Yeah, kinda in the same boat as Ryo. By all rights I ought to have been shown the door because I don't post enough. Again, it's just because I don't have much for Orchid to do if it's not fighting or something tangibly related to his abilities. As for OOC talk, weeeeeeell... Tbh I'm a shit poster. I'm lewd and post memes in the OOC for shits and giggles. I can do a serious conversation, but more often than not I use the OOC to waste time and act a fool. This RP seems a bit too... Straight lace, for that sort of thing? I dunno, I'm just saying I don't think it'll be appropriate for me to start posting NSWF or lewd greentext no matter how funny they are.
AS for your concerns Harbinger, I'll comment on them in order, though Ryo's got the crux of what I think about it.
Does it bother no one that we have been at this for a year in the meta for just one session, one the first chapter? Is that really so lacking in reason to be furious? This is not an issue of "grinding experience", but that our characters have evolved and developed far beyond where they were and in terms of ability. Level is a mechanical representative of this. Milestone is legitimately holding us back.
It doesn't bother me because I've always been slow, though I'll admit as a regular D&D player I do find our lack of rest opportunities to be disconcerting. I've actually been in a lot of home games were we never rose past level 5, and in my most recent memory, the last game like that I never hit level 2 until three months later after we finally managed to make a name for ourselves in our city. Granted, it was to emphasis that we were just a small cog in a big machine, so our GM didn't want use to get too big of a head with our powers. As for if milestone or experience is best, I still stand beside milestone simply because what Orchid has tried to do isn't beyond his ability; they're in fact quite in place as far as what he can and would do, crazy as they would be. Whether or not he'll be as successful might be questionable, but without a doubt he's not doing anything he wasn't already able to do before he got to the village. So he hasn't evolved, he's just gotten to show off what he can do.
We fought into the town, snuck through the town, got into the keep, fought off enemies in said keep, fixed a door in the keep, survived a dragon attack and rescued the apparently last few villagers in a town. For a single night, that is a significant amount of experience we would reasonably gain, especially at the first level where gains are exceptionally fast. We are not "3rd" level in terms of mechanics no, but as I expressly said we are "3rd" in terms of development of those characters; if we are splitting hairs, we are probably 2nd level, close or at half to 3rd. This means we are so far behind we will continue to be under level and under equipment going forward.
We fought a few gangs of kobolds and like, two bandits. If we had to put that into mechanics, they were perhaps a CR 1 and CR 2 respectively. Kobolds were a threat only because of their numbers, and the second group only because we had to go through one gang of kobolds before hand. Our efforts at the sallyport was a bit more serious since we had to face that drake which I don't know the CR of, but I'd say that it alone would be a CR 1. Not really anything worthy of a final boss, but certainly a challenge. The dragon is a bit harder to pin down, but I'm almost certain Hezaku had no intentions of us actually fighting or dying to it. Honestly, most of the danger came from Orchid trying
to fight it, and the consequences of doing so. Were it not for Kyra's cure wounds, Orchid would not be in any shape to do any sort of mission after that battle, not because of the dragon, but because of his own foolishness. As for the rescue at the chapel, I do think that went much better than expected. I had half though there would be a serious fight, but thanks to Mr. Lake's sleep spell and our successful ranged attacks, we took them out without a single hitch. Impressive, but not anything amazing.
Aside from the dragon encounter, everything else seems pretty minor or otherwise inconsequential for leveling up. Certainly good experience, but if this was a tabletop game with EXP tracking, even the dragon encounter wouldn't have given us much unless we actually needed to actively survive the dragon or otherwise kill it. Even for the dragon encounter, unless we were cornered or it was our duty to kill it then and there, I think all it was meant to do was serve as a plot point that our enemies involve dragons as a reoccurring theme (Hence the name of the module).
For a game going on year, this is the slowest pace I have encountered with a tabletop. I have consulted outside the group even and they too are confused at this to the point of asking, "Why would anyone ever use milestone leveling?" If surviving the dragon wasn't a "milestone" I am uncertain as to what is. This is more grind intensive because we have no incentive to even be doing this. We are legitimately wandering around flailing at enemies who do not matter.
Like Ryo, this is the first time I've ever done a tabletop RP. I just wanted to give it a try because I'm tired of dealing with players with vague power levels when it comes to their characters, and by making it a table top RP there's a better idea of just how strong some of us are and what our capabilities (And limitations) are. As for the matter of milestone vs grinding, while I've already mentioned I'm a milestone guy there's a second reason to it and it involves roleplaying. Yes, you'd think that with our efforts so far we'd deserve some sort of a level up by now. But looking at it from an RPing perspective, just as Ryo said we're still in the introduction/tutorial of our fantasy RPG video game where we get the backstory of our hometown burning down so we have the incentive to go on an adventure. So with that being said, it wouldn't make too much sense if we gained the power to actually stop the tragedy, as much as we'd like it too. Now I'm sure that somehow we'll make it out of here alive and mostly well, one way or another. but it wouldn't be because we suddenly grew a few extra levels and learned a few tricks.
Not only that but personally, I find leveling up to also be a character related thing. At least in Orchid's instance, he's going down the path of the Totem Warrior, and that would imply, at least in my mind, that he's starting to tap more into the spiritual side of his barbarian nature than simply being a furious warrior. While he's certainly has had a lot of time to think during his resting periods, he hasn't quite gotten the grasp of what it truly means to be a totem warrior. It's certainly more than just challenging a dragon and pouncing every enemy he comes across, oh no. It's a sort of spiritual enlightenment that this battle in Greenest will certainly provide, but not right now. What's happening right now is the build up to the climax where he realizes enlightenment, and what follows after is how he'll use it for the next step. That is to say, I'm sure after all of this, he'll hit level two. Not sooner, not later.
Yes, you can argue this is "plot important" because Kyra's character has a story arc, but I remind you that this started as a two-person attempt, to which I imagine all else joined in on just so the group would not wipe. Again, "Don't split the party." That is all fine and well but we know there is still some major event to come. If I had to guess, that dragon might make another appearance, or that person we were told about earlier might do something. In either case, it is clear we are far from the effective end of this chapter, months even.
The way Norschtalen explained this to me, she actually started with just me and Kyra because she was worried that the rest of you might not be willing/able to help. IC she justified it as Orchid being willing to fight regardless of his state, while OoC she asked me because she and I are friends and she felt that this would be important for Kyra to do. Now I will admit it does seem a bit selfish of her to go off on this miniquest on her own, but I'll also admit fault that I was 100% willing to go with her, even though I knew that there was more to come. In fact after Hekazu said IC that there were no more villagers to save, I brought it up to Norschtalen that we'd probably be better off just waiting in the keep. But she wanted Kyra to go out, and I didn't feel the need to stop her. Perhaps she should have communicated this to the rest of you, but as far as I can tell, she intended to go regardless of what the others thought, OOC and IC.
Let me pose this to you, "What happens if one of us dies?"
Just start over? Make another character to play for a year and pray to whatever you find holy that you do not lose on the dice once more? Does that sound like a rewarding experience? Again this has been a single night. One. Look at the amount of character development we have wedged in to it in one night. Levels that you see in movies, that which need condense it down so much because the audience only has so much attention to give.
Frankly I'm surprised Orchid is still alive. I never created Orchid with any intention that he'll live long; he's a barbarian who'll fight to the death if he isn't knocked out and dragged away from it first. You saw him try to take on the dragon, or charge straight towards the drake, or hell, even how he agro'd all those kobolds. Orchid is not afraid of death and neither am I. So if he dies? Ideally he dies a warrior and I'll roll up a character who has a bit more self-preservation. As for the rest, as Ryo said, one character dying isn't going to force the entire RP to restart. We've already gone through at least two guys who just left, having one die off is just a natural progression in RPing. Pick up what you can and move on until a replacement is found. I know that highly conflicts with the whole RP angle I've been sprouting, but it could still work too. Would people expect Orchid's replacement to act like the half-orc himself? Do they feel like he's a replacement, or a genuinely new member they could get along with/dislike? Introducing a new guy could be a character developing experience all of its own.
Transitioning some, this goes back to inactivity. I understand the issue of, "My character has nothing much to say." to which I can say, "Neither does mine, so I find stage business to do to keep posting and contributing something." Bring effectively inactive is worse than posting two paragraphs of basic information or action; it doesn't need to be fluff.
It is clear people want to continue, but the activity, pace and interaction needs to increase in and out of game.
For this part I'll admit, I'm guilty of doing and I do need to change. It's just it's been so ingrained in my mind that each of my posts needs purpose
, and writing a post that doesn't at least explain some sort of backstory or contribute to a short or long term goal is wasteful and possibly even detrimental. I'm the type of guy who can't even write downtime stuff because I'd probably use that downtime to train or increase my abilities as oppose to say, relaxing and having fun IC. In other words, a munchkin. I hate it, but I've come from a play style that emphasized efficiency over storytelling, and while I want to do the latter, I'm forced to maintain the former if I want to continue doing the latter. It's a hard habit to break.
Also I see that you've posted more @The Harbinger of Ferocity
, but this took me a while to write. I'll address it in another post.