Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

Tides of Blood» Forums » Reviews

Subject: I not think that means what you think it means rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Bryce Lynch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Welcome to the PLEASUREDOME
badge
Avatar
Christopher Walz
Self-published
5e
Level 6

Menthias Dolgutha, a Coreanic priest in Mithril, has received a vision of the Silver Bastion, a fortress used by the knightly Order of Silver during the Divine War, rising from the Blood Sea. Searching Mithril’s libraries, the priest discovered the fortress was built before the titan Kadum was defeated and imprisoned at the depths of the sea. The Silver Bastion was overrun with titanspawn as the last remaining knights stayed behind, allowing others to retreat to the mainland. Menthias believes a Coreanic relic, the Brightshield, may still be hidden in the once-lost castle. Will your heroes be able to brave the dangers of the Blood Sea and contend with the Heartseekers of Kadum to wrest control over the powerful relic?


This 37 page adventure details a small over-ocean voyage and a ten room fortress. It’s nothing more than garbage combats. Encounter after encounter. Room after room. “Combat!” “Roll for init!” “They attack!” Oh, and the baddies? A cult. Wow. Really. A cult. How original. I wonder how long that took to come up with?

My plan was to check out some NON-Dmsguild content. To see who out there was raging against the dying of the light and jousting against the windmills of corporate licensing agreements. Don’t get off the boat man, don’t get off the boat …

This hunk of junk claims to have content supporting all three pillars of D&D play: social, exploration, and combat. I have no fucking idea what Social and Exploration mean in 5e circles these days, but if one were to take this adventure as canonical, not much. There’s not exploration to speak of, unless “I go in to the next room” means exploration. The social seems limited to … the quest giver? Some generic sailors on a ship you take? It’s all combat. Your quest-giver is interrupted by combat. “There’s bloodtained on the docks!” yeller a commoner. Uh huh. Blood tainted. Because people talk like that. Feels more like a”throw a combat in early” garbage advice being followed.

You sail to an island to follow up on the “a cleric hired us” hook. The DM rolls weather occasionally. “Players can think weather is boring, liven it up” says the adventure. Yes, that’s because simulationist shit is boring. I got four hours this week in between 60 hours of assistant crack-whore trainee work and you’r chukcing “light rain” at me, and taking up a significant page count doing so? Or, maybe, the forced combats twice a day. Once each twelve hours you have an encounter/are attacked on the seas. Joy. That seems like fun. Then you get to the island and have more “fun” fighting room after room of creatures/cultists.

This sort of stuff is soooooooo boring. Combat is boring. Tactics combat is boring. Yes, I know some people like this shit. 40k is thing. Descent & Gloomhaven is a thing (I’m playing Gloomhaven in … 90 minutes from now. Dr. Nick the DOOMSTALKER. And yes, I just spoiled the game.Mayor McDickCheese, aka Nico Crystalhead the Spellweaver was just the first to retire]

Spot distances on the boat are short. Like 30-60 feet. Wasn’t it like 320 yards in 1e/0e? That’s because there is no more Combat as War, it’s all Combat as Sport. God forbid you do anything but use your Encounter powers and roll to hit. Everything on earth sneaks on board your ship as a wandering encounter. You gotta make DC20 insight checks to figure out the evil cleric is evil. Solid silver doors are given no value and not one word about looting them. The adventure is rife with the words “at your discretion you can …” Yeah, no shit. Roleplaying advice for NPC’s is long and boring, with bonds and ideas and flaws straight out of the book, still generic and boring.

The monsters are all Blood Sea Mutant Killer Whale and Heaker Cultists of titspan Krathas and shit like that. Look at that fucking intro text, that’s supposed to get you excited about the adventure. My eyes are rolling so much I can barely read it.

The entire adventure is nothing but aggressively generic and focused on combat. In an attempt to be non-generic it focuses on “bloodspaned mutants” and other language that is just a different dimension of generic. There’s no details to bring anything to life. There’s nothing visceral. Specificity is avoided. It’s all just generic heroic language.

Next time I’ll try harder to find something not in DMSGuild.

This is $4 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages long. The last two pages are not TOO far off from showing you what you get in the bulk of the adventure locations.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/262487/Tides-of-Blood?1...
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Combat is boring. Tactics combat is boring.
Have you ever considered that D&D and its spawn might not be the right game for you?

4 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce Lynch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Welcome to the PLEASUREDOME
badge
Avatar
Flame On!

D&D is the perfect game for me. Alas D&D no longer means D&D.

Gold=XP D&D is a fundamentally different game than other styles. As is the Dust Tactics versions of the games. As is the current Storyteller version of the game.

But WOTC calls every version D&D, hence we no longer have a common language. But, hey, whatever gets them a movie/video game licensing deal I guess.



Gold=XP D&D: Closer to what we might call a conventional game. There's a goal, which you are meta-gaming for. You're playing against a game world that is controlled by a neutral arbiter.

Dust Tactics D&D: Min/Max, CharOp, tactical miniatures combat with pasted on themes of D&D. Descent & Gloomhaven with more character options.

Storyteller D&D: It's what my character would do! Which is your only real release in a world in which you can't die or fail and Tiamat is going to show up in the final chapter no matter what you do. Hollow, as a game, except for "personal growth," and thus its relationship to Story games.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Gold=XP D&D is a fundamentally different game than other styles.
Every version of D&D has always been a game focused primarily on combat. Seems very silly to gripe about a module doing what the system was designed to do.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce Lynch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Welcome to the PLEASUREDOME
badge
Avatar
Uh. No.

The meme is that any time, in early D&D, that you roll a die then you have failed. Combat is the most risky of those failures. It expends resources without much of a reward.

Recall that silly Gold=XP mechanic? If 90% of your XP comes from treasure then you fight only when you need to. The resource mechanics of HP, spell slots, light, ammunition, hp, wandering monsters, they all play in to this. Initial spell lists are very light on combat spells and heavy on exploration and lateral thinking spells.


4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
If 90% of your XP comes from treasure then you fight only when you need to.
Why would you care about XP if you aren't fighting? It primarily makes you fight better.

Almost all of the rules were about fighting, and the rules that weren't were restricted to thieves and spells. Several classes could do nothing but fight. You get XP to make you fight better. You had an entire book full of monsters defined almost entirely by how to fight. Samples of play explained only how to fight. Sample modules provided nothing but monsters to fight and treasure to be gained by fighting them.

If you weren't fighting, you weren't really playing D&D. You were playing a game of imagination while the D&D books happened to be sitting on the table near you. Nothing wrong with that, but if that's what you want, then why spend the money on the books and the time calculating all those combat stats?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce Lynch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Welcome to the PLEASUREDOME
badge
Avatar
Uh, you have a very different belief about what D&D is than I do. And everyone else in the OSR.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
StormKnight wrote:
Quote:
If 90% of your XP comes from treasure then you fight only when you need to.
Why would you care about XP if you aren't fighting? It primarily makes you fight better.

Correction: it makes you survive better.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bryce0lynch wrote:
Uh, you have a very different belief about what D&D is than I do. And everyone else in the OSR.


As far as I can tell the "OSR group" has imagined a game that has very little to do with the actual rules for D&D and imagined that it was, in fact, the definitive version of D&D.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce Lynch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Welcome to the PLEASUREDOME
badge
Avatar
Then it is indeed fortunate that you can fill the gap in your knowledge by reading the firsthand accounts of the people who were there, in their own words, since they exist and post regularly both of their old experiences and how the game was played.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bryce0lynch wrote:
Then it is indeed fortunate that you can fill the gap in your knowledge by reading the firsthand accounts of the people who were there, in their own words, since they exist and post regularly both of their old experiences and how the game was played.

What the heck are you talking about? Who were "where"?

I think you are saying I can read about people who played the way you are describing. But why does that matter? I'm talking about what's in the actual rulebooks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryce Lynch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Welcome to the PLEASUREDOME
badge
Avatar
No you're not.

Your point is that I, and the people like me, don't actually like D&D. That we like something else that never existed, your 'evidence' being that, in your opinion, the D&D rules, and thus the adventures, are centered around combat. That being the "real" D&D.

Ignoring, of course, the resource mechanics, the GOLD=XP, and the fact that combat is so incredibly deadly that that it's inconceivable it's meant to be a frequent play task. Oh, and of course, the words of the actual people who were there, playing D&D in Lake Geneva.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Vincent
United States
Ridgefield
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
StormKnight wrote:
Quote:
Combat is boring. Tactics combat is boring.
Have you ever considered that D&D and its spawn might not be the right game for you?


This is funny, coming from someone who has never found an rpg he likes
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls