Poll

What do you do more, create your own designs, or play other people's?

I play other designs more.
7 (53.8%)
I like to make my own designs.
4 (30.8%)
I do both about equally.
2 (15.4%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Voting closed: June 15, 2009, 06:51:06 PM

Author Topic: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?  (Read 5163 times)

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2009, 08:16:46 PM »
No one's born a top notch designer (I guess).

I know I certainly wasn't.  My first four designs:

The Road to Armageddon
Where Madness Reigns
Shadows in the Sky
Marauders of Triangle Bay

I consider all of them to be horrible.  And not just because they were written with version 1.0 of UA long before I found the internet.  I threw most of them together in a few months for some friends...who then didn't even bother to play them.

Each one was a learning experience. 

Once I found UA on the internet, I had a chance to play John Rudy's module, called "The Guild."  It changed the way I looked at module building completely.  When I started working on my next module, "Night of the Basilisk," I had a different understanding of what people wanted to see, what mistakes I'd made in the past, and what it took to create a game that could hook a player from the beginning.

So, there's a lot to be said by taking the baby steps first and looking at the work of others.
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Offline nologgie

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2009, 06:19:29 AM »

I know I certainly wasn't.  My first four designs:

The Road to Armageddon
Where Madness Reigns
Shadows in the Sky
Marauders of Triangle Bay

I consider all of them to be horrible.  And not just because they were written with version 1.0 of UA long before I found the internet.  I threw most of them together in a few months for some friends...who then didn't even bother to play them.


  I recently played all four of the designs you listed, and they're far from horrible, particularly when compared to other designs of that time. Granted, your newer ones are better, and some events (particularly guided tours) don't work as intended under 1.2, but the ideas and basic scenarios are still good.
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Offline Rosestar

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2009, 05:53:42 PM »
 |sf>On an average FRUA outing, I'm normally drawing and testing artwork, but the second most common FRUA activity would be working on a module.  I do plan to return to playing at a later date. 
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Suzanne M. Ferree
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Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2012, 04:10:24 PM »

I know I certainly wasn't.  My first four designs:

The Road to Armageddon
Where Madness Reigns
Shadows in the Sky
Marauders of Triangle Bay

I consider all of them to be horrible.  And not just because they were written with version 1.0 of UA long before I found the internet.  I threw most of them together in a few months for some friends...who then didn't even bother to play them.


  I recently played all four of the designs you listed, and they're far from horrible, particularly when compared to other designs of that time. Granted, your newer ones are better, and some events (particularly guided tours) don't work as intended under 1.2, but the ideas and basic scenarios are still good.


Road to Armageddon was good, but should have been updated.

Where Madness Reigns: the game dumps me in a completely empty area. Looking in the editor the first area is Dungeon 2 and is indeed completely empty. Oh well, this module didn't look very interesting from what I saw (no story, and just a series of combats in a maze).

Marauders of Triangle Bay: only played a bit to test it, but it looked quite good. Will play it properly and review some other time.

Sorry for the necroing, but this is the only mention I could find of Where Madness Reigns.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2012, 06:55:00 PM »
Hmmm...I wonder if Where Madness Reigns is broken or something.  Never heard that feedback before.  I'll have to look at it....because it's definitely not supposed to just dump you into combats, I don't think.  (Then again, it's been over a decade since I even looked at it...so what do I know?).
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Offline Targeter

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2012, 11:52:18 PM »
Part 3-
Met an NPC who would finally talk to me.  But, what he was talking about didn't make sense.  He spoke about things I had no background information on, assumed a lot about why my party was in the area, and then gave advice that could have been helpful if I would have had a clue what was going on.  It was like meeting an NPC at the beginning of a game who says something like: "It's you again!  I heard about your mishap.  Just be sure to wear yellow next time you're there.  And don't forget about our arrangement."  Talk about head scratching moments.

I just had to chime in here since this struck a chord (a good chord!)  This reminds me of the first encounter with Hawkslayer in Bard's Tale III.  But it was done on purpose and had a big payoff later on in the game.  That game was pretty darned nifty.

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2012, 02:57:54 AM »
Hmmm...I wonder if Where Madness Reigns is broken or something.  Never heard that feedback before.  I'll have to look at it....because it's definitely not supposed to just dump you into combats, I don't think.  (Then again, it's been over a decade since I even looked at it...so what do I know?).

Actually that comment about combats was based on a cursory glance in the editor. I was not able to actually play it, since the first area is totally empty.


I just had to chime in here since this struck a chord (a good chord!)  This reminds me of the first encounter with Hawkslayer in Bard's Tale III.  But it was done on purpose and had a big payoff later on in the game.  That game was pretty darned nifty.

Ah, the joys of time travel.  8)
Personally, after having played and completed both BT1 and BT2 on the Amiga, I hated BT3. Both the Amiga and DOS versions were bugged (monsters' special attacks not working) and there was a curious mix of turn based (random encounters checks) and real time (mana regeneration).
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 03:02:12 AM by PetrusOctavianus »

Offline nologgie

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2012, 07:11:55 AM »
Hmmm...I wonder if Where Madness Reigns is broken or something.  Never heard that feedback before.  I'll have to look at it....because it's definitely not supposed to just dump you into combats, I don't think.  (Then again, it's been over a decade since I even looked at it...so what do I know?).

I just installed it, and it starts me at the inn in Tilverton with 8 pages of descriptive text before the camp event.
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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2012, 07:51:25 AM »
Actually that comment about combats was based on a cursory glance in the editor. I was not able to actually play it, since the first area is totally empty.

Sounds like the version you have could be corrupted or broken.  According to nologgie, the version he played seems to be okay.   You might try downloading it again.
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Offline nologgie

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2012, 09:16:29 AM »
The problem could be caused by starting from a game saved in a previous design rather using the characters removed from the saved game.  (I've done this before.)

The fix is to load the saved game, remove all characters from the party at the initial screen, then exit play.

You can then select 'Play The Game' and add the characters.  When you 'Begin Adventuring' it should start you at the proper spot.
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Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2012, 09:46:51 AM »
It turns out messing with GeoAid screwed up my installation of MADNESS.DSN since I at one point confused it with ROADARM.DSN.  :-[
So I edited the wrong GEO###.DAT file.
Sorry about the confusion.

Anyway Where Madness Reigns does not seem to be a true sequel to The Road to Armageddon, since Madness is set in the Forgotten Realms, and Armageddon in some other campaign world. Also, characters start at a much higher level than the victorious party of Armageddon, and the intro to Madness is refers to a previous adventure involving "the evil undead minions of Malgar Corynth, terrorizing the citizens with their unholy crimes. The evil priest has been defeated" ect.
Does this refer to a module that was actully made and released?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 01:55:41 PM by PetrusOctavianus »

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2012, 02:07:30 PM »
No, it doesn't.  The games are sequels to each other in the same way that "Curse of the Azure Bonds" is the sequel to "Pool of Radiance," which means that they really aren't sequels at all.  They are just built to move the characters from one game to the next.

I initially built these games in 1993 after the release of UA.  In those days, I could only distribute them to my friends (I didn't even discover that UA had an online presence until sometime in 1995), so these were "sequels" because they only had the previous games in the set to pull their characters from.

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Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2012, 08:43:13 PM »

The Road to Armageddon
Where Madness Reigns
Shadows in the Sky
Marauders of Triangle Bay

I consider all of them to be horrible.  And not just because they were written with version 1.0 of UA long before I found the internet.  I threw most of them together in a few months for some friends...who then didn't even bother to play them.

Each one was a learning experience. 


I just strarted Marauders of Triangle Bay. I imported some characters with 750,000 XP which is half of what new characters have, but I couldn't find another module to import them to. They have +4-5 equipment and two Girdles (most of the gear is from Road to Armageddon), so I thought I'd give them a chance to show what they can do, and so far they have been able to stand their ground.
I tried to do the whole hunt for pirate captain Reginald Norris in one go, but had to retreat to town for healing and resting when I reached the pirates' castle and realized there was a whole new level to clean out before reaching Norris.
The module is quite combat heavy so far, but with a bit too many similar encounters (groups of pirates).

I like it so far; it definitely has the Gold Box feel to it.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 08:46:23 PM by PetrusOctavianus »

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2012, 10:52:13 AM »
Last year I played them about equally. This year I've only played my own. There are four I really want to play.  :-[

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: Playing already made designs, or designing your own?
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2012, 09:37:35 PM »
Played some more of Marauders of Triangle Bay, and my enthusiasm has waned somewhat.

The Mountain Pass and Minotaur Fortress were quite easy until the last battle in the fortress, where good tactics could not save my somewhat underleveled characters with 35-80 (no savescumming for max HP on my watch) were severly reduced by the damage prior to the encounter. And when those bloody Wizards were able to cast several Delayed Blast Fireballs before my own guys could react, despite my guys having 17-18 DEX and the Wizards only 16 DEX, I had to edit the Damage event down to half the damage, and after a few tries and finally not having rotten luck with initiative (only one Wizards was able to cast DBF) I was victorious against the pompous wind bag of a Beholder and his minions.
It was a good fight though, but the Damage event obviosuly assumed the party had much higher HP.

Then we were attacked by 10 Blue Dragons en route to our next assignment. OK, 10 regular Blue Dragons each with 80 HP and 0 AC is already quite nasty, but 145 HP, -6 AC and 45% MAR (Blade Barrier had no effect whatsoever in all the rounds it lasted) is just sick. The only way to win is by metagaming and buying Rings of Lightning Immunity to all characters.
My guys lasted quite a long time thanks to two Scrolls of Prot Dragon Breath and three Rings of Blinking, but with 10 enemies each with 145 HP and -6 AC they just could't kill the enemy fast enough. Even if they were 5 levels higher and had max HP I don't think it would have worked. As it was I was only able to kill three of the dragons by brute force. Magic was useless.
Sorry, but IMO it's bad design when you are forced to metagame like this.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 09:44:33 PM by PetrusOctavianus »

 

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