Consolidated Module Feedback

nielsene
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:24 pm

Likely to be 4-6 players, tend to be a bit of mix-maxers when it comes to combat, but they tend to enjoy the RP/puzzle aspects more.

I'm more of a PF person, they're more of 5e. I've not been thrilled with the PF appendix/conversion for DoD, so I'm definitely happy to try running it in 5e. Basically just want to avoid the wizard/flight type options skipping half the puzzles....

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:16 pm

There are 3 different scales for the dungeon, so I'd say the sweet spot is starting at the lowest level for the tier you choose (though look out for the lever chamber, it can be a doozy with CR of the monsters).
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by zenako » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:04 pm

nielsene wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:34 am
Currently recruiting a group of friends to try a marathon running of it over the holidays. Any one have any feedback on what the sweet spot of APL is? (Assuming 5e this time rather than PF).
how big is the party? The standard 4ish characters or a larger group? (I am currently running a game that has 8 characters on the PC side (A couple of them are permanent NPCs on their strike team, filling roles that are sometimes not as much fun to play). Also magic level of your game? Do characters show up with all sorts of gear, or will MW weapons be as good as it gets.

Finally do your characters like solving problem and trap type things, or is their answer to those is get a bigger hammer?! I know I have some players who really only want to swing their weapon or cast their spell at the bad guy, while others would be happy to talk and negotiate if that seemed reasonable.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:34 am

Currently recruiting a group of friends to try a marathon running of it over the holidays. Any one have any feedback on what the sweet spot of APL is? (Assuming 5e this time rather than PF).

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Pizzabagel » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:30 pm

I ran Encounters 4-6 for my group last night. Only 3 of the 6 players showed (and the tank was absent) which is fine because it encouraged caution. It was interesting watching them mentally work through the puzzles,and they seemed to enjoy the high-quality handouts from the module. I had a little difficulty finding the puzzle solution for the elemental puzzle in Encounter 4, so I’d suggest possibly highlighting or putting this caption in some king of window box for the DM might help.

My players had a little trouble with the elemental puzzle, to the extent it required all 4elements placed at one time to work. When I run it again I think I will have the colored depression glow or something and lock in when they match the right susbstance with the right depression.

Encounter 5 they ignored the talkative gargoyle Pillars, and missed so,e possibly useful information, but hey I tried. I may have run the encounter with the manacles incorrectly but I couldn’t find any stats for the manacles, so i made it a construct on the fly. When I run it again, I’ll probably bump it up to make it more challenging. Same with the hound. At level 10+ even a warg doesn’t have a high life expectancy, but the Druid gently befriended it and sent it out of harms way.

I loved the Acid bath encounter. The players were impressed at how cool it looked, then began to curse me and accuse me of trying to kill them as the encounter unfolded. I self limited the encounter slightly by only having the pillars activate after a person reached the back half of the dungeon, and also limited their lines of attack, giving the players a chance to duck and cover while still scaring the crap out of them. Once they figured out they could target the serpent heads with ranged attacks, they were able to shut down the healing and baleful teleport rays and turn the tide.

They did not make it down the Gauntlet this game, but they found the trap handout in the Acid Bath, which may help next week.

They liked the magic items, and they are hard to please, so great job! I made the fire armor able to transform into either light, medium or heavy armor to give more options for different players to utilize it.

Can’t wait for Golem Walls next Sunday!!!

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Pizzabagel » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:45 pm

My wife and I are spending a week with friends over the holiday who are gamers, but play other games, like Magic the Gathering, etc. I’m going to try to talk them into letting me run them through the first few encounters of the DOD starting with Level 1 characters.

It will be fun to play with people who aren’t power gamers for a change.

One of the great things about the DOD is the modularity, I already know that they don’t want to have a marathon 10 hour D@D session but we can hopefully play for a couple hours (Encounter 1) and stop and play something else, then come back and play again another day (Encounter 2-3). Etc.

I’m not going to pack up the whole DOD (due to space) but I’m going to try packing enough pieces to run through 1-13 without putting the whole thing out at once, just a few encounters at a time,

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:17 am

Yeah, the pre-published PF guide was generally ok -- skill checks had to be increased a bit more. The bigger problem was the custom/new monsters as the ACs at least were extremely too low to be interesting. Also the difference between bounded/unbounded accuracy meant that at the higher APLs just throw more level 5 creatures (the hardest Mareghasts) doesn't work the same way as it does in 5e.

My party prefers to use stoneshape or similar spells to solves lots of dungeon issues. I basically told them flat out you can't tunnel through rooms in this dungeon with it. They've used flight a lot with mixed success (trivialized Acid Bath, Gorgon Tiers, and Doomroller. They tried to use it in the guantlet, but ended up stuck in the nets that time.

Continually the tidbits from the playtrough:
Eldritch pools, felt bland. The party's RP of the eldtrich runes is starting to make things difficult (the various 'caretaker/similar ones' don't want to let others take risks. One of the more aggressive/greatness ones won't ever retreat. I still hadn't buffed the Mareghasts enough to be truly threatening, (even so I dropped on PC -- the one who wouldn't retreat... so they left him unconscious while the pulled him out to revive him after there were no enemies in sight.

Party was completely focused on attacking/destroying the obelisk physically rather than the skill checks. Including stoneshaping the base away so it fell down. I ruled it still summoned things :)

Menagerie went quick, party distrusted Ozaraine (sp) from the get go because of the stories so far from the glyphstones, but made some phenomal diplomacy checks and reasonable RP so Ozaraline is acting friendlier, but may still betray them. After freeing her, party cloud-killed all the monsters in the cages before triggering their release.

Doomroller went similar fast -- invisible flying caster. Didn't see (maybe I missed it) any invisiblity sight for Doomroller... It saw the glyph disappear and went barelling down, but the flyer manager to kite around and not get hit.

Dias of the dead: mainly came down to party arguing over who got to spill their own blood (not because they wanted the power/etc, but just because no one wanted to let others be hurt). I was about 5 seconds from having Ozaraline co-opt the ritual when the wizard jsut said, I'm doing it and stabbed himself multiple times. They released the spirits over Orzaeline's begging.

Basically. I really want to run this adventure again, with ~level 3-5 characters not 9-10-11s. Also with characters for whom this is the primary adventure rather than a side quest (they really want to get back to Kingmaker and finish it). They're loving the terrain and how everything fits together. They like the encounters, they dislike the overall story. (They don't like the everyone is evil; enemy of my enemy is my friend style vibe).

Wondering if I can find a group of people who want to play it over the holidays in a marathon-ish session

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Pizzabagel » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:11 am

I’ve been rereading the earlier posts. I can see why Alphastream will have his hands full converting this adventure between 5th edition and Pathfinder. Pathfinder (and 3.5) has ridiculous power scaling the higher you go, especially with skill checks. 5th edition is much more balanced and the power level reduced (although it has its own challenges).

Using 5th edition with skill checks at 18-20, my group had a much harder time with autodetecting traps (and removing them). This kept them honest, and made the game more fun (although I almost had a mini mutiny on my hands, because they though the skill checks were too high). One of my players had juiced his passive perception to 19 which ordinarily would let him discover every thing possible. I appreciate the module varies the type of trap to require Investigation or Knowledge Arcana skill checks to discover magic traps which helped keep things interesting.

5th edition also limits flight, which is an enormous help for DMs. I’m bracing myself for another mutiny, because I have a player who is fond of summoning earth elementals to tear up and through dungeon walls. I’m planning on telling him that the magic of the dungeon blocks the earth elemental from passing through walls. I anticipate an argument that the Maerghasts are able to pass through the walls, so why couldn’t an elementa? I’ll probably say that the Maerghasts are connected to the magic infusing the dungeon (I’ve already set the stage with color descriptions - purple energy for the Maerghasts, Eldrid’s glyphs stones and Zaltars improvements, and green energy for Sysuuls original temple). Moreover the Maerghasts are summoned, and do not flow through the walls.

My players are smarter than me, so I have to try to stay a step ahead. Usually they are pretty good about just rolling with it and have fun, but they hate plot holes and inconsistency.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:29 am

My group rushed through 7-12 in one session, surprising me. Though like your group their pushing the level limit (they were supposed to preserve their level 9 characters when we had to wait for the rest of the module, but most forgot, so we had level 11s. Flight trivialized the gorgon room.

Then the fight ran face first into the Gelatinous cube and things could have gone poorly. But they spent a lot of spells/daily stuff to get him out/through it.

The puzzles went so so... the time of day ones seemed misleading/wrong in some cases. But they spelling came easy. They did wonder about the blue versus grey letters, which is purely cosmetic. They didn't understand the need for two time related signs, at all.

(Need to run, will try to add more later)

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Pizzabagel » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:55 pm

Just ran encounters 1-3 for my group tonight. I’m really loving the module so far, and I think my players are having a good time too.

I’ve had to adjust a little because my group of 5 is 11-12th level, so I eyeballed adding more monsters and increased DCs by 2 and trap damage by an extra die. Also my players are psychotic murder hobos to put it mildly.

4 hours was just about perfect for Encounters 1-3. I was afraid they would tear through the material faster and set out 1-6 (hiding the unexplored sections).

Encounter 1; I had the party members teleport in and removed the tunnel entrance (because I knew that some of my players would hang back and try to fight outside the dungeon). This worked well when the maeraghasts swarmed in. I went a little overboard and threw 6 warriors at them and 1 cleric, which was a little too much. Optimally I think 1 ghost per player would have been better (especially since they didn’t have a cleric or radiant weapons). Pack tactics really kicked in, I didn’t use the Howl ability as I thought it would be too devastating with so many ghosts, but I may try it later. The power of this encounter did set the tone that this was going to be a tough dungeon and to take it seriously.

One of my players thought the crossbow trap was an actual crossbow, and wasted time trying to dismantle it before I figured out that he was trying to claim it for his own use, I probably could have described it better, although he may not have been listening carefully. The same player tried to take all the weapons from the rack instead of just choosing 1 as instructed (Zaltars an illusion, right? He’s not going to stop me!). So I wound up telling him that the magic physically prevented him from taking more than 1 weapon.

Encounter 2 -I love the enchanted door! I played him with an accent like a New York doorman/bouncer/Dice Clay impersonator. “Ay, welcome to da Arcane Alcove... watch ya friggen step!” The players thought the riddle about using 3 legs was lame, but they don’t like puzzles that much. They did solve the first part on their own, but they couldn’t solve the Syssul part. In fairness they had never seen a picture of Syssul and couldn’t visualize a snake that walks on legs. I helped them a little with the second part after the rogue got beaten up a bit by the traps. They solved the medusa puzzle much better, Although they didn’t like the switch in the pit trap. I think it’s clever, but they thought it was too likely that someone would fall directly upon the spike switch and activate it. I pointed out that falling on the switch vertically would not activate it, but they still grumbled a bit.

Encounter 3 they seemed to enjoy this encounter a lot. They figured out how to use the Eldritch runes very quickly, and had no trouble with the concept of the pits. The concept of stuffing monster corpses into pits came very easily to my bloodthirsty players. Once my players realized the noble was really undead, one of them offered him a “healing potion” which was actually a vial of holy water...which took care of the noble. Like I said...Murder Hobos.

Next week Encounters 4-6!

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