Thursday, June 19, 2008

Out of the fire, into the frying pan

So it turns out that I wasn't the only one getting a weird vibe from the Exalted game. Doug (the GM) has decided to put the game on hold and review what went wrong and where. Things didn't go exactly as he hoped, but as Phil Vecchione once pointed out on Treasure Tables, being a good GM doesn't mean every campaign has to be a home run. Our best games are built by what we learned in the ones that didn't go so well. So I'm hoping that Doug runs a game again soon. He's fun to play with.

In the meantime, Stuart (of Neitherworld Stories) will be running Keep on the Shadowfell for the group. I still haven't bought the 4e books. I don't think I'm going to, but I want to give this new edition as fair a try as I can. I flipped through Stuart's PHB last night. I noticed that the equipment section probably passes the "Morgan Ironwolf Test", as it allows a starting PC to own a sword, shield, and chainmail with some money to spare on other equipment. (But where are the lances?) Doug looks set to play a dragonborn warlord and Pat said he's going to run a "laser cleric". I think I'll probably end up playing an elf magic-user eladrin wizard. He will, of course, wear a hat.


  1. When you get around to making characters, let us know what you think. So far the organization of the PHB for character creation has been one of the more irritating aspects of the new game for me - information is far, far too scattered throughout the books for my tastes (like needing to flip to the combat section to get the formulas for computing Defenses). And the "sample character sheet" illustration with the numbered sections was mostly unhelpful - except that it aggregated most of the page numbers I needed to flip to in one place, I guess.

    At the table the game seems to play great for my group (our wizard was almost killed by a kobold in the first room of the dungeon - we all had flashbacks to the Basic Set when that happened, at-will Magic Missiles or not), but the character creation organization decisions left me scratching my head. Especially since they have a page with a list of steps for character creation - if they'd just put the formulas and "constants" for each class (like the amount of gold you get as a starting character - which is annoyingly buried in the intro paragraphs to the Equipment chapter) things would move much faster.

  2. First the default character sheet sucks. You want to pick one that has the boxes for calculations for multiple attacks on it. There are a couple out there.

    Second, the game isn't D&D but it is a lot of fun. The classes will feel more iconic than any other previous editions including OD&D.

  3. Anonymous3:02 PM

    I felt like I was playing an arcade game with a touch of role play. I think you will like it. The moving and shifting options during combat reminded me of choreographed kung fu fight movies. I had a blast with the demo game Wizards passed out on the 7th.

  4. Anonymous4:08 PM


    Sorry to hear it, though. Play Mechwarrior instead!

  5. Anonymous7:48 AM

    In case you haven't already seen it, check this AP thread wherein a 7-year-old rocks the house.

    spoiler for shadowfell...

  6. Hmm, from what I read in the AP threads your characters where basically stumbling through a series of combat encounters.
    Don't know if you left out some parts, but if that wasn't really the case it doesn't really surprise me that the game doesn't make a viable campaign for you.

    The Exalted world has many more options than "just" that:
    -did the characters try to change the way the humans see them (i.e. as heroes, instead as abominations)?
    - did they try to build an empire and leave their mark on the world?
    - was there an overarching enemy that they could try to overthrow?
    - were there mysteries to explore and secrets to uncover?

    Without goals, any campaign simply stops somewhere.

  7. Anonymous1:35 PM

    My group is about 2/3rds of the way through Shadowfell right now, and it's been fairly fun. Like others have said, it feels a lot more "boardgamey" than 3.5.

    Minions seem like a good idea in theory, but in practice they feel like cardboard scenery. There's just too much of a gap between the typical minion and the typical non-minion goober.