the Cheliax Empire.

Also it is coming out in time for Hell's Vengeance...in that people should not start running a AP till it is all out anyway.

There's PLEEEEEENTY of time for this to still be relevant to the end of the Hell's Vengeance Adventure Path—particularly the issue that releases in the same month.

This might have been slated for earlier, but we bumped it back because I needed to finish volume one of this AP and can only write these things so fast, YOU. JACKALS.

I'm also quite sure that the majority of players do not play adventure paths as they are coming out. So, saying that this products "comes out too late" seems a little silly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

More on Order of the God Claw please! I'm playing an Order of the God Claw Hellknight in Rise of the Runelords. :) He is loosely based upon Javert from Les Miserables. It's been a lot of fun.

This will be in my cart for sure, I like the Hellknights and find them intriguing.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Info on how the newer Occult classes may/may not fit into the organization would be awesome.

I would love to see traits that help various classes feel more "hellknight"...

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
Info on how the newer Occult classes may/may not fit into the organization would be awesome.

In particular, it'd be nice to see a way for psychic casters to become Hellknight signifiers - the way the class is currently written, it's virtually impossible and/or nonfunctional.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?
Like, what did you have in mind?

I would love more information on how a paladin is able to join a group knowing it supports an evil government and how a paladin is able to get around the paladin code. To me Hellknights and Paladins just don't mix and how there are Paladins in the Hellknights has just not been explained to my satisfaction.

As an example your opening line for the blurp of this book

"Merciless, black armored enforcers, Hellknights care nothing for good or evil, only the order’s absolute, unflinching vision of law."

does not fit what a paladin is. A paladin is more then just law they care about good and evil.


I wouldn't mind seeing an updated version of that 'Hellrider' PrC from an old issue of Wayfinder that allowed you to bring your cavalier into the Hellknights. And while I doubt there could be room for it, a Hellknight cavalier order would be very appreciated.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
I hope we get a nice spread showing all the variations on Hellknight armor, and rivalries. Also maybe hints at what is going on with the Order of the Gate, or how Hellknights have interacted with other orders of Knights.
Any particular other orders you're interested in?

What I would like to see is some of the differences between the Knights and the Signifers; ie, relations between the two aspects, do all Orders include Signifers, and what are the original class spreads amongst the two aspects (rangers vs fighters vs cavaliers and cleric vs wizard vs oracle, etc.)

As others have mentioned, I would love to see the Signifer PrC be updated to include psychic casters. Maybe a feat a la warrior priest that allows psychic casters to advance in their OG class with levels of Signifer.

Do we have art for all of the Order's symbols? Do the other orders have identifying tattoos? So far the Nail and the Scourge do.

I know you mentioned this will have info on all the orders. Does this include the orders that are no more?

I think a few pages of excerpts from The Measure and The Chain spread in here and there, similar to the three Books of the Damned, would be nice. One more thing about the M&C, how do the Hellknights approach religion? I have always seen them as outside and above the petty squabbles of the clergy, but I would think a few would have strong opinions about the matter. I can see Abadar having a place amongst the Order of the Scourge, but not say among the Order of the Pyre. Because of this, how prevalent are Inquisitors in the various orders?

Are the Hellknights expansionistic? Do they see the lands around Cheliax as fruit ripe for picking, barbarous monstrosities that need the grace of order and discipline, or beyond their interests? Just imagine the possibilities of the Nintxa, Pintxa, and the Saint Abrogail loaded with Hellknights sent to Arcadia with the mandate to "pacify" the natives in advance of Chelish colonies. Or Castrovel.

I don't need stat blocks of the Lictors. Art yes, but I don't need much more than that and names.

Ooh! Relics! An organization built on order and discipline is bound to have traditions that are not broken or ignored. The Mask of the First Signifer or a dead Lictor's breastplate with a hole punched through the left side for example, would naturally have a place of importance. I envision each Order as having these relics which give them a sense of purpose or reminders of what is at stake if they falter.

Thanks, Wes. I'm looking forward to this book quite a bit.


Wonder if this supplement will have Hellknight Armiger archetypes of common classes for entry (including spellcasting classes)? Also wonder if it will update the Hellknight prestige classes to work well with more recently released material (including said archetypes, of more classes than were around when the prestige classes were written).


Very cool!


Hellknights care nothing for good or evil? Funny, I think the Signifiers pretty much qualify as border line Diabolists.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Hmm, I wonder if it will have anything on the Order of the Crux...
REJOICE! This will have more details on ALL of the Hellknight orders that you want!

OOOO, so will there be stuff on the Order of the Vice?

Either way, looking forward to this book since Hellknights and Eagle Knights share the top spot in my list of favorite Golarion Factions(with the Shackles pirates coming in a close second).

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Hmm, I wonder if it will have anything on the Order of the Crux...
REJOICE! This will have more details on ALL of the Hellknight orders that you want!

Yay!

*glomps the friendly Nosferatu*


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I personally want to see more on the Chain and Measure and what the Hellknights actual punishments for crimes are. Not all crimes mind, that'd take forever but most the major ones and what the Hellknights consider appropriate responses for them and such.

I know they kill people for conspiracy to commit treason based on the various tidbits here and there but otherwise...

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