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Old 01-14-2012, 10:19 AM   #21
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

The dungeon portion is small, but very intense with LOTS of enemies. The PCs are pretty like to trip ~5*N orcs and assorted allies as soon as they enter, as the various guard rooms hear the fighting and come investigate. After the PCs clear that, there's N+4 Stone Golems down the hall, and roughly another 5*N skeletons and assorted nasty undead allies in the outer chamber.

That's a lot of combat for 4 hours. Combat length tends to scale with the square of the participants, so those waves of orcs and masses of skeletons could just take up all the time very easily without every reaching completion.

Instead, I'd probably focus on the sacred grotto, and add some physical obstacles to it*. Have the PCs arrive on Day 5, so a team has already gone through and added traps to it, and the PCs get ambushed by a rival on their way out. Throw in a (small) random encounter as the PCs approach, and you've got a pretty good 4 hour session.


* ie, add a long hallway somewhere and put a chasm that the PCs need to cross; make part of the corridor on two levels so the PCs have to climb up it, etc. Maybe add a rune-filled section (from DF2 Dungeons) with a turn-off switch on the far side, so the PCs have to send someone through to get past it safely.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:20 AM   #22
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Marsh View Post
Unlike other projects that benefit from "armchair reviews," a full adventure really requires extensive play testing to make sure it works.
This bears repeating. There are a LOT of adventures on the market that have clearly only been run with the authors group (and only once and only with a given party composition), or haven't been run at all. Curse of the Azure Bonds and your four or five Trolls riding Giant Crocodiles in a 10'x10' room, I'm looking at you particularly hard here :P
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:10 AM   #23
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

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Originally Posted by Langy View Post
Hell, I can probably use the Bounding Turtles as-is (they'd just be sea turtles rather than desert ones:D).
Turtles leaping out of the water like breaching armored whales, then falling on the PCs boats?

Glorious.

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Originally Posted by Phaelen Bleux View Post
Are the maps printed in light blue so I can't Xerox them??
What you'll have to do is get something to extract images from PDFs, run the maps through Photoshop to change the B&W to light blue, print them out on a color printer, and then not Xerox them.

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Originally Posted by warmachine View Post
GURPS authors have told me they don't write adventures because they don't sell. This has changed?
This is, as Steven indicates, something of an experiment.

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Originally Posted by griffin View Post
So how hard would this be to adapt to a GURPS Banestorm/DF campaign.
Not particularly, I should think. The non-rules demands on the setting aren't particularly onerous. You just need a sizable wilderness to set it in; from there it's just a question of changing names to suit. The important constraints are character-related. It's calibrated to using DF templates or some reasonable facsimile thereof. That is, characters in the 250-300 point range built for adventuring, and generally avoiding the kinds of extraordinary abilities that DF shies away from. Where they have overlapping monsters, DF and Banestorm don't match, but you can change names there or just say "it's a different kind of orc."

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Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Also of note that this adventure was brought to you by the letter N. It appears to be a clever way of scaling up an adventure, and will probably be a feature of any later adventure.
Possibly. It works OK in this context because the opposition is specifically conceived of as bodies of not particularly powerful opponents. I think it wouldn't work so well if you've got smaller numbers of more powerful monsters.

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Originally Posted by griffin View Post
As far as replay value, what about the town?
Probably the least detailed part of the adventure, I'm afraid.

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Originally Posted by griffin View Post
I'm looking at getting lots of use and replay value out of this adventure.
One of the design goals, that. Over half of the adventure by page count (geomorphic maps, NPCs, monsters, terrain descriptions) is eminently suitable for recycling.

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Originally Posted by Steven Marsh View Post
Let me also take this moment to offer a special thanks to those brave souls, who -- with their groups -- truly kicked the tires on this one to the best of their abilities. Thank you, Peter, Antoni, Christopher, and Emily!
I'd like to repeat this. Coming up with the N notation was easy. Figuring out what stats N monsters should have to make them a good challenge for a group of adventurers was hard, and the playtesters did a lot of the work towards refining monster stats.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #24
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
This bears repeating. There are a LOT of adventures on the market that have clearly only been run with the authors group (and only once and only with a given party composition), or haven't been run at all. Curse of the Azure Bonds and your four or five Trolls riding Giant Crocodiles in a 10'x10' room, I'm looking at you particularly hard here :P
Preach it Sister! Also, don't forget the rather integral part of the Time of Troubles adventure where it requires that the players fail...and if they don't. There is no recourse in the adventure. >_<

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Old 01-14-2012, 11:25 AM   #25
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

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As far as replay value, what about the town? Does it have decent detail? I like Mordag's Little Finger adventure (from GURPS Fantasy Adventures) as it features a town section (Northside, I think) with a nice little map and some NPCs and at least one tavern/bar.

I'm looking at getting lots of use and replay value out of this adventure.
The town is pretty bare-bones - essentially a name and a short description.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:15 PM   #26
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

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Originally Posted by Steven Marsh View Post
(Let me also take this moment to offer a special thanks to those brave souls, who -- with their groups -- truly kicked the tires on this one to the best of their abilities. Thank you, Peter, Antoni, Christopher, and Emily!)
De nada. It kickstarted my long hoped-for DF game, because everyone got to test out characters and pure 4e play without risking anything.

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Which is to say, a dollar-vote for Mirror of the Fire Demon is also a dollar-vote for more adventures. :-)
Vote early and vote often! Adventures are tough to write, but if they sell well . . .
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:01 PM   #27
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

So, at last we got the first (of so many more to come) DF adventure. I’ve just read it cover to cover and I’m liking this product, overall. Several good hints are present, and as a game-aid it seems quite useful (henchthings, scaling guidelines, sample wilderness events/encounters etc).
Of course, being an adventure, its real worth should be tested in actual play!
I’m noting those few things not entirely to my liking.

Scarcity of colour and character: just because every single GM is going to adapt the adventure to his own campaign should not excuse that. I’m also fond of the almost traditional boxed text to be read to the players (when dramatic, while not too long) which is not present in MotFD. Another example: the Flame Servant Demon - supposedly one of the more interesting new creatures – does not deserve a mere word of description! Even skeletons get a slightly kinder treatment!

Art: an issue related to the one above. A couple of good illustrations are there, but in the whole, art is almost completely unrelated to the content. No Mirror, no Fire, no Demon are depicted…weird! Moreover, the only hint to the desert is a guy in loose robes and a flat turban. Also, being nostalgic of drawn maps, I’m not fond of digital ones, expecially when they represent very simple locales such as the ones in the adventure. Sure, this is more a matter of personal taste.

Format: I truly appreciate the boldening of relevant skills, in the spirit of hallowed DF:2! Yet, the presence of monsters in a given area should be immediately evident. Instead, here you often have to read the whole paragraph. No boss monster or other tricky supernatural confrontation, which is an unusual choice (apart from the extruding skeletons, which made me chuckle...). Quantity over quality. Moreover, the chapter describing the npcs is way too long and overdetailed (reminds me of the boring parts of Abydos), while not isolating the most relevant stats (primary combat skills, damage, DR), just like they used to do in pre-DF eras.

Typo: the Stone Golem appears on DF2, page 26, not Adventurers.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:16 PM   #28
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company View Post
[the town:] Probably the least detailed part of the adventure, I'm afraid.
Yet described with well-chosen words that make the layout and architecture easy to visualise. I gave the description a mental thumbs up as I read it.

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Old 01-14-2012, 07:05 PM   #29
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

Despite all the hardheaded and clear thinking about why there haven't been more adventures published for GURPS, I still have to say that I'm a little disappointed that there aren't more. But, I think we should ask, what is the role of published adventures for a system that's dedicated to telling any and all stories.

IMHO adventures are good for experienced GMs and players who want to take a break from doing all their own prep or would like to try a new idea, BUT they're GREAT for people new to the game. Could SJG and current established authors, please put out a few adventures for beginners linked to the most popular settings/subgames (fantasy, space, etc.)? Even if the adventures themselves don't sell particularly well in and of themselves, I'd think you'd all have a vested interest in doing this in order to help bring in new players (who would hopefully purchase copies of some of your already published work). Why not actively recruit a number of the experienced GMs who are on this board to convert some of the material they've used in their campaigns into a few published adventures (at least they'd be partially through the playtest process)? And in marketing said adventures, why not link them into sales packages for other books (e.g. buy GURPS Space and get "[insert title here]" for just $2! or buy Banestorm and free intro adventure!) I'd just like to see more effort by SJG to actually market GURPS to potential new players, rather than simply saying that tabletop games are dying, ah well, let's just sit back and cater to our established audience. (that's going to read a little harsher than I intend, but I stand by my basic point). Adventures can be a good means of assisting in the marketing of GURPS, esp. to the newer crop of players who are coming into the hobby (however small they are in comparison to days past).
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #30
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Default Re: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon

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. . . I still have to say that I'm a little disappointed that there aren't more.
Note that I'm sure that SJG shares this disappointment! I bet Steve, Steven, Sean, Andrew, Phil, Monica, etc. (in no particular order) would love to have a queue of dozens or hundreds of well-written adventures that would each sell 1,000 copies. Or even 500 copies each.

At a profit, of course. That always being the kicker.
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