Based on a suggestion last week in the forums, I went through the 159 quests that we have reviewed (we played many more before I first thought to write about them) and compiled them in a spreadsheet based on the one I kept for the Cult of the Dragon foundry contest.
With that information, I’m able to suggest quests similar to the quests we review :)
The link to the spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/XbV9hj
And… onto this week’s reviews.
Hallow’s Thicket by @scmiller
You might remember, when you were a child, the stories your parents told you to keep you scared beyond any ability to scream, about “the demon who steals, Diagoraith, and the raggedy puppet Gorrot”. I’m not sure telling your kids about a monster who will kill them if they don’t go to sleep will have the desired effect… but then, I wasn’t a Neverwinter kid. Even so, I think I’d prefer the other bedtime story Neverwinter tells its children, about the wish-giving temple of riches far beneath the city streets.
But, that’s not the quest we’re playing. We’re playing the one where we confront our childhood fears… and kill them for xp and loot. Well, this is a foundry, so just xp. Well, this is a foundry, so just….
With the map to Diagoraith’s home, Hallow’s Thicket, in our possession, we set out to find the reality behind the scary stories… and it was a little different than we were told.
This was a fairly decent quest, nothing too special. We enjoyed the whole confronting childhood fears aspect, and the NPCs were nicely askew. We didn’t particularly enjoy the constant zoning. For such a short quest, it really got annoying. The English was okay, with a few misspellings and some weird funnies — wolves run in packs, not herds, leading us to wonder if maybe they were were-cows or something… We ended up giving it three stars.
If you enjoyed this quest, you might like to try “Horror in Halavar” by @juravian.
Pros: Nice backstory and an interesting concept.
Cons: Too much zoning, misspellings and grammar issues mar an otherwise excellent story.
Save the Theatre by @mochakimono
It’s the same story, again and again. Someone wants to open a community theatre, but the actors are divas, the orchestra are bleeding to death, the crew have been replaced by monsters, and the public just isn’t showing a lot of interest in your avant-garde interpretation of Lathander and Lace.
All you can honestly hope for is that some dim adventurers will stumble in the door and fix all your problems for peanuts. Except, maybe they have a nut allergy, so better not get ahead of ourselves here with promising them peanuts.
“Save the Theatre” is a cute, short adventure with a refreshingly weird premise and the most bizarre NPCs I’ve had the pleasure of being attacked by in a long time. And, Guard Frinko FINALLY shows his true colors!
Unfortunately, the maps are kind of basic and need a little polishing and better set dressing. I loved the terrified orchestra. Kasul loved having to go out and coerce people into coming to the show opening. And we both loved beating the crap out of Guard Frinko.
We felt it came in just short of four stars. It’s also short in another way — at an average playtime of 14 minutes, it just misses being eligible for the Daily Foundry credit.
If you liked this quest, you might enjoy “The Frosty Proctologist” by @labmouse43– an equally bizarre little adventure.
Pros: Actually funny. Bizarrely weird.
Cons: Better maps could really improve things.
ILT1: Newly Bought Home by @Alaynia
An interesting concept — a home built for roleplaying has a double purpose as the starting point for an interesting excursion into the past of the Underdark. After spending an enjoyable few minutes looking around the exquisitely decorated home, we took the suggestion to head into the attack, discover the home’s deed, and come face to face with its owner, an illiterate drow.
Once upon a time, she eventually reveals, she was a nobleman’s daughter, when her House was wiped out by a rival’s attacks. Only she and her faithful slave made it out alive. Her faithful slave… was you.
Fifteen years ago, she begins… and then you’re in the story.
The problem with flashback quests is that they really take the agency away from the player. Can’t say I enjoyed playing the slave, and it felt creepy when the little girl drow told me to take my pleasure with another slave of my choice as a reward for doing her a service. And there was no refusing.
For all that, it was a decent story. The maps were incredible, the story well-told, and the English was perfect. The author, a non-native speaker, got a native speaker to clean up the language, and it turned out great.
Kasul and I both gave it four stars. If you enjoyed this quest, you might enjoy “The Bone Idol” campaign by @Kithlis.
Pros: Great maps, stories, and NPCs.
Cons: Story flashback takes control of your character.
Watcher’s Grounds by @topwicz
This is the direct sequel to “Sharandar’s Defense”, winner of a “Judge’s Choice” award in last year’s Cult of the Dragon foundry contest. In the previous quest, you climbed an incredibly tall tree, among the branches of which was an elvish city under attack, to defeat a powerful, undead dragon. In Watcher’s Grounds, we learn that that dragon was survived by five even more powerful progeny.
We were summoned to continue our fight against ancient dragons by the usual method of handing important messages to random street children. It’s a mystery to me that nobody ever trusts the actual mail.
Soon we were whisked away to a small village outside Icewind Dale, that had become the unfortunate home of the dragon Anashaa, who had adopted a human form in order to more completely bring the area under her power before anyone could really suspect she was there.
The quest has stunning NPCs and @topwicz’s trademark super-detailed maps. The final fight against Anashaa was truly epic. However, the English was terrible. Kasul and I felt that it needed more work to rise to the standard set by Sharandar’s Defense, so I rated it 4 and he went for 3, to average out at 3.5. We would love to play it again once it’s done. It currently sits in the For Review tab and needs just one more review to make it onto the New tab.
If you enjoy this quest, and have already played the previous one in @topwicz’s“Return of the Dragons” campaign, you may enjoy “The Road South” by @echelon31
Pros: Great maps and characters
Cons: Terrible English, plot is fairly standard.