my players just finished the Iron gods book 1 and didnt like it. so they all want to start Jade regent. Is there anything I need to know if the party starts on book 2? we may just start book one.
also what is involved with the caravan combat system can I skip it?
what are a few things to keep in mind? when running this AP either from book one or 2?
Book 1 of Jade Regent, The Brinewall Legacy, establishes that Ameiko Kaijitsu of Sandpoint is really Ameiko Amatatsu, a potential heir to the Jade Throne in Minkai. She has the Amatatsu Seal as proof. She is also the last surviving heir, but only enemies to the throne know this.
The Brinewall Legacy also sets up a situation where any party member can be a substitute heir, in case Ameiko dies, but that is quite contrived and best ignored.
If you bring Ameiko in with her Amatatsu Seal and give the party a reason to support her, then you can start in Book 2, Night of Frozen Shadows. I actually had major changes in my party between Books 1 and 2, so I know that having several party members join the group in Karlsgard works fine.
My group played through Jade Regent without the caravan rules.
thanks! i hear bad things about the caravan rules.
The logistics side of the caravan rules are fine. It's caravan combat that is completely and utterly broken. It's not as obvious in Book 1, less obvious in Book 2, but it is huge issue in Book 3. The fundamental flaw is that the CR system assumes a party of 4 PC's (and the action economy to go with it), but the caravan is only one "PC" and thus the encounters are all way, way overpowered. It gets progressively worse as you level.
But the real problem with caravan combat, which persists even if you fix the issues with it, is that it's boring. There are no tactics and no variety. It's just a series of back-and-forth die rolls.
Turn your caravan encounters into regular encounters.