We started Doomstones, but it was just too "dungeon crawly" for me so didn't get very far. How are the later scenarios in this series?
Currently playing The Dying of the Light, and that seems to be going pretty well as although it's railroady, it's a wide variety of roleplaying aspects: everything from investigation, to combat, to traps, acting, convincing peopel, "no good choices , in-your-face, etc.
I've looked over Death's Dark Shadow (and the underground river in Witch's Song..uh….well….), but it's not quite there. I think it would make for a good backdrop for other scenarios, and especially for regional political intrigue (as it's the crossroads between TILEA, Badlands, and Empire).
Otherwise, I've played lots of the 2e scenario contest and fan scenario stuff. Fans seem to let loose a bit better than the "over-chopped-fluff" of many published scnearios trying to fit into a book.
I've only been a player in TEW and we only got through I think the first two scenarios. I'm not much for "festival" adventures, but it definitely forces you to go out and get your OWN clues. A GM that lets players flounder could probably quickly bore them to tears.
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The festival in Shadows Over Bogenhafen is tricky because it should feel open but you want the players pointed in a certain direction without them knowing. I've ran TEW a few times and what I found useful was making a map of the festival area and labelling the areas for the players. This way I didn't have to keep telling them what was there and let them tell me where they wanted to go.
As for 3rd edition, don't even bother with the three act concept. It's horribly limiting and I did away with it immediately. Let adventures flow organically. Most of the older sceanrios have a more open structure to them.
I believe the 3-act structure was a gimmick to try to organize things in a way different from encounters, events and locations, but it was "pseudo-included" in rule concepts. I'm with you in that the "act" structure does nothing but give an obvious and artificial constraint to the game. Great idea on the map layout for the festival. I did something similar for the Eye for an Eye scenario in the core set. I didn't even make it pretty. I took a battlemat, slapped some locations with circles around them and we got started. :)
I have been using 1000 Thrones and its fun. The plot and many scenes are great fun in any edition. It is written using Acts (not the 3 Act thing particularly) and that helps translate it. Dying of the Light looks good but I won't run it (another special child adventure starting in Marienberg with a trip into Cursed Marsh - I can just hear the table jokes now).
I used part of the Sigmar's Heirs scenario (essentially halfling crime lords as the victims of a kidnapping) in a homebrew adventure and it was fun but really it was just the set up and lead I used.
On the Episode / 3 Act thing, I have found it quite feasible to convert most chapters etc. of other adventures into an Act structure and I actually like being encouraged to think about things in terms of exposition/rising action/crisis-twist cycles. You don't need 3 Act thing for that, gamers have been doing it for ages, but I appreciate the rally step and recharge mechanic interaction (the strong action with long recharge used in "rising action" is still recharging when the "crisis" hits). E.G., in 1000 Thones we just did the optional "Skaven at Siegfriedhof" Episode of "rising action spot the Skaven activity" (the could happen/might not happen lead in) with rising action "track down and confront skaven" and crisis "the real skaven menace, a small army not a scouting/inflitrataion party", and then end of Episode. It worked quite well in terms of mechanics, menace, holding player interest with this one thing and then moving on to the next thing etc. Fatitgue/Stess accumulated nicely across the Acts to really matter in the 3rd one, minor critical wounds were still hindering heroes by the 3rd Act and also adding up in number (2 heros were at the point that if they had fallen to wounds it would have been a killing critical as well). End of Episode and a couple of night's rests and they are much better now but still aching and with a few more serious critical wounds.
The Act structure does become more troublesome and "a distraction" if applied in a "largely narrative" adventure such as an investigation wihtout regular social/combat encounters (talking to lots of little people rather than major social encounters with key ones). There it's more a matter of "feeling the right time to allow Rally or Episode" recovery.
PS: It is just not fair showing that compilation of early Warpstone goodness! I cleaned out as many still in print of backstock warpstones as I could a while back but alas many issues no longer available.
For my first dwarf only group I made a 3rd Edition conversion for the first Adventure. But for most parts I tried to cut the Dungeoncrawl out and put in the fun parts. There is a word file done but needed some final adjustments I never made.
-searching every room
-storm room, kill anything which lives in there, setup for next room.
-having a dungeon with no meaning
-social interaction with the merchants, strigani, elfes
-chaos infested lands in the south
So I thought in cutting some parts which made no sense.
Doomstones directors cut:
-Make Waterfall complex into one snotling infested Tunnel network
-Towers stay, less loot.
-Merchants, strigani, elfes stay
-Minotaur cave can be cut. No real meaning, except information painted on entrance
-some real strange chaos stuff happening in the south. Like the river which flows upwards and stuff
-final dungeon is cutted also. Rooms are cutted, only lowest part stays with hall for endfight. Has no meaning except meeting endboss who has some nasty spell to take over one of the players.
So my final plan after converting part 1 was to make the first 4 adventes into a sandbox Yetzin valley adventure. Starting from Karak Azgaraz with a refugee clan and one of the last dwarfs who lived originally in the valley. Meeting a dwarven Expedition in Dwarf wars which says the hold belongs to them, and meeting a border prince expedition seeking land and fortune in the north.
Leads to Part 2, where the royal claim of the Dwarf expedition needs to be fulled by finding the birht register for that region in the Shrine of Khadar Helgad.
Part 3 with the monastery is more warhammer like. Lots of clues finding and talking in the monastery. Also some elements of Hero's call can be used in the defence against the orcs.
Part 4 is also interesting, because you run around in a dungeon which is searched by dwarfs all the time. So no simple storming the room, but disguise, and subtle talk.
So the Crystals stay, but aren't the main driving force in the adventure until everything goes chaos in part 5.
And part 2 of the campaign with the Ogres in the hold is just perfectly ogrelike as the rules are in the 3rd Edition. Ogres eat anything. Times is running up as the PCs try to solve things while the ogreas eat through theri ponys.
Needles to say the campaign didn't started as the group broke apart, and with my current group we will play the 3rd Edition stuff as it airs in german. Eye for an Eye done, Gathering Storm starting next week.
A blog about playing dwarfs and dwarven ressources in the Old World.
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