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

4.30/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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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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4.30/5 (based on 11 ratings)

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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.


5/5

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


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Now available!

Silver Crusade

Must have!!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Tempted to buy for the evil organization rules alone. Not sure what the unique variants to the AP could be -- a good version? Total destruction?

Anyway, it looks great! Keep it up!


Added to downloads. Goodbye sleep!


Hey everyone,

Thanks for the kind words. The Fire Mountain Games homepage has been updated with a high resolution version of the cover image by Michael Clarke.

Behold the Horn of Abaddon, a dungeon of your own, and centerpiece for this adventure.

If anyone has any questions or comments, I would love to hear them.

The Way of the Wicked continues!

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Just picked it up. Already done a quick read through, and it looks magnificent! I'll be back after a more in depth read through.


I'll be getting this as much to see how one handles the time spent protecting the dungeon and handling your evil minions as for anything else. Though the storyline sounds great!


I thought there was going to be a print copy available?


I see from your other post it will be around a week.


Hooray! I'm starting Knot of Thorns next Tuesday, can't wait to read this! :D

Dark Archive

Out of curiosity, what level do you suppose a party might end up by the end of this one? :)


Gozuja wrote:
Out of curiosity, what level do you suppose a party might end up by the end of this one? :)

This adventure is designed to get four villains from level 6 to level 10 along the medium advancement track.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Still waiting for that AP subscription pricing :/


Leopold wrote:
Still waiting for that AP subscription pricing :/

We hear you. It is definitely something we are thinking about. It will happen.

But please grant us some leeway on getting this all setup. We are a small company working on a tight release schedule.

I can guarantee you when it does come out, it will not penalize those who have already bought our current releases.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


I finished reading it last night. Marry me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
OmegaZ wrote:
I finished reading it last night. Marry me.

I'll have to talk to my wife first. Perhaps before we announce our engagement, you could take a few moments and write a review? ;)

But, seriously, I appreciate the positive feedback.

We are already deep into work on Book Three: Tears of the Blessed.

Even angels can weep.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Interesting. The path is meant to go to twenty and in the first two books we're already to level 10? Guess the pace has got to slow down at some point, right?


Peanuts wrote:
Interesting. The path is meant to go to twenty and in the first two books we're already to level 10? Guess the pace has got to slow down at some point, right?

Very astute!

You are correct. Higher levels take more page count. One of the first things created after the story outline was a rough you-get-this-much-XP outline that runs through the entire adventure path. This aided me in dividing up various events to various books.

Also higher level books mean longer stat blocks and that takes space.
But more than just stat blocks, higher level characters have a lot more options and addressing those options in a meaningful way also takes space.

So, yep. Levels 1-10 in two books. Levels 11-20 in four.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


And bought - review of Part I coming next week. ^^


Endzeitgeist,

Thanks for supporting the Way of the Wicked adventure path and I look forward to your review.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Hey, Call Forth Darkness' first review is available here! 5 stars!

Thanks for the kind words, Luca. They are appreciated.

More is on the way.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Dark Archive

Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Hey, Call Forth Darkness' first review is available here! 5 stars!

Thanks for the kind words, Luca. They are appreciated.

More is on the way.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

My pleasure. Keep up the good work, WotW is shaping up to become an "instant classic" AP.


Get a taste for free!

The player handouts for Call Forth Darkness are now available for free here. Check 'em out! A warning, if you intend to play, there are spoilers here.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Alright, I'm sold--getting on board as well and hope development continues to go smashingly! Will see to reviews once I've had the chance to work through the queue a bit. :)

Edit: You guys have some seriously cool maps.


Fire Mountain Games wrote:


I can guarantee you when it does come out, it will not penalize those who have already bought our current releases.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Then I'll go ahead and purchase this one as well if that's the case. I hate to pay double on the modules once I bought them all and a bundle has come out. I've had that happen once before and I'm none too pleased with the publisher (0One games I'm looking at you :_:).


Gozuja,

Welcome to the Way of the Wicked!

As for the seriously cool maps, that would be the work of our staff artist Michael Clarke.

He illustrates, maps, lays out and spiritually perfects every Fire Mountain Games product. The man is an art god.

He has personal website worth checking out.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Review posted here and at RPGNow/DriveThruRPG.


Shane,

Thanks for the superlative review!

It is greatly appreciated.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Oh and don't forget to visit us on facebook for exclusive art previews and other info.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


I enjoyed the exploration of alternate set ups for the campaign that was in this volume. Any chance of something that looks at how other races might figure into the campaign? For some reason I'm getting in my head that this campaign might be a good one for dhampir, tieflings, and the like to show up as PCs.


KnightErrantJR,

I don't think there will be a tiefling specific article. I don't know that there is that much that needs to be said. Or perhaps more accurately, I do not believe there is that much that needs to be modified. A group of tieflings can pretty much follow the campaign as written.

That said, there will be at least one more "Deeper Shades of Darkness" article dealing with running a party of vampires through Way of the Wicked.

Way of the Wicked could easily be not just Pathfinder's first villianous adventure path, but also the first VAMPIRIC adventure path. Of course, that is completely optional.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

KnightErrantJR,

I don't think there will be a tiefling specific article. I don't know that there is that much that needs to be said. Or perhaps more accurately, I do not believe there is that much that needs to be modified. A group of tieflings can pretty much follow the campaign as written.

That said, there will be at least one more "Deeper Shades of Darkness" article dealing with running a party of vampires through Way of the Wicked.

Way of the Wicked could easily be not just Pathfinder's first villianous adventure path, but also the first VAMPIRIC adventure path. Of course, that is completely optional.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

I guess I was just thinking more along the lines of how the typical Talingarde folk would regard stranger folk wandering in their towns and the like, depending on how well disguised a given person might be. That sort of thing.

The vampire article sounds interesting.


KnightErrantJR wrote:


I guess I was just thinking more along the lines of how the typical Talingarde folk would regard stranger folk wandering in their towns and the like, depending on how well disguised a given person might be. That sort of thing.

The vampire article sounds interesting.

I think you're average Talirean would probably mistake your typical somewhat bestial tiefling for a monster (and in this campaign, they're likely right) and scream in terror and run. Of course this is not too much of an issue because...

Spoiler:

...the PCs almost immediately receive the iron circlets.

Beyond that, I don't really see tieflings as being something that demands a lot of precious page space. I might release a player's pack for the campaign. That would probably touch on tieflings in "Way of the Wicked".

And I'm glad the vampire article sounds interesting. Before Way of the Wicked is finished the PCs will have an opportunity to become a lich or a vampire or maybe even...something else.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:
KnightErrantJR wrote:


I guess I was just thinking more along the lines of how the typical Talingarde folk would regard stranger folk wandering in their towns and the like, depending on how well disguised a given person might be. That sort of thing.

The vampire article sounds interesting.

I think you're average Talirean would probably mistake your typical somewhat bestial tiefling for a monster (and in this campaign, they're likely right) and scream in terror and run. Of course this is not too much of an issue because...

** spoiler omitted **

Beyond that, I don't really see tieflings as being something that demands a lot of precious page space. I might release a player's pack for the campaign. That would probably touch on tieflings in "Way of the Wicked".

And I'm glad the vampire article sounds interesting. Before Way of the Wicked is finished the PCs will have an opportunity to become a lich or a vampire or maybe even...something else.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Since it'll unfortunately be a while until I can get the book, may I please ask just what the

Spoiler:
iron circlets
are?

If they're what I think they are, they sound made to order for some ideas of mine that use this AP.

And I'm so looking forward to getting an answer to those hints you're sliding our way in that last line.


Fire Mountain Games wrote:


That said, there will be at least one more "Deeper Shades of Darkness" article dealing with running a party of vampires through Way of the Wicked.

Way of the Wicked could easily be not just Pathfinder's first villianous adventure path, but also the first VAMPIRIC adventure path. Of course, that is completely optional.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

OOO! I can't wait to see the vampire write up! always wanted to play one


DSRMT wrote:
OOO! I can't wait to see the vampire write up! always wanted to play one

I'm unsure exactly where "Deeper Shades of Darkness: Children of the Night" will end up (book 3 or book 4) but it will get released, have no fear.

And then, the night is yours.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Eric,

Spoiler:

The iron circlets are magic items given to the PCs that function at first as hats of disguise and then later start to give mental stat boosts (ala a headband of mental superiority).

Of course, like all of Thorn's gifts, they may have another use as well...

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Eric,

** spoiler omitted **

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Thanks for the explanation. And a hint that Cardinal Thorn might be plotting something underhanded with our hero, I mean protagonists? I am shocked, simply shocked! XD


And let me add, if nothing else is convincing me to get this book, then Alzrius' review certainly is. He makes it sound like THE most awesome thing available right now for Pathfinder.


Glad to hear you're excited, Eric. We aim to please.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


got a qustion about way of the wicked book 2 evil organization the stats go up to +10 the events has cause grows. so how big are the organization. what stats determ the size so if a group of heros start to cut down the minons what determ the survivable rolls


Bruce,

Nice to speak to you again.

The number of minions are intentionally left vague, but if you estimate your organization size as 5 minions per action, you are pretty close to the total membership.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


thks it just same too small compare to leadership feats
i thought it was about 5 minions per pt of survivablity the if you add 5 minion per action so at 20th you would have 100 minions this would match leadership feats. minons are about 1st lvl right so a charcter with leader ship score of 16 ( 9th lvl +4 chr mod base of operation +2 special power +1)would have 25 1st 2 2nd 1 3rd. does this sound ok.


book two was great. my group finished the adventure nearly 50 hrs of gaming.last week the last group was great my group expleled all there magic no more wands no healing and down to less the 10 hp each alchemt had nearly 100 potions made 2 wands of cure light wounds and wand of restortation.
the group trapped the thones so the npc dies as they telported in avg damage of 6 6d6 dmg per room.
a very enjoyable adventure im using the the players dungeon for furtue adventures (evil laughter) player grinder almore.

Sczarni

Where do I send my $40 for the next four issues ???? I want to know that I'll get them hot off the PDF press!!!

Can't wait to run this with my group....

- Flynn


i just want the print vesion for the next 8 books need a adv order less stress for my players


Thanks for the kind words everyone and I'm glad you had fun playing through it, Bruce. That sounds like quite a marathon.

More is on the way and we are working to set up subscriptions.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


lol took a whole week. still had to work during the week but we all took 48 hour r&r on the weekand by group even they stated they will take vaction so we can do your adventure. when they return from sea.
this says alot about your game. to have 6 people willing to give up 2 weeks of leave time to play.
well done.
thks form my group to all your people. well done.
20 ys of gaming and so far one of the best i have seen. it rates with in top 10 i have seen. if all books are as great it maybe with in top 3.
the top was a japanese games i found in japan when i was station there.
the second was TSR old D&D gazater pathfider became #3 because of the quality of their work but while some of their path is good art,nice design, but lacked depth that you capertue very well.
this gives a weight that my group found apealing. in facted one of my group allowed his teenage son to played. which is amazing sinch the yougest is 25 and oldest is 45 so we have a wide skilled group to play with they loved your adventure book 2 was better then book one.


Bruce,

Thanks for the continuing kind words and telling me about your game. I do sincerely appreciate both.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Hope the print edition is out soon. I can't wait to read part 2.

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