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Need Help placing old Rokugan campaign into Golarion...


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

Grand Lodge

Many years ago I built a campaign for d20 Rokugan.

The campaign spanned 15 levels from 1st

Spoiler:
The Emperor has recently died and the clans are looking to present a replacement. The main plot involves an evil force who are trying to infiltrate the empire by replacing one of the clan heir's with a sleeper agent. With much finger pointing it is up to the PCs to first discover deception, then they must discover who is behind it, and then finally uncover the agent before the ceremony to crown a new emporer.

As you can imagine the campaign was heavily dependent on the interaction of the clans presented in Rokugan. In its first incantation I had 3 PCs from the scorpion Clan (2 of which were brother and sister) and 1 from the Dragon Clan, but I had built the campaign to allow PCs to choose characters from any clan.

What I'm looking for help on is rebuilding this campaign on Golarion.

Is there any way to represent the clans and their holdings in Tian Xia?

I have ordered the Dragon Empires Gazatteer and have the Jade Regent AP for which I want to run first before launching this campaign, that and it gives me some time to rebuild it before playing.

Currently I'm looking at 2 main approaches.

The first is to scale down the campaign into one area of Tian Xia. This won't be too hard as Tian Xia is alot larger than the Rokugan in terms of scale.

My second idea is to replace the clans with smaller families and placing the campaign on a remote island.

My last option, and probably simplest, is to place the struggle on a parallel world that maintains the core campaign.

I don't like doing parallel world clichés but it's a last option as I enjoyed running this game so much due to its strong dependency on the players making key decisions to shape the campaign.

Any thoughts and input you guys have is most welcome.

Grand Lodge

If I am remembering correctly, that is pretty similar to what the Jade Regent did. There were several ruling families (I can't remember if they were spread across the whole of Tian Xia, or only across Minkai; can't look it up because I am currently playing Jade Regent. I will see if I can gather information during our session tonight). Establishing clans should be simple enough, and I think that you could get away with having the whole campaign in Minkai itself.

What would be interesting and would take quite a bit of work is that you could have the PCs come across Ameiko and the Caravan as they enter Minkai. Perhaps they can all be a part of the Resistance movement.


Your spoiler plot is very well-aligned with Jade Regent, the political *meat* of which is set entirely in Minkai. So you could stick with your first option and keep the clans/PCs centered in Minkai following the events of Jade Regent.

*Or* (Jade Regent spoilers)

Spoiler:
You could have Ameiko *be* the sleeper agent. It would be quite the turnaround for the PCs to have worked so hard to install Ameiko as the "rightful" heir, only to find that she's somehow been corrupted by an external power.

There are a lot of possibilities for your "external power" - you probably ought to poke around the GM threads for Jade Regent if you haven't already, and maybe check out the Varisia setting book in addition to Dragon Empires.

Grand Lodge

The Problem with using Minkai is that its vastly different from Rokugan...

Jade regent Spoilers enclosed

Spoiler:
The 5 ruling familes are all but extinct where as the clans of Rokugan are currently at war with vast armies clashing on front lines around the emperors city.

While reading through The Minkai section in "Tides of Honor" the thought of time travel has also crept into my mind. What if, the PC return to Ameiko after Jade Regent to help with a new threat set many years in the past (assuming they succeed in Jade Regent and defeat him). The power might be an ancestor of the Jade Regent, who has been sent back in time to place a sleeper agent on the throne, while the families are still very much incontrol of Minkai? The intent would be to unmask the threat of Ameiko to the Jade Regent (or to simply steal away the Amatatsu Imperial Seal). Thus preventing her return to claim the throne.

My campaign differs quite a bit from the Minkai history...

Spoiler:
The campaign begins life with the PCs helping to create an underground route from scorpion clan terratory into dragon terratory. the Phoenix clan is amassing an army with the help of lion military might to take control of Dragon holdings.

Once the threat of war has been averted the PCs turn their attention to the job of investigating the clans presented Heirs to the Throne. Its at this point the campaign becomes a cross between a murder mystery and a Trial of Champions.

The bulk of my campaign involves alot of traveling over the northern area of Rokugan which is an area of approximately 700 miles across. however many of the later campaign traveling can be overcome via teleportation magic. Tian Xai however spans over 7000 miles with minkai almost 2000 miles from north to south!

Considering this it wouldnt be too hard to perhaps place the clans inside a single imperial family. perhaps creating some internal struggle to declare a new imperial heir to obtain rights to one of the imperial seals.

Spoiler:
This would create a nice follow-on to Jade Regent to allow another imperial family to challenge Ameikos Rule or in the case of Ameikos demise attempt a second threat to the Jade Regent with a new Heir to the Throne.

Overall I think im liking the follow-on approach more to the time travel. I feel it does give me more freedom to shape the future of Tian Xai while remaining mostly acceptable to the cannon of Jade Regent and future APs.


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Well, there's the question of what aspect in *your* campaign do you want to emphasize - the ongoing changes to the world, or the specific plot of this particular heir?

If it's the former case, then you'd be better off setting it around clans in one of the various Successor States of Tian Xia. There's a lot more room to move around in, both geographically and narratively.

You could always change the destination of Jade Regent to be one of the Successor States instead of Minkai - much of the mythos of the oni and kami that Jade Regent borrows was itself borrowed (or inherited) in the real world by Japan from China. So there's plenty of folklore to enrich your story and keep everything knitted together.

I could also see a scenario in which the events of Jade Regent are like a "prequel" of sorts to your campaign, but rather than having time-travel or have Ameiko call upon her former comrades, you could shift it a couple of generations.

Spoiler:
Have the Dowager Empress Ameiko summon the PCs to prevent war from breaking out among the newly-raised-to-the-imperial-class clans. Basically even after she's raised to Empress, she'll need to rebuild the imperial family. The best way would be to raise existing clans using the same ritual used for her own family way back when.


While not Minkai, nor Golarion specifically, Rite Publishing's Kaidan setting provides some tools that might help. Although Kaidan (Japanese horror) is it's own setting, many of the supplements and adventures are designed for use with any oriental (Japan-based) theme. You could easily plug and play various parts to Rokugan, Kara-Tur, Rokushima Taiyoo, or Minkai easily.

Way of the Samurai, provides archetypes for 'samurai caste' member classes, not just for the samurai class. Also a complete mechanic to build custom samurai clans using the community statblock to base from, along with sample kammon (house crests) naming conventions and more. There is even an included samurai town, with map, statted NPCs, unique monsters and magic items.

Way of the Yakuza, is a done in a similar treatment, but specifically for Hinin caste crime organizations.

Most of the rules and content for these supplements can be found on d20pfsrd.com

Quijenoth wrote:
My second idea is to replace the clans with smaller families and placing the campaign on a remote island.

Then you should consider Kaidan itself, as it unlike Rokugan is more like real Japan, being an archipelago of islands. The intro trilogy, Curse of the Golden Spear, uses one of the three main islands of Kaidan. Here is a link to the map of Yonshu island - so you can get a feel of what Kaidan is like and how it might fit your 'remote island' concept for moving your game to Golarian. Just say the islands are in the inner sea not for from Minkai itself.

Incidentally, I did the original cartography for the map for the city of Kasai, capital of Minkai, (Jade Regent #6, and Dragon Empires Map Folio) though the map was finished by Paizo's own cartographer. I was commission by Paizo for this as well as some work on the Kasai gazetteer. (I'm listed as one of the authors: Michael Tumey)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Minkai would work, like was suggested further in tims from Jade Reagent or even easier would be just up date stuff as needed from the d20 rule books that already exist. That way you don't have weird issues with what you want to do. Also, that allows for the whole shadowlands stuff to be able to remain with out worrying about how to fit that in to Golarian.

Grand Lodge

Thank you all for the replies. They certainly have given me plenty to think about.

And a special thanks to you Michael for the Kaidan info and links.

I will keep you posted on my development, in the mean time any other ideas are welcome.

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