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The Age of the Discriminating Vendor January 23, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, Rift, TorilMUD.
Tags: , ,
14 comments

Another one of those posts that starts with “back in the day…” and which recounts how things used to be during the stone age of online gaming.  Writing about it is not necessarily advocating for its return, but it certainly made things different.  Anyway, on to it…

Back in the day, back in TorilMUD, there were things that were very different than we see them now in modern MMORPGs, and there were things that were very much the same.

All text, all the time

It was all text, all the time back then

One thing that was the same was money.

Everybody needed it, the economy needed it, but nobody started out with any and the only real way to get any was to kill NPCs that spawned in the world for their loot.

There were also quests.  But quests were not very common, annoying to find, and could be frustratingly difficult to complete.  I have gone into the way questing used to be back in the day.  There was nobody standing around waiting to tell you to kill ten rats.  And the end result was more often an item than any money.

So that left murdering the residents of the world and looting their still warm corpses as the only real money making enterprise.

Wholesale slaughter would get you some coins.  But for the most part that was a pretty slow way to earn money, at least at lower levels.  Later, in a leveling group in place like the pirate ship, a good group could end up with a nice pile of cash.

But you, new adventurer, won’t be doing that or zones or anything of the sort for a long while.

And that went double for elves and half elves who started on the Island of Evermeet, in the elvish city of Leuthilspar and were stuck there for the first 20 levels of their career.  I will focus on the plight of the elves, since that is what I am most familiar with.

So to supplement the tiny trickle of coins, you would have to also grab whatever else your victims were carrying.  Swords, bits and pieces or armor and clothing, random items of junk, whatever you could pry from their cold, dead fingers.  You would collect all of this to sell to one of the many vendors in Abeir-Toril.

As a young citizen of Leuthilspar, you would head out to Kobold Village or the Faerie Forest in search of adventure, experience, and loot.  At least, once you figured out how to get there.  Eventually, if you were successful… by which I generally mean that you did not die and have to go find your corpse in the dark… you would have a pile of coins and some items to vendor.

In Kobold Village there was a couple of vendors, but as your became more seasoned you began to notice that those vendors paid very little for your items.   That was the way of the world.  The buy and sell prices from vendors were influence by your race, your class, your charisma stat, and the general level of wickedness of the person who created the zone.

The young elvish adventurer could make much more money, multiples of what the stingy vendors out in the world were offering, if said adventurer just dragged all of that loot back to a vendor in Leuthilspar.

The key was, which vendor.

Leuthilspar Locations

Leuthilspar Locations (click to embiggen)

The good part was that all the vendors were pretty close to the square at city center and near to the bank.

The down side was that the vendors were all pretty picky about what they would buy.  Your options were:

1 – Talidnal’s Goods and Supply Shop – Sold random supplies like rations and small bags, would buy miscellaneous items of the same sort.  You had to sell the red feather from the traveling faerie here.

2 – The Weapon Shop of Leuthilspar – Bought and sold weapons and only weapons.  Notable for being one of the vendors with special responses.  Would point out in all caps that this was weapon shop if you tried to sell something else and would claim that they could buy items flagged “no value” because they just bought a Doombringer earlier.

3 – The Scribe Shop of Leuthilspar – Sold scroll, including the scroll of identify.  These cost 2 platinum coins, which was more than any new player could afford, but which was the only way to see the full stats and information on any given item.  Except, of course, if the item was flagged as “no identify,” in which case you just wasted 2 plat.

4 – Silyonlanster’s Fine Gems and Jewels – Sold some gems that had no purpose I ever found, and would buy any gems you happened to have.

5 – Norlan’s Pet Shop – Bought nothing as far as I could tell, but would sell you a very expensive pet that would fight for you and which would be gone forever if it died… or if you logged off.  A lot of us bought one of these exactly once.

6 – The Armorer of Leuthilspar – Sold some very heavy bronze armor and would buy anything flagged as armor, which did not include leather armor from Kobold Village or the Cloak of Forest Shadows.

7 – The Leviathan Shipwright – Sold rafts and canoes for crossing water.  You just had to have one in your inventory (but not in a container) for them to work.  Would buy them back at a deep discount.

8 – The Green Griffon Pub – Sold alcoholic beverages.  Never bought anything I had to sell.

9 – Tilanthra’s Shop of Alchemy – Bought and sold potions.

10 – The Magic Shop of Leuthilspar – Sold a number of scrolls and wands, despite there already being a scroll shop.  Would only buy wands and the like.  This is where you would sell that Wand of Thunderous Rage that was in the garbage heap and which never worked for me over the last 15 years.

11 – Morlanthrtilan’s Fine Clothier – Had nothing for sale as I recall, but would buy that leather armor from Kobold Village that the armor shop turned its nose up at.

12 – The Blue Dragon Inn and Restaurant – Sold oddly specific and very expensive food at various times and would buy, for reasons I could never determine, arrows and quarrels.

13 – Qulazoral’s Barrels and More – Sold you a skin or a barrel of water after your first issued water skin evaporated after you emptied it (I think they finally fixed that) but before you finally got a flagon from Bandor.  Would buy liquid containers, if you ever found one.

There were some other vendors in town.  Each guild had a vendor that might give you a few more coins for specific items.  But in general, it was vendor row on main street that handled your needs.  You just needed to run around a lot until you figured out who bought what.  It helped that what vendors purchased ended up in their inventory for sale again, a feature I miss, and which was last seen in EverQuest as I recall.

And even then you would end up with a few items that no vendor would purchase, but which were not flagged “no value.”  There were a few items I would have to travel to Mithril Hall, way up in the north beyond Neverwinter, in order to vendor.  I think the dead rat was on that list.

Still, in some ways, the elves did not have it so bad.  The vendors gave decent prices and were all centrally located.  This was not necessarily the case in Waterdeep or Baldurs gate, and good luck selling things way down in Calimport.

And vendors in Leuthilspar never closed.  Elves don’t need sleep.  In other towns vendors would often close for some or all of the night cycle of a given day.  The time translation was one real world minute for one game hour, so you might end up sitting in a shop for 6 or 8 or 12 minutes waiting for the vendor to open up again.

And with all of that, you still ran the risk of selling something of value to other players… something you could sell or trade… to a vendor without knowing.  As I mentioned above, you needed a scroll of identify to see what an item did.  There were no stats on demand and equipment was not color coded by the now standard formula (gray, white, green, blue, purple) to indicate relative worth.  Of course, once you sold the item to a vendor, it cost you a lot more to buy it back.  It seemed that vendors were in the business of making money… or at least acting like they were there to make money as opposed to just being a place to dump your crap.

Today though, we can see it all.  Stats show up when we hover the cursor over and item, and it will even show what we have equipped in the relevant slot so we can instantly compare.  Items names are color coded, as noted above.  And not only will vendors buy just about anything you have (and sell it back to you at the same price if sold something by mistake) but we are at the point in games like Rift where there is a button that will automatically sell all of your “trash” grade loot to the vendor with a single press.

As I said at the top, I am not exactly hankering to go back to the way vendors used to be.  But it is interesting to see how much has changed, and one wonders if it was all for the better.

A Visit with the Tako Demon October 15, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, MUDs, TorilMUD.
Tags: , ,
5 comments

Leuthilspar Tales – Part V

About two years back I was working on a series of posts tagged as Leuthilspar Tales.  The idea was to recount what life was like, back in the day… or even today… for a player on TorilMUD who chose to roll an elf.  I had about a dozen topics to cover… and I managed to write about three and a half of them.  The I got distracted and went on to something else.

Recently, with the updates to TorilMUD, there has been something of a resurgence of interest in the game by myself and a few friends.  And so last night found Gaff and I roaming about Leuthilspar and the island of Evermeet looking for nostalgia.

We went to visit Kobold Village, which due to changes in the geography outside of Leuthilspar, is even more difficult to find and enter.  It isn’t just .10w4n from the gates any more.

Outside Leuthilspar

Once there, we wandered around slaying things.  There was not a lot of challenge.  Gaff was on as his level 50 conjurer, Nerral,  and I was on as a level 47 druid. (Used to be level 50, then I started a strange game… to be covered at a later date.)

We went and kill various key mobs on the surface.

Kobold Village - Surface

Then we headed down into the mines where, for no real reason, I lead us into the Kobold Temple of the Unholy.

There are not many rooms down there.  And most of them are occupied by mobs that were not going to be a problem for us.

So, of course, I lead us into one of the problem room, that of the high priest down there, who is really a mob a full group should be taking on.

He wailed on me, I had wimpy set, which caused me to flee when my hit points dropped below a certain threshold.

And then the real fun began.

You flee westward!

The Sacrificial Pit
Exits: -U

< 160h/835H 165v/165V >
< > You try to leave but are grappled backwards by a snaky tentacle!

< 160h/835H 165v/165V >
< > You try to leave but are grappled backwards by a snaky tentacle!

< 160h/835H 165v/165V >
< >
A summoned tako demon misses you with his pummel.

< 160h/835H 165v/165V >
< T: Zouve TC: pretty hurt E: tako EC: excellent >
You miss a summoned tako demon with your slash.
YIKES!  Another hit like that, and you’ve had it!!
You try to leave but are grappled backwards by a snaky tentacle!
PANIC!  You couldn’t escape!

A summoned tako demon misses you with his pummel.
You try to leave but are grappled backwards by a snaky tentacle!
PANIC!  You couldn’t escape!

A summoned tako demon barely wounds you with his weak pummel.
You try to leave but are grappled backwards by a snaky tentacle!
PANIC!  You couldn’t escape!

< 75h/835H 165v/165V >
< T: Zouve TC: awful E: tako EC: excellent >

You start chanting…

< 75h/835H 165v/165V >
< T: Zouve TC: awful E: tako EC: excellent >

You complete your spell…

Temple of Rillifane Rallathil
Exits: -N# -E
A young elven druid is standing here, getting in tune with nature.
A young elven druid is standing here, getting in tune with nature.

Fortunately, druids have the spell “Word of Recall” which return the caster to his guild hall.  It does not work in all rooms in the world, but it is apparently an escape from the Tako Demon.

I rejoiced in my escape!

You group-say ‘hah, was in with Tako demon!’

And then I got another, less joyful message.

Nerral stops following you.
Nerral has left the group.
You disband the group.
Nerral has quit the game, consent lost.

Oops.  Dead.  Never good, not in with the Tako Demon.

And, in TorilMUD, on which EverQuest was primarily based, when you die, you are faced with the naked run back to your corpse.  And the lair of the Tako Demon is not a place you want to go naked by yourself.

And I could not help out.  The Tako Demon is a world tracker, which means as soon as I step out of town, he gets up out of his lair and starts looking for me.  So I start seeing this.

A black rift in space opens next to you, and a summoned tako demon steps out of it grinning.

Yeah, that is bad.  Fortunately there is a couple second delay after somebody steps out of a dimension door like that before they can attack you.  Enough for me to scurry back to town.

Fortunately, there were quite a few people in the game, including Lilithelle, a player who has played on TorilMUD so much that she once gained so much experience, it broke the game.  In TorilMUD you apparently do not stop gaining experience when you hit the level cap of 50.  Lilithelle kept on to the point when her exp hit the most significant bit of the number, which was signed, which meant that her experience went negative and the whole MUD went down.  They had to fix the game just for her.

Anyway, she is the master of such rescues and had the time to help us, so Nerral’s corpse was recovered and restored to him.

But that is a lesson from the age of MUDs.  The deadly Tako Demon basically lives beneath what is mostly a level 5-20 zone.

Fun!

Lost in the Faerie Forest October 27, 2009

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, MUDs, TorilMUD.
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6 comments

Leuthilspar Tales – Part IV

As an elf starting out in the early days of TorilMUD you were stuck on an island for 20 levels.  An island with a home town and three zones, Kobold Village, the Faerie Forest, and the Elemental Glades.

Kobold Village, once you got in, was the preferred place to grind levels experience the game as a young elf.  But a zone like Kobold Village begins to feel crowded when even a half a dozen people are active in it.

So, looking for adventure, you might opt for the second best zone for young elves on Evermeet, the Faerie Forest.

(Not to be confused with the Faerie Forest outside of Waterdeep in Crushk or the Faerie Forest that was later added to the Moonshaes.  Look for a Faerie Forest franchise near you!)

In the MUD learning experience, Faerie Forest had a few things to teach you once you had grown used to Kobold Village.

If you could find it.

The entrance was hidden.  You had to get to the right room, which was located in a loop of rooms off the forest road, and search for a secret door.

You find a secret exit south!

Ah, there it is.

Once you opened up the door (keyword “open secret”) and entered, you had to face a couple of aggressive monsters.

A scruffy wood rat is here slinking around in the gloom.

Okay, a wood rat isn’t exactly fearsome, unless you are really low level and/or naked because you are trying to get back to your corpse.  The thing with the wood rats, they were in a set of three single-file rooms, which meant you could not just spam past them. (Unless you figured out that you could “recline” and scoot under them.  I’d like to see that in real life.)  You would just bump into them, and then they would attack you.

Once past the rats, there was another door (keyword “open foliage”) through which was the Faerie Forest.

And once you went through that door, you were in trouble.

That was a one-way door you just walked through.  The way out of the Faerie Forest lay somewhere else.  You had to find your way out, which meant exploring the zone.

No exit on this map

Welcome to the Faerie Forest

Not that it was too dangerous.  Compared to Kobold Village there were only a few aggressive creatures.  There was another nest of wood rats and a anti-social goblin, neither of which were very fearsome.  Oh, and then there was Chacodyn up in his tree.

A malevolent chacodyn snaps into visibility.

OUCH! That really did HURT!

Now he was bad.  Stay out of the trees.

I well remember my first visit to the Faerie Forest.  I tailed in behind somebody else then went off exploring.

I explored for quite a while, then decided I really needed to get back to town.  So I explored some more.  I went back and forth through the zone.  I grew quite frustrated.

You see, I had not yet learned the secret to getting out of the Faerie Forest, a secret that can be summarized as:

nueuuedenensn

No, that is not the capital of Estonia.  Those are the directions to get from one landmark, the legendary Finn McCumhail, a verbose NPC on the path through the Faerie Forest (“Travel these realms with care!”), and the front door of Anna’s cottage, inside of which was the exit from the zone.

That translates as “North, up, east, up, up, etc.”

There is a trick in that path though.  You’ll notice that the last three directions you need to travel are north, south, then north again.  If you don’t do that little trick, you just end up back on the path you just came through.

I had narrowed down that area as the most likely way out, but could not get past that trick.

So I shouted.  I yelled for help.

Fortunately, back in those days it was uncommon to be alone in any of three Evermeet zones.  Eventually a ranger named Morianthis found me and led me to Anna’s house, telling me the path and its trick, so that I wouldn’t get stuck in the Faerie Forest again.

Morianthis became one of my friends in the game from that point forward.  And, in an ironic twist, it later came to pass that I was the mapper of zones and rarely lost if I could find a landmark, while Mori tended to get turned around once off the beaten path so that I got to come to his rescue a few times in later days.

But this time, Mori was the hero, delivering me to Anna’s house.

Before the Oak Tree Cottage

This is a pathway before the front of a large cottage which fills a clearing in the Faerie Forest.  The cottage is an interesting sight to behold.  Mammoth oak trees support the four corners of the cottage; the walls of the cottage seem to be grow right out of the oak trees. The branches of the four, towering oak trees, grow so close together they seem to form the roof of the cottage.  One cannot begin to fathom the time it must have took for this cottage to have been created. There is a small gravel pathway which extends around the cottage to the east and west.  The front door of the cottage is directly to the north.  To the south is the beginning of the clearing.

And quite a house it was.  The previously mentioned Chacodyn lives up one of those trees that forms the cottage.

AnnasHouse

Anna's House

Once at Anna’s house, you went inside, up stairs, and to the library:

Library of the Oak Tree Cottage
Exits: -S
A mysterious orb of shifting colors and light floats here.

Fortunately, the orb was labeled.

The orb is a giant globe of swirling colors and humming magical energy.
In tiny letters near the bottom of the orb it reads:
“For proper use, see library entry on returning home”

And once you figured out how to use the library (there is a sign in the room) you will find out how to use the orb.

Simply touch the orb in the library and you will be teleported out of the realm back into mortal lands.  Be warned though that once leaving the faerie realm, few find it easy to return again.

Well, as easy as getting past those wood rats again, anyway.

And once you touch the orb (assuming you are not wearing or carrying  something with the keyword “orb,” in which case you will have to take it off and put it in a container) you are teleported out to the start of the zone, on the other side of those wood rats, able to head back to Leuthilspar.

You now know the way out.  You need not feel lost in the Faerie Forest again young elf!

Next time, the bounty of the Faerie Forest.

Leuthilspar Tales – Part IVAs an elf starting out in the early days of TorilMUD you were stuck on an island for 20 levels.  An island with a home town and three zones, Kobold Village, the Faerie Forest, and the Elemental Glades.Kobold Village, once you got in, was the preferred place to grind levels experience the game as a young elf.  But a zone like Kobold Village begins to feel crowded when even a half a dozen people are active in it.So, looking for adventure, you might opt for the second best zone for young elves on Evermeet, the Faerie Forest.(Not to be confused with the Faerie Forest outside of Waterdeep in Crushk or the Faerie Forest that was later added to the Moonshaes.  Look for a Faerie Forest franchise near you!)

In the MUD learning experience, Faerie Forest had a few things to teach you once you had grown used to Kobold Village.

If you could find it.

The entrance was hidden.  You had to get to the right room, which was located in a loop of rooms off the forest road, and search for a secret door.

You find a secret exit south!

Ah, there it is.

Once you opened up the door (keyword “open secret”) and entered, you had to face a couple of aggressive monsters.

A scruffy wood rat is here slinking around in the gloom.

Okay, a wood rat isn’t exactly fearsome, unless you are really low level and/or naked because you are trying to get back to your corpse.  The thing with the wood rats, they were in a set of three single-file rooms, which meant you could not just spam past them. (Unless you figured out that you could “recline” and scoot under them.  I’d like to see that in real life.)  You would just bump into them, and then they would attack you.

Once past the rats, there was another door (keyword “open foliage”) through which was the Faerie Forest.

And once you went through that door, you were in trouble.

That was a one-way door you just walked through.  The way out of the Faerie Forest lay somewhere else.  You had to find your way out, which meant exploring the zone.

Not that it was too dangerous.  Compared to Kobold Village there were only a few aggressive creatures.  There was another nest of wood rats and a anti-social goblin, neither of which were very fearsome.  Oh, and then there was Chacodyn up in his tree.  Now he was bad.  Stay out of trees.

I well remember my first visit to the Faerie Forest.  I tailed in behind somebody else then went off exploring.

I explored for quite a while, then decided I really needed to get back to town.  So I explored some more.  I went back and forth through the zone.  I grew quite frustrated.

You see, I had not yet learned the secret to getting out of the Faerie Forest, a secret that can be summarized as:

nueuuedenensn

No, that is not the capital of Estonia.  Those are the directions to get from one landmark, Finn McCumhail a verbose NPC on the path through the Faerie Foresy (“Travel these realms with care!”), and the front door of Anna’s house, inside of which was the exit from the zone.

There is a trick in that path.  You’ll notice that the last three directions you need to travel are north, south, then north again.  If you don’t do that little trick, you just end up back on the path you just came through.

I had narrowed down that area as the most likely way out, but could not get past that trick.

So I shouted.  I yelled for help.

Fortunately, back in those days

The Kobold Temple of the Unholy October 6, 2009

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, TorilMUD, World of Warcraft.
Tags: ,
5 comments

Leuthilspar Tales – Part III

Since I am probably done with Kobold Village for now, I thought I would add the description from the room directly below the three kobold sentries and directly above the Tako demon, the high level, deadly monster that lives deep below Gwark’s town.

This is the secret temple of the dark kobolds.  A secret sect of kobolds still worship the primal magics of their ancient past; dark rites are practiced here which even the kobolds themselves had outlawed as their civilization moved on.  The temple is a huge cavern, carved out in the depths below Gwark’s settlement.  The walls of the cavern are made out of the bones of kobolds which have been spirited away down here to be sacrificed to the demons which the high priest invokes from the dark magic.  The air is chill with the presence of evil.  A large, dark pit in the cavern floor gapes to the east of here, a huge and dominating presence.  Across from the pit, through the gloom of the cavern, you think you can see a giant altar of sorts.  It looks possible to climb down into the pit, though why one would want to is boggling.  One can follow the temple walls around the pit to the north and south of here.

Did you catch this sentence?

It looks possible to climb down into the pit, though why one would want to is boggling.

That is all the warning you get not to climb down into the lair of the Tako demon.  Welcome to the age of MUDs, where a seemingly innocuous phrase can mean life or death.

I do like that the kobolds have a dark past alluded to in this description, making them perhaps a bit less comic that their Azerothian brethren:

A secret sect of kobolds still worship the primal magics of their ancient past; dark rites are practiced here which even the kobolds themselves had outlawed as their civilization moved on.

You no steal candle or we’ll summon up something nasty!

Exciting Ways to Die in Kobold Village October 6, 2009

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, MUDs, TorilMUD.
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3 comments

Leuthilspar Tales – Part II

In which I try to recreate a point in time from the Mid-1990s on Sojourn/TorilMUD.

Welcome young elf (or marginally tolerated half-elf)!

You have made it through the character creation process where you chose a race and a class, then rolled for attributes which were represented by vague names indicating a range of possible values.  Don’t worry, when you get to level 20 you will be able to see the actual numbers, at which point you may very well choose to start over again when you discover that after hundreds of re-rolls your decision to compromise and accept a CON value of only “above average” was a mistake that will haunt you for the rest of your days.

You have had your name accepted and approved by the immortals who run the MUD and have been dumped into a side room of your class guild hall in the beautiful elven city of Leuthilspar on the island of Evermeet.  I hope you like it here, because you are going to be stuck on the island for 20 levels.

You found yourself in your class guild hall with your inventory loaded to overflowing with items.  You have so much stuff in your hands that you cannot possibly pick anything else up.  But don’t drop anything.  Everything you have been given is flagged “transient” which means it will crumble to dust when it hits the ground.  This includes your weapon, which you will surely fumble during your first fight.

But do not worry too much about that.  All the equipment you have is of such low quality that while it is better than nothing at all, it is only just.  Any weapon you find will be an upgrade.

You should enter the command “wear all” to put everything on.  Then remove the bag you have been given from your hand, wield your weapon, and then put anything else you have (torches, rations, a water skin, plus maybe a spellbook or a holy symbol) in the bag.

Then you should find your way out of your class guild hall and figure out where you are in town.  Explore the town.  Maybe try your hand against some of the small animals in town, the elven cats or kooshie dogs.  If you are handy you might even pick up a level and get a leather dog collar drop from one of the dogs.  Put that collar right on, as it offers as much armor class improvement as almost all the other equipment you have been given so far combined.

Once you have familiarized yourself with Leuthilspar, gained a level, and figured out how to train up skills with your guild master, it is about time for you to seek adventure outside of town.

Luckily for you there is a place just outside of town waiting for you, Kobold Village.  We’ve already explained how to get there, and then get in, so head on out of Leuthilspar.

Kobold Village

Kobold Village

Kobold Village has everything you need!

  • A wide level range of monsters to fight (watch out for those level 40 kobolds young elf!)
  • Puzzles to solve (like getting into the zone)
  • Equipment (nothing special, but better than anything you have so far)
  • Shops that charge dearly for items you buy but are miserly when you want to sell an item
  • A quest that you probably won’t find (Szxvu has it, but shhh!)
  • Surprises (we’ll get to that)
  • Ways to die (which make up the above surprises)

You might wonder about that last one.  You might have already died in town if you tried to attack one of the elven citizens with a guard in the room.  But that was quick and convenient.  Kobold Village will introduce you to the realities of MUDs.

Who is going to kill you in Kobold Village?

The Bull – The bull has the potential to become the first mob in the game you come to hate and fear.  Unless you wander in a really bad direction, he will be the first aggressive (aggro) mob you encounter.  Surprise!  You’ve been able to size everything up before a fight.  But you walk into the kobold barn yard and are suddenly set upon.  He is only level 5, but he is a mean level 5, and with the gear you’re probably wearing, he can be deadly even if you’re level 5 as well.

The Guards – At first the guards in Kobold Village seem cool.  They just let you be.  Well, there are those couple of aggro guards who wanders, but we’ll ignore them for now.  Anyway, all seems good with the guards.   Then you decide to attack one of the low level kobolds in front of a guard and suddenly he shouts, “To battle one of us, is to battle us all!” and joins in against you.  Surprise! You can run away, he won’t follow you, but he’ll remember you and attack you again next time he sees you.

The Chief Guard – He is in an office behind a closed door with two guards stationed outside.  The Chief is not that tough, and he has that Rawhide Leather Girth that you probably want, but you will find out that not only do guards assist, they will also move to an adjacent room where fighting is taking place.  Surprise!  I hope the zone doesn’t reset and shut the door on you if you need to flee.

The Warmaster – The kobold Warmaster is surprisingly relaxed on the subject of strangers walking into his area.  His trainees, however, are more aggressive.  There are three of them.  They’ll probably kill you outright the first time you step into the room.  But should you kill one, pick up his weapon, since you’ve probably already lost your first one by this point.

The Taskmasters – You may have decided to play it safe.  You got past the bull and into the kobold farmyard.  There are lots of animals that you can kill for decent experience.  They are not too tough and they all wait patiently for you to get to them.  But at the far end of the farm are the two kobold Taskmasters.  They are aggro and higher level than anything on the farm by a fair margin.

The Kobold Mine Leader – You’ve wandered down into the mines below Kobold Village.  The miners are easy prey one you hit the right level.  They don’t assist.  They give good experience.  And then you wander into one of the mine leaders.  Aggro!  And here is where you learn about spawn order.  If you kill only the south mine leader, he’ll respawn in the north spot and you’ll have to fight two mine leaders together! Surprise

Kobold Sentry – If you are really sly, maybe you spotted that torch at the end of one of the tunnels.  If you pulled it, a secret door opened up.  On the other side is the kobold sentry.  He is aggro, but no worse that the mine leaders.  The thing is, a couple of rooms past him, there are three more sentries.  They will likely kill you.  But if they don’t, and you flee the wrong way, then you’re into the Kobold Temple of the Unholy.  You will need some high level friends to get your corpse now.  Surprise!  And if it is the Tako demon that got you, well… you didn’t have much valuable on you in any case, right?

Gwark – Gwark is the kobold clan leader.  It is his name on the sign we saw out front.  Gwark is actually on the surface level of Kobold Village, but you have to go through the mines to a trap door to get into his room.  Not that you would want to do that on purpose as a young elf, but if you are wandering through the mines you will no doubt see that trap door.  And you will open it.  And you will go through.  And you will die.  And you will have to get some help or figure out how to do the quick corpse drag.

But should you not die.  Should you be able to flee Gwark alive, you’ll find out something new.  Some mobs can summon.  Gwark will now try to summon you every 20 seconds or so as long as you are in the Kobold Village zone.  If your spell resist is high, the summon will fail most of the time.  Of course, if you had high spell resist equipment you probably wouldn’t be in Kobold Village now would you?  Fortunately, when you cast summon, there is a few seconds of immobility before you can do anything.  You can just open the trap door and walk away from Gwark without being hit.  But he’ll summon you again soon.  I have died trying to get out of the zone because I’ve run out of movement points before Gwark has run out of summon spells.

So if Gwark is summoning you young elf, perhaps it is time to look for new places to adventure.

How about the Faerie Forest?  That sounds safe!

Getting to Kobold Village September 21, 2009

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, MUDs, TorilMUD.
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The Leuthilspar Tales – Part 1

I always wondered how the elves of Leuthilspar on the Isle of Evermeet, a powerful and insular people, let a bunch of kobolds build a settlement just 15 rooms outside of their town.  The guards at the front gate of Leuthilspar could wipe all traces of Kobold Village from the island on their lunch hour and still have time to eat.

Then again, if you were a grey elf on SojournMUD (now TorilMUD) back in the early days, you were happy to have that kobold settlement so close to hand.  Back then there were only three adventuring zones for the elves of Evermeet, Kobold Village, the Faerie Forest, and the Elemental Glades.  This was long before Drulak, the Elder Forest, or the Sylvan Glades were added to Evermeet.

This was an especially big deal as grey elves, plus any half elves that started in Leuthilspar, were stuck on Evermeet for the first 20 levels of their character.  As they help file says to this day:

Grey elves stay on the island of Evermeet until they reach level 20. If you leave the island at or after level 20 and lose level, you will be back on the island of Evermeet, unable to leave until you reach level 20 again.

Other races could wander the world at level 1, choose many places to adventure, and take up residence in the mighty city of Waterdeep, the central hub of the game.  But the elves, they had to wait for 20 levels before they could pass through the elfgate that teleported them to the outskirts of Waterdeep.  (And getting back to Evermeet, that was another story entirely!)

Kobold Village was very popular with the young elves because it offered everything a new player could want; danger, excitement, experience, coin, and equipment.  No doubt this caused the city leaders to turn a blind eye on this hostile outpost on their doorstep.

But first you had to get there.

Out the front gate of Leuthilspar, 10 rooms to the west, then turn north until you hit the fence with the big sign.

The sign barely reads in common:

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
|                                                |
| DuE to the FlOoD of STranUrs cUming to MY      |
| seTtlement, I have decided to BuiLD thiS fens  |
| To kEp yur SCUMMY Butts out and frOm kILLing   |
| my InnoCENT peoplE!!                           |
|                                                |
|   Signed,                                      |
|     Gwark, settlement leader                   |
|                                                |
| warning:  i Have tolD all roviNg Kobld guaRDS  |
| to attak on SIght of intRudrs!!                |
|                                                |
|/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\|

Illiterate kobold humor at its best.

But there was that fence.

If you look at the fence in the room with the sign, you are not left with many options.

The fence is made out of trunks of trees bound together with heavy iron chains.  The fence is well over 30 feet tall, and looks like it would be a painful endeavor to scale as large iron spikes have been places to poke out of the fence intermittently.  One wrong slip climbing that fence and you’d find yourself impaled.  If you want to get past the fence you’ll have to find another way other than climbing it.

That is one heck of a fence, and there is no going around it.  To east and to west the fence is still there.

To the east there is, at least at reboot, something on the ground.

A rusty saw lies here slowly corroding away to the elements.

And if you examined the saw, the results were not encouraging.

The saw is rusty and looks to have zero value to you.  Just leave it alone.

That statement was pretty accurate given the stats.

Name ‘a rusty saw’
Keyword ‘rusty saw’, Item type: WEAPON
Item can be worn on:  WIELD
Item will give you following abilities:  NOBITS
Item is: NOBITSNOBITS
Weight: 2, Value: 10
Damage Dice are ‘1D2′
Enchantments:
Can affect you as :
Affects : HITROLL By -3

It was crap and it wouldn’t help you get past the fence.  But if you looked at the fence in all the rooms, you might have noticed the wording changed in the room to the west of the sign.  The last line was changed to:

There appears to be a loose plank on the fence here.  It looks like the plank wasn’t nailed in properly.

These days the word “plank” is in yellow ANSI, the only colored word in the whole description.  Back in the day no such highlight existed, another example of the dumbing down of the game world, or putting everything on easy mode.  Heh!

And if you examined the plank, you would see.

It looks loose enough to tug off.  One good tug would rip the plank out and give you enough room to squeeze through the fence.

It is a PLANK that looks loose enough to TUG off.  Yeah.  Tug Plank!

A giant wooden fence moves aside, revealing a passageway.

That was one heck of a tug if it moved the whole giant wooden fence aside.

And that is that, right?  Now you’ve found your way to Kobold Village.

Did you go there when it was daylight?  Sure, these days there is a nice little starter zone that hands you some equipment including a lit object, but back in the day when you started as an elf you got no such thing.  Some cheap clothing, a tiny bag, a water skin, a few rations, a torch that lasted maybe two minutes, and a weapon that crumbled to dust the first time you dropped it.

Okay, they fixed that weapon thing not too much later.  All the newbie gear was set to crumple to dust since often enough the items were just dropped on the ground when replaced by better gear.

So maybe you found the plank in the fence in daylight, or maybe you were holding a torch that lasted long enough for you to find it and get through.  But if it was night and you didn’t have a light source, well, there was no getting through for you.  Your elven infravision would be enough for you to see the exits in a room and sense that a warm blooded being was in a room with you, but it was not enough let you find that plank, see your own equipment, or pull a torch out of your bag and light it.

And even if you had a light source or a torch on you, if you got into Kobold Village and then died… and if you were wearing newbie gear, you were going to die at some point… then running back to get your corpse might be thwarted for a while as you waited for daylight so you could tug on that plank.

Because every 30 minutes the zone would reset itself, and dead NPCs would respawn, and any doors left open, including that hole in the fence, would close.  So you would be there, naked and in the dark waiting for daylight or somebody else to come along and open the fence up.

Or, if you were new and used to the way that all the rooms in Leuthilspar always had the light source flag set, you might not even understand why you suddenly couldn’t tug the plank and get into Kobold Village.

But that’s the way things were back then.

Next time, the residents and key locations of Kobold Village.