Scales of War Adventure Path - Campaign Overview

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Will there be a campaign overview for the Scales of War AP so that as a DM I can plan plots, hooks, etc. Or, perhaps there is no overriding story in SoW. Is that the case? Is it just a series of adventures with the only connecting factor being that the levels are contiguous?

I gusess it's two questions. Does the adventure path represent an epic story? And, if it does, will there be a summary overview of the story points in Dungeon 156 or in Dragon?
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That's a really good couple of questions, in addition to those, I'm also wondering if there will be the standard Forgotten Realms and/or Eberron adapation write-ups?

I only ask as I'm gung-ho to run this, but my group wants to wait for FRCS to come out first and adapt it over.
Be nice if they had Dragon tie-ins like Paizo use to, maybe not every issue because some of the Savage Tiding one's weren't particularly useful in the campaign or for those not running the campaign.

But an Creature Incarnations: Hobgoblins* type article tie in would be good.

* or whatever is the enemy this time
Will there be a campaign overview for the Scales of War AP so that as a DM I can plan plots, hooks, etc. Or, perhaps there is no overriding story in SoW. Is that the case? Is it just a series of adventures with the only connecting factor being that the levels are contiguous?

while I doubt Wizards of the Coast shall provide a campaign overview the way Paizo use, I'll add my voice to the plea for one. As ably noted above, a campaign overview briefly describing each adventure in Scales of Was shall be immensely helpful. As of now, the adventure has nothing on future adventures, except a letter that might spur characters to action for the next adventure.

Sadly, I doubt that WotC has thought that far ahead, and this "adventure path" is likely a bunch of adventures strung together by a common name and thin theme.

It's free so far, so I guess we can't grumble too much. The moment we start to pay for Scales of War, though, I hope WotC gives us something to help foreshadow future events and makes each adventure significantly related to the total story.

-------- Don (Greyson) --------

Non-smoker, White, Non-golfer, U.S.-American

We're all on the same page. My group is raring to get started with D&D4. We have decided upon FR4. So, yes, I'm asking as well. Will SoW be adaptable to FR4?! Otherwise, I don't want to wate my time with it. The preface to this first adventure states that the campaign draws on D&D4's mythology. I take it that means the stuff in the DMG and PHB.

I'm also a bit ticked that the answer to my next question is coming out in August in Dragon 366; that is, character backstories. We really like D&D4 a lot but it seems as if the release is not at all co-ordinated and is piecemeal.

I just wish WotC would post a moderator here to answer these questions. One way or another is not a criticism. The content looks good. I just would like these basic questions answered so I can know whether to jump in or move on to something else.
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I think we really need a campaign overview. It doesn't have to be long like the Age of Worms overview. It could be just 1-2 paragraphs per adventure, like the overview for Savage Tide. This will really help the DM to decide if the AP is worth following, and plan ahead/add side plots/etc.

I hope it will be more than just a series of random dungeon crawls. So far, this AP seems to lack well-defined major NPCs. (Other APs already have them in the 1st adventure, e.g. Lavinia Vanderboren.)

Off-topic: Do we even have a place for posting feedback to the writers?
A campaign overview would be helpful. According to a similar thread on the Paizo site, there is one floating around somewhere.

As a GM, it would be nice to see it. :D
I did a little digging. I did run the Red Hand of Doom in 3.5 but ran it as the generic D&D setting. Not much has changed with the new Adventure Path (to which the Scales of War is taken from or expanded upon) as far as location, from what I can tell. The original FR adaptation puts the location for the Forgotten Realms in the Shining South. Here's a quote from Richard Baker:

Richard Baker has stated that although the module is a generic D&D module, the location maps are identical in layout to Channath Vale in the Shining South (between the Shaar and Halruaa) and can easily be adapted for the Forgotten Realms.

hope this helps
A campaign overview would be helpful. According to a similar thread on the Paizo site, there is one floating around somewhere. As a GM, it would be nice to see it.

Yep, the illustrious Greg A. Vaughan shared that little tidbit with us:
Just to prevent any misconceptions about this, there is actually an overview document of the [Scales of War] AP similar in format to how Paizo does it.

So, Wizards of the Coast is operating on an internal document that provides an overview to the authors contributing to Scales of War. As all of us are painfully aware, that document is not available to the public. While that's good for WotC's contributors, it's not much help for us - the DMs at-large. Which makes this clandestine overview dissimilar "in format to how Paizo does it..." because Paizo shared their campaign overviews with us early.

Anyway, the point is that contrary to my assumption, there is a written long range plan for Scales of War. Let's hope future Scales of war installments have more story-telling and less blunders (and less static dungeon delving).

I'd still like to see something to help us foreshadow events and plan our individual campaigns. Maybe this mystery document will show up torrented "accidentally."

-------- Don (Greyson) --------

Non-smoker, White, Non-golfer, U.S.-American

Which makes this clandestine overview dissimilar "in format to how Paizo does it..." because Paizo shared their campaign overviews with us early.

Makes it dissimilar in presentation. Might be (probably is) similar in format however. As in, what information is presented, the order it is presented, how it is organized, etc.
Well, it's good to know that somebody has a plotline laid out for this. As is, however, I'm running this campaign as a tenuously-connected series of adventures, with no grand plans of conquest, travel, or, really, anything.

July: "Hey, look, bad guys attacking from the northeast!"
August: "Hey, look, bad guys attacking from the west!"

Barring more campaign information, we'll see how well this holds up as a campaign once we have to start paying for it.
Maybe if we add enough posts to the Campaign Overview thread, we can treat it like a petition. Print it out, mail it to Chris Youngs. ;)

Or just congregate here and chant:
O-Ver-View
O-Ver-View
O-Ver-View
O-VER-VIEW!
O-VER-VIEW!
O-VER-VIEW!
O-Ver-View!

O-Ver-View!

O-Ver-View!

-------- Don (Greyson) --------

Non-smoker, White, Non-golfer, U.S.-American

I'm actually just a player in this game (see my Wiki for details of each week's adventure http://scalesofwar.wikispaces.com/) but I concur with the general outcry.

If this is an Adventure Path then there has to be a connecting series of threads. WotC, c'mon. We want to like, use, and purchase your product but you're not helping us!

As a GM I would be extremely frustrated. Our GM and I had a long discussion yesterday about the apparently dual direction flowing Elsir and low and behold I come online and see others have noted the same thing. The lack of accurate maps and artwork of the NPCs is also a huge problem. I won't go on repeating what everyone else has already discussed.

OVERVIEW - OVERVIEW - OVERVIEW

Tom
re: river flow

The rivers join west of Brindol and flow north to the big, honkin' lake, which either drains to the north or, if that's another inflowing river, it drains into the underdark. Or, rises & falls a lot as the seasons pass, which makes things problematic for the swamp to the east, so I'm guessing, underdark.
I'm voting for some overview and connecting information. Story hooks at the end of each adventure would be a nice way to connect things.

rooster
Add one more DM to the petition for an O-VER-VIEW.
re: river flow

The rivers join west of Brindol and flow north to the big, honkin' lake, which either drains to the north or, if that's another inflowing river, it drains into the underdark. Or, rises & falls a lot as the seasons pass, which makes things problematic for the swamp to the east, so I'm guessing, underdark.

The maps in Red Hand of Doom make it clear that the river flows south out of that lake, south through the wood and Derillin's Ferry and off to the west. They do not flow into the lake, but out of it.

Edit: And oh yeah O-VER-VIEW! O-VER-VIEW! O-VER-VIEW!
Well, which do you want to do? Have the river flow uphill into a mountain range as indicated by a module from five years ago that you're not running, or downhill into a lake as indicated by a module you're currently running?
Add me to the list of potential DMs clamouring for an overview of the entire adventure path.
As I've stated in other Scales of War threads I too want an overview and the character background article would kind of be nice as well as we already have the second adventure out....
I would also like to see an overview. I'm about at the point that I need to see it to believe there is a coherent storyline. Right now it seems to be lightly strung together adventures -- which is not what Adventure Path has come to mean to their audience.

I am also disappointed that all of the mistakes and omissions found and reported weren't addressed, or heck, even acknowledged by the Dungeon staff. We were told that mistakes found in an article would be fixed when the complied issue came out. Not one word or Rivenroar was changed.

Perhaps it was the looming deadlines, or GenCon, or whatever that caused the editor to ignore these remarks or perhaps regulate us to the status of "message board trolls" as Mr. Young does in his GRZ interview on YouTube. In fact, this expectation of change, of communication, is one of the reasons I posted the problems I found with the adventure. I really expected they would be addressed -- even if it had been an "oops, we goofed, but we will do better."

Dragon has hit a few out of the park, but Dungeon has faltered. We all want their success. Yes, so far I have gotten what I have paid for. The purpose of the preview is to sell this "printing" model. So far it's a C- and we are all hoping for better.
I agree that a campaign overview is a must. I'm a control freak and there's no way I'm going to start a new campaign if I don't have at least a vague idea of what is going to happen in it. The way Red Hand of Doom handled this kind of information in the Introduction chapter was perfect: a section on preparation, on the adventure background, the adventure outline and especially the timeline!

For the people who don't own RHoD, this chapter was released in an excerpt: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060202a&page=1
Well, which do you want to do? Have the river flow uphill into a mountain range as indicated by a module from five years ago that you're not running, or downhill into a lake as indicated by a module you're currently running?

Tricky since our group has played RHoD so is familiar with the direction of the river, they actually rowed up stream to the lake in question.
Tricky since our group has played RHoD so is familiar with the direction of the river, they actually rowed up stream to the lake in question.

This was my challenge, too. All of my players except one played Red Hand of Doom and traveled upstream (east and north) to Lake Rhest. Upstream, as in against the current...

So, I just changed it when we started "Siege of Bordrin's Watch" last night. I went with the notion that the Elsir River flows through a very deep and very narrow gorge through the Mindspin Mountains (as opposed to Stonehome, we play in Paizo's Golarion).

It's ridiculous how much fixing a DM has to do these "finished" products. Call me a "message board troll," Youngs. It doesn't change the fact that "Rescue" and "Siege" are sub par products with horrendously bad editing. That has nothing to do with message boards trolls.

And Red Hand of Doom came out in spring 2006 - it's only two years old, and new enough that someone at Dungeon could have simply looked at the map and see the Elsir River flows west - it even widens as it makes its bend around the south side of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. C'mon.

-------- Don (Greyson) --------

Non-smoker, White, Non-golfer, U.S.-American

And Red Hand of Doom came out in spring 2006 - it's only two years old, and new enough that someone at Dungeon could have simply looked at the map and see the Elsir River flows west - it even widens as it makes its bend around the south side of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. C'mon.

And it would seem that most of us either own or have access to Red Hand....AND know more about the Elsir Vale than the authors of these 2 adventures.

Yep. Im a troll. All your customers are trolls. We actually expect you to deliver coherent, useful content, such miserable trolls we are. You're supposed to be convincing me to spend MONEY on this web stuff. My take now, is that you should be paying US to run it, since we're doing most of the Elsir Vale/Adventure to Adventure tie in FOR you.

Troll Troll Troll.
D&D-OUTSIDER Since 3/1/2011
How am I supossed to make grids for this adventure path?
oh and


OVER-VIEW
OVER-VIEW
OVER-VIEW
Hi Linus,

Let me just start off by saying you certainly have a way with words!

Your last sentence did put a little bug in my ear though. It is off topic and perhaps a new thread should be started but perhaps a Community Built Adventure Path?

It is one of those things that sounds good and everyone jumps on immediately but it would require a great deal of work and coordination so don't agree and offer up time lightly. But, I thought it might be worth exploring as the lack of any response from WotC about huge problems in SoW is becoming extremely frustrating.

Anyone?

Tom

And it would seem that most of us either own or have access to Red Hand....AND know more about the Elsir Vale than the authors of these 2 adventures.

Yep. Im a troll. All your customers are trolls. We actually expect you to deliver coherent, useful content, such miserable trolls we are. You're supposed to be convincing me to spend MONEY on this web stuff. My take now, is that you should be paying US to run it, since we're doing most of the Elsir Vale/Adventure to Adventure tie in FOR you.

Troll Troll Troll.

Providing us with an overview would require them to have an overview in the first place.
At this point from the adventures given and the errors everyone else has mentioned from the setting I'm begining to think that these are just adventures they are calling an adventure path
*adds name to petition*

Overview, Overview, Overview!
AsmodeusLore D&D Insider News Guide Follow Me


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Providing us with an overview would require them to have an overview in the first place. At this point from the adventures given and the errors everyone else has mentioned from the setting I'm begining to think that these are just adventures they are calling an adventure path.

The staff and writers at Dungeon DO HAVE an internal campaign overview - they Just are not sharing it with DMs. I understand the "new" edition is "open" for individual development by myriad DMs. But, for an adventure path, DMs need to be educated on what's coning in the future - a campaign overview! They have one, and they ain't sharing. Very frustrating. I'll pay for the freakin' thing if that's what they want.

-------- Don (Greyson) --------

Non-smoker, White, Non-golfer, U.S.-American

Overview please
Originally Posted by AsmodeusLore
Can we get a copy of the Scales of War overview?

The short answer to this question is “no.” The problem is that we’ve mapped out an elaborate plot that covers level 1 all the way through level 30 and there are a number of surprises along the way. Those “grand reveal” moments won’t be nearly as impactful if they’ve leaked out via plot summaries and/or an overview of where the Path is going. I can assure you that the current fears about the lack of a compelling archvillain, or a logically complete structure, or major NPCs, or a real hook are all misguided. Just wait and see!

Ummm does this guy even PLAY D&D? Does he not understand the concept of an Adventure Overview? DMs dont NEED to worry about being surprised, they need to know whats going to happen, so they can drop hints and set up plots that will tie in together. Sure, all that stuff they say they have planned might be fantastic, but if the DM has no way to know its coming and such prepare his story for it, the events will seem random, and dropped in if not planned for. Looks like Ill be skipping this path until the whole thing is released and I get my "overview" from the completed adventure, or they realize they are being idiots and release the overview. Which is sad, because Im sure im not the only one who feels this way. Once again, WoTC can take some pointers from Paizo. They started up their 3rd AP last month with Second Darkness. Got the first part of that adventure, what do you think is in the back? *Gasp* AP Overview!
Ummm does this guy even PLAY D&D? Does he not understand the concept of an Adventure Overview? DMs dont NEED to worry about being surprised, they need to know whats going to happen, so they can drop hints and set up plots that will tie in together. Sure, all that stuff they say they have planned might be fantastic, but if the DM has no way to know its coming and such prepare his story for it, the events will seem random, and dropped in if not planned for. Looks like Ill be skipping this path until the whole thing is released and I get my "overview" from the completed adventure, or they realize they are being idiots and release the overview. Which, is sad, because Im sure im not the only one who feels this way. Once again, WoTC can take some pointers from Paizo. They started up their 3rd AP this month with Second Darkness. Got the first part of that adventure, what do you think is in the back? *Gasp* AP Overview!

Well, it's either that they really believe the story is just too good to let out of the bag (similar to other stuff they play close to the vest for unknown reasons), or perhaps they're worried that with an overview, we won't need to subscribe to Dragon, and just make our own adventure path.

(actually, "either" isn't the best word - there could be other reasons)
Well, it's either that they really believe the story is just too good to let out of the bag (similar to other stuff they play close to the vest for unknown reasons), or perhaps they're worried that with an overview, we won't need to subscribe to Dragon, and just make our own adventure path.

(actually, "either" isn't the best word - there could be other reasons)

Neither of those reasons are sufficient to withhold the overview, if you ask me. To the first, if the story is THAT good, the DMs should know about it and wil solve the 2nd part by subscribing to get such an amazing AP. Really, the overview is for the DM, not the players. The only reason I see them withholding this is because players can read Dungeon as well, and such spoil the campaign. However, using that logic, they shouldnt release the individual adventures themselves! The players could read Dungeon magazine and spoil the plot! Oh noes! Ok I lied. Its not the only reason I see them withholding the overview. I firmly believe they just dont even HAVE one, and are taking submitted adventures, and having editors adjust them to fit the "theme" on the fly. Prove me wrong WoTC, prove me wrong. Release the overview
Neither of those reasons are sufficient to withhold the overview, if you ask me. To the first, if the story is THAT good, the DMs should know about it and wil solve the 2nd part by subscribing to get such an amazing AP. Really, the overview is for the DM, not the players. The only reason I see them withholding this is because players can read Dungeon as well, and such spoil the campaign. However, using that logic, they shouldnt release the individual adventures themselves! The players could read Dungeon magazine and spoil the plot! Oh noes! Ok I lied. Its not the only reason I see them withholding the overview. I firmly believe they just dont even HAVE one, and are taking submitted adventures, and having editors adjust them to fit the "theme" on the fly. Prove me wrong WoTC, prove me wrong. Release the overview

Oh, I totally agree - they are insufficient reasons to say "no" to the overview requests. I'm just casting about for their possible justifications, which (if I allow cynicism to sneak in) could be:

1. They don't actually have one.
2. They really believe it's so good they just can't give away the big reveals (and really, very few stories are that good)
3. They don't want people to take the overview, decide it's not that interesting and/or make their own AP from the plot outline, and then drop their subscription.

Regardless of the truth of any of the above reasons, failing to provide an overview is simply unwise. It doesn't earn them any goodwill, especially since they say it's so good.

Let's face it: in 18 months, the campaign I'm playing in is HIGHLY unlikely to still be going, especially if I have no idea where it's going.

But I'm preaching to the choir. :D
Ummm does this guy even PLAY D&D? Does he not understand the concept of an Adventure Overview? DMs dont NEED to worry about being surprised, they need to know whats going to happen, so they can drop hints and set up plots that will tie in together.

Good question - does this guy DM or play D&D? As you ably noted Kabump, this much pleaded for campaign overview is FOR THE DMS. NOT THE PLAYERS. The last thing a DM is gonna do is say, "Hey, I got the overview, and I'd like to spoil the campaign. So, this is what happens..."

Buehler's answer should have been, "Yes. We'll get the SoW campaign overview to DMs. In the spirit of 4E we want to provide DMs an incentive to use our product. Plus, we want to help them tell stories, build worlds, and run great campaigns." I know. I am dreaming.

We don't need a detailed, 18-page abstract of Scales of War's "elaborate plot" revealing every secret of the campaign. We just need to know, in general terms, what is ahead of us in the adventure path. A two or three page outline with one or two paragraphs per adventure shall suffice. As a DM of 24 years and a former Living Greyhawk triad, I have never run a long term campaign like this.

And, since when is it "misguided" for DMs to need material that informs them on how to plan for and execute their campaigns? Misguided? Message Board Trolls? What else is Wizards of the Coast gonna call us? Non-paying, former customer sound good?

Where did that Randy Buehler quote come from?

-------- Don (Greyson) --------

Non-smoker, White, Non-golfer, U.S.-American

Where did that Randy Buehler quote come from?

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insidernews/20080902a

Load of horsecrap if you ask me. Savage Tide had an article in Dungeon that gave an outline of all 12 adventures. It was five or six pages total, with one page being the big title and opening paragraph. As others have said, DMs need this info. We need to know where it's going so we can plan where to lead the group. Otherwise, it's the blind leading the blind.
More choir preaching coming,

Not only does Paizo release a simple, two or three paragraph, overview of each module in the latest Adventure Path, Second Darkness, but they also have an actual release schedule nine months in advance delving half way into the next AP!

With, I might add, blurbs on the plot line of that AP, Legacy of Fire, which looks wicked cool by the way.

I have several questions if anyone can answer them for me.

1) What is Randy Buehler's job in relation to Scales of War?
2) Is that quote accurate or is someone trying to stir up trouble?*
3) Has there been any word from WotC about this issues besides the alleged quote of Randy Buehler?

Tom

P.S. I just thought of something. If this explanation is true then they should recommend that a GM not read a chapter ahead in Super Modules like the Red Hand of Doom. In fact, a GM should never spend any time preparing at all because that will ruin the "Grand Reveal". What nonsense.

* = I was typing this post when Reveal's message (above) was posted so I see the quote is real. Thanks Reveal for the confirmation but as the bearer of bad news I'm afraid we're going to have to throw you in a well.

Once again, WoTC can take some pointers from Paizo. They started up their 3rd AP last month with Second Darkness. Got the first part of that adventure, what do you think is in the back? *Gasp* AP Overview!

Yes, I should have linked my quote, rather than just dropping it into the discussion. That was a fault on my part. However I think my points are still valid FWIW, and off topic slightly, Second Darkness sounds like it will be a lot of fun. DMing the Skinsaw Murders currently for my 3.5 group as my first ever foray into 3.5 DMing, the adventure is fantastic! So much atmosphere, my players are loving it so far, even putting up with my rookie mistakes I had never really been into Paizo much before finding that, but I've quickly become hooked on their track record that ive noticed and their quality products all around. Cant wait for my Campaign Setting to arrive