L4 to be published by Dragonsfoot..
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm 
 

sleepyCO wrote:So these are going to be as downloads--L4, L5, and a possible (!) L6--only, or will they be published like the others in the series?


They are going to be downloads. I'm sure there are places to have it done "professionally".


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:48 pm 
 

Deogolf wrote:They are going to be downloads. I'm sure there are places to have it done "professionally".


Based on my last discussion with Len about this, that didn't seem likely, alas.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:11 pm 
 

Deogolf wrote:
They are going to be downloads. I'm sure there are places to have it done "professionally".


Knowing the go-getters here (and elsewhere) in the hobby, I'm sure we'll see these pretty soon.  I might get one done myself just for fun.....

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:04 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
Knowing the go-getters here (and elsewhere) in the hobby, I'm sure we'll see these pretty soon.  I might get one done myself just for fun.....

Mike B.


I'm sure I could wade through the Dragonsfoot chatter on this, but does this one have any relation to L1 - L3? Other than being set on Lendore Isle, presumably... I'll likely take a look, but if it is a sequel to L3 (which I do not own) in any way, that would be a slight turnoff. I'm guessing it's not, since as I understand it the end product had little relation to Mr. Lakofka's original manuscript for the module.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:14 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I'm sure I could wade through the Dragonsfoot chatter on this, but does this one have any relation to L1 - L3? Other than being set on Lendore Isle, presumably... I'll likely take a look, but if it is a sequel to L3 (which I do not own) in any way, that would be a slight turnoff. I'm guessing it's not, since as I understand it the end product had little relation to Mr. Lakofka's original manuscript for the module.


Just place names.  No sequel. Truthfully none of the L-modules had much of a connection to each other but common setting.

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:02 pm 
 

L4 Devilspawn and L4C The Lendore Isle Campanion are now available for download over on Dragonsfoot.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:29 pm 
 

Thanks for the pointer!  :wink:


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:39 pm 
 

First reactions, after skimming through:

Lots of work went into this. Those that love fidgety little details like everyone's exact HP and stats and such will love it.  In that way it's a lot like L1. Also lot's of connections to L1 including characters and such.

Hate the maps!  I wish they had done them old style/blue like the Old School products do today. They aren't bad, but the "modern" style takes me out of the time period.

First run through not that impressed by the adventure scenario, but maybe a more thorough read will reveal more.  Just seems rather blah and tame, but then Len wasn't reinventing the wheel here. I guess during the intervening years (Len first wrote this in the 80s?) a lot has happened in D&D adventure design.  Probably traditionalists will be much more taken with this than I was.

The companion is a really intriguing look at how Len runs his world, campaign and rules.  If anyone remembers his older "Leomund's Tiny Hut" articles in Dragon, they were some of the most interesting parts of the mag. Several were indispensible in their ideas and suggestions.

Nice that this was free! Len could have undoubtedly charged something for it and published it under one of the retro systems like OSRIC.

Suggest in the future Dragonsfoot not take on 130+ page projects like this...this one definitely could have been broken up into 2-3 separate projects, and not taken 4+ years to publish...

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:59 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Nice that this was free! Len could have undoubtedly charged something for it and published it under one of the retro systems like OSRIC.

Suggest in the future Dragonsfoot not take on 130+ page projects like this...this one definitely could have been broken up into 2-3 separate projects, and not taken 4+ years to publish...

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I dunno; seems to me like they're playing pretty fast and loose with WotC's IP as it is (as much as it sucks, Lendore Isle belongs to them, no?). Charging for it would just be begging for a cease and desist e-mail.

Yeah, 130 pages is too much to digest.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:03 pm 
 

Agree about the maps - not a big fan of that style.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:05 pm 
 

Yep, I'd agree Mike, the product is well produced and seems ok, but does lack that Old School feel a little bit  8)

Nice to add the Companion though I think.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:02 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:L4 Devilspawn and L4C The Lendore Isle Campanion are now available for download over on Dragonsfoot.


In case anyone is having trouble finding where the two download links are:

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewt ... wn#p836984

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:28 pm 
 

I agree. Maps are crap. Feel embarrassed for whoever had to put their name to those. Maybe they were desperate for someone to draw maps, but they didn't say so, so I suspect the project manager had a buddy who he didn't want to say 'no' to. Deffinately the big let down in the package.

I would have been happy to pay for copies of these if they had been put together more professionally. My first impression is that it's a solid work and I like the additional info in the companion. It goes a long way to tie together the disparate works of L1 and 2, L3 the butchered afterthought, and L4 the final community editting.

Would have been nice to have a polished product, but I suspect Len's heart wasn't really in it. All round it's a good community effort, and despite it's short fallings, it goes to show what a gaming community can do if it all pulls together.

Damn shame about those maps.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:57 pm 
 

L4 Introduction wrote:It is hoped the new party will travel to Grest at this point based on the information provided in the module introduction. If they sit in Restenford or decide to go elsewhere then kiss this module goodbye and take up fly-fishing.

This kinda thing just bugs me -- especially as there's no information in the module introduction that suggests you need to head to Grest!

Start the adventure on the road to Grest and make the rest backstory, if the players don't really have a choice.  :roll:

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:05 am 
 

Badmike wrote:First reactions, after skimming through:

Lots of work went into this. Those that love fidgety little details like everyone's exact HP and stats and such will love it.  In that way it's a lot like L1. Also lot's of connections to L1 including characters and such.

Hate the maps!  I wish they had done them old style/blue like the Old School products do today. They aren't bad, but the "modern" style takes me out of the time period.

First run through not that impressed by the adventure scenario, but maybe a more thorough read will reveal more.  Just seems rather blah and tame, but then Len wasn't reinventing the wheel here. I guess during the intervening years (Len first wrote this in the 80s?) a lot has happened in D&D adventure design.  Probably traditionalists will be much more taken with this than I was.

The companion is a really intriguing look at how Len runs his world, campaign and rules.  If anyone remembers his older "Leomund's Tiny Hut" articles in Dragon, they were some of the most interesting parts of the mag. Several were indispensible in their ideas and suggestions.

Nice that this was free! Len could have undoubtedly charged something for it and published it under one of the retro systems like OSRIC.

Suggest in the future Dragonsfoot not take on 130+ page projects like this...this one definitely could have been broken up into 2-3 separate projects, and not taken 4+ years to publish...

Mike B.


Further thoughts on a more thorough read through....

Shocked at the amount of typos and badly worded paragraphs here, especially since this thing has supposedly been looked at by many, many proofreaders in the last five years. I found bunches of spelling and grammar errors right off.  Some of the paragraphs are worded so badly I had to read them a couple times to get the gist.

There really isn't an "adventure" here, per se.  More of a sequence of events which I found pretty "railroady" and very, very mundane.  I enjoyed the depth of description to several of the villages and hamlets, which could be transplanted wholesale to your own campaigns. I think it plays better as a travelogue than an actual module adventure. Some of the characters are quite interesting and i could see using them as NPCs.

I enjoyed the depth of description.....to a point. After awhile it becomes far, far too much.  By the end I was wishing for just "Joe, 5th level ftr" instead of the complete dossier on every npc. This level of description is just so unneccesary in several areas of the module.

Lots and lots of cool tidbits for Greyhawk historians. If you're not, I think the excessive details will bore you a bit, I know at a certain point I wasnt interested in some facts because unless you were specifically playing in "Len's World" you'd change them anyway.

The maps aren't just bad. They are hideous.

The more I read, the more I had that sinking feeling I get when I begin to realize I have absolutely no use for the module in question (I have suspected this for a long time in regards to what I had heard about L4, so I wasn't real disappointed).  I actually felt at a certain point it would be virtually impossible to run as written unless you use the specific characters given in the companion, and I would have no interest in doing so.

Len's magic items (described in the module) are a treat.  However, his explanation of magic items, their plusses to hit and damage (either or both), is so unneccesarily complicated I can't see anyone ever using it unless you simply wanted to make your D&D game even more confusing.  In that same vein, certain sections of the module (particularly Rugar's Maze, which gave me a headache), have to be read several times to be understood. I honestly couldn't decide if this was because of the haphazard editing or just Len's writing style.  

All in all, I was struck by the impression that Len's style and this sort of adventure are both artifacts of a long ago time. Dungeon design, writing style, etc have all evolved since the early 80s, and what was acceptable then just doesn't impress me now.  Undoubtedly I would have enjoyed this much more 30 years ago when my standards were quite different.  Now I just was left rather cold and had to mentally compare it to home-brew releases by small press companies like Pacesetter, LOTFP or Three Headed Monsters games and it doesn't stack up well.  In it's favor, it is a free release done by a lot of fans and not a professional publication.  Perhaps I'm just jaded in my old age.  

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:22 am 
 

Badmike wrote:Shocked at the amount of typos and badly worded paragraphs here, especially since this thing has supposedly been looked at by many, many proofreaders in the last five years. I found bunches of spelling and grammar errors right off.  Some of the paragraphs are worded so badly I had to read them a couple times to get the gist.

I had the same feeling of surprise when the L4C file was sent to me for layout. I sent a note to the project's coordinator asking whether I could fix the issues I found, and then I proceeded to start fixing them as I did the layout. But ultimately the response was that I should leave most of the issues alone. I was allowed a little bit of leeway in terms of fixing obvious issues, but I decided to avoid any potential for making the wrong judgement calls, and I only fixed a couple small things. (Un-doing most of the changes I had already made.) *shrug*

I can't speak for L4 itself, since I only worked on the Companion. But I'd guess the story there was the same.

I also agree with the general feeling on the L4 maps. Not so great. Some are overly-pixelated, and I much prefer the classic old-school look of the L1 maps, for example.


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:48 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:This kinda thing just bugs me -- especially as there's no information in the module introduction that suggests you need to head to Grest!

Start the adventure on the road to Grest and make the rest backstory, if the players don't really have a choice.  :roll:


I completely agree. It's a horrible way to start out and get the reader interested and involved in the module. It comes across as very unprofessional.

As Badmike said, this project sorely needed to be edited and condensed.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:08 am 
 

Badmike wrote:Shocked at the amount of typos and badly worded paragraphs here, especially since this thing has supposedly been looked at by many, many proofreaders in the last five years. I found bunches of spelling and grammar errors right off.  Some of the paragraphs are worded so badly I had to read them a couple times to get the gist.

Len's magic items (described in the module) are a treat.  However, his explanation of magic items, their plusses to hit and damage (either or both), is so unneccesarily complicated I can't see anyone ever using it unless you simply wanted to make your D&D game even more confusing.  In that same vein, certain sections of the module (particularly Rugar's Maze, which gave me a headache), have to be read several times to be understood. I honestly couldn't decide if this was because of the haphazard editing or just Len's writing style.  


Proofreading - that's just unforgivable.  The fastest way to make any writing (newspaper article, novel, resume, etc.) a joke is to have typos and poor grammar.  Gaming material is not going to end up in the New York Times Book Review, so proofing doesn't have to be zealous - the language can be loose and colloquial - but even a simple text editor has at least spell checking built in these days (heck, as I typed this message, the composer here caught a typo).  I'll toot my own horn and say that I think I'm doing a lot better cleaning up Castle Of The Mad Archmage (and if I'm not, I want feedback!).

Magic items - the notation is crazy...  +1 sword +1 is confusion... How about sword +1 vs. sword +1H vs. sword +1D?  Any experienced gamer not get the difference there in two seconds?


That's my pain just from a cursory glance.  At a certain point, I think this project suffered from itself.  It had reputation, it was large, it had rotating staff...  These things need focus and stability, otherwise the last round of contributors want deniability and to see completion.  I hope work on L5 can be more structured.

  
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