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Other good AD&D CRPGs?

Discussion in 'Playground' started by gibberishh, Feb 25, 2023.

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  1. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Hey all. I've spent the last few years playing and replaying and replaying IWDEE, IWD2 and NWN. I've also played BG and BG2.

    My question is very basic: are there other good 2E games I can play, preferably based on the infinity engine? I've decided I absolutely despise 3E (don't hate me). IWDEE happens to be my favourite game style: create your own party (as against BG where you recruit NPCs), make very simple choices at level up, things like Turn Undead fire once per round (as against IWD2 where it fires like a spell), and hopefully come up with decent combat strategies every now and then.

    I would love to play a different game (hopefully with a good story) which "feels" like IWDEE, and preferably has more multiclassing flexibility, though that is not pertinent. E.g., I'd love to be able to create bard multiclasses to have the bard's song or a blade's offensive spin (I'm thinking thief/blade with offensive spin*), but I don't want to wade into 3E for that. I will not be too disappointed if this is not available.
    *Although I can probably use EEKeeper to give offensive spin to a thief, I prefer not to do that.

    My fav class to play is Thief or Assassin so if any game has that implemented well, pls let me know.

    Newness of game doesn't matter. In fact, the older the better -- I usually end up referring to walkthroughs for my first playthrough because I'm so terrified of missing out on XP :p

    It will be nice of you to include 3 specific details: whether the games you are recommending are more IWD style or BG style, whether they are undead-heavy or not (just my personal quirk), and whether they have more multiclassing flexibility than IWDEE or not.

    Pinging @SlickRCBD @Mati and any other kind soul who wishes to enlighten me.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2023
  2. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    No other 2nd edition IE games exist. As for the 3rd or 3.5 editions, Troika’s Temple of Elemental Evil (ToEE) was really good, especially with the Temple+ Mod.

    Good non-IE 2nd edition games are the old SSI Goldbox games. I would highly recommend Darksun Shattered Lands and the Krynn trilogy. If you like blobbers, go with the Eye of the Beholder trilogy.

    For non-D&D, take a look at Knights of the Chalice 2 and if you love BG, try The Black Geyser Couriers of Darkness. The dev obviously LOVED BG. Also Lords of Xulima. All quality games.
     
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  3. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Uh, Planescape: Torment is AD&D (mostly). But it's quite undead-heavy, very limited in terms of class selection (F/M/T) and quite different from both IWD and BG. It's a unique experience and among the best CRPGs ever made, so definitely worth checking out. Note, the beginning can be off-putting and a lot of people have given up on the game before getting out of the Mortuary, but persevering really pays off.
     
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  4. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    How did I EVER forget PT? I feel like I blasphemed….
     
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  5. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    What's so off-putting that makes people quit before getting out of the Mortuary? That's like quitting Baldur's Gate before getting out of Candlekeep, or BG2 before escaping Irenicus' intro dungeon. Although it is a bit longer than either of those, it's more like PoR's Stillwater section or NWN's "Attack on the Training Academy" prologue.
    Admittedly you're stuck as a fighter until well after you get out and it took me forever to track down the trainers to switch classes since I usually like to try to play a game without guides the first time.
    In fact, I didn't even realize that I could switch classes at first, I thought the description of other classes was for NPCs that join you.

    Back on topic, as for other 2E games, I can't really think of any for the computer. There is "Ravenloft" and "Menzoberrizan", but those are quite different. I didn't really enjoy them like I did the more turn based games, although I did enjoy Eye of the Beholder due to it being obviously based on "Dungeon Master". Ravenloft and Menzoberrizan are sort of a cross with the gameplay of Eye of the Beholder come to think of it.

    There are a few games that feel like BG, but are not Dungeons and Dragons. "Konung" and "Divine Divinity" are some older titles, as well as to a lessor extent "Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura". Be warned that with Arcanum some people have trouble with getting it to work. I myself couldn't get it to work in XP despite finding patches, and can only play it under Windows 98SE on a now ancient computer, although come to think of it I never tried with my Windows 10 computer, giving up with a Vista/7 dual-boot computer before Windows 8 was around. It also has a few bugs and I strongly recommend you get some fan-made fixpacks, just like the G3 fixpack (successor to Baldurdash) is recommended here for the Baldur's Gate games.
    More modern there is "Pillars of Eternity" and "Tyranny", although I have only tried them out as I just got a new monitor that seems to scale better than my old one and I can actually play them now without eye strain despite having them since Epic gave them away during the COVID crisis. I'm currently playing something else and am going to play those next, although I did play a couple hours of each to try them out and got hooked, which is a good sign.

    Dragon Age:Origins was also made by Bioware and has a feel similar to Baldur's Gate, but is a brand new setting and system inspired by RPGs and CRPGs, but something new. I haven't gotten around to getting DA2 or Inquisition yet.

    Fallout and Diablo have some superficial similarities, but Fallout has more in common with Jagged Alliance, while Diablo is a clickfest of hack and slash and more like Rogue with graphics. I'm not saying they are bad games at all, just different.
    Honestly, I'm having a hard time coming up with something similar to the way the IE games play besides Konung, Divine Divinity, and to a lessor extent Arcanum. I know I'm forgetting something obvious.

    The NWN games have a different feel, and there aren't too many like those either, Knights of the Old Republic is one of the few to come to mind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2023
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  6. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Thanks all. At the moment (based on very preliminary research) it seems I will be trying out Eye of the Beholder. Or at least I'll read more about it and the Goldbox games to eventually decide.

    Yes, NWN is a totally different feel. I kinda got pushed into it and liked it at first. I remember my first encounter with KOTOR and it wasn't really my cuppa. I've played the Diablo series a lot and that is a totally different genre for me -- hack-n-slash. I'm more into turn-based (preferably party-oriented) now though I still play Diablo whenever my brain is numb.

    From what little I've read about PT (on this site), I might give that a go too. But @Taluntain, I tried looking up the Screenshots page for it and it's totally void of any images :(

    PS: Don't fireball the messenger. Taluntain only relayed observed/stated reaction of other players, not his own, in an obvious effort to advise me to "stick with it."

    Edit: Just read up quite a bit on Dark Sun: Shattered Lands and it's looking very promising. This just might be the one!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2023
  7. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Check the "Gameplay Screenshots · Game Movies Screenshots" links above the text.

    Yea, giving up on the game before getting out of the Mortuary was kind of a theme with a significant number of players, so I just pre-emptively mentioned it.
     
  8. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    If you liked Dungeon Master (also a remake for free on Steam, but it's not quite the same) or Legend of Grimrock you'll like Eye of the Beholder.
    Menzoberranzan and Ravenloft have some superficial similarities, but are a bit different.

    P.S. does anybody have a .CONF file to get Menzoberranzan to work with DOSBox? I understand GoG is selling it now and they usually use DOSBox. However, I don't have that version. I have the Forgotten Realms Silver Edition on CD-ROM.
    It always seems to go slow and unresponsive in DOSBox even on my most modern computer.

    P.P.S. I wouldn't mind hearing about other BG-style RPGs I might have missed myself.
     
  9. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Send me your install folder (7z?) and I'll try and make a conf file. I'm usually quite good at it... I still play HeroQuest*, Phantasmagoria (1 and 2), Ultima 8, Hocus Pocus and a few other games on DosBOX.

    I prefer to have the install folder rather than the source CD.

    *As a kid, I was fortunate enough to play the tabletop HeroQuest, my first-ever D&D.
     
  10. Felipe

    Felipe ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Did you try to change the video backends in the configuration's screen? Maybe that helps. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2023
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    @gibberishh , I don't think I have it installed anymore. I can't find it on my 98SE/XP computer or my Vista/7 computer. I don't recall ever trying it on my Windows 10 computer. I could reinstall it tomorrow, I just need to dig out the CD-ROM.
    @Felipe I am pretty sure I played around with some of the video settings, but it's been around 8-10 years since I last messed with it.
     
  12. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Just installed Dark Sun: Shattered Lands... all 14MB of it! :D
    Seems I'm gonna have to find the manual too. Character creation is already throwing me. I'm able to max out all stats for all characters? In fact, I can separately left/right-click on HP to max that out too. The numbers differ slightly depending on the race but it still feels weird. And I have no idea what the die roll on the character creation screen affects.
    I'll eventually get there... I hope [fingers crossed]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2023
  13. Felipe

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    Indeed, you can maximize everything and your stats maximized or not depend of the class you choose.
     
  14. Felipe

    Felipe ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    I see, i suggest you try some forks of dosbox out there that are updated more often than the main program. ;)

    Edit - i wish there was a way to delete posts, i want to edit this msg in the post above. :/
     
  15. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Just spent the last few hours going through the entire manual. From first appearances it looks like the closest thing to AD&D in a PC game. However, I am still unsure why the game allows you to max out all stats vs. distribute points across stats. Feels very cheat-ish to me. Not that I'm complaining -- max stats will be kinda nice for my first play while I get a feel for the environment and game style.

    Also got what seems to be a decent walkthrough. Any spellcasters who want to cast Luck on me, TIA ;)
     
  16. Felipe

    Felipe ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Well, the game is from 1994 i believe, not much in the way of the bug fixing patches if i'm not mistaken, max stats is (almost surely) a bug. ;)
     
  17. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    This site has it, and a ton of other manuals. It's been a great resource for games I pick up at the library "book sales" for the last 20 years:
    http://www.replacementdocs.com

    This was normal when SSI had the license for making AD&D games. Gold Box Games, Eye of the Beholder trilogy as well as Menzoberrizan allowed for this. I think Ravenloft did too.
    Most versions of the Gold Box games however would penalize your for doing so, by increasing the number of enemies you faced the better your stats.
    I don't know if any of the others did this.

    As for max stats, it was allowed in Dark Sun, to the limits on the race and class. Try maxing the half-giant's mental stats to see what I mean. Dark Sun was odd compared to previous A&DD games in that some stats could go up to 20. I don't know it that was reflecting in the source material as my group concentrated on the Forgotten Realms and never purchased any Dark Sun books. Although we did get a couple of Greyhawk modules early on without realizing it until afterwards. They could be useful for generic adventures however.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2023
  18. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Yes, max values are dependent on the race. That is as one would expect in any game, not weird at all. What's weird is that the amount of points available to distribute across stats is neither a fixed amount nor determined by a dice roll. If it results in more monsters -- and if I can survive through them -- all the better. More xp for me.

    The manual lists max 9 clevels and 5 spell levels only. And not too many 5th-level spell slots even with high stats. So maybe leveling up too quickly is not of particular advantage? I dunno, I'm just speculating. And it's a concern for the first play that both the manual and walkthrough are warning me that there aren't many resting points in the game.

    And I'm going to have to get used to the concept of Psych powers in addition to spells. I have a feeling I might not end up actively using them at all, or I'll remember to use them only after I've run out of spells for the day :( I've chosen Telepathy for all my characters because some defensive telepathic powers are auto-triggered by the game when required (acc to the manual).
     
  19. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I don't recall any telepathy actually working automatically. Everything had to be manually triggered. However, I haven't played in years, not since before I got my Win10 computer in 2018.
    I do recall that the non-psionicist characters didn't use their abilities much except for the mind blank and the psychometabolism's healing ability. At least not after escaping the slave pits of the Arena. Early on they are all useful.
    That said, if you are new to the game, I'd strongly recommend having one of each of the disciplines and one multi-classed psionicist with all three. The latter is not optimal, but you don't get a feel for what you want on your first play through and it allows you to experiment.

    I'd also recommend taking as many classes as possible with mutliclassing for your first play through. You get enough XP that it only hurts you in the beginning if you try to farm the arena for gold (one of the only places where you can do this and it pays off to do so as you tend to be rather starved for money if you don't build up a small fortune at the beginning. Also the game will be hard if you had enough triple-classed characters and did not level up at least one level, preferably two at the Arena, but you don't need to increase more than two levels for your triple class characters. That being each class increased by two). Even then it's not as serious an issue since you can usually stop and rest (occasionally the Announcer says "That was too easy" and releases stronger monsters).

    P.S. Could somebody remind me of what advantages Gladiators have over fighters or the disadvantage of Rangers over fighters? It sounds like with Gladiators you get a -1 to AC at 5th level at the expense of being restricted to a single class, but otherwise are identical to fighters.
    Rangers get all kinds of advantages if they refrain from heavy armor such as two-weapon fighting and spell casting, but I don't recall any down sides.
     
  20. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    This is from the Manual under Telepathy:
    No idea what other advantages Gladiators have. It sounds like they should do slightly more damage than fighters but that is just unsubstantiated mis/interpretation of the manual. They progress slower in levels than fighters.
     
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