|The Painted Oryx|
Anyone done this?
I really love parts 1 and 2 and 6 of the AP but once the scroll of Kakishon gets involved, it loses some of its lustre. I guess I really like the desert/Arabian theme of the first couple books and I like the idea of Jhavul trying to awaken Xotani and all that, however I don't like that the PCs have to leave Golarion to find/deal with him. Just wondering if anyone's found a way to run this AP without parts 4 and 5 as written?
|DM Dan E|
Keep the scroll but don't have the players go anywhere. The group could fight the efreet's forces as they attack Katapesh. Maybe they need to go find one of the missing Templers to find some macguffin or information. Perhaps the evil ones interfere with their plans and they clash before meeting finally in chapter 6.
Remember, just because you dont like it doesnt mean your players wont, or are you writing this from a players stand point and are looking for ammunition to fire at your DM so he wont do #4&5?
If it is the first, truely ask your players what they want. Remember, its not all about the DM. If the players are expecting a visit to the plane of fire, or possibly owning an artifact from the once extensive library of Nex, and you leave it out, they are having the rug pulled out from under them.
In the end, who wouldnt want to control their own pocket plane of existance?
And if it is the second, let your thoughts be known to the DM about how you dont like planar travel and how you think it takes away from the arabian theme. Personally, I think the two AP's are very much arabian themed, so what you think and I think about arabian nights differ greatly. But it is the DM that will have to do all the work and restructure everything to fit extracting #4 and 5 from the equation. And I figure he will ask you why you are reading the AP to begin with.
But can it be done...? sure.
|Gordon the Whale|
I believe it goes without saying that this thread contains spoilers.
First, I wouldn't cut both 4 and 5. Those are where the campaign really starts to be about genies, and it seems to me that that is more fun, and more what the campaign is really about, than gnolls. Cutting 5 makes sense, because it is rough on the players to get stuck on two planes in a row. Cutting 3 is also seamless, and avoids the most delicate and railroad-ish part of the plot. However, that doesn't answer your question; you want advice about cutting 4 and 5.
Plot-wise, it works fine; either the PCs or an NPC (Rayhan, Father Jackal, Captain of the Sunset Ship, Zayifid, etc.) open the Scroll of Kakishon at the end of The Jackal's Price, releasing Jhavhul. The PCs do not get sucked inside; perhaps the scroll is simply destroyed. Releasing an evil genie from a magical artifact is about as Arabian Nights as it gets. Then, the players have to stop him before he raises Xotani. The problem you run into is needing to fill up the 5 levels of play you are skipping. Dan E had some good ideas, but they depend on you essentially writing new adventures to fill in for the material you're skipping. If you like that idea, I encourage it.
Alternatively, you could fill in XP by using the set-pieces, including the excellent player-contributed set-pieces (The Fortress of Ghouls by Nick Herold and The Pale Cascade by John Mangrum), and a healthy dose of "random" travelling encounters. Incorporating the Kingmaker kingdom-building rules at the end of Howl of the Carrion King, as some people have done, would provide a stepping-off point for more mini-adventures. There are also lots of adventure hooks in Dark Markets: a Guide to Katapesh that you could incorporate into The Jackal's Price.
Put together, that would add a few levels worth of XP, primarily between Howl of the Carrion King and House of the Beast. You would need to increase the level of encounters after that by adding more class levels, templates, or increasing the number of creatures in each fight. That could get you to the point that the party would be able to fight Jhavul's rearguard on the way back to Kelmarane after The Jackal's Price, and be levelled up enough to start The Final Wish.
I was a player in a group that just finished Legacy of Fire last week. I'll admit, the Scroll and the City of Brass were not my favorite parts. They were basically dungeon crawls and that took away from the Arabian theme some. After going from island to island and figuring out what the dang genie races were doing to each other and wanting very much to get out so we could go protect Kelmarane, there was a collective sigh at the table when we jumped right into another plane...the City of Brass.
Because of some GM magic, being in books 4 and 5 did have some role playing advantages and brought the party closer together, which made book 6 easier.
But I would agree with CuttinCurt and see what the player base/GM think. No where does it say that you have to follow the AP word for word and you can pick and choose to an extent to make it more fun for the group.