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Event Review - A Pain in the Boat (January 2020 Tavern Night)
#1
Thank you everyone who came out to tonight's tavern night event "A Pain in the Boat"! It was a fun night and we hoped you liked all the twists and turns. Big thank you to the whole team for their hard work!

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 contact@underworldralinwood.ca to speak to the Owners (myself and Dan) directly.
Owner - Tavernkeep - Forums Admin - Cat Herder
Email: ivanna@underworldralinwood.ca
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#2
A big thank you to all the shapers and NPCs that worked hard to make this event possible. It's clear a lot of prep work went into this one, and it was appreciated.

Pros:
  • I liked the NPCs who stuck with us for most of the night. That was a nice touch. Made the world feel a bit more organic and less “here is a random man. Now he is gone. Such are the mysteries of life”.
  • Increased level of combat were nice.
  • The organ-organ pun was really funny and I enjoyed the use of bard mechanics for that fight.
  • The prop for the surgery mod was fantastic. I liked the stages of it and how they felt distinct but still coherent. (Ex. start with outer shell, then balloons, then elastics.) Dear Dan: We solved a mod via honorable Sudoku. You’re welcome.
  • Whatever Tory was up to as the depression cloud was neat and she clearly put a lot of thought and effort into her RP prompts, but more about that whole thing in my cons/suggestions.
Notable Highlights:
  • Pep talks with Cora and some of the Crossroads. Less peppy but still good talks with Blank/Void.
  • Kiyo and Deon have forever stolen my heart. The tea. The excited sigil painting. The tiny guitarlutethingy. The lacy jacket. The realistic reaction to getting an arm ripped off/watching your pal get her arm ripped off. 10/10.
  • Jeff’s Red Draconian + Horns trying to deal with an increasingly depressed Ori was some unexpectedly good RP.
  • AMREEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNN. I can’t believe she and Ori skipped marriage and went straight to adopting homicidal extra planar children.
  • I talked to some players I don’t normally interact with (site is big and I don’t happen into their neck of the woods that often). That was a nice change. I think one of my goals for this season is to meet more people.
Cons/Suggestions:
  • So, pacing was a bit wonky. I feel people complained about how little combat there tends to be at Ralinwood taverns and in response this event swung a bit too far to the other side. Once the event started it was mod after mod after mod and the only breaks came if you sat off to one side and risked getting picked off by a stray ooze. A “safe zone” or at least some sort of breather between mods would have been a big improvement to let us actually rest and RP a bit. I prefer too much going on to not enough going on, though.
  • The puzzles didn’t always make sense and I didn’t always know how what we were doing was helping/effecting anything as a whole. Also literal “300 piece puzzle” puzzle mod when you HAVE to complete the puzzle in order to move on was rough. (I highly suggest making jigsaw puzzles via drawing/glueing a picture to cardboard and then cutting that out in order to make custom puzzles.) Also the final mod had a sort of “Oh, you didn’t sort out the puzzle? Fine. Get out.” feel to it which was rough considering town was getting wrecked by those oozes.
  • Overall mood of the event felt kinda vulgar? Plot can only make so many sphincter jokes before I question my life choices.
  • So, for the whole sad-depression-self-doubt thing. I love it as a concept but the problem is I feel it went on far too long. The only way to deal with it was to blow expensive alchemies, level 8 spells, or have a suitable doctor who could cure a person once per night and then the person would contract it again. It was novel for a while but by the end of event it was a bother to have to constantly alter your RP to be miserable. If I wanted to sit and be depressed for 6 hours I do that most nights without paying for it. If the effect had more of a clear end/only started part way through the night I feel it would have been far more effective. Or maybe this is teasing something else for later on. I know not. I don’t wanna discourage this kind of effect, but it lasting the whole night and being such a negative emotion was hard.
Looking forward to next event, see y'all then.
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
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#3
Like I said in my FB post, the NPCs and Shapers worked incredibly hard. There was a lot of people doing things a lot of things. Thanks for hosting the event, I appreciate it. It was nice to finally PC again after over a year of NPCing/Shaping.

Highlights:
> the props were nice, especially the surgery mods. Super well done, they looked really fun. I like that they had multiple levels of things to do.

> the variety of the rooms was nice, the rooms all seemed different with many things that were going on. There was stuff for alchemists, physicians and blacksmiths.

> loved the organ room, masks were great, music really set the mood. I loved the use of bard abilities. It was a cute poke in the side joke

> The shifting of the puzzle room was interesting, and I liked the idea of it.


Feedback:

> From my POV I had very little I could do or help with. There were mods for different groups of people and I thought perhaps there would be a magic focused one. Perhaps I could identify it, read rituals or even assist in a rite or ritual. But I could not fight or help in the non-combat things as much, as I did not have the appropriate skills. I'm all for making characters feel like their skills are useful, but some activities that weren't gatekept by a skill level would be nice. Players often just want to do things, and I saw many PCs sitting by walls unable to help or do anything. I would suggest putting in more activities to do things for all players.

> The 300 pc puzzle was a bit much. It was also solid coloured in a rainbow, it was super difficult and note really fun, just frustrating. I found the riddles were also not super interactive, nor was the "leave a thing behind." The pen thing was sweet, and was fun to do with a group. My suggestion for coming up with puzzles is to google "escape rooms" or "video game puzzles" or "camp fun activities". These are great things to pull from as they are made up of fun activities. We don't want to feel like we are just doing something to "take up time", gamers/players like to feel like they are achieving something or overcoming.

> The enemies had a LOT of body damage. Between the biting, dismembers, acid. The poor small mages never stood a chance. As well there was a lot of minimizing, which is a very frustrating mechanic. The rooms that had a mix of bad guys felt a lot more satisfying to fight. I would recommend doing that more!

> It felt like we should've failed or never got the chance to finish a room. I clutched some rank beef heart for 30 minutes. Only to get booted out of the room. It was the most frustrating thing of the night. I tried to solve the puzzles, but touching them or interacting with them damaged me. And it was implied we needed elemental magic. And it seemed we were very out of elemental mages. Maybe having more ways to solve puzzles that don't require X skills would be nice. It felt like if we didn't have a physician, a thieves cant person, elementalist or alchemist with us, we should've been stuck in that mimic forever. My advice is to continue to have those things, but still have a more difficult option to do the thing if we don't have those skills.

> Interactions that hurt you. I think these are good things, I just wouldn't make it the first thing that happens in your game. I touched a box and it ate my arm. That's fine, but it very quickly taught me that interacting with things will kill me. Which can be bad when you want PCs to touch things and investigate things. I would just save it for later.

> I loveeeeddd the book about the captain that got consumed it. I spent most of my game waiting to see if there would be a man trapped in the wall that only wanted death. I was pretty dissapointed there was not one. And the book was only useful for a physician mod (?) I would recommend keep putting out small things like this, but use them as a chance to hint at what may come.

> Pacing was a bit wonky, it felt like we either doing SO MUCH or waiting a long time. Having a "static room" where PCs can go and RP would be nice. You can run small RP mods that only require 1-2 NPCs in this room just to keep PCs entertained.


> Alex and Derek covered my opinion on the depression mechanic. I think something to help it is instead use "voices" so PCs can choose their own reaction to it. Or make it so the mechanic is intractable. Maybe we can use mind melds to help it or calm it down. Or maybe the depression want's a cool broach. Or maybe we need to make the cure IG and collect items for it. It would've felt better if we could actually interact with it.

Interested to see what comes next! Good luck!
A Faceless with a moon shaped mask that is decorated with small flowers. She has a passion for tea and colourful kimonos.
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#4
I loved this event! It was one of my favourites thus far since I started larping. Thank you to everyone who helped put it together! I wasn't sure what to expect of my first tavern night but I was really blown away!
-The beginning of the night was wonderfully done! The docks to the ship and into the stomach was super interesting. Gave lots of time to connect with everyone before the craziness began. The ship NPCs did a fantastic job!
-The room transitions were really cool, and allowed for very different rooms and puzzles. The contrast of puzzles and combat was well contrasted and kept the event flowing as things were always changing.
-I really enjoyed how different skill sets were given the focus this event. As someone with 5 levels in physician, I find people don't often want to wait for me to use my skills. Though I missed the last room's physician puzzle, I felt like my skill set was actually important. And having to cure half of the town of the emotional toxin was awesome, kept me running around for quite a while. Trappers and blacksmiths were also given puzzle based importance, love the incorporation of skills!
-I also really enjoyed the emotional toxin mechanic. I think it brought out some really interesting RP and had a big effect on those I was around. I saw some really impressive roleplay and I feel like it brought out interesting sides to characters you don't normally see. I also had some hallucinations included in my infection. Has continued an interesting theme for my character that is going to affect her for quite some time! I think there was just miscommunication as to how it was cured, which caused it to go so long without a cure. As a level 5 physician, I checked for toxins on patient zero almost immediately and found nothing. Now that we know exactly how it can be identified, I hope the mechanic or some variant returns!
-The variation of puzzles was great, giving different people a chance to shine. The biggest problem with the jigsaw puzzle was the lighting was strange in the area it was located. With very similar colours all over the puzzle, it made it difficult to find the right pieces. The puzzle was also probably too big but it was a fun challenge!
-Actually getting to the party and being able to relax was a nice way to end the night. Lots of games and NPCs, depending on how tired you were after all the mimic shenanigans!
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