Tide of Honor (GM Reference)


Jade Regent

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"Sama" should not be part of Numataro's name. Sama is an honorific to show a very high level of respect, and giving your own name with an honorific is a huge faux pas. An extremely arrogant and full of himself character (Kamina from TTGL) may do it, but that's not how Numataro is described.


"In fact, every creature in the room has been transported to a three-dimensional shogi board located on the Shadow Plane"

And the artifact the PCs are carrying that can't be subject to planar transportation? Does it just fall out of their pack and stay behind on the material? Same for the shadow maze.

Why make non-recurring treasure a random roll? Just say it's worth 350 GP or make it skill check based.

Are the gate traps infinite use (activating for going in and out)? That's a lot of fighting if the PCs don't realize the solution and try solving the maze with left hand rule.

Nothing protects Sikutsu Sennaka from scry and die beyond leaving the seal behind for maybe a couple of minutes. Even the seal isn't much of an issue since this will likely be the last mission (killing a governor will obvious get the regents attention more than rescuing a girl or meeting some ninja) and the PCs are supposed to meet Jiro after completing all of them. Leave the seal with Jiro, scry, teleport to him, kill him, then teleport out.


deuxhero wrote:
"Sama" should not be part of Numataro's name. Sama is an honorific to show a very high level of respect, and giving your own name with an honorific is a huge faux pas. An extremely arrogant and full of himself character (Kamina from TTGL) may do it, but that's not how Numataro is described.

A usage note in the book would have been handy, but Numataro is one of the oldest and wisest kappa in Minkai. O-Sayumi may have referred to him with the honorific when talking about him to O-Hakami (and O-Hakami is likely to be the first NPC to mention him to the PCs). Similarly, the fishermen who know about him might also use the honorific out of respect. I agree that it makes sense for him not to use it to refer to himself, though.


There is mention in the Sikutsu Sennaka area about Sikutsu Being convinced to commit suicide by the PCs but nothing before or after talks about this being an option the PCs can exploit. Was this cut material?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

So my group did the shogi game tonight. At one point the summoner got reduced to 0 strength by shadow attacks and killed.

Ultimately Ameiko and the fighter stepped off the board and destroyed it with sunder attacks.

So my question is when the board is destroyed every living creature is returned to the room. What happens to a dead body and are the greater shadows trapped in the plane?

My party might want to try and rez her and I'm not sure if the combat would be continuing.

Any insight would be helpful.


Hello,

i'm about to run the start of this book for my players this saturday, and i'm a bit worried about the difficulty (or lack, thereoff) of retaking the Seinaru Heikikko.

Barring the golems, and maybe the evil druid, i think my players are going to run over the ennemies like they are nothing.Even the bandit boss is pretty weak with his base damage of 1D6+8 ...

And it doesn't seem a great idea to me to throw level 6 ennemies to a level 12 party.

For the record, my party is as follow :
-kitsune oracle of life (do a bit of summon, but is essentially a heal bot)
-suli bloodrager, elemental lineage (big damage dealer, can fly since he choose the air element)
-human hunter (the one who wield Suishen, as a wolf with him)
-ratfolk fighter (he fight with a repeating crossbow and as put tons of points in "use magic item" to use wands and scrolls)

Both the bloodrager and ratfolk can easily do 100+ damage on a full round attack, do i don't think any ennemy is going to last more than two rounds.

As anyone any idea to make this less of a case of "Attilla in the kindergarten" form the players point of view, and more of an "epic battle to retake a bandit-filled forteress" ?


Seinaru Heikikko is somewhat realistically designed: lots of mid-level grunts who have been terrorizing a countryside of NPCs and a few high-level bosses acting behind the scenes. I don't think it's intended to be a huge challenge to the party. As the opening encounter in the book, I honestly believe it's there to give them an easy, but solid, victory to kick them off.

That being said, if your players opt for a direct confrontation, they can end up fighting the entire fortress at once (I've read a couple of journals where people raided this thing in broad daylight, for reasons that made sense only to them, I suppose). And don't forget Tos Katun. She is no pushover, and can very easily be mistaken as a victim to be rescued--or at least, a bystander to ignore during the fight--which she will use to her advantage.

If you think they need more of a challenge, add more grunts. That way they can let their abilities shine, but you'll force them to draw on more of their resources to do it.

Gangasum is pretty weak as a straight-up barbarian, I will grant you that. His build is more aligned to soaking up punishment than dealing it out. Which isn't very effective in Pathfinder. And probably reflective of a character with an Int of 10 and a Wis of 12. :)


I've twinked the base bandits a bit, to give them better attack rolls (so they can at least be a moderate threat) and changed Gangasum into a black blood bloodrager.

I also changed his figting style, giving him a falchion, so he's gonna do "ok" damages. That will have to do ...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players got past Seinaru Heikiko pretty quickly TBH. Went at night. Used divination to basically map out the entire fortress. Found the secret passage hinted at by Jiro, bypassing the wood golems with invisibility. Snuck past the guards I left posted in front of Gangasum's room. I decided the weretiger woman was in his room having some "fun", the players thought she was a servant, and our sorcerer looking to make sure she was safe cast Dominate so she could keep her out of the way. Weretiger rolls a natural 1, and the sorcerer had her transform and keep the guards outside locked down, while the PCs wreck Gangasum.
They then had perfect knowledge of the place thanks to the weretiger, so they pretty much captured the rest of the bandits in their sleep.

It's the opening encounter for the adventure so I'm happy for the players to knock out an early win and set up a base of operations.


Hello everyone,

Next week I'm going to be the DM in this adventure.
The party is made of 4 players, 3 seasoned and 1 relatively new - he played d&d 3.5, 5E, but with few sessions and I believe with DMs that were less than reasonable.
The PCs are an Inquisitor, a Ninja -wields Suishen, follows the Bushido way regarding Ameiko as his master-, an Arcanist, and Magus.
This AP has got my attention since release, and I played it as a player 3 or 4 years ago. I live in Rome, and it wasn't translated up until then.

Now I'm playing it with another group on Roll20 because of the covid-19 pandemic, as DM.

This AP was on hold for too much time, but everyone remembers pretty much everything and I'm really happy and thrilled to start again.

Now off with the intro and let's talk about some things that honestly I want to customize and I'm curious about your opinions folk, I want to know if what I've in mind it's doable or I would just put myself in complicated situations hardly manageble.

Spoiler alert:

1) Shinju-no-Ie encounter with the Shadow mage:
The terrain in this scenario really puts at a disadvantage the caster(s). The boss here seems to be designed to be invisible pretty much all the time (he has loads of silent spells in his repertoire), dumping his spells while the Nue fella he bound fights the PCs -if it wasn't killed before, of course.
Now this encounter happens in a 6x6 squares room (every square is 5 ft x 5 ft) and my first reaction was: how do they move? how does everyone, PCs included, move here? The room looks incredibly small compared to the creatures involved and their level - I mean the shadow mage guy could create a labyrinth on the Shadow plane, curse a chessboard, summon countless dead and shadows, and retreats in a room barely able to support targeted spells?
So I want to at least double the size of the room in width and height, and add a Shadow Demon -conjured via Greater Shadow Conjuration- and another Shadow Demon conjured via Summon Monster VI. These monsters will be already there when the PCs arrive. The Shadow Demons will try to summon shadow Leopards as a first move - there will be loads of creatures in that way, risking to slow the encounter too much.

How does it sounds? Would it be "fair" or are the PCs going to face a challenge too high for their level 12?
How did you run this encounter?
How would you run it if you haven't already?

2) The siege of Seinaru Heikiko:
At the end of the adventure 2 atamahuta and a fire oni attack Seinaru Heikiko that is supposedly full of troops by this point (including the Nine Pawns, or what remains of them - I'll roll a d10 to see how many die in the Sennaka encounter behind the scenes).
3 onis, as powerful as they may be, in my opinion, are definetely not enough.
They're facing a fortress full of troops (let's say it's full of 2nd level warriors; sooner or later some of them will roll a 20, right?) so I thought to describe the assault as led by these onis that are the heads (hehehe) of a small army of Ettins.
The ettins will be the antagonists of the troops - I'll just describe them during the Initiative - while the PCs, Ameiko, Jiro and Hatsue face the fire oni and the 2 atamahuta.
Still the odds are against the onis in this ramped up scenario, so I thought:
first the atamahuta will be 3 not 2 and what if at this point Kaibuninsho shows up for a final showdown? It would be perfectly set in the mind of an evil Ninja to attack at this point and it would also give the players a real feeling of a final chapter battle, would it not?
What do you think?
Would it be viable or the appearance of Kaibuninsho could topple the odds in favor of the enemies? Do i risk a TPK here?

Thank you for reading this far.
Looking forward to your options and opinions.

Have a great 2021 everyone!


1) Shinju-no-Ie encounter with the Shadow mage:
I agree with you and I will increase the size of the room, once I will play this scenario (we are just starting book 3). I think that it is the laboratory has the same kind of problem... It is supposed to contain a table in the middle of the room and shelves, alambics... Clearly, it is too small also.

Even no encounter is expected here, the room size have to be coherent. So here also, I will increase the size of the room.

2) The siege of Seinaru Heikiko:
I am planning as you to add additionnal troops to PCs' ennemies. Maybe I will add 50 to 70 simple soldiers (I have a table with 7 PCs... So probably, I will have to plan some magical support also), as my idea is more to add volume to occupy PCs' allies. These troops will flee if Nigankona or the two atamahutas die.


Commander315 wrote:
Shadow Demon -conjured via Greater Shadow Conjuration- and another Shadow Demon conjured via Summon Monster VI. These monsters will be already there when the PCs arrive. The Shadow Demons will try to summon shadow Leopards as a first move

Keep in mind that summoned creatures "cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can [they] use any teleportation or planar travel abilities."


@John Mechalas:
That's absolutely correct! Thank you so much, I forgot about that rule!
That's amazing, completely washes away my dilemma for the encounter.

What about the other scenario?
Any thoughts/Suggestions?

@Eltaris:
I'm really glad I'm not the only one to have found the terrain too small in Shinju-no-Ie.

About the final siege, I wanted to leave the battle on the "background" focusing on the PCs.
I like the idea of the mass morale loss if the Big Baddies die, I'll use that too!

Dark Archive

Still running this in 2e, but with the two final books I kinda decided to combine book and expand it to full sandbox :'D Both to make things more interesting, giving npcs chance to shine(after being mostly ignored and left behind by pcs) and have more of Minkai flavor after long period of traveling to Minkai.

I'm curious to hear if other people have done big expansions to final two books?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

Still running this in 2e, but with the two final books I kinda decided to combine book and expand it to full sandbox :'D Both to make things more interesting, giving npcs chance to shine(after being mostly ignored and left behind by pcs) and have more of Minkai flavor after long period of traveling to Minkai.

I'm curious to hear if other people have done big expansions to final two books?

Yes, yes I have. I did so by scrapping the "Rebellion Points" system, and instead using the Militia rules / rebellion rules from Hell's Rebels and Lands of Conflict as a starting point (then tweaking those quite a lot to make things more XCOM 2 strategy layery).

I also borrowed some things from Kingmaker too.

Early game the PCs were focused on uniting Northern Minkai, and earning the trust of the fiercely independent clans of the Osogen Grasslands, and the notoriously private sailors and fishermen of the Eikkoku Peninsula.

They also had to actively seek out information about surrounding territories. I had a player with a character whose family were vassals of the Shojinawa family. So I created a dungeon based around the haunted Shojinawa palace and that the regent had effectively given the Shojinawa countryside to undead.

I also seeded secret shrines around the nation for the players to seek out which had letters from an ancient heir of the Amatatsu with a gift of foresight with mini-dungeons and small challenges for the players.

My players have had a blast with it.

Here's a copy of our Rebellion sheet at this stage, the players will enter Kasai within the next few sessions:

Rebellion Sheet

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't spy Koya with my eye on the list so I guess she wasn't brought on the caravan trip? :D

Secret challenges remind me of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for some reason. But yeah not sure I'm going for full xcom myself(though that sounds really cool) mostly because I'm not sure how to adapt rebellion/militia system to 2e, I am personally planning having each of oni miniboss squad five commanders(or at least northern minkai in case I have unrelated taiga yai oni be the initial boss for grass lands) have their own region they are causing problems with and first one is obviously in the grasslands so by taking care of them they weaken Regent's forces and inspire people to rise up. Plus obviously more shenanigans with ninja attacks and maybe Xidao sidequest.

That and lot of npc related sidequests so that everyone of them gets small spotlight and character development opportunities, since I feel like party kinda ignored them on the way here and I had trouble with giving them meaningful things to do on the road, so I gotta work up extra hard for giving them meaningful stuff to help liberate Minkai now that they are in destination :3 (I kinda consider this soft reboot of campaign in how much I'm trying to change how I run this)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

I don't spy Koya with my eye on the list so I guess she wasn't brought on the caravan trip? :D

Secret challenges remind me of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for some reason. But yeah not sure I'm going for full xcom myself(though that sounds really cool) mostly because I'm not sure how to adapt rebellion/militia system to 2e, I am personally planning having each of oni miniboss squad five commanders(or at least northern minkai in case I have unrelated taiga yai oni be the initial boss for grass lands) have their own region they are causing problems with and first one is obviously in the grasslands so by taking care of them they weaken Regent's forces and inspire people to rise up. Plus obviously more shenanigans with ninja attacks and maybe Xidao sidequest.

That and lot of npc related sidequests so that everyone of them gets small spotlight and character development opportunities, since I feel like party kinda ignored them on the way here and I had trouble with giving them meaningful things to do on the road, so I gotta work up extra hard for giving them meaningful stuff to help liberate Minkai now that they are in destination :3 (I kinda consider this soft reboot of campaign in how much I'm trying to change how I run this)

The players relied heavily on Koya for moral guidance in the early parts of the campaign. So I had Desna recruit her in book 3 for a special mission that I'll figure out post-campaign.


The writer Tito Leati faced a major difficulty with Tide of Honor. A full-scale rebellion in Minkai was too big to fit into a module. His practical solution was to send the party through a montage of rebellion-related encounters, to give a panoramic view of the rebellion. Unfortunately, the series of set pieces feels like a railroad plot.

My players in Tide of Honor broke the railroad after taking over the fortress Seinaru Heikiko. Their new plot was that instead of leading a rebellion, their goal was to reveal the death of Emperor Shigure Higashiyama and put the true heir on the Jade Throne by traditional methods, without getting the heir assassinated in the process. I rearranged the shattered pieces of the old plot to fit this new plot. The Rebellion Point system never mattered.

Furthermore, the fifth module and the sixth module got mixed together a bit. The party captured imperial oracle Meida Renshii from The Empty Throne during a homemade side quest during Tide of Honor. Read my chronicles in Amaya of Westcrown: Tide of Honor. Also, the original NPCs from The Brinewall Legacy had left the party by then, so they had no part.

Dark Archive

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Sidenote, this caravan has both Ameiko, Amaya(she was visiting sandpoint post council of thieves) and Tsuto(he has nice eyepatch after Nualia couged his eye out in prison. He survived rise of the runelords because during Nualia's jailbreak attempt from Hells party fighter roasted Tsuto so bad he fled in shame rather than fight them during Nualia's ritual to attract Vydrarch) in it xD

I'm probably gonna tie in Tos Katun to one of Tsuto's sidequests because I think she is really disturbing example of throwaway victim being used as disposable mook in the ap itself and I think Tsuto during his years has most likely seen worst of what people are capable of, and so besides him having extra reasons to be sympathetic towards her and find out whats up with her, there is interesting potential with his own unhealthy projection habits due to not fully getting over his own past.

Dark Archive

Updating on that plan, since I translate all potential party npcs with pc stats(even the ones with ancestries/heritages not covered even by 3rd part :'D) to prevent "Npcs have higher stats inherently" related shenanigans, Tos Katun got translated as beastkin barbarian to replicate jaws plus claws style fighting. I kinda realized also that she wouldn't translate over well as ranger.

I also realized that lorewise she is more or less beastkin backstory wise since she was natural born lycanthrope from non-lycanthrope natural lycanthrope pairing in 1e which modern lore would imply is more likely a beastkin .-. Honestly main reason I posted this since I was curious if anybody else knows enough about werecreature and beastkin lore to say whether I interpreted that right?

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