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Given that that Golarion has edged out FR as my favorite setting, it is natural that I would set my first 5th Ed campaign there. I am running Princes of The Apocalypse and wanted the rich NPCs, gods, and setting details that Paizo excels at. As much as WoTC talks about story being important, I have yet to see it done well in their products. I hope someday they partner with Paizo in writing some 5th Ed APs because I plan to keep playing with the 5th Ed rule set for a long long time.
I've located the four cult facilities (referred to as the “Haunted Keeps”) in Kear Maga:
- Air cult of the Howling Hatred: Feathergale Spire, home of the Feathergale knights in Highside Stacks
- The Black Earth cult: Sacred Stone Monastery in Oriat.
- Eternal Flame cult: Scarlet Moon Hall, home of the Circle of the Scarlet Moon in Widdershins
- The Crushing Wave cult: Rivergard Keep in Cavalcade.
I then located the four elemental temples in the Undercity. This arangment, all within the same city, simplified making this truly sandbox. If you look at a map of Kear Maga you'll see that if the cults succeed and open the gate it will rip the city in two from bellow. The morally challenged nature of this city has proven a rich backdrop for this AP.
I located temple of the Elder Eye in Crystalrock. I turned it into an elemental magic temple of The All-Seeing Eye, Nethys (replacing, with similar name the Elder Elemental Eye as the main God behind the scene). I then replaced the four princes with the Elemental Lords (see inner sea world guide p.233):
- Ogremoch --> Ayrzul (Earth)
- Yan-C-Bin --> Hshurha (Air)
- Olhydra --> Kelizandri (water)
- Imix --> Ymeri (Fire)
I then needed to explain what PotA does not: why were those four legendary weapons created and why do the PCs care? My solution was to use "Shadowcount Sial” from the Korvosa Crimson Crown AP. In summary, Sail forced the dwarfs of Janderhoff to forge them. In a contractual agreement with Nethys, Sail exchanged them for the location of some Kazavon artifacts. An agent of Desna is then the cause of Sail to see the error of his beliefs, converting him to LG alignment, turning his back on Zon-Kuthon. However, with Sail having the Mark of Zon-Kuthan, he is now blind and in pain. I located him in The Flickering Tower in HighSide Stacks. His guilt and desire to stop The All Seeing Eye's plan to erupt Kear Maga in a fountain of Elemental Magic, form him as an NPC that can motivate and aid PCs to complete their mission.
This is a work in progress with the campaign is still in the early stages. If there's interest I'll add more detail and I welcome other ideas.
I wanted to give a quick update to let you know my 5th Ed PotA campaign, which is set in Kear Mage, is still going strong. The party us now 15th level and I expect to conclude it at 20th level by the end of the year. Doing this in Galorian, instead of the FR, has been an excellent fit.
The timing of Planes of Power coming out in August is perfect, because PotA tops out at 15th level and I am now extending the fight against elemental evil into the inner planes. Last session I used AP 23, the Impossbile Eye to put the party in the City of Brass. I used the second edition Secrets of the Lamp to flesh out the city (both were written by Wolfgand Baur).
I am also excited about the hard bound edition of Curse of the Crimson Crown coming out (which relates because of my use of Sial as an important NPC, see OP). I might run it next as a prequel (using 5th Ed rules, of course) to this campaign.
I would encourage more DMs to run 5th Ed Galorian. Conversion on the fly is not difficult, especially when I reskin 5th Ed MM stats with my Pathfinder Pawns. I am a huge fan of the Realms, but I find that Paizo does such an excellent job of sprinkling in interconnecting mysteries and details in their campaign setting suppliments which inspires my creativity.
Come on in. The elemental evil water is fine.
PCs are now 19th level. They were unable to close the gate to the elemental plane of earth in time, causing a massive influx of earthly monsters from that plan, including several from Kobolt Press' Tome of Beasts.
This chaos created an apocoliptic envirnment in the in the city, symbolically occurring on the important city holiday of tax day (1st of Abadius in my version of Golarion).
The PCs liberated the Child Goddess from her metal box and she helped hault the battle field in the city after many citizens (of all alignments) and undead were destroyed. It was the child goddess' child like innocence, healing of internal struggles and anger, that ended the battle.
Because in my version of Kear Maga she occasionally visits the Therasic Spire to read when no one is watching, the child goddess is know as the Peacock Spirit by the monastic librarians. She was thus able to assist the PCs in obtaining copies of Pharasma's The Bones Land in a Spiral and Abadar's Manual of City Building from the librarians.
Those books are helping the party heal and rebuild Kaer Maga. Currently the PCs are setting up a new Republic of Kaer Maga (RKM) which outlaws slavery and undead, creating a form of government that works for all the people.
On a side note, Sail (from Curse of the Crimson Throne) is now in the flickering tower on the planet Verces, never having been killed as he begged for. The players don't know yet but this is a seed for the next 5th Ed campaign I'll be running.
There are still some loose ends the party needs to close up but they have completed all the main story arches in a very creative and satisfying way. We'll warp up after they get to 20th level so we can experience the full level 1 to 20 power curve. In short, like all other editions he power curve is out of blanace but 5th ed has the flattest and easiest to work with of all the editons, including PRPG.
As a DM I've used only about 30% of the source material from Princess of the Appocolips. Creating that let 70% in a way as to be consistent with Golarion canon as been a labor of love. I highly recommend anyone follow the path I did.
Long live the Free City Republic of Kaer Maga!!