I had my first expertience DMing this last night. It reads a lot smoother than it plays. There's a lot of information spread out through a lot of sources. In an ongoing campaign you should gain some familiarity that will make it easier, but last night was not my smoothest performance.
(I read this post a week ago on an Iphone so I didn't have the patience to reply with that "finger screen writing" crap.)
I had a feeling that all the books would be a little awkward. I remember the MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP boxed module for the CoC rpg being like that and it just drove me nuts. I ended up just throwing that aside (I still have it somewhere.) and using shorter material. That game system sucked anyway so i always just wrote it off as such. I never really contemplated that big boxed set adventures are a pain in the ass in general I just assumed something else was amiss for the same reason as "MASKS" with anything else. The 2e was just the "2e ick" feeling that made me wretch like the Amber sequel (ugghh!! I can't believe that I actually ran that "audio cd" and all!). The "Undermountain" big box was after hours and hours of absorption just empty space like a cruelly devised B1 IN SEARCH OF THE UNKNOWN but with large swaths unwritten. I think there maybe something to this after all (that the big box is a "big box turnoff") just look at Hall of Many Panes, I have yet to run that because of the "back and forth" of the layout so maybe there is something to this notion of big box = big trouble. Still "the castle" is still "the castle" and it has more of a pull to overlook any inconvenience. Has anyone ever did maps on the page? That 3e "temple remake" was all in one book and still inconvenient. But that had an entirely different reason why it was discouraging (it just blew flavor away). The original TOEE had the separate minibooklet which was very convenient but that was all in one book. Perhaps minimaps for large multibooklet products would help. Perhaps a key that is all on one page (to show quickly what books to refer to) would be a great help for any future products. Not that anybody would listen! Are there any downloads for THE UPPER WORKS available?
Post by geneweigel on Oct 24, 2008 10:21:17 GMT -5
The only "fly in the ointment" is all this suspected redo nonsense. This renegotiation is directly contrary to what Gary promised me himself (that there is a contingency to finalize the C&C: CZ dungeons in case of the worst.) Hell, I'm no fan of C&C don't get me wrong but if I have to buy another "upper works" then I'll be steamed. Even if they do a direct continuance but it has been "Eau de Toiletted with the slightest effervescence of Gary" then I'm going to get even more steamed than if I just had to buy another "upper works", right?
I don't know, its good to have faith in this case. I just don't like all this silence. Ya know? They need to throw us a bone to see if they're on the right page with this because the speculation is getting worse by the day for me. I keep seeing visions of endless $29.95 boxed sets of big fonted 4e rules for some reason...
Scott I'd like to tell you I think it's pretty safe to say we'll be exploring the caves in the ravine area for a while... However, we can't just keep arriving every day at 8 am like "ho, hum, another day of work, time to begin looting the caves again -- " and not expect some kind of punishment for our regularity.
And that's not the case, remember, the Goblins did reinforce the guard, but haven't really had time for any big projects. Also, the ravine area is a no-mans land where n=moving about is just as dangerous for the humanoids as it is for you.
OK -- Well, then my plan is to continue exploring the caves, but in an unpredictable way -- as opposed to hitting each cave clockwise or returning to the same cave every day (if a deeper one like the goblin cave seems to be). No intention of taking out the guys in the gatehouse, or scaling the ravine wall, just yet. Maybe that will make your preparation a bit easier.
Scott, if there is ever anything I can do to help you, don't hesitate to email me. Large sets are tough to run I agree, but Gary and I put an emphasis on avoiding massive plots within plots and "storytelling" as it were, so although it is large, I feel that the form is accessible to the DM. But of course that's easy for me to say after having poured through the entirety of its contents hundreds of times. So, essentially, if you are looking for clarity at an encounter area or you're not sure how x, y, and z match up, old ghul is here for ya!
The only fly in the ointment is all this suspected redo nonsense. This renegotiation is directly contrary to what Gary promised me himself (that there is a contingency to finalize the C&C: CZ dungeons in case of the worst.)
It is directly contrary to what he told me too. But I went from having all the say in these matters, to none. (Gary really did leave it up to me as to how many sets there going to be, and what their contents were [as in how many levels were in each set]. In fact, he didn't want the level 1dungeon in the Upper Works, but I twisted his arm a bit, telling him they'll come for us with pitchforks and torches if we didn't give them at least the first level, and he said, "Fine, Jeff, go ahead.") So, I guess we'll all have to wait and see how Spencer decides to handle his product line. *shrugs*
Post by geneweigel on Oct 26, 2008 13:02:51 GMT -5
Well, my consumer confidence was pretty wan when he decided to go with the mob development of the ruleset. In the end I got something that was not what I expected (Yggsburgh) as it leaned towards the post quasi-medieval and didn't have that ante quasi-medieval leaning of old GH. That was a negative to me but I guess he did what he had to do. The Castle itself so far didn't reek of that Renaissance-esque feeling but now that a giant RESET has been pressed after the author's passing my consumer confidence is right back where it started from and the road leads right back to the cheap Castle Greyhawk pastiche adventures of the 90's. Don't get me wrong Gary is and always will be a glorified hero to me for his voice but how will he be glorified now? As just a moneymaking vehicle for other strange voices? I've got a Christopher Tolkien cramp right now and its knocking hard.
I fear that Gar-Bear knew that time was not on his side, and thus the "outsourcing". With Master Jeff, however, he specifically tapped him to do the 'piece de resistance', so I have full appreciation there! ^__^
I almost ordered this from TLG on December 30 of last year, but then the company from which I purchased Yggsburgh were advertising 2 copies on their website, so I went with them...only to find a week later that they didn't in fact have any. Sigh.
Then I turned to the tried and trusted method...and ebay came through! ;D