Realms of Arkania: Shadows over Riva
Just a quick update. I'm 32 hours in and have 314/1000 points. Despite the point total, I figure I'm closer to 50% through the game. I've just entered the Magician's Tower, which according to the couple of walkthroughs I'm referencing, puts me at 40-50% through the game. The main thing I wanted to talk about was leveling up characters. Since my characters were imported in at a higher level, it's taken this long for them to hit their next level up. So far, 5 out of my 6 characters have gotten their first level up in this game. I'd forgotten how satisfying the level up experience is in this series! You *can* choose to let the computer level up your character, OR you can manually do it yourself. If you do it yourself, it can take up to 20 minutes per character, if you care to really put the time into maximizing your characters. First, you choose one positive attribute to increase. Then you choose one negative attribute to reduce. See this guide for more details: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/564655-realm … tiny/faqs/64921
There is a chance, depending on how high the positive attribute or low the negative attribute already is, that your attempt will fail. Then, if your character has spell casting abilities, you choose how to divide your points into Life Points (HP) or Astral Points (magic points). Otherwise, you get a random increase in LP. If you're unhappy with what you get, and you have a recent save point, you can reload and try again. Then, you get 20 chances to add to your skill points. There are numerous skills you can increase, and the higher the skill points are, the more likely an attempt will fail. If your character has magic abilities, then you next do the same things with spell points. Spells are much different in this game than most RPGs. Simply put, each spell starts out with a score dependent on your character's starting stats (race, profession, etc). The value can be as low as -20 and as high as 10 (estimates). The higher each spell value, the more likely the caster can successfully cast that spell. So a value of zero has about a 50/50 chance of succeeding. It's a very complex system, and you must decide early on which spells you want to focus on because it takes many level ups to get a starting negative value to a value >0 which means it will be successful more often than not. There's a few things I'd have done differently in Blade of Destiny, knowing what I know now. But it is what it is, and good characters are good characters, so I'm not too worried. 😉 Soon, my last character (Nystul, my Magician) will level up and then it will be a long time before any of them level up again. It takes about 700-900 EXP to get to the next level and most combats only net you about ~20 EXP. Some significant game advancements also give you EXP in addition to game points, so there's that. I really do appreciate the uniqueness of this RPG...
edit: another neat, somewhat unique trait of this game is your party can be split up. You can jump back and forth between the the split members and control them independently. I was recently in a section that required one member to operate a winch that takes the other members down to the next level of a dungeon. As my party of five was exploring, we got into a couple of battles that weakened us pretty badly. The two main ways to replenish life points and astral points (magic) are with herbs/potions in your inventory, or by resting. But resting can only happen in designated areas (either an inn or a location the game has identified as a safe place to rest). So I happened to come across a safe resting place and decided rather than waste all my potions, I'll sleep back magic and life points over the course of several game days. In the process, I'd forgotten about my split member at the winch. When I remembered and jumped back to her, she was starving and dying of thirst! I can see how that would be annoying, but for me, the way it's presented is quite realistic and adds character and value to the game. I love it! So I ended up having to take control of the starving character, guide her to a part of the level she's on that I'd found water and food at, so that she could replenish. Then I jumped back to the party of five and continued. Oh, and I just found the magical bread basket in a sorcerer's quarters, so now my party won't have to worry about hunger or thirst anymore (at least the ones that are not split off from the member who's carrying the magic bread basket and water skin).