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A Quick Review of Soul Reaver


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#1 Alekzanter

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:34 AM

An adventure in three parts. Part I- Make a deal with the Dark Eldar (sure, that'll be a good decision);.Part II- Hop on board the Choo-Choo Train Express (wherein PCs are captured, have their nifty toys taken away, you as a GM have to prepare yourself for the whining that ensues, and the PCs will have to rely heavily on the Dark Eldar and/or slave races for escape assistance, an echo of the Hand of Corruption plot clusterfeth…sure, that'll be a good idea). Part III- Set up for failure from the starting gate, PCs (and NPCs) achieve goals completely at odds with their initial interests. All in all, the adventure itself is a lame railroad. Good for the ready made Kabals and their politics. Brimming with Dark Eldar foes, their gear, equipment, and weapons. Otherwise, meh.



#2 Gregorius21778

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:02 AM

Alekzanter said:

 

An adventure in three parts. Part I- Make a deal with the Dark Eldar (sure, that'll be a good decision);.Part II- Hop on board the Choo-Choo Train Express (wherein PCs are captured, have their nifty toys taken away, you as a GM have to prepare yourself for the whining that ensues, and the PCs will have to rely heavily on the Dark Eldar and/or slave races for escape assistance, an echo of the Hand of Corruption plot clusterfeth…sure, that'll be a good idea). Part III- Set up for failure from the starting gate, PCs (and NPCs) achieve goals completely at odds with their initial interests. All in all, the adventure itself is a lame railroad. Good for the ready made Kabals and their politics. Brimming with Dark Eldar foes, their gear, equipment, and weapons. Otherwise, meh.

 

 

Hi Alezkanter,

thanks for the warning. Looks like it would boil down to an "Dark Eldar show case" that tries to be an adventure.

Let me guess: the RT SHIP (which was claimed to  be "the additional character" in the core rules) does not has use/meaning in this modul (again), right?



#3 Plushy

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 11:21 PM

 Ugh. More and more reason for me to wish it had been The Soul Reaver: A Player's Guide to Dark Eldar.

 

If they had scrapped the adventure, we could've gotten alternate ranks, more weapons, an overview of Commorragh, and just more good stuff overall. So dissapointed in this product. No Scourges. No Incubi. No Wyches. No Wracks or Mandrakes or rules for playing as an all-Kabalite party. No Sslyth or Beastmasters or any of the other fun stuff. What a waste.


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#4 Gregorius21778

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 01:31 AM

Plushy said:

 Ugh. More and more reason for me to wish it had been The Soul Reaver: A Player's Guide to Dark Eldar.

 

If they had scrapped the adventure, we could've gotten alternate ranks, more weapons, an overview of Commorragh, and just more good stuff overall. So dissapointed in this product. No Scourges. No Incubi. No Wyches. No Wracks or Mandrakes or rules for playing as an all-Kabalite party. No Sslyth or Beastmasters or any of the other fun stuff. What a waste.

Don´t worry. Measured by the effort they make with the Dark Eldar recently I guess we will see an additional core game sooner or later… this time based on everyones favorite sadistic torture elves.



#5 Adeptus-B

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:14 AM

Plushy said:

 Ugh. More and more reason for me to wish it had been The Soul Reaver: A Player's Guide to Dark Eldar.

If they had scrapped the adventure, we could've gotten alternate ranks, more weapons, an overview of Commorragh, and just more good stuff overall.

My thoughts exactly. In the When Does Soul Reaver Release thread, there are page after page after page of comments/questions about Dark Eldar stats/rules, but (if memory serves) only one positive mention of the Adventure itself…



#6 Gregorius21778

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 09:24 PM

I start to wonder….

could it be that FFG was somehow… influenced by GW to write something like Soul Reaver?

"Hey guys… you know, we need a little support for the DE product line. Please go and write an adventure centred on the Dark Eldar. It does not matter what the adventure is about, but make sure that you show a lot of the kewl DE stuff …oh, and make sure that their are some kewl DE Beasts in Koronus Bestiary as well."

If a writer gets some… order what to include into a story and what not, it wreaks havoc to creativity. This would at least be an explanation for the tried-but-hated "we railroad the players intoc a kidnapping" thing.

 

EDIT: But could somebody answer my RT-Ship questions from furhter above? Is the ship making any difference this time?



#7 Naviward

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 09:39 PM

Gregorius21778 said:

I start to wonder….

could it be that FFG was somehow… influenced by GW to write something like Soul Reaver?

"Hey guys… you know, we need a little support for the DE product line. Please go and write an adventure centred on the Dark Eldar. It does not matter what the adventure is about, but make sure that you show a lot of the kewl DE stuff …oh, and make sure that their are some kewl DE Beasts in Koronus Bestiary as well."

If a writer gets some… order what to include into a story and what not, it wreaks havoc to creativity. This would at least be an explanation for the tried-but-hated "we railroad the players intoc a kidnapping" thing.

You might have something there, Grey knights, dark eldar and necrons are all the most recent tabletop codexes to be released, and so we've got daemon hunter, soul reaver and the outer reach. None of those are going to hurt model sales after all.

Back to the topic though, it's a shame to hear that the adventure isn't all that. Might have to use it as a source of little scenes rather than something to play as written. Maybe FFG just didn't think they'd be enough interest in the dark eldar to warrent a full book, hopefully as the comments and interest on the forums show, there is plenty of interest in a further expansion book at some point.



#8 lerak

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:32 PM

yipee, yet more complainers. As if one thread wasn't enough… I won't say anything else, seeing as most will see this post as spam but… just for the record: I loved the adventure, and i don't find anything missing. Maybe It has something to do with the fact that I keep in mind this is an ADVENTURE with some bonus rules and not a SOURCEBOOK , and FFG never said anything else.



#9 Alekzanter

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:20 AM

Regarding the Soul Reaver itself…

As written, the RT PCs do not get to keep it. It's just a plot device, from beginning to end the unattainable brass ring. It has no "stats"; it's just a bauble to loot/sell/trade.
Like I said, the book is filled with Dark Eldar adversaries, like the Chronos Spirit Engine and Hellions, quite a bit of DE gear and weapons, and the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior PC Career. 

Some few have said they feel the adventure is well-written, but I disagree. From the very beginning, there is no clear and concise manner to introduce the plot to the PCs. There are three suggestions: a random/chance encounter with the Dark Eldar introduces the PCs to a whiny butt-hurt Archon looking for revenge (why would she whine to petty Humans?); the PCs are notorious profiteers, out for glory and money regardless of whom they interact with, and the whiny Archon specifically seeks the PCs out for aid (why not recruit other disaffected Dark Eldar instead of Humans?), or she has some knowledge of their seedy underhanded dealings and blackmails the PCs (sure, tattle-telling seems Dark Eldar-ish [sarcasm]); finally, the Machine Cult has heard of the Nexus of Shadows (a device of ancient providence) and begs the PCs for their assistance in obtaining it (referred to in the text of the book as "Tears of the Machine God"…Machine Cultists turned into whimpering little girls that absolutely have to have their own tiara). Actually, a true summary of the supplement would be to say the "adventure" is a collection of suggestive summaries which concludes with a lot of kickass Dark Eldar stuff. A 141-page adventure supplement, consisting of 3 wasted pages (cover page, credits and contents listing), 91 pages of "adventure", and the remaining pages devoted to Dark Eldar sparklies.

My last complaint regards some of the Dark Eldar fluff-turned-game mechanics. As a Player of a Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior, you will be required to track Pain Tokens. !? So, because they're called Pain Tokens in TT…? Why not name these points (for that is what they are, much like Fate Points) after the Trait that describes their accumulation and use? Power Through Pain Points? Doesn't roll off the tongue? Okay, how about Gluttony Points? BD/SM Index?

I bought the supplement with an expectation of eventually incorporating the adventure into my campaign. I'm disappointed with it. Aside from the Pain Token tracking mechanic, I will have hours of enjoyment using the Dark Eldar sparklies in the final 46-page Dark Eldar Showcase of this supplement (which includes all the DE NPCs) in conjunction with The Koronus Bestiary (though the Clawed Fiend, Khymera, and Razorwing have all their basic stats reprinted for use with the DE Beastmaster).

Adventure: poop
Adversaries: pure gold



#10 Alekzanter

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:54 AM

Plushy said:

 Ugh. More and more reason for me to wish it had been The Soul Reaver: A Player's Guide to Dark Eldar.

 

If they had scrapped the adventure, we could've gotten alternate ranks, more weapons, an overview of Commorragh, and just more good stuff overall. So dissapointed in this product. No Scourges. No Incubi. No Wyches. No Wracks or Mandrakes or rules for playing as an all-Kabalite party. No Sslyth or Beastmasters or any of the other fun stuff. What a waste.

Plushy,

There are Scourges, Wyches (including individual stats for a Hekatrix Bloodbride), Hellions, Beastmasters, Trueborn, Reavers, Wracks, and Grotesques…no Incubi, no Mandrakes. There are quite a few alternate DE weapons and fields/armour, and a cornucopia of drugs and poisons. The "Pain Token" mechanic IS actually conducive to running an all-DE game, it's just a clunky mechanic that interacts with several different Talents and is driven by incidental events (like people catching fire in close proximity to DE), requiring more record keeping on the part of Players. The Kabal histories provided present a good starting point for politics, and the Nexus of Shadows is an alternative starting sandbox, conveniently linked to the Calixis Sector, Koronus Expanse, and Screaming Vortex.



#11 Gregorius21778

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:00 AM

Hi Alezkanter,

ist their any ship-action for the RT-ship or any point of the written adventure where some of the RT ship equipment comes into use?



#12 Alekzanter

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:26 AM

Gregorius21778 said:

Hi Alezkanter,

ist their any ship-action for the RT-ship or any point of the written adventure where some of the RT ship equipment comes into use?

Sure. I misspoke…The Soul Reaver does have stats, but it's a literal ghost ship, completely corrupted by uncounted ages lost in the Warp. The art and description make it look and sound like an Eldar ship turned in upon itself, and it's been modified with Dark Eldar tech. Perfect for Black Crusade PCs, sure, but not any Rogue Trader I know, no matter how depraved. The Nexus of Shadows has ship-level surface to "orbit" defenses, there are two Dark Eldar vessels listed in the back (Torture-class Cruiser and Corsair-class Escort), and there are some DE vehicles (Reaver jetbike, Raider, Venom, and the Razorwing Jetfighter).

It really is a collection of suggestions, so you can have all the ship-ship action you want and leave out everything else.



#13 Adeptus-B

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:08 AM

Alekzanter said:

Gregorius21778 said:

 

Hi Alezkanter,

ist their any ship-action for the RT-ship or any point of the written adventure where some of the RT ship equipment comes into use?

 

 

Sure. I misspoke…The Soul Reaver does have stats, but it's a literal ghost ship, completely corrupted by uncounted ages lost in the Warp. The art and description make it look and sound like an Eldar ship turned in upon itself, and it's been modified with Dark Eldar tech. Perfect for Black Crusade PCs, sure, but not any Rogue Trader I know, no matter how depraved. The Nexus of Shadows has ship-level surface to "orbit" defenses, there are two Dark Eldar vessels listed in the back (Torture-class Cruiser and Corsair-class Escort), and there are some DE vehicles (Reaver jetbike, Raider, Venom, and the Razorwing Jetfighter).

It really is a collection of suggestions, so you can have all the ship-ship action you want and leave out everything else.

He's asking about the Rogue Trader's ship, not the Soul Reaver.

I don't think so, Gregorius. I've only skimmed through the Adventure, but it looks to me to consist entirely (or almost entirely) of 'legwork'.



#14 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:25 AM

Alekzanter said:

the PCs are notorious profiteers, out for glory and money regardless of whom they interact with, and the whiny Archon specifically seeks the PCs out for aid (why not recruit other disaffected Dark Eldar instead of Humans?)

Because the Archon in question is already outcast and down-on-her-luck - approaching other Dark Eldar for help would either yield insufficient response (the Dark Eldar aren't known for their compassion) or the violent opportunism that comes from seeing a potential rival weak and vulnerable. A motley group of human interlopers, driven by base greed and witless ambition is a far easier thing to manipulate, and entirely expendable.

Alekzanter said:

My last complaint regards some of the Dark Eldar fluff-turned-game mechanics. As a Player of a Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior, you will be required to track Pain Tokens. !? So, because they're called Pain Tokens in TT…? Why not name these points (for that is what they are, much like Fate Points) after the Trait that describes their accumulation and use? Power Through Pain Points? Doesn't roll off the tongue? Okay, how about Gluttony Points? BD/SM Index?

Because I wrote those rules and I chose to maintain a clear thematic link between their defining mechanic in the wargame and its equivalent in the RPG. You're free to dislike that decision, but that doesn't impact me one bit.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#15 Plushy

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 06:59 PM

Alekzanter said:

Plushy said:

 

 Ugh. More and more reason for me to wish it had been The Soul Reaver: A Player's Guide to Dark Eldar.

 

If they had scrapped the adventure, we could've gotten alternate ranks, more weapons, an overview of Commorragh, and just more good stuff overall. So dissapointed in this product. No Scourges. No Incubi. No Wyches. No Wracks or Mandrakes or rules for playing as an all-Kabalite party. No Sslyth or Beastmasters or any of the other fun stuff. What a waste.

 

 

Plushy,

There are Scourges, Wyches (including individual stats for a Hekatrix Bloodbride), Hellions, Beastmasters, Trueborn, Reavers, Wracks, and Grotesques…no Incubi, no Mandrakes. There are quite a few alternate DE weapons and fields/armour, and a cornucopia of drugs and poisons. The "Pain Token" mechanic IS actually conducive to running an all-DE game, it's just a clunky mechanic that interacts with several different Talents and is driven by incidental events (like people catching fire in close proximity to DE), requiring more record keeping on the part of Players. The Kabal histories provided present a good starting point for politics, and the Nexus of Shadows is an alternative starting sandbox, conveniently linked to the Calixis Sector, Koronus Expanse, and Screaming Vortex.

 

A nice chunk of the weaponry either still lacks stats or is spread out between The Soul Reaver, Koronus Bestiary, and Hostile Acquisitions, with alternate stats in Black Crusade. For a resource on our lovely little Kabalites, a lot of things are missing from it. 

Adventures are not terribly helpful for many GMs, who don't feel a need to shoehorn other plots into their running games. Exceptions can be made for great work, but The Soul Reaver is horrendously linear and rail-roady. Cutting or shortening what a lackluster text in favor of more gear, fluff, or a handful of alternate ranks might have been a better use of space and ink.

 

All that said, I may be the only person who wants a Sslyth Mercenary career path.


My apologies to anyone I offend; FFG staff, playtesters, and forum users alike. 

 

Please check out my Dark Heresy to Only War conversion! You can find it on the main Only War forum. I'm always looking for more people to playtest it!


#16 Magellan

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:46 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

(…)the violent opportunism that comes from seeing a potential rival weak and vulnerable(…)

Hoh, I don't know about anyone else, but with my group that Archon would see the violent opportunism that comes from a bunch of greedy humans seeing a weak and vulnerable walking pile of DE gear.


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#17 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:28 AM

Plushy said:

A nice chunk of the weaponry either still lacks stats or is spread out between The Soul Reaver, Koronus Bestiary, and Hostile Acquisitions, with alternate stats in Black Crusade. For a resource on our lovely little Kabalites, a lot of things are missing from it.

Firstly, while I can't say anything for the final product (I've still not seen the finished book), I made a point of including all the Dark Eldar weapons that had already appeared in Hostile Acquisitions (as I wrote the armoury for HA, so I knew what was there already), specifically to avoid this. I don't know what's in Koronus Bestiary (I didn't work on it), so I can't speak for the content there.

Secondly, material that differs between Rogue Trader and Black Crusade is more a matter of differing rulesets as anything else - the biggest example, the Toxic quality on splinter weapons, works differently between games (Rogue Trader's version imposes a variable penalty based on damage inflicted, Black Crusade imposes a static penalty that varies by individual weapon).

Plushy said:

more gear, fluff, or a handful of alternate ranks might have been a better use of space and ink.

 

As much of a surprise as it was to me (I didn't even know work was being done on them), downloadable content containing a second career path and three alternate ranks for Dark Eldar characters has been made available for download.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#18 Spook

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:14 PM

After a look through of the book, I think I would have rather had a Dark Eldar supplement with an adventure in the back, instead of an Adventure with a Dark Eldar supplement in the back.



#19 HappyDaze

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:53 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

As much of a surprise as it was to me (I didn't even know work was being done on them), downloadable content containing a second career path and three alternate ranks for Dark Eldar characters has been made available for download.

So you didn't write The Dark Kin expansion then? Interesting.


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#20 HappyDaze

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:01 PM

I've been reading through The Soul Reaver adventure, and I found one part that seems off. The sidebox "Kicking in the Door" describes a backdoor assault on the Kabal HQ through passages that are relatively unused. However, they are guarder by gun emplacements (OK, sounds good) and, if attacked, Raiders start showing up carrying Dark Eldar troops. But…

All of the guards sitting in the gun emplacements are Trueborn. Further, all of the reinforcements arriving on the Raiders are Trueborn too.

That just seems wrong for two reasons. Firstly, Trueborn are supposed to be elites and shouldn't just be sitting on guard duty (especially considering their higher social status and how easily boredom comes to Dark Eldar). Secondly, I didn't figure that the numbers of Trueborn in a Kabal are particularly high. Having all of these guys be Trueborn really cheapens that.

EDIT: Now I find the part where all of the upper approaches (balconies) are covered by even more Trueborn guards. These guys even go on to show uncharacteristic focus for Dark Eldar since they all remotely check-in with one another every 1d5 minutes.

This is getting really tiresome…


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