Consolidated Module Feedback

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Alphastream » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:55 pm

I ran this just recently again, and I agree with you. It could benefit from having an indicator of some kind (though in some cases that might ruin the fun). One thing I encourage is to tip them off that a dead body works. They can try a creature in the trap, then try again wit that creature in a different configuration. I find that helps a lot, since if they make a sacrifice they don't waste it if they do it incorrectly the first time.
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by delroland » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:34 pm

Encounter 3 stumped my party and they ended up brute forcing the portcullis to continue. They did put a party member in one of the pits which was hilarious. Ironically, the PC in question was neutral, too, but the other two pits were empty at the time, and they got him out before continuing.

I think if there was some sort of progress indication, parties might be more easily able to figure out what to do. Like maybe the doors latch closed and glow when correct.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Pizzabagel » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:13 pm

I can’t wait to run the enchanted door for my group. I’ve been practicing a really bad New York accent for the door (like a doorman for a nightclub).

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Animewarped » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:10 pm

I really hope there ends up some plan to make a physical copy of the module. I'm about as computer savvy as a square peg trying to get through a smaller round hole. I may have to recruit one of my friends to do the job for me. lol

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:32 am

Yup, I totally got the point of the door. And I don't think the player's did. Which was the best possible outcome.

As mentioned, my party is playing through Kingmaker, so they're the rulers of the local land. The baroness is very interested in finding a husband, so the party was tell her to answer that a husband was her greatest desire for the treasure behind the door. She thought that would be creepy so went with a more mundane answer (funds for my kingdom), and the rest of the characters are now wondering if she really wants a consort after all. So yes, "forced" roleplay that felt like it was problem solving/knowledge gathering really worked for my party.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Alphastream » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:06 am

nielsene wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:10 am
Party was extremely suspicious of the sunburst door. They had all kinds of questions about why it was asking those questions, and what benefit it was getting. (They were already paranoid after realizing some of them had agreed to a contract by taking a weapon.) The fact that it was "just" a tactless/creepy/curious door is confusing them. They now want to free the door and bring it out with them after they finish.
This is great to hear. The point of such encounters is exactly that - to create situations the module really can't foresee. If the door always produced the exact same reaction, then the game would feel like a railroad. When it's more open, it creates strange and fun situations. There is no "truth" to the adventure text, because we can't know everyone's party and what they favor. I would encourage you to go with what you and your group like. If they want to save the door, that's awesome. Maybe the door is powered by a spirit that is bound to it. You could take a later encounter, such as the Dais, and put the door's incorporeal body there, lacking its spirit. Let them perform an improvised ritual (skill checks, perhaps a sacrifice) to unbind the spirit from the door and allow it to be part of the decision they make at the Dais (which you will see soon, hopefully). They could instead unhinge the door and take it with them. No reason why that can't work, and up to you what it takes to unhinge it without harming the spirit. With my kind of players in my home campaign I would probably just let it work because I would have fun roleplaying the door with them!

(As a full reveal, the whole point of the door is just to get players to talk in character and reveal some of their goals and motives and preferences to other players. I often put such a door in adventures for fun and I change up the questions based on the group I have.)
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:35 pm

Auto-detect + auto-disarm is what's a problem. Make some hard to detect, but easy to disarm (and generally lower damage if its more unavoidable), and others easy to detect + hard to disarm and higher damage. Some of them "neutralize-able" rather than disarm-able so its not just a skill check. We've haven't got to the Gauntlet yet. But if they get the handout before, it should be 'solvable' as something different than just a bunch of skill checks -- turning into a communal problem solving session rather than just a set of can't fail skill rolls.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by AnimeSensei » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:20 pm

SPOILERS FOR MODULE BELOW

I'm running some groups through as well, hoping to give feedback on the module. I've sent Nate my feedback so far.
My groups had the same sort of feedback as you, Maereghasts in 5E were harder than the steamrolled encounters in PF. My PF group had a TPK in the lever chamber. Both groups essentially pushed the noble in the pit. Both groups still need to go through the last 2-3 rooms. While it's a trap heavy dungeon, and there's a lot of auto-disarm, I don't mind because if they got hit by each trap they'd run out of healing much too quickly in both 5E and PF.
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:10 am

Going to be some spoilers for the module here, so read at your own risk. (Most/all of this has been forwarded back to Chuck, hopefully to share with the various appropriate people, so this is more for fellow fans).

Ran my group through most of the first three encounters yesterday, using the rough draft version of the PF appendix that Chuck shared with me. I have a 6 person level 9 party, so I used the APL 10 setting. The party is what I would consider strong, but not optimized to the degree I see in local PFS. Bard, Mystic Theurge, Ranger, Monk, Paladin, Kensai Magus. I've dropped the module in between chapters 3 and 4 of Kingmaker.

More background, up front, on Zaltar, Sysuul, and Eldrid would be useful. I suspect the information I'm looking for will be revealed in encounters 7+, but as the GM it helps to know it at the beginning, to know what information Zaltar has, what information some of the talking doors would have/share, etc. We don't know _why_ either of them are here, where Zaltar actually is, why Zaltar/Sysuul seem to wander the dungeon together (as the door says the travel together as the hint for traps.)

Party was extremely suspicious of the sunburst door. They had all kinds of questions about why it was asking those questions, and what benefit it was getting. (They were already paranoid after realizing some of them had agreed to a contract by taking a weapon.) The fact that it was "just" a tactless/creepy/curious door is confusing them. They now want to free the door and bring it out with them after they finish.

(Draft) PF Conversion still had lots of references to short rests, long rests, and lair actions. The former two shouldn't affect gameplay since they were primarily on monsters for their recharge of powers, but should be cleaned up before publication. I could figure out lair actions, but that will also look odd to a PF audience.

Mareghasts: Definitely double check their defenses, I think something must be off in the PF conversion. The listed armor isn't applying to their AC. Now if they were incorporeal, this might balance out to the right total amount of defense/hp for their CR, but as it is they're a pushover at all tiers. Casting stat for save DC could be looked at for an increase as well.

Encounter 1: At APL 10 is a complete non-encounter using the PF rules. Masses of CR-5 monsters don't make for a very scary encounter. I think the bounded accuracy of 5e versus PF's scaling means you either need a fourth tier of stated Mareghasts, or cap the PF conversion around APL 7.

Zaltar's Magic Items (and treasure in general in the DoD): Probably needs to be scaled up for PF. Magic items to my understanding are much more rare in 5e, so what was listed probably was enticing. And the small amounts of gold likewise? In PF, it feels like adventurers wouldn't get out of bed for the listed things at least at high tier.

Skill DCs: felt drastically low, even with the +1/2/3 option listed in the guide. Save DCs likewise. Most of hte party was saving on low single digit dice rolls. (Especially annoying, IMO, against the crossbow, which you kinda want someone to fail). Damage from traps felt appropriate. As it was the theme of "this is a trapped dungone you need to be careful" came through, but if people are searching, it was close to auto-detect/auto-disarm.

Demons/Devil in the Lever Champion: Compared to the Mareghasts, these felt too hard. Two back to back CR+3 encounters (or a CR+4 if a party is that incautious) feels a bit too much, even for a dangerous dunegon. Also the listed monsters for APL 8-10 are all size Huge which doesn't play well with the size of the board, or the interactions with the trap doors. Perhaps look for other options and try to stick with size L or smaller foes in this room. The demon wasn't actually too bad, while the devil was very, very close to a TPK. Probably need some text as to _why_ these outsiders can't just teleport out. Are they also bound/trapped adventurers? Is the Wall Ward blocking their teleportation (as its blocking the nobles conversion to a mareghast, etc)

I missed the STR check to force the gate into Deadly Corners, I should have let the party try, since they really didn't want to sacrifice the dead noble. Instead as people were getting frustrated and stuck, I let them chop the demon & devil in half, and stick half of both in the neutral one and 'trick' the neutral door with a UMD check (ie like activating a magic item without one or more of the requirements). Given that they were size Huge, you'd have to chop them up to fit even in their appropriate door :)

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:36 pm

Just Finished assembling encounters 1-6 using the build guide. Here's some feedback on it.

It took about an hour to setup 1-6, fairly easy, the main confusion points are covered in points 0 and 1.

0) It would be nice to repeat the illustration from page 6-7 of the full module in the build guide (if they remain separate PDFs, if they get merged maybe less of an issue, but it was nice to have both out to refer to). It would be nice to add some dimension indicators to that illustration -- ie what is the width of the build, what's the length to various stopping points. Figuring out where on the table to start the whole build was an issue.

1) The labeled, exploded build view should include a note on which doors/exits connect to another encounter.

2) There's an extra door in encounter 1 that doesn't appear in the diagrams, I assume its just entrance to the dungeon.

3) Would be nice if the guide indicated if the initial insert for the arched walls should be bars or wall or open, instead of needing to refer back to the module. Ditto for Corners where there's the 'or' for which LED element to install.

4) Orientation of plinth arch isn't shown in Deadly Corners, and somewhat hard to see in Gauntlet. Magnetic Rune doesn't 'stick' to the recessed side as shown for Guantlet, which appears to be the orientation indicated. Similar orientation issue for which side of the magnetic curved walls the levers go on.

5) Stairs aren't shown in Acid Bath, but it was obvious to me where they should go.

----

I have what I thought was a large table, so I started leaving a fair bit of space around the first encounter. I had to continually move things around my table and spin 90 degrees, and then had to take a few liberties -- flipping the left & right hand sides of the gauntlet to tuck the moving wall trap inside the negative space. And move the entrance to the acid bath two tiles over from the diagram to fit my table. (If i flipped it 90 degrees again, and just accepted it was going to abut both edges of the table, I maybe could have made it fit... Which is why knowing the overall dimensions before building would have been nice.) It is a large build!

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