Jade Regent Adventure Path Review – a DM’s perspective

Guest Post!

Today HeroSheets is featuring a guest blogger – my DM! He’s reviewing the Jade Regent adventure path, which we are currently about halfway through.

Jade Regent

I’ve been running the Jade Regent Pathfinder Adventure Path for several months now.  My players and I are currently in the fourth chapter, “The Forest of Spirits” so this review is only going to cover what I’ve read so far.

Jade Regent tells the tale of Ameiko Kaijitsu, the unknowing heir to the throne of Minkai.  The story begins in the small town of Sandpoint on the continent of Avistan.  A run-in with a local goblin tribe uncovers a long-lost letter informing Ameiko of her heritage.  From there, the PCs, Ameiko, and several other NPCs begin the long journey across Avistan, over the Crown of the World, and down into Tian Xia to the kingdom of Minkai.  However, the sinister powers that currently control Minkai are not content to stand by and allow the throne to be taken from them.  They will stop at nothing to destroy the party.

One of the major features this Pathfinder Adventure Path advertises is the interaction between the players and the four major NPCs that begin the journey with them.  The players can even engage the NPCs in romances.  I personally left the romance portion of the adventure out as it required a degree of role-playing that I’m not adept at.  However, I feel that Jade Regent leaves much to be desired when it comes down to the actual interactions between the PCs and NPCs.  Those are left up to the GM without any real guidance.  The addition of some interactive scenarios, potential dialog options, and perhaps even some NPC specific side-quests would do a lot to help lazy GMs (like me) really bring the NPCs to life.

Jade Regent also features a lot of dungeons.  Every chapter that I’ve played so far has several sprawling dungeons.  They’re all really well thought out and detailed, but dungeon crawling alone can get tiresome  There is one part in “The Forest of Spirits” where the PCs must entertain a bored prince during a series of feasts.  If they fail, the prince spitefully closes all the shops in the city.  Including more of these types of scenarios would help alleviate some of the monotony associated with constant combat.

Overall, Jade Regent offers a very compelling story with lots of exciting encounters and monsters.  However, to achieve a more balanced game, the GM must be prepared to inject a sizable amount of his or her own imagination to really bring the NPCs to life and to add that crucial role-playing element that can make Pathfinder so much fun.

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  • http://www.richhowardauthor.com Rich Howard

    I just started Jade Regent. I agree with you that at least one scene involving each NPC per chapter (ie: book) would have been welcome. At least some suggestions on how to handle the various campaign traits would have been good.

    I’m an old and fairly skilled GM, though, and love the NPC Connections. it gives me an excuse to interact directly with PCs, congratulating them, berating them, providing clues, and allowing for 1-1 side quests between games.

    Leaving out the relationship part is a common but unfortunate choice as I feel it’s what makes this series unique. It’s important to realize that “relationship” in this series has little to do with romance. One of my PCs is Ameiko’s little sister. Another is a deformed Ophidian who hero worships Ameiko after she saved his life. Another is a halfling scout who is Shelalu’s apprentice. None of these relationships (and their scores) will have anything to do with romance. My fourth PC is a charismatic summoner and we’ll see how that goes. As the story opens, he’s taken traits involving Sandru, Ameiko and Koya. I suppose it’s possible that something romantic might evolve, but at this point that’s unlikely.

    Thanks for posting and have a great game!

    You can check out our adventures here: http://www.pathfinderd20.com