Author Topic: REVIEW: Game41: Knight of Newts (by Ray Dyer)  (Read 142 times)

Offline hans

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REVIEW: Game41: Knight of Newts (by Ray Dyer)
« on: March 17, 2017, 11:52:15 PM »
Ray Dyer is a marvel.  He's like a piņata.  Poke 'im with a stick, and you're showered with UA mods! 

He joins the One-Week Challenge (http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=3429.0) where most participants struggled to get one mod done before the deadline (and Ben Sanderfer manfully produced two), and Ray comes out with ten new mods!  Ten!!! 

They are all part of a series called the "Thunder Rift."  This mod, Game41: Knight of Newts, is suggested as the first to play of the campaign.  I started out a new party of Level 1 characters and had no trouble completing the design.  Their task is solve the mystery of how a great castle fortress was destroyed, sinking it almost entirely into a massive swamp.  This short adventure takes place almost entirely in those parts of the castle that are still above water level, or not too far beneath. 

As you can surmise from that brief account, the locale is a fascinatingly unique place to explore.  It is gratifyingly well-realized in all the elements of its construction, as well.  Clearly, Ray has lost none of his skill for conversions.  His many fans will be as delighted as I am. 

You are amazing, Ray!   :notworthy:

« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 10:02:21 PM by hans »

Offline Ray

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Re: REVIEW: Game41: Knight of Newts (by Ray Dyer)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 10:15:20 PM »

Thanks, Hans! 

I've been called a lot of things, but pinata is a total first!   ;D

Those are welcome words, but especially meaningful coming from you!  Thanks for playing!

Offline Ray

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Re: REVIEW: Game41: Knight of Newts (by Ray Dyer)
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 10:43:01 PM »

New version uploaded to fix a typo and an error that Olivier found where you could spy on a creature after you killed it!

Thanks, Olivier!


Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: REVIEW: Game41: Knight of Newts (by Ray Dyer)
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 04:24:00 AM »
I don't have much to add to what hans already wrote, other than that I really enjoyed this first Thunder Rift design and that it made me crave for more. Also, two ideas particularly stood out for me regarding Ray's approach to convert the adventure to UA:

For one, the very comfortable starting menus that allow the players to fully manage their party before the game really starts, also including an extensive but completely optional presentation of the background story. You can get all the preparations out of the way quickly and then dive right into the gripping exploration part. In most RPGs I prefer to spend as little time as possible in cities and more out in the wilderness and dungeons, that's why I really like these quick town menus. And one of the first things I usually do is to set the text speed from 4 to 0, so I appreciate designs that give me the opportunity to do this before long introductions are triggered.

And secondly, as always, Ray describes the party's surroundings vividly and in such detail that you wouldn't even need the graphics to immerse yourself. This time, however, he also often concluded these descriptions with a phrase like "What do you do?", thereby conjuring a real pen-and-paper atmosphere. Great fun! :)

Offline Kaz-Keith

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Re: REVIEW: Game41: Knight of Newts (by Ray Dyer)
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 04:30:50 PM »
 * This review follows the designer's advise to run the Thunder Rift series (along with game07: B10 Assault on Raven's Ruin) in a particular order.

 * Party rolled: Human female Paladin LG, Dwarf male Cleric LN, Halfelf female Ranger CG, Gnome female Magic-User NN, Halfelf male Cleric/Magic-User CG, Halfling male Thief CN -- Ray's Realm allows such racial classing as part of the adventuring package and encourages his Realm players to mix in as many races and classes so as to enjoy the breadth and depth of any given adventure... so's I dids!

 A word about the Thunder Rift modules: these adventures were created in 1992 (when some of us were youngers just starting to explore the game) and were meant to be a sandbox of sorts for DMs and players both new to the game.  They allowed for a lot of modification and were interconnected only by threads, to be filled and fleshed out by the DM running things, adaptable to any of the gameworlds.  As such, there is ample opportunity for Ray to put his Realmstamp upon them, which I am pleased to find to be the case.  I didn't think I would recall as much as I did about the wilderness spread of the adventures, but it didn't affect my play of them in the least.  Ray's done the project a fine service in his importation to the Realm, with custom music and graphics detailing each design individually. On to it, then!
 
 Our first adventure saw us addressing the lorn and lonely Castle Kraal, half-sunk in a swamp and crumbling with history: the adventure was not at all what I had been expecting, after learning the backstory of the place, and so the reality was a pleasant surprise.  My party of budding would-be heroes got to do some interesting adventuring, to be sure.

 Ray's construction of the adventure, as others have noted prior, has not lost anything since his last project: there are great touches everywhere, including the menu advances he's done and the interesting events that the player can precipitate.  A great introductory sampling of the Thunder Rift, the Realm, and Ray's FRUA voice.

 

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