I'm running the scenario from my blog at Auscon this weekend, and would welcome any feedback.
I'm running the scenario from my blog at Auscon this weekend, and would welcome any feedback.
ON a fast perusal it looks great. I will try to get an overview of it tomorrow night. Do you have it in a single Word or PDF document? It would be easier to print and read (I hate reading lomng documents on the computer)
From your blog it seems that the scenario is meant to be four hours of game time. So, it seems a bit long to me. In fact, each "scene" seems almost like an entire scenario, to me. But that might be just a difference in play-styles.
Personally, for a con-game, I would have dropped Scene One. It's too open and thus has a lot of capacity for derailing the scenario, which is fine (and desirable) in an on-going campaign, but a bit of a disaster in a con-game. In a con-game you don't want early scenes to be too open. "You Arrive at the Dungeon" is actually a good strategy for a con-game opening.
Given the current Scene One, "Gloriously Standing and Fighting, Despite Being Told Not To", or "Hiding in the 'Secure' Laboratories And Fighting A Guerrilla War Against the Sulemainite Occupiers", or "Attempting to Negotiate With (or Surrender to) The Sulemainities", or "Fleeing Somewhere Else; say Inland" all seem to be quite plausible things for the players to try to do in response to the situation in Scene One. Which means that you seem to be faced with erecting a whole pile of road blocks to get the players back on track, or making radical ad hoc changes to the scenario to cope with the players choosing a different strategy.
I think that I would have begun with Scene Two --- "The Characters Are On The Boat Fleeing". If you still really want the players to make decisions about what the characters have taken with them when they flee the city, then I would then tell parts of Scene "One" as the Second Scene, as a flash-back. If it's a flash back, you don't (so much) invite the players to make too many inconvenient decisions about the characters response to the incoming Sulemainite raid --- as the players know that the characters ultimately decided to flee.
Anyway, that's my two cents worth.
“Attack”. I would say that it is “your likelihood of HITTING the enemy”. Damage is what is counted for “hurting”
Spells: I would describe ritual magic in these terms. “Ritual magic is expensive in materials and require lengthy incantations to cast, but is very powerful. It can achieve feats that other magic methods cannot hope to emulate”.
I would only talk about fatiguing spontaneous magic. Otherwise you might find that the magi players keep asking over and over again what minor magics they can cast. Happened to me once at a demo game. It was annoying for the rest of the group. It is not the guy wanted to be annoying, but he ended up sounding like one (he is not, since he is one of my regular players now, but it was a bad first impression and spoiled some of the fun).
You need to specify that the magical shield is only for magi. You talk about “your character”, but that does not work for companions and grogs
In Lisbon people talk Portuguese or Galaico-Portuguese, not Castilian
I would try to have some space for notation by the side of the wound and fatigue penalties, since (at least IMS) it is the area where most notations are made. It might be a simple formatting problem here.
I would change Berenice to another house. Being a verditius just messes things up with the casting tools without adding anything to the story. Other houses can work perfectly fine as well without changing a single stat here.
You did not mention that people distrust and are scared of him when he is in shark or wolf form
Not put online, so cannot comment. The other 2 companions look cool.
It should be made clear that the merchant enemies of the merchant and the noble enemies of the noblewoman are the same. Right now it is not so clear.
I would remove the rules musings about combat totals before handling them to the players, something that you have thought about yourself for sure.
I assume that they are using a “great AXE”, not a great aze.
Besides that, they are cool.
I assume that the vis list contains a typo and you are not giving them 45 pawns of Terram Or maybe you are given the will….
I tend to agree that having them railroaded in these initial scenes would be more useful. Otherwise they might flee north for example, or decide to go out and set an ambush for the bad guys. Or warn the local authorities and try to withstand the siege with the forces of the city.
Too much hassle with the decision of what to pack. I would give the weight of the laborers in bundles. Ex: “1 family = 1 ton. There are 10 families working for the covenant counting the warriors and the skilled servants”.
As written, there does not seem to be any need to STABLISH THEMSELVES in the Tin islands. It looks more like they will be returning on a short while, so some of the preparations and developments suggested in the story would not really be necessary under those premises. I would indivcate to them that the will clearly marks out that this is an AMAZING location to relocate, and the letter sent with the redcap points out that they are unlikely to find a city when they return, let alone a site to re-establish themselves.
In general this scene can be LOOOOOOOOOONG. If I presented this to my troupe we would take something like 45 minutes to run this (we are a talky bunch).
Pirate brawl!!! Nice I can see a Jaws scene, only that the victim Is a ship, and the shark is carrying a magus around.
2 weeks to prepare for the battle is too long. Give them 2-3 days before the full moon, so that the need to work round the clock and think hard. Otherwise the scene loses a lot of its urgency.
SCENE FOUR AND FIVE
I will stress again the need to have relocated. Without that the scenario might be derailed and spin out of trajectory. Most people are unused to think in the long term like that in RPGs, so this kind of “develop a covenant” idea might not be easy to catch with them. Go out and kill a few things, sure, but then having to plan an economy for their covenant et al? Not a clue for most players at a con (from what I have seen, at least). Railroading them comes in handy in this sense.
And as usual, hand the magi to people that has some Ars experience if possible.
Hope that helps!
For me, the grogs are too generic, for player characters. They would be OK as Storyguide only characters.
I know that they are just extras --- but the intention seems to be that the players actually play the grog characters as needed (aka troupe style). So, rather than a unnamed bunch of 8 Veterans, with a single set of stats that includes things like:
I would instead give 8 Named individual characters, each with simple personality traits (and Weaknesses or whatever) that you have picked.
Personaly, I would mix it up a bit as well, also have a specialist or two, and a couple of green recruits, and define some simple relationships between the grogs (sets of brothers, father-son pairs, romantic rivals, etc) and so forth. Grog characters need to have things to talk about and ways to relate to each other (and the main characters). To be really successful as characters you need a bit of background soap opera amongst the grog characters.
I do agree at what you are saying, but I wanted companions to have something to do in the scenario, and for that I kinda need a city. Any other way around that you can see, short of making the magi primarily studious?
I think I'm going to play on the obligation to bite the hook. That is, if you sign up for a con game called "Escape to the Tin Islands" which the brochure says is about a group of magi fleeing town before an unstoppable destructive force, you have some sort of obligation to get with the program and bite the hook. Since the other games being played on the day have a similar requirement that you bite the hook, I think it may just let me slide in...or I'll just freewheel it for four hours. That's OK too. (Some of the other games are Poison'd (your character is a pirate and is rewarded for raping the other PCs) Penny for your thoughts (When another player asks you a question about your backstory you MUST say "Yes".) and similar highly-structured games.)
The flashback is a good idea. I'll try to work it in.
Thanks for the flashback idea, in particular. Start in media res...nice.
I'm going to do both. That is, they'll get a sheet, and they'll also get me saying "Let's have a quick look at this sheet, here."
Thanks for the little editing errors: will tidy them up tonight.
She's a straight swipe from the core rules. Up now.
Originally it was a shedload deliberately, but I've cut it back a little.
I need to use roleplay from the redcap to lure them to bite the hook, IMO.
Yeah...basically I'm going to say that the Order is establishing its new border at the Flambeau Domus Magnus in Aquitaine. The redcaps and Quaesitores are just heading for the hills. If you stay in Iberia, you're going to either die, or get enslaved (which in period involves circumcision Yes - I'll go there to get players to bite the hook.).
I'll need to be a stern GM, I think. 8)
True. I'll cut it down.
Timothy, please let us know how it goes!
Havent had time to read through everything but seems pretty good.
Only thing i could find so far that noone else has commented on was the description for Adamantine:
+3 to all rolls involving perfect balance
Drop the "perfect" there as otherwise it just looks odd, ie. you have a bonus to your "perfect balance" instead of to your "balance". And it could be interpreted as no need for any rolls where the bonus actually applies, as if you already have perfect balance in a situation, why check for balance?