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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Astronomy, Elanthian Style

Elanthia is interesting. This world is set in what would be our Middle Ages or slightly before, yet they have developed astronomy due to the weird nature of their satellites.
Examine Stars:
You gaze up into the sky and see a broad field of lights…
An elaborate and expansive pattern of twenty-one stars shines directly overhead through the darkness of the night sky, forming the serpentine coils of a magnificent drake, its raised head framed by a dark indigo nebula. Every star within sparkles with a brilliant silver hue, highlighting the twinkling outline of the regal creature as it drifts its way through the darkness.
Examine Lornon:
You gaze up into the heavens scanning for the moon Lornon…
Lornon drifts through the upper sky as a full perfect circle. Whorls of darker hue shift slowly across the icy disc, their rhythmic swirling nearly blending in completely with the blackness of the sky.
Examine Liabo:
You gaze up into the heavens scanning for the moon Liabo…
Liabo isn’t anywhere to be seen right now.
You gaze up into the heavens scanning for the moon Makiri…
Makiri isn’t anywhere to be seen right now.
You gaze up into the heavens scanning for the moon Tilaok…
Tilaok isn’t anywhere to be seen right now.
No only does the planet have four satellites, they move. The moons play a great part in the history of Elanthia, Lornon is the most prominent moon and the home of the evil Arkati. Liabo, the largest moon, is the home of the good Arkati. Tilaok and Makiri orbit Liabo, not the planet.
In the distant future, Makiri will plunge into the surface of Liabo in a titanic cataclysm. Once a month, Lornon is tinted blood red. The cause of this is unknown. In the distant future, the moon always appears red.


It appears that the world of Elanthia is shared by three game systems – DragonRealms, Gemstone IV and Dragons of Elanthia. Gemstone IV takes place many years before DragonRealms and who knows when Dragons of Elanthia takes place.

Black Ora Weapons

My sigil-etched black Ora mace is sort of a disappointment. I thought it would flare, but it doesn’t because it has been uncursed. Pity.
However, today Serendipity was able to ensorcell it. Right now I just have a level one temporary ensorcellment, but soon I shall have a permanent cast on it.

Strange tactics

Gemstone IV has a lot of depth. There are many classic tactics you can use, such a parry tag, combat maneuvers or spells to slow opponents down.
However, the are some more subtle  tricks built right into the game. For example, going prone before an elemental wave hits will not hurt you. The same for shield bash. It is also unlikely that you would sucked into an implosion.
Going prone affects affects both offense and defense by 50 points. Choose carefully.


Sometimes, a minus 50 is better than vaporization.
Other tricks include the basic warding check. If an  opponent has Fasthr’s Reward running casting a low level warding spell can trip the Reward, ending the spell. For example, Dark Catalyst costs 19 points to cast and is really expensive to cast against Reward. Blood Burst costs one point and has the same chance to trigger and eliminate this defense. Other good choices are Corrupt Essence against spell casters and Spirit Barrier against swingers. The nice thing about these cheap spells is that they can trigger the Reward even if the creature is not subject to the attack type.
For example, Purified Citadel Heralds are immune to Blood Burst due to their undead status, but Blood Burst still forces a warding check. This effect is the same as casting Limb Disrupt on a creature with no limbs, you can succeed in overwhelming their TD or Target Defense, but that success will not effect a creature with no limbs.
Old Golems used to be puncture immune; it is the exact same situation, you can hit them with an arrow but it doesn’t do anything. This has been remedied my changing Golems to “puncture resistance”, so current Golems aren’t a good analogy any more. Certain creatures are completely immune to magic, trying this stunt is a waste of time. Vvreal and Constructs come to mind.

Rock is paper vs cold and fire

An ingenious attack method built right into GSIV. Cold and fire spells against stone creatures cause extra damage. Casting Dark Catalyst against stone trolls or giants causes their skin to crack to horrific effect. The temperature differential adds another round of damage a moment or two later.
This is different than the standard Fire Spirit against trolls. That merely slows or stops regeneration for a time. The temperature differential is extra damage. This is a good thing because that stone skin is as tough as metal.

My pet theory - Monster Combat Tactics

I have a pet theory. If a creature can’t hit you with weapons, it switches to magic. If that fails, it will try combat maneuvers.

This is roughly how a combat maneuver appears to a sorcerer.

At level 60, I can’t help but notice how often Hisskra will attempt their dart maneuver or how shield bashy Tomb Trolls can get.

One of these days, I will roll up a swinging type character and take them to the Tower or Keep to see if they get the same effect. At level, I suspect that cman’s are just one tool. When fighting at a disadvantage, cman’s will be used to affect characters.

Remember, this is just a theory.

Decaying Citadel Guardsman Plasma Attack?

The Rest is always full of surprises. 

>A decaying Citadel guardsman raises her red steel Hammer of Kai high
above her head and begins twirling it around. Faster and faster it spins, causing radiant white flames to fly out in all directions and shower the room in motes of searing plasma!

One of the brilliant white motes heads right for you!
A mote of radiant white energy passes harmlessly by you!
Roundtime: 3 sec.

I suspect this would hurt. I have no idea what it would have done to me. 

Slate Wands - Old Equipment

I have a couple of old slate wands in my locker. I wonder if these are rechargeable.  

>analyze wand
You analyze your slate wand and sense that the item is free from merchant alteration restrictions.
You get no sense of whether or not the wand may be further lightened.
>analyze other wand
You analyze your slate wand and sense that the item is free from merchant alteration restrictions.
You get no sense of whether or not the wand may be further lightened.
>pre 405
You gesture and invoke the powers of the elements for the Elemental Detection spell…
Your spell is ready.
>cast at wand
You gesture at a slate wand.
The essence swirls as it flows in a fog of chaotic patterns around the wand.
Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.
(Forcing stance down to guarded)
>pre 405
You gesture and invoke the powers of the elements for the Elemental Detection spell…
Your spell is ready.
>cast at other wand
You gesture at a slate wand.
The essence swirls as it flows in a fog of chaotic patterns around the wand.
Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.

They don’t play nice with 405 like a Thanot Wand so I don’t know how many charges they have. 

>cast at wand
You gesture at a pale thanot wand.
You sense that the wand is a magic item that holds the spell “Limb Disruption” with a fair amount of charges.
Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.

A hit, a palpable hit.

I am off hunting swordsmen, so of course I can only find heralds. This morning, I decided to ensorcell my baby blue kakore runestaff. It was a good choice. 

>incant 719
You trace an intricate sign that contorts in the air while
forcefully invoking Dark Catalyst…
Your spell is ready.
You gesture at a putrefied Citadel herald.
CS: +325 – TD: +280 + CvA: +17 + d100: +48 == +110
Warding failed!
… and hits for 11 points of damage!
A putrefied Citadel herald is suddenly engulfed in flames of pure
essence!
… 25 points of damage!
Flames incinerate right leg to the bone. Not a pleasant sight.
It is knocked to the ground!
… 15 points of damage!
The Citadel herald’s left arm trembles with the cold.
… 20 points of damage!
Heavy shock to left leg. Gonna limp for awhile.
… 25 points of damage!
Strong blow to chest!
You feel 5 mana surge into you!

Necrotic energy from your kakore runestaff overflows into you! 
You feel energized!
Your kakore runestaff flares with a burst of flame! 
… 15 points of damage!
Burst of flames chars neck a crispy black.
You hear a sound like a weeping child as a white glow separates itself
from the Citadel herald’s body as it rises, disappearing into the heavens.
A putrefied Citadel herald writhes on the ground then spits, “This
cannot be defeat…” before lying motionless.
The very powerful look leaves a putrefied Citadel herald.
The white light leaves a putrefied Citadel herald.
The dim aura fades from around a putrefied Citadel herald.
A white glow rushes away from a putrefied Citadel herald.
A putrefied Citadel herald seems slightly different.
A putrefied Citadel herald seems hesitant.
Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.

I tagged him with DC which triggered a flare from my kakore staff and then an ensorcellment flare. I wish someone had been there to applaud. 

Runestave Collection

Magarven is lucky. He has found three rune staves in three weeks, bringing his collection to 4 four.
He first is a blackened orase runestaff, which is +20 and ensorcelled.
The second is a deringo runestaff that carries two different enhancements. It adds +2 to my mana and +6 to Dexterity. It has an odd bonus of +14. It is currently fully charged.
The third is a baby blue kakore runestaff, which adds to my mana regeneration. It is also ensorcelled. This one has bonus of +9 and flares with fire.
The last and most recent discovery is a banded faewood runestaff. It does not appear to have any special statistics other than the +20 to defense.
Pretty soon I will need a golf bag for all of my staves.

Tips and Tricks – Enhancives

There is a quick trick to figuring out if an item has a temporary enhancive bonus. Take it to the Adventurer's Guild and attempt to recharge it. Not only does this detect an enhancive you might not know about, he will tell you if it is full or not.

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.