Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome to Avernum

Avernum is an indie rpg made by Spiderweb Software. It's a classic turn-based role-playing game with an open world, many quests, a robust skill system and a choice of four PCs. RPGs of today do not make these types of games anymore.

The story is that your party of four has been banished to the underworld for some unknown crime against the cruel Empire. The underworl, or Avernum, is where the Empire sends all of its dissadents, criminals or just because someone in power didn't like the way you look.

When you first arrive at your knew home you have no idea what is going on or what to do. It's up to you to decide for yourself what actions you want to take.

My dream to be traveling around with three women has come true for Rincewind.
 You start out by choosing four characters and what kinds of skills you want them to have. There are suggested skills for certain character classes like Soldiers have more strength, endurance and are better with multiple weapons. While a sorcerer has very little strength, more intelligence and knows some magic. You don't have to choose a class. You can choose customize if you want and then you can spend the skill points any way you which.

Here we can see all of the different skills and various other information about one of your characters. I have five extra skillpoints I can spend anywhere I want. In addition there are various character traits I can choose from. You have both benificial traits and ones that are not so beneficial. The ones that help you like beastmaster will allow you to summon beasts once per day, but you will get less experience points throughout the game. If you choose a harmful trait then you can receive extra experience points throughout the game. I try to balance it out sometimes. Like choosing the natural mage trait that enables my mage to wear armor and then choosing the brittle bones trait which means I will need to stay out of physical combat. I was going to do that anyways, so why not make have more of an incentive. By doing this I would receive 5% extra expeirence from my adventures, -25% for being a natural mage and +30% for having brittle bones.

Now the story begins:

So this is Avernum and the infamous gate. I have my four party members there are on the screen and the stats and equipment on the right of the screen. At the bottom it tells you game information or dialogue and below that are the tabs for various actions. Starting from the left we have look, mage spells, priest spells, wait a turn, talk, get, combat mode, use a skill, journal, options and help.

This game is easiest when played using a keyboard. The mouse takes too long. You use the numberpad to move around and hotkeys. For example: hit g to "get" items.

Now I go find out what's going on.

I talk to the various people and learn that they are here to "welcome" me to Avernum and provide me with some basic gear so I don't resort to thievery out of desperation. I also learn that they are having problems with bandits, the Nephilim (cat people) and Slithzerikai (lizard men).

So now I leave this safe setting in search of fame, glory and riches in Avernum.


  1. Woo hooo! My second blog entry. This is already a success because I have passed Avernum and would never had done that if I hadn't been wanting to make this blog.

    Not sure about the picture size though. It's really tough to read the dialogue if I make it any smaller.

  2. Nice, skav. I really like the way you're laying the game out. The old rpg dot used to do stuff like this so you could look at a game before buying it. Nice work. I wish the game itself had a larger map/action area. One of the reasons I don't play Vogel's games--so hard to see the character paths and the map.But you're making it sound tempting.

  3. Thanks.

    Pics aren't too big? I really have more than a hundred of these things, but I don't think I'll need them all now.

    The only time I really couldn't tell where to go was when I was standing next to a hill. On a few occasions I wanted to attack something that was standing on a hill and ended going the wrong way because it wasn't where I thought it should be.

    I gotta hand it to Jeff, he is a good writer. He does love his spiders though. Just wait till I post about the "friendly spiders". He loves throwing them in the games somewhere. Nethergate had them as well. Not so sure about Geneforge. Can't remember seeing them there.

  4. Almost forgot. I'll be posting more this weekend. I've decided to do less of a let's play and more of a summary like CRPGAddict. I think that will give you and others a clear picture as to what is going on. There will still be spoilers a plenty, but there will be less of them.

    If you decide to go with a Vogel game then start with geneforge. That is quite unique and fun as hell.

    Avernum is fun and well written, but Geneforge tries something new and succeeds. Plus, it has a wee bit more roleplaying in it than this one. In this there is really no choices to make other than who do you want to kill first. In Geneforge you have different factions you can choose to join.

    It's nothing like The Witcher, but at least there is one major choice you have to decide upon.