Part 7: Update 005 Bandit FortUpdate 005 Bandit Fort
"There's a lake over there. Someone dunk Ember to wake her up and we can be on our way."
"Don't look at me like that. That's more in line with your pedigree Duncan."
"I could dunk you."
"That will not be necessary. We have a long walk ahead of us, and that should waken anyone."
"Right. Let's go then."
"The directions we have indicate we need to go north-west from here, reach the pillar then circle around the north end of it."
"Sounds simple enough."
"Oh gods, that's huge."
Remember what I said about one square is about one mile? Yep, this isn't the outside wall of the cavern we're in.
"We have a pair of bandits coming up from behind us. I think they may be returning to the fort."
Not shown: A fight against two thugs. Not even any loot!
"This looks like the path we need to take."
"I don't like the looks of this path. It's too defensible."
"No one ever goes in the front door! That's why we should do it!"
"Weird. No patrols, no nothing."
"It's almost like they're not expecting us."
"I must say, the condition of these fortifications leave much to be desired."
"Let's swing around north. There looks to be an intact building in that corner."
"Look at the size of that rat! I wonder what it fed on to grow to such a weight?"
"I may have to conduct experiments in the future."
"Let's check that door in the corner there."
"Looks like the Bandits have tried to get into the armoury storage space."
"How do you know that's the purpose of that room?"
"Hey! That's my line!"
"Check around the south. Even if there's no way in, we need to scour the place."
"I suspect there may be a hidden passage into there. Such a thing would be reasonable, and if the bandits have located it, then it would make for a legitimate redoubt."
"Then where would you suggest?"
"There, by the outer wall."
"Oh wow, nice call."
"Fine. Let's go see if there's anything useful. I'll start over there."
"Your antics amuse me."
"Why don't ya come over here then, and help?"
"I'll go look in these boxes while you boys play over there."
"You neednt degenerate them like that."
"When they stop acting like it, I'll stop treating them like it."
"Ah-ha! A nice solid iron mace! I'll take that, seeing as no one else uses these sorts of weapons."
This little section teaches two important things to the player. First is that secret passages exist. You find them by walking into walls. Second is that not everything is going to be laying around on the ground, or found in special events. You can also look into 'containers' to find things as well.
Also, the Iron Mace (although we haven't identified it as such yet we'll need to get back to Fort Duvno first) is the best weapon available for a while yet. Rook Smash!
"And that's one scary void along the south."
Not shown: An encounter with a random spawn enemy. You can see the combat in the log screen on the right.
"And the other side of this wall leads to a locked door."
"Got to invest in me some lock-picks."
"I suspect that this fortification was built with this gap between it and the outer wall as a defensive measure."
"Maybe. All that's left is to check the inside now."
"Oh holy hells, fall back!"
"Where did they all come from?"
"I'm getting tired here!"
"To the redoubt!"
Not pictured: Me wondering where the flip all these guys came from! This never happened in any of my previous games!
"There must be forty of them!"
"oh gods. Um. I'll just take a quick peek outside..."
"There's three out there, including two guys who look like casters."
"Let me try something...."
The "Detect Life" spell in action. There are 20 detected enemies on the map currently. Those six at the bottom, in the little cul de sac are all random spawns. Thankfully, as you saw two pictures above, the big threat a Priest - was drawn out of his starting position and is here now.
I still have no idea how this all went so bad so quickly.
I was so caught up in the intensity of the fight, I forgot to to take proper recordings of it. For that, I apologize and I have plans to do better in the future.
"We cannot stay here."
"Yes, but how do we get out?"
"They would simply give chase."
"I think the leaders are right outside. Maybe we can simply kill them, escape, and come back later?"
"I like that plan too!"
"Then we still have to deal with the rest of them."
"And even without immediate leadership, the rest would fall in line with the remaining powerful people."
"So get the leaders, run, come back later and grab that wand?"
"Seems like a plan."
Let me explain what happens next. I have Art pumped up with a couple Blesses, same as Rook and Karmas. I run out of the secret passage and make a bee-line right for the priests. Art drops a brigand, the priest cursed Karmas, removing the Bless. Rook goes to town on the other thug. Everyone else files out and starts to support either by throwing darts, or throwing spells around.
Darts suck, by the way. Ember threw nearly two dozen of the damned things, and only hit once. Maybe low stats are to blame?
The active combat makes the enemies pathfinding better, and they start to come in to the little room there. Peregrine, Rook and Ember take the south side, while Karmas, Art and Duncan hold the west. Then we come to this:
"Hah! Now I'm the best mage in the party!"
So yea, a couple Brigands swarm around Rook, causing a few to also get close to Peregrine. Not wanting a squishy wizard in combat, I withdraw him, provoking three attacks of opportunity.
Oh, you thought DnD invented those?
This game is from 1995. D&D 3.0 was published five years later. Peregrine got killed by it.
You, as the player, can set these up for yourself by 'standing ready', or waiting. This will allow you to take AoO's on people up to the limit of your AP (remember, 4 per attack).
Now, back to your regularly scheduled clusterfrak.
"We'll get him to a cleric later! For now, we must survive this onslaught! Have AT THEE!"
"Karmas' down! Damn it! DIE!"
Nothing fancy or stupid about that one. He just got hit and died in normal combat. However, Art got back for him, and killed the soldier that got Karmas, finally pushing her up to level 2! Her HP has gone up six pints from the previous screenshot. She also gained 5 Skill points to be spent on training later.
The rest of the battle goes my way, thankfully. Art comes around and starts taking guys apart from the other side of Rook. Rook levels up as well, gaining 4 more HP.
"Bloody hell! I need a bandage!"
"Stop being such a baby. Rook how about you?"
"I'm fine. That's the last of them. Let's go get that damned wand and get out of here."
No, there's still the six guys trapped down south, but I'm going to ignore them for my safety.
"Let's search that repaired building on the west side. It should be their barracks."
"Oh, hey, this looks interesting."
"Good job. Best you or I hold onto that."
"Aw, you don't trust me?"
"Let's keep looking for now. They may have other valuables."
If Duncan was down, I would never have bothered. Disarm Traps is damned useful.
"Gold, and what looks like a vial of poison."
"I'll hold onto that."
"That enough looting. Let's get back to Duvno and see about getting Karmas and Peregrine back on their feet.
"Hey Carol, what's the going rate for these guys?"
"Didn't want to come back here, huh?"
"Shut up and hit me with the bill."
"Here's your damned wand."
"Thank you. This thing has put many good men down."
"We're down two of ours. But I don't think we have enough money to cover Carol's costs."
"Hrm. You did do Exile a service. Normally I'd give you a reward for your effort, but..." Captain Johnson stands up "I'll settle things with Carol, but you won't be getting the reward, or keeping the wand. That'll make us even."
"Of course sir."
"And I'd recommend getting in some more practice before hitting the Nephil Fort. You'll need it."
This was a bad start, but thankfully Exile comes with a character editor. I'm going to load up the save here and make damn sure I'll be more careful in the future. Note to self show off the character editor in a future update.
This really was a botched mission. I've never had the acolyte come out like that. Usually I've taken them in their barracks area where I can control the encounter rate and flow. Being ambushed and swarmed like this doesn't usually happen until later.
Before the next update, I'll do some off-screen grinding to try and get everyone up to at least level 3.