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Bard's Tale The Bard's Tale Series

Sceptic

Arcane
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Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
Surprised final battles were still that easy even if you ran away (I assume?) from most battles.
Forgot to mention, I wasn't running away from all of them in Tarmitia and Malefia. Previously, I'd run from anything that was more than a single enemy at melee range; those I did just for a chance at item upgrades, since the XP wasn't worth it. But I had to level up the Geomancer, so I went with the opposite strategy: only pick a fight if it has 10+ enemies. In Malefia the random encounters can be against 20 or 30 enemies even, and these yield a ton of XP (I was routinely getting 50k). Once you get NUKE in Tenebrosia, getting through any fight is super easy; 2 casts will kill just about anything, except a few nasties in Malefia that require 3 or 4, and the magic-immune enemies like the Vortex, but I rarely got more than one vortex and the Strifespear makes short work of them. Level 13 Geomancer requires 3.8M XP, and I hit it naturally while exploring and mapping Malefia, so I didn't really have to grind, which is nice. I was VERY WORRIED at first when coming back from Tarmitia, but the other-world guilds still work. Unfortunately I went to Arboria and that's how I lost Hawkslayer, who despawned when I left (oddly, he doesn't despawn when you leave Kinestia. Not sure if bug). I'm not sure having 2 Archmages was that necessary, 95% of the time the 3rd NUKE went off after everything was already dead. If I replay the series the same way, importing all the way, I'd go with Paladin/Hunter/Monk/Rogue/Bard/Conjurer/Magician, with one becoming Archmage and the other Chronomancer, and turning the Monk into the Geomancer since IIRC you said Monks become worthless in BT3. The Rogue I wouldn't create until BT2, and he's be the 7th slot PC, since he's completely useless until BT3 anyway.

One thing that makes the final battles easy too - casting DIVA at the beginning of each one. The bonuses to AC and to spell resistance you get are HUGE. I forgot to cast it for the 2nd battle and struggled mightily before actually reloading because I lost half the party. Remembered it, cast it at the beginning, roflstomped through it. All you really need is one at the beginning; otherwise spam NUKE, and HEAL if people get low on health. I find HEAL better than REST, because if someone ends the round dead the party order gets shuffled, and that's bad.

So what's next? Dragon Wars?
Not just yet. I need a break. I started an LP of Conquests of the Longbow, for something completely different. I do want to go back to Dragon Wars though, if only to see if it's as good as I remember it.
 
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victim

Arbiter
Possibly Retarded Vatnik
Joined
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Messages
774
I do want to go back to Dragon Wars though, if only to see if it's as good as I remember it.

Depends on how good you remember it being. The big thing for me was how tedious the combat gets, and how quickly in the game it becomes tedious. But DW is a helluva game.
 

Aildrik

Savant
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
159
Hoping someone can help me solve a mystery of The Bard's Tale that has confounded me since I was playing it on an Apple IIc back in the 80's.

grimsnarl.JPG


I never could find the encounter pictured here to actually be in the game. "You are startled by a grim snarl" was not even one of the random encounter messages you would get, to my knowledge. I don't think you ever fought Red Dragons as random encounter monsters in Mangar's Tower; there was one scripted encounter with two red dragons but I think that was it.

I always suspected this screen cap was unique to a dev or internal build.
 

Daemongar

Arcane
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Location
Wisconsin
Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
Hoping someone can help me solve a mystery of The Bard's Tale that has confounded me since I was playing it on an Apple IIc back in the 80's.

grimsnarl.JPG


I never could find the encounter pictured here to actually be in the game. "You are startled by a grim snarl" was not even one of the random encounter messages you would get, to my knowledge. I don't think you ever fought Red Dragons as random encounter monsters in Mangar's Tower; there was one scripted encounter with two red dragons but I think that was it.

I always suspected this screen cap was unique to a dev or internal build.
The only singular dragon like that was outside Harklyn's Castle - the Red Dragon statue or whatever. However, I think the description would say "Suddenly, the statue leaps to life" or whatever, not the grim snarl. Think the info on the back was probably from testing. If MMX was here, he'd point you to this list of BT1 monsters and call it a day. It states there are Red Dragons, etc. But yeah, the only way that screen would happen is if you found a wandering dragon to join your party and attacked it.
 

Aildrik

Savant
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
159
Thanks for the reply! BT1 holds a dear place in my heart. I was in grade school, like, 3rd grade when I saw some kids in the library playing this on Apple IIe's. I played the hell out of it for a few years; got totally stumped on the Catacombs and could never find the Eye to get into Kylearan's Tower. I remember the day I finally stumbled into the secret area on Catacombs 3 and found the lich; total adrenalin moment and I have used a variation of the Lich King's name (Aildrek) ever since.
 

Luzur

Good Sir
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
38,645
Location
Swedish Empire
Hoping someone can help me solve a mystery of The Bard's Tale that has confounded me since I was playing it on an Apple IIc back in the 80's.

grimsnarl.JPG


I never could find the encounter pictured here to actually be in the game. "You are startled by a grim snarl" was not even one of the random encounter messages you would get, to my knowledge. I don't think you ever fought Red Dragons as random encounter monsters in Mangar's Tower; there was one scripted encounter with two red dragons but I think that was it.

I always suspected this screen cap was unique to a dev or internal build.
The only singular dragon like that was outside Harklyn's Castle - the Red Dragon statue or whatever. However, I think the description would say "Suddenly, the statue leaps to life" or whatever, not the grim snarl. Think the info on the back was probably from testing. If MMX was here, he'd point you to this list of BT1 monsters and call it a day. It states there are Red Dragons, etc. But yeah, the only way that screen would happen is if you found a wandering dragon to join your party and attacked it.

Most pics on the backcovers on a majority of games back then was from the alpha stages or from bits taken out completely, since usually the box and art where almost made at the same time as the game was in its final stages of coding.

Sometimes they just edited a pic to look cool.
 

Kuhrazy

Educated
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
57
N00b here: which game is the best in this series, and which is the best version of it? I've had some frustration trying to emulate and I'm pretty close to either going with the NES port or just buying smartphone/tablet version.
 

Gregz

Arcane
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
7,588
Location
The Desert Wasteland
Aside from Wizardry 4 and Dark Heart of Uukrul, I don't think any other dungeon crawlers have such deliciously devilish design.

Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes Back are also very challenging. They are even more challenging if you don't use save states. :argh:

N00b here: which game is the best in this series, and which is the best version of it? I've had some frustration trying to emulate and I'm pretty close to either going with the NES port or just buying smartphone/tablet version.

I prefer BT1 because the graphics are superior, and it was my 1st cRPG. The Codex seems to favor BT2 however.

As far as emulation, the best versions are on the Amiga or Apple IIgs.
 
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octavius

Arcane
Joined
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Messages
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Bjørgvin
For 1-2 the Apple IIgs versions are the superior ones. AFAIK they are bug free (other versions all suffer from various bugs) and have the same excellent graphics as the Amiga versions. For BT3 I recommend the DOS version using the unofficial patch.

As for which game is best I'd rank them 2,1,3.
2 has the best level design and combat, but they all suffer from balance issues: you'll need to grind in BT1 to survive the last levels, while BT2 and BT3 becomes too easy after the starter dungeons unless you run away a lot.
 

Unkillable Cat

LEST WE FORGET
Patron
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
23,960
Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
I'm digging through old gaming mags while hunting for an article, and found a mention of an exploit in Bard's Tale 3. Since there's someone on the Codex who's actually patching the games, this might be something worth taking a look at.

Make two parties and send the first one to fight some monsters. When you've collected a decent amount of cash (say 3000 gold) give it to one person and return to the refugee camp. Add the guy with all the money to the second party and make him give his money to one of the others [in the second party]. Now remove him from the party, and then add him again - he still has all his money. Repeat this as often as you wish - the money never runs out. It works with items too.

Hope this helps, but keep in mind that this information comes from late 1992, so take it with a grain of salt.
 

Fowyr

Arcane
Vatnik
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
7,361
I'm digging through old gaming mags while hunting for an article, and found a mention of an exploit in Bard's Tale 3. Since there's someone on the Codex who's actually patching the games, this might be something worth taking a look at.
Make two parties and send the first one to fight some monsters. When you've collected a decent amount of cash (say 3000 gold) give it to one person and return to the refugee camp. Add the guy with all the money to the second party and make him give his money to one of the others [in the second party]. Now remove him from the party, and then add him again - he still has all his money. Repeat this as often as you wish - the money never runs out. It works with items too.
Hope this helps, but keep in mind that this information comes from late 1992, so take it with a grain of salt.
Similar stuff worked in some other games too. At least in SotSB.

I always confused Dragon Wars with that dragon flight simulator. Sometimes I remembered that it's in fact a BT clone, I just said "meh, been here, done that, finished BT1" and continued on my merry way. Accidentally today I fired Dragon Wars and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm right at the start (Purgatory, Slave Camp, Tar's Ruins), but it all looks fucking amazing. Good exploration (map, collection of spell scrolls, paragraphs), existent story, etc.
Back to playing.
EDIT:
Hm, looks like I can import characters from BT1 and they have better stats (because my chars had 18 almost everywhere) and 12 free skill points (though almost no skills). Tempting, very tempting.
 
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AArmanFV

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Aug 28, 2015
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Arauco
Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
:necro:

Playing BT 1, Apple II ver. (I'm in love with Applewin, fast and simple), the first part was an awful grinding, I did some cheating like the trick of create useless characters for gold because the fights were tough and the loot didn't satisfy my healing needs, at first I just fighted with the Samurai guardian because was an easy way of earn experience, I can't believe that conjurers don't have cure spells until level 3 :argh: , I don't know if was my characters or that the game is really that tough at the begining, even I find out that in DOS version the game have a trick to summon a creature with Z, I couldn't do it. Anyway, the problem was solved when I reached level 3, now I'm having some fun in the sewers.

PS: After been played some applesoft basic programmed rpgs like Ultima 1 and Questron (ugh, I used to speed up the emulation), this game is so fast. Michael Cranford is a real professional :cool:
 

Watser

Arcane
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
1,865,006
Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
The very last snare in BT2 has me completely stumped.
"The one of whom is great in fame, restore to him his proper name:"
I assume I was supposed to have found the Zen Master's real name, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is I have missed.
 

Alkarl

Learned
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
472
I really want to get into this series, but I have weird issues with the first one. I have the apple version, emulated of course, and the graphical display is so jarring. For instance, I'll see a building with a door in front of me, take a step forward and now its an open street. Is this normal? I can't navigate or map in this game for the life of me. Which is very odd, its quite different from M&M or Wizardry or even Ultima 1, which all had static dungeon/town graphics.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
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Messages
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Bjørgvin
I really want to get into this series, but I have weird issues with the first one. I have the apple version, emulated of course, and the graphical display is so jarring. For instance, I'll see a building with a door in front of me, take a step forward and now its an open street. Is this normal? I can't navigate or map in this game for the life of me. Which is very odd, its quite different from M&M or Wizardry or even Ultima 1, which all had static dungeon/town graphics.

Not sure what you mean. Wizardry 1-5 use wireframa graphics, so you kind of have to fill in the walls and floors yourself. It also doesn't display anything more than two squares away IIRC.
 

pippin

Guest
Hmm, I don't know if this is what he means, but when you enter an empty building it takes you out but facing its opposite direction, as if you were going out of a building irl. It can be kinda confusing if you're not paying attention.
 

Alkarl

Learned
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
472
Hmm, I don't know if this is what he means, but when you enter an empty building it takes you out but facing its opposite direction, as if you were going out of a building irl. It can be kinda confusing if you're not paying attention.

Most likely this. I'll give it another shot sometime soon and see how it goes.

Not sure what you mean. Wizardry 1-5 use wireframa graphics, so you kind of have to fill in the walls and floors yourself. It also doesn't display anything more than two squares away IIRC.

Yes, I realize this. To me though, it just looked like the images I was seeing were totally rando. The graphics are pretty damn good though, given the time it was released.
 

Watser

Arcane
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
1,865,006
Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
I completed BT2! :yeah:

Having transfered my party to BT3 I currently have: Paladin, Monk, Bard, 3x archmage.
I wanted to make an additional character while playing BT2 due to the extra character slot, but the manual adviced against this because of special monsters which were needed to solve puzzle. This indeed turned out to be the case. However, skimming through the BT3 manual, no such thing is said and I wonder if I could my 7th party member now who can just piggy-back on my high level party until he becomes useful. I'm thinking of making a hunter, since my Bard has now lost his Spectre Snare and I really valued the guaranteed crits.
 

octavius

Arcane
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In BT3 you can have seven characters, including monster characters. Sometimes NPC(s) want to join, but in that case they will tell you that your party is full, and ask you to return with a smaller party.
So you can play with six PCs, and have one summoned/recruited/snared monster or NPC.

I strongly suggest using the drifting's unoffical patch.
Also, the game will be too easy if you always choose Fight. If I were to play it again, I'd Flee a lot to make the game both more enjoyable and more challenging in the long run.
 

Watser

Arcane
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
1,865,006
Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
In BT3 you can have seven characters, including monster characters. Sometimes NPC(s) want to join, but in that case they will tell you that your party is full, and ask you to return with a smaller party.
So you can play with six PCs, and have one summoned/recruited/snared monster or NPC.
Which is the same as in BT2, but is it a necessity to keep one charactor slot open? In BT2 you had to keep a slot open for several snares and puzzles for monsters to join. If there is no such thing or only required in a few occasions then I would rather fill the last slot with a hunter.
 

octavius

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I don't know if it's essential, but you need one slot for a recurring NPC. I decided alternating between the NPC and a monster was the best course of action, instead of having seven PCs.
 

Sceptic

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Divinity: Original Sin
Which is the same as in BT2, but is it a necessity to keep one charactor slot open? In BT2 you had to keep a slot open for several snares and puzzles for monsters to join. If there is no such thing or only required in a few occasions then I would rather fill the last slot with a hunter.
You don't need the NPC at all in BT3 (and even in BT2 you could switch around between NPCs and your 7th PC, that's what I did). Hunters are great, but you probably want a Thief for BT3. They're useless in BT1-2 but I don't think it's actually possible to finish BT3 without one. Not sure about that though.

Also Monks become drastically less effective in BT3, which probably makes them a perfect candidate for the Geomancer.
 
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