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Harper Chronicles: Blacklake

iandarkswordiandarksword Member Posts: 976 Arc User
edited October 2016 in Foundry Quest Database
Harper Chronicles: Blacklake
(Short Code: NW-DCPA4W2Q5)

Designed to be the introductory quest in the Harper Chronicles series, this quest captures the players' attention in the Blacklake district. Focusing on expanding Hazel the Alchemist's story line, players are sent to investigate the mysterious sludge invading the district. Because this is intended to be an intro to the Harper Chronicles series, the NPC's are relatively straight forward and their personalities not very developed, in hopes that future quests allow for their growth alongside the player character. It is likely a difficult solo quest for a lower level character, however, two or more party members should be able to handle the difficulty fairly easily. The hope is that these quests will at some point be offered by the "Well-Informed Harper" NPC to direct players to zone specific quests as described in the leveling dialog. There will be a Harper Chronicles quest available in each leveling zone, as per the concept discussed in the forum thread.
"I don't know, I'm making it up as I go..."
Featured Foundry Quest: Whispers of an Ancient Evil [v3] - NW-DQ4WKW6ZG
Foundry Quest: Harper Chronicles: Blacklake - NW-DCPA4W2Q5

Comments

  • iandarkswordiandarksword Member Posts: 976 Arc User
    Cleaned up some of the dialog so that it flows a little better. Also changed a few emotes to better fit NPC dialog as well.
    "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go..."
    Featured Foundry Quest: Whispers of an Ancient Evil [v3] - NW-DQ4WKW6ZG
    Foundry Quest: Harper Chronicles: Blacklake - NW-DCPA4W2Q5
  • iandarkswordiandarksword Member Posts: 976 Arc User
    The quest is still available. Reviews are still being considered as feedback. I do think it might be a good duo quest at 6th level. I'm not certain how soon I'll be able to make changes from feedback with the state of the editor...
    "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go..."
    Featured Foundry Quest: Whispers of an Ancient Evil [v3] - NW-DQ4WKW6ZG
    Foundry Quest: Harper Chronicles: Blacklake - NW-DCPA4W2Q5
  • iandarkswordiandarksword Member Posts: 976 Arc User
    Made another pass at refining/rewriting dialog. I still feel the end may be too wordy, so changes may still occur. Changed a few mechanics to make creatures appear on cue. "Boss" fight has been reconfigured for a bit higher difficulty. Some rooms have been reorganized for better navigation.
    "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go..."
    Featured Foundry Quest: Whispers of an Ancient Evil [v3] - NW-DQ4WKW6ZG
    Foundry Quest: Harper Chronicles: Blacklake - NW-DCPA4W2Q5
  • melindenmelinden Member Posts: 619 Arc User
    edited July 2017
    I have a detailed review for you, hopefully it helps.

    Harpers Chronicle Blacklake

    I played with my level 70 TR. I didn’t rate the quest at this time since I think you will want to do some more work on it. I’m happy to play another draft.

    General Notes: The sewer set is limited, which is a challenge. Maybe adding more of the flowing water pipes and water on the ground in some of the rooms and halls (that don’t have it already) would help add some movement to the setting.

    I would recommend adding some lore or clever text to items along the way, especially in the dead ends. It is a small way to reward the players who explore the entire map. The Forgotten Realms wiki has a ton of material on wererats you might be able to add.

    Quest intro: I think we still have the bug that splits up parties at the map transitions if you try to do a foundry with someone else. The advice to bring a friend may not a be a good idea in that case.

    Mysterious Traveler: You may want to tell the player upfront that the people they are working with are Harpers. Players aren’t always able to pick up the clues and it may seem jarring to all of a sudden have the quest objective “Search for the Harper Operatives” Since the Neverwinter Harpers are headquartered in Blacklake it seems like it would be more obvious?

    If you don’t have it this is the section from page 119 of the Neverwinter Campaign guide :

    “Only ten or twelve Harper members work in Never winter, and only two of them are official agents.Toram (use the half-elf bandit captain in Monster Manual 2) makes the cell's tactical decisions. His half-sister, Theryis (use the eladrin arcane archer in Monster Manual 2), runs the House of a Thousand Faces tavern, which accommodates the Harpers. Members hide out in their Blacklake district base.” This would be “years ago” in current game time but it might be neat to have the tavern. Maybe we could agree to use these names for the operatives just so they can have names?

    Well transition: Currently it reads “Press F into the Sewers”, so I am guessing a word is missing

    Sewers:

    -the debris pile you are facing right when you enter the sewers is floating above the ground. The uneven ground detail makes that a tough one.

    -In the room where you find the Harper pin, maybe you could add some flavor text about the condition of the dead bodies on the side of the room? Maybe a clue how they died?

    -I liked the rat dinner party!

    -some of the webs in the spider room appear to be standing up on their own, you may need to add some more layers there to make them look like they are attached to the walls.

    -I would add some comment about how gross sewer fishing is to those fish drying racks but that may be more of a style choice. Just ew.

    -my companion couldn’t make it into the “boss fight” room, I think the doorway was too small. That might cause a lot of problems for some people. My defender makes a big difference for my TR.

    -I liked the were crocodile, but why was there a flamespiker? I thought you were going to add something about the magma flows from the eruption traveling down the Neverwinter River maybe.

    -maybe add a light by the shrine, it is hard to see the details.

    -OK I triggered the mobs by the shrine first before I was able to get to the dialogue box that refers to them. You may want to use a different trigger for them to get the timing better.

    -all the props in and extra text in the last room are great, more of that would be perfect.

    -“a follower may be using the sludge to regenerate via an underwater passage”, this line was unclear to me. Is she saying the follower is regenerating themselves? Or regenerating the sludge? Maybe you meant something else entirely?
    Find me in game with @DoctorBadger
    (Un)Academic Field Work Foundry Campaign: NWS-DAPZB2CTZ
  • iandarkswordiandarksword Member Posts: 976 Arc User
    edited July 2017
    Thank you so much @Melinden for taking the time to make a run through. All your ideas/feedback are greatly appreciated.
    Flamespikers are being used to melt through the walls, as opposed to more conventional methods. I tried to get the melted rock look, which might need a little tweaking to make the entry bigger, I don't know if I have large companions to test though. There is a slight difference in elevation between the rooms that might also play a part in getting a companion stuck.
    I'll definitely work in some extra snippets of lore. I didn't even think about describing the bodies or the fish rack, that's an awesome idea. I do want to try and leave more breadcrumbs to the other quests, it just a matter of where. I want to branch out from the storage room at the end to other parts of the sewer. I do try to use the Forgotten Realms wiki, as most of my books are from 3.5 edition. If I can't find a more recent reference I try my best to bridge the gap in time.
    The sewer entrance should read "descend into the sewers" maybe "descend" got removed somewhere, easy fix if so. The "follower" is the Chosen of Ghaunadar boss from the Blacklake Skirmish that players can queue for at level 6. The shrine/cavern would be where it retreats to after players defeat it in the skirmish. Sort of how liches retreat to their phylactery, except more like dissolve and ooze back to the shrine to reform. I will try to work on making the trigger timing a bit better, or maybe move the mob farther away so it doesn't aggro as soon as players obtain the text. I'll update again when I get most of thsee things figured out.
    "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go..."
    Featured Foundry Quest: Whispers of an Ancient Evil [v3] - NW-DQ4WKW6ZG
    Foundry Quest: Harper Chronicles: Blacklake - NW-DCPA4W2Q5
  • melindenmelinden Member Posts: 619 Arc User

    "follower" is the Chosen of Ghaunadar boss from the Blacklake Skirmish that players can queue for at level 6. The shrine/cavern would be where it retreats to after players defeat it in the skirmish. Sort of how liches retreat to their phylactery, except more like dissolve and ooze back to the shrine to reform. I will try to work on making the trigger timing a bit better, or maybe move the mob farther away so it doesn't aggro as soon as players obtain the text. I'll update again when I get most of thsee things figured out.

    I would recommend you go ahead and put that in the text or conversation somewhere, it would also encourage them to do the skirmish.

    Since we have limited props to set our scenes and players don't know the lore it is often better to spell things out out for the players. If they know it or don't care they can just skip the dialogue. I guess in my mind for the Flamespiker is I was wondering where they got him.

    The companion I used was the Laughing Skull so I don't think the size matters. He couldn't make it over the threshold area so could only get in halfway and then stopped moving. Even after the fighting started he wouldn't move, I had to kite the enemies to him. Interestingly enough they couldn't come out of their room either.

    Find me in game with @DoctorBadger
    (Un)Academic Field Work Foundry Campaign: NWS-DAPZB2CTZ
  • iandarkswordiandarksword Member Posts: 976 Arc User
    I've updated these issues a while ago, just never made a follow up post here. I'm considering submitting this quest for Feature, since it's been almost a year now and it's languished in review purgatory. I'll probably take a final proof spin through and hit the submit button, just to see what happens.
    "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go..."
    Featured Foundry Quest: Whispers of an Ancient Evil [v3] - NW-DQ4WKW6ZG
    Foundry Quest: Harper Chronicles: Blacklake - NW-DCPA4W2Q5
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