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Critical Role - Campaign 2 “The Mighty Nein” - now concluded!


Doctor Shark
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Finished Campaign 2 last week (in podcast form).

 

I've never listened to the first one, and whilst I started the second years ago I stopped after about 20 episodes in. But on my excessive walking over the last 4 months or so it's become my go to listening material, listening to about an episode a day, if not a little more.

 

Overall, my god it's amazing. It makes me want to play some more D&D a lot, even though I know my own group sessions will never quite capture the same drama the basics are the same. Hearing how down and desperate people get as they think a fight is going badly, that the game is rigged against them, that they're being cheated.

 

Favourite moment has to be the hag...

 

Spoiler

Utterly blindsided by Laura there, as was Matt and the rest of the group. The thought to do it. No open discussion or planning. The way she revealed it in layers so you wondered where it was going. The fact the rolls actually worked. There's really nothing like it in the rest of the campaign, where a player just takes complete control of the situation.

 

 

Having binged it though I suspect there are some things that annoy me a lot more than listening as it's released. I knew the story intimately. Something that happened 10 weeks ago for the players and they don't recall happened maybe a week ago for me. I don't expect them to necessarily remember every little thing from a while back but given what they're trying to do (and making money from this) I do wish the players would somehow review the previous episode maybe the night before. Not listen to all of it, but maybe compile a synopsis and read before they play.

 

I'm also not sure how I feel about the rules stuff. They've done this weekly for years now and yet seem completely perplexed by most of the rules of the game, and unable to remember how things they use all the time like Bless work (advantage? add a 4? add a d4? etc). I've experience the same in my own games but I'd just like to see a little more effort to avoid the confusion. Some of it makes it what it is but sometimes it's painful. In addition god they could do with reading their own character sheets and understanding what abilities they have and what they do.

 

At times I think Matt lets them off too easy. I don't mean in terms of pulling punches but how he lets them say they have what they probably don't have. Or acquire something they didn't think of. I mean around episode 50-70 or something Travis discovers that spells need components. Doh! I get it, there's a line where you need to let things flow but I think over time it makes the group more annoying to follow. Similar is players not even tracking what they have half the time. "I think I have <thing> from <back when>". Is it written down? The players need to own their own character and manage them. Relying on Matt to plug the gaps is frustrating to me.

 

As I love him most of the time, Sam would be a fucking nightmare to play with. The chaotic player at the table is just a real pain imo. Choosing not to reroll or wanting not to take the effect of reliable talent. I get that it can add drama if applied appropriately but it ends up feeling like he's actively sabotaging the group at times.

 

Finally, christ they need to improve their basic maths skills. Marisha in particular is just incapable of adding two numbers. At all. And Ashely unable to take a turn in which just basically always rages and then attacks twice in a reasonable time period.

 

 

 

Wow, that's a lot of negatives, but they're all actually minor. I had moist eyes at the end as it was wrapping up. Moving stuff, even for someone who skipped through a fair bit of Beau or Caleb prolonged waffle throughout the campaign.

 

Two episodes into Exandria Unlimited now.

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To be fair, spells having components is shit and should be done away with. “I want to cast fireball” “oh sorry you can’t, you didn’t specify you went to a shop to buy the shit you need, so no magic for you today!”  Bullshit. 
 

Also, some people just aren’t good at maths. Get over it :lol:

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I've been running a campaign for years and forget rules all the time, despite the fact 5e is streamlined it is still very "dense" as a rules system.

 

Generic spell components are usually disposable as a concept so apart from certain situations I let it slide. So for instance in a campaign set in deep jungle with no shops I did say that generic spell components weren't guaranteed and we RPd some of the sourcing and it made the casters choose spells they gained base on what htey had around etc. That felt more "real".

 

Spell components that have a cost and are consumed are important and do need tracking and purchasing (diamonds for resurection spells are the main one) as the reason for the consumable is to make the spell less "ten a penny".

 

"Chaotic play" like ignoring halfling luck etc I find is good RP. I think that D&D is as good as it is because part of it does depend on the random rolling stuff. A situation can spin on the roll of a die. In last campaign a character had the ability to resurrect one creature no matter how old etc obviously to be used in dire straits - instead he raised an ancient silver Dragon who used to live there and had been defeated before. He came back and assisted the party but then it all twisted on a roll of a die and almost condemned the party and certainly condemned the realm they were in.

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33 minutes ago, Clipper said:

 In last campaign a character had the ability to resurrect one creature no matter how old etc obviously to be used in dire straits - instead he raised an ancient silver Dragon who used to live there and had been defeated before. He came back and assisted the party but then it all twisted on a roll of a die and almost condemned the party and certainly condemned the realm they were in.

 

 

Good times. 😃

 

I find some of their rule stuff annoying because it's always in their favour, and normally makes the spell/situation much more powerful. (e.g. mirror images),

It alters the fights from tense struggles to overcome that are engaging to much more one sided encounters which are less interesting.

 

On that note I'd have to go check the numbers but it certainly felt like C2 has less downing/resurrections overall - although there were still some incredibly tense encounters. 

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5e rule set with experienced players is a nightmare to balance for combat encounters.

 

a party level of 5-7 can easily do 150-200 damage a round. Hit point sponge enemies are dull so trying to make encounters exciting is hard. Mind you it does force you to build encounters that disrupt the players (invis or nerfing range or or or) and mix things up instead of just having big standard hack slash.

 

but the encounter building section in DMs guide is just too generous to players after level 1/2/3. beyond level 10 I am surprised anything can challenge them 🙂 


I now customise most significant enemies in some way as a result.

 

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