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The Order of the Rack


Council of Thieves

Andoran

Hey, so I'm writing up a hellknight for this game and my DM and I are looking for some lore/background information on the Order of the Rack. My character wants to change them into allies, but in order for me to really join and for my DM and I to maximize the roleplaying value of the experience, we need to know as much about them as possible.

So far we only have The Bastards of Erebus (we're buying as we go), so if there is an in-depth explanation of the Order in one of the later books, please tell me which one, or perhaps it's online or in another book somewhere?

To be clear, I'm not looking for any spoilers, I just want to know as much as I can about the Order's goals, their values, and their society among members, stuff like that. The kind of stuff the DM would need to roleplay a hellknight officer effectively when he's talking to a new recruit.


There's a writeup on the Hellknights in the back of the third adventure (What Lies in Dust). It's got some general stuff about the organization, and about half a page on each order. Been a while since I read it, but I think the contents are aimed towards DMs more than players, so might have to have your DM take a look over it before you read any of it.

Andoran

Jam Falcon wrote:
There's a writeup on the Hellknights in the back of the third adventure (What Lies in Dust). It's got some general stuff about the organization, and about half a page on each order. Been a while since I read it, but I think the contents are aimed towards DMs more than players, so might have to have your DM take a look over it before you read any of it.

Ah, thank you very much.


You could always ask the DM to give your character a chance to enter the initiation ritual (killing a devil alone) of some other Order during some of the downtime periods in the game. The Order of the Scourge is far easier on a character, since the Order of the Rack leans more to Evil than other Orders for the most part. But if your character gets a chance to enter the HQ of the Order of the Rack in some point, getting Hellknight levels should be something the DM can arrange for you, assuming the DM is actually competent...

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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This might prove helpful.

EDIT: So, on the page, I get a pop-up that asks "Looking for Hellknight Orders? Visit Top Quality sites for Hellknight Orders Here!"

Andoran

Icyshadow wrote:
You could always ask the DM to give your character a chance to enter the initiation ritual (killing a devil alone) of some other Order during some of the downtime periods in the game. The Order of the Scourge is far easier on a character, since the Order of the Rack leans more to Evil than other Orders for the most part. But if your character gets a chance to enter the HQ of the Order of the Rack in some point, getting Hellknight levels should be something the DM can arrange for you, assuming the DM is actually competent...

Actually, I'm fully aware of how evil the Order of the Rack is. My character's goal is to enter the Rack and try his best to change it from within and restore it to being Lawful Neutral, so that they can protect the city properly like the dottari do. At the end of the day, the Order of the Rack is still a group of people who are trying to protect their citizens, right? Even if they do it primarily by collecting information they view as dangerous and burning it.


All Hellknight Orders are expected to be Lawful Neutral by virtue of their own codes and decrees. Your character would actually be doing the Hellknights as a knighthood a favor by toppling down a few of the Lawful Evil members in it. Though good luck with that, given the big boss of the organization is Lawful Evil and probably at around level 15 or so, if we go by the official info given in other Pathfinder books.

Andoran

Icyshadow wrote:
All Hellknight Orders are expected to be Lawful Neutral by virtue of their own codes and decrees. Your character would actually be doing the Hellknights as a knighthood a favor by toppling down a few of the Lawful Evil members in it. Though good luck with that, given the big boss of the organization is Lawful Evil and probably at around level 15 or so, if we go by the official info given in other Pathfinder books.

I know, the idea of the whole thing sounds great, and I'm really excited to add this even deeper level of social intrigue to an already social-heavy AP. But if my character can change the Rack, then I feel like Westcrown can truly be restored to its former glory before the death of...that one god. Crap, his name started with an A. Ah well. I'm so stoked!

As for the big boss, well, maybe he'll listen to reason. And if he doesn't, I will have to take him down, but I would do so without killing him, and hopefully after I did that he would lose enough support that he would no longer be a threat to the organization and I could let someone with a stronger sense of justice run it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The leader of the Order of the Rack is LE, but the leader of the group of Hellknights stationed in Westcrown is not a bad dude (LN), and depending on how the GM wants to play it, could actually be an ally for reforming the Hellknights and Westcrown. I know in the campaign I am running, I am having him come across as being almost LG. The details about that character are in book 6 of the AP. Looking at book 6 would probably be a good idea anyway, as it would provide a map and more information about the Hellknights actually stationed in Westcrown, who will no doubt be the primary point of contact.

Andoran

Scaevola77 wrote:
The leader of the Order of the Rack is LE, but the leader of the group of Hellknights stationed in Westcrown is not a bad dude (LN), and depending on how the GM wants to play it, could actually be an ally for reforming the Hellknights and Westcrown. I know in the campaign I am running, I am having him come across as being almost LG. The details about that character are in book 6 of the AP. Looking at book 6 would probably be a good idea anyway, as it would provide a map and more information about the Hellknights actually stationed in Westcrown, who will no doubt be the primary point of contact.

Alright, thank you very much!


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I had to remove order of the Rack from the campaign, no adventuring got done, the crude jokes NEVER ended. never.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Pendagast wrote:
I had to remove order of the Rack from the campaign, no adventuring got done, the crude jokes NEVER ended. never.

Buying clothing off the rack often leads to that problem.


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Pendagast wrote:
I had to remove order of the Rack from the campaign, no adventuring got done, the crude jokes NEVER ended. never.

I'm honestly surprised, since even my group's most perverted player never managed to point that out.


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Hah, one of my female players mentioned "Is that an all woman knighthood?" after that everyone else caught on..... It was seriously and endless recurring joke.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I actually had a bit of a question regarding this. One of my players in a CoT game I'm running is angling to become a Signifier of the Order of the Scourge. He justified the background training by saying he was unofficially adopted by their Paravicar who was visiting Westcrown at the time, shortly after Palaveen burned down his family's house, and returned to his hometown to investigate rumors about the Council and observe the Order of the Rack, as they'd heard it had been slacking.

I'm wondering how to incorporate the character's "Test" into the campaign, where the character must defeat a devil with more hit dice than he has. First off, does the character have to singlehandedly defeat the devil, or can they be helped by a party? Also, how should I put a member of the Order of the Scourge in Westcrown to witness the event, as the majority of the devils encountered in the campaign are either fought in secret places like the Asmodean Knot, or are during the final battle for Westcrown. It'd be REALLY dramatic if the devil defeated was Liebdaga, but that may be a bit unrealistic...


so the material for this AP actually calls this out as a distinct possibility (a player wanting to be a Hell knight) It also specifically calls out the order of the scourge being at odds with the order of the rack.

I've given some thought to this very character, actually.

A bard would have the prerequisite whip proficiency, and is one route, but a half orc with the city dweller trait would also be one (as they get longsword and whip for weapon familiarity)

The idea is a Magus wielding a whip going for hellknight signifier.

With all the cool whip feats there are now, a scorpion whip hellknight of the scourge would be cool.

A dip into bard could get the magus the wp, some skill boosts and cure light wounds to boot.

Also the magus with wand wielder could use a cure wand through the whip with spell strike attacking undead later in the AP. Mucho FUN!

As for how and when to defeat a devil, I think it specifically states another hellknight needs to witness the defeat of a devil, it however doesn't necessarily call out that he needs to be a hell knight of a SPECIFIC Order, so that defeat COULD be witnessed by a knight of the rack. Lawful knights wouldnt lie about witnessing the deed, so a knight of the rack should suffice as a witness.

An easy way to get a knight of the rack to witness the defeat (which does need to be in one on one combat) would be after the explosion of the mayor mansion, there are devils in the street, in public. Hell knights might be out an about trying to restore order and witness the characters defeat of one of the devils.

It would be VERY cool however if you could somehow engineer the character to defeat the chain devil in the pocket dimension in the mayors attic and have that witnessed by a knight of the order of the rack? Maybe a knight somehow accidentally got lost in the pocket dimension, and the PCs help him escape, but in the course of events, the knight witnesses the PC defeat the chain devil, upon securing the knights release from the pocket dimension, he offers to vouch for the characters induction into the knight hood as thanks, at which point the character would inform him that he's already an armiger for the order of the scourge, at which point the knight of the rack can still offer to vouch as witness of the devils defeat.

Same thing could happen in the streets however. These would be the best times for the character to have a knight witness the defeat.

No one said the witness couldnt be a summoned devil, conjured specifically for the purpose of the witnessed defeat, either... so thats a possibility.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thread Necro because (just in case someone else comes here later):

Also in the battle at the arena: lots of lemures there. Since there are multiple lemures, it might work on a "more or less equivalent" basis. Alternatively, have the guy summon a more powerful devil and have the would-be Signifier defeat it.

As for why a member of the order would be there... it makes a great possibility for witnessing potential future members...

(Alternate possibilities: the hellknight might be young and still into gambling, hellknight might be there on patrol to make sure things don't erupt into anarchy, or the hellknight might be there to guard Chammady for some reason.)

If you want it to happen in the Bastards of Erebus, you can have something akin to a summon trap installed in which a "large number" imps, lemures, or some similarly-weak devils (but still powerful to the party) are summoned, and have the Hellknights (who've been looking for the Bastards) show up at around that time. Since the devils are the bigger threat, the Hellknights focus on them first. It also "just works out" that there are an equal number of devils to party members, and one calls out that specific PC (just by virtue of being a battle cry, not because he knows that PC... unless you want him to).

You could also take that opportunity to remind the player that he wanted to be a Hellknight, and here's a chance to meet a prerequisite!

Also, since the entire place is somewhat in ruins, the battle could cause some sort of collapse due to lack of structural integrity, dividing the Hell Knights. Thus a member of the Order of the Rack could witness the PC defeats a devil single-handed, but are then forcefully separated from them by structural failure (and possibly wounded enough that they can't pursue). By making it clear that they lived, however (perhaps by shouting through the rubble), the PCs can know that the Hellknights survived. Alternatively, if the Hellknights are killed, have it explained that the corpses were interrogated, and the Hellknights learned that the PC took on one of the devils by himself... witnessed by a Hellknight.

Either way, having the Hellknights learn of the PCs successes in this way is one way to spread the rumors. The Hellknights might not spread rumors, but they will make reports, and the dottari would spread the rumors, filtering into the city quickly. After all, who wouldn't believe a police officer, much less one who got it from a Hellknight?

One final thing to think about is the idea of using Hellknights as an organization (and Prestige Awards) from the Faction Guide. I'm planning on doing that with whichever organization the PC(s) end up going with (Hellknights and Pathfinders being distinct possibilities).

I love the image of the scourge guy you mention, Pendagast.

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