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In Progress Lets play the best Storyfag RPG of all time: Betrayal at Krondor!

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Sergiu64, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
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    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Once upon a time - there was innovation in Role Playing Games. It was a new world - full of wonder and possibilities. A world were creative types tried their hand at a new industry - and the financial outcomes of such ventures were not yet clear. In short - it was a world with space for something more than cookie cutter trash from the likes of EA, and buggy messes from Eastern European studios.

    While many such experiments did not amount to much - one was a masterpiece. Written by actual successful Author (Raymond E. Feist) as well as Neal Hallford- the game also boasted a fairly open world and a host of innovative role playing mechanics.

    This game was Betrayal at Krondor - a game set in Raymond E. Feist's world of Midkemea and featuring some of the characters from existing books.

    In this let's play - we'll go through the game and I'll explain it's systems as we go along.

    An unofficial game inspired by this masterpiece is in development: https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads...or-inspired-rpg-backer-demo-available.121602/

    Table of Contents:

    Show Spoiler

    Game opens with credits, apparently games were made by as few as 3 developers back then.

    [​IMG]

    And as if it is a book, starts with Chapter I:

    [​IMG]

    The intro starts:

    [​IMG]

    Some boy named Owyn is treating a knight. Apparently he knows arcane wards.

    [​IMG]

    Apparently the knight he's treating is named Locklear and he's escorting some elven looking prisoner named Gorath. Those that have read Feist's books will recognize Locklear as a longstanding character from the series. Indeed - he was probably my favorite character in all of Feist's books. Perhaps it had to do with when I read the books - when I was a shy teen. As I recall - Locklear's character arc began with him being a shy kid himself - eventually he feel in love with some woman that ended up breaking his heart. As a result he became a total playboy and a womanizer - making him a very relatable and aspiring figure to my teen eyes.

    Apparently I'm not the only fan of the man, the mustache, the legend: https://rpgcodex.net/forums/members/seigneur-locklear.17314/

    [​IMG]

    The duo is heading to Krondor which is a local capital.

    Unfortunately my baby has chosen this moment to wake up and cause a ruckus... The story will continue at a later time...

     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021 at 5:18 AM
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  2. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
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    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Its time for the continuation of our intro, as well as a look at the interface and the skills:

    Show Spoiler

    When we left - Owyn and Locklear were discussing the prisoner Gorath and suddenly:

    [​IMG]
    The prisoner attacks!

    [​IMG]

    There's an animation that plays as Locklear and Owyn jump back and Gorath extends chained arms. The wonders of technology from 1993 are truly suprising.

    [​IMG]

    The game doesn't explain what Kung Fu was employed by Gorath to grab this Haseth our of nowhere or where Haseth came from. Perhaps this was what the writers of Game of Thrones season 7 based Arya's assault on the Night King.

    [​IMG]

    Gorath shows us all that he's the ultimate troll by killing the guy a second after telling him he didn't want to kill him. To be fair - the guy was waving a dagger around.

    [​IMG]

    The map with the Chapter One goal briefly flashes after the intro.

    [​IMG]

    And we are finally shown the main interface. In the central area we can see the beautiful scenery. Which while looking ugly by today's standards - still somehow holds charm. Perhaps its my rose-colored glasses, but somehow the creators of this particular game managed to make early 3d withstand the sands of time.

    Let's briefly explain the interface. Aside from the main window - there's a compass right below. Under that we see the icons for the 3 characters in this chapter. The game plays a little bit like a book - so the characters actually switch in future chapters as the points of view change. For now we have Locklear, Owyn and Gorath. Left clicking on them opens their inventory and right clicking opens their characteristics. To the right of that we have 6 buttons. 2 of them are currently empty. The first gets enabled when we are over a road - it's the road lock button (basically while we are road locked we can press forward and the party will move forward with the road). The second button is for magic - it lets us cast any non combat spells that the present mage knows. 3rd is the camp button - the game has time and night/day cycle. Night is pretty dark and full of terrors so its often best to rest then. Also game doesn't throw healing potions at you and there's no out of combat healing spells - so often healing will be done by resting. Be aware that resting in the wilderness only heals up to like 80% of max health, providing value to resting at Inns. On the second row we have the map button, then a button for bookmarks which is currently empty - I don't remember what I had to do to make it show up. Last button opens options.

    Lets jump to the meat and butter of any RPG - the character's abilities and skills.

    [​IMG]

    The swords represent character skills. Avoiding the terrible leveling systems pursued by most RPGs - this game used a simple system - the more you use a skill - the better it gets. The swords can be selected to make the character focus on those skills in particular. In that screenshot I did that for Defense and Accuracy: Melee. Under the table the game actually did have levels - with separate levels for each skill point. And as the skills got higher the exp requirements for getting the next skillpoint got higher.

    For the stuff above:
    Health and Stamina work together as character's total health - the reason they're two different values is because when character takes damage - it first gets taken out of his Stamina pool. Once that's gone - Health damage starts de-buffing the character stats. So a fighter with 55 health and 0 Stamina will still perform at peak capacity, but one with 27 health will only have half of his skills and abilities. This works the same way for enemies - making the strategy of weakening them to the point of ineffectiveness and switching to other enemies a valid one. Despite these values not having a sword to select - they actually improve with time as well. Though I'm not sure what exactly makes their exp tick up.

    Speed affects both how far the characters can move and their initiative in combat. It does not improve that I know - well maybe there are some alchemical potions that temporarily improve it. It does go down with everything else if character is below max hitpoints.

    Strength directly affects how much damage the characters do in melee combat. It increases on its own - similarly to how Health and Stamina do.

    As for skills:

    Defense directly affects the character's ability to avoid a melee hit. Its by far the most important skill in the game as all combat is done withing 30-40 feet rectangle and there's not much time for ranged combat.
    Accuracy: Crossbow directly affects the character's ability to hit an enemy with a Crossbow. I do not believe enemy defense has any effect. As I mentioned in the defense section - the characters often do not have much time to get shots off due to close quarters of the battle map and the fact that there are often more enemies than friendlies in battle - so this skill is not used as often as one might expect. Be aware that once an enemy is within melee range it's impossible to shoot, same applies to your guys approaching enemy archers.
    Accuracy: Melee directly affects the character's ability to land a melee hit. It is the second most important skill in the game, especially for non-casters. Whenever you attack an enemy - this skill, along with any bonuses from your weapon get rolled vs the defense skill of the opponent to determine if a hit is made.
    Accuracy: Casting works the same way as Crossbow - but for casters. Unfortunately only a few bolt like spells use this skill and the fact that magic costs health tends to mean that one does not usually use this skill at all. Other players might disagree.
    Assessment: During combat one can attempt to inspect an enemy to see some of his stats. I don't remember if this costs the character his action or not - but given the fact that I don't remember using that skill that much - I suspect that it does. One use I suppose would be to see if the enemy has any alchemical enhancements on their weapon so that you can counter-act it. But generally its tough to carry and afford all the possible counter measure alchemical materials and its easier to just overpower the opposition before they can bring their Flaming/Frozen/Whatever swords to bear on your guys.
    Armorcraft: Armor repair skill, one can buy limited use hammers from stores to restore some quality to repairable armor. Higher quality armor sells better and protects better, so its often worth the investment - especially once the character's skill gets better.
    Weaponcraft: Same as armor repair, just with swords instead. Whetstones are cheaper than armorer's hammers. Mage staffs cannot be damaged or repaired.
    Barding: This is a kind of... investment skill. Basically every inn has a clickable lute. If you click on it the party's best Bard attempts to play for money at the tavern. Low skill gets angry patrons and no money, high skill nets a very nice financial reward. Each such lute can only be clicked once. There are some training lutes one can by to get this skill up without wasting lute clicks at the inns.
    Haggling: Shop interface allows haggling over specific purchases and sales, this ability increases the likelihood of success and the amount of discount/price increase.
    Lockpick: All but the few storybound chest locks and traps have a minimum lockpick skill needed to unlock/disarm. Some locks have keys that can be used instead.
    Scouting: Ability to detect ambushes and hidden items.
    Stealth: Ability to sneak up on enemies that you've noticed in advance, also used to try to avoid ambushes. A really high skill in both this and scouting can lead to trouble in one of the future chapters where you need to kill several encounters - one more more of which are ambushes. If you skill is too high, your guys spot it and avoid it - making it impossible to trigger.

    Since Locklear appears in the books - his stats are somewhat cannon - mainly high high Accuracy: Melee skill.

    [​IMG]

    When I first played this game - I didn't understand English all that well. So I thought Owyn was some kind of Shepard. In reality he's a mage. The books had a distinction between Lower Path magic and Greater Path magic, with the first affecting things like weather and second actually doing stuff like fireballs. Normally the mages would be one path or the other. The game did not appear to honor that distinction with Owyn being able to cast both battle spells and stuff like summoning fog. Since accuracy casting is not used all that often - the game doesn't do a good job of discerning between the power levels of different mages. Basically the mages are limited by the spells they know (and I guess Health/Stamina) so once Owyn picks up some crazy story locked spells at the end - he rivals the power of one of the most powerful mages of the books.

    Owyn is also the goto guy for attempting Barding and Haggling. As you can see - mages cannot use Crossbows.

    [​IMG]

    Gorath is slower but more powerful than Locklear. He's also not quite as good with the blade.

    Next we'll look at the inventory.

     
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  3. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    IIRC all magic from Midkemia was Lower Path magic. Magic from Kelewan was Greater Path magic. That's why the Kingdom of the Isles got roflstomped when the Tsurani invaded. Pug was so powerful because he mastered both Lower Path and Greater Path magic.

    But all that stuff probably got retconned later anyway. I stopped reading after Serpent War.
     
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  4. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
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    Lets see what our guys have in their packs:

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Locklear seems to be armed an armored but is missing a crossbow. He also seems to have a pack of 6 somethings a green vial. The gold/silver below the key icon represent party wealth. The key icon opens the inventory of special rings we have. There are a number of such special rings in the game and they are effective on some of the locks that would otherwise have to be picked. Ideally your lockpicking skill is so high that you can just pick it instead however.

    [​IMG]

    Individual items can be inspected. Repairable means that a whetstone can be used on this sword. Once used - the sword stops being repairable until you strike someone with it. Condition of the sword reflects how effective it is - with 98% its almost fully effective.

    [​IMG]

    Clicking on more info leads to the bread and butter - what the sword does when you try to swing or thrust it. Those are the two attack types in this game - controllable with left and right clicks on the enemy. Swings can only be done when you're already in melee range. I believe Swings cost a little stamina to use as well though I could be misremembering. Active mods are the alchemical enhancements on the weapon. Those do a lot of extra damage on strike but have limited uses. They're expensive to boot, but if you really want to put someone down quickly...

    Bless Type shows if you have a bonus from a Divine blessing. There are 3 levels of blesses one can have on the weapon - the type is determined by which god blessed the weapon. Often they seem connected to the god's power level or natural affinity for armed conflict. So the goddess of Fertility might give a +5% blessing while the goddess of Death will give a +15% blessing. Those blessings are permanent.

    Racial mod gives a small bonus if the user or the item is of the correct race. Generally the bonus is not good enough to differentiate between items, but perhaps when you only get one item meant for an elf - it might be better to give it to Gorath rather than Locklear.

    [​IMG]

    Locklear's armor has seen better days. The intro suggested he was in a scrap, so that makes some sense - but then again his health was actually maxxed out.

    [​IMG]

    From what I remember - the armor mod is the direct percentage reduction of the damage from the incoming strike. So if this armor was at a hundred percent quality and he got hit for 100 damage, he'd instead take 85. But given that its at 23% quality and that you usually get hit for more like 15... I'm not sure that the armor will currently do anything whatsoever.

    Resistances works as a counter to active mods on the striking weapon. Each type of active mod has a specific counter. Its pretty hard to match them up without playing the reloading game however.

    [​IMG]

    The game has some resource management in it. Given that healing is done by camping - Rations actually end up being a limiting factor in this game. In this case - Locklear has enough rations for 6 days.

    Be aware that any rations found in the wilderness need to be inspected as sometimes they are spoiled or poisoned. Both giving a nasty effect to the consumer. As I mentioned before - the first time I played this game I did not understand English. So all my runs were ending with my characters dying from poison with me not understanding why.

    [​IMG]

    Healing vials. Can be used during combat and out of combat. They're expensive and rare so best left to emergencies such as when your fighter is out of Stamina and taking Health damage. I wanna say each use gives back 7 health. But I could be misremembering.

    [​IMG]

    Owyn has no armor and no sword. While d&d would have us think that mages can't cast in armor - this world does not actually have this rule. Owyn and other mages have the Proficiency: Heavy Armor and there is no arcane casting penalty. Lets take a deeper look at what Owyn has:

    [​IMG]

    This staff looked like a Shepard's staff to my non-English speaking self - hence the confusion in that first playthrough. By the way - the key icon changed to Sack icon as the interface allows you to toss items into a sack that's left in the world this way.

    [​IMG]

    The staff appears to be a significantly worse weapon that the broadsword. While Locklear would be doing about 15-17 damage per Thrust thanks to the sword and his Strength of 17, Owyn is likely to only do about 5 damage due to the penalty and lower Strength.

    [​IMG]

    This can be used on the character holding it to accelerate healing done by time. If you ever have the problem of getting a nasty health condition such as Poisoned, Plagued or worse: Near Death. This will give the Condition 'Healing' and accelerate both health regeneration during rest as well as the recovery from the bad conditions. Do note that bad conditions generally last a lot longer than the Healing condition. So one has to burn multiple charges and spend multiple days healing the character with the malady.

    [​IMG]

    Lights your way both during nighttime as well as in caves, dungeons and mines. There are also magical spells that can do the same thing, but magic costs stamina...

    [​IMG]

    Gorath's stuff is similar to that of Locklear. Just with worse condition.

    Let's close the inventory and click on the corpse of the assassin to see what he has.

    [​IMG]

    Looting slain enemies the the main way to gain income in this game. Income is needed at the very least to feed everyone with rations - as well as upkeep their weapons and armor.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know if the assassin was already stripped of his weapon's an armor and that's what Gorath is using or what...

    [​IMG]

    The rations were fine. Dragging them over a character leads to this interface. Since everyone needs their own rations - the game helpfully offers to split them.

    [​IMG]

    Lockpicks use the lockpicking skill to try to pick a locked chest. If the skill is too low the operation fails and has a chance of breaking the lockpick. Currently Locklear has the best skill.

    Heading forward a bit, we see some campfires and a box.

    [​IMG]

    Some objects in the central view can be interacted with but only give informational bits - such as this campfire remnant.

    [​IMG]

    And some - such as this chest - or the bodies of slain enemies can be looted.

    [​IMG]

    Be aware that some chests are trapped and will lead to party wide damage upon interaction. Only way to avoid those it to cast a trap detecting spell before interacting and than having someone with high lockpicking disable the trap. Given that casting magic costs stamina and most chests AREN'T trapped - its a painful tradeoff.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately this time its just some cash.

    [​IMG]

    Its lovely how all inventory items have descriptions.

    [​IMG]

    Dragging the coins onto any character automatically updates party wealth.

    [​IMG]

    By the way - here's the only key we have on our key-chain.

    [​IMG]

     
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  5. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
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    Yeah... for some reason I do not like Feist's newer stuff either. I don't know if my tastes changed, or if his stuff did. Maybe it was the fact that he moved forward in time so much that most of the old characters died off.

    Anyway, the game seemed to treat all the mages the same way - including Pug who was the master of both paths.

    ------------------

    Let's move on:

    Show Spoiler


    The game has 2 different map modes. Here's the local one:

    [​IMG]

    As we move down the gray road towards the brown one another cutscene occurs.

    [​IMG]

    Feist's world had 3 types of elves. The moredhel is a word for the "dark elves" of his world. Instead of living in the underdark and worshiping spiders - his dark elves seemed to be more like barbarians that live in the far north. The game reveals that Gorath is a dark elf sheds a lot of light as to why he's a prisoner of Sir Locklear.

    [​IMG]

    Owyn is the most humane of the bunch.

    [​IMG]

    Here come the name drops. I don't remember if Delekhan appeared in Feist's books that predated the game, but he's the current head honcho of the dark elves. Though as I recall there are a lot of clans and his control over them in imperfect. Perhaps this is what Gorath means when he calls the assassin a kinsman.

    Prince Arutha is a big character in the books. His brother is the King, and Arutha rules the western side of the kingdom as a vassal to his brother. His seat is in Krondor.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gorath seems to have proven himself to Locklear and apparently there is a lot riding on getting him to Krondor alive.

    [​IMG]

    Owyn isn't so sure about the giant dark elf that kills assassin with his bare hands.

    [​IMG]

    Off come the chains.

    [​IMG]

    Ohoh. Looks like Owyn's curiosity has gotten him in trouble.

    [​IMG]

    Too late now buddy...

    [​IMG]

    Yup. Recruited on the spot. We should be glad really - getting to Krondor without Owyn's spells would be much tougher.

    [​IMG]

    Owyn is in the bargaining stage.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Nothing like the direct threat of death to accelerate Owyn's way through the 5 stages of loss.

    [​IMG]

    The cutscene ends. So lets open the other map mode and find Krondor. It's to the south east and it looks like there are several ways to get there.

    [​IMG]

    The most direct way seems like it will take us close to the large town of LaMut.

    [​IMG]

    But there is also a village of Yabon very close to our starting location.

    So Codex! Do we head directly south on our way to Krondor? Or head north to the nearby village of Yabon to see what's available there?

     
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  6. ValeVelKal Arcane

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    Yeah, I remember playing this game but never finished it when I realized that I had skipped story content and there was no way to have it back. Back then I was very completionist. Then I became a full fledged adult, stopped savescumming, stopped trying to milk every line of code, and got much more happy with my RPG. I guess it is the good time to roll back to it for me as well.

    Let's play it "realistically". Our heroes would beeline to Krondor, side quests be damned. Also, it increases the chance that you actually finish this Let's Play.
     
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  7. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    In Wyrmlord LP he took the long way around.
     
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  8. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    I never did get far in this game. I'd want to see everything. So count this as a vote for the long way. :smug:
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
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  9. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
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    Do be aware that heading back just a little bit to Yabon and then heading back south is a valid option as well. Our heroes don't need to be continuing in the northern direction after checking that village out. I'm planning to ask that question after describing Yabon if the vote ends up taking us there.
     
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  10. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
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    I seem to remember that the distinction between the two more or less vanished after the first few books. Pug decided that the distinction between the two Paths was artificial, and that was it.

    Speaking of Feist novels, he did write novelizations of BaK and "Return to Krondor". I read them a long while ago, so I don't remember the details, but Tear of the Gods (the novelization of "Return to Krondor") was so awful that I never read anything by R.E. Feist ever again.
     
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  11. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

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    I took a gander at book reviews for his stuff on Goodreads. Here are his books in order with their avg reviews.

    Magician: Apprentice - 4.14
    Magician: Master - 4.22
    Silverthorn - 4.08
    A Darkness at Sethanon - 4.16
    Daughter of the Empire - 4.27
    Prince of the Blood - 3.99
    Servant of the Empire - 4.3
    Mistress of the Empire - 4.32
    The King's Buccaneer - 4.03
    Shadow of a Dark Queen - 4.05
    Rise of a Merchant Prince - 4.06
    Rage of a Demon King - 4.06
    Shards of a Broken Crown - 4.03
    Krondor the Betrayal - 3.86
    Krondor the Assassins - 3.88
    Krondor Tear of the Gods - 3.88
    Honoured Enemy - 3.96
    Murder in LaMut - 3.71
    Talon of the Silver Hawk - 4.04
    Jimmy the Hand - 3.96
    King of Foxes - 3.99
    Exile's Return - 4.03
    Flight of the Nighthawks - 3.96
    Into a Dark Realm - 4.01
    Wrath of a Mad God - 4.05
    Rides a Dread Legion - 3.94
    At the Gates of Darkness - 3.97
    A Kingdom Besieged - 3.98
    A Crown Imperiled - 4.06
    Jimmy and the Crawler - 3.89
    Magicians End - 4.29

    So it kinda looks like he was always a low B level writer. With the empire series being the highlight of his stuff and the 3 books based on Betrayal at Krondor, Return to Krondor and the vaporware Assasins game were the low point. Given that the writing IN the game seemed good - one wonders if the game writers we usually get are absolute trash.
     
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  12. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    All his books sold like hotcakes though, he was up there with Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan and David Eddings.
     
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  13. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
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    I feel some lingering attachment for the first four books, because they're the very first novels that I read in english (they weren't translated in French at the time). I remember that the very first book was quite a challenge, and that I had to keep a dictionary close at hand the whole time !

    Still, iFeist's novels are clearly not very imaginative fantasy. There are some decent elements here and there, but little originality. The plots are certainly nothing special.

    The Empire trilogy is significantly better, though it's quite possible that it owes more to Janny Wurts than to Feist himself. (On the other hand, I once read a book by Wurts alone and it turned out to be dreadfully boring. Maybe their cooperation enabled them to surpass their usual level.)
     
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  14. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

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    Ok, it looks like we had 1 vote for going north, 1 vote for going south directly and 1 vote stating that the previous LP headed north. That sounds like a 2 to 1 vote for heading South. Don't worry Azira - the world is quite big and you'll get to see a lot either way. I'll play the next bit now and will post the stuff when I have time. Will likely take me a day or two.
     
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  15. vazha Liturgist

    vazha
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    Lovely LP, will be following. I d say head to that village first.
     
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  16. baud Magister Patron

    baud
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    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Septentrion
    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    perhaps if you're hunted by assassins, going the long way instead of the most obvious route could be a good idea to avoid them.
     
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  17. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Sic semper tyrannis.

    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Sorry Vazha and Baud, the votes were accepted before your posts. There will be more forks in the road in the future!

    Anyway - back to the LP: When we last left our heroes - they decided to head directly south to LaMut:

    Show Spoiler


    Proceeding down that gray road we hit the wide brown one. Notice my first icon is showing a road with an arrow in the middle of it. That mean's I've locked to the road and will be following it automatically as I press forward - i.e. the game turns the party with the bends in the road automatically. The compass shows South - on we go.

    [​IMG]

    After a while we see another chest/box on the side of the road:

    [​IMG]

    The box turns out to be the 2nd variation of the chest (the first one was unlocked and untrapped) - a moredhel wordlock chest! Normal people cannot read the puzzle - so they cannot open the lock.

    [​IMG]

    Fortunately for us - we happen to have a moredhel in the party and he translates the puzzle for us. An animation changes the strange moonspeak symbols into the English language:

    [​IMG]

    The puzzle boxes show a clue and a variable amount of rolling pins - each with several letters as options. You guess the answer from the puzzle - then roll to the correct letters and the chest opens.

    [​IMG]

    In this case - the puzzle is a really easy one as the game treats the very beginning as an extended tutorial. So I've solved it for the Codex. In the future I might pause the LP at puzzle boxes to let the Codex solve the puzzle.

    [​IMG]

    While Gorath was solving the puzzle - Locklear seemed to be ready to jump on it as soon as the locks released.

    [​IMG]

    The chest contained a much higher quality set of armor. I gave that one to Locklear since he was so eager to get at the chest. Gorath gets the 2nd best set and Owyn now has that 18% quality one. The sword is grabbed to be sold later.

    [​IMG]

    We keep moving down the road and a very short while later another cut scene fires.

    [​IMG]

    Owyn appears to have used Wisdom as a dump stat and decides to talk to random partygoers while on a deadly secret escort mission.

    [​IMG]

    So while the game treats some towns as villages with a few buildings and population of about 20 - in the written world they're really towns. In this case Yabon apparently had a party that included a Dutchess and her progeny.

    [​IMG]

    ConDoins are the royal family. Prince Arutha is a conDoin.

    [​IMG]

    Owyn's carelessness is about to get everyone in trouble...

    [​IMG]

    Apparently Intelligence might have been a dump stat too. How did this kid manage to learn magic?

    [​IMG]

    Locklear tries to salvage the situation.

    [​IMG]

    Jury is out on Owyn's charisma...

    [​IMG]

    This game treats this particular conversation as a way to teach the player about some of the dynamics of the game. In this case Phillip mentions about lockpicking chests. I think we can all relate to his frustration with a chest we couldn't pick...

    [​IMG]

    This is the game's dialog system. As we explore topics of conversation - new ones sometimes pop up. Usually its just informational, but in a few cases they lead to a side quest or even a training opportunity. In fact we might find a guy later in the chapter that can train our Defensive skill - but only after we talk to him about gambling, then ask if we can play with him and then change our mind at the last second.
    Lets ask Phillip about the nearest town.

    [​IMG]

    This might actually be a clever way to convince Phillip that Owyn's confusion about the final destination is due to a hangover.

    [​IMG]

    The Tsurani are a race of dudes that started popping out of portals, attacking villages and taking people back into the portals as slaves before the events of the game. By the time the game is occurring there's some kind of a truce and LaMut happens to have a fair number of Tsurani settlers. I'll talk more about them when we meet one.

    [​IMG]

    Lets see what he has to say about Inns.

    [​IMG]

    As this conversation subtly implies - there's a difference between camping in the great outdoors and sleeping at an inn. Health only regains up to a certain percentage when camping.

    [​IMG]

    Phillip is recommending actual places that exist in the game.

    [​IMG]

    And gives us a key warning about a danger of exploring a few houses in a certain area...

    [​IMG]

    That info dump gives Owyn an idea on another topic.

    [​IMG]

    The tutorial conversation reveals that houses in villages can be interacted with in hopes of them being abandoned for any leftover loot. Sometimes they even give side quests.

    [​IMG]

    That lock type sounds familiar, perhaps they're part of the main quest.

    [​IMG]

    Clearly Owyn is reconsidering his arcane career and is tempted to become a thief.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, instead its a strange segway into the next part of the tutorial - what happens when your inventory is full and there are no stores nearby.

    [​IMG]

    If you just toss your stuff into a random bag - it gets left there for a while - but eventually vanishes. A trick is to use one of the wordlock chests instead.

    [​IMG]

    Since Phillip mentioned finding a locked chest somewhere - we decide to check behind a nearby hill.

    [​IMG]

    Aha! There's a chest in the woods! One of the beautiful things about this game is how handcrafted it is - there are often hidden items like these if you look around - the game really rewards exploration. There are some spells that help the caster detect nearby caches as well.

    [​IMG]

    This is the 3rd type of a chest - one that is simply locked.

    [​IMG]

    The lockpicking interface is simple:

    [​IMG]

    Before we attempt to pick the lock - lets let Locklear focus exclusively on learning how to pick locks so that he gets more experience.

    [​IMG]

    To attempt to pick it - simply drop the lockpicks over the lock. Passing items around to characters works the same way.

    [​IMG]

    Apparently the lock was really simple - Locklear is able to pick it and calls himself... a child? Maybe he means he's obviously not a child, and does not consider himself a fool - so locks are not for him. I believe that whole saying is from the books.
    The game uses hard difficulty cutoffs for each lock - so if the skill is too low - the character will fail every time until the skill gets good enough. Each failure has a chance to break the lockpick. I think you can just sit there and pick locks that are easy for you as well - making this one of the easiest skills to farm. But we won't play the game like that.

    [​IMG]

    Another good set of armor. That one goes to Gorath. Owyn gets the bad one Gorath used to have.

    [​IMG]

    Also a new item. The quality of it affects its price.

    [​IMG]

    As we get back to the road we find a new intractable object.

    [​IMG]

    I guess Locklear does not believe burying pets is a thing...

    [​IMG]

    The single ration was not spoiled or poisoned.

    [​IMG]

    There are two ways of repairing crossbows - with this thing, or just plainly by replacing their bowstring.

    [​IMG]

    We continue on and soon see a sign.

    [​IMG]

    We have reached LaMut!

    [​IMG]

    Here is our current location. Looks like we might have already crossed 5-10% of the distance from our starting location to Krondor.
    There are 2 types of towns in this game. You can see them on the map with some being black and some being brown. The brown ones look like a series of houses within the game engine. The black ones instead have hand drawn panels we interact with instead.

    [​IMG]

    We head on in.

    [​IMG]

    Apparently its an equally queer place. Kinda like the Codex.

    [​IMG]

    We'll explore town next and head south after.

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
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  18. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    10,192
    Location:
    casting coach
    Going the long way doesn't get you extra content, those areas will be the same visiting later. So I recommend heading south, maybe doing more detailed exploration of these western areas if you're vary of heading south too fast.
     
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  19. baud Magister Patron

    baud
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Septentrion
    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    no problems. I was fine with either way
     
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  20. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Sic semper tyrannis.

    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Welcome back everyone, today we'll be exploring LaMut:

    Show Spoiler


    The pretty drawing is functional. You hover over certain parts and they change to text or a certain icon if its a place of interest. If you then click - you interact with it. You can pixel hunt, or you can tab to scroll over the available options. Lets start with the Inn:

    [​IMG]

    Remember Squire Phillip mentioning this place? Well the inside works the same way as the outside. Scroll over - or tab and interact.

    [​IMG]

    The executioner looking guy on the left is just flavor text. There appear to be 3 different stories that get invoked when you click on him. The first is with him being anti-social -

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The second with him being an incel -

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The third with him being some kind of cutthroat.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Let move on to finer things in life - the hottie in the back.

    [​IMG]

    This immediately opens our first shop interface. It works much the same way as looting a container...

    [​IMG]

    Except instead of just getting the item when trying to drag and drop it on your guys - you get a dialog:

    [​IMG]

    Haggling is an actual skill, so lets let Owyn focus on it. And then haggle over all the items available. We won't actually buy them. But this lets us get some training in for the time when we'd actually like to get a better price on something.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the items we haven't seen before. I've actually met Raymond Feist once at a book signing - I lived on the outskirts of San Diego, and he lives somewhere around downtown. I understand he's a frequenter of the Aero Club bar. I'm not surprised he wrote good text for these beverages.
    Anyway - drinking those gives your characters 'Drunk' status which lowers their skills but accelerates their healing. It makes sense to have a drink before settling down for the night at the inn.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Speaking of settling in - we do not need to do so since we are absolute full health.

    [​IMG]

    But lets check out the interface.

    [​IMG]

    We say no for now. By the way - ignore the differing party gold values. I had to redo this stuff several times to get all the screenshots so in some I've already done the selling and in some I haven't yet.
    Kesh is an empire to the south of our Kingdom. At least its not some aliens like the Tsurani.

    [​IMG]

    OK, lets talk to the bearded guy.

    [​IMG]

    Oh, its a Dwarf! He sounds properly hardcore.

    [​IMG]

    One that knows someone in the party. Given that Owyn is still a boy really - and the dwarf unfortunate meeting with a moredhel sword means he's unlikely to be pals with Gorath - it seems Locklear is the guy.

    [​IMG]

    It seems all dwarfs look the same to Locklear however.

    [​IMG]

    Cellar full of women you say? No better way to refresh Locklear's memory.

    [​IMG]

    Nice try Locky...

    [​IMG]

    Hah, the deflection actually worked.

    [​IMG]

    And... we have our first side quest. There is no journal in this game so you kinda have to keep track of what you need to be doing yourself. Fortunately stuff is mostly spaced out - so you don't end up having like 10 things you need to be doing at once ala BG2, etc.

    [​IMG]

    A Brak Nurr is kinda like an earth elemental or a golem. Think there's only a single one in the whole game.

    [​IMG]

    Lets talk to the last guy.

    [​IMG]

    A unique greeting for sure...

    [​IMG]

    We are greeted by our first... and I think possibly only Tsurani in the game... Actually I think Pug's (The Khelban Blackstaff of this universe) wife is Tsurani as well. Oh yeah, there a certain Great One as well.

    [​IMG]

    Even Locky is not quite used to this kind of display.

    [​IMG]

    Midkemia is a strange place. First these guys invade. Then their portal gets shut down and they get stuck inside. Now they run taverns.

    [​IMG]

    Lets learn more about this colorful fellow.

    [​IMG]

    Locky shows the passive aggressive finesse of my neighbors after they heard my accent for the first time.

    [​IMG]

    Tsuranuanni sounds like a weird place indeed. Given the green skies - seems like its on some other planet. Always interesting to see settings with such mixtures of fantasy genres.

    [​IMG]

    Feist and the guys he developed the world with (Steve Abrams?) were clearly inspired by Japanese when they came up with the Tsurani.
    If you guys want to learn more about this - Neal Hallford's blog on the game's development explains some things. https://nealhallford.com/post/145141694293/krondor-confidential-part-iv
    It actually sounds like quite a bit of the game's writing was done by Hallford himself.

    [​IMG]

    Great Ones are a bit more than magicians. They're sort of the Jedi of the Tsuranuanni empire with a similar recruitment process and similar influence on the politics of the nation.

    [​IMG]

    Ah, new topics. Lets start with Rift Gates.

    [​IMG]

    Teleportation would be one way to bypass the assassins...

    [​IMG]

    The politics of the Tsuranuanni Empire are interesting. Probably part of the reason the books based on that world did better.

    [​IMG]

    This man seems experienced.

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, combat skill increases would be very welcome.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing is ever free...

    [​IMG]

    Yikes, this man is not cheap!

    [​IMG]

    We can't afford it. This is actually one of the best deals in the entire game. This training gives the equivalent of a Weapon Focus and Dodge feat to every character in the party. A little more even - if you have the right skill focuses selected before training.

    [​IMG]

    The price differences in some materials ARE stark in this world. We'll see it in a bit when we visit the shop.

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of armor...

    [​IMG]

    Feist's dwarves seem very similar to Tolken's dwarves. This Mac Mordain has come up twice now. Perhaps the reward for slaying Barak Nurr would fund our training with Sumani?

    [​IMG]

    Having run out of topics to discuss we say bye to Sumani.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Last but not least - lets activate the Barding skill focus for Owyn and give lute a try.

    [​IMG]

    Sumani was friendly, but not friendly enough to listen to Owyn's struggles with the lute. We get kicked out. If Owyn's skill was better we could earn some money here.

    [​IMG]

    Lets check out the garrison.

    [​IMG]

    Having a knight in the service of the Prince as a part of the party seems to earn us easy entry.

    [​IMG]

    Gray warriors are basically Ronin. Sumani is one.

    [​IMG]

    We get a 2nd side quest!

    [​IMG]

    A looking glass hides a cache in the river near the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    Cash!

    [​IMG]

    Now lets go look at the shop.

    [​IMG]

    Looks like this shop specializes in archery.

    [​IMG]

    We could also do repairs here.

    [​IMG]

    But its expensive and not worth it. Besides - we currently do not have crossbows anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Lets see what the shop has.

    [​IMG]

    Yup, looks like crossbows galore. We re-focus on Owyn's haggling.

    [​IMG]

    Strangely enough - the shops let us see the items to get their description but NOT their effectiveness in combat. Making it difficult to tell how good they really are.

    [​IMG]

    Looks like something out of Batman's arsenal.

    [​IMG]

    Beautiful piece, but very far down our priority list as far as what to do with our money.

    [​IMG]

    Seem to be the base level ammunition.

    [​IMG]

    These better shoot unicorn rainbows given they're more than 10x the price of ordinary quarrels.

    [​IMG]

    There's more stuff at this store.

    [​IMG]

    At 4x the price, these are probably a good deal once we're rich enough to buy this kind of stuff.

    [​IMG]

    While Aventurine uses Weaponcrafting to determine how much to repair a crossbow - one of these strings just sets it to 100%. The string has to be right size for the crossbow though.

    [​IMG]

    I think all the xbows in this store use light bowstrings.

    [​IMG]

    Last few items.

    [​IMG]

    These give a large bonus to stealth, but the game does not let you wear them, you have to hold them in the inventory.

    [​IMG]

    Books can be read 99 times and the first time after they're read by a character they give a large bonus to related skill. Even more so if you set that skill to being focused. I believe this one trains Accuracy: Crossbow. Be aware that reading a book takes a lot of time.

    [​IMG]

    Think this spell lets you see nearby caches/chests, etc. Be aware that its impossible to haggle on spell scrolls.

    [​IMG]

    We haggle on everything and usually get this response. Sometimes the shopkeeper gets so angry he refuses to sell the item unless you leave and come back. Also be aware that haggling on a item both lowers its price AND increases the price of that same item if you sell it back to the shop. If shop keep is pissed though - he lowers the offered price to 1 silver royal - so be careful.

    [​IMG]

    There are various different success texts. Think they signify different levels of discounts.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And this happens if you try to haggle for that spell scroll.

    [​IMG]

    Lets sell our surplus stuff. Be aware that different shops have different prices. So if you want to game the system you've got to go do research on what shop offers the best prices.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    All shops pay half the price for armor when compared to other stuff for some reason.

    [​IMG]

    We're up to over 42 gold.

    [​IMG]

    All that haggling has lead to our first skill increase.

    [​IMG]

    We step out of LaMut and see a cemetery just off the path.

    [​IMG]

    Graves/Tombstones can be interacted with.

    [​IMG]

    And dug up...

    [​IMG]

    But I have reservations against doing this - and anyway you need a shovel in the inventory to do that. Graves sometimes a fight against a ghost and those guys are very powerful. Sometimes they hold items instead. I think there's a quest that forces us to dig up a grave at some point however.

    [​IMG]

    We get back on the main road and see someone... That someone has his sword out!
    [​IMG]

    Next time we'll experience our first taste of combat!

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! x 1
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  21. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    19,342
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I don't recall that it did, actually.
     
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  22. baud Magister Patron

    baud
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Septentrion
    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    weird how the dialogue is using sovereign and royals for coins, the interface for your gold is using the same (42g 2r), but the shop interface is using gold and silver. The devs couldn't make up their minds on that?
     
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  23. Sergiu64 Arcane Sad Loser

    Sergiu64
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Sic semper tyrannis.

    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Not sure. Perhaps the terms were interchangeable. Sorry I forgot to screenshot the description of the gold, will fix it next time I see gold sovereigns to loot.

    Anyway, Marry Christmas everyone. Here is the next part of our adventure:

    Show Spoiler


    When we click on the enemy we saw last time, our guys decide to attempt to sneak up on him.

    [​IMG]

    I believe the lowest Sneaking skill of all the party members is used to see if we are successful. We focus on Stealth skill on all our guys. As we move closer the enemy moves about. If we moved really fast towards him it would look like he's patrolling the road and the woods nearby quite aggressively. This usually makes these enemies easier to detect so that we do not get snuck up on.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Eventually the fight triggers. Looks like our stealth checks failed. If we didn't see him and click on him before running into him - he'd actually sneak up on US. This affects the initiative in combat. Since there is no advantage for either side - individual speed ratings will determine who goes when.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the combat interface. First there are little animations playing for everyone as they shift about in their squares kinda like boxers do. The lighter green box only appears under locations the currently controlled character can move to. In this case - that was the max range for Owyn who's speed allowed him to move first. Notice that while the armors in the inventory contained shields - all the fighters appear to be using swords in one or two handed stances instead. Gorath's cloak and height reminds me of the most stylish boomer of them all - Count Dooku.

    The bottom area shows relevant stats for current character. To the right of that we have the magic button (not available for fighters), the retreat button (has a chance of failure, if anyone is down party refuses to flee, on success you get dumped out away from the fight and have to start it again to proceed). Next button is defend - it gives you higher chance of defending an attack - there's an animation of a parry that displays on success. There's even a tiny attack bonus for that character's next turn on a successful parry. Still its usually better to attack enemy 2x in two turns rather than once in those two turns. At least in my opinion.

    Fourth button is the Assess button, it uses the Assess skill - although apparently using that skill does not raise it for some reason. I don't use it all that often. Next is the 'Rest' button. It returns a little bit of stamina but lowers your defense for a turn. Given that this bypasses the usual out of combat resting - this can be almost a cheating tool - get the enemies down to one injured guy - and just rest while he's trying to ineffectually hit someone or is attempting to limp off the combat map.

    Last button is auto combat. Not sure why anyone would choose that.

    We switch Owyn to focusing on Melee Accuracy focus since it doesn't look like he'll be under attack next turn.

    [​IMG]

    While we have Owyn under control - lets see what combat spells he has. There are 4 combat spell types and Owyn does not know any of the spells from the first type. I believe this type is for direct damage spells.

    [​IMG]

    He knows one spell out of the second type. This is actually one of the best spells in the game. It stuns an enemy for like 2 rounds and is dirt cheap. You can lock down an enemy with it for the entire fight. Just cast, rest, cast, rest, etc.

    [​IMG]

    We have a spell of the 3rd type. The variable cost determines how MUCH you drag the enemy towards you. Its not often all that useful, but I guess if you wanted to drag an enemy that's trying to escape - or maybe pull an enemy spellcaster to you so that he can't cast spells. Remember - if someone is in the melee range with a spellcaster - that spell caster cannot cast.
    Also I think there is at least once instance where you can pull an enemy into a trap with this spell.

    [​IMG]

    We have a single spell of the last type. It's a health transfer. Don't recall ever using it - but I guess if stars align - you might need to heal up an almost dead Gorath or Locklear.

    [​IMG]

    Since Owyn is out of range on the enemy and we don't want to waste stamina, lets asses him.

    [​IMG]

    While the guy's defense is not bad, he does not seem all that healthy. Assess can show a lot more stats than that - but it depends on one's skill.

    [​IMG]

    Locky can't reach the enemy either, so he assesses as well after he switches focus to Melee Accuracy. Luckly we learn of the enemy's Stamina - Looks like the guy has 48 total hit points which is just over half of what Owyn's got.

    [​IMG]

    Enemy's turn next. He runs towards Gorath - but cannot reach him. And its Gorath's turn next. Since it looks like the enemy is going for him, we switch Gorath to focus on both Defense and Melee Accuracy. Notice that Gorath can reach the enemy in his turn, thus the yellow highlight over the enemy's square when I hover over it. It also lets us know how likely we're to hit the enemy and how much damage we'd do if he was unarmored.

    [​IMG]

    Gorath moves towards the enemy and unleashes a Thrust - bam - 20 damage. Looks like the enemy's armor and defense skill (for some reason defense skill reduces incoming damage as well as prevents hits according to the manual) reduced the hit by 20%. Its Owyn's turn next. Since the guy is already missing 95% of his stamina after Gorath's strike, we decide to go in and try to chip away at the health despite how poor the wooden staff is at doing damage.

    [​IMG]

    This time I managed to catch the animation of the strike, but not the result. Owyn hits! 4 damage.

    [​IMG]

    Locky next. Notice the much higher chance to hit when compared to Gorath, but lower damage.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately Locky misses despite his higher odds. The enemy thrusts at Gorath but misses! It Gorath's turn next. Notice that there's now a Swing option. We can only swing at enemies in melee range, and it costs a little bit of stamina to boot. It does not make much sense to swing with a broadsword - at least until our skill is much greater than our opponents. There does not appear to be any bonuses for flanking.

    [​IMG]

    Gorath thrusts and hits, another 20 damage! This time I caught the result.

    [​IMG]

    The enemy has sustained 44 damage. Given his original total was 48 - a thrust from Owyn could finish him. Bang! Wizard melee kill!

    [​IMG]

    Time to loot the spoils!

    [​IMG]

    Some decent quality armor and weapon. Also some cash.

    [​IMG]

    The armor is better quality than what Owyn's got. So we give it to him and since we were so close to LaMut - we jog back and sell leftover stuff. We now have 50 sovereigns and 8 royals.

    [​IMG]

    We head back out, but quite soon it becomes dark.

    [​IMG]

    We could burn a torch and proceed, but there's no need. We still have supplies and unlike some other games - we never get attacked while resting in this one. Perhaps its not realistic - but I for one welcome the quality of life decision the developers made on that one.

    [​IMG]

    There's no need to rest until the very morning, the sky is light enough to see whats going on a little earlier than that. Notice our rations have decreased by 1. That's really all the time limit the game has. You can run around in circles until you run out of rations and the money to buy rations.

    [​IMG]

    As we proceed further we see a gray side road splitting off and right before it - another chest!

    [​IMG]

    It's locked. We switch Locklear to focusing on Lockpicking again and pick the lock.

    [​IMG]

    More armor and weapons. Owyn gets the torch.

    [​IMG]

    The sword is actually a tiny upgrade for Gorath.

    [​IMG]

    And the armor for Locky.

    [​IMG]

    Owyn gets Locky's old one.

    [​IMG]

    Once we come out of the chest management we learn that we had our second skill increase!

    [​IMG]

    Where does that gray side road lead, looks like not too far. Lets take a look.

    [​IMG]

    What is it, a mine?

    [​IMG]

    Ahh, that Mac Mordain Cadal place we keep hearing about.

    [​IMG]

    So how about it codex? Should we check with the dwarves? Perhaps even earn enough to get that training with Sumani before we get too far away from LaMut? Or should we continue heading south to Krondor?

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 7
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  24. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    19,342
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I mean why not. Brak nurr are cool.
     
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  25. Helly Translating for brofists Patron

    Helly
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    2,143
    Location:
    変態の地獄、Rance様と
    Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    There is no reason not to help the little bastards, is there?
     
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