WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

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darksoul
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WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by darksoul » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:54 am

So, the adventure lasted 2 more sessions.
Upon getting to the dungeon the players took the exact route they needed to get to the Warlock. When they go to the river they decided to turn back and search the rest of the 2nd part of the dungeon. They discovered the magical fountain which was a relief to them.
It seems STAMINA, is much more valuable in this story then either luck or skill.
Some interesting things started happening, players started avoiding and running away from fights that they thought would be too tough.

At this point they started considering working for the Warlock instead of killing him lol!
That became the new conversation.
Upon crossing the river they became very skittish. Refused to go into the dark room. Ran out of the vampire vault before the vampire even arose, Ran across the Ghoul room(didn't bother with the bodies) and into the MAze of Zagor.

At this point, there was no more virtual map and I told them they had to draw the rest themselves. Something unexpected happened, they loved it. One of them even saying he was going to steal this idea from me. Again, they were skittish. They encountered the dwarves and ran out.
They evnetually used the A sorcerery spell (was is HOW) to get out of the dungeon.

They then encountered the Dragon. Despite having the Dragonfire spell, they never used it. The Sorcerer had completely forgotten about it. Instead, they ran around the dragon and casted the WAL sell to block him.

Finally they encountered the Warlock. They were not doing well. The fighter was down to 1 STAMINA. They Sorcerer had little stamina as well after the Dragon encounter and the priest was moderately healthy. They didn't rest and went straight in.
They confronted him but offered their services. The Warlock wasn't convinced by their lie said he only needed 1 new servant and they could choose among themselves. Who ever was left standing at the end would serve him. The Sorcerer suddenly casted ZED and disappeared. Very unfortunate because he had the Eye of the Cyclops. I'm not sure it would have helped. It seems he had forgotten about it. Thinking about this now, it's was probably an error on my part and should have mentioned it in the recap. The other two tried to attack the warlock once but then kept delaying atttacks. With so many delays the warlock summoned his minions and eventually attacked them. The fighter was killed and the priest captured. I tried to give a clue that he could use an ability (Salvation) as his only hope but he didn't pick up on it.

So, they failed to kill the Warlock. Not a TPK but not a success. The Fighter was dead, the Sorcerer sent to another continent and time & the priest had taken the place of the old man in the prison.

Analysis.
I think I agree with Nuvole to some degree that the story can be pretty challenging but I feel that that's the case because the players had a hard time replenishing Stamina but I'm not sure. They had a Stamina potion and a priest to heal them. The priest never spent a luck point to do a 2nd heal but they did use the Stamina potion earlier. They never took rests. They were only in the mountain for 3 hours. So when they asked to rest for a full day I told them they'd only been in there a short time and would need to wait the rest of the day. They decided not to. I think I should have reminded the priest that he could have spent a luck point to restore stamina again.

The second thing that I've been wondering about is whether a story can be replayed. When I asked them if they wanted to try again, no one wanted to. They were all hesitant. Losing sucks, I get it, but it's part of gaming. Has anyone else had a group fail and not try again?

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Re: WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:27 pm

Were the players used to other games where healing was more plentiful? It sounds like if they'd been more wary of combat from the beginning things wouldn't have been so dire by the end. It's definitely something that takes getting used to.

On the food situation, I can't check my copy of the adventure right now to see if it says otherwise, but I'd expect it assumes they reach the entrance with 2 provisions each. If it does then having those in the dungeon would have made a decent difference to the STAM situation. Also although they can get STAM back twice a day from meals, they only need one meal a day to avoid STAM loss.

For players forgetting things, the way I see it they do that sometimes on things their characters probably just wouldn't. I don't have a problem reminding a player when that happens. I also like the mechanic of an Intelligence minor characteristic for each PC to roll against to see if they remember or think of something the player hasn't.

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Re: WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by darksoul » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:05 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:27 pm
Were the players used to other games where healing was more plentiful? It sounds like if they'd been more wary of combat from the beginning things wouldn't have been so dire by the end. It's definitely something that takes getting used to.

On the food situation, I can't check my copy of the adventure right now to see if it says otherwise, but I'd expect it assumes they reach the entrance with 2 provisions each. If it does then having those in the dungeon would have made a decent difference to the STAM situation. Also although they can get STAM back twice a day from meals, they only need one meal a day to avoid STAM loss.

For players forgetting things, the way I see it they do that sometimes on things their characters probably just wouldn't. I don't have a problem reminding a player when that happens. I also like the mechanic of an Intelligence minor characteristic for each PC to roll against to see if they remember or think of something the player hasn't.
I do think they were. Except, by the time they got thru the 2nd part of the dungeon they had realized what combat was like and started to adjust. In the first part they dealt with all the guards. When they got to the 2nd area they were hurt but explored and found a way to heal themselves before going onward. By the time they got to the third area they had restored their SK,ST and LU to full. In the 2nd area, they were avoiding combat. They avoided combat in the 3rd area as well. I think part of the issue is inexperience on the Sorcerers part. The only spells he used was ZAP or HOT. He didn't even consider his other spells until the 3rd session. This left him drained often and reliant on the Priest to heal him and he used up the stamina potions.

The book doesn't say anything about the food. I started them at Firetop mountain with 2 rations each. They did get food along the way but they had eaten both meals by the time they passed the first area, which was only an hour into the dungeon.

I gave the Priest a hint but didn't tell him what exactly. This does make me wonder how much responsibility I have as a DM to remind players of things. I don't want to hold their hands and make things too easy. I don't think I mind giving info during a recap, but after that...I dunno. I have to think about it. It was a new game for them, so I didn't mind reminding them about most abilities, but they are also seasoned gamers.
I am starting to think that gamers expect to just cut through enemies with their own abilities and not potentially problem solve the situation like a puzzle with the items a GM might give. This seems to be a bigger problem to me.

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Re: WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:27 pm

darksoul wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:05 pm
The book doesn't say anything about the food. I started them at Firetop mountain with 2 rations each. They did get food along the way but they had eaten both meals by the time they passed the first area, which was only an hour into the dungeon.
Ah okay I misunderstood the previous thread as saying you'd roleplayed the journey to the mountain and they'd run out of food by the time they got there. So the food situation was more part of the running low on STAM problem.
darksoul wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:05 pm
This does make me wonder how much responsibility I have as a DM to remind players of things. I don't want to hold their hands and make things too easy. I don't think I mind giving info during a recap, but after that...I dunno. I have to think about it.
It's a tricky balance for sure. The characters won't have perfect memories either, but sometimes players forget things that it doesn't seem believable their character would. I like the Intelligence test mechanic because the smarter PCs remember and think of more, and the player feels they earnt it because they made the roll. But sometimes they should just be allowed to forget things.
darksoul wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:05 pm
I am starting to think that gamers expect to just cut through enemies with their own abilities and not potentially problem solve the situation like a puzzle with the items a GM might give. This seems to be a bigger problem to me.
Both video RPGs and the WotC versions of D&D have conditioned players to expect to be able to do that. I'm not sure what the best way is, but somehow you need to get across to new players before the game that their characters are more like real people in how durable they are. AFF's not a super-heroes game with swords and pointy ears.

I need to read it again, but do you think WoFTM expects the party to retreat, rest and recover outside, then go back in? If they did the question would be what gets restocked and does the Warlock do anything to react to it.

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Re: WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by Eddie » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:25 am

there are a few places they can rest in the dungeon, i think in section 3 they can rest in the house where the hell hound and master live, once they are dealt with.

i remind players directly what their characters can do (such as priest can burn a Luck point to use a blessing again) but not information they have found out unless there is a big gap between sessions.

the sorcerer issue is that of all possible characters you can play in AFF2 the sorcerer is the hardest to balance for the player in my opinion.

compared to a wizard of the same starting characteristics for example. who can just throw out 4-5 lightning blasts a day without issues (depending on MP's) and then drink a Magic potion to do it again.

players getting skittish is a thing i struggle with every session.

Normally followed by avoiding a whole bunch of easy encounters, then getting frustrated and running into an actually very hard encounter, getting their butts kicked, leading to them being skittish again.
rinse and repeat!

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Re: WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by SkinnyOrc » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:48 pm

The Warlock is like a guy who owns a big old house and some friends came to stay and never left, then invited some of their friends. Then some other people turned up who'd heard about the place and just invited themselves in. The Warlock has no idea who half the people are living there but as long as they don't get in his way he's not bothered.

So to bring my slightly odd analogy back to the mountain, I don't think he'd even notice if some of the inhabitants got killed. There would be restocking but not in any organised way. Creatures are coming and going anyway and if someone notices the previous occupant of an area's dead they might take the opportunity to move in. I don't see him issuing a lot of orders either, but all the inhabitants would know who he was and be at least a bit afraid of him.

Having said that, the Warlock probably has some magical alarms in the inner areas that he uses personally. So he might well be aware of the adventurers before they find him.

Eddie wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:25 am
the sorcerer issue is that of all possible characters you can play in AFF2 the sorcerer is the hardest to balance for the player in my opinion.
Good point, it may be better not to let people new to AFF run a Sorcerer. It's very different to the usual magic user.

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Re: WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by Ruffnut V2 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:34 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:48 pm
The Warlock is like a guy who owns a big old house and some friends came to stay and never left, then invited some of their friends. Then some other people turned up who'd heard about the place and just invited themselves in. The Warlock has no idea who half the people are living there but as long as they don't get in his way he's not bothered.

So to bring my slightly odd analogy back to the mountain, I don't think he'd even notice if some of the inhabitants got killed. There would be restocking but not in any organised way. Creatures are coming and going anyway and if someone notices the previous occupant of an area's dead they might take the opportunity to move in. I don't see him issuing a lot of orders either, but all the inhabitants would know who he was and be at least a bit afraid of him.

Having said that, the Warlock probably has some magical alarms in the inner areas that he uses personally. So he might well be aware of the adventurers before they find him.

Eddie wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:25 am
the sorcerer issue is that of all possible characters you can play in AFF2 the sorcerer is the hardest to balance for the player in my opinion.
Good point, it may be better not to let people new to AFF run a Sorcerer. It's very different to the usual magic user.
Yeah I can see new players as sorcerers running out of HP very fast
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Re: WOFTM session finaly. Further Analysis.

Post by Slloyd14 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:05 pm

Ruffnut V2 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:34 pm
SkinnyOrc wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:48 pm
The Warlock is like a guy who owns a big old house and some friends came to stay and never left, then invited some of their friends. Then some other people turned up who'd heard about the place and just invited themselves in. The Warlock has no idea who half the people are living there but as long as they don't get in his way he's not bothered.

So to bring my slightly odd analogy back to the mountain, I don't think he'd even notice if some of the inhabitants got killed. There would be restocking but not in any organised way. Creatures are coming and going anyway and if someone notices the previous occupant of an area's dead they might take the opportunity to move in. I don't see him issuing a lot of orders either, but all the inhabitants would know who he was and be at least a bit afraid of him.

Having said that, the Warlock probably has some magical alarms in the inner areas that he uses personally. So he might well be aware of the adventurers before they find him.

Eddie wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:25 am
the sorcerer issue is that of all possible characters you can play in AFF2 the sorcerer is the hardest to balance for the player in my opinion.
Good point, it may be better not to let people new to AFF run a Sorcerer. It's very different to the usual magic user.
Yeah I can see new players as sorcerers running out of HP very fast
Being a sorcerer involves resisting a lot of temptation. Even if you don't have any components, a starting sorcerer still has a more versatile range of spells than any wizard. I have also played a one shot which a sorcerer has annihilated. However, long term, they need to hold back on the spellcasting - casting HOT on a bunch of goblins might look cool, but it quickly drains STAMINA and you can only restore a certain amount per day through food and rest. Sorcerers need to learn when to cast spells and when to just rely on combat or stealth.
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