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Everything posted by ThricebornPhoenix

  1. Great, now I'm going to spend the rest of the week wondering what Geneforge: New Sucia would look like. And I'll name my critters after Fallout companions, next time around. Ian sounds like a good name for a Pyroroamer....
  2. I like the idea that players make many decisions, great and small, but the precisely "true" story remains elusive - as though what we're experiencing is a (very detailed but imperfect) recreation or reimagining of historical events. It gives the story a bit of a mythic quality.
  3. I purged all of my saves at some point, but according to screenshots I had a trio of Terror Vlish in G1 named Larry, Curly, and Moe an Eyebeast in G3 named iBeast a pair of Kyshakks in G4 named Radio Shock and Hz So Good (source: Space Quest IV) If I used any actually clever or funny names, those are, sadly, lost to time.
  4. It's been a while since I played a Geneforge game, so I can't get into details. As far as I remember, though, none of the evidence is conclusive, some of it is questionable, and a few pieces are vague enough that they could each apply to multiple characters. The protagonist of G3 probably does have the strongest case, if we're going to look at this logically, but it's still (by design) an open question. My preferred conclusion relies on drama to cover what logic can't: The protagonist of the final game in the series is actually the protagonist of the first game (also, possibly, Monarch), the story begun and ended by the same person. There may actually be some evidence against this one, but c'mon - who doesn't like to see an epic story come full circle?
  5. Looking forward to finally playing one of my favorite games in glorious 1024x768 resolution! Some of the bigger inconsistencies should be easy enough to fix. Tweaking just a handful of lines could cover a lot of territory in that department. Sequels taking things from more than one of the previous game's endings probably won't change, though.
  6. Most trainers have ridiculously high prices if you're unaligned, but offer a discount if you're aligned with their faction (there are a couple of exceptions). Even then, though, training is not cheap and you should only invest in the skills you really want. It probably is best to focus on just one line of Shaping, especially if it's Fire. I could see Battle and Magic relying on each other somewhat for support: Magic creations are squishy and sometimes run out of energy, Battle creations can't attack at range and don't have much variety in attack types. Fire costs a bit more than either one of those in both skill points and training costs, but it's a more well-rounded family. Just the Fyora and its upgrade, Cryoa, covers fire and ice at range, and they can still attack in melee if needed.
  7. I don't think there's much about how living tools are used, but there is a servile who says of having more of them that "It would be very good for serviles", so we at least know that serviles have some use for them.
  8. According to my notes (and I'm not sure I deciphered everything correctly), Drakons have +8 QA vs +6 for Rots, and a slightly higher base level than Rots and Gazers. I also see +22 Dex for Rots, but I recall not being able to determine if these stats (inherent +SDIE) actually work. G2's Ur-Drakon should get +28 Str, which seems extraordinary. (Both Rots have +22 Str, as well. They hit hard, but that hard?) Anyway, the real reason to bother with Drakons is that you can actually get Ur-Drakons before the game is over, which is unique to G2.
  9. I've had that happen in G1 on Normal, usually with Fyoras and Thahds early on. Can't remember if it's happened to me in any other game in the series (or with any other creature).
  10. If that was the only change, it still would be a phenomenal improvement. Walking all the way across two (or more) zones every time you want to go back to a previous island is just nuts. The system as is would be fine if there was rarely or never a reason to backtrack, which in my experience is not the case here. How could anything be worse than that?
  11. I was crossing a reference to 'here be dragons', a phrase still known today yet hardly meaningful in a fictional world commonly known by its inhabitants to be populated with dragons, with the Hereford Mappa Mundi's... odd descriptions of (made up) African peoples. I guess it would come across better if everyone read books about maps.
  12. I'll try to find room on my list of 'good advice that I'll never take' to add this. I've been collecting rocks since the first Geneforge (I liked the description), and it's become a tradition for me across all Spiderweb games. The change to only equipment counting against encumbrance was a great boon to me. Rocks are heavy!
  13. I like the G1 -> G5 theory (Monarch optional) just because G5 was a return to G1 in so many other ways that it achieves a powerful degree of thematic resonance with a side of nostalgic fondness. Actually, the G5 protagonist had previously suffered unspecified damage, which was the cause of their amnesia. It could be due to severe canister abuse, a bad canister, some slight defect in the rebels' Geneforge, or something else entirely. I'm pretty sure some kind of self-Shaping is either heavily implied or outright stated... which, if anything, makes the G2 and G3 protagonists the least likely candidates, since those are the only games that discourage that sort of thing in all forms. One could, conceivably, play G1 without using canisters, but you're very much expected to use them. G4 still penalizes using too many canisters, but requires using the rebel Geneforge to progress.
  14. I'd prefer to see an entirely new system (or an update of the previous Geneforge system). There are already enough shared assets and mechanical similarities, not to mention the limitations of a single creator's imagination and style, to make the lines between the various Spiderweb series blur at times (this is one reason why I was upset to see demons, golems, and other Avernum creatures and concepts bleed into Geneforge). They need all the distinctiveness they can get! I think that with Shaping being such an important concept - i.e., the foundation of the entire series - it should be equally important to all classes, but in different ways. Maybe you could craft mines or other obstacles in combat, and Agents are best at that. Maybe Guardians could get stronger effects from Shaper-made items and Shaped gear (which otherwise has no use until later games, and then only as raw material for crafting good things), including the Guardian Claymore. I want to believe that all classes received the same amount, if not the same type, of training in Shaping as the Shaper, which is typically the most powerful and interesting class. Also, maybe the Shaper class (subset of the Shaper social class) could be renamed. Probably not. One can dream, though, right?
  15. I believe G5 has a few tidbits about the people who lived on the mainland before the Shaper invasion. That's the only other historical (pre-G1) lore I can think of, really.
  16. The Agent, armed with Tek's Spectral Dirk, carefully opens the chest to find... Tek's Other Spectral Dirk.
  17. Even in the first game, there are some reasons to take a pro-Shaper stance, at least in some regards. One that seems to be generally overlooked is that Shaper society has changed (as noted by the narration in places such as the Arena) nearly as much since Sucia was abandoned as the Serviles of Sucia themselves. The Takers want revenge on the people who raised them as slaves and then left them to fend for themselves in a hostile environment, but they can only reach their more humane descendants. While Serviles "clearly have thoughts and feelings", that doesn't mean that they should be allowed to live autonomously. The Shaper line, which I believe is largely shown to be true, is that Serviles do a poor job of taking care of themselves and don't become more sophisticated than small children - except for some of the Serviles of Sucia, who had two centuries of tremendous pressure to whip them into some kind of shape (not a good one, in my opinion). I mean, a bunch of them turned to banditry (as I recall) not because they were too lazy to work or too poor to survive otherwise, but because they learnt about banditry from a book or something and thought "Wow, that's cool!" - as children might. Shapers have all of the power and take upon themselves all of the responsibility. That may be wrong of them, but... would you trust a people who you've previously thought of as six-year-old children to live on their own? Would you give them the lighter and gasoline that they ask for, just because they say they know how to use them? Also, there's more than the Serviles to consider. There's an unknown people learning how to use a power even the Shapers wouldn't trust, and the most powerful faction of Serviles thinks that's just swell and wants to hitch their wagon to these strangers. If this is what Servile freedom leads to, can you really say there's no case for Shaper control?
  18. I've encountered some not-dragons-at-all-honestlys in my time. They're usually terrible. Drakons are written well enough, but they do hit most of the checkboxes for generic dragons: greed, arrogance, vanity, cleverness (but not thoughtfulness or introspection), fire-breathing, people-eating, etc. Ghaldring and the one that opposed him in G5 are the only drakons that I would say are actually interesting. Some of us are less tolerant of that degree of saturation (it's also possible that I'm jealous because phoenixes are much less popular than dragons). And there's no limit to the realm of fantasy; why always hang about in the same place? To me, when it starts to feel familiar it ceases to feel like fantasy. The main reason for 'no dragons', though, is that I'd noticed a pattern of bland, uninteresting stories being mainly the ones with dragons in - I could have also gone with 'no elves' or 'no magic swords' but those don't sound quite right. I have read good books featuring dragons, and even a few featuring awesome or really interesting dragons. Smaug from The Hobbit (one of my favorite books) is the archetypical dragon, but he's a small part of a larger adventure, a perfectly-calculated spice instead of the main dish. Honestly, I probably don't need that filter now, because the internet makes getting good recommendations much easier. It's been a long time since I read a total dud.
  19. Vlish are delightful, the weirdest creation of the weirdest branch of shaping. Squishy, yet deadly. Intelligence with no way to meaningfully communicate with humans. Zones full of Vlish are usually eerie places, places where one wrong move can mean getting swarmed. Fantastic. (Glaahks are also great, and I wish they featured a little more in the story, even if only in the background. I don't recall even learning what they were designed for in the first place.) I was profoundly disappointed, actually, to see the most trite of all fantasy cliches crop up so early in the series. I even have a 'no dragons' rule on all media: if there's a dragon in it, on the cover, or even in the title, I will not touch it. Exceptions have been made for J.R.R. Tolkien, Gene Wolfe, Terry Pratchett, and Spiderweb Software, but only grudgingly. Comes of reading too much generic fantasy, I suppose.
  20. Both Rots use Rotting Touch level 14 (all games, except G4 and G5 upgraded versions using RT level 20), which should do acid damage and add acid status. Obviously not great against foes that resist acid, but to be honest I'm drawing a blank here (aside from other Rots). Not really. They're always pretty late, but IIRC there are just two canisters in G3 and both are halfway through the last island.
  21. I was very surprised to see how my Shaper's Endurance and HP increased throughout the game on my last run. There are many boosts to END, but mostly later/in more difficult areas. I believe I was controlling a soggy tissue masquerading as a hominid* for half the game, then a wimp who could maybe take a hit without dying for the next quarter, and suddenly a nigh-invincible demigod in the final quarter. By then, of course, you're already well trained in the art of letting others take your hits for you, but it's a great relief knowing that a single misclick probably won't result in a game over. *It was okay though; the soggy tissue was itself controlling dinosaurs, giant scorpions, and horrible Cthulhu-spawn almost immediately. It was at least the third most-feared tissue in history.
  22. It seems to me that the PC used a Geneforge at some point, then used canisters - and used either too many, or a bad one. The resulting damage made them sufficiently different from the 'template' to use Rawal's Geneforge without a problem. It's also possible that Rawal, being an experienced Shaper and inclined to caution, built in some safeguards against that sort of thing, whereas the rebels wouldn't have bothered.
  23. The Shapers were the supreme power of the land at the time. Nobody would dare to oppose them - besides, if the Shapers forbid going somewhere, it's best to not even ask why. Probably filled with horrible rogues, clouds of poison, or magical shades. Maybe even all three! There are notes on Sucia indicating that the researchers there were convinced that the Shaper Council was overreacting and that they would be able to return within a few years (or planned to return regardless), which is why many things were sealed to prevent people getting in easily but not adequately sealed to prevent the contents from escaping after centuries of neglect.
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