JP On Gaming

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Talking Interactive: NeoExodus at PaizoCon 2012

Yesterday as it was Memorial Day in the US and I got to run a play-test for "A5 Battle of Trovaska", the NeoExodus interactive adventure for PaizoCon. I find it funny to say that because there is no Organized Play campaign for NeoExodus (yet).

I spent every available moment for the past week (but more so on Sunday). And AGAIN, as I'm feverishly writing the adventure guess who pops up in my Skype? That's right, Louis Porter! If you don't know, whenever he shows up with a "can you Skype?" this means that I have to argue with him why his latest idea is "not exciting". This time, since I was writing the Interactive, he wanted to get the full low-down about what I was writing, why it was "awesome", asked about the timing, the situation, the NPCs, then he would start saying "I don't like that name".

That's right... he hates the names of almost every NPC I come up with. Lucky for me, I could tell him "THAT'S THE SAME GUY AS IN [name of other adventure]. That's name is not changing!" We would argue some more, and eventually he would give in, but grumble about "the name is not exciting". Best ignore him when he rants.

I want to give a HUGE shout-out to his wife Carla who I really, really love. Why? Well through her I was able to have Louis beat up! It was the most awesome thing ever to come out of Florida. Yep. Thank you Carla!

So after two hours of reading the interactive to him (arguing about names, explaining what the NPCs' goals were (which didn't bring about as many argument as their names, surprisingly)), he went to bed and I was able to write for another two hours or so (which included creating and formatting stat blocks for baddies).

It was armed with a eleven-page adventure (short, I know) that I left home for Enchanted Grounds that morning. I was worried about a number of things. Which is exactly why I wanted to run a play-test!

- Will the adventure fit in a 5h time slot?

- Is the whole event too complex for new players (my play-test group included people had played NeoExodus and some who had not)?

- Are the combats too easy/ difficult?

- What would the PCs do?

- How would they react to the story?

- How would the rule element I had work, and would the players react to them positively? I cannot go into details about it, but I used a set of rules published by LPJ Design in the adventure (because it fit well enough in there), but having never used them myself AND expanding them for the dual purpose of simplicity and integration, I

In short, I was my usual neurotic self about every details. I am a huge fan of interactive as special, break-the-mold events, and this one is no exception. For the first time with NeoExodus, the storyline of the world can be changed. In ways that can be subtle or not so subtle.

I want to thank Brett, Homer, Joe, Ryan and Todd for participating and giving me some awesome feedback! We also had a few home brew characters joining the fray: Homer's Kalisan barbarian and Ryan's Sasori monk. I think Sasori and monks have struck a chord with a number of you... It's the second one I've seen at a NeoExodus table! Happy to see more new characters.

Here are some pictures of the setup for the games... I did not have all the correct minis for the villains (yet). But the proxies were "close enough". One other thing... The terrain for this one reuses none of the pieces I use for A1 Encounter at Ramat Bridge, allowing me to have two different boxes a not have to mix and match at game time.


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