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Demon Cults 4: Hand of Nakresh (PDF)


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Adventure, Monsters, Spells and Items


No Treasure is Safe!

Forty-Fingered Nakresh is the simian demon-god of wizards and thieves, whose eight hands grasp all there is to take. The five infamous crime lords who lead the cult of the Lowest Left Hand of Nakresh plot the most audacious and spectacular thefts imaginable to appease their god—and to outdo each other!

Demon Cults: The Hand of Nakresh includes:

  • 5 cult leader NPCs with stats: Lord Vermin (CR 10), Master Kiprak (CR 11), Mognyr Dunestalker (CR 10) and his hyenadon mount, Sister Starkfeather (CR 13) and Zheita the Magicmonger (CR 15)
  • Plots and adventure hooks for party levels 1 to 12
  • New magic items: monkey’s paw of fortune, shrieking aklys and ley line absorber
  • New scattered images spell, and a gargantuan new vehicle: the clockwork siege crab!
  • Using the Hand of Nakresh in the Midgard Campaign Setting

The Five Exalted would relish the opportunity to match wits with your PCs. Show your players a new challenge with Demon Cults #4: The Hand of Nakresh today!

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  1. Megan Robertson

    ‘Hand’ of Nakresh is a bit of a misnomer, for as we delve into this, the fourth of the Demon Cults series, we discover that Nakresh is a simian demon with EIGHT hands, most of which are usually found in someone else’s pocket! Apparently the lowermost hand on the left side is reserved for the most audacious thefts and is the one from which the cult takes its name, being led by five crime-lords who naturally take an interest in notable heists.

    Beginning with the cult’s leaders, organisation and goals we read more about these crime-lords. Known as the Five Exalted, they compete to pull off the most daring and audacious thefts, for bragging-rights seem to be what it’s all about… and every few years the rest of the cult votes on who pulled off the best heist and elect him or her as The Exalted. (Pity they don’t put as much thought into their titles as they do to planning their robberies!) Competition is fierce and whilst it’s against the rules to harm each other or their minions, just about anything else is fair game – unless someone is captured by law enforcement, when everyone is expected to rally round to rescue them.

    Each of the current Five Exalted is presented in detail, along with full stat-block and background, plenty of ideas here for budding rogues as to equipment and methodology. There’s also a sidebar about fitting them into the Midgard underworld, if that happens to be the campaign setting you’re using, but it should prove relatively easy to embed them into whatever campaign world you have chosen for your game.

    These are followed by a series of adventure ideas, sorted by APL. Here, the Hand of Nakresh are placed as adversaries – you may choose to use them as occasional enemies (or rivals) or weave an entire plotline about how the cult becomes a growing nusiance, running several of the adventures at different stages of the campaign.

    Thieves who like their gadgets will be interested in the new magic items, which are presented next. These include the bizarre and complex Ley Line Absorber (or Dweomer Absorber) which draws in magical energy from its surroundings that can then be manipulated by the operator. Then there is the Monkey’s Paw of Fortune (which can alter fate) and a Shrieking Aklys (which, er, shrieks when thrown). Also here is a new spell, Scattered Images, which is a bit like Mirror Image but the images all scamper around doing different things rather than copy what you are doing. Finally, there is the clockwork siege crab, a giant mechanical vehicle made of brass, iron and glass in the shape of a giant crab. Not the best thing for a stealthy exit, but impressive nonetheless.

    If you fancy some crime-fighting, this provides useful concepts for adversaries and what they might be doing. Despite the large number of ethically-challenged characters to be found, there is no provision for those who might want to join the cult, and maybe work their way up to being an Exalted, which could make a fun campaign idea. There also is nothing about Nakresh as a demon-god, or what cult membership confers over and above being part of a thieves’ organisation (which are pretty commonplace). Some nice adventure ideas, and good crime-lords to flesh out your underworld, though.

  2. Endzeitgeist

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of Kobold Press’ Demon Cults-series clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 2/3 of a page SRD, leaving us with 11 1/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    The fourth Demon Cult the series offers would be the Hand of Nakresh – who is Nakresh, you ask? He is the forty-fingered simian demon-god of thieves, with his lower left hand reserved for his most daring of thefts – it is this hand that gives this cult its name. The leadership of the cult is firmly in the hands of the Five Exalted, which receive full-blown statblocks herein – a kobold alchemist, a gnoll trapper, a derro sorceror, a tengu cleric and a roachling sanctified rogue make up this illustrious party, which could pretty much be run as an opposing adventurer party,a rival group, should you choose to. Beyond the basics, you should be aware that the members receive background stories and minor, loving tidbits – like the roachling’s mutation, which nets him 4 hands. Small special features like this and the superb equipment (yes, influences CR) set a group apart. Well done!

    As always, the pdf does sport a significant array of exceedingly detailed adventure hooks involving the cult, grouped by rough APLs and once again, the hooks go beyond the boring default, establishing some rather cool and inspired ideas and providing enough fodder for DMs to base multiple adventures around the cult. Midgard-aficionados will be glad to hear that we receive advice for using the cult in Midgard. There is a new spell herein, a variant of mirror image, wherein the duplicates run in random directions if you move – I do like the concept and the spell is functional, but I would have liked to see interaction with damaging terrain – do the images running over such terrain ignore it? I assume so, but this conversely makes finding the true culprit easier.

    The magic items sport a demoralizing aklys and a magic monkey’s paw for luck – and an artifact. This one is a beauty: The Ley-line absorber can tie in with the agendas of some members, aiming to steal magic and absorbing it for a vast power-gain of the operator – now that is a high-profile heist!

    “But wait”, you say – “I don’t use the Midgard-setting or ley lines!” Perhaps you are wary of the ley line magic rules or perhaps it doesn’t fit your concept. Well, the artifact comes with a second version, one for ley-line-less settings! Now *this* is care! Oh, and then there is the new vehicle provided herein. Nothing I could write would drive home the awesomeness of the concept better than the one line before the devices’ stats: CLOCKWORK SIEGE CRAB!


    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any 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 cabal of master thieves is awesome – whether as a rival party, as high-class thieves or as elite criminals, I really, really like this installment. The writing of the fluffy hooks retains the significant quality established in the series and the artifact is a cool plot-device. While the new spell did not wow me and while I wasn’t too excited about the solid new items (though I love the minimalistic style of the pulpy monkey’s paws!), there is this level of detail of the characters I enjoy. We have nice little tidbits, resources worthy of such an elite force…and we have a CLOCKWORK SIEGE CRAB. Say it with me: “CLOCKWORK SIEGE CRAB.” Hell yeah!

    Before I ramble on – there is nothing truly wrong with this pdf and while not all components blew me away, there is a lot that did incite my imagination to run with it. My final verdict will hence still clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval. Now excuse me, I need to get my villains a new ride…

    Endzeitgeist out.

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