Seeking Feedback for a Short Adventure

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Nate Christen
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Seeking Feedback for a Short Adventure

Post by Nate Christen »

Fellow fans of Al-Qadim,

Recently I had an idea for a short (six pages) Al-Qadim scenario and some time for writing; now I'm looking for feedback. If you're up for it, please have a look and let me know if you see any changes that need to be made.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wu9qnufpeakk3 ... ellows.pdf

Thanks!

-Nate
Author of d20pirates.blogspot.com and talesfromtheedgeoftheempire.blogspot.com

thorr-kan
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Re: Seeking Feedback for a Short Adventure

Post by thorr-kan »

It reads OK, but seems to lack a certain something. And I can't articulate what that might be. Sorry.

Maybe cut down the intro; it takes up most of the adventure. Maybe include ghoul/ghast stats, so it's self-contained?

agathokles
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Re: Seeking Feedback for a Short Adventure

Post by agathokles »

I think the name of the ship captains is different in the intro and the personnel description. Also, I think sailors should be unarmored. If the PCs are convicts, then their equipment should likely be forfeit, and not present on the ship.
OTOH, I do like the introduction, so I'd rather make explicitly the adventure one for starting PCs, and add a few minor encounters/events to allow the PCs to familiarize with each other and the NPCs, and maybe affect the reactions they have from other NPCs -- e.g., you might have interactions with other prisoners, or with Omar. These brief scenes may be also construed to lead to the event -- perhaps one of the prisoner NPCs has a foreboding vision and relates it to a PC, or other ill omens may appear.

GP

Nate Christen
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Re: Seeking Feedback for a Short Adventure

Post by Nate Christen »

Thanks for the feedback, Agathokles and Thorr-Kan. I've done some editing on the scenario. Additionally, here's a set of four encounters that could be intermingled with the adventure, either during its events or afterward.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6xre4bpxw0pe5 ... unters.pdf

-Nate
Author of d20pirates.blogspot.com and talesfromtheedgeoftheempire.blogspot.com

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Big Mac
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Re: Seeking Feedback for a Short Adventure

Post by Big Mac »

Nate Christen wrote:Fellow fans of Al-Qadim,

Recently I had an idea for a short (six pages) Al-Qadim scenario and some time for writing; now I'm looking for feedback. If you're up for it, please have a look and let me know if you see any changes that need to be made.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wu9qnufpeakk3 ... ellows.pdf
You are really onto something there, but I agree with thorr-kan about something being missing. I'll tell you what I think about the various elements, to see if I give you something helpful.

Introduction:

Seems good, apart from that continuity error with the captain's name. The only possible niggle I can think of is that you have a major spoiler on the cover, so if a GM leaves a printed copy anywhere and a player picks it up, they might see what the plot is.

Starting the Adventure:

That section does what it says on the tin. :)

The Tales of the Player Characters:

All good stuff. It certainly makes a change from a group of people meeting in a pub.

I'm not sure if the GM is supposed to impose these on the player characters, let the players pick from the list or get the group to randomly select these. But it seems to me that planning for one of these starting points when rolling up PCs might help the game.

First Impressions:

Pretty good, but very short. I think you could maybe have a little bit of advice here about how to make the PCs interact.

If they are all prisoners, I guess you could chain them all together on benches that are close to each other.

If they are all passengers, they could be sharing a sleeping area, or eating together.

But how do you get passengers and slave-rowers to interact? :?

The Galley:

You have a lot of really great information on the ship al-Ittaqullah, but you do have a few ambiguous details.

The Lower Foredeck section says it "often has powder and shot" because the ship often has canon on the "upper foredeck". The Raised Foredeck* section talks about Greek Fire Projectors and then says this ship does not have any. I think it might be best to have consistency between the two sections. Maybe Lower Foredeck could mention canon supplies or Greek Fire supplies. And maybe the Lower Foredeck section could mention that there is no ammunition onboard if there are no weapons above that area. (Perhaps you could explain that this is a warship, but is unarmed because it has been converted into a prison ship. Assuming you did intend for the ship to be unarmed.)

* = You said "upper foredeck" before and "Raised Foredeck" here. One needs to change. I think that "Upper Foredeck fits in better with the "Upper Aft-Deck" section name.

I think you might also want to think about some improvised weapons that prisoners (including the PCs) might be able to pick up from various areas of the ship in a fight.

Passengers and Crew:

Some good stuff here, but you do not actually explain how many people are on the galley.

Here is what I see:
  • One captain (and agathokles is right about the name mix up - both names are great, so I suggest you recycle one as the name of the first mate)
  • One priest
  • Eight Farisans** (working for the priest)
  • An unknown number of sailors
** = You actually put "Farisan" without an "s" at the end. I can't find out what the word means. Is that some sort of job title (like mercenary or marine) or was it the name of one of them?

If you are going to have a fight, and the sailors are armed, then it would be good to know how many sailors there are.

Here is what I do not see:
  • An unknown number of officers
  • An unknown number of prisoners (I see 24 oars, with ten feet wide benches, so maybe 48 or 72 prisoners)
  • An unknown number of passengers.
I think the lack of officers is the biggest problem. I suppose that the priest could count as an officer (although it looks like you have him listed as a passenger).

Are the Farisans supposed to be officers? The description shows them as working for the priest, rather than the captain, so that would seem a bit odd.

I''m guessing that a GM might want to adjust some of those numbers up and down slightly. Maybe if all the PCs are prisoners, a GM might not need to have any passengers. Or maybe it would be better for the passengers to go and get captured on the Dhow, so that the prisoners have to go and attempt a rescue.

The Dhow:

There is not quite so much information on the Dhow. If the Dhow is going to fall into the hands of the PCs, they might need to know more about the ship.

One thing that we do know is that the Dhow, has no food supplies onboard (othewise the crew would not have turned to cannibalism). That is going to create a logistical problem if you have the ship given to the PCs.

You definitely need to explain if there is any treasure or trade goods on the dhow. You also probably need to state the minimum number of people that can crew a dhow.

Developments:

I think the biggest thing is that there really is only one defined encounter in the adventure. The rest of it is up to the GM to invent. The Encounters PDF adds to what you have, but you might want to put some extra things into Strange Bedfellows. It is a 1st Level adventure, so you might not necessarily want to have a lot of combat encounters.

I agree with agathokles's comment about adding a statblock for the ghouls. I also think you need to mention the number of ghouls and suggest how many stay on the Dhow and how many board the galley.

You also mentioned a ghast in the introduction and failed to explain what it was doing in the "Developments" section. I'm guessing the ghast is supposed to be the captain.

I think you also need to explain what they are wearing or what weapons they have. The PCs may want to rob the undead crew at the end of this, so the condition of anything they have on them could be important to the GM.

Concluding the Adventure:

That seems pretty good, but would the PCs be able to run a ship without being seafarers? You might need to build that into the design of the PCs, before the adventure starts.

It is great that you recommended Golden Voyages.

I wonder if there any other possible outcomes, like the PCs sailing the dhow behind the galley and then the priest and/or captain speaking out for them at their trial, so that they can be found innocent. :?

Continuing Adventures:

From your third suggestion, it seems like you are going to give some of the prisoners to the PCs (perhaps to work as their crew).

If the PCs need to be given some "fellow prisoners" to act as crew, you might need to have some of the prisoners help out in the previous fight.

Anyhoo. This looks pretty good. Thanks for putting it online.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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