And this is the guy that posted items that were so bad they are on the delete track?
First, the tool is adventure, as it will take the PCs along a specific path. They don't know what they will encounter along the path. In fact, they are being directed by the map to challanges that will challange them. This map does not show the quick route or any details other than the path it wants them to take.
Second: YAY! It makes dungeons go away. Actually if your dungeon is short enough to actually only have two encounters along the way to the GOAL treasure, than it deserves to do away.
Third: A GOOD GM does know the characters. They are more than mere collections of treasure snatching statistics. They should be woven into the game world, with NPCs and organizations associated with them, they are a part of the world's history. They should also be created by the players with the GM's knowledge and approval. If the GM is not spending enough time to bother to learn their characters, then the campaign can never move much beyond a Diablo I level computer game (A great computer game, an awful table top game). Go to Comment
It is a great centered campaign item. Once your players have it, you can lead them around by the nose, without them realizing they are being led around by their nose. Still handy to have in all cases. Go to Comment
Mebbee they're regulars who go anonymous to say bad things :P
Anywho - Just because something is similar to something you've seen on TV doesnt mean its a direct copy. And it certainly doesnt mean its childish, just because something like it was on a chidrens show.
Fairy tales have killing, magic and betrayal. Is killing, magic or betrayal childish?
Well, I usually try to stay far away from any Items that use divination to good effect, however, you did say that the map could be ambiguous.
Plus, the map could think that the PC's really need some patience (instead of the sword of death that they keep asking about) and send them to a really big library. This trick would allow a GM to easily avoid letting the players find anything anywhere. The Map could decide to change it's mind at any time for any reason.
All in all, I like it. And I give it a plus .5 for taking a stupid thing like Dora the Explorer, and making it into something cool like this. Go to Comment
I enjoy this item a lot. In many games I have run, or played in there have been sentient items that take certain pleasure in the characters well being, or their demise.
Wonderful concept, even if it is from Dora. I have failed to read this when I first saw it posted. At that time I would not have realized it was an offshoot of a Dora item. Now I do and I still like it. Go to Comment
Agreed, after all, even if one knows where they need to go, there is the slight matter of getting there in one piece.
"I need to find an Item of Staggeringly Overpowered Omnipotence, where could one be...?" says the adventurer
GWORMPH!! "You'll find that here" sez da map...
"But... that's in the Gorge of Eternal Peril!!"
"Well, it's, like, perilous and stuff, for, like, a really long time."
"HEY! No map is going to talk to me like that!! HAVE AT YOU!!!"
To be honest, this sort of thing is just BEGGING for a plot. Make the map be mysteriously found by an adventuring party, with "you are here" X'd on it or something, then the party gets all nonchalant about it, geez, that's useful, now we know where WE are, great, how about telling us something useful, like where a treasure hoard is, ya dumb map! GWORMPH!! Treasure Hoard here(X)... DUDE, NO WAY!!!! DM rubs his hands gleefully as the party marches off to certain doom... these silly PC's these days...
Sorry, but I take sadistic pleasure in pointing the party directly at some greed inducing treasure and then punishing them for their insolence at thinking they could actually get their hands on it. ;)
Just for my own sick sense of sadistic pleasure, this gets 5/5. I'm *SO* using a map like this in this way. Go to Comment
I think it's a wonderful item and exactly what I was looking for! I just joined the forum/site/etc. and I was looking for a mystic scroll type item to throw at my "scrounging" character. Exactly what his sticky little fingers need!
Though I find it extremely interesting as a tool for making my adventures flow smoother from start to hook, this map violates several praxes:
First it totally destroys much of the exposition of the adventure; upon using the map, the PC's would know where to go, which is half the battle. They need not go searching for the hook or even exploring potential dangers or problems that might confront them -- they always know where they are needed.
Second, it eviscerates proper dungeoneering (or at least has the potential to do so) as much of the stresses of searching are lost to the PC's.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, the proper use of this map would require one to "know the characters" in a way that no good GM ever can or should -- PC's are dynamic and protean, and should be treated with the respect that is due to any sentient being.
On the other hand (and tread a careful balance, it does), these built in vagueries that seem expressly designed to avoid the above problems can render the map useless. In either case, it is a tool for a weak and purile GM, bent on dominating his adventure from start to finish so that the PC's have little chance to deviate from his chosen path.
MoonHunter, though I agree with the first two points you made, I think the third one doesn't really address FM's (or FM's brother's) issue.
His final thought was that only the players can know their characters. The more those characters diverge from being simply blocks of statistics, the more they become difficult to predict. Who is to say the evil wizard wont suddenly find himself totally disgusted by an action he undertook within the past week, and repent -- sacrificing himself to save others. Maybe this was the PC's intention all along, maybe the PC didn't want to lessen his character by laying out his future at the same time he laid out his past and present.
A classic example of this is Weiss and Hickman's Raistlin -- he is complex, unpredictable, shows unexpected acts of kindness, and unfathomed acts of cruelty, all within the space of a week's time. Sometimes he totally abandons the road he set out upon, sometimes he sees it through until the very end.
I think it's fair to say that no matter how much someone knows a PC, there is a certain aspect of unpredictability necessary in roleplaying games, symbollically represented in the dice rolling. Were these characters automotons, so perfectly lain out and described that their future actions were known, there would be little joy in playing them. The joy of roleplaying comes with character development -- the development is most always triggered by something in the game world, but something oftentimes so small and insignificant that the GM might not take notice.
Character's grow -- and grow at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. Any item that somehow negates that, even if it's in the tiniest of ways, removes something beautiful and essential about the game.
I'm really sorry to sort of use this item as a springboard to launch this "philosophical" complaint. It is a well-crafted and clearly well-loved item. I commend you for creating it, and creating it well, but I think that no matter how well an item like this is made, no matter how original or inventive the creator is, there is a lurking pitfall that is nigh-impossible to see in them.
That being said, it is easily reparable. The main objection (in my mind, I don't know about FM) is the small bit about it maybe knowing the future, knowing what the characters want, and where they want to go, without them needing to ask. That could potentially lead to disaster (they open the map, it tells them the adventure. they wanted to go storm this castle to set up a stronghold and attract followers instead). If it's simply an item where you ask about location and it tells you the answer, or DEDUCES the answers to your future problems, then that's a whole other can of worms.
Finally, I'm sorry I gave all this advise, etc. You don't really have to care, but I just thought I'd share my thoughts with you. Hope everything with Ithar works out. Go to Comment
An interesting item indeed, especially the debate which accompanied it. I think personally that the item has enough complexity to prevent it from being overwhelming in its use. Being vague covers a world of sins.
In a very, very old campaign of mine, the pc's had an 'oracle' stone which provided similar info, but in a far less subtle manner. Go to Comment
Wow! I love this idea!
It reminds me of the Greek legend of the sculptor who fell in love with his sculpture, and then it was brought to life.
Definitely going to use this. The backstory is wonderful, too. Go to Comment