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Let's Play AoD #3!

by Vince D. Weller, 2008-06-09

A few months ago we decided to start a "Let's play AoD (The Age of Decadence)" thread. If you aren't familiar with the "let's play game X" idea, here is how it works: someone plays a game, posting screenshots documenting each step of his/her progress and letting the audience make all decisions, from the character system to quests and in-game choices. In my opinion, that's a great way to present a new game, as it's more honest and straightforward. It shows you not what developers want to show you, but what the audience wants to see. Anyway, while you're welcome to visit our forums and participate in the Let's play AoD thread, it's a 50-page long beast filled with arguments, counter-arguments, argument-busters, and tactical nuclear arguments, so if you are only interested in the screens and some commentaries, this article series, is for you.

 

We ended the second article with several options available to Titus, our assassin character.

  • do the assassins guild's quest: kill the spies
  • talk to Lord Antidas
  • do Feng's quest: get rid of Cassius
  • explore other guilds


While some bloodthirsty forumites wanted to kill Cassius with extreme prejudice, the majority voted for option #2. We also distributed our 5 skill points we earned (2 for the vignette quest, 1 for killing the guard, and 2 for getting some info out of Feng, the loremaster). Streetwise and Etiquette have vastly outperformed the competition - Critical Strike and Dodge, which didn't make a whole lot of sense, but hey, it's the internet.

Armed with Streetwise and Etiquette, our assassin decided to pay a social visit to Lord Antidas. After all, important people should spend time together, should they not? Titus combed his hair, put on a fresh shirt, and looking like a perfect gentleman, rang a doorbell. Turned out that Lord Antidas had heard about you and even expected you to drop by. How splendid!


How dare he! I'm a gentleman! Well, sorta. At least I can easily pretend to be one.



Should have invested in Disguise instead of wasting points on social pleasantries. Speaking of Disguise, now would be a good time to explain how it works. It's a bit more complicated than "yay" or "nay" skillchecks. First, your clothes/armor/rings/etc do count. We have several invisible statistics like dress_type and dress_value. So, if you claim to be a nobleman, you better be dressed like one. Common sense or game secret? You decide. Anyway, let's say that you are wearing something nice, then what? Then you'd have the following conversation:

My apologies, lord….?
Taliades. I'm sure you've heard that name before.
It's an honor, your lordship. I was always impressed by the battle your House won at Nicaea.


1. Yes, it was a great battle, wasn't it? Nice of you to remember.
2. [lore] My House fought for the Emperor at Trudoth, East Beck, and Stanias. Since you don't know what you're talking about, stop wasting my time and open that door!

As you can see, the guard is testing you by feeding your false data and watching your reaction. If your lore isn't sufficient and your only available response is #1, you will fail miserably even though you are all dressed up and looking pretty. So, Disguise isn't a stand alone skill. It requires some knowledge, skill-based or in-game. You can take a look at the screens in this old RPG Vault article demonstrating another Disguise example. Ok, moving on...

Mentioning that Feng sent me didn't work either. Like every stereotypical RPG denizen Dellar has problems and he needs someone special... talented... capable... expendable.


Now, we aren't forcing these quests on you. There are six different ways to get in and helping Dellar is only one of them. The other ways aren't obvious, so we won't spoil them for you here, but if you are really curious and must have details, read through our "let's play AoD" thread. Anyway...

Dellar has two quests for you. Doing one will be enough to get on his good side, but you can do both if you want to be super helpful. Super helpful, of course, means "getting more skill points and sweet loot". Doing both quests will also increase your reputation with House Daratan (and decrease with House Aurelian, so choose wisely).

Note: All quests are connected and accepting one quest may add options elsewhere. For example, the above mentioned "get rid of Cassius" quest is not a generic "kill some guy and earn xp" quest. First, it gives you an option to decide which loremaster you'd rather work with in Teron. Feng isn't very knowledgeable, but you can team up with him and participate in various money-making schemes (especially if you are playing a grifter and need a partner). Cassius is knowledgeable, but... Well, you can discover that on your own. Second, accepting this quest and double-crossing Feng will open another way to lord Antidas, bypassing Dellar's quests. You can still offer to help Dellar, but you won't have to do that if you don't want to.


We've decided to visit the raiders, but let's get more info first. 


It's a sacrifice he's willing to make. Isn't he a sweetheart? Now, let's look at the map. As you can see, two satellite locations have been added. Click here to see the original map screen. Also, our journal has been updated with new quests.


Now, let's see what the raiders are up to.



You start with 3 options.

Option 1 - a suicide mission. A tough basher can pull it off, of course, and maybe even become a new leader of the gang (it's a feature that deserves its own article, so I'll skip it for now), but that's a job for the real Titus Pullo, not some wannabe.

Option 2
- sounds like an assassin-friendly option. Wowsie!

Option 3
is lame because it doesn't have the magic tags indicating that it leads to something interesting. Thus, option # 2 was chosen.

Note: There are 6 different ways to handle this quest, but it would be silly to show up and be presented with 6 different options immediately. The above mentioned 3 options are the obvious ones. Dellar can suggest another one. Two remaining options involve different guilds and some creativity. Anyway, back to option #2.



Well, that certainly went well... Looks like Titus should have spent more time practicing strikes at vital organs instead of eating donuts and reading Etiquette for Dummies. Now, let's examine the situation. We were robbed. Our gold indicator shows 0 instead of 112. Our crossbow is gone. In fact, pretty much everything is gone. Weapons, pretty gems, armor we got from the inn's guard. Our hit points are reduced to 5 (temporarily, of course) from all the beating, so trying to attack anyone now is a very fast way to see the fabled "game over" screen. On the plus side, you've gained 5 (FIVE!) Dodge points for dodging blows during the beating. There is only one thing in the universe that would make a greedy role-player (yes, I'm talking about you!) to accept a loss of his items and that's experience points. Anyway, at that point I've reloaded to show that dialogue options without skill tags can also lead to something interesting.


So, the raider has worded his request very carefully (which would help you to achieve a peaceful resolution) and even negotiated the price with you. You don't have to mention the negotiation to Dellar (although you can, scoring some honesty points), which would allow you to pocket the difference. Let's go back to Dellar and see what he thinks about that.


As you can see you have three options here.

Option 1 - convince House Daratan to pay the ransom. It's possible to fail here if you lack soft skills and be left only with violent options.

Option 2 - handle both Dellar's quests at the same time

Option 3 - leads to scouting, if you are absolutely useless and suck at anything else.

Let's see what option #2 is:


Dellar has finally shown some interest to your persona and even asked for your name. Looks like it's the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Unless you think that with 2,000 imperials you can buy new friends elsewhere, which brings us to not so random random encounters. Taking the money and leaving quietly will trigger an encounter with Daratan's patrols. The roads are actually watched. It's possible to avoid them but it won't be easy.

To be continued?

Box Art

Information about

Age of Decadence

Developer: Iron Tower Studio

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-apoc
Genre: RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: None

Regions & platforms
Internet
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Iron Tower Studio

More information


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