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Old 07-10-2018, 04:23 PM
Vivisector 9999's Avatar
Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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Default Imperialist Looting For Fun And Profit! Let's Play Renowned Explorers!



Greetings, tyrants. Welcome to the Let's Play for Renowned Explorers: International Society.

Seeing as how I'm new here, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Vivisector 9999, and aside from being vulgar and misanthropic, I have a great fondness for roguelike LPs. I stumbled upon your fine forum a few weeks ago, and subsequently enjoyed many of the great LPs that you have hosted here over the years.

So to repay this forum for such quality entertainment, I am conducting my own LP of a game near to my heart: Renowned Explorers: International Society, the game which answers a question we all should have been asking.

What if FTL's setting had been more like a vaguely steampunk Tomb Raider?

Yes, Renowned Explorers takes the basic FTL formula of "Explore a voronoi-style web of nodes across a choice of maps, building resources for a bullshit-packed final confrontation", but exchanges the deep space setting for a 19th century crew of globetrotting treasure-hunters explorers who must use their charm, sharp wits, and outright ultraviolence to secure artifacts of value.

(The inherent imperialism of this goal is a subject for another day.)

Luckily, the developers switched up the formula to keep things interesting. Battles are turn-based and tactical rather than real-time pause, every node on a map shows you what you can expect to find there, every event choice shows you the exact chance of success (and the consequences of both success and failure), and your crew members can learn all kinds of skills to help skew the challenges in your favor.

That doesn't mean it's a cakewalk, though. You're never going to have enough traits to cover every possible challenge or enough Supplies to find everything, so a lot of times you'll find yourself choosing between walking away from a treasure or taking a gamble that's going to hurt you if you fail. The battles, too, are also quick to punish idiotic decisions. When you lose a run at Renowned Explorers, you'll feel it's not because the RNG gave you too little to work with, but because you were arrogant and took too many stupid risks.

At any rate, this is a charming game with plenty of wacky cutscenes to make it prime LP fodder. I defy you to name another game where you can recruit an elderly lady professor and an Ashanti tribesman to form a luchador team, fist-fight a tyrannosaurus, or write the sequel to On The Origin Of Species (and then go wave it in Charles Darwin's face).

So let's get started!

Our first vote will be to pick a captain for our crew.

Now, to make an educated choice in this regard, you'll need a primer on the many interconnected systems of this game, which I've helpfully included in the spoilerpop below.

You don't have to read this primer - it's totally acceptable to just go with the flow, vote for whatever captain you think sounds the least lame, and let the rest of us worry about the details - but if you want a few clues, then here you go...

Renowned Explorers: International Society primer


Crew Members

A Renowned Explorers crew has three members - one captain and two regular crew members. Unlike FTL, crew members are never permanently lost, and we will never get more crew members. We choose our crew members and our captain at the start, and we're locked into our choice for the whole run.

To make up for this, Renowned Explorer crew members have more RPG traits. They have a class (Scientist, Scout, Fighter, or Speaker), they can equip gear (weapons, armor, and trinkets), they have combat stats, they have skills to help with challenges, they have a move set to use in battles, they have cutscenes and dialog, and they can gain levels to learn more useful traits.

So why do we need to pick a crew member to be the captain? Because every character has a special captain perk if they're the leader, and that perk will probably have a drastic influence on our strategy during the run!


Expeditions / Maps

Every run of Renowned Explorers takes place across five expeditions. These expeditions are much like FTL's sectors - we get our pick of which type of map to go to, and then try to navigate the nodes of that map to get to the final node (and boss).

Of course, also like FTL, the real goal is to plunder as much of each map as we can for XP and resources before we're forced to move on.


A partially-looted map.


Renown

The name of the game. Our goal is to collect at least 2,500 Renown over the course of five expeditions.

Seriously, 2500 Renown and five completed expeditions - nothing more. If we manage to get that much Renown by the end of expedition 4, we can go back to one of the lower-tier maps for the final expedition, curb-stomp everything, and walk away with a win. (A nice concession to those of us, like myself, who didn't like the flagship battle in FTL.)

Spoiler: For this LP, we will NOT wuss out like that. If we end up kicking this much ass by the time we reach the last expedition, we will proceed directly to Shangri-La or the Lost Island so we can experience the ultimate final battle and win or die in all our glory.

So how do we earn Renown? The bulk of our Renown will come from finding treasure , which grant a straight Renown award, but we also get a little Renown from earning Gold, Status, and Research (see tokens below).


Treasures

Every expedition, our main concern is to find and win treasure . Beating the map's final node guarantees a treasure (and a boss battle), while other treasure will be scattered on a few nodes around the map.

Every treasure grants three things: a straight Renown award, Insight points (below), and a random bonus that we can choose from a list of possibilities. These bonuses (as much as the Renown award) can make all the difference in a run, especially if we actually have a coherent strategy in mind.

For reference, a crappy expedition (and the first expedition) will end with one or two treasures, while around five treasures is a symptom of an outstanding expedition.


Things like this are our target!


Challenges

Many map nodes involve challenges, which are obstacles that you must pick a crew member to handle (ideally one with the right class and skills). As you might expect, the rewards for success - and the penalties for failure - will get heavier as we get deeper into the game.

On top of whatever consequences ensue, a successful challenge will grant a few bonus tokens, depending on the crew member involved. Succeed or fail, the crew member also earns a small number of XP.

Amusingly, the graphics for doing a challenge involve your crew member spinning an "Adventure Wheel" similar to the big wheel from The Price Is Right. Landing on a RE symbol is a success, while a skull is a failure. The higher our odds for success, the more RE symbols the wheel will have.


The Adventure Wheel, in action. (Here you can see Emilia failing at life in Shangri-La.)


Encounters / Battles

In the course of our expeditions, we will be regularly accosted by uncooperative natives, hostile wildlife, rival explorers, monsters straight out of mythology, dinosaurs, and other jerkasses.

I won't get into the entire battle system here, but it suffices to say that all characters have three default moves - a Friendly move, a Devious move, and an Aggressive move.

Friendly and Devious attacks pit a crew member's Speech Power against our target's Speech Defense, while Aggressive attacks pit Attack Power against the other guy's Armor. (And yes, most enemies tend to be strong in one category and weak in the other.) Either way, the goal is to reduce the target's Spirit (hit points) to 0. At that point, the target is too charmed, too humiliated, or too unconscious to offer any further resistance.

If a crew member loses all Spirit, then we lose a Resolve point (below). The fallen crew member can still be revived mid-battle, but we're a step closer to losing the whole game.

Also, the moves we use will influence the mood of our party during the battle. Our side can be overall Friendly, Devious, or Aggressive - and so can the enemy side. This ties into a rock-paper-scissor mechanic where we will get a bonus or penalty if we have the right mood to counter our enemy's mood. Basically, Friendly > Devious > Aggressive > Friendly.

(Yes, in the world of Renowned Explorers, if someone is coming at you with guns and swords, the best counter is to keep insulting them. And if they're being nice and reasonable? Punch them in the head!)

Of course, there's more to combat than this - Friendly and Devious attacks come in different elements and inflict buffs and debuffs, many encounters have a special reward or penalty for winning with the right mood, crew members can learn special moves that further reflect their personality, and so forth - but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.


In the grim darkness of the 19th century, there is only Aggressive.


Tokens

Aside from treasures, we also collect tokens - Collect, Treasure Hunt, Study, Discovery, Campaign, Secret, and Encounter tokens. We can get tokens for passing challenges, winning battles, as a bonus from a treasure, or even from just poking a node and looking alive.

So what use are tokens? Well, when an expedition ends, we cash in whatever tokens we collected for Gold, Status, and Research points, which in turn can be spent on various things to improve our crew.
  • Gold is used to buy equipment for crew members, improving their combat performance. Gold is always nice to have, and you need at least SOME to have a good chance of winning the game - if you know what you're doing, you can coast along the first few maps with no gear, but by the final expedition, you're just asking for a TPK.
  • Status can be spent on entourage members for our crew. Our entourage doesn't participate in battles or cutscenes, but instead provides passive bonuses to our crew. They come in two varieties. Helpers are generic followers (Students, Journalists, Merchants, etc) who simply improve a particular token's value. Specialists have names, and typically provide a skill to a crew member and/or improve token income in more interesting ways than Helpers can. If tons of Gold will improve our survivability, then tons of Status will open the path to massive income (improving our survivability in a more roundabout way).
  • Research is used to complete research papers in six different fields. These fields are like the traditions in Stellaris or the civics in Civilization 5 - we spend Research to open a field (gaining a bonus for doing so), buy research papers in the field one by one for more bonuses, and then get a final bonus if we can complete a field. With a proper investment in Research, the research papers can grant a wide variety of bonuses, including things we can't get with Gold or Status.
Naturally, proper token exploitation - through map exploration, captain perks, entourage upgrades, crew member powers, campfire storylines, research papers, Insight abuse, and treasure choices - is a key to not failing at this game.

Traditional victory strategies include specializing in Gold so we have enough top-tier equipment to simply cheese the endgame, or specializing in Status to get the 1000-level specialist who doubles our Collect/Treasure Hunt tokens from Insight (thus ending up with good gear anyway, plus a variety of extra skills and boosted tokens), and/or specializing in Research and completing the fields that will improve our Gold or Status or (sure, let's go meta) Research game.

Choosing an appropriate captain is the first step towards successfully executing one of these strategies.


Insight

Insight is yet another resource that we collect during expeditions (mostly by finding treasures). It is spent between expeditions on side jobs for your crew members. I won't bore you with the particulars here, but know that Insight is simply another way to get more tokens (ie more Gold, Status, and/or Research), and that it too can be exploited in ridiculous ways.

If we really, really want a particular piece of equipment or specialist or research paper, then the proper use of Insight can make all the difference.


Supplies

In FTL, you couldn't farm the whole map because of the expanding rebel fleet. Here, we are constrained by our crew's need to eat.

We start every map with a set amount of Supplies, every node on a map has a Supply cost to enter it, and if we run out of Supplies, our crew members will accrue increasingly harsh debuffs until we stop dicking around and drag our gimped crew over to face the map's final boss.

It is possible to gain Supplies mid-expedition by visiting special nodes, but this cannot be counted on. Permanently increasing our Supply capacity involves playing the Research game (all six Research fields have exactly one research paper that improves a crew's Supply situation in some way).


Campfire Stories

With the More To Explore DLC, Renowned Explorer crews now have campfire storylines. On every expedition, we will get one opportunity to camp. Doing so will bring out our campfire story deck and deal us a choice of four different cards.

The generic campfire cards just give us a free pile of tokens. But every crew member we pick adds special cards of their own to the deck, including cards that launch a storyline for that crew member which can carry on over multiple expeditions - aside from showing more of their character, the rewards for doing these stories tend to be sweet. There are also cards which can grant more Supplies, more Insight, more Resolve, free skills, or some other upgrade that we won't get any other way.

So, along with treasures, tokens, and Insight, the campfire stories are another tool for us to become the awesome Renowned Explorers that we are meant to be.


Huddled together, furtive and vulnerable. Rats in a maze.


Resolve

Resolve is like Grid Power in Into The Breach. If we lose all our Resolve, then we have failed at life and the game is over. We lose Resolve by allowing crew members to faint in battles or by failing particularly harsh challenges. (While we're on the subject, the other way to lose a game is a TPK, ie having all three of our crew members knocked out at once.)

We gain Resolve mostly by completing expeditions. There are other ways to gain Resolve, but they are few and far between.

Needless to say, we must guard our Resolve points vigilantly!

TLDR; Get treasures, get tokens, spend whatever we get to embiggen our crew members and our tokens, don't run out of Supplies, and don't lose all our Resolve.

With THAT out of the way, let's click New Game (Most Renowned Explorer) and have a look at our potential captains...

"Most Renowned Explorer" is the base game, with the 2,500 Renown objective I've already explained. "Emperor's Challenge" mode adds a second goal of completing metric bangtons of little side challenges throughout the game. For our first run, I'd rather not have us deal with the complication! Maybe for a second run...



Yes, there are no fewer than 24 characters to choose from. In the next post, we'll go over each one (with a few notes to guide you), and then you all will have the pleasure of picking one to be our captain.

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; 07-18-2018 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:24 PM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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Default Picking a captain

My first post covered some of the basics, so now let's go over the roster of playable explorers.

SCIENTISTS

Scientists, predictably, specialize in science, and their main skills - Naturalism, Archaeology, and Engineering - are used in many challenges throughout the game. As they level, they can learn a lot of esoteric special moves, particularly debuffs, AOE bombs, and AOE healing.

As captains, all the Scientists have powers that improve our Research game.

Available Scientists:





Anna Proskuriakova

Age/Origin: 25 / Russia

Anna is a scary Russian mad scientist who faces her enemies with the powers of electricity and terror. (Translation: If you attempt to play a Friendly run with her, you are a terrible person and will fail.) Her special moves are an AOE bomb attack and a line paralyzation attack, both of which are useful.

Anna's captain perk is respectable and makes life simpler for us. All we have to do is keep scoring Research, finishing research papers, and sitting back as our common Study tokens become our main source of Research, Gold, and Status.




Emilia Karwowska

Age/Origin: 18 / Poland

In many ways Anna's opposite, Emilia is an innocent and adorkable scientist whose special moves include an AOE heal which is one of the best ways to heal in combat, along with an Amnesia Shot which can briefly weaken an enemy. She is in all other ways a solid but not particularly interesting support crew member.

As for Emilia's captain perk, a Tool is a nice one-use item that grants +25% to succeed with one challenge, but is not expended unless you actually succeed (so no matter how badly we suck, the Tool is guaranteed to help us eventually). The other half of Emilia's perk - an extra Study icon for every Nature challenge - is rather weak even if we commit to maps with lots of Nature challenges.




Earl Shanty

Age/Origin: 35 / United States

Earl is among the few crew members whose basic Aggressive attack is ranged (he has a gun). He shares Anna's AOE attack and strike of fear special moves, but differs from her in that he can learn the useful Survivalist skill (which is usually restricted to Scouts), and has a rare campfire card which allows Survivalist challenges to grant Supplies.

Earl's captain perk is useful, allowing us to persue a Research strategy while helping to ensure we still pull in enough Gold to survive.




Agatha von Brünswick

Age/Origin: 67 / Germany

Agatha is a stern, elderly German professor. Her special moves are lectures that can cone-blast entire groups of enemies, but she does not do well if we must take the Aggressive approach.

Agatha's captain perk is worthy. Insight is more powerful in the late game (when better jobs are available to spend it on). This, combined with Agatha's bonus for spending Insight on Study, makes her among the best pure Scientists for the Research game.




Phillipe Bensoussan

Age/Origin: 32 / Algeria

A roguish surgeon from the Foreign Legion, Phillipe is as handy with his knife (and being Aggressive with it) as any Fighter. He shares Emilia's AOE heal and Amnesia Shot, but is better with the Amnesia Shot (while Emilia is better with healing).

Phillipe's captain perk must be considered carefully. It's sweet if we play well and don't lose any Resolve, but if we keep screwing up and finishing maps with only 1 or 2 Resolve, we'll soon wish we had picked another captain.

But then, those sorts of gambles are what this game is all about.




Suh Min-Jeong

Age/Origin: 12 / Korea

Suh Min-Jeong was introduced in the Emperor's Challenge DLC. Yes, you're reading this right - she's a 12 year old wunderkind, yet the Renowned Explorers organization has deemed her perfectly fit to lead an expedition. (Remember, 19th century. Child labor laws were only starting to be a thing.) Her special attacks - wailing and cute stares - are actually quite potent, but we will never make an Aggressive powerhouse out of her.

As captain, Suh's perk will require us to commit to a different Status game than most players do. I usually spend more Status on specialists than helpers, but with this captain, we will have to commit to helpers. As for the rare Discovery tokens, there are certain ways of skewing how many of those we find (especially if we have a Scientist like Suh).


SCOUTS

In the course of our expeditions, our crew will visit many a hostile wilderness and trap-filled ruin. It's the Scout's job to help navigate physical challenges, and as such, they specialize in the skills of Survivalism, Quick-Thinking, and Rogue. During encounters, Scouts can maneuver better than any other crew, and their attitudes can run the gamut from super-Friendly to an almost Fighter-like Aggressiveness.

As captains, most Scouts will improve our Gold game.

Available Scouts:





Harry Walker

Age/Origin: 21 / United Kingdom

Every setting of this sort needs a dashing, mischievous, lovable rogue, and Harry is the lovable rogue of the Renowned Explorers. He comes with a gun, but he's one of the few characters who's equally good in Aggressive, Devious, and Friendly encounters. (Though his special moves somewhat favor Aggressive.)

Harry's captain perk boosts the Gold yield from Treasure Hunt tokens, which already yield more Gold than any other token. Picking Harry for our captain, therefore, is an unambiguous commitment to a Gold strategy.




Kiwi Paakariki

Age/Origin: 19 / Samoa

Like ninjas, Scouts can be either mean or totally sweet - and Kiwi is one hell of a mean scout. Her special moves include rage-bombing every enemy around her, or just straight up shanking them from behind. She also has the valuable Survivalist skill and shares Earl's Scavenger campfire card to help the Supply situation.

Speaking of Supplies, Kiwi's captain perk commits us to maps with lots of Nature challenges. But that's not a bad thing, as we will be able to explore them for longer (and pick up more treasures and tokens) than if we had another captain.




Pedrinho Pinheiro

Age/Origin: 27 / Brazil

Like Pee-Wee Herman and Michael Jackson, Pedrinho can pacify an entire gang of badasses with no more than his dance moves. He is easily among the best crew members for a Friendly run, but (contrary to what the screenshot description says) he's better for an Aggressive crew than a Devious one.

As for Pedrinho's captain perk, I had my doubts the one time I played with him as captain, but his perk is very powerful if we commit to it. And by "commit to it", I mean get every damn specialist, trinket, star node, research paper, and everything else that will award Pedrinho more Survivalist / Beguiler levels and more tokens for spending Insight. (This strategy, incidentally, leaves little room for Research or taking advantage of any other crew member's Insight perks.)




Hatice Ataman

Age/Origin: 20 / Turkey

With her bow, Hatice is among the more combat-oriented Scouts. Like Harry, her special moves include shooting a Piercing Shot through a line of enemies and Focusing to increase her Speech and Attack for one turn, but she's more of a Quick Thinker than a Rogue.

Hatice's captain perk is also powerful - the Insight bonus is generally impossible in the first expedition (as there's just not enough to loot), but much easier in subsequent expeditions. And getting to start maps with 10 free Collect tokens will make us feel more secure!




Molly Jones

Age/Origin: 25 / Australia

I screwed up here and took a screenshot of the "advanced info" view. Bah.

Molly is a Scout who has Kiwi's meanness (and shanking), but trades in her Survivalist skills for sheer aggressiveness. The more we commit to an Aggressive run, the more use Molly will be to us.

As for Molly's captain perk, it's better for one crew member to have all the Rogue skills, so we need to go all out for that on Molly to make this worthwhile. As for the Armor reduction deal, it's easy to get at least one Athlete skill level on everyone, so that's workable - and another thing pushing us to be Aggressive.




Hojo Fumiaki

Age/Origin: 40 / Japan

Hojo was added with the Emperor's Challenge DLC. He has special moves to keep encounters Friendly and punish enemies for being Aggressive.

As for Hojo's captain perk, Quick Thinker skill is actually valuable for any crew member (and Hojo benefits from this perk himself, allowing him to start with Quick Thinker 3). A free Encounter token when Hojo succeeds at a challenge isn't spectacular, but it's a nice little bonus that we can enjoy throughout the run.


FIGHTERS

Charm and a sharp tongue will take us far as a Renowned Explorer, but sometimes there's just no substitute for tearing our enemies a brand new set of assholes. Whether we want to be Aggressive ourselves or merely fend off the Aggressiveness of others, Fighters have our crew's back. That's not to say that a Fighter can't be Devious or even Friendly - but Aggressive encounters are where they shine, and their special moves tend to reflect that.

As captains, Fighters can have a wide variety of bonuses.

Available Fighters:





Victor Signac

Age/Origin: 37 / France

Victor is equally comfortable in both Friendly and Aggressive encounters. His Peace Treaty special move can change the mood of a fight back in our favor if the enemy tries to go Devious to our Aggressive, while his Inspiring Strike can heal nearby teammates.

Victor's captain perk is useful, albeit one that commits us to every encounter we can find. (But with a Fighter captain, did you really expect it any other way?)




Dolores Garcia

Age/Origin: 28 / Mexico

A mysterious lady luchadore, Dolores does well in Devious and Aggressive confrontations, with a terror-inducing Primal Roar and an Aggressive Pining Strike for special moves. Her personal campfire story is amusing, but also grants free Collect tokens for every level of Athlete in the crew, which makes her an asset to any Gold-persuing crew.

As captain, Dolores is even more of a commitment to a Gold strategy, albeit one that will bring in plenty of Status, as well. As with other Fighter captains, we are encouraged to have fun getting into as many battles as possible.




Ivan Dashkov

Age/Origin: 44 / Russia

With one exception, all the characters in this game are worthy adventurers, and all of them have at least a couple of things to make them worth considering over anyone else.

Ivan, tragically, is that exception. He can do only one thing well - pounding targets hard. In non-Aggressive encounters, he is seriously gimped. His campfire storyline - Vow of Peace - addresses this by supercharging his basic Friendly move... at the cost of making his Aggressive attacks suck. (For comparison, everyone else can excel with two or even all three basic attacks right out of the box.)

As a captain, Ivan is even worse. The extra Supplies would be awesome - for a party without a lame crew member. In Ivan's case, no one cares because of the Resolve we'll keep losing because we only have two and a half functional crew members.

Do not vote for Ivan unless you just want us all to suffer.




Bia Hekaton

Age/Origin: 30 / Greece

The in-game description lies. Bia has no Speech Defense, but her starting Armor is great.

That aside, Bia doesn't have any fancy AOE attacks or Inspiring Strikes, but her special moves do one thing better than anyone else in the game - pound the everliving hell out of a single target. (Unlike Ivan, though, she can also be Devious if she has to - and unlike Ivan, she can hit the same target for two or three attacks in one move.) While Bia is obviously geared for Aggressive crews, she can also be an asset to Friendly crews, as her Unnoticeable Attack special move lets her get in a cheap physical attack without changing the mood.

Bia's captain perk is one of my favorites (and it works for both bonus bosses and map bosses!). It takes careful planning to avoid boss fights where being Aggressive will punish us, but it's a fun challenge to commit to a hyper-Aggressive run - and the better we do it, the stronger Bia gets.




Jan-Piet Corneel

Age/Origin: 36 / Netherlands

Jan-Piet shares a lot of Victor's moveset, but has a more Devious posture than the french officer, wailing on enemies with his oar. He also gets the healing Inspiring Strike much sooner than Victor. Jan-Piet's name and backstory are a stealth reference to an old Dutch anthem which states that only bearded men can be true sailors, and cites "Jan, Pier, Tjores and Corneel" as examples.

Jan-Piet's captain perk is sweet. It's even more useful if we aren't taking a Scientist crew member (and thus will be able to spare Insight points for Jan-Piet to use).




Wang Yu

Age/Origin: 36 / China

The firecracker-wielding Wang Yu is another addition from Emperor's Challenge, and his special moves involve terrifying and debuffing groups of enemies with fireworks. This, combined with his Research-boosting perks, can somewhat make up for not having a Scientist if we decide not to take one.

As a captain, Wang boosts our Encounter tokens, which obligates us to use him for as many challenges - and get into as many fights - as possible.



SPEAKERS

If Fighters excel at physical combat, then Speakers are the go-to crew for speech attacks, and they can specialize in being either Friendly or Devious about it. Outside of encounters, Speakers can also handle challenges that require negotiation, bargaining, and not coming across as a plundering douchebag.

As captains, their perks are predictably geared towards Status gain.




Yvonne Lefevre

Age/Origin: 27 / Canada

The whip-wielding Yvonne is the best Speaker for a Devious crew, period, but her moveset can do well in an Aggressive or even Friendly crew. Her Deride special move restores her Spirit (while taking it from an enemy), while her Group Insult is an AOE cone rage bomb. (And yes, if you make her do a physical attack, she will hit the target with her whip.)

As a captain, Yvonne commits us to a rampage of Devious encounters.




Kwame Amanquatia

Age/Origin: 63 / Ghana

Kwame is a Friendly Speaker, using his special Cheer move to heal crew members (the best single-target heal in the game) and his Dance to whisk other crew members out of danger. He works best in crews that stick to the Friendly approach, but (like Pedrinho) can be very powerful within that mood.

As captain, he attracts free entourage helpers if we actually succeed in keeping our run Friendly - another captain perk that doesn't seem like much to start, but can add up over the course of a game. Taking a Scientist crew member and pursuing the right Research fields will help us make the most of Kwame's perk.




Hildegard Haas

Age/Origin: 14 / Austria

Hildegard is further evidence of the Renowned Explorers' lax child labor laws. She shares Kwame's special moves, but her skills and captain perk veers more into the Research game, which can help us if we don't take a Scientist (or if we do and just want to be even more awesome at science). Also like Kwame, she functions best if we keep our run Friendly.




Maria Rodriguez

Age/Origin: 24 / Argentina

Maria is the Renowned Explorers' resident uber-seductress, and she can win - and break - the hearts of most enemies with ease. If we're going for Status or just want a flexible but powerful Speaker, Maria is a great choice.

Maria's captain perk, accordingly, obligates us to demonstrate her power by winning as many encounters as possible.




Charles Templeton

Age/Origin: 40 / United Kingdom

Like Yvonne, Charles is another mean (Devious) speaker who doesn't suck if you have to go Aggressive. Unlike her, he can learn Survivalist skill (while she is a potential Rogue), and his Group Insult gets upgrades as he levels.

Charles' captain perk is nice, as we'll need all the entourage specialists we can get, and free token improvements (on a common token, no less) is icing on the cake.




Phailin Boonyasak

Age/Origin: 33 / Thailand

While Yvonne and Charles are Speakers who can still brawl if they have to, Phailin - courtesy of the Emperor's Challenge DLC - brings more of an assassin's touch to the game. Her special War Dance can heal teammates and nail enemies around her, while her Assassinate move is a great way to jump from Friendly to kicking the other side's ass.

As for Phailin's captain perk, A-level treasures are the most lucrative treasures... and there are ways of skewing how many rare Secret tokens we find. (Hint: Bring a Scientist.)

So that's our cast of potential party members.

Now we must vote on which of these charming individuals will serve as our captain.

Of course, I understand that with 24 characters, this is throwing a LOT of choice at you - and I also fear we'll end up with a tie vote between a bunch of captains with one vote each.

So we're going to handle this with a ranked vote. Each of you can vote for up to three captains (in order of preference), and the one with the most votes across the board will be our captain for our first run.

Commence voting, tyrants!

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; 07-18-2018 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:52 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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I'd like to see either Emilia or Kwame as captain.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:33 PM
MrChris MrChris is offline
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Oh, hey, I see you've already surmounted the most difficult hurdle for a Renowned Explorers LP: providing information and write-ups for all the playable captains!

The tech trees seem to have changed quite a bit since the game first came out, so I'd be interested in seeing an LP that goes for Maximum Research with either Anna or Agatha. Anna being my first choice, since I think her captain power is likely to pay higher dividends over the course of the game than Agatha's is.

If we don't end up voting for a rad science lady as expedition captain, I'll cast my third vote to Ivan, since I like seeing people suffer almost as much as I like science.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:34 PM
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1. Victor
2. Hatice
3. Hildegard

Can we vote for crew members? I want you to take Charles - he sounds like Alfred.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:48 PM
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Jan-Peet Corneel! This looks fun!
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:52 PM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChris View Post
Oh, hey, I see you've already surmounted the most difficult hurdle for a Renowned Explorers LP: providing information and write-ups for all the playable captains!
Thank you. This is why it took so long after I claimed to start this... I had to figure out how to ease everyone into this without going totally overboard. Hopefully, I didn't do too bad, but if there is anything anyone would like better explained, I'm here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
Can we vote for crew members? I want you to take Charles - he sounds like Alfred.
I've been contemplating the matter of the crew member vote. I didn't open it just yet because the decision of a captain is complicated enough as it is. (Also, who our captain ends up as will determine a lot about who the other two crew should be.)

When the time comes, we can handle the crew vote a number of ways:
  • We could have another couple of rounds of voting.
  • We could instead do one (more simple) vote on which two CLASSES the crew members should be, then I would pick the two members from those classes who work well with our captain.
  • I could look at the second and third place results of the captain vote and cull the two crew members from that (if they're all not the same class).
  • We could just go with the recommendation on our captain's infobox.
Which would you prefer? (A question I'm addressing to all voters, actually.)

Meanwhile, Alfred is too Friendly to be Charles. If he were Batman's butler, Charles would deride Bruce Wayne for having too little style to ever mock his enemies.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:11 PM
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If you want to get right into the LP then I'm OK with you using the recommended crew members or picking some from the other classes. (I assume it's better to have a diverse crew.)
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:55 AM
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1. Yvonne - I love the idea of an insult slinging Canadian
2. Harry - because he's British and the brits know their imperialism
3. Emilia - because Poland can into Space jokes can be made.

edit - please choose the crew on my behalf as I don't know enough to make a decent balanced crew.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Vivisector 9999 View Post
Alfred is too Friendly to be Charles. If he were Batman's butler, Charles would deride Bruce Wayne for having too little style to ever mock his enemies.
Sound like Charles would probably love being Peter Parker's butler - if Peter had that kind of money.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
Sound like Charles would probably love being Peter Parker's butler - if Peter had that kind of money.
Indeed. Charles would be inclined to dismiss Peter Parker as contemptible rabble. (If it's not clear yet, Charles is kind of an asshole.)

Meanwhile, to address an earlier issue you raised:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
If you want to get right into the LP then I'm OK with you using the recommended crew members or picking some from the other classes. (I assume it's better to have a diverse crew.)
It is indeed better to have a diverse crew, as all the maps have challenges geared for all four classes (to varying degrees). Not that winning with a one-class party is impossible, but it definitely requires more planning (and luck) than a more balanced party.

As for the crew member selection, the consensus so far seems to be to just let me do it. I'll leave this vote open for another day, but I'd be totally okay with going with the recommended crew for our first run.

(Especially as Emilia is currently in the lead for captain, and her recommendations - Pedrinho and Maria - would make an interesting uber-Friendly party.)
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:30 PM
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Default The Journey Begins



The die is cast, and our journey begins. As per your collective vote, Emilia steps forward to assume the role of captain, and escorting her will be the recommended crew of super-friendly Pedrinho and super-seductive Maria.

This crew, of course, is incredibly weighted towards the Friendly approach. How unbalanced are we in that regard? Check out those three symbols at the top of the screen:



Those are the symbols for - respectively - Friendly, Devious, and Aggressive.

Their size indicates how much our crew's moveset is weighted towards those moods. In our case, Friendly towers over the others like a plush-stuffed Godzilla, while Aggressive is almost nonexistent.

This means that while we will most assuredly curbstomp most social encounters (especially if they are foolish enough to come at us Devious), we'll have to think fast if we get an Aggressive encounter (especially if the other side is resistant to Friendly emotions).

One final thing before I click "Start Adventure - I will be playing our run on Adventure (ie permadeath) mode, at Classic (ie hard) difficulty. And while there are still ways of cheesing past the permadeath thing - most notably hitting ALT-F4 to quit in the middle of a combat/challenge and getting an autosave from right before you entered that node - you have my word that I will not cheapen our run with such reprehensible cheating.

And now, let the game begin.



This is the opening pic that greets us - our crew, preparing to be bold explorers.

I like how we can already glean hints of their personalities. We can see Pedrinho looking ahead confidently, with a mischievous smile. Or perhaps he's just looking at Maria, who in turn is posing and already showing a bit of cleavage.

And our captain, Emilia? She's not having any of this crap. That friendly Target-branded butterfly is of more interest to her than the majestic landscape all around her!

Later tonight, our first expedition!
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:45 PM
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As someone who enjoys Spirit Island precisely because it's about destroying imperial colonialism, I am going to be Interested in this.

Also, y'know... I like FTL and the like.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
As someone who enjoys Spirit Island precisely because it's about destroying imperial colonialism, I am going to be Interested in this.

Also, y'know... I like FTL and the like.
In turn, as you have run so many enjoyable LPs yourself, your interest is deeply flattering to me.

First expedition update coming up!
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:28 PM
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Default Expedition 1!

Oh yeah, we're doing this.



The intro to our first expedition.

Aside from the implication that centuries-old rumors are enough to lure us out, we are lucky. We have drawn the Celtic Code map, which is the most Research-yielding of the starter maps, with some Nature challenges that Emilia can squeeze even more Research out of.

Click! Time to start adventuring!




The map of our first expedition. Only our starting point and the final node are initially revealed. FTL coddles you by revealing the entire sector when you enter, but if we want to learn a map's secrets in THIS game, we'll have to... oh, what's the word for it?

Oh, right. EXPLORE.

So after you've played this game as much as I have, you'll know that the first map has a few guaranteed spawns. We can expect a special star node that grants a free skill, one treasure (other than the final node), one node to get extra Supplies, and one hidden spot to get our choice of a rare token (Discovery, Treasure Hunt, or Secret).

I can also tell you that the first map is small and rarely has any really dire choices or encounters. There probably won't be anything worth voting on, and we might be able to cover the whole map in one update.

We're going to take advantage of everything I just mentioned, because future maps will not be anywhere near so easygoing or predictable!

Anyway, we have a path to two different nodes, both costing 1 Supply point each.

One node has no symbols under it, which suggests that we'll find nothing there. (Unless it's the hidden rare token node... but I doubt it'd be so close to the start.)

The other node has a Research icon and a star, indicating that we can find Study tokens AND something special there.

As that "something special" will probably be the free skill I just mentioned, we'll start there!




This event grants the Naturalism - Biology skill. Usually you would pick the team's Scientist for something like this. But Emilia already has that skill, so picking her would waste the free skill!

As such, we'll let Pedrinho be inspired instead. (While Emilia will still do all our science challenges, there's a useful reason for everyone to get at least one science skill - which we'll get into later.)




Aww.

Time to move on.




So visiting that node revealed a few other nodes, including TWO Nature / Research nodes to tempt Emilia. Remember, we get a free Study icon - on top of anything else the node grants - just because our captain is Emilia.

Wanting to reveal the map as quickly as we can, we will hit the northern Nature node.




Uh oh!

(Note the Study icon above the dialog box - that's the free Study icon we got for dragging Emilia to this node!)




Emilia is astonished to discover a White Stag. It's not a treasure, but it's worth two Study and two Campaign (ie Status) tokens. (Although honestly it's going to take a LOT more than that to impress the rest of the Renowned Explorers.)




The new nodes reveal our first glimpse of a treasure - the node with a chest icon! But there is also a resupply node in the other direction.

So what we're going to do is go northwest for the Supplies, cut across the empty node to the north (hoping that it's the hidden rare token node), and then southeast to get the treasure node!

Make it happen!




The resupply node grants us 3 Supplies, bringing us back to our starting Supplies level. Which is good, because 8 Supplies do not last long. (Once we complete this expedition, using Research to improve our Supplies capacity will be a priority.)




Now on to the empty node that separates us from the treasure node!




My guess proves correct, as this is the node that grants a free rare token! Enjoy it. There's one of these seemingly empty nodes on every map, and future maps won't make it nearly so easy for us.

As we have a Scientist captain and thus are pursuing a hard Research strategy, we'll take the Discovery (which are like Study tokens on steroids).

This adventure is going great so far, guys!




Just to impress upon you the goodness of our find, here is what a regular Study token is worth right now.

And here's what that Discovery token is worth...



So yeah. One Discovery is worth like five Study tokens' worth of Research, plus a nice pile of Gold to go with it. It's far and away the most valuable thing we've found so far!

(While we're talking about rare tokens, Treasure Hunts are the rare form of Collect (ie Gold) tokens, while Secrets are the rare equivalent to Campaign!)

Now with that lesson in Tokenology 101 completed, we can proceed.




The new nodes reveal our first potential Encounter - that red symbol - but we're keeping our eyes on the prize.

Treasure node, ho!

But wait, what's that at the lower right corner of the screen?



Our campfire gauge is full!

Yes, after you've survived your first few nodes in an expedition, you're allowed to camp. You can only camp once per expedition, but unlike Darkest Dungeon, there's no need to wait until your party has been battered enough to require recovery.

So hell yeah, we'll camp before we move on the treasure node.




Every time you camp, you get to draw four cards from your campfire deck and play one of them. At the same time, you can designate any of the others to keep for next time.

Unfortunately, this campfire's draw is mostly garbage.

The first two cards give us a pile of Encounter or Collect tokens, which isn't BAD, but with campfire cards, we can do better.

The fourth card grants us a Renown bonus for every level of Archaeology skill our crew member with the most Archaeology has. Right now, it's almost worthless (Emilia is our only crew member with that skill, and she has ONE level of it), but we'll keep it for later in case we decide to pump up Emilia's Archaeology skills.

It's the third card that we're gonna play. It's The Lovely Lady - Maria's personal campfire story. On top of a unique bonus, we'll get to see a bit of interaction between our crew!

So here's what the card actually does...



Oh yeah, we're going there.

And so it seems we have something worth voting on after all.

Yes, tyrants, you must decide who majorly crushes on Maria.

Will it be Pedrinho... or Emilia?

Commence voting!

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; 07-18-2018 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:44 PM
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Emilia!
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:51 PM
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Pedrinho was already ogling her before the expedition began, and he "loves the living things on this planet," if you know what I mean. Let's make the crush canon.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Pedrinho was already ogling her before the expedition began, and he "loves the living things on this planet," if you know what I mean. Let's make the crush canon.
I'm voting for this as well. Plus, I think that Pedrinho is better at befriending enemies than Emilia is, so if someone's going to get a stat bonus from crushing on Maria, Pedrinho is probably the best choice.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:34 AM
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I agree with Mogri.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:20 PM
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The tyrants have spoken! While none can deny that Maria and Emilia would have been a cute couple, we're thinking strategically and we're more interested in the bonuses Pedrinho can get from this relationship.

So, our decision made, I reload our save and...



Wait, WHAT?




Ha ha ha ha, NO.

So what happened here is when I saved in the middle of our campfire decision, the game counted it as playing a campfire card even though we didn't play a card. Thus, we are robbed of the Maria / Pedrinho storyline (with all the attendant bonuses) - and any other campfire card we could have chosen.

Bullshit.

Luckily, there's a bullet for this.




That's right. We have all of 15 minutes (and one post) into this run, so we're just hitting the reset button. Because while I promised not to cheat, I'm also not going to let a glitch tarnish our run, either.

And never you worry, tyrants. Your vote was not in vain. We're going to make Pedrinho + Maria happen the first chance we get!

Click!




Yeah, well, all LOST progress will be lost, too, so bite me.




On the new map, a treasure node is generated right next to our starting point.

Apology accepted, game.

Let's go ahead and make the obvious first move.




This so absolutely feels like a treasure location, doesn't it?




Ah, our first challenge.

This is obviously a Naturalist challenge, but an unusually harsh one! Emilia HAS the Naturalist skill, and even she has only a 66% chance of success. Failure will cost us not only the token gain listed (and undoubtably the treasure), but also 2 Supplies!

(Did you really think the RNG was going to just hand us a treasure like that? This game isn't merely FTL with a 19th century skin, but it can be every bit as cruel.)

I'm not at all comfortable with a 34% chance of losing a treasure AND Supplies, so we're going to have Emilia use her Tool to boost the odds.




Much better.

Let's do this, Emilia!




With a 91% chance, success is unsurprising, but welcome. We won't be able to use our Tool again until our next expedition, but considering the cost of failure on this one, I have no regrets.




The tooltip for all of these choices has the same mysterious "A number of things could happen...", leaving us guessing what kind of treasure we're about to get no matter what we do.

I'm not willing to subject you all to such a meaningless vote, so we'll just take the dinosaur-related one, thank you.




The rest of the crew eagerly get dirty with Emilia. Notice that despite the horrors of the expedition reset and the stinky swamp around them, Pedrinho still can't keep his eyes off Maria.

Don't worry, Pedrinho. We're going to find a way to give your love a shot!

But for now, our first real treasure awaits!




Our very first treasure of the game, sparkling with the power of Renown and everything.

Unfortunately, 50 Renown and 1 Insight is about the lowest you can get from a treasure, but the choice of bonuses is interesting.

I'm not terribly excited by 5 Collect tokens or a mere +0-1 Science per Study token, but +10 Speech power for all Scientists? That would put Emilia almost on a level with Maria! (It will also make her Tranquility heal more powerful when she unlocks it.) Totally going with that.




We'll find the Druidic Circle, but not before we use the rest of our Supplies plundering exploring this map!




Our treasure safely stowed away, we can move on. To the southeast is a node that promises Research and Gold, plus it reveals more of the map than any other choice.

Southeast, ho!




Pedrinho is giddy to see what more is in the rock, albeit at the cost of destroying the herb's habitat.

Our Scout has clearly lost the love for all living things he acquired before the reset.

So if we save the plants, we get two more Study tokens, but if Pedrinho gets his way "A number of things could happen..."

Your call, tyrants.

Yes, this isn't QUITE as interesting as picking someone to fall in love with Maria, but it's a meaningful decision - do we study the herbs responsibly, or do we destroy the herb's habitat for our own (mysterious) gain?

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; 07-18-2018 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Vivisector 9999 View Post


The rest of the crew eagerly get dirty with Emilia. Notice that despite the horrors of the expedition reset and the stinky swamp around them, Pedrinho still can't keep his eyes off Maria.
From that picture it looks like Maria can't keep her eyes off Pedrinho. Will they find the greatest treasure of all? (Love)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivisector 9999 View Post
So if we save the plants, we get two more Study tokens, but if Pedrinho gets his way "A number of things could happen..."

Your call, tyrants.

Yes, this isn't QUITE as interesting as picking someone to fall in love with Maria, but it's a meaningful decision - do we study the herbs responsibly, or do we destroy the herb's habitat for our own (mysterious) gain?
Is there really any guarantee of a gain or is it possible we could get a zonk prize if we mined the rock? Either way I still think preserving the herbs is what Emilia would want to do.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:11 PM
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Is there really any guarantee of a gain or is it possible we could get a zonk prize if we mined the rock? Either way I still think preserving the herbs is what Emilia would want to do.
We won't get another Treasure - not this easily - but we can possibly gain more tokens (both Study and Collect) than we would just doing what Emilia wants.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:03 AM
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Soldiering on, Emilia decides that destroying a plant's habitat for any reason is absolutely not cool. Pedrinho is disappointed, but we collect our piddly two Study tokens and move on.




To the northeast is another promising node - our first encounter! Hooray, we'll get to see how the battle system works.




A pack of VERY large wolves takes exception to our crew's intrusion on their turf.

Notice how Maria looks horrified, but Emilia is still smiling as always. Our captain respects life, even when it comes at her with fangs bared!




Every encounter begins by telling you the win condition - and what happens if you win with a Friendly, Devious, or Aggressive mood. A lot of times, a win is a win, but sometimes you get something extra if you can win with a certain mood.

In this case, we get an extra Encounter token if we win Devious.

Forearmed by this knowledge, we enter the battle itself.




Now that the battlefield is visible, we see that there are three wolves surrounding us, and their side is starting Aggressive.

Like most encounters on the starter maps, the purpose of this battle is to teach us about fighting and the mood system. If we make our own mood Devious, our side will get a bonus against the wolves (as long as they stay Aggressive).

And that is why the game is offering an extra Encounter token for being Devious.

With that in mind, we will open by moving Maria over to one of the wolves and targeting it with her Sadden move...




Maria's Sadden is her default Devious attack - and she's powerful enough with it that she'll one-shot the wolf!




My very first attempt to make a gif ever!

Wait, is Maria... is she encouraging that wolf to hang itself?

I know that earlier we respected that plant's habitat, but are we SURE we're the good guys here?




The question of Maria's character aside, opening with a Devious move did more for us than taking out that wolf:



Our side (left) is now in Devious stance against the wolves' Aggressive stance. Devious trumps Aggressive, and the bonus for that is +25 Grit for all crew members. (Grit is our ability to dodge attacks.)

Also, check out those pips at the left side of the display. While we are in Devious mood, we can still do Friendly or Aggressive moves - but if we do too many, our mood will shift accordingly.

(In most cases, you need three pips to change your mood - using a move on an enemy counts as 1 pip, or 2 if your move takes down the enemy. But continuing to take down enemies with moves matching your current mood will reverse this.)




With this in mind, we bring Emilia over to try HER Devious move against the other wolf up there.

Unfortunately, we have a problem...



Emilia's Try To Enrage attack has a 20% chance of missing - and even if it hits, it won't do enough damage to take out the wolf in one attack!

Changing tactics, we decide to use Emilia's Excite - her basic Friendly move.



Definitely better. This looks like it will leave the wolf with just a tiny sliver of Spirit, but the damage for attacks is slightly randomized, so it could be another one-shot after all!

Go, Emilia!




Unfortunately, my gamble does not pay off. The wolf barely survives Emilia's Friendly move.

But no problem - Pedrinho still hasn't made his move!




Pedrinho's Try To Enrage attack easily finishes off the wolf (who quits the battle in confusion over being hit with both Friendly and Devious moves).

Only one wolf remains on the board - but now it is the wolf's turn.




Being a vicious son of a bitch, the wolf naturally lunges at our most fragile crew member - Maria.




The wolf executes an Aggressive attack which takes off almost half Maria's Spirit. If we hadn't taken out the other two wolves, there'd be enough potential damage coming at us to bury her!

But the other wolves are gone, and this one won't get the chance to bite our Speaker again.




Next round, Maria pushes past the pain to Sadden the last wolf into the abyss of despair.




Maria's attack indeed one-shots the last wolf, ending the encounter with a Devious victory. (You normally get two Encounter tokens for a victory by default, but here we got three because of the Devious bonus for this one.)

Another bonus is that every victory gives a random crew member a mild buff for the rest of the expedition.

Onward, victorious tyrants!




"They make away safely"? Well, good, Maria didn't cause any suicides after all.

(As we progress deeper into our run, you'll notice that this game has the same attitude about violence and conflict as Sid Meier's Pirates - you'll see tons of battles, but rarely any actual deaths.)




Emilia has now earned enough experience to gain a level. While a crew member's ability tree isn't as convoluted as it would be in a MMORPG, everyone gets a pick of two different enhancements every level. For Emilia's level 2, we have a choice between another level of Naturalist or another level of Archaeologist skill.

Naturalist is the better choice here, as that skill is more often used in the Nature challenges we're hunting for Emilia.

Level 2 on every crew member also unlocks their first special move - in Emilia's case, we're getting her Tranquility move, a Friendly AOE heal that grants the Cheer buff (which increases Speech Power).

That'll be super-handy to have for basically every battle ever.




Returning to the map, we see another treasure node directly to the east - but that's the map's final node. If we tap that, we'll end the expedition with half our Supplies remaining. Extremely wasteful!




Instead, we'll try our luck with the Research node to the northeast.




If this were a horror game, we'd already be holding the Idiot Ball.






Damn straight, the Renowned Explorers are so renowned that even rookie explorers like us can expect immediate assistance from random university students.

That's a nice pile of tokens from a starter map node, too. Our Research haul for this expedition is starting to look good.

Adventure continues in the next post!

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; 07-18-2018 at 08:00 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-15-2018, 11:04 AM
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So our crew and the university student fangirl have departed as friends. With that node completed, we return to a moment we've all been waiting for:




Campfire time! If we draw the Lovely Lady card this time, Maria and Pedrinho can get their mojo back!




Aww yeah, there it is. You voters asked for Maria + Pedrinho, and I'm going to give you Maria + Pedrinho!

Those other cards, though, bear a moment's examination.

"Emilia The Botanist" is Emilia's personal campfire story. Aside from what happens with Emilia, we'll get the bonus of improved Discovery tokens for every Nature node we do. Right now, though, Lovely Lady's token bonus for Friendy and Devious victories would help us more.

"Campaign Charm" gives us a pile of Campaign tokens EVERY time a level 3 Beguiler succeeds on Beguiling spins. This is really nice, but 1) Maria is only a level 2 Beguiler right now, and 2) we'll be getting more Friendly victories than Beguiler spins in the near future.

"Polymath" gives us an instant Renown bonus if we have a crew member with ALL three Scientist skills (Archaeology, Naturalism, and Engineering) - and the higher level we have in each skill, the better the bonus. This card is actually really hard to exploit, and it's certainly worthless to us now (Emilia only has Naturalism 2 and Archaeology 1 and no Engineering, so she'd get squat).

So while we're playing Lovely Lady, we're going to keep Emilia The Botanist and Campaign Charm for future expeditions.

Now, let's watch Pedrinho fall in love with Maria!




Aww. The Riot of Rio can start a party just entering a room, but is he a bold enough explorer to navigate the territory of his own heart?




Not yet! Pedrinho decides to play it cool for now.

That's not going to work out for him.




While it's too early for the Maria and Pedrinho romance to blossom (or fail spectacularly), Pedrinho DOES get one bonus right away - a valuable +10% to Speech Power.

Succeeding at this game is basically the art of leveraging dozens of little bonuses like this.




Our camping concluded, we proceed to the east and tap the Supply node.




The same text as when we found a Supply node before the reset, but this time the background is a forest, and Pedrinho is standing with our captain instead of Maria.

Understandable. Pedrinho is obviously trying to avoid Maria for now!




Returning to the map, we have a choice between a Research node and an Encounter node (with a bit of Status).

I'd like to get all our crew members up to level 2 before we face the map boss, so the Encounter node is our best bet.




Again, we have incurred the wrath of angry wolves.




Now we see the wisdom of playing Maria's Lovely Lady card.

The rewards for our encounters have gotten noticeably better!




So these wolves have the same stats (and Aggressive mood) as the first pack, but they're all bunched together, which helps us.




We'll open by having Maria use her Excite move on one of the wolves. Her Friendly move is no less potent than her Sadden attack!




Maria blows the wolf a kiss, and it instantly loses all interest in biting us!




While Maria's Friendly move took out a wolf, it's caused a new problem for us. Our stance is now Friendly against the wolves' Aggressive stance. Aggressive trumps Friendly, so now we have -20 Armor on all crew members, making them more vulnerable to physical attacks!

Luckily, these wolves do little enough damage that I'm not terribly worried. But in the harder battles we'll face in the future, we'll definitely need to avoid this!

While we're here, check out the pips to the left. Usually you need 3 pips to change your mood, but going from Friendly to Aggressive only takes 1!

That means we could fix our Armor problem by having Emilia or Pedrinho make just one Aggressive attack, but no. I want those Campaign tokens, and so we're going to stick with the high (Friendly) road!




To protect Maria (and to go along with the love narrative we've already started), I strategically position Pedrinho between her and the remaining wolves. He'll attack one of them with his own Excite move.

I doubt the move will take the wolf down, but Emilia can finish it off.




To my surprise, Pedrinho one-shots the wolf after all!

Now it's our captain's turn to kick some ass.




Emilia's own Excite move is her best attack, so we may well get a turn 1 victory here. (And going Friendly vs. Aggressive, no less!)




Unfortunately, Emilia once again leaves a wolf barely standing. As in the first encounter, it'll get one attack on us.




Not bothering with a gif this time, but what kind of LP runner would I be if I denied you a shot of our captain getting bitten for her lack of Speech Power?

Luckily, even with the Armor penalty, the wolf's attack barely hurts Emilia. Seriously, the wolf would have to attack her for four or five turns in a row to take her down.

A new round begins, and Pedrinho does the honors of finishing the last wolf off. The moment is not even worth a screenshot.






Victory - Friendly victory - is ours, and we get a nice pile of Campaign tokens to go along with the usual Encounter tokens.




This encounter has also brought both Maria and Pedrinho to level 2.

For level 2, Maria has the choice between Beguiler and Archaeology skill. We already have a Scientist crew member with Archaeology skill, and we want to be able to play that Campaign Charm campfire card, so Beguiler is the obvious choice here.

Meanwhile, Pedrinho has the choice between Survivalist and Beguiler skill. Maria is already our dedicated Beguiler, so it's Survivalist for Pedrinho.

Level 2 also unlocks a special move for both characters. Maria gets her Seduce skill, a Friendly move which is much more powerful than her default Excite, and Pedrinho gets Party Time, which lets him teleport a couple of spaces and Excite-bomb every enemy around him.

Both of these moves will make this map's boss fight much smoother.




As you might have noticed, we've been basically circling the final node to make the most of our Supplies. Continuing in that direction, our next stop is a special node with a Cultural challenge. No doubt this will be a free skill, but what else might it contain?




This definitely looks promising.




And now we have an even harsher challenge than the first challenge! I don't know if I've ever even seen a starter map challenge with a fricking Resolve penalty for failure. That's some final expedition shit, right there.

Aside from a Resolve threat, this challenge brings us another thing we haven't seen in this run yet - a crew member option that has been redded out. (In this case, Maria is too superstitious to attempt the ritual.)

So here's the deal, tyrants. Emilia is the only crew member with any real chance for succeeding at this. If she succeeds, we'll get a free skill level and a pile of Study tokens.

But there's a 26% chance she will fail and cost us a Resolve point.

We currently have 2 Resolve points.

So yeah. If we lose a Resolve point, we'll only have 1 left. We'll get more Resolve after the expedition ends, but before that? We will have to be EXTRA careful with the map boss fight, because if even a single crew member goes down, our run is over!

Granted, Emilia will probably succeed in the challenge, but there's a 1 in 4 chance she'll fail!

While I've made all the no-brainer decision so far, I do not feel comfortable making this call for you.

So I'm putting it to a vote. Is this worth the risk to you? Do we gamble a Resolve point for a free skill level and some more Research?

Your call, tyrants!
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  #25  
Old 07-15-2018, 01:43 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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What kind of candy did the wolves offer to Emilia?
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  #26  
Old 07-15-2018, 01:51 PM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
What kind of candy did the wolves offer to Emilia?
I was wondering if anyone would spot that!

Unfortunately, I don't have an answer. The event didn't go into detail, so we'll just have to use our imaginations.
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  #27  
Old 07-15-2018, 02:04 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Anyway you should totally invoke the Horned God. It'll be fine. Probably.
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  #28  
Old 07-15-2018, 02:19 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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Losing half of our resolve and then having to get a "flawless victory" on the final encounter in order to complete the map does sound like a pretty harsh penalty. Is a new skill even worth the risk? Is there a chance the skill reward might not even be all that helpful to this party?

(The encounters so far have seemed fairly easy but I assume the final one will ramp up the difficulty somewhat.)
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:49 PM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
Losing half of our resolve and then having to get a "flawless victory" on the final encounter in order to complete the map does sound like a pretty harsh penalty. Is a new skill even worth the risk? Is there a chance the skill reward might not even be all that helpful to this party?

(The encounters so far have seemed fairly easy but I assume the final one will ramp up the difficulty somewhat.)
Concerning this map's boss battle: You are correct in that the boss encounter is harder than the battles so far... but not by THAT much. There will be a boss enemy with a group of mobster henchmen. The henchmen do not hit harder than those wolves and will be easy prey to Pedrinho's Party Time and Maria's immense Speech Power. The boss can be somewhat dangerous, but with good tactics, it's generally possible to beat them without losing Resolve. Do not forget that we also have Emilia's Tranquility AOE heal if a crew member is hemorrhaging too much Spirit.

As for skills, it's generally worth pursuing them (IMO). As you can see in that last screenshot, even having one level of a relevant skill is worth a +20% bonus. Our crew can learn 2 skills from leveling up; other than that (and events like this), skills require buying trinkets, entourage members, and a few rare research papers (in other words, skills don't exactly grow on trees). Also, each skill passively adds to a crew member's combat stats a little. Any skill we can get is a good thing.

That said, saving our Resolve is also important! The final expedition is particularly harsh - like I mentioned earlier, challenges that threaten our Resolve are common (on top of generally harsh battles). The more Resolve we can save up, the more wiggle room we'll have in the endgame!

So yeah, I totally did not want to make this decision for everyone.

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; 07-17-2018 at 06:46 AM.
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  #30  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:16 AM
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Mogri Mogri is offline
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do it
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