Request for feedback on "Cilwa's Quest"

  • Would the players please offer some feedback on this quest last night. We DMs changed the pace on things and the style of encounter and I'd value knowing how that went for the players who were there.

    Feel free to PM me, if you want to keep something private.

  • It was a little slow at first, but that was only because we were moving through it so slowly. It was interesting to have a "free hand" in what we could do, if we wanted to try it, but I really don't think we made the best use of that - apart from the bear scene which really started to suggest a drift away from simple NWN mechanics.

    I think that something like this would really, really shine with smaller parties. There were times when people were just standing around while others talked to NPCs, for instance. There was a hint of a sense of urgency, which suddenly sky-rocketed to watching health bars go down and up and down like a bunch of bad manometers in the wind.

    All in all, I think this sort of thing has some great potential, but in large parties it's likely to turn into a few people doing all the more interesting things while the rest basically just run around the place. Our own party was not a bad size, but we could have handled it better.

    I think that really, the only problem I had with anything was the pacing of it. That, and we only came across obstacles in our path rather than oddities. What if we came across a goblin raiding party making camp at a shrine of Shaundakul and some of them were busy desecrating it? The closest thing we had to a divide in the party's intentions for handling a particular obstacle was Sarasha quietly wanting to fight the bear for a challange. An injured traveller cornered by a powerful group of monsters, someone in suspicios clothing marching "sheep" over the mountains and into Cormyr, stuff like that is where this kind of event could really shine, making moral and tactical decisions with no limits on what you can attempt.

    So in conclusion: Yes. I think it could get better yet, but Yes.

  • I have run a similar quest yesterday. The pace was (hopefully) slow, with very few monsters, a limited number of encounters and a lot of rolls for skills and such. I too felt though, while not being a player myself, one of the concerns Lizard raised. That is, the quest was tailored on a single character. So, despite the others of the group being useful in their own way, in the end I had an encounter with the "main character", for a good half an hour. And all the others just waited patiently outside the door. I can only imagine how boring it must have been. So, I'm looking at suggestions to avoid this.

  • It's still early where I'm at yet so forgive me if I don't make a lot of sense

    Original topic: I really don't have much that I can say as my attention was sorely divided during Abbot's quest (Had a rather important phone call but nothing I wanted to step out of the game for) but from what I recall I think things went fairly well with the exceptions where we, as players, kind of botched things up in terms of not moving swiftly enough. We paid for it, however and I think that made it more enjoyable– a price for failure that isn't necessarily a TPK.

    Now Lizard brought up a lot of good points and good ideas. Challenging the party to consider issues that aren't necessarily something they're familiar with or in some cases comfortable with is a great way to shake up characters and teams.

  • I've noticed that sometimes negotiations or long conversations between PC's and NPC's on DM quests tend to be boring for 90% of players because only one person can realistically speak to the NPC. Keep conversations short and instruction focused so that the team can get on and do stuff.

    If there are lots of different challenges throughout the quest that can be accomplished through rolls/creative thinking then make it so that different styles of characters are going be necessary for each challenge. Strong warrior types having some fun hefting boulders out of the way, agile hins being thrown across chasms with a rope around their waist so the others can secure it for the others to cross, wizards firing a cantrip to ignite some alchemist fire barrels or whatever. It then becomes the responsibility of the players themselves not to hog the challanges and let everyone have a go. If you've already done something cool, take a step back. Let others have a crack at it. There isn't a hurry.

  • Also, if you notice that your planned encounter is starting to turn stale and leave out a lot of people improvise. Cowled figures appearing to lend a hand that enable you to skip the boring bits then magically disappear are intriguing and cool. Magical portal appears out of no where with a little note saying "Have fun!"? I'd advise against using Godly intervention though as that should be reserved for special, special events and should be respected. I noticed yesterday during an event where a character was literally saved by his god and turned into a walking talking death machine through divine intervention that most PC's were extremely unimpressed by it, save a few.

    You just saw a Gods hand at work directly in front of you. No level 12 adventurer is so old and jaded not to be amazed by that.

  • All I can really do is +1 Lizard's post.

  • I was not part of this quest, but I would like to comment on the subject of one character getting the majority of the NPC interaction while the rest stand around outside of the scene. I feel like the DM has to be cognizant of the characters with whom he or she interacts the most during DM quests and make a conscious effort to pull the outside characters into the interaction.

    I have been part of a lot of DM quests over the years, but I have had limited interaction with NPCs because, as a player, I feel like I would be rude if I were to have my character speak unless spoken to. Most of the time I feel like, "Well, there's a faction character with us. This interaction must be for that character. Or there's an application character with us. This interaction must be for that character." I, as a player, do not want to be rude and upstage anybody, so I hang back and make comments to the other outside characters, but that's about it.

    However, if my character were to be addressed by the NPC, I would see that as invitation for me, as a player, to join the scene, and I wonder if the players of other outside characters would feel the same way.

  • I was looking for a Far Side Gallery cartoon that jumped right to mind on chapter 2 of this, but alas, couldn't find it!

    Anyways, chapter 2 was absolutely brilliant. It had a great mix of dialogue, fighting and decision making (helped along by the early spankings we got as a reminder to stop charging in at everything). It had a bit of humour in it as well and was all around good fun.

    Chapter 2.5 was great too, but for different reasons. It had a real "adventuring party" feel to it. Not the sort that meets up for a quest and then splits up again but a real companionship that vastly outweighs the environment its in - off on adventures where the only thing that's really reliable and familiar ever is your companions. It didn't have the kind of puzzles and dialogue that the first half of chapter 2 but it was a much more magical, Forgotten Realms dungeon crawl. So just as good in my book, but in a different way. Admittedly I was a little disappointed to find out the way to get past that initial hurdle was just a secret door 😞 that was just a missed opportunity from my perspective rather than a gripe though, so have some +ve smilies. 🙂 😃

    Either way, so far this is all very fun, not repetitive and only looks to get better with each new chapter. Thanks a lot for taking the time to run something like this.
    A part of me feels guilty because it's effectively a completely seperate environment to the rest of CoA as a server, and so unlike a bank robbery, smuggling operation or what have you, it ultimately remains independent - an every-so-often event that is hosted on CoA without actually being much a part of it. Then again, most DM quests are like this anyways, they just don't usually last longer than one event, so I don't know if that feeling is warranted or not.

  • as a whole i think the story from start to finish now taken not in its parts, is quite epic now, the reason? the early problems were actually not with the quest, or the encounters, but with the characters (i need to and will shoulder most of the blame) but as time has gone on, as indicated in lizard mans post…..the trip has slowly been developing us into a team, not one that would have normally gotten together but one that through need has been put into that situation

    i am having a lot of fun..and i do hope all others involved feel the same, if there is anything i can do as a player to improve please let me know via a tell in game or a pm here on the forum

  • Ditto , you lot. I keep checking these too late to say the things you all do, so I'm just going to agree with you here. I'm having a blast, myself and I hope I wont have to miss out on ANY part of the adventure.

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