D&D General Dungeon Mag vs TftYP Hill Giant Steading (Spoilers)

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I'm just starting running a 5e Play-by-Post Against the Giants: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief here on ENWorld.

If you are one of my players, stay out of this thread until we're done playing, please!

Because I want to talk to the community about the differenced between the Tales From the Yawning Portal version, and the Chris Perkins - written 4e version from Dungeon Magazine.

Playing 5e, I had assumed that I would use the TFtYP version. I only looked at the Dungeon one (I had run it years ago, when it first came out, back in 4e) because I like the sweet, sweet Mike Schley version of the map better than the one included in YP, and you gotta use maps in PBP (well, you don't gotta but it saves a lot of back-and-forth).

So I started populating the map from Dungeon, with the monsters from YP. Trouble was, they didn't fit very well. Giants, in 4e were only Large size, and in 5e, they are Huge. So I compared the maps. There are differences, but they're basically the same size. In fact, there's more "room" on the Dungeon one for giants to get around. Let me show you some examples, so you can see how egregious this is:

SotHGC Great Hall.jpg

Looks like a "fun" fight, right?

Here's what it would look like in 4e:

SotHGC Great Hall 4e.jpg

Now, back in 4e, those Hill Giants would not have all been the same, having different abilities to challenge the players.

I have more examples to discuss, but I think I'll stop here to let you chime in. PLEASE, I am not looking for an edition war. I am looking for a discussion of the relative merits of the adventures as they are presented in these two products (AND I'd be happy to hear from someone familiar with the Original!)

Your thoughts?
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
The yawning portal map did not change the scale of the map. Each square should be 20 feet.

Really? It says 10 on it. Is the original larger? (I mean, obviously that would help a lot.) I admit, the first one looks more like the giants are having a party, which is what both descriptions suggest is going on at the time.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
Well, I have no experience with AtG from 4E, but I have run the original using AD&D several times and ran the 5E TftYP version once for my 5E group. Here is the map I used for 5E, with each square = 5ft. You can compare it to see how the size "measures up". ;)

View attachment 156604


Otherwise, I found the TftYP version pretty good as far as the encounters were concerned.

That's a sweet map, much better than the TftYP version, but it's at the same scale with the great hall being 120-feet across. Did you shrink the giants to Large Size? (That would be the easiest, other than doubling the size of the steading).
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Really? It says 10 on it. Is the original larger? (I mean, obviously that would help a lot.) I admit, the first one looks more like the giants are having a party, which is what both descriptions suggest is going on at the time.
The original is 10 feet per square but 1E had hill giants being only about 10 1/2 feet tall. So most giants back in 1E were large. And no squeezing rule. Most giant minis were one inch by 2 inch base and proper scale was not a thing.
Edit. Also room 5 is missing a door.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
That's a sweet map, much better than the TftYP version, but it's at the same scale with the great hall being 120-feet across. Did you shrink the giants to Large Size? (That would be the easiest, other than doubling the size of the steading).
No, I kept it the same size, but I (as a DM) differentiate between the space a creature "occupies" and what it "controls". So, I don't mind squeezing larger creatures together a bit.

But, I generally keep the space RAW. For example, here is a screen shot of my powerpoint for the Frost Giant Lower Level with a frost giant token and the four PCs:

1651533556063.png



You can see the 5' grid, and the frost giant occupies a 3x3 section while each PC occupies just 1x1.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
The original is 10 feet per square but 1E had hill giants being only about 10 1/2 feet tall. So most giants back in 1E were large. And no squeezing rule. Most giant minis were one inch by 2 inch base and proper scale was not a thing.
Edit. Also room 5 is missing a door.

Yeah, nothing's perfect, and I generally just change anything I don't like anyway, as opposed to be stuck on an adventures flaws, but I found it funny that as written, the TFtYP version - I mean, look at this:

SotHGC kitchen.jpg

That's a lotta ORCS!

(BTW for anyone following along who doesn't know, in TFtYP it has "Hill Giant Servants" and says "use the Ogre Statblock" - those are my Icons that say "HG Schlub")
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
Here is the map with the creatures for the great hall laid out using the RAW spacing. It certainly looks "crowded" but that is supposed to be the idea:

It's true that your "see-through" icons (more correctly reflect the actual size of the creatures, rather than just their spacing) make it not quite so bad. And yes, story-wise it's a feast, so the hall might OUGHT to be crowded. (I really do like your maps. I'm jealous, really, I do what I can with Excel and MS Paint).

It also doens't help how 'dinky' the TFtYP map's furnishings are, either... your tables are so much better.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
It's true that your "see-through" icons (more correctly reflect the actual size of the creatures, rather than just their spacing) make it not quite so bad. And yes, story-wise it's a feast, so the hall might OUGHT to be crowded. (I really do like your maps. I'm jealous, really, I do what I can with Excel and MS Paint).

It also doens't help how 'dinky' the TFtYP map's furnishings are, either... your tables are so much better.
I would love to take credit for the maps but I bought them online. There is a link here: Jon Pintar - Against the Giants Realistic VTT Maps

But it say $0, so I don't know about that... I paid a bit for mine, but it was pretty cheap IIRC.

Otherwise, I do all my mapping in Powerpoint using tokens/icons I find online for free. Powerpoint can set any color to transparent and the outline box (usually red) helps denote the occupied space for a creature. You can even use Powerpoint to create a fog of war if you want to take the bit of time to prep it.

If you have powerpoint, I have the files for the Fire Giant still and the lower level of the Frost Giants, but the others got lost sadly. Let me know and I'll upload them and PM you the link.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I would love to take credit for the maps but I bought them online. There is a link here: Jon Pintar - Against the Giants Realistic VTT Maps

But it say $0, so I don't know about that... I paid a bit for mine, but it was pretty cheap IIRC.

Otherwise, I do all my mapping in Powerpoint using tokens/icons I find online for free. Powerpoint can set any color to transparent and the outline box (usually red) helps denote the occupied space for a creature. You can even use Powerpoint to create a fog of war if you want to take the bit of time to prep it.

If you have powerpoint, I have the files for the Fire Giant still and the lower level of the Frost Giants, but the others got lost sadly. Let me know and I'll upload them and PM you the link.

I've never used powerpoint. I'm relatively technology-ignorant compared to most you'll find here. For a guy running PBP on this website (for the last four years or so), I do most of my gaming at work (I own a comic and game store) and mostly theatre-of-the-mind (though I have a lot of minis, too.) Thanks for the offer, though!
 

Really? It says 10 on it. Is the original larger? (I mean, obviously that would help a lot.) I admit, the first one looks more like the giants are having a party, which is what both descriptions suggest is going on at the time.
For Steading, it's not quite so bad. If you try Glacial Rift you must increase the spacing, as most locations the frost giants couldn't even reach by squeezing. Hall is better, but also comes off really crowded. I personally suggest 15 squares, since it matches the original intent from 1E.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
For Steading, it's not quite so bad. If you try Glacial Rift you must increase the spacing, as most locations the frost giants couldn't even reach by squeezing. Hall is better, but also comes off really crowded. I personally suggest 15 squares, since it matches the original intent from 1E.
Yeah, there were some areas and especially tunnels in the frost giant rift that the giants would have to use the squeezing through rules to move through them, and some were only 5-feet so they couldn't even then. 🤷‍♂️

I never changed scales and made it work, though.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
For Steading, it's not quite so bad. If you try Glacial Rift you must increase the spacing, as most locations the frost giants couldn't even reach by squeezing. Hall is better, but also comes off really crowded. I personally suggest 15 squares, since it matches the original intent from 1E.

I can see how in my above TftYP examples, using 15-foot squares would make everything easier - and Giant-Sized! (The giants would fit perfectly in the squares, and anything smaller would have to content themselves with fitting in partial squares, which could help to make you feel tiny.)

Does anyone here remember the 4e Dungeon Mag version fondly? I've been reading them side-by side, and if we move on from the maps/spacing issues, I actually like the Dungeon one for some of its improvements to the story. This surprised me. (I am somewhat neutral in the Edition Wars - I liked 4e, but I agree with a number of criticisms against it - still, story is not generally what the edition is remembered for!)

It was "reimagined" for 4e from the original Gygax by Chris Perkins. IMO, he did a bang-up job.

Another question: I don't have the original. How does the 5e one compare to that? Is it pretty much just a simple straight conversion?
 


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