Way of the Wicked—Book #4: Of Dragons and Princesses (PFRPG) PDF

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BECOME A MASTER OF DRAGONS!

The king of Talingarde must die! Your dread master commands you to carry out this errand of blood. Do you have what it takes to assassinate the king of the most noble, virtuous realm in all the world? Are you ready to seek out the most wicked and powerful of dragons and treat with him to destroy the king’s only heir—the fair princess Bellinda?

Welcome to the fourth chapter of the critically acclaimed, Ennie-nominated “Way of the Wicked” adventure path!

Inside you’ll find:

  • "Of Dragons and Princesses,” an adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game designed for 13th-level villains by Gary McBride
  • Full color art and maps by Michael Clarke
  • A gazetteer of the noble city of Matharyn, capital of Talingarde
  • Rules for playing vampire and lich PCs
  • Everything you need to run a city sacking sandbox
  • And More!

Sack a city! Terrorize a nation! Kill a king! Ride a dragon into a battle! All of this you must do if you are to walk the Way of the Wicked.

Who wants to be a hero, when it’s so much more fun to be the bad guy?

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

FRM1004E


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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


Holy Guacamole

5/5

You're only half-way through and your group of terrors are already 13th level? Oh myyyy.

This chapter fully expects your villains to use the mighty magics and killing power at their disposal. Lacking access to 6th and 7th level cleric/wizard spells could severely hurt your ability to wreak havoc and unleash further mayhem.

One of the pleasant surprises during the later chapters of the Way of the Wicked is how long circle of death and similar spells remain viable offensive spells, which is a first in my experience with published 3e/3.5/Pathfinder campaigns.


Of Dragons and Princesses Review

5/5

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

This installment of Way of the Wicked was a pleasant surprise for me. After running through three great books, I shouldn't have been surprised when this one turned out to be a blast. However, on paper there were a few things that worried me about this book.

My first concern was the first act of the book. It is a sandbox style sacking of the city of Daveryn that is quite long and seemed like it would risk being stagnant. I still do believe that this is potential weak spot in the campaign. However, this weakness was easily navigated by cherry picking the sections that I thought would be interesting to my players and having Fire-Axe bring them up to the players. The rest of the events, I just held in reserve in case my players decided to explore. Personally, I ran the Duelist Academy event, because we had a Swashbuckler who loves challenging people to duels, the Baroness's encounter, because she is the cousin of one of the PCs and I merged the prison and the rebellion into one encounter, because I knew my PCs would love the opportunity to recruit prisoners and Ifran had useful information. I also ran the Duke's encounter via minion quest. All of these events seemed enjoyable for my players.

My second concern for this game was that the story seemed very reliant on the players making specific choices. I feared that players would decide not to bother with Chargammon or try to kill the princess. However, I did not face any issues with this. Thorn's plan offered enough intrigue for my players and Dessiter was a useful tool for persuading the players out of inadvisable plans, like trying to take Thorn out immediately.

In addition to the above areas, there were some other really great parts of this book. Eiramanthus in particular turned out to be a great boss battle. Spells like Mislead and Reverse Gravity made for a memorable and cinematic feel, while his melee prowess and anti-magic field had a reasonably optimized party of six fearing for their lives. The battle was so good that the happiest player at the table was the one who died, because she thought her death was epic.

The characters continue to be excellent. Chargammon was appropriately terrifying. Jeratheon is a fun addition. His dysfunctional relationship with his father opens up a lot of interesting RP opportunities that I think will continue to pay off after Chargammon's death. Also, even though Dessiter was introduced in the last book, I feel obliged to acknowledge him again, because he is such an excellent character. Every time he says something I can tell my players aren't sure whether to laugh, buy him a drink or punch him in the face.

Overall, this whole adventure path continues to be excellent and I have yet to find a good reason not to recommend it.


5/5

I've reviewed this book over on RPGGeek.com.


4.5 stars - a great adventure with minor weaknesses in the finale

5/5

This pdf is 106 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages maps of Talingarde, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving a total of 99 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This being an adventure-review, the following text contains a lot of SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right!

The last adventure had the PCs in a precarious situation - the sacking of the most holy places of Mitran religion can easily be botched and thus, this adventure kicks off with the PCs either fleeing from the Vale with an army on their heels or triumphantly marching from it in charge of their own dark forces. Worse for Cardinal Thorn's dread masterplan - his third knot, the assassins in charge with dealing with the regent King Markadian failed and were vanquished and his mole in the army is too frightened to assassinate the king. His plan seems to be crumbling - but there are the PCs, aren't there? These people have been a valuable asset, but they are getting too strong. Thus, Thorn develops a Xanathos gambit that may very well backfire: The king dearly loves his daughter and this is his weakness - if a sufficient threat surfaces in the royal palace, he'll come to the rescue - with the elite of his guard. But what constitutes a sufficient threat? What about Chargammon, legendary old black wyrm? Yeah, that should do the trick. The PCs get a lackluster assignment - recruit the extremely hostile Chargammon, known to slay all intruders to attack the royal palace and in the chaos ensuing the King's return, kill the regent, a formidable foe himself and destroy his elite guard. Even if they fail, Thorn wins - gaining finally the leverage to force his mole's hand. Now if that does not smell of suicide mission, the PCs are dumb. For now, though, they'll have play along.

Thus, the module kicks off with the PCs leaving Valtaerna, either at the helm of their own successful army and with an enhancement to their own evil organization or with their tails between their legs, fleeing from a vast army featuring a magic banner. Rescuing their bugbear commanders, their hippogriffs, teleportation magic - a bunch of options to escape after a botched invasion are there and even abandoning the rank-and-file goons is expected (they can be replenished), though not necessary - the PCs can actually lead their army through the wintry, deadly passes to escape with their organization intact. Once they rendezvous with the Fire-Axe, they'll see that at least the sacking of Daveryn went as planned - the city has fallen and Sakkarot wants to talk to them - and trade information, for Sakkarot, ina fit of melancholy, tells them the details of his deal with Thorn and that in the end, he is to take a fall against the Asmodean "saviors" once Talingarde has plunged into chaos. More worrying is that Tiadora and Thorn seem to be rather stingy with new orders/plans. But before new orders are issued, the PCs will have some fun - sacking Daveryn, district by district, looking for loot as well as allies and the missing duke, squashing resistances etc. - the city comes with a beautiful , player-friendly full-color map that includes the names for the district, but thankfully no annoying numbers. And it is neat to see the consequences of the PC's actions, e.g. the Tears of Achlys, which claim victims and remain a potent and deadly threat. A total of 4 looting tables, plus one for magic items and multiple random encounters supplement the planned encounters that are part of the looting: From breaking the last remnants of the resistance (e.g. the remaining city watch and a company of soldiers) to an interesting find in the local wizard's tower, the PCs have some challenges waiting: Said Wizard has the hints to the legendary wyrm Chargammon's nest as well as more vital clues: The Duke is still inside the city walls and hiding and the lord of eagles seems to have captured the spawn of Chargammon. It should also be noted that the diviner's spellbook and notes make for some cool treasures - especially the lavish description of the spellbook is a nice touch. Of course, even now the PCs can make new allies: The Baroness Vanya of Veryn, holed up in her mansion would make Cersei Lannister pale in comparison to her wickedness, but she's also a consummate politician that may make for a valuable ally regarding social interactions. The insane glory-hound and duelist master Rodrigo would make for the second potential ally - while not evil, he is amoral and cares only for his craft. Add to that spymaster Anton Breuder (who could provide a benefit in a future module), the option to steal the sapphire of storms (if the PCs are up for Mission Impossible-style trap disarming) and we're in for some fun. Better yet, if the PCs have failed to keep the slaughter of Valtaerna secret, the local prison could serve as a means to replenish their organization and a means to recruit Irfan al-Janbiya, the one assassin who was spared the righteous wrath of Sir Richard when he crushed the third knot. Once the PCs have found and dealt with all sources of information (good place to torture the subdued duke and perhaps a Mitran cardinal), the PCs could move onward -or they could do a cool sidequest for Grumblejack (or Raiju) to collect different types of spirits they may find strewn around the city - rather cool and adds some neat details to the local economy. The climax of the sacking should come as both a challenge to the PCs and as a sign that they are truly infamous: Two angels come down from the heavens to put them to justice.
Speaking of outsiders - Tiadora, this time accompanied by 9 errinyes, makes finally an appearance and hands off the quest to the PCs, acknowledging (perhaps subconsciously) that they did ALL the successful, major work in Thorn's gambit. By now the PCs should slowly starting to grasp that their master becomes concerned with their power. For now, though, they are off to the aerie of the Eagle Lord, a mythic being that commands the storms itself to rescue a black dragon - either by slaying the legendary bird and its court or by subterfuge and then have to deal with the rather dumb and deceitful spawn of the great wyrm to secure an audience and get them past the array of deadly river drakes guarding the isle. Worse, the duplicitous dragon does not warn them against the other defenses of the great wyrms lair, which makes e.g. the viper vines all the more deadly. Not as deadly as negotiating with an utterly chaotic evil black wyrm, though - in the end, PC ingenuity should prevail (there are btw. alternate ways to secure an audience) and they're off on a quest for the wyrm - to slay his rival, the copper wyrm Eiramanthus. Slaying a dragon is never easy and slaying this particular one is no exception.

The charismatic copper wyrm is a known planeswalker and has, in his travels far and wide, secured an array of concubines of surprising power - from Setia Swims-the-Sea-of-Stars, a ceteceal agathion to Sakari Yoshimune, a Toshigami Kami to finally Shakti Shobhana, a redeemed tataka rakshasa, the respective companions will provide quite a challenge - on their own. If the PCs are dumb enough to race into the island with drawn weapons and without a good plan to take care of them one by one, they will be squashed - especially with the allies of the respective concubines and potentially the copper dragon master of the island joining the fray. Add to that the labyrinthine quarters, crystalline gargoyles and a xorn emissary and a puzzle on a chess field, an interdimensional witchwyrd genius studying planar travel and the villains will be sorely tested even before they reach Eiramanthus, who true to his breed, will be rather communicative at first - of course, conflict with the noble being is inevitable and in the end, either he (and all remaining servitors/companions) or the PCs will be dead. And the rewards are nice indeed - the draconic hoard not only contains quite a bunch of unique treasures and is presented in excruciating detail, it also contains yet another piece of fabled hellbrand, dark blade of Asmodean champions and the demi-lich called "Nameless Tyrant", encased in crystal and yet another potential minion, albeit a very dangerous one - especially the knowledge of the lich-transformation might be interesting for the PCs Even more interesting, though is the infernal ally Dessiter, who warns the PCs of the impending treachery in Book 5 and to keep away from Thorn and plot his demise, adding quite a bunch of interesting pieces of information to the PC's repertoire, including the reason why Sir Richard has not yet been eliminated.
And then coolness begins - for the deed of slaying the copper wyrm, the PCs are actually rewarded by Chargammon in a rather cool way: He forces his son to serve them for 100 years - the PCs can now ride a black dragon into battle! Hell yeah! It's time to slay a king - in a month. First, wise PCs should explore the city of Matharyn and stock up - for before slaying the king will be perhaps their last chance for a while to get things done before the breakneck show-down with Thorn. The final location then, the Adarium, beckons and powerful wizards can be slain as well as celestials, righteous pyre-golems destroyed and diplomatic relations ruined (if the PCs act smart...). Secrets can be unearthed - including the hidden location of Hellbrands final component and Thorn's phylactery. Better yet, the magical prodigy princess and Sir Richard are here as well, guarded by an honor guard and a golem of mithral, their defenses are extensive and will ensure that the two get away - and for now that might be good, as it turns out the princess of Talingarde is not only beautiful, she's also a silver dragon-spawned prodigy of magic and when Sir Richard is defeated by Chargammon's assault, she intercedes and actually slays the dragon. Meanwhile, the PCs will have quite a battle with Markadian V and his elite guard on their hands.

The pdf also offers extensive troubleshooting advice and help with what/if-scenarios regarding the module's plot and the consequences we can expect from the potential of failure. We also get a whole page depicting the outcome of the clash between the Fire-Axe's armies and the forces of the king sans their leader that serves as an introduction to the things to come. The city of Matharyn gets a lavishly detailed gazetteer-section, including information on putting the PC's organization to the test against the excellent night watch. The pdf also offers advice for lich and vampire PCs and a run-down to make Way of the Wicked an all-vampiric campaign, from Book I to VI.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect - I encountered some minor typos spread throughout the module, though no enough to rate it down. Layout of the AP is beautiful and on par with Paizo publications and the artworks and cartography are stellar and up to the highest quality. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and with a semi-printer-friendly version without backgrounds as well as another pdf that includes the handout as well as player-friendly versions of all the maps sans the annoying numbers -AWESOME!
The fourth module of the WotW-AP is a wicked ride of fun, but one that needs careful planning on part of the DM - the module relies on the PCs completing the plan in spite of its flaws and a lot of quid-pro-quo-quests. To truly make this module work, a GM has to be up on his game. That being said, the module nevertheless is a stellar example of cool things to do and the villains will finally feel as if they are infamous indeed - the attacks by celestials and the forces of good finally directly attack the PCs and the option to gain a dragon mount rocks. Challenging creatures like a dragon and an ancient nature spirit is iconic indeed. That being said, there is at least one potential problem I see with the module: While the capital of Talingarde is detailed and the Adarium a challenging climax, it is the final section that needs a bit of DM-expansion: The pdf does not cover HOW to enter the Adarium and while the players have a multitude of tools at their behest, some guidelines would have been nice. Additionally, the PC's infiltration while their "threat" forces the king's hand could have been made more iconic, with more guards that are slain while the PCs are running the corridors. A timeline or some cinematic scenes in which the PCs can see how their wicked ally vanquishes otherwise lethal roadblocks in the module would have added some gleeful spite to their accomplishments.

That being said, I am complaining on a very high level here - this module is still an excellent, awesome ride and while it has no new mechanics like the two immediate prequels, it offers the PCs a chance to reclaim an organization and make new allies - though I would have loved to see more for the villain's cohorts to do. In contrast to the attack on Valtaerna, this module does not offer much to do for the poor cohorts apart from accompanying the PCs, which is a pity - give the psychotic alchemical golem, Grumblejack etc. something to do in the Adarium. (Though the sidequest provided for a cohort is awesome...) Perhaps a sabotage of the golems, a reconnaissance, making the assassin kill the court mage etc. - something like that. While easily done yourself, I would have nevertheless enjoyed to see some love there. Again, please bear in mind that this is still complaining at the highest level. Book 4 provides us with interesting challenges, is logical and makes for a fun ride for your villains and while personally, I slightly enjoyed the first 3 books more due to aforementioned minor nitpicks, I maintain that this pdf is still an excellent module that this time lacks hard-to-presume assumptions like the communication-blockade in book III - in fact, many adversaries herein utilize spells etc. to piece together information on your PCs, lending an air of credibility to the world and the actions of your dastardly group of devil-worshipers. The additional material is also up to the stellar quality of the book, though personally I don't like the section on vampire and lich-PCs - honestly, these topics need to be tackled in much more detail to work smoothly, at least speaking from experience. I have a vampire-PC ( a fallen, blessed priestess that turned towards bloodthirsty fanaticism) in my home-campaign and rest assured, the implications go beyond what one would expect at first.

How to rate this, then? You heard my nagging complaints and might ask yourself why I'm so utterly nitpicky with regards to these modules. Why? Well, because the Way of the Wicked is that good. Honestly, "Call forth Darkness" is perhaps one of my most favorite modules ever. And the others are not far behind. From the craft's perspective, the 4th module is solid and the attention to lavish detail, the cool creatures and of course, the presence of dragons as both adversaries and allies will lead a sense of empowerment to the PCs. For me, the finale was not as satisfying as it could easily be - however, the remedy is so simple that no DM should be stumped to improve it. In the end, I feel I have to be careful to not hold any installment of Fire Mountain Games' AP to a standard of its own and instead deliver a verdict in the grand context of publications. Not every adventure can do something radically new, after all. Thus, my final verdict for this part of the AP will clock in at 4.5 stars, gladly rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform - an excellent module that could use a bit more guidance/epicness in the finale, especially when the conquering in Book III and the escape/march from Valtaerna shows how well author Gary McBride can handle such situations.

Endzeitgeist out.


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Patrick,

What follows is a big pile of spoilers. Really. Go no further unless you truly want to be spoiled about "Way of the Wicked".

Spoiler:

I'm not saying the PCs don't care. Through out the campaign the PCs are constantly receiving news from the front and information about the Fire-Axe's victories. I'm saying this war story is only the background to the PCs wicked deeds. Clearly you want to flesh it out even more. That's cool.

First, defending Valtaerna and the Cathedral and sacred flames there is not a small priority to the highly religious King Markadian V. He marches his army there with all speed to see that Valtaerna is saved. He is too late but he may be quick enough to catch the victorious PCs and their minions with their pants down... (as detailed in Book IV, Act One, Event One).

Second, the king is not ignoring the Fire-Axe. His army's primary and ultimate goal is to smash the Fire-Axe. Vastenus Barca, the king's greatest general, has the brilliant plan to sweep north up the coast and into the Borderlands, cut off the horde's line of supply and reinforcement from the savage north and catch the undisciplined horde from the rear at Daveryn.

Yes, this plan is ultimately a spectacular failure. This is by design since we know by the end of Book IV that Vastenus Barca, the architect of that plan, is a traitor and an ally of Cardinal Thorn.

The plan is very briefly outline on pg. 89 of Book IV. "They think their flank conquered and pacified. They will never expect we men of the south and west to attack them from the north!" The King had bought this plan entire before he rushed off (via word of recall) to save his daughter.

But if you want to add more complexity -- Barca's plan could include splitting the army and having a second lesser pincer force move northward along the eastern coast to ensure that Matharyn is unthreatened during the early spring. Again, I'm not sure how the PCs would ever find out about this force. No doubt it is led by some loyal Mitran commander who is unnamed in the adventure path. This force would move up the eastern coast, reunite with the main army at Daveryn and then also be destroyed at the Battle of Fallingsbridge.

If the PCs fail to kill the king, the king does eventually realize that Barca's plan is folly. He reunites his army, moves around the Fire-Axe's happily entrenched horde and attack them from the south. This leads to the Battle of Tandengate (instead of the Battle of Fallingsbridge) which is detailed on pg. 88 of Book IV.

Why is the Fire-Axe still at Daveryn during this all time? Because Tiadora eventually (after the PCs have left) has informed him of the plan (at least in part). He is doing his best to look like his bloated, loot-heavy horde is unwilling to leave the grave of the great city. This is probably not far from the truth. His undisciplined horde has been marching and following his commands for years by this point. They are ready for a break. He waits for the perfect moment to spring his trap and destroy the armies of Talingarde. His moment comes at Fallingsbridge. The Fire-Axe executes the trap with perfect murderous precision.

Sheesh, this has turned into quite the essay. Heh, maybe I should compile all these notes into an article for Book VI ("How the War was Lost").

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Patrick,

What follows is a big pile of spoilers. Really. Go no further unless you truly want to be spoiled about "Way of the Wicked".

** spoiler omitted **...

Or Book V if you've got the room.

Be sure to change "PCs" to "NPCs" in the first paragraph though. I'm sure the PCs are getting this info too, but only the NPCs are going to care.


Gary any idea when Paizo will get their books? Book 5 may be out before book 4 arrives. I know where I am ordering book 5.


PathfinderFan64,

As soon as the I get a definite date from the printer, I will make sure to relay it. A definite answer should not be that far away.

I apologize for how long all of this is taking. Thank you for your patience.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


This entire AP is perhaps one of the best campaigns I have ever seen. It is definitely on par in quality to any of the APs that Paizo has published. Gary your writing style is fantastic and fits my GMing style wonderfully. I cant wait to purchase the next two books in the series.

As far as the new character options they can always be implemented on back up characters because if you run some of the antagonists properly it is possible that a PC or two will kick the bucket.

I hope you guys will attempt a Chaotic Evil AP. This will be more challenging in keeping the players from PvP but perhaps that kind of thing can be encouraged at the end of the campaign when the story has been resolved and it is now a matter of deciding who gets to be the boss.

I remember the old 2nd Edition AD&D Menzo boxed set. A drow city rife with power struggles. I must say the drow thing has been over done. Don't get me wrong I used to love Salvatore's novels. However, the whole evil society thing might be an interesting campaign seed. If worst comes to worst fear of an even worse NPC is always a good way of keeping evil PCs from killing each other.

Dark Archive

This has been an incredible read so far and much kudos to Gary and the fire mountain crew; I can't help but wince throughout, some of the turns are just so -vicious-. Personally, I would desperately love to have Hero Lab and d20pro supplemental materials eventually become available for the AP, as I would quite like to roll through it with my VTT group; as much as I dabbled with putting the maps through the software, not having player versions has slowed it down and made it fairly difficult.

Count me in as excited for what FMG works on next! :)


Mr. Crowley,

Hey, thanks for the kind words. Glad you're enjoying "Way of the Wicked".

A Chaotic Evil AP? That would be a challenge. The decision has largely been made for our next product. We're just getting our ducks in a row before we announce it. After Gencon for sure.

Remember the old Menzoberranzan box set? I own it! That is a big box full of trinkets, hand outs, posters and what not. I love the drow and would love to do something with them. But I agree, you must be careful to tread the same tired paths that have been tread before.

Regardless, thanks for supporting "Way of the Wicked".

Game on, my friend.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Gozuja,

Thanks for the kind words. We here at Fire Mountain Games really appreciate your feedback.

Hero Lab is something we're definitely going to do something with eventually but right now I remain focused on getting Book Five and Six out the door.

Glad to hear your excited about our future. We are as well! Announcements will happen likely before the end of this month.

Onwards to "The Devil My Only Master".

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Gary it is not your fault. No need to apologize. I was just wondering what had happened. I know this is the first time your print edition is listed here. I just assumed it would be shipped the same as the other place.

Contributor

PathfinderFan64 wrote:
Gary it is not your fault. No need to apologize. I was just wondering what had happened. I know this is the first time your print edition is listed here. I just assumed it would be shipped the same as the other place.

Please note, we do not charge your credit card for preorders until the product actually ships. (We will, of course, authorize your card when you place your order, but that authorization will drop from your card in a few days, depending on your bank.)


Because it comes with a pdf it is charged when ordered. Not a big deal. I will just know better next time.


kevin_video wrote:
Or Book V if you've got the room.

I can definitely confirm now that this is not going to be in Book V. There is simply no room.

What will be in book five is four new archetypes written by Jason Bulmahn including The Hand of Tyranny, the Lord of Darkness, the Torture Master and the Unholy Barrister.

And other goodies.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Or Book V if you've got the room.

I can definitely confirm now that this is not going to be in Book V. There is simply no room.

What will be in book five is four new archetypes written by Jason Bulmahn including The Hand of Tyranny, the Lord of Darkness, the Torture Master and the Unholy Barrister.

And other goodies.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Would you be able to tell us what each archetype would belong to (ie. paladin, rogue, fighter, etc)? Also, what's your prediction for street date release?


kevin_video wrote:
Would you be able to tell us what each archetype would belong to (ie. paladin, rogue, fighter, etc)? Also, what's your prediction for street date release?

Prediction for a street date is sometime middle of September.

The archetypes are:

The Hand of Tyranny (monk)
The Lord of Darkness (antipaladin)
The Torture Master (inquisitor)
The Unholy Barrister (cleric)

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:
The Torture Master (inquisitor)

Really? I guess that makes some sense.


Oh damn, now you've got me considering taking inquisitor levels instead of rogue levels... Mi'Dre, Gaav Torture Master of Moloch *evil grins*

VoV! I've got a question! hehehe...


Mi'Dre,

It is a pretty cool archetype. Jason did a great job with these.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Would you be able to tell us what each archetype would belong to (ie. paladin, rogue, fighter, etc)? Also, what's your prediction for street date release?

Prediction for a street date is sometime middle of September.

The archetypes are:

The Torture Master (inquisitor)

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Kind of odd to see that one, given that a character I made (in the hopes that I might get to use him someday if I can ever find a group) was a Hellspawn tiefling inquisitor intended to work as a torturer (among other things).

I'm eager to see just what the archetypes look like.


Erick,

I can't wait to publish them and see what everyone thinks of them. Book Five has archetypes and feat. Book Six has spells and magic items. Altogether they constitute a wonderful "toybox" full of evil goodies from Jason Bulmahn's mind.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have to say, I think I'm more excited about the 5th installment than any other.

Spoiler:
Nothing gets my juices flowing like an old-school romp through a bad guy's Fortress of Doom. Further, it seems to me that this is the only Way of the Wicked adventure I'd be able to run as written - as a GM, I take far too much pleasure playing the villains to let my players steal the limelight of evil.

Shadow Lodge

Quick question will the archetypes have hero lab files? I am going to get it any way. Also nice job with the ap.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm loving reading book 4. I'm very excited about book 5.

I don't blame Gary or Fire Mountain Games, but I am kinda ticked off that I haven't yet received my print version of book 4. Since I bought it with the pdf, it's already been charged to my credit card, and I'm stuck in "waiting limbo". I hope the book comes soon.

I'll be ordering book 5 and 6 from rpgnow, not Paizo (and will be buying any other print on demand type books from them as well). (Which is sad, because I love Paizo).

Anyway, to Gary/FMG, keep up the great work!


My POD Version already arrived 5 days ago. :)
As nice a pdf is - I see them more as preview.


Still no word on the print edition?


PathfinderFan64 wrote:
Still no word on the print edition?

Where we're at. The printer has received the order and confirmed that payment has been received. The order is being worked on. A big pile of books will be shipped shortly straight to Paizo attention Liz Courts.

And I'm afraid I have no more specifics than that. And for that I apologize.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Contributor

Fire Mountain Games wrote:
PathfinderFan64 wrote:
Still no word on the print edition?

Where we're at. The printer has received the order and confirmed that payment has been received. The order is being worked on. A big pile of books will be shipped shortly straight to Paizo attention Liz Courts.

And I'm afraid I have no more specifics than that. And for that I apologize.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Woohoo! I get to built a fort!


An update. UPS is estimating arrival of books to Paizo on Wednesday, September 5th.

I apologize for the delay.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Dark Archive

Gary, any news about Book 5 release date?

Luca


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
golem101 wrote:

Gary, any news about Book 5 release date?

Luca

I can't speak for Gary, but I've looked at the release dates of the past 4 books, and each one takes about 9 weeks to complete. If that pattern holds book 5 would drop sometime in late September.


Hey Gary. You statted Markadian with a chain shirt +2. When I look at the picture of te king this ia NEVER anything less than full plate. Why the difference?


Patrick Kropp wrote:
Hey Gary. You statted Markadian with a chain shirt +2. When I look at the picture of te king this ia NEVER anything less than full plate. Why the difference?

Hah! Good catch, Patrick. In one version of the outline the king arrived clothed in relatively light gear since he had been awoken in the middle of the night.

And then Mike did that absolutely beautiful art of the king in armor. And so, the story morphed to match the art. But not the stat block. Oops.

I'll make a note.

Thanks, Patrick.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:
Patrick Kropp wrote:
Hey Gary. You statted Markadian with a chain shirt +2. When I look at the picture of te king this ia NEVER anything less than full plate. Why the difference?

Hah! Good catch, Patrick. In one version of the outline the king arrived clothed in relatively light gear since he had been awoken in the middle of the night.

And then Mike did that absolutely beautiful art of the king in armor. And so, the story morphed to match the art. But not the stat block. Oops.

I'll make a note.

I think a note for the note you're making needs to have this added to it as well. Full plate is +9 armor with a +1 Dex bonus and -6 check penalty. The chain shirt is +4 armor with a +4 Dex bonus and -2 check penalty. Markadian V has Dex 18, but has enough armor training to compensate. However, even with all of that, and it being +2 to negate another -1 check penalty (which is what masterwork does), you're still going to have a -1 to all Str and Dex based attacks. That is unless you also made it out of mithral. He is the king, it would make sense for him to be wearing something that prestigious.


Gary is the time line for way of the wicked still the same or are the books push backed you mention that book 5 would be some time mid sept is there a more firm time line or is it still in the Air.


Fire Mountain Games wrote:
Perhaps we should use the cavalier more. If you do convert any major characters into cavaliers, please post them here. I'd love to take a look at them.

I think I'll remade the King as a Cavalier, or maybe a different kind of fighter. As it is writing it is a bit dissapointing for a CR 15 named NPC. He does like 1d8+7, which is close to what the prisoner knight did at the end of the tests in Book I. With +18 to hit and 1d8+7 damage, he is not that much of a threat for such an important NPC. I know he is not alone in the fight, but even then.

I like the idea he is a "sword and board" type of guy, but the damage is too low. 1d4+10 with the shield isn't that much better either, for a lvl 16 fighter ;/. As a cavalier, he might have the Challenge damage bonus, which is something to consider. The shielded fighter does not really give him anything interesting.

I think I'll redo him as a Two Weapon Fighter, rule that the shield is his second weapon, and get it done. The dodge bonus when using "two weapons" can make him to have high AC as well, and pose a much higher threat.

On a side note: why does he wear a chain shirt??? The picture (the AWESOME picture) clearly shows a full plate. A chain shirt is for a squire, he is a full knight. Will trade that for a (mithril?) full plate in my game.
EDIT: Nvm, I read the answer to this.

GREAT adventure! I hope we can get book V soon.


Gustavo,

I'd love to see your rewrite when you get it finished.

And thanks for the kind words. I'm glad to hear you are enjoying "Way of the Wicked".

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


*Whistles nervously, pressing f5 to see if WotW V is released yet.*

Oh, damn.

*Takes rations and water, realizing a few extra days pressing f5*

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:

I think I'll remade the King as a Cavalier, or maybe a different kind of fighter. As it is writing it is a bit dissapointing for a CR 15 named NPC. He does like 1d8+7, which is close to what the prisoner knight did at the end of the tests in Book I. With +18 to hit and 1d8+7 damage, he is not that much of a threat for such an important NPC. I know he is not alone in the fight, but even then.

I like the idea he is a "sword and board" type of guy, but the damage is too low. 1d4+10 with the shield isn't that much better either, for a lvl 16 fighter ;/. As a cavalier, he might have the Challenge damage bonus, which is something to consider. The shielded fighter does not really give him anything interesting.

I think I'll redo him as a Two Weapon Fighter, rule that the shield is his second weapon, and get it done. The dodge bonus when using "two weapons" can make him to have high AC as well, and pose a much higher threat.

Here's what I did because I too felt he was underpowered. I cheated. There's a feat in the Overpowered book by Super Genius Games called Gestalt.

Gestalt:
What this does is you choose a class, and you gain the Special aspects of it (no spells) as if you were taking a level of it every 2nd HD. This means Markadian V, who's a 16th level fighter, would gain the abilities of an 8th level cavalier on top of everything else he's got, and no CR increase unless you chose to do so.

As for changing him out of shielded fighter to two-weapon, I wouldn't do that. The difference between what he is now and what you want to turn him into is his armor. If he's really supposed to have full plate, he'll have huge penalties. Normally those would slowly go away over time, but a two-weapon fighter gains dodge bonuses instead, replacing the armor training. However, if you wanted to, you could just increase the CR to 16 and give him a PC's wealth, enabling him access to mithral full plate, and the 3pp armor property, also from SGG, called Weightless, which would negate the rest of the penalties. It's +2 for heavy armor.


kevin_video wrote:
As for changing him out of shielded fighter to two-weapon, I wouldn't do that. The difference between what he is now and what you want to turn him into is his armor. If he's really supposed to have full plate, he'll have huge penalties. Normally those would slowly go away over time, but a two-weapon fighter gains dodge bonuses instead, replacing the armor training. However, if you wanted to, you could just increase the CR to 16 and give him a PC's wealth, enabling him access to mithral full plate, and the 3pp armor property, also from SGG, called Weightless, which...

My plan is to use TWF archetype, and rule he use his shield as his offhand weapon. Shields can benefit from Two Weapon Fighting feats too, and actually have weapon stats (for bashing).

So, instead of having shielded fighter archetype (which is plainly horrible), he'll have Two Weapon Fighter Archetype, but use a sword and shield.

So he'll have much better armor, damage, attack bonus and number of attack, without needing third party overpowered stuff that I don't own.

I haven't stated him fully yet (as we start to play in october, and I'll have more than enough time to do), but just using the Book V as a model, and swapping a couple feats (die hard, endurance, etc) for TWF related stuff, and changing the archetype, drop the Composite Crossbow and buy a Full plate of Mithril instead, he'll get

+4 dodge bonus when using two weapons (sword and shield, in his case)instead of +3
+3 hit and damage with both the sword and shield, instead of only with shield
Weapon Specialization and GWS for the sword.
Two extra attacks with shield.
The ability to make both sword and shield attacks as a standard action.

Changing Combat expertise for power attack, and using a Full Plate, you get AC 36 (40 when doing a full round) instead of 31 (41 with expertise), Att +22/17/12/7 instead of +18/13/8/3, and 1d8+21 instead of 1d8+7, and he'll have 2 extra attacks, at +21/16, which would do 1d4+12 or so, plus free bull rush.

As I said, 1d8+7 for a lvl 15 fighter king called The Brave is too low to pose a threat at level 16. That's what Sir Balin was doing back when players where level *two*


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Adding Bashing to the shield should also increase it's damage, although I'm not sure if you'll have be able to do that with the NPC gear rules.

Grand Lodge

@ gustavo iglesias -- Gaining a +4 dodge bonus compared to +3 doesn't mean much when your Dex caps at 16 instead of 18 because your armor only gives you +3 Dex, even with mithral, because it's full plate. You still have the exact same AC. Why? Because TWF fighter doesn't have Armor Training. You also have a -4 armor check penalty to everything Str and Dex based on the full plate. If you could somehow increase the Dex by 1, then you'd be gaining.

I agree with JMD031. You should get a bashing shield.

I still say that giving him PC wealth will make things better in the long run. Namely giving him +5 weapons and shield. That'll help increase the damage a little bit too. And of course the CR increases by 1 as well.

You don't even have to bring in 3pp stuff. Bring in WotC 3.5 Magic Item Compendium. There's armor abilities and bracers or gauntlets that'll be of benefit to you.


kevin_video wrote:
@ gustavo iglesias -- Gaining a +4 dodge bonus compared to +3 doesn't mean much when your Dex caps at 16 instead of 18 because your armor only gives you +3 Dex, even with mithral, because it's full plate. You still have the exact same AC. Why? Because TWF fighter doesn't have Armor Training. You also have a -4 armor check penalty to everything Str and Dex based on the full plate. If you could somehow increase the Dex by 1, then you'd be gaining.

Well, that would be a point, if Shielded Fighters would have Armor Training. But they don't, they trade it to get Active Defense, so it's pointless. The only reason the original King Markadian can use his awesome Captain America dexterity, is because he uses a chain shirt. In Full plate, he can't. Even so, a full plate (specially if mithril) gives him better AC, so there's no reason to wear a chainshirt, other than the stat block being prepared for a "non-combat-ready" king. Trading 2 points of dex for 2 points of STR is a good idea anyways.

Having -4 armor check penalty is not something that bother me that much. A knight shouldn't be doing acrobatic jumps to go through threatened areas.

Quote:

I agree with JMD031. You should get a bashing shield.

I still say that giving him PC wealth will make things better in the long run. Namely giving him +5 weapons and shield.

It also give the players a +5 sword and a +5 shield reward, which is more threasure than expected in the encounter. The Bashing shield is a good option, maybe can fit it somehow.

Quote:
You don't even have to bring in 3pp stuff. Bring in WotC 3.5 Magic Item Compendium. There's armor abilities and bracers or gauntlets that'll be of benefit to you.

WotC is a third party publisher for Pathfinder. It is not for 3.5 D&D. I won't use 3.5 stuff in Pathfinder, for the same reasons I won't use 3.0 stuff in 3.5

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:
WotC is a third party publisher for Pathfinder. It is not for 3.5 D&D. I won't use 3.5 stuff in Pathfinder, for the same reasons I won't use 3.0 stuff in 3.5

Yeah, but Pathfinder's 3.5 compatible, for the most part. Personally I use everything. Especially if it fits really well for story. And giving the PCs a little extra treasure never hurt anyone. I've already been doing that, and considering how many consumables they spend their gold on so they don't die (you tend to not get free healing from every town when you're evil), that's a big deal for them.


kevin_video wrote:
Yeah, but Pathfinder's 3.5 compatible,

3.0 is also compatible with 3.5. That does not mean it is particularly well balanced, though. One of the reasons I play pathfinder, instead of 3.5, is because it removes the sheer amount of bloated material that was published for 3.5, some (lot) of which is not my cup of tea. YMMV.

Quote:
And giving the PCs a little extra treasure never hurt anyone. I've already been doing that, and considering how many consumables they spend their gold on so they don't die (you tend to not get free healing from every town when you're evil), that's a big deal for them.

Well, it might be a playstyle issue, but I don't think a +5 sword and +5 shield counts as "a bit extra treasure". I think it's perfectly possible to optimize King Markadian a little bit more than it is as writen (which is too low damage for CR 15), without giving away 75.000 extra gold. Again, YMMV, which is perfectly fine.

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Well, it might be a playstyle issue, but I don't think a +5 sword and +5 shield counts as "a bit extra treasure". I think it's perfectly possible to optimize King Markadian a little bit more than it is as writen (which is too low damage for CR 15), without giving away 75.000 extra gold. Again, YMMV, which is perfectly fine.

There's always ways around it. Namely tomes. Markadian has low Strength? Give him a Manual of Gainful Exercise +5 for 137,500 and a Manual of Bodily Health +4 for 110,000. This leaves 9000 gold to play with. He's a higher CR and he's got wealth that PCs will never be able to get. I know of DMs who have done that to me and my group a few times in their games.


kevin_video wrote:
There's always ways around it. Namely tomes. Markadian has low Strength? Give him a Manual of Gainful Exercise +5 for 137,500 and a Manual of Bodily Health +4 for 110,000. This leaves 9000 gold to play with. He's a higher CR and he's got wealth that PCs will never be able to get. I know of DMs who have done that to me and my group a few times in their games.

Sure, there are ways around. But why the effort? You could get nearly the same with less effort just by optimizing him a bit. There's a 99% chance he does not really need a composite bow. He can live easily with slightly less DEX (he is not going to use it anyways, as mithril full plate max dex bonus is +3). He can use a full plate. He can use any other archetype instead of the horribly underpowered shielded fighter, which gives him practically nothing while wearing fullplate. He can pump a little bit less CON and a little bit more STR, as any PC fighter does. He can choose better feats.

That alone will pump him into a capable threat. Remember that he does not fight alone, also. I don't want to pump him too much, or then I'll need to pump the PC ability too, and therefore the NPC ability so they keep the pace, and so on, in a perpetual weapon development inflation. A fight were everybody has a knife is more interesting than a fight were everybody has a nuclear missile, IMHO.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

*Whistles nervously, pressing f5 to see if WotW V is released yet.*

Oh, damn.

*Takes rations and water, realizing a few extra days pressing f5*

My combat rations have extra chocolates. Anybody want an exchange.

Gary ! I have your little puppy taken as hostage. My conditions for release are simple. You release the book V and I release your puppy.

Don't do anything silly, don't call the police and everything will be fine. Remember that we are Wicked ...

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

gustavo iglesias wrote:

*Whistles nervously, pressing f5 to see if WotW V is released yet.*

Oh, damn.

*Takes rations and water, realizing a few extra days pressing f5*

Veteran Kickstarter?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd say we still have another week or so before book 5. Would be happy to be wrong of course.

EDIT

Gary posted on the WotW Facebook page that book 5 was "very soon to be finished." So that's good.


We are working relentlessly, vigilantly, tirelessly to get this book done as soon as possible. And as soon as I'm happy with it, we will release it.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


I'm so anxious to get it soon, as hoping it is as good as the other IV. So forget about us and keep the good work. When you think it's ok, it'll be ok.

I have more than enough material to start in October anyway. I was just hoping to show my players the Lord of Darkness archetype, as one of them is going to be Antipaladin. I can retcon whatever ability it has, as a last resort action.

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