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Author Topic: "Going somewhere Giorgio?" Vistani Caravans Taking you to Neighbouring Domains  (Read 2121 times)

Hallvor Hadiya

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"Where would you like to go Giorgio?" "Anywhere but the Mistcamp", a rather simple suggestion with lore precedent, why go all the way to a camp when they could simply take you across the border to neighboring domains. Vistani have become a necessary evil when it comes to travel from one domain to the other, however, trade between domains exist without them and their caravans, while certainly risky crossing the mist without a guide but not impossible especially when you're traveling across the border. And for the average trader or person spending hours mist walking looking for the right transition to a domain is not an option.

What I'm suggesting isn't the creation of multiple transitions between domains, as a lot of those locations aren't presented in POTM and it would be too much to ask for such a little change. What I am suggesting is the option for Vistani caravans to take you to neighboring domains. This has been done multiple times with DM events usually paying extra to skip past the Mist Camp and go on to their desired location.

This would also allow more movement of characters, without the artificial player hub of the Mistcamp overreaching. It'll likely be still used for groups looking for dungeon or wanting to sell their loot quickly. I can only think this will create a more natural movement of PC between locations.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 01:50:04 AM by Hallvor Hadiya »
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Iridni Ren

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urathraviel

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I see this idea represented a lot. But your text implies that there is mist on regular borders which to the best of my knowledge is inaccurate. Perhaps someone can point me to a source that states otherwise.

I'm aware there is a perpetual misty border to the village of Barovia, i suppose it helps strahd keep a food source close at hand. But that is not the border of the domain, and the borders for other lands are varied, some not even having one. Falkovnia is documented iirc as having no way to close it's borders other than military might.

There is a reason there is a difference between the islands in the mist, and the fact that the core is it's own continent, it means there is a consistency of location relative to another location, something a mist border would prohibit by the very nature of the mist.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 02:30:08 AM by urathraviel »

Hallvor Hadiya

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I see this idea represented a lot. But your text implies that there is mist on regular borders which to the best of my knowledge is inaccurate. Perhaps someone can point me to a source that states otherwise.

You are right, the Core domains on the average do not have mist boarders(however most can be closed by Darklords, with few exceptions) and while the mist does sometimes appear there according to the whims of the Dark Powers, to steal away wandering groups or plant them there. On the average you can travel between, however, you cannot do this in POTM and must travel the mists to get to your intended location either by the caravans or mist banks. Or are so hard to get to that they're not worth your time. I've never seen one before, but there could be.

There is a reason there is a difference between the islands in the mist, and the fact that the core is it's own continent, it means there is a consistency of location relative to another location, something a mist border would prohibit by the very nature of the mist.

Islands of Terror, as you've said are unconnected to the main continent. But the suggestion is to make adjacent Domains accessible to caravans.


« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 03:08:00 AM by Hallvor Hadiya »
Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'." -- The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett

Daboomer

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There is not a mistcamp either in lore and all i can say to this idea is yes.

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Exordium

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The reason the Mist Camp exists is to be a hub, a place that lots of players need to travel through and where they thus may run to each other more naturally. I'm unsure if making passing it easy would end up being a good thing from the perspective of encouraging encounters.

Hallvor Hadiya

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The reason the Mist Camp exists is to be a hub, a place that lots of players need to travel through and where they thus may run to each other more naturally. I'm unsure if making passing it easy would end up being a good thing from the perspective of encouraging encounters.

There's value in taking risks, and it can be rolled back with little problem if implemented. However, I am for the movement of a hub it won't just disappear people will explore other regions and congregate elsewhere. And it might not even take, people will still journey there to sell their loot and likely wait for fellow adventurers.

Now the next part might be a more personal perspective, but its one shared by a number of people. I do not actually enjoy the mist-camp, there is something separate about it like there's no culture or overarching influence, its a place people go to wait and it becomes a place to sit and stare into a camp fire. You can never be apart of the camp, only come and go. Unlike with Barovia, or Port-A-Lucine where characters are born, touched by their heritage and roots and can even contribute to it by joining the Gendarm, Garda, the theatre, local business. But due to the nature of the Vistani you can't become a protector or permanent facet of the camp.

That doesn't mean there hasn't been great RP at the camp, but I'd account that more to the steady stream of people than a fostering environment for it. I think the chance is worthwhile and makes sense from a lore standpoint and mechanical.
Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'." -- The Last Continent, by Terry Pratchett

Exordium

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Now the next part might be a more personal perspective, but its one shared by a number of people. I do not actually enjoy the mist-camp, there is something separate about it like there's no culture or overarching influence, its a place people go to wait and it becomes a place to sit and stare into a camp fire. You can never be apart of the camp, only come and go. Unlike with Barovia, or Port-A-Lucine where characters are born, touched by their heritage and roots and can even contribute to it by joining the Gendarm, Garda, the theatre, local business. But due to the nature of the Vistani you can't become a protector or permanent facet of the camp.

That doesn't mean there hasn't been great RP at the camp, but I'd account that more to the steady stream of people than a fostering environment for it. I think the chance is worthwhile and makes sense from a lore standpoint and mechanical.

I do actually agree there. It's a bit difficult to find a reason for why a character would stay in the Mist Camp. After all, they are completely at the mercy of the Vistani there. At any given moment, the mysterious and suspicious lot might just pack it up and leave you stranded with no way out. Feels kind of OOC to have my characters linger there.

But there's a problem with finding an alternative hub. Village of Barovia is supposed to feel extremely unwelcoming and make anyone staying there feel at unease. Dementlieu doesn't fit many traditional DnD characters, such as druids, rangers, vagabonds, zealots, barbarians, so on. Yet the reality is that sustaining even two hubs is difficult at times, so having more than that is more or less a no-go. Encouraging people to spread out to the various other locales, the many taverns, bars, churches and so on, has been tried in the past, and it's not only hard to do, but also leads to people not running into each other as much. So as it stands I do think there needs to be two obvious hubs that are welcoming to most types of characters. One hub for lower levels, one hub for higher levels, to encourage the (somewhat artificial) segregation of the two.

BraveSirRobin

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If the MC was removed, people would naturally congregate elsewhere. Itís probably be for the best. The campfire at Tser Pool would probably become naturally popular, and become a de facto Mist Camp for a travel hub to hang out and find groups. VoB, despite everything said about it, has one of the nicest, most expansive and well furnished inns on the entire server. You can only get a similar experience at the Governorís Hotel in Dementlieu, but itís always booked. The Mist Camp is just this no manís land of perceived neutrality, it breaks the lore, and ultimately kinda sucks.

For instance. When people go ďMist Walking,Ē they always go from the Mist Camp out. It feels much more immersive for people to go to a respective domainís mist vein and try to navigate from there to whatever it is they want to find.

Iridni Ren

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I don't think the thread is asking for the removal of the MC...only for caravan routes to have the choice of bypassing it.

Although server numbers seem to be dropping down from their peak of a month or so ago when I actually saw 100 players logged in at one time, another practical reason for this change is a greater number of players means waiting on the caravan for longer periods. Not having to catch the caravan twice would be really nice :)

Now the next part might be a more personal perspective, but its one shared by a number of people. I do not actually enjoy the mist-camp, there is something separate about it like there's no culture or overarching influence, its a place people go to wait and it becomes a place to sit and stare into a camp fire. You can never be apart of the camp, only come and go. Unlike with Barovia, or Port-A-Lucine where characters are born, touched by their heritage and roots and can even contribute to it by joining the Gendarm, Garda, the theatre, local business. But due to the nature of the Vistani you can't become a protector or permanent facet of the camp.

That doesn't mean there hasn't been great RP at the camp, but I'd account that more to the steady stream of people than a fostering environment for it. I think the chance is worthwhile and makes sense from a lore standpoint and mechanical.

I do actually agree there. It's a bit difficult to find a reason for why a character would stay in the Mist Camp. After all, they are completely at the mercy of the Vistani there. At any given moment, the mysterious and suspicious lot might just pack it up and leave you stranded with no way out. Feels kind of OOC to have my characters linger there.

I've always rationalized the current structure as similar to an airport hub. It's simply more efficient for the Vistani to do it this way than to operate independent routes from every domain to every other domain. But this would more adequately explain the situation if the caravans were scheduled, rather than being personal charters.

Quote
But there's a problem with finding an alternative hub. Village of Barovia is supposed to feel extremely unwelcoming and make anyone staying there feel at unease. Dementlieu doesn't fit many traditional DnD characters, such as druids, rangers, vagabonds, zealots, barbarians, so on. Yet the reality is that sustaining even two hubs is difficult at times, so having more than that is more or less a no-go. Encouraging people to spread out to the various other locales, the many taverns, bars, churches and so on, has been tried in the past, and it's not only hard to do, but also leads to people not running into each other as much. So as it stands I do think there needs to be two obvious hubs that are welcoming to most types of characters. One hub for lower levels, one hub for higher levels, to encourage the (somewhat artificial) segregation of the two.

The MC could continue to operate as a hub for players who want that kind of RP: gather up a party and go dungeon crawling. But for PCs who spend a lot of time traveling from one domain to another, it's just a time sink. Some of the server's time sinks I can rationalize by the need to create a sense of isolation (absence of fast travel) or to make a skill valuable (grindy nature of crafting). But most of the time when Iridni is on a caravan she's alone, doing nothing, and I take the opportunity to get another cup of tea, for example. Because other players tend to to the same thing, the situation is often the same even with a traveling companion.

Money doesn't seem to be an important factor here, but if developers believe otherwise, the price could be doubled for those opting to bypass the MC.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 09:45:28 AM by Iridni Ren »

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Iridni Ren

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I forgot to mention that when the Vistani Captain gets killed, it's a big problem until fixed.

If the MC were bypassable, that would also be alleviated.

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Nemesis 24

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Surprisingly enough, there are characters who cannot exist anywhere at all, not truly.  They can't go to any of the domains because of things they've done, and what they look like.  They're the outcasts amongst outcasts, and they do pop up from time to time.  The Mist Camp is where they go and linger because, well, there is no where else for them to be.  That shouldn't be a playstyle that is forced to be ended because it cannot function in any civilian area, and yet nevertheless wishes to interact with other characters.  Sure, they could lurk in an unknown area, away from everyone and have no interaction - but that is basically soft closing the character in many regards.

Not all of us belong, and sometimes, not all of us belong 'for a time'.  Sometimes there needs to be a halfway place, until a niche is filled that this outcasted individual can then fill out themselves.  This has happened quite a few times, and it usually results out of interactions of the Mist Camp.  The Mist Camp, the melting pot of all people, is what allows for this interaction that otherwise wouldn't be possible, until they can actually find a place that they belong.  My main for a long time functioned exactly like this, as there was nowhere that truly fit the character as a place they could remain.  Others have been in the same situation for various reasons.  Giving people the means to bypass the MC would limit interactions to these already often quite lonely characters, who despite the fact they've ended up in a tricky position, shouldn't be punished further over it.  Not least when many of them can provide a rich roleplay experience for others (not me though I'm just terrible, but other folks have provided enormous narrative strength to others).

It for this 'flow on effect' that I'm a bit wary.  Mist camp is dangerous, true, but it serves a very interesting function too.  Thematically it may lack compared to other locations?  I never really felt that personally.  But it provides quite a lot to many folks that otherwise wouldn't be possible for them, depriving them of the core enjoyments we all try to have here.

Edward

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It for this 'flow on effect' that I'm a bit wary.  Mist camp is dangerous, true, but it serves a very interesting function too.  Thematically it may lack compared to other locations?  I never really felt that personally.  But it provides quite a lot to many folks that otherwise wouldn't be possible for them, depriving them of the core enjoyments we all try to have here.

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Iridni Ren

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Giving people the means to bypass the MC would limit interactions to these already often quite lonely characters, who despite the fact they've ended up in a tricky position, shouldn't be punished further over it.  Not least when many of them can provide a rich roleplay experience for others...

If a PC provides rich RP for others, she will be sought out! At least by those who value rich RP :D

Regarding punishment and how far it should extend, though, well, that's subjective. (See this recent discussion.) PCs get imprisoned and even closured for their actions, and if they've managed to become banished from both hubs, that seems pretty significant and worthy of relative isolation.

In any case, I can't support an argument that says other PCs have to be "punished" in turn by being forced to go through the MC for the benefit of those banished. Those who want to stop and RP can and will, but it's not a justification for holding up those who have RP elsewhere they're trying to get to.

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Arawn

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A guiding principle of the development of this module is and has always been maximizing player encounters, be it through travel routes, crafting hubs, and so on. As a result, although we have considered exactly this proposal (and others) internally in the past, we find that the current setup most creates the possibility for player interactions, including hostile ones. This is by design. If it bothers you that wanted characters are forced to transit through the Mist Camp, consider that for the purposes of tracking someone down you should be able to speak to every NPC who may have seen them, follow physical trails, and so on. Being allowed to circumvent the Mist Camp without being liable to all these other possible drawbacks isnít balanced, either. We believe the current situation has the desired effect.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 11:00:30 AM by Arawn »
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I'd just love to be able to enter the mists themselves from domains other then the Mist camp! Make bypassing the Mist camp come with its own risks and hardships, rather then just more money.
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Edward

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I'd just love to be able to enter the mists themselves from domains other then the Mist camp! Make bypassing the Mist camp come with its own risks and hardships, rather then just more money.

You can do this already.
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zDark Shadowz

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Yeah, when your domain isn't closed off from the Mists, you can pop through it (as dangerous as it is to some, especially when some paladin or cleric has run through not concealed and triggered all the casters to cast see invisibility/true seeing). I live off invisibility potions and have fun (most times) travelling the randomness of the Mists.

As for this quote here...

VoB, despite everything said about it, has one of the nicest, most expansive and well furnished inns on the entire server. You can only get a similar experience at the Governorís Hotel in Dementlieu, but itís always booked.

The Blood of the Vine is overly large, with expansive corridors making inefficient use of space. It'd make more sense if wagons were regularly pulled through it, but... It's just far larger than it needs to be, with no cohesion in design. My thoughts.

I'd be up for more static travel ways between connected domains, and for the alternative currently in place I'm thankful that the Mists aren't just a loading screen the Vistani use. If you know where you're going and get familiar with transitions then you can for instance, use it to head from Hazlans' border and enter into Barovia. Or be diverted by the Mists somewhere else entirely.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 02:18:47 PM by zDark Shadowz »
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Arawn

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Quote
"The Blood of the Vine is overly large, with expansive corridors making inefficient use of space. It'd make more sense if wagons were regularly pulled through it, but... It's just far larger than it needs to be, with no cohesion in design. My thoughts.


This is because it's copied tile-for-tile from an early RPG set in Ravenloft.
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