Wrath of the River King - Wolfgang Baur's Open Design




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  1. #1
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    Wrath of the River King - Wolfgang Baur's Open Design

    Yesterday I received my download link for Wolfgang Baur's Wrath of the River King, a 4e adventure for 4th-6th level PCs set in a village that is having some trouble with some creatures from the Feywild.

    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to participate beyond my patron donation, so I didn't get to watch the adventure unfold during development, so my first read-through will be with clean eyes.

    Interestingly, he has altered the general 4e suggestion that milestones are achieved every other encounter, instead determining that milestones are what they sound like. As you progress into different chapters of the adventure, you reach a milestone and get your AP.

    (I would assume that daily item power uses are still regained every other encounter though not with the same item daily.)

    So far, reading through it, it sounds really nice. The maps are attractive, the art is a fine mix of color pieces with chapter separations done in a style reminiscent of old school B&W line art, historic looking, very Alice In Wonderland like.

    After I read through it, if I get some time, I will write a review. This looks a nice adventure to run in a campaign with a larger Feywild theme.
    Game on, gang!
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    I'm curious about it. Unfortunately it looks like there's no way to pick it up; I checked the online store at KQ, and apparently it's all ready 'off the shelf' or something. Even if you signed up as a Patron now, I don't think you could get it, at least that's the impression that is being given in the various threads on the Publisher's forum.

    As a possible consumer looking at a review, there's two things I'd really like:
    Spoiler:
    1) A general outline. I guess that 'Adventure Synopsis' part you'd find at the beginning, but naturally without too many spoilers. But still a good idea of what the adventure is about.

    2) What the new fey/spin on old fey that was adverised are presented. I'm rather on a Feywild kick right now, so I'm curious what was done with the various monsters. If nothing else, trying to determine if the monster/villain/fluff material is worth mining even if the adventure isn't used, for other feywild encounters/plots/fluff.

    But, that's a lot to ask for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    I'm curious about it. Unfortunately it looks like there's no way to pick it up; I checked the online store at KQ, and apparently it's all ready 'off the shelf' or something. Even if you signed up as a Patron now, I don't think you could get it, at least that's the impression that is being given in the various threads on the Publisher's forum.
    I know that there was a recent poll among patrons about whether to allow new patrons to buy copies of older projects, but I don't know where that went or what Wolfgang's final decision will be.

    I've been fortunate to be in on all but the very first.
    Game on, gang!
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    Rechan, there was a recent news item on EnWorld that said basically "sign up now, or else!"

    Sorry that you missed that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradfordFerguson View Post
    Rechan, there was a recent news item on EnWorld that said basically "sign up now, or else!"
    What a smart marketing strategy.
    Last edited by Rechan; Thursday, 25th December, 2008 at 11:55 AM.

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    Admittedly, though, it's been openly available for quite some time now. I signed up for it back on June 23rd.
    Game on, gang!
    Ptolus #15 (with customized, personalized sig from Monte.), Rappan Athuk Reloaded #37 (The Necromancer way.)

    Current Campaign

    Current Campaign: Currently running Deadlands for Savage Worlds. Also have a Slumbering Tsar 4e campaign that is taking a break, but we'll be starting that up again in the summer.

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    Ignore Zaukrie
    Stupid marketing strategy.

    Oh well, that's what I get for not making up my mind I guess. Since you can never see one of these, ever, I'm not sure how I'd ever buy one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    What a smart marketing strategy.
    The original concept of the patron funded adventures are that they are adventures for the patrons. Wolfgang has drifted a bit from this after the first project, but part of the draw of these projects is that they are very limited adventures created with input from the creators. Having a big marketing strategy runs counter to that concept.

    That being said Wolfgang typically allows patrons of the next project access to the previous project (with only Steam & Brass being completely exclusive to the original patrons). However, since it seems Wolfgang may not be doing another 4E project, this might be a bit tricky.

    I stuck with Wolfgang's projects up to Nic Logue's. Unfortunately, Wolfgang's patrons have seemed to largely prefer 3.5, and I am almost certain I won't ever be running 3.5 again. I also had cash flow issues when the 4E project started, so wasn't able to get in. If he ever does another 4E project I am likely in, the quality is great! However, it seems unlikely since Wolfgang has seemed to attract much more of the crowd of people staying with 3.5 or anti-4E (which aren't synonymous), so I might be out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaukrie View Post
    Stupid marketing strategy.

    Oh well, that's what I get for not making up my mind I guess. Since you can never see one of these, ever, I'm not sure how I'd ever buy one.
    The concept of the Open Design project is that you are paying a craftsman to create something for you (in the sense of "you" being a group, to keep things affordable) and show you how he does it. If you want a mass market project that you can look at and buy off the shelf, there are plenty of those already out there. He has moved a bit towards that direction (which is a shame, in my opinion), but it's still patron driven.
    Last edited by Glyfair; Thursday, 25th December, 2008 at 07:37 PM.
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    Don't think of it as a marketing strategy so much as fairness to the initial investors. The patrons have a much higher cost of entry because they have to donate their money up front and the donations have to hit the target number before the project even starts.

    I've forgtten what the donation is for the ability to participate in the creation process but it's fairly high - more than it would be to buy the physical prodcut.

    It truly is old-style art patronage; where Mr. Baur has created something for the people who invest.

    I can understand why some folks would vote that the product not be available to others (for less then what they probably donated) after a certain period of time.

    For the record I have donated in the past, but not on this project. Nor would I have voted to close selling after a period of time; but I won't begrudge those that feel their investment is cheapened/negated by letting folks get the product after the process is done.
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    I understand the concept. But, with most craftsman, you actually can see some of his other work. I've never seen any of his patron work. I'm not sure you can see it if you've never bought it.

    And, for those of us that are interested in the final product, and don't want to shell out lots of money, he's cut off a market. That's fine, his right. But, it cuts out a big market.

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