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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 14 (DnD 4e Session 25)


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#1 Hal

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:18 PM

Getting back to some releases after starting a new job. Sorry for the delay there folks :)

I am going to try and get some system in place so that I can clear my backlog.

Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 14

Filesize: 96MB

The party finally face Paldemar and his evil buddies and kick the crap out of him :)

EPICs Podcast Updated!

Hal :hal:
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#2 Keener

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:25 PM

Thank you Lindsay, Hal and the Long Tall Texans. :D
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#3 Telemergion

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:51 PM

Sweet! it seems that whenever I'm just about to run out of stuff to listen you you release more! Also, congrats on the new job!

Now, how many sessions ago was it they get the quest for this Paldemer guy? Seems like it's been forever!
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#4 Ieqo

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:43 AM

Thanks, all.
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#5 MadMac

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 11:33 AM

Sweeeet. Poor Paldamar got stomped though. They should have given him a short range teleport power or something to get out of melee with.

Pyramid of Shadows eh? I actually don't have that one. (yet) This will be the first adventure that I won't know about ahead of time.

That's 14 sessions in all for Thunderspire, vs I think 11 for KoS. I wonder if it will take even longer to finish PoS..

Also, new betting topic. Instead of betting on who dies next, I think we should do one on who makes it to the end of the next adventure.

So Far:

Keep on the Shadowfell.

Starting Party
----------------------
Galadriel
Torrin
Shiney
Theify
Useless One fight Wizard dude.

Ending Party:
-------------------------
Galadriel
Torrin
Splugg
Stendarr
Nyess
Brie

ThunderSpire Labrinyth

Starting Party:
---------------------------
Galadriel
Torrin
Splugg
Stendarr
Nyess
Brie

Ending Party:
----------------------------
Galadriel
Splugg
Stendar
Wendy
Warlord--(What's his name?)
Caldyr (The reputedly gay part-timer)
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#6 tomlib

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:45 AM

Hello Hal and the rest of the gang.

I noted that Lindsay was timing the battle with a watch and I think this means that you noted something that I was aware of as well.

Before I launch into this discussion let me preface by saying I enjoy the audio games tremendously and appreciate the time and effort that goes into them. Also, I'm aware that I'm not a patron and my opinion is therefore less important.

I enjoyed these 4th Edition modules a bit less than the other games you have run Hal. I don't think this is in any way a reflection of your GM skills or your group's role-playing abilities. I think it is system/module inherent.

D&D was always a combat orientated system but listening to you all pick a power, roll the dice, announce numbers, repeat ad nauseam for two or three hours was, well, less than ideal.

If you choose to run 4th Edition again I would vote that you pick an adventure that is less of a Dungeon Crawl.

Just my opinion, again, I don't mean to offend anyone. Love the work, please continue on!

Tom
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#7 Snappyapple

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:22 AM

Also, I'm aware that I'm not a patron and my opinion is therefore less important.


I don't think you have to prostrate yourself that far, as it is a fair opinion. IMO, the 3 H-series modules are very hack-n'-slash in style, revolving usually around 1 big dungeon. Being such, it doesn't help that the prevailing view is that 4e supports such games.

While Hal and gang seems to be able to find their own fun while running these 4e games, I believe the groups here would much prefer less hack-n'-slash in their game.

I'm not exactly sure what you meant about timing the battle. But, if you're saying 4e combats are taking too long, I can only respond by "Heh, yeah, it's about as long as mid-level 3rd edition combat, and thank goodness it doesn't get any longer." Whether that's a good or bad thing, I don't know. :P
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#8 MadMac

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:17 PM

I'm not exactly sure what you meant about timing the battle. But, if you're saying 4e combats are taking too long, I can only respond by "Heh, yeah, it's about as long as mid-level 3rd edition combat, and thank goodness it doesn't get any longer." Whether that's a good or bad thing, I don't know.


To be fair, they are missing a party member. Having Caldyr around to take pressure off the strikers and dish out solid round by round damage would likely speed up the fights a bit.

It is interesting that Splugg has evolved into more of a flexible support character than the pure killing machine he was at low levels. At lot of it is natural Rogue scaling--+2d8 damage is a lot more powerful at level 1 then level 9, and doing 3d4 isn't a big advantage over 1d4.

Rogues are naturally a bit more tricksy then killey as they get higher level, but still, between Splugg's ability to use melee, ranged, area attacks, (Blinding Barrage) and even healing combined with mobility (tumble) and huge out of combat skills (bluff, thievery) means that he is pretty much always useful, all the time, which is cool.
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#9 Cuchulain

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 04:03 PM

Yesssss.....

When 4E came out, my group hurriedly rushed out and purchased a set each. Then, at our earliest opportunity, we started to play the new system.

Then we figured out that the amount of enjoyment in any given session was inversely proportional to the amount of dice rolled.

Now we're playing a combat-less D&D game.

Go figure.
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#10 Snappyapple

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 04:48 PM

Then we figured out that the amount of enjoyment in any given session was inversely proportional to the amount of dice rolled.


I'd like to think that dice-rolling in RPGs follows a hormesis or threshold model , unless one's playing a completely narrative game. :)
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#11 Ieqo

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:33 PM

I'd like to think that dice-rolling in RPGs follows a hormesis or threshold model , unless one's playing a completely narrative game. :)


Them words are way too big for the likes o' me.
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#12 HisDivineShadow

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:46 AM

Yesssss.....

When 4E came out, my group hurriedly rushed out and purchased a set each. Then, at our earliest opportunity, we started to play the new system.

Then we figured out that the amount of enjoyment in any given session was inversely proportional to the amount of dice rolled.

Now we're playing a combat-less D&D game.

Go figure.


The problem with that kind of thing is that it usually ends up with all the outcomes to actions being decided by the DM. That's great if you like that kind of thing, but many groups will feel disenfranchised if they have such little control.

A good example of where that happened was with the CoC "Beyond the Mountains of Madness" adventure.

A happy medium is best, IMHO.
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#13 Cuchulain

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:47 PM

Well, we still roll for skill challenges etc. But we haven't killed anyone/thing in the last 4-5 games.
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#14 Werefox

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 07:53 AM

Something is wrong with your iTunes account Hal. 'Session 14' is actually session 13. And I think 13 is a repeat of another one (I think) and neither of them match their descriptions.

Unless this is some sort of intentional gambit to ensure those that come to your site get a faster update or something?
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#15 Bloodguard

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 09:55 AM

I agree that there is a drastic difference between the " Beyond the Mountains... " and the 4E games.
That said, is the only option to allow the PC's to have complete freedom to their every action? If so. . . what game system is most suited for this?
There has to be a goal. . .or outcome of the PC's decisions, doesn't there?
What system is the best for free-form gaming?
Or:
Does the DM need to simply be prepared to allow the PC's to run amok , and let them have their fun?

What's a DM to do. . . . .?
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#16 Hal

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:29 AM

Something is wrong with your iTunes account Hal. 'Session 14' is actually session 13. And I think 13 is a repeat of another one (I think) and neither of them match their descriptions.

Unless this is some sort of intentional gambit to ensure those that come to your site get a faster update or something?


Thanks for pointing this out. I will take a look at it.

Nothing intentional I assume you. I am not certain how repeating a file would give anyone a faster update of anything?

Hmmmmmm. Perhaps one of the files got misnamed before it was uploaded.

Hal :hal:
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#17 Ieqo

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:35 AM

I agree that there is a drastic difference between the " Beyond the Mountains... " and the 4E games.
That said, is the only option to allow the PC's to have complete freedom to their every action? If so. . . what game system is most suited for this?
There has to be a goal. . .or outcome of the PC's decisions, doesn't there?
What system is the best for free-form gaming?
Or:
Does the DM need to simply be prepared to allow the PC's to run amok , and let them have their fun?

What's a DM to do. . . . .?


There's really no systemic component here; it is completely in how the GM and players want to run the game. Believe it or not, there ARE some players who want to have the plot spoonfed to them.

The "total freedom" model of a game is often referred to in our jorgon as a "sandbox game". You can do one in any system and any genre.

It involves the GM frontloading detail and complexity into the setting and NPCs before the game starts. While detractors (and those who are simply ignorant of the style) often say that this type of game doesn't have a plot, that's simply not the case. In fact, the game might have dozens of plots; but the players only see the ones with which they choose to interact, and the others progress offstage without any interference from the players.

As an example:

A group of PCs steps off the boat at a tiny logging villiage hard against the northern frontier of the kingdom. Each of them has his or her own reason to have traveled there. One of them is a scion of the noble house who owns the logging rights to the area, and has been sent to find out why the lumber harvest has fallen behind quota. Another is a cleric sent to maintain a shrine in the villiage and prepare the way for a more senior priest to arrive in a few months to establish a proper temple. The party's wizard is looking for a lost artifact that divinations have said was in the area. And so on.

Now at the beginning of play, I (the GM) describe the villiage and the scene that greets them: a group of children are marching somberly down the main street, two of them bearing a tiny, rag-covered shape upon a board. One of them beats a stick against a strip of bark to keep cadence. In front of the tavern a decrepit-looking derelict stands in rags and screams profanities, non-sequiters, and possible prophecies. A skinny and sickly-looking teenage girls speak to a young soldier for a few seconds, then the soldier digs out a silver piece and they both disappear behind a shop.

Is this local color and "fluff text"? Sure. But there are any number of plot hooks hiding in the fluff, because I have done my work already. I know why the lumberjacks are behind their quota. I know where the artifact is. I know the story behind the funeral for a pet, which of old Pitt's ramblings are just bullshit and which have useful information, and I know why the girls is exchanging favors for silver. Now I sit back and ask the players that all-important question, "What do you do?" They choose where they bite, and thus they control which plots they engage. Many of my hooks are tangled with other hooks, and I'm prepared to improvise on the fly should they bite into a bit of fluff that didn't have a hook in it at first. And the crazy druid will keep harassing the loggers while the PCs are hunting the displacer beast that's killing the local livestock. Maybe they'll bump into her out in the woods...

This type of game isn't for everyone. In particular GMs who are either inexperienced or control freaks. Likewise, players who are accustomed to a very linear "adventure path" (spit) will find themselves adrift. But for those of us who view the game as a shared story, it is very rewarding. As a GM I love it when my players tell me a good story.

This CAN be done in CoC, as well. The Keeper simply has to know who his villians are, what they are trying to do, and what resources they have. From there it is fairly easy to determine what will happen if the players do not interfere, and how the Bad Guys will react when our heroes do start to throw wrenches into things. It IS more work on the part of the GM, and again the players have to do their part with thinking past the ends of their noses as well. But it has been done.
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#18 Hal

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:02 AM

Just check the files in the feed and they are all different and correct as far as I can tell.

Anyone else having issues with this?

As far as I can tell 12, 13 and 14 for Thunderspire are all different and correct in the EPICs feed. I subscribe to all the feeds on the site so that I can see if there are any issues and it looks fine from my end.

Anyone else having any issues with this?

Werefox, can you explain your problem a little more and we can see if we can sort it out for you?

Cheers
Hal :hal:
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#19 Hal

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:13 AM

I'm aware that I'm not a patron and my opinion is therefore less important.


Hey mate,

No need to say stuff like that - you are an important contributor to the site and your opinions are as valid as anyone elses :) There is no special weight given to anyone's opinions, Patron or otherwise. It concerns me that you might think so.

Anyway, on the 4e front I (and I suspect the players) have become increasingly despondent with the endless combat. From a DM point of view it is getting difficult and very formulaic to run. Essentially we do two fights per session again roughly the same EXPs worth of monsters and go home. Sometimes the strategy is different, sometimes not.

I have been considering taking a break from DnD 4e and giving something else a go for a while, just to spice the pot back up a little.

What would you guys think?

Hal :hal:
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#20 BigJackBrass

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 11:30 AM

I have been considering taking a break from DnD 4e and giving something else a go for a while, just to spice the pot back up a little.

What would you guys think?

Hal :hal:

It does seem clear at times that the rather relentless, unvarying nature of these modules is not contributing much to the sessions and, indeed, is actively causing problems. From my point of view I'd love to hear the group come back to D&D after playing something else and not playing one of the WotC modules. This is not because I'd rather listen to games other than D&D but more because I think that the official modules are doing a fairly poor job of making for an entertaining game.

Ultimately, of course, the decision lies with the players and GM.
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