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Second campaign in the works.

General discussion about Avlis

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Second campaign in the works.

PostAuthor: Orleron » Tue Mar 12, 2002 9:35 am

As you all may know by now, the first campaign is rapidly drawing to a close. Adventure 14 is ready to go for Saturday, and Adventure 15 will be sort of a "mopping up" adventure the very next weekend.

I have drafted the second campaign. As a tentative working title, I call it "The West End of Time". Just so you know, the first campaign was actually entitled "Jade's Ascension", but that was purposely misleading, so don't believe everything you read about my titles.

In any case, we will probably take a few weeks break between campaigns to give me a chance to rest. But as we do that I want something from my players....

I need feedback on the campaign we just played:

What did you like about it?

What did you not like about it?

What story elements were good?

What story elements could have been better?

Were you happy with the amount of magic/money/items given in the campaign?

Were you happy/unhappy with the number of levels and rate of experience you recieved?

Was the campaign balanced? Overpowered? Underpowered?

Was the atmosphere of the campaign good enough for you? Or would you rather see more "extra" stuff to set the atmosphere, i.e. music, etc?

Again, these are your opinions. There are not right or wrong answers. I just want to know so I can keep track, and don't worry, I am not easily offended. I usually take critisicm to heart and improve on it.
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PostAuthor: Vanoviel » Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:56 am

I don't think Josh mentioned it before, but in between the end of this campaign and the beginning of the next there is going to be some unroleplayed time(possible up to a year or so). It is probably a good idea to have some idea of what your character might want to do during that off time. If everyone has something it will make it easier for Josh to figure out how to start the next campaign. The ideas can probably be as simple as going to commune with nature or as complicated as Van's task of creating a knightly order.

It response to Josh's questions:

1)The storyline was every good, involved alot of character development and interactions between the major players. Definately more than a hack and slasher.

2)Us being total dumbasses in the last battle and not taking the treasure thereby making us poor. Also we never saw Crullath again what happened to that flaming sword having mother f'er. It's so unlike Josh to introduce something or someone and not follow through on it. Maybe in the next campaign we can have an actual dungeon to explore. Get the thief to thief a little bit.

3)I like the deviousness of why our characters came together. Nothing seemed overly forced.

4)The only thing I can think of that was quite as good as the rest was as mentioned above Crullath seemingly disappearing after we kept fucking up his shit.

5)Again other than our dumbassosity in forget to loot the mages bodies I think it was balanced. We didn't have so many magic items that we became tanks, but neither did our enemies have so many as to become unstoppable.

6)I think the experience was good, but it may have even been to fast. They was probably due to the fact that you knowing the end level of the campaign had to get us strong enough to survive. I don't think we will be getting as much XPs or advanceing as fast in the next campaign.

7)I think the campaign was very balanced. Other that the God fight there wasn't really anything we couldn't handle, but most of the battles required some thought and planning and some good rolls on our part. That is generally what you expect out of a good campaign.

8)I thought the atmoshpere was good. I find that with a few exceptions music and lighting and crap like that become as much of a distraction as an enhancement. Plus it would be all that much harder for you to come up with music or Sound FX.

9)
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PostAuthor: Orleron » Tue Mar 12, 2002 12:14 pm

hehe... Crullath is sort of an easy answer. He's a lord of the Kurathene Empire, same as Arvanos. After a while, you all began to realize that your mission was much "bigger" than two petty lords squabbling over territory, and thus, they sort of passed into oblivion as the story line outgrew them.

Arvanos and Crullath are still duking it out, as their fathers and grandfathers have been, and their sons will be. But unless you get involved in some sort of Kurathene campaign, I doubt you will hear much more from them (aside maybe from a 'thank you' from Arvanos with the customary ass kissing that heroes deserve).

Dagroth on the other hand was a M'Chekian Lord. That is much more up your alley. You guys are all elven types from T'Nanshi which is at war with M'Chek. Thus, Dagroth's fate is more applicable to you because he's a direct "bad guy" to your people.

I would think that although Vanoviel's holy warrior order would fight for the principles of goodness wherever it goes, it would probably be more interested in the war between M'Chek and T'Nanshi as well as keeping the Fairy War at bay than other stuff.... since it's based in T'Nanshi.

The world of Avlis itself has certain plot elements that are on what I call "geologic timescale" meaning they don't really change that much in the time scale that a campaign takes place. It would take hundreds of years and lots of campaigns to effect very major changes on the world, which is not to say that players have absolutely no effect, they do. (In fact lots of my campaign was a sneaky way of getting YOU guys to write stuff for MY world so *I* don't have to do it. heh heh)

But I digress. The plot elements that exist in your time are easy. You've seen a few of them. The animosity between O'Ma and Titanean fairies. The squabbling of the Kurathene nobles. The war between M'Chek and T'Nanshi. The cross-fertilization between M'Chek and Kurathene nobles. The neutrality and diversity of The Seven Cities. The scheming and coniving of the Orcs, and their hatred of Magic. The magic Vortex. The mission of Mikon. and much much more.

These are a backdrop and you will run into many side quests and issues involving these. Unfortunately the side-effect is that NPC's involved in these episodes may fade into oblivion, like Crullath... but he's been used before this campaign, and he will be used again.
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PostAuthor: Vanoviel » Tue Mar 12, 2002 10:51 pm


Arvanos and Crullath are still duking it out, as their fathers and grandfathers have been, and their sons will be. But unless you
get involved in some sort of Kurathene campaign, I doubt you will hear much more from them (aside maybe from a 'thank you'
from Arvanos with the customary ass kissing that heroes deserve).

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PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Mar 13, 2002 12:04 am

But most likely we will not be doing a Kurathene Campaign this time around.
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PostAuthor: sexertary » Wed Mar 13, 2002 3:50 am

josh-
if i can get outa work early on sat would you mind lookin over my plan? amy (my roomie) liked it alot but i think it may be a very "chick" plot. i can prolly get there at 1:30-ish. and hopefully by friday i will have mapped it a bit on the real map not the crayon drawing i have now. :-P

i enjoyed the campaign greatly. but it is my first so i have nothing to compare to. and i do have a short attention span so a lot of the thinking and shopping and deal making pissed me off. :-P but i suppose that is what roleplayin is all about. i should prolly play a more impulsive character later.
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PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Mar 13, 2002 4:22 am

A short attention span is one thing, Em, but you also gotta realize that with the exception of Annie and Kris, the rest of us have been playing D&D since before our teens. So while playing, some things may be perfectly obvious to us, but not to you and it's only because you lack the experience. I remember very very well being 10 years old and playing D&D with people more than twice my age and having them second guess just about everything I wanted to do because I couldn't see the full scope of my actions in the fight.... "Don't throw that fireball into the 6' x 6' room!!! I'm standing right by the goddamn door!!"... etc. You just don't hear the stories about me frying my own party.

But the best way to get used to it is to try to roleplay and to look more in depth at your actions. A full round of combat in 3rd edition D&D is about 10 times shorter than it was in 2nd Edition... so think of that when you wonder about your attention span. We used to play for 4 hours and only resolve 3 rounds of combat in 2nd Edition.... granted we had at least 10 people in the party, but still.

As for being a DM, you should think hard about it before you try it. I will check out your storylines, and I will most likely love them alot. But having a great storyline for 1st level characters doesn't make you able to DM, especially when you've only played in one campaign before. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but I'm saying that it will be very difficult for you. Being a DM is hard sometimes. You aren't looking out for just one character. You are looking out for ALL the characters simultaneously as well as mapping out the buildings and cities they are in, figuring out what is hidden in every chest and cubbard they open, and yes, managing the storyline on top of that. If you were at the last adventure you would have even seen a seasoned DM like me get stumped just because someone in the party thought of something that I didn't have a contingency for. At times like that you need to think really really fast and clean up any plot messes that may happen. Luckily I got by, but if it had been my first time DMing I woulda been messed up.

You also gotta realize that the players don't always do what you want them to. Sometimes, depending on the people in your group, you get a bunch that LIKES to do a lot of wheeling and dealing before they set out, or you get a group that plans everything down to the minute before they go anywhere. This is just what they do, and trust me it can be a lot better than DMing for a group that just flies through everything impulsively.... impulsive players are more likely to think of things about your story that you haven't. In actuality when you guys are wheeling and dealing I'm taking the time to adapt the adventure around you to make it more fun, but I'm not saying anything about that. The key to being a DM is to make everyone in the party think that they have free will when they are actually playing right into what you wanted them to do anyways. Sometimes it works, and sometimes not.

The reason why 90% of the time you guys do stuff exactly as I planned you to do it is because I have played enough D&D to put myself in your shoes and figure out what *I* would have done in all my years of playing. If you have only played one campaign, this could get ugly.

What I suggest is this: Stay in our campaign and keep playing Tupaia. I have plans for her. Also, keep writing your storylines for me. When you get a whole miniature campaign mapped out, say 4 or 5 adventures for 1st level characters, I will show you how to write the actual adventures. Then maybe you and I togethor will DM the campaign over at your store. I will let you run the campaign but I will also be there to show you what to do until you get the hang of it.
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PostAuthor: Silk » Wed Mar 13, 2002 2:41 pm

"Don't throw that fireball into the 6' x 6' room!!! I'm standing right by the goddamn door!!"...


hehe... i still do that shit.

I'll write up your survey in a bit, josh.
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PostAuthor: sexertary » Wed Mar 13, 2002 10:48 pm

kinda like when i trapped everyone in an entangle spell? :-P

yeah i changed my mind already. i dun wanna dm, but i like to create em so if you wanna use em, i would be overjoyed. its done as far as i can do cause i dunno what people live where on avlis. i need a barbarian area, located w/in two days of a civilized area with mixed races. :-P not too particular. i even drawed pics of the npcs and mapped out where they are at what times. the adventurers may miss some of them if they choose a different direction.
:-D i think i have done somewhat well.
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PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Mar 13, 2002 11:00 pm

The Kurathene Empire (look on the map on one of the threads below) is a huge expanse of land that is mostly undeveloped. It's mostly a human country with a lot of wild uncivilized areas that are perfect for barbarians. It's very possible to place the campaign in one of those wild areas which is near a city. Cities tend to have a more diverse population than the rest of the country. I would suggest maybe even using the city of Kuras itself, which is, or was the capitol of the empire.

I really wanted to run a campaign at a gaming store because it's a good way to get your world noticed, at least on a small scale. However I don't have time to actually write up a whole other campaign, so it is a very good idea for me to just take your story and flesh it out into DMable adventures.
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PostAuthor: sexertary » Thu Mar 14, 2002 10:05 pm

i would be gratified beyond words.
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PostAuthor: Misty » Sun Mar 17, 2002 5:39 pm

What did you like about it?
I like some of the creative stuff that we did like the flaming veerbolg.

What did you not like about it?
I didn't like that I couldn't do anything in the underwater chapter.

What story elements were good?
I liked the whole cursed lovers thing.

What story elements could have been better?

Were you happy with the amount of magic/money/items given in the campaign?
Yup

Were you happy/unhappy with the number of levels and rate of experience you recieved?
Nope

Was the campaign balanced? Overpowered? Underpowered?
Balanced

Was the atmosphere of the campaign good enough for you? Or would you rather see more "extra" stuff to set the atmosphere, i.e. music, etc?
Atmosphere was good.
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