Pros: Well written, well designed take on the iconic foes of Dungeons and Dragons...after Dragons.
Cons: I actually wish it was longer than 64 pages.
Lords of Chaos: Book of the Damned Volume II A Pathfinder Companion by James Jacobs.
Warning: if you are one of those people who think Harry Potter is an agent of the anti-Christ, reading this review could cause your head to explode. So read on....
In Dungeons and Dragons, one of the great things is that the sides are clearly drawn; evil is evil, and there is little discussion about it. Unlike Dick Cheney, who broke numerous Federal and International laws, no one defends the hordes of the Abyss, saying they did what needed doing. They are evil, and they are there to be fought, vanquished, and their stuff added to your collection. Maybe their hide made into a nice pair of boots....
This book deals with demons, the chaotic evil denizens of the Abyss, and their nefarious plans for mankind. The first chapter is about the Demon Lords; the biggest and baddest of their kind, equivalent in power to Demi-gods, except for Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, who is actually accounted a lesser goddess. The book uses her as an example, and so shall I. Each entry lists their area of concern (madness, monsters, and nightmares) their unholy symbol (3 eyed jackal) Worshippers (The insane, bugbears, derros, gnolls, laimas, morlocks, and ogres).
Each demon has an obedience; if performed by a devotee, defined by taking the feat Demonic Obedience, or being a member of the prestige class, Demoniac, it grants the follower three powers, each unique to the demon in question. Then the entry tells the demon's history, goals, the lands they hold in the Abyss and other particular tidbits about the demon in question. Lamashtu of course is about perverse fecundity, and is responsible for many races of monsters on the face of Golarion.
It then lists the demons in either full page entry, or two on one page. Abraxas, Master of the Final Incantation, Angazhan the Ravenous King, Cyth-V'sug Prince of the Blasted Heath, Flaucos The Burning Maw, Jezelda Mistress of the Hungry Moon, Kostchtchie The Deathless Frost, and Lord of Giants, Nocticula Our Lady in Shadow, Pazuzu King of the Wind Demons, Sifkesh the Sacred Wh*re, Xevecon The Horned Prince, King of Gargoyles, Zura The Vampire Queen all have full pages devoted to them. Aldinach of the Six Venoms, Andirifkhu The Razor Princess, Areshkeagal the Faceless Sphinx, Baphomet Lord of Minotaurs, Dagon The Shadow in the Sea, Deskari Lord of the Locust Host, Gogunta Song of the Swamp, Haagenti The Whispers Within, the Alchemist, Jubilex, the Faceless Lord of Ooze, Kabriri, Him Who Gnaws, Lord of Ghouls, Mazmezz The Creeping Queen, Mestama The Mother of Witches, Nurgal the Shining Scourge, Orcus Prince of Undeath, Shax The Blood Marquis, Shivaska The Chained Maiden, Socothbenoth The Silken Sin, Lord of Perversion, Urxehl Trollfather, Yhidothrus The Ravenger Worm, Zevgavizeb the God of the Troglodytes all have a half page. Irregardless, each entry gives you enough material to work them into your campaign to be the thorn in the side of your heroes.
The next pages cover five dead demon lords; both as an assurance they can be killed, and because it is possible the dead demon might be useful in some manner to the heroes...for instance, the shade of Mharah, Lady of Shame might have information useful against her rival Nocticula, or her former lover, Socothbenoth.
Chapter Two delves into demonkind, from the lowly dretch and Quasit, to the mighty Mariliths and Balor. 22 flavors of demon are discussed with the roles they play in the Abyss, and how they might be used against players. Nascent Demon Lords are also discussed; while your heroes might not stand a chance against one of the Big Boys like Orcus, there are still Bush League demons they can fight, like Treerazer, Lord of the Blasted Tarn who is a constant threat to the elves of Kyonin on Golarion. Nine nascent demon lords are detailed. Then the realms of the Abyss that the Demon Lords control are given a sentence or two; vivid memorable sentences that draw a picture.
Chapter Three: Demonology goes over how the worship of dark powers impact the game. What classes might worship a demon? Which demons? What about demonic rangers? Demonic Implants are discussed, a way to take a bit more power in at the cost of your humanity. And if that's not enough, how about a way to become a demon? Then there is the Demoniac prestige class, taken by the faithful to get those dark powers quicker. Demonic Spells add three spells of evil intent, and a pair of Abyssal Items, the Amulet of the Abyss, and the Book of the Damned: Demonic is included.
It then has a two page discussion of the first evils; the Qlippoth, and their primal nastiness.
Chapter Four: The Demonic Horde is a bestiary of four new demon types, from the warmish Vermlek, to the Seraptis. Don't you love throwing new monsters at your little stat-block memorizing players? Finally, it talks about those areas of Golarion that have the strongest ties to the Abyss.
Taken as a whole, this book is a dark and twisted slice of pure evil that will inspire even the most selfish of Rogues to fight like a paladin against the taint within its pages. The game is no fun without someone you can smite with abandon, and demons make one of the best adversaries; those without redeeming characteristics. Demons make great foes; a Demon Lord makes an Epic Mastermind behind the scenes. If you are a Dungeon Master, this book is a must buy.
An American Game, an American Company; printed in China....*sigh*....
In fond Memory of Gary Gygax, Father of Dungeons and Dragons.
27 July, 1938 -4 March, 2008
"You enriched my life."
The Pathfinder Series, or Dungeons and Dragons Edition 3.75
Core Rule Book
Advanced Player's Guide
Game Mastery Guide
The Inner Sea World Guide
Guide to the River Kingdoms: A Pathfinder Companion
Dungeons of Golarion
Classic Horrors Revisited
Inner Sea Magic: A Pathfinder Companion
Lords of Chaos: The Book of the Damned, Volume II
Humans of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
Undead Revisited: A Pathfinder Companion
Orcs of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
City of Strangers: A Pathfinder Companion
Sargava The Lost Colony: A Pathfinder Companion
Heart of the Jungle: A Pathfinder Companion
Gnomes of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
Rule of Fear: Ustalav. A Pathfinder Companion
Cheliax: Empire of Devils: A Pathfinder Companion
Guide to Darkmoon Vale A Pathfinder Companion.
Dragons Revisited: A Pathfinder Companion.
Faction Guide: A Pathfinder Companion
NPC Guide: A Pathfinder Companion
Dungeon Denizens Revisited: A Pathfinder Companion
A Guide To Korvosa: A Pathfinder Companion
Into the Darklands: A Pathfinder Companion
Cities of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
Faiths of Purity: A Pathfinder Companion
Rise of the Runelords
The Skinsaw Murders
The Hook Mountain Massacre
The Fortress of the Stone Giants
Shadow in the Sky
Children of the Void
The Armageddon Echo
A Memory of Darkness
Descent Into Midnight
Please look at these Piazo Modules:
The Demon Within
Hungry are the Dead
River of Darkness
Seven Swords of Sin
Gallery of Evil
From Shore to Sea
The Witchwar Legacy
Realm of the Fellnight Queen
Carnival of Tears
The Pact Stone Pyramid
Entombed with the Pharaohs
Treasure of Chimera Cove
Tower of the Last Baron
The Crucible of Chaos
Check out each installment of these Introductory Modules from Wizards of the Coast for Third Edition.
The Sunless Citadel
The Forge of Fury
The Speaker in Dreams
The Standing Stone.
The Heart of Nightfang Spire
Lord of the Iron Fortress
Keep on the Shadowfell
Dungeon Masters Guide