Hello to the echoing area for English DSA players who can't speak German.
Somehow I thought this board would get more traffic than the Ulisses-NA forum.
My home group and I have just started the "Revelations from Heaven" adventure. And I thought I would put down my observations here since I can't really find adventure discussion in English elsewhere.
We previously played the DSA5 quick-start with the pregenerated characters and had a bit of fun with that so I pitched starting this introductory adventure to have more fun with DSA.
- Two players created their own "Ordinary" level characters. A dwarf ranger and a half-elf blessed one of Phex. It took longer than anticipated but was logical enough. The core rule book is clear but still involves a lot of flipping around. I wish special abilities where grouped with Advantages/Disadvanatages for character creation. We later found Optolyth which is fantastic.
- Three players got handed pregenerated characters that we made for them. A foppish noble with fencing, a Elf spellweaver, and a Thorwal sailor. This was kind of a problem because, as a whole, the group did not have any heavily armed fighters. Dwarf ranger was out for this session and the Sailor was lightly attired and armed with a cudgel.
- The adventure itself does not seem bad, but the approach and structure that the text has laid out is kind of choppy. It seems like there are portions of the body text that should be made "read-aloud" text for the players. All the NPCs should be in one spot in the book.
- There are a lot of characters and social information to pick up on, but not a good outline of where and how the players should get it. For instance, the first tavern celebration has a lot of color and information that the players are supposed to get that is vital to the narrative but not too many easy ways to dole this out to the players. The text says to just weave the information into the dialogue, but there is a limit to how much rumor and pumping of information that the players will look for while gossiping. The local tales and flavor are good for giving the GM a picture, but hard to translate all that into play during that first village scene.
- Ultimately one of the player characters seduced the bar-maid after much talking, information about the "theft" from the grocer was given by the grocer's drunk wife, information about minor thefts were leaked. Gunelde and the Blessed One of Phiaos were introduced, I wrote many of the villager names down on index cards for player reference.
- We ended the session on a cliffhanger with the discovery of the theft of the tithe box the next morning.
- The BIGGEST issue of course is that giant HELL-BEAR in the first action encounter. The only character that even tried to intervene was the sailor and he almost died. The other players tried to back off and use their bows. The blessed of Phex mostly ran away because he just had a dagger. I think I would take a look at the characters involved and downgrade the threat in the first encounter to wolves. The characters survived with some minor fudging on my part (I "forgot" to attack with two actions each turn for the bear. It also made it's willpower roll to not go into frenzy and ran away after it was bloodied.)
- Side note: some lesser-experienced players who are mainly used to D&D, kept rolling their eyes over the fact that they had to spend actions to reload their bows. This was alleviated somewhat when the noble scored a hit with his long-bow, doing hefty damage. A transitional issue I am sure, but something to watch out for with players who have not played more exacting combat systems
Overall, I like the flavor of the adventure and the writing, but I am also reminded about how I recently find it easier to run my own adventures because I can adjust to suit my players and outline the activity better. All the linear social clues and interactions in this adventure makes it hard to pace out, unless the GM outlines everything ahead of time. I was always afraid I would leave a key morsel out of the progression.
Hopefully we will get to a second session. Some of the players are not very proactive in play or scheduling.