Month: October 2018

CRPG Addicts influence

CRPG Addicts influence

It was back in 2013 when I read an article in a german online news site about Chester Bolingbroke. A guy who wants to play every computer role playing game. Every. “This task is impossible and a person trying to go through it must be insane” were my first thoughts. I thought it is impossible because there are so many crpgs out there and each one takes a lot of time to play. Even when I was in my teens and had a lot of free time, which I glady put into playing crpgs, I haven’t finished most of the ones I started, because at some point they mostly got tedious and too time consuming. And I played only the best rated ones. Today, with a full time job, I hardly have the time to play at all. I probably go through two or three crpgs per year and have the feeling that I spend too much time on crpgs. I couldn’t imagine somebody working full time would suffer through all of them. So I expected that the articles were either based on minimal playing experience or the guy writing them was a bum with nothing better to do which would certainly show up in the articles in the form of a generally low quality.

So i started reading his blog and realized very quickly that I couldn’t be more wrong. The quality of each and every article is simply superb and he really plays most of the games until the end. Even the ones which are more than tedious. Since five years I follow his blog and read everything. Every article, every comment. Yes, comments also, because his blog attracts a lot of crpg players from around the world. They share their experience with the game, a bit of personal history and some insights in the grander things of crpgs. They add even more value to the already very valuable articles. I still can’t imagine that someone has the energy to follow this project for years, but apparently he has. And I am very happy about it.

If you don’t know him you can find the “Crpg Addict blog” here..

Resting

Resting

The party can rest on the Worldmap and on the Settlement Maps. Resting doesn’t restore and heal everything. This ensures that time spend travelling and battling wears the PCs down. They need a certain amount of efficency to survive. Only when they are in settlements they can fully regain their power, as resting in the wilderness always poses the risk of a random encounter.

Effects:

  • Cures Bleary-eyed (more than 8h)
  • Restores Stamina (10% per hour)
  • Restores Morale
  • Restores 1 point of health and if somene is attending you 3 points

Modifiers:

  • Resting at night
  • Without Food
  • Without Water

Pray: Priests can pray to their gods

Resting on the Worldmap

If the party rests on the worldmap it is builidng a camp. Setting the camp up needs some time and equipment. If some equipment is missing, or the weather is too bad, the positive effect of resting will be smaller. The party also needs food to rest, otherwise the resting effects are minimal.

Attending a companion: Helps the companion to heal faster.

Conserving food: Meat or other food rots, so it has to be conserved if the meat should be added to the food reserves.

Equipment: Sleeping Roll

Encounters: Party may encounter NPCs during rest. If so, some members of the party will enter the encounter with their condition listed as asleep.

Fireplace: Making a fire restores stamina faster and food and water is used more efficiently. A fire draws more encounters, because it can be seen for a long distance. It also cures the conditions cold.

Hunting for Food: Some campsites are better suited for hunting than others. Forests are good. Icefields, deserts and highways are bad. The Player has to decide who goes hunting. During the hunt these agents could encounter some wild animals, etc. Also enemy NPCs could wait with raiding the camp until some PCs are gone for hunting, thus reducing the amount of defenders.

Scout: Is a scout in the party the player gets feedback, if e.g. lighting a fire makes an encounter more likely or not. He also gives an overall assesment of the situation: Which dangers are about, wild animals, etc.

Party size: The bigger the party the higher the chance of an encounter

Resting in Settlements

Resting in an settlement usually requires the party to pay for in an inn, unless they have the invitation to do so in someones house. They could also scout for empty houses and rest there, but they could be discovered by the local guard or maybe attract local thieves.

Encounters: Party may encounter thieves during rest. If so, some members of the party will enter the encounter with their condition listed as asleep.

Inn Quality: The better the Inn the faster the party recovers. A higher price of a musn’t reflect in a better quality. The inn costs per party member. The cheapest one carry a risk of disease and theft.

ToDo

  • Implement UI
  • Implement mechanics

CRPG Addicts influence:

Read more about his influence or visit his blog.

It’s system of resting and restoration is, at first glance, drawn from Might & Magic. The party can rest for 8 hours at almost any location, and 8 hours of rest fully restores hit points and spell points. That makes it sound a little too easy, just as Might & Magic noften was, but you have a supply of food that continually depletes as you move and rest, and you can’t rest if it’s gone. nMight & Magic had that, too, but the difference here is that food is rare and expensive. You can find some in the wilderness and buy it in town, but a few days’ supply costs a couple hundred gold pieces, and at the beginning, at least, finances are tight. This means that you can’t abuse the rest system, and the game manages to find that nice balance between individual combat difficulty and accumulation-of-combats difficulty that characterize Might & Magic and Wizardry, respectively.

A few more thoughts on the resting issue: Might & Magic II could have ramped up the tactical level by including more serious consequences to resting too often. Right now, there are only four, and none of them are consequential enough to worry about:

  1. You risk getting attacked in your sleep. Easily countered with the “Instant Keep” spell, and random attacks aren’t that common anyway.
  2. You use a unit of food. But food is cheap and you can carry 40 units. If you could only carry five or six meals, or if each one cost a bundle, it would encourage the player to be a bit more sparing with how often he or she rests.
  3. You age a day, and once you hit 75 years of age, there’s a chance your characters might die. My characters are all still 18, though (in contrast to the first game, when they aged four or five years in the first town alone), and I’m sure by the time they’re in their 30s, I’ll have the “Rejuvenate” spell. Making the aging faster, or eliminating the spell, would encourage more care in the passage of time.
  4. Your NPCs charge for their services. Right now, I’m paying 40 gold pieces per NPC per day, or about a twelfth of what I find in a typical battle. If NPCs charged more (and they do increase their fees as the levels go up), I guess that would make more of a difference.
  5. I would have preferred if the game had really made you stop and think before hitting that “r” button–if it had encouraged to squeeze every step out of each day. Another alternative would have been to only heal half, or a quarter, of your hit points and spell points with each rest.

It only gets better in future games as the number of spells increases and give you more options. Because you can only recover spells by sleeping, and because you can’t go to sleep in most places until you’ve cleared them, the game strikes a good balance between individual-combat difficulty (as in Might & Magic) and accumulation-of-combats difficulty (as in Wizardry).

I was going to comment that the rule that characters only get 1 HP restoration from 24 hours’ rest is kind of stupid. Then I thought about it and realized that resting for 2 months to go from death’s door to perfect health is probably about accurate. In much later AD&D-based games like Baldur’s Gate, one night’s rest restores all hit points, I think.

Rest and HP recovery rules in AD&D tabletop have always been brutal. You recovered 1 HP per day of normal rest, and if you were doing a full-on “stay in bed all day” with someone attending to you, you could recover 3HP per day. It was assumed players would use magical healing to get back into fighting shape faster.

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