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Modiphius > Robert E. Howards CONAN roleplaying game
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The Jeweled Thrones of the Earth Opinions? (Possible Spoilers)

posted Apr 10, 2017 20:15:55 by DerekHand
So, I unfortunately didn't get the PDF pack when I backed, though now I wish I had. But I'm curious to hear, from those that did, what do you think of the Adventures in the Jeweled Thrones of the Earth.

I'm not a huge fan of pre-written adventures because they tend to be very railroady, but I enjoyed the one in the quickstart, and I know the people involved are good writers. So what do people think? Any problem areas? Particularly enjoyable Adventures?
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9 replies
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harlokin said Apr 11, 2017 14:18:43
So far I have run one of the adventures, but have read through a couple more, and I would definitely recommend the book.

I haven't found them to be too railroady, and they are easy to adapt to give a more free-form feel, according to taste.

From a GM's perspective, I have found the adventures very useful for getting used to using certain rules, and constructing thematic challenges that have a having a variety of options.
[Last edited Apr 11, 2017 14:29:51]
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David Thomas said Apr 12, 2017 13:02:10
Like you, I don't often purchase premade adventures, as I never run them straight out of the book anyway.
This is a good assortment however, and there are at least two that I just might actually run straight out of the book! There is only one that I don't really care for.

Overall, I'd say if you think you might run an adventure from the book for a group someday, then get it. If you are looking to do what I usually do with premades and mine them for monsters, NPC's, and ideas, then probably skip it and grab some of the supplements instead.
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harlokin said Apr 13, 2017 16:50:03
Out of curiosity, which one didn't you like?
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David Thomas said Apr 13, 2017 17:05:33
I wasn't going to say because I didn't want to poop on anyone's work. However, it is just my opinion, so... The Pact of Xiabalba.

And there's nothing wrong with the adventure, I would just need to change some things for personal preference.
[Last edited Apr 15, 2017 12:24:20]
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RicardovanD said May 08, 2017 09:01:00
I too have had a quick look at the scenarios. A couple I wouldn't like to play but again that's just personal preference.
And, as it says in the last chapter, if you don't like something in an adventure change it.
As a GM, you are in the position to do what you like with the scenarios.
I have finished playing the scenario in the core rule book (my dice came good finally) and for the benefit of the person who ran that I am going to run the Pict scenario but am not going to use it as is.
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FelipeMorales said May 10, 2017 03:33:16
I am getting ready to GM "The Red Pit" at the end of May 2017. I am surprised that the adventure made it through all the checks with a badly drawn zone map.
There is a 3/4 view drawing/map on page 110 of the Red Pit. But after reading through the scenario and watching the online play on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An0IZ49xMoY&t=1419s), I realized that the drawing on page 110 doesn't match the adventure.

It boggles my mind that if they took the space for a drawing/map then Modiphius should have made it useful or not put it in at all (1/2 page). I can easily tell that trying to use the adventure with the map given would be dumb choice. This should have been a top-down zone map.

BTW, the book drawing/map seems to be patterned after a modern quarry. Even then one questions, if the artist even used some kind of reference at all.

Something else to mention, the artwork seems to have been given very little direction as to how it relates to the adventure except for the first picture on 108. The picture on page 112 shows a scene in an underground tunnel. On page 115, the arrows are coming from the wrong direction. On page 117, the basket shows its being used for a hole in the ground.
Yes, I know that perhaps someone might get a different idea about how to GM the adventure, but that would happen even if the artwork match the adventure.
But I will agree that the art is well done, especially the coloring and certain details.

It seems to me that the artists were given vague instructions on pictures that should be specific to the writing.
What's wrong with this? Like many GMs we use pictures from the books to help the players immerse themselves in the game. So, I show them a picture, but now I have to explain why the arrows are coming from the wrong direction which later on could be confusing as to where the enemy is shooting their arrows.
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David Thomas said May 10, 2017 13:21:59
@Felipe - I wish that there were more Zone maps, and mention of Zones in the adventures in general. Zones are the way movement works in the game, I'd think every adventure and setting book would have a few cool Zone maps.
One of my personal pet peeves is art that doesn't match narration. It happens all the time on book covers, and it drives me crazy! I still have yet to see a picture of Conan fighting Atali's brothers that actually matches the story, and there are TONS of illustrations out there of that scene. So I'm with ya man. :P
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WesleyWConnally said Dec 16, 2017 21:13:35
I think the pre-made adventures are very useful. When I'm trying to learn a new system, especially one as different as this system is, it helps to understand how it all works.

My problem so far has been that there are too many mistakes and errors (and I've only run two adventures). Incorrect maps, text not matching the maps, text being confusing or even contradictory etc. It leaves the GM having to make assumptions, fill in gaps, etc, which defeats (partially at least) the reason I want to run a few pre-made adventures.
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Dislikes_Elves said Dec 17, 2017 10:32:23
I support David Thomas and WesleyWConnally: I have read all the adventures in JTotE and have until now gamemastered "Seethers in the Darkness", "The Thousand Eyes of Aumag-Bel", "The Red Pit" and "The Ghost of Thunder River" and in every adventure there were several headscratching moments where I just didn't know what the adventure wanted to tell me or how I should imagine or run a certain scene. And there are almost never indications in what movement zones the action takes place which I would have greatly appreciated. Also while there are several maps they're often of limited use.

Also, we're playing the adventures as some sort of loose campaign (started with the introductory adventure in the core rule book) and now it really shows that the adventures are very very combat focused. Melee and Ranged weapons, Parry, Acrobatics and Observation, maybe a bit survival is all that you need. It was to be expected but I now really have problems motivating me to prepare "Caves of the Dero" at the moment because it feels just like another string of combat encounters.

I'd still recommend the book because the ideas behind the adventures are very appealing in the sense that they capture the Conan feeling quite well IMO and I'm sure an experienced gamemaster could work very well with these as inspirations. But for a novice gamemaster like me, I often found myself "left alone" by the adventure and I had the impression that I'm only running a string of combat encounters. There are no puzzles at all and very very limited interaction with NPCs beside combat.

The best so far has been in my opinion "The Ghost of Thunder River" because of the unique introduction (which the players appreciated as well) and it was rather easy to build up the atmosphere. On the other hand, the end fight was incredibly disappointing as the PCs killed the BBEG in a single round.

I'm dreading the Caves of the Dero because after all those adventures it reads like a rather bland dungeon crawl in execution and the descriptions and maps seem the most confusing until now. I'm having high hopes for "The pact of Xialbalba" for the atmosphere (though there are some encounters I have no real idea how to run them) and "Devils under Green Stars" because there is at least the potential of some interaction with NPCs beside combat.

I can't really say anything about "The 1000 eyes..." because my players decided to leave the city before the adventure really got underway. That was probably more my fault than the adventure's.
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