Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Book of the Damned (PFRPG)

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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.

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

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3.40/5 (based on 16 ratings)

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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.


A Compelling Compilation of Corruption

4/5

As many other reviewers have said, this book is largely reprinted material from the "Book of the Damned" line of Campaign Setting books that came out a while back. As someone who has, and loves all of those three books, I have to say...

This book is great. I was a fan of the concept of the Book of the Damned, and it being compiled together like this fills me with dark joy. It does what it says as well, and the staff were up front about the reprinted material, so I enjoy it for what it is, which is a gathering up of their fiend-related material from the earlier books and some other far-flung sources, such as the devil contract mechanics from the Hell's Rebels adventure path and the more in-depth description of the Book of the Damned itself from Hell Unleashed. Having all of these things together in one place is handy, though it does appear some subjects, such as the demonic grafts, didn't make it into this book. Regardless, it's good for that reason alone.
Thankfully that isn't the only reason this book is good. It also expands on the fiendish boon system introduced in Lords of Chaos, handing out boons to the diabolical and daemonic demigods, and introduces, at least in passing, many of the more obscure evil entities in the setting. More interestingly to me, it does so in such a way that gives ample seeds and ideas on how to stat such demigods up, should we be so inclined. That coupled with more concrete rules on the various evil rituals also teased at in the earlier books and a mini-bestiary in the back help round out the book nicely.

This book isn't perfect, however. While it may not be of much concern to someone being exposed to this material for the first time, I personally found some of the changes and minor tweeks to the existing material a bit jarring. The diabolist prestige class was a notable example, with its new alignment restrictions and curtailing of spellcasting levels feeling more like a hurried effort to make it fit the formula of the other two fiend-inspired prestige classes than any effort to help modernize it. For one thing, I think that this means that the diabolist is no longer available for PFS play, for those who participate in that. Likewise, I would have liked to see a bit more space devoted to some fiends other than the three big 'D's. Some new fiendish archetypes would have been fun as well, and the missed opportunity bums me out just slightly.

Over all, this book is a pretty solid four stars. The reprinted material is very helpful for first-timers who haven't gotten the three previous Campaign Setting books, though I don't think I could recommend the hardcopy version to someone who already has them. It's got lots of info on evil deities and rituals, a few nifty items, a few new foes, and enough flavor to keep readers entertained through it's two-hundred ot pages. What it doesn't have is a ridiculous amount of new material, or a ton, or really any, PC-friendly options outside of a very evil campaign. But then again, it'd be a poor look out if a curse'd tome of vile lore helped look out for the good guys.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
Disappointing but understandable. I was hoping there might be things in a character option section like unchained eidolon subtypes for the various fiends which don't have material yet, stuff for minions of various fiends, rakshasa themed monk archetypes, etc. But I can see why you'd prioritise other things.

This is not and was never intended to be a "PC option book." If your GM allows evil player characters, then there's a lot of things in there, but the focus of the book is to provide the GM with world background and NPC options and the like to help build foes for you to face. And archetypes are one of those elements that work better for PCs because they help a player hyper-personalize and hyper-specialize their character to make them truly unique. A GM doesn't really need that as much since they can do whatever they want to make a foe unusual.

Plus... there's plenty of archetypes in the book just before and just after this one for you to play with. It's nice to now and then give other design elements a chance to star.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
This is not and was never intended to be a "PC option book."

I'm aware, I'm a GM. I use archetypes a lot when making NPC's.

Quote:
A GM doesn't really need that as much since they can do whatever they want to make a foe unusual.

With that line of thinking there's no need to purchase monster books, because I can just do whatever I want to make a foe unusual, but I still am looking forward to monster books. Having more NPC options is something I always like.

Quote:
It's nice to now and then give other design elements a chance to star.

Completely agree. Which is why I said I understand your position and can see that this product has different priorities.


James Jacobs wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Disappointing but understandable. I was hoping there might be things in a character option section like unchained eidolon subtypes for the various fiends which don't have material yet, stuff for minions of various fiends, rakshasa themed monk archetypes, etc. But I can see why you'd prioritise other things.

This is not and was never intended to be a "PC option book." If your GM allows evil player characters, then there's a lot of things in there, but the focus of the book is to provide the GM with world background and NPC options and the like to help build foes for you to face. And archetypes are one of those elements that work better for PCs because they help a player hyper-personalize and hyper-specialize their character to make them truly unique. A GM doesn't really need that as much since they can do whatever they want to make a foe unusual.

Plus... there's plenty of archetypes in the book just before and just after this one for you to play with. It's nice to now and then give other design elements a chance to star.

ooh, that sounds promising. As someone who doesn't play PF anymore but still likes to read up on the world and settings, how much crunch is there vs fluff? I'm really interested in sinking my teeth into some juicy fiendish lore. ;)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Soullos wrote:
ooh, that sounds promising. As someone who doesn't play PF anymore but still likes to read up on the world and settings, how much crunch is there vs fluff? I'm really interested in sinking my teeth into some juicy fiendish lore. ;)

There's more flavor than rules in the book overall, but not a LOT more.


Milo v3 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
This is not and was never intended to be a "PC option book."

I'm aware, I'm a GM. I use archetypes a lot when making NPC's.

Quote:
A GM doesn't really need that as much since they can do whatever they want to make a foe unusual.

With that line of thinking there's no need to purchase monster books, because I can just do whatever I want to make a foe unusual, but I still am looking forward to monster books. Having more NPC options is something I always like.

Quote:
It's nice to now and then give other design elements a chance to star.
Completely agree. Which is why I said I understand your position and can see that this product has different priorities.

Give it a rest. There's an entire line of Player Companion books for archetypes.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Give it a rest. There's an entire line of Player Companion books for archetypes.

... how many times do I have to say "I understand your position and can see that this product has different priorities."


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Fifteen would be nice. :-)

And perhaps bolded. :-)


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And in different font!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

James (or others from Paizo that may know this answer):

Has there been any discussion on how moving more "in-setting" info into the hardcover books will affect the PRD? Will we get only a very edited or scrubbed version of the crunchy bits put up online or will it be the full text like for earlier works?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
j b 200 wrote:

James (or others from Paizo that may know this answer):

Has there been any discussion on how moving more "in-setting" info into the hardcover books will affect the PRD? Will we get only a very edited or scrubbed version of the crunchy bits put up online or will it be the full text like for earlier works?

The flavor of our products will remain product identity. Rules content will remain open content. How that'll show up on the PRD is something we're currently working on. But actual word content will NOT become part of the PRD. That isn't changing.


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

FYI, lots of info here: http://knowdirectionpodcast.com/2017/04/know-direction-154-interview-with-j ames-jacobs/

Thanks for the interview James!

EDIT: Link is breaking but isn't broken when I try to edit it. Remember to remove the space when you copy/paste it!

EDIT 2: I'm watching listening right now although, I'm going to call it a night soon.

a) 2 pages on Kyton demigods. Yay! Hopefully we see some of them get fleshed out more in the AP line.

b) James, I for one would love to see more extraplaner content. Book of the Righteous and Wrath of the Righteous were the two things that got me into Pathfinder. Count me as one of those who would love to see more extraplaner content. It would be a glorious day to see an expanded hardcover Book of the Righteous.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We now need Legacy of the Damned in the Player Companion line I think ;-)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
We now need Legacy of the Damned in the Player Companion line I think ;-)

I've been thinking about Paths of the Damned, myself. Prestige classes for each type of fiend...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Things I'm really pleased to know from the KD Interview:

1) There's a chapter exclusively for the evil aligned realms and locations.

2) There're two pages for the Kyton Demagogues (which could mean we are getting two pages for each of the "lesser" fiendish demigod groups/pantheons)

3) The exact number of demon lords in the book: 32

4) The book chapter arrangement (1-Demigods; 2-Realms; 3-Options; 4-Bestiary)


I'm rather curious about how are you handling Orcus in this book. Is he getting two pages with rules, flavor and art as all the others? Orcus was among the Demon Lords in Lords of Chaos, and that's why I'm asking - specially because of the illustration.

I know I might have asked this before, as illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the flavor in the book - but are all the "two pagers" getting illustrations?


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Gold,

I'm assuming my Lord Orcus will get a write up but probably not extensive coverage compared to some other Demon Lords.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

7 people marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

Things I'm really pleased to know from the KD Interview:

1) There's a chapter exclusively for the evil aligned realms and locations.

2) There're two pages for the Kyton Demagogues (which could mean we are getting two pages for each of the "lesser" fiendish demigod groups/pantheons)

3) The exact number of demon lords in the book: 32

4) The book chapter arrangement (1-Demigods; 2-Realms; 3-Options; 4-Bestiary)

1) Yup!

2) Yup... or more than two pages for larger categories like infernal dukes or harbingers.

3) Something like 32. That was sorta a guess... it's however many demon lords there are in Book of the Damned II.

4) Plus "Appendix" which contains the info on the Book of the Damned from Hell Unleashed as well as all of the in-world pages from the book we published in the original run.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Gold,

I'm assuming my Lord Orcus will get a write up but probably not extensive coverage compared to some other Demon Lords.

All demon lords get a two page entry and have an illustration.

Including OGL demon lords like Jubilex and Orcus.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

9 people marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm rather curious about how are you handling Orcus in this book. Is he getting two pages with rules, flavor and art as all the others? Orcus was among the Demon Lords in Lords of Chaos, and that's why I'm asking - specially because of the illustration.

I know I might have asked this before, as illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the flavor in the book - but are all the "two pagers" getting illustrations?

Every two page entry gets its own illustration, yes. That means there'll be illustrations of all demon lords, all arch devils, the horsemen, the queens of the night, and Ahriman, along with several more illos of other fiendish demigods. Most of them are new illustrations, since we prefer not to reprint illustrations once they have appeared in other hardcovers.


James Jacobs wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Gold,

I'm assuming my Lord Orcus will get a write up but probably not extensive coverage compared to some other Demon Lords.

All demon lords get a two page entry and have an illustration.

Including OGL demon lords like Jubilex and Orcus.

Sweet! Thanks for confirming this Mister Jacobs! :D *dances around the fire with frozen chickens for Orcus*


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Gold,

I'm assuming my Lord Orcus will get a write up but probably not extensive coverage compared to some other Demon Lords.

All demon lords get a two page entry and have an illustration.

Including OGL demon lords like Jubilex and Orcus.

Sweet! Thanks for confirming this Mister Jacobs! :D *dances around the fire with frozen chickens for Orcus*

I was also under the same assumption Blaine, but, fortunately, we were wrong!

*brings more froze chickens*


James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm rather curious about how are you handling Orcus in this book. Is he getting two pages with rules, flavor and art as all the others? Orcus was among the Demon Lords in Lords of Chaos, and that's why I'm asking - specially because of the illustration.

I know I might have asked this before, as illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the flavor in the book - but are all the "two pagers" getting illustrations?

Every two page entry gets its own illustration, yes. That means there'll be illustrations of all demon lords, all arch devils, the horsemen, the queens of the night, and Ahriman, along with several more illos of other fiendish demigods. Most of them are new illustrations, since we prefer not to reprint illustrations once they have appeared in other hardcovers.

Thanks for answering James! I'm really glad to hear that, and I'm sorry if a made you reaffirm this... But art is a really helpful tool for inspiration, and one of my favorite aspects of Pathfinder books.

I'm really excited to indeed see all these major powers of the setting, but now I'm also excited to see the Pathfinder version of the classic OGL demon lords.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So I noticed that back in Book of the Damned: Princes of Darkness, there where some spells such as Hellfire and Summon Hellmouth that are listed as spells in the Book(Artifact) but not actually listed. Will we get the chance to see these spells and more in the Hardback version?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

YES! More Evil!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Prince Setehrael wrote:
So I noticed that back in Book of the Damned: Princes of Darkness, there where some spells such as Hellfire and Summon Hellmouth that are listed as spells in the Book(Artifact) but not actually listed. Will we get the chance to see these spells and more in the Hardback version?

No, because they were never created. There ARE new spells coming, but not those ones, which have been cut for what they essentially were—errors.


that's a pity - summon hellmouth reminds of the the end of buffy the vampire slayer


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That Know Direction interview with James Jacobs was great. Very fun and informative. You should do more of those!


James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm rather curious about how are you handling Orcus in this book. Is he getting two pages with rules, flavor and art as all the others? Orcus was among the Demon Lords in Lords of Chaos, and that's why I'm asking - specially because of the illustration.

I know I might have asked this before, as illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the flavor in the book - but are all the "two pagers" getting illustrations?

Every two page entry gets its own illustration, yes. That means there'll be illustrations of all demon lords, all arch devils, the horsemen, the queens of the night, and Ahriman, along with several more illos of other fiendish demigods. Most of them are new illustrations, since we prefer not to reprint illustrations once they have appeared in other hardcovers.

Will he look differently because of OGL/intellectual property reasons? Compared to this?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Axial wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm rather curious about how are you handling Orcus in this book. Is he getting two pages with rules, flavor and art as all the others? Orcus was among the Demon Lords in Lords of Chaos, and that's why I'm asking - specially because of the illustration.

I know I might have asked this before, as illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the flavor in the book - but are all the "two pagers" getting illustrations?

Every two page entry gets its own illustration, yes. That means there'll be illustrations of all demon lords, all arch devils, the horsemen, the queens of the night, and Ahriman, along with several more illos of other fiendish demigods. Most of them are new illustrations, since we prefer not to reprint illustrations once they have appeared in other hardcovers.

Will he look differently because of OGL/intellectual property reasons? Compared to this?

Orcus is a tricky dude there... he's open content, along with his physical description, thanks to the Tome of Horrors, but at the same point we don't want him to look exactly like the WotC version or the Necromancer Games version. He needs to be recognizable as Orcus, but not someone you'd mistake for the WotC one or the Necromancer Games one. We'll see if we succeed, I guess, when the book is out.


James Jacobs wrote:
Axial wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm rather curious about how are you handling Orcus in this book. Is he getting two pages with rules, flavor and art as all the others? Orcus was among the Demon Lords in Lords of Chaos, and that's why I'm asking - specially because of the illustration.

I know I might have asked this before, as illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the flavor in the book - but are all the "two pagers" getting illustrations?

Every two page entry gets its own illustration, yes. That means there'll be illustrations of all demon lords, all arch devils, the horsemen, the queens of the night, and Ahriman, along with several more illos of other fiendish demigods. Most of them are new illustrations, since we prefer not to reprint illustrations once they have appeared in other hardcovers.

Will he look differently because of OGL/intellectual property reasons? Compared to this?

Orcus is a tricky dude there... he's open content, along with his physical description, thanks to the Tome of Horrors, but at the same point we don't want him to look exactly like the WotC version or the Necromancer Games version. He needs to be recognizable as Orcus, but not someone you'd mistake for the WotC one or the Necromancer Games one. We'll see if we succeed, I guess, when the book is out.

Now I'm excited to see what Paizo does here.

Any idea on who the artist is?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lemartes wrote:


Any idea on who the artist is?

I've seen two sketches so far, and I like where it's going, but I don't know who the artist is and it's not the time to reveal that anyway.

Furthermore, I'm more likely, once previews get going, to focus the actual previews on content that we've built up or created. Orcus has had more than his share of time in the spotlight.


James Jacobs wrote:
Axial wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm rather curious about how are you handling Orcus in this book. Is he getting two pages with rules, flavor and art as all the others? Orcus was among the Demon Lords in Lords of Chaos, and that's why I'm asking - specially because of the illustration.

I know I might have asked this before, as illustrations are one of my favorite parts of the flavor in the book - but are all the "two pagers" getting illustrations?

Every two page entry gets its own illustration, yes. That means there'll be illustrations of all demon lords, all arch devils, the horsemen, the queens of the night, and Ahriman, along with several more illos of other fiendish demigods. Most of them are new illustrations, since we prefer not to reprint illustrations once they have appeared in other hardcovers.

Will he look differently because of OGL/intellectual property reasons? Compared to this?

Orcus is a tricky dude there... he's open content, along with his physical description, thanks to the Tome of Horrors, but at the same point we don't want him to look exactly like the WotC version or the Necromancer Games version. He needs to be recognizable as Orcus, but not someone you'd mistake for the WotC one or the Necromancer Games one. We'll see if we succeed, I guess, when the book is out.

Awesome. I look forward to seeing what Paizo!Orcus looks like. If people prefer the old version; that's fine. You could argue that both are valid: a lot of deities and fiendish demigods are portrayed as having different forms or being able to shapeshift.


So this book is gonna have the Queens of the Night retcon?

It's a decent idea and I certainly like the worldbuilding aspect of it, though if I were to do something to tone down misogynistic implications... I probably wouldn't reference "The Magic Flute."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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PannicAtack wrote:

So this book is gonna have the Queens of the Night retcon?

Yes, although I like to hearken it to something more like "errata" than a "retcon." It's just as easy to make errors when creating world content or flavor for a setting as it is to make errors when building rules, but the fact that it's so much more difficult to correct errors in world content since so many folks have an easier time quantifying and accepting absolutes with rules but not with more descriptive text frustrates me.


Ahh, gotcha.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Another reason "retcon" isn't as appropriate is that the older term for the Queens of Night is still extant and even used within the setting...just mainly by chauvinists and the Archdevils.

If someone were to arrogantly use the term too often or—heaven's forfend—to one of their faces, that individual will find themselves eviscerated. If they are lucky.

"Errata" is definitely the better term as it was "an error to leave out the proper title and only leave in the derogatory slur."

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Orcus is a tricky dude there... he's open content, along with his physical description, thanks to the Tome of Horrors

Why thanks to the ToH? Wouldn't an official WotC product have had to make it open content first so the ToH could use it? Or was the ToH made under some arrangement that allowed them to make things open content that weren't before?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Samy wrote:
Or was the ToH made under some arrangement that allowed them to make things open content that weren't before?

Yes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That's interesting. I had assumed that only open content were ones that Wizards had made open content. Are there other third party products out there, other than the Tome of Horrors, that made pre-existing Wizards property open?


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

No, the Tome of Horrors was unique in that regard.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Samy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Orcus is a tricky dude there... he's open content, along with his physical description, thanks to the Tome of Horrors
Why thanks to the ToH? Wouldn't an official WotC product have had to make it open content first so the ToH could use it? Or was the ToH made under some arrangement that allowed them to make things open content that weren't before?

The Tome of Horrors was made under a special arrangement with Wizards to include a HUGE number of 3rd edition open content stats for monsters that, as of Monster Manual and Monster Manual 2 and the Faerun monster book had not yet been presented for 3rd edition. Orcus was among those monsters, along with hundreds of more, ranging from the thessalhydra (which we just picked up for Bestiary 6) to the froghemoth (which we picked up for our first Bestiary).

This is also why you can't just cite the Tome of Horrors in your OGL statement if you use content from it; you have to cite each and every monster individually; that was part of the deal they struck with WotC.

(At the time Necromancer Games struck this deal, the brand manager at WotC was under the impression that there were no plans to continue to reprint old monsters and that WotC's future Monster Manuals would focus on new content for 3rd edition, and that special license to print those monsters was granted to Tome of Horrors. Almost immediately thereafter, though, WotC decided otherwise, which is why there are some monsters that are not open content that appear in their very next monster book, the Fiend Folio, that duplicate monsters in the Tome of Horrors. Things like demodands, for example. So yeah, Tome of Horrors kinda got in at the exact right time to do what it did.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is very interesting. Thank you for the information. Is there any publicly available further reading on this thing? Like press releases by Necromancer, industry articles or something?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
This is very interesting. Thank you for the information. Is there any publicly available further reading on this thing? Like press releases by Necromancer, industry articles or something?

Not that I'm aware of. That said, this topic should transition to its own thread at this point.


Yeah let's save Necromancer Games history for when we have the right thread.

Right now, I'm just glad I'll see some kind of artistry for Orcus that doesn't look like 4th edition...


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In BotD Vol.1, when it listed the various Devils it told what kind of torment in Hell that creates them.
Just as it tell us the ehat kind of Sin for Demons and Death for Daemons. But that was the only book that explains what torment creats which Devil. So in this book willwe bet an uodate on all the methods of Devil Creation?


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I'm really curious to see how this product will affect future campaign setting-like books in the line and also the possibility of other books about the planes. Really, I'm anxious to see the contents of the book (especially the illustrations for never "seen" before demon lords), but I'm even more anxious to see how successful this product will be.

Only then am I going to start dreaming about a Chronicles of the Righteous Hardcover. *-* (Lies! I'm already dreaming about it).

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:

Ohhh, its in the RPG line. I'm really happy with this route.

Is James Jacobs developing this?

Nope.

In that I just finished developing it last Monday, that is. So the present tense is no longer accurate. :-P

James, a few quick questions. Will this give details including encounter tables, maps of some of the levels of these planes and more unique monsters in them? I am hoping so. I hope this builds from the existing knowledge and fleshes things out in greater details (so a GM can run campaigns or simple treks to each).

RicMTheGM

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Flynn Greywalker wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:

Ohhh, its in the RPG line. I'm really happy with this route.

Is James Jacobs developing this?

Nope.

In that I just finished developing it last Monday, that is. So the present tense is no longer accurate. :-P

James, a few quick questions. Will this give details including encounter tables, maps of some of the levels of these planes and more unique monsters in them? I am hoping so. I hope this builds from the existing knowledge and fleshes things out in greater details (so a GM can run campaigns or simple treks to each).

RicMTheGM

No encounter tables. Not really any maps—we talk a little bit about the planes, but the primary focus of the book is on the denizens of those planes, and the primary focus there is on the fiendish demigods.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Is there a book that addresses the geography of these planes? I don't really know what they're like. I know in the old days there used to be nine levels to the Hells and 666 layers of the Abyss. Is there a PF source to these sorts of things, or do I need to fall back on 3e Manual of the Planes?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Samy wrote:
Is there a book that addresses the geography of these planes? I don't really know what they're like. I know in the old days there used to be nine levels to the Hells and 666 layers of the Abyss. Is there a PF source to these sorts of things, or do I need to fall back on 3e Manual of the Planes?

There's an article about the various rifts of the Abyss in Pathfinder Adventure Path #76: The Midnight Isles. As for Hell, your best bet is probably Hell Unleashed. There's also the 3.5-era Pathfinder Chronicles supplement The Great Beyond, but it's old enough that I wouldn't consider its contents irrefutably canonical.

That said, for home campaigns, I wholeheartedly support filling in the gaps with the Manual of the Planes. In my opinion, it's one of the absolute best Third Edition books. ^_^

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