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Tales from the Tabard Inn


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Tales From the Tabard Inn



Author: Lazarus

Levels: Custom

Version: 1.0.0



Composite Score: 4.2/5.0


Best: 35.71% (5/14)

Good: 50.00% (7/14)

Average: 14.29% (2/14)

Substandard: 0.00% (0/14)

Poor: 0.00% (0/14)






Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium
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(ported from SV)


I guess it's finally time for me to register a review of the scenario that snatched first, second, and third from me in the 24 Hour Contest... to wit:


Tales From the Tabard Inn is similar in structure to the Canterbury Tales, but with the modern TV-drama spin of "ooh, all of the characters are present in each others' stories". Fortunately, the stories themselves are quite well-told, with equally believable and honest characters. That, for me, is the high-point of the scenario, and I do want to give Lazarus his due for writing excellent stories.


The problem is, I wound up with a case of story fatigue by the end. I played the Bounty Hunter’s Tale and the Knight’s Tale last, and by that point I felt like I knew the overall story well enough that I started to skim dialog boxes. But I did really like the Priestess's Tale, the Prisoner's Tale, and to a lesser extent the Merchant's Tale. In my mind, those made the biggest contributions to the overall story arc, but that might just be because I played them first.


With the story examined, let’s talk about combat. Generally, it is either laughably easy (like the Bounty Hunter, a.k.a Sir Lethal Blow) or near-impossible (like the Prisoner, assuming you don't think to enter combat mode early), and it's ultimately lost in the scenario because there was so little of it. Oh, and the sudden spikes in difficulty make for some really frustrating reloading, because some of the cutscenes are really long.


As for graphics, it’s all very pretty. I also approve of seeing my trees in a scenario. Also, while people have lamented the graphic-switching, I just didn't bother half the time, particularly after reloading several times.


When it all comes down to the end, however, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did Frostbite. It’s still great work for several 24-hour scenarios, though, and it’s definitely worth a playthrough. After all, it’s another forced singleton scenario, so you don’t even need to level up a party.


Rating: [rating]Good[/rating]


(Now could we please try making scenarios with outdoors and support for more than one character?)

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I'll just go ahead and split this review in sections for each separate tale. Right after I say something about the frame story: (the player is bard on his way to a hard to please nobleman) Twas nice. I liked the Frostbite reference and the fact that the player's party of four is destroyed at the beginning of the scenario and then reconstructed in the end. I didn't know you could do that.


Knight's Tale: My favorite. You play a knight of a monastic order on a quest for revenge... well sorta. I liked the narration and the hopelessness of the ending. Sure the combat wasn't very hard, but the Knight is "THE MAN" while his enemies are "the not." Also, it felt like there was more to do in this tale than some of the others.


Merchant's Tale: Also pretty swell. You play a merchant (or more like a courier) delivering certain merchandise to shady characters, but unfortunately nothing goes as planned. The trick here is that the combat is basically unarmed combat all the way. I say basically because the player is given a weapon of sorts.


Bounty Hunter's Tale: Meh, didn't much care for this one. It might be that I have something against playing a morally ambiguous character, you know, if it's forced. The bounty hunter is a right idiot. He basically



slaughters a church-full of people



and then blames it on a rich man's greed. Plus the ending was really anti-climactic.


Prisoner's Tale: Least favorite tale right here. The story was kind of compelling, I suppose, but it felt detached from the other four tales. I would have preferred Sly's Tale. In addition to the detachment there's the fact that the player doesn't really do anything: You read a wall of text. Press enter. Read another wall of text. Take a step. Read text. And so forth.


Priestess' Tale: Alright, I guess. Priestess in a monastery. Something baaaaad happens. She copes. Minimal fighting. I think it might be just one and you're supposed to lose, but you totally end up kicking the guy's backside. Similar problem with not enough to do as in Prisoner's Tale but not as bad here.


After playing Knight's and Merchant's tales I was ready to say this was one of the "best" scenarios out there, but the tales of the Bounty hunter and Prisoner were a slight disappointments so:


Rating: [rating]GOOD[/rating]


And since the level range for the Tales is 1-1 the souvenirs are way overpowered. Ouch!

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  • 4 months later...

Lazarus completely blew me away with this one, if only because it was painfully obvious he had played TV before designing it. tongueold.gif


Seriously, it's tight, it's well made, and yet? Combat wasn't as nice as Frostbite. There's one point where you have to lose a fight, but you actually lose it by winning? Some simple coding would've made this bit a lot better. Also, a lot of the combat was straight-forward hack/slash, but I'm not going to let that detract from my score too much (because I still hate combat).


Plot-wise, this thing is... only alright. I, like TM, especially like the Prisoner's Tale, and the Priestess' Tale was masterfully done, although it did seem some of the writing was a little too simple for my tastes. A lot of the scripted encounters were cool though, and the way that they all tied in together was actually well done, so bonus points for that. I just felt that the actual meat of the story wasn't the best we've seen, and with a better story, this would've been unbeatably good.


Still - I'd recommend this to everybody, not least because it's quite substantial.


Score: [rating]BEST[/rating]

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  • 3 weeks later...

(Ported from SV)


I'd like to mention that never before have I sat down and played through an entire scenario in one sitting. I had other things to do, but I couldn't tear myself away until I had listened to every tale.


This scenario has only one real problem: you have to change the graphics folder and then manually shift your character portrait before and after every tale. This wasn't that bad, especially because the designer decided to include a time for the switch, but it was annoying none-the-less. Since he had no control over this problem, I can't detract it from the score.


Scoring this scenario is the tough part, because as much as I enjoyed this scenario, I liked his earlier scenario, Frostbite, more. Tales had a compelling plot and a top notch presentation, which I enjoyed so much, I couldn't stop until I beat it and ended up missing sleep because of it.



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  • 1 month later...

Ehh, I find Tales a tad overrated. My main probem with this scenario is too much text. I get many dialogue boxes, and then little action. (I'll admit, the 'overuse of text' bothers me more in BoA than in BoE, because it's slower to move through boxes in BoA and keeps playing that annoying sound.) The same story from five different points of view is interesting, although it can be a bit repetitive at the end. I also would have liked a better way of dealing with the prisoner's death than "that's not how the story went, game over." In some ways, it tries to be BoA's "An Apology", but it just nowhere near as good. A decent scenario, but not that much fun.


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

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  • 1 year later...

From The Lurker on the CSR:


This isn't really a game... More of a playable story, but it works very well.


+10 for the graphics, the story, and the multi-character idea.

-1.1 because the only fights that were somewhat tough were the fights against Samael.


You should probably play the Bounty Hunter's tale last. Honestly.




Oh, and Laz, I love the fact that all the main protagonists end up resting in the Tabard Inn without really noticing one another. I wonder what would have happened if the Bounty Hunter had noticed Sly. laugh.gif

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From TM on the CSR:


It's a cute little story. Personally, I never shifted graphics around because I didn't care, but that's my preference. Anyway, the stories are all fairly well-written. The Knight's Tale was fairly compelling, and I found an odd sympathy for the Prisoner. Technically, the scenarios were simple to their detriment. I'd love to play the Prisoner's Tale again to see if the beta cutscene for the execution went any better, but I consistently crash whenever I attempt to leave the prison town in his tale, so I'll give Laz the benefit of the doubt. (The same thing happened in the Priestess' Tale before the execution. There might be something wrong on my end; who knows.) Still, the fights are all totally non-challenging, and-- shame on you, Laz-- you forgot to code in letting the player get beaten when fighting someone s/he was supposed to lose against. It's not a huge deal, but it's sloppy. I mean, this thing kinda plays like a Nikki scenario, but with more length. And the interacting-characters story is well-done. It's not great, but it's not awful either.


Play it. I mean, why the heck not?



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From Nioca on the CSR:


Basically, this is five stories intertwined into one. You, playing a bard, go to the Tabard Inn and listen to five characters and their stories. Since it's effectively 5(.5) stories in one, I'm going to break them apart and rate them individually.




The Bounty Hunter's Tale

You play an anti-villain of sorts. Go around, chase down a criminal, and blow everything up in the meantime. Good story and such, especially the dialogue on the Bounty Hunter's part. However, combat was a little too easy with the supply of throwing knives you get. Stand back, throw knife, kill enemy. Also, to me at least, it seemed to focus a little too much on the killing then on the character. I'd have liked to see him interact with a character he didn't end up killing or trying to kill.


Score: 7.3


The Prisoner's Tale

A tale of corruption and the whims of fate. Excellently done, with plenty of action to keep the momentum up. Though I have to admit I was a little baffled why magery was a criminal (and capital) offense.


Score: 8.1


The Priestess's Tale

A tale of the misfortune of a priestess. Well done, well executed (sometimes almost literally), and it played smoothly. My only real concern was where the tale ended; it cut off a little too sharply for my tastes. That, and the fact that the character you play is in a daze of pretty much the entire tale.


Score: 7.5


The Knight's Tale

I didn't really care for this one. Whilst the others were unique and fairly interesting, this one seemed to be lackluster. Still, a quest for a McGuffin isn't all that bad. Then again, a tale consisting mainly of walking and beating the crap out of peon enemies isn't fun for me. It reminded me a bit too much of Avatar. Additionally, it suffers because, unlike the other tales, this one really doesn't fit in well with the others. It could effectively be an individual short scenario. It does work though, and it isn't painful to play by a longshot.


Score: 6.4


The Merchant's Tale

A special delivery of misfortune. Seriously, I thought life was hard on the Prisoner. I was wrong. I found this one fun and interesting, even though its story wasn't as compelling as some of the other. Fun fights really added to the plot (bar room fistfight FTW!), though it could be really easy to make a fatal blunder in the final fight.


Score: 7.8




Now, added and averaged, we get 7.42. Now, a few more little nitpicks and bonuses.


+ Since 7.42 isn't a valid score (+0.08)

+ For wrapping five stories into one scenario. (+0.3)

+ A few extra patrons, along with some mystique and things to do, in the inn. (+0.1)

+ It was nice of Lazarus to restore the party and give back equipment, along with souvenirs. (+0.4)

- Several characters, some of which want to kill each other, all end up in the same inn and don't even know it? (-0.3)

- I felt that the scenario ended a bit too quickly. You don't even find out what results from your trip to the Tabard Inn. (-0.3)


Final Score: 7.7 ([rating]AVERAGE[/rating])

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From S M Adventurer on the CSR:


Well, this scenario was certainly exciting and fun to play. It consists of five tales, that basically take place in the same setting, but they are told from different points of view. I pretty much enjoyed all the tales. My favorites would have to be a tie between the Bounty Hunter's tale and the Prisoner's Tale. But the other ones were interesting too.


Scripting was done marvelously to emulate each of the character's fighting styles and strengths. One of my favorite scripts is the one that makes that carriage move along with you in it. Never thought that was possible to do in BoA.


I also liked the design of the temple in the Priestess' Tale. Another was the design of the city of Cigosal. Lazarus sure made that city look nice. The roads and forests were designed well too.


Combat with each of the characters you control was executed pretty well, but I found the fight in the Merchant's Tale with Samael to be a little challenging as those guards kept killing the mage on me, causing the scenario to end. I got through it though, and the other fights weren't too challenging. I also liked the Merchant Tale's bar fight with fists. It's surprising how strong that guy was.


As for the fact you had to change character graphics with each tale, I didn't bother. It didn't effect my enjoyment of the stories though.


Overall, a very good scenario and each tale was told marvelously. I recommend to those who like scenarios that are told from different view points with the same setting, obviously.



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From Iffy on SV:


I will rate the different parts and average it from there.


Town design - 9

Quite good. The forests looked sort of natural too.


Scripting - 10

The scripting is really good. He blasted the party and put it back together, plus other stuff.


Plot - 9

Very interesting. Making everything fall into place probably took a lot of thought. There were a few holes, though.


Combat - 9

Some of it was kind of fun. A couple battles were annoying, though.


Average - 9.25 (But since I can't do that...)


Final Score - 9.3 ([rating]BEST[/rating])

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From Jewels on SV:


Very intriguing. A well told tale, or rather 5 of them. There were no bugs that I saw and the scripting was exceptional. Only saw two grammar errors. The way the scenario plays out is a little clumsy though especially with the required PC setup. Not that it could be helped. I had to restore a couple of times because I had forgotten to equip my armor and weapon. Since it was mostly story and just a little scenario, the dialogue boxes became wearing on me. 'How many more do I have to enter through', was the thought instead of 'what's gonna happen next'. It may have been smoother for the author to combine some of the boxes or do some cut scenes for the shorter back and forths. I know the boxes get to be a hassle when entering through them after having to restore. Took me 5 hours to complete, one hour for each story. I don't regret any of it.



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  • 1 year later...

This was an excellent scenario, if very different from the usual hack'n'slash, dungeon-diving adventure. However, the story, town design, and characters together all completely made up for the lack of combat. The combat that there was added well to the story. All in all, it flowed smoothly and I was caught up through.


My only complaint is not being able to get the story from the prisoner's friend, who appears in each of the tales.


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


If you don't mind alot of reading, and little combat, this is a great scenario to play.

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