Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
The Jade Regent Player's Guide is a 28-page full-colour PDF that details the background, character options and a few new rules for the Jade Regent adventure path for the Pathfinder RPG.
One thing that Paizo do really, really well is background material for their adventure paths. Their first attempt to really give a lot of background - back in the Dungeon Magazine days of the Savage Tide - was brilliant. So brilliant that the entire AP fell apart for my group once we left the starting town for the Isle of Dread and all that the excellent background material was wasted. (Sassarine would have been a great place for the AP; it wasn't as good away from it!)
The Jade Regent Player's Guide has learnt from this. Instead of focusing on lots of details about the place you're leaving, it looks more at what characters would fit best into the campaign, and their interactions with the NPCs you'll be travelling with. So, if you want to play a Witch, you'll probably find the adventure difficult, and even more so if your familiar is unusual. On the other hand, Rangers will work well - and the Guide gives suggestions as to the skills and favoured enemies that will be best in the campaign.
Characters also begin with two campaign traits; basically half-feats that tie-in to the four NPCs you travel with. The NPCs each get half-page descriptions, which is terribly important if the players are to interact with them properly.
The traits, listed by name only, are: Best Friend, Caravan Guard, Childhood Crush, Foster Child, Friend of the Family, Hero Worship, Rescued, Student Survivalist and Younger Sibling.
Notes are also give for playing the NPCs as PCs; something that might actually be advisable in this game.
Basic rules for keeping track of PCs relationship levels with the NPCs are also here, including the possibility of romance (something the Guide rightfully notes will not be to everyone's taste).
This takes up the first 15 pages of the Guide. The remainder of the Guide is given to rules on merchant caravans... which, as this will be a road trip adventure path, are something you will get very, very used to as the adventure progresses. Believe it or not, there's actually a caravan character sheet, and the caravan can gain feats as it gets more experienced. It does make sense, and the rules are fairly thorough, but you're forgiven if you don't want to use them: they're quite optional in the campaign.
So, that's the Jade Regent Player's Guide. It's perhaps a little light on character background detail, but at least it allows the characters to start with strong relationships with the NPCs of the adventure: something that is likely to prove very important. And, for those people who want a little more interest in their travels, the caravan rules add that. If you're planning on going on a trip to the lands of the Jade Regent, start here!