The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 1: Shadowrun Dragonfall DC (In Progress)

Ran Bloodline last night, seemed like a lark by comparison to some of the tales here.

Spoiler:

I availed myself of the electricity overload option to get inside, felt like I got off a little easy for being a bit cold-blooded with the option to wipe the utility logs and undo that consequence. Once inside, I poked/hacked around enough to find disguises and avoided combat altogether with some etiquette luck until the blood mages. I lost patience with the decking as I somehow triggered that obnoxious alarm IC that follows you everywhere and damages your decker directly (the only significant damage taken this mission), so the test subjects were left to their fate - sorry guys! I didn't get all the data requested by the phone booth people, but from what I pieced together it seems like maybe it was best obliterated along with the building anyway.

I was doing so well at the beginning of the year, but have suffered some gaming ADD this month. Around the time I should have been going to bed last night, I decided to finally fire this back up again and began working through the hotel. I was getting pretty tired and sloppy, and managed to die at what I assume is very close to the end of the mission. I closed the game to head off to bed.

But, suddenly I remembered that I had picked up Shadowrun Returns and Hong Kong from Humble Bundle, and for some reason decided I would install returns. Then I foolishly decided to fire it up. The interface was a pretty annoying regression, but the intro to the game has hooked me much more than the intro to Dragonfall did. I might try to finish that off first.

Wow, reading steinkrug and benign's Bloodline accounts, that mission can play out quite differently. Mine was a complete opposite experience, with tons of fighting.

JohnKillo wrote:

Alright: *Hits the buzzer
I’m finished. First game of 2018 to see credits.

PS: Please could I be added to Completed on the members playing?

Woot! Nice work! I've added you to the completed list. For some reason you weren't even listed in the playing list either.

With JohnKillo done, that gives us 7 out of 31 players completing the game so far, roughly a 23% rate. Pretty impressive, and we're not done yet!

I've been on hiatus due to fried video card + struggles to rebuild my box + shiny new video card and monitor (and mostly all-new computer guts) requiring me playing stuff that shows all that off, which this game does not.
Now that the new is wearing off, I plan on getting back on the horse this weekend.

tboon wrote:

I've been on hiatus due to fried video card + struggles to rebuild my box + shiny new video card and monitor (and mostly all-new computer guts) requiring me playing stuff that shows all that off, which this game does not.
Now that the new is wearing off, I plan on getting back on the horse this weekend.

Awesome. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the game.

Finished this last weekend.

Playing on iOS made things difficult--getting party members to move to squares on up and one right from another party member was next to impossible as 9 times out of 10 I'd end up selecting the other party member instead of the square. The application hard crashing every half our or so didn't help matters either.

I ended up making decisions according to my own moral compass most of the time, with one notable exception that I ended up regretting enough that I reloaded an earlier save.

Spoiler:

I initially sent the cyberzombie from the MKVI mission to the Lodge, but I ended up reloading and deactivating his control chip thing instead. I wasn't expecting him to do what he did afterwards, but that was his call I guess.

Regarding some choices in the endgame:

Spoiler:

I ended up freeing APEX as well. I also took the dialogue choice where it dropped the Monika facade and spoke as a glowing blue thing in ALL CAPS--somehow this felt better as I didn't feel like I was kidding myself about what exactly I was releasing into the world.
Finally, I gave APEX control over Feuerschwinge in the end--this doesn't really jive with the "freedom of will over all" choices I made with the cyberzombie and APEX, but apparently the ends justify the means for me in some cases. I also found a killer AI promising to preserve the Flux State from the shadows more believable/palatable than an inscrutable dragon promising to go to sleep for a while, I guess. I also thought it would be good to have some sort of leverage over dragonkind, even if it's in the hands of an AI rather than humanity directly.

I made a start on Returns today. Once I figured out the different UI it fit like a glove. Not as immediately interesting, but building nicely.

Rolled a Shaman this time, with some skill in pistols.

I went Hongkong. That will make it hard if I go back to Return.

On vacation and saved at the last fight. Looking forward to a good fight and cleaning up some of the mess that has been released.

I had a nearly perfect APEX mission last night, the AI interface was never even touched, and only two party members took the slightest bit of damage. This was, of course, after spending hours failing the mission. So, I did actually learn, however slowly.

Spoiler:

My team consisted of my shaman, who is aptly named Mother Nature, Eiger, Blitz, and Dante. I love that little hellhound to hell and back, I tell ya! This was the first time I used him on a mission, just kinda wanted to see what he could do. But since his introduction, the first thing I do when I come back from a mission is pet him, and the last thing I do before starting a new mission is pet him. I love getting an in-game dog!!

In my first attempt I took "Monika" with Blitz into the matrix, thinking I needed to do everything in there, and man, we were in there forever only to ultimately fail. I continued to fail a few more times in what were also long attempts with unmanageable amounts of attackers both inside the matrix and out. It was getting exhausting. On my last attempt, I had just had enough of all this crap and declared to kill APEX right off the bat. I only took Blitz into the matrix briefly to activate one set of turrets, and then focused on defending the controls and the AI interface. They never got close. It went relatively quickly, so I didn't get near as many adds coming at me. It was quite easy once I figured out the right strategy.

I should be watching credits soon!

APEX:

Spoiler:

I had no idea there was anything else to do in the Matrix. I activated a set of turrets and got out of there to defend the opposite side. Interesting.

RnRClown wrote:

APEX:

Spoiler:

I had no idea there was anything else to do in the Matrix. I activated a set of turrets and got out of there to defend the opposite side. Interesting.

Spoiler:

Isn't a majority of the mission in the Matrix if you elect to try to free the AI?

SillyRabbit wrote:

I had a nearly perfect APEX mission last night, the AI interface was never even touched, and only two party members took the slightest bit of damage. This was, of course, after spending hours failing the mission. So, I did actually learn, however slowly.

Spoiler:

My team consisted of my shaman, who is aptly named Mother Nature, Eiger, Blitz, and Dante. I love that little hellhound to hell and back, I tell ya! This was the first time I used him on a mission, just kinda wanted to see what he could do. But since his introduction, the first thing I do when I come back from a mission is pet him, and the last thing I do before starting a new mission is pet him. I love getting an in-game dog!!

In my first attempt I took "Monika" with Blitz into the matrix, thinking I needed to do everything in there, and man, we were in there forever only to ultimately fail. I continued to fail a few more times in what were also long attempts with unmanageable amounts of attackers both inside the matrix and out. It was getting exhausting. On my last attempt, I had just had enough of all this crap and declared to kill APEX right off the bat. I only took Blitz into the matrix briefly to activate one set of turrets, and then focused on defending the controls and the AI interface. They never got close. It went relatively quickly, so I didn't get near as many adds coming at me. It was quite easy once I figured out the right strategy.

I should be watching credits soon!

Somewhat similar experience with APEX.

Spoiler:

I made a couple attempts at keeping APEX alive and gave up and decided to take the other route and kill the AI. Much easier. Wasn’t nearly perfect, the interface took some damage but, for the most part, things went well.

I started the final mission but it looks to be a long one!

steinkrug wrote:

I started the final mission but it looks to be a long one!

I was expecting something super long. It wasn't as long as I thought it might be, maybe on par with the other long missions in the game.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
steinkrug wrote:

I started the final mission but it looks to be a long one!

I was expecting something super long. It wasn't as long as I thought it might be, maybe on par with the other long missions in the game.

Yeah, not too bad. I'M FINISHED!

Spoiler:

I killed APEX, blew up the mansion and left the dragon to die. I felt a little bad about that last one when I learned more about her later, but my character couldn't see setting her free. Even after all that was done to the dragon, it still seemed she would be a danger.

Not wanting anything to do with dragons, she declined the offer of work from Lofwyr.

I'm a little sad to say goodbye to these characters. And the dialogue with Aljernon was really intriguing... Hinted at some serious consequences for killing Firewing.

I never posted a pic of my decker, Oates. Here's how she ended up:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/P8gUr5M.jpg)

Nice work steinkrug and WellAdjusted! It's interesting to read the choices that we're all making towards the end.

Also Finished!

Spoiler:

I released Feuerschwinge. I'm as mad as she was about what people are doing to this world! I was in a dragon loving mood and agreed to work with Lofwyr, kind of regretting that now. My only disappointment with the ending is that I didn't get a chance to pet my doggo again.

Great game overall! Not my usual cup of tea and I probably wouldn't have stuck with it if not for the club, so thanks for that! I'm sure I'll end running this again one of these days.

Returns is coming along. Getting more interesting. I'm slowly adjusting to playing a Shaman. I do miss the Physical Adept, though.

Finished up last night. Really enjoyed the game, thanks all for the recommendation, and to have a group to play through and discuss with.

Spoiler:

I finished up my pile of bodies...

APEX: Dead. Didn't care that it had some of Monika's persona now, it killed her, and was killing other deckers, and as such, needed to die or decking would never be "safe" (or at least as safe as it could be in this world) I mean if Alice was afraid of APEX, if I could kill it, I should.

Everyone in the manor: Dead. I methodically walked through everywhere on the map, even though I had the option of gassing rooms, or had decked my way around rooms. I was going to take everyone out.

Audran: Dead. As soon as he appeared on the map, my support drone stunned him, Blitz used 1 AP to target him, Glory shredded his armor, Eiger gave him both barrels twice (yay for drugs and rapid reload), Blitz used remaining AP on his SMG, and my attack drone finished him off. After what he did to Paul, killing in 1 round was soooo satisfying.

Vauclair: Dead. He shot himself after I used Audran's card to shut down the process.

Feuerschwinge: Dead: Killing her human form both felt like the humane thing to do after her imprisonment, and to save the world from her insanity.

Lofwyr: Dragons messed up so much of the things, and I just felt like I had saved the world both from Dragons, and from the madness of dealing with dragons. Told Lofwyr's representative I wasn't interested in getting involved with them.

Again, I really enjoyed the game, but had a few thoughts on a few things
Lodge Mission

Spoiler:

This was literally the last mission I did before the I spoke with Alice and I think that affected some of my impressions of the mission

"Hey kid we're going to try you out to see if you fit in our super secret society and if you want to do special missions for us" Followed immediately by the end game, save the world, roll credits.

It all just felt like what was the point of this mission even existing? Maybe if it was sort of forced earlier in the missions, when I was grinding for Alice, or led to other things opening up afterward going through that mission may have felt like it had a point, but the way I played it, it just felt pointless.

Then again passively aggressively killing James by having him charge enemies and cast point blank fireballs and then not reviving him, was fun...

Glory's Mission

Spoiler:

I never did it. After every mission I would talk with every member of the crew, including Glory. Glory always talked about how she didn't want to talk about her past. I had options to basically badger her into talking about her past, but it felt like a leader of the crew would respect her wishes not to talk. Rather than insulting her to try and get her to talk.

I guess I felt like if she wanted to talk, I expected the game would have her respond differently the 9th or 10th time I asked. Instead the end game happened, and when we all met up back at the hideout, Everyone said they would continue running with me except Glory, who had to go take care of a mission we never did together. When I asked if I could join her and help, she said no, not at this time. Maybe if we talked more earlier we could have done it then, and I'm just sitting there like "that's what I tried to do but you kept saying you didn't want to talk"

Party Composition

Spoiler:

I really enjoyed being a rigger, I mentioned before that even on hard, I felt a little overpowered at times. The S class drones were awesome, but even the A class Drones with 4 AP each once you get your drone control up were pretty devastating.

Having the Combat of 2 drones, Blitz, Blitz' drone, Glory and Eiger made it feel like I had a party of 6 rather than a party of 4. (yes technically it would be 7 with my character, but half the game she couldn't move when both drones were active, and later in the game she really only could heal/repair, and did no damage herself)

The downside, was that I REALLY liked Dietrich as a character and wanted him in the party more, but not having Decking myself I felt like I had to have Blitz with me because if there was a port to jack in, I felt like I needed a Decker or else my Fear of Missing Out kicked in, and I just HAD to deck in, even if what it gave me wasn't all that interesting.

I also felt like I couldn't give up Eiger's Shotguns, or Glory's Claws, so Dietrich always was the odd man out, and as a result, I feel like I missed out on any magic in the game, because I never really had a magic use in the party

Character Stats

Spoiler:

I wish I had realized earlier that "Maximum for Humans and Elves" really meant a true maximum. I'm so used to other RPG systems where there was a cap for the number you could increase an attribute to, but then you could boost that number higher through equipment/spells etc.

My character ended up with 9 Int, 9 Drone Control, and 9 Drone Combat. All of which I spent Karma to get. I didn't notice that I couldn't go higher than 9 in any of those. So the outfit I spent a couple thousand on to give me +1 Int, +1 Drone Control, and +1 Drone Combat meant that I didn't need to spend the Karma on Level 9 of each saving me 27 karma I could have spent elsewhere, but I had no way of knowing that.

And the +2 int cyberware I had installed, and the Eye Jack I had installed so that I could install the +2 int brain cyberware and still have control of my drones? A total waste.

Feel like I've been negative in the above comments, but I think it says a lot about how much I enjoyed the game, because it sucked me in and made me think quite a bit about the game and its systems. This was fun, Thanks!

I finished today. Thanks to those who voted it. Not sure I'd have pulled it off the pile if I didn't get a nudge. Was alot of fun.

Grats tundra, Skraut, SillyRabbit!

And Skraut, that's a lot of dead stuff you went through there. Pretty much every choice. Good humor.

I’m glad somebody had as much death as my ending!

I'm thinking I'll still have time to get in Hong Kong, but for those who have played it, is it about the same length as Dragonfall? How Long to Beat has it about the same.

steinkrug wrote:

I’m glad somebody had as much death as my ending! :)

Ha! Killer. Mine was in line with SillyRabbit's. I felt bad for the animals.

I fired up Hong Kong tonight and played through the first mission. This time I'm Flashbang Peanutbutter, an elf mage with glowing yellow eyes. I didn't play much with the magic side of things in Shadowrun, so this should be something new and different.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/nr9dYFl.jpg)

I finished the first mission, Hard Landing, and so far I'm really liking the story, the characters, the writing. Feels like putting on comfortable shoes again.

I did get beat up pretty bad though in the second firefight. The Random Number Gods were not on my side. Everyone kept shooting right at me, kept hitting me, and I couldn't get out of the line of fire quickly enough. I burned through both of my BuMoNa kits to stay alive. After that things settled down, but that's a bit of rough start.

As with before, I'm going to try to play about an hour a day to spread things out.

Keep at it. I’m decker/rigger so I felt like I made a mistake by putting points into range/shotgun. Oh well. Bring on the drones.

Finished APEX last night, and now I'm onto the final mission. Looks like I might get this done before end of Feb. Woot!

With a bit of time before the next vote, I fired up Hong Kong last night. Little bit of differences in the UI. Going Shaman this time around and it is much different than the Decker I played in Dragonfall. Looking forward to this one as well. Again, thanks for enabling me.

tundra wrote:

With a bit of time before the next vote, I fired up Hong Kong last night. Little bit of differences in the UI. Going Shaman this time around and it is much different than the Decker I played in Dragonfall. Looking forward to this one as well. Again, thanks for enabling me.

I didn't get a chance to play any last night, but I hope to move on to the second mission in Hong Kong tonight.

I'm excited about the new setting and characters, and it's fun to come back to a series where I understand the mechanics pretty well. Looking forward to it.

Today is a lazy stay at home day. No work. Yay! I've been playing Returns. Sarsa (Elf Shaman) has just hit the point where 3 AP become available. Knocking over who we feel was behind the Ripper murders on route.

I'm enjoying the Shaman more and more. Summoning allows for an additional piece, or two, on the board. 4 AP mobile attackers who can at worst distract as another target? Lovely. I also dig the control spells. Barriers. Haste. Slow. Fog. Etc.

I really enjoyed the Unarmed Adept I played in Dragonfall. It'll be interesting to see where I land with this upon credits rolling.

I'm setting aside the interest in pistols, for now, in case I should run out of Karma. Summoning and Spellcasting shall be prioritized.

RnRClown wrote:

Today is a lazy stay at home day. No work. Yay! I've been playing Returns. Sarsa (Elf Shaman) has just hit the point where 3 AP become available. Knocking over who we feel was behind the Ripper murders on route.

I'm enjoying the Shaman more and more. Summoning allows for an additional piece, or two, on the board. 4 AP mobile attackers who can at worst distract as another target? Lovely. I also dig the control spells. Barriers. Haste. Slow. Fog. Etc.

I really enjoyed the Unarmed Adept I played in Dragonfall. It'll be interesting to see where I land with this upon credits rolling.

I'm setting aside the interest in pistols, for now, in case I should run out of Karma. Summoning and Spellcasting shall be prioritized.

Cool! I was wavering between Shaman and Mage for Hong Kong, but went with mage because it was the least known to me from Dragonfall. I really enjoyed Dietrich's Shaman skil set in Dragonfall though. If I play Returns, I'd either go with a shaman or a hand-to-hand fighter.