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TOPIC: Kurtreznor's review

Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #1

  • kurtreznor
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**SPOILERS***

N2 – Thursday 3:25pm
note: this was a NIGHTMARE run, mostly DDA members, and a few had already run this dungeon thursday morning...and warned us that nightmare was a serious threat this year. I also ran this a second time friday afternoon in a 5-man run with Raven.

Room 1: choose your own room. I like the concept of this room, but it didnt really scale difficulties very well. The combat challenge got incredibly difficult as you scaled up (as the space you had to hit got smaller and you had to be entirely within the lines), but the puzzle couldnt really change at all. And the battlecry option is the type of thing that I personally dont like as a solution to a room (similar to the offering to fellurian), but I know it adds to the ambiance...i like that it wasnt required.

Room 2: ice wurm. This was, ironically, the warm up for what was about to come. It was a decently tough monster, but not too bad.

Room 3: river stones. This may have been the weakest puzzle this year. My first time through, I had no clue. Even after watching half the party brute force their way across. Maybe the problem I have here is that there is nothing to figure out from the trial and error, if you dont get it, you wont get it by trying. My second time through I did figure it out when someone pointed something out about the 2nd half of the clue (instead of the 1st half). But even solving it didnt give the same sense of satisfaction that many other puzzles do. The trial-and-error damage and push damage here are the start of what made this run so difficult.

Room 4: ice goblin. I remember a bit of frustration, but I dont think it was the bad kind, more of a 'oh great, now what do we have to deal with?' and then the party proceeds to deal with it and win the fight just in time...but just in time is key here, as that doesnt leave time to heal up before...

Room 5: giants. This combat was brutal. Lots of HP and lots of damage output. And coming after 2 rooms that probably dealt you damage and took you to time, I can see why people who ran earlier had so much trouble. Luckily, because of their experience, we had a plan and used Lesser Maze to great effect. I dont remember if we actually managed to kill the 2nd giant or just survived the fight before moving on.

*quick note at this point about the difficulty of NIGHTMARE; this dungeon was perfect. We were genuinely worried about our HP and had to be smart with tactics, but we still managed to survive.

Room 6: arrows. This is a style of logic puzzle that I really like...unfortunately, in a group setting I usually dont get the chance; while I am busy absorbing all the info before I start working out the answer, others are almost half-way done with the puzzle having read only some of the clues. Still a good puzzle, dont change it, I will just keep sailing my ship.

Room 7: world tree. I really liked the concept, but the execution on this puzzle really fell flat for me. We solved it both times, but I dont feel like there was much of a puzzle to solve. Once you figure out some basics on how the crystals work, you just keep plugging away at the the 'off' worlds until they are all on. I feel like there should have been something more required to solve it; some pattern or specific order or...something.

Overall, I did really enjoy N2 and how hectic it felt. I am surprised going back over the rooms to find how critical I am of them now, because I didnt feel disappointed at all.


N3 – Friday 7:38pm
note: this group had only a few DDA members, a couple experienced players from the forums, and about half newer players. We ran hardcore, and the few of us with lots of tokens helped equip the newer players.

Room 1: corrupt hall. At first blush, I thought this room was annoying as the narrow hall combined with corrupt mechanic made it difficult just to get around...but I quickly realized that the plaques were only half the puzzle – WE were the other half of the puzzle. Like one of those tile slide puzzles where you have to re-arrange the tiles by sliding them one space at a time, except that we were the tiles. It was a great new twist on the big teamwork puzzles.

Room 2: corrupt fight. While I understand that being crowded for this fight was a continuation of the mechanic in room 1 (and kept us afraid the entire dungeon, good job with that), one thing about the space limitation did bother me...the placement of the DM, wedged between the combat board and the wall. If the casters lined up to get to the DM, when the first one finished, they had nowhere to go. From a grid perspective, the 8 squares around them were: DM, wall, wall, wall, 2nd in caster line, 2nd in slider line, current slider, combat board.

Room 3: everyday things. I had trouble hearing the audio, which is unfortunate, because I was later told the great pun that required the clue to be audio instead of written. And I am embarrassed at how long it took me to get this, considering I own the magnets from the original version of this puzzle (when it was done in the days of wooden tokens). I loved the ghost effect and am looking forward to seeing all the amazing things TD comes up with in the future as well.

Room 4: FEAST! This room was so much fun, I was sad that I only had one run of N3.

Room 5: hellkyrie fight. Having only run this once, I dont remember many details of this fight. Although, I think this is where the DM commented that he thought we should have done nightmare (our group was working well together and having a lot of fun).

Room 6: sword runes. This seemed like it could have been a really great puzzle if we had more than 12 minutes to solve it. As it was, we were given the 1st half solution; ie. My understanding is that the letters on one side of the swords spelled a clue which we were given by the DM, at which point it was a matter of hunting which runes could fit which solutions. If this could have stayed a multi-layer puzzle, it would have been great, but aint nobody got time for that.

Room 7: smoke. The big combat at the end. I liked the little mini-puzzle to grab quick helper effects/items right before the fight. And then of course the big fight. Maybe I will get a shot at NIGHTMARE at another con, if I can make it to any of them.

This was easily my favorite of the 3, which is surprising to me considering how much I loved N1 at Origins.


N1 – Saturday 5:48pm
note: I ran this multiple times at Origins. A few others had run this dungeon earlier during Gencon, but much of group had never done N1 before. We were all experienced players running NIGHTMARE.

Room 1: the dance of blood and bone. I did a literal dance, some laughed, my wife pretended that she didnt know me. Basic fight, good for a first room. Sound was better than I remember from Origins.

Room 2: lanterns. The NPC really made this room. It was a fun puzzle to solve the first time, but after you know the solution there isnt much to do but watch your party that doesnt know and have fun with the NPC. Both Origins NPCs and the Gencon NPC in this room were great fun.

Room 3: Captain Mage. Complete immunity to spells is really harsh. Otherwise, this felt like a good fight.

Room 4: engine. Ugh. At least at gencon this one was do-able. Thanks for the labels on the dials to get us going quicker. Having to hold the dial was a bit annoying, but I do like the idea of having to blind communicate to solve the puzzle.

Room 5: come sail away. I LOVE this puzzle. I had fun with this every time, though I admit I had trouble not taking charge and giving directions, even when I didnt mean to, but hey, we succeeded.

Room 6: rakshasa fight. This was a really good fight...though, I imagine it would have been a major threat if we let him stay invisible.

Room 7: rainbow bridge. Beautiful and fun. I really liked this one, and managed to make it across every time. Cat laments that she didn't know her ring of pandemonium would save her else she would have tried the fast 'Dance Dance Revolution' mode.


GRIND – Thursday 10am, Friday 11am & 3pm

yeah, I ran it 3 times. The third wasnt decided until after I had already run it, and I chose to give up dealer hall time to go again. I think this was the best grind in a long time. Getting to choose your own doom is great, following up with what the DM thinks will best hurt the party (but giving the players the pre-veto to avoid something they hate), and then ending with a very thematic 'kill your own' mechanic worked wonderfully. Best moments:
1st grind I think losing limbs is the worst option, so Eric brings in the giants who promptly steal AND THEN EAT the Golden Apple of Eris. D'oh! I then convince both future groups that the valyries should handle the giants.
In a different run, I am playing wizard and have burned through most of my spells when Loki shows up. After we kill our teammate/Loki, I try accepting Loki/teammate as part of our group...he backstabs me and then turns into me. As my team starts sliding against me&Loki, I ask Eric if I can Lesser Maze myself. He allows it and with only one target all the attacks target the real Loki.
Lots of fun.

And lastly, for the admin staff: check-in desks, bag check, exit, & store/treasure draw. It seems that every year there is some aspect that just got forgotten and needed some work...but those days are gone. Every volunteer in these areas did a great job, thank you all. And thank you to everyone that has worked year after year to make improvements when the players complain. Know that your efforts are being noticed and appreciated.

If I had to pin down any areas to improve, I would ask for some more work on combat DMing. I dont think I ran into any bad combat DMs, but there were a couple who were clearly newer to running TD combats, and are noticably slower. It is a difficult situation, because you have to train new DMs, but the players that have that DM while still learning end up getting shorted on combat rounds. Can you have combat DMs be required to spend wednesday practicing running combats instead of doing sunday tear-down? I know that is a lot of volunteer hours to dedicate to training, but only getting 2 rounds of combat in 12 minutes because you are waiting on the DM does put a damper on things.

Great year, keep up the amazing work. Hopefully I get to run these dungeons some more at other cons.
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Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #2

Great thoughts. Brilliant idea mazing yourself!

My group ran out of time trying to find a way to handle Loki.

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Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #3

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

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Last edit: by edwin.

Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #4

I was part of that N3 run. It was room 2s DM who said we would have been good at nightmare. I think he said we did over 80% damage to the corrupted creature the first round.

I ran it again Saturday evening and we killed it in the first round. But the creature managed to get its spell off.

It was great being part of your group!

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Last edit: by Dave Autzen.

Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #5

N3 Room 6: we did solve this puzzle. One person in our group had been through before and didn't solve it but had theories about the squares on the wall and what they meant.

I'm glad that you enjoyed Grind! I think it was a great creative design this year.

I also had trouble hearing some of the audio when they were giving the intro speeches. Something to improve upon for sure.
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Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #6

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Oh, one more thing i wanted to comment on...
Auction
I really like that the auction came back, hopefully we will see more small prop items in future auctions. Could TD allow non-trade bar GP for any bids under 5k? That would allow more involvement of players with little GP, remove the minimum of 1k, and allow much smaller items (i won a set of rogue clues one year for about 100gp because noone was bidding on them).
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Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #7

N3 Room 6: Our first DM noticed we were way off track and started with the clue about strokes/angles/intersections and when our time was up relayed that the order wasn't necessarily left to right which annoyed me greatly. Ran this one twice and never came close to solving it (people not listening didn't help matters)

N1 Room 7: Ring of Pandemonium actually doesn't help here as apparently it has an errata to only include spells involving disintegration per one of the Valkyrie DMs from the room.

Grind: Great idea with the maze wish my armless Dwarf Fighter had come up with this solution rather than sliding with my foot and promptly dying to my parties other slides xD.

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Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #8

kurtreznor wrote: Auction
I really like that the auction came back, hopefully we will see more small prop items in future auctions. Could TD allow non-trade bar GP for any bids under 5k?


Agreed. Bidding in $15-20 increments worked okay this year, I guess, but it isn’t really a reasonable increment for bids of 5k or less.

But I get Dave not wanting to lose his pants from having his pockets full of pennies.
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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #9

Grind -
The Yggdrasil encounter became my favorite. Trying to pit one party member against the other was entertaining. I was shocked at how many people thought that should be a capital offense. I started giving out dubious acorns in self-defense.
barkley.neo.rr.com -->see my trade thread HERE , my eBay store HERE or my web store HERE
"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #10

Thanks for your review.

We have seen quite a few mention the 1,2,3 punch that the stepping stones, followed by the troll Shaman, followed by the Giants, made. We're going to Look into if that's the difficulty bar we want to set, or if those stats need to be tweaked.
-Master Li Lou Bahn, Terror of the East, Master of Shadows, Pillager of the province of Ch'in, Mandarin of the Emporer Shou Wei, Ambassador to the foreign devils of the West, and the most dangerous ninja in all of Greyhawk."cause I'm the only ninja in all of Gwehawk!!!"

2015 Adventure Coordinator for Sable Gauntlet

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Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #11

Brad Mortensen wrote:

kurtreznor wrote: Auction
I really like that the auction came back, hopefully we will see more small prop items in future auctions. Could TD allow non-trade bar GP for any bids under 5k?


Agreed. Bidding in $15-20 increments worked okay this year, I guess, but it isn’t really a reasonable increment for bids of 5k or less.

But I get Dave not wanting to lose his pants from having his pockets full of pennies.





Got my poster back from the framers today. I’m sad to report that, unlike the auction, Hobby Lobby does not accept gold pieces.

On the plus side, I love it.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible, including Jeff for putting it in the auction, and everyone who didn’t bid against me ;)
barkley.neo.rr.com -->see my trade thread HERE , my eBay store HERE or my web store HERE
"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Kurtreznor's review 1 year 3 months ago #12

kurtreznor wrote: Oh, one more thing i wanted to comment on...
Auction
I really like that the auction came back, hopefully we will see more small prop items in future auctions. Could TD allow non-trade bar GP for any bids under 5k? That would allow more involvement of players with little GP, remove the minimum of 1k, and allow much smaller items (i won a set of rogue clues one year for about 100gp because noone was bidding on them).

Yes, but we are going to put an age limit on the bidders! ;-)

Seriously, the plan is to offer two types of auctions. One where the items will be bid on by players like this year and one where you can buy raffle tickets for say 200GP each and then put them in buckets based upon the item being auctioned. This way even someone with 200GP could win an item and not be out bid by a Gold Goblin. ;-)

Ed
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