Heroes of the Jade Oath (Arcana Evolved) Beta PDF

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Think Oriental Adventuring is all about accepting your place on The Great Wheel?

Think again!

Heroes of the Jade Oath takes the choices and flexibility of Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved and adds an immersive, fully researched, and instantly playable Oriental background.

So kick karma in the butt and choose your own destiny with Lands of the Jade Oath—the largest setting for Arcana Evolved ever published.

    Heroes of the Jade Oath includes:
  • Detailed information on the new setting Lands of the Jade Oath
  • New marvelous player races like Bakemono, Mandragoran, Qahngol, Shenxue, and Yueren elves and 11 other variants
  • Evocative new character classes like Demon Hunter, Enlightened Scholar, Kensai, Kusa, 7 different Monks, 6 new totem warriors, 4 new witch types, and two new champion causes
  • The new Fung Shui skill and 42 pages of feats including two new feat types Ch’I and Unbound feats
  • Optional Rules for Cinematic Combat, New Combat Rites, Zodiac Signs, Oaths of Power and Villain points
  • Spellcaster options for Sutra Casters, New Spell Templates, and Ch’I
  • A Huge selection of weapons, armor, and alchemic items from the Far East
  • ...and much, much more

Requires the use of Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved

338 pages

The PDF will automatically be updated to the final (Omega) version when it is released at no additional cost. The final (Omega) print edition is not included in this offer.

Author: Frank Carr
Artists: Claudia Burgos, Jason Rainville, Wayne Anthony Reynolds, Jonathan Roberts, Hugo Solis, Kurt A. Taylor, Jeff Ward, Amanda Webb
Editor: Bill Collins

This product was created as part of the Heroes of the Jade Oath patronage project.

When the finished ("Omega") PDF edition becomes available, you will automatically gain access to that edition.

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

RIP0052E


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4.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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4.5 stars + seal of approval - an epic Asian setting

5/5

This pdf is 340 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 334 pages of content, so let's check this out!

First of all, let me tell you about the genesis of the project - HotJO has been in the making for what seemed like forever and was originally the first BIG project of Rite Publishing, intended to be released as a supplement to Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved. When the Beta-version of the book was released, the content was fresh and interesting in style and flavor. Now if you're familiar with the non-standard races we know from Arcana Evolved, the following may not be too much of a surprise:
The races à la Sibeccai, Litorians etc. also exist, at least partially, in the HotJO-setting, though often reskinned/changed: The changed race is called Goushen, descendent from foo dogs and distinct in appearance and are completely reskinned, while the tiger-headed Hushen are a more ferocious variant of Litorians that comes with variant rules, while the Ruishishen are a more straight reskin - both races feel very distinct, though. The downside of these reskins is, though, that they sometimes still refer to the base race they are derived from. Another reskin is the Dahren, who essentially are the setting's Giants, though their cultural role is different from what you'd expect from those you know from the Diamond Throne-Setting and the same holds true for the Faen and the Naga, who are HotJO's Mojh. Runechilds are Kirin Shen in HotJO, chosen by the legendary Kirin to be their servants and one of my favorite races, the Verrik, thankfully also exist in the HotJO-setting.

Speaking of distinct: The massive book begins by introducing us to the very concepts that define social structure in the setting of the Jade Oath: Favors, Family and Face. The importance of (extended) family structures, clans and the value of face are all concisely and easily understandable to western audiences as relayed herein. Thankfully, the done-to-death cliché of Seppuku is also addressed and put into a valid cultural perspective that shows that author Frank Carr has a firm grasp on social strata and cultural concepts. If you're looking for an almost historical level of detail regarding customs like in the release of the German old-school setting Midgard's (NOT the one by KP) KanThaiPan, though, you won't find that level of detail here, with e.g. the making of appropriate presents, food and medicine not covered, but chances are you probably are not reading this review to know about the likes anyway. It is my pleasure to report that the locales featured in the gazetteer-style gloss-over of the lands provides places that are just awesomeness incarnate:

The respective regions not only include massive amounts of write-ups for covenants, societies and clans (all with their respective symbols and tokens), but also contains areas like the undead-hampering "Fallen Pillar of Heaven", the floating garden or the crawling dragon mountain, which is in fact the world's oldest dragon, slowly winding its ways through mountainous ranges. Now if the extensive gazetteer-section with all its pieces of information on culture, produce, locations etc. has not sparked some sort of great idea for an adventure, I'm not sure your imagination can be helped. The Lands of the Jade Oath feel very distinct and there is no way they could be mistaken for any other Asian-themed setting.

That out of the way, let's return to the races:
Now first we get pronunciation-guidelines for races and an entry on the breeds of human (the discovery of the eight will usher in a great doom, by the way!) before delving into the Bakemono. A metal-eating, goblinoid race, their males are small, horned almost goblinoid looking beings that get +2 to Con and Int as well as -2 to Cha, slow landspeed, darkvision 60 ft., light blindness, a bite that is devastating vs. objects and undead, +2 to saves vs. poison and +2 to craft- and appraise-checks relating to metal. They also have slow speed and count as evil goblinoids and get full spell-progression. Their females instead get +2 to Wis and Cha and -2 to Str. They also can take levels in the Bakemono-Paragon-class, which spans 6 levels and gets d8, 4+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression and good ref-saves. The class also improves bites by granting improved sunder to the bite and allowing bakemono to eat magical items as well as continuously detecting magic. The class also allows them to gain the shapeshifter-subtype as well as turning into large size, the form corresponding to their chosen totem or even into a swarm. And also minor attribute enhancements depending on the gender of the bakemono as well as attribute bonuses over the levels, something that almost each of the paragon-classes grants.

The Garuda should make for an interesting class you almost assuredly haven't seen before: Partially scaled and feathered, this race resembles a badass-version of a humanoid archeopteryx with a stronger lean towards colored feathers. Story-wise, they are the hunters of the tainted, created by the dragons to stem the tide of the infernal dragon's taint. They gain +2 to Dex, -2 to Cha, +1 natural armor, low-light vision, may glide up to 100 ft. with their wings, gain +2 to search and spot and may cast detect evil 1/day as a spell-like ability. Their racial class is the one of the dracha with minor modifications.

I already mentioned the Hushen and , they gain +2 to Str, -2 Int, low-light vision, +2 to intimidate, sneak and search and suffer from blood frenzy, requiring a save to break from combat once blood has been spilled. Their 6-level paragon-class comes with full BAB-progression, d8 HP, 2+Int skills per level, good ref and fort-saves, +2 natural AC, 1 level spellcasting progression, scent, bite, claw and even rake and pounce as well as the option to run while using stealth, making them rather lethal with their natural attacks.

Perhaps the most far-out and interesting race of the setting, at least for me, would be the Mandragorans: Mandragorans are essentially humanoid plants with alluring bodies that feature long vines instead of hair. They may manipulate objects and taste via these vines and they gain +2 to Wis, -2 to Str, low-light vision, +2 to initiative, +2 to concentration, +4 to saves vs. poison and their spores grant them +2 to diplomacy, handle animal, perform and bluff, but also make hiding harder. Mandragorans may also heal a limited amount of damage via spending time in the sunlight and resting at night as well as communicate basic emotions via spores as well as access to complex plant spells. Their light dependency goes both ways - without it, they have a hard time recovering from wounds and are further penalized in darkness. Their racial paragon-class gets 3/4 BAB-progression, d8 HP, 2+Int modifier skills per level, good will-saves, more spell-like abilities, woodland stride, the option to regrow from being torn to shreds and plant-like immunities. The racial paragons may also change gender in a week-long ceremony, which emphasizes their alluring alieness as well as providing for interesting roleplaying options.

The Qahngol, a variant half-orc-race, once conquered the empire, only to ally with their subjugated race to vanquish an undead dragon. They gain +2 to Str, -2 to Int and Cha, count as orcs, gain low-light vision, +2 to ride, intimidate and handle animal, 2 levels of spellcasting progression and an interesting racial curse: The Qahngol get a name mask upon their coming of age and upon removing/losing it, they run the risk of being targeted by their ancestral curse, which turns them into infernal cannibals - the simple template is provided as well as rules for the creation of name-masks and the simple-template. Their 6-level racial paragon-class gets d8, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, good fort and will-saves, 2 levels of spellcasting progression, rather massive attribute bonuses, a limited synergy with the fighter and barbarian classes when determining bonuses for feats, rounds of rage etc. as well as keen scent and wild empathy.

The variant dwarven race, the Sanesaram, get +2 to Con, -2 to Cha, slow speed (and no encumbrance speed modifiers), +4 dodge bonus to AC vs. giants, +2 to saves vs. spells and spell-like abilities, + 1 to appraise and craft, +4 on checks vs. bull rush and trip as well as clan-dependant bonuses, 8 of which are provided. Their racial paragon-class spans 6 levels, grants d8, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, good fort and will-saves, 3 levels of spellcasting progression , greater cunning craftsmanship, may add their class-level to craft-checks, further increase their resiliency to detrimental effects and improve their distinctiveness by gaining more abilities depending on the clan they belong to. At highest levels, they also get minor bonuses to atk and damage whenever someone hurts them - a Sanesaram's grudge is a force indeed.

The Shenxue are the descendants of spirits and mortals, being thus native outsiders that can be influenced more with their truenames. Since the term shenxue thus applies to a vast variety of combinations of races and spirits, they come with information on racial traits for all the core and HotJO-races as well as a rather large array of different aspects that offer access to snow, panda or mountain spirits, to name just a few. Each aspect has its own penalties as well as different penalties to balance their benefits. Since they are born from such a cosmic union, the shenxue are required to adhere to a certain obeisance chosen at character creation, prohibiting them from for example sealing them from private dwellings, crossing rivers and cool, unique ones: Wandering Eyes for example, makes it only possible for the shenxue to see through the eyes of a chosen host. The shenxue paragon-class develops these further by modifying the class-skill-list according to aspects and providing highly versatile spell-like abilities and unique options depending on the aspect you've chosen. Like most paragon-classes, they span 6 levels and also gain d8 HP, 2+Int skills per level, 5 levels of spellcasting progression, 3/4 BAB-progression and also an ability that lets them see the presence or absence of all the spirits inhabiting everything, making for an interesting story-telling device. Saves all are medium progression.

The final new race would be the Yueyangren and Yueyinren, the moonfolk, which are essentially variant elves. Regular elves, moonlight elves are the Yueyangren and get +2 to Dex,-2 to Con, low-light vision, 35 feet movement, +2 to listen, search and spot and elven immunities. The dark-skinned moonshadow elves, are closer to high elves in mentality than to drow, in spite of their appearance. They get +2 to Dex, Int and Cha, but -2 to Str and Con, count as elves, gain darkvision 120 ft., elven immunities, +4 checks vs. trip and bull rush, light blindness and both types of moonfolk may take the Yueren paragon-class, which gets d8, 2+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, good ref-saves, 5 levels of spell-progression, improved spell-like abilities, may walk on walls and ceilings 1/2 character level rounds cha-modifier times per day (cool!), gain superior vision with different effects depending on sub-breed, and gain movement-bonus-feats as well as the option to charge through difficult terrain.

Now that we've covered all those new races and their respective classes, let's take a look at the new base-classes in the pdf, starting with the Demon Hunter. But before I get on to that, let's quick classify that "Demon" does not mean only chaotic evil outsiders in the context of the lands of the Jade Oath - it means undead, goblinoids, fey and aberrations just as much as demons and similar outsiders - they essentially hunt the supernatural. The class gets d10, 2+Int skills per level, full BAB, good fort-saves, spellcasting of up to 4th level. They gain the ability to detect infernals via their powers, gain ranger-like specialization versus foes and may at higher levels even delay taking damage (including attribute damage) for 1 round cha-mod times per day. They may later also craft iron flasks and gain a cool capstone that allows them to change creatures into their servants, elevating them from their tainted being to celestial heights. There are also 6 different suites of abilities available to the Demon Hunter-class, including one that grants infernal companions that improve over the levels, improved ofudas and boons for wooden swords, the signature weapons of the immaculate exorcism-tradition.

The enlightened scholar gains 3/4 BAB-progression, good will-saves, medium ref-saves, up to +6 AC bonus, up to 4d6 unarmed damage (better damage when ch'i-focused), d6 HP, 6+Int skills per level and may also chose from a variety of talents from varying paths, that set them upon track for becoming immortal, allow them to create strange contraptions etc. Essentially, these scholars are the mad inventors/divinely inspired scholar striving towards enlightenment and a VAST array of complex, iconic abilities that OOZE flavor and coolness as well as a concise table that helps your organize and keep track of the amount of options the class has - whether you go for spellcasting, slowly turning immortal or gaining I Ching-based knowledge of the things to come - this class has you covered and is one of my favorite ones in any iteration of a d20-based game.

The Kensai-class gets d10, 2+Int skills per level, up to +6 AC-bonus, up to +5 Ch'i-bonus, full BAB-progression, good fort-and ref-saves and spellcasting of up to 4th level. The class essentially focuses on enhancing his signature weapon with ch'i, granting their weapons of choice a minimum damage, enhancements depending on martial styles and a selection of talents that include faster movement, improved evasion and new additional options for using ch'i. Very cool take on the swordmaster-style armed martial artist.

The Kusa-class is essentially a ninja-style class, getting unarmed strikes and sneak attacks as well as 3/4 BAB-progression, d8 HP, 6+Int skills per level, up to +9 insight bonus to AC, good ref-and medium fort-saves. The Kusa also gets a Ki-pool as well as multiple talents, grouped in three general level-classes, providing access to new talents at higher levels and up to 3 levels of combat rites. Again, the class feels like it should have been converted to options for the Ninja-class, especially since the Kusa is not half as complex as the abilities of the enlightened scholar.

Part II of my review is post 38 of the product discussion. Cheers!


A TRUE Asian epic fantasy setting

4/5

Rite Publishing recently sent me a free copy of their Heroes of the Jade Oath BETA edition for Arcana Evolved. What I thought might be fantasy adventuring in Asian lands turned out to be much more grand and dynamic. Heroes of the Jade Oath is much more than adventures in Asian lands, it is a fully-involved setting, built from the ground up using Asian influences and themes that create an entire Asian-inspired place where everyone and everything is a part of the landscape. Rite Publishing took many of the standard Epic Fantasy races and classes and molded them so that they look and feel as though they properly belong within the Asian-inspired setting. In addition to races and classes, new religions have been created using Asian inspiration, such as Buddhism and Shinto, along with mechanics that correspond to the different types of philosophies found in Asian lands, such as Confucianism and Taoism.

Heroes of the Jade Oath could be considered as more than just a new setting. It is more like a re-tooling of the standard (or typical) Epic Fantasy system and conforming it to different methodologies and mechanics. Through these efforts, a truly rich and flavorful Asian Fantasy setting has been created, placing the lands of the Jade Oath within their own world separate from the many Epic Fantasy settings that have been around for years. It should be noted that the version I was sent is the BETA version and not the final OMEGA version. Rite Publishing has informed me that the OMEGA version will incorporate updates from playtesting, another round of editing, an overhaul to the equipment section, additional artwork and a Pathfinder version. This review will take these into consideration and they will not be considered when determining the ratings.

OVERALL

Heroes of the Jade Oath is a great setting. It contains a wealth of background content and each area within the lands are fully detailed. The races and classes have (primarily) all been altered with Asian influences in a way that truly makes them a part of the setting instead of foreign adventurers in an Asian land. The religions really come to life along with the Asian philosophies and even zodiac signs. The equipment listing is filled with samurai and ninja-inspired weapons and armor round out the experience, bringing it to life.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
Heroes of the Jade Oath is a fantastic setting that could be considered a whole new system of its own (minus the core mechanics from Arcana Evolved). Everything about it has been designed and developed from the ground up using Asian themes and influences. It’s rich, dynamic and filled with dimension. Above all, it’s completely unique in every single way, giving players and DMs a new experience with lots of possibilities and great adventures to be had.


One of if not the best asian themed setting.

5/5

As often is the case my review wouldn't fit, see forum post for full review.



Due to our ENnie nomination the PDF only verison of this will be on Sale for $29.99 (just sent the update to Vic

Dark Archive

Ok I am guessing the old one is gone since it offered the beta book and this new deal is cheaper but not book. Which makes sense but my review seems to have poofed with it as well. So here is my review again. With the lower price I am raising my rating from a 4 star to a 4.5.

Heroes of the Jade Oath by Rite Publishing.

Let me start by saying I don't play Arcane Evolved. I own the book and I have read it, but I personally just use it to steal idea's and such from for my other D20 games. So this review will focus on the content and less so on the game mechanics. Since I am not a good judge on if they are balanced etc for what they are made for. So I am looking at this product more as a person looking to steal idea's from it. I was given this product for the purposes of this review.

This product is 340 pages long and is in beta. So the page count might change between now and then and go up. It cost $59.99, for that you get the beta PDF now, the finished PDF when it is done and the full color print hard back book when it is finished.

Cover, credits, ToC, and introduction take up 6 pages. The artist are Claudia Burgos, Jason Rainville, Wayne Anthony Reynolds, Jonathan Roberts, Hugo Solis, Kurt A. Taylor, Jeff Ward, Amanda Webb. The art ranges from fair to very good color art.

This product is a fantasy Asian inspired world setting.

Chapter 1 – Themes and Overviews (34 pages)
This is basically a world setting gazetteer, it talks about the culture, countries, religion, organizations etc. It just gives a very good over all view of the setting.

Chapter 2 – Races (84 pages)
Human – varies human ethinic groups
Bakemono – golbiniod like creatures with a limited shapechange ability, with race levels.
Daharen – variation of the giant race from Arcane Evolved.
Faen - variation of the faen race from Arcane Evolved.
Garude - variation of the Dracha race from Arcane Evolved.
Goushen - variation of the Sibeccai race from Arcane Evolved.
Hushen - variation of the Litorian race from Arcane Evolved.
Kirin Shen - variation of the Runechild race from Arcane Evolved.
Mandragoran – A plant people race.
Naga - variation of the Mojh race from Arcane Evolved.
Qahngol – variation of the half-orc
Ruishishen - variation of the Litorian race from Arcane Evolved.
Sanesaram – variation of Dwarves.
Shenxue – off spring of mortals and spirits, with many variations.
Verrik - variation of the Verrik race from Arcane Evolved.
Yueren – variation of elves.

The races are all very well done, listing history, outlook, relations with others races, names, personality, physical description, lands, languages and sometimes racial levels(when they are not covered in Arcane Evolved already). I especially like the Shenxue.

Chapter 3 – Classes (102 pages)
Demon Hunter – Just what they sound like, they hunt down demons and other such like creatures. A bit like a Paladin in concept but only in very general terms, there is several variations.
Enlightened Scholar – These are sorta like a monk/cleric type class. With several variations.
Kensai – Martial Artist/Weapon Masters, they focus on using light armorer and mastering a single fighting stlye.
Kusa – A thief/Assassin based class.
Monk – variations of the monk class from Arcane Evolved. With several variations.
Totem Warrior – more version of for the Totem Warrior from Arcane Evolved.
Witch - more version of for the Witch from Arcane Evolved.
Xia - more version of for the Champion from Arcane Evolved.

Many of the classes are very well done and very interesting, they remind me a lot of some of the Chinese fantasy movies I have seen. I think the monk is much better than the base monk class in other D20 games and the rest fit well in a Asian style fantasy game.

Chapter 4 – Skills and Feats (48 pages)
This chapter talks about existing skills and feats and how they are different in the setting. It includes the settings languages, a new skill and a host of new Asian themed feats. There is 152 new feats in this section and they all have a very nice Asian feel to them and most reminded me of varies Chinese fantasy movies or anima I have seen at some point or another.

Chapter 5 – Combat Rites (4 pages)
These are new types of Combat Rites, used the same way as they are used in Arcane Evolved. There is 25 new combat rites.

Chapter 6 – New and Optional Rules (14 pages)
This is a chapter on new ways to handle some rules and some new rules all on it's own. Most of them seem optional. Including the Zodiac signs, these give a benefit and drawback to those born under them.

Chapter 7 – Equipment (16 pages)
A list of gear, weapons, armor, clothes and services that is available in the Jade lands. I very much liked the alchemy section, enough I plan to steal many of the items for my other D20 games.

Chapter 8 – Magic and Chi (24 pages)
This has new spell templates, discuses how Ch'i works and Sutra magic, as well as Oath of power. Chi power can be used to enhance things. Sutra magic is a way for normal non spell casting classes to learn some magic. Oaths of Power require a feat and only one can be in use at a time.

It finishes with 1 page for the OGL and 1 page for the back cover.

Closing thoughts, as I mentioned I only have a passing knowledge of Arcane Evolved and this is also the beta draft of the book. So I didn't focus heavily how balanced game mechanics are, instead I looked the rest of the book. How it read, the fluff, how the game mechanics fit the setting and how interesting they was. I should also note I am not a bit fan of Asian fantasy myths and legends. I find it interesting but less than most other myths, legends and settings. Yes I know I was a bit light in my review above, but mostly because I quickly realized if I went in depth I would end up with a 10 page review.

Now what can I say about the product? Well simply this, I think it is hands down the best Asian based game setting I have read. Certainly for D20 based games, if not all games. It is also the first such book to make me actually interested in running/playing in a Asian themed setting for D20(Pathfinder). It is well written and really to me at least captured the feel of the Asian culture, while still presenting it in a way to draw in and appeal to those not overly familiar with it.

My biggest critic and this isn't really a critic, is that I wish it was written for 3e edition DnD or Pathfinder instead of Arcane Evolved. It would then have been a lot less work for me to adapt much of this for my games when I run or convince someone else to run this setting. My rating is a solid 4.5 star so far, based on content, price and size. That might change with the finished product depending if it grows in size. If you have any questions I will be happy to try and answer them.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks for updating your review, DM. As always, your input is appreciated.


Thanks Dark Mistress

Just FYI

It did not poof. The Print/PDF bundle version is out of stock at Paizo, and rather than invest in a restock we are investing in new art for the Omega version.

Dark Archive

I meant poof as in, the old one is gone. When I went to click on my old review it didn't take me anywhere and there is no product link like with my other reviews. Nor could I find out. So i assumed that meant this was a new product posting and the old posting was removed. Hence why my review poofed.


Its still there you just won't be able to get to it as long as its out of stock.


Much as I'd love to help Beta test the game, I can't in good conscience spend $29.99 on the PDF of a Beta. I know Paizo set a new standard with they offered the PDF Beta for free, and the Print copy for $25. I know it takes a LOT of work to produce a great book, and I'm sure this beta is close to being complete, just needs more playtesters. I have trouble spending $30 on a PDF to begin with, $10 sure, $15 maybe, $20+ not likely, $30 not gonna happen...

Please note I'm not slamming you for trying to make money, I'm just saying I won't. I did download the preview and the art so far looks AMAZING! Perhaps when the book is in print I'll buy the real book, but I can't beta test for you.

I just noticed the auto update to final version...nice touch, will it be available in print ever?


The BETA was available here in B&W print. It is now only available through our print on demand store, which still offers the print and the pdf copy of the BETA (the the free pdf update to the OMEGA).

The sale of this product is about funding additional art for the OMEGA version, hence why I offer the free update to the OMEGA for one who purchases this PDF.

I would only ask that you look at the cost of a PDF by page count, If you bought a 60 page pdf for $5 from paizo it would be 0.08 cents a page, this book also runs you roughly 0.08 cents a page at 338 pages.

Also some background about why this price point is there, This is a Asian themed setting for Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved a product that is out of physical print. It was produced as a patronage project, The patrons allowed me to sell it as a product and even allowed me to reduce the price to $30.00 from the patronage cost of $60.00. The product never would have been made if not for patronage. Also no one but Rite Publishing is producing new material for Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved material. Patrons had access to The Print on Demand at Cost.

If you prefer dead tree over digital that's fine, but the content and the cost to produce it is exactly the same for a PDF/POD publisher like myself.

Steve Russell
Rite Publsihing

Shadow Lodge

Xaaon of Korvosa wrote:
Much as I'd love to help Beta test the game, I can't in good conscience spend $29.99 on the PDF of a Beta. I know Paizo set a new standard with they offered the PDF Beta for free, and the Print copy for $25. I know it takes a LOT of work to produce a great book, and I'm sure this beta is close to being complete, just needs more playtesters. I have trouble spending $30 on a PDF to begin with, $10 sure, $15 maybe, $20+ not likely, $30 not gonna happen...

Paizo's 'betas' have been partial works, less than 25% of the final product; this is a complete book which is a usable, complete product when you buy it. You could easily use this product and never upgrade to the Final version, you could not say the same for any Paizo beta.

Also, keep in mind the economies of scale here. Rite publishing is selling 100-300 copies, Paizo is selling tens of thousands of copies (I suspect well over 100k copies but have nothing to corroborate that).


Curious how close this product is to entering the Omega stage.


bump.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Steve is updating classes and races from the book to Pathfinder and releasing that content as individual PDFs (Kusa, Demon Hunter, Enlightened Scholar, etc.) and has also asked me to write some new material for the book. I am working on that now.


Ashanderai wrote:
Steve is updating classes and races from the book to Pathfinder and releasing that content as individual PDFs (Kusa, Demon Hunter, Enlightened Scholar, etc.) and has also asked me to write some new material for the book. I am working on that now.

This is very good news. This sounds like a very excellent product with an oriental theme to classes that is lacking in current Pathfinder compatible rules.

One question for the folks at Rite: How is this going to work with your Kaidan materials?


Another question regarding Heros of the Jade Oath: is the price listed above only for the Arcana Evolved compatible pdf?

I located the webpage on your site that lists the price as $60 but also says this:

"This special preorder bundle works a bit differently than most products here at paizo.com. At checkout, you will immediately be charged the full bundle price, and you will immediately be given access to the Beta PDF. When the finished PDF edition becomes available, you will automatically gain access to that edition. When the final print edition becomes available and is shipped to you, you will be charged the shipping fee."

Is this still correct or was that for the patronage only? Will the pdf be updated to the PFRPG version? Will a hardcover copy be published for a PFRPG version or was this only for the Arcana Evolved version?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Kaidan is Rite Publishing's Japanese Horror-inspired RPG setting made for Pathfinder from the start and Jade Oath is Rite Publishing's Asian Wuxia setting RPG made for Arcana Evolved at the start; however, Jade Oath is being converted for Pathfinder.

I am afraid I lack the expertise to answer your other questions, but I will let Steve know about your questions.


Ashanderai wrote:

Kaidan is Rite Publishing's Japanese Horror-inspired RPG setting made for Pathfinder from the start and Jade Oath is Rite Publishing's Asian Wuxia setting RPG made for Arcana Evolved at the start; however, Jade Oath is being converted for Pathfinder.

I am afraid I lack the expertise to answer your other questions, but I will let Steve know about your questions.

I am not a fan of 3.0, 3.5, & PFRPG monk classes as a good fit for asian style martial artists.

Your classes sound like they would be a much better fit. Color me intrigued.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dark Sasha wrote:
Ashanderai wrote:

Kaidan is Rite Publishing's Japanese Horror-inspired RPG setting made for Pathfinder from the start and Jade Oath is Rite Publishing's Asian Wuxia setting RPG made for Arcana Evolved at the start; however, Jade Oath is being converted for Pathfinder.

I am afraid I lack the expertise to answer your other questions, but I will let Steve know about your questions.

I am not a fan of 3.0, 3.5, & PFRPG monk classes as a good fit for asian style martial artists.

Your classes sound like they would be a much better fit. Color me intrigued.

The monk is the one 3.5 core class that was almost completely rewritten in the pages of Heroes of the Jade Oath. It is far more mystical and uses chakras with sect templates to make different types of monks that include the sutra-casting contemplative monk, spellcasting kenza, cooperative fighting sohei, sadhu ch'i masters, the soft martial art huashan, hard-hitting seng, the grappling and philosophizing thaskalos of the west, and the armored and minor spellcasting yamabushi. The Monk Archetypes PDF takes that material and applies it to the Pathfinder monk class as archetypes.


Dark Sasha wrote:

Another question regarding Heros of the Jade Oath: is the price listed above only for the Arcana Evolved compatible pdf?

I located the webpage on your site that lists the price as $60 but also says this:

"This special preorder bundle works a bit differently than most products here at paizo.com. At checkout, you will immediately be charged the full bundle price, and you will immediately be given access to the Beta PDF. When the finished PDF edition becomes available, you will automatically gain access to that edition. When the final print edition becomes available and is shipped to you, you will be charged the shipping fee."

Is this still correct or was that for the patronage only? Will the pdf be updated to the PFRPG version? Will a hardcover copy be published for a PFRPG version or was this only for the Arcana Evolved version?

This refereed to the B&W BETA print copy and BETA pdf with an free PDF update to the OMEGA. This was before our partnership with cubicle seven. When I do the update I will include the pathfinder PDF as well.

I won't discuss the benfits of patroange in paizo's sales thread dark sasha this is there sandbox, but I will shoot you an email.


Ashanderai wrote:
The monk is the one 3.5 core class that was almost completely rewritten in the pages of Heroes of the Jade Oath. It is far more mystical and uses chakras with sect templates to make different types of monks that include the sutra-casting contemplative monk, spellcasting kenza, cooperative fighting sohei, sadhu ch'i masters, the soft martial art huashan, hard-hitting seng, the grappling and philosophizing thaskalos of the west, and the armored and minor spellcasting yamabushi. The Monk Archetypes PDF takes that material and applies it to the Pathfinder monk class as archetypes.

You might be interested in my Anchorite base class, which replaces monks in my Pathfinder Homebrew.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
HarryJJ wrote:

Any news on the pathfinder version for Heroes of the Jade Oath?

In the meantime I'm going to check out Kaidan but I have a question is the Curse of the Golden Spear campaign the only resource for the setting or are their other products for Kaidan I have overlooked?

Kind regards

HarryJJ

I am afraid I don't know much about what is in the works for Kaidan and I think Steve is on his way to GenCon right now. But, I think it is okay for me to tell you that work is proceeding well for the Pathfinder conversion of Jade Oath and I would like to tell you when you can expect to see the Jade Oath conversion come out; however, some recent [positive] developments MAY HAVE altered the schedule some. As I am not a publishing/production guy, and just a writer I am afraid I don't have the greatest grasp of the production schedule.

I am sure Steve will be along as soon as he can to answer your question and possibly chastise my overeagerness to address your question; lame as my answer is.

I hope that addresses your concerns at least a little.


Yes there are other Kaidan products besides the trilogy, there is In the Company of Tengu and In The Company of Kappa and there are two more products in the works right now.

Heroes of the Jade Oath Pathfinder should come out this coming winter DEC-FEB. I will not say more than that, as we want to take our time on layout and proofing. but I want it to go along with Jade Regent.


So, from this and Pathways #10, I take it that Heroes of the Jade Oath is getting a complete PF version next year?


there will be a complete AE and PF version next year.


Very cool.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, so I have a question. Heroes of the Jade Oath is being converted to Pathfinder, does that mean the Arcana Evolved version will not be available? Or have you wonderful folks at Rite Publishing found a way to merge Arcana Evolved and Pathfinder?


@stardust: We will be doing a PDF and Print on demand only version of AE and a PDF and normal print distribution (via our partner Cubicle Seven) for the PFRPG

UPDATE
Chapter 1 of Heroes of the Jade Oath (PFRPG) is off to proofing, soon to be followed by Chapter 2 as we are using multiple proofreaders for this project. Chapter 8 is in layout. If things go smoothly I will solicit for release in 3-5 months (damn print distribution time.) via our lovely print partners at Cubicle Seven


Update

Just released the Heroes of the Jade Oath (PFRPG) full color pdf advanced copy to the project's patrons. Public Release in January. (The reason for the delayed release is I like to do a simultaneous PDF release with the print product that Cubicle Seven will be releasing in January, we will follow this with a finalized Arcana Evolved version).

All of these files will be added to this product at no additional cost.


Heroes of the Jade Oath (PFRPG) printer files are off to Cubicle Seven.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So are we looking at a print PDF bundle available early next year?


Yes the Heroes of the Jade Oath (PFRPG) Print/PDf bundle will be a separate item offered by Cubicle Seven (we do this with all our Cubicle Seven partnership products).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So the bundle only available direct from C7?


Short answer No, for example here on paizo 1001 spells, In The Company of Monsters, The Breaking of Forstor Nagar etc.

Long asnwer if you notice those are under the Cubical 7 Entertainment (not Rite Publishing), I give the files to C7 they pay for the print run, they warehouse here in the sates with Publishers Services International, Alliance distribution orders from PSI, and Paizo orders their copies form PSI and I provide Paizo with the PDF at no additional cost.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Cool so I shall await the bundle appearing here.


mach1.9pants wrote:
Cool so I shall await the bundle appearing here.

And here you are

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

:)


Part II of my review:

We also get a new Monk-class who get HD depending on order (d8 or d10), 4+Int skills per level, deal a minimum damage with unarmed and melee weapons, up to +5 AC-bonus, up to +6 Ch'i-bonus, up to 3rd level combat rites, 3/4 BAB-progression, full BAB-progression with their favored attack bonus, good saves for all saves. Beyond the standard class, we also get different ability-suits that make the respective types of monk very distinct, somewhat akin to PFRPG-archetypes. And yes, there even are spellcasting monks, the so-called bodhist Kenza among them as well as the almost paladin-style yamabushi-monks. Even better, there are so-called chakras that require the character to be ki-focused to work. Characters may invest ki-points into chakras when ki-focused and there's a limit depending on level on how many points can be invested into a given chakra. Much like other points, these allocated points on the chakra allow the character to do uncommon things while focused and grant additional options via expending them. Moreover, each chakra has 3 different sets of potential ways to invest ki: Ki can be invested in Balanced Ki, Yang Ki or Yin Ki, granting different benefits for being focused or expending the aligned ki. (by the way: While the book refers to the ability as Ch'i, it's essentially the same as ki.) Better yet, depending on the amount of ki invested, the end result is different, making e.g. the difference between summoning a dog and an 8-headed hydra.

Totem Warriors now also get new options with the centipede, elephant, horse, monkey, tiger and praying mantis totems and witches can now become dragon, ghost, jade and five elements-witches, while champions may now focus on ancestors.

After that, we delve into new uses for the skills available, dealing with ch'i abd its replenishment as well as Feng Shui. After that, we delve into the massive selection of feats, coming with ceremonial, unfettered etc. feats as well as ch'i and chakra-feats, the former requiring a ch'i-pool and granting bonuses for expending the focus, while the latter further enhance the options available with chakra-feats, further expanding upon the already awesome concept. It should also be noted that faster alignment of ch'i to yin, yang or balanced chakra is also possible via the contents contained herein.

In chapter 5, we are then introduced to an array of new combat rites, a total of 25 to be precise, allowing you to increase jump or swim speed by 10 feet or even, as a 4th level rite, make a full attack as a standard action!

We also are introduced to a new way to spend hero points as well as concepts like The Green and The Dark, yin and yang and the good/evil axis, damage reduction, knockback rules, the suggestion to make improvised weapons available for anyone, rules for throwing opponents and unbound in the setting as well as zodiac signs. Named after the Chinese zodiac, each of these signs coming with bonuses and penalties that heavily rely on hero/villain points and which should make for stellar roleplaying opportunities that should enhance character interaction. Of course, a vast array of exotic weapons, the topic of currency, new alchemical items (stun gas, baby!) etc. are also in these hefty pages, as is a maneuver on breaking swords.

In the section on magic, we are introduced to new spell templates, which cover the cursing casters of the Bakemono, the mandragoran tree shamans, the Sanesaram integrating elementalists, the Qahngol truename adepts, and the moonlight/moonshadow mages of the Yueyangren/yueyinren, respectively. No balance concerns on my side regarding them.

Now, I've already extensively talked about Ch'i, but here you have the rules once again explained to you concisely and the extremely iconic art of making ofudas to vanquish foes is also covered via Sutra magic, which is available to all character classes. In contrast to the traditional magic system, access to sutras is rather limited AND mostly feat-based - which works surprisingly well to its advantage, since it allows badass warrior-monks to banish those spirits with sacred ofudas without resorting to the help of one of the casting classes - all without invalidating them or wildering in their covered territory. Brilliant! The rules for sutras are concisely presented and thankfully also provide advice on how to create more of them - for my only gripe here is that there are not that many of them.

No Arcana Evolved-sourcebook would be complete sans a selection of Oaths of Power and the pdf closes with 15 different oaths.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are VERY GOOD. While there are a couple of instances where the original race-names are left in the variant entries and while some minor glitches here and there can be found, the overall book is surprisingly glitch-free. On a formatting-level, I noticed some headers of feats, spells etc. standing alone as the last line on a page, with the rules-content on the next one, which I'm not a big fan of, but which still can be considered a minor hick-up.
Layout adheres to a GORGEOUS 2-column, full color standard with green borders and golden kanji, making this book extremely beautiful. I think I don't have to lose any time gushing on the cover by Wayne Reynolds, but what I noticed is that this and the PFRPG-version (the review of which is also coming) have partially different artworks, with the latter getting the better artworks and higher art density imho. However, the font used in this book make it slightly easier to read than the PFRPG-version, so that's also a plus. The pdf comes with extensive, nested bookmarks.

The sheer amount of options contained in this (to my knowledge) largest 3pp-book for Arcana Evolved is staggering in its ambition and scope: Not only are the races of the Diamond Throne given a massively different take, the new classes in my opinion surpass any released for Arcana Evolved so far, with the Enlightened Scholar being the very best class I've seen for this d20-variant. The sheer amount of options for base-classes is also nothing to pout at, nor the implementation of the stellar new races with their intriguing unique backgrounds.

it is the combination of said races and classes that make the setting feel so damn distinct: potentially usable for other Asian settings, yet still standing completely on its own - whether it's the Mandragoran race (which is genius) or the iconic locales, the ideas are exciting and bespeak of not only a working knowledge, but actually of a deep understanding of the myths and tropes of the WuXia-genre - which is coupled with stellar ideas rules-wise that should serve as a glorious example for the implementation of interesting subsystems that are at once complex and easy to understand, yet difficult to master and get all out of, making this crunch-wise a VERY rewarding book to read. Now fluff-wise, the ideas and iconic locales like the undead-repelling "Fallen pillar of Heaven" or the city encircled by a dead dragon are awesome and spark the imagination of the reader. Where the book struggles, unfortunately, is with the prose. While the understanding of the culture and details like mantras, produce etc. are helpful in correctly portraying the setting in question, the writing's quality unfortunately wavers - Great prose is interspersed with what I call "No-conjunctions-disease", the annoying symptom when writing resorts to bland Subject-Verb-Object-sentence-constructions, suddenly forgets that something like subordinate clauses exist and begins to start successive sentences with the same words. There also are a couple of spots where the same words show up surprisingly often and where the use of at least a couple of synonyms would have immensely helped immersion. While in crunch-writing, it's good to have a precise register with exactly one meaning assigned to a given word, in fluff it detracts from one's reading experience.

I usually wouldn't harp that much on it, were it not for the fact that the content per se is so good that these botches upset me - since they rip me out of what would otherwise be an immersion par excellence, both in setting and rules.

Now, this book has been long in the making and it shows - in the positive way. The ambition of this expansion of AE is superb and may actually breathe life and excitement back into a setting/rule-set that you may have thought you had already expended in its possibilities. And honestly - how often does that happen? The Beat-version was good - the omega is far better and, at least for me as a latecomer patron, was well worth the wait. Arcana Evolved players and GMs - even if you're not into far-east roleplaying, get this, and if only to scavenge and reskin all those deliciously concise and well-presented rules. I guarantee that your game will feel much different and richer than from how it used to. My final verdict for the Arcana Evolved-version of HotJO, will, due to aforementioned problems with the prose and minor glitches, be a 4.5 stars, rounded still up to 5 due to all the great options and potential herein, and still with the endzeitgeist seal of approval since the ambition, daring and guts of the project are something to be admired and cherished. The plethora of cool concepts deserves that you give it a chance.

Endzeitgeist out.

Reviewed here and sent to GMS magazine. Couldn't post the AE-review on DTRPG out of some strange reason. Review of the PFRPG-version (just as long and detailed) also coming up soon.

Cheers and happy new year!


Thanks to Steven D. Russell of Rite publishing for pointing me towards two minor errors in my review which have been corrected - turns out it's a bad idea to write reviews of the BETA AE-version and the OMEGA PFRPG-version at the same time...


"Requires the use of Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved"

How so? Is it unplayable without?


Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved is a d20-based system like Pathfinder, but a different system. You could use this version of HotJO without AE, but it would be hard, much like using the APG for 3.5, for example.
The PFRPG-print-version of HotJO will come out soon, as will my review of it.

Hope that helps!


Lorenzo von Materhorn wrote:

"Requires the use of Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved"

How so? Is it unplayable without?

I'd probably use the word "confusing" instead of "unplayable". For example, in Arcana Evolved classes go up to level 30, spells go up to level 10, spells are split by Simple/Complex/Exotic rather than by class, etc.


The system its designed to be used with AE. That verbiage was required for the AE version by Monte.

Liberty's Edge

I have been notified that the PFRPG version was added.

I must say that I was eagerly waiting for this and it is a VERY pleasant surprise to get it without even needing to send a reminder.

This high level of service is the way to make customers even more eager to buy your products.

Thank you :-)))


Your welcome.

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