D&D 5E Revel's End... magi-tech that jumps the shark!

Reaper Steve

Explorer
Edit: Thanks to the discourse below, I realized that I missed that Revel's End was previously covered in Rime of the Frostmaiden, and that almost all of the issues I have with its portrayal in Keys From the Golden Vault already existed verbatim in that previous publication. That doesn't really change my opinion, but I do want to acknowledge that this means it's not a Golden Vault issue.

I was excited for Golden Vault's promise of 13 heist scenarios, but after perusing the 'Prisoner 13' scenario on D&D Beyond, I fear not only for the quality of this product, but for the fate of D&D's interpretation of fantasy gaming as I know and love it. Granted, I'm getting long in the tooth, but this is getting ridiculous.

My observations require spoilers, so:
You can't just slap an 'it's magic!' label on everything and still hope to maintain some verisimilitude and continuity. Yes, I am aware of Clarke's quote ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”), but that doesn't work in reverse... high technology concepts shouldn't be inserted into fantasy and then just accepted as magic.'Prisoner 13's' egregious violations of this include:
1. A quest monologue shamelessly stolen from 'Mission: Impossible.' (OK, that's not a direct magic-tech issue, but it paves the way.)
2. A holographic interactive map that shows patrol routes and unlocks doors
3. Prolific and convenient continual flames, magical heating, arcane locks, and anti-magic fields
4. A surveillance hub with what is essentially a computer console that controls gates, doors, and a public address system.
These aren't magic, this is unjustifiable technology that is anachronistic (even in the context of the FR) hiding behind a cheap label of 'magic.'
It's lazy.

I feel the same effects could have been accomplished while honoring magic as magic. How about a small staff of wizards using scrying and a crystal ball for surveillance? And the wizards have to cast and dispel their arcane locks?
Anyway, this is just another step in D&D moving from fantasy to heroic fantasy to fantasy superheroes to now science fiction without lasers. Ugh.
 
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I was excited for Golden Vault's promise of 13 heist scenarios, but after perusing the 'Prisoner 13' scenario on D&D Beyond, I fear not only for the quality of this product, but for the fate of D&D's interpretation of fantasy gaming as I know and love it. Granted, I'm getting long in the tooth, but this is getting ridiculous.

My observations require spoilers, so they are behind this spoiler tag:
You can't just slap an 'it's magic!' label on everything and still hope to maintain some verisimilitude and continuity. Yes, I am aware of Clarke's quote ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”), but that doesn't work in reverse... high technology concepts shouldn't be inserted into fantasy and then just accepted as magic.'Prisoner 13's' egregious violations of this include:
1. A quest monologue shamelessly stolen from 'Mission: Impossible.' (OK, that's not a direct magic-tech issue, but it paves the way.)
2. A holographic interactive map that shows patrol routes and unlocks doors
3. Prolific and convenient continual flames, magical heating, arcane locks, and anti-magic fields
4. A surveillance hub with what is essentially a computer console that controls gates, doors, and a public address system.
These aren't magic, this is unjustifiable technology that is anachronistic (even in the context of the FR) hiding behind a cheap label of 'magic.'
It's lazy.

I feel the same effects could have been accomplished while honoring magic as magic. How about a small staff of wizards using scrying and a crystal ball for surveillance? And the wizards have to cast and dispel their arcane locks?
Anyway, this is just another step in D&D moving from fantasy to heroic fantasy to fantasy superheroes to now science fiction without lasers. Ugh.
This just sounds like my regular D&D games to me.

And D&D has lasers, has had them since Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (1980).
 

BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
I mean, D&D adventures have mixed high tech and fantasy together since the get-go. Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is about the party investigating a downed alien spaceship complete with laser guns, and it came out in 1980.
Having said that, it DOES feel very out of place in the setting the book theoretically takes place in.
 




Clint_L

Hero
Is it bad that I find myself more intrigued than horrified by this summary?
Not at all. I read it and loved exactly those elements that horrify the OP. So they're not wrong. It's just a matter of taste.

If I have one quibble with the OP it's that I would change the title to something that feels less gatekeeper-ish. Take the "we" out of it. Because I happen to think "Prisoner 13" is fantastic, and can't wait to run it. Also...nothing stopping you from making the small tweaks that you describe.

As a fellow Reaper fan, gotta say that I like your handle!
 



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