Dragon Empires

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Dragonhelm
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Dragon Empires

Post by Dragonhelm » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:56 pm

(I wasn't certain if this should go in the Pathfinder forum or here, but thought it might be more relevant here. Mods, please move this if it is in the wrong spot.)

Recently, I picked up the Dragon Empires Gazetteer for the Pathfinder setting. I think I'm in love. I never could get into Kara-Tur (something about the presentation, maybe). I like the imagery and themes of Legend of the Five Rings, but I don't feel that it lends itself well to heroic adventure.

As I started looking through the Dragon Empires book, I started to fall in love. Samurai? Check. Ninjas? Check. It's Oriental Adventures, presented in Pathfinder style. And I love it.

I'm still digesting this book, but my favorite part right now is the deities. Some are familiar to Pathfinder fans. Some appear to be new. One of my faves is a god who seems to be a patron of wu jen. I'm not sure if Pathfinder has wu jen or not, but it should! He's about magic and the five Chinese elements (earth, fire, water, metal, and wood). Then the other deity I really dig is basically the Monkey King from The Forbidden Kingdom (which I assume is based on Chinese mythos).

Now I need to read up on the nations.

So, sorry Kara-Tur, but I think the Dragon Empires is the Oriental Adventures for me. :D
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Re: Dragon Empires

Post by Chimpman » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:12 pm

Dragonhelm, thanks for posting this! I'm actually very interested in checking this resource out. Please tell us more once you have had a chance to review it fully. Did you also pick up the Player's Companion book, and if so, what's in there?
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Re: Dragon Empires

Post by Dragonhelm » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:43 pm

Chimpman wrote:Dragonhelm, thanks for posting this! I'm actually very interested in checking this resource out. Please tell us more once you have had a chance to review it fully. Did you also pick up the Player's Companion book, and if so, what's in there?
I've got it ordered, but don't have it yet.
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Re: Dragon Empires

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:16 pm

I'll echo the thanks for starting a thread on this; I'd been meaning to discuss it myself, but always seem to forget.

I'm still digesting the book myself, but I really enjoy it. The deities are pretty interesting, and the way this product presents a fantasy "orient" while keeping it fresh and original and not merely copying RW Asian nations is very well done. I also like the approach they've taken to some of the new races, as well as some familiar ones; the kitsune is not precisely like the AD&D version, but is still reminiscent.

I picked this up at the same time as I got the Bestiary 3, which has a lot of OA style monsters that complement the product perfectly. I'm probably going to pick up the Dragon Empires Primer as well (which is more PC oriented than this).
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Re: Dragon Empires

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:12 pm

I've got three questions on this:
  • How much does this expand the world of Golarion?,
  • How useful will the rules in this book be to people that want to use a different campaign setting (like Kara-Tur or Lot5R)? and
  • Is Paizo doing an Oriental expansion to the Pathfinder Reference Document?
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Re: Dragon Empires

Post by Chimpman » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:34 pm

I can't answer Big Mac's questions (yet), but I did just receive my copy yesterday (yes I was interested enough based on Dragonhelm's initial review to order the thing :P ). Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend to really dive into the book.
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Re: Dragon Empires

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:36 am

I'll field some of these questions for you:
Big Mac wrote:How much does this expand the world of Golarion?,
Quite a bit- it covers the entirety of the continent/sub-continent of Tian-Xia, which covers an area quite a bit larger than the entire Inner Sea region of Golarion (I'd say it's about 1 1/2 to 2x the size of the Inner Sea region).
How useful will the rules in this book be to people that want to use a different campaign setting (like Kara-Tur or Lot5R)?
Pretty useful. The Dragon Empires Gazetteer is fairly rules light; the only real mechanics are in the races section, which provides PC generation stats for the "non-core" races that inhabit Tian-Xia; the Kitsune, Tengu, Nagaji, Samsarans, and Wayang. The rest of the Gazetteer provides one-page histories and descriptions of the various nations of the continent, a several page timeline of the region, a few pages on general culture, the various human ethnicities, and the religions and gods of Tian-Xia.

There is another supplement- which I don't have yet- the Dragon Empires Primer, which is more PC oriented and I believe has mechanics to it.
Is Paizo doing an Oriental expansion to the Pathfinder Reference Document?[/list]
I doubt they'll segregate the "orient" related things in the PRD into their own section; various bits and pieces of Oriental Adventures style classes and abilities have already come out, spread out over the course of a couple of their recent books- Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat and Bestiary 3, notably. These have already been added to the PRD (things like samurai, ninja, etc.).

I don't think they'll end up adding any of the mechanics that arise in the Dragon Empires Primer and Gazetteer into the PRD; they generally don't seem to incorporate things from their Pathfinder Companion line there, although one Pathfinder OGL related site- d20pfsrd- has, I believe, incorporated some of the mechanics from various Pathfinder APs and supplements, and seems to be not in violation of the SRD or anything. I think the actual Paizo PRD just prefers to incorporate the core mechanics of the game into their PRD.
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Re: Dragon Empires

Post by Big Mac » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Thanks for the answers. Sounds like I should wait for the second book to come out and compare the two.
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Is Paizo doing an Oriental expansion to the Pathfinder Reference Document?[/list]
I doubt they'll segregate the "orient" related things in the PRD into their own section; various bits and pieces of Oriental Adventures style classes and abilities have already come out, spread out over the course of a couple of their recent books- Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat and Bestiary 3, notably. These have already been added to the PRD (things like samurai, ninja, etc.).

I don't think they'll end up adding any of the mechanics that arise in the Dragon Empires Primer and Gazetteer into the PRD; they generally don't seem to incorporate things from their Pathfinder Companion line there, although one Pathfinder OGL related site- d20pfsrd- has, I believe, incorporated some of the mechanics from various Pathfinder APs and supplements, and seems to be not in violation of the SRD or anything. I think the actual Paizo PRD just prefers to incorporate the core mechanics of the game into their PRD.
There is a difference between an SRD (where the publishers pre-prepare the Open Game Content) and regular OGL material (where Open Game Content may be mixed in with Product Identity and content not covered by the licence). Both types of OGC are equally legal to reuse, but the SRD-like version is a drag and drop thing, while the non-SRD stuff is a bit harder to work with. I guess that d20pfsrd has been doing the long slow work of cutting OGC out of Paizo's products.

One interesting difference between Paizo's books and WotC's books, is that WotC's status as originator of D&D allowed them to put out 3e content that had not Open Game Content, while Paizo's status as a third party publisher forces them to always use the Open Game Licence and that forces them to always designate Open Game Content. Pathfinder RPG may be a new rules system, but as it is derivative of 3e, it will always come with free OGC.

If this has been compiled by d20pfsrd, I guess it would be possible to retro-convert it to 3.5 or 3.0 rules. Maybe it would even be possible to retro convert it to something like Dark Dungeons (to make the Oriental Dark Dungeons I mentioned ages ago).

I'll have to trawl through this some time, as this could be very important to the retro-gaming movement. :cool:
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