The God Box review (long, somewhat harsh)

fougerec
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Re: The God Box review (long, somewhat harsh)

Postby fougerec » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:20 pm

Shayd3000 wrote:The vine critters that do the river ambush. The writeup on them is confusing and I botched that one up but good even though I thought I was prepared.


I've seen others mention this and yet it seems very clear to me. What was the confusing issue in case I'm missing something?

Shayd3000 wrote:It would have been nice if the module would have reminded about the Larendi showing up in the final battle with the Wasp Queen if the Storm Knights had left them unmolested;


I plan to use these in case of a villain Setback (assuming my PCs don't Fireball them sight unseen or something similar.

Shayd3000 wrote:The half damage on the avatars doesn't really fit in well and really slowed things down. My group of two players has defeated two of the avatars so far, but this battle has already consumed most of one session alone! The halving of damage makes the battle drag out.


It doesn't seem to me like this is meant to be a fight. It's meant to be a "rescue the slaves and GTFO". Going toe to toe with those means someone is going to die. They're not going after the PCs, they're trying to take out the pillars after which they leave.

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Kuildeous
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Re: The God Box review (long, somewhat harsh)

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:19 pm

fougerec wrote:
Shayd3000 wrote:The half damage on the avatars doesn't really fit in well and really slowed things down. My group of two players has defeated two of the avatars so far, but this battle has already consumed most of one session alone! The halving of damage makes the battle drag out.


It doesn't seem to me like this is meant to be a fight. It's meant to be a "rescue the slaves and GTFO". Going toe to toe with those means someone is going to die. They're not going after the PCs, they're trying to take out the pillars after which they leave.


This is kind of tricky because this will vary from group to group. Is the group pragmatic? Is it altruistic? Then the GM needs to study the scene carefully and ensure that everything happens as written (or suitably modified).

So as I read it, the avatars show up on the platform and start dishing out damage early in the combat. One of them smashes a column while the other three target priests and slaves. The avatar smashes all the columns 10 rounds after they appear. Even if the other three slaughter all the priests and slaves, they smash the columns faster. Technically, they don't start shit with the Storm Knights.

But most Storm Knights are not going to let the slaves get slaughtered. They are heroes after all. That'd have to be one heartless group to let the slaves die to the avatars. So assume the Storm Knights are going to intervene. What does that look like?

The avatars only focus on the priests and slaves unless they take damage from someone. As established, this requires an attack doing 38 damage. If a Storm Knight doesn't do 38 damage, then there's no reason for the avatars to turn on the Storm Knights. Technically, the thralls would also be attacking the avatars, but they're even less likely to do 38 damage.

So really I view this fight as an attempt to ferry the slaves (and maybe priests) to safety. Anyone off the temple seems to be safe. The slaves won't be resisting, but it seems likely that the thralls and priests would be preventing the slaves from fleeing. And the slave mentality may keep them from running off on their own. They might require some Persuasion rolls to get them to move. Of course, killing the thralls should help too. It seems that Great Priest Amethia Cor Tal is the biggest threat who probably views the Storm Knights as the cause of the god's displeasure. She might figure that the avatars will go away if the Storm Knights are killed.

I view the avatars more as an environmental hazard than actual combatants. I'm not a fan of the half damage in Torg, but the idea is that these things are nigh invulnerable. But they also aren't the main objective. This scene likely plays out with the rescue of the Wes and Kathy while dozens of slaves get killed. A true Pyrrhic victory.
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Shayd3000
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Re: The God Box review (long, somewhat harsh)

Postby Shayd3000 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:10 am

fougerec wrote:It doesn't seem to me like this is meant to be a fight. It's meant to be a "rescue the slaves and GTFO". Going toe to toe with those means someone is going to die. They're not going after the PCs, they're trying to take out the pillars after which they leave.


As much as I would like to, I can't agree with that. The adventure mentions at least once that the slaves would not be happy about the pillars being destroyed, because even they see the benefit of them, even if the means to do it is rather horrible. Remember, those pillars promise safety for all in the valley from the volcano if completed. So, the slaves know their families still in "freedom" will be safe.

And, as another has mentioned on this thread it depends on the group. My player's immediately picked up on the morale quandary this presented. They were not happy with the Pyrians when they started the rescue, but as soon as the avatars showed up, they immediately switched focus to protect the pillars and give the slaves and artificers a chance to escape - which based on published movement rates only took one or two rounds to complete.

Interestingly, the Edeinos PC in my group is able to go toe t- toe with the avatars. They can't really affect him much, and he has to really generate some totals, do all out attacks with the law of savagery and spend coup-de-gras cards to get the damage he needs. The other players has been focusing on her miracles, doing approved actions to keep cards moving, interactions, and lots of card trading. In all it has turned this fight into a real slog, especially with the few remaining Pyrians working in a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" mode right now. The players have not been hitting the Pyrians, and the Pyrians have been defending the pillars and as long as the Storm Knights don't turn on them they are content, to chip away at the avatars (more like be speed bumps). In order to speed it up a bit, rather than rolling all the Pyrians attacked, I have just been giving the Storm Knights a combined action bonus from the Pyrians.

As to the High Priestess, she is playing along with the "truce" for now as she does not want to appear to be the one that stopped the only force that seems to be able to protect the pillars and risk her political balancing act.

I am toying with rewriting this encounter, as I think it really has some awesome potential, and really just needs some tweaks to speed it up a bit and make it a savage high actions fight in the sky over a volcano that is truly worthy of any action movie! However, not a priority right now as I am almost done with it and need to fix the final encounter - which I will post here for commentary and ideas to flesh it out once I get it together.

George
“99% of failures come from people who make excuses.”
― George Washington

fougerec
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Re: The God Box review (long, somewhat harsh)

Postby fougerec » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:18 pm

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I know I plan to keep it as is because my players do tend to have a "kill em all" attitude and having something they can't just bum rush is great. Some interaction attacks on the Avatars to slow them down, maybe the two melee characters tanking (because the Avatars have a low to hit) and the others rescuing slaves (persuading/intimidating as needed). That looks to me to be what the intent of the encounter is and the likely avenue my PCs will take once they realize how hard to hurt the Avatars are.

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Shayd3000
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Re: The God Box review (long, somewhat harsh)

Postby Shayd3000 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:45 pm

Just as a minor update, my players managed to defeat the Avatars. It was pretty impressive, considering there are only two of them. That said, tehy are pretty savvy with card play, but it was still pretty intense.

I also just posted some thought around an alternative last battle scene that gets all the Storm Knights involved in a contest to get the God Box and open it before they are defeated and Malacryx can complete the ritual.

George
“99% of failures come from people who make excuses.”
― George Washington


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