IRON GODS DM RETROSPECTIVE

From the Paizo thread of the same name.  Will just paraphrase myself :

So we finished the campaign last night. It took us 18 months to get through and here is my opinion of the whole thing as the DM.

I bit off more than I could chew taking this Pathfinder game and converting it to 5e. Though I did do it in the end and I did enjoy the conversion it was very time consuming.

I felt the adventure path was too long. In retrospect I would have completely cut out The Choking Tower and perhaps even Starfall component and just have them commando run the Divinity Drive. The reason I would do this is because the Divinity Drive is a giant dungeon crawl which are very time consuming and probably not the best fit for my group to put at the end of an 18 month long campaign (thats a personal preference). For my group it would have been better to bring the mega-dungeon forward as soon as possible.

The Scar of the Spider was the best adventure IMO. I ran it as a hex-crawl and it was great.

Not all my players had buy-in. One of my players didn’t like the crossing of the streams and so spent the entire campaign not taking anything seriously and doing silly things. I didn’t do what I normally do with my campaigns which is sit down before hand and say “this is the idea, I need everyones buy-in or we find a different idea”.

There was too much technology. My players got lost with it all and after the 1st adventure I started removing tech treasure. This is another personal preference, not a slight against the adventure. In retrospect I would have done the following from the first adventure :

  • Made the tech incomprehensible – more like magic items.
  • Made the language incompressible – add more mystery.
  • Removed charges and just have tech items deplete on 1/fumble or similar.
  • Too many ships with too many names – would have just made it one ship

I will be importing Silver Mount wholesale into my campaign setting as my worlds main mega-dungeon but I won’t have a Numeria. I think there are two streams here and they don’t work well together.

Numeria is basically Thundarr the Barbarian type setting and as a kingdom has more in common with Numenera/Dying Earth setting than a typical D&D medieval-fantasy setting. I don’t think it works as a kingdom in an otherwise fantasy setting. It works as a setting however. The discordance would be decreased if the whole world was like that. It would gel better.

The alternative is to have the ship crash into a fantasy setting similar to the original adventure and the trope here is medieval characters who know nothing of high-science stumble on it and explore it.  Expedition to the Barrier Peaks was a line in the sand for D&D that said in the standard setting science-technology didn’t fit.  You have an all science-fantasy setting or a no-science fantasy setting with the two only meeting in a Expedition scenario.

Trying to combine the two didn’t work well for me and even caused discordance in my mind as a DM as I constantly tried to harmonise everything. This isn’t a slight against the adventure at all but I feel Numeria works better as an entire science-fantasy setting ala Numenera.

Silver Mount will live on in my world as THE megadungeon but it will just be one spot with little influence on the setting as a whole apart from the trove of odd magic items that are recovered from it occasionally.

Actually, that was another issue I and my players had – too many ships and too many ship names. I had assumed that were all little ships from the larger Divinity until I read the last adventure and discovered they were a dozen Divinity type ships that crashed into Numeria. I didn’t like that and if I had known I would have removed all the other ships and just made them chunks of the larger Divinity that had survived.

Having said that I think this is a FINE inheritor to the original Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Good job Paizo people 🙂

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