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...

*****

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

***( )( )

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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Community Manager

Announced! Cover image and description not final.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I will be skipping this one.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I will be skipping this one.

I won't! It'll be interesting to compare with Champions of Corruption. I do enjoy a good evil PC.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, I will be buying this one and sleeping with it under my pillow! Oh the wonderful dreams I will have.


What a very nice book this seems to be!

Dark Archive

The great Asmodeus approves this book.


So this is essentially about evil PCs?

Silver Crusade

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No, it's about PCs who ironically pretend to be evil but in reality are just jaded and bored CNs who want to challenge the society's perception of the notions of good and evil. Tragically, they end up butchered by CG Paladins of Asmodeus.

Sorry, couldn't resist.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This is going to be interesting.

Sovereign Court

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I love the description.

Product Description wrote:
Not every protagonist is a hero! Get the tools to carry out dark deeds for even darker employers in Pathfinder Player Companion: Agents of Evil! Sometimes player characters are less interested in defeating evil and making the world a better place, and more interested in working for the winning side, avoiding the consequences of bucking the system, and definitely getting paid! Inside this book you'll find discussions of what it means to carry out evil plans (especially for characters not themselves evil), new character options for PCs not squeamish about what patrons, gods, or other sources of power they call on, and equipment, magic items, and spells that will keep paladins from being willing to work with you!


So I will definitely be getting this book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

No, it's about PCs who ironically pretend to be evil but in reality are just jaded and bored CNs who want to challenge the society's perception of the notions of good and evil. Tragically, they end up butchered by CG Paladins of Asmodeus.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

The Paladin actually did something!

Spoiler:
...and then the Paladin falls.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:

I love the description.

Product Description wrote:
, and spells that will keep paladins from being willing to work with you!

Cantrip - 'Wall of Evil' [Evil] - This shimmering gray curtain has no mechanical effect except to make paladins who pass through it feel distinctly unwelcome. If the Paladin fails a will save, she visibly flinches, and anyone watching can tell she's a big wuss.

'Pride Goeth Before a Fall' [Evil] - If the target is good, it trips. If the target is neutral, it is unaffected. An evil target gains an additional move action this round.

Bestow Curse variant - A Paladin affected by this curse treats every space she enters as if it was under the effect of a grease spell (same DC as the bestow curse spell). An atonement spell will end this curse.'


Any idea which twisted sickos....ehrm....authors and/or freelancers will be working on this?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Axial wrote:
So this is essentially about evil PCs?

No not at all. It is for those PCs with a certain level of morale flexibility.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You know, I'm sick and tired of evil getting such a bad rap all the time.

If there weren't good, then there couldn't be evil. So all you "good guys" get at least half the blame for the moral depredation in the world. :p


3 people marked this as a favorite.
John Kretzer wrote:
Axial wrote:
So this is essentially about evil PCs?
No not at all. It is for those PCs with a certain level of morale flexibility.

Flexible morale doesn't sound very useful compared to flexible morals.

Dark Archive

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Icyshadow wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Axial wrote:
So this is essentially about evil PCs?
No not at all. It is for those PCs with a certain level of morale flexibility.
Flexible morale doesn't sound very useful compared to flexible morals.

Could be an interesting Bard option. "I sing, sing, sing a song of flexible morale! You get a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, damage and AC, Mr. Monk. You get a +2 morale bonus to your concentration checks and caster level, Ms. Sorcerer/ess. And, because I hate you, I give you a -2 morale *penalty* to everything, Mr. Cavalier/Iconic D-bag!"

.

On a more serious note, I'm intrigued to know if this book will give a little bit more information on evil organizations, like the Aspis Consortium.

I mean, the Pathfinders basically sneak around in countries where they are not welcome, desecrate the burial sites of their ancestors, steal their cultural treasures, and then spirit them away to hide in a vault somewhere even the dudes who risked their lives to steal them never get to see them.

And the Aspis Consortium is the 'evil' version of that?

Sort of like being the hot version of the sun, right?

:)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:


On a more serious note, I'm intrigued to know if this book will give a little bit more information on evil organizations, like the Aspis Consortium.

I've been waiting for more Aspis info for years. They seem forever doomed to be butt monkeys to the Pathfinders' heroics (?), which is unfortunate, because they have so much potential. I'd love to learn more about the Board of Patrons and the two Executives, and the look at Conference Z in Occult Mysteries got me all a tingling.

At the very least, they could be as cool as the Zhents.

Dark Archive

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
I'm intrigued to know if this book will give a little bit more information on evil organizations, like the Aspis Consortium.

The Aspis Consortium are the Washington Generals of Golarion.

In PFS we call them Team Rocket.

They make the Red Wizards of Thay look like competent.

The Aspis Consortium, giving Evil a Bad name.

It's like a whole continent spanning organization decided to emulate and method act all the tell tale qualities of the two Home Alone villains.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
baron arem heshvaun wrote:


In PFS we call them Team Rocket.

Hah, I was this close to mentioning Team Rocket too.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I know I'll get no use out of this book in PFS, but I'll enjoy reading it anyhow!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Yep. These days, I stick to Pathfinder Society play, so it looks like I'll be dropping most of my subscriptions for a while this winter / spring.

Scarab Sages Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chris Mortika wrote:
Yep. These days, I stick to Pathfinder Society play, so it looks like I'll be dropping most of my subscriptions for a while this winter / spring.

Certainly I don't expect this book to be useless for PFS players...

The Description wrote:
Inside this book you'll find discussions of what it means to carry out evil plans (especially for characters not themselves evil)

Liberty's Edge

It'll be interesting to see if/how Hell's Vengenace (or whatever the name of the AP is) gets PFS sanctioned. I can see it being "campaign mode only", or perhaps with a set of pregens. It could be like "Serpents Rise"; not something your actual PFS characters could do, but something that you could do for PFS-related reasons.

Whatever happens with that will certainly have a bearing on the PFS usefulness of Agents of Evil.

How will this book differ from/relate to Champions of Corruption? My first thought on seeing the title was "they already did that"....


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
Yep. These days, I stick to Pathfinder Society play, so it looks like I'll be dropping most of my subscriptions for a while this winter / spring.

Certainly I don't expect this book to be useless for PFS players...

The Description wrote:
Inside this book you'll find discussions of what it means to carry out evil plans (especially for characters not themselves evil)

Our crew is all sorts of good and have no desire to carry out evil plans, so....I second the call for more Aspis Consortium info.


It would be all too easy to simply reinvent a certain tome of profaned shadiness. Hopefully there'll be good stuff for evil NPCs of good intentions for GM use too.


I am cautiously optimistic about this one.

-TimD

Scarab Sages Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

It can't hurt to talk about what you'd *like* to see in this book. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
The Description wrote:
Inside this book you'll find discussions of what it means to carry out evil plans (especially for characters not themselves evil)

Paladins "of" Asmodeus revisited? ...Mwahahaha...

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
It can't hurt to talk about what you'd *like* to see in this book. :)

I am not sure if you guys will do archetypes but an Archetype for the Antipaladin that is Lawful Evil would be nice. Been waiting for that for years now.

A Hellfire Metamagic feat perhaps. Like half fire/half unholy energy or something.

I am trying to think because I'll be wanting more options come time Hells Vengeance comes out.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

+1 to LE Antipaladin.


I'm afraid that Paizo is committed to not doing an LE antipaladin or CG paladin. It's just something they've decided not to do; for one reason or the other.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I knew they were committed about paladin, but I wasn't sure about antipaladin. Ah, well - worst case scenario, they don't make one. ^_^

Sovereign Court

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'm still trying to come up with other suggestions... I like that the Player Companion line is Golarion-specific, so I'd like to see stuff for specific organizations or nations.

-More stuff for Norgorber's faithful would be cool.
-A Cheliax-specific inquisitor archetype for Thrune agents would be interesting.
-I'd love to see more Aspis Consortium or Whispering Way content.
-This probably isn't the right book, but I would love to see the options for the "lesser" Hellknight orders developed.

That's all I've got so far...


Kalindlara wrote:

I'm still trying to come up with other suggestions... I like that the Player Companion line is Golarion-specific, so I'd like to see stuff for specific organizations or nations.

-More stuff for Norgorber's faithful would be cool.
-A Cheliax-specific inquisitor archetype for Thrune agents would be interesting.
-I'd love to see more Aspis Consortium or Whispering Way content.
-This probably isn't the right book, but I would love to see the options for the "lesser" Hellknight orders developed.

That's all I've got so far...

A Drow Fleshwarper archetype for the Alchemist :)

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:

I'm still trying to come up with other suggestions... I like that the Player Companion line is Golarion-specific, so I'd like to see stuff for specific organizations or nations.

-More stuff for Norgorber's faithful would be cool.

Norgorber's cool in that his four 'faces' lend themselves to Barbarian content (rage powers for mad reavers of the Skinsaw Man), Bard content (reapers of reputation, all political and intrigue-y), Rogue content (Gray Master tactics and rogue talents) and Alchemist content (Blackfingers-inspired poison using alchemist archetype, replacing mutagen or something with a daily pool of poisons that can either be assembled at the beginning of the day (and last only 24 hours) at no cost, or, at higher level, a smaller pool of poison that can be crafted instantly).

New classes, like the Investigator and Slayer, have Norgorber written all over them, as well. Maybe even a divine Ninja, reflavoring the ki powers / pool with a pool of divine energy recharged by prayers to Norgorber, but mechanically pretty much identical (less Asian flavor in the weapon choices, perhaps) could be a thematic tweak.

Quote:
-I'd love to see more Aspis Consortium or Whispering Way content.

Oh yes. Blackfire Adepts, as well.

Some specific Necromancer type Archetype for Clerics, Bone Oracles, Necromancer specialists, etc. for the Whispering Way could be creepy and cool.

Similarly, some specific summoning options for Blackfire Adepts could also be funky (perhaps the ability to corrupt anothers summons and cause celestial summons to become fiendish ones inclined to attack their summoner, or to counter-summon opposed fiends to fight enemy celestials?).

For that matter, being able to counterspell [good] spells with [evil] spells would totally make sense. PC is casting protection from evil to hold your summoned demons at bay? Your evil NPC cleric can't cast protection from evil, but he *can* cast protection from good, and what logically and thematically would make more sense to 'counter' protection from evil, than protection from good? Same with holy smite or holy word or similar spells that have alignment subtype opposites.

Maybe even a counter-channel feat, that allows a cleric within the radius of another clerics channeled energy to expend a use of their own channel energy as an immediate action to negate it (plus or minus any leftover dice, if one is stronger than the other).

Other thoughts;

Evil Druids of Zon-Kuthon already have a niche with the Umbra-Token, Shade of the Uskwood business, but Zon-Kuthon is literally the *last* evil god who thematically fits with 'Druid.' Just a sentence or two describing how Druids and Rangers of Lamashtu (mothers of monsters!), Asmodeus (helltamers/students of planar ecologies!), Norgorber (toxicologists!), Rovagug (masters of disaster!) and Urgathoa (students of the negative energy 'ecosystem!') function in Golarion could be handy.

(That could apply to neutral and good gods as well, for later books. Anyone can grok how a Druid of Gozreh would roll, s/he's practically got 'god(dess) of Druids tattooed on hir backside, and a Druid of Cayden or Calistria or Abadar or Shelyn could focus on intoxicating plants or mean old wasps or domesticating animals/agriculture or pretty birds and flowers, but a Druid of Gorum or Irori or Iomedae is less intuitive.)

A larger selection of evil *arcane* spells, sufficient to allow someone to specialize in Evil, instead of Conjuration or Fire. Not everything to do with evil has to involve the evil gods, or divine casters, after all! Some people are wicked and selfish without extraplanar incentives!

(And yeah, logically, it would make sense to also increase the number of Good, Chaos and Law spells, and make similar specialists for those alignment directions, eventually, just not in this book.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Codanous wrote:
I am not sure if you guys will do archetypes but an Archetype for the Antipaladin that is Lawful Evil would be nice. Been waiting for that for years now.

For Lawful Evil (or at least Any Evil) antipaladins, check out Legendary Games' Legendary Villains: Antipaladins. It features three archetypes for Any Evil (or, in one case, Chaotic Evil or Lawful Evil) antipaladins.


Looking forward to it!

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Random other notions for Golarion;

Blood alchemists of Geb, using vampire blood to develop new discoveries, such as mutagens that give the drinker vampiric traits (increased strength, slam attack, bite attack, undead-derived resistances (such as save bonuses to things undead are immune to, like poison)), bombs that explode in bone shrapnel that causes bleed damage or summon rat/bat swarms, or a self-bomb that explodes the alchemists body (damaging those adjacent to him) into a gaseous form for a number of rounds.

Red Mantis Assassin archetypes or feats developed for those who follow that group but aren't the usual monks or rogues, such as clerics of Achaekek, bards, ninja, slayers, warpriests, etc. Blood mantis vermin companions for druids, hunters and rangers of the Red Mantis.

Warriors of the Whispering Way, students of war using necromantic insights to avoid the weaknesses of the flesh / ravages of age, similar to the Unfailing of Hallowfaust in the Scarred Lands / Warriors of the School Beyond the Veil from Arcana: Societies of Magic / Death Knights of the Secret School of Necromancy. Archetype for Fighters who strengthen their body through exposure to negative energy and slowly develop increased toughness, immunity to the penalties of aging and undead-like resistances, while remaining alive. Perhaps self-crafting bone armor and weapons from the bodies of those they slay, partially animate / necromantically strengthened (harder to disarm, tough as iron, reducing armor check / movement penalties, etc.)?


Icyshadow wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Axial wrote:
So this is essentially about evil PCs?
No not at all. It is for those PCs with a certain level of morale flexibility.
Flexible morale doesn't sound very useful compared to flexible morals.

I imagine that neither are quite as useful as a good summon monster (morays), although personally, I'm much more fond of summoning morels. {is dragged offstage by shepard's crook}


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
Yep. These days, I stick to Pathfinder Society play, so it looks like I'll be dropping most of my subscriptions for a while this winter / spring.

Certainly I don't expect this book to be useless for PFS players...

The Description wrote:
Inside this book you'll find discussions of what it means to carry out evil plans (especially for characters not themselves evil)

That sounds encouraging, but then there was plenty of stuff in Champions of Corruption that could have made it into PFS and nothing made it in.


Booooooooo!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Did someone say Boooooooo-urns?

Silver Crusade

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

KILL KRUSH MAIM BURN DESTROY!

Scarab Sages

Looking forward to this!

Liberty's Edge

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

It looks to be the book for the schemers. It says agents of evil, but really it is a mixture of evil and neutral. It helps those evil(or morally dubious) players actually think of ways to be an evil/morally dubious person and not get immediately handed over to the nearest murder hobo for easy XP. Like building an orphanage as a cover to train evil agents from the children, setting up an elaborate con, running a slave ring, maintaining an evil cult, quietly subverting lawful nations. And bringing hard handed order to the more chaotic ones. The reason most evil overlords fail in their bid for power is simple. They get too caught up in the image of a villain to realise that the most diabolical thing you can do is to help them, earn their trust, quietly get them to your line of thinking, and then watch as the heroes are faced with a bunch of good, honest people defending the villain. Even antipaladins can do this.

Grand Lodge

Liz Courts wrote:
Announced! Cover image and description not final.

Looking forward to this one. Some of my fondest PF memories are from running evil campaigns. Not really digging the title font though.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, I'm hoping for Antipaladin archetypes as usual. Specifically archetypes that deal with trading out smite good and cruelties for other bonuses (such as gaining the barbarian 'Rage' ability along with 'Rage Powers'). Some Ninja archetypes would also be very welcome as well.

Or....how about an Antipaladin archetype that trades out 'fiendish boon' for a 'Black Blade' (like the one gained from the Magus archetype). I mean, come on...who doesn't like the idea of having an evil blade with a mind of its own? Tis clearly much more practical than a silly little ring (just make sure the hobbits don't steal it) ;)


7 people marked this as a favorite.

If Paizo is still taking suggestions for this book, I have one: an evil cleric archetype that can channel positive energy and pretend to be a cleric of a good-aligned deity.

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