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TOPIC: Viper/Zephyr Analysis

Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #1

My group ran Viper and Zephyr twice this year. On Combat both times. Just my observations on them.

Zephyr

Room 1 - Glados voice was cool and the puzzle was well designed for the group type but I was annoyed at having the push damage spread out through the room when it was not necessary to do so. Also annoyed at having the push damage be eldritch, this room should have stayed PUSH damage.

Room 2 - Interesting concept puzzle but the implementation was off. Having 4 pillars with multiple sides to add up, different length tubes to connect and a physical ball to manuver through the tubes would have been fine for a SINGLE orb but adding all these pieces in and requiring 2 or 3 combinations was too much. Had it been 4 pillars and required X people activating switches on each pillar instead of the tubes I would have been fine with the design. Had it only required solution #2 to complete I would have been fine.

Room 3 - The air elemental was a cool fight I think (honestly can't speak to this fight really. My team blew it apart in 1/2 combat rounds both runs)

Room 4 - Loved the RC orb, it was really cool IMO :) Sadly it was dead by the second run :( Batteries, make sure the props work for the whole day! The combat version was VERY complicated... if you didn't have massively OP Wizards obliterate the shields for you. Once the shields dropped the orb was metallic shards on the ground.

Room 5 - Gear Golem was cool. Making it immune to ALL magic but Shock was BS. Large metal construct immune to force and acid damage made no sense. Made me a sad mage. Still a really cool fight :)

Room 6 - OK yeah. Inflation puzzle. HOW DID THIS MAKE IT PAST PLAYTESTING? 10 tubes, 5 minutes to complete puzzle, treasure stamp in COMBAT RUN and the tubes 100% were not sealed right *more than 1 place I felt air leaking out of tubes that made me think we had a connection that wasn't there. The 20 on/20 off was complete shit and should NEVER have been implemented. Making this puzzle a treasure room was a horrible idea, took a complex puzzle and punished players completion for not being able to finish it on a combat run. DM reported 10/58 runs completing the puzzle and reporting NOT KNOWING THE SOLUTION so couldn't help us if it WAS broken.

Room 7 - Amazing fight, loved the design, loved my DM (dude was stellar, both times) Some communication about REQ ranged and some communication about combat/flying split would have helped out. *Again can't speak to this room, it was flatlined in 2 turns with our group*


Viper Combat

Room 1 - Amazingly designed puzzle. Was able to solve it myself once we found the clues. Push damage REALLY annoying on this one. There was NO VALID REASON to split the push damage for this puzzle. Second DM allowed the 4 of us who knew the answer to tell him and he negated the timed damage but that seems overly complicated. That said I LOVED this puzzle, I want to see it more often.

Room 2 - Cool room, cool design, all in all cool :) DM was a tad slow running combat but that's a DM thing not a room design thing.

Room 3 - Another cool puzzle, really cool design. Another one I was able to piece together with the clues from the board/rogue. Loved how it worked, the wand was a bit touchy but the room allowed time to spare for multiple attempts. Feel Zephyr room 2 could have benefitted from a similar design for the puzzle

Room 4 - Zombies and Sarcophagi, cool room, cool fight; slightly out of place in a Viper god's temple but great fun :) Casters on the box + cleric with greater Turn = QUICKLY destroyed combat room

Room 5 - Medusa :) Very cool room, amazing actress. Expected fight what with the whole VIPER theme. Issues with the changes to mirror rulings over the weekend. CONSISTENCY needs to be there. If 3 groups encounter 3 different fights in the same room that's bad for the game. Other than that great.

Room 6 - BLOODY SAND PUZZLE! Yeah, this was awesome, I loved it so much. I really honestly have nothing bad to say about it. I hope to see more like this in the future! ... OK well ALMOST nothing bad about it. Puzzle that requires dealing party members unavoidable damage 6 times in the second to last room sucks. 36 points of non combat damage sucks. Understand why, but still. Sucks.

Room 7 - Great design, awesome Monster but inconsistency. Drow assassin seemed unecessary and out of place in the room. *Personal gripe - I burned Dust of Appearance in that room both runs and never "revealed" the hidden Drow Assassin. That irritated me* Heard a lot of people mention the Casters mass poison damage. We killed him too fast to really deal with it so I can't speak to that piece. Didn't use the poison first round, maybe someone hit the staff. Sand monster was cool and fight went well. All in all I think the Drow assassin was out of place, maybe could have been HC/NM only.

Observations-
2 Puzzle stamps in a Combat run is bad
Treasure connected to a 20% success rate, buggy puzzle is worse
Push damage changes really need reverted or re-examined
Combat DMs need a primer on Caster Spell Slides
Consistency in puzzle solutions and Enemy immunities needs to be upheld. If a mirror makes you avoid the save for attacking on Tuesday it needs to make oyu avoid the save on Sunday. If the Iridescent Sphere makes you immune to the poison gas, the Iridescent Spindle needs to as well.
Create a damage type called Puzzle Damage and hit us with that for push damage if needed. Don't go throwing Ancient Druid magic at us from an angry defense system.


Everything said I did LOVE the runs and LOVE the game. I just found several things made for a negative play experience. If I could have traded my Zephyr tickets for more Viper ones to avoid that damned room 6 I would have done so it was that bad. Don't EVER make a treasure chip dependent on a prop functioning properly.

Oh, and make sure your room DMs know the puzzle solution. It's really disheartening to hear 20% success rate and the DM doesn't know the solution which begs the question... 20% success rate? or 50% broken prop rate?

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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #2

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Room 1 - Glados voice was cool and the puzzle was well designed for the group type but I was annoyed at having the push damage spread out through the room when it was not necessary to do so. Also annoyed at having the push damage be eldritch, this room should have stayed PUSH damage.


Would it have mattered if it was Eldritch or Push? Either way, you take it and it can't be prevented.

Room 5 - Gear Golem was cool. Making it immune to ALL magic but Shock was BS. Large metal construct immune to force and acid damage made no sense. Made me a sad mage. Still a really cool fight :)


Aren't a lot of golems immune to most forms of magic? Iron Golems, Stone Golems, Clay Golems, and Flesh Golems all come to mind.

Room 1 - Amazingly designed puzzle. Was able to solve it myself once we found the clues. Push damage REALLY annoying on this one. There was NO VALID REASON to split the push damage for this puzzle. Second DM allowed the 4 of us who knew the answer to tell him and he negated the timed damage but that seems overly complicated. That said I LOVED this puzzle, I want to see it more often.


Well, maybe you are outside the Snake temple and taking damage gradually unless you get inside. I'm sure you could think of plenty of "valid reasons" to split the push damage.

Room 7 - Great design, awesome Monster but inconsistency. Drow assassin seemed unecessary and out of place in the room. *Personal gripe - I burned Dust of Appearance in that room both runs and never "revealed" the hidden Drow Assassin. That irritated me*


Well, a Rogue/Assassin would probably be "hiding in shadows" rather than actually being "invisible."

All in all I think the Drow assassin was out of place, maybe could have been HC/NM only.


I agree it was a bit random. Maybe I didn't hear it (twice) but was there a good reason for the Drow assassin to be hanging around the Snake temple?

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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #3

Yes, there was.

The Drow was basically the intro to next year. The temple was apparently the place where the Drow bought the Dwarves of Icecrag Keep.
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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #4

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Incognito wrote:
I agree it was a bit random. Maybe I didn't hear it (twice) but was there a good reason for the Drow assassin to be hanging around the Snake temple?


It was made a little more clear in the last room on puzzle side. Short version was she had dealings with the snake cult, specifically she had just taken delivery of the captured dwarfs as slaves destined for the under dark.
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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #5

The Drow assassin mentioned the dwarfs we had been searching for, so I am expecting a trip to the Underdeep next year. Maybe they bought some dwarf slaves to help them mine something?

I can totally understand how one of the poison Ioun Stones helps while the other doesn't... the poison can get on your skin, ala mustard gas, and cause damage without being inhaled. The Sphere would save you and the Spindle would not.

I do believe the amount of damage may have been excessive, at least at the Normal level. We did a Sealed run and were taking 5 or 10, which seems high. I could see 0 or 5 on Normal being okay, but it is Room 7. Was rough having our Monk and Fighter both 'stoned' in the previous room, then having 3 more party members die in the first two rounds of combat. As a Wizard, I got one action, then I was dead.

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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #6

Incognito wrote:

Arcanist Kolixela wrote:

All in all I think the Drow assassin was out of place, maybe could have been HC/NM only.


I agree it was a bit random. Maybe I didn't hear it (twice) but was there a good reason for the Drow assassin to be hanging around the Snake temple?


after she came in the room, she yelled at the snake priest, blaming him for bringing the adventurers here. i think she mentioned something about his connection with cogwind. there was obviously some connection between the drow and the snake cult for kidnapping the dwarves that we are still looking for.

it was a setup for next year's adventure in the underdark.

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Last edit: by travis.

Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #7

Played Viper Thursday (Puzzle) My party and I thought all the rooms were solid, the puzzles were good, as were the combats. The only room we really were stumped on was the floor puzzle w/ the rope. All the DMs were excellent as well.
Played Zephyr Saturday (Puzzle) Started off good, the concept of having the DM travel with us for the first 3 rooms worked well; and the two puzzles were decent. The issues we encountered started with the hose room, the DM had to get outside assistance to get the room working correctly which easily used up half our room time; hence we failed. Instead of the DM saying "you guys were really close" maybe he should have still marked us for the Treasure. Then, the room with the orb and switches had no descriptions/clues, just a trial and error "puzzle" where a bunch of burned out bulbs identified by the DM led to another failure. These two rooms kinda ruined this run for our group. I was with four friends and we were with another group of 4; I think someone from that group was going to complain. I realize in an operation this big there are always potential issues; but I think with these types of problems we shoulda at least got some kinda apologies. Since this was our last event of the CON it kinda soured us; we are unsure of participation next year.

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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #8

darkangel866 wrote: Yes, there was.

The Drow was basically the intro to next year. The temple was apparently the place where the Drow bought the Dwarves of Icecrag Keep.


OK that makes her placement more understandable. I just never heard that part :P

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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #9

Incognito wrote:

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Room 1 - Glados voice was cool and the puzzle was well designed for the group type but I was annoyed at having the push damage spread out through the room when it was not necessary to do so. Also annoyed at having the push damage be eldritch, this room should have stayed PUSH damage.


Would it have mattered if it was Eldritch or Push? Either way, you take it and it can't be prevented.

As "Push" damage I wouldn't have taken anything the second run as we completed the puzzle. As a mechanical device I would expect defense system attacks to be Shock based. Thematically the damage type didn't match the run.

Incognito wrote:

Room 5 - Gear Golem was cool. Making it immune to ALL magic but Shock was BS. Large metal construct immune to force and acid damage made no sense. Made me a sad mage. Still a really cool fight :)


Aren't a lot of golems immune to most forms of magic? Iron Golems, Stone Golems, Clay Golems, and Flesh Golems all come to mind.


Was it technically a Golem? It appeared to be some form of Gnomish robot that was guarding the ship. You did have to flip a switch to wake it up. At that point I considered it a mechanical construct and assumed it would take damage as a robot would.

Incognito wrote:

Room 1 - Amazingly designed puzzle. Was able to solve it myself once we found the clues. Push damage REALLY annoying on this one. There was NO VALID REASON to split the push damage for this puzzle. Second DM allowed the 4 of us who knew the answer to tell him and he negated the timed damage but that seems overly complicated. That said I LOVED this puzzle, I want to see it more often.


Well, maybe you are outside the Snake temple and taking damage gradually unless you get inside. I'm sure you could think of plenty of "valid reasons" to split the push damage.

Sand Storms hitting the party would have made sense and been thematically appropriate. Random godly lightning wasn't.

The room as designed didn't have an urgency element to it that validated the time based damage. That's where the gripe comes from.

Incognito wrote:

Room 7 - Great design, awesome Monster but inconsistency. Drow assassin seemed unecessary and out of place in the room. *Personal gripe - I burned Dust of Appearance in that room both runs and never "revealed" the hidden Drow Assassin. That irritated me*


Well, a Rogue/Assassin would probably be "hiding in shadows" rather than actually being "invisible."

All in all I think the Drow assassin was out of place, maybe could have been HC/NM only.


I agree it was a bit random. Maybe I didn't hear it (twice) but was there a good reason for the Drow assassin to be hanging around the Snake temple?

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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #10

balthasar wrote: The Drow assassin mentioned the dwarfs we had been searching for, so I am expecting a trip to the Underdeep next year. Maybe they bought some dwarf slaves to help them mine something?

I can totally understand how one of the poison Ioun Stones helps while the other doesn't... the poison can get on your skin, ala mustard gas, and cause damage without being inhaled. The Sphere would save you and the Spindle would not.

I do believe the amount of damage may have been excessive, at least at the Normal level. We did a Sealed run and were taking 5 or 10, which seems high. I could see 0 or 5 on Normal being okay, but it is Room 7. Was rough having our Monk and Fighter both 'stoned' in the previous room, then having 3 more party members die in the first two rounds of combat. As a Wizard, I got one action, then I was dead.


My gripe with that is we REMOVED the Sphere from all of our builds this year because tokendb.com SPECIFICALLY STATES the Spindle makes you immune to toxic gas. We took damage because the DM ruled against the TokenDB ruling. That is inconsistent and hence my annoyance.

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Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #11

Arcanist Kolixela wrote:

balthasar wrote: The Drow assassin mentioned the dwarfs we had been searching for, so I am expecting a trip to the Underdeep next year. Maybe they bought some dwarf slaves to help them mine something?

I can totally understand how one of the poison Ioun Stones helps while the other doesn't... the poison can get on your skin, ala mustard gas, and cause damage without being inhaled. The Sphere would save you and the Spindle would not.

I do believe the amount of damage may have been excessive, at least at the Normal level. We did a Sealed run and were taking 5 or 10, which seems high. I could see 0 or 5 on Normal being okay, but it is Room 7. Was rough having our Monk and Fighter both 'stoned' in the previous room, then having 3 more party members die in the first two rounds of combat. As a Wizard, I got one action, then I was dead.


My gripe with that is we REMOVED the Sphere from all of our builds this year because tokendb.com SPECIFICALLY STATES the Spindle makes you immune to toxic gas. We took damage because the DM ruled against the TokenDB ruling. That is inconsistent and hence my annoyance.


According to the tokenDB:

tokendb.com/token/ioun-stone-iridescent-spindle/

"It can be used underwater to avoid drowning, in water to avoid ingestion of toxic fluids, and on dry land to avoid inhaling toxic gas–though it has no effect on toxins which are absorbed through the skin or injected."

So if the gas was a contact poison, it would not be helping you :(

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Last edit: by balthasar.

Re: Viper/Zephyr Analysis 7 years 3 months ago #12

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Was it technically a Golem? It appeared to be some form of Gnomish robot that was guarding the ship. You did have to flip a switch to wake it up. At that point I considered it a mechanical construct and assumed it would take damage as a robot
would.

I thought it was a golem (or golem-equivalent).

Sand Storms hitting the party would have made sense and been thematically appropriate. Random godly lightning wasn't.

Yeah, if I had written it, I would have designed it as periodic sandstorm damage (which could be prevented by the Sandstorm Cloak).

The room as designed didn't have an urgency element to it that validated the time based damage.


All they needed was a single line or sentence in the intro that emphasized the time component and urgency.

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