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Smoking Ruin - tribal edit thread


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Page 113

The description of True Ford and the map seem inconsistent.

Should it have a bridge or a Ford?

Location 1 on the map should be the building above the market square, it seems to be a residence or other building. The legend says this is the assembly hall, the description states it is the village hall.

location 3 on the map should be a little lower.

Location 4 on the map. The Barntar shrine is described as being within the Ernalda temple, on the map it is called out separately.

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Just a general point about Runequest scenario formatting - and maybe this deserves a thread all of its own - is that The Smoking Ruin still suffers from walls of text in some areas. 

It's certainly an improvement on some other Runequest scenarios, with better use of white space, headers and bullet points to break things up. But, for example, the section called 'The Performance' on pages 52-55 contains an awful lot of description of Treya's actions, and if/then statements and skill checks, which would have been better set out as bullets, or in a table, for ease of GM use (this is a suggestion for future scenarios, I'm not suggesting you rewrite this whole section).

As a GM I'm already thinking I'll probably need to break down the descriptions into sections in order to run this part of the scenario at the table.

I know there are people on the internet who make a very big deal about published scenarios being ready to run straight out of the box, so to speak - I'm not a purist about this, but I do think that it's an area that Chaosium could make improvements in. 

This is a minor grumble though - it's a great-looking supplement.

Edited by Sumath
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Oh, the other suggestion I was going to make is to have all stat blocks at the end of a scenario, rather than at the point of the story in which they appear. This is because it breaks the text up and makes the scenario harder to read through. 

Runequest stat blocks take up pages and pages so this is quite an interruption to the flow of the document, especially when it happens several times over the course of the scenario. I appreciate that this is a personal preference though, so would be interested to hear other people's thoughts.

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22 minutes ago, Sumath said:

Oh, the other suggestion I was going to make is to have all stat blocks at the end of a scenario, rather than at the point of the story in which they appear. This is because it breaks the text up and makes the scenario harder to read through. 

Runequest stat blocks take up pages and pages so this is quite an interruption to the flow of the document, especially when it happens several times over the course of the scenario. I appreciate that this is a personal preference though, so would be interested to hear other people's thoughts.

At the very least, getting a companion pdf with each stat block group for a given opponent might be nice.

Some German publishers include a single use coupon code sticker in their supplements so that they can give the pdf in addition to the printed product, because of a German law called Buchpreisbindung (demanding that books cannot be sold to end customers with a discount). But then, this does create an additional step in production, you cannot display a book without shrink-wrap in your shop, and there is additional administrative overhead if you make this a single-use coupon.

It is possible to make it a free-to-use coupon if these NPC data sheets don't make up too much of the published scenario or the encounter portion of the book.

But as a GM tool, having these encounters ready for a three-ring binder (for the US market) or a 4-ring binder (for continental Europe) would be a nice addition.

But then, nobody stops anyone from providing such a collection of encounters as a Jonstown Compendium product. Not exactly the ones in The Smoking Ruins, of course, but in the style of the Borderlands encounters.

 

The interruption of the text for Urvantan's two page spread could have been signalled by a variation of the layout.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Sumath said:

Page 42

"Treya is beautiful, funny, and charismatic, so adventurers
may become smitten with her"

Correspondingly, she ought to have a Charm skill % listed, but there isn't one provided in her stats.

It isn't anything Treya is actively pursuing. There are rumored player characters who pursue romanic interests on their own.

Even if they might happen to be Varmandi herders in a Dark Season huddle, or an NPC which reeks of trouble.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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But it would still be useful to have e.g. in the event of the GM having to decide which of two adventurers advances she takes up (using her Charm defensively rather than actively in this case). It also seems an odd omission from a character that is repeatedly referred to as effervescent, graceful etc.

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What runes do worshipers of Arachne Solara use to cast their rune magic? Beast?

Ironhoof has 95% each in Air, Movement (for Orlanth), Earth and Beast. Other AS-worshiping centaurs have Beast and Fertility, Koros has Air, Beast, Fertility, Movement. From this I would deduce that they cast their magic using the Beast rune, as that is the only one all of them have.

And what  is the point in giving Dappled Light zero rune points in Arachne Solara (p.66)?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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33 minutes ago, Aprewett said:

Is The Rattling Wind part of this?

Nope, it will be part of another adventure collection which is, indeed, called "The Pegasus Plateau & Other Stories". I'm pretty sure it won't be long before we see its PDF surface and another tribal edit thread starts :)

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Just a note, we are not removing functionality from the writeups.

Many gamemasters have asked for spell costs (magic and Rune points) to be listed in writeups for convenience, requiring less page-flipping when spells are cast.

Similarly, it is useful to note which entities know all common Rune spells and which do not, as some entities know only a handful of Rune spells and were not taught those spells as members of cults. 

You'll also note that armor listings have a new entry describing the Move Quietly penalty. This has not been figured into the default listed skill value, though, as there may be conditions where the adventurers meet the NPC when they are not ready for combat.

The way we present content will likely change incrementally as we explore the game line and gain additional feedback from gamemasters and players. Please don't ask us to make needless changes for consistency when it should be obvious a change is being made for greater usability. 

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4 minutes ago, Jason Durall said:

Just a note, we are not removing functionality from the writeups.

Many gamemasters have asked for spell costs (magic and Rune points) to be listed in writeups for convenience, requiring less page-flipping when spells are cast.

Great, I was al little nervous that you might have been listening to these pleas.

 

8 minutes ago, Jason Durall said:

The way we present content will likely change incrementally as we explore the game line and gain additional feedback from gamemasters and players. Please don't ask us to make needless changes for consistency when it should be obvious a change is being made for greater usability. 

If so, in this case more, is... well more. Glad to hear it.

Cheers

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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Page 112

Typical Warden of Long Home

Rune Spells: All common knowledge Rune spells, plus Dismiss Air Elemental (small or medium) (1 - 2 pts.), Shield (1 pt.), Wind Words (1 pt.).

Page 114

Hawarin Moonsister

Rune Points: 12 (Seven Mothers) -- Has twelve special Rune magic spells, see below

Rune Spells: All common knowledge plus Ban (1 pt.),
Command Darkness Elemental (any) (2 pts.), Control
Lune (any) (1–3 pts.), Dismiss Darkness Elemental (small)
(1 pt.), Dismiss Lune (any) (1–3 pts.), Enchant Silver
(1 pt.), Madness (2 pts.), Mindblast (2 pts.), Reflection (1
pt.), Regrow Limb (2 pts.), Summon Darkness Elemental
(small) (1 pt.), Summon Lune (any) (1–3 pts.).

--  As per page 303 in the rule book

Spirit Magic:.. Total 21 points, which is more than her CHA (16). Please change as appropriate

Iron Dagger...Pts 12   [above, next to Magic Items, it mentions that this is a special iron dagger with double HP]

Edited by jongjom
Changed back to: Command elemental (any) (2pts )
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Page 115

Jorendona Earthspeaker

…...Bear Fruit (1 pt.), Blast Earth (1 pt.), Bless Pregnancy (2 pts.),Charisma (1 pt.), Comfort Song (1 pt.), Dismiss Earth Elemental (any) (1–3 pts.), Earthpower (3 pts.), Heal Body (3 pts.), Healing Trance (1 pt.), Inviolable (1 pt.),......Restore Health (1 pt.), Shake Earth (1 pt.), Summon Earth Elemental (any) (1–3 pts.). 

-- Comfort Song is a Chalana Arroy only spell, however she does provide Ernalda with Healing Trance

-- Similarly Maran Gor does not provide Ernalda with Shake Earth but does provide Blast Earth

 

Page 116

Nilusa of the Brook

Special Abilities Spirit Powers: Affect Environment, Elemental Form, Rune Magic.

-- To avoid multiple terms to describe the same thing, and hopefully avoid confusion 

 

Page 118

Captain Terentha

Rune Points: 6 (Humakt), 4 (Vinga Adventurous)

-- There are at least 4 Non-Humakt spells listed below: Fearless (2 pts.), Leap (1 pt.), Summons of Evil (3 pts.), Wind Words (1 pt.). 

Spirit Magic: Bladesharp 3, Demoralize (2 pts.), Detect... etc. etc.

-- Has many more points in Spirit Magic than allowed by her CHA. Please delete as appropriate, 

Page 118

Armor modifies Move Quietly by –65% while worn. 

Skills: Animal Lore 25%, Battle 50%, Cult Lore (Humakt) 65%, 

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Page 42

Treya of Ezel

Spirit Magic: Befuddle 2, Demoralize (1 pt.), Heal 2.

 

Page 184

Broo Priest

Spirit Magic: ...Detect Spirit (1 pt.), Disruption (1 pt.), Heal 6, Sleep (3 pts.). 

Maybe add:

Spirit combat damage: 1D6+1 

 

Page 185

Allied Spirits: Dancer ... knows Countermagic 4, Dispel Magic 6, Spirit Screen 4;

Typical Broo

Spirit Magic: Countermagic 2, Demoralize (2 pts.), Heal 3.

 

Page 187

Typical Scorpion Man

Spirit Magic: Ironhand (1 pt.), Heal 2, Mobility (1 pt.), Protection 2

 

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22 hours ago, Aprewett said:

Chime in on the formatting with stat blokes in the text. The Conan 2d20 suffers badly from this, and you have to constantly page flip and then some of the stat blokes are not even on the same page. Back of the book, all in one would be so much cleaner.

Clearly, we disagree entirely on the utility of this. Most of the feedback we get from layout is that all of the info you need for an encounter/scene should be present in one place, to minimize page flipping, especially for those using tablets. 

You have just said that page flipping is a problem, and yet you would like stat blocks at the end of the chapter... doesn't that guarantee more page flipping? 

 

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@Jason Durall Personally, I'm always going to print stat blocks out separately anyway, as during the game they're easier to handle and I'll scribble over them as HP, RP & MP change - I wouldn't do that in the scenario hardcopy.

The size of stat blocks in RQ is huge compared to other games (one individual and their mount takes up more than a page), so page flipping is going to happen anyway in something like Defending Apple Lane where you have stats for eight riders and mounts - unless you print them out as separate sheets from the PDF.

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No, once I have set the scene and a map is on the table, I generally don’t need to refer to the text. Stat blokes imbedded in text are ok if you are selling a produced that a ref is reading, but not if running a game. They distract and muddle the content. I think the gaming industry should present gaming modules for play not collectors books to read. Stat blokes imbedded in text, just mean I have to cut and paste to get them all in one place. This is not so easy on a iPad, as it does not copy stat blokes without mucking up the layout. So then I have to use a computer. Myself, I don’t have a home computer anymore, just a iPad.

Even if I had to flip back to the text, I am going to find what I am looking for a hell of a lot faster without trying to navigate around stats. If this layout can’t be changed, then a separate PDF stat bloke booklet would be awesome.

just my 2d.

Edited by Aprewett
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11 minutes ago, Aprewett said:

 If this layout can’t be changed, then a separate PDF stat bloke booklet would be awesome.

Good suggestion.  A printable PDF version that's functional rather than for its look might be well received? May be worth asking if you haven't already.

I recall RQ3 had separate booklet for stats for some supplements, even RGQ has it with the Pre-Gen characters in the box set. 

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