They're doing wonderful things with emulators these days… but I still want a real 3DS XL. #PokemonHeartGold  

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Seems like only a couple days ago I posted last week’s reviews… and now more of them! Only four this time. But, one of them was unlike any foundry we’d ever played before.

Swamp of the Lost by @hellscold

Alrica, the Pie Lady in the Seven Suns market, has lost track of her cousin, Jarred (or Jarrod, as becomes clear once you get into the quest). Jarrod was hurrying back to Neverwinter with a wagonload of the rarest Sembia silk at Alrica’s demand, but… she believes it is possible he took a shortcut through the Hillman’s Road, the road that travels through the dread Swamp of the Lost. Did he put Alrica’s needs above his own safety? That’s what Kasul and I were tasked with discovering.

“Swamp of the Lost” is a short, straightforward adventure. There’s lots of tweaks that could be made — fixing Jarrod’s name, deciding whether his horse is brown or white, the weird emphasis on retrieving the silk, directions that ask you to go northwest but lead you northeast, average encounters… Nothing particularly stands out, but nothing’s particularly wrong about it. 

It was an average quest for us, so we both rated it three stars. Players have rated it 4.32 stars, which is well above average. If you liked lionhaert777’s “A Cold, Dark Place”, you might find this to your liking as well.

Pros: A somewhat dark ending
Cons: Could use a lot of little fixes.

Dead World by @Asasin_X

Strange lights in the forest are freaking out the residents of a nearby town. Naturally, the only people who can investigate are me and Kasul. We quickly headed into the sewer for some reason to get to the forest, and followed some streetlights to a hidden necromancer camp. Negotiations proved fruitful, and we headed to the town to collect our reward…. Well, nobody said this quest would be easy. The typically incompetent town leadership and all the citizens were entirely unable to deal with several simultaneous existential threats.

My feeling is, if you can’t protect your town, you shouldn’t be allowed to have one. But, we muddled through.

Kasul and I felt the lights in the forest portion of the quest and the dealing with the incompetence of the dorks in the town part of the quest really seemed like two separate quests. The town map, however, was completely custom, but never really felt very alive. The forest map was shrouded in a dark cloud effect that made it hard to really appreciate it. Some female NPC undresses and throws herself at you as your “reward”, so if you’re into that, this is a thing that happens.

This quest is still in the review tab as of this writing, so its ratings haven’t had a chance to settle down, and the author is still actively developing the quest. Kasul and I rated it three stars.

Pros: Handmade town map
Cons: Feels like two separate quests. 

Ocean Caverns by @darkestdays9

A powerful guild of wizards has lost one of their own in a dungeon not far from town. They, being wizards, clearly have no business being in a dungeon. Thankfully Kasul and I came by to help.

Turns out the ocean caves, a decorated version of Gnarlroot’s Lair, are home to a vile sorceress, Morgana, who has enslaved earth elementals to help her harness the power of a number of glowing crystals. All we have to do is kill Morgana and her minions, free the earth elementals, search for crystals throughout the dungeon, wonder about how earth elementals see a bridge where we see a wall, kill Morgana again, and continually wonder how it was that a guild of wizards couldn’t manage this task.

Never met a control wizard who didn’t claim they could solo even the toughest elite dungeon… in five minutes… afk…!

There were a lot of trash encounters, and a LOT of running around looking for those crystals. We split up to find them, after we pulled all the trash encounters to a cul-de-sac and killed them all at once. We both rated this quest three stars. The community, however, has rated it at 4.13 stars. If you enjoyed this quest, why not give Alexstark78’s “A dark conspiracy” a try?

Pros: Some subtle squid puns near the end
Cons: Lots of trash and running around

The Family Farm by @Longshire

The family farm has been in your family for generations. The last of the old generation has finally passed away, and now it’s harvest time, the busiest time of the year for you and your siblings. With your days filled with tending to animals, harvesting crops and going to market, adventuring couldn’t be further from your thoughts. Unfortunately, Fate isn’t done with you quite yet.

This quest is made for at least two players, one of which accepts the mantle of Dungeon Master and is given the tools to manipulate the map and the story based on how the other players approach the quest’s separate puzzles.

Kasul was the DM for this run; I played his loyal sister. It was a totally new experience. Sure, there were glitches — I had to suicide a couple of times in order to get out of places I should not have been to so soon. I have this habit, with foundries, of avoiding random encounters, and that wasn’t in the cards, here. Also, Kasul’s unfamiliarity with the quest had him accidentally triggering things before they were due a couple of times. But we managed to make it through.

As a player, I was often times just sitting around while Kasul tried to absorb all the quest details and figure out how to roleplay the plot to me. Kasul, for his part, felt overwhelmed by all he had to do. Nonetheless, the scope of the quest and the originality of its implementation dwarfed any of the glitches we encountered. Five stars from both of us.

Pros: The first quest I’ve played that actually feels like D&D.
Cons: The person playing the DM has a lot of stuff to keep track of.

….>.^>…^>.<.^<^.>..>^.^.>.<^..>.^>^.^^

The median score for all the reviewed quests was 4.22. The average score was 4.17. Writing music tonight: ODESZA, “In Return”. The permanent link to the full list of reviews is right here: http://goo.gl/XbV9hj

#Neverwinter   #Foundry  

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A long time ago, in a pseudo-MMO far away, I captured some Clone Wars Adventures gameplay and posted it up on Youtube. I didn't add any music or anything — just left the game background music as it was.

About a month ago, I got a notice that someone claimed I was infringing on their copyright by showing the game video with the uncut music. I disputed it, claiming fair use, and they disputed it back. So….

I guess I remove the videos. Nobody remembers CWA anyway.

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Weekly Foundry Reviews for March 1, 2015

I apologize for being late with these reviews; Kasul works late and I couldn’t stay up late enough to finish what we’d chosen. What with one thing and another, we didn’t finish them until Saturday. Which was too bad, because on Saturday, we played one of the funniest foundry quests we’d ever played…

But first…

The Eye in the Sky by @jeremieuserx2

The Queen Lizard Overlord, Beyoncé, is in low Neverwinter orbit, and in league with Wal-Mart and the US Government, is sending her forces against the sadistic evil of Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton… or something. Also, Monsanto and the Queen of England. Was a little confused. 

There were bunches of encounters, but they were easily avoided. Kasul and I rode past them, through the portal, and then skipped the final fight as well.

No fighting, elapsed time about two minutes, most of which was trying to figure out what the heck was up with this “quest”.

I rated it one star. Kasul declined to help it escape the “For Review” tab by rating it. If you liked this quest, you must be the author.

Pros: This is what mental illness looks like.
Cons: This is what mental illness looks like.

A Cold, Dark Place by @lionhaert777

You overhear a couple guards talking about a potential adventure opportunity. “Sergeant Knox has no more men to spare for Coldsnap Pass,” one guard guffawed, as guards well. “Though, Guard Frinko has been set to the task of recruiting such as will fight for coin.”

Well, Neverwinter is sick with adventuring and mercenary companies. There’s groups of killers available for hire behind every door of the city, and more than one behind some. Nonetheless, perhaps there’s something about this “Coldsnap Pass” that makes the risk beyond what any sane organization would touch.

Nobody ever called us sane…

We soon met up with a ghoulish sort of man that made his coin looting the previous adventurers who had shown up looking for treasure and had found only their deaths. We scoffed at that, and met up with a Doomguard at a camp that was being attacked by undead. We let them kill off the undead that attacked (I think Kasul accidentally helped on one wave). The Doomguard sent us off into a dungeon to find the true source of the evil, a man whose grief drove him to necromancy. Naturally, the Doomguard couldn’t help us inside because reasons.

Fairly strong characters and a decent, if unexciting, story made up for the rather dull maps and a lot, a LOT, of running back and forth. Probably best to just turn off that lying sparkly path. Kasul and I both gave it three stars.

If you liked this quest, you might enjoy “Crossroads to Adventure” by @Longshire.

Pros: Good characters, a surprisingly dark plot.
Cons: Boring maps.

Act I: Centurion by @gormenghast

I mentioned how many mercenary and adventuring companies made their homes in Neverwinter? In this quest, one of them — Legion Invicta — is recruiting. You and your fellow recruits must compete to win a place in the company, and then prove your worth on the battlefield.

If you’ve ever taken part in a job interview, the first bit of this quest will seem eerily familiar to you. Once you’ve successfully given your blood sample, answered the trick questions, and learned the oath, you’re paired with a fellow trainee and sent out with an experienced officer — but all too suddenly, it falls to you and your partner to save the day.

The word choices in this quest were… creative. “Isn’t there any training period anterior to active service?” “It’s vital to circumscribe the losses!” Also, the word “recruitment” was spelled in at least four different ways, which was odd, considering this is the very essence of the quest.

For all that, the characters were good. We’ve been recruited into organizations before, but this one was the one that most felt like sitting at a table, filling out forms. So, the most realistic.

I gave it three stars. I don’t know how Kasul ranked it. If you enjoyed this quest, you may also enjoy “Harrowing Hildbrant” by @HellsHot.

Pros: Decent characters, and a decent plot, if you could wade through the language
Cons: Terrible spelling, unconventional word choices. Someone had fun with a thesaurus.

Jarpig Abridged by @ryzelmine

If you’ve ever thought longingly back for those old Super Nintendo Japanese RPGs, and thought, “why can’t we ever go back to those days of simple characters, simple plots, simple destinies, and knowing silences?”, well, this is the quest for which you’ve been waiting.

“Jarpig Abridged” takes every hoary old JRPG cliché and smashes it with a stick until it yells. I could go on and on, but I really don’t want to spoil anything. It’s a quest which really must be experienced.

The maps were decent enough, as were the encounters, though neither are really the point of this quest. The story is… well, again, just play it. It’s in the “For Review” tab, where it’s apparently sat since last May, but don’t let that stop you from seeking it out. Four stars from both Kasul and I.

Pros: Hilarious
Cons: May actually die laughing.

A1-The Apprentice by @HellsHot

Adventuring is fascinating work, but sometimes you need a break. Your apartment in Neverwinter has everything you need to refresh yourself before you leave on your next job. There’s food, a warm bath, a soft bed, a corpse bleeding out on your rug, a…

Wow. That rug really tied the place together. Ruined, now. Apparently this was a courier with a message for you, or so the Magistrate tells you when you’ve hunted him up. Magical armor has been stolen, the dwarves who made it killed or missing (the apprentice of the title is the last of those), and Neverwinter under threat of attack by Thayans, against whom this armor was to be used.

Solving a murder, returning lost items, saving missing dwarves — all in a day’s work for an adventurer.

This was a good quest. Detailed maps. Took place entirely within Neverwinter, which is unusual. Great story. Good characters. Interesting plot. Spelling and grammar were great. There was no reason not to give this quest five stars, and so we did.

The only reluctance we had was to the story. As the first chapter of a campaign, it’s expected that the plot will only be set up in the first chapter, but there’s nothing that had Kasul and I desperate to see what could possibly come next. “The Apprentice” is a pro-level quest, but not in any way memorable. Even campaign quests should stand on their own.

Pros: Good characters, maps, and plot
Cons: Not really exciting.

Today’s writing music: Evanescence, “Origin”

Permanent link to the ever-growing spreadsheet of reviewed quests: http://goo.gl/XbV9hj

#Neverwinter   #Foundry  

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