May 232017
 

The Red King

This supplement clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 8.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

 

The red king is the dictator of the North in the amazing patchwork planet of Porphyra, an ogre-mage half-dragon with a single, purple eye that seems to be too large for his head – and yes, there is an amazing hand-out-style 1-page version of the glorious artwork depicting him within this pdf.

 

Ahem. Sorry. I can’t do that neutral routine. LOOK AT THOSE STATS! I am drooling here!!

CR 22. AC 48 almost 450 hit points. Yes, please! His class-line reads “Male unique half-dragon ogre mage cavalier (longshanks/warlord) 6/inquisitor 5. And his average damage output is a beauty to behold! While his cohort and followers (an army in its own right) don’t get stats, he is a beauty!! He actually killed his father and implanted his eye in his own face, wearing his sire’s scales!

 

His armor employs the grace ability, which increases the maximum Dex-bonus and aforementioned eye can pierce illusions…oh, but that’s not all!! You see, unlike many comparable supplements, we do receive a gloriously detailed background for this villain – beyond the detailed and lavish story, which has ventured into the realm of legend, the red king also sports a rather intriguing array of tactics – and yes, he has actually strategies to escape death.

 

Beyond these lavishly detailed aspects of the pdf, we also get specific adventure hooks and a new legendary weapon, namely the Red King’s Judgment. In case you’re new to the concept of legendary weapons: These were introduced by Purple Duck Games as an alternative to the concept of Legacy Weapons – but unlike those, they don’t impose unnecessary penalties. The respective items have prerequisites and increase in power over the course of the wielder’s levels, with the weapon featured herein increasing in potency in 10 steps. I love these items, as they help combat the Christmas-Tree-syndrome and makes magic matter more.

 

Anyways, beyond gaining multiple straight upgrades, we gain increasing, scaling invulnerability to fire, minions via Vile Leadership, nets Proficiencies/Focus and provides e.g. flame strike with 1/2 unholy damage…which does not exist. I get what it tries to do, but still -an obvious and unnecessary glitch. It also can bypass fire resistances and allow the wielder to discorporate and weather the storm, emerging once again from the flames…

 

It should also be noted that material uses and special weapon properties featured in the build – kudos!

 

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good – I noticed no serious hiccups and rules-language is similarly concise, with the minor exclusion of the aforementioned unholy damage glitch. Layout adheres to Purple Duck Games’ two-column standard, which is printer-friendly with purple highlights. The artwork of the king is GLORIOUS. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t necessarily require them at this length.

 

Derek Blakely has made a little dream of mine come true. I don’t know about you, my readers, but I know that my players crave challenges and many a published module doesn’t really live up to that aspect: If I threw a vanilla AP final boss at my group, then chances are in many (not all!) cases that they’d utterly annihilate the foe. I am a huge fan of really challenging, deadly villain-builds and when both the amazing Faces of the Tarnished Souk-series and Enemies of NeoExodus ran their course, I sighed and got back to making builds.

 

I expected not that much from this humble pdf and I got so much more: The red king is a glorious foe – lavishly illustrated, detailed and deadly, he makes for an amazing BBEG in the tradition of these two superb series. I adore this NPC and his tricks and the addition of the legendary weapon is a nice plus as well. For the low and fair price-point, this provides a great, deadly villain that should really challenge even powerful groups. What more can you ask for? Exactly! The one aesthetic glitch I found wasn’t enough to rate this down – this is a great, amazing little pdf, well worth the asking price and deserving of 5 stars + seal of approval.

 

You can get this glorious, amazing villain here on OBS!

 

You can directly support Purple Duck Games here on patreon!

 

Endzeitgeist out.

 

Comments

  2 Responses to “The Red King”

  1. Just a comment here, I would believe unholy damage to reference the ‘unholy damage’ from things like hellfire ray. While I’m assuming that it doesn’t have the full text of what unholy damage constitutes, it is at the very least a (poorly defined) game term.

    • Thanks for the comment, master Jolly!

      You’re unfortunately not right in that regard. Hellfire ray reads: “Half the damage is fire damage, but the other half results directly from unholy power and is therefore not subject to being reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks.”

      Unlike 3.X, PFRPG does not, nor has it ever had, “holy” or “unholy” damage (unless you count Path of War…and that system is not really Pathfinder anymore, as far as I’m concerned) – there is nothing that prevents unholy damage, nothing that interacts with it, etc. and unholy blight etc. also do not use this damage nomenclature – i.e. its use is a factual error.

      Even if one were to argue in favor of hellfire ray not being in the tradition of hellfire magic from 3.X, one would have to concede that the common damage type convention for this type of concept would employ the formula used for the vast majority of such non-hellfire-spells.

      The hellfire magic in 3.X, to whichhellfire ray is a thematic heir, was pretty exclusive and I wager that this is the reason the spell and tradition as depicted in BotD V.I does not feature the alignment caveat present in the more mainstream alignment-based damage spells, which would, even if it used “unholy damage” as a remotely defined game-term, exclude it from its primary representations.

      So…unfortunately, I have to disagree with you there: “Unholy damage” is NOT a game term in PFRPG, not even a poorly defined one – hellfire magic has its own tradition, as do regular spells that deal alignment-based damage and neither employ this nomenclature.

      Cheers!!

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