Session 5

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Tactically, I have no problem with the map for session 5. However, I have huge problems with what the map represents narratively.

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The text for session 4 clearly states that the party reaches the chamber via a set of stairs leading down. After the combat, they proceed down the corridor at the bottom of the map (which appears to go straight south, but since there’s no compass direction on the map, I suppose it can actually lead in any direction).

The text for session 5 says the party follows the passage ahead and down. Looking at the map, since the only section of the map that is the same width as the corridor is the upper left corner, it appears that the party arrives from there. So, that means they see a spiral staircase directly ahead of them which they apparently ignore. (Also there is nothing in the text describing where it leads.  I can't imagine any group at any table not wanting to check it out. I know my home group would. Same goes for the tomb/sarcophagus in the upper left corner. What is that? Why is it here?)

The text does mention that the party passes some side rooms filled with junk along the way. So, in order for the party to arrive at the start location for the encounter, it appears that the party either turned right at the end of the 20' wide corridor, or proceeded straight to the upper right corner. Then, ignoring the spiral staircase, turned right, walked through the rubble, and turned right again at the next corner.

Now I realize that none of this actually happens in the session - you're just supposed to jump to the encounter and have the party place themselves in the starting area. But as soon as you lay out the map and tell the players where to place their characters to start the combat, and they look at that map, they're going to object that it makes no sense for the party to have proceeded that way. And I'd agree with them.
- Rico
I have to take back one thing I stated in the last paragraph above (but that just makes the situation worse).

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The text specifically discusses what to do if the party makes an effort to search thoroughly while exploring the area, and gives the DCs for finding one of the trap doors. It even says that they have to be in one of the dead end areas to do so. So, that means we're supposed to lay out the map and let them move through the area. In which case, they're definitely going to want to explore the stairs and the sarcophagus.
- Rico
What I plan to do is have the PCs come down the staircase. Otherwise like you said some will want to explore the stairs. This way there are 3 dead end areas they can explore but their still moving in the same general direction. It would have been nice if there was more guidance in terms of flavor text or description of the area.

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What I plan to do is have the PCs come down the staircase. Otherwise like you said some will want to explore the stairs. This way there are 3 dead end areas they can explore but their still moving in the same general direction. It would have been nice if there was more guidance in terms of flavor text or description of the area.


I was originally thinking of doing that, but I think I've decided to make my own version of the map using the Dungeon Tiles, and just eliminating the features I don't like. 

- Rico
Would love to see your version once you have it layed out. I am thinking of doing the same thing.
Would love to see your version once you have it layed out. I am thinking of doing the same thing.


All of the elements of the map are contained in the "Dungeon" Tiles set. So, if you have that set, you can build it. For a change, it only took one set (usually, when I've tried to recreate the maps, it takes more than one set).  It looks exactly the same, just without the stairs and the sarcophagus.
- Rico
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