Paths of Vengeance
Alignment: Good and chaotic alignments are not allowed. Every character must be lawful neutral, lawful evil, neutral or neutral evil. Of those four alignments, lawful evil is definitely the preferred choice. The goal here is to make a party that can actually make a plan and stick to it, rather than killing each other or simply everything they come across. See the page Alignments for details on each alignment and how to play a character of your chosen alignment,
Focus and Foible: 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. This method makes slightly more powerful characters on average, but adds in a little randomness to the mix.
Skills: Choose two more skill points per level. The PCs will be on their own for much of the campaign and will have difficulty relying on others for skills. This house rule will make them more self-reliant. Besides, villains should more competent than the average man.
Class restrictions: All classes are permitted except the Paladin (no goodie little two shoes) and the gunslinger (no modern weapons).
Anti-paladin: An anti-paladin must be lawful evil instead of the usual chaotic evil, and further, the anti-paladin may have cohorts, followers and henchmen who are of any evil alignment instead of the usual “chaotic evil” requirement. Also, a lawful evil anti-paladin may not use their fiendish boon to add the ‘anarchic’ property to a weapon. Instead, they may add the ‘axiomatic’ property.
Feel free to reference the class here.
Gear: The characters begin with nothing. No money, weapons, armor, gold… nothing except some tattered, dirty prison clothes. Oh right, prison… that brings me to the next point.
Traits: We will be implementing the trait system from the Advanced Player’s Guide, except that your first trait must be a “Crime of the Forsaken”. In addition, those who completed the Nessian Knot training receive a new “Adrastus’ Training” trait.
Feel free to reference traits here.
Crimes of the Forsaken: Each character chooses one heinous crime that has earned them a place in prison. Each crime grants a different benefit, and counts as a trait. You may have committed many crimes during your lifetime, but this is the crime that finally got you branded and condemned. I have a list of 20 to chose from, and if you want your own crime we can invent one for you!
View the list here.
Adrastus’ Training Each PC may pick one of these ten traits granted through three months of training, where Adrastus hones the PCs into the Nessian Knot.
View the list here
Class Archetypes: Class Archetypes from the book Ultimate Combat are allowed. Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers.
Feel free to reference Archetypes here.
Mortician: The Mortician is typically an evil surgeon who utilizes his knowledge of the body to diabolically create abominations to the natural world. Unlike Clerics and Necromancers, the Mortician relies on his knowledge of science, anatomy, and death to craft and create his zombies. His talents increase over time, allowing him to create stronger, more unique zombies to serve his every need.
When you take the Leadership feat you receive a cohort as normal, but instead of receiving followers, you become the master of an evil organization. If multiple PCs buy the Leadership feat they must choose whether they are each starting their own organization or if they are pooling to form a council of villainy.
There are advantages to both. Councils can hit higher target numbers but control can be an issue. Individual groups are weaker but there is no question of control.
See Building Your Own Evil Organization for more details.
See the Animate Dead guide here.