Ramanan S @ 2019-04-16 12:13:23
> Do you feel like one of your things with your adventures is not really explaining what’s up till the end? And even then maybe not really. — Me! I wrote about Silent Titans, Patrick Stuart's new adventure. In particular I wrote about how he keeps things mysterious in his writing. http://save.vs.totalpartykill.ca/blog/silent-titans/ I am looking forward to he actual book. Stay tuned for a bigger review. These are some quick thoughts as I read the PDF. Till then, you should all buy Silent Titans. It continues Patrick's trend of not making anything that you have already seen before. He is so creative, and Dirk's art is next level. http://shop.swordfishislands.com/silent-titans/
Whidou @ 2019-04-16 12:34:31
While I enjoyed treasure hunting for clues in Silent Titans, I find that deliberately obscuring plot elements for the referee is detrimental to the usability of the book. If everything was laid out plain and clear, you could pick up the module and run it instantly. Instead, you have piece the puzzle together part by part, requiring much more prep (or at least reading) before being able to play. That being said, I found it less egregious this time than it was in Deep Carbon Observatory. Maybe that I'm getting used to arcane literature ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Ramanan S @ 2019-04-16 13:36:26
Patrick's argument is an interesting one: do you actually need to understand the nuance of the 'meta-plot' to actually run the module? I would have thought so before, but really, it seems tangential to what the players are actually going to be doing at the table when playing. As a reader tying to piece together what is going on in Silent Titans might be fun ... but it may not actually mater when it comes to the adventure itself.
Whidou @ 2019-04-16 13:50:49
I believe that it does matter: for example, if the referee hasn't fully grasped the intricacies of the hidden plot, they may make errors while describing the boats in Elles-Mere leading to confusion later down the line when the PC try to piece together the setting's secrets. The same is true with oracular spells of all kinds, that can prompt the referee to come up with answers that contradict the plot. It's always salvageable of course: you can just throw the plot away and come up with something coherent with what you described previously, but it's a bit of a bummer when it could have been avoided were the secrets presented clearly. Then again, it's a minor grievance in Silent Titans: it was much more of an issue in Deep Carbon Observatory where not piecing together the implied setting would lead to an incoherent result.
Ramanan S @ 2019-04-16 15:56:58
But you know all the information on the boats when you first encounter them. You shouldn't be putting more information from later in the book there. Oracular spells would prove problematic, but I think they are dumb in RPG games in general. The meta-plot is should take a back seat to the actual gaming taking place. In Silent Titans it really only provides some extra colour to the setting/module. I'd argue the same is true in DCO.
Handy Haversack @ 2019-04-16 16:07:28
@Ram, do you think there's room for a whole im- or explicit other game that's the DM's own RPG of exploration, resource management, and combat -- that Patrick's gamifying what otherwise is sort of elided as "work" or the DM's "job" without looking for ways that the DM is also playing? IOW, that PS is reminding the DM that they're a player too and so are on a similar sort of ride and should remember to have fun with the game? Or is that too explicit a reading of what's going on with the information withholding?
Dennis Higgins @ 2019-04-16 16:19:26
I think that is more of a reflection on what you like out of being a DM. I think the more "I NEED ALL OF THE INFORMATION AND MUST KEEP STRICT RECORDS OF TIME IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GYGAX" DMs might disagree.
Ian Borchardt @ 2019-04-16 17:51:31
I find it helps the gamemaster to know the full intent of the adventure (as imagined by the designer) from the very beginning, in order to place what is there in context. Whilst adventures are ultimately written for the players to experience, they should be written for the gamemaster to use. Of course the benefit of writing it in a way is that the gamemaster gets to experience the adventure as a player would when they first read it. What would I do in this situation? What do I think is happening now? In other words you get to virtually play the adventure you really want to play but which no one is willing to run for you. It becomes a novel with possibilities. But it's not actually designed to be played. [It is also, naturally, a linear narrative, which may descend into a railroad, since as a reader you are forced to encounter each section in order.]
Ramanan S @ 2019-04-16 20:07:41
This is a pretty quiet social media platform, but the fact Ian is here is certainly a big selling point! I think you can get the full context by reading the whole adventure. Which is maybe not that big a ask, especially if as written the adventure is an interesting read.
Alex Schroeder @ 2019-04-16 21:58:14
Based on your blog post I bought the book. I’m still thinking of something you said a long time ago: you basically consider buying these products as supporting people whose blog you’re enjoying or something like it. That’s what I remember in any case. 😀
Ian Borchardt @ 2019-04-16 22:16:02
<grin> Certainly. But that generally means you read the adventure and then have to read the adventure again knowing what you now know, to see how well the parts serve the whole, and how you'd tailor the adventure for your specific group of players. Considering that most people buy adventures because they don't really have time to craft their own, this may contribute to a reluctance to enjoy the reading of the module at first. Admittedly Patrick's superstar author status [<grin>] means that you can trust that the time and effort taken reading the adventure will probably end up worthwhile, but for an unknown author you don't really know whether this critical time investment will actually pay off. And just to make absolutely clear I'm not disparaging the approach (and in particular that of this particular adventure that I haven't read). Just that I personally hate being denied information that could place what I read in overall context ... and am inherently lazy. <grin> But then I never run adventures as written anyway.
Ramanan S @ 2019-04-16 23:12:03
@alex that is 100% my philosophy when it comes to a lot of stuff I buy. I don’t know if it’s on my blog or lost to the ether on G+.
Handy Haversack @ 2019-04-17 00:11:17
Yeah, @Ram, I do much the same -- and am in general a massive sucker for print books, too.
Donald Welsh @ 2019-04-17 09:11:41
This one looks like it will be a particularly beautiful print book. Silent Titans and Troika! Numinous Edition stand out as RPGs published this year that are every bit as much objets d'art as they are RPGs.
Donald Welsh @ 2019-04-17 09:16:33
And in that context how could I forget UVG? Lots of great stuff coming out now.
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