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Tyrnador, Secrets of Tyland [GMS EYES ONLY]

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  • #16
    Not sure if anyone else is still watching this thread? My group has a question about Elves in the Tyrnador setting, and specifically the Elven Soul arcane background.

    How are Elves supposed to learn additional powers beyond the starting two granted with the AB? The descriptions of the other AB's in the Tyrnador players guide cover options for each of those disciplines (for example, under AB:Magic, both arcane research during downtime and the "New Power" edge are mentioned). So how is this supposed to work for AB:Elven Soul?


    • #17
      Unless stated otherwise, all Arcane Backgrounds can gain additional powers by taking the New Powers Edge with an Advance.
      Elven Soul does not state otherwise. In fact, it does not address the question of new powers beyond having a defined list of available powers. Which means that gaining new powers follows the Core Rules in all other respects (use an Advance to take New Powers, learn any two available powers of your Rank or lower, define trappings when gaining the new powers).

      Arcane Background (Magic) significantly changes the rules for acquiring new powers, so it lays out all of those changes. Even the New Powers Edge requires the character to have access to an Arcane Library of a rank equal to or greater than the rank of the power(s) being learned - that is a restriction on acquiring the Edge that deviates from the normal rules and needs to be spelled out.
      Arcane Background (Miracles) changes the rules for acquiring new powers by requiring clerics to complete 'cult quests' of sufficient difficulty, or upgrading an altar to sufficient rank, to unlock each higher Rank of powers (in addition to normal requirements). So a Legendary cleric that has not completed any cult quests and not upgraded any altars can only access Novice rank miracles. Again, a new restriction that requires explanation.

      Arcane Background (Elven Soul) does not have any similar restrictions. Which means that elves can gain additional powers by taking the New Powers Edge and meeting any rank requirements of the powers.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


      • #18
        Thanks Jamgame, thanks Screenmonkey for posting this all up.

        We're going to embark on this campaign very shortly so this is all going to be very helpful to me. Can I ask a few questions please?
        1. For the player map (on page 12), I'm a bit worried that the star around Tyland Mill which is marked on the map might give my players too much of a clue. I have no idea why it is even on the player map (I've written to Piotr about this and asked if he would produce a map without that star). How did you handle this please? Did your players figure out anything based on the star symbol which affected the running of the game?
        2. The Downtime Phase is mentioned on p90 of the Player's Guide, however I haven't found any reference in Secrets of Tyland as to how to apply the Downtime Phase. Given that the story is locked as 60 days, how does the Downtime Phase fit in? (Did you just ignore Downtime?)
        3. Regarding the death of Jinny (the first murder), I've read and re-read this and I think it is most unlikely that the PCs will be able to figure this out. Is there a clue to finding her location? (I'm thinking that they won't be able to figure it out until they realise that there will be 5 murders and start using the map to figure out that there is some sort of pattern to the murders) It may be that it's deliberately hard to figure out but I thought I'd ask just in case there is a clue that I've missed.
        4. I can see that clever PCs may be able to figure out that the three girls at the Inn are behind the Cult of the Crawler (discovering one of them then exposes all of them). I'm going to have the girls wear masks that distort their voices (otherwise it will be too easy). I'm conscious that there is an Adventure Deck card called "Spill the Beans" which could be used to force one of them to talk. It also sounds like in some of your games, the three cultists are found too easily which significantly changes (undermines?) the story. Given that you've run this campaign, do you have any advice?
        5. Regarding The Reluctant Bride Savage Tale, I can understand the PCs going to rescue the Mill Lady from Lord Korab but what I don't quite understand is if they do steal her away, why wouldn't Lord Korab sent his mercenaries after her, leading potentially to an early Battle of Tyland. How did you handle this situation please? What held Lord Korab back?
        More generally, is there anything else that you found worked well, or just plain didn't work and you would recommend doing something differently? I know this is an open ended question but it would be helpful.

        Much appreciated,



        • screenmonkey
          screenmonkey commented
          Editing a comment
          1. I thought the same thing. I blew up the player map to a small poster size and it sat in the middle of the table most sessions. We were near the end of the campaign before they made the connection.
          2. Only one of my players showed any real interest in the downtime phase, and only then because he isn't the sort of person who let's "free" stuff go. It's as if he thinks that "if it's provided, you're a fool not to use it and you may 'lose' in the final battle." Either way, my players had a real sense of urgency, not because they knew the timeline, but because they considered a virtual city of evil humanoids living beneath the town to be an imminent threat. As such they gave themselves no real downtime.
          3. This may have been the last murder my players figured out as it finally dawned on them that the star on the map meant something. Then they used the map in the sheriffs tower to plot the location of the murders....
          4. My players didn't realize it was the three sisters until the actual Battle of Tyland Mills. In the middle of the battle I had the winner of the honey competition (the kid who can find anything) come to the players with the shocking news of what he found in the cellar of the Good Omen Inn.
          5. In our campaign, the players had made some friends with the staff at Lord Korabs castle. They then were able to find their way into the castle from underneath, rescue Marion and Lord Korab assumed that Reds men had done it. Meanwhile, Marion laid low and Lord Korab was none the wiser until just before the final battle.

          All of the above was made possible by a few things:
          a. What is painfully obvious to the GM, often remains a mystery to the players because it's so difficult to pick out what matters amongst all the information that doesn't.
          b. I played it "old school" in that a die roll is nice but often unnecessary. If the player doesn't ask the question, then they don't get the information. Even then, they get objective data, not conclusions. They can come to their own (often incorrect) conclusions.
          c. The most experienced players in the group tend to drink a local brew or two as we play, so key facts are sometimes forgotten.

          In any event, I hope you're having a blast with it! We must have played over 120 hours in Tyrnador and they absolutely loved it.

          p.s. I ran a campaign of 50 Fathoms for a similar length and it had 1/3 the page count. Highlighters and sticky notes are your friends.

        • screenmonkey
          screenmonkey commented
          Editing a comment
          One other thing. Ignore the restriction of powers based on Altar upgrades and tower upgrades. It's tedious book keeping in a resource poor environment that feels punitive. It was just not fun for my players. If they needed cash to motivate them to adventure, it would be different. As it is, the main storyline is compelling enough to keep things moving along.

      • #19
        Thanks Screenmonkey, this has been very helpful. What you've said makes a lot of sense.

        There is no scale on the Hex maps on pages 12-13. How big did you decide the hexes were please?

        (we're currently playing 50 Fathoms, probably about half way through and having a ball with that campaign. I'm going to start running Tyrnador in about 6 weeks when I finish running our second season of Blades in the Dark)




        • #20
          Just circling back. I'm currently running Savage Worlds Tyrnador with two separate groups, one is about 5 sessions ahead of the other. In both cases I'm using Roll20 so that I can share maps (where I've edited details out, and then can re-add them in).

          I'm using the scale of 1 Hex = 5 miles (8 kilometres)

          In terms of my complaints on the 'star' on the Tyland Woods map, I've decided to redraw the map using Campaign Cartographer 3+. I really don't like that star. I'm almost certain that one of my two groups will use the star which is drawn on the map to figure out what is physically there.

          I have spent time editing a number of the other maps that are provided (because they have numbered locations) - so I've had to delete the numbers.

          I have also created a 'weather calendar' for ~62 days of the campaign which indicates the weather, temperature, phase of the moon, day of the week, month etc. I think this is going to be important for the group going forward.

          One of the Tyrnador games (which is the most advanced) is using two very experienced characters with a handful of funnel characters as the starting group. One of the very experienced characters has become Sheriff.... and they're investigating some of the murders.

          The other Tyrnador game is using all funnel characters (a total of 12 of them).


          • #21
            Any Chance you Could PM me the editet map ?this is litteraly the only Thing Stopping me from Running SoT ….you Would have my eternal gratitude


            • #22
              Originally posted by Felix 987653 View Post
              Any Chance you Could PM me the editet map ?this is litteraly the only Thing Stopping me from Running SoT ….you Would have my eternal gratitude
              It may take me a few days/weeks to do as I'm figuring out Campaign Cartographer 3+ for the first time, but I don't mind posting it up when I'm done. Sure.