Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Evil Eye: Actual Play 5 – Finale

Well, that's that. We just did chapter 6 and finished on-time. So at least I can get some of that pacing right.

I was pretty disappointed by this one. I think it was a combination of the group composition and adventure though. We had three and a half hours today and didn't need any of the extra material I had prepped and that was with cutting down on the hit-and-run from the villains. It didn't help that one of the players was super chatty. I know we lost 20-30 min to leveling up to level 5, but I feel like we lost another 30 minutes at least to tangential stories (I know someone ordered sweet potato fries with dinner, but a couple minute bit on the difference between sweet potatoes and yams... that's what I'm talking about).

Ultimately, it was also disappointing when the two most on-top-of-it players both were lost during the final battle. I know it's designed to be confusing, but the group didn't seem to grab onto the goal of escape and get un-cursed. They seemed lost in the sandbox I gave them as I removed a couple rails in the adventure.

So the adventure itself, I like because it's got some nice NPCs at odds with one another, but that was also the downfall. The players didn't really track who they had met, and there are maybe two too many NPCs. My attempt to identify important NPCs by giving them notable eye colors was seen as a red herring, and having two new-ish players (one brand new, one returning after 20 years from AD&D 2nd Ed) slowed things down. So it was perhaps a bit confusing for them.

There was another problem, namely that some of the classes didn't come with much investigation power built in, which is a bit of a problem with 5e in general: fighters just fight. I'm going to curate my list of class options better if I run another Ravenloft.

Ultimately, while I was a bit disappointed, I think some of it was the set-up (new players not knowing what Ravenloft meant) and group composition (chatty player). The adventure wasn't as solid as I had hoped, but I picked it because I thought it had some good NPCs and the finale of U1-3 would be lackluster and it was close to the right size for 4-5 sessions (which it was perfect for 4-5 sessions). I could potentially run this again, but it's about a 20-hour adventure which is too long for short things and too short for long things, so not sure when I might get to it.

As done is better than perfect, I'll just move on to what comes next. Also, story recap in another post soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment