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Chessrook44

Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

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13 hours ago, Smoo said:

I'm pretty sure Chessrook got the "play in order" list from earlier this thread. There was a discussion about which scenarios are linked to each other and Tarsus said pretty definitively that Chessrook should "Play Mad Ambition before Echoes: Renegade"

 Pretty much this is the answer to why I chose it this way.  I specifically decided to play the "Ones I was told to play in order" first, and THEN I'm going through the rest of the scenarios made by that specific author in level order (Since, logically in my mind, if they go in order then level would matter... as you could move a party that completed one scenario on to the next one easily.  Like with Bahssikava/Exodus, in a way).  That's my plan, and nobody informed me otherwise of other connections.

 

We've arrived at the fort, and now it's time to speak to the twelve inhabitants and learn about those stationed there.

 

Appologies for the late upload, my clock's alarm didn't go off and I had to run off to work as soon as I woke up.

 

https://youtu.be/cwBI4Z2u954

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Kelandon   
55 minutes ago, Chessrook44 said:

 Pretty much this is the answer to why I chose it this way.  I specifically decided to play the "Ones I was told to play in order" first, and THEN I'm going through the rest of the scenarios made by that specific author in level order (Since, logically in my mind, if they go in order then level would matter... as you could move a party that completed one scenario on to the next one easily.  Like with Bahssikava/Exodus, in a way).  That's my plan, and nobody informed me otherwise of other connections.

On 5/21/2017 at 6:26 PM, Kelandon said:

Now that you're getting to the other scenarios, too, I should also point out that your list of "play in order" is missing one (and possibly several) groupings of scenarios. Most (all?) of TM's scenarios (not just Mad Ambition and Echoes: Renegade) are in the same universe and generally should be played chronologically.

Nobody other than me two months ago in this thread, you mean.

 

To be clear, I don't really care what order you play scenarios in (even if I think it's weird). I'm just still in the "pointing out when you say things that are wrong" mode.

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Lilith   

I think "chronologically" might not have been actionable information in itself, because it takes more than a bit of digging to find release dates for everything (and that's assuming he interpreted "chronologically" as "in order of release", as opposed to "in the order in which the events of the scenarios happen in-universe", in which case it'd be even less useful information).

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Kelandon   
2 hours ago, Lilith said:

I think "chronologically" might not have been actionable information in itself, because it takes more than a bit of digging to find release dates for everything (and that's assuming he interpreted "chronologically" as "in order of release", as opposed to "in the order in which the events of the scenarios happen in-universe", in which case it'd be even less useful information).

True, and that's more or less what Chessrook44 said at the time:

On 5/22/2017 at 4:44 AM, Chessrook44 said:

I DID consider doing the scenarios in creator order, I admit, but Chronological won't work as well as I have NO idea when scenarios were made, that information wasn't present where I found them, I think.  If it was, I didn't notice it.

To which Dintiradan responded:

On 5/22/2017 at 9:02 PM, Dintiradan said:

http://dintiradan.ermarian.net/static/misc/timeline.txt should have everything up to late 2012. I suppose I should update at some point. Also, if anyone has any corrections, please let me know.

Which Chessrook44 definitely saw; he replied:

On 5/23/2017 at 4:37 AM, Chessrook44 said:

Appreciate the info, I'll definately be considering doing things that way.  Maybe.

So no, it's not because the information wasn't available or Chessrook44 didn't realize the information was available.

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Granted, I didn't put all that information together in my head at the time.  Appologies, I'll have to look into doing the rest of TM's scenario in the chronological order there, if that is for the most part a better order to do them, and makes sense story-wise.  I'll be taking a break from recording this weekend (As I already have more than a week's worth of backlogs) so there will be some catchup with that.

 

Out we go to try and strike a blow against our enemies and then... reminisce?  That's... unusual...

 

https://youtu.be/BUSFc3auGvs

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Tarsus   
23 hours ago, Kelandon said:

Tarsus, you're still misunderstanding me, but I don't know how to say it more clearly. I'm not saying that playing MA before E:R is pointless. Obviously it's not. I'm saying that starting TM's BoA scenarios at MA, rather than RoR, is weird if you intend to play everything in order.

 

I don't remember the specific connections, but I don't think it's entirely true that TM's other BoA scenarios have no connection to each other whatsoever; at a minimum, they're basically all set in the Echoes universe.

 

When was the last time you played any of these scenarios? Have you even played all of them? You seem to have a very dismissive attitude of anyone's scenarios except your own.

 

But let me be very clear as someone who has played them recently. Apart from MA and E:R, TM's BoA scenarios have NO story connection. Playing them in development order only has meaning if you want to see how TM might have grown.

 

I won't make any more replies since this is just devolving into an argument, but I did feel the need to respond since you are throwing shade at me so pointlessly.

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...Now I remember you, Tarsus.  From the "Racism in video games" topic on Shadow Vale.  I thought you sounded familiar.  Eesh.

 

1 hour ago, Tarsus said:

Playing them in development order only has meaning if you want to see how TM might have grown.

 

Or if you want to see how the work progressed.  That's different from the author growing.  Often there are organizational and thematic connections, whether or not they rise to the level of plot connections.

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Kelandon   
1 hour ago, Tarsus said:

Apart from MA and E:R, TM's BoA scenarios have NO story connection.

So, by way of example, Roses of Reckoning takes place in the same world as MA/E:R, a thousand years later (though it was released earlier) and on a different continent. They're both within the extra-canonical historical structure established by TM's BoE scenarios, and they occasionally call back to that structure (a lot more explicitly in RoR). I think the various "tiger" (i.e., rakshasa) references in Canopy place it in the same universe also, but I'm not sure. (I honestly have a lot of trouble following what is going on in Canopy, so there may be more direct connections to the Echoes continuity than that.) I'm pretty sure Settlers is also intended to be within the same universe (you're working for the Empire).

 

I have no idea if Emerald Mountain has anything to do with TM's broader continuity, and it doesn't appear that Bonus Army or Aphobia directly connect.

 

The connections aren't very strong (they don't share characters), and it doesn't really make a big difference if you play them in order, but several of them are related.

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Why would Bonus Army be part of the Echoes series? It's about the Bonus Army march on Washington, right?

 

A few references do not a sequel make. Exodus is definitely a sequel of Bahs, and you definitely need to play Bahs before Exodus. But that's not true of Nobody's Heroes, even though Machrone makes a cameo appearance (after all, I'd say none of the Vogel scenarios have a required playing order other than that imposed by level, and Machrone appears in all of them). In fact, if someone was drawn to NH because it was a shorter, light-hearted scenario, I wouldn't want them to feel obliged to play through all of Bahs and Exodus first, which is a very different experience. Sure, you might miss out on what Macky's talking about, but if you're a Full House fan, it shouldn't be required for you to sit through all of Family Matters just so you fully appreciate the Steve Urkel cameo.

 

As far as I can tell, the only thing that links TM's BoA works together are just that -- subtle hints and references, nods to the enfranchised player. I'm told the links are more explicit in the BoE scenarios, but as someone who hasn't played those... Could someone tell me (spoiler tags if you want) what actually, concretely, links together his post-BoE works like Canopy, Mad Ambition, Echoes: Renegade, and Avernum: Reloaded?

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We aren't talking about somebody who just wants to play a shorter, light-hearted scenario though.  We're talking about somebody who's going to play all of them and just wants to choose the order that makes the most sense.

 

Edit: Ha, ha.  Well since you listed that one, obviously the link is the rakshasi.

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45 minutes ago, Beyond the cry lies the meaning said:

We aren't talking about somebody who just wants to play a shorter, light-hearted scenario though.  We're talking about somebody who's going to play all of them and just wants to choose the order that makes the most sense.

Yeah, and if I was doing it, I'd just do them all in release order. But Chessrook wants to do the ones that form a series first, and then the stand-alone ones, so here we are. It's not really a SW thread until we're quibbling about something.

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Kelandon   
1 hour ago, Dintiradan said:

As far as I can tell, the only thing that links TM's BoA works together are just that -- subtle hints and references, nods to the enfranchised player.

Yes, that is the point that I have been making.

1 hour ago, Dintiradan said:

Exodus is definitely a sequel of Bahs, and you definitely need to play Bahs before Exodus. But that's not true of Nobody's Heroes, even though Machrone makes a cameo appearance

Hey, what a great example! It's probably true that these loosely Echoes-linked TM scenarios are about as related as NH is to Bahs/Ex/The Magic.

 

But that Chessrook44 did in fact choose to play Nobody's Heroes in chronological order between Exodus and The Magic. So to the extent that doing that made sense, it also makes sense to do TM scenarios in order, at least the ones with plausible Echoes tie-ins (particularly RoR and maybe Canopy and Settlers).

1 hour ago, Dintiradan said:

Could someone tell me (spoiler tags if you want) what actually, concretely, links together his post-BoE works like Canopy, Mad Ambition, Echoes: Renegade, and Avernum: Reloaded?

I honestly can't tell if you're joking — I honestly can't tell if the last handful of posts have all been some kind of elaborate and evidently successful attempt to troll me — but if you aren't, look to my previous post, where I did exactly this. If you want more detail, I can dig into the scripts if I have to, but it's there.

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Well...

Quote

(02:41:12 PM) username: That entire post was made so I could make the A:R joke.


For what it's worth, had I been Chessrook, and following his method, I wouldn't have included NH as part of the Bahs/Ex/Magic playthrough. But I still think that the tiny but explicit connection in NH is bigger than the connections in TM's scenarios. For instance, the only connection you state for Settler is "you're working for the Empire" -- presumably the same unnamed Empire that exists not only in the "extended universe" canon of Echoes but also in Vogel's (and most other BoA scenarios') canon. If you played Settlers without knowing who the author was, you would never link it with Echoes.

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Reading through the first page of this topic the amount of nostalgia passing through my body is unbearable. Hopefully I can make time to watch some of the videos, maybe even get BoA running on one of my computers? Does anyone know how it fares on current Mac OS?

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1 hour ago, Duck in a Top Hat said:

Hopefully I can make time to watch some of the videos, maybe even get BoA running on one of my computers? Does anyone know how it fares on current Mac OS?

It works fine for me in both Sierra and the High Sierra beta.

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Posted (edited)

For what it's worth, Settlers was designed to be a tutorial scenario of sorts. TM designed it to be a demonstration of what any novice would be capable of creating. You can find his design notes in DESIGN_PROCESS.txt in the scenario folder (I recommending skipping the DXM step). If you want to learn more, check out this thread on Shadow Vale. Doubly relevant because Lazarus got the idea for 24 Hour scenarios from Settlers, and you'll be seeing a few of those as you do your LP.

 

And all this reminds me that I still need to actually release the 99% complete Pesky Goblins, which is basically "Settlers but with more hand-holding".

 

(What bothers me most about the opening essay for RoR is that Tetragrammaton isn't a name for God. It is, strictly speaking, the name of the name of God.)

Edited by Dintiradan
Actually, no, what bothers me the most about the opening essay for RoR is that IT EXISTS AT ALL

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Kelandon   

Canopy is next! I mentioned I might check back in for this one. I have a certain attachment to it; it was released a couple months before Bahssikava, and those two were the first lengthy (i.e., 20+ towns) BoA scenarios, so they were spoken of in the same breath a fair bit back in 2005. And Canopy influenced me quite a lot at the time, at least in terms of technical elements. I found the writing pretty impenetrable, but I definitely took note of the special spells, town design, etc. Exodus is the way that it is because of Canopy. (Which is not without irony, given that TM... um... was not fond of Exodus.)

 

Canopy is not TM's best scenario — it's probably not even TM's best early BoA scenario, which for my money is Emerald Mountain — but it was a milestone, back in the day.

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One way to avoid getting thrashed in low-level BoA, especially for outdoor fights, is to use the Enduring Barrier spell. I don't think a default priest character is able to cast it, but a custom level one character is able to know it automatically if you focus heavily on the priest skill. Enduring Barrier lets you 'overheal' a character, and this bonus HP doesn't dissipate over time. So cast it on everyone while you're outdoors, wait a bit, and boom -- your characters have a significant amount of bonus HP as no cost.

 

It doesn't help you for those long dungeon crawls, and you can get pretty cheesy by popping out of a dungeon after every encounter to re-cast Enduring Barrier -- but then, you can do the same with spell energy.

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Enduring Barrier can still give a pretty big boost to health that can keep a character alive through several hits in one round.

 

You can only start a character with Priest or Mage spells up to level 6, but those make a big difference over default characters.

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Kelandon   

The names are a strange hodgepodge of European (mostly German-ish) and Japanese-ish. I never did figure out if the difference was meaningful (i.e., if the Japanese characters were different from the European characters in some way), but TM did this pretty consistently throughout a variety of scenarios at the time, if I remember correctly.

 

So, for example, I assume that "Moerder" is pronounced as it would be in German, which is a fair bit like the word "murder" in English, especially non-rhotic dialects of English.

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Kelandon   

The Martyr Beam hits for 300 damage, then hits for another 100 fire damage, then stacks large amounts of poison and acid. It targets a random visible party member. I had forgotten this, but apparently statuses persist after death, so when you raise a character from the dead, it still has all its poison and acid. It will take damage at the end of the turn in which it was raised.

 

So summoning things could work, but you'd have to get the Bugbear Mage down to almost dead and then run everybody out of the room while your summons kill it out of sight. This is a little tricky.

 

Or you could train someone's Endurance until they're over 300 hit points. If they have 301 hit points, then the first hit will bring them to 1, the second hit will bring them to 0, and they'll take poison and acid damage when the turn ends. So if you can have a healer wait and heal/cure them before the turn ends, the character survives. (I think this was probably the intended approach. EDIT: But see below.)

 

Or, similarly, you could get everyone else out of the room except one character right before the Bugbear Mage dies, have that one character quaff an Invulnerability Potion, and then be immune to most of the damage that it would take. I'm not sure whether it would block the initial 300 damage — going to test that right now — but it would block everything else. (EDIT: It does. Invulnerability blocks everything. So this is probably the easiest thing to do.)

 

Or you could let them die and then raise them from the dead in combat mode so that you can heal/cure before the turn ends, and they won't die immediately.

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23 hours ago, Kelandon said:

Or you could let them die and then raise them from the dead in combat mode so that you can heal/cure before the turn ends, and they won't die immediately.

I'm not sure if it's possible to use the Return Life spell while in combat mode, so that's not an option.

 

Further difficult tasks await, alongside a small side detour.

 

https://youtu.be/w5Dej1bkSTg

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Kelandon   
1 hour ago, Chessrook44 said:

I'm not sure if it's possible to use the Return Life spell while in combat mode, so that's not an option.

... it is possible to use Return Life while in combat mode.

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19 hours ago, Kelandon said:

... it is possible to use Return Life while in combat mode.

I swear remembering one game where I tried using it but was unable, or else where the skill was not available to me.  Can't remember which one then, though...

 

Back we go into the Bugbear Caverns, to finish off what's left inside.

 

https://youtu.be/xp2B50fWt8Q

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Return Life needs a Balm of Life potion and in some cases you may not have been high enough level if the character was dust.

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