Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 14 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned (PFRPG)
Show Description For:
Non-Mint

Add Hardcover $44.99

Add PDF $9.99

Add Non-Mint $44.99 $33.74

Facebook Twitter Email

Abandon All Hope!

As long as mortals have feared what awaits them after death, the threat of damnation has loomed. Powerful fiendish lords rule the deepest, darkest reaches of the Great Beyond: archdevils, demon lords, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and more. Such is the power of their evil that even angels cannot resist it—when one servant of Heaven cataloged all the evil in existence in the Book of the Damned, Heaven's judges doomed him to exile, appalled at what he had wrought. And now you hold those horrors in your hands!

Pathfinder RPG Book of the Damned explores the evil planes and their fiendish rulers as they exist in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an open playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Book of the Damned includes:

  • Descriptions for dozens of archdevils, demon lords, Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and other fiendish divinities, including the foul boons they grant to their most devoted followers.
  • Explorations of otherworldly fiendish realms, including the infernal reaches of Hell, the death-haunted expanses of Abaddon, and the nightmare depths of the Abyss.
  • Several brand-new monsters to fill out the ranks of all 11 of the fiendish races, from sinister classics such as demons and devils to new favorites like asuras and sahkils.
  • New blasphemous rituals, magic items, powerful artifacts, and spells to arm your villains with or for heroes to discover and defy.
  • Three fiend-focused prestige classes, ready to vex and terrify adventurers who dare stand against their plots.
  • An extensive collection of in-world excerpts from the sinister pages of the Book of the Damned itself.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-970-7

Content Advisory
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned deals with many dark and intense concepts. The topic of demons and devils is not for everyone, nor is exploration of the themes these fiends embody and the practices they demand of their worshipers. You should make sure that your game group is comfortable with the contents of this book before using them in play—if even one player is uncomfortable with including some of the concepts in here, you should set those portions of the book (or the entire book) aside and focus on other plots for your game. Buyers should beware that the content of this book is not appropriate for all ages, and parents especially are encouraged to review the book before buying it.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

Product Availability

Hardcover: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

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

Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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

PZO1139


See Also:

1 to 5 of 14 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 14 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Mostly flavor for DMs, little use to players

*( )( )( )( )

I would not recommend this book to anyone except DMs who wanted a lot of deep flavor text on evil gods, evil planes and evil outsiders. The vast bulk of material is stuff that the DM can read in order to form a more coherent world view inside his head, but much of the material is such that it is not only useless to players mechanically, but even further, it is even difficult to convey to players flavor-wise.

Of the 280+ pages, about 120 (so almost half the book) is spent on detailing evil gods that were too small to receive full writeups in previous products. Gods like Baphomet, Dispater, Kostchtchie, Lamashtu, Mephistopheles, Moloch, Nocticula, Orcus, Pazuzu and Szuriel receive two-page writeups -- about 50 in total, covering about 100 pages. The other 20 pages in this section offer two-page writeups for 10 groupings like "Asura Ranas" and "Daemon Harbringers", giving brief detail to groupings gods even smaller than those who merited full two-pagers per individual. This section is essentially useless to players, but the DM can make some use of it for players by building cults that worship these guys and positioning them as enemies that have some of their background fleshed out thanks to this book. Having said that, spending almost half the book to detail the obscure gods of the guys who are going to be sword fodder for the players in three combat rounds? I think a hardcover slot could have been used for something much more useful.

The next 40 pages cover evil planes like Hell and Abyss. This, I think, is one of the more useful sections in the book, because at higher levels, players and campaigns are often going to be venturing into these environments, so getting more detail on them is very good stuff, and the DM can really use this as very concrete setting material for adventures. I actually wish that the art budget from the entire first section had been put into this section, because getting lots of cool images to use as visual aids to show players when they venture into a plane would have been extremely useful to me as a DM. Unfortunately, this is the smallest of the book's four sections, showing a big disconnect between what Paizo thinks we need and what I feel I need.

The third section is essentially the crunch section. Feats, domains, magic items, prestige classes and stuff like that. 95% of it is useless to players, and essentially exists just for the DM to build bad guy statblocks that the players are never going to see. There's a few occasional things that the players can use, like the Moon and Rivers subdomains, but by and large this section is useless unless you are the sort of DM who gets enjoyment out of building statblocks for your bad guys.

The fourth section is called a bestiary, but don't think it's like the Bestiary books simply presenting statblocks -- it has that too, but only about 14 of its 40 pages are statblocks for new monsters. The larger part of this section is flavor descriptions going over existing outsiders (like six pages for devils, six pages for daemons and six pages for demons) and giving them more flavor than existed previously. It's...not useless, I suppose. Some of the evil outsider flavor can be useful for DMs to flesh out encounters between evil outsiders and players. I guess this would be my second favorite section of the book, after the evil planes section.

Finally there's an appendix that presents excerpts from the in-world Book of the Damned in replica-like format as if you were reading the actual book. Kind of neat as a novelty but I didn't feel I got much use out of it.

So essentially there's five sections -- Gods, Planes, Crunch, Bestiary and Excerpts. Gods and Crunch are mostly only useful to build the bad guys of the campaign. Gods is more flavor side, Crunch is more crunch side. But I seriously question the decision to devote over half a hardcover to material that is mostly just useful to build the guys that might be dead in three rounds. My dislike for this decision is a big reason why I only give the book one star. Planes and Bestiary are more useful sections, but they are only about 80 of the book's 280+ pages. Bestiary is about as big as it needed to be -- I don't need any more flavor or statblocks that were presented there, so I wouldn't have wanted to see that section expanded further, but Planes could have and IMO should have been expanded far more. I could have used much, much more detail on the adventuring environments that I as DM could present to players.

Overall I just feel like this book was a big misstep and mis-gauge in what is useful. At least from my personal perspective -- other DMs may disagree. And it's miscategorized -- this book should have been in the DM-focused Campaign Setting line like Inner Sea Gods, to which it is sort of an evil sequel, rather than in the core line where, IMO, books should be more player-useful.

I should add one exception. This book could be really useful and worth its price if you are running an evil campaign. In that case, all the evil gods stuff and evil crunch stuff will actually be player-useful, which rockets the utility of this book upward. If you are running an evil campaign, I would actually consider this a four-star book.


Reprints and Bad Artwork

*( )( )( )( )

The best thing about the new Book of the Damned that can truly be said to be original to it, is the completed list of obediences. The rest of the material consists of reprints from the prior Books of the Damned, or retcons to that material that create new problems. As seems to be the usual case, the demons and the devils take the lion's share of the material, while the daemons, despite theoretically being among the Big Three of the fiendish races, are left to language in comparative obscurity; minor demon lords receive longer write-ups than in prior books, and Asmodeus' Queens of the Night get full write-ups for the first time, but among the deamons the Horsemen and the Horsemen alone receive any attention.

Perhaps the worst thing about the book however, is the artwork. While there are a few good, new pieces, usually marking the spaces between sections, most of the individual portraits of the archfiends are reprints from prior books or stunningly ugly (or in the case of the archdevil portraits from Bestiary 6, both).

I loved the prior Books of the Damned and wanted to like this book. In the end though, what little new material there cannot compensate for the book's faults, and the bad quality art makes it actively cringe-inducing to look on. Save yourself the money and buy something else.


A Compelling Compilation of Corruption

****( )

As many other reviewers have said, this book is largely reprinted material from the "Book of the Damned" line of Campaign Setting books that came out a while back. As someone who has, and loves all of those three books, I have to say...

This book is great. I was a fan of the concept of the Book of the Damned, and it being compiled together like this fills me with dark joy. It does what it says as well, and the staff were up front about the reprinted material, so I enjoy it for what it is, which is a gathering up of their fiend-related material from the earlier books and some other far-flung sources, such as the devil contract mechanics from the Hell's Rebels adventure path and the more in-depth description of the Book of the Damned itself from Hell Unleashed. Having all of these things together in one place is handy, though it does appear some subjects, such as the demonic grafts, didn't make it into this book. Regardless, it's good for that reason alone.
Thankfully that isn't the only reason this book is good. It also expands on the fiendish boon system introduced in Lords of Chaos, handing out boons to the diabolical and daemonic demigods, and introduces, at least in passing, many of the more obscure evil entities in the setting. More interestingly to me, it does so in such a way that gives ample seeds and ideas on how to stat such demigods up, should we be so inclined. That coupled with more concrete rules on the various evil rituals also teased at in the earlier books and a mini-bestiary in the back help round out the book nicely.

This book isn't perfect, however. While it may not be of much concern to someone being exposed to this material for the first time, I personally found some of the changes and minor tweeks to the existing material a bit jarring. The diabolist prestige class was a notable example, with its new alignment restrictions and curtailing of spellcasting levels feeling more like a hurried effort to make it fit the formula of the other two fiend-inspired prestige classes than any effort to help modernize it. For one thing, I think that this means that the diabolist is no longer available for PFS play, for those who participate in that. Likewise, I would have liked to see a bit more space devoted to some fiends other than the three big 'D's. Some new fiendish archetypes would have been fun as well, and the missed opportunity bums me out just slightly.

Over all, this book is a pretty solid four stars. The reprinted material is very helpful for first-timers who haven't gotten the three previous Campaign Setting books, though I don't think I could recommend the hardcopy version to someone who already has them. It's got lots of info on evil deities and rituals, a few nifty items, a few new foes, and enough flavor to keep readers entertained through it's two-hundred ot pages. What it doesn't have is a ridiculous amount of new material, or a ton, or really any, PC-friendly options outside of a very evil campaign. But then again, it'd be a poor look out if a curse'd tome of vile lore helped look out for the good guys.


Good deal for lovers of demons, daemons, and devils.

****( )

It's nice to have the fiendish planes fleshed out in one handy book, and (if you're grabbing the PDF) for less than the cost of the much smaller source material books. There are a bunch of cool new things you can do, like become a true werewolf or a worm that walks!

The reason it's not five stars is because it's very heavily weighted towards (in order) demons, devils, and daemons. If you're interested in other fiends, there's not a lot of mechanics that work with them, and where they're specific, they're purposefully weaker.


"Remember kids, there's nothing EVIL about reading!!" - MermaidMan

*****

A great book for evil, even if it's not your thing.

Not as valuable if you already own the original three soft covers but still worth the price.


1 to 5 of 14 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
901 to 950 of 1,043 << first < prev | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | next > last >>

Okay, over in the Advice forum I have started a thread on the various Diabolical obediences and boons. It's primarily from the POV of a Diabolist, but should be of interest to anyone who's thinking about using these feats, whether as a player or a GM.

Doug M.


So... What's new with the Daemons and the Souldrinker? The BotD Daemon Edition was my favorite so far. I'm reading over on reddit something about Create Soul Gem getting a nerf (but not getting any details)?

What did they do to my pretty cuddly daemons!?

Silver Crusade

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

You can't stockpile the Soul Gems anymore.


Rysky wrote:
You can't stockpile the Soul Gems anymore.

Well there goes the crafting usefulness... Harumph.

Paizo Employee Development Coordinator

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Heine Stick wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Eiseth is cool. :)
With you there, Thomas. Eiseth is a contender for the top spot in my Top 5 archdevils list.

I'm so glad to hear this! I'm STOKED about the new canon I was able to build for the Queens of the Night in this book. Eiseth is probably my favorite (ESPECIALLY the plans she has for the future).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

She has cool plans, but are they feasible? As far as I understood (and I could be wrong), but who gets to be one of the archdevils depends on Asmodeus' blessing. So, some of the Infernal Dukes might have a higher CR than say Barbatos, but Barbatos is Lord of Avernus because Asmodeus backs him in the hierarchy of Hell. Even worse for Eiseth, Asmodeus is a misogynist (because he is a jerk.)

So if she succeeds and overthrows Moloch, then isn't she still doomed because Asmodeus would kill her for upending his order in Hell?

Paizo Employee Development Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ixos wrote:
So if she succeeds and overthrows Moloch, then isn't she still doomed because Asmodeus would kill her for upending his order in Hell?

I would keep in mind that Asmodeus's machinations are rarely straight forward and always self serving. What would happen if some of Eiseth's plans come to fruition could be pretty darn interesting.


I think Asmodeus will handle the loss of Moloch better than the loss of Mephistopheles. Mostly because Mephistopheles IS Hell. Kind of.

Also thank you Amanda for your lovely write ups! :)

Paizo Employee Development Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Also thank you Amanda for your lovely write ups! :)

You are most welcome! It was a pleasure. :)


Maybe if Eiseth actually succeeds in taking down Moloch and getting his position, Asmodeus will acknowledge her superiority and allow her to take Moloch's place. That kinda sounds more CE than LE, but then again Hobgoblins have duels amongst them to determine who gets to lead.


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

She might just have reached the point of casting the die and damn the consequences.


Squeakmaan wrote:
and damn the consequences.

Or vice-versa.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I did ask earlier if anybody had thoughts about Queens of Nights, didn't really get replies so now that discussion up I ask again: Did anyone else notice that four of them have a theme with them having almost sympathetic backstories? Like I'll copy paste myself:

"I mean, on surface all of their reasons sounds sympathetic 1) "did evil in desperation to find out where her siblings were" 2) "did evil thing for what she thought was for greater good" 3) "was horrified to find out how she was going to die" and 4) "was disgusted by smugness of mortals" but when you look closer the sympathetic part falls apart 1) "found out she loves torture" 2) "seems self delusional about reason she did it, like she sounds like she thought for sure everyone would applaud her and promote her" 3) "well if we are giving immortal beings pass for being afraid of death, I guess we gotta give passes for liches and everyone else willing to do horrible things to avoid the inevitable" 4) "ok so she went from 'how dare those inferior mortals feel lust towards me' to killing people out of boredom and wanting to take over Nirvana? That is pretty big escalation even if you hate your job"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Flicking through this book has just left me feeling that the core rules line has been devalued by this book's inclusion.
With so much setting specific reprinting, this book is just disappointing.

And the modernising of some of the few actual rule elements included seems a lot more about forcing the use of multiple elements of the book to only be used when used together than it does anything that would feel like improving the material.

Silver Crusade

6 people 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

I'm not really sure how this book's inclusion into the Core line, and therefore the PDF being able to be sold for $10, "devalues" the Core line.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mighty Squash wrote:

Flicking through this book has just left me feeling that the core rules line has been devalued by this book's inclusion.

With so much setting specific reprinting, this book is just disappointing.

It's a definite change in focus. Some will like it and some not.

For me the books which are nothing but rules tend to be flicked through once and then get ignored (unless I run some specific genre that would benefit). I'm glad they've moved to incorporate more setting specific material in the rules line. I suspect books like this will see more use at my table than previous entries.

There's bound to be people disappointed by any change in direction, I guess.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Mighty Squash wrote:

Flicking through this book has just left me feeling that the core rules line has been devalued by this book's inclusion.

With so much setting specific reprinting, this book is just disappointing.

It's a definite change in focus. Some will like it and some not.

For me the books which are nothing but rules tend to be flicked through once and then get ignored (unless I run some specific genre that would benefit). I'm glad they've moved to incorporate more setting specific material in the rules line. I suspect books like this will see more use at my table than previous entries.

There's bound to be people disappointed by any change in direction, I guess.

*nods*

This, pretty much.


CorvusMask wrote:

Did anyone else notice that four of them have a theme with them having almost sympathetic backstories? Like I'll copy paste myself:

"I mean, on surface all of their reasons sounds sympathetic 1) "did evil in desperation to find out where her siblings were" 2) "did evil thing for what she thought was for greater good" 3) "was horrified to find out how she was going to die" and 4) "was disgusted by smugness of mortals" but when you look closer the sympathetic part falls apart 1) "found out she loves torture" 2) "seems self delusional about reason she did it, like she sounds like she thought for sure everyone would applaud her and promote her" 3) "well if we are giving immortal beings pass for being afraid of death, I guess we gotta give passes for liches and everyone else willing to do horrible things to avoid the inevitable" 4) "ok so she went from 'how dare those inferior mortals feel lust towards me' to killing people out of boredom and wanting to take over Nirvana? That is pretty big escalation even if you hate your job"

I didn't notice until you pointed it out, but it's a very nice touch!

Doug M.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
I'm not really sure how this book's inclusion into the Core line, and therefore the PDF being able to be sold for $10, "devalues" the Core line.

This. At $10 for the PDF, it is cheaper than the originals, even if you are just buying it for the new content. If you you are missing even one of the original books, it is a huge steal of a deal.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Even without the setting-specificness, the fact that there is basically no rules content in the book makes it rather disappointing for a book in the line.

It's great if you wanted a book detailing the backstories of demon lords... but some were hoping that it being in the RPG line would mean a larger focus on rules for fiendish realms and interacting with fiends than there is in the book.

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

Uh, there is plenty of rules and mechanics in the book. It's not just a lore book.


I didn't say it was just a lore book, I said "some were hoping that it being in the RPG line would mean a larger focus on rules for fiendish realms and interacting with fiends than there is in the book."

But it is primarily a lore book. The "flavour to mechanic" ratio is insanely different in this book to any other book in the RPG-line.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's definitely not an 'Ultimate' book. But, it is pretty spot on for something like a fiendish bestiary.


i wish one days a equivalent of that book but for good deity. Perhaps the name of this book is Book of righteous.

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
demiurge108 wrote:

i wish one days a equivalent of that book but for good deity. Perhaps the name of this book is Book of righteous.

Close, Chronicle of the Righteous :3


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm hoping for the Concordance of Rivals, but I would certainly be happy to see the Chronicle of the Righteous. I'm just very interested in the psychopomp ushers and kami lords, so would love to see them fleshed out, as well as the primal inevitables, the protean lords, the axiomite god-mind, and the aeon's monad (including whether or not all of them are officially deities or not...). We did get some more on the Eldest, but more would be interesting. And of course, there are many other deities who interest me who are neutral about whom we know very little, such as Daikitsu, Erecura, Feronia, Nalinivati, Ragdya, and Sun Wukong.

That said, there are certainly some good-aligned empyreal lords I'd like to know more about...Kelinahat, for example. And various deities, like Kofusachi...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Right now I'm happy to have a complete Book of the Damned among my collection, fluff and crunch combined. Plus you know, new rituals.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Todd Stewart wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:


One last thing, where is this picture of Vorasha the Ophidian several people mentioned? I haven't found it.
Medusa-Mutt is on page 151

Thanks. That's a great picture of her, but combing that 'hair' must be a pain.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Eh. It's not like she's got to worry about moisturizer like a certain Kyton Demagogue...


Okay, question: do the obediences, boons and benefits given here trump and overwrite ones given elsewhere? So, for instance, the boons for Geryon are pretty different from the ones given in PF #107. Book of the Damned is the newest ruleset and should prevail, right?

Doug M.


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

Okay, question: do the obediences, boons and benefits given here trump and overwrite ones given elsewhere? So, for instance, the boons for Geryon are pretty different from the ones given in PF #107. Book of the Damned is the newest ruleset and should prevail, right?

Doug M.

It depends.


Xenocrat wrote:
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Okay, question: do the obediences, boons and benefits given here trump and overwrite ones given elsewhere? So, for instance, the boons for Geryon are pretty different from the ones given in PF #107. Book of the Damned is the newest ruleset and should prevail, right?
It depends.

Huh: "The fully refined version will be Paizo's default version for adventures, NPC compilations, and the like moving forward, since it benefited from two development cycles and is available on the PRD, but as always feel free to use the version that your group prefers, or make your own variant."

So it's official, but they won't force it on you.

Doug M.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Okay, question: do the obediences, boons and benefits given here trump and overwrite ones given elsewhere? So, for instance, the boons for Geryon are pretty different from the ones given in PF #107. Book of the Damned is the newest ruleset and should prevail, right?
It depends.

Huh: "The fully refined version will be Paizo's default version for adventures, NPC compilations, and the like moving forward, since it benefited from two development cycles and is available on the PRD, but as always feel free to use the version that your group prefers, or make your own variant."

So it's official, but they won't force it on you.

Doug M.

Or in other words, "if you and your group want to use the old version of the Diabolist or any other class/PRC/rule, go ahead; it's just not official any more"?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Mighty Squash wrote:

Flicking through this book has just left me feeling that the core rules line has been devalued by this book's inclusion.

With so much setting specific reprinting, this book is just disappointing.

It's a definite change in focus. Some will like it and some not.

For me the books which are nothing but rules tend to be flicked through once and then get ignored (unless I run some specific genre that would benefit). I'm glad they've moved to incorporate more setting specific material in the rules line. I suspect books like this will see more use at my table than previous entries.

There's bound to be people disappointed by any change in direction, I guess.

That's because the definition of what the Core line was seems to have changed fairly drastically, from "a big book of new rules that can vastly change the nature of the game by its inclusion" to "a big book". The closest comparison points for Book of the Damned are to the Bestiaries or the Codices which, while they aren't exactly what I'd consider transformative rulebooks, are at least handy piles of usable statblocks without any real chaff. Book of the Damned, while a handy companion book to the Campaign Setting line, changes very little about the base game by its existence and inclusion in any game.

If you want more fluff that's fine, but it kind of feels to the rest of us that these are taking the place of fun new material to play around with.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And yet some people are like "There is too many options/crunch rulebooks in pathfinder!" <_<

Like, seriously, everybody can never be happy no matter what it seems

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FallenDabus wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I'm not really sure how this book's inclusion into the Core line, and therefore the PDF being able to be sold for $10, "devalues" the Core line.
This. At $10 for the PDF, it is cheaper than the originals, even if you are just buying it for the new content. If you you are missing even one of the original books, it is a huge steal of a deal.

With the exception of the GMG and the Strategy Guide, all products in the RPG line until now were exclusively content that you could easily plug in your campaign (player options and opponents' statblocks). Even Adventurer's Guide was relatively light on Golarion-exclusive stuff, though not all player options were easy to separate from the setting.

Not so with BotD.

I can see how someone who already owned all the original books (ie, a true Paizo aficionado such as I) or someone who is not interested in them, would have preferred another book full of player options and/or opponents' statblocks.

And, no I do not count the subsystem of Fiendish boons as player options, since they are very much specific Evil NPC stuff. Neither do I count them as opponents' statblocks, since they require the GM to build the NPC AND use a new subsystem with a high level of dispersion in its balance of power.

(BTW, great analysis job done on this by DougM in his thread linked in a post above)

The value of BotD is mostly flavor for the setting.

It is obviously an even greater step in the setting/RPG fusion experiment and I think it is important that negative feedbacks can reach the devs without being drowned in the counterposts of those who enjoyed the product.

Doubly so because I think that this fusion will NOT make PFRPG stronger. Would DnD have soared if it had stayed completely grounded in the Greyhawk setting ? I think not

Is it a good idea for Paizo to hedge its bets so heavily only on the people who play in the Golarion-setting ? I think not

I would hate to see my dire omens come true and I wish the very best for PFRPG. But I think silencing the dissenting voices does not help here

Silver Crusade

2 people 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
The Raven Black wrote:
And, no I do not count the subsystem of Fiendish boons as player options, since they are very much specific Evil NPC stuff.
And you would be wrong. Nothing in them is NPC only, and if they are PC appropriate is up to each group and GM. Not everyone plays Good guys, there's Evil PCs and Evil leaning/heretical Neutral PCs.
The Raven Black wrote:
Neither do I count them as opponents' statblocks, since they require the GM to build the NPC AND use a new subsystem with a high level of dispersion in its balance of power.
It's not a new subsystem. It's a Feat. Which NPCs have.
The Raven Black wrote:
Is it a good idea for Paizo to hedge its bets so heavily only on the people who play in the Golarion-setting ? I think not

*looks at the Adventure Path line*

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Your dire omens already have come true, because the heavily-FR-grounded D&D is pretty much eclipsing Pathfinder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
Neither do I count them as opponents' statblocks, since they require the GM to build the NPC AND use a new subsystem with a high level of dispersion in its balance of power.

"A high level of dispersion" is a good way to put it. These guys are all over the board. Some are useless even for NPCs, some are pretty strong all-rounders.

Quote:
(BTW, great analysis job done on this by DougM in his thread linked in a post above)

Aw. [blush]

Doug M.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Nothing in them is NPC only, and if they are PC appropriate is up to each group and GM. Not everyone plays Good guys, there's Evil PCs

If you read through them carefully? Many of them are pretty clearly designed for NPCs. Yes, there are a few patron/path combinations that could be attractive to PCs. But of the 30 or so I've looked at so far in detail, there are maybe five or six that strike me as attractive to a player -- i.e., thematic, fun, and mechanically balanced or advantageous. The other 80% are really good only for building NPCs. (And I'd say that of that 80%, a third to half are obviously intended for NPCs -- they're super situational, are useful only to a particular odd sort of build, etc.)

-- Looked at from that POV, having a "wide power dispersion" makes perfect sense. You have a boss that's shaping up as maybe a little too powerful, and you want to nerf him just a bit? Give him one of the suboptimal patron/path combinations. He can cackle cinematically about his mighty demon lord, while the demon lord's actual boons are junk enough to prevent him from being OP. Got an NPC who's a bit weakish, flip the script and give her one of the stronger paths.

Doug M.


Gorbacz wrote:
Your dire omens already have come true, because the heavily-FR-grounded D&D is pretty much eclipsing Pathfinder.

Huh. Cite for this?

Doug M.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Your dire omens already have come true, because the heavily-FR-grounded D&D is pretty much eclipsing Pathfinder.

Huh. Cite for this?

Doug M.

Of course I don't have the numbers, but between Icv2 reports and anecdotal evidence, 5E went supernova. Note, this doesn't mean that Paizo tanked (although I am pretty sure their sales took a hit), but it means that it's very difficult to be a D&D-based fantasy RPG in the time when the Actual Real Deal has such a strong showing.

Hence Starfinder and experiments with making the game and setting integrated a bit more - out of top selling RPGs today, Pathfinder is the only one that does the setting netural-branding to any larger degree. Heck, the newest 5E splatbook is named after a FR NPC. It *might* contain mostly rules material with some lore sprinkled on the top, but it sends a clear "this is a FR book" message off the shelf. I guess that WotC did the research and found out that people who don't do FR will buy it anyway regardless of the branding.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Nothing in them is NPC only, and if they are PC appropriate is up to each group and GM. Not everyone plays Good guys, there's Evil PCs

If you read through them carefully? Many of them are pretty clearly designed for NPCs. Yes, there are a few patron/path combinations that could be attractive to PCs. But of the 30 or so I've looked at so far in detail, there are maybe five or six that strike me as attractive to a player -- i.e., thematic, fun, and mechanically balanced or advantageous. The other 80% are really good only for building NPCs. (And I'd say that of that 80%, a third to half are obviously intended for NPCs -- they're super situational, are useful only to a particular odd sort of build, etc.)

-- Looked at from that POV, having a "wide power dispersion" makes perfect sense. You have a boss that's shaping up as maybe a little too powerful, and you want to nerf him just a bit? Give him one of the suboptimal patron/path combinations. He can cackle cinematically about his mighty demon lord, while the demon lord's actual boons are junk enough to prevent him from being OP. Got an NPC who's a bit weakish, flip the script and give her one of the stronger paths.

Doug M.

Not being balanced or mechanically advantageous does not mean "NPC only. " What you quoted was me disagreeing with the assumption that these boons are for Evil NPCs only, which they are not. Though there are some that I would not want to see a player have and would refuse to play with one who took it (Folca for example), but that has to do with what that Fiend is and what it represents, not because of the power disparaity of what its boons are.

And your second paragraph is too labrous to be viable, I'm not going to completely rearrange a character and their faith just so I can add a supposedly mechanically subpar option (while they're may be some that are subpar in comparison to the other books themselves, I have yet to see an actual useless Boon), when I could simply add Alertness or something.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
And your second paragraph is too labrous to be viable, I'm not going to completely rearrange a character and their faith just so I can add a supposedly mechanically subpar option

I've done this. Lots of times.

Quote:
(while they're may be some that are subpar in comparison to the other books themselves, I have yet to see an actual useless Boon)

Nothing is utterly useless, but in context some choices are obviously better than others. In the case of fiendish benefits and boons, some are much MUCH better than others.

Doug M.

Silver Crusade

4 people 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

Okay, you may enjoy doing it but I sure wouldn't. Religion is a big part of a character, I couldn't imagine digging around and slapping on a deity as an after thought to them just for a mechanical reason.

Yes, some are better. That's how options are. But just because one is better doesn't make the other useless, it simply means it's not as good as the other one.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

It's been mentioned a few times that the writers and developers find the use of "fluff" to describe the lore they create to be diminutive and insulting. So let's avoid doing that.

Also, I don't entirely understand why some people would think that this content is Golarion specific. Much of the information in this book is not about how the fiendish demigods relate to one planet, but their respective histories in the planes which could apply to any world that uses the Core cosmology.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, my copy hasn't arrived yet but I have a more (publisher-oriented) question about the new nomenclature for kytons:

Is velstracks an OGL term? Or is it specifically Paizo IP?

Silver Crusade

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

It's been mentioned a few times that the writers and developers find the use of "fluff" to describe the lore they create to be diminutive and insulting. So let's avoid doing that.

Also, I don't entirely understand why some people would think that this content is Golarion specific. Much of the information in this book is not about how the fiendish demigods relate to one planet, but their respective histories in the planes which could apply to any world that uses the Core cosmology.

*nods*

For the most part Golarion is only brought up when mentioning if a particular Fiend has a large following there or not.


Well, it uses the actual Golarion cosmology names (Boneyard, Axis, etc.) rather than the setting neutral names in the Game Mastery Guide.

But yeah, it's pretty light on Golarion specific stuff (as compared to Adventurer's Guide, which went all-in on being Golarion specific).


Gorbacz wrote:
between Icv2 reports and anecdotal evidence, 5E went supernova. Note, this doesn't mean that Paizo tanked (although I am pretty sure their sales took a hit), but it means that it's very difficult to be a D&D-based fantasy RPG in the time when the Actual Real Deal has such a strong showing.

That's totally plausible, but it's also possible that D&D, by bringing more people into the hobby, has been good for Paizo's long-term bottom line. (Saying "possible" here; I truly don't know.)

Quote:
out of top selling RPGs today, Pathfinder is the only one that does the setting netural-branding to any larger degree. Heck, the newest 5E splatbook is named after a FR NPC. It *might* contain mostly rules material with some lore sprinkled on the top, but it sends a clear "this is a FR book" message off the shelf.

Well, I definitely agree that BotD is more Golarion-y than any core book to date. That said, this is probably inevitable at this point. Pathfinder is nearly 10 years old now, which means they've had time to chew through most of the design space for a new 3.x game. (Especially keeping in mind that it IS a 3.x game, so a lot of the design space has been taken up already.) They've come up with complete new sets of character classes, what, four times now? There are only so many times you can to to that well. Fluff and setting-based stuff, OTOH, is a much bigger domain. (Though not infinitely big. At some point you're reduced to Farm Animals Of Golarion, and it's time to reboot.)

So, I'm inclined to see this as an inevitable part of the aging process. Not every core line book will be about Golarion -- the next one looks like it'll be fairly crunchy -- but that's likely to be the long term trend.

Doug M.

901 to 950 of 1,043 << first < prev | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned (PFRPG) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.