Way of the Wicked—Book #6: The Wages of Sin (PFRPG) PDF

4.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)

Our Price: $10.00

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

Reap what you have sown!

Talingarde is yours! Once the people of this noble nation called you a criminal and branded you as one of the forsaken. Now, by blood and guile, you have seized control of the kingdom.

You are at last victorious.

And this is only the beginning. What shall you do now that you are in power? Will you lead your army in wars of conquest? Will you take revenge on those who once oppressed you? Will you write your name across the pages of history in blood and fire?

There will be no one to stop you this time!

Welcome to the sixth and final chapter of the “Way of the Wicked” adventure path. Inside you’ll find:

  • “The Wages of Sin,” an adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game designed for 18th level villains by Gary McBride
  • Full color illustrations and maps by Michael Clarke
  • New character options for villains by Jason Bulmahn
  • A complete campaign timeline for all six books
  • And More!
Become the tyrant you were born to be! Conquer all who oppose you and fear not—surely there will be no repercussions for your reign of terror.

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

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

FRM1006E


See Also:

Average product rating:

4.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Reap what you have sown indeed

5/5

The end-game where we're used to the good guys catching up to the bad guys and stomping a mud-hole in 'em. Only now you're the bad guys. Will you indulge in the rewards so long denied you?

Personally, I recommend thoroughly abusing your power over the island. Crush the inevitable rebel scum and try to anticipate the sudden yet inevitable betrayals by (almost) all of your mini-onions.

I strongly recommend the GM exercise the "second option" to conclude the campaign. In other words, give the villains a properly sound thrashing by the Good Guys.

Kill them, kill them all, permanently.


Wages of Sin Review

4/5

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

Finally, after nearly two years, my group has been able to complete this entire Adventure Path. Like the entries before it, this chapter did not disappoint.

Strengths:
This chapter is jampacked with content. Wages of Sin is basically a giant villain sandbox and the author outright states that the GM will likely have to fill in some gaps for options that they didn't think to include. This is true to a certain extent. For example, my PC were rather interested in the world outside of Talingarde, for which the campaign offers only minimal information. However, for the most part, it seemed like almost everything my PCs wanted to do had been accounted for. I was thoroughly impressed by how often I was able to rely on the prewritten material given the open-ended nature of the campaign.

Another thing that I loved about this book was how it really made the players feel like they were powerful villains. Fights with weaker creatures were mostly handwaved, while the creatures they actually fought all felt legendary and threatening. Also, making them leaders of Talingarde they were empowered to make decisions that would affect the entire nation and have consequences for generations to come. My players really latched on to the politics of it all. Every decision was weighed heavily, as they tried to get all the things they wanted, while trying not to drive the general population into supporting the rebels.

Last, but not least, I have to talk about the final battle. At first I was a little concerned. I saw that the PCs fought the titan and his planar ally, then the combination of Belinda, Antharia and the Solar. Two encounters didn't seem like enough for an epic finale to an almost two year campaign. Boy, was I wrong. The titan went down fairly quickly, but the fight with final three took over two sessions. Belinda looks weak on paper, until you realize that she can combine Mind Blank with Greater Invisibility to become practically unfindable. Antharia is an absolute beast and borderline unhittable by traditional means. The Solar can heal like no one's buisness, all the while still attacking with her dancing greatsword. Add in the fact that all three of them have access to long duration protection spells, like spell immunity and protection from energy...well, your PCs should have a tough time. The combination is an appropriately epic final boss battle.

Weaknesses:
One criticism I had, that I have seen other reviewers mention, is the way the the game handles Princess Belinda. Essentially, she has fled the island to form her army and Mitra has given her a magic item that literally makes it impossible for the PCs to find. Now, Way of the Wicked is no stranger to railroady plot elements. However, for the most part I have been pleasantly surprised by how little of an issue that was for my players. The path the writers provided always seemed to intrigue them enough that they walked down it willingly. However, the Belinda situation in this book was noticeably frustrating for them. Essentially they had to sit there waiting for three years for her to act and they couldn't do anything to stop her.

Probably the biggest weakness of this book is pacing. When I say that this campaign took almost two years, what I really mean is that books 1, 3, 4 and 5 took about 2 months a piece. Book 2 took about 5 months. Book 6 took the rest of the time. With Book 2 I was able to cut out a lot of material, due to its fairly linear nature. However, with Book 6 that was almost impossible, since the content was entirely driven by the actions the PCs wanted to take and initially the players were reluctant to accept time skips because they wanted to get as much done as possible. It took them a while to realize that there was no shortage of in game time to do everything they wanted. The most noticeable impact was on leveling. I used the story based leveling suggestions at the back of this book for most of the campaign. However, I had to modify it a bit for this book, overwise the players would have been level 17, 19 and 20 for about two sessions each and level 18 for the remaining ten months. Instead, I let the PCs level to 19 early and did some rebalancing of later encounters. Still, while I would have liked to have seen this book paced a little more evenly and I think the players would have appreciated a bit more combat, the content was dynamic enough that the game never became too stagnant.

Conclusion:
Ulimately, despite the uneven pacing, this is another excellent addition to the Way of the Wicked adventure path. It thoroughly does its job in offering an epic conclusion to the campaign. Regarding the campaign as a whole, while I have had minor criticisms throughout, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking to run an evil game. It can be challenging for a GM, due the high level game play and it's unconventional nature. However, the payoff, at least for my table, was a unique and memorable gaming experience.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

The final chapter in the evil AP Way of the Wicked is 102 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, 2 pages maps of Talingarde, leaving us with 94 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This being a review of the final part of this AP, the following contains SPOILERS - not only for this module, but for the whole AP. Potential players are strongly advised to jump to the conclusion.

All right, still here? Cardinal Adrastus Thorn lies slain, Asmodeus has proclaimed his support of the PCs and they have risen to be High Cardinals of the lord of the ninth - but they still need to clean p their house - the knots are in place, but depending on the actions of the PCs, the remaining knots may prove to be problematic. Take for example Barnabus Thrane (who is called Thrain in text once - unfortunately but one of numerous, accumulating editing glitches throughout the module) - the spymaster and Asmodean sleeper that has infiltrated the clergy - he most definitely will become a mayor problem if the PCs have not secured his cooperation. The man knows much, but can just as well be a worthwhile asset to the PCs claiming Talingarde and changing the clergy of Mitra from within. General Barca, on the other hand, is not a valuable asset - indeed, if the PCs have not killed him and opt to put him on the throne, they'll see their grip weakened by his growing paranoia. The Devils are unproblematic allies as long as the PCs serve the Dark Lord, but what if they falter? For falter they might:

After having slain Chargammon, princess Belinda, the paragon sorceress has been granted a solar and an artifact by Mitra - a veil to hide her from the eyes of all evil-doers and from all mortal magic. A powerful tool indeed to conceal her from the prying eyes of the PCs and plot with her draconic mother Antharia Regina the downfall of the tyrants to be - but more on that later.

If you recall the Hadean Signet in Book V, well the ring awakens and starts beckoning its master to sacrifice an angel, a fiend and a creature of titan-blood to unlock its vast powers - upon the third sacrifice, though, the thanatotic titan bound to the ring is released, seeking to enslave (or kill) all. Wise villains know when to stop and may use the properties of the ring's first two phases - though honestly, I would have expected a way for the ultimate tyrants of Asmodeus' reach in Talingarde to have some way of enslaving the vastly powerful titan - perhaps by besting him in combat thrice (he respawns after 66 days as long as the ring is not destroyed...) or by torture? After all, all spirits can be broken... A bit of a pity here, but oh well. It's not that they need the titan for now, for one of the knots has actually done his job well - Cedrick malthus has gathered a vast army of deadly mercenaries and cutthroats under the command of Volker Eisenmark - provided they can pay the ships to get them to Talingarde, the PCs have a vast army of cutthroats, murderers and people eager for a fresh start - at least 20 thousand strong.

These will be the saviors of Talingarde, for another army waltzes south - Sakkarot's Horde has done its job admirably. But in order to rule a proper land and not some heaps, in order to have a capital, the betrayal must be sprung - and while Sakkarot may falter, he will not fail. Following the plan, if the PCs can show that they are the favored of the Dark Lord, he leads his army to the slaughter in fields where the PCs have a chance to shine in a grand narrative battle where they have pivotal roles in ensuring that no elite humanoids escape the slaughter to hamper the first weeks of their reign. If the PCs have hired the elite mercenary general Eisenmark and brokered a deal with the Frost Giant Queen, they may even have more benefits from this battle - chief of which would be rekindling the hope for a place to be for the Fire-Axe himself - universally loathed and sans home, the PCs could tie him up - or make him one of their fiercest allies.

Speaking of allies - if the PCs have managed to corrupt Sir Richard, he returns from the shackles of hell as an anti-paladin, presented by Dessiter as a candidate for the throne of the puppet-king - and, unbeknownst to the PCs, walking scrying focus for Dessiter. Sir Berithor is his new title and yet another piece falls into place. With the Fire-Axe defeated, the PCs can walk into the city and, after meeting a delegation (including a relative of Barca) that welcomes the unlikely saviors, present their claim to the throne. Meanwhile, the princess is off to a quest on the mainland, gathering her forces - protected, unfortunately, by a plot-fiat device. Honestly, I would have expected some clever rules, ways to bypass the artifact, at least kill her allies - instead, the artifact essentially binds the PC's hands in that regard until the final battle.

Till then, though, the tyrants run free - and the best part of the module happens. The Tyranny-sandbox. Establishing a court of people with varying degrees of usefulness (and ambitions), the PCs have 3 years to enjoy their reign and manage their kingdom. While in the background, the might-score of the kingdom represents the overall power of Talingarde - and almost all decisions have consequences. And oh boy, are there things to do: From the court's machinations to the religious question of whether/how to legalize Asmodeus/ treat the Mitran church, coronation ceremonies etc., the PCs will have to make decisions fast: Whether to worm their way into the hearts of the Mitran believers or usher in brutal pogroms, it's all up to the PCs. Speaking of purging opposition - exterminating the blood of house Darius is an option, though taking them hostage might be wiser and aid them in the long run. Speaking of aid: If they are smart, they may find records of the remaining Knights of Alerion as well, netting them a chance to surgically remove the best remaining soldiers of the Talingarde resistance. Speaking of resistance - if the PCs take heed of their traitor's court, they may get the necessary information to take down one superbly stealthy leader of the resistance.

But there are also tasks that require the PCs to deal with: Take the problem of the Irean barbarians of the Caer Bryr: These clans may be unified - a free bonus army for the PCs - but only if they manage to exploit a prophecy of the people and kill a primal bandersnatch, the legendary Caothach Ool to show that they are the chosen ones. In the Caer Bryr, the PCs may by the way also revive the noble tradition of unicorn hunting to fill the coffers of their nation... Of course, cracking down on the resistance, razing a village to the ground that openly defies their rule, gaining the service of the Barcan nobles and their griffon knights, redecorating the palace, legalizing prostitution and/or slavery - the latter serving as a prerequisite to legalize bloodsports (and gladiator veterans), rebuilding Balantyne and fortifying and finally conquering the North, rebuilding Daveryn etc. are a lot of interesting things to occupy the PC's time. Finding a way to ensure their army remains happy is yet another issue to handle, as are the battle-nuns and the fact that the duergar are problematic allies at best, prime candidates to be betrayed to the regular dwarves to gain their loyalty as a vassal state.

Allying with the reclusive Yutak, killing an elder kraken plaguing the trade-routes, side-quests in the Agathium, Grumblejack having prophetic dreams, dealing with a duke that could spell trouble, surviving an assassination-attempt by 2 mariliths and their demonic servants, rooting out the last outbreak of the Tears of Achlys, children praying for salvation and an angelic host(a great way to really screw up public relations),marrying a beautiful, wicked lady and make her queen - there is a lot going on. While darkness stirs in the North - a seeping shadow of invulnerable antilife seeps from a cavern where ancient tables lie, guarded by shoggoths: Stopping the all-consuming shadows and claiming the tables may add yet another dread weapon to the PC's arsenal. The Minions the PCs may still have also have up to 23 different tasks waiting for them - and then, after 3 all too short years....she returns.

The Pcs will reap what they have sown, with each of the different decisions resulting in modifications to Belinda's army or their own. And the saviors waste no time - the final stretch of the AP kicks off with 2 angels showing up above the city, preaching hope and seeking to wreck the palace. An aerial battle thus kicks off the final battle for Talingarde's soul -soon to be followed by an assassination attempt by Solomon Tyrath, high inquisitor of Mitra - hopefully they can make Naburus join their cause - and hopefully, they did not make Berithor king. For the ghost of his mother shows up - and he repents. Kills Dessiter. Becomes a paladin again. And delivers a final stand - to die and be claimed by the heavenly host, his contract voided by repentance.
And then, the final battle is upon them. They may even study the battle of the Victor fought in the same locale. And then lead their army into the final battle. Versus the last hope of Talingarde, Princess Belinda, Antharia Regina, the elysian titan God-hammer and a solar of Mitra. And then, there are two ways to end the campaign - win the insanely difficult final fight. Or suffer the fate of villains - abandoned by allies, more Mitran angels join the fray, ensuring the fate of the PCs. And thus, in which way you choose, ends the Way of the Wicked.

The supplemental material of this issue has Jason Bulmahn contribute 6 additional Asmodean spells, 8 magic items to insert into the campaign if you choose to. And finally, the last 3 pages contain a timeline for the whole campaign.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are the weak spots of this pdf - much like almost all issues of the AP, several easily avoidable typos, glitches and minor issues mar the AP and show that a second set of eyes editing this would have helped. Layout adheres to FMG's drop-dead gorgeous 2-column full color standard and the book is BEAUTIFUL. Michael Clarke's renditions of key enemies, almost all of them spanning full pages, rank among the best in the whole AP. On a formal level, the scarce bookmarks feel a bit unpleasant, much like in the predecessors - nested bookmarks would especially in the tyrant-section been appropriate. The pdf comes in two versions, one slightly more printer-friendly and, rather cool, the AP comes with an 9-page pdf of player-friendly maps and handouts - awesome!

Oh boy. Usually the editing glitches would mean that I rate this module down. And e.g. a certain archmage's plot-thread has not been addressed. But the sheer amount of loose ends being tied in this module is AWESOME. The Tyrant-sandbox is glorious and something only all too rarely seen. The final battle is brilliant.

This module is epic and ranks among the finest final installments of any AP I've ever read. The power of the foes arrayed, the amount of consequences the PCs face - all these made me grin and want more - and look forward to Throne of Night. Since part 2 of the AP, not a single installment has had me that excited, that euphoric, that delighted by offering something truly different - at levels not usually supported by APs. Cool, deadly and truly a book centering on being villainous, I only wished more space in the overall AP would have been devoted to doing such things. Running Talingarde - for better or for worse for the villains is a sufficiently epic change of pace before a final confrontation of insane difficulty. If I had one complaint regarding the narrative, it would be the magical gizmo-stealth of Belinda. At least offering a chance to take down the solar or the dragon would have been more prudent in my mind - but then again, this is not about being fair. This is about reaping what was sown - and Fire Mountain Games, in spite of the scarce bookmarks and editing glitches, for this stellar module, reaps 5 stars + seal of approval for being innovative, cool and providing a joyous read that will have you cackle with glee - just remember that the fires of hell are waiting to claim you and that failure is not an option in the eyes of the dark lord...

Endzeitgeist out.


The PCs have finally become true masters of evil...but to what end?

5/5

It is said that all evil needs to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That may be true, but what about when good men (and women…and dragons, celestials, and so many more) do, in fact, do something? Can evil still be triumphant then? That’s the question that has been posed throughout the Way of the Wicked adventure path, from Fire Mountain Games, and the final answer is presented in the sixth and final book in the series, The Wages of Sin.

The Wages of Sin is presented in three files: the main book, a printer-friendly version thereof, and a set of player handouts. The player handouts are, for the most part, maps with the GM-only information removed, though one illustration is there too. The counterparts, with the GM information added, are found in the main book.

The printer-friendly file is the main file down to a “T,” save for turning the page borders into grayscale and removing the page backgrounds. This may sound like a lot, but it still preserves all of the interior illustrations, all in full color. I maintain that this detracts from the “printer-friendly” part of the equation, especially since several of these illustrations take up an entire page (though, to be fair, that does mean you can skip over those pages altogether).

It’s on that note that I do need to talk about the illustrations again. Michael Clarke’s talent is on full display once again, with a large number of full-color illustrations, many of which, as noted, take up an entire page. The artwork here is gorgeous, enough so that I wish that there was a separate file of just the art so that it could be shown to the players without needing to let them see the accompanying text (on the non-full-page illustrations, I mean). Heck, I just wish that there was an artbook of this material for its own sake.

The main file is just over a hundred pages long. While it does allow for copy-and-pasting the text, and there are bookmarks present, said bookmarks are to each of the book’s major sections only; there are no nested bookmarks to go to sub-sections, which is a shame.

The Wages of Sin opens with the usual introduction from the author, which is noteworthy this time because he talks about the issue of how to end the campaign; specifically, he calls into question whether you want to end on a note of evil victorious or evil undone, and discusses, albeit briefly, the pros and cons of each, insofar as what your players would like. I was actually somewhat impressed with this, since it brings up what I think is an interesting distinction in how the campaign ending can be approached – whether from a more personal point of view (e.g. “I don’t want my character to be defeated while on the cusp of total victory!”) or from a more poetic, narrative standpoint (e.g. “and so our PCs’ evil finally catches up to them, and they earn their just deserts.”). It’s an interesting dichotomy to consider.

The adventure background presents, well…the background for the adventure. More specifically, it goes over some of the things that have been happening outside the PCs knowledge to set things into motion, which isn’t unbelievable despite having five books’ worth of material behind them at this point. More specifically, we get the background on what Princess Bellinda (the last, best hope for Talinguarde) has been up to, and the information about the here-to-fore unknown Sixth Knot.

We then move on to the first major section of the book, which takes place shortly after the PCs successfully overthrew their master at end of the previous adventure. Now, the PCs are in charge…or are they? In fact, being in command is more than just having thrown off the shackles of servitude; it means actually taking control of the existing operation, enforcing their will on their comrades in evil, and keeping the late Cardinal Thorn’s plans on track.

Several events in this section focus on just that, as the PCs need to deal with the various factions remaining in the service of Hell, ending the “threat” of the humanoid army marching towards the capital, and then formally assuming control of the nation. Several of the events here revolve around existing NPCs that the PCs have dealt with before, and the author does a fairly good job of noting not only how these scenarios could play out based on what the PCs have done before now, but how they still could depending on what the PCs do.

My major complaint about this section was the sidebar near the end on why Princess Bellinda can’t be discovered and hunted down prematurely by the PCs. It’s not necessarily that she has a mcguffin item that makes her impossible to find, it’s that this is plainly acknowledged by the text, rather than giving her mcguffin stats. While all adventure paths are railroads to some degree, the major draw of this last adventure is that after so long being under the command of another, the PCs are now free to do what they want. This freedom is, for the most part, celebrated in this adventure…except where Bellinda is concerned. The text about her artifact makes it clear that there’s nothing the PCs can do to find her, and so the endgame can’t be tampered with (very much). It strikes me as a bit of a cop-out; at least give the thing game mechanics so that it’s conceivable, if unlikely, that the player-characters could have a chance of overcoming it.

Act two is the real meat of the book, being fully half of its page-count. It’s here that the PCs are at their pinnacle of glory. They are now in command of the nation that once condemned them; this section is given to all of the things that they can do – and that they must do – now that Talinguard is theirs. While various points in the campaign have been fairly open-ended in what the PCs could do, this is the largest the sandbox has ever been in the Way of the Wicked.

For one thing, the PCs are given several years of game time to indulge themselves. Over this, thirty different events are presented. Some of these are things that the PCs can do for themselves (do you want to legalize prostitution? How about the slave trade?), while others are things that happen during the course of their reign (e.g. assassins!). Insightfully, these events are set to take up set blocks of time, making them easy to adjudicate during the PCs’ rule over Talinguarde.

What really makes these events stand out is their scope. While some of these are issues of domestic policy, such as whether or not to erect temples to Asmodeus, others are much more grand. Do the PCs want to send their army to the north and wipe out the remaining humanoids (and other creatures) there, conquering the whole island? What about opening trade with foreign nations? There are many things the PCs can do to reshape the political and social lay of the land as they desire. As a bonus, there are almost two dozen additional actions that are specifically meant for the PCs minions (using the rules first introduced in the second adventure).

Event three is where it all starts to fall apart. Bellinda is back, and depending on how the PCs ran things, the degree to which the domestic populace flocks to her banner can vary wildly. Only a half-dozen events are here, and some of these are fairly low-key events like tallying up the respective sizes of the PCs army versus the Princess’s. Several individuals play out their last scenes, and the stage is pretty well set by the time things are ended here.

The fourth event is the finale to everything, as the two major armies clash. The PCs’ main opponents here are Bellinda and her immediate retinue, set against the backdrop of the battle. The bulk of this section discusses the battlefield itself, and the hefty stat blocks for the good guys, each one taking up about a page.

Somewhat disappointingly, what’s here doesn’t quite seem to tie together as strongly as I would have liked. For example, there’s several paragraphs of discussion given to the nature of the terrain on the battlefield, but the practical context of this (e.g. what happens if the PCs try to march their army through disadvantageous terrain) isn’t discussed. Likewise, the book uses a numerical score as a shorthand for determining the strength of the PCs’ army versus Bellinda’s…but while the results of this score are indicated clearly, it’s only in terms of how the setup looks, and not the actual outcome (e.g. you can read that score X means that your army outnumbers Bellinda’s four to one…but that doesn’t mean that you win).

The outcome appears to be entirely predicated on whether or not the PCs can kill Bellinda and her retinue, the lynchpin of the final battle. Hence, this seems to make the preceding sections somewhat superfluous. Whether the PCs have their army avoid the rough terrain, or whether or not their forces are a match for Bellinda’s army…all seems to come to naught, regardless of the final outcomes. What matters is this one last fight, and as that goes, so does the final battle. It’s a very poor integration of the wider implications for the PCs large-scale tactical knowledge, and the practical ramifications of how they conducted themselves as rulers of the nation.

A single-page epilogue is given next. It’s surprisingly poignant, allowing each player a turn to write their character’s final impact on the campaign, before the GM brings the curtain down. I was slightly surprised at the tone of finality here; I’m much more used to how Paizo gives us an entire section at the end of each of their adventure paths devoted to what you can do to continue the campaign, if you and your players are so inclined. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by that, but I find the absence of such a section here to be somewhat disappointing. Three or four meaty adventure hooks, and a CR 20+ stat block for some future foe, could have made for some very interesting material for enterprising GMs.

Several new evil spells and magic items appear next, courtesy of Jason Bulmahn. A sidebar addresses the irony of virtually none of these (save for one item) appearing in the adventure itself; of course, that’s somewhat expected, since the PCs are likely to be the one using these. What’s far more interesting, however, is the campaign timeline that’s presented as the last item in the book. This walks us through a chronological reading of the entire campaign, denoting which book the various events occur in, and what the PCs’ levels are, alongside dates and years. This really helps to lay down the feeling that this is a campaign that takes some time, as by the end of it over five years have passed. This chronology was far more interesting than I’d have suspected.

One thing I haven’t noted thus far is that the book does have some errors that crop up periodically, which is irking. For example, I noticed several spelling and grammatical errors throughout the book; not many, but enough. Likewise, some stat blocks had errors in them. While this can’t be helped much when you’re facing such high-level creatures, things like incorrect CRs were a recurring problem.

Of course, these don’t detract from the adventure very much at all. It’s here that wickedness reaches its fullest flower, and your PCs get to enjoy it greatly. They’ve become not only mover and shakers, but at last have reached their full potential as conquerors and tyrants, and they get to enjoy all that comes with it. This is the payoff that they’ve been working towards from the beginning of the campaign, and it’s in spades. If you and your group manage to get this far, you’ll have a great deal of fun reveling in The Wages of Sin.


101 to 150 of 207 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Axial wrote:

So...

No standing army, very few divine spellcasters, and almost no arcane spellcasters?

Seems to me like Talingarde was screwed all along.

Spoiler:

Talingarde had a standing army (in the feudal sense) in the North. That army in the borderlands had been fighting Sakkarot for many months unsuccessfully before the great bugbear generally finally sacked the city of Daveryn.

When they gathered their great army of the South to break Sakkarot, they likely would have won save for the treachery of their general.

As for divine spellcasters, Talingarde was lousy with them. "Was" is the operative word. When the PCs made their surgical attack against Valtaerna, they took many of those resources from the army.

If Talingarde had a weakness, it was their distrust of arcane spellcasters. Still, Balentyne had Tacitus and we can presume a wizard or two could be found in service to all the other watchtowers. Arcane casters were few but present.

But I do agree with you -- they were screwed all along. This war was always going to go disastrously for them (up until perhaps the end). Adrastus understood Talingarde too personally and too profoundly. He knew their strengths and weaknesses and knew right where to hit them.

And he was ruthless in punishing his former home. Such treachery is a recipe for disaster.

Hope that helps!

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


It did. Thank you. :)

There was one more issue that kind of stuck in my mind...Verochanza. First off, If you're running a "Golarionized" version of this campaign, you could probably just replace it with Cheliax. But then that would create the plot hole of having a large, powerful devil-worshipping empire in the setting and not having it be prominent in regards to the campaign. Unless you retcon out Cedrus Malthus' mercenary army and replace it with 20,000 Cheliaxian soldiers landing in Talingarde.

No, the big problem for me was that if you hurt the one noblewoman (forgot her name) they send 3,000 troops to help Bellinda. But this is a country where worship of Asmodeus is described as open, why would Bellinda accept their help?


Axial,

Daddy may love Asmodeus, but he loves his precious daughter more. And Bellinda...she is just desperate enough not to look a gift horse in the mouth. After the war is won, she will make sure those mercenaries get a one-way ticket back home.

Gary McBride
Throne of Night Kickstarter is up and running! Which are you -- a dwarven hero or a drow villain?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd take what Gary said there literally, that they are mercenaries. I could see a desperate Bellinda responding to an offer of support from Cheliax by saying, "I will not allow Asmodeans into my host, but should you care to purchase the services of a reputable mercenary company and put them at my disposal, that is aid I will accept and you will have a hand in avenging your daughter's fate."

It's a good question, though. I'm also plugging the campaign into Golarion (two weeks sail west of Varisia and Cheliax) and am trying to think about the mechanics and politics of Cheliax.

Grand Lodge

I was just wondering, and thinking, would it be too much for the PCs if you took Teuthia Stormsinger, and added the half-titan template from Bloodlines and Bastards to her? It'd be +5 CR and make her AC 44.


Have to wonder if victorious if the new Mitrian kingdom will still be doing the same things the old one will. We've seen plenty of racism and corruption going around and would the dwarves and northern people be denied their homelands, religons, and new kingdoms under Belinda's rule like they were before?


Andrea1,

If Belinda is victorious, we can hope that she learned a thing or two from her time in the wilderness. The House of Darius, though inarguably good and noble, could stand to gain a good measure of humility.

Gary McBride
Support Throne of Night, Fire Mountain Game's next adventure path


Also an interesting thing about the 'legacy' that PCs can do at the end.

Spoiler:
If the PCs manage to pull off a united Talingard, than would Belinda bury the evidance and claim credit for herself. or would she grudgingly admit that the PCs did would the previous kings never could do?

Grand Lodge

I don't normally promote Kickstarters on other people's threads, but if you want the perfect mini for Book 6, you have to check this out.

Webstore Gninja Minion

BOOM. We just got "The Wages of Sin" in-stock—get them before they're gone!


Outstanding!


Yay! Mine just shipped!


Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to GMS magazine and NErdtrek, posted it here, on OBS and on d20pfsrd.com's shop. Cheers!


Endzeitgeist,

As always thanks for the review! Greatly appreciated!

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


(This is right off the top of my head so heavy editing would be needed)

Welcome your Highness, the United Land of Talingarde greets you and your retinue and thank you for allowing our emmisary to deliver this letter.

To begin with, we are very much aware of the reasons why you have returned to this land and there is no excuse or explination that we can offer that will mollify you, but we ensure you that the Grand Architect of the past events is no longer on this plane of existance. The 'good' Cardinal has been sent to his due judgement.

No doubt you are fully prepared to muster your armies against us but instead of inflicting yet another devestating war upon this land we offer a btter option, if you agree to meet us in a diplomatic setting you will be given the full rights as a diplomatic envoy(please see enclosed letter for full benefits) by doing so you will be treated with all due respect and be given a voice in the future of this land. Please take your time to consider this offer.

Sincerely,
The United Land of Talingard(titles,etc,etc)

TL;DR: Instead of a final battle the PCs cut the legs out of it by giving the Princess full Diplomatic Immunity and even potentially lands(The north seems rather empty right now) if she enters negotiations with the new Kingdom. This is absolutly on the level. No 'heheheheheh, you believed us?' What this would do is make the setting to what it was before Mitra began the purge of Asmodeus and the other lands, a place where various religons and people existed together. If not in harmony, then more tolerance.


I've seen it mentioned a few times in the threads for WotW, but what is Minion Quest?


MinionQuest is a supplemental product planned as part of WotW book 7, which is one of the rewards for the Throne of Night kickstarter. It willf eature quests for Grumblejack and similar fan favorite minions.

Hope that helps!


Endzeitgeist is quite correct. To expand a little, MinionQuest is three completely optional sidequests where instead of playing the bad guys ruthlessly conquering Talingarde you play their much put upon, unfairly treated underlings.

MinionQuest is intended to be used as three one-shots that over the course of the campaign allow for humorous interludes as a change of pace to the usually serious tone of "Way of the Wicked".

And yes, they've just been funded on Kickstarter and will come out sometime hopefully early next year.

MinionQuest I was run at PaizoCon last year. MinionQuest II will premier this year. MinionQuest III -- who knows?

Success in MinionQuest is mostly measured by not getting eaten by the PCs' pet ogre.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Endzeitgeist is quite correct. To expand a little, MinionQuest is three completely optional sidequests where instead of playing the bad guys ruthlessly conquering Talingarde you play their much put upon, unfairly treated underlings.

MinionQuest is intended to be used as three one-shots that over the course of the campaign allow for humorous interludes as a change of pace to the usually serious tone of "Way of the Wicked".

And yes, they've just been funded on Kickstarter and will come out sometime hopefully early next year.

Good news!

Fire Mountain Games wrote:

Success in MinionQuest is mostly measured by not getting eaten by the PCs' pet ogre.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Ah, so that's why the villains keep Grumblejack around! He's in charge of management-employee relations.


Well, this adventure path looks pretty good, and the reviews are positive, both for the individual parts and overall.

Looks like $60 is as far as my budget will stretch at this point.

I have looked at the new kickstarter (which also looks very interesting) but I cant afford both. So it looks like it is better the devil you know, and I think I will get the WotW PDF's.

I have a few questions.

1) Will part 7 of this AP (from the KS) be commercially available once completed, or is this a KS exclusive?

2) Will the Throne of Night AP be available for non-KS backers? Is the price likely to be in line with what I see here ($10 per PDF)?

3) (Sorry if this seems overly miserly or cheap, but I don't have unlimited funds) - Given $10 per PDF price here =$60 total, would it not be better for me to back the KS @ $1 level then add the $57 for the WotW Pdf's (Saving a whopping $2!!!). The REAL reason for this question relates to the $32 page adventure at the $40000 level on the KS. As I plan to eventually get the Throne of Night AP, I want the 32 page adventure too, but again, can't really afford both this and the WotW book 7 at the same time. Might be able to stretch a few dollars for the bonus adventure though, given this appears to be an exclusive.

4) Part of the reason I actually do like buying on Paizo is the ability to re-download files in case of bad things happening on my computer. If I WAS to be able to back the KS, would there be a download service in place to re-download files etc, should I need to? (I know this is getting a bit off-topic - sorry). Ideally, I would like to receive delivery via Paizo...are there any plans for this?

Sorry for all the questions and thankyou for your time :)

Jaynay

Grand Lodge

1) Book 7 was originally KS exclusive, but I'm not sure if Gary's changed that or not. Definitely good incentive.

2) Yes, Throne of Night will be available to everyone. It's just that getting the funds now instead of later means we get access to it now instead of MUCH later.

3) Yes, that would be the better way to go about it. While you're not saving a lot, it will help the KS get to the adventure quicker and get you what you're wanting.

4) When everything's done, you should be getting a pdf coupon, good for DriveThru or Paizo. When the time comes Gary will be more forthcoming with that information.


Wow - that was quick!

Thanks heaps for the response :)

Ultimately I may be able to get both (work is changing our holiday pay system as we are getting pro-rata - woohoo!), but it might arrive after the KS ends, and I don't want to miss out on exclusive KS gear (whether that is the 32 page adventure or the WotW book 7).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This could probably apply to any of the books but the opportunity seems the most obvious with Book 6, so....

Is anyone else thinking of ways to incorporate the rules from Ultimate Campaign (new PF sourcebook) into Way of the Wicked, particularly as to Kingdom building? I just got the .pdf yesterday so I haven't had time to really dig into it. Unfortunately, the rules seem to be based on the assumption of a kindly or well-intentioned kingdom, rather than a despotic evil autocracy. (Indeed, this is acknowledged at one point, with an observation that GMs will need to come up with alternate tables for evil kingdoms... thanks.) So, is anyone else looking at this or doing it (so I don't have to recreate the wheel)?

(PS, If you don't have the book, it looks like the kingdom building rules are, surprise surprise, drawn from the Kingmaker AP.)

Grand Lodge

SnowHeart wrote:
(PS, If you don't have the book, it looks like the kingdom building rules are, surprise surprise, drawn from the Kingmaker AP.)

Drawn from, but everyone keeps telling me that they've been improved upon. I have to take their word for it seeing as how I haven't read either Kingmaker or the new Ultimate Campaign book.


Re:Snowheart.

While the PCs can most certainly go LOLevil, I think there should be plenty of room for a Dr.Doom style kingdom that is competently run and even allows other religions.(Although is a subservient role. Kind of like Cheliax, pay your taxes and stay small and prayers soft and you can stay.)


Hey Gary, how possible would it be to run a Good campaign set after Bellinda's defeat and the fall of Talingarde? The PCs would be resistance fighters, clerics of Mitra, paladins, et cetera.

The goal would be to survive in a Diabolist-ruled Talingarde and eventually fight back against the regime, sort of like a reverse-Way of The Wicked.

Even better, if you've already played through the campaign, you can set up the PCs as the kingdom's dreaded rulers. ;)

It'd be sort of like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_%28role-playing_game%29

Grand Lodge

Axial wrote:

Hey Gary, how possible would it be to run a Good campaign set after Bellinda's defeat and the fall of Talingarde? The PCs would be resistance fighters, clerics of Mitra, paladins, et cetera.

The goal would be to survive in a Diabolist-ruled Talingarde and eventually fight back against the regime, sort of like a reverse-Way of The Wicked.

Even better, if you've already played through the campaign, you can set up the PCs as the kingdom's dreaded rulers. ;)

It'd be sort of like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_%28role-playing_game%29

I don't think it'd be hard at all. Especially considering the PCs are eventually supposed to take over the whole world. It doesn't even have to be on Talingarde.

That being said, after Throne of Night, Gary had mention contemplating doing a sequel to Way of the Wicked, which included expanding the tyranny beyond the island. It would be decades later, and you'd be playing offspring of the previous characters.


Axial,

As a fan of Midnight (I own every book, even the DVD), I completely approve of using "Way of the Wicked" to transition into a Midnight-esque campaign.

That would be a hell of a campaign setup. If you ever run this, I'd love to hear about the actual play.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


kevin_video wrote:
That being said, after Throne of Night, Gary had mention contemplating doing a sequel to Way of the Wicked, which included expanding the tyranny beyond the island. It would be decades later, and you'd be playing offspring of the previous characters.

That's awesome


Is there even any safe place for Mitra's followers after the campaign ends? I'm trying to think of what would be a good place for the PC's to start. It's not easy living in the midst of a totalitarian, diabolist regime.

Also, how many years would it take for the Asmodean government to become well-entrenched?

Grand Lodge

Axial wrote:

Is there even any safe place for Mitra's followers after the campaign ends? I'm trying to think of what would be a good place for the PC's to start. It's not easy living in the midst of a totalitarian, diabolist regime.

Also, how many years would it take for the Asmodean government to become well-entrenched?

Well the entire 6th book is having them become entrenched so another additional year? Depends on how much of the sandbox quests they did before, and how many you'd have them do off-screen afterwards.

As for where they'd start, there's the mountains, the forests, sewers, caves, or maybe an NPC that's only pretending to on their side has an underground bunker for them to hide out in.


Or maybe as a minor, marginalized faith that is buried under paperwork and taxes. As stated before, multiple faithes including Asmodeus were present before the Mitraians did the takeover. So what worse fate than to know they could have been wiped out utterly but must now kowtow to a new theocracy?

Grand Lodge

Just e-mailed Gary this and I'm hoping for a response. It's something that'll need to get added to Book 7, and other errata.

I just re-read Book 4 and this quote is in Fire Axe's speech to the PCs:
“He has bestowed me with mighty gifts. I am most famous for my axe, true enough, but even more than that, he gave me this.” He reaches up and removes an iron circlet that had blended into his black fur.
“This crown of iron – it makes me wise and wary. I am able to speak to my people with authority. It makes me truly worthy of being a king.” He replaces it and it again fades from view.

However, in Book 6, he wears no such headgear.
Gear The Fire Axe (+4 unholy flaming burst greataxe), +2 unrighteous full plate, Belt of Physical Might +4 (Str, Con)

What's the headgear? Is it a iron circlet with Wisdom +4? Circlet of Persuasion? Headband of intuition? Mental Prowess?


Here we go, last book!

Some very evil and nefarious planning here!

Spoiler:
The players have finally conquered Talingarde! They went to the knot that was buying the mercenary army, give him 225.000 gold, and bring 20.000 thieves and 5.000 Eisenhert mercenaries. To do so, they first located the Kraken, and made a deal (3.000 per month AND a virgin per month), so they could bring the army in the closest path possible.
After some evil planning they did a bit of scheming, they convinced most of the governing council (while Belinda is out). They offered Barca house the destruction of Darian house. They offered Richter house a Barony in Barrington, as well as some Darian lands. They offered the merchant the possibility to open brothels, AND the monopoly over the new safe trading route through the Path of the Kraken IF he pays for it the 3000gp and a Virgin. The mayor was said that the new army will keep Matheryn safe.

Finally, they made a very villaneous thing. They used Plannar Binding to call, and bind, a Trumpet Archon. Forced him to go to the High Cardinal, and tell him that he will be asked for something that will be tough, but he must say yes, for the greater good of Talingarde. Then they offered the council to bring an army, which could save the kingdom. An army lead by Sir Robert of Havelin, and wearing an Asmodean Banner.

With the governing council agreeing, they went to kill every bugbear possible. They didn't even had to face the giants, as they already have Storm Giants skeletons riding Great Wyrms fast zombies and a bloody skeleton of a Linnorm, plus several Plannar Binded cornugons, summoned monsters, and other stuff. We didn't even made the fight, as it was absurd. A single Reverse Gravity from the wizard wins it.

They went to the lavish crowning, they started to build the Asmodean Cathedral (in the addarium). Then they made a visit to Hadrian of Glastenhall AND to Prince Gaius.
They felt the noble house of Glastenhall wasn't very receptive, although it was very polite. Talking with the vampire, they found his price. A heir for House Glastenhall.

Then they researched a bit about the Hadrian Signet, and with Visions, they found it was a very old ring, from the time the Titans were in earth. They learned it will grow in power if an Angel, a Demon and a Titan are sacrificed to them. They also know it has something to do with Conjuration.

And we left the game there. They already know what they can do, and have several villaineous plans. It'll be interesting :)


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Here we go, last book!

Some very evil and nefarious planning here!
** spoiler omitted **...

:
Wouldn't it be more satisfying, if not outright villaineous if they let other religons in to set up shop? They would be subserviant and pay their taxes, not challenge the ruling church but the remaining Mitrians would have to eat it that they exist by the leave of the Asmodain church.

Think of it kind of like Dr.Doom, Lavatra(sp) is ruled with an iron fist but they have high technology, medical care and a high standard of living, all displays of Doom's power.


Well, my chars haven't

Spoiler:
forbidden Mitran church yet. They are planning to remove the current High Cardinal, to then replace him with a puppet (they think about Barnabus Thrane.

What they did, though, is to make Asmodean church a legal religion again.


Well, few interesting stuff.

The players have legalized slavery and prostitution, brought back the Colisseum, defeated the Bandersnatch (antimagic field version, which killed the rogue in a single pounce), killed the Kraken, and corrupted the mitran church (the inquisitor, who is a Infiltrator, is the new High Cardinal, suplanting the dead Daveryn cardinal.)
They are currently filthy rich, and very high level. Already casting lvl 9 stuff.

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Well, few interesting stuff.

The players have legalized slavery and prostitution, brought back the Colisseum, defeated the Bandersnatch (antimagic field version, which killed the rogue in a single pounce), killed the Kraken, and corrupted the mitran church (the inquisitor, who is a Infiltrator, is the new High Cardinal, suplanting the dead Daveryn cardinal.)
They are currently filthy rich, and very high level. Already casting lvl 9 stuff.

I didn't know there was an AMF version of the bandersnatch.


kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Well, few interesting stuff.

The players have legalized slavery and prostitution, brought back the Colisseum, defeated the Bandersnatch (antimagic field version, which killed the rogue in a single pounce), killed the Kraken, and corrupted the mitran church (the inquisitor, who is a Infiltrator, is the new High Cardinal, suplanting the dead Daveryn cardinal.)
They are currently filthy rich, and very high level. Already casting lvl 9 stuff.

I didn't know there was an AMF version of the bandersnatch.

Here it is:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/bandersnat ch/bandersnatch-magicbane

It loses the Su abilities like the confusing gaze, but it's really worth it. It surprised the PC (being impossible to track, and great tracker) The best perception roll was about 11 points above his stealth, which means it was revealed 110' away. It got a good initiative, and managed to charge through the difficult terran, pouncing the rogue. With 20'x20', plus 20' reach to both sides, it cover a HUGE area. The rogue insta-died, and he started to make AOO against everybody else, grabing the vampire with his bite. They have a Darkskull with Freedom of Movement for all Asmodean worshipers, but the AMF impedes that.

However, the wizard moved out of the zone, as well as the Inquisitor, taking AOO. I noticed I could had TPK the whole group right there. I just needed to trip with the oportunity attacks, instead of doing damage, and then it would be very hard for them to leave his zone (combat reflexes give him 7 AOO).
Once out of the AMF, the wizard Time-Stoped, buffed the inquisitor, and it did a good 250+ hp damage from out of the AMF. Then the vampire took damage (but survived, he has more than 330hp), and the inquisitor finished it the next round.

Anti Magic Field is bassically the only trait that give them problems


The evil kingdom is near to it's finish.

The Players have done every wicked deal they have thought about. They killed both Shoggoth (which are now zombie shoggoth...) and they completelly destroyed House Darius. They know that Bellinda's army is in Talingarde, and they have heard about the powerful party she has.

Next week we'll do a few combats, and probably the next one it'll be the last one. Great campaign


Campaign finished!
The final combat was decently long, although the good guys had little offensive power. They had good defenses though

Spoiler:
I made a big fight against all the good guys. The Titan, the Solar, the silver wyrm, and Bellinda. All of them in the same fight.

I changed the hadean signet though. I allowed the rogue with it to gate in Menoteus when he want, but requiring a bargain and a charisma roll to convince him to do a service. They gated for him in the battle, and thus both titans fought for a couple rounds.

The good guys had several buffing spells running. Greater heroism, mind blank + invisibility, communal greater spell immunity, and so on. However, a well placed scroll of Disjunction used by the rogue, changed the fate of the fight soon. The disjunction destroyed most buffs, and thus allowed the PC to cast their Mazes on the enemies. Bellinda did some damage with her meteors and maximized fireballs, but nothing really threatening. The party tank, for example, is a vampire with 404hp, plus the ability to gain temp hp through blood drain (which he did before the battle). The most fun moment was when Bellinda used a Wish to raise her mother (who was just killed by the party wizard). Then Antharia tried to cast Imprison on the group's Eidolon... only to get it bounced back with Spell Turning. The fun part is... she failed her save!

The titan could cast Freedom, but he also was killed that turn. Bellinda tried to wish for Brontus resurrection, but she was countered with a greater dispel magic from the summoner. That was pretty much the end. A round later, Phaetysa died, and shortly after that, Bellinda died too.

I could had changed the NPC spells a bit more than I did, but I thought the fight was good enough this way, and overloading Save or Suck spells would make several players very frustrated, skipping most of the fight.


In the end, a good fight. Talingarde is evil, and will remain so for a lot of time

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Campaign finished!

The final combat was decently long, although the good guys had little offensive power. They had good defenses though

** spoiler omitted **
In the end, a good fight. Talingarde is evil, and will remain so for a lot of time

So are you guys done, done? Or are you going to do the 'what happens afterwards' stuff and maybe sent a celestial tarrasque after the party?


No, we are done.

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:

No, we are done.

Cool. What's the next campaign you guys have in mind? Homebrew? Another adventure path?


Is this product no longer available?

Grand Lodge

Wiggz wrote:
Is this product no longer available?

All of the books are available as pdfs.


And on drivethru printable! :)


kevin_video wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
Is this product no longer available?
All of the books are available as pdfs.

Trying to buy the hardcover - don't want an incomplete set. Got a good link elsewhere on the boards this morning as to where I can find some.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

A question regarding Antharia Regina (silver dragon):

The text on page 82, as well as the map on page 79, shows the dragon is perched invisible on the lesser spire.

Yet, the "tactics" text in her stat-block (page 85) says she is in disguise (as a typical knight) alongside her daughter the princess.

Clarification?

Grand Lodge

Banesfinger wrote:

A question regarding Antharia Regina (silver dragon):

The text on page 82, as well as the map on page 79, shows the dragon is perched invisible on the lesser spire.

Yet, the "tactics" text in her stat-block (page 85) says she is in disguise (as a typical knight) alongside her daughter the princess.

Clarification?

I saw that too. I figured it was just options based on how well or poorly the PCs did. Regina wouldn't want her daughter to be taken out by mooks and will likely fight alongside her if things get hairy.

101 to 150 of 207 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Way of the Wicked—Book #6: The Wages of Sin (PFRPG) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.