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This is a GM thread, and as such contains spoilers. So if I put spoiler tags on anything it'll be for length, expect to get spoiled.
I've just gotten through reading all of the Iron Gods books, and there's a lot that I love. The authors, editors, developers, artists and Paizo staff have done a fantastic job and I have no doubt that as written the Iron Gods AP is going to be a fantastic campaign.
There's a good chance that when I finish my Kingmaker campaign (perhaps sometime this year) that I'll be running Iron Gods.
But perhaps on Golarion I'd be a Brigh worshipper, because I always have such a powerful urge to tinker. So I'm posting this here as another of my GM notepads as I consider things I'd like to change or themes I'd like to explore more heavily or stuff I'd like to add.
Why is the final battle not in a launching rocket or spaceship?
This was the thing that I kept thinking as I read The Divinity Drive, you fight Unity in Silver Mount, and then inside The Godmind but all I could think was: Her plan is to launch herself into space and become a satellite deity. That's the cool thing. We never get to witness the cool thing. We stop the cool thing, but if the campaign ends with the final boss, we never see the cool thing. Rocket launches are cool! Fighting in a rocket ship as it hurtles into space and you mess around with gravity is even cooler.
The players would finish the battle and see Golarion from space. They'd have time if they want to upload Casandalee to become a more benevolent goddess of robits while they're up there and could then use escape pods to fall back to Golarion.
Why walk when you can drive?
So much of what occurs between books in Iron Gods seems to be traipsing through the blasted post-apocalyptic wasteland that conveniently ignores the high CR creatures that inhabit its encounter tables. This is a situation of not enough space in the books so the GM should handle it.
I'd like for the players to be able to design, build and use their own battlewagons and crazy motorcycles to traverse the terrain of Numeria faster and help them fight (or escape) the random encounters they face. Since most of the locations they visit aren't really very hospitable to vehicles it's mostly a thing that happens between adventures. Still I think it'd be rad.
Unity and Casandalee need more face time
The problem with AP final villains is that the players rarely get to know and hate them. Unity is a fantastic villain, with a clear and awful goal that the players honestly just don't have enough opportunity to learn and interact with.
As written Unity has a problem, she can't extend her influence beyond the hull of Silver Mount, at least not until book 5 when we discover she can directly control the leader of the Technic League. Her whole goal is to extend her reach. So I'd like to make her a little more successful at that. Essentially converting some robots and NPCs into Unity remotes. In my version Unity has been spreading her influence outwards by a slow and laborious process of building scrap iron towers, these signal boosters allow her to send her signal further outwards, and control those who have been modified by her and her minions. This is an inefficient process and that's why she still wants to escape into space in order to beam her satellite signal across Golarion. The Smoking Tower will be one such signal booster. There will be others in between books. When the players encounter such locations Unity will assume direct control. This will give her minion or worshipper a mythic power boost, but because they can't handle the divine power being directly sent into them burns out the host body in a relatively brief span of time.
This will allow the players and Unity to interact multiple times throughout the campaign and make it clear that Unity is an active threat.
As for Casandalee, we see a hint of her in book 2 thanks to Hellion's ranting. We find her corpse in book 3 and we don't really rescue her until what we assume is the end of Book 4. When we do meet her, she has dozens and dozens of personalities that will pop in and out randomly. For such an important NPC she is very hard to connect with.
My proposal is thus. If there is a PC android, that character is Casandalee (feel free to change Casandalee's gender to suit the PC). Much of the campaign will focus on going back through that PCs previous life and figuring out who they were and where they come from. Hellion will recognize the PC as a brother or sister. "I thought your signal faded in Iandeveigh. I am so glad I can snuff you out for good myself!" In the Smoking tower instead of Casandalee's corpse there is perhaps a journal or a video diary telling the PC where their memory back-up is. When finally the PCs retrieve the AI core they realize that they might "rewrite" themselves with their older version in order to regain important knowledge.
If however there are no android PCs in the party, then I recommend the following:
Meyanda is Casandalee's next incarnation. Hellion took perverse pleasure into turning his "sister" into his high priestess. When the PCs defeat her perhaps when she reaches 0 hp Meyanda has a bizarre seizure. Her eyes glow a strange purple and lines of data scroll across them: "Please help me. My memories are trapped in here. You're in grave danger. My designation is not this designation."
The PCs will have to try and redeem Meyanda, and again the moral quandary of whether taking all of Casandalee's memories will "overwrite" the Meyanda they come to know.
Valley of the Brain Collectors. Why aren't you a Hex Map?
I really wish Paizo would stick to hex maps for overland sandboxes, that's something I need to tinker with.
Repercussions of Irovetti's Clockwork Kingdom
This is specific to people who are running Iron Gods after my Kingmaker conversions. I have some ideas.
More to come...
In any case these are my ideas for now. More to come at some point in the future. Happy to hear the thoughts of other GMs who are currently running or planning to run Iron Gods.