Jade regent by ship?!!


Jade Regent

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Ok, here is my problem, I have a player that from the beginning of this AP has tried to push the whole journey be made by ship. He wanted to take a ship from Sandpoint to Brinewall. I had Ameiko explain to him that Brinewall was thought to be haunted so finding a ship with a crew willing to sail there would be close to impossible. As I have 6 players in my game I had a side quest take them into Riddleport, where he tried once again to press the issue of taking a ship instead of going over land. They just finished Brinewall legacy and are now set to start book 2, and the party was planning on returning to Riddleport to sell treasure. I fear he will press the issue stronger this time knowing that the party must journey all the way to Kalsgard.

Any ideas as to how I should proceed from here, I fear that I will have to waste good game time showing him that a trip by sea will not save the party any time.


Arctic explorer time - ship sails north, ice pack expands and engulfs the ship. let's see how the crew and characters do without beasts of burden crossing the North Pole ...


Well you could be mean, send the caravan away and have them go by ship. (which means that Sandru and Koya will both leave the party)
Then in Kalsgard make a few situations where it would be helpful to have the added manpower from the caravan.

Even if they succeed, there's no way they'll find someone insane enough to travel by ship to Minkai.

Now they have to track Sandru down again to get his caravan back, or hire an entirely new one (which is actually unlikely they find one for that trip however as it's a rather insane one)

Alternatively just talk to the player OOC, tell him "Listen, I know it might work, but we decided to play an adventure path here, and there is a certain amount of railroading necessary. In this case that means that it assumes you actually travel by caravan".
Obviously he might know that, and that might be the exact reason why he's so much trouble, then that won't help.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yeah, I'd tell him OOC to knock it off.

Calmly and rationally explain that in character the trip over the sea is even more dangerous than a trip over land most sea captains wouldn't want to lose the months out of their lives to get their and back.

Out of character he signed up for an Adventure Path, which means that he needs to be willing follow where the story is going, and in this case it's going over-land across the arctic tundra.


For a little while, I had a similar situation. My backup plan was to use the Kaidan adventures if they decided to go by sea. But they eventually figured it wasn't worth the headache. Some people just need the illusion of freedom.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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"Sure! A sailing ship costs 10,000 gp. Oh, you don't HAVE 10,000 gp? Well you probably wouldn't be able to afford to pay the crew and buy provisions, then, either..."

Sovereign Court

Indeed, chartering a sea voyage isn't likely to be something they can afford to do. Plus you could just have the ship get wrecked at the next logical point in the campaign anyway given there is some coastal stuff.

Dark Archive

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Turin the Mad wrote:
Arctic explorer time - ship sails north, ice pack expands and engulfs the ship. let's see how the crew and characters do without beasts of burden crossing the North Pole ...
Charlie Bell wrote:
"Sure! A sailing ship costs 10,000 gp. Oh, you don't HAVE 10,000 gp? Well you probably wouldn't be able to afford to pay the crew and buy provisions, then, either..."

While these are really good advice and I'd actually stick with them, if you are not too hard pressed with time and prep resources, following the player's lead for a nautical voyage shoudn't be too difficult.

In Karlsgard, the PCs should recruit a captain and his ship instead of a landbound guide. Sandru should stick around nonetheless, as the merchant liaison once in Minkai (and even more being a close friend of Ameiko in such an NPC heavy campaign). It shouldn't pose too much of a challenge to fit this theme instead of the standard one of fitting a landlocked caravan.

Book 3 is more of an issue, but not too much. Remember they're travelling in the off season. Spoilers ahead.

Spoiler:
Instead of following the Path of Aganhei, the ship would travel along the Route of (you name it).

Katiyana is a half-fiend nereid living in a forgotten Azlant northern outpost, and issuing forth blizzard and floating archipelagos of hull-smashing icebergs. She plays a secondary role, maybe only seen from the distance.

Iqaliat is a fishing village, and the relevant encounters are pretty much the same. The white dragon however is the one from Frost Giants of the Icy Heart, which become the harassing enemies shadowing the PC's ship all the way to the coast of Minkai, until they catch up and in a climatic showdown crash their iceberg and the merchant ship on the ice pack.

The PCs must go on by land, without proper equipment other than the one salvaged from the wreck (and with Sandru giving them a hefty headache for not having opted for the safer Path of Aganhei), persecuted by the last remnants of the frost giant pirates, until they're forced in the yeti's dungeon. Remove the ghost of Katyana and use another nasty frost monster.

More adjustements will be needed apart from this rough outlines. Most of all, you have to change a lot of the random and named encounters, adapting them for a sea voyage.

However this way you'll have a relatively satisfied player and a not overly changed AP segment. With all the troubles undergone for having chosen the sea path instead of the land path (possibily safer, who knows?), his future requests will fall on the unsimpathetic ears of the NPCs and maybe even of the other players.
"We've gone your way once and travelled knee deep in the frozen s**t, now be quiet."

Shadow Lodge

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The ship goes south, straight out of Jade Regent and into Skull and Shackles...

That said, it sounds like you don't have buy-in from this player. Why not? Is he being obstructionist for a reason, due to personality-type or because he built a naval character and really wants to play Skull and Shackles? If it's personality-type, then no amount of appeasement will work: he will find a way to throw a wrench into any plan you have. In which case, adventure paths run just fine with five people, so he can be downsized.

If he's got a reason (doesn't understand the geography, hates Sandru, wants to play Skull and Shackles), then you can deal with the reason, but if five players are appreciating your hard work and not trying to derail you for their own amusement, or are really interested in seeing what life on the pole looks like (as mine are), then why cater to this one's whims?


Unless the goal is to stick to the AP as written without deviation, most creative GMs should be able to replace some of the over-the-top-of-the-world caravan modules with 'at sea by ship' versions, then end up on the shore somewhere to join up in the Forest of Spirits and pickup the AP from there - without too much of a problem.

I think the "this player doesn't have a buy-in" to the basic AP as a bit condescending by a 'strong arm tactics' GM. No need to want to kick that player out for wanting to travel by sea. It's a fair request, even if you'd rather not comply.

Personally, I'm none too excited about overland travel by caravan, anyway, when traveling by sea is a perfectly viable means of getting to Tian Xia. And travel by sea, doesn't automatically become a desire for Skull and Shackles - not every adventure at sea has to involve pirates.

Why not cater to one's whims? Players need to have fun too.

I almost never run any AP or pre-written adventure "as is" anyway. Almost always catering somebody's whims, even if it's just my own.

If the one player who wants to do it different is a problem player, then that's certainly an issue, but I don't necessarily detect that that is the situation here for certain. Just for asking for a different way, doesn't mean he's a problem player.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
golem101 wrote:
Excellent stuff....

I will definitely be keeping this in my back pocket just in case.

Shadow Lodge

gamer-printer wrote:
Why not cater to one's whims? Players need to have fun too.

"If five players are appreciating your hard work and not trying to derail you for their own amusement, or are really interested in seeing what life on the pole looks like..."

By "players need to have fun," I assume you would also consider the fun of the other players, who may not want a seasickness-and-scurvy adventure, and might be looking forward to yetis and blizzards.

Quote:
Just for asking for a different way, doesn't mean he's a problem player.

"If he's got a reason ... then you can deal with the reason..."

By "deal with the reason" I mean "talk to the player about it and figure out if he can be dissuaded, or if not going by sea is a dealbreaker for him. If he doesn't like Sandru, get rid of Sandru and let this character take over the caravan (maybe he just wants more control over his own travel). If he thinks travel by sea is faster and easier, check out the other "players wanting to take a ship" thread to see why it's actually not, and give him the chance to try to hire a captain who can tell him all about it.

Personally, I'm looking forward to running the arctic stuff, and it's possible that the OP is, as well, in which case it's worth exploring ways to change the player's mind.

People rarely come to the boards asking for help dealing with an awesome player.


Doram ob'Han wrote:

"If five players are appreciating your hard work and not trying to derail you for their own amusement, or are really interested in seeing what life on the pole looks like..."

By "players need to have fun," I assume you would also consider the fun of the other players, who may not want a seasickness-and-scurvy adventure, and might be looking forward to yetis and blizzards.

True, but reading the OP, it's not clear whether that's the case.

The OP states the he has a problem, one player is asking for a sea route instead of an overland route. Is this deliberate 'derailment', or something less than that, like a suggestion to go the easier route? I'm just not reading derailment here, rather a player's question/suggestion only.

Does this mean, all the other players definitely want the overland route - and this one player is opposite to that? If so, yes, there's a problem, but as I said, the OP doesn't necessarily indicate that.

If the player can be dissuaded from this desire, it should be an easy fix. But what do the other players at that table think or want - the OP doesn't say, so I'm not about to guess as to their intent. The OP needs to be more clear in what he means.

I'm not reading the OP, the same as you, apparently.


I think what he is hoping for is a Indiana Jones map seen where he get to skip what would be a really long trip. Not thinking of the exp that might be missed. There is also the hi likely hood he is doing if just to give me a head ache, something he likes to do from time to time.

@golem101: those ideas are great I'll keep them in mind if he manages to swing the party around to his way of thinking.


Does anyone know if they put out some sort of world map...maybe I could have them find one in book two so that the party has a point of reference. That might help him get a better idea as to what a sea journey would entail.


Not sure of the distances involved, but I see two considerations:

1.) At least a small number of merchants, far wealthier than many adventuring parties, have been making this trek for some time. Given the access with enough money to scrying and other divination magic, they likely have at least a good idea of the sea voyage that would be entailed.

2.) With this information in mind, it is still cheaper and faster to caravan across the North Pole than to try to sail around it, especially during Winter.

A way to explain it would be along the lines of "You want to sail from Normandy to northern Siberia..."


Uthak wrote:
Does anyone know if they put out some sort of world map...maybe I could have them find one in book two so that the party has a point of reference. That might help him get a better idea as to what a sea journey would entail.

Well there is a rough sketch map of Golarion in the Inner Sea World Guide. it should help show that travelling by ship is actually a very long and rough journey (more on that below).

Uthak wrote:
I think what he is hoping for is a Indiana Jones map seen where he get to skip what would be a really long trip. Not thinking of the exp that might be missed. There is also the hi likely hood he is doing if just to give me a head ache, something he likes to do from time to time.

So before you started this AP, did you explain that one-half of the campaign is entirely about the journey? If he's under the impression that it's just an "Eastern-themed" AP he might think that most of the travel isn't supposed to be important. This is why full disclosure before the campaign is so important.

This is also the reason that some people in the thread are on different sides of the fence when it comes to the issue of if this player is a problem and how much GM-accommodation there should be versus the "buy-in". Knowing more about how you positioned the AP to your players may help provide additional insight into the issues with this player.

gamer-printer wrote:
Personally, I'm none too excited about overland travel by caravan, anyway, when traveling by sea is a perfectly viable means of getting to Tian Xia.

Except that it isn't. Going back to what i was hinting at in my first paragraph, sea travel to Tian Xia is incredibly long and arguably more dangerous than travel by land. There is a reason that the Path of Aganhei exists. Much like the Silk Road in our world, for a long time it is the primary and most accessible method of getting to the East.

In our world, consistent ship travel to China didn't exist until after Columbus, Drake, and Magellan. People always seem to forget (or aren't aware) of just how difficult it is to sail a ship into uncharted or open water. Not to mention prohibitively expensive. In our world, it required massive leaps in European ship technology and infrastructure.

In Golarion, yes magic can compensate for a great deal of that. But most spells that would compensate are 4th-level or higher and many of them need to be cast consistently. Which is all well and good if the party wasn't expected to begin the journey at Level 1 (or 4 if leaving from Kalsgard). Not Level 7 to 10 or higher. This also goes back to the massively prohibitive financial costs. Simply buying passage on a ship to Tian Xia won't work because ships don't sail there. So you'd have to buy a ship and an entire crew to work the ship (since six people can't sail a caravel let alone a galleon) and provisions for the crew. That's probably more gold than the entire trip is even worth. I doubt the party even has half the needed funds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gamer-printer wrote:

Unless the goal is to stick to the AP as written without deviation, most creative GMs should be able to replace some of the over-the-top-of-the-world caravan modules with 'at sea by ship' versions, then end up on the shore somewhere to join up in the Forest of Spirits and pickup the AP from there - without too much of a problem.

I think the "this player doesn't have a buy-in" to the basic AP as a bit condescending by a 'strong arm tactics' GM. No need to want to kick that player out for wanting to travel by sea. It's a fair request, even if you'd rather not comply.

Alright, so by your opinion the GM has to scrap three modules ( because a sea journey would completely change the entire AP, seeing how it probably wouldn't go over the northern route ) and come up with his own stuff, just because one player out of six wants his itch scratched?

Grand Lodge

You can't just say that it is more dangerous, because it isn't necessarily. Simply put, crossing the Crown of the World is just as dangerous, especially crossing over in the Winter months.

The issue is that in order to cross by sea, they either need to purchase their own ship, and/or find a crew and captain crazy enough to leave in the Winter, when the seas are fraught with storms. Often, Captains would not leave until there were favorable winds, or good weather. In that case, it would often take LONGER to go via ship, as ship crews are often a superstitious lot and are likely not to take a beeline for Tian Xia. You may present this, either directly, or play it out with the PCs. Likely they don't have the funds for their own ship, but they may have enough to book passage, but in that case, they are at the whim of the Captain and his schedule.

Even finding a guide to take you North is crazy, but luckily they stumble across a guide that "owes" them, so it tends to be their most viable option.

I agree with one of the previous posts, the illusion of choice is sometimes more powerful than the "big stick".


magnuskn wrote:
Alright, so by your opinion the GM has to scrap three modules ( because a sea journey would completely change the entire AP, seeing how it probably wouldn't go over the northern route ) and come up with his own stuff, just because one player out of six wants his itch scratched?

No. I don't know that one out of six players want it scratched - is that what the OP means, because I don't get that from reading the first post? At least, it's not clear that's what he means. If that's the case, then sure, the player is being unreasonable and it's a problem that needs fixed. I just don't read that that is the issue, the OP hasn't stated what the other five players intentions are. You are assuming that that is the case - I am not.

I don't have the Golarian world map, either, so I don't know that travel by sea is enduringly too long. Paizo's argument that going by sea is 'too dangerous' is a very 'weak' argument. Arguably any long distance overland or over sea travel in Golarian is going to be dangerous, otherwise where's the adventure if it wasn't.

I'm probably a lot like the player involved. I too love the orient and with an AP intended to go there I want to start out in Tian Xia, I don't want to adventure for 8 levels before I even get to see the place.

I might actually enjoy an AP that goes to the top of the world and endures arctic conditions - that sounds like fun. However, an adventure in the orient and one in the arctic are two different setting locations. I really only want to adventure in one of them at the time.


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Granted, I'll give you that ship vs. caravan can be relatively as dangerous and it's really a matter of degrees. Fair enough.

However, I still don't think booking passage is even an option unless you want it to take a really long time. Since you'd be going around the coast of Vudra. I've checked multiple sources at this point and I don't think there are any trade routes or shipping lanes in the north. Ships have yet to discover a path west past Arcadia and I haven't found anything to support ships actually going around the Crown of the World, which would be borderline suicidal without an insane amount of preparation and expense. The southern route, around Casmaron and Vudra, is the only viable option that ships are going to be taking and it takes a long time.


The Block Knight wrote:
However, I still don't think booking passage is even an option unless you want it to take a really long time. Since you'd be going around the coast of Vudra. I've checked multiple sources at this point and I don't think there are any trade routes or shipping lanes in the north. Ships have yet to discover a path west past Arcadia and I haven't found anything to support ships actually going around the Crown of the World, which would be borderline suicidal without an insane amount of preparation and expense. The southern route, around Casmaron and Vudra, is the only viable option that ships are going to be taking and it takes a long time.

I've stated in my previous post, that I don't have the world map to Golarian, so I don't know that you'd be going around the coast of Vudra or even if that's problematic to try. I, like many GMs use the APs in our own worlds. In 30 years of gaming, I've never used Greyhawk, Mystara, Forgotten Realms, Eberron or any published 'world' - I've always used my own creation. However, I do want published adventures to use in my world, so that's what I use APs for.

While I didn't author the books, I am the creator/developer for Rite Publishing's Kaidan (Japanese horror) setting. In the Kaidan, Curse of the Golden Spear trilogy, the premise that those visiting Kaidan are outsiders is exactly the same as Jade Regent's premise. (Note: I started developing these Kaidan adventures, long before I even learned there was going to be a Jade Regent AP, the fact that the premises are the same is coincidental only.)

Travel to Kaidan, an island archipelago, requires travel by sea to get there, but the trilogy begins once the charactes arrive in Kaidan - what happens on the journey to Kaidan is up to the GM. I never thought it necessary to write a module or two in getting there - since my Kaidan setting is built to be placed in any existing world, Golarian or otherwise. I don't know where the characters are starting, so I don't impose that on them. That's the GM's decision to make.

My mini-AP is about adventuring in Kaidan, not getting there. My interest in Tian Xia, is about Tian Xia, not getting to Tian Xia. So if I use the Jade Regent in my game, I'm definitely scrapping the first 3 adventures, as I don't need it. I'd only use the first adventure at Sand Point, then the party will go by ship to the forest of spirits and pickup the storyline as per AP again.

Turin the Mad wrote:
Arctic explorer time - ship sails north, ice pack expands and engulfs the ship. let's see how the crew and characters do without beasts of burden crossing the North Pole ...

That sounds like a fun way to run it, myself. The concern would be to free the ship, not altering to crossing it by land.


gamer-printer wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Alright, so by your opinion the GM has to scrap three modules ( because a sea journey would completely change the entire AP, seeing how it probably wouldn't go over the northern route ) and come up with his own stuff, just because one player out of six wants his itch scratched?
No. I don't know that one out of six players want it scratched - is that what the OP means, because I don't get that from reading the first post? At least, it's not clear that's what he means. If that's the case, then sure, the player is being unreasonable and it's a problem that needs fixed. I just don't read that that is the issue, the OP hasn't stated what the other five players intentions are. You are assuming that that is the case - I am not.

I don't know what you're reading but that's exactly the vibe I get out of it.

He's calling out one of his players specifically as to wanting to go by sea, which apparently the GM doesn't wanna do. Why just one? Most likely because the others haven't expressed anything like that at all.
If it was all of them why would he say "one of my players" and not "my players" or "half my players" or something?

There's a world map here: Clicky Linky


Quatar wrote:
There's a world map here: Clicky Linky

I didn't actually read the OP's second post, which pretty clearly states this guy is trying to push him around - like he usually does. With that being the case - it's a problem that needs to be fixed. Most of my posts regard the asking of "can we go by ship instead" doesn't automatically equate to "this is a problem player.", but in reading the other posts, I guess he actually is.

Unless I'm mistaken, Minkai is that peninsula on the lower right hand corner, at the end of that long continental piece going to the crown of the world. Since I don't have Skull and Shackles, I don't really know what the effective technology is for ocean going ships in Golarian. On the assumption it's something like the Age of Piracy in the real world history, and that guns/gunslingers are in the game, that makes me think traveling across the sea from west to east should be hard, but not impossible. There's plenty of water to cross - it's not like Tian Xia is isolated by land only.

I know Paizo said it's too dangerous to cross the water, which I still think is a very 'weak argument' - the linked map suggests to me, that my group would actually try. It doesn't appear to require a Pacific sized ocean crossing to get there. In fact, it looks easy... (knowing there are probably pirates, krakens and any number of threats, equally scary as crossing the arctic, IMO.

Really the only map of the area that I had known about, was Tia Xia itself, as provided to me by Wes Schneider, when I was commissioned to design the city of Kasai for it's cartography, and did some of the writing for the Kasai gazetteer - I'm listed on the credits page of The Empty Throne as one of the authors (Michael Tumey). My expertise is in Japanese lore, architecture, cartography and ghost story tradition. So I have great interest in Minkai, but little else in the AP.

Shadow Lodge

gamer-printer: From the OP: "As I have 6 players in my game I had a side quest take them into Riddleport, where he tried once again to press the issue of taking a ship instead of going over land."

Seems to me it's one player who actually likes being a little disruptive and contrary. I get it, because I'm often that guy. That's why you have to increase buy-in. An old sailor who knew a guy who told of surviving the trip, and of the dangers probably won't do it.

Heck, one of my players is actually playing a sometime sea captain, and even that character was convinced to give up the sea route by the "it's more than 10,000 miles through uncharted water, past the hole in the world created by the death of a god, through the territories of dozens of hostile countries, and no one you know or know of has done it and lived. There are no maps for much of the journey. The alternative is a well-known path of 3000 miles with an experienced guide."

It's really unfair to base advice on the assumption that someone is using their own world. I suspect that the OP is like me: I have a job that already takes up 50 hours of my week. I don't have the time or interest to build a world, or completely rewrite two chapters of an AP. I do enough re-writing as it is. I told my players up front: "this isn't an Eastern adventure: it's Journey into the West. It's The Last Samurai, not House of Flying Daggers." If they wanted to play House of Flying Daggers, I'd be sad for them, because that's not what I'm running.

I get that you wrote a three-part AP set in the East, but people running this AP don't want just that. The journey is the destination, for some of us. If you don't run the Varisia part, you don't get to play the out-of-his-element Viking warrior, or the returning descendent of a family that left in disgrace, or the witch fleeing her past to a new continent. For those archetypes, you have to play the journey, because it's how they build character and connections, before taking over a new country.

As an added bonus, the adventure path looks like this:

Levels 1-6 (gritty realism): Varisia and Vikings
Levels 7-10 (heroic action): The Crown
Levels 11-16 (wuxia-power-levels): Tian Xia

In other words, the power-level of the character levels are appropriate for the geography, thematically. Some people might think that's awesome.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Number 1: That map is not to scale, the oceans are MUCH bigger than you'd think.

Number 2: If you're planning on sailing across the Shining Sea, and Ivory Sea (the northmost seas between Avistan and the Crown of the World during winter think again (Quoting from AP #56):

Quote:


Ivory Sea "In the winter whales find themselves trapped as the sea freezes over under expansive ice sheets."
Shining Sea "All-too-common storms make travel in these waters a treacherous experience in the spring and summer, and ice sheets choke the waterway in the winter."

Note: No sailor would willingly sail across the Steaming Sea, across the Arcadian Ocean, around Arcadia, through the Okaiyo Ocean to get to Minkai. That's a journey that would likely take years and would be the focus of an entirely different AP.

So yeah, you could sail, but about half way through the trip you'd be walking anyway. If you want to get to Tian Xia in the winter, your best bet is a caravan over the Crown of the World.

So when James Jacobs and the Paizo crew says "It's too difficult to go by water" that's not an understatement or a weak argument. That's an ocean covered in ice, that could fall away beneath your feet, with no villages to rest and resupply, and monsters. Let's not forget the monsters. This is a DC 10 Knowledge (Geography) check, and most NPCs could inform your players of the above.

Shadow Lodge

Despite having the same icon and agreeing on the danger of water travel in Golarion, Dudemeister and I are not the same person. :-)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Aren't we?

Shadow Lodge

I didn't think we were, but clearly you are a good-looking man of wisdom and distinction, so we might be, after all. Either way, I like the cut of our jib, sir!


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Number 1: That map is not to scale, the oceans are MUCH bigger than you'd think.

Looking at the linked map (whatever it's scale), I wouldn't consider taking the northern sea route, rather go by land to the sea between both ends of that continent - cross there (in obviously warm waters), land in Tian Xia and save you half the distance or less in the sea crossing vs. the arctic crossing. I perfectly agree that taking the northern sea route around the arctic is too much of a distance to consider, no matter how 'dangerous' it may be. We seem to be looking at different waters to cross.


gamer-printer wrote:
Quatar wrote:
There's a world map here: Clicky Linky
Unless I'm mistaken, Minkai is that peninsula on the lower right hand corner, at the end of that long continental piece going to the crown of the world.

Actually Minkai is that peninsula in the upper right corner of the continent, pretty much where Tian Xia meets the Crown of the World.

So in addition to get to Tian Xia by ship, which others have already covered, you then in addition have to sail around pretty much all of that to the other side. Or you land and have to cross through an entirely unknown continent. Just judging by that map, that journey alone (the one through Tian Xia) would be approximately as long again as simply crossing the Crown of the World in the first place.

Also... if it was so easy and safe to reach Tian Xia by ship, why is there a well used Trade Route in the first place. Humans aren't stupid. If the land route is so much more dangerous than the sea route or takes forever, they wouldn't use it. So the fact that there is a land route suggests pretty clearly that that is not the case.
The fact that there is no established and well traveled sea route however should give some hints. Yes there might be a ship here and there that makes the trip. But apparently it's neither faster nor safer or more profitable.


Doram ob'Han wrote:
It's really unfair to base advice on the assumption that someone is using their own world. I suspect that the OP is like me: I have a job that already takes up 50 hours of my week. I don't have the time or interest to build a world, or completely rewrite two chapters of an AP. I do enough re-writing as it is. I told my players up front: "this isn't an Eastern adventure: it's Journey into the West. It's The Last Samurai, not House of Flying Daggers." If they wanted to play House of Flying Daggers, I'd be sad for them, because that's not what I'm running.

Well, I too lack the time to be creating my own world with a job and busy life, including one as a freelancer, BUT I designed and still use a world I created 20 years ago, when I had the time to do such a thing.

Kaidan is not House of Flying Daggers, either. It's a very gritty setting, more like a cross between 7 Samurai and the Grudge. Its a much more feudal world than Golarian. There's very little Wuxia in Kaidan, it follows the ghost story and folklore tradition from before the Meiji Era - it's not based on movies, anime or any modern precept of Japan, rather the older, original material that only comes in written form (usually still not translated to English). The 1964 Kwaidan movie is much closer to the concept - the 1899 book called Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn, which inspired this movie, is what got me started on developing Kaidan.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

That would mean travelling your caravan through Irrisen, The Lands of the Mammoth Lords, though the Worldwound or the Holds of Belkzen, Ustalav, Numeria, The River Kingdoms or Brevoy into Iobaria (which is largely uncharted and unmapped). THEN chartering a ship across the Embaral Ocean which again a quote:

"In the open ocean, the Embaral falls dead. Few fish swim through the region and the winds die down, leaving miles of glassy ocean pulsing with low swells. Outside of this marine desert, strong currents move north and south along the shores of the continents. Twice A Year in Spring and Autumn, the currents dig into the open ocean, stirring life into the marine desert and kicking up winds that make crossing the middle of the ocean more reliable." (emphasis mine)

THEN you're on the wrong side of Tian-Xia so you'll have to cross multiple Tian-Xia nations, so you'll land in Goka (because otherwise you're trying to cross the nigh impassable Wall of Heaven Mountains), from Goka you travel through Shaguang which is a desert, or Kaoling a brutal hobgoblin Empire, into Hongal where you finally rejoin the AP to jump into the Forest of Spirits.

You think this is easier than crossing the Crown of the World, which
A) Has established trade routes?
B) Is literally the fastest way to cross between two continents on the opposites sides of the world?

On top of which: The GM will have to build adventures around your journey to this place, and considering how many nations you cross that's a lot of work.

So again yes you could conceivably go the long way to Tian-Xia, but if you do that then you're committing to a journey of years, not months, and you're working really, really hard to avoid the adventure. As a GM, I'll happily pass on all this information to the player who "wants to take a boat".


At this point I'm only talking about what I and my group would do, not what the OP and his problem player is dealing with - since our goal is really just to adventure in Minkai, we'd have some McGuffin wizard teleport us there and be done with it (the McGuffin wizards needs something delivered and sending us to do it - not having to pay a high level wizard for an expensive teleport...).


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
As a GM, I'll happily pass on all this information to the player who "wants to take a boat".

Fully agreed. It's not like maps don't exist and people don't know that its a bad idea.

A little bit of asking around with the right people (scholars for example, or sailors or merchants...) should get them this answer.

Or heck, Ameiko might know she's a bard after all too.


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Uthak wrote:

Ok, here is my problem, I have a player that from the beginning of this AP has tried to push the whole journey be made by ship. He wanted to take a ship from Sandpoint to Brinewall. I had Ameiko explain to him that Brinewall was thought to be haunted so finding a ship with a crew willing to sail there would be close to impossible. As I have 6 players in my game I had a side quest take them into Riddleport, where he tried once again to press the issue of taking a ship instead of going over land. They just finished Brinewall legacy and are now set to start book 2, and the party was planning on returning to Riddleport to sell treasure. I fear he will press the issue stronger this time knowing that the party must journey all the way to Kalsgard.

Any ideas as to how I should proceed from here, I fear that I will have to waste good game time showing him that a trip by sea will not save the party any time.

It doesn't need to be a waste... let them take a ship only to have it attacked by pirates a few days out and damaged/burnt to the point of sinking... the struggle to get back to land might make them re-think the decision. If that doesn't do it, have a storm wreck the next ship and leave only a few survivors that again need to get back to land... after that, word spreads that one of the characters (the PC in question perhaps) is cursed and, superstitious lot that sailors are, no one will allow him to book passage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gamer-printer wrote:
At this point I'm only talking about what I and my group would do, not what the OP and his problem player is dealing with - since our goal is really just to adventure in Minkai, we'd have some McGuffin wizard teleport us there and be done with it (the McGuffin wizards needs something delivered and sending us to do it - not having to pay a high level wizard for an expensive teleport...).

If you go by the published adventure, you can't. The main McGuffin ( the Amatatsu Seal ) cannot be transported via interdimensional travel.

Also, I don't think that any of the four main NPCs ( who are like family to each other ) would want to abandon Sandru's caravan, so logically you'd meet high resistance there. One of the main points of the AP is a.) bringing Ameiko back to Minkai and b.) that those four NPCs are friends of the party ( or rivals to individual members of it ), so the whole deal of leaving behind the caravan is highly problematic in that area, too.

If you'd just want your party to adventure in Tian Xia, just skip the first three chapters, do a big "and this happened before we start here" spiel and be done with it. The AP as published is very much about the journey, not the destination. A bit too much, IHMO, indeed.


dot


magnuskn wrote:

Also, I don't think that any of the four main NPCs ( who are like family to each other ) would want to abandon Sandru's caravan, so logically you'd meet high resistance there. One of the main points of the AP is a.) bringing Ameiko back to Minkai and b.) that those four NPCs are friends of the party ( or rivals to individual members of it ), so the whole deal of leaving behind the caravan is highly problematic in that area, too.

If you'd just want your party to adventure in Tian Xia, just skip the first three chapters, do a big "and this happened before we start here" spiel and be done with it. The AP as published is very much about the journey, not the destination. A bit too much, IHMO, indeed.

Ultimately, this AP is about crossing the world, not so much adventuring in Tian Xia which is certainly a worthy AP concept, just not what I'm really interested in. And nothing wrong with starting the AP at chapter four forward, but I don't want to start an AP at mid-levels and up - the intent of an AP being starting at 1st and going to 12+.

I do have a non-Paizo/non-Golarian AP about adventuring in the orient, with only minimal attention at getting to the east from the west - Rite Publishing Curse of the Golden Spear trilogy, so I'll just run that.

When my group is interested in the 'traveling the spice route' AP we'll jump to JR.


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Yeah, our whole group thought ship way more sensible than walking

the other issue is that if you
slaughter 40 oxen,
animated dead on them
you then have fatigue free, cold immune, fear immune, etc beasts of burden
...and make your life so much easier!!!! we thought about doing this, but didnt

we just finished mod 3 last night

Sovereign Court

Here's the main problems with taking a ship. First, it's coming on winter, which means sailing up and over the crown of the world is out of the question (it would be like sailing from New York to Japan by sailing by way of the North Pole (something which is still not done today). This means they will be sailing around the world ... or traveling to the far side of Qadira and sailing from there.

If they are thinking about sailing around the world, I doubt they can afford passage. Considering the list price for ship's passage is 1sp/mile (and assume that is for an established and known route ... most likely 1gp/mile for uncharted waters minimum), and you are talking a small fortune per person to get from point A to point B. Assuming you take the distance from NY to Japan as an estimate for distance, you are talking 6700+ miles by air, or over 15,000 miles (ignoring canals).


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I'll quote a post I did on this topic in another thread:

Quote:

That's what I was thinking too. The map of the world is based off of old European maps of America that are like "Yeah it's about ten miles wide :)" and it's actually a very large landmass. That's Arcadia.

The paragraph on Arcadia opens up with talk of "insidious whirlpools" and "ravenous sea monsters."

To get to Arcadia, they'd have to pass through Azlant, which is described has prominently featuring "moldering wreckage[s] of countless ships dashed upon sheer cliffs".

Then sailors would have to sail back after they dropped them off.

I do not think they will want to travel for something like 6 months to turn around and just go back.

The PCs would also want 3 boats in case one is damaged permanently. No one in their right mind would rent a boat to someone who is going to take it to somewhere extremely dangerous that people are famous for not coming back from. The PCs could steal one, I guess.

So, 3 longships is 30,000gp.

Right now, let's just assume the journey will take, at minimum, 8 months. There and back.

Next, they're traveling through some of the most dangerous territory on earth. They're going to want crewmen and guards, clerics, spellcasters. For the crew, that's easy. 450sp a day, or 45gp a day. 8 months of journey means it'll cost around 11,000gp to just hire these people. But each of them want it in advance because they might not make it home. They all also want insurance for their family, so they demand 100gp up front. That's another 15,000gp just to pay off the mundane crew.

For guards, you need people trained to fight horrible beasts. So some real guards. Going by caravan prices, it'd be around 100gp to hire a hireling trained to fight (guard). So, 100gp a month is only 800gp. Score. But you need around 40 of them. 32,000gp.

You probably want 4 things: a guide, a cleric, a navigator, an arcane spellcaster. A guide is impossible-- this journey has never been made before. A cleric? Impossible-- you'd have to hire your own, so I hope your group has 3 clerics that are at least 5th level for Remove Disease. Arcane spellcasters are the same. I assume something like 3,000gp per caster is enough, so you are paying 18,000gp there. (If your PCs object, ask them how much they would ask for if they were asked to go on an adventure by a wealthy person where they will spend over a year sailing and likely die. If it's above 3,000gp, say they're getting a deal!) A navigator likely has an even more specialized skill set than an arcanist, so we'll assume each one is 3333gp.

So, you are paying:
15,000gp for insurance to hirelings
11,000gp for hiring hirelings
30,000gp for the ships
32,000gp for armed and trained guards
18,000gp for arcane and divine casters
10,000gp for navigator
= 116,000gp

So, that's 150 hirelings, 40 guards, 9 specialists, and 4 PCS for 203 people.

1sp per day for poor food makes it 20.3gp a day. 8 months is 240 days. 4872gp to buy food for these people for the entire trip.

And after outlining all of this, turn to the PCs and ask if they have between them a single rank in swim.

I did this math before Skulls and Shackles came out and declared a minimum crew requirement, but it's still over 100,000gp if the PCs plan on making it there and back.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"So. You want to take an ocean voyage that will take months to make in a region teeming with sea serpents that can come up under the ship and attack... and mind you, we won't see them coming. On the other hand, caravans take the northern route all the time, cost less, and make more money. And we can see enemies as they have to come over the land or through the sky. So, do you have a death wish and want to drag us down with you?"

But then, I'm an evil GM.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If what was discussed priorily in this thread doesn't convince people that taking a ship is a bad idea, nothing else will. At that point I can only say "Good luck in re-writing the entire campaign".


thenovalord wrote:


the other issue is that if you
slaughter 40 oxen,
animated dead on them
you then have fatigue free, cold immune, fear immune, etc beasts of burden
...and make your life so much easier!!!! we thought about doing this, but didnt

That.

Is.

Brilliant.

And Probably only an issue for some characters/players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or maybe for all the NPCs, who are good-aligned. And probably most player characters, contrary to your own expectations. Since very probably most players play good-aligned characters.


Thanks Ronin.

We had a paladin so we didnt. The npcs we kind of convinced, and many other PCs were ok with it.

we are going to humanely sacrifice 40 oxen to celebrate our epic journey. This will feed many in Kalsgard, who we have freed from a hidden menace. We can then salt and pack much of the rest of the meat for ourselves and to trade. We know the ice high ice is nearly unforageable.

We see this clearly more humane than subjecting the oxen to a 3000 mile terrible journey over the pole of the world. Many will die anyway this way it is quick and they serve a purpose in the great journey ahead. The skeletons of these beasts will serve a great purpose and as soon as they are not needed we would pile there bones as a great marker/monument to our journey. There animation serves the greater good

Im sure most pcs and npcs could live with that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"So now we will raise 40 unholy undead abominations, which will instantly make an enemy of every good-aligned person we meet on the way. OUCH, Koya, stop hitting me with your feeble hands, stop it!"


They're only unholy if you create them on desecrated ground.

<.<
>.>

What?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is why when I created my own game world back 20 years ago, I had only the Priesthood of Marashieb (Goddess of Death and Healing) with the ability to Turn Undead. Their holy mission was to make sure things STAYED dead. And considering they were the primary healers of the gaming world as well (seeing the God of Healing had died and his sphere of influence became Marashieb's) you didn't want to piss them off much. ^^;; (Unless you were in the Church of Lantan, God of Law. They HATED the priesthood of Marashieb and tended to persecute the followers by getting laws passed banning the religion.)

One thing I actually was tickled to see in Pathfinder was that you can't animate dead unless you're an evil cleric. It makes sense. It's an abomination.

BTW, skeletal bison wouldn't be able to pull wagons; without the meat on their bones, they don't have sufficient mass. Though you could always fill the rib-cages with lead and coat the bones with metal, I suppose. A better choice would be to create inexpensive golems to pull the wagons - something not intended for combat, but just to constantly walk.

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