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Heroes of the Jade Oath (AE) $29.99
Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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Heroes of the Jade Oath (AE)
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Heroes of the Jade Oath (AE)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2011 23:13:58

Rite Publishing recently sent me a free copy of their Heroes of the Jade Oath BETA edition for Arcana Evolved. What I thought might be fantasy adventuring in Asian lands turned out to be much more grand and dynamic. Heroes of the Jade Oath is much more than adventures in Asian lands, it is a fully-involved setting, built from the ground up using Asian influences and themes that create an entire Asian-inspired place where everyone and everything is a part of the landscape. Rite Publishing took many of the standard Epic Fantasy races and classes and molded them so that they look and feel as though they properly belong within the Asian-inspired setting. In addition to races and classes, new religions have been created using Asian inspiration, such as Buddhism and Shinto, along with mechanics that correspond to the different types of philosophies found in Asian lands, such as Confucianism and Taoism.

Heroes of the Jade Oath could be considered as more than just a new setting. It is more like a re-tooling of the standard (or typical) Epic Fantasy system and conforming it to different methodologies and mechanics. Through these efforts, a truly rich and flavorful Asian Fantasy setting has been created, placing the lands of the Jade Oath within their own world separate from the many Epic Fantasy settings that have been around for years. It should be noted that the version I was sent is the BETA version and not the final OMEGA version. Rite Publishing has informed me that the OMEGA version will incorporate updates from playtesting, another round of editing, an overhaul to the equipment section, additional artwork and a Pathfinder version. This review will take these into consideration and they will not be considered when determining the ratings.


Heroes of the Jade Oath is a great setting. It contains a wealth of background content and each area within the lands are fully detailed. The races and classes have (primarily) all been altered with Asian influences in a way that truly makes them a part of the setting instead of foreign adventurers in an Asian land. The religions really come to life along with the Asian philosophies and even zodiac signs. The equipment listing is filled with samurai and ninja-inspired weapons and armor round out the experience, bringing it to life.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10 Heroes of the Jade Oath is a fantastic setting that could be considered a whole new system of its own (minus the core mechanics from Arcana Evolved). Everything about it has been designed and developed from the ground up using Asian themes and influences. It’s rich, dynamic and filled with dimension. Above all, it’s completely unique in every single way, giving players and DMs a new experience with lots of possibilities and great adventures to be had.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of the Jade Oath (AE)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2010 20:59:19

I wanted to add a second bit, since I can't edit my first review or add comments. That is something I hope drivethru fixes some day in the near future. For the page count the price is still at or below most other companies PDF's i just personally have a hard time dropping that much all at once on a single PDF regardless of size.

But I wanted to add for people that just like PDF's and don't care about actually books at all that this is likely a 4 star product to those people.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes of the Jade Oath (AE)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2010 16:23:08

Heroes of the Jade Oath by Rite Publishing.

Let me start by saying I don't play Arcane Evolved. I own the book and I have read it, but I personally just use it to steal idea's and such from for my other D20 games. So this review will focus on the content and less so on the game mechanics. Since I am not a good judge on if they are balanced etc for what they are made for. So I am looking at this product more as a person looking to steal idea's from it. I was given this product for the purposes of this review.

This product is 340 pages long and is in beta. So the page count might change between now and then and go up. It cost $59.99, for that you get the beta PDF, beta book now and the omega PDF when done.

Cover, credits, ToC, and introduction take up 6 pages. The artist are Claudia Burgos, Jason Rainville, Wayne Anthony Reynolds, Jonathan Roberts, Hugo Solis, Kurt A. Taylor, Jeff Ward, Amanda Webb. The art ranges from fair to very good color art.

This product is a fantasy Asian inspired world setting.

Chapter 1 – Themes and Overviews (34 pages) This is basically a world setting gazetteer, it talks about the culture, countries, religion, organizations etc. It just gives a very good over all view of the setting.

Chapter 2 – Races (84 pages) Human – varies human ethinic groups Bakemono – golbiniod like creatures with a limited shapechange ability, with race levels. Daharen – variation of the giant race from Arcane Evolved. Faen - variation of the faen race from Arcane Evolved. Garude - variation of the Dracha race from Arcane Evolved. Goushen - variation of the Sibeccai race from Arcane Evolved. Hushen - variation of the Litorian race from Arcane Evolved. Kirin Shen - variation of the Runechild race from Arcane Evolved. Mandragoran – A plant people race. Naga - variation of the Mojh race from Arcane Evolved. Qahngol – variation of the half-orc Ruishishen - variation of the Litorian race from Arcane Evolved. Sanesaram – variation of Dwarves. Shenxue – off spring of mortals and spirits, with many variations. Verrik - variation of the Verrik race from Arcane Evolved. Yueren – variation of elves.

The races are all very well done, listing history, outlook, relations with others races, names, personality, physical description, lands, languages and sometimes racial levels(when they are not covered in Arcane Evolved already). I especially like the Shenxue.

Chapter 3 – Classes (102 pages) Demon Hunter – Just what they sound like, they hunt down demons and other such like creatures. A bit like a Paladin in concept but only in very general terms, there is several variations. Enlightened Scholar – These are sorta like a monk/cleric type class. With several variations. Kensai – Martial Artist/Weapon Masters, they focus on using light armorer and mastering a single fighting stlye. Kusa – A thief/Assassin based class. Monk – variations of the monk class from Arcane Evolved. With several variations. Totem Warrior – more version of for the Totem Warrior from Arcane Evolved. Witch - more version of for the Witch from Arcane Evolved. Xia - more version of for the Champion from Arcane Evolved.

Many of the classes are very well done and very interesting, they remind me a lot of some of the Chinese fantasy movies I have seen. I think the monk is much better than the base monk class in other D20 games and the rest fit well in a Asian style fantasy game.

Chapter 4 – Skills and Feats (48 pages) This chapter talks about existing skills and feats and how they are different in the setting. It includes the settings languages, a new skill and a host of new Asian themed feats. There is 152 new feats in this section and they all have a very nice Asian feel to them and most reminded me of varies Chinese fantasy movies or anima I have seen at some point or another.

Chapter 5 – Combat Rites (4 pages) These are new types of Combat Rites, used the same way as they are used in Arcane Evolved. There is 25 new combat rites.

Chapter 6 – New and Optional Rules (14 pages) This is a chapter on new ways to handle some rules and some new rules all on it's own. Most of them seem optional. Including the Zodiac signs, these give a benefit and drawback to those born under them.

Chapter 7 – Equipment (16 pages) A list of gear, weapons, armor, clothes and services that is available in the Jade lands. I very much liked the alchemy section, enough I plan to steal many of the items for my other D20 games.

Chapter 8 – Magic and Chi (24 pages) This has new spell templates, discuses how Ch'i works and Sutra magic, as well as Oath of power. Chi power can be used to enhance things. Sutra magic is a way for normal non spell casting classes to learn some magic. Oaths of Power require a feat and only one can be in use at a time.

It finishes with 1 page for the OGL and 1 page for the back cover.

Closing thoughts, as I mentioned I only have a passing knowledge of Arcane Evolved and this is also the beta draft of the book. So I didn't focus heavily how balanced game mechanics are, instead I looked at the rest of the book. How it read, the fluff, how the game mechanics fit the setting and how interesting they was. I should also note I am not a bit fan of Asian fantasy myths and legends. I find it interesting but less than most other myths, legends and settings. Yes I know I was a bit light in my review above, but mostly because I quickly realized if I went in depth I would end up with a 10 page review.

Now what can I say about the product? Well simply this, I think it is hands down the best Asian based game setting I have read. Certainly for D20 based games, if not all games. It is also the first such book to make me actually interested in running/playing in a Asian themed setting for D20(Pathfinder). It is well written and really to me at least captured the feel of the Asian culture, while still presenting it in a way to draw in and appeal to those not overly familiar with it.

My biggest critic and this isn't really a critic, is that I wish it was written for 3e edition DnD or Pathfinder instead of Arcane Evolved. It would then have been a lot less work for me to adapt much of this for my games when I run or convince someone else to run this setting. I am giving it a 3 star on Drivethru because while you get both PDF's, beta now and Omega when done. You don't get a book, which makes it a bit pricey of a PDF. The content and writing is top notch, if I was to grade it only on that. I would give it a 4 or a 4.5 star, the price of 59.99 for a PDF though drops my rating.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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