Reins of Darkness
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- Pathfinder Core Rulebook (for “core rules” — skills, feats, combat, etc., but no Races, Classes, or Spells)
- Midnight Campaign Setting (a cool campaign setting with a lot of good ideas)
- Encyclopedia Magica (2nd edition collection of magic items) — DarcVader
- Volume 4 has awesome random magic item tables in the back…use them well.
- Ultimate Magic (Pathfinder resource for spells, “word magic”, and Magus class) — DarcVader
- Ponyfinder (Pathfinder My Little Pony races from Paizo) — radsaq
- Tome of Battle (3 cool warrior classes) — radsaq
- Monster Manual III (a good variety of critters and interesting variants on some traditional enemies) — JC
- Dungeonscape (One cool class, some useful feats, lots of traps, doors, and other things to vex PCs with) — JC
- Arcana Unearthed (A replacement for the Core Rulebooks) — PFairfield
- Spell Compendium (SPELLS! Lots of spells) — Pfairfield
- Regarding classes and access to these spells:
- Channelers have access to the spell-lists used by their focus (i.e. Wizard spell list for Hermetics or Druid spell list for Spiritualists)
- Factotums can learn any spell from the Wizard spell list.
- Magi use word-casting and generally cannot learn specific spells. Some magus arcana allow you to learn spells from other spell lists (in which case this book is available).
- Legates have full access to the Cleric spell list.
- Greenbonds, Mage Blades, Magisters, Rune Thanes, and Witches may learn any spell from this book by taking the Exotic Spell feat for the spell in question.
- Regarding classes and access to these spells:
- Tome of Magic (3 cool alternate caster classes and a lot of flavor) — BBirchler
- Incantations from the Other Side (rules for ritual magic that strongly compliment Binding and Truename magic) — BBirchler
- Complete Scoundrel (some feats, prestige classes, and “skill tricks”) — jlester
- Complete Warrior (excluding the Samurai class) — jlester
- Weapons of Legacy (alternate rules for awesome artifact-like magic items) — gnomish_brigand
- Complete Champion (rules for organizations and some prestige classes) — pfairfield
Compiled Lists of…
- A “Dark Lord” rules everything
- The Dark Lord killed the other gods and all that remains of them are Vestiges (see Binders)
- The Dark Lord froze the moon in lockstep with the sun. The world is in a permanent state of solar eclipse.
- The souls of the dead gods were shattered and reincarnated in mortal form, granting mortals the ability to cast spells (Maagister, Mageblade, Witch) or access the memories of the dead gods (Akashic).
- Language has power. Literacy is outlawed. Those that can read can alter the world around them.
- Characters are illiterate by default (unless Magus, Truenamer, or Runethane)
- The Giants (Hu-Charad) have recently landed and established enclaves on the shores of the Dark Lords lands. They are nigh-undefeatable within their enclaves, but lose most of their powers outside of them. They are attempting to “civilize” the dark lands, using the native humans and ponies (and whatever) as soldiers and proxies…
- The Enclaves have been established on the ruins of ancient cities in the Dark Lands.
- The proxies of the giants are sent to reclaim the ruins of the cities and regions block by block, smashing the Black Mirrors that represent the Dark Lord’s power in the world to awaken the land and break the Dark Lord’s power.
- Any reflective surface might be or become a Black Mirror, so the common folk do not keep any reflective surfaces. Armor is lacquerred in dark colors, water is deliberately fouled, glass is never used, bowls and plates are always wood. Everypony has horrible coiffures…
- Shadow Casters all carry mirrors, siphoning power from the Dark Lord. They tend to be feared and hated by both sides of the conflict…
- Humans, Halflings, and Ponies are slaves of the Dark Lord. Fey creatures (Elves, Gnomes, Faen) have gone into hiding, but have come out under the protection of the Giants. Litorians and Sibeccai are servitors of the giants brought with them across the sea. Orcs, Dwarves, and Mojh (and pretty much anything else with darkvision) enforce the will of the Dark Lore.
Basic Adventure Layout
- PCs head out to expand the territory encompassed by the Giant Enclaves. Each region (which may be as large as a county to as small as a city block) they attempt to expand into should be thematically keyed to one of the Vestiges and will usually include one or more settlements enslaved to the Dark Lord.
- PCs are looking for 2 things:
- (1) The Black Mirror that anchors the Dark Lord’s power for the given region.
- (2) The remains (Vestiges) of the Spirit or Deity who once presided over that region. Which may take the form of a shrine, relic, monster, human incarnation, or whatever.
- PCs use whatever means necessary (stealth, diplomacy, magic, force of arms) to find the Black Mirror.
- When found, they must destroy it (means of destruction may very).
- As soon as they find it/attempt to destroy it, the Dark Lord becomes aware of their presence and all hell breaks loose (i.e. PCs must destroy it while fending over overwhelming and CR inappropriate numbers of monsters and evil henchman).
- As soon as the mirror is destroyed the land changes hands and a whole Legion of Giants teleport in and clean up the remaining beasties (so the PCs should focus on staying alive and destroying the mirror, not attempt a nearly-impossible killing spree).
- Once the monsters are dead, the giants immediately go into builder mode and the city literally “comes to the PCs” (so they have immediate access to healing, training facilities, shops to re-equip, etc.)
- Destroying the mirror increases the amount of magic available in the world (i.e. destroying a mirror is the thing that lets you level up to the next level).
- If the Vestige is found and restored (means may vary), then the PCs gain access to a Heroic Path (GMs choice but should be at least somewhat appropriate to the Vestige). They may take that path (if they don’t have one already), or change to the new path if they had already acquired one.