Author Topic: REVIEW: Game06: B8, Journey to the Rock (by Ray Dyer)  (Read 938 times)

Offline ProphetSword

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REVIEW: Game06: B8, Journey to the Rock (by Ray Dyer)
« on: January 23, 2009, 01:44:37 AM »
Game06: Journey to the Rock
Author: Ray Dyer

Reviewed by Dan Autery

Ray has managed to find all of the key things that I look for in a UA design.  I prefer adventures that grant me a solid reason for doing what I'm doing, that don't force me to wander aimlessly to search for obscure clues or objectives, that are detailed (and believable) enough that I can immerse myself in the characters, and that present a challenge without forcing me to spend hours upon hours trying to build up enough party strength to reach certain parts of the game.

"Journey to the Rock" succeeded exceptionally well in all of the above.

The game is not a hack-n-slash fest.  Very little (if any) of the adventure depends on the party doing well in combat.  It's not technically a text-based adventure either.  Instead, it's a well-balanced mixture of both.

The adventure is also deceptively short. ;>  It might leave you wondering whether you've missed something..  But I won't count that against the design or consider it a detractor.  To be honest, I'm positive that if I were to play it again and try out a few of the different paths presented in the game, I'd find something new each time.  That type of "replayability" is often difficult to achieve in UA. :]

To go along with the praise, there were some ~very~ minor bugs in the game. There were 4 or 5 scattered (and again, ~very minor~) spelling/grammatical errors and a text statement or two where a word appeared to be missing.  There were also one or two spots where the same text statement appeared twice, one after the other.  From a playing standpoint, these were so transparent that none came even remotely close to taking away from the enjoyment of the game.

I won't go into details about the plot itself.  I'll leave that for you to find out.

I will, however, highly recommend this game!  :]

For those who don't have a lot of time to play, you'll find this adventure is pretty much right on target.  And for those who'd like to build up a very low-level party without going through endless, annoying combats, I think you'll really enjoy the alternative presented here.

All in all, very, very well done!!

Rating:

# Plot Matter: 7
# Text: 8
# Events: 8
# Artwork: 8
# Hacks: 10
# Errors: 8
# Originality: 8
# Feel: 9

# Total Rating: 85%
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 06:53:13 PM by Olivier Leroux »
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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: REVIEW: Game06: Journey to the Rock
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 08:26:56 PM »
Game06: Journey to the Rock
by Ray Dyer

Overall Rating: 9.5

Reviewed by Glen Sprigg

       Well, after Paddi's excursion to the Rock, I felt I should review this excellent design. I have the original P&P module, though I haven't looked through it in a very long time. So after I had finished the adventure, I went through the book to see how well Ray has adapted B8.

       He did a fantastic job. I went over the southern route, and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. The only difficulty was actually getting into the Rock itself. No more need be said about that.

       There were a few spelling mistakes here and there, but they were rare enough to not be too much of a problem. The encounters were well balanced; my party had only one near-death experience. The frame was very appropriate for the season (autumn), and the use of dungeon modules rather than overlands to simulate the journey was very well done. I would have thought, however, that with Jenlar Temlin's map to guide us, it would not have been unreasonable to have AREA map available for the wilderness parts of the journey.

       The ending was handled slightly differently in this design than in the module; we had to travel back to the fork in the paths before being summoned to the Arkayz's home. In the P&P, the teleport occurred right after learning the secret of the Rock. But this gave us a chance to accumulate some more experience, and all but one of my characters is ready to train.

       Overall, an excellent adaptation of this classic design, and I'm looking forward to finding more of Paddi's journals.
LANDS OF ADVENTURE: An Old-School Style CRPG

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Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: REVIEW: Game06: B8, Journey to the Rock (by Ray Dyer)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 06:53:24 PM »
Game06: B8, Journey to the Rock
by Ray Dyer

Overall Rating: see below

Reviewed by Foy Burns

   My wife and I have started playing Ray Dyer's series of "Realms" games. For those of you not familiar with them, it is a series of old TSR module conversions. He has set them altogether in a single land called the Realms. It consists of four overland maps and as you move along the roads you are informed of what adventures happen in that particular place and which game should be loaded to play it. A very smart way to bring so many modules together and present them in such an interesting way.

   All of the modules are hacked and it is basically impossible to play them any other way. All the hacks are consistent from module to module so that characters transferred from one game work in all the others. Game00 is supposed to be your starting point, it contains some introductions and the big overland map. I looked at it quickly but it isn't really necessary to play the other games. For more information about the Realms visit the web site at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Dreamworld/1724/ua.html

[Edit OL: The indicated website is down. Use this link instead: http://therealm.flopsyville.com/]


   One other note about the hacks. As far as I can tell most of the races have unlimited levels in all classes, so don't be shy about creating those non-human characters. They'll be just as useful in the last game as they are in the first.

   We decided to play out the series of modules on the western overland because it seems to be the most complete. According to the web site, the suggested order of play was to start with Game06. We played it, liked it and moved on to the next one. In one week we went through the first four games! Enough introduction, here is my first review:


Game06 by Ray Dyer (maz137@psu.edu)
B8, Journey to the Rock

   A short game for 1st level characters. I like short games, I find it hard to keep playing a game that takes more than a couple of nights to play. This module starts the party off with a shop. Newly created characters get a little gold but no equipment at all so this is your ONLY chance to buy things. Choose well! Your party is then approached by a wizard's messenger who wants you for a dangerous mission to "the Rock."

Things I liked:

    *    The item hacks are interesting, studded leather, quality weapons, etc. Not that you can afford them but hey!
    *    No overlands, everything is handled by dungeons giving you a feeling of being outdoors
    *    Three paths to the Rock, each with their own sets of dangers and adventure. My wife and I had completely different encounters, very cool!
    *    The module kept track of a promise I made and managed to get around. When I went to leave, it told me that my Paladin was not happy about it. So what could I do? I went back through the wilderness a second time to honor the promise. I may have lost a piece of jewelry but I got a lot more experience points!
    *    A couple of hidden encounters for the more careful traveler

Things I disliked:

    *    Inconsistent feel while walking in the wilderness. Jumping and disappearing trees were the most common problem, caused by Transfers that took you to completely different places. One minute your walking along a tree line and the next your in the middle of the dessert without a tree in sight.
    *    Inside the Rock it felt extremely empty. Just a wide open space.


   By the end of the module all of my characters had gone to second level so it accomplished its main goals. We became familiar with Ray's design style and our characters got a little treasure and experience along the road to greatness!

   Overall we liked it and decided to load up the next adventure. We departed from the prescribed order of play so my next review will be Game05 - B6, The Veiled Society.

   Foy

   PS: I don't do ratings, I'm sorry. I just haven't figured out how to do it fairly and properly so I'll just tell you how I feel about it instead. This module gets two "thumbs up".


« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 06:56:15 PM by Olivier Leroux »

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: REVIEW: Game06: B8, Journey to the Rock (by Ray Dyer)
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 01:16:42 PM »
Game06: B8, Journey to the Rock
by Ray Dyer

Reviewed by Jose A. C. Krukoski


As Bran suggested, here goes my review.

I finished playing the Realm adventure 06 - The Rock.

I am a great fan of the Realm and believe that these are the best adaptation of old p&p AD&D modules. The Rock doesn't let you down.

The adventure included rich descriptions and a lot of mood creation. I couldn't find any bugs except for events that made more sense in the beginning happened in the end while I was heading home. But since I took a different path, it made sense meeting people that was there in the first place. I missed a grand finale battle. Maybe it is a question of style. My grade (in a 1-10 scale where anything above 5 is a must play) would be 6.

Mycroft Rating: 6.0

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: Game06: B8, Journey to the Rock (by Ray Dyer)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 07:25:23 AM »
This was a nice little adventure and a welcome change from all the story/character driven designs (I much prefer to read novels or short stories if I want a good story) that has been on my play list lately.

People above have said most there is to say, so I'll just add a few bits.

I loved the Quest for the Holy Grail music.

One minor problem is that text messages indicate that you are supposed to choose one of three paths, and not head back to town. But the party starts with little money and no equipment, so I could only buy armour for one character, and could not afford any bows. We took the high road initially, and got lots of money from the ogres, so the party headed back to the nearest town to buy armour for all, and bows and arrows. Since the quest was not urgent it seemed the logical thing to do.
We then took the low road and completed the quest, and then took the middle road back to avoid the barrens. But text messages supposed the party was moving the opposite direction.

The Arabesque seems rather overpowered with D10+10 damage, for 500 gold.

A small design, but lots of interesting encounters, and not too hard combatwise.