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First start regretting because you can't reach another entrance to Gladwell's Keep until chapter 6, the Azure Gallery. Then you have to fight your way to him past several guardians, kill Gladwell, and figure out how to remove the geas. You will have to complete at least two of his geas quests, the dragon's skin and the Anama Papers.

 

Makes you want to go back to a saved game before the geas. At least you can get at least two of his rewards for taking the geas.

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Fulfilling those two obligations is not really as bad as it seems. You can complete all quests for Harkin's Landing before confronting the drake, kill her, and leave without coming into contact with any angry citizens. The same goes for the Anama scrolls. Complete all their quests, steal the scrolls, and use the portal to get out of there. There is no reason to come back to either of those places once you have moved on to the next chapter.

 

Personally, I think it is great to just wipe out both towns for the loot, experience, and because they have it coming.

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And in fact it's quite possible (oddly) *not* to kill the drake even whilst being geased. This surprised me - when I returned to the Drake cave (I'd been there earlier, but was just finishing up town quests before freeing it) I was able to choose between "I'm sorry, I have to kill you now" (which was my first indication that there might be a geas active) and "go free."

 

The only geas part that really annoyed me was that (I assume) it made it impossible to join the Anama. I'm curious how the storyline goes if you do so, but don't have a relevant savefile. I was mildly annoyed not to be able to help Shafrir, but that one's avoidable, I guess.

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Being Anama isn't that great. If you look through Synergy's List, you find that you can't access many items that are behind dispel barrier barriers. You can't even purchase enough wisdom crystals and knowledge brews from their private stock to make up for the loss. The only benefit is getting priest spells earlier in the game.

 

If you kill Gladwell and remove the geas before turning in the Anama Scrolls, then you can still make a deal with Shafrir for his quest and do all of Melanchion's Desire quest. It's not an obvious choice.

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Quote:
Originally written by ewan:
And in fact it's quite possible (oddly) *not* to kill the drake even whilst being geased. This surprised me - when I returned to the Drake cave (I'd been there earlier, but was just finishing up town quests before freeing it) I was able to choose between "I'm sorry, I have to kill you now" (which was my first indication that there might be a geas active) and "go free."
The first indication that a geas is active is a message indicating an overwhelming compulsion to skin the drake. If you haven't taken the geas yet then you can free the drake. And if you have made it to Tranquility before accepting the geas then you don't need to do anything to the drake. But being able to free the drake after being geased is a bug that ought to have been squashed - it can cause nasty side-effects.
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Quote:
Originally written by Everett Goldner:
...except that you don't need his rewards if you decide to turn the character editor on.
Indeed, if you turn the character editor there is no need to take any quests, kill any monsters, collect any loot, or even play the game. Think of the time you can save and the hassle you can avoid!!
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Just outta curiosity (I guess I'll try it in a replay), why would anyone want to accept the geas in the first place? Jeff makes it pretty obvious that you become a glassy-eyed robot if you take it.

 

However, if you don't take it, is there any way to get back to Gladwell and loot his stuff? (I only just got to Tranquility, so I don't know yet.)

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Taking the geas makes the game more interesting. It forces you to do bad things, yes, but bad things can be fun! In my opinion, your missing out if you don't take the geas. Plus, his rewards are substantial, that's always nice.

 

You can kill him even if you don't have the geas, but those reward doors will stay locked unless you do his bidding.

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Quote:
Originally written by Californian:
Just outta curiosity (I guess I'll try it in a replay), why would anyone want to accept the geas in the first place?
From a role playing point of view:
You're hungry for power. Or you think you're inadequate for the challenge you're facing. After all, the general and everybody else has been telling you so. If you're a potential darksider, you don't care about annoying anyone in Avernum anyway, so it's free power and free stuff. Why not take it?

Technically:
You get fairly decent rewards, and ticking off a couple of places you're not going to return to isn't a big problem. You can take two rewards and then kill Gladwell when you get to the back entrance. The magus vest (second offensive magic reward) has been pointed out as particularly nice before. Of course you can get it without the geas too, but with the geas, two of your magic users can have it instead of only one ;-)

Quote:
However, if you don't take it, is there any way to get back to Gladwell and loot his stuff?
You can loot his stuff, but not the geas rewards.
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Skippy quoth:

 

Quote:
Originally written by ewan:

Quote:
And in fact it's quite possible (oddly) *not* to kill the drake even whilst being geased. This surprised me - when I returned to the Drake cave (I'd been there earlier, but was just finishing up town quests before freeing it) I was able to choose between "I'm sorry, I have to kill you now" (which was my first indication that there might be a geas active) and "go free."
The first indication that a geas is active is a message indicating an overwhelming compulsion to skin the drake. If you haven't taken the geas yet then you can free the drake. And if you have made it to Tranquility before accepting the geas then you don't need to do anything to the drake. But being able to free the drake after being geased is a bug that ought to have been squashed - it can cause nasty side-effects.
Hmm. I believe that I had, indeed, been at least close to Tranquility before I decided to double-back and accept a geas. Maybe there's a code item that sets Gladwell's first desire to the scrolls? After all, if you free the drake before seeing Gladwell, there would be a problem otherwise.

 

One of my favourite things about the Avernum games is the presence of such self-test questions: just how many helpless creatures am I willing to kill, even virtually? Will I go along with torture if it gets me more personal power?

 

[And finally, is Anama status irreversible?]

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You can leave the Anama by getting help from Shafrir in the Azure Gallery. However you will be forever shunned by the Anama *snicker* so they won't sell you anything more. You permanently lose all mage spell skills that you bought with skill points and all mage spells acquired before joining them without being able to learn them again from used spellbooks.

 

It doesn't really pay to regain the path of sanity by leaving them anymore. It would be better to never have done so in terms of what you have lost.

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Slightly on-topic, I wondered why, if you turned over the Anama scrolls to Gladwell, and then killed him later in the game, you couldn't just recover them as loot somewhere in his complex and use them either for Shafrir or Melanchion?

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It's part of a much broader (maybe-)problem, another case of the party exceptionalism (treating the player characters differently from monsters and NPCS) that permeates Avernum/Exile. Why do monsters never use the treasure they drop, or, on the other hard, rarely have the weapons/items they use if you kill them before they use them? Why can't you kill shopkeepers and take their inventory or the stuff you sold to them? (They may have sold the things you sell them to other people, so yes you can manufacture rationalizations for some of these things.)

 

Consistency is not one of Avernum's strengths. There are other games that are much better with this general issue. However, while I think a little more effort should be put into handling things in a more consistent manner, Jeff's time is better spent making these huge epic worlds with an interesting storyline than worrying about it at this juncture.

 

If he ever starts from scratch though... laugh

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It comes down to reality versus gameplay in several (not all) cases. This is especially true with the shopkeepers. Being able to kill shopkeepers and loot them would be very unbalancing to gameplay unless the consequences were made sufficiently high. For example, it could be no merchant would ever deal with the party again. Unfortunately, any such thing would be just as arbitrary, so better off to do what Jeff already does in the first place.

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Probably a more general means of propagating bad reputation would be needed to resolve that issue. As it stands, your bad reputation (as reflected by angry towns) is highly insular, i.e. it is local to the zone you made angry and there are little problems elsewhere because of it.

 

In nethack, you can rob shopkeepers (in fact, there is a real art to pulling it off at low levels), but it isn't disruptive to balance because lawful characters are penalized for doing it (and certainly empire soldiers should be "lawful"), the shopkeepers are fairly strong and well-armed, and there are "cops" that pursue you under certain circumstances.

 

There are plenty of ways to do it in a balanced and realistic/consistent fashion, the question is, rather, if it is a wise use of limited development resources.

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As a sort of symbolic effort on this problem, Jeff often scatters a few typical wares around his shops, as NY items on the floor. You can't buy these things, but you can steal them, and face the consequences. So, within the limitations of his commerce and inventory systems, you can both buy and steal from merchants.

 

To me this is again something like the graphics or turn-based combat. It doesn't have to be realistic, just representative. It has to work nicely as a game mechanic, which I think it does.

 

Beyond that you can just rationalize it: the shopkeepers keep all their good items and their gold in clever hiding places outside the shop, which the PCs cannot possibly find before the shopkeeper's heirs do. The display models are not for sale. When you buy or sell, some flunky quickly fetches the stuff while you're busy clicking. It's A-commerce: just like E-commerce but with zero delivery time.

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I think that you will be able to continue. You will have to use pylons to jump around to avoid triggering the curse at the Exodus bridge. The geas is split into the overall one in special items and 5 geases that correspond to each item that Gladwell wants.

 

Regarding stealing items that are marked NY from merchants, I wandered in and out of Landman's shop in Shankar's Tower until he moved to a place that I could take items without being seen. Those wands one the counter have 1 charge each *grumble*. At least he has 3 mined crystals in a barrel.

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