Hey Deanna, I am guessing that because of how nitty gritty these are, that they are more appropriately directed to Greg (as the author) than to you, based on your sometimes replies to things that you didn't write them. But they may also be squarely in your wheelhouse anyhow, as a designer on the line and a contributor to this book. Either way, I'm grateful as always for all the hard work you pour into this game that I get to enjoy.
Okee dokee Greg, Act 4 deep dive complete. I cannot get over how fantastic this adventure is! Seriously! And I may get through it all before the deadline (fingers crossed)
I have a couple of questions/comments below which weren't so much things to be submitted via the form, but I still wanted to put a little light on them in case they can be tweaked a little (or even just clarified) before the doc is locked. Most of this has to do with the Ali Babba cave -
First, I think it's great that there are more encounter options here than are needed to get to the end in one go. This is because I can imagine the party leaving at least one (maybe twice or even three times) and returning, depending ion how equipped they feel they are for the 40 thieves and the reality weavers. That said -
For the combat with the NE Gospog of the second planting - how if at all should this play out differently what if Josinia is with SKs? At this point she is still ostensibly an agent of Dr. Mobious after all and has possibly even had to interact with Gospog before.
Second question on this - why are they here? This is still Aysle, so if Josinia didn't bring them where did they come from? Almost any explanation will work here (spun out of the fears of the cocooned or what have you, dimthreaded in because Mobious is losing faith in Josinia, a backup plan by Apophis who knows more about what is going in here than even Mobius, etc) but it seems like something that should be explicitly stated.
Bottomless chasm - first it states explicitly that failure doesn't prevent advancing, but the first step is hooking the grapple, failure seems problematic (unless you don't tell the players whether they succeeded and just count the failure against the final outcome, but that seems counter to the idea that players usually know the DN of what they are rolling for).
Second the penalties for failing step B individually and the whole thing over all are shock. Normally this would go away once the PCs can catch their breath, if it's intended to stick around it probably needs to explicitly say so.
Rock Trap - Is the idea that it is the force of someone running leaping and landing on the pressure plate that triggers the trap, but delicately tiptoeing over it one at a time won't? Or does everyone need to be clinging to the wall before anyone steps off on the far side? What if they just climb down, pick their way through the spikes and climb back up on the far side? Finally, same issue with shock suffered here.
Sandblast - Does a PC need to ask for the divination test or is it a freebie for anyone trained in the skill? (side note: I love these kinds of skill tests, helps to differentiate characters in subtler ways than how they smash shocktroopers, ok back on track). Second thing - once the sandblasting starts it will keep going until...all the PCs leave the area? How about if the only folks present are unconscious? For those caught in the sandblast can they multi-action the tests required to get out of it? Finally, same issue about the shock (I suspect, if the intention is for it to stick, that such can be said at the start of this section, something about how the porous reality makes it impossible for the heroes to settle down and sit still long enough to recover their lost Shock).
Escaping from the Cave with the dreamers - this feels like there were two ideas combined together into one but I'm not sure. The disintegrating reality, and the reality tests (which, again, I love how relevant the reality skill in particular is all over this adventure) make sense if the Storm Knights just cut the dreamers free willy nilly and then every one ran for it. But the gradually carefully unraveling the cocoons, while keeping everyone connected to the circuit option seems like the reality tests wouldn't be needed. And frankly the latter seems impossible to boot, there are 15 of them, unless the PCs bring Josinia's whole crew down, or co-opt the thieves (who aren't actually real are they?) hauling them out while making all the other tests necessary to escape seems implausible even for Storm Knights. Maybe most of them can be evacuated and it's only the last couple who need to be left "plugged in" for the methodical walk out? Or nix the "maintaining the circuit idea" completely and its more that once all of the dreamers are freed everyone needs to flee (with the SKs making the reality tests and the rest of the details of the flight as written).
Side note, when the SKs leave the cave for whatever reason do they back track through the rooms they entered by? I suppose the answer has to be no if reality is collapsing, but if reality is stable things like the chasm or the collapsed ceiling might be tricky in reverse. "You find another tunnel that leads back to the entrance" is probably fine especially since this place can change over time.
Last thing - in order to get the probe out isn't the air vehicles test a must pass? It's 15 feet long so trying to hustle out with it during the collapsing reality seems a little dicey. I suppose you could send it out first, but then you are down 1-2 people for the escape. Hmmm...
Any how, moving on from the cave
Helmar's attack post Cave - The players option to stymie the wolves if they blew up the handler's lodge.
"• If the heroes guided the airstrike against the
wolf handlers, the wolves are a bit less effective
in combat. Let the players know that once
during this combat, they may choose to Stymie
the wolves to reflect the lack of coordination
from their handlers."
I love the intention here, but it feels very immersion breaking to me to have *players* pick a round for the wolves to be stymied. Maybe it could be something more automatic, based on an aspect of the drama deck card, like the wolves are stymied when the villains go first in a round (just the first time or even every time) or tie it to a particular approved action appearing on the card for the round (trick perhaps)? It is still reflecting the same thing, the loss of the trainers and handlers, but it's more woven in.
On Page 88
"• A telepathy test picks up a sense of longing
that is out place, a feeling that seems to emanate
from near the waterfront.
• A Challenging (DN 12) tracking test picks up
a partial prints of treaded boots, not native to
Aysle's tech level.
• A Hard (DN 14) find test picks up reflective glint
from the high-powered optics of a Cyberpapal
Expeditionary Police watching their approach."
These are fantastic applications, I love'm. What triggers them though, are they automatic or does a player need to ask for them (or something similar)? Either way, when do they happen? The encounter begins when they are 60 meters away from ... the buildings the CP dudes are camped out on (I am assuming that last detail, but the 60 meters refers to something else what is that something?).
pg 89 it says
"• The wattle and daub houses are useless
for cover, but they may be used to block line
of sight, allowing a stealthy approach to the
What does this mean exactly? When does this stealthy approach need to start since the CP have clocked the party by the time the find test (above) is rolled. Also, even if the wattle and daub structures aren't meaningful cover against the weapons of the CP, breaking line of site would make it harder to hit the PCs ("you can't hit what you can't see") wouldn't it?
Eradris has the following ability
"• Guardian Shield: If Eradris uses an Active
Defense, it projects a wide swath of force fields.
These shields provide Toughness 24 (5) for
Eradris and up to two other targets."
The notation "24 (5)" confuses me. Normally that would mean toughness of 24 5 of which comes from armor. Eradris normally has 20 (5). And the regular Host active defense ability adds +4 armor. If this worked the same way Eradris would be 24 (9) while it is active. But also it seems weird that the ability would grant 24 (5) for the allies. That's a grant of 19 toughness not thwarted by AP which seems enormous. My guess was that this ability works like the regular Host active defense except that the +4 also applies to up to two other targets. But that's a huge assumption to make so I wanted to check.
Here's a quick and easy one
"• God's Design: Spends a turn listening for
instructions from God. Makes a faith test
against the faith or Spirit of a target. Success is
+1BD, Good Success is +2BD, Outstanding is
+3BD to the next attack this clanker lands on"
Can the clanker Multi-action to do this and attack with the bonus damage on the same round? Not sure how loosely to interpret "Spends a turn".
Regarding the Leaping Lightning Fairy Godmother say
"She mentions the large leapers have more of a
jolt, but are slower; use extreme caution if trying to
capture one of them. The small leapers have a less
lethal jolt, but are, well, lightning quick."
This implies to me that the Leaping Lightning maneuver skill should vary by size? Her advice makes it seam like it's easier to catch the large ones but more punishing if you try and get zaped by the riposte and that the little ones aren't as dangerous but much harder to snag. Since maneuver is the skill that controls the riposte that feels like one that should vary by size. Or else have the capture attempts target dodge? That might be much simpler actually....
And finally -
Do you have any advice for varying the occultech on the three technodemons? This absolutely not necessary, they can just be run identically, but if you had thoughts on how to mix that up a little (either here or in the book) that'd be nifty.
Thanks for wading through all of that!