Robandstuff
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Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Fri 14 Dec 2018, 22:52

I'm about five sessions in to running the Raven's Purge, and we've just been getting settled in the the game and system having explored Weatherstone and The Hollows. I am starting to look at what legends and rumors I will feed to the players next to start them out on their next quest, and I've been reading through a few possible options, one of which is Stoneloom. The first paragraph in that Adventure Site says "the adventurers should be equipped with some form of magical protection, preferably something like the emerald Gall-Eye or the face of the sorcerer Zertorme from the Amber’s Peak adventure". Alright, I say, cool, they're giving me some guidance on how to order things. Where can I send them to get one of these items; obviously Amber's Peak for the face, but where is Gall-Eye. A quick search through the PDF tells me that Gall-Eye is set in to the sword Maligarn (Raven's pg 36), which is recommended to be found in ... Stoneloom (Raven's pg 26, and again in the Stoneloom adventure site, pg 158). Oooook. 

Well, that's stupid, let's see what the face from Amber's Peak is all about. Sure enough, there's a face there... and it has zero mechanical effects that I can find. There's nothing listed in the room where his face is found, nor in the NPC section of the adventure site, nor in Zertorme's entry under the "Key Player's" section of the book (though that's the only place his stats are listed, which is a super inconvenient design choice). It's just an interesting, cool McGuffin. So why would the players need it to "protect them" in Stoneloom?

Alright I say, what does the sword or Gall-Eye do that might be helping to protect them? Turns out, it's a decent magic sword that makes you go berserk if you use it. Doesn't sound very helpful as a protective item at all! This is just the most recent example of this kind of problem I am having with the Raven's Purge. I am *this close* to telling my players that we're not doing it and just use the map to make up a campaign story that has some sort of sense to it.

Edit: I see buried in the NPC section of the adventure site there's an implication that the adventurers might be protected from Marga if she thinks that the adventurers are her brother, which is why the face could be useful, if the PCs wear it as a mask, though it doesn't really get in to that at all. It's literally just one sentence that says she would want to play if she thinks they are Zertorme, but doesn't really discuss it in any detail, and it does't explain the sword at all. 
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 00:47

I would say yes to your edit. I haven't read about the sword and this adventure myself that much but perhaps it is the swords or just the gem if removed ability to detect enemies that helps (perhaps someone that has read about this more can fill in the blanks.
“I’d say thistles, but nobody listens to me, anyway.” - Eeyore
 
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Eldhierta
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 01:33

I would say yes to your edit. I haven't read about the sword and this adventure myself that much but perhaps it is the swords or just the gem if removed ability to detect enemies that helps (perhaps someone that has read about this more can fill in the blanks.
Was just about to write this. The gem senses enemies within NEAR distance and increases in intensity with the number of hostiles and their level of hostility. Nifty trick to detect when Marga is about to attack.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 01:46

I would say yes to your edit. I haven't read about the sword and this adventure myself that much but perhaps it is the swords or just the gem if removed ability to detect enemies that helps (perhaps someone that has read about this more can fill in the blanks.
Was just about to write this. The gem senses enemies within NEAR distance and increases in intensity with the number of hostiles and their level of hostility. Nifty trick to detect when Marga is about to attack.
That ability is very good regardless of where you are. A lot of things look like a monster but aren't not necessary bad (at least not in all situations) and as you said, it is good early warning system against Marga.
“I’d say thistles, but nobody listens to me, anyway.” - Eeyore
 
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Brior
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 12:40

Where can I send them to get one of these items; obviously Amber's Peak for the face, but where is Gall-Eye. A quick search through the PDF tells me that Gall-Eye is set in to the sword Maligarn (Raven's pg 36), which is recommended to be found in ... Stoneloom (Raven's pg 26, and again in the Stoneloom adventure site, pg 158).
[Player SPOILERS below]
.
.
.
My mistake to suggest that the sword Maligarn be placed in the Stoneloom mines, but you can just change that. My main point was that the adventurers would need protection from Marga in the mines not to be slaughtered. I picture her more as a mood setting prescence than the main monster in the adventure.
Concerning incoherences in Raven's Purge, I'm sure there are more, and please point them out, but keep in mind how the campaign was written:
* The adventures should be playable in basically any order and you should be able to solve them in many different ways, picking various sides etc. It would have been easier to write the campaign in a linear and controlled fashion but those were not the instructions.
* I had to keep the texts relatively short, so I couldn't elaborate much. This means that lots if things are merely suggested. I still wanted to present ideas I had that couldn't be expanded as inspiration.
* The campaign was written before the rules existed so general lethality etc was unknown to me during construction.
* Some of the adventures have been edited and shortened by others afterwards, meaning that things might have fallen between chairs.
Hopefully you'll enjoy Raven's Purge just the same!
 
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Arnold
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 17:37

Sorry, i´have read the campaign, but not played or mastered it yet. My feelings to it are that it is not a straight campaign to play, will say, that it is not easy to simply line one adventure side after another. 

Beside the adventure sides, there seems a lot of work to be done, for the games master as well as for the players.
I see the setting more like a sandbox, i would beginn somewhere and let the players explore the world, met key npc´s, built a stronghold, make enemies and allies, and when they are more experient, beginn with most of the adventure sides, perhaps when they already have one or two of the key items.
 
Robandstuff
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 20:45

I would say yes to your edit. I haven't read about the sword and this adventure myself that much but perhaps it is the swords or just the gem if removed ability to detect enemies that helps (perhaps someone that has read about this more can fill in the blanks.
What I find frustrating is that this use for the face is implied by one sentence buried in the middle of a page, but, for example, there’s a whole paragraph with its own heading that details some creepy mushrooms that don’t actually do anything. Don’t get me wrong, creepy mushrooms are a cool detail, and wearing a demon spawns brothers face as a mask to trick her is a twisted macabre plot device that is very interesting, but the overall planning and aramgement of these things seems to have had no thought put in to it.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 21:43

What I find frustrating is that this use for the face is implied by one sentence buried in the middle of a page, but, for example, there’s a whole paragraph with its own heading that details some creepy mushrooms that don’t actually do anything. Don’t get me wrong, creepy mushrooms are a cool detail, and wearing a demon spawns brothers face as a mask to trick her is a twisted macabre plot device that is very interesting, but the overall planning and aramgement of these things seems to have had no thought put in to it.
Sure, they could have just drawn up 10 rooms and then added various monsters to fight in each room and add a treasure chest at the end, but they decided to make each adventure site different. Not everything in a locations needs to be used for anything. Sometimes they are there just to give the site some flavour.
When I saw this thread, I hadn't read about this location yet. I knew about the guy without a face, so, when I saw that you can find his face again, my first thought was, "ah, so someone out there wants it, either he wants it back or someone else does". Why else should they have added someones face in an adventure (someone that still exists in the game). Then when I skimmed through the adventure site, I understood immediately what you are going to do with it. It actually isn't that hard to understand. I had to read the suggested events for the site to understand why the sword could be useful.
This is an open world campaign and that can be overwhelming to someone that is used to linear campaigns. An open world campaign demands some planning from the GM and perhaps also some effort from the players. It is up to the GM to decide how to play the various adventure sites, how to present it and also where the artefacts are. This type of campaigns are not for everybody.
“I’d say thistles, but nobody listens to me, anyway.” - Eeyore
 
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Klas
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Sat 15 Dec 2018, 22:24

While what Fenhorn writes may be true, don't forget that you are free to completely ignore the material where it causes you trouble. Just go with the flow of whatever madness caused your players to do one thing or another. I like the campaign book well enough but I have no intention to GM it as written.
 
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thebwt
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Re: Incredibly Frustrated with the Campaign

Mon 07 Jan 2019, 00:38

Howdy folks, I'm reading and prepping for running the campaign now.

My initial read is to only worry about the Marga assimilation when encountering her properly (Event, Marga's Fury). Carrying the mentioned artifacts just keeps the fury at bay permanently. Martea can totally be encountered before Marga's Fury.

Another option for magical protection is simply the "Magical Seal" General spell, and you can use that as a way to let your players evade the fury.

So when communicating the legend of the mines you can do a few things:
  • Have someone like Merigall tell them ahead of time that she longs to play with her brother.
  • Link the legend of Mailgarn to Martea if that's where you want it.
  • Hint that Marga senses those within, and that some magical shield may be needed to hide from her fury.
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