Questions on Song of the Blade

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Brimmel
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Questions on Song of the Blade

Post by Brimmel » Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:09 pm

These are a couple of questions I asked Mr. Goodman, and he referred me here to post them, suggesting that Mr. Sprengeler himself might answer them:

First, I'd like to congratulate you on getting a module out almost immediately after the release of Iron Heroes. It's smart to be the first one the block with content, and I think Iron Heroes is going to be big. It looks like a good system (although they'll need to fix the magic). Also, I'm pleased the module you guys released is large enough to help the characters get to a respectable level. Too many modules are dinky little one level things, and that makes this one stand out.
That being said, I'm curious about a couple of points. What's the reason you have alignments listed for all the characters. I'd thought Iron Heroes was a system that didn't use them. Also, was there a reason you left off the damage resistance from armor? With the exception of Chook, I couldn't find it with any of the characters.

Thanks for your reply

walrusjester
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Post by walrusjester » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:44 am

I'm glad you enjoyed the module! It was a loose adaptation of events in my home D&D campaign, and two of the PCs were adapted for it.

Alignment: Y'know, I hate alignment. I never use it when running a d20 game, and I never take an alignment in someone else's game unless forced. But when you're a freelancer, you get in the habit of including it, so I just assigned it to everyone. Feel free to disregard it.

Armor: That must be an oversight on my part. Everyone's armor DR is as normal. I wrote a lot of the stat blocks before I got my copy of the IH rules, so I didn't realize at first that armor was a form of DR in the system, and I must've forgotten to incorporate it. Sorry!

John Cooper
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Post by John Cooper » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:18 pm

Brimmel: There are actually two answers to your Alignment question.

The let-me-try-to-weasel-out-of-it answer: Alignments were left in so that the adventure could be used with other d20 fantasy RPGs.

The slightly-more-truthful answer: Since so much of an Iron Heroes character's stat block is in the same format as a D&D character's stat block, the fact that there was an Alignment entry didn't send any "hey, something's wrong here" signals to my D&D-trained brain.

I'll take full responsibility for the Alignment oversight - as editor, it was my job to have noticed that and fix it up. Fortunately, its inclusion doesn't affect the rest of the stats, and it should be easy enough to ignore.

Also, like Matt said, he started writing the adventure before the Iron Heroes rules were finalized; likewise, I was doing the proofreading/editing using an initial, prototype copy of the Iron Heroes book (in fact, my copy was still called "Iron Lore," its original name). The disadvantage of being "first out of the gate" with an adventure using a new set of rules is that you usually don't have a lot of time to get really familiar with the rules; fortunately, Sue Cook was very kind in answering all of my questions during the editing process, and I feel confident that "Song of the Blade" does a good job of conforming to the Iron Heroes rules (Alignment oversight notwithstanding). Plus, it's a really well-written adventure. (As I told Matt via email, it's a shame I edited it because I would have loved to be able to review it!)

Bagpuss
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Post by Bagpuss » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:40 am

I noticed that all the NPC's with class levels seem to be short one feat (as if they were given only one instead of two at 1st level), any reason for this?

Also traints seemed to be optional some had one, some two, some none.

walrusjester
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Post by walrusjester » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:59 am

I'll have to go back to my notes on feats; I'll try to get you an answer when I get back from GenCon. As for traits, I only assigned them to characters when I thought the character needed them. Every PC gets access to traits, but I didn't want every NPC to have them also -- it undercuts the uniqueness of the PCs, and there aren't all that many traits to go around. As always, if you want to change the character writeups, go for it. I invariably do...
DragonMech line developer, freelance writer, tall guy named Matt.

Bagpuss
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Post by Bagpuss » Wed Aug 17, 2005 12:00 am

I like your reasoning on traits. One of the few things I'm likely to change when I run it (eventually) is not have the city run by an Arcanist I don't want to introduce magic in any form that early on in my game (if at all).

Other than that I really like it, the notes on tactics and the plans of the NPC's reactions to the players, or regardless of the players, are refreshing compared with your average dungeon crawl.

Are there any plans for a sequal to this adventure?

walrusjester
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Post by walrusjester » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:23 am

I can tell you this much -- if we sell out of Song Of The Blade, you can probably convince Joseph to commission a sequel.

Making Byron Madigan a non-arcanist is a fine idea. In the original (pre-IH) game he comes from, he was a mage of some sort. I carried that idea over so the PCs would potentially have access to magic if the GM wanted that sort of thing, but it's not necessary at all. Oh, and Byron was the villain when he showed up in the first incarnation. When my players ran those adventures, Byron used fly to escape -- until the party's wizard used blindness and brought his villainous career to a sudden end.

I'm glad you like the tactical/GMing notes! I definitely wanted this to be more open-ended than an average module. If someone's gonna lay down their money rather than write it themselves, I figure I need to provide enough stuff to make it worth their cash.

Oh, and I'm still hunting for an answer to your question on feats.
DragonMech line developer, freelance writer, tall guy named Matt.

Bagpuss
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Post by Bagpuss » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:29 am

I bought it on PDF, so the selling out statement stuck me as funny. Funny you should mention that, I was considering making Byron a villan.

walrusjester
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Post by walrusjester » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:27 am

Late is better than never -- I think my problem with Feats is that I forgot IH characters get them every 2 levels instead of the standard every 3. If you need me to provide you with Feat suggestions, post it here and I'll come up with some. But I have faith in your inventiveness...
DragonMech line developer, freelance writer, tall guy named Matt.

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