Iron Gods Retrospective (SPOILERS)

Iron Gods

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So we finished the campaign last night. It took us 18 months to get through and here is my opinion of the whole thing as the DM.

I bit off more than I could chew taking this Pathfinder game and converting it to 5e. Though I did do it in the end and I did enjoy the conversion it was very time consuming.

I felt the adventure path was too long. In retrospect I would have completely cut out The Choking Tower and perhaps even Starfall component and just have them commando run the Divinity Drive. The reason I would do this is because the Divinity Drive is a giant dungeon crawl which are very time consuming and probably not the best fit for my group to put at the end of an 18 month long campaign (thats a personal preference). For my group it would have been better to bring the mega-dungeon forward as soon as possible.

The Scar of the Spider was the best adventure IMO. I ran it as a hex-crawl and it was great.

Not all my players had buy-in. One of my players didn't like the crossing of the streams and so spent the entire campaign not taking anything seriously and doing silly things. I didn't do what I normally do with my campaigns which is sit down before hand and say "this is the idea, I need everyones buy-in or we find a different idea".

There was too much technology. My players got lost with it all and after the 1st adventure I started removing tech treasure. This is another personal preference, not a slight against the adventure. In retrospect I would have doen the following:

  • Made the tech incomprehensible - more like magic items.
  • Made the language incompressible - add more mystery.
  • Removed charges and just have tech items deplete on 1/fumble or similar.

Having said that I think this is a FINE inheritor to the original Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Good job Paizo people :)

Would love to see you guys churn out 5e content (Pathfinder 2.0?)

An interesting read - I don't think I would have coped more than 5 minutes if one of the players wasn't "into" the theme - kudos to you for surviving that and the player for making it also after 18 months.

My experience of IG was the first adventure run via PbP, but there was definitely a trope that really irked me, and made the whole experience NOT anything like S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

In every recruitment, and this includes the game I was in, people were putting forward Androids, Techno-thises and Techno-thats, and characters who were fluent in and started the adventure speaking Androffan.

There was an endless schism or break in the party between those characters that were completely befuddled, and those either speaking to the doorways and security systems - or who were (as in our case, after we lost our Tiefling Barbarian), extra-terrestrial catfolk. Who at least didn't understand the tech any more than the rest of the rubes.

It's totally a preference thing, and my Kellid Vanguard Slayer still tried to salvage Roh-bot weaponry, and never did get to throw her one amazing gruh-nayd. But the ease with which other characters operated hi-tech equipment or spoke fluent Androffan watered down the mystery completely.

I get that the Technic League is a thing in Numeria, and that the Techno-classes make sense in the region. I guess it just felt in no way at all anything like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Yes there were cards, and lazor gunnes, and even the vegepygmies. Perhaps it was our loudmouthed cigar-chomping Sorceror naming their now-ally leader Daisy that tipped me over the edge.... ;)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the thing to keep in mind is that there are significant differences between Barrier Peaks and Numeria as written. In the former, the spaceship opened up very recently, so this is the first time that people are exploring the spaceship that crashed there. As a result, nobody knows the alien language, and technology is a very touch-and-go thing. Maybe you'll figure out how to operate that laser rifle, and maybe you'll overload it and cause it to explode. It's a very chaotic system, as a result.

In Numeria, though, the Technic League has been studying Androffan technology for over two centuries. They understand tech in a way the people on Oerth won't for a very long time, and know far more about the people that served on that ship than the one in the Barrier Peaks. They're nowhere near developing FTL travel or the like, but there's people that understand how to implant cyberware. I expect that in several centuries, the ship at the Barrier Peaks would give up similar results.

Agree with both of you. I will be importing Silver Mount wholesale into my campaign setting as my worlds main mega-dungeon but I won't have a Numeria. I think there are two streams here and they don't work well together.

Numeria is basically Thundarr the Barbarian type setting and as a kingdom has more in common with Numenera/Dying Earth setting than a typical D&D medieval-fantasy setting. I don't think it works as a kingdom in an otherwise fantasy setting. It works as a setting however. The discordance would be decreased if the whole world was like that. It would gel better.

The alternative is to have the ship crash into a fantasy setting similar to the original adventure and the trope here is medieval characters who know nothing of high-science stumble on it and explore it.

Trying to combine the two didn't work well for me and even caused discordance in my mind as a DM as I constantly tried to harmonise everything. This isn't a slight against the adventure at all but I feel Numeria works better as an entire science-fantasy setting ala Numenera.

Silver Mount will live on in my world as THE megadungeon but it will just be one spot with little influence on the setting as a whole apart from the trove of odd magic items that are recovered from it occasionally.

Actually, that was another issue I and my players had - too many ships and too many ship names. I had assumed that were all little ships from the larger Divinity until I read the last adventure and discovered they were a dozen Divinity type ships that crashed into Numeria. I didn't like that and if I had known I would have removed all the other ships and just made them chunks of the larger Divinity that had survived.

I actually just spent my Sunday watching the first several episodes of Battlestar Galactica, which actually has a similar situation to the Divinity, so I'm totally cool with the galactic caravan aspect.

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