Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Path of the Hellknight (PFRPG)
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Champions of Unwavering Law

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.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-843-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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They ARE the law!

5/5

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!


A Mercilessly Good Read

5/5

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.


Excellent, and well worth the wait

5/5

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. ^_^


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Erinyes Company? Is this a company of people seeking to become Erinyes (like a certain nearly extinct Sisterhood in Westcrown), or a company of Erinyes that managed to get long-term residence on Golarion?

The Eyrines Company are a bunch of former Gray Maidens that pledged loyalty to Abrogail after Ileosa's death. They were mentioned in the Gray Maidens article in the second book of Shattered Star.

Dark Archive

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Circuit Judge

Cavalier Archetype:

* Picks an area, gains bonuses to Intimidate, Knowledge: Local, Sense Motive, and all law-related skill checks while in that area. The area expands as the judge gains levels, and they get to pick other areas. Replaces Tactician line.
* Gains a 1/day ability to hit a target with a sentencing that applies an Inquisitor judgment. Replaces challenge.

There's also the Order of the Ennead Star, which focuses on enforcing the law and fighting chaos.

===============================================================

Godclaw Mystery

Godclaw:

* Revelation options include a boon from each of the Godclaw deities.
* There's a boon in there that makes *every* one of your damage-dealing spells that includes a save auto-inflict shaken for a number of rounds equal to spell level upon failed save.
* There's a revelation in there that gives you Divine Obedience as a bonus feat, but lets you swap out some of the additional boons for other Godclaw deities' base obediences if you so desire.
* One of the revelation gives you heavy armor proficiency and lets you teleport armor on/off as an immediate action.
* The capstone is a mixed bag of mini-powers, several detects at-will, armor-penalty-removal, max DEX bonus increase, 1/day crushing hand.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Looks like I might need to retool my Hellknight by Night vigilante character for PFS.


This might have been asked before, but any spells show up here?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:
This might have been asked before, but any spells show up here?

There's a few. ^_^

Spoiler:

Brand of conformity - target loses racial/ethnic languages
Brand of hobbling - target's speed is halved
Brand of tracking - lets you learn the creature's location 2/day
Infernal challenger - summons a barbazu for a duel
Shackle - summon restraints, either in hand or on a touched creature


Wow. That third one is kind of baller in the sense "Hey I think I can fight a devil!" *PC dies*


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Right next character, a Yojimbo of the Order of the Ennead Star. I'm going to anime vilain this up.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How detailed are the minor orders?


Do we know what is PFS legal yet?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

DeciusNero: minimally. Half a page each, and it tells you what major order's abilities to use for the PrC (other than favored weapon, which they have).

Shifty: no. Not for a while yet, I suspect.


#sadpanda

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:

DeciusNero: minimally. Half a page each, and it tells you what major order's abilities to use for the PrC (other than favored weapon, which they have).

Thanks!


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

One particularly interesting spell, Infernal Challenger, provides a moral loophole for administering the Hellknight test. That spell summons a Bearded Devil who will attempt to kill the creature designated as its challenger. The Bearded Devil will remain to do that until a condition that ends the fight is met, at which point it disappears. The summoner cannot give the devil any specific orders.

The loophole is that casting this spell is an evil act (and has the Evil descriptor) if it is used for any purpose other than administering the Hellknight test -- so a lawful good Hellknight presumably could cast this spell to administer the test.


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David knott 242 wrote:

One particularly interesting spell, Infernal Challenger, provides a moral loophole for administering the Hellknight test. That spell summons a Bearded Devil who will attempt to kill the creature designated as its challenger. The Bearded Devil will remain to do that until a condition that ends the fight is met, at which point it disappears. The summoner cannot give the devil any specific orders.

The loophole is that casting this spell is an evil act (and has the Evil descriptor) if it is used for any purpose other than administering the Hellknight test -- so a lawful good Hellknight presumably could cast this spell to administer the test.

I'm still waiting to have this appear as a spell that some how the PCs end up triggering.


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

Well, a lawful evil Hellknight NPC who can cast this spell would have no compunctions about casting this spell against a PC foe -- although, admittedly, the conditions for ending that spell would be way too easy for a party of player characters to meet unless he can also bluff them into believing that something horrible would happen to anyone who interferes with the "duel".


I meant more like a trap spell like "Hey look this spell summons a cute bunny rabbit!" Not. ;) Or something similar.


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

I suppose somebody could rig a trap that isolates one party member from the others and then casts that spell with the victim as the designated foe. If properly designed, the only conditions for ending the spell that would still work would be the death of the bearded devil, the death of the victim, or (if the victim can somehow hold the devil at bay indefinitely) the expiration of the spell duration.


That was kind of the idea, yes David.


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Eric Hinkle wrote:

May we get some hints as to what the Godclaw oracle mystery is like?

And does the book make it seem like an Infernal bloodline Bloodrider or Steelblood bloodrager could become a Hellknight? The whole 'rage' aspect seems like it'd stand in the way.

Bloodragers and Skalds (and even Viking Fighters) aren't restricted from being Lawful, even though Barbarians for some strange (legacy) reason are; no reason Lawful people can't have rage (they even have a spell named Order's Wrath). Actually, I'd like to see a Hellknight Shock Trooper (or Stormtrooper) archetype of Barbarian (probably some kind of hybrid of Armored Hulk and Urban Barbarian, which are not normally compatible).

Editor-in-Chief

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KaiserBruno wrote:
The Eyrines Company are a bunch of former Gray Maidens that pledged loyalty to Abrogail after Ileosa's death. They were mentioned in the Gray Maidens article in the second book of Shattered Star.

Weird.


What are the Orders on the cover? I don't recognize the far left and middle, but pretty sure mid-left is Scourge, Mid-right Godclaw and far right Nail.

Is the middle Rack?

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

Has anyone heard what parts of this will be PFS legal yet?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:

What are the Orders on the cover? I don't recognize the far left and middle, but pretty sure mid-left is Scourge, Mid-right Godclaw and far right Nail.

Is the middle Rack?

Middle is Rack, but I'm not sure about far left.

Silver Crusade

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

Oder of the Pyre? Four holes and large horns on the helmet, also wielding a glaive (I think).

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DragoDorn wrote:
Has anyone heard what parts of this will be PFS legal yet?

Nothing's been announced yet on that front.


Kairos Dawnfury wrote:

What are the Orders on the cover? I don't recognize the far left and middle, but pretty sure mid-left is Scourge, Mid-right Godclaw and far right Nail.

Is the middle Rack?

Lets see we have an going left to right, Order of the Pyre, Order of the Scourge, Order of the Rack, Order of the Godsclaw, and Order of the Nail.


can anyone give some information on the Order of the Glyph ?


The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.


John Compton wrote:
DragoDorn wrote:
Has anyone heard what parts of this will be PFS legal yet?
Nothing's been announced yet on that front.

Hopefully as much as possible.

The Hellknight PRC as it stands is a confused mess mishmash between Paladin and Fighter and subpar at both, only played by the faithful who love them despite their shortcomings :p

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Shifty wrote:
The Hellknight PRC as it stands is a confused mess mishmash between Paladin and Fighter and subpar at both, only played by the faithful who love them despite their shortcomings :p

Expectation Management: if you don't think the Hellknight prestige class is up to snuff, this book won't do a ton to help.


Kalindlara wrote:

Expectation Management: if you don't think the Hellknight prestige class is up to snuff, this book won't do a ton to help.

Oh my.

I may be headed to Disappointmentville on the express train.

Dark Archive

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nighttree wrote:
can anyone give some information on the Order of the Glyph ?

Order of the Glyph:
They're a small order created secretly by House Thrune and unsanctioned by the Council of Lictors. They are responsible for maintaining backup copies of all of the historical lore House Thrune redacts and destroys so that House Thrune has a hidden reference copy of the true material available for its own use. They have Geryon as their patron, and are based in the Archive of Redacted Histories, though they have a few other, smaller library-bases hidden in major Chelish cities.

Hell's Vengeance:
The order makes a major appearance in Part 5 of Hell's Vengeance. Majestrix Abrogail II determines that the material in the Archive of Redacted Histories his outlived its potential usefulness and serves as a greater potential liability (for example, if someone like the Glorious Reclamation captured it) than insurance asset, and she orders the PCs to destroy it in a formalized sacrifice of history to empower an artifact superweapon they're building. The Order of the Glyph takes its oaths to Abrogail I and Geryon seriously, and it defends the archive. You get a full writeup of their main library-citadel, a statblock for their standard members, a statblock for their lictor, Maritas Clandegar, and a sidebar that gives them a new Discipline that lets them each maintain a Glyph of Warding.


Lord Gadigan wrote:
nighttree wrote:
can anyone give some information on the Order of the Glyph ?

Ooohhh....I LIKE !

Do they describe them as having any set motif to their armor ?

Dark Archive

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Glyph and Hell's Vengeance:
They don't describe it in this book, but there's an illustration of the lictor in Scourge of the Godclaw. His helm has a winged serpent motif, and there's a pattern of serpent scales throughout the entire armor.


Lord Gadigan wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Why does that make me think Lyssala ?

Liberty's Edge

Can someone please give us some info on what the new feats do?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
Lord Gadigan wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
Why does that make me think Lyssala ?

It's much more of a reference to their (sort-of) patron Geryon, who has a similar visual motif. Given her historical obscurity, it's unlikely that they even know who Lissala is. (What Geryon knows is another matter entirely...)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Berselius wrote:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Now why would they do that? There is no shortage of bad intentions. ;)


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David knott 242 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Now why would they do that? There is no shortage of bad intentions. ;)

Because Devils would probably enjoy leading the righteous and just down the path of Damnation and that road probably always starts with the excuse that an evil act was "for the greater good".


Berselius wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Now why would they do that? There is no shortage of bad intentions. ;)
Because Devils would probably enjoy leading the righteous and just down the path of Damnation and that road probably always starts with the excuse that an evil act was "for the greater good".

Ah, "for the greater good." The four most dangerous words in the English language.

Silver Crusade

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FedoraFerret wrote:
Berselius wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Now why would they do that? There is no shortage of bad intentions. ;)
Because Devils would probably enjoy leading the righteous and just down the path of Damnation and that road probably always starts with the excuse that an evil act was "for the greater good".
Ah, "for the greater good." The four most dangerous words in the English language.

No, that's the four most evil words. The four most dangerous are "What does this do?"

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

You both forgot "What if.....?"


DragoDorn wrote:
You both forgot "What if.....?"

That's only two words, not four...

Doesn't mean they're not 'dangerous'.

;p


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Rysky wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Berselius wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Now why would they do that? There is no shortage of bad intentions. ;)
Because Devils would probably enjoy leading the righteous and just down the path of Damnation and that road probably always starts with the excuse that an evil act was "for the greater good".
Ah, "for the greater good." The four most dangerous words in the English language.
No, that's the four most evil words. The four most dangerous are "What does this do?"

I've always felt that "Here, hold my beer" was a strong contender for most dangerous.


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"There are times when the end justifies the means. But when you build an argument based on a whole series of such times, you may find that you've constructed an entire philosophy of evil."―Luke Skywalker (Legends version) during the Swarm War

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
"There are times when the end justifies the means. But when you build an argument based on a whole series of such times, you may find that you've constructed an entire philosophy of evil."―Luke Skywalker (Legends version) during the Swarm War

"I really like beer"

- Wolverine

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

And I'm sure the product addresses that.


Gorbacz wrote:
Berselius wrote:
"There are times when the end justifies the means. But when you build an argument based on a whole series of such times, you may find that you've constructed an entire philosophy of evil."―Luke Skywalker (Legends version) during the Swarm War
"I really like beer"- Wolverine

I believe every dwarf ever has also said that as well Gor. ;)

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Berselius wrote:
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
And I'm sure the product addresses that.

Of that I have no doubt. I think Paizo has already well established a link between diabolism and the Hellknight Orders.


Also, it may be just me, but holy hell does that armor those Hellknights are wearing on the cover look tough as nails to put on.

I wish Paizo had included the Fast-Donning Straps armor accessory (or something similar) from the Races of Stone book of Wizards of the Coast.

Maybe then armor wouldn't be such a pain to endure for Fighters.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Berselius wrote:

Also, it may be just me, but holy hell does that armor those Hellknights are wearing on the cover look tough as nails to put on.

I wish Paizo had included the Fast-Donning Straps armor accessory (or something similar) from the Races of Stone book of Wizards of the Coast.

Maybe then armor wouldn't be such a pain to endure for Fighters.

Armor Training (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a fighter learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –4 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +4 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed.

In addition, a fighter can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, a fighter can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.

Also, Armor Master's Handbook has the Quick Donning advanced armor training feature, whereas you can swap out your -1 ACP + Max Dex for ability to don and discard armor faster and with a chance for no penalties at all.

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