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Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:06 pm
by Ack

The Caves of the Drider are far more open than the labyrinthine levels where the Myconid reside. I prefer the openness: better room for spells, and things don't feel so claustrophobic and like I'm constantly having to turn down every single tunnel. That's not to say it's nice here; Driders are nasty fusions of Drow and spider, and most have lost their sanity from the creation process. It's a punishment for failure or insult of a Drow priestess, after all. They're tough fighters and can pull off a few spells when need be, though surprisingly few of them did while I fought my way through them. They also have a nasty habit of leaving the sucked out corpses of their victims hanging in webs from the ceiling. Yeah, that's gross.

I push through the caves and make decent time, though this is one of the bigger cave systems. There are teleports in a couple of places, but they only push you through to an area one block beyond, so they effectively operate as doors. Passweb is still necessary, and the doors are spinning webs that you can see from afar and resemble the movement of certain monsters if you only catch them out of the corner of your eye. But there is a horror worse than the Driders here; I found Rust Monsters. Do you know what we do to Rust Monsters? We nuke them with every freaking spell we have, because fuck those little rusting buggers. I like my armor and sword too much to give them up.

The Drider caves actually feed back up into a hidden section of the Myconid caverns, and once again I see the contrast in design as the paths become much narrower before returning once again through a hole in the ground to a different section of the Driders' area. A few Drow patrols have wandered up here too, but they're a pitiful threat in comparison to the numerous other critters about. I crush their bodies into pulp and grind their gore beneath my boots as I march on. Soon enough, I discover the second level of the Drider caves...but it's not much of a second level.

No, the second level of the Drider caves is actually a small rectangle with only a couple of paths. Here I found the birdman, still hellbent on vengeance. Since Drizzt is gone, shoot, I decide to invite him along again. Sure, he's multiclassed to hell, but he can serve as a meatshield for my dedicated mage due to his decent AC, and his spells back up hers. The other thing I find: intelligent Driders. If you're strong enough, you can keep your mind intact in the transformation process, though you're typically not happy about it. One of the intelligent Driders gives me some advice to help me out of revenge, while the other makes a bargain; he gives me a scroll that will briefly turn me into a spider so that I can continue towards Menzoberranzan if I'll go to a bazaar in the city and deliver a message for him. I agree and press on.

I slaughter a few more Driders and even some Cloaker Lords before I find the way to the chasm where I must become a spider. While I can see evidence of other areas of the Cave of the Driders, I don't see a way there and instead choose to advance. On the other side, I discover an underground river with a long dead boatman who hasn't had the good sense to stop walking around yet. He offers a trip if I bring him two blue gems. Lucky for him, I was already carrying them; magical gems laying around, the purpose of which I don't know? Of course I nabbed them. Now that I have found their use, I swiftly pay him and board his boat. The currents are swift, and I head through thick vines and past numerous flying creatures that try to claw at me as I pass. A few I manage to hit with my weapons along the way too; they won't soon forget me.

When the boat stops, I find myself upon the Approach to Menzoberranzan. I fight through Umber Hulks and giant scorpion things to reach the city gates. With nothing in my way, I press into the city. It's a dark place of cruel spires and hideous monstrosities of stone and horror. This city has never seen light, and its citizens scurry and slink about, quietly anticipating a war between two noble houses. I hurry to the bazaar, where I trade in my magic helmet for a music box and then meet with the Drider's contact. It turns out she is his lover, and I am now helping a conspiracy for revenge. I'm cool with that, as the faster I can dick over these guys, the faster I can get info on the villagers I have been chasing after. I have to do it before the war occurs too, because the Drow prefer to send in the slaves first, a walking wall of meat to activate traps and drain the enemy's resources. It's a smart tactic for a cruel race.

The next step of the revenge is to contact a Drow mage in the Sorcere Tower. I head out of the bazaar and back into the desolate streets of Menzoberranzan. My need for revenge and that of a Drider's will see the politics of this city shift and its streets burn. I look forward to it.

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:25 am
by Ack
Menzoberranzan - THE FINAL NOTES

Everyone hates one another in Menzoberranzan; it's a city of constant betrayal, fear, and power grabs. The Drow wizard I find inside the Sorcere Tower is much like the others, but his face is obscured by a mask because of burns he received for having displeased a Priestess of Lolth. This is what happens when you don't screw up so badly as to be turned into a Drider, they just maim you instead. Fun. He asks for the music box from the bazaar, but as I already carry it, I offer it to him. He provides me with a way to turn a Drider back into a Drow, but I have to free the dude's soul from House Baenare.

I sneak in and do the task, only to bump into the House's high priestess of Lolth, and who do I see but the tavern keeper from the village. It turns out he's a thrall here. House Baenare wanted that helmet bad, so when the villagers were kidnapped, the tavern owner handed it to me so that I'd simply walk it on down to Menzoberranzan and die. I don't die easy, so the high priestess is more than a little displeased. She orders me to go back and get the helmet from the bazaar, but since the tavern owner has failed so spectacularly, she gives him over to her pet Mind Flayer. I get the joy of watching the tavern owner's brain be sucked out the back of his skull into the Flayer's willing mouth tentacles. Fun. I quickly leave for the bazaar.

When I return to the woman there, her lover has already returned, though the wizard informed me that he was more a pet to her than a romance, and this woman was more mad that she wasn't the one who got to turn him into a freaky spider person. Ah, young love in the Underdark. I'm told that the slaves from the village are being held by House Do'urden, but I won't even make it past the front gate. However, since my doing this will dick over one of the major houses, I'm sent to speak to another wizard of House Fey Blanch. I do as I'm told, but first check into the other store where I traded the helmet for the music box, only to discover a thief has murdered the owner. I chase him through the bazaar streets, but he manages to jump a wall and head towards House Do'urden with the helmet in tow.

With nothing left to do, I proceed to House Fey Blanch. The wizard inside informs me that the helmet was actually the Helm of Spiders, a sacred artifact for the Drow that can bestow incredible power when combined with two other artifacts. He also casts a spell that makes all of my party members appear like Drow, so that we can enter House Do'urden as necessary. He also suggests I hit up the local taverns to find a Do'urden patron who is a little disgruntled so I can enter the place.

But first I travel back to the woman in the bazaar, and she opens a doorway to let me speak to the wizard Vermulean who enchanted my gems back on the surface. It turns out I'm actually carrying a second of the artifacts, the Gem of Lolth. Two of the three are now in Menzoberranzan. Somebody's gonna die.

I head to the taverns now looking like Drow and meet with Rizzen, who gives me a map of House Do'urden and the password to enter. He then sends me to meet with the Drow bandit Jarlaxle to get house insignia so that my party looks like a returning group of Do'urden warriors. But first, Jarlaxle makes me to check out a cave to find a necklace he likes because I'm more expendable than his own men, who are just mostly expendable. When I return, he sends me back to the same place, because as it turns out I was partly clearing the way to ensure a patrol would be freely available. I slaughter the patrol and take their insignia.

House Do'urden is an expansive three-floor tower set on a massive stalagmite. I enter and give the password to access the servants area, but I soon discover that I cannot get to the slaves without the High Priestess here, the Matron Do'urden. I continue forward to more locked doors but soon find Rizzen, now guarding the stolen Helm of Spiders. I murder him and take the helmet, which I combine with the Gem of Lolth because screw you Drow, I'm gonna show you what happens when you get two of the three together. I trudge onward, finding Drizzt's weapons. Soon enough, I come to a sacrificial chamber.

Since this is the finale, I chug potions of strength, speed, and fire resistance. I cast spells of Aid and Bless. I use every defensive scroll I have to give me every advantage I can and then prep spellbooks and gear up as necessary. I wander in and immediately rush forward, killing demon spiders while putting enough distance between me and Matron Do'urden so I can evade her spells. With her pets dead, I rush her and hit her with my biggest spells. She falls surprisingly quick, and while her soldiers show up to try and help, I kill the priestesses with them and send them fleeing in fear.

Drizzt thanks me for the rescue and leads me to the slaves, which I promptly free. We make our way back up to the village and are hailed as heroes. Drizzt thanks me for the rescue but decides to go his own way. Meanwhile back in Menzoberranzan, House Do'urden falls, and the politics of the city shift yet again. I have crushed a Drow House, but there are plenty of others, and they'll be fighting over the scraps left by the vacuum of a major player leaving the field.

Still...I am victorious.

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:21 pm
by Ack
Might & Magic: Book One

The white blocked walls of Scorpigal are lovely this time of year, so I decided to pay it a visit with a new party of miscreants and ne'er-do-wells. While this is not the first time I have played the original Might & Magic (I rented the NES port back when I was a kid), it will be the first time I've ever taken a truly dedicated stab at the game. To do this, I've had to make a new party...with a very important change:

ACK - Mighty human knight, and a woman.
PRFSNL - Cunning human robber, and also a woman.
MARURUN - Powerful human paladin, and yet again a woman.
ELKIN - Brave human archer, and yep, a woman.
KEY - Noble human cleric, and yeah, she's a woman too. I didn't change Key, folks. She's perfect already.
NOISE - Pathetic human sorcerer, and another woman. That has nothing to do with the fact Noise is pathetic.

Why is everyone a woman? That's because one city in Might and Magic hurts men who enter. As a young child playing the NES port, I found this city. I will never forget watching the life drain from my dudebro adventurers. I'm thinking ahead.

Now, it should be noted that instead of simply renaming the characters, I deleted most and created new ones for my party, with the sole exception of Key because she was already fantastic. So Key has more experience than anyone in the party...which makes sense, considering that none of the others are used to being women yet. It has made things...awkward for the regular crop of dudebros. Awkward in a Rob Schneider movie kind of way. I'm hoping they get it resolved.

Now, onto my find some decent armor! The original computer versions of Might & Magic start the party off with no money and only clubs for equipment, so all I did last night was throw my party into fights, hope I came out the other side victorious, and then rest and scamper back to town to save with what little money I might have found. End result: I've grabbed three small shields and two short swords, which Ack and Marurun are using to great effect. Greater than Noise, anyway. Noise tends to get knocked unconscious in LITERALLY EVERY FIGHT.

The few pieces of gear have had a small impact, and while the shields only give 1 AC, they're the only thing available for the shield role in Scorpigal, and they're cheap. Hence I'm going to slowly grind up the cash to buy one for every member that can understand how to strap a piece of wood to their arm. For the record, that does not include Noise. Highest intellect in the party, yet still can't figure out it's bad to let orcs punch you in the face. Noise is permanently in concussion protocol.

Party MVP so far? Key. For some reason, the cleric has somehow made it a habit to murder the enemy while the rest of the party flails their weapons in the air like a bunch of feather dusters at a Swiffer convention. Why is it that any time I bring Key on one of these adventures, she's the best character? Key, what the hell? Why do you have to always be so awesome?

But as for the rest of you, don't worry. You're all great too. Except for Noise. Stupid Noise...

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:27 pm
by marurun
This is a most auspicious beginning. I look forward to more entries in this adventuring logbook.

I'll just be over here while we wait...
y'know, playing with my new boobs.

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:34 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Yes! I’m in the party!!!...and earning only 70-75% as much as male robbers on the same quest... :? Let it be known that I am fighting/robbing both to discover the secret of the mysterious Inner Sanctum, BUT ALSO for social justice in Varn.

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:43 pm
by MrPopo
Have you been making use of the fact you can rest in any square? I feel the game is balanced around the idea that you have a high chance to get a full heal after a combat by resting, so fights can be more intense individually to force you to use your resources early. What are you using for mapping?

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:56 pm
by Ack
Yeah, I rest after every encounter to heal up, though food stores are getting low. Pretty soon the party may be forced to eat Noise.

Truth be told, I'm not mapping it myself. I found a vague overworld map on Gamefaqs, so I've been using that to figure out where I can go. Then I go there and see what happens. For instance, I found the lady who reads horoscopes near Scorpigal...which I also had to figure out on the map, since whoever created this just put down "Town 1", "Town 2," and so on.

I'm doing it this way because I don't have a tablet or anything handy, nor do I want to spread graph paper all over the living room table. I don't think my fiancee would appreciate that.


Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:05 pm
by MrPopo
If I were you I would copy that map and edit it to not have the spaces between the adjacent map squares for easier readability of your paths. A thing I like about M&M 1 is that the picture of the world that comes with the game matches what you end up mapping out; they didn't cheap out and go abstract on you. It's definitely an early open-world game in terms of your ability to go places and a general lack of direction; there are a lot of places you CAN go that aren't places you SHOULD go in the early game. Take copious notes. Make Key proud.

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:25 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
I'm not included in this party because I'm a high-T manly man.

Re: RPG Progress Report

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:50 pm
by marurun
Your loss, mate.