Adventure Path Iconics: Path of the Wicked (PFRPG) PDF

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Fire Mountain Games has blazed a trail to the dark side with the first adventure path for evil characters for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Games. They have taken what many GMs consider to be the bane of their existence—an entire party of evil player characters—and turned it into a critically acclaimed and highly popular series of adventures. What you have before you is a product designed to get you into the game quickly by providing eight pregenerated characters designed specifically to be run in an Evil Adventure Path. Each character is built using a 25 point buy, as recommended by the writers of the AP. There are four human PCs. Their stat blocks are accompanied by detailed backgrounds and reasons enough for these dark souls to go forth and wreak havoc through the land, including the details of how they came to be incarcerated in the Prison of the Branded, where the adventure begins.

The iconic consist of four human characters and four unique races from the NeoExodus: A House Divided campaign setting such as:

  • Cavian: Creatures of myth, whispered in legend, lost in the mists of history – and now returned for reasons unknown to any but themselves. Such are the cavians, a race of humanoid rodents noted for their incredible psionic abilities.
  • Kalisan: Calibans are pale-white humanoid creatures native to the north of Exodus. Over time, many calibans have migrated to other parts and are now found in almost every parts of Exodus. Calibans have a well-deserved reputation for cannibalism and savagery. Kalisans are the most civilized of their race and are indistinguishable physically from their feral caliban cousins, although calibans can distinguish one another. Calibans tend to be much more feral and are less suited to be player characters. However the Kalisans are well-adapted.
  • P’Tan: In ancient times, the First Ones enslaved all of Exodus; their plans were served well by countless thousands of unwilling servants. Once their slaves rose up and overthrew them, however, the First Ones were cast into the depths - bereft not only of their power, but also of the vast majority of the very slaves who brought them low.
  • Sasori: Resources wax and wane, weapons and spells become obsolete, the master craftsman of one era is displaced by the industry of the next, and even land becomes worthless with the shifting ages. But information, say the sasori, is the one commodity that is always in demand. These scorpion-like creatures are brokers of information, by turns the greatest secret-keepers and the supreme spies of Exodus. Sasori are also known for their willingness - and ability - to kill to protect their secrets.

These iconics consist of:

  • Anxelica Luris, Female human inquisitor
  • Arok Headtaker, Male kalisan magus
  • Cormac Blackwood, Male human antipaladin
  • Ghostwhisker, Male cavian alchemist (mindchemist)
  • Glimmershade, Female sasori rogue
  • Kalina Rhys, Female human cleric of Asmodeus
  • Rajas the Defiler, Male p’tan barbarian
  • Zachris Swayne, Male human sorcerer

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LPJ9418E


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5.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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The shortcut to Hell...

5/5

More AP pre-gen goodness from LPJ. Art continues to be high quality, and the characters are well written and intriguing. My former quibble of half the pre-gen races being non-setting natives can be overlooked as Way of the Wicked doesn't take place in Golarion, and there's more room for the exotic Neo-Exodus races. Cool stuff, looking forward to Path of Winter.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This collection of Pregens is 27 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 25 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

This collection of pregens for Fire Mountain Games acclaimed "Way of the Wicked"-AP kick off with some general information on how the characters were built. Following the suggestions of the AP, the pregens are built with 25-point builds and lack starting equipment -since they are prisoners. They also make use of the crime-traits that serve as a fitting introduction to the AP. Much like in the installment for Jade Regent, this installment of Adventure Path Iconics features extensive backgrounds for each of the characters as well as beautiful, original artworks for every character. Also, much like the first installment, half the characters are human, whereas the rest make use of the races from the NeoExodus campaign setting.

So what characters do we get? The pdf's first character is one of my favorites - Anxelia Luris, a daughter of a noble blessed with beauty and good standing always considered her looks problematic. Disgusted with the superficiality and hypocrisy of her circles and family, her disfiguring scars and fascination for body modifications as well as her devotion make her an uncommon inquisitor - and at least in my opinion, the scars featured in her portrait rather serve to enance her allure - but then again, I'm drawn to bad girls. ;) She comes with extensive descriptions of her looks and everything else as well as advice on how to advance her during the next levels. The final page of her entry, the character has her image grayed in the background.

Arok Headtaker is the first NeoExodus-race - a Kalisan, a white-skinned cannibal raised in an orphanage that turned out to be a slave-ring, Arok is equal parts beast and civilized creature. If you're not familiar with Kalisans - have I mentioned that they can consume the brains of the fallen to gain their memories, at least temporarily? The magus rocks and is a well-fitting addition to Talingarde.

Cormas Blackwood, the antipaladin, is essentially anti-Jon Snow: A disgruntled bastard son who in the end tried to murder his inferior half-brother. Impeccable manners and arrogance hide a truly vile man, disappointed by society and hell-bent, quite literally, on taking what he perceives as his rightful place.

Ghostwhisper, a mindbender alchemist of the Cavian race is one of the weirdest characters: A Cavian (ratman) severed from the race's psionic hivemind. Without any sense of tact and a desperate bid for rejoining the hivemind, this sociopathic creature is perhaps the most uncommon of the characters - but his traumatic separation almost makes him a sympathetic character - I would have loved a more evil vibe à la mad scientist there. By the way: The non-psionic version of the Cavian-race is used - I would have enjoyed a Psionics Unleashed-compatible version, but oh well.

Glimemrshade, a sasori (scorpion-people) rogue aspiring to become an assassin makes for a weird, chatty killer that actually really enjoys her profession and brings the joy of killing, painfully, to the table. While also weird, her foreignness is imho better explained than Ghostwhisper's.

Now if you instead would prefer a thoroughly devoted devotee to Asmodeus' glory, take Kalina Rhys - sexual, seductive and already ingrained into Asmodeus' worship, the beautiful cleric is calculating and might actually be interested in those that don't fall for her constant innuendos.

Rajas the Defiler, a P'tan (shadow-infused cat people) equipped with a deep-seated hatred for Mitrans, is another character, much like Ghostwhisperer, one might consider sympathetic - but only for a short time. The barbarian takes his nickname seriously as all hell, an acquired name being every significant to his people and thus seeks to defile and destroy anything related to Mitra.

Perhaps the most tragic of the villains herein would be the sorceror Zachris Swayne - he lost his family to cheating bastards and had to spend a life on the streets - until his latent sorcerous powers awakened and allowed him a chance to exact revenge. His revenge was cruel and his lack of manners contrasts sharply with his high charisma score. In his mind, Zachris is a victim, bent on making foes pay and escape his perceived role as a victim of circumstances and the world in general.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches - here a shout-out to Joshua Yearsley - ever since he has started editing for LPJr Design, the glitches have been SIGNIFICANTLY reduced, eliminating the one weakness I usually had to complain about. Layout adheres to a rusty-chain-bordered, slightly tarnished-looking, glorious two-column standard that once again shows why I consider LPJr Design's varying layouts to rank among the best out there. Also among the best are the GLORIOUS full color mug-shots that each character gets - and characters they are: Even if you don't use them as pregens, they'd make for great cohorts or even a rival adventuring party. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being more printer-friendly. The pdfs come fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.

Impressive. Author Jeff Lee delivers a cadre of despicable villains to introduce to Way of the Wicked or simply use as low level foes of PCs of other campaigns - with the glorious artworks and neat background information, the characters truly deserve their names. Now, not all is perfect: I would have enjoyed an alternate version of the Cavian and personally, I don't think that the P'tan and Cavian blend culturally too well with Talingarde: The Sasori and Kalisan work much better, proving that it's possible to make these work well within the nation of Talingarde. As these are minor complaints, I'll still settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform. Well done!

Endzeitgeist out.


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Shadow Lodge

So is it Kalisan or Caliban? Keeps switching between the two in the description.


Hmm. Technically, it's both, though it should probably stick with kalisan. Calibans are bestial humanoids found in Exodus. Kalisans are "civilized" calibans, and a playable race.

Shadow Lodge

Ah, I get it now. With that info the text as written makes sense.


Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS. Cheers!


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Thanks again for the review, End. That was a very insightful and deep analysis of the product. You go above and beyond every time. Cormac as an "anti-John Snow" was something I hadn't really thought of when writing it, but you're spot-on with that comparison.

I just wanted to point out the reasoning behind using the non-psionic version of the cavian. The Adventure Path Iconics line is written to both provide characters that are ready to run for the AP, as well as introducing players and GMs to some of the flavor of the NeoExodus campaign setting. Not everyone uses psionics in their campaigns and some people have a negative view of psionics. Therefore I went with what I thought would be a more approachable introduction to the cavian. The psionic version would have definitely upped the cool factor for me, but I had to keep a mind to what customers may be looking for.


Yeah, I get that decision - though I consider it a pity. Psionics rock.

And thanks for the kind words, Jeff! You're a talented designer and if, like here, you mange to blend NeoExodus-races with the rather low-magic flavored WotW without creating a disjunction, you have all rights to be proud of what you create - I've come to look forward to reading what you've crafted! :D


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Thank you kindly, sir. I've got three stretch goals worth of material in Deep Magic by Kobold Press and I've just sunk my teeth into Adventure Path Iconics: Path of Winter for LPJ. There's also a high seas sidetrek adventure I should have out here shortly, possibly self-published (with more than a little help from LPJ.)


Yeah, but Deep Magic will be the first Kobold Press/OD-book I'll miss out on as a patron since Blood of the Gorgon. The funds just say no. :( Still, I'm sure you'll deliver and look forward to one day reading what you've created there!!


Thilo, ill send you a mail about that KS..

Grand Lodge

I have to admit that I was rather surprised to see a Kalisan was made into a magus. I mean, they have -2 Int naturally. That seems like the exact opposite race you'd use for an intelligence-based class.

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