The Empty Throne (GM Reference)


Jade Regent

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Sovereign Court

Thanks for the input. I'm definitely going to have Meida scheming to marry the Jade Regent, and I'll play up her power and ambition to make it clear that she's doing so because she eventually wants to sit on the throne herself. I'm hoping that will have a similar effect without having to deal with the pregnancy.

Andrea, while I understand that the story as written makes the most sense, it's not something we can play at my table. It's an awesome plot device, but my husband and I lost our infant son a year ago next Thursday. RPing the death of a baby (even unborn) is not my idea of a fun way to spend that anniversary.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Hey, Ollie. I completely understand your dilemma and you're very wise to change things up. Earlier this year, my wife's fourth pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage and it set us back for a time, too. The good news is she's pregnant again and already past her first tri-mester. So, things are looking better for us and our family.

Regardless, real-life circumstances are always going to create situations in how the adventures we write come across to everyone. Earlier, I believe someone brought up the suicide compulsion in the graveyard haunt as another example of something that hit too close to home for them. That's why it's ultra-important that every GM know their playing group and assess what works and what needs adapting for their campaign.

Best of luck with your game. And I hope you enjoy The Empty Throne in whatever incarnation you choose to run it.

Sovereign Court

Thanks, and congratulations on your new little one!


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Not to stir up an old bee's nest.. but if people are referencing the reduction from page 12.

What it says:

Setting Things Right
The Jade Regent and the Five Storms have created a
variety of problems in Kasai, and after talking to Isao,
the PCs might wish to look into some of the grievances he
described. Solving and exposing some of these situations
helps the PCs undermine the Jade Regent’s control and
win more of the people to their cause. Isao certainly
encourages them to do something about each problem.
Feel free to run any of these encounters in any order,
either before or after the PCs go to the Imperial Shrine in
Part Two. Until all of these situations have been remedied,
however, for every day in which the PCs fail to resolve at
least one of these situations, reduce their total Rebellion
Points by 1 (see the sidebar on page 13).

bolder for my Emphasis... once you clear the encouters "Captive Hearts", "Public Executions", and "Food Shortage" you no longer lose rebellion points. (Unless I am misunderstanding something, you can also clear each of them one day at time if you want, since you are resolving them!!)

In the case for my party, they wanted to head to the shrine first (and I am choosing not to penalize them for not understanding the rebellion point mechanic (as I do not want to wave it in front of their faces about what they should be doing first).

But for a difficulty point of view, it seems quite difficult to get the Hall for rescuing the daughters if you are already not beating down the JR's door (hence why my party opted to head for the island first before bringing down the wrath of JR on their heads.) Anyone else have their party try to do the island first?? How did it work for you??


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would recommend disregarding the whole "lose one rebellion point per day" mechanic and let the group have some time in Kasai. Personally, I am planning on extending the whole "organize a rebellion" plot for about a month or two of in-game time, with the Jade Regent only putting the screws really on later, when the situation becomes unmanageable.

It is one of the more cited errors of Curse of the Crimson Throne that the last module didn't do more with the whole rebellion angle. Having run that AP, I tend to agree and this time around I'd like to give players more time to do stuff on their own, instead of just storming one stronghold after the other.

Dark Archive

Thanks for all of the awesome little bits on this thread!

My players are beginning E.T. soon and am looking for advice/suggestions about unworkabilities in the adventure from peeps who've run this adventure.

I already have some changes that I'm making to create more of a challenge to the party but I'd still like some practical suggestions.

SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
-- Based on your XP running this, would you shorten the Imperial Shrine dungeon crawl or keep it as is? If shortened, what did you cut out/change/consolidate?
-- Same question as ABOVE but directed at the Imperial Palace.

magnuskn wrote:
Also more explanations on why rebellion points are lost so fast...

The main reason why I like Neil's system over anything else (and it IS a harsh system IMO) is that inspiration is lost fast in human beings unless the inspiration is consistently being created. I think the system reflects that.


Page 26 says Heikkaki can use quickened vampiric touch - that's not legal for someone who can only cast level 6 spells, right?

Is there anything to motivate the players to fight their way through the whole palace rather than using magic to go straight to the final battle?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Matthew Downie wrote:
Page 26 says Heikkaki can use quickened vampiric touch - that's not legal for someone who can only cast level 6 spells, right?

Page 26 says quickened false life...OR vampiric touch. The inference is that the Quicken Spell feat is being applied to false life, not vampiric touch. That's my reading, at least...and that's all I have to go on, as the shiko me assassin is something that was added during development and wasn't part of my final turnover.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Is there anything to motivate the players to fight their way through the whole palace rather than using magic to go straight to the final battle?

On pg. 34, it states:

The Empty Throne wrote:
...Those using magic to bypass the normal approaches to the palace face a different array of countermeasures. While nothing prevents PCs from flying over the palace grounds, the Typhoon guards can also take to the air, and guard patrols are quickly ordered to attack such intruders in the air while archers target them from the palace’s windows and towers. While nothing blocks teleportation or extradimensional travel into or within the palace walls, the Imperial Palace is warded against spells and effects of the scrying subschool, making teleportation a risky means of gaining entrance.

So, bottom line, high-level PCs who attempt this approach at entering the palace will more than likely tip their hand, thereby warning not only the Jade Regent of their arrival, but pretty much every other defender in the palace, as well. And that can (and should) get messy very quickly.

Also, keep in mind that confronting the Jade Regent isn't their only task in the palace. They also need to obtain the other Imperial Seals from the vault at area H21...hopefully by freeing Teikono of his obligation to the sitting emperor, otherwise he may be called into battle against them, as well. There's also the important task of freeing the hostage daughters of the ranking merchants and nobles of Kasai held at area H25. So, just jumping headlong into a rash confrontation with the Jade Regent and Anamurumon poses significant risk to the lives of those who are bound to the palace by honor or against their will. If those individuals perish, that could definitely lessen Ameiko's effectiveness in the aftermath as she becomes empress.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil


Thanks.
Though the bonuses granted by the other imperial seals seem prettty minor, and archers who can't see invisible would have trouble holding off a competent group of PCs, and I don't see how going in by the front gate will give them less of a chance to gather all the defenders...
Maybe just saying 'the commanders have orders to execute the hostages if the Jade Regent is harmed' will help. On the other hand, if the PCs don't know the layout of the palace, they'll just be exploring it at random anyway.


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I had some fun with Kyomi the long-necked woman in the last session. Posing as a quest-hook, she asked the group to help her cleanse the graveyard, and guided them into every danger.
Only when the group had just passed through the gate that casts 'harm' on you did she cast Confusion on them. Fortunately most of them have incredible Will saves.
The group then had to pass through the gate a second time before they could get close enough attack her.


Would Protection from Evil make you immune to the suicide-haunts? It sounds like it would:

"While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target... only functions against spells and effects created by evil creatures or objects, subject to GM discretion."


Anyone got any ideas for dealing with a group who are likely to want to break into the palace, steal all the treasure, and retreat to stock up on magic items? I don't think "the future empress won't like that" is going to cut it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If your players have failed to generate enough of a connection between their player characters and Ameiko, there's little one can do, I fear. Seems you should be more concerned at such a point if they are going to off her to try to take the throne themselves at the end, if they don't have the vision already now to see how bad of an idea it is to loot Minkai's national treasures.

Also, "stocking up on magic items" implies a good chunk of time which they will need to get those, to the tune of several weeks. By that point, they will be basically in the negatives in regards to rebellion points, so you should play up how bad their decision making skills have been in this regard, too. Mass executions, burned down infrastructure, total terror regime tactics by the Jade Regent.

Best solution I can offer is for NPC's who are influential with them and knowledgeable about the situation to hit them with the clue-by-four. If they can't take a hint, nobody said that the campaign will have a complete happy ending. The repercussions for screwing up the last part of the liberation of Minkai are all enumerated in the module.


STAT SPOILERS
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I'm raising Shojinawa Ito's level by 1, making him 15 th level. His 15th level sorcerer bloodline power is useless given that he's a ghost. Does anyone have any suggestions for ghostifying this ability?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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Suggestion:

Spoiler:
Estavans Lackey wrote:
I'm raising Shojinawa Ito's level by 1, making him 15 th level. His 15th level sorcerer bloodline power is useless given that he's a ghost. Does anyone have any suggestions for ghostifying this ability?

Rather than raise his sorcerer level, I'd suggest you either give him the advanced simple template or slap on a couple of mythic tiers from the Archmage path or outright make him a mythic ghost. That way, you give him a substantial power-up, but without having to layer on another character level with a dead class ability. Personally, I'd go with Archmage, as it's more in keeping with what Ito would have accomplished during his natural lifespan...or, you could even claim he perfected those abilities during his years as an undead.


My two cents,
--Neil


Beyond Reach (Su): At 15th level, your ultimate destiny
is drawing near. Once per day, when an attack or spell
that causes damage would result in your death, you may
attempt a Will save and the person who attacked you must
also make a Will save. If your Will save is higher, you
immediately heal enough damage to bring your hit
points back to 1, and the person who attacked you loses
the amount of hit points you healed and can take no
further action this combat round.
The bonus from your fated ability applies to this save.


The teamwork scoring as written in the adventure are confusing and unworkable at best. The scores are impossible to reduce to 0 or below based on what's given. For example, Giras Norori's score is 32 but it can only be reduced by 10. The same situation exists for Meida-her score is 40 but can only be reduced a max of 25 based on the two examples.

How are their scores supposed to be reduced further? The whole idea of the teamwork score seems tacked on at the last minute and totally underdeveloped. Editor? Even if the PCs manage to get all five seals and carry them into battle...?

Maybe I'm missing something?


You're supposed to subtract the rebellion points total - see the box on page 13.


The Miasma of Souls and...

:
...a little phylactery.

My rather diligent PCs managed to find Shojinawa Ito's phylactery at the bottom of the Lake of Tears. When confronted with Sugimatu Nobinoru's offer to consume a little bit of one of their souls, they offered up the phylactery instead. I thought this was pretty darn clever so I ran with it. Nobinoru gorged on Ito's soul like it was all-you-can-eat-shrimp night as Sizzler's. It made dealing with Ito a bit easier and I'm wondering whether or not I should deduct rebellion points. Technically they accepted his offer and blessing but it wasn't part of their souls...


Clever, but they still assisted Nobinoru with his plan to open a portal to Abaddon (or wherever it was). And by not defeating him, they failed to cleanse the well, which makes it hard to achieve the aid of the various non-evil ancestors.


My group is currently in the Well of Demons.

They haven't done the Kasai missions yet, and I'll be wondering how to get them to properly gather information on the final bad guys (i.e. Sowing Discord).

With a bit of exploring in Kasai and the samisen of oracular vision, they should be able to find all of the relevant information.

Here's a list of the info needed to reduce team evil's teamwork score:
- Anamurumon is an oni and originally a human warlord. The Jade Regent (and every one else not of the Five Storms) is unaware of this, believing him to be completely human.
- Anamurumon poisoned the Jade Regent's mother.
- Anamurumon wants to be rid of Renshii Meida.
- The Jade Regent is a womanizer. Renshii Meida is not aware of this (or at least the full extent).
- Renshii Meida is pregnant. The Jade Regent and Anamurumon are unaware of this.
- Giras Notori the Raven Prince has a code of honor.
- All of the ninja clans of book 5 are backing Ameiko, Notori is unaware of this.

Is there anything else that should be included, even if it's just flavor?


It's going to be quite a while before my group gets to this point (just about to battle Munasukaru), but looking through this book I'm curious. Is there anything written on what the Jade Throne does? I know it's an artifact and it confirms whether someone has the right to rule Minkai, but does it have other powers we know about?


KetchupKing wrote:
It's going to be quite a while before my group gets to this point (just about to battle Munasukaru), but looking through this book I'm curious. Is there anything written on what the Jade Throne does? I know it's an artifact and it confirms whether someone has the right to rule Minkai, but does it have other powers we know about?

No real powers per se, but as a god created artifact designed to rule (and not mind control) an empire, my version will have powers of communication and diplomacy (which were occasionally abused).

For example, to stop the war as soon as Ameiko sits on it, a power akin to Calm Emotions (area of effect: one Minkai) will be on used. The save DC won't matter, just that the whole empire will know that the Jade Regent isn't in control anymore will be enough to demoralize the Five Storms troops and have them disband.


Okay I was planning some similar stuff. Maybe Commune with Shizuru 1/week, and Whispering Wind for anywhere in Minkai. Not sure yet, I'll play with it a little, I've got some time.


What sort of questions did everyone use for the guards in the Infiltrating the City part of the book? It mentions that the PCs can also decide to bluff their way in by answering the Guards questions, and knowing my group this will highly be a method of entry. Are there any questions that the guards would likely ask without being blunt?


DanceSC wrote:
What sort of questions did everyone use for the guards in the Infiltrating the City part of the book? It mentions that the PCs can also decide to bluff their way in by answering the Guards questions, and knowing my group this will highly be a method of entry. Are there any questions that the guards would likely ask without being blunt?

I think you should just draw on the vast wealth of evil guards throughout history, from Nazis to Storm Troopers to <name your trope>:

- Who are you?
- Where are you from?
- What are you carrying with you?
- Why?
- Do you have any weapons?
- We're searching your bags/wagons/persons!
- Your women! Sell them to us! Now!

Ok. Maybe The Blues Brothers isn't the best trope. But just think extremely intrusive, suspicious border guards. They're not going to ask, "Are you the Amatatsu heir?", but the commander has at-will Detect Magic, so the idea is that anyone not answering the questions in a "reasonable" way attracts his attention (hence the Bluff checks to prevent him from getting involved).

"Why are you carrying a medium-sized city's worth of magical armaments?" is a reasonable question from a guard commander...


While I like most of this book, the "Setting Things Right" section is really giving me fits:

  • "Food Shortage" is so straightforward it's "just a fight". I do like the logistical aspect of having to move all that grain, but with no 'real' guards and no repercussions, it just feels 'tacked on'. Did anyone change it up to make it feel more integral?
  • As was mentioned previously, "Captive Hearts" is nothing short of a recipe for player frustration: You can't rescue them until you're ready to go into the castle, going into the castle at level 13 is likely suicide, and (even though they don't know it) they're losing a Rebellion Point a day until they storm the castle and rescue the women. Did someone come up with a similar plot that was actionable (or at least non-punitive)?
  • I have a multitude of issues with "A Public Execution", from the Deus ex Machina of, "We're executing one of your NPCs! Nyah!", to, "For 5 books we've told you to keep Ameiko hidden. Now in Book 6 we expect you to make her very public. But we won't tell you that."
    I'm fixing that up by giving Isao a son who is captured for rabble-rousing during the PCs' stay, but in addition to the guards in attendance at the execution, it seems like any overt display of force would attract the oni flying over the city mentioned in "Infiltrating the City". So it's got to become a rolling battle with more and more patrols joining in until the party flees (no problem, they're a very mobile group), but the question is: How many rounds should it be before each new patrol's arrival? I'm thinking something reasonable like 1d6+2 rounds or so, giving the party enough breathing space to get out of there once they have the prisoner free.

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    NobodysHome wrote:

    While I like most of this book, the "Setting Things Right" section is really giving me fits:

    "Food Shortage" ... "Captive Hearts" ... "A Public Execution" ...

    My players' attitude toward those missions was that they could wait until after they had an Amatatsu on the throne. Given that they conquered the Jade Throne by 8am the following morning, they were right.

    NobodysHome wrote:
    For 5 books we've told you to keep Ameiko hidden. Now in Book 6 we expect you to make her very public. But we won't tell you that.

    That paradox led to my players' derailing the adventure path by coming up with a better idea. The party had successfully kept Ameiko's and her sister Amaya's true identities secret (even from some players who joined the game late), so the oni knew of the party only as a meddlesome band of foreign adventurers. Step 1 of the idea was becoming popular folk heroes in their cover identities as Kiko and May by defeating local villains. Also, I had added the Ruby Phoenix Tournament to the adventure path, so May and three party members were internationally famous athletes from the Hongal team. This let the people rally behind the sisters before they revealed their true identities.


    I figured I would share my work, in case it helps any future GM's. I found the book glossed over the party's entry into Kasai, before arriving at Isao's house.

    I knew that there would be party members that would fail the disguise or bluff check, to get past the guards at the city gates, so a confrontation at the point of entry was unavoidable. However there is no way for the party to know, in advance, that the entire Typhoon Guard is made up of Oni. So Ameiko and the others would not necessarily want to go in with guns blazing - shredding through the city guards in a horrid blood bath, when (from Ameiko's perspective) these same guards would be serving her in the near future.

    So - Instead, I planned a city-wide chase event. Using the Pathfinder Chase rules, but allowing for more options and veering paths than the single 10-step linear railroad that is suggested in the game mastery guide.

    Below is a link to a pdf that has 30 inter-weaving chase events that allow the characters to split up and find paths that are more in Sync with their characters. In the end, they party members (and Ameiko) all find people in the city willing to help get them to Isao's house, or they manage to find a place to hide long enough to shake the guard's pursuit, before heading over to Isao's house. Either way - The party members all reconvene at Isao's where they can share with one another what they went through, and meet their host.

    Kasai Chase Events Link:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3_5VSyDl9CJdHh2ZUJwNEN5NmM/view?usp=shari ng

    Link for Flowchart showing how to navigate through the events:
    https://i.imgur.com/iB0eMIU.jpg

    Just note - The flow chart should not be shared with the players, as it would give them direction on which choices to make to reach safety most quickly.


    So, here's an issue:

    In the stat blocks for the Typhoon Guards (p.11), they cannot See Invisible. They rely on their commander (p.10) to do it for them.

    This is reinforced in "Entering the Palace" on p.34:

    The Empty Throne wrote:
    The PCs might try to enter the castle stealthily, but the guards are watchful, and the Typhoon commanders can see invisible creatures.

    All well and good, up until the moment you notice that there is not a single Typhoon commander in the entire castle.

    So what did people do?

  • Add a Typhoon commander to every watch tower, increasing the CR?
  • Replace one or two of the guards with a commander?
  • Just let it be a "Whoopsie, we messed up the watch!" moment?

  • NobodysHome wrote:

    All well and good, up until the moment you notice that there is not a single Typhoon commander in the entire castle.

    So what did people do?

  • Add a Typhoon commander to every watch tower, increasing the CR?
  • Replace one or two of the guards with a commander?
  • Just let it be a "Whoopsie, we messed up the watch!" moment?

  • I see at least two Typhoon commanders in the palace (Roka Kozu and Bogo-Na). I'd be inclined to add a commander to each watch tower (raising the CR by 1, to CR 15). (The gate patrols are 4 guards and one commander, so having the same in the watch towers works for me.)


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    So just for yuks, I decided to total up the possible Rebellion Points:

    Here's the list:

    +3 for ending the food shortage (p.13)
    +1 for defeating the bandits in book 5 (p.13)
    +3 for hiring all 3 ninja clans (p.13)
    +1 for saving O-Sayumi (p.13)
    +1 for killing Sikutsu Sennaka (p.13)
    +2 for rescuing the condemned prisoner (p.14)
    +2 for publicly revealing Ameiko while doing so (p.14)
    +1 for laying Emperor Shigure to rest (p.33)
    +3 for subduing Teikono (p.43)
    +1 for rescuing Harumi (p.44)
    +3 for rescuing the noble daughters (p.45)
    ----
    +5 for defeating the Jade Regent (p.47)

    So if they do everything perfectly throughout Books 5 and 6, they will enter the final battle with 21 Rebellion Points.

    Anamurumon starts with 50, and there are only two available 10-point debuffs. 50-21-20 = 9 > 0. So Anamurumon can never lose his teamwork score.

    Similarly, the Jade Regent starts with 50 and has only 25 points of debuffs. Once again, he can never lose his teamwork score.

    The Raven Prince starts at a lowly 32, but only has one 10-point debuff. Once again, 32-21-10 = 1 > 0. Even the Raven Prince can never lose his teamwork score.

    What about the fickle Renshii? She starts at 40, with 25 points in debuffs, so she's do-able, but one of the 10-pointers is, "The PCs can learn about Meida’s secret from one of her handmaidens, who happens to be the daughter of one of the PCs’ samurai allies. This ally could bring his daughter to the PCs to tell them her story, but the young woman proves reluctant to betray her mistress."
    That's the kind of thing you'd expect as an event somewhere in the book, not in a tiny note on p.59 that, "Oh, by the way, you probably should have done this."

    So I'm going to second the notion that the teamwork stuff is unworkable, both mathematically and because much of the information is, "Oh, by the way, you should find a way to feed this information to the PCs at some point during Book 6, but we won't mention it except in the stat blocks for the final bad guys."

    I know, I know, "Read ahead." But when 3 of the 4 bad guys can't lose their teamwork anyway, it's a bit frustrating.

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    NobodysHome wrote:

    So just for yuks, I decided to total up the possible Rebellion Points:

    ** spoiler omitted **
    So if they do everything perfectly throughout Books 5 and 6, they will enter the final battle with 21 Rebellion Points.

    Anamurumon starts with 50, and there are only two available 10-point debuffs. 50-21-20 = 9 > 0. So Anamurumon can never lose his teamwork score.

    Similarly, the Jade Regent starts with 50 and has only 25 points of debuffs. Once again, he can never lose his teamwork score.

    The Raven Prince starts at a lowly 32, but only has one 10-point debuff. Once again, 32-21-10 = 1 > 0. Even the Raven Prince can never lose his teamwork score.

    What about the fickle Renshii? She starts at 40, with 25 points in debuffs, so she's do-able, but one of the 10-pointers is, "The PCs can learn about Meida’s secret from one of her handmaidens, who happens to be the daughter of one of the PCs’ samurai allies. This ally could bring his daughter to the PCs to tell them her story, but the young woman proves reluctant to betray her mistress."
    That's the kind of thing you'd expect as an event somewhere in the book, not in a tiny note on p.59 that, "Oh, by the way, you probably should have done this."

    So I'm going to second the notion that the teamwork stuff is unworkable, both mathematically and because much of the information is, "Oh, by the way, you should find a way to feed this information to the PCs at some point during Book 6, but we won't mention it except in the stat blocks...

    Thanks this is very useful. I'm turning books 5 & 6 into a sandbox and adding the militia/rebellion subsystem from Ironfang Invasion/Hell's Rebels. This gives me a good indication that I'm going to have to expand quite liberally to allow for the possibility for total victory.


    NobodysHome wrote:
    So I'm going to second the notion that the teamwork stuff is unworkable, both mathematically and because much of the information is, "Oh, by the way, you should find a way to feed this information to the PCs at some point during Book 6, but we won't mention it except in the stat blocks...

    I agree that the information could have been better organised, but re the teamwork maths, check the sidebar on page 43. If the PCs retrieve the seals from the palace treasury and openly display them in the final confrontation, that's another -25 on teamwork scores.


    Uqbarian wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    So I'm going to second the notion that the teamwork stuff is unworkable, both mathematically and because much of the information is, "Oh, by the way, you should find a way to feed this information to the PCs at some point during Book 6, but we won't mention it except in the stat blocks...
    I agree that the information could have been better organised, but re the teamwork maths, check the sidebar on page 43. If the PCs retrieve the seals from the palace treasury and openly display them in the final confrontation, that's another -25 on teamwork scores.

    Ah, I did the find on "Rebellion Points" and "RP", but not "Teamwork". I stand corrected on the math.


    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
    Thanks this is very useful. I'm turning books 5 & 6 into a sandbox and adding the militia/rebellion subsystem from Ironfang Invasion/Hell's Rebels. This gives me a good indication that I'm going to have to expand quite liberally to allow for the possibility for total victory.

    My players derailed Tide of Honor by choosing to not lead a rebellion. Thus, that module became a sandbox, instead. It worked out well. The module consists of little scenarios that can be scattered across the country as the party travels. My players liked fighting oni, so I added more oni raids on villages, too, for them to stop.

    The freedom in Tide of Honor led to more freedom in The Empty Throne. Rebellion Points did not matter without a rebellion, but my party made a deal with Meida Renshii and she betrayed Anamurumon and the Raven Prince.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    My players are keen to start a rebellion, they're keenly aware they are not natives of Minkai and are troubled by the idea of Avastani saviors rescuing the people of Minkai. A rebellion is a good compromise, so the players can do their part to have the nation save itself.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

    I would like to focus more on bringing back the five imperial lines. I'm working from the assumption that there have been members alive as recently as 5-10 years ago (when the last emperor was assassinated), and at endgame levels, Resurrection is fairly available (if nothing else, it may be that the other families' seals can cast Resurrect on a family member like the Amatatsu seal can).

    But who to use? Well, there's a whole plot point about retrieving Higashiyama Shigure's remains, so his body is clearly available for Resurrection.

    Where in books 4-6 could I put more dead bodies of the imperial families? Or even, could it be that there could be someone alive somewhere, anywhere, that the PCs could track down? Could any NPC turn out to be of one of the bloodlines?

    I should note, I'm not a big fan of the seal-invested non-bloodline scion thing, so I'd like to avoid that which feels like a cheap way out to me. I'd like to have some actual members of bloodlines.

    Also, if you resurrect Shigure, does he become emperor again? I assume that if it's before Ameiko's ascension then yes, but what if it's after Ameiko's ascension?


    Samy wrote:

    I would like to focus more on bringing back the five imperial lines. I'm working from the assumption that there have been members alive as recently as 5-10 years ago (when the last emperor was assassinated), and at endgame levels, Resurrection is fairly available (if nothing else, it may be that the other families' seals can cast Resurrect on a family member like the Amatatsu seal can).

    But who to use? Well, there's a whole plot point about retrieving Higashiyama Shigure's remains, so his body is clearly available for Resurrection.

    Where in books 4-6 could I put more dead bodies of the imperial families? Or even, could it be that there could be someone alive somewhere, anywhere, that the PCs could track down? Could any NPC turn out to be of one of the bloodlines?

    I, too, wanted to restore all five imperial families in my own Jade Regent campaign. It seemed too ancient a tradition to let die off.

    However, I had not thought about resurrecting assassinated members. Instead, I figured that each family had some illegitimate descendents who could be promoted to legitimate status by the new empress.

    To aid in this search, I divided Minkai into five territories of the five imperial families..

    However, it was also fun to take characters already in the modules and make them descendents. Shosaito Yugureda and his daughter O-Sayumi became descendents of the Shojinawa family. Meida Renshii was a descendent of the Sugimatu family.

    The Imperial Shrine would have the bodies of most recently assassinated members of the royal families.

    Samy wrote:
    I should note, I'm not a big fan of the seal-invested non-bloodline scion thing, so I'd like to avoid that which feels like a cheap way out to me. I'd like to have some actual members of bloodlines.

    My players and I had played the scion thing straight at the end of The Brinewall Legacy, but afterwards when Minkaian tradition became a major theme of my campaign, we all agreed to never speak of that seal-invested non-bloodline scion status.

    Samy wrote:
    Also, if you resurrect Shigure, does he become emperor again? I assume that if it's before Ameiko's ascension then yes, but what if it's after Ameiko's ascension?

    There is probably some rules about this in Minkaian tradition, such as the reigning empress holds the Jade Throne, but frequently steps down to return the throne to her elder as a sign of respect. I think that Shigure Higashiyama reigned poorly and disgraced himself when dead, so he does not deserve that respect. Since your campaign has both Ameiko and Amaya, the empress can point out that she can rule while her sister re-establishes the Amatatsu family, but if Shigure resumes the throne, who will re-establish the Higashiyama family? He will have a greater duty to become family leader than emperor.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
    Mathmuse wrote:
    if Shigure resumes the throne, who will re-establish the Higashiyama family?

    Nice logic! I think I will use that one!

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