Author Topic: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)  (Read 1555 times)

Offline hans

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REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« on: May 15, 2015, 11:20:00 PM »
The full name of the mod is "B9CH1-2: B9 Castle Caldwell and Beyond - Chapters 1 & 2, The Clearing of Castle Caldwell & Dungeons of Terror, UA conversion of the Classic Module B9 Castle Caldwell and Beyond By Harry W. Nuckols," converted by first-time FRUAuthor, Jaesun, and he delivers a very respectable debut. 

It's a light medium-sized design, which took me a little over an hour to finish.  There's some cool new art, new music, and some new monsters.  The straight-forward story sets up a couple of nice dungeon crawls.  The combats may seem a bit easy, at first, but a shortage of places to rest means there is a cumulative threat to them that provides a fairly well-balanced challenge for a first-level party. 

While there are few magic items to be found, there is a wealth of treasure.  In fact, quickly too much, as there is no place for party members to stash their increasing horde of coins.  At least each new jackpot gives experience points, even if much of the wealth must be regrettably discarded.  On the plus side, there are some Special Inventory Items that may be found and later sold.

The construction is quite solid.  I encountered a number of spelling errors, but no bugs, and no impediments to play. 

I had a pleasant time playing this design.  Jaesun promises further conversions in the series, which I'll be looking forward to.   :D

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 03:31:39 AM »
Thanks for review :pvm:.

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2015, 02:32:56 PM »
B9 Castle Caldwell and Beyond - Chapters 1 & 2
By Jaesun

Reviewed by Milosh Gulan

Very nice adventure that can keep You wanting for more, and probably to play it again few more times ...

1. Story:                   10 -     Perfect. Small town with everyhting that is needed for adventure.
2. Presentation:         10  -    Good. I enjoyed every bit of adventure, especialy clever use of Search and look functions.
3. Combat:                10   -     Great. For Lv1 characters just enough. My 4 character party didn't have much trouble but it wasn't easy.
4. Rewards:               10    -     Treasure was there and just enough for party.
5. Programming:        10    -     Perfect. Simple and just very nice. I enjoyed searching around the castle a lot.
6. Playability:             10   -     Yup, same as before, all good and well thought
7. Artwork:                10   -     This is also done perfectly. Sometimes I felt like watching disney cartoon while playing Ad&d FRUA module.
8. Music:                    10   -    Good. Just very nice mostly.
9. Bug-free:               10   -    Very good, everything works.
10. Inventiveness:      9     -    Great. Just very nicely done.
 
Overall:                  9.9  -    Just nice adventure that is for 1st levell characters with everything that is needed. I liked most that You also can visit Specularum and that it offered new adventures that is very fitting to characters who have finished this one. I have played trough all of it I think and it can be very interesting at moments with standard monsters that are still presented and interesting to fight. Now I probably will continue adventures after I leveling up where roads take my heroes of Castle Caldwell.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 02:41:29 PM by Milos Gulan »

Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2015, 09:02:09 PM »
Wow. This must easily be the best FRUA mod ever.

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2015, 01:52:40 AM »
Yeah from those that I have played it is surely on the list of my favorites :D, I hope I will be able to make modules like this one day. Quality is very good, and can stand alongside those from the Realms series and those latest Ad&d from Nol Drek. But in the essence if adventure is good and nicely done it can't be bad for me :) Sometimes though if it is too long it can be tiresome, and this one is just refreshing.

This sunday I have played with my friends start of Gates of Firestorm Peak and we fought for 6 hours dueargars that were size of giants (killing 21 or more) and at the end we realized that it was just beggining of very big adventure that we will probably not have time to finish. And we were thinking to play one or two sessions max. I would probably have much more fun with shorter adventure that we finished instead of unfinished longer one, though it was nice start and well prepared one, probably we might play another session but not sure about it.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 02:15:32 AM by Milos Gulan »

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2015, 01:56:51 AM »
Hm now interesting this is that it was ranked 11th adventure of all time by Dragon magazine from 2004 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gates_of_Firestorm_Peak

.. and here is review of it http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/17335/The-Gates-of-Firestorm-Peak-2e?it=1 and there is map also on the net on Google, sorry for off topic :/.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 02:14:52 AM by Milos Gulan »

Offline Jaesun

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2015, 12:27:02 AM »
While there are few magic items to be found, there is a wealth of treasure.  In fact, quickly too much, as there is no place for party members to stash their increasing horde of coins.  At least each new jackpot gives experience points, even if much of the wealth must be regrettably discarded. 

Yeah, that (the treasure) is something that made me cringe, every time. But as a conversion module, I left it as it was. Sadly, there IS a spell scroll that helps with all that horde of treasure (In Chapter 2, in the PnP module), but FRUA does not have such a spell.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 12:30:14 AM by Jaesun »

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2015, 01:54:24 AM »
Ok here are spoilers, and my experience with adventure:

I didn't had any problems with treasure, my characters could carry it and I spent mostly on training. My cleric was down during first chapter and that was big problem but later when I found resting spot everything went good. Later in the second chapter I had problem with low HPs and around fight with Ghouls and berserkers I was down to one or defeated. But seeing that I can't beat them being low on health and out of heals I reloaded from Ch2 and defeated 2 wizards without taking dmg and later was much easier. Although I had same problem as before somehow I got Potion of extra healing and miraculously my cleric was Lv3 with 20hps and after drinking it he recovered fully and that potion was still there at least one or twice i did that before I decided to give it to thief to revocer to 6hps but then it vanished. Then later in the coffin room my cleric got drained by wight and after I finished adventure I think it is still Lv2. Will have to level up and export characters now and off to new adventure probably to Veiled Society with all characters Lv2, or maybe I will wait for next chapters and play Neverwinter Nights offline.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 01:57:08 AM by Milos Gulan »

Offline Ray

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Re: REVIEW: B9ch1-2 (by Jaesun)
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 10:21:19 PM »
I've been anxious to play several adventures for quite some time, but work has been keeping me too busy to spare the time to sit down and load up FRUA.  Tonight, though, I had a couple hours, and I'd just finished a few different projects...and, well, the time seemed right.

It took me about a half hour to get this adventure running on my computer.  In the end, I had to delete the xmi's and the UASounds files, and then everything seemed to work just fine.  I was surprised to run into that problem, though--I've run hacked games for years (close to being able to say decades without exaggerating), and I've never run into something like this that I can recall.

Anyway, the game itself--This was a lot of fun.  It took about two and a half hours, and it brought back all the right memories.  I remember wishing that I had this adventure in my collection when I started the Realm project, but I hadn't come across a copy of my own by that point. (And I had moved away from home, so my dad's trusty collection was out of reach by then!)  Thanks to Jaesun for filling in this gap in the series!  I particularly enjoyed how he took a very straightforward series of encounters, where most rooms were literally, "Fight the monster, take its stuff," and created little scenarios, including several role-playing scenarios.  I've read in other reviews praise for the way events paid off later in the adventure, and I really enjoyed that aspect, too.

I very much enjoyed what happened when it seemed like the game was over.  I'm a sucker for little "coda" scenes like that, and Jaesun did not disappoint. 

And now I have a party of second-level characters (and a third-level cleric), and I'm wondering...do I go adventuring in Specularum?  Or do I let them cool their heels while Jaesun is working on the next couple scenarios?   ;D

Well done!  I thoroughly enjoyed myself! 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 10:28:27 PM by Ray »