Good Character wrote: ↑
Wed Apr 26, 2023 10:03 am
Marsi wrote: ↑
Wed Apr 26, 2023 1:50 am
Ravenloft can afford to obfuscate mechanical progression and PvE entirely because DMs are supposed to be managing your engagement. I don't think it's a useful comparison.
If you're suggesting that the roleplay scene is made better solely by DM involvement, I beg to differ. While admittedly I have not touched Ravenloft in a generous while for the reasons described above by Nurel (e.g. significant investments), I have been involved in 3 DM events during my 4-5 years there. They were all one-off instances, and two were during their "new character" events.
This is accurare.
I would argue grouping in PotM is enforced, demanded even, by the systems in place. Hence, the majority of RP that ensues 90% of the time is not fuelled by player's initiative to create narratives, but rather around topics such as "lets get ankheg chittins to make a shield" or, "which buffs do we have, can we take on the Alhoon?". Similarly, large player faction gatherings, to my experience, are glorified musters of adventuring groups. "OK we are all here, new guys introduce yourselves and lets go kill something big". Or, another example, "Listen here, all, we have gathered because faction X has placed an order for 20 bastard swords, and we wish to fill it. So get the minerals and start crafting! Gather again after delivery to receive your share".
This type of RP while 100% welcome and 100% fun, is not plot driven. That is why I believe Arelth and PotM are somewhat apples to oranges when comparing the RP they facilitate, for the most part at least.
Arelith faction gatherings revolve around initiating or advancing ongoing narratives 90% of the time.
I believe these fundamental differences between the two PWs reflect conscious choices in design&development. Arelith /wants/ to be more casual, while Potm /wants/ players to toil and sweat over potions of cure critical, non stackable reagents and painfully repetitive crafting (its literally Anphillia crafting). I would not want Arelith to steer into Potm direction simply because it is by now too far along on the opposite route.
I should mention also though, that IC DM presence is commonplace on PotM, as they manage NPC factions which are very active and take in players too. It is routine though, and rarely takes the form of complex narratives. Sometimes DMs also like to possess PvE monsters to fool around with players, add more spawns, or create mini low stakes events with monster RP.
I daresay that big narratives (like the Ophelia epic or the Amnian war) happen in a similar frequency on Potm as they do on Arelith. Granted, this is what I've gathered from interacting with other players.I was not there for any of these myself, and IDK how big or extensive they were compared to Arelith big narrative events.
Arelith is a modern approach to NwN PWs which allows you to play what you want, right here right now.
However, I should admit, the complete lack of effort required to reach endgame crafting on Arelith is something that feels amiss. I would see it revamped and replaced with a system which requires at least some effort to level up crafting and add a sense of accomplishment to it, and allow players to feel special for their crafts. Currently the only way to achieve this sense of pride is through custom descriptions on your crafts.
Again, a good custom description on a good item is RP quality over mechanics. Another point of merit for Arelith enforcing RP over crafted item properties and crafting levels achieved, which frankly have no RP element to them.
Earlier in the thread I made a suggestion to remove XP rewards for writs for characters past lvl20 on Arelith, to make the epic journey last longer. I think this simple regression of the writ system to its previous version "fixes" the pace of levelling altogether. Just don't make the writs repeatable again, only remove the XP rewards for PCs who are 20+.