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RPG Superstar 2015

The Brinewall Legacy (GM Reference)


Jade Regent

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Of COURSE if you arbitrarily label some XP awards "optional" or ignore story awards, your totals are going to be off. We don't assume that in calculating our totals... and the fact that wandering monsters ARE a part of most games means that there's a "slush fund" of sorts of XP points out there waiting to make up for when the PCs miss or skip encounter elements.

Alrighty, I add in the three vipers. That's, uh, 400 XP. And maybe one random encounter ( as the 20% chance and six encounter areas kind of point towards that ). That another, say, 600 XP. We get now to 2500 XP per character, putting them at fourth level.

But I still take issue with saying that a "serious attempt" to explore Brinewall Castle means "after they've cleared the first level of it". Yet, as I said, that's semantics.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
Of COURSE if you arbitrarily label some XP awards "optional" or ignore story awards, your totals are going to be off. We don't assume that in calculating our totals... and the fact that wandering monsters ARE a part of most games means that there's a "slush fund" of sorts of XP points out there waiting to make up for when the PCs miss or skip encounter elements.

Alrighty, I add in the three vipers. That's, uh, 400 XP. And maybe one random encounter ( as the 20% chance and six encounter areas kind of point towards that ). That another, say, 600 XP. We get now to 2500 XP per character, putting them at fourth level.

But I still take issue with saying that a "serious attempt" to explore Brinewall Castle means "after they've cleared the first level of it". Yet, as I said, that's semantics.

And without semantics, 54% of the internet would go away.

Star Voter 2013

magnuskn wrote:
Of COURSE if you arbitrarily label some XP awards "optional" or ignore story awards, your totals are going to be off. We don't assume that in calculating our totals... and the fact that wandering monsters ARE a part of most games means that there's a "slush fund" of sorts of XP points out there waiting to make up for when the PCs miss or skip encounter elements.

Alrighty, I add in the three vipers. That's, uh, 400 XP. And maybe one random encounter ( as the 20% chance and six encounter areas kind of point towards that ). That another, say, 600 XP. We get now to 2500 XP per character, putting them at fourth level.

But I still take issue with saying that a "serious attempt" to explore Brinewall Castle means "after they've cleared the first level of it". Yet, as I said, that's semantics.

From my experience playing Paizo products it seems to be a matter of mindset.

The players I game with always seem to have the mindset of "if we've made it this far, that means we should be able to handle this challenge."

This line of thinking usually results in character and/or total party death.

Whereas I find the Paizo mindset is, "you may just have to run away and try something else."

Knowing my players, they're not going to want to leave the castle once they begin their assault. Which means I'm either going to have to adjust by ensuring they have a few extra "random" encounters before getting there, or drop some fairly obvious rumour-mill hints that the castle is not a one-shot expedition.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Rob McCreary wrote:

I have to disagree here. During development, we track XP and treasure totals for each adventure to ensure that each adventure gives the PCs enough XP and treasure to get where they need to be, and that information is used to create the "Advancement Track" at the beginning of the adventure.

While we generally assume that most groups will also have random encounters, not every group does, nor will every group meet every encounter, but we hope that the combination of the two averages out. And the Advancement Track is there to help GMs know where their players should be at certain points in the adventure, so that if they miss some of the encounters in the adventure, the GM can add more to get them to the correct level.

In any case, we assume that the PCs will hit every encounter, and add up all of the scripted encounters in the adventure to reach the XP totals in the Advancement Track.

Looking back at my tracking worksheet, the PCs can each acquire just over 2,700 XP by the time they finish the swamp, bringing them to 2nd level. After exploring the first level and environs of Brinewall Castle, the PCs should each have about 6,800 XP, bringing them to 3rd level (and thus able to make a "serious attempt" at exploring the remainder of the castle). At the end of the adventure, if they have met every encounter, each PC will have over 11,000 XP, well above 4th level.

As a side note, the assumption is that there are 4 PCs in an average party. If a PC party is larger or smaller than this, the GM will need to make adjustments to the encounters (and the XP given) to reflect this.

Are the story awards for relationship xp being counted towards that total? That may account for some of the "missing xp" people are looking for right right there.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, and just wanted to say I've been loving BL so far - my party's perpetual habit of nearly dieing in every major fight notwithstanding :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Grendel Todd wrote:
Are the story awards for relationship xp being counted towards that total? That may account for some of the "missing xp" people are looking for right right there.

Good point; those are certainly a factor that's easy to overlook.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PhineasGage wrote:
Whereas I find the Paizo mindset is, "you may just have to run away and try something else."

Funnily enough, I see just the reverse with both of my groups. They usually overpower every encounter through good use of abilities and excellent builds. I'd wish Paizo would put in more ( potential ) hard-core encounters like the Splatter Man in Carrion Crown ( although you have to disregard the obviously bad tactics which are suggested for him ). My other group went through it yesterday and was quite impressed with its difficulty.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
PhineasGage wrote:
Whereas I find the Paizo mindset is, "you may just have to run away and try something else."
Funnily enough, I see just the reverse with both of my groups. They usually overpower every encounter through good use of abilities and excellent builds. I'd wish Paizo would put in more ( potential ) hard-core encounters like the Splatter Man in Carrion Crown ( although you have to disregard the obviously bad tactics which are suggested for him ). My other group went through it yesterday and was quite impressed with its difficulty.

I agree I enjoy the "hard-core" encounters we loved the famous TPK machine that is the clocktower

I wish they would add more deadly encounters (but I ramp up my encounters so they are more deadly)

Star Voter 2013

magnuskn wrote:
PhineasGage wrote:
Whereas I find the Paizo mindset is, "you may just have to run away and try something else."
Funnily enough, I see just the reverse with both of my groups. They usually overpower every encounter through good use of abilities and excellent builds. I'd wish Paizo would put in more ( potential ) hard-core encounters like the Splatter Man in Carrion Crown ( although you have to disregard the obviously bad tactics which are suggested for him ). My other group went through it yesterday and was quite impressed with its difficulty.

huh...maybe we're doing it wrong. ;) Generally, I find our party's (we take turns GMing) roll over most encounters until something actually challenging pops up and then we persist past the "maybe we should bail" point.

If your players are typically under-challenged then what's the concern about them perhaps being a little behind XP-wise? (other than simply a publishing/editorial argument about how the adventure is laid out).

Personally, I'll hand out a small amount of XP for non-encounter, non-printed stuff. For example, if a PC solves a problem in a particularly clever manner, or they role play their character particularly well, that sort of thing. This usually makes up missing encounters or not "level clearing" a dungeon, although I know some players are opposed to such a subjective manner of awarding XP...


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All these discussions about Exp is why during APs I have changes to giving out levels instead (since EXP isnt spent on anything any more)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joey Virtue wrote:
All these discussions about Exp is why during APs I have changes to giving out levels instead (since EXP isnt spent on anything any more)

Honestly... the XP isn't really an issue at all if you just hand it out as the PCs earn it—it's when folks start trying to look behind the curtain and try to force the level increases to happen at specific times, regardless of what specific route their party took to get to that point.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

To use the parlance of the times... +1.

When I play the game as a player, the accumulation of XP is one of the fun parts. Being able to write down a bigger number at the end of the session not only helps me to track how well we as a party "did" in the adventure, but it's a reward for actually playing the game. The numbers might not actually mean anything except when you hit those magical break points that let you level up, but it's IMMENSELY satisfying to see the numbers steadily climb as you finish sessions.

I've played in games where the GM just tells the party to level up, and know what? It seems like it takes longer between levels in those games—even if it actually doesn't. It's FAR less satisfying for me as a player to not be able to know when that new level might be coming.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

How is it hard to defend myself? They can't 'prove' anything. If they get levels when I say so, then XP doesn't exist. If the party level is appropriate to the challenges they're facing, then there is no 'too early' or 'too late'.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

We do a middle ground approach. The first person to level triggers an XP jump in everybody up to the minimum needed for the next level. This was especially useful when there were 8 players with rarely more than 5 or 6 showing up on any given night. So that nobody was penalized for missing nights, we're all ... uh ... well past graduation and jobs frequently get in the way, everybody's levels are kept the same. It also keeps a character from falling a few levels behind and becoming more squishy.

There's still the thrill of getting XP, but it isn't awarded in lockstep. Somebody might get an XP boost for exceptionally good roleplaying or doing something worthy of a bonus. So everybody still looks forward to getting a number at the end of the night.


As the DM, I keep track in a spreadsheet that I created so I know what they have fought / overcome / RP'd and they level up at appropriate times. Since I run APs only, I use the guidelines in the AP, but keep track of XP just to see how they are doing.

Works for my guys, and never have had complaints, but as usual YMMV.

-- david
Papa.DRB


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

Well, if you got players like that... I got two groups who, of course, like to level, but accept that I say when they do.

The whole "counting XP" thing for BL was done by me because I was getting weird totals in my internal calculations. I had basically sent a strong signal to the players "Don't enter that cave yet!", because as of the module, it seemed to say that this encounter should be done after they level. At least that is the impression I got.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

Well, if you got players like that... I got two groups who, of course, like to level, but accept that I say when they do.

The whole "counting XP" thing for BL was done by me because I was getting weird totals in my internal calculations. I had basically sent a strong signal to the players "Don't enter that cave yet!", because as of the module, it seemed to say that this encounter should be done after they level. At least that is the impression I got.

The BEST way to gauge encounters is actually to pay attention tot he CR scores we give encounters. When the CR is within 1 point of the average party level... you're generally about right where you want to be. If the encounters are all 2 points lower or above... you're either too tough or not tough enough.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

To use the parlance of the times... +1.

When I play the game as a player, the accumulation of XP is one of the fun parts. Being able to write down a bigger number at the end of the session not only helps me to track how well we as a party "did" in the adventure, but it's a reward for actually playing the game. The numbers might not actually mean anything except when you hit those magical break points that let you level up, but it's IMMENSELY satisfying to see the numbers steadily climb as you finish sessions.

I've played in games where the GM just tells the party to level up, and know what? It seems like it takes longer between levels in those games—even if it actually doesn't. It's FAR less satisfying for me as a player to not be able to know when that new level might be coming.

We started trying it with our Current AP and the players really like it cause they see EXP as more paper work

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Joey Virtue wrote:


We started trying it with our Current AP and the players really like it cause they see EXP as more paper work

I'd argue that in 3.5/PF there's so much math involved in character management and optimization that a simple act of adding XP up is trivial compared to the amount of all BAB+something/CL+modifiers/CMB/CMD stuff you have to go through every game, but of course YMMV.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Revan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

How is it hard to defend myself? They can't 'prove' anything. If they get levels when I say so, then XP doesn't exist. If the party level is appropriate to the challenges they're facing, then there is no 'too early' or 'too late'.

Simple. You hand out level x after y goblins. You hand out level x+1 after y+a goblins.

Some inquisitive player breaks out the math and says "hey, but RAW we should get that level after y+b goblins!". At which point you say "oh but we do it different, because mumble bumble"

Either way, you're in the pickle, because players never react well to house rules that happen "behind the screen" and put them in a worse position than RAW would. You'll have a "why we're using this system anyway, RAW works better in our favour" convo or if you're really out of luck, the "you're screwing with us" convo. Both are potential gaming group killers if handled poorly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:


Simple. You hand out level x after y goblins. You hand out level x+1 after y+a goblins.

Some inquisitive player breaks out the math and says "hey, but RAW we should get that level after y+b goblins!". At which point you say "oh but we do it different, because mumble bumble"

Either way, you're in the pickle, because players never react well to house rules that happen "behind the screen" and put them in a worse position than RAW would. You'll have a "why we're using this system anyway, RAW works better in our favour" convo or if you're really out of luck, the "you're screwing with us" convo. Both are potential gaming group killers if handled poorly.

You must have terribly prickly players... ^^


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Revan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

If you go with the "oh I just tell my players when they level up" approach, you make your player miss out on the joy of receiving XP as a reward and the anxious conversations on "are we there yet?".

Not to mentions things go bananas when a player pulls out a piece of paper and demonstrates that you gave out the previous level way too early and the current one way too late. And it's rather hard to defend yourself in either case.

How is it hard to defend myself? They can't 'prove' anything. If they get levels when I say so, then XP doesn't exist. If the party level is appropriate to the challenges they're facing, then there is no 'too early' or 'too late'.

Simple. You hand out level x after y goblins. You hand out level x+1 after y+a goblins.

Some inquisitive player breaks out the math and says "hey, but RAW we should get that level after y+b goblins!". At which point you say "oh but we do it different, because mumble bumble"

Either way, you're in the pickle, because players never react well to house rules that happen "behind the screen" and put them in a worse position than RAW would. You'll have a "why we're using this system anyway, RAW works better in our favour" convo or if you're really out of luck, the "you're screwing with us" convo. Both are potential gaming group killers if handled poorly.

Or I say "XP doesn't exist in this game, remember?" You act as though this would be some kind of surprise.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Just sharing an experience with a little idea I ran in our game last night. The party has begun the caravan journey from Sandpoint to Brinewall and spent a night near the town of Wolf's Ear. Of course, I couldn't resist the references to lycanthropes and had the party attacked by a pair of werewolves. Because it created a fun and interesting experience both for me and the players (as well as a chance to interact with the NPCs), I wanted to share it here along with a couple "lessons learned".

First, you should understand that I'm running caravan combat differently than as provided in the rules. For any caravan combat, I take the PCs out of the caravan (and the caravan loses the bonus from having the heroes in it). The caravan fights an abstract enemy, per the normal rules, while the PCs fight one or two "bosses". The sooner the PCs finish their own fight, the quicker they get back to the caravan and get the hero bonus back to its stats. So far, the players are really enjoying this. We talked about it at the end of the game and they agreed running the whole combat on the map, with all the PCs, would be tedious but just doing the caravan mini-game would be boring (to them; YMMV).

So, that's why the PCs were fighting a pair of werewolves directly. I also had the werewolves biting as many of the PCs as possible. I rolled saving throws against the curse secretly, and dropped a little hint that I was keeping track of it. (Muttering to myself after one of the PCs was hit, "Curse, question mark, got it.") Two of the PCs were bit and they both failed their saves.

After talking with Koya and Shalelu, the party learned that (a) through heal checks (DC 20), both PCs were infected and (b) nobody was likely able to cast remove curse in the short amount of time available so they needed to find wolf's bane (automatically successful knowledge nature check). Shalelu told them they'd have to travel a day east towards the mountains to find the right place for Wolf's Bane (also called Monks Hood and various other things). The party sent the caravan ahead to Wolf's Ear with Sandru, Koya and Ameiko while Shalelu and the rest went to find Wolf's Ear.

Everyone made survival checks, DC 20, and did remarkably well. Each successful check resulted in finding once dose of wolf's bane. Then Shalelu explained the risk (per core rule book, poison doing con damage). One of the PCs had Craft (Alchemy) and asked if he might be able to reduce the poisonous effect. I said sure, give me a roll for each dose. A check of 15 or better reduced the save against poison by 2, 20 or better reduced it by 4.

In the end, all the PCs were cured, but it was a nice chance for the PCs to work with the NPCs, learn their strengths and generosity, deal with managing the caravan (got a point of unrest for the day the caravan sat waiting at Wolf's Ear for the party to return), and use some non-standard skills. When I went into more detail about the risk of the Wolf's Bane poison, a few jaws dropped when they realized the risk they had just run (which was devilishly satisfying for me).

I would definitely recommend this little side adventure, although I might reduce the benefit of the alchemy check on the poison DC (both PCs made it the first time with an adjusted DC of 12 instead of 16).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

At the beginning of Jade Regent is the year 4711 or 4714? Also is there a season? I ask because the the Swallowtail Festival starts on the first day of Autumn...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Heron_ wrote:
At the beginning of Jade Regent is the year 4711 or 4714? Also is there a season? I ask because the the Swallowtail Festival starts on the first day of Autumn...

Jade Regent begins whenever you want it to begin. If you've run Rise of the Runelords, it should begin a few years after that campaign ended.

(The in-house, unpublished assumption is that Jade Regent begins in 4711 AR, and isn't linked to the Swallowtail Festival at all.)


SnowHeart wrote:

Just sharing an experience with a little idea I ran in our game last night. The party has begun the caravan journey from Sandpoint to Brinewall and spent a night near the town of Wolf's Ear. Of course, I couldn't resist the references to lycanthropes and had the party attacked by a pair of werewolves. Because it created a fun and interesting experience both for me and the players (as well as a chance to interact with the NPCs), I wanted to share it here along with a couple "lessons learned".

Great idea, SnowHeart. I too think that the caravan combat rules could be improved, and I think I'll use both your method of caravan combat and, of course, this little sidetrack "mission". Kudos for the idea, and for sharing it.


I´ve read about the problems with the motivation of Ameiko, Sandra, Koya and Shalelu. Some GMs complained, there is no reason for, say, Shalelu to NOT accompany the PCs on different occasions.

The easy solution: Leave them out. Will Shalelu, Sandru and Koya become necessary or important in "Forest of Spirits" and the following two installments? If not, I´m thinking about ignoring them completely.

Note: I will leave the whole romance thing out of my campaign.

Shadow Lodge

Stephan wrote:
Note: I will leave the whole romance thing out of my campaign.

I'm sure this has been dealt with elsewhere, but I find it interesting that the "relationship score" equates to "romance" for so many people. One of the aspects that I'm most looking forward to is watching Koya become my PCs' adopted mother, Shalelu become a BFF and Ulf be a source of tension. It's not romantic in the least, unless a player wants it to be. In fact, since my group includes three women there aren't even enough male NPCs (assuming that they want to play it straight, which is not required). Relationships =/= romance. In particular, I've been looking for a way to get personal boons into my game, and the relationship mechanic allows me to do something similar enough that I'm happy with it. (Not saying, of course, that anyone should include it if they don't like the mechanic. Just curious about the correlation people seem to make.)

That said, as a GM it would actually be nice to know if any non-Amiko NPCs are plot-essential, or even plot-useful, in later installments.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Doram ob'Han wrote:
Stephan wrote:
Note: I will leave the whole romance thing out of my campaign.

I'm sure this has been dealt with elsewhere, but I find it interesting that the "relationship score" equates to "romance" for so many people. One of the aspects that I'm most looking forward to is watching Koya become my PCs' adopted mother, Shalelu become a BFF and Ulf be a source of tension. It's not romantic in the least, unless a player wants it to be. In fact, since my group includes three women there aren't even enough male NPCs (assuming that they want to play it straight, which is not required). Relationships =/= romance. In particular, I've been looking for a way to get personal boons into my game, and the relationship mechanic allows me to do something similar enough that I'm happy with it. (Not saying, of course, that anyone should include it if they don't like the mechanic. Just curious about the correlation people seem to make.)

That said, as a GM it would actually be nice to know if any non-Amiko NPCs are plot-essential, or even plot-useful, in later installments.

Beyond Ameiko, none of the key NPCs are plot-essential. In fact... if Ameiko goes away, the adventure can STILL progress... it just changes a bit, assuming that...

Spoiler:
...one or all of the PCs are Amatatsu scions, in which case one of the PCs becomes the potential next emperor of Minkai.

Do I have to use a spoiler tag in a GM thread? Okay, here we go... :)

Spoiler:

Do the PCs know, after opening the warding box, that they are now Amatatsu scions? I´m thinking about giving them a hint, a magical tattoo on the palm of their hands or something like that.

By the way, I find it strange that a non-relative to one of the five royal families can become the emperor or empress just by touching a royal seal. I think the reason for this is obvious: If Ameiko dies, then the campaign isn´t over. But does it make sense story-wise?

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Stephan wrote:

Do I have to use a spoiler tag in a GM thread? Okay, here we go... :)

** spoiler omitted **

I thought that ability was more for the *other* seals. That one is for Ameiko. There are, however, four currently *unclaimed* seals.

I'm actually considering making my PC a lost scion of one of them.

Unless I can't talk my daughter into running the AP as her first GM experience and I'm stuck running it.


Spiral_Ninja wrote:
Stephan wrote:

Do I have to use a spoiler tag in a GM thread? Okay, here we go... :)

** spoiler omitted **
I thought that ability was more for the *other* seals. That one is for Ameiko. There are, however, four currently *unclaimed* seals.

I think the other seals have fallen into the hands of the Five Storms. The PCs can become Amatatsu scions via the one in Brinewall.

The Exchange

Stephan wrote:
Spoiler:
Do the PCs know, after opening the warding box, that they are now Amatatsu scions?

Yes, this should be spelled out to the party during their visions.

Spoiler:
Visions of Jade wrote:
Finally, the PCs know all of the powers and abilities of both the Amatatsu Seal and its warding box—including the danger of leaving the warding box open, which would allow the oni of the Five Storms to once more track the Amatatsu Seal.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yup; the visions the PCs have should make it clear what exactly has happened to them and what is expected of them.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What is the story behind the piece of art on pg 25? Nothing is connecting the dots. Is that what Tsutamu looked like when he was alive?


William Bryan wrote:
What is the story behind the piece of art on pg 25? Nothing is connecting the dots. Is that what Tsutamu looked like when he was alive?

Nope. That's Hayato, the iconic Samurai, fighting a dire corby in Brinewall. The example party of iconics that shows up in Jade Regent's art appears to be:

•Hayato, iconic samurai
•Sajan, iconic monk
•Feiya, iconic witch
•Lini, iconic druid

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ran my groups first session last night. The party consists of a Ninja, Sorcerer, Inquisitor, Cleric, Paladin, and Magus.
The Paladin and Sorcerer start with 6 relationship points with their favored NPC due to CHA +2 at start. Is it possible for someone who wants to pursue the negative relationships to use the 4 point bonus as a negative? so a person with a 7 CHA (-2) would start with a relationship score of -6?

Had a good time,

Spoiler:
with a party of 6 15-point buy PCs I'm bumping up the encounters a bit, had a crocodile random encounter, rescued the halfling ranger and killed the imposter, though they didn't find out what it was. Went after the goblins next, and did pretty well, knocked out a group of 4 pretty easy, so they split up and went after a group pf 5 and a group of 3. ended there before the bigger goblin fight.


Jade Regent is my first time running a game as a DM, and so far things are going great. We've had 2 sessions, and both have run smooth. My normal DM is one of the PCs, and hes been helping me as needed, and spent a lot of time getting me prepared. Im having an issue with the end of the Brinewall Legacy

Spoiler:
I dont know what to give for loot at the end of the first book when the group finds the Amatatsu Seal. My group consists of a bard, marshal, druid w/bear companion and a ranger. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Exchange

Chernobyl wrote:
The Paladin and Sorcerer start with 6 relationship points with their favored NPC due to CHA +2 at start. Is it possible for someone who wants to pursue the negative relationships to use the 4 point bonus as a negative? so a person with a 7 CHA (-2) would start with a relationship score of -6?

Higher relationship scores are better whether the characters are friends or rivals. Thus, the traits always intensify the relationship, even if it isn't in a positive way. A charisma penalty always decreases your relationship score, so a person with 7 CHA would start with a 2.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PUTZMAN2000 wrote:

Jade Regent is my first time running a game as a DM, and so far things are going great. We've had 2 sessions, and both have run smooth. My normal DM is one of the PCs, and hes been helping me as needed, and spent a lot of time getting me prepared. Im having an issue with the end of the Brinewall Legacy

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I emailed my players and asked them to place 3 items under 4000gp each they would like to get for their PC. I asked for a variety, don't make them all 4000.

If you dig through this section of the messageboards there have been a couple threads on this subject.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LeadPal wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:
The Paladin and Sorcerer start with 6 relationship points with their favored NPC due to CHA +2 at start. Is it possible for someone who wants to pursue the negative relationships to use the 4 point bonus as a negative? so a person with a 7 CHA (-2) would start with a relationship score of -6?
Higher relationship scores are better whether the characters are friends or rivals. Thus, the traits always intensify the relationship, even if it isn't in a positive way. A charisma penalty always decreases your relationship score, so a person with 7 CHA would start with a 2.

You seem to be contradicitng yourself. If the trait intensifies the relationship, wouldn't it be more negative? from a -2 to a -6?


Chernobyl wrote:
If you dig through this section of the messageboards there have been a couple threads on this subject.

Ive looked, but found nothing for marshal or bard. I can find some basic items to give, +1 weapons and armor etc, but that doesnt seem as epic as the story wants it to be.

Spoiler:
I thought about weapons with an accompanying book to give bonuses throughout the campaign, but theres so many good weapons from battles that its kind of a moot point. The only other thing I could think of was armor, but my players have already told me theyre saving up for armor. The hardest thing is Ive never played Bard, Marshal or Druid, and Ranger I played the very first time I played DnD, and only got to level 3 before the campaign crashed. So my experience in whats needed, or what could be beneficial to the class, is limited.

Star Voter 2013

Personally, I've been trying to make up magic items specific to my players' characters that build upon/enhance their class abilities.

I'm pretty sure if I priced them out, they'd be well above 4K a piece, but I'm less concerned about that myself.

I am still struggling to develop an item for the Alchemist though...

An example would be: I orginally was going to have a druid in the party (he didn't like the class and I allowed him to retcon a change early on) and I was planning on some item that allowed him to have a constant "speak with animals" with his animal companion.

I'd give the Bard some Eastern flavoured instrument (like a Shakuhachi....check it out ) that has some ability you think he'd like to have or the party is missing. Or if you do go with the Shakuhachi you could always make it a weapon as well that also doubles as an instrument for the bard.

The Marshal I'm not too sure about. That was 3.5 right, I never played the class, nor did anyone I gamed with...sorry.

The Exchange

Chernobyl wrote:
LeadPal wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:
The Paladin and Sorcerer start with 6 relationship points with their favored NPC due to CHA +2 at start. Is it possible for someone who wants to pursue the negative relationships to use the 4 point bonus as a negative? so a person with a 7 CHA (-2) would start with a relationship score of -6?
Higher relationship scores are better whether the characters are friends or rivals. Thus, the traits always intensify the relationship, even if it isn't in a positive way. A charisma penalty always decreases your relationship score, so a person with 7 CHA would start with a 2.

You seem to be contradicitng yourself. If the trait intensifies the relationship, wouldn't it be more negative? from a -2 to a -6?

No, because higher scores are better, even if you're enemies. Negative scores are worthless.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LeadPal wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:
LeadPal wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:
The Paladin and Sorcerer start with 6 relationship points with their favored NPC due to CHA +2 at start. Is it possible for someone who wants to pursue the negative relationships to use the 4 point bonus as a negative? so a person with a 7 CHA (-2) would start with a relationship score of -6?
Higher relationship scores are better whether the characters are friends or rivals. Thus, the traits always intensify the relationship, even if it isn't in a positive way. A charisma penalty always decreases your relationship score, so a person with 7 CHA would start with a 2.

You seem to be contradicitng yourself. If the trait intensifies the relationship, wouldn't it be more negative? from a -2 to a -6?

No, because higher scores are better, even if you're enemies. Negative scores are worthless.

I understood that negative scores were for the enemy track...?


Chernobyl wrote:
LeadPal wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:


You seem to be contradicitng yourself. If the trait intensifies the relationship, wouldn't it be more negative? from a -2 to a -6?
No, because higher scores are better, even if you're enemies. Negative scores are worthless.

I understood that negative scores were for the enemy track...?

The part you are missing is that it's not a friend or enemy decision, but a friendly / competitive one.

It's not that if your relationship score is negative you have an enemy, but that your relationship is weak (nonexistant, in fact). So, a score of 5 in a competitive relationship means you merely check what the other one is doing while a score of 30+ means you are obsessed with your rival.

So the score measures the intensity of the relationship in an absolute value, not its type.


While I agree that the score measures intensity, it does get weird at times. For example, a character with 7 Charisma can make his relationships stronger by switching from Rivalry (at -2) to Friendship (half it, to -1), or vice versa. It is a corner case, but a funny one all the same.


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What ever happened to the katana that the samurai in the caves should have had?


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PUTZMAN2000 wrote:
Ive looked, but found nothing for marshal or bard.

Since you're clearly still using some 3.5 rules, try looking in the 3.5 Magic Item Compendium. It has several Marshal-specific items. The Helm of Tactics and Rearguard's Cape are 2000 gp each and are both keyed to the marshal's abilities.

As for bards, they have a massive raft of abilities, so they can use a wide variety of items, any item that helps arcane spellcasters, things that enhance healing spells, items that give skill bonuses, etc. There are also many instrument-based magic items in the Magic Item Compendium, as well as the Badge of Valor (which increases the inspire courage bardic ability).

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