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Organized Play Member. 7 posts (8 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 23 Organized Play characters.


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Lantern Lodge

Ok, ok, I'll get to actual changes to the AP now, instead of just focussing on the session 0 and exotic player options. I'll even include some homebrew stuff I did, but I'm also still not done with recommending 3rd party books (I don't get paid by them or anything, I just really imagine this stuff to work out really cool).

So many of you said that they had a difficult time making theNPCs interesting and interaction with them fun and also enable their players to build relationships with them? I found one book to solve it all for you and it flew a bit under the radar titlewise:

Legendary Games' Ultimate Relationships.
This book has mechanics to replace those written in the AP (while I see them working well in any other campaigns as well).
The players still collect Affection Points with the NPCs by interacting, but also by other means (won't spoil the whole system here, but there's many interactions possible). Also each PC starts out with another score of Affection Points for each NPC, depending on their preferences (Some people find Paladins anoying, others have affection to creators of art, and more along this lines).
But the awesome stuff is: By collecting Points, the Relations reach aactual levels and each Level triggers new events happening with an NPC, so they can actually go through their own character arc and even change their views and personality.
It will make for awesome rolepplay moments and give your players an additional thing to work for (especially while travelling and not having to do much else). And reaching new Levels of Relationships is awarded with XP and Boons. Also, leveling up a Relationship Level enables the PCs to talk an NPC into adventuring along with them instead of staying with the caravan ( each NPC favors other tasks, so Kelda might only come if there's promise of a big fight, but she'll acompany the Party to peaceful places if her Realtionship Level with one PC is high enough). Some NPCs might even leave the party at a certain point of the story, if their Relationship Level wasn't high enough (Why cross the Crown of the World for a bunch of A-holes?). Also, of course, Realtionship Levels open up doors for NPCs who are looking for a romance.

If I had to compare the mechanics to anything else, I'd say it comes damn close to those Bioware Videogames use to tell storyarcs of their companions. Any Bioware Fans here? I'm sure there are.

The book has story-arcs and relationship details for all 4 main NPCs and there's 3 additional books for Kelda, Spivy and Helgraval.
I will design equal rules for Miyako, Ulf and other NPCs to join the party. Speaking of whose...

In another AP book of all places, there's NPCs I plan to include into the caravan as well:

In the Hell's Rebels AP book A Song of Silver there is a List of NPCs to use in older APs. From that List, I'd include 3 NPCs:

-The terrible Tup, a Sorcerer/Bard Pupetteer with harsh humor, who is actually a goblin in disguise. He'll make a puppet show in Sandpoint at the beginning of the campaign.

-Amaya Kaijitsu, Ameiko's Half-Sister from Cheliax. She's a Detective bard, which annoyingly doubles up with Helgraval in abilities, but Some Levels of Vigilante or even a complete rebuild of her wouldn't be wrong, since she actually had a Batman thing going on back home in Cheliax, wearing a mask to protect people at night and fighting the wild shadows in her city. I plan to make her come over to Sandpoint for her father's funeral and also legacy questions.

-Hirakonu, a rebel Oni who left the five storms due to a father's wandering soul possessed him in the Forest of spirits and making him regret his dark past, assassinating children from the imperial families. When he chased the Amatatsus to the Linnorm Kingdoms, at one point he eventually snapped and killed all the Ninjas accompanying him, allowing the Amatatsus to flee with their lifes. Since then he waits for the Amatatsu hier to show up and pay retribution for his sins of the past. He usually is in disguise and might introduce himself as a mysterious ally to the campaign.

There are even more NPCs who I will (or might) include to my Jade Regent campaign, but more on that in the next post.

I know these mechanics might give another thing to track for the GM (or how about giving some duties to your players?), but I believe this is worthwhile and will make for a much greater experience running the campaign. I personally love this idea so much that I'll include these mechanics to all of my homegames.

As I said in my last post, I like the idea of the caravan to be a moving city of sorts with all kinds of interesting people to talk to. thanks to these mechanics, all of them have sectrets to uncover and sometimes kinda quest-like things to do for the PCs. So I don't think of it as a burden for me as a DM, since if I felt lazy about playing, why even be the DM, right? I want is to be as awesome as possible for my players and myself, and it will give me opportunity to play some roles more consistent an eventually tell new storyarcs that way, too.

By the way, There's a whole Ultimate Series by Legendary Games with more mechanics for ruling, factions and wars. (That's by title: Ultimate Battle, Ultimate Commander, Ultimate Factions, Ultimate Fortresses, Ultimate Rulership, Ultimate War) I haven't read them yet, so I can't recommend them YET, but for groups who'd like to continue the campaign after the AP is done, rebuilding the kingdom of Minkai and waging a war with the Oni is also suggested in "The Empty Throne" and I SUPPOSE these books give you tools to actually make such things happen.

This post is, again, long enough as it is, so I'll post my ideas on how I'll start the AP in another post. There'll be more original ideas and less recommending more books, I promise ;)

Lantern Lodge

I love Jade Regent for it's different approach on a campaign. Some APs play in just a single city or a small valley, but Jade Regent gives opportunityto try something new and to thrive in the actual journey. While reading I was rather reminded of Tokien's famous Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. That's why I think travelling is an important part of the experience and should rather be expanded than waved through. I'm loving the ideas here for new encounters, storylines and sidequests. Really good stuff, guys!
I love the NPCs and actually plan to use far more to join the caravan than there is in the books, because I like the approach of the caravan as a moving city with many interesting people to interact in with.

I'm about to prepare this AP and run it once I've found a group to play with. I love East Asia and what paizo has published about asian flair class options. In Jade Regent, Monks, Ninjas and Samurai find themselves finally in a setting they actually fit in thematically. If you include 3rd partypublished books, PCs can be almost anything from popular Eastern Media: Magical Girls, Power Rangers, Pokemontrainer or Godzillas's best friend.
Therefore, once I find a group, first thing will be a session Zero, because I want my players to know what a great chance this AP is to play an exotic PC and what amazing options there are from 3rd party publishers:
Legendary Games not just wrote 3 Adventure Modules as plug-ins, but also published lots of Asian Archetypes, Spells, Bloodlines and Feats (and Magic items for the DM to hide).
And then they published completely new classes, whichI'd like to mention:

Legendary Samurai recreates the Samurai class completely new. While paizo's Samurai and Cavalier got many abilities, they lag synergy and are sometimes useless. take the mount for example. For this AP it might actually work well for the travelling parts, but in Dungeons, a mount is usually useless. Legendary Games focused their Samurai on crazy iaijutsu techniques like from the animes and enable thisclass to perform comat maneuvers without suffering from it, cut ranged attacks through the air, make a slash so quick that the eye can't follow and all the like. Great stuff and really worth a try.

The other new classes are actually Hybrid classes.

Kinetic Shinobi are Hybrids from Ninja and Kineticist and play out pretty much as melee Kineticists with Ninja Tricks. That sounds awesome or what? Theright class for fans of Naruto.

Yakuza are hybrids of Ninja and Cavalier. Wait, what? So they are mostly Ninjas but with a gang which works like a cavalier order, Teamwork Feats and some social abilities. And tattoos of course. The best thing here are all the archetypes, somtimes more brute, sometimes more flashy stuff, always useful changes. They vary so much that I could see a whole party just made from Yakuza waging a turf war against the Five Storms. My favourite though is the "Tattooed One" who gets magical Tattoos when he Levels up, which can become alive and can be used like shadow magic. DMs could make the Yakuza a rival gang to the Rimerunner's guild.

Doomguard is a Hybrid of Ranger, Cavalier AND Oracle. It's not a particualarly Asia focused class but rather themed on destiny or fate, so it fits well with the theme of the campaign. So how does it work? A Doomguard knows he is meant to fight a certain type of enemy and might well possibly get killed in the process. So he gets the Ranger's bonuses for favoured enemies against this one type of enemy. He can also challenges any foe he meets, to overcome them and continue his way to his destined last fight, but if he challenges his destined enemy, stacks are heightened and the fight becomes more dangerous, making him drop a bit of defense to gain offensiveness. And then there's also a mark which the Doomguard has to carry around as an Omen to their destiny. These marks can be an Oracle's curse or one of the brandnew marks in this book, like missing one eye or having one crippeled hand or foot or a hunchback or something along this line.
What I find interresting is the destiny aspect here. Why does your PC know about his destiny? There could be a prophecy like in Star Wars an he had the birthmark, or a Harrow reading could have told the destiny (opportunity to play out at the first game session). A PC could believe in choosing their destiny and just have sworn enmity to a certain foe: Maybe an Ulfen hier to a Linnorm king, who feels his genetic destiny it is to kill dragons and eventually a Linnorm to become a king himself? Or maybe a Samsaran who fought the Five Storms Oni in all her past incarnations and always got her lifes ended by these, now finally getting the chance for revenge? DMs could play Kill Bill Music anytime the Party faces a main villain, because Kimandatsu, Monusukaro, Kikono and the others might each have taken one of the Samsaran's former lifes.

Rite Publishing also has Way of the Samurai, Way of the Yakuza, In the company of Tengu and In the Company of Valkyries. This last one introduces a new Race which I find fitting for the AP. So female mortals can become Valkryies, if they are made an offer by another Valkyriein the moment of their deaths. Valkyries know of these moments, because they are also connected to destiny itself and have many seers in their own ranks. So if a female takes the offer and dies, her body gets transformed into a hulkier, stronger form of herself and will work with other Valkyries to escort lost souls of the dead to their final destinations. They are like Outsider mercenaries who can be hired by any god of aceptable alignment. It would fit for a Valkyrie to work for Tsukiyo or Shizuru and Valkyries might actually designed in a Far-Eastern Way like a female Samurai of sorts.
If one of my players is interested, I might ask his Character to have been Ameiko's deceised mother before her transformation, who know wants to protect her daughter on her destined quest. If no one is interested, I might even use this idea to make her an additional NPC to join the caravan.

Out of all these books the Archetypes which caught my eye the most were:
- Moso: A blind Yakuza Bard who can Swordfight in perfect Blind-Sight and gamble with cubes very well
- Horimyo: A Wizard who specializes in crafting magical Tattoos for Yakuza or Thai-boxing monks.
- Skyflower Savant: An Alchemist Archetype who upgrades his bombs to colourful rocket fireworks.
- Tenguyamabushi: A Paladin Archetype just for Tengus with connections to the Kami.
- Jade Fist: A Bloodrager Archetype who is basically Hulk but with magic. Available in all colours of Jade.
- Silver Sword: A Samurai Archetype perfectly fit for Dwarves, as they enhance their Ancestor's blade and armour with magic as they level up.
- Kwa no: Psychic Ninja
- Sentai Soldier: A Vigilante Archetype. Power Rangers with Kineticists Powers
- Mantis Madonna: A Psychic Magus Archetype straight from Marvel Comics.
- Origamist: An Arcanist Archetype who uses lots of papers and even has a paper familiar.
- Kaiju Caller: A Summoner Archetype who calls Godzilla's help.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. How amazing are these options for the players?

As a DM, I'll also use session Zero to try and bind the PC's backstories to some of the NPCs or Villains of the story. A PC from Kalsgard could have run into the Rimerunners guild before and might even have met Kimandatsu, Half-Orcs and Halflings might be former slaves who fled alongside Walthus and now came to Sandpoint to visit him. And the like. This way, certain Characters feel they've got their own special story moments during the game and you set the spotlight on them, when in truth you just follow the books but helped the PCs to really fit in. this involves the players too and gives them a feeling of playing their own story instead of just Ameiko's.

This post already got pretty long, so I'll post changes for the actual adventure in another post later on. For now I'd just like to mention the player's options for such a setting.

Lantern Lodge

I've searched quite a lot for good shamisen pieces and the best source you can get is the Youtube channel of Shamisen player Shamio. There's pieces from Final Fantasy and Pokemon there as well as Avicii and there are still new videos coming. Here's the Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzbj36R2CRdQs6Ve47h5_wQ

Lantern Lodge

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So Jade is the only Stone which reallly relates to Tian, but someone already picked that. I'd like to point out that there's Jade in several shades. I'm just going to assume that by "jade", you all thought of a light green coloured gem, so instead of that preferred colour, I'll have to be the White Jade Sage then.

There are still Brown, Red, Black, Grey and Dark Green Jade available then ;)

Name: Grimm Bookworm, The White Jade Sage
Alignment: NeutLawful Good
Race: Gnome
Classes: Student of War 2/ Samurai 1/ (Unarmed) Fighter 1/ Monk (Master of Many Styles) 2/ Bard (Archivist) 2/ Universalist Wizard 1

Description:

SPOILER:
For a gnome, he has spend a dangerous amount of time with reading, which in turn drained all the colour of his hair, making it plain white, but adventures keep the Bleach from taking any colour out of his jade green eyes.
Grimm got the most out of his natural Intelligence in a unique way. Instead of just studying one field like magic, he studied in a multitude of fields all relating to one theme: Tian Xia. His fascinating with the far eastern continent made him study the Kirin martial arts style to perfection, as well as the way of the samurai, tianese cultures, languages, nature and monsters, all while spending loads of gold just to aquire a precious collection of tienese items, some magic, some mundane, and some even alive: He is often seen riding a young axe beak or talking to his spirit Oni familiar or the reforged magic sword Gamin, which is almost not recognizable in his now tienese Design (more of a Hwandodaedo than an avistani longsword).
Ever since he read books about Tian Xia, he was obsessed with it. As a pathfinder rookie, he aquired a Katana made of Jade for Venture Captain Amara Li, which turned out to be her family's legacy and a connection to The Way of the Kirin. Grimm then joined the Lantern Lodge and undertook expeditions to Tian Xia in order to establish contacts with the Way of the Kirin for the Pathfinder Society, as well as to help the Society aquiring the famous Hao jin Tapestry, which he is allowed to travel through and uses it as a gateway connecting Goka and Absalom, where he teaches as a professor of tienology.
After Amara Li changed the Lantern Lodge from a global Faction into a Tian department of the Pathfinder Society, Grimm even has to face a second faction retirement yet, as he chose to follow the knowledge preserving Scarab Sages. With them also retiring, Grimm thinks it a wise idea to work with the concordance faction from now on, since he is currently most interested in researching the Hao Jin Tapestry, which might be on the edge of destruction.

Lantern Lodge

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Ragnarök (Final Fantasy VIII)
Ebon Hawk (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)
X-Wing (Star Wars)
The Chinese Bark from the Freelancer Game

Lantern Lodge

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Tian Xia is my favourite region!

The information about most states over there are scarce at best. I'd love more Modules or an Adventure Path that startin Tian Xia on Level 1 and take the Party to trvel and learn about all the states.

Jade Region did detail Minkai and the Forest of Spirits as well as Hongkal, But most of the other states not even have a PFS Szenario.
It would be great to get Modules about those states which were modeled after Korea or Southeastasian countries, as their culture isn't that much known through the media as is chinese or japanese culture (Kung-Fu movies and Manga).
How does myth from Vietnam, Thailand, or Indonesia convert into the world of Golarion? Modules would give a great example about this.

Lantern Lodge

The book says that the Pathfinder Lodge in Hajoth Hagados is covert, but still it shows it as a huge round building on the map. What could it possibly be? A starwatch? A library? A theater? A big watchtower?