Author Topic: REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)  (Read 458 times)

Offline hans

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REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)
« on: May 12, 2017, 08:06:19 PM »
Just like in Westworld, or Jurassic Park, where nothing can go wrong, but then something does, so it in KTG's The Monster Museum (themonst.zip). 

The mod is refreshingly original, logically plotted, and well laid out.  The action is suspenseful and exciting.  In all, very charming and lots of fun. 

Well done, KTG!   :icon_thumright:

Offline Jadefang

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Re: REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 05:52:04 AM »
A fun mod, though challenging at certain parts. I'd say it has the honour of being the first FRUA module to make me swear aloud while playing.

A lot of the difficulty comes from the limited ability to rest. The interesting twist is that you already have seen or heard about most of your opponents, so it allows for some planning ahead.

The final fight was very tough. I perhaps had to spend 10-20 minutes worth of reloads alone to beat it, as well as even reloading from a previous save to make sure I made it there with minimal damage and resources spent. Even then, I beat it with only two characters left barely standing, and had to resort to the cheesy tactic of using disposable characters to waste an enemy's turn by moving in and walking away from them, so that my top strikers wouldn't be targetted. I used a non-maximized stat party though, so maybe an all-18 maxed HP group would have an easier time.

The other major part I had to savescum was against some poisonous monsters; AFAIK, there is no opportunity to neutralize poison or raise the dead until after the adventure, so anyone killed would be permanently out of commission for the rest of the mod.

Also a noticeable amount of typos and inconsistencies with text highlighting; sometimes non-dialogue parts would be highlighted, and vice versa. The story was certainly a unique and interesting concept.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 05:53:56 AM by Jadefang »

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 11:45:34 AM »
This was an enjoyable module, but with a couple of severe difficulty spikes.

I transfered in characters with 12,000 - 13,500 XP (new ones start with 20,000 and no magic items), and some magical items: one +3 weapon, one +2 weapon, some +1 weapons, lots of +1 arrows and a Wand of Fireball.

First level was relatively easy, but on the second level there was an Earth Elemental. How were you supposed to defeat i? The only things that had effect on it (+2 and +3 Short Sword, plus the Wand of Fireballs) were imported items. I avoided some of the rooms and alcoves, so maybe I missed some good weapons?

As Jadefang did, I found the final battle brutal.
I had to meta game a bit and cast Enlarge on my three best non-maxed fighter types before the final battle, and managed it after a few retries.
The Rakshasa was not that dangerous; two backstabbing thieves took care of him, but the Clay Golem was a nightmare, since nothing but Lightning Bolt and Slow works on them, neither spell of which my mage knew.
The Wand of Fireballs was a god's end against the Fire Mephits (annoying buggers) and the trees.

You know the final fight is a brutal one when you have to change shirt afterwards!

Offline KTG

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Re: REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2017, 10:41:20 PM »
Thanks to all who played and reviewed my module!  A few comments/responses:
This was meant to be a 'tough little mod' even for experienced players, so I'm not surprised its proving to be difficult in places.  For the record, in my own play through, I had 3 reloads, one on the first level, two on the second.  My party had 'good' stats, but not maxed out. Lots of 16s - 18s.  Only one guy with 18/05 strength.  Several 16s and 17s for strength.  It can be done!
Also a noticeable amount of typos and inconsistencies with text highlighting; sometimes non-dialogue parts would be highlighted, and vice versa.
Yes, I know on the text highlighting.  I didn't know how to mix dialog/non-dialog, so it was a bit messed up.  I corrected a lot in playtesting, but it still isn't great.  I'm not aware of any typos, but I could be wrong.
AFAIK, there is no opportunity to neutralize poison or raise the dead until after the adventure, so anyone killed would be permanently out of commission for the rest of the mod.
Yes, there is one fight with spiders, and no neut poison until the end.  No raising dead anywhere.  I didn't think a Temple in the museum made any sense.  Understandably, you need to conserve spells, but I think it worth a Stinking Cloud and/or Sleep for the spiders (sleep sometimes works on one giant spider, sometimes not).  I've played mods, however, where I had no neut poison, so I cast slow poison.  You may take poison damage for a while, but at some point it stops doing that and the character just has a 'poisoned' status under Magic-> Display, but otherwise seems fine. Still, a tough go if someone drops early on for any reason.  Healing spells are sure to be in demand.
on the second level there was an Earth Elemental. How were you supposed to defeat i? The only things that had effect on it (+2 and +3 Short Sword, plus the Wand of Fireballs) were imported items. I avoided some of the rooms and alcoves, so maybe I missed some good weapons?
On the first level, Lanara gives the party some items. This event will always happen, you can't miss it.  One item she gives is +2 short sword.  If your characters are not imported, this is the only +2 you have.  Its possible to win with some spell support.  There is a potion of speed, but you probably want that for the final fight.  However, see spoiler at the end for an easier way.
And then, for the 'brutal' final battle...
I recommend the usual prep spells right before this combat:  bless, prayer, enlarge.  You should have at least one level 5 mage by now.  Best spell, if you have it, is haste.  If not, hopefully you have a fireball, which can wipe out some of the lesser targets.  If you don't have haste and still have the potion of speed, use it.  Some other helps are in the spoiler below.
** SPOILER **
For the earth elemental:  There is a troll in the troll room that does not attack.  Go to the back of the room and talk with him.  Set him free by cutting off his leg.  If you do that, he will join the earth elemental fight on your side, making it MUCH easier to win.  I would still suggest running several guys up to the elemental to provide multiple targets.  You get to rest right after that.
The final fight... There is a mage scroll with Hold Monster, Fire Touch, Iron Skin.  When you rest just before the final section of the second level, cast Read Magic to identify this scroll.  Before the final fight, use the Fire Touch and probably the Iron Skin too.  Oddly, Fire Touch works against the Rakshasa.  I don't know if it would work against the Clay Golem.  Hold Monster may help against the mephits, but they can be dealt with using other spells too, like Sleep, Stinking Cloud or Fireball.
Otherwise, if you have Blink or Mirror Image, those could help defensively against the Clay Golem.  The Golem only takes full damage from blunt magical weapons: only half damage from edged.  There is a +1 mace and +1 sling that can help, both found on the 2nd level.

** SPOILER **
Hope this helps!

Offline Jadefang

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Re: REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2017, 11:54:22 PM »
Honestly, with the earth elemental battle, the troll wasn't very useful. He just got one shot by the elemental in the first round. However, I personally didn't have that much trouble, as it didn't focus my character with the +2 weapon, so I was able to weather it down with that and magic missiles/fireballs until it decided to surrender (lol FRUA giving it default 0 morale).

Offline hans

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Re: REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 11:58:31 PM »
I only had to restart your mod once, and only because I didn't recall that Harpies could Charm my Persons until too late.  Of course (and excuse the immodesty), I do consider myself rather expert at UA strategy... 

One trick I use against dangerous spell casters with high spell resistances, such as a Rakshasa, is to cast Silence on one of my own fighters and have them engage the spell caster in adjacent melee.  Sometimes it takes several tries before a Silence spell is effective, but I usually have two PCs who can cast Cleric spells in my party, and as soon as they're able try to keep 2 such spells in each of their arsenals, so I rarely fail in this stratagem. 

Offline KTG

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Re: REVIEW: The Monster Museum (by KTG)
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2017, 10:22:49 PM »
Nice trick with the silence.  That should take Rakshasa down a notch.  Drow too I bet.

 

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