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TOPIC: General Gen Con 2019 impressions

General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 1 week ago #1

Spoilers for E1-3 obviously (no puzzle solutions):

This Gen Con I did each of the E modules once:

E1 with a mixed pick up group from totally new players to level 8 players with Epic builds.
E2 with a group of friends most of whom had played 1 time before on an N module.
E3 with a group of friends who ranged from 3rd run to ~20th run.

Here are all the things that went great this year:

* Lots of friends and acquaintances coming back from first introduction in the N series, or joining our E3 run after doing E2 earlier

* I played normal for the first time in several years in the E1 group, and played Cleric - it was a nice change of pace

* I think we got all the puzzles but 3. Of the puzzles we missed we sort of got what was going on, and didn't get frustrated or feel stuck:
- The room DMs and NPCs were very good in this - they nudged us along at a few points if we got stuck
- In the Glyph Gate puzzle was with the new party, we were stuck and the Bard did a lore check, and got a rogue-esque clue (I don't think there was a rogue box) - not sure if that was in the module but it was nice

I was really impressed at how the puzzles seemed 'fair' - even when running out of time they were never frustrating, and offered several 'Ah-Ha!' moments.

* A player in the new player run was only geared for Ranger, and my epic level geared ranger buddy gracefully didn't use 3rd level status or a roll off and just played barbarian. Then he proceeded to natural 20 crit the first two monsters with +2 Death Flail and talked about how much easier one puck is - so that was a fun change.

* The scroll of protection in E3 was super cool - it felt great to be able to cash it in when we wanted. It was even better when a free one was provided in room 7 and we got to use both.

* The belt-of-skulls of 20's on Blackthorn balanced well against him being flying - several characters in our party are melee main with Mighty Slings - we were on nightmare and they probably needed 20s to hit. I really liked this way of balancing things out.

* As a Wizard, I appreciated we again had one high impact room with 2 monsters (although I would have preferred 1/dungeon or 2/con) so that Lightning Storm felt better. I think I did 357 damage over 3 rounds in the E3.7 which is a personal best (although see notes below).

* Telegraphed things paying off: free movement being relevant in a swamp, fire resistance being relevant in an Infernal Redoubt. Immunity to Outsider Possession mattering.

As a player I love it when I swap in a situational token and made the right call - please continue to create these opportunities.

* As a Cleric, slid a slid spell and hit - it's been many a year since I did a slide spell - it was fun.

* The balloon portal prop is fun as always - it could get old, but I wouldn't mind seeing this once a year or once every other year.

* The Glyph Gate prop was amazing.

* The smoke throughout was amazing.

* The Lava Skull Forcefield was amazing - I wish I had spent more time in that room just taking it on.

* In our mostly newbie party in E1 the DM let players drink common potion brawn and slide on the first round, after explaining that technically that's a full action, but would let us do it. This seemed correct/appropriate to me with a group of new players (which you could see by scanning the damage modifiers and seeing numbers in the +1-+3 range).

* I liked the customer service of the ACs getting feedback. I agree with others it could be refined a bit - maybe happening in the lighted hall, maybe with more of an "opt in" element rather than feeling like you had to be there. I was fine as is but several vets had concerned here.

General observations or questions:

* In E3.7 the combat DM was really on top of spell damage and bonuses, doing the math on the fly before I could. However when I announced I was doubling Lightning Storm with MeC he said "so it does 40 on each and you've got 25 more on one" - he was doubling the entire effect of Lightning Storm.

I am hopeful this is a new rules change, and in any case didn't want to get in an argument about rules with a DM in that room and risk running out of time.

Does MeC double the base damage of AoE spells again? Or was the DM giving me a little boost?

* In one of the combat encounters in E1 the DM explains that if you don't have free movement you have to slide with your non-dominant hand, and don't bother showing him the tokens and he trusts us. This was fine, but the new players had no clue what he was talking about.

I think this might have become a reality due to the uncommon Ioun that gives you free movement outdoors, and thus wasn't on the party card.

Anyway - it wasn't really a negative - just the new players were like: "Bwah?"

* In the E1 snake combat (the CG monster), the Bard passed the lore check and got told: "You encountered one before, you escaped mostly due to luck - you seemed to hit an amulet around it's neck and it ran away."

...What? Was there an amulet on this guy? I looked and didn't see one. Did hitting in the neck break it's incorporeality?

How did this things incoroporeality work anyway? Did it depend on if your damage dot was even or odd?

* What the heck is the 'Lost One' effect?

* In training our brand new bard was apparently told by the coach they could do Lore check and a standard action in the first round. This led to an argument in the 2nd monster room on E1. Not sure what the deal is here - but if training coaches are giving out this info the room DMs should honor it. (I didn't hear the interaction in the training room - so maybe the bard misunderstood).

Entitled whinging (mostly already mentioned elsewhere):

* Having DR tokens turned off at higher difficulties by 'magical fire' feels bad.

* Having horror show props that look undead not be turnable feels bad.

* Having end boss monsters who are immune to searing light feels bad.

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Last edit: by Matthew Hayward.

General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 5 days ago #2

I think the trainer was talking about the lute relic that allows you to do lore check and cast bardsong . For the snake bard, wizards had spells that could be directed at the amulet. Didn’t see it on the board eithier

Matthew Hayward wrote: Spoilers for E1-3 obviously (no puzzle solutions):

This Gen Con I did each of the E modules once:

E1 with a mixed pick up group from totally new players to level 8 players with Epic builds.
E2 with a group of friends most of whom had played 1 time before on an N module.
E3 with a group of friends who ranged from 3rd run to ~20th run.

Here are all the things that went great this year:

* Lots of friends and acquaintances coming back from first introduction in the N series, or joining our E3 run after doing E2 earlier

* I played normal for the first time in several years in the E1 group, and played Cleric - it was a nice change of pace

* I think we got all the puzzles but 3. Of the puzzles we missed we sort of got what was going on, and didn't get frustrated or feel stuck:
- The room DMs and NPCs were very good in this - they nudged us along at a few points if we got stuck
- In the Glyph Gate puzzle was with the new party, we were stuck and the Bard did a lore check, and got a rogue-esque clue (I don't think there was a rogue box) - not sure if that was in the module but it was nice

I was really impressed at how the puzzles seemed 'fair' - even when running out of time they were never frustrating, and offered several 'Ah-Ha!' moments.

* A player in the new player run was only geared for Ranger, and my epic level geared ranger buddy gracefully didn't use 3rd level status or a roll off and just played barbarian. Then he proceeded to natural 20 crit the first two monsters with +2 Death Flail and talked about how much easier one puck is - so that was a fun change.

* The scroll of protection in E3 was super cool - it felt great to be able to cash it in when we wanted. It was even better when a free one was provided in room 7 and we got to use both.

* The belt-of-skulls of 20's on Blackthorn balanced well against him being flying - several characters in our party are melee main with Mighty Slings - we were on nightmare and they probably needed 20s to hit. I really liked this way of balancing things out.

* As a Wizard, I appreciated we again had one high impact room with 2 monsters (although I would have preferred 1/dungeon or 2/con) so that Lightning Storm felt better. I think I did 357 damage over 3 rounds in the E3.7 which is a personal best (although see notes below).

* Telegraphed things paying off: free movement being relevant in a swamp, fire resistance being relevant in an Infernal Redoubt. Immunity to Outsider Possession mattering.

As a player I love it when I swap in a situational token and made the right call - please continue to create these opportunities.

* As a Cleric, slid a slid spell and hit - it's been many a year since I did a slide spell - it was fun.

* The balloon portal prop is fun as always - it could get old, but I wouldn't mind seeing this once a year or once every other year.

* The Glyph Gate prop was amazing.

* The smoke throughout was amazing.

* The Lava Skull Forcefield was amazing - I wish I had spent more time in that room just taking it on.

* In our mostly newbie party in E1 the DM let players drink common potion brawn and slide on the first round, after explaining that technically that's a full action, but would let us do it. This seemed correct/appropriate to me with a group of new players (which you could see by scanning the damage modifiers and seeing numbers in the +1-+3 range).

* I liked the customer service of the ACs getting feedback. I agree with others it could be refined a bit - maybe happening in the lighted hall, maybe with more of an "opt in" element rather than feeling like you had to be there. I was fine as is but several vets had concerned here.

General observations or questions:

* In E3.7 the combat DM was really on top of spell damage and bonuses, doing the math on the fly before I could. However when I announced I was doubling Lightning Storm with MeC he said "so it does 40 on each and you've got 25 more on one" - he was doubling the entire effect of Lightning Storm.

I am hopeful this is a new rules change, and in any case didn't want to get in an argument about rules with a DM in that room and risk running out of time.

Does MeC double the base damage of AoE spells again? Or was the DM giving me a little boost?

* In one of the combat encounters in E1 the DM explains that if you don't have free movement you have to slide with your non-dominant hand, and don't bother showing him the tokens and he trusts us. This was fine, but the new players had no clue what he was talking about.

I think this might have become a reality due to the uncommon Ioun that gives you free movement outdoors, and thus wasn't on the party card.

Anyway - it wasn't really a negative - just the new players were like: "Bwah?"

* In the E1 snake combat (the CG monster), the Bard passed the lore check and got told: "You encountered one before, you escaped mostly due to luck - you seemed to hit an amulet around it's neck and it ran away."

...What? Was there an amulet on this guy? I looked and didn't see one. Did hitting in the neck break it's incorporeality?

How did this things incoroporeality work anyway? Did it depend on if your damage dot was even or odd?

* What the heck is the 'Lost One' effect?

* In training our brand new bard was apparently told by the coach they could do Lore check and a standard action in the first round. This led to an argument in the 2nd monster room on E1. Not sure what the deal is here - but if training coaches are giving out this info the room DMs should honor it. (I didn't hear the interaction in the training room - so maybe the bard misunderstood).

Entitled whinging (mostly already mentioned elsewhere):

* Having DR tokens turned off at higher difficulties by 'magical fire' feels bad.

* Having horror show props that look undead not be turnable feels bad.

* Having end boss monsters who are immune to searing light feels bad.

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General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 5 days ago #3

per the tokendb
*Base damage includes the extra damage from passing the planar skill check, but no other bonuses to damage are doubled.
delpchad.blogspot.com/

First solo Nightmare survivor-2014 Viper pit

Allergic to Lori

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General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 4 days ago #4

* Telegraphed things paying off: free movement being relevant in a swamp,


Just, uh, don't do what I do and equip the Earcuff of Freedom when you don't have a bard.

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General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 4 days ago #5

Doesn't actually require the relic. The rare Lyre of Lore allows bardsong and lore checks.

Sounds like a miscommunication with the practice area guy

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General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 4 days ago #6

I know what the Lost Ones effect is. Am I allowed to say it here?

It came up very rarely in my room.
I came here to sing and collect tokens, and I'm alllll out of money.

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General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 4 days ago #7

Singsalot wrote: I know what the Lost Ones effect is. Am I allowed to say it here?

It came up very rarely in my room.


I don’t know why not - just put it in spoiler text so those who don’t want to know can remain surprised!

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General Gen Con 2019 impressions 4 months 3 days ago #8

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Singsalot wrote: I know what the Lost Ones effect is. Am I allowed to say it here?

It came up very rarely in my room.




I don’t know why not - just put it in spoiler text so those who don’t want to know can remain surprised!



He is a DM. I am not sure TPTB like having info leaked until the modules are out. I would err on the side of caution as a volunteer more than a player. However that is just my own personal gut feeling.

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Last edit: by jpotter.
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