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Truffle Days

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“I had a friend was a big baseball player,

back in high school

He could throw that speedball by you

Make you look like a fool boy


Saw him the other night at this roadside bar

I was walking in, he was walking out

We went back inside sat down had a few drinks

but all he kept talking about was


Truffle days well they’ll pass you by

Truffle days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

Truffle days, truffle days”


— What kept going through my head while playing Truffle Days


Of all the scenarios out there, Truffle Days by Scott Evans (mountaineer AT wonderlan DOT com) was quite literally the single most universally praised of all of them. Not to say that people thought Truffle Days was the best, just that I *never* heard *anyone* say *anything* negative about it. Of course, it also just happened to be one of the few “solid” scenarios I had never played, something I decided to remedy.


Truffle Days is a fairly short scenario, so it surprised me that it resembled a rollercoaster ride. A lot of ups, and a lot of downs, all in rapid succession.


Dialogue Portraits


An even ten dialogue portraits have been created for this, apparently by the designer’s brother — and they’re very well done. You often see custom graphics, you rarely see custom talking pictures, and when you do, there nowhere near as good as you see here. The pictures are a relatively small point, but they add a nice distinctive touch to the scenario, and help spruce up some of the conversations you’ll have.


“Well there’s a girl that lives up the block

back in school she could turn all the boy’s heads

Sometimes on a Friday I’ll stop by

and have a few drinks after she put her kids to bed


Her and her husband Bobby well they split up

I guess it’s two years gone by now

We just sit around talking about the old times,

she says when she feels like crying

she starts laughing thinking about


Truffle days well they’ll pass you by

Truffle days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

Truffle days, truffle days”


The General Feel Of The Scenario


There’s a lot of nice concepts here, but a lot of nagging questions as well. Much of the scenario, for example, involves trying to convince a local Efreet — Khalizan — to help you fight off the Sliths. Efreets are generally nasty things, so you need to find a way in. Lucky for you, Yaris, the resident archmage, is owed a favor by Khalizan, a favor he’s willing to call in. Discovering why Khalizan owes Yaris a favor goes over very well — an old journal that tells a good bit of Yaris’ history, and strongly implies why the Efreet owes him a favor, while giving the party a bit of Exile pre-history. Nice. On the other hand, five minutes later, Yaris will spill it all out for you, with very little prompting, which makes absolutely no sense, and does a good job ruining the nice atmosphere the scenario had just created.


You’ll later learn the Vahnatai are behind the attack on Exile — nothing surprising there, but nothing objectionable either. The notion that the Sliths may not even be aware of the Vahnatai is especially palatable — it fits with Exile III typology, and I can see the Sliths being duped. On the other hand, this doesn’t quite play with a major plot point in the scenario — that the Vahnatai have trapped Khalizan. The motive that comes off across in the scenario is that they’ve done this to prevent Khalizan for intervening against the Sliths... Okay, this foils the party quite well, but I’m wondering how the heck they knew he owed Yaris a favor, Yaris was sympathetic to Exile, and would be willing to cash it in this circumstance. Quite a lucky guess, if you ask me. I’d find this sequence a whole lot more plausible if instead of imprisoning Khalizan to prevent him from intervening in a conflict he would seem to care less about anyway, they bound him in order to force him to assist the Vahnatai in their efforts.


“My old man worked 20 years on the line

and they let him go

Now everywhere he goes out looking for work

they just tell him that he’s too old


I was 9 nine years old and he was working at the

Metuchen Ford plant assembly line

Now he just sits on a stool down at the Legion hall

but I can tell what’s on his mind


Truffle days yeah goin back

Truffle days aw he ain’t never had

Truffle days, truffle days”


The only major dungeon in Truffle Days is the castle of Khalizan himself, and it’s a veritable microcosm of the scenario. The dungeon is divided into three parts — three tests necessary to get to see Khalizan himself. The first is silly, the second is just another in the long line of pointless, logic-less, and aggravating teleporter mazes. The third however, the story of the prince, is very original, very well done, and very entertaining.


There’s also one side dungeon — the Undead Crypt. It’s a strange placement in this scenario, but somehow it works perfectly. I fell off my chair laughing at this thing several times, and IMO it replaces several features of Farmhands as the funniest BOE segment ever.


All said, Truffle Days is a very up and down scenario, surprising given its short character. Worth playing, but far from perfect. Truffle Days is rated PG, and is designed for High Level parties.


“Now I think I’m going down to the well tonight

and I’m going to drink till I get my fill

And I hope when I get old I don’t sit around thinking about it

but I probably will


Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture

a little of the glory of, well time slips away

and leaves you with nothing mister but

boring stories of Truffle days


Truffle days well they’ll pass you by

Truffle days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

Truffle days, Truffle days

Truffle days well they’ll pass you by

Truffle days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

Truffle days, Truffle days.....”



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Truffle Days, by Scott Evans (mountaineer AT wonderlan DOT com), is what one can call a jewel. The scenario is short by comparison to some big epics like TWOTS or Spy’s Quest, but is flawless, and has more depth than it seems at first sight. That isn’t surprising, as Scott designed the excellent Nightfall, based upon the novel of I. Asimov and R. Silverberg.


It takes place at the time of the slith war which is depicted in Za-Khazi Run. After much adventuring, your small party decides to go on vacation for some time. So, you arrive in a small pretty town at the border of Exile, in a remote volcanic area, where no slith would normally have the possibility of attacking.


Of course, things never happen like you wanted to or expected. Troubles hit the country, and it’s up to you to find the way to save the day.


Though the amount of outdoors and towns is limited, the scenario is very well written, with a lot of dialogs and descriptions that create the specific and magical atmosphere of this scenario. The beings involved in this plot aren’t specially original, but the scenario’s subject is Exile, so it’s nothing less normal to see some sliths and vahnatai. In fact, it would be difficult to make a better scenario in the Exile world, with a limited size.


The player is well challenged, by puzzles and tricky dungeons and the NPCs generally have a well-developed personality. As I’ve said before, there’s more depth than so small scenarios generally have, and the plot is quite subtle.


Due to its small size, there’s no real side quests. In fact, as you can guess, the main regret a player will have is the scenario can be too linear, and too short, as you expect and want more and more. I can only complain it doesn’t have 2 or 3 more dungeons, and another town. But, of course, scenario designing takes a lot of time, and it’s better to finish a rather short and excellent scenario than to begin a massive one without being able to finish it, by lack of time.


Truffle Days is a high-level scenario (around 20–22 levels) and is rated PG.


My score — Good

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Truffle Days is by Scott Evans, and although it has its problems, is certainly worth playing. This review contains spoilers, if you have not played the scenario, you read on at the risk of your own enjoyment.


The first time I played this scenario, I enjoyed it thoroughly up until the point where you had to wait several days (in my case) to continue the game. Having no clue that I DID have to wait several days (game time), I quit out.


When I came to play it again much later, I managed to get past that point, with, admittedly, much difficulty. Having done that, I enjoyed it thoroughly for most of the rest of the game.


Like I said, though, it has its problems. It has three very good mental challenges. The problem with these is, they’re all thrown in at the same time. I like a mental challenge now and again, they’re quite good when properly balanced, but THREE IN A ROW... ouch. And tough too. As mentioned above, the time delay needed to win the game has probably put a few people off, this is a problem too. Frankly, the only other problem I found was one extremely difficult fight, and right after the mental challenges too! I quit the game and went straight to bed as soon as Khalizan summoned his first Fire Golem.


Thus taking me past the bad points and on to the numerous good points. Personally, this is the funniest scenario I have ever played. Then, I never finished Farmhands Save the Day!!, so I can’t say it is the funniest scenario around. However, I did laugh several times at the levers in Yaris’ Hideout and the Earth Wyrm was pretty darn funny too, but briefly. The “Magic Fingers” was also a source of amusement for about three seconds, as was the “bad case of helmet hair”.


The custom dialogue faces were brilliant, they added a wonderful touch of atmosphere to the scenario. I am personally surprised that these haven’t appeared in more scenarios, seeing as it said in the text file that you could use them. I particularly liked Khalizan’s and Yaris’ dialogue pics, but the others were almost as good. Other custom graphics are simply copied and pasted over the desired terrain — nothing impressive there.


The plot seems to pick up where Za-Khazi left off — the Slith wars. I think that this is entirely excusable, considering how you are put into the plot in the first place. The designer could have delayed the first trouble a bit longer, but too bad. The specials in the marketplace were a nice touch, and rewarding to the player if they really talked to some people.


The scenario has a minor fault in its realism — I really can’t see how Amelia would still be standing with all those Giants/Fire Lizards/Salamanders/Hydras/Giant Slugs etc. wandering around so often! The wandering encounters really got on my nerves, and although it was funny the first time I encountered the giants, things such as this really should be taken into consideration. Although it’s excusable that stupid creatures like slugs and lizards might wander around with only the occasional raid, giants are at least smart enough and destructive enough to destroy Amelia.


The atmosphere at points (the beginning and reading Yaris’ diary) was very nice and well done. The subtitle on Spiderweb’s table was wonderful, too. The scenario was well named as well.


I’ll give it Best

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Truffle Days was, for its time, an extraordinarilly noded scenario. While much of that is lost now, it's still solid, which says something. The entire scenario could pass off as a solid scenario in these times, node-wise. The sequence with Khalizan's three tests were good (other than that basilisk one- what a pain!). Dialogue pictures were used well, and the plot was fairly unassuming yet still broad enough to engage the player, at the same time showing no gaping plot holes. Then again, the telling was rather flawed, in that Yaris' tale is spewed out to you in a matter of a few nodes. Rather depressing, given the rest of the scenario's quality. Good

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Was my favourite scenario for a while. As mentioned, the Undead dungeon is simply distilled hilarity, with plenty of other great laughs scattered throughout the scenario. The story is very good, too (I tell myself it's okay, the Vahnatai were planning to use Khalizan to attack Exile, it's okay, it's not a plot hole). And Yaris is a good character.


"You wouldn't like it. It's hot."



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Just finished playing through this again, this time finally visiting and completing the utterly hysterical undead crypt.


One good thing is you'll never be short of money in this scenario. At the same time, the reason is a little odd. For some reason, nearly everything, including zombies and lizards, drops loot.


Most combat was fairly normal, easy for my one fighter with Korthrax from ASR, one mage with some priest, and four priests with some mage. There was one very difficult fight that required some new strategy, but I managed to win in a few tries.


There are some nice artifacts in this scenario, five that I counted (although something was wrong with one of them, or it was just a weird item).


There's some good writing and some good storytelling in here, with some funny stuff scattered throughout.


Big negatives: In one dungeon, there's a big lever puzzle and a big conveyor belt puzzle, both of which are annoying. There's one genuinely awesome part in the same dungeon, though.


My score is the same, but the review is more in depth. Average

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I decided to play this scenario, and play to win finally. The scenario was pretty interesting. It had some slight bugs, but it played out well. The scenario had wads of great dialogue. Oh, and that Undead Crypt was pretty cool, with the resetting Evil Altar. (I wasted 50 spell points for nothing.) The pillar with the phrase was funny too. It was pretty interesting with the Vahantai being the ones helping the Sliths and controling the Efreet. I also pretty much liked all the virtue puzzles in Khalizan's lair, plus those hilarious Gremlins in the Virtue of Honor. It was a bit troublesome to wait for wizard to built that portal, but I managed. Plus, the plot became very clear by Day 12. Before then I was wandering aimlessly for a minute.


It could have used maybe one or two more side quests, but it's all right. The scenario had some nice dialogue talking pictures I noticed. Very nice. Overall, I did have a fun time playing this scenario. It's generally very well designed.


My Rating: Good

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A very funny scenario, and also very well designed. It fit well into the Exile canon, and the undead dungeon was hilarious - "please clean up your own ichor trails. Remember, this is your crypt too!"


The Khalizan tasks were pretty fun as well, especially the one with the adventure story.



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