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In one of the published adventures player characters needs huge amounts of unholy water, namely:

Way of the Wicked, book two "Call forth darkness": 3 bottles a day for 222 days

Party currently consist of:

  1. Storm Druid
  2. Alchemist
  3. Rogue / Shadow Dancer
  4. Wizard

All level 6, soon to be 7. For people who do not know this adventure: evil clerics are outlawed and fought with extreme prejudice, so it is not possible to simply buy it, probably not even with connections to criminal underground - if characters would have them, that is.

My question is two-fold:

  1. Is there an adventure-based way to get this water and I just fail to find it?
  2. If no, is there a way for them to access Curse Water spell?

I'm their DM and I am open to reasonable rule-bending but would prefer to avoid outright rule breaking. For example no, Wizard will not learn this spell on level up, and Druid cannot pray for it.

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Use instead the spell water of maddening

It's a 3rd-level druid spell with this important bit: "The liquid functions in all the same ways as unholy water (see curse water)."

The druid must be level 7 and use his 3rd-level and 4th-level slots each day or be level 6 and have a Wisdom score high enough to have a bonus 3rd-level spell, but otherwise it should be no problem for the druid use water of maddening to create enough stuff that functions just like unholy water.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 14 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, party has both druid and alchemist, so... Great! \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Mar 14 at 19:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is actually the Waters of Lamashtu spell, but stripped of IP content. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 14 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Carefully reading the Effect line on that spell, a level 6 druid will create 3 flasks of water of maddening per cast, so it'll only take one 3rd level spell slot per day. I still like my answer better, but this certainly does work. Well done. (Note that the gold cost for this is higher than casting curse water three times per day, though, if that matters to your group.) \$\endgroup\$ – gatherer818 Mar 17 at 18:30
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A few methods come to mind:

  • You mention the party is about to level up to 7. If two of them with 11 Wisdom or any one with 12+ will, they can take a level in Cleric. Curse Water is a 1st level spell and they could each cast it twice per day with their initial spell slots, +1 from Wisdom bonus spells if they have 12. If staying a Cleric isn't to their liking, they could then retrain back into their originally planned class.

    • While they are a Cleric, they will of course have to hide the fact from the authorities. This could cause some interesting roleplay in the intervening 2/3 of a year. They might invest in a Recondite (Un)Holy Symbol, the hidden priest archetype or something similar.
  • Similarly, if you have a Witch they can select/retrain to a Water Patron. Alternately, allowing a non-Witch to take a level in Witch and retrain a 2nd level would also work. This earns them Bless or Curse Water as a 1st level Patron spell. A 2nd level Witch can prepare it twice per day, +1 if they have at least 12 Intelligence.

    • This has the (potential, if you allow it) added benefit that they can select False Focus for their 7th level Feat and create a Silver or better "Holy" symbol, allowing them to ignore the 75g per day cost of Cursing the Water 3 times. This has obvious additional benefits in your current campaign.
  • You're the GM. It's been said elsewhere, but it's absolutely a legitimate option that there is a Hidden Priest of Norgorber or similar that the party has caught the eye of. But... his services come at a cost, naturally.

  • Another GM option you have, which is slightly less Deus Ex, is that the party finds out that, while the Good Guys(TM) seem to have "won", perhaps they have failed to disable a certain Font of Unholy Water. The party could, upon hearing this, go on a quest to secure this location for the duration needed. While you are "handing" them something to accomplish their task, you're also making them work for it.

  • Finally, if you have a Rogue in the party (you do have a rogue, right?!), they could use Black Market Connections (or ignore the Talent since it doesn't actually pertain to this and just say there is a Black Market to be found) to grab their Water under the authorities' noses. Finding the Black Market and trying to manage the underworld while not attracting the authorities is another opportunity to make the party work to earn their goal.

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You've written that evil clerics are outlawed, but presumably neutral clerics are still around somewhere. Neutral clerics can cast evil spells including curse water.

I started to write about how the group could go find a cleric of a neutral god and explain why they have a really good reason why they need a bunch of unholy water. But then I realized you have an evil party. So presumably they'll go find a temple of a neutral god, burn it down, capture one of the clerics, and keep them tied up in the basement until the ritual is complete.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Of course, said neutral cleric might be able to sabotage the ritual by occasionally and deliberately miss-casting Curse Water. There's going to be a limit to how carefully they watch him after a few weeks of this happening every day. \$\endgroup\$ – John Dallman Mar 2 at 12:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Lawful neutral clerics of the one deity it's legal to worship might exist, but I don't think they can cast curse water that often without losing their spellcasting anyway. They'll need a fellow outlaw cleric if they want to pull this suggestion off. \$\endgroup\$ – gatherer818 Mar 17 at 18:33
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I'm a new poster as well, though very familiar with Pathfinder and D&D.

I don't know the AP you are working with, but when I've run up against this similar issue (no clerics, no one ever wants to play the cleric!) I will introduce an NPC or use an NPC already introduced in the AP and give them a hook (if they don't already have one). They need a motive, a reason for becoming involved with the players etc. and the players need the NPC for this one ability but will perhaps find them useful for other things too...

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    \$\begingroup\$ This will be last resort solution. First book says players are meant to be mostly on their own, and "deus ex machina" solutions are anticlimatic. Plus, as stated in the question, evil clerics are hard to find, because it is basically Lawful Good police state. Paladin state, so to speak ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Mar 1 at 16:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Totally understood, and I'm not a fan of using an NPC either but if he's an evil cleric, his motives could prove very problematic for the PCs, especially considering they have to keep him as a "friend" for so long! \$\endgroup\$ – TigerDM Mar 1 at 18:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ You know, if party wants to use so much of unholy water, you can safely assume they aren't exactly good either. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Mar 1 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bahaha, of course, but evil serves itself--and evil countered against evil with a different agenda can be fun! \$\endgroup\$ – TigerDM Mar 1 at 18:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ We'll see, we'll see :) \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Mar 1 at 18:09
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Normally, I'd suggest employing the skill Use Magic Device to turn purchased scrolls of curse water into wands of curse water, but that doesn't seem an option here. Thus, with scrolls and wands of the curse water spell unavailable, and the adventure path seeming to expect someone in the party to be able to manufacture a monstrous volume of unholy water—so much that it would normally require over 1½ tons of powdered silver—, it seems that, unless the GM interferes, Team Protagonist is stuck in the ugly spot of trying to create an original magic item: a wondrous item that casts the spell curse water.

If neither the storm druid nor the wizard has taken the feat Craft Wondrous Item, the one with the higher Spellcraft skill modifier can, if the rules are used in the campaign, follow the rules for retraining and take a few day and spend some gp to swap another feat for the feat Craft Wondrous Item.

Then the party member with the feat conducts whatever research the GM deems necessary for creating an original magic item—none, a few days in contemplation, a week at big library, whatever—, and the GM reveals the magic item's price. The Magic Item Creation section's Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values provides guidelines that indicate a wondrous item that can upon command create an effect like the spell curse water has an estimated base price of 4,300 gp (1 [spell level] × 1,800 [base price]) + (25 [material components cost] × 100 [for unlimited use]); if can only be used thrice per day this price drops to 2,580 gp. (This GM would likely round these both up to at least 5,000 gp and 3,000 gp, respectively.)

Afterward, the PC need only get to work on making the party's wondrous item, with the primary creator increasing the Spellcraft skill check necessary to complete the item by +5 because—obviously—no one in the party and no one they know can help meet the item's curse water spell prerequisite.


Note: This GM believes it a terrible oversight by the adventure path's writer to assume that among the PCs will be one capable of casting the curse water spell. Further, even having the PCs take up to two weeks to create a 3,000 gp workaround because the writer lacked forethought seems almost too laborious. If you think so, too, this GM—who, to be clear, has neither read nor run this adventure path but based on this question alone—recommends that either the gp for the 3/day item fall into the PCs hands or the PCs discover a map to secret evil survivalist's cache of unholy water.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggestions for improvement welcome. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 10 at 14:32
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At 7th level, the PCs qualify for Leadership. In this particular AP, it's almost a given that they'll take it, and either previous NPCs will return to become their cohorts or one of the PC's dark patron or the person who roped them into service will arrange to ensure they get their desired cohorts - especially at this point in the AP, the PCs are about to be locked into defending this dungeon for the course of 666 rituals, and they need the extra bodies to watch the various entrances and trigger and reset traps.

Rather than a Cleric of Asmodeus, I might suggest a Water Witch. They get access to curse water through their patron, but also have default access to blood money, which can defray the cost of the repeated curse water castings, as long as someone in the party can restore their Strength damage occasionally. (Plus, it's so thematic to have them bleed for the ritual!)

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Most answers here suggest an ability or magic item, so I'll suggest something else; Use the world.

Create a cursed lake, or a shrine to an evil deity, where water automatically becomes unholy if it is near it. Make the players search for it based on rumors or because the good clerics couldn't cleanse it. This will provide another challenge to all of them, since it is most likely a heavily guarded place.

If you want it to be easily accessible, place it underground or magically hidden. That way they will take a while to find it, but it won't really be guarded by the authorities.

It is a published adventure, but that doesn't mean it's infallible, just make sure it works for your party, even if the adventure assumes something else.

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