Merciless, black-armored enforcers, Hellknights care nothing for good or evil, only their absolute, unflinching vision of law. In Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight, you'll join the ranks of Golarion's harshest champions of order—knights with ironclad discipline forged in the flames of Hell. Learn the ways of all the Hellknight orders, their true relationship with the legions of Hell, and how to tie your characters to one of Pathfinder's most fearsome organizations. Players and Game Masters can also lay claim to the complete Hellknight arsenal, from terrifying battle arts and grim equipment to the secrets of masked signifers' frontline magic. The Hellknights' unstoppable might is yours to command as you impose unshakable order—whatever the cost.
Among the grim secrets within you'll find:
Details about joining a Hellknight order, as well as a timeline of the orders' histories and a comprehensive look at the Measure and the Chain, the philosophies that guide these knights.
In-depth descriptions of the seven major Hellknight orders, including the brutal physical reckonings from which they draw great power.
An arsenal of feats, spells, and equipment these lawful crusaders typically use, plus class options such as the order of the Ennead Star cavalier order and new disciplines for the Hellknight prestige class.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game.
Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:
So, my first attempt at writing a review when I got my copy got eaten by my computer.
My second attempt at a review got eaten by one of those pre-GenCon days when the Paizo site was acting a little odd.
With all the excitement of Gen Con and even getting to talk with Wes at the Paizo booth and geek out over this book and everything Hellknight...I guess I forgot to redo my super long review? I shall have to perform a pretty serious Reckoning for that kind of an offense, but gladly!
When the Inner Sea World Guide came out, I swore that no other Golarion-centric book would ever top that one as my favorite...well...apparently I need to do another Reckoning for blasphemy! Path of the Hellknight is just dripping with plot hooks and deep cuts of Golarion's unique bastions of law.
In my opinion, Hellknights are one of the things that makes the Golarion setting so unique compared to any other out there. Sure there are Paladins and Antipaladins upholding the extreme ends of the spectrum, but no other setting has a bulwark of law-above-all-else, and this book peels back the curtain on them to help the players and GMs of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting understand and experience them like never before.
This is my absolute #1 favorite book to have ever come out of Paizo, and I do not see that changing for a very, very long time!
Hellknights are probably the Golarion-specific organization I've been most looking forward to reading about, and so I was really looking forward to release when this book was announced.
Happily, it doesn't disappoint. The overviews of the Hellknight orders are all interesting, and while it is true that they are all meant to be ultimately lawful, the different philosophies of each order are broad and varied enough that making heroes or villains belonging to the Hellknights doesn't require jumping through mental hoops to justify their alignments. Each order also comes with a smattering of options to add to a variety of classes, and serves to broaden the possible character builds that can call themselves Hellknights without necessarily having to take either of the Hellknight-centric prestige classes. My personal favorites are the Godclaw Mystery for oracles and the Faceless Enforcer archetype for the vigilante.
If this book does have a weakness it is the relative poverty of its items section. While there are a few items, and they are interesting and serve to help broaden options for Hellknights who don't feel like being heavily armored wrecking machines, the almost utter lack of any magic items, particularly weapons or armor, is noticeable and slightly disappointing. The magic spells, feats, and traits serve to soothe the sting slightly, but still.
Overall, if you are looking for adventure seeds, encounter ideas, or just background on one of the more iconic organizations in the Inner Sea, then this book is a must-have. If you are looking specifically for ways to be a Hellknight without having to play the armored tank, this book is a must-have. If you are searching for a treasure trove of Hell-themed and Hellknight-themed items this book may not be your first pick, but all in all is still definitely worth getting.
I'm really impressed with how much content this book included - I expected solid flavor (and got it), but the book is also full of amazing game content and written with an in-depth knowledge of the various options available across all of the product lines. The art is amazing - the lictor of the Pyre is one of my favorite Paizo pieces, and the art for the Godclaw's lictor is brilliant.
There's a lot of stuff I could see being great for any campaign, like Caster's Champion and Gate Breaker. Then there's the great Hellknight-specific options, like the Godclaw oracle mystery and the new Hellknight prestige class disciplines.
There are some minor disappointments. I wish the obedience boons had a method of early access, similar to that of the Inner Sea Gods prestige classes. I'd been hoping for unique content for the minor orders, especially the Scar and Coil.
All in all, though, an excellent book - well worth the price of admission. ^_^
From Pathfinder Adventure Path #27: What Lies In Dust, page 65:
What Lies In Dust wrote:
The Ennead Star serves as the symbol of the Hellknights, representing not just the knighthood but also its core disciplines. A black and crimson starburst, the three prominent flanges of the star symbolize the knights’ chief philosophies: order, discipline, and mercilessness. The additional six rays also imply the core tenets of the knights’ ruling doctrine, the Measure. Taken together, the nine arms of the Ennead Star parallel the order of Hell’s nine layers. Finally, the axis of the star holds a place for the symbols of the individual orders. While the Ennead Star is rarely borne upon Hellknight armor, members of the Hellknights frequently emblazon the symbol on their banners or shields, or upon heavy iron medallions or medals positioned over the heart when not wearing armor.
The cover kills it! Totally buyin' tnis! Also, hoping for more on the line, something like.. Path of the Aldori, or path of the mantis or dunno, path of the grey gardener.. Or path of rahadoun? Very exited for this book!
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Will there be more info in the book on Paladins and Hellknights?
Like, what did you have in mind?
I would love more information on how a paladin is able to join a group knowing it supports an evil government and how a paladin is able to get around the paladin code. To me Hellknights and Paladins just don't mix and how there are Paladins in the Hellknights has just not been explained to my satisfaction.
As an example your opening line for the blurp of this book
"Merciless, black armored enforcers, Hellknights care nothing for good or evil, only the order’s absolute, unflinching vision of law."
does not fit what a paladin is. A paladin is more then just law they care about good and evil.
Fringe cases are always going to be fringe cases.
Most Hellknights are not paladins. Some paladins are Hellknights. The overlap on that venn diagram is not especially large, but it canonically does exist.
Hellknights are fanatics. Paladins are also fanatics. In some orders, some members are capable to making their fanaticisms align. This is not commonly the fast track to the echelons of paladin or Hellknight power, but it can happen. Those that can straddle both worlds are uncommon exceptions, but interesting for being exceptions. They are also likely to face unique challenges to both their faith and their allegiance.
If you can imagine exceptional ways in which a Hellknight might also be a paladin, go ahead and add paladin-Hellknight to your roster of characters to play.
If you can't or otherwise don't like that idea, don't.
It's your game, include/exclude whatever you want.
I've liked this. But I don't know how to like it harder. How can one likes this more than once? xD