|I always assumed the mad overlord was Werdna|
Developer: Sir-tech Software, Inc.
Publisher: NEXOFT Corporation
Exploration: First Person
Combat: Turn-based (Party)
"We've gathered in great swarms to answer the call of our lord Trebor. Our singular quest is to confront the wizard Werdna and return with the amulet. Simple, right?"
Why would anyone subject themselves to this grueling, unforgiving game? I don't remember it being this hard on the PC when I played it about 15 years ago. I have maps of all floors to prove I beat it (I haven't peeked). Yet, here I am, writing a post on my first session, and I'm basically at square one.
|My first party with some good HP despite single digit bonuses|
Everything started well enough. I created new characters quickly, without worrying too much about stats, and decided upon the above party. I figured two clerical spell casters, one mage, three fighters for the front line, and a thief would lead to great victories. Little did I realize the wizard doesn't get cleric spells right away. I outfitted them with the best I could buy using the limited resources of just their initial gold.
I entered the maze and set about mapping the first level. I only got to the second room before one of my fighters died.
|Encounter rates seem to rise considerably when entering doors|
I finished off the battle, and realized I had no way of gauging my party's strength. The slimes and skeletons seem easy enough, but the kobolds I just faced nearly slaughtered me. Resurrecting just one character takes 250 gold for a level one character. To put that into perspective, after the four fights and with the gold left over for equipment purchases, I had 300 gold. It also takes 10 gold / hit point to recover at the inn, although I think I found a way around this. Well, as long as I don't die too much I should be able to eek out a meager existence until I gain some levels.
|Well, that didn't work out...|
With no money to resurrect these characters, I decided to recreate them and head back out, but I ran into a problem. I couldn't add my cleric anymore. That's strange, he just disappears as soon as I added my fighters. Did they not get along? Wait a minute, when did Durian become evil? I moved past it at the time, but in review of my recording I found the point he turned.
|Skeletons are unnatural, but attacking "friendly" skeletons is bad|
In my zealous pursuit of gold to resurrect Zatoichi, I attacked a few friendly encounters. Doing this turned Durian evil. Well, with my front line decimated and my cleric unwilling to travel with my goodly wizard, I decided to recreate my entire party. This time I was going to spend some time rolling up better stats.
My wizard already had a good roll of 17 bonus points, so I kept her around. All others had single digit bonuses, which I took quickly since I wanted to dive right in. Even after getting 16s through 18s for my new party I didn't notice a marked improvement. I stuck with the same names for this group, except for my cleric I picked his twin brother, Dorian. (I still have Durian as I might find need for an evil party.)
|A higher vitality than last time, but less HP|
Before disposing the of bodies, I looted the gold, but left the equipment. I know gathering gold from new characters is looked down on, but what's the consensus on taking from departed parties? I don't plan on creating characters purely for gold drops, but how much of this practice should be shunned? I haven't come to a decision, but since Lohlieth was a part of the original party, I didn't see much harm. Still, it's a lingering question.
Adventuring begins anew, and I spend some time grinding out some fights in the lower right room where enemies seem a little more manageable than other rooms. I do my best keeping everyone healed, and only Dorian spends nights at the inn to recover spell points so he can heal the rest of the party, saving some gold.
A fighter or two dies, but this time I have the funds to raise them quickly, and most of my party reaches level two. It didn't seem strange then that I found a new enemy.
|I missed the sign when all three fighters missed|
I should have ran. I didn't. I mean it could have been a fluke, missing three times in a row. I should have ran when Fujimoto died the following round. The enemy's name changed to Highwaymen, and I realized this happened in the past too. I wonder if I've now learned what they're really called, or I killed the Man in Chain in front and now the Highwaymen are next in line.Would I always know what a Highwayman looks like?
|I killed one, so I should be able to take on the rest...|
Instead of running, I pressed on, and threw all my chips in when my last two fighters fell. My best laid plans came crashing down. Kreiggul was going to be Lord, and Zatoichi a samurai while Fujimoto would remain a fighter. Lohlieth, the only remaining member of the original party met her end at only level 3. It would take the gold of 6 new characters to resurrect her. Both Gullynets were great thieves, never failing to disarm a trap.
|Alas, the adventure ends|
Now, the next session will start like the last, character creation. I wonder if I should bother with the high stat bonuses. I wonder if I should bother retrieving the bodies of the fallen party, and to what end. I wonder if I should have some extra fire power by dropping a fighter for a full mage. The default party has two fighters, one cleric, two mages, and a thief, so maybe that's a more balanced group.
In any case, I hope my next outing is a bit more fruitful. I'm curious to know what the readers here consider acceptable gaming of the system. Three areas come to mind, making new characters purely for gold, retrieving bodies of past characters purely for their gold and equipment, and creating characters until high bonus point values are reached. What are your thoughts on these areas? I can think of one more hypothetical that doesn't need an answer right away: creating characters to equip items to see if they're cursed or have ill effects.
Looks like I'll need a reserve of names, so let me know your favorite class and I'll pair you up for the next adventure.
Session Time: 1h30m (Total Time: 1h30m)