[RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

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[RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by shesheyan » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:27 pm

Did you play the C series module using the tournament format by RPGA? Did you do this at a convention or at home? How was your experience? Would you do this again?

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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:30 pm

Is that tournament format unique to Series C modules, or do some of the later RPGA products (like the Living City or Living Jungle) share elements from the tournament rules?

Did any of the RPGA rules from Series C products survive long enough to be featured in things like Living Greyhawk (3e), Living Forgotten Realms (4e) or Adventures Guild (5e)?
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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by shesheyan » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:45 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:30 pm
Is that tournament format unique to Series C modules, or do some of the later RPGA products (like the Living City or Living Jungle) share elements from the tournament rules?

Did any of the RPGA rules from Series C products survive long enough to be featured in things like Living Greyhawk (3e), Living Forgotten Realms (4e) or Adventures Guild (5e)?
C stands for Competition. They were designed for competitive play during RPGA events or at home against the clock. For the rest I don't know.

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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by Khedrac » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:59 pm

To answer the original question - "no" - we always played them as straight modules.
I have never taken part in any competitions, but when I did play Living Greyhawk modules at conventions the 'time pressure' factor was a horrible burden. The LG "Special" modules were designed to have far more content than could be covered by a single session, so parties would get rewards for whatever sections they cleared (there were usually multiple primary routes diverging at the start so different parties would encounter totally different content to each other). On the rare occasions we played these not at cons (some did get released for general play) we also didn't worry about the time limit (I think the rewards might have been adjusted because of no time limit too).
"If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it might just be a crow".

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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by shesheyan » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:15 pm

Khedrac wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:59 pm
To answer the original question - "no" - we always played them as straight modules.
I have never taken part in any competitions, but when I did play Living Greyhawk modules at conventions the 'time pressure' factor was a horrible burden. The LG "Special" modules were designed to have far more content than could be covered by a single session, so parties would get rewards for whatever sections they cleared (there were usually multiple primary routes diverging at the start so different parties would encounter totally different content to each other). On the rare occasions we played these not at cons (some did get released for general play) we also didn't worry about the time limit (I think the rewards might have been adjusted because of no time limit too).
Interesting!

Since we couldn't go to any of the conventions is the USA (too young, no money, no passports), we played Tower of Inverness at home using the tournament rules and 3 hours. It was a very different experience from our usual dungeoneering for sure. We got into heated arguments several times but we got to the end we only on dead PC. I think we all died in the last room at the top of the tower. Our score was average compared to the scores at the end of the module. We were also ranked by player IIRC.

I don't remember my original reaction. Its muddled with the fact that the DM was a toxic player and left the group that year, so I'm can't trust me recollection. I would be interested in trying this format again. A GM in our area is doing something similar soon. It brought back the memory.

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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by Dread Delgath » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:34 pm

I have all of the C series modules: C1 Lost Shrine of Tamoachan, C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness, C3 Lost Island of Castanamir, C4 To Find a King, C5 Bane of Llywelyn, and C6 The Official RPGA Handbook that features 2 short 'tournament' style adventures - "The Long Way Home" and "Honor Guard".

I want to note that the C-series modules I have were published and sold in stores, and were polished versions of the original tournament modules, which, when they were used at convention, may have had different titles.

C2 was one of the first AD&D modules I ever got (along with G1-2-3 and Holmes Basic box!) in 1980, and I attempted to run it as closely with the tourney rules as I could. However, the players didn't like this format, having loved the free reign inherent in the Basic sandbox adventure B2 - The Keep on the Borderlands.

Since then, I've never tried to run any module with tourney rules, and after a couple years of experience, I never attempted to run a module as written. I assume everything in the mods exist, but I never force my players to encounter everything in it, as dictated by the 'script'.

Going "off-script" as the modern D&D DMs say, is never my problem. :cool:
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:30 pm
Is that tournament format unique to Series C modules, or do some of the later RPGA products (like the Living City or Living Jungle) share elements from the tournament rules?

Did any of the RPGA rules from Series C products survive long enough to be featured in things like Living Greyhawk (3e), Living Forgotten Realms (4e) or Adventures Guild (5e)?
I believe the tournament format remained intact since its inception in the RPGA throughout its run, and was designed by Frank Mentzer. :geek:

I can't say for 3e, but The Ghost Tower of Inverness was touted for 4e game-store play (pre-Adventure League was called "D&D Encounters" and was a looser tourney format than what the RPGA offered at conventions). I played in it, and was very disappointed with it. Most of the weekly game-store Encounter sessions railroaded the party into caravan guard duty until we arrived at the Ghost Tower.... and there was nothing there but ruins. Instead, a NPC unwittingly unleashed a "Phantom Brigade" that threatened the world, and the key to stop them was locked in the ruins of the "ghost tower". No dungeon. No tower. No fun. :evil:

Lost Shrine of Tamoachan was a featured dungeon in "Tales of the Yawning Portal"! It is not presented as a tournament module, but it remains faithful to the source material - tournament rules notwithstanding. :mrgreen:
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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by shesheyan » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:21 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:34 pm
I can't say for 3e, but The Ghost Tower of Inverness was touted for 4e game-store play (pre-Adventure League was called "D&D Encounters" and was a looser tourney format than what the RPGA offered at conventions). I played in it, and was very disappointed with it. Most of the weekly game-store Encounter sessions railroaded the party into caravan guard duty until we arrived at the Ghost Tower.... and there was nothing there but ruins. Instead, a NPC unwittingly unleashed a "Phantom Brigade" that threatened the world, and the key to stop them was locked in the ruins of the "ghost tower". No dungeon. No tower. No fun. :evil:
Well that sucked royally... so they were just name dropping. That is sad. :facepalm:

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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by Dread Delgath » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:37 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:21 pm
Dread Delgath wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:34 pm
I can't say for 3e, but The Ghost Tower of Inverness was touted for 4e game-store play (pre-Adventure League was called "D&D Encounters" and was a looser tourney format than what the RPGA offered at conventions). I played in it, and was very disappointed with it. Most of the weekly game-store Encounter sessions railroaded the party into caravan guard duty until we arrived at the Ghost Tower.... and there was nothing there but ruins. Instead, a NPC unwittingly unleashed a "Phantom Brigade" that threatened the world, and the key to stop them was locked in the ruins of the "ghost tower". No dungeon. No tower. No fun. :evil:
Well that sucked royally... so they were just name dropping. That is sad. :facepalm:
I believe they (4e Encounters designers) did the same thing with The Keep on the Borderlands, although when I started, I just got in on the very last session of it. Nothing on the assigned battlemap looked familiar - and as I recall was supposed to be "THE" Caves of Chaos. :evil:

What's even worse, there is a sealed 4e Keep on the Borderlands 'module' (Part Five) on sale at my FLGS for $50.00. Its only 16 pages long, and in the old AD&D module format with gate-fold map & loose 8.25x11 stapled booklet within. The price tag is nothing to do with WotC, however; the game store owner has really jacked up the prices of older edition modules & books based on what he thinks he could get from eBay. :evil: :evil:
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Re: [RPGA] C series modules. Did you use the tournament format?

Post by RobJN » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:39 pm

It may also be worth noting that the A series (Slave Lords) were originally written as tournament modules, with A 1, 2, and 3 being higher "rounds" in the tourney
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