Friday 29 March 2024

Midnight Mass and Oppenheimer

If you like talking, these are the shows for you.

Midnight Mass

This seven episode series focuses on a small religious (Catholic) community living on an island, and what happens when they are visited by "miracles" unexplainable by science (but super obvious for any viewer who plays D&D). Worth pointing out now that this is actually a supernatural horror series but the scares for most of the early episodes are just brief glimpses of something with a sudden burst of violin discord to unsettle you. Mostly, its just people talking and the priest (played by Hamish Linklater) in particular is fantastic in his role. Decent watch but its slooooowww. And that's already watching at 1.5x the speed.


This three hour film focuses on the life of the titular J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy) but told in non-linear fashion as to produce more drama. It also makes it a bit messy to follow as some cuts seem very quick, and doing it for this duration does make it a tad tiring to watch - we actually had to stop 1 hour in as we started falling asleep. Is that the sign of a bad movie? Possibly, but it won awards and stuff and other than my minor gripe above there's nothing really wrong with the film. But is it a sign of a movie where "nothing happens"? Definitely. Compared to say, Damsel, which had us stuck watching it, this one ended up becoming something playing in the background. I'm not going to watch it again that's for sure. If I had to choose between this and the slooooow Midnight Mass, I'd pick Midnight Mass each time as at least something happens there!

Wednesday 27 March 2024

GTFO: ALT R2C2 - ???

Yep, this mission is actually named ??? and unlike other times where I say "we haven't been playing GTFO" this time we certainly have been but this level is really up there in terms of BS with the only good news being there aren't any scouts. The job is to recover 7 IDs (out of 9ish that randomly spawn) and then get back out but the main problem is that there is an endless alarm which means you'll have groups of 4 striker/shooters coming at you every 45 seconds. Hope you are good in melee! Also I only discovered now that the strikers also aim for your head so with good timing you can just crouch to evade their tongues (much like shooter blasts). Our loadout was as follows:

Me: Pistol/Revolver/Cfoam/Spear (team 1)
DL: DMR/Sniper Rifle/Mines/Hammer (team 1)
Jim: Double Tap DMR/Combat Shotgun/Auto Sentry/Hammer (team 2 - terminal duty)
[Bot]: DMR/Hel Gun/Biotracker/Hammer (team 2)

Expect to run this a few times to get used to where cabinets, turbines and cells randomly spawn. Terminals and the disinfection station are in fixed/stagnant positions. Artifacts that improve hack lock skill are handy, as well as a notebook/pen and paper for whoever is doing the terminal (for us it was Jim). Feel free to sprint as there are no sleepers until the last parts anyway just to really screw you over. Here is what worked for us in the end.

From the drop rush to open the big door straight ahead (team 1) and the one to the right (team 2), the idea being to save them for an upcoming hold. If the scum spawn out with you then its good! Fight first and then get the doors open. Team 1 should then go open the door to the left (if its still there) while team 2 who opened the right door sweeps into the next room, following the right wall of the next room to open the next door and loop back out and both teams return to the starting drop room. There's a terminal here on the right side if you are facing away from the hole, and one of you needs to find where the easiest 7 IDs are from here while everyone else defends. You don't need to go into every room!

Once that's done sweep into the next room and make sure you find the tools for c-foamer and ammo for everyone. Open the non-alarm team scan door at the back and there's another terminal just overlooking the stairs (just turn left as you go up). Team 2 stays at this terminal to ping a cell, fog turbine and resources for team 1 to get (split up) opening the two doors dead ahead and to the right. Team 2 can help loot once the cell and turbine are located and bring everything back down to that big dark room with a security door down some stairs in the fog. The generator for the cell can be found by following the stairs down from first scan door you opened and then following the left wall.

Next part is important: wait for the wave of four and your cfoamer needs to get to the middle door (the one looking at the starting drop room) to shut and ice it while the enemies are killed. Then Jim usually closes the door near the fog alarm and DL closes the back door then everyone has to get to the fog alarm door (ideally someone holding the turbine) and get the thing going. If you are lucky the wave will come from the starting drop room which means the cfoamer has just enough time to sprint up the stairs to continue to hold it while your allies do circles and kill flankers. DL usually comes along to put a mine facing the door too at this point. Unlock the door and survive until its back down to the four chasers.

When ready get the fog turbine and you're going to need to march through the fog. Speed is important but as the turbine guy can't run you do have time to unlock some boxes if there are any en route. Follow the right wall and go through the big door and the next big door just beyond that. Feel free to close these behind you but just be careful because sometimes the [Bot] loses pathing here like an idiot which will cost you the run. After the 2nd door you want to follow the left wall to stay up on a metal walkway and someone not carrying the turbine should eat some infection to run ahead and hack lock the small door just around the corner.

Get everyone in there, kill the 4 chasers if need be, then seal the small door, foam the big door to the a left and get started with the security scan on the right. This is a quick scan but you can also quickly die here if you aren't on your game (or the bot decides to take a scenic path when you start it). As soon as the door is unlocked open it and go up the stairs out of the fog (drop the turbine). Fight everything else up here and find more stairs up to locate a disinfection station to cleanse everyone.

Immediately beside you is a blood door. Are there IDs that you need in there? If yes that makes it simple as you can open it now, but for our winning run the answer was no, so we pushed ahead to the small door in the corner which opens into a big chamber with another blood door down some stairs. We did need this one, but it needs power so we just had to go across to the no team scan / no alarm door at the opposite end which leads to the zone with a cell and a fair amount of resources. NOTE: This zone and the zones beyond all blood doors has sleepers. Giant sleepers too. You don't have time to be sneaky though so just shoot em.

With the cell in hand return to the corner between the door you used to enter here and the blood door with stairs down which is where you'll find the generator. DL then setup mines for the downstairs blood door and opened it with the usual hybrid pair and small guys coming out (+ any sleepers that heard the blast). Can't really help much with this next bit but "go in and find the IDs". Yep. They are always in lockers or boxes so stick together, communicate and you'll be ok but don't waste time.

After our first batch of ID's are collected we need to go back through the fog zone, so get the turbine and again follow the right wall which will lead to a terminal here. Ping the ID's while your team protects you, then pick up said IDs and make your way out.  For us we now had to go to the final/first blood door which needs a key (you'd have picked this up while searching for the other IDs) so again, setup (careful of mine + 4 spawners) deal with the hybrid pair + regular monsters + sleepers that wake up and get in there. Get however many IDs you still need (for us it was 1) and run back to the extract as five giant strikers spawn in to give chase. DL got cut off and did not make it, but I think he delayed them for a long period. That said the extraction scan is really slow too, which means we still needed to win against the big boys (+ the endless spawners). Somehow, we did and managed to GTFO!

Monday 25 March 2024

The Outer Worlds

This first person sci-fi RPG is set in a solar system run by greedy corporations on planets where hostile wildlife is aplenty and you get to assemble a ragtag crew of misfits much like that of Firefly. While it plays well enough and the graphics are alright, it runs into two main problems for me - the first being scope. You get to land on numerous planets but the explorable area feels limited, smaller than say Fallout or Borderlands both of which this game tries to emulate, which is actually the second problem because its hard not to compare if you've played these. Its humor isn't as good as Borderlands, the story isn't as sharp as Fallout and exploration is not as enticing as either.

I did like the companion abilities though, as whichever two you bring with you can on command/cool-down perform some pretty epic moves. Yes, some are better than others but that didn't stop me from cycling through all of them regularly. Still not a bad game, but just could have been better. I just can't shake the feeling that they either ran out of time or budget or both.

Sunday 24 March 2024

Damsel and Society of the Snow

Movies that like punishing their protagonists.


Princess Elodie (played Millie Bobby Brown) accepts an arranged marriage to a wealthy kingdom only to find that it is a most cruel double cross. Can she survive and get some payback? Well, it wouldn't be much of a movie if not so while you never actually fear for her life this very physical fantasy movie certainly puts her through the ringer with damage and feats that I don't think many non-plot armored characters could pull off. Other than the obviously fake horse riding, a predictable plot and sometimes just "ok" special FX, this was actually a decent watch for us as it was well paced and almost always exciting. Surprisingly good! Recommended and one I wouldn't mind watching again.

Society of the Snow

In 1972 a plane crashed in the Andes, and this movie depicts the true story of what happened to the survivors who lasted 72 days with limited resources in terrible conditions. While my wife had to "nope" out early due to the food issue (mmm cannibalism), I kept on with this pretty long film which keeps the roller coaster of hope and despair going with almost every scene. Alas, some other scenes are just too long for their own good even when sped up by 1.5x. While this means its not as attention gluing as Damsel, I felt it was still a pretty decent flick all up and especially cool with the ending credits. Worth a watch, but I'm probably not going to watch it again due to its length. 

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Warfarme: Qorvex

Getting this radiation stone themed frame will require jumping more than a few hurdles including completing the quests Heart of Deimos, the New War and Whispers in the Walls which nets you the main blueprint and access to Sanctum Anatomica. There you can collect the rest either by getting lucky from the local bounties or by using Cavia standing (which you get by doing those bounties) to buy them from the bird shop.

Qorvex is built pretty solidly too, and while his speed takes a hit because of that getting the +3 punch through for any weapons he wields is great. Powers wise though, his status shield ability which protects both him and his nearby team is probably best as his summoned pillars or crushing walls are very situational and his ultimate radiation beam feels like a rehash of ultimate beams from other frames (it's weaker than Wisp's but better than Caliban's). He's an OK frame but by the time you get him you'll have found and are probably using something better.

Monday 18 March 2024

Code 8 Part II and House of Ninjas (Season 1)

Shows that are... Meh?

Code 8 Part II

This continuation of Code 8 sees the return of actor brothers Robbie and Stephen Amell in the lead roles. Time has passed plot wise and now there are robot dogs as well? What follows is a story of corruption and witness protection which drives the plot forward faster than the original, but fights and the use of abilities is really held back for key moments (and to save on budget). Unfortunately the main person they are protecting isn't great which detracts a fair bit for me. Still, if you enjoyed the first movie you'll probably enjoy this one.

House of Ninjas (Season 1)

A modern day family that are secretly ninjas are very bored in their undercover "regular" life. To that end, many of them do stupid things for fun and just as they are about to get in trouble for it a rival ninja clan reappears and they officially have to get their swords out to stop the threat. While the action parts are ok with some decent fight choreo and wire work it can take time getting there with some pretty slow moving plot and idiotic characters who don't do the obvious "correct" thing just to expand on the drama. Not great, but if it does get a season two I'll still be watching it.

Sunday 17 March 2024

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield, Love, Doors: Paradox and Infinifactory

Catching up on Epic freebies!

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield

This auto runner has the same problems as Super Meat Boy Forever where your inputs are limited to high jump, little jump, slide and sprint and a single wrong move kills you. While the art and music are definitely better the game play itself gets old quick. Not recommended. I had toyed around with creating a similar game in the past (with worse art and music, those are decent here) and this just verifies it would have been a bad idea.


When your character is made up of around 10 white pixels you know that this game really doesn't have good graphics. It's a platformer where you're trying to get to each level's exit and there's a clock if you really want to time yourself. Interesting design decisions in that you can put your respawn point wherever you want, as often as you want, and it looked like you could pick any level without going through some un-locking process. While I commend those ideas its just not enough for me to Love this one. Uninstalled.

Doors: Paradox

This is a very chill puzzle game about unlocking doors, and its not a first person experience. Instead the doors are like a well rendered miniature display, each level decorated by different locks. You can rotate the whole thing and zoom in on bits to pick up puzzle pieces or interact with stuff and it is surprisingly addictive. That's because the first few levels are also very easy (and regular readers know I'm bad at puzzle games). I might go back to this one, and can recommend it for puzzle enthusiasts - though you might blow through the first few really quickly!


This first person game starts with you being abducted by aliens and then tasked to... create production lines of boxes? Yes. You'll be putting down mazes of conveyor belts and welders to put shapes together and will feel pretty satisfied after making it through a level. I was surprised with how easy the controls are too, as to let you focus on the puzzle element and this one doesn't hold back: level one is a pretty good indication of what craziness awaits. Wayyyy to much thinking for me (I only made it to the vertical weld session) but others might enjoy it.

Thursday 14 March 2024

Ghostwire: Tokyo, Lost Castle and Super Meat Boy Forever

Games that focus on DEATH!

Ghostwire: Tokyo

When supernatural entities take over Tokyo, its up to you to save everyone's souls! Despite an average story this one definitely got me hooked, as wandering around the deserted streets is super immersive and exploration and stealth game play is rewarded.

Despite dealing with ghosts and yokai there aren't many scary sections at all which might be a negative but I really enjoyed it. The expansion mode of the Spider's Thread is more roguelike where they do expect you to die a lot though, and becomes repetitive. Way better than the prelude though.

Lost Castle

Speaking of roguelike - this is the entire premise for Lost Castle. You get a randomly generated adventurer to see how far you get into the demon's castle, die, and unlock some mild boons for your next randomly generated adventurer. Got old quick with the below average graphics and the inability to spell "Altar" but at least there was no platforming.

Super Meat Boy Forever

This sequel to the punishing original is just as gory but turned me off right away as a lot of control has been taken away from the player to be an "auto runner" type where your controls are only along the lines of jump, jump twice to attack or duck. You need to hit a "change direction pillow" to go the other way. Clearly designed for a mobile device this button mashing iteration is just not for me.

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Season 1) and YuYu Hakusho (Season 1)

Netflix live action adaptations.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

When the Fire nation decides to conquer the rest of the world it falls upon a recently returned child protagonist Aang (played by Gordon Cormier), to bring balance to the world. Hang on a minute, hasn't this already been made into live action?

Yes, but this series is better in that it has more time to develop characters, fix some pacing issues and show off more fight scenes. There's also some good martial arts in there behind all the "elemental bending" but overall I'd still rank this behind the live action One Piece series as the characters and script there are a clear step up.

YuYu Hakusho

A rough delinquent is given a second chance to defend the world against invading spirits, and holy hell is it super entertaining. Amazing wirework assists with the very physical confrontations in a no-filler plot that makes this five episode story (yep, that's all that's in season one) very binge worthy.

Just like Avatar (above) and One Piece I've not seen the source content but this is currently the clear winner among those three, even if some props are hilarious. Recommended!

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Doom Eternal

Doomguy exalted.

This FPS follows on from all the previous Doom titles and like those continues the trend of you fighting horrible demons in violent encounters while exploring a map for secret passages and power ups. As you are able to climb and swing off things there is an added jumping puzzle element here but that's very minor. The biggest difference is in the combat, as based on what you do to your enemies you might be generating ammo (chainsaw), health (melee gory kill), or armor (set them on fire then hurt them) or all the above.

As most major combats take place in arenas now you need to get really good at doing all the above (which by default means you can't be too far away) while under pressure. Enemies have their own weak spots too: the shoulder launchers for revenants, arm cannons of mancubi, tail for pinkies etc - just to keep you on your toes as you fight a more and more mixed bag of enemies with your ridiculously large arsenal of weapons, most of which have two modes of fire which you can switch mid battle as well as upgrade! All up a very solid entry to the Doom franchise.

Monday 11 March 2024

Orphan Black: Echoes and The Vow

A pale copy and a slow film.

Orphan Black: Echoes

In this single season series continuation of Orphan Black, cloning is still highly illegal and yet here come more clones! While it may have been an OK series on its own, the fact that it basically covers the same ground as the original without being as good already puts problems on it. I do applaud them for finding a way for lead actress Krysten Ritter to not have the insane work load Tatiana Maslany had in the original but I feel they really needed to be more trigger happy in offing characters. The fact that it got cancelled while ending on a cliffhanger just solidifies my recommendation to skip this pale immitation of the original. As an aside, this must win one of the worst opening songs ever.

The Vow

After a car accident, the marriage of the victims (played by Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams) is tested as the wife loses all memory of her time with the husband - gravitating towards the different person she was before they met. You can already imagine what complications that could entail and I'd say 80% of the first things you may think of happen here. There are few interest grabbing segments in a sea of a glacially paced drama which makes this an easy skip, even if you like the premise, genre or actors.  

Sunday 10 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Obliteration

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The party group up with Gortash to head to the elder brain's lair and try re-establish control of it with the netherstones. This ultimately fails as the brain has evolved into a netherbrain which power word kills Gortash. The D20 warps the party out of there as the brain begins to float up to the city, turning the many infected people into mindflayers while also summoning more nautiloids from realm space to take over the world. To combat this the D20 manifests itself as a mindflayer too and suggests one of the heroes also goes mindflayery.

Karlach volunteers, turning into a cute squidface. They then manage to meet up with their allies: Councillor Florrick who offers three soldiers, three vampire hunters, Volo and Sarevok (those last two just give passive buffs) before heading into a massive battle against pretty much everything they've fought up to this point but it is Varanna who is the MVP with her bow and a lot of exploding arrows (which she can shoot multiple times per turn apparently).

In the end it is Gale who is the hero though, climbing up onto the brain as it hovers far above Baldur's Gate and self detonates his bomb - obliterating it from existence. This causes fatal headaches to the enemy flayers and giving the citizens the upper hand against the invaders. Karlach and the D20 then go into hiding, Varanna returns to working for the guild, and Catharina (who went against Bhaal's wishes of dominating the brain) quickly degrades into a killer flesh puppet for the god of murder.

Saturday 9 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Trading Up

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The trap is not a very good one and the Stone Lord is revealed to be... Minsc!? Didn't he die in some sewers before? And he's here with Jaheira no less. Seems the worm guys have wormed these two as well. At this point Catharina's patience is wearing thin so she just annihilates them all and the thieves guild thanks her by loaning out their highly skilled hireling Varanna to join the crew. Catharina then locates a hidden Bhaal Murder Tribunal run by Sarevok (whom Catharina killed before) and the ghosts of other Bhaalspawn as well!

They are quite pleased with Catharina's actions thus far - giving her directions to the underground temple of Bhaal, deep down past the grease filled sewers. The place is well guarded by other Bhaal cultists who manage to push poor Kerz into a yawning chasm of instadeath. Beyond is Orin who duels with Catharina (in slayer form) and Orin is literally ripped a new one as Catharina forcefully removes her netherstone then loots that sexy blood armor of hers.

Before going back to Gortash the team visits Cazador, Astarion's vampire master, who it seems was expecting him as he immediately yanks the assassin into being part of the helpless sacrificial victims that explode into giblets when Cazador completes his ascension ritual. Catharina isn't impressed as even the ascended vampire can do little against her slayer form and her friends. Wtih all the vamps dead, the vampire hunters are happy and offer their aid when the time comes, which will be real soon...

Friday 8 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Making Alliances

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Arriving at the outskirts of Baldur's Gate the team is greeted by a welcome sight - people aren't mindflayers (yet), though there are numerous refugees flooding the area for the safety of Lord Gortash's Steel Watch - giant guard bots also powered by infernal engines, making him a popular guy in town. Orin on the other hand outs herself early as a shapeshifter, leaving ambushes for Catharina almost everywhere, like the circus. Gotta get those evil clowns in somehow! Orin murders Halsin in one of these.

Gortash meets with the party and offers a truce, joint rule over the brain provided they can deal with the clearly unhinged Orin and take her stone. Karlach is upset Catharina accepts this, but it does mean an easier time navigating the streets with all the now non-hostile robot guards around. While this is happening Astarion sneaks into the dungeon and frees Councillor Florrick who had opposed Gortash, a useful ally for the future perhaps?

He also runs into a band of vampire hunters who ask him to deal with his master Cazador. Surprising they don't just attack Astarion immediately but maybe they sense some good in this assassin after all? The local thieves guild are more neutral, but are willing to help if the party helps them deal with a new gang following The Stone Lord. They've set a trap for those guys in the local bank (which they run, lol) so that's next on the agenda.

Thursday 7 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: The Transformers

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Deeper in the hive the remaining party members witness an elder brain be controlled by three individuals: Thorm, Gortash (whom Karlach hates), and Orin who is rocking a murderous sexy vibe. While Orin, Gortash and the brain warp elsewhere Thorm stays to fight, transforming into an avatar of Myrkul - Lord of the Dead, best symbolized by a giant skeleton (High Lord Wolnir is that you?).

Halsin gets the KOed Nightsong back into the fight which ultimately kills her while Catharina transforms into the six limbed slayer demon as a child of Bhaal (she remembered how!) for an epic showdown, the end of which sees Karlach pulling Thorm's netherstone out of him - killing him for good. It sounds as dirty and painful as it is.

With no time to waste the team hurry on to Baldur's Gate before the brain turns everyone there into mindflayers but first, some time wasting as Gith monks ambush the team at camp. Who knew unarmed opponents in D&D could be so troublesome!? Afterwards the D20 speaks to us, calling itself "The Emperor", suggesting we let the parasites evolve to make us stronger for the upcoming fight. Catharina talks Gale and Karlach into doing just that, making them pseudo-flayers with black eyes and purpling skin in exchange for some power. Catharina doesn't need it herself since she can already transform into a monster at will.

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Turning to Shit

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Raphael's lead is fruitful as the party finds a tomb that serves as the Gauntlet of Shar, the goddess whom Shadowheart worships. After a trial of traps and combat against numerous undead and a few demons they then enter a pocket dimension of Shar where they find the Nightsong, the artifact giving the bad general immortality, is actually an imprisoned angel. Shadowheart goes full zealot and wants to kill her so Karlach swipes the D20 protection device from the cleric and her off into oblivion.

Nightsong is freed and regains her powers almost instantly which she uses to take flight and take the fight to the no-longer immortal Thorm at Moonrise Towers. The party chases after her and on the roof already find her kicking butt until a giant tentacle busts out from one of the towers, knocking Jaheira out, and dragging the angel and the enemy below.

The group jumps down in pursuit and finds a large flayer hive hides beneath Moonrise. Fighting past intellect devourers and mind flayers they come across Wyll's patron, Mizora, inexplicably trapped in one of their pods. She pleads to be set free, reminding Wyll that should she die he will turn into a Lemure (a weak shit fiend) and sent to the infinite meat grinder of the Blood War. Catharina takes that choice out of his hands and presses the button to "Annihilate" Mizora so Wyll turns into a shit before their very eyes before falling through a portal to hell.

Tuesday 5 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: It's just a Hobby

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Jaheira warns the group that Thorm, Lord of the nearby Moonrise Towers, is immortal so it would probably be wise to scout things out first. The party thrashes more shadows in the ruined city en route to the tower and then use tadpole-magic to trick their way in again where they see first hand that yes, that dude is immortal.

His minions aren't though! So after he retires to the roof there is a lot of quiet murder that happens until the tower is devoid of enemies. They then scour the ruined city to find the thing making him immortal, beating a Gith-ambush in the process, and returning to the Last Light Inn to rest, recover, and for Catharina to murder the cleric casting the shield (damn that murderous hobby)!

With no protection, everyone there except Jaheira and Raphael not only dies - but has to be killed again for the party to escape. Jaheira joins the squad because Catharina is so good at not getting caught, no one but Astarion is the wiser (and he approves)! Raphael on the other hand just tells them to go look in the graveyard then blinks away to watch from his home in the hells.

Monday 4 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Training

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Despite not being on the itinerary the party investigates the temple finding it to now be home to drunk kobolds and magical cats. Underneath it however is a Githyanki training facility which the team end up wiping out, especially when it is revealed they are after an artifact (looks like a D20) Shadowheart has been holding this whole time - and the reason they've not yet undergone ceremorphosis (turn into mindflayers).

The Gith-lich queen, only present via magical hologram, swears vengeance but is unable to really do anything. It occurs to them afterwards that the Gith might have the means to remove the parasites, being sworn enemies of the Illithid and all, but having failed to ask any of them about that Wyll just gambles on one of their devices which nearly makes his head explode. The device breaks, and his tadpole remains.

With a sigh the party returns to the shadow-cursed lands and after beating a shambling mound find their way to a magically shielded inn known as the Last Light, protected by a squad of Harpers led by Catharina's old acquaintance Jaheira! I guess that dragon at Suldanessellar didn't melt her to death after all! Also present is a blacksmith who tunes up Karlach's infernal heart to make her live again and the devil Raphael who loans them his assassin vampire servant Astarion, for the lols. Councillor Florrick is also here briefly, but runs off to try "get reinforcements from Baldur's Gate". Yeah - that's not coming.

Sunday 3 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Wrong Way

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Despite his startling revelation, the team vote to keep Gale in the party which is a good call as his spells and ogre mercenaries come in handy in wiping out the duergars and their idiotic dark elf leader. While their ogre allies are slain, the enslaved deep gnomes (including the same one from the goblin's lair) are saved and show the team the way to the shadow-cursed lands near Moonrise Towers.

Conveniently, Elminster is here waiting for them to give Gale's bomb a "tune-up" so that he no longer needs to devour magic items and instead can self detonate at will. Does the great mage then join the party to stop this impending world-ending doom? Nope, he buggers off as usual to do something else.

Anyway, the shadow-cursed lands are aptly named as anything that doesn't have light takes damage in the darkness and anything dead (unless its a briar plant enemy) turns into a shadow zombie thing. It's an annoying area to traverse at the start due to all the hidden "shadow" enemies but clearing them out improves the situation. Eventually the team find their way up to a mountain pass and outside the cursed lands and, after fire walling some undead idiots, spot a huge ruined temple in the distance. Could this finally be Moonrise Towers? Halsin says no, they're going the wrong way.

Saturday 2 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Interesting Condition

[Part of the Cursed story line]

The warlock Wyll meets the team at the entrance to the Underdark to try slay Karlach on orders from his patron, the cambion Mizora, but is convinced not only to stand down but to join the party instead. For this he is turned by hellish magics to look a bit more devilish but it doesn't seem to bother anyone much. Especially not the minotaurs, hook horrors, duergar or really annoying bullette that attack the party members equally.

Luckily there's a friendly Myconid colony nearby and a big shroom guy named Glut helps the party clear out this zone until he is slain by a spectator (beholder type thing) near the end, but the team is free to take a rowboat down to the duergar controlled Grym Forge and again via parasite-psionics trick them into being allies for now.

Deciding to explore first the team completes the jumping puzzle to get to the forge itself, fighting animated armors on the way but it is a lava mephit ambush (and the fact they explode on death) that kills Karlach on the steps leading down to it. They opt to back off for now, which is the perfect time for Gale to reveal that his "condition" is worsening, and that he's a living bomb.

Friday 1 March 2024

Baldur's Gate 3: Left or R... Yeah, we're going Left

[Part of the Cursed story line]

Back at the druid camp the team are welcomed as heroes since Halsin turns out to be their leader! Halsin does pass that role off to someone else though so that he can accompany the team to Moonrise Towers, where he believes the solution or cure for the tadpoles resides. Volo first wants to try his hand at removing a tadpole and fails, removing Catharina's eye instead but replacing it with a machine version that lets her see invisible things. A decent upgrade!

Volo then waves them good bye as they set off and en route they find the berserker and ex-soldier of Zariel named Karlach who has an infernal engine for a heart and joins them after they help her defeat some evil paladins hunting her down.

One gnoll warband later they also rescue Chancellor Florrick and a few other Flaming Fist soldiers from a burning tavern en route to the mountain pass that leads to Moonrise Towers, only to find that an entire Gith patrol AND their red dragon block the way. As they don't look like they'd be leaving anytime soon the team decides to try out the second path - via the Underdark. Because that sounds MUCH safer right?