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Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Thu 16 Sep 2021, 13:20

Please use this thread to report any typos or errors in the Alpha PDF of the Ruins of Symbaroum - Gamemaster's Guide. Guidelines to remember:
  • Before reporting an error, please check and see if it already has been reported, and if so, don't report it again.
  • If you want to discuss or feedback something that is not a clear error, don't do it here - instead, please start a new forum post the specific issue.
  • Please report your feedback no later than September 25, 2021. After this date, we are likely not able to make any further changes.
Thank you!
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Fri 17 Sep 2021, 01:34

Although this doesnt fall under any of the above bullet points, i have to say seeing this post and the subsequent email was a very pleasant surprise this morning.

On a more productive note (based on a handful for cursory flip-throughs) i love all the tables, gm tools and tips; it looks like you guys really went out of your way to give us everything we needed to explore this world!
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Fri 17 Sep 2021, 03:56

First I have to say I love what I have seen so far of the Gamemaster's Guide, so my comments will be very nitpicking.

Table of Contents: Sometimes you use "and", and sometimes you use "&". At a brief glance I don't see a pattern. It looks cleaner to go with one or the other unless you have a system for when you use one over the other.

Page 5: Introduction: "The book is structured into five sections – Gamemaster Guide-lines, The World of Symbaroum, Expeditions in Davokar, Setting and Adventures, and New and Optional Rules – each focusing on different aspects of what makes roleplaying games the most enjoyable pastime in the world." - In the table of contents it says "Setting & Adventure Design" as the name of the section. Here "Design" is omitted.

Page 5: Introduction: "In the fourth section, Setting and Adventures, we take our own thought and work processes as a starting point for offering advice on the design of game worlds, adventures and adventure chronicles." - Same thing here, "Design" is omitted.

Page 11: Interlude: "An Interlude can happen between adventures or parts of an ongoing adventure." - I don't think there should be a capital I in this interlude. Since you are talking about an interlude. But I am not a native English speaker.
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Mon 20 Sep 2021, 01:23

Pg 15: Caption still filler
Pg 22: Under "Surroundings"- first sentence- Thistle and Hold are bold and not regular
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Mon 20 Sep 2021, 21:24

p.10, Reward the Players : « mystical artifacts. « , maybe « mythical » was meant, seems more logical.
p.19, The Power of Corruption, last sentence : « it produces a chance of gaining a Stigma. » Apparently a Stigma is what is called a Mark of Corruption in the Player Handbook. Maybe the same wording should be used on both books to avoid confusion.
p.22, Introduction : « Finally, we provide some information about the Underworld, Yonderworld and Sprit World ». « Spirit ».
p.25, The Bronze Well of Thistle Hold : "The roofed bronze well that today marks the center of Thistle Hold was up until Year 10 placed in the courtyard of the warlord Haloban’s fortress."
Maybe comas could make understanding easier : « The roofed bronze well that today marks the center of Thistle Hold was, up until Year 10, placed in the courtyard of the warlord Haloban’s fortress. »
p.33, Symbaroum and Lindaros : « According to their legends, the latter was established when some of the clans opted to settled down », « to settle down »
p.43, Karvosti, 3rd § : « that it in fact is the Huldra who leads the barbarians », clumsy, « that it is in fact the Huldra » is nicer.
p.44, The Parts of the Cliff : « This sectIon provides some details on the various districts and other areas of the capital city. » suited for Yndaros, not Karvosti.
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Tue 21 Sep 2021, 03:40

Table of Contents: "Other companions.........................." - Shouldn't it say "Other Companions"?

Page 13: "Pick locks or disable traps" - Consider writing "Pick locks or disable traps (Sleight of Hand)".

Page 13: Dexterity Attack Rolls and Damage: "...when attacking with a melee weapon that has the finesse property, such as a dagger or a rapier." - You call a rapier a fencing sword in the Player's Guide.

Page 24: Wilderness Guides Table: - Urfons has "goblin" as a feature. Should be removed.

Page 27: Persons of Interest: "...have a connection to Davokar and the ruins of Symbaroum, there are also those who lead perfectly ordinary lives..." - I don't think that "ruins of Symbaroum" should be in italics in this case, since you are talking about the actual ruins and not the game itself.

Page 31: Housing: "there are often affordable rooms for rent at the Ruin, the Witch and Familiar and the Rose Garden." - Consider adding a "," after Familiar. So "...Familiar, and the Rose Garden."

Page 32: Missions to Perform: - Once again I don't think "ruins of Symbaroum should be in italics in this case since you are talking about the actual ruins.

The Order: Throughout the Gamemaster's Guide you keep referring to "the Order", which is confusing because sometimes it seems you talk about Ordo Magica, other times the Realm of the Order. This could be clearer.

Page 49: Creatures: "But of course there are also abominations and ghouls, as well as occasional packs of predators, reclusive King Toads and crestfallen arch trolls." - Perhaps it should be written "Arch Trolls"? I'm not sure.

Page 51: Events in the Underworld Table: - Don't forget to add the page numbers for the Bestiary.

Page 54: Events in the Yonderworld Table: - Don't forget to add the page numbers for the Bestiary.

Page 57: Events in the Spirit World: - Don't forget to add the page numbers for the Bestiary.

Page 69: Other companions: - Shouldn't it say "Other Companions"?
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Thu 23 Sep 2021, 20:50

p.48, Under, Above & Beyond, 1st § : « it may be a good idea to have one or a number of gaming sessions take place in », « it may be a good idea to have one or a number of gaming sessions TO take place in… »
p.49, Adventure Set-Up, 3rd § : « Perhaps it is a world wound or a simmering pool of pure corruption », "shimmering".
p.55, Table Events in the Yonderworld, Event 13 : « half again as many as the number of characters in each wave », unclear, does it mean « half the number of characters in each wave » ?
p.55, Table EVents, Event 19 : « The Alchemy feature: a melee weapon or projectile for a ranged weapon dipped in the lake will forever deal half damage(rounded down) «  Does it mean « a character with Alchemy feature could dip a melee or ranged weapon… », also, missing space before the brackets at the end.
p.56, Creatures, 4th § : « A few words should be said about the select spirits », « selected » ?
p.60, Introduction, 1st § : « and the surprises far more deadly. » « deadlier »
p.61, Missionary Work, 2nd § : « Whatever the case, the group in question could be receptive to the message, or outright hostile to “outsiders.” ». « The group in question » probably refers to « the target » discussed in the 1st §. It is unclear, so maybe the word « target of the mission » should be used again.
p.64, Orientation and Misfortunes : « This is the orientation check and success on it may provide advantage on some of the entries for the Events tables (see page 70) ». On page 70, a successful Orientation check gives a +2 for Ruins check, etc. The term « advantage » should not be used as it has a specific meaning in 5E, « modifiers » is better.
p.68, Wilderness Guides : on page 64 is given the weekly cost to hire a guide (Wisdom + Prof thalers / week). It could be useful to write the Proficiency Bonus and not have the DM calculate it. Also Crooky seems to have a tremendous +4 Proficiency Bonus. Thus one could imagine that these guides have different characteristics for AC, hp and so on, as some are +2 proficiency, and others are a lot more experienced. Could more information be available about the stats of the guide, or reference in the Bestiary if several Guides are in ?
p.69, Other Companions : is the cost to hire these other types of companions the same than for Guides ? It should work with something else that Wisdom modifier, will the information be in the Bestiary ?
p.70, Ruins in Davokar Table : it seems the PC can find a Ruin every 2 days, or even more. It seems quite a lot of occurence considering the fact that they will move a few km per day. This forest is very densely packed with ruins. The high occurence could turn boring, and contradictory with the statement p.73 « it takes a great deal of effort and no small amount of luck to become the next Iasogoi Brigo ».

I find all the procedure Orientation check + 4 rolls per day very heavy, especially as the Orientation check has different consequences for each of the 4 rolls following it. The DM will need to spend a lot of time reading the book, not handy at all if it is to be used in game. As a matter of fact, each table should list the modifiers that applies to the roll, to spare the need to read the § to know the effect of the Orientation check.
And 4 type of events everyday is very mechanical (« ah here comes the Ruin event, let’s wait the Terrain one ! »), maybe there should be a random factor, today only terrain, or terrain + enemy, etc… Not to mention the numerous rolls needed to generate the Treasure in the Ruin, once it has been explored. Having to roll this for 20 finds, if I understand well, how annoying. This procedure is too detailed, too long to be fun I feel.

p.75, Mystical Treasure 2 : « Its wearer can hold their breath », singular « . Its wearer can hold ITS breath ». Or even « HIS »
p.76, Mystical Treasure 12 : « Can be used when performing the commune ritual, with its smoke conveying visions, allowing either a fourth question ». As Commune is a Ritual, there is the possibility the Theurg will use it several times. Does the device work several times per day ?
p.76, Mystical Treasure 16 : « on 5–6 the mechanism melts, making it impossible to unlock. » Is the key destroyed or stuck in the melting ?
p.77, Mystical Treasure 18 : « silver thaler », Thaler is described as gold in the Player Handbook.
p.79, Inhabitants Table, Arachs : « A group of arachs use the ruin », usually the verb goes with « group », « A group of arachs uses the ruin ».
p.79, Inhabitants Table, Elves and same for Trolls : « A group of elves has made the ruin their base, or guard it », mixing singular plural : « A group of elves has made the ruin its base, or guards it ».
« A group of trolls has its den inside the ruin, or sneaks around »
p.81, Barricade : there is a rule to handle defenders being partially hidden by a cover, and it is called Cover, half or 3/4. Why do you propose a new rule, ie. Disadvantage ?

Again, all these tables for the Ruin Details seems very awkward to use, many rolls, and probably you will end up generating a huge dungeon (1d20 - 10 levels above, 1d10 below, a Temple of Elemental Evil !) without coherence in it. In general I have seen players appreciate more small ruins with more flavor than a long list of levels. Not to mention the fact that such big ruins should be rare, or crumbled. In a word I don't feel this set of tables will be very useful nor flavorful. And a last concern : 5E relies quite a lot on battle maps. It seems very complicated to improvise a 1d20-10 + 1d10 levels dungeon without battle maps, so it probably means nobody will dare to roll dice to generate the ruin details as the book suggests. It has a 80's feeling, rolling dice to generate monsters and treasures, which I didn't expect at all.
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Sun 26 Sep 2021, 21:06

p.91, The Return, last § : « demanding that it immediately be handed over to its “rightful owner?” ». I think the question mark should be outside the « ».
p.93, The Treasure Hunt, 4th § : « attracted abominations or vindictive relatives of the group which was pacified when the player characters arrived to the area ». I can’t figure out what the part about « relatives of the group » means.
p.102, Concept, Last § : « critiquing ». « criticizing » feels better.
p.111, A Fateful Theme : « or the future of a specific nation, region or people », the coma appears as an exponent, on top of the « n » in my pdf.
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Mon 27 Sep 2021, 12:15

looking at "Orientation and Misfortunes" starting on page 64, i have to say i love all of the possible misfortunes that are detailed, but i'm struggling to see why the players have this degree of control over these factors: if the guide is very capable and never fails a roll they can never encounter a bad omen or experience a sudden silence? some of these options have nothing to do with how well the guide navigates: a capable guide has the ability to control natural phenomenons like downpour and wildfires?
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Re: Alpha Feedback - Gamemaster's Guide

Tue 28 Sep 2021, 19:32

p.121, OGL Magic Items table : Animated Shield, and Boots of Levitation, the Corruption cost is not complete « 1d4 TC per », « usage » is missing.
p.121, OGL Magic Items table : Bag of Beans, Bead of Force, what « 1 PC (until empty) » or « (until used) » means ? Is the 1 PC removed when the Bag is empty ? In such case it can hardly be called « permanent »…
p.122, OGL Magic Items table : many occurrences of the « 1 TC per » incomplete sentence
p.122, OGL Magic Items table : Dust of Disappearance implies no Corruption at all, while a potion of invisibility does. Seems not coherent.
p.122, OGL Magic Items table : Iron Bands of Binding don’t exist under this name in 5E. It could be confusing.
p.127, Corruption Gatherer : « A bearer with the Sorcery ability ». "Sorcerer Approach", if this is what it means, seems better as Witches, or Self Taught, could claim they have sorcery abilities.
p.127, Corruption Gatherer : « the sorcerer must first protect themself » singular, « himself » or « herself ».
« each point spent increases the DC of their saving throw by 1 against the sorcerer’s next spell »
Plural mixed with singular again, « each point spent increases the DC of the sorcerer next spell’s saving throw by 1 » works better
p.129, Loyal in Death : « Requires: Reaction ». When you fall Unconscious, you are Incapacitated and cannot take actions nor reactions. So this requirement should be replaced, or specify that it is the Wraith reaction.
p.129, Enemies in the Walls : « Furthermore, the enemies must be (…) provided with names ». This part of the sentence does not make sense. « Furthermore, the enemies must be known by appearance and names must be spoken out loud » for example works better.
« The user has two chances to pass any checks aimed at finding such a nearby enemy » Does it mean the user gets Advantage on such checks, or something else that is not clear ?
p.129, Look of Vengeance : « Requires: Bonus Action ». The power allow you to attack the enemy, which usually requires an Action. So does it mean the user has to use a Bonus Action to activate Look of Vengeance, and then can take an Action to Attack (but no other Bonus Action, for example for Two Weapon Fighting, as it is already used to activate the power) ? Or the Bonus Action to activate the power allows 1 attack ? It should be clearer.
p.130, Steel Rain : « Requires: Action ». Does that mean that activating the power uses your Action, which then replaces the Attack Action ? It is important to specify that Steel Rain is the Action that allows you to attack once, and more if successful, as using the Attack Action triggers some features, like Extra Attack.

p.130, Adventure Set-Up : « maybe even offered blood ties with the trolls to bring the parties together (see the Player’s Guide, page XX). » Does this refer to the Boon Blood Ties p.148 ? Is it specified somewhere how a meeting with Trolls can result in the gain of a Boon ? The process, rule-wise speaking, should be specified.
p.131, Hafmuul’s Transf Garments : All three garments should specify if you use the rules of Beast Shapes p.122 of the Player, or if you use something else.
Sometimes you use « Bestiary », sometimes « Ruins of Symbaroum Bestiary », there could be only one way to design the book.
In general, the cost in Corruption seems very low, and complicated to account for : « TC when you put the cloth on » means the player will have to account when they undress to wash, sleep, or have diner with a noble in a correct outfit. It would be simpler to have TC when activating.
p.131, Bear Walk : « one paws » seems incorrect, « one paw attack ».
« Requires: The character’s reaction to take 1 or more points of damage. » seems better with « Requires: The character’s reaction when taking 1 or more points of damage. », and the description should state if the fore-mentioned damages are transferred to the animal form or if the transformation takes place after.
p.132, Glowing Fetters : « Requires: Reaction » it could specify it is the same Reaction used to activate Spark in the Dark (you have only one Reaction per Turn) ?
Also, the description states you are « trapped in chains », which usually corresponds to the Condition Restrained. But you use the condition Paralyzed, which is different as it supposes you cannot act at all, which is something that traps cannot do. You can still use a skill for example, or a spell, etc… Is it a confusion, or the effect is stronger than the description on purpose ?
p.133, Melee Chains : « Requires: Reaction, when someone attacks the master in melee » I understand the chain unrolls and then grabs the attacker if the save is failed. Normally the attack roll is already made, so the Restrained condition (and disadvantage from attacks) will apply after the attack. Could this be specified ? Also, can you still use the chain as a +1 whip if a creature is restrained by it ?
p.134, Block Magic : maybe the description should state « when a creature you can see or hear uses magic, you can use it to defend… » as it seems a bit overpowered to be able to use the effect when you cannot guess magic is being cast… How can you use your shield if you did not hear the Hold Person coming at you ? You’re paralyzed…
p.134, Shield Throw : you don’t need to specify « once per turn » as the user only has one reaction per Round, he cannot use it every Turn. Again, it seems logical the owner of the shield must see or hear the spell being cast if he intends to use the protection. It seems difficult to throw a shield against a Suggestion spell if you just can’t hear the spell (and thus it has already taken effect). Seeing the target of a spell does not necessarily allow you to know a spell has been cast.
Also there should be a range to throw the shield. You can see an ally 200 meters away, but you cannot throw a shield that far.
Maybe it should also be limited to spells asking for a Dexterity Saving Throw ? Can a shield protect from a Polymorph ? Strange indeed.
p.134, Mirror Shield Adventure Set-up : « the treasure hunters did take », singular « hunter ».
p.135, Crack of Thunder : « Enemies within your sight » is really vague. Can the user see in its back, or just the cone in front of him ? Where exactly the character is looking at ? Does the large enemy in front of him hide all other creatures behind ? A radius circle would be clearer and avoid lengthy discussions.
p.138, See Beyond : « 1 Corruption for anyone else who looks in it », missing « . », and also « temporary » probably.
p.139, Rasthuul’s Spirit Vessel : the way this artifact works is quite mysterious. When you place your soul in the vessel, what happens to your body ? Does it fall in catatonic state as in Magic Jar spell ? If not, what happens to the master of the urn when he hits 0 hp ? Still unconscious ? Then what happens if you cut his head off for example ? Still alive ?
p.140, Dark Steps : « Requires: Movement ». How much ? Are 5 feet of remaining movement enough to reach the destination of the teleportation ?
p.140, Daemon Birth : can you control more than one daemon at once? What sort of action, or no action, is required to give a command to the daemon ? Does the creature have its own initiative ? It should be specified, and it is by the way the same issue with Summon Daemon in the Player Handbook.
p.141, Holy Synergy : « any effect from the spell is doubled in effectiveness. » What does this mean exactly ? Would a healing spell heal double dice, or double the number of creatures affected ? Same for damages, or mind affecting spells. This is unclear.
p.143, Voluntary Sacrifice : « A person attuned to the stone can sacrifice themself », « herself » seems better.
p.144, Forced Sacrifice : what is a « cultural being » ? Would a mere kobold or equivalent in RoS be enough to resurrect a 10th level character ? Maybe a condition on the CR could be added.

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