Tuesday, January 24, 2012


When we last left off, Sasha the council clerk offered us a job to clean out the local slums.  My characters were probably debating whether or not this was morally right as they left the town hall.  After all, according to the lore of the Forgotten Realms, the humans had abandoned New Phlan over a hundred years before when dragons attacked.  The monsters swept in afterward and claimed the abandoned city as their own.  Is it fair for my characters to go in and "remove them," when they have been the rightful owners of those ruins for several generations?

Well, the characters weren't going to get the answers they wanted by hanging out in town.  They would need to explore the slums and decide what should be done.  But, they realized that it could be a dangerous situation, so maybe doing some outfitting first would be smart.

If we didn't want to see your wares, we probably wouldn't have entered your shop.
I'm not sure where the party got gold to begin with, but I assume they weren't broke when they arrived in New Phlan.  They had to pay for their boat ride, after all.  But, it begs the question as to why they didn't already have some equipment in the first place.  I mean...they were planning to be adventurers...right?

It's lucky that there's a shop or two in town that deals in arms and armor, too.  And so many guards...that might easily deal with the slums themselves.  Wait...why did they need these heroes again?  Something is mighty fishy in New Phlan.

Fully outfitted, my characters decided to head out into the slums to get some answers.  Maybe the creatures living the slums were getting a bad reputation for no reason.  My characters hadn't seen any indication of them attacking folks or anything.  Maybe they were nice monsters that were just misunderstood.  Maybe it was all a misunderstanding that--

Son of a bitch!
So much for defending the idea that they shouldn't be eliminated.  Without so much as a courtesy greeting, a bunch of orcs ambushed the party a couple of steps into the slums.  The orcs could have at least had the decency to warn them away first and give them a chance to flee.  But, no...it's not the orc way, I guess.

So, given no choice...and now royally irritated, my characters brandished their newly bought weapons and went toe-to-toe with the foul creatures to teach them a lesson.

Thaddeus prepares to lay down some hurt.  I think he actually missed, though.

It's a good thing that the game didn't come from an era of sound where voice overs were allowed, otherwise there would be a good deal of swearing from the party as they missed frequently.  One thing I can say about Pool of Radiance is that it doesn't pull any punches.  It's one of the things I like most about it.  There's no hand-holding going on here...you face hordes of monsters...and if you're not careful, you will die a lot.  This is something that needs to return to modern CRPGs, I think.  Dungeons and Dragons used to be a deadly game that sent unprepared characters to their demise.  Now, you're lucky if you die at all in a CRPG.

I call this the "Care Bear" effect, where the designers try to take it too easy on you for fear you will give up and not play their game anymore.  In reality, a game that's too easy can get boring.  I've quit games just because I wasn't being challenged.  So, it's a real balancing act sometimes, I guess.

Victory!  Just 300 more fights like this, and we'll get slightly better!

My characters missed a lot, but they managed to wipe out the orcs without sustaining too much damage.  During the battle, I realized that a spell like Sleep (which is used to put the enemies to sleep and make them easier to kill) would be really handy.

Sadly, even though I had purchased equipment, I forgot to stop off at the inn and actually memorize any spells.  So, I have Magic-Users without Sleep spells and Clerics without Cure spells.  This will not work out well for the party, I think.

So, cheering in victory, my party returned to the civilized area of New Phlan.  The guards at the gate gave them suspicious looks, but they didn't care.  They had taken their first step toward being hardcore adventurers.

But, for now, they needed precious rest so that they could utilize spells...

A platinum piece?!  Wow, that's expensive.

After trying to talk the woman down on the price for a room at the local inn (she wasn't having any of it, by the way), they settled in for the day and memorized their important spells, so that next time they could show those orcs a thing or two.

If only they had thought of this before leaving town.

And so, I leave you now.  Come back next time to see how the party fares in the Slums of New Phlan...

1 comment: