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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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.


Face some of Taingarde's most powerful here, but keep the plot flowing smoothly.

5/5

It’s universally understood, though not often said, that evil is simply cooler than good. Evil people are the ones who get to dress in the most arresting outfits, make the grandest speeches, and perform the most memorable actions. Simply put, evil characters make a bigger impression than their righteous counterparts…though oftentimes the good guys can come close.

In Way of the Wicked Book Four: Of Dragons and Princesses, players and GMs get to see this truism up close and personal. Heck, it’s even in the book’s title – this is adventure is all about those most fearsome of beasts, dragons, as well as women of nobility and power. While the PCs have met some truly arresting characters so far, it’s here that they begin to truly begin interacting with the kingdom’s power-players on a regular basis.

But before we get any further into the meat of the adventure, let’s look at the technical aspects first. The fourth Way of the Wicked book comes as three PDFs. The first is the main adventure itself, while the second is a printer-friendly version thereof. The last one is labeled as being “player handouts,” which is a slight misnomer; rather, it’s a single player handout, and four maps of major areas that have all of the labels removed, making things easier for the GM (though some might grimace at the fact that the name of the place depicted is still featured on each map).

The main file, one hundred-six pages in length, presents itself fairly well on a technical scale. Copy and pasting are enabled, and the text is fully searchable. Bookmarks are present, but again there’s only one bookmark for each major section of the book; if you want to find a more specific sub-section, you’ll need to scroll to it manually. Both of these are also true for the printer-friendly PDF.

Unfortunately, the printer-friendly PDF only lives up to its designation half-heartedly. Its idea of being “printer-friendly” is to remove the background coloration from the pages, and set the page borders to being grayscale lines. All of the interior illustrations and maps are still there in lavish full-color.

Having said that, the main file is notably resplendent. The pages are set on a dark tan background (which, I think, is meant to look like parchment) with ornate black borders on three sides. Full-color maps are present for each major section, and of course the interior illustrations are all in lustrous full color as well. I must once again tip my hat to artist Michael Clarke, as the various pictures of the major characters that the PCs meet are, to be blunt, arresting. Each one of these pictures clearly conveys the thousand words that they’re worth.

My last technical critique is regarding what’s not here, rather than what is. There are no files that are optimized for e-readers or Macs. While this wasn’t a big deal to me personally, I suspect that it’s a bit more of a nuisance for those who want versions of the book optimized for those devices.

Now, let’s get down to the adventure itself. As with previous installments, this one actually begins almost exactly where the previous one ended – I’m of two minds about how the book actually opens with what feels like the epilogue to its predecessor; on the one hand, it feels almost anticlimactic, as instead of moving forward with the plot you’re dealing with the loose ends from your last adventure. On the other hand, this helps to lend a much greater sense of cohesiveness to the campaign as a whole, since the adventures feel much more interconnected…something I suspect was author Gary McBride’s intent.

Regardless, the adventure opens with the PCs in what’s left of the Vale of Valtaerna, having not only snuffed out the holy flames of the state religion’s most holy site, but also slaughtered every living thing in the valley. Or at least, that was the plan. If the PCs succeeded, then they get to march their army out (absorbing the surviving bugbears into their own evil organization, if the rules from Book Two are being used) with no fuss as they continue their evil plans.

Cogently, however, the book spends more time talking about what happens if the PCs failed and some survivors managed to escape. In this case, the winter thaw finds an army of light (FAR outnumbering the PCs’ forces) preparing to retake the Vale. This is another classical “villain moment,” in that it presents the PCs with the question of what they’ll do regarding their minions when it comes time to beat a hasty retreat. While the PCs can likely escape on their own, there are various actions presented, along with their consequences, should they also want to save their minions and greater retinue.

Once the PCs escape, it’s time for them to relax before their next assignment. Rejoining with the humanoid army led by Fire-Axe at the recently-conquered city of Daveryn, the PCs can kick back and accomplish some side-quests for a month. This is largely a chance to catch up on XP and treasure (in the form of some good old-fashioned looting), but does have several opportunities for the PCs to find several clues for their upcoming assignment.

Speaking of being assigned, after a month of squashing what resistance remains in Daveryn, the PCs’ master sends them one last assignment: to kill the king of Talingarde. Of course, this isn’t as simple as just poisoning his food – the king marches at the head of an army, and attacking him there is suicide. Rather, the PCs are to create a huge calamity back at his palace, where his young daughter resides. The king, loving his child so much, will magically transport back to defend her…which is when the PCs will ambush him.

Of course, this requires creating a disaster of sufficient magnitude, and it’s here that the titular dragons begin to come into play. The PCs need to enlist the help of the great black wyrm Chargammon. This is much easier said than done, as the dragon eats anyone who approaches him. So first, they need to find a way to secure an audience.

This part of the adventure seemed, to me, to be a bit rushed – not the issue of the PCs’ master giving them their next assignment (the book is actually very cognizant of the fact that the PCs are by now straining their metaphorical leashes) – but rather, how the PCs are supposed to think of the manner in which they’re to safely meet with Chargammon. Simply put, one of the aforementioned clues in sacking Daveryn is the key here, but the sandbox nature of the conquered city means it’s less than certain that the PCs will even look in the right place, let alone find it. The adventure basically tells the GM to make sure the PCs find this clue somehow, but only offers a few off-the-cuff suggestions for what to do if the PCs don’t go to the right area and look in the right place; it’s a weak point in what’s otherwise an excellent adventure.

Once the PCs discover the clue, it’s off to find the one person who can secure them a meeting with Chargammon. This is largely a sidetrek, as the adventure makes it fairly easy to locate the correct area once the PCs are on the right path, and the fight is relatively brief.

Only after this is done can the PCs meet with the powerful black dragon, being able to journey there in relative safety (I have to interject here that the picture of the black drakes that dwell on Chargammon’s island made me think of a certain dragon named Toothless). The actual meeting itself is anything but safe, however, as Chargammon is as arrogant as he is powerful. It’s very easy for PCs who are stupid or proud to provoke a fight that they likely cannot win. Again, this is an area where the plot moves along very thin rails; a minor disruption can have major repercussions here.

Chargammon, in the true style of RPG NPCs, won’t agree to do anything unless the PCs undertake a quest for him first. In this case, he wants a rival dragon slain – a copper dragon of less power but greater allies named Eiramanthus. This is no small thing, as like Chargammon, Eiramanthus commands his own island.

The island is an otherworldly place. Eiramanthus is a planeswalker extraordinaire, and alters his home to better reflect the nature of his travels. As such, the entire island has an alien feel to it that also gives it certain defensive properties. The major defenses are the creatures who dwell there, however – in addition to visitors and the local servants, Eiramanthus’s home is occupied not only by the dragon himself, but by his three concubines; exotic and powerful women that he wooed on his travels.

I was critical of some of the previous parts of the adventure because they had clear directions that they wanted the PCs to go, but offered only a relatively narrow range of options for how to make that happen. Here, the situation may seem somewhat similar, but I don’t hold this against the book. That is, if the PCs are stupid, they may end up facing Eiramanthus with most of his servants and concubines helping him, which is likely to overwhelm the PCs. It’s far smarter to use some degree of subterfuge to try and take them down one at a time or in small groups.

There’s little advice on what the situation is or how to make sure things don’t go south quickly. I don’t consider this a bug, but rather see it as a feature. This adventure is for high-level PCs, and at this point if they’re not using some degree of strategy, the fault is entirely their own. That the PCs are likely to face disaster if they try to kick in the door is how things are supposed to go. At this point, punishing them for not using their heads is the correct thing to do.

It’s after things are done here that the plot makes a significant leap, as it’s here that the PCs are given not only a great deal more information on their master’s past, but are given the first direct information regarding overthrowing him. The seeds for the next book are sown here…

Once Eiramanthus is slain (and his truly prodigious hoard, which includes some amusing souvenirs from other dimensions, has been claimed), Chargammon is willing to hold up his end of the bargain. Now all that’s left is to head to the capital city and prepare to lure the king into the death-trap. This is an area where the PCs will again have a chance to explore a major city, but that part is left to the gazetteer at the end of the book.

For the final act, the king’s palace is detailed. Sneaking in and overcoming the defenders isn’t what I’d call cakewalk, but it’s by no means a truly difficult affair, which makes sense as most of the martial forces have marched to the front. However, plenty of soldiers remain that even a high-level group should be wary of sounding an alarm before their ready to commit regicide. Once Chargammon attacks, however, the king (who is a paragon of a certain eight Virtues, for fans of a particular old school RPG series) comes running…along with his closest defenders. Remember, they came back because the situation was dire, so even caught unaware they’re still ready for a truly tough fight. To slay a king here will be no small thing for the PCs.

The adventure doesn’t quite end there, as there’s a “cut scene” involving Chargammon and the princess. I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to make of this, as this is written as a narrative, and so it’s difficult to know if this is meant to be read to the PCs or is simply an extra for the GM. Ideally the former, but that might not be workable. Far better, at least in terms of practicality, was the FAQ-style section where the book dealt with what to do if things went awry at various points. This was a very bright idea, as this adventure more than others offered places in which various parts of the plot could conceivably be done out of order, ignored, or changed depending on the PCs’ actions. The suggestions for how to get things back on track are most welcome.

Of course, the book doesn’t end here. A gazetteer is given for the capital city of Talingarde, Matharyn. While I was expecting to be tired of city guides, I was once again proven wrong. Matharyn has its own feeling; whereas other cities are populated by people pragmatic in their approach to life and work, Matharyn really is a bastion of order and goodness. This is a city where the people are good and do good, and the author notes that this is quite likely to throw less-selfish evil-doers for a loop; it’s hard to imagine a society more perfect than one where everyone works for the common good and is genuinely happy. Luckily for those characters who want to destroy such virtue, there are ten brief side-quests given as well.

The final section of the book is a discussion regarding how to run the campaign for PCs who become vampires or liches. If this sounds random, it shouldn’t, as the previous book presented the PCs with a golden opportunity to become vampires, and this one presents a similar method for achieving lichdom (I won’t spoil the surprise here). This is the first of a two-part section, with this first one eschewing mechanics (save for one new magic item that allows vampires to survive in sunlight) in favor of advice and suggestions.

It’s worth noting that this section is also fairly lopsided in favor of vampires. While the initial part does talk about some of the issues with playing a lich (e.g. can lich powers be voluntarily deactivated? What to do if someone steals your phylactery?), the majority of it talks about what to do regarding the many weaknesses and restrictions of vampires. This may seem like would-be lich PCs are being snubbed, but it’s understandable given that vampirism is much easier for most PCs to achieve, compared to lichdom. The section closes out with book-by-book advice given for running Way of the Wicked as a campaign about the ascendancy of a vampire kingdom.

Overall, there’s little question that Of Dragons and Princesses stands alongside the previous three adventures as a high-water mark among adventures. However, it never exceeds the standards its predecessors set. Small issues regarding how smoothly the plot continues onward, along with one too many “fetch quests” for my taste (e.g. quest to figure out how to meet Chargammon, quest to secure his aid, etc.) make this an adventure that’s excellent by any other standard, but not quite so much as the others.

Of course, those are small complaints compared to what’s here overall. From the flight from Valtaerna to the first real discussion of overthrowing the PCs master to the assassination of the king and so much more, there’s a huge amount of high-quality adventuring to be had here. Stamp out rebels, murder kings, and bring the world one step closer to damnation as you perform deeds Of Dragons and Princesses.


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I'm currently running a group through this path using the alternate possibility suggested of an all-Wizard party. It's proving to be quite interesting so far - they're currently preparing for the ritual to release Vetra-Kali. The low amounts of hit points are an interesting factor, though.

Hexor and Vexor have rapidly become some of my favorite NPCs ever, though, I must say. So very polite.

Grand Lodge

George Shellabear wrote:
using the alternate possibility suggested of an all-Wizard party

That suggestion exists? Yikes. Sounds about as difficult as the all white mages in the original Final Fantasy game.


kevin_video wrote:
George Shellabear wrote:
using the alternate possibility suggested of an all-Wizard party
That suggestion exists? Yikes. Sounds about as difficult as the all white mages in the original Final Fantasy game.

Normally I'd agree. But in this adventure path, the PC get a free tank right in the begining, in the form of a half-fiend Ogre that kick ass. Then they get a few extra ones, like golems, onis, medusa, etc. If you add the fact that they can freely go for necromancy and undead bodyguards, they can easily overcome the natural difficulties of this kind of mage-only campaigns


Gustavo,

Spoiler:
This is covered in some detail in Book V. The entirity of Act II is set on Chargammon's island, post Chargammon.

The short answer is that the PCs are not the only one interested in that hoard and what went down on that island. They will probably be too late to claim the treasure (they will be busy with Thorn's minions by then). But they won't be too late for some vengeance...

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Gustavo,

** spoiler omitted **

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Yep, I noticed it shortly after asking (rolled 1 in perception the first time :) ). Cambe back to delete the post but you already answered. Thank you :)


Question will the book v be ready this week or is it delayed to next month.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Regarding You-Know-Who's treasure horde...

Spoiler:
Princess Belinda delivered Chargammon's killing blow so she really deserves his loot. I bet she teleported there after learning of the PC's (mis)deeds and will use the spoils to fund a resistance movement against them! Or not.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So... any word on book V?

... Or this new AP I saw mention of on your blog?


Dear Gary.

We've got Belinda Markadian as hostage. She is tied, and inside an Antimagic Shell. She's well fed, and healthy... for now.

We demand the immediate liberation of Book V, art preview from Book VI, and a few hints about Throne of Darkness. Oh, and chocolate icecream with peanut butter. Otherwise, the princess will die.

Yours sincerelly:

The Wicked Ones.

Grand Lodge

Gary,

Question regarding Anton's Promise because I really do want to play this out...

Spoilers:
The priest that the horned devil made a deal with. Could it have been Thorn? Have it be that the devil was contractually obligated to stay there until the priest's death, but since he's a lich he didn't technically die, the devil's stuck there. Thorn doesn't know this because he a) thought he had actually died before becoming a lich, and b) forgot about the devil altogether. That would probably work out decently except the PCs still wouldn't be able to leave because the phylactery's way up North. However, they could make an infernal pact with the horned devil that once he's released from the other contract, that he'd work for them. That might appease him. Have it that if they can't free him within the next year, the devil gets their souls. He's already been around this long, what's another year for an immortal?

Or, would it make more sense to go with the other open ended plot you had about the town, but nothing was done with, have the priest be a ghost and haunting the paranormal areas of the city after having been executed?

Dark Archive

Gustavo, I don't think Gary cares much about Belinda to start with... Otherwise, that's a brilliant tactic. Perhaps we can use the image of an army of bugbears plowing through Gary's front yard as a more effective threat. We seem to have a few spare bugbears nowadays.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
increddibelly wrote:
Gustavo, I don't think Gary cares much about Belinda to start with... Otherwise, that's a brilliant tactic. Perhaps we can use the image of an army of bugbears plowing through Gary's front yard as a more effective threat. We seem to have a few spare bugbears nowadays.

No, that probably wouldn't work. You need to have them ransacking his liquor cabinet.


To kidnap a princess is such a classic plot I couldn't resist :)

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:
To kidnap a princess is such a classic plot I couldn't resist :)

True, but we all know that she's not really kidnapped. She's just waiting for the right moment for destroy us all.


kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
To kidnap a princess is such a classic plot I couldn't resist :)
True, but we all know that she's not really kidnapped. She's just waiting for the right moment for destroy us all.

Not inside the antimagic shell :p

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
To kidnap a princess is such a classic plot I couldn't resist :)
True, but we all know that she's not really kidnapped. She's just waiting for the right moment for destroy us all.
Not inside the antimagic shell :p

And...:
Since when do half-dragons with supernatural abilities like breath weapons and claws care about that?
Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
No, that probably wouldn't work. You need to have them ransacking his liquor cabinet.

Ah, yes, that would work. But that would be a waste...Let's try an incentive?

-ahem-

Dear Gary, the sooner book 5 is out, the sooner we'll give you money, so you could buy one of these!...

Dark Archive

Now I've become thirsty.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Antimagic shell blocks supernatural abilities.


kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
To kidnap a princess is such a classic plot I couldn't resist :)
True, but we all know that she's not really kidnapped. She's just waiting for the right moment for destroy us all.
Not inside the antimagic shell :p
** spoiler omitted **

Where does it says she is a

Spoiler:
half-dragon??? What Book IV says is "the Princess is a female NG human sorcerer 19 with elite ability scores"

EDIT: Actually in pathfinder half-dragons are magical experiments more than off-springs, and in any way, half-dragons have wings, which Belinda does not

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Where does it says she is a ** spoiler omitted **

Ah, but with that specific bloodline. And that's if they decide to go after her before she truly realizes her potential.


Right now, she is a lvl 19 human sorceress. Seeing that

in pathfinder:
half dragons are ussually magical experiments, and not off-springs of dragons and humans
I wouldn't be surprised that se stays like that. She might get one level, finally getting his capstone bloodline ability, but I don't think she'll change her race or get a template.


Gary has just announced in Facebook that the Book is finished, and should be out the day after tomorrow. So we can start to press F5 :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Right now, she is a lvl 19 human sorceress. Seeing that ** spoiler omitted ** I wouldn't be surprised that se stays like that. She might get one level, finally getting his capstone bloodline ability, but I don't think she'll change her race or get a template.

spoiler:
This isn't Pathfinder, it's Fire Mountain Games. Fluff like where half-dragons come from is setting-dependent. Bellinda is the daughter of a silver dragon, meaning that template or no, she's already half-dragon. My guess is she'll blossom into full-on templated half-dragon sorcerer 20 by the last adventure.
Grand Lodge

Generic Villain wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

That's what my guess was too.

And for Throne of Night, I'm thinking that Gary will return the Drow to what they used to be in 3rd party; their own race. Pathfinder has them be good elves whose skin changes colours if they ever become evil.


about Bellinda:
Being the daughter of a dragon does not make you automatically a half dragon, just like being the daughter of a fiend does not make you automatically a half-fiend. That's why there are Cambions, and Tiefling, and dragon bloodline sorcerers, and draconic sorcerers PrC. It depends on how much heritage from each parent you get.

I don't know Gary's plan for the future of Bellinda, but right now, she is NOT a half dragon. Half dragons have a much more bestial look, with scales (natural armor), wings (and fly movement) and claws and bite attack. Looking at Bellinda's picture, it doesn't seem her bite doesn't look that much dangerous... ;)

We don't know how half-dragons background is in Talingarde /firemountaingames world. Maybe it's a decision they make, like half-elves in Middle Earth, where they can choose to be elves or humans in life span. Or any other thing. But right now, Bellinda is not a half-dragon. A half dragon looks like a 4e dragonborn or 2e Dragonlance setting Draconic. They have wings, and claws, and jaws, and scales, while Belinda looks humanlike. A very beautiful human, indeed.

Grand Lodge

Um, about needing those things... she does. At least two of them. And they're free actions to hide.

Bloodline powers:
Claws (Su): Starting at 1st level, you can grow claws as a free action. These claws are treated as natural weapons, allowing you to make two claw attacks as a full attack action using your full base attack bonus.

Wings (Su): At 15th level, leathery dragon wings grow from your back as a standard action, giving you a fly speed of 60 feet with average maneuverability. You can dismiss the wings as a free action.

Just saying. Technicalities.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
Spoiler:
Being the daughter of a dragon does not make you automatically a half dragon, just like being the daughter of a fiend does not make you automatically a half-fiend.

...wtf? Since when?

Spoiler:
That's pretty much EXACTLY what a Half-Fiend is. A Cambion's just a specific kind of half-fiend. And a tiefling is too diluted a bloodline to be the child of a fiend - that'd be a half-fiend's descendants, not their siblings.

And this is the first time I've ever heard someone say "being the child of a dragon doesn't make you a half-dragon" without the implied consequence of "because you're a full dragon". WTH? And the whole line of "half-dragons tend to come from experiments" doesn't rule out half-dragons by breeding - just says they're less common, and that there are lots of half-dragons running around because wizards are crazy, not because dragons sleep with everything that moves.

RE: Half-Dragon appearance/aesthetics: there's really NEVER been a consensus on "half-dragons look like this". Sometimes they are, indeed, very bestial in appearance akin to 4e's Dragonborn. But sometimes they're drawn as nothing more than humanoids with wings and a few patches of scales, or a couple of horns, or claws, or other minor traits. Most are, at least in my experience, somewhere in the middle.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

About Bellinda...

Spoiler:

The very brief stats given to her in Book IV (a human sorcerer 19) were Bellinda, unaware-her-full-destiny arcane teenage prodigy. In Book VI, she will get a full stat-block that will represent -- Bellinda, fully-awakened potential savior of Talingarde. Suffice to say, they will be different.

Bellinda is a unique sort of half-dragon.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


kevin_video wrote:

Um, about needing those things... she does. At least two of them. And they're free actions to hide.

** spoiler omitted **

Just saying. Technicalities.

I'm aware of those, but another technicality is the word "can". A sorcerer "can" grow claws or wings. Bellinda is simply unaware that she can.

On the other hand

Spoiler:
half dragons, by the template, CAN'T grow wings. They HAVE wings. Bellinda DOES NOT have wings. Therefore, she is NOT a half dragon. At least, not yet. This may/will change in book VI

to Orthos:
No, a half-fiend has certain template, that a cambion does not.

and

Spoiler:
half dragons might never had a consensus about what they do look like, mainly because it depends largely on the other parent too. The son of a dragon and a dwarf is not going to look like the son of a dragon and a cyclops, or the son of a dragon and giant octopus. BUT, with the half dragon template, we have certain clues. They have WINGS, they have CLAWS, they have JAWS (that's why they can bite), and they have somewhat resistent skin (that's why they have natural armor)

Regarding Belinda

Spoiler:
let's see what kind of unique being she is :)

Grand Lodge

Gary,

With all the Belinda talk, my original question got pushed back.

Question regarding Anton's Promise because I really do want to play this out...

Spoiler:
The priest that the horned devil made a deal with. Could it have been Thorn? Have it be that the devil was contractually obligated to stay there until the priest's death, but since he's a lich he didn't technically die, the devil's stuck there. Thorn doesn't know this because he a) thought he had actually died before becoming a lich, and b) forgot about the devil altogether. That would probably work out decently except the PCs still wouldn't be able to leave because the phylactery's way up North. However, they could make an infernal pact with the horned devil that once he's released from the other contract, that he'd work for them. That might appease him. Have it that if they can't free him within the next year, the devil gets their souls. He's already been around this long, what's another year for an immortal?

Or, would it make more sense to go with the other open ended plot you had about the town, but nothing was done with, have the priest be a ghost and haunting the paranormal areas of the city after having been executed?


*press f5*
*wink*
*press f5*
*wink*
...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
kevin_video wrote:

Gary,

With all the Belinda talk, my original question got pushed back.

Question regarding Anton's Promise because I really do want to play this out...
** spoiler omitted **

Kevin,

Spoiler:

Here's some random ideas. I also like yours. Use which ever you prefer.

I don't think it should be Thorn. Thorn already has PILES of backstory and made a deal with a pit fiend. Another deal would just clutter up his plot-central narrative arc.

Instead, Thorn is addressed by Naburus the Pit Fiend (see Book V) as High Priest in Talingarde. This temple was established by the PREVIOUS high priest, Moren Tyrath, a cousin of the current High Inquisitor Solomon Tyrath (who gets a full writeup and is a major enemy of the PCs in Book VI).

The devil is bound there because his contract states that he waits for the word of the High Priest of Asmodeus in Talingarde. Currently, that's Thorn. By the end of Book V, it could be one of the PCs. Then they can release the devil and gain his gratitude.

There is another Horned Devil in Book V -- Zaerabos, servant of Zaeros, who likely knows about the bound Gethran Hate. He could be another information source.

Hope that helps,
Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Hmm. In that case I'm REALLY going to need Book V.

Contributor

It's available now, right here.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey Gary,
Just looking at Markadian (towards the idea of giving him a makeover) and I noticed an oddity in his stat block.

Str 16 (20), Dex 18, etc.
And he has a Belt of Physical Might (Str, Dex) +2

So I am think that he should have:
Str 16 (18), Dex 18 (20); or
Belt of Str +4

John

Grand Lodge

W. John Hare wrote:

Hey Gary,

Just looking at Markadian (towards the idea of giving him a makeover) and I noticed an oddity in his stat block.

Str 16 (20), Dex 18, etc.
And he has a Belt of Physical Might (Str, Dex) +2

So I am think that he should have:
Str 16 (18), Dex 18 (20); or
Belt of Str +4

John

The belt's already in the stats. That's not what the brackets are for. He's been buffed with Bull's Strength.

"Just before they teleport here, Quintus casts archon’s aura, prayer and holy aura on the entire party and bull’s strength on the king"

If anything, since Bull's Strength doesn't stack with itself (enhancement bonus) it should be Str 18.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:
W. John Hare wrote:

Hey Gary,

Just looking at Markadian (towards the idea of giving him a makeover) and I noticed an oddity in his stat block.

Str 16 (20), Dex 18, etc.
And he has a Belt of Physical Might (Str, Dex) +2

So I am think that he should have:
Str 16 (18), Dex 18 (20); or
Belt of Str +4

John

The belt's already in the stats. That's not what the brackets are for. He's been buffed with Bull's Strength.

"Just before they teleport here, Quintus casts archon’s aura, prayer and holy aura on the entire party and bull’s strength on the king"

If anything, since Bull's Strength doesn't stack with itself (enhancement bonus) it should be Str 18.

Ah, missed the part about the buffs. Str is correct at 16 (20) [the +4 from the Bull's Str over rides that from the belt].

Grand Lodge

W. John Hare wrote:
the Bull's Str over rides that from the belt.

That's correct, but he already has the +2. So in essence, maybe it should be Str 18 (20). Or it could be Gary forgot that and it really should be Str 16 (18). It overlaps, it doesn't stack.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmm, I think King Markadian's stats don't include his Toughness Feat.

While my PCs haven't gotten to Sir Balin yet (game on hold while I move), I concur with the idea that the King should be doing more damage, or at least something 'different' to make him more of a unique fight so that my players will find it a memorable encounter.

To that end, I decided to use the Two-Weapon Warrior archtype, but maintain the 'Shield' focus.

He isn't complete yet, but ideally the King will get into the midst of the PCs and whatever henchmen they brought to the fight and then unload.
To that end:
Whirlwind + Lunge + Shield Slam + Spiked Bashing Heavy Shield + Greater Bull Rush

Everyone within 10' gets a 2d6+7 shield in the face (+10 more with a Power Attack) and a free Bull Rush against everyone which if they get moved generates AoO for all the King's allies.

I suspect I'll only be able to pull this trick off once, but I think it would be very cool to have the villains being tossed away. :)

Now I just have to decide if it would be too much if I had the King drink a potion of Enlarge Person before arriving... :)


Go for the enlarge person-potion, but make sure to give the king's minions the same treatment, otherwise it's too easy to target the king, though the visual effect would sure be iconic....


That is VERY cool John Hare. Including potion of enlarge person. The king has been trained by the best. So he should know all tricks.
He's THE king after all. ^^

If you have complete stats I would be delighted to see it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Major Longhorn wrote:

That is VERY cool John Hare. Including potion of enlarge person. The king has been trained by the best. So he should know all tricks.

He's THE king after all. ^^

If you have complete stats I would be delighted to see it.

I'm still working on the full stats. But yes, I'll post them here when I'm done.

One other thing I'll probably do is up the 'gear' on the king. The king seems to have approx 55,000gp worth of gear. Which to me seems a little on the low side, after all this is the king shouldn't he have some of the best gear available? Not sure if I'll go as high as the WBL value for a PC, but at least 1/2 value, especially as the other NPCs who accompany the king also seem undergeared. (the 4x lvl 10 cavaliers don't have magic armor or weapons)


W. John Hare wrote:
Major Longhorn wrote:

That is VERY cool John Hare. Including potion of enlarge person. The king has been trained by the best. So he should know all tricks.

He's THE king after all. ^^

If you have complete stats I would be delighted to see it.

I'm still working on the full stats. But yes, I'll post them here when I'm done.

One other thing I'll probably do is up the 'gear' on the king. The king seems to have approx 55,000gp worth of gear. Which to me seems a little on the low side, after all this is the king shouldn't he have some of the best gear available? Not sure if I'll go as high as the WBL value for a PC, but at least 1/2 value, especially as the other NPCs who accompany the king also seem undergeared. (the 4x lvl 10 cavaliers don't have magic armor or weapons)

They don't even have *decent* armor or weapons, let alone magic ones. They wear banded mails, wooden shields, and non-masterwork axes.

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

He isn't 100% yet (still need to work in the Enlarge Person stats) but here is a rough draft of how I'm changing the king. Hopefully I haven't made too many errors... :)

King Markadian:

King Markadian, the Brave
Male Human Fighter (Two-Wpn Warrior) 16, AL LG
Init +8, Senses Perception +0
Defense
AC 35 (+11 Armor, +6 Shield, +3 Dex, +1 Dodge, +2 Deflection, +2 Nat AC)
HP 172 (16d10+80)
Fort +16, Ref +11, Will +7 (base Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +5)
Defensive Abilities: Defensive Flurry (+4 dodge w/full attack with both wpns), Combat Expertise (-5 to hit, +5 to Dodge), Improved Shield Bash (keep shield AC when bashing), Mobility (+4 to Dodge when moving),
Offense
Speed 25ft
Melee: Standard Action (Sword & Shield Attack) Longsword +23 (1d8+7, +2d6 vs Evil, 17-20, x2) and Shield Bash +23 (2d6+4) w/ Free Bull Rush
Full Attack: Longsword +26/+21/+16/+11 (1d8+10, +2d6 vs Evil, 17-20, x2) and Shield Bash +26/+21/+16/+11 (2d6+7) [also gets +4 Dodge to AC] w/ Free Bull Rush
Full Attack Power Attack: Longsword +21/+16/+11/+6 (1d8+20, +2d6 vs Evil, 17-20, x2) and Shield Bash +21/+16/+11/+6 (2d6+12) [also gets +4 Dodge to AC] w/ Free Bull Rush
Whirlwind Attack (w/ Shield Bash & Power Attack): Shield Bash +21) 2d6+17 w/ Free Bull Rush

Ranged: Comp Longbow +22/+17/+12/+7 (1d8+4)
Offensive Abilities: Twin Blades (+3 hit/dmg w/full attack with both wpns), Equal Opportunity (AoOs he attacks with both weapons), Power Attack (-5 to hit, +10/+5 to dmg), Lunge (+5’ to reach, -2 AC), Whirlwind Attack (1 attack vs everyone in range), Shield Slam (free Bull Rush)
Statistics
Str 16 (20), Dex 16 (18), Con 18, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 14
BAB +16/+11/+6/+1, CMB +21 (Bull Rush +25), CMD +38 [42 vs Disarm/Sunder]
Feats: Improved Initiative, Toughness, Two Weapon Fighting, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Shield Master, Spring Attack, Lunge, Greater Bull Rush, Dodge, Combat Expertise, Shield Focus, Improved Shield Bash, Shield Slam, Greater Shield Focus, Mobility, Whirlwind Attack, Combat Reflexes
Skills:
Class Features: Defensive Flurry, Twin Blades, Doublestrike, Improved Balance, Equal Opportunity, Perfect Balance
Gear: +2 Mithral Full Plate, ‘Victor’ +2 Longsword (Holy, Keen, Called, Impervious), +2 Composite Longbow (+2 Str), Belt of Physical Might +2 (Str/Dex), +2 Heavy Steel Spiked Shield of Bashing, Ring +2, Amulet of Natural AC +2, Cloak of Resistance +2, Gloves of Dueling, Potions of Cure Serious Wounds (x3)

Thoughts?
I should mention that I may have screwed up the 2 Wpn Fighting numbers from the Two-Weapon Warrior & the Shield Master combo. But that can be a quick fix.
I also like the flavor of giving the King a 'named' sword, in this case it can either be the Victor's original blade w/ upgrades, or it was forged to pay tribute to the Victor. Either way makes it more memorable I think.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Apparently I left out the skills for King Markadian V... however since I wasn't changing them I guess it doesn't matter. :)

Grand Lodge

The main reason why everyone's not properly equipped is because of the rules for "treasure by encounter". If every NPC was maxed for wealth the PCs would be well beyond their WBL table. As such, I've been making all the enemies -1 CR due to being underequipped.

W. John Hare wrote:
Apparently I left out the skills for King Markadian V... however since I wasn't changing them I guess it doesn't matter. :)

Any particular reason why he's got an impervious weapon? Or, no? BTW, took me a bit to realize where you'd found it (Ultimate Equipment).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:

The main reason why everyone's not properly equipped is because of the rules for "treasure by encounter". If every NPC was maxed for wealth the PCs would be well beyond their WBL table. As such, I've been making all the enemies -1 CR due to being underequipped.

W. John Hare wrote:
Apparently I left out the skills for King Markadian V... however since I wasn't changing them I guess it doesn't matter. :)
Any particular reason why he's got an impervious weapon? Or, no? BTW, took me a bit to realize where you'd found it (Ultimate Equipment).

I just thought the Impervious quality kind of neat to add to the sword.

So either
1) it was the Victor's sword and since it is an heirloom they don't want it to break; or
2) it is named for the Victor and as such they want it to be one of the finest weapons out there.

Actually the -1 CR for being underequipped is a good call (wish I'd thought of it).
Having said that, I probably will probably bump up the 'King's Party' up a bit in wealth, after all its the King! He should have good gear and I can't see him being willing to have bodyguards that don't have good gear as well.

Grand Lodge

W. John Hare wrote:

Actually the -1 CR for being underequipped is a good call (wish I'd thought of it).

Having said that, I probably will probably bump up the 'King's Party' up a bit in wealth, after all its the King! He should have good gear and I can't see him being willing to have bodyguards that don't have good gear as well.

That's the thing though. It doesn't even have to be good gear. Just give them tomes +X. The king's supposed to be this great and powerful leader. How'd he get that way? He's educated. Granted the textbooks were all tomes or manuals, but still. And the PCs don't get any of that. The same could be of his party. They too could be educated with inherent bonuses. And because they're so expensive, it adds up really quickly.


Nice John !
The king is mean (and soon dead I hope).
What is Impervious weapon since i don't have ultimate equipment ?

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