From publisher blurb:
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 Tomorrow) for 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.