A diary of sorts, wherein I moonlight as a games writer. Under haphazard construction.
Arcanum: The Crash Site
August 29, 2016Posted by on
Prophecies and chosen ones are ten a penny in videogames, but I can’t think of any outside of Arcanum which involve ogres in aeroplanes shooting down a zeppelin.
Reborn on wings of fire indeed.
Beau Loosefingers, a Halfling orphan with a questionable set of skills, wakes up amid the wreckage of a job gone South to receive the dying pleas of an old gnome. Find the boy and give him this ring. Also some dark sounding stuff about stopping something from ending the world and killing everyone. That sounded like it was his fault. Whatever. Ring please. Which way’s town?
Then Virgil shows up.
Virgil, Virgil, Virgil. New to the Panarii religion and face to face with his messiah before he’s even learned their name. Or the name of the dark lord they’re supposed to fight. Or the words of the prophecy foretelling their reincarnation. Or practically any of his holy scriptures at all. Helplessly and hilariously in over his head, all he can do is desperately try to persuade his living god to come with him back to a temple where there are some real priests. But god is not listening. God is busy emptying the pockets of the crash victims. And running away from boars. And gathering scrap metal. Hold these springs, we’ll get a few quid for them later.
Beau has quickly realised that Virgil will not allow his freshly reincarnated saviour to be eaten by wolves, which is handy, because Beau is small, weak and can’t fight for shit. With no points in Melee and a Strength of 5, his chance of hitting most enemies is no more than 25%. Against bouncy little sewer rats, it’s 5%. So a regular hit against them is about as likely as an awesome critical hit on D&D. Critical misses are a big thing in Arcanum too, so his dagger seems to spend as much time stuck in the ground from a fumbled attack as stuck in his enemies. When I went to the character sheet to spend his first sweet sweet stat point (on a rank in Dodging, aka hiding behind Virgil), I noticed he’d picked up a scar somehow which was reducing his Beauty stat. It turned out to be *self inflicted*. I was initially thinking of giving him some ranks in ranged combat so he could use firearms, but now I’m not so sure.
Speaking of failing to hit Sewer Rats, this happened.
So we’ll be coming back to clear out the rat cave later, then.
In a clearing off to the other side of the crash stands a magic-looking red chest protected by a small blue shaman and a wolf. Virgil made short work of the wolf, but Beau required so much healing that he then fell *physically unconscious* from the effort of keeping him alive. Arcanum has no mana points, all spell casting is done via stamina, and this even applies to NPCs. Which is why, in attempting to kill the unconscious Virgil, the shaman also collapsed from exhaustion. Coup de grace, fight over, right? Wrong. Beau can’t even stab a small blue creature that’s lying face down on the ground. He has to wait for Virgil to wake up who.. promptly passes out once more. It takes two more attempts for him to recover sufficiently to finish the fight.
The chest contains some very fancy white robes, which Beau recognises from the sprite to probably not be cursed ones and so quickly dons. There’s some armour too, but that looks like it could be hexed, so Virgil’s gonna have to wait before wearing it.
Looking suitably messianic and satisfied that, with the exception of one rat-infested cave, he’s picked the crash site clean, it’s off to Shrouded Hills to try and clear up all this Panarii nonsense.