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Thanks for the post. Confirmed what I suspected. Good patient players out there and reasonable Refs, but the games are chokingly slow. The professional actors probably get recruited to add some familiarity, a feeling of kinship to the production.

Ian’s is prepared and runs a fine session. The players are in role almost full-on, but they only seem to smile when they can step out of character. That’s a point that isn’t discussed much. Our hobby has been hijacked. These games should be a bit silly, so laugh. Let the rpg purebloods tsk, tsk. In role out of role is nonsense. Be comfortable.

My impressions:

First twenty minutes involve deciding who would eat the stew. This right after the intro mentioned severed body parts, a pile of meat flesh. Not that I’d worry about dining on long pork if I was starving. I’d be more interested in what troll carved up his feast. But there was no search. The game always stays focused on your fingers. Watch and see how true this is. There is no world beyond what you can touch in D&D (the way it is played). Add “the way others play” to most of what I say. I know Refs who don’t game D&D this manner.

Players get suspicious by playing in a system where death is a saving throw. They are not heroes; they are red shirt henchmen.

25:39 First dice roll for 2 hp damage. These are level ones? One hobbit runs. In free-style they’d have several Ignobles by now, right?

Make an Opposed Strength Check. I assume I found some 5e mechanics. D20+Str for a crit-success. Beat an old woodcutter for one point of damage. Sort of not grounded in reality. His head isn’t busted open? Even if I wonder why this is happening, your best roll of the game should be more than one damage in a Gygax system. The woodcutter might need to give the quest? Seems like we’re still lingering in the Intro.

For all the effect they take describing the dust on the floor, they also describe every weapon strike and spin. But that could have been the story w/o the dice rolls. The disconnect is the game mechanics relate nothing to the action described.

32 min, one dead woodcutter and a prophesy that party is doomed. More descriptions of dead trees. Of course, this is happening at night. No warrior waits for a fight at dawn. Sarcasm for emphasis, not to malign.

Too easy to take cheap shots, and these guys are brave putting themselves out there. They deserve more views. I also wish I could run one session for them and convince them to switch games. Just mod your own. But viral marketing don’t work that way. Will Wheaton can be hired for $100/hr in a studio. Ron Jeremy will game with you for lunch and fifty bucks. Shatner is about a grand. I’d rather game with Dmitri, Haiyou and Vorell. That may be character names. Party of hobbits, I think.

Now I must crush them. Please, someone do the same for any video Better Games posts. I could use any feedback. Yes, I know Fred dislikes music (kidding). Trolls be fed in my world.

The adventure lacks a focus. The party might just as well hunt wandering monsters. They arrive by happenstance, explore despite the apprehension, no leader nor sense of greater role nor purpose. Party of thieves. That’s good, but there are better places to steal from other than a magic woods.

Also killing a woodcutter will slay an entire village come winter – I digress.

Lots of time spent on the architecture. The placement of windows implies a graphic map (boxes). Takes a ton of time to make an architectural drawing even with CAD. Most of the small details add nothing to play. 40 min in and the group is B&E. I’d switch adventure to a constable hunting them for felony breaking and entering, plus the murder. Give chase, Q&D Robbers on the Lam.

More fondling of trees. Tree comes alive, sort of. “Feel a disembodied hatred.” You can sell that psychic talent in most cities. Touch sense would be used by nobles in so many profitable ways. Now the party is trying to burn a living tree? When a knife in the guts gives 2hps? Do these guys ever leave the bedrooms. Takes most a day to fell a tree. Can’t really burn a living one. maybe with dragon fire. Summon a dragon, Vorell.

44 min in and decide burning the tree may not be possible. They hunt around for an ax. Back at woodcutter maybe? No backtrack, remember only focus on your hands and gear list in Cosplay D&D.

I’m appalled that the game or module encourages this sort of time sink. It’s not fun to play. It’s not fun to listen to. There’s better entertainment.

Back to a Magic Missile. Use every power you have on a thing you might walk away from. Especially when you see the tree bleeds. Behold the bleeding tree, claim it heals disease of innocent, set up a booth and sell tickets. One of the players said he was a Christian Crusader. Less worry on your accent buddy and more consistent actions to your role.

No gold yet. XP gained, fifty perhaps for a dead npc.

I resist FFW. Video is four hours long for part one. Perhaps the goal is to kill the King Tree – one player asks why the party is still attacking the tree.

55 min and hear a discussion of the rules. This is what I was hoping for. Read Magic lasts a D4 objects. Guy reads runes on side of a well and receives a warning – party facing impending doom. Moser in 1976 would play MUs. He would take Read Magic in the hopes of finding a scroll. Never ever happened. I asked him why he wouldn’t take Sleep, so we could kill a whole party of goblins. He did take Sleep to slay another player character. Players fill the vacuum.

Staghead, mirror, padlocked trapdoor, chest, leaning objects, curios – this cabin has more things that lead to death then that other Cabin in the Woods. It’s D&D anything can be enchanted. Most of it is here. Wait, let’s add harpsichord music. I wonder to myself why the party does not look for an inn to pickpocket drunks. We must game on!

Party splits to investigate parallel objects. Here’s where I throw up my hands. The horror trope unfurls. Split the party? Do that a day ago. One guy even strips the top off his female hobbit; all in character. I get uncomfortable watching.

D+D spends an inordinate amount of time opening doors or deciding which door to open. Sure, direction choices are a trope, a bit of suspense. Yet, it seems so silly that you might fight-in or trash-loot a room, then discuss which door next to take. Sound does penetrate. Surprise is lost. Evil should come to you by now. The action is more fantasy than the magic spells.

1:15 loot lotus – time to leave? Seems a good profit for low levels. Sell and hire some hirelings and return. Different game maybe. Why does every movement, every hand placement, need to be discussed. I search the bed. I search under the bed. I search the bed again in case I didn’t inspect the duvet. Is there a bed skirt? A simple “We ransack for reward” can’t be assumed at every turn. I can see that in D&D you might take something and then be attacked or trapped. Yet, bring it on. If that was what was written, making us play Simon Says adds nothing to the game experience. Even less to someone being a voyeur.

More role-play with the stoned hobbit. Halflings need a campaign to just say no.

I search the next three hours without letting it run linear. I see a guy with cards; he’s shuffling. Spell cards a variant used by him or the Ref? No, he’s bored and plays solitaire.


Yours,

   red



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