Showing posts with label GSIV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GSIV. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2016

River’s Rest and Dust

I was wondering why there was so much dust in River’s Rest. It turns out that River’s Rest is modeled on Andalusia in Spain.

Andalusia is a Mediterranean climate and experiences both torrential rains and cool dry spells. This was revealed by Scribes on the forum.

Perhaps the image on the left is the hills where the Kakore was harvested for my runestaff.

I think it is wonderful.

The current descriptions go back to Bradach and Jineer. They gave the town a dry and dusty flavor, with vague hints of Middle Eastern Culture. I would describe it as Moorish, but Middle Eastern fits, too.

Another possible Easter egg in the town is the inexplicable model ship available at Bertha’s. It might have been modeled on the ship in MYST, however no clear evidence of this exists. There is a couple of ships in the River’s Rest environ’s, so this could be completely independent of the MYST ship.

Gemstone IV help doc


This is a level and creature tracker. The key at the shows experience points for levels. Write you level number in the box with 100. In the boxes to the left add one to your level, to the right subtract one.
The two squares are for ticking of 25 or 100 creatures. You can use the experience key to determine how many critters you need to kill per level.
When I get around to scanning, I will added it to the Artwork and Maps page. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Certain Vibe – Dyson’s Delves, Tsoran and Gemstone IV

I’ve been a gamer since I could read. Perhaps, thanks to my dad, before I could read.
Some of my favorite games have something in common, a certain vibe. My favorite D&D modules are some of the earliest: Keep on the Borderlands,Ghost Tower of Inverness, Isle of Dread, and the adventure that appeared in Butterfield, Parker and Honigmann’s What is Dungeons and Dragons book.
All of them have the same vibe; an organic construction, a hint of what is to come and a basic hook that could be implemented at anytime. There is the name place which is foreboding and yet interesting. A diagram like structure of events. A collection of “show, don’t tell” sample characters to inform the DM of what is expected from the players. And nothing else.
It was all so simple:
“Do X and maybe Y will happen.
“Can’t really say for sure, your players have free rein.
“Make it work.”
I loved the way these old modules assumed that you and your players had something to bring to the table. There were events, maps, and charts documented, but you needed people to make the whole thing work.
That is awesome.
Recently, I returned to Gemstone IV, a MUD that thrives on the idea that players make the story. Being entirely text based, everything is very rich in descriptions and only rarely does art make it’s way into this world. There are many talented artists at Simutronics; but again, living by their player base, the players also a very creative bunch. Strangely, one of the most prolific “artists” was a player going by the handle Tsoran. He spent his time creating maps of the Lands of Elanthia. He may not consider himself to be an artist, but his maps ARE the image of the Lands. It is what I picture when I think of the game.
A number of years ago, Tsoran stepped away from the game and left the work of mapping the Lands to others. There would be no more updates to his maps. I have always been enviously of his detailed maps and wanted to make my own. Sadly, they never compared and I did not share too many.
Until I stumbled on Dyson Logo and his tutorials. Using his methods, I quickly cranked out a map that I loved. One that did not surpass Tsoran’s source materials, but stood along side. I was extremely please with myself.
Soon, I found myself digging through Dyson’s maps and blog postsfor more artwork to emulate so that I could improve my works. I found that he has a series of books called Dyson Delves. I ordered the first one and found myself back in The Keep on the Borderlands.
Dyson’s books capture that certain vibe. Unscripted but beautifully detailed. Just thumbing through the first book gave me the same feeling I had when reading those classic modules.
Go give Dyson a try. His work is available at RPGNow in electronic form or from Lulu in book form.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Premium = 16 character slots

I recently upgraded to premium and re-activated every character on my account. I ended up with character slots to spare.
I couldn’t help but notice that I had two empaths, a rogue, a sorcerer, a bard, and four wizards. I have played paladins and warriors on another account, they don’t really speak to me. I know I wanted to try a cleric so I set one up in River’s Rest. But where do I go from here?
My main character is a sorcerer, I am really happy with how he is working out. I’ve had him for more than a decade. My second character is an empath which I also love a lot.
I am tempted to create one of everything and double up on the six classes I enjoy the most.
To this end, I started a basic cleric, bard and ranger. I hope to have one of everything up to level 5 in a few weeks.