My thoughts on an Arcadia AP


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I'm cool with trains, as long as they include rules for chases and fighting on top of them.


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Dragon78 wrote:
We can have guns, space ships, robots, lasers, bombs, etc. but we can't have trains, something is wrong with this picture.

Nope that´s allright! At least as long as we don´t really have all that in our rl :D

Trains and wild west or closeby victorian era and steampunk stuff isn´t far enough away for my taste there.


Well whose to say what exist in Arcadia. But since Arcadia is the Americas analog in this setting it would be one of the most likely places for trains especially since the Inner Sea doesn't have them.


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I think that´s more Manawastes and Alkenstar material actually.


What about an AP where halfish of the party is Arcadian and halfish is Inner Sea (and the NPCs are similarly split). You need to earn each other's trust (and the trust of the NPCs). The bad guys could be a similar alliance of Arcadians and Inner Sea folk.

One of my current characters is an Arcadian mythic half-giant psychic warrior, using Iroquois (of which I am descended) mythology and fluff. (her tribe is descended from humans and storm giants, as storm iconography features largely in Iroquois myths)


Teleportation to Arcadia is problematic because of the following.

1. The regular teleport spell DOES have a range limit. Arcadia is simply too far for this spell to work.

2. You also need to have at least some idea of the location for the spell to have even a chance of working. And it has to be something a tad more specific than the continent of Arcadia.


Dragon78 wrote:
Well whose to say what exist in Arcadia. But since Arcadia is the Americas analog in this setting it would be one of the most likely places for trains especially since the Inner Sea doesn't have them.

It's supposed to be the analog for Primitive America, with all the civilisations and tribes that existed before the European extermination of them. So don't even expect to find wheels... save as children's toys.


Too bad we don't have much background of alternate history in which pre-colonial Americas or Africa develop advanced technology on their own -- only things that come to mind immediately are Shadowrun (cyberpunk RPG) for the Americas and Farnham's Freehold for Africa (Robert Heinlein novel), and both of those are future settings.


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Teleporting to Arcadia is not a problem if you have a spellcaster in the party who has sufficient knowledge of an Arcadian colony town and can cast Greater Teleport.

One major difference between the real world Americas and Golarion's Arcadia is that if there is to be anything like the major die-off of the native population in Arcadia, it already occurred long enough ago that the population would have had plenty of time to recover. Note that Avistani explorers first reached Arcadia hundreds if not thousands of years ago, so the Arcadians will have built up some immunity to Avistani diseases.

As depicted in the Segada chapter of Distant Shores, the Arcadians are more than a match for the limited number of Avistani who have visited or settled in Arcadia so far. I think you could just as well build an AP around a band of Arcadians trying to colonize some thinly settled part of Avistan or Garund as you could around the more expected band of Avistani colonizing Arcadia.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Too bad we don't have much background of alternate history in which pre-colonial Americas or Africa develop advanced technology on their own -- only things that come to mind immediately are Shadowrun (cyberpunk RPG) for the Americas and Farnham's Freehold for Africa (Robert Heinlein novel), and both of those are future settings.

The Amerind cultures of the lower Americas developed sophisticated cities, including some rather advanced building techniques demonstrated at places such as Macchu Pichu. (however that's spelled!) They developed analogs to the Chinese abacus and built settlements that supported considerable populations. We're considerably far from knowing all of their secrets.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Well whose to say what exist in Arcadia. But since Arcadia is the Americas analog in this setting it would be one of the most likely places for trains especially since the Inner Sea doesn't have them.
It's supposed to be the analog for Primitive America, with all the civilisations and tribes that existed before the European extermination of them. So don't even expect to find wheels... save as children's toys.

I wouldn't expect things to play out like this. The dev's have already stated that they are drawing inspirations from Arcadia, and not adapting things whole cloth. I can't recall if Adam Daigle has flat out stated it, but it's at least heavily implied that many Arcadians nations are on par with Avistan as far as technological/magical development.

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MMCJawa is correct. Many people tend to think of Arcadia as an analog for "Primitive America," but that's not truly the case. We haven't done much with Arcadia, and there's more to see, but people hoping for Arcadia to have a direct analog to specific Native American cultures are possibly going to be disappointed going forward.

And yeah, Arcadia certainly has areas and elements that are probably even more advanced than Avistan. (But that all lives in my notes for now.) Heck, Segada has mechanical lifts and a steel-reinforced bridge.


Not to mention a bad ass view. :-)


I want to see what's running over that steel-reinforced bridge.


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Aroden. His death was greatly exaggerated, instead he left the decadence and corruption of Avistan behind and went West. In Arcadia he is known by a hundred names, and it is from here that he shall "return". His glorious return/invasion of the Inner Sea will Herald a new age for the planet.


What could be going over that bridge...trains, cars, rainbow colored ponies, dinosaur pulled stage coaches, you never know;)

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Or, most likely, the people of Segada. It's not a train bridge or else I would have said that.

The wyrwoods that live in Segada assisted in building the bridge, but (and this isn't in the text because I didn't have the room) the materials and design were purchased from the Land of Northern Lakes (as well as the climbers), which strongly suggests a higher level of engineering and materials science. The leadership of Segada not only wants the best for their citizens, but they also understand that as the gateway for Avistanis, they should present a bold and advanced face.


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Land of Northern Lakes.

Allowing that no direct analogue is really in the works (or even all that desirable),are we talking an Algonquin-inspired region as the engineering go-to? 'Cause if so, that's awesome.


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That would make for an interesting inversion of the usual "colonization" story - have the AP start out with an attempted colony. It is failing, the PCs are struggling to find food and supplies... and come across a more advanced group who take pity on the primitive colonists and with a decent Diplomacy roll or in exchange for helping with some fetch quest, actually helps out the colony and keeps it from dying.

In fact, it could end up like Roanoke - one theory on the missing colony is that the Europeans decided to go native and joined the Native American tribes (who honestly treated women better on average than the Europeans). Eventually the PCs might have to choose whether to fight against the next wave of "colonists" who want to force the colony to "rejoin" the Cheliax Empire or some other colonial empire. (Cheliax works well for this because they're already evil so there's little reason NOT to ally with the indigenous groups against the Cheliax incursion.)

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Cue a million people whining about the "Dances With Wolves" AP. ^_^


Cole Deschain wrote:

Land of Northern Lakes.

Allowing that no direct analogue is really in the works (or even all that desirable),are we talking an Algonquin-inspired region as the engineering go-to? 'Cause if so, that's awesome.

Actually, the name makes me think that that's the part of Arcadia where they make butter . . . .


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Oh! I'm in the part of Arcadia that makes butter!


They are more advanced then that, they make margarine;)


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Margarine is NOT advanced, anyone that tells you differently is a damn dirty liar. :-)

If anything, an advanced society wouldn't feel the need to poison it's citizens so horribly. :-)


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Well the use of dairy products, especially from cows, is the opposite of advanced though in my eyes.
Some properly 12 month naturaly aged cheese could be accepted there, but goat and sheep are the way to go normaly.
And spraycan cheese is a downfall into the deepest dark age barbarism possible at all!

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After reading 1491 by Charles Man and getting a sense of how strange the world of the Mayan would have been just from a civil engineering point of view. Not being reliant upon agriculture and herd animals causing the layout of cities and villages to be so spread out it must have looked very alien to an outsider that may have come from Eurasia. To have that represented in a fantasy context would be really fun. I can imagine cities with floura growing wild and being a part of the infrastructure in ways that can only be imagined in the context of a fantasy world.

Even exploration of the open plains and/or warlike societies such as Apache and Iroquois given a fantastic make-over would be fun and exciting to adventure and experience in a game setting.


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Hayato Ken wrote:

Well the use of dairy products, especially from cows, is the opposite of advanced though in my eyes.

Some properly 12 month naturaly aged cheese could be accepted there, but goat and sheep are the way to go normaly.
And spraycan cheese is a downfall into the deepest dark age barbarism possible at all!

Spray can cheese is NOT cheese!!!!!!!!


Spray can cheese is a cheese-like food product;)


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Not any cheese I've ever had, or inspected.

Captain Yesterday fun fact: I was once a cheese inspector at a cheese factory.


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I am originally from the town where Sargentos is based. (also it is VERY close to Johnsonville, of the bratwurst fame) So, born and bred to like both cheese and sausage.


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I toured that factory as a kid. :-)

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Sonnuvabeetch! Reading this is making me hungry!


captain yesterday wrote:

Margarine is NOT advanced, anyone that tells you differently is a damn dirty liar. :-)

If anything, an advanced society wouldn't feel the need to poison it's citizens so horribly. :-)

Butter sends my wife into anaphylactic shock, so I disagree here.

On the actual subject? I don't particularly like the author's approach, but as the developers have said that Arcadia is an advanced civilization, just in different ways, I don't think it's a fit. I'm curious to see what they actually do with it, and hope they do, but for the present time I've cancelled my subscriptions due to not caring for anything of the Cthulhu Mythos, and hobgoblins boring the crap out of me.

Here's to hoping I even care next year.


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Well yes, I can understand your position on margarine then. :-)


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Blessed are the cheesemakers and any manufacturers of dairy products.

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Benjamin Medrano wrote:

On the actual subject? I don't particularly like the author's approach, but as the developers have said that Arcadia is an advanced civilization, just in different ways, I don't think it's a fit. I'm curious to see what they actually do with it, and hope they do, but for the present time I've cancelled my subscriptions due to not caring for anything of the Cthulhu Mythos, and hobgoblins boring the crap out of me.

Here's to hoping I even care next year.

On Arcadia being advanced, I hope so parts are. Among the First Nation folks there certainly were advanced, comparitively so, but there were also less advanced ones living in a different balance with their environment. I hope any exploration of Arcadia in large would reflect this diversity with vast open prairie, sprawling deserts and ancient dense forests.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Not any cheese I've ever had, or inspected.

Captain Yesterday fun fact: I was once a cheese inspector at a cheese factory.

Ok. Were that actually your player characters or were you the GM or just a coach? :D

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I certainly hope that when Arcadia is eventually explored, it will be varied enough to support various tropes. Like a trains and sixshooters region where Avistan has Numeria, a jungles and pyramids region where the Inner Sea has Mwangi, an arctic whale hunting region where Avistan has Linnormland, great plains, desert cliff wall cities and all of that stuff.


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J-Bone wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

On the actual subject? I don't particularly like the author's approach, but as the developers have said that Arcadia is an advanced civilization, just in different ways, I don't think it's a fit. I'm curious to see what they actually do with it, and hope they do, but for the present time I've cancelled my subscriptions due to not caring for anything of the Cthulhu Mythos, and hobgoblins boring the crap out of me.

Here's to hoping I even care next year.

On Arcadia being advanced, I hope so parts are. Among the First Nation folks there certainly were advanced, comparitively so, but there were also less advanced ones living in a different balance with their environment. I hope any exploration of Arcadia in large would reflect this diversity with vast open prairie, sprawling deserts and ancient dense forests.

What "advanced" means can also be discussed.

Depending on your philosophy, our dependancy on technology and energy paired with an unnatural lifestyle and "food" might not look advanced at all.
Older cultures sustained huge cities with their farming and watering methods and build amazing stuff with "crude" tools, all that is lost to us today. They were advanced in their own meaning.

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I want Native American Lord of the Rings. Before Lord of the Rings, our vision of european mythology (elves, dwarves, etc) was very different than the traditional fantasy of today. We need a treatment of American mythology to be like that. Bold, with Sasquatch PC race, shapechangers, etc.

Best way to introduce this would be a trek across Arcadia on an epic fetch/escort quest (but unlike Jade Regent you spend the whole time in Arcadia). All for Arcadian PCs as well as foreigners via the Linnorm colony, and have the PCs dive headfirst into the setting.

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Coridan wrote:

I want Native American Lord of the Rings. Before Lord of the Rings, our vision of european mythology (elves, dwarves, etc) was very different than the traditional fantasy of today. We need a treatment of American mythology to be like that. Bold, with Sasquatch PC race, shapechangers, etc.

Best way to introduce this would be a trek across Arcadia on an epic fetch/escort quest (but unlike Jade Regent you spend the whole time in Arcadia). All for Arcadian PCs as well as foreigners via the Linnorm colony, and have the PCs dive headfirst into the setting.

For the sucess of that AP,it MUST ONLY BE IN ARCADIA! That is a definite if Regent taught us anything.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Technically, you don't have to have steam-powered trains to have steampunk -- think of a world in which suburban sprawl, corrupt government policy, and a culture of extreme individualism enabled the steam automobile to drive the steam train extinct. Now THAT'S scary . . . .

I see what you did there ;)

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I was recently studying up on the Iroquois story/legend of Hiawatha and its full of wonderful fantasy elements of demons, forests and its creatures manipulated by evil forces, warfare and eventual peace. The thing is, in a setting based around the First Nations there are a wide variety of amazing fantasy elements that are intrinsic to those lands. I can only hope we get an AP out there that draws from those elements.

That said, I do think that there would have to be some kind of access point for western style characters to experience this world. Not in the same was as Jade Regent, but perhaps a way that travelers from the other continents could be present but certainly not as a starting point. The outposts of Cheliax and Andoran serve as an example as do Linorm raiders. But if this were to happen I hope it would give those as options and not starting point requirements.

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