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Jade Regent – The Brinewall Legacy, Session 2

Second Session (13 page pdf) – We unearth a lot of beached ships in the swamp, and then best a samurai skeleton warrior! We put a caravan together to go check out the lost Kaijitsu secrets in Brinewall.

Our adventures continue in The Brinewall Legacy, the first chapter of the Jade Regent Adventure Path. I sure got my money’s worth from my samurai resolve ability that lets me stay up when at negative hit points.

I was pleased with my character development in this one – besides the fact that a lot of the plot points have to do with my family, my attempt to stand alone against the skeleton warrior to get beaten down and bailed out by my comrades is helping get Yoshihiro out of “personal glory” mode into more proper “all for one and one for all” mode.  It’ll be a while  yet, but that’s my intended arc.

V’lk being mute is a continued source of difficulty and amusement. His attempts to explain to us what he’s scouted sometimes go horribly awry. And then he really did just flip out and try to kill the toughs hanging around outside the inn.  He later explained that he wasn’t paying close attention and thought we were still in the wilderness and they were being more directly threatening…

Humorously, only two of us (me and Gobo) got a relationship point with Ameiko for giving her the scroll because no one else made it out of the brothel after their baths for their own demented reasons (Jacob – bisexual threeway; V’lk – handjob and book reading, Harwynian – afraid of getting dirty again).

Then we wrestled with the “caravan rules” as we planned our caravan to head north.  Having a large party (plus a horse) actually turned it into quite a task to balance out space and supplies and all. Here’s the kind of stuff we had to do…

I don’t mind the logistics planning though I’m not terribly fond of additional little minigames like “caravan combat” – and I hear from the Paizo boards that the rules are crappy and unbalanced.  Paul’s doing something else in their place I believe, but it’s not defined yet so that makes us not really able to make tactical choices. So we just tossed something together and we’ll see how it goes!

Jade Regent Chapter 1, The Brinewall Legacy, Session 1

Welcome to the first chapter of our Jade Regent campaign, The Brinewall Legacy! Our neophyte adventurers in Sandpoint are drawn into long-hidden secrets by their friends, relatives, and loved ones, all linked to Sandpoint inn-owner Ameiko Kaijitsu.

That’s right, it’s a new adventure path! Paul is GMing, having just finished GMing a couple-year-long Alternity Star*Drive based campaign. We have six players – Tim, Matt, Patrick, Chris, Bruce, and myself. Matt has been in the other games our large loosely affiliated group runs but hasn’t gamed with us on the Sunday games since a Savage Worlds campaign in 2009.

First Session (14 page pdf) – We meet our intrepid crew of adventurers, and are immediately dispatched to the swamp to fight goblins.  Oh, joy. We run right into the Licktoad Goblin village and carnage erupts.

It was a charge starting out in Sandpoint, because that’s where we started our Rise of the Runelords campaign (most of the same players, also run by Paul) so we had a lot of familiarity with the place. And of course they used one of Paizo’s signature monsters, the wildly popular insane goblins.

My idea for my character Hiro’s arc is for him to be a glory-seeking cavalier who over time realizes the true calling of service and becomes a samurai. That was off to a rollicking start as he charged his horse right into the goblin encampment and into a big mud pit that the others had to haul him ingloriously out of. There were plenty of hooks; as Ameiko Kaijitsu’s little brother all the Kaijitsu family historical secrets made motivation a no-brainer.

Also, Hiro was trained as a cavalier in Cheliax.  I liked how the halfling swamp guy got all offended when Hiro called him “peasant” or “farmer”; Hiro thought he was paying the guy a complement – a farmer’s a much higher status job than “dumbass living in a swamp” in Cheliax at least.

And we got two badges, the Halfling Rescuer badge (optional, though we never can pass up a home invasion) and the Goblin Killer badge (fairly required, I think, or else no pointer to the next part…).

Then there was some confusion that we use as an in-joke in many later sessions.  There was a shack in the swamp, with a shed outside it.  We were trying to investigate both as rat-creatures came from each. Paul kept mixing up the two words to the point where we kept thinking we were near the shack but were near the shed, or the squeaking was coming from the shed but we thought it was coming from the shack (which got me enveloped in a rat swarm, so it wasn’t that entertaining initially).  So now whenever a shack or a shed is encountered ever after we say “Wait… Is it a shack, or is it a shed?” Perhaps we should nickname Paul “Two Sheds” as a multi-level homage.

We got a lot done, and a lot of role-playing, it was a very long first session and we were going on all cylinders.

Jade Regent Character Creation Rules

Here’s the rules we are using for our Jade Regent campaign from our GM Paul, with some explanations from me.

Allowed Rulebooks

APG is in, the Ultimate books are out (although during the campaign you will have the chance to pick up Japanese-style weapons and maybe even to get trained for levels in ninja or samurai).  [Ed: Paizo has been overwhelming us with new rules over the last  year, and frankly a lot of it isn’t well balanced.  We haven’t been allowing Ultimate Magic or Ultimate Combat in any of our games so far. In my Reavers campaign it’s core only, anything else by specific GM inclusion or asking me.]

Chargen Methods

Stats are 4d6 drop the lowest, arrange as you will. If your stat block sucks you may use the point-buy method, this time around I’m setting point-buy at High Fantasy, 20 points. Standard races are all in, but if you want something other than that let me know and we’ll talk about it. No evil races or monster races will be allowed though.
Evil characters are not a good fit for this particular campaign.

FATE Aspects and FATE Points

Aspects! Please write 3 aspects for your character before you reach the gaming table, we will create 2 more for each character when we get together for the first session. The first three should be as follows:The first aspect should be a description of your character’s archetype, such as “Half-orc sorcerer in tune with nature’s fury”, “Physically perfectionist elven wizard”, or “Charming Sunderer”. Try to make sure your character’s core competency makes it into your first aspect.

The second aspect should describe your character’s trouble, the main weakness or stumbling block that keeps causing trouble for the character. It can be a personality trait that causes trouble for the character, or it can be something bad that just keeps happening to him for some inexplicable reason. Examples: “Why did it have to be fairies?”, “Vengeful over hurt pride”, “Family Man”.

For the third aspect, think about what motivates your character, what shaped him to become who he is, and what pushed him to the life of an adventurer. The best aspects are ones that can be used both for or against your character. ex. “Must protect my friends at all costs”, “People are not always what they seem”, “I Heart Forbidden Lore”, “There must be some way I can find a profit from this…”

Each character will get 3 fate points. When you level up, they will be refreshed. You can get more fate points whenever your character suffers due to one of his aspects (depending on the situation, this could result in failed skill rolls, damage, or just social humiliation). Spending a fate point allows you to either reroll the d20 roll you just made, or add +4 to it, your choice, but you can only spend a fate point when one of your aspects applies to the roll you’re making. For instance, “I Heart Forbidden Lore” could help you if you’re doing research or trying to recall facts about some kind of demonic monster, but it wouldn’t help you on a to-hit roll against a goblin. Regardless of aspects, a fate point can always be spent to stabilize you if you’re dying.

Character Advancement

There will be no XP awarded or spent.  Level advancement will be declared by the GM when it needs to happen. [Ed: XP are frankly one of the most annoying things to deal with – useless bookkeeping that promotes uninteresting behavior. None of our campaigns use them.]

Multiclassed Spellcasters

We will use our usual multiclassing house rule for spellcasters.

Badges

We’re not using experience points, but I wanted a mechanism that allowed me to give rewards for completing side-missions. Thus I created the badges; each one can be earned by completing one of the side-missions in the adventure path.

As soon as I introduced them the players started plotting to find a way to collect them all! Besides the pleasure of collecting, they each also get one fate point when the group gets a badge.

Jade Regent

Our group finished off the epic three-year Alternity campaign, The Lighthouse, that Paul was running for us and then discussed what to do next. The result is more Pathfinder – we are taking on the Jade Regent Adventure Path! Paul ran Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne APs for us and they were excellent so we’re happy to get back into another.

Here’s our Jade Regent page, I’ll post characters and session summaries and whatnot there.

The upshot is that we are novice adventurers in Sandpoint (the same town Rise of the Runelords started in) and, because of our relationships with some important NPCs, end up taking a caravan north, through Ulfen (Viking) lands and across the Crown of the World (North Pole) to end up in Tian Xia (Asia)! Sounds like fun.

More later, I’m off to the game!