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TOPIC: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs

Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #1

This is the first year I dedicated my GenCon to doing a lot of True Dungeon. And for the weekend, I was happy...both with my experience as a whole, and my pulls.
With that being said, I want to give my feedback on the experience of the 5 runs I did.
With my group of 5-9 other friends, we went through 4 combat and 1 puzzle. Mostly all Hard-Core, with 1 Normal for a combat in Sable I believe.

Positive feedback:
The puzzles were very cool. I was not disappointed. I loved the puzzle with the words in the spiderwebs above and on the floor. Very Nice.
The complexity of the puzzles were good, given the allotment of time and clues.

The combat rooms were also good. This being my first year with my new Fighter build and the urgency to hit and kill the creatures before my weaker party members died was there. It was not a cake walk, but we didn't skate through either.

I commend the young women whom did a great job playing the part of the Drow, and for their individual efforts in their cosplay. When time allowed after each room was completed, I made sure to thank them and the DM's for their effort.


Negative feedback:
Sadly I have some issues with the people more than the dungeons themselves.
There were 2 main issues we came across. First were the coaches. Each of the 5 times I ran, the coaches missed things for multiple characters. We did not realize in the first couple runs, that things like our Hit bonuses were not written in. Other times, our token pull bonuses were not properly calculated.
Now I didn't realize there was a tool online to create my character sheet ahead of time. otherwise I certainly would have done that.

It should be noted my group was always in the room early enough, and most of us had our tokens ready for the coach each run. So it was not an issue of preparedness.


The second human error came in the Sable Gauntlet with the Grubs/Spiders around our necks. We were running as Hard-Core difficulty. This was the second time in as many days we ran this one. The DM said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Hard-core and Nightmare level is the same in this room".
He beat us down, me taking 18 HP of damage while killing the grub on my neck. We all took similar damage. He also did not properly allow us the ability to use the 5 torches on the wall that we were allowed to use the previous day.
Our party exhausted a lot of healing from this room more than any other for the entire weekend.
I did go to someone immediately after to let them know. They said to tell someone with a radio so it could be corrected so others did not have the same issue.

The only other thing I did not like was the 10-mushroom room. Not the idea. The idea was good. But it was hard to hear the speakers with all the background noise of the entire hall.
Again, the idea was good, but the execution was not.


Overall I had a good time. But the human element I mentioned really needs improvement. As some have said, this is $52 per run. That is not cheap for a 2-hour event. Admittedly I understand the cost. But for that cost, the above human issues should not have been as bad as they were.
This will not deter me from continuing. Nor will I deter others. I still feel this is a great experience to be had. And I look forward to the future of the Underdark story!

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Last edit: by DrStupid v1.0.

Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #2

DrStupid v1.0 wrote: Now I didn't realize there was a tool online to create my character sheet ahead of time. otherwise I certainly would have done that.


Yes, that is the important thing to do with complicated builds. Unfortunately it needs to be advertised more.
My online token shop: www.tdtavern.com

We buy, sell, and trade True Dungeon tokens. We also have a convenient consignment program where you can sell your own tokens.

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Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #3

For reference - link to party character sheets.
Useful Links:
TD Character Creator
Amorgen's Excel Char Gen Tool
Token DataBase
Talking TD Podcast

TD Accomplishments:
Member of the first team to survive Epic True Grind
1st Solo NM as Poly Druid
Proud member of Gas Station Sushi
Don't Nerf Our Tokens!

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Last edit: by MasterED.

Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #4

DrStupid v1.0 wrote: Negative feedback:
The only other thing I did not like was the 10-mushroom room. Not the idea. The idea was good. But it was hard to hear the speakers with all the background noise of the entire hall.
Again, the idea was good, but the execution was not.


Agreed! I saw a post on this elsewhere. Someone suggested for audio components that there either be a button so you can choose when to start the recording or to allow the GM activate each audio recording on command. Because the recordings were on auto-cycle, we wasted a lot of time waiting to hear them (and some were garbled).

My group ended up taking the clue and then using trial-and-error to arrive at the correct solution. I'd be interested to hear if any groups solved the puzzle simply by using logic.

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Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #5

I think there were a few technical difficulties this year, but overall it was one of the best TD I have been a part of.

I know they had the speakers for one of the training rooms reversed with the first room. The second time through that run I realized it and mentioned it to the coach. He said he already knew that... so a day in and nobody could swap the sound jacks?

The drow in the spider nest room had a microphone, but nobody could hear her and she was not happy about it.

As usual the volunteers were GREAT!!! Both the funguy and the fungal did great jobs. ALL of the drow and salamanders were exceptional! I was on 9 runs and very pleased. The only annoyance was a training coach who thought having to listen to him for 10 minutes then given 2 minutes to practice our skills was how it works...

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Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #6

That was backwards...I always tell 'em to get their spiel out in 2-3 minutes tops. Guess I'll stat bringing back the whip.
'I shall express myself to the fullest, regardless of state or local laws.' -me

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Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #7

The Mind Flayer combat was ridiculous. Normal Mode - On our first round quite a few of the melee hit the target as indicated by the DM sliding back a couple of missed tokens and then claiming the rest to be hits. Then the blink rolls started and everyone missed - no damage first round. The boss then hits for 20 points a shot and took out one of the veterans in the group. Next round, a number of folks hit the target only to have all but one 'miss' due to the blink. Flayer kills another player. Third round the same thing occurs, with no hits landing thanks to blink. Throw in the DM working with the casters - the Flayer dodged their rays and their was an indication from the DM that such was a given - no idea if it was scripted.

Fourth round lands 1 or 2 hits, I really did not care by then, he kills another player and we push. When asked, DM indicated boss was at half.

If you want to make rooms that based on RNG, then just have the DM roll a die up front and say, 'Looks like you fail', it would save a lot of frustration.

And one structural issue: My wife and I were in a PUG, two solid veterans, the two of us who had played before, and the rest were new folks. Two of the new folks were a father and his young daughter. The daughter was quite shy. We start the first room and I notice they are not with us. I ask, and the DM indicates that the daughter had to step out as the experience was too stressful. I am sympathetic to their situation. However, that put the group down to 8. That made combat even more difficult. The system should scale in some way for parties that are suddenly undersized.

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Last edit: by Andrew Roy.

Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #8

DrStupid v1.0 wrote: Now I didn't realize there was a tool online to create my character sheet ahead of time. otherwise I certainly would have done that.


We bring it up in every TD101 that there is a spreadsheet on the forums and a phone/pad app that can be used :) So at least 200+ people that attended TD101 this year were told about the spreadsheet and app :)

Yes we need to get the word out more, and I think a official bonus of 1 HP for doing the sheet up before hand would be great!
You don't have to outrun the monster, just the guy next to you - The buddy system.

Cranston's Character Generator for iDevices or Character Generator for Android

Amorgen's Excellent Excel Character Generator

Have you checked the Token DataBase ?

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Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #9

Yeah my biggest complaint was the last room of Underdark combat. I expect it to be hard, dont get me wrong...but at normal I expect like a 50% completion rate. We had 2 level 5 characters and I myself am a pretty decently equipped ranger (all reds with a few UR's and exalted). And the floor got wiped with us. It didn't help that the DM was taking 2-3 minutes to work through all the spell casting and calculate damage to get our sliders back. So 3 rounds of combat against MOST monsters whether its the last boss or not, will never be enough.

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Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #10

Positives:

The floor/ceiling web puzzle in sable was not difficult, but was immersive and really set a high mark for that dungeon. It definitely took some looking around, and didn't feel as if it was just a walk through.

The final room on both runs of sable were nice - the puzzle had a few herrings which burned time well enough, and the combat had enough consequence if you failed that it paid to boost those saves.

Pulsing egg sac made me super happy.

Loved the layout with the walk through to the ticket area and cycling back to the front - the player flow pattern was far superior to any previous year, and the long central corridor really built the dungeon feel.

Negatives:

The mind flayer blast having only one defense (that I can think of off the top of my head) kinda irked me. When I was told my lens of clear sight couldnt break whatever illusion it was (I know I know, it was all in my mind, but then my muddled vision still passes through those lens!), and I realized the only main def against it was a single purp, I was a bit salty. Plus, I hate monsters that roll on defense against every hit against them and wished there was a way to speed up the randomized 50/50 chances - final monsters have enough HP that burning time makes players squirrelly. I would rather everyone say 'even/odd', roll once to determine if they called it or not, and remove those sliders from the to hit zone (making it a single roll) if blink/displacement/etc is a thing on the last (and typically hardiest) monster.

Biggest negative - I didn't have any glue remover with me in underdark to pry off that +5 deathcleaver, wish ring, and golden ticket! Darn illusions!!!
Do well and you will have no need for ancestors. - Voltaire

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Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #11

Alvin Oliver wrote:

DrStupid v1.0 wrote: Now I didn't realize there was a tool online to create my character sheet ahead of time. otherwise I certainly would have done that.


We bring it up in every TD101 that there is a spreadsheet on the forums and a phone/pad app that can be used :) So at least 200+ people that attended TD101 this year were told about the spreadsheet and app :)

Yes we need to get the word out more, and I think a official bonus of 1 HP for doing the sheet up before hand would be great!



I was so used to last year where I did just one run and the coach came around like normal to check the tokens. I was so distracted by all things GenCon, that I did not bother to come back to these forums to check for such things. I know for next year and will make sure to help my whole party with a prep sheet so we avoid such errors.

But I see that as a bonus of preparedness. The coaches we had still should not have missed the bonuses they did.
In any case, it still didn't ruin my overall experience. I still had a good time.

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Last edit: by DrStupid v1.0.

Re: Positive & Negative feedback for GenCon runs 4 years 5 months ago #12

I had a good time at TD this year (as every year). This year, we finally had a full group of people that was planed to take on the runs, no pick up group. I forgot my tokens and our mage didn't have all his healing items. But we were still well geared with several 5th characters. Here was my experience.

Into the Underdark (Combat):
This was the biggest change. We've been so geared in the past that killing monsters in the first slide was happening a lot. DMs always asked why we weren't doing hardcore. We were still well geared for it so why not. Hardcore it was...big mistake.

By the second room, we already had people dead and everyone hovering at low hit points.

We didn't solve any of the puzzles correctly and I think we only killed one monster (not the cool mushroom guy that would dance with my group. He was awesome.) When we did "solve" the mushroom puzzle (couldn't hear what was being said by the shrooms) we were told that even though we got through the room, she could not give us the treasure stamp because we didn't solve it correctly. the Brute Force method IS the solution for a barbarian.

The Mind Flayer was a tough fight. Again, we didn't kill him, but being the final room, it's understandable. Darn thing kept phasing from every hit I would do...

The Sable Gauntlet (Combat):
A much better run for us. After the chaos that was Into the Underdark Hardcore, we decided to go back to Normal.

We pretty much destroyed any monster that showed up. And as normal for us, did not solve many puzzles (we did move the orb without too much damage). Almost solved the webroom puzzle with the letters, thanks to a helpful GM that was "coughing" a lot at our choices. Even so, we took LOTS of damage trying to get it.

Loved the pulsating sacs. They were disgustingly delightful :)

In the final room, I'm not even sure what we fought or what was said. With everything else, it was hard to hear. I know something came out of the pool. We hacked at it for 2 rounds and then it went away.

Overall:
The production quality that went in it was great, as always. Loved walking to the back to the room for ticketing and moving forward through the dungeon. The flow this was is much better. And, as been said, better represents moving into a dungeon. The props were fun and I liked the feel of some rooms. The eating mushroom puzzle felt like you were moving into a mushroom forest, very neat. The Drow fight with the egg sacs was a great room with webbing and those egg sacs.

The speakers didn't seem to work right for our groups in rooms where you had to listen. The final room of the Gauntlet and the eating mushroom puzzle are the biggest problem rooms for listening that I remember.

Lighting, like no ones heard this before :laugh: , in the non dungeon areas. I still think this year was better than previous years though. I just don't have a solution that I can think of. Turning on the room lights just isn't a possibility and any light coming in from the doors and ruin the immersion in the dungeon.

My group seems to be in the hard place of being to strong for Normal and to weak for Hardcore. Communication for our group could be improved to help off set the problems we have but it just seems weird to agree to solution of getting one guess at a puzzle and just take push damage. It would be nice to have normal damage and just have the monsters have lots more health. As I've said before, puzzles are not my groups strong point. We use our bards treasure finding on any puzzle room that has a treasure we come to, but we still like to give the puzzles a shot. They just deal SO much damage to us.

It was also funny, while running normal, to hear a DM say we should have done Hardcore and the entire room responds with a long, "Noooooooooooooooooo!" :laugh:

It was still a fun year and we'll be back next year.

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Last edit: by Darkhilt.
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