Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

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cheimison
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Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:58 am

I ran BF1 Morgansfort and it massacred my players time and again. Despite having 2-5 henchmen and 2-4 PCs at all times they routinely lost at least one person every dungeon delve. They weren't being overtly stupid or anything, but I play it straight and let the dice fall where they may.

The problem is that playing only once a week this meant that the players basically never leveled up and, if they did, they often died immediately afterward. The amount of hirelings they had to manage was also tedious, especially since a couple of the players had never handled hirelings before. This level of massacre is okay if you're playing 4-6 hour sessions or more than once a week, but with short sessions and infrequent playing it makes it feel like the players are getting literally nowhere. On top of that, without nonsensical levels of monster replenishment like Diablo or Doom on harder difficulties they quickly run out of monsters and/or treasure that could actually give them enough XP to level up - leaving only the more difficult scenarios in the module, which are even more likely to kill them. Morgansfort is written a bit like Keep on the Borderlands and, like KotB, is likely to kill about 20 characters or more before you actually get through it.

I don't feel like editing adventures or fudging dice, so what is a good printed BF adventure that won't lead to a TPK 50% of the time? I'd still like to run Morgansfort but I honestly feel that it should be a level 2-3 adventure for a party of 5-10, rather than 2-4 new characters at level 1.
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Hexamer47
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:17 am

I always start PCs off at level 2 when using Morgansfort. But if you don't want to do that then I would suggest Tales of the Laughing Dragon or Adventure Anthology 1, as many of the adventurers in AA1 are suited for low level characters.
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teaman
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:08 pm

I'm a "start at 3rd level" DM for every campaign.

Just my approach, but I'm a softee.
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SmootRK
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:36 pm

Sometimes I tend towards 5K xp, so some get 3rd level, others 2nd.

But most times just start w zero xp and run other small manageable encounters to help prep for greater things.
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orobouros
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:11 pm

Beneath Brymassen is probably good for your party. Castle by the Sea might be good, too.
Let me plug my own module: A Temple of Slides and Stairs, which is meant to be an intro module. It can be completed in two hours (if you rush) or three (with some leeway) so it might be a good adventure for your party. It's written to scale to the party size, too, so you shouldn't need a bunch of hirelings.

There's a number of one-page dungeons you can find that work well for starting adventurers, too.

That all being said, consider some alternatives. Load them up with extra GP for new characters. They can buy some better equipment. Similarly, if you let them loot the dead, that's a source of resources right there.

How experienced are your players? I had a game with a group of both experienced and new TT RPG players. One of them (you'll have to guess) just ran headlong into a trap, while the other audiably snickered as soon as I said, "before you get to where you placed your token..." Even a single battle can wear down a party at first level, and that's okay. Go back, restock, rest up, and try again. You're the DM, you choose what happens in the meantime while the party is away.

If something just isn't working for your game, change it. If your players are creative or resourceful in dealing with enemies, let them have a bonus of some sort, even if that case isn't covered in the rules. Using a broken door to force wolves through a small opening? That crawling mutt will probably have to take an AC penalty while emerging, and only one can fit through at a time. Newer TT RPGs let you power up to deal with enemies, but there's a lot of creativity you can foster in the players, too.

Just running into battle and rolling the dice is a good way to TPK.
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GM Parseth
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:10 pm

5k start experience is usually pretty solid for a less-than-six-members party.
Working on - The Fallen City & The Baroness of Blood
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Olgabelle
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:13 pm

I don't think any of your criticisms of Morgansfort are bad things. Cautious play leads to more survival.
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quozl
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:14 pm

Do they ever run away?
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Metroknight
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Re: Morgansfort is a Meat Grinder, Good Introductory Modules?

Post Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:43 am

quozl wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:14 pm
Do they ever run away?
My players do when they think about the encounter and it fits in the character's personality.
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