Demon Cults 2: Doomspeakers

4.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)

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Vilest of the Vile!

Among the worst evils in the multiverse are demons…and those depraved souls that worship them. Darkest among them are the Doomspeakers, antipaladin champions of demon princes that are inducted into the profane secrets of the Book of Nine Dooms. This unholy tome teaches them a corrupt magic that devours its caster as fuel for the misery and destruction it wreaks upon the cult’s foes.

Demon Cults: Doomspeakers includes:

  • 5 cultist NPCs with stats, including cult leader Narn the Crucifier (CR 15)
  • New spell: doom of ancient decrepitude
  • Plots and adventure hooks for party levels 1 to 12
  • New magic items including a bone whip and primal doom
  • Using the Doomspeakers in the Midgard Campaign Setting

Give your villains a demonic boost. Show your players a new challenge with Demon Cults: Doomspeakers today!

2 reviews for Demon Cults 2: Doomspeakers

  1. 4 out of 5

    This, the second of the Demon Cults series, presents a cult that deserves its billing as evil, nasty and not the sort of thing that any right-thinking person ought to even consider joining… but they do make brilliant adversaries, vile folk you can get a righteous buzz from wiping off the face of the earth (or whatever planet is your campaign world). Members of the Doomspeakers cult are demon-worshippers who study a tome called The Book of the Nine Dooms, anti-paladins who learn and practise vile magic that consumes their very being as they wreak misery and destruction on their foes.

    We start with an overview of their leaders, organisation and goals. Like most demon-worshippers, they are not big on organisation, it’s more a case of the meanest and most powerful clinging on to power for as long as they can. Any group will likely have an anti-paladin at their head, with a following of various classes (clerics, wizards, oracles and barbarians seem most likely) and a horde of gnoll minions to do the heavy lifting. They share the common demonic goals of bringing destruction on all mortal life, preferably as nastily as possible. Several example senior cultists are presented with complete stat blocks and background information: I wouldn’t care to meet any of them in a dark alley (or anywhere else for that matter).

    These are followed by a collection of senario ideas and notes on cult activities, arranged by APL for easy selection. Each presents a situation that has at the root of it members of the Doomspeakers, it is up to the party to sort things out. Many seem quite innocuous at the beginning… All are described in suitably generic terms to make it easy to fit them into an ongoing plotline on your campaign world. Many have the potential to be developed into a plot arc of their own, especially if you weave several of them into your campaign allowing the party to discover the growing threat posed by the Doomspeakers and giving them an opportunity to do something about it. If you use the Midgard campaign setting from Kobold Press, there’s a sidebar about running these adventures to effect, particularly in the Sarkland Desert in the Southlands and also on the Rothenian Plain.

    Finally, there’s a couple of nasty magic items and a new spell, the Doom of Ancient Decrepitude which causes rapid ageing for both the caster and anyone nearby when the spell is cast.

    The Doomspeakers are definitely villains and antagonists. It would have been interesting to read some more about The Book of the Nine Dooms and the powers it confers on those who study it (some of which can be deduced from reading the descriptions of the leading cultists provided), but the adventure ideas are varied and interesting. If you want to put up a nasty bunch of demon-worshippers as opposition to your party, this could be a good place to start.

  2. 4 out of 5

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of Kobold Press’ Demon Cults-series clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 3/4 of a page SRD, leaving us with 10 1/4 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    So what are the doomspeakers? Are they the homeless persons with the “The end is nigh”-shields? Nope, and neither are they doom metal enthusiasts – in this context, the doomspeakers are the antipaladin champions that have drank deeply from the well of profanity that is the Book of Nine Dooms, chaotic demon-worshipers, one and all.

    Know how often alignment doesn’t work so well in my preferred mode of shades of gray morality? Well, even there, sometimes, you have people that just *fit* the alignment system – their ideologies match up perfectly. This is one such example. If you’re tired by moral conundrums, these guys fit the bill – it doesn’t get more evil. These are guys that do not even try to seem morally ambiguous – we have capital E level, vile demon worshippers here and their methods and ideology reflect that. Now, unlike the first installment, we receive a bunch of statblocks, not one – from Narn, a straight 16-level antipaladin build (also known for crucifying captured enemies and minions) to a savage level 11 gnoll antipaladin, the first two builds are nasty pieces. A somewhat tragic tiefling oracle (level 12 of the pit-born subtype, btw.) is a more diverse character – severely mutilated by ignorant townsfolk, her descent into utter darkness was traumatic indeed. Oddly, her type is wrong – she is stated to be a humanoid (elf, human), when obviously, she should be a native outsider. Finally, a gnoll cleric and a half-elven arcane duelist (level 8 and 7, respectively) complete this array of champions of evil.

    Now in direct comparison to the first installment, the doomspeaker’s hooks have been greatly expanded: Each APL-array receives a plethora of exceedingly detailed hooks – essentially, this provides enough fodder for the DM to potentially run a whole campaign centered on the doomspeakers – and honestly, some of these hooks are significantly more compelling than quite a few full-blown modules I’ve read – without this section, the doomspeakers would feel like a cardboard cutout cult; with it, they come into their own as a distinct entity. Fans of Midgard should be aware of the sidebox that contains information on the cult in Midgard. Kudos for the inspired writing here!

    The supplement also sports 2 new magic items – the bone whip, which is nice and the primal doom – these items can be thrown at foes, conjuring forth the very worst fears of the target, with the save influencing the particular CR of the doom called forth. Nasty and a cool storytelling device. The pdf also sport a new spell, the Doom of Ancient Decrepitude, which temporarily ages all targets, including the caster, while in the area – a nasty debuff indeed, and one that can have fatal consequences – be sure to take a look at the SRD-page, btw. – the spell’s text carries over to this page.

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any truly significant glitches. Layout adheres to a modification of Kobold Press’ beautiful 2-column full-color standard, with the borders evoking the theme of the gorgeous front cover. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    Jeff Lee’s Doomspeakers were the Demon Cult I was least excited about – it is a personal preference, but I simply enjoy less obvious black and white morality more. That, and I’m quite frankly burned out on evil demon cults that are evil for evil’s sake. I was positively surprised by the rather intriguing hooks for the sue of the doomspeakers, which help bringing the straight builds for the NPCs into a given campaign – they provide a depth I honestly did not expect to find. At the same time, however, I couldn’t help but feel like the Demon Cult could have used a tad more elements to set it distinctively apart. What remains here would be a very straightforward cadre of vile opponents, foes worthy of radiant heroes. In the hands of a lesser author, the doomspeakers could have been a textbook example of evil blandness, but Jeff Lee’s inspired and exceedingly detailed hooks set them apart and improve this book to a point where I’m considering this to be a worthwhile addition to a campaign.

    The unique spell and items further help establishing a unique identity and manage to do an admirable job within the confines of this pdf. Now personally, I would have liked a tad bit more unique tricks for the cult – more distinct, exclusive crunch to set them apart more. The primal doom, for example, is a great narrative device and adding some special qualities to the creatures called, perhaps via a modular template, would have been the icing on the cake. As written, this pdf remains a surprisingly good installment and clocks in at a final verdict of 4 stars.

    Endzeitgeist out.

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