Northern / Eastern Garund (Golden Road, Impossible Lands) campaigns?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I’ve recently fallen in love with Garund as a perfectly viable campaign setting unto itself, but where I’m stumbling is how distinct each nation feels; I can imagine a campaign set in Qadira or one set in Jalmeray, but almost none that span multiple countries.

What plots can you imagine (or even better, have actually gotten to a table!) that span these Meta-Regions?

EDIT: (A tangential question; what have people done with PCs from Geb? It feels like there’s no good undead-y Ancestry option, and I don’t know what kind of presence Dhampirs have there).

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Well Hell's Vengeance's dhamphir necromancer pregen was from Geb. Though I think if ye make character from geb ye would probably make someone not part of the ruling caste

Anyhoo, most of the Lost Omen settings' countries are fairly self contained, only ones that aren't tend to be any country that has dealings with Cheliax or the ones that are apocalyptic threats to everyone surrounding them.

In case of Golden Road, all of the countries there tend to be fairly self contained and only really connected by the trade route. They DO have historical conflicts, but currently mostly focused on separate things. Qadira is bit awkward in its role as "Taste of Kelesh Empire until we some day actually get Casmaron detailed"(and mostly focused on its rivalry with Taldor), Osirion is currently focused aftermath of letting people explore pyramids, Thuvia is Switzerland of the place when it comes to being involved, Rahadoum is most hostile to other nations but its not like they are performing invasive wars currently and Katapesh is undergoing through changes but still city state focused on profit.

Most interesting international things about Golden Road is from Lost Omen Legends, though Mother of Medicine plot and Fight for Abolition plot goes beyond border of just single region.

In case of Impossible Lands international conflict is mostly run by Geb and Nex as all countries in that region are connected to those two(Mana Wastes is result of war between them, Jalmeray used to be controlled by Nex). If hot war between Geb and Nex would start again, it would affect all nations in that region.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Qadira is bit awkward in its role as "Taste of Kelesh Empire until we some day actually get Casmaron detailed"(and mostly focused on its rivalry with Taldor)

I want that Casmaron book so bad. Arcadia and Southern Garund first, ideally, but that would be an instant purchase.

Quote:

Most interesting international things about Golden Road is from Lost Omen Legends, though Mother of Medicine plot and Fight for Abolition plot goes beyond border of just single region.

In case of Impossible Lands international conflict is mostly run by Geb and Nex as all countries in that region are connected to those two(Mana Wastes is result of war between them, Jalmeray used to be controlled by Nex). If hot war between Geb and Nex would start again, it would affect all nations in that region.

I feel like those are the three most obvious plotlines: "What do the aboleths want in the region?," "Try and strike some decisive blow against slavery (Qadira seems poised to outlaw it as of LO: Legends)," and "Nex returns and war with Geb either needs to be stopped or be won (which could double as an Alkenstar plot about being caught in the middle." There's also the hook teased in the 1e Qadira book about a succession crisis at the heart of the empire would likely allow the satrap to slip the leash and start a war with Taldor.

Jalmeray really does feel like the odd man out. I want to love it, but it feels very self-contained, and typecast as 'the Vudrani martial arts place.'

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Yeah Jalmeray has bit of issue of "Taste of stuff in from Casmaron" as well <_<

Like it clearly exists just to have presence of Indian theme stuff in Inner Sea area without having to have actual country based on it in the region.

(I think best comparison for Jalmarey is actually Amanandar: Both are essentially "Little Taldor/Vudra" colonies and their only purpose seems to be to have "country that brings flavor of the other place closer to their respective continent")

That doesn't mean it can't be made interesting, good time to remind that Druma was extremely boring place before the Druma book xD


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CorvusMask wrote:

Yeah Jalmeray has bit of issue of "Taste of stuff in from Casmaron" as well <_<

Like it clearly exists just to have presence of Indian theme stuff in Inner Sea area without having to have actual country based on it in the region.

(I think best comparison for Jalmarey is actually Amanandar: Both are essentially "Little Taldor/Vudra" colonies and their only purpose seems to be to have "country that brings flavor of the other place closer to their respective continent")

That doesn't mean it can't be made interesting, good time to remind that Druma was extremely boring place before the Druma book xD

That Druma book really changed my perspective on Druma, and interest therein. I'd love to see Jalmeray get a similarly interesting approach.


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Trying to incorporate as many countries as possible sounds like a classic excuse for a 'employer wants you to pick something up and then you find out there's yet another thing ' situation. Which can annoy players sometimes, but if the GM is lucky they might also have a lot of fun.

I had an idea of how a quest might go down, but instead of an outline it turned into some fiction in my head of how such a journey might go. I'll put it in spoilers as it's an obnoxious wall of text otherwise. Actually, it's an obnoxious wall of text regardless but it got into my head so I whipped out a rough draft.

Warrior Wanted:

His name was Tabor Al'Nehet, a Garund of a minor clan who had worked his way to a better if still challenging life, but as he was a soldier of fortune, a sword for hire, he often promoted himself as Tabor Steel-arm. He liked to think it was not too arrogant a boast. His dark skinned arms were indeed hard and strong from a life of training and battle.

"Now, you told me that if heard this job offer out, you'd tell me how you came to needing some new muscle for your quest?" Tabor sipped his cup of quwwa and looked at the group of self styled adventurers who were eager to recruit him.

They were a scattered lot. A twitchy little gnome fellow with eyes the dark purple color of the sky just after the sun had vanished entirely from view, and her hair a lighter lavender leaned in a bit too close examining him. The Kelish woman in black and white priestly robes was more reserved in expression but her eyes seemed every moving; the duality fit a servant of Nethys he thought. The man with them appeared to be of Garundi blood, but only partly. Instead of the typical premature white that Tabor's people often fell too, this man's was a mix of fiery copper and brass in hue. They seemed to shift and flicker on their own accord meaning they did not fall down to conceal the small red horns. Ifri blood, no doubt, was in the sorcerer.

Frankly, between a gnome, a cleric of a mad god, and a man whose blood was filled with the heritage of the untrusty Efeet's power, Tabor was already thinking this might be the wrong group to ally with. But they were paying for the drink, and he had grown very bored of guarding caravans. One thing this group didn't look was boring. He'd hear them out.

"It's a long story," the priestess said, her almost resigned, "You see, we were hired by an official of Quadira, one in the diplomatic corps tasked with opening more trade and better relations with Osirion's people. Something to show we had moved on from the occupation of the past."

The gnome piped up, tut tutting, "You know how it is, you subjugate one nation for a millennia or so and it's all anyone talks about."

"Not helpful, Xindi," the Ifrit muttered over his own drink, that did not seem to be cooling even with time.

"My father is Osirion," Tabor said dryly, "I am familiar with the story. Please go on."

The holy woman continued, "This official had heard rumors of a burial site, of an ancient Pharaoh's beloved. I do not need to tell you how Osirion treasure all things related to their pharaohs"

Tabor smiled at that "We consider them divine. I hope the notion does not offend?"

"My own god was mortal once," The cleric shrugged, "the problem was, our employer had nothing more to go on than an old scroll, a small figurine, and rumor. All three of which were traced to Kapatesh. And so I, Xindi, Cinder, and Nassur..."
"Nassur was our first warrior," Cinder, the sorcerer Ifrit explained, "Who tragically died."

Xindi shook her head "So so tragically," she shot the sorcerer a look and tutted.

The Ifrit bristled "I keep reminding you, and Mareem, I didn't start that fight, and I had no idea when the fire spread that a major component of the buttery dish Nassur had spilled on himself while gorging had whale oil as an ingredient"
Tabor's eyebrows shot up.

"There he blows.. up," Xindi made a respectful religious gesture in front of herself as she cast her large purple eyes skyward.

"The barrel next to him had more to do with it than what was on his face," Mareem, at least that appeared to be her name, made her own gesture to her god, and then continued "From Kapatesh's grand bazaar we acquired a map-"

"It had fallen off a cart!" Xindi chimed!

"Yes, Xindi, of course it did," Cleric and sorcerer said in almost rehearsed unity.

Tabor coughed into his hand, "And?"

"We also," Cinder continued, taking over the narration, "Picked up a guide, a ranger to replace Nassur, and help us make easy travel into Rahadoum. With a cleric with us, we wanted to avoid the main roads as much as possible. Rekla Skypath had a contrary streak, but she proved a good guide"

Tabor was glad he was not drinking when this was said, "Why did you go to Rahadoum to find a Pharaoh's bride?"

"It's where her tomb was," Cinder explained, "This was a pharaoh from the time when much much of Garund's north was united under the Osirion rod of rulership. It was meant to be a shrine eternal to his bride and celebrated as such."

"It's VERY romantic when you think about it," Xindi made a happy sigh like she might try a swoon.

"A shrine, in Rahadoum? To a 'demigoddess' bride of an ancient conqueror?" Tabor was a simple man but he knew enough of the country to realize how that would be received by the authorities.

"You see our challenge," Mareem sighed and took over "Yes, we encountered quite a few dangers even before we went into the fields of stone. So named, we learned, because it had basilisks in the area about the tomb. We managed to evade the worst of them on the way in, but on the way out, we had a ... miscommunication."

"Miscommunication," Cinder snorted and looked at Xindi.

"I shouted a warning, I meant to say 'Don't dare look behind you!'" Xindi protested "So my Dwarvish was a little off."

"It's not a little when what you actually said was 'I dare you to look behind you'," Cinder threw up his hands.

"There was another basilisk. We intended to rescue Relka later, find a way to turn her back to flesh, but it turns out a local giant raided the place for 'new miniatures' for some game he and other giants played. We have no idea where she is now," Mareem blushed, "We were all mortified, of course."

"Except Relka, she was Petrified," Xindi corrected needlessly.

Tabor found himself wishing he'd gotten a stronger drink, "Well, at least you got the body of the Bride An Urn, something?" Then he realized that couldn't be the case or their quest would be done.

"She was missing her head," The cleric said, "I did what I could to preserve the main body, but we found clues that a group of opportunists-"

"Not upstanding adventurers like ourselves, of course" Cinder cut in.

"Yes, well, they had cut he head off to sell it to an alchemist in Merab, in Thuvia" Mareem explained, "Apparently they'd been sent for basilisk blood, but decided the head of an ancient 'princess' would be good for a potion or two. One of the brigands had dropped a missive with the alchemist's name on it. That's how we knew where to go."

"Of course, before we could leave that God forsaken country, our cleric got spotted by an ironically overzealous group of
Rahadoum guardsman, and we had a bit of a kerfluffle there," Cinder explained even as he glanced at Mareem, "Our priestess lost her temper when they refused to just let her leave across the border promptly."

"I'm not proud of my behavior there," Mareem admitted, "Mostly because it was a waste of a good scroll."

"Watching them run from the rust monsters was funny though," Xindi admitted.

"Regardless, cross the border we did, and Thuvia was far more welcoming, it was there we found Gazim. Though he was more as much brigand as warrior as he later proved," Cinder said and the others nodded, "He was good in a fight, but when we met with the Alchemist to bargain for the head, Gazim tried to steal his most valuable potions when we were haggling..."

"Amateur," Xindi scoffed, then cleared her throat, "I mean, bad Gazim, bad wicked Gazim."

"Of course, when he was caught doing that, we ourselves sought to bring him to justice," Mareem explained, "In his haste to overpower us and escape, he grabbed the first stolen product he had taken, which was marked 'strength' and he scarfed it down. He learned a very valuable lesson for it led to his death."

The gnome nodded sagely, "Never swallow an alchemical suppository."

This time, Tabor was mid drink, and lost some of his drink in a coughing fit. By the gods, these three were cursed! "Did you get the head?"

"Yes, and then we lost it, you see the alchemist was so intrigued, he wanted to use an ointment to restore the body entirely to wholeness as if she'd just died yesterday," Mareem said, "So we went on a bit of a scavenger hunt for some necessary ingredients. However, the alchemist got greedy and asked for greater ingredients than required. "

"For once it was on someone outside of the group," Xindi said, "What a relief."

"Dragon's blood, for example, was a bit much," Mareem went on, "The body was put together, the restoration cast and... well, she became alive."

"Undead?" Tabor gasped imagining such a scourge upon the world.

"Yes!" Xindi nodded, then shook her head just as quickly "But no. She was dead, then she was un -deaded, meaning it acted like some sort of resurrection.!"

"Perhaps there is something divine in the girl after all," Mareem pondered, "How ever it happened, we thought we best get her to our employer. Unfortunately, the alchemist kidnapped her, and is on the run. Apparently he thinks marrying her will give him some right to claim the throne of Osirion."

"That's insane!" Tabor gasped.

"For us, this was a Wealday," Cinder said dryly, "The poor girl is rather suggestable right now. If we don't' rescue her soon, that insane alchemist may have her ready to conquer with or without him. It will be a diplomatic disaster for the storybooks."

"So we need new muscle," Xindi chirped, "Want in. Fourth time is blessed as we gnomes say!"

Tabor gaped at them, "My father's homeland may have a lost demi god, or mad woman, which ever she is, assembling forces at the behest of a conquer minded alchemist to try take the throne of the current Pharaoh, an incident, even if it fails , will possibly lead to a war with Qadira?" And without waiting for an answer, he buried his head in his hands.

Eyes covered as they were, Tabor could not see the Mareem nodding, or Cinder's hapless shrug. He could hear though.

So Xindi's delighted cry of, "See, he's looking like one of us already," came in loud and clear.

Pardon the typos , errors in grammar, etc.


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Okay SO many typos. :o

Long story short (TLDR) : rumor of Ancient Pharaoh's bride discovered by Qadira official, he seeks to parley this into good will with Osirion's government, and sends adventurers for clues. Turns out the clues lead to Rahadoum but the tomb has already been partly raided. Restoration of the corpse may require an ointment from Thuvia... and Pharoah's bride some how comes alive.. hilarity and complications ensue


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Ridge wrote:

Okay SO many typos. :o

Long story short (TLDR) : rumor of Ancient Pharaoh's bride discovered by Qadira official, he seeks to parley this into good will with Osirion's government, and sends adventurers for clues. Turns out the clues lead to Rahadoum but the tomb has already been partly raided. Restoration of the corpse may require an ointment from Thuvia... and Pharoah's bride some how comes alive.. hilarity and complications ensue

I recommend reading the full story. It is brilliant.


Evan Tarlton wrote:
Ridge wrote:

Okay SO many typos. :o

Long story short (TLDR) : rumor of Ancient Pharaoh's bride discovered by Qadira official, he seeks to parley this into good will with Osirion's government, and sends adventurers for clues. Turns out the clues lead to Rahadoum but the tomb has already been partly raided. Restoration of the corpse may require an ointment from Thuvia... and Pharoah's bride some how comes alive.. hilarity and complications ensue

I recommend reading the full story. It is brilliant.

Nice of you to say, thanks. Though I didn't include the Impossible lands so arguably not quite what Keftiu wanted


Book of the Dead has me thinking about this an awful lot


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Ridge, excellent writing!


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Guns & Gears reminded me of this thread, and so I wanted to pitch: a campaign where you play as caravan guards on the trade route from Alkenstar, through the Ndele Gap, into the wilder parts of the Mwangi Expanse, and then into Kibwe and finally Vidrian. You get make that journey feel really epic, and “black powder and sorcery African fantasy” is a pretty unique niche for the genre.


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It is pretty amusing that the Mwangi probably has better access to firearms than Avistan does.


SOLDIER-1st wrote:
It is pretty amusing that the Mwangi probably has better access to firearms than Avistan does.

I’m not sure I get what’s amusing about that?


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The main firearm technology Alkenstar is exporting is flintlocks, which don’t work particularly well in wet conditions. Since the Mwangi is largely tropical rainforest, they would not likely be super impressed by the weapons. So it’s amusing that one of the nations that is least likely to use firearm technology has much better access to it than most other places that would likely be at the least modestly pleased at having such access.


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SOLDIER-1st wrote:
The main firearm technology Alkenstar is exporting is flintlocks, which don’t work particularly well in wet conditions. Since the Mwangi is largely tropical rainforest, they would not likely be super impressed by the weapons. So it’s amusing that one of the nations that is least likely to use firearm technology has much better access to it than most other places that would likely be at the least modestly pleased at having such access.

I mean, Alkenstar’s guns have already broken from historical firearms pretty significantly, given that they’re relatively quick breech-loading flintlocks.

Plus, we know Vidrian is keenly interested in buying guns and cannons, and I bet the troubled Mbe’ke fleet is considering stocking up on some as well. I wonder what Mbe’ke-Dongun relations are like…

I appreciate the explanation, though! I was feeling pretty lose.


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To necro this slightly: I think the obvious connective thread for the Garund half of the Inner Sea is trade (their northern neighbors, meanwhile, are bound mostly by horrific disasters and ancient threats), and I think you have a lot of potential for really neat adventuring!

There's the obvious run West from Alkenstar through the Barrier Wall mountains into the Mwangi Expanse and onward to Vidrian (or the Shackles), if you're trading in firearms, cannons, and black powder - and you might even tack on a Jalmeri origin for your explosive materials. Gebbite grain feeds Nex and Alkenstar, Rahadoum and Nex hunger for magical components, Thuvia needs alchemical materials, Katapesh supplies everyone with everything, and Qadira represents both heavy imperial coffers and access to the foreign goods of Casmaron and Tian Xia.

You'd deal with everything from bandits to djinn, Mana Wastes mutants to demonic cultists (remember that Usaro still has that massive cannon they looted from Taldor?), all sorts of gnolls... it might be too overstuffed for a single campaign, but there's a lot of potential here.

Liberty's Edge

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Clear a new safer trade road, with parts underground and even extraplanar, and make new strange friends along the way.


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I'd love a caravan AP. That was my favorite part of Extinction Curse, actually, traveling with this group of performers across the countryside, encountering people dealing with traumatic loss, and bringing a little joy back into their lives as you adventure – unraveling this forgotten story as you visit ancient temples and recover artifacts of incredible power along the way. Felt like a classic Nintendo game, almost. Incredible atmosphere. More APs like that would make me a very happy GM. Travel and exploration are my favorite part of the Pathfinder experience.


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Opsylum wrote:
I'd love a caravan AP. That was my favorite part of Extinction Curse, actually, traveling with this group of performers across the countryside, encountering people dealing with traumatic loss, and bringing a little joy back into their lives as you adventure – unraveling this forgotten story as you visit ancient temples and recover artifacts of incredible power along the way. Felt like a classic Nintendo game, almost. Incredible atmosphere. More APs like that would make me a very happy GM. Travel and exploration are my favorite part of the Pathfinder experience.

It would be a beast to write, but a caravan campaign that had branching routes would be a joy. "We can either risk the mountain crossing at the Ndele Gap or try to convince the Kulenett dwarves to let us take their underground highway" is a fun decision to be able to make.


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So – real quick, as I'm reading the new pdf – just wanted to shout out to Jessica Catalan for creating basically the above scenario in Lost Mammoth Valley. The AP makes full use of hexploration as you lead the Broken Tusk tribe through a perilous valley. The scenario takes place over the course of several months, with guidelines about how long your group should be traveling before it hits narrative markers. There's basic environmental guidelines, a list of factions that hold sway over the region the party may need to have some interaction with, prescripted events that the GM can use anywhere, and a range of different locations (some of them hidden) describing what can be found on different hex-tiles that the PCs may never encounter, with a variety of different routes they can take to reach the end of the valley. Like the backmatter articles as well (while we're on the subject) especially the lore bits on animism, various giant and Sarkorian gods, and megafauna!

I feel like the scenario felt a little constrained simply because of page space available, but it does an incredibly concise job setting the stage for an evocative travel-heavy adventure. I'd love to see more of this, or even a mega-sized adventure to give creatives more opportunity to flex their muscles writing interesting locations my players will totally never see because they are crazy and paranoid.

So yeah, want to thank Paizo for doing scenarios like this. Seriously, your products are such a joy to read and play with.


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Jessica Catalan is one of the rockstars of the 2e team. I’ve loved everything I’ve read from her, and cannot wait to see what she does with the final book of Blood Lords.

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