Way of the Wicked—Book #2: Call Forth Darkness (PFRPG) PDF

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A DUNGEON OF YOUR OWN!

The Horn of Abaddon was once a place of primal darkness. And then the forces of good moved in and ruined everything. It’s been eighty years and the kingdom of Talingarde sleeps soundly knowing that darkness has been vanquished. Now, it’s your turn to prove them wrong.

You will find the lost temple and do what no one else has ever dared. You will call forth the banished daemon prince. And from his unholy hand, you will recover a plague so virulent that it shall shake Talingarde to its foundations.

And then the fools will sleep no longer.

Welcome to the second chapter of the “Way of the Wicked” adventure path! Inside you’ll find:

  • “Call Forth Darkness,” an adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for 6th-level villains by Gary McBride
  • Full color art and maps by Michael Clarke
  • A gazetteer of the frontier town of Farholde
  • Optional rules for building your own evil organization and managing your minions.
  • Advice for crafting unique variants of this adventure path
  • And more!

You’ve raided countless dungeons. Isn’t it time you had a horrid little dungeon of your own?

A 106-page full color Pathfinder Roleplaying Game-compatible PDF perfect to either stand alone or continue the "Way of the Wicked" adventure path. Includes a printer friendly version and seperate player handout PDF.

Product Availability

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

FRM1002E


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4.00/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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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


I loved it - others may not

5/5

Taking over and then defending your own multi-level Dungeon of Doom? Heck yeah!

As with the entire Way of the Wicked campaign there are significant sandbox elements, so long as the players are willing to take the risks if they gallivant about overlong.

I would rate this at 9/10 for the minion subsystem. It wasn't my cup of tea. Others may get a great deal more gratification from it than I did. Since fractional ratings on the 1-5 scale are not possible, I round up to 5/5 since this remains an excellent defend-your-sandbox plus extra.

The upside is that the campaign encourages taking Vile Leadership. You'll likely need the fireball fodder ...


Call Forth Darkness Review

4/5

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

Pros:
The concept of Call Forth Darkness is really great. Getting to own your own dungeon and having to defend it against invaders is not something that players usually get to do.

Both the ally and enemy NPCs continue to be fun and memorable. Grumblejack is still a party favorite. Tenuous alliances with Ezra Thrice-Damned and Zikomo had the players sleeping with one eye open. Opponents were fleshed out well enough to make for memorable encounters. The minion system also opened up a lot of possibilities for roleplaying as the party threatened those not making quotas and began to pick favorites.

Finally, while the pacing of this book starts out rather slow, it really hits its stride in the final act. The presence of the Abbey and the watchtower in the town, as well as the impending threat of the dragon created a great feeling on tension as the players waited for their enemies next moves. The Sons of Balentyne were a good surprise for the party and proved to be worthy adversaries. Finally, the summoning of Vetra Kali felt like an appropriately epic finale.

Cons:
The only real criticism I have is that the book felt like it dragged in some sections. It took my group about five months of weekly play to make it to the end of the book. By comparison, the first book only took about eight sessions to complete. Between the unchanging location and the long stretches without level ups, there were definitely some moments where the game felt a little stagnant. I found a good way to deal with this was to cut a few encounters that didn't add much to the overall story, like the Wytch Lights and the Gorgimera. However, the most important thing, I found, was to encourage players to be proactive and add flavor based on their actions. Otherwise, the game risks falling into a monotonous pattern of "Does anyone want to do anything this week? No. Okay. So it's new week, does anyone want to do anything now?"

General Advice:
The Horn of Abaddon has nearly a hundred rooms and your players are heavily encouraged to modify its already complex layout. Pretty much every encounter has to be reviewed and carefully adjusted, so that players are challenged, while still feeling like their defense choices are meaningful. I would highly recommend printing out the player's map of the Horn and letting your players mark it up. Make sure that you have organized notes on the changes they make.

There are also a lot of potential allied NPCs to manage, which can easily throw off the encounter balance or overshadow PCs if not utilized carefully. The book recommends that the GM print out stat blocks for allied NPCs and have players run. I strongly recommend following this suggestion. Not only did it make running combats far more manageable for me, it also helped the players feel more connected to the NPCs. However, most importantly, it made it easy for me to keep all the players at the table involved, even though sometimes their PC was in the wrong place and was stuck spending their rounds running to the fight.

Finally, Call Forth Darkness is not an easy book for a GM to run. The book offers players a lot of freedom, which is great, but makes it extremely likely that the GM will have to create extra content for plans that the book didn't anticipate. An inexperienced GM might want to approach this one cautiously and any GM just looking for something quick and easy to run, should probably avoid this book entirely. However, when managed correctly, all these challenges can lead to an incredibly fun and unique gaming experience.


Call Forth Darkness or Bogging down the pace.

3/5

The greatest weakness of this module is its pacing. It gets bogged down and gives the players idle hands while their characters do things. This makes it a bit more difficult for the GM as players want to push forward and the GM has to create things to distract them.

Getting the dungeon to build is a wonderful option and players can throw themselves into it. At this level, the access to stone shape is easier and allows the players to alter the dungeon to their desire. But the fact all the heroes know where they are and kind of line up to walk in lowers the difficulty and can make it feel like they are just waiting to be attacked.

The NPC’s varies widely to keep things mixed up and fresh. Combat varies nicely and helps keep it fresh. The pacing becomes bogged down in counting weeks off till the end and it is recommended you alter the adventure to help keep the players motivated. The book gives you options on how to branch out from what writing to what could be and helps save it.

The minion system is very nice to actually give additional value to the Leadership feat and helps players feel like they are evil masters. This is a nice distraction though if no one takes the leadership feat, you can easily figure out alternate methods to distract the players.


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lol after hearing about every one else i glad i have the free time to play such a great game. in one way my group is military so i can game weakends and even run 3 to 4 times a week for 2 to 3 hours. this adventure took nearly 2 weeks started on pdf finish it on printed the hours spent is alot i know but it great fun watching my group get lunch and conspiding against me. lol my group took their leave and spent it on this adventure they have a energy playing this. they were atent and little side talk happen which takes about 60% of the game time. so thk you for a great game.

Grand Lodge

PathfinderFan64 wrote:
If anyone else wants to see more about Grumblejack you need to post asap to get it into part 3.

I too would like to see some more Grumblejack. I'm taking the suggestion of allowing one of the players to have Leadership, and him being the cohort.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've heard you.

After the posts here and elsewhere, the emails, and the feedback from the demos this weekend...

More Grumblejack.

I'm not promising him a gigantic word count. But you have not seen the last of that ogre.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Thank you Gary. You are indeed a wise man. May the Gods bless your forthcoming books in this series.


Yay for more in the future on Grumblejack.

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:
I'm not promising him a gigantic word count. But you have not seen the last of that ogre.

That's all we ask. Even if it's just a sidebar thing saying "If the ogre's still alive in your party..."

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

Picked up a roll of Gaming Paper this weekend to pre-draw the Horn of Abaddon (and Balentyne) for the game. Probably pre-draw Branderscar if there's paper left. I also got a Hex roll so I can do the PC's Kingmaker Kingdom with the new locations added in. We're on book 5 of that path, so Kingdom growth in-game is nearly done, and I can start charting out the expansion/development of the PC King's descendants. Markadian V Becomes Andros V, and Voila!

Haven't quite finished my thorough read-through of CFD yet, but my 30-minute scan the pages and look for awesome was very productive! I'm already deciding which Heroes to swap out for Kingmaker descendants and PC Character sheets form alternate games!


Bryan,

Very cool. Yes Gaming Paper is an awesome product isn't it?

If I weren't so much a dwarven forge junkie I would probably use it more.

Anyways, thanks for your kind words. Tying this campaign to your Kingmaker campaign sounds very cool. Keep us updated when your campaign begins. I would love to hear about it!

Now back to slaving away on Book 3.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:


Now back to slaving away on Book 3.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

I think I speak for everyone when I say SLAVE FASTER!!! ;)


Whispering Cultist 32 wrote:
I think I speak for everyone when I say SLAVE FASTER!!! ;)

Yes, sir! Thank you, sir! May I have another, sir?!

But seriously, your enthusiasm and encouragement are appreciated. End of April -- we are seriously on track for end of April -- almost exactly two months after Book Two.

So, in short, we are on schedule.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


keep up the good work


Gary Have you thought about adding Hero Lab support for the series? The new traits in Book 1 are a perfect addition. I made a character for the series and I made the traits myself for Hero Lab but most people can't do that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PathfinderFan64 wrote:
Gary Have you thought about adding Hero Lab support for the series? The new traits in Book 1 are a perfect addition. I made a character for the series and I made the traits myself for Hero Lab but most people can't do that.

Oops, I missed this post until just now.

Yes, we are aware of Hero Lab and considering support for it.

Honestly that will probably wait until at least Book 3 is in the can. I am simply too swamped right this moment. But I think a Hero Lab module for the new crime traits would also be a natural campaign aid.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Gary has heard my prayers: Subscription for the last 4 books is out on DTRPG. Bought it IMMEDIATELY. Saved myself 10% of the money I would pay anyway. Well worth it.

Glad you finally went with the subscription model!


Leopold wrote:

Gary has heard my prayers: Subscription for the last 4 books is out on DTRPG. Bought it IMMEDIATELY. Saved myself 10% of the money I would pay anyway. Well worth it.

Glad you finally went with the subscription model!

Wow! You got that fast. We haven't even posted the announcement yet.

Yes, you can now subscribe to all six PDFs here or get the four as yet unreleased here.

The discount is the same ($3 off) so there is no penalty for being an early adopter.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Wow! You got that fast. We haven't even posted the announcement yet.

I told you long time ago that if you went this model I'd be all over it like fly on honey! I saw it posted in my RSS feed and grabbed it ASAP.

Now if only there was some way to transfer my current 4 issue subs +2 prebought copies into the 6 copy sub at one site for ease of use. hmmmmm


Any plans of a print subscription? I just got Book 2 in dead tree and look forward to devouring it! :D


Endzeitgeist wrote:
Any plans of a print subscription? I just got Book 2 in dead tree and look forward to devouring it! :D

And I look forward to hearing what you have to say about that book.

We certainly want to do this, EZ, but DriveThruRPG does not offer print subscriptions, so for now this is still in the works.

Gary


If you ever manage to do it, I'd immediately be on board.

Print just is so much better for me, as I print out everything and your pdfs are too beautiful to use the printer-friendly version. XD

Btw.: Can't wait for book III!


I will subscribe if there is a print subscription.


Thanks for the kind words and the encouragement everyone. Yes, we hear you. More announcements are definitely on the way...

Big things are brewing at Fire Mountain Games.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Why do you torment me so! *shakes his fist at the heavens*

Ahh well it's not like I can actually ready these anyway (since I'm in a pbp on the boards here), so I'll just have to get my PoD copies the slow way :s


You can read em if you like Peanuts.... just as long as you don't start getting all meta on me :P

In fact I highly recommend you DO read them as they are pretty darn cool.


got my pdf subscribion but if you do print version i talk that as i like the book version better then pdf


bruce novakowski wrote:
got my pdf subscribion but if you do print version i talk that as i like the book version better then pdf

Hey Bruce,

Don't worry. If (when) we do a Print subscription, we will once more be careful to reward early adopters.

We have only been able to keep on making books because of people like you, so never doubt that we are grateful.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Gary maybe I am mistaken but where is the stone salve in the module? There is a reference to it but I can't find it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PathfinderFan64 wrote:
Gary maybe I am mistaken but where is the stone salve in the module? There is a reference to it but I can't find it.

Spoiler:

There are three ounces of stone salve in the Alchemist's Laboratory (room 1-18, pg. 33).

Heh, I should really put a cross-reference in the text. I'll do that in the errata coming this month.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Thanks. I can't believe I missed that.


My wife was a big fan of the Dungeon Keeper series of PC games (she got hooked on slapping chickens and making them explode), and I know that she's going to enjoy getting a chance to build a dungeon, but there's a facet of Dungeon Keeper that I can see coming up and was wondering if there are any suggestions as to handle it.

Dungeon Keeper allowed players who built a prison and torture chamber to get information out of captured heroes (killing them) or convert them to your cause.

Spoiler:
Getting information isn't hard with the rules as they are, but I'm not sure how to approach converting them to the "Cause"? They theoretically have enough time to brainwash a member or two from the earlier adventurers they encounter that falls into their clutches and I can see my players trying it. I would require RP of course but some sort of framework for dice rolls would be nice to avoid going to an R rating, similar to the one for torture.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tobias,

Hmmm...torture as a route to conversion. Interesting. It certainly happens in the real world. But how to approach it in game?

Torture in general is surely one of the hardest things to get right in an evil game. Without it, your villains seem like wusses. With it, it is so easy to get into some seriously uncomfortable areas of roleplay.

Personally, I think applying the Diplomacy table (Core Rulebook pg. 94) is a really good start. Use Intimidate instead of Diplomacy and change the resisting stat to Wisdom perhaps and let feats like Iron Will provide a bonus. Masterwork torture's gear would certainly provide a bonus. You might also let someone with Profession (torturer) perform an aid action. Roleplay the torture scene up to the actual torture beginning.

So, for example, the PCs have victim #1 tied to a rack.

PC Villain: "The priests of Mitra have abandoned you. You have betrayed their confidence. There is only one option left to you new. Swear fealty to me. Bow before me and I will let you live!"

Victim #1: "I'll never join you!"

PC Villain: "Indeed? Such a fiery spirit! Do you know what this is? This is a branding iron. It too has a fiery spirit..."

And we cut right there with an evil laugh.

Just before the actual torture begins based on the roleplay, assign a penalty or bonus to an intimidate skill check. Then roll it! Use a cut scene to convey that hours have gone by.

"Whatever you imagine was done with that brand, what actually happens is far worse. After hours of grueling nightmare, finally the victim [passes out having refused to give in/with eyes full of tears begs to serve you]."

Every success changes their alignment one step. When they reach lawful evil, they're yours.

Hope that helped,
Gary McBride


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Tobias,

Hmmm...torture as a route to conversion. Interesting. It certainly happens in the real world. But how to approach it in game?

Torture in general is surely one of the hardest things to get right in an evil game. Without it, your villains seem like wusses. With it, it is so easy to get into some seriously uncomfortable areas of roleplay.

Personally, I think applying the Diplomacy table (Core Rulebook pg. 94) is a really good start. Use Intimidate instead of Diplomacy and change the resisting stat to Wisdom perhaps and let feats like Iron Will provide a bonus. Masterwork torture's gear would certainly provide a bonus. You might also let someone with Profession (torturer) perform an aid action. Roleplay the torture scene up to the actual torture beginning.

...snip...

You may also be able to get some mechanics inspiration for the conversion to evil if you own the 3.5 Book of Exalted Deeds. Simply reverse the redemption rules for evil creatures.

Torture would be a nice gateway to breaking down goodie two-shoes npc's into evil minions, but thinking of it as a step on the road to further mental and spiritual corruption is probably more insidious. Burning someone's feet and chopping off soft parts is all fine and good, but what you really want from a converted good minion is a result that is resistant to having Luke Skywalker show up and turn said minion against you (at the worst possible moment and hurling you down a power shaft with force lightning shooting out your fingers).


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Tobias,

Hmmm...torture as a route to conversion. Interesting. It certainly happens in the real world. But how to approach it in game?

Torture in general is surely one of the hardest things to get right in an evil game. Without it, your villains seem like wusses. With it, it is so easy to get into some seriously uncomfortable areas of roleplay.

Personally, I think applying the Diplomacy table (Core Rulebook pg. 94) is a really good start. Use Intimidate instead of Diplomacy and change the resisting stat to Wisdom perhaps and let feats like Iron Will provide a bonus. Masterwork torture's gear would certainly provide a bonus. You might also let someone with Profession (torturer) perform an aid action. Roleplay the torture scene up to the actual torture beginning.

So, for example, the PCs have victim #1 tied to a rack.

PC Villain: "The priests of Mitra have abandoned you. You have betrayed their confidence. There is only one option left to you new. Swear fealty to me. Bow before me and I will let you live!"

Victim #1: "I'll never join you!"

PC Villain: "Indeed? Such a fiery spirit! Do you know what this is? This is a branding iron. It too has a fiery spirit..."

And we cut right there with an evil laugh.

Just before the actual torture begins based on the roleplay, assign a penalty or bonus to an intimidate skill check. Then roll it! Use a cut scene to convey that hours have gone by.

"Whatever you imagine was done with that brand, what actually happens is far worse. After hours of grueling nightmare, finally the victim [passes out having refused to give in/with eyes full of tears begs to serve you]."

Every success changes their alignment one step. When they reach lawful evil, they're yours.

Hope that helped,
Gary McBride

Ooh, this sounds good and nasty. Er, bad and nasty. Whatever, you know what I mean...


Gary are you still on target for an April release for book 3?


PathfinderFan64 wrote:
Gary are you still on target for an April release for book 3?

It will be the very end of the month, but yes.

And to reward you for your continuing support and interest in "Way of the Wicked" -- here is some new preview art!

I give you -- the angels in iron.

I wonder what's in the vault?

Hmmm....

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


My guess is...Al Capone's Gold.

Grand Lodge

For anyone looking to do up torture stuff, look no further than Kobold Quarterly 11 pg 54-55. It gives you the basics on mild torture to severe, and the consequences of what happens by the time you're done. My favourite's 2 pts of various ability drain or a particular limb is destroyed.


kevin_video wrote:
For anyone looking to do up torture stuff, look no further than Kobold Quarterly 11 pg 54-55. It gives you the basics on mild torture to severe, and the consequences of what happens by the time you're done. My favourite's 2 pts of various ability drain or a particular limb is destroyed.

Thanks. I will have to look that up. I had forgotten about that article. Sounds great for this series. I wonder how many players will choose Profession Torturer as a skill for the series?


PathfinderFan64 wrote:
I wonder how many players will choose Profession Torturer as a skill for the series?

I imagine it will not be a rare choice.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Got the subscription for the last four, and it looks like my friend might be stepping down as GM sometime in May, so I've got a little bit of time to figure out how to juggle this, my DC Adventures game, and my Rogue Trader game . . . but I'm up for it!


Jared,

Thanks for picking up the subscription! And please post details about your game. I for one love to read them.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


DM - Voice of the Voiceless wrote:

You can read em if you like Peanuts.... just as long as you don't start getting all meta on me :P

In fact I highly recommend you DO read them as they are pretty darn cool.

Heh, well I probably will but read behind our progress. About the only meta knowledge I've used was Mi'Dre heading straight for that big cell (that practically had "Grumblejack" scribbled in crayon on it for those who knew about him :p). I don't want to spoil things for myself, having run a GMPC in my Jade Regent game (due to lack of players), it'll be more fun to be surprised for once

As far as Angels in Iron goes, man getting that armor onto their wings must be a B&&&!! :p Or are they some sort of construct or something?

Grand Lodge

Peanuts wrote:
As far as Angels in Iron goes, man getting that armor onto their wings must be a B%!~&! :p Or are they some sort of construct or something?

I'd think that if it's really armor that its Called armour. Anything else would be pretty much pointless for them.


More preview art from "Way of the Wicked Book Three: Tears of the Blessed."

This is The-Fire-That-Sings.

And she, my villianous cohorts, is not glad to see you.

Now, back to work on Book Three... It's so close to finished, I can taste it...

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:

More preview art from "Way of the Wicked Book Three: Tears of the Blessed."

This is The-Fire-That-Sings.

And she, my villianous cohorts, is not glad to see you.

Now, back to work on Book Three... It's so close to finished, I can taste it...

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Just thinking about how that's written makes me think she's a fire elemental bard.


Kevin,

Fire elemental bard is a good guess.

Spoiler:

But the correct answer is one of the cooler new monsters from Bestiary 3 -- a peri.

For the sins of her blood she does penance upon the prime material plane guarding the flame that does not die.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Kevin,

Fire elemental bard is a good guess.

** spoiler omitted **

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Wow. And they're that high a CR. That's pretty incredible. But reading up on what they are, what a tragic back story they all have.

Makes me kind of wish there was a way to play a fallen angel.


No reason why you couldn't work in a fallen angel kevin_video.

The PbP I'm running I've included a devil in (a Gaav depowered to roughly 1st level equivalent) and will be providing opportunities for him to be upgraded at certain points in the story.

Spoiler for Book 2:
Such as in the Horn where I'll be seeding a book on a dark ritual for said task.

No reason why you couldn't swing something similar for a fallen angel.

Grand Lodge

DM - Voice of the Voiceless wrote:

No reason why you couldn't work in a fallen angel kevin_video.

No reason why you couldn't swing something similar for a fallen angel.

We've currently got a half-succubus who'll eventually become a full one thanks to the Necromancers of the Northwest and their Succubus base class.

I've seen a fallen angel monster in 3.5 before, but would probably have to figure out how to properly depower it to first level.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
kevin_video wrote:
I've seen a fallen angel monster in 3.5 before, but would probably have to figure out how to properly depower it to first level.

I would stat up the fallen angel as an aasimar. And then later, if the PC does something to get more in touch with their angelic heritage, you might allow them to get the fiendish template or even half-fiend template later instead of a class level or two. That would certainly be one easy way to play a fallen angel.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


kevin_video wrote:

We've currently got a half-succubus who'll eventually become a full one thanks to the Necromancers of the Northwest and their Succubus base class.

OT but which book/PDF is this racial class found in?

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