Game Journal Crawling through games

Started by Devalue February 21st, 2021 5:55 PM
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Devalue

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Seen 2 Hours Ago
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89 Days
Wished to share a game from childhood: Castle of the Winds. Enjoyed it as a child. Was not the best game ever, but decent. Replayed it a year or two ago.

Spoiler: Introduction and Mines

Castle Winds Title Screen.png
Decided to stack a challenge onto this. Must play the game like a standard wizard. Means no metal or leather armor (except boots). Limits weaponry to Club, Dagger, and Quarter Staff.
Castle Winds Yin Creation.png
Allows you to adjust your starting stats. A brief run-down:
- Strength: Increases melee damage. Allows you to carry more.
- Intelligence: Increases mana. Affects disarming traps too.
- Constitution: Increases hitpoints.
- Dexterity: Improves your armor value, hit chance, and ability to disarm traps.

Maxed out Intelligence. (Cannot fill the bar higher.) Allocated the remaining stat points to Dexterity and Constitution. Opted not to tank Strength. Recalls speed being important. Slows down when weighed down.

Included a feature to use your own icon, rather than the default options below. (Flicks between them every 3 seconds.) Whipped up a quick image. Converted it to the (very limited) specifications. Eventually got something not gray.
Castle Winds Default Icon GIF.gif

Selected Intermediate difficulty. Remembers this game being a bit tough. Becomes more so with these restrictions. Favors melee-focused characters. Blames the resting mechanic for that. Takes a long time to regenerate mana for spells. Interrupts your rest often.

(Note: Will not be playing with permadeath. Gives you the ability to save. Plans to use that.)

Begins with a choice between six spells:
- Heal Minor Wounds. Heals you.
- Detect Objects. Shows you all objects on the level.
- Light. Lights up a room. Makes it easier to see monsters in said room.
- Magic Arrow. Damage spell.
- Phase Door. Teleports you a few spaces away in a random direction.
- Shield. Increases your armor value.

Selected Magic Arrow for offense.

Behold the graphical glory.
Castle Winds Starting Town.png
Shows the shop interface. Bought a Quarter Staff, Wool Cape, Leather Boots, and a 3 Slot Belt. Cost about half the starting money.
Castle Winds Starting Store.png
Visited Yin's house outside of town. Gives you the story. Found the backstory hidden in the Help menu too. Tacked that on.
Castle Winds Backstory 1.png
Castle Winds Backstory 2.png
Castle Winds Backstory 3.png
Castle Winds Story.png
Short version: Knew about fancy amulet belonging to your real father. Survived an attack by marauders around your 18th birthday. Pillaged your farm. Killed your family. Stole the amulet. Seeks revenge and that amulet.

Delved into the mines. Found a kobold, two giant rats, and the goblin below. Smoked all of them in a single Magic Arrow or quarter staff swing. Might be doable after all.
Castle Winds Goblin.png
Proceeded down the stairs. Defeated a giant red ant in two Magic Arrows. Walked into a falling boulder trap. Lopped off seven hitpoints (of ten total).

Rested to regain health. Encountered a wild dog without regaining any health. Fully healed after that.

Walked forward one step into the arms of a Goblin Fighter. Exchanged blows. Went down to the familiar 3/10 hitpoints. Ran faster than they could. Sniped them with a Magic Arrow while retreating. Leveled up.

Decided on Cure Minor Wounds over Phase Door. Cannot always count on Phase Door saving you.

Continued onward. Discovered a spellbook on the floor. Snatched it up. Read "Cure Minor Wounds". Sighs.

Hid secret doors throughout the dungeon, also. Appears by searching next to the wall.
Castle Winds Dead End.png
Castle Winds Not Dead End.png
Looks obvious in this instance. May not always lead to a secret door.

Searched the floor more. Yielded little worthwhile. Could not fit bulkier items into the Small Pack. Stepped down a floor.

Strolled around. Walked into a room. Somehow got surprised by a Viper from behind. Landed a hit and poisoned. Considers poison extremely dangerous. May hit 'r' to rest until at full hitpoints or 'R' until at full mana. Potentially kills you, due to poison outweighing resting healing. Shrugged it off after a bit, fortunately.

Battled more snakes, goblins, kobolds, and dogs. Spotted another spellbook on the floor. Did not indicate the spell. Read it immediately. Learned Light. Serves very little purpose.

Leveled up once more while attempting to rest. Acquired Phase Door. Finished resting. Popped into a hallway, which was a dead end. Turned around to find a Goblin Fighter blocking the way. Exchanged blows. Started going south (figuratively and literally).
Castle Winds Trapped.png
Barely outhealed the damage. Presented a perfect opportunity to Phase Door. Teleported...quite far.
Castle Winds Not Trapped.png
Greeted the Huge Lizard in the room. Absorbed four Magic Arrows before flopping over. Wants a stronger spell.

Returned to town to offload garbage and hopefully find something useful. Cost more to Identify some items than what they sold for. Kept a Wand of Magic Arrows and Elixir of Cure Minor Wounds. Sold everything else (which was not magical).

Ventured further down. Leveled once more. Unlocked new spell options to learn:
- Clairvoyance: Shows an area of the map, including secret doors and traps.
- Cold Bolt: Cold-based damage spell.
- Detect Monsters: Shows you monsters in a large area.
- Detect Traps: Finds traps in a large area.
- Identify: Tells you whether an item is cursed, magical, or normal.
- Levitation: Prevents most (all?) traps from affecting you. Might make it tough to pick up items too?
- Neutralize Poison: Stops poison.

Picks Identify in normal, melee-focused runs. Wanted Cold Bolt here for power. Tried it out on a Giant Red Ant. Still took three hits. Smashed a few others quicker, but not much (for double the mana cost). Hm.

Met a Rat Man next to the stairs on Level 4. Removed 9 hitpoints (of 25) in a single attack. (Cannot take on normal goblins lightly either. Bashed one with a quarter staff at the cost of 10 hitpoints total.) Moved a hair faster than them, fortunately. Flung four Cold Bolts into it for the kill.

Wandered into a unique room. Probably refers to this as the barracks or something.
Castle Winds Barracks.png
Bombarded them with Magic Arrows. Read the scrap of parchment in the room.
Castle Winds Barracks Parchment.png

Hurried back to town. Says this upon returning.
Castle Winds Hamlet Return 1.png
Castle Winds Hamlet Return 2.png

Finished what they started too.
Castle Winds Return Hamlet 3.png

Concludes this update. Heads to a new town and the game's other dungeon next time. Farewell for now.

Devalue

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Seen 2 Hours Ago
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252 posts
89 Days
Spoiler: Castle of the Winds: Bjarnarhaven and Fortress
Left the hamlet. Hooked a left at the crossroads. Entered Bjarnarhaven.
Castle Winds Bjarnarhaven.png
Houses a bit more than Yin's hometown. Split the blacksmith into separate weapon and armor shops. Added a bank and magic shop.

Identified everything. Noteworthy items: Enchanted leather helmet, Scroll of Create Traps, and Scroll of Summon Monster.

Offered very little at the shops. Hoped for a larger pack. Bought an Enchanted Cape of Protection for 2750 copper. Deposited the remaining cash into the bank.

Climbed the solid gray cliff walls into the fortress. Engaged a bandit there for a level up. Decided on Identify now. Saves so much cash and pack space.

Ought to mention something. May have noticed it in the screenshots. Describes some attacks beyond "you hit" and "they hit". Example: "You smite the Skeleton, driving it back a step." Indicated nothing gameplay-wise, such as a critical hit or knockback. Simply added descriptive flair.

Began to run into the wizard-focus problem. Fought some monsters. Attempted to rest. Fought more monsters. Wound up at equal or less mana. Becomes more obvious why when looking at the time.
- Moves one space in 3 seconds when fully unencumbered
- Spends 5 seconds to cast combat-oriented spells
- Regenerates health at 1 per minute
- Regenerates mana at 1 per ~30 minutes (Says once per hour in the Help section)

Ramps way up for mana. Creates a lot of opportunity for monsters to spawn.

Directs your attention to this slime. Is one of few monsters that melee-types bring spells to bear. Barely moves. Hits back really hard.
Castle Winds Slime.png
Discovered a few enchanted items, thanks to Identify. Chose to return to town. Hoped for a good restock.

Seems like a good time to explain enchanted items. Labels all magic items of a type the same. Finds lots of "Enchanted [Weapon]". Tells only part of the tale. Brought up its tooltip.
Castle Winds Enchanted Flail.png
Split enchantment quality into three tiers: "increases", "strongly increases", and "very strongly increases". Affects the price considerably. Compare these two Enchanted Flails:
- Very strongly increases character's chance to hit, increases the character's damage, increases the character's armor value. Buy price: 18792 copper.
- Strongly increases character's chance to hit, increases the character's damage. Buy price: 10152 copper.

Brought out better stock. Purchases spellbooks for Cure Medium Wounds, Sleep Monster, and Levitation. Cost about 8500 copper. Mostly only cares about the cure spell.

Pressed on. Dealt with a few Trapdoor Spiders. Soaked lots of hits before going down. Stepped into level 2, only to fall into a pit to level 3 soon after. ...And then another to level 5. Did not mean for this to be a speedrun.

Found a staircase back up to level 4. Included a room with a Huge Ogre and multiple Goblin Fighters. Funneled them into the hallway.
Castle Winds Funnel Ogre.png
(Not pictured, but still there: the ogre.) Put them to sleep to gain distance as needed. Cost a whopping 5 mana, though. Prevailed with only a little mana left. Dropped a scrap of parchment.
Castle Winds Ogre Parchment.png
Just noticed the staircase in that room. Feels grateful for the pit trap. Would have been an awful room to walk in on.

Trudged back towards the surface. Forgot that Bandits had ranged attacks. Marks the first monster with them (but not the last).

Offloaded more junk. Bought a Large Pack, Spellbook of Neutralize Poison, and Ring of Intelligence for a combined 5500 copper pieces. Gained 10 mana (to 41 total) from the ring. Felt worthwhile.

Perused the character sheet briefly. Sits at 8 armor value. Amounts to less than studded leather armor (12). Sees enchanted ring mail (the next armor up) at the store.
Castle Winds Char Sheet 1.png
Walked back down. Leveled up on the way back. Introduced another set of spells:
- Cold Ball: Area effect damage. Deals full damage to the monster struck and half to adjacent monsters.
- Fire Bolt: Damage. Stronger than Cold Bolt.
- Lightning Bolt: Damage. Stronger than Cold Bolt.
- Remove Curse: Removes an equipped cursed item.
- Resist Cold: Halves cold damage.
- Resist Fire: As above, but fire.
- Resist Lightning: As above, but lightning.
- Slow Monster: Slows a monster. Makes it easier to outrun and also attack slower.
- Teleport: Stronger Phase Door.
- Rune of Return: Teleports you to town, if in the dungeon. Returns you to the deepest floor of the dungeon you have seen, if in town. Takes a few steps (~15+) to activate.

Rune of Return. Wants Cold Ball. Cannot deny Rune of Return's usefulness. Gives you safe haven to restore mana. Works decently as an escape too.

Became even harder to rest. Encounters Shadows now. Moves through walls. Proves quite durable too. Dropped after 8 Magic Arrows. (Might be resistant to cold damage as undead.) Fled to town to regenerate mana (and also buy Cure Major Wounds).
Castle Winds Shadow.png
Met the first thief. Moves very quickly (about 2 spaces in the space of 1 spell cast). Steals your money and can disappear.
Castle Winds Thief.png
Faced a lot of new monsters lately. Introduces you to the other monster melee-types rely on spells for: the Gelatinous Glob. Freezes you in place for a long time if it strikes you. Results in a 100-0 death very easily.
Castle Winds Gel Cube.png
Picked up very few enchanted items thus far. Finally stumbled upon a Ring of Strength after three cursed rings prior. Helps with carrying items, which helps with speed.

Plodded down a few more sets of stairs. Entered level 7 and fell down to 10 in a handful of steps. Cannot recall with certainty if there are only 10 levels to this dungeon. Restocked at town to be safe.

Returned to level 10. Found the stairs back to 9 shortly. (Figured plot enemies might be there.) Never explored 10 spaces from the stairs due to monsters and attempting to rest. Hightailed it back to town again (and purchased Resist Lightning).

Take 2. Ventured back up to level 8. Found a very mean monster: a Manticore. Carries the uncommon ranged attack and a ton of damage. Note the 6 attacks in one spell cast. Hit for only 2-3 damage per there. Might have cleaved off 20 health a bit later. Dropped to 8 hitpoints after being sandwiched by a Manticore and Thief. Escaped via Phase Door, then Rune of Return.
Castle Winds Manticore.png

Take 3. ...An eerie ghost. Probably drains levels (temporarily). Defeated it by firing Magic Arrows and running. Re-entered the resting and losing mana loop. Sighs. Chose this difficulty level for a reason, though. Learned Detect Monsters back at town.

Take 4. Disarmed a pit trap. Proves more levels to this fortress, likely 15. (Note: Googled unique rooms shortly after. Only goes 11 levels deep.)

Attained character level 7 on a cave bear. Decided on Lightning Bolt. Wants higher single target damage for the boss. Proved insufficient versus a Manticore, unfortunately. Lost over 50% health in a single tail spike barrage. Burned tons of mana in one fight.

Greeted the now-familiar Bjarnarhaven shopkeepers. Entered the weapon shop on a whim. Offered an Enchanted Quarter Staff with "strongly increases this character's Constitution". Forked over 20088 copper pieces (out of 26337) for it. Would not use the cash for many other things. Jumped from 40 hitpoints to 54. Not bad. Might conserve mana with its very strong damage increase too.

Take 5. Broke out of the nonsense. Glanced around. Headed down the stairs to the final level.

Fired off Detect Monsters. Drank a Potion of Detect Traps. Read a Scroll of Clairvoyance for fun too. Yielded this on the opposite side of the map.
Castle Winds Final Room.png
Approached the room. Popped up upon attacking one of the room's Huge Ogres.
Castle Winds Final Room Text.png
Castle Winds Final Room Text 2.png
Annihilated one ogre. Used the tried-and-true tactic versus Hrungnir: run and gun. Lobbed 7 Lightning Bolts and a Cold Ball (from a scroll). Took three boulders to the face for a total of 17 damage. Ran backwards to find a Barrow Wight. Definitely drains something.

Cast Phase Door. Teleported maybe 10 spaces away and around a corner. Not bad. Used the respite to quaff an Essence of Lesser Restore Mana (+17 mana) and heal to full. Dispatched the Barrow Wight. Finished off Hrungnir with one more Lightning Bolt.
Castle Winds Final Room Text 3.png
Castle Winds Final Room Text 4.png
Walked over to the corpse. Snatched the amulet from it. Activated the amulet.
Castle Winds Amulet Text 1.png
Castle Winds Amulet Text 2.png
Castle Winds Amulet Text 3.png
Activated it again for the victory. Earned 2143 experience in 26 days. (Only took 10 days on a normal character on Experts Only difficulty. Earned 3140 experince there.)
Castle Winds Yin Win.png
Thanks for reading. Declines to continue into the sequel. Wanted to show off this game before beginning more complex games in the backlog. (Focuses on one game at a time. Detracts from another game's experience otherwise.) Hopes it was interesting.

Will not detail future games this much. Blazed through this quickly (as expected). Would have been over without understanding the game otherwise.

Juno

jordan x casey x vera

Age 26
Female
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 4 Hours Ago
4,383 posts
7.5 Years
I've never played or seen this before, but it gives me vague nostalgia for a lot of old-school roguelike RPGs and I feel like I've played similar ones as browser games. Thanks for sharing!

Devalue

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Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
252 posts
89 Days
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Spoiler:
Never played a Pikmin game before. Tends to dislike puzzle games. Always looked like using Hidden Machines in Pokemon: "Go to this place. Requires Pikmin with Surf. Proceed." Presumed the day cycle to be a time limit. Knew about flinging Pikmin onto monsters too.

Received a copy as a gift. Praised it highly. Might be better than expected. Booted up the main story on Normal (the easiest difficulty). Ought to dull any edges.

Perceived the game correctly. Played as expected, unfortunately. Felt no satisfaction from completing missions. Trudged from one map to the next.

Highlights one positive feature: squads. Allowed the player to split their Pikmin into up to three squads and move independently. Provided good complexity, given you knew the map. Did not. Was not interested in retrying maps for quicker times either. Kindled a curiosity about this game's speedruns, however.

Hoped for the game to improve after being out of tutorial land. Unlocked the final Pikmin type (Water). Finished the area's objective. Proceeded to Formidable Oak on Day 16. Grabbed a map from the wiki. Marked it up for clarity.
Formidable Oak.png

Utters a phrase capable of chilling any gamer's blood: "Timed escort mission while chased, partially under darkness". Raises every red flag except "underwater". (Contained a little water, but not enough to qualify.)

Starts you with a brief boss introduction. Rescued Olimar. Rushed through the twisty tunnels. Occasionally got caught by the boss. Wasted time while it slid backwards, sometimes over ledges designed to let it catch up.

Reached the darkness. Scattered Pikmin here and there as dusk approached. Left some to die, rather than waste time. Ran up a hill, only to be confronted by the boss coming from there. Steamrolled the depleted team while being invincible. Lacked enough Yellow Pikmin to light up an area. Shut the game off out of pure frustration.

Thought about dropping the game entirely. Looked up where it fell in the main story. Happened to be the last level...already. Sighs. Fine. Hates to be beaten this close.

Attempt 2. Bombed sand walls immediately. Never noticed any concrete ones (which can only be removed with bombs). Saved time there. Lost an irritating number of Pikmin to little burrowing bugs. Heard the Pikmin screams, but not the enemy. Struggled to target 5+ enemies effectively, due to minimum throwing range. (Note: Admits a mistake here. Reserved Charges for walls. Would have made bosses much easier.)

Pushed into the darkness. Made sure to hold onto several Yellow Pikmin. Lit up some of the cave. Hemorrhaged time somewhere, unfortunately. Had to rush somewhere in the dark. Followed the Hint arrows on the ground blindly...straight off a cliff. Cue rage quit number two.

Wondered why this level was so terrible. Searched it online. Evidently saves your progress (like broken walls, lit areas, and defeated monsters) when you lose. ...What? Did the other levels work like this? Never stuck around in the darkness to find out.

Begrudgingly began Attempt 3. Lost Day 16 early to Olimar getting too far away. Smashed a concrete wall shortcut on Day 17 (thanks to the internet). Paved the way to a short Day 18 chase.

Defeated the boss. Skipped the end credits. Shut the game off for good.

Left a very sour taste. Has not disliked a game that much in a while. (Pins that dishonor onto Miitopia.)


Rune Factory 4 Special
Spoiler: Days 1-6
Marks the first foray into a Rune Factory game. Completed one Harvest Moon game (original Friends of Mineral Town), though. Expected that, but with some combat, monster breeding, and other fantasy elements. Ought to jive with personal taste.

Opens in an airship. Chooses character gender in an odd way. Becomes female by saying "Goodness, I'm so high up!" and male by picking "I'm flyin' high, baby!". Shrugs. Went with male.

Carries some important stone for a Native Dragon. Encounters evil stowaways who have different plans. Results in the stone shattering (unbeknowst to those flunkies) and your character falling off the airship. Falls right onto the Native Dragon's head.

Suffered amnesia from the airship scuffle. Picked the default name "Lest" here. Presumes you to be a prince. Expected one to visit. Clearly means one thing: work at this farm, okay? (Actually commanded you to do that because of being an "Earthmate". Absorbs runes from the land.)

Meets the real prince soon after. Lets you continue to pretend to be one. Keeps the real prince on the down-low. Makes some sense.

Suffices as a general lead-in. Other impressions:

Knew about the dating simulation aspect. Might be pushing it harder than anticipated. Gives you an anime cutscene upon meeting certain characters. Dislikes the creepy option of sleeping in other people's beds too.

Is the Request Box supposed to look vaguely human? (Yes.)
Rune Factory 4 Request Box.png

Chose Normal difficulty. Will be learning a fair amount. Seems prudent.

...Why does Xiao Pai sit on the camera in their anime introduction cutscene? Who decided this?

Ventured into the forest. Discovered a boss on Day 3.
Rune Factory 4 Yokmir Forest Boss.png
Turned into a "normal" person after the battle. (Retained wings.) Suffers from amnesia too. Seems to be a lot of that going around.
Rune Factory 4 Amber Normal.png
Day 4: How to use an axe and obtain wood. Might have raced ahead, plotwise.

Why are tools so expensive? Costs 1500 gold for some cheap tools (which were given during the tutorial). Sells turnips for 30 gold each (20 gold profit, after factoring in seed cost).

Do you have to eat every day? Tells you to. Did so for the first few days. Cannot afford to spend 200 gold daily on rice. Hates to rely on random drops for food. Indicates nothing to say you must. (Looked it up. Not necessary. Whew.)

Here, have this cooking station for free. Never discussed the practicality of hauling it home. Appears to not be an issue, however.
Rune Factory 4 Kitchen.png
Spent Prince Points on all the basic licenses. Was not prepared to answer actual questions for the license exam. Tended to be fairly simple, though.

Earned a skill up from bathing. How severe is this amnesia?
Rune Factory 4 Bathing Skill.png
Returned to the boss area. Respawned. Dropped a 400 gold item. Nice.

Eyes Kiel suspiciously. Shows up in dangerous areas. Bolts immediately after talking to you.

Ends this large double update. Enjoys the game so far. Introduced plenty of mechanics (four types of crafting, combat, fertilizer, exhausting the soil, and better seeds from using the sickle of crops). Extends well beyond Friends of Mineral Town's mechanics. Grasps it well enough, in theory. Aims to strengthen it with time. Farewell for now.

Devalue

Any pronoun
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 2 Hours Ago
252 posts
89 Days
Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Days 7-15

Led off the day with erecting a Monster Barn. Recalls seeing a Help sign mentioning needing Fodder for animals, however. May not have unlocked yet.

Poked around the new Water Ruins area. Recommended level 10. Sat at level 8 upon finding it. Earned good experience from monsters at the start, however. Bridged the gap shortly.

Fiddled with cooking. Stockpiled plenty of turnips. Turned them into Pickled Turnips. Serves as good Rune Power recovery (and health) once a day. Burned tons of Rune Power from cooking, though. Became less costly as Cooking level increased.

Tamed a Cluckadoodle, despite lacking fodder. Fed it some kind of grass. Ought to eat that, right? (No.)

Accepted a request to build a Monster Barn, followed by befriending a monster. Immediately completed those for a Fodder Bin and Fodder. Solved that problem.

Inched a bit further into the Water Ruins. Met Doug (the grocery/seed store worker) there. Learned a fire spell from them. Friends forever. (Could have learned that a few days earlier. Was so close before.)

Had a busy Day 10.
1. Participated in the Bean Tossing Festival. Played a minigame where beans are hurled at you. Wants to be hit by these beans. Earns points based on color. Builds a chain combo too. Breaks the chain upon getting hit by a Failed Dish.

Began slow with one townsfolk (of three) tossing a bean. Increases to everyone as once. Hurtled three at once at the end. Found it a bit tough, thanks to very small hitboxes on beans. Lost the chain combo right at the end. Served its purpose, however.
Rune Factory 4 Bean Tossing.png
Prevailed by only a few hundred points (first try). Received 9 Cooking Bread (recipes, essentially), a stat-up item, and some other stuff.

2. Bought a Refrigerator and Forge. Really needed to store food items. Boasts ridiculous upper-body strength also.
Rune Factory 4 Fridge Lift.png
Rune Factory 4 Forge Lift.png
3. Hated to be outside during the rain. Barreled towards the Water Ruins for levels. Consisted of indoor and outdoor areas. Should be fine.

Wandered quite deep. Flipped a switch to unblock something. Found a two-part switch a room later. Should be able to reach that quick too. Stood before the boss room before realizing it.
Rune Factory 4 Water Ruins Thunderbolt.png
Clearly lacked levels or equipment. Chopped off a third of the health bar from every hit. Become deadlier at the halfway mark. Guzzled Recovery Potions to stay in. Brought the beast down...only for it to rise again for Phase 3.

Could not approach it safely. Lashed out very quickly now. Switched to ranged abilities. Barely scratched it with Fireball. Managed okay with Power Wave. Suffered defeat from back-to-back hits, however.

Cost 430 Gold to be revived. Considered accepting it after the skill points accrued. Drank a lot of potions, however. Opted to retry it.

Glanced over equipment before Round 2. Picked up a Battleaxe on the way to the boss previously. Weighed in with around 36 Attack versus the Broadsword's 6. Sure.

Ravaged Phase 1 with strong, but slow hits. Proved its real worth with Shock Wave. Doubled its damage. Tipped the scales. Squeaked out the victory.

Reverted to a human(..ish), similar to before. Hauled their unconscious body back to town. Called it a successful day.

Returned to lazier days. Fished for a bit. Yielded good cash. Applied especially to this:
Rune Factory 4 Monster Fish.png
Reeled it in for 450 gold. Beats turnip farming.

Erred badly. Accepted a request to harvest 3 flowers. Actually wanted three types of flowers. Takes a week for the other varieties to blossom. Could not accept other requests from the Request Box. Oh well. Worked on the potato one anyways. Should count later.

Chatted with the former boss of the Water Ruins. Claims to have amnesia too. Definitely suspects a connection between this and the important rock shattering in the beginning.

Bought a Crafting Table. Will not tire of seeing this nonsense.
Rune Factory 4 Crafting Table Lift.png
Wishes to have a discussion about buying and selling. Look at this.
Rune Factory 4 Cheap Hammer Price.png
Sell price: 13g. Buy price: 1500g. What? What kind of racket do merchants in town run? (Got a good deal on that Refrigerator, admittedly: 500g.) Makes pharmaceutical companies look like charity wor-
Rune Factory 4 Bigger Pharma.png
...Never mind.

Found a Town Event. Spoke with Illuminata. Sought a thief who stole flower seeds from their shop. Turned out to be Amber (the butterfly boss who is living with Illuminata). Swiped them to plant them to make Illuminata happy.

Lost respect for Illuminata. Slapped Amber before the explanation. Made up quickly. Disapproves anyways. Understands being upset. Acted unacceptably.

Squeezed in the Fishing Frenzy before stopping. Tasks you with catching the most fish from 11:00 until 18:00. Caught 18 fish for 2nd place (one shy of 1st). Refused to take that. Reset. Hauled in 19 fish next time. Beat out the next closest with only 16. Practically encourages savescumming.
Rune Factory 4 Fishing Skills.png
Yes. Fishing skill. Certainly not any other reason.

Ended here. Called for research. Wondered about a few mechanics.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Days 16-24

Returns with knowledge.
- Cannot get sick from rain.
- Raise your skills for more Rune Power (as expected).
- Give your animals their harvest items (as in, eggs for Cluckadoodles). Raises friendship or something. Might apply this thinking to taming too.
- Sells higher level seeds upon shipping high level crops. Explains why using the Sickle on crops for a single, higher level seed felt iffy.

Grabbed an Airship License. Appreciates quick travel between (most) save points.

Brought Forte along for some combat forays before. Convinced Xiao Pai to tag along. Clearly lacked Forte's levels and equipment. Hoped an Aquamarine Rod would keep them safe. Used it as a whacking stick. Sighs.

Tamed a total of two Cluckadoodles (Doodle and Cucco) and two Buffamoos (Moody and Aloe). Expanded the barn further for a combat-focused monster: Tale the Fairy. Carries wind magic.

Threw Tale into the fray shortly at the next plot location: Obsidian Mansion. Painted a good atmosphere. Contrasted starkly with brighter environments thus far.
Obsidian Mansion.png
(Does not capture everything, though. Misses a ghost popping out from a mirror, a chandalier falling, and portraits with glowing eyes.)

Benefitted from Tale's presence. Struggled to reach melee range at times. Clogged the narrow hallways with stationary dark spheres (or worse, moving dark spheres). Helped versus the heavily physically-resistant Slimes also.

Looted Steel Dual Swords from a chest. Swapped immediately. Matched the axe in power, thanks to being a material above. Overcame the defense that prevented other quick weapons from being effective.

Reached the final room, leery of what lay ahead. Dropped low on hitpoints a few times on the journey through. Decided to give it a shot anyways.
Rune Factory 4 Marionetta.png
Hacked this boss to ribbons easily. Became scary only once, after taking a full fan spread of cards to the face. Cannot tell if the boss was easy or Tale helped that much. Leans towards the former.

Reverted to a human, like the others. Brought them to Ventuswill (the Divine Dragon). Dropped some significant plot.
Rune Factory 4 Erase Memories.png
Short version: Caught Ventuswill erasing memories of the Guardians from these former bosses. (Definitely did the same to Lest too. Suffered amnesia before that, however.) Serves the dragon by creating runes. Keeps the land and dragon alive...at the cost of their own life.

Grew tired of the Guardians sacrificing their lives. Never discovered a better solution. Essentially commanded you to free the guardians, knowing full well what it meant. Figured a new dragon would take over to keep the land alive.

On a less serious matter: the Defluffing Festival. (Technically took place before the above plot, but shh.) Centers around shearing a giant Wooly. Gives you a selection of joke weapons. Selected the battleaxe weapon. Did not need to dodge.
Rune Factory 4 Defluffing.png
Directs you to hammer on the Wooly like a pinata. Swung the lollipop too slow, however. Typically circled out of the second swing. Scored in the 4250 range for second place (with 1st at 6400). Tried again.

Switched to the Dekash (a Fish long sword). Combined heavy hits with sufficient swing arc. Catapulted up to 10034 points. Secured first place easy.

One final point of interest: an oven. Forked over the massive 10000 gold for one. Heard Baked Sweet Potato was good. Just unlocked yams. Looks good for experience, if nothing else.

Character sheet at the end:
Rune Factory 4 Day 24 Char Sheet.png
Thanks for reading. Farewell for now.


Spoiler: Character and Weapon Impressions thus far

Might be more interesting for people (and shorter). Stuck to love interests (male and female) for characters. Ordered them from most to least liked within their gender.

Female
- Xiao Pai: Identifies with saying things oddly (for fun). Seems nice. Leads the marriage race.
- Forte: Tsundere knight. Appreciates the selfless behavior, though. Watched their town event. Cemented these impressions.
- Amber: A nice, if naive, child.
- Dolce: Just met. Good design.
- Margaret: Knows too little.
- Clorica: Dozy space case. Might as well be a log. Adds nothing.
Rune Factory 4 Day 24 Rankings Female.png

Male
- Arthur: Interacted with them the most. Seems like the bookish type, rather than a stuffy prince. Appears to be helpful. Leads among male characters.
- Doug: Fireball friends. Lost points for not plainly saying why they dislike Ventuswill.
- Kiel: Bookish wizard(?) type. Intuits a mischievous streak somewhere.
- Vishnal: Driven, but too one-note.
- Dylas: Closed-off loner type. Not bad, but perhaps a little too prickly.
Rune Factory 4 Day 24 Rankings Male.png
Weapons (from most to least liked)
- Spear: Good reach and decent damage.
- Short Sword: Likes the defense. Cannot say how much defense, though.
- Gloves + Dual Blades: Fast single target. Handy for bosses?
- Long Sword: Too slow, but good for groups.
- Axe: Like the Long Sword, but less arc.
- Staff: Incredibly weak. Carves a niche with range.
- Hammer: Like the axe, but weaker.

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Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Spring 25 - Spring 30

Wanted more cash. Returned to Yokmir Cave for Emeralds. Sells for a ton. Plunked down three rocks of it (plus two rune crystal rocks) near the entrance.

Ventured deeper in, lured by cash and very fast levels. Felt bolstered by a Safety Lance Request reward. Realized something midway: Tale the Fairy's ballooning damage output. Noticed several 300+ damage numbers flying around. Doubled what the Safety Lance put out (although, at different attack speeds).

Snagged Wolf Fangs from the effort. Forged a new, significantly stronger spear. Paled next to Tale's explosion of damage. Hit four digits in no time, from range. How did this happen?

Reached the boss. Took up residence where the very first boss was.
Rune Factory 4 Yokmir Cave Boss.png
Absolute destruction. Chopped it down in ten seconds. Plopped down the Rune Sphere (from the preceding cave). Caused a bunch of little Runeys to spill out everywhere. (Compares them to Pikmin. Will show some in a moment.)

Met Doug there. Held firm to disliking Ventuswill. Do not be stupid. Say what happened.
Rune Factory 4 Explain Doug.png
Good. Knows about the town massacre carried out by Ventuswill now. Needs to look into this.

But first, the Spring Festival. Requested a quality vegetable or flower, preferably in season. Rooted through the refrigerator. Pulled out a level 6 Bamboo Sprout. Did not grow that. Probably found it in the wild. Beats a level 3 turnip.

Liked this event. Earned addtional votes by appealing to the crowd. Selected answers based on the person. Placed second initially with 165 votes. Took an easy first place with that same vote count after a few restarts. (Scored 200ish once. Still lost to Amber's 213.)

Expanded:
- Monster slots. Tamed new friends too: Parker the Spider (for Spider Thread), BzzBzz the Hornet (for Honey), and Mimic the Monster Box (for probably something good, as a rare spawn).
- Lest's room. Was getting cramped.
- The farm. Filled half of the new section with fodder and yams.

Purchased a Chemistry Set finally.
Rune Factory 4 Chemistry Set.png
Hm. Dislikes how crafting levels work. Earns more experience from spending 70 Rune Power across 7 pointless upgrades/items than on 1 good item. (...Or something like that.)

Found Cure. Spotted the chest while leaving Obsidian Mansion (in a cutscene) last time. Helps so much. Heals ~40% (as well as partners) for a minor amount of rune power. Added a wind spell to the arsenal from Yokmir Cave too.

Closed off this session by spending Prince Points on furniture availability and a clothing shop. Will check them out next time.

Stats at the end of Spring 30:
Rune Factory 4 Spring 30 Char Sheet.png
Covers six days of progress. Skyrocketed in level (27 -> 51). Ramped way up in hitpoints (609 -> 1397). Gained a good amount of rune power (551 -> 766).


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Summer 1 - Summer 8

Additional research:
- Needs to bring a villager (higher chance with Kiel?) to search a spot in Yokmir Cave. Weird. Leads to a staircase and switch.
- Requires skill in something to be able to learn the recipe for better. Half-guessed as much. Always skimmed over the message when not learning a new recipe. Explains why no new Long Swords have popped up.
- Improves tamed monster products (like eggs from Cluckadoodles) by raising their level. Boosts its stats through friendship. Started thinking that might be the case.

Kicks off with Beach Day. Yammered on about swimsuits the day before. Bets on a nettlesome dose of anime cutscene fanservice.

Ended up being low-key. Stuck in swimwear sprites and portraits. Could have easily missed the day without knowing. Congregates at the pond outside of Beach Day too (to a lesser extent).

(Note: Sells a swimsuit at the clothing shop. Found it several days later due to not being in town. Checked all the vacant houses. Set up shop outside of town, a few screens away. Requires either a wardrobe to change or to change at the clothing store. Opted to wait.)

Returned to the Water Ruins for another Rune Sphere. Unblocked another route since then. Led to a boss.
Rune Factory 4 Water Ruins Boss 2.png
Never even got a good screenshot. Blew it away in moments. Could have been an issue in a prolonged fight. Hit fairly hard (triple digit multi-hits?).

Removed a roadblock with that victory. Crossed the bridge into a Fall-themed area. Featured a volcano dungeon too. Recommended level: 30. Why do these dungeons give so much experience?

Locked onto the true treasure here: Silver Ore and Rubies. Fueled a push for cash and farm tool upgrades. Lagged behind in weapon and armor recipes too much to upgrade much there.

Do not let the recommended level fool you. Jacks up monster partners to the moon. Helps Lest considerably less. Probably relies on gear.

Realized you can take more than one monster along. Took Mimic along. Actually never tried more than that.
Rune Factory 4 Delirium Ruins.png
Amped up the difficulty of this dungeon. Installed floor hazards everywhere. Cuts ~70 to ~120 hitpoints, depending on the trap. Appreciates the high monster stats now. Would have been a pain to keep them alive. Dealt with several rooms with a constant fire damage pulse too. Barely phased Lest (3 damage). Hit Mimic harder (~30 damage). Mitigated that through pure hitpoints, however.

Stashed Cure All in this dungeon. Yes please.

Reached the end after a few in-game days. (Burned a lot of time getting cash and tending to crops.)
Rune Factory 4 Delirium Ruins Boss.png
Pulverized the boss. Put up less of a fight than the average room. Skedaddled to the Obsidian Mansion to plug the Rune Sphere in. Headed back to Ventuswill.
Rune Factory 4 Doug Ventuswill.png
Convinced Doug to not attack Ventuswill. Learned about the village massacre via the Sechs Empire. Provided a lead for later. Prioritized getting all the Rune Sphere online first.

Largely ends the update here. Plans to return to skilling up, rather than leveling up. Means gathering lumber and stone for more cooking workstations, leveling several magic skills, and gearing up. Wants a wardrobe for clothes too.

Stats at the end of Summer 8.
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 8 Char Sheet.png
+19 levels, +860 hitpoints, and +117 rune power in 8 days. Upgraded shirt, shield, and boots (slightly). Held farm tools of the same tier in both screenshots.

Reloaded the game to eye Tale's stats, as well as get images of the Monster Barns.
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 8 Tale Sheet.png
Look at those stats. Who tamed who here?
Rune Factory 4 Summer 8 Barn 1.png
Rune Factory 4 Summer 8 Barn 2.png
Rune Factory 4 Summer 8 Barn 3.png
Held off on filling the third one. Wants useful products, as well maybe another ranged partner.

Thanks for reading.


Spoiler: Character and Weapon Impressions thus far

Will only note changes. Did not interact much with people or change weapons much.

Female
- Realized Xiao Pai sitting on the camera was being clumsy and falling. Conveyed that poorly. Feels better about this, though.
- Moved Dolce up a spot. Liked their town event decently enough.

Male
- No changes. Appreciated Doug being willing to talk and listen, however.

Weapons
- Likes Spear a little less. Noticed its minimum range and narrow strikes more. Covered those weaknesses with its rune ability.

Soaring Sid

From Soil was birthed Chalk

Age 18
Male
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Wished to share a game from childhood: Castle of the Winds. Enjoyed it as a child. Was not the best game ever, but decent. Replayed it a year or two ago.

Spoiler: Introduction and Mines

Attachment 95910
Decided to stack a challenge onto this. Must play the game like a standard wizard. Means no metal or leather armor (except boots). Limits weaponry to Club, Dagger, and Quarter Staff.
Attachment 95912
Allows you to adjust your starting stats. A brief run-down:
- Strength: Increases melee damage. Allows you to carry more.
- Intelligence: Increases mana. Affects disarming traps too.
- Constitution: Increases hitpoints.
- Dexterity: Improves your armor value, hit chance, and ability to disarm traps.

Maxed out Intelligence. (Cannot fill the bar higher.) Allocated the remaining stat points to Dexterity and Constitution. Opted not to tank Strength. Recalls speed being important. Slows down when weighed down.

Included a feature to use your own icon, rather than the default options below. (Flicks between them every 3 seconds.) Whipped up a quick image. Converted it to the (very limited) specifications. Eventually got something not gray.
Attachment 95899

Selected Intermediate difficulty. Remembers this game being a bit tough. Becomes more so with these restrictions. Favors melee-focused characters. Blames the resting mechanic for that. Takes a long time to regenerate mana for spells. Interrupts your rest often.

(Note: Will not be playing with permadeath. Gives you the ability to save. Plans to use that.)

Begins with a choice between six spells:
- Heal Minor Wounds. Heals you.
- Detect Objects. Shows you all objects on the level.
- Light. Lights up a room. Makes it easier to see monsters in said room.
- Magic Arrow. Damage spell.
- Phase Door. Teleports you a few spaces away in a random direction.
- Shield. Increases your armor value.

Selected Magic Arrow for offense.

Behold the graphical glory.
Attachment 95908
Shows the shop interface. Bought a Quarter Staff, Wool Cape, Leather Boots, and a 3 Slot Belt. Cost about half the starting money.
Attachment 95907
Visited Yin's house outside of town. Gives you the story. Found the backstory hidden in the Help menu too. Tacked that on.
Attachment 95893
Attachment 95894
Attachment 95895
Attachment 95909
Short version: Knew about fancy amulet belonging to your real father. Survived an attack by marauders around your 18th birthday. Pillaged your farm. Killed your family. Stole the amulet. Seeks revenge and that amulet.

Delved into the mines. Found a kobold, two giant rats, and the goblin below. Smoked all of them in a single Magic Arrow or quarter staff swing. Might be doable after all.
Attachment 95900
Proceeded down the stairs. Defeated a giant red ant in two Magic Arrows. Walked into a falling boulder trap. Lopped off seven hitpoints (of ten total).

Rested to regain health. Encountered a wild dog without regaining any health. Fully healed after that.

Walked forward one step into the arms of a Goblin Fighter. Exchanged blows. Went down to the familiar 3/10 hitpoints. Ran faster than they could. Sniped them with a Magic Arrow while retreating. Leveled up.

Decided on Cure Minor Wounds over Phase Door. Cannot always count on Phase Door saving you.

Continued onward. Discovered a spellbook on the floor. Snatched it up. Read "Cure Minor Wounds". Sighs.

Hid secret doors throughout the dungeon, also. Appears by searching next to the wall.
Attachment 95898
Attachment 95904
Looks obvious in this instance. May not always lead to a secret door.

Searched the floor more. Yielded little worthwhile. Could not fit bulkier items into the Small Pack. Stepped down a floor.

Strolled around. Walked into a room. Somehow got surprised by a Viper from behind. Landed a hit and poisoned. Considers poison extremely dangerous. May hit 'r' to rest until at full hitpoints or 'R' until at full mana. Potentially kills you, due to poison outweighing resting healing. Shrugged it off after a bit, fortunately.

Battled more snakes, goblins, kobolds, and dogs. Spotted another spellbook on the floor. Did not indicate the spell. Read it immediately. Learned Light. Serves very little purpose.

Leveled up once more while attempting to rest. Acquired Phase Door. Finished resting. Popped into a hallway, which was a dead end. Turned around to find a Goblin Fighter blocking the way. Exchanged blows. Started going south (figuratively and literally).
Attachment 95911
Barely outhealed the damage. Presented a perfect opportunity to Phase Door. Teleported...quite far.
Attachment 95905
Greeted the Huge Lizard in the room. Absorbed four Magic Arrows before flopping over. Wants a stronger spell.

Returned to town to offload garbage and hopefully find something useful. Cost more to Identify some items than what they sold for. Kept a Wand of Magic Arrows and Elixir of Cure Minor Wounds. Sold everything else (which was not magical).

Ventured further down. Leveled once more. Unlocked new spell options to learn:
- Clairvoyance: Shows an area of the map, including secret doors and traps.
- Cold Bolt: Cold-based damage spell.
- Detect Monsters: Shows you monsters in a large area.
- Detect Traps: Finds traps in a large area.
- Identify: Tells you whether an item is cursed, magical, or normal.
- Levitation: Prevents most (all?) traps from affecting you. Might make it tough to pick up items too?
- Neutralize Poison: Stops poison.

Picks Identify in normal, melee-focused runs. Wanted Cold Bolt here for power. Tried it out on a Giant Red Ant. Still took three hits. Smashed a few others quicker, but not much (for double the mana cost). Hm.

Met a Rat Man next to the stairs on Level 4. Removed 9 hitpoints (of 25) in a single attack. (Cannot take on normal goblins lightly either. Bashed one with a quarter staff at the cost of 10 hitpoints total.) Moved a hair faster than them, fortunately. Flung four Cold Bolts into it for the kill.

Wandered into a unique room. Probably refers to this as the barracks or something.
Attachment 95897
Bombarded them with Magic Arrows. Read the scrap of parchment in the room.
Attachment 95896

Hurried back to town. Says this upon returning.
Attachment 95901
Attachment 95902

Finished what they started too.
Attachment 95906

Concludes this update. Heads to a new town and the game's other dungeon next time. Farewell for now.
Beautiful, I never knew games like this existed! Thanks for this log, looks fun
Meet Olivert Reise Arnor:

He says, "This loving prince of yours won't let you skip some amazing video game music!"

<~Trent

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Beautiful, I never knew games like this existed! Thanks for this log, looks fun
Played other games similar to Castle of the Winds also. Falls in the roguelike category. Names Angband and Nethack as two such games. (Tried Nethack when older, though.) Produced Dungeons of Dredmor more recently. Considers that far easier, partially thanks to difficulty options and optional permadeath. Might show that off at some point. Goes fairly quick.

(In order: Angband, Nethack, and Dungeons of Dredmor. May see different visuals for the first two, depending on graphic options.)
Angband.png
NetHack_for_Windows_Screenshot.png
Dungeons of Dredmor Screenshot.jpg

Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Summer 9 - Summer 14

Performed more research. Looked into soil stats. Gets complicated.
- Gives each 2x2 plot its own stats. Breaks down into five stats: Overall, Speed, Quality, Number, and Size. Translates into six values: Health (decreases per harvest and withers at 0), Defense (against typhoons), Growth (rate), Quality (better plants), Number (yield amount), and Size (for giant crops).
- Levels up stats from harvesting crops. Example: Adds 1 Overall, 0.03 Quality, and 0.25 Number per Potato harvest.
- Affects values by using fertilizer, chemicals, or tilling in certain plants (like Withered Grass and Corn). Restores a plot's Health by not growing things there. (Already knew the last bit. Implied the rest through requests and item text.)
Rune Factory 4 Soil Stats.png

Some monster research:
- Gains stats from each defeated enemy. Adds effects (such as Poison and Seal Attack) through giving monsters certain items. Works like upgrading weapon/armor. Stacks too.
- Obtains Rigid Horns as a product from Heracles. Grants 1% critical rate. Will keep an eye out for them. Could be a bit, though.
- Tames Ambrosia (first boss) with Ultra Toyherb and Thunderbolt (second boss) with Royal Carrot. Might be from giant version of those crops...or something. Note to self: Keep Apple Pie, Cake, Cheesecake, and Chocolate Cake drops for Marionetta (third boss).

Never expected this much complexity. Welcomes it...to an extent. Explained too little in-game. (Might happen later in requests? Could be hidden in a book at Arthur's place or something too.)

Unlocked the Shopkeeping License.
Rune Factory 4 Shopkeeping.png
Sticks items in the Shop Box, similar to the standard Shipping Container. Stands in the booth (next to Volkanon's shoulder). Waits for customers. Hawks a random item in the Shop Box. May or may not want it. Increases the odds by spending rune power.

Sold Sweet Potatoes for ~385 gold by talking it up, up from 240. Seems best for high value items. Improves your bartering skill, as a plus.

Lucked into an Apple Pie from the Delirium Lava Ruins while farming rubies. Dashed back to the Obsidian Mansion. Savescummed the process without remorse. Recruited Puppet the Marionetta after maybe 8+ attempts. Would have taken so much Apple Pie. (Brushed the boss 15 times too, for the record.)

Saw the Ride option. Had to try.
Rune Factory 4 Puppet Dance.png
Moves so goofily. Performs the splits while moving forward.

Participated in the Turnip Festival on the 11th. Plays a minigame. Requires you to throw balls at turnips. Increases in magnitude by hitting several in a single throw. Tossed in pink and gold turnips for more points, as well as giant versions.
Rune Factory 4 Turnip Festival.png
Ramps up quickly, similar to the Bean Tossing Festival. Flooded the screen with 15(?) turnips towards the end.

Squeaked in a first place first try: 10725 points to second place Forte's 10600.

Completed an interesting request. Demanded 10% achievement for shipping. Meant shipping a bunch of unique items. Climbed from 8% to 11% or 12% in a moment. Scored a very handy backpack upgrade.

Read about a Spring Field (eternal Spring season farming area). Could not remember where offhand. Explored west to Maya Road. Wanted something there.

Second screen of Maya Road: two Heracles. Even better. Cue "Together We Ride". Welcomed Atlas and Rhino to the barn.

Continued onward. Clearly entered a more advanced area. Recognized several specific crafting materials (like Rigid Horn and Black Bird Feather). Definitely wanted those. Might stumble upon good ore also.
Rune Factory 4 Physical Healing.png
See those green numbers? Healed upon being hit by physical damage. Strongly reduced it on others (to ~20 damage instead of 110 on some other monsters in the region). Lacked the magical skill to do much. Relied heavily on Tale (per usual).

One annoying bit: actually killing monsters. Sends them flying upon reaching 0 hitpoints. Flops on the ground briefly before disappearing. Continues to receive (and heal) damage in that timeframe. Never records beyond 0 hitpoints. Meant that Mimic often picked fallen monsters up. Considered sending them back for Puppet. Would likely be too low level to matter, however. Kept Mimic just in case (and for experience).

Praises Maya Road for its optional items and puzzle solving. See:
Rune Factory 4 Maya Road Mechanics.png
Could hit the switch by circling around. Allows you to smack it with a thrown item too. Discovered another chest that required increased movement speed. Solved it by riding Mimic.

Anticipated a boss at the end of Maya Road. Opened into somewhere else instead.
Rune Factory 4 Bad Neighborhood.png
...Entered a bad neighborhood. Probably ought to turn around an--diamonds? Here? Onwards!

Survived well enough. Failed to get diamonds, however. Might need a better hammer.

Clearly has a backlog of main requests. Asked for five befriended monsters. Stood tall at twelve then.

Wow. Finished a random request from Clorica. Wanted a single Orc dead (from the first dungeon). Handed over Dragon Bones. Sells for 2700. Evidently uses it for a level 43 or 49 Forging recipe or a level 50 Crafting recipe. (Sits at around mid-thirties now.)

Blitzed some item creation skills. Reached Wettable Powder. (Raises soil's Defense. Protects crops from typhoon damage.) Sunk all the useless Scrap Metal into upgrading for easy Forging levels. Scarfed down Farming Bread for the Golden Hammer recipe. Sacrificed possibly the last gold ore (never found any from rocks) for it. Time for glory.

Pushed into the frozen wastes. Procured diamonds. Explored more to look for anything else quick. Went...a ways. Included the screen below:
Rune Factory 4 Falling Hazards.png
Lures you in with chests. Pelts you with rocks (and maybe wind?). Picked up either magic or a rune ability.

Secured one more treasure: Wet Scales. Learned the recipe for Wet Boots ages ago. Increases your critical hit rate by 75% (along with great defense and -5 intelligence). Gated its materials to this point in the game. Needs a second Wet Scale to craft it.

Chucked a rock away for inventory space. Flung it at a monster. Tamed it. Shrugs. Received a free Silver Wolf for giving it food in a scripted event too.

Teleported back. Only had a little (real-life) time to check for diamond uses. Bingo: Poison Spear with +380 attack. Outshines the Trident's (un-upgraded) +162 attack by a large margin.

Calls it for this section. Character sheets at the end of Summer 14 (technically start of Summer 15):
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 14 Char Sheet.png
+24 levels, +1257 hitpoints, and +154 rune power. Nearly doubled Attack (+199). Barely moved elsewhere.
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 14 Tale.png
+26 levels for Tale, plus 7227 extra hitpoints and 291 magic attack.
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 14 Mimic.png
No comparison for Mimic. Needs higher friendship levels too. (Should be giving them failed dishes.)


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Summer 15 - Summer 20

Began this segment with the Biggest Catch festival. Wins by catching the biggest fish between 11:00 and 18:00.

Fretted about being successful here. Stopped fishing after gems raked in the cash. Researched this a bit beforehand. Suggested the fall area. Reeled in a 99.4 centimeter Skipjack. Read that Dylas can present 100+ centimeter fish. Attended the judging anyways.
Rune Factory 4 Biggest Catch Dylas.png
Whew. First try.

Just inspected the free Silver Wolf.
Rune Factory 4 Amazing Free Wolf.png
Level 99 for free? Nice.

Poked back into Sechs Territory for Wet Scales. Dropped pretty easily. Made Wet Boots for Lest and Xiao Pai. Welcome to crit town.

Weird. Tripped while running on the farm. Why did that sudd--wait. Wet Boots. Gifted them to Xiao Pai anyways, knowing that. Trips regardless of Wet Boots.

Uh oh. Spoke with townsfolk. Indicated a typhoon soon. Purchased ingredients for more Wettable Powder. Defended all the main crops. Let the fodder die off, as well as a few crops by themselves.

Successfully grew a large Toyherb and Royal Carrot before the typhoon. (Forgot to screenshot that. Perhaps another time.) Proceeded to tame both bosses. Secured Ambrosia on the first try and Thunderbolt on the sixth or so. Comes in at unusable levels, though (6 for Ambrosia, for example).

Heard about a Typhoon monster in a currently inaccessible area (but intended before Maya Road from before). Finally returned to the main plot.
Rune Factory 4 Leon Karnak 1.png
No monster friends for this. Sold this as a one-way trip too. Warned that you will not revive at the clinic before entering.
Rune Factory 4 Leon Karnak 2.png
Trounced the enemies within. Bashed stuff with a staff in hopes of leveling it. Swapped around once that struggled to break 20 damage.

Heard the memories of other guardians on the way through. Happened in misty white flower and stars areas. Washed out in the screenshot. Applied color corrections below to show it better.
Rune Factory 4 Hippie Path Corrected.png
Climbed the tower to this statue boss. Proved no trouble.
Rune Factory 4 Leon Karnak Boss 1.png
Descended the stairs they guarded. Found the real boss.
Rune Factory 4 Leon Karnak Boss 2.png
Actually had a nasty falling rock magic spell. Hit for 400-500 damage. Dodged without too much issue. Ripped it to pieces, even without Tale and Mimic.

Transformed into this:
Rune Factory 4 Saving Leon.png
Imagines Leon being a fairly popular marriage choice. Shows up so late (relatively), though. (Looked them up to get the name of their dungeon. Voice actor: Matthew Mercer.)

Could not reach Leon, however. Floated away whenever Lest approached. Tossed the one-way return to Leon to get them out. Left Lest trapped in there for eternity. The end.
Rune Factory 4 Credit Fakeout.png
Well...no, actually. Cut the credits short with Ventuswill's appearance. Handed Lest a charm at the beginning that allowed Ventuswill to lock onto Lest's location. Yanked Lest out. Rolled the credits once more.

...Hold up. Shows them flying away from the tower. Spotted a switch that was not there before. And then a chest.

(Note: Is not the end of the game. Ends Arc 1.)

Hightailed it back there to find nasty enemies. Hung around long enough to pluck this from a chest.
Rune Factory 4 Lamellar Vest.png
Shot up in defenses. Lost a smattering of stats and resistances through upgrading. Does not care.

Surveyed the typhoon's destruction.
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer Typhoon Aftermath.png
Appreciates it a little, actually. Plopped down lots of stumps and rocks for easy lumber and stone.

Could not reach the typhoon monster, unfortunately. Unlocks the new area upon Arc 2 starting. Occurs one week after Arc 1 ends. (Weighs in at level 142 anyways. Might be just as well.)

Noticed the Firefly Festival coming up. Read you have to be dating someone and ask them the day before. Required friendship level 7-8 to be able to date. Came down to chance whether they agree to it, though. Savescummed for love...only to be thwarted. Requested a day to think about it. Sighs.
Rune Factory 4 Relationship Start.png
Stinks to miss the event by a day, but oh well. Went on a date (the next day) instead. Met at Porcoline's Kitchen. Lacks much to say about it. Seemed to not go terribly? Learned nothing of note.

Concludes everything else of interest. Grinded more crafting skills. Shrugs. Character sheets at the end of Summer 20 (technically morning Summer 21):
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 20 Char Sheet.png
+17 levels, +1467 hitpoints, and +97 rune power. Equipped the spear for this. Cannot explain the huge leap in Defense (287 -> 621) and Magic Defense (216 -> 527). Perhaps the new shield?
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 20 Mimic.png
+21 levels for Mimic. Hit maximum friendship level. Added 7070 hitpoints and 329 attack.
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 20 Tale.png
+18 levels for Tale. Added a more modest 4674 hitpoints and 294 Magic Attack.

Thanks for reading. Will not post updated character/weapon impressions. Saw no new town events. Spoke to Leon once in town. Misses the other weapons after trying to level them a bit, though.

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89 Days
Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Summer 21 - Summer 25

Proceeded deeper into Leon Karnak. Reached a boss. Absorbed Tale's main wind attack. Exited immediately.

Brought Xiao Pai along. Seemed wise to level them up. Might put in work with the Wet Boots critical chance. Learned about various pendants too. Included the Star Pendant, which grants extra experience. Handed one to Xiao (nicknamed them that at the start of the relationship). Grabbed a skill experience pendant for personal use.

Grew in levels quickly. Faced the boss.
Rune Factory 4 Grimoire Damage.png
Pulled off a nasty attack above. Shows only a portion of the massive damage from the projectile storm.

Hit paydirt: Orichalcum. Finally found a rock that did not yield Scrap Iron and Iron. Spat out three chunks.

Strolled just north of that screen. Cracked open a chest for two recipes: Legendary Sickle and Blessed Hoe. Not the most useful tools, but excellent nonetheless.

Returned to the Forge. Level 80 Forging (and using currently inaccessible Platinum). Unfortunate, given Forging around level 50 at present. What about Orichalcum? ...Egads. Could craft the Brionic (a spear) and Knight Shield. Demanded just under a full bar of rune power (although, much less after another level or two).
Rune Factory 4 Brionic.png
Rune Factory 4 Knight Shield.png
Noticed that later recipes really ramp up in Attack. Stood on the lower end of the big bump up. Suffices.

Celebrated the next event: the Buddy Battle. Pits one pair of monsters versus another. Demolished the first two opponents (despite Mimic not aggroing on one).
Rune Factory 4 Buddy Battle.png
Recognizes the above monsters from Leon Karnak. Buried them too. Would have been tough without a dungeon focus.

Finally began Arc 2. Heard a big bang in town. Encountered an empire soldier in the town center. Spilled allllll the beans. Sent Doug as a spy. Refused to cooperate any longer, though.
Rune Factory 4 Spilling Secrets.png
All the beans. (Sidenote: Did not know Doug was a dwarf.)

Summoned a dragon-like being and fused with it by using a Rune Sphere. Flopped over with minimal effort. Learned about a Research Facility somewhere south from Doug. Headed there. Spotted Empire flunkies at Idra Cave.
Rune Factory 4 Nicer Neighborhood.png
A much kinder neighborhood (with sapphires). Delved a ways in. Describes it as dull, in terms of scenery. Looked like every other cave portion. Threw in some one-way paths because...reasons. Met a few captive monsters, though. Received a new fairy monster friend and minor items.

Did not finish the dungeon yet. Stat sheets (now with Xiao) at the end of Summer 25:
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 25 Char Sheet.png
+11 levels, +2141 hitpoints, and +86 rune power. Highlights the ridiculous +777 Attack boost.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 25 Mimic.png
+9 levels for Mimic. Notes an extra 139 attack too.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 25 Tale.png
+8 levels for Tale.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 25 Xiao.png
Very poor hitpoints, relative to monsters (and Lest too, honestly). Brings an acceptable Attack stat. Cannot supply rune abilities or spells to boost utility, sadly. Evidently has their own skill sets.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Summer 26 - Summer 30

Performed a little more research. Adds base effects of items to other items by adding them while crafting. Example: Crafted a Star Pendant with the usual materials plus a Heart Pendant and Critical Ring. Combined the effects of all three. (Note: Cannot do this via upgrades. Must be done as part of creation.)

Plans to make a fancier ring later. Will probably do +Drop Chance, +Skill Experience, +Experience, and reduced rune power consumption. (Might drop one and put in on a better accessory. Did not fiddle with this too much yet.)

Plunged deeper into Idra Cave. Became distinctly different in the final room.
Rune Factory 4 Idra Cave Boss.png
Meet the Emperor of Sechs. Creates (bad) copies of Divine Dragons with the Rune Spheres. Handled it no problem.

Chased these flunkies to Maya Road. Removed all the unlocked warp points, irritatingly. Cue boss rush time.
Rune Factory 4 Dragon Boss Rush 1.png
Rune Factory 4 Dragon Boss Rush 2.png
Fled via airship at the end. Pursued them to the Floating Empire.
Rune Factory 4 Floating Empire.png
Why is this place so run down? Is this the Floating Empire or the Fallen Empire? Seems advanced, given a float system. Constructed that area in Idra Cave. Populated the area with mechanical creatures. Did not care for aesthetics, apparently.

Lacks much to say about it. Divided into three (large) areas. Must finish all three to advance. Flicked a lot of switches to lower roadblocks. Smashed two bosses, both tanks.
Rune Factory 4 Tank Bosses.png
In between all of this:
- A giant turnip. (Remembered this time.) Thought it turned into a dungeon after a while. Confused it with a crop coming up.
Rune Factory 4 Tyrant Turnip.png
- The Summer Harvest festival. Turned in a level 5 yam for the one-shot win. Garnered 205 votes.
- All-male pyjama party! Mainly discussed the lack of female presence. Only bothered Doug. Led to this too:
Rune Factory 4 Leon Gay Panic.png
A gay panic moment from Leon. Dropped in rankings very fast.

Completes this part. Transitions to Fall next time. Character information at the end of Summer:
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 30 Char Sheet.png
+8 levels, +1736 hitpoints, and +63 rune power. Kicked off Summer at level 51. Advanced a considerable amount. Only had 1397 hitpoints then (although, 766 rune power).

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 30 Mimic.png
+6 levels for Mimic. Jumped a respectable 124 Attack points.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 30 Tale.png
+6 levels for Tale also. Grabbed an extra 182 Magic Attack.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Summer 30 Xiao.png
Joined the +6 level train. Leapt from 1164 Attack to 2255 (+1091) with an axe on par with Lest's Brionac. Bulked up with 504 -> 749 Defense (+245) and 311 -> 449 Magic Defense (+138). Suffers from poor hitpoints, unfortunately.

Devalue

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89 Days
Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Fall 1 - Fall 6

Repaired the bridge between Autumn Field and easy rune point restoration. Met someone in front of a vacant house.
Rune Factory 4 Expensive House.png
Just a little too expensive.

Returned to the Floating Empire to finish it off. Tested memory. Split off into two paths immediately. Teleported you to different, small platforms (three screens big). Led to another pair of teleporters. Either sent you to the start (with an item along the way, sometimes) or forward. Branched off like this four or five times. Eventually reached the boss.
Rune Factory 4 Floating Empire Boss 3.png
(Not a tank this time.)

Built optional paths near each boss. Featured fake blocks this time. Tipped off another spot for an item that was less obviously fake.
Rune Factory 4 Fake Blocks.png
Unlocked the final door. Strode to Ethelberd.
Rune Factory 4 Ethelberd 1.png
Phase 1: Standard. Stuck teleporters in the corners. Shot a nasty area effect into the center.
Rune Factory 4 Ethelberd 2.png
Shredded Mimic with that blast.

Phase 2: Whipped out a Rune Sphere to gain overwhelming power. Auto-lose.
Phase 3: Reinforcements in the form of Ventuswill. Became vulnerable again. Auto-win, apparently. (Still had a lot of power from Phase 2. Took a death, only to be healed.) Might have sent both monster friends home automatically at this point.
Phase 4: Fused with Ventuswill. Could move and attack, but not deal damage. Amounted to more of a cutscene than a phase.
Phase 5: Auto-lose against the fused form.
Phase 6: Called upon the power of friendship.
Rune Factory 4 Ethelberd 3.png
Noticed big red numbers from Ethelberd's attacks. Seemed fine on health, percentage-wise. Checked the stats.
Rune Factory 4 Ethelberd 4.png
Transformed into a deity, stat-wise. Essentially an auto-win.

Phase 7: Morphed into green Kyogre. Spent a lot of time waiting to hit it. Maintained the ridiculous stats from before. Seemed more even.
Rune Factory 4 Ethelberd 5.png
Capped off this extended boss fight. Faded back into the Forest of Beginnings (where monsters go when you defeat them). Rolled the credits (again).
Rune Factory 4 Ethelberd 6.png
Spelled the end for Ventuswill too, however. Ran on borrowed time for ages. Finally disappeared.

Concludes Arc 2. Unlocked fancy new orders:
- New town background music from old games
- Show/hide enemy levels and hitpoint bars.
- Disable/enable experience gain.
- Disable/enable skill gain.
- Change your appearance to any townsfolk or generic character.
- Summon/push away typhoon
- Disable/enable town events.
- Add stumps to open farm space
- Add rocks to open farm space
- Unlock the endgame dungeon
- Magic Shop
- Ability Shop

Picked those last three. Ate up almost all available points. Snagged enemy levels and health bar eventually too.

Cannot begin Arc 3 yet. Requires a specific town event to trigger. What is the endgame dungeon like?
Rune Factory 4 Deadly Neighborhood.png
Might as well say "Level: Skull". Entered anyways. Tried to defeat a group of three ordinary enemies (as in, early-game orc archer and hornets). Managed to kill one before getting two-shot. Nope.

...Now what? Read that the Arc 3 event either takes a lot of savescumming or luck. Ought to get married before closing the book on this game. Perhaps the farm tools too?

Other events:
- Accessed an optional boss. Resides behind a path blocked by mushrooms. Opens up on the 1st through 5th of each month. Missed it last time due to not being in Arc 2. Gives you a fast travel point beyond the mushrooms upon reaching it, also.
Rune Factory 4 Raccoon Demon.png
(Smashed them before they grew.) Gives you a Dungeon Seed for winning. Needed these for requests ages ago.

- The Eating Contest.
Rune Factory 4 Eating Contest.png
Pick up a fruit or prepared dish. (Struggled to find the hitbox on the large fruit. Seemed the same size or smaller than a normal fruit's.) Do not take a Failed Dish. Mash B to eat (not a thing in the normal game). Repeat. First place first try.

- Typhoon incoming for Fall 7. Decided to allow it to kill Typhoon for fun. Just planted a bunch of stuff, unfortunately. Burned a pile of cash on Wettable Powder materials.

Grinded up Forging to 80. Upgraded trash tools with cheap Iron. Beat making good tools by a landslide. Encountered an odd bug where the Miracle Axe chopped out random amounts of lumber. Smashed some stumps in one hit and some branches in nine. Shrugs. Turned back to normal the next day.

Finishes this section. Stats:
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 6 Char Sheet.png
+4 levels. Fought very few enemies after Ethelberd. Picked up 66 rune power. Feels low, considering leveling Forging by 25 or so.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 6 Mimic.png
+3 levels for Mimic.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 6 Tale.png
+4 levels for Tale. Went up only 4 Magic Attack, but 66 Attack. Strange. Must have given them items with Attack.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 6 Xiao.png
No change for Xiao. Gains no experience when not in the party, versus 50% for monsters at home.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Fall 7 - Fall 12

More research. Looked into getting Arc 3 to start. Fixed it for Special. Guarantees the event after you examine Ventuswill's empty spot three times (on separate days). Nice. Leaves much more to do without dumb grinding.

Thought about it. Opted to halt the typhoon. Savescummed it once to see Mealy Apple and its drop chance. Got it once after multiple early Escapes to allow multiple kills. Adds tons of negatives when upgrading something with it. Evidently only becomes good with some other item that reverses it.

Tamed two more Buffamoos, a Cockadoodle, a Mamadoodle (for style), and a Schmooly (for fur, just in case). Never mentioned shopkeeping much. Earns a lot of cash that way (when it is not raining). Sells Pancakes (Flour + Milk + Egg + Honey) for 7500 gold per. Requires Milk and/or Eggs for lots of cooking recipes too.

Grew the dungeon seed.
Rune Factory 4 Dungeon Seed.png
Leads to a randomly generated dungeon. (Resets if you exit.) Supposedly levels with the plant's level and size. Filled this with weak level 50s. Ends with a boss.
Rune Factory 4 Dungeon Seed Boss.png
Drops a Sword Flower seed (another request item). Notes that the dungeon seed remains there.

Expected more from Valentine's Day. Received cookies from female villagers. Made plans with Xiao to meet at 19:00. Just wanted to give a cookie. Boring.

Spent most of this time period farming, grinding skills (mainly Crafting and Mining), or waiting for the Arc 3 Town Event to progress. Leaves little to comment on. Unlocked Leon Karnak boss refights and the next area on the last day of this play session.

Contained enemies around level 165. Not too far above? Hung in there. Feels weak, however. Spammed Millionstrike (a spear ability) a lot. Ran into a level 230 monster too. Drops a nice material, apparently. Might finally replace the headband.

Reached a boss: the Bone Dragon.
Rune Factory 4 Bone Dragon.png
Absorbed Tale's wind attacks. What kind of Bone Dragon is this? Camouflages itself too.

Powered through. Tried to kill it before 6:00 AM (the time you wake up). Fell short on damage output. Chose to leave. Bailed at ~15%.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 12 Char Sheet.png
+6 levels for Lest.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 12 Mimic.png
+5 levels for Mimic. Should be feeding Mimic, Tale, and an alternate monster (Ion?) Heart Crystals for Drain. (Appreciates a random generic townsfolk saying that.)

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 12 Tale.png
+4 levels for Tale. Fared better on Magic Attack this time.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 12 Xiao.png
+4 levels for Xiao somehow. Must have come along at some point.

Thanks for reading. Pushes through more of Arc 3 next time.

Devalue

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89 Days
Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Fall 13 - Fall 18

Opens with research, per usual. Wrote it partially as a reminder. Speaks to how many little mechanics exist in this game.
- Needs to increase soil quality for higher level crops, maximum +2.00. Adds 0.06 with Greenifier and 0.5 with Greenifier+. Prefers Greenifier+'s recipe (Withered Grass + Orange Grass + Corn). Means more skill, cash for corn, and to hope for Arthur to stock Withered Grass.
- Adds +0.31 size per Giantizer, up to +2.00. Wants giant crops for spots in the new area, supposedly.
- Upgrade a tool (Sickle and/or Hoe) with a Magnifying Glass to see stats. Frees up inventory and reduces tool swapping.
- Could have gotten Object X easily. Comes from botching a Medicine recipe. Might have been tough to upgrade with the Mealy Apple, though.
- Acquires Scrap Metal+ from messing up a Forging recipe. "Upgrades" a weapon to only hit for 1 damage. Helps against Mineral Squeeks. Weighs in at 4 hitpoints. Drops an item upon being hit. Quadruples its drops, basically. Yields Double Steel (x2 effect on last upgrade) or 10-Fold Steel (x8 effect on last upgrade). Limit once per item, thankfully.

Returned to Rune Prana (the name of this dungeon) for a rematch. Went quicker without Tale healing the boss. Dropped an Electro Crystal. Helps very little. Opens up better armor. Should be able to do better after more progression, though.

Farmed a monster before heading down a floor, also. Dropped Worn Quality Cloth. Crafted that into a new hat. Replaced the old 20 Crafting Skill Headdress (base 8 Defense and 2 Intelligence) with a 51 Crafting Skill Feathered Hat (base 150 Defense, 120 Magic Defense, 25% Love Resistance, 20% Dizzy Resistance, and 20% Critical Resistance). Offers very little inbetween.

Took off the kid gloves on Floor 2. Combined poison, paralysis, and magic seal on ranged hornet stings. Scattered wind and floor hazards around too. Cannot ignore these floor hazards as easily. Hits for a solid 1500-2000 damage per (versus Lest's 14000ish hitpoints).

Savescummed a few deaths away. (Costs 50000 gold sometimes. Accounts for a huge chunk of cash.) Designed these floors smaller, fortunately. Encountered the boss in a short while.
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana Boss Floor 2.png
Inflicted minimal damage on the shell. Gives you a generous hitbox for the fleshy bits, thankfully. Downed it without much issue. Felt the lack of damage output more strongly.

Met a major monster almost instantly on Floor 3: Turnip Ghost. Drops Turnip's Miracle. Accesses all of the following now:
- Magic Charm: Accessory. Uses the higher stat between Attack and Magic Attack for damage calculation. Potentially good?
- Gold Hairpin: Hat. Base Defense 520, Magic Defense +480, and 20% Seal Resistance. Smokes the Feathered Hat.
- Elvish Cloak: Armor. Base Defense 888 and Magic Defense 850. Outclasses the armor with the Electro Crystal by almost double.
- Monk Staff: Spear. Base 1950 Attack, 120 Defense, 150 Magic Attack, and +8 Dizzy. Lords over the Brionac's 1100 Attack, 80 Defense, and 8 Dizzy.
- Good Dual Blades, Fists, and a (magic) Staff. Nice as options, particularly the last one.

Runs into one problem: the drop chance. Slaughtered a lot of Turnip Ghosts with no luck. Only needs to ship one in order for Raven to randomly stock them (for a reasonable 4500 gold).

Recalled another good item drop soon. Opted to proceed instead. Ran into the boss on the floor's third screen. (Forgot to screenshot it. Was an icy wooly mammoth.)

Screeched to a halt in progression. Tickled it at about 40 damage per hit. (Did not look much better from Mimic and Tale either. Maybe 120 from them? Seemed like something did 1900 damage sometimes, though.) Discharged an area attack around them...for 22000 damage (see: 150% of Lest's health).

Remembered reading high elemental resistance was useful. Checked its damage type for the area attack (water). Crafted an 80% Water Resistance accessory. Limped back for Round 2.

Tanked the area effect...okay (~3750 damage). Tried spells. Hit for nothing. Spammed Millionstrike and healing to keep monsters up. Rammed healing potions down Tale's throat when rune points ran dry. (Cannot use healing potions on fainted monsters.) Prevailed in the end, however, with Tale and Mimic down and a sliver of rune power left. Onward to glorious materials.

Misremembered, unfortunately. Thought Heavenly Scissors dropped on Floor 4. Shows up on Floor 5. Picked up a Crimson Scale while poking around, however. Littered recipes with various dragon scales. Might be good.

...Very good.
- Magical Shield: Shield. Base 840 Defense, 800 Magic Defense, and various resistances. Beats the Knight Shield's 325 Defense and 320 Magic Defense (plus Dizzy and Critical Resistances).
- Ghost Boots: Boots. Base 670 Defense, 420 Magic Defense, -10% Knock Resistance, and evidently increased travel speed. What about the item directly before it in crafting? 140 Defense, 30 Magic Defense, and -15% Knock Resistance.
- Dragon Cloak: Armor. Base 1250 Defense and 1200 Magic Defense. Obsoletes the Elvish Cloak already.
- Fists with 2550 Attack (plus a respectible 800 Magic Attack and some defenses).
- Rune Staff with 3140 Magic Attack. Might consider switching to magic.

Questions this game's sudden stat inflation. Renders equipment useless extremely fast. Seems like poor design. Dives into the gear's impact next time, however. Will mention two more things first:
1. The Fish Variety Contest. Requires catching the most unique fish, as one may guess. Choked on reeling in big fish. Still stole first place (first try) with nine fish over second place's seven.
2. Learned the Water Shoes recipe. Enables you to cross water. Appears to not be super useful. Led to one secret area with a few items, however.

Stats:
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 18 Char Sheet.png
+14 levels, +3026 hitpoints, and +98 rune power. Definitely focused on dungeon crawling this update.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 18 Mimic.png
+12 levels for Mimic. Added only 2048 hitpoints.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 18 Tale.png
An identical +12 levels for Tale.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 18 Xiao.png
+1 level for Xiao. Not super exciting.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Fall 19 - Fall 23

Finished the last session talking about crafting. Seems fitting to begin with the Handicraft Contest. Doles out points a well-crafted weapon or accessory. Submitted the level 10 Diamond Ring forged with three other items. Demolished the competition. Scored 806 points versus second place's 280.

Next order of business: a new weapon. Lacked enough skill to learn Ironleaf Fists. Somehow had the prowess for the staff. (Must be from spamming Cure. Barely used a staff. Shrugs.) Glanced at staff forging information. Supposedly changes its charge attacks based on what you forge into it. Stuffed a Rainbow Waterpot in and called it good.

Felt the impact instantly. Smacked down individual enemies several times faster. Shredded the rest of the room quite well too.

Farmed red dragons for more Crimson Scales. Upgraded armor, boots, and shield slots. Certainly helped, but not to the degree of the staff. Had to be cautious near fire hazards still.

Rolled up to the boss with some confidence.
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana Boss Floor 4.png
Tore through them. Went less swimmingly for Tale and Mimic, however. (Entered quite wounded, admittedly. Costs a lot of rune power to restore their health after 10000+ damage hazard hits.) Hints at the end of an era. Cannot rely on Tale and Mimic to carry the day anymore. May be worthwhile to ask Xiao to tag along again (after proper equipping).

Hunted for Heavenly Scissors (a scorpion) posthaste. Found one shortly. Gave up a Dangerous Scissors (its pincer) without much fuss.

Trudged deeper through the dungeon before crafting a fancy spear. Fared pretty well with the staff. Cleared out rooms of enemies nicely. Made it to the boss.
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana Boss Floor 5.png
Note the 188 and 54 damage. Sliced through normal enemies for at least 600 damage, typically 3000+.

Time for glory: Silent Grave with 3880 base Attack. Triples the Brionac's. Crafted another armor piece also.

Round 2: Learned it was a game of quick draw. Died instantly to Siren's (avoidable) area effect song. Put them in their grave for Round 3 with more careful movement. Shaved off...a third(?) of their health bar in a single Millionstrike.

Poked into Floor 6.
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana F6 Levels.png
Level 238. Means very little, given gear's impact.

Accounts for basically everything of note. Sidelined soil quality improvements and other skills. Wants even more Forging and Crafting skill for better upgrades. May seem silly, given how quickly equipment passes by. Snags most good upgrade items from bosses, though. Dominates them now.

Thanks for reading. Charges further in next time.

Stats roundup:

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 23 Char Sheet.png
+14 levels for Lest again. Boosted health and rune power by similar amounts as last time. Sets off fireworks after that. Attack: 1762 -> 6001. Defense: 1094 -> 4219. Magic Defense: 1041 -> 3865. Who thought this was a good idea?

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 23 Mimic.png
+13 levels for Mimic. Increased Attack by a piddly 97.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 23 Tale.png
Sings a similar tale for Tale. +13 levels. +25 measly Magic Attack. ...Must be doing something to add Attack.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 23 Xiao.png
+1 level again for Xiao. Somehow.

Devalue

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89 Days
Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Fall 24 - Fall 29

First order of business: better screenshots of bosses. Snapped ones for Octopirate (second floor) and Crystal Mammoth (third floor).
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana Boss 2 Better.png
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana Boss 3.png
Grinded skills hard this update. Leveled Forging and Crafting to ~98. Enables everything to be used as upgrades for reasonable costs. Leveled Mining (for Iron) while doing this too. Gated some random mineral drops behind Mining skill...or something like that.

Spent time on Cooking also. Learned Veggie Smoothie and Relax Tea recently. Sold them for 12000 and 15000 gold respectively. Brought in a boatload of cash.
Rune Factory 4 Shop Windfall.png
Breezed past the previous record of ~80000 gold.

Celebrated two holidays in this time period.
- White Day: Regifted cookies to people. Baked a cookie just for Xiao, though. Seemed right.
- Fall Harvest Festival: Submitted a level 10 turnip. Skated by second place's pathetic 128 points with 195.

Opted to continue progressing over crafting gear. Might save resources and skip over some bits.

Mulled over who to bring besides Xiao for quick levels. Came down to friendship. Leaves your party at 19:00 at friendship level 6 and lower. Excluded everyone except Barrett and Raven (not marriage options). Settled on Barrett. (May have noticed in the boss screenshots above.) Read that Raven spams Fireball a bunch (as a poor caster).

Managed okay on Floor 6. Feared room hazards like the plague. Hit over five times harder than the monsters. Made it to the boss.
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana Boss 6.png
Transitioned from stone dungeon to snow inexplicably. Shattered this floating head easily. Dealt solid damage without taking much.

Returned home to sleep. Asked Xiao on a date the next day. Tried to invite them into a party. Cannot do that, apparently. Sighs. Could not find Barrett either. Grabbed Tale and Mimic for Floor 7 (the final floor).

Felt a bit let down by Floor 7. Threw high-level normal monsters at you. What makes this level 280 sheep stronger than a level 5 sheep? Did not even go the lazy route of recoloring. Cut them down to reach one of this floor's bosses.
Rune Factory 4 Rune Prana Boss 7.1.png
Just a tree rematch. Cannot say whether it got new attacks. (Torched the original in seconds.) Seemed nasty, though. Filled the screen with cascading apple attacks and a spinning shield of apples.

Struggled a bit on this boss. Entered with acceptable damage and defenses. Disrupted spear jabs by charging and pelting you with the apple shield. Turned multiple attacks astray. Conquered it in the end, though.

Deemed it time to upgrade. Held off on the weapon for the moment. (Will probably do that soon.) Crafted new armor again, an excellent hair ribbon, and a Diamond Brooch. Grabbed the armor and ribbon increases.
Rune Factory 4 Indigo Ribbon Upgrade.png
Rune Factory 4 Rune Vest Upgrade.png

Sunk a lot into proper upgrades. How much do upgrades impact the item? Compared the base item with the upgraded version below.
Rune Factory 4 IndRibbon Difference.png
Rune Factory 4 Rune Vest Difference.png

Notably better. Used a 10-fold Steel (x8 effect of last upgrade) and a Double Steel (x2 effect of last upgrade, not directly stackable with x8) Stuck an Object X onto both to reverse stat changes from future upgrades. Drudged up elemental resistances from buyable cooking ingredients with elemental weaknesses. Saved the final upgrade for a Mealy Apple.

...Actually wants those Mealy Apples. Checked the date: Fall 29. Cannot count on Typhoon (the monster) spawning in Winter. (Refers to them as Snowstorms, supposedly.) Decided quickly. Called down the thunder. Rushed to protect fields with Wettable Powder. Should be okay. Picks up next session on that note.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 29 Char Sheet.png
+9 levels for Lest. Leapt significantly in Defense (+3166) and Magic Defense (+2367).

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 29 Mimic.png
+8 levels for Mimic. Not even +100 Defense.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 29 Tale.png
Once again, the same story for Tale as Mimic.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Fall 29 Xiao.png
+15 levels for Xiao, but no gear.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Fall 30 - Winter 5

Woke up to the roar of thunder. Sprinted across the fields to doublecheck soil defense. Seemed solid.

Challenged Typhoon.
Rune Factory 4 Typhoon Bridge.png
Leveraged the terrain well. Casted spells that enveloped the bridge. Shrugged off everything at this gear level, however.

Farmed without mercy. Normally disappears after beating it once. Drops loot before counting as "defeated", however. Used Escape in that window. Snagged 18 Mealy Apples in total. Ought to suffice for a long time.
Rune Factory 4 Mealy Apple.png
Look at the Upgrade Info above. Now reverse it. Adds that onto gear. (Note: ...But not all gear. Restricts elemental resistance to certain gear types, such as headpieces. Applies similarly to weapons and inflicting statuses.)

Crossed the threshold to Winter while farming Typhoon. Continued to spawn.

Noticed the winter visuals and music more than other seasons. Appreciated the change of pace. Designed Ventuswill's chamber awkwardly for winter, though.
Rune Factory 4 No Winter Proofing.png
Crafted a new hammer for Xiao. Decided to keep it for a bit, though. Had higher attack than the current spear (without upgrades). Earns hammer/axe experience to make a better one down the line too.

Refight time. Slaughtered all of them with Xiao's hammer.
Rune Factory 4 Chimera 2.png
Level 305 Chimera 2

Rune Factory 4 Monkey Demon Pair.png
Two monkey demons instead of one.

Rune Factory 4 Golem 2.png
...Bigger?

Rune Factory 4 Four Fairy Foes.png
A new boss, sort of. Saw these individually as normal monsters. Presented problems for people with less gear, undoubtedly. Slung spells everywhere and occasional healing. Bashed them down with Tornado Swing. Performed pretty well with that rune ability.

Rune Factory 4 Ragnarok.png
Now darker and edgier. Feels like a more open arena.

Walked into the final, flowery chamber. Placed a Rune Sphere. Attempted Etherlink, just like Ethelberd did to create weak copies of other Native Dragons. Fizzled for Ethelberd because they were unwilling to be called.

...Nothing. Waited around. Nothing. Left the room and came back. Nothing. Returned to town.
Rune Factory 4 Ventuswill Return 1.png
Rune Factory 4 Ventuswill Return 2.png
Roll cre-wait. No credits? Weird.

Is not the end yet, however. Should be strong enough for Sharance Maze (new to Special). Wants to get married too. (Depends on Xiao's Town Events happening. Hurry up.)

Other things:
- Started gearing Xiao. Faced a tough choice for accessories. Stacks up to four modifiers. Chose between increased stats (plus more aggressive), half non-elemental damage taken, hitpoint regeneration, reversed status effects (so, faster instead of slower from paralysis), resistance to (nearly) all effects, +50% hitpoints, increased weapon reach, and more experience. Picked those first four.
- Participated in the Turnip Flurry. Throw turnips at the other three people. Scores more points for Pink and Gold Turnips. Doubled second place's score.
- Finally fiddled with the farm's soil. Grows so fast. Regrets not doing this sooner. (Required gold, though.) Should have lots of level 10 crops soon. Helps because...
- Received a request to make one million gold in shipments. Downside: Does not count the shop (...probably). Will be relying on cooking for sure. Ought to keep an eye out for Honey. Outpaced BzzBzz's production.

Stats time.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 5 Char Sheet.png
+15 levels. +3173 attack and +2823 defense. More than doubled Magic Attack, for some reason. Needs to upgrade boots and a brooch still.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 5 Mimic.png
+8 for Mimic.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 5 Tale.png
And +8 for Tale too. Makes sense, given neither were in the party.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 5 Xiao.png
The real headliner. +31 levels. 2361 -> 12311 Attack (+9950). Eclipsed Lest on that (although, not too surprising as an axe user). 769 -> 3867 Defense (+3098). Sits at a mere ~31.5% of Lest's hitpoints, however. Prioritized resistance for a reason. May improve as the rest of the gear comes in (chest armor, boots, and headpiece).

Thanks for reading. Hopes for Xiao's Town Events next time.

Devalue

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89 Days
Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Winter 6 - Winter 12

Deemed it time to try Sharance Maze. Works similar to the Field Dungeons from seeds. Generates random floors. Sticks a tougher (normal) enemy at the teleporter on odd-numbered floors. Guards it with a boss on even-numbered floors. Ends with a dragon.

Recycled bosses yet again. Will spare you more screenshots.

Learned a handy trick, thanks to researching. Equipped a Rosary. Removes monster spawns normally. Cuts each dungeon floor down to two rooms instead: floor entrance and guardian. Becomes a boss rush, basically.

Cleared the initial level 300 Earth Dragon dungeon without issue. Became a bit scarier in the level 350 Fire Dragon dungeon. Met Crystal Mammoth once more. Hits for a ton still. Put up more of a fight than the dragon.

Reached a hurdle at the Water Dragon's level 400 dungeon. Refers to the skeletal dragon refight (separate from the Bone Dragon camouflaging lizard). Unleashes a tracking lightning bolt attack after a few moments in its vulnerable phase. Melts anything it touches. Started feeling the lack of damage again.

Thought about waiting for a better spear recipe. (Locked it behind a Golden Doom Pumpkin. Grows slowly.) Returned for another taste.

Practiced something rarely done so far: learning the boss's mechanics. Outruns the tracking bolt barely. Does not extend the full diameter of the arena either. Tackled the boss on one side of the arena. Fled to the other side when the bolt charged up. Whittled it down eventually.

Rocked up to the Water Dragon. Brought a toy from Crystal Mammoth's first meeting: the Aquamarine Brooch. Absorbed water attacks now. Eliminated most of the threat. Good thing too. Summons the tidal wave below.
Rune Factory 4 Tidal Wave.png
Pushes you to one side. Flings a ton of projectiles at you. Shrugged it all off. Scratch one dragon.

Completed the 1 million in shipments rather fast. Cashed in on foods made with carrots, cabbages, and onions, mainly. Leads to the main request: give Arthur a Turnip Heaven. Provides you with the Golden Turnip Seed. Growth time: 120 days. Dot dot dot.

(Future research note: Acquires golden turnips (both vegetable and seed) in Sharance Maze sometimes.)

Accomplished little else during this section. Ran the first two dragon dungeons several times for scales and recipes. Ate up a lot of time between that and farming. Stats:

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 12 Char Sheet.png
+11 levels for Lest. Needs 10-fold Steels to gear up more. Saved that for next time.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 12 Mimic.png
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 12 Tale.png
+8 levels for Mimic and Tale.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 12 Xiao.png
+15 levels for Xiao. Barely budged in stats. Will inherit Lest's current gear eventually.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Winter 13 - Winter 15

Squeezed two events into this small timeframe: the Squid Catching Festival and the Quiz Contest.
- Squid Catching Festival: Catch the most squids. Stayed in town for this. Hauled in 7 versus second place's 4.
- Quiz Contest: Asks you true/false questions. Ranges from easy (such as if Porcoline is the game's main hero) to hard (such as if the two statues in front of the Bell Hotel are facing each other). Pulled no punches here. Won on the second try. Required a perfect score both times. (Gives you the tiebreaker win.)

Noted something interesting on the Quiz Contest. Interrupts with an advertisement in the middle. Featured Bado the Blacksmith the first time and the clinic the second time.

Might ask why there were only three days in this session. Answer: 10-fold Steel farming. Reset if it took too long between drops. Preferred not to spend, in all likelihood, one in-game week on this. Liked the more focused approach.

Scored something spectacular in the process. Popped open a black chest. Contained a Four Dragons' Vest. Requires a scale from each dragon to craft. Never even touched the Ventuswill dungeon. Nice. Was Level 1 too, allowing full upgrades. Rushed back to the nearest save point.

Yanked the Golden Doom Pumpkin from the ground during this time period. Forged the Gae Bolg. Upgraded everything else too. Poured in the amazing dragon scales. Will show the stats at the end, per usual. Tallied up resistances below.

Fire: 41 + 11 + 15 + 41 + 21 = 129%
Water: 21 + 21 + 25 + 21 + 21 = 109%
Earth: 21 + 21 + 25 + 11 + 11 = 89%
Wind: 11 + 21 + 25 + 21 + 21 = 99%
Light: 11 + 61 + 11 + 11 + 11 = 105%
Dark: 11 + 61 + 11 + 11 + 11 = 105%

Absorbs four different elements. Fears non-elemental damage still. (Costs four upgrades to get 10% non-elemental resist. Could not fit a 10-fold Steel, Double Steel, Mealy Apple, and the non-elemental resist.) Regrets not putting Art of Magic (half non-elemental damage) into the Diamond Brooch. Oh well.

Checked the time. Only had a few hours before 6 AM (the start of the next day). Went for it. Raced through the levels. Included a new "boss", of sorts.
Rune Factory 4 Sharance Gate Boss.png
Elevated the spawning gate to boss-tier. Proved pretty easy. Worried when it switched to Affection Gate. Absorbed Gae Bolg's Love-based attacks (and Xiao's too). Switched before too long.

Reached the final boss. Note the time.
Rune Factory 4 Sharance Ventuswill.png
269 Wind damage with 99% resist. (Healed from Gae Bolg's drain effect, not enemy damage.) Seems fair, though, given 80% Wind resist is easily available.

Felled Ventuswill. Conquered the final se--wait. Thought that was the last section. Contains two more sections: level 500 (with Ethelberd) and level 1000 (with Ethelberd again). Hm. Will see how those go. Said Ventuswill's section was 450. Wonders what the level 500 contains. May not bother with the level 1000.

Concludes this play session. Stats:

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 15 Char Sheet.png
+4 levels on Lest. Attack: 11010 -> 21639. Defense: 10256 -> 11409. Magic Defense: 4285 -> 6838. Strength: 2193 -> 11836. Vitality: 1542 -> 4929.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 15 Mimic.png
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 15 Tale.png
+3 levels for Mimic and Tale. Marks the last time showing their stats. Sees no point. Benched both.

Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 15 Xiao.png
+4 levels for Xiao. Received Lest's old Rune Vest. Accounts for the massive defensive boosts. Defense: 3879 -> 7726. Magic Defense: 1953 -> 5373.

Thanks for reading. Will probably post shorter updates next. Foresees a lot of boss farming ahead. Leaves little to comment on. May try to finagle Xiao's Town Events to trigger.

Devalue

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Plans to play a round of Dungeons of Dredmor after Rune Factory. (Cannot guess when on that. Wanted to ask this ahead of time.) Decided to involve anyone reading. Please pick one skill. Will take it for the run. Do not worry if you know nothing about the game. Intends to set the game on Easy, No Permadeath, and No Time to Grind (smaller floors, same experience). Should be able to handle a hodgepodge of skills, despite not playing in years.

Provided a screenshot of skill icons. Offers to supply more information, if desired.
Dungeon Dredmor Skills.png
Row 1: Sword, Daggers, Axes, Maces, Polearms, Staves, Archery, Thrown Weapons, Unarmed Combat, and Dual Wielding
Row 2: Shield Bearer, Berserker Rage, Artful Dodger, Master of Arms, Vampirism, Golemancy, Flesh Smithing, Mathemagic, Psionics, and Necronomiconomics
Row 3: Viking Wizardry, Astrology, Promethean Magic, Magic Training, Blood Magic, Ley Walker, Perception, Burglary, Assassination, and Fungal Arts
Row 4: Alchemy, Wand Lore, Archaeology, Smithing, Tinkering, Clockwork Knight, Rogue Scientist, Battle Geology, and Warlockery

Carries 7 skills. Please post to prevent picking the same as someone else. Leaves any open skill slots to Random.

Nah

Age 28
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I've never heard of the game before, but since you're ok with that, my pick will be Flesh Smithing since that sounds....interesting.
Nah ンン
“No, I... I have to be strong. Everyone expects me to."

Devalue

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Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Winter 16 - Spring 1

Titles this update "The Savescumming Update". Savescummed the following:
- Xiao's first Town Event. Saved before it determined a Town Event. Slept. Checked the event. Reset as necessary. Repeated this four times. Saved maybe three weeks of in-game waiting.
- Xiao's second Town Event. As above, but probably twenty resets. Repeated a few. Might have waited a full in-game year to get this.
- Weapon Bread+. Drops a Recipe+ bread for defeating the end boss of each Sharance Maze section. Basically only wanted Weapon, Accessory, and some Cooking. Required long growth crops for minor stat buffs in Medicine. Filled up on Farming (minus the pole, due to too low of skill) ages ago. Guesses another maybe twenty resets for the best spear in the game: Legion.
- Farmed up a few more 10-fold Steels.
- Honey from Arthur's random inventory. Spent maybe fifteen resets here?

Redeemed 35000 Prince Points (maybe 50% of all Prince Points earned so far?) to nationalize baths. Costs nothing for instant energy recharges at the Bell Hotel now.

Tried to find a Golden Turnip in the level 500 Sharance Maze section. Grew bored. Tackled the boss, partially for a Rune Sphere Shard (for the upcoming Legion crafting). Inflicted decent damage still. Cleared it. Lucked out on the drop. Got that on the first kill.

Assembled the glorious Legion while waiting for a Christmas date with Xiao. Engaged in the customary Christmas pasttime too: capitalism.
Rune Factory 4 Christmas Capitalism.png

Turned fruit, milk, and honey stockpiles into good cash (40000-50000 each). Pales next to the top-tier Gold Juice (800000 gold per without the shop selling bonus). Consumes Gold Turnips and Emery Flowers (available after Gold Turnips), however.

Concluded the date with Xiao. Went on the real date: Banquet of Nightmares (level 1000). Slays together to stay together.

Finds it almost odd how Yellow (a non-boss monster) proved far stouter than most bosses. Sunk a lot of Millionstrikes into them. Retaliated with decent damage too.

Stood versus the final combat challenge: level 1050 Ragnarok. Crumpled like a chump. Was scared of their giant area-effect explosion. Never pulled it off. Shrugs. Victory. Returned ten minutes before 6 AM as a bonus.
Rune Factory 4 Final Ragnarok.png
Stats after winning:
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 25 Char Sheet.png
Rune Factory 4 Y1 Winter 25 Xiao.png

Admits a little disappointment. Wanted the full intended party (Xiao + child), as well as some items gated behind having a child (optimal headpiece and a strong accessory for family members). Never finished gearing Xiao even. Oh well. Chose Normal difficulty and combat-related savescumming.

Triggered Xiao's Marriage Event on the 26th. Focused on Xiao's inferiority complex versus their mother, Lin Fa. Developed from tripping and messing up constantly. Compared that to Lin Fa, who always had everything turn out alright.

Felt fairly neutral throughout the event. Disliked Xiao's father hard, though.
Rune Factory 4 Xiao Father.png
"Just kidding. Mostly."

Seeded rumors about Lest wanting to be with Lin Fa instead. Supposedly spread them as a weird test for Xiao. Worried about Xiao giving up yet again. Ultimately ended well and with their blessing for marriage. Ranks Xiao's father dead last among characters regardless.

Could not find the words to respond to Xiao's love at one point.
Rune Factory 4 Marriage Mind Blank.png

Marked the official wedding date as Spring 1.
Rune Factory 4 Xiao Marriage.png
Strolled around town. Chatted with everyone. Rolled the credits afterwards.
Rune Factory 4 Marriage Credits.png
Seemed like a fitting place to call it. Continued on just a little further for any changes.

Asked about pet names for each other.
Rune Factory 4 Xiao Nicknames.png
...Landlady?

Checked requests. Noticed something a bit silly.
Rune Factory 4 Prepare Marriage.png
Recognized that the marriage happened in the dialogue. Must normally trigger from something else. Shrugs.

Thanks for reading all this way. Relayed a good and at least somewhat enjoyable inkling of the game, hopefully. Hops to one final morsel of content before final impressions.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special: Newlywed Mode

Introduced Newlywed Mode in the Special version. Chooses a person you have been married to. Begins in a separate file, separate from the main game.

Animated the dialogue sprites. Why was this not part of the main game? Based it off the same poses. Voiced a few bits too. Might have made everyone else feel too static?

Operated the Bell Hotel with Xiao for a few days. Involved getting food, helping customers, and chasing a burglar. Led to brief boss refights, thanks to the gear given.

Appreciated the game showing Xiao be competent (exceptionally so, at that). Figured they would pile on mistakes. Felt very lacking overall, however. Finished in...twenty minutes? Led to no real character growth or interesting scenes. Wonders if the other marriage candidates go further in their sections.


Spoiler: Rune Factory 4 Special Overall Impressions

Entered the game as a Rune Factory newbie. Signed up for Harvest Moon plus some minor combat. Received a combat-focused game with crafting and farming mechanics with lots of minutia. Exceeded expectations by a ways. Loves being able to think about the game outside the game. Planned out priorities and which upgrades to go for.

Never became too invested in the characters. Offered fairly bland lines on the day-to-day basis (unsurprisingly). Skimmed through text more as the game wore on. Paid more attention during town events. Fed initial impressions more than leading to character depth, however.

Dings the game the most on two points: randomness and wild combat imbalance.
1. Randomness: Stinks to not get the town events you need to get married. Might have taken two in-game years to get married without savescumming. Credits them for improving this over the original. Fixed marriage events and the town event triggering Act 3 to be the next town event when available. Dislikes how inherited items during crafting are random too. Forces several resets to yield the effects you want.

2. Combat imbalance: Murdered everything with Tale in the first half. Doubled stats every week in the second half. Point to gear as the main offender. Whipped up a graph, based on information from stat check-ins. (Note: Equipped tools for early day counts. Should be accurate by Day 44 onwards.)

Rune Factory 4 Lest Attack Graph.png
Resembles nothing like a line, or even a good curve. Offers too little early on and too much later on.

Recommends the game, in the end. Would consider replaying it down the road, on a harder difficulty. Is open to Rune Factory 5 as well.


Closes the book on Rune Factory 4 Special. Switches to Dungeons of Dredmor on either Thursday or Friday. Welcomes skill selections until then. Edit: Closed. Currently playing.

Devalue

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Spoiler: Dungeons of Dredmor

Thanks to Nah for the skill selection. Hoped for more takers. Imagines little thread traffic to be a major cause. Oh well. Knows what to expect for a future Pathfinder: Kingmaker playthrough, at least.

Randomed the other six slots. This run's skills: Daggers, Archery, Necronominomics, Clockwork Knight, Promethean Magic, Ley Walker, and Flesh Smithing. Chose a random number between 1 and 100. Came up 68, so female adventurer.

Leads with one criticism: icon intimidation. Presents the player with a lot of information out of the gate. Just selected seven skills out of thirty-nine. Opens up the character sheet.
Dredmor Char Sheet Smaller.png
Look at all these icons. Do not fear, however. Breaks down into mostly standard roleplaying game stats. Will explain them in due time. As a quick idea, however: red for melee/health and blue for magic/mana.

Ought to inspect these skills first. Receives the initial perk immediately. Gains more by investing skill points from leveling-up. In brief terms:
- Daggers: 8 turn cooldown paralyze + switch spots attack. Later: Piercing damage and +critical/+counter stances.
- Archery: Recovers ammunition more frequently. Later: Better ammunition recovery, bleed chance, and debuff chance.
- Necronomiconomics: Single target hex with drawback. Later: Buffs, damage over time, and area effect spell. Drawbacks on all of them.
- Flesh Smithing: Raise zombies from nearby corpses. Later: Heal and buff (with mild drawback) plus lingering corpse explosion spell.
- Promethean Magic: Area effect with burning ground damage. Later: Dragon pet, stationary spells, and more spells with lingering fire damage.
- Ley Walker: Magic regeneration. Later: More mana regeneration and a straight-line teleport (at the cost of most of your mana).
- Clockwork Knight: Chance of crafting loot from mechanical enemies. Later: Jumping and ranged melee attacks. Gives you recipes and Forging/Tinkering skill too.

Screams wizard. Believes all three spell-focused trees are excellent primary magic skills. (Used Promethean Magic a lot. Knows that well.) Appreciates Ley Walker immensely too. Regenerates mana very slowly, especially in the beginning.

Clearly approaches this genre in a lighthearted sense. Stuck food and drink vending machines near the entrance. Began in the Phantasmagoric Room of Poisons (which is a standard stone dungeon room). Began equipped with a "Leather Cap with a Cog on it".

Ventured in a bit deeper. Discovered a statue to Inconsequentia, the Goddess of Sidequests. Requested an end to the Feline Friends, along with their commander, Izzarewn the Insignificant Friends. Sure. Rewards you with a random piece of equipment for completing it.

Ran into trouble quickly. Met a single, higher level mechanical monster. Scoffs at zombie friends. Laughs at Fleshsmithing's Fleshbore (as a non-flesh creature). Tried Necronominomics. Resulted in -2 health regeneration debuffs (plus probably -health debuffs). Uh...Archery? Picked up a nice squid arrow. Fired it point-blank.
Dredmor Poor Choices Smaller.png
Good news: Killed it. Bad news: 2 health and in a cloud of necromantic death. Whoops.

Never happened. Started from scratch. Found that room again. (Must be in every first floor.) Led with ranged physical attacks. Fared much better.

Alternated between Flesh Smithing and Ley Walker for initial skill points. Distrusted Necronominomics at low health. Ran with Promethean Magic multiple times before.

Discovered statues to Dredmor throughout the dungeon. Busted one up.
Dredmor Heroic Vandalism Smaller.png
Stepped down to level 2. Introduced a few common roguelike mechanics.
1. A shop. Gives you the option to steal. Pursues you relentlessly if you do, however.
Dredmor Shop Smaller.png
2. A monster zoo. Contains a room stuffed with monsters with no rhyme or reason.
Dredmor Monster Zoo.png
Just in time for corpse explosion. Proved a bit dicey when a few survived the damage.

3. Anvils to Krong. Either blesses or curses the equipment you put on it. Opted not to, most of the time.

Stumbled on a lot of Inconsequentia statues on level 2.
Dredmor Quests on Quests Smaller.png
Tweaks the nose of specific inspirations too. See this Tome of Fire or Ice.
Dredmor Tome Fire or Ice 2 Smaller.png
(Gives you a choice between temporary cold and fire resistance nearby too.)

Another example: the Lutefisk Horadric Cube. Turns any item in Lutefisk for Lutefisk God statues. Lutefisk's description: "Lutefisk, a traditional Norwegian fish product, was invented by the Vikings as an easier way of instilling fear in their enemies than raiding or pillaging. It is traditionally inflicted upon young Norwegians by their grandparents, and is described by one famous author as 'the world's largest chunk of phlegm.'"
Dredmor Lutefisk Smaller.png
Managed okay for the next few floors. Finished Flesh Smithing and Ley Walker. Felt safe enough for Necronominomics. Discovered how dangerous it was quickly.
Dredmor Necromantic Consequences Smaller.png
Cannot cast where you cannot see. Makes this -3 Sight Range quite nasty.

Seems time to go over stats a little. Is not meant to be a guide or walkthrough. Aims to make the game seem more approachable.
Dredmor UberChest Drop Smaller.png
Grouped icon types on gear.
First row: dealing damage. +1 Fire damage and +1 Poison damage
Second row: blocking damage. +2 resistance to Fire, Electric, Toxic, and Acid damage
Third row: primary attributes. +1 Caddishness (critical hit and counter chance) and +1 Stubbornness (magic resistance and block chance).
Fourth row: other stuff. +2 dodge chance and +1 trap disarm.

Explains the stats through tooltips on your character sheet too.

Started cruising around this time. Dealt solid damage with Flesh Smithing's final skill. Reached Necronominomic's final skill. Redefined "cruising".
Dredmor Rift Power 3 Smaller.png
Smoked this monster zoo. Tracked it. Killed 39 monsters in 2 turns. Dodged most of the ill effects by stacking necromantic resistance (which also comes from leveling Necronominomics).

Realized why this game gathered dust. Handled most monsters from level 6+ easily. Became a bit dull, even with smaller floors. Switched to leveling Archery over Promethean Magic. Figured it might give an achievement. (Yes.) Worried about silences after Diggle Mages landed one or two also.

Rolled up to the final boss in no time: Dredmor.
Dredmor Final Boss Smaller.png
Encountered another reason for not playing it much. Resisted everything magical. Hit for maybe 12 damage against 1315 hitpoints. Responded with a casual 65 damage lightning attack (~2/3 total health). Lobbed 15 turn silences too.

Attempted to kill Dredmor a few times. Never broke into triple digit health. Looked up recommendations. Mentioned piercing attacks. ...Okay. Leveled Archery. Why not?

Scoured previous levels for crossbow bolts (mostly from vending machines). Picked up a Holy Hand Grenade too. Tried and failed more times. Noticed some Clockwork Bolts doing good damage, however. Dropped Dredmor into triple digits.
Dredmor Final Boss Crossbow Shot Smaller.png
(Why is it doing so much damage? Shrugs. Presumes an Archery skill, given the blast damage. Knows that one of them does that.)

Preserved. Wheeled out the most glorious of tools: savescumming. Carries a lot of attacks besides the massive lightning death. Chooses between them randomly. Eventually hit the right combination.
Dredmor Win Screen.png
Scored 1,131,240 points overall. Topped the high score list (...not including some of this run's failed attempts).

Hesitates to recommend this game. Likes all of the possible skill combinations to freshen up the game between playthrough. Overstayed its welcome by a few floors, however. Reached the build's pinnacle well before the end. Faults random skill selection somewhat for that, admittedly. Statted Dredmor out very poorly, also. Punishes wizard-builds too hard.

Devalue

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Plans to replay Pathfinder: Kingmaker in the near-future (1-2 weeks?). Decided to use custom characters this time. Thought to involve forum members here. Spices up what would be a party devoid of character.

Accepts anything from short descriptions (a cold-based spellcaster) to detailed descriptions and builds (Ember Bright, a middle-aged Chaotic Good Dwarven 16 base Fighter/4 Invulnerable Rager Barbarian dual-wielding sworduser. Uses feats [x], [y], and [z]. Worships Gorum casually. Suffers from a deep regret over losing a comrade. Blah blah blah...). Do not worry if you know nothing about the game or Pathfinder itself.

Please do not:
- Create terrible characters. Allows non-optimal characters, for the record. Refers to things like stupid wizards and ridiculous multiclasses. Will just be dead weight.
- Choose the same character class as someone else. Wants variety. Do not worry if you want a level 20 Barbarian when someone else has chosen the above Ember Bright, though. Considers that different enough.

Listed races and classes below. Provides more to sink your teeth into.
Spoiler: Races

- Aasimar
- Dwarf
- Elf
- Gnome
- Half-elf
- Half-orc
- Halfling
- Human

(Note: No Tiefling. Requires downloadable content.)


Spoiler: Classes

Basic Classes (Subclasses in parentheses.)
- Alchemist (base, Chiurgeon, Grenadier, Vivisectionist)
- Barbarian (base, Armored Hulk, Mad Dog, Invulnerable Rager). Alignment: Non-lawful.
- Bard (base, Archaeologist, Flame Dancer, Thunder Caller)
- Cleric (base, Herald Caller, Ecclesitheurge, Crusader). Alignment: Close to deity's.
- Druid (base, Blight Druid, Defender of the True World, Feyspeaker). Alignment: Any Neutral.
- Fighter (base, Aldori Defender, Tower Shield Specialist, Two-Handed Fighter)
- Inquisitor (base, Sacred Huntsman, Monster Tactician, Tactical Leader). Alignment: Close to deity's.
- Magus (base, Eldritch Archer, Eldritch Scion, Sword Saint).
- Monk (base, Scaled Fist, Sensei, Traditional Monk). Alignment: Any lawful.
- Paladin (base, Divine Hunter, Divine Guardian, Hospitaler). Alignment: Lawful good
- Ranger (base, Freebooter, Flame Warder, Stormwalker)
- Rogue (base, Eldritch Scoundrel, Knife Master, Thug)
- Slayer (base, Vanguard, Deliverer, Spawn Slayer)
- Sorcerer (base, Empyreal Sorcerer, Sage Sorcerer, Sylvan Sorcerer)
- Wizard (base, Scroll Savant, Arcane Bomber, Thassilonian Specialist)

Prestige Classes (Requirements in parentheses)
- Arcane Trickster (Alignment: Non-lawful. Skill ranks: 4 Trickery, 4 Mobility, 4 Knowledge (Arcana). 1 level 2+ arcane spell. Sneak attack at at least +2d6.)
- Stalwart Defender (Base attack bonus of +7. Feats: Dodge and Toughness.)
- Eldritch Knight (Proficiency with martial weapons. Level 3 Arcane spells.)
- Dragon Disciple (1 level in Bard, Eldritch Scion Magus, or base Sorcerer. Skill ranks: 5 Knowledge (Arcana).)
- Mystic Theurge (Level 2 arcane and divine spells. Skill ranks: 5 Lore (Religion) and 5 Knowledge (Arcana).)
- Duelist (Base attack bonus of +6. Skill ranks: 2 Mobility. Feats: Dodge, Mobility, and Weapon Finesse.)
- Aldori Swordlord (Feats: Dazzling Display, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Dueling Sword), Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus (Dueling Sword). Skill ranks: 3 Mobility, 5 Persuasion, 3 Knowledge (World), 3 Perception.)

(Note: No Kineticist. Appears in the downloadable content.)


Additional notes:
- Offers to step through the character creation process with you, if so desired. Compares it to Dungeons and Dragons.
- May not reach level 20 by the end. Should be at least 17-18, however.
- Will look up builds if none is provided. Intends to stay as true to descriptions as possible.
- Defaults to some variation of your username if no name is given.
- One character per person, up to five characters total. Will round out the party with the main character.

Feel free to ask questions. Will gladly detail races, classes, skills, feats, and so on upon request as able. (Knows fairly little about some classes, particularly subclasses. May learn along with you.)

Wound up being more text than expected. Whoops. Is not too intimidating, hopefully.

Edit: Not accepting characters now. Currently playing.

Devalue

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Seen 2 Hours Ago
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Spoiler: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Eyed this game with interest. Played X-Com (UFO Defense and Enemy Unknown) and Xenonauts.

Expresses waning interest in this genre. Appreciates the planning and risk-taking necessary to grow your squad. Accepts the whims of the random number generator directing your shots astray. Never quite created a satisfying end build for units, however. Cannot stand permadeath either. Hopefully fixes both in what is presumably X-Com Lite.

World 1: Hm. Removed permadeath. Rewards aggressive play, however. Awards a bonus for being under X turns (and having everyone alive). Dislikes that, as a more defensive player.

Incentivizes movement a lot. Comes in the form of objectives (reach point X) and dash attacks. Deals decent, consistent damage. Tacked life steal onto Rabbid Luigi's dash too.

Invested in Hero Sight (overwatch/reaction fire, in X-Com lingo) and dash damage. Proved nearly worthless for the boss. Makes the boss vulnerable by jumping onto a banana button. Requires running between small safe areas to avoid getting bounced far back.

Note: Allows you to refund your skill orbs between battles for free. Could have done that.

Encountered bug #1. Crashed while attempting Challenge 3. Happened twice in a row. Abandoned it (both that challenge and challenges in general).

Current impression: Not blown away, but not turned off either.

World 2: Settled on Mario (required, all-around, and Hero Sight), Luigi (long range and Hero Sight), and Rabbid Luigi (front line vampire dash). Dropped Rabbid Peach, suprisingly. Never needs tons of dash attacks. Cannot justify the weaker ranged damage either. Covers healing with vampire instead. Feels so strong.

Picked up Rabbid Mario. Acts as a close range fighter with a magnet pull. Interesting. Respects the option. Benched them immediately, regardless.

Grows a bit weary of the puzzles between battles. Breaks up the battles, on the plus side. Is not too difficult. Never cared much for puzzles, though.

Forces Peach in your team for this boss battle. Misjudged this boss on the first attempt. Expected it to fall after bringing it to 0 hitpoints for the third(?) time. Nope. Should have an accurate health bar.

Is not fond of Peach. Brings a unique flamethrower and grenade, alongside Hero Sight and a team shield. Balks on the weapon, mainly. Destroys so much cover, sometimes your own. Pass for now.

World 3: ...Who decided Peek-a-boos were a good idea? Carries teleportation (negating Hero Sight and often your cover), long range, and magnet pull. Allows all of these in a single turn. 100-0'd people in a single turn because of those. Teaches a good combination, though: magnet pull + Hero Sight. Boosts Rabbid Mario's worth.

Felt a bit underwhelmed recently. Pinpointed the cause: character progression. Feels weaker than before. Increased stats and abilities regularly. Never outpaces the enemy's scaling health, damage, and abilities. (May match it, but never outpace.) Highlights abilities in particular. Compares old, more powerful abilities against their new, equally powerful abilities.

Found bug #2: glitchy textures. Screenshotted one instance.
Mario Rabbids Texture Glitch 1.png
Mario Rabbids Texture Glitch 2.png

Nominates 3-9 Battle 2 for the best map so far. Consists of a straight hallway with a raised section on both sides. Stuck the world's miniboss at the end. Relied on using Boos (a sort of terrain hazard) to teleport the team back to the start between phases. Allowed very aggressive play. Felt good to take advantage of the Boos, rather than be hindered by them.

World 4: Opens almost immediately with bug #3: stuck in a staircase. Exited out of the world to escape.
Mario Rabbids Stuck Stairs.png

Retracts the previous statement about the cause of being underwhelmed. Suspects enemy composition to be the primary factor. Hates fighting Peek-a-boos and the shield-carriers. Returned to a more normal mix.

Finally unlocked Yoshi...after seven-eighths of the game. Wanted them the most (without knowing stats). Comes with a ground pound, Hero Sight, and a 100% effect chance ability for nearby party members (on a cooldown).

Tried out Mario/Yoshi/Rabbid Luigi. (Forces a party of Mario + Mushroom Kingdom + Rabbid). Returned to the normal party shortly afterward. Dislikes the ground pound. Blows up cover. Lands Yoshi in a precarious spot. Hits friendly units too. Weighs that damage versus Mario's hammer (more friendly fire). Destroyed each other.

Too bad about getting Yoshi so late. Might have developed a playstyle around them. Honed Mario/Luigi/Rabbid Luigi for this long. Seems unwise to deviate now.

Hoped for World 3 to be the end of Peek-a-boos. Nope. Sprinkled fewer in, at least.

Made it to the final boss fight. Hid Mario behind a full-cover iron block in the back. Suffered a burn from Bowser. Ran into the open. Died on Turn 1. Psh.

Won on the second try. Eliminated two rabbids on Turn 1 this time. Focused on adds (per usual). Benefitted from enemy rabbids more than Bowser did. Drained so much life from them.

Mario Rabbids End Screen.png

Final impressions

Positives:
- Decent difficulty, with a no-penalty option for more health. Expected something easier for a Mario game.
- Several tough skill tree decisions. Do you value more movement or more movement-based damage? Perhaps health? What about a stronger ability? Appreciates the easy orb refund option too.
- Good map variation. Used similar strategies throughout the game. Demanded enough situational decisions to never feel stale.
- Broke up maps to be short. Compares boss battles to early X-Com missions, in terms of length.

Negatives:
- Puzzles between maps. Could have skipped some. (Still did them. Rewarded you with skill orbs sometimes.) Became more required (and more complicated) as the game progressed.
- Introduced characters too slowly. Gives you one at the halfway point and one at the end of each world. Winds up being far too late.
- Boss battles. Often ignores most of what you invested skill orbs into. Cannot use jump or dash attacks on any of them. Might be stationary. Could not use melee weapons for no good reason sometimes. Cannot trust the health bar either. Changes phases at 0 hitpoints. May die or heal to full.
- Weak skills. Praised the skill tree above. Tended to have dead branches, though. Typically viewed one ability as great, but the other as weak. (Fueled this further by not investing in it.)

Rates this game as okay. Values the positives more than the negatives. Recommends it to people who like strategy games or want to try one. (Note: May be too challenging for young children.) Required some forethought before acting all througout. Considers that the sign of a good strategy game.

Why only "okay", then? Asked the question "are you having fun?" multiple times. ...Not really. Might have been the in-between bits (and boss battles) dragging the game down. Prodded a more aggressive playstyle through turn timers (not limits, just timers for extra rewards) also. Likens it to playing a fighting game with a character you do not like or Pokemon with a team you dislike. Weakens the overall experience.

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Spoiler: Pathfinder: Kingmaker Chapter 1

Returns to dungeon crawlers with Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Plays like many party-based roleplaying games of old, such as Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate. Runs on the Pathfinder system. Never tried this system before this game. Functions fairly similarly to Dungeons and Dragons 3rd and 5th edition.

Offers several options for difficulty. Completed the game once on as psuedo-Normal (see: Custom with mostly Normal settings). Bumped it up to pseudo-Challenging this time. Differs from standard Challenging in these ways:
- Death's Door on: Triggers once someone goes into very negative hitpoints. Amounts to a second life. Dies for real if this is active and the character goes very negative again. (Might be standard in Normal difficulty.)
- Dead companions rise after combat on: Self-explanatory. Comes back at 1 hitpoint. Lowers the number of reloads.
- Remove negative effects on rest on: Cleanses debuffs like ability drain and such. Will go into why this is absolutely crucial later.

Switched Kingdom Management to Easy too. Did it once. Savescummed a ton. Decreases the number of times that happens, hopefully.

Created a custom main character, naturally.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Sebitza.png
Name: Sebitza
Race: Halfling
Class: Sorcerer, going into Rogue solely for Arcane Trickster later. Dislikes multiclassing. Makes exceptions for prestige classes and maybe a fun build.
Role: Damage (via Sneak Attack spells) and Charisma skills.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil. Played Neutral Good the first time. Wants some achievements too.
Other comments: Allows custom portraits. Nabbed this from an Imgur gallery. Found others there and by cropping Magic: The Gathering cards.

Commences this tale at a gathering at a mansion. Called for heroes to reclaim "The Stolen Lands". Denotes a wild, bandit-infested region between several countries. Would be politically aggressive for one country to claim. Decided to give it to whatever group of heroes can overthrow the Stag King there. Attracted ill attention from other countries regardless. Attacks the mansion.

Falls to you and the other heroes to...not die. Proved challenging, at first. Gives you a level 1 bard as a party member, followed by a(nother) level 1 sorcerer. Almost wiped to a group of three enemies (maybe the third or fourth encounter in the game). Welcome to Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Eased up as companions with double-digit hitpoints arrived, however.

Transitions to decisions like this at times.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Story Choices.png
Gives you several options. Marks any skill checks alongside the decision.

Defeated the attackers in the mansion. Spoke with the host once more. Split the surviving heroes into two parties. Assigned you and Tartuccio (who tries to frame you as a spy) as leaders. Bases your team on how you acted in the mansion. Stole a bunch of stuff this time. Wound up with an Inquisitor and a Cleric instead of a Fighter and Bard. Places the barbarian in your team regardless. Imposes a (generous) time limit of 90 days.

Travelled a short distance to a trading post. Demolished some bandits. Unlocked the ability to purchase custom companions there. Costs 2000 gold at level 2. Increases to 4500 at level 3 (+2500), 8000 at level 4 (+3500), 12500 at level 5 (+4500), and so on. Becomes cost-prohibitive quickly. Amassed enough gold for one, maybe two with some selling. Solved this by editing the save file. Matched their experience points totals with Sebitza too (which normal companions do). Should be the only instance of save file editing, barring some build screwup. (Could purchase a respecialization, so unlikely.)

Presents the rest of the party below. Wanted something different from last time (Wizard, Fighter, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, and Ranger). Resulted in some strange choices.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Dolanio.png
Name: Dolanio
Race: Human
Class: Inquisitor (Sacred Huntsman)
Role: Team-based support. Brings the ability to Trip (causing free attacks for nearby melee characters), bonuses for nearby teammates through feats (eventually), a pet for damage soaking, and divine spells for healing/buffing. Handles Athletics checks also.
Alignment: True Neutral
Comments: Probably the least optimal build in the party. Designed Inquisitors to be Wisdom and Dexterity-based. Works better as ranged probably too. Wanted to go for Trip-based tactics without picking Fighter.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Ecaeris.png
Name: Ecaeris
Race: Elf
Class: Alchemist (Grenadier)
Role: Area effect damage and arcane spell support. Carries the party on Intelligence skill checks.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Comments: Decided this one last. Weighed this and Eldritch Knight. Wanted arcane spell buffs. Ultimately chose better ranged damage.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Kivon.png
Name: Kivon
Race: Half-Elf
Class: Rogue (Knife Master)
Role: Melee damage. Disarms all the traps.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil.
Comments: May be silly to put an Arcane Trickster and Rogue in the same party. Covers similar bases. Boiled down to desiring a dual-wielding blade tornado.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Nuyu.png
Name: Nuyu
Race: Aasimar
Class: Paladin (Divine Guardian)
Role: Tank. Plans to leverage Charisma for Dazzling Display (a debuff). Assists by providing out-of-combat healing. Presents a polished finish for Persuasion checks (over Sebitza, probably).
Alignment: Lawful Good
Comments: The strangest party member. Should be unaffected by all the evil decisions. Sprung from needing a tank (preferably not another Dexterity-based person) and the out-of-combat healing. Holds low expectations for their tanking ability, sadly. Funnels most of their feats into Dazzling Display stuff.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Rhys.png
Name: Rhys
Race: Half-Elf
Class: Druid (Defender of the True World)
Role: Healer. Mitigates damage through divine magic buffs, summons, and a pet. Leads the party for Wisdom-based skills.
Alignment: True Neutral
Comments: Dislikes non-Cleric healers, honestly. Misses Channel Divinity for out-of-combat healing (thus, the above paladin). Leaned on summons to help out.

Pointed out skills for a reason. Considers good skills essential in this game, particularly Trickery (mainly picking locks and disarming traps) and Perception (conversation, locations, finding traps, and finding secret rooms). Intends to spend a feat or two on them even.

Ventured out into the wide world. Spotted a location on the map. Encountered a lone Insane Dryad. Swarmed them with a full party, including two pets. Countered with a spell that slows and damages you when moving. Chunked off 75% of the party's health by itself. Ripped away the remaining bits with Call Lightning. Good first fight.

Forgot how stupidly deadly the early-game is. Intends for you to focus on the main quest and/or revisit these areas later. Case in point: this lone Maneating Troll in another location.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Maneater Troll Encounter.png
1d6 + 14 damage. Two-shots anyone in the party. Downs everyone except Nuyu (22 hitpoints) on a single maximum damage roll.

Okay, then. How about this cave sidequest? Received this at the trading post. Ought to be okay. Warns the player about being dangerous. Suggests Alchemist Fire and torches. (Gives you some too.) How bad can it be?

...Bad. Remembered this bit vividly. Introduces swarms. Pops up a tutorial message just before fighting one.

"Some small-sized enemies - such as rats, spiders, or mandragoras - can gather into swarms and act as a single entity. Such enemies can be extremely dangerous! They cannot be defeated with simple weapons. However, they are vulnerable to acid and alchemichal fires, spells with an area effect, or spells that require an attack roll (such as acid splash). As a last resort, you can also try to use torches."

Translation: Immunity to physical damage. Hits for 1 (fire) damage with a torch. Designed this, presumably, for a party of four level 2s. Oh, and be prepared to face a -4 attack roll penalty for lobbing Alchemist Fire and spells into melee. (Negates this with two feats, which you likely do not have yet.)

Gets even worse. Gave these swarms Strength damage too. Inflicts ~2 strength damage on a failed save (likely). Heals it very slowly by resting (1 point per rest?) or through spells you will not have yet. May run out of rations to rest with too. Remember the "remove negative effects on rest" difficulty setting? Essential. Did that here on the first run. Zero regrets.

Really likes this game. Designed this opening so poorly, however. Tosses you into the fire too quickly. Plus side: do not expect to see swarms again until level 10 or so.

Defeated the spider swarms without issue this playthrough. (Chose Grenadier with swarms in mind.) Proceeded to one of the main quest areas. (Offers a choice between two. Informs you that Tartuccio may be getting further away if you visit the other one.) Slaughtered some kobolds and mites. Attempted optional bits on the map. Rested at some campsite with a bunch of corpses. Launches you into a fight with a wisp.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Viscount Smoulderburn.png
41 Armor Class. Fair and balanced. Only needed to roll a 34 on a twenty-sided die to hit.

Skipped that. Chatted with some wolf. Exchanged some bodies for information on a chest. Cracked it open. Triggered a trap.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Finger of Death Trap.png
Finger of Death for 150 damage. On a buried chest under a tree. Totally makes sense. (Note: Negates that with the undead Inquisitor companion that evil characters get.) Picks up Finger of Death on Clerics at level 13 (15 for Druids), by the way. Forgives anyone who drops this game early.

Fine. Will laser-focus on the tree dungeon. Hacked through mites, kobolds, centipedes, and a rough skeleton fight. Rescued the Fighter and Bard companions (and benched them). Culminates in a faceoff with Tartuccio and friends.
Sycamore Tartuccio 1.png
Tosses a lot of friends at you. See that icon above Tartuccio in the back? Always selects Fireball.
Sycamore Tartuccio 2.png
Shows precisely how much Tartuccio valued those kobolds. Melted all of them. Sprinted up before taking another Fireball. Cut them down. Went much better than the first playthrough. Usually ate the second Fireball, with poor results.

Cannot close the book on Tartuccio, however.
Sycamore Tartuccio 3.png

Felt a hair more confident at level 4. Tried Viscount again. Barely scraped by. Benefitted heavily from Nuyu's Aasimar electric resist. Held on long enough for everyone to roll 20's. Looted a diamond off it (1000 or 1250 gold). Revealed this mean ghost's stats.
Viscount Smoulderburn.png

Note: Immediately casts Shield after the first Magic Missile. Becomes a full spell immunity. Knew what they were doing.

Cleansed a ruined temple and completed companion sidequests from there. Explored along the way to the Stag Lord. Discovered the next mean encounter: the Wererat Alchemist.
Wererat 1.png
Just 19 hitpoints on the normal Wererats. Easy, right? Well, no. Stacks the deck a bit. Set a trap outside the cave. Rings a bell. Begins the encounter with either Blur (20% miss chance) or Displacement (50%) on the two normal Wererats if you do not disarm it. (Given a ~33 Perception skill check, probably not.) Approves of this mechanic. Loaded them with 10 damage reduction (except to silver) too. Guess how many silver weapons there have been. ...Probably none? Happens to be immune to Magic Missile too.

Lies on these stats, also. Claims level 2 for the Wererats. Somehow deals 4d6 sneak attack damage. Indicates a level 7-8 rogue. Sliced and diced everyone to pieces.

Won after maybe eight attempts (and the first time after spotting the trap). Prevailed partially due to luck and partially to a bug.
Wererat 2.png
Simply stood there and took it. Must have run out of bombs or something? Chipped away with Ray of Frost (no damage resistance on that) for about three minutes.

Persisted due to expecting good loot for Ecaeris the Grenadier. Paid off handsomely. Looted not only alchemist gear, but the ridiculous gear on the Wererats: +2 Leather Armor, +1 Keen Kukri, and a +1 Kukri. Expended a feat on Kivon the Rogue for Exotic Weapon Profinency: Kukri at level 1. (Bestows no bonuses by itself.) Crits on rolls of 15-20 with the Keen Kukri. Transformed Kivon into a massive threat.

Complained about this game a lot so far. Reached a part where the game shines: the Stag Lord's Fort. Affects the battle greatly based on choices made here and elsewhere. Noticed the following:
- Recruited disgrunted bandits in the first playthrough. Met none here this time.
- Poisoned a shipment of the Stag Lord's wine earlier on. Afflicted the Stag Lord with a debuff, most likely.
- Failed an Athletics check to squeeze into the fortress through the side. Alerted everyone inside. (Savescummed that.)
- Assassinated small bandit groups milling around. Bolts for the alarm bell when alone. Triggers the Stag Lord fight if they reach it.
- Encountered a caged owlbear. Calmed it down to recruit it when the fight begins. (Other options: kill it silently or do nothing and get attacked from behind mid-fight.)
- Found some loot behind crates. Failed the Athletics check. Took four hours. Began to rain. Imposed -2 to ranged attacks and -6 to Perception checks.
- Defeated two named lieutenants at the very back. Held their own. Would have been a problem during the fight.
- Might have had another ally previously. Could depend on where you visited first.

Stag Lord Defeat.png
Trounced the Stag Lord no problem this time. Struggled the first playthrough. (Fought the owlbear and lieutenants with allies last time. Kited the owlbear to end that fight.)

Beat the timer easily (55 days left, from 90 originally). Missed the bonus for finishing within 30 days. Oh well. Begins Chapter 2 based on when you finish Chapter 1. Opted to fill in the map before that. Means a return to meatgrinder encounters.
Boggard Warden Crit.png
Fired off a 70 crit earlier too. Note: Is not the miniboss of this hovel. Bestows that title to the Boggard Champion. Wields a Greatclub for 2d8 + 20.

Cleaned up one or two more locations. Turned in the main quest. Became the Baroness of the land.
Chapter 1 End.png
Concludes Chapter 1. Launches into barony management and Chapter 2 next time.

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Spoiler: Pathfinder: Kingmaker Chapter 2

Conquered the Stag Lord's Fort last time. Became the new baroness of the land. Amounts to a large sidegame. Introduces a fair number of mechanics.

Comes to you with Problems and Opportunities each game month. Assigns advisors to handle them. Looks like this:
Pathfinder Kingmaker Barony Problem.png
Resolves most in 1-2 weeks. Determines failure or success with something like a skill check. Rolls a d20 and adds any modifiers (from character stats and barony stats, mainly). Succeeds by hitting the target number.

Picks advisors from NPCs and party members. Remains usable in your party as advisors still, thankfully. Limits NPCs and normal companions to certain posts. Fares better or worse based on primary stats (example: Wisdom for religious advisor). Punishes custom companions, sadly. Burdens them with a -4 penalty.

May also build up your barony. Claims nearby land through a project. From there, select a location to build a village. Creates a town on the map at that spot that you can visit.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Town View.png
Displays the city construction screen above. Lists constructable buildings, such as shops, walls, and blacksmiths. Improves the stats of your barony, based on the building. (Example: +military for Wooden Walls). Ranks up your kingdom in that stat for every 20 points. Unlocks more buildings and additional advisor slots at certain ranks.

(Note: Can visit these towns like normal locations. Uses the same generic town map, regardless of what you have built.)

Costs Build Points to erect these buildings. Obtains these from barony stats (largely Economy), certain trade deals, problems/opportunities, and purchasing them for gold. Exchanges at a rate of 80 gold per 1 Build Point. Cannot exchange from Build Points to gold.

So, what benefits do you get for a good kingdom?
1. Artisans. Crafts nice gear for you by constructing their workshop and completing their quests. Creates some excellent items, including endgame gear.
2. Teleportation Circles. Zips you from town to town instantly.
3. Regional buffs. Remembers poison immunity in claimed lands. Assumes things like attack roll and save bonuses too.

Forces you to engage with the barony...sort of. Ends in a game over if your kingdom rebels. Stuck an "Auto" option in the difficulty options, fortuntately. Hands everything off to the AI. Cannot lose. Sacrifices artisan quests and their better equipment, though.

Switched Kingdom Difficulty to Effortless, by the way. Succeeds on problems and opportunities on a roll of 8+ guaranteed. Falls into the savescum rut more often otherwise.

Back to the standard roleplaying game part. Points you into new territory through a nymph that wanted your help in Chapter 1. Declined to do that now. Sends you to where a companion will be. Bugged out last game. Missed them. Ventured into other territory.

...Bad territory. Struggled versus a nereid + prankster team. Died horribly (and expectedly) to the monstrous crag linnorm melting half the party in one breath attack.

Killed enough time for Kingdom stuff to start popping up. Swung into Lonely Barrow first. Began with some easy skeletons. Culminated in a stubborn faceoff against the Lonely Warrior (level 13 barbarian, 2 undead) and a surprising number of friends for a lonely skeleton. Funneled buffs into melee due to handling archers better. Cast these spells prior to the fight:
- Aid on all three melee characters (+1 attack rolls, +1 save versus fear, 1d8 + 6 temporary hitpoints)
- Barkskin on Nuyu and Kivon (+3 armor class)
- Bear's Endurance on Nuyu (+12 hitpoints, effectively)
- Protection from Evil (Communal) (+2 armor class and +2 saves against Evil creatures)
- Bless (+1 attack rolls and saves)
- Shield on all three melee characters (+4 armor class)
- Blur on Nuyu and Kivon (20% miss chance against them)
- Protection from Arrows on Nuyu (absorbs 60 arrow damage)
- Summon Nature's Ally III (1d3+1 giant frogs)
- A few personal buffs (Mage Armor, Divine Favor, Bane Weapon, Bramble Armor...)

(Guesses some of that did not stack.) Died a bunch, despite preparations. Ripped through summons with Cleaving Finish (a bonus attack upon killing an enemy). Defeated the Lonely Warrior a few times, only to die to archers. Prevailed after enough patience, however. Walked away with nothing great, honestly.

Picked a fight with two Ancient Golems before leaving. (Still had buffs active and a surprising number of hitpoints.)
Pathfinder Kingmaker Ancient Golem.png
Two level 18 Constructs versus a level 6 party. Sports a considerable list of immunities and 15 damage reduction. Nullified most of the party's damage, except for one: Sebitza's level 1 Snowball spell. Exploited its 10 Touch armor class. Cannot explain bypassing the spell immunity. Shrugs. Chucked snowballs while everyone else sacrificed themselves. Won after figuring out that strategy.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Troll Trouble Start.png
Began Chapter 2 in truth. Revolves around troll attacks. Decided to deal with the nymph's quest first. Requests you to travel to some ruins alone. Dumped excess weight. Set out...and found a lot of scripted random encounters. Sighs. Reloaded with the full party. (Could not handle a single troll alone, let alone multiple.)

Whittled away at some troll quest bits before another try. Made it to the quest site. Met the nymph. Greets you with a lot of nasty monster summons (hydra, chimera, owlbear, and more) along with entanglement traps. Grabbed an area map. Marked it up to illustrate your options of escape.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Marked Verdant Chambers.jpg

Red/A route: Run through a chimera, patrolling Redcaps (with Glitterdust), and multiple entanglement traps. Pass a Mobility check at the tree on the wall.
Green/B route: Scale the wall with an Athletics check. Pass by a few Redcaps and traps. Jump down the tree with a Mobility check.
Purple/C route: Skirt past the owlbear at the main gate. Leap across the chasm with a Mobility check. (Falls in the ravine with a failure. Might still be good enough.)
Blue/D route: Run around the owlbear. Run through entanglement traps. Defeat the giant plant at the exit.

Entered with Vanish potions. Expected those to suffice. Realized a horrible flaw: single round duration. Could not get far, even with Expeditious Retreat active (20 feet -> 50 movement speed). Made Red/A route impossible. Could not exit the map in combat. Closed off Blue/D route. Escaped with Purple/C route after a few reloads (from dying to the owlbear's attacks of opportunity).

Checked out a mage's laboratory. Guarded it with anti-troll traps. Studied trolls there too. Brings up the oddity of some trolls: a fire immunity brand on them. Requires acid damage to kill. (Kindly gives you some sources of acid damage. Learns a spammable, low damage acid spell on most (or all?) arcane casters. Placed a few acid-based weapons around too. Is not too bad to deal with.)

Spotted a large dwarven statue on a hilltop. Investigated. Hunted down the three cogs around the area to unlock it. Contained magical full plate armor, a nice physical +stat belt, and...a recipe for Onion Soup. Truly, the greatest dwarven treasure.

Discovered the troll lair of Trobold (a city of trolls and kobolds). Kept an eye out for a particular named troll (from a companion quest). Attached a hidden achievement to it: turn it to stone. Kited it back a room into sunlight. Triggers a Fortitude save on the hardy troll. Stacks every round. Stalled for several turns. Buckled under the damage a few times. Earned the achievement after a few tries.

Cut through Trobold without too many other issues. Fiddles with a sun and moon symbol puzzle for too long. (Stashed loot in a secret room. Placed it about 1-2 screen's worth of distance north from the symbol you set the puzzle to, however. Succeeded without realizing. Walked back and forth a lot.) Met up with Hargulka the Troll King and Tartuccio (as Tartuk the Kobold) in the back.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Hargulka Boss.png
Likes this boss fight, despite being very tough. Combines massive physical damage (three 2d6 + 21 attacks and two weaker hits per round) with arcane magic (namely Haste). Rips through the party very quickly. Cannot be cheesed with Hold Person or slows either. (Carries an amazing mace with Freedom of Movement.)

Appreciates this boss fight for other reasons, however. Some possibilities:
- At the start of the fight, convince Hargulka that Tartuccio is controlling everything. Turns around and mashes Tartuccio into paste.
- Defeat Tartuccio first. Lower Hargulka's hitpoints to a critical level. Enters a conversation. Intends it as a trick to heal to full. Does so if you talk too long. Can also recruit them into your barony with a Chaotic alignment.
- Defeat Hargulka first. Either recruit or kill Tartuccio.

Recruited Tartuccio (as part of the "Foes No More" achievement, which is the primary reason for playing a Chaotic Evil character). Spoke with them. Resurrected Tartuccio in a sort of cursed way. Forgot their past life, barring flashes here and there. Became their alter-ego Tartuk the Kobold. Interesting.

Looted Hargulka's ridiculous Mallet of Woe, by the way. +3 Heavy Mace with +2d6 damage and continuous Freedom of Movement. Prizes this as Nuyu's endgame weapon (note: currently level 7). Spams paralysis constantly in the final area.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Troll Trouble End.png
Officially ends the chapter. Leaves plenty of time between now and the next chapter's beginning, though. Will fire these off more rapidly:
- Passed through a poison swamp. Saps attributes until you save from it. Can kill people without the no-permadeath difficulty option. Saw at least -25 Constitution on Kivon. (Bottoms out at 5 Constitution.) Works around it with Delay Poison or immunities.
- A group of three Greater Enraged Owlbears on the same map. Level 18 Magical Beast with 261 hitpoints. ...Why? (Still won, admittedly, albeit after multiple tries.)
- Journeyed to a tower on a cursed island. Scattered wisps everywhere that only appear until you approach. Typically surrounds the party.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Unlimited Power.png
Unlimited power! (Learned how glorious buff spells can be last playthrough. Shows off Resist Energy here. Resists 20(?) lightning damage on everyone. Turns an impossible situation into a breeze.)
- Saved a kid for an achievement.
- Completed companion quests (for experience). Lost Ekun due to turning the troll to stone without them. Flitted between towns for artisan quests also.
- Forked over 1500 build points for the Trade Agreement with the Surtovas. Dumped at least 80000 gold into that. Yields build points per week. Pays off...eventually. Takes over a year for some trade deals to pay out (if at all).
- Still died to ludicrous damage.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Balanced Crits.png

Caps off this segment. Might respecialize some of the party. Current party impressions:
- Nuyu (Paladin Tank): Not impressed. Holds okay. Feels like an offtank in terms of survivability. Boasts excellent saves, but insufficent armor class. Takes too long to use Dazzling Display. Eyes other feats to accomplish that effect. Requires killing something or hitting with a Power Attack. Eh.
- Kivon (Dual Wield Rogue): Good. Notices their sneak attack damage. Probably contributes the bulk of the party's damage.
- Dolanio (Tripping Teamwork Inquisitor): Bad. Trips a few things, but not enough. Appreciates the nice divine buffs. Could be getting most from Rhys, probably.
- Ecaeris (Grenadier): Fair. Supplies the very useful Blur (20% miss chance), Displacement (50% miss chance), and Haste (extra attacks, movement, and armor class) buffs. Feels a bit let down by Arcane Bomb (tripping).
- Rhys (Druid Healer): Terrible. Heals very little. Devoted most spell slots (and feats) to summoning. Dies instantly. Spends most of the battle hurling darts.
- Sebitza (Arcane Trickster): Decent. Cannot explain why sneak attack is not applying sometimes. Attacked a target engaged with a party member. Should be close enough. Might have been immune to sneak attack or something.

Will play around with builds. May cheat in gold to cover any respecialization costs, if necessary.

Begins Chapter 3: "Season of Bloom" next time. Farewell for now.

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Spoiler: Pathfinder: Kingmaker Chapter 3

Retooled the party a bit, as previously stated.
- Dolanio: Inquisitor -> Stalwart Defender. Represents the biggest change. Swapped into the tank role. Focused on armor class enhancing feats, with the intention of going into Shield Bashing later. Grumbles about Tower Shields not working with Shield Bash. Wanted to begin as a Tower Shield Specialist Fighter. Chose base Fighter instead.
- Nuyu: Paladin (Divine Guardian) -> Paladin (Hospitaler). Traded the mace and shield to Dolanio for a greataxe. Picked Hospitaler for better out of combat healing. Learns a handful of spells too. Retained high Persuasion for Dazzling Display and Dreadful Carnage (automatic Dazzling Display after everything Nuyu kills) later. Plans to land nasty criticals.
- Kivon: Swapped out two teamwork feats. Cannot spare the feats on others. Remained a master at Trickery. Laughed at a d20 + 34 roll versus a 24 difficulty task.

Kept Rhys as-is. May feel more useful with Dolanio no longer providing buffs. Was tempted to go with a shapeshifting build.

Figured out why sneak attacks were not working for Sebitza. Requires two characters in melee to flank something. Deviates from only one in Dungeons and Dragons.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Season Bloom Start.png
(Note: Gives ~279 days for this main quest.)

Reported monster attacks around the barony. Requested the aid of the Embeth Travelers. Acts as a mercenary band. Organized a hunt with other groups from nearby countries. Awards a prize to whichever group comes back with the most heads.

Runs a Chaotic Evil party. Slaughtered the monsters, competition, and owlbear that ripped out of some person's body. Just a standard Chaotic Evil day.

Gathered information about the surprise owlbear. Coincided with an illness. Performed a quick vivisection, with the help of the troll-killing mage from last chapter. Yanked out a seed. Opens a portal for the monster to come through.

Attributed this to a cult of Lamashtu (the goddess of monsters). Pursued the cult as part of a companion quest. Lead to something annoying: ambush the cult on Moonday.
(Renamed all the days like this.) Problem: Only tells you the day if you mouseover the "Pause" hourglass. Misses that detail easily. Cannot see the day if you are in the overworld or resting (despite the day's timeline at the top).

Stormed the cult gathering. Failed to catch the priestess. Tracked down them down at a nearby inn. Blended in with the patrons. Could solve the mystery by investigating and questioning patrons. Chose the Chaotic-only option (for an achievement) to skip all that. Spared the priestess to become an advisor later (for the Foes No More achievement).

Looked into the goblins next, who worship Lamashtu, but are unrelated to the main (humanoid) cult. Discovered them forcing seed-infected water down prisoners' throats. Rescued the prisoners, only for them to spawn monsters.

Brings up one additional negative to the game: massive save files. Despawns stuff slowly. Expects stuff dropped now to remain there for nearly the rest of the game. Just fought a lot of weenies with trash gear.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Goblin Trash.png
Welcome to save bloat city. Vacuumed up the trash to offload onto a vendor. (Came just shy of grabbing it all.)

Returned to the capital to save it from infected villagers. Styled the Steam splash screen after this moment.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Capital Owlbear.png
Pathfinder Kingmaker Steam Splash.png

Places a giant owlbear skin rug on the tavern floor after this event. Approves of that little touch. Never draws attention to the change either.

Sidenote: Appreciated the new party at this moment. Killed stuff much faster. Loved a 94 critical by Nuyu (a solid 50% higher than any single amount dealt so far). Looks forward to a fully buffed comparison.

Charged into a cave believed to be the source of the infected water. Disliked this area. Brought back swarms (the first since level 2). Possesses far more tools to deal with them, such as non-friendly fire Fireballs. Grimaces more at spiders teleporting in on all sides. Threw the caster backline into disarray.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Surprise Spiders.png

Fell into the First World (see: a world before the previous one, full of fey). Calls this the worst (mandatory) puzzle of the game. Wandered around until finding a gnome. Gives you a lantern to switch between two identical-looking worlds. (Put it on your belt to activate. Does not tell you this.) Needs to do this in order. (Writes this from memory.)
1. Pick up a bird. Put in on a dais.
2. Sleep
3. Grab the bird bones in the other world.
4. Throw the bird bones into some poisoned water...for reasons. Bottle the water.
5. Switch worlds. Brings you to a new area now. Dump the poisoned water on the flower. Opens a portal to the normal world.

Provides pretty much no directions on this.

Learned more about the betraying nymph while here. Tried to become an Eldest (see: powerful fey lord). Punished them for that. Tasked them to destroy one thousand kingdoms to atone.

Must burn the flower in the First World and the normal world simultaneously to kill it. Forces the most questionable act in roleplaying games: splitting the party. Chose Nuyu (Paladin), Ecaeris (Grenadier), and Sebitza (Arcane Trickster) on Team 1 and Dolanio (Stalwart Defender), Kivon (Rogue), and Rhys (Druid) on Team 2. Struggled a bit on Team 1 versus the immensely powerful (but very slow and kiteable) treant-owlbear. Mowed down an insect flytrap in moments on Team 2's side. Burned the flower and joined back up for one final spider swarm.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Season Bloom End.png

Ends the mandatory quest part well before the time limit. (Did not check. Guesses only ten days from start to finish.) Filled the rest of the time with barony management. Quick rundown:
- Annexed several regions. Built towns and workshops for artisans. Completed a ton of their quests.
- Blitzed the Arcane stat. Unlocked and installed Teleportation Circles in every town. Travels between them instantly now. Wasted ~2 days to walk to far-off towns (one way), for reference.
- Swept the Dire Narlmarshes for cash. Squashed areas that the old party setup (two levels lower previously) died horribly to. Aced one memorably nasty lizardfolk tribe. Noticed Will saves being problematic, however. Incapacitated most of the party with various spells.
- Enjoys some of the items in this game. Picked up one such amusing item: Grim Finale, a club. Adds a Vampiric Touch spell onto any criticals with it. Hits the wielder with a Finger of Death (the 150 damage spell from Chapter 1) if they attempt to unequip it.

Draws this section to a close. Leaps into Chapter 4: The Varnhold Vanishing next. Thanks for reading.

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Spoiler: Pathfinder Kingmaker Chapter 4 and 5

Pathfinder Kingmaker Varnhold Vanishing Start.png
(232 days for this portion.)
Fell silent on the eastern border. Suspected something amiss. Trekked over to find answers.

Met no one at the entrance. Seemed empty, other than spriggans inside Varnhold's stockade. Cozied up there due to it being empty and being driven out of their homes. Sniffed around for more clues. Opened a chest there with unusual contents side-by-side: a Scroll of Chain Lightning, a Scroll of Horrid Wilting, and a recipe for Chocolate Ice Cream. Do not mix those up.

Spoke with a raven just outside. Acts high and mighty. Serves Vordakai, this chapter's antagonist. Goads you into saying your name. (Recalls seeing why in a prior playthrough. Gives them power over you.) Follows you around until it hears.

Rolled up to where the spriggans lived previously. Encountered barbarians from an NPC companion's clan. Visited their main camp. Agreed to help find the ones leading them: the Defaced Sisters. Appears heavily cloaked and far more magical than the barbarians, who barely tolerate their presence.

Tracked down the missing Defaced Sisters. Found one dead. Discovered it to be a nymph. Great. More nymphs.

Wow. Lied to NPCs about a barbarian treasure far to the east in Chapter 2. Just found them. Shared their treasure. Nice touch.

...Oh boy. Forgot about this dungeon. Describes it as a puzzle maze. Open and closes colored doors with colored plates. Comes in three varieties: one-use, toggle open/close, and timed. Attached a map below. Tried to color in doors somewhat accurately. Will not be wholly correct.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Sepulchre Maze Imperfect.jpg

Ultimately aims to press three timed buttons simultaneously. Must leave party members behind to press toggle and timed plates. Was flummoxed on the first playthrough due to not expecting that to be necessary. Cleared this dungeon with less annoyance than anticipated this time.

Saved the other two Defaced Sisters. Returned to the barbarian camp for a reward. Nope. Yells about killing the third sister (despite not doing so and bringing the other two back). Shouts your name for the raven to hear (despite never telling them). Tries to convince the barbarians to attack you. Never trust a nymph (except to earn achievements).

Looted the items the Sisters were searching for off their corpses. Opens the gate to Vordakai. Strolled into a heavily-trapped and debuff-heavy area. What kind of debuffs?
- Constitution damage (from poison traps and blood sacrifices)
- Wisdom damage (from soul eaters)
- Negative levels (from most casters and spectres)

Came prepared with Delay Poison (Communal) and Death Ward. Solved the main problems. Tangled with plenty of tough foes too. One-shot Kivon with a 127 damage critical (out of 123 maximum hitpoints), for reference.

Battled a soul eater one-on-one with Sebitza. (Occurs by knowing your name. Tussles with one of your party members instead if you never say your name. Speaks their own name earlier in the dungeon, in that case.) Thanks one of the artisans for gifting a robe with six free Maximize Spell (maximum damage roll on that spell) charges per day. Smoked them in a single Scorching Ray...after dying the first time. Shh.

Ventured all the way to Vordakai. Battled until Tristian (NPC companion) teleports in, rips out Vordakai's Eye of Abaddon (a relic), and teleports out. Finished the fight with a massive ~135 damage maximized Scorching Ray as Sebitza went down to a ~70 damage Boneshatter. Seemed like a cool ending to the fight.

Did what any true politician would do: offer Vordakai an advisor position. Trapped all of Varnhold in soul jars. (Chose to sell the soul jars off rather than freeing them, by the way.) Needs someone capable of results like that.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Varnhold Vanishing End.png
Chapter complete. Raises an eyebrow at the text. "Vordakai wouldn't be threatening us or anyone else any longer." Rewind one moment.

"[Requires Evil] 'You can still continue what you've started. Become my servant.'" Also tells you, directly, that your descendents will suffer for your foolish choice. Technically occurred without Linzi (the book's author) present, though. Must have fed them a lie. Likes that narrative. (No excuse for Nuyu the Paladin, however.)

Hiked back to the capital of Baldur's Gate. Dealt with a flood of backlogged visitors. And, uh...
Pathfinder Kingmaker Twice Born Start.png
How quick. Planned to deal with barony stuff. Spent 32 days on Varnhold Vanishing. Leaves 199 days for this.

Decides between two routes: find Tristian or deal with the western barbarian threat with Amiri. Used to be a terrible section, game-wise. Killed Amiri if you followed Tristian first, but no consequences for the reverse. Fixed that, fortunately.

Chased after Tristian via portals first. Wound up neck deep in fey territory and one awful area debuff: 50% chance of divine and arcane spell failure. Affects a small area, thankfully. Transitioned to stonework without the debuff.

Caught up with Tristian giving the Eye of Abaddon to Nyrissa, the head nymph that started everything. Evidently worked with Nyrissa, although not entirely willingly. Kept Tristian onboard, rather than killing them. Exited out the front door to discover that was the Verdant Chambers (the location of Nyrissa's ambush where Sebitza was alone).

Turned back to barbarian troubles. Included a very irate Jamandi Aldori (the noble you got the barony from). Understands their irritation, though. Pledged to be with the Surtovas, their enemy. (Could not resist the "[Requires Evil]" choice, despite having that achievement already.)

Psh. Sent in Amiri solo. Engaged Armag one-on-one. Opens the option of Amiri becoming chieftain if they win. Almost died before attacking once. (Missed, for the record.)

Waded through angry barbarians to save Amiri from Armag. Was unnecessary. Teleported out with a Defaced Sister to some centuries-forgotten tomb. Could send scouts or pore over old tomes (both barony projects). Planned to find it manually, thanks to Rhys's massive Perception stat. Forgot precisely where it was. Stumbled upon it on the way to Amiri's companion quest. How did this stay lost for centuries?

Walked into the maws of a truly fiercesome beast: framerate issues. Plummeted on the first floor. Strange. Ran fine on the next floor with the trapped hallway spamming Lightning Bolt, Burning Hands, and Fireball.

Invested hard into Perception for this area. Contains multiple hidden rooms with treasure, alongside tons of traps. Cannot easily redo failed skill checks. Solves it by having a bonus higher than the check.

Smirks. Spoke with someone before the Armag fight. Demanded proof of worthiness before fighting. Included a 71 Bluff check. (Had a +24 or so bonus. Not even close.) Broke out into combat. Melted them in a single Scorching Ray. Felt like the easiest enemy here.

Defeated Armag and became buddies with them for the Foes No More achievement (obtained by 1% of players). Prevents obtaining their sword, Ovinrbaane. Forces stacking Will checks on the wielder to lose control. Outweighs the sword's power easily (not to mention requiring the proficency). Enjoys the flavor, though.

Solved all the problems. Officially became a monarch, rather than a baroness. Promised horrible deaths to everyone who did not obey. Only scared some of the crowd.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Coronation Speech.png
Pathfinder Kingmaker Twice Born End.png
Closes that chapter. Some kingdom management stuff:
- Made a tough choice at Economy 6: earn boatloads of build points or practically guarantee a stable kingdom. Chose the latter, despite Effortless difficulty. Provides very few ways to repair stability. Allows more questionable decisions elsewhere too.
- Always feels behind. Needs more advisor ranks to get Masterwork items from artisans. Requires fourteen days per rank. Burns through time quickly.
- Is not as pleased with selling soul jars as hoped. Yields a solid 250 build points. Ties up an advisor for thirty days every 2-3 months, however. Worthwhile, but a bit grating.

Pushes towards Pitax, Tartuccio's home country, next time for the Rushlight Tournament.

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Spoiler: Pathfinder Kingmaker Chapter 6 and Ending

Eases off the action after back-to-back chapters. Finished Chapter 5 with 184 days remaining. (Detailed that in the previous update's kingdom management.) Dumps 286 days on you onto the next curse segment. Begins the next chapter after that time period. Essentially dealt with the kingdom for 470 days straight. Welcomed that time. Quick management stuff:
- Raised most advisor ranks to 6+. Completed the project to halve rank-up time immediately after becoming available. Feels somewhat caught up now. Needs Espionage at rank 8 for a masterpiece, annoyingly. Comes in late.
- Acquired one masterpiece: the Grandmaster's Rod. Maximizes (max roll) and empowers (x1.5 damage) three spells per day. Earned a fair amount of cash from artisan items too.
- More companion quests. Swiped the two Kukris from one companion's quest for Kivon. Wields their endgame +4 fire and ice weapons.

Would have been awful with the kingdom on Auto. Means skipping all of those days, one-by-one. (Passes time quickly. Still requires a lot of clicks.)
Pathfinder Kingmaker River Kings Start.png

(210 days for this part.)
Received a Rushlight Tournament invitation. Bounced over without hesitation. Set up stalls with items and some fairground games (lockpicking and bet on a summon fight). Met various powerful people. Seemed displeased with the King Irovetti.

Mentioned stalls with items. Sells no trifles here. Loaded it with very high end items. Forked over 370000 gold for a Ring of Circumstances (four small bonuses from a list of ten) and 200000 for a Belt of Physical Perfection (+6 to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution). Left about 280000 gold in hand. Eyes three more items. Held off, due to being available after the events of this chapter. Consists of:
- Greater Belt of Perfect Components (auto empower and extend for level 1-3 spells. Includes Scorching Ray and Fireball.)
- Absolver's Cloak (+4 armor class, +4 saving throws, +4 Persuasion, and +1 armor class versus evil. Good characters only. Perfect for Nuyu.)
- Castigator's Cloak (+4 armor class, +4 saving throws, +4 Persuasion for intimidation, and +2 attack/damage against shaken opponents. Evil characters only. Nice for...a few people. Might return there, if possible.)

Participated in the actual tournament part. Won the fishing and storytelling contests, which were all skill checks. Demanded Trickery (some cheating, some not) and Persuasion most of the time.

Ends with the drunken brawl. Removes all your gear and buffs. Prohibits spellcasting. Tosses the main character into a ring with several other people. Sounds bad for a frail spellcaster, right?
Pathfinder Kingmaker Brawl Cheating.png
Summoned a friend before the battle. Zipped in after fifteen seconds or so. Demolished the competition between unarmed sneak attacks and the surprise scythe.

Returned home with victory in hand. Came right back for exploration. Gated off the region until now. Locked a lot of powerful weapons behind this, including Nuyu's endgame greataxe.

Discovered something unpleasant. Tried to combine the following:
- Sneak attack on flatfooted foes for all spells, not just ones with attack rolls
- Sirocco, a fire tornado spell. Deals fire damage, knocks things down, and fatigues them.
- Firebrand. Renders your party immune to fire spells you cast (plus other stuff).

Fails because of Firebrand not protecting from Sirocco. Why? Works for Fireball. Says "Fire" in Sirocco's spell description. Suffered fire damage in the combat log. Sighs. Will have to settle for Prismatic Spray, then.

Barged in on a wizard's lair. Helped them finish a grimoire. Left the standalone, floating door open for devils, unfortunately.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Squirrels.png
Saw no squirrels. Dropped the wizard in seconds, though. Probably disappeared.

Missed a few good screenshots along the way. Ran from a horde of winged demons with Prismatic Spray. Killed a large linnorm. Remembered the F12 key for one classic, nasty beast.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Ilthuliak.png
Meet Ilthuliak, the level 24 dragon. Lives large at 516 hitpoints, 54 armor class, 32 spell resistance, and +28 to +34 to-hit on six attacks.

Handled them pretty okay. Prepared Acid Resist before hand. Negated the acid chip damage. Stacked enough buffs for the rest, apparently. Laid into it with several wicked 120 damage rays and a resounding 137 damage finishing blow from Nuyu. Ended with everyone quite healthy.

Grabbed the cash and items. Could not make good use of most gear. Highlights one glorious (and useful) item: Gentle Persuasion. Loaded this +5 Leather Armor with +6 Dexterity, +10 to Stealth, and a Dominate Person spell. The catch? Reduces your Constitution by 2 for every good deed. Restores it by committing an evil deed (plus a bonus ten temporary hitpoints). Requires a Remove Curse spell (with a massive 33 caster level skill check) to remove. Always struggles to pick evil options. Provides some gentle persuasion to be evil. Loves it.

Backtracked to Lonely Barrow. Imprisoned a lich behind killing strong creatures, such as Ilthuliak. Destroyed the lich without too much fuss. Stashed a ton of amazing weapons with it. Gave Vanquisher to Nuyu (+5, a stacking critical range increase, and +10 damage).

Turned back to the main quest. Split in two directions:
1. Deal with Pitax's aggression. Defended from a three-pronged Pitaxian assault: propaganda, monster teleportation, and bandits. Notes one nice touch: Dovan. Spared them all the way back at the Stag Lord's Keep in Chapter 1. Reappeared among the Pitaxian bandits. Killed them this time.

2. Invade Nyrissa's dream. Mostly rehashed stuff from earlier. Showed Nyrissa pulling the strings behind everything: the Stag Lord, Irovetti (Pitax's ruler), Armag (the barbarian from last chapter), Tristian, and Sebitza. Noticed Nyrissa being torments by familiar wisps during their punishment. Spanned several chapters too (such as the ridiculous wisp from Chapter 1 and one from near the Ultimate Power lightning screenshot).

Learned about the Briar from the dream. Seeks it after losing it during the fey punishment. Contains a bit of Nyrissa's soul. Used to be hidden in the Old Sycamore, right where Tartuccio died (the first time). Sent something off before dying, though. Guess who has it now? Irovetti.

Charged into Pitax proper. Recruited a few Pitaxians, thanks to finding assassinated Pitaxian nobles earlier.

Cut down any resistance. Reached Irovetti. Dogpiled and smoked them in an instant. Triggered a cutscene of Irovetti summoning a pet naga with the power of the Briar. Cue Nyrissa's entrance. Mocks Irovetti for not realizing the Briar they held was fake (and recently taken by Nyrissa). Caused the naga to turn and finish Irovetti off.

(Note: Plays out differently if Tristian gives you the Eye of Abaddon back in Chapter 4. Never hands it to Nyrissa. Never learns where the Briar is, as a result.)
Pathfinder Kingmaker RIver Kings End.png

Other bits:
- Gave the First Crown containing an elf king's spirit (and kingdom) to Shyka, an Eldest. Matters later.
- Tried out Prismatic Spray with Sneak Attack damage. Did...okay. Transformed some enemies into dogs, though.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Prismatic Spray Dogs.png

- Suffered from Insanity from a spellcaster. Lasts until removed. Requires Greater Restoration or Heal to remove. (Also resting, with the difficulty option turned on.) Becoming annoying to control when you attack an ally or yourself 50% of the time.
- Tracked down a goblin thief who stole the throne in a sidequest. Made them cry by being uninterested in wanting it back. Earned an achievement acquired by 0.9% of people. Why is that rarer than Foes No More?
- Learned some fancy spells. Mentions two in one screenshot:
Pathfinder Kingmaker Fancy Spells.png
1. Elemental Swarm from Rhys. Summons several elementals initially. Adds bigger ones after a few rounds. Teleports in an ancient one at the end. Somewhat impractical, but cool.
2. The 532 damage Sneak Attack Disintegrate (reduced) from Sebitza. Yikes. Quadrupled the highest damage number from anyone else. (Utterly failed the first two times, though. Rolled a 1 twice. Sighs.)

Zipped through another long section of kingdom management. Triggered the endgame.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Thousand Screams Start.png

Bid farewell to the kingdom. Hopped into a portal to the House at the Edge of Time. Consists of two (nearly) identical maps. Shifts between them by entering into blue fog without a magic lantern equipped. (Used this mechanic in the First World earlier.)

Separates you from the premade companions, but not custom companions. Spread them throughout the house. Undergoes a trial. Lives or (permanently) dies based on their companion quests. Chose the wrong options during Tristian's quests, for example. Dead forever. (Meets the custom companion creation NPC here too. Will not be forever alone with poor choices.)

Dislikes this area a lot. Inflicts a lot of crippling status effects: paralyze, fear, petrify, and ability drain. Lasts for...maybe a minute in the case of the first three, which is likely the entire battle. Must be prepared with immunities or likely die.

Leads into two more complaints about status:
1. The very quick nature of ability drain. Stacked to -55 Strength on Dolanio from a single swarm fight. (Caps at 5 Strength with the difficulty settings. Would be unable to move otherwise.)
2. Prismatic Spray and maybe unwinnable states, under certain difficulty settings. Ran into one (optional) spot with a swarm of Prismatic Spray monsters.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Enemy Prismatic.png
Causes Baneful Polymorph sometimes. Requires Remove Curse with a 30 dispel check to cleanse. Pulled out a Remove Curse scroll with caster level 5. Tried to hit 30 with d20 + 5. Nope. Enjoy being a dog.

Made good use of Elemental Swarm. Lasts a long time.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Fire Elemental Party.png

Snapped a good screenshot. Rested somewhere. Camouflaged the camp...technically.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Camo.png

...Picked up the Briar on a random shelf. Why is it here? Explains how Nyrissa lost it before. Be more careful with parts of your soul.

Stumbled through teleporting zones to Nyrissa. Defeated them quickly. (Still got off a single spell: Wail of the Banshee. Insta-killed two party members.) Let them live. Totally fulfilled the punishment.
Pathfinder Kingmaker Thousand Screams End 1.png
Presented the cup to the Lantern King...

Pathfinder Kingmaker Thousand Screams End 2.png
...only for Shyka to free the elf king from the First Crown. Restored their kingdom. Removed one grain of sand from the cup, thus ruining the cup. Killed Nyrissa. Yay trick ending.

Could have gone for a different ending. Extends the game by another chapter. Was not overly enthused about it. Drains your power initially. Slogs through more annoying enemies. Felt satisfied at this (and the achievement).

Ending flavor:
- Supported merchants more than ordinary people. Led to lots of cash and mercenary armies.
- Relied on magic more than soldiers. Repelled an attack by Galt.
- Prioritized others' short-term interests over personal wealth and long-term interests. Failed to pay the bills sometimes. Was loved by the people anyways.
- Supported the Surtovas. Squashed a rebellion led by Jamandi Aldori. Executed them.
- Chose Dugath as the barbarian chief. Stayed friends with the barbarians. Proved to be excellent mercenaries.
- Installed the leader of the Thieves' Guild to lead Pitax. Fell into decline. Remembered Irovetti's rule as a golden age.
- Chose chaotic decisions for Pitax. Closed the Academy of Grand Arts.
- Spared Tartuccio. Co-existed peacefully with the kobolds.
- Sacrificed Maegar Varn for Vordakai. Kept Varnhold a ghost town.
- Spared the spriggans. Spread out across the plains.
- Killed both sides at the Old Sycamore. Became infested with giant centipedes. Blocked it up.
- Turned Oleg's Trading Post into a military outpost. Was not happy. Lived without fear, though.
- Spared the priestess of Lamashtu and helped their ritual. Speaks of a child of Lamashtu somewhere in the Narlmarches. Kills travelers sometimes.
- Saved Darven from the Order of the Rack. Became a good trading partner.
- Killed the lich with the fancy treasures. Fascinated a lot of wizard-types.
- Good times for surviving companions.

Concludes this playthrough of Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Ragged on irritating bits of the game a lot. Really enjoys how everything comes around, story-wise. Loves planning out character builds too. Feels rewarding for it to come together.

Final party thoughts:
- Sebitza (Arcane Trickster): Took a while to get going. Tosses out some nasty spells late-game, though. Prefers Arcane Trickster over a straight wizard. Rates only as decent, due to the weaker early- and midgame.

- Dolanio (Stalwart Defender): Decent tank. Somehow expected more? Never contributed much damage. Missed a bunch. Might be the reason. Performed way better than as an Inquisitor, at any rate. Sacrificed too much for Trip.

- Nuyu (Paladin Hospitaler): Quite nice. Cannot measure how worthwhile a Dazzling build was. Appreciated the out-of-combat healing, occasional divine buff, and some big swings.

- Kivon (Rogue Knife Master): Good from start to finish. Needed some support to not die, however (much like Nuyu). Benefitted a bunch from Greater Invisibility. Wonders about different weapons. Saw some nice immunity-bypassing daggers and short swords. Probably hit mainly through criticals, however, which kukries do better.

- Rhys (Druid): Probably the worst on the team. Contributed mostly through having a pet. Might have been better with a shapeshifter build. Hated to sacrifice feats towards that (which went towards making Perception sky-high).

- Ecaeris (Alchemist Grenadier): Great. Handed out lots of crucial buffs. Tripped stuff better than Dolanio ever did with Arcane Bombs. Contributed decent damage, although very dependent on bombs.

Thanks for reading all this way (or even just this last update).