Dancing Hut

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Are the reviewers actually playing this or just reading ?

5/5

So, I wanted to write this review because I've read some well worded and, well frankly nitpicky reviews about this adventure path. It really started to strike out at me that many people are reviewing this adventure without using the kind of language that would lead me to believe they actually played it.

I have GM'd the first 2 parts of RoW and this adventure was amazing. It was probably up there with some of the best games I've played. I had a lot of resources for this game, including the white dragon evolution set, all the paths of prestige materials, irrisen land of winter, all the maps, land of the linnorm kings, people of the north, the cards, all of it. And it paid off in spades.

I actually found this quite a flexible game to GM. I'm a ruthless GM, and I have 20 years of experience being ruthless. And my players are pretty damn good at getting by that as well, as the best players are.

Instead of being a letdown, I found that by the time the clocktower part of the game had been reached, just for narrative flow it was time to start playing fast and loose with the source material. It's more important that the story you are telling with the PCs is heroic, fluid and balanced. I just let it naturally evolve, and if the PCs want to cut to the chase and get the hut after Logrivich, no problem. It's about making a great experience, not necessarily being "railroaded by the book" as some have complained. If something is anticlimactic, don't do it ! You have to be completely familiar with the source in order to be comfortable doing this. No reading with the players as you play! You, the DM, should be using this story to great effect, and if it needs a little nip and tuck here and there, then so be it.

For example, Greta almost immediately became part of the group. My group is small, and I allow the players to play up to 2 characters at a time, which is great because, not only does it solve balance problems with the power of the party, but as a bonus if somebody dies, the player is not sulking in the corner of the room all the rest of the game. They have at least a second chance. And it also gives the players a chance to play some of these great NPCs in this adventure. So, Greta was snatched up and became a memorable PC right away. Even I let them play Nadya Petska at points during the game.

The story we created thanks to this amazing source material was really memorable. I've read all the books in the series and I think 3 and 4 I might need to take a heavier hand to... but I don't know until I play with the party. I'm sure as hell going to let them roll fluidly through it, and if stuff isn't working or if the party is tired of combat, I make tactical decisions. It really makes for a better game.

Anyway I wanted to put this out there since I was reading so many very technical reviews that didn't seem to reflect how the adventure actually plays. They might be technically right if you're at game con arguing with Monte Cook on the merits of game design, but it's not about that for me, it's more about the fun everyone has, and how the "movie in the mind" is playing out.

Bottom Line - Highly recommended.