Is Saventh-Yhi too big?

Serpent's Skull

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I ran across this in another thread ...

Pendagast wrote:

Our group has gotten BORED here too.

I also made the military district a war zone, but have the trogs and the charau-ka vying for power and control of the entire city (with the Gorilla king as the main force behind all the charau-ka)

I have the human tribe basically as "refugees" hiding out the war.

Our group has basically defeated everything but the Gorilla king and His "men".

It has taken forever, as this place was incredibly boring.

The giant bat was a particularly memorable encounter.

This is bring me to a question: is the answer more content?

Or, counter intuitively, should things be cut (which would leave even more of the city empty)?

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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm in the middle of rewriting most of this book. The framework is good, but the "kill dozens of the same monster" to conquer each district is boring. I'm trying to add more wonder and places to explore, depopulate the city a bit, and replace some of the more mundane encounters with interesting ones, using the newer bestiaries.

I'll likely start the vaults of madness a bit earlier, too, to provide a reason to go into each district.

Liberty's Edge

In terms of meeting the XP and treasure requirements while not making things boring - yeah, the answer is more content. Endless fights with the same monsters, as the book is written, are boring and dumb as hell.

But just because you're making more content doesn't mean the city can't feel more empty/abandoned. I think there's a good argument to be made for removing one or more of the tribes and focus on the factions, treasures, and unique NPCs/monsters.

This might depend on what sort of players you have. If they are completionists, they might enjoy the if you fleshed out this whole epitome of sandbox. But mind, it has taken very long for my completionist players to get through the city, because when I started rewriting this module, there was not any real red thread between conquering your first district and finding Juliver. So I introduced smaller plots for every district to connect places and people better, not really adding numerically more things. Maybe 'round here is where it went a little awry: I might have made everything feel too important and now they want to finish everything in case they would skip something important...

And now that we are in their fourth vault, there are still a few plots they haven't finished and it feels a bit shame to have made those plots to have them not resolved, but Juliver is pushing the party to hurry up to find Eando, because what else she would do? If I hadn't weaved those smaller plots in, there wouldn't now be this conflict between finishing those plots and moving on with the main plot.

Though I'm too getting damn tired of this city and been totally pushing players to move it via Juliver. I want to get to play with the Gorilla King and then crawl into Darklands... Especially because after seeing Derhii Scouts two lvls ago a player rolled knowledge and I mentioned the monkey city Usaro, and he said afterwards OoC how he had previously read about Mwangi area in general and that there was mention of some sort of Monkey Satan living there, and claimed therefore they are never ever going to go to Usaro. I've been waiting to be able to bring this unexpected party right to their doorstep!

About having less content: My party hasn't really been at all in vegepygmy or troglodyte districts, or done a single actual encounter there, and we are soon hitting lvl 11 (medium xp) and finished with the Vaults. So, feel free to take something major off or let the players skip things. I doubt they have the energy to go through everything before it starts to feel boring or aimless. You could have one or two abandoned or haunted districts with next to none combat encounters, and play things so that one of the competing factions never arrived into Saventh-Yhi. Pathfinders or Captains would make nice allies, and Mantis is an easily manageable invisible group for the DM to have in his pockets in case you want to throw a wrench into some player plan, and Aspis or Sargava can be the antagonists for you and your allies when Dargan Etters arrives. Don't get rid of too many of the interactable tribes or factions, party would miss them in the end of the campaign.

Other way to speed things up would be skipping the roleplaying about managing your own faction and campsite, but those NPC allies are the main friendlies they really have the chance to befriend and interact with. Maybe just focus the story around some made-up quests gotten from their own faction and keep other elements simple. Let them wander freely in one district to dive them the feeling of freedom? And don't implent very serious and potentially long subplots so the story won't lag or derail when you want it to move forward.

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