Archive for the “Neverwinter” Category

Quick sketch of the third floor of "Newfallen". Since I don't want to take down the first quest in my EverQuest campaign while I work on its redesign, I'll have to show progress only in the Foundry itself.

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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.

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We've been off a couple weeks, but we're back with four new foundry quest reviews for your adventuring enjoyment.

Darkly Dreaming {Chapter 1} by @Fallensbane

A child has fallen into a sleep from which he cannot awaken. Followed soon by a guard and a farmer. Lord Neverember has kept this quiet, but if this keeps up, all Neverwinter may descend into panic. There’s a solution, perhaps, that can only be survived by the bravest of adventurers. Well, the bravest ones passed. But for some reason, you showed up.

Unfortunately, to defeat this threat, you will have to enter a young boy’s dream… and confront an evil which is far greater than anyone could ever have imagined.

This is the first chapter of a longer story, that it sets up well. The enchantress who sends you into the dream and checks up on your progress there is a great character, as is her monstrous companion. The next chapters will let you catch up on decisions you took in previous chapters by taking certain items from a shelf in the first map — this shelf was empty for this first chapter. Kasul thought the author could do the same thing by having a conversation with an NPC who would go over what came before, but I’m not sure there’s enough play in the dialog system to give the player things based on dialog prompts.

The encounters were all placed with a purpose, which is truly rare in foundries. Both Kasul and I liked it a lot, and plan to continue with the campaign next week. Four stars from both of us.

Pros: Great characters, story and map design
Cons: Is a hidden object map

Part 1: Idol Hands by @Kithlis

There’s been a robbery… two thirds of an idol were on display at a museum, stolen now by a light-fingered halfling who was supposed to be responsible for security! The idol may be powerless… or it may hold ultimate power. Who knows? You have to find it.

A Scottish bartender gives you a sidequest to gather some ingredients for a brew later. And by Scottish, I mean dwarven, because of course dwarfs are all Scottish. But why? When did they all become Scottish? They weren’t in Grimm’s fairy tales, or in Tolkien, who ripped off his dwarfs from Germanic myths. They were all Germanic back then.

Whoa, sorry, lost some time there in TV Tropes. Anyway, dwarves are all mysteriously Scottish and nobody knows why.

In pursuit of the halfling thief, you enter a puzzle dungeon which, puzzlingly, the thief didn’t apparently have to solve. You also have to fight a common housecat. Kasul and I are both cat lovers, so I kept aggro on the cat while he dropped aggro and completed the story up until the next map, so we could leave without fighting the little kitty. I redid the first part of the quest tonight to see what I missed, and to find that defeating the cat doesn’t actually kill the cat all the way.

The quest ends with one mystery solved, maybe, while another begins. The maps and characters were memorable. Four stars from both of us, and the next chapter is on our list.

Pros: Fun puzzles, decent battles, good maps and characters
Cons: Hidden object sidequest. One fight was a little glitched.

The Treasure of Lost Cove by @huajia2(3/3)

One thing about being an adventurer; everyone wants to give you treasure. They can’t help it! Hold a shovel, and you get to shovel centaur poo all your days. Drop the shovel and pick up a sword and BAM! Serving girls interrupt your quiet evening of reflection and revelry to tell you where lieth the gold.

Such was the turn that brought Kasul and I to Lost Cove, which has now been renamed to “The Cove That Those Adventurers Found”.

At the formerly Lost Cove, some cyclops siblings were all too happy to point us toward the treasure, which was sure to be right there, in that cave, near the back, honestly, no monsters or anything…

Well, maybe a few.

Treasure of Lost Cove was a fairly standard dungeon romp with a few puzzles. The maps were somewhat customized, the characters were okay, the author tried to make it funny and sometimes succeeded… It was an average adventure, and we both gave it three stars.

Pros: Some decent work was put into this.
Cons: Nothing really stands out.

Lost and Found by @sarlacc1979(4/4)

A new quest by the winner of the Cult of the Dragon foundry contest is definitely something to put on the “must play” list! “Lost and Found” is the latest chapter in Sarlacc’s “Olivia’s Trials” campaign, and the followup to his contest-winning quest, “Relative Security”.

I could have sworn we’d played one of the other quests in this series… but to recap: Olivia is a wastrel roaming the streets of Neverwinter, looking for quests to give to you. And this latest one is a doozy. Because Olivia has been kidnapped. The city guard is putting together a team to find and return her, but the only way they have any chance of success is if you offer your help. Of course you do!

Olivia has apparently gotten herself somehow involved in the machinations of an evil drow, Dakkar, who wants her for reasons you can only imagine. Well, not for THOSE reasons, you see. Olivia has a special destiny…

“Lost and Found” is a quest that keeps building until it reaches one of the most epic boss fights I think I’ve seen. And also a Stargate to who knows where. I think I liked this more than “Relative Security”. It did have an annoying, long stretch of static mobs, which were, unfortunately, too tough to kill all at once. We tried and died, and we had to go through and take them on one group at a time, like putzes. 

The quest was a delight, and we can’t wait for the next chapter. Four stars from both of us.

Pros: Pretty darn epic.
Cons: Rows of static encounters!

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Yay, Dungeon Master 7! People are actually playing my older quests. It's weird.

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