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Gebohq
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"Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Fri 10 Jul 2020, 23:19

I figure I'd start a thread to discuss thoughts, questions, concerns, and the like for the "Destroyer of Worlds" scenario that is being made available as a PDF now. It should be pretty apparent that spoilers will be present in this thread, so proceed with that in mind.

I'll have to re-read some stuff over again, but in short, it comes off as more of a traditional RPG scenario or Marine campaign in an AvP game, which I expected and generally would want from this sort of thing. It seems the environmental hazards of the 'oil-eaters' and the radiation in the third act seem like it could make things rather difficult at least at the start before they can find hazmat suits. The "alternate" alien seems to be inspired by one of the Alien 3 drafts, and one of the PCs talks about growing up near the radiation zones in Nevada, which makes me wonder if that was a subtle nod to Blade Runner 2049. Regardless, I hope to be able to give this scenario a spin!
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Fragpuss
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Sun 12 Jul 2020, 13:21

I haven't finished reading through the scenario yet, but there's one practical concern that I have from the introduction. It suggests the GM hands the NPC cards for the AWOLs to the Players for information, but to me they're not suitable for that because they contain spoilers. I would have thought it would be better to include something spoiler free in the handouts. Might have to bodge something together myself...
 
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Gebohq
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Sun 12 Jul 2020, 22:24

I haven't finished reading through the scenario yet, but there's one practical concern that I have from the introduction. It suggests the GM hands the NPC cards for the AWOLs to the Players for information, but to me they're not suitable for that because they contain spoilers. I would have thought it would be better to include something spoiler free in the handouts. Might have to bodge something together myself...
While not an ideal solution, I'd basically treat it as I would any NPC I'm introducing to the players: just show the images and maybe the top blurb pre-"personality" part, with the other parts covered up. Since I'll be likely running this first via Roll20, I'll just be creating an edited copy that can be shared.

It does seem like Free League is resolving some kinks though. For example, "story cards" and personal agendas on cards to hand out separately is a quality of life improvement, and having GM-focused maps in the module with separate PC-focused maps helps too. Maybe down the road, they'll work on separating PC-viewable NPC info from GM-focused NPC info as well.

Further, unrelated thoughts after having read through it a second time (and prepping to run it)...
  • Act 2 seems like it could benefit with having an example street map, since it seems a lot of the potential action is confronting UPP soldiers as the players are encouraged to go from what will likely be the insurgent camp to Fort Nebraska. While it's nice that the module described differences in locations between the different Acts, it seems most of the potential events are geared to happen on a street.
  • I'm still not sure where PCs are meant to pick up hazmat suits at the start of Act 3. There seems plenty to be found throughout Fort Nebraska, but until then, the black goo bomb effects and any initial radiation they encounter seems to be unavoidable. I may need to re-read something here though. I'm also uncertain exactly how the oil silt impacts things and how to mitigate it. The information is there, I'm pretty sure, it's just harder for me to digest.
  • A separate handout for the cargo lift as it appears in Act 3 would be helpful. As it is, it's a tiny part of the Fort Nebraska map, and given its climatic role, seems odd that it's not available as such.
  • I'm uncertain why Luke the Postulate has his own stats. He's as minor a character as some of the other named colonists (maybe even moreso), and according to the event, there's not even any necessary rolls to be made with him. I feel like there's some implied missing events with him, like he should be found on the streets stirring up crowds in Acts 1 and 2 or something. As-is,I'm not bothering to make a character sheet for him in my Roll20 setup.
  • Speaking of, as with other Alien games so far, I've had to do some additional hunting to provide images for characters and such that aren't provided in the RPG books themselves. The art in the books continue to be amazing, and I realize not everything can or even necessarily should have art, and with that said, I wish there was more of it if in part because it'd be nice to use it as reference.
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Fragpuss
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Mon 13 Jul 2020, 09:52

Finished reading through last night and I think you're right - there don't seem to be any HAZMAT suits listed outside the fort. The PCs have an APC available to them, I think, but they'll have to get out eventually. I guess the thing to do is scatter a few around at the hospital, marshal's station, refinery, etc. if you feel they're needed to give the PCs a fighting chance.

Arguably, it doesn't change things much - it should take at least a couple of shifts for infection to progress to a fatal stage and the PCs are about 99% doomed anyway.

I don't know if I'm missing something, but there also seem to be some inconsistencies in the number, placement and labelling of the lifts on the map of the fort (specifically the ones around the entrance to the North Bastion). I'll probably be loading them up into Roll20, so they'll be fixable with a bit of editing and I doubt my players will notice - I don't know why it's bugging me so much , but it is...

I'm being picky, of course, the scenario looks like it will be tremendous fun - I need to find a way to slot it into my group's schedule, as I think they'll love it.

On the AWOL thing, Emissary Lost for Coriolis has an NPC document for the players - basically it's images and brief notes in the form of a 'Bulletin' readout of all the main NPCs, something like that for the 4 AWOLs would be great - could be easily homebrewed with what's in the pack, but come on FL, if you're going to do it, do it properly...
 
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Sun 19 Jul 2020, 06:51

I've started running this with some players of mine who have played Hope's Last Day and Chariots of the Gods. They seem to be enjoying this the most so far, and I'm only about half way or so through Act 1, though I've had to make some changes of sorts based on how things played out:

At first, things played out as largely intended. They went to the Spaceport, initially randomly drew Conner to interrogate, didn't work well, and then did better and found Luke. Before it felt natural to spring Wright, they had enough of a lead to go to San Rocco.

Once they got to San Rocco, it was a little awkward because the module states the bay door is locked where the doctor and Carvahlo are, and that the doctor will tell the players to go away. The module seems though to imply that the players are ultimately meant to talk him down and get distracted with talking to him outside the bay so that Carvalho locks himself in the bay room again? as he attempts to take the Chestburster out of him. As it was, Chaplain had legit reasons and skills to "help out" and the other players were more wary of the doctor who I had threaten to shoot them. I was going to initiate combat with the doctor but Chaplain had the first move and went to Carvalho so it seemed that should be the AWOL's cue to try breaking away, though Chaplain successfully grappled him. The other players decided to help hold the AWOL still after that, and so that seemed like it had to go Chestburster mode at that point, which played out fine enough (it actually put up way more of a fight than I expected since it rolled well and the PCs not so much). After all that, they successfully manipulated the doctor and then discovered the other insurgent in the hospital (after saving him) into giving information about Wojcik and the Compound. While they got the hint that something was connected with the oil refinery as well from Carvahlo's dying ramblings, the info they got made it too clear to them that the compound was the place to go.

The compound itself seemed to go mostly as intended, though the insurgents really didn't stand a chance and the PCs were more of a danger to themselves than anything, having opted to use the dropship method. Once inside, Wojick initially started succeeding with the gaze to try and escape but the PC playing as Hammer went into Overkill from a failed Wits roll and immediately brought her into the Bodyburster mode. Due to not-as-great rolls from the Bodyburster and better rolls from Hammer and Zmijewski, it actually went down fairly quickly with not too much hassle. I also may have dropped a hint about Dante's chestburster too soon at this point because Dante's player immediately then wants everyone to go back to the hospital to check themselves out in case the bodybuster "infected them" somehow. And that's where the session stopped for now.

At this point, I'm unsure if I should play the hunt for the other AWOLs fully before Act 2 or start bleeding/kicking that off sooner since they already did what was intended as the "climax" of Act 1. I'm also unsure if I should contrive some method of Dante not being able to find out and/or extracting the chestburster at this point or not especially since Act 3's agenda depends on it.

My thoughts so far: definitely seems the most fun of the cinematic scenarios so far, and it being the most dense, easily feels like a short campaign in its own right to me and my players. Especially compared to HLD and CotG, DoW seems way more empowering to the players, which makes sense at least at this stage since they're marines with lots of weapons and haven't come across anything /too/ threatening at this point. I imagine Act 2 and moreso Act 3 will feel more like the other cinematic scenarios with fatalities and whatnot. I still feel like I'll need to make my own rough map(s) of a street location or two for Act 2 since I really don't see what would motivate the PCs to go anywhere except attempting to go back to Fort Nebraska, with the only exception being the Spaceport if they are looking to escape or help the colonists escape.
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sathyr
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Sun 19 Jul 2020, 13:09

I'd think triggering the UPP attack would be a great way to pull the rug out from underneath them, if they're on their way back to the hospital (or the fort.) If you're reluctant to do that, I'd remind them that their orders are to go after the AWOLs, and any deviation from those orders will have to be explained to their CO (and could be seen as dereliction of duty.) Don't railroad them, just remind them of the risks and let them roleplay their decisions.

In any case, the module seems to assume a likelihood of the players continuing their mission after the attack (after all, they're trying to prevent the UPP from getting to them first) so triggering it now might actually nudge them in the right direction. Or cause them to panic and go off-mission entirely. Players are fickle creatures.
 
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Sun 19 Jul 2020, 21:27

After re-reading once again, I too saw the part where Hatfield can remind the PCs to continue the hunt once the UPP start invading, as well as a note that Dante's only hope can be found in the fort itself which is locked down and generally inaccessible until Act 3, so I'll probably end up springing Act 2 soon if not at the start of the next session. It might be a bit of a blessing in disguise as the PCs will still need to be hunting a couple AWOLs which means they'll have reason to go to locations with maps and I can actually use those for UPP soldier fights. It'll also help me as a GM not likely having to deal as much/at all with vehicular combat which I'm frankly not ready to dabble with this go around.
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decanox
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Mon 03 Aug 2020, 23:57

I have read the scenario (I mean, the locations and events) and I have a quick concern. I don't know if it could be corrected in the printed version (I suppose not) but the buildings designed on the maps are not separated by zones.

For example, the Eye of Oblivion bar on page 25: the tables' area is only one zone and I think it's impossible for any character move from one point to another using only one fast action.

In Chariots of the Gods was solved using dotted lines in large corridors but in Destroyer of Worlds there is no separation in corridors, rooms or open areas (for example, the refinery or Fort Nebraska).

I understand that people who is used to photoshop or other programs can solve it easily, but for me, for example, I am a truly layman.

Maybe the scale is too small also. And I would have included some street area for any encounter the players can meet.

It would be nice that anyone could do that. Or if anyone can tell how have solved movement in such small scale maps I would be very grateful.
 
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Fragpuss
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Tue 04 Aug 2020, 14:08

I haven't tried to play it yet, but I have noticed that there are zone markings on most of the maps in the 'Maps' and 'Handouts' pdfs, even if they're not shown in the main book. For the Marshal Station, I think the areas/rooms are small enough that you can designate each as a zone, in the same way that they've done for the hospital and the refinery and most of the fort. For the bar, I'd agree that the main table area is maybe a bit large, particularly with all the tables cluttering it up - maybe just divide the public side of the bar in two down the middle and treat the area behind the bar as a third zone?
 
decanox
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Re: "Destroyer of Worlds" Talk (spoiler warning)

Tue 04 Aug 2020, 19:46

Thanks Fragpuss... It's clear. The maps included in the handouts have spaces. I would include spaces in some long corridors but it's ok.

Now, I'm waiting to play with people... But confinement doesn't help. :cry:

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