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Default Best 'Realms of Arkania'?

July 31st, 2007, 18:54
Thanks to Goozex I am about to get Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny and Realms of Arkania: Shadows Over Riva, neither of which I have played. I was wondering which was best, and whether or not I was missing out by not playing 'Star Trail' … heck, I don't even know the order of the games …

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July 31st, 2007, 19:06
The main difference between RoA III: Shadows over Riva and the other two games is that Riva has no overland travel. In RoA I: Blade of Destiny and RoA II: Star Trail, you travel a whole region of Aventuria with (random) encounters on your travels from town to town and the need to set up camp in the wilderness on the longer travels. All these elements are gone in Shadows over Riva since it is set in the harbor city of Riva and the immediate surroundings of the city.

The RoA games do offer hero/party import/export from game to game so if you want the most satisfying experience then I'd definitely recommend to start with Blade of Destiny and to play the games in order with one and the same party. It's awesome .
And if I had to recommend just one game out of all three… hmmm… very difficult but it would probably be Blade of Destiny still. It's got great atmosphere with its Norse-like theme, the most interesting travel options (since you also get to travel by ship) and the scavenger hunt type of story as you chase from clue to clue is a lot of fun, too.
Right after the Gothics, it's my most favorite series of games. Highly recommended stuff .
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July 31st, 2007, 19:08
#1 Blade of Destiny
#2 Star Trail
#3 Shadows Over Riva

Play them all in this order - they are all good.

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July 31st, 2007, 19:19
Super cool! Thanks! I had heard of them but never even looked into them - July was 'free trades at Goozex' so I was trying to snatch up classics wherever I could and these appeared last week … lucky me! Full-box classics for almost nothing!

— Mike
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July 31st, 2007, 19:31
1. Star Trail
.
.
.
2. Blade of Destiny
3. Shadows over Riva

But every one is great adventure. I love them all and music is simply fabulous.

"Eternal Trust Survives The Soul"
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July 31st, 2007, 20:18
I take Star Trail anytime over its predecssor/successor. But they are not bad either of them. Still have II and number III.

It was one of the best game i have played. My first mailorder from UK. And I was leaving for the swedish mountain skiing when i got the box. I just wanted to go home.

I have made a music piece called "Star" after Star Trail… and the game was soo much better then that music piece!

Shadows over Riva came to late. It was old not seeing people you ran into. But, i think the battle in thr Realms serie is one of the best, and i think it is one reason i always wanted this isometric tactical turnbased view in my rpg - hence - POR2 fanatism and a TOEE wanna be player!

I liked that the view point shifted with whom you put in lead. A dwarf or a Human.

Ah, fond memories. Perhaps a replay.

*sigh* you guys are ruining my life. I take pride in moving forward. But recently i have wandered backwards. THANKS ALOT GUYS!
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August 1st, 2007, 00:00
Blade of Destiny offers certainly more than Shadows over Riva.

Startrail is a lot more polished than Blade of Destiny, but not as "epic".

The Germans are a cruel race. Their operas last for six hours and they have no word for "fluffy".

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August 1st, 2007, 20:45
I also like Startrail more, but I must admit that playing the whole party over three games is a unique experience (although the in-game cutscenes of Riva are rather made for the pre-defined party, which is identical in ROA II & III, but unlike I).

P&P background information is shattered between three boxes : The box called "Dunkle Städte, Lichte Wälder" (Elves & Dwarves), the "Thorwal-Box" and the "Orkland-Box".
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August 2nd, 2007, 16:23
I actually liked Shadows over Riva the best, I loved the city, the underground network and so on. More interesting quests and less random encounters.

But of course, all solid games, playing them from 1 to 3 makes perfect sense.
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August 2nd, 2007, 21:13
Fired up star trail in dosbox and realized how many thing thet really got right. Hm, my o my. I never finished Shadows over riva.

As i understand it it doesn't function under dosbox?
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August 2nd, 2007, 21:37
… can't wait for these things to arrive now …

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August 2nd, 2007, 22:16
Originally Posted by mute View Post
As i understand it it doesn't function under dosbox?
I believe it does. I don't know any negative things about it.

However, I only know about the German-language version of it.

Besides, I also never played Schatten über Riva through …
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August 2nd, 2007, 22:23
When i installed Star Trail and the talk about Might And Magic in the other thread. I was just blewn away, i had forgot about the camping thing. I remember i loved it. And the overland map.

Oh, and the music. Still, i smiled when i heard it. This must be one of the greatest games. Didn't remember it was a sirtech publication, but when i saw the name i just remembere how revered that name was in the "old days".

Nah, if i just can be mushy some seconds more This is a true classic.

I think the Isometric view of the battle will appeal even more to me now when i am almost finished with POR2.

Thanks TXA for opening this eminent thread!
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August 2nd, 2007, 22:33
The music was sold back then on soundtrack audio CDs as well, although they are quite rare by now.

Startrail - I mean the German "Sternenschweif" is something special, because it was delivered on TWO Cds because of the many music tracks on them ! I think they wanted to giver every special locvation its own music track that's why they ended up in making 2 CDs.

If the English-languiage version is the same system, then the CD should contain Audio-CD tracks apart from track one (which is pure computer data and should NOT be played on an audio system !)

The audio CD of Sternenschweif contains only a selection of these tracks, not all.
I once bought it for a relatively high price, with the seller actually stepping beside me and looking into my wallet to see how much money I had left ! (It was on a collecting fair/convention.)

I haven't seen the other two Audio CDs ( Schicksalsklinge = Blade of Destiny and Riva) yet, but I believe they must be quite rare by now.

But on the other hand the games themselves *can* be bought through ebay Germany …
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August 2nd, 2007, 22:40
I wouldn't get too excited, most people that try them now have a hard time with them.

Here is some advice if you are starting with BoD: Spend time rerolling. Make sure you have at least 12's in the 4 main attributes, and I don't settle for less than 12 in anything personally.

The negative attributes are not that well implimented. The only one that is good to keep low is superstition as it has a good enough impact on your magic resistance to matter. Just off the top of my head playing through, curiosity fine to bring to 6 or 7, same with arachnophobia, and violent temper (again, when class choice allows). Clostrophobia and necrophobia I don't bring above 4 unless I have to. If memory serves me correctly, BoD has at least a couple important parts were the scared of hights one matters, but you can get by it with magic or the booze.

Saving not at temples in BoD costs 50 exp. You get your biggest chunk of experience when you face a creature for the first time.

People say witches suck, but I like them. My witch was pretty weak in bod but great in SoR. But, make sire you have an elf and a mage, elves are great with ranged and magic, making them your most consistant damage dealer in most situations since he/she'll usually be the one with mana.

The manual doesn't do crap to explain anything. SoR has a good ingame database of info worth loading that up first just to download spell effects lists. The mage's wand comes pre-ritualed with light, making otches unneeded in dungeons. The second through forth spells I forget do what, but one makes the wand turn into a rope, one makes spells more efficient, and I don't know what else.

Items all character's need are a bedroll, a rope, and tahts about all i can think of as critical. People whine about food and water management, but thats what hunting is for while travelling. And you'll eventually get a undless waterskin. You're going to get diseased a lot so keep a couple characters high on treat disease and some herbs avialable. Usually herbs are better and far cheaper than potions.

The three abilities listed next to a skill or spell are for the attributes that are rolled when that action is performed. I just found out this mechanic when I bought TDE 4. This is the gist: you want to cast flimflamflusal. Flimflamflusal uses intuition, wisdom, and dexterity. You have to roll a D20 three times, rolling under your ability score on all three rolls for the r4espected attribute. Now, your skill in flamflamflusal acts as a bonus you can add to the rolls to get them equal to or under the ability score to pass, so the higher the skill, the bigger the bonus. Don;t worry, you will have no idea this is happening. You just click cast flimflamflusal and you see if you passed or failed or not. D1 is critical success, D20 is crit failure. But this shows why having high attributes in everything is important, because every character will have some skill that uses an attribute.

I would love to have someone explain the mechanics behind increasing skills in pre-TDE 4 TDE. I can't figure it out. Its seems like pure luck sometimes, and sometimes you'll be able to raise one skill twice in a row, and sometimes you'll try and increase it two or three times at level up, two lvl-ups in a row and get nothing.

Thats all I can think of, besides not using a wlakthrough. Walkthroughs wreck everything. Oh, the only temple worth wasting time at worhsipping is the battle god one, he'll make one of your weapons magical, which is worth it in BoD. I know the first temple of that god is you go east out of the first city and then travel north along the coast. Don't waste too much time in the first town trying things that just dont help, like entering every house. Only a couple of key things to get you used to the game, and they're all on the west/south west side of the town map. The dungeon at the soldier school place, the tavern you'll hear about the ghost ship, and the hetman's house who'll give you the quest for the BoD.

Oh yeah, if you put a crystal ball into the offhand of a character, their danger sense will increase by 1. The first character slot is the one that will be tested or "rolled against" when an event happens, unless a text box gives you another choice. Money comes fast and furious after leaving the first city. There are some bugs in the games, but bugs make things more exciting and edgy.
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August 3rd, 2007, 01:18
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
I would love to have someone explain the mechanics behind increasing skills in pre-TDE 4 TDE. I can't figure it out. Its seems like pure luck sometimes, and sometimes you'll be able to raise one skill twice in a row, and sometimes you'll try and increase it two or three times at level up, two lvl-ups in a row and get nothing.
It's a roll by dice. You have a number,. let's say 5.

The Roll must be 5 or lower to get a point in that talent.

At least that's how I've understood it.

With that, it's basically with everything we call in German a "probe" which is sort of a "test".

If you have a skill, let's say strength at 4, and you get such a "probe" (test), then the character must have a 4 or lower to succeed.

The dice used are normalle D20 (we say W20, because W=Würfel = dice), and sometimes a D6 is used, but the regular dice is the W20.

I#m having the basic TDE rules lying before me, but keep in mind thast SiorTech modified some things a little bit. For example, the number of experience points (called "adventure points" here) are greater. The original game gives a lower number.

Okay, the basic rulebook says this :

At every level-up

- the "life energy" is rolled with a W6 and that number is added to the already existing number - this is for all characters except magicians & Elves (according to the *basic* rule book

- the "astral energy" (the equivalent to the "mana" in other games) is rolled by 2 W6, but only for Magicians and Elves, and the higher number comes to the life energy, the lower number to the astral energy

- the basic r8ules also say that one skill can get 1 point at level-up, not more. But I think I've read a thing about rolls somewhere …

The second, more enhanced rule book from the same basic box says this :

At level-up, a basic stat can be increased by one point by a roll with the W20. The number must be the number of the skill or higher to succeed.
This can be done only 3 times during a level-up. I think this is what happens in the C-RPG.

At the same time, the "bad skills" (I'm not quite sure how I should call them) can be lowered : Here, the number of the roll with the W20 must be = the number of the "bad skill" or lower.

The "talents", as they are called there (I think "skills" is the appropriate word here ?) can be increased as well.
It is said in this rule book that 15 attempts are possible within a level-up, no more. And that includes failed attempts as well.
The book says that 2 W6 are used there, and the number of the "talent" must be matched or higher - and that is for a "talent number" lower or same as 9.
For the number 10, which is a "mastership" (hope this word is correct), 3 W6 can be used. 18 is so to say the end, nothing more is possible - in principle.

For one increase of a "talent" by 1 point, up to 3 rolls can be made for each "talent". If 1 of these 3 rolls succeedds, then it can be increased by 1 point.

Some fields of "talents" canb be increased by more than 1 point - these are the "knowledge" fields by 3 points, and all others by 2 points, only fight- and intuitive talents can be increased by only 1 point.

this means - according to the book - that for each one knowledge "talent" you have 9 rolls free - because of the 3 points.

And all in all you have only 15 attempts / rolls free - all in all !

So, you can try more rolls than only 9 for one "knowledge talent" - but this number of attempts / rolls is taken from the overall number of 15. So, the more you try with ONE "talent", the less attempts/rolls you get for the rest.

Magic "talents" are seemingly increased the same way - Magicians get 15 attempts/rolls, Elves 10. Note that this number is ONLY for the macic "talents", the other skills get the usual number of 15 attempts/rolls !

The main problem is, that the higher the number in a skill ("talent") becomes, the lower the possibility seems to be to actually reach this high number by rolling. But I'm not 100 % sure whether this is really true - it's just a thing I have noticed for myself.

I hope this wasn't too confusing, because i have no training in transferring TDE terms into English words.


And a last advice : Let ALWAYS carry a character the most basic herbs against common illnesses ! Let only the one with the best healing skill try it - but if you're really desparate, you can try others. Note, however, that the number 2o on the W20 stands for "complete failure" ! You might even harm an ill character with such a failed attempt !

And in the winter warm clothes are imho absolutely neccessary !

Dishes and cutlery increase the ability to stay healthy ! (Or would you want to east on a muddy wood floor with your hands ?)
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August 3rd, 2007, 01:34
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
BoD has at least a couple important parts were the scared of hights one matters, but you can get by it with magic or the booze.
I'd try to keep it low if you plan on using the same party in ST. There are lots of mountains in ST and it can get really annoying when someone falls to their death every few minutes or decides to turn around and gets lost .

Also, I think that a lot of the things Roqua mentioned play more of a role in ST. BoD is pretty easy since you will rarely ever be way out there in the wilderness far away from towns and temples.

ST is a different story though. ST is where you will have to prepare for your trips really well, especially if you venture off into the (Eastern) mountains. It's best to bring an extra pair of boots for every character (wet feet from worn down boots increase the chance of getting diseased), winter clothes, bedrolls and a lot of cooking gear and stuff like that. Just imagine you had to equip an expedition to the South Pole and you can't go wrong .
Seriously, ST can be very unforgiving if you aren't well prepared for your wilderness travels. Be careful out there .

BoD and SoR are much easier in that regard (and thus overall) since you don't have to deal with the random diseases (they can sometimes happen even if you are extremely well prepared), less random encounters, less death traps etc.
I'd say that ST is definitely the most challenging part out of all three games. Also in regards to the story and solving certain mysteries. I had to check a walkthrough to finish ST. Yeah, I know, I'm a pussy .
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August 3rd, 2007, 01:58
Yes, serious illnesses are quite easily caught within the group. The worst thing is when it spreads within the group !
So always keep a few basic herbs to cure the illnesses as quickly as possible !
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August 3rd, 2007, 03:05
You can gain enough levels in BoD to bring down the scared of heights at least 3 points. So if you stared at six, you're at 3, 7 then 4. At least. 3 and 4 are basically the same as 1, meaning it won;t give you a problem, or never gives me one. And the only thing absolutley necessary in ST that isn't obvious is the camo spell or a spell that will get you into that dwarve mine place to the SE of the orc siege.

What was my advice? I get diseased all the time in BoD. I usually reload until I don't, but you don't need dishes, winter clothes, extra boots, or anything in ST either. Its not needed. Just a bedroll and a rope. BoD has an area where you would think having a mine pick would do something, but it doesn't. Crowbars don't do anything for locked doors and chests either. ST and SoR improved on things a little, but the foundation was BoD which will always be my favorite because it was my first. And I didn't get to play SoR until I got out the army and reorder the compilation cd from sir-teck in 2000/early 2001. I didn't know there wasn't the usual travel until I finally went outside. SoR is still a great game, but another example of how the chase for the best graphics just take away from games overall.

I've played BoD about 3 or 4x as much as ST. Its one of the few games that I know well enough to not even write notes down, and its hard not to since the next map piece is held by djhadgadgadhua asjdhasjdsfddjhfdasls who lives in guuuuuyfgshdvgdkffff. I dont know how to spell his name but I know exactly where his house is in the city, whose name I also can't spell, etc. I pretty much know what event happens where, or if it only happens going this way, etc. I have my romp down where I can hit all the important pieces with minimal back tracking. For instance, on the way to the evil druids town, is one of the areas you'll have to cajole your party members that are frightened across. I make sure I have buy some booze before I start walking there. Or, if you are cutting up between the two mountains where the bear cave thing is, in the winter, in the mountain, the only way I can get a disease that sticks is if I stick my hand in that hole and get bitten. And getting diseased isn't that bad since you could rest at a inn for 12 years and the game will wait for you to get going before the final event.
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August 3rd, 2007, 06:53
Worrying about stats isn't so important if your going to be importing them through the games. I ended up with characters that had negative stats in the negatives(!) and their key stats were all over 20 which made Shadows over Riva far too easy. If you are worrying about gaining stats/skills then the best technique is to break the party up when they are close to gaining a level and then winning an easy fight with only a couple of party members. It makes the saving/reloading a lot easier when you only have to level up a couple of characters. At later levels it doesn't matter so much as your experience should be nicely distributed and most people won't level up at the same time.

The first game BoD is by far the best in my opinion, it is also the most "work", it helps to have a pen and paper and keep notes and you have to spend time to explore everything (find invisible walls etc).

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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