Pathfinder Player Companion: Agents of Evil (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Agents of Evil (PFRPG)
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It's Good to Be Bad

Not every protagonist is a hero! Author Thurston Hillman brings you all the twisted tools you need to carry out nefarious deeds in Pathfinder Player Companion: Agents of Evil. Delve deep into discussions of what it means to undertake evil tasks, both for truly selfish characters and for those hard-eyed heroes willing to get their hands dirty in pursuit of the greater good. Explore new character options for PCs not squeamish about what patrons, gods, or other sources of power they serve, and gear up with a smorgasboard of sinister magic items, forbidden equipment, and spells that will make paladins think twice about working with you!

Adventure isn't just for goody-goodies anymore. Inside this book, you'll find:

  • New background options, story feats, and character traits to help you flesh out your villainous past. Were you the product of a hard life, or just born rotten to the core?
  • Details on who worships the evil gods of the Inner Sea, and a brief review of their nonevil cults, including the appeaser cleric archetype, who channels nefarious powers to unaligned ends.
  • New archetypes to emphasize moral compromise and sinister influences, such as the insinuator antipaladin, who serves no cause but his own glory.
  • General and specific tactics for battling the forces of good, from self-righteous paladins to holier-than-thou angels.
  • New spells, magic items, magic weapons, feats, and poisons to help give your morally compromised adventurers the edge over their foes!

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-801-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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5 stars because...

5/5

This book finally introduces an enchantment you can put on your armor to cause alignment detecting divination magic to read whatever alignment you want to broadcast. THIS IS HUGE!

Before this, ways of disguising alignment were obvious, due to will saves, or the fact they made you always broadcast Neutral Neutral. NO MORE! Now your bad guys can broadcast any alignment, my favorite so far being Neutral Good, as its just so dang believable.


Being an AGENT of evil

3/5

What this book is: a list of options for characters who plan on working with an evil source. An agent, of evil, if you will.
What this book is not: a guidebook for evil characters. Pick of Champions of Corruption if that's what you need.

Agents of Evil is a great book for those looking to engage an evil, or at least morally ambiguous, campaign but aren't ready to go full mustache twirling, baby eating, "hail Asmodeus!" monster. It comes with a plethora of story feats that play off of the fall of morality, some class options for clerics and summoners that let non-evil ones work better with the wicked, and a few other goodies that fit right into settings like Skull and Shackles and Reign of Winter.

That said, if you want your character to fully embrace darkness... well, this book isn't that. For an AP like Way of the Wicked, where the PCs are supposed to be fully in the dark side of the alignment axis, this book's "slightly darker than gray" themes won't satisfy you. Champions of Corruption will serve you better.

The reason for the three star review isn't the part of the moral spectrum it chooses to cover, it's about the multiple directions this book tried to go and the fact it really didn't satisfy any of those directions.
I cannot call it a rules book (like I would the Weapon Master's Handbook); there are chapters that are only one quarter mechanics or rules.
I cannot call it a fluff book (like I would Champions of Balance); no given concept is given extensive extensive coverage. A given idea (such as dealing with evil as a method of survival) is given merely a paragraph, rather than a column or page.
I cannot call it a lore book (as I would the Books of the Damned or Numeria: Land of Fallen Stars); while Golarion specifics are mentioned, there's just so much that this book tried to cover that no given topic was given its due.
In the end, the book just feel confused.

Final verdict; just like its subject matter, it's not a BAD book, but it's not a particularly GOOD one either. If you are on the fence, I suggest borrowing a copy before you commit to it.


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Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Those all sound like some great weapon enchantments! The 'Toxic' one sounds like a great investment for members of the Daggermark Poisoner's Guild.

Because what is not to like about boosting the effectiveness of a poison, while also having the chance to not expend any poison resource while using the weapon. With some poisons, it's a pretty hefty investment, and being able to get an extra use of a single toxin can work wonders.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

*in the style of a 1920 radio advert*Smites getting you down? All those lawful good Paladins and evil Antipaladins ruining your day? You want to hit them back just as hard? Well, for the low feat cost of power attack and toughness, you can pick up smiting reversal. This little feat will enable you to get off an ATO(attack of opportunity) on the person who just smiled you/tried to smite you, and you get the same bonus that they got smiting you. Turn the tables on your enemies and give those do-gooders and ne'er-do-wells a black eye. But don't just take my word for it, come and find it in the Agents of evil book available at paizo. And remember... It's dangerous to go alone. And don't lose your head.


Thurston Hillman wrote:


I'm sorry this isn't the type of archetype you were hoping for.

The goal here was to design something thematic for clerics of evil gods that were not themselves evil. The abilities are meant to reflect that kind of character, which may not be the equal (or better) of a non-archetyped cleric in all respects. In many respects, this archetype is meant for characters seeking a very specific role-playing niche, namely being a non-evil servant of an evil deity. It also gives some abilities to channel positive and negative energy and to cherry-pick domain powers (at a cost).

While this may not be the most ideal archetype, I'd request that we don't let the discussion of this product devolve into talks of "OMG Clerics are unloved." :)

All that being said, I'll take the feedback here, and consider it for any future project I work on.

Fair enough.... I get the idea of the archetype and I can see that it is meant for a very niche roleplay purpose. My comments were based more on a general level than a specific one.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@Eris: In general, the rule of thumb for armor and weapon enchantments are:

Armor: +x^2 x 1,000
Weapon +x^2 x 2,000

Where +x is the enhancement bonus. So a +1 enhancement bonus to armor costs 1,000 gp, +3 costs 9,000 gp, +5 costs 25,000 gp, etc. And double all those values for weapons. Of course, you also have to add in the cost of the weapon and the cost for masterwork (+150 gp for armor, +300 gp for weapons) and/or any cost for special material costs (some of which are automatically masterwork and thus their price includes masterwork already).


So I have a question about smite impudence: it says that an antipaladin cannot smite a target that shares an alignment with the invoked outsider they chose for the day. Does this mean that if I invoke a 'neutral outsider' (lets say...an elemental), am I not allowed to smite anything that has 'neutral' in its alignment (for example, Lawful neutral, chaotic neutral, neutral evil, etc), or does this just apply to smiting enemies (like animals) that ONLY have a neutral alignment?

Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Removed a few posts. Folks, please avoid copy/pasting large sections of our books.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the that the later is true rather the former. Though until we recieve clarification from paizo, it's kind of down to the GM.


I'm going to go on a rant here... And for that I apologize in advance but...

What is wrong with you guys on this one?

The Anti-Paladin, you guys are introducing, already has less restrictions than their Paladin counterpart, and then, on top of that, now doesn't even have a hard locked alignment, and on top of that has the ability to reverse the only advantage the Paladin had over them?

Seriously, I'm pretty upset.

We've been asking for years for some simply clarifications for Paladin archetypes and instead you produce an "evil" book with this kind of stuff in it?

This is almost a slap in the face to me.

I mean, we know that the Paladin is one of the least favorite classes by a couple devs, but this? Come on.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Considering all the support that the paladin has been receiving over numerous books, And that the antipaladins allignment restrictions made them almost unplayable, save for a handful of smaller 'evil based' games, I'm not certain about the need for the ranting. Paladins have always been the holy warriors and champions of justice and honour. That is not to say that Paladins don't deserve to be given more attention but... With a book called 'agents of evil', there are certain things that need to be addressed.

The book actually addresses the big problem with groups devoid of true alignment balance. Most players end up shackled to the alignment system and rarely make decisions that don't fall into their alignment, as well as most holding to the preconception that someone playing a lawful good character might start dragging the game more towards their own alignment, limiting the available options to thier player. Characters of more evil or morally ambiguous allignment help to balance things out. But in order to help facilitate the trend properly, a new antipaladins was required that was not completely morally bankrupt but still maintained the power that a class like that required.

And that smiting reversal? That isn't a antipaladins exclusive. All you need is power attack and toughness to pick it up. Even fighters can pick it up and your complaining about the antipaladin archetype of all things. The karma monk happened before this one. The alignment is still kind of difficult to keep if you are playing it in a stupid manner. Being evil is hard, especially if everybody is giving you a hard time. Mobs and torches and all that.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:


And that smiting reversal? That isn't a antipaladins exclusive. All you need is power attack and toughness to pick it up. Even fighters can pick it up and your complaining about the antipaladin archetype of all things.

Even Paladins can pick it up; 'smite' includes Smite Good.

He's complaining about Paladins being nerfed by a feat that they can take which is a straight up power boost for Paladins.


Here's another question: does the insinuator qualify for feats like extra lay on hands and extra mercy?


djones wrote:
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:


And that smiting reversal? That isn't a antipaladins exclusive. All you need is power attack and toughness to pick it up. Even fighters can pick it up and your complaining about the antipaladin archetype of all things.

Even Paladins can pick it up; 'smite' includes Smite Good.

He's complaining about Paladins being nerfed by a feat that they can take which is a straight up power boost for Paladins.

He's complaining that they introduced Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil Anti-Paladins before they introduced Neutral Good and Chaotic Good Paladins actually.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
djones wrote:
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:


And that smiting reversal? That isn't a antipaladins exclusive. All you need is power attack and toughness to pick it up. Even fighters can pick it up and your complaining about the antipaladin archetype of all things.

Even Paladins can pick it up; 'smite' includes Smite Good.

He's complaining about Paladins being nerfed by a feat that they can take which is a straight up power boost for Paladins.

He's complaining that they introduced Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil Anti-Paladins before they introduced Neutral Good and Chaotic Good Paladins actually.

I can understand that problem, but paizo has not yet released a solution to it yet(maybe in an agents of good book?). I have some ideas on how it could be fixed. With the Insinuator antipaladin, the theme is more of being a con-artist in armour than a (un)holy warrior of the gods. They thereby derive their powers from contracts made with outsiders of evil or neutral allignment. While paladin counterpart would need to be somewhat different(being of good alignment), I could see them being granted power from Archons, Angels, and other outsiders of good or neutral alignment, and while not being the holy paragons of truth and justice, they are good people willing to take some big risks to make people's lives better.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Who knows, the mechanics of the Insinuator might open things up for a Paladin archetype that worships and receives power from the Empyreal pantheon.

...I might actually try to homebrew something like that once I have the full text on the Insinuator. Too bad Empyreal Knight is already taken.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:

Who knows, the mechanics of the Insinuator might open things up for a Paladin archetype that worships and receives power from the Empyreal pantheon.

...I might actually try to homebrew something like that once I have the full text on the Insinuator. Too bad Empyreal Knight is already taken.

It is an awesome name.

Hey, if we can have two Wild Callers...


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:


He's complaining that they introduced Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil Anti-Paladins before they introduced Neutral Good and Chaotic Good Paladins actually.

Ah, I see. Well, that's a much more reasonable complaint! I'm certainly sympathetic to the position that it's now possible to have Paladins of Asmodeus but still none for Cayden, but I also kinda think that it's not unreasonable that Paladins be more restricted than their evil counterparts. Still, I agree more options for holy warriors would be nice, and in the meantime I guess my campaign will make do with a Warpriest.


Duskblade wrote:
Here's another question: does the insinuator qualify for feats like extra lay on hands and extra mercy?

Yes beacuse they explicitly reference the Paladin's abilities

obviously those extra uses are subject to the same limitations of the archetype


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really like the spell "Furious Fiery Barrage"! Nice to see Bloodragers get nifty stuff created with them in mind!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
I really like the spell "Furious Fiery Barrage"! Nice to see Bloodragers get nifty stuff created with them in mind!

What's not to love about a spell that gives you unlimited fireballs for a duration fueled by you rage. Makes you wonder what happens when the bloodrager goes into a rage and starts to unload a multitude of fireballs at everything they can see. Makes the poison that inflicts the murderous rage on the target very interesting if it succeeding bypassing the fortitude save.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I got this book and I love it. So many great ideas, but I particularly enjoy the new backgrounds and associated story feats. Particularly the 'bad romances'; I'd love to see how it goes when one of the PCs is in love with one of the villains fighting the rest of the party. Especially if they take it easy on their 'true love' while hammering everyone else.

"Guys, if we just stopped messing with her ritual sacrifices to the Abyss my girlfriend Azzie, I mean Azzakrat the Murderous promises no more conjured demons sent into our bedrooms at 3 in the morning."

I was kind of surprised to see so many of the new spells lacked the 'evil' descriptor. Not complaining but I would have thought that if any book was justified in bringing in evil spells, it would be this one.

It's a great piece of work, Paizo!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have to ask, will there be a Player Companion for monks?

I think it would be a great idea to have one that focuses a bit on martial arts, monk stuff, etc., with some Tian Xia inspiration and things that could also be used by ninjas.
If it must be even by inner sea ruffians and brawlers.
Talking improved unarmed strike mainly, but also shuriken and other monk weapons and fighting styles.

That would be awesome!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Hayato Ken wrote:

I have to ask, will there be a Player Companion for monks?

I think it would be a great idea to have one that focuses a bit on martial arts, monk stuff, etc., with some Tian Xia inspiration and things that could also be used by ninjas.
If it must be even by inner sea ruffians and brawlers.
Talking improved unarmed strike mainly, but also shuriken and other monk weapons and fighting styles.

That would be awesome!

That would be cool, since we might also be able to explore some of the more supernatural style of monks and ninjas in folklore and myth. I mean tapping into spiritual magics(like frog, snake, slug and other animals(including the fox)), having brawlers able to practice moves similar to the quiong monks, and other really cool things.

What would it be called though i wonder.

Regardless, i am still hoping that that happens, Just because having a skilled master of unarmed or exotic weaponry can make the game more interesting.


djones wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


He's complaining that they introduced Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil Anti-Paladins before they introduced Neutral Good and Chaotic Good Paladins actually.

Ah, I see. Well, that's a much more reasonable complaint! I'm certainly sympathetic to the position that it's now possible to have Paladins of Asmodeus but still none for Cayden, but I also kinda think that it's not unreasonable that Paladins be more restricted than their evil counterparts.

I'm not entirely convinced that there can't be Plaadins who favor Cayden? There are paladins of Shelyn after all, aren't there?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Belltrap wrote:
I'm not entirely convinced that there can't be Plaadins who favor Cayden? There are paladins of Shelyn after all, aren't there?

The vital distinction is that Shelyn is neutral good, while Cayden Cailean is chaotic good. Combined with the one-step approach to worship that is implied by many sources (and enforced by PFS), paladins of Cayden aren't traditionally considered to be legitimate worshipers.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Belltrap wrote:
I'm not entirely convinced that there can't be Plaadins who favor Cayden? There are paladins of Shelyn after all, aren't there?
The vital distinction is that Shelyn is neutral good, while Cayden Cailean is chaotic good. Combined with the one-step approach to worship that is implied by many sources (and enforced by PFS), paladins of Cayden aren't traditionally considered to be legitimate worshipers.

its hard to be the keeper of order and good while also being fully expected to get very, very drunk frequently at times.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:

I got this book and I love it. So many great ideas, but I particularly enjoy the new backgrounds and associated story feats. Particularly the 'bad romances'; I'd love to see how it goes when one of the PCs is in love with one of the villains fighting the rest of the party. Especially if they take it easy on their 'true love' while hammering everyone else.

"Guys, if we just stopped messing with her ritual sacrifices to the Abyss my girlfriend Azzie, I mean Azzakrat the Murderous promises no more conjured demons sent into our bedrooms at 3 in the morning."

I was kind of surprised to see so many of the new spells lacked the 'evil' descriptor. Not complaining but I would have thought that if any book was justified in bringing in evil spells, it would be this one.

It's a great piece of work, Paizo!

Its nice to have options that enable for some bad guys to have legitimately good reasons to go out adventuring, like expanding ones knowledge or saving a loved one from a horrible fate as a result of their change into a monster. Also enables for a nice story based conflict to develop, with some of the heroes wanting to help restore the persons love, while some of the others simply want to put them down. And it also could trigger something of an understandable reason for a betrayal of the party to help the monster-If the monster dies, the person who he came to love and wants to stay with will be lost forever too.

Also some of the backgrounds could lead to some funny or awkward moments for if or when the gm decides to bring them up, like being saved by a bunch of knights that happen to be from the cult that one of the players was nearly sacrificed by in the past, or a message is sent to the party that their monster/evil lover is coming to see them to 'start catching up for old times sake' or 'picking up where they left off'(whatever that could mean). From those situations, you could get some interesting conversations, since one of the players knows who these people are and the rest are probably in the dark until its explained to them sometime later after things are already going to get complicated.

It could also get interesting if the player had been targeted by someone like the Ven's daughter from rise of the runelords, or some other characters(PC or NOT) WHILE they still had their Evil/Monster lover trying to hook up with them (and turn them to the sweet embrace of the powers that bless/afflict them so they can be together forever). It Might just get a bit crazy Yandere in that case...ALWAYS COULD BE A GOOD TIME.


I posted this to the rules section, but maybe I can get more input here as well since the feat appears in this book.

Does the Dead Inside story feat actually give any real benefit for completion? It says you can ignore any morale bonuses or penalties applied to you by outside forces, but are there any morale penalties in the game?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kage_no_Oukami wrote:

I posted this to the rules section, but maybe I can get more input here as well since the feat appears in this book.

Does the Dead Inside story feat actually give any real benefit for completion? It says you can ignore any morale bonuses or penalties applied to you by outside forces, but are there any morale penalties in the game?

Good question. I looked up a bunch of things like the Bane spell that were the reverse of effects that granted morale bonuses, but every such item I looked at gave an untyped penalty.


All penalties I know off the top of my head have been untyped. And is there any major benefit to being able to ignore a morale bonus, or is this only useful in really specific corner cases?


Archives of Nethys are quite behind on updates at the mo.... I dont suppose anyone can post up a list of new spells/feats/traits could they? Just the names would be great.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Can't help with the feats/traits, but the spells (based on what people have already said in this thread) are...

Agents of Evil Spells:
Blood Tentacles (antipaladin 4, cleric 5, shaman 5, sorcerer/wizard 5, summoner 4, witch 5)
Caustic Safeguard (alchemist 3, bloodrager 3, magus 3, sorcerer/wizard 4)
Coward's Cowl (alchemist 1, bard 1, cleric 1, mesmerist 1, psychic 1, shaman 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1)
Detect Fiendish Presence (bard 0, cleric 0, magus 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, witch 0)
Devil Snare (cleric 4, sorcerer/wizard 5)
Dream Dalliance (mesmerist 3, psychic 4, sorcerer/wizard 4)
Enticing Adulation (bard 3, sorcerer/wizard 4, witch 4)
Furious Fire Barrage (bloodrager 4, magus 5, sorcerer/wizard 6)
Golden Guise (bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3)
Punishing Armor (alchemist 1, bloodrager 1, magus 1, shaman 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, spiritualist 1, summoner 1)
Shadow Endurance (bard 5, mesmerist 5, shaman 5, sorcerer/wizard 6, spiritualist 5)
Unholy Ward (antipaladin 3, cleric 4, inquisitor 3, sorcerer/wizard 4)


The memento mori (a necrotoxin) has a frequency of 1 minute, but a duration of 6 rounds (less than a minute). Is it normal(I know that you can extend the duration by giving a new dose of poison, but still...)?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Memento mori has an added effect, even if you neutralise the poisons damage effect. This does mean that the curse effect will impact the victim until that is neutralised by another means. So while they may not be taking the poison damages, they are going to be living in a undead filled world for quite some time, making and social interaction with them quite impossible.

It's one of the nastiest poisons you can give a person, and the poisons in this book don't behave like regular poisonings. They can buff people up, render reading and using spell books/scrolls impossible, make you susceptible to spider empathy of all things, make you very agreeable to whatever nonsense they ask you about, or make you prone to a dangerous sleeping arrangement that's quite difficult to get out of. These poisons don't play fair.


Dotting


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

The Deceiving armor quality is pretty great, but the wording is a little weird and seems to be designed one-way to allow Good adventurers to appear to be Evil, but not the other way around.

Making Smite Evil look more effective than it really is is great if you're masquerading as a bad guy, but if you're a bad guy trying to appear good it's really no help.

I'm going to houserule it to remove the good-specific language.

Dark Archive

So uh, bit confused, how you are supposed to use background tables from this tandem with regular ones from ultimate campaign? Just by rolling on both these and ultimate campaign's ones? I mean, that would mean that everyone has several really dark moments in their life :D

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Use one or the other or replace parts I guess.

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