The GWJ CRPG Club - Main Thread

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

That's a great idea to use the CRPG Addict as a resource! I didn't realize he had ranked all the games either. I've been in there lately poking about mainly to see what he thought about the Might & Magic games, but I like sorting his spreadsheet.

I'd also recommend the CRPG Book Project, which has indepth reflections on much of CRPG history and all the major games. PDF is free and here.

Looking through the list that he's put together makes me wonder if Champions of Krynn might be a good place to start. Both Krynn and Gateway to the Savage Frontier get good reviews in the CRPG book, but Krynn scores higher on the CRPG Addict's list. Both games are also the first games in a series, so people can continue on if they desire.

As much as I like the idea of Wizardry 6 (40+ hours) or Might and Magic (50+ hours), or even Pools of Radiance (30+ hours) , I think picking something both short and enjoyable would be key for this first attempt.

I think we'll have three types of participants:
- People committed to getting to the end
- People interested in trying the game
- People not interested

A shorter game (~20 hours) might catch more of the middle group.

The Krynn series starts better than the Pool series, I think, but it kind of peters out. Dark Queen of Krynn is not very good, and I got bored and quit about halfway through recently. I'd played through 1 and 2 on an Amiga emulator, got to the third, and just .... was bored. (Also wasn't sure where to go next, that game doesn't signpost as well as the earlier ones.) Never went back, although I think my savegame still awaits me.

However, the first game is quite good, and it implements a bunch of major interface improvements over the Pool of Radiance series. One of the biggest, IIRC, is autorest-until-healed. Your characters cast all their healing spells, rest eight hours, recover spells. If anyone's still hurt, repeat. In fact, now that I think about it, re-memorizing your spell loadout automatically was a big improvement.

In Pool, I think you have to manually choose all your memorized spells, every time, and I think you have to do it without seeing what spells you currently have picked. It was kind of an interface disaster. If you wanted to rest until healed, you had to manually cast all your spells, rest, manually choose what spells you recovered, and then repeat if anyone was still hurt enough to bother. Those first Gold Box entries were very tedious, but we loved them because it was D&D! On a computer! You didn't have to assemble a group of people, you could whack kobolds at 2AM. So what if it was tedious, real D&D mages had to manually pick all their spells too.

I think your pick of Champions is probably pretty good, in the sense that it's much less painful to play, and probably a good introduction to the Gold Box series. But if people want to keep going, the Pool series is more rewarding plot-wise, albeit with much more tedium to get there.

Super helpful, Malor. Thanks! It certainly sounds like you've spent some time with the series. The "work-in-progress" nature of Pool of Radiance and its length were leading me away from that one, although I would love to play the whole series.

I was checking up on Last Surprise's idea for Hero Quest, and while I like the general idea, the game feels a bit more like a Sierra adventure game than an RPG.

Moving forward on the idea, I'd be more inclined to decide on something via discussion than a vote. Bring forth a few games, talk about them, then reach some sort of consensus on something we could play. There will likely a small handful of people inclined to try something.

Just a quick update as we hit the end of May...

With one month left before Tyranny hits the Retirement Home, we've got 14 people who have completed the game, and perhaps a few more stragglers working their way to the finish line.

Disco Elysium has 10 finishers at the moment, and likewise might have a handful more part-way through.

I've still got 4 club games I never finished, and I'm thinking to give Vampire: The Masquerade a shot while we wait for the next game to start, or perhaps finally hit Level 2 in the JRPG club by playing Alliance Alive.

I'm still interested in setting up an old school replay to give it a shot, and have been waiting for GOG to put those Gold Box series on sale.

We'll start our voting process for Game 15 in a couple of weeks. I'm curious to see what we end up picking this time. I feel like we've cleared our way through a lot of the iconic games and are starting to get into RPGs that sit more on the periphery, which has been fun.

I’m excited to see what we pick next! After the past few picks, I’d love to see something that’s not an isometric.

And, planning to make a push for Tyranny just as soon as I wrap The Alliance Alive! Sounds like Tyranny’s short enough I’ll be able to do it. When I stopped playing, I was at the beginning of Act 2, and just met with Tunon.

LastSurprise wrote:

I’m excited to see what we pick next! After the past few picks, I’d love to see something that’s not an isometric.

And, planning to make a push for Tyranny just as soon as I wrap The Alliance Alive! Sounds like Tyranny’s short enough I’ll be able to do it. When I stopped playing, I was at the beginning of Act 2, and just met with Tunon.

The second act in Tyranny is the major bulk of the game. Act 3 you can complete in a couple of hours - I think it took me about 3.

Sorbicol wrote:
LastSurprise wrote:

I’m excited to see what we pick next! After the past few picks, I’d love to see something that’s not an isometric.

And, planning to make a push for Tyranny just as soon as I wrap The Alliance Alive! Sounds like Tyranny’s short enough I’ll be able to do it. When I stopped playing, I was at the beginning of Act 2, and just met with Tunon.

The second act in Tyranny is the major bulk of the game. Act 3 you can complete in a couple of hours - I think it took me about 3.

For sure, I think I was 25 hours for the whole thing, and Act 3 is super fast, unless you're like me and it took an hour to clear each of the big battles. #didntunderstandcombatsystemverywell.

I installed Tyranny back when it was free on Epic just to join y'all. Still got the shortcut on my desktop thinking about it...

Sounds like one month is doable at least. Probably just have to start and I'll burn through

Stele wrote:

I installed Tyranny back when it was free on Epic just to join y'all. Still got the shortcut on my desktop thinking about it...

Sounds like one month is doable at least. Probably just have to start and I'll burn through

Yeah, I don't think you'd have any troubles getting through it in a month. You got this!

Also going to try to finish Tyranny before the end. I just wish it had controller support, would make it a lot easier for me to get into.

Two games I figures would be of interest to the members of this club are moving (or have moved) out of early access:

First is Solasta: Crown of the Magister which is a fairly traditional cRPG using the open source 5e DnD ruleset,

The second is Wildermyth, which is a procedurally generated storytelling RPG which uses a TBS battle system and choices that have consequences long after your party members hang up their swords and staves.

Both are reportedly pretty good.

Sorbicol wrote:

First is Solasta: Crown of the Magister which is a fairly traditional cRPG using the open source 5e DnD ruleset,

Also part of Xbox Game Pass.

The Forgotten Realms Gold Box collections on GOG have finally gone on sale! I just picked up all three for under $7. Good times!

Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection One

Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Two

Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Three

Thanks, GB! Not sure I'll ever go back to play 'em, but for a few bucks, they're well worth picking up, just in case.

Just a quick PSA that we'll start our voting activities for Game #15 on June 18. Time to warm up those RPG engines!

I've asked Steam to start their summer sale on June 24th for us as well, so we'll be able to buy whatever wins at a discount. They said, "Sure!"

June 18: Open Nominations & Seconding
June 21: Close Nominations, Open "Pick 6" Round Voting
(June 24: Steam Sale starts)
June 24: Close "Pick 6" Voting, Open Final Voting (Ranked Choice Voting)
June 27: Close Voting
June 27: Start New Game!

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Just a quick PSA that we'll start our voting activities for Game #15 on June 18. Time to warm up those RPG engines!

I've asked Steam to start their summer sale on June 24th for us as well, so we'll be able to buy whatever wins at a discount. They said, "Sure!"

June 18: Open Nominations & Seconding
June 21: Close Nominations, Open "Pick 6" Round Voting
(June 24: Steam Sale starts)
June 24: Close "Pick 6" Voting, Open Final Voting (Ranked Choice Voting)
June 27: Close Voting
June 27: Start New Game!

Crap. I need to start Disco Elysium. I am so behind!

Sorbicol wrote:

Crap. I need to start Disco Elysium. I am so behind!

No pressure, we can always send you to ... the Retirement Home!

Nothing to see here.

FYI Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition is part of this $3.99 Fanatical bundle.

Well, it's the 18th, I'm drunk, there's been way too much critically acclaimed RPGs of late and not enough eurotrash - I'm going to...*rolls dice*...apparently let you off easy by nominating Spider's most competent outhing yet, Greedfall.

Yikes! Sorry for the delay. Our daughter is having a high school graduation party this weekend and it's like getting ready for a wedding. So much stuff to do. In any case, super excited to get this going, so ...

Let's get this show on the road! It's time to open up our Game 15 Nominations! Nominations will be open from now until 11:59PM GMT on Monday, June 21.

A member can nominate one game, but may second as many games as she or he would like. All seconded games will be included in the initial Pick 6 round of voting.

Game 15 Nominations Update

Nominated & Seconded
Nothing yet

Nominated
Greedfall

I'll second Greedfall.

I'll nominate Sunless Skies, which just got its console release last month.

I'm going to nominate Lords of Xulima.

I'll nominate Planescape: Torment because we've been playing too many new games recently.

Hmmmm. Most of the RPGs I feel like playing at the moment are either lightweight or only just been released.

To that end I'm going to nominate The Outer Worlds as a game I could do with "finishing".

I'll second Sunless Skies though.

Our contestants make their way to the arena! I am pretty sure The Outer Worlds will win now that I passed on purchasing it for $19.99 during the most recent Epic sale.

Game 15 Nominations Update

Nominated & Seconded
Greedfall
Sunless Skies

Nominated
Lords of Xulima
Planescape: Torment
The Outer Worlds

Seconding Outer Worlds

I'll second Planescape Torment.

I will nominate Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic into the mix.

How about The Legend of Grimrock, the first?

I'll second KOTR, and nominate in probale vain Torchlight.