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Player's Discussion => Favorite Characters / Game Moments => Topic started by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 01:50:21 PM

Title: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 01:50:21 PM
Alright I'm playing a hacked version of Unlimited Adventures using the game: the Realm which itself consists of 40 games which were published modules.  I'll detail my experiences and TPKs here.  For entertainment purposes, generally the last lines from every party are most worth reading.

Party 1:
The intrepid band of adventurers starts in the East part of the realm.  3 Clerics and 1 Mage.  They search about trying to find adventure not realizing they have not memorized any spells or bought any equipment.  They come across a town in which a hag has kidnapped 2 children and the 3rd child will be captured again by daylight, and its up to the adventurers to find the hag's friends and stop them from abducting a third child.

Well our trepid adventurers couldn't find where to go so they started search each square of the map.  However, since travelling to a square normally takes 1 minute, now it takes 10 minutes due to searching.  Suffice to say the adventurers tried their best to help but couldn't find the evil Faerie passage and a 3rd child was kidnapped and adventurers failed miserably.  Oops!

Next, the party hear about the Slave Lords and decide to go and try to help.  They somehow make their way to this island.  And go far to the left near this red stuff near a mountain.  Unfortunately it was lava, and all the party members died.

Party 2:

This group of 4 also hears about the Slave lords and decides to visit that Island in chaos as well.  Instead of visiting the big castle from the front, our adventurers decide to approach it from the back.  Apparently, once they enter the city then cannot exit or they will not be able to leave the island.  Meanwhile slaves are escaping and slaying some former slave masters.  A strange armed fellow approaches the party and apparently we knew him and talked to him before and he joins the party for some reason (we have no idea why although we won't complain). 

Shortly after a group of slavers comes and attacks the party.  Our brilliant wizard who didn't really understand the controls casts sleep and causes himself and another party member to slumber.  The other party members (save our new member, a thief) don't have weapons or spells or armor but try their best fighting armed guards bare handed. 

Well suffice to say, everyone died after about 6 rounds and the Slavers were victorious

Party 3:

The third party taking the advice of the mighty gods decided to visit the South Realm instead of the East, being told that that land was ripe for young adventurers to gain power and fame to visit other lands.  On the first square, our adventurers were told about a far away island to stop a chieftan from messing up the Merchant Guild's trade routes.  Luckily though, our adventurers were given a place to buy weapons and armor and to sleep to memorize spells before the journey and there was much rejoicing!

Our adventurers make it to the island and are given a whistle to signal the ship when the mission is complete.  The party only has 5 days to complete the mission.  So our party goes about exploring the jungle to find a pack of wild boars, still not being very familiar with the controls, I have the party members cast some cause light wounds and use the "quick option."  Unfortunately a couple of party members died to the wild boars and later a group of white apes came and convertedthe remaining 2 members to brunch on Planet of the Apes.

Party 4:
Hearing tales of the mysterious jungle island with the jungle-orcs.  A second group of adventurers is recruited by the Merchant's guild to stop the chief from messing up the trade routes.  This party contains 6 adventurers (5 clerics and 1 mage).  The thinking is that having excess members will allow some to die but still complete the mission.  This time the party defeats one wild boar while the other flees.  Still being a new user, I activate the quick option against the white apes again.  This time the party fights very hapazardly, rather than concentrate  their attacks on one ape, the party members just attack whatever ape is nearby them.  As a result this party becomes lunch on the Planet of the Apes.

Party 5:
This party, determined not to suffer the same fate as the other 2 groups of adventurers decides to go to the island, and not use the quick combat option, but rather manually cast every spell and aim every ranged weapon.  Concentrated firepower will surely defeat those white apes!  But alas, the 4 white apes with multiple attacks are more than a match for a 1st level party, and thus this party becomes dinner on the Planet of the Apes.

Party 6:
The Merchant's guild being visibly annoyed at having 3 previous sets of adventurers fail, is suspicious of another group of adventurers claiming to be able to do the job well.  This group hearing tales of the ferocious white apes, decides to run away from them as soon as they're met.  Luckily when those vicious carnivorous apes attacked this party,5 members were able to get away.  Unfortunately, there is some code rule about too many adventurers fleeing from the same square or something, and while Brighton the cleric was at the edge of the battlefield, trying to escape, he could not.  And so Brighton was quickly mauled to death.  And since everyone else had run away, Brighton was irretrievably gone.  Bye Brighton!  The rest of the party although sad was relieved that they had eliminated an encounter that had claimed so many others. 

Soon though, a giant lizard was hungry and decided to pay the adventurers a visit.  with only 19 hp and 2 AC, the 5 adventurers were very confident that they could defeat it.  When members started falling, they were quickly bandaged for later.  Unfortunately when it came down to 2 members, the Cleric and the Magic-User realized that they couldn't win and that it was time to flee!  But the Lizard quickly gobbled up the remaining members and packed the unconscious members for breakfast for the next day.

Notes:
1. I could have sworn that the game said that Drums on Fire Mountain was for characters levels 1-3, but apparently:  http://home.flash.net/~brenfrow/dd/dd-x8.htm (http://home.flash.net/~brenfrow/dd/dd-x8.htm)    the adventure was for characters levels 5-8.  Oops!

2. The Creators of Unlimited Adventures took some liberties with the ruleset.  The Light spell is conspicuously missing for clerics.  It allows someone to blind a creature causing them to suffer +4 AC penalty and -4 to attack.  The reverse of the third level spell of Cure Blindness, Cause Blindness, is available.  My guess is that the creators have moral objections to having a 1st level spell have the same effect as a 3rd level spell.  I would point out that this is already present with Light and Continual Light.  With Continual light though, the duration is permanent.  I really wish that the creators did not tamper with the rules as 1st edition is already far from perfect.

3.  Morningstars are 2 handed here, but I thought they were one handed.  Regardless, I'll be using flails from now on.

4.  It would be nice if magic-users could select their own spells rather than having the same 4 assigned every time.

5.  The next group of adventurers will try very hard to find quests that involve on picking on creatures smaller and weaker than themselves.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 01:51:05 PM
Party 7:

Part 1
Our bright and cheery adventurers travelled to the south, although there were many places we'd like to go, we could not because our party simply wasn't high enough level!  Sorry townsfolk harmed by lizardmen, and peasants besieged by brigands!

Anyway, we found a town that apparently had a Temple of Elemental Evil nearby, but we had a real tough time finding it.  We managed to convince a 1st level fighter and a 5th level thief to join our first level party.  Upon entering the territory of this "Temple of Elemental Evil" a couple of agents of chaos or whatever attacked our party.  Our new 1st level fighter buddy ditches us, but we win the battle.  Once we get back to town this below par intelligence fighter talks about how he got a sword from his brother and is 5th level with -1 AC, much better than the rest of the party.

Well, we get waylaid again by this evil fighter and his agent of chaos buddies in town.  We defeat them but have several party members drop to 0.  Apparently you can bandage buddies far away from you, and that's how no one died.  Again, we didn't have spells for this battle since I was travelling towards the inn to rest so that I could get my spells and that's why there were high casualties for this.

But we won!  After the battle we had a lot of daggers, clubs, longswords, leather armor etc. to sell, but there was no sell option for any of the merchants in town!!!  To say the least I was very annoyed.  I need plate mail armor for my clerics as soon as possible to extend their lifespans.  So the party of 8 (6 PCs, 2 NPCs) left the Temple of Elemental Evil town to search for a town that would buy items from us.

Part 2
So after returning to the overland map we tried to enter white plume mountain to sell equipment, but couldn't for some reason (darn bugs), so we headed further south when a revenant paladin asked us to avenge his death against a Necromancer.  I really didn't want to refuse this revenant paladin cause he seemed so sad!  The adventure said for levels 2-4 and we had 6 level 1s and 2 level 5s, so it couldn't be too bad right?  Well, we fought an evil cook and won!  We also fought 2 wood golems and won!  When we got to the ornate Necromancer's door, he pretended to be innocent (be we doubted he was), so the NPC thief picked the door and we aimed to attack.

Well apparently inside that tiny room of that necromancer tower were 11 skeletons, a ghoul and the necromancer himself.  Anyway, in a real game, our party would have used the door to block off some of the undead from attacking us rather than us getting waylaid on two sides.  But anyway, the Necromancer cast magic missle and Dow'd one cleric for 16 damage.  The ghoul paralyzed our resident 5th level NPC fighter and another cleric while the rest of the party was swarmed by skeletons and finished off.  Yeah, the party lost bad that day.  Sad thing is that we only destroyed 3 skeletons and we provided 8 corpses.

Party 8:
The next party knowing that the white rabbit describing the realm is a liar, decides that going west is the proper thing to do.  Soon, they enter the city of Specularum from the module "The Veiled Society"  http://index.rpg.net/pictures/show-water.phtml?picid=3413 (http://index.rpg.net/pictures/show-water.phtml?picid=3413)  Anywho, the module is intended for characters levels 1-3 and our party members fit in this range.  Okay, so its time to buy weapons and armor again yay!!!!

Oh great, there isn't a one stop shop in this town.  So basically the party spent all night trying to find the right shop to buy ranged weapons, melee weapons, and armor.  The armor is cheaper here than other towns, but that doesn't excuse the annoyance.  Anyway when we were almost finished, we were railroaded into sleeping in a specific inn and waking up only to find this noblewoman complaining about demons in her basement.  We really didn't want to say no as we knew that would ruin the quest and destroy one of the few places in the world the party could gain xp and survive.

We go in her basement, fight a guy with a rapier who hurts one of our characters, but we beat rapier man.  It's then that I realized that I didn't have time to sleep and memorize spells.  Unfortunately the UA Module designer hates sleeping and searching, so we tried finding a way out.  Instead we meet 2 thieves who attack the party and knock out one member (although we killed the thieves).  Now as we try to escape and find a darn inn to sleep in, we're waylaid by a group of kobolds.  13 or so kobolds while weak and dying in 1 hit, have plenty of attacks to DoW 2 of our members weakened fromthe previous fight, leaving only 3 members without spells.  They promptly get surrounded, defeated and sacrificed to Kurtulmak.

Party 9:
The next group of adventurers follow the previous set's exploration into Specularum, but rather than follow the noblewoman, promptly check back into the inn to sleep for spells.  Unfortunately since we agreed to look at the noblewoman's basement, the innkepper refuses to take our money and let us sleep the night so that we can survive.  Suffice to say, the party has now left Specularum to find another town to sleep in to get our spells back because the designer won't let us sleep in the wilderness.


Notes

1. The modules should be designed (especially the low level ones) with the idea in mind that brand new adventurers need to buy equipment and sleep before being railroaded into anything else.

2. Many places don't allow an area map.  This I highly disagree with.  In so many towns it's easy to get lost because everything looks the same.  If you want your dungeon to be more hidden, fine whatever.  But the stinginess for regular towns is unnecessary

3. The Designer hates searching and hates sleeping.  Quite honestly in actual play I would sleep in the dungeon often.  Whenever the party searches,the Designer makes the player wade through scrolling text to try to dissauge them from continued searching.  This is silly though since the modules contain hidden items that you can only find by searching.  And yes, contrary to your words, the adventurers do have all the time in the world.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 01:52:27 PM
Party 9:
These adventurers saved a small town from skeletons, solved the mystery of the Rock, and killed a few Brigands in specularum!  Unfortunately, they all disbanded and joined a tavern in Specularum and decided to drink and eat soup for the rest of their lives with all the excess gold from their journeys

Party 10:
Several years later a new party was formed.  This party Consisted of 6 Fighters.  4 Fighters Destiny revealed that they would be great Clerics later, 1 Fighter Destiny Revealed him to be a Great mage later, and 1 Fighter had a great destiny to be a Thief later.  As time passed another Crone visited a small village, and the Priests of the city were just as unwilling to do anything about it the 2nd time as the first time.  The town was saved from Hags who raised skeletons once more.Also, The Arkayz Wizard realized that there must be more to the Rock and sent another band of adventurers to discover it.  Unfortunately, the player put the difficulty on the highest setting, not understanding that it gave maximum hitpoints for all monsters.  As such the 1st level party was unable to beat 3 ogres on the way to the rock!  And thus that group of adventurers become mutton for the Ogres for the next week.

Party 11:
This party put the slider on medium, and when the Ogres showed their lousy faces, they only had 12 hp instead of 27.  The adventurers promptly slayed the ogres one by one, and went on to discover the secret of the rock once more!

Later in the journey, the adventurers came upon an abandoned city guarded by strange flying creatures who demanded to know the secret of rock before entering the city.  The adventurers promptly slew all 8 of them.  However, upon entering the city, the adventurers were swarmed by undead horseriders with strange weapons.  The adventurers were paralyzed upon being hit.  And although they managed to defeat 1 undead horsemen, the party soon joined their crusade of defending the abandoned city and slaying all adventurers who come nearby.

Party 12:
This party managed to solve the mystery of the rock, and promptly avoided the abandoned city upon hearing rumors that it wasn't actually abandoned.  The party went to Specularum, found out who enslaved people below the city, found out there names, found evidence linking to the crime, got confessions from co-conspirators,and slayed those who perpetrated the crime.  Apparently there was more to do, but the party couldn't figure out what, and the City Constable wasn't helping so they left.

Well, along the journey they came across a haunted house and were railroaded inside.  When trying to go outside the party was railroaded inside again, noting that they were running away from a dangerous creature in the mists that looked like a dragon.

Upon going outside the 2nd time, the party engaged in combat with this "misty" "ghosty" dragon.  Unfortunately this "misty" "ghosty" dragon had 81 hitpoints and breathed Lightning.  Half the party died in the first breath.  The other half died the 2nd breath.  And thus the party continued to haunt that house, for the shame they received while they lived.

Party 13:
This party upon Being Stranded at the Haunted House (Daelwyn's Rest) decides to run in opposite directions from the Mist Horror Dragon in hopes of fleeing the area and going back to civilization.  The Mist Horror Dragon shoots out three mighty bolts of lightning at 3 different party members, killing each instantly.  Although the adventurers made it to the edge of the map, the gods of the land decreed that they could not escape the grounds of the haunted house. 

Strangely enough, the Mist Horror Dragon charged the adventurers and attacked them but the non-magical weapons could harm the Horror.  Through a concerted effort and luck, the 3 remaining party members brought the terrible beast down.  Unfortunately, upon death it exploded into a fog of Acid which incenerated two remaining party members.  Allistaire, the last party member after painstakingly searching every room in the haunted house, and finding no keys, nor given the option the bash through doors, nor allowed to leave the haunted house do to the acid vapor surrounding it, nor being allowed to sleep in the house, promptly committed seppuku.  Future adventurers never came near the house again, as it was enveloped in Acid gas and had several ghosts warning them away.

Notes:
1. For legitimacy, all characters were rolled not modified.
2.  Although its painful, hit dice were not altered
3. I know I should probably run away sometimes and fear for my life.  But that's hard when you have a reload option.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 01:53:35 PM
Party 14:

Part 1
This party enter's a city which has a Raven's ruins nearby.  Unlike another city with Skeletons as a problem which offered 500 gold for killing a few skeletons and a hag, this city wanted us to enter a place full of traps, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, skeletons, zombies, ghouls, thouls, etc. etc. for a meager reward of 50 gp.

To say the least our adventurers felt jipped.

But they accepted knowing that saying no would completely deny them any ability to find raven's ruins as adventurers usually cannot search on their own due to the decree of the gods.  Anywho, the place had insignificant traps and monsters to harm the party.  They found gold, treasure, and a painting which lulls humanoids to sleep, willing or unwilling.  Raven allowed us to keep our items in passage out since he didn't have a choice.  We returned to town with more gold and items from the populace and xp.

Later that the next morning, the party found some of Raven's items missing although we were given some gold in recompense.  This was very odd for several reasons.  First the party always takes watches, and there is always 1 or 2 people watching the area at all times.  But despite this, somehow Raven got in and traded some items from us!  We don't know how!

Part 2
Later, we came upon ruins of a former manor which upon inspection became a brand new manor with a mean housewife asking us to kill her husband because her husband keeps killing her and her lover every night.  Later we meet the husband who is very adamant about killing his unfaithful wife and her wizard lover, and later we meet the wizard lover who apparently didn't know that this mean lady was married.  Anywho, apparently we're supposed to feel sorry for a man who is an adulterer, but anywho, the house is crumbling and the party escapes........what a waste.  At least we killed a few zombie servants while we were there.

Part 3
Next, the party found themselves in a city where golbins and other evil humanoids were already attacking and retreating.  An old Ranger showed us the way to the caves and how to get there.  Well, this place too was infested by humanoids, but we were told that there was *EEEVVVVILLL* in those caves.  Something dark, real dark.  The party goes there, slays several orcs and the chieftan and finds a passage down which is the source of the eeevil.  Apparently it was just more undead hidden away.  We find a Cleric of Chaos and his undead lackeys.  They were all promptly slain.  We find a scroll here which belongs to a dead wizard warning of a great evil queen. 

Part 4
We follow the trail to the dead wizard's house to find his relative, hosting it and demanding that we search the dead wizard's basement and get two items for us. We go down, slay several monsters.  Later on, our party automatically gets gassed by 2 amazon ladies.  We get no save while they ponder killing us and steal our gold.  They later leave, whereupon we find the amazons again, and slay them quickly.  We go to the top and are then told that we absolutely must go to this Ice Fortress where all these humanoids hang out as well as this Evil Queen and her evilness that will envelop the county.  We wonder why searching the bottom of the basement was necessary.  Funny thing though we promised this guy that we'd be back in no longer than 48 hours, but since we were given a gracious opportunity to sleep downstairs, we ended up taking 12 days.  Funny thing, in the caves of chaos back when we fought the cleric we were given a chance to sleep, but every time we slept (except once), we encountered infinite skeletons and zombies.  Obviously, the designer gods hate for the party to be sleeping.

Part 5
Our party railroads to the Icy North, and upon trying to go back, are told that we cannot!  For the evil of this evil queen is too great to turn back!  Who knows what a huge difference a few days in winter could mean!  The designer gods tell us that we may find an opportunity to sleep in the frigid north if we really need to.

Our party is warned by the designer gods that there may be a way to the fortress by being sneaky.  But all our party members are fighters, hardy fighters who have fought ogres, thouls, orcs, goblins, undead, and fought in a communist revolution in specularum, killing many footmen and mounted horsemen.  Our adventureres are afraid of no army!

We fight round 1 which consists of goblins, round 2 which consists of orcs, and round 3 which consists of the human fortress leader and his Gnoll crony archers.  3 party members fell in that battle, but no worry; their wounds were patched.  Our party tries to explore the fortress at the top, but apparently goblin archers hang up there and do railroad auto damage to our party members wearing full plate and great helms and knock out another party member, leaving total members to 2. 

Our party members leave the fortress, finding a cave to sleep in.  Unfortunately the designer gods decree that sleeping in caves is unacceptable, and the party goes back to the wilderness to find another place to sleep.  But along the way they meet a strange frost creature that can raise dead corpses to serve it as well as shoot lightning at the party.  Although the 2 members fought valiantly, they eventually decided to join the frost creature's crusade to turn all humanoids into frozen corpses.

Party 15:
This party like the previous one, fought the Frost Queen's fortress head on (she had very quickly hired new recruits to replace the last), but rather than try to sleep in caves, hoped to sleep in beds instead. Unfortunately although the Fortress Commander, Orcs, and Goblins all had rooms with locks in the fortress, this merry band of adventurers were unable to sleep.  The designer gods forbade that a party should want to sleep in a room with a bed and locks, and demanded that the party fight the Frost Queen immediately with half the party rather than sleep a few days and fight her with a greater chance of success.

This party saw another member go unconscious while fighting remaining humanoids in the fortress.  However, a caged Weretigress, Sarla was very eager to attack the Frost Queen and joined the party.

The party finds the queen, her wardogs, her Cleric cohort, and his zombie buddies.  This party tries retreating some bit back to a spot where fewer enemies can attack them.  Sarla, being an idiot (NPC) decides not to retreat to a more defensible location and decides to charge attack all the monsters by herself.  Unfortunately the wardogs and zombies defeat her quickly.  Meanwhile, while Allistaire II and Morgoth blast away Wardogs and Zombies with the Arquebus, the Cleric casts hold person and paralyzes our 2 warriors.  Our party members very quickly convert to the ways of Chaos and Undeath, and generously donate their Full Plate Mail and Arquebuses to the Frost Queen.

Party 16:
This party too fought 3rd recruitment of her main army and defeated it.  This party found the sister, Sarlaa, of the former weretigress.  This party also avoided fighting some monsters the previous party did.  This party advanced a little with Arquebuses while Sarlaa foolishly charged ahead.  This weretigress having more hp than her sister was able to DoW 2 zombie.  These 2 remaining fighters specifically aimed for the Cleric cohort, killing him so that he could not cast harmful spells such as spirtual hammer, silence 15' radius, or hold person against our mighty party of 2 fighters.

Back to back, our fighters defeated the remaining minions of the Frost Queen and the Frost Queen herself.  Hoping that all monsters would leave the Frost Queen's castle, our party members hoped that they would be able to rest for just 1 day, 1 day so that the other 4 members would be able to walk on their own, and not be dragged through the snow, but to no avail.  The party would have liked to search the treasury of the queen for its 11,000 gp but the party knew unless they could carry it all, that it would disappear forever.

Along the way, exiting to the wizard keep, Sarlaa, who lay dead at the Frost Queen's throne, suddenly appeared to the party and ran off.  The party was very confused, because they purposely did not bandage Sarlaa although they were given multiple chances to in combat, and certainly did not drag the weretigress with the rest of the party members.

The party returned to the Wizard keep and then to the main city of the adventure, hoping that they would be allowed to return to the Frost Queen's fortress to claim that 11,000 gp.  But the townsfolk quickly grabbed the party's maps and burned them.


Notes:1. The designer really hates searching as well.  Although sometimes he forgets to put up annoying text discouraging the party from searching.  Funny how he tries to say that we cannot search every inch of the place or that we don't have enough time.  We abosolutely can search every inch of the place and we absolutely have plenty of time.
2. Putting up text to discourage the party from searching is hypocritical since often many items can only be found by searching.  Also, many modules cannot be completed unless the party finds a few secret doors, and secret doors are revealed by searching
3. The designer really hates sleeping as evidenced above even when other creatures slept there.
4. My party has 2 sets of full plate and 6 arquebuses and they're saving up for more full plate.  Being able to get that 11,000 gp would mean enough for 2 more sets.
5. Once all party members have Full Plate.  There is little need to carry around gold any more.
6. My Arquebuses do around 11-20 damage, much more than the 2nd ed. PHB indicates as such, they're my best weapon.  There's also no misfire penalty or rules.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 01:54:31 PM
Party 16:

Part 1
Needing gold for 4 more Full Plate armors, the party set on adventure.  While sleeping one night the party received a vision from J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, about the Kingdom of the Silver Princess which was in trouble from....something.  He went into this long story about how Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Halfings all got along well in the kingdom, but the Gnomes did not.  Anywho, apparently bugbears, gnolls, and orcs are up to it again, and the land is dying, crops withering, the princess missing, this ruby missing, and J'onn J'onzz is happy to provide any help we require except direct combat support.

Our adventurers try their best to figure out the silver princess keep.  I mean they found a Silver Harp, Silver Necklace, Dragon Stature, and a Longsword belonging to this Black Plate Mail, White Dragon Riding dude.  The designer gods were nice to the party and provided one area of the dungeon where they could sleep and heal.  Unfortunately after using this a couple of times, the designer gods were not pleased and promptly sent a horde of skeletons to the party every time they tried to put on their pajamas.  The mighty forces of evil put a strange glowing red barrier around the main entrance to the castle, hoping that that would force the characters to solve the mystery.  Well, our adventurers simply scooped up parts from the crystal golem and used them as receptacles to transfer green slime to the outer dungeon walls.  Slowly but surely, the green slime hungrily ate through the stone, and our adventurers escaped.  They didn't return the items, sorry princess!

Part 2
Needing more adventure, the party members heard that there was still a great bounty on brigands, and now a year later!  The party was finally powerful enough to help the 2 cities that were offering a reward of 10,000 gold pieces.  The party set out to help, but like most adventures did not give the party any chance whatsoever to heal ahead of time before undertaking the quest.  But no matter!  Keldar had 37 hp which should have been plenty. 

Well, when wandering around the abandoned lot, an ankheg popped out and spit a gob of acid dealing 48 damage to Keldar!  48 damage!  The mionster manual says acid damage is from 8-32, but this ankheg dealt 48 damage!  To say the least, Keldar was completely incinerated and dead.

Later, the party found some lycanthropes fighting other lycanthropes, meanwhile a wererat stabbed Sarah with poison and killed her instantly.  Our brave adventurers searched far and wide for a 9th level priest to cast raise dead for Keldar.  They could cast Neutralize poison on a very dead Sarah and bring her back to life, but there were no antacid spells nor 9th level clerics.  Lots of 7th level clerics mind you!  All around, but no 9th level ones!

The remaining 5 party members return to Specularum, get married , have kids, and name them after themselves including their fallen friend Keldar.  This new party of adventurers are given their parents former equipment and trained intensively for the day they will set out in the world.  They are warned time and again, to avoid Ankhegs at all costs.  The parents then spend the rest of their days getting drunk and eating soup at Detho's groghouse, where other adventurers including 5 clerics and a mage hang out.

Party 17:

Part 1
This party of experienced younglings upon resting in a Specularum Inn, were promptly paralyzed by some unknown force, seized, and taken to the Ghost Tower of Inverness.  The party members were told that they had to get this Soul Gem for the Duke or else we'd all be killed.  We also couldn't go to the Tower and then go outside and sleep or change our mind about working for the Duke because the Seer would know and we'd be hunted down.

Really, our adventurers didn't buy that, their parents had defeated entire armies by themselves, and the children were just as strong.  Besides, killing the Duke and the Seer and his men, would leave a very nice kingdom for the children and adventurers for all sorts!

But the young experienced adventurers decide to play along.  Interestingly the dark wizard offers the party gems for 250 gp, and gems can be traded for magic items.  The party wasn't too interested in the magic item, but since the party gets xp for the value of each gem, and some gems are worth 250, 500, or 2500 gp, the party can keep on trading gems for gold and selling the gems back to get lots of xp!  The party incurred a net gp loss, but got plenty of xp.  Silly wizard....tricks are for kids!

The adventurers find a crystal ball which can summon carnivorous apes, ice toads, minotaurs with axes, and owlbears infinitely.  Really, what a stupendous item.  All the furs you could ever want.  Infinite axes and steel from the axes, and the valuable and hardy owlbear pelt.  Really, an immense source of commerce, troops, and xp.  The party immediately confiscated that crystal ball.

Part 2
The party took some damage though.  This ruined tower had a lot of powerful monsters for an abandoned tower.  Giant ants paralyzed and coup de graced 1 parth member while a group of 20 bugbears or so managed to subdue another.  The party would liked to have rested, but since there were so many wandering monsters around every corner, such a thing wasn't possible.

Unfortunately, the party when exiting one of the towers came upon the green slime, destroyer of nations (see note 1).  Our party members had not choice but to abandon their 2 unconscious companions.  The Green Slime quickly enveloped them, and birthed 2 new Green Slime babies.

Part 3
Although the party was down to 4, they were determined to find the Soul Gem.  the party members found their way to a higher tower of air, and then to a tower of nature.  They saw a nice gardening lady in the distance, and thought it would be faux pas to attack immediately without saying hello first.

Well, the gardening lady was a medusa and she was very offended by people entering her garden and saying hello.  She promptly attacked Leandra II, poisoned her and she died.  The medusa died shortly after, but Leandra II was not coming back for this quest.

Part 4
The next tier of climbing the tower was a fire land, filled with fire bats, and a Fire Giant with infinite boulders to torment the party.  While the party would be harassed by fire bats and the prospect of falling into the lava.  While Malis was distracted by 3 firebats, the The Fire Giant chucked one boulder at Malis pushing both him and the bats into the lava, leaving the total party members down to 2.

The next part was the watery part, where after getting crushed by flaming boulders, our party now had to hold their breath while shooting a shark with an Arquebus underwater.

The party was very weak now, with 2 members left at 2 hp and 8 hp, but they were determined to reach the end.  Unfortunately, a group of Ixitxachitl (evil manta rays) approached Morgoth II and Sarah II.

They decided to allow their bodies to be host for the next generation of Ixitaxchitl babies.

Party 18:
When the old parent adventurers saw that their children did not come back, they realized it was time to send their younger brothers and sisters out to adventure in the Tower of Inverness to find out what happened.

This party avoided some of the traps and fights the previous party did.  However, this time the Fire Giant got more boulder hits in and knocked more brothers and sisters into the lave pit for breakfast late.  However, whereas the Ixitaxchitl claimed 2 party members the last time, this time they only claimed 1! 

Morgoth III was very confident, he had finally made it to the apex where the Soul Gem was stored.  However, the Soul gem was very powerful and fought back.  It cast Fire Shield and Disintegration at Morgoth III, but he made his save.  Morgoth III then proceeded to attack the Soul Gem with his magic sword.

Unfortunately upon being hit, the Soul Gem auto-matically did 30 magic damage to Morgoth III, slaying him instantly.  The Soul Gem earned 5000 xp for defeating Morgoth, with an additional 1000 xp for claiming another soul with another 3000 xp for 3000 gp worth of items, enough to place the soul gem at the next experience level.  Now, the soul gem is capable of casting 3 spells before adventurers may attempt to strike it.


Notes
1. Green slime is invulnerable to any attack except the cure disease spell.  There are no clerics in the party, but if there were, why would they memorize cure disease?  Secondly, green slimes can be destroyed by frost or fire, but Unlimited Adventures does not let you buy or use torches!  So as a result, Green Slimes are nigh invincible monster in the Computer Game.
2. As long as the party never runs away from the fight, the party drags all unconscious and dead members easily and effortlessly.  But if the party runs away from the fight, all dead and unconscious members are kicked off.  This is hilarious when the party runs away from immobile monsters (such as a green slime).
3. Poison is rather silly in this game.  In 1E, its not always an autokill, often its take damage and then save, and even failing isn't usually instant death, but UA takes the easy way out, making all poison the same
4. I really prefer it when a character must be attacked or gets a save or something when they are paralyzed.  A party member was lost to giant ants because of an unlucky roll on a saving throw.  So basically paralyzation is a killer.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 01:55:48 PM
Party 19:
The adventurer parents after not hearing back from their second set of children, insisted that the 3rd set do no adventuring themselves and told them to turn their children into adventurers.  So this band of heroes, named after their Uncles, Aunts, and Grandparents set off for adventure! 

These younglings played GA3: Tales of Enchantment.  A man's son has gotten lost in the woods and they have to find and save him!  Our adventurers enter the woods and find the boy and bring him back to his father.  All is well and the adventurers take their reward.  But as the adventurers leave, the father storms out of the house yelling that the boy they brought back was merely an illusion!  And he promptly snatched the reward money back.

Not to be deterred, our adventurers pressed on into the woods, defeating minor monsters here and there, but they eventually faced their most fearsome monster yet!  Bambardier Beetles!  Our adventurers got very worried when these beetles started casting a spell.  Before they knew it though, Two Cloud Kills were summoned on top of the party.  The last remaining party member Allistaire IV fought hard and killed several beetles while they were pondering whether or not to kill him instantly with cloud kill.  Allistaire IV suggested that with the ability to cast cloud kill, these beetles could easily take over the world, and he promptly put several larvae inside his body as a token of his sincerity.

Party 20:

Part 1
This party was quickly assembled after no word was received back from their missing brothers and sisters.  They heard word that there was a Missing colony somewhere out in the desert that no one had ever heard back from.  Our party members were tasked with the job of finding what had happened to them.

Well, it so happened that the colony got overtaken by a land aboleth and his mind flayer cohort who both had a flair for hippies.  They mind controlled the colonists and forced them to dress as wolves, bright hawks, and in rainbow gowns.  The party aimed for the mind flayer early and directly to kill it quickly.  But the land Aboleth struck and diseased poor Malis V.  Morgoth V got charm person cast on him, and immediately began attacking his brothers and sisters.  The party attacked and killed the land Aboleth and Mind Flayer, hoping to break the mental control, but no luck.  They then began to kill every single minion of the land Aboleth and the Mind Flayer, but nothing happened.  Then the DoWed their brother, and after that the land was good again, the colonists regained their minds, and everyone was taken back to civilization.

While resting, the party forgot that Malis V was diseased.  They would have tried to go see a Cleric, but they had already typed in 30 days to rest, and couldn't undo that decision.  So, the party rested 25 days in the inn with their brother's corpse in there with them.  The party promptly went back home, buried their brother and fetched their younger sibling, Malis VI to replace him.

Part 2
This party heard that some creature had been destroying livestock, people, and farms.  The party went underground, killed some bugbears, spiders, and eventually found the menace: a giant Umber Hulk who was quickly defeated.  The adventurers picked up their reward and moved on.

Part 3
The adventurers learned that apparently they should have gone farther into the desert because there used to be a great empire there, and this merchant caravan wants to go there!  So our illustrious adventurers begin B4: The Lost City.  The caravan got lost, our mules died, and our adventurers approached a big structure, hoping to find nourishment there.  They make it inside, finding a clan of amazons from the ancient empire who want the characters to join their sect and kill off the other Not the True Way male sects.  The characters were curious how the amazons hoped to repopulate their ancient empire, but nonetheless agreed and joined them.  The Amazons provided Food and Water, Sleeping quarters, training, and arms for sale.  The party was quite pleased.

In the structure the party came across a humanoid statue, when the wand it held was pressed left, gas was released everywhere and damaged the party, when pressed to the right, the party was flipped into a 1 cell corridor with 4 walls and no means of escape.  The party screamed for help, but all died from suffocation.

Party 21:

A new band of siblings was formed, and they set out to a kingdom in need of a new ruler, and thus they began C4: The Prophecy of Brie.  Our adventurers are tasked to find out if now is the correct time for the prophecy and if this particular heir is the right one or not.  Our adventurers are led to the wilderness, and they place a log over a river to cross it.  Unfortunately, some treants nearby take great offense to placing one of their cousins over a river and attack the party.  The adventurers were confident that they could beat the Treants, but with their 0 AC, 2 attacks, and damage of around 15-20 per attack, the treants cut the party down and build houses with them.

Party 22:
This party participates in Keep on the Borderlands B2.  They go to the swamps and kill many lizardmen and giant lizards.  They also killed a hill giant family and fought a green dragon, which proceeded to eat the entire party.  This is the end of playing modules converted by Ray Dyer as the green dragon and hill giants were not present in the original module and are hardly apppropriate for a module designed for characters levels 1-3.

I will try Ray Dyer's custom modules that he made for his brother, roommate, and father.

Notes
1. The Monster Manual lists Bombardier Beetles as being able to to release a vapor that has a 20% of stunning a creature and doing 3-12 damage.  But these beetles could cast cloud kill, a spell which automatically kills 5th level characters!
2. The Charm Person makes someone friendly to you, as if they're you're friend, that does not mean that a charmed party member will attack their former allies unhesitatingly.  More egregious is the fact that the charm didn't end after the Aboleth died.
3. The adventure description for B4: The Lost City is kinda silly.  If a party had a Cleric in it, they would easily be able to cast Create Water or Create Food and Water multiple times per day to get them back to civilization.
4. When an adventure says levels 1-3, it really means level 3.  When an adventure says levels 5-8, it means 8th level.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ben J on December 22, 2009, 02:35:42 PM
Interesting to read about your adventures in The Realm.

I'm only at posting no. 2, but I want to note this:

Quote
But we won!  After the battle we had a lot of daggers, clubs, longswords, leather armor etc. to sell, but there was no sell option for any of the merchants in town!!!

The "sell" option is usually in a character's inventory screen when in a shop. If it's not present in this game, I want to know how to turn it off!  :D

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 22, 2009, 06:16:57 PM
You are indeed correct sir.  I didn't find out about that til later.  I simply assumed that since sell was not next to buy, my characters were denied the sell option.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: DesertScrb on December 22, 2009, 08:22:50 PM
Thanks for writing up your adventures.  I enjoyed reading them.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Nol Drek on December 23, 2009, 11:42:37 AM

2. Many places don't allow an area map.  This I highly disagree with.  In so many towns it's easy to get lost because everything looks the same.  If you want your dungeon to be more hidden, fine whatever.  But the stinginess for regular towns is unnecessary

3. The Designer hates searching and hates sleeping.  Quite honestly in actual play I would sleep in the dungeon often.  Whenever the party searches,the Designer makes the player wade through scrolling text to try to dissauge them from continued searching.  This is silly though since the modules contain hidden items that you can only find by searching.  And yes, contrary to your words, the adventurers do have all the time in the world.

2. When playing a FRUA module, I always use the area-on program. It turns on area view in every module in the design. It can be found here:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/hacks/area-on.txt

3. Fortunately, Ray provides clues as to when you should be searching in all of his modules. I hope that you have been using the 'Look' command frequently.

It sounds like you have been trying many different Realm designs. I'm not surprised that your party died in Slave Lords and Fire Mountain. It sounds like you had better luck in Veiled Society. If your party is low-level, you might enjoy Journey to the Rock or Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. The recommended order for each region is here:
http://therealm.flopsyville.com/south.html
http://therealm.flopsyville.com/west.html
http://therealm.flopsyville.com/east.html
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Olivier Leroux on December 24, 2009, 09:49:06 AM
I haven't read all of your post but I'm sure it's greatly appreciated feedback here. :)

Just a few points:

1. In case you don't know yet, the designer is always the same person for all 40+ designs, namely the prolific Ray Dyer, and that's the explanation why they all share the same rules (e.g. no resting in dungeons, no searching every step etc.).

2. It seems like you're enjoying the series for the most part and I bet a lot of your comments are really helpful for Ray. But everything you consider "silly" was a conscious and well-thought out decision on Ray's part who's been an experienced and successful UA designer and a PnP game master for many many years. You don't have to agree with it and there's no harm in pointing that out and letting the designer know - but keep in mind that it's all about opinions and preferences and just because you disagree doesn't make it silly. IMO secrets are not really secret when everyone can find them without thinking, just by activating SEARCH all the time. You're supposed to use LOOK in suspicious places or to examine something and turning on SEARCH often ruins Ray's method so he has a reason to discourage you from using it.

3. AFAIK your party can contain up to six members. Did you only choose four? If that's the case that would explain why e.g. lvl 5-8 usually means lvl 8 for your party.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with the community and Happy Holidays to you and everyone else here! :)
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 24, 2009, 01:00:30 PM
1. Glad you enjoyed it DesertScrb

2. Thanks for the Area-on-heads up Nol Drek.  That is a big help and makes playing more enjoyable.

3. I did play Journey to the Rock multiple times, and its one of the few modules I completed all the way.  I played Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh as evidenced above, but couldn't figure out what to do next and quit.

4. My play strategy was to play the Realm game as-is, I would only enter modules that I found on the world map that invited me in, and I would also partake in mini-adventures as they were presented to me.

4. To Oliver, oh I definitely knew that Ray Dyer made all of the designs, the idea of a continuous campaign using all the same characters from level 1-20ish was very appealing. 

5. Yea, I'm aware that Ray has his reasons for wanting to screw searching all the time, but I don't agree with it.  Area is turned off which means that I get lost all the time anyway, and miss little niches where bonus monsters and treasure is stored anyway.  Secondly, many modules require you to find a secret door, and you can only find that secret door by searching.  So oft I'm being punished for doing something that needs to be done.  Third, there's rarely any sense of urgency.  My party literally can spend tons of time searching every rock and leaf and be fine.  If monsters come around bring it.  I'll kill them all no problem.  The problem of course is that realistically there should be a limit to wandering monsters but ingame there's infinite of them.

6. In the beginning (when I was a newbie) I made a party of 4.  Eventually this party was replaced with a party of  6 Fighters as mentioned above.

7.  Modules designed for levels 5-8 mean level 8 because those Bombadier beetles cast Cloudkill, instantly slaying my level 5 party.  Levels 1-3 means level 3 because those ogres with high hp and AC, kill my 1st level characters with 1 blow.

Take care,
Bill
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Olivier Leroux on December 24, 2009, 01:56:13 PM
5. Yea, I'm aware that Ray has his reasons for wanting to screw searching all the time, but I don't agree with it.  Area is turned off which means that I get lost all the time anyway, and miss little niches where bonus monsters and treasure is stored anyway.  Secondly, many modules require you to find a secret door, and you can only find that secret door by searching.  So oft I'm being punished for doing something that needs to be done.  Third, there's rarely any sense of urgency.  My party literally can spend tons of time searching every rock and leaf and be fine.  If monsters come around bring it.  I'll kill them all no problem.  The problem of course is that realistically there should be a limit to wandering monsters but ingame there's infinite of them.

Fair enough. And I grant you that you can get lost or overlook something in the Realm designs quite easily if you don't draw your own maps or if you aren't that good in orientating yourself without a map, so I can see why both "Area view turned off" and "Searching disallowed" bugs you.

Since the LOOK command has the same effect as SEARCH though, if you LOOK in the right places - and often there are clues - I don't see Ray's method as a big punishment. You can beat all his games without ever having to use the SEARCH button. Personally, I'd consider it a much worse punishment if a mod required me to find a secret door which can only be found by searching and then I'd have to deal with wandering monsters each three steps and waste my time with random combats. Maybe it's a combat vs. puzzles thing...

I believe Darius Whiteheart and Keith Allen, two of my favorite design authors apart from Ray, also seem to favor the LOOK method and I've used it myself, while others don't use it at all and some like Ben J have stated their dislike of it even before you. But that's what I was talking about. Different players/designers, different opinions. To each their own. :)
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on December 24, 2009, 08:17:12 PM

Holy cow!!!   :o

What an awesome Christmas present!   ;D

I took a break from wrapping presents and look at what showed up while I was away! 

I haven't had time to read the "Parties," but I did read the notes.  Unfortunately, it'll be next week till I get back to read the rest.  Positive or negative, though, any feedback is always welcome!

Olivier and Nol have already said it pretty well, and I remember, years ago, folks getting into the whole "Look" vs. "Search" debate.  It's pretty clear what side of that I prefer, as a player and a DM...   :D  My only complaint as a player comes when there are no text clues in a module, and something really important could be overlooked because of it.  For the most part, though, if there's something hidden in a lair, you'll get a description of a pile of detritus.  Then, if you "Look" you'll be rewarded with another statement that tells you what you find. 

The same is true for secret doors, though some of the more game-breaking secret doors don't have verbal clues.  The old 1E teams had a crazy penchant for putting a secret door directly into the boss-monster's lair, which was never intended to be found, but was there to "reward clever play" all the same.  I tried to remain true to those old maps, but that meant remaining true to staying mum on those instances, as well...  ;)

Of course, I've these decisions have resulted in many folks praising and other folks using words like "hypocritical" over the years.  Can't please everyone, I suppose.  I hope that, overall, the need to push the "L" key every now and then didn't detract too much from your game play!!!

You are right about some of those creatures' abilities.  Unfortunately, I'm not a talented programmer.  The Realm is a collection of other people's work, both on the game side, and also the hacking that's been done.  I did my best to use the editors that were available when each game was created, but these were started back in 1996 or '97, so some things just couldn't be done yet.  I have to admit, a lot of things that can be done now are still out of my league without a front-end editor to dumb it down for me...  :'(

Got to get back to wrapping those gifts...Wrote too much as it is!  I'm curious, though, where you found a poison system in 1E that wasn't "save or die."  To the best of my knowledge, suffering damage for poison instead of dying was an optional rule in the 2E DMG, and didn't change into something that wasn't officially "save or die" until third edition.  I believe the only damage-based poison system for 1E originally appeared in an old issue of Dragon Magazine and was reprinted in Best of Dragon, Volume II.

Can't wait to get back next week to catch up on the rest of this.  From what I saw, it sounds like you put a lot of time into putting together your notes.  Thank you for sharing your experiences!

Happy Adventuring!
-Ray

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on December 24, 2009, 08:49:01 PM
Hey Ray, when you get the chance to read up on the individual parties, don't take it personally, it's just the thoughts of a frustrated adventuring party!  I did have fun with this though and thanks for making the modules.

Regarding poison, well it seems you're right.  On page 20 of the DMG, it gives damage and prices for poison for player characters with the caveat that monster poison always kills.  Ah well, I guess it's the players that get gimped on this one.  I had always thought that monsters had a poison type, but I never read the rules, my bad.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on January 04, 2010, 07:02:49 PM

Hey, Bill,

You've definitely been quite persistent...and patient!  I have to admit that I would have quit long before getting this far, considering the experiences you've had.  I can't say your experiences are entirely unique, but you do seem to have every negative experience I've read about with one of my designs over the last decade or so, and a few brand new ones, to boot!  That's quite...well...I'm not sure impressive is the right word...

I feel for you; this sounds like an exorcise in abject misery.  While reading, I did have a few questions, though...and maybe some comments.  Perhaps this might help you be a little bit less frustrated in the future...should you ever decide to give it another whirl!

Couple things off the top:

1. Group Size: As you mentioned later, the game is definitely balanced for a party of six.  Sometimes NPCs will come and go, occasionally bolstering your ranks to eight, but each game expects that the group start with six.  A smaller group will definitely face more frequent TPKs, especially at lower levels.
2. Level Range: Most games have a "sweet spot" in the center of the range, considering a group of characters risen from first level in Realm games.  As mentioned above, this anticipates a party of six characters, and also some of the "big prizes," which are routinely won in the treasure hoards of the modules' big bads.  Reading through your experiences, I suspect that some of those were never reached, so even when experience and levels were won, the commensurate treasures didn't come along with it.  That would definitely create another imbalance!
3. Nol mentioned this already, but I'd definitely recommend a look at the Realm site if the mood ever strikes you to try again.  The site offers an order of play in each region, and a FAQ created based on a lot of the questions I've received over the last ten+ years.  Certainly, it's not necessary to play the games, but there are explanations of things like the LOOK vs. SEARCH controversy, I believe the AREA VIEW choices, and so forth.  The site can be found at: http://therealm.flopsyville.com/Menu.htm (http://therealm.flopsyville.com/Menu.htm)


Alright I'm playing a hacked version of Unlimited Adventures using the game: the Realm which itself consists of 40 games which were published modules.  I'll detail my experiences and TPKs here.  For entertainment purposes, generally the last lines from every party are most worth reading.

Thank you for investing so much wit into each party's demise.  I cringed with each one, but also very much appreciated the nod and wink that seemed to come alongside each one...

Next, the party hear about the Slave Lords and decide to go and try to help.  They somehow make their way to this island.  And go far to the left near this red stuff near a mountain.  Unfortunately it was lava, and all the party members died.

This really confuses me, because it sounds like your characters walked directly to the end of the game.  You seem to be very well-read in the classic modules, so I'm guessing you recognized A4.  What's odd about this is that the version of Game01 that I uploaded back in, oh, something like 1998 or something, had a bug that started the game there.  The first reviews came back rather ugly, and a bug-fixed version was quickly uploaded.  I have heard about this happening to someone in a looooong time! 

Do you recall how you got to the island so quickly?  Did you start there?  Did you walk there?  Even if you chose to walk past the landmark for A1, you should not have been able to get to A2-A4 until you doubled back.  I'm really confused by this one!

Party 3:

The third party taking the advice of the mighty gods decided to visit the South Realm instead of the East, being told that that land was ripe for young adventurers to gain power and fame to visit other lands.  On the first square, our adventurers were told about a far away island to stop a chieftan from messing up the Merchant Guild's trade routes.  Luckily though, our adventurers were given a place to buy weapons and armor and to sleep to memorize spells before the journey and there was much rejoicing!


You've got some brave adventurers!  The description included a level range again...these guys went anyway?  One thing that I'm sure you've found is that the adventures for levels 1-3 start with either a Shop event or a town where shopping can be performed.  The higher level adventures often skip those events for two reasons.  First, they're often unnecessary.  Second, almost every game in the Realm ends with a chance to train, shop and sleep.  It seems like the biggest problem these folks ran into was that they kept "escaping" modules and moving onto the next.  Palace of the Silver Princess, for instance.  Without getting to the end, there was no chance to rest.  The next game assumed that the previous was completed, and so resting at the beginning would have been redundant (and, back in the day, would have resulted in complaints from more than one reviewer...)

Party 5:
This party, determined not to suffer the same fate as the other 2 groups of adventurers decides to go to the island, and not use the quick combat option, but rather manually cast every spell and aim every ranged weapon.  Concentrated firepower will surely defeat those white apes!  But alas, the 4 white apes with multiple attacks are more than a match for a 1st level party, and thus this party becomes dinner on the Planet of the Apes.

Wow...Five parties in and still banging away at those apes with first-level characters.  You're a better person than I.


Notes:
1. I could have sworn that the game said that Drums on Fire Mountain was for characters levels 1-3, but apparently:  http://home.flash.net/~brenfrow/dd/dd-x8.htm (http://home.flash.net/~brenfrow/dd/dd-x8.htm)    the adventure was for characters levels 5-8.  Oops!

THAT explains it!!!  I've done the same thing, picking games from the Magic Mirror.  And sometimes those games were labeled as "Levels 1-3!"


3.  Morningstars are 2 handed here, but I thought they were one handed.  Regardless, I'll be using flails from now on.

If I remember correctly, morningstars in the Realm do a little more damage than those in standard settings.  I could be wrong, but that was a house-ruled thing.  When I originally made the "World Hak" (such as it is), I never dreamed I would share these games with other folks.  Well, maybe I dreamed it, but I was pretty sure I'd wimp out in the long run and just let them sit on my hard drive forever.  So, you'll find things in the Realm that fit the game I was playing back then.

4.  It would be nice if magic-users could select their own spells rather than having the same 4 assigned every time.

I so agree.  There is a program that you can download called CharEdit.  Works beautifully for doing just this.  You can even give yourself every spell in the game at first level, if you'd like, and never worry about scrolls again.  I haven't done that personally, but I have to say that I enjoy starting my "enchanter" with a Charm Person, and my "Invoker" with a magic missile...

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on January 04, 2010, 07:23:15 PM
Party 7:
Anyway, we found a town that apparently had a Temple of Elemental Evil nearby, but we had a real tough time finding it.  We managed to convince a 1st level fighter and a 5th level thief to join our first level party.  Upon entering the territory of this "Temple of Elemental Evil" a couple of agents of chaos or whatever attacked our party.  Our new 1st level fighter buddy ditches us, but we win the battle.  Once we get back to town this below par intelligence fighter talks about how he got a sword from his brother and is 5th level with -1 AC, much better than the rest of the party.

I'vegotta admit.  It's a lot easier to conceal the NPCs stats in a live game.  A system like FRUA just doesn't do justice to the old, "I'm Traveling with Elminster in Disguise" trope...

Well, we get waylaid again by this evil fighter and his agent of chaos buddies in town.  We defeat them but have several party members drop to 0.  Apparently you can bandage buddies far away from you, and that's how no one died.  Again, we didn't have spells for this battle since I was travelling towards the inn to rest so that I could get my spells and that's why there were high casualties for this.

Interesting to hear someone say this...Back when FRUA a fan-favorite game, and it was cool to sit around and play with a bunch of friends, we used to have a "house rule" that you could only bandage someone adjacent to you.  We had lots of house rules back then.  We used to role play a little, and develop our characters through the games.  Having different designers function as "DMs" made for an interesting and varied campaign...that's for sure!


So after returning to the overland map we tried to enter white plume mountain to sell equipment, but couldn't for some reason (darn bugs), so we headed further south when a revenant paladin asked us to avenge his death against a Necromancer.  I really didn't want to refuse this revenant paladin cause he seemed so sad!  The adventure said for levels 2-4 and we had 6 level 1s and 2 level 5s, so it couldn't be too bad right?  Well, we fought an evil cook and won!  We also fought 2 wood golems and won!  When we got to the ornate Necromancer's door, he pretended to be innocent (be we doubted he was), so the NPC thief picked the door and we aimed to attack.

This was one of the times I wondered how you were going about these games.  If you leave one design to move into another, you would need to restart the original game if you were to return it.  Moving "Saved Games" from one FRUA design to another is a recipe for disaster, since most games start by setting certain quest flags to specific values.  So, the three quests to find Wave, Whelm and Blackrazer that are set at the beginning of White Plume Mountain may well be the variables that govern whether you've cleared the Hommlet moathouse, befriended Otto in Nulb and freed Zuggtmoy in the Temple of Elemental Evil design. 

If you aren't moving saved games but instead moving character files (per the documentation in UAShell), then you'll find that all your quests were reset when you return to Temple of Elemental Evil.  Effectively, the whole game will re-pop.  That's no big deal if you're never planning to return to the Temple, of course. 

I'm not sure which route you were taking, but some statements made me wonder a bit, because either will result in games behaving weirdly.  For instance, if you started a design before heading to the Slave Lords in Game01, then one of these quest flags could very well have opened the doors to the slave lords' stronghold!

Oh great, there isn't a one stop shop in this town.  So basically the party spent all night trying to find the right shop to buy ranged weapons, melee weapons, and armor.  The armor is cheaper here than other towns, but that doesn't excuse the annoyance.  Anyway when we were almost finished, we were railroaded into sleeping in a specific inn and waking up only to find this noblewoman complaining about demons in her basement.  We really didn't want to say no as we knew that would ruin the quest and destroy one of the few places in the world the party could gain xp and survive.

Like I said before, the Realm was deisgned to capture that sense of role-playing and moving through a live environment.  It's limited by the engine and, of course, by my creativity and limited artistic ability, but I did my best.  Over the years, things like this have divided some of the reviews, but it's largely been seen as a positive.  Lots of folks to go talk to, lots of places to check out, and a real opportunity to get the "lay of the land" before the chase sequences kick in later in the game, and you have to move quickly from one point to the next.  Definitely not for everyone's taste, but then...nothing really is for everyone's taste...

Also, I can't get upset by the railroading commentary.  That's how the whole beast was written...

However, when you enter the inn room, there is a one time Camp event that fires automatically.  If you hit "Exit," which is surprisingly easy to do, the game thinks you've finished resting and carries on.  Even while playtesting, I remember leaving that camp event before preparing my spells.  Not sure why, because hitting "Enter" does nothing, but it's awfully easy to do.


They promptly get surrounded, defeated and sacrificed to Kurtulmak.

Loved this statement, by the way. 

3. The Designer hates searching and hates sleeping.  Quite honestly in actual play I would sleep in the dungeon often.  Whenever the party searches,the Designer makes the player wade through scrolling text to try to dissauge them from continued searching.  This is silly though since the modules contain hidden items that you can only find by searching.  And yes, contrary to your words, the adventurers do have all the time in the world.

Yeah, can't disagree with this.  Searching strikes me as ridiculous, especially considering there is a Look feature in the game.  As a designer, I see no point whatsoever in carefully placing a secret door if everyone is going to play through in Search mode.  In Area mode, a secret door appears no different from any normal door, so a game allowing Search and Area effectively removes any need for me to put thought into the layout of my game.  For what it's worth, I play the way I design, meaning no Area mode and I try to Look rather than Search.  My greatest frustration comes from the reverse, designers who assume that everyone is Searching and so provide zero clues that would lead me to suspect the presence of anything special. 

I also strongly disagree with the notion that "adventurers do have all the time in the world."  I understand it's the difference between playing styles, but the Realm was created to generate a tabletop atmosphere.  I can count on one hand how many times players in my games have slept in a dungeon.  The logistics of it, and the imminent danger of bedding down in the deadliest spot possible rather than making a tactical withdrawal...It's has happened, but less than five times in the eleven-year campaign I'm running now, and about as many in the ten-year game before that.  The 1E DMG is loaded with additional reasons, from leeches to parasites to disease, not to mention the usual throngs of wandering monsters.  FRUA won't allow the majority of that; and FRUA's camp-encounter engine is horribly flawed, so the designer is left with two basic choices, either allow unlimited rest or allow no rest at all.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on January 04, 2010, 07:30:19 PM
These adventurers saved a small town from skeletons, solved the mystery of the Rock, and killed a few Brigands in specularum!  Unfortunately, they all disbanded and joined a tavern in Specularum and decided to drink and eat soup for the rest of their lives with all the excess gold from their journeys

This sounds awesome!!!

Party 12:
This party managed to solve the mystery of the rock, and promptly avoided the abandoned city upon hearing rumors that it wasn't actually abandoned.  The party went to Specularum, found out who enslaved people below the city, found out there names, found evidence linking to the crime, got confessions from co-conspirators,and slayed those who perpetrated the crime.  Apparently there was more to do, but the party couldn't figure out what, and the City Constable wasn't helping so they left.

Yeah, I've always thought that the designers who came up with the ruins of Tuma had some sadistic impulses.  Best to avoid the haunted city altogether...


Upon going outside the 2nd time, the party engaged in combat with this "misty" "ghosty" dragon.  Unfortunately this "misty" "ghosty" dragon had 81 hitpoints and breathed Lightning.  Half the party died in the first breath.  The other half died the 2nd breath.  And thus the party continued to haunt that house, for the shame they received while they lived.

This is the catch-22 of designing something like the Realm.  I don't know whether someone is playing a fifth level group or a twentieth-level group.  So I've tried to avoid things that say, "You All Die...So There!"  I touch on this in the FAQ over on the Realm site.  By the same token, the game was not designed for high-level characters in mind.  So, to balance it, I tried to give some clues...and then let the dice fall where they may.  Someone playing a high-level group would be sorely pissed if I told them they could not face the misty dragon thing and go home as they pleased.  On the other hand, someone playing a low-level group would be equally displeased if they were rendered to ash simply for walking through the door, no warning provided.  So, the middle ground I landed on was to divert the party arbitrarily the first time, with a description of what sent them running...and then stat out the "unstoppable monster"  if they went back anyway. 

Ironically, this is my best attempt at avoiding the railroading that was mentioned earlier.  A higher-level party could have killed the monster and gone about their business, no railroading involved.  For a lower-level party, they have it in their power to choose the means of their demise, or to go back inside and find another way home!

Notes:
1. For legitimacy, all characters were rolled not modified.
2.  Although its painful, hit dice were not altered
3. I know I should probably run away sometimes and fear for my life.  But that's hard when you have a reload option.

Agreed, on all three counts!!!

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on January 04, 2010, 07:40:42 PM
This party enter's a city which has a Raven's ruins nearby.  Unlike another city with Skeletons as a problem which offered 500 gold for killing a few skeletons and a hag, this city wanted us to enter a place full of traps, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, skeletons, zombies, ghouls, thouls, etc. etc. for a meager reward of 50 gp.

To say the least our adventurers felt jipped.

I hear that!  Different eras, different designers...vastly different economics!

Part 3
Next, the party found themselves in a city where golbins and other evil humanoids were already attacking and retreating.  An old Ranger showed us the way to the caves and how to get there.  Well, this place too was infested by humanoids, but we were told that there was *EEEVVVVILLL* in those caves.  Something dark, real dark.  The party goes there, slays several orcs and the chieftan and finds a passage down which is the source of the eeevil.  Apparently it was just more undead hidden away.  We find a Cleric of Chaos and his undead lackeys.  They were all promptly slain.  We find a scroll here which belongs to a dead wizard warning of a great evil queen. 

Part 4
We follow the trail to the dead wizard's house to find his relative, hosting it and demanding that we search the dead wizard's basement and get two items for us. We go down, slay several monsters.  Later on, our party automatically gets gassed by 2 amazon ladies.  We get no save while they ponder killing us and steal our gold.  They later leave, whereupon we find the amazons again, and slay them quickly.  We go to the top and are then told that we absolutely must go to this Ice Fortress where all these humanoids hang out as well as this Evil Queen and her evilness that will envelop the county.  We wonder why searching the bottom of the basement was necessary.  Funny thing though we promised this guy that we'd be back in no longer than 48 hours, but since we were given a gracious opportunity to sleep downstairs, we ended up taking 12 days.  Funny thing, in the caves of chaos back when we fought the cleric we were given a chance to sleep, but every time we slept (except once), we encountered infinite skeletons and zombies.  Obviously, the designer gods hate for the party to be sleeping.

Part 5
Our party railroads to the Icy North, and upon trying to go back, are told that we cannot!  For the evil of this evil queen is too great to turn back!  Who knows what a huge difference a few days in winter could mean!  The designer gods tell us that we may find an opportunity to sleep in the frigid north if we really need to.

Our party is warned by the designer gods that there may be a way to the fortress by being sneaky.  But all our party members are fighters, hardy fighters who have fought ogres, thouls, orcs, goblins, undead, and fought in a communist revolution in specularum, killing many footmen and mounted horsemen.  Our adventureres are afraid of no army!

We fight round 1 which consists of goblins, round 2 which consists of orcs, and round 3 which consists of the human fortress leader and his Gnoll crony archers.  3 party members fell in that battle, but no worry; their wounds were patched.  Our party tries to explore the fortress at the top, but apparently goblin archers hang up there and do railroad auto damage to our party members wearing full plate and great helms and knock out another party member, leaving total members to 2. 

Our party members leave the fortress, finding a cave to sleep in.  Unfortunately the designer gods decree that sleeping in caves is unacceptable, and the party goes back to the wilderness to find another place to sleep.  But along the way they meet a strange frost creature that can raise dead corpses to serve it as well as shoot lightning at the party.  Although the 2 members fought valiantly, they eventually decided to join the frost creature's crusade to turn all humanoids into frozen corpses.

Party 15:
This party like the previous one, fought the Frost Queen's fortress head on (she had very quickly hired new recruits to replace the last), but rather than try to sleep in caves, hoped to sleep in beds instead. Unfortunately although the Fortress Commander, Orcs, and Goblins all had rooms with locks in the fortress, this merry band of adventurers were unable to sleep.  The designer gods forbade that a party should want to sleep in a room with a bed and locks, and demanded that the party fight the Frost Queen immediately with half the party rather than sleep a few days and fight her with a greater chance of success.

This party saw another member go unconscious while fighting remaining humanoids in the fortress.  However, a caged Weretigress, Sarla was very eager to attack the Frost Queen and joined the party.

The party finds the queen, her wardogs, her Cleric cohort, and his zombie buddies.  This party tries retreating some bit back to a spot where fewer enemies can attack them.  Sarla, being an idiot (NPC) decides not to retreat to a more defensible location and decides to charge attack all the monsters by herself.  Unfortunately the wardogs and zombies defeat her quickly.  Meanwhile, while Allistaire II and Morgoth blast away Wardogs and Zombies with the Arquebus, the Cleric casts hold person and paralyzes our 2 warriors.  Our party members very quickly convert to the ways of Chaos and Undeath, and generously donate their Full Plate Mail and Arquebuses to the Frost Queen.

Party 16:
This party too fought 3rd recruitment of her main army and defeated it.  This party found the sister, Sarlaa, of the former weretigress.  This party also avoided fighting some monsters the previous party did.  This party advanced a little with Arquebuses while Sarlaa foolishly charged ahead.  This weretigress having more hp than her sister was able to DoW 2 zombie.  These 2 remaining fighters specifically aimed for the Cleric cohort, killing him so that he could not cast harmful spells such as spirtual hammer, silence 15' radius, or hold person against our mighty party of 2 fighters.

Back to back, our fighters defeated the remaining minions of the Frost Queen and the Frost Queen herself.  Hoping that all monsters would leave the Frost Queen's castle, our party members hoped that they would be able to rest for just 1 day, 1 day so that the other 4 members would be able to walk on their own, and not be dragged through the snow, but to no avail.  The party would have liked to search the treasury of the queen for its 11,000 gp but the party knew unless they could carry it all, that it would disappear forever.

Along the way, exiting to the wizard keep, Sarlaa, who lay dead at the Frost Queen's throne, suddenly appeared to the party and ran off.  The party was very confused, because they purposely did not bandage Sarlaa although they were given multiple chances to in combat, and certainly did not drag the weretigress with the rest of the party members.

The party returned to the Wizard keep and then to the main city of the adventure, hoping that they would be allowed to return to the Frost Queen's fortress to claim that 11,000 gp.  But the townsfolk quickly grabbed the party's maps and burned them.


This whole section made me think it would be awesome to play a "real" game with you.  Of course, you have something like 96 reasons to kill me on sight just in these few posts, so that may not be a very wise choice on my part...   ;)


2. Putting up text to discourage the party from searching is hypocritical since often many items can only be found by searching.  Also, many modules cannot be completed unless the party finds a few secret doors, and secret doors are revealed by searching

Nothing can be found only by Searching.  Look does the same thing in every case.  I've found that quite a few experienced FRUA gamers never realized this, even though it's a carry over from the Gold Box games that a lot of us fell in love with back in the 80s.  I'll never forget stepping into the stables in the slums of Phlan for the first time and thinking, "I wonder..."  I clicked Look and found a bag of treasure...My love of the game was cemented at that moment!


3. The designer really hates sleeping as evidenced above even when other creatures slept there.

Don't follow the logic on this one.  If goblins sleep in a place, it makes sense that their buddies know that they slept there.  So, if I'm beaten and exhausted and weak, the last place I want to spend the next six-to-eight hours is in the most likely place for things to come and try to kill me...

Granted, there are some situations where the monsters are all dead, and even I have become frustrated sometimes, but I've never been able to fathom sleeping in a monster's lair, unless it's the largest monster in the region and rules others by sheer terror.  And there are some lairs that say as much in the Realm, and sleeping is permitted there.

5. Once all party members have Full Plate.  There is little need to carry around gold any more.
6. My Arquebuses do around 11-20 damage, much more than the 2nd ed. PHB indicates as such, they're my best weapon.  There's also no misfire penalty or rules.

Both of these are products of those house rules I mentioned earlier.  We used the Mighty Fortress rules supplement for our firearms, and then adjusted those, slightly, to give the arquebus a bit more punch.  Of course, we play using Weapon Speed, and the balancing factor is the arquebus' Weapon Speed of 20.  FRUA incorporates the damage beautifully, but not so much with the slowness...

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on January 04, 2010, 07:50:47 PM
Part 1
Needing gold for 4 more Full Plate armors, the party set on adventure.  While sleeping one night the party received a vision from J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, about the Kingdom of the Silver Princess which was in trouble from....something.  He went into this long story about how Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Halfings all got along well in the kingdom, but the Gnomes did not.  Anywho, apparently bugbears, gnolls, and orcs are up to it again, and the land is dying, crops withering, the princess missing, this ruby missing, and J'onn J'onzz is happy to provide any help we require except direct combat support.


I'm so glad to hear someone else call the Protector J'onn J'onzz.  So glad...


Needing more adventure, the party members heard that there was still a great bounty on brigands, and now a year later!  The party was finally powerful enough to help the 2 cities that were offering a reward of 10,000 gold pieces.  The party set out to help, but like most adventures did not give the party any chance whatsoever to heal ahead of time before undertaking the quest.  But no matter!  Keldar had 37 hp which should have been plenty. 

Well, when wandering around the abandoned lot, an ankheg popped out and spit a gob of acid dealing 48 damage to Keldar!  48 damage!  The mionster manual says acid damage is from 8-32, but this ankheg dealt 48 damage!  To say the least, Keldar was completely incinerated and dead.


The only acid attack in FRUA is Black Dragon Acid, which deals the creature's hit points in damage.  Most of the ankhegs you fight in the Realm are underpowered because of this.  This one...well...not so underpowered...   :o


The remaining 5 party members return to Specularum, get married , have kids, and name them after themselves including their fallen friend Keldar.  This new party of adventurers are given their parents former equipment and trained intensively for the day they will set out in the world.  They are warned time and again, to avoid Ankhegs at all costs.  The parents then spend the rest of their days getting drunk and eating soup at Detho's groghouse, where other adventurers including 5 clerics and a mage hang out.

LOVED this!!!

But the young experienced adventurers decide to play along.  Interestingly the dark wizard offers the party gems for 250 gp, and gems can be traded for magic items.  The party wasn't too interested in the magic item, but since the party gets xp for the value of each gem, and some gems are worth 250, 500, or 2500 gp, the party can keep on trading gems for gold and selling the gems back to get lots of xp!  The party incurred a net gp loss, but got plenty of xp.  Silly wizard....tricks are for kids!

Yeah, this one was clunky, to say the least.  Wasn't sure how else to go about it.  In the end, it kind of works, but definitely leaves the door open for exploitation.  So much in the Realm is "honor system" based, like in real D&D.  If I were a better programmer, I could probably have tightened it up, but I'm barely proficient in Microsoft Office, let alone a hex editor...

Morgoth III was very confident, he had finally made it to the apex where the Soul Gem was stored.  However, the Soul gem was very powerful and fought back.  It cast Fire Shield and Disintegration at Morgoth III, but he made his save.  Morgoth III then proceeded to attack the Soul Gem with his magic sword.

Unfortunately upon being hit, the Soul Gem auto-matically did 30 magic damage to Morgoth III, slaying him instantly.  The Soul Gem earned 5000 xp for defeating Morgoth, with an additional 1000 xp for claiming another soul with another 3000 xp for 3000 gp worth of items, enough to place the soul gem at the next experience level.  Now, the soul gem is capable of casting 3 spells before adventurers may attempt to strike it.

In this instance it wasn't Ray who killed Morgoth III, it was those evil designers.  I found an editor program that allowed me to make a few changes in the game for that last battle.  I reduced the casting time of Fire Shield to zero, like Delayed Blast Fireball, and then I increased the Soul Gem's Dexterity to 25.  Then I Surprised the party automatically in the combat event.  Why would I do such a horrid thing?  It was the only way I could think of to give the Soul Gem it's defensive aura.  The Soul Gem, as written, deals damage back to those who wound it.  The fire shield effect mimicked that, but only if I could get the spell cast right away.  This worked out, though it has the appearance of cheating, since the Soul Gem casts this spell so quickly...It's actually something the Soul Gem just...does...

Somehow, I don't think that would make Morgoth III hate me any less...   :'(


1. Green slime is invulnerable to any attack except the cure disease spell.  There are no clerics in the party, but if there were, why would they memorize cure disease?  Secondly, green slimes can be destroyed by frost or fire, but Unlimited Adventures does not let you buy or use torches!  So as a result, Green Slimes are nigh invincible monster in the Computer Game.

Correct again!  That is why green slimes in the Realm have very few hit points.  They're both inherently unfair and among my top five monsters in the pen-and-paper game.  Despite the unfairness I couldn't bring myself to ignore them completely, not with so many awesome combat icons created by the FRUA community and begging to be put to use!!!

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on January 04, 2010, 08:03:01 PM
Not to be deterred, our adventurers pressed on into the woods, defeating minor monsters here and there, but they eventually faced their most fearsome monster yet!  Bambardier Beetles!  Our adventurers got very worried when these beetles started casting a spell.  Before they knew it though, Two Cloud Kills were summoned on top of the party.  The last remaining party member Allistaire IV fought hard and killed several beetles while they were pondering whether or not to kill him instantly with cloud kill.  Allistaire IV suggested that with the ability to cast cloud kill, these beetles could easily take over the world, and he promptly put several larvae inside his body as a token of his sincerity.

Oh, wow...That's really barbaric of me...

My first thought was, There's just no way I would have done that!

Then I thought, It does sound vaguely familiar...

I believe my thinking was that the minimum level for this adventure was high enough that no one should be killed outright by the cloudkill.  Instead, it would linger and inflict 1d12 damage, which is serious, but not immediately fatal.  Further rationalization stated that lower-level characters would never survive to make it that far into the design, anyway.  I sense an error in that judgment call...


While resting, the party forgot that Malis V was diseased.  They would have tried to go see a Cleric, but they had already typed in 30 days to rest, and couldn't undo that decision.  So, the party rested 25 days in the inn with their brother's corpse in there with them.  The party promptly went back home, buried their brother and fetched their younger sibling, Malis VI to replace him.

Hit the Space Bar!  Hit the Space Bar! 

That allows you to stop resting!!!

What a horrible image...I've got to bleach my eyes...And my brain...

In the structure the party came across a humanoid statue, when the wand it held was pressed left, gas was released everywhere and damaged the party, when pressed to the right, the party was flipped into a 1 cell corridor with 4 walls and no means of escape.  The party screamed for help, but all died from suffocation.

Oh, the deathtrap.  How very Tom Moldvay...


This party participates in Keep on the Borderlands B2.  They go to the swamps and kill many lizardmen and giant lizards.  They also killed a hill giant family and fought a green dragon, which proceeded to eat the entire party.  This is the end of playing modules converted by Ray Dyer as the green dragon and hill giants were not present in the original module and are hardly apppropriate for a module designed for characters levels 1-3.

Just like everything else, there's a story behind that one.  B2 includes a second cave, aside from the Caves of Chaos.  It's called the Caves of the Unknown.  When I was a kid, one of my earliest memories gaming was playing through this module with my Dad.  It was one of the two times my Uncle played with us, and it was really a big deal in my childhood.  Well, the first game we played led to a crushing defeat in the goblin cave, with the ogre killing my elf and my uncle being captured and hauled off into the caves as a prisoner.  After all these years, a part of me is still trying to get back to that game and save him.  I know; I'm strange like that.

The other game, we decided to go to the other cave.  The Caves of Chaos had ended our last characters, so we figured this next one couldn't be so bad.  Well, on the way to the Cave of the Unknown, we started to see a large shape fly overhead.  Then we got a closer look.  This was just my Dad's way of telling us that we were taunting disaster if we didn't turn back.  The module doesn't detail what is in the Cave of the Unknown; it was part of the whole "how to" approach of the early D&D modules.  Left to his own devices, Dad decided that this was a Dungeons & Dragons module, and so there should be a dragon.  Well, my uncle and I weren't to be driven off my any sort of "subtle" hints.  We pressed on...and died before every stepping foot across the threshold of that cave.

When the time came to convert Keep on the Borderlands, I immediately thought of that encounter.  I loaded up a few warning statements, and then put in the dragon.  What works really well is to go there after clearing out all the other caves.  Then you get to slay the dragon and really put a capstone on a game full of dungeons, but that was--till that day--sorely lacking in dragons!




Bill, thanks again for being such a good sport.  I don't know whether you'll ever try again, but I truly appreciate the time you put into playing these designs, and even moreso the time you put into expressing your experiences for us here on the forums.  I know you experienced one giant frustration after another, just from reading what you wrote, but it seems you kept a sense of humor throughout.  These come from a younger time in my life, but they were absolutely a labor of love.  I hope some of that love showed through, ameliorating some of the labor, and that you found some enjoyment between TPKs...

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ben J on January 05, 2010, 03:41:01 AM
Look vs. Search:

There should really be a hack to turn off the "Search" button entirely! Can it be done?

Otherwise, having my own PCs tell me that they don't want to search strikes me as a somewhat awkward way of avoiding the option.

It reminds me of the frustrating experience of playing "Monkey Island III": My character is standing in a ship's hull, filled to the brim with treasure. I can click on a lot of objects, yet my character keeps telling me that he doesn't want any of it: "No, I don't need this, I don't want this, why would I want to pick this up?" Then there are some tiny, random objects that he decides he does need, so he picks them up without further complaint.
If the character that I'm supposed to play knows exactly what he wants and doesn't want to do, he can play the game by himself. After all, he doesn't need me to tell him what to do, does he?

A nicer way to discourage the player from using the search option would be to tell him "The party is searching, but doesn't find anything". The player will soon get tired of having to read that text every step (unfortunately, I don't have the space left in my game to implement something like this, so you basically get to search everywhere).

But the most elegant way would be to just remove the "search" button. I'm not a hacker, though,  so I don't know if it can be done.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ray on January 05, 2010, 07:41:07 AM

That's exactly my situation.  I have no skill at hacking, so I had to make due with what I have.  Sometimes the PCs say that they are nervous, sometimes the PCs say come back to report something different.  Due to the wonders of FRUA, each and every dungeon of each and every design required a different global message.  So, you''ll get between ten and thirty-six different Search responses in any Realm game, which range from "Hey, boss, didn't find anything," to (often much later in the game, "Boss, come on...we've gone over this.  We've just taken three steps in a half hour in an empty hallway..."

If a hack had been available to remove the Search button (and maybe put blinking Christmas lights around the Look button), I would have been all over it!   8)

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Olivier Leroux on January 05, 2010, 10:18:26 AM
Ben J's is in fact a valid point, I just wanted to chime in and say that personally I never minded that much. I always appreciate variety, surprises and a little taunt and mockery, too, even if directed at myself. Much more fun than just reading "You find nothing".

On the other hand the focus of the game probably shouldn't be on finding out what snide remarks your companion hold in store for you this time... ;)

I have to confess when I imitated Ray's method in my own designs I hadn't even thought of the possibility of other players not liking it and why.  :-\
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Ben J on January 05, 2010, 01:36:06 PM
Ben J's is in fact a valid point, I just wanted to chime in and say that personally I never minded that much. I always appreciate variety, surprises and a little taunt and mockery, too, even if directed at myself. Much more fun than just reading "You find nothing".

I think it's more like treating it as a standard option of the game. I wouldn't expect the game to come up with a funny remark every time I'm unsuccessfully clicking the "area" option. If area view is unavailable, the game will just say "Not here" each time.

In "The Sect", I have outsourced the sarcastic remarks to a certain NPC and a host of other characters. It's a matter of taste, but I like my PCs to remain silent, because they're me, and I am them.

That's not to say that I dislike PCs with a mind of their own per se. You did it quite well in "Two Cities", and hans does it all the time.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Bill Bisco on January 05, 2010, 02:41:30 PM

Hey, Bill,

I feel for you; this sounds like an exorcise in abject misery.  While reading, I did have a few questions, though...and maybe some comments.  Perhaps this might help you be a little bit less frustrated in the future...should you ever decide to give it another whirl!
Thanks Ray,  ;)  It wasn't all that bad, and I did enjoy it overall, although certainly some parts were frustrating.  Writing about it is therapeutic and gives me and others a chance to laugh at the misfortune of the adventurers  ;D

Couple things off the top:

1. Group Size: As you mentioned later, the game is definitely balanced for a party of six.  Sometimes NPCs will come and go, occasionally bolstering your ranks to eight, but each game expects that the group start with six.  A smaller group will definitely face more frequent TPKs, especially at lower levels.
2. Level Range: Most games have a "sweet spot" in the center of the range, considering a group of characters risen from first level in Realm games.  As mentioned above, this anticipates a party of six characters, and also some of the "big prizes," which are routinely won in the treasure hoards of the modules' big bads.  Reading through your experiences, I suspect that some of those were never reached, so even when experience and levels were won, the commensurate treasures didn't come along with it.  That would definitely create another imbalance!
3. Nol mentioned this already, but I'd definitely recommend a look at the Realm site if the mood ever strikes you to try again.  The site offers an order of play in each region, and a FAQ created based on a lot of the questions I've received over the last ten+ years.  Certainly, it's not necessary to play the games, but there are explanations of things like the LOOK vs. SEARCH controversy, I believe the AREA VIEW choices, and so forth.  The site can be found at: http://therealm.flopsyville.com/Menu.htm (http://therealm.flopsyville.com/Menu.htm)

1. Yeah indeed, although its not apparent just from these posts on this forum, all of these were originally wrote on another forum: Dragonsfoot Campaign Journals, as they occurred, so the first post I had was at the very beginning of using Unlimited Adventures in a long time, with future posts being a few days ahead of time.  While future posts had me more familiar with playing it. Only the first 3 or 4 parties had 4 members, every other party used 6 people.

2. I eventually learned that playing REF5 Skeletons, was the best adventure to start any party on, as there is a very low chance of TPK, is quick, and gives a sizeable amount of gold to buy armor and better weapons with.  After the party that lost to the Necromancer in the mini-adventure, party members were always within the range or above the range.  The problem occured with the Bombadier beetles, and the adventure being listed for party members levels 5-8 where level 5 = insta death no save.

3. Oh indeed, and I had considered trying to go on one of the suggested orders, but since you put so much work into making the world map and including mini-adventures on certain spots.  It felt more true to participate in adventures as I found them on the map, and of course I had to avoid several due to high level.

This really confuses me, because it sounds like your characters walked directly to the end of the game.  You seem to be very well-read in the classic modules, so I'm guessing you recognized A4.  What's odd about this is that the version of Game01 that I uploaded back in, oh, something like 1998 or something, had a bug that started the game there.  The first reviews came back rather ugly, and a bug-fixed version was quickly uploaded.  I have heard about this happening to someone in a looooong time! 

Do you recall how you got to the island so quickly?  Did you start there?  Did you walk there?  Even if you chose to walk past the landmark for A1, you should not have been able to get to A2-A4 until you doubled back.  I'm really confused by this one!
I got game one from http://frua.rosedragon.org/modulelist/hacked.php  It says Sept. 1998 so it's possible that I downloaded the game without a bug fix.  I probably made my party and directly started on A4.  It's possible that I saved my game on the worldmap and transferred that save onto Game 1.  I simply started at a big Island with lava in it, and apparently people were running away from the slavers, hehe.

I actually have played very few modules.  One reason that I wanted to play The Realm, was so that I would have the opportunity to experience these adventures that I would be unlikely to in real life.

You've got some brave adventurers!  The description included a level range again...these guys went anyway?  One thing that I'm sure you've found is that the adventures for levels 1-3 start with either a Shop event or a town where shopping can be performed.  The higher level adventures often skip those events for two reasons.  First, they're often unnecessary.  Second, almost every game in the Realm ends with a chance to train, shop and sleep.  It seems like the biggest problem these folks ran into was that they kept "escaping" modules and moving onto the next.  Palace of the Silver Princess, for instance.  Without getting to the end, there was no chance to rest.  The next game assumed that the previous was completed, and so resting at the beginning would have been redundant (and, back in the day, would have resulted in complaints from more than one reviewer...)
Well, these guys were level 1, since the other party members died at the slave lords.  They joined this module, because the description on the world map (unlike other places) did not mention that Drums of Fire Mountain was for levels 5-8, in fact the worldmap says nothing of that module's suggested levels.

The problem with sleeping and resting occurs when you have to reload another module to sleep and rest and buy equipment, and then reload the module you want to play.  It's certainly not perfect, but I'd rather have a chance to sleep, train, and buy or sell equipment before being shipped off to a place where I can't do those things.

This was one of the times I wondered how you were going about these games.  If you leave one design to move into another, you would need to restart the original game if you were to return it.  Moving "Saved Games" from one FRUA design to another is a recipe for disaster, since most games start by setting certain quest flags to specific values.  So, the three quests to find Wave, Whelm and Blackrazer that are set at the beginning of White Plume Mountain may well be the variables that govern whether you've cleared the Hommlet moathouse, befriended Otto in Nulb and freed Zuggtmoy in the Temple of Elemental Evil design. 

If you aren't moving saved games but instead moving character files (per the documentation in UAShell), then you'll find that all your quests were reset when you return to Temple of Elemental Evil.  Effectively, the whole game will re-pop.  That's no big deal if you're never planning to return to the Temple, of course. 

I'm not sure which route you were taking, but some statements made me wonder a bit, because either will result in games behaving weirdly.  For instance, if you started a design before heading to the Slave Lords in Game01, then one of these quest flags could very well have opened the doors to the slave lords' stronghold!
Well originally, I thought you went from design to design by exiting the town, going to the worldmap, saving that game, then transferring that save to another design.  Then on the worldmap of the new design, enter the square you're supposed to go to.  This worked for a few adventures such as REF5 Skeletons and Journey to the Rock.  One only thing which slightly tipped me off was "Do you want to return to Hommlet?" which seemed kinda strange.  When I tried this for White Plume Mountain and as soon as I entered the adventure square I got bells cheering that I saved them, I knew that I had done something wrong.  It was later that I discovered that you're supposed to save the game, reload the game, and remove all characters to update them, then copy over those characters to a new design.

3. The Designer hates searching and hates sleeping.  Quite honestly in actual play I would sleep in the dungeon often.  Whenever the party searches,the Designer makes the player wade through scrolling text to try to dissauge them from continued searching.  This is silly though since the modules contain hidden items that you can only find by searching.  And yes, contrary to your words, the adventurers do have all the time in the world.


I also strongly disagree with the notion that "adventurers do have all the time in the world."  I understand it's the difference between playing styles, but the Realm was created to generate a tabletop atmosphere.  I can count on one hand how many times players in my games have slept in a dungeon.  The logistics of it, and the imminent danger of bedding down in the deadliest spot possible rather than making a tactical withdrawal...It's has happened, but less than five times in the eleven-year campaign I'm running now, and about as many in the ten-year game before that.  The 1E DMG is loaded with additional reasons, from leeches to parasites to disease, not to mention the usual throngs of wandering monsters.  FRUA won't allow the majority of that; and FRUA's camp-encounter engine is horribly flawed, so the designer is left with two basic choices, either allow unlimited rest or allow no rest at all.
Yeah, I'm sure that FRUA isn't lenient when it comes to flexibility.  The problem with no resting happens when the cost of not resting is greater than the danger of resting.  When my party has less than 10 hp left each and no spells, they really need to rest.  My parties tend to clear entire levels of dungeons, and sleep in areas they found other monsters sleeping.

This is the catch-22 of designing something like the Realm.  I don't know whether someone is playing a fifth level group or a twentieth-level group.  So I've tried to avoid things that say, "You All Die...So There!"  I touch on this in the FAQ over on the Realm site.  By the same token, the game was not designed for high-level characters in mind.  So, to balance it, I tried to give some clues...and then let the dice fall where they may.  Someone playing a high-level group would be sorely pissed if I told them they could not face the misty dragon thing and go home as they pleased.  On the other hand, someone playing a low-level group would be equally displeased if they were rendered to ash simply for walking through the door, no warning provided.  So, the middle ground I landed on was to divert the party arbitrarily the first time, with a description of what sent them running...and then stat out the "unstoppable monster"  if they went back anyway. 

Ironically, this is my best attempt at avoiding the railroading that was mentioned earlier.  A higher-level party could have killed the monster and gone about their business, no railroading involved.  For a lower-level party, they have it in their power to choose the means of their demise, or to go back inside and find another way home!
I went to this adventure within the level suggestions, at this point I had not gone to an adventure outside the suggestions for awhile.  It wasn't dying to the dragon that was annoying moreso that a dragon that shot lightning at the party burst into acid killing other party members, funny too of course  :D

This whole section made me think it would be awesome to play a "real" game with you.  Of course, you have something like 96 reasons to kill me on sight just in these few posts, so that may not be a very wise choice on my part...   ;)
Well technically only 22, but in real life players tend to be less foolhardy and DMs tend to hand out fewer TPKs  ;) It'd be great to game with you in real life  :)

Don't follow the logic on this one.  If goblins sleep in a place, it makes sense that their buddies know that they slept there.  So, if I'm beaten and exhausted and weak, the last place I want to spend the next six-to-eight hours is in the most likely place for things to come and try to kill me...

Granted, there are some situations where the monsters are all dead, and even I have become frustrated sometimes, but I've never been able to fathom sleeping in a monster's lair, unless it's the largest monster in the region and rules others by sheer terror.  And there are some lairs that say as much in the Realm, and sleeping is permitted there.
In the Frost queen's fortress there are rooms that army soldiers sleep in, there is also a room that the lieutenant slept in, that you must bash or pick the lock to get through.  The party was down to 3 injured people, dragging 3 others with them.  It makes little sense for the party to continue to search the Frost Queen's Fotress, hoping to take her out with half a party rather than to lock the door of the lieutenant's room and rest a bit.

Quote from: Ray
In this instance it wasn't Ray who killed Morgoth III, it was those evil designers.  I found an editor program that allowed me to make a few changes in the game for that last battle.  I reduced the casting time of Fire Shield to zero, like Delayed Blast Fireball, and then I increased the Soul Gem's Dexterity to 25.  Then I Surprised the party automatically in the combat event.  Why would I do such a horrid thing?  It was the only way I could think of to give the Soul Gem it's defensive aura.  The Soul Gem, as written, deals damage back to those who wound it.  The fire shield effect mimicked that, but only if I could get the spell cast right away.  This worked out, though it has the appearance of cheating, since the Soul Gem casts this spell so quickly...It's actually something the Soul Gem just...does...

Somehow, I don't think that would make Morgoth III hate me any less...   :'(
Aw, it's alright  :D   I wasn't aware of the Actual Soul Gem mechanics, but reading that, it seems you did a good way of addressing it using the mechanics you had to work with I must say.


Oh, wow...That's really barbaric of me...

My first thought was, There's just no way I would have done that!

Then I thought, It does sound vaguely familiar...

I believe my thinking was that the minimum level for this adventure was high enough that no one should be killed outright by the cloudkill.  Instead, it would linger and inflict 1d12 damage, which is serious, but not immediately fatal.  Further rationalization stated that lower-level characters would never survive to make it that far into the design, anyway.  I sense an error in that judgment call...
Yeah, the adventure said 5-8 level characters and my party was 5th.  If the overland map and module sad 6-8 level characters, it would not be as bad.

Hit the Space Bar!  Hit the Space Bar! 

That allows you to stop resting!!!

What a horrible image...I've got to bleach my eyes...And my brain...
Wow, I had no idea the space bar could do that!  ;D

Just like everything else, there's a story behind that one.  B2 includes a second cave, aside from the Caves of Chaos.  It's called the Caves of the Unknown.  When I was a kid, one of my earliest memories gaming was playing through this module with my Dad.  It was one of the two times my Uncle played with us, and it was really a big deal in my childhood.  Well, the first game we played led to a crushing defeat in the goblin cave, with the ogre killing my elf and my uncle being captured and hauled off into the caves as a prisoner.  After all these years, a part of me is still trying to get back to that game and save him.  I know; I'm strange like that.
Not at all man, not at all.  I still regret a TPK I inflicted on own and fellow party members when I felt our characters really needed a challenge.

The other game, we decided to go to the other cave.  The Caves of Chaos had ended our last characters, so we figured this next one couldn't be so bad.  Well, on the way to the Cave of the Unknown, we started to see a large shape fly overhead.  Then we got a closer look.  This was just my Dad's way of telling us that we were taunting disaster if we didn't turn back.  The module doesn't detail what is in the Cave of the Unknown; it was part of the whole "how to" approach of the early D&D modules.  Left to his own devices, Dad decided that this was a Dungeons & Dragons module, and so there should be a dragon.  Well, my uncle and I weren't to be driven off my any sort of "subtle" hints.  We pressed on...and died before every stepping foot across the threshold of that cave.

When the time came to convert Keep on the Borderlands, I immediately thought of that encounter.  I loaded up a few warning statements, and then put in the dragon.  What works really well is to go there after clearing out all the other caves.  Then you get to slay the dragon and really put a capstone on a game full of dungeons, but that was--till that day--sorely lacking in dragons!
Yeah, getting eaten by a dragon wasn't so bad, but it was the fact that I went to the Borderlands as a 5th level party hoping to survive and fighting a green dragon that was the straw for me, hehe.

Bill, thanks again for being such a good sport.  I don't know whether you'll ever try again, but I truly appreciate the time you put into playing these designs, and even moreso the time you put into expressing your experiences for us here on the forums.  I know you experienced one giant frustration after another, just from reading what you wrote, but it seems you kept a sense of humor throughout.  These come from a younger time in my life, but they were absolutely a labor of love.  I hope some of that love showed through, ameliorating some of the labor, and that you found some enjoyment between TPKs...
Thank you again for making them.  I might play some again, but not for awhile, hehe.  I'm sure they were a labor of love and that you enjoyed making them.  Take care.

Sincerely,
Bill
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Nol Drek on January 05, 2010, 07:32:25 PM

2. Putting up text to discourage the party from searching is hypocritical since often many items can only be found by searching.  Also, many modules cannot be completed unless the party finds a few secret doors, and secret doors are revealed by searching

Nothing can be found only by Searching.  Look does the same thing in every case.  I've found that quite a few experienced FRUA gamers never realized this, even though it's a carry over from the Gold Box games that a lot of us fell in love with back in the 80s.  I'll never forget stepping into the stables in the slums of Phlan for the first time and thinking, "I wonder..."  I clicked Look and found a bag of treasure...My love of the game was cemented at that moment!

> look

You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded
front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

>
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: DesertScrb on January 05, 2010, 08:59:10 PM
> OPEN MAILBOX
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Kaz-Keith on January 05, 2010, 09:07:04 PM
> GET UA NEWSLETTER FROM MAILBOX

There is no ua newsletter here.  Perhaps a grue took it?

You are suddenly saddened.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: DesertScrb on January 06, 2010, 09:30:37 PM
> KNOCK ON DOOR
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Nol Drek on January 07, 2010, 07:26:41 PM
> KNOCK ON DOOR

I don't think that anybody is home.

>
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: hans on January 07, 2010, 07:55:50 PM
The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door... 
                                     --Fredric Brown's "Knock"
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: GoldBoxFan on September 13, 2010, 11:07:41 AM
Having gotten the UAShell in place I am finally going to play my first module. I have played Heirs to Skull Crag version 1.0, but I consider that to be the Last Gold Box, albeit a shorter one. I have been playing AD&D since 1978 and have played all the Gold Boxes, some as early as two years ago. I intend to rest and arm as soon as possible. I will also take what characters are rolled and not reload a game except to continue a game where I left off the night before. I will start with a party of 1 Cleric, 1 Mage, 1 Rogue, 1 Paladin, 1 Ranger and 1 Fighter. I am choosing the Realm because it has so many modules and already has a thread. Hopefully my cautious play will allow me to survive where others have died.

I will start with GameR7 The Raven's Return after wandering the Introduction to the Realm and resting there.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------SPOILERS-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1st Party
I start with Abel the Tough, Basa the Demure, Chelcy of Chaun, Destry Tauntly, Eafel Starg and Filari Contoni. All have exceptional stats except the mage who rolled a 14 intelligence. Party formation Paladin, Cleric and Fighter front, Thief, Mage and Ranger rear. Having heard tales of adventurers who forget to memorize spells and go off to dungeons with plowshares for weapons and longjohns for armor, we immediately went to the local stores to buy the cheapest equipment we could find and then went home for a nap. Well rested we head toward Daufin.

At the crossroads a rabid bat attacks the party, but we are victorious. Unfortunately we lose track of direction and find ourselves attacked by six wolves outside of Saltmarsh. Wondering if our parents will ever find our bodies we are pleasantly surprised to find Eafel putting three wolves to sleep. Two more are easily finished off before the sixth flees for its life. We jerked and cooked the meat for sup, then turn around and reach Daufin without any more trouble. We rest before going to the temple.

At the great feast the Priest is poisoned and someone claiming to be The Raven flees out the west. We follow to Saltmarsh, then race north to Raven's Bluff thinking the secret hideout must be there. It isn't. So we backtrack to the crossroads and go to Kleine. The hideout is in the woods to the north somewhere. A crossbow hits us from the dark. We chase two taunters only to fall into a pit. We go back to town to rest and find Elise willing to join us.

We are more careful from now on and start marking trees so we can map where we are going. We reach a barrow after avoiding several more traps and stomping a few angry vipers. The door says 'Don't Enter' so we don't. Downstairs we are ambushed by three assassins who seriously injure Chelcy. But she is ready with cures. We find a nice golden ring on a skeleton in a cell. A brick falls on Elise and we foolishly try to rest in the lair. Four more assassins attack us. Filari goes down, but Elise stops the bleeding and the assassins are defeated. Chelcy cures Filari and regales him with the tale of what happened while he was unconscious, using the corpses as a prop so Abel could learn vital killing tips. We go back to town and rest.

Back at the hideout we run across some rats and make short work of them. Then we find a green room with something moving inside. Having heard tales of dungeon dwellers bringing in green slime to protect their lairs we decline to explore. We explore up to a fallen roof and disturb more rats. Abel falls to their bites but is saved by Elise. We go back to town to rest for our last foray into the lair.

We now try the room marked 'Don't Enter". The trap is too complicated for us, but we hope the painting is inside. Our thief valiantly tries to open it anyway. The tar that hits him is solid, and the feathers disintegrate when blown, but he is still a mess. Having nowhere else to go we try the green room, but race through it, gnashing teeth jumping at us just as the door slams shut. No doors will open except that to the south. We hear voices beyond the door.

All rested up we go to fight Raven, only to find a mage named Natasha, her henchman Smirgle, one assassin and four thieves. Seven on seven seems fair, so we rush forward to get in the first blows. We cast sleep onto the mage, who resists, but Smirgle and two others succumb. It looks like we have a good chance to win until the confusion spell hits four party members. We still had a chance if only Elise would cast her sleep spell on the remaining three thieves, but she has forgotten she is a mage and is shooting arrows from afar.

None-the-less our cleric and thief cut through the sleeping to get to the mage. Unfortunately an awake thief takes down Destry whom Elise bandages from afar. Chelcy realizes he can't defeat the mage alone and finishes off the last sleeper, while Elise kills the thief that injured Destry. Natasha casts hold person on Chelcy and two others but only Chelcy resists. A thief takes down Chelcy instead of the paralyzed Abel but Elise bandages her. Abel and Filari go down next while Natasha aborts her now useless Stinking Cloud spell. My conscientious companion precedes to bandage my compatriots one by one despite coming under increasing arrow fire. Basa falls. Elise is still bandaging her when she goes down to the outrageous slings and arrows of defeat.

2nd Party
With their friends missing, Gladus Gladius, Hannibal Hector, Igor Gant, Janus Jacoby, Kleib Konar, and Laurin Linny decide to go looking for them. They find nothing but a room with green water that they refuse to cross. While resting they are attacked by assassins. Igor thinks they should keep pretending to rest until they wear out the assassins. 56 attacks later, everyone decides to get further training. They decide to cross the green water, defeating Natasha without problem. But while chasing the Raven, Gladus and Igor are bitten by a spider and go into comas. Wolves attack and attack and attack until only Hannibal and Laurin are left standing. But an inn is finally found. Molly Maguire and Nexus Danner join the party while Gladus and Igor are left with clerics.

The new party finds a witch's hut, clears out a kobold cave, finds ruins in the mist, and finds an ogre cave. Nexus is killed with a blow to the head and replaced by Otis Ready. The Raven is found dead and a minotaur defeated. A mage is found and fog giants defeated. The party then fights the Wolfen and win, ready to return home. The Wolfen comes back and attacks again, but a fireball cast by a friendly mage clears out most of the enemy. The Wolfen is defeated again, and we get on a ship of the dead.

The Ravens Return - Bugs
Natasha far too dangerous for 1st level characters (9th level with 4th level spells).
Text for chest says nead instead of need.
The kitchen has both doors mention rats in the NE corner even after you kill them.
In the large dining room a skeleton is supposed to be lying on the ground by a cabinet. There is no mention of the skeleton when you reach the cabinet, look or not.
The southwest cell also has a skeleton in it which never is mentioned when you enter the cell, look or not.
The soldier comes out 'expantantly' instead of 'expectantly' and 'polotics' instead f 'politics' at Titus town hall.
Witch says 'appratus' instead 'apparatus' and 'labled' instead of 'labeled'.
Goblins random says 'veangance' instead of 'vengeance'.
Ogre chance to kill females and children on no gets message that you killed them instead of on yes.
Near end using wand by saying Chessex the 'enire shaft" should be 'entire shaft'.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: GoldBoxFan on October 01, 2011, 09:06:27 PM
Journey To The Rock (1-3)

I start at an inn with Hannibal Hector, Janus Jacoby, Kleib Konar, Laurin Linny, Molly Maguire and Otis Ready. I get a job offer to find the secrets of The Rock. After some rest and a visit to a manor, I head into the forest fighting giant bats, large wolves, goblins and harpies. The road forks and I have to choose which way to go forward. I go down all three forks, use all my spells to survive some plant people, accidentally fight them again, lose half my party unconscious, then have to run around hoping to find a campsite before I am attacked again. I solve the riddle of The Rock, get paid, go to Specularum and train up. I have too much money. Everyone survives. Barely.

A Ghost Story (2-4)

I start in the woods with Hannibal Hector, Janus Jacoby, Kleib Konar, Laurin Linny, Molly Maguire and Otis Ready. I meet a ghost, search a tower, fight a cook and two golems, then get told that it was all a mistake and I should go talk to the priest. I go talk to the priest and nothing gets cleared up. I go back to the tower and it is abandoned except by a kobold assassin. Lots of stuff is missing. Looks like I goofed up. Gladus Gladius and Igor Gant are cured of their poisoning.

By The Riverside (3-5)
I start in the ruins of a manor with Hannibal Hector, Janus Jacoby, Kleib Konar, Laurin Linny, Molly Maguire and Otis Ready. A shiny object catches our eye and we find ourselves in an enchanted manor watching a man try to kill a woman. She says if we kill him we will be released. After searching the entire manor, we confront the man and give him the opportunity to repent. He won't, so we kill him. The woman, apparently, escapes. As do we.

Warrens of the Earth Reaver (4-6)

I start in the barn yard with Hannibal Hector, Janus Jacoby, Kleib Konar, Laurin Linny, Molly Maguire and Otis Ready. A creature has been digging itself out of the ground and killing farmers. We climb down the hole, meet a goblin clan, some traps and some dead bodies. Then the beast. We kill it for a reward.

Witch Hunt (4-6)

I start in town with Hannibal Hector, Janus Jacoby, Kleib Konar, Laurin Linny, Molly Maguire and Otis Ready. Two children have gone missing and a witch is in custody. We search the woods and find some fey who hurt us, as well as the children. The mystery is solved.

Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: GoldBoxFan on October 05, 2011, 02:15:34 PM
The Lost City (3-5)

I start in desert with Hannibal Hector, Janus Jacoby, Kleib Konar, Laurin Linny, Molly Maguire and Otis Ready. I crack open the door, trip a couple traps and run into some beetles. I then search the top of the pyramid. I kill a few creatures, meet some happy fey, and avoid a room of green slime. I go down to the third tier where buttons and secret doors abound. Otis Ready is poisoned by a viper.  Kleib Konar dies from spores. At this point I use up four healing potions, two of the three potion of extra healing doses and three cleric cure light wounds spells. I then go downstairs and run into the King and Queen of the pyramid. Molly Maguire is power word killed by a banshee. Hannibal Hector and Janus Jacoby are drained by a wight. Two crowns are collected, but everyone gets killed by ghouls trying to figure out what to do with them. Approximately 10% of the module was played. I don't think 10th level characters would survive this module. I could take all day explaining why. Maybe I'll try again with my characters from Blight on the Barrow when I'm done playtesting it.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: bravedogbfg on February 23, 2012, 09:36:19 AM
I am having a problem with The Ravens Return.  I found a scroll with the Passwall spell, and found a perfect place to use it on the side of an impenetrable fort, but get no prompt to use it.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 23, 2012, 12:26:22 PM
I am having a problem with The Ravens Return.  I found a scroll with the Passwall spell, and found a perfect place to use it on the side of an impenetrable fort, but get no prompt to use it.
If it is on a scroll and not an inventory item you use it from the items section after it is readied.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: bravedogbfg on February 23, 2012, 05:05:52 PM
it is a quest item.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: GoldBoxFan on February 23, 2012, 08:05:25 PM
it is a quest item.
I seem to remember a lot of places which you couldn't enter or do anything. My log above is fairly good at telling players where to go and in what order.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: nologgie on February 24, 2012, 12:50:21 AM
I am having a problem with The Ravens Return.  I found a scroll with the Passwall spell, and found a perfect place to use it on the side of an impenetrable fort, but get no prompt to use it.
You won't get the prompt unless you also have the Magical Bean.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: uydevotee on June 26, 2013, 01:21:25 AM
that was a fun read
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Milos Gulan on August 15, 2015, 01:59:33 PM
I have just finished Journey To The Rock (1-3), I think I will try now Journey to the rock SE next, then I will try to make a review. What should I play next, any suggestions for Lv4 party? I think I should continue with The Realm series but might try something else too.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Nol Drek on August 15, 2015, 05:58:01 PM
Recommendations for level 4 party:

Game 03: B3 Palace of the Silver Princess (Levels 3-5)
Game 04: B4 The Lost City (Levels 3-5)
Game 11: C3 Lost Tower of Castanamir (Levels 3-5)
Game 34: B5 Horror on the Hill (Levels 3-5)
Game R2: Night in Daelwyn's Rest (Levels 3-5)
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Vix on August 15, 2015, 06:56:04 PM
I have just finished Journey To The Rock (1-3), I think I will try now Journey to the rock SE next ...

Journey to the Rock SE is the same as Ray's original, except with updated graphics and a few typos fixed.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Milos Gulan on August 15, 2015, 11:37:09 PM
Thank You, I will try SE and see how it will go with my Lv4 party then I will try B4 The Lost City. Thanks a lot for recommendations.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Milos Gulan on August 16, 2015, 05:45:24 AM
I am on  B4 The Lost City now, it looks very good, and it seems just what I needed. I will try making review of Journey to the Rock soon. Journey to the rock SE looks nice, but will try it again sometime later probably. I have decided that playing same module 2 times was not that good idea :)
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Milos Gulan on August 24, 2015, 02:39:53 AM
And it seems Lost City is much bigger then I expected, and a bit hard for my 4 people party on Lv5 mostly now. I have started to play Veiled society with new characters and probably will add 2 of them to guys from Lost City. For Lost City story is just great, one of the best, only that it is very long dungeon but very nicely done also, I am hoping I will be able to finish it :)

Spoilers:
I have passed djinni guardian on Lv7 with some werebear character NPC of Lv10 but Chimera is too tough and there is no place to rest so I decided that I need reinforcements
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Nol Drek on August 24, 2015, 09:16:56 AM
Lost City is a large dungeon with few places to rest. I remember that my characters had a hard time once all of our spells were depleted, everyone was injured, and we still had two levels left that needed exploring. It's a challenging module, but that's what makes it fun.
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Milos Gulan on August 24, 2015, 12:38:55 PM
I agree. Thanks for info. It is definitely one of the best FRUA modules I have played, it reminds me a bit of Ravenloft. I just didn't expected it to be that hard :D
Title: Re: Unlimited Adventures - Exploring the Realm
Post by: Milos Gulan on September 15, 2017, 01:15:16 AM
I am playing Keep on the Borderlands and it is the same as I played before but without hacks :). It looks so much better and finaly I have gotten into the story of it and The Realm, though it is a tough module with lots of combats but very interesting too. Definitely one of my most favorite.