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An adventure through Dark Sun: Shattered Lands

WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
Before there was the IE engine creating 2nd edition masterpieces, there was SSI creating 2E games for worlds from Spelljammer to DragonLance. Here i'm going to post some of my playthrough from one of my personal favorites.

First, introducing the party, from left to right.



1) Zeke

Half Elf True Neutral Fighter/Druid/Preserver

Elemental Sphere: Water

Psionic School: Kinetics

Additional Comments: For RP reasons, I don't venture forth into the desert wastelands without one who worships the Water elemental sphere, despite the few and not very useful unique spells. A former member of the Veiled Alliance before being made a slave.

2) T'kir'taap

Neutral Good Thri-Kreen Fighter/Psion/Cleric

Elemental Sphere: Fire

All Psionic Schools

Additional Comments: Thri Kreen are a trade off. While they get a glorious 5 unarmed attacks per round, and an additional paralyzing bite even if equipped with a weapon, they can not equip almost any items. But considering this is the only game which allows them as a playable race, how could you pass it up? A wise and benevolent elder for her tribe before their capture by slavers.

3) Ester

Lawful Good Half Giant Gladiator

Psionic School: Telepathy

Additional Comments: Half Giants have terrific STR and CON scores. As such, they are the best candidate for melee damage dealer. Born into captivity.

4) Zertus

Chaotic Good Elf Ranger/Preserver

Elemental Sphere: Air

Psionic School: Metabolic

Additional comments: Rangers get no dual wield penalty and minor access to a few useful elemental spells, so it's not a bad tradeoff for a little extra XP. Also, two arcane casters are always better than one. Also a former member of the Veiled Alliance.

typo_tillyBalrog99

Comments

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    "By order of the Mighty and Omnipotent King Tectuktitlay, all slaves fit to carry a sword shall fight in the arena. Death shall be the gladiators' payment for weakness."

    Let the games begin!"

    We start our journey inside of the slave pens, awaiting our first battle in the arena. The lowly sligs and screamer beetles quickly go down. Unsatisfied with the spectacle, the announcer decides to throw yet another group of monsters against us, and we find ourselves assaulted by a pack of thri kreen.




    After a more intense battle, in which Ester nearly fell, our group finds itself victorious in it's first arena bout.

    Up next: Back to the slave pens we go...



    ArctodusThacoBellGusindaPokota
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    edited August 2017
    I never really considered putting Telepathy on a melee character, but I can see the advantage of having front-line Ego Whip, or Invis, or the other TP wild talents I never use.

    WarChiefZeketypo_tilly
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    edited August 2017
    It's entirely possible to have the sound of the fountain drown out the cries of the guard that stands there initially, but I forget how to make that work.

    Also, you get a bigger quest XP prize for escaping without triggering the alarm (12000 opposed to 8000 - go straight to the sewer entrance after delivering the gem, but you need a thief to pick the lock) but I haven't sat down to count out if that outscores a genocidal escape. It's almost worth your time to fight your way out like you did just so that you have a full compliment of arrows and bows for the bulk of the game anyway (all of your characters can use them because they've all got a warrior class).

    There's a +1 Metal Axe in the sewers if you can reach it. Without a thief, you may need to come back with rope.
    If you missed the Bloodwrath +1 from Pehtucl, in the southwest of the 'Pens, he shows up at the main sewer exit later.
    There is also a preserver scroll in a bag in the northern part of the 'Pens, but I can't remember what scroll it is and scrolls are only used for learning spells in Shattered Lands anyway so if you already know the spell it's vendor trash.
    There's also a small cache of gems and magical arrows in the 'Pens that you can nab before you break out;
    they're guarded by a ghoul and a sealed secret door. There's another secret door on the western side of the 'Pens over near the Mountain Stalkers, but it's only useful if you escaped through Dinos' room and managed to not set off the alarm.

    Post edited by Pokota on
    WarChiefZekeThacoBelltypo_tilly
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    Pokota said:

    It's entirely possible to have the sound of the fountain drown out the cries of the guard that stands there initially, but I forget how to make that work.

    Also, you get a bigger quest XP prize for escaping without triggering the alarm (12000 opposed to 8000 - go straight to the sewer entrance after delivering the gem, but you need a thief to pick the lock) but I haven't sat down to count out if that outscores a genocidal escape. It's almost worth your time to fight your way out like you did just so that you have a full compliment of arrows and bows for the bulk of the game anyway (all of your characters can use them because they've all got a warrior class).

    There's a +1 Metal Axe in the sewers if you can reach it. Without a thief, you may need to come back with rope.
    If you missed the Bloodwrath +1 from Pehtucl, in the southwest of the 'Pens, he shows up at the main sewer exit later.
    There is also a preserver scroll in a bag in the northern part of the 'Pens, but I can't remember what scroll it is and scrolls are only used for learning spells in Shattered Lands anyway so if you already know the spell it's vendor trash.
    There's also a small cache of gems and magical arrows in the 'Pens that you can nab before you break out;
    they're guarded by a ghoul and a sealed secret door. There's another secret door on the western side of the 'Pens over near the Mountain Stalkers, but it's only useful if you escaped through Dinos' room and managed to not set off the alarm.
    I do always check the secret room in the slave pens, but a lot of things in the sewers were new to me on my last playthrough. Such as a scroll of enlarge, the only one in the game I believe, and what's more, I totally missed the entire Dagolar dungeon! I won't be overlooking it this time.

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    As soon as we set foot in the sewers, we are surrounded by an armed band of rat-like demihumans who call themselves the Tari who demand half our money. Refusing, they back down from a fight and let us go on as we please. We move on past this den of thugs and are welcomed into a more hospitable community of Tari. There we are allowed to rest amd recover, though we are barred from accessing the high temple. The leader of the Tari asks us to save his daughter, who has been kidnapped by Churr, leader of the Tari who earlier tried to demand money from us.

    Our party goes back to confront Churr over this kidnapping, and he reveals he handed her over to a human known as Mikqueztel, and the Tari he has converted to the worship of the Sorcerer-King Tectuktitlay.




    Off our party goes to rescue the Chief's daughter...

    ThacoBelltypo_tilly
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    Next time we may see what is probably my favorite bit of player dialogue in all of CRPGs.

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    The Helm of Contemplation doesn't prevent psionic attack, rather it provides the Gaze Reflection status (so you could, in theory, have the wearer tickle a Basilisk without any real dangers)

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    Now that the Tari underground village see our party as trusted allies, we are granted access to the Elders, who to our surprise, are magically reanimated skulls. They tell us of many things, often indirectly, such as their creation at the hands of the Psionicist Dagolar, and when pressed, even reveal the location of his chamber and method of entering. They also tell us of an exit out of the sewers, which we are keen to leave at this point.




    Our party now has a choice. We can explore Dagolar's lair, or we can try to seek our freedom. Not wanting to linger in the area any more than we have to, we decide to seek the exit, for now.

    Arctodustypo_tillyGusinda
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    Freedom! We escape the sewers and find ourselves in a farm outside the city. Many laborers attend the fields, and one calls to us as we pass, promising us a gem in exchange for helping him make it outside the gates. Wanting to help anyone who wants to be free, our party agrees to see him passed the guards.



    It is an easy task to get past the few guards, and we are quickly outside. There he parts ways with us, telling us he is more than capable of surviving, and he would give us a few tips, but we are too barbaric to understand it.

    A few steps later, the sands move and a massive Bulette appears, devouring him. Before it can reach us, T'kir'taap lets off a psionic Disintegrate, stopping it in it's tracks.

    ArctodusPokotatypo_tillyGusinda
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    I prefer to focus all of my psionic levels into Synaptic Static, but Disintegrate is good too. Too bad the games didn't do things like PnP - for example, you can take Mass Domination before taking regular Domination, which PnP requires mastery of the latter before you can start using the former.

    Also having psychoportation would have probably broken the game into itty bitty bits, but m'eh.

    It's probably wise to come back to Dagolar's Tunnels later; while it's possible to complete them before reaching Open Air, it's a pain in the ass at lower levels and/or without bladed weapons on everyone.

    (also I'm reading through The Complete Psionics Handbook and now I want to incorporate the Psionic mechanics into a new system as the primary metaphysical power)

    WarChiefZeketypo_tillyGusinda
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    edited August 2017
    ...you know, in all my years of playing this game I never realized that statue had the head of an illithid. Given who and what Dagolar is... that's kinda scary awesome.

    WarChiefZeke
  • bleusteelbleusteel Member Posts: 512
    I always thought the statue was Cthulu. This also made no sense, but there it is.

    Thanks for the playthrough, Zeke! I bought this game to play on my girlfriend's mom's packard bell. I played it so much I blew out the power supply :-). This also forced me to buy my first PC. Good times.

    WarChiefZekeThacoBell
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    edited August 2017
    I, too, thought it was Cthulu at first. But given that Dagolar is a powerful Psionicist, and given the illithid's innate talent in psionic abilties, it really makes ya think.

    Anyway, as our party tasted it's first steps of freedom, we did not have to go far to discover a fallen messenger amidst the sands. Taking a look at the note he held, we discover that he intended to warn the free villages of a growing effort from the city of Draj, where we had just escaped, to destroy all free villages nearby. Nearby, a person camping alone calls out to us. He tells us he hails from the city of Teaquetzel, a short distance to the north, but he fled after reading the note himself, fearing the villages have no hope. Deciding to carry this message for ourselves, we head into Teaqueztel.



    There we meet with the mayor of the town, who is delighted to see us, as he believes us to be the group that the visionary spoke of that will save the free villages. We speak to this visionary, but the sun-blasted halfling does little more than rant and rave like a madman, and little sense can be made of it.

    Not wanting to dissapoint the people of the free villages, and fearing for our own well being as well, we agree to the mayor's proposal to journey to all of the free villages and seek to form a united army against them. As a reward for agreeing to this task, we are given our own home within the village, as well as a few magical items. Among these is the bone sword, Swiftbite +2, which Zertus equips.

    Off to find the villages!

    typo_tillyGusindableusteel
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,392
    bleusteel said:

    I always thought the statue was Cthulu. This also made no sense, but there it is.

    Thanks for the playthrough, Zeke! I bought this game to play on my girlfriend's mom's packard bell. I played it so much I blew out the power supply :-). This also forced me to buy my first PC. Good times.

    What Illithid has wings?

    bleusteel
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    edited August 2017
    It doesn't have to be an illithid with wings, considering the other abominations Dagolar makes. It's more likely he took an illithid's head and stuck it onto some other monstrosity that already had wings frankensteined onto it. And then turned it to stone for gits and shiggles.

    ThacoBell
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    edited August 2017
    Pokota said:


    Also having psychoportation would have probably broken the game into itty bitty bits, but m'eh.


    If you look at the old guide for the game, there are screenshots of an earlier version, where you can see Psychoportation was meant to be included in the Psionic schools. Wonder how much of that code was left in the game. Kinetics is really the best for non-Psionic classes though, since in Wake of the Ravager you get access to Disintegrate as a wild talent if you have the points to cast it. Which IIRC fits PnP rules as well.

    Anyway, after our rest in the Oasis and our meeting with the kind druid, our party gathers and ventures forth once again. Who did we run into shortly after leaving the place than the old announcer of the gladiator pits! Probably off to buy more slaves to replace his escaped ones. Terrified in our presence, he asks us to spare him in exchange for knowledge of some treasure. We happily let him go on his way.





    typo_tilly
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,141
    ...just kidding. Him and his team of slaving guards had to go. He had quite a few gems on him.


    typo_tillyArctodusPokotaGusinda
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701

    Kinetics is really the best for non-Psionic classes though, since in Wake of the Ravager you get access to Disintegrate as a wild talent if you have the points to cast it. Which IIRC fits PnP rules as well.

    Only if the character was generated in WoTR. If you import them from Shattered Lands they still have the SL Kinetics.

    Which since that still includes Control Body and Inertial Barrier, it's still probably the best one (I prefer Metabolics for melee characters because Biofeedback, but having four characters that can usurp an enemy in some way is really nice, plus Kinetics meshes really well with Half-Giant stats)

    WarChiefZeke
  • who_is_danielwho_is_daniel Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 68
    edited September 2017
    Pokota said:

    Next time we may see what is probably my favorite bit of player dialogue in all of CRPGs.


    I am curious please share. I have played the game through many times 1998 and now; my last playthough was in 2015

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    edited September 2017

    Pokota said:

    Next time we may see what is probably my favorite bit of player dialogue in all of CRPGs.

    I am curious please share. I have played the game through many times 1998 and now; my last playthough was in 2015
    "Tektuktitlay is the son of a kank!"

    The Baldur's Gate series is well known for snarkiness, but almost never do you get to see commit outright blasphemy like this.

    Post edited by Pokota on
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