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The Election


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YMA

 

Great Scenario!

 

Election is one of the best scenarios I've ever played! It was truly innovative and a sighn of things to come. The story line was neat, and the characters stood out in my mind. The combat was limited, but very difficult (I actually cheated with the assassin part.) I only have three complainst about this scenario.

1) It was too short. But this could be good because, like Falling Stars and Spears (to name only two) you had to play it more than once to 'win.' In this case it was good because playing the same, long, game over and over again can get tedious, were as with Election, it's shortness made me willing to keep playing it untill I won. So it's shortness wasn't too bad a thing. Though I do hope that Nick Jones writes a sequal, or another one.

2) For those who love combat, there might not be much in this scenario. It is very puzzle/story/character based. I like this, but if your adicted to the sight of dying monsters, there might not be much there for you.

3) The transferable character didn't work, and there were no instructions about how to make your own. A sheet giving the character's stats, so that you can make your own from the editor, would have been useful. I just had to guess.

 

However, all these complaints are only minor, and I think it is one of the best scenarios this community has ever made. In all I would give Election:

Best

 

PS: Hope I did this right! Sorry if I made a mistake

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DRAKEFYRE

 

My complaints:

 

1) Although it was puzzle-based, it didn't hold up the plot enough.

 

2) Buggy. The version I played made days go by much faster than they had to, and the staff was not played out correctly.

 

3) Custom graphics didn't work.

 

4) Direction - or the distinct lack thereof.

 

5) Even shorter than Johnny Favourite ...

 

6) Finally, the story was lackluster.

 

Average

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TERROR'S MARTYR

 

Innovative, yes. Good plot, no. Combat? I'll disregard this, because it's the point of the scenario. Buggy? Absolutely. Besides, it's clunky- you're absolutely bound to notice the gaping flaws of execution, in this scenario. The ways to convince people are odd, and going on just what you can explore a bit will lead you to loss, every single time. Is this scenario bad? No. Is this scenario good? Maybe. Should you play it? Yeah, why not. Good

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DJUR

 

I don't understand the complaints about noding for Election; I think that the noding is solid enough. It's not as innovative as a newer scenario, but that's mainly because it's not a newer scenario.

 

I thought the plot was excellent, and the idea was new. I also liked the idea of an all-town scenario.

 

Drakey: Short? Maybe if you already know what you're doing. Election took me a few hours, and Favourite took me about 5 minutes. The nuances are pretty thick at times, as well.

 

This is probably my 3rd-favorite scenario. It rates Good

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DRIZZT

 

Sometimes one find little gems just lying around, a long time unnoticed, and their discovery is that much more pleasing because they were previously unseen. Blades Of Exile scenarios often contain such jewels, an Easter Egg here, a hidden quest there, but I had not yet found an entire scenario in this way. High quality scenarios are still sadly in short supply, and because of this, the good ones are noticed right away. This had held true for me, or at least until I played The Election.

 

This scenario, by Nick Jones, did place fourth in the second scenario contest. A rather high honor, to be sure, but it doesn’t seem to me that many people have much to say about it. The others that placed highly, a quality pair from Alcritas and Farmhands Save The Day!! are well known and regarded, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw someone mention anything about this scenario. I also missed this scenario the first time around, even though the author (rather generously) gives me credit for testing. I might have played it a few minutes and offered one or two suggestions, but that would be the extent of my contribution. Sadly, I missed out.

 

At any rate, this is a scenario that deserves to be well known and should be played by every aspiring scenario designer. It is unique, innovative, well-written and overall one of the best Blades scenarios that I have played.

 

The Election breaks the mold that into which nearly every other scenario falls. There is no bad guy at the end to defeat, no series of quests and dungeons to fight through. You must simply influence the outcome of an election in the town in which you live. The story is well written and you are given ample motivation for participating. The characters are very nicely developed, with a good deal of dialogue, and they change appropriately according to your actions. What you have to do to alter the vote of different townspeople is varied and forms the core puzzles of the scenario. Some are simple, one townsperson needs to be simply asked, but others require a bit more work. The player has the option to do many things to change votes, some of them ethical, some not quite so, but a choice is always offered.

 

The scenario itself takes place entirely in the town, which is contained within two Blades towns. This might seem small, but the author adds an additional, and also unique, wrinkle. There is a cycle of day and night, and the election occurs in four days from the beginning of the scenario. Because of this, there is an immediacy about what the player is doing, as some vote-influencing requires things to be done during both the day and night. I found myself racing between the two towns, hoping I had a few moves of daylight or night left, and also wishing that the towns were smaller. Very nicely done.

 

There a few complaints to be made, although (from my perspective) nothing major. As mentioned in Brett Bixler’s review, some of the text is truncated on a Mac. The author was aware of this, and as I use a PC, I can’t say if this was fixed or not. There were a few grammar and spelling mistakes, but nothing glaringly obvious or painfully wrong. The transition from day to night and back again was a bit awkward, but this is due to Blades engine limitations, and the author comes up with a reasonably plausible explanation. There is a smoother way to implement this, but what the author did was fairly innovative for his time, as this was also his first scenario.

 

I really wish more people, including myself, would design scenarios like The Election. Perhaps more Blades players like the Quest-For-Whatever-And-Kill-The-Bad-Guy-Who-Threatens-The-Empire style scenario, but not me. This one was fun. And well written. There’s really nothing more I could ask for in a scenario such as this.

 

I give the scenario a rating of Good, and it would deserve higher if the Mac text bug were fixed. As the author has stated he no longer plays Blades, this is unlikely and unfortunate. At least he has left us this gem of a scenario to enjoy, and (hopefully) by which to be inspired

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BRETT BIXLER

 

This BoE scenario is a distinct departure from your usual hack-’n-slasher. Using a pre-existing save file, you enter the adventure as Vandell, a single, rather weak character who must save the town of Refuge from electing a ruthless individual to office. A unique plot, carefully crafted from start to finish, makes this a scenario worth playing. Unfortunately, it is still rough around the edges, with the feeling it was rushed to make the second scenario contest deadline.

 

One word of advice to Mac users. This review is based on version 1.0.0 of this scenario. This version is — for all intents and purposes — impossible to play on a Mac. There are over a dozen conversational dialogs that are too long to fit in the dialog box, and due to the nature of how that text is delivered, coupled with (yet another!) BoE bug, it is impossible to use the “record the text then look at it via the ‘See Talking Notes’ menu choice” trick. Hopefully the author will correct this situation in the next revision.

 

This story DEFINITELY reacts to the actions of the player. Your actions have both immediate and lasting effects on the play of the game. Of all the scenarios out there attempting to do this, this one does it best.

 

This scenario offers challenges in the form of convincing certain townspeople to change their vote from the evil Nash to the competent Mayor Vogel. Each person must be convinced in a different way. To add complexity to the situation, you can decide to run as a third candidate! There are no quests or side missions, although one non-playing character has a puzzle for you to solve that has no effect on the game.

 

The design of the town of Refuge is a real treat. Divided into two sections, you experience real day and night adventure! During the day, the town is lit, during night it’s dark. To be successful, you have to do the right thing at the right time of day (or night).

 

Sounds could be used to a much greater effect in this scenario. For example, towards the end of the game you can call for a vote by rapping on a table three times. A sound effect at this point would have amplified the entire situation.

 

Spelling and grammar errors unfortunately exist in this scenario. Perhaps the author will correct them for the next update.

 

A complete solution to the scenario is included. Because some solutions require you to type in key words while talking to characters, this is an absolutely necessary item. Many words that would make sense in a real conversation simply won’t work here; you need to be very specific. This can be very frustrating. Perhaps in a future update the author can increase the number of key words that will be accepted as “correct” words.

 

The download I received contained a .meg file for Macintosh, but it was damaged. Fortunately, I was able to fix it, but most users will not have the tools or the expertise to do so.

 

Other bugs exist in this scenario as well. One time I awoke in the morning, took a dozen steps, and was told it was almost night time! As this is a time-based scenario, such bugs are devastating. More beta testing of this scenario, especially on the Macintosh platform, was needed on this scenario prior to public release.

 

One nice feature that quickly becomes annoying is the chronic disease your one character suffers from. You have the means to treat this disease, but it occurs at random intervals, sometimes only two turns apart. This feature would be implemented far better if it occurred every 50–80 turns instead of the random method currently used.

 

The other unfortunate aspect of this scenario is that the author (in a message posted to the Lyceum’s BBS) states he is essentially finished with BoE, and plans to return to his text-based adventure roots. If this is indeed the case, the necessary updates this scenario needs may never be implemented.

 

Overall, this scenario is like a huge shining diamond — with some crucial flaws. Until the problems mentioned above are fixed, Mac users will be quite frustrated playing this scenario, and players on both platforms will be annoyed by the tiny problems previously mentioned.

 

My overall score for this scenario - Average

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Reposting part of my ranking:

 

Definitely my favorite scenario so far (which I admit is odd, because it's nothing like the scenarios I make). Short, sweet, to the point, it's the only real scenario I've felt the urge to play a second time, in this case in order to get a better ending. The walkthrough is also good.

 

I had a hard time guessing which word to say in order to get across the idea that I was trying to convey, though. It's hard to present an argument in four letters. The Mac/Windows dialogue bug was also annoying, but not seriously a problem. I did not encounter the bugs Drakefyre mentions, and the custom graphics worked just fine.

 

I rate it Best: awesome, with a few issues that prevent it from being perfect.

 

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S.M. ADVENTURER

 

This scenario has a very good plot. You have to attempt to stop this Empire Exile-hating guy from being elected by running yourself. I like the day and night sequences too.

How you have to change each of the residents votes in town by doing something for them is genius too. I enjoyed playing this scenario.

 

My Rating: Good

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Nice Break From the Average Scenario

 

A very novel idea, and it's pulled off well too. I do have a couple issues though. The 'chronic illness' thing is never really explored (Although apparently it makes me see 'white dots.' I want to punch someone whenever a designer actually REFERENCES special encounter dots. Why oh why....) nor is the healing staff's importance. Days seemed a little too short, especially on the first playthrough, where you're just wandering around trying to figure out what there is to do. I did wind up using the guide, after losing my first time, and found out that I came one discovery and two keywords away from having won. That's one problem here, it can be hard to figure out exactly what to say to people, even when you knew more or less what it was you were supposed to do. Oh, and it's pretty buggy.

 

Nice change of pace. It was a fun scenario, and I like how it all took place inside two towns. Not going to blow your mind, though.

Good

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A very clever scenario indeed. I didn't think the plot was that bad, although it was on the simplistic side. However, the scenario was cleverly coded and very fun to play. The day/night cycle was used well.

 

I also liked how the scenario featured almost every possible way to gain political points (blackmail, smears (very common in real life politics), etc.) and featured many different personalities.

 

Good

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I liked this scenario...it's fairly innovative, with a very different twist on things than usual. I found it veyr hard, though, definitely requiring a waakthrough to work out what I was supposed to be doing, though that's not unusual with me.

 

On the other hand, perhaps it's too innovative...people tend to make similarish scenarios, presumably becuase they like them, which'd make this one not for everyone. But all I can say is that I liked it.

 

Good.

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