Help - I'll try to run Asticlian Gambit (or not)


(Zeque) #1

Well here’s the thing. I DMed the first 3 adventures (Freedom!, Road to Urik and Arcane Shadows). The group is super engaged with the campaign. Next session we are supposed to start Asticlian Gambit. I only read on internet bad things about it being to much of rail-roaded.
Have anyone run it? Is it so bad as they say? Is it easy to adapt the story to avoid being so rail-road? Should I skip it and run Dragon’s Crown? I don’t have much time to prepare an adventure, so if I read the whole adventure and it’s not worth it would be a waste for me.
In any case, what’s your experience with this adventure?
Thanks in advance for your time.


(Stuart Lynch) #2

Hey Zeque. My view of DSQ3 is that its an immensely problematic adventure. Very railroading, very exposition heavy (“This is how the Gulgans choose their nobles. You’re the trophies”), very implausible plot device “Hi, I’m Mingon of Asticles” REALLY? Agis didn’t notice a distant cousin taking over House Asticles?). I’ve playtested it myself and I might rip a couple of encounters from it but otherwise I’ll be slotting some other adventure into its place - it’d be far less work to change a Forgotten Realms adventure than to make Asticlian Gambit viable for me. Just my tuppenys worth.


(Felix Gonzalez) #3

I’d suggest making the rails invisible, or at least more transparent.
Give the players the illusion of choice, that’s the best you can do without scrapping or rewriting the whole thing.
Personalize (and if need be change) the hooks more, add some more choices (less appealing ones that they are less likely to choose, and if they do they still lead in the same direction, albeit by another route), change certain details (especially stupid or wrong ones), etc, etc.
Nothing major, most “bad” adventures are easily fixed.
Railroadiness is one of the easiest to fix.

Don’t have any specifics at the moment as it’s been a couple years since i read that one.