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Episode 1 suggestions

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Here is some of my feedback for Episode 1:

  1. NPC Pictures: it would be nice to have a page of small thumbnail pictures for all of the NPC’s (preferable B&W public domain ones from the 20’s), with their name and occupation/role printed below.
  2. Boxed text: It is hard to discern what can be read to players, and often referees have to mentally convert the text on the fly. Having concise “read aloud” text (preferable with a box around it) could help referees immeasurably.
  3. Farmhouse ending: making the opposition details (i.e. number of Mi-go and what they are armed with) more distinct/visible could help referees.
  4. Dig site ending: This is too abrupt and not detailed. .Also, the opposition details (i.e. number of Mi-go and what they are armed with) is not present at all.
  5. Agnes’ statement: this is inconsistent with the statements about Bugs and bird carcasses elsewhere in the adventure
  6. Folklore handouts: the folklore section has some excellent, useful text, but it could be useful to instead format it to be used as handouts (giving the referee an option to save his voice and game time)
  7. Stats where needed: having stats for NPC’s and opposition where they are encountered would save time flipping to the appendix (which is cumbersome, delaying the game precisely during the action scenes). These could even be abbreviated stats (i.e. just the parts that might be needed), saving the full details in the appendix.
  8. NPC physical descriptions: the physical descriptions for the student NPC’s are very long and detailed (which can add in-game clutter and delays). A single, pithy line could suffice.
  9. Sheriff’s speech: although I loved reading the speech, it was very long. A shorter speech would maintain player attention, which would ultimately enhance the impact.
  10. More speeches: I would like read-aloud dialog provided for other NPC’s too. They don’t have to be in hand-out format. Boxed (or even italicized) text is fine.
  11. Newspaper clippings: we definitely need one dealing with the previous expedition. My players hounded me for this - luckily there were some fan made ones offered in forum. Also, some pre-made clippings concerning the PC’s (likely) antics in town would also be nice.
  12. Prequel: the suggestion for Keepers to roleplay prior to the expedition can cause some problems. The players are almost certainly going to (extensively) research the previous expedition, which will remove some of the surprises and cause the Keeper to improvise extensively. Starting in medias res can save a lot of headaches.
  13. Mi-go equipment illustrations: a lot of Mi-go equipment is detailed, but some illustrations of some of them would be especially helpful.


Edited by mvincent
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I agree with 1 - 2 - 10 - 11 - 13.

There is somewhere on this forum a fan-made post about how to deal with nr. 12. 
Blaine messed with the findings, he convinced the professor it was necessary so the players would not be biased when going on the trip.
I did the prequel only 1 day in advance of the trip, which is more than enough time.

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These are great suggestions for this module.  If these items were added, it would really take a step forward and become a much more valuable tool for a keeper to pickup and use quickly.  

Another thing I might emphasize is just improving the organization of the information.  There is so much in big long blocks of text, that it is almost impossible to use the book as your guide during game.  If there are any board game fans here, you know that the more complicated games often come with a player's quick reference guide.  It would be incredible if this book had a keeper's quick reference guide.  There is a fan made outline I was pointed to that was very helpful.  Some other specific comments:

I agree with putting a text box around what can be read to players - Pathfinder uses this and it is extremely helpful.

It might be helpful if encounters were broken down into sections - 

  • Section one could be a text box on what can be read to the players
  • Section two could maybe describe if there are prerequisites for this encounter and what story elements occurring later this encounter effects.
  • Section three could outline the encounter
  • Any skill checks or portions of the encounter requiring dice rolls could be summarized in a section
  • If an enemy is faced his stat block could be provided

This format could become a standard for future adventures, perhaps.

Although I began this note with two improvement opportunities, I do appreciate the amount of content in book one.  There are lots of suggestions for alternate endings and details on how to handle certain events.  I do really like the plot implication text boxes - those are extremely valuable in helping keeper's remember what the key part the NPC has in the story.  I am planning on running this soon and am very curious to see how it plays out.


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