The Terralon Diary, Part 3: Scavenger Hunt

Time to check in again on my experience working through The Gates of Terralon, a linear RPG experience presented in the form of a desk calendar. Last time, I finished the tutorial section (in which we fought some demons and met a big titty spider lady) and chose my PC for the main bulk of the adventure – a kenku avian necromancer called Mori’an Corvus.

The 19th January sees not much action – I have to roll 3D6 to determine my starting gold. I’m not altogether sure there’s much point to that – why not just give people a set amount of gold to start out with and use the day for something more substantial?

20th January sees me encountering a couple who are looking for their lost children. The choice here is basically to look for the kids out of the goodness of your heart (gaining Virtue) or doing it for mercenary reasons (gaining money at the cost of also gaining Vice) – there’s in theory a choice to reject the mission outright, but in practice this ends up being game mechanically pointless because you just get bribed into doing it anyway. Though in theory an interesting roleplaying decision, in practice the basically linear nature of the adventure means that it was never really likely that you’d be allowed to just skip the mission, and it feels pointless for the game to offer choices it can’t actually honour.

I chose to look for the kids for free because a) I rolled OK for starting gold so it’s not like I’m hurting for money and b) I am a scavenger bird and a necromancer, the way I see it I can either find live kids to earn some kudos or dead kids who I can practice my magic on or use as a light snack. Either way, it’s a fitting use of my talents. 21st January sees me doing some skill checks along the way – I found a bit of gold and I also spotted animal tracks. Uh-oh, other scavengers are after that delicious carrion! On the 22nd and 23rd I have a quick fight with some wolves which are, thankfully, significantly wimpier than the demons from the tutorial section, and I am able to brazen through it unscathed.

On the 24th January I get to exercise my Intelligence Intellect stat a little by investigating an abandoned cabin, which the kids’ footprints were headed towards. I find various abandoned gold pieces and also evidence that the children fell down the well. Odds of snack: increasing. I spend the 25th January climbing down the well, and on the 26th I find a tunnel down there – with a poisonous homunculus lurking within. Judicious use of a spell point wards off damage (and the threat of becoming poisoned, which would cause me to take damage on failing a roll each calendar day until I got cured).

The 27th is a brief dungeon crawl and then on the 28th I find the kids, alive. Guess I’m not going to have any tasty snacks or necromantic endeavours this time around. The kids are tied up – sorry, it says “tide up”, my mistake – but aside from being adrift on the ocean wave (somehow), they are also bound by rope which I must undo. This ends up being a force-you-to-do-skill-checks-until-you-succeed situation as you try different methods. If you try cutting the ropes and fail you don’t harm the kids but you do lose 1 health, which means that if you roll very unluckily it’s possible to die trying to release the sprogs, especially if you got mauled badly by the monsters on the way in here.

Speaking of monsters, on the 29th/30th January we see who’s captured the kids – it’s a pair of creepy old hags, who I successfully fight. The month closes on the 31st as I bash myself up trying to wrangle the tubby little troublemakers back up the well.

So far, without having had an opportunity to acquire equipment and with limited spells available, it doesn’t feel like the game’s offered me a whole lot which I didn’t already see on the tutorial, but let’s see how the next month goes. Now that I’ve got the measure of how much action I can expect, I think I will now shift to updating on a monthly basis unless something I have a whole lot to talk about happens partway through a month, in which case I might do an early update to enthuse or rant about it. See you at the end of February!

4 thoughts on “The Terralon Diary, Part 3: Scavenger Hunt

  1. Pingback: The Terralon Diary, Part 2: Crow Selection Phase – Refereeing and Reflection

  2. matt712013

    I’m getting a bit dismayed at the swinginess of the combat when there is only one round per opponent. The D&D style resolution system is OK when you have multiple rounds to whittle away the opponent’s hit points. But here I either roll poorly to attack, in which case my damage does not matter, or I roll great to attack, but miss my ~50% chance to do sufficient damage. At least if the enemy is stunned from even a glancing hit, I may survive.
    Currently at 1 HP, I hope we get to rest soon.

  3. Pingback: The Terralon Diary, Part 4: Angry Cawing! – Refereeing and Reflection

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