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Witch Hunt



Author: Nioca

Difficulty: Beginner

Version: 1.0.3



Composite Score: 3.2/5.0


Best: 0.00% (0/16)

Good: 25.00% (4/16)

Average: 68.75% (11/16)

Substandard: 6.25% (1/16)

Poor: 0.00% (0/16)





Keywords: Linear, Combat Heavy, Avernum Universe, Short

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium
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I would say Witch Hunt is a decent, relatively short scenario, after all, it was made for the 1/10 Contest. At one point, your items will be stripped, and you can't get them back, so don't play with a party that has items you really like. However, the scenario also offers some nice items after this point, so its not a total loss. Combat is a little on the excessive side. Graphics are pretty good. Overall, I would say that there's nothing wrong with this scenario (aside from the excessive combat, but that's minor, at least in this case), but it lacks anything that would make it above the average short scenario.


I rate this scenario [rating]Average[/rating].

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Rating: [rating]Average[/rating]




For the player:

The most important thing you should know about this scenario is that at one point you lose all your equipment and gold. If that bothers you, you can get around it by spending the gold and leaving behind all your equipment before SPOILER.


The second most important thing to know about this scenario is that you can walk out of the scenario with a ton of poison arrows. Witch Hunt may be worth playing solely for this reason. (Now, if only someone in my party could hit the broad side of a barn with them...)


Anyway, Witch Hunt is short but dense. (Also, it's very purple.) It's short but still manages to contain enough combat to get my freshly-created party to level 6. The combat is fairly easy. The only real difficulty was the final combat because my party members kept getting charmed and slaughtering each other. The friendly town is functional and contains healing, shops, and trainers. The outdoor section a bit difficult to navigate and contains a ton of wandering encounters. The plot and characterization work well enough, but they're nothing special.




For the designer:

Design was a bit rough in some places. For instance, the beds in the Losno barracks were crazily crammed together and one of the houses contained random vahnatai furniture. The outdoors maze wasn't that fun, especially if you got caught in it at night because some of the trees blended into the background. Plus, all those little huts are annoying to trip over constantly.


There were also a few scripting annoyances. I'd like to be able to choose which character gets killed stealing the orb. More importantly, I'd like to be able to read the spellbook teaching me lightning spray multiple times.


Overall, the scenario was well put together and Dikiyoba enjoyed it. Dikiyoba appreciated the little details, like getting in trouble for breaking into people's homes and brief descriptions when searching things.

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  • 4 weeks later...

(ported from SV)


Alright, I was surprised that I like this. Not like I was expecting it to be terrible, but from what I'd heard it was underwhelming. Anyway, my comments, warning spoilers:





-Never, never set 'leave scenario' to be the first option in a dialog box

-Poison arrows = awesome

-Losno is too way too cluttered, and thus I don't like it

-I like the item-stealing, but I was suitably re-equipped before I found the armory

-Why can't I tell Layla what actually happened?

-"You really have to stop falling for that trap" = priceless, but also annoying, because I killed everyone

-Who has Mage Spells 8 at level 2? That spellbook was annoying.

-I really, really wanted the purple plant in the mayor's office to be important

-I got annoyed by the insta-kill-one-person silver orb encounter, but I got over it when I realized Nioca had left in a way to revive people, so yay

-Big points for making me fight something to access the easter egg-ish cache



And a word about the ending...




It was kinda random, particularly considering that I'd already killed the witch. Oh, right, SPOILERS. I don't like killing enemies a second time, because disintegrating into a pile of gray ash suggests that I owned her in the face. Perhaps I missed some critical detail, but it really feels too random. And I'm really glad I got the disruption orb thingy (which I expected was pointless right up until the final encounter), though it didn't freeze all of the shades. Meh.



All in all, I liked it, which is good. And it was fun, which is also good.


Rating: [rating]Good[/rating]

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have only one real problem with Witch Hunt: it does not do anything particularly well. Most parts of it are adequate and the again some parts are lacking. For example, the friendly town is functional, but the enemy town was pretty bland. The outdoor section suffered from an abundance of random outdoor encounters. Just when I had defeated an enemy group of 3 fighters and an archer, two similar groups attacked me. I'm exaggerating a bit, but not by much.


Overall Witch Hunt is combat heavy. It's not a problem in the bandit camp but three unavoidable preset outdoor fights are a bit too much. Because of the frequent fighting the player levels up quite a times for a scenario this small. There aren't any special tricks in the fights other than when you have to fight with your bare hands. Yes, the scenario does take your gear away, but it is meant for LEVEL ONE PARTIES, so there's no need to complain about it. Still, an in-game warning would be nice if the player enters Witch Hunt with a party whose level range is considerably higher than the recommended 1. Not everyone reads the readme, you know.


As for the plot; meh. A bandit problem. It works well enough and at least the villain's motives are revealed but other than that there is not much to say about the bad guys or the good guys. The final fight, while entertaining, made me scratch my head and wonder "how did she pull that one off?"


Witch Hunt is certainly not terrible. It's just very small and somewhat bland. It is certainly worth a look.


Rating: [rating]AVERAGE[/rating]


Edit: Actually, I might be remembering it wrong, but do later versions of the scenario still take away and destroy your equipment?

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Originally Posted By: Smoo

Edit: Actually, I might be remembering it wrong, but do later versions of the scenario still take away and destroy your equipment?


Yes. On that note, I'm still planning on re-releasing the scenario at some point with a warning in-game that this happens (along with maybe a few tweaks and polish). But that'd come after I release at least one other scenario.


Also, one thing I'd like to add, since it seems to keep cropping up. I actually did drop hints regarding how the big bad pulled off reappearing (look at how she died, plus her favorite companions to summon), but in hindsight, the hints were so subtle and minuscule that people probably wouldn't make the connection.


Click to reveal.. (The reason she could come back was...)



...because the first witch fought is a shade.


But yeah, that could be a whole lot clearer.

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It's a solid enough adventure, which manages to do everything well enough not to suck, but doesn't excel at anything in particular.


Downsides? The outdoors were too combat-heavy, and a nightmare to navigate. Oh and at one point, you'll lose all your equipment, and not get it back. This shouldn't matter much, since it's a level one scenario, but it would still be nice to have a warning. There was also a trap that pretty much amounted to choosing which PC to kill...


Plus-sides? Everything was easy on the eye - it wasn't pretty by any means, but it wasn't the worse terrain we've seen. Combat was a little on the heavy side, but it wasn't unwinnable. The plot was average, but had a ridiculous twist that made next to no sense...



Click to reveal..



...because I too missed the fact that the first witch was a shade.



So that seems more negative than positive, but that's not the case. Witch Hunt isn't bad by any means; it's just not the best adventure out there.


Rating: [rating]Average[/rating]

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  • 4 months later...

I felt that more vivid imagery should be used in the descriptions and overall there should be more action either shown or described, but on the other hand the upside of this Spartan writing was that it was very clear. I never had to wonder what I was supposed to be doing or what my quest was, because I was basically given a roadmap from point A to point B.


However, that didn't mean that the plot was predictable. There were two or three good surprises, and I liked the gradual revelation of the truth. The little emotional tugs failed to move me, though; try developing a character or my relationship with a character more, before making me kill him. Similarly, I think that the bitter irony of the daughter's plot could have been played up a lot more. PS if I hear a man's gone missing in bandit territory, that's a death sentence right there. Either I'll kill him, or he's been killed.


The line "You really have to stop falling for that." was great! Indeed, you did get me again. Well played.


I would advise the designer to sometimes pause in his work, and consider this: does this thing that I'm doing add value to a play-through of the scenario? For example, having descriptions of the items contained in the boxes was a new way of doing things, and it probably took a lot more time than the conventional process of actually storing items in boxes. But I feel like it didn't really make the game more interesting to me; instead of just letting me see mundane items, you made me read about mundane items? laugh.gif But this didn't really affect my gameplay either way, so it has no effect upon the score I give.


I found the weapons of the brigands to be far too powerful. My fresh party of four is supposed to take on six monsters at a time, of level 5, who have ranged attacks. Ranged attacks that sometimes have a status effect and +40 damage. I found the combat to be tough for even my level 8 party, on Normal difficulty.


I liked this scenario, but the lack of detail and development holds this scenario back. If a player needs a way to pass the time, it's a good exercise.



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  • 8 months later...


Overall the story was just average. I feel like there needed to be more details about the main characters, particularly the witch and her father. They just seem like weak characters the way they are now. The rest of the story was bland, your typical "We have a bandit problem" type of story, although I liked some of the details about the setting. Some more foreshadowing would have been nice too.



There is a lesson that every designer needs to learn about low level scenarios: charming is a no-no! The final fight was way, way to hard because of this. Low level parties in general do not have access to Radiant Shield or Unshackle Mind. Having my blessed, shielded, and hastened fighter turn on me is a painful way to die.

The rest of the combat was average.

Also, the poison arrows are overpowered.



I really, really hate it when a scenario takes away my stuff and then doesn't give it back!! I went into this scenario right after Adrift. I want my captain's sword back!

The rest of the scenario was functional, and the design of the starting town was good.



I didn't encounter any bugs, which is good, but I also didn't see anything worthy of note.


The final score for Witch Hunt is [rating]Substandard[/rating]. Do not play this scenario if you feel attached to your gear as you will lose it all. If you really want to play it, enter with a new party so you don't loose anything valuable.

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  • 9 months later...

From Thralni on the CSR:


Nioca, before i say anything: WHY did you have to take away all of my items without giving them back? Did it ever cross your mind people might not like that? If so, why did you do it?


The scenario was kind of generic, and having that gnawing feeling of "when will I get my items back" spoils things. I didn't think town design was anything special. I found it a bit wide open, not really pretty, but not ugly.


[rating]AVERAGE[/rating]. I didn't immensely like it and losing all of ym equipment is not something I like too.


The trees were pretty. Also, something I just felt like saying: It is nice that you can talk so much with that mayor, but I found it quite unnecesary. Sure, having almost nothing to say like in Amnesia was not good, of course, but having so much to say that it practically drops off the screen is a bit much, too.

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From S M Adventurer on the CSR:


Just played it this afternoon. It was a small scenario, but it had some interesting items, like Poison Arrows used by the Brigand Archers. The witch was a cunning character.


I didn't really like the fact that you lose your equipment and can't get it back.


The interesting sequence is when you use that crystal to make all the Brigands turn on each other.


Overall, it was a nice adventure. Although I'm not sure but I had to fight every group of soldier I encountered outdoors. Even the Empire soldiers. I'm not sure if this was intentional or a bug. That witch is just plain too greedy! But hey, I agree with what Thralni said about the trees being pretty.



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From Enraged Slith on the CSR:


In its simplicity and professional quality, this scenario reminds me of a Jeff Vogel scenario, except that it is much shorter. Besides its size, its only real downfall is that your party permanently loses its equipment. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if it actually made sense. Why would bandits melt down a valuable arsenal of adventurer swag if they were only going to recraft it into the same exact stuff as before? Why would anyone try to melt down a wand or herbs? I got the feeling that the author was just being lazy.


The combat is easy but entertaining, especially the last fight. Also, there is too much outdoor combat for such a small scenario.


This scenario deserves a playthrough as it is a nice change of pace from VotD for level 1 parties.



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From Salmon of the CSR:


This scenario just didn't thrill me. There is something about having every intricate detail being explained that doesn't seem real. The "twist" about having the *smurfs* father being *smurfed* was contrived, and did nothing to further the plot. Alanis Morrisette would be proud. I give this a rating of [rating]AVERAGE[/rating], and hope that the designer can improve backdesign in the future. Towns could also use help, and for the love of god never use 2icon trees to create a maze. Mazes SUCK!!

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From Nikki on the CSR:


I'm basing this on the beta - if anything is particularly wrong, let me know.


It's solid enough, and the arrows were nice. A simple text warning about removing equipment, and nerfing the power of that last trap would be nice, but don't really dtract majorly.


AVERAGE (using reply #7 in lieu of this CSR port -sylae)

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From Jewels on SV:



Fairly enjoyable. I loved the poison arrows and the story was sound enough. I think the designer should have included a pre-made party because of the removal of equipment. It would lessen the risk of accidentally ruined parites.



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  • 2 months later...

Being my first downloaded scenario, I really enjoyed it. My only gripe was when I tried to create a new party member, I get a message saying that character creation has to be done in a major city. I started out with two characters and ended with one.


My archer gave her life in the end with the last arrow that pierced the witch, then got bombarded by an army of summoned monsters that ended up trapping her in a spider's web and spraying her with acid, right after she landed that final blow! It was a cool fight and the witch was an honor to do battle with. I wish I could add her now as a playable character in future adventures that would be a strange twist.


I actually liked the "over-abundance" or random encounters outside the village, which makes this scenario good for level building.


Overall I really liked this scenario because, although it was short, it was interesting and original. I will give it [rating]GOOD[/rating] because it was short but fun.

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  • 10 years later...

The only thing I disliked about this scenario was that all your items on you vanish after you're captured. They even have places where stolen items are stored...and yet you can't get your original items back. I have a feeling a few people have had high level parties go into this scenario and come out cursing.


I've never played this on level 1...and yet I've routinely had characters die to all the poison arrows. I think. It's one of the more difficult beginner scenarios.


I liked it. I liked the storyline. There is a secret I won't reveal that I enjoyed. There's also a sort of pleasantly spooky atmosphere. I give it a good rating, only because I usually only rank scenarios best if they're both designed well and appeal to me a lot on a subjective level, and I think the permanent deletion of all your items is an irritating little gag.

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