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TOPIC: No Spoilers Review of 5A

No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #13

Wade Schwendemann (Dr. Uid) wrote: Our solution was to ask the DM to keep track.of how many times we killed the monsters on NM.
Gives the NM players an AC they can hit or save they can make, gives the Epic players something to strive for.
Puzzles once people know them are a potty break.

Also,.room 6......ugh

Room 6 was awesome! Give us more of that - first time I’ve wondered if a VTD room will be back next month to try it again

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #14

I loved 5A.

I think having different paths A/B was an awesome change. I loved that each gave the adventure a different feel. I thought the puzzles were mostly great, except for the end of Room 6, but won't get into that here. I think having a puzzle that requires multiple times through the room is great for people who do multiple runs, but not so great for those who only do it once. It is a difficult balance.

The nightmare/epic balance is a difficult one. We ran epic on Saturday with a party of 8 and found it was pretty much at the right level of difficulty. We struggled, but survived, but then all 8 of our party were epic equipped. But when you run at nightmare, even having 3 or 4 people equipped for epic can make nightmare seem easy. I suggest discussing with the DM in coaching. They seemed pretty amenable to adjusting the difficulty as much or as little as the party desired. If you're kind of in-between, even doing something like "double the monster hp, but keep everything else the same" can work. The hardest part of going to epic for some classes is that the monster ACs can get pretty high and it's not a lot of fun if nothing less than a natural 20 will hit.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #15

Played once, version B. It was a blast really loved it and was sad to not try A.

As others have mentioned there is a NM/EPIC gap. The same is true for Hardcore/NM. Our group is to the point hardcore is not a challenge, but NM is likely a failed attempt. The NM ACs are just too hard to hit and even though I've ramped up the damage on all the builds, not being able to hit somewhat consistently mitigates that. That said I think our group will try NM in June; as we would rather have the challenge.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #16

I played A once and B once, and I really enjoyed both. I did miss the puppets a bit, but the graphics seemed to be a huge leap forward over what we've had before. Some of the combats were really interesting with the way they played out, and one in particular made my wizard's heart leap with joy. I also got to use the full breadth of my new legendary, using boost for the first time to dodge spell resistance on one monster. Puzzles were mostly pretty great, my parties solved the first few with seconds to spare, so they seemed pretty dialed in. Room 6 was a bit too opaque, even after 2 runs I wasn't really sure what the deal was with it.

Nightmare difficulty for me seemed pretty dialed in. I was low on spells and resources after both runs, and I did die as punishment for using too many wizard powers (MEC) and leaving myself vulnerable. Overall this was my favorite of the VTDs.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #17

Our group ran A, and we all had a lot of fun. The FX and just getting better and better. And I love how everyone is so free with their loans of CoAs! I'll be very sad going back to my paltry ammount of treasure in regular TD.

It was a disperate group, a couple total newbies with red/couple purple builds, then HC builds and NM+ builds. Because of the new folks we decided on HC. Overall the combats were good, but there was never much worry and just about all combats were pretty fast. The cleric had lots of healing left at the end and I the druid didn't bother using my healing spells. As other folks on this thread pointed out balancing a mixed group is hard, but I think all of the monsters could do with more HP.

First puzzle was good, and we managed to solve it, but we definetly didn't have enough time for the 2nd puzzle. AND the rouge clue led us off on the wrong parth. Rouge clues should always help! This is at least the 2nd time playing VTD wehre we would have been better not getting the clue.

Just as a technical point, I'd like to see the combat round complete before the monster dies, that way everyone feels lie they had their opportunity to participate (even if the monster is at negative hp). Some GMs did this, some didn't.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #18

  • Ramsildor
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On a general whole I have really liked the string of Virtual games. I have enjoyed the recaps. For what ever reason they have felt like real adventures because of the linear nature of the story line.This unlike in person where you could get the third part before the first or the middle part before the first. This run had some great make up work on the monsters. All in all very likely one of my favorite virtual runs...thanks again.
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Last edit: by Ramsildor.

No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #19

My only real dislike of 5A.... The recap video didn't have Sage as the prisoner we freed. Instead, it looks like we freed yet another brother of that darn innkeeper that tried to rob us.;)

I loved that there were so many opportunities for AoE to shine, especially with Dwarf/Fighter now able to do some quasi-AoE with Viv's. I hope that a similar mix continues in the future.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #20

Fiddy wrote: My only real dislike of 5A.... The recap video didn't have Sage as the prisoner we freed. Instead, it looks like we freed yet another brother of that darn innkeeper that tried to rob us.;)


I was very surprised it wasn’t Sage, as every V4 run I did Sage was the prisoner.
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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #21

bpsymington wrote: No spoilers, but there was a moment so awesome we were all yelling like we were watching Cap pick up Mjolnir for the first time!


I think I know what you mean! I had some groups yelling like that!

Reap wrote: Another idea for the future: put the path choice in Room 1. Maybe you encounter an NPC in Room 1 and have a choice to fight them (combat) or save them (puzzle), and your decision there has an impact on the rest of the dungeon. That type of branching path would be super awesome. I think it could be designed in a way where you wouldn't need 2 different dungeon codes.


Yes. So long as every room was either puzzle/combat, or the same combat (base stats/vulnerabilities at least), you could have the same 7 rooms in the app. Alternately, you could have more than 7 rooms in the app (like when rooms had 2 monsters in them), but that could lead to more mistakes.

double the HP.

Not sure when you played, but fights were adjusted during the weekend. I know many players would like to see everything that the monsters can do, but they also try to kill the monsters as fast as possible. There seems to be a large variance of DPS in NM especially (teams pushing NM for vs Epic players staying down to improve the experience of their NM geared party members). As a DM, I can stretch a combat if a team stomps a monster, but doing so could eat up a party's heals/damage spells, or in Room 7, lead to player deaths (particularly with AoE effects or insta-death effects). I do want every player to get to see all of a fight's nuances/videos, but I don't want to ever punish a player for doing well. Thoughts?

Cary Kelly wrote: my friends that only played once... only want to do the run a second time if they know they can do A.


Maybe some forumites can organize runs as A/B from the start?

Fred K wrote: Last note is a request: if the party dies - have an end-scene specifically for that. It would be nice to hear how we were animated to become part of the forces wiping out the city... perhaps one day we'll be slain and brought back to atone for our sins.


Or about how you were saved by NPC X or another party of adventurers who came from the other direction!

Wade Schwendemann (Dr. Uid) wrote: Our solution was to ask the DM to keep track.of how many times we killed the monsters on NM.
Gives the NM players an AC they can hit or save they can make, gives the Epic players something to strive for.
Puzzles once people know them are a potty break.


Do you mean you had your DM have you continue to fight the monsters until the end of the room, and you killed a monster 2 or 3 times over?

Also, what do you think about a mixed NM/Epic party just using the "appropriate" DC/AC listed at the bottom?

i.e., in each room, you check the NM and Epic AC. If you can hit the Epic one on an 11, you use that. If you can only hit it on a 18-20, you go down to the NM AC. When an AOE asks for saves, if you can pass the NM DC on anything but a 1, you use the Epic DC?

EvilJohn wrote: I'd like to see the combat round complete before the monster dies, that way everyone feels lie they had their opportunity to participate (even if the monster is at negative hp). Some GMs did this, some didn't.


This is definitely best practices. I tend to wrap up a combat round with the monster in negative HP, but I also tend to skip casters at that point to save their spell slots. Occasionally on 2nd/3rd/4th rounds, I let players who have missed or do less damage get the killing blow and skip the fighters doing 2x/3x/4x the damage.

If you think about in-person, the final round would almost always be more damage than necessary to kill the monster, when you add all the slides together before counting damage. Come to think of it, some of the VTD DMs I don't think ever ran tables in person. Something we could talk about, probably.

Fiddy wrote: The recap video didn't have Sage as the prisoner we freed. Instead, it looks like we freed yet another brother of that darn innkeeper that tried to rob us.;)


They's clones, I tells ya!

If you look closely, the identity of the prisoner is not the only difference in that clip vs the player experience.

Sadly this is not the first time some adjustments have had to be made with video production. Individual performer schedules, technical issues, reshoots, Covid, etc. all force solutions to be found.

But! What if that WAS the real innkeeper and the guy you killed was a doppelganger who caged the innkeeper and took his place???!!!
I came here to sing and collect tokens, and I'm alllll out of money.

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Last edit: by Singsalot.

No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #22

Singsalot wrote:

Wade Schwendemann (Dr. Uid) wrote: Our solution was to ask the DM to keep track.of how many times we killed the monsters on NM.
Gives the NM players an AC they can hit or save they can make, gives the Epic players something to strive for.
Puzzles once people know them are a potty break.


Do you mean you had your DM have you continue to fight the monsters until the end of the room, and you killed a monster 2 or 3 times over?

Also, what do you think about a mixed NM/Epic party just using the "appropriate" DC/AC listed at the bottom?

i.e., in each room, you check the NM and Epic AC. If you can hit the Epic one on an 11, you use that. If you can only hit it on a 18-20, you go down to the NM AC. When an AOE asks for saves, if you can pass the NM DC on anything but a 1, you use the Epic DC?


Deleted everything but the relevant part of his comment. I really love this idea, and feel like it'd be best practice as a way to deal with groups that are partly Epic capable and partly not. It'd work for Hardcore games too where some are geared for Nightmare.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #23

  • jedibcg
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Fiddy wrote: My only real dislike of 5A.... The recap video didn't have Sage as the prisoner we freed. Instead, it looks like we freed yet another brother of that darn innkeeper that tried to rob us.;)

Not sure what you are talking about. I freed a wizard named Jeff from the cage. Don't think too much about this, there wasn't much depth to him.
You either discover a star or you don't. You arrogant punk.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #24

Josh M. wrote:

Singsalot wrote: Also, what do you think about a mixed NM/Epic party just using the "appropriate" DC/AC listed at the bottom?

i.e., in each room, you check the NM and Epic AC. If you can hit the Epic one on an 11, you use that. If you can only hit it on a 18-20, you go down to the NM AC. When an AOE asks for saves, if you can pass the NM DC on anything but a 1, you use the Epic DC?


I really love this idea, and feel like it'd be best practice as a way to deal with groups that are partly Epic capable and partly not. It'd work for Hardcore games too where some are geared for Nightmare.


The best part is it requires no changes to work, and participation is 100% voluntary - even to a room by room or round by round basis, and if vets are playing with newbies, they can even keep it quiet if they want.
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