Original Greyhawk ToEE module (spoilers)

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by anatoliy, Dec 10, 2017.

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  1. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Preface
    It's common knowledge, that Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil game was PC implementation of adventure module in Greyhawk campaign setting. (wiki).

    The module itself, was combination of "The Village of Hommlet" (T1) module, which ended after clearing moathouse, and unpublished T2, T3 modules which merged into single T1-4 module of ToEE.

    The module is based on 1st Ed AD&D rules (link). Because Troika's ToEE is 3.5 rule game, the module was updated to 3.5 version rules. DnD_ADD_T1-4_Temple_of_Elemental_Evil_(1e).pdf

    But setting, story, NPC and monsters and most notably maps - were almost true to original Greyhawk ToEE module.

    The word "almost" is key to this post. Let's look of what is different.
     
  2. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    The Village of Hommlet
    [​IMG]

    Large image.
    Issues:
    • You cannot know from game that building 9 is actually Village Hall. At least I haven't found at info about. And I always wondered about.
    • Thieving loot was cut and is is abysmal in the game. Look on 10, how much stuff is around. Adding some would be great. Although game balance must be considered.

    Reference
    9. NEW BUILDING

    There is no one here. The doors are unlocked, and a few benches and stools stand by the bare walls, with a large, plain table at the far end of the room. A tapestry on the back wall shows a green field with two acorns above a sheaf of grain— the banner of Hommlet.
    (For each numbered area, general information is given first. If the text is boxed, it may be
    read directly to the players)


    This is the village hall recently constructed for feasts and councils by Burne and Rufus (q. v. area 31).

    10. WELL-KEPT DWELLING WITH A SIGN
    The wooden sign depicts a bag of wool and a loom. Herein dwells the elderly weaver and his wife, their daughter, and her husband. Four young apprentices are also here, as business is very good. There are bolts of woolen and flaxen cloth here, but nothing else of possible interest.
    These folk are Lawful Neutral followers of St. Cuthbert (see area 20). They moved to the area only two years ago.
    The weaver has a cache of 7 small gold ingots (24 gp each) and a gold pin (200 gp) with an amethyst (100 gp) behind a loose stone in the fireplace.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  3. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Interlude: Hommlet to Nulb
     
  4. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Part 2: Nulb and the Ruins
     
  5. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Part 3: Dungeons of Elemental E v i l
    Dungeon Level One
     
  6. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Part 3: Dungeons of Elemental E v i l
    Dungeon Level Two
     
  7. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Part 3: Dungeons of Elemental E v i l
    Dungeon Level Three
     
  8. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Part 3: Dungeons of Elemental E v i l
    Dungeon Level Four
     
  9. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Part 4: Nodes of Elemental Evil
     
  10. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Elmo problem

    It's not easy task to figure out that Elmo is an agent of the Viscount of Verbobonc. I always have him killed in random area and take his outfit.

    Issues:
    1. His background story is quite interesting.

    It would be nice to have:
    1.1. To be told about from someone - "Gather Information Skill".
    1.2 Having additional dialog with "Sense Motive Skill", which definitely states: "A successful check lets you avoid being bluffed (see the Bluff skill)".
    1.3 Using "Detect Thoughts" spell. This spell could be huge addition to game.

    2. His outfit should be hidden.
    It would be nice to have:
    2.1 Hidden oaken chest near the barn.
    2.2 Walking Elmo to the secret spot and sleep there after drink in the Inn.
    2.3 Hint of stash existence from Sense Motive in Elmo's dialog.

    3. Proposition from Elmo to have a drink. How would he observe newcomers otherwise?
     
  11. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Secret Agents as part of bigger plot.

    If there are secret agents, then there should be at least two warring sides. The title points that there should be Evil side and obviously opposing Good side. But who is on good side? Who are main actors in this play?

    The plot overall is largely obscured and personally this annoys me a lot. There should be "Dramatic Structure" in storytelling to a good game or novel or a movie.

    First part in structure of storytelling is Exposition.
    Troika's Arcanum game had exceptionally good storytelling. So why did the ToEE game was so poorly done?
     
  12. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Mostly because it was rushed out the door. The game is essentially unfinished in that regard, but you have to be careful about presuming to finish it for them. Many consumers don't like tampering of any kind with a finished commercial product, and others who do will still quibble about what should be tampered with and to what extent. It's far from an easy thing to figure out, not to mention being extremely time-consuming to implement.
     
  13. marc1967

    marc1967 Established Member

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    I think the background slides given at the start of the game, and at each new major location, combined with snippets of history provided by NPCs along the way are enough exposition for a module that is essentially a dungeon crawl. Could the story have been fleshed out a little more? Could NPCs have been given more depth? Sure. But does game play suffer from not knowing the empty building is a village hall? I think they did a great job, given the time constraints, of prioritising which parts of the story needed to be fleshed out to drive the story and which could be ignored.

    I could be wrong, but I think most people play for the combat encounters and their characters - what level they are, their equipment, etc. And most just want a quick background followed by dialogs that go like this:

    NPC: Hello I'm blah-blah, I'm the blah-blah here at this small village. Me and my family make blah-blah for the good townsfolk, and we also...
    Player: [yawn] Whatever sir, is there anything I can do for you?
    NPC: Why yes, I need you to travel to this location I've marked on your map, kill everything there, bring me back this one item, and keep the rest of the treasure for yourself.
    Player: HOT DAMN! Now we're talkin', I'll get right on this.
     
  14. anatoliy

    anatoliy Member

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    Why did Troika added minor side-quests? What is purpose of those side-quests at all? Little XP? ))

    No.

    I think it's related to "immerse". Authors would want Player to think about Hommlet as village with real people. Maybe even care.

    So why putting this unnamed building into even original module at all? That is because when you get information that it is actually new building built by mages as a "gift" for the community it tells something.

    It's like when you tell a girl on third date in a winter, that you'd love to go to some-great-summer-place on vacation with here it means that you are serious. You are here to stay. You are planning and thinking about the future.

    So that new building tells us a lot actually.
     
  15. marc1967

    marc1967 Established Member

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    The XPs are actually as much a part of the reason as the immersion factor.

    I appreciate your love of immersion, I really do, but I think you are in a small minority. No one wants a village with cardboard cutouts, but I think the level of detail given to the Hommlet denizens hit the nail on the head.

    In reality, I think most eventually feel this way after a short time - especially after replaying the game several times:

    https://www.gog.com/forum/temple_of_elemental_evil/hommlet_quests_are_like_watching_paint_dry

    Get me to the dungeon!
     
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