Jalizar – Retrospective

#1
Just to round things off, here are the lessons learned from this campaign. Given the comments I don’t think this one is coming back.

Roll20


Roll20 adventures don’t work unless there is a map for people to look at, either a large-scale area map or a battlemat. This has to be prepared in advance, which I didn’t always have time to do.

Roll20 whisper chat works fine if you type into the chat box, but if you cut and paste text from elsewhere, it shares it with everyone.

There were various complaints from players about the poor user interface in Roll20, but all of them came from people using Apple products, everyone on Wintel was fine. So maybe Roll20 doesn’t work as well on Macs.

On the plus side, I think I understand how to split the party across multiple maps now, but it looks like the GM can still only see one at a time.

The Campaign


Lord Salkar was overpowered compared to the other characters. I remember that being said about the Monk in the previous party, and it’s something I’ve also noticed with other groups, although not to the same extent. In future, part of preparing the campaign should be reviewing the lists of Powers and Edges and pruning them to fit the genre and setting – it’s very unlikely I’ll feel the need to add new ones, though.

Encounters seem to work better when I stick to the creatures in the standard bestiary than when I build my own or convert D&D monsters. Savage Worlds as a game also seems to work better with a medium-powered boss and a bunch of minions than it does with a single Big Bad Evil Guy – though one Big Bad is easier to run, it’s not as much fun for the players.

The characters were all interesting, but the party as a whole didn’t have a good reason to co-operate, or follow the story arc. If there is a next time, I will be more open from the start about what the storyline is, and the kind of PCs that would fit into it.

Savage Worlds in the hands of experienced players chews through plot faster than other games I’ve run, and SWADE on Roll20 seems to amplify that. So if there is a next time I will plan further ahead, but without railroading the party.

As I’ve noticed before, Savage Worlds is not kind to filler adventures. Everything has to drive the plot forward somehow; Chekov’s Gun on acid.

It seems to be harder to run a party which is basically evil. I’m not sure why, possibly because they’re willing to do things ‘lawful good’ parties don’t do, possibly because I want the player characters to be heroes.

The GM


I don’t have the time or the energy to run multiple campaigns at once. Actually, on reflection, I never did.

This was a campaign that I wasn’t very enthusiastic about, and consequently didn’t prepare for thoroughly enough. Regardless of what the players say they want, the campaign has to inspire me enough to put in the effort, or it will fail.

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First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#3
Just to round things off, here are the lessons learned from this campaign. Given the comments I don’t think this one is coming back.
I'm not a fan of the Roll20 interface, and am using it in a residual fashion for one game I am running. I wouldn't have started there if I could begin again. It's biggest strength is the breadth of automated character sheets and handling funky dice. As automation isn't that important for a good game, I prefer to use other things, though your general points on Roll20 hold true for VTTs in general. Going forward I can see me continuing to use Lets-Role and the new Role VTTs for all my needs.

This was a campaign that I wasn’t very enthusiastic about, and consequently didn’t prepare for thoroughly enough. Regardless of what the players say they want, the campaign has to inspire me enough to put in the effort, or it will fail.
This is the real thing I feel, the heart and soul of your post. I agree wholeheartedly.
 
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