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Author: Ephesos

Difficulty: 1-5

Version: 1.1.0 (4-30-09)



Composite Score: 3.9/5.0


Best: 6.25% (1/16)

Good: 81.25% (13/16)

Average: 12.50% (2/16)

Substandard: 0.00% (0/16)

Poor: 0.00% (0/16)





Keywords: Avernum Universe, Beginner, Short, Combat Heavy

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium
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Adrift is a relatively short beginner scenario. The combat was on the hard side with a level 1 party, and I allowed myself once to go into the Character Editor and heal. My mage and priest were forced to be very conservative of their energy. I figured out that this was the trick after having to restart twice. :p


The plot wasn't amazing, and the ending dialogue was a bit disappointing, but the writing was funny despite the serious atmosphere, and I liked it a lot. The custom graphics were cool too, but not amazing. The design was great, and I really liked the deck.


Rank: [rating]Good[/rating]

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I found the combat a bit hard with level 1 party (but then I'm rubbish at combat..) so ended up going in with one towards the top end of the level requirement. There seemed excessively many skeletons on the deck to start with, but once I realised what I was meant to do there it made more sense, and on the whole the combat was quite enjoyable, and the gauntlet was an interesting challenge.


The ship was well designed, I especially liked the masts and pointy thing out to the frontbowsprit that extended over multiple tiles (will have to steal that idea for extra large pillars in future scenarios...).


Rating: [rating]Good[/rating]

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  • 2 weeks later...

Place an entire (almost) scenario on a boat? Why, who is this crazy man with his crazy ideas? It is Ephesos, the man once knows for his hatred of undead. but surely this man would not make a scenario about undead... again.


Yes he would and he did a good job of it too... again. Adrift is a spooky, ghost/splatter story. The party gets marooned on a deserted island and a mysterious boat picks them up. Wackiness* ensues.


If there's one thing I like about Ephesos' scenarios it's the details. They're everywhere. It's also nice when a designer bothers to create alternative ways to solve the problems of the scenario. Personally, I've yet to play the scenario a second time (and still haven't), but I'm pretty sure you can kill the Helmsman (a pleasant chap by the by). Aside from him and hordes and hordes (not that many hordes) of undead monstrosities there is only one friendly character: Samantha L. Jackson... Yeah.


Combat was well-executed, not too hard not too easy. Magic-users need to be careful with their mana, is it mana in BoA? Energy? Anyway, there is a fight that requires some thinking: the deck-fighting. I think I managed to cheat my way through it, but hey, I had fun doing it!


At any rate, Adrift is a competent scenario if a bit short, but that's what we get these days. Still the player gains some levels and gets nice loot. Good show.


Rating: [rating]GOOD[/rating]


* There is no wackiness unless you count a Snakes on a Plane reference. Haven't seen the movie, didn't care for the reference.

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  • 5 months later...

So I haven't played since beta-testing, but the speed with which this came out makes me think Ephesos didn't change an awful lot. That said, if any major changes were made I will edit this as appropriate.


So, it's stonkingly pretty. Like, seriously. Making a boat look good in a terrain system that uses squares is no mean feat, so kudos for that. The actual plot was strong too - there were a few things I was a bit bleh about, namely why the heck the Captain had decided to kill people in the first place - but for something this short, it was forgiveable.


I for one loved the skeleton gauntlet. That and the invisible sailors fight were amazing. Also, the "dialogue" with the helmsman. Although I will not be giving extra credit for that since I have progressed far enough into A5 to realise it isn't entirely original. :p


Still, it's Ephesos through and through. Pretty, good plot, strong encounters, and heaps of atmosphere. There are worse ways to spend 30 minutes.


I'll rate this as [rating]GOOD[/rating].

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  • 3 weeks later...

(Ported and edited from SV)


It's short but an actual scenario. There's nothing wrong with Adrift gameplaywise with the exception of having to exit combat mode in order to talk with the Helmsman and enter the doors. (constantly respawning skeletons + my brittle bones spell caster in the back + many free cheap shots on torment = :( )


I hate the Snakes on a Plane reference for three reasons. One, it feels out of place in an otherwise flawless scenario. Two, I'm sure Ephesos can be funny without alluding to mediocre movies, especially movies that have already been quoted to hell and back. Three, you could have chosen something more appropriate, have you ever heard of Monkey Island? If I was a bigger jerk, I'd have let this bother me more, but it really is awful.


Its overall quality is excellent (this seems to be your forte) and the ship design is remarkable for the medium. It's kind of like the scenario Jeff Vogel wishes he could make, sans the mechanically driven plot.


So here's how I'm rating dis:


+ Apple, for a solid scenario

- Turtle, for the Snakes on a Plane reference

+ A sideways seven, because I think it deserves better



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  • 4 months later...

It was nice! I liked being able to explore an environment not familiar in Avernum... hopefully, the rest of the scenarios has as creative of settings. The combat was nice. More difficult than fare from the initial three scenarios, but not overwhelmingly. Still, I agree about the Snakes on a Plane reference... if you want me to feel like I'm playing a game, don't toy with me. ;-) I also hope that other scenarios aren't as short, though. If a scenario of this quality were as large as the initial scenarios, it would be very good indeed. Though because it doesn't share its length, it gets the same score: [rating]Average[/rating].

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  • 4 weeks later...

Adrift is a fun, short scenario and certainly worth playing.


Rating: [rating]Good[/rating]




Combat - Good: The combat is challenging, but despite being against undead, it's varied as to keep player interest up. Don't be surprised if the scenario requires several reloads, and take advantage of some of the goodies on the ship. Players who are poor at combat should not attempt this with a level 1 party.


Design - Best: The ship is well-designed and convincing, and has some nice custom graphics thrown in as well. Don't forget to bring a torch.


Story - Good: It's well written and creates an appropriate eerie atmosphere for the plot. Also, one of the names made me laugh.


Technical/Balance - Good: There is only one healing potion IIRC, but it's enough considering level-ups. Many of the NPCs have a cool special effect upon dying and the final fight is awesome.


Replay Value - Good: Fun and solid.



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  • 1 month later...


Adrift's story is simple, but still fun. There aren't that many details about the ship, aside from what you learn from the helmsman. There could have been more clues hinting to what the ship used to be or who the crew were before becoming a drifting nightmare.



Adrift's level range starts at 1. I went into it with a party fresh out of the creation screen. In hindsight, that was a mistake. The combat is very difficult for a new party. I found myself dieing several times during several different fights. In my opinion, the enemies hit a little to hard, even at the beginning of the scenario, and this problem was persistent all the way to the end.

Still, some of the combat was fun. The skeleton gauntlet was an interesting fight. It took me a few tries to figure out a way through it, but it was still enjoyable and was very rewarding when I made it through.

Then there was the final fight, which I found much easier than the rest of the combat. I think, if the other fights in the scenario were easier, then I would say this fight would need to be harder. As it is, I was sick of hard combat when I reached this point, and was somewhat relieved that the fight went quickly. Still, it was anticlimactic.



The layout and feeling of the ship was very well done. I liked a number of the terrain tricks used, especially the hanging skeletons.

Because of the difficult combat, I really felt that the scenario needed more healing resources. A few more healing and energy potions would have been much appreciated. Also, I found no lockpicks or first-aid kits.



There were some very neat tricks in this scenario. Particularly of note were the skeleton gauntlet and the invisible ghosts in the ship's hold. I really like the trick with the latter of the two because it's an interesting way of getting around some of the problems produced by fighting invisible creatures. I like this particularly in a scenario for low level parties.

Also, I didn't encounter any bugs, which is something I always appreciate.


The final score for Adrift is [rating]Average[/rating]. Overall it's a fun scenario and is certainly worth playing. If you don't want an uphill battle the whole way, enter with a party that has finished another scenario, at the least.

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  • 9 months later...

From Lazarus on SV:


Adrift plays a lot like Eph's previous scenarios, specifically SoG (And not just because of the ghost thingy.) I was happy to see that the type of scripted encounters we saw in SoG are here to stay; which fits nicely in Eph's bag of tricks alongside the great town design, disgusting amounts of detail, and string manipulation that we've become used to (Actually there isn't any string manipulation in Adrift, but that's understandable.) Setting an entire scenario on a boat was some feat, and Eph pulls it off better than I would have thought possible. All around a cool atmosphere, and one like nothing we've seen before.


The quality is the same we've seen from Ephesos in the past, just shorter. By now you ought to know if you like his style or not, and if you do you need to play Adrift.



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From Nioca on SV:


Okay, I'm impressed. Whilst short, this scenario is a technical marvel, and graphically impressive to boot. The story didn't offer too much, but the atmosphere was well done, and so was my party.


No, seriously, this thing also proved an excellent example (mostly) of how combat should be done. It especially furthered the goal of wearing the party down early, leaving them open for the really nasty stuff. The Captain fight was an excellent example of a boss fight as well, unique, but beatable. The only combat experience I didn't care for was the skeleton gauntlet. Enemies that respawn are fine; a whole horde of skeletons who come back right after you kill them? While you have to move your party across a large distance? Not so fine.


Still, the fact that Ephesos was able to stuff everything he did into what actually does look like a ship was very impressive. All the more so because it was interesting, fun, and challenging at every turn. I believe Ephesos needs a round of applause.


Ghosts + Boat = [rating]GOOD[/rating]

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From Turtle on SV:


I'm not a designer yet, and a relatively new player, so I don't know if I'm qualified to rate this, but I thought it was very good.

The execution was nearly flawless, the plotting was clever--you end up with just enough resources to get you through the game. I was going to complain about having pickable locks and no lockpicks, but then--you sneaky devil! Who would've thought to look there?

I disagree about the ghost weapons--if you are starting with a brand-new level-one party they are a definite improvement. Also, it really doesn't matter that you can't enter the Captain's quarters in combat mode; there's enough time before he attacks.

As for the battle with the skeletons, it wouldn't be a big deal except for Captain Samantha. If there is a way to get her to move her butt across the deck, I didn't find it. I wasn't able to get out of that mess until she died (too bad). Next time I would leave her in her room until the end. Which brings me to the only error I found: I gave the ship a final once-over before the end, and guess who I found waiting for me in Captain Samantha's room! She even joined the party again.

Combat wasn't too difficult for a party of 4. The Captain would have been much more challenging with a smaller party, I think.

I have to say that this little scenario was beautiful, eminently playable, and left me wanting more like it.




Edit: I just remembered: you can't leave Samantha in her room. Darn.

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From Salmon on SV:


Good stuff. I took a auto-party into this and had no issues until I went upstairs to the deck. Just not enough MP regen for my purposes. The images thinking thing reminds me of something else, and I have no clue about any Snakes on a Plane reference. Haven't seen that movie. I liked the darkness in the ship, would have preferred it to be a bit more cramped. My experience is that space on a ship is at a premium, especially a cargo ship.



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From S M Aventurer on SV:



Adrift was a pretty interesting scenario. It featured some interesting scripting techinques, like the reappearing magical barriers and the animation that was played when the ghosts die. The Helmsman's way of communication was really good too, using great imagery.


The graphics of the ship was extremely good. I especially liked the top deck of the boat, which looked really realistic.


Combat wasn't hard at all. Overall, it was a short, promising scenario.



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From Jewels on SV:


Beautiful graphics and setting. No bugs found. Wonderful scripting. Storyline was a little bit lacking for my taste. My party seemed a little too OK with the first appearance of the undead and the story could have been greatly broadened if we could just understand the ghosts. Who was the double sword wielding man, anyway? No journal to find out, no long-winded speech of a life once lived... The story could have been expanded so much further then the "there are ghosts you have to kill" we're given. As great as the rest of the scenario was, it deserved an equally great story.



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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 months later...

Brilliant! Absolutely loved it!

Short and simple, also aesthetically amazing.

I would recommend this scenario most definitely.


Aesthetics 10/10

Detailed, thorough and the attention to the minor details made it all that more enjoyable.


Gameplay 8/10

Fairly straight forward yet It was not forceful at all. It flowed nicely and the combat was wittingly challenging. It was a bit short however, and the dialog was a bit scrappy. The plot was simple but sufficient.


Scripting 10/10

The scripting was flawless. There were no mistakes that i managed to find. All of the customised additions were clean and crisp. Ghosts, swords, the whole lot. It was very appealing.


Overall: 9.5/10


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  • 5 months later...

Well this is an interesting scenario.

I liked the concept and the atmospfere on the ship. Also, the ship really looked like one, so, respect for the design. The dialogue with the Helmsman was interesting too.

The amount of detail was lovely (though dead corpses, blood and other disguisting stuff is all but pretty, one cannot simply place colouful plants on a ghost ship haha).

I found enough useful items only because I like to browse every possible container and there were plenty; The items from important enemies were nice as well, with magic abilities and such.


I hated the part with passing trough constantly spawning undead-until I figured I just need to escape..I probably spent more than 20 rounds there, partly because I love bashing skeletons, hah!


Would be nice to get a fancy sword (or two) from the boss, since ghosts bearing weapons dropped theirs, but oh well, there are still enough rewards so I don't mind.



Edited by sylae
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  • 3 years later...

I played this with a level 13 party on torment. It was actually a little tough, not too tough, but I bet it would be pretty tough at level 1. I liked the plot. I liked that forced you to think a bit.


(spoilers below)


It would have been an easy scenario for the level 13 party I had, except I had the goal of keeping the NCP player alive, all the way through to the end. Getting her through the skeleton gauntlet was a major pain in the butt. I think the addition of the NCP player is nice because it gives the lower level players some extra help while evening things out for the higher level players if they want to make the game harder by keeping her alive.


A short, enjoyable, ideally creepy little scenario. I pity anyone with a level 1 party who attempts it on torment though.

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