Way of the Wicked
Guilty. You are a lawbreaker – the worst of the worst.
Too dangerous to live amongst the good people of Talingarde, they dragged you in chains before a magistrate and condemned you. They sent you to the worst prison in the land and there they forever marked you. They held you down and branded you with a runic F. You are forsaken. You won’t be at Branderscar Prison for long. Branderscar is only a holding pen. In three days – justice comes.
In three days – everything ends.
What a pity. If only there was a way out of this stinking rat-hole. If only there was a way
to escape. If only…
No. No one has ever escaped from Branderscar Prison. This is where your story ends.
What is Talingarde?
Talingarde is the most virtuous, peaceful, noble nation in the world today. This land is ruled by King Markadian V called the Brave of House Darius. He has only one heir – the beautiful princess Bellinda. This benevolent monarchy is heavily intertwined with the Church of Abel, the Shining Lord. You are from Talingarde. This is your home. You have lived here your entire life. And if they gave you half a chance, you would have your revenge on all of them.
Who is Abel? Abel, the so-called Shining Lord, the one God, is the god of the sun, bravery, honor, justice, charity and other such pusillanimous rubbish. The Church of the one God is the preeminent religion of Talingarde these days. The Knights of the Alerion, the elite warriors of Talingarde, are an order of Abel. The monks of St. Macarius, who travel the land healing the sick and the helping the needy, are also an order of Abel. The House of Darius, the royal family of Talingarde, are devout followers of Abel.
It wasn’t always this way. Before the Darians took over, Talingarde worshipped an entire pantheon of deities. Preeminent among those deities was Abbadon, Prince of Hell, Lord of Ambition and Order. Now it is forbidden to worship Abbadon. To do so is to be
condemned. The church of Abel destroyed all the Abbadon temples and burned his books and priests. There are no followers of Abbadon anymore in Talingarde – at least none you know of. Devout followers of Abel will not say the name Abbadon. He is simply “The Fallen” or “The Enemy”.
How did they catch me?
You tell us. You must pick a crime (there is a list provided below) that you were condemned for. They are only two requirements – you got caught and you really did it.
It’s not surprising that the Talireans (the people of Talingarde) caught you, though. Talingarde is a fiercely lawful and good society. Crime (especially heinous crime like yours) is not tolerated.
How to make a Villain
Creating a villain is not very different from creating a heroic character. It’s a 6-step process, that we will go over in the first session, but it will be advantageous for each of you to understand the different steps, so that you will have a general idea of what class and race you want to play. So here we go.
Step 1 – Determine ability scores
The method for generating stats will be a system called Focus and Foible
In this campaign you will be more powerful than you would be in a normal adventure. After all, the whole world is working against you, but the highened power-level should help you through.
Choose a Focus, an ability score at which you excel.
You receive an 18 in that score.
Choose a Foible, an ability score that is your weakness.
You receive an 8 in that score.
The other four, roll 1d10+7 four times in order.
There are no rerolls or moving of ability scores. Those are your other four scores.
Step 2 – Pick your Race
Any race can be selected for this campaign, however do note that extremely unusual or monstreous races will be troublesome, and in certain parts of the adventure, these races may find themselves uninvolved in certain parts in our adventure.
After all the PCs are on a secret mission to infilitrate and destroy Talingarde, and an ogre, minotaur or goblin might make this mission a lot harder.
Step 3 – Pick your Class
I will provide a list of the allowed classes here, however if the class you want to play is not here, just shoot me a message and we will talk about it.
Step 4 – Pick Skills and select Feats
This step is normal, however all classes get 3 extra skillpoints pr. level, but one of these must be used to advance either a profession, craft- or perform skill.
Step 5 – Buy Equipment
The PCs start with nothing, after all you are in prison. That means no money, weapons, armor, gear, animal companions or anything besides the tattered, dirty prisoner clothes you are wearing. Equipment will be gained through the game.
This will pose a problem for Wizards and Alchemists in particular, since these people need their Spellbook/Formula Book and the Alchemist needs a set of dangerous chemicals, which should not be availible to a prisoner. All casters will however have the spells they memorized before they got caught, and provided that they were smart enought to not use them ’till now they will access to these spells.
Step 6 – Finishing Details
As normal except that good and chaotic alignments are not allowed. Every character must be lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral or neutral evil. Of those four alignments, lawful evilisdefinitely the preferred choice.
Further, every character must choose a crime that landed in them in Branderscar. They were not wrongly imprisoned — they are guilty of their charge. We will be using the trait system (APG) and the crime will count as a trait. The crimes can be found here
There is a further requirement and it is something of an intangible quality. At some point in this adventure path every character is going to have the chance to join an evil organization and swear allegiance to the master of that organization and its patron – the lawful evil god Abbadon. The adventure path assumes you say yes to this chance. Therefore, you should make a character who can say yes.
The Path of Vengance
Perhaps right now, you may be experiencing a little cognitive dissonance.
This campaign is about breaking out of prison, joining an evil organization and then seeking revenge. Above, we recommend that characters be lawful evil. You may be asking yourself right now “how is breaking out of prison and getting revenge lawful?”
Lawful evil is the recommended alignment not because your character is obeying the laws of Talingarde but because your characters seek to impose a new order.
This is not the campaign for chaotic loners or freespirited vagabonds. Those campaigns exist in abundance and if they are what you are looking for, perhaps you are
in the wrong place. This is a campaign about joining an evil organization with a wicked agenda. Eventually, you may even come to control that evil organization.
“Way of the Wicked” is a chance to play an unusual sort of character. You will play a burgeoning dark lord — someone who will rise from imprisonment and destitution to become one of the greatest villains of this age.
At first, you will be a minion in service to a sinister plot. But eventually, you will be a minion no longer. You, if you can survive, will become the master.And that is almost the definition of lawful evil