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

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
I was weaned on pulp fantasy and Thundarr the Barbarian so magi-tech is not a deal breaker to me. Lazy writing is lazy writing. There are ways that magic would approach keeping people imprisoned that would not correlate to modern tech. Bring that to the mix and I am a happy DM. I don't want a rehash of Mission Impossible and Prison Break scenes, new content is key. Fun content is top though.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

I can deal with a bit of magitech, especially in a kitchen-sink world like FR. It's not my thing particularly, but it's not horrendously out of place.

What bugs me with this sort of thing is when the worldbuilding implications aren't taken into account. All the magitech is very fine, but tech is tech - is this tech that the PCs can use, or learn, or make themselves, or is it just lazy arbitrary 'it's magic!' handwaving? If the whole thing was put together by wizards using the magic item creation and spell permanency rules, who were these wizards and why did they devote such a horrifying amount of their time and energy into making something like this? Can my PCs find them and bribe them into giving up the secret entrances? Why aren't all these precautions standard in every prison/vault/dragon hoard/evil lair in the world?

I'm all for fantasy heists, but if I'm running a fantasy heist i want to run a FANTASY heist, not a scenario stolen from a modern-day movie with all the tech replaced on a one-to-one basis with magic items. D&D has been around long enough to have its own toolkit and set of options and limitations to run a heist with, enforcing a completely different genre on it by DM fiat seems lazy.

It's a matter of taste I suppose. I hate it when adventures introduce a concept or item that would have huge setting implications, but it's only used to cut down on the options that PCs have in one particular adventure and is never seen again, and certainly the PCs never get to use it. The puzzles from Tasha's were another example, a chapter of stinky poop in an otherwise good book. All these puzzles to open doors or chests or whatever, and for the entire challenge to work the book just has to arbitrarily declare that the locks can't be picked, the puzzle can't be mechanically disabled or opened with spells, magic can't be used to bypass the door, etc etc etc. The DM decides the PCs are going to have to solve a word puzzle, and nothing else would do, no matter if the rogue has spent their lives becoming the world's best safecracker or the wizard knows every infiltration spell in the realms.

Adventures should make sense in the context of the world. I'm not sure Revel's End does.
 
Last edited:

TheSword

Legend
I think I would de-sci-fI the place.

The magic is the result of a mythal (if it isn’t already) covering abjurations, anti-magic and detections.

The control panel isn’t operated by buttons but there os a nexus for the mythal that can be triggered by incanting specific phrases. No different to any other Magic item..

Instead of a HUD I would have the FR equivalent of the Marauder’s Map which shows where folks are and again has the phrases marked on it that act as keys to the mythal.
 

Oofta

Legend
I finally had a chance to read through the mod myself and I don't really see that much that would ever have been particularly out of place. The maps are just a cool way of providing them info, you could easily change that if you want. I don't see the control panel as being much different from the ubiquitous switch that can turn off the magical trap. This level of magic was all over the place in the Tomb of Horrors campaign that just wrapped up, it's just presented slightly differently.

A mod like this wouldn't have been out of place had it been released 20 or 30 years ago. I guess I just don't see what the issue is, no module is going to appeal to everyone.
 

Reaper Steve

Explorer
I can deal with a bit of magitech, especially in a kitchen-sink world like FR. It's not my thing particularly, but it's not horrendously out of place.

What bugs me with this sort of thing is when the worldbuilding implications aren't taken into account. All the magitech is very fine, but tech is tech - is this tech that the PCs can use, or learn, or make themselves, or is it just lazy arbitrary 'it's magic!' handwaving? If the whole thing was put together by wizards using the magic item creation and spell permanency rules, who were these wizards and why did they devote such a horrifying amount of their time and energy into making something like this? Can my PCs find them and bribe them into giving up the secret entrances? Why aren't all these precautions standard in every prison/vault/dragon hoard/evil lair in the world?

I'm all for fantasy heists, but if I'm running a fantasy heist i want to run a FANTASY heist, not a scenario stolen from a modern-day movie with all the tech replaced on a one-to-one basis with magic items. D&D has been around long enough to have its own toolkit and set of options and limitations to run a heist with, enforcing a completely different genre on it by DM fiat seems lazy.

It's a matter of taste I suppose. I hate it when adventures introduce a concept or item that would have huge setting implications, but it's only used to cut down on the options that PCs have in one particular adventure and is never seen again, and certainly the PCs never get to use it. The puzzles from Tasha's were another example, a chapter of stinky poop in an otherwise good book. All these puzzles to open doors or chests or whatever, and for the entire challenge to work the book just has to arbitrarily declare that the locks can't be picked, the puzzle can't be mechanically disabled or opened with spells, magic can't be used to bypass the door, etc etc etc. The DM decides the PCs are going to have to solve a word puzzle, and nothing else would do, no matter if the rogue has spent their lives becoming the world's best safecracker or the wizard knows every infiltration spell in the realms.

Adventures should make sense in the context of the world. I'm not sure Revel's End does.
Well said! I shall enlist you to articulate my arguments in the future!
 

Stormonu

Legend
2E was pretty horrible in trying to cut out all the non-psuedo medieval stuff from the game (Tale of the Comet and Mystara perhaps being the only exception) and trying to make you feel bad if you didn't. One reason a lot of the 2E adventures were horrible is because they refused to account for the sort of magic (items or spells) the party might have on hand. The green Historical campaign books are a prime example of how the designers wished they could cut out magic from the game. They only begrudgingly allowed magic in those books and punished spellcasters however they could, rather than make attempts to positively incorporate magic as a sort of "secret world" behind the historical scenes.

AD&D had a lot of sci-fi/modern Easter eggs hidden about, often making me wonder if Greyhawk wasn't some post-apocalyptic world where magic was actually some form of super-ancient technology (Rain of Colorless Fire, Mighty Servant of Luke-O, Myrlund, etc.) or maybe a forgotten colony world in the Star Frontiers universe.

However, since at least the release of Eberron in 3E we've been seeing a slow reversal of all of this as "magic as mundane modern tech" - sending stones being one of the most egregious to me.

As others have stated, in the end it's a taste thing. Some will like it, some won't. For me, my homebrew actually had an ancient technological age and there's some parts of the world where magic-as-tech and tech-as-magic exists, but as one rapidly moves away from such centers it becomes rare enough to not be heard of. Allows me to run the gamut with my Arcane City in the west and the Conan-like borderlands in the east.
 

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
If you like this stuff don’t apologize. If you think it sucks, don’t apologize.

Pick you world’s flavor and go all in.

I am ok with barrier peaks anomalies. I don’t get into Eberron level pervasiveness. To each their own.

What is hard is really coming to terms with the notion that you don’t represent the current zeitgeist and tone.

Join me all ye pre-fifty year old grogs in the f—ing fossil club! Card carrying member!

I do chuckle at how trends go though. You would be hard pressed to find pseudo European medieval warrior types anywhere (talking armor and weapons, not race/species/heritage).
 

True, but that was a self-contained scenario. And it served a hidden purpose - TSR used it to explore development of a sci-fi RPG concepts.
Prisoner 13 is a self contained scenario. And Metamorphosis Alpha predates Barrier Peaks. But laser weapons are in the 5e DMG. The 1st edition DMG had crossovers with Gamma World and Boot Hill, Cthulhu Mythos was in the 1st edition Deities and Demigods, Gary Gygax wrote an adventure based on Alice in Wonderland, Revel's End first appeared in an an adventure heavily inspired by The Thing (but with references to Alien, At the Mountains of Madness, and lots of other sci fi horror) Jalhera impersonates a Cylon in Baldur's Gate....

Dungeon's & Dragons: jumping over sharks since before The Fonz could ride a motorcycle.
 

I do chuckle at how trends go though. You would be hard pressed to find pseudo European medieval warrior types anywhere
That was based on a Hollywood romantic idea of knights in shining armour history that was already going out of fashion when D&D was created in the 1970s. It's not surprising it's pretty much dead by now.
 

What bugs me with this sort of thing is when the worldbuilding implications aren't taken into account.
From a worldbuilding point of view, what doesn't make sense about the Forgotten Realms is how come there isn't far more of this stuff, since the setting is crammed full of massively powerful spellcasters.

All the magitech is very fine, but tech is tech - is this tech that the PCs can use, or learn, or make themselves, or is it just lazy arbitrary 'it's magic!' handwaving?
Do you know how a mobile phone works? Well enough that you could build one yourself?


"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top