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Revenge of the Wicked - Homebrew AP for WotR (in progress)


Homebrew and House Rules


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hey,

since there is a lot of life in the homebrew section lately, and since I had a day off today, I started a little 'dream project' of mine.

I'd like to write a homebrew AP based on WotR, were you play as the bad guys. I also actually started, and thought about posting the first AD I've written up today:

Revenge of the Wicked

Now, I post this link for the following reasons:

1) Feedback
Obviously, I'd like feedback, about basically everything that sticks out:
Does the story make sense, and more importantly, is the premise interesting?
Are the scenarious too similiar to the original scenarios, or are people satisfied with a slight variation?
Are the mechanics fun?
How is the difficulty?

2) Cleaning up the writing part
English is not my native language, and I won't delude myself into thinking that my writing is as good as it could be (for the record, I wasn't even sure how to write delude just now, so...)

3) Playtesting
I have to confess that I just wrote up everything today and was not able to playtest it yet. More to the point, I haven't even finished the AP yet and I don't think this will happen anytime soon, knowing how hard it can be to schedule this with my friends, and since I don't have too much time on my hands, I won't set up the box for playtesting until we're done with the current campaign.
I guess what I'd like to know here is, to which extend to people believe you can design scenarios without actually playtesting them?

Even when I will playtest, I have absolutely no idea how to play with parties bigger than three, as I personally never will play with parties of this size. I'd just be content with designing the AP for three characters, but that seems to be lacking.

4) General tips/insights
I have absolutely no idea how to go about locations. I normally know what kind of story I want to tell, and I can gather some cards around that, but choosing locations seems really hard. I could just copy existing location lists, but I doubt that would be in the spirit of a new AP.
Since the box is meant to be a good vs. evil campaign, does it bother people if I have to workaround with additional rules to tell a bad vs good story? I'm obivously constrained by the available henchman/villains, without using heavy modifications.

5) Any advice, really
If you have some ideas to make everything more fun/awesome, I'm open to suggestions.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Are there Evil "heroes" or how player characters Are selected?

This is interesting consept, but I this it would reguire complete card overhaul. To make allies as banes and banes as allies and so on.

I am sure that this would need a quite a big team of makers. Allmost completely new cards and most locations has to be reworded so that They would fit to Evil theme.
If you Are really going to do it. Make this open project. There has to be 20-40 people in here. Artist, card designers and so on. This is doable but requires a lot of work!
I know from own experience...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hannibal_pjv wrote:

Are there Evil "heroes" or how player characters Are selected?

This is interesting consept, but I this it would reguire complete card overhaul. To make allies as banes and banes as allies and so on.

I am sure that this would need a quite a big team of makers. Allmost completely new cards and most locations has to be reworded so that They would fit to Evil theme.
If you Are really going to do it. Make this open project. There has to be 20-40 people in here. Artist, card designers and so on. This is doable but requires a lot of work!
I know from own experience...

The idea is that you can play any characters from PACG with the adventure path, changing their backstory in a way that they start the AP as cultists of baphomet.

An important point would be to only use the cards contained in WotR, which should be possible with a proper story that contains some infighting between cultists and the like.

For now, I removed the scenarios I wrote from the linked PDF, but left the mechanics there. For one, I looked into some lore surrounding the worldwound and came to the conclusion that my story wouldn't make sense, and then I also found the descriptions cringeworthy in retrospective.

I would still appreciate feedback on the mechanics and tips on working out this AP. My plan is to get back to this project once I have more time and the story is sketched out completely.

If someone could point me to reading material on cults in golarion (in particular for baphomet), that would be great as well.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Looks like I can't update the link, so I'll copypaste it here instead:

At the end of Adventure 1, the protagonists will ascend to become mythic demoniacs, infusing their bodies with demonic powers granted by patron demonlords and getting the ability to summon demons to do their bidding. For this purpose, treat the following as a mythic path card.

Mythic Demoniac
For your combat check, you may expend a mythic charge to choose a demon from the Summon Table whose listed AD is at most your number of remaining mythic charges. Summon the monster and use its difficulty to defeat (DTD) as the result of your check, then banish it. No other cards or powers may be used on this check. If you fail the check, you are dealt 0 damage.

Expend one mythic charge to add the scenarios adventure deck number to your check.

Expend one mythic charge to ignore the corrupted trait on a card until the end of the turn.

Discard a card with the corrupted trait to get a mythic charge. If the card has a trait that is checked off on the patron table, you may recharge it instead. This power may not be used during an encounter.

All the rules from the Wrath of the Righteous rulebook apply normally to this mythic path card.

Note that in contrast to the RPG version, Mythic Demoniacs are not required to be loyal to a single Demonlord and may have several patrons granting them power instead.

Servitor Demon Table
AD / Name / DTD
0 Demonling 8
1 Wrecker Demon 14
2 Blood Demon 17
3 Shadow Demon 20
4 Spite Demon 22
5 Treachery Demon 24
6 Ophidian Demon

The patron table includes one checkbox for each corrupted blessing in the box:

Abraxas
Baphomet
Deskari
Nocticula
Shax
Sifkesh
Xoveron

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This looks quite promising, and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

I think a rewrite of the characters to be evil is an interesting take, and the mythic demoniac for all characters seems powerful. It's a lot more active than the current mythic paths, which I like. Whereas the current mythic paths trivialize many checks, your mechanics trivialize many easy combats, which is also a change I like.

I wouldn't worry overmuch about the lore; you're making your own lore here and few readers are lore-expert enough to cry "but that's not how X is!" I've certainly taken a lot of liberties with my variant APs. That said, though, the Worldwound is a great resource for you here. I was recently re-reading the Sarkoris section of Lost Kingdoms, and that had some insinuations about cult activity prior to the advent of the Worldwound that you might find relevant.

I agree that you can just use many of the existing WotR cards, locations in particular. Deciding on locations is pretty straightforward. You can just throw together your own location lists based on what makes sense (this is in the mountains, so I'll take Canyon, and Cavern, etc.), then lay them next to each other and look them over to confirm there isn't too much overlap of location powers, not too much homogeneity in close conditions, and a mix of "hard" vs. "easy" locations (e.g., the Marketplace is merely a shopping mall later in an AP). I also keep a spreadsheet of the APs I design to ensure the same locations don't appear for the same number of players too often.

I think you'll want to examine how to revise the scenario rules to make this "feel" like an evil AP, and you might even want to create a few unique villains or henchmen--angels in particular, probably--for this AP's theme. But even some scenario rules can transmit this flavor, such as:

When you would acquire an ally, set it aside in a sacrifice pile next to the scenario. When a villain or henchman would deal damage to you, you may banish a card from the sacrifice pile to reduce that damage to 0. At the end of the adventure, you may either gain all allies in the sacrifice pile as loot, or return all allies in the sacrifice pile to the box to allow each character to gain a skill feat.

Just the wording of that scenario power makes you seem like pretty evil folks.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hey Ron,

thanks for the awesome advice, this really helps me a lot!
The example with the sacrifice pile is particularly helpful, thanks a lot for that.
In the end, I bought the Lords of Chaos PDF to get a better overview over the various demon lords and the abyss.

I'm slowly writing up a prologue adventure consisting of 3 scenarios at the moment, which will give the characters a background and motivation to start as cultists. I guess it's better to take my time with this to make it properly.

Still not sure what is the best way to publish the adventures so that people may try them, but I'll think about that when I get there.

Regarding new henchman and villains, I wonder if there is a way to avoid making custom cards, since I now that some people hate proxies. I've been thinking about the following 'soft proxy' alternative for a while and would be interested if people think that the introduced overhead is appropriate, or if they think that proxies would just be superior.

Since this is an evil AP, there is some need for good henchman and villains, which the original AP does not feature. To avoid using custom cards, the template mechanic is introduced.

Templates
A few scenarios will list a template list that consists of Allies and/or Cohorts. When this is the case, the scenario rules will assign those cards as templates to the henchmen and / or villains in the scenario list.

When setting up, set the cards on the template list aside as a template stack. Whenever you encounter a henchman or villain that has a template assigned by the scenario rules, treat the encountered card as if it had all the traits of its template instead of its own traits.

In the story, you are supposed to overcome the template card, but since it is not available as a bane, you borrow its assigned card for the encounter.

Example:
Assume that in the story, you are fighting against a mongrel tribe. Since Chief Sully is an ally, we need a template to use him as a villain. For this reason, the scenario lists Chief Sully as a template for the villain Faxon.
Now, if you encounter Faxon during the scenario, you treat him as if he had the Mongrel, Aristocrat and Elite traits instead of the Pitborn, Demon and Witch traits. This ensures that cards that care about traits work properly. His name stays as it is, since his powers refer to it.
This is comparable to using a proxy, but without the need to print your own cards, and can be ignored if you don't play cards that care about traits of the bane you encounter.

I wouldn't try to use this mechanic too often, but I feel like once or twice during an AD would help a lot of with telling the story I want to tell. There is supposed to be a lot of infighting in the long run, so the forces of good are only needed occasionally (otherwise, there would be too much that needed change).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm done with the introduction AD0 and would like some feedback. It'll take another while for me get my group together to finally finish WotR, but once we do, there will be more room for playtesting and faster iterations.

The newest iteration can hopefully always be found under this link:
Revenge of the Wicked

Here is the "abstract":

Adventure 0: Fall from Grace

„What is the point of being righteous?“
You ponder this question while you wait for a small band of cavaliers and paladins to pass your little band of adventurers. Ever since your journey brought you closer to Mendev, these types of encounters saw a steady rise in numbers. While you can't deny that you're glad that these so called 'heroes' stand between you and the worldwound incursion, you don't really admire the knights either.

In your eyes, there are only two types of folks that follow the call to a life of righteousness:
The major part is the self-righteous lot of goody two shoes that was lucky enough to hang on to their own juvenile ideals. The other, minor part you reckon, is a bunch of vain nobles that use it as an excuse to use their powers to further their own prestige. While you can somehow see the appeal of the latter if you were in their position, you are not, and so you quickly discard that thought.

So far, you life has not been the greatest, even though you always managed to pull through somehow. After several throwbacks during your youth, you went to travel the road, where you met the other members of your group while doing the occasional job. During your travels, you quickly learned that the world can be harsh, unforgiving place, and you learned your lesson well. You've never been too much on the lawful side of things, but you came to appreciate the feeling of independence that came with that, and it often saved you a lot of coin.

However, things improved two years ago, where you teamed up with a small adventuring group consisting of the rogue couple Anevia and Aron and their elven wizard friend Aravashnial. Joining forces with them was one of the better decisions in your life, in particular for your purse.

Recently, one of their contacts pointed you to an abandoned temple ruin, supposedly full of magical trinkets and lesser artifacts. Let the knights fight their glorious battles – you know well that glory will neither feed you nor keep you warm, and once you raided the ruin, you will leave this godforsaken place as fast as you came.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This concept is particularly well-timed, considering the evil class decks just announced!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My primary suggestion is to think critically about all of the various groups sizes and how that affects each scenario.

Tipping the Scales:
Generally, when the goal is to close everything, it's "# of PCs plus 1" locations (instead of plus-2). A 6-character group will not find four locations exciting. A solo character might find it overly challenging.

Tactical Retreat:
So, a solo character would have just the marketplace and could win after as little as 2 turns (blessing, fail combat, repeat)?
Not sure a minimum of 24 'turns' will be fun for 6 players, but it doesn't sound too bad (again, if you can handle 2 combat damage, you can ignore the Soldier and speed things along).
Still, maybe find a middle ground -> 4 minimum plus 3 per player. Or roll (d20 + # of PCs) under the number of blessings. Keep the 'may win', letting them dig more boons if desired.

But getting nothing but the stuff you would normally get is not a reward. Add a weapon, armor, or item to it for each Corrupted Soldier defeated. Add one more of each card type that's in it. Something.
Remember that every B scenario in Wrath handed each character one card of a certain type plus everything they acquired. :)

Offer You Can't Refuse:
Interesting balance of scouting and time pressure. No locations need closing, so no worries about using Tangle Traps. :)
And you can avoid the whole 'base' thing (which isn't bad, just awkward)...
"Treat Anevia as template for Cultist of Baphomet, Aravashnial as template for Blackfire Adept, and Aron as template for Cultist of Deskari. When you would banish one of these henchman from a location deck, display it next to the scenario instead; then you may examine any location deck.
You win the scenario when Blackfire Adept, Cultist of Baphomet, and Cultist of Deskari are displayed next to the scenario."

Oh, and for the Mythic path card - no d20 replacement option?
I feel that that becomes fairly crucial as the henchman and villain checks go up as they do.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hey, Iceman, thank you very much for your input!

Your arguments are very valid points, some of them which I'm already aware of. In fact, I've had some time to work on the project during the last couple weeks and changed some things, in particular how templates work.

The prologue is in kind of an odd place compared to what I want to do with the rest of the AP - I mostly want to tell a backstore while having easy scenarios that grant a lot of opportunities to gather boons.

That's the reason why most locations are beneficial, and why the first two scenarios have such an odd choice of number of locations compared to the usual setup, making it easier for larger parties.

Some more comments below:

Tipping the scales:
I think it should work for a soloplayer - the locations contain almost no banes, the henchmen let you explore additional times, as do the cohorts.
On average, you need 22 explorations to encounter the henchmen, and you are given 30 turns plus at least 3 additional explorations from henchmen. For greater parties, the focus is supposed to be to loot the ruins as much as possible, as in the story.

Tactical Retreat:
You make some very good points here. The idea was that your main motivation for staying alive is to gather more boons, since you can stop anytime you feel like its getting too dangerous. I will think about reworking this scenario closer to the way the goblin adventures handle their first scenario.

Offer you can't refuse:
I was also unhappy with the way templates worked. I simplified the system among other things, and I think it turned out better and less convoluted.

Regarding the mythic paths:
I want the power to scale slower in this AP, ending up somewhere below AD6. Like many others, I feel like blasting away your mythic charges trivializes most fights, while leaving you rather helpless after they are gone.
For this reason, I want a better economy for charges - you are supposed to spend them all of the time, and so you also need a way to replenish them consistently. The d20 cannot come from the charges for this reason.

Another good part of adressing this issue is the conjuring of demons as servants. They are not necessarily meant to win you battles, but should sometimes just be called to soak up damage from monsters that catch you unprepared. I hope I can balance it in a way that they give you consistent solutions for 'trash mobs' while leaving your main ressources for the harder henchman / villains. In AD6, I can succeed at checks in the range of 60 without using d20 just utilizing the better boons, so I'm not too worried there.

There will be d20 eventually - either through scenario rules, or more likely through the AD5/AD6 weapon that grant you such powers. I hope that makes the mythic weapons feel more special than they feel to me in WotR right now.

I'm almost done with AD1, and I have drafted the scenario rules for AD2 and AD3. After writing this post, I'll try to finish SotRi with my solo party, and then on the weekend my friends and I might be able to finish WotR. Then I'll be able to playtest the scenarios and upload a new version including AD1 at some point.


Real quick:
"I think it should work for a soloplayer - the locations contain almost no banes, the henchmen let you explore additional times, as do the cohorts."
As does the cohort. Doesn't matter how many the scenario has, the character gets one. :)

"I mostly want to tell a backstore while having easy scenarios that grant a lot of opportunities to gather boons."
People go boon-hunting in B scenarios? Really?
Man, we burn thru them quickly and move on. I'm not saying we cheat or run super-close to death or anything, but there's far too great a chance of being offered the same basic crap you could have built your deck with. So it's very rare for a location to stay open after the henchman is defeated, easy setup or not.

That's actually one reason I was happy to see you only had three scenarios in the B adventure. Get a decent weapon. Grab your Fiery Glare. Maybe a couple named blessings. Done. :D


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

So, i made some editing and improved the layout, and I also playtested the B adventure. You can find the new version in the same adress as in the last post.

The party I'll use as a reference is Wizard CD Melindra, Ranger CD Wrathack and Oracle CD Grazzle. They look 'evil enough' judging from their background and apart from Grazzle, I don't think the party is overly gamebreaking, so I guess it should make a good baseline.

I'm halfway through AD1 and will probably upload it next weekend, but no promises.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

AD1 is complete, playtested and online, enjoy!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

AD2 is complete, playtested and online!

I feel like the balance is a bit wonky on this one, so feedback would be appreciated even more than usual.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

AD3 is complete, playtested and online!

This adventure marks the turning point of the story, so I'm glad its out in the open now :)

Sovereign Court

Amazing Work Doppelschwert !


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks for the compliment!

AD4 is now complete, playtested and online.
I'm sorry for the delay; I have a lot to do lately, and AD5 will probably have to wait a bit longer as well.

Nevertheless, I think the reward for the last scenario of AD4 is really cool, and I hope you think so, too!

I'd still like some feedback, so if anyone got to play any of the scenarios, I'd be happy to hear about your experiences.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Just a short update so you know new content is being worked on:

Now that I have more free time, I'm back on working on the adventure path. I've drafted the remaining 10 scenarios for AD5 and AD6, and I'm positive that I can release them in the next couple weeks. Once it's complete, I will play through it again a couple of times to improve balance, and then there will be an update on how to incorporate the Hells Vengeance decks once they found their way to me in europe.

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