You could make the railroad a military project.
Assuming the Elven nations still have, and/or have even expanded their network of elf gates, the human military could (and definitely should) jump on the railroads as a counter to the elves ability to deploy their armies through them.
It might be fun to have your PCs go through all sorts of trouble to find out the "truth", only to discover it actually was humanities doing all along. :P
One thing to work out is, where the railroad is going?
Are you connecting Brevoy with the River Kingdoms river trading routes? Is one focus of the adventure going to be which of the Kingdoms gets to link with the railroad?
Because your only other options are Galt and Numeria, and if you're keeping the political situations the same I can't see either one of those being a good place to link to.
Sounds workable. I don't believe that there's any RAW way that the alchemist could actually turn himself into a dragon permanently, though there are spells to do it temporarily. But in any case you could handle it with handwaveium.
And the Beastmorph archetype would compliment your alchemist nicely.
In keeping with your Adam and Eve theme have the knowledge of how to defeat the first specimen given to them by a snake-like creature, perhaps one that serves as an adviser to them throughout the quest, and describe the specimen's body as being treelike.
Or you could have everything be kind of a trick. Your first specimen (or serpent) is actually trying to restart the human race and your PC's quests are designed to activate nukes secretly buried under the cities of these non-human races you mentioned, wiping the slate clean for "true humanity" to be restored.
The cleric must undergo a test of faith by the old cleric to find the location of the monastery where those who maintain the vault where the barbarian's hammer is hidden.
The monk must undergo a series of trial given my the monks to be given the location of the vault.
The ninja must brave a trap-filled dungeon built by the ninja who hid the hammer to get the key to the vault.
The barbarian must face the defenders of the vault in combat. They're all the other barbarians, living and dead, who went into exile.
I'm going to be as delicate as I can here, and stick it under a spoiler tag for good measure...
Tengu do have tongues, you know.
How has it been a debate in your game?
Are the other pirates pressing your PC to be "one of the boys", or are you just trying to flesh out what your character does while in port?
A summoner can't summon creatures while his Eidolon is...summoned.
The point of a synthisist summoner is that your Eidolon is more like a battle-suit you call into being. Think Guyver, Iron Man, the X-Men's Armor, or even a transforming hero like He-Man. You are more of a front-line combatant, a Gish, than a pure caster.
If he was just a summoner I doubt it would be so much of an issue. I play my own summoner as a lazy sod who cheerfully hides behind his Eidolon and lets her handle the heavy lifting while he uses his actions to cast buffs and occasionally shooting his bow at things, but even if he just hid in a corner his Eidolon is enough of a combatant stand in the front line.
This guy is apparently choosing the worst of both worlds and his fellow PC are right in being annoyed with him.
Yes it would, but my point is that the Hashashins weren't noted for having access to a Q-Branch. They lived in a time and place where one was expected to carry a knife, and someone having and being able to use a sword and/or bow was no more surprising than a modern American having and knowing how to use a pistol and/or rifle.
The disguise and vanishing powers of a ninja are fine, and fit in perfectly with the Hashashin's preference for leaving warnings consisting of a dagger on a targets pillow while they're sleeping, or assassinating people with a dagger, in public, and in broad daylight. They did not need, and likely would have disdained the use of exotic weapons.
True, but many of these areas will also have older bridges kept around because of their historical value, and these can be repaired at a lower tech level. Also, old ferrying equipment may have been maintained for the same reason, and good locations to ford will likely be remembered.
Modern roads in the Northeast will have likely been built over older roads that were place where they were because it was the best place for a road. In The War as I knew it Patton recommends commanders get a hold of older maps of a region to compare with modern ones, because if an pre-twentieth century map shows a road in an area it's a good bet you can get an army through there irregardless of the actual condition of the road.
Railroads are also an option to consider. With much of the East Coast linked by rail and many older steam engines being maintained in museums.
Most of the cities in the Northeastern U.S. were founded during the early days of European colonization, and were located where they were because those were the best places to settle, with access to some combination of fresh water, decent farmland, protected harbor, fishing, etc....
Unless you've nuked the cities or filled them with undead it would be more than likely that they'd still be population centers even during the post-apocalypse.
The Path of the Penitent Child - This first chamber is a test of faith. The floor is tiled with a pattern, a labyrinth, representing the legendary pilgrimage of the Penitent Child. One of the PCs (the penitent) must follow the pattern on his knees (check vs. pain) while doing a lengthy catechism (check vs. Knowledge: Religion).
Additionally, another PC (representing a knight who protects pilgrims) can follow the penitent along the pattern, protecting him from attackers. I'm thinking illusions representing foes faced by the original penitent child, that appear suddenly to try and disrupt the pilgrimage. The "knight" must defend his charge without leaving his position on the pattern behind the penitent.
The Path of the Devourer - The second chamber is filled with a vast swarm of locusts. This represents the great sin of the Penitent Child, who was tricked into allowing a demon lord of famine to ravage the lands. The swarm does not cause physical damage, but blocks all vision beyond five feet forcing the PCs to fumble around looking for the exit. Also, the cacophonous droning, as well as the constant sensation of insects crawling on ones skin requires regular saves vs. madness.
The Path of the Patriots - Representing the final stage of the Child's journey, his return home to find that a group of knights had, in the name of saving the nation from the demon lord and the famine it caused, imprisoned the king and implementing increasingly evil policies regarding distribution of the remaining food. The PCs must defend themselves from the spirits of the knights while making diplomacy checks to convince them they have fallen into the demon lords trap.
For the Mercy test, is there any way you could create something like the Sorrow battle from Metal Gear Solid 3?
Mechanically, you could have a Paladin make a will save or take non-lethal damage for every living foe (that is to say non-undead or demonic) they've killed in battle. If a Paladin has been insufficiently merciful throughout his career it should add up quickly.
I thought about the wand of enlarge person, but without breaking out the Book of Erotic Fantasy I couldn't think of a way to make it specific to one body part and just went with the potion of bear's endurance. :P
Found in the nobleman's private offices....
Copies of all Pathfinder Chronicles with illustrations of tribeswomen from the Mwangi Expanse. 75 gold each
Two books on anatomy, with the sections on female elf, human, halfling, and minotaur anatomy marked and well worn. 100 gold each
One apparent copy of the Prophecies of Kalistrade, which really contains salacious poetry, stories, and imagery. 150 gold (to the right buyer.)
One holy text of Callistria, bound to resemble a holy text of Abadar. 150 gold
Four portraits, framed so they can be turned around easily. One side of each shows a conservative image of Kalistrade, Abadar, or members of the nobleman's family. The other side of each is an orgy. 75 gold each
Assorted toys. 175 gold
Three potions of Bear's Endurance. 300 gold each
Two potions of Remove Disease. 750 gold each
I like that you're trying something different with the Drow.
If you're looking for ideas, in real life one of the lesser remembered reasons for the War of 1812 was the continuing efforts of Britain to encourage the creation of a strong enough coalition of native nations in the Mississippi River Valley to check the U.S.'s westward expansion.
Yes, both are monk weapons and you can flurry with them. The problem is that you are only doing weapon damage with both, 1d4 & 1d3 respectively.
The issue is that in older editions of the rules you could use them as part of an unarmed strike. So a monk or unarmed fighter could take +1 cold iron brass knuckles and have his unarmed strike count as a +1 cold iron attack.
Since both are now weapons requiring a weapon proficiency they are all but useless for unarmed combatants.
The Scythemen - A loose alliance of militias formed by peasants and free farmers. Named for their signature weapon, a polearm made from a harvest scythe (Warscythe).
The Seamstress Guild - "Thieves" Guild run by and for prostitutes in lands where prostitution is illegal. Often, but not always associated with the Church of Calistria.
The Seekers of Alseta - Overtly a clerical organization devoted to finding new magic that allows one to travel, as well as mapping out the location of lost portals, magic gates, and teleportation circles. In reality the Seekers are funded by a minor merchant house in Andoran trying to break it's string of losses to Cheliax and the Aspis Consortium by creating it's own network of Elf gates across Golarion.
So a player in my group was playing a drunken slob of a dwarf barbarian, and doing it in the most annoying way possible.
Finally, in exasperation after one of his antics I cast Repel Vermin on him, and after a beat the GM described a cloud of fleas and lice pouring off the character and heading for the hills. Surrounded by the now laughing players the guy looks at me and yells, "THOSE WERE MY FRIENDS!"
We didn't get much else done that evening.
Different night, same party. We found ourselves facing a Dire Tiger and it started chasing one of the party members around. Meanwhile, the dwarf barbarian is chasing the tiger around, but not catching up. In exasperation he starts yelling to the rest of us to do something to make the tiger turn and face him.
Looking over my remaining spells I announce that I'm casting an illusion over the dwarf. Then when the GM asks me what I'm making the dwarf look like, I solomonly proclaim, "I cast the illusion of a giant pink rabbit over him."
We won, but again didn't get much else done that evening.
Just to emphasize....
- Don't assume the players will connect two (or more) seemingly unrelated events.
As an example from my own experience...
1) The party suffered a bout of what seemed to be food poisoning at an inn.
2) The next morning we were ordered to find a missing MacGuffin.
We flailed around a while looking for the MacGuffin, but not getting anywhere. Finally the GM looked at us in exasperation and said, "Aren't you guys curious about being poisoned last night?"
And honestly? No, we weren't.
It was late and maybe we were just being really dense, but I'd swear there was nothing in the adventure up to that point connecting the two events beyond them happening within a day of each other. And a bad roll on the random sushi table before we were even given the quest didn't come over as that important.
That's a good idea, and it doesn't even have to be because they want to eat you.
For example, there are these things called Camel Spiders that live in deserts and are especially common in the Middle East. They're really creepy looking and they follow you around! You'll be walking along, look behind you, and there one will be. Walk a bit more, turn around, and it's still there. Move towards it and it scurries away maintaining the same distance.
Of course what's actually happening it that they prefer to hang out in the shade are trying to stay within your shadow, but it's still kind of unnerving the first few times it happens to you.
So populating the dungeon with harmless, but atmospheric, creatures like this could help set the mood. Flowers that open towards and follow body heat as in the example above, harmless flying spider-looking plant things surrounding the party that are just soaking up exhaled carbon dioxide, long tongues from small holes in the wall that flicker out after the PC's have exerted themselves, aiming to lick up some salty sweat from their faces....