Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Por: entry 4 (inaction)

I haven't been able to play nearly as much as I've been hoping. Many apologies. The gameplay has slowed down quite a bit. Things aren't progressing quite as rapidly as I'd like. I was glancing through the manual again last night and I got a little nervous when it informed me that commissions get harder the longer I take to accomplish them. I certainly thought that I'd get past at least one commission by now!

Before I recap what I've been doing, I do want to talk about something I forgot to mention in the last entry. Remember that wizard who asked me to fetch a potion elsewhere in the slums? Well, I assumed that he asked me to do it because he didn't want to hit the streets alone. When I brought the potion back to him, I had the opportunity to engage him in combat. I did for fun, with the intention to see what would happen and just restore my savegame afterward. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that he had an entire army at his disposal! It totally reminds me of the Phlan city watch. What do these people need my pathetic band's services for when they have armies of thugs on their payroll? Hmm. A thought occurs to me right this minute. Perhaps the potion was an illegal substance and the wizard didn't want anyone in his organization in danger of getting hit up by narcs. Not bloody likely.

I also want to take a moment to briefly respond to this blog's sole commentor, Simeon Pilgrim, who has given me some invaluable pointers in the journey thus far (hopefully he keeps them up). Last entry I complained about having to actually pay to level up. Simeon implied that such a situation should be obvious. I still maintain that the situation is unfair. When we experience things, our skills and attributes raise naturally. We don't actually need a piece of paper from the state to actually do things better. We do things better because we practice. I know this is probably a D&D standard and everything, but the knowledge gleaned from firsthand experience should be the one thing in all of existence that I don't have to pay for. Oh and also Simeon, I always knew that it's possible to map out the Rope Guild, I just knew that it wouldn't be accomplished by me.

So I'm still working on clearing out the slums to the west of the civilized area of Phlan. I only have two rooms left. I'm considering creating a couple more magic-users for the sole purpose of being cannon fodder and incapacitating the hordes with some more sleep spells. After I clear the rooms, the new characters would just be disposable until I make more disposable players or find some NPCs to join the party (which I haven't found yet and that bugs me).

All's not completely well in the slums. I bumped into a gypsy who gave me a fairly cryptic reading. I suppose you get what you pay for and she was pretty cheap. The whole line about friends where you expect enemies and enemies where you expect allies is pretty poignant in the context of cleaning the slums of monsters. Some of the monsters, just before battle, have yelled stuff to the effect of, "How dare you attack our home?" Good point. What am I doing? Maybe if the immigration issue wasn't such a hot topic in real life right now, I wouldn't be getting such a guilty conscience. Sure these orcs and goblins are different than us and maybe they didn't sign all the right papers when they moved in next door, but is it really ethical to exterminate them just because they're not from around here? They're humanoids too! Maybe the establishment is really the true enemy, or "The Man." Perhaps I'll be liberating the orcs by the end of the game. Interestingly, I also had the option of attacking the gypsy. I restored the game really quick after catching a glimpse of the message the game gave after the murder.

I'm still confused about the weaponry I sell. One of my short bows is actually a +1, so the vendors are willing to pay more for it (1750 gold pieces). Surely a +1 bow is better than a normal bow, but is it really worth 1749 more? Same with Derfindor's +1 leather armor (shouldn't armor be -1?). It's now the same armor level as ring mail, but it's worth hundreds more for some reason. It is lighter, I guess. I think I'll hold onto them until something really good comes up or I'm broke.

In the course of my boredom, I did a little bit of wandering to the west of the slums -- the Kuto's Well region. The discovery of a dungeon beneath the well was an exciting one although I knew that I would have a difficult time handling the horrors beneath when it was still hard to handle the horrors above. Inevitably, I bumped into a guy with... sigh... another army at his disposal -- Norris the Gray. Never heard of him. Some of the chatterings in the hemp market mention a gang near the well, but I don't know if this is the same one. Doesn't matter though, cuz my party isn't tough enough yet to beat this guy. Derfindor's still far away from going up one level for Pete's sake. Norris is also immune to my patented sleep spell in battle, so by the time I take this guy down I'll need a new strategy. Here's hoping he'll have some interesting secrets. He certainly looks like he's got something on the mind. Or maybe he's simply nuts or constipated or something.

So just before writing this post, I took a boat to Sokal Keep. Had a little battle with some skeletons and zombies. Got wasted (as usual), but it was fun to finally utilize a little clerical "turn undead" action. Worked like a charm (which I guess it was). Half of the monsters turned and ran; the other half killed us. Before that happened though I passed through some pretty interesting sites. One of which was a sad skeleton that provided me with the weird inscription pictured. Looks like I'll be needing to go back to school to figure this crap out.

Okay. It's time to get pumped. Next time 'round, my party is going to start busting heads. My characters are being way too wussy. The second wind of battle is on its way!


Simeon Pilgrim said...

I agree the idea of paying money and magically get new skills is silly, but like so many thing it's a simple gate process (like so much of AD&D rules). Or you could look at it from a you pay to go to school/university yes? and you come out knowing more stuff? Plus it's about the only use of money besides healing... once your kitted out.

NPCs aren't uber important, but remember what the gypsy said.

In AD&D magic stuff is +X to attack and damage. Very crude system, but simple to play. On the Armor front yes it seams wrong but -X is keep for bad stuff (cursed) and thus the positive +1 make the armor better. The other point to note is the +1 armor should be lighter, and +1 leather can be worn by thieves wheres the ring mail can't (from memory). As to the value increase, um it's like magic man. THAT's got to cost more right?

A point to note is most boss types have lots of foots soldiers. To stop weak Rambo/trigger happy players taking on NPCs that meant no harm.... Also on that note, POR has a wired the more powerful your party the more soldier types there are. So you can end up in battles against 100+ kobolds. The auto fight comes in handy there.

Those runes are elvish runes.

Enough spoilers for one day.

J.R. said...

I am just catching up to speed. Let me say how proud I am that you named a player "Silver the Enchantress." Everytime I do an RPG I use that name for one of my characters. Also, you should go get some graph paper. That's the only way to plot the dungeons.

So I played all these a few years ago and I assumed that it would be really lame. You know when you remember something as being great from back in the day and then you do it again and it sucks? Well not so with these classics. I think Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds are still the 2 best RPGs EVER. Go kill some dark elves and steel their armor my friend.

Kameron said...

It's important to do the commissions in the order they are received, as that will help insure you have the tools necessary (spells, equipment, hit points) to complete them. Yeah, it's railroading, but you'll only frustrate yourself with a lot of deaths.

You should be 2nd or 3rd level (depending on class) by the time you finish the slums. Even then, I had to go recruit a couple 3rd level fighters from the Training School to finish off the trolls and ogres in the Old Rope Guild. Sokal Keep should be next, then Kuto's Well.

Don't feel guilty about clearing out the slums (and the blocks beyond). Remember, these guys are the descendants of the evil invasion force the razed Phlan 50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

This blog is awesome! I thought I was out of luck when I couldn't get the game running, thank you for this!