Consolidated Module Feedback

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Alphastream
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Alphastream » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:13 pm

nielsene wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 am
Having had a chance to fully re-read the glyphstone narratives, I think the party I ran through the adventure would still be outraged/dis-inclined to work with Zaltar at all and will still feel "robbed" that they don't get to fight him for real. However its much closer to the 'acceptable evil" line than it was before.
I think a lot of fun can be had in deciding how evil to make Zaltar. Ozraeline and other sources can provide information steering the party one way or another toward whichever "truth" you choose to go with.

Even though I was the primary author (building on Nate's narrative), in my home campaign I changed this significantly to work with a larger plot I had (in the Tomb of Annihilation's Fane).
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:00 am

Having had a chance to fully re-read the glyphstone narratives, I think the party I ran through the adventure would still be outraged/dis-inclined to work with Zaltar at all and will still feel "robbed" that they don't get to fight him for real. However its much closer to the 'acceptable evil" line than it was before.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:09 am

Third and Fourth glyphstone have the same narrative, is that intentional?

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:50 am

Just skimmed the update module, didn't have time to do a thorough reading of the revised handouts, will check that later to see if i think it addresses some of my parties concerns.

a) Thank you for moving all the new monsters to their own section, ditto for moving all the handouts to the back. The whole top-level organization is much easier to work with I think now. Definitely much easier to print out a complete set of handouts each time I run the thing instead of hunting around each section.

b) Definitely hope we get a one-page (rather than two-page spread version). For people wanting to print out a copy, a layout based on 8.5x11 instead of 17x11 is more useful. And for people wanting to fold/handbind a copy we typically need to handle imposition (ie I will be printing on 17x11 paper, but the assemblage of which pages go where is based on how the sheets get folded into 8 sheet "signatures". Everything is 32 page chunks, sheet 1 for instance ends up being page 1,2,31,32... sheet 8 would be 15,16,17,18 -- every 8th sheet would be the only sheet that on one side can use the full two-page spread as is).

c) Related the rare 1 page spreads in the middle of the two page feels a bit awkward. (But in some cases does make it easier for me, as I'm planning to print the appendixes as separate bound volumes)

d) I think you still need a better view/table for the Puzzle Room floor tile layout -- none of the views given make it easy for the GM to know what stickers/tiles to place where. The images are either blurry, occluded, or otherwise hard to make out.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by ConspiracyOfOne » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:14 am

I have ran a group of 6 players through Encounter 8 so far. I ran the players through Tapestry of Deceit first to get them so experience (and to use my city builder stuff), so they entered the DoD at level 3.

Session 1: (about 5 hours)

Encounter 1: Zaltar's gameroom. No one was hit by the crossbows, which caused some issues later.

Encounter 2: Arcane Alcove. The PCs set off the pit trap, but did manage to discover the Wall of Force before attempting to jump over. They had no Dispel Magic and felt they were stuck. I had to tell them Zaltar had made all the rooms solvable by differently-composed groups of adventurers. They immediately understood the pillars were medusae and solved the riddle quickly. They didn't use the clues for the blade trap hallway, but made it though unscathed regardless.

Encounter 3: Lever Chamber. PCs were stumped by this one. Since no one had been struck by the crossbows, they didnt see the wall wards clues. I had to throw them a bone by letting the ghost noble see through the illusions. Once they had the alignments, they figured it out.

Session 2: (about 5 hours)

Encounter 4: Deadly Corners. It was entertaining watching the PCs try different things as they found the 4 elements. Once they had all 4, they quickly realized what they needed to do. I finally had a player hit with a crossbow in here.

Encounter 6: Acid Bath. First, the hallway between 5 and 6. They befriended the dog and fed the manacles so handled this area with ease. They chose Acid Bath first. This room ended up being fairly easy as they friendshipped the crocodile and so just had to take out the serpent heads.

Session 3: (about 7 hours)

Encounter 5: The Gauntlet. I thought this was going to tear the party up pretty badly, but they made a couple good decisions that saved them. They took some early damage on the first two platforms, but then they used spiderclimbing to bypass most of the trouble. Once the glyph was grabbed the door/wall started moving forward, the sorcerer cast Knock on the door and they let it pass by them.

Encounter 7: Gorgon Tiers. This was a fun one. The player struck by the crossbow saw through the mosaic illusion and saw the golems, so the group knew they would come into play at some point. It made them very paranoid to try the door. Once in the main chamber, they sent the dog they freed earlier in. It set off the gorgon and the dog was insta-killed. Big battle ensued and a player ended up summoning a demon to turn the tide of battle. The demon one the day, but broke free of the PCs control and the players had to survive 6 rounds with the demon. They learned nothing about the fire brazier or the clues on the pillars.

Encounter 8: Puzzle Floors. Based on the players being stumped by the Lever Chamber, I thought they may have trouble with this encounter. On the contrary, they figured it out quite quickly, setting off only 1 flame trap. They also quickly understood they couldn't take all the treasure if they wanted the glyphstone.

Next session they will start with Eldritch Pools and then head to the Menagerie. I may have to railroad them a bit and lock off the Dais of the dead so they do Doomroller first. I can't build Eldritch Pools, Menagerie, Doomroller and Dais of the Dead all at once. While I like the players have a choice to do Encounters in different orders, it doesn't work realistically with the fact I have to build the rooms ahead of time. I have an 8' x 3.5' table, but I take up one end with my GM setup and I like players to at least have room for their Char sheet and space to roll some dice.

So I am thinking Session 4 will be Eldritch Pools, the Menagerie, and Doomroller's Labyrinth. Session 5 will be Dais of the Dead and maybe Khri Colony? May build the colony on a separate table so I can have the lava bridge built, but I feel like the lava bridge has enough content for a full session itself. Decisions, decisions.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:14 pm

Finished running 13-15 today with my group: Generally speaking I found all three much harder to run than the previous ones. Information was more scattered and while I had read everything a couple of times I kept missing things, having to continually page back and forth.

The party really didn't like the blessed by sysuul puzzle, even with the clue from the handouts.

All the fights still felt underwhelming (PF conversion doc, even with my further tweaking) The Khris were probably the mots deadly -- their acid spray was one of the highest damage things encountered tonight, much scarier to the PCs than the vermillion (and that's CR 7 compared to CR 10... ) Party got fixated on finding 4 orbs to feed all the bridge gargoyles, before realizing that would be bad. (sorta meta-gamed). I feel like there needs to be something that helps tip off that this is a bad path.

Module's map annoations can definitely do a better job of showing where the vault room exit in Lava Chamger part 2 is. Entrance to khri references menagerie, but I think its dais of the dead. (Simple typo)

Party absolutely hated not being able to challenge/actually kill Zaltar. Nothing in the emerging story as they journeyed made them see him as an "evil they can work with". And I kinda agree.

Sysuul fight had fun moments, felt epic enough. Trap door room before was more so so. And antechamber was good.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:09 pm

Alphastream wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:44 pm
nielsene wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:48 pm
between the build guide blowout picture and the glamour shot in the module i got most of it. The grey alchemy symbols are particular hard to make out in all the shots ( and occluded in the glamour shot). B's and H's were also tough to make out. I think the sunrise/sunset we're flipped as well.

Solved the alchemy ones by just spot checking the solution to figure out what had to be where.
The puzzle proved very hard for some groups, so we are tweaking it. Also, it turned out that the symbols in pre-production were different in a few cases from those on the final sheet, so the encounter was tweaked further.
Specifically on the puzzle:
GM Difficulty:
1) Setup (as stated previously): the last row of glyphs was not visible in any of the higher resolution shots. Some of the letters are hard to distinguihs in the photos. I'd suggest a not photographed, text table layout showing the puzzle state.

Player Difficulty:
1) Putting the three scenes in order felt like one (easy) puzzle too many. I'd suggest removing that layer.
2) Setting the puzzle pillar: My group had a fair bit of trouble with this. The solutions feels obvious once known, but rather opaque until known.
3) Navigating tiles: Words were easy for my group. Celestial entity/time of day was a sticking point and should be cleaned up. Final tiles where obvious for two of the puzzles, but somewhat ambiguous for life/luck.
4) Floating eye/teleport: party had no clue what was happening/how to stop it/why it was happening and was frustrated.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by Alphastream » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:44 pm

nielsene wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:48 pm
between the build guide blowout picture and the glamour shot in the module i got most of it. The grey alchemy symbols are particular hard to make out in all the shots ( and occluded in the glamour shot). B's and H's were also tough to make out. I think the sunrise/sunset we're flipped as well.

Solved the alchemy ones by just spot checking the solution to figure out what had to be where.
The puzzle proved very hard for some groups, so we are tweaking it. Also, it turned out that the symbols in pre-production were different in a few cases from those on the final sheet, so the encounter was tweaked further.
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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by nielsene » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:47 pm

Yes I know --- I've already run 1-12 once with higher level PF characters and it sorta ruined things.

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Re: Consolidated Module Feedback

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:30 pm

There are only a few rooms where flying could matter: Acid Bath, Gauntlet, Gorgon Tiers, Puzzle Floors, Doomroller, Lava Bridge. So not really even half. Just make sure they can't fly all of the time so they have to choose when they need to use it.
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