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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4.50/5 (based on 24 ratings)

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The only good book in this AP.

3/5

The title says it all. Book 1 of Way of the Wicked is fantastic, with a great and memorable starting setpiece, So is the Watch Wall, with a lot of options for the PCs.

-1 Star from my overall rating, with the whole Kickstarter fraud thing others have mentioned.


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.


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Encounters Book 6

Spoiler:

Act 1
unique Thanatonic titan
hill giant barbarian, great cyclops, troll (5), two-headed troll, hill giant (5), ettin (2), frost giants (8)
bugbear fighter
human male antipaladin

Act 2
human male armor master fighter
human male inquisitor with longsword and shield
bandersnatch
gargantuan kraken, summoned dire sharks
glabrezu (4), marilith (2)
shoggoth (2)

Act 3
planetar (2)
human male inquisitor with greatsword
pit fiend, immolation devil
human male paladin

Act 4
Elysian titan, ghaele azata, half-dragon human female sorcerer (with form of the dragon 3 cast upon herself), colossal silver dragon, solar


This took a surprisingly long time, digging through all my pawns. I have forgotten what I pawns I used when I ran this part of the Way. But here are my suggestions for pawns in Book 1.
Key:
VC=Villain Codex
NPC= NPC codex
HV=Hells Vengeance
HR=Hells Rebels
WotR= Wrath of the Righteous
MC=Monster Codex
B1,B2,B3,B4,B5,B6=Bestiaries
RoA=Ruins of Azlant
IS=Inner Sea Box
PFS=Pathfinder Society
SM=Summon Monster
SA=Strange Aeons
RoW=Reign of Winter
CotCT=Curse of the Crimson Throne
WftC=War for the Crown
II=Ironfang Invasion
GS=Giantslayer
RotRL=Return of the Runelords
SS=Shattered Star
S&S=Skulls & Shackles
All entries are in format of
NPC name; Pawn name(source),Pawn name (source)
or for monsters
Monster(amount); source(amount of pawns) or alternate pawn with name of monster (amount of pawns)(source)
For example Tritons(4);B2 (2),Merfolk warrior (B1),undine(2) (B2)
Act 1

Spoiler:

Blackerly; Misguided paladin or Slave master (VC)
Guards; Longacre deputies (4) and Glorious reclamation squire(4) (HV), Guard (4)(NPC), Mendevian crusaders(3) and Molthuni soldiers (4)(IS), Horned Fang gangster(4) (RotRL)
Guard dogs (medium sized)(3); Medium dog and Medium Wolf(NPC) ,Riding dog (B1), wolf(2)(B1), warg (B1), goblin dog(B1), hyena (B1)
Servants; Charmed townsfolk (WftC), Honorary Tribune Onara Piscum(WftC), Roustabout (VC), Bolgart Caggan (HV), Apostle in Orpiment (SA)
Prison Warden; Darellus Fex (HV), Hermit (NPC)
Grumblejack; Ogre Destroyer (MC) or a special miniature.
Giant Toad; B2

Act 2
Spoiler:

Vampiric mist; B2, RoA
Timeon; Squire (NPC)
Mithral cobras(2); Iron cobra (B1)(PFS), electric eel (B1),
Draugr(4); VC(6), B2 (3), skeleton(B1)
Sir Balin; Knight (NPC),Knight of Ozem (IS), Oppian Nevilindor (HV), Rayland Arkley (RoA)

Act 3
Spoiler:

Captain Sambryl; Aron Kir (WotR), Syras Cokleburr Esq(WftC), chelish marine (S&S)
Sailors: Longcare deputy and Militia volunteers (HV),
Triton oracle;Triton (B2), Thalem (RoA)
Tritons(4);B2 (2),Merfolk warrior (B1),undine(2) (B2)
Small water elementals; B1, SM(3)
Dolhins(2); SM(2)
Bunyip(2); B2(1)
Yutak Chief;Zaril Namoth (PFS)
Yutak medicine man; Mud Shaman or Shaman (NPC), Thousand Bones(CotCT), Wildfire(VC)
Yutak hunters(5); Kuru thug (5)(SA)
ice mephit;SM (2). normal mephit B1
small ice elemental(4); B2 (1), RoW (1), small water elemental (B1), (3)(SM)
bugbear(4); B1(3) , MC(at least 2)
Odenkirk; Ulfen hunter or raider (IS), skulking brute (NPC), Hjort Fastax or Ostog (PFS)
Odenkirks sailors(6); pirate marauder(4) or Shackles pirate(4) (IS), Emperors thug(8) (CotCT), Einherji(2) (B4), pirate (S&S), roadkeeper(RotRL)

Act 4

Spoiler:

dwarven engineers(10); recruit(6) (NPC), sadistic healer(4) (VC), also Heroes and Villains has some dwarves
Barnabus Eisenbauch; Dwarven rager or Hammer of justice (NPC), Gardel Vargrinnar or Kazakador (HV) or some dwarf from Heroes and
Villains
lantern archons(9); B1(1), SM(4), harbringer Archon (1)(B2),(1) (HV), paralectus aeon (B2),Will-o-wisp (2)(SA),(1)(B1),(1)(RoA)
lantern archon gestalt; large air elemental (B1) or large lightning elemental (B2)
ice golem; B1
Raven swarm; B6, RoW(2), Crowntop Kings (WftC), Bat swarm (B1)
Captain Mott;Endranni Malesk (HV)
Captain Eddarly; Daredevil hunter (NPC),Guard Sniper(VC), Xoxl(RotRL)
Rangers; cavalry Soldier(4) (NPC), Longcare deputy (4) (HV), Sodden Scavenger (IS)(4) Horses; VC(4),NPC(1)
Captain Barhold: Eagle Knigh commander (IS), Valeros (NPC), Royster MCCleagh(S&S), Rayland Arkley (RoA)
Soldiers with heavy crossbows; Superstitious mercenary(3) (NPC),Lotheed Soldier(5) (WftC), Menador Soldier (4) (HR)
Halberdiers; Guard (4) (NPC),
Captain Varning; mounted; Alain on Donahan (IS) On foot; Alain, cavalier (IS), Harsh lieutnant (VC), Verik Vancaskerkin(CotCT)
Archers; Novice scout(3) and Cavalry soldier(4)(NPC), Glorious reclamation Knight (with bow)(8) and Longcare deputy(4) (HV), Guard
spotter(4) (VC), Dusk warden(3) (IS)
Tacitus; Pyromaniac mage or Cruel Instructor (VC), Ezren (NPC)
Father Donnagain; Loran Allamar or Lacall Allmar (HV)
Acolyte clerics; Glorious Reclamation squire(4) (HV), Aasimar cleric (B1)
Mad Martin;Apperentice jeweler or Old Sailor or (if feeling cruel) Pig farmer (NPC), Jabral Louslik(HV)
Lord Havelyn; Knight of the Ioun Star (IS),Oppian Nevilindor (HV), Knight (NPC)

Probably gonna do Book 3 next as we are going to start that book as soon as we finish Iron Gods AP.

Grand Lodge

Very well done and extremely thorough.


Thank you, hopefully it will be of use to GMs running WotW.


Small Update from Enemy Encounters set.

Act 1

Spoiler:

Grumblejack: Ogre Killer

Act 2

Spoiler:

Draugar: Skeletal Thug(3), Skeletal Warrior(6)

Act 3

Spoiler:

Bugbears: Bugbear(4), Bugbear ambusher(2), Bugbear stalker(4)


Tyrants Grasp pawn set is out. Not much for this book in there unfortunately.

Spoiler:
Two Vampiric mists.
A bone cobra to serve as a mithral cobra.
Sir Balin; Tsomar Trant.
Commander Havelyn; Watcher-Lord Ulthun II


The PF2 Gamemastery Guide NPC Pawn set has a lot of good pawns for prison guards, soldiers, dwarven engineers and other nameless NPCs.

Grand Lodge

After all this time, I've got another entry for additional encounters in Book 1 or Book 2, and you can could even use one in Book 3. It'll definitely spice things up, and change up the narrative. Definitely nothing wrong with using these or converting them and advancing them further.

Changes to Way of the Wicked, Extras Part 2

Just a couple of golems to beat on and terrorize the villainous PCs.


We are beginning to play it currently. I am curious how the fact that my PC is chaotic Evil and worships Nocticula will play out :).

I plan to play up common emnity vs both Baphomet and Mithra (Nocticula being the queen of Midnight), as well as Nocticula allowing Devils into Alyushinyrra as precedent to not get murdered, lets see if this works.

Grand Lodge

Mightypion wrote:

We are beginning to play it currently. I am curious how the fact that my PC is chaotic Evil and worships Nocticula will play out :).

I plan to play up common emnity vs both Baphomet and Mithra (Nocticula being the queen of Midnight), as well as Nocticula allowing Devils into Alyushinyrra as precedent to not get murdered, lets see if this works.

I guess it depends on which version of Nocticula you're using. If it's the deity, you couldn't do CE, but CN is very easy to do. If you're using the demon lord version, then you're fine as is. However, I would probably go CN if only because it'll make everything easier on the group and GM. Neutral and lawful are fine, but devils don't like chaos and you could be seen as a liability. It's specifically put in the player's guide that chaotic alignments shouldn't be allowed because chaos and law don't really work out all that well. If the game is being completely re-written and the adventure path is just being used as a skeleton base, then it'll be completely on the GM. It could work.


Its the demon lord, however, it could be fine on account of:

1: Nocticula probably being the least chaotic of the bunch.
2: Her not being all that anti devil.
3: Plausible deniability for the Asmodeans.
4: We homebrewed that some of the Caer Bryn tribes worship demon lords, alongside normal deities and recruiting them as allies of opportunity is supposed a subtext of act 2-3. Caer Bryn vs Talingarde is also more antagonistic, the character in question beign a Caer Bryn raider who participated in the equivalent of the raid on Lindis Farne.
5: The character being relatively worldwise, being capable of adding 1+1 and figuring out that showing interest in converting to f.e. Eiseth (Nocticula to Eiseth would not actually be such of a big shift, exchange one very scary femme fatale for the other) should reduce odds of getting murdered out of hand, although it remains to be seen how long he can stall.
6: I think most importantly, both the Asmodeans and the Nocticulans would try to use the other side as their pawns against Mithra, with the char being in the middle. I am explicitly fine with this. Should be interesting roleplay.


Would love to know how your game is going Mightypion.

Grand Lodge

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I didn't initially think to post it here, and only posted it on Book 6, but for those DMs still running the game, it'd make sense that I put the link here as well.

Here is the link to the online document (which can be downloaded) containing all the known errors in Books 1-7 of Way of the Wicked.

These were gathered by multiple DMs who posted on Reddit, all the things they found wrong. It's about 53 pages in length.

These are also separate from my own entries, especially the ones where I rebuilt some of the NPCs from the ground up.


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Way of the wicked tends to get abandoned more comonly then other MPs somehow.
So, version one:
Abandoned due to GM health issues as we were closing in on Balentyne.

The Nocticulan Bloodrager (Dylan, Caer Bryr background, we amped up the hostility a bit) had the plot weakness "Femme Fatale", and promptly, after effectively mass murdering Branderscar prison leaving some survivors that were fed false information, presented the heads of Blackerly and warden Richter to the most fair Lady Thiadora, being rather smitten by her power and grace.

The GM replaced the Vampiric mist with her, seeing to test if we were truely brave. Dylan ap Dryffed, currently enlarged, inspired couraged and ably assisted by some flanking and a +4 Aid another from the Bard landed a crushing hit on her with his Orc butchering axe, after being told by her "yes, come at me and give me your best shot".
This did about 15ish damage to her, after DR, very pissed about that Thiadora transformed several books early, and lashed out with her greatsword at Dylan, barely not killing him.
This caused him to remark "My Lady, you touched my heart again!" and with her tentacles at the rest of the party.
His turn, Dylan shouted "Lords and Ladies who witness this contest, are you not entertained? Are you not entertained at all?" struck, and hit her, AGAIN.

His later attempts to mollify her with the gift wrapped head of Sir Balin kind of fell flat on account of a really bad diplomacy roll.
The training post trials resulted in the eternal phrase "Dylan is tenderly thrown through the wall".

They did "make up" in Sakaroths camp, after Dylan agreed to a full looks makeover, now looking less like a Barbarian Bloodrager and more like a good looking villain sporting a goatee. Dylan has enough spellcraft and kn. planes to make an educated guess of what she will use the harvested beard, which was nearly of dwarfish size, for, given that she has Eryine subordinates. After some NSFWing, he picked up a level in fractured mind.

Version 2:
Joining a bit later, Dylan was whisked away from a Pyre by Lady Thiadora, this time he was an Urban Bloodrager and more of a smug bastard then a Barbarian. Campaign ended due to 2 players dropping from health issues, once again at Sakkaroths camp.
There was less flirting with Thiadora this time, as this version of her was too domineering.
Oh, he 1v1 Sir Balin, won, didnt kill him and wanted to see him sacrificed, only to be told the bugger didnt actually have Paladin levels.

Version 3:
This Dylan rolled some pretty bonkers stats (STR20, Dex and con 17, 11 int, 8 wis, 12 cha), and we absolutely aced the prison, killing everything in it, throwing the corpses (apart from one whom Dylan Sparta kicked off the wall) into the sea and prestigitating the bloodstains off.
We also forged the wardens handwriting in his diary, depicting a strange aeons like descend into Madness, and essentially blaming him for everything.
We have arrived at Chateu de Thorn, next session will likely be infernal contract signing. We have a Kitsune Sorceress with a really high Sleep DC, and Dylan who is CDGing with an Orc butchering axe. This combo probably broke the record for most damage dealt by a level 1 character in a single session.


Lol, the first Dylan channeling Maximus was cool. Did you have different GM for each game?

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