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Requelle's Nightmare


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ALCRITAS

 

A very imaginative scenario, and very fun too.

 

Requelle’s been playing around in the dream dimension, and now everyone’s having bad dreams — and not just when they’re asleep, either! That’s the premise of Requelle’s Nightmare by Mike Natushko (mhnatus AT calstatela DOT edu).

 

Unfortunately for the scenario, the plot never really progresses much beyond the premise. As far as I could figure, there’s apparently some nasty things in the dream dimension who are either upset at Requelle’s meddling, or maybe they’re just pure evil, or maybe there’s some other reason for their actions entirely — I couldn’t quite figure it out. And, I’m sorry to say; most of the scenario follows a similar vein, especially early on. I had to resort to the walkthrough to figure out the early parts of the scenario — not to find answers to beat a clever puzzle, but rather just to try and discern what the heck I was supposed to do next. After the initial plot hurdles — which basically amount to waddling around the Tower of Magi and surrounding caverns fulfilling some basic errands — the plot disappears altogether, as you’re plunged into one very long, and very tough dungeon (using the term broadly). To put it even more bluntly, the plot of this scenario is not the strong point.

 

The world design doesn’t do much to offset this. Prior to the big-long dungeon, you’ll find yourself in a set of caves near the Tower of Magi. The tower isn’t faithful to the Exile versions (but then again, I guess it blew up, so they probably redesigned it...) but at the same time, it isn’t very interesting either. Apart from the few principal characters, none of the tower residents is very interesting. This would be forgivable if you were given a rich world to explore — unfortunately none is forthcoming. The Tower of Magi is the ONLY town (in both the strict and loose sense) you can visit in the entire scenario. In fact, one early mission will force you to visit an enigmatic grove where a mysterious tree has sprouted up, containing some important clues. The scenario commits an unforgivable sin, in my opinion, when it deals with this entire portion as a single outdoor special node — one big fight on random terrain, and you’re told the info.

 

Without a developed plotline or detailed world to explore, Requelle’s Nightmare is forced to rely on its only dungeon to offset its weaknesses in other areas. I am very pleased to say that it does this, quite convincingly. To put it simply, I was amazed at the quality of work, ingenuity, and originality of the dungeon, particularly given the limits imposed by the BOE editor. When designing dungeons myself, I use the rule of thumb that each dungeon must have at least two “neat things” to set it apart from others. Some of the time they work, some of the time they don’t. Mike Natushko seams to employ a similar strategy, save that he’s raised the minimum to an even dozen EACH level. The Clock Tower is VERY clever (although I wish it had been put to better use) and I LOVED “Walking Through Walls” and “Run Very Fast”. To top it all off, the final battle is simultaneously both very challenging, and very impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever stepped back and said, “My, that’s well done” before, while simultaneously trying to figure out who could cast a revive all spell to prevent my 2nd and 3rd PCs from dying.

 

What’s more, the inevitability of some illogical logic puzzles is cleverly avoided here. Many BOE logic puzzles fall prey to the question of justification — they simply defy common sense in their existence. However, the very theme of Requelle’s Nightmare — the twisted dream logic warping the world — answers this objection.

 

All said, Requelle’s Nightmare is a very good scenario, that is held back from being great by the disjointed plot, and the lack of detail in the “normal” world. Still, I strongly recommend downloading the scenario, and enjoying it for yourself.

 

Requelle’s Nightmare is rated R, and is designed for High Level parties.

 

My score: Good

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MEASLE

 

A very influential scenario. Whenever a designer wanted to put in some logic puzzle that made no sense for being there, they typically justified it with the "Requelle's Defence", by placing it within a bizarre alternate dimension or in a dream sequence.

 

The scenario has many memorable moments, the fleeing bed and the reappearance of earlier characters in different form are the two that stand out in my memory.

 

In fact I'm tempted to replay it right now. Tentatively I'll give it a mark based on memory alone.

 

Good

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TERROR'S MARTYR

 

Thumbs up means "Kill him!" in Rome, you know...

 

Requelle's Nightmare was a very influential scenario. It was the first in a genre of hand-held scenarios, such as An Apology, or my own Echoes: Assault. It was very innovative, and despite its age, was still heaps of fun. Go out and play it. Good

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DRAKEFYRE

 

I loved this scenario. It's certainly chock-full of great surprises and puzzles.

 

Requelle’s Nightmare is a very interesting scenario, now at version 2. The first scenario to send the party to the world of dreams, Requelle’s Nightmare uses a unique storyline to interest the player. Requelle, of the Triad, and everyone else in the Tower of Magi has been having strange nightmares lately. It’s up to you, the adventurers, to stop the nightmares and bring calm back to the Tower.

 

As soon as you open the scenario, you’re immediately presented with a nightmare. You send characters through a portal, where they must reach the center portal a certain number of times before you wake up. This is, although some people do not recognize it as such, an interesting way of checking the party’s level. If you kill the monsters, you’re not allowed into the scenario.

 

In addition to this, as soon as you wake up, you’re sent on a quest. ‘X’ will only tell you important information if you go to the clock tower and tell him the time. The time is set by a combination of timers, clicks, and text messages. When you finally return to ‘X’, he gives you the password, and you’re off to find the Avian Nectar nearby.

 

When you get back and visit Requelle, you manage arrive just when Requelle is captured by the dream makers. When you finally go to the world of dreams, you’re confronted by a world so totally different than the one you were just in. Monsters that appear out of nowhere, decoys, boulders and vortices, and even simulacra of people you know from the tower.

 

While the majority of the scenario takes place in the dream world, plot linearity is still an issue. You feel pushed along from place to place, and the sense of urgency is never completely fleshed out. You just feel like another group of adventurers, instead of a mission to save one of the members of the Triad. The characters are not developed enough to seriously give you a feel of the new Tower of Magi. You never end up eliciting emotions for the characters you interact with, and they could be made much more interesting with a little more dialogue.

 

All in all, the dream sequence is one of the best in the scenario. A scene where you fight your ‘mirror images’ also occurs. Sprinkled throughout the scenario are bits of humourous jokes and references, mixed in just often enough to deflate the serious feeling of the scenario.

 

However, even though many sequences do not disappoint, the plot is not an extremely gripping one. You can never quite tell what mood the author intended to set, as the seriousness never quite comes to a climax, and you’re rushed through one end of the scenario to the other. What keeps you going instead of the plot is the dungeon design and innovative special nodes.

 

The puzzles are certainly entertaining, and at the right player level. They never frustrate you, and the boulder and vortex puzzle is still one of the best in any scenario.

 

My score: Good

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That says it all!

 

The scenario is very innotative, and is very enjoyable. It had lots of good puzzles, such as the clock tower, crossing the chasm, etc. The combat was also pretty good, too, and I liked the effects with killing the spirits as well. Seeing some monsters as terrain types was cool as well.

 

My main gripe with this scenario: The town layout of the Tower of Magi was just AWFUL, and is one of the worst ToM's I've seen to date. I'm sure glad none of the ToM's from the Exile Trilogy look like this! Also, I didn't like the amount of secret passage finding in this scenario.

 

Other than that, it's a nice innotative scenario. Worth playing.

 

Good

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