A little pay back...


hello ive recently joined a campaign and after the first 2 quests the dm has heavily used a form of damage he calls vile damage (aka damage you cant heal unless your in a holy place) and after several sessions we decided my character was out of place (he wasn't working well with the group ) so he is letting me roll up a new character and I want a way to counter his vile damage, and if I cant counter it, get even somehow so im looking for advice to do this.

note I don't hate my dm and I don't want to ruin the game, I also don't want to ruin the other players fun

Well a cleric with access to a consecrate spell or later on the Hallow spell could do the trick.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Like the Vile Damage from the 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness book?

Im not sure about that vile damage but every time he has someone do damage to us a portion of that damage is becoming vile damage also we already have a cleric and we've tryed that lol

Knowledge (engineering)
Knowledge (religion)
Craft (buildings)
Profession (clergy)

Skill focus (the above)

Starting equipment:
A bunch of timber and some holy symbols.

Build a hut and put a holy symbol on the door.

BAM and the vile damage is gone :)


Ok, that is obviously a bit silly, but given the description and the fact that the consecrate spell didn't work, I'm not sure what else you can do other than visit a holy place.

well yea were kinda shoe horned into needing to go to a holy place so im looking for a way to get even wheither it be a tactic that when done correctly works pisses the dm off or a something along those lines just something to get even liek hey you hurt us in way we cant heal ok well im gonna do this

Both consacrate or hallow spell should work by the rules. If it doesn't, then the DM is screwing big times with you all. I suggest asking him WTF is going on. And be very keen on what answer he comes up.

Dark Archive

It is kind of impossible to give advice on how to counter something your GM has made up. Since the damage seems to be uncureable ect, I would suggest a build that does its best to avoid damage in general. Paladin w/AC build.

Maybe go Wizard (Conjuration) or Summoner and just summon lots of things.
The summons will tank the damage and you will not feel Vile damage so much.

Or else a summoner specialist whose pet takes all the damage, then vanishes.

Is this a Pathfinder game or a 3.x game?
Vile damage is from 3.x

You probably can't beat something you GM has made up. Ask him to explain the ruling hes made with this, and to explain why he is doing this. If this is something that is common in this universe then your characters would likely know of some way to counter this.

There is really no way to "pay back" a GM for something they are doing in game. If the GM wants something to happen, it will. You have to sit down with them and reason things out and make a set of rules on this that all parties feel is fair. If the GM doesn't play ball perhaps you are better off finding someone else to run the game.

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since we dont really know the rules behind the 'vile' damage, I would go with prevention. Something like the Holy Shield Archetype for the paladin in ultimate combat. Protect your allies and make it less likely they will take damage.

Talk to the GM. Ask him that you want to add a character that can accelerate healing 'vile' damage. He could tell you how and if he wants it accelerated. It may just be how he manages your group.


Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If he is using the Vile damage rules, does he allow other things from the Book of Vile Darkness, or the Book of Exalted Deeds?

What level are you at?

we are lvl 6, he is a fairly new dm so I highly doubt he is using vile damage from the 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness book, but i will double check when I can

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If he is gonna use houserules, he could at least give you the details of how they work.

okay well what details are we looking for, because you say he could atleast give me the details of how it works but to em it seems pretty self explanitory damage that cant be healed unless your in a holy place, so if you can explain what details im looking for I can ask and figure them out


I'm curious as to why this is bothering you. It's some special kind of damage that is healed in a specific way..."only in a holy place". I guess if I were you, I'd ask the DM what constitutes a "holy place". Don't bother trying to get into an "arms race" with your DM...you'll loose. Guaranteed.

So...rather than trying to work against him, work with him. This vile damage sounds like it's something specific to your guys campaigns. That, believe it or not, is a *good* thing...it helps make your campaign unique.

That said, your DM is new, so he's likely to make a whole mess of "mistakes" before he figures it all out and feels comfortable enough with it all.

Anyway...yeah, ask what constitutes a holy place. Get him to think about his "vile damage" as it would pertain to his campaign world...not as it pertains to rules. He's most likely thinking "I want my players to feel threatened when they are in a dungeon...if they can heal more or less at will via cleric spells, positive healing, cure light wounds wands and potions, etc, they'll not feel very threatened... hmmm...oh!...I know! ...I'll just make up some new damage they can't heal that way!". If that's as far as he takes his thinking, that's bad (and expected for a newbie DM). But, if he thinks about the consequences of having such potential damage in his campaign world, things will start to fall into place and he will logically (in the terms of the campaigns reality, of course) figure out what would likely have come into being to counter it. I can see a LOT of different things that could have happened because of that...like...

  • each town would have at least one or two holy places
  • clerics/clergy would have an elevated social stature...
  • ...which would give cleric/clergy a lot of political sway
  • there may be an opposite..."blessed damage" that can only be healed in an unholy place (re: for use against undead, demons, evil clerics, etc.)
  • commoners may think of someone with vile damage as being "contagious"...
  • ...and if no holy place is around, the only option/protection is burning at the stake
  • etc, etc, etc...

The point is, work with it, not against it. :)


Paul L. Ming

If the rest of the party is willing to chip in, it might not be a terrible idea to get a portable hole for the party and see if you can turn it into a shrine.

But really, you need to find out what constitutes a holy place.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, if the Book of Exalted Deeds is allowed, then there are ways to Heal Vile damage, and even be immune to it.

You gotta ask your DM, as if this has existed for a while, then was to deal with it have likely been created.

Also, a Hallowed Bird's House works. Read the Hallow spell.

im going to ask about the holy place thing, the problem is the damage is only being dealt by members of a rare cult (he calls the court of bones) and thus this form of damage is so rare its not noticeable to the average npc, there were several high lvl npc that were able to notice it but all things considered its ment to f~%@ us. For example when a big bad guy confronts us on a random night taking all of us on at once, and essentially one shots our sorcerer (leaving him with 3hp) and we cant heal it for several days of travel, I feel as the most experienced player of the group that I need to do something about it.

I want to thank all of you for your advice and time, I know im not the most helpful for giving you guys details but I really appreciate the help.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A Hallowed Wagon works.

Well if the GM is dealing this vile damage, you might as well run with it.
In character, complain/lament/whinge about your wounds to the rest of the party. Change strategy to avoid fights. Next time you visit a holy place, desperately try to find some portable cure - maybe buy holy water and pour it on wounds. Might not work, but it gets you feeling the despair of your characters.
Anyway, you can have your characters say things like:
"Ugh, my sides ache and my vision is blurry. I don't think I can take another fight."
or, the more pretentious version:
"Oh, woe is me! My body is wracked with pain and my sight grows dim. We must avoid our foes with great care, lest eternal rest befall me!"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What books are allowed?

What races are allowed?

any core books and core races

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How does this "Vile Damage" effect undead?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

I'd stick to the "avoiding damage and unneeded combat as much as possible" plan. Another way to lessen the weakened effect on your characters and others is to use spells that add temporary HP for the times when you can't avoid combat.

Other than that, since it is from a specific cult and it is rare, perhaps a large part of the campaign will involve the PCs needing to uncover the secrets of this cult and how to combat their special powers. It could make for a really cool plot line and lead to a very memorable campaign if you stick with it and put trust in the GM. And if you guys all die because of the vile damage, then well... vote to do a different campaign instead of starting over with a new party.

New DMs are often over-enamored with their own ideas. I know I was. I would come up with absolutely brutal traps (literal and metaphorical) that I thought would bring in new elements. What I was really doing was cheating my players out of their investments.

I think you should sit down with the DM and ask him, OC, why he is implementing vile damage. What is his goal? Ask him if he would like it if he was playing a Cleric whose spells didn't work, and if he would like being one-shot down to 3 hp.

From an OC perspective, lean away from vile damage. Start hiring mercenaries with your gold, using summon monster spells, going with ranged/kiting builds, and maybe go so far as to report this Court of Bones to the nearest group of paladins, and then start inquiring at inns about goblin tribes that need to be crushed.

Even better, be a GM with him as a player, and use the exact same rules as he does.

When he will feel that vile damage aren't fun for a player POV, he will either find a way to cure them easily, or simply delete this rule.

Does protection from evil prevent vile dmg? Wands are cheap... If that doesn't work, play a Damphir, if that doesn't work, tell your DM that while you are having fun in general, you feel that this vile dmg mechanic is unbalancing your overall enjoyment. If this doesn't work, get with the other pcs and turn down the mission (ie. an in game campaign boycott)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I was going to suggest a Black-Blooded Oracle with the Juju Mystery.

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