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Court of Swords too challenging?

court-of-swords

(SoberCreativity) #1

After watching episode 22, and knowing how it all plays out, i'm wondering if its too hard in combination with Adams god tier rolls. If every encounter is deadly, and Adam almost always rolls high, there is not much incentive for the players to create any low AC characters ever. Just suicide to play as a wizard or anyone near 10 AC.

Feels kind of discouraging that we won't be able to see these classes in play for more than a session before that Adam crit. Sure, if they played smart, rested after every fight, used cover, etc that might help, but with nothing but deadly encounters & a rolling god thats a moot point. The first 10 characters its funny, but if it just happens all the time, it sort of takes the fun out of it, and we never get stories finished up.

On the flip side, it could be by design to create a thrilling show where nothing is ever safe, even simple spiders.

However, its starting to become harder to become invested in any characters if they just get steamrolled every episode. At least thats how it slowly starting to feel. IS it just me? Can this be tweaked with random encounter ratings with some varience? Why bother using anyone below AC of 17?

Only ramble on, concerned for the future of this show. Should I not worry about character investment, and instead focus on the brutality of the show?

Food for thought...


(AdamKoebel) #2

The boss encounter in the most recent episode was only Hard, not even Deadly.


(banned) #3

That's the point of CoS, to be Very Hard or Deadly. The players have to learn system mastery or they will die.

Honestly if it was any other way I don't thing I'd be too interested in it. It'd be another DnD game in a setting that while interesting doesn't seem to have latched to heavily on (personally speaking at least). I mean, we had that in Legacy/Solum and people said Neal was ridiculously brutal in that.

You can find dozens of 5e shows, CoS needs to have something to keep it different. Deadliness, system mastery, rotating guests.

And the statistics guy has more than proven that Adam isn't getting ridiculous rolls, they just happen to pop up where they count.


(Typoko) #4

The key is to play to your strengths and not in to theirs. I'm not 100% sure how things actually worked out, but scouting ahead with Invisibility would have been rather useful. Warlock spells refresh in short rests so they can be used rather liberally. Standing in machine gun fire is not the way to go.

As crazy as it sounds Volnach could have sprung out his wings and fly to challenge the manticore in melee in the air. Ok, i don't know how well the manticore can fly in a dungeon, but could have been nice Dragon Ball Z moment. Grabbing the spikes from air and tossing them back. If it would have started fighting with melee attacks they are a bit weaker than the ranged attacks. Maybe hit once and dodge with Ki? Knock the manticore prone in the air? :itmejpexcite:

The characters in the party were pretty under powered builds. Raziel didn't seem to have any kind of AoE spell, Bergzeker isn't the best possible build by a long shot (also his gear was literally gathering rust) and Persnidgetron was the embodiment of randomness in character build and bad rolls. Also no real healer lowers the potential a lot. Healing word to get people up as a bonus action is extremely powerful.

PS: The players of the show are learning. Not like they run in to spider traps all the time anymore. Things start to smell bull shit when Adam sends a Deadly encounter of flying snakes. :itmejpgmlol:


(putridcheese) #5

We haven't seen meatballs yet.

Seriously, they have been nowhere but in a dungeon, so for the purpose of other challenges, combat seems to be the only thing they can do right now, and that usually leads to dangerous situations.


(Monstercloud1) #6

The main issue I have with how challenging it is, is that it's VERY boring to see really long fights with the same encounter difficulty where they have to expend most of their resources just to eek out the fight against unimportant NPCs relevant to the story. I get that the players are having fun (they must be), but as a viewer it gets predictable, to a point where I'm going to be unsurprising when a character does actual die because as was pointed out, they have under power builds, and don't read guides for the absolute best race/spells/archetype for optimization, (which no one should expect them to.


(ProxyClouds) #7

I can agree to some extent. I feel like the random encounters (that indeed are a big part of DnD) get in the way of the story in a big way when they are designed to be that hard but on the other hand that is also the point of the show, to be really hard and I think we all can say points in every fight or episode were PC (mostly JP and Max :slight_smile: ) have made mistakes that put them in a worse position to survive an encounter.

But the feeling that the PC's aren't OP as they usually become in DnD and that we get to know new PC's from time to time is for me the strength of the show! But as I said, It would be fun to see less random encounters, I for one was not a fan of having an entire episode be dedicated to spiderfight and then mekfight in the same part of the map. Would have been more fun with a fight and then maybe some kind of "riddle" to get into an important door, but hey I don't make my money playing rollplaying games so what do I know! :slight_smile:


(banned) #8

They do actually invest in reading the rules though.

JP has said he's read, I believe Dan has as well, not sure about Max.

For me it'd be boring if they had anything lower than Very Hard encounters, because anything lower makes fights too easy, even on the face of lasting just as long.


(TheDesec) #9

(Week 22 spoiler) 1 HP final boss "challenging", lol


(F3scorn) #10

@AdamKoebel Could the players have done something about Azure to have prevented her last action. I was very interested in her story and as you explained in your Office Hours episode about the love you have for your NPCs, I was curious if this was the destiny you had planned for her.


(banned) #11

Adam doesn't plan for stuff like that. Sometimes they'll discuss things specific to the players during the break but as I understand it npcs are just sort of under the will of what they've already been characterized as.

The NPC did what they thought was best based on their motivation, but if they die they die. Watch Roll20's second Apocalypse World to see some real npc killing. You'll see that while Adam enjoys his npcs he accepts that what happens will happen.

At least from everything I've seen of anything he's done.


(Monstercloud1) #12

...in that post I said nothing about them not reading rules. I never even said the word "rule".


(Twitch: gummipistol) #13

I haven't watched the full Vod yet so I am not sure if you have already mentioned this but did you give the party extra XP for the Manticore since you buffed it?


(banned) #14

Rules/guides for optimizations are essentially synonymous in this case as reading rules would help them optimize play.


(Fimbulwolf) #15

I love the show for how unforgiving and deadly it actually is and yes, it puts even greater emphasis on the players knowing/ using rules and features. I also agree that a good bit of min/maxing is necessary for characters to actually last a while.


(Monstercloud1) #16

... no. No they're not.

Rules are in the PHB, written by WotC, and for lack of a better term, require you to follow them
Guides are online, written by people who (99%, if not 100%) don't work for WotC, and don't require you to follow them to the letter, because they're guides, not how you absolutely have to play your character or the game.

I get what you're saying, but don't put words in my mouth.


(Olf_Himself) #17

I think the difficulty is fine. I see the campaign as a learning process for all the players where they get better and better for each new character they play as.
Compare the current arc to the first one. Huge difference in knowledge and tactics.


(banned) #18

I didn't, I interpreted what you said incorrectly. There's a difference.


(banned) #19

Yeah for time lasted if nothing else, and the no tpk. They did have two extra characters to take hits though.


(Itachi9000) #20

I can agree with parts of OPs thought. I don't like the idea of characters being steam rolled every episode. For example, Week 22 spoiler. JP's character dying in the most recent episode and him proclaiming "I don't care". As someone who is invested in each character this took away any interest in his future characters. And this shows that he himself is not interested either.

I do however think Adam should throw in hordes of low level enemies at them now and again, creatures who can be one shot just to reignite the wow factor of the PCs power for both the players and viewers as constant back and forth struggles with high HP mobs can be tedious after a while.

I think there is a fine line to run between COS being deadly encounters all the time and the audience feeling like they are all GM hacks and cheap shots to deliberately kill characters.