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Great Wyrm
 
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:50 am
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 Post subject: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:16 pm 
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The Breaking of Forstor Nagar has been marinading for a while and I'm really proud to announce that it will be released! The adventure is an 8th level adventure for the Pathfinder game set in a city carved out of the living ice of the Forstorheim glacier. The city is under siege and the adventurers must break through the enemy lines, secure the target and escape. Of course, it's never quite that simple...

The adventure has unanimous reviews - 5 stars across the board with 5 reviews in so far. One reviewer is talking about 'best of 2011'. Another is saying that this shows maptool is the future.

You can full details and previews of the product over on RPGNow and order print or pdf on Paizo (as well as reading some of the nice things people are saying about it).

The adventure was written by the multi-talented Ben McFarland (Streets of Zobeck, Kobold Quarterly), edited by Mark Moreland (since abducted to Seattle by the Golarion goblins and hard at work in the Paizo mines), beautifully illustrated by Tyler Bartley and the token art for the panoply of monsters was done by Devin Night, the original and greatest illustrator of VTT tokens. I put together the maps and sorted out the maptool integration. The adventure is published by Rite Publishing, organised and corralled by Steve Russell and made possible by the involvement of the patrons.

The adventure has 9 encounters - taking the PCs from their first encounter at the mouth of the glacier, right into the heart of the icy city in its final death throes. It's great to see a designer at work. Ben avoided predictable encounters, offering twists and catches throughout the story to really keep players on their toes. Those kind of encounters are fun to make maps for.

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But this post is to to show you a little of the maptool nuts and bolts. I put together a minimalistic Pathfinder framework in maptool to run this. The design philosophy was to have a simple, clean interface with attractive UI elements that put everything you need to run the adventure at your finger tips. I've held off from overly automating play. Pathfinder is an exceptions based system. I want my players to wat to throw snow in their enemies eyes or leap from a bridge to slide down a sail. I don't want the GM to say they can't do that because 'there's no button for it'. Here's a video that shows what I mean (best watched full screen):


Here's a few screenshots that show off a bit of the functionality:
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All the encounter text in the pdf is already built into the maptool campaign. Each button shows the corresponding section of text for the GM for quick reference - with read aloud sections clearly marked. I love the CSS tools in maptool. They make for some pretty looking dialogs.

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The CSS in maptool allows us to style the stat blocks to match the formats that are the industry standard, so all the information is where you expect it. Each stat block can be accessed with a single click from any token, and it not only reflects the standard information, but also the current state of health of the token in question. Mousing over a token gives a short summary of the most useful information.

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Spells (and other useful rules) are hyperlinked directly to the Pathfinder Reference Document on the Paizo site for quick reference during game play.

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Hit a Full Attack button on a monster and the chat window shows a full breakdown of the attack, with each dice roll if you mouse over the value. This is only shown to the GM, so that you can make any adjustments before telling the players their fate. This makes life easy for the GM, whilst not surrendering any of the control.

This is in addition to all the normal functionality of maptool that makes it great. I really wanted to create a commercial adventure that really shows off the power of maptool as a game aid. If I were running a face to face adventure, I'd still have maptool running on my own side of the screen because it makes play so much quicker. The fact that it works as an online tabletop is really just (a lot of) icing on the cake.

Check it out. If you have any questions, send me an email at jonathan@fantasticmaps.com

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Last edited by torstan on Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Demigod
 
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:37 am
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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:04 pm 
As a patron of this project I already could check this out. Its well-written, the maps are awesome, DevinNights token as good as always - and all ready set up as campaign file.

I had no chance yet to play it (and as I'll use a different rpg I'll have to put some work in it) but I'm really looking forward to this.

:D

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Great Wyrm
 
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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:09 pm 
Thanks :)

Which rpg are you converting it for?

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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:43 pm 
I dont know yet :) probably Savage Worlds. It has a good portion of tactic as game component, and this might suit a d&d adventure fine. But maybe something completely different. I'm pretty much into indy games lately. Sadly gaming time is scarce, so this might take a while ...

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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:41 am 
Well it's easy enough to strip out the D&D macros. The cogs on each map have the adventure text and that should be relatively system independent. Let me know if I can help out with anything.

New material added to the original post - there's a new trailer with excellent music, and we're getting lots of excellent reviews. 5* across the board so far.

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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:41 am
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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:46 am 
This is pretty impressive, I'm hoping more come out with this level of MapTools integration. I watched the demo video and I'm considering buying it even though I don't play pathfinder, just to show support. I play 4e, but this is just ultra-cool.

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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:45 pm 
Wow - thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:57 pm 
It should still be playable in 4e as well - but the adventure is specifically for Pathfinder. The maps, object and assets are still useful for any system, and the utility macros with ship movement, adventure description text and hide/reveal payer handouts are all system independent.

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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:04 am 
Yeah, I picked it up and I really like the way the adventure is designed (and the macros), going to steal some of the work for my 4e campaign. = )

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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:32 pm 
I'm really glad you like it. Let me know if there's anything in there that doesn't work, or needs tweaking.

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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:20 pm 
Vhex wrote:
This is pretty impressive, I'm hoping more come out with this level of MapTools integration. I watched the demo video and I'm considering buying it even though I don't play pathfinder, just to show support. I play 4e, but this is just ultra-cool.


I also don't play pathfinder, and I don't have any immediate plans to do anything directly with this (I'm toward the end stage of a three year long campaign, must keep eye on the ball) but like Vhex suggested, I bought this as a show of support, because the concept is awesome. When a new communication/media technology develops, the initial tendency is to use it to replicate the old -- reading a pdf of a book on your computer instead of on paper. The real breakthrough is when you start to think about how the original experience can be improved in unique ways by the medium itself, and that is what is great about this idea. The module itself is really quite neat, and I'm looking forward to playing it when I have a chance.

Thank you Torstan!


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 Post subject: Re: Previews of the Breaking of Forstor Nagar
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:27 pm 
Thanks! I really appreciate that. This is definitely a project that came from a 'wouldn't it be cool if we could...' conversation. I'm really glad it's got such a good response.

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