Author Topic: REVIEW: Charon's Rose (by Jadefang)  (Read 91 times)

Offline hans

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REVIEW: Charon's Rose (by Jadefang)
« on: April 07, 2017, 05:56:39 PM »
Charon's Rose by Jadefang is a very enjoyable mod created in the old school, GoldBox style. 

Taking under three hours to complete, there are 3 initial quests, to which are later added one more, central to the main story.  That makes 4 locations to visit on the Overland map, other than the village.  I completed 2 of the early quests before the events of the big one unfolded.  After accomplishing the big one, I went back and finished the one remaining. 

There is no "the end" moment, and the storyline suggests that the village remains in a precarious position after all is done, so I was a little unsure that I was finished, at first.  Hopefully, there will be a sequel. 

There is much of the old GoldBox ambience here, like a logical use of random combats (many with an option to "Flee," with others offset by safe resting areas).  Random combats are often criticized by modern FRUAites, but they do create an important sense of danger that some dungeons realistically demand.  Jadefang handles his sensibly with a deft designer's hand. 

Just as the GoldBox games had, at least periodically, tough combats, so does this mod.  I was nearly overwhelmed by a veritable army of monsters in the penultimate climax, and loved every minute of it!  It was thrill I haven't had in awhile, but came pretty standard in the old GoldBoxes. 

I was delighted as well, with the sense of nostalgia I got when my party met a travelling caravan who offered their wares. 

The main storyline is an interesting one, and there are some very nice interactions with a variety of NPCs. 

The art is also very nice, with some great new pics, and a beautiful night Backdrop with twinkling stars. 

Thanks for the good time, Jadefang!   ;D



 

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: Charon's Rose (by Jadefang)
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 01:58:18 AM »
This is an excellent design, with very nice "environmental" backdrops (not sure if they were new or not), good tactical combat, and no bugs or spelling errors that I noticed.

All in all the low level combat was some of the best I've seen in FRUA. The main enemies coming in large numbers and equipped with a limited number of javelins meant the most effective tactic was one I rarely use (because usually even characters with 18 DEX will be swarmed in the first round): make a stand in a doorway with my two best fighters in front and the rest with missile support.
To provide variety there was some nerve wracking combats against higher level enemies.
I had imported characters from Jadefang's previous design - Crumpton Uprising - so my characters were a bit under leveled, but they had +1 (and one +3) weapon to compensate, and one Mage Scroll. *
That Mage Scroll saved the day when my reduced party (all out of magic arrows) used Hold Monsters against the Demon's pet (too large to backstab, AC 0 and immune (?) to Stinking Cloud), and when Stinking Cloud failed against a couple of Wyverns the Fire Touch spell on my Thief archer saved the day.
My only criticism about the combat is that the random encounters were too frequent in the Nyx Swamp.

Apart from that the only criticism against a very enjoyable design was a lack of proper closure.

The economy was also very good in this design. You get very little magic items or money, but every purchase of Healing Potions and Arrows +1 was worth it.
Only at the very end was my party able to afford something more expensive like a Wand.

My characters started with about 4,000 XP and finished with 12,000 - 13,500 XP.

* Actually, most of the magic items came from the design from which I imported my party into Crumpton Uprising, but they sure came in handy in this one.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 06:04:27 AM by PetrusOctavianus »

Offline Jadefang

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Re: REVIEW: Charon's Rose (by Jadefang)
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2017, 02:31:13 PM »
Thank you for the comments.

For modules that you don't want to have to end by quittting back to the editor menu (in case the player wants to complete sidequests after), what would a better way to communicate that the main quest is officially over, without breaking immersion?

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: Charon's Rose (by Jadefang)
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2017, 02:49:23 AM »
The Mayor is the natural quest giver, so it's natural to return to him. When the main quest is officially over have him say say along "the town is ever grateful, and you will always be welcome here etc." That communicates pretty well that the main quest is over, but that you can continue playing, and saving the game.

Offline Jadefang

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Re: REVIEW: Charon's Rose (by Jadefang)
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 04:19:44 AM »
Okay. Currently he says, "Still, today was a victory, and you've earned a reward for your deeds. I had this prepared while you were gone." and then after the treasure event he says, "Once again, we are forever in your debt!" I thought it might've communicated that the major plot was over.

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: Charon's Rose (by Jadefang)
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2017, 04:49:56 AM »
I guess it was too subtle for me.  ;)

 

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