The Return of Talking Time

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  #31  
Old Yesterday, 03:54 PM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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We have decided to throw caution to the wind and totally do the ritual to honor Cernunnos the Horned God.

Update will come later this evening.
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  #32  
Old Yesterday, 07:31 PM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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Captain Emilia is all for protecting the environment, but she figures that if she's not going to do a ritual for Cernunnos the Horned God when the chance comes up, then why even bother being an explorer?

Go, Emilia!




Swing and a miss. Even with 74%, we failed.

Torzelbaum may now laugh smugly, while the rest of us pay the price for our foolish attempt at cultural appropriation.




So we've lost one of our only two Resolve points, but as a consolation prize, Emilia picks up a level in Archaeologist skill anyway.




Back to the map. The node to the northwest isn't particularly interesting, but check out the empty node southwest of it - that could be the hidden rare token node for this map!

So that's the plan. Get the Status node, check out the empty node, and then double back to hit the final node, beat the boss very carefully, and end this wretched map.

This plan will also use up the rest of our Supplies, thus exploiting everything we could possibly exploit on this map without taking a starvation debuff.




Emilia looks like she's having the time of her life winning 1 miserable Campaign token, but deep down, we know she's as disappointed by this node as we are.




Next up - grabbing an extra rare token before we go home!




Whoomp, there it is. We'll reclaim our Discovery token, thank you very much.

With that, it's a quick trip to the final node - and our first boss encounter!




We've had enough of this island, thanks. Bring it on!






Behold our nemesis. As we progress in this game, Rivaleux (get it?) will serve as the Belloq to our Indiana Jones.

Seriously, exactly like Belloq. He's a French asshat who's dropping in at the end of our opening adventure to steal our hard-earned prize after we've already taken all the hits getting to it!

(If you're curious, those people behind him are his own explorer crew. We'll be taking their shit all game, too - starting right with the fact that Rivaleux has three companions while Emilia is allowed only two.)






Amir Akhtar is the Scout of Rivaleux's crew, a Devious bully with no indoor voice.

He's going to have a social battle with us while his boss steals the menhir.

But we have a perfect party to counter Devious opponents like him, so we're going to curbstomp him - without losing a Resolve point!




This battle brings two new things.

See the skull, the "...", and the green X icons there?

In some battles, we get a better or worse outcome in the aftermath cutscenes if we win with a certain mood. In this case, Devious is the best outcome, Aggressive is just average, and Friendly is worst.

The other new thing is that we only have to defeat the boss (Amir) for this one. Even if his henchmen still surround us, taking him down is an instant win.




The battle opens with Amir a bit out of reach, and half a dozen Mobster henchmen scattered about.

So here's our battle plan. With 1 Resolve point, we can't afford to take chances. All of the Mobsters can be taken out with one hit of any of our Friendly moves, so we'll start by moving hard left and taking out the two Mobsters there.

That will force Amir and all the other Mobsters to congregate towards us. With any luck, we'll be able to nail most of them with a well-aimed Party Time move by Pedrinho, while Maria and Emilia focus their own Friendly moves on Amir.

Wait, what's that you're protesting? Going Friendly will get us the worst outcome? Yes, but it will also do something much more important for us right now.

Watch.






There are hardened, club-wielding thugs who can resist the charm of a Polish archaeologist with a shovel.

Amir's Mobsters are not among them.

So we've taken out one of the two leftmost Mobsters, but look at what else we've done:




Our stance is now Friendly against Amir's Devious. Friendly trumps Devious, so now our crew has +25 Speech Defense - a crippling barrier between Amir's Speech attacks and our last Resolve point!




Now we position Maria and Pedrinho around the other leftmost Mobster, but I'm going to show you a new stunt - Maria is going to target Pedrinho with her Excite move.

Wait, what?

That's right, Friendly moves aren't just for winning over your enemies - they can be used to heal and buff teammates, too!

In this case, Maria is going to give Pedrinho the Excited buff, increasing his Speech Power by a whopping 25%! Not that Pedrinho needed the boost to defeat this Mobster, but next turn, his big Party Time move is going to be epic!




Pedrinho turns to the Mobster, closing in for the kill befriending.

Note how his status bar has the happy green Excited icon - and the man himself is glowing green with flower power!

A moment later, Pedrinho drives the Mobster from the field with a ludicrous amount of Friendly damage, and it is the bad guys' turn.




Start of round 2. Our expert positioning paid off - the bad guys have moved in, but none of them were close enough to launch even a single attack.

And now Amir is exactly where we want him - in striking distance of all three of our crew.




Go, Maria! We choose you!

So we're going to start by having Maria aim her new Seduce special move right at Amir. Look at the power of that move. Amir is a boss, but if this shot lands, it'll take almost two-thirds of his Spirit total!

Better yet, that pink face icon means it'll inflict Amir with the Impressed debuff (the only Friendly debuff there is), giving him -25 Speech Defense until another social attack changes his mood, which in turn will make it even easier to finish him off.




Maria shows some leg, catching Amir's eye - and his fate is sealed.




The coup de grace will be delivered by Pedrinho, courtesy of his Party Time move.

Observe that it will do enough Spirit damage to send Amir AND both of his Mobster escorts packing.

Show us how it's done, Pedrinho.




Check and mate, Amir.

And a flawless victory for us - we ended this boss fight without taking a single damn point of damage, much less lose any Resolve. Our crew's new special moves made all the difference.




Rack up another Friendly victory and a bonus pile of Campaign tokens.

Okay, we got the "bad" outcome, but for the starter map victory, it's really not so bad. We miss out on a couple of Study tokens and a permanent but measly +1 to everyone's Speech Power. We still get the same Treasure as the good outcome!




Yeah, our weakness. Says the guy who got love-bombed off the field before he could even do anything.

It's nice to see that Emilia has a mood other than Stepford Explorer, though.

Next post: the conclusion of our first expedition, the main Treasure for this map, and the return to civilization to spend all the Research, Gold, and Status we've collected!

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; Today at 08:18 AM.
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  #33  
Old Yesterday, 07:32 PM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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We're doing a Research strategy, so we'd like to make an amazing contribution to the sciences, please.




Our new druid friend makes a show of divining a location to a Treasure.

Look at how Emilia and Pedrinho are laughing. I think they realize the druid already knows damn well where the Treasure is, and he's just pretending to be magical to build suspense.

Well, let's see what we're getting.




The Sea Sapphire. Emilia already has the Naturalist skill, and I plan to get her still more levels in Naturalist as the game progresses, so we'll take the Study bonus for that.




We did conclude our starter expedition on a high note, what with curbstomping the boss and getting a Treasure with a bonus we can use.

But the path getting here was about the roughest I've ever had on the first map. A restart and losing a Resolve point? Ouch.

No matter. It's time to return to civilization and spend our rewards!




The sum total of everything we earned in our first expedition. Not bad, but we could have done better.

We will do better.




The end of every expedition also shows us our current rank among explorers. As this was our rookie expedition, we're still dead last on the list, while Rivaleux is at the top.

You may rest assured that we will dethrone him by the end of expedition 4 at the latest.




And here it is revealed that the Renowned Explorers are a British organization. With all the imperialism of our mission, of course, there was never any doubt.

Still, another Treasure just for showing up? We'll take some of that action!




Our official Renowned Explorers: International Society Membership package comes with a mild Renown bonus, a free Insight point, and a permanent +2 for our Supply capacity.

Nice (even if it's apparently dog food), but we're going to need even more Supplies.

And we're exactly where we need to be to get them.




Behold the Research screen.

This is where we can complete the research fields I talked about in the first post.

At first, only two of the fields are available - Observations and History. History is good if you're going for a Status / entourage game, while Observations is good for everyone else (particularly Research strategies).

We will be taking Observations... and we'll be able to finish the entire field before we set off for expedition 2.

From this particular field, our crew will get the following bonuses:
  • Opening the field: One crew member gains any Archaeology, Naturalist, or Engineering skill. (We're giving Emilia another Naturalist skill, because Sea Sapphire.)
  • Paper - Science Assistants: We gain 2 Insight points and a Student joins our entourage (improving Study tokens by +1-2 Research).
  • Paper - German Laboratory: We gain +2 Study tokens for spending Insight in Berlin (aka the only place we can spend Insight on Study tokens right now).
  • Paper - Research Explorers: Crew with Archaeologist, Naturalist, or Engineer skill gain +1 Study token for succeeding on the Adventure Wheel.
At this point, we've exhausted the Research we got from the expedition, so we send Emilia over to spend some Insight.




The starter jobs are geared towards Collect, Campaign, and Study. Right now, we're most interested in Research, so we're doing the Study one.

With all the various bonuses Emilia gets towards Insight spending, we can get more Research out of one Insight point than we get from a rare Discovery token!

It takes three of our five Insight points, but we earn enough Research to complete the Observations tree, gaining:
  • Paper - Scientist Senses: +1 Study token for entering a challenge node of our choice (I picked Nature, to further boost Emilia's bonus for Nature nodes).
  • Paper - Improved Storage: +2 Supply capacity. (Boom.)
With the Observations research field finished, we receive a final bonus:



Since we're focusing on Research, I choose to boost our Renown awards from THAT.




Of course, Research is not everything. We're going to need a bit more Gold to prepare for the next expedition, so I send Pedrinho over to trade Insight for Gold. (Scouts get the best deal for Gold, just as Scientists like Emilia are the best for Research.)




Pedrinho gets his money, leaving us with one Insight point (which I will save for a future expedition).

In the shop, we have just enough Gold to equip Pedrinho and Maria with Monkey Wrenches. This will grant them both Terror resistance (one category of Devious attacks), thus further strengthening us against Devious encounters.

It will also grant them both an Engineering skill, thus ensuring that all crew members have at least one science skill.

Now why would we want science skills on anyone but Emilia?

Here's a hint:




Now that Maria, Pedrinho, and Emilia all have at least one of those skills, all three of them will gain +1 Study token on every challenge ever. And thanks to our Scientist helper, that token will be worth another point or two of Research than before. And those Research points will contribute 50% more to our Renown than before.

If you're the sort of player who likes analyzing systems and breaking them wide open, this game can be a delight.

(I know what you might be thinking now - why the Cthulhu-banging hell didn't I buy any Armor for our crew? Because, dear tyrants, I think that - with careful play - we can handle the second expedition without upgrading our gear, especially if we choose our next map wisely. And if we don't splat, we'll end up with WAY more Research than we would otherwise! Yes, I am gambling once again.)

Anyway, we've spent all the Gold, Research, and Insight that we can for now, but we still have one more reward to enjoy: Status!




Meet our first official entourage specialist - the Spanish folk hero "Vigilante". He will teach Pedrinho another level of Survivalist skill and grant him +1 Study token on all Survivalist spins. (On top of the Study bonus Pedrinho will already earn for having an Engineering skill!)

Sadly, that cost almost all the Status that we had, so we can do no more for our entourage at this time. But our new specialist and our Student helper have already served us well.

With all our purchases concluded, there's only one thing left to do.




Yes, tyrants, it is time to vote again. We have three choices for where to go next:




Right now, we have exactly one of those skills - and exactly one crew member who does not suck at Devious attacks (Maria). This map might not be a good choice for us, guys.




Now this is more like it. We actively hunt all Nature challenges and Research... but can our super-Friendly crew handle a largely Aggressive map?




Also intriguing! When it comes to being Friendly, our crew could bury Mr. Rogers himself, so the encounters for this will probably be another cakewalk - and we definitely could use more Gold to upgrade our pitiful Armor. But is that more valuable to us than the all the potential Research from the Roche Treasure map?

So where should we go?
  • The Mali Mystery map, which demands exactly our Friendly approach and has needed Gold.
  • The Roche's Lost Treasure map, which offers tons of our beloved Research, but the Aggressive approach will be more of a challenge for us.
  • The insane choice of the Hungarian Fort map, which - with our crew - will doubtless be a parade of failed challenges and painful fights until we TPK.
(Note: We are back up to 3 Resolve, so we're out of the danger zone... for now.)

Commence voting, tyrants!

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; Today at 07:05 AM.
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  #34  
Old Yesterday, 08:56 PM
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Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivisector 9999 View Post
Torzelbaum may now laugh smugly
Nah, I'm not happy about being on the correct side in this outcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivisector 9999 View Post
  • The Mali Mystery map, which demands exactly our Friendly approach and has needed Gold.
  • The Roche's Lost Treasure map, which offers tons of our beloved Research, but the Aggressive approach will be more of a challenge for us.
  • The insane choice of the Hungarian Fort map, which - with our crew - will doubtless be a parade of failed challenges and painful fights until we TPK.
(Note: We are back up to 3 Resolve, so we're out of the danger zone... for now.)

Commence voting, tyrants!
Mali seems like the right choice at this point but if you go there will you have to punt on the non-Beguiler challenges? And will you be able to go back to those other expeditions or is it best to go the highest difficult level that's available?
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  #35  
Old Yesterday, 09:57 PM
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I regret nothing. Fortune favors the bold. Except when it doesn't because that's how fortune works.

That said, I would prefer the Mali treasure as well, because fortune does not favor jerks.
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  #36  
Old Today, 04:39 AM
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Vivisector 9999 Vivisector 9999 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
Mali seems like the right choice at this point but if you go there will you have to punt on the non-Beguiler challenges? And will you be able to go back to those other expeditions or is it best to go the highest difficult level that's available?
Some wise questions here!

Concerning the non-Beguiler challenges - yes, that is one possible drawback to a Mali expedition. But the challenges might not be too harsh (this is still only the second expedition) and if there's one we really, really need to succeed at, we'll have Emilia's Tool to help us.

Granted, we're still gambling there. But losing this one (ie being forced to walk away from a few challenges) will not hurt us as much as the Roche map's big threat (getting battles where Friendly is not a workable option).

As for your second question - you can always go to any map that has been unlocked (you can only visit a map once, though). However, it is indeed best to visit the highest-tier maps available, as the rewards are much better and our characters will keep growing. The only time I've ever gone to a lower-tier map is the final expedition when I already had 2500+ Renown - and I've already promised not to do that.

Last edited by Vivisector 9999; Today at 07:23 AM.
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  #37  
Old Today, 06:14 AM
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Taeryn Taeryn is offline
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sounds to me like we could use the gold to make us a bit tankier so we can afford to take bigger risks in the future.

I say go for the Mali adventure
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  #38  
Old Today, 06:56 AM
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Roche promises more book-smart learnings, so it snags my vote.
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