What should organized play look like in English?

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby Eric USNA » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:31 am

American conventions often (though not always) favor the 4-hour slot for RPGs. I have seen similar organized games that broke a longer story into two or three chapters, with each one being 4 hours. That also allows you to run Chapter 1 at multiple times and not have to worry if different players end up in a Chapter 2 game together. It's a way to accommodate a variety of convention schedules.

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby Biest » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:11 pm

The usual german support game fits a 4 hour slot too. But the big, special events take up more time.

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby wilcoxon » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:31 pm

Organized play? Yes, please.

To answer the questions:

1) Do you want to participate in events that are current for the German timeline, or is it acceptable to be "current" in the English timeline?
I would prefer the "current" English timeline but would play the German timeline if that was all that was available.

2) Should we focus our efforts on convention events or distributed local events?
In my experience, doing both adds a lot. Release as many adventures as possible that can be run at home and then have special events (and premieres) at cons (premieres available for local later and special events maybe (seems to vary with the organized play system)).

I have extensive experience with Living Forgotten Realms (D&D 4e), Adventurers League (D&D 5e), and Legends of Arcanis (Arcanis) and a limited experience with Pathfinder Society.
  • PFS kills itself with the society rules (in my opinion)- you must own all of the products with any material used on your character and you must bring hard-copy of them to any event, you must start any character at level 1 (which is fine for a few characters but quickly gets boring), etc.
  • D&D works okay but does tend to have the formulaic adventures (though some of them are quite fun and there are exceptions to the formulaic).
  • Arcanis does the best job overall but releases adventures too slowly. Their adventures tend to have more story to them and allow more roleplaying. At Origins each year, there are 3-4 premieres and 1 special event (plus a LARP sometimes) - the special events used to be released later for local/home use but now are not (except the final event of a story arc which is released in a more limited form to allow storyline conclusion for those that weren't at Origins).

A few other general observations on organized play:
  • You need to release adventures. If there isn't material to play, it is hard to maintain player interest.
  • You need to reward GMs (especially those that GM rather than play in a special event).
  • You need to allow replaying adventures with other characters (unless you release a ton of adventures). Arcanis partly fails on this (you can replay but only get xp and cash - no items (so, if your first playthrough wasn't with a character that could make use of an item, you're out of luck)).
  • I would suggest generally making 4 hour adventures (play-time) but run them in 5 hour slots to allow for roleplaying (and write things into the adventures to encourage roleplaying).

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby julianwolfe » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:26 pm

Regarding organized play with TDE, I'd prefer not to see it take the route of D&D encounters. I don't think that handing out magic items or experience is a good motivation to move play along with TDE's style.

There needs to be some meaningful reward system for GMs beyond just the module. It's a lot of effort to read and run a module. This brings up another important point:
Given what I've seen so far from TDE adventures, with the exception of Justice and Noble Valor, they tend to go light on the important details and then run off on a tangent when it comes to, say, the price of ale or some mundane detail.

While I can appreciate atmosphere, the priorities, especially in a convention or OP module, need to be far more succinct and self-contained than they have been. These modules ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT make the assumption that we may have some sort of access to old TDE material from <5th or require large amounts of extrapolation/creation of large hunks of material because of that missing info like the past modules have done.

The D&D organized play system, while having faults in its execution, does not have any of the aforementioned problems with materials.

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby Lambert » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:51 pm

Eric USNA wrote:So here's the first question - is it important to you as an English-speaking fan to have some opportunities to influence the current Aventuria timeline, or is it enough to be able to experience events as they come up in the delayed English timeline?

This is actually a tricky question. For me, personally, that big living history is an important part of the world, but I don't need to have had my hand in it. The problem though comes if say, you run a big event in Germany and say the Empress falls. Wow, big implications in history. Now 6 months, or by now a year later you run the same event at say GenCon and the American audience sides with the young Empress and in a dramatic event the Empress lives and her empire is set to last another 10 years, but wait a second, in the next translated Herald we read how the Empress died. Not only was our event pointless no everyone who took part (i.e. the super fans) are now told that because the German fans did it differently everything they remember was just a dream.

So really, if it can be done, it would be awesome if the international players could have an affect on the main storyline. Even if the big event stays in Germany (whether the Empress lives or dies) but on the International event maybe we decide whether Griffinsford secedes from the middenrealm or stays.

Eric USNA wrote:But is that where we should be running our big "living" events (whatever form they may take)? Do you want us to organize big, multi-table events (or even LARPs) at conventions? Or would you rather we make materials available to local stores and playgroups (similar to Pathfinder Society or Adventurers' League) so that you can run them wherever you are?

Yet again I personally won't make any large conventions for the forseeable future, but I think big con events are ace. I would love the idea of something that could be run at local stores, because I think that might bring more people into the game.

To sum up
In an ideal world we would catch up and be only a short period of time behind the German timeline and therefore could have events which did also affect the German timeline. Those large events would likely happen at big conventions. Through the year though we might well see stuff running at the local store level and the reports of those games collated might influence other smaller aspects of Aventuria.

The main thing though is that we need to catch up rather than lag further and further behind.

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby Bosper » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:42 am

Well it would not be impossible to seperate the events. Its not as if the German adventures tour through all the Cons of the country. One german Con might decide the fate of an important noble ,another one might reveal a magical secret in the deep south, while the american one influences the balance of power in a tulamidian city state. Its all just planning and communication. Given that the US Team is willing to pull off a story of their own.

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby wizardeddas » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:49 pm

While I'm new to the game, I'd love to see an organized play system for it.

Personally, I'm okay with my actions (or my groups) not having a lasting impact on the living world.

As to the Con or store question, I think working with game stores would bring you more widespread visibility.

Some things I think would help if you were to do organized play with a game store focus.

Pregens. Create actual pregens on a real character sheet. I know there are pregen stat blocks in the core rule book, but having them and more, as downloadable/printable pdfs of actual character sheets would help a lot of players. The stat blocks provide too much information in such a small space that it overwhelms new players.

Modules. You'll need to create a bunch of modules. 4 or more per month minimum. I was the store coordinator for D&D Adventurers League for a while and the biggest complaint from players was lack of variety. Some of them wanted to play twice a week, but didn't want to run the same adventure twice. 8 modules per month would give them some variety each week.

Character Creation quick start document. In my area, the most common RPGs being played are 5e and Pathfinder. FFGs Star Wars is a distant third. So, for most of the players in my area, TDE's character creation system is a lot more complex than they are used to. It'd be helpful to draw in new players if there was a more simplified character creation guide. Maybe only include limited options, so new players could whet their appetite on it before expanding to the full CRB character creation rules.

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby Eric USNA » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:52 am

Pregens and a character creation document sound like great ideas. We can definitely do that.

However, we do not have the staff to be putting out 8 or even 4 modules a month. But I think the difference there is that someone in PFS or Adventurer's League who is playing twice a week is usually focused on grinding XP, and that's just not something that's going to be relevant in a Dark Eye organized play.

We're looking to create situations where everyone can experience the same region, or event, or storyline in a similar timeframe to create a sense of the living world. We hope we can encourage people to explore and take their time with it, so that they're not trying to barrel through an adventure in a single session.

That's going to be a shift for some players, I realize. So it's good for us to start thinking about how we can foster that kind of play.

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby wizardeddas » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:52 am

That is an interesting thought.

So would you be doing like a Guide document to an area with notable locations, npcs, events, and hooks, then letting the individual DMs/groups come up with their own actual adventures from there?

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Re: What should organized play look like in English?

Postby Eric USNA » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:01 pm

Most likely we'd have one adventure and then explorational details for the area or for the event.

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