Lords of the Night (PFRPG)

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Adventurers fight vampires, either as dime-a-dozen villains or masterminds at the center of sinister plots. But what is it like to be a vampire in a fantasy world, to move through a world where your prey can be as dangerous and cunning as you, and lurks in the shadows which you call home? Transform your campaign with this supplement, compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and explore what it means to be a vampire - to struggle for survival, secrecy, and power in a world that would destroy you if it knew you. Expand on existing campaigns with new content that brings out undead themes in even living characters as well!

Lords of the Night is an 80-page book that includes:

  • Expanded worldbuilding on the nature of vampires, how they fit into settings, and how they interact with the living.
  • A new vampire template designed for easy use by players and GMs alike.
  • Advice and systems for running a vampiric campaign.
  • The Alerts system, which tracks a settlement's reaction to a hidden threat from within.
  • New archetypes for Barbarian and Paladin that express how undead pursue these paths through eternity.
  • Four new prestige classes that enhance the power of undeath, including the enigmatic sussurratore and the terrifying black templar.
  • New feats for players looking to enhance or express themes of undeath and secrecy.
  • New spells, power, and maneuvers with necromantic and vampiric themes.
  • Sample NPCs to speed the process of creating and maintaining a setting's population.
  • A sample vampiric society, the Leatherworker's Guild, that can be inserted into a living city in your campaign world.

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Heine Stick wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
Heine Stick wrote:
I can see that the PDF on DriveThruRPG was updated on Aug 7. Is this the latest version?
Ssshhhouuuuld be. Re-download it and lemme know if you see a sidebar in the Alerts section titled "You Must Be This Tall To Join the Angry Mob". If it's there, that's the latest version. If not, we still have an issue.
I can confirm that such a sidebar exists. :)

Excellent! You'll also find a new feat (Ghaarzon Telepathy) and the item section that we forgot last time >.>


Any chance of the alignment thing getting fixed, or are there no Current plans for another update?


Milo v3 wrote:
Any chance of the alignment thing getting fixed, or are there no Current plans for another update?

I'm afraid that's just gonna have to stand. It's an error but not, I think, a crippling one. The one mechanical interface with it - Blush of Life - provides other benefits that are still worth snagging for the concerned vampire.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The files were sent to the printer last night and the initial proof should be arriving next week.


Any update on a print version?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Azazyll wrote:
Any update on a print version?

It is incoming here to Paizo and already available at OBS, my friend. AT LAST, IT RISES IN THE GLORY OF DAR -

I mean, thanks for the interest >.> As always, here to answer questions to the best of my ability.


My review has been updated since the Alertness subsytem has been updated, and even an item section has been added!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Not meaning to be a bother, but any idea when the print version will be available for order here?


As far as I know, it's been submitted and only has to be activated. There might've been an error somewhere; I'll ask the bossman to look into it.


Part II of my review:

EDIT: I'm only human and I firmly believe in OPENLY standing up for my mistakes, so there you go: My original review got one thing wrong - the Black Templar's temporary essence caps at 2 times the class level, which renders my original statement of escalation hyperbole. So let me state this loud and clear - I made a mistake and profusely apologize for this. Thankfully, my players did not make this mistake when we played -they never drained more than two kittens in the sample adventure I ran this in. Once again: Mea Maxima Culpa!

No, you do not only get essence for touching akashic creatures or characters. One touch, at fifth level, nets you 5 essence, which means that 2 kittens net you the 10 temporary essence you require. That would be 12 seconds for this charging, which, provided a halfway decent Con-score, leaves enough room to annihilate your foe. So, the only other class features and options that provides temporary essence would be Bloody Shroud's body-bind and the guru's capstone ability Immortal Essence - but that one's temporary essence only lasts for Wis-mod rounds and requires the expenditure of stunning fist via the sever the flow-ability, making it limited. So, where's the issue? Essentially, the set-up for akashic classes is one of resource-management: They are balanced by making the player's choice matter - essence burn is nasty and is a choice that decreases the otherwise pretty flexible and awesome resources of the system: Essentially, you can go with passive benefits or get the more awesome, burn-powered effects - but for that, your resources for the day slightly decrease, meaning you can't perform it all the time. Even a one-level dip into this class allows a Black Templar to bypass this via a readily available array of essence to be expended sans repercussions. Michael Sayre has pointed out that the PrC does not gain essence per se and this is indeed a limiting factor, though it's one that merits specific mentioning once the Akashic supplemental material hits sites, since e.g. psioncis and spellcasting treat this kind of interaction with a PrC differently. I maintain, though, that this is less of a problem that one should assume - since burn can be completely relegated to the temporary essence and since temporary essence can easily, quickly and more reliably regained in combat than with the guru's capstone and lasts longer to boot, this PrC still gets rid of this limiting factor, making it possible to maintain the existing veils more persistently.

These guys may also infuse devastating poisonous essence into their adversaries and finally, make their undead permanent. A nasty PrC indeed and one I'm a bit weary off - the touch attack's significant damage, when combined with e.g. the guru's damage-output, can result in levels of damage that are rather nasty. In short - I consider this PrC pretty broken in a variety of ways and won't allow this for mortal PCs unless in a vampire campaign to even the odds and I hereby warn GMs of the combo-potential of this one - it's not bad or broken in every context, mind you, but it can pretty easily be made VERY, very nasty and highly problematic.

The pdf also provides a significant array of feats to customize your vampire - from closer semblance to the living to enablers - i.e. influencing undead with bardic performances, adding bites to initiated strikes, ignore the mind-affecting immunity of undead - the feats generally provide nice ways of evening the playing field for the undead. Essentially, the feats here are enablers, i.e. feats that render abilities valid in a context where they otherwise wouldn't be. I like that.

However, personally, I am not a fan of the "ignore immunity"-type of design; it also brings me back to my first campaign, where multiple ignore/don't ignore-effects stacked and stockpiled - a solution that utilizes scaling via HD, e.g. HD+4, would have rendered these imho better balanced and made them feasible for regular campaigns -as written, the content herein fits within the framework of Lords of the Night, but beyond it, I'd be weary of quite a few of them, for example From faking death to undead companions - the concepts are solid, so please do not get the wrong impression here.

Next up would be a new martial disciplines for the Path of War-system practiced by the organization Scales of Mourning - the Unquiet Grave. The Scales of Mourning is interesting in that it actually provides an oath of initiation - you trade one of your disciplines for Unquiet Grave as a consequence of initiation into the order. Oh, and you become immortal (ceasing to age etc.) when joining this order...but only for as long as you maintain your oath. And this one is intriguing - essentially, they perceive the duality of life and death, positive and negative energy, as a necessity and thus try to keep the two forces in balance, which may pit them versus necromancers...or use them to counter the balance of rampant growth via positive energy. Harbingers, mystics, stalkers and warlords may learn this discipline and the associated weapon groups would be axes, natural, polearms and scythes, with the relevant skill being Knowledge (religion). I *love* this fluffy introduction and the themes evoked here.

The discipline is different in a selection of unique ways. For one, strikes are supernatural abilities and may be expended to utilize negative energy to heal the undead for 1d8 points per expended strike. Quite a few maneuvers have second effects that are only executed if the initiator is undead - these would be marked with "Grace Call," though the initiator has control on whether or not to have this additional effect work. Several of the maneuvers grant temporary hit points that stack with themselves (urgh) and other maneuvers, up to a total of +1/2 the initiator's maximum hit points, for up to one hour. Stacking with itself is a pretty straight and imho unnecessary deviation from how default sources of temporary hit points work, so yeah, not sold here. It should also be noted that the expenditure of strikes, with them being an unlimited resource, allows for the infinite healing of the undead - which is NOT something I'd allow - even in a high-powered vampire-campaign.

Let me go on a slight tangent here - one of the crucial flaws of Path of War and, to me, the most jarring one, worse even than failed kitten-tests, was never the damage-output. Yes, the system offers a low optimization threshold,. Yes, the damage is massive. But for *certain* campaigns, this system, as mentioned in my reviews of its files time and again, is just what the doctor ordered. And its basic system is FUN. While I'm no fan of the utterly easily exploitable skill-roll versus X-mechanics, this is still something that may not feature as problematic in certain campaigns, while in others, it can wreck all kinds of havoc. However, more so than the design sin that failed kitten-tests will ALWAYS remain, the infinite healing exploits are just horrible, and I will fight anyone on that. Healing is a limited resource in PFRPG - and in every game I participated in, for that matter. Killing the limitation on it radically changes the game and invalidates the assumptions regarding encounters per day, adventure structure, etc. In regular Path of War, the exploits at least require some levels and skill to pull off - not much, granted, but still. Here, it's the basic feature of the discipline. first level infinite healing. For groups, if you're playing all vampire/undead.

Interestingly, the discipline actually works pretty well in non-vampire games that does not sport characters healed via negative energy - in the hands of a non-dhampir etc., this discipline's broken infinite healing can mainly be used to stitch the minions of your necromancer buddy together - which is okay. The problem is, however, that both the vampires to which this is devoted and a certain number of races do not suffer from this restriction.

Here, we have a discipline that allows a first level vampire initiator infinite healing - as well as ALL non-undead characters in the group. If you combine this with any option (and there are quite a few) that allows you to transfer HP to allies, and you have infinite healing for the whole group, even mortal PCs. You are welcome to differ in your opinion, of course, but as far as I'm concerned, infinite healing is BROKEN in ANY campaign, even in (most) superhero-power-level-style ones. Even for a single character, much less talking about a whole party.

Yes, combat-utility is limited, but this still means you go fresh and fully rested into just about every battle. So, a GM in a less extreme campaign is left with either a gentleman's agreement or a mechanic that negates some very basic balance-assumptions of the game. Sure, if you're all about waltzing over your foes, this is fun - but I can wager that, for many groups, this utterly breaks the game, the challenge and thus also, the fun.

"The following section presents a new martial tradition and martial discipline, both of which are suitable for any campaign." is the intro of the maneuver section - and this is, quite frankly, horribly wrong. Infinite healing is not something "suitable for any campaign." And seriously, this breaks my heart, because I actually like Unquiet Grave. Yes, didn't see that coming now, did you?

Okay, so how do the maneuvers of the discipline fare? Extremely well. No, seriously. The imagery is glorious. Temporary hit points via attacks may be nice - but what about the gravekeeper's hood-boost that temporarily makes you immune to blindness? Yeah, damn cool visuals - though, on a nitpicky side, channel resistance increased as offered by its Grave Call usually have a "+" before the increase - but minor hiccups like this do not impede the functionality of the boost or my final rating.

I also enjoy negative energy resistance (or positive energy resistance for the undead!) - or what about a counter that temporarily shrivels your anatomy, revealing the skeleton beneath, while also granting you DR 5/bludgeoning? I'm a bit weary of a 3rd level strike temporarily preventing ANY healing on a failed save, though. A stance that prevents you from being slowed too much by mimicking the unshakeable determination of revenants would also be awesome. While I love the imagery, the Headsmen's Descending Strike can be considered problematic - if your foe is below 1/4 maximum hit points, this one means save-less insta-death. Yes, in a fight versus e.g. a dragon, this strike can be terribly anti-climactic. 6th level imho is too soon for this power - I would have expected it at 8th level, the soonest. Still, there is a LOT to like -for one, no skill versus AC attacks. Additionally, the imagery resonates with me and is awesome in many cases. Indeed, were it not for the infinite healing exploit, I'd consider this the best, most balanced and interesting discipline created so far - the additional effects and tactical dimensions offered by the Grave Call are absolutely awesome. So yes, I will use this...and ignore the hell out of the infinite-healing-option.

The book also sports an array of different spells and powers the undead will indeed cherish - positive energy resistance (or healing inhibition), belching forth clouds of negative energy, emitting blazes of sunlight - some pretty nice options. Making it hard to communicate the contents of a text? Now that is interesting, as is temporarily making the undead come to life again - but with their undead personality intact... What about dissipating into a swarm of bats to move stealthily around, Castlevania Lords of Shadows II-style, interestingly, as a transmutation spell? Now the letter is awesome, but it does have some minor issues - as written, the spell allows for the caster to teleport via the bats, when obviously, line of effect would be required - essentially, the spell would allow, RAW, to get past walls of force, when from the fluff, the ability to move to the area should be required as a caveat. Vascular Snare is interesting - as a 3rd level spell, it reduces a creature's movement to 0 on a failed save, as veins tie it into place. Ripping the target free is possible, but deals 1d6 untyped damage per CL, cap 10d6. The reduced AoE and means to not rip free keep this a balanced and interesting option, though the spell would have benefited from a proper definition whether it can be cast on flying or swimming targets not in contact with the ground - a slightly more precise target-line would have made this perfect, though, admittedly, this would be a nitpick.

The new powers contained herein are similarly themed around the theme of acidic blood and delightfully gory visuals - the 5th level power Kyria's Vascular Disruption, for example, lets the target erupt in a spray of blood, which then congeals into a disgusting, entangling web. I love this power, though the entangling effects of the blood should allow for a Ref-save to negate for the creatures in the AoE. What about a power that allows you to essentially create a contingency stored power to reflexively strike back at your foe? Yeah, pretty damn neat! Of course, an occultation-enhancing power would also be here. The best thing about this section remains something different: Jade Ripley's Wilder-supplement went one step too far regarding the power-level of some powers contained within, but was truly distinguished in several design-decisions: First of all, the powers had numerous, interesting augments and the wilder-exclusive surge-augments constituted a design-element that actually made me enjoy a class I considered somewhat weak and bland. Now this book's powers have inherited the augment-option diversity and great concept of surge augments, but their balance actually feels right for the respective levels - strong, yes, but not OP. This section made me a very happy man, for I seriously hate bashing on awesome concepts due to balance-screws being off - this is not the case here. Kudos and two thumbs up!!

Now obviously, the undead have their own need for magic items - sun-negating parasols for the discerning bloodsucking lady, for example. Or what about a blood vault, which allows for the storage of temporary hit points for a later use...but at a certain risk? What about an artifact that can be attuned to a servant - and, upon being slain, the servant dies and turns into...well, you. Nasty and great for recurring villains! GMs will also appreciate this pdf sporting an array of NPC statblocks for the guardsmen - based on heroic classes and WBL - and that is GOOD. Seriously, putting NPC-classes versus vampire PCs will not yield good results, so personally, I very much welcome this decision. And yes, the builds are pretty solid - nice mini-codex.

The pdf goes beyond that, though - the final chapter herein is devoted to an intriguing array of builds of unique NPCs, as it depicts the Leatherworker's Guild, a sample society of the undead with its own rules and power-structures - much like a miniature vampire-subculture in VtM, we are introduced to multiple, well-crafted and pretty interesting factions that vie for control within the guild, all sporting different ideologies ranging from predatory, but somewhat benevolent to indifferent and downright vicious supremacism. The society depicted utilizes the Dreamscarred Press subsystems from Psionics to Path of War and Akashic Mysteries and generally delivers some pretty solid builds for the sample characters featured (ignoring my rules-concerns above since these guys and gals are subject to the GM's control)- but the true star here would be, once again, the fluff: From the mysterious, cloaked reaper that eliminates vampires (or mortals) that compromise the guild to the child-vampire "The Waif" that guards children and brutally destroys any undead daring to touch them, the characters are intriguing. The locations sketched also fall into this category - from the neutral-ground vampire-pub to the friendly mummy-granny, the panorama drawn here can be considered pretty awesome. In fact, if this section managed to make me want to see some modules in this setting. Kudos!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on both formal and rules-levels - while there are minor oversight snd types here and there (e.g. a missing word or a blank space too much), generally, the formal criteria of the book are nice. Layout adheres to a blood-spattered variant of Dreamscarred Press' two-column full-color standard and the pdf sport quite a nice array of solid b/w-artwork - though you should not expect the level of awesome of the gorgeous cover. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience with nested bookmarks.

When I first read this final version, I was thoroughly surprised - to get that right out of the way: Even if you have "Fang & Fury", this is worth getting - it has next to nothing in common with its "inspiration" - in fact, it is essentially a whole new book. The only things I really missed from Green Ronin's book were some of the delightfully twisted vampire deities, but apart from that, the fluff and content provided herein mops the floor with the direct predecessor.

This book also provides one massive issue for me as a reviewer: How should I rate this?

Okay, let's start with the ugly: We have failed kitten-tests here, beyond the option to only draw sustenance from intelligent beings. With a bag of kittens drained by the vampire, quite a few of the options herein can horribly cheesed. In the spirit of civil debate and since, by now I have ranted long and extensively about this topic, I'd like to draw your attention to Jade Ripley's blog - there, the author provides a well-reasoned justification for ignoring kitten-able abilities. Check it out! This is not intended as an attack, but rather as a rebuttal: It is, of course, a valid interjection to assume that GMs who have an issue with cheesing of abilities like this can easily resolve the issue. My point is, though, that there should not be a need for gentlemen's agreements like this in good design. I'm not sure whether I am a singular case, but I wager I'm not: I *want* my PCs to succeed, but I also want to challenge them. Now as soon as a player has an ability that can be cheesed via the kitten-test, the temptation of doing just that will always be there - and if it does show up, both the player AND the GM will be inclined to potentially allow it to e.g. prevent a TPK. This psychological pressure put on a group's social dynamic can create lingering resentment by the player, who might feel that the GM has "unfairly" limited his or her options and puts a strain on the GM - who wants his players to have fun. Good design does not generate situations like this and hence, I consider kitten-failures as rather serious design-issues. Your mileage may vary, of course.

This pdf, while having the Path of War-discipline I like best, the one with the most smooth and streamlined and arguably, balanced options, also offers the most bafflingly broken infinite healing exploit I've seen in quite a while. I am quite honestly baffled at the design-decision to mar an otherwise flavorful discipline this way - it imposes a very singular vision of playstyle on a discipline that otherwise would allow for a significantly broader application - essentially, Unquiet Grave unceremoniously shoots itself in the proverbial foot, when it's an excellent sprinter. Finally, the veilweaving PrC...well, I've ranted about this one in the above. There are minor hiccups here and there, but those would be the big issues I see - and they ultimately make this pdf, if one is to read it as a "allow everything" player-supplement, problematic - to the point I'd at the very highest, could go for something along the lines of 3.5 stars - for there are A LOT of downright awesome (and well-balanced!) options herein that make the unnecessary and to me, incomprehensible, issues stand out even more.
So that's how I'd rate this as a player-supplement.

The problem is - this is and is not a player-supplement. It can be read as such, sure.

But it could also be read as a campaign overlay or template as suggested in the beginning. And the book excels in this category in a triumphant fashion - first of all, the balance-concerns vanish since the GM can simply make them NPC-only. Problem solved. Secondly, this book not only is a valuable resource for vampire games: The alert-system provided is simple, easy to grasp, can be modified by any halfway decent GM and could just as well be used for lycanthrope-games or any gothic horror/dark fantasy campaign. The visuals of the new spells and powers and their effects allow you to create a grittier setting when used properly and the book continues to provide solid adversary-watchmen and an inspired vampire society. The fluff of this book is surprisingly captivating and compelling. While personally, I'll make the required 10 hp per day versus the thirst multiplied by the character's level to represent an increasing requirement of food for older vampires, that is just my personal taste and the fact that the system supports this is nice. Personally, I think summoned creatures, the easiest way to cheese the thirst, should be exempt from being valid options to slake one's thirst, but that is pretty much the only gripe I have against the basic system here. Conversely, one can take a page from Vampire and have certain vampires require noble blood, etc. - all these options are supported by a solid rules-frame.

So how did Jade Ripley and Alex Clatworthy respond to the Buffy-conundrum? Well, by making this a campaign-overlay. The vampires here are VAMPIRES. They are not nerfed losers, they are badass, strong and deadly - and hence, the basic assumption is that of a corresponding campaign. Now mind, you, I playtested this book quite extensively, with the subsystems and my complaints regarding infinite healing and the above issues remained valid in that context. However, at the same time, the alert-system and rest of the content - it's, in one word, superb. As a GM's toolbox, this book constitutes the by far best "Play a vampire"-book for any d20-based system I know. In fact, I like this book so much that I *really* would love a proper vampiric AP utilizing these rules.

If you modify this book's content and file off the few, but jarringly problematic pieces of content, you will quite frankly receive an absolutely awesome source-book to play the lords of the night. In fact, as a person and someone with his own fair share of design-experience, I will simply modify the problematic pieces - a task of ~10 minutes and what I get is an absolutely stellar, inspired resource. For me as a private person, there's no way around it - this resource blew me away. I really am inspired by it. As a private person, I can definitely recommend this...with one caveat:

For one, the veilweaving rules are still in the process of being tweaked. While promising to be perhaps one of the most awesome resources ever, this pdf's PrC, at least as written, provides some utterly nasty options that break the system's limiting factors. I am convinced infinite essence burning provides significant issues with a system that otherwise is on a great way to becoming an awesome, balanced option -essentially, it makes essence burning infinite (Go ahead, look at easily regained temporary essence in Akashic Mysteries - note something?), something that directly contradicts the very notion of the decision to use essence burning in the first place - indeed, this provides more easily regainable essence than a class capstone. In the end, this PrC makes an akashic class behave like a path of war class, sans the system-inherent inhibitors and with the greatly escalated power-level that is NOT inherent in AM. Akashic Mysteries designer Michael Sayre has commented on the Black Templar on my home page, among other things pointing out a crucial glitch in my first version of this review, so thanks for that! I still maintain that the PrC undermines the system itself and is pretty problematic, though.

Secondly, as mentioned above, I strongly urge MOST GMs to tweak Unquiet Grave if they include it in their campaign, even within the paradigm of Path of War - unless they don't mind vampire initiators with infinite healing...and groups with infinite healing. I don't judge, if that's how you roll - but quite a few GMs out there will not like this. The discipline's easy access to significant temporary hit points on its own already is strong enough -I playtested it sans the infinite healing and it played just fine with the other Path of War material.

Both components have one thing in common: They may fit a *certain* style of campaign. But put them into the hands of any halfway decent min-maxer and you'll suffer. Again, this may very well be within the paradigm of your campaign. If your players smash through most published modules anyway, you'll want to keep a close eye on this book and make sure these components stay far out of the reach of your players. If, of course, your campaign is pretty high-powered anyways and you have no issues with one-shot BBEG-kills and the like, then this obviously won't hurt your playing experience. In short, I do not get, at all, why these options restrict themselves by being more specific than they quite frankly deserve to be. I see a book of great content that could have been the ultimate vampire book for any d20-based game and am a bit frustrated.

But wait...in a way, it still is by far the best take on the subject matter. Necromancers of the Northwest's free vampire rules are okay, but they depict essentially a vampire that is more balanced against the core-races and manage vampirism via racial classes and thus loses some of the badassery of being a vampire. Fire Mountain Games' feat-based vampire-apotheosis may be functional, but personally, I always hated it. I also am not convinced that, even with the modifications mentioned in "Way of the Wicked #7", transition to a vampire-themed campaign properly works there. So in view of these two...yes Lords of the Night is by FAR the best, most compelling, most awesome option available for the subject matter- to the point, where, let me reiterate that, I *really* would love to see some vampire modules or even a whole AP using these rules. And, once again, a halfway decent GM can customize this book to suit his or her table's unique predispositions. I just wish that was not required, that I could unanimously celebrate and praise this.

Indeed, if this book's few rough edges had been polished off, this would be a candidate for my Top Ten of 2015 - it's that compelling, that well-written, that awesome in its visuals. It gets vampires right. At the same time, as a reviewer, I can't for the life of me, rate this as a perfect book, as something for every table - an inexperienced GM with this book can potentially have a rather rude awakening. I sincerely hope that you, my readers, could draw enough information from this review to make up your own mind about this book and, furthermore, I sincerely hope that you either take my criticism, shrug it off and leave it or appreciate it and avoid an unnecessary pitfall in an otherwise great resource.

Finally, if you're looking for a way to make vampire adversaries as awesome as they should be, if you read this as a monster-ecology for the GM, then you'd once again have one damn lethal, awesome 5 star+ seal book.

So, what will be my final verdict as a reviewer, you ask? Well, on a formal level, I can't rate this as perfect, as much as I'd like to. However, what I *can* do is to add the sign of my personal appreciation to the book - and add my seal of approval. After careful deliberation, I will average the 3 possible ways and respective ratings for different readings and usages of this book.

So, we have:

-3.5, rounded down if read as an allow-all player supplement.

-5 stars + seal if read as a GM's toolkit/campaign overlay

-5 stars + seal if read as a massive vampire ecology

My final "official" verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars + seal of approval - though I have to round down. Please bear in mind, that in the hands of a capable GM and with oversight, this still can be pretty much THE definite vampire resource as both a campaign toolkit and as an ecology.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Also: If you're interested in what my error was in the previous iteration of this review or if you'd like to read a civil discussion between the authors and myself, you can do so here on my homepage!

Endzeitgeist out.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Thank you End not only for this VERY thorough review that makes me even MORE excited to get my greedy hands on the print version, but also for pointing out the Necromancers Of The Northwest product which now awaits me in my downloads! :D


Always glad when my reviews (especially ones like this that represent a HUGE amount of work) are appreciated, Nate! I had to playtest the Path of War-stuff, the Akashic Mysteries-material (both against highly complex systems) and run this with both vampires only and vampires & mortals mixed. I am honestly not sure when I publish a review of this length whether it's not *too* long for most people...So yeah, thank you so much!
I'm even more glad when I can actually point someone towards the hidden gems out there!
:D


One thing I don't understand about Lords of Night, why suggest the slower XP track rather than something like LA? I mean, the XP track thing means after a few levels the gap increases to 2 levels behind. I mean, the general rule people used with LA was buy-off so that the LA decreases as you increase in level. This is like Reverse LA buy-off.


LA is something not supported by PFRPG - there is no instance for it in the rules. Having played with LA-races in the 3.X-days of old, I think there's a reason why PFRPG is weary of the concept.

It's not perfect, but hey - you can still go regular XP-track.


Endzeitgeist wrote:

LA is something not supported by PFRPG - there is no instance for it in the rules. Having played with LA-races in the 3.X-days of old, I think there's a reason why PFRPG is weary of the concept.

It's not perfect, but hey - you can still go regular XP-track.

I know, but suggesting that:

"the vampire remains 1 level lower than the party and is treated as being of equal level when calculating XP gained and average party level)" (which is actually text from Lords of the Night, so I'm assuming that's what the intention behind the section originally was),

is a lot better than:
"the vampire remains 1 level lower than the party and is treated as being of equal level when calculating XP gained and average party level).... except for 60% of the levels where you become 2 levels lower than the party." which is actually what happens if you follow the suggestion.


You have a valid point there, Milo v3! Know what? I think I'll give your idea a test-run in my home-game's next vampiric adventure.


Any update on the print version here? I would really like to combine it with my next Paizo order to get the shipping deal.


Sorry to be a bother, just wanted to ask if there was any further news on print copies available through Paizo.


Azazyll wrote:
Sorry to be a bother, just wanted to ask if there was any further news on print copies available through Paizo.

Checking in with the bosses to see what's up. It's quite possible that unavoidable Life Stuff is the reason for the delay but we'll see.


Prince of Knives wrote:
Azazyll wrote:
Sorry to be a bother, just wanted to ask if there was any further news on print copies available through Paizo.
Checking in with the bosses to see what's up. It's quite possible that unavoidable Life Stuff is the reason for the delay but we'll see.

I saw the sad news over on the Dreamscarred kickstarter :( Take all the time you guys need, of course. I have plenty to work with until I can get my hands on this.


Azazyll wrote:


I saw the sad news over on the Dreamscarred kickstarter :( Take all the time you guys need, of course. I have plenty to work with until I can get my hands on this.

I completely missed the sad news. What happened?


James0235 wrote:
Azazyll wrote:


I saw the sad news over on the Dreamscarred kickstarter :( Take all the time you guys need, of course. I have plenty to work with until I can get my hands on this.
I completely missed the sad news. What happened?

The demon Murphy invoked his terrible Law upon us. I'll poke Jeremy and see what can be done here. As far as I know - and don't take this as gospel - this is just a communication thing and we should be able to resolve it with the Paizo staff with an email or three, but, again, don't quote me 'cause this ain't my wheelhouse.

I'll update ya as I can.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

James0235 wrote:
Azazyll wrote:


I saw the sad news over on the Dreamscarred kickstarter :( Take all the time you guys need, of course. I have plenty to work with until I can get my hands on this.
I completely missed the sad news. What happened?

In the spirit of transparency, at the end of October, my younger brother killed himself and I had to make an unexpected cross-country trip after just having spent time with my wife celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. Which made my day job quite challenging when I finally got back to work after over two weeks being gone.

It pretty seriously screwed up timelines on a lot of things and a lot of balls in the air got dropped.

I'll see if I can get this sorted out with the Paizo staff to get print copies available here.


Jeremy Smith wrote:


In the spirit of transparency...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

Jeremy Smith wrote:


I'll see if I can get this sorted out with the Paizo staff to get print copies available here.

I'm patient (I already have too much to read) and I will just order it whenever it comes out. I just did not want to be waiting around for a product only to find that it had long ago been cancelled.


I'm not good at these things - but sorry for your loss. If you need someone to talk, you know where I am.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Thanks, I very much appreciate it. :)

Silver Crusade

Oh, f~%* ;_;

*offers hugs*


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Oh..that's horrible. My sincere condolences!


It is done! The print version is now available on preorder. If you, like me, are asking, "Why preorder?" it's because we need to send in some copies so they can be shipped. But everything's resolved, and you may now snag softcovers from here at the Paizo store. Thank you, everyone, for your patience.

Shadow Lodge

What would a dev's opinion be on mixing the given vampire template and the traditional vampire template, with that representing 'pure' Moroi bloodlines? I've been made a fan of this book, but I've been a fan of how Paizo outlined vampires in Blood of the Night.


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
What would a dev's opinion be on mixing the given vampire template and the traditional vampire template, with that representing 'pure' Moroi bloodlines? I've been made a fan of this book, but I've been a fan of how Paizo outlined vampires in Blood of the Night.

I wouldn't necessarily suggest it. The thing with the template in Lords of the Night is that its design wasn't because the base vampire was necessarily a bad vampire, but rather that its abilities and limitations were and are extremely problematic to use in the context of a group of player characters in a campaign. The changes to those advantages and limitations necessitated worlbuilding differences, differences which the existence of the base vampire template would make...difficult. Especially considering that the Moroi breed like rats.


Is there any difference contentwise and physically between the preorder here at Paizo and the POD version available through DriveThruRPG?


Heine Stick wrote:
Is there any difference contentwise and physically between the preorder here at Paizo and the POD version available through DriveThruRPG?

There shouldn't be.

Shadow Lodge

Prince of Knives wrote:
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
What would a dev's opinion be on mixing the given vampire template and the traditional vampire template, with that representing 'pure' Moroi bloodlines? I've been made a fan of this book, but I've been a fan of how Paizo outlined vampires in Blood of the Night.
I wouldn't necessarily suggest it. The thing with the template in Lords of the Night is that its design wasn't because the base vampire was necessarily a bad vampire, but rather that its abilities and limitations were and are extremely problematic to use in the context of a group of player characters in a campaign. The changes to those advantages and limitations necessitated worlbuilding differences, differences which the existence of the base vampire template would make...difficult. Especially considering that the Moroi breed like rats.

I was going to use it in a setting I work on with others for a Vampire-ruled kingdom, which vampires of all varieties have flocked to. Moroi are the 'ruling class,' due to their numbers and spawn, and the vampire template in LotN are the enforcers and footsoldiers. A diluted bloodline they can create when making spawn.


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
What would a dev's opinion be on mixing the given vampire template and the traditional vampire template, with that representing 'pure' Moroi bloodlines? I've been made a fan of this book, but I've been a fan of how Paizo outlined vampires in Blood of the Night.
I wouldn't necessarily suggest it. The thing with the template in Lords of the Night is that its design wasn't because the base vampire was necessarily a bad vampire, but rather that its abilities and limitations were and are extremely problematic to use in the context of a group of player characters in a campaign. The changes to those advantages and limitations necessitated worlbuilding differences, differences which the existence of the base vampire template would make...difficult. Especially considering that the Moroi breed like rats.
I was going to use it in a setting I work on with others for a Vampire-ruled kingdom, which vampires of all varieties have flocked to. Moroi are the 'ruling class,' due to their numbers and spawn, and the vampire template in LotN are the enforcers and footsoldiers. A diluted bloodline they can create when making spawn.

This might be better as its own thread in the appropriate forum, but...I'm not seeing how what you're describing addresses the difficulties I've mentioned? Especially since now they're competing for food and the Moroi still breed like rats. You can end up with an accidental standard-template vampire. LotN ones have to happen on purpose.

Shadow Lodge

Where would such a thread be located? And, if Moroi accidentally kill someone by feeding, they can create spawn, instead of new vamps. And it can be the same with the LotN vamps, if you use simplified feeding. Which I do, because I have an extreme distaste for the default rule.


I dunno, the 3pp Advice forum? Giantitp? Whatever totes your goats.

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