Overall review / comments? (from players or DMs) Spoilers welcome


Jade Regent


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Hi all as per the thread title was wondering if there were any folks that care to share their experience with this AP (assuming you have ran/played through most or all of it). I have all the volumes and after a move am considering running this for a group that I have gamed with before. Regarding the group:

1. Casual gamers, not big into rules, optimization etc. Hoping to play 2x a month.

2. Prefer heroic, swashbuckle style

3. I plan to ignore the caravan subsystem

4. I plan to ignore the whole relationship points and just RP it.

Jade Regent seems a better fit for this group than say CC and I've never ran an oriental campaign before. Though I am tempted to take a look at LEgacy of Fire since its on sale. So feel free to share any overall comments regarding the AP, any areas that needed reworking?

The Exchange

3: Good idea.


I've only completed Part 1 so I don't have the full journey experience by any means.

1) I think most of Paizo's APs work okay for the middle of the road character builds. My players are competent at making characters (no Con 8 fighters or anything silly like that), but they don't stress overmuch about making sure that every ability point, magic item and feat give the utmost damage per round, or construct chains of peasants to allow them to transfer items in rail gun speeds each round.

2) There's plenty of room to run encounters as swash-buckly as you want I think. We had some fun combat encounters throughout the first module.

3) I hadn't read many of the caravan oopsies prior to starting up Jade Regent, but we still eschewed the system (it seemed overly complicated and so I just picked a few towns and geographic locations along the journey to show-case in set pieces and custom little vignettes). It worked out fine, and didn't feel like we 'teleported' from one point to another since I injected some happenings along the way.

4) I also dumped the relationship scoring and haven't missed it. I'm just going old school and trying to make the NPC's engaging enough that my players give a hoot about em. So far so good.

  • Make sure you check out the various GM Reference threads for issues/fixes people have used on each adventure. The way the NPCs are written (or left out) of some of the adventures rankles with some. But in terms of publishing the AP it makes sense not to assume that NPC X is still alive in each adventure. So make sure you take some time to figure out how your NPCs are going to work (or lounge about) in each volume. I personally got a lot out of the Night of Frozen Shadows GM Reference thread, because there were some cool ideas for changing up some of the events to improve pacing of the action...there's even mention of Ninjas on snow mobiles...it's worth a looksie :-)

  • Watch Big Trouble in Little China, Red Cliff, Forbidden Kingdom, and play a little Jade Empire if you can get your hands on it :-)

  • Check out the musical inspiration thread. I've used a lot of the references listed in there to just have on in the background while I'm reading modules and prepping sessions.. Also another instance where Pandora owns.


  • 3 & 4. Both good ideas.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Also thirded on saying that points 3&4 are good ideas.

    The relationship system was a poor attempt at copying BioWares latest iterations on it ( lots of presents for the companions! Stat bonuses for high affection! ), without injecting what actually made BioWare NPCs interesting ( complex character development ).

    The caravan combat system... is a mess.

    I've run module one with one group, but that campaign has stalled out at the moment, though I hope to pick it up again soon. A second Jade Regent campaign with the group I regularly GM for is starting out next Monday. So I'm just as hyped up as you are. :D

    I obviously can't yet talk about the other modules, but module one is quite low RP and high on the exploration and combat factor. Any big RP encounters will have to come from your side. I recommend checking out the Extra Caravan Events thread, which was immensely helpful to me. To the degree that I fear I will run out of own ideas on the second module. ^^

    While the three human NPCs are quite easy to RP, I personally struggled a lot on Shalelu. That is partly because she is a stoic person and secondly because I really don't have a firm grip on how elves are supposed to be RPed on Golarion ( they are not supposed to be the arrogant types we know from other worlds said James Jacobs, but I really don't get yet what else they are supposed to be like ).
    I plan on using one players high antagonism towards elves to foster an antagonistic relationship between her and him and also to play her as a gruff veteran soldier who takes no crap from anybody. I'll see if that works out. ^^


    magnuskn wrote:

    While the three human NPCs are quite easy to RP, I personally struggled a lot on Shalelu. That is partly because she is a stoic person and secondly because I really don't have a firm grip on how elves are supposed to be RPed on Golarion ( they are not supposed to be the arrogant types we know from other worlds said James Jacobs, but I really don't get yet what else they are supposed to be like ).

    I plan on using one players high antagonism towards elves to foster an antagonistic relationship between her and him and also to play her as a gruff veteran soldier who takes no crap from anybody. I'll see if that works out. ^^

    I actually ended up leaving Shalelu on the cutting room floor. She was in Sandpoint at the start, but she never went north with the caravan. I don't have any specific hatred for the gal. But I am weak on my portrayal of elves, and I didn't want my lack of skill there to precipitate in the players feeling like she was just "with the band" or forced on them so-to-speak. Obviously other groups/GMs are going to vary widely on Shalelu. But for my experience, I didn't encounter any major revision issues in the adventure as-written by simply having her step off stage.


    Herbo wrote:
  • Make sure you check out the various GM Reference threads for issues/fixes people have used on each adventure. The way the NPCs are written (or left out) of some of the adventures rankles with some. But in terms of publishing the AP it makes sense not to assume that NPC X is still alive in each adventure. So make sure you take some time to figure out how your NPCs are going to work (or lounge about) in each volume. I personally got a lot out of the Night of Frozen Shadows GM Reference thread, because there were some cool ideas for changing up some of the events to improve pacing of the action...there's even mention of Ninjas on snow mobiles...it's worth a looksie :-)
  • Very useful. Also, if you haven't already, you should check out This Thread.


    Wow, thanks for all the replies and tips for messageboard resources. Once I have a chance to talk to some of the other players and gauge interest we'll see but I think its a good chance we;ll try this AP.

    One question occurs, how have GMs or players found the over-arching motivation for the campaign (i.e. help an NPC gain a throne of a far-off country) work for their players?


    Wyrd_Wik wrote:


    One question occurs, how have GMs or players found the over-arching motivation for the campaign (i.e. help an NPC gain a throne of a far-off country) work for their players?

    I tend to have my hands in character creation for both of my groups to help redirect anyone who might be making something that seems like it is going to cause issues or possibly keep the player from having fun with the game. A lot of the advice you can get about this will depend on your group, so I will tell you how I handled it with both of my groups as they are pretty different from each other.

    Group A is my old school veterans who I've been gaming with since highschool. Quite a few of them are attached to Ameiko through the campaign traits, so that gave me less trouble as far as motivation goes. During the first session I gave them all a one page handout that explained some of their past interactions with their NPC in a generally amusing story-like format to set the tone and give them some hints as to their NPC's personalities and to give them a bit of fluff to get the juices going. This was really all it took for them. They honestly latched on pretty quickly and little else needed to be done at that point. They have never seemed bothered by their task, because they have in character buy-in. Everyone is a team, getting the job done.

    Group B is comprised almost entirely of new players. They have had some experiences with table top gaming in the past, but nothing even close to what they got into with Jade Regent. They are ignorance on fire, and that is what makes them a blast to play with! I spent a good time talking about the traits with them as we all made characters together and they where quick to inject their own ideas into their backstories with the NPC's and that was all it took for them. I was concerned at first, because two of the female players quickly jumped on Ameiko as a rival of sorts(misguided, but fun none the less!), but once the seal did its thing, the players were hooked. Again, in character buy-in all around. This group is a family, and they are getting the job done(and partying at every bar along the way)!

    As a GM, I think the buy-in from your players(and their characters!) are the most important aspects you can have for this type of adventure, and I think is the difference between success and failure for your group. Let your players know this in advance, and help them with their character creation so they fit in. Put work into the NPC's, give them face time, they are generally likeable folks so do your best to make it seem that way. Even if your players don't like them, they are still allies who are willing to fight tooth and nail to help each other, and it is hard to not like someone who is willing to stand in the line of fire for you.


    I'm running module 1 in PBP right now, and we're half way through it.

    I let my group vote on the relationship and caravan rules, and they decided to just RP the relationships and keep the caravan. So that's what I did. Personally, I think the caravan rules look interesting.

    So far, this is a great AP to run in PBP. The nature of PBP allows for a lot of narrative, and this is an asset for GMs wanting to slowly integrate the Asian elements of what starts out as a Western fantasy game. There's a good progression of far eastern elements, including bad guys and treasure, and its a great way for a group to have an Oriental Adventures type game without having to jump in with both feet right off the bat.

    The set up for Brinewall Castle is also excellent, especially if the GM takes the time to give players the backstory and create some appropriate NPC reactions.

    Ameiko is a fun NPC to GM, and the others can be as well, which brings me to my only word of caution about this AP.

    Jade Regent REWARDS PREP-TIME. This isn't a game you can just open up and read for 30 minutes while your players are on their way. You need to read the entire first module, then skim it for details as you go, because there are a lot of them and missing one is going to mess up your groups enjoyment of the game. Take some time to develop the four main NPCs. Give them distinct personalities, give them their own motivations. Make them attached to the PCs in various ways. Shalelu might like one NPC, while Sandru favors a couple of the others. Stuff like that. This isn't a module for lazy GMs.

    In all, I'd definitely recommend this module. Paizo really brought their A game on the construction of a campaign that is epic in every sense of the word. It spans continents, cultures and history... plus it has ninjas and vikings at the same time. What more could a gamer ask for?


    Neat to see this pop back up. I've had a great time running this AP we're most of the way through book 3 now and its been a good experience. That said I'm glad we've ignored the relationship and caravan rules.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I'm in book five now, and so far it has been a very rewarding experience. I'll post up my final impressions when I've finished up the last part.

    Dark Archive

    http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2q1ce?Reflections-on-the-Jade-Regent-AP#1


    So just about to start book 6 been a great ap and one of the few where I think the last two books are the best.


    You really have to suspend disbelief about the Jade Regent and the Five Storms. If they were at all intelligent, they would have prevented Ameiko from reaching Minkai by any means possible.


    I think of them as symbolising bad leadership in general. They're cruel, but also complacent and lazy.

    Liberty's Edge

    I really enjoyed running the last 2 books the best as well. However in the grand scheme of things, I found Jade Regent end fight to be the weakest of all AP End Bosses.


    I made the PCs do the entire final castle in one day, gave them no NPC allies, buffed up most of the encounters, added a Mithral Golem in the vault, added a couple of guards to the final battle... and it was still too easy for my group.

    I think the final battle of Carrion Crown is easier though.


    Dustin Ashe wrote:
    You really have to suspend disbelief about the Jade Regent and the Five Storms. If they were at all intelligent, they would have prevented Ameiko from reaching Minkai by any means possible.

    The party in my Jade Regent campaign very carefully kept the identity of Ameiko and her sister Amaya secret. It wasn't until the evil oracle Meida Renshii asked her spirits about the band of do-gooders setting things right in Minkai that the oni learned the truth.


    Dustin Ashe wrote:
    You really have to suspend disbelief about the Jade Regent and the Five Storms. If they were at all intelligent, they would have prevented Ameiko from reaching Minkai by any means possible.

    Don't most APs have similar problems, though?


    It's a long-running D&D issue. "Why don't the evil dark wizard and his evil dark cleric ally use these commonly available spells to discover that these low-level PCs are going to be a threat, find out where they are, and then kill them with the overwhelming force they have at their disposal instead of relying on CR-appropriate enemies in small groups?"


    Matthew Downie wrote:
    It's a long-running D&D issue. "Why don't the evil dark wizard and his evil dark cleric ally use these commonly available spells to discover that these low-level PCs are going to be a threat, find out where they are, and then kill them with the overwhelming force they have at their disposal instead of relying on CR-appropriate enemies in small groups?"

    In my campaign the oni did gather together overwhelming force for an attack on the party. Two armies of oni, each with one hundred and thirty oni.

    The oni lost. It was glorious. (Here's an account of the battle)

    I can afford to alter the adventure path in a way that violates CR, because my players are prepared. I have a metagame agreement with them that if they roleplay information gathering properly, then I will give them useful information. Their enemies are willing to ambush them with force well above a level-appropriate challenge, but I will warn the party through their information sources.

    So I let the Jade Regent party know of a secret gathering of an oni army, they sneaked in disguised by a Veil spell as some oni they had defeated, and they listened to the oni's plans to hit Seinaru Heikiko with two armies. I expected that they would either invent a way to defend Seinaru Heikiko, or evacuate it to escape the oni, or hit their panic button (call for help from Ameiko's high-level friends). What I did not expect was the players turning the tables on the oni by defeating one army then and there. I had great players.

    In addition, Jade Regent was well written for justifying the negligence of the party's enemies. If the party kept secret the lost heritage of Ameiko and the discovery of the Amatatsu Seal, then the Five Storms had no clue that the party was anything more than an everyday band of heroes. The attack on Brinewall Castle could remain secret. The party openly destroyed the Five Storms' outpost in the Land of the Linnorm Kings in Night of Frozen Shadows, but that was a minor and distant outpost. A local assassins' guild is always at risk from heroes or rivals. In The Hungry Storm the Five Storms didn't figure into the story at all (I leaked a backstory to the party that Katiyana was part oni, but she had no direct association to the Five Storms). In Forest of Spirits the Five Storms did send a few ninjas to attack the party, but was still treating them as ordinary meddlesome heroes. It was not until the end of the House of Withered Blossoms that the party attacked the Five Storms directly, and they did that in an area where the remaining Five Storms would have trouble learning what happened. The Five Storms' only divination magic was through Meida Renshii, and they would not tell a human oracle of minor defeats.

    As written, the party could avoid the attention of the Five Storms' leadership until Tide of Honor. There, I had planned to show that the hidden oni in the government were trying to downplay the oni threat, so the oni were relying on human minions for any mission that could become public. Instead, my players did such a great job of not attracting attention that I did not need an excuse.

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