Neverwinter: Weekly Foundry Reviews — January 14, 2015

Who says sequels never bring the goods? We’ve got a couple of good ones this week… and a couple new ones as well.

Build a Castle, Siege a Keep by @GodOfHunters

Leaping from the silver screen to the black mirror, Azog the Defiler Orc King is here!

Well, first you have to lure him out. The Defiler Orc King won’t take a landless adventurer like yourself seriously. If you want to fight a king, you have to BE a king. So it’ll be your job to plunder local trash heaps for building supplies with which you’ll have your own sturdy keep built. The Castle of Garbage. Fortress of Rubbish! Nonetheless, as the local trash dumps get thin, your castle rises up around you, finally attracting an army of followers and attracting the notice of the orcs across the river.

That’s the Build a Castle part. Then comes the Siege a Keep part, which is basically the same thing in reverse.

Spelling was terrible, the encounters weak, and the Author Apparently Thinks Every Word Needs To Be Capitalized. That said, the concept was new to me, the adventure was short enough to be a good daily foundry and kept to the credo of single map foundries — build it around one unique idea.

Kasul gave it two stars, I gave it three. I dunno. I think by the end of the night, Kasul might have wanted to go back and give it three stars. Sure, it had issues, but it was new.

Shattered Dreams {Chapter II} by @Fallensbane

Sequel to Darkly Dreaming, which we played last week. To recap: People all over Neverwinter and beyond are falling into a sleep from which they cannot awaken. While sleeping, their souls wander the Dreamplane, falling into other’s dreams and occasionally falling prey to the Dreameater.

Call it Nightmare on Coriol Street…

This week brought us back into the Dreamplane. We stopped first at quest giver Dezra’s house (where the boy’s unconscious body is stashed) to pick up the tokens from last week’s adventure, apparently a chicken and something else, don’t remember. We didn’t find any of these things last week, but what the heck.

Like the first adventure, the Dreamscape is a single map, but unlike the fairly self-contained and linear Dreamscape of last week, this one has expanded in all directions. There’s a maze, a long jumping puzzle, hidden places and so on. Along the way, we learned the identity of the Dreameater and how it came to roam free through other people’s fantasies and met a few memorable characters.

It’s probably best if you just play it yourself. I did find one secret, an old map, and Kasul found a locket (we split up to explore more thoroughly). I don’t usually like hidden object maps (and I didn’t find the other hidden object even for the looking) or jumping puzzles, but this map was just so well done that it overcame my reluctance to jump and explore.

Really looking forward to the next chapter, not yet published. It will be hard to top this one. I gave it five stars, Kasul gave it four.

Pros: Really great story, map and characters.
Cons: Hidden object map, jumping puzzle.

Part 2: Idol Threats by @Kithlis

This is the other sequel, this one for Part 1: Idol Hands, reviewed last week. Last week, someone stole 2/3rds of a priceless artifact showing three evil gods come together to do evil. We retrieved the stolen 2/3rds of the idol, but now there’s news that the last third may have turned up — in the curséd village of Darinth’s Shadow.

The villagers there may have some information — but they won’t share it until you do some tasks for them. Like, break the curse that makes it impossible for them to stay dead or to leave their village… if you can do this one small thing, you might be worthy to face an even greater evil.

Once the villagers are satisfied (again, Kasul and I split up to do the tasks), the epic conclusion begins… well, began for me. I was doing some of the tasks while Kasul was out exploring, and he got trapped behind some rearranged scenery and had to quit out. Usually it’s ME who gets stuck under things!

So Kasul didn’t get to rate the quest. Me, I gave it five stars. Even though I wasn’t quite sure I ended it correctly; I had the two things I was supposed to collect, and I thought those needed to dealt with in some way, but instead the quest just ended. Maybe I missed something. That’s one of the troubles with open-ended quests — never quite sure if you’ve seen all the content the author wanted you to see.

Pros: Great story, map, characters
Cons: Not really suitable for a group. Has a minor jumping puzzle.

Crossroads to Adventure by @Longshire

You’ve come to the Crossroads, where three separate realities branch off from one central point — Blackrock Kingdom, where lizardmen attack a human outpost; Forest of Scale, where kobolds are hunted by wolves; or the Ever-Reaching Swamp, where imps and other demonic influences are hunting friendly orcs.

The separate adventures are necessarily fairly simple (each map’s single quest objective is “Continue on your quest…”) because all the scenery, encounters and NPCs on each map is swapped in based on the particular quest was chosen. Each map is really three maps — you can only see one version at a time.

Taken alone, the quests would be decent, but nothing too memorable. Knowing that the author keyed every single element in all the maps to an item interaction is just mind boggling, and makes up for NPCs who maybe aren’t as aware of the plot as you’d want them to be.

I gave it four stars. Kasul was going to give it three, but changed his mind at the last minute and gave it four as well. He agreed that the technical achievement trumped the somewhat underwhelming individual quest itself (we only did the orc one; I jumped into the kobold one while writing this review to see how the map changed for that. It changed a LOT.)

Pros: Amazing technical achievement. Replayable and short.
Cons: Very simple maps. Almost no story.

Not sure if we’ll do the next Idol Hands next week. We might, dunno. We’re always looking for fun stories, though, and that one is coming along nicely.

#Neverwinter   #Foundry  

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Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.