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5E Kobold Press (and are they the new Paizo?)


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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
It's worthwhile mentioning that successful businesspeople, even ones as in this case who have produced an excellent product that satisfied many people, usually have significant advantages at the start.

Um... sure? But when people mention that, they're usually referring to structural advantages like family financial backers and a life of wealth and security rather than the advantages of transitioning from a business with official IP licenses to using the open license.
 

Gradine

Final Form
What would that good stuff be? I'm genuinely curious, this is a rare take on the adventure, so I would like to know your thoughts.

It's only a rare take on the internet otherwise why reprint it in a compilation if it is so hated. I do know lots of people who enjoyed it. I personally loved playing the first part. I thought it was awesome right into the action with big set pieces that really worked for me. The DM ran it very well and it felt very active and alive. If we didnt act things were still going on which put pressure on us to get involved to save our town. I unfortunately had to drop out for personal reasons :\

Yeah, the structure is pretty genius; the first four chapters basically introduce new players to different modes of gameplay; hub-and-missions; stealth/infiltration; dungeon crawl; social interactions. It's pretty hand-holdy and on rails, which a lot of the grogs on the internet are going to chafe at, but players (especially newer players) can appreciate. By chapter 5 the adventure stops holding the players' hands and basically says "I've given you the tools you need, go have fun". Naerytar and Skyreach in particular are pretty wide open with a lot of potential solutions.

There are of plenty of issues in the details, from the understandable (shifting monster/npc stats) to the less forgivable (missing treasure descriptions, in general it's pretty sparse on treasure; there's some arbitrary stuff like the whole dragon mask teleport thing). There's a ton of NPCs that don't really factor in the adventure past their introduction, which I imagine is because KP were worried they'd get killed (see also: the whole Chapter 3 "if Cyanwrath is dead just have them fight another half-dragon with the exact same stats" nonsense).

Contrast LMoP, which is much more wide open making it much more beloved by long-term players but can be kind of a headache to steer newer players through.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
The KS passed the stretch goal for the digital map pack yesterday which is great news. Hopefully tokens will be another stretch goal - I think they were added into Tome of Beasts 2 late on.

That's my issue....the pure digital gives you a license for Roll20 or FG, but if you don't play on those.....I have to pay for the maps? That level should give you the digital maps w/o needing to use one of those two platforms, IMO.

That said, my favorite publisher......
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
So, Midgaard question........really a question about most worlds........how do the other nations not just over run by the dragon empire or the ghouls? (ya, ya, I should have backed empire of ghouls)......
 

Voadam

Hero
So, Midgaard question........really a question about most worlds........how do the other nations not just over run by the dragon empire or the ghouls? (ya, ya, I should have backed empire of ghouls)......

The ghouls are underground for one, so it is tough to get your army there. And they have an alliance with the vampire kingdom near the biggest access point I believe.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I see, thanks! I have only read the adventure, and it seemed pretty OK to me, so I was puzzled in the light of so many negative opinions online. I guess my players like that style too, that's why it would seem good enough for me.
I ran it too, and my group also loved it. The infamous caravan trip was their favorite part.

I humbly recommend you check out our "enhancing" threads on the adventures:


 

Wrathamon

Explorer
Yeah, the structure is pretty genius; the first four chapters basically introduce new players to different modes of gameplay; hub-and-missions; stealth/infiltration; dungeon crawl; social interactions. It's pretty hand-holdy and on rails, which a lot of the grogs on the internet are going to chafe at, but players (especially newer players) can appreciate. By chapter 5 the adventure stops holding the players' hands and basically says "I've given you the tools you need, go have fun". Naerytar and Skyreach in particular are pretty wide open with a lot of potential solutions.

There are of plenty of issues in the details, from the understandable (shifting monster/npc stats) to the less forgivable (missing treasure descriptions, in general it's pretty sparse on treasure; there's some arbitrary stuff like the whole dragon mask teleport thing). There's a ton of NPCs that don't really factor in the adventure past their introduction, which I imagine is because KP were worried they'd get killed (see also: the whole Chapter 3 "if Cyanwrath is dead just have them fight another half-dragon with the exact same stats" nonsense).

This is spot on imo. I feel the format or layout of the adventure doesnt showcase its actual strengths and its easy to miss how it was meant to be run. I think that has to do with word count restrictions and layout and target audience.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
What would that good stuff be? I'm genuinely curious, this is a rare take on the adventure, so I would like to know your thoughts.
I think this review does a good and fair job of laying out the strengths and weaknesses, at least of the original two-book adventure.

 


Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
So, Midgaard question........really a question about most worlds........how do the other nations not just over run by the dragon empire or the ghouls? (ya, ya, I should have backed empire of ghouls)......

The Ghoul Empire has only recently consolidated itself (within the last century) and has already overrun most of the Underdark, driving off most races and all but destroying the Drow. Now they are beginning to threaten the surface, which is a major part of the plot.

The Dragon Empire is a massive threat to the northern lands of Midgard; to date it's been held back by the difficulty inherent in administering such a massive empire, greed and infighting... but a new sultan, the first Dragonkin sultan at that, has aggressive expansion plans and is knocking on the door of Nuria Natal, the Septime Peninsula and the Magdar Kingdom - again, this threat is a major part of the plot!

So really, your answer is, "they just haven't... yet."
 

Voadam

Hero
So, Midgaard question........really a question about most worlds........how do the other nations not just over run by the dragon empire or the ghouls? (ya, ya, I should have backed empire of ghouls)......
The ghouls are underground for one, so it is tough to get your army there. And they have an alliance with the vampire kingdom near the biggest access point I believe.
I think I was getting your question backwards. :)
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
That's my issue....the pure digital gives you a license for Roll20 or FG, but if you don't play on those.....I have to pay for the maps? That level should give you the digital maps w/o needing to use one of those two platforms, IMO.
If you have Acrobat Pro or something similar, you can strip the image files out of the PDF.
 
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RichGreen

Explorer
How has Midgard changed from the earlier campaign setting to the more recent one? I got the more recent ones but I have only gone in depth on the older one.
The main change between the 2012 Midgard Campaign Setting and the Worldbook is the timeline advanced 10 years. The combined ghoul and vampire conquest of the Electoral Kingdom of Krakova is just one of the notable events that happened in that period.
 

RichGreen

Explorer
So, Midgaard question........really a question about most worlds........how do the other nations not just over run by the dragon empire or the ghouls? (ya, ya, I should have backed empire of ghouls)......
You SHOULD have backed Empire of the Ghouls because it answers the second part of your question! 🤣
 




Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
His big adventure in Dungeon Magazine, Kingdom of the Ghouls, is the best Greyhawk adventure published. IMO.
I didn't really follow Dungeon back in the day, and never heard of that one before you mentioned it.

It sounds pretty good though. I wonder what bearing it had on the new-ish Kobold Empire of the Ghouls.

NM. According to someone on RPG.net who was apparently a playtester for Empire, EotG is as explicitly a follow up and expansion to KotG as was possible.

Interesting.
 

I think it suffers from bandwagon hate. 3 people hate it so I need to hate it to. Yes it had issues with balance and magic item distribution but it was made before the monster manual and dmg were done. The other is DMs running it poorly. The first town invasion is a sandbox with a timeline but I see people running it linear and forcing all the interactions, then complaining. But, I can see meta players not liking some of the scenes where you are fighting something more powerful but in a boss round puzzle way instead of a straight fight or your setup to loose. Steve Winters had a great post somewhere about some of the changes he would have made in hindsight or bad edits on wotc part.

I agree some of the issues can be ascribed to the fact that it was the first adventure module. The first adventure is often either kind of rough, or else so heavily polished by repeated playtesting that it shines. HotDQ isn't the one that was polished. LMoP was.

Further, I agree that it being released months before the DMG was significant, too. It was released well before the 5e encounter guidelines even existed. I think that threw a lot of people off. I almost wonder if Crawford took feedback from HotDQ and used it to help figure out how to peg the encounter difficulty to get the gameplay pacing they were shooting for.

Third, IMO, it was an adventure path that didn't have clear module-like breaks. At least it didn't when I was playing it. It felt constant until the end of RoT. Maybe that was our DM, but I'm not sure. I have been a big fan of adventure paths that are packaged as a series of modules covering 1-4 levels because then it feels like a series of contained adventures with meaningful breaks. Age of Worms does this pretty well. So does GDQ and most of the AD&D module "chains". HotDQ and RoT didn't feel that way to me. When you don't do that, like with Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, you can end up with a massive dungeon slog, or a section requiring a significant amount of prep work for the DM, or just feeling like there are no breaks in the story at all. HotDQ's pacing felt off, but I haven't run the adventure myself, only played it, and it's been a long time since that. I just remember wanting to have breaks for downtime and not feeling like we could have them.
 

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