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Beyond the Mountains of Madness Session 11


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#1 Hal

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:03 PM

More craziness from the mountains - the party race to the foot of the mountains and Lake's camp and find some eerie creepiness along with the start of the bit where they get to do some actual investigation :)

Beyond the Mountains of Madness Session 11

Filesize: 64MB

EPICs Podcast Updated!

Let me know what you think :D

Cheers
Hal :hal:
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#2 Lindsay

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:13 PM

Click....beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep
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#3 Hal

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:16 PM

Not heard that one in a while dear :D

Hal :hal:
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#4 Ieqo

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:19 PM

Thank you sir. And ma'am.
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#5 Keener

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 05:48 PM

Thank you Hal and Lindsay :D
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#6 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 06:01 PM

Thank you, thank you. You seem to be on a roll. Like a d20 with imperfect edges.
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#7 Merlin

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:15 AM

Wow, this week is like Christmas in November for the new 'casts! Nice. Thanks!
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#8 TheJay

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 12:09 AM

Thanks a lot. I've been anxiously awaiting a new episode. Keep them coming. :)
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#9 HisDivineShadow

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:28 AM

Great - as you know, I've been awaiting this with anticipation. :)
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#10 cursedimmortal

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 07:11 PM

you guys are just closet cultists aren't you?
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#11 everdarkgreen

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 08:11 PM

you guys are just closet cultists aren't you?


I know I am. :evil:
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#12 Guest__*

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:16 PM

I'm afraid I'm beginning to suspect that for some on the expedition this may be... a ONE WAY TRIP! And one that ends very quickly indeed!!! (cue music) Dun-dun-duuuuuuun! 8O

Thanks all! :D
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#13 Jon_a_Ross

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:46 AM

Just to Hal here, in your GMing of "Beyond the Mountains of Madness" you have been complaining that the Text doesn't divide itself into 'Read to players' and 'Info for the GM.' I agree that it often doesn't have that divide because for the most part the whole book is for the GM. It tells you, as game master, what is going on and what things look like. From that you are to take what it is saying and tell it to the players in ways that are important to their characters.

Thus, on the plane trip to the lost city you ask them where they are sitting in the plane. Make a point that only the cockpit with three seats has the best view, and then see if any of the players just want to stand there looking around rather then be strapped in. You ask them where they are looking or what they are looking for as they fly along the pass. Then based on what they tell you, you answer their questions and tell them what they see. It avoids the whole 'on a successful spot check --dice rolling -- players looking down see...'

It makes running a CoC premade adventure harder because you have to take the work they present and retranslate it to your characters but I prefer that to the D&D approach of 'read this text to players when they enter a room.' I suspect that is because I still retranslate the text in D&D to fit my players.

Yeah, I've been listening to your podcasts for some time, having found the yog-sothoth site at first. I believe in this adventure (which I will finish off today unless actual people wish to talk to me at work) the players were having a hard time of it because they were not doing anything but listen. By changing it to a passive, what are you doing - this is what happens formula the players would be able to take action instead of listen. Earler, in episode 9 I think it was, the players wanted to rush out of the tent and grab a plane. I would have let them leave to ready the plane, asking if any one of them remains in the tent or if they all go to help load up. If no one stays I stop telling them what happens in the tent. Continuing to read the events that were going on, including a ten minutes later so and so says Y before allowing the players to act felt wrong to my own style of gaming.

This episode finally got me to post about my feelings on the matter at any rate :) Keep up the good work even when I don't agree with it and I'll keep on listening.
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#14 Hal

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:08 AM

I have run CoC many times in the past and I have to say that this was the worse written adventure with regards to deliniation of "action" sequences. Regardless of doing work to allow the players to act, all they are going to be doing is stacking boxes and digging in the snow. The premise of the adventure is sound but the execution is extremely poor. The story is good but the adventure seems more intent on telling the story like a novel than like a true RPG.

I honestly can't remember the incident you mentioned but at this point in the game I think the players were just wanted to get to the promised eldritch horror and stop drowning in mundane minutia; and to be honest they were not the ony ones.

I found BtMoM to be a strange adventure, both to read, run and play. I have encountered similar in the past but generally from small companies with don't really want you messing with their stuff :) I think if I were to run CoC again, which I may well do. I might run something that allows a lot more player freedom.

Additionally, I see to be defending this every time something starts listening again. Perhaps I should have blown up the whole expedition in New York and gone with Masks instead!

Thanks for the comments!

Hal :hal:
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#15 Jon_a_Ross

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 01:55 PM

Indeed, the adventure itself seems to be the heart of the issue not the players or the game master. I have not run this adventure so I cannot speak from experience, only on how I would change my approach. You have said elsewhere in it that you would make the players more important if you were to do it again. So they wouldn't be following orders but instead giving them and telling people where to stack the boxes, which would change much of it.

I would have just started to ignore much of the text as written and instead start re telling the story in my words in ways the characters would relate to. This would mean leaving out much of their text as written supporting the claims of a poorly done adventure. Using the adventure book as a rough skeleton instead of a finished adventure really.

In my head as I was listening to the last bits I was scripting how I would change it to a modern setting (the realm my players prefer) and seeing how that would change everything again. I would have tried to limit some of the packing/double checking what's packed to a rule of three (once in new york, once after the traitor and then made them plan what to take up to the lost city) but as the adventure is written too much of that is front loaded.

The problems with being public and trying hard to follow what is written is you will have people like me who nitpick and have the advantage of listening to eight to ten hours a day. So what took you several weeks is compressed across a single day with some aspects being more glaring then others. --Worlds largest dungeon you changed how damage is rounded at least three times in what was a single day for me but no doubt was at least a month for yourself-- And I am very thankful that you are willing to put yourself out there to take it. It gives me something to rant about to my co-workers who don't care at all :)

I guess towards the end it was clear your players were not having much fun which starts to suck the fun out from being the game master too. Wanting to respect the work as written instead of throwing it out elements which you disagree with (which, looking back at my own style, is often how I run premade adventures anyway) would require the original work to be strong.

I also tend to dislike D&D premade adventures because if I throw out some elements I don't like I often find that there is very little adventure left. When I look at CoC adventures I find more inside them that I like, even if I don't want to approach it as they scripted.
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#16 TheGlen

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 04:58 PM

Approximately half a dozen times Hal read to us a section from the book, only to end with the phrase 'do not read that last part to your players'. Our gripes were the bad pacing, especially at the first. We felt railroaded for most of the model, and there were completely pointless aspects to the module that just killed time. Game was 75% before we even got to the Antarctic, and we didn't know much more than we started with and had really accomplished nothing at all.
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#17 Jon_a_Ross

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 06:34 AM

When I started to listen to this series I knew I would want to grab a copy of the adventure to fully understand what was happening. (I have also ordered a copy of The Thousand Thrones for the same reason) That copy arrived on Friday and I've only had time to flip through it but some points occur to me.

First, I agree that the adventure seems set up to tell the story the writers had in mind with no space given for free roaming players. This railroading would vex a number of players and either require a bunch of dance work on the keepers part or the players risking the whole adventure for a whim.

Second, the adventure was written as I expected it to be. That is to say it is more concerned with telling the keeper what is happening and then expecting the keeper to retell it to the players. This is why so much of the text goes from description to rule mechanics in the same paragraph. The keeper is just to know what is happening, telling the players only what elements of that they care to check into.

Third, the adventure was written to be at least a chapter a session for pacing. The actual content of each chapter works to prevent that with a large amount of busy work (the cargo lists for example). That pacing, at least a chapter every two and a bit hours, would help the earlier bits from dragging so much but could only be reached by ejecting or at least cutting down on some of the busywork. I can say that with the advantage of having heard your group go through it.

I think that the suggestion of making the players more important is a good one (perhaps because they are paying their way or even a university group being added to the trip as a way to Moore to make up some shortfalls in costs). Added to being aware of the way the first parts can bog down and cutting out those elements as needed based on the player actions would help too. The final bit of only telling the players what they ask about instead of reading out the pages of details will bring the players more into the adventure. They will be involved in what is happening instead of being told...

My example of the plane trip returns to me here and in the first part I have seen other places where my approach would differ from Hal's. Ask the players instead of reading to them what they do. I know the book was written from the telling point of view but asking connects to the players (at least in my mind and hopefully in the minds of my players as I do it all the time :)

One again, thanks for the audio. I have yet to finish it, about half way through 13, but I am enjoying it.
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#18 Hal

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 12:15 PM

I'm glad you are enjoying the audio. I would happily host anything CoC that you record if you feel so inclined. You seem to be a rather experienced Keeper.

Cheers
Hal :hal:
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#19 Jon_a_Ross

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 02:04 PM

Thank you for the invite. I will talk to my group and see if they would be willing to be out there in the open just as yourself are :)

And I finished part 13 this morning with the ending being very much in line with Lovecraft's own works. Everyone involved either dead, mad or knowing they are doomed as something comes down the hallway towards them :)
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