FOURTHCORE TEAM DEATHMATCH

March 31, 2008

Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga: Epilogue




Ghaaldar returns to his tribe as the newly crowned Emperor of Dhakaan.






With his leadership and Duurkala's wisdom, the iron-clad legions set out to conquer and enslave all of Droaam,








and in time, to reconquer the lost lands of his people spanning the entirety of Khorvaire. 






Following Milwaukee Joe's lead, I'd like to get some feedback on the adventure. If you wouldn't mind dropping some Comments, I'd be very appreciative. This feedback is open to lurkers to post to as well, not just the players. Anyone is welcome to comment.


  1. What did you like the most about the game? and/or What was the most exciting part?
  2. What did you like the least about the game?  and/or What was the most boring part?
  3. What one thing would you change if you could? 
  4. What one thing can I change to make myself a better DM?
  5. Tell me about some "oh shit!" moments. What things caught you by surprise?
  6. What could I do to encourage more use of the Language Rules and have more whispers and machinations?
  7. To those who've done play-by-post games, please compare and contrast those games with mine.

Lastly, please look to DMG 42 this week to start lurking on the next session of The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga! A new batch of 7 dungeoneers has been picked, each receiving identical starting information as you guys did, but coming to the "table" with wildly different characters, and more importantly, reacting to the same stimulus in wildly different ways.

9 comments:

  1. What did you like the most about the game? and/or What was the most exciting part?

    This was a fantastic game. The difficulty of the challenges was in the sweet zone, although you could have gone a smidge more challenging. You kept great pacing, which can be difficult to do in a pbp. Players have a tendancy to drag nuckles at times (me included!), and you stepped it up when needed. Skipping players who don't post (like even I did once). The most exciting part was the final encounter, of course. That far realm device was nasty, but the threat of the game was really the other players. It helped that our players were doing a pretty good job staying on top of posting.

    What did you like the least about the game? and/or What was the most boring part?

    The separate language email addresses didn't work for me. I didn't bother talking in Draconic after the first few posts. I like the idea of having everything "on the site", including my talking parts.

    What one thing would you change if you could?

    I know you meant well to hide our posts in the past (2008), but it gave me Gamer Shame(TM). I can't quite explain it.

    What one thing can I change to make myself a better DM?

    I think you could take the imagery of the blog to the next level. It takes work, and I'm still figuring it out for my own pbp. What other kinds of elements could you use? Audio? Voiceovers (resurrect Don LaFontaine? I fantasize about embedding audio of Don LaFontaine's voice reading the posts!)... I think this medium, where the blog gives you creative control of the look and feel, is just starting to show it's potential.

    Tell me about some "oh shit!" moments. What things caught you by surprise?

    That I got the kingdom and the crown! I totally
    didn't expect that to happen, and thought for sure I was doomed behind the portcullis.

    What could I do to encourage more use of the Language Rules and have more whispers and machinations?

    I think I would make it so that somehow, players could just IM each other privately and forget the "somebody might overhear you" stuff. It's meta, but in fourthcore it's alright. Perhaps the PCs have rings of telepathy, for example, or some other thing that makes it possible.

    To those who've done play-by-post games, please compare and contrast those games with mine.

    I really liked how you stayed on top of the map. It was up-to-date at all times, and it was easy for me to see who was where, what their levels were, etc. Also, you didn't go overboard with super long posts. You had just enough to describe what's happening, but not too much to overload.

    I want to see you run more play-by-blog, and especially Fourthcore. You did a great job!

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    Replies
    1. Excellent insights! I've already updated the next group for better Languge rules, allowing the opportunity for more discreet notes to each other that better mimic how it typically goes at the real-life table: players frantically scribbling on the back of post-it notes and throwing them at each other!

      As for the backdating, I did it really to make it harder for Group #2 to see the spoilers. No shame was intended!

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  2. Ghaaldar!!!!!!

    This was an awesome game, and I felt priviledged to be a part of it. It was my first PbP game and it certainly won't be my last.

    You did a fantastic job of keeping things moving. I agree with Joe that you could step up the imagery (I could make up some custom maps for you if you're interested). I could also see you upping the difficulty. (Although the "horrible creature" encounter totally had us by the balls).

    I loved the whole cloak and dagger vibe of this adventure. I wish we had embraced the languages more, but I'm not really sure how you would encourage that. It might have been more a failing on our part than yours.

    Thanks for an awesome game; it was a blast (horrible brain-splattering death and all)!

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  3. What did you like the most about the game? and/or What was the most exciting part?
    The most exciting part of the game was the drama. Obviously, at the end, the whole group is looking to make their mark, and you see it coming. When I struck at Ghaaldar while he was being electrocuted, that was pretty intense. If only I had hit...(glares at Casey...)

    What did you like the least about the game? and/or What was the most boring part?
    Really, the only boring part of the game was indecision. I know we all kinda fell off the posting wagon in the cave, no one wanted to go first. I made the mistake of drawing out that damn croc. Even if no one knew it was there.

    What one thing would you change if you could?
    I may have reworked Kulimvorith, though on paper, I loved his abilities. The far realm device attacking each one on their turn was rough. Did anyone actually get missed? That really set things off. I would have loved to see what happened if my face wasn't melted by that device (a la Indiana Jones). If the point of the endgame is PvP, then I'd like to see that be the focus.

    What one thing can I change to make myself a better DM?
    You kept everything moving, and there was no wasted time between posts. To mirror Joe, obviously having to do more than just draw out a map means alot more work for the DM, and you handled it very well.
    Oh, and when a certain sorcerer casts a spell at another member of the party, perhaps labelling the post "Betrayal!" gives everyone the wrong idea and bias what happens next...
    Also, could you roll better for my characters? ;)

    Tell me about some "oh shit!" moments. What things caught you by surprise?
    I think my "betrayal" caught everyone off guard. Wish I was a human, heroic effort would have been great there! So that was fun. And it was a thrill watching what happened on the miss. I had a killer line for if I had dropped him though...the adrenaline of waiting to resolve that attack was big for me.

    What could I do to encourage more use of the Language Rules and have more whispers and machinations?
    If you had OOC threads for each language, that could help, assuming others couldn't post/see it. Otherwise, I think the biggest language barrier is grimlock, and rightfully so. There is only so much metagaming you can prevent, maybe not worth it? I think the character motives are plenty to give everyone the feel. I point to the war of the spider queen series as a great example of this.

    To those who've done play-by-post games, please compare and contrast those games with mine.
    I've played in one really bad WotC forum game, C1, and now this. 2/3 have been excellent. I'd sign up for another in an instant. Both games ran smoothly, and updates to the map were not far behind.

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  4. What did you like the most about the game? and/or What was the most exciting part?
    I enjoyed how well each of the players brought their characters to life by use of creative dialogue. Also, the DM's excitement expressed at the beginning of each new encounter really got me pumped to participate.

    What did you like the least about the game? and/or What was the most boring part?
    I failed to use the language mechanic at all. Didn't really see a need for it.

    What one thing would you change if you could?
    Maybe include one more encounter. I didn't feel like I had to worry about resource management as much as I first thought I was going to have to.

    What one thing can I change to make myself a better DM?
    You were masterful. I didn't see anything out of place.

    Tell me about some "oh shit!" moments. What things caught you by surprise?
    I was appropriately surprised by Kulimvorith's early betrayal. Honestly, I thought it would happen more often though.

    What could I do to encourage more use of the Language Rules and have more whispers and machinations?
    I forgot who else spoke my language, but I can't think of any way you could have helped that.

    To those who've done play-by-post games, please compare and contrast those games with mine.
    This was most certainly the fastest PbP game I've played in. I really appreciate everyone's vigilance about posting often.

    Question for the group: Who here is the DM for their home game, if you have one? I hypothesise that the players in this game who DM regularly were more active/posted more content.

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  6. Matthew: Although we only seem to get together on about a quarterly basis, I'm the regular DM for my home group.

    Casey: Your posting and update frequency is legendary; it's downright baffling!

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  7. GOOD GAME EVERYONE! AND THANKS ROSS!

    1. What did you like the most about the game? and/or What was the most exciting part?
    I absolutely loved the exploratory elements while we were problem solving our way through the dungeon. The intrigue of not quite knowing who was going to do what (since we established pretty early on that the party had some serious issues). Very tense, very fun.

    2. What did you like the least about the game? and/or What was the most boring part?
    It was almost a shame that half the party died before we could really get to the backstabbing. Not a sentence I thought I would ever write, but in this, half the anticipation for me so that fact that we really didn't have as strong of party lines drawn as I anticipated was kinda wonky. That's on us though not you.

    3.What one thing would you change if you could?
    Make the adventure longer cause it was fun and I'd play more. :)

    4.What one thing can I change to make myself a better DM?
    In pvp there is a level of assumption you have to make about what we would do in situations in order to keep the flow of the game moving. The pace was pretty good so it was working, but it is something that as a DM myself I try not to do since the player can only control their character in the game. Not sure where I would say this is something to change, but it is something that could alienate a certain type of player. I also say this as someone who did have an action dictated so it's an assumed possible offense (which is lame).

    5. Tell me about some "oh shit!" moments. What things caught you by surprise?
    That crocodile in the water was NASTY. And awesome. That was a striking moment. I would say that the biggest one was probably the Far Realm device and just how nasty it was in the end. I was floored by how tough that thing was. I wasn't entirely sure how to approach that, fortunately I had lesser beings to take care of me. ;)

    6. What could I do to encourage more use of the Language Rules and have more whispers and machinations?
    I really like the language mechanic. Druum-Haak and I were going back and forth a lot in dwarven and I tried to include a piece in my posts whenever that took place. I specifically chose a utility power for the sake of hearing the conversations going back and forth and didn't get to use it against my "teammates" which was a bummer. Silly draconic speakers, I was just WAITING to snoop on you. :)

    7. To those who've done play-by-post games, please compare and contrast those games with mine.
    I was in Ghaaldar....er...MilwaukeeJoe's Grind4e game which was pretty much a dungeon crawl so the level of RP that came out in this one and the various party dynamics was something I haven't had in pbp.

    and Matt, I'm the DM in my game. :) Good insight on that one. How many DMs does it take?

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  8. I don't have a real home group. I run one-shots for the Milwaukee D&D Meetup, and my mainstay is running Grind4e. I run 95% of the time, play the other 5%.

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