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TOPIC: GHC review

GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #1

  • Picc
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So time for some thoughts and feedback while its all still fresh.

I drove down Wednesday with my wife and friend (13 hours from Canada due to traffic in Chicago and having to go around the lake). Honestly I feel like this is about the limit of how far I'd be willing to truck it for TD. That said I had a fairly bad ear infection for most of the con so that might have colored my view of the trip a bit.

Build day went well, it was a lot of fun to see how everything gets put together. I recomend anyone who gets the chance volenteer to help with build. Raven had a great idea to setup a high altitude timelapse of build/takedown. I hope someone sets that up next con. It would he awsome to watch.

I was volenteering Friday, and attendance was concerningly low. I suspect it being Friday and the near zero visability fog delaying flights might have been a contributing factor.

We were slow enough at times that the room GMs were able to do a truncheon only run which was awsome since the initially advertised Thursday evening volenteer run had to be canceled.

I managed to get a run of Underdark awaits in after my shift ended. It was a best of dungeon focused on alot of 2011 sealich/dragons redoubt puzzles and I enjoyed it thourally.

Room1: Arrow keys, this was a fun/easy intro puzzle that worked well as a team builder. High marks for the puzzle and GM.

Room2: Elemental troll combat. Basic combat room with an optional alternate win condition. Great GM, high energy, really made the combat fun. I think his name was Pablo ;)

Room3: Dinnertable, I could see this puzzle as a little frusterating but the GM provided just the right amount of help and made it fun. Solid room.

Room4: ascender room, this is one of my favorite old rooms. That said it does present some problems. Half the group has to sit out while the other half ascend. Not sure how to fix that but something to keep in mind. It can also be extra challanging for groups of diverse height. I was also told that the first group to ascend could not use ropes or grapples to pull up the second group because it was known from 2011. To me that just hilights the issues we have with gear. In this case the gear that could optionally interact with the room was identified and simply denied. IMO that is worse then unexpected gear based solutions being missed in design.

Room5: Sneak temple, basic combat not much to say here, the snake cultist looked great. I wasnt sure I understood how it tied into the nerative of the dungeon but it was still fun.

Room6: floor tile puzzle. Again not much to say about this one. It was a fairly basic puzzle. I did enjoy that the lights were rigged to provide an additional clue in the last minutes. Little touches like that are awsome.

Room7: Gargoyle, great looking anamatronic, Cool drow, solid ending.

Overall comments. I felt like the nerative on this dungeon was somewhat lost. I didnt know we were supposed to be trying out for the assassin's guild until the last room. Some kind of intro speach would have helped tie events together. This dungeon was also a little brutal ob rogues who couldnt use sneak attack on the elemental construct, non humanoid sneak, or flying gargoyle and only got 2 boxes to play with rather then the normal 3. Still it was a lot of fun and I would have run it more if I could have fit in the runs around my volenteer schedule.


I didnt get a chance to do deeperdark redux but the dungeon looked great and I hear the lava fiends makeup was amazing

On saturday I managed to sneak into a grind before shift (thanks Incog & Raven for squeezing me in). The grind was similar but different to the cuthulu themed run from gencon. It was high energy and well executed as always, the Cathulu ritual pages were also very cool (careful keep using props like that and you may spoil us). My only complaint would be that the falling rock mechanic seemed to really want to focus on giving my bard a concution. I get that grind monsters are smarter then the average bear but the rocks to... Anyway I had fun, thanks guys.

Coaching on saturday was far brisker with most if not all of the runs being sold out. The last run pulled most of the coaches and GMs through with them and was quite epic when we reached the last room with some dozen or so ghost gms following them.

teardown on suday was amazingly quick and by the numbers. Other then one pallet spill that everyone quickly rallied to correct is was just about perfect. I tip my hat to the entire Carbondale crew for their speed and orginzation. Seriously well done.

Overall I think dispite some orginzational issues GHC was a great sucsess and I look forward to Gencon next year.

My only negative comment would be that I wish there was a better way to estimate the number of pre packed treasure bags needed. TD again had prepacked 10 pack which were awsome(some of which I think may have initially been intended to be the special volenteer 10 packs mentioned earlier) but ran out part way through saturday due to COA farming (and at least some loaning), the general hotness of the green bags Im sure didnt hurt either.

Some alternitive blue loot bags were produced for the volenteers instead but based on what I was able to observe some people getting in theres (no monster bits, lots of greens etc) they were not made from the same mix. I suspect the speed of their construction may have also lead to the pants participation token not being included but thats a small point. It was still an apreshiated gesture but I think maybe some of thr green bags should have been held back for vols who all worked hard to make the show a great one.


Anyway I think Im starting to ramble so I'm going to see if I can find some painkillers.
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #2

  • lazlo_hollyfeld1985
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Picc wrote:
So time for some thoughts and feedback while its all still fresh.

I drove down Wednesday with my wife and friend (13 hours from Canada due to traffic in Chicago and having to go around the lake). Honestly I feel like this is about the limit of how far I'd be willing to truck it for TD. That said I had a fairly bad ear infection for most of the con so that might have colored my view of the trip a bit.

Build day went well, it was a lot of fun to see how everything gets put together. I recomend anyone who gets the chance volenteer to help with build. Raven had a great idea to setup a high altitude timelapse of build/takedown. I hope someone sets that up next con. It would he awsome to watch.

I was volenteering Friday, and attendance was concerningly low. I suspect it being Friday and the near zero visability fog delaying flights might have been a contributing factor.

We were slow enough at times that the room GMs were able to do a truncheon only run which was awsome since the initially advertised Thursday evening volenteer run had to be canceled.

I managed to get a run of Underdark awaits in after my shift ended. It was a best of dungeon focused on alot of 2011 sealich/dragons redoubt puzzles and I enjoyed it thourally.

Room1: Arrow keys, this was a fun/easy intro puzzle that worked well as a team builder. High marks for the puzzle and GM.

Room2: Elemental troll combat. Basic combat room with an optional alternate win condition. Great GM, high energy, really made the combat fun. I think his name was Pablo ;)

Room3: Dinnertable, I could see this puzzle as a little frusterating but the GM provided just the right amount of help and made it fun. Solid room.

Room4: ascender room, this is one of my favorite old rooms. That said it does present some problems. Half the group has to sit out while the other half ascend. Not sure how to fix that but something to keep in mind. It can also be extra challanging for groups of diverse height. I was also told that the first group to ascend could not use ropes or grapples to pull up the second group because it was known from 2011. To me that just hilights the issues we have with gear. In this case the gear that could optionally interact with the room was identified and simply denied. IMO that is worse then unexpected gear based solutions being missed in design.

Room5: Sneak temple, basic combat not much to say here, the snake cultist looked great. I wasnt sure I understood how it tied into the nerative of the dungeon but it was still fun.

Room6: floor tile puzzle. Again not much to say about this one. It was a fairly basic puzzle. I did enjoy that the lights were rigged to provide an additional clue in the last minutes. Little touches like that are awsome.

Room7: Gargoyle, great looking anamatronic, Cool drow, solid ending.

Overall comments. I felt like the nerative on this dungeon was somewhat lost. I didnt know we were supposed to be trying out for the assassin's guild until the last room. Some kind of intro speach would have helped tie events together. This dungeon was also a little brutal ob rogues who couldnt use sneak attack on the elemental construct, non humanoid sneak, or flying gargoyle and only got 2 boxes to play with rather then the normal 3. Still it was a lot of fun and I would have run it more if I could have fit in the runs around my volenteer schedule.


I didnt get a chance to do deeperdark redux but the dungeon looked great and I hear the lava fiends makeup was amazing

On saturday I managed to sneak into a grind before shift (thanks Incog & Raven for squeezing me in). The grind was similar but different to the cuthulu themed run from gencon. It was high energy and well executed as always, the Cathulu ritual pages were also very cool (careful keep using props like that and you may spoil us). My only complaint would be that the falling rock mechanic seemed to really want to focus on giving my bard a concution. I get that grind monsters are smarter then the average bear but the rocks to... Anyway I had fun, thanks guys.

Coaching on saturday was far brisker with most if not all of the runs being sold out. The last run pulled most of the coaches and GMs through with them and was quite epic when we reached the last room with some dozen or so ghost gms following them.

teardown on suday was amazingly quick and by the numbers. Other then one pallet spill that everyone quickly rallied to correct is was just about perfect. I tip my hat to the entire Carbondale crew for their speed and orginzation. Seriously well done.

Overall I think dispite some orginzational issues GHC was a great sucsess and I look forward to Gencon next year.

My only negative comment would be that I wish there was a better way to estimate the number of pre packed treasure bags needed. TD again had prepacked 10 pack which were awsome(some of which I think may have initially been intended to be the special volenteer 10 packs mentioned earlier) but ran out part way through saturday due to COA farming (and at least some loaning), the general hotness of the green bags Im sure didnt hurt either.

Some alternitive blue loot bags were produced for the volenteers instead but based on what I was able to observe some people getting in theres (no monster bits, lots of greens etc) they were not made from the same mix. I suspect the speed of their construction may have also lead to the pants participation token not being included but thats a small point. It was still an apreshiated gesture but I think maybe some of thr green bags should have been held back for vols who all worked hard to make the show a great one.


Anyway I think Im starting to ramble so I'm going to see if I can find some painkillers.
the coaches and trainers did an amazing job. We rallied together when we had to(we did have to, being a coach short for the whole con).
thanks to all the players that had the app or spread sheet..as always you made our jobs easier

i cant remeber who the DM was in room 7 of UNDERDARK awaits..but you old on me ( i said Lori has made it into the dungeon after all :) )
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #3

  • Harlax
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Kudos to Laz who managed one of the coaching sides solo for long stretches. Truly incredible.
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #4

Had a stellar time at GHC. Only 2 hours drive from Chi-Town makes this an easy YES for 2017 (and possibly bring more buddies as well). It was a much more intimate and relaxed than GenCon which was fantastic for someone who took two years off and is just now getting back in.

Underdark was definitely my favorite of the two runs for the sheer variety and physicality of the puzzles but they were both a great mix of fun challenges refreshed so that even if I had a vague memory of them, I couldn't immediately discern a solution.

Deeperdark was solid. The coach/npc Wizard's servant's performance made a relatively mundane puzzle fun and the coach in the Mummy room brought back the flavor of years past where there was more roleplaying which I miss in recent years. The beautiful female fire creature at the end also did a great job of interacting with the party.

A special thanks to Dave for making everything go so quickly and easily in the transmute room. I've been playing this game for a looong time, but I'm still learning all the ins and outs.

To sum-up, I had a great time and had more time than ever to interact with both the TD crew and other players. I will return!
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #5

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Picc wrote:
So time for some thoughts and feedback while its all still fresh.

Overall I think dispite some orginzational issues GHC was a great sucsess and I look forward to Gencon next year.

My only negative comment would be that I wish there was a better way to estimate the number of pre packed treasure bags needed. TD again had prepacked 10 pack which were awsome(some of which I think may have initially been intended to be the special volenteer 10 packs mentioned earlier) but ran out part way through saturday due to COA farming (and at least some loaning), the general hotness of the green bags Im sure didnt hurt either.

I seriously wonder if they got mixed somewhere along the line or just was treasure that skewed? Treasure seemed all over the place. I saw 2 redoubt pieces out of the same 10pk as it was opened in the transmute room. Seems folks either got below mediocre or fantastic. Just may be with the higher lvl transmutes being what they are that if you pull Ur or better it feels amazing vs when you do 7 pulls and fail to get a rare just sucks.

Picc wrote:
Some alternitive blue loot bags were produced for the volenteers instead but based on what I was able to observe some people getting in theres (no monster bits, lots of greens etc) they were not made from the same mix. I suspect the speed of their construction may have also lead to the pants participation token not being included but thats a small point. It was still an apreshiated gesture but I think maybe some of thr green bags should have been held back for vols who all worked hard to make the show a great one.


I feel for you, saw a vol pack opened on Sun morn and just looked disappointing.

My initial quick thoughts from ghc about TD and venue:

Redux rooms really cool as saw a lot stuff for the 1st time.

Kudos to a short staff, especially down a coach (laz is always awesome) I must seriously give credit to 'Chadwick' in what I believe is arcist or 'find master' room. That dm just loved his role and did it all weekend as i passed through 4 times on that run.

Venue felt fine, little dated but feels like room to grow for the con. A bar in gaming area is very nice.

Treasure seems very hot/cold with almost no middle, I will put my pulls in jedi's google sheet when i sort later today/tomorrow.

Lack of walkable food/restaurants seems lackluster but so many options a 2-5min drive away though.

Attendees: Felt like pure new players or long term vets. A phrase i heard more than once in a coaching room was local's who wanted to play TD because they never get tickets at gencon. Out of 8 runs it was a mix with vets a majority in most cases and total new players rounding out.

Shoutout to Cranston as i truly learned to believe and advocate use of android app. Took a lot of stress out of coaching room.

Overall I had a good time, I'd have to think if i go back comes down to timing and cost. I did as many runs as i did because i felt like i was running 3 runs for cost of 2 at gencon (112 vs 120 for 3 runs at ghc). I learned how many tokens between 3 players could be stuffed into a hamster cube.

A question that comes to mind i'd be curious on is what percentage of mid/long term players (3-5 yrs attendance) vs new player acquisition.

-Picc at least you didn't have to drive without a working radio, ask Stoner/Smackdown on that one...
We're all the kind of people who enjoy the game on a "meta" level. We like talking about the game year-round. We buy tokens. We enjoy crafting. We get together during the off-season if we can. We are a very skewed demographic that way. -Raven
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #6

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Harlax wrote:
Kudos to Laz who managed one of the coaching sides solo for long stretches. Truly incredible.
I tried to get to Lori to give me stuff for two volunteers ( since I covered two jobs at once) but alas she said no
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #7

Well, you guys didn't leave too much of a bad taste in this Newby's mouth.

I'll probably be back next year, maybe even volunteer for GenCon, depending on what life has in store for me.
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #8

Picc wrote:
This dungeon was also a little brutal ob rogues who couldnt use sneak attack on the elemental construct, non humanoid sneak, or flying gargoyle and only got 2 boxes to play with rather then the normal 3.
The snake couldn't be sneak attacked? That would be news to both Raven and our DM.
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #9

Good working with you
Please visit my fledgling token store.
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #10

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Nathaniel Newby wrote:
Well, you guys didn't leave too much of a bad taste in this Newby's mouth.

I'll probably be back next year, maybe even volunteer for GenCon, depending on what life has in store for me.

Props to this guy right here who I belive was an awsome coaches assist :)
Allen John wrote:
Picc wrote:
This dungeon was also a little brutal ob rogues who couldnt use sneak attack on the elemental construct, non humanoid sneak, or flying gargoyle and only got 2 boxes to play with rather then the normal 3.
The snake couldn't be sneak attacked? That would be news to both Raven and our DM.

It is entierly possible I misheard this one, most of the con sounded like it was underwater for me on oneside, if it was sneak attackable I stand corrected.
lazlo_hollyfeld1985 wrote:
Harlax wrote:
Kudos to Laz who managed one of the coaching sides solo for long stretches. Truly incredible.
I tried to get to Lori to give me stuff for two volunteers ( since I covered two jobs at once) but alas she said no

You would deserve it if anyone does. You did an amazing amount of rooms.
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Sartre sits in in a coffee shop and asks for a coffee without cream. The barista apologizes “Sorry, we don't have any cream. Can I offer you a coffee without milk instead?”
Last Edit: 2 years 6 days ago by Picc.
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #11

My wife and I felt that all the volunteers did a great job this year. While TD has always been a largely positive experience for us, we did have a negative experience in one room several years ago. My point being that being 'great' is not a given; and in our five runs and every staff member was great.

One group went sideways in the coaching area. Due to issues all over the board, the situation was:
1) There were 11 players (12 initially in fact)
2) Three people wanted to be wizards and were not going to budge.
3) Two people wanted to be paladins and were not going to budge.

The coach called in some help and made it all work out. It could have been a very negative thing, but the coach cleaned everything up as best as he could in the limited time. The GM in the second room (Steve I think) cleaned up some issues on the party card and everything was smooth sailing the rest of the run. It was a good example of how great a job everyone did.

Also, a particular shout out to the GM in the 'Master Room' (cup of wine, read a book). I had done the room before (and failed), and did it three times at GHC, finally solving it on the last run. The GM was great and made the room.
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GHC review 2 years 6 days ago #12

  • MetaphoricDragon
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Allen John wrote:
Picc wrote:
This dungeon was also a little brutal ob rogues who couldnt use sneak attack on the elemental construct, non humanoid sneak, or flying gargoyle and only got 2 boxes to play with rather then the normal 3.
The snake couldn't be sneak attacked? That would be news to both Raven and our DM.

Well there also were the 3 other tokens on the 20 slot too...
~Meta: Don't worry, it is perfectly "safe" to follow the drunken dwarf into the dungeon!
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