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I'm trying to convert this Adventure Path to a different setting, namely the Forgotten Realms, possibly in the mapped areas (Faerun).

In doing so; I need to know which features of the Golarion setting are really important for the adventure.

Maybe the fact that Korvosa stemmed from a renaissance empire that is now ruled by devils is not that important and any neighboring evil empire will do, even if it's demon-ridden Narfell or human-centric Thay.

Maybe the fact that Korvosa is a frontier city and claims to be the oldest one has no relevance.

Maybe the wish for stability sported by the citizens of Korvosa is not that important and feisty, warmongering Chessenta is a fine place for my base city to be.

So, what are the really important traits that the city and its surroundings must have?

I gather from reviews that the following are somewhat important, let the list be an example of which sort of answers I'm looking for.

  • it is a frontier city
  • there is some evil empire (or town) nearby
  • there are orc hodres
  • the city borders water (book 2?)
  • the city is very lawful and good or neutral, with harsh punishments. (Ties in with the god they mostly worship, I guess)
  • kings get killed often

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While most of the adventure happens inside the city of Korvosa or nearby, there are other areas of Golarion visited too. I will list a few key points that are important in the adventure that may have an impact in another campaign setting:

  • You will visit nearby areas on Varisia (the specific areas are not really important, but the people yes), and meet shoanti tribes (they are barbaric people that knows about the main plot) and red mantis assassins (they are trying to stop you);
  • The adventure also visits the Hold of Belkzen (the orc hordes you are aware of) and a famous castle-dungeon in there (lots of undeads and evil awaiting inside, the place is really well known in the region of Varisia);
  • The harrow deck (it's like tarot) plays an important role in the story, should you decide to include it (and personally, you should).
  • The city of Korvosa is just a big city with an old story, the people in there are fairly suspicious of outsiders and the nobility has past ties with the nation of devil-worshippers you are aware of, but are not really devil-worshippers themselves (mostly). Reading the wiki on the city should give you plenty of information to adapt it to Faerun.
  • Korvosa is a big economic hub in the region, having connections to lots of other major cities. It does a lot of trading by sea/river, and mainly exports seafood, and food in general. As any big city of Golarion, it also hosts big banks, temples of Abadar, which you can adapt to temples of Waukeen. Because of this, the city has its own coinage, with the faces of past kings.
  • The Acadamae is one of the most famous schools of magic in the continent, and mages from all over the world go there to learn magical arts. This also means the spellcaster population in the city is large, and magic items and shops are fairly common.
  • The city has a lot of farms surrounding it and primarily imports produced goods, so you can expect lots of merchant caravans walking in and out of the gates. With all this trading, drugs are also commonplace.
  • The queen's royal guard are the Gray Maidens, but these have no special ties to Golarion, they exist especially in Korvosa and to protect the regent. The city also has a common force of guards, nothing special. But they also have special hippogriff-mounted marines, the Sable Company, which act as scouts and elite backup to the guard.
  • Finally, there is an order of Hellknights stationed in the city, those are military soldiers that follow a hell-like military structure, being mostly lawful neutral and focusing on keeping the law and order at all costs (think of them as medival judge dredd mixed with knights in full plate). The hellknights have many orders with different goals, but the one in Korvosa, the Order of the Nail, are specialists in fighting against banditry and savagery. Because of this, the city's surroundings are fairly safe to travellers and merchants, as bandits won't go anywhere close to the city.

Those are the only things that you will have to read more on and somehow adapt to nearby lands. And even those are fairly easy to adapt to another setting, as those aren't always fully fleshed out and have room for customization.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, that doesn't really answer my question. It's more like "Which are the parts of Varisia, of the tribes, of the assassins, etc. that should not change or the adventure doesn't work anymore?" If I try to match everything to the new setting I'll never find a suitable place, so I'm trying to find out which parts really need to match. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Aug 25 '18 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just answered that. There is nothing other than the listed and things you already mentioned. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Aug 25 '18 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now that you edited your question, I see what's different between your answer and whay I was expecting. For example, you tell me "Varisian people are important", but I know nothing about Varisia. I expected something like "there are gypsies living in the country" (a new information about Varisia I got yesterday, and I guess it matters because of the harrow deck?) Maybe it will help to know that I'm not trying to place Korvosa on the map, I want to find an existing city where the adventure can be set according to that existing city's lore 1/2 \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Aug 26 '18 at 11:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ So, for example, adding an artifact to any city is ok unless the fact that the artifact is there depends on the city being 300 years old, then I need to find a city that more or less fits. Anyway, thanks for your input. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Aug 26 '18 at 11:10
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Now that I'm a little bit more into the Adventure Path (having discarded the initial idea to set the whole adventure in Faerun) I'm confident I can write the answer I would have liked. I hope it helps other people out there.


The city the players start in doesn't need to be close to the sea, but it needs to have a river large enough for a merchantile vessel to get to shore.

The Direption never actually makes it, but that was the original intent.

The city needs to have some local crime, enough to justify Gaedren Lamm, Devargo Barvasi, Boule and Pilts (all those characters are explained in the player's guide).

The city needs to have a whole district on an easily defensible island (a single presidiated bridge, but more bridges can just be destroyed)

The city needs at least one merchantile house that trades with a faraway land...

that has rakshasas. That's the whole Akrona familiy.

The place needs barbarians who want to defend their traditions and guard over ancient places of power.

The place needs a different ethnic minority that is somehow...

sometimes immune to an engineered plague

This ethnic minority does not really need to have anything to do with tarot reading. There's just one tarot reder who's important to the plot and she can be of a completely different ethnicity.

The old castle in an orc-ridden land is nowhere near the city. It is in fact nearly two countries away (the game skips the actual travel). So, it will not influence your choice of where to place your city.

There need to be sunken ruins in a swampy area nearby enough that the city is built upon ruins from the same empire.

The city must have sewers.

The city benefits from being an ex colony...

because ambassador Gios Amprei works better in that environment, but I guess any ambassador from other countries that trade with the city can do.

The city shuns necromancy...

otherwise, Rolth's backstory doesn't really make sense.

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Looking over the book, the important points I am seeing include

  • As @ShadowKras mentions, the harrow deck and associated readings are important to the story.
  • City(Korvosa) is built on ancient Evil Artifact.
  • City should be on the coast to simplify some conversion.
  • Nearby tribe(shoanti) know about the artifact and want to prevent its use.
  • There is a cult that worships deity of disease/undeath.
  • Hired group of assassins(red mantis).
  • Ruins are by near the tribe.
  • Nearby base for the hired assassins.
  • Ancient Cursed Castle(Scarwall) in a nearby country, contains Holy Artifact/weapon to defeat/fight Evil Artifact.
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