Way of the Wicked—Book #5: The Devil My Only Master (PFRPG) PDF

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For years you have been a follower in a sinister conspiracy dedicated to burning the noble nation of Talingarde to the ground. For years you have accepted their missions and done as you were told. For years you have been a MINION.

That changes today. Today you seize your destiny. Today you will destroy those who think themselves above you. Today you will become the dark lord you were always destined to be. And then all of Talingarde will tremble in your wake.

Welcome to the fifth chapter of the critically acclaimed, ENnie-award nominated “Way of the Wicked” adventure path!

Inside you’ll find:

  • “The Devil My Only Master,” an adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game designed for 16th-level villains by Gary McBride
  • Full color illustrations and maps by Michael Clarke
  • New character options for villains by Jason Bulmahn
  • How to play vampire and lich PCs
  • And More!
  • Hunt a linnorm! Corrupt a paladin! Slay your master and become Talingarde’s greatest villains!

    No one but the devil guides you now.

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*sigh*

1/5

I wish I could give a product 0 stars.

This book hurts me; It's so bad that it burned me out of GMing the AP. It's so bad it actively hurt my mental health.

Here's a laconic version of the plot: The PCs escape from their blood pact with their sponsor and kill him. They also get revenge on the paladin that's been a thorn in their side. It's an acceptable plot overall, but the logistics of it are inexcusable.

Over the course of the AP, the writers have established a couple things about the PCs' sponsor. Namely...
* He's a cleric lich.
* He can somehow grossly violate Asmodean principles (by resurrecting a Paladin actively acting against them) without Asmodeus revoking his power.
* He can still experience positive emotions like love, as established by his reasoning for resurrecting said paladin (he saw a long-lost love in him: he's the son of his muse)
* He's an incel.

This book goes deeper into b@#~%%+! Hell with him in two ways:
*He was resurrected by a pit fiend into a lich. Who then immediately gave him his phylactery, despite that being a MASSIVE bargaining chip.
* He hid his phylactery in an incredibly amateurish location. If he were a Bard or an Inquisitor, fine. But he's a 9th level caster with Create Greater Demiplane on his class list. He's had *decades* to prepare and augment it. He doesn't use it.

That thorn in the PCs' side, the paladin, is their first goal in the book. He's actually been incredibly successful overall, only failing in his first encounter with the party, and now. Despite this success, there's potential for him to fall here straight into being an Antipaladin. Worse, this is the *expected* outcome, only for them to pull a 'gotcha!' in the next book.

Oh, speaking of: the book forces the LE Antipaladin houserule on you, even if you don't allow him to fall.

The book demonstrates their inability to properly apply most templates:
* They butcher applying the Advanced Bestiary's Jotunblooded template, making what should be one of the toughest characters in the AP into a pushover
* There's a pair of raveners that were originally mature adults. Ravener can only be applied to Ancient or older dragons.
* They removed the Fort save from the humanoid undead (who still need to make Fort saves against, say, Disintegrate)

There's a 'masterpiece' of a trap, which *would* really hurt...if it were at all possible for the PCs to reasonably fail. A DC 20 Reflex negates, and the PCs are level 17. A better and approximately equivalent trap would be a Mage's Disjunction.

Finally, the book ends with an incredibly display of writing which fixes most of the plotholes, minor and major.../s

It's the literal definition of a Deus Ex Machina.
For example: "The Lord of Hell is older than sin and sees into the heart of mortals. He knew from the very first day of his conversion that Samuel Havelyn would never conquer Talingarde..." "He recruited every last villain truly worth of the name who yet survived on this angel-infested isle. He brought them together, trained them and gave them purpose. This scheme that he began must now be given to others to finish."
Why didn't the lich lose his cleric abilities when he revived the paladin? Because he can't lead the PCs to success if he falls at the wrong time!

As an aside, the book has an appendix with material for considering having undead PCs. Stuff like some magical items being not so useful, like belts of CON (true) and amulets of natural armour (false). They then offer up homebrew methods to help remove the drawbacks of being undead, further unbalancing the very idea. They even include a way to resurrect a creature *while still leaving the creature as undead.* This is SO ABUSEABLE and subverts what is deliberately the biggest tradeoff one makes when willingly becoming undead.

How in Hell did people trust these guys enough for a second AP when *this* is the quality of writing they achieve?


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


Carpe Diem, Dark Lords!

5/5

Seize destiny with both hands and throttle it for what is rightfully yours!

At least you overthrow both the Infernal Pact you signed in Chapter 1 and the mewling sun-worshiping peons of Talingarde. A vast island awaits the tread of your hobnailed boots. Give them nothing, take from them everything.

The material about lichdom and vampirism in Pathfinder - and ways to "pay" for both without throwing things completely out of kilter are well done herein. With retraining rules from Ultimate Campaign your fiends can pay the price and even improve upon them at the cost of precious general feats. I recommend using them to base how one addresses such concerns in other sandbox campaigns. I wish I'd had this information when running my CoT/KM mash-up campaign. Well done!


The Devil My Only Master Review

5/5

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

Just a quick read of the summary for this book makes it clear that this is a pivotal chapter in the adventure path. The last four books have been building up to an inevitable confrontation between Cardinal Thorn and the PCs, regarding who will ultimately rule Talingarde. Much like it's predecessors, The Devil My Only Master does not disappoint.

Strengths:
The fear of any GM running a 16th level campaign is that your PCs are going to either steamroll every encounter you send their way or get brutally murdered themselves. I was pleasantly surprised at the challenge level of the encounters in this book. While the PCs did have a few easy wins, they also faced their fair share of challenges and near death scenarios. Havelyn and his crew turned out to be particularly deadly. Of course, I must mention that there is an encounter with the wraiths and the banshees, which even the writers acknowledge was not a well balanced r. However, my PCs managed to bypass this encounter entirely, so it was not a problem for our game.

The entire campaign has had excellent worldbuilding and character development. The writers definitely played the long game, with early introductions of characters like Tiadora, Dessiter and Richard Havelyn, as well as setting up Cardinal Thorn as a powerful entity. In this book, those choices really start to pay off. Existing knowledge of their adversaries helped to make the encounters much more personal and interesting. This book was also to fill in a lot of gaps for the players, as they are finally able to see Thorn's plan in its entirety.

There are also a few really great RP opportunities in this book. The scene with Dessiter and Nabarus was wonderfully fun to act out. The opportunity to make Richard Havelyn fall made for a very interesting encounter, where the PCs were able to play mind games with him as they were fighting. Of course, finally getting a shot at Cardinal Thorn also made for interesting RP.

Weaknesses:
There was only one real issue I had running this campaign, and it could very well be a unique problem to my table. The writers make the assumption that the players will not start trying to run the Knot of Thorns until Book 6, after Thorn is already dead. My player were a little over ambitious and essentially considered themselves the new leaders of the knot as soon as the party inquisitor was granted the title of high cardinal. This lead to some awkwardness, since there isn't much in the way of guidance as to how Thorn's various followers react to recruitment attempts while Thorn is still alive. Improvising with what I knew about the NPCs, they were able to recruit Cedrick Malthus early, they managed ruin any chance at a positive relationship with Barnabus Thrane and reached a tenuous agreement with Sakkarot, that he would remain faithful to whichever side emerged victorious. However, it might have been helpful to have a short blurb addressing this issue, since weakening Thorn's network was a pretty reasonable approach for them to take.

There is an appendix at the end of the book with special rules for handling undead players. I was not particularly impressed with these special rules. The rules for the vampire seemed overly convoluted and roundabout to obtain. For my game, I instead used a house rule where our vampire PC gained the vampiric abilities over the course of two levels, in place of those two levels. As for the lich rules, outside of the initial time and gold expenditure, it doesn't seem like there was anything that would make the PC balanced with the rest of the party.

However, since the first complaint is a very small oversight that won't be noticed by a lot of tables and the second is related to supplemental material that is easily ignored, I do not deem either complaint enough to knock a star off the rating.

General Advice:
The biggest advice I can give is to not be afraid to get a little wicked with Thorn. His strategy section explains that he knows the PCs abilities intimately and that you should adjust his tactics and his spells to account for this. If you just try to use Thorn's generic stat block, I promise you he will not end up being the formidable force that he was built up to be for the last five books. Windwall, Anti-Life Shell, Spell Immunity and Protection From Energy (Fire) were all highly useful for keeping my party at bay. I would also recommend going beyond the changes recommended in the strategy block. He has many spells that have 10 minute/level duration and even his 1 min/level buff last 18 minutes. Don't waste time casting these buffs during Time Stop. He knows when the players arrive at the Agathium, so cast there is no reason for him not to be prepared. Also, don't be afraid to play around with his equipment. Essentially, he is sold as the biggest threat your villains have faced yet. Don't be afraid to make him live up to it.


4.5 stars + seal for the turning point of the campaign

4/5

The fifth installment of Fire Mountain Games' critically acclaimed evil adventure path is 100 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of maps of Talingarde (as in each WotW-book) and 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 92 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This is a review of the module, so potential players should jump to the conclusion to avoid the vast array of SPOILERS that follow.

All right, still here?

If the module's name has not been ample clue for you, this is the turning point of the campaign: For 4 modules, the villains have been the pawns of Cardinal Adrastus Thorn in his conspiracy to bring down Taligarde. The lich's paranoia has made him turn against the PCs and he will pay, for Asmodeus does not tolerate weakness like the undead's sparing of a paladin. In order to become second to none but the devil, though, the PCs first have to survive and not be suckered in by Thorn's "invitation" to his stronghold: Forewarned, the PCs first act in this module is the necessity to say "no" to Tiadora and her devilish erinyes - something that will result in a rather deadly combat. The first part of the adventure is rather modular and has the PCs plan their usurpation of Thorn's throne while trying to survive his endeavors in ending them. In order to gain Asmodeus favor, they will have to tie up lose ends: If Brigit of the Brijidine still is alive, they will have to eliminate her for Dessiter the contract devil.

Upon completion of this rather deadly task (Brigit's home is no laughing stock), they may have an audience with Naburus, a pit devil and lord of hell! Said devil may use a clever loop-hole in the contract that binds them to Thorn to extract them from his influence as well as potentially making one of them high-priest of Asmodeus! In the meanwhile, Thorn seeks to eliminate them by sending his hamatulan host for them and there are further loose ends that seek to be tied up: Depending on their actions in book 2, the PCs will have to contend and survive Vetra-Kali-Eats-the-Eyes and his retinue and finally get a grand chance:

Their nemesis Richard Thomasson, the paladin that single-handedly almost made their plans fail, the fool that melted Thorns heart out of sentimentality for a love now lost, walks the island of Chargammon. In order to please the lord of the 9th, the PCs must prove themselves, find the paladin, defeat his massive retinue and once and for all put a stop to his meddling. Better yet, for true masters of the dark - the PCs may actually drag the shining knight down, causing him to fall and swear allegiance to Asmodeus!

Of course, in order to defeat a lich, the PCs will have to get a hold of his phylactery and he has hidden it well - in the cave of dread Nythoggr, a cairn linnorm and foe that surpasses even the power of great Chargammon! Worse, the caves of the cairn linnorm are also the home of mad undead spirits like banshees and Ice Elf Dread Wraiths, making the infiltration/crawl a deadly challenge indeed. better yet, the options to infiltrate/use other means of acquiring the phylactery, including smart usage of the potentially existing draconic cohort are all taken into account: After all, who wants to incur the deadly death curse of the linnorm? If they do walk the path of brute force instead of cleverness and ingenuity, the PCs thankfully can escape the very deadly curse via a nearby artifact, but only if they are smart and know how and where to look...

When the next devilish assassin manages to wiggle out of Thorn's command upon him realizing they have his phylactery and instead proposes serving the PCs instead, it should be clear that Thorn's days are few. Only one thing remains for the future masters of Talingarde to do - teleport to the Agathium and stomp out their former mentor. Barricaded in the vast fortress depicted on the cover (which would imho make for a kick-ass metal cd-cover), the lich's paranoia grows, ever increasing. Guarded by armies of rejuvenating undead, the trek to the place could have been awesome, but honestly, it is here the module has its weakest spot: The unforgiving arctic wilderness sounds so awesome, why not have the PCs experience it and slug through Thorn's defenses? Magical Aurora Borealis, the artifact-engine, whatever - there are many good reasons for not opting for the teleport-option. Oh well.

The exploration of the Agathium is exciting - between Thorn playing tricks and using psychological warfare, his defenders are nothing to be scoffed at: From a Frost-Giant jarl (whose bride may become an ally of the villains) to Thorn's own hermit necromancer/crafter (who, again, may become an ally), the challenges awaiting the PCs are numerous - but so are the rewards: The PCs can e.g. make sacrifices to Asmodeus' most unholy altar (detailed with a drop-dead-gorgeous artwork), take control of the arcane engine that facilitates crafting and undead creation via negative energy and, of course, loot Thorn's treasury, which among other things includes Tiadora's true name, making her another potential servant. Speaking of servants: The traitor-general of Talingarde currently also languishes in the Agathium - a nice and convenient way for the PCs to mop up his particular loose end and put a stop to this pompous fop's meddling.

However, not all have turned against Thorn: His fortress is still secured by his own considerable magical might, units of grave knights and a particular nasty surprise: Apart from his fanatically loyal antipaladin champion Wolfram, he also has secured the aid or not one, but two undead dragons to annihilate the PCs - OUCH!

If the PCs manage to brave his false throne room ( a deadly trap indeed) and all his guardians, they will finally come to blows with their erstwhile master and, if they emerge triumphant, be graced with a rain of blood as well as the favor of Asmodeus himself, their only master!

After extensive troubleshooting, we are introduced to the second supplemental article for players who want to become undead: Vampires manage their transformation and the gradual power-gain (alongside vampiric weaknesses) via a progression of 5 feats, an apt payoff. Liches in contrast need only take one feat, but still have to pass the otherwise rather steep requirements for lichdom.
There also are 13 new feats for undead (including swarm-form, enhanced vampiric powers, a tad bit of resistance to sunlight etc.), 6 new magic items especially suitable for undead, 6 new spells (mostly designed to help them fit in with mortals, trap coffins etc.).

The final section of the book, guest-authored by Jason Bulmahn, introduces us to new archetypes: Monks may, as Hands of Tyranny, issue unholy commands (as per the spell) via their unarmed attacks, are particularly adept liars and may evoke crippling pain via a mere touch. Lords o Darkness are Asmodean paladins that gain enchanting options as cruelties and finally, inquisitors may opt to become Torture Masters, experts of extracting information from the helpless. The final new archetype, unfortunately, is the only one I'd truly consider good: The Unholy Barrister (cleric) has a special channeling: He can spend two channel attempts to heal all evil creatures with his negative energy, but only if they swear loyalty to Asmodeus. Now if that won't lead to some badass moments at the table... Furthermore, with so-called soulbound contracts, he may impart his spells to others, granting the class a second complex and extremely cool signature ability.

The final 2 pages are taken up by 9 new feats, which allow you to channel life-force of coup-de-grace'd foes, enhance your unholy spells, ignore pain, come out trumps in negotiations (e.g. planar ally) and also pacts: Pacts make it very hard for you to return from death, since your soul is sworn to hell, but on the basis of the first feat, we get ones that e.g. enhance your sneaking, your divine or arcane power etc.

The pdf also comes with an extra-pdf of key-and numberless maps and handouts that is 6 pages long and covers all locations visited in this module.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though, as the last two installments of WotW, not perfect - I noticed a couple of switched letters and similar typos, though less than in Book III and IV. Layout adheres to the stellar 2-column standard used in previous WotW-installments and is up to the highest demands. The artworks by Michael Clarke are, just like the original cartography, up to the highest standard as well. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, though honestly I would have preferred more bookmarks, especially in the first section of the module, which is very much modular. The pdf comes with aforementioned extra pdf of player maps and handouts as well as a more printer-friendly version.

Author Gary McBride does not disappoint in the fifth installment of WotW - the pay-off, should the PCs manage to brave the vast dangers, is rather satisfying and the change of pace regarding enemy-types as well as the amount of support/trouble-shooting for the DM remains commendable. While not as jarring as the climax of book 4 (about which I complained to no end), book 5 also has a minor weak spot: The fact that there is potential for an epic wilderness-section (something so far completely missing from the whole AP, mind you!) in an undead-infested northern clime. This idea is so cool, the defenses and narrative one could have crafted from the PCs slowly but surely clawing their ways towards the antagonist through his lands could have made for an epicness beyond belief. Instead, the teleport-in-angle, while more common, imho also remains the blander way.

That out of the way, the narrative is otherwise solid, the challenges worthy of the villain's level by now and the potential for the DM to play some nasty tricks with evil creatures is there, making this imho better than book 4.

However, where I ceased to be amazed was with the supplemental information: I never liked the first article on undead PCs and the rules for vampire and lich PCs in my opinion, while working, fall a bit flat: Libris Vampyr by Necromancers from The Northwest did it via a PrC that required an extremely cool ritual every level, driving home not only the gravitas of the transformation, but also its symbology, something absent from this particular tackling of the subject. The new archetypes, with one exception, also left me rather cold, as did the pact feats which imho could use a slight power boost - after all, usually feats have no associated drawbacks and these do.

I wouldn't complain about these, were it not for the distinct impression that their page-count would have been served better by an expansion of the module. That out of the way, let it be known that my complaining is still on the highest level and this is, once again, an excellent adventure. Though not a perfect one. My final verdict will hence remain at 4.5 stars, + seal of approval, but rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.


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Actually, they used to build quite crappy chars. They learned to take decent choices last AP becouse they got sick of my sorcerers killing everything :P.
ANd to be honest, this is a mounty haul AP. Things like Vampire Template are a beast, and the AP suggested 25 point buy. Our Antipaladin vampire has now 300+hp. The magus is decently optimized, but the wizard is not, and the summoner actually spends a ton of resources in out of combat stuff (like having +47 in bluff) and the inquisitor archer... well... it's an inquisitor archer. You know, it's easy to be a monster with that. Just use bane and judgement, take all tge archer feats, and kill.

The problem is that the PC can, in a lot of combats, pre-buff. That's what happened with the Linorm. Sure, AC 46 is impressive... but with tactical acumen, haste, divine power, greater heroism, summons to flank, etc, the PC can get like +14 or +15 extra to hit. That goes from "need 20s" to "hit with 5".

Then you havecseveral encounters which doesnt really matter. The frost king for exsmple. I buffed him. He has 500+hp. But he is a martial char. Maze takes him out, no save. Reverse gravity and that fight is a joke.

thOse levels, any fight without spellcasters involved is just a training


And.. the Agathium has been conquered...

Spoiler:

The PC killed the Frost Giant King (which was trapped in a Maze last day) and made a deal with Queen Ellisie.

They went downstair, investigated a little bit, and found the machine. They fought against the negative level elementals (a surprisignly hard fight for it's level... being able to heal themselves when one explode is a boon, and 3 levels drained per attack is very powerful too.)

They decided to skip the grave knights and dragons and go straight to the throne room.

There were a party waiting for them. Wolfgam, Grigori, Zaerebus and Adrastus were there. In the first few seconds, Wolfgam was destroyed by the archer, who did 350hp damage in one turn to him...

Next was Grigori's turn. He casted quickened black tentacles and acid fog (which counts as solid fog too) and zaerebus used fireball and Adrastus a quickened confusion (only the Eidolon failed) and a maximized firestorm (with inciense). However, the PC had 120hp buffer to every element, thanks to the communal protection from energy casted by the summoner.

The solid fog and black tentacles proved to be a challenge. Finally was dispelled by the summoner (who spent a dark favor point in it) and that revealed a symbol of weakness (-4 to saves).

Grigori had mirror image and a contingency greater invisibilty (when attacked) which is a strong combo with Mind Blank (no true seeing or see invisibility). However, the party rogue used a Dust of Appearence on him, dispelling the mirror image an making him unable to go invisible. That was the signal, the archer killed him that same turn.

Later the archer shot against adrastus, and discovered it was a projecte image. Zaerebus died shortly after that. Then Adrastus appeared and casted time stop, and a few scrolls of time stop too. There he Gated in a Inmolation Devil, buffed himself with Winds of Vengeance, True Seeing, Fire Shield, mirror image, divine power, frightful pressence, Repulsion, Anti Life Shell, Dust Form, Spell Resistance and Greater Spell Inmunity
The por Inmolation Devil was killed by the knife thrower rogue, which threw 6 daggers to him while it was flatfooted. He took down the 350+ hp devil in one turn

Being a flying monstruosity of flame, dust and wind, inmune to ranged attacks, Adrastus started to cast implosion. However, the first check wast vs the inquisitor, which had spell resistance, and Adrastus failed (rolled a 3!)

However, a serie of quick greater dispel magic removed most of the buffs especially the wind of vengeance. Suddenly, he was much more vulnerable.

Finally, he was able to hit the inquisitor with his conductive mace, which forced the PC to roll for paralyisis. A low roll, and he missed by a few, he got out.

The rest of the PC attacked the lich, doing slight damage, but the rogue used a UMD scroll of remove paralysis to free the archer. In his turn, the archer used his movement options to withdraw and put distance. Then the vampire dimensionally locked him and they surrounded the monster to avoid he could move. Adrastus tried destruction in the Inquisitor, who failed, but used the reroll from the Pallid seer book (which he hasn't used yet) to allow a reroll, and saved.

In the next turn, the Inquisitor stop using Deadly Aim, and suddenly AC 45 wasn't that impresive. In a turn, he did 300+ damage to the already injured lich, who died.


All in all, a very fun and long combat, nearly 3 hours of fun just the main combat.

Now the PC are ready to conquer Talingarde... at last!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

After the ending of book 4, within moments of killing the king, my PCs were informed (by Jeratheon, who was instructed to help kill soldiers in the Adarium's courtyard while his father got to eat a princess) that Chargammon had died.

Greedy for an unguarded dragon horde, my PCs instantly teleported to the lair to retrieve the loot. This was obviously too short a time for the brine dragon Benthysara to hear of Chargammon's death and move against the lair.

This leaves me (DM) with several interesting options:
- encounter Benthysara while cleaning out the loot.
- I could speed-up the timeline and let Barnabus Thrane inform them that the Paladin's group is racing there as well. The PCs could set up an ambush in anticipation of that arrival.


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Banesfinger wrote:

After the ending of book 4, within moments of killing the king, my PCs were informed (by Jeratheon, who was instructed to help kill soldiers in the Adarium's courtyard while his father got to eat a princess) that Chargammon had died.

Greedy for an unguarded dragon horde, my PCs instantly teleported to the lair to retrieve the loot. This was obviously too short a time for the brine dragon Benthysara to hear of Chargammon's death and move against the lair.

This leaves me (DM) with several interesting options:
- encounter Benthysara while cleaning out the loot.
- I could speed-up the timeline and let Barnabus Thrane inform them that the Paladin's group is racing there as well. The PCs could set up an ambush in anticipation of that arrival.

How did Jeratheon know that? Oo

Grand Lodge

Patrick Kropp wrote:
Banesfinger wrote:

After the ending of book 4, within moments of killing the king, my PCs were informed (by Jeratheon, who was instructed to help kill soldiers in the Adarium's courtyard while his father got to eat a princess) that Chargammon had died.

Greedy for an unguarded dragon horde, my PCs instantly teleported to the lair to retrieve the loot. This was obviously too short a time for the brine dragon Benthysara to hear of Chargammon's death and move against the lair.

This leaves me (DM) with several interesting options:
- encounter Benthysara while cleaning out the loot.
- I could speed-up the timeline and let Barnabus Thrane inform them that the Paladin's group is racing there as well. The PCs could set up an ambush in anticipation of that arrival.

How did Jeratheon know that? Oo

He felt it in his soul?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Patrick Kropp wrote:
How did Jeratheon know that?

In book 4, Chargammon forces his son Jeratheon to serve the PCs for 100-years (page 67).

The PCs instructed Jeratheon to help his father assault the Adarium while they conducted their ambush of the King in the lower Sanctum.

Jeratheon was strafing the soldiers as they fled out of the Adarium when his father Chargammon was drowning the upper halls with acid.

Remember, Chargammon ripped the roof/top off of the palace. So when he burrowed into the princesses' chamber, it was possible for his son Jeratheon (who was flying over the courtyard) to view his father's fate as he encountered Sir Richard/Bellinda. It was especially easy to draw Jeratheon's attention as a meteor swarm rained down from the sky, through the destroyed roof, and into the upper bedchamber.

At this point, the PCs were still oblivious to what had happened. But within a few rounds (11 to be exact) they had killed the King and were eager to see the destruction "their" dragons were causing to the (hated) Adarium. They teleported to the top of the great dome (area 2-1) to view the carnage. It was there that Jerathon spotted his "owners" and sent a message (one of his 'at-will' spells) informing the PCs of Chargammon's doom.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

kevin_video wrote:
And don't forget that increasing the linnorm's stats will also increase the curse. That's the only reason I'm not increasing any of this stuff. I know full well my PCs would never be able to do anything about that save. Granted the obelisk will be cure that, but you'd need PCs will a really good knowledge check. Although, your PCs could probably pull it off.

Is the boxed text (page 40) supposed to mean that the Death Curse of Nythoggr supersedes RAW (rules as written)? Because a RAW Linnorm's curse can simply be eliminated with a 3rd-level "Remove Curse" spell...

Grand Lodge

Banesfinger wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
And don't forget that increasing the linnorm's stats will also increase the curse. That's the only reason I'm not increasing any of this stuff. I know full well my PCs would never be able to do anything about that save. Granted the obelisk will be cure that, but you'd need PCs will a really good knowledge check. Although, your PCs could probably pull it off.
Is the boxed text (page 40) supposed to mean that the Death Curse of Nythoggr supersedes RAW (rules as written)? Because a RAW Linnorm's curse can simply be eliminated with a 3rd-level "Remove Curse" spell...

I would say yes. If anything you could argue that it's because he's been gnawing on a legendary artifact. He's probably close to mythic level.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

My PCs are about to assault the Agathium soon.

I have some concerns about the first encounter: with the Frost Giants and King Ingolfr Issox.

It states the battle with the Giants will be in the Atrium (room 1-2) with vaulted ceilings rising more than 100-ft in height.

What's to stop my players from flying to the ceiling (they almost always have Fly spells running)? Even if Ingolfr is considered 30-ft tall (and has a reach of 15-ft), the PCs would be out of melee range.

The best these giants could do would throw a few rocks...

Grand Lodge

Banesfinger wrote:

My PCs are about to assault the Agathium soon.

I have some concerns about the first encounter: with the Frost Giants and King Ingolfr Issox.

It states the battle with the Giants will be in the Atrium (room 1-2) with vaulted ceilings rising more than 100-ft in height.

What's to stop my players from flying to the ceiling (they almost always have Fly spells running)? Even if Ingolfr is considered 30-ft tall (and has a reach of 15-ft), the PCs would be out of melee range.

The best these giants could do would throw a few rocks...

Unless you change the giants and give them flying items (such as potions), there's nothing stopping the PCs from doing that.

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kevin_video wrote:
Unless you change the giants and give them flying items (such as potions), there's nothing stopping the PCs from doing that.

Thanks kevin_video. That's what I thought.

I'm guessing since Thorn had placed king Ingolfr Issox at the atrium as his 'first line of defense', AND Thorn knows the PCs tactics very well (via Scrying), he would at least supply the giants with a potion or two.

(I may have to change Grigori's feats to give him Brew Potion...hahahah).

Grand Lodge

Banesfinger wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Unless you change the giants and give them flying items (such as potions), there's nothing stopping the PCs from doing that.

Thanks kevin_video. That's what I thought.

I'm guessing since Thorn had placed king Ingolfr Issox at the atrium as his 'first line of defense', AND Thorn knows the PCs tactics very well (via Scrying), he would at least supply the giants with a potion or two.

(I may have to change Grigori's feats to give him Brew Potion...hahahah).

Or just have it so that Tiadora ran errands and grabbed a bunch of potions specifically for this fight. By the time Thorn realized his current position, Grigori likely wouldn't be able to produce them fast enough before the PCs arrived.


I think they are pretty much sacrifices to be tossed out to test the PCs abilities. The real stuff happens down below.

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Andrea1 wrote:
I think they are pretty much sacrifices to be tossed out to test the PCs abilities. The real stuff happens down below.

I'm not too concerned at making this initial encounter a little more challenging for the Players (by throwing in a few potions).

After the Giant encounter is over, my players will predictably just step back outside, teleport to a safehouse, heal, wait a day to refresh their spells, and try again at full strength.

(This "15-minute work day" tactic is not a reflection on the player's tactics, but instead it is a glaring loophole of the game system: all versions of D&D had this problem).

Grand Lodge

Banesfinger wrote:
Andrea1 wrote:
I think they are pretty much sacrifices to be tossed out to test the PCs abilities. The real stuff happens down below.

I'm not too concerned at making this initial encounter a little more challenging for the Players (by throwing in a few potions).

After the Giant encounter is over, my players will predictably just step back outside, teleport to a safehouse, heal, wait a day to refresh their spells, and try again at full strength.

(This "15-minute work day" tactic is not a reflection on the player's tactics, but instead it is a glaring loophole of the game system: all versions of D&D had this problem).

This shouldn't break anything, but add teleportation to Grigori's spellbook, have him memorize that twice, scry the party with Thorn, and have him take a bunch of graveknights to the location or even one of the dragons.

It is a fault of the system, but the GM can think of ways around it. Especially if Thorn is aware of their standard tactics.

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kevin_video wrote:

This shouldn't break anything, but add teleportation to Grigori's spellbook, have him memorize that twice, scry the party with Thorn, and have him take a bunch of graveknights to the location or even one of the dragons.

It is a fault of the system, but the GM can think of ways around it. Especially if Thorn is aware of their standard tactics.

Actually, the players have taken precautions against this. The group's sorcerer always uses his highest spell slots (8th-level spells) to give everyone in the party Mind Blank. They can't be scryed on.

That is a big chunk of the party's resources they've used to be cautious. As a DM, I reward them for that caution.

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Truly Evil:

The PCs usually take refuge in the cleric's (lesser) demi-plane (made permanent).

But after gaining Thorn's phylactery at the Cairn, they are very fearful of Thorn locating them due to the connection he has with his heart/phylactery). They are especially fearful of Thorn finding out where their "secret" demi-plane is.

So, not wanting to leave the phylactery unattended, but needing a way to transport all that loot from Nythoggr's Cairn, the party did something truly evil (and paranoid):

They called for 10 of their minions. And with the promise of a share of loot, the minions were "asked" to haul all the treasure through a (temporary) Gate to the demi-plane. Meanwhile the PCs remained at the Cairn, guarding the phylactery.

But much like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the PCs decided they couldn't let anyone live who had seen their secret hoard/lair. So while the minions were taking the last load of the loot to the demi-plane, the PCs "dispelled" the Gate, leaving the minions trapped inside the demi-plane to die of starvation...

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Banesfinger wrote:

Truly Evil:

The PCs usually take refuge in the cleric's (lesser) demi-plane (made permanent).

But after gaining Thorn's phylactery at the Cairn, they are very fearful of Thorn locating them due to the connection he has with his heart/phylactery). They are especially fearful of Thorn finding out where their "secret" demi-plane is.

So, not wanting to leave the phylactery unattended, but needing a way to transport all that loot from Nythoggr's Cairn, the party did something truly evil (and paranoid):

They called for 10 of their minions. And with the promise of a share of loot, the minions were "asked" to haul all the treasure through a (temporary) Gate to the demi-plane. Meanwhile the PCs remained at the Cairn, guarding the phylactery.

But much like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the PCs decided they couldn't let anyone live who had seen their secret hoard/lair. So while the minions were taking the last load of the loot to the demi-plane, the PCs "dispelled" the Gate, leaving the minions trapped inside the demi-plane to die of starvation...

That is evil.

How did the cleric make a lesser demi-plane?

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kevin_video wrote:


How did the cleric make a lesser demi-plane?

That is a new 7th-level spell, from Ultimate Magic.


Check to see how much to destroyed by said minions once they cotton onto what is goign to happen.

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If Thorn had enough notice (i.e., the PCs made several assaults against the Agathium), would he begin to trap his area with "Symbol" spells (e.g., Symbol of death, Symbol of Insanity, etc).

What other preparations would he make?

Due to his paranoia, I'm guessing he wouldn't join forces with his allies (Wolfram, Grigori, etc) even if he heard them fighting near by...

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This next session should be interesting:

The Anti-life Abettors against a party with a "Undead Lord" cleric with the "Death's Kiss" ability (Undead sub-domain).

Hmmmmmm.


Before I try it on my GM I wanted to ask people here what they thought. I want to use the nameless demilich on the Nythoggr's Cairn. I was thinking of dropping the skull in that hole above the cairn. Would they battle each other or would i be adding another enemy to fight?

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Fencer_guy wrote:
Before I try it on my GM I wanted to ask people here what they thought. I want to use the nameless demilich on the Nythoggr's Cairn. I was thinking of dropping the skull in that hole above the cairn. Would they battle each other or would i be adding another enemy to fight?

An interesting plan.

But, as you said, (with its ability to FLY) the demilich has an equal chance of flying back out of the Cairn and attacking its captors (YOU), OR fighting Nythoggr. Since Nythoggr can also fly, this could end-up in a 3-way battle (YOU/demilich/Nythoggr).

You have to remember, the Nameless Tyrant has been trapped for centuries (and is very smart). If it knows this will be a losing battle, it may just try to escape (finally free at last)...

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My group completed the final battle with Thorn, and it was...

...not fun (from both the players AND DM's opinion). Let me explain so hopefully other groups avoid this pit fall.

Problem #1: Thorn has watched the PCs from the beginning, so he choses his tactics/spells to best defeat them. At the same time, the PCs have also tailored their spells towards countering a lich/cleric's spells.

In play this ends up in a very frustrating (on both sides) series of "counter this, counter that, didn't work on him, debuffed, etc"

Problem #2: Thorn uses Anti-life Shell. This frustrated all the melee-types in the group (who had to basically 'sit-out' the entire encounter (I tailored Thorn's spells to include Fickle Winds which also countered all missile attacks).

Problem #3: We had a lich PC in the group (but I'm sure vampire PCs would equally apply here).
Undead are immune to all Fort saves, and mind affecting spells (that's about half of the spells made useless right there).
A lich vs lich fight sounds cool, but it was horribly boring as the two liches ended up with a minor "slap fest" reduced to using "cure" (read: harm for undead) spells against each other.

Overall, it was a long, frustrating, drawn-out fight. Not the 'epic' battle that everyone was hoping for.


We just started book 5 last night. I'm playing an Anti-Paladin (and just named the new high priest) Our wizard (actually Eldritch knight) used elemental body and got the heart. Actually he destroyed it. The up side we don't have face the Cairn.

How badly are we screwed? I imagine it will take Thorn 120 days to make a new one. As per the rules on how to be Lich.

We are Black Dragon's Isle then I think we are going to move to Thorn's lair.

Can we do "win" or,is everything lost?

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Fencer_guy wrote:

We just started book 5 last night. I'm playing an Anti-Paladin (and just named the new high priest) Our wizard (actually Eldritch knight) used elemental body and got the heart. Actually he destroyed it. The up side we don't have face the Cairn.

How badly are we screwed? I imagine it will take Thorn 120 days to make a new one. As per the rules on how to be Lich.

We are Black Dragon's Isle then I think we are going to move to Thorn's lair.

Can we do "win" or,is everything lost?

You should be fine. Just take him out before then.


Is there any general consensus on how to play Thorn? It looks like a lot of people think he's not tough enough for a final boss, and are beefing him up one way or another.

Assume he knows the PCs are coming (come on, that's a no-brainer at his level) and has time to prepare. What buffs should he have up, and what else could he plausibly do to prepare?

Doug M.

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Is there any general consensus on how to play Thorn? It looks like a lot of people think he's not tough enough for a final boss, and are beefing him up one way or another.

Assume he knows the PCs are coming (come on, that's a no-brainer at his level) and has time to prepare. What buffs should he have up, and what else could he plausibly do to prepare?

When I had planned to run him, I essentially had this written up:

1) Give him have a small army of undead in the room with him. If the PCs want to get him, they'll have to get through the small army first. The 3.5 DMG has rules for a Mob template (you'd have to convert it to PF stats). I figured that with the size of the room you'd be able to fit three mobs in there. Thorn would then move out into the room and continually channel negative energy to heal up the horde and do damage to the PCs. If any of them got over the mobs (fly, levitate), he'd challenge them directly.
2) In his own chambers, he wouldn't want people teleporting in and surprising him so it would be littered with forbiddance spells. If you get him to summon, have the summons happen outside his chamber and get them to walk in. The door will be open already.
3) He knows the PCs better than anyone. If the spellcasters are known for using a specific spell often, that's what you use spell immunity on. Change up his spells to accommodate their weaknesses. I don't know why he's got resurrection unless he's planning on bringing back one of his fallen comrades that was just defeated, and have him fight along his side. That'd sure shake up the PCs. Maybe Wolfram.
4) Make use of mass invisibility. If you're giving him back up of any kind, make them invisible.
5) Buff him. Give him SR, greater spell immunity, blade barrier, true seeing, divine power, freedom of movement, shield of faith, etc. If the PCs are prone to using flyby attacks use air walk.
6) Change up his wealth a bit. He seems short a few gold. Make that up with scrolls. Give him more summons, change the resurrection spell into a scroll and give him something else.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Ok, I have found the Templates for Nythoggr.

He'll be an Advanced Giant Boreal Terror Cairn Linnorm.

That gives him +14 Str, +4 Dex, +10 Con +4 Wis and Cha, +1d6 cold damage, cold inmunity, aura of Fear (DC 33), and Colossal Size. Even leaving the feats as they are in a regular Linnorm (no Combat Reflexes), the old beast is now really a Terror to Behold.

[...]

+46 AC, 400 hp, +32 bite for 4d8+20 plus poison, +32 claws for 2d8+20, +27 tail for 4d6+10 plus grab, CMB 48, and the Breath Weapon, Fear and Poison DC will go around DC 33.

I gave him the Advanced template and some buffs, and frankly it wasn't enough. He killed one PC, but only because the PC was foolishly careless. Some things to consider:

-- at this level, most melee PCs can eat a FRA attack from him and survive.
-- at this level, PCs can dish out insane amounts of damage with FRAs and spells. 400 points in one round is not at all unreasonable. Nythoggr needs better AC and more hits. Also, pretty much all melee PCs have +3 weapons that can ignore his DR.
-- Nythoggr's feat selection is very suboptimal and he is not given good terrain or good tactics to work with. At best he gets a single surprise round to breathe. That's not going to do much.

Gary's flavor text talks up poor old Nythoggr: woo, he's a CR 18 boss! He's going to stay up in the air and blast the PCs from a distance -- but at this level, everyone has flight and/or massive damage ranged attacks. Nythoggr is just not that menacing an opponent, even against a standard Group of Four 15th level characters. Against a larger group and/or a group played by experienced players and/or optimizers... he's toast. His nominal CR may be 18, but CR gets a bit blurry at those levels and while that number may be formally correct, he's just not powerful or flexible enough to be a truly alarming boss.

TLDR, Nythoggr definitely needs to be beefed up; the only question is by how much.

Doug M.


The easiest way to run Thorn is to have the graveknight patrols split into two or three groups of 4 man to 6 man squads, or add more so they have 3 6 man squads. 1 group patrols the upper temple, 1 group patrols the lower temple, and the other 6 man crew stays with Thorn. Then have Thorn use greater planar ally to summon in a Deimavigga devil, a Puragaus Devil, a heresy devil, and then cast gate to get a Pit Fiend online when the PCs arrive in the throne room. Have the lesser devils each summon up the max number they can (the heresy devil adds +25% to each devil's summon percentage) before the PCs arrive, and then send out the minions to drain the PCs' resources. Let the greater devils stay in place, and then have Thorn cast his 10 min buff spells before the party gets there. Once they arrive, have Thorn cast time stop, then greater spell immunity and gate for the Pit Fiend to arrive onsite. If he gets more time with the time stop, then cast a couple of more defensive magics with 1 round or 1 min/duration.

Arrange for a cot for Wolfgam to sleep in the same area that Thorn does, and beef up his hit points to 8 per die (Thorn should probably have the same if not more, max HP frankly.) Thus when the PCs arrive, they are facing the anti-paladin, 6 graveknights, the three greatest devils you can get without casting gate, and an 18th level lich who doesn't sit and wait for his allies to get picked off one by one. As for the necromancer and the undead dragons, have Grigori be in the same area as the dragons along with a variety of newly created undead (devourers, mohrgs, etc) with the most powerful protected against electricity. As for the giant, he's there to weaken the group, so have Thorn cast mind blank on him so he gets immunity to things like charm, hold monster, etc. Have the giant guards drink up low level buff potions, and then start chucking rocks at the same character that the Ice Axe is in melee with.

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@Douglas Muir 406 - Nythoggr can be buffed easily by making him a wizard or sorcerer. This AP was made well before the Monster Codex, but now that it's out, and he's got the HD, just add one of the mage templates to him (preferably sorcerer since he's got high CHA). Being 20 HD, he'll have 7th level spells. You can use spells like bull's strength, regenerate, improved invisibility, greater false life, mage armor, etc. Heck, give him a few summon spells. Bring out beings that can heal him during battle. If you ever want to be an absolute bastard, do what my DM does regularly to his creatures if he things we need a challenge, and use the Warcraft 2nd Edition Monster Guide's "Elite Creature" template.

Template:

CR +2 (HD 1-3) or CR +3 (HD 4+)
+4 Str, +4 Dex
Maximize total hp and multiply by 4
+4 to Concentration checks
Gain Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, and Iron Will (gives room to play around with a feat or two if they already have these, and add say maybe Ability Focus)

Admittedly, my group wouldn't have been able to take him down if he stayed up in the air.

@stormcrow27 -- Summons can't summon other creatures. SO if you summon the devils, you can't have them in turn use their summons. Gate is the exception because you're bringing the real deal to the Material Plane. A summon spell just brings a representation to where you are.


It was a pretty easy battle with Thorn. But fun. I loved it right after the final blow (I got to make it). I felt like I had conquered the whole kingdom at that point.

Then book 6 happen... lol


Greater Planar Ally, Planar Ally, and Lesser Planar Ally are calling spells. Those bring the real deal to help you out for a minute, a day, or a week per level. Thus those devils can use their summon powers without any restriction.

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stormcrow27 wrote:
Greater Planar Ally, Planar Ally, and Lesser Planar Ally are calling spells. Those bring the real deal to help you out for a minute, a day, or a week per level. Thus those devils can use their summon powers without any restriction.

There's still kind of an issue with that, but I suppose the argument could be made that there are still devils 100% loyal or bound to Thorn. It's only questionable because of previous plot chnage with the contract devil and pit fiend.


I prefer to look at it this way. Asmodeus is checking whether Thorn or the Knot are the souls most worthy to take up the mantle of his crusade against Talingarde. Otherwise, Asmodeus would just pull his support from Thorn completely and he would a 18th level cleric lich with no spellcasting ability. The Knot would run over him or Grigori would engineer his defeat and then take over the plan or negotiate with the Knot as they arrived.

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stormcrow27 wrote:
I prefer to look at it this way. Asmodeus is checking whether Thorn or the Knot are the souls most worthy to take up the mantle of his crusade against Talingarde. Otherwise, Asmodeus would just pull his support from Thorn completely and he would be a 18th level cleric lich with no spellcasting ability. The Knot would run over him or Grigori would engineer his defeat and then take over the plan or negotiate with the Knot as they arrived.

True, but if he pulled his support, Thorn just wouldn't be able to replenish his spells, he wouldn't lose what he already had memorized. That being said, I can see your point. The battle would amuse Asmodeus.


And most likely, Asmodeus would probably command the anti-paladin there to kill Thorne anyway as the direct agent. Whether the graveknights would follow his lead is another story. An interesting solution for the players is to convince the anti-paladin to help defeat Thorn by claiming it is Asmodeus's will that Thorne fall. He may far more loyal to Thorn then Grigori, but good enough roleplaying should deserve a chance then just a straight Diplomacy roll.

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stormcrow27 wrote:
And most likely, Asmodeus would probably command the anti-paladin there to kill Thorne anyway as the direct agent. Whether the graveknights would follow his lead is another story. An interesting solution for the players is to convince the anti-paladin to help defeat Thorn by claiming it is Asmodeus's will that Thorne fall. He may far more loyal to Thorn then Grigori, but good enough roleplaying should deserve a chance then just a straight Diplomacy roll.

At the very least, the players should gain a massive bonus modifier to Diplomacy if they can prove their argument (cleric, antipaladin, inquisitor, etc being granted "High" title). At least enough to negate the "hostile" or even "unfriendly" penalty.


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Hello, I have a few suggestions
This is the pitoval moment of the company. Before the Pcs were but the lackey, now they are the rivals and the masters!
But Thorn is not a simple enemy. He has forged them, he knows them: their fears, their objectives, and such ...
So, the first thing he should do is to divide them! Throught sending or greater scrying he can continously watch the players come to him and SPEAK to them, one at time, taking advantage of the groups internal rivalties. He could also empasize how the entire situation is a trick, a machination from Dessiter to put HIS puppet (richard javelin) without Thorn's presence as a counter to the devils ambitions. A pawn to make Talingarde a devils playground and not an infernal kingdom (sure, said in such way is not effective, but Thorn's a fine and persuasive orator). But, probably, your player will not allow to be divided (thought the fact they refuse is a good story moment by per se).

About Thorn's entougare, it's a good moment to scare the players!
Is Chargammon dead body at the adarium? Not anymore! Instead of calling 2 ravaners, Thorns has used a miracle to teleport the wyrm body in his fortress and has resuccected him as a dreadful abomination that will use to "inflict nightmares" on talingardian enemies for years!
Was the seven knot killed in a gruesome manner? Now they are with him, in the shape of winter wights with not spell-like abilites but either the ranger, barbarian or sorcerer simple template.
Why Wolfram his so loyal to thorn? because the lich, in is paranoia, has killed the anti paladin and raised him as a graveknight and then put a geas on the armor! He now never sleep and can be meet with the giants upstairs! - at the same time, Grigory is scared to death!
Does thorn summons devils? Yes ... but not there! While pcs are approaching, thorn strikes with another wave of assassins against pcs allies. At the same time, he only calls either 1 big shot brute devil - i suggest an advanced ghaddar devil in fullplate, called to feast on pc's bodies - or keeps few bone devils on his side, spamming wall spells around. Also, i would like him to have at least 1 guardan golem in service (possibly a classic hellfire golem) that basically "redirects" on itself spells or effects that target thorn.

Most importantly, the battle must be cinematic! Thorn should be able to let the cathedral "crumble" has he commands, it, maybe taking the battle from the trone to the altar at the first flow creating an opening with an earthquake spell and similar.

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Speaking of suggestions, I've got one as well.
When Thorn first sends out wave after wave of bearded devils, wouldn't he start to get the picture that maybe, just maybe, they don't cut it compared to the PCs? I mean, he knows their power. Wouldn't he want to maybe send something more frightening after them?

I present, the Mercenary Devil.
It's 3.5, but it's still worthwhile. I made a few changes to make it closer to the Pathfinder monster rules.
1) Change d8 HD to d10, and add 1 HD, making it 14.
2) Remove the track feat, and give it the ranger's track ability instead.
3) It says 6d6 sneak attack, but at 13 HD it should have been 7d6.
4) Give it the Critical Focus, Improved Critical (two-bladed sword), and Iron Will.
5) Will save is now slow progression.
6) The AC is too high for a CR 13. Reduce by 4. If you want to keep it, add in an amulet of natural armor +4 to the treasure.

Mercenary devils enjoy being paid with living beings more than gold. Thorn could make it that anyone knocked unconscious can be its reward.

If you feel the feats should be different, let me know. I'm debating on the Critical Focus one. Part of me thinks it should have been Rapid Reload, but the tactics are to fire both shots at its opponents, then move into melee. Makes sense to have it as-is.


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kevin_video wrote:

Speaking of suggestions, I've got one as well.

When Thorn first sends out wave after wave of bearded devils, wouldn't he start to get the picture that maybe, just maybe, they don't cut it compared to the PCs? I mean, he knows their power. Wouldn't he want to maybe send something more frightening after them?

I present, the Mercenary Devil.
It's 3.5, but it's still worthwhile. I made a few changes to make it closer to the Pathfinder monster rules.
1) Change d8 HD to d10, and add 1 HD, making it 14.
2) Remove the track feat, and give it the ranger's track ability instead.
3) It says 6d6 sneak attack, but at 13 HD it should have been 7d6.
4) Give it the Critical Focus, Improved Critical (two-bladed sword), and Iron Will.
5) Will save is now slow progression.
6) The AC is too high for a CR 13. Reduce by 4. If you want to keep it, add in an amulet of natural armor +4 to the treasure.

Mercenary devils enjoy being paid with living beings more than gold. Thorn could make it that anyone knocked unconscious can be its reward.

If you feel the feats should be different, let me know. I'm debating on the Critical Focus one. Part of me thinks it should have been Rapid Reload, but the tactics are to fire both shots at its opponents, then move into melee. Makes sense to have it as-is.

On that regard, since i'm mastering a Mythic Way of the Wicked, my assassins shall be none else that the dread halatula host depicted in Book of Vile Darkness, with a few modifications (less HD)

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Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
On that regard, since i'm mastering a Mythic Way of the Wicked, my assassins shall be none else that the dread halatula host depicted in Book of Vile Darkness, with a few modifications (less HD)

I think you mean hamatula. What page is that on? I couldn't find a reference to it. I saw the spark hunters.


kevin_video wrote:
Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
On that regard, since i'm mastering a Mythic Way of the Wicked, my assassins shall be none else that the dread halatula host depicted in Book of Vile Darkness, with a few modifications (less HD)
I think you mean hamatula. What page is that on? I couldn't find a reference to it. I saw the spark hunters.

Yes, i mean those. You can find those after Asmoudes stats, as servants, i think. Sure, as written they don't go well, but is the concept that should terrorize the players

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Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
On that regard, since i'm mastering a Mythic Way of the Wicked, my assassins shall be none else that the dread halatula host depicted in Book of Vile Darkness, with a few modifications (less HD)
I think you mean hamatula. What page is that on? I couldn't find a reference to it. I saw the spark hunters.
Yes, i mean those. You can find those after Asmoudes stats, as servants, i think. Sure, as written they don't go well, but is the concept that should terrorize the players

They'd work well enough, if you're referring to the spark hunters. Just change the mortal hunter PrC to the new slayer hybrid class and that should be sufficient.

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For those GMs who truly want to be a real bane to your players, I present the false phylactery trap, courtesy of Adventure-A-Week.


Wow, I think I am going to have to re-write the entire book's encounters.

The Linnorm wont be more than a speedbump to my group (Vampire Inquisitor, Half-Fiend Arcanist, Shadow Lord Zen Archer, Graveknight Anti-Paladin).

I am really regretting allowing them to become non-humanoid creatures. It has made my life as a GM very very difficult (having to rebalance for that on top having to rebalance due to their existing maxed builds).

Even without that I don't understand making a CR "16" encounter comprised of 6x CR 11 critters. They cannot touch most level 16 PCs (ACs in the high 30s) without even accounting for my players ACs.

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Gauss wrote:

Wow, I think I am going to have to re-write the entire book's encounters.

The Linnorm wont be more than a speedbump to my group (Vampire Inquisitor, Half-Fiend Arcanist, Shadow Lord Zen Archer, Graveknight Anti-Paladin).

I am really regretting allowing them to become non-humanoid creatures. It has made my life as a GM very very difficult (having to rebalance for that on top having to rebalance due to their existing maxed builds).

Even without that I don't understand making a CR "16" encounter comprised of 6x CR 11 critters. They cannot touch most level 16 PCs (ACs in the high 30s) without even accounting for my players ACs.

Yeah, I regretted it, and actually retconned my group, but that caused us to have to quit the game.

Depending on the group, and what the GM allows, I don't see it as that much of a stretch. I know one group with absolute bare bones gear because the GM's not adjusting a thing for treasure, only encounters for their nine man team (7 PCs, 2 NPCs), and they're currently level 12-13 with an average AC of 21.


My group just had the meetings with Tiadora and sisters; and Dessiter and Naburus.

The first one went brilliantly for them; in that they managed to kill Tiadora and all her sisters. Tiadora was pure luck, in that a number of them got attacks of opportunity on her just before she was going to teleport out, and most of them managed big crits and dropped her to -25 or so. Thorn's going to have a pretty good idea of what happened when none of them show back up, plus none of them have figured out that he has been scrying on them.

The meeting with Nabarus, not so much.

They had their party spokesman (a Mighty Godling with a 22 CHA and hefty expenditures in social skills) do the talking about their great deeds. That part went well enough.

Spoiler:
Then came the part about who should be the new High Priest (or Priestess) of Asmodeus. The Favored Soul of Loviatar got it in her head it should be her, as she was the only clerical type in the group. And, while she is normally the most arrogant person on the planet, which could have helped her immensely in this instance, she dropped the ball. She was precisely what Naburus was not looking for, equivocating and timid. -_-

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