An Old Dungeon Master With a New Computer


Hello, again, from Lookout Mountain. As promised last month I am sharing my thoughts about the RPG for Windows "The Witcher". I have been playing this game since the first of last month, and am currently in the Temple District of Vizima. The graphics and sound are excellent. One can appreciate the eastern European nationality of the game designers, with the craggy mountains and dense forest scenery that are found in places like Bulgaria and Romainia. The computer allows me to choose dialog responses for Geralt and then it takes over during the exchange, leaving me to sometimes think: "I didn't want to say THAT!" Some of the quests seem to have a problem in updating; for example, I determined Azar to have killed the detective Raymond, but there is still a quest that entails my waiting for the detective to analyze the autopsy results. The quest advice for me get help from anti Azar groups mysteriously disappears when I leave the cemetery. Geralt's quiet voice reminds me of Clint Eastwood in his early westerns; speak softly and they better listen! I apologize for being here so seldom but other pursuits give me no other option. I will give you folks more Witcher input at a later time. Until then, restock your arrows and potions before hitting the trail. MV

I am glad you are enjoying the game. Keep us updated, although you might want to just reply to this thread, rather than start a new one every month.

Happy gaming!

Greetings once again from Lookout Mountain. I am temporarily evacuated from my home due to the tornadoes. Although my place suffered no damage the entire county is without power for 7 to 10 days, and so the soft-spoken swordsman Geralt is left to entertain himself in the Murky Waters Inn as best he can. I am playing The Witcher at intermediate level and rely on the Swallow and occasionally the Blizzard potion to get through the tougher battles. That Gambling Ghost was a real challenge until I infused Geralt with both potions; then he stomped the spunky spectre in fine form.
Before the tornadoes hit I was faced with a poser for Geralt. He is running low on alcohol for making potions, and the inn in Murky Waters lacks a waitress who is the usual source of the stuff. I am in Chapter IV, and the player's booklet speaks of powerful enemies yet to be faced. When TVA gets me back on the grid I will send Geralt on a booze-hunting excursion and prepare for the fish-god Dagon. It is apparent that the designers of The Witcher were influenced by the stories of H P Lovecraft. In one of the documents Geralt recovers is found the couplet "That which is dead can aeternal lie..........And with strange aeons even death may die". I imagine the next antiquary Geralt runs into may have a spare copy of the Necronomicon!
I close my posting with a recommendation for you all to check out a piece Ross McKitrick wrote about how electricity has improved the quality of human existence. And pray for my power to be restored; Geralt is getting tired of those innkeepers!!!

Hope all goes well for you, and glad you made it through the storms largely intact!

Nice to hear you got out ok and that you're enjoying The Witcher. Just finished the second book myself and really liked it. Good luck with power and all!

Hello again, from Lookout Mountain. Well, I finished The Witcher and will say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable game. Azar Javed turned out to be much less than the player's manual touted him to be, and so too was the case for his conjured monster Koschey (pardon my spelling here). I suspect that the ease of the final victories owes to the fact that I advanced Geralt by leaps and bounds when he was in Raven's Crypt. The computer fed him a steady and reliable diet of Wraiths and Fleders, along with a convenient fireplace for vitality regeneration. Three nights of whacking and smacking in Raven's Crypt netted Geralt a treasure trove of silver and gold talents, and he finally emerged from the depths a formidable engine of power. The player's manual warned of the final battle with the Grand Master but my Geralt wiped out the competition with Level 5 Igni attacks coupled with Level 5 swordplay.
Now I have entered the world of Elder Scrolls III/Morrowind, thanks to an inexpensive purchase on EBay. I've only played the game one night but am already impressed with the lovely graphics and smooth movement of images(There was a jerkiness in image feed in The Witcher that made precision in travel difficult). The character appearances aren't quite as detailed as what I enjoyed in Elder Scrolls IV but it's nice to get back to being able to play a character I can more readily identify with. My wizardress has so far done alot of talking and shopping, and will soon take to the road and meet up with her first combat situation. My Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights experience has me leaning on ranged attacks with bow and arrow to "soften up" the enemy before resorting to spells and, as a last resort, blade. I will give you all an update on how things go at a later date so in the sure you have an ample supply of arrows, food, and potions before you venture forth! MV

Enjoy Morrowind, it's a great one. There's a large supply of mods for it too if there's something about it you want to change or expand it.

Greetings, all, from Lookout Mountain. North Alabama and the Southeast are in an early summer heat wave so I spend a good bit of afternoon time under water in my creek before taking my wizardress out for an adventure in Morrowind. Well, after seeing that the short blade is the chief weapon skill for my Breton mage, and after seeing that the spear is governed by Endurance (best level advance for health/hitpoints), Virginia Eastwind discarded her bow and has been terrorizing the monsters of Ascadian Isles and surrounding lands with her steel spear. She even ventured into an ancestral tomb and survived an attack by a magic-armed specter, thanks to fight-flee-heal-fight tactics. Mage Eastwind is almost killed, steps back outside, heals, and then returns to finish off the specter. The group of thugs hiding in a cave near the Ebony Mines of Caldera gave Virginia a challenging fight, until she stopped ticking ALL of them off at the same time with a fireball. Just approach enough to get one at a time to chase her back to the cave entrance, healing between battles. The game is alot of fun, and I was about to criticize it for the lack of fast travel until Ginny joined the Mages Guild. She now zips hither and thither among the major cities, selling trinkets and baubles found in her adventures. I suspect this game will keep me engrossed for most if not all of this summer, as the Southeast continues to bake. I love storms so am hoping that a nice natural display of fireworks and a cooling rain will be soon to come. Until then, remember to restock your potions and arrows, and repair your swords and spears.

greetings from southeast louisiana. i'm hanging out with my daughter julie, waiting to attend her grandmother's funeral. morrowind has been fun, and my character is now 16th level. she still has to step through doorways to escape some enemies, heal, and return to finish the fight, but is able to hold her own pretty well. frost and fire atronachs are especially troublesome to her; the best strategy i have for them is long range magic attacks between fast retreats. more details on the adventures later. pardon the lack of capitalization; groping for the shift key has kicked me offline more times than i can count. take care and don't forget to restock your potions and arrows before setting out.

Thanks for the update! Glad to see you've discovered kiting larger enemies to chip away at their health. It's a tried and true method

It's fun to read your updates. I played Morrowind for the first time a little while ago and it's an awesome game. Haven't played Oblivion yet though.

Greetings, all from Lookout Mountain. The sojourn is Louisiana was a happy-sad affair. I loved my ex mom-in-law so it was sad to say goodbye forever. I then spent some time with my mother and my stepdad; the latter is homebound. I gave him 2 hours of homemade Enya songs on my Fender Strat, and it seemed to really bring him some joy.
My wizardress paid a visit last night to a Daedric shrine and got killed once by a Daedroth. I resorted to the hit-and-run technique, which barely worked because the crocodile man chases you once he is ticked off. A healthy swig of sujamma gave Ginny the power to kill the croc right before she was about to exit the stage for the second time. The homemade spell Summon and Go Invisible (which conquered the monster world in Oblivion) doesn't seem to apply in Morrowind, as the monsters continue whacking away at Ginny. Well, maybe that's for the best; keeps her from getting too complacent. Keep your potion bags and quivers full and I'll give another update....whenever.

Levitation helped my wizard out of a lot of tough spots in Morrowind -- most monsters can't retaliate against spells raining down on them from above.

Hmmm, interesting idea Misplaced. I might try Levitate if/when I run up against a world class enemy. For now, though, Ginny has increased her Intelligence and Endurance to 100, and also focused on Strength. That Daedric ruin near Hla Oad handed up a lovely Ebony Spear which has really brought the Daedroths and Atronachs down to a manageable level. (I focused on using the spear in the early days so as to jack up my Endurance.) The Daedric site Ald Sotha near Vivec also furnished Ginny with an Ebony Shortsword (excuse my liberal use of capitalization-these weapons are awesome), which swiftly dispatched the Atronachs in the ebony mine near Balmora. So far the deadliest enemy I have met is the Dremora Lord. I cast a 30-second Hide spell, run up to the Lord, equip the spear, and whack away. I usually win the battle but take alot of damage. The contests I lose are when I get knocked down, resulting in the monster getting multiple unanswered shots. I suspect some investment in Agility will fix that issue.
While the graphics and color are excellent in Morrowind I do have to say that my character seems rather like a wooden puppet Pinocchio when not dressed in her armor. It is apparent that Bethesda was aware of this when creating Oblivion, as the characters in that sequel are much more lifelike.
Well, time to join the ladies for Bridge here at the Community Center so until next time, keep those quivers full, potion bags well stocked, and weapons and armor in good repair. Happy adventuring!

I think I mostly resorted to Levitate because I hadn't done nearly as good a job of raising Endurance and Strength as you have.

Levitate is pretty awesome in those games. It gives mages a real edge.

Michael - not sure what you're internet connection is there on lookout, but I'd highly recommend getting a STEAM account and taking advantage of their ongoing sale. Some great, if quirky, RPGs available for a song.

Greetings again, from Lookout Mountain. First, thanks to all who read and comment on my postings, offering tips and suggestions. Well, Ginny the Breton Mage has hit her stride in Morrowind. Level 32 and maxed out on Magicka, Endurance, Willpower, and Intelligence. She is wearing light armor and carrying repair hammers and a shield to increase her Agility and Strength. So far the Dremora Lord and Golden Saint are the strongest enemies, and the wandering wizardress dispatches them regularly. Ginny is aspiring to the level of Master Wizard in the Mages Guild, and is wealthy beyond use, with 341,000 drakes. I am at a point where the game is a bit like life: the wizardress must find new challenges to keep things interesting. The Archmage at the Vivec Mages Guild tells Ginny, in kind grandfatherly tones that if she wants to become Archmage she has to defeat him in a duel. After she attains Master Wizard status Ginny will be ready to oblige the venerable old
While Ginny adventures in Morrowind the radio supplies a nice sonic backdrop in the evenings with Atlanta Braves baseball. I'm not a big sports fan but having a game on in the afternoon or evening as background sound makes my indoor and outdoor activities more enjoyable. Cutting wood from fallen tree limbs on a chilly late fall afternoon has a certain appeal when a college or pro football game is going on "nearby". Playing D & D games on the computer is so much more fullfilling on a dark and cold December evening when a high school football game is going on locally. I guess it's the comforting sensation of a past childhood I had when my father played those games on the radio while I was trying out the latest Wham-O toy in the back yard, or playing Skid Pool on my new Mattel Magnetel multi-game creation in my bedroom with some of my nerdy (but loyal) friends.
Well, I see I got off on another one of those reminiscences, increasingly typical for this Appalachian hillbilly. Thanks again to you who read what comes out of me........and remember to keep that armor in good repair, that Staff of Regeneration fully charged, and that potion bag restocked. Happy adventuring!

You might want to investigate Dungeons of Dredmor. For $5 or $10, it's a great deal. "Congratulations! You died!"

Greetings again, from Lookout Mountain. Ginny the Breton Mage assumed the title of Archmage in Morrowind after winning a disappointingly unchallenging duel with Trebonius. Here is where Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 would have really excelled: ole Treb throws up a defensive spell or two, forcing Ginny to deal with THAT before taking offensive action. In the meantime the archmage has summoned a monster or three, or has fired an incapacitationg spell of his own, further complicating the battle. The first time I faced Jon Irenicus in B G 2 in the final battle I was at the computer for over an hour. Still, Morrowind is thoroughly enjoyable with its colorful and realistic scenery, variety of NPC's, and graphic magic effects.
Ginny entered Ghostgate for the first time last night and was greeted by an Ascended Sleeper, a powerful Daedric creature that rivals the Dremora Lord in power. I am sure the going will again get tough as I close in on Red Mountain.
I thank Misplaced Bravado and Robear for the input on Levitation. It sure comes in handy when you want to cross mountain ranges to get from point A to B in a hurry. I also used it to enter the high tower in Tel Mora and tick off the ruling wizardress who thinks she is above the riff raff townfolk.
Keep those quivers full, potion bags stocked, and weapons in good repair. Happy Adventuring!
m v

Greetings to all you D & D adventurers. Well, summer is chugging along in the third quarter; the nights will soon be getting cooler here on Lookout Mountain. My wizardress is about to complete the Fourth Trial in Morrowind, uniting the three Great Houses and the aboriginal tribes in a common defense against the forces of Dagoth Ur. It was pretty clear whom to talk to when getting named the Nevarine of the tribes and the Hortator of House Hlaalu but I really had to äsk around" to find out who would name my character Hortator of House Telvanni. I canvassed the entire Redoran compound and even went back to the Urshulaku Camp to try to figure out whom to see for the Redoran Hortator quest but came up empty. Thank goodness for the Internet!
Otherwise, Morrowind continues to be a fun diversion on hot evenings with Atlanta Braves baseball on the radio from the kitchen counter. I suspect (and hope) that the final battles with Dagoth Ur and Company will be intense, in light of all of the preparatory quests being done now. Keep your quivers full, wands charged, and get plenty of rest before setting out. Happy adventuring.

I'm glad you're having such a good time with Morrowind, and I enjoy reading your updates. Keep it up!

Skyrim's coming soon

I'm sad I missed this thread for so long- it's great to hear about your experiences with TBGEM.

Greetings again, from Lookout Mountain. First, thank you for the nice responses, Aries and General Crespin. I am at an age where it is so nice to share thoughts that will bring a smile to folks who will take the time to read them. Yes, Aries, I am excited about Elder Scrolls V. IV was an improvement over III (which wasn't bad), so one can only conclude that V will not disappoint. I sure hope V affords the same variety of clothing ensembles for Ginny as did IV:)
Ginny the Breton Battlemage "pulled the plug" on the evil god Dagoth Ur earlier this week and thus saved Vaardenfel from destruction. I spent the next two nights just sashaying her around, talking to NPC's who were only too eager to give her an ego massage for her heroism. Bethesda programmed the game to be open-ended, as expressed by the false god Vivec when he told Ginny that she is now the Protector of Vaardenfel, and must rove hither and yon, cleaning out pockets of evil and villainy. I guess my character has now been cast as a medieval version of Marshal Dillon, keeping law and order in Dodge City and nineteenth century Kansas. Well, I will lovingly sit Ginny behind her desk in the sheriff's office with a pot of coffee and an indulgent ear for Festus Hagen who will keep her apprised on the latest comings and goings. Morrowind was a fun five-month adventure, reminding me that what I enjoy most about RPG's is that I can save the world and indulge my fantasy about being a real do-gooder who really makes an impact. I suppose what one does with his/her character in an RPG is a reflection on his/her inner self. Some folks struggle with rage and violent emotions and so might choose to be a chaotic evil character, wreaking havoc and fear on innocent villages. I just coudn't bring myself to choose this kind of character; instead, I enjoyed the dialog with grateful townfolk after ridding them of a band of marauding orcs or lifting the curse of an evil wizard. I think the great thing about RPG's is that you can be powerful and important, lowly and humble, feared and reviled, or esteemed and legendary, right in your own home, in this vast and complex world that can make one feel small and irrelevant.
A few parting thoughts on Morrowind: It is amazing how much junk Ginny amassed near the eastern gate of Balmora, where a row of crates and urns allowed her to store her treasures. One urn held all the alchemical ingredients while a crate was laden with priceless Daedric artifacts. Another urn was stocked with soul gems while another crate was freighted with magical treasures galore. I was careful to save the game before leaving this Balmora trove, realizing the possibility that all could be plundered by some wandering Khajiit with sticky fingers. Near the end of the game I decided to take everything and sell it, figuring that if it wasn't needed all this time, it would never be needed. One NPC trader has the most gold (10,000), and Ginny had Daedric weapons and armor worth 20,000 or more. She would sell these items while at the same time buying cheaper ones so that the net sale was 10,000. After repeated buying, selling, and resting (to allow the NPC to replenish his gold) my fair lady retired to her Vivec estate with almost 1.5 million gold pieces. Bribery is a pretty effective tactic in Morrowind, and Ginny made use of it to get information needed to complete many of the 55 quests she had notched on her wizard staff. My favorite treasure? Without question, it would be the Boots of Blinding Speed, acquired very early in the game (probably planned that way) when Ginny was so vulnerable to attack. Those boots allowed her to make hit-and-run attacks on monsters she could otherwise not fight toe-to-toe with. The Necromancer's Amulet was a nice find, too, allowing Ginny to heal without using her magic that was often needed for other situations.
Well, that concludes another game, another adventure, and just about another summer. I've gotten back to my Baldur's Gate II game that I left March 15, and will once again make life miserable for the evil mage Jon Irenicus while the Braves go for the post season. Soon the football games will fill the weekend afternoons and evenings and Virginia Eastwind will await the challenges of Elder Scrolls V. Until then, keep your swords sharpened, your quivers full, your potion belts stocked and your armor in good repair. Happy adventuring! MV

Baldur's Gate 2! I hope I still have my old BG1 saves somewhere; I've never finished the game. At present I'm working on Oblivion. I look forward to hearing more about what you are playing.

Ooh! Loved Irenicus. One of the better baddies in RPGdom. It helps that David Warner does the voice acting.

MichaelVirginia wrote:

Near the end of the game I decided to take everything and sell it, figuring that if it wasn't needed all this time, it would never be needed. One NPC trader has the most gold (10,000), and Ginny had Daedric weapons and armor worth 20,000 or more. She would sell these items while at the same time buying cheaper ones so that the net sale was 10,000. After repeated buying, selling, and resting (to allow the NPC to replenish his gold) my fair lady retired to her Vivec estate with almost 1.5 million gold pieces.

Well done. I never finished the main quest in Morrowind, I just spent a lot of time skulking about and thieving (I'm not going to consider how that might reflect on my personality), and once raked in 800,000 gold cleaning out one of the House vaults. I did all my trading with Creeper. The orcs never seemed to mind when I'd spend weeks in their house just to complete those transactions.

I've enjoyed your updates and your analysis about the appeal of the RPG was also a treat. I look forward to hearing about any further adventures if you feel inclined to share

Tanglebones wrote:

Ooh! Loved Irenicus. One of the better baddies in RPGdom. It helps that David Warner does the voice acting.

David Warner?? Wow, I shiver when I recall his portrayal of Jack the Ripper in the film "Time After Time. What a perfect voice for Irenicus!

Greetings, folks, from Lookout Mountain. Well, it was summer on Saturday (94 degrees) and fall on Monday (63) , thanks to Tropical Storm Lee. My forest enjoyed over 6 inches of rain after an essentially rainless August. The cooler weather chased me out of my creek and into the computer, where I am once again tracking down Jon Irenicus in BGII. That ranger Minsc is a loveable character, and a reliable man on the front line. Aerie has the cutest voice, a naive little girl with a big heart. But don't be fooled; she has tremedous power as a cleric/mage, and was instrumental in bringing Irenicus down the last time I played BGII.
The main point of my post today is to ask my readers to recommend to me past RPG's that I can get on eBay or Amazon. I've done some research online, and have some prospects. What I enjoy the most are games that allow me to create and customize my own character. I enjoy games that feature magic and present my character with challenging quests, colorful NPC's, and formidable enemies. My computer uses Windows 7 but has been made to be compatible with games that use XP. I have completed Baldurs Gate I and II, Neverwinter Nights, The Witcher, Oblivion, and Morrowind. I am excited about Elder Scrolls V (Skyrim) coming out later this year, but in the meantime would like to check out some past classics, now that my swimming days are over this year. Thanks for any ideas you might pass along. MV

Planescape: Torment for sure. It's available from Great AD&D-based RPG in the Planescape setting; some of the best RPG writing in video games. It uses roughly the same engine as Baldur's Gate.