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

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller

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DRIZZN'T

Villager
Magi-Tech? Fine with me!

Anything that breaks out of the same old "pseudo-medieval high-fantasy superhero" thing that dominates most of D&D, is OK with me.
 

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.
Every single one of those things are perfectly fine, and I've used similar things in the past. As others have said, it's a state-of-the-art magic prison holding some of the most dangerous prisoners in the region, funded by a group of immensely rich states who can afford such things. Complaint number 3 is particularly baffling, as that's the minimum to be expected in such a place. Heck, the higher nobility and rich merchants in the FR have some of those in their homes and workplaces!
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
high technology concepts shouldn't be inserted into fantasy and then just accepted as magic...
May I introduce you to:




And it's follow-up adventures.

There's a long, long, long tradition of sci-fi in this "fantasy" game. There were robots in the original three books.
It's lazy.

jumped the shark
Welcome to WotC's D&D.
 


Lord Shark

Adventurer
The Principalities of Glantri (in D&D's Known World) had canals patrolled by water-elemental-powered boats with wands of magic missiles mounted on their bows. Glantri City also minted coins with continual light cast on them.

None of this making-magic-into-technology approach is in any way new or modern; it's been encouraged by D&D's making magic something predictable, carefully defined, and infinitely repeatable from the very start.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
An "interactive" illusion where there's an Illusionist maintaining it and having it react or behave as other people ask it to - fine.

An interactive illusion that runs itself? That's a bit OTT for me, and I say this as someone who's already introduced various non-medieval elements inti his game: a zeppelin, spaceships, robots (that don't always function quite as designed!), sci-fi air defenses, and so forth.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
An "interactive" illusion where there's an Illusionist maintaining it and having it react or behave as other people ask it to - fine.

An interactive illusion that runs itself? That's a bit OTT for me, and I say this as someone who's already introduced various non-medieval elements inti his game: a zeppelin, spaceships, robots (that don't always function quite as designed!), sci-fi air defenses, and so forth.
Magic mouth.
 

Reaper Steve

Explorer
I'd like to thank all those that have replied to this thread so far. You helped me to realize 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've added an edit to the OP to capture that.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

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