Pathfinder Adventure Path: Wrath of the Righteous Player's Guide (PFRPG) PDF

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The Wrath of the Righteous Player's Guide gives players all the spoiler-free information, inspiration, and advice they'll need to create characters prepared for delving into an adventure of mythic proportions in the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path.

Within, players of this campaign will find everything they need to create character backgrounds tied to personalities and events vital to Pathfinder Adventure Path’s fight to turn back the tide of demonic influence in the Worldwound. Inside players find campaign-specific traits to give adventurers the edge they need to take on cruel demons, evil cultists, and horrific threats encountered where the Abyss touches Golarion. This player's guide also features a brief overview of the previous crusades and a look at the city of Kenbres where the excitement begins, as well as various options for heroes ready to take up the call to fight the demonic horde!

Adventurers don't need to head out unprepared! Polish your sword, rally the troops and let the Wrath of the Righteous Player's Guide start your trip into the thrill and danger of the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path.

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Good background information

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The player’s guide for an adventure path is an important book for setting up the campaign and getting the players started. The successful guides help players to create characters that will fit into the adventure path, have a decent chance of surviving it, and be enjoyable to play. A less successful guide might give players a wrong impression of what the adventure path is about, resulting in characters that don’t fit. The Wrath of the Righteous Player’s Guide is certainly one of the more successful ones. It makes clear what the adventure path entails and gives useful background information, although it is lacking a bit in the advice department.


Useful, Inspiring, Moreish...

****( )

I am new to adventure paths, so I have little to compare this player's guide with. That said, I have played D&D for over 30 years and used a lot of product.

The Wrath of the Righteous makes no bones about being a campaign for Good Aligned Characters. It is very up front about this, and warns that evil characters will have a hard time fitting in, and that campaign information will not provide support for this. Fair enough, nuff said.

The traits are perhaps limited in number, although as an ideally diverse party, this was not a problem for us. It should not be a problem for several people to choose the same trait - in fact it would provide a useful connection between characters if they do. In a perfect world, there could have been a couple of traits designed to fit each character type, to allow some to feel a little more creative freedom.

The information about demons sidebar is a wonderful snippet - it gives characters just the right amount of "in game vs. meta-game" knowledge about demons that a character living in Kenabres would likely have. It is also good that several famous villains are enumerated - it makes you feel that much more motivated when you hear the rumour that the demon-witch Areelu Vorlesh is coming!

The only "missing" for me is some organization information - organizations that might exist in Kenabres and surroundings to further tie characters to the campaign, or give plot hooks. Admittedly this might be beyond the scope of a Player's Guide - but I would have appreciated it all the same.


Lots of reuse for a decidedly underwhelming result

*( )( )( )( )

I can't believe the boards monster ate my lengthy and detailed and well-argumented first review :-(

To sum it up, too little text spent on character tips (and some of them actually not needed), too much ads for other books, too much reuse of other books sometimes also not needed in a Player's Guide (redemption, metagame demon hunting).

Not enough for building characters deeply ingrained/motivated in the setting.

Problematic campaign traits that are a big unknown even to the GM at this stage and that are VERY strongly advised to take (with many constraints to boot).

Having paid for all the other books that see reuse in this free product, I only give it a single star.

If I had not bought these other books, I would likely give it at least 2 stars.


Does the job, wish it was more

****( )

As a free product that sets up the players for an AP it does a very competent job. It tells you what the AP is going to be about (hint: demons! Didn't see that one coming, didn't ya?), where it's going to take place and what themes are going to be important there. Some information on starting town and campaign traits for those who use them (I usually don't, I have my own mysterious ways of tying PCs to an AP. Muhahahaha.).

I'd wish there was a bit more on what class choices are going to fly well with the AP and how to handle corner cases (eg. players want to play a band of jaded "pay up front or we're not saving the world today" mercenaries or one player really really really REALLY wants to play that Cleric of Urgathoa with weird sexual fetih). But hey, it's a free lunch, so you can't really complain much.

Unless, of course, you're an anonymous person on the Internet, that is!


Awesome

*****

The Campaign Traits are not nearly as limiting or railroad-y as other reviewers have claimed. They do assume some level of connection with the region, but there's not one of them that wouldn't fit an out-of-towner just as well with only minor tweaks. I thought the Campaign Traits from Jade Regent were way more restrictive. I honestly think these are some of the best Campaign Traits we've seen from Paizo in a good long while, and I'm escpecially excited to see how they tie in to the campaign down the road in book three.

The connection with the six mythic tiers also seems to have people concerned, but I think that's jumping the gun a bit. The campaign traits don't lock you in to a specific mythic path, they just give you a bonus if your mythic path and your trait's path match up. It's too early to tell if that bonus will be significant enough that player's will regret giving it up, and I trust Paizo will handle that issue in the AP.

Overall, it's a very cool AP Player's Guide.


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Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

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Now available!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Woot!


Awesome!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Boo Yah!!!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just skimmed over it, and the traits seem to be excessively specific and mostly difficult to make fit if your character isn't from Mendev. In principle I like the idea of tying the traits to the mythic paths and the later plot of the AP, but will the GM have enough information in Part I to customize the traits to fit PCs who've come to Mendev from elsewhere?

Liberty's Edge

Aaand read.
Oh wow, this looks nice @_@


Couldn't help but notice on the third page...

"There are elements of travel, so you don’t need to elave your mount at home."

Sorry, I tend to notice that sort of thing. Looks interesting, though. Skimming through it right now.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's a very nicely done player guide, but I agree with Joana's review. It does seem like the campaign traits are very restrictive with regard to background (and that those background events are important to the story, if I'm reading that section right). I do like the look of it overall though (and more golarion lore is always welcome).

Any chance print on demand quality is improving to the level where things like this may be made available in hard copy again? Getting them printed myself is a bit of a hassle..


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So cool!
I agree to the rail roading, but who ever said you'd have to take those trait(s) in the first place?
Take back your creativity by opting out of that system, I'd say.
I know my campaigns fare well without them.

Ruyan.

Silver Crusade

There's always the option of adjusting the traits too, for folks whose concepts are close but not an exact match. It just takes a little work between the GM and player. :)

(admittedly it'll probably help if the GM has the whole AP too, to know the whole picture)

There are a lot of things in this guide that have me excited. And the history and the list of famous enemies are VERY good things to have here, since it'll help ground the PCs in the setting. That is, when the GM tells them "famous villain appears", the players will be hit by that realization without the GM having to give a history lesson and defusing the mood. ;)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's hard to know without the AP in hand, but it sounded to me that the background events may be referenced during the AP (when the PCs first become mythic).

That makes opting out a little bit more work. I could well be wrong though.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I don't think "If you don't like these traits, don't take them" makes the offered traits any better. This whole PG feels rushed, somehow. I even had a hard time staying interested in anything other than the history section, which is actually a first.

This PG decreased my enthusiasm for the whole AP.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah did the same for me especially the traits (May just be me but since Reign of winter the traits have been getting gradualy worse.)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Player's Guides often seem to not get enough love.

The first two were fantastic though.

I'd love to temporarily possess Liz and make her declare:"All Player's Guides must be written by the developer."

They always seem to be written by a team of little-known writers.

Edit: written and compiled by Adam Daigle and Jay Loomis.

So, the traits are 'compiled' from the Demon Slayer's Handbook.

And then it is written by an intern.

The first taste anyone has of an AP is written by an intern...


I agree the way the Traits are defined is disappointing. Basically mandating tight relationships between characters who share a Trait. Absolutely mandating one specific Trait as "right" based on a character's Mythic Path.

I'm GUESSING that such tight definitions exist in order to hard script events into he AP which will allow people on each of those specific background-based Mythic Paths to automatically gain new Mythic Levels.

This PG makes it feel like things would have been simpler if they had just provided specific pre-gens to run through the AP instead.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1 Greaint. These really need to be written by the people who write the AP.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Same criticism about those traits, with one addition: There are supposed to be upgrades for them when characters get mythic. I suppose that those will be in the first AP module, then?

Second thing I noticed: No sidebar or paragraph how non-good characters may fit into this AP. Given the pretty large number of people who want to play a something-something of Asmodeus, that would have been helpful. The Player's Guide seems to explicitly want to dissuade people from playing those characters, in fact.

Liberty's Edge

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Sweet lord, will everyone please stop whining because the free and optional product isn't exactly what you want.

It give the players an idea of what to expect without major spoilers.

For free.

Paying freelancers for a free product = Unlikely.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:


Second thing I noticed: No sidebar or paragraph how non-good characters may fit into this AP. Given the pretty large number of people who want to play a something-something of Asmodeus, that would have been helpful. The Player's Guide seems to explicitly want to dissuade people from playing those characters, in fact.

Maybe because this is an AP for Good characters.

Heaven forbid the players play heroes...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ciretose wrote:

Sweet lord, will everyone please stop whining because the free and optional product isn't exactly what you want.

It give the players an idea of what to expect without major spoilers.

For free.

I appreciate the sentiment. Nonetheless, I think it's not necessarily whining to tell paizo when we think something is off, even if the product in question is free.

In fact, I think that's what paizo want us to do.

Liberty's Edge

There is pointing out concern and there is flooding the review and product discussion.

I read it, it's not that bad. The traits aren't something I'm going to use, but the description and expectations for what you should be creating so the AP will make sense are exactly what I need in order to run an AP and frankly I wish other players guides were a bit more clear in the way this one is.

You are joining a crusade against demons. If you are evil, you're gonna have a hard time. If you have issues with redemption, you're gonna have a hard time, etc, etc...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, how dare we say we are disappointed in a product which just came out. I mean, plebs like us measly people who pay the bills of Paizo should just shut up and put up with the money, right, ciretose? I am about to sink 150+ dollars into this AP, so of course I don't get to have a say if the very introduction to it is lacking, because Paizo surely is totally incapable of handling costumer feedback.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
magnuskn wrote:


Second thing I noticed: No sidebar or paragraph how non-good characters may fit into this AP. Given the pretty large number of people who want to play a something-something of Asmodeus, that would have been helpful. The Player's Guide seems to explicitly want to dissuade people from playing those characters, in fact.

Maybe because this is an AP for Good characters.

Heaven forbid the players play heroes...

One of my players wants to play a LN cleric of Asmodeus. It already has caused some tension with the two players of Paladins and I really would have appreciated some help on how to integrate those conflicting desires within my group. Like, y'know, past player's guides actually have given and we gave feedback to Adam that it would be helpful to integrate such scenarios into the player's guide. And this guide basically says "if you are playing non-good, you need not apply". Sorry, that makes me disappointed in the design process.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I would encourage people to ask Adam and James actual (civil) questions and wait for some feedback. This PDF has only been available no more than 12 hours.

Come on people, slow down. Use your communication skills before you drop that one star.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:
ciretose wrote:
magnuskn wrote:


Second thing I noticed: No sidebar or paragraph how non-good characters may fit into this AP. Given the pretty large number of people who want to play a something-something of Asmodeus, that would have been helpful. The Player's Guide seems to explicitly want to dissuade people from playing those characters, in fact.

Maybe because this is an AP for Good characters.

Heaven forbid the players play heroes...

One of my players wants to play a LN cleric of Asmodeus. It already has caused some tension with the two players of Paladins and I really would have appreciated some help on how to integrate those conflicting desires within my group. Like, y'know, past player's guides actually have given and we gave feedback to Adam that it would be helpful to integrate such scenarios into the player's guide. And this guide basically says "if you are playing non-good, you need not apply". Sorry, that makes me disappointed in the design process.

Maybe you should say to the player "Hey, this AP is about fighting evil and two other people are playing Paladins, could you please not play a cleric of evil unless you can come up with some way to integrate it without causing conflict?"

Is that really to much to ask of a player?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:
I mean, plebs like us measly people who pay the bills of Paizo should just shut up and put up with the money, right, ciretose?

How much did you pay for this players guide?


magnuskn wrote:
One of my players wants to play a LN cleric of Asmodeus. It already has caused some tension with the two players of Paladins and I really would have appreciated some help on how to integrate those conflicting desires within my group. Like, y'know, past player's guides actually have given and we gave feedback to Adam that it would be helpful to integrate such scenarios into the player's guide. And this guide basically says "if you are playing non-good, you need not apply". Sorry, that makes me disappointed in the design process.

There is no issue here - as long as your Cleric of Asmodeus focuses on the rule of law and fighting demons the paladins should be fine with it. Cheliax based hellknight orders (Godclaw being best example) have Asmodeites and Paladins both.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If people flat-out try to tell me (and I am not referring to you guys from Paizo, you are as always very professional. And thank you for that.) that I don't get to give negative, even while valid, feedback, then that leads to anger, which leads to my opinion getting colored even more negatively. It's just the process of things. So I don't know if ciretose even realizes how he is making the whole process worse.

But to make my points once again, hopefully in a constructive manner:

- No support for non-good characters in the player's guide limits roleplaying variety. I don't say that the player's guide needs to encourage evil characters, but it should help with integration of non-standard roleplaying concepts for the AP, especially some of the more popular corner cases ( LN Asmodeans, for example ). This player's guide actively discourages any non-good characters, which, IMO, is not helpful.

- The campaign traits are straightjackets in several different directions:

a.) VERY specific and extensive backstories, which limits free character background creation significantly.

b.) A VERY railroady way of forcing characters with similar focuses to share that extensivy backstory, also limiting freedom in character backgrounds. My group will have five melee characters, now all of them will have to share the same very specific background event? Where is the freedom in that?

c.) Premature fixation of mechanical character development. Forcing a trait onto players which already fixes their mythic path for them is bad. Most players don't know mythic rules at all now, even I as a GM have only a vague idea of how they will work. This forced choice will cause many problems later down the line, because people will make mistakes. And this is not even to mention the many players I know who don't plan their characters beyond one or two levels into the future.

Sorry, but those traits are very problematic. The rest of the guide is well made, but the lack of help with non-good characters and especially the traits came out wrong and as not a good kick-off to the AP. Reworking this to make this presenteable to my group will take me some time, which I did not want to spend. :-/


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
How much did you pay for this players guide?

Hey, if you want to play this out, maybe you can persuade me and others to cancel our suscriptions, too. You are actively not helpful to this thread and Paizo's bottom line.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Sweetman wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
One of my players wants to play a LN cleric of Asmodeus. It already has caused some tension with the two players of Paladins and I really would have appreciated some help on how to integrate those conflicting desires within my group. Like, y'know, past player's guides actually have given and we gave feedback to Adam that it would be helpful to integrate such scenarios into the player's guide. And this guide basically says "if you are playing non-good, you need not apply". Sorry, that makes me disappointed in the design process.
There is no issue here - as long as your Cleric of Asmodeus focuses on the rule of law and fighting demons the paladins should be fine with it. Cheliax based hellknight orders (Godclaw being best example) have Asmodeites and Paladins both.

I know that and have read up on the subject. It will be difficult to persuade the player's to play nice with each other, though, so I really would have appreciated some help from the player's guide in this regard and I ( and others ) gave feedback to that regard when Adam asked about what should be in the player's guide. Hence my surprise and disappointment of this having been completely glossed over and even actively discouraged.


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And, without knowing how it'll actually play out in the AP, it looks like the traits are more closely tied to the adventure than is usual. It looks like they'll be tied at least to how you get your Mythic tiers and possibly other events as well.

That's not common in AP traits, which have often been little more than justification for you being on the scene when the adventure starts.

Obviously the GM is free to not use or to not require them, but that will require more work on the GM's part.


magnuskn - If your players aren't going to play nice in general... I'm not sure what could have been hypothetically written in the Player's Guide to change that.

However - if you have the player's guide of the Council of Thieves AP, then the advice there should hold pretty true here.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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magnuskn wrote:
I know that and have read up on the subject. It will be difficult to persuade the player's to play nice with each other, though

Sounds like the players don't share your perspective on the Campaign Setting. You don't see it as an issue, but their sense of verisimilitude is rejecting your interpretation.

Your players are telling you that they don't feel this was a valid character option for your other player to take. In a sense, they're letting you know their "roleplaying is being limited" by allowing a cleric of a devil to join the party.

I chose those words deliberately because you used them. I'm not trying to throw them back in your face, but rather I want you to take that same idea and look at the situation differently.

I'm not trying to antagonize you. I do think it is helpful to look at it from the other perspective. This AP was designed so that good characters could have a special role and a place to shine. Many APs are difficult for paladins because the story or the character selection of the other players demand they adapt to situations where there are "shades of grey".

In this situation, your paladin players are chafing that their one special opportunity to really roleplay a paladin is being limited by the character choice of this other player.

I'll stop there and give you a chance to reply or think about it.

Shadow Lodge

A lot of the complaints seem to indicate that people have not really looked at the other AP Player's Guides, as they do pretty much the exact same things. Skull & Shackles was very much Lawful and/or Good need not apply. Almost all of the Campaign traits are extremely straight-jacketing, and intended to allow newer players to be able quickly jump in without needing a large understanding of the future game or setting or a group background. They are all very focused on suggesting what will work very well for the first part of the AP, and rather long winded and specifically defining.

My main complaints are that it is not long enough, and should focus a little bit on non-paladin classes that also seem to fit so well, Cavaliers, Clerics, Fighters, and maybe Inquisitors/Rangers a bit, too.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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thejeff wrote:

And, without knowing how it'll actually play out in the AP, it looks like the traits are more closely tied to the adventure than is usual. It looks like they'll be tied at least to how you get your Mythic tiers and possibly other events as well.

That's not common in AP traits, which have often been little more than justification for you being on the scene when the adventure starts.

This is absolutely true, Jeff.

I don't want to step in this firestorm too much, because I think it's best for Adam and James to deal with this, not me. Author does not equal salaried Developer.

But I know what you say to be essentially true.

The campaign traits add continuity throughout the AP. I know they go all the way through Chapter Three.

Neil and I were working on continuity with Reign of Winter Chapters One and Two, and this is a different approach. Instead of NPCs, traits are being used as medium for connectivity and continuity, and adding additional story.

I am going to refrain from saying more, but perhaps the Developers will comment further.

Shadow Lodge

Also, on the LN Hellknight priest of Asmodeus, it's been pointed out a few times in the last few days that said character will probably not work so well, but is doable (if the player is not a jerk like the basic concept is a red flag for, ie an excuse to mess with everyone else and play Evil without it being on their character sheet). The PG also suggests that this is much more focused on Good vs Evil than on Law vs Chaos. What could work might be a sort of "falling" Asmodean knight-priest, like a reverse paladin/blackguard concept. A character that goes to the Worldwound to learn to fight against Chaos and Evil, not as a spy, but rather an individual that wants to test themselves and prove themselves a little outside of the box, and to learn how the other side (the crusaders) do it might also work.

Liberty's Edge

from a roleplaying standpoint, the crusade against the Worldwound is tailor-made for paladins.

The lack of support for evil players seems to me a design choice. Since I'm planning on playing a LG crusader cleric of Iomedae, I have absolutely no problem with that, but I can see how it can be disappointing to some people. And Child of the Crusade actually fits perfecty into my character's background, so all the better. I assume that the traits will trigger specific moments of ascencion, which is why they have to be this specific.

The one issue I see with that trait is that I think the gnome paladin is also going to take it... so how exactly are the human and the gnome related?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
- No support for non-good characters in the player's guide limits roleplaying variety. I don't say that the player's guide needs to encourage evil characters, but it should help with integration of non-standard roleplaying concepts for the AP, especially some of the more popular corner cases ( LN Asmodeans, for example ). This player's guide actively discourages any non-good characters, which, IMO, is not helpful.

This AP has always been presented as "the Good Guy AP," and every time the topic has come up, the developers have said, "Non-good characters are going to have trouble in this one." This is not the first time the PG has taken this tack, as well - remember all the, "But I want to play a paladin in Skull and Shackles!" threads? Paizo handled those pretty much the same way: "This isn't an AP for characters like that, so it's gonna be up to you and your GM to figure out how it's going to work, because the adventures will not be written with characters like that in mind." You may be disappointed that they didn't listen when you asked for advice, but I can't see how you should be surprised.

magnuskn wrote:

- The campaign traits are straightjackets in several different directions:

a.) VERY specific

This part is true...

magnuskn wrote:
and extensive backstories, which limits free character background creation significantly.

...but this part isn't. The traits all add a single detail to your character's history. That's it. Since I first started reading the complaints about the traits I have been trying to come up with character ideas I couldn't make work with the traits, and I have utterly failed. Hell, I've actually taken the one idea I've been most interested in playing - developed well before the PG came out - and worked all six into the character's history without changing any of the essential concepts, just to see if I could. I'd suggest trying to broaden your perspective somewhat, because the limitations are ones you're applying, not ones that the traits require.

magnuskn wrote:
b.) A VERY railroady way of forcing characters with similar focuses to share that extensivy backstory, also limiting freedom in character backgrounds. My group will have five melee characters, now all of them will have to share the same very specific background event? Where is the freedom in that?

Setting aside the issue of whether you're actually forced to have them share that event, so what if they are? Is there a meaningful difference between "you all met while being tortured in a cultist ritual" and "you all met because you happened to walk into the same pub at the same time?" Honestly, it might be a fun prologue to run for the PCs; it's at least more interesting than, "The barkeep hands you your ale, and then a fistfight breaks out..."

magnuskn wrote:
c.) Premature fixation of mechanical character development. Forcing a trait onto players which already fixes their mythic path for them is bad. Most players don't know mythic rules at all now, even I as a GM have only a vague idea of how they will work. This forced choice will cause many problems later down the line, because people will make mistakes. And this is not even to mention the many players I know who don't plan their characters beyond one or two levels into the future.

And here's the other reason why I'm having trouble with the whole "forced to share a trait" thing: nothing in the trait actually fixes their mythic path for them. The traits are associated with the paths, and each path enhances the trait associated with it, but that's it. Nothing in the traits or the rules presented in the guide prevents a leadership-oriented paladin who is deeply devoted to Iomedae from taking Touched by Divinity and still choosing the Marshal path when the time comes. As far as we know, all that would "cost" the character is the trait upgrade they would get for Touched by Divinity, and while I admit that I have no idea what that upgrade might be, I gotta say I'm having trouble seeing how it's likely to break the character mechanically.

And all of this is setting aside the reason why the trait events are so specific: because they give the PCs a background element that will then tie directly into the events of the AP. Frankly, I think a Riftwarden Orphan would be far more invested in the inevitable encounter where you get to find out who killed your real parents and deliver unto them a righteous and just beatdown than just, "oh, hey, it's a Blackfire Adept, ho-hum," killing it and moving on. I think the traits are perhaps the most exciting, just because I think those moments will be really fun to play through.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'm not sure if this is off topic, but there's a larger issue here.

When my players give me a long back story that doesn't gel with the campaign I'm going to run then I tell them the following:

1) Your backstory should be a paragraph long. You're a level one character with 0 xp.

2) Your character needs to fit into this game. It doesn't fit to put the Punisher in Harry Potter. It doesn't make sense to play an Android from the Future in Lord of the Rings. This game is about heroes on a crusade against evil. I'm sorry but your Cleric of Asmodeus, or badass loner will need to be shelved for a different campaign.

ALSO: If there are 6 traits, and multiple players at your table pick the same trait that's actually great! Now you have two players who don't need to waste any table time getting to know each other because they were present for their short backstory.

Finally, I would not let my players start putting together their characters before I read book one, that way if I wanted to homebrew some additional traits (Pilgrim (Guardian or Champion), Scion of Sarkoris (Heirophant or Marshal) and Redemption Seeker (Trickster or Archmage) spring to mind). Until I saw book one though I wouldn't know what would make good bonuses and whether I'd need to put together some bonus encounters for players who take the homebrew traits.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Sweetman wrote:

magnuskn - If your players aren't going to play nice in general... I'm not sure what could have been hypothetically written in the Player's Guide to change that.

However - if you have the player's guide of the Council of Thieves AP, then the advice there should hold pretty true here.

In general, those players do play nice with each other. However, they mostly people who started with AD&D and as such hold some pretty antiquated notions of how a Paladin is supposed to be played, some of which I disagree very strongly with and where I have actively discouraged the "see evil, press smite!" playstyle. The player in question with the LN Cleric of Asmodeus always has chafed at my "you don't get to play evil characters in my campaigns mandate", so he very often plays CN / LN characters with a very strong, erm, pragmatic bend.

And now the old-school Lawful Stupid Paladins may clash with the "LN, tee-hee, Cleric of Asmodeus. Normally I would side with the players of the Paladins, with a heavy side of "you don't get to play Lawful Stupid in my campaigns, either", but the devil in the detail here is that the guy who plays the Asmodean cleric is also the best roleplayer in the group and comes up with the best character hooks. It's complicated.

And actually not the main issue of my complaint about the lack of non-good character help in the player's guide, which is only a secondary complaint compared to the traits. So let's get on with that.

Scarab Sages

magnuskn wrote:
No support for non-good characters in the player's guide limits roleplaying variety.

Hmm. I wouldn't say no support for non good. The way I read it, it was no support for evil. Neutral characters can fit in quite easily. They're just less good. That's all.

Shadow Lodge

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Over the last year, a lot of people had complained that most of the PF Fiction and Adventures are not very Good friendly, so yes, it was by design. The complaints where that everything was really focused (too much) on antiheroes and shades-of-grey, and it's been pretty clear that this one was designed for Good characters primarily for some time now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jim Groves wrote:

Sounds like the players don't share your perspective on the Campaign Setting. You don't see it as an issue, but their sense of verisimilitude is rejecting your interpretation.

Your players are telling you that they don't feel this was a valid character option for your other player to take. In a sense, they're letting you know their "roleplaying is being limited" by allowing a cleric of a devil to join the party.

I chose those words deliberately because you used them. I'm not trying to throw them back in your face, but rather I want you to take that same idea and look at the situation differently.

I'm not trying to antagonize you. I do think it is helpful to look at it from the other perspective. This AP was designed so that good characters could have a special role and a place to shine. Many APs are difficult for paladins because the story or the character selection of the other players demand they adapt to situations where there are "shades of grey".

In this situation, your paladin players are chafing that their one special opportunity to really roleplay a paladin is being limited by the character choice of this other player.

I'll stop there and give you a chance to reply or think about it.

Jim, you are partly right on the part of the Paladin's issues, but there also is the issue that there is a long-time simmering antagonism towards the roleplaying choices of the player of the Asmodean cleric. And that the players of the Paladins actively trend towards playing them in the Lawful Stupid "smite everything" way of things, which I've tried to beat out of them over the last decade of GM'ing. As always, it's a bit more complicated under the hood than on the surface.

However, I've already talked with everyone of the players involved in the dispute and I'll bring it up when they are together the next time, so maybe they'll resolve it. It doesn't help that they are all quite stubborn with each other, given that they've known each other for several decades. ^^

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Maybe, just, perhaps, this AP isn't for everyone, just like every other AP has had folks say it's not up their alley.

I'll likely never run WotR, because the notion of playing herouc demonslaying crusaders of Good has close to zero appeal to my "what's the closest alignment to Evil we can get away with?" players. But it's OK, I can always mine this one for stats/ideas/support articles. *shrug*


Now for something different about the Player's Guide.

On Page 14, the Medals of Righteousness, "Among the many ways that they recognize and encourage service is by awarding prestigious magical medals. These medals come in a variety of types, and each one provides some meaningful benefit to the wearer."

Are the "benefits" going to be detailed in one of the AP books? If yes, which one please? Can you give as an example?

-- david

Shadow Lodge

Balgin wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
No support for non-good characters in the player's guide limits roleplaying variety.
Hmm. I wouldn't say no support for non good. The way I read it, it was no support for evil. Neutral characters can fit in quite easily. They're just less good. That's all.

Exactly. I guess they could have linked to the Oracle Mystery (Outer Rifts) and Sorcerer Bloodline (Abyssal), or talked about how a great deal of the population that is not crusaders are scummy charlatans and scoundrels that are actually counterproductive to the success of the crusades, that makes for a perfect in for Bards, Rogues, and Rangers that do not want to be crusaders, directly. Or that a fairly large population of the crusaders, (Low Templars), are very much selfish mercs, but there is a pretty good chance that that might just be reprinting a lot of material and themes from the Demon Hunter's Handbook and other relevant books. I have a feeling that a lot of the issues non-Good and non-Evil characters will face will be remaining non-Good throughout play. Not so much redeemed as the story might just make it less reasonable to sit on the fence. It doesn't mean it can not be done, but (and I will add hopefully to this) Neutral characters will just not have the spotlight for lacking ethics or morals in this one like they do in most.

Scarab Sages

magnuskn wrote:
I disagree very strongly with and where I have actively discouraged the "see evil, press smite!" playstyle.

Good for you. As someone who's also enjoyed playing the occassional paladin since back in the AD&D days (when you had to meet some pretty high prereqs to even be one) I must say I prefer the older model of survival through cirtue over the smite happy furious 3.0/3.5 jihadist paladins (of Diablo 2 fame).

When I see people insisting that paladins are boring who just attack everything without thinking then I know they're simply playing them wrong. Their first action should not be to charge into the fray. It should be Detect Evil (not only to justify violence but also to assess the most suitable smite targets).

I even ahd great fun for many years playing a pacifist paladin who had a generous ammount of padding wrapped about the head of his mace and peace knots on the scabbards of his sword and dagger. He was known for spending a good 3 or 4 rounds warning foes as they battered against his shield that if they persisted he would be forced to consider removing the padding from the head of his mace.

Now in Pathfinder I even enjoy using the 1st ed Paladin code of conduct (as it's stricter) as a roleplaying challenge. Especially when it comes to belongings and possessions.

But charging into combat as soon as you see something that might be hostile isn't always the best course of action. A paladin is Lawful Good. Not Good Lawful. Both parts of the alignment matter :p.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I can give y'all that prior traits also had important roleplaying ties, although I will say that a good lot of them felt to me that they give you much more freedom in how you build the backstory of your character, like the ones from Carrion Crown.

But if you put a carrot before a player's face, in the way these traits do, they want to take a bite. It's the basic principle of enticing players into taking actions they otherwise would not take by dangling a reward before them, which works just as well in MMO's like World of Warcraft. The problem here is that it is a limiting factor on player's choices ("My character could be more apt to survive if I take this option, but it doesn't gel with what I wanted my background to be") and also that the consequences of taking that particular path (what does the mythic path I've now chosen actually do) is not very clear at this time, when players still don't even know how the mythic rules work.

Scarab Sages

While I'm not sure I like the idea of tying the traits directly to the mythic paths it could be a positive thing. Since the powergamers are all likely to choose the path that best suits their class (the only real option being between Champion and Defender for warrior types) the traits add the opportunity for players to consider a different path.

Let's say I really don't like one of the traits (in terms of background story I can see appeal for each of them but let's pretend there's one that I don't like). Let's also pretend that this trait is mechanically perfect for the character class that I desire to play. What are my options? Well I could gripe and grump about it. I could consider other traits and ways to make them work with the character class/concept that I have. I could consider possibly branching out and playing a class somewhat outside my comfort zone because I really like one of the other traits.

Personally I have a tendency to play fighters, paladins, wizards.... I don't generally play cleric or thiefy types. Well for this adventure path (if I'm not running it, which I may very well be) if I didn't like either the Champion or Defender trait but really liked te Trickster trait then there's nothing stopping me from taking it. It's just a trait. Admittedly they're slightly overpowered traits (but that's on purpose as "this Adventure Path goes up to Eleven!") but still merely traits at the moment.

I'm more interested in how each of the traits will tie into the story and give each character a chance to shine.

My one concern is that we've got six traits, six roleplaying/story moments of awesome, and .... six books in the adventure path. I truly hope that the trait scenes won't simply be split up into one for each book as I'd hate for one player to peak early in the series in book 1 and then spend the next 5 books feeling ignored as everyone else gets to hog the limelight. Now that is a major concern.

Shadow Lodge

magnuskn wrote:
The problem here is that it is a limiting factor on player's choices ("My character could be more apt to survive if I take this option, but it doesn't gel with what I wanted my background to be") and also that the consequences of taking that particular path (what does the mythic path I've now chosen actually do) is not very clear at this time, when players still don't even know how the mythic rules work.

I was a little disappointed (a little) about that too, but at the same time, my understanding is that Mythic doesn't even happen until near the end of the first part of the AP, which should give everyone a decent amount of time to understand it. I also believe that the Mythic paths are only a portion of being Mythic, and all Mythic characters will get a lot of baseline abilities regardless of their paths, which should also be fairly self-explanatory. (Sort of a warrior Path, and a spellcastery path, and a divine champion path, and, etc. . . Oh hey, I'm playing a warrior type, but there are so many options. Whatever will I do.`.`.).

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