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akaWrath
Mortal
(10/21/03 5:26 am)
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Re: Session 10/19/03 - The End
We've been asked to provide comments, and I, the Black Sheep, will hereby start (see the "Campaign Unravelling" thread for a clue about the Black Sheep-thing ;-).

Note: I'm and old hand and has both played and GM'd ToEE in my early RPing days.

For me RttToEE has been a mixed experience, with highs at both ends (the beginning and the end) and a very low low in the middle.

The social and dynamic milieus of Verbobonc, Hommlet and Rastor were good places to be. Both the Moathouse and the old Temple before the (realization of the) reopening were manageable "dungeons", as was the reopened temple. Shiobharek also incorporated the Speaker in Dreams module module to good effect, a dynamic, townbased adventure.

The Crater Ring Mountains, however, were ... well a bit of a nightmare. I'm not sure if it was really intended in the module, but the campaign in this part of the things settled into slow and, to my tastes, exceedingly tedious grind of much tactical combat simulation, very little development of story, very few roleplaying opportunities and very little ambiguity of situation/instances of need to prioritize and make tough choices etc. (and I'm horrified by Shiobharek's comment from last Sunday that we only went through about half the thing! Brrr!). This was IMO unfortunately further reinforced, as our otherwise dear GM chose to make many of the encounters tougher than written, as he was worried that the battles would otherwise be boringly easy, thus making it take even longer to battle through them. If you have players like me, don't do this even with good intentions! It also led to many instances of character death, and life just became too cheap for me - a situation that persisted to the end, as eg. our battle with the First necessitated the use of 2 True Ressurection spells during the battle to leave only (!) three out of six dead.

In the end I cannot give this adventure as experienced very high marks. I appreciate that Shiobharek did what he could to address my concerns underways, but ... when both game system and published adventure seems to reinforce a certain style of play, even the GM is up against it, and there's only so much he can do for one like me. And we probably missed some opportunities underways ourselves in any case.

Well, that be it for now. If anyone wants clarifications of any elements, be free to ask.

Siobharek 
Cherub
(10/21/03 6:40 am)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Session 10/19/03 - The End
One clarifying comment: I did indeed boost the CRM. I regret it today. But I did not boost the First.

Otherwise thanks, Wrath, for the comments, and as he says: Ask for details.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

ZansForCans 
Cherub
(10/21/03 8:35 am)
Reply
Re: Session 10/19/03 - The End
The first question that comes to my mind as my group has just crossed into the CRM is about resources. Although maybe it's hard to comment about the adventure as written with the boosted encounters, but did you feel you were getting enough resources (esp. in the CRM) to stay on track with your equipment? What about what you found versus what you felt you had to craft? Were the items found useful? And to Siob, did you have to boost the treasures as well and did you perceive whether they were getting behind the curve at all?

Thanks.


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akaWrath
Mortal
(10/21/03 9:19 am)
Reply
Re: Ressources
I remember at one point being concerned that we were "spending" more than we were "earning", but it didn't evolve beyond a concern and then it went away

JRedGiant
Memunite
(10/21/03 9:52 am)
Reply
Thanks
Siobharek,

Reading your log was interesting and informative. I feel like I learned a lot that will help my campaign. I'm already brimming with ideas for when the PC's run into the arena section of the CRM.

Thanks for sharing,
JRedGiant

Siobharek 
Cherub
(10/21/03 10:15 am)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Session 10/19/03 - The End
Zans, I boosted the treasure on my boosted NPCs, but otherwise kept it as written. On at least 3 different occasions, my crew almost bought themselves into bankruptcy, but the CRM came through and provided filthy lucre soon after.

A more important concern is enabling the PCs to spend their money without being forced to go to all the way to Verbobonc - a trip that sometimes can be quite disruptive for the flow of the adventure.

I had two gnomes come up from Verbobonc and establish themselves as tradesmen, primarily for the PCs. That helped quite a bit, as the group was able to commision purchases.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

arcane12
Memunite
(10/21/03 1:27 pm)
Reply
Re: Session 10/19/03 - The End
akaWrath:

The party deaths you encountered were they caused by things out of control (failing a save or die(petrification) trap/spell) by luck (Raging Barbarian being hit by claw/claw/rend when a little low and going down to rage stopping) or pure npc evilness (Coup de Grace)? This would be useful info for those of us who are trying to make the experience a good one :) Also out of these situations which ones did you not like? (evil npc's can be fun to a point, but when anyone who gets dropped in combat get Coup de Grace'd I could see that and getting old real fast).

Actually I think the situations where everyone may die can sometimes be quite memorable - I had a player lose one of his dice and bang his knee when he jumped up remembering he had a holy smite left - leaving the bad guys seriously in need of retreat :)

Thanks for your time :)

akaWrath
Mortal
(10/21/03 9:43 pm)
Reply
Re: Deaths
Arcane12, IMO some deaths might be written off as "accidental" (though hesitate to accept this term where the D&D 3.0 dynamics are concerned), but from my point of view the deaths were generally a result of encounters being powerful enough to apply a steady pressure hard enough that deaths were largly unavoidable. Of course our tactics were at some points less than elegant and effective, but in the "boosted era" small mistakes often yielded severe results. Pure npc Evilness was rare and generally approriate.

arcane12
Memunite
(10/22/03 5:01 pm)
Reply
Re: Deaths
Well it sounds like you DM made the game pretty fun, with fairness and a good sense of what was right, story wise. I can see where he also might have wanted to 'toughen' things up a bit, as some of the encounter can be real walkovers, like if the party goes to the 'main' gate second (howler etc). Of course some encounter that should be a 'walkover' can turn into a multi-death debacle!

akaWrath
Mortal
(10/22/03 10:28 pm)
Reply
Re: Deaths
I'm not really sure what your point here is ... ?

Siobharek 
Cherub
(10/22/03 11:07 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Deaths
I did indeed boost some of the walk-overs (as I in fact boosted the whole darn thing - kids, don't do this at home). The main problem was that it eliminated any margen for error. So when the PCs (and their players) were on top of things and fresh in both mind and spirit, they had some good strong encounters. On nights with two players absent, a lowered degree of attention among those that were there and maybe a party somewhat depleted in resources, deaths did occur.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

arcane12
Memunite
(10/23/03 2:54 pm)
Reply
Re: Deaths
Sorry ;) I think I need some help, I rearely get my point across coherently :P

Bascially what I was trying to say was, looks like you had fun, and as a DM I can see where I would have made such a error in judgement as boosting EL's to 'toughen' things up. I think my party has enough of a habit of biting off more than they can chew without me helping! (don't make it too easy for the PC's to climb over the CRM and get to the gates, they can get into a world of hurt by jumping in at the Eastern bridge complex too early. I am just glad the Bebilith was not set off :o )

akaWrath
Mortal
(10/25/03 8:30 am)
Reply
Re: Deaths
Ah, like that. Yes, that was pretty much the gist of it.

Zagig
Crimson Coil Cultist
(1/7/04 1:29 am)
Reply
Re: Siobharek's Session
Wow!!! What did I miss. Well, I finally got around to reading your whole campaign log, Siobharek. I even sought out all other your other posts about your campaign. The whole "Campaign Unravelling" thing seemed to work out all right in the end. I'd like to think that it's because you and Claus(?) are such good friends.

And...holy smoke did you guys wrap up fast. I kinda thought that the whole recovered temple thing was gonna take another 4 or 5 game sessions. You guys did it in...what...two? And the deaths? Yikes!!! Talk about deadly. Good thing for those True Resurrection spells, eh.

Overall, it sounds like all of you had a pretty good time. Even akaWrath (that's Claus isn't it?) seems to have more problems with the system than with the adventure itself. I gotta say that your campaign sounded pretty darn good. Sometime this week I'm gonna start reading your AU log. It's gotta be just as interesting.

I only have one more comment to add. (Zagig proceeds to climb up on the soap-box) This applies more to other DMs here than anything else. One situation that I see crop up in so many logs is the lack of ROLE-playing during the CRM. This may be because DMs don't mention it. If this is you, please ignore me. There is nothing stopping any DM from adding his/her own role-playing elements to the game that are either superficially related to RttToEE or have nothing to do with it at all. I did this in my (interrupted) campaign and it made the CRM (or rather, time spent outside the CRM) more enjoyable for both myself and the players. I know that it's not always easy, with demands from family and work, but it's well worth a couple of hours of time to create. This is not meant as a criticism, but as a helpful hint. I put this here because, while I truly admire Siobharek as a DM and as a person (I really do), his campaign log looks like that may have been why the CRM bogged down. I will now get off the soap-box.

Siobharek, thank you for all the work you do on this board. Your name shall go down in history, or at least it should. I can't speak for anyone else but you are one of very few people on these boards whose name I have brought up lots of times. All I have to do is mention your name and my friends go "Yeah, the guy from Denmark."

Zag:rollin ig

P.S. I didn't post here so I could talk about the role-playing thing. That kinda turned into a monster paragraph all on it's own.

Siobharek 
Brother of Venom
(1/7/04 1:54 am)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Siobharek's Session
Wow... Thanks for the very kind words.

Yeah, Claus and AkaWrath are one and the same.

Where did we role-play in the CRM...

There was a bit with Mereclar and that crowd, but due to some very bad bluff rolls, that didn't really take off.

I tried to set up something major with Vranthis, but the PCs attacked him on sight, so...

We had lots of fun with the Water Temple (at least I like to think so), but eventually that deteriorated as well.

There was also some fun around the gladiatorial arena with the gargoyles, but nothing major, just as the Air Bridge never really got into play (I had lots of fun with the barghest changing shape all the time, though)

The fire temple and the... Earth Bridge (?) was pure hack and slash, as was the Earth Temple becazuse I just couldn't see the Trogs be that social.

But yeah, by the time the group reached the Recovered Temple, they were so coordinated that it just snapped by. That, and the fact that my dice decided to side with the players in the showdown in the Great Temple in the RT.

And I could certainly do worse than be known as "The guy from Denmark". Thanks again :D

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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