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Wussypillow

Ghosts of Dathomir is too busy

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(SPOILERS HO!)

So got Ghosts of Dathomir, read it, and, well, the title says it all: It's 'busy'--there's too darn much going on and none of it has really strong connections to anything else. There's mercenaries AND Hutt gangsters AND vaguely Dark-side affiliated thugs/cultists AND possibly the Empire and a dumb guy with a crashed ship and a kidnapped antiquities dealer and massive crashed mining platform and ugggggggggggggggggggggggh.

I really harbor the feeling that if played as-written, my players would just have a really, really hard time keeping track of what's going on. Or else we'd reach one of those points where they don't know what to do next and would need me to drop massive hints to in order to get them moving again.

What made me want to buy this book was the "Dathomir" part: I figured the PCs would spent a lot of time interacting with the Nightsisters (or, y'know, their ghosts, like the title implies), 'alternative' Force traditions, etc, etc.

Problem is: the portion on Dathomir is *maybe* 20% of the adventure's total length. It barely mentions the Nightsisters at all (in fact it sort of discourages you from including them). It's hard to imagine Palpatine and Vader--who knew full well about them--would allow this group of powerful Force-users to continue existing after the rise of the Empire. 

For me, I'd massively rework the whole thing before I ever ran it:

-Keep the basic setup: An obvious Force-connected artifact has turned up and is being offered for sale

-The dealer goes missing

-The PCs have to track him down

-Drop ALL the mercs/gangsters/heist stuff and just say it was Jerserra and her gang of thugs who've kidnapped him/stolen the artifact

-Make a more-obvious connection between Jerserra and the Nightsisters

-Go right to Dathomir (maybe slight side-trek while PCs find the coordinates from somewhere, since it's one of those 'hidden' systems erased by the Empire, like Moraband/Korrabad)

-Drop the whole crashed-mining-ship angle

-Have final climax occur in the Empire-ravaged surface of Dathomir with the ragged, feral remnants of the Nightsisters and Jerserra (EDIT: Oh and got to have them fight a Rancor in there somewhere; can't leave that out)

That, to me, 'flows' better. 

Edited by Wussypillow

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It certainly suffers from over complication. Most of the other adventures follow a similar structure: Act 1 takes place on a different planet from Act 2 which takes place on yet a different planet from both previous acts. Jewel of Yavin is the only published adventure module I'm aware of that breaks this mold: all of it takes place on Bespin in Cloud City.

Ghosts of Dathomir would have benefited greatly from following that single-planet structure as it would have offered more of what brought me to it in the first place: Dathomir. 

I'm not upset too much as far as the lack of nightsisters in this module. The Clone Wars show makes it seem as if the nightsisters are destroyed, so I understand why they went that direction. What I don't like is the side-bar telling you how to deal with them. It reminds me too much of Escape from Glare Peak's treatment of Darth Vader. Removal of player agency if poor game design in my opinion.

After I got over my expectations of what I wanted the module to be, it's not that bad. It could just be so much better.

I like some of your ideas on making it less complex and will probably use a few when I run this in our game.

Edited by JorArns

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4 hours ago, Wussypillow said:

It's hard to imagine Palpatine and Vader--who knew full well about them--would allow this group of powerful Force-users to continue existing after the rise of the Empire. 

With the exception of Ventress they're not involved in galactic affairs, are they? Why devote resources to their extermination or containment and risk the situation getting out of hand?

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11 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

With the exception of Ventress they're not involved in galactic affairs, are they? Why devote resources to their extermination or containment and risk the situation getting out of hand?

They might, however, kidnap young members of the clan to study the unique way in which they manipulate the Force. Which, after years of poking, prodding, and experimentation, could leave her quite damaged. And, after her escape, it might lead her back home looking for her past.

Or am I talking about one of my players' backstory again?  :D

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2 hours ago, Stan Fresh said:

With the exception of Ventress they're not involved in galactic affairs, are they? Why devote resources to their extermination or containment and risk the situation getting out of hand?

Maul's backstory involves him being a Nightbrother, one of those kidnapped/involuntarily volunteered to do the Nightsister's bidding. There is also his brother Savage who was put on loan to Dooku by the Nightsisters. Obi-Wan had a brief dealing with them as well during an investigation. All of this comes from The Clone Wars.  

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I can't say I found a lot to use in GhoDa, with the exception of the encounter with the cleaning droids, which has potential to be hilarious, if used right.  The visions could be useful too.  But overall it's very railroady.

That said, it's like any of these published modules:  if you're trying to run them as-is, you're probably going to be disappointed.  Mine them for ideas and make it your own.

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I agree that it has a lot going on. I remember there was a point while I was reading the adventure, that I (the GM) was confused as to what was going on. The connection between chapter 2 and chapter 3 still feels pretty fuzzy. I feel like the book has a single vision for how players get around from point A to point B, and kind of relies on the players having the same line of thought (which they almost never do).

 

I'm also not particularly crazy about all of chapter 3 taking place around/inside a crashed ship. Without a map, it's hard to guide players through a massive ship that mostly contains dead ends. Unfortunately, if I decide to speed things up and only use a handful of the encounters, it will make chapter 3 feel so rushed. Overall this feels like an adventure for an Edge of the Empire party, with some shoehorned Force stuff for the one guy in the group playing a Jedi. I like the overall premise, but it does require a lot of rewrites compared to some of the other adventures.

Edited by Fennris

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22 hours ago, Fennris said:

I'm also not particularly crazy about all of chapter 3 taking place around/inside a crashed ship. Without a map, it's hard to guide players through a massive ship that mostly contains dead ends. Unfortunately, if I decide to speed things up and only use a handful of the encounters, it will make chapter 3 feel so rushed.

Because the ship is so large and has broken up in the crash you can use almost any dungeon crawl or city type of map as a base. Here is a link to a Refinery layout I'm going to use to base part of it on.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=refinery+layout&rlz=1C1GGRV_enCA762CA762&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=qsei0AUZOgU2CM%3A%2CdsZA21suDl9ibM%2C_&usg=__Pi4VCFGSWa_VfU2K8M3B9pHAV0E%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiI_KC8m-TXAhWO14MKHUCiCOwQ9QEILTAC#imgrc=hIlK4bFwT7ExqM:

Quote

Overall this feels like an adventure for an Edge of the Empire party, with some shoehorned Force stuff for the one guy in the group playing a Jedi. I like the overall premise, but it does require a lot of rewrites compared to some of the other adventures.

This is not a bad thing as most parties are mixed PC types and Edge is the most versatile of the settings.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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On 11/26/2017 at 5:58 PM, Stan Fresh said:

Yeah but that's all history by the time the adventure starts.

As were all the nightsisters I thought. The impression I got from the Clone wars was that they were all killed, planet-wide. I looked at the "Canon" article on Wookiepedia and it confirmed what I thought, all the nightsisters were killed with the exception of Ventress and Talzin who were killed later.

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3 minutes ago, kenngp said:

As were all the nightsisters I thought. The impression I got from the Clone wars was that they were all killed, planet-wide. I looked at the "Canon" article on Wookiepedia and it confirmed what I thought, all the nightsisters were killed with the exception of Ventress and Talzin who were killed later.

That could be taken several different ways though. It can be read as all of the members of Ventress' tribe were killed. Remember, at least in the old canon, the Nightsisters were just one of many different tribes of Witches. 

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1 minute ago, Tramp Graphics said:

That could be taken several different ways though. It can be read as all of the members of Ventress' tribe were killed. Remember, at least in the old canon, the Nightsisters were just one of many different tribes of Witches. 

Sure, but as I said, I'm operating under what has been presented in the new canon. I don't know how closely FFG is required to adhere to the new canon after Star Wars was bought by the all powerful mouse. Reading the "canon" article in wookiepedia seems to indicate significant resources were brought to bear insuring their planet-wide extinction.

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3 minutes ago, kenngp said:

Sure, but as I said, I'm operating under what has been presented in the new canon. I don't know how closely FFG is required to adhere to the new canon after Star Wars was bought by the all powerful mouse. Reading the "canon" article in wookiepedia seems to indicate significant resources were brought to bear insuring their planet-wide extinction.

I disagree. I just read the section of the article regarding their destruction, and it specifically refers to them being killed during a single battle against General Grievous. That’s not something that could wipe out an entire planet’s population. Rather, it seems to indicate a “Custar’s Last Stand” scenario where all of Ventriss’ clanswomen were killed, not a planet wide genocide.

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Just two points:

1.) The Nightsisters seem like they know their planet pretty well. Doesn’t seem hard to imagine at least a handful could have escaped and hid from even a concerted Imperial effort to wipe them out.

2.) ...But even if not, couldn’t they have left, y’know, ghosts? Like the title implies? We know from Chronicles of the Gatekeeper (which I love, btw) that various forms of ‘Dark Side ghosts’ are a thing. Plus, if Dathomir isn’t a Dark Side vergence then what is?

Upshot: Seems like Dathomir is better presented *without* the whole ‘crashed mining ship’ angle.

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52 minutes ago, Wussypillow said:

Just two points:

1.) The Nightsisters seem like they know their planet pretty well. Doesn’t seem hard to imagine at least a handful could have escaped and hid from even a concerted Imperial effort to wipe them out.

2.) ...But even if not, couldn’t they have left, y’know, ghosts? Like the title implies? We know from Chronicles of the Gatekeeper (which I love, btw) that various forms of ‘Dark Side ghosts’ are a thing. Plus, if Dathomir isn’t a Dark Side vergence then what is?

Upshot: Seems like Dathomir is better presented *without* the whole ‘crashed mining ship’ angle.

Have you watched The Clone Wars or Rebels? This portrayal of Dathomir is based on material from the shows that superseded the "crashed mining ship" setting.

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I get the impression the writers are trying to make sure, even though this is a FaD product, it could be used with EotE and AoR, too. The imperial angle is more suitable for Rebellion characters and the smugglers/pirates/heist stuff is more in line with EotE. Streamlining it for whichever line your characters are suited to is essential.

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