At the Adventurers' Table: Chapter Seventeen

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jaydude

Four Thousand Club
Hey, folks? Got some bad news to share, unfortunately. I've got a bit of a personal situation over here, and I'll probably be mostly focused on that for the next few days or so - which probably means no progress on the character sheet here, and no posts in the other games I'm in. Sherwood Sherwood , Dannigan Dannigan : It'd probably best if you try to just move things along in Rifts and Broadsword without me for the moment to not let the games come to a total halt, I'll try to chime in when I'm able to.
Sorry to hear this, bud. You feel free to get your affairs in order, got it?
 

Silanon

Four Thousand Club
You folks are awesome, hope you know that. Right now, it's just a bit much of everything, but it'll get sorted out eventually. Thanks for understanding!
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Sure, bud! I can relate. I'm chatting with a buddy right now who caught COVID-19 - hooray for the Internet! It's making a comeback with other folks I know and "my guard is up" if you get my meaning. Stay safe and healthy, everybody!
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
I'm still figuring out what to fairly do here, Gang. I'm not sure how to proceed but as time goes on, my ideas grow. Just keeping you in the loop!
 

Silanon

Four Thousand Club
Alrighty - just logged in for the first time in a week to actually read stuff, so I figured I'd also let you know that I'm still out here while I'm at it. So, uhh... still here, folks!
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus jaydude jaydude Kaerri Kaerri Psychie Psychie Sherwood Sherwood Silanon Silanon

Okay, here we go. Long ramble with questions incoming!

I'm in a situation where I think I need to sit down and talk with you guys and gals, my Gang. I'm thinking out loud here, searching myself out, and just as if we were sitting around some dining table in one of our homes, I just want to get your opinions on things and see where you're at too.

From time to time, I pause and sit back and look at each of the games I'm running to find out where I am and where my head is. I think it's really important to do that. Come up out of the water if you will to think, remember, and perhaps, learn. I don't make short-term games. I go long or not at all and - I really have to say - I'm damned glad to see both Sharseya and Robotech: Broadsword both pass the 5-year mark. I mean, Broadsword's past the 5 1/2 year mark and Sharseya is approaching 8. That's a hell of a long time for any game to be going, online or tabletop, COVID-19 or no. So... let me say hooray for that! That kicks tail!

I've been thinking of Killfire and his passing still grieves me. I mean, without Killfire, there would have been no Sherwood, Killfire, and Dannigan trio way back when. Killfire was also directly responsible for getting Sherwood and I back in contact with one another and therefore indirectly responsible for the opportunity that allowed Sherwood to invite Kaerri and I here back when this was RPDOM. Man, I just miss him. I guess I'm not done grieving yet. Wonder if I ever will be?

But I know what Killfire wanted for me (because he said so) - to keep being healthy, happy, and for me to just keep being me. Seriously. And I'm doing that. Maybe it's why I'm writing this while listening to Rush (Hemispheres). No band has ever pulled my mind and heart to places like Rush has. No pair of gamers has ever loved me so much in my early life as Killfire and Sherwood.

So this is where you gals and guys come in. Sharseya is a sacred place to me. For some reason, I find myself looking back into my gaming past. Picking up Dragon magazines, artwork (Larry Elmore remains a favorite), stuff like that from back in 1st Edition D&D. I'm going to close Chapter 17 here and open up 18 in my next post, but.. I'm still not sure exactly how to move here.

It helps if I talk with you and make sure we're all in the same page.

My plan at the moment is to take the Wayward Wanderers through a module. I like the module (you'll pardon me if I don't name it) and I've messed with everything in it enough to make it fit into Sharseya. For those of you who'd like a reminder or don't know in the first place (we do have two new faces here!), it's basically about the Wayward Wanderers helping this lost kobold tribe against a Loviatar-made curse, all the while trying to find out what Loviatar is up to and hopefully stopping her from creating an Ice Bridge to Sharseya, if that rumor is true. There are NPCs in the background who are working hard on this (Shalin especially). So what are my concerns?

1. Is this still what you, my Gang, want to do? Maybe it's my ADHD, but I'm not comfortable going in any direction unless all of you are on board with it. And somehow, I don't know that at the moment.

Unlike Broadsword, which has its own story-driven tale with my hand mostly at the wheel, Sharseya is totally your "open sandbox!" This is the game where I let you, the Players, do whatever the heck you want in terms of what stories you want to follow, discard, or make happen. I don't feel right creating adventures unless I'm 100% sure it's where you want to go. And while Jay and Sil are new here, please understand - your opinions are just as relevant to me as any of my Players. So, please, state your honest feelings without any pressure whatsoever. So yeah. Is this the direction you want the game to go? Or another? Where would you go if the choice were left to you?

2. Combat. In the past, I've made these complex Pathfinder "battle-boards" which are great to look at but a pain in the butt to put together. I've seen D&D/Pathfinder games here on RP Nation that kept things basic enough to keep combat fun and moving without making the DM fall over. That's the one thing I really like about our Palladium games - combat moves! D&D/Pathfinder games work best at a table, sure, but... we haven't had combat in so long I don't know how each of you feel about going along with it. I do know this - I don't want another combat without my knowing first. =)

3. NPCs. Sharseya is a game that's been going on since 1999 (maybe a little before?). It started as a tabletop game of mine that just grew and grew. Creating fun NPCs and such is part of the game that really drives and excites me, but I've got to admit - there are so many even here in the Wayward Wagon - that it might be overwhelming to keep them all straight. I don't want you to need to, but in a game over 20 years old, I want some of that magic to continue. And it will.

And 4. However (and here's where it gets tricky), there is gaming balance to be thought about here. We now have 6 PCs (more than we've ever had and I'll make it 7 if The Dark Wizard ever decides to join us, but I digress).

So... in a typical module, there are around 4-7 allowed PCs that (hopefully!) stick together and stay alive(also hopefully!) throughout the whole thing. With Jay and Sil happily with us, the Wayward Wanderers are 9 strong. So... if the comfortable cap is 7, that makes for 6 PCs + 1 NPC. That NPC (Bria, Mamapaw, or Powerpaw) is completely up to you to whom you want to bring along. The other 2 stay with the Wayward Wagon. The party can come back to the Wagon and "swap out" for another NPC if they so decide. For those of you into MMORPGs, I have very carefully made the NPCs able to cover certain roles. In the whole Tank/DPS/Healer trinity, it works like this:

There are no tanks and there is no aggro. Sure, good roleplaying can make an enemy go for you, but there is no guarantee they'll stay that way especially after Luna or Oreleth's first Fireball at them. So, no tanks, but there is DPS (damage dealers) and healers. Bria is your Healer, Powerpaw is your DPS, and Mamapaw is a sweet mixture of both but she cannot compete with either Bria or Powerpaw in what they do. You also have the option of going in to encounters without any of them. It's your game. Psychie as Oreleth was decided as your Party Leader and so I defer to Psychie's/Oreleth's judgment much in the same way these things worked back in 1st Edition (when in doubt, Psychie wins, so you'd better behave, right Gang? Heh!).

And this one's for SI, but I'd like to ask it openly - I understand that we haven't yet gotten Sil's character into the game, but I also really want to know how Silanon feels about all this. Sil? Are you ready to play Aldrin? Would you rather wait? What is best for you, dear Sil? I'll go just about any direction that aids you.

So yeah. Here it all is:
1. Are you happy with the direction Sharseya is going or what would you rather be doing?

2. What is your take on how combat is handled in our Play-by-Post game here?

3. Are there too many NPCs, just right, or not enough?

4. How do you feel about party balance? Do you like the idea of having 1 NPC along or none?

Bonus! Is there anything you'd like to chat about concerning Sharseya after we've covered these 4 questions?
 
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jaydude

Four Thousand Club
1. Are you happy with the direction Sharseya is going or what would you rather be doing?
No complaints here. Though tbh, I don't really have much in mind for Alisa's future beyond "fight the enemies of Mielikki".

2. What is your take on how combat is handled in our Play-by-Post game here?
Hard to say. I haven't actually been in a combat here yet.

3. Are there too many NPCs, just right, or not enough?
With the amount of stuff going on in my life already, I think I'd have trouble keeping track of everything even if there was only one NPC in the Wayward Wagon. I should be okay, as long as the rest of the players don't mind dropping me constant reminders when asked.

4. How do you feel about party balance? Do you like the idea of having 1 NPC along or none?
Again, hard to say, seeing as I haven't taken part in any combats here yet.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
I have been pondering a lot of things that you have brought up, Dann, remembering the good ol' days back in high school with you, me and Killfire gaming in our hybrid world of Battletech/Robotech/Star Frontiers. It has brought up a lot of good memories.

As for this game, I have been loving it consistently from day one. There is a good mix of story and combat, character growth and laughs to keep me satisfied. Lets go over the questions in detial.
1. Are you happy with the direction Sharseya is going or what would you rather be doing?
I have long wanted to have Luna be a part of something big, making a difference in the world in a good way. Helping the kobolds out in an effort to blacken Loviatar's eye before taking on the Bridge between worlds is a good step to that goal.
2. What is your take on how combat is handled in our Play-by-Post game here?
While maps and exact detail are great to have, in a PbP setting there are hurdles to overcome in having to make up the maps on the computer for everyone to see. So long as you don't mind me (or others) asking for location information of the bad guys, I can go without the detailed maps to help save you the headache.
3. Are there too many NPCs, just right, or not enough?
There are many NPCs, but there are not too many, if you understand what I mean. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is just enough.
4. How do you feel about party balance? Do you like the idea of having 1 NPC along or none?
Since we don't have a player character dedicated to the role of healer (Jaydude's character overlaps the healer/fighter role, but is not focused on being a cleric), having the extra healing power is a good thing. Either Mamapaw or Bria taking that position is fine, but I would lean more to Mamapaw just because of Bria's non-combatant role, and she would be sitting back waiting for someone to be hurt before she could step in. Mamapaw is able to dish out some damage in the meantime.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
1. Are you happy with the direction Sharseya is going or what would you rather be doing?
I'm happy! I like the kobolds we've met so far, and I'm always down for sticking one in Loviatar's eye.

2. What is your take on how combat is handled in our Play-by-Post game here?
I like it as you're doing currently in Broadsword, with an initiative order in OOC chat, updated as each person takes their turn. I like maps for fantasy-range combat because it's more important to know the exact to-the-foot distance there, but I can do without if making them is too much work. As Guy would say, it's important that the game is still fun for the GM, too!

That said, I might be able to poke around in Paint 3D and come up with a basic kind of combat map (I'm thinking a plain grid like a battleboard, with icons for the characters and numbers for bad guys). It'd still require some time for the moving about of icons and such, though.

3. Are there too many NPCs, just right, or not enough?
You know I love your NPCs, so I'll just say it again here where everyone else can see. ^;3^ I do love them. They're fun people and interesting in their own right, bringing life to the world outside of the PCs.

4. How do you feel about party balance? Do you like the idea of having 1 NPC along or none?
I'm not sure from a balance perspective. We can try 1 and see how it goes? I like them all so I don't really want to give up having them with us entirely. :P

Bonus! Is there anything you'd like to chat about concerning Sharseya after we've covered these 4 questions?
Kaerri wants to look for the lost city/realm/culture (whatever it was) of the half-elves, but I don't know where to start even looking.
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
Here's my take:

1. Are you happy with the direction Sharseya is going or what would you rather be doing?

2. What is your take on how combat is handled in our Play-by-Post game here?

3. Are there too many NPCs, just right, or not enough?

4. How do you feel about party balance? Do you like the idea of having 1 NPC along or none?
1. The Wayward Wagon of the Wayward Wanderers winds wistfully Westward working towards wonders both wild and worthy of warrant. Wheresoever the Wagon wends its way, whence shall my Wayward warrior work. In short, I'm loving the direction you're going with the RP and I'm fully on board.

2. I'm enjoying the pacing and style of the combat, and you're ever willing to give people a strong feel for the locations of things within the arena of battle. I remember Wolf Rawrrrused to help with maps and so forth, but I didn't always feel like they were particularly necessary. I also trust you when you roll for Oti's actions, since the RpN dice roller utterly despises me. >_>

3. The NPCs are a fine balance, to be sure. I've been in, and have run, RPs with such a broad spectrum of NPCs traveling and fighting alongside the players, I literally had to have a seperate page or two describing their natures, secrets and motivations alongside their raw combat stats and fighting styles. I think you have the balance just right.

4. I enjoy the attachment the party has with the NPCs (Oti and Bria especially, but that's my bias showing) and I'm happy to follow the formula we had when we first got hauled into Loviatar's Realm, losing contact with Powerpaw and Mommapaw and having Bria along for the journey. Changing up the formula for a heavy-hitter or all-rounder would be an interesting new dynamic, too.

Captain Hesperus
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
I am enjoying the pace of the game so far, and everything fits well into everything else. The NPCs are well rounded, and all have their own personality, making each one unique and special.

My only request is that we have a few good fights every now and then so Oreleth can really rock and roll with her bow to show off how awesome she is, and of course, loot. Can't have too much loot. Other than that, I'm golden.
 

Silanon

Four Thousand Club
Thoughts... well, honestly, for the past days, my thoughts were mostly: "Well, that looks like one hell of a long, detailed post, let's deal with that later." It's been that kind of week for me, unfortunately. But - now it's Sunday, and I'm feeling like catching up a little, so here we go:
1. Are you happy with the direction Sharseya is going or what would you rather be doing?
What I'm reading sounds great, and also sounds like something Aldrin would be invested in - so no need to change anything on my behalf!
2. What is your take on how combat is handled in our Play-by-Post game here?
In my own pathfinder game, it worked out decently well without maps. Sure, there's the occasional question of 'would this work?', 'am I in range for this or that?' and the like, but I feel like detailed maps aren't necessary. At least for me - do what works best for you and the others, and I'll manage.
3. Are there too many NPCs, just right, or not enough?
No comment (yet). If the npc's are anything like those over on the broadsword, I'd say there can't ever be too many, though.
4. How do you feel about party balance? Do you like the idea of having 1 NPC along or none?
I like well-written npcs. Having one around means more of that, so that naturally sounds better.
Since we don't have a player character dedicated to the role of healer (Jaydude's character overlaps the healer/fighter role, but is not focused on being a cleric), having the extra healing power is a good thing. Either Mamapaw or Bria taking that position is fine, but I would lean more to Mamapaw just because of Bria's non-combatant role, and she would be sitting back waiting for someone to be hurt before she could step in. Mamapaw is able to dish out some damage in the meantime.
Aldrin, once in the game, will help out with the healing quite a bit, I'd reckon. Obviously, having more healing never hurts. Speaking of Aldrin...
And this one's for SI, but I'd like to ask it openly - I understand that we haven't yet gotten Sil's character into the game, but I also really want to know how Silanon feels about all this. Sil? Are you ready to play Aldrin? Would you rather wait? What is best for you, dear Sil? I'll go just about any direction that aids you.
Good question. Am I ready to play him? Probably. And it'd do me some good to get back into things here on RPN. It's been one of my most consistent hobbies over the last few years for a while. Am i ready to deal with all the small stuff to get the character sheet done, especially after not doing it for two weeks? I dunno. I gotta try, though, since it ain't getting better over time, right? See, right now there's a bunch of stuff I want to do here (level up Eron to continue there, get things started here, get back into Broadsword), and it's a bunch of stuff that's kind of suffocating. Don't know if that makes sense. And these last few days, there hasn't really been the kind of energy to tackle one of the tasks at hand. So, the answer is: It's best for me to start playing. I have trouble getting there at the moment, though. Don't know if there's anything you can do to help, think it's mostly that I need to just get stuff done.
 
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Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Don't know if there's anything you can do to help, think it's mostly that I need to just get stuff done.
I was just gearing up to ask if we could do anything to help. ^33^ Say the word if you do need anything.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Heya Gang!

Thanks... I really appreciate everybody's feedback here. It helps me understand factually where I'm at in Sharseya. There's one more hump to get over and that involves the next scene (this one's not easy to write, but that's never stopped me). I hope to have everything up by this coming Tuesday or before. We'll see. =)

Have to say it again - really appreciate everyone chiming in with your true thoughts. I find it hard to play without them. =)
 
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