Ascension of the Drow- What did you think?


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Sovereign Court

graywulfe wrote:
Michael Chu wrote:


Also, Vexidyre had 3 traitors, even though, as far as I understood the rules, each House should only have had a maximum of 2 possible traitors. The third traitor was actually the most damaging of all.

We had 3 traitors??? Who was our third? I was Krastur Vexidyre, btw.

graywulfe

I'm not totally sure, but I believe it was the deep gnome, the trickster (sorcerer?) and one other.

I was talking to one of them afterwards and they mentioned that they did not have the "traitor/loyal" envelope, but betrayed Vexidyre anyways.

The Exchange

Michael Chu wrote:


I was talking to one of them afterwards and they mentioned that they did not have the "traitor/loyal" envelope, but betrayed Vexidyre anyways.

My table never got any of those envelopes either, to my knowledge.


Fiendish Dire Weasel wrote:
Michael Chu wrote:


I was talking to one of them afterwards and they mentioned that they did not have the "traitor/loyal" envelope, but betrayed Vexidyre anyways.

My table never got any of those envelopes either, to my knowledge.

No one was setup to be a traitor or be loyal. Players were given Power cards that they could use. The "traitor/loyal" cards were to be given out after the GM felt that the player had made there choice. If the player was acting in a way that was loyal to his or her house they were to be given the loyalty card if on the other hand they decided to go against the house or gain power for them selves then they were to be considered traitor. It was all in what you wanted to do during the game.

Sovereign Court

Ah, that part of the rules was totally confusing to me, then. :)

Scarab Sages

Michael Chu wrote:
Ah, that part of the rules was totally confusing to me, then. :)

Most tables didn't get those cards. They were keyed to specific characters who had a clear and defined story option for loyalty or betrayal. Examples being Fade (House Vexidyre) and Urudin Foehammer (Also house Vexidyre).

They were a special case. =) Be glad you didn't have one. Funny thing is, both of them chose to be loyal to house Vexidyre and took the loyal option. It was people who weren't given anything that clear that betrayed the house.

Loveg Vexidyre (Trickster)
Smirphniblin(sp?) (Engineer)
and i forget the 3rd.

Betrayal is part of drow society though, so it wasn't totally out of character. Sucks for the rest of the house though.

*edit* Alright, who's the wise guy who polymorphed my kobold goodness into this blue smurf monstrosity!?

Sczarni **** Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

SarNati wrote:


Smirphniblin(sp?)

the first half of this player's name did it

Scarab Sages

Lol gotcha. Should have used "Deep Gnome" instead.

*Edit* Ahh, feels much better to be back in my own skin. =D


Fiendish wrote:


Oh Wow, Mike I must have missed your last name at the game or didn't put two and two together. I had no idea it was Mike Kortes. I just picked up Entombed with the Pharaohs at GenCon and was just reading it last night.

Thanks again for making the the game great for our group!

-Zalthu
Drider Barbarians and Friends.

Zalthu!!! (AKA Fiendish)

Good to see ya on the boards man! And to match a face to the name.

Hope to see ya next year!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Early in the thread, I summarized how this wasn't the event for me, in large part due to different expectations. I think that the even could be improved by pretty much all of the suggestions already made, but I wanted to say what my expectations had been, since I think an event designed to meet them would have been a lot of fun, even though it wouldn't have been the event that Paizo ran.

Briefly, I was expecting that the event would have had had the different houses each have a somewhat traditional game run by their DM, involving a variety of possible missions that the house could pursue, and each success would contribue to a pool of victory points, similar to the Tides of Dread adventure from the Savage Tide Adventure Path was set up. These could be set up so that for some missions, multiple houses could pursue them, and if two or more did at the same time, they would encounter each other, leading to the potential of a house vs. house fight, alliance, etc. If one house completed a goal and another house attempted it later on, they'd simply be out of luck.

This could have been broken up at pre-set times to allow for more of the open plotting, negotiating, etc between houses. Then, the last hour or so of the event, the houses would have to compete for the throne, with the conditions, allies, etc. of the final confrontation being strongly influenced by the relative amount of points racked up in the first part of the event.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

We had a more complicated format that included table gaming as a part of the event. The initial parts of the gazetteer we made for the GMs held a watered-down version of those elements. Assigning part of your house's top nobles to go kidnap stone giant children and hold them hostage unless the sacked house x...things like that were a big part of an ambitious plan. Unfortunately, we just didn't have the time to do everything we wanted.

Hopefully those of you who expected more Dn....erm...Pathfinder and less LARP will give it a shot again next year. An earlier start, plus some of the lessons we learned this year should give you more of what you want. There would still be chaos, but more of the fun kind and less of the rest.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

I had the world's best damn time with Ascension, and here's hoping that my players felt the same way.

ALL HAIL ABRAXUS!!!

My only suggestions for next year's follow-up:

- Lower Levels: running even FIVE high-level characters at a single table is tough. Running more than twenty times that number? INSANE! Fun, certainly, and I'll relish the feeling of narrating lightning-fast scenes for the 17th-level Necromancer Lich Drow who ran my table's House, but a bunch of fifth-to-ninth level PCs might have been easier.

- Just a FEW less Players: obviously, this is going to be a hard sell - the game was AWESOME, and I can't imagine anyone here on this board or in that room who wouldn't want to get in on the action next year, but ... MAN, that was a lot of people!

- A Bigger Room: again, tough to do. That room was HUGE, but we were still crunching for space - perhaps a side room or two, set up before hand, to run side-scenes outside of the normal scope of space & time, like in the Throne Rooms. Perhaps a way for some players to "retreat" to a chronologically-unstable yet truly neutral location, where only role-play can occur.

- 24 hour player prep-time: the toughest request so far, I'd love to see all of the players pick up their packets a full 24 hours before the dice hit the table. As a table GM with a VERY complex House, half the fun was lovingly detailing a super-involved, Sopranos-esque web of intrigue for the PCs to live in. More time to check over our stats, learn our powers, talk to our table-mates and ask the GM some questions might result in a smoother game.

- Something for Dead People to Do: dying in D&D sucks. And having to leave an event after twenty minutes because your PC randomly ate a crit and then fumbled a Fort. save sucks. But there's something frustrating about whacking a rival character and then seeing them back on the board less than five minutes later - so, if the follow-up provides an interesting "Paths of the Dead" mirror-game, in a different room, it could be REALLY cool!

- Dungeon Delve-style Mapped Areas: combat in D&D only works without a map for so long - at a table-top with five friendly players, cool. When a bajillion people are all trying to murder their way through a single hallway, each at the throat of another, it all gets a bit wonky. Certain parts of the city should be fully detailed out using grids.

NOTE: I didn't suggest streamlining the rules - 3.X/Pathfinder is just about the perfect system for combat, as far as I'm concerned. With the rest of the rules implemented, I see NO reason why the rules can't support the narrative.

All in all, a great damn game. My hat is off to every single person who played, ran, organized, and enjoyed the event!


One of the most important lessons Nick and I learned when we developed and ran Hellfire Congress (our first test run of this hybrid style event) -- that we didn't have the opportunity to apply in Ascension -- was proper use of physical space.

For example, in the best of all possible worlds there would have been tables specifically set aside for battles.

There would have been one table for each possible parallel throne room and a roped off line to get in and sit down. One GM per table.

Things like that.

Provided we've the right sized room and various sized tables, all I can say is...NEXT YEAR!


please tell me your not doing this at Gen Con UK?

because i haven't got a ticket yet and if you are then i may have to get one................

Liberty's Edge *

OK so I was gonna work on what I thought regarding "Acension" last night at work. I had a initial draft done, but I wanted to try and remember other points I had thought of. Instead when I walked in I was told we had a meeting right away at 11pm, I work 3rd shift, where I was told that by March, but as early as November, I will be laid off. No real details yet. Yeah I couldn't really get my brain around anything RPG related at work after that. So for now you get my first draft.

First off let me say that all of this is meant as constructive criticism, and I am not meaning to be or sound b+@$#y regarding events.

These points are in no particular order.

1: All the players needed to start with an appropriate level of information.

At the very least a listing of all the members of their house and what their basic purpose in the house is, the name and proclivities of their demon lord, a listing of the various houses and their specialties, a table map so they can find the other houses/locations, a list of the major players in the major, if not the minor, houses.

Some characters probably warranted even more, for instance my character Krastur Vexidyre, was an information broker, or at least collector, it would have been nice to have some extra tidbits about some of the characters.

2: We needed time before game play
-Time to get to know your character sheet
-Time to get to know the other players in your house
-Time to get into the mindset of your character

3: The groups of friends who showed up as a group needed to be seperated.

Simply put the tables that consisted of 4 or more friends together had a distinct advantage over the tables where nobody knew each other before hand. When you know people ahead of time, you simply click faster, you don't require as much lead in time to work well together.

4: Table GMs needed clear guidelines of exactly what would be acceptable regarding what they communicated to players and how proactive they were with helping their players.
Demons needed clear guidelines of how their 'characters' were to be run, what kind of sacrifices were necessary, what kind of 'services' could be provided. All of this needed to be delineated beforehand, so that you don't have to remember judgement calls from earlier while keeping all the chaos in the now straight.

5: Definitely a clearer description of what the event entailed, would have, at least hopefully, dealt with the people who left because it wasn't what they were expecting.
Here I have to admit something. If I had known ahead of time that it was going to be a LARP, I likely would have not signed up. I believe my exact words, to Jess Hartley, earlier in the convention were, "I didn't come all the way to Indianapolis to deal with the hassles of a LARP..."
Boy am I glad I didn't know it would be a LARP, I am very happy I attended. So hey positive out of negative as far as I'm concerned.

Sits in corner eating his words.

6: Some way to better represent travel time and time for events to be completed. This would have helped the DM's and players to feel less pressured. The chaotic pressure lead to lots of little mistakes. For instance, it only recently dawned on me that the combat where Krastur, my character was killed, was done wrong, in a big way, at least I'm pretty certain it was. Near as I can tell our attackers were allowed full actions in a Surprise round. I can't figure another way for a Rogue to deliver 90 hit points of damage in a round unless they had multiple attacks, always of achieving this require a full attack action which can't be performed in a surprise round. Okay that sounds a little whiney but oh well.

Ok if I think of more I will post them later

As for ideas I can't say I have solutions to any, possible ideas I can offer.
I will try connect ideas to problems above.

1: I think this one is self explanatory. More info.

2: I believe that this event should have taken up two time slots on two different days. Along with the actual event a one hour time slot on the day before the actual event. This time slot would be to allow people to collect their sheets, get to know the people in their house, maybe arrange a get together between the slots, ask questions regarding how the event would function, and so on.

Most importantly this would allow the player time for everything on the character sheet to sink in.
I know that I was literally kept awake almost all night/morning after the event as a thousand ideas of how I should have handled the character ran through my head.
I'm not exagerating this either, I left the event around midnight and didn't fall asleep until 6:30am. Amazingly once I was out of bed at 8:30am I was awake and invigorated for the next day, I give credit to the Acension game and the incredible amount of fun I had for this.

Alternately or as well, people could have been allowed to access their characters online before the Con. Note this last idea requires characters to be assigned ahead of time, see my next point.

3: Character and house assignments should be done before hand and without respect to who is friends with whom.
A random draw would work wonderfully.
You could even just assign characters as people purchased tickets for the game, though I don't know how much information the event holders are given by Gen Con about ticket holders, so this might not work.

On the other hand they restrict entry into certain tournaments to people who qualified ahead of time, so maybe you could restrict people from signing up for the event to people who have contacted you ahead or something.

4 and 5: again I think that I offered solutions in the criticisms

6: for now I got nothing. I will think on it and maybe post something more later.

Again I mean all this as constructive criticism. I had a great time and I could see incredible potential for the future. I just want to help that potential be realized in the only way I can.
If I mentioned something to you in person and haven't mentioned it here

The Exchange

Some good stuff in there Graywulfe...but one caught my eye specifically.

#3 - Splitting up groups of friends who come in. While I do understand your point, and agree that a group of friends would have an advantage working together, I don't know that putting them in different houses would have affected that.

In fact, it MIGHT have made things worse, by giving those people extraordinary (and artificial) connections in other houses. Due to the nature of the event, people could wander and interact with anybody. Don't you think those friends would have found each other eventually, and don't you think it's highly likely that they would have worked out ways for their various houses to all work together? Suddenly you have an uber-powerful 4 house alliance an hour into the event!

I think I'd rather see one well connected house who worked as a team than four. :)

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

A lot of what I am typing just indicates that hind-sight is 20/20 (an offensive joke for an optician to make, to be sure).

But one idea, had there been more time, was to short-interview players for the kind of PCs they might be good at playing. We could take a group of 4 close-knit players and have them play in a close-knit house, or play the allies of a certain part of a house. Scattered players, or players who saw "Lawful Good Gladiator" on the character board might get to play something a little more to their tastes. Also, we would use this system to guarantee the a 16 year old girl didn't get Sho'Benigm SARDAVIC (not Vonnarc) and have to play something that might irritate her father.

And, had we been better staffed, we actually had travel DMs described as game masters who could provide encounters or obstacles to keep some time conitnuity.

Next year, we'll be more ready and know better how to implement some of the things that stumped us when we had no time to prepare them.

These lists of ideas are very valuable to me. Even if Paizo decids not to ask us to work out an event like this in the future, any time I am a part of a larger event, I'll be able to draw on these experiences and provide a better game. We might not use all of these ideas in the future, but certainly it is a great resource to draw from. Even if we had a fantastic game with few flaws next time, it's worth it to stock up on these ideas now and mix it up in the future.

Thanks, everyone. Now get out there and play some Pathfinder!

Dark Archive

Just talked to my some players from my home game who went to gen con... turns out they were behind the whole terrasque thing. I just wanted to point out that this is exactly the sort of s#%% I have to deal with 24/7.

Also, one of my players gets to run a demon lord? Color me jealous.

Liberty's Edge *

Fiendish Dire Weasel wrote:

Some good stuff in there Graywulfe...but one caught my eye specifically.

#3 - Splitting up groups of friends who come in. While I do understand your point, and agree that a group of friends would have an advantage working together, I don't know that putting them in different houses would have affected that.

In fact, it MIGHT have made things worse, by giving those people extraordinary (and artificial) connections in other houses. Due to the nature of the event, people could wander and interact with anybody. Don't you think those friends would have found each other eventually, and don't you think it's highly likely that they would have worked out ways for their various houses to all work together? Suddenly you have an uber-powerful 4 house alliance an hour into the event!

I think I'd rather see one well connected house who worked as a team than four. :)

You have a decent point and I'm not sure what can be done about it. I think it might fall back to the 24hr prep time and the early get to know each other session I and/or others mentioned.

graywulfe

Scarab Sages

Tad doesn't have any points worth mentioning.

I jest of course, the Dire Weasel bailed me out by taking on a table we knew would be very active and with a long enemy list.

Thanks, Tad! And if you run Second Darkness at home, make sure to give yourself full credit!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Hey, all.

I wanted to congratulate Shane and Jennifer Cottom on the birth of their first daughter, Olivia Jane.

Olivia weighs 7.14 and was 21.5 inches long.

She and mama are very healthy, and Shane is very proud. Of Ascension of the Drow, he said "It feels like I gave birth before my wife did."

Gross, Shane. Totally gross. : }

The Exchange

steve helt wrote:

Tad doesn't have any points worth mentioning.

I jest of course, the Dire Weasel bailed me out by taking on a table we knew would be very active and with a long enemy list.

Thanks, Tad! And if you run Second Darkness at home, make sure to give yourself full credit!

Oh, no question I want to...but I definitely have to finish "Savage Tad" first! :)

By then, we'll likely be running it on Pathfinder RPG. :)

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Everyone's good friend Phil the Chatty DM has posted his review of the Ascension of the Drow experience. You can all find it here:

http://chattydm.net/2008/08/24/the-unauthorized-ascension-of-the-drow-spy-r eport/

Thanks Phil!


I was Slarin Moiavis, self appointed leader of the house of Vermin Lords.

I had a blast, definitely one of the most fun events I was a part of at GenCon. I do have to give major props to the quick thinking of some of the GMs at the event. It was good to see that they were enjoying he crazy plots and schemes that we were coming up with as much as us.

My only complaint with the event was the fact that not all the character sheets were complete. My sheet had no equipment among other oddities (9 levels of cleric and a Wis of 12 and no ranks in Knowledge:Religion? Really?) Regardless it was an awesome time and I can't wait to see the events in print.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Any body find a recording of the event? I'd be interested in hearing/reading more of it. :)

Sczarni **** Venture-Lieutenant, Connecticut—Manchester aka Cpt_kirstov

SirUrza wrote:
Any body find a recording of the event? I'd be interested in hearing/reading more of it. :)

Found bits an pieces that farewell2kings posted on youtube :

here

The Exchange

It'd be really great though, if someone would/could cobble together an overall narrative combining all the major points of the night from beginning to end. Those vids were interesting, but they don't really tell anybody much of what actually HAPPENED. I was in the middle of it, and I still probably only really know about 5% of what went on.

The thing is, I don't know if ANYBODY really knows!

Maybe we could start something here... if everybody could post what happened with their house (or at least their table of their house if it was a major one) in as unbiased a way as possible, that would be a good start. I already put up something for the house I ran, Misraria, and if need be, would be happy to copy/paste it and maybe add a few more notes if I can think of them.

Contributor

I have a list in bullet point format of different events that took place over the course of the night. I've shared it with the Weasel, but if anyone else would like a copy just shoot me a PM here and I can get it to you.

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