The Let's Play Archive

Savage Frontier Games

by ddegenha

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Original Thread: You All Get Mugged in a Bar: Let's play the Savage Frontier Gold Box Games

If you liked this LP, you might also like Chrono Trigger by Coughing Hobo, Earthbound by Travis343 and Trauma Team by Opendork

Introduction

Hello again everybody, I'm back after a nice hiatus and ready to do another LP. This time we're going back to the Gold Box well and hitting up a couple of classic titles set in the Forgotten Realms. The impetus for this came from a suggestion at the end of my play through of the Gold Box series set in Krynn, which you can find in the LP archive. Now then, for a bit of history…

The Story Behind the Story


This it he box art for the first game we're going to be playing, Gateway to the Savage Frontier. This game was the result of development of the Forgotten Realms Gold Box series to Stormfront after the completion of Secret of the Silver Blades in 1989 while the original team went to work on developing a Dark Sun engine that as far as I know didn't actually come to anything. This series was a lot more successful, spawning a sequel (Treasures of the Savage Frontier) that we'll be covering later in the thread and a spin off series of games based around a little town called Neverwinter. You might have heard of it.

This game was released in 1991, making it a contemporary of Death Knights of Krynn. The developers touted the addition of Wilderness Play with wandering monsters and character specific side quests involving various NPCs. I'll do what I can to open those up and see where they go.

The Setting

The Forgotten Realms was originally created by Ed Greenwood as a setting for writing stories during his childhood, and it's pretty much a fantasy grab bag. Most stories take place on the main continent of Faerun, which is where the Pools games were set. It's pretty much a standard European fantasy setup, with additional continents that have their own settings to provide for different adventures and exotic backgrounds that you can attach to any character you want to insert into a campaign. It also includes the Underdark, a vast subterranean realm that's spawned its own set of books, games, and the like. There are scads of Gods and Goddesses, demons and devils, and just about any fantasy creature you can imagine. As you'd expect from the title we're going to be playing on the so called Savage Frontier, which is far to the west of previous games in the series and basically encompasses the area to the north of Baldur's Gate and Waterdeep. Neverwinter is square in the middle of it.

In addition to being the setting for Neverwinter Nights and the Baldur's Gate series, the Forgotten Realms is also the setting where you'll find Elminster and Drizzt Do'Urden, of whom I'll say little as they shouldn't impact the story.

How this LP will work

Just like in the previous LP, I'm going to take reader submissions for characters and use those to build a functioning party of six adventurers and chronicle their adventures. When possible I'll allow for reader input on gameplay like order of side quests and if we need replacement characters. Gateway is for characters up to levels 6-8, while Treasures goes up 11-12. The goal is to take the same party through both games, with replacements being put in should I manage to get a character permanently killed. While I had played through the previous sets of games several times, this is my first time playing these two.

The Story

To get the setting for the game, we're going to go with the Demo since there isn't really much of an intro and there definitely isn't any pretty title screen. Instead we get this:



What, you thought that I was joking with the thread title? That's literally how this whole thing starts!




More on this as we actually play the game, but it should give you a pretty good idea of where we're going in this game.



This is the same dialogue as the last box, but check out the squid. He'll be back momentarily.




Always remember, as adventurers it's all about the loot.



That or saving the world. We're kind of a big deal, you know? But now, let's talk about...

Gameplay



I told you that the squid would be back. This is pretty much what the game looks like and plays like, so it should be familiar to people who've read the other Gold Box LPs.



Booting up the game, the first thing that comes up is an even more obnoxious form of copy protection. This would be nearly impossible since I couldn't find scanned versions of the manuals, but luckily the version I did find has a key for the challenges.



These are our choices for races…



And these are our choices for classes. I'll be putting a mechanics post directly after this to show you how all of these come together.



One difference between this, however, and the Krynn games is that all alignments are on the table. How they get along is my problem as the LPer.



Characters start up at level 2, and the game uses the standard D&D cash setup. More of that later, but these are definitely very low level characters. Without the ability to reach the highest level of spells the incentive to be perfect isn't as strong, so I might keep characters at close to what their actual rolls are.



This is the face of our characters in the game. No portraits included, but I'll adjust the fighting icons to reflect whatever characters we're using. So, with that in mind…

What I Need From You

Characters! Give me a race, class, name, a short backstory, and something that I can make into an icon. I welcome input into party composition and people throwing their support behind characters they see, but final decision is what seems like it'll be fun to write and will create a working party. Base rules are as follows:

1. I don't object to halflings nearly as much as I did to Kender, but let's not go nuts with the shorties.
2. Alignments can be whatever is appropriate for the character. No restrictions.
3. Maximum party size is six characters. That's also the minimum size I'm going to be rolling with.
4. I will edit stats as necessary to make a workable party. This game can be just as merciless as any other game in the series.


That's it! This one is wide open, so let's open the floodgates and have some fun with it.

Table of Contents

Gateway to the Savage Frontier

Treasures of the Savage Frontier

Archive Index