Skald: Against the Black Priory: party-based CRPG with all the retro nostalgia, none of the retro pain

I wouldn’t be too fussed about overlap amount the early classes. You’ll get plenty of chances to mix it up as the game progresses!

Also, I don’t think they’re trying to rewire us into thinking “E for equipment” instead of “I for inventory”, otherwise the control wouldn’t be referenced as “inventory”. : ) Instead, it seems like E is the default hotkey for inventory because the developer thoughtfully set up the controls around WASD, as I mentioned earlier in the thread. I feel that’s one of the many many ways Lauridsen has modernized his otherwise very retro game.

“I” for inventory drives me bananas, simply because it’s in no man’s land on the keyboard, relatively speaking. I usually have left hand on wasd and right hand on mouse or arrows/num pad. “I” might as well be on Mars, and it’s a thing you need to do frequently in games with inventories.

I started arms master but I don’t love it. It’s not because of the duplication with Roland, but I think excellent advice is getting survival or crafting from the get go (probably crafting; I spread skills around some and it was probably a mistake). It’ll help with rests until you get more people and flesh out the party. Resting is definitely a huge source of tension early (incidentally, this is a better food system than the classics that used food like Ultima or similar fair. Also, I think it might be better than arbitrary supplies although I think it might work just as well if it was doing that instead. It’s other games that use supplies that I don’t think work well, because of specifics in those games).

Class does matter for pushing some of the skills because there are limited opportunities on the talent trees to gain skillups. I love that the game lets you see what locked stuff provides, but you won’t be able to know that at the outset.

Also I am pretty sure Bull’s Strength is the choice level 1 cleric buff (uh, Spirit I think). One of Bless or Holy Light provides quite a bit of utility but +2 strength = +2 to hit and damage. The best defense is a good offense etc etc. I would like to redo some spell selections but not too fussed about it.

Currently running Me (arm), Roland (arm), the recruitable cleric lady (hospitaler, although her combat has been iffy), a certain scout you can find early (rogue), an NPC Cleric (heiro or whatever the pure caster is, which I hired on right before I found the refugee camp), and an NPC ranger.

Looking around the blogo-tubes, it seems like people hate fire magic passionately and deem it too weak. Cleric buffing (and debuffing, I use Pestilence quite a bit; I just got Malaise) seems powerful. And whomping things efficiently seems especially powerful.

The simple and intutive zone of control mechanic makes it really rewarding to set up ambushes.
Stab, stab, STAAAB, bewahahaha

My main is a non fighting intellectual thrown into this mess for whatever reason. A joy to roleplay, an hinderance mostly in battle getting in the way of the real fighters. But he can buff, yeah, whatever, keep sermoning us while we protect you, silly preacher boy!

In theory E for equipment and Q for quests IS better. Both being adjacent to WASD. But those are high value keys usually reserved for much higher frequency actions like contextual frobication. In a twist I prefer E rather than F for that.

I guess I am just so conditioned/indoctrinated to I for Inventory, J for journal/quests (and M for map! And C for character sheet!) It’s a no-brainer.

Tab for highlight loot is the real deal though. Anything else is a deal-breaker.

Recent games have made it L-Shift and even worse: L-Alt. Nobody wants to use the L-Alt key for anything other than part of a sequence for terminating a program (or doing some special complex order command in an RTS)

My fix for the E/I key issue to play this on the steam deck :stuck_out_tongue:

I for inventory goes back to Zork, for pete’s sake!

The option introduced in the new patch that slows down the combat log is just what my slow eyes needed! Really enjoying this game so far.

Is it a spoiler that this deals with cosmic horror…I was foolish enough to read an astronomers journal and looked through a telescope… Now I wish my lore wasn’t 1.

Every single review I checked mentioned that (usually with a mention of Lovecraft, which is an obvious inspiration), so I wouldn’t consider it a spoiler.

Game starts in medias res with a little prologue interlude which actually reminded me of The Apostle (on Netflix). I guess it was the quest from some aristocrat figure to find a lost daughter/sister/lover/does-it-matter that gave it away. Very minimum information given for maximum RP and mystery! With narrative design, less is more people!

Game proper starts as you ship wrecked on a mysterious island. I like it! The combat is very Ultima-era, only better. Also my Ranger shreds. Give that man a bow and watch him work! Beelining to point blank shot because I can’t have none of this “can’t use your BEST weapon in melee” nonsense.

Reminders for myself in this older style CRPG:

  • Mind the edge of maps, which may allow you to travel to a new area. It isn’t really signposted.
  • Use highlight loot key more…
  • Remember to switch party leader for out-of-combat skill usage
  • Never ever quick save in perfect stealth near an enemy mob because you’ll load out of stealth, and now in combat if you needed to load that save…
  • Resting requires full resources to fully heal a person. You can’t allocate them in a targeted way if say, you have a weak guy and a another at tip top shape. That’s 20 food. 10 will only heal the weak guy half-way.

Likely way more. I’ve just barely scratched the surface.