Up From Darkness (PFRPG) PDF

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You awaken in pure darkness.

Entombed far below the earth, brave warriors awaken in darkness, with no memory of who they are or how they came to be there. Now these warriors must ascend out of the depths. Yet their greatest challenge will not be the deadly traps or fearsome foes which stand between them and the surface. Rather, it will be discovering their own selves and coming to terms with who they are and what they have done to earn a place in the hellish dungeon of Botai-yami. "Up from Darkness" is a one-shot adventure by Jonathan McAnulty, designed for 7th level adventurers, and set in the dread realm of Kaidan. Perfect for a 4-6 hour session of play, the module presents a unique challenge where death, though it come often, is only a momentary setback.

Author: Jonathan McAnulty
Cover Artist: Mark Hyzer
Cartography: Michael K. Tumey
Pages: 34

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Here's a quote by the author on what you can expect from this adventure.

Wicht wrote:

"Up from Darkness," begins with the line, "You awaken in darkness..." It is somewhat a homage to A4: In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, but is also fully its own scenario.

"Up from Darkness," is a solid one-shot adventure which will take 4-8 hours to complete. It features some fun, non-standard PC mechanics to simulate and showcase what I think is one of the truly unique aspects of the Kaidan experience. It is, in my opinion, the best one-shot I have written to date, and those that played through it all enjoyed it immensely. Some of the quotes from those that completed the scenario include, "That's just disturbing!" (my wife said this after playtesting), "But I don't want to be evil any more!," "Ow, My Brain! My Brain! It hurts!" and "Well worth the price of admission!" One of the funnest parts of the scenario is that it allows the GM, guilt free, to savagely and repeatedly kill the PCs. And that's all I'm going to say about that... :D

If that doesn't tease you into running this on Halloween tonight or the coming weekend, I don't know what will! :D

Scarab Sages

I didn't put it in the "ad blurb" above, but the adventure comes with several printable GM Aids to be used during the adventure, and printable pregens specially tailored for the adventure. You can pick it up, read it, print out the necessary bits and you are good to go. You will likely want to have multiple copies of each pregen for the players for a single session.

Review added.

Lovely adventure :)


Thanks for taking the time to do a review Ruemere.

Review is up. A very interesting story idea.

Scarab Sages

Thanks for the reviews Ruemere and KTFish7.

KTFish7, I just noticed that issued with the maps today as well and hopefully we can get Michael to fix that up when he has time. Until then, if you want to run it, take note of the following (players don't read)...

The traps in the main hallway are easy to place, there is one at each corner. In addition to the traps not being marked, Almost all the entrance ways should be secret doors.

I have run the adventure several times now, for a variety of groups, and it works very well, especially the memories as rewards (though fumbles also draw memories, don't forget). But it is meant to be a stand-alone (I wrote this for convention play, for which it is ideal, though it would also be a great halloween one-shot) and I would certainly not recommend it with the PCs normal characters. ;)

If you are running Curse of the Golden Spear, there is one way I thought of using this...

Potentially you could run it as a one off before the third book and use it to set up foreshadowing of what the PCs will face once the elite assassins start coming after them. If you had the time, you could even work it so each of the PCs was playing as one of the assassins before they got their powers in the past.

Pros and cons to this, of course. You spoil the unknown enemies they would be facing in that book. On the other hand, great foreshadowing and a sweet story to show some more of Kaidan. Not to mention they might feel some kinship to the characters they would now be against.

While I had considered this my group is already past the point I could try this and I haven't had enough time to do the customizing/prep-work it would require. I do plan to do it as a one off sometime in the future in any case. Great little module.

I had assumed the basics on your spoiler notes there Wicht, lol. Am hoping Michael gets the time to make the adjustments to the maps, as I will be happy to accommodate my rating accordingly.

IMHO, lack of cardinal directions forces you to rely on relative methods of description (like "this exit is in front of you, the other one is to your left"). I liked the way it supplements the feeling of disorientation.

I have run similar one-shots (similar by concept, not by execution) and never really cared about actual spread of rooms (though I let the PCs draw their maps). Of course, to mitigate eventual cartographic frustration, the dungeons were quite simple.

Consequently, the maps were only important with regard to the content of places of challenge, not the housing :)


Scarab Sages

When I have run it, I actually cut each room out of gaming paper and then as the PCs discovered the new rooms, laid them down. For the climbing, I just laid one room on top of the others as they went up.

I'll correct the map this weekend, and get it re-uploaded by Monday. I followed Jonathan's rough maps as best I could, but should have gotten more clear information for secret doors, spot locations for traps and treasure - I did not have such, so I didn't include them.

I have updated the maps to reflect the issues and have sent them to Steve to re-upload...

It has been updated.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not only was I pleasantly surprised to see that the first map has now been updated with markings for the haunts, traps and encounters...but the second maps CG effect has been replaced with a much more cohesive 3-dimensional map. Very impressive and well done.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks KTFish7 for taking the second look. :)

And reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Also posted about it on Lou Agresta's RPGaggression and submitted my post to nerdtrek. Glorious work, Jonathan! I LOVE your work for Kaidan and hope we'll get even more! :D

Excellent review End!!

Yours is also great - I'm late to the party on this particular one...

Ah, trust me, my backlog pile has got me late to quite a few...am going to try and get a few out of the way throughout the next few days.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I hear you, brother! I still haven't caught up on ANY of the mayor 3pps and I've been cranking out 4 reviews a workday for more than a week...

Scarab Sages

Thanks for the review End, and glad you liked it like you did. :)

I have a crazy question for the Rite Publishing folks. As I was sorting through all of the Kaidan documents that I got through the Kaidan kickstarter, I noticed that each is labeled with a KD##.

This particular document is KD12, but #30 Haunts for Kaidan is ALSO labelled as KD12 (it is also the ONLY #30 product with any number at all). My question is, which one is ACTUALLY KD12?

I also noticed that there is not yet a KD07, KD08, or KD09. I'll assume that those are still in production. :D

Now I need to think about getting my butt in gear and reading through some of these so that I can get reviews written. End is writing 4 a day? I'm lucky if I can get one a week written!!


I had plans for certain products at KD07-09, but when other releases came sooner, I just upped the numbers past KD09 to accomodate the new products. Note I have 2 publications of my own (written by me). One is #30 Ancestral Relics, which I've been working on for a while, had a problem developing 30 pieces (stuck on 26) and should finish in the next month or so (when I have time). Also I've written a 30 page complex encounter and map product called Haiku of Horror, which is nearly completed in editing and should be released this month. Those are KD07 and 08.

Thanks for such a quick answer! Good to know, I'll watch for those products in the future!


Love it.

I recently purchased this item and think, with the right players, it could make an interesting self encapsulating PbP game. Is it ok to use this product for a PbP game? I currently run a successful PbP game and think I can do this justice.

Scarab Sages

Thanks for purchasing it! If you have paid for it, you have, as far as I am concerned, paid for the right to run it as seems best to you, PBP most certainly included. :)

I think you are right that it has potential to make a very good PBP game if done correctly with the right players. Let us know how it goes please. This has been one of my favorite adventures to run and I am quite eager to know how well it works for others.

Wicht wrote:

I think you are right that it has potential to make a very good PBP game if done correctly with the right players. Let us know how it goes please. This has been one of my favorite adventures to run and I am quite eager to know how well it works for others.

With using mapping software it will be easy to control what the players see. Then having the ability to creatively describe each situation makes this a cool possibility.

I'll let you know how it goes if I run it.

I purchased this a couple days ago and I've been trying to find out more information regarding the Necrotic Warrior class, where can I find more information out?

The third module of the Curse of the Golden Spear trilogy: Dark Path has all the existing information for the Necrotic Warrior class. However, Jonathan has just finished up the section in the upcoming setting guide for Necrotic Warriors, but that won't be released until October of this year.

Thanks gamer-printer. I like this module but that additional information would have been useful before purchasing. I feel somewhat handicapped since one of the pregens is a necrotic warrior.

Really everything you need is already included with the character sheet in the module itself. That said...

Here's the stats presented in Dark Path for Koneko, Necrotic Warrior 7 Bone necrology and all that there is for that:

Honeko CR 7 (XP 3200)
Female human necrotic warrior (bone necrology) 8
LE Medium humanoid
Init +5; Perception +11
AC 27, touch 16, flat-footed 21 (+4 armor, +5 Dex,
+1 dodge, +5 natural, +2 shield)
hp 68 (8d10+24)
Fort +3, Ref +11, Will +4
Defensive Abilities unnatural health
Spd 30 ft.
Melee 2 bone-claws +16 (1d4+3 plus dark infusion)
Ranged bone spear +16 (1d6+3 plus dark infusion)
Special Attacks channel negative energy (2d6;
DC 16), necromantic strike (+2 attack/+8 damage)
Spells Known (CL 8th; Concentration +10)
2nd (2/day – barkskin, halt undead (DC 14)
1st (2/day)―death watch, hide from undead (DC 13)
Before Combat Before combat, Honeko casts barkskin, which is reflected in the stats above. During Combat Honeko knows she is no match for a large group and prefers to attack lone individuals. She focuses her attacks on one individual at a time, choosing, if possible, opponents with little or no armor. Morale Honeko fights to the death, trusting in her ability to be swiftly reborn.
Base Statistics Natural AC +2, Dexterity 16.
Str 12, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14 Base Atk +8; CMB +8; CMD 24
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Skill Focus (Stealth), Toughness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (boneclaws), Weapon Focus (short spear)
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+20 jumping), Bluff +13, Climb +11, Perception +11, Stealth +18
Languages Kaidanese
SQ Swift Rebirth
Gear belt of incredible dexterity +2, ring of
jumping, chain shirt

Special Abilities
Bone-claws (Ex): As a swift action, Honeko can cause claws of bone to grow from her hands. These bone-claws cause 1d4+2 points of damage and are considered natural weapons. If armed with a manufactured melee weapon in one hand, the remaining claw attack is still considered a primary weapon but Honeko counts as fighting with two weapons and is penalized accordingly. She cannot be disarmed of her natural weapons, though she can retract them at will. The extra damage done by the bone-claws is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming damage eduction.
Spear and Shield of Bone (Ex): Honeko can extrude a length of bone from her arm which serves as a short spear doing an extra point of damage for every 4 class levels. The extra damage done by the bone spear is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. When wielded by Honeko, this bone spear counts as a light weapon, and is able to be enchanted by spells affecting either natural or manufactured
weapons. Each bone spear functions for 2 hours or until used as a ranged weapon. Honeko can create 4 bone spears per day. Additionally, Honeko is able to create hard shells of bone on either forearm.
These function as bucklers and grant a combined shield bonus of +2 to AC.
Dark Infusion (Su): Honeko's natural attacks, including her bone spears, are infused with negative energy. Those successfully struck by one of these weapons must succeed at a DC 16 Fortitude save or take 2 points of negative energy damage. Moreover, if the Fortitude save is failed, the negative energy continues to potentially deal damage for 2 more rounds. The target is allowed a new save each round to cure the ongoing condition. Multiple strikes do not increase the amount of
negative energy damage done each round, but may extend the duration of the effect. The effect length and DC is Charisma-based.

Common Necrotic Warrior Class Abilities
The following three abilities are shared by all the members of the Danmatsumabatsu and are thus provided here, once:

Necromantic Strike (Su): Beginning at 1st level, the necrotic warrior has the ability to focus the negative energies coursing through his body into a single powerful strike. When using this ability, the necrotic warrior has a bonus to attack equal to his Charisma modifier and a bonus to damage equal to twice his class level. If the necrotic warrior declares a necromantic strike and then misses, he continues to benefit from the bonus to his attack rolls until he successfully strikes his target. As soon as damage is dealt using a necromantic strike, the ability is considered used. A necrotic warrior can use a necromantic strike once a day at 1st level. Every three levels after 1st, the necrotic warrior gains an additional use of the ability per day. The bonus damage dealt by this ability is negative energy damage and any creature immune to negative energy damage is immune to the
damage caused by this ability. However, even if a creature is immune to the damage, a successful attack against such a creature is still considered a use of the ability.

Channel Negative Energy (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, through the expenditure of a use of his necromantic strike, the necrotic warrior
larns to channel negative energy, in a manner identical to a cleric, though the warrior needs no divine focus to channel this energy as he is bringing it forth out of his own body. The amount of energy he can channel in this way increases every four levels after 2nd. In effect, a necrotic warrior channels negative energy as a cleric half his class level.

Unnatural Health (Ex): Upon reaching 5th level, the biology of the necrotic warrior undergoes a radical change. He receives healing from negative energy and takes damage from positive energy, in a manner
similar to an undead. Furthermore, he is no longer susceptible to normal diseases. He gains immunity to all non-magical diseases and receives a +4 to any saves made to resist magical or otherwise supernatural diseases. He also gains a +4 to any saves made to resist
harmful effects caused by negative energy.

Thank you for the quick response and assistance. Customer service at its finest!

Scarab Sages

Thanks Michael for responding to this so quickly.

I actually wrote up the complete class of the Necrotic Warrior for use with Dark Path but did not have room in the module to include the full class. I have subsequently used the class in at least two other adventures, as pregens and my excuse for doing so is two fold. Firstly, I like the class and it fits the setting. Secondly, I originally wrote the adventures for my own use and it allows me a chance to playtest the class some.

The Necrotic Warrior, in play, actually proves very useful in "Up from Darkness" for PC survivability in the first part of the adventure (They always open up one of the crypts). And so I left it in when we transferred it into a publishable form. I have been wanting to publish the full class for some time, but for one reason or another, its never quite worked with any of the books that we have done for Kaidan to this point. But it will be included, if all goes well in the upcoming Kaidan Player's Guide.

Thanks for clarifying.

Some map clarification requested:

On the Map - Area 2 there is a reference in the text to a location "d" but the "d" is missing on the map, I assume that is the duplicate "c" that is in the southeast intersection.

More concerning is the text references locations "e" and "f" in area 2, but they do not appear on the map provided.

Scarab Sages

"e" should be at the location of the secret door leading to the armory. Besides operating as a haunt, it also clues the PCs, if they need to be clued, to be looking for secret doors.

"f" is meant to be in the same location as "c," the falling block trap.

Yeah, I couldn't think of an effective way to label two locations at the same spot, without seeming confusing. So I opted not to label it. One of the other missing locations is the hole in the ceiling leading up into the shafts, which is also in the same area as another labeled location on the ground floor map. They're missing because, I, the cartographer, got stumped on how to best handle the labeling issues.

When I design adventure areas, I'm a map first guy, then write the adventure content to fit the map - not the other way around, to avoid the kind of issues from this one.

Scarab Sages

I downloaded this yesterday and overall, I like it a lot. However, I have some confusion on a few points.
Page 6 map:
How the PC’s get to area 7? It is shown with 2 passages that don’t connect to anything. It says down to 2, but isn’t it really up to 8? Or is that supposed to mean that it is above area 2? If so, which part?
At a few points in the write-up it says area 4b. Is that really supposed to be 4a? I think so because I can’t find a 4b on a map or any write-up for 4a in the text.
1 Sq = 10’ but there are no squares on the map. But I think I can figure that out from the descriptions.
Page 12 map. The rooms are shown in the reverse order of their arrangement in the dungeon. In other words the bottom room is at the top of the page. Correct? The relative size of rooms on the right hand appears to be off. The bottom room looks to be smallest but it is really the top room that is smallest. Correct?
Page 15:
The first 5 cm or so of the left column seem to be from something else. It appears to be the last of a creature write-up for a Rimiko from some area 24. This module doesn’t have an area 24. Is something missing that I am supposed to have in that location?

Area 7 is up (a hole with rungs as a ladder taking you to the higher levels). 2 is down from 7, since 2 is on the same starting lowest level.

As the cartographer, I admit, I was confused on some of this myself, so the 4a/4b issue, is probably my mistake. I don't think the rooms are in reverse order though. The map is fairly accurate otherwise.

Page 15 issue looks like a hold over from a previous adventure - from Special Abilities, down to the first line of Development (about Rimiko) is from Frozen Wind adventure. Just don't pay that any attention. No there is no Area 24 in this adventure.

Blame me - I'm the cartographer and the layout guy (and the owner of Kaidan's IP) those mistakes are mine.

Scarab Sages

Page 5. Ok, I think I figured it out. Didn't realize that room 1 was below the level of room 2. So those tiny little east west corridors are stairs up to seven even though no stairs are marked.

Page 12. Well that is what is confusing.
On the right side of the page, the room on top looks at least as big as the middle room and has stairs leading off one side. The room on the bottom looks smallest and doesn't have stairs.
On the left side of the page, room 8 looks about as big as 9 but doesn't have any stairs leading off of it. The room on the bottom is smallest and does have stairs.
The text says the room 10 is on top, is the smallest, and has stairs out.

Well, if I'm not quite right, I think it I'm close enough the players won't be able to tell.

Scarab Sages

The easiest way to think about it is that area 7 is directly on top of area 1. Area 1 has stairs going up to 2 and then 2 has stairs going up to 7.

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