New Module: The Cultist Compound

Acadiantri
Level 7
2 months ago

Now available on Nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/solastacrownofthemagister/mods/65

Begin as first level characters, explore the compound, defeat the cultists, and determine the reasons for the cults swift rise.

Comments and feedback welcome.

Lockhy
Level 4
2 months ago

Hi!

I tried this one today, but I didn't finish it, since the beginning kind of let me a bad taste. Let me explain: At the beginning there's an empty room with neither a chest nor a campfire to set up your characters for the adventure. This means I had to adventure into the dungeon with the default equipment and spells, so I was quite ill-prepared. I took the door to the left and I quickly came to the riddle room. I chose what I thought was the correct answer and a lot of enemies appeared, I think it was thugs and priests, among others. My LVL3 characters were no match for them.

I suppose you tried to make something different, but I think it's really necessary to have a campfire and some equipment at the beginning, since default characters are so badly set up. I suppose I would have been better prepared if I had expored the rest of the dungeon before getting there, but if you give that option, I think it must be doable. Otherwise, you should not let the characters get there so fast. 

I then started a new game and checked the room to the right, and there were also some enemies there, but this time they were more doable. However, I hadn't time for more and I had to leave it here. I'll give it another chance later. But I just wanted to let you know that I would add the campfire and equipment at the beginning.

Acadiantri
Level 7
2 months ago

Thanks for posting. It was my mistake. I moved the start location near the riddle area to do a final check on that area and then failed to move it back. Fixed it on nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/solastacrownofthemagister/mods/70/

If you'd prefer, you can also go into the DM and edit the map. Move the start from where it is now (middle of an eastern corridor), to the hallway in the northwest corner with a long rest area and a chest of starting equipment.

Lockhy
Level 4
2 months ago

Hi. It seems you uploaded the wrong file again, since the game is starting in the same place. Anyway, I have now moved the starting area manually, but you might want to check that again. I'll make sure to drop some feedback once I have played this one! 

Lockhy
Level 4
2 months ago

Hi! Let me give me your thoughts on this. 

The game is much more balanced when you start from the right place ;). However, since you advance to level one and two very quickly, I think it would be good to add a resting point, say, in the large dining hall you encounter. Otherwise, you have to backtrack quite a long way to level up :(. I had to look at the map to find the hidden resting point behind the columns after the second large encounter. Maybe it would be a nice idea to add some lore hinting to search there.

As for combat, there are several encounters that take place when you open a large room. All the enemies are well barricated and protected there, but you are totally unprotected. Maybe adding some columns or other elements at the entry point would be nice to give more tactical options to the player. Otherwise, I found myself barricading at the entry door and cattling the enemies there in order to use it as a choke point. Otherwise, I got outnumbered very quickly. So I'd like having more elements to interact with and build strategy.

Also, note that there is a noticeable lack of light in many places, taking into account that all the enemies are humans... So if you barricade in the right place, they will be attacking with disadvantage most of the time. However, that may have been done on purpose to compensate the large number of foes you encounter.

Finally, I really liked the way you integrated the loot into the story and the rooms (e.g. in the officer's bedroom or the racks with splendid armour) and also the way you have used lore to shed some context onto the rooms. I for one really appreciate it, since it builds up the setting.

Good work!

Acadiantri
Level 7
2 months ago

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions. The lack of lighting was intentional. That's the best way to work through the module: stay in the dark and make the enemy attack you with disadvantage. As for the hidden rest areas, I was testing to see how hard I could make a secret door to find. Ordinarily, the game gives them away even if you're just casually looking six squares away. I actually use the dragon statue to signal the secret door and rest area's presence. Maybe I should add a lore point. 

What did you think of the riddle and temple entrance? 

Lockhy
Level 4
2 months ago

Hi Acadiantry,

I was now able to get to the riddle section. I think it's a very nice try, given the limited options that the game offers in this respect. However, I think the answer was too obvious ;). I also wanted to know what was behind the wrong answers, so I checked the one to the left and my LVL3 party found some 6 or 7 skeletal marksmen, so I was washed out in the blink of an eye xDDD. So a good job there creating the deadly experience behind the wrong answers. It worked very well for my party (I started in LVL1).

I liked a lot the fights after the riddle. The first one (in the officers' chambers) was very well balanced for my LVL3 party, and the loot was quite cool as well. However, given that the enemies from the wrong answers are too close to that place, you can't short-rest in order to attune the newly acquired items... Neither could I do it in the hidden long-resting area in the north-west of that area, even though that allowed me to advance to LVL4 (incredible timing on your side!). After seeing how well you had hidden the first resting area, I was more on the search of new hidden zones and was able to find this one. But I think it would be nice of you to give a hint somewhere that players keep be looking for hidden areas throughout the compound, since they are very well hidden and many people may skip them and just backtrack several rooms to long-rest.

Also, since the first hidden long-rest area is adjacent to the room after the riddle, it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a one-direction hidden door (I don't know if that's possible, it just occured to me when I saw this layout) from here to the first long-resting area. That would make it easier to get to a short-resting point where you can attune the acquired gear.

I'm looking forward to that (presumably) last fight that's left to me, but that will have to wait to another day ;)

Nice job in general, I've had quite a good time with this so far!

Acadiantri
Level 7
2 months ago

Thanks so much for playing the module and for the feedback. The short rest limits are a problem, for sure. Didn't think about how the SMs for the wrong answers will prevent that. 

1 month ago

Hey, after a false start because I made my party too weak, I restarted with a decent but not OP party (and no humans). Was having a good playthrough and got to the northeast corner, but I couldn't finish before the full release. Would like to do the rest, but do you know if this mod is still okay? It is playable and my save still works, but it's not possible for me to tell if something changed. Thanks.