Monday, December 21, 2015

RPG Bingo Bango Bongo

I'm not sure what it is about me and ricocheting between roleplaying games at the moment, but I'm having a good time.

I got to thinking about Morrowind for some reason, perhaps in reflection about the recent bouts of Skyrim and Arena I've played. It's always been the one that got away from me. I've taken multiple runs at it, but something always causes them to be aborted. Most recently, on a modded install, I got a good way down the Thieves' Guild quest line before something caused the install to be corrupted, which I guess took the save files with it.

This time, I'm playing vanilla, without even having hacked the resolution. There's something pure about doing so. I created a Redguard Knight, and I'm roleplaying appropriately chivalrously, so far down the main story path. I would love to complete the game at some point, but who knows if that will ever happen?

UnderRail, a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game--one heavily influenced by the first couple of Fallout games--just recently came out of Early Access on Steam. I bit, firstly out of genuine interest, and secondly as a gag to talk about it in place of another game with a similar sounding title on the Game Bytes podcast.

It feels like a not-that-distant cousin of Fallout. It has a very similar isometric point of view, combat uses the same turn-based action point system, and much of the game is presented in a similar fashion. I'm not far enough in to really speak for the writing, but the setup seems interesting thus far. That I'd describe as Metro 2033. So, Fallout 1/2 mechanics and play meet Metro's setting, though it's not apparent where on Earth (if it is Earth) the game is set, at least to this point.

The one very interesting innovation I've seen so far is in it's optional (you can choose a more traditional variant at the game's outset) experience system, called the oddity experience system. Under these rules, experience points are awarded not for combat, but for discovering odd artifacts and effects throughout the world. I only need 4 xp to level up to level 2, and I have three now, one from completing an early quest and two from finding interesting objects in seemingly random locations. Both objects were written documents providing further background on the world's factions, which is also an interesting choice. It seems like a cool idea with potential to heighten the roleplaying experience.

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