Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned (PFRPG)

3.40/5 (based on 16 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned (PFRPG)
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Abandon All Hope!

As long as mortals have feared what awaits them after death, the threat of damnation has loomed. Powerful fiendish lords rule the deepest, darkest reaches of the Great Beyond: archdevils, demon lords, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and more. Such is the power of their evil that even angels cannot resist it—when one servant of Heaven cataloged all the evil in existence in the Book of the Damned, Heaven's judges doomed him to exile, appalled at what he had wrought. And now you hold those horrors in your hands!

Pathfinder RPG Book of the Damned explores the evil planes and their fiendish rulers as they exist in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an open playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Book of the Damned includes:

  • Descriptions for dozens of archdevils, demon lords, Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and other fiendish divinities, including the foul boons they grant to their most devoted followers.
  • Explorations of otherworldly fiendish realms, including the infernal reaches of Hell, the death-haunted expanses of Abaddon, and the nightmare depths of the Abyss.
  • Several brand-new monsters to fill out the ranks of all 11 of the fiendish races, from sinister classics such as demons and devils to new favorites like asuras and sahkils.
  • New blasphemous rituals, magic items, powerful artifacts, and spells to arm your villains with or for heroes to discover and defy.
  • Three fiend-focused prestige classes, ready to vex and terrify adventurers who dare stand against their plots.
  • An extensive collection of in-world excerpts from the sinister pages of the Book of the Damned itself.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-970-7

Content Advisory
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned deals with many dark and intense concepts. The topic of demons and devils is not for everyone, nor is exploration of the themes these fiends embody and the practices they demand of their worshipers. You should make sure that your game group is comfortable with the contents of this book before using them in play—if even one player is uncomfortable with including some of the concepts in here, you should set those portions of the book (or the entire book) aside and focus on other plots for your game. Buyers should beware that the content of this book is not appropriate for all ages, and parents especially are encouraged to review the book before buying it.

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Five Evil Stars for a Five Star Evil Book!

5/5

Paizo's Book of the Damned does the nigh unthinkable in the increasingly politically correct gaming industry, in that it is filled with truly evil beings that commit hideous and offensive acts upon the universe. This book collects the best selling Book of the Damned series from Paizo and adds new parts here and there. If you have the previous books, it is still worth getting this for the new material, but your mileage may vary.

I absolutely love how much this book triggers people! I'd expect nothing less from a product called "Book of the Damned." The art is absolutely gorgeous, the lore is evocative and the evil contained within will help you unleash the hordes of heck on your unsuspecting players - and they'll thank you for it.

It's sold out now, so if you see a copy somewhere, snatch it up! This will be a much sought after collector's item for years to come.

Thank you for treating your customers like adults, Paizo. Every toolbox needs evil toys and this book helps fit that bill!


crappy overall

2/5

first 2chapters are horrid, the art is garbage. Last 3 chapters steadily grow better. I'd write more and have, but this stupid program keeps deleting my reviews! Therefore, PM me if you really want to know.


Mostly flavor for DMs, little use to players

1/5

I would not recommend this book to anyone except DMs who wanted a lot of deep flavor text on evil gods, evil planes and evil outsiders. The vast bulk of material is stuff that the DM can read in order to form a more coherent world view inside his head, but much of the material is such that it is not only useless to players mechanically, but even further, it is even difficult to convey to players flavor-wise.

Of the 280+ pages, about 120 (so almost half the book) is spent on detailing evil gods that were too small to receive full writeups in previous products. Gods like Baphomet, Dispater, Kostchtchie, Lamashtu, Mephistopheles, Moloch, Nocticula, Orcus, Pazuzu and Szuriel receive two-page writeups -- about 50 in total, covering about 100 pages. The other 20 pages in this section offer two-page writeups for 10 groupings like "Asura Ranas" and "Daemon Harbringers", giving brief detail to groupings gods even smaller than those who merited full two-pagers per individual. This section is essentially useless to players, but the DM can make some use of it for players by building cults that worship these guys and positioning them as enemies that have some of their background fleshed out thanks to this book. Having said that, spending almost half the book to detail the obscure gods of the guys who are going to be sword fodder for the players in three combat rounds? I think a hardcover slot could have been used for something much more useful.

The next 40 pages cover evil planes like Hell and Abyss. This, I think, is one of the more useful sections in the book, because at higher levels, players and campaigns are often going to be venturing into these environments, so getting more detail on them is very good stuff, and the DM can really use this as very concrete setting material for adventures. I actually wish that the art budget from the entire first section had been put into this section, because getting lots of cool images to use as visual aids to show players when they venture into a plane would have been extremely useful to me as a DM. Unfortunately, this is the smallest of the book's four sections, showing a big disconnect between what Paizo thinks we need and what I feel I need.

The third section is essentially the crunch section. Feats, domains, magic items, prestige classes and stuff like that. 95% of it is useless to players, and essentially exists just for the DM to build bad guy statblocks that the players are never going to see. There's a few occasional things that the players can use, like the Moon and Rivers subdomains, but by and large this section is useless unless you are the sort of DM who gets enjoyment out of building statblocks for your bad guys.

The fourth section is called a bestiary, but don't think it's like the Bestiary books simply presenting statblocks -- it has that too, but only about 14 of its 40 pages are statblocks for new monsters. The larger part of this section is flavor descriptions going over existing outsiders (like six pages for devils, six pages for daemons and six pages for demons) and giving them more flavor than existed previously. It's...not useless, I suppose. Some of the evil outsider flavor can be useful for DMs to flesh out encounters between evil outsiders and players. I guess this would be my second favorite section of the book, after the evil planes section.

Finally there's an appendix that presents excerpts from the in-world Book of the Damned in replica-like format as if you were reading the actual book. Kind of neat as a novelty but I didn't feel I got much use out of it.

So essentially there's five sections -- Gods, Planes, Crunch, Bestiary and Excerpts. Gods and Crunch are mostly only useful to build the bad guys of the campaign. Gods is more flavor side, Crunch is more crunch side. But I seriously question the decision to devote over half a hardcover to material that is mostly just useful to build the guys that might be dead in three rounds. My dislike for this decision is a big reason why I only give the book one star. Planes and Bestiary are more useful sections, but they are only about 80 of the book's 280+ pages. Bestiary is about as big as it needed to be -- I don't need any more flavor or statblocks that were presented there, so I wouldn't have wanted to see that section expanded further, but Planes could have and IMO should have been expanded far more. I could have used much, much more detail on the adventuring environments that I as DM could present to players.

Overall I just feel like this book was a big misstep and mis-gauge in what is useful. At least from my personal perspective -- other DMs may disagree. And it's miscategorized -- this book should have been in the DM-focused Campaign Setting line like Inner Sea Gods, to which it is sort of an evil sequel, rather than in the core line where, IMO, books should be more player-useful.

I should add one exception. This book could be really useful and worth its price if you are running an evil campaign. In that case, all the evil gods stuff and evil crunch stuff will actually be player-useful, which rockets the utility of this book upward. If you are running an evil campaign, I would actually consider this a four-star book.


Reprints and Bad Artwork

1/5

The best thing about the new Book of the Damned that can truly be said to be original to it, is the completed list of obediences. The rest of the material consists of reprints from the prior Books of the Damned, or retcons to that material that create new problems. As seems to be the usual case, the demons and the devils take the lion's share of the material, while the daemons, despite theoretically being among the Big Three of the fiendish races, are left to language in comparative obscurity; minor demon lords receive longer write-ups than in prior books, and Asmodeus' Queens of the Night get full write-ups for the first time, but among the deamons the Horsemen and the Horsemen alone receive any attention.

Perhaps the worst thing about the book however, is the artwork. While there are a few good, new pieces, usually marking the spaces between sections, most of the individual portraits of the archfiends are reprints from prior books or stunningly ugly (or in the case of the archdevil portraits from Bestiary 6, both).

I loved the prior Books of the Damned and wanted to like this book. In the end though, what little new material there cannot compensate for the book's faults, and the bad quality art makes it actively cringe-inducing to look on. Save yourself the money and buy something else.


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Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Lord Gadigan wrote:
CrinosG wrote:

Wow, so Folca is finally getting full worshiper stats and an illustration? Paizo is really pulling the trigger on this one huh?

So what does he look like? Cause my headcanon is he looks like Slenderman. How close am I?

He, like the other Harbingers and rest of the 'other fiends' groups, is getting a lean version of the worshiper stats that includes an obedience, three spell-boons that it grants, and info-paragraph as opposed to the larger boon-blocks and two-page spreads the more-major beings get.

** spoiler omitted **

I don't know whether to be disturbed because holy crap that is disturbing or because I just realized that wouldn't be out of place in modern cartoon shows O_o;

Like seriously man, disturbing "really unfriendly to children" monsters are getting more common(though right now I can only remember the Beast from Over The Garden Wall). I guess modern television is more open to nightmare fuel...

I don't really know about "more common", they've always been here.

Heck, It just got remade into a movie.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, yeah, conceptually they have always been here, but back in the old days they were more silly in design and dread came from concept. Like Grundel from Ghostbusters, he wouldn't be that creepy if not whole the "corrupting children into more Grundels" thing

Silver Crusade

CorvusMask wrote:
Well, yeah, conceptually they have always been here, but back in the old days they were more silly in design and dread came from concept. Like Grundel from Ghostbusters, he wouldn't be that creepy if not whole the "corrupting children into more Grundels" thing

... that was the Grundel's whole thing though.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was talking mainly about aesthetic design though <_< Whatever, forget about it


I always thought Grundel was creepy because he reminded me a large Bullywug.


Any details on Osolmyr, Corosbel, Ruapceras, or Yan-gant-y-tan?

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
PannicAtack wrote:
Any details on Osolmyr, Corosbel, Ruapceras, or Yan-gant-y-tan?

Osolmyr looks rather mutilated and has public self-flagellation as her obedience.

Corosbel rules a realm of debased temples and accepts sacrifices to dead and false gods.

Ruapceras is a twisted executioner who encourages hatred.

Yan-gant-y-tan has a mobile divine realm that teleports around Stygia, and peering under his cloak strikes the curious dead.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
Would anyone like to share any info on the Sakhil Tormentors?

They are mainly based out of Xibalba, which is a Silent-Hill-like realm of terrors built from nightmare-matter. It exists in the Ethereal Plane at the point where it is metaphysically closest to the Plane of Shadow. Its above-ground realms are varied and unsettling, and the caverns are vaster and even worse.

Some of them initially appear friendly (Dachzerul, Ozranvial), whereas others are fairly monstrous (scaling up towards Ziquiripat, who is disgusting and overtly omnicidal). Shawnari is almost imperceptible, even to demigods, and is (while still Evil and fear-based) working against the other Sakhil Tormentors subtly.


The Daemon Harbinger that interests me is Laivatiniel. What are they about?

Seriously I can't wait till this comes out on PDF next week.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also, regarding Folca, I'm wondering if it would be possible to play him as an expie of "It", except using candy instead of Balloons.

Dark Archive

Laivatiniel looks like an elderly woman with many decaying arms. Her obedience is to create, and then eat, a detailed portrait of one of your parents.

I think it's well within a GM's range of fiat to play Folca as an "It" expie, but I offer the potential suggestion of making It a unique Sakhil instead; they feed off of fear, and I could easily see one of them with enough shapeshifting/illusion powers pulling a Pennywise.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Silly question time, does the book have any information on the malebranche Barbariccia? Or the daemon harbinger Ajids? The latter always gave me a 'Murders in the Rue Morgue' vibe.


I feel like I know the answer to this already (none at all) but is there any extra details on the origin of Barbatos? Or like...what exactly he is? Even a little hint?


I'm surprised that, for such an interesting and innovative release, there are no previews out yet. Even though I can understand that there's a lot going on right now, I'm still surprised. ^^'


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think its because of Starfinder. Its Paizo's newest thing so they wanted to focus on pushing that. I mean we haven't even gotten anything about the New Shifter Iconic from Ultimate Wilderness yet (Hint hint).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
They are mainly based out of Xibalba, which is a Silent-Hill-like realm of terrors built from nightmare-matter. It exists in the Ethereal Plane at the point where it is metaphysically closest to the Plane of Shadow. Its above-ground realms are varied and unsettling, and the caverns are vaster and even worse.

Nice to see more mayan mythology showing up in pathfinder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CrinosG wrote:
Also, regarding Folca, I'm wondering if it would be possible to play him as an expie of "It", except using candy instead of Balloons.

Folca feels more like a Freddy Krueger type to me, but I guess I can see 'It' there as well.


Lord Gadigan wrote:
PannicAtack wrote:
Any details on Osolmyr, Corosbel, Ruapceras, or Yan-gant-y-tan?

Osolmyr looks rather mutilated and has public self-flagellation as her obedience.

Corosbel rules a realm of debased temples and accepts sacrifices to dead and false gods.

Ruapceras is a twisted executioner who encourages hatred.

Yan-gant-y-tan has a mobile divine realm that teleports around Stygia, and peering under his cloak strikes the curious dead.

Thanks. That all sounds really neat!


What sort of changes did the Diabolist get?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Adam and I just spoke about what's going into the preview blogs for this book not an hour ago. He'll be creating them, and they should be going onto the blog relatively soon (not today, but keep an eye out!).

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

True!


Are the illustrations for the demon lords known as the Prince of the Blasted Heath and the Vampire Queen reused ones?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Are the illustrations for the demon lords known as the Prince of the Blasted Heath and the Vampire Queen reused ones?

No.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Are the illustrations for the demon lords known as the Prince of the Blasted Heath and the Vampire Queen reused ones?
No.

The artwork for Cyth-V'sug is not only new, it's f@&!ing awesome.

Probably my favourite piece of art from the book (not counting the cover).


Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Are the illustrations for the demon lords known as the Prince of the Blasted Heath and the Vampire Queen reused ones?
No.

The artwork for Cyth-V'sug is not only new, it's f@+&ing awesome.

Probably my favourite piece of art from the book (not counting the cover).

*0*

Awesome! Cyth-V'sug is among my top 5 favorite demon lords.

I have nothing against their previous illustrations, but I really wanted to see a new picture for them - specifically Zura.

Could you also give me a description of Zura's picture Rysky?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Are the illustrations for the demon lords known as the Prince of the Blasted Heath and the Vampire Queen reused ones?
No.

The artwork for Cyth-V'sug is not only new, it's f@+&ing awesome.

Probably my favourite piece of art from the book (not counting the cover).

*0*

Awesome! Cyth-V'sug is among my top 5 favorite demon lords.

I have nothing against their previous illustrations, but I really wanted to see a new picture for them - specifically Zura.

Could you also give me a description of Zura's picture Rysky?

She's on the prowl.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Poor Tabris though ;_;

*offers hugs*


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

Could you also give me a description of Zura's picture Rysky?

I'll pitch in a little more description: crouched with her right arm/bat wing raised up and the left lying out to her side. Both wings have ribbon like projections coming from the ends. As Rysky said, she appears to be on the prowl, with glowing red eyes and an open classic vampire two-fanged mouth.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rysky wrote:

Poor Tabris though ;_;

*offers hugs*

Yeah, Tabris did his job with diligence and dedication. He got hosed. :(


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Feros wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Poor Tabris though ;_;

*offers hugs*

Yeah, Tabris did his job with diligence and dedication. He got hosed. :(

I suppose that would make it the true capstone of a Book of Vile Darkness, that its author was cast out of the Light for doing their duty.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for sharing, Rysky and Feros!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

*reads Dance of Chains Feat*

Unhoooooooooooooooooooly shit!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Feros wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Poor Tabris though ;_;

*offers hugs*

Yeah, Tabris did his job with diligence and dedication. He got hosed. :(

Did we get more details on him?

Silver Crusade

FallenDabus wrote:
Feros wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Poor Tabris though ;_;

*offers hugs*

Yeah, Tabris did his job with diligence and dedication. He got hosed. :(
Did we get more details on him?

Maybe? I haven't seen anything newish but I haven't read a lot yet.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

*reads Dance of Chains Feat*

Unhoooooooooooooooooooly s$$~!

No, really, a LOT of people are going to be very happy with this one :3


I have an odd question, what's the page count?

Also, are there any 'alliances' between the various races of fiends? I seem to recall that the sahkil get along rather well with kytons, divs, and daemons. How well do the devils get along with their asura neighbors?


In general, how do archdevil/demon lord obedience boons in this book compare to the previously published ones?

Specifically, was Mahathallah's initial boon made less insanely overpowered?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
In general, how do archdevil/demon lord obedience boons in this book compare to the previously published ones?

I don't know about the infernal ones off the top of my head.

The demon lords' exalted boons should match their Lords of Chaos equivalents, albeit with some additional flavor or clarifications where necessary. Their evangelist and sentinel boons are all new.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:

In general, how do archdevil/demon lord obedience boons in this book compare to the previously published ones?

Specifically, was Mahathallah's initial boon made less insanely overpowered?

Initial boons are all over the board in power. Mahathallah is giving bonuses to illusion spell DCs and saves vs. mind-affecting effects, while in the next entry, Mammon is giving those same bonuses to appraise and certain sleight of hand checks. In one category, you get the same bonus on saves vs. mind-affecting effects as you do on specific subsets of mind-affecting, like confusion, fear, or compulsions. There's a wide range of how powerful granted boons are, as well as how unique.

I don't know the old boons very well, but Mestama does now clarify that if you become a ghost, that's permanent. Others use "when you attain this boon" language so that you don't stop being a worm that walks after losing your body just because you couldn't say your prayers one day.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Too bad we didn't get new artwork for Eiseth. :)


Who all are the interior artists for this book?

Silver Crusade

Dave Allsop
Helge C. Balzer
Jeff Carlisle
Kev Crossley
Jay Epperson
Jorge Fares
Tawny Fritz
Fabio Gorla
Sally Gottschalk,
Johan Grenier
Vlada Hladkova
Ralph Horsley
Weston T. Jones
Eric Kenji
Kekai Kotaki
Kez Laczin
Setiawan Lie
Litos Lopez Rodriguez
Kate Maximovich
Vilius Petrauskas
Scott Purdy
Maichol Quinto
Wayne Reynolds
Kiki Moch Rizky
Mike Sass
Luca Sotgiu
Brent Toyomitsu
Francis Tsai
Tyler Walpole
Eva Widermann
Ben Wootten
Kieran Yanner
Cartographer • Rob Lazzaretti


4 people marked this as a favorite.

All right, time for a few cool new tricks that boons allow! There are lots more, but these stuck out to me.

Spoiler:

- Become a natural werewolf, a worm that walks, or hag for the purposes of forming a coven.
- Creatively edit polymorph forms to your liking.
- Turn somebody into a frog- and it's one step contagious.
- Use weapons in any polymorphed form.
- Gain a succubus's signature move.
- Infect somebody with your soul.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
...list of interior artists...

Thanks! Interesting lineup.


*wonders if Luthorne will be doing his usual crunch section...*


Does Lamashtu have updated stuff? Because I'm worried there could be a snarl, given that in the old book of the damned she had a completely different set of boons from what she had in Inner Sea Gods. Are Lamashtu's old obedience/boons completely done away with now?


QuidEst wrote:

All right, time for a few cool new tricks that boons allow! There are lots more, but these stuck out to me.

** spoiler omitted **

That sounds like a pretty good list.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PannicAtack wrote:
Does Lamashtu have updated stuff? Because I'm worried there could be a snarl, given that in the old book of the damned she had a completely different set of boons from what she had in Inner Sea Gods. Are Lamashtu's old obedience/boons completely done away with now?

The obedience is the one from Inner Sea Gods.

The new Evangelist boons are the old Demoniac boons.

The Exalted and Sentinel boons are at most slightly tweaked from the Inner Sea Gods versions.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:

All right, time for a few cool new tricks that boons allow! There are lots more, but these stuck out to me.

** spoiler omitted **

I'm glad people are enjoying the demon lords' new boons. ^_^

So the only one of these I don't recognize is #6. Who grants that one?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Isabelle Lee wrote:
QuidEst wrote:

All right, time for a few cool new tricks that boons allow! There are lots more, but these stuck out to me.

** spoiler omitted **

I'm glad people are enjoying the demon lords' new boons. ^_^

So the only one of these I don't recognize is #6. Who grants that one?

I'm guessing it's a certain Horsemen...

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