Regarding Book 3 (GMs only)

Jade Regent

I heard that Book 3 is infamous for being a rather huge diversion from the main plotline. To the GMs who played or are currently playing the Adventure Path, what changes you did the make the book better? Or you just scrapped the entire thing and made something else in its place?

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I haven't run the AP but to get the discussion started the main issue is that Book 3 has a lot of hex crawling with little to no direct connection to the plot. The only consequence to the rest of the AP of ignoring it is the PCs being under-leveled when they reach the end.

If you want to hurry the story along and don't mind just handing the PCs a bunch of XP and some loot for stuff they've done off-screen while crossing the icy wastes, the easiest thing to do is just say something along the lines of 'you spend weeks in the ice, fighting monsters, freezing your unmentionables off, and trying to make friends with the natives before finally reaching Minkai'.

If you want to run through this book but want more connection with the overall plot, you need to put in a bit more work. Some of it can be easy. There is a yuki-onna who could be a member of the Kaijutsu's original trek to Avistan. Write up a bit more about her history, have her rant a bit about being left behind and try to kill Ameiko for being of family that abandoned her. There are also some other undead which could be from Minkai, and if you want to write some histories and motivations, the PCs might be able to talk to them and get some background (even recruit them, if you like). This would be a great way to give Ameiko and the PCs a hint of what to come, maybe learn some basic forms of courtesy so they don't stick out quite so much as dirty foreigners. Or if you don't want to have friendly undead there may be some treasure from the bodies that could give much of the same information, like journals.

There are several other, mostly optional, encounters you can replace with ninjas or have the Frozen Shadows hire/manipulate locals to attack the caravan. In this case you will have to have the FS involvement very obvious so the PCs feel this is a) an actual threat by the FS and b) a desperate move by a weakening enemy.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just warned my players that the third chapter was a survival adventure, and would be relatively self contained compared to the rest of the AP.

However, I did have players with a connection to Abyssal themes in their backstory so some of the stuff in the Crown will impact our post-AP adventures (players really want to hit level 20 with these characters).

But I think it's okay to ask your players if they're interested in playing an adventure that doesn't tie into the main plot, or would rather fast-forward past it, leave it in their hands (don't forget your enjoyment counts as well).

My players were just excited about the prospect of facing a powerful Dragon in its home territory.

I don't think it mattered (to me) that it didn't have much connection to the villains. The middle of the plot is about making a long, hard journey to get to Minkai, and this is certainly part of that. It gives the villains the chance to believe they're all dead, and rediscover them later.

The main problem is having to replace the caravan subsystem with encounters that actually involve the PCs (for reasons explored in other threads).

I suppose you could throw in a recurring villain, an Oni agent / master of disguise who has been going around telling the various villagers, Sithuud worshippers and Yeti that the PCs are enemies coming to kill them. This would help to explain why everyone seems to want to stop you passing by.

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Book 3 is not a diversion, or no more then Book 2 and 4. All are getting the characters from the castle to Minkai.
It has been commented on before that half the AP is getting you to Tian Xia, and another book to get to Minkai. So it is not a very Oriental AP.
I am running this and the party are just approaching the Forest of Spirits. My players found nothing wrong with book 3. We had long dropped the caravan rules.

Liberty's Edge

This AP is Strangers in a strange land, be it Viking lands, polar land, Mongolia, Forest of Kami and finally Japan.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When I ran Jade Regent, I subtitled it 'Journey to the East' to put the emphasis on the travel aspect which dominates the AP, and of course as a reference to the classic of Eastern literature which (as Overly Sarcastic Production puts it) kind of originates episodic anime encounters. In that context, the polar crossing seems a lot less disconnected, I think. (Although I did also throw in a Nogitsune assassin as they were getting close to the other side of the crossing.)

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