Had the first session yesterday with 7 PCs entirely set in the "Lands of Dawn" (Minai/Fantasy Japan). PCs all had Asian themed or directly Oriental Adventure classes and races, details for those interested:
My retheme also forced me to change the story up. Here are the story beats:
The Emperor has been killed, and simultaneously, the last remaining heir, a 12-year-old boy named Lord Kuro Amatatsu of the Dragon Clan was killed by bakemono raiders (goblin) when he was visiting Hirata estate. Hirata estate was burned to the ground. The Jade Regent now sits on the throne.
The PCs were charged with his protection and failed in their duty. Instead of immiedielty committing seppuku, they tracked the goblins to Omikura Swamp (Birnewell Swamp) to reck vengeance before killing themselves - to restore the honour of their families.
They found the goblins straight away but what they found was that the goblins had been recently attacked by a contingent of dragon clan clad skeletal warriors. Undead in Asian mythology are not random they always have a reason to exist. Since Lord Kuro was also part of the dragon clan they got suspicious.
Using the map from the goblin chief they checked out the two ship crashes (soarcraft in my game as the swamp is inland) and from there headed to the cave. On the way a black dragon kami appeared and lead to the cave - but avoided encounters. Another hint that this was all related to Lord Kuro whos kamon is also a silver-black dragon.
They enter the cave, fight the dragon-clan skeletons and open the chest where they find the Amatatsu seal which has the normal visions but also tells them that Lord Kuro is alive and being held in Ashina Castle (Brinewell Castle) by an oni of some kind.
So instead of having to kill themselves they can go to Ashina and liberate their lord. From there the plan is to retrieve the Mortal Blade from the Golden Phoenix Tournament - the only weapon that can permanently kill an oni.
I like that Dudemeister, so he just talks over what the players are doing? Do they know?
I had my first session yesterday and the dream sequence worked well. I even had my wife and eldest daughter play Renshi and a void terror she summons while I played Anumaramon. But they got a taste of his powers. Though they felt Renshi was more dangerous (I made her the oracle of the void and a bloodbender).
Thanks for the info. I’ve mapped something out now so it all takes place in fantasy Asia. Dropping book 2 and 3 entirely (though stealing Katiyani as the ice/wind Yai of the five storms) and adding Phoenix tournament (to get Suishen), Frozen Wind (where they will have a showdown with the wind Yai) and Winding Way (to show the gods involvement).
I’ll plant hooks for all of these with my PCs.
Will share details once I am actually DMing it.
Hi all, since I will be setting this in my own world which is more dying earth than Tolkien fantasy I am looking for any suggestions to incorporate some space-magic into the AP.
Adding magic items of a more technological bent is relatively easy but would like to add a bit more dying earth/ninth world type weirdness. Thanks.
Hi all, just read this adventure and it seems to have nothing to do with the overall plot. Apart from replacing or skipping it has anyone tried updating it to fit in with the plot more. Off the top off my head making Katianya a wind ya and one of the five storms works but would still make most of the adventure not-relevant. Thanks.
I am doing a couple of things with this adventure path (including converting it to 5e) but the most relevant questions for this thread is that I am setting it all in “fantasy Asia” with a strong Japanese theme (I am purposely being a bit vague with my PCs. It will be more like Rokugan than Kara-Tur in terms of setting). I plan on making the following changes to make it fit entirely in fantasy Japan:
Eliminating the whole caravan thing.
* Ameiko is now a 10-year-old boy who has been kidnapped by bakemonos (goblins) and taken to the swamp after murdering the royal family (PCs don't know he has been kidnapped but believe he is also dead as per the Jade Regent’s proclamation).
* The Jade Regent is now in charge.
* My PCs were retainers of the Divine Family and before committing seppuku they plan to find and punish the bakemono.
* After searching the swamp finding and dealing with the goblins they find the seal which makes them scions, tells them the prince is still alive and is in Ashina (Brinewall) Castle. The seal manifests as a two-tail fox kami that can lead them where they need to go (or whatever heraldry I end up deciding on).
* Now they don't have to kill themselves they head to the castle, deal with the tengu and his allies and save the prince. They should learn its more than just bakemono causing strife but oni are now involved. Castle itself will be mostly tengu of different kinds which makes more sense thematically.
* They need the mortal blade (renamed suishen) which is the only weapon that can permanently kill an oni otherwise they discorporate and just come back later (so here is my link/motivation to retrieve the blade which will be a prize in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament which will replace the Frozen Shadow adventure (modified of course)).
I think that all works fine. But any suggestions on linking in the two ships and the caves? In particular the fallen samurai skeleton. I can leave them just as random encounters if the PCs explore but would like to link them to the rewritten story a bit more so looking for suggestions.
I am planning on running this adventure path but converting it to 5e and setting it entirely in fantasy Japan/Asia. I am only part way through reading the AP but I already see I need to make some significant changes but nothing I am unhappy to do. But I assumed that the five storms were five oni essentially in opposition to the five families. Is this not the case?
Thanks for the heads up if this is so. I also would want the divine war in the background to be more foreground as well.
My PCs are just finishing up a campaign and have asked for a Asian/Japanese setting campaign next. Looking at old 1e oriental adventure modules I didn’t like them much. I do like the premise of the Jade Regent - restoring a queen to her throne. However, since I want it to be set in fantasy Japan with Japanese classes I want to modify the AP to be all set in Minkai. Any advice on this? My thoughts:
Play book 1 almost as is except set it in Minkai with Minkai “bakemono” goblins.
(Will also be converting it to 5e as I go because I just want to make things even more challenging).
So, I am running a mini-campaign for my kids and my wife. The kids wanted a combat heavy game so I grabbed the 4e adventure Revenge of the Giants and started converting it as I wanted to play something like Against the Giants. One of the optional quests is to retrieve skymetal to create some special artifact weapons. In the adventure, all the skymetal is gone so the characters go back in time and steal it from a wizard.
Since in my AP the adventurers (literally) nuked Silver Mount and it no longer exists, this gave me the idea to have that wizard be Furkas Xoud while he was still with the Technic League. Not only did this give the players a kick as they played through the Iron Gods AP and so knew who he was it let me revisit the setting and create some updated gearsmen and other tech gear.
They eventually faced the living Xoud but instead of fighting him they talked him into providing the skymetal they needed but also to trade future knowledge for some technological weapons. Not only did he find out that there is an evil intelligence in Silver Mount but that his future self-found out about it from an android called Casandalee (they did not reveal that the hunt killed him). Nicely setting him up for the AP.
Was a fun little side trek for me and the players. I always like doing campaign callback when I can to see that the players actions actually do change things in the continuity of my world.
I like the Paizo pawns and use them in my games - all 5e so not Paizo adventures at this stage. I am currently running a mini-campaign that is giant and elemental heavy (fire, frost and earth/hill giant/elementals). Can someone suggest which box of pawns are best to buy to get the maximum number of these monster types?
Hi both, good ideas! I think I may need to get the first two books as read through them. Based on the summary its hard to tell how much asian fantasy flavour they have. I also don't want to run a 2 year campaign so no interest in running the whole craven part of the game - and it doesn't make sense in the context of characters starting the Dragon Empire.
Lockhart, I think you are confused. Adventure 3 has ninjas and is set in Hongol. This is the five storm story. Its an asian setting.
Hi all I am looking at running the last three adventures as a mini campaign set in the dragon empire. A sort of old school oriental adventure. Wondering if the first three adventures have anything in them that would still be useful in the last three adventures?
I only bought the last three for now.
UNITY is a near-god, so I would say her ability trumps the dragons - which seems to be the intent.
Nice idea Johnny. I just wrote an epilogue based on my characters actions during the adventure, nothing fancy:
Sylvanus (dark elf monk), after her noble sacrifice protecting Charisma “The Living Bomb” il Xafra, refuses to return when Tufast calls her back with a True Resurrection spell. To the chagrin of the Thorite as he just spent 25,000 GP worth of diamond’s to cast the spell! Sylvanus enjoys an eternity of joy as a servant and worshiper of Kulaj eventually rising as a proxy of the matronly goddess with a special mission to tame the misuse of technology for the sake of law, order and peace.
Charisma (human-mutant sorceres) is resurrected and claims the Choking Tower as her domain becoming a patron to many future adventurers.
Heidt (android ranger) and Rikku (elven rogue) take the spelljammer vessel, The Dusklight, into the void of space and have many wonderful and dangerous space adventures.
Tufast (human cleric) retires to Sigil and opens a small store in the Lady’s Ward of healing and other medicinal pursuits. He soon earns the nickname “Doctor Lightning”.
Brokthor returns to the temple of Crius and serves out his debt to the capricious titan for a year and a day hunting daemons and other enemies of the near-god. Eventually the plane takes its toll on Brokthor changing him into a treacherous cross-trading creature - the perfect servant for the titan. He chooses to stay with Crius after the the geas has expired and becomes the right-hand-man of the titan - endlessly scheming against the Olympiads for a way to free his master.
Once Casandalee discovers the existence of The Avenger, the Sister of Battle corvette, still intact and in orbit around Pangaea she petitions her friends Rikku and Heidt to take her there. The intact vessel becomes her home and in time rises as a new Iron Goddess. However, her time with the Crimson Lotus and her experience on Pangaea creates quite a different goddess to the one UNITY was becoming. This Iron Goddess sees technology as a blessing to alleviate pain and suffering throughout the world and to fight evil and her priests work tirelessly to that end.
Agree with both of you. I will be importing Silver Mount wholesale into my campaign setting as my worlds main mega-dungeon but I won't have a Numeria. I think there are two streams here and they don't work well together.
Numeria is basically Thundarr the Barbarian type setting and as a kingdom has more in common with Numenera/Dying Earth setting than a typical D&D medieval-fantasy setting. I don't think it works as a kingdom in an otherwise fantasy setting. It works as a setting however. The discordance would be decreased if the whole world was like that. It would gel better.
The alternative is to have the ship crash into a fantasy setting similar to the original adventure and the trope here is medieval characters who know nothing of high-science stumble on it and explore it.
Trying to combine the two didn't work well for me and even caused discordance in my mind as a DM as I constantly tried to harmonise everything. This isn't a slight against the adventure at all but I feel Numeria works better as an entire science-fantasy setting ala Numenera.
Silver Mount will live on in my world as THE megadungeon but it will just be one spot with little influence on the setting as a whole apart from the trove of odd magic items that are recovered from it occasionally.
Actually, that was another issue I and my players had - too many ships and too many ship names. I had assumed that were all little ships from the larger Divinity until I read the last adventure and discovered they were a dozen Divinity type ships that crashed into Numeria. I didn't like that and if I had known I would have removed all the other ships and just made them chunks of the larger Divinity that had survived.
So we finished the campaign last night. It took us 18 months to get through and here is my opinion of the whole thing as the DM.
I bit off more than I could chew taking this Pathfinder game and converting it to 5e. Though I did do it in the end and I did enjoy the conversion it was very time consuming.
I felt the adventure path was too long. In retrospect I would have completely cut out The Choking Tower and perhaps even Starfall component and just have them commando run the Divinity Drive. The reason I would do this is because the Divinity Drive is a giant dungeon crawl which are very time consuming and probably not the best fit for my group to put at the end of an 18 month long campaign (thats a personal preference). For my group it would have been better to bring the mega-dungeon forward as soon as possible.
The Scar of the Spider was the best adventure IMO. I ran it as a hex-crawl and it was great.
Not all my players had buy-in. One of my players didn't like the crossing of the streams and so spent the entire campaign not taking anything seriously and doing silly things. I didn't do what I normally do with my campaigns which is sit down before hand and say "this is the idea, I need everyones buy-in or we find a different idea".
There was too much technology. My players got lost with it all and after the 1st adventure I started removing tech treasure. This is another personal preference, not a slight against the adventure. In retrospect I would have doen the following:
Having said that I think this is a FINE inheritor to the original Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Good job Paizo people :)
Would love to see you guys churn out 5e content (Pathfinder 2.0?)
Well, that didn't go as planned.
After the party penetrated down to the Security Deck but before they fought bastion they dinged to level 18. Level 17 unlocked True Resurrection for the cleric Tufast. So they concocted a plan to use the level 18 "Child of the Atom" ability and nuke Silver Mount.
As they didn't know how dangerous the living bomb would be they penetrated the ship as deep as possible (habitat deck) and then detonated to minimise the impact. They also spent a week evacuating Starfall to be safe.
UNITY tried to talk them out of it before the detonation but she failed and two of the party members sacrificed themselves to nuke the mount and totally destroy UNITY and its supporting technology. I suspected they may use this ability to in a noble sacrifice to end UNITY but I didn't expect them to use it outright - thought they may keep it for a "Hail Mary" moment during the final battle. But my players are a bit more pragmatic and risk averse than that :)
18 months later.... campaign done!
I still have a ton of conversion work I had done on this adventure which I will continue to share but UNITY is dead, and my characters decided to nuke the place - to be safe.
(FYI I am running a 5e version of this Adventure Path if the spells and levels don't make sense).
Played tonight and your suggestion worked well Gratz.
When they penetrated the basement of the Technic League I had a "mysterious benefactor" open doors for them, a female voice over the intercom ordering battleguards to leave the area the party was about to enter making the fight easier and finally sending a spherical ice-blue drone to guide them to a cache of treasure including a data-slate showing a map of the compound which had a blue swan symbol above her room. They eventually made it to the room and were undecided about making the alliance with her. Half the party thought it would be a good idea, half didn't. See what happens next session but I suspect the "better the Devil you know" PCs will win out.
I like the second plan as I feel she would do something not to be on the wrong side of the PCs. Regarding Conan confrontation I do a brief outline a few posts back. Let me know if you need more detail. Here is the log as well (from a characters POV so it's brief): https://itsmygamemyrules.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/from-the-diary-of-broktho r-the-fighter-iron-gods-session-29/
The entry for Zernbeth mentions a journal that Ozmyn has that will be useful against Unity and says the witch has it. However nothing in her entry discusses the journal. Ozmyn's entry mentions a journal with some info but it doesn't sound like the one Zernbeth mentions. Where is this journal and what is the relevant silver mount info?
Next, my characters pretty much killed hellbroth the same day/night they visited the night market, ignored the call from Zernbeth looking for Shade then immediately confronted Kevoth-kull at notriety 1 no less. Zernbeth never got a chance to talk to them let alone make an alliance. I suspect they will eventually blunder into her as they now assault the TL compound. Any advice on what to do with her? How would she react as everything is happening very quickly. Happy for advice!
captain yesterday wrote:
I would ignore the robot limitation for her honestly, otherwise she just kind of gets forgotten.
I ended up doing this. The characters ingratiated themselves with the King, the cleric of Thor said could he approach the throne to bless the Black Sovereign, the black Sovereign not thinking particularly straight (was going through withdraw from the drug induced stupor and I assumed was an Aesir man) said yes. Cleric casts heal curing him, throne room is thrown into chaos. During the fight Ghartone turns up with two battleguards who cover the entire combat area in rockets and grenades. My party is on the ropes. They pull out Casandalee who takes over one of the battleguards and then punches out the other battleguard in a Real Steel moment. Casandalee now has a robot body :)