Way of the Wicked—Book #1: Knot of Thorns (PFRPG) PDF

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BE THE BAD GUY!

The Kingdom of Talingarde is the most noble, virtuous, peaceful nation in the known world. Herein is the story of how you burned this insipid paradise to the ground.

It's only fair. They burned you first.

They condemned you for your wicked deeds. They branded you. They shipped you to the worst prison in the kingdom. In three days, you die. In three days, the do-gooders pray they'll be rid of you.

They've given you three days. The fools, that's more than you need to break out. And then, it will be their turn to face the fire.

Welcome to the first chapter of the "Way of the Wicked" adventure path! Inside you'll find:

  • "Knot of Thorns," an adventure for 1st level villains compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Gary McBride.
  • Full color art and maps by Michael Clarke
  • A gazetteer of brave, noble, doomed Talingarde
  • Advice for running a successful villainous campaign
  • Rules for creating wicked PCs
  • A 100-page full color PDF (including printer friendly version) full of vice and villainy.
  • And more!

You've saved the world plenty.

This time, the world needs saving from you.

Product Availability

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

FRM1001E


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Fraud

1/5

I would love to give this product a higher rating but it has been written by a fraudster, Gary McBride, who tricked 315 people into giving him $40,000 through Kickstarter and refused to communicate with them for 4 years now. Despite multiple appeals from backers he has backed over 520 other kickstarters since then, logging in every week though seemingly unable to respond to his backers products. Shame on Paizo for selling the products of a con man and allowing him to continue profiting from rpg fans.

For details of the swindle and Gary McBride’s backing record see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/730004812/throne-of-night-a-pathfinder -rpg-adventure-path/comments


Written by a fraudster

1/5

I would love to give this product a higher rating but it has been written by a fraudster, Gary McBride, who tricked 315 people into giving him $40,000 through Kickstarter and refused to communicate with them for 4 years now. Despite multiple appeals from backers he has backed over 520 other kickstarters since then, logging in every week though seemingly unable to respond to his backers products. Shame on Paizo for selling the products of a con man and allowing him to continue profiting from rpg fans.

For details of the swindle and Gary McBride’s backing record see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/730004812/throne-of-night-a-pathfinder -rpg-adventure-path/comments


Excellent campaign

5/5

This is more of a review of the entire AP. I just finished running it after a long run. It is one of the best AP's I have run, some bits of some modules are a bit weak , I think book 5 has some problems with player actions and planning. However if you are willing to deal with all the problems a very high level party can cause and expand a bit over the last 2 books were this power gives the pc's so many options that the books cannot cover them all then this works well.

An evil party gets the chance to become the evil overlords of the land and show their true natures , mine were suprisingly subtle and restrained but it can be fun to see how things turn out.


It has begun

5/5

Despite the relative age of the Way of the Wicked it holds up very well.

Provided the players understand and buy into this campaign's concept they will have a Hell of a good time.

This chapter packs a lot of material from start to end. You get a lot of adventure for your money and the maps are well done. There are a lot of player handouts that you may want to review and re-do for the vision-impaired players (or yourself!).

Especially for the price point the campaign is worth every penny so long as everyone buys in for the long haul.


A wicked good time!

5/5

My friend turned me onto this, and while I haven't checked out a 3P adventure path before, the idea for this one was enough to get me to put some eyes on it. And really, it was a great call to do so.

What I liked:
The level of polish on this product is incredible, and while there's a few typos and such, it's nothing that detracts from the ease of use that this module boast. The idea is original and done in a fun way, the story is engaging, and I myself had a great time reading through it (hoping to run it eventually), making it something that I'd recommend to others.

The game starts off strong with a more complex first part than I was expecting (possibly too complex, but whatever), and the roleplaying opportunities are plenty. The second part is just as engaging, and the ending of it is enjoyably open ended. It really does feel like you're facing off against the forces of good, and in a very organic way as well.

What I didn't like:
The third part is a bit of a slog, it feels like filler in an otherwise tight game. Also no map of the town in part 4 was slightly annoying, and as stated by others, a reputation mechanic built into the game would have pushed it to the next level for me. But regardless, those are minor gripes. Also, you have to MAKE SURE everyone's on team pentagram or else the game doesn't work. Once you do that though, everything flows smoothly.

Overall I'd recommend this to anyone looking for an adventure path that breaks from the norm.


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Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:

Great stuff!

** spoiler omitted **

White works fine too. Could have come from the where the elves and those mentioned in Book 6. But yes, if they ask, definitely mention the black spawn.

Hope your party survives.

Grand Lodge

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Having no car anymore gives me too much free time at home. Changes I made to WotW--Book 1, part 8.

Grand Lodge

Just so everyone is aware this is was the last post regarding Book 1. If anyone has questions that'd like to get my take on, I'll answer them here and make a copy of it on my blog. However, my next set of "changes" will be on the appropriate threads from here on.

Just to put it here, someone asked me about starting up a Patreon. I was confused by the question and have also made a separate post about it on the blog. Left it open for responses. I'm not really expecting any, but it'd be nice if I did. I'm curious.

Stay evil, my friends.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Started on Book 2. Putting the first entry here and in the Book 2 thread. All others will be placed there until I start Book 3, and so on.
Changes I made to WotW--Book 2, part 1.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Interesting stuff -thanks!

Back to the drama in Balentyne :-)

My players just...:

My players surprised me and are still hanging in there. The Dread Necromancer and rogue decided to go for Mad Martin while the rest held off the soldiers. The soldiers were rapidly destroyed and the party slammed the tower door shut and stoneshaped it to keep the good guys from breaking in too quickly.

Up at the top of the tower the rogue used the window from the Veil (I know! Never saw that coming!) to get through Martin's door. A Kelgore's grave mist and some negative energy channeling put paid to Martin and the ravens, just before the manticore arrived.

The whole party stormed down to the bottom and bumped into Captain Barhold in full plate with a troupe of his soldiers. The fight was brutal, as the party ignored the calls to surrender and chose to slaughter the soldiers while keeping the Captain grappled. He broke free of the monk and took the rogue out, permanently, before going down fighting.

So what next? The problem is that the Magister, Father Donnagin and Lord Havelyn (plus various soldiers and acolytes and a golem) need to make their way from the courtyard to the base of the tower. I've set the golem to pounding on the door but rolled abysmally the first two times. I don't want them to come in and have to fight in the stairwell either - the party can take one at a time that way. I don't see a short cut to surround the nasty attackers either.

Any ideas or tactics would be very welcome - the party is on a roll, the dice are on fire (except the Rogue, but he can play another PC the next time due to an absent player) and if they get the chance they can take out the entire heirarchy here. The chance needn't be too easy though :-)

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:
Back to the drama in Balentyne :-)

suggestions:
The wizard alone can do this. He won't though. Either he'll hide behind the golem, or he'll get the fighters to go in front in full defender and shoot fireballs. Unless the party gives up, the sheer numbers will take them down at some point. The clerics will spam the healing.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Blow the door off? :-)


Quick Question for anyone:

Did or has anyone developed any penalties for violating the contract every PC signs?? Just curious if anyone ran into that sort of scenario, and how they handled it.


We've only had a couple of minor violations. The party rogue tried to pocket a bit of treasure but was caught. The rest of party elected to fine him the value of the item in question.

He tried it again recently, and was caught yet again. This time, only two people caught him, one other party member (a vampire favored soul of Loviatar), and Iseval (who is the henchman of one of the party members).

The vampire elected to say nothing, and Iseval called him on it in a fashion that let him make up a story and dump it in with the rest of the party loot.

Grand Lodge

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I've mentioned this a couple of times, and blogged about it as well. The pact was made out of this parchment. Had only one person violate it.


Starting running this recently.. 1 player mouthed off another, and the one person shot the other with a crossbow... the hostility diffused for now.


well after the last game, they players are slowly "exploring" the keep.. and the crossbow shooter died to a capt.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Well, we played again and it's getting tight!

Recap:
The group was in the armory/smithy having disposed of Mad Martin and the ravens. They fought off the acolyte and soldiers facing them and closed the doors on the reinforcements (including Donnagin, Havelyn and Tacitus). To give them a few rounds I had their wyvern buddy appear over the battlements and breathe on the troops just before they slammed the door. They wedged it shut and headed downstairs, then decided to fight some more rather than flee. Sigh - the crazy fools!

Bursting out of the doors at the Captain's quarters they bumped into some soldiers and Captain Barhold. In a brutal fight he took out the rogue before being stabbed to death while grappled by the half-orc monk. He even burst out of the grapple once and almost killed a second PC. As the half-orc monk tore off his breastplate to feed on his heart the rest of the party got the rogue stabilised and on his feet, or scouted ahead to the main corridor. Time for the golem upstairs to smash the door down and allow Havelyn and Donnagin to enter. At the opposite side of the captain's quarters - in the main corridor - Tacitus appeared. He'd flown round while the "foot soldiers" battered the braced door.

Havelyn beheld the scene - Barhold dead and his ribcage torn open. His men slaughtered. The two "guardsmen" still standing (circlets) apparently responsible yet totally clean of all blood.

"Lay down your arms and surrender this instant, or by Mitra I'll send you to your judgement here and now."

The party cleric and leader ordered them to retreat to room 6." Tacitus let loose with fireballs on the rogue and necromancer while Havelyn trundled after the two disguised half-orcs. Tacitus then caught almost all the party in the corridor with rooms 3-6 in a web. It's never been so quiet at the gaming table. Buttocks were clenched.

The cleric stoneshaped a route to the dining room while a bunch of soldiers appeared behind Tacitus. He ordered them to attack while the Necromancer (also in the guise of a guard) yelled that that creepy wizard had gone mad and slaughtered everyone. Bluff check 28 or so...hmmmmm.

One of the players asked me how the corridor was lit and I said "a few torches." Sudddenly the web began to burn at a few strategic points! There was all to play for - they made it into bedroom 6 and closed the door behind them just seconds before Havelyn and Donnagin. He'd had one chance to hit someone and reduced the barbarian to unconsciousness (approx 60 dmg) so he was being dragged by the monk.

So now the whole party was in Captain somebody's bedroom, and dragging their battered companion through to the kitchen. They turned the key (which they had taken earlier) and left it half-turned in the lock. Havelyn couldn't use his key! The party had bought a few rounds again :-)

The cleric ran into the kitchen disguised as a guard. He ordered the worried servants into the pantry and eyed the food lift speculatively.

That's where we left it - we play again tonight. This is definitely one great running battle!

What would you folks recommend at this point? For Havelyn and Donnagin it may be quicker to break the door down than run around. They also have no reason to suspect a stoneshape to the dining hall but are certainly suspicious.

Oh - and are the ceilings in Balentyne and floors after the ground floor made of wood?

Grand Lodge

Chances are the ceiling is stone, much like most castles. Other than that, they'd bust down the door, survey the area, then dictate actions.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

curses!:
It took Havelyn four attempts to get the door down. The party hid their stoneshape escape route with a wardrobe and an illusion, buying another few rounds. They swiftly escaped up the kitchen elevator, stealthily took out a patrol outside the Main Hall and disappeared over the wall. Inconceivable!

(The session before my dice were on fire, this time not so much :D )

Anyway, they're back in town, discovering the travelling market (with your addition) and plotting the next attack.

Do you think Havelyn would go to the inn in person to tell him his brother has been killed?


if the lord went to the inn, wouldnt you feel he is exposed to a player attack? unless he brings a pile of guards with him...

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Yes. He would feel that it would be his duty. However, that doesn't mean he'd go alone.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

That's what they're counting on.:

He did his "Lay down your arms and there is still a chance to save your souls" bit so they think they have him sussed.

I'll send Donnagin, 12 troops and the two recently arrived inquisitors (invisible). That leaves Tacitus to mind the shop - the troops will love that! Or maybe he can go invisible too. Seven minutes... if he casts it on the outskirts and they spend five minutes at the inn...

Of course the party may choose to ambush them on the way back. Hmmmm...


Now that Occult Adventures is out; I wonder what resources from that book people will use in this campaign.

I think Mesmerist and Pyrokineticist might be the most stereotypically "Asmodean" occult options. But I'd be interested to see what kinds of evil characters people can make using the new occult classes and archetypes.

Grand Lodge

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Axial wrote:

Now that Occult Adventures is out; I wonder what resources from that book people will use in this campaign.

I think Mesmerist and Pyrokineticist might be the most stereotypically "Asmodean" occult options. But I'd be interested to see what kinds of evil characters people can make using the new occult classes and archetypes.

I agree that pyrokineticist would be the easiest to take. After all, there's an attack option for flame strikes, and that fits perfectly for the Arsonist trait. I can see someone taking the spiritualist, and being accused of consorting with the dark powers, and perhaps the medium kept souls from making their way to the other side. Can't say I immediately know what the occultist or psychic would be doing. Them, or the other four kineticists.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I thought Blood Kineticist would be an interesting fit. Psychic could have done any of the things Arcane casters in general get accused of.

Grand Lodge

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JohnHawkins wrote:
I thought Blood Kineticist would be an interesting fit. Psychic could have done any of the things Arcane casters in general get accused of.

That'd definitely scream of witchery.


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Axial wrote:
Has anyone ever thought about playing as a worshipper of Zon-Kuthon in this campaign? In the PF campaign setting, Cheliax and Nidal are allies, so an alliance between Asmodeans and Kuthites to take down Talingarde is not out of the question. The player could ask Cardinal Thorn for permission to turn a city like Ghastenhall into a temple to Zon-Kuthon in which he and his fellow cultists can commune with Kytons and enact their perverse rituals of torment upon the populace. There is the matter of the hell-binding contract that all the PCs must sign, but one of Zon-Kuthon's major areas of interest is jealousy..he may find a way to steal back his follower.

There was a WoTW pbp here that had one follower of Z-K. I think the Shadow Courst had an agent in the party and there was a clause in the contract that allowed this with them having to face the Kytons if they broke the contract.

Grand Lodge

Axial wrote:

Now that Occult Adventures is out; I wonder what resources from that book people will use in this campaign.

I think Mesmerist and Pyrokineticist might be the most stereotypically "Asmodean" occult options. But I'd be interested to see what kinds of evil characters people can make using the new occult classes and archetypes.

Looking it over now, I'm thinking the flesheater barbarian might be one. There's a couple different cannibal races, and this fits perfectly. There's a few others that are meh for this, but you could definitely play around with it. The false medium is essentially a con artist, and the ghost rider cavalier could have been playing with dark powers. The ectoplasm bloodline could make them leery of you.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Hi folks,

Wednesday night is game night and my party have spotted Lord Havelyn, Brother Donnagin and a squad of soldiers giving Bellam Barhold the news about his brother. The party want to ambush them on their way back to Balentyne. They have also mentioned racing back to Balentyne while the Lord is at the Inn and impersonating him and Donnagin to get inside... and then they'll lock the doors behind them! Sneaky, I hope they do that :-)

At this stage there are no captains left, no ravens, no Martin, no dwarves and approx 30 dead troops.

What would you recommend as tactics in each event?

fish, chips:
I'm using code words since the party's disguised infiltration. I've caught them out a few times already and they haven't cottoned on to the system: squads belonging to different captains have different button spacing (like the British Foot Guards) and there's a challenge and answer for each.

I've given Int checks and Disguise checks when impersonating guards, and the different spacing and weapon load-out has been noticed but no-one has put two and two together yet.
(The players are not happy that their disguises are constantly 'ignored' but also happy enough as I've promised to explain at the end of the chapter if their characters don't guess.)

Tacitus should probably stay at the castle. The two inquisitors could be disguised as soldiers accompanying Havelyn and Donnagin, or guarding the gates in the event of option 2 ;-)

Grand Lodge

I think you're doing just fine. Honestly, you're doing too well. With this many years of peace and almost no threat in existence since the PCs, there's almost no reason for codes. That said, if this getting implemented, it'd be new for everyone. There's the possibility that a few guards have everything written down. A PC could make a Perception check to see it, followed by Sleight of Hand.
Have the "others" be the guards at the gate. And yes, the wizard would stay. His new present still needs to looked over, and possibly augmented (Google - Purple Duck Games Combat Golem). It's what I did.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The beginning of the end:

Well, scratch Lord Havelyn, Father Donnagin and ten more troops :-)
The party spotted them delivering the bad news to Bellam Barhold and decided on an ambush. Even with no cleric spells (all used in the early morning raid, no new ones yet) they decided to take the chance. The cleric was outfitted with tanglefoot bags and alchemist's fire :-)

The party holed up on the outskirts, near the edge of the woods, hiding in bushes or behind tree trunks. Thanks to their circlets they all seemed to be wearing ghillie suits. Tricksy players!!!

With the almost invisible Kilkiletz scouting they asked for the formation of the group marching back to Balentyne and received it. Plans were made and dice rubbed in anticipation. Asmodeus was apparently rather pleased with the whole idea as the party subsequently surprised everyone, then beat them all in initiative. OUCH!

An ogre zombie was summoned at the front while a Kelgore's Gravemist was dropped on Lord Havelyn and Father Donnagin, catching a few soldiers too. The rogue threw explosive bombs (rogue talent) and the fatigued Lord Havelyn promptly natural-1'd his save against a ray of exhaustion. I'd decided to roll all my dice openly on the table for this important rematch, which led to much joy from the players.

Some more stuff hit Havelyn, and before any good guy had a chance to react, Father Donnagin was at 3 hp and Havelyn told him to "Drop the spell (shield other), I can take care of myself!" Havelyn channeled to save Donnagin and some soldiers, then walked the full ten feet he could manage in his state.

Donnagin managed to dismiss shield other just before he was attacked by a silenced barbarian. His end was swift and bloody. The party cleric stood up from cover and lobbed a tanglefoot bag at Havelyn, who promptly failed another save. And there he stood, the terrifying Lord of Balentyne, who'd smacked two PCs into near-death in two rounds earlier that day. There he stood, knee-deep in gloop, shivering, burning, waving his sword and shouting "You'll pay for this". ;-)

Six soldiers charged the cleric (not knowing he was a cleric). One channel energy later, he was surrounded by six corpses. He rolled 14 damage on his 3d6, and my (open) saves were all under an 8.

Havelyn waved a challenge at the barbarian who decided to get in close for revenge. Havelyn's smite hurt him, but the return stroke (and the ongoing fire and cold damage) ended his time on this plane.

Time elapsed: 30 seconds.
Next step: empty Balentyne, open the doors, and allow to Fire-Axe to walk on through, not stopping to camp.

We'll see what Tacitus, the Archons, and the Ice Golem have to say about that next time!

Grand Lodge

Ouch is right. It seems Asmodeus cursed your dice that night.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Exhausted and Entangled is ghastly nightmare for a melee powerhouse. Havelyn's move dropped to 5' and his Dex to 2! The villains basically stood around in a big circle and embarrassed him to death.

They're still raving about their massive victory on our site though, so it was a succesful night :)
And it's been a year playing Chapter One (2-3 hours every two weeks) - time to roll out the red carpet for the Fire-Axe.

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:

Exhausted and Entangled is ghastly nightmare for a melee powerhouse. Havelyn's move dropped to 5' and his Dex to 2! The villains basically stood around in a big circle and embarrassed him to death.

They're still raving about their massive victory on our site though, so it was a succesful night :)
And it's been a year playing Chapter One (2-3 hours every two weeks) - time to roll out the red carpet for the Fire-Axe.

If you're doing the XP thing, and want to try get a bit of Mitran stomping done, be sure to add in my suggestions for additional encounters in the church, and also templates.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

pimping the dregs:
I've the Combat version of the golem, and the Stained Glass ones too. Killing one of those in the neighbourhood of the Archon whirlwind could deliver a nasty shredding :-)

Apart from that there's about 45 troops, many still rather ill, plus Tacitus and two acolytes left. And the bounty hunters/ inquisitors. Balentyne is doomed.


when i ran my group thru, I found the regular troops lackluster in fights.

tho my group was fairly smart with guerilla tactics, they picked off a few of the higher ups quickly

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Apart from that there's about 45 troops, many still rather ill, plus Tacitus and two acolytes left. And the bounty hunters/ inquisitors. Balentyne is doomed.

While you're 3 troops short, if push comes to shove, check out the Mob template from DMG II 3.5 and let them have an epic brawl. It'll be a CR 8 encounter, but that might be what you need to take on the PCs.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Last night's session:
Well - the party decided to wait til early the next morning before their final attack. They had Kilkiletz watch the castle and report on developments. I threw a few dice for "morale" to help decide what to do, and the results were abysmal.

All the Captains dead. Lord Havelyn and Father Donnagin missing for almost 24 hours...cue about fifteen sickly (poisoned), shell-shocked soldiers slipping out of the castle after sundown.

Tacitus, the only remaining "named" NPC, locked himself and the rest of the soldiers up in the keep (closing off the stairs with the block of stone) where they could try and hold for reinforcements (or hopefully the return of Lord Havelyn.

The acolytes stayed in the church, along with some of Captain Barhold's troops to hold a wake. Much singing and praying to Mitra etc. The servants were dismissed to go to their families (and should the PCs come back in servant guise they'd be immediately identifiable as wrong 'uns.

So the party raised the Lord, Father Donnagin and 8 soldiers as skeletons and sent them to attack anyone in the viciinity of the fort. They then proceeded to sneak inside and search the empty bedrooms and kitchens and vestry. On hearing the singing in the church they made sure the trapdoor was securely tied down to prevent excape and sneaked up to the Smithy. They saw light streaming through the stained glass windows, with beautiful pictures of knights and the sun, and decided to attack. The two guards were taken out by an invisible, silent cleaving barbarian, and then a few surprises arrived.

Out of the windows popped two stained glass golems (one M, one L, from the Construct Codex). While the battle raged, the party monk tripped and destroyed one, making himself a target for the Archon whirlwind. It picked him up, battered him and carried him over the wall, dropping him from a great height. He got to use slow fall (how often does that happen?) and is now being approached by 10 skeletons...

The rest of the party is now facing off against a Large Stained Glass Knight and the whirlwind is on its way back to vacuum up another. The light show is almost enough to wake Tacitus (the action is in a [s]ilence[/i])...

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...

Seems like things are getting really interesting. Glad you were able to make use of my additional tactics.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The defences on those golems are impressive! Great find :)
Dropping PCs over the wall certainly surprised the players - I've never used a whirlwind/air elemental before, believe it or not!

Grand Lodge

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Watching a movie also called Way of the Wicked from 2014. The main character is psychic.

EDIT: That was all kinds of bad.


kevin_video wrote:

Watching a movie also called Way of the Wicked from 2014. The main character is psychic.

EDIT: That was all kinds of bad.

It sometimes showed up when I tried to search for things WoTW-related on google.

Well, hey, there's a psychic class now, so you can actually be a "psychic in Way of the Wicked" without it sucking! :)

Grand Lodge

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Axial wrote:
kevin_video wrote:

Watching a movie also called Way of the Wicked from 2014. The main character is psychic.

EDIT: That was all kinds of bad.

It sometimes showed up when I tried to search for things WoTW-related on google.

Well, hey, there's a psychic class now, so you can actually be a "psychic in Way of the Wicked" without it sucking! :)

Yeah, I'd seen it in passing while on Google as well, but never paid it any mind. Not until today when I saw it on TV, and was bored enough to sit there and let my brain melt to the point I could feel it oozing out of my ears. The irony is that it could be seen as a prequel to the game if you set it in modern times, for the killer. "This is my background story." It was so bad.

Grand Lodge

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For those of you who don't have the new Dirty Tactics Toolbox, there's a new Asmodeus cleric archetype out. I still prefer the version Gary made, but you might be able to mix and match them.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

session report:
The next session was short... and violent. (We didn't have much time IRL)
The Archon Gestalt whirlwind swooped back over the courtyard and landed on the cleric of Asmodeus, battering him and sucking him off the ground. The Gestalt swept him back towards the walls but couldn't stay together long enough to throw him over the edge. The cleric landed in the snow on the battlements, surrounded by lots of lantern archons, all singing and exulting Mitra. He stood up and channeled negative energy, wounding more than half of them.

The Monk outside the castle unravelled his enchanted rope and threw it all the way up to the battlements, where it attached itself. He started climbing. The Stained Glass golem looked around for a new target now that the Cleric had been carried away. It found Bar, the half-orc Barbarian rushing to engage and met him head-on. Its maximum damage critical - 16 on 2d8 - for 50 points, made him change his mind and promptly retreat again in search of many, many bandages!

The Archons sang glory to Mitra, while shooting their lasers all over the place. The Cleric continued his counter-offensive with negative channels until the last shiny book flared its last prayer.

With no-one brave enough to face the Stained Glass Knight, the Dread Necromancer summoned an Ogre Zombie. The two giants fought it out while the party healed, and as soon as the Monk made it over the wall he joined in. Team Evil were victorius and looked around for their next move. The Ogre zombie had a few moments left, so they raced it into the keep where it began to pound on the stone slab blocking the stairs.

To everyone's surprise it smashed it to smithereens before disappearing in a puff of oily brown smoke. The party raced back to the cover of the Smithy/ Armory to await developments, and Ice Golem and ten crossbowmen did not disappoint. The party were nervous to go outside, expecting an invisible fireballing wizard. They weren't expecting the Ice Golem to throw iceballs and had to race to engage after a few chilly moments. With alchemist's fire, fiery weapons and other, less useful armaments, the party slowly gained the upper hand. The crossbowmen hoped desperately to take a few of the evil invaders out, but were basically ignored until the Rogue/ Alchemist took the lot out with a well-placed bomb. And finally the golem crumbled to pieces. The party have had three members briefly unconscious, and only the Magister has yet to show his face.

He has been hovering above the fight, invisible, for a few moments now - hoping his ice golem would thin the enemy ranks. The party have been staying spread out or fighting from cover from above. Tacitus didn't want to damage his golem himself but now he's alone. He may just ... leave. Or maybe take up position on the roof, or in the gatehouse, waiting for a shot at a few folk. What do you folks think?

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...

Spoiler:
He won't leave. He'd lose too many of his privileges if he did. He'll at least give it a shot. As per his morale, he won't leave until he's got 13 hp or less. He has 8 charges in the wand left. He also has his own fireballs. He'd go for it. That spell has a lot of distance, and his magic missiles hit no matter what. If he still has stoneskin, that will go up first. If the party has arrows, he'll put up the protection from arrows spell up second. Then he'll take pot shots at the group. Also, retcon the sleep spell. He's 7th level, and almost no PC is ever going to be 4 HD by this point. That should be something else. I'd suggest bungle or unprepared combatant (both from Ultimate Magic) instead, as they are both enchantment spells, so he's just losing one for another. Once things look dire, he'll take off. He's got 7 minutes of fly to play with.
Grand Lodge

Something to consider regarding Tactitus:
1) A wizard only spends half the cost on his bonded item to enchant it. While it's full selling cost for the PCs, it wasn't for him. That means his wand of fireballs with 8 charges, while 1800 for us, is 900 for him.
2) An NPC that's 7th level has a total wealth level of 6000 gold. When the PCs meet Tactitus, he is worth 3732 gold. Even with his spell book, that's still only 5177 gold.

Take from that what you will.

And just a side note, a PC's wealth is 23,500 gold. You know, just in case the PCs are hurting for wealth and you want to give him the +1 CR.

Hint: If you want to give him a few more scrolls, make sure to check out his spellbook.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Spoiler:
It's also the middle of the night, so he can't stay far away if he wants to do something now. Maybe wait for morning, though then everyone will be healed. There's light coming from the church, I can have him, say, 200' up :)

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Just a note that he has googles on his face, but there's no stats as to what kind they are. I gave him goggles of minute seeing. Maybe yours are the 12k goggles of night. That said, he could have a 2nd level scroll of darkvision too. It's only 60 ft, but it's something. Also, fireball is a nice flash of light. And somehow I doubt your players would wait until morning.
The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Spoiler:
True, they're as good as finished with Balentyne, and have been "saving the good spells" for the rematch with Tacitus. I just need a few CR2 or 3 assistants for him, preferably flying and invisible. I'm thinking Eladrins :)

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Remember my suggestion to use a choral angel. Perhaps there's emergency incense inside the church to burn. And maybe the angel has a command word to release another stained glass golem.
The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Spoiler:
Oh yes, that was nice. I forgot to mention - the Necromancer also dropped a Kelgore's Gravemist in the church, freezing the remaining acolytes.

Since I accidentally used a Large and a Medium Stained Glass Golem, as well as having the Gestalt coming out to defend the church, I'm going to have it be properly finished with now. The players have earned it - three down-and-dyings in that slugathon!

Having Tacitus solo (or with the last of the guards) would be a bit too one-sided action-economy wise. I like those little Musteval Guardinals (called Agathions in PF? link to conversion here) with their focused movement, or a few flying 3.5 Coure Eladrins - they can Faerie Fire the party for Tacitus :D)

Otherwise... maybe he'd have some little clockworks or mephits. I was tempted to have him secretly be a Bronze Dragon but he'd used too many spells already :-) )

Grand Lodge

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carborundum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Another idea is for him to have a stash of summon monster scrolls in his room, locked away in the cash lockbox. Have them all be extended for extra rounds. Another idea is to have him use a wand of mirror image and a scroll of blur on himself, and get into battle. Him using fireball, and there being six of him, plus with a 20% miss chance, and stone skin, it's not that one-sided anymore. Especially if he gets the last of the guards. Don't forget that they can just sit up by the ramparts, and take pot shots. Have the guards all have sunrods. They light them up, toss them down, and light the place up like flares. The part can't really hide with all of those in the courtyard.

As you said, your party's earned it. They've gone through quite the slug fest. Don't be too mean. They've earned it.

Grand Lodge

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I'm pretty stoked. A few people at home have voiced their interest in doing the Way of the Wicked campaign. Mainly because they really want to play certain races and classes that they absolutely can't through PFS. This pleases me.

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