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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:31 am 
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I'm glad that most of the things that I added were well-received.

On the thing with Vetra-Kali; yes, NE is a rather back-biting faction. In this case, that means they were rather looking forward to having him on the mortal plane, spreading plagues and fear, instead of at home with nothing better to do than scheme. As well, the Horn of Abbadon was pretty much the only temple to daemonkind in Talingarde, and with it gone, they've effectively ceded any influence they had there to Hell, whether that was your intention or not. Even if Arissa is convinced to keep following you guys and found a new temple, it cannot help but be a pale shadow of the Horn's glory, without a Harbinger to serve as example. To say nothing of the fact it will exist only by your sufferance.

I'm a little disappointed in your reaction to the "punishment," but I can't really say I'm surprised. My intention there was give Gaerlan pause. Not necessarily to humble or humiliate him, but to make him consider, just for once, that his will might not be the most dominant force in his immediate surroundings, that his strength, and cunning, and charm are not always going to be enough. Between the "perspective" (which seemed to be totally ignored, both in and out of character) and the Horsemen's displeasure at the loss of their place of worship, I had hoped to give Gaerlan a nudge to develop further, to become slightly more well-rounded in personality, while at the same time bind himself closer to Hell.

I can take the hint that efforts of that kind are not appreciated though, and that Gaerlan being humbled or his clever plots foiled, if only partially and momentarily, is not something that you're interested in exploring.


Aluroon wrote:
First let me say that making the Adventurer into one in which the players defend a dungeon was a pretty cool idea. One of many reasons I can see why this AP got a lot of buzz. There’s been a fair bit of innovation across the first two chapters in terms of design. Most of it was pretty good, and I think many of the holes are the kinds of things that if you play a very generic game are hard to foresee. There are parts I’d change from the word go, but overall I’ve enjoyed the narrative flow of the AP.

Among other things, specific to this chapter, I really like d the ability to make the Horn your own. I’m sure that no two adventuring parties had exactly the same vision, but it really lent itself to us making it a very unique space. I also thought, related to that, that the extended period of time IC lent itself well to a fair bit of character development. One of my frequent complaints in Kain’s game towards the end was that packing years of OOC into days of IC didn’t lend itself well to characters evolving and changing in interesting ways. That’s not specific to his game, in that many APs assume you move at a good clip. I liked that this one didn’t. I liked being pinned down, having 8 months or whatever pass. I thought it gave an opportunity to develop characters, NPCs, and plots with some richness for the rest of the story. Good storytelling design if you are assuming the game runs to 20, with the party ruling a kingdom. Tied to that, and thus not further elaborated, is the opportunity to develop minions that such a long period of time allows.

There were a few weakness I thought in the chapter. The Baron I thought was underutilized as a whole. He’s one of few characters that has potential to stand as a legitimate bulwark against / with the party, and interact with them as equals from his position of power. That he didn’t get much screen time I think contributed to the feeling that the PCs were running roughshod over things.

Similarly, the AP makes some very weak assumptions about the outcome of battles, and the aftermath with regards to enemies and villains. Maybe we were just too evil though.

Agreed on all counts.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Just to have it on record, and before I forget: with the end of Chapter 2, you are level 10.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:05 am 
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Some food for thought: Until now, almost all of Mitra's forces have been LG, and acted accordingly. I was thinking, however, that it might be easier to portray Lawful Good behavior if there's Neutral Good and Lawful Neutral behavior to contrast it.

Paladins, obviously, need to be LG, but clerics and inquisitors less so. How would the way an LN inquisitor, a Javert, if you will, of Mitra hunt and confront us differ from that of a paladin? What would be the difference in the methods and behaviors of a NG inquistor?

Or, for that matter, LN captives and NG captives with strong faith in Mitra? How distinct would they be from one another? From LG captives?

I was just thinking that one way to to further define - or refine - a character is to provide contrasts. For instance, as a protagonist, Batman displayed more humor in B:tAS, but by the time Justice League rolled around, with the presence of the Flash and other characters who could be humorous, Batman became more of a straight man.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:11 pm 
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Still alive, just stuck until early July.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:26 pm 
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Good to know! The first part, I mean. Obviously.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:04 am 
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Fraid I stumbled on this picture too late to suggest it as Horn cathedral carvings.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:48 am 
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Not bad, for a section near the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:30 am 
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Rumors, lest they get lost.

[21:48] <@WarDragon> The people are feeling talkative, especially with such a charmer as Gaerlan. Some of the things they say are as follows:
[21:48] <@WarDragon> "Where are the king and his armies? Why does he do nothing? Has the House of Darius abandoned us?"
[21:48] <@WarDragon> "The Duke of Ghastenhall offers a bounty for anyone who can claim the head of the medusa that lives in the mountains -- a thousand gold last I heard! Of course, you’ll not see me seeking it. What good is gold when you’re a statue?"
[21:48] <@WarDragon> "My dear auntie has fallen ill and seems unable to recover. Perhaps it is time for us to take a pilgrimage to the Vale of Valtaerna and seek the healing of the blessed Order."
[21:49] <@WarDragon> "Can you believe that next week is the festival of Iris already? What’s the festival of Iris? Almost a century ago the beautiful princess Iris of Ghastenhall vanished without a trace. Thy say to this day that if anyone can offer proof of her fate the Duke is bound to perform one favor to the man. "
[21:49] <@WarDragon> "Stay away from the Red Quarter after dark. It gets unsavory and downright dangerous. "
[21:49] <@WarDragon> "Thee days from now is the Grand Market. What a party! I wouldn’t miss it!"
[21:49] <@WarDragon> *Three
[21:49] <@WarDragon> "I’ve heard rumors an illegal arena in the Red Quarter? Ths can’t be true, can it? Such flagrant lawbreaking! What is happening to Talingarde?! "
[21:50] <@WarDragon> "They say there are in still vampires in the undercity! It gives me a shiver just thinking about such horrors on the loose in our fair city."
[21:50] <@WarDragon> "A lady of the night was found torn apart in White Quarter! Thre’s a mad killer on the loose!"
[21:50] <@WarDragon> "There are dwarves in the mountains who’ve been touched by the enemy! How long will it be before these dark dwarves ally with the Fire-Axe?"
[21:50] <@WarDragon> "Did you hear about the Horn of Abaddon? It glowed with green fie for seven months! But why did it stop is what I want to know!"
[21:51] <@WarDragon> "Did you hear about the new magic item salesman? It’s said that Murdo’s Magnifient Magical Menagerie has wonders beyond count!"
[21:51] <@WarDragon> "So much wickedness has befallen Talingarde in the last year -- the breaking of the Watch Wall, the Fire-Axe’s invasion, the strange doings in Farholde. Can there be any doubt of the cause? The minions of Hell are still among us! The dark prince sets his will against us! Who will save us? "
[21:52] <@WarDragon> "The war in the north is no war at all. The bugbears are savages! Thy would never dare attack any of the great cities of the south."
[21:52] <@WarDragon> "Varden Jamberlain, the owner of Jamberlain’s Apothecary, is a fine old army man. Thy say he gives a 10% discount to any fellow veterans who will swap war stories with him. "
[21:52] <@WarDragon> "It is said that Duke Hadrian is mad. I heard rumor that he roams the Castle Ghasten wearing nothing but his crown! "
[21:52] <@WarDragon> "The Duke is coward! Why won’t he lead his army to face the Fire-Axe?"
[21:52] <@WarDragon> "I can no longer sit by while Talingarde is invaded! I’m joining the army tomorrow!"
[21:53] <@WarDragon> "My fortune-teller spoke of dark omens. She says that Ghastenhall is the city on death’s door. I don’t like the sound of that! "
[21:53] <@WarDragon> "Have you ever travelled to Valtaerna? I took the pilgrimage once and was even lucky enough to see the phoenix up close!"


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:53 am 
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Feedback:

Purging Fineas and some others was partly for OOC reasons, to cut down on the character load, as well as due to the IC danger represented by an unknown magical capacity. I will say that although Puella and Gaer weren't great fans, I enjoyed his attempts to negotiate or bluff or deal his way out of the situation. NPCs don't try bargaining that often, especially not on their own initiative. I was almost tempted to let it work out, and next time I might, if it comes from someone more trustworthy.

I like the rumors list but I'm not sure pasting them in straight is the most effective way to make use of the material. It might benefit from a little breaking up and dressing up. Roon's character was the one involved, so he is free to disagree.

I have not found the ideal middle ground between wanting to move scenes along and Puella's desire to make it publicly clear that Gaerlan is first among equals and her own supportive role. Assertively moving scenes along can disagree with the latter, but things can slow down otherwise.

A bit on Mitra.
It was only a passing remark that reminded me of this (Thrane's remark that the Church is tiptoeing around out of fear of inadvertently restarting the inquisitions), but I'd encourage leaning a bit less on Christianity for the Mitran church - a bit of inspiration here and there is good (and I recall mentioning some Catholic themes in early feedback) but it seems the leaning has been heavy enough that distinctions are vanishing. At the moment our enemy and his church seem not necessarily to correspond to the bold sun god described in the wiki. I think it might be good to divorce them a bit. In the past this has struck me with, for example, Lucavi's scenes where Mitra emotes forgiveness and sadness. Seems more like Christ than it does like a lordly sun god of valor, heretic burning, and purifying flame.

I suppose I'm basically not against Fantasy Christianity, but our primary foe seems a bit inconsistent right now. People we've talked to seems a) fully aware or unsurprised that the purges swept up innocents, b) to think the purges were a horrible mistake, and c) to think that all this is ancient history and unimportant compared to their primary business of doing no harm to anyone. That's ok if that's going to be our campaign canon, but in other material the purges seem to have been a) ongoing, if shorter on victims than before, and b) enthusiastically carried out by a zealous church.

This is a bit much for a minor comment, and a lot of it deals with older stuff. I do kind of expect that sacking his holy vale might give us a chance to encounter the heathen-smiting fires of Mitra's wrath, and I am looking forward to it, so this is partly to let you know that I'm looking forward to eating some righteous flame strikes.

What else, hm.

I struggle a bit to recall some plots and themes I was running with after our long break.


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 Post subject: Re: Way of the Wicked discussion
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:49 pm 
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Coriat wrote:
I like the rumors list but I'm not sure pasting them in straight is the most effective way to make use of the material. It might benefit from a little breaking up and dressing up. Roon's character was the one involved, so he is free to disagree.


Given the sheer number of rumors, I'm going to say that while it may not have had as much impact as it would have it had been broken up or dressed up, I think it would have taken a not-insignificant amount of time for WarDragon to modify it on the fly to convey them through a more involved scene with Gaerlan, and would have further delayed our meeting with Thrane, where we wouldn't really be able to wrap it up until WD had finished giving us the rumors.


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