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Book of Exalted Darkness (Shadow of the Demon Lord)

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Welcome to Christmas in July! In celebration, this digital title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more of Santa's savings, visit our Christmas in July sale page.

A massive 323 page vile grimoire woven throughout a glorious tome of resplendent holy gold and luxury!

Yet the Book of Exalted Darkness is more than just a tome of evil, paired beside a holy decopunk campaign setting (think Rocketeer or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrowfor players to destroy or subvert.

Centuries ago the Celestial Heroes emerged from the Twilight of Suffering, leading the peoples of Askis through the ages to the bright utopian future of today. Their great works enrichen the world, the institutions they begat maintain order, and the gift of inaequa has changed the very face of civilization—machinery powered by the divine gift has urbanized society and the resulting radiation lengthens the lives of creatures good of heart.  

Evil is dying out. Those of a malevolent bent are treated by The Ministry's sanitariums and when they cannot be rehabilitated sent to the Samovi Preserve to live out the rest of their shorter lives among other foul beings. The empathic Justitia roam about Askis guarding against criminals, and for the few heretics that persist The Inquisition has agents everywhere. On the eve of ridding all of Askis of corruption however, a grand ploy by the most despicable mad scientists lurking below the surface has taken hold!

The Night of Largitio terrified the populace of the world but seemed only an anomally, only now bearing its horrible fruit: you. Before you were conceived destiny bestowed an inherent heresy on your soul, forever corrupting your very destiny. All of the bureaucracy that once served to occupy the people of Askis now bursts at the seams as you and your kind proliferate, and in turn the church-state has redoubled its efforts to contain the seeds of evil spreading across the globe.

Your maleficent benefactors—the mad scientists that instilled the flaw in your soul—are your most powerful allies against the theocracy arrayed against you, but with their aid you may well succeed where all others have failed. Better yet, with the assistance of the many dark powers that entreat you certainly the vaunted demigods protecting Askis could not stand against you. Indeed, yes, yes, for the powers of the nether draw from a well never-ending, and the fools before you that attempted to make these gifts their own were simply weak.

Not like you.

To try and encapsulate everything inside of Book of Exalted Darkness would not do it justice—for a quick rundown check out the table of contents below! A few highlights include:

  • The illustrations of featured artist Indi Martin. 
  • Sanctity and Sin, two new thematic attributes that evil PCs use to manipulate the strange technology of Askis (either tricking machines or perverting them!) and gain an edge on their do-gooder enemies!
  • Inherent Heresies! Askis has the standard races plus angelkin and dragonkin, and this new element of character creation colors how a villainous adventurer interacts with the world at large. 
  • The theocratic world of Askis! From the Contiguous Continent to the Escarion Maelstrom and back there are over three dozen cities (each with their own saints) to tear down into rubble.
  • 17 Character Paths. From the novice mad scientist, monstrosity, and summoner to the many-faceted dark transformation experts all the way down to master bloodmancers, heresy knights, and tasters, a wide variety of vile avenues await!
  • Evil Gifts! Deformities, Fiendish Bargains, Grafting, Sinful Gifts, Rituals, and Chirurgical Procedures. Do it all! ALL OF IT!
  • 2 new magic traditions: Blood & Bone and Vile comprising more than two dozen new spells. 
  • Equipment galore. Looking for some drugs? Augmetics? Maybe a jetpack or some power armor? Got the coin for one of those newfangled motorized inaequa-chariots? Or maybe you want to get at some of James' amazing evil relics!
  • Evil Gamemastering chapter including the very important discussion of consent between players and the GM, tips on how to keep a group of villainous adventurers from destroying each other and a system for handling trouble at the table.
  • 6 unique mad scientists (master villains with lair actions!), their lieutenants, and three dozen creatures and NPCs counted among the forces of darkness. They are joined by over 50 NPCs and monsters amidst the Forces of Light focused around builds for bards, fighters, rogues, sorcerers, paladins, rangers, clerics, monks, and wizards of 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level (in total well over 100 new statblocks and templates for GMs!)
  • Two adventures! The Killing the Golden Twins module to get your evil campaign in Askis off to a wicked start and the scaling Searching the River Styx adventure for when PCs find themselves headed to the afterlife—perhaps escaping the underworld to live once more.

Need more information or something to familiarize your
soon to be villainous group? Check out the preview
PDF of Book of Exalted Darkness!

Not enough? Killing the Golden Twins is free as well as the Mad Scientist and Evil Primer playtesting material (albeit from 5E)! Get your evil on!

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (1)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
James G December 28, 2018 12:38 pm UTC
All that text and I still have no idea what this is or what it has to do with Sotdl…...
Customer avatar
Mike M January 12, 2019 4:28 am UTC
Sorry to confuse! This is a campaign setting for Shadow of the Demon Lord (like Mists of Akuma). It includes new character options, equipment, some ancestries, magic traditions, 2 adventures, and more than 50 NPCs.

It is not a Schwalb Entertainment product, it is a product that licenses the Shadow of the Demon Lord ruleset from Schwalb Entertainment. He did say he was fond of it though and I believe impressed. :D
Customer avatar
Mark C October 04, 2018 9:49 pm UTC
Does this come with a PDF without the background color?
Customer avatar
Mike M October 05, 2018 9:20 am UTC
Book of Exalted Darkness does not have a B&W ink-friendly PDF, no. The crux of the whole thing is around contrast so that's never been discussed--it'd be sort of like making apple pie without the apples. That said if there's sufficient interest in that it can be arranged!

Customer avatar
Mark C October 09, 2018 2:32 am UTC
My friend has a printed copy and the border is a bit difficult on my eyes. Not making a sweeping comment, just my own situation. I was just curious about the PDF. I would be interested in the B&W option. It would, in fact make me buy the PDF.
Customer avatar
George F September 11, 2018 2:43 am UTC
I've got the 5e version of this. If you play SotDL, you'll want this one.
Customer avatar
Mike M September 11, 2018 3:47 am UTC
<3 Thank you!
Customer avatar
Zachary C September 12, 2018 5:02 pm UTC
I'm curious if you have any experience playing this in either SotDL or 5e and can speak to the balance of the content. I both run a SotDL game and play in a 5e game weekly with the same group of people. I'm not overly worried about balance in my own game, but if I get this for 5e it would be nice to know ahead of purchase what others think - such as whether a lot of the options are comically overpowered (I'm alright with playing flavorful underpowered characters though)
Customer avatar
Mike M September 12, 2018 9:02 pm UTC
The 5th Edition version has a few reviews :D
Customer avatar
George F September 16, 2018 8:32 pm UTC
I don't have any actual game play experience with the 5e version, yet. My first 5e campaign is only a few sessions old, but I plan to add material from it once the first adventure series is completed.
That said, I like what I've read and look forward to using it.
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File Last Updated:
July 14, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on September 10, 2018.