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

3.70/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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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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3.70/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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Warrior 2s vs level 10 PCs? Why?!

1/5

Tucker's Kobolds was a story of an AD&D campaign; it's not possible to do in 3.5 or Pathfinder!

...I'm getting ahead of myself.

Book 3 has the PCs recruit an army to assault an order of healers during the winter. This order resides in the Vale of Valtaerna, which is nearly impossible to traverse during the winter. The PCs must slay every single creature there to hide the Asmodean influence of the work.

Before the plot starts, Book 3 is a logistics nightmare:
* Book 1 established that Talingarde was an island so that you could put it anywhere. But this book needs it to be Canadian Prairies level of snowy, preventing passage to normal humans. This means if you put it anywhere below the 60th parallel, congrats! You now have to retcon it.
* Also, you'll likely have to retcon the season, since the timeline isn't written out until Book 6 and this book requires it to be the start of winter.

Book 3's actual text begins with some absolute d**!%+#. In the last book, the ultimate encounter was a paladin and his allies. The AP hopes to have the paladin escape, but offers this justification if he doesn't. If he dies, he is resurrected by a 'miracle of Mitra'...and by that, they mean a lich cleric of Asmodeus teleports in, grabs the corpse, and resurrects it. I really hope I don't have to spell out how audaciously bad this idea is, especially given who the cleric is.

This AP begins the issue of outsiders only being banished when killed. This was a 3.5e rule that did *not* make it into Pathfinder, and it is never written that they're using a houserule. They also treat summons as their own creature rather than the mere manifestations Pathfinder's rules have them as. They also shout out the PFSRD in this book, so it's not like they didn't have the resources available to them.

It also continues the Kingmaker Problem I mentioned in my review of Book 2, because the PCs and their army have the whole season of winter to kill everyone in the Vale. The PCs don't have to worry about the common folk, but they do have to deal with the creatures too powerful for their army.

Finally, as the title establishes, this book is where they starting throwing out some absolute nonsense as 'threats' to the players. This isn't fun; this is just tedious.

I will give Fire Mountain credit: after being briefed by their leader, a contract devil informs them of some information carefully left out by said leader, and offers a contract. This is handled in an organic way, conveying that a)their leader is hiding information, b)other forces are watching them, and c)this devil (who is important later) can now scry on them freely due to the contract.

-1 star from my actual rating because of the '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


Clerics, Angels and Phoenix, oh my

5/5

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

4/5

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.


5/5

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


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Ara-Mathra Advanced Paladin Monadic Deva

Spoiler:
CR 16 XP 76,800
LG Medium outsider (angel, extraplanar, good)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect evil, low-light vision; Perception +31
Aura protective aura
DEFENSE
AC 36(40 vs evil), touch 16, flat-footed 25 (+6 Dex, +15 natural, +2 armor,+3 shield +4 deflection vs. evil)
hp 189 (14d10+112)+
Fort +23, Ref +23, Will +20; +4 vs. poison+4 resistance vs. evil
DR 10/evil; Immune acid, cold, electricity, fire, death effects, energy drain, petrification, charm; SR 23;
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., fly 90 ft. (good)
Melee +3 morningstar +26/+21/+16 (1d8+14 plus solid blow)
Space 5 ft.Reach 5 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +14) Constant-detect evil At will-aid, charm monster (DC 22, elementals only), discern lies (DC 22), dispel evil (DC 23), dispel magic, holy smite (DC 22), invisibility (self only), plane shift (DC 23), remove curse, remove disease, remove fear
3/day-cure serious wounds, holy word (DC 25), mirror image , quickened mirror image
1/day-heal, hold monster (DC 22), holy aura (DC 26)
STATISTICS
Str 29, Dex 23, Con 24, Int 23, Wis 22, Cha 27;
Base Atk 14; CMB 21; CMD 37
Feats Alertness, Cleave, Quicken spell like ability(mirror image), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Diplomacy +23, Fly +27, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (planes) +23, Knowledge (religion) +23, Perception +31, Sense Motive +27, Stealth +23, Survival +23, Swim +21; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
ECOLOGY
Environment any good-aligned plane
Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3-6)
Treasure double (+3 morningstar, +2 arrow deflecting mihril light shield, Belt of +2 con, Silken ceremonial armor +1)
SPECIAL ABILITIES Solid Blow (Su) If a monadic deva strikes an opponent twice in 1 round with its mace, that creature takes an extra 1d8+10 points of damage.
Lay on Hands 1/day 7d6, divine grace(+8 to saves)
Smite evil 1/day(+8 to hit +14 damage, +8 deflection to AC), Aura of resolve(immune to charm)

I gave him advanced template and the paladin creature simple class template, these give +4 CR together
He is now Lawful good, but I think that would be fine with Mitra.
Saves are sky high due to divine grace so I swapped Great fortitude with quickened mirror image. His attacks are not that high but smite evil gives him quite a punch against a single opponent. He will prebuff mith mirror image and aid and holy aura. I gave him some stuff to raise hp and AC a little.

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