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 Playtesting Super Dungeon Legends 
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Denizen
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sleepy_laughter wrote:
I think it's interesting that Meow has more ARM than Kat or Stawomir (sp?)


Yeah, that's how Katie is rolling on this one.

sleepy_laughter wrote:
Have you been keeping track how many hero/consul activations each encounter requires? That can largely dictate movement. In Classic/Arcade 2.0, with the timer, you generally need to move AND deal wounds to stay on track /w MMC. I'm wondering if there is more/less tactical play with SDE:L.


I haven't been keeping track of number of activations. Each encounter tends to resolve fairly quickly though. As far as been more/less tactical, it depends on the encounter. With less actions available to the heroes, target priority seems to be pretty important.

sleepy_laughter wrote:
Like, are the heroes forced to hole up at a choke point and use ranged attacks at monsters to pick them off at range?


Not from what I've noticed so far. I'll keep an eye out for that next play test.

sleepy_laughter wrote:
I know you have the Ark NPC to help 'even up' the playing field/make sure the heroes aren't immediately blown up, but how often has Ark needed to 'step in' and raise knocked out heroes/heal them?


Every encounter he used his [once per encounter] raise ability. He heals fairly frequently, whenever it doesn't make sense for him to knock out a monster instead,

sleepy_laughter wrote:
Would combat play out the same w/o the benefit of a NPC?


Definitely not. I built the encounters to force the heroes to lean on Ark as an NPC just a bit. The benefits to this are twofold. 1- It builds a sense of familiarity between him and the player characters. The players 'trust' and 'like' Ark's character because he pulls them through the scrapes. 2- If I want to raise tension in an encounter, I take Ark away. Now the heroes feel just a bit more bare without being able to rely on him. There are just a handful of encounters where I do this.


April 16th, 2018, 10:15 pm
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Chapter 5 of my campaign draft is done. This closes the main narrative story arc and leaves only the prologue chapter. The prologue will be a multilevel dungeon that allows the heroes to really flex their XS rank, while tying off the loose story ends.

Once again if you'd like copies IM me or comment below!

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April 18th, 2018, 2:39 am
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Bottle Cap

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@holy cross: first of all, thanks for the great effort! i downloaded all your chapters and can´t wait to start your campaign! just one question: did you use the (plain text) loot cards from legends preview or from SDE Version 1/FK?


April 19th, 2018, 2:31 pm
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janzie7 wrote:
@holy cross: first of all, thanks for the great effort! i downloaded all your chapters and can´t wait to start your campaign! just one question: did you use the (plain text) loot cards from legends preview or from SDE Version 1/FK?


Thanks for letting me know! Your enthusiasm to play this feeds my enthusiasm to finish Chapter 6, then go back and make the modules better! :mrgreen:

I started out using the plain text stuff, but quickly found it was easier to improvise loot and item drops. If you look over the character sheets from my last play through, Oracle’s Ring, Adventurers Bracelet, Tribal Dagger and ‘Horn’ Helmet (my wife decided it was Horn-singular, one awkward horn protruding from the center of the helmet), were all invented by me on the spot when it made sense.

When I make a second pass to refine the modules I’ll add preset loot. For now I’d recommend having some preselected loot from the Legends deck, or you can make it up on the spot like I did.

Also, feel free to IM me an email address if you’d like the digital tiles for your encounters.


April 19th, 2018, 4:10 pm
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I got a game of SD: Legends in today, this time with 3 hero players. It painted SD:L in a whole new light for me. A very positive light I'm happy to say.

First my observations of SD:Legends when played in a group (as opposed to the me vs my wife playtests)
-The group dynamic gets real. Internal conflict was a thing, and it was fun.
-Despite all conflicts, the heroes banded together whenever they were in a tight spot.
-The Dark Consul player will make or break the group. Your DC player should be a critical thinker who wants to make the experience challenging but fun. My advice is make nothing impossible, just challenge the heroes to 'convince you' on how they wish to so something and have them make the relevant stat-check if necessary.
-Legends is a far better entry point for newer players, provided you have a savvy Consul player.

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The heroes enter the Outskirts Tavern. Intense table-talk ensues.

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Undead assailants arrive at the establishment...

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The heroes fight through the catacombs.

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The party encounters the Riftling Spirit 'Ziggi'

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Regaining ground lost earlier.


April 22nd, 2018, 6:50 am
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Denizen
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Very nice! I was wondering why your wife had extra arms/body when I first saw the pics b/f reading the text :).

yay tusk raider and link and new painted models!

I was thinking the same thing, that Legends (if/when it's fleshed out) would be a good intro to SDE Classic/Arcade since the 1 action/activation lets Everyone go every turn and reduces the whole how what should I do of the 5 things I can do multiplied by the 5 things you can do based on the 2 dice rolls we need to not fail.

The one thing I feel is a barrier, though, is using custom tiles since I think what you're doing is a cut above a group just getting into SDE:L. A lot depends on what SDE:L ends up delivering an/or what they support. If they had a big $30 custom tile pack for SDE:L that was really versatile, it'd be something I"d consider more relevant than the current tile packs (since creeps now have narrow use with Pet Parade and Tiles, although cool, are not necessary given there is a lot of reconfiguration options).

Probably just me, but I 'am' a me to consider :)


April 22nd, 2018, 7:04 am
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Hello everyone! I am playtesting Holy Cross’ campaign for Legends. I am the Consul and the hubby is playing all of the heroes for this playtest. We have:

Ri’Nandi the Mistmourn Shaman. Rather than shapeshifting to animal form, the hubby decided he will “hulk out” into a larger troll form.
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Lady Vengeance the Nighty Knight
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and Xiao-Xiao the Ninja.
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Spoilers for the campaign will follow:

Encounter 0 - “Road to Crystalia Castle” We got confused why there appeared to be rooms with doors in a forest setting, for a moment we thought we got the maps wrong! We also weren’t sure whether we started the game with potions or not… Anyway, the encounter did not go to plan with the kobolds KOing the party in a couple of turns. I was rolling crazily good and the combination of Shield Wall and Mob proved too much for the heroes. So, we failed before we even got to start playtesting! I decided that the party had held off the kobolds long enough for a rescue party to arrive and then the party got carried off on stretchers along with Ser Charles. I thought “Road to Crystalia Castle” was supposed to be a way to ease players into the game, what a shock that was!

Encounter A – Because the party failed the previous encounter (they technically didn’t save Ser Charles and they didn’t protect the lockbox) I decided that the Order of Light would reward them with just a potion instead of loot and heal them up with their Clerics. The party was uninterested in asking the Head of the Guard any questions (possibly because their pride was injured and they just wanted to go).

Encounter B – The hubby liked how the drunk NPC gave out random info – He said it reminded him of a Final Fantasy NPC.

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Encounter C – The party killed an Ashen Bones before Lady Vengeance succumbed to the Ashen Knights’ blades. They killed a couple more Ashen Bones as Xiao-Xiao fumbled with the lock to the back room and the newly healed Lady Vengeance failed to smash the door down, twice! Finally, Xiao-Xiao picked the lock and the party escaped down into the cellar. The hubby enjoyed this encounter much more than the others (finally, a decent fight!). We wondered whether jumping over the tables and bar should count as difficult terrain.

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Encounter D – The heroes got trapped in the hallway by the encroaching undead. Lady Vengeance lopped off the head of an Ashen Mage with a critical hit and Ri’Nandi shifted to tank with higher ARM. The heroes stood on the Bone Pile tokens to prevent models from being raised (works in Arcade mode, right?). Lady Vengeance took a wound using Sacrifice and Ri’Nandi took a wound to shapeshift WILL in order to take out the final Ashen Mage. The hubby really enjoyed this encounter too. We wondered if the Ashen Mages would use a basic WILL attack if they can’t Raise? (We presumed so).

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Encounter E – Ri’Nandi shifted to increase his STR and force the door. The hubby was not feeling it for this encounter but he admits it may be due to personal bias: Ziggi reminded him of another character that he hates. He thought that since the first room only had a door in it, there wasn’t much point in using a map.

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Encounter F – Ri’Nandi shifted for ARM and tried to tank but the undead fell as quickly as they were raised again. The druid was ultimately overwhelmed by the multitude of attacks. Xiao-Xiao was finally able to turn the tides with a Super Shuriken attack, killing the Ashen Mage resurrector even though he was protected by allies. Then she was knocked out as well, leaving Lady Vengeance to face the horde alone. Lady V killed an Ashen Bones, gaining a heart which she used to wake up Xiao-Xiao, who then used a potion to return to full health. Then Lady V fell as well and for the rest of the battle Xiao-Xiao played “keep-away” while the undead chased her. Both Lady Vengeance and Ri’Nandi were still unconscious when the encounter ended. Without any potions remaining or healing abilities in the party, we were unsure how to revive them at this point. In the end, I decided that they awoke with 1 heart remaining each. Hubby complained that his heroes died way too easily in this encounter, but as the last fight in the chapter, I don’t think it was too bad. They would do better if they had a healer, if they targeted the weaker enemies first and if they stopped using their self-sacrifice abilities to hurt themselves. I may have to tone down these encounters to suit this particular band of heroes. Hubby thinks that the ranged characters have too much of an advantage as they can keep away from the enemies while the melee characters get dogpiled. For beating this encounter, I randomised some loot and the heroes gained Steel Gauntlets (+1B ARM) which the Nighty Knight equipped.

Encounter G - Hubby was surprised (and relieved) as he was expecting a mini-boss to end the encounter. He was happy that his prediction (Aha! His twin brother did it!) was on the mark. He was satisfied with this encounter.

I’ve probably made a ton of mistakes but we’ll play the next chapter in a few weeks, so I have some time to fix my misunderstandings before then!

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April 22nd, 2018, 11:15 am
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@Aella13
Hey it's great to see another perspective on the campaign. Thanks for posting this. Here are a few things as they relate to your playtest and the campaign in general.

-Road to Crystalia will be removed from the final campaign. It was a good-enough starting point, but I have my own idea for an intro to this story. Encounter A will be removed in favor of a smoother transition to the tavern.

-Encounter B, played way, way better with a group of 3 players than it did with just my wife controlling all the heroes. For one person it seems like they're just trying to scour through all the information. With three players the group dynamic kicked in and brought this to life. (Imagine a sloppy drunk Tabbybrook Water Mage harassing the moody swordsman after collaborating heatedly with the party's ranger.)

-Encounter C, I had the heroes take DEX checks if they wanted to jump a table or bar counter.

-Encounter D, the Mages definitely would make magic attacks if unable to raise bones.

-Encounter E, same finding as encounter B. The group dynamic brought it to life. One player decided his character didn't like Ziggi so he kept provoking her. The boozy Tabbybrook tried schmoozing up to Ziggi, while collaborating with the ranger to try and get more information out of her. (With just my wife it was one mind trying to rack through all the possibilities.

I'll admit the first room may be a bit arbitrary, but it kept the party immersed and guessing.

Encounter F- I saw early on that the heroes were struggling with the Ashen Knights (rolling 3 stars or greater, this early in the campaign, was a struggle). I corrected this by making sure they got a couple of loot items prior to setting foot in this encounter. The party also made the judgment call to wipe out the weaker enemies first to minimize the number of incoming attacks.

Overall- I didn't see any mistakes, but I also believe Legends is driven by the Consul player. If you can think on your feet, and the party is engaged, you're succeeding. Social/non-combat encounters are far easier with a group because they'll do half the work for you. Great report! I'm looking forward to the next one! (also the remaining tiles are all bright and colorful. No more black and white grids)


April 22nd, 2018, 4:48 pm
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We playtested Chapter 2 this weekend. Spoilers for the campaign will follow:

Encounter A – After some reminders and recapping, the Hubby didn’t feel the need to ask any more questions as he thought it was pretty self-explanatory.

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Encounter B – Ri’Nandi and Lady Vengeance set about killing Angry Shrooms as Xiao-Xiao killed the Truffle Pigs and Ser Ark used his Golden Halo to shield the party. Ri’Nandi and Xiao-Xiao shot at the Fungal Growth to stop it from respawning. Lady Vengeance sacrificed herself to hurt the Raging Shroom. Ser Ark tried to heal her but she fell so he used Golden Tears to restore her to life. Lady V finished off the Raging Shroom, sending the rest of the critters scurrying back into the forest. Hubby liked this straightforward fight.

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Encounter C – The heroes cut down the trolls with ease and the Troll Chieftain was so intimidated that he lets the party pass unhindered. Hubby liked having multiple options at the end of this scene.

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Encounter D – The map didn’t have the doors marked on it so I had to make do with some scraps of paper. The Wisps immediately filled the room with more Wisps. They were appearing as fast as the party could kill them. Hubby got very frustrated as he felt like he couldn’t progress. In the second room, Lady Vengeance used some Fire Water to take down the Wisp Hound. She fell against the Wisp onslaught but was resurrected by Ser Ark. Hubby was getting visibly frustrated by the reappearing Wisps at this point. Maybe I’m just too good at rolling hearts? Only in the third room did the Wisp conveyor belt finally cease. Hubby admitted in the end that the encounter itself wasn’t bad, I was just rolling an ungodly number of hearts.

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Encounter E – I used crystals because I don’t own the slime models. Hubby incorrectly assumed that the “only one piece may…” phrase meant that each statue could only be moved once so he took a little while but he figured it out in the end. Perhaps you should explain how the pieces move in case some Consul players don’t know how to play chess.

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Encounter F – Hubby was confused by the scale of the map compared to previous ones. E.g. The entire tower is the size of one square. We used the Questing Knight to represent Fell Knight Asche as he is heavily armoured. We counted the purple swampy areas as impassable but that might have been a mistake in hindsight. We got severely bogged down and bottlenecked. Perhaps you could make it so that the bridges are two squares across to reduce the chances of that happening? In the end the undead blocked Ser Ark’s path since he activates after them and he ended up getting stuck. It did feel correctly like we were fighting through waves of undead though.

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Encounter G – We don’t have Slimes so we used Sorrow models again to represent them. Ri’Nandi ended up tanking the skeletons in the hallway, leaving Xiao-Xiao to pull the lever and Lady Vengeance to cut down the newly formed undead with Ser Ark’s blade. Hubby liked this encounter a lot but groaned when Ziggi showed up again (he just has it in for her!)

All in all, I think Chapter 2 was really good, the only real problem we had was the bottlenecking in Encounter F.

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April 28th, 2018, 9:16 am
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Holy should you provide synopsis of what happens for each chapter so they can follow the playthroughs? It may not be obvious unless someone’s read the chapters. But then spoilers.


April 28th, 2018, 4:30 pm
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@Aella13, thanks for another great battle report. I see your husband has a fairly distinct playstyle. If it moves kill it and loot it, if it doesn't move loot it, but stab it first just in case. :lol:

I'm glad that the campaign holds his interest. My wife plays a similar style of breezing over the story/RPing and getting to the next tactical encounter. My group of three on the other hand, they are all about the RPing and 'What would my character do'. (A Tabbybrook Mage may have gotten soggy-drunk as a result.)

Regarding some of the other points of friction in your game:
-Encountered D, my most current version of Chapter 2 amended the Wisp's ability to read as follows: Weeping Wisp- for each successful attack made by this model place 1 wisp in the room in which the offense action succeeded. (To a maximum of 6 total wisps alive in one room) It seems to work on making these encounters less 'swingy'.

Encounter E: This puzzle definitely needs work/refinement. It relies heavily on someone at the table understanding chess. I may give the Consul more discretion, or a selection of puzzles they can tailor/offer to their group when I make my second pass on the whole campaign.

Encounter F: Wider bridges is definitely an option. I also plan to give more guidance on terrain when I make my second pass after completing the first draft. Re-examining this scenario, I think a hero could take a DEX test in an effort to nimbly leap over the purple mire, or an ARM test to try and tough their way through it, perhaps with a minor penalty to movement in either case.

Thanks for the pics and feedback! It helps to mold the campaign as I work through it. I'm currently taking a break from typing up the final boss fight. Hopefully chapter 6 will be posted and ready tonight or tomorrow.

@Sleepy Laughter. That's a great idea. A synopsis is definitely on the to-do list.


April 28th, 2018, 5:47 pm
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Holy Cross wrote:
@Aella13, thanks for another great battle report. I see your husband has a fairly distinct playstyle. If it moves kill it and loot it, if it doesn't move loot it, but stab it first just in case. :lol:

It's funny you should say that! In the fight when he killed the last of the troll minions and the Chieftain could now be intimidated, he looked disappointed for a second and asked, "Can't I just kill him too?" :P

Perhaps in Encounter F you could make a DEX/STR check to leap/plow through the bog, but on a fail you are slowed as you are literally bogged down.

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April 29th, 2018, 2:57 am
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Aella13 wrote:
It's funny you should say that! In the fight when he killed the last of the troll minions and the Chieftain could now be intimidated, he looked disappointed for a second and asked, "Can't I just kill him too?" :P


Priceless! :lol:

Aella13 wrote:
Perhaps in Encounter F you could make a DEX/STR check to leap/plow through the bog, but on a fail you are slowed as you are literally bogged down.


I like that. I'll keep it in mind!


April 29th, 2018, 5:18 am
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I played through Chapter 1 of Holy Cross's campaign! Please ignore my garbage old paint jobs. :oops:

Our heroes:

Kit the Cat, the literal Cat Burglar. Flirtatious, sneaky, and all-around lovable rogue. (Nyan-Nyan model)
Grummy Gumshoes, a Royal Paladin and a detective on Kit's case, though he doesn't know it's her he's after for certain. (Star-Guild Sapper model)
Sugar Bomb, a Hexcast Sorceress with an obsession. She's following Grummy around hoping to catch his attention. (House Cerberus Occultist model)

This trio finds themselves in an unusual situation: The Order of Light has requested Grummy move to a new case due to his sterling record, and to meet Ser Ark at the Outskirts Tavern. Sensing an opportunity for treasure, Kit the Cat pretends to be with Grummy, and Sugar Bomb tags along too. As they arrive at the inn, Kit attempts to flirt her way into some food and drink, only to discover her room and board are already paid for. After a fine meal, the party settles in for the night, awaiting the arrival of Ser Ark.

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But wait! What dark magic is this? The party awakens to find the inn under attack by some ghastly monsters. Our heroes take a few hits as they take out half a dozen enemies, frustrated as they realize the numbers seem to be endless. They have to get out of there! Sugar Bomb is able to determine the doors and windows are bound by an unnatural force, and they're forced to find an alternative means of escape. Kit the Cat picks the lock on the storage room, and they escape into the cellar.

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With unbelievable insight, Sugar Bomb immediately finds a route out of the cellar. Unfortunately, there seems to be yet more enemies. Discovering an underground canal, they fight their way over to the dock. While they hit hard, they're hit back to the point of desperation. All three heroes use their potions and still have serious wounds. So they opt to jump straight into the water to escape instead of climbing into a ferry. (I informed them they didn't have to jump into the water, but husband said "oh well" and dove off the ledge anyway.)

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This leads them to a door labeled with the crest of the Royal Family. After everyone tries and fails to push their way through, Kit discovers a mechanism which opens the door, and they find themselves in a room with a statue who stops them when they try to leave. Sugar Bomb upsets the statue, Ziggi, but after some convincing from Kit, who relates to her as a fellow Nether creature, and Grummy, whose incorruptible spirit she finds endearing, she lets them return to the surface.

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ACTUAL CAT. GET OFF THE TABLE. I love you, cute boy, but just... no.

Ahem. Anyway, they return to the inn, slay a few more evil creatures, and enter to find Ser Ark, who quickly clears the remaining corruption and asks for our heroes' help in continuing his quest. Thus our trio's adventure begins...

A few notes: the heroes started with 1 loot each, and I increased the hearts of the Ashen Bones from 1 to 2. I think it was a good balance. Ziggi healed only Kit and Grummy, so Sugar Bomb stayed out of range during the last encounter. Playing through the whole chapter took about 2 and a half hours. We're excited to play through Chapter 2 later today!


April 29th, 2018, 8:13 pm
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@Anajadys, great battle report! I like that your husband enjoys the role-playing/narrative aspect of the game. I'm definitely looking forward to your feedback on chapter 2.

In other news, I have finished Chapter 6, bringing my campaign to its completion. I intend to refine and improve it over time, but it's now complete :D

A couple of sample images are below. If any one else would like the completed module, IM me or comment below. Facebook messenger works too: https://www.facebook.com/wdneill1982

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April 30th, 2018, 1:28 pm
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Good evening all!

With my first Super Dungeon: Legends campaign wrapping up, I have started planning the next one.

Enjoy!

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May 6th, 2018, 6:02 am
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Super Dungeon Legends: The Ashen Knight, Chapter 4 playtest (Yes, I have finally named my campaign. Hopefully it is picked up and published sometime! :D )

***Minor Spoilers Ahead***

Of all the chapters I have written for the campaign, this was one of my most ambitious, and as such I had the most concerns about how it would play out. This chapter largely features a playable flashback of the main NPC Ark, and his counterpart and villain to the story, Asche from before Asche's corruption.

I had two key concerns.

1- For half the chapter the players aren't even controlling their own characters. They play as Ark, Asche and Asche's squire Jeanne, while they are all still members of the Order of Light.

2- When the players are thrown back into their own bodies, they are playing through an encounter that they can't win on sheer dumb brute force alone.

Here's the highlights of how it played out:

-My wife really enjoyed playing the flashback combat encounters. Ark and Asche are intentionally over-powered and as such I throw a fairly massive hoard of monsters at them. She said it was a fun change of pace and it gave good insight into the history of the characters.

-Non combat encounters are not my wife's strong-suit. She's definitely a 'kill s**t, get loot' kind of player, so the more elaborate encounter where the heroes must use a little creativity to escape the situation took her a little trial and error. She made it through without me 'giving it away' though it took a little head scratching for her.

-All told, Chapter 4 took about 2 hours and 15 minutes from beginning to end making it the shortest chapter so far. The difficulty balance felt just right too.

Overall I consider this chapter a success.

My ongoing observations of Legends so far: At this point I can't add too many new observations. It's still fun and works in bite sized play sessions, but has the potential for an all weekend gaming binge session. Changing the scene every 30 mins give or take keeps my wife's interest intact.

So with what said, here are the highlights.

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The story flashes back several hundred years as Commander Ark, Field Marshall Asche and Initiate Jeanne arrive at a crucial point in the enemy lines.

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The Dark Consul's minions are quick to bring the fight to them.

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The power of the Order of Light is too much for the Dark Consul to contain as Ark, Asche and Jeanne break through.

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The remote farm village is beset by monsters, but the Order of Light will protect the innocent at any cost.

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100 years later, Ark and Asche meet again in the same farming village, only on opposite sides this time. What could have happened?

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Still adrift in the rifts, but back in present time, the heroes find themselves back in their own bodies, and in front of a mysterious Knight.

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The village has been trapped in the rifts, the villagers trapped in a lifeless routine. The key to the heroes escape lies somewhere in this gloomy place.

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Catch the bunny...

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...and the heroes reveal an old friend of Ark and Asche.


May 24th, 2018, 5:14 am
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It's good to see the Asche and Ark models in action! The different tile styles are still a bit confusing, but I understand why they're that way atm.

For the rifts, should there be like, a cloud/fog effect on the tiles?

Also, for the first tile, I felt like all the heroes should have a pokeball to catch all the monsters!


May 24th, 2018, 4:04 pm
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sleepy_laughter wrote:
It's good to see the Asche and Ark models in action! The different tile styles are still a bit confusing, but I understand why they're that way atm.

For the rifts, should there be like, a cloud/fog effect on the tiles?

Also, for the first tile, I felt like all the heroes should have a pokeball to catch all the monsters!


For a finished product I’d love to have a consistent art style for the tiles.

Cloud/fog would be easy to do with GIMP. I’ve been gradually adding layers and lighting to tiles as I go. It’s just a matter of time and the fact that I’ve done most of this on my own. So far the first 2 chapters have lighting effects on their tiles.

Hey, if the DM/Consul decides that Ark/Asche find a round red & white relic behind one of those rocks in his/her campaign I won’t
judge ;)


May 24th, 2018, 4:22 pm
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SDL TAK Chapter 1 Playtest

My wife agreed to (eventually) playtest ONE chapter of SDL after I did a bunch of good hubby/daddy things. I used my Father's Day request to play it ahead of my group playtest coming up later this week. It only took 1.5 hours!

Gathering the materials for our first SDL! Playtest The Ashen Knight (TAK) from @Holy Cross
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Picking Hero Classes. My wife selected:
Moana (Questing Knight using Silver Chevalier model), Elsa (Glimmerdusk Ranger), and Anna (Tabbybrook Water Mage). She opted for no background/story and didn't really want to name them.
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Moana, Elsa, and Anna make short work of the *Dream* zombies. Note that this is the newer version that does not have Road to Crystalia as the start.
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After disembarking from the airship, they make their way to Outskirts Tavern. They are thoroughly confused with what to do in exploration mode, but manage to talk to the Bartender, Alexander, and the local Drunk. They immediately go to sleep when given the chance.
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They awake in the Tavern to Ashen monsters knocking on their doors!
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Despite being thoroughly upset that the monsters KEEP SPAWNING, the heroes are able to defeat multiple waves of monsters (and avoid falling when leaping tables and counters) through Anna's skillful use of Arcane Blast and make it to the LOCKED door.
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Elsa is unable to pick the lock, but Moana smashes the door off its hinges. Surprisingly, the door magically restores itself after the party makes it through and the monsters are unable to smash it themselves.
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The heroes escape into the cellar and need a little help finding the secret door behind the barrels.
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Elsa is VERY upset there are MORE MONSTERS. Anna calmly blows away multiple Ashen Bones using Arcane Blast as the party makes their way to the door.
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Moana fends off the Ashen Bones while Elsa and discover the door is PERMA LOCKED. WHY IS THIS EVEN HERE?!?
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The heroes make a mad dash to the ferries (aka multipurpose doors) and flee as more Ashen monsters arrive in the secret cellar.
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The party awakes and find themselves on a mysterious dock. Another Exploration phase ensues where Anna jumps on the dock to see what happens, Moana examines a tile that...is just a wall (but looks like it should go somewhere!), and Elsa accidentally pushes and shoves open the door.
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The party finds themselves in a room with...Ziggi. Elsa taps Ziggi on the head with her bow while Anna brushes Ziggi's hair. Moana kicks Ziggi's butt, which elicits a corresponding ZAP!! The party is unfamiliar with how/what to do when confronted by a talking statue and eventually ask about Ark. Ziggi gets bored and shoo's the party along and tells them to go back to the Tavern to clear up the monsters.
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The party is VERY upset that this tile is SO BIG. There are SO MANY MONSTERS. The party would rather be elsewhere, but it is Father's Day and this is what we agreed to play. The Ashen Monsters FINALLY win an initiative roll and start advancing against the heroes.
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Unfortunately for the Ashen Monsters, Anna's Arcane Blast is VERY GOOD at multiple melting skeletons. Elsa and Moana are also able to cover Bone Piles to prevent the Ashen Mage from Raising more skeletons. Our pet, Buster, and joined the party, but as SDL does not have Pet Parade rules yet, he is only a cosmetic member of the party.
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The Ashen Skeletons are able to close on the party, but are unable to wound the heroes due to well above average 2B rolls. Anna continues to melt bone face while Elsa and Moana coordinate to gain engaged bonuses and chip away at the higher ARM and HP monsters.
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The party is victorious and enter the Outskirts Tavern to find...Alexander, surrounded by monsters!
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Alexander does a costume change and....
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Reveals himself to be Ser Ark and Blows away the skeletons! Buster is disturbed from his nap!
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The party kind of listens to the explanation of Ser Ark, but are really just focused on their sweet Loot and Rank Up to B heroes.
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TAK Bestiary I made for my own use:
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It's in my google drive in the discord if folks want to use. I don't *think* it has any mistakes, but @Holy Cross is updating his materials so who knows what the final version will be :).


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Hero Feedback
My wife has zero RP much less PnP RP experience and although she is a fan of the SDE chibi models and slaying monsters, she is not a fan of playing games that have monsters, fighting in general, or really anything that is 'scary' (for which she has a low threshold). She has played SDE 1.0, FK Arcade, and SDE 2.0 Arcade and is familiar with the combat portions of SDE.

She picked up the new combat rules pretty quickly and was able to understand/use the engagement bonus on her own by the final encounter. Since monsters are so weak in this campaign, there wasn't much status effect wise to worry about.

She said she enjoyed the non-combat encounters more than the combat encounters, but was frustrated because she really didn't know what to 'do'. This experience may also have something to do with me also having practically 0 PnP RP experience much less as a Consul.

She REALLY HATED the first combat encounter as it has the same issues she has with spawn points in general, in that when she defeats a monster, she feels it should STAY DEAD. It removes her accomplishment for defeating monsters if they just come back!

She enjoyed the combat encounters that did not have an endless wave of monsters spawning b/c she felt like her defeating monsters made a difference. She liked it better that the Mages never actually attacked because they spent all their time Raising skeletons. She also liked that she did NOT have to defeat all the monsters and she could just run away and she would always prioritize running to an objective if possible.

Although she was reluctant to name her heroes in the beginning, I pressed her on this and it made is much easier for her and I to interact when her heroes had names and identities. The names have meaning to her and helped her become immersed in her heroes' part in the campaign.

She did not really understand what was happening/what she needed to do and needed guidance at the start of each encounter (which is sometimes difficult when something's supposed to be a secret or surprise).

All in all, she "didn't hate it", which is better than what she usually says after a game of Super Dungeon (even though we always win - mostly she's just always stressed out b/c there are monsters until the end of the game). She did say she'd consider playing the next chapter and prefers the game with a narrative, but definitely not over Charterstone (which checks off almost all the boxes for types of games she likes).

She was also confused why I didn't play 'with her' as a hero as I did in SDE 1.0 before Arcade mode existed (I'd basically be the Consul, but also play a hero). I let her know that I get an NPC in the next chapter so I CAN play with her.

Consul Feedback
It wasn't too tough to DM for the first time. Granted, I had one player and had read TAK Ch. 1 multiple times and prepped my own tiles, monster cards, and read through the SDL multiple times (I like to be prepared), it's very different when you're ACTUALLY doing it in real time and have to execute and react to the atmosphere.

I was able to add a few elements (like the door closing in outskirts tavern with the skeletons failing to break it down with a 3STR test even with engaged bonus) since I could tell my wife was just DONE with fighting infinite spawning skeletons.

I know that my wife is loot oriented so I prepped some SDE 2.0 Loot cards (very similar to FK loot cards with a few changes) and made a deck of mostly +B stat gear to reward her between encounters.

Despite all the prep I did, I didn't have everything memorized and TAK does not have a final layout so I did have to spend some time reading through passages to figure out what exactly was happening/would happen next/why something DIDN'T happen that I remembered (@Holy Cross either wrote it out of the version I had, there was a mistake, or I just remembered it wrong).

I felt significantly more comfortable DM'ing TAK over one of the SDL Beta adventures (despite having read through those 3 times) b/c these had simpler mechanics and I'd spent a lore more time going through these materials, but I'd vastly prefer to not need to invest/prep so much before running an adventure.

I preferred to use the Arcade values (I made some up for the monsters and they worked ok - most of them basically ARE arcade values. I just feel it's easier to know what to roll to attack/defend for heroes when it's not changing every turn minus the engage bonus).

Campaign Feedback
I like the change to cut Road to Crystalia (which I think is an AWFUL adventure) to the dream room. My wife HATED that the adventure starts with a fight. She had a lot of trouble understanding the setting, what was happening, etc. She's more of the point and go player where she relies on someone else to figure out the objective and she goes and slays the crap out whatever's in the way.

Encounter A is currently very open ended and we just had one round of 2 Swampies and 1 Pudge since we knew how to fight. We skipped status effects b/c there are practically none in Chapter 1 and I feel like this should ideally require more structure. My wife did not...retain? any story b/w Encounter A and Encounter B since it's all auditory. It may be nice to have the letter be a separate thing printed I can HAND her so she can reference in the next Encounter.

Encounter B does not have a map, despite there being a map available, so I used it and set up the characters. My wife is used to being able to 'see' things on the board without having to roll dice to check surroundings and doesn't really get the concept of 'investigate' and roll dice unless there's a specific token/icon on the map (like in Stuffed Fables) that indicates a point of interest. This is something that could be worked in, but I expect most folks used to RP games will not need this (but I greatly appreciate having it in Stuffed Fables). She thought the Local Drunk was funny, but didn't get any of the story hooks b/c she doesn't know what is important to pay attention to and just kind of 'waited' for the story to progress.

Encounter C has the overhead map in the Consul campaign material - I don't have a good way of sharing it and I don't think it necessarily has impact 'within' chapter 1. I think when you play the other chapters and have the overall map printed out and can show the party where they're going/have been (kind of like Gloomhaven Scenarios, I guess), then it has more impact, but my wife has no background or Lore nor is the type to care so it was a bit wasted on her.

Anna the Mage was absolutely brutal. I recommended a Water mage so her party would have on demand healing and Arcane Blast is pretty darn good against hordes of 0W ARM monsters. The map in the Consul campaign material is different dimensions from the actual tiles I got with the pretty new art (which look horrible printed in B&W), so I ad libbed some of the placement. I don't know why this encounter had SO MANY DOORS. I'm using basic doors from Swords and Sorcery (no hero quest furniture for me) and I know that SDL is supposed to come with Door tokens (like GH), but we got a LOT of use out of the door stands.

So basically the heroes had 4 attacks each turn and would defeat a bunch of skeletons and this campaign doesn't have tuning for # of heroes yet. I forgot to have the monsters move 2 squares after they spawned since it was more thematic for them to just 'reappear' and maybe respawn, just indicate that they spawn from the spawn pool and have a specific limit (2 ashen knight, 4 ashen bones).

We never explored Alexander's room b/c there is no indication/reason to do so. I think there'd be better direction given to get to the cellar rather than search the rooms, etc. (my wife wanted to run out of the Inn, but I didn't want her to waste her time b/c I knew she'd hate this encounter). She did jump on the furniture and she did get one critical success (5 stars DEX) so I gave her +1W on her missile attack (acrobatically leapt on the counter, knocked her bow, and blew the skull off an Ashen Bones).

Having the door @ 5 locked did add a sense of urgency since the party had to use actions to open the door rather than defeat skeletons. She was upset when Elsa failed to pick up, but it was fun to have Moana critically succeed (5 stars) and toss the door into the air.

For encounter D, as a Consul, I really hated trying to figure out what to do. You don't set up the monsters until the heroes get to 2. But 7 is referenced between 4 and 5 as AFTER the monsters are defeated, THEN explore. It was not clear that the monsters must first be defeated, THEN the heroes can explore/escape, and THEN there may be more monsters spawning at 7. I haven't read past Chapter 3, but unless the door has some bearing in TAK, then I assume it is a red herring, which is ok, but maybe it needs to be more clear to the Consul (I know, you hadn't written all the material yet at this point).

We both really enjoyed making the doors into boats and floating them away from the dock. I was thinking it might make sense to literally make Ferry/Boat tokens or cards that can be printed/added to this adventure b/c it's a bit odd to go to the dock beside the empty water and be like, oh, look, here's this boat I definitely couldn't see before. Again, having points of interest tokens/indicators can help give direction here.

The AI for the Ashen Mages could maybe use tweaking. Since they prioritize raising Rattlebones, the heroes can just keep killing rattle bones if they are not forced to kill the mages. I had 0 mages use a magic attack, which I think is ok, but they also didn't have the same 'prioritize killing this monster'. I think if they raised ALL bone piles in range 3 then that'd make a big difference, but then I'd probably decrease ARM to 0W and HP to 3 so the heroes have an easier time killing it like an active spawn point.

Also, if the skeletons can't swim and they didn't come down into the cellar when the heroes went down, HOW DID THEY GET THERE?! I think there maybe needs to be a modification that as the heroes get to a certain point in the cellar, the skeletons follow them down and they have the option of defeating them OR just running. Given there is no XP/Loot to be had by killing them, I think this is ok.

Encounter E was ok. My wife liked that I used a model to represent the statue and would pick up her hero models and do things TO Ziggi. She did NOT like being zapped. I think the heroes should be able to REST and heal before encountering Ziggi since my wife noted her heroes were wounded so Ziggi could have killed them (which she of course did not). It was the THIRD and FOURTH door she encountered that she needed to get through so she was a bit confused why she had to go through one door to get to Ziggi just to have Ziggi open the door for them. She did not ask any of the typical questions/prompts so I had to ad lib a bunch and she finally asked about Ark (remember, my wife doesn't really think of this whole chapter as a mission to meet ARK so much as a spend time with my husband until he lets us stop playing). I think, if she ever plays more chapters, that she'll be delighted with the return of Ziggi and her role in later chapters.

And, of course, she asked Ziggi what her favorite color is, and it is PURPLE.

Encounter F I was really worried about b/c it's a HUGE tile and lots of monsters. It's SUPER IMPRESSIVE to me. My wife was like WHAT IS HAPPENING?!. The giant tile, although impressive, ended up being a lot of wasted space. With the Consul winning initiative all the combat basically happened on one side of the tavern and my wife's party was never in any real danger because aside from Elsa's missile attacks whiffing a lot, she defended against multiple attacks, even those with engage bonus, and Anna's Arcane Blast hit EVERY SINGLE TIME EVERY SINGLE TURN and melted the Ashen Boneheads and the Ashen Bones into Slag before she eventually melted the Ashen Knights, too while Moana and Elsa took out the Mage.

At this point I've been giving my wife 3 loot to pick 1 from and she had +1 STR on Moana (did not make a significant difference) and +1 ARM on Elsa (helped make 1 extra save). So Anna the Mage is just killing everything as a raw C Rank hero o.O.

We both liked that the monsters were a known quantity. By having them spread out it allowed the heroes to defeat them in waves and fight on multiple fronts, but I think a better/more efficient tile solution could be done for this, like monsters don't move until certain groups are defeated or they 'show up' after others are defeated (although I know my wife hates the idea of monsters spawning).

Encounter G was a bit anti-climactic. My wife did NOT suspect that Alexander was ARK and was like LIAR! when he revealed himself. She also, I'm sure, did not 'get' that Asche was in the cellar. She was also confused by what the mission was to be about and whether ARK was even coming with them. She does not know where any of the places or things that's mentioned in the final text are so she was like...ok. Are we done?

Also, it doesn't use a tile, but a tile exists so I think this should be part of the official module to make the best use of it! I think, personally, all non-combat modules should probably use models and the tiles, etc., but that's b/c I still see this as a miniatures game, even in RP form.

She enjoyed ranking up. She liked drawing the dice in the boxes and drew hearts for blues :). She did not like writing in the abilities in the beginning. I hated trying to find anything in the hero handbook b/c it's so awfully organized, so I used my spreadsheet and it helped a lot b/c I could also show her what the ability was instead of just 'saying' it to her without having to rifle through 61 pages.

SDL Feedback
So, surprisingly, I think it's good. I think some of the stuff that's missing, like the Backpack, items, crafting, wonders, etc. are probably not necessary, but it'd be *nice* to have some official items b/c I really dislike having to homebrew make up my own stuff and then see what others have done and kibbitz on it b/c it's different balance/power level then I'd prefer. Heck, it may even make sense to have a sticker set to peel and stick to make your own items/equipment, etc.

I am STILL SAD that the hero cards aren't used. My wife, surprisingly, did not give me grief about this like she has in the past.

I am upset the dashboards are so inefficient. @dragonred7's template my wife really liked and she didn't understand why I didn't print them in color after seeing the templates and I'm like...but printer ink! Anyways, she liked the dashboards being big and didn't think they needed to be downsized. The resized ones I used seem fine with the heart and potion icons and JUST LIKE SDE MODELs they don't fit perfectly, but they fit. I will most likely focus on making shorthand 'bestiary' style cards for hero NPCs. One downside of resizing them is that it reduced the already tiny space to write the abilities. Just for this reason, unless I always have a reference ready, I feel like I SHOULD make a grid based dashboard that is more lenient/allows for the text.

As noted before, combat went VERY quickly. The heroes are VERY fragile at rank C, but my wife rolled really well and never needed any of her potions. I think the monsters could be harder, but it's hard to say with RNG.

In terms of playing as the Consul, these are the resources I think I need to have available:

1) How to Play
2) Hero Handbook OR SDE classes reference (I have a link to this in my google drive on discord)
3) Campaign Book (TAK Chapter 1)
4) Tiles (printed these out or a digital solution I wasn't willing to pay $100 for monitor that had an actual viewing angle)
5) All the SDE tokens and things
6) Dice! My wife wanted to know when we get to use the new Citrine/Amethyst dice and was crestfallen to hear you need to be rank XS to get them atm.
7) Models list and bestiary -- have a model list for the campaign for monsters, NPCs, and of course those for heroes. I think this is vital to prep so you're not digging for models to set up all the time.
8) Custom tokens/stands? The doors were REALLY FUN and easy objectives to see. I am tempted to just use Gloomehaven tokens for future adventures as I don't have anything else atm. I've seen some papercraft options, but I'm going to plan to keep it simple (for now).
9) Loot/Treasure -- my personal plan is to focus on Loot for now until the power level calls for treasure equipment to be given, but a lot depends on the balancing of the monsters
10) Computer for reference materials (mostly SDE class references).

I surprisingly never needed to look at the Consul Grimoire for this playthrough.

So...we'll see how this Friday goes with the next playtest.


June 18th, 2018, 6:06 am
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