Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:21 PM
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
This scenario was done for the randomized contest; this is basically my review from judging the contest, slightly revised for the release version.
Simple but reasonably plausible. At first I didn’t see any reason for the existence of the second town, apart from one tiny plot-relevant clue, but on reflection I feel that breaking up the action at that point is a good thing.
I love that there are three possible endings to such a small scenario.
I also like that you get to look around after the final fight and leave when you’re ready, though it’s slightly anti-climactic. I hate getting kicked out of a scenario willy-nilly after beating it.
Clear and clean, with just a few typos. Just enough extra colour to add a touch of interest without bogging down the story.
The dialogue in the first town is slightly responsive, which is always nice. If Niemand ever expands this scenario, I’d love to see a side quest involving the blacksmith and the Earl’s daughter; as it is, I wish I could at least ask him about it.
I played on Normal with a level 15 party of four and a level 19 singleton. The combat was easy for the former, doable for the latter with a few reloads.
The ambush added a bit of novelty to what might otherwise be a boring slog, so kudos for that.
The final fight was well designed, with your main enemy ahead, a new enemy behind (to heal or not to heal?), and distractions all around.
Loot and rewards are level-appropriate.
Town and Outdoor design:
The starting town had a nice layout and the minimum necessary amenities; I could wish that there was a bit more to do there, but you have to make allowances for time constraints.
The wintry outdoors and snowy mountain looked good, with custom icy cliffs. Very nice, and well-designed to prevent unauthorized wandering.
The sorcerer’s “tower” (One-storied tower! But I guess you can’t have a Sorcerer’s Bungalow) was suitably gloomy and fun to explore.
This version (1.0.0) is slightly buggy, but the only thing potentially game-breaking is one town exit that can strand you on the wrong side of the mountain.
I really wanted to be able to do something with the golem bits. It would be great if I could pile them all on the platform, then stand on the rune, and have something happen. Even if it was just a big zap and a message like “Learning to make golems probably requires decades of study. All you have created here is a pile of slag and a vile stench.”
That would have been awesome.
A good, solid scenario, well written and designed. If Niemand wanted to make it bigger, that would be OK with me.