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The only sane Response to the Banewarrens...


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#1 wolfsnap

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:16 PM

Was having a conversation with some folks on another forums with regards to the Banewarrens, and I made this observation, which I thought it might be fun to share:

I thought the whole premise for the Banewarrens was, while inventive, kind of a cruel joke on the PCs. I mean, you've got thie entire wonderous trap-filled dungeon to explore, crawling with monsters and stuffed treasure and other cool stuff - but the treasures and cool stuff are all unspeakably evil, and will kill you likely as not. And the very act of exploring the dungeon means releasing all manner of untold evil on the world. Exploring dungeons is pretty much hardwired into adventurers' DNA, and this adventure is in a way all about punishing that instinct. The only sane response to the Banewarrens would be to seal it off as much as possible, re-bury the available entrances, and put up a huge, warded "Do Not Disturb" sign.
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#2 Fox

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:52 PM

Was having a conversation with some folks on another forums with regards to the Banewarrens, and I made this observation, which I thought it might be fun to share:

I thought the whole premise for the Banewarrens was, while inventive, kind of a cruel joke on the PCs. I mean, you've got thie entire wonderous trap-filled dungeon to explore, crawling with monsters and stuffed treasure and other cool stuff - but the treasures and cool stuff are all unspeakably evil, and will kill you likely as not. And the very act of exploring the dungeon means releasing all manner of untold evil on the world. Exploring dungeons is pretty much hardwired into adventurers' DNA, and this adventure is in a way all about punishing that instinct. The only sane response to the Banewarrens would be to seal it off as much as possible, re-bury the available entrances, and put up a huge, warded "Do Not Disturb" sign.

That is so bloody true. To add even more insult to injury, you have this GIANT city to explore and an entire setting for adventure and instead the adventurers are set off exploring this fantasy flavored nuclear waste site, mucking around with things man is not mean tot touch. That's just cruel, they get to be off playing in a playground of big nasties instead of up on the bloody surface in the city itself!

Forget all this other opportunity for non-world destroying adventure. Why don't you go fooling around down in this dungeon that's a veritable pandora's box of horrors! And just by noodling around, your now morally obligated to seal it back up and/or be responsible for whatever horror's are unleasehd! Lucky you!!
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#3 Sinister-Ornament

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 01:52 PM

fantasy flavored nuclear waste site, mucking around with things man is not mean tot touch. That's just cruel, they get to be off playing in a playground of big nasties instead of up on the bloody surface in the city itself!


:lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm imagining a toybox full of wonderous but poisonous toys now...
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#4 Fox

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:02 PM

fantasy flavored nuclear waste site, mucking around with things man is not mean tot touch. That's just cruel, they get to be off playing in a playground of big nasties instead of up on the bloody surface in the city itself!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm imagining a toybox full of wonderous but poisonous toys now...

Well they did find that room of magical evil weapons and stuff. So in a way it was a toybox... of sorts. ;)
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#5 Balgin

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:12 PM

That is so bloody true. To add even more insult to injury, you have this GIANT city to explore and an entire setting for adventure and instead the adventurers are set off exploring this fantasy flavored nuclear waste site, mucking around with things man is not mean tot touch. That's just cruel, they get to be off playing in a playground of big nasties instead of up on the bloody surface in the city itself!


Hey, does this mean you get to destroy one of Monte Cook's creations and be proud of the fact untill you realise that he wanted you to?
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#6 wolfsnap

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:45 PM

Hey, does this mean you get to destroy one of Monte Cook's creations and be proud of the fact untill you realise that he wanted you to?


Not sure what you mean? What I find counter-intuitive about the whole thing is that you've got the whole dungeon mapped out and populated, begging to be explored, when the only way to really successfully conclude the scenario is to NEVER GO IN. The best solution to the Banewarrens involves several tons worth of "Move Earth" and "Rock to Mud to Rock" spells.

What group of PCs is going to do that? Honestly! What DM is going to encourage that? Especially after he paid to run them through the adventure! :P
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#7 Thing

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:36 PM

Isn't sealing off the Banewarrens what the original creators tried? Things don't stay burried for long. You need a squard of rightous PCs with a sphere of annihlation.
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#8 Balgin

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:37 PM

Yes but Monte Cook created it therefore it is broken therefore you must destroy it for it is wicked and he is even giving you the means (bad stuff) motive (he made it) and opportunity (access to the bad stuff) to do so. How cool is that? :P
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#9 Thing

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:40 PM

Yes but Monte Cook created it therefore it is broken therefore you must destroy it for it is wicked and he is even giving you the means (bad stuff) motive (he made it) and opportunity (access to the bad stuff) to do so. How cool is that? :P

I don't think it is broken, but it does break the mold of adventures normally being dungeons filled with moderatly guarded treasure that is useful to PCs.

Now taking an evil party through the Banewarrens, or a good party with 1 or 2 secretly evil members would be intersting.
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#10 Fox

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:56 PM

What group of PCs is going to do that? Honestly! What DM is going to encourage that? Especially after he paid to run them through the adventure! :P

What do I care? I got the whole bloody book! I can run them through other parts and other sections for adventure! Not just that damned pandora's box of big bad evil! :lol:

Let'em bury the damn place until the end of time! I'm not out my money on things! :D
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#11 Balgin

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 04:18 PM

What group of PCs is going to do that? Honestly! What DM is going to encourage that? Especially after he paid to run them through the adventure! :P

What do I care? I got the whole bloody book! I can run them through other parts and other sections for adventure! Not just that damned pandora's box of big bad evil! :lol:

Let'em bury the damn place until the end of time! I'm not out my money on things! :D


Amusingly we once had a pyromaniac fighter who used to search for treasure after every encounter (to make sure he found everything and the others weren't hiding anything he could get at), pile it up and burn it in front of them. Unsurprisingly he wasn't involved in the next adventure that party went on.......
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#12 Fox

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:32 PM

What group of PCs is going to do that? Honestly! What DM is going to encourage that? Especially after he paid to run them through the adventure! :P

What do I care? I got the whole bloody book! I can run them through other parts and other sections for adventure! Not just that damned pandora's box of big bad evil! :lol:

Let'em bury the damn place until the end of time! I'm not out my money on things! :D


Amusingly we once had a pyromaniac fighter who used to search for treasure after every encounter (to make sure he found everything and the others weren't hiding anything he could get at), pile it up and burn it in front of them. Unsurprisingly he wasn't involved in the next adventure that party went on.......

That is a great way to make new friends. And just a smidge bit paranoid if you ask me. :P
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#13 Fox

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:33 PM

That is so bloody true. To add even more insult to injury, you have this GIANT city to explore and an entire setting for adventure and instead the adventurers are set off exploring this fantasy flavored nuclear waste site, mucking around with things man is not mean tot touch. That's just cruel, they get to be off playing in a playground of big nasties instead of up on the bloody surface in the city itself!


Hey, does this mean you get to destroy one of Monte Cook's creations and be proud of the fact untill you realise that he wanted you to?

I get the impression you don't like his other works? Do I detect a slightly bitter tone in your voice? :P Something you want to maybe share with the rest of the class? ;)
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#14 Balgin

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 10:50 PM

I get the impression you don't like his other works? Do I detect a slightly bitter tone in your voice? :P Something you want to maybe share with the rest of the class? ;)


Example number one: weapons.

In 1st & 2nd Ed the weapons system was blatantly biased in favour of swords. Swords of any type always did a die larger than any equivalent sized weapons (for example, one handed weapons all did a d6 damage but swords did a d8 (or 2d4) whereas an axe or club needed to be a double handed weapon to do a d8 and a two handed sword did 3d6).

So in 3rd Ed the obvious solution would be to remove the bias. So what did they do? They upgraded all the weapons to do bloody sword damage! WTF?! When only the swords were broken, only the swords needed fixing (simply downgrade them to normal damage and it'd have all been fine). Once they'd given all the weapons more damage they needed to give everyone more hit points (hit dice after 9th level etc, no biggy) and make all the other numbers bigger too for no reason whatsoever apart from to feed their powergamer needs.

They really didn't need to do that.

Monte Cook's one of the three guys credited with the 3rd Ed rules and he's the only one who's making himself a celebrity (one of the other two did a few psionics related 3rd ed things and the other guy hasn't done anything that anyone's aware of - he might not even exist).

Prior to 3rd Ed Monte wrote all those Skills & Powers books with broken shit in them (characters getting build points to buy their racial abilities with and then buy a few extra BS things too because normal characters didn't have enough to satisfy his cravings).

At least he admits to being a powergamer but that doesn't make it a good thing.
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#15 Fox

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 12:34 AM

I get the impression you don't like his other works? Do I detect a slightly bitter tone in your voice? :P Something you want to maybe share with the rest of the class? ;)

At least he admits to being a powergamer but that doesn't make it a good thing.

A simple yes would have sufficed. :P

Then perhaps it's a good thing he doesn't work at WoTC anymore? ;)
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#16 Balgin

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 05:50 AM

Then perhaps it's a good thing he doesn't work at WoTC anymore? ;)


Really? When did that happen? I just thought his ego was so huge that he could afford to go publishing all his stuff on the side.
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#17 Fox

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 09:14 AM

Then perhaps it's a good thing he doesn't work at WoTC anymore? ;)


Really? When did that happen? I just thought his ego was so huge that he could afford to go publishing all his stuff on the side.

I was under the impression that with him publishing Ptlolus he went off to forge his own future.

I could be mistaken. :P
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#18 Hal

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 09:36 AM

His next (and alledgedly last) contribution to gaming is for White Wolf, so he is pretty much flipping the V to WotC I think! It has caused some speculation that he knows what is on the horizon and that WotC plan to release 4th Ed and pull the Open Gamin Licence!

But thats just lips flappin' :D

Hal :hal: (who is at school at the moment)
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#19 kafkonia

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 07:05 PM

Wow, I'm not the only person who doesn't care for Mr. Cook's work! I don't have the same level of justification, though; I just find that he does very little of interest for me. I like one class out of Arcana Unearthed (the mageblade) but can't be arsed to rewrite the rest of his system so that I can use it, and after listening to the Banewarrens I have zero interest in Ptolus.

As for WotC revoking the OGL with 4th Ed -- I won't be heartbroken. In all honesty, I get very little use out of 3rd party d20 books, and in fact I've found more success adapting adventures from other systems. Besides, by that point I'll hopefully have converted my group to another system. I have all these lovely GURPS books sitting on my table... :wink:
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#20 centauri

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 07:44 AM

As for WotC revoking the OGL with 4th Ed -- I won't be heartbroken.

What chills me about that thought is that it would mean (wouldn't it?) Wizards wouldn't make the System Reference Document available anymore. That's such a valuable resource, now that so many players are on the Web.
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