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Default Knights of the Chalice 2 - A Chance of Gaming Heaven

January 26th, 2021, 10:01
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Well, everyone's definition of "fun" is different.

I play RPGs mostly for story - I'm not a "builder man".

Sometimes i even play pre-defined parties (which ship with the game) just to see how a) the story is overall enfolding b) how the story is written for them.
That's nice dear. You are right, different tastes exist. Thanks for pointing that out.
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January 26th, 2021, 12:34
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
And so here's the really exciting aspect of Knights of the Chalice 2 looking forwards, Character Creation.



The currently near-unplayable module allows you to create up to six unique characters, but future modules will be able to allow anything between one and eight, apparently. So is there enough variety to warrant that? Yes, there sure is. Let's go through them.



So, once you've decided upon a name, the next option is Gender:



Spoiler – Pic 1




In this game gender really does matter, in that different genders will have different stat scores. Some races and classes are also gender-locked.



Next up is race, and here the game is quite unique in offering a selection of options that other games don't have, alongside a healthy selection of the expected ones:



Spoiler – Pic 2




As expected, there's Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, Humans, but also, and for much experimental amusement, there's also Centaurs, Drakes, Half Giants, Half Salamanders, Kobolds, Mantises, each of which offers a whole array of benefits and drawbacks.



Not content with just that, like any good D&D game, there are then a whole raft of racial subsets to choose from, such as whether you want a fire or ice Half Salamander, a northern human or a stygian human, etc etc etc:



Spoiler – Pic 3




I haven't done the math for you, but I can tell you that that is indeed a vast variety of builds that are possible here for any would be adventurer.



There's also all the Character Classes you'd expect, and a few you might well be quite happily surprised by:



Spoiler – Pic 4




Some notably original for computer games ones might be the psychic options and the storm warrior, death knight, gladiator, to name but a few.



While it's never really certain what relevance Alignment has in computer gaming situations, the system does allow for it and has the usual bank of nine:



Spoiler – Pic 5




During the hype for this game there was much controversy about the use of Tokens instead of Sprites. So much so that sprites were eventually added as an alternative option to tokens. I, personally, actually quite like the tokens and feel they add a level of uniqueness that isn't actually bad and, I would say, preferable to the sprites. Anyway, here are your two options:



The Tokens:



Spoiler – Pic 6




And the Sprites:



Spoiler – Pic 7




Which you choose will be very much personal taste.



In deciding whether to go with point-buy or randomly rolled primary stats, the game has, again uniquely, decided to go with whatever you want. You can just press ReRoll until you're happy:



Spoiler – Pic 8




Or manually increase your stats (if you've reduced another stat):



Spoiler – Pic 9




And so, inevitably, also decrease your stats manually:



Spoiler – pic 10




The most frustrating aspect of this whole character creation process is the problem that: Let's say you get to this stage with a build, and now you suddenly want to change to a Halfling fighter instead of a Kobold fighter, well, as soon as you change an upper-choice the game immediately rerolls all of your stats anyway.



The other important thing about stats is that all the races, classes and genders will have their own minimums and maximums to your stat allocations (like "can't go below 14"), so for some builds total min/maxing is not entirely possible, although the first module expects you to min/max as part of its design. This, to me, suggests the developer is possibly muddled in their focus of intent.



But that doesn't matter for modules made by other people, of course, it just means its going to be hard for anyone to balance any future games around the ease of min/maxing the stats allocation process allows.



Finally, we get to pick all the weapon specialisations, feats, spells and etc for each character we make, and there is, again, vast options here, much as you'd expect of any good D&D 3.5ed style game:



Spoiler – Pic 11




And just one curiosity to note for these, in these screens it starts you off by saying "1/5" when you have to choose, for example, five weapon specialisations. This makes you think you've already picked one, or that one has been pre-picked for you. However, this is just clumsy design, it actually means "Please Now Pick Your 1st of Five", not "you only have 4/5 left to pick".



So when you get to "5/5" and think you're done, you're not, it means you've now got to pick your 5th. Good heavens but I got stuck at this stage for quite some time figuring this out! LoL.



Once you've created your characters (in this instance six), you select each one and move them into the bottom left of the main Character Creation menu screen and then do one final thing. Curiously, you now pick "An Avatar" for your team. I have no idea what this is all about, but it wont let you proceed without doing so:



Spoiler – Pic 12




The only thing left to do now is, errr, start the game!!! :



Spoiler – Pic 13




What a cliff-hanger!



You are in a room dundundah!



Next time: general user interface and environmental interaction and the like.



Oh, and, if you can't see the detail on the pics because they are too small in spoilers, then please Right Click on them and Open In A New Tab, and they'll be nice and big and full screen sized.
Nice write up.

Is there a place within character creation that shows what each of the classes are?

I'm not expecting the full details like in pathfinder, but some kind of introduction and view on important skills?

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January 26th, 2021, 12:53
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Nice write up. Is there a place within character creation that shows what each of the classes are? I'm not expecting the full details like in pathfinder, but some kind of introduction and view on important skills?
I don't know what you mean, pic 4 lists all the classes. More details about each class would be in the help index.
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January 26th, 2021, 13:17
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I don't know what you mean, pic 4 lists all the classes. More details about each class would be in the help index.
Yes I meant the actual details.
Ah OK so you'd have to flick through that first to understand what they each have.

Thanks.

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January 26th, 2021, 14:40
No probs, I'll do you a screenshot of a typical class-related help page entry over the weekend and post it Monday or before.
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January 26th, 2021, 14:42
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
No probs, I'll do you a screenshot of a typical class-related help page entry over the weekend and post it Monday or before.
No rush not a work deadline.

Thanks again.

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January 27th, 2021, 12:54
Don't worry, taking one screenshot wont feel like work

So the Inventory screen is quite attractive at first glance, with quite a lot going on in it, so maybe a touch intimidating also on first glance:

Spoiler – Pic 1


To the right of your equipment slots are your base stats repeated again and at the bottom of the screen are you resistance stats. You'd normally find these on the character sheet, and most of those details are indeed also on your character sheet, but the repetition here adds to the clutter of the screen.

Possibly for good reason though, perhaps the developer likes the idea of seeing your stats change as you add or remove equipment.

Tool tips are in abundance here and are put to some very interesting uses; by simply hovering over our Armour piece the tool tip will tell you the full breakdown of what your current Armour Class is:

Spoiler – Pic 2


Which I think is excellent. The icons for items are nice and clear and have a very appealing art design. As per normal you can remove items with a left click and move them around as you would expect.

The weapon tool tip does the same thing, only for your Attack Bonus, which, again, I think is excellent:

Spoiler – Pic 3


Moving onto the cloak (in this game a Kickstarter bonus item), the tool tip merely says what the item is, so perhaps all the other item slots will be more basic and not have any need to repeat the big picture information:

Spoiler – Pic 4


Ah, a magic item. So let's use this item as the example to show what happens when we right-click to look at an item's detailed description:

Spoiler – Pic 5


It's quite a nice screen. It has some interesting Lore, all the item specifics, such as weight and value, etc, are all neatly laid out, as are all the unique functions of the item.

The backpack inventory slots are all self explanatory and, I suppose controversially in out current day and age, you are limited to just 16 slots with something like a Gem (pictured) taking up a whole slot.

Above the backpack slots are a whole string of useful icons that provide you with the means to interact with your items and they are as follows:

Firstly, and most usefully, is the Use Item or Ability button:

Spoiler – Pic 6


Now, I can't remember exactly, but it's sadly not as straight forward as you'd expect. I can't now remember if you move the item onto the button to use the item, or if you click the button then click the item, or if you click the item and then click the button. Oh, wait, the tool tip tells youââ‚ ¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¦ and it's still quite confusing. Because in-game, the button's hit detection range is wonky and it might take many tries to get the large item in the right place over the tiny button & etc.

The in-combat "Activate Special" menu I'll get to during the combat run-through in a couple of episodes time.

The next button along is the Learn button, for learning spells:

Spoiler – Pic 7


Then Split, for splitting stacks of potions and arrows and the like:

Spoiler – Pic 8


Which, sadly, didn't work for me once during my game. But should be working at some point I would expect.

Next is Destroy Item, a fairly redundant button as the game doesn't memorise dropped items anyway. Also, one can't help feeling it's a trap button for people miss-clicking? Maybe it will have a quest use at some point for items that specifically need to be destroyed? Who knows, it just seems to be more trouble than it's worth to me:

Spoiler – Pic 9


Next along is Recharge Wand:

Spoiler – Pic 10


Then Forge Weapon:

Spoiler – Pic 11


And finally Enchant Weapon:

Spoiler – Pic 12


All three of which require contact with a trader of a specific type, I don't think you can just do this crafting stuff on the fly.

In the top right of this screen you'll see all your party and clicking on any of them will take you quickly to their inventory screen or enable you to quickly distribute items:

Spoiler – Pic 13


The only glaring error here seems to be that he's designed it so that only five party members are visible without having to scroll. Considering he made his first module a six person party game and that the engine allows parties up to eight, this seems like an extremely facepalmy decision IMO. LOL.

The red crosses next to each party member allows you to heal the character while in a shop window of a relevant NPC:

Spoiler – Pic 14


The last piece of interesting info on this screen is the Eye icon next to each character's name:

Spoiler – Pic 15


Which transfers you away from the Inventory screen and takes you to the party member's Character Sheet, which we'll have a quick look at next time.

So next time will be a little quickie of just a few screens before there's nowhere else to go but out first combat encounter.
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February 1st, 2021, 11:11
Here you go @Pladio , an example of the race help pages:

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February 1st, 2021, 11:28
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Here you go @Pladio , an example of the race help pages:

Thanks.

Looks good. I'll add the game to my wishlist and play at some point

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February 1st, 2021, 12:55
Don't rush to play it, the only content for it atm is unplayable, but definitely keep an eye on it, there's lots of potential here.
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February 1st, 2021, 18:32
I'm planning yet another run-through of the first game before this one comes out, just to get the hype revved up!
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February 9th, 2021, 13:14
There's quite a lot going on in the Character Sheet as well, and so, like the Inventory, can appear slightly intimidating upon first glance:

Spoiler – Pic 1


The vast majority of the screen is dedicated to all the different stats you character will take interest in. Each character will have different minor stats to consider, so I shan't detail each of these individually, each has it's own tool-tip and should be relatively self explanatory to anyone who is familiar with D&D.

The top right portion of the screen however is another tab selection screen. The default screen here, displayed in the above Pic 1 is your attack values.

The next screen is the Feats tab, which details all of your currently known Feats:

Spoiler – Pic 2


Again, this is fairly self-explanatory.

The next tab is called Effects, and details all the positive or negative bonus effects your character is currently operating under:

Spoiler – Pic 3


Another one that is self-explanatory.

Your Achievements tally is next:

Spoiler – Pic 4


And then your Kill stats in the Stats tab:

Spoiler – Pic 5


The Lore screen is next in the Info tab and contains all the details of your character's background and motivation and etc:

Spoiler – Pic 6


This screen also shows some additional character statistics based off of their class and race, such as search skills and the like.

The most novel screen is the penultimate one and is titled Specs, in which you are able to respec your character. I haven't played around with this yet, but it's an interesting addition that should help satiate the people who always ask for respec'ing options:

Spoiler – Pic 7


The final tab, marked Class, is just a big picture of a general interpretation of what that character class looks like in this universe:

Spoiler – Pic 8


Which is nothing like your token or what you imagined your character to look like, but I guess this is something that can get easily changed over the years.

And that about wraps everything up with regard to making sure we know everything we can before entering into the first combat scenario, so let's be off back to that little room at the bottom of the town's water-well and push forwards into the game:

Spoiler – Pic 9


Eek! By opening the gate I have triggered the game's first combat scenario, and even for the first combat scenario I have enemies in front of me and enemies behind!

Can I even survive the first encounter? More importantly, does the combat live up to the hype? Find out next time.
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February 19th, 2021, 11:05
Not only did those two giant centipedes suddenly emerge from behind my party, but they were joined by a skeleton, also behind my party. In front of them was a second skeleton, making a total of four combatants for our introductory battle.

Spoiler – Pic 1


There's quite a lot to process here, so I'll go one-by-one.

Firstly, a large amount of the screen is occupied by the Options Menu for battle. Having a good, well detailed options screen is a nice piece of UI advancement over the cumbersome old radial dials of previous 3.5ed iterations of D&D computer games. The drawback is that it does cover a large amount of the battlefield, which, obviously, has its own irritations.

The options are mostly fairly self-explanatory and will alter depending upon who's turn it is, although I must admit I never experimented with what Slide would do.

Secondly, at the bottom of the screen is the all-important rolls-information screen. This will be very useful for determining how lucky or unlucky you are and for making sure your stats have a useful impact on your character builds.

In this screenshot we can clearly see that, even in the very first combat, all the enemy characters have better initiative than us, even though the team completed a quest earlier to ensure that the skeletons wouldn't surprise them.

To be fair, the rogue did actually manage to compete with the monsters for initiative here, so it wasn't entirely one sided. Just mostly. Which be the defining feature of the Augury of Chaos mod, but not necessarily the engine in general.

With my two fighters on the front line, I suspect I'm screwed here and the first combat result doesn't do anything to alleviate my rolled eyes. My Cleric and sole healing class has been reduced to 50% health before I can even take my first action.

At the end of the list of initiative rolls you'll also see the CR of the enemy for this encounter. This is their Challenge Rating, aka: what average level your party should be for this encounter. For this encounter is says we should be level 4. LOL. We are, of course, level 1. But it is nice to see this info.

At the other side of the field of battle, the other skeleton has charged one of my fighters, but, luckily, failed miserably at doing any damage:

Spoiler – Pic 2


I'm not sure it got my AC right here, but then the charge plus the surprise attack (?) probably had a huge negative effect on my AC.

Which is another classic problem of these kind of games that have rolling detail screens. Yes, they give the totals, but they never seem to want to list everything that influenced the stats, so it's very hard to know exactly why stats are why they are those stats in the first place a lot of the time.

Eventually I get a turn! Was it worth the wait?

Spoiler – Pic 3


Oh dear. My rogue gets a bad roll and fails to impact the giant centipede. Conversely, the incoming 2nd giant centipede gets a fantastic roll and takes away three quarters of my rogue's health in one hit. And that's not all, the centipedes also have a stat-draining facet to their attack, so the rogue also loses 1 dexterity. Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

It's not all doom and gloom though, as my second character, my archer, actually gets average rolls and hits one of the giant centipedes twice using his cool rapid-shot ability:

Spoiler – Pic 4


And it's instantly one down and three to go. Both my Cleric and Rogue are near death in the first nano-turn, but it seems I do have hope.

Even after firing the two arrows, you'll notice the archer still has actions they can take, most usefully the 5-foot step. For the majority of the game this means one square and will be very useful in any scenario that gets made using this engine.

Let's experiment with the Trip function now:

Spoiler – Pic 5


Ah, of course, the character I'd built to be a specialist tripper gets a really appalling roll and fails to trip the skeleton.

Luckily, this character can attempt a second trip:

Spoiler – Pic 6


Which succeeds with an average roll. Which is great and all, but it does mean that his second action couldn't be an attack, adding some delay to the front-line being able to quickly rush to the main combat area behind them.

Next up is the mage, who doesn't have a great deal of things to do being just level 1. However, the few things they can do seem to be quite useful. I decide to experiment with summoning and see what happens. I summon an elemental:

Spoiler – Pic 7


Which gets its turn straight after the summoner summoned it, which is nice. We don't control the summons, they act independently and attack whomsoever they fancy to.

In this instance it attacked the skeleton standing next to my cleric. The elemental gets two attacks and gets fantastic rolls, hitting the skeleton twice and destroying it. two down, two to go.

You'll also notice that these skeletons are immune to critical hits, which is always a nice feature of first combat encounter enemies, lol.

Since my cleric is already screwed, I don't really have any option but to retreat her with a 5-foot step, initially. However, this still leaves her room to perform 2 spell actions:

Spoiler – Pic 8


So experiment with the heal spell, putting a whopping 4hp back into my near-death'ed rogue, which probably wouldn't make any difference if she was hit, but you never know. And my cleric also cast Bane on the centipede, just to help a little bit in preventing the centipede from getting that hit. Which the centipede rolls a critical success for, because, of course.

The last character to act this turn is my dwarven fighter, who just has to whack his big two-hander into a prone skeleton:

Spoiler – Pic 9


Which he does. For all of 2hp damage. Ah, another minimum roll. Considering this is just the first turn, there's already been quite a lot of critical rolls and minimum rolls. Good ol' computer 'random' RNG, nothing quite like it. Regardless, it's the big picture that matters and, as it stands, after everyone's had one turn, it's not looking too bad for me, other than my rogue or cleric being in imminent risk of immediate death at the start of the second turn.

The skeleton is the second to go at the start of the second turn, after the centipede, which I found a bit odd as surely being in a state of tripped would surely push it down the initiative order. Regardless, this might actually benefit me as I can now experience the game's first examples of Dodging and Attacks of Opportunity:

Spoiler – Pic 10


The centipede gets a bad roll and my rogue dodges its attack. Phew. The skeleton, in trying to stand up, incurs an attack of opportunity from both my fighters, who, between them, still fail to kill the skeleton, both, again, getting pretty average to bad rolls for damage.

Which is quite annoying as my front-line is still therefore pinned next to the skeleton. On top of this, the skeleton seems to still have enough action points left to take a swing at the dwarf:

Spoiler – Pic 11


And the skeleton gets an awful roll and the dwarf dodges. So never mind, the big picture is that I've survived the enemy's second turn intact and the enemy is nearly down to it's last character.

Both my rogue and archer get terrible rolls and fail to inflict any damage upon the remaining centipede, however, my primary fighter does finally manage to finish off the last skeleton:

Spoiler – Pic 12


However, it's all a bit late in the day to enable any of my front-line fighter to get to the back line before the centipede can act again.

It's three down and one to go. Will I make it? What further tricks does the enemy have up it's sleeve? Surely, the battle is almost over now?

Lol, no. Tune in next time for part two of the first combat scenario of Augury of Chaos and more experiments into the fine workings of this potentially superb combat system.
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February 19th, 2021, 14:25
Cool write up.

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March 4th, 2021, 13:31
Thanks for the kind words, I hope I can keep to that standard for the final episode!

In the previous episode I skipped the screenshot of the start of the next turn that showed my Rogue and Ranger failing to impact the last Giant Centipede just before defeating the final Skeleton. This wasn't because I was rushing things along, it was just that I didn't find the screenshot when preparing the last episode, but I've found it now and so will start this episode with that and then skip my primary Fighter finishing off the Skeleton.

So, turn 2 starts off with 2 bad rolls in a row:

Spoiler – Pic 1


The Fighter finishes off the last Skeleton (shown in previous episode) and it's my Mage's turn again. Hmm, what now. I'm aware I shouldn't be wasting my spells, but I've got a nasty feeling about this last monster, something tells me it's going to hang around. Spell or sling. Choices, choices.

What the hey, with it being the start of the game, I'm sure there'll be a resting spot soon [there was and there wasn't, but that would be spoilers]. I fire off a Chromatic Orb:

Spoiler – Pic 2


Which does minimum damage, because of course. It does Sicken the centipede though, so it wasn't a total loss.

As soon as my Mage finishes, the Air Elemental automatically has its turn again:

Spoiler – Pic 3


And after the fourth poor roll in a row, it gets a fantastic roll and slaps the centipede for half its health. Surely now the end is nigh for these beasties.

Well, that's the thing, I've only got two characters left to go before the centipede strikes again, and my Cleric has no useful attack spells that I want to waste on a 5hp monster and she only has 4hp left, and with only a 45% chance to hit with melee, and with the way the rolls have been going I'm not in a gambling mood:

Spoiler – Pic 4


So I decide to experiment with the game's Ready Versus Approach mechanic:

Spoiler – Pic 5


And I think I've done everything I can to make sure that at least my Cleric wont be dying next turn.

So my final roll of the dice is my Dwarven Fighter with his big two-hander. The only problem is, he can't move and strike the centipede this turn. Until, that is, I realise that I can move him onto the spot occupied by my endangered Rogue:

Spoiler – Pic 6


Hmm, I wonder what happens to my Rogue if I do this? Oh well, only one way to find out:

Spoiler – Pic 7


Phew! My Rouge didn't incur any Attacks of Opportunity and even got automatically moved to safer spot. Unfortunately, my fighter continued the trend of the rolls for my team this turn and, again, rolled a rubbish number, enabling the centipede to easily Dodge his blow.

The Giant Centipede then makes me extremely happy by choosing to attack the summoned elemental. Big sighs of relief all round. The fact that it also gets a bad roll versus the elemental is just icing on the cake.

It's my Rogue's turn again. So let's try out a Sling shot through my front line:

Spoiler – Pic 8


Will it bash my fighter in the head? Will it end the battle? The tension mounts:

Spoiler – Pic 9


There seems to be no indication that firing through companions runs the risk of striking the companions, though I suspect the chance to hit might have been reduced as the centipede has magically developed an AC of 19 to defend against this shot, which it succeeds at easily.

And, oops, there's a little buglet there, the info screen is now telling me that my Rogue is taking the rest of her turn to reload her crossbow rather than her sling. I'm not sure Slings should have a reload time and she's certainly not carrying a crossbow. No idea what's going on there.

Now it's my Ranger's turn again. Because my Ranger is standing right next to the centipede, I experiment with switching to a melee weapon. So I pop open my inventory and switch the bow for a melee weapon. When I close the inventory the centipede gets an Attack of Opportunity:

Spoiler – Pic 10


Well that's good to know. And luckily the centipede rolls a poor roll.

The Ranger duly finishes off the centipede, finally!, and we can search the bodies! Actually, no, there's no searching of bodies, we are just presented with a spoils screen:

Spoiler – Pic 11


Which, in the case of this module, is quite a lot of not a lot. And everyone gets a nice chunk of experience.

The developer then decided it would be appropriate to have the party say "That was easy wasn't it":

Spoiler – Pic 12


Which is somewhat counter-intuitive to 'serious' atmosphere. There are lots of ways a particular player could interpret this statement, from sarcastic to sincere, but, whichever way, it comes across as immediately 4th wall breaking and instantly puts the player in mind of the developer rather than the characters in the game.

Dice rolls will be dice rolls, but the sheer quantity of poor rolls from all of my team, either from unending poor attack rolls to poor damage rolls upon a successful attack, combined with the fact that the most 'potent' member of the party was the summoned elemental, all combine to make the statement "that was easy wasn't it" seem like any conspiracy over the pernicious nature of the module's design is in fact wholly intentional. The design goal has been stated.

And this is reinforced by the unending recurrence of the following screen throughout the rest of any adventures you choose to have:

Spoiler – Pic 13


So, yes, fantastic system, I really enjoyed both exploration and combat and the opportunities for story-telling this game provides - if only we had a different module to start off with!

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope I've at least entertained even if the game doesn't appeal to you.

For those that are still interested, I'll continue to provide occasional epilogues as and when the developer updates the game in any significant way - which happened earlier this week with the arrival of 'more normal' animated sprites, so I'll have a play with those in the next couple of weeks and let everyone know how they handle.
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March 4th, 2021, 20:35
Thanks for the write up.

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March 4th, 2021, 22:25
Yes thanks

I keep it installed but never get much beyond the two first fights and offcourse making new parties
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March 7th, 2021, 20:02
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I'm planning yet another run-through of the first game before this one comes out, just to get the hype revved up!
This forum thread got me really excited about this game. I never played the first one, and was thinking about doing so when I saw your comment above. Assuming you are a big fan of the original? The only thing I worry about is the font used for the UI looks really hard to read. Am I being a baby?
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March 7th, 2021, 21:27
I'm a huge proponent of this game, and have been since it first released. If you're familiar with the gold box games, Knights of the Chalice should ring many good memory bells. If not, well, you've even more awesome great games to explore! The fonts are not bad at all, if you are used to games of an older style. The combat is where this game shines, so get in there already and enjoy it!
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March 8th, 2021, 18:48
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SSI Gold Box-style game, we are working on.
Last edited by mercy; July 1st, 2021 at 20:33.
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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Knights of the Chalice 2 - A Chance of Gaming Heaven
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