So, my regular group is into the final stretch of Skulls & Shackles, and I'm looking at what I want to run next. After some discussion with the group, several of them are quite interested in Jade Regent, but after some consideration, I've had an idea that I'd like some input on.
So, to preface: Most of my group are... not especially familiar with Golarion or related lore. they play a lot of different games, and are good roleplayers, but the Skulls & Shackles campaign was basically this group's introduction to Pathfinder (as a system) and Golarion (as a setting).
Now, having played part of Jade Regent myself, I admit I wasn't overly impressed with the first portion of The Brinewall Legacy; while Brinewall Castle itself is awesome, the section poking around in the swamp just didn't catch me. Furthermore, it doesn't do a very good job of actually introducing any of the NPCs or giving the players reason to be invested in them.
So, what I'd kind of like to do would be cut out the swamp section of the book, and replace it with Burnt Offerings (book 1 of Rise of the Runelords), edited somewhat to remove the RotR-related plot stuff and add in Jade Regent-related plot stuff.
At its most basic, here's the changes that I think would need to be made to Burnt Offerings:
1) The Catacombs of Wrath are irrelevant and distracting, so cut them entirely.
2) Similarly, the lower level of Thistletop (where the barghest is) is also irrelevant. However, in this case, I think it would be workable to replace it with a passage into a cave sequence where the Kaijitsu's Blossom ran aground, and where the party can encounter Tutsamu and related plot hooks.
I don't think Nualia or her plans really need to change: on their own, they're not really directly linked to the overarching plot of RotR, and stand pretty well on their own. Tweak Orik to use Tien equipment (scavenged from the Kaijitsu Star) and have Lyrie be studying records and objects taken from the wreck of the Blossom (below Thistletop), things should be pretty straightforward.
After Thistletop, the PCs would then get the letter from Rokuro and the plot hook to proceed to Brinewall, and the adventure path would continue as normal. This would probably involve boosting the CR of Brinewall Castle and book 2 to account for the extra content early on, but I'm fine with that.
I'd like some input, though: How well do folks think this would work? Would more changes need to be made? If so, where would be good places to tweak in additional foreshadowing/plot hooks for Jade Regent-related stuff?
The opening sequence to Burnt Offerings, arm the little guys with some fireworks, scavenged from the Kaijitsu Blossom, instead of torches. Starcandles, papercandles, and one or two starfountains for setting a building on fire. Change them to bakemono if you want by making them strength focused instead of dexterity focused.
I actually did this as my opening to Jade Regent instead of some of the swamp stuff, too. Except instead of having the party start outside during the Swallowtail Festival, I had them in the common room of the inn. A bakemono burst in and starts gleefully firing off a starcandle, creating a stampede of commoners. Only the (future) party members do anything constructive and it bonds them from the get go as they chase him outside to see pandemonium.