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TOPIC: N series review

N series review 1 year 2 months ago #1

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I wanted to get my gencon review down while it was still fresh in my mind. I'll try to keep it spoiler free since there are still N series shows later this year but fair warning
Spoilers ahead!

My first run of N1 was Thursday night

Room 1: Fallen angel(fight) 3/5:
This was a fairly basic fight. It was nice to see an old NPC reappear. It gave a sense of grounding and continuity for where we were in the adventure. The only issue I have with the room was that the prerecorded dialog was really hard to hear over the ambient room noise. A wireless speaker hidden somewhere on the NPC itself or a sign with a transcript of the dialog might help.

Room 2: Light the lamps(puzzle) 5/5:
I really enjoyed both the NPC and the puzzle difficulty. Seriously this room looked great and was a textbook perfect getting to know you puzzle. Do more like this :). The puzzle itself gave everyone a chance to spread out and interact with the room, then brought the party back together to work as a team.

Room 3: Boarding the boat(fight) 4/5:
I think we did this room after the ceiling was closed. The combat itself was good, I liked the approach of delaying melee by a round rather than making the combat explicitly melee or ranged. The Ogre NPC we had was also very good at interacting with the group.

Room 4: Restarting the engine(puzzle) 3/5:
This was a standard puzzle, it felt like it was in the right place in the dungeon in terms of difficulty. My only criticism would be that like most rooms with large columns in the middle it felt a little crowded which can make it tricky for the entire group to access the puzzle at once. If possible spreading the gears out along the walls might be preferable in future years builds.

Room 5: Navigate the boat(puzzle) 5/5:
I don’t know that I'd call this a puzzle so much as a physical challenge. Either way I really enjoyed the variety. Great prop, fun room.

Room 6: Fight the Rakasha(fight) 4/5:
I don’t really have much to say about this fight, I think our DM might have selected the wrong difficulty as this guy felt like he went down way easier than the first monster.

Room 7: Rainbow bridge(puzzle) 4/5:
This was an impressive puzzle from a technical perspective. However I felt like the mechanic that isolated the party on either side of the bridge after a failed attempt was sub optimal. I guess my core issue was the try and die that left ghosts unable to interact with the rest of the room. If the ghosts were still allowed to walk around the room or talk to the party (due to their proximity to the bliss) it might have felt a little better.

Over all I rate this this dungeon a 4/5. Massive props to all the NPCs and DMs. Over all the first three rooms were stunningly awesome. I loved the transitional hallways and the mirrored floors, the boat looked good too but the astral plane was the real stand out.




My first run of N2 was Friday night

Room 1 Crossing the membrane into the bliss (puzzle/combat/other)5/5:
This room was the perfect room 1. There were multiple ways to go about solving the puzzle weather you preferred combat or puzzle and a way out if something went wrong. This feels really good in the first room and does a wonderful job setting the tone. The transition through the membrane was also super fun.

Room 2 Ice wurm (fight) 3/5:
Fun combat, it felt right in terms of difficulty and I really enjoyed the later room clue hidden on the mummy. The dragon prop was also very well hidden. I love that the door was disguised as wall rather than just a curtain the monster came through.

Room 3 Crossing the river(puzzle) 4/5:
I loved the puzzle, and I was thrilled to see that the water walking physic power was allowed to interact with the room. Only reason it wasn’t a 5/5 was that there wasn’t enough room for 10 people with backpacks on the initial side of the river, easily addressed by stealing a little more room from the far bank which felt kinda huge when you got over there.

Room 4 Ice Goblin(fight) 5/5:
Another brilliant combat, and my pick for top NPC of 2018. Whoever was playing the goblin did a standout job, they really managed to be fun and interactive without saying a word. Mechanically I also loved how the environment was used to disadvantage melee in fun and interesting ways rather than outright preventing it. Seriously do more rooms like this.

Room 5 Ice giants(fight) 2/5:
Ok ouch, this room suffered from major tuning issues. The hit point pools felt way too high, I ran N2 twice. Once on HC with a group that normally does nightmare and we barely killed them in time. The second on nightmare with a DDA group that failed to take down the second giant. There were party deaths both times largely due to the AOE the giants were putting out (though I do think there was some confusion on the DM's part about how monster AOE interacts with the Paladins guard ability that might have made it feel a little harsher than it should have been). It might have been mitigated a bit by taking advantage of hiding casters and ranged in the cage, however we were never informed this was an option. All in all there is nothing wrong with the encounter, and I give the NPCs running the Statler and Waldorf heckler giants Saturday night huge credit, they were hilarious.

Room 6 Arrows(puzzle) 3/5:
Nothing wrong with this puzzle. I liked it, it just felt a little too similar to the sword puzzle (and both times I ran we lost a lot of time in this room recovering from going to time against the giants).

Room 7 World tree(puzzle) 4/5 :
A nice ending puzzle, and I was thrilled that the NPC didn’t betray us.


So now I find myself in the odd position of having rated this dungeon at 3/5 based on the individual room scores but liking it better overall then N1 (which I rated a 4/5). I think the issues with this dungeon could be corrected with a little more tunning.





My first run of N3 was Friday night

Room 1 Corruption hall(puzzle) 5/5 :
This was a great room. The corruption mechanic really caught me off guard in a good way. The room was also fun, it was super cool to see the same NPC follow us between two dungeons. I also enjoyed the nonstandard room shape.

Room 2 The corrupted wall(fight) 4/5:
Very cool looking NPC and room, great effects (fog spray). The only reason this room isn’t a 5/5 was that the corruption mechanic took people out of combat. I am never a fan of mechanics that limit players ability to interact with the room.

Room 3 Mirror room(puzzle) 5/5:
This room really raised the bar in terms of effects. It was another nonstandard room shape which I enjoyed. Very cool.

Room 4 Drinking hall(puzzle) 5/5:
This room was fun, and it was nice to get to sit for a few minutes in the middle of a run.

Room 5 Hellkery(fight) 5/5:
Cool combat, good balancing, not much more to say about it really since everything was done right. I found myself a little disappointed the cool glowing doors at the back of the chamber didn’t open but that was just because of how good the room looked.

Room 6 Sword puzzle(puzzle) 4/5:
From what I understand this puzzle was simplified before I came through. As it was when I got there it felt good. Only real criticism would be that it was too similar to the arrow puzzle.

Room 7 Smoke(Combat) 5/5:
This was a great combat. I loved the fog. I loved the extra item mechanic (though if there is something similar next year we might want to reback the loaner legendries with another colored tokens in addition to marking the faces), the fog effects in and about the area were super cool. Narratively I kind of wish it had been a little clearer that the dragon was the cause of the poison. Maybe an opening dialog, some green lights, or an explosion of the pustules prevented at the last second my the intersession of Odin just to really sell the narrative. All that said I'm being picky, it was a super cool final room.

Overall 4/5 N3 was hands down my favorite dungeon this year. If I were to offer any criticism I would say that I wish there had been more done with the corruption pustules. They were so built up in the first few rooms that I was disappointed when they weren’t really paid off big in the last few rooms.

The N series over all was great, solid 4/5. With a little more tuning I think the later shows will be 5/5 for sure. I really enjoyed the enhanced transitional hallways. That said I wish we could have seen Odin or Thor and was a little disappointed we didn’t get more large/new animatronics given the price increase. Over all 3 very good dungeons, solid narrative, great effects, but I kind of feel like if they were edited down to 2 they would have been mind-blowingly amazing dungeons.

Anyway those are my thoughts at the moment. Thanks again to everyone for putting on a great show, I can't wait to see what you come up with next year.
Semper Gumby, Always flexible.

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #2

Re: N1-7 - that’s why my second back item is always a Shade Cloak, just in case.
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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #3

Outstanding review. I share a lot of thoughts with you.
Sword puzzle room on Thursday was a little odd for us. A wandering DM came through the room and gave us information that confused us more than helped us. Ultimately, that was the only puzzle from N1-3 that we didn't think we would have gotten in time.
Bridge and boat rooms were really fun, even if they were more physical challenges than really puzzles.
We ran all 3 on hardcore (for the first time as a guild) and we were a little under-tuned for it, but we were able to get both giants down in time. Using some AoE damage from the wizards was really helpful, and excellent melee attacks were as well.
Normally I poly druid, but in this room I spent a round healing and the rest casting damage. We didn't open the cell, so AoE was a lot of damage, but we managed to heal through it.

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #4

N2 room 6 was the world and room 7 was the arrows wasn’t it? Could be wrong

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #5

jon wrote: N2 room 6 was the world and room 7 was the arrows wasn’t it? Could be wrong


I believe N2 was:

Room 1: Valkyrie Challenge
Room 2: Frozen man and dragon
Room 3: ?? Cross the ice river??
Room 4: ?? Frost Goblin??
Room 5: Arrows
Room 6: Frost Giants
Room 7: Tree light globes

I might have 3 and 4 mixed up?

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #6

In N2 the space going between Room 1 and Room 2 was difficult to get through. We had to have other party members push people from behind to get through the overinflated bags. They should have been less than fully inflated.

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #7

I think sending a second person in to push might have been part of the problem.
I felt light to moderate resistance until the person behind me started in before I was out, then it got quite tight.

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #8

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It is entirely possible I have some of those rooms in the wrong order, I was working from memory and gencon is always a bit of a blur.
Semper Gumby, Always flexible.

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?”

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #9

Matthew Hayward wrote: I believe N2 was:

Room 1: Valkyrie Challenge
Room 2: Frozen man and dragon
Room 3: ?? Cross the ice river??
Room 4: ?? Frost Goblin??
Room 5: Arrows
Room 6: Frost Giants
Room 7: Tree light globes

I might have 3 and 4 mixed up?


You have 3 and 4 correct, but 5 and 6 swapped. the giants were room 5.

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #10

edwin wrote: In N2 the space going between Room 1 and Room 2 was difficult to get through. We had to have other party members push people from behind to get through the overinflated bags. They should have been less than fully inflated.


I'm quite fit, and found it a struggle, though easily the most memorable thing I've seen yet in TD.

I wonder how they handled it with players with mobility issues/chairs.
I came here to sing and collect tokens, and I'm alllll out of money.

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #11

edwin wrote: In N2 the space going between Room 1 and Room 2 was difficult to get through. We had to have other party members push people from behind to get through the overinflated bags. They should have been less than fully inflated.



I find that interesting. In all 3 of my runs, I didn't experience any issues with it (in that way). And my first run included some very jumbo sized friends, who thought it was great.

The only issue I experienced was a run with an individual who was claustrophobic, and they were given the option to simply walk around the hallway by the room NPC.

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N series review 1 year 2 months ago #12

Yeah, I remember once where they announced there was an option for anyone with mobility issues.

With respect to the inflated bags I had no issues and went through it 7 times, but I did hear some people with glasses had issues keeping them on. I just kept one arm head high to keep my glasses safe.

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