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Event Review - Hell or Highwinter (December 2019 Highwinter event)
Thank you everyone who came out to our 2019 Highwinter event! We had a lot of fun planning it, and hope you had just as much fun playing it. Thank you and congrats to our new team for all their hard work putting together their first event as the 2020 team.

And without further ado... Tell us your thoughts! What did you like, what needs improvements, what are your favourite memories? Let us know! If the feedback is positive enough, we'll see about running this kind of event again in the nearer future.

Any concerns or major complaints, please feel free to email to speak to the Owners (myself and Dan) directly.
Owner - Tavernkeep - Forums Admin - Cat Herder
That was a really solid first event. Definitely one of the better Highwinters I've been to. I found there wasn't much downtime, and there was a good pace of things happening. Some highlights:

- The very trap-y puzzle mod
- Song of Heroism via carols (I always like things that make non-combat PCs feel useful in combat)
- Christmas witch
- Looting nutcrackers who did not resist because, you know, why would they?
- "I'm not your wife, we only went on two dates!"
- Very reasonable toilets
- Lots of yellow armband monsters
- People really went all out on their costuming

A couple of things I think could have been improved:

- One of the town mods was level split so that high level PCs could go in immediately and low level PCs had to sing to get in, which meant that by the time a bunch of low level PCs go to the mod, it was mostly done. I am not a fan of making low level PCs jump through extra hoops. Whenever there's a requirement like that, it should always be high level PCs having to do extra irritating things - or if you're going to split by difficulty, just give any low level PCs who want to go on the high level mod a fair warning. They can die if they want
- The "save my wife" mod was pitched as a stealth mod, but as far as I can tell there wasn't really an opportunity for stealth, since all the demons were sitting in one spot, facing the path we had to go down, and it was the middle of the day. There did seem to be any patrolling where they would leave or turn away or anything. Perhaps I missed something?
My review is going to be real similar to Cat's so you can probably just reread hers if you want.

Overall I liked the event, I'm usually not huge on High Winters but this one was fun.

- There were yellow armbanded monsters!
- The quality of costumes coming out of NPC camp were really spectacular. Ange's witch and Victoria's Snowbold in particular clearly put a lot of work into theirs.
- I got some really fun loot. I appreciate when people put care into/have fun with writing tags.
- There were a variety of different mod types so most people could do a couple regardless of what their strengths were.
- Having tavern open the whole time was lovely and the rental bathrooms worked out way better than I anticipated. I had to wait to drink my hot chocolate while I dueled a guy so by the time I was done it was the ideal temperature. I never found out which cabin had the space heaters in it, though.
- I was worried PCs would half ass their festive decorations but most of the people I saw who had added decorations to themselves did a good job. It was hard to figure out how to safely decorate one arm without the beads and lights sliding right off when I swung my sword, but we made it work in the end.

- I am also of the opinion that making low level PCs sing to get through a gate was unneeded and kind of discouraged participation. Making newer/lower level players jump through extra hoops is a time sink and also the fact that it was them needing to sing in front of others, something a lot of people are very self conscious about doing, felt more like hazing than a necessary mechanic.
- I saw a yellow armbanded monster swinging for elemental damage AKA that thing that kills you instantly if you drop to it. That really confused me and I don't know if that was a mistake on the NPC's end or if the monster was statted oddly.
- Players were really infernal this event. I get that it's High Winter so things will be very tongue and cheek but that doesn't mean you should start using internet slang and memes on mods. I don't want to die to the grim again, guys. Plz.
- Same issue as Cat for the "save my wife" mod. The NPCs came into game about 20 ft from us, facing us on a path in broad daylight. When we asked if we should move back because they set themselves up so close we were told "no". There was no way we could stealth it, and the NPCs should not have come into game so close to the PCs. Setting up where they were supposed to be standing/patrolling before hand would have helped, I think, so that when the PCs approached they were already in position and wouldn't just set themselves up wherever with no regard for the fact that we were already practically on top of them.
- For the fridge mod it probably should have been made more clear that when "the staircase to the next level becomes available" was  said, that was a "you have successfully done the thing and another mod will happen" situation. We thought the mod wasn't done and some of us wandered through the woods behind the mod site looking for the nonexistent second part of the mod for close to 20 minutes. This is ok though because it caused Nira to get bored and eat the lemon I had given her.
Ori Moran: A purple feathered Avian with a red hat who carries a black and white shield. She has three Shadow Marks over one eye and a scar through the other.

Nelinha: Some asshole Ice Elf. Has a bright red hooded scarf and a black winged brooch.

OOG: Alex Heintz - NPL - Official Ralinmeme Maker
This game was a huge surprise for myself, as I was honestly expecting a fairly meh game but was treated to something far beyond my expectations, so first off thanks to all the wonderful new shapers and NPC's who made it possible, if this is a sign of whats to come I am more than excited to see the rest of the season.

-LOTS OF LOOT!!! I felt like our actions were being constantly rewarded throughout event, and the amount going out felt manageable enough that it could be reasonable split among those participating in activities and mods. Would love to see the same amount of positive reinforcement happen from encounters, even if it needs to be tweaked a little for full weekend events.
-Variety of mods and mechanics were for the most part simple and easy to understand and incorporate into our strategies. I'm a huge fan of environmental mechanics being used to add an extra layer to combat encounters (though sparingly and with a deft hand), and seeing effects like rising water and burning stoves that cause damage is a cool way to spice up simple encounters.
-The variety of equipment/weapons on mobs is a breath of fresh air. It gets tiring fighting double sticks/claws constantly, and seeing a shield or two mixed into the fights is an excellent way of getting people to approach a fight even slightly differently. MORE OF THIS PLEASE!
-While they way into the veteran mod is a bit questionable (see the reviews above) the actual mod itself was a blast! I was thoroughly surprised and thankful to see a "difficult" mod not boil down to magic thresholds and untouchable monsters. Resources were definitely consumed (a few life spells and a bunch of shatters on my mastercrafted shield) and the monsters remained dangerous even though I could still fight and kill them. The mod proved to me that higher level content can and should still exist without resorting to separating those with and without magic weapons/abilities, and I hope this philosophy makes it's way into more of the encounters this year.

-As mentioned above, the stealth mod felt very clunky and impossible to accomplish via the means the shapers intended. Stealth mods can be one of the funnest around, but they require a clear sense of what should be done. The shaper suggested we throw a rock to distract the mobs but there was nothing immediately available to do so with, and trying to sneak past the NPC's seemed out of the question considering they were all looking in our direction and weren't patrolling/moving about in a semi-predictable manner. Overall I love the idea of the mod but it felt very clumsy an throw together without much thought or consideration (also the pc's walking through the mod and forcing us oog wasn't very helpful)
-I was looking forward to (and dreading) the outcome of the toy solders vs. witch plot line, especially since I took a stance for my goddess Sybil to defend the witch and the trees. I know having the plot line disrupted made it hard to continue but it still would have been nice to see the PC's actions have a reaction, if even just to give a short conclusion.
-That's kinda it for complaints, all my other suggestions are in the pro's section so... curse you guys for not giving me more cons I guess???

Overall, I hope Hell or Highwinter is a sign of things to come, an I'm lloking forward to what comes next! 10/10 would defend a witch again (holy shit the rhymes xD)
IG: A tall slender Einher sporting the the blue and green colors of clan Galloglach, with the Tiwaz rune painted over his right eye. 

OOG: Rowan Carnahan-Koberinski


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