Profile for Synergy


Recent posts

Pages

AuthorRecent posts
Dynamic Duos? in Blades of Avernum
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
Following in the vein of my previous post, what are some good possible and workable duo character parties I could use with BoA add-on scenarios? Or for Avernum games in general? Is it reasonable or even possible to go through BoA add on scenarios and work my way up to Bahssikava with a duo character party? I want to start at level one and work my own party up without replaying the main four quests of BoA if at all possible.

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Singletons? in Blades of Avernum
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
Please share with me your experiments and experiences with using singleton parties with BoA, or perhaps with Avernum in general. What kind of character construction has worked and makes good sense?

How many of the add-on scenarios can I do with a singleton successfully? Some begin with prefab or manipulated parties it appears. Can I eventually take on Bahssikava with a powerful singleton? Are there enough add-on scenarios for BoA that I could successfully go through as a singleton to even level up for Bahssikava?

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Level & arm up using only add-on scenarios? in Blades of Avernum
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
I've just played the Avernum trilogy and the four main Blades quests. I have my saved party of four from Blades, but it's the usual melee fighter, pole fighter, mage, priest combo I have used in much of my playing and I kind of want to experiment with a one, two, or three player party, playing Blades scenarios, working my way up to Bahssikava doing so.

Is this feasible with available BoA add-on scenarios in existence? To get the experience and weaponry/armor needed to take on Bahssikava. I really don't want to replay the four main BoA scenarios to create a new party to do this. Also, in order to play Bahssikava, do I need a party of four to be likely to succeed or could it be done with two or three?

I've seen a variety of discussion about possible party combinations but it's gotten rather muddled and confusing to me all in all with different numbers mixed into the same threads. I'm going to start three separate threads here, one each on ideas for a singleton party, a duo party, and a triad party to see what people have tried or what would be a good challenge or good fun.

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Musings of Maddening Mazes in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #2
By the way, Kel, having read reviews of your Bahssikava scenario, I am gearing up to take it on, but now kind of wish I had a different party construction. I don't really want to redo the four main BoA scenarios to recreate the party I want, but I don't really want to use the Character Editor to fabricate anyone either.

Maybe I can find the right sequence of add-on scenarios to get me ready for Bahssikava with new characters, but there aren't many scenarios to choose from presently and I haven't been too impressed with the choices available at present. Writing a good all around game has got to be a ton of very challenging work. I am very tempted to consider creating something myself, but the time requirements must be very formidable. I will refrain from further turning this inappropriately into a BoA thread. ;)

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Some random collected thoughts after playing the trilogy in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #2
Those sound like some good tactics, Kel. One problem is I am one of those persons who has a hard time leaving much behind. I kind of feel compelled to collect most anything of much value at all and pawn it off.

The Vahnatai I think I would have enjoyed more as a minor novelty encounter for amusement somewhere in the Avernum world rather than as repeatedly key players. I do appreciate Jeff's sense of humor...feisty slap of pain, etc. heh.

What do you do with wands? Use them up quickly? Sell them? Store them for some major future showdown? I t seems like in each game, eventually I realized I could get by almost entirely without any wands or most potions and wound up with far more potion ingredients than I ever used...except sometimes running short on graymold for energy elixirs as I recall.

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Musings of Maddening Mazes in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
I think critically and like to contemplate how to improve things. None of what I write here should detract from the fact that I think Jeff has created some fantastic games, wonderful in many ways and I love that this all comes from a local company of three.

I have a question. Do we like mazes? I personally greatly dislike them and find them silly in most cases, yet they seem like a real cliche in these kinds of games which try to come up with puzzles for us. The tower of Zkal really really got on my nerves. No one would build a maze in their tower just to put intruders through some weird challenge to get to the next level. It makes no sense as an actual place. It’s easier to make one heavily-defended passageway or gauntlet, or secret passages or highly-locked way in. I think any place which is habited, even by the dead, should be constructed like people would actually live in it and use it, but appropriately defended or challenging to penetrate...or circumnavigate to sneak in.

A maze may be a classic mind puzzle, but one which I find very tiresome and out of place as actual architecture to walk through. They are something which impedes a sense of progression, instead making me run around randomly and redundantly to haphazardly find my way somewhere rather than have to have the guts or tactical skill to fight or open my way to a next place. I guess I am saying I think there are better challenges or puzzles which are more fun to engage and make more sense in context. Natural caves of “twisty passages all alike” make some sense for complicated passageways. Anything built by hand does not for the most part and feels arbitrarily contrived to me. Even the layout of the Mage Tower with its disconnected long outer ring of passages was irritating and pointless, making me run long distances to get from north to south for no good reason. It was cool the very first time I explored it. After that...arrggghhh.

I think if one is clever, one can still construct levels of whatever in very challenging and gratifying ways without making them highly nonsensical and inefficient. I’d like to see more clever ways to logically construct places of habitation and fortresses rather than weird, extremely roundabout, unlikely ways to get from this place to that place.

I especially enjoy changes in elevation, either ascending or descending...not whole new levels necessarily. Finding your eventual way up or down a cliff is a nice effect and challenge. Lair of the Wyrm really creeped me out with its spiralling descent ever deeper with an increasing sense of threat and foreboding the further one got. Spiral crypt was also similar, except I didn’t like the light-snuffing effect, though it certainly was appropriately scary. But it had to end in Yet Another One o’ Dem Darn Mazes, essentially ruining the creepy cave-like effect up to that point for me.

Losing one’s mana points in the tower of Zkal was bad enough by itself. A different construction of the tower of Zkal might have been that it ran many levels deep, and that once inside, you were locked in until you found and fought your way to the very bottom and successfully defeated Zkal (why does a lich use lasers???), maybe still with the challenge of draining mana, which is certainly a creepy and challenging effect. Some warning in advance would be appropriate...you have some inkling how to prepare for some of these quests and locations. Someone with knowledge or rumors tells you, “Beware the tower of Zkal...the magic in that place is rumored to drain even the most powerful wizards of their magical ability and the evil powers within delve deep into the bowels of the earth! Do not enter lightly or without careful preparation for a long haul requiring great endurance and persistence.” That would soberly creep me out in advance and give me some ideas how I might tackle it, and also how difficult it is going to be.

As the game works, rarely having any idea in advance what kind of challenge I am going to face in advance, I can’t carry all the wands or potions or particularly appropriate weapons with me everywhere I go. I would construct a game so you had some anticipation of how to prepare for many places, or to know if you are strong enough to enter, rather than having to ultimately sort of cheat by going in, eventually seeing what I really need to have to do it, if I can do it yet, leave, stock up and prepare, then go back in and do it right with my “foreknowledge” now. In reality, if you go into a place like the golem factory once unprepared, your party would perish without even chance of escape once inside, and game over. I don’t like saving and reloading all the time because I have no way of knowing what I will be up against and may not be ready yet. Mabye a scrying function for priests to get a feel for a location and gain a prognois...”We are not yet strong enough to take on this evil place!” “We will need more of this or that to succeed here, I think”...etc. One could always choose to ignore the advice anyway...

I’d also like to see more variations on tactics like a great big fight to gain entrance into a cave, a tower, or whatnot, and then have it very sparsely defended with actual fighters once past the initial resistance, but maybe finding, say, numerous individual or groups of mages or traps throughout within or finding ways to access deeper would be the real challenge. And then after a long, relatively uneventful run of the place, looting, exploring, unearthing within, there might be a nasty trap or battle against reinforcements on the way out.

Well, this is another probably much too wordy posting of some thougths, but I think it would be really fun to come up with more variations on the way the game plays to make it less predictable and repetitious, and maybe even a little more sensical at the same time. I really dig some kind of logic and realism, even in the context of complete fantasy, if that makes sense. What do others think about this?

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Some random collected thoughts after playing the trilogy in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
Overall this has been quite an enjoyable ride for me, playing Avernum 1-3 and Blades, and has left me with thoughts about how I might wish to improve or change the games myself if I were building or modifying them myself. So here are a few thoughts in retrospect and curious what others might think and why.

1) Apart from the Mind crystals which I like, I found the Vahnatai odd, wimpy, and ultimately distracting from the otherwise very engaging fantasy world environment Jeff has created. They were clearly sci-fi alien in inspiration and I didn't much enjoy all the modern lasers & machinery and sci-fi feeling they brought into the game. I didn’t like the golems and especially did not enjoy the golem factory, which entirely became a sci-fi, rather than fantasy environment. I realize maybe just as many people or even most perhaps might have loved all these aspects. I would have liked to see another race that seemed ancient, mystical and formidable instead of the alien Vahnatai who leave crystal pieces worth 5 coins lying everywhere.

2) Somehow, I found myself wishing the game would somehow encourage far less redundancy. I spent much back and forth exporting loot from conquered dungeons for sale and running back and forth to the same locations repeatedly. This becomes tedious, just work, not fun, and stifles a sense of progression. It led me to think about modifyibng the way the game works so loot and armor dropped and found would be much sparser, but more valuable perhaps. I’d emphasize more lightweight gems and coins and other trinkets of value or use, and less of the massively heavy suits of armor and weaponry from everyone killed. It pushed me to want to max out strength at ten in all of my characters just to optimize carrying capacity which is not really the best strategy for maximizing skill points obviously. I hate leaving things behind deep in dungeons, and spent way too much time juggling items between my four characters trying to maximize what everyone could carry and making triage decisions on what to drop and pick up and take out. Loot is very fun and motivating, but should be more special, centralized, and sparse rather than merely copious perhaps?

Realistically speaking, no one should be able to carry more than one extra piece of armor along with their own gear if you think about it. Wands or gems or small items you could carry in quite a quantity. Maybe a more realistic carrying model could be created. Maybe stuff like normal armor and weapons wouldn't really be worth salvaging for money, but only for personal use if it is an upgrade. The real value would come from gems, coins, jewelry, or magical items. I don’t think potions and herbs should be found all over the place either. It reminded me of all those 3-D Doom-inspired games where you find ammunition and health packs lying around anywhere you go, just because you need them, not because it makes any sense. I like the thought that many things might be quite rare and should be used more sparsely and carefully.

3) I found the plethora of wands and potions to also be items I felt compelled to collect en masse, but not often actually use, also taking up my carrying capacity through much of the game or forcing me to make a big cache dump of it in some town and then not have it on hand in the rare instances when I really wanted that one particular kind of wand or potion for a fight. I eventually started making rules for myself, like “no scrolls allowed, period” and would sell them all. I think there are simply too many magical items like this which maximize carrying space even though practically they should weigh very little. You could carry 50 scrolls much more easily than one extra plate mail, really now. Maybe these kinds of magical items should be much rarer, but more powerful and useful? Potions to me seem like they make more sense being items you make after a battle or encounter to counter ill effects: to heal, to cure, to remove curses or dumbfounding. I like the idea of having potions to create jacked up battle conditions, but think there are too many to choose from for battle situations, again encouraging too many diverse items to carry around too much.

Wow, this in lengthy already, though there is more I could explore. I’ll leave this topic with these. Comments, thoughts, similar experiences or violent disagreements anyone? How do you some of you play to remedy these annoyanaces/limitations/unrealisms? I’ve seen some say they only carry one kind of potion, for instance.

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
what do you think of summoning? in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #19
In Avernum 3 I had some fun with Simulacrum summons after I discovered I could successfully capture the Drake Lord in Karnold with Level 3 Capture Soul. After doing his quest, I came back and fought him, captured him, killed him, and then brought him to the party numerous times thereafter. There's something satisfying at times having a Drake Lord, a Haakai and a Dark Wyrm all fighting alongside you when you want to teach someone a lesson they won't have long to forget.

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Anyone else notice the jokes here? in The Avernum Trilogy
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #29
As a local of the Seattle area and a Mac user, I am doubly-pleased having Spiderweb nearby to take some pride and pleasure in. It also gives me some obvious inside scoops of a few more of these naming sources. In Avernum 3: Paulsbo, Port Townshend, and Bremerton are towns on the Olympic Peninsula here in Washington across Puget Sound from Seattle...it takes a ferryboat ride or a long roundabout drive to get to them from here.

And...it's completely eluding my recollection at the moment, but in either Nethergate or one of the Avernums, there is a complete town with residents named after characters in one movie, TV show, or book...and I can't remember for the life of me what that was, but it made me chuckle....anyone remember specifically what I am vaguely recalling here?

My first post here, by the way...just finished the three Avernums and BoA in rapid succession.

Monroe is also the name of a nearby city which houses a large prison.

--------------------
A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00

Pages