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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So, our villains foiled my evil plan... by not doing something I (and Thorn) completely expected them to do.

Spoiler:
They've been trying to find Thorn's phylactery. For the previous two sessions, they had their minions looking for information, to see if they could dig up anything. They had thus far been unsuccessful, but it was mostly through bad luck (i.e. terrible rolls).

I figured they would try again this last session, so their former master had planned a trap. He's been scrying them pretty much even since they entered his service, and only recently did they put some defenses into place. They would have found information, but it would have been planted and would have led them to a false phylactery trap.

Instead of using their minions to look for information again, though, they used them to make some money and shore up the defenses of their home base. :|

Then when they got the message from Barnabus Thrane about Sir Richard, they harrowed off after that lead. While there, they decided to use the library and some spells that they learned last level to find information on the (true) location of the phylactery.


Well, last session we plowed our way through the frost giants, grigori who teleported out, the 4 negative energy elemental things, and the 12 graveknights. The frost giant king ate 2 hero points from a party member to avoid death, the elementals cost us 200 gp to get rid of the negative lvls and the 12 graveknights killed another party member. Our group consisted of a 14th lvl vamp antipaladin, and a heavens shaman, a bard, a monk, a fighter, and a artifice warpriest all AR 16. We lost the warpriest afet the frost giants, so the team was down a member through the last 3 encounters. We also haven't had any significant amount of downtime since killing the king. So our equipment has't been upgraded for a while now. I can't see how a party could get to the cardinal in a single day of game time.

Grand Lodge

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Time for an epic amount of betrayal. Changes I made to WotW--Book 5, part 1.

Grand Lodge

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Time for a rematch with Vetra-Kali. Yeah, that's all this one is. I can't believe how long this got.

Changes I made to WotW--Book 5, part 2.

As well, mentioned and shared John Hawkins' version of King Markadian V.

Grand Lodge

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Speaking of rematches, now it's time for one with Sir Richard and his team.

Changes I made to WotW--Book 5, part 3.

Grand Lodge

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Side quest filler, and the announcement of my second book going to print.

Changes I made to WotW--Book 5, part 4.

Not a whole lot there regarding detailed substance, but then it's all about optional encounters that the PCs may or may not want to go through the trouble of doing, or that the GM may want to work with.

Grand Lodge

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Changes I made to WotW--Book 5, part 5.

Let's see how the PCs fair in the Cairn. Added my own variation to the linnorm. Chances are most of your PCs could still take it out in one round, if they're anything like poor gustavo iglesias.

Grand Lodge

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Changes I made to WotW--Book 5, part 6.

Let's check out this temple of doom, and go through each of the rooms. However the big three will be left for next time.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looking at General Barca there is a reason for his high profession Soldier skill, it is the best approximation for skill as a military commander, and he should be good at it he is the Kings most trusted general. In fact I think the king should really have some skill in the area as he is I believe a succesful military leader

Grand Lodge

JohnHawkins wrote:
Looking at General Barca there is a reason for his high profession Soldier skill, it is the best approximation for skill as a military commander, and he should be good at it he is the Kings most trusted general. In fact I think the king should really have some skill in the area as he is I believe a succesful military leader

I have no problem with Barca putting a rank per level into it, but not sink feats into it. Having +24 is plenty for storyline. Taking Skill Focus is just unnecessary. There are cheap magic items that can boost that too. Heck, get a trait. If this was specifically using the rules from Ultimate Campaign's mass combat, then yes, I could totally see it. Especially if he's fighting against the PCs. But it's not. So you don't need to worry about the morale checks.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

On the other hand he leads an army (from the rear ) into a aeries of heroically suicidal charges so he must be good at leading them. I also don't expect Barca to be a real opponent he is not really in a position and nor does he have the motivation to really fight the pc's and if he does I give him a round at maximum

Grand Lodge

JohnHawkins wrote:
On the other hand he leads an army (from the rear ) into a aeries of heroically suicidal charges so he must be good at leading them. I also don't expect Barca to be a real opponent he is not really in a position and nor does he have the motivation to really fight the pc's and if he does I give him a round at maximum

As do I. Still, if he wasn't worth that much of a fight, he should have just been a warrior instead of a fighter. He's like the troll bait of NPCs. He's an encounter for the sake of one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a combat encounter I agree but he has a number of other uses
1) He can explain some bits of Thorns plot the pc's missed and pass on other information the GM may want them to have.
2) He is a useful political pawn, the pc's may want to use him as a puppet, or a way of controlling the Barca nobles or as a scapegoat for the armies failure discrediting both the house of Barca and the house of Darius.
3) Given that he is a high level Talingarde noble he may be useful as a sacrifice to buy favour from some devil or other fiend

Given his importance in the land and his apparent reputation as a competent and trustworthy commander for the army he really should be a fighter or cavalier. I also tend to assume that anyone of about 6th level or greater should be a fighter rather than a warrior and all the earlier high level warriors will have been changed to fighters


Very well. First, i shall say this. Mr Kevin_video, i'm an estimator of your good work and approve many of the changes you have made. You have done much and, if i may be so bold, I wish to thank you for all your efforts in the name of the forum.

I myself i'm doing a similar work of heavy remodeling the campaign since I'm mastering a Mythic Way of the Wicked (i'm currently a session before the king killing) that involves Cheliax, the "court of Hekkazar" and a lot of extra stuff that would be difficult to explain in details. Let us say book six shall be very busy for the pcs, full of the wages of their sins ...

Again, a good job. About Thorn, mine is ...

Mythic Adrastus Thorn:

a dread lich 10 cleric 10 Cardinal of Asmodeus (from the dicefreaks "gates of hell" series) hierophant 7 that has gained mythic powers by the Hadean signet. This artifact in my campaign is a reliquary of an "Infernal Titan" that tried to take control of half golarion after the sealing of Rovagug and he's buried deep in Talingarde and whose power Thorn needed to not be enslaved by the renmains of the Hekkazar's court. I strongly suggest to look at that prestige class, cause it's very tematic

Grand Lodge

@John -- General Barca can have his uses, and I agree that anyone over level 6 should be a fighter. It's one thing I continually make sure to note. However, without giving spoilers, Barca not being taken out is considered to be a less than stellar plan. That said, it's completely up to the GM how they want to proceed with him after the fight.

@Pnakotus -- I definitely agree with the dread lich. I too made that change, and when I post the update I'll be explaining why. I've actually referenced Gates of Hell once before, namely to let others know about the Hellfire weapon property, which I gave Fire-Axe. Good call.
As for mythic, I can't believe how easily it is to convert the AP over nowadays thanks to so many mythic 3pp books coming out. It's still popular.

And thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying the series. Given my health issues, which hopefully will be looked at this week right before Christmas, I'll be able to actually commit to getting all 6 books completed by New Year's.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I should have noted that you also tended to replace high level warriors with fighters, I was agreeing with you on that. I have no idea what my group will do with Barca, their current long term plan is to marry the princess off to one of them after killing the king. I am encouraging this plan :(

I am surprised that converting way of the wicked to mythic is practical. I just finished running Wrath of the Righteous and after that experience I put my mythic book at the bottom of a cupboard so I did not have to see it again. The numbers the pc's generated were ridiculous and it would only have got worse with the players I have for Way of the Wicked who are much better optimisers. I had to give the final boss of Wrath 16000hp so he lasted more than 2 rounds


Yeah...my players...

Spoiler:
Went to scout out the Adarium (sp?) in the capital with the 30 days they were given. They were able to move about virtually un noticed.
They found the council chamber and the king's notes about the linnorm, and went and found Thorn's phylactery before Chargammon attacked. As soon as they killed the king Tiadora came to take them to Thorn, they convinced her that backing Thorn was a bad deal. She told them they had until the end of that day (loophole in the command) to confront Thorn. She also shared with them what they had been doing to Richard, as they knew he had died in Farholde by Vetra Kali (long story), and they asked. After they kill thorn, they went to find Richard, at Chargammon's lair. After being beaten easily by the party's anti-paladin, this information was given to Richard and pushed him over the edge into falling.

Grand Lodge

@John -- That's cool. A slip, nothing more. If they're keeping Barca, it makes me wonder what the plan is for Richard.
I wouldn't say a mythic version is practical. It's definitely more work, and I'm only now adding mythic because of Vetra-Kali needing to literally be a god-like being. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about touching it. I am beyond amazed that a BBEG needed over 16,000 hp to last more than two rounds. That's gross. Granted, this is why I continually reference the Elite Creature template from the d20 Warcraft books. If they party's too much, give the creature max hp and multiply it by 4.

@Kryzbyn -- I am beyond amused that your party went to immediately take down the linnorn before Chargammon attacked the castle. That whole ordeal should be epic for their characters. I know my group couldn't do it. That's crazy.


JohnHawkins wrote:

I should have noted that you also tended to replace high level warriors with fighters, I was agreeing with you on that. I have no idea what my group will do with Barca, their current long term plan is to marry the princess off to one of them after killing the king. I am encouraging this plan :(

I am surprised that converting way of the wicked to mythic is practical. I just finished running Wrath of the Righteous and after that experience I put my mythic book at the bottom of a cupboard so I did not have to see it again. The numbers the pc's generated were ridiculous and it would only have got worse with the players I have for Way of the Wicked who are much better optimisers. I had to give the final boss of Wrath 16000hp so he lasted more than 2 rounds

I will keep my pcs around MR 4 and no more, also mythic points shall be recovered slower and slower after the peak of the conflict Mitra vs Asmodeus (Valtaerna and the last battle). Also, i put a 66 AC angel at level 13 vs 4 pcs, and they got creative and overcomed it. If i see more than 300 damage per PC per round that i cannot stop using high defences, i'll just double the HP and the triple, and so on ...


Kryzbyn wrote:

Yeah...my players...

** spoiler omitted **

While i recognize that expert player could well do this in reverse, i wonder what kind of group you have to be able to take both Thorn and the paladin's entourage in a so short timeframe.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
JohnHawkins wrote:

I should have noted that you also tended to replace high level warriors with fighters, I was agreeing with you on that. I have no idea what my group will do with Barca, their current long term plan is to marry the princess off to one of them after killing the king. I am encouraging this plan :(

I am surprised that converting way of the wicked to mythic is practical. I just finished running Wrath of the Righteous and after that experience I put my mythic book at the bottom of a cupboard so I did not have to see it again. The numbers the pc's generated were ridiculous and it would only have got worse with the players I have for Way of the Wicked who are much better optimisers. I had to give the final boss of Wrath 16000hp so he lasted more than 2 rounds

I will keep my pcs around MR 4 and no more, also mythic points shall be recovered slower and slower after the peak of the conflict Mitra vs Asmodeus (Valtaerna and the last battle). Also, i put a 66 AC angel at level 13 vs 4 pcs, and they got creative and overcomed it. If i see more than 300 damage per PC per round that i cannot stop using high defences, i'll just double the HP and the triple, and so on ...

That sounds more practical I did not have a real problem with mythic craziness until sometime in mid to late book 4 of Wrath which was level 14 mythic tier 7 or so


Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Yeah...my players...

** spoiler omitted **
While i recognize that expert player could well do this in reverse, i wonder what kind of group you have to be able to take both Thorn and the paladin's entourage in a so short timeframe.

Spoiler:
It wasn't so short. They had 30 days before Chargammon attacked. There was a couple weeks before they killed the king, then had to go after Thorn.

The party consisted of:
Arcanist/Alchemist MR 7
Arcanist/Rogue MR 7
Anti-Paldin/Warpriest MR 7
Dragon Knight/Thaumaturge (3pp stuff) MR 7

All of the main story monsters/chracters (within reason) are made of equal MR with max HP.

Grand Lodge

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Changes I made to WotW--Book 5, part 7.

The last entry for Book 5. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My probable rebuild of the Cardinal. He will probably be guarded by a bound devil of some sort and a Fiendish Iron Golem. Somethings he knows cannot betray him

Cardinal:

Cardinal Adrastus Thorn CR 22
XP 614,400
Male human dread lich lich cleric of Asmodeus 8/exalted 10 (Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods 200, Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 188)
LE Medium undead (humanoid, evil, human)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 130 ft.; Perception +48
Aura dread fear (60 ft., constant, DC 18)
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 48, touch 19, flat-footed 43 (+10 armor, +4 deflection, +5 Dex, +14 natural, +5 shield)
hp 306 (18d8+162)
Fort +23, Ref +15, Will +27; +4 profane bonus vs. fire
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +6, rejuvenation, stable form; DR 15/bludgeoning, 15/good, 15/magic; Immune cold, electricity, polymorph, undead traits
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee +4 human-bane light mace +28/+23/+18 (1d6+10 plus 2d6 vs. Human) or
. . cursed touch +19 touch (1d10+9 plus curse and paralysis) or
. . touch +19 (1d8+9 negative energy plus paralyzing touch)
Special Attacks channel negative energy 11/day (DC 22, 4d6), cursed touch, empowered spells, hell's corruption (4 rounds, 14/day), paralyzing touch (DC 27), scythe of evil (4 rounds, 1/day), strong spellweaving
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +26)
. . 1/day—deeper darkness, elayed blast fireball delayed blast fireball (half fire, half unholy dam) (DC 25)
Domain Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +29)
. . At will—master's illusion (8 rounds/day)
. . 14/day—copycat (8 rounds), fire bolt (1d6+5 fire)
Exalted Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +18)
. . Constant—empowered protection from good
. . At will—detect good
. . 1/day—burning hands (DC 19), disintegrate (DC 25), fiery body[APG], fire seeds, fire shield, fireball (DC 21), incendiary cloud (DC 26), produce flame, wall of fire
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 18th; concentration +29)
. . 9th—implosion (DC 30), summon monster IX (2), time stop[D]
. . 8th—fire storm (2, DC 29), incendiary cloud[D] (DC 29), greater spell immunity, stormbolts[APG] (DC 29)
. . 7th—extended blade barrier (2, DC 27), disintegrate[D] (DC 28), persistent reach harm (2, DC 29), empowered hellfire ray
. . 6th—antilife shell, greater dispel magic, fire seeds[D], reach harm (3, DC 29), extended true seeing
. . 5th—caustic blood (DC 26), false vision[D], flame strike (2, DC 26), greater forbid action[UM] (DC 26), spell resistance, true seeing
. . 4th—air walk, control summoned creature[UM] (DC 25), divine power, freedom of movement, greater magic weapon, communal protection from energy[UC], wall of fire[D]
. . 3rd—deeper darkness (2), fireball[D] (DC 24), magic vestment (2), prayer, protection from energy (2)
. . 2nd—admonishing ray (2), aid, alter summoned monster (DC 23), invisibility[D], silence (DC 23), spiritual weapon, zone of truth (DC 23)
. . 1st—burning disarm (DC 22), burning hands[D] (DC 22), command (2, DC 22), sanctuary (DC 22), shield of faith (3)
. . 0 (at will)—empowered bleed (DC 22), detect magic, light
. . D Domain spell; Domains Trickery, Devil (Law) Evil (Devil (evil) subdomain)
--------------------
Tactics
--------------------
During Combat Thorn is a powerful, intelligent and fearsome combatant and for all his madness, he fights ruthlessly and efficiently to destroy his foes. His first spell is almost always time stop. With his two guaranteed actions he casts summon monster IX (an ice devil) and greater spell immunity (picking four spells he knows the Ninth favors). If he gets more time he also casts antilife shell, spell resistance and true seeing.

After that, he casts implosion and uses this fearsome spell to destroy one enemy a round while his ice devil and perhaps antilife shell keeps his enemies at bay.

If these basic tactics fail to destroy his foes, Thorn has a great panopoly of spells and powers to fall back upon. He unleashes all hell upon his foes. Remember that Thorn has likely been scrying upon the PCs for almost their entire career. He knows these opponents.

He knows them like his own children. He understands their tactics and their preferred attacks. He will be ready for their usual plans of attack. Feel free to tailor his spell list and his spell selections to match your PCs. Thorn is a creature of inhuman wisdom and perception. He will be ready for whatever the PCs can throw at him, unless they are truly innovative.
Morale Thorn will destroy the Ninth Knot and bring his evil coven back under his control. This battle is to the death.
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 22, Dex 22, Con —, Int 26, Wis 32, Cha 26
Base Atk +13; CMB +19; CMD 39
Feats Channel Smite, Combat Casting, Command Undead, Deific Obedience, Extend Spell, Greater Spell Penetration, Guided Hand[UC], Intensified Spell[APG], Mortal Visage, Persistent Spell[APG], Reach Spell[APG], Spell Focus (necromancy), Spell Penetration, Spell Perfection[APG], Toughness
Traits former cardinal of talingarde, indomitable faith, suspicious
Skills Bluff +29 (+31 when divine brand is visible), Diplomacy +29 (+31 when divine brand is visible), Disguise +21 (+31 to Disguise skill checks to appear mortal.), Fly +34, Intimidate +29, Knowledge (local) +33, Knowledge (nobility) +33, Knowledge (planes) +33, Knowledge (religion) +33, Linguistics +23, Perception +48, Sense Motive +49, Spellcraft +33, Stealth +42; Racial Modifiers +16 Perception, +16 Sense Motive, +16 Stealth
Languages Abyssal, Common, Daemonic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, Infernal
SQ +4 to save vs. fire effects, ardent vision, deeper darkness 1/day, divine brand, domain (ash[APG]), embersight, hellfire blast, perform miracle, religious speaker, vitality, wall of ashes
Combat Gear maximize metamagic rod (greater), quicken metamagic rod, reach metamagic rod (greater)[APG], thanatopic metamagic rod (greater)[UE]; Other Gear +4 mithral breastplate, +4 mirrored buckler, +4 human-bane light mace, amulet of natural armor +3, belt of physical might +4 (Str, Dex), cloak of resistance +4, headband of mental superiority +6, incense of meditation, ring of protection +4, ring of summoning affinity (daemon)[ACG], robe of blending, key to the vault, silver unholy symbol of Asmodeus, zaerabos' amulet
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
+4 to save vs. fire effects +4 profane bonus on saves vs. fire effects.
Ardent Vision (Good) (Sp) Gain a detect spell as an at will spell like ability.
Channel Resistance +6 +6 bonus to save vs. Channel Energy.
Channel Smite Channel energy can be delivered through a Smite attack.
Cleric Channel Negative Energy 4d6 (11/day, DC 22) (Su) Positive energy heals the living and harms the undead; negative has the reverse effect.
Cleric Domain (Trickery) Granted Powers: You are a master of illusions and deceptions. Bluff, Disguise, and Stealth are class skills.
Combat Casting +4 to Concentration checks to cast while on the defensive.
Command Undead (DC 25) Channel energy can take control of undead.
Copycat (14/day) (Sp) Create a single mirror image duplicate
Cursed Touch (DC 18) (Su) Touch paralyzes and inflicts wasting curse.
Damage Reduction (15/bludgeoning) You have Damage Reduction against all except Bludgeoning attacks.
Damage Reduction (15/good) You have Damage Reduction against all except Good attacks.
Damage Reduction (15/magic) You have Damage Reduction against all except Magic attacks.
Darkvision (130 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Deeper Darkness 1/day (Sp) 1/day use deeper darkness as a spell like ability.
Deific Obedience Purify yourself daily to prove devotion to a deity and gain benefits.
Devil
Divine Brand (Su) Gain brand on visible body part that functions as a silver holy symbol.
Dread Fear Aura (60 ft., DC 18) (Su) Foes in 60 ft are panicked (below 5 HD) or frightened for several rds (Will neg).
Embersight (Su) Gain darkvision 60 ft. or increase existing darkvision by 10 ft.
Empowered Spells (Ex) Necromancy and evil spells and spell-like abilities are empowered.
Exalted Domain (Ash)
Extend Spell Spell duration lasts twice as normal. +1 Level.
Fire Bolt 1d6+5 fire (14/day) (Sp) As a standard action, ranged touch attack deals fire dam to foe in 30 ft.
Flight (30 feet, Perfect) You can fly!
Guided Hand May use Wisdom modifier for attack rolls with favored weapon
Hell's Corruption (4 rounds, 14/day) (Su) Touch attack inflicts -2 save vs. your spells and take the worse of 2 rolls for skill checks.
Hellfire Blast (Sp) Cast delayed blast fireball that does half fire damage, half unholy.
Immunity to Ability Drain Immunity to ability drain
Immunity to Bleed You are immune to bleed.
Immunity to Cold You are immune to cold damage.
Immunity to Death Effects You are immune to death effects.
Immunity to Disease You are immune to diseases.
Immunity to Electricity You are immune to electricity damage.
Immunity to Energy Drain Immune to energy drain
Immunity to Exhausted You are immune to the exhausted condition.
Immunity to Fatigue You are immune to the fatigued condition.
Immunity to Mind-Affecting effects You are immune to Mind-Affecting effects.
Immunity to Nonlethal Damage You are immune to Nonlethal Damage
Immunity to Paralysis You are immune to paralysis.
Immunity to Physical Ability Damage Immune to ability damage to your physical abilities.
Immunity to Poison You are immune to poison.
Immunity to Polymorph You are immune to Polymorph effects.
Immunity to Sleep You are immune to sleep effects.
Immunity to Stunning You are immune to being stunned.
Intensified Spell You can cast a spell that can exceed its normal damage die cap by 5 (if you have the caster level to reach beyond that cap).
Master's Illusion (8 rounds/day, DC 25) (Sp) Hide self and allies in 30 ft, as with veil but enhanced DC.
Mortal Visage The ritual of lichdom that you undertook did not transform you into an undead monstrousity. Instead, you appear much like a normal human and have mastered moving amongst the living. Only the closest of examination (for example, you have no heart beat
Paralyzing Touch (1d8+9 negative energy dam, DC 27) Touched foe takes dam & permanent paralysis (Fort part). Seems dead unless examined.
Perform Miracle (1/day) Can perform a less powerful, minor miracle as a supernatural ability.
Persistent Spell Foes must succeed at 2 saves or suffer the spell's full effects.
Reach Spell You can cast a spell with a range of touch, close, or medium as one range category higher.
Rejuvenation (Su) Dread liches can return after a few days.
Religious Speaker (Ex) +2 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Perform (oratory) when brand visible.
Robe of blending 1/day can assume the form of another humanoid creature, as if using alter self
Scythe of Evil (4 rounds, 1/day) (Su) Touched weapon temporarily becomes unholy.
Spell Focus (Necromancy) Spells from one school of magic have +1 to their save DC.
Spell Perfection (Harm) The selected spell can have 1 metamagic feat applied for free, as long as the modified level stays at or below 9. Double the effects of feats like spell focus, weapon focus [ray], etc. on this spell.
Stable Form (Ex) Immune to all polymorph effects except those it casts on itself.
Strong Spellweaving (Ex) A -4 penalty applies to any dispel check made to dispel a spell cast by a dread lich.
Undead Traits Undead have many immunities.
Vitality (Evil) (Su) +2 profane bonus on Con checks to stabilize.
Wall of Ash (20' x 100', 10 minutes/day) (Su) Wall of ash blocks LOS, blinds anyone passing through and reveals adjacent invisible creatures.

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Initially time stop then try to deploy summoned monster, Bladebarriers and the Delayed blast fireball SLA. Then nova as many killer spells as possible using metamgic rods to boost them more maximum lethality.
If he gets a chance to use the Summon monsters from invisibility or before the Pc's deploy to fight then hold the timestop until he is hurt then time stop heal himself and deploy the bladebarriers and Delayed blast fireball.
He has a miracle from his exalted ability which he can also use for emergency healing or to get access to an unusual but useful spell

Grand Lodge

I had thought about metamagic rods being a thing he might have.

CR 22? That seems high. Dread lich is +3, cleric +8, exalted +9 (10-1), PC wealth and stats +1. Don't see the other +1.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

CR Calculation seems to be counting Lich and Dread Lich it does not worry about wealth and stats so the calculation is wrong . I am afraid I don't worry about the CR , so that is often wrong when I post things.
I may have to customise his spells more , if I have many undead pc's he will need to take some Heal spells instead of Harm.


I plause your sharing your effort, and as such i shall do the same. Since I'm doing a mythic way of the wicked, posting builds and stats cannot be done without explaining all the story elements that i have added to the plot. So I shall simply unfold my guidelines for chapter five.

But first my players, as they are just before the assault to the Adarium!

Mythic Ninth Knot:
Adelaide Abentroff, also known as Yzme - Female Human Mummy Lord Witch 14 archmage 3 (leader of the Ninth)
Erionel Vestromo - Female dhampir Dread Vampire Antipaladin 14 Champion 3 (Wielder of Hellbrand and the Mantle of Hekkazar)
Vanislav Ophelion Barca - Male half elf devilbound summoner 14 Hierophant 3 (Soon to be high cardinal of Hell)
"Nobby" - Male advanced Mythic Rakshasa rogue (complex history, and soon to be divine)
Dvorak of Urbek - Male Duergar Graveknight Ranger 6 Sentinel 8 Guardian 3 (leader of the iron revolution for dwarf indipendence)
Roam Ak'tannabus - Male human lycantrope (minotaur) alchemist 14 trickster 3 (king of Iraens and sire of a new race of minotaur blessed by hell )
Beside this prominents menbers, the knot can call upon other mythic characters that are involved in the story but not bound by the Pact of Thorns. This guys are:
Melahel the sealer - Aasimar Hellion "cleric" 14 hierophant 3 (Pc replacement for a period)
No'el Vonnarc - Drow noble tactician 14 overmind 3 (friend of Izme and would be conqueror of north Talingarde).

Now about my game, there shall be the following phases

To the pit fiend throne!:
Basically, after the victory over the king, the players have to find a way to "gently pospone" Tiadora's callings for at least 1 day, the time necessary for Dessiter to properly arrange a meeting with the judge they need to break the contract with Thorn. This shall simply be a game of roleplay. If they can convience Tiadora (and, by extention Thorn) that they have problems that do require their attenction and cannot come to the Aghatium. If they can pull this off, then Thorn cannot declare the pact broken and as such cannot use the contract as a means to "Throw flocks of devils at them", but is limited to what he, as a 20th level mythic dread lich character can muster. If the pcs are not able to present Tiadora a proper reason they cannot follow her, then she'll report back their answer and Thorn will personally try to contact them to ask "what's about". At this point, the pcs shall have another occasion to either fool the lich or tell him in face "we are not taking orders anymore".

After that, a confrontation is inevitabile. Thorn will send Tiadora (mythic advanced handmaiden devil sorcerer) and a squadron of Advanced Ashmede devils to the pc's door either "convince" them or punish them for their insolence. If the pcs have properly stated "we are gonna destroy you", this flock is backed up by 6 hell-fire mythic kolyarut (I'm using a lot of stuff from legendary games). Now, when the fight is over - assuming the pcs can either win or escape - Dessiter shall arrive and inform the Pcs that the Pit Lord can meet them. If the pcs can convince Tiadora to simply wait a day (or elude her visit), then Dessiter shall appear 1 minute after midnight to call pcs to the Pit Lord.

the sieges to dragon island:
Basically, after Thorn loses his title of high priest (he maintains the title of Cardinal), he's really pissed but also ready to do unconventional things. While he wish not to destroy the pcs minions, expecially if they are asmodeans, he's more than ready to call in forces that are interested to the pcs destruction or simply hungry for the riches they have gained. As such, the strongest assed the pcs can be robbed of are the control over dragon island and the treasures in it. Therefore, Thorn shall "spread the news" of the death of Eiramanthus to any part that would be interested in conquering it's domains. This will reach two powerfull enemies of the dragon: an Akvan Div Lord and a mythic Ushi Oni (from cerulean sea bestiary). Thorn will contact these beings and inform them of his wishes to kill the current "guests" the island, offering "support" to the creatures plans. This will force the Pcs to adopt a siege mentality for a few session. Of course, those two beings are just the beginning! If the pcs are not smart enough to figure out thorn's phylactery location, he will keep finding "rivals" of the Traveler to assist in invading the pc's conquest while also attacking their other stations by himself or with the Hamatulan host.

I've written a lot. I shall do more in the next days

Grand Lodge

Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:

I plause your sharing your effort, and as such i shall do the same. Since I'm doing a mythic way of the wicked, posting builds and stats cannot be done without explaining all the story elements that i have added to the plot. So I shall simply unfold my guidelines for chapter five.

But first my players, as they are just before the assault to the Adarium!
** spoiler omitted **

Now about my game, there shall be the following phases

** spoiler omitted **...

Hmm. I don't hate this idea. Even after his defeat, this could be something that happens as a contingency.

BTW, can you be a tad more specific about "from cerulean sea bestiary". I have a lot of the books, but don't have that one specifically, nor can I find it on the site.


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Clear. I was referring to the Celadon Shores module of the Celurean seas. The (basic) ushi oni is described there at pag 116 as a cr 19 colossal wicked planar traveler. I'll post the stats here.

Basic Ushi Oni from Celurean seas:

USHI ONI
CR 19
XP 204,800
LE Colossal Outsider (aquatic, evil, lawful, oni)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft., true seeing; Perception +35 Racial Buoyancy -25,000; Depth Tolerance: 10,000 feet
DEFENSE
AC 36; touch 6, flat-footed 32 (+4 Dex, +30 natural, -8 size)
hp 385 (22d10 +264) regeneration 5 (good weapons and spells)
Fort +25, Ref +11, Will +24
DR 15/good; Immune cold, disease, energy drain, mind affecting
effects, paralyzation, poison, polymorph; Resist acid 15, steam 15;
SR 30
OFFENSE
Speed 50 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee 6 pincers +27 (4d6+15 plus grab), 2 legs +29 (2d10+15), 2 palps
+27 (2d8+15), chin tentacles +29 touch (brainlock)
Special Attacks brainlock, constrict (4d6+15), pronouncement of
damnation
Space 30 ft. Reach 30 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20, Concentration +26)
Constant-boiling gaze (DC 18), true seeing
At will-aqueous form, greater dispel magic, greater teleport (self plus 100
lbs. of objects only), murk
3/day-dominate person (DC 21), entrapping bubble (DC 18), frazil ice (DC
20), mass charm monster (DC 24)
2/day-dispel chaos (DC 20), mageboil (DC 19) sea titan form II, water wall
1/day-call red tide (DC 21), plane shift (DC 23)
STATISTICS
Str 40, Dex 18, Con 35, Int 17, Wis 30, Cha 23
Base Atk +22; CMB +45; CMD 59
Feats Awesome Blow, Critical Focus, Disruptive, Greater Bull Rush,
Greater Overrun, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Overrun, Multi-Attack, Power Attack, Staggering Critical
Skills Acrobatics +21, Bluff +31, Intimidate +31, Knowledge (planes) +28, Perception +35, Sense Motive +35, Spellcraft +28, Stealth +21, Use Magic Device +31
Languages Common, Dagonite, Infernal, Yokai SQ amphibious
ECOLOGY
Environment any land or water
Organization solitary Treasure x2
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Brainlock (Su): Targets groped by a ushi-oni's chin tentacles have difficulty forming thoughts through the images of horror and suffering they inject into their minds. Victims must make a DC 27 Will save to perform any act that requires thought or planning, including using most skills or abilities. Spellcasters must make a DC 27 +spell level concentration check to attempt to cast a spell, with failure meaning they cannot organize their thoughts. Spells attempted to be cast in this way are not lost from the caster's memory. Once a victim has made a successful save or Concentration check the effect ends.
Pronouncement of Damnation (Su): As a full round action, an ushi- oni may curse a single target. The victim may make a DC 27 Will save to resist the effect; if successful, the victim may not be the target of that ushu-oni's pronouncement for 1 full year. This curse binds the target's spirit to the ushi-oni's own, putting the victim’s body and soul at risk. The victim takes half of whatever damage the ushi-oni takes, bypassing any DR the victim possesses. The victim must make a DC 27 Will save every week, or have their alignment take one step to lawful evil. If the ushi- oni is slain, any victims under this effect may must make a DC 27 Will save or have their soul follow the creature's back to its home plane, as if the victim pulled the Void card of a deck of many things (Pathfinder Core Rulebook, pg 545). A victim may be freed by a wish or miracle spell, or by a good cleric of at least 15th level casting remove curse, and making a DC 27 caster level check. Such a check automatically gains the ushi-oni's attention.

I'm gonna add him the mystic template from 101 not so simple templates and the arc, the dual initiative ability from the mythic rules and make it's total MR 7. He shall not only be followed by his progeny of half-oni (half fiend) steam titans (from the cerulean seas campaign settings, pag 255) but shall also try to recruit a few of the pcs minions by the use of domination or mass charm monster.


Another event i wish to involve in the plot is the following

The throne of the black:
In my campaign, the great black Chargammon was something akin to myth by dragon themselves, a mythic patriarch thousands of years old, more akin in size and power to a first age dragon from Middle Earth than a pathfinder's black dragon (in truth, i went crazy and used a 37hd 3.5 d&d black dragon as the base for my kaiju sized mythic black dragon). So, after Chargammon glorious demise at the Adarium, the power vacium left by the great black shall be felt in all Golarion. As such, in the following days dozens of old and older dragons then can claim to share even a drop of blood with the great wyrm to "inherit" his lair (which is not only filled with delicious ley lines, but also comes with an immense treasure any black dragon would want) and status ad "dragon patriarch". Now, when the pcs shall be told so - by divinations or by their draconic cohorts -, if they reach the island they shall find the surface filled with a few dozens dragons of many races, all competing for gaining the status of their fallen "sire". The judge over this shall be a Shen dragon from Bestiary 5 send to solve what could, potentially, become the origin of a new dragon war between the dragon flights. This is an honored judge from the east, and as such no dragon can hurt him or ignore his judgment without suffering dire consequences. Unfortunately, the judge cannot reach a decision since he knows Chargammon had already designated an "Heir" for his throne: the oldest of his living spawns, the mythic linnorm Nytthogr. Said linnorm however does not care of the throne since he's currently trying to achieve power over an army of undead in the deep north and cannot bother to even respond the the Shen's callings. As such, the judge is forced to wait the 49 weeks that the "Heavenly laws of the dragon star" to declare that Nytthogr renounced his title and allow the other contestants to state their cases. Meanwhile, each of this draconic monsters sees Talingarde as a broken country just next to their potencially new home and are inclined to either let be known or express their rage over a rejection.
I thought of this situation for the following reasons.

1) It shall be a great opportunity for the mythic pcs to roleplay with the only beings that they might still revere and fear at this point. Also, they can find ways to avoid future conflict with beings that can be a great threat for the stability of their kingdom.

2) Assuming the pcs will be smart and support their spawns of chargammon (they got two), they may be able to "legally obtain" the throne of Chargammon, thus removing almost all the threaths of revenge from the other spawns. This will also require the pcs to be able to "make forfeit" the linnorm ad a few other contestants tha can claim a direct line of sussession throught blood from Chargammon.

3) Wanting to see how much the pcs can be greedy: will they try to steal the hoard, or will they try to enslave a few of those dragons? If they want simply to observe, if they are there on the behest of a Chargammon's spawn, no one will bother them (too much), otherwise shall be attacked by all the dragons en masse. If however one of the spawn attacks them while they are part of another spawn's entourage, they shall be free to defend themselves without have to worry of all the other dragons.

3) This will allow me to properly introduce the following characters:

a) My version of Jerathorn, a mythic ancient black dragon and the "natural" heir of chargammon after the linnorm. He's basically the "next" chargammon and will do all that he can to claim his father's domain.

b) The brine dragon godess Benthysara (great wyrm brine dragon with the false gode template form gruesome dragons that shall be upped with the simple mythic divine template to MR 7). She claims to be Chargammon's niece (actually true) and to be there for the hoard and, if pcs are not wise enough to keep an eye on her, shall claim it as soon as the linnorm is dealt with, resulting to the events visioned by kevin-video.

c) An astral projected androginus elf. He's Kar'nargorn, a lost spawn of chargammon (using the stats of a ravaner great wyrm blue/black dragon) made undead by the Nameless Tyrant and currently under Thorn's command. He's my version of Grigori and the twin undead dragons, as he's instead served by 3 dragonwraiths that he was gifter after he helped Thorn to exterminate Antharia's progeny (minus 2). By dragon's law, he cannot claim domain over the place but he's curious of the developments (and wishes for the hoard), so he will gladly chat with the pcs hoping to persuade them to gift him a few dragon souls by having them picking fights for him (since he cannot act, or the judge will banish him). In exchange he might spill the beans about Thorn's next moves and a certain gold coffin location (Thorn could not predict the Ravaner would have met the pcs nor that he knew of the Phylactery, so he has not forbidded him to speak to them about it). Sure, if the party tries anything on him, he'll strike back fiercely.

For those curious of the whereabouts of a certain paladin, he shall make a great appeareance at a later point, basically when - in history - the pcs will expose themselves enough to allow his dramatic arrival.

Grand Lodge

I have to admit that, that is way more work than I care to put into this AP. A lot of dragging it out too. That's more like it's own separate storyline.


kevin_video wrote:
I have to admit that, that is way more work than I care to put into this AP. A lot of dragging it out too. That's more like it's own separate storyline.

Alas, i had to reinvent a lot to create proper enemies and mythic plotlines! And I won't bother you with all the changes i had to make to allow the "dwarven revolution" one of the pcs tried to accomply to actually work. Nevertheless, i'm drugged to the wonder this campaign is carrying with, and hope to see your addictions to book 6!

Grand Lodge

So, I had to go and edit/revise a previous statement regarding the Skill Focus feat. Our good traitorous Barca, is a half-elf. I even specified that. What I didn't specify was that there's an alternate trait that lets you swap out Skill Focus for a human bonus feat. I've since put that in there, and revised my entire paragraph. Also, anyone wanting to keep Leadership, the Freeport Companion noble class gives it at 1st level without needing to meet the prereqs. So, instead of taking levels of aristrocrat, take noble instead.

Grand Lodge

I wasn't sure which book you'd more likely meet this creature, but at CR 15 it's more likely you're going to meet a devil at this point than any other book. Necromancers of the Northwest has released a tax devil, as it's tax month for both Canada and the US.

If you can make use of it, awesome. If not, then that's okay too.


kevin_video wrote:

I wasn't sure which book you'd more likely meet this creature, but at CR 15 it's more likely you're going to meet a devil at this point than any other book. Necromancers of the Northwest has released a tax devil, as it's tax month for both Canada and the US.

If you can make use of it, awesome. If not, then that's okay too.

Already upped the stats to have him in a mythic way of the wicked! The only thing more sure of death in Talingarde is taxes, and this guy shall be a mammonian tax collector. He shall be named Furxas and he's gonna appear in the middle of the fight with the barbed devils to try to steal helbrand from the vampire antipalidin champion of hell ... Yoink!

Grand Lodge

Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
kevin_video wrote:

I wasn't sure which book you'd more likely meet this creature, but at CR 15 it's more likely you're going to meet a devil at this point than any other book. Necromancers of the Northwest has released a tax devil, as it's tax month for both Canada and the US.

If you can make use of it, awesome. If not, then that's okay too.

Already upped the stats to have him in a mythic way of the wicked! The only thing more sure of death in Talingarde is taxes, and this guy shall be a mammonian tax collector. He shall be named Furxas and he's gonna appear in the middle of the fight with the barbed devils to try to steal helbrand from the vampire antipalidin champion of hell ... Yoink!

Cool. Nice to see that he'll be made use of in such an interesting way.

Dark Archive

okay. They're fighting Thorn next sunday.

I'm

making these changes:

In the throne room, Thorn, the Ice devil and a bunch of skeletons will be gathered. I'm using screen to
- make the ice devil look like a skeleton,
- make thorn look like an ice devil and
- make a skeleton look like thorn.
Then, I'm using master's illusion to rotate one more step:
-the ice devil that looks like a skeleton, will then look like thorn;
-thorn, (looking like an ice devil) will then look like one of the skeletons;
-the skeleton (looking like thorn) will then look like an ice devil)

They're going to be so smug when they greater-disspel one of these effects. But hey, smug -> smugger -> me...

Grand Lodge

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Got asked a question on what to do regarding the linnorm and making him more challenging. I pointed out my changes and suggestions on my blog, so I was instead asked how would I go about separating the party so that not everyone took on the linnorm.

I thought about that for a while and I realized how difficult of a question that truly was. After all, you don't want two linnorms, and it makes no sense that there'd be devils waiting for you. Not to mention the linnorm is very protective of his territory so he wouldn't allow anyone to be within 60 ft. of him.

After some time, this is what I came up with:
A transforming advanced mythic wood golem. No, seriously. What if the coffin that Thorn used was actually a large wood golem in disguise? In the "Constructs It's Alive" supplement, you learn that wood golems have a single slot open to have a special ability. This can be from polymorph self to a breath weapon. I chose the ability to become a transformer and turn into a coffin. It doesn't increase the CR even a little. Then, using the Dark Bestiary 3pp supplement, give it the Combat Golem template. From there, use the Necromancers of the Northwest Phylactery Guardian template. Next, the 3.5 Silverthorne Games Book of Templates has the Woundmender template. Finally, the Haunted Golem template. For mythic, either give it one of the many mythic templates from Mythic Adventures, or use the 3pp Mythic Constructs wood golem. This makes it a CR 17 creature. After all of that, advance the HD to make it a proper creature of that CR. I'd even argue that the coffin should be large-sized, meaning that you would increase the hp by 10 more for size, lower the Dex by 2 and increase the Str by 8. However, that should make it a CR 18. That might be much for your players. Play with it until you feel comfortable with whatever you decide. You can always lose the Mythic and the Advanced templates, or not make it larger in size and HD.

I was going to put this up on my blog, but the question wasn't asked there and it'd look weird to do an entry where it looks like I'm answering my own question. Hopefully that offsets whatever your party was originally thinking they were going to contend with.

Grand Lodge

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I just found a weapon property, courtesy of Blackdyrge Publishing, that makes it worth it for Thorn to wield a weapon, and might actually scare the characters a little.

Evil property:
Death's Kiss: Death’s kiss weapons are almost exclusively created by powerful undead with the ability to inflict negative energy damage of some kind. A death’s kiss weapon allows its wielder the ability to channel negative energy attacks through the weapon, dealing normal physical damage as well as whatever negative energy attack the wielder has access to. Any natural negative energy attack can be transferred, including energy drain, and occurs with each successful strike with the death’s kiss weapon (normal saving throws still apply where applicable). For example, a vampire with a death’s kiss longsword would deal normal melee damage, plus bestow upon his foe two negative levels with each successful strike.
All death's kiss weapons are considered to be evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. In addition, a death’s kiss weapon bestows one negative level on any good-aligned creature attempting to wield it. The negative level remains as long as the weapon is in hand and disappears when the weapon is no longer wielded. This negative level never results in actual level loss, but it cannot be overcome in any way (including restoration spells) while the weapon is wielded.
Strong necromancy; CL 12th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor; enervation; Price +3 bonus


kevin_video wrote:

I just found a weapon property, courtesy of Blackdyrge Publishing, that makes it worth it for Thorn to wield a weapon, and might actually scare the characters a little.

** spoiler omitted **

Your additions are always well received, mr Kevin

On a side note, I wish to know something from the fellow DMs. Does any of your pcs have used the Cairn of the dragon as some sort of base of operation/undead lair/necromancer laboratory?
Cause the mummy witch of my group decided that was worth to study how to drain the place of the "buried knowledge" possessed by the generations of spirits that were buried there by using a modified version of legend lore, and now she has decided to build a laboratory there ...

Also, i wish to know if any party has knocked the Aghatium doors riding the body of a certain, recently zombified, linnorm.

Grand Lodge

Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:
kevin_video wrote:

I just found a weapon property, courtesy of Blackdyrge Publishing, that makes it worth it for Thorn to wield a weapon, and might actually scare the characters a little.

** spoiler omitted **

Your additions are always well received, mr Kevin

On a side note, I wish to know something from the fellow DMs. Does any of your pcs have used the Cairn of the dragon as some sort of base of operation/undead lair/necromancer laboratory?
Cause the mummy witch of my group decided that was worth to study how to drain the place of the "buried knowledge" possessed by the generations of spirits that were buried there by using a modified version of legend lore, and now she has decided to build a laboratory there ...

Also, i wish to know if any party has knocked the Aghatium doors riding the body of a certain, recently zombified, linnorm.

Why thank you. I do what I can.

I've ran this game a couple of times before, but no one thought to use the lair of the linnorn as a laboratory. They all had the dragon's secret island because of the better defenses against divination. Also, it's only the current group that I have who has any kind of necromancy magic. I'll be curious to see how they'll deal with that when the time comes. That said, I'm not expecting much since they're all greedy (and I don't mean the characters) and want all the wealth they find to be used to upgrade their gear.

Grand Lodge

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More lich and necromancer specific items. I very much recommend these for the final encounter in this book.
For the brestplate, if you don't want the check penalty, give it the +1 armor property, weightless, from Rite Publishing Tarnished Souk Xoti the Usurper, and it's a +9 armor equivalent.

Shadow Lodge

Hey Kevin ... did you get the Writeup I sent you for the Thorn Rebuild

Grand Lodge

Wraith235 wrote:
Hey Kevin ... did you get the Writeup I sent you for the Thorn Rebuild

It didn't work. :(


One of my players has accepted Prince Gaius's offer to become a vampire.
By the third feat he loses his con score. But at which point should he get hps off his charisma? At the same time or when taking the fifth feat?

Grand Lodge

WagnerSika wrote:

One of my players has accepted Prince Gaius's offer to become a vampire.

By the third feat he loses his con score. But at which point should he get hps off his charisma? At the same time or when taking the fifth feat?

At the same time. Once you lose your Con, you immediately count as undead and use Cha, as per the universal monster rules.


That seems logical, thank you.
Have to say that the vampire template is extremely powerful. I am a bit worried he will outshine the others. Fortunately, he is the main melee guy, others are full casters and an inquisitor archer. I'm thinking of moving the vampire pc on the slow track of xp so he would be 1-2 levels behind the others. I also thought of treating his level as level+2 for advancement calculations. So after level 15 he would be 2 levels behind the others. Thoughts?

Grand Lodge

WagnerSika wrote:

That seems logical, thank you.

Have to say that the vampire template is extremely powerful. I am a bit worried he will outshine the others. Fortunately, he is the main melee guy, others are full casters and an inquisitor archer. I'm thinking of moving the vampire pc on the slow track of xp so he would be 1-2 levels behind the others. I also thought of treating his level as level+2 for advancement calculations. So after level 15 he would be 2 levels behind the others. Thoughts?

He is more powerful, but that’s what the feat tree is for. That’s what the balance is supposed to be. Note that he’s also the most vulnerable. Charisma instead of Constitution, the need for blood, inability to heal with positive energy or normal curing, no daylight, etc. Once the good guys realize the PC is a vampire, he’s the main target. Also note that wooden stakes are free. Have a few NPCs be superstitious, and carry 1-2 on their person, just in case.

Casters and archers always take the spotlight in standard games. If you find him being broken, despite the feat tax, maybe slow track for 1 level. Don’t know about adjusting the party level though. Play it by ear.

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