The Let's Play Archive

Realms of Arkania III: Shadows over Riva

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 2: Session 1: Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

As it turns out, I’ll be taking this a different direction than Captain Garlic goes with. Which direction exactly…well, I’ll let the disclaimer speak for itself. Alternately, go to this site or this site to see the sort of thing I drew inspiration from.

Disclaimer: All players in this campaign are fictitious. Any similarities to real goons, living or dead, are purely coincidental.

Session 1: Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

I’m glad so many of you showed up for today’s session. I’m kind of excited to start playing The Dark Eye for the first time. Did everyone make their characters ahead of time like I asked? How about you, Alex?

Xander77 posted:

Decent Unarmed and Sword skills, Acrobatics, Social skills, no Self Control or Stealth. High courage, charisma, agility, poor intuition, dexerity and strength. High curiosity and acrophobia (does that even come into play in this game?)
Cool, that guy sounds pretty fun.

“He just ripped off that guy from Xena!”

Really? I never watched it. I thought it was just about a couple lesbians killing dudes with hoop blades.

“Well, yeah, but it’s not just about that. Anyway, my stats are…”

I’d like take a moment here and describe the leveling process, something the game is kind enough to put you through at the start since you can get a free pass to level 6.

The first thing you can do is increase your good stats and attempt to decrease your bad stats. Sadly, they no longer bear on your skill levels, but they do have an effect on combat, magic resistance, etc. For instance, lowering Superstition increases Magic Resistance by two points for each point SN goes down; check the MR on the screenshot above with the one of him at 6th level.

All classes get 20 skill increase attempts per level (except the Magician, who only gets 15). While that means a lot of skills can go up if you’re successful, towards the end, your skills will be high enough that most attempts will fail, making them much less effective at higher levels. Most skills can be increased twice per level, except for Combat and Intuition skills, which can only go up once per level, and Lore skills, which can go up three times. Also, if you fail to increase a skill three times in a row, you cannot attempt to improve it again for that level. In other words, it can take up to nine attempts to increase Alchemy by three points.

Melee combat skills impact the actual combats by improving one of two skills, attack or parry. Parry allows you to block one incoming attack per round without taking any damage.

In the middle here we can see the paper doll for this game, which has spaces for helmets, amulets, cloaks, chest armor, arm armor, two wrist items, a belt, a primary weapon, a secondary item (one you can use mid-combat) or shield, two rings, pants, leg armor, and shoes.

Sadly, there aren’t enough magic items in the game to fill out all these slots for all characters. I’m damn well going to try, though!

So what do you think?

I’ve got no problem with blatant rip-offs. Just make sure the character works for you. What did you make, Hal?

Green Intern posted:

Class: Dwarf
Name: Kurzmann (I am so imaginative)

Background: Kurzmann comes from low places. Born in a cave, raised in a pit, and educated in a cavern, he's certainly the stockiest of all of the fine Dwarven stock to be found in the land. After hearing tales of the horrors of Boatmurdered, Headshoots, and other doomed fortresses, he decided to get out of dodge and take his chances in the thrice-damned surfaceworld. A lover of mechanisms, booze, and partying in the stature garden, he's ready to ignore those forbidden workshops of life and forge himself a masterpiece of an adventure!

Skills: Craft: Train Animals, Locks, Drive, and Axes. Definitely points in Carouse, Dance, and Sense Danger. He's the Dwarf that's going to survive past the party, after all.

Edit: I'm bad at naming things. If anyone's got a better idea for a name, please suggest it.
“You’ve been playing too much Dwarf Fortress, haven’t you?”


Doesn’t matter. What does the character sheet look like?

A lock picking skill monkey?
I said I wanted this guy to survive to the end, didn’t I? Who better than a heavily-armored thief?

Sounds good. What have you got, Lewis?

vVhorpax posted:

Name: vVhorpax
Class: Magician (combat or domination focus)

Preferred spells:

When you go for combat focus, let ‘em burn:
Ignifaxius Flammenstrahl and Plumbumbarum schwerer Arm

When you go for domination, let ‘em run:
Horrifobus Schreckgestalt and
Somnigravis tiefer Schlaf

Deity: Praios
Go for Lore skills a lot and my lovely Magic Staff

Also go for more Astral points when leveling, you know what I mean.

Born in Riva, graduated at "Kampfseminar Andergast" an academy of the grey guild, always short tempered, greedy like a dwarf. Thinks that mages from the Storrebrand College in Riva are total wusses. He is afraid of "ants". He follows the call of Travia because it’s his hometown and to show the Riva mages how "real" mages handle a problem.

Why did you make finger quotes when you said “ants?”

“We’re playing Das Schwarze Auge, right? You said we’d be starting in Riva, so I figured a Magician native to the location would be appropriate. You remember I was an exchange student in Germany a few years back, right?”

Is that what The Dark Eye is called in German? I got the sourcebook and the module as a translated PDF from an online buddy of mine. I don’t actually speak the language.

You got to pick your deity? Bob made me roll a d12 to choose one.

That’s right. There’s twelve gods, so I figured we should roll to choose one.

I have no idea why, but the game seriously doesn't let you pick your character's patron deities.

You know what? Fine. That’s fine. Here.” *roll* “Whelp, looks like I got Efferd. Well, that makes sense; I’d call my character moody and unpredictable, too. But if you’re unfamiliar with the system…hmm…here, I need to change something.” *erase* *erase* *scratch* *scratch*

The way spell increases work is that non-class spells can only go up once per level, class spells can go up twice, and the Magician’s specialized spells, “house spells,” can go up either two or three times, depending on the spell’s class. Magicians also get the absurdly high 40 spell increases per level; ten can be converted into another increase in Astral Points, and 30 is still enough to get a comfortable number of spells into the 10’s.

Oh, what’s this? A flesh to stone spell that you can cast at first level and can increase up to three points per level? I do believe I’ll enjoy using this spell. It’s not permanent, but it lasts a long time, and it counts towards ending the combat if every enemy is incapacitated.

I just switched out the bonuses and extra spell rolls I made for the Combat focus and moved them to Transformation. That’s okay, right?

Um, sure, I guess. Honestly, I still don’t know what half these spells do. Which reminds me; what did you come up with, William?

Willam, an RL buddy of mine posted:

Name: I dunno, there are a bunch of name makers online, maybe find one that makes elf names.
Class: Sylvan Elf

Maybe you could go all Fullmetal Alchemist, and both his parents were medics who died in the war, and now he wants revenge. Or maybe you should just go elf-like, with the hating humans and stuff. Or ooh, I know, be, like, a giant hippie, and act like a big hippie the whole time, like just the whole stereotype all the time.
That’s not very specific.

“I dunno, man, you just called me up and said, ‘Hey, I need you to be an elf in my campaign here.’”

Well yeah, since no one else wanted to be one.

That’s because elves suck.
Actually, the elves in DSA are closer to their older fey counterparts. In the old days, their kingdom was destroyed, and—
Doesn’t matter. Elves still suck.

“Hey, did you want me to heal and stuff? ‘Cause that’s what I went for here. Have a look…”

This is kind of my first time with The Dark Eye. Does this look alright?

It’s fine. All of us are just getting into the system, too.

Except for me.

Except for Lewis, right. What did you make, Paul?

Ze Pollack posted:

Kara, female hunter.

Good Nature skills, Human Nature, and Haggle.

Arranged marriages are typically considered something of a drag for those involved. Kara's actually worked out pretty well, up until the point her beloved Marcus and a bear got into a disagreement. Some go into mourning, Kara went into the woods and didn't come out until she had a bear skin she needed tanned. This came as something of a shock to the rest of the village, but evidently Kara could make her way around the forest. She's paid the metaphorical bills since with her forestry skills; if you need something trapped, if you need something found, if you need some food or fur or whatever, you could do worse than to go to Kara.

Of course, it gets lonely for a woman all on her own. So when the temple came calling for aid, Kara figured having Travia owe her a favor wouldn't exactly hurt her chances in the game of remarriage.
You made a woman?

Dude, that’s kind of creepy.

“What? I figured being a woman was appropriate to the character type I was building.”

Whatever. Just show me the character sheet.

I thought I was supposed to be the really good healer guy.

No, it’s fine, this way you can treat each other when one gets too sick to act.

No way, I’m not treating a dude pretending to be a girl!
She’s not a dude at all! Didn’t you hear her background?
Yeah, but you’re still a guy.
But my character isn’t.

Enough, guys, come on. We should focus on other things.

Like, maybe the game?
You know, I just realized this place is kind of a sausage fest.
Welcome to the heady world of pen and paper roleplaying.

Actually, I did have someone who said she’d—ah, that must be her. Let me get the door.

“Hi, guys. I’m sorry, the anime club was running long.”

It’s fine, we’re still just introducing characters. Speaking of which, did you finally get the core book file I sent you?

“Yeah, I think I figured out the rules. What do you think?”

Snugglecakes posted:

Name: Belle Fleur
(Or just go with 'Fleur', I suppose if both words won't fit or it doesn't look good)

Gender: Female
Class: Warrior (or Thorwalian for additional diversity?)
Background: Lil' Belle Fleur is a seductive but treacherous ex-warlord Lady. She gets on surprisingly well with her companions, though she sees herself as the natural leader and enjoys bossing them around whether they listen or not. In any case, she enjoys regaling them with her mostly exaggerated stories of her plundering, pillaging and raping days.
Skills to Focus On?: Anything remotely physical, but I'd include tactics and... lying.
Good, I like the focus on unimportant skills.


To the class, I mean, sorry. I’ll be able to figure out something that uses those.

I don’t like the sound of that “bossing others around” bit.

What? Just because she’s my girlfriend doesn’t mean I’ll let her run everything. I’ve heard the horror stories too.

“Yeah, I’ll probably be over here making sketches most of the time.”

Maybe having her around will keep some of you dicks in line.
(Don’t worry, Hal, I don’t think she can break a game she only heard about last week.)
(She’s not the one I’m really worried about…)

So, Suzie, did you bring the character sheet?

“Oh yeah, right, I’ve got it in the back of the pad here…”

Did I do that right?

Yep. 7 in lie, that’s not too bad. So, you guys ready to do this thing?

All right!
Um, okay.

Aside from arranging your party and talking to the clerics, there are two things you can do in temples: offer donations and pray for miracles. Miracles that include resurrections, which is the only way you can get that done in SoR. Luckily, donations are merely optional, as they improve the odds of getting a good miracle, and pestering the god enough times usually makes it work anyway.

So, for one reason or another, you all found yourselves in the coastal town of Riva, in the Temple of Travia, who is…*pagedown* *pagedown* “The Goddess of the Hearth and Protectress of the Home, and also the patron deity of marriage and fidelity. The Temples of Travia are used for sanctuary by all kinds of fugitives, and no one—not even city guards—dares draw a weapon on her hallowed ground.” While you were there, the priestess took you all to the same room and told you this: *ahem*

Well, that wasn’t creepy.
Never do the voice for a woman again. Please. And you too.
What? I haven’t even tried yet.
Doesn’t matter. Just don’t do it.
I’m not a stranger in town, though.

Well, maybe you moved away for a few years or something. Or maybe you were cloistered in that academy of yours, so no one knows who you are.

I guess that could work…

Great. So did you want to ask the priestess any questions?

Topics for conversation show up on the right side, and clicking more than once occasionally gets additional info. The yellow text is the party’s, while the speaker herself talks in white.

You’re not being helpful when you don’t bother giving us any real information like that.
Tell us about Riva.
"Well, the priests at the temple of Firun have a bit of trouble. The graveyard seems to be haunted."

Fine, I’ll stop doing the voice.

Who’s Firun?
God of winter and hunting.
So why does he care about graveyards?

It might be two different quest hooks, you know.

The graveyard sounds fun, why don’t we go there?
Kara would feel at home with the hunting god’s quest.
I’d rather be killing undead this early.
Whatever’s fine with me.
"Aye, me dwarf be preferrin’ tha dank underworks of a crypt ta the like o’ a huntin’ god!"
Come on, man, no one’s that Scottish.
My dwarf is. Er, be.
I guess I’ll go along with zombie hunting.

The graveyards have it. You leave the temple…

In this tiny window, you can see the interface used by the majority of the game. This was way back in the heady days of early 3D, the so-called 2.5D, and there were a bunch of RPG’s out at that time that used the first person interface for roaming around the world map. Unless you’re inside a building, you will generally have this view to go by, and you double click on objects (particularly doors) in order to interact with them. For instance, to go back into the temple I just left, I would turn around and double click on the door, assuming I was close enough. I’ll go into more detail about the options on the right in the next update.

(backup). This track plays while in the city region.

I’ve been meaning to ask you, where did you get the music you’re playing?

From the same guy who got me the pdf’s, Henkel, I think his name was. I think it’s pretty good at setting the scene, honestly.

I just want to know where he got the choir.

Me too. So, you wander around for a bit, and you see…

A red light district? This module is more realistic than I thought it would be.
Ale and whores, ale and whores, I’m gonna get me some ale and whores!
Seriously, guys?
Chill, man, at least wait until we’ve done our first quest before partying down.

Alex is right, guys, the graveyard is just down the street from the brothel. I only told you about it for the sake of completeness.

You sure there aren’t any good quests going on in there?

No. Now come on, Hal, just wait until you get to the graveyard itself.

Actually, I just remembered, I need to get to sleep early tonight. Sorry, everyone.

No, it’s fine, we should probably tackle the graveyard with a full day ahead of us. At least we got character creation out of the way.

Man, I hate it when this happens.
Oh well. See you on Monday, Bob.
Do I have to leave?

No, Suzie, you can stay if you want. Bye, everyone!