Aatos Campaigns

Again, welcome to Aatos! This wikidot is filled with setting information, plot hooks, and other ways to involve your players in the world. Aatos is a very large world however, and finding the specific threads that interest you can sometimes be difficult and time consuming, especially as a GM who is considering using Aatos as a setting for an upcoming campaign. This page is meant to make it easier for you to locate the regions that will be of most interest to you depending on what game you want to run. Below I've detailed a few Adventure Paths, or examples of storylines that could cover an entire campaign. I've followed by touching on several Game Seeds, or themes, that I've seen as popular within the PTX community and addressing how this seed might manifest itself in Aatos and what countries that seed would function particularly well in. However, this is by no means a comprehensive list, merely a starting point. There are a wealth of additional details tucked away throughout the setting that could inspire a game, a character, or a session. I wish you the best with whatever campaign you decide to run and hope you have fun exploring this world. It's been so much fun to create!

As a side note, PCs looking for character ideas can both look here as a starting point, but the short blurbs on the Geography page (and the continent pages as well) about the various countries and continents in Aatos can also serve as a good starting point to building a character. Take your cues from your GM on what kind of characters you're creating but, if you're particularly interested in a region that the game isn't slated to take place in, feel free to create a traveler raised abroad.

Adventure Paths

The Rise of Famin
This Adventure Path focuses on the currently sealed gods Arceus and his corrupted twin Famin. In the year 662 (over 400 years ago) Famin and Arceus did battle in the Middle of the continent Iussus. After a fluctuation in wild magic, the two became trapped in a sphere of shining energy known as the Beacon and the war ceased. However, Famin and Arceus continued their battle inside the Beacon to this day, constantly striving to find a way to release themselves while keeping their enemy trapped inside the prison. In order to achieve his end, Famin began corrupting the minds of humans with particularly negative emotions, taking over their psyche and controlling their actions from afar. He slowly began to pull together talented individuals to form a group known as the Ring of Shadows (see Organizations for more information), who began actively seeking a means to release him. They discovered that, during the sealing of the Beacon, 18 plates were scattered around the world - one for each type. Each plate was a powerful magical object on its own, granting its user powerful abilities. However, if all 18 plates are brought together and placed around the Beacon, one could release either Famin or Arceus from the prison. Over the past 400 years, the League of Shadows has pursued this goal, obtaining 10 of the 18 plates. With good ideas of where the final 8 plates are located, it won't take the Ring of Shadows more than five years (at the longest) to gather what they need and release Famin from his prison. This would spell disaster for the Aatos, as corrupted pokemon would flow across the land ravaging all and many of the gods would fall in the battle to come.

Throughout this campaign, the PCs will be devoted to stopping the Ring of Shadows from achieving their ends. For whatever reason, the PCs have discovered the Ring of Shadows and their intentions and need to stop the group. Perhaps they encountered a member while dungeon delving, or perhaps the PCs had been wronged by the organization in their past. In any case, the PCs will find themselves in a race to obtain some of these eight plates before the Ring of Shadows, facing adversity at every turn. Once they obtain plates, they must ward off attacks from assassins and thieves. At the same time, they must find solutions to the constantly increasing number of corrupted pokemon appearing around the world, perhaps searching for ways to purify them. Finally, the PCs must inevitably attempt to destroy an ancient organization that has infiltrated nearly every government in the world in order to save Aatos.

This campaign will force the players to travel the world, as none of Arceus's plates are in easy to reach locations. They may find themselves in the middle of the Stormwrack Ocean searching for the Splash Plate or in the middle of the Harena desert to find the hidden Earth Plate. The Ring of Shadows is similarly spread around the country, and the PCs could be forced to travel to Sarn to eliminate a high ranking member of the Ring who runs an influential international bank. However, the PCs should inevitably be forced to travel to Serrin at some point during the campaign to meet with Serrin's church and convince them of the imminent threat to their country. They should certainly return for the final battle as all 18 plates converge, and a battle rages to control which god is freed from the prison. Perhaps Famin himself is freed, and the PCs must battle against him (in a weakened state) with the blessing of Arceus.

This Adventure Path is highly moralistic, with a strong good vs evil theme pervading the entire journey. It is reminiscent of many high fantasy stories where the PCs must save the world from an imminent threat. In many ways it is a story that players will be able to immediately picture themselves in as they struggle against a powerful organization and its sinister master. It will allow the players to explore Aatos and engage in classic high fantasy storytelling while still engaging in the story in a way unique to pokemon.

Unnatural Disasters
As with The Rise of Famin, Unnatural Disasters is an Adventure Path that features legendary poekmon, a world spanning quest, and the threat of a very different world if the PCs fail. At the beginning of time, Arceus created a being known as Regigas to shape the world. This monolithic pokemon created several golems, known as the Regis, to help shape the earth. His servants, Regirock, Regice, Registeel, and Regifire shaped the world, creating continents, biomes, and distributing the world's natural resources across the land. After their task was finished, Regigigas fell into a deep sleep, and his golems retreated to their cavernous homes before shutting off, waiting for their master to give them another task to complete. However, Regigias woke around thirty years ago and began to reanimate his servants, one at a time, so they could begin their work anew. Geographical changes have slowly been sweeping Aatos, and, left unchecked, these golems could destroy biomes, countries, and lives as they restructure the world. Most notably, the Frozen Wastes are creeping south at an alarming rate, threatening to consume countries under sheets of ice, the desert of Chandra is experiencing a massive rock repositioning as the regirocks attempt to flood the desert and form a mountain range, Ma'gn, the volcano of Silvastre has become active again and could erupt at any time, and the Kush are discovering massive portions of their mountains hollowed out of their valuable metals to the point where the entire range could collapse and spark a international war.

While the PCs could discover these golems on accident while wandering through one of these areas, each country being affected by these geological shifts is doing their best to investigate the disturbances and trying to stop their countries from falling to nature's wrath. The PCs could be knights of Galla sent into the Frozen Wastes to investigate the ice, a research team from Chandra sent to investigate the cause of the disturbances in the desert, or members of Kush who are trying to figure out how so much of their primary economic resource is simply disappearing. In Silvastre, the players could either be members of the Yajen desperately trying to discover why their volcano has activated years before it is predicted to or citizens of Journey's End investigating the strange smoke from the other side of the island. After stopping the first disaster, the PCs discover through cryptic carvings on the wall (braille most likely) that there are three other of these occurrences around the world. As the PCs frantically try to stop these natural disasters, they must navigate the vastly different social and environmental hazards of the country and culture they visit, whether it be the natural dangers of the Frozen Wastes and Silvastre or the unique social cultures of Kush and Chandra.

The campaign would likely conclude with the PCs facing Regigias, whether they search it out or whether it hunts them down for defeating its golems. After a climactic battle against one of the weaker gods, the PCs could either finish the campaign on that high note or continue from there. Perhaps they find a way to harness Regigas's power and try their own hand at shaping the land. Particularly ambitious PCs could raise a completely new island and go through the long and complex process of building a new country. Perhaps a loyal knight might use this power to defend their country from invasion, reform a discriminatory government, or any number of other tasks. The path for the PCs is up to them, but they can rest happy knowing that they stopped the destruction of several countries as they fought against the land itself.

To Win an Empire
To Win an Empire differs from both of the above Adventure Paths in that it centers around a single geographic location for the majority of the campaign instead of sending the players on a journey around the world. The Achaemian Empire plans to invade its neighbor, Elba within a few months. Elba happens to have the most effective military that Aatos has seen, although it keeps to itself mostly. The Achaemian Empire has been rapidly expanding and collecting power over the past 50 years and has decided that the time has come to face what they know will be their largest obstacle to creating a unified Empire on the continent of Iussus. The most powerful general in each army is allied with a legendary pokemon (Victini and Jirachi), which demonstrates the sheer amount of power that these two nations wield. The war will be huge, long, and potentially decide what Iussus looks like after another fifty years have passed.

In this Adventure Path, the players are members of the Achaemian Empire's military forces (or as part of one of the many and diverse mercenary groups hired by the Empire for this war) as they struggle to overtake the Elban's defenses and win the country. In many ways this is a classic war campaign (see the Warfare Game Seed below for more information). This war has some unique options that allow it to differentiate itself from other war campaigns however. For starters, you can simulate gym battles by having the players attempt to take and hold the Elban coliseums that serve as Aatos's gym equivalent, complete with a variety of environmental hazards appropriate to each coliseum's theme. The players may also be sent back to the Empire at times to aid in putting down a particularly stubborn rebellion that has taken root in the Empire forcing the Empire to split its forces. Finally, some players may seek to be instated as Judges of the Empire at high levels of play, allowing players to develop their own military units (such as Judge Gerald's famous Dragon Air Corps). These features create a unique war environment that will help differentiate it from other warfare games.

The Chains of Slavery
Like To Win an Empire, this Adventure Path focuses on one specific region of Aatos. In this case, the PCs are from Carthak. Carthak is the country with the highest amount of slaves in all of Aatos. In year 785 the Sassnid and Carthaki people fled to the continent of Harena. However, the two ethnic groups had bitter differences, and the Sassnids quickly enslaved the Carthakis and formed an empire. Almost two centuries later the Barrir tribesmen (a nomadic people native to the desert) facilitated a rebellion in the year 972. The Barrir's goal was to return balance to the continent and end slavery. However, the Carthaki people promptly abused their newfound power to enslave the Sassnid people and form the empire of Carthak. However, a small group of Sassnids in the east managed to carve out their own country far from the Carthaki's center of power, forming the nation of Kush. Now, a century later, the Barrir are trying to right the balance of power by freeing slaves and pushing some Carthaki nobles to oppose slavery more openly. However, the Carthaki Empire has struck back, eradicating one of the Barrir tribes and is slowly whittling down the rest of the tribesmen.

In this Adventure Path, the PCs will band together with several forces to either overthrow the Carthaki Empire or, more likely, force it to eradicate slavery and begin a process of healing (although the start must necessarily be violent). As the players begin, they are likely establishing themselves in one of the many large cities of Carthak. As the game progresses, the players can build contacts with the Barrir tribesmen that are currently running slave liberation operations. The players can join the Barrir and free slaves while simultaneously planting the seeds for large scale slave rebellion. At the same time they can ally with Prince Ebrihim, who intensely opposes Carthaki's slave policies and the recent violence against the Barrir. However, as the players progress, they will face more and more resistance from Brafar, the Grand Vizeir with mind controlling magic who is manipulating the current Pharoh. Vizeir will use both Carthak's military and his the expansive Carthaki thieves guild known as the Bloody Hand to oppose the players at every turn. As the players attempt to free Carthak, they will be forced to infiltrate noble houses, free slaves and provide them with a means of defense (namely pokemon), fight with the Barrir against Carthak's military, dismantle the Bloody Hand, and find a way to depose the Grand Vizier. These actions will force players into a multitude of environments from crowded city streets to blistering desert winds and from slimy underground passageways to the majestic golden palace of Carthak's capital. Once the players eliminate Brafar, Ebrihim will have a clear road to begin rebuilding the country from the ground up.

This is one of the easier Adventure Paths to get the players involved in. There are a wide variety of immediately available motives to attempt to change the Carthaki Empire. Perhaps the simplest option is for the players to be former slaves, whether escaped or released by a lenient master. Another option is to be a member of the Bloody Hand forced into thievery due to poverty, but who detests the current state of Carthak. Perhaps some of the players are Barrir Tribesmen doing their part to restore the balance of the world and undo the wrongs of the past centuries. Players may want to come from Kush, a country of Sassnids who fear invasion from Carthak and want to see their brothers and sisters freed from slavery. Other characters could be idealistic nobles, perhaps even friends with the Prince, who want to see real change in the country but can't witness the crimes against humanity until their parents die and allow them to rise to power peacefully. Options abound for both player background and archetypes, as it will take a diverse set of skills and individuals to free a culture that has been obsessed with slavery since they fled their homes where they were perhaps even lower than slaves.

Game Seeds

What is listed above are Adventure Paths. These are campaign concepts contextualized in the larger picture of a single big conflict that the players are a part of. However, many games fall into several much broader categories, which I refer to here as Game Seeds. These Seeds are the kernel of an idea that characterizes the game and provides a 'theme' so potential players know what they're signing up for. However, these are often detached from the specific context of a world or game (such as 'gym challenge game' or 'the PCs are thieves'). What I've done here is take a variety of game seeds that I've seen as popular among the pokemon rpg community and place it in the context of Aatos, including providing a short list of regions that would facilitate that game concept particularly well.

Once again, I encourage you to not feel limited by this list. There are potential Game Seeds not included in this list, and many of the Seeds can be used in many regions other than those that I listed. For instance, I once DM'd a Carthaki Breeder who was working on building a successful breeding and hatchery operation, which doesn't fall into any of the categories provided. Additionally, not every game has a strong theme to start off with, and a GM may simply want to start a game in [enter region here] and see where it leads. These Seeds aren't meant to be the end-all-be-all of games in Aatos, but rather simply a starting point to brainstorming ideas and locating resources for a game in Aatos.

Espionage and Courtly Intrigue
Of all the Game Seeds that I've listed, Espionage and Courtly Intrigue is perhaps the only Seed that I haven't seen used outside of Aatos. I have, however, seen it used in an Aatos campaign to great effect. A game of this manner generally takes one of two forms: the player(s) as spies in a foreign country or as minor nobles with aspirations to rise up the food chain, potentially even becoming royalty themselves. An Espionage game will find the player infiltrating another country and gathering information about the court and military of the country in question. Aside from forging connections at court and in back alleyways with informants to get information, the players might have to sneak into military bases and assess the army's strength. They could also find themselves skulking around empty bedchambers and searching for any valuable information that they could scrounge up. A court intrigue game revolves around characters as minor nobles looking to move up in the world. By gathering information, forging trade deals, performing favors, even resorting to blackmail at times, a character can climb their way up the food chain of court. The path this game takes depends heavily on the character in question, but it proves to be an intense, if quiet, game. In the past I've noticed that both Espionage and Courtly Intrigue games tend to work best in a solo game setting (or in pbp sandbox games where each character goes off to do their own thing all the time). Below are some areas of Aatos that offer particularly enticing options for these styles of game:

  • As an expansionist empire, pretty much everybody is spying on the Achaemian Empire at the moment, and it is spying on most other places. Its simply too big of a threat for other nations to ignore.
  • Galla is a great game for Courtly Intrigue, as the King is new to power and many are vying to get more influence at this point in time. I've also created an article specifically about the Gallan Court, providing an established framework for these games to operate from and provide inspiration both for players and GMs.
  • The Three Nations (Attica, Galla, and Miristan) are constantly in a state of conflict with each other, meaning that they are routinely sending agents to spy on each other. These tense relations could explode into war at any moment, meaning that the courts value the information of spies immensely.
  • The country of Kush constantly spies on its neighbors to the west, as they live in fear that one day they will be invaded by the country, and they know that their measly military wouldn't be able to stand up to the might of Carthak.
  • Sarn provides a unique opportunity for players to serve as internal spies, as the various merchants try to gain as much information as they can on the competition. They'll use a variety of tools at their disposal, including the players, to do whatever it takes to end up with as much business as possible.
  • Similarly, the Theocracy of Serrin provides an interesting approach to Courtly Intrigue as the players attempt to amass more influence in the church. Whether they try and do so as priests, friars, or knights, the church is a surprisingly cutthroat organization with plenty of internal conflict that opportunistic individuals can take advantage of to rise up the ranks.

A Game of Villains and Thieves
With the high number of games marketing themselves as campaigns where the players are part of Team Rocket, the thief/villain game has become a staple pokemon roleplaying archetype. While there is no Team Rocket in Aatos, there are a plethora of options when it comes to playing as a thief or villain. What course the game takes depends largely on what the thieves desire and what the villains are aiming to do. For some this will amount to sneaking in and out of the homes of nobles and snagging trinkets while others may seek much more grandiose goals. Here are a few options for locations and organizations that are wonderfully suited to a game where the players are … less than honest.

  • With a detailed write up on the Court of the Rogue already prepped for you, a game in one of the Three Nations (Attica, Galla, and Miristan) is a natural fit for any set of thieves. An assassin could make good money in Galla at the moment too for that matter, but that's aside the point.
  • If you're looking for something a bit more sinister than the Court but still in the realm of thievery and organized crime, Carthak has a rather nasty group of thieves, assassins, smugglers, and drug dealers known as the Bloody Hand.
  • Thieves also tend to do quite well in Sarn, where the large amount of traffic there lends itself to thievery and smuggling. In fact, some of the most famous thieves in the world make it their goal to eventually rob one of the international banks there.
  • Venturing into the realm of the villains, the Ring of Shadows (see Organizations) could be a really good option for characters. It could be even better if the players don't intend to let Famin run free but instead want to kill the god and take its power for themselves.

Knights of the Round Table
While there is no round table in Aatos and an unfortunate lack of overt Arthurian mythology references (my apologies), there is a wealth of options for players looking to serve as Knights/Magicians/Useful People to their nation's royalty. The closest analog to a more canon game would be that where the players are rangers serving the league. In this Game Seed however, the players focus on their service to one particular region - usually a country - and noble - usually a monarch. The PCs will tackle the problems facing a country at their patron's bequest, earning their gratitude, positions at court, and money while doing so. At low levels their services would be fairly minor in the large scheme of things: eliminating a group of minor bandits or defending a town from a particularly nasty string of wild pokemon attacks. These tasks don't affect the country as a whole, but they are of invaluable service to the peasants of the kingdom who rely on the protection of trainers and warriors in the King's employ. As the players gain experience however, the magnitude of their tasks increases. They now investigate traitorous nobles, repel scouting parties testing the nation's defenses, and stopping an artificial earthquake that a potential kingkiller engineered to demolish the palace. Here are a couple of countries that could easily fit into a Knights of the Round Table style game:

  • Galla is the closest Aatos gets to a traditional euro-medieval kingdom. With a good king and a country facing man problems (aggressive wilds, two hostile neighbors, a struggle for power at court, the encroaching Frozen Wastes, and a series of ruins that could hold powerful artifacts to benefit the kingdom to name but a few), Galla is a wonderful candidate for a game of this kind.
  • Another good option would be Gavent, which provides a distinctly different flavor than Galla. Players would here serve either the Emperor or, for a twist, the ambitious young noble Taizan who may or may not be gunning to become the next Emperor. There's a good amount of internal conflict in Gavent, meaning that the players would likely be key tools for their master in staying alive and gaining and keeping power, usually at the expense of other nobles.

The League Challenge
The League Challenge is perhaps the most quintessential of all pokemon games, although many pokemon rpgs consider this a 'vanilla' option. In this style of game, the players travel a region battling gym leaders to get badges and then take a league challenge to become champion, usually stopping something bad along the way. In Aatos, I built Elba specifically to be the only country with anything close to a league challenge. There are 8 coliseums around the country, each led by a Gym, or talented trainer and general of the Elban Army. PCs travel from one coliseum to another challenging these gyms until they can take the league challenge, which occurs every other year. If you want complications, the Achaemian Empire is about to invade, meaning the players would get called into service, where they might be able to win badges on the battlefield for acts of valor. However, it wouldn't be hard to handwaive this away if you didn't want war as part of the game, saying they got repelled in their first attack and gave up. Thus, Elba smoothly transitions the standard gym challenge into a suitably fantastic set of coliseum battles.

Optimization/PvP Games
The optimization game is a bit different than everything listed here in that the purpose of such a game is not to tell a story, but to demonstrate one's mastery of system mechanics, synergy, and optimization. Traditionally done as a player vs player activity, these games tend to happen in controlled environments with a set of DMs who facilitate this battle of skills. Setting this sort of game in a fantasy setting changes very little, although Aatos does provide a few options to spice up the game. However, there is something to be said for an optimization game to be framed in the light of gladiator combat, as the players are forced to be put through a set of paces slightly different than normal optimization games (perhaps they have to pass a trial run where they defeat a series of powerful wild pokemon before they can enter the tournament proper), and trainer combat is the norm instead of the exception. The gladiator combat extra rules in Locations and Events could spice things up, representing the crowd's intense energy, though some DMs might not want to go against the core rule set. I'd recommend a few different things here. The game could take place in Elba during the League Challenge, which would be an ideal space for the battles. However, there's also a vibrant coliseum culture in the Achaemian Empire and Carthak, and Gavent has something more akin to pit or ring fighting that provides another feel to frame what is, at its core, a purely mechanical exercise.

The Players are Pirates!
Honestly, the premise for this game is a fairly simple one: the characters in this campaign are pirates. They'll spend their time sailing the world, exploring far off locales, and searching for buried treasure. Generally, these pirates fall into one of two camps. There are the 'realistic' pirates, who raid, loot, and plunder. These characters will often find themselves in conflict with towns and cities which they are taking money from, and the seas offer them a way to explore the world priftably. Of course, they aren't straight evil; they're just not particularly good either. However, many parties I've seen chose to play 'good' pirates; ones that survive off defeating the pirates who raid and loot and steal. Both types will focus on exploring the world though, discovering new islands and beaches to use. These campaigns can focus on the players captaining a small crew and slowly building a crew over time, or they could gloss over that aspect and simply have the party sailing their own ship (possibly with the help of some nobody NPCs who are never mentioned). Of course, the Syreni Isles are going to be your go-to for a pirate campaign, as it is the gathering spot for all the pirates in the world, although most crews will pay a visit to Silvastre at some point as well.

Survival Games
Plain and simple, games with a strong survival theme are tough. They involve the players exploring the most remote and dangerous portion of a campaign setting. In this sort of game, the players might not see other humans for weeks or months on end, instead remaining isolated in the wilderness. Finding food and water become essential tasks, and building a shelter is easier said than done. Additionally, the wild pokemon in these games are often many and vicious, making the death rate in these games higher than one might find elsewhere. Survival games tend to be on the grittier and darker side, where pokemon training isn't easy and isn't taken for granted (this isn't to say that other games don't have this gritty feel, but rather that its nearly always in survival games.) While there are dangerous locales in most countries, there are two regions in particular that have been set aside as particularly deadly, and both have a wealth of rare pokemon and natural resources that would prompt potential explorers to risk the journey, for with great danger lies great reward.

  • As the singular most dangerous (and expansive) piece of wilderness in the entire campaign setting, the Frozen Wastes are a go-to when it comes to survival games in Aatos. With an extremely cold climate, deadly ice typed wild pokemon, geography that can kill, and only a single human settlement in the entire region, the Frozen Wastes are going to be anything but a cake walk.
  • For a warmer survival game, Silvastre is a good option. While the geological features are less deadly on the whole (the volcano is an exception of course), the wild pokemon tend to be just as deadly. In fact, its the only place in Aatos where the fierce pack hunter species scyther will attack you. Additionally, times are tense between the new visitors to the island and the Yajen tribe who has inhabited the land for centuries meaning that, if the players aren't Yajen themselves they'll have another group that wouldn't be opposed to their bodies being dead rather than alive.
  • Finally, the deserts of Carthak could provide a survival campaign if one wanted, although this is a distinctly less hostile environment on the whole than the above two options. That isn't to say that the desert isn't dangerous - it just isn't that dangerous.

Treasure Hunting
This Game Seed is exactly what it sounds like - the players are spending their time hunting for treasure. This involves entering dangerous locations, competing with other treasure seekers, and chasing rumors across nation lines in order to obtain something they particularly desire. Once they obtain whatever it is they seek, the players can either sell to a willing buyer of keep their haul for themselves. In Aatos, there are two main types of treasure hunters: those who hunt Relics and those who hunt pokemon. Relics are remnants of the powerful Vardamir Empire (see history for more information), and are effectively magic items that they players can use in a variety of ways. However, pokemon trading is a booming industry in much of Aatos, and there are many trainers who seek out and capture rare species or even rarer shiny pokemon. When sold to the right buyer, these pokemon fetch a high price, and these so-called capture specialists are among the richest trainers in Aatos. While Treasure Hunting can take up an entire campaign, this Game Seed is also common as a smaller portion of a larger game (finding a specific relic to prevent Famin from being raised for instance) or as a way for lower level characters to stumble upon a variety of larger campaign hooks, allowing them to choose whichever catches their fancy. Here are some locations that could be well suited to a Treasure Hunting campaign:

  • While searching for Relics, there's no better country than Western Iussus, which was the seat of power for the Vardamir Empire and houses the highest number of ruins in the world. However, there are also a number of ruins in Galla, the Achaemian Empire, and Elba.
  • Additionally, there is rumored to be great treasure in the obsidian towers of Carthak where the pharohs of past empires have been buried with their riches. Relics will certainly be present, as well as the riches of those who ruled the desert with an iron grip.
  • Silvastre and the Syreni Isles both have a large variety of unique pokemon and are known for having a larger density of shiny and naturally type shifted pokemon. There are many capture specialists who spend years here amassing a collection of pokemon to sell when they return to their homeland, and the pokemon from these countries fetch the highest prices in the world. Silvastre pokemon are especially coveted, as it was 'discovered' only 15 years ago and many of the pokemon are still unknown around the world. Heck, the pokemon scizor hasn't even been discovered yet, as nobody outside the Yajen has captured a scyther and the Yajen don't use enough refined metal to prompt an evolution.

Warfare Campaigns
A Warfare Campaign is exactly what it sounds like: a campaign that focuses on the clash of two countries, with the actions of the players proving to be vital influences on which side ends up victorious. Generally speaking, the party supports only one side of this conflict, although I once had a GM who had two separate parties on opposite sides of the war performing relatively parallel missions. However, the players are not your run-of-the-mill soldiers in the front lines. Instead, the players should form a sort of special strike force that is trusted with more unconventional tasks suited to their unique skills. This style of play is very mission oriented, where the PCs receive orders from a commander and must carry them out. However, the players should be trusted to achieve broad goals in whatever means they see as most appropriate in order to avoid railroading. These missions can be everything from going deep into enemy territory to assassinate a general to defending a supply train from flights of enemy archers mounted on Braviary. While low level PCs may only influence the success or failure of one small-scale battle, as they grow in power the ramifications grow in magnitude as well. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas for the kinds of missions that players might go on. I've tried to include low and high level examples for each category.

  • Defend or Disrupt Supplies: Without a good source of supplies, an army will quickly begin to deteriorate. Food, bowstrings, paper. All are needed in order for an army to function properly. If the PCs can destroy an enemy supply route, whether by collapsing a bridge (low), blocking a mountain pass (middle), or physically destroying an entire supply train (high), they can severely hinder their enemy. However, this could also involve defending supply trains from enemy attack or delivery healing supplies to a battered unit.
  • Disrupt Command Structure: The PCs might need to destroy the connection between a commander and his troops. This may mean assassinating the opposing general (high), or it may just mean releasing all of their carrier Pidgeys in the dead of night (low). Oftentimes, this order will involve the PCs going into enemy territory. If the PCs have garnered a reputation with the enemy, they will most likely have to go in disguise.
  • Deliver Orders: Some areas are too dangerous for normal message carriers to suffice. Perhaps the players must traverse a marsh with predators that kill carrier pidgeys (low), need to quickly reach the navy to inform them of an incoming attack (medium), or must deliver the movements of the king to a covert assassin without blowing their cover (high).
  • Rescue Mission: When allies or information are taken into enemy hands, somebody has to get them back. This dangerous mission focuses on stealthily infiltrating enemy defenses quickly in order to retrieve the taken people or objects before valuable information can be taken from them. Perhaps they were captured by a scouting party and must be recovered before the ponyta riders reach the main army (low), or they might have to break an allied general out of enemy dungeons after that general lost a battle and surrendered themselves to save their troops (high)
  • Distraction Detail: In this case, the PCs are supposed to attract the enemies attention away from the movements of the main army. How they do this is up to them. This mission gives creative players a chance to shine as they have the chance to do pretty much whatever they want as long as the job gets done.
  • Seizing or Holding a Fort or Geographical Landmark: Landmarks and buildings are very important in the tide of war. Having walls or the high ground can mean the difference between victory and defeat in a battle. If the PCs can take a small enemy base (low), defend a bridge from waves of attackers (medium), or take a centrally located coliseum from enemy control (high), then the PC's army will be in a good position to strike when the day of battle dawns.
  • Combat Detail: While the PCs shouldn't usually be in the thick of the main battle, they should often receive orders to defeat a particularly nasty unit and turn the tide of battle. Perhaps a unit of 10 riders mounted on gigaliths have been tearing through the main forces, and the PCs need to solve the problem fast (high), or perhaps a particularly nasty set of archers have set up on a hill and need to be removed before the pidgeot corps can move safely. Get creative with this: the PCs shouldn't be sent out to eliminate a simple force of 10 infantry soldiers.
  • Noncombat Duty: Not every part of war involves combat. War needs a large variety of support. Recruiting soldiers from local villages (low), finding beneficiaries for the army to provide funds (medium), or searching for powerful relics to assist the war effort (high) are all missions that can be both beneficial to the army and an interesting break from what the PCs usually do during a war campaign.

One thing to remember is that the army should provide some kind of support for the PCs. Whether it comes in the form of magic weapons, nature or ability shifts, NPC services, or cold hard cash, the PCs will get at least a modicum of support from their commanders. The more they succeed, the better their rewards should get. If they're interested, the players might even get promotions and troops of their own to command. As the players rise in level, so does the scope of their tasks. By the end of the campaign, players should be focused on capturing enemy capitals, winning over the support of legendary pokemon to assist in the war effort, searching down ancient weapons of great power, and battling head to head with the enemy armies top fighters, champions, and generals. By this point the players will be considered heroes of the war, celebrities among the common soldiers and symbols of victory and hope among the troops. Here a couple of regions of the world that could be on the brink of war soon, allowing the players to win honor and glory for their monarch of choice.

  • As explored in the 'To Win an Empire' Adventure Path, the Achaemian Empire and Elba are about to go to war, although Elba doesn't know this yet. Both are international superpowers are likely have the two most powerful militaries in the world.
  • The Three Nations (Attica, Galla, and Miristan) are constantly having border skirmishes with each other, and a full fledged war could break out at any time. Additionally, Attica and Galla are both struggling with internal issues, making an invasion look even more appealing to Miristan at the moment.
  • A civil war could break out in Gavent between the Emperor and Taizan, and this struggle could be complicated even further if certain Khalkha Tribes choose to launch a major raid against the eastern country.

Beginning Your Campaign

This section is meant to provide some inspiration and direction for GMs who aren't quite sure how to start off your campaign. Whether you have an overarching plot in mind and simply need a satisfying introductory session or two, or if you have no idea where you want to go but need some ideas to get started, this section has a variety of general suggestions that are fairly region neutral for you to draw on. Not every GM will need this (some will already have a very clear picture of what their first session will look like), but the resources are meant as a way to get your campaign off the ground while worrying about big picture conflicts later.

When designing an opening adventure, don't worry if it doesn't connect directly to whatever plot you're planning, and don't worry about setting down a bunch of plot hooks if it feels very forced. While this can certainly work well, it can also be fun to just let your players explore their characters, catch some pokemon, and solidify relationships with the rest of the party. Feed your players a few challenges, see what kinds of encounters they enjoy the most, which they find easy, and which challenge them in new and exciting ways. Once you've established this base you can build off of that when introducing antagonists and conflict. Know that the players struggle with water type pokemon? In your next session add a member of [antagonist organization] with a particularly nasty totodile and let things run from there. Without further adieu, here are a few general ideas for opening sessions that can be used pretty much in any region of the world.

The Conclave
The Conclave is a world spanning organization whose purpose is to connect trainers with jobs. With work of all kinds and for characters of all levels, and supporting trainers of any background, a Conclave guildhouse is an easy and convenient way to introduce the players to each other. In many ways its equivalent to the bar with a job board in D&D (and many Conclave guildhouses have a bar as a matter of fact). Some particularly common low level jobs include: finding and capturing a specific pokemon species for a client, finding a missing person who has wandered into a dangerous locale (forest, ruins, or cave complex all work well), and escorting some non-trainers across a route where they may be attacked by wild pokemon. Even better, the players will get paid for finishing these jobs, making everything about working for the Conclave a win-win scenario. At later levels, the Conclave can serve as a natural break in the plot if you've run into a wall or the players don't know where to go.

Noble Patron
While this could evolve easily into the Knights of the Round Table Game Seed, using a noble contact early in the game can help tie the characters to the world emotionally and socially as well as providing a framework for future adventures. Unless you're planning on this noble playing a huge role in the campaign, the noble can be a fairly minor one in a rural part of a country. He has a problem and, for whatever reason, can't spare any of his own personal guard to go fix it. This can range from a camp of bandits to a town beleaguered by wild pokemon attacks. It could also involve more personal matters, such as visiting a brother who hasn't been responding to letters recently (he's being held hostage at the moment). If you want this to quickly develop into a larger plot, its fairly easy to have the masterminds behind whatever the problem is relate to your larger plot ideas.

PC Backgrounds
When in doubt, follow the backgrounds that the players provide you. If one character is particularly interested in the Vardamir Empire, send them into some old ruins and let them find a minor artifact (though this could also work as a generic opener). If you have a character that likes capturing rare or interesting pokemon, spread rumors of an albino stantler roaming the woods; the players would face a lot of competition to capture it first. If you have a character who saves the poor, they can stumble upon a merchant caravan that's been robbed and need to track down the thieves. The possibilities are endless here, and taking your cues from your players can result in some fun adventures that you know their characters will invest in.

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