Way of the Wicked—Book #3: Tears of the Blessed (PFRPG) PDF

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Lead an Army of Darkness into Battle!

Inside the Vale of Valtaerna is found the most sacred site to the benevolent god Mitra in all of Talingarde. From this holy site, your enemies draw power and comfort. This is the story of how you raised an army of wickedness and stormed that stronghold of light slaughtering all who stood in your way!

No longer are you a petty servant of darkness. Here is your chance to become a master of evil. But beware! This will not be easy. There are more than just priests in the vale. This is the lair of countless good celestials who will do all in their power to stop your rise. Can you defeat them? Will you be destroyed or will you emerge triumphant amidst the tears of the blessed?

Welcome to the third chapter of the “Way of the Wicked”—the only evil adventure path for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

Inside you’ll find:

  • “Tears of the Blessed,” an adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for 10th-level villains by Gary McBride
  • Full color art and maps by Michael Clarke
  • A gazetteer of the city of Ghastenhall
  • Detailed information about the Church of Mitra, your most determined foes.
  • All you need to run a vicious narrative battle with your PCs in command.
  • 102 pages of full color!
  • And More!

Raise your army, dark lord, and march to war. There will be no one to stop you this time!

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FRM1003E


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****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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Clerics, Angels and Phoenix, oh my

*****

Your horrid villains are tasked with sacking a wintered-in valley of nauseatingly Lawful Good types. Recruit foot soldiers, bust the gate open and sack the place!

This chapter continues to demonstrate the villainous virtues of infiltration, sabotage, skulduggery and raw Evil firepower. The big nasties are all challenging icons of Things that are Good. Some groups will mop the floor with their foes, others will have a more difficult time.

As is the established pattern in earlier chapters, the villains can nova some encounters while carefully husbanding resources in other parts.

Plan carefully Ladies and Lords for failure to pay attention may send your damned souls to Hell far earlier than you wish...


Tears of the Blessed Review

****( )

Warning: Potential spoilers. Written from a GM's perspective. I ran this for 6 PCs.

In the third installment of the Way of the Wicked, the players are given the task of recruiting and army to sack the holy city of Valtaerna. Having played through this book, I must continue to give my compliments to creators. The world and the story is still holding the players attention and offering them creative ways to play their dark lords.

A particularly excellent part of this book was the appropriately epic Battle for Valtaerna. While this long fight spanned at least two full sessions and used almost every resource the party had, it never became tedious or felt like the players were just going through the motions.

However, if I had a criticism of this chapter of Way of the Wicked, it would be that the excitement is a little bit frontloaded. The Big Battle, while excellent, happens fairly early in the book. There is also the matter of a the Phoenix, who is fought relatively early in the book, but is actually a far more dangerous and memorable than the final boss.

Two words of caution to GM planning to run Tears of the Blessed:
1. Be careful with the Phoenix. My players were not well prepared heading in to that fight. Thankfully they had Protection From Energy or we may have had a TPK. However, our party mage had too few non-fire spells and the martial characters didn't have a way of getting through the Phoenix's DR 15/Evil. With the Phoenix's healing capabilities, the fight ended up being a slog where they could barely do more damage than the Phoenix could heal in a round.
2. Be careful with Holy Word. While, most encounters in the latter half of the book have access to this devastating spell, I highly suggest limiting your usage of it. This is a really powerful spell, that does a great job incapacitating players and making the encounter feel dangerous. Unfortunately, when you are a player, being incapacitated isn't very fun. Not only will your players hate it, but they will actively prepare ways to counter it. Considering that Holy Word is probably the best tactic of an otherwise rather weak final boss, you really don't want to wear it out.

However, minor complaints and warnings aside, I would still highly recommend this book. It runs far quicker and easier than Call Forth Darkness and maintains the series excellent quality in story and characters.


*****

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


***( )( )

Tears of the Blessed is a very cool concept module with a lot of neat flavor. The book itself is written with style and the general outline of the adventure itself is very promising. Here's my review:

1. Mechanics
While the fluff and circumstance in the module is fantastic at times (and drudging at others) it suffers from a lot of fidgety mechanics issues that belie a fair bit of annoyance.
A lot of the stat blocks in Way of the Wicked are streamlined. These are made for best use, which is, in thought, very kind, but in practice for the experienced DM very agitating. Baking power attack into most enemies attack rolls seems smart until they're also baking abilities in as well, making unraveling bonuses difficult. Some creatures have deflection against evil opponents in their stat blocks, making their CMD and AC jump up from what's written down. If you have a neutral character in the party, they're very powerful in this module.
Many opponents are not as dangerous as their CR entails. This leads to a kind of boredom syndrome-- a lot of battles are versus foes who, in writing, are CR 10, but in longevity are not-- AC tends to teeter around 20, and attack rolls around +13. Many battles are the opposite-- the creatures aren't very dangerous, but are extremely long-lived. Later on in the Vale itself, DR 5-15/evil is on every single monster you encounter until you begin to encounter incorporeal foes. From the middle of the Battle of Saintsbridge, almost every single foe you face has spell resistance. That is immensely painful. Many encounters are able to cast holy word, which is very punishing to melee. Many encounters are layered in personal or group protection from evil effects, making almost all mind-affecting abilities wasted. Protective aura is unbelievably irritating. Many encounters are slogs that the NPCs can never be victorious in, making the entire conflict unnecessary. A lot of encounters are just soldiers, or later, angelic soldiers, throwing themselves at you to die with little fanfare. Not a lot of encounters enhance the mood-- they just serve as filler.
The humdrum is broken up by several lynchpin encounters that are both exciting, interesting and incredibly iconic. Suchandra the Phoenix is an extremely worthy foe, as is The-Flame-That-Sings. Ara Mathra and She-Forever-Silent are intimidating, as are Taranea and the ghostly paladins (though three encounters of three is far too much in my opinion). These encounters are not only interesting, but some of the only encounters that are plot-worthy (see below).
As a warning, The-Flame-That-Sings is a full-on TPK encounter if your group does not have protection from energy and resist energy. By the time the group killed The-Flame and Suchandra got busy, everyone but the wizard was out of their 120 fire absorption and almost all of them but the monk and bard were on fire. In an adventure that is all-but guaranteed to have an evil-aligned cleric, this can be very devastating.

2. Impetus
In this book, the PCs finish their quest from the last adventure and then are thrust into the next. This has the same kind of problem as the first two books: Cardinal Thorn says jump, so you jump, get tortured and jump minus a stat point, or the book permanently kills you. Not a lot of illusion of choice. You must meet with Sakkarot, that scenario is successful if the PCs try at all, you must go into the Vale, you must douse the three flames, you must kill everyone there, you must slay Ara Mathra. The PCs wants or character motivations don't come into it. There aren't any compelling characters to want to work for, like in other modules (unless you're still riding on the fumes of Thorn from book 1) or people who need saving. It's the opposite-- your character sees there are people who need killing and goes to kill them for the sake of killing. There's no characters to really hate or want to kill, either. Unlike the other books, evil doesn't turn on evil, nor is good annoying, self-righteous or antagonistic. It makes the module extremely bleak. You go around killing great people who don't deserve it and who can't fight back... for fun.

3. Plot
The plot is that the PCs go to a place that is good and nice, kill everyone there and then kill the angels there because their boss said so. There's really nothing beyond that besides plot seeds for the next books. An interesting character is introduced-- Dessiter-- and then disappears. None of the antagonists are really fleshed out beyond the room they're in, and thusly feel very flat. Many, despite there being a huge amount of reasons for them to, do not leave their encounter rooms. My favorite is Taranea-- a CG azata-- who follows orders to not intervene in the Battle of Saintsbridge until the PCs are (presumably) high enough level to fight her. An elementally chaotic creature and elementally good creature not only follows orders but lets people die because of them.
You spend almost the entire module knowing about Ara Mathra but he never interacts with the party-- not even a word from the sky, a showing, an angry prophecy. Strangely, the party is on a timer-- the leader of the Vale is summoning an army of ghostly paladins to fight the PCs-- but the PCs don't know it, so they kind of lackidaisically take their time through the module without much urgency.

Still not liking some of the organization, and definitely disliking many parts-- To enter 2-9, you must go through 2-9a, which is detailed after the contents of 2-9-- a half-page of exposition. Stat blocks still break the page. Maps are square with almost no exception, making drawing them uninspiring.

3 stars simply for the concept alone, though the execution was lacking. This module is, despite everything I just said, still worth a read. Really don't miss it-- it has some of the coolest ideas, scenarios, areas, monsters and concepts in it, surrounded by a lot of hit-or-miss basic D&D setpieces (mass combat) that the module could have abandoned without losing anything.


And the Heavens will weep

*****

This one will have to be short. Suffice to say that in this one, after your villains got the Tears of Achlys at the climax of the last adventure, they first get some downtime (and plenty of side quests to get into trouble and grab some loot), and then they get their next assignment. Simply stated, destroy the most sacred and well-protected temple in the kingdom and defile it past any use. Oh, and no survivors.

You get all the easy jobs.

Anyway, there's considerable role-playing in here as you recruit allies, some of them characters you met before. You'll also meet a devil who's taken a close interest in your careers, which can lead to even further trouble. Not to mention enough battle and mayhem to satisfy the most bloody-minded player as you smash your way into the Vale of Valtaerna, going through everything from warriors to fanatic good clerics to celestials until you (hopefully) achieve victory. And after that you'll find yourself dealing with some very powerful good beings in the Vale -- you'll need sharp wits as well as ready blades to deal with them unless you want to be overwhelmed.

And then the REAL difficulty begins when you enter the Temple of Saint Macarius, deal with the opposition you find there, maybe find some very useful treasures, and finally confront the true master of the temple and leader of your foes. And you WILL need to be both fortunate AND tough to beat Ara Mathra!

It's rounded out with a Gazetteer of the city of Ghastenhall as well as a guide to the religion of Mitra, the Triune God, that should be very helpful for DMs (and maybe players in a more conventional campaign).

There are a few typos here and there, but this is every bit as amazing as the prior adventures in the series. Five stars!


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carborundum wrote:


How do you handle the necromancer controlling undead?

I'm not sure I follow. You mean with command undead and animate dead?


If that's what you mean I've told my players I will treat things like that Like I do summon spells. YOU NEED to be locked and loaded on your turn, pre-rolling, knowing what you want to do. We use roll 20 so macros are a blessing. If they don't do this, they can expect some retribution if it continues and they slow down games.

As a player once I had a green bound planar druid summoner and I always had all my rolls pre-rolled laid on the table and my turns rarely took longer than 1 minute.

Grand Lodge

Malovec wrote:
carborundum wrote:


How do you handle the necromancer controlling undead?

I'm not sure I follow. You mean with command undead and animate dead?

Ours didn't even bother. Just invested in onyx, raised as many as he could, and left. When I brought up that the undead would run free if he wasn't there to control them, everyone just looked at me, laughed, and said "And?" They were not stealthy. They put the entire country on high alert almost immediately. They did everything possible to hunt for onyx. They cornered the market once they got to Farholde using the black market. It was ridiculous.


Oh that. I don't know. This necromancer doesn't seem that irresponsible.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The undead are almost totally useless. I had a player try necromancy except for Dinosaurs and dragons undead had no signifigant combat capability against the level appropriate opponents and it is hard to keep dragon and dinosaur zombies with you.
They are stylish and nothing says evil overlord like riding the son of a great wyrm silver dragon into battle against her.

The only real use they found was that in book 2 if you attached bells to them when heroes broke into the mountain and killed them it made a lot of noise and alerted the pc's


Animated dead are roughly on par with summoned monsters in combat effectiveness depending on their racial HD and surviving templates. They have their uses, but undead mini-onions don't become generally viable until you have high CL access to create undead. Mummified dragons are much more formidable!


I just finished the first session of book 3. I will be adding a journal tomorrow. I just need to type up the final section of how they dealt with Vestromo.


http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2v2yy?Way-of-the-Wicked-Book-3-Journal#1


Updated, the journal with some downtime Out of session.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Sorry - RL monster!

What I meant about the undead was more - how strict are you about commands? I've a Dread Necromancer (we're running 3.75) and his improved undead (basically Augment Summon type bonuses on his undead) are tough. In the Horn he'd filled the ground floor with skellies who had two standing orders - to pull a string if they saw anyone not wearing a prominent symbol of Asmodeus, and to defend themselves if attacked. The second seemed fairly superfluous but was the start of a slippery slope. If he could, he'd program the undead with a few simple IF...THEN loops!

I pulled it back to explicit spoken commands in combat, audible and of ten words or less, which helps. We were also mistakenly letting the zombies have full attacks on a partial charge if the base creature had Pounce, but that's also off the table now. Thanks goodness - it was brutal! (Totally my fault for not reading it properly though.)

I'm still not sure if he can order big zombies to grapple, or if they can only slam. I think grapple should be okay - how about you folks?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

As to the story - they'd defeated the Leonal in a very mobile, dynamic and fun combat. She made good use of walls of force to keep the party separated from each other and the hostages, and her aura saved her bacon a few times! Once the cleric tried to create a shadow bridge over a wall of force, so they could close on her. Unfortunately he wanted the end point within twenty foot of her so it failed completely. Bwahahaha! It saved her from a few vmpiric touches, which was critical!
So, they finally defeated her and her invisible pet giant jaguar, and inspected the gateway. The cleric and rogue went through, telling the rest to send through hostages.

The portal then sent the evil dudes to one destination and good folks to another. Unfortunately, the rest of the party started arguing about who would go next, and waiting for 75 hostages to step through, while the first two encountered a (Lawful Neutral and well-cared for) Belhannoth :-D
The antimagic grapple was hilarious, as both were used to escaping grapples with dimension hopping boots! Hitpoints were in the negative numbers before assistance arrived, in the form of the dominated archer and the vampire Hexblade. The players were baffled as to the location of the hostages (or spell components, as the cleric called them) and found it hilarious that the archer was with the evil guys.

What had happened was - I'd forgotten his alignment, and didn't want to deprive them of the Oathbow so arbitrarily. The players immediately justified everything and accepted the whole situation without question as they'd invented their own rationale! The archer had killed the phoenix, you see, so he was TAINTED. I had him look suitably worried, and again hilarity ensued.

So, with the Belhannoth defeated they found some loot - armour and weapons marked with Asmodean symbols. This was definitely the evil landing platform! The blink dogs were surprisingy tough after I made them Celestial. Eight or nine persistent Smite Evils is serious mojo!

Next encounter was the Kirin. The party stayed well out of sight and sent the rogue forward to chat. He had undetectable alignment. His answers about the trouble outside were sufficiently off to keep the Kirin on edge. They told him to stay at the edge of the grass and continue on their way, and to leave them alone. By this time, four or five My Little Ponies had arrived on the board - they were perfect 10x10 Large creatures!

The rest of the party were OBVIOUSLY evil, and when they refused to turn around five readied ponies raced forward and breathed fire. They then gained initiative and dished out five telepathically coordinated lightning bolts in short order, followed by flying out of range. 55d6 is serious business when you've decided to cast mass resist acid and the party fled!

We'll continue next week, where a Labyrinth Minotaur with the Inevitable subtype has found their camp after their rest. (I'm not a complete monster!)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

For a My Little Pony pic, see this enworld thread LINK as I can't post pics here. The thread is required reading for all WOTW DM's by the way.


Thanks for the updates! The necromancer in question, said he isn't interested in summoning hordes. He only cares about becoming a lich. I envy you getting to use a physical table. I got no room to we all sit around my movie room playing on my 60 inch tv on roll 20.

I wanted to update a little here :)
My Updated Encounter for the last chamber of the Garden of Serenity
I imagine there will be a surprise round as the group will be coming in with their eyes closed and walking with a candle.

I want Sambethe to be a bit more dynamic. I never liked that she would DARE try and fight with a longsword, that's just asking for death.

At least in my party with 7 players. So here she is.

Sambethe v2:

Sambethe, the Oracle of Mitra CR 14
XP 38,400
Female aasimar oracle 14
NG Medium outsider (native)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60ft.; Perception +3
DEFENSE
AC 25, touch 11, flat-footed 24 (+9 armor, +1 Dex, +5 shield)
hp 102 (14d8+56)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +10
Immune fatigue; Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee none
Special Attacks channel positive energy 14/day (DC 21, 7d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +18)
1/day—daylight
Oracle Spells Known (CL 14th; concentration +18)
7th (3/day)—, Archon's Trumpet (DC 21) X2, mass cure serious wounds, Summon Monster 7 (5x Bralani Azata)
6th (5/day)—greater dispel magic x1, heal x2, Mass cure moderate Wounds
5th (6/day)—breath of life x2, cleanse, flame strike (DC 19), mass cure light wounds, righteous might,
4th (7/day)—cure critical wounds x2, divine power, freedom of movement, holy smite (DC 18), restoration , tongues
3rd (7/day)—cure serious wounds x2, dispel magic, magic circle against evil, neutralize poison, remove curse, remove disease
2nd (7/day)—consecrate, cure moderate wounds x2, Watchful Eye, remove paralysis, silence (DC 16), spear of purity (DC 16), status
1st (7/day)—bless, comprehend languages, cure light wounds, detect evil, detect undead, protection from evil, sanctuary x2 (DC 15)
0 (at will)—create water, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, light, mending, purify food and drink, read magic, stabilize
Mystery Life
TACTICS
Before Combat The oracle can sense the villains approaching and casts sanctuary and magic circle against evil on herself. During Combat Sambe the does all she can to support the Master and to keep him combatant. She heals his wounds, dispels magical effects that afflict him and restores his strength. If there is ever a round where he needs no healing then she uses flame strike to damage his enemies.
If however finally the Master falls, she casts righteous might upon herself and joins the fight personally. She uses her healing spells upon herself to keep her in the battle. She uses holy word to gain advantage against her foes and she presses the attack. She uses her every spell with wanton abandon. The time for half measures is over. Morale The Oracle of Mitra fights to the death to defend the sa-
cred flame.
STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 24
Base Atk +10/+5; CMB +13; CMD 24
Feats, Greater Spell
Penetration, Extra Channel , Spell Penetration, Extra Channel, Channeled Revival, Extra Channel
Skills Diplomacy +23, Heal +18, Knowledge (planes) +19, Knowledge (religion) +19, Sense Motive +18, Spellcraft +19; Racial Modifiers +2 Diplomacy, +2 Perception
Languages Celestial, Common, Dwarven, Elven
SQ oracle’s curse (lame), revelations (channel, enhanced cures,
safe curing, spirit boost)
Gear +1 Mithril Chain Chirt, healer’s kit, +1 heavy Shield, holy symbol, Circlet of Charisma +6

New Tactics:

Surprise - Round She will use an Archon's Trumpet.

round 1: summon monster 7, prerolled and got 5x azata bralili they will put up a windwall for her and then rain down arrows or heal the Master

round 2: Sanctuary

Round 3: Watchful Eye

Then continue to heal, blast channeled energy, and be ready to breath of life him.

Updated Master of Serenity:

The Master of Serenity, head of the Serene Order CR 13
XP 25,600
Male human monk 14
LG Medium humanoid
Init +8; Senses Perception +19
DEFENSE
AC 27, touch 24, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 monk, +5 Wis,
+3 natural)
hp 147 (14d8+84)
Fort +13, Ref +13, Will +11; +2 vs. enchantment
Defensive Abilities improved evasion; Immune disease, poison;
SR 24

Things this guy can do:
When the wearer spends ki to make an additional attack, he can spend 1 additional point of ki to use the Stunning Fist feat with the attack, even if he has already used the feat that round.

OFFENSE

Speed 70 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +15/+10 (2d6+2/19-20) or unarmed strike
flurry of blows +18/+18/+13/+13/+8 (2d6+2/19-20)
Ranged sling +14 (1d4+2)
Special Attacks flurry of blows, stunning fist (15/day, fatigued,
sickened, staggered)
TACTICS
During Combat The Master’s primary purpose is to defend the
Oracle of Mitra and to avenge this violation of the sacred Vale.
He uses his mobility to attack spellcasters (with high jump he
likely can attack even flying spellcasters) first.
Morale As the head of the Serene Order he has dedicated his life to
the service of Mitra and the defense of the Vale.
STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +10/+5; CMB +14 (+18 to bull rush, disarm, grapple, trip); CMD 36
(38 vs. disarm, grapple, trip)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Criti-
cal (unarmed strike), Improved Disarm, Improved Grapple,
Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike,
Mobility, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Toughness, Weapon Fi-
nesse, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +21 (+35 jump), Climb +19, Intimidate +17, Per-
ception +19
Languages Common
SQ abundant step, fast movement, high jump, ki pool (9 points,
lawful, magic) maneuver training, slow fall 70 ft., wholeness
body
Combat Gear bullets (10)
Other Gear sling, amulet of natural armor +3, Monk's Robe, Hand Wraps of Blinding Ki, Ring of Adept Maneuvers,

His tactics will pretty much be the same but he will his surprise round to Stunning Fist who every is in the lead and start bringing the pain.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Nice! I love what you've fine with the Oracle, and I will definitely use your spell choices. There was another Master in this thread with a Flowing Monk, all reposition and AoO, which was really cool and monk-y. Have you seen it?
For my own party - scary dread necromancer and a vampire - I'll also need some immunity to fear and level drain too, though I don't want to spoil their best tricks too often.


carborundum wrote:

Nice! I love what you've fine with the Oracle, and I will definitely use your spell choices. There was another Master in this thread with a Flowing Monk, all reposition and AoO, which was really cool and monk-y. Have you seen it?

For my own party - scary dread necromancer and a vampire - I'll also need some immunity to fear and level drain too, though I don't want to spoil their best tricks too often.

death ward from the Oracle is a good start. I'd probably equip him with a scarab of protection with enough charges to shrug off the bad guys' (PCs) nastiness for 2 full rounds.

Flowing Monk + full Snake Style plus Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp is especially efficacious in dealing with bad guys when one is often outnumbered. The stat blocks above seem rather ... lackluster ... for a CR 14.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

John Hawkins' version of the Master was pretty rough I thought - with Pummeling Style and a flurry of 7 attacks for 2d10+10+2d6 vs evil that went +26/+26/+21/+21/+16/+16/+11. That would rip even my vampire PC a new one!

I'm currently planning to use Gustavo Iglesias' version - Flowing Monk with Crane Style. He can do the whole Morpheus "beckoning" thing, with one hand behind his back, full defence, and then turn the attacker round, flip him on his ass and whack him while he's down. I added Vicious Stomp of course :-)

What's Snake Style then? Off I go to read up on Monks some more (we still play 3.5 with a few PF bits and bobs).

As for the lackluster...if you're bored I'd love to see what you come up with. My guys are currently busy with a LN Labyrinth Minotaur that I gave the Inevitable subtype. Is it alive? Is it a construct? Is that spell resistance or immunity? They don't know and it's freaking them out! Plus it hits HARD and as I also let it ignore cover within a maze (Hallo? Minotaur?) it's spoiling their sneakiness too. Fun!

Anyhoo, if you have time consider the gauntlet thrown down :D

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

They'll probably encounter the Oracle and Master, drop a cloudkill and send in the vampire and dread ghoul.

BTW - @kevin_video you mentioned the Raptured and Sanctified templates in your blog (LINK) but I can't find them anywhere. Were they in Pathways maybe?

Grand Lodge

carborundum wrote:

They'll probably encounter the Oracle and Master, drop a cloudkill and send in the vampire and dread ghoul.

BTW - @kevin_video you mentioned the Raptured and Sanctified templates in your blog (LINK) but I can't find them anywhere. Were they in Pathways maybe?

Raptured is. I mentioned it in brackets that it’s in issue 21. Sanctified is in Book of Exalted Deeds 3.5, or you can find it listed on Chet’s D&D Index page. Should still be online. Doubt Wizards will go after it after all these years. A lot of 3.5 templates I mentioned are from there.


carborundum wrote:

Sorry - RL monster!

What I meant about the undead was more - how strict are you about commands? I've a Dread Necromancer (we're running 3.75) and his improved undead (basically Augment Summon type bonuses on his undead) are tough. In the Horn he'd filled the ground floor with skellies who had two standing orders - to pull a string if they saw anyone not wearing a prominent symbol of Asmodeus, and to defend themselves if attacked. The second seemed fairly superfluous but was the start of a slippery slope. If he could, he'd program the undead with a few simple IF...THEN loops!

I pulled it back to explicit spoken commands in combat, audible and of ten words or less, which helps. We were also mistakenly letting the zombies have full attacks on a partial charge if the base creature had Pounce, but that's also off the table now. Thanks goodness - it was brutal! (Totally my fault for not reading it properly though.)

I'm still not sure if he can order big zombies to grapple, or if they can only slam. I think grapple should be okay - how about you folks?

If they're brain-eating zombies, sure. Normal shamblers probably just pummel until the target falls over and stops moving before shambling over to the closest target and pummeling that.


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carborundum wrote:

John Hawkins' version of the Master was pretty rough I thought - with Pummeling Style and a flurry of 7 attacks for 2d10+10+2d6 vs evil that went +26/+26/+21/+21/+16/+16/+11. That would rip even my vampire PC a new one!

I'm currently planning to use Gustavo Iglesias' version - Flowing Monk with Crane Style. He can do the whole Morpheus "beckoning" thing, with one hand behind his back, full defence, and then turn the attacker round, flip him on his ass and whack him while he's down. I added Vicious Stomp of course :-)

What's Snake Style then? Off I go to read up on Monks some more (we still play 3.5 with a few PF bits and bobs).

As for the lackluster...if you're bored I'd love to see what you come up with. My guys are currently busy with a LN Labyrinth Minotaur that I gave the Inevitable subtype. Is it alive? Is it a construct? Is that spell resistance or immunity? They don't know and it's freaking them out! Plus it hits HARD and as I also let it ignore cover within a maze (Hallo? Minotaur?) it's spoiling their sneakiness too. Fun!

Anyhoo, if you have time consider the gauntlet thrown down :D

Dunno about 3.5, but PF Crane Style was (wisely) nerfed.

Snake Style/Sidewind/Fang are a nice combination.

Your unarmed strikes can deal either B or P damage. +2 bonus to Sense Motive - which stacks with Alertness,Skill Focus and Uncanny Alertness as normal. Monks get Sense Motive as a class skill. And use WIS a lot.

Where Snake Style etc come into their own in combination with Flowing Monk and Greater Trip/Vicious Stomp is what can happen when the enemy whiffs. If you're really mean figure out a way to give the monk constant deflection as a renewable (Sp) - perhaps via Qi Gong Monk.

Provoke an AoO via miss? Good. Trip can be done in place of an attack, so get missed, AoO to trip, trip = provoked AoO from monk via Greater Trip, become prone while adjacent = different provoked AoO from monk via Vicious Stomp.

Snake Style lets you swap a Sense Motive check for your AC as an immediate action. Some other stuff I can't remember since I don't generally find the other stuff particularly useful most of the time.

You can do some other stuff too - such as using Sense Motive to confirm a critical hit which is especially useful when one acquires the Tripping Strike feat (that uses the confirmation check as your CMB to trip).

So the vampire swings and whiffs once to get tripped and eat two knuckle sammiches - one or both of which are at a +4 bonus against a prone target. Now said vampire is prone adjacent to a foe that has yet to take his turn... and may well have Quick Draw and a wooden stake available.

The 3.5 Vow of Poverty might be a viable consideration at this CR as well. *grin*


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carborundum wrote:


Anyhoo, if you have time consider the gauntlet thrown down :D

Challenge accepted re: Master of Serenity. I use a google docs autofill sheet for Pathfinder. Zoom and widen columns as necessary to view everything.

Note that it is possible to retool the oracle's spells list to slather on a LOT more buffs that can then be encoded onto the sheet with a minimum of fuss and bother. This is a CR 14 version, you'll have to manually remove the advanced simple template if you MUST have a CR 13 version.

For home table use I would tweak this one a bit further, but for most tables this should suffice to put the fear of the angels back into many groups of villains.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Holy Schmoley, Batman!

That's brutal! And a nice sheet :-)
How are you doing the Exalted thing? I'm not familiar with it, but it seems to be bringing the SLAs!!!


carborundum wrote:

Holy Schmoley, Batman!

That's brutal! And a nice sheet :-)
How are you doing the Exalted thing? I'm not familiar with it, but it seems to be bringing the SLAs!!!

The original Vow of Poverty via the 3.5 Book of Exalted Deeds. Aasimar have access to a bunch of celestially-themed feats, so I went with those instead of the generally-pretty-lame Exalted feats.

A flowing monk wielding solar beams (searing light and sunbeam) is a Hell of a lot of fun to use against the Forces of Evil. 6/day gives him some actual hitting power at range, which (since he lacks the traditional monk's enhanced speed) is both necessary and seems to fit the theme of the area.

I'd highly recommend retooling the Oracle though. She lacks as-written an awful lot of buff and defense spells, being a bit too focused on healing and status removal to the point of imbalance. She lacks anti-life shell, which is a Must Have, let alone a few of the assorted low and mid-level spells that can make her and his lives much easier and prolonged. shield of faith, for example ...

The wonderful thing about that sheet is that you can add more lines to it to toggle the various spells from the oracle on the Master with only a smidge of effort. Haven't figured out how to add more attack lines without jacking it up, but all in all it is a nice sheet.

Depending on how her feats were to shake out, I'd pick up the full 5 Heavenly Radiance feats for her, too. *grins*

RE: the sheet, there is (on the main page) an autospell sheet, an equipment sheet and a party loot/GM cheat sheet too. Using them in tandem - once you set them up - makes dealing with the minutae of modern Pathfinder adventuring a much simpler task.


All right folks I have an interesting change my player who is The Inquisitor had asked me if he could change his character to be a level 9 Gunslinger level 2 Inquisitor based around the luck domain no I have no problem with this I allow guns but the thing I don't quite know how to do is make encounters factor in that guns will be used when dealing with Outsiders of good nature in this campaign and I've already thought of a couple ways with the storm Giant he can probably control the weather and give the Gunslinger a little bit of a challenge that way and I know windwall doesn't stop by Gunslinger but it does provide a 30% Miss chance

he's using one revolver and one rifle


I would not permit the player to alter their character in the middle of the scenario/encounter area.

wind wall is not what the gunslinger should be worried about ... it is control weather. Given sufficient advance time, they could be fighting that big bastard in the middle of a thunder storm!


Well, it's first session I'm usually pretty cool with people switching something with in the first session, especially when this is his first ever pathfinder game.

After the first session, it's made very clear, you're stuck with what you pick.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

@Mad Comrade - yikes! The Heavenly Radiance feats are new to me too :-)
Sunbeam could be pretty rough for the two undead characters - and then from two directions! I can really visualise the flowing monk doing big aikido circles with his arms, then a Streetfighter sunbeam :D

We'll see tonight if they get that far, and how many cans of whoop-ass I open. I'm slightly apprehensive about sending in the storm giant and rocs when the Necromancer's first question will be, "How many hit dice is that corpse?"
He's currently flopping about above the group in the Labyrinth, seated on a zombie griffon!


@Gibblewret_Tosscobble
About Sambathe V2, she does not have Selective channeling and has taken extra channel 3 times giving her 14 channels. I doubt that she will live to use all of those when she also has a load of cure mass spells. I would drop at least one extra channel for selective channeling. And possibly Quick channel so she can heal more in a single round.


Extra Channel can't be selected more than once I thought. Huh.


carborundum wrote:

@Mad Comrade - yikes! The Heavenly Radiance feats are new to me too :-)

Sunbeam could be pretty rough for the two undead characters - and then from two directions! I can really visualise the flowing monk doing big aikido circles with his arms, then a Streetfighter sunbeam :D

We'll see tonight if they get that far, and how many cans of whoop-ass I open. I'm slightly apprehensive about sending in the storm giant and rocs when the Necromancer's first question will be, "How many hit dice is that corpse?"
He's currently flopping about above the group in the Labyrinth, seated on a zombie griffon!

Any worthwhile Necromancer always asks that question.

A professional necromancer has a general idea of how many racial hit dice a corpse of a given size generally has. ;)

The Master of Serenity seems like he'd be fun to run as the GM. As you mentioned upthread, a mix of Ip Man and Morpheus. *grin*


You are right Mad Comrade, the feat description lacks the clause of "You can take this feat more than once". So I would give her Selective Channeling and either Quick channel or Channel Surge to give her Channels some more oomph.


It does seem odd that Extra Channeling lacks that clause when many other 'Extra X' has it.


Phillip Gastone wrote:
It does seem odd that Extra Channeling lacks that clause when many other 'Extra X' has it.

*shrugs*

Since my groups run "channeled energy heals/harms as per its type", we don't notice it so much.

WagnerSika, I suggest Quick Channel if your Oracle is going to focus on Channeling. If you're going to really focus on it, retool her gear to PC-grade (which should make her a CR 14 or 15 if I recall). Ravingdork has a very capable channeling Life Oracle. Note that you really want the spiritualist archetype to requisition a second source of channel positive energy to get the most bang for your buck. Something around 24 - 30 channels/day when all is said and done ... and they can be burned through in 10 rounds via Quick Channel.

Heck, if I were to fully Turinize her, I'd seriously consider a level dip into Cleric to snag the Glory and Healing domains for their extra-nasty-to-Evil-PCs (especially Undead Evil PCs) domain abilities ... or perhaps repeat the Vow of Poverty that I did with the Master of Serenity with her as well and use Exalted feats to scoop up the pertinent domain abilities as such.

Oracles are not so well optimized for melee. I'd give serious consideration to cherry picking a suitable CR 6 or 7 Good-aligned outsider (6 w/ advanced = 7 or 7) that doesn't count as a 'caster', then applying 14 levels of Life Oracle with the appropriate archetype for maximum channel positive energy carnage.


Good catch on the extra channel, I'll change it!


Do the cleric abilities stack with Life oracle channeling?

Grand Lodge

Phillip Gastone wrote:
Do the cleric abilities stack with Life oracle channeling?

No, they’re separate.


kevin_video wrote:
Phillip Gastone wrote:
Do the cleric abilities stack with Life oracle channeling?
No, they’re separate.

It's been a while and errata have happened since the last time I worked up such a character. Archetype'd Life Oracle is the way to go. The cleric's pool of channeled energy is puny (1d6), the benefit of the Glory domain says 'when you channel positive energy to harm undead', so it should work with all of the character's channeled energies to obliterate the undead. Similarly, the Sun domain's benefits should apply regardless of source as the wording is 'whenever you channel positive energy to harm the undead'.

Combine with the various channel energy improving magic items, even the measly 1d6 channel of the single cleric level perks up to 3d6+3 or more.

Grand Lodge

The Mad Comrade wrote:

It's been a while and errata have happened since the last time I worked up such a character. Archetype'd Life Oracle is the way to go. The cleric's pool of channeled energy is puny (1d6), the benefit of the Glory domain says 'when you channel positive energy to harm undead', so it should work with all of the character's channeled energies to obliterate the undead. Similarly, the Sun domain's benefits should apply regardless of source as the wording is 'whenever you channel positive energy to harm the undead'.

Combine with the various channel energy improving magic items, even the measly 1d6 channel of the single cleric level perks up to 3d6+3 or more.

That'll be a GM discussion. RAW, I see where you're coming from. RAI, it's only meant for the cleric's channels. These were written well before the oracle was even thought of.

For items, I'm assuming you're talking about the Phylactery of Positive Channeling for +2d6. What gives you the +3?

BTW, which archetype are you referring to? Life is a mystery that oracles can take.


kevin_video wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:

It's been a while and errata have happened since the last time I worked up such a character. Archetype'd Life Oracle is the way to go. The cleric's pool of channeled energy is puny (1d6), the benefit of the Glory domain says 'when you channel positive energy to harm undead', so it should work with all of the character's channeled energies to obliterate the undead. Similarly, the Sun domain's benefits should apply regardless of source as the wording is 'whenever you channel positive energy to harm the undead'.

Combine with the various channel energy improving magic items, even the measly 1d6 channel of the single cleric level perks up to 3d6+3 or more.

That'll be a GM discussion. RAW, I see where you're coming from. RAI, it's only meant for the cleric's channels. These were written well before the oracle was even thought of.

For items, I'm assuming you're talking about the Phylactery of Positive Channeling for +2d6. What gives you the +3?

BTW, which archetype are you referring to? Life is a mystery that oracles can take.

I agree with you re: cleric domains benefiting oracular channeled energy. In this case, I wouldn't do it - those 7th level spells are too sweet to not keep access to just for a smidge of channeling.

The +3 is (3d6) +1/die from the Sun domain. Spirit bound is the archetype.

Gear-wise, there's a stack of goodies: phylactery of positive channeling, channeler's aspergillum and some other stuff. Ravingdork's spirit bound Life Oracle is here for ease of reference.

About the right level too, although that character is a kitsune rather than aasimar, let alone deific incompatibilities, so it would take a rebuild. The basic chassis is there: channel positive energy (2+[2x Cha mod.])/day plus whatever other sources of channels/day are available.

Rebuild would probably go all-in on an appropriate CR 6+advanced or CR 7 good-aligned outsider. Final CR would be the same, but that version of the Oracle would have much more staying power.


http://archivesofnethys.com/MonsterDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Storm%20Aurochs

these guys look like something that would pair really nicely with the storm giant encounter

Grand Lodge

Gibblewret_Tosscobble wrote:
These guys look like something that would pair really nicely with the storm giant encounter

Fixed that for you.

And I can agree. I think there’s an air or lightning simple template that you can add to the winged hippo army as well.


kevin_video wrote:
winged hippo army

You mean hippogrifs right? But this gives me an evil idea. See, me and one player alternate on GMing and my current character in his campaign is a druid multiclass whose primary fighting form is Behemoth hippopotamus dealing a ton of damage. Now if I would throw an entire army of flying hippos against them he would probably be a little miffed :D

Grand Lodge

WagnerSika wrote:
You mean hippogrifs right?

I do, yeah. They're just so nonexistent in that battle that I hardly say what they are seriously.


winged celestial triceratops, ideally hidden via mass invisibility. ;)


Anyone have a restat of Anteus the Storm Giant?


Gibblewret_Tosscobble wrote:
Anyone have a restat of Anteus the Storm Giant?

No wiggle room without knowing that a higher APL (and thus a higher Encounter CR budget) is in play.

Grand Lodge

Gibblewret_Tosscobble wrote:
Anyone have a restat of Anteus the Storm Giant?

How mean do you need to be? Here's a CR 20 version. Otherwise just add templates (Advanced, Fighter Creature, Cleric Creature, etc) or give it actual character levels.


Does not need to change if you think it's a fair fight. I was going probably add 1 more Roc.


Gibblewret_Tosscobble wrote:

Does not need to change if you think it's a fair fight. I was going probably add 1 more Roc.

If i may suggest, if your group could have problems with weather sheninegans, I would switch Antheus and his rocs with a Sun Giant (CR 16) followed by murder of hippogryphs.

You should invent something to allow such enemy to fly, but i would avoid putting more giant birds because:
1) It reduces, to me, the narrative impact of the phoenix and of the stormborn king of book 4.
2) If you play weather in favour of the rocks, it becomes extremely tedious to fight something gigantic that can easily grapple you while you must roll to even walk straight.
3) A Sun giant, possibly buffed with more templates likes classe templates or the good old half celestial, becomes more of a solo, brutal boss fight which can also allow your characters's minions a chance to do something useful outside of the two endgame dungeons.


I was also considering removing the Rocs all together and going with a herd of the Storm Aurochs. It's all hypothetical right now because they literally in the beginning of it all but I'm huge on planning ahead

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