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!
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.
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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!
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.
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.
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.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Yes please! Hopefully this means we will also start seeing 64 page books in the Campaign Setting line for other chapters of the Book of the Damned A BotD for Oni, Kytons, Asura, Divs, etc. would be great!
Announced for September, description and image are not final and subject to change.
If i have already the 3 campaign settings series "book of the damned" do i need to buy this or is just a reprint?
Thank you in advice for your answers!
Key highlights from the product's bullet points tells me there's going to be (hopefully plenty of) new stuff.
Book of the Damned wrote:
Information on the sinister boons granted worshipers of dozens of fiendish demigods drawn from the planes of Abaddon, the Abyss, and Hell, including Archdevils, Demon Lords, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
New feats, spells, magic items, and prestige classes for use by characters who both fight against and serve the forces of darkness.
Statistics for several never-before revealed fiends and lavishly-illustrated in-world excerpts from the pages of the notorious Book of the Damned itself.
If the reprint ratio is like in the Bestiary line or in Inner Sea Gods (which duplicated some content from the Faiths of X books), it will be quite low. Further, reprints in a hardcover will result in more usage of this content.
Given I asked for such a compilation a while ago, I feel the strange urge to defend it - so I might be biased...
Color me disappointed, mostly because I don't want my players playing evil but hate to take away their shiny new toys. Hopefully this means that we will be getting equivalent books for the good-aligned and neutral-aligned planes, though. I'd love to see an in-depth gazetteer of Axis and obediences for the empyreal lords.
The real potential of this book is in the never "seem" before demigods getting more in deep information and illustrations!
I'm talking about those we already known but have never actually "seem", like the Oinodaemon, the Queens of the Night... Or even quasi-deities, like Harbingers, infernal dukes and nascent demon lords... I love demigods, but quasi-deities are really useful. That's also a really good opportunity to include all the three EVIL GIGAS (the Abbadon Gigas, the Abyss Gigas and the Hell Gigas) in the same book.
What about qlippoth lords or asura ranas? I don't think we are getting anything about the "minor" fiendish races, or at least I don't want my expectations to disappoint me. Guess we will have to wait to find out how good this book really is. It's already a must to me, however.
"An exploration of the infernal realms of Hell, the sinister reaches of Abaddon, and the bottomless rifts of the Abyss" is alone enough for me to buy it.