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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:22 pm 
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I recall fairly well who spearhearded which PrCs. Indeed, I have a fairly good memory of who wrote most of what material (Selah and Kain did most of the epic spells, Kain did at least half of the Personalities of the Pit or whatever chapter 5 was, Selah did about half of the PrCs, and so forth). It was a great working experience that we were never able to replicate... :(

I do think that the concepts for the PrCs, as with the concepts for the various templates and so forth, reflect a bloated approach to game-design that was very much in keeping with the times. Epic rules were a bloated mess. Divine rules were a likewise (largely unrelated to epic) bloated mess. And our material, starting with my original templates, ended up with bloated mechanical messes. Now, I don't regret what we did because it was a lot of fun, sparked a lot of conversation, and garnered a lot of (mostly positive) reactions from the larger D&D community.

For me, the biggest irony is that I created the original Duke of Hell template as a joke because I thought the idea of "templates" for gods (which is essentially what the divine build rules were) was idiotic. But the response was so positive that I ran with it.

I do agree with Kain that the material was meant to be "read," if not played (which is somewhat backwards, when you think about it). Nevertheless, I believe that is the strength of the material. I think what we wrote back then (with the grammatical errors and typos) was still as good as some "professional" material and, potentially better considering that we were doing this stuff as a (very serious) hobby. And that's why I believe that most of our conceptual materials, including the flavor for the PrCs, surpassed most of the PrCs as presented in BoVD.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:03 pm 
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By 3rd Edition standards it was one of the greatest things ever written. Got me here, after all.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Regardless of how well parts of tGoH hold up (or don't), it was a fantastic undertaking that *reads* tremendously well, by which I mean it really sparks the imagination and invites the mind to imagine the hellish politics and devilish personalities that make up the publication.

I love it to this day.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:23 pm 
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The Serge wrote:
I do agree with Kain that the material was meant to be "read," if not played (which is somewhat backwards, when you think about it).


I completely and utterly disagree with you on this. Not because my group is currently using TGoH Asmodeus as an over the top BBEG, but because it set a standard for me to make epic material by and it helped me to discover this group of homebrewers who actually likes to make material that goes beyond the scope of e20.

EDIT: That said, whoever stated out Leviathan needs to re-examine his powers known.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:48 am 
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Lazarous wrote:
The Serge wrote:
I do agree with Kain that the material was meant to be "read," if not played (which is somewhat backwards, when you think about it).


I completely and utterly disagree with you on this. Not because my group is currently using TGoH Asmodeus as an over the top BBEG, but because it set a standard for me to make epic material by and it helped me to discover this group of homebrewers who actually likes to make material that goes beyond the scope of e20.

I am humbled by your perspective and pleased to know that you, and others clearly, got something of value out of TGoH.

An example of what I mean by my statement is that almost all of the abilities contain these huge descriptions of powers that are written in an almost novel-like format, with layers and layers of effects in each. These aren't easy to implement quickly in a game at all. Furthermore, most of the monsters had so many powers apiece that even a well planned encounter was a beast to coordinate for many people (believe, I know!). Now, I'm poo-pooing something that I had a significant hand in creating just because it's old; I'm just acknowledging where the strengths of the material lie. Don't think I'm not proud of what we did.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:53 pm 
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The Serge wrote:
Lazarous wrote:
The Serge wrote:
I do agree with Kain that the material was meant to be "read," if not played (which is somewhat backwards, when you think about it).


I completely and utterly disagree with you on this. Not because my group is currently using TGoH Asmodeus as an over the top BBEG, but because it set a standard for me to make epic material by and it helped me to discover this group of homebrewers who actually likes to make material that goes beyond the scope of e20.

I am humbled by your perspective and pleased to know that you, and others clearly, got something of value out of TGoH.


Add another person to that pile. I got into epic level play and design thanks Gates of Hell. It lead me to working out my own cosmology and has endlessly inspired me. The structure and depth it gives to Hell leads me to extrapolating how it works across the planes. I don't like a fair few of the mechanics in the book, but that's okay. I tend to rework anything to my tastes anyway, and besides, that's not what I've truly gotten out of the material. What I got out of it was a realization of how awesome D&D's cosmology can be and how deep it can run. There's a depth to Gates of Hell that's absent from other D&D works about the outer planes. They're the afterlife, yet other products never really sold that concept to me.

Quote:
An example of what I mean by my statement is that almost all of the abilities contain these huge descriptions of powers that are written in an almost novel-like format, with layers and layers of effects in each. These aren't easy to implement quickly in a game at all. Furthermore, most of the monsters had so many powers apiece that even a well planned encounter was a beast to coordinate for many people (believe, I know!). Now, I'm poo-pooing something that I had a significant hand in creating just because it's old; I'm just acknowledging where the strengths of the material lie. Don't think I'm not proud of what we did.


Yeah, I usually handwave those sort of powers anyway. They're interesting, but I also feel a stat block isn't the right place for them. The soul gathering powers in particular are something I feel should be separated from combat statistics.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:37 pm 
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The Serge wrote:
Lazarous wrote:
The Serge wrote:
I do agree with Kain that the material was meant to be "read," if not played (which is somewhat backwards, when you think about it).


I completely and utterly disagree with you on this. Not because my group is currently using TGoH Asmodeus as an over the top BBEG, but because it set a standard for me to make epic material by and it helped me to discover this group of homebrewers who actually likes to make material that goes beyond the scope of e20.

I am humbled by your perspective and pleased to know that you, and others clearly, got something of value out of TGoH.

An example of what I mean by my statement is that almost all of the abilities contain these huge descriptions of powers that are written in an almost novel-like format, with layers and layers of effects in each. These aren't easy to implement quickly in a game at all. Furthermore, most of the monsters had so many powers apiece that even a well planned encounter was a beast to coordinate for many people (believe, I know!). Now, I'm poo-pooing something that I had a significant hand in creating just because it's old; I'm just acknowledging where the strengths of the material lie. Don't think I'm not proud of what we did.


It's fairly easy if you're willing to memorize and keep small reference on hand. There is no shame in admitting that you don't know what EVERYTHING does.

Not going to lie, but my interesting in getting the projects back on track is entirely selfish. I like your projects and admittedly would be entirely willing to pay out to buy books produced by you people.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:30 am 
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It's one thing to have the stat block in front of you for occasional reference, knowing what to add to the rolls, etc. It's another thing entirely to have to pause the game for a few minutes while you re-familiarize yourself with one of Belial's **** powers. Oh, and Fierana just showed up because of course she did, and she has powers too. And that pile of pit fiends isn't getting any smaller.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Out of curiosity, where would the Diabolist, Cancer Mage, Warrior of Darkness, Mortal Hunter, Ur-Priest, and Vermin Lord fit into the Gates of Hell?


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Vile Darkness [Old Prestige classes]
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Diabolist is, I guess, the equivilant of the Infernal speaker. The rest are less TGoH and more Book of All Things Evil You Might Think Of kind of thing.


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