Topic: [SSLP] Darkest Dungeon: First Forays into the Ruins  (Read 1333 times)

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AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
[SSLP] Darkest Dungeon: First Forays into the Ruins
« on: May 10, 2018, 04:43:29 am »
Greetings fellow maidens, it's just some random lurker who's finally come out into the light - and he's undertaking a project he hasn't done before at all.

I'm going to do my very first screenshot Let's play - this one being of Darkest Dungeon.



Nominated for a number of awards and selling over two million copies (at least, according to Wikipedia), you might have heard of this game before.
Made by indie game developer Red Hook studios, Darkest Dungeon is a dark fantasy RPG with roguelike elements - the player character inherits a mansion that is filled with your pick of failed experiments, fungal monstrosities, spooky scary skeletons, hostile fish-people, cultists, bandits, and things that shuffle about in the dark until they show up and kill pretty much your whole team.

You see, the previous owner, known only as The Ancestor, made some... very poor choices in his time among the living, and the task of cleaning up his mess falls to you, The Heir. Or, more accurately, you, and the team of men and women you'll send into harm's way. In exchange for assisting you in your task, they get gold, redemption, adventure, and a painful and undignified end.

The opening screen can describe the game's major theme better than I can.



You may have noticed I have not told you when I will update. This is because school finals and other important things are kind of going on right now, so getting a SSLP down atop all the studying and last-minute assignments I have to turn in is a difficult proposition at the very best. Hopefully, once all the school-related drama has reached its conclusion, I'll show a proper update schedule.

Now, unlike a certain ongoing let's play, I'm not going to make much use of mods short of a few reskins and an unofficial palette expansion mod. There didn't seem to be any Touhou-related mods for this game, and given the atmosphere and what happens to the characters in-game... that's probably for the best. I also don't have any of the DLC, so if you want dancing ladies with spears or for your characters to become basically vampires, I'm afraid I can't help you with that.

In the mean time, we need to figure out the name of our estate, and we need to ask for volunteers to join Reynauld and Dismas in this doomed endeavor.

See, the default name of every save file is "Darkest", and the estate name is a fill-in-the-blank name - The ____ Estate, making the default estate name "The Darkest Estate". However, a unique playthrough requires a unique name, not just the edgy one the game gives us at default. So, what ideas do you have for the estate's name? Keep in mind that you only have control over that middle word, so while you can't say "The Estate of the Kaleidoscope", you can say "The Kaleidoscope Estate".

As for volunteers... You start out with a pair of heroes as part of the game's tutorial - Reynauld and Dismas, both of whom have the same skill set, quirks, and character class every time you start the game. Aside from those two special snowflakes (they're not really, they can die at any time, including the tutorial), each hero you recruit has a name randomly generated from a list of names. This works well enough, but repeats of names do still happen on rare occasions.

In any case, if you'd like to put yourself in the game as a hero, just post it in the thread, alongside which hero you're gonna be. I'll describe the various heroes later, but know that each and every one of them is expendable - I'm not going to dismiss your heroes, but if they die, they die and there's no way to undo that.

Please wait warmly for a description of the different heroes.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
So. Heroes. Or at least, people who will willingly come to a place like this to kill things and loot treasure.

It’s important to remember that these people are not happy people. Happy people would seek work elsewhere. These people are plagued by their past, hoping to find redemption or escape here.

Spoiler alert: They won’t. Most of them won’t, anyway.

So, the list of possible heroes:

The Abomination
In Short: Vestals, Crusaders, Lepers, and Flagellants (who are a part of the Crimson Court DLC and thus will not appear in this playthrough) all hate him! Might have something to do with the fact he can transform into a repulsive killbeast once per battle. In his human form he uses chains, prayer, and a partial transformation so he can puke on things. In his killbeast form, he is a killbeast. This scares his own colleagues, however, so do be careful.

Courtesy of the balance patch that came with the launch of The Color of Madness DLC, the Abomination is now able to party with religious heroes (the Vestal, Crusader, Leper, and Flagellant). His crit effect is a damage boost (+20%).  Transform (The Abomination transforms into a repulsive killbeast) can be used in all four ranks. Beast Bile (The Abomination pukes on his enemies) now deals a little bit of damage (-90% damage modifier) rather than none at all (previously -100% damage modifier).

The Antiquarian
In Short: She’s a terrible fighter - her kukri attacks are untrained and weak, her censer, while multipurpose, is very poor at all of its purposes, and two of her abilities are mostly selfish in nature. However she lets you carry and find more loot. There’s money to be made putting this gal in danger - just make sure she and her colleagues don’t die too quickly.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Antiquarian bring along a skeleton key at the start of each quest, alongside various tweaks to her skills. Her crit effect is a dodge boost (+10). Get Down! (The Antiquarian retreats to the back) boosts blight chance, Fortifying Vapors (A slight heal) now boosts blight and bleed resist, and Protect Me! (The Antiquarian calls for an ally to defend her) now marks the target the Antiquarian forces guardianship upon.

The Arbalest
In Short: A very sniper-ey class - in the front two rows, she’s a liability, but in the back two rows, she shoots things and is good at shooting them. Her arbalest is also multipurpose like the Antiquarian’s censer, except this weapon can actually kill things. She can also patch people up with bandages that somehow do not stop bleeding. A useful combination of killing things and not killing things - as long as nothing moves her from the back rows.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives her a crit effect of increased damage against marked targets (33%). Suppressing Fire (The Antiquarian just fires really fast, with little regard for accuracy) now hits the back rows only, Rallying Flare (the Arbalest shoots a flare) now has a chance of healing a bit of stress on each party member, and Battlefield Bandage (the bandage that doesn't stop bleeding) can heal any party member of your choice (originally only the first three ranks.)

The Bounty Hunter
In Short: He’s got a number of ways to kill things, including hitting them with an axe, hitting them with an axe after they’ve been pointed/whistled/casted at, hitting them with an axe after they’ve been stunned, pulling them in with his hook and then hitting them with an axe, throwing caltrops at them and then hitting them with an axe, and punching them and hitting them with an axe later. All of these ways have varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the situation, but usually at least one of these tactics will work well.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives him a crit effect identical to the Arbalest's - increased damage against marked targets (33%). Additionally, Come Hither (Basically Scorpion's "Get over here") will now mark enemies, giving him two marking skills.

The Crusader
In Short: Your standard Knight in shining armor, he can slash and stab things with a sword, hit them with a sword hilt, and show them an accusing scroll. He’s not just good at killing things, though, as he can shield himself from damage through the sheer power of faith, provide minor healing, and reduce the stress of his comrades. Truly a man devoted to his allies - be they former criminals like the Highwayman, shady medicine peddlers like the Plague Doctor, or even literal Abominations.

You get one of these guys at the start of the game. His name is Reynauld.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Crusader a crit effect of increased PROT (+15%). His Battle Heal (The Crusader uses his battle standard to heal through the power of faith) can now heal anyone in the party.

Grave Robber
In Short: A dodgy lady with knives, a pick, and a number of other tricks up her sleeve. Her mobility and the versatility of her skills means she fits in nearly anywhere, and two of her skills move her about the team, so even a messed-up formation won’t reduce her effectiveness. She isn’t actually any better at gathering treasure, sadly.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Grave Robber a crit effect identical to the Antiquarian's - a dodge boost (+10). Rather than being guaranteed to come with Poison Darts like all Grave Robbers do, all Grave Robbers will come with Shadow Fade. Additionally, Shadow Fade (The Grave Robber slips into the shadows) has been changed significantly - while the number of uses is now limited to three per battle and it no longer stuns foes, the skill will stealth the Grave Robber, and will boost her dodge, damage, and crit chance. Toxin Trickery (The Grave Robber drinks from a vial of some unknown liquid) is now useable one per battle, Thrown Dagger (exactly what it sounds like) and Lunge (also exactly what it sounds like) do more damage against blighted targets, and Pick To The Face (also exactly what it sounds like) ignores PROT.

The Hellion
In Short: Warrior lady. Several of her skills debuff her once they’ve been used, so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind, however, that she can hit all four rows of the enemy team with the right skills. Competing with the Leper for the title of “Best Hero to have in Row 1”.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives her a crit effect of increased damage against bleeding targets (+33%). Barbaric YAWP! (The Hellion sounds her barbaric yawp across the rooftops of the world... and right into her enemy's faces, stunning them) can now only be used three times per battle. Breakthrough (The Hellion charges with her glaive) can now be used in any row except the front (previously it could be used in all four rows), and its debuff is not as large as other debuffs. Debuffs from the Hellion's exhausting skills (Barbaric YAWP!, Breakthrough, and Bleed Out) can no longer be removed with Medicinal Herbs, and will instead last for the entire battle.

The Highwayman
In Short: A robber with a dagger and pistol, he’s right at home in the middle rows, though with the right skills he can do a lot of moving about.  There’s not too much special to say about this guy other than he can find a place for himself on any team.

You get one of these guys at the start of the game. His name is Dismas.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Highwayman a crit effect of a speed boost (+2). Enemies hit by Grapeshot Blast (The Highwayman somehow fires grapeshot/buckshot/shot of some kind... from a flintlock pistol) will now be debuffed and may recieve critical hits more often. Duelist's Advance (The Highwayman charges forward with his dagger, stabbing an enemy and preparing to counterattack) can now only target the first three rows, and will no longer be able to hit the back where that goddamn Bone Courtier is located.

The Houndmaster
In Short: A constable with a dog. He can whistle at his enemies or hit them with a club, while the hound can howl to relieve stress, lick her wounds to restore health, guard a teammate from attacks, or just fucking tear the enemy into pieces in one of two ways. Bring the pair along and get two Scooby Snacks, absolutely free! Great for long hunts, rewards for success, or to boost your dog’s energy when you need her to fucking tear the enemy into pieces even harder.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Houndmaster a crit effect of a boost to bleed chance (+20%).

The Jester
In Short: Pretty much a murderous musician. He can prepare for a fatal finale attack by playing music or by simply stabbing things with a dagger as he advances to the very front row. The music he plays can reduce stress, boost allies, and debuff enemies. His jokes are funny all the way up until you become the subject.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Jester a crit effect of a boost to stress healing done (+40%). Dirk Stab (Exactly what it sounds like, and the Jester moves forward one space) will hit enemies even if they're being guarded. Harvest (The Jester hacks at enemies with his scythe - all Jesters will start with this skill) now provides a damage boost to the Finale skill. Finale (The Jester performs some flashy spear-stabbing move once per battle) can now be performed from the first two ranks (originally only the first rank), can now hit any enemy (originally could only hit the first three rows) and the debuff that occurs is now more severe (originally a long dodge reduction, now a reduction to dodge, speed, and an increase in stress damage taken for the rest of the battle). Solo (The Jester slides right to the front as he plays music) no longer debuffs enemies, instead buffing the Jester. It can now be used twice per battle. Additionally, some moves that originally just boosted Finale's damage will now boost its crit chance, too.

The Leper
In Short: Like a reverse Arbalest, he’s only effective in the front two rows, his attacks are very inaccurate, and his non-killing things-abilities all affect himself, and himself only. Also like a reverse Arbalest, he’s extremely strong and tough - having the highest health pool and attack base out of any hero in the game, with the non-killing things-abilities only making him even tougher and stronger. Competing with the Hellion for the title of “Best Hero to have in Row 1”.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch will give the Leper a crit effect of increased accuracy (+10). Purge (The Leper cuts away corpses and inflicts a big knockback on the enemy in the front) can now only be used in the front row, and it provides a slight boost to accuracy. Revenge (The Leper channels his rage to boost damage but make him easier to hit) can now be used in any rank, is now only usable once per battle, and its effects last for the entire battle. It also causes the Leper to take more damage for the rest of the battle. Withstand (The Leper focuses on his own defenses, boosting his PROT, healing stress, and causing enemies to focus on him) now buffs for the entire battle, is now usable once per battle and in the first three ranks, and now applies the resistance buffs Solemnity used to have. Solemnity (The Leper rests and heals his wounds) now heals stress. Intimidate (The Leper performs some sword trick that reduces PROT on his target, reveals his target if they're stealthed, reduces the target's damage output, and causes enemies to focus on him) now boost s the Leper's speed.

The Man-At-Arms
In Short: Looks like the Demoknight. His main role, however, is not to kill things, but to help his teammates kill things while making sure they aren’t killed themselves. He accomplishes this by directly defending his teammates, shield-bashing his foes to stun them, shouting at his enemies to debuff them, shouting at his teammates to increase their stats, drawing the heat while preparing a counterattack, and hitting things with his mace. Despite knowing “The secrets of a hundred campaigns”, he will always start at resolve level 0 until a certain upgrade is built.

The Color of Madness DLC balance patch gives the Man-At-Arms a crit effect of less stress damage (-33%). Rampart (The Man-At-Arms performs a shield charge, advancing forward and stunning an enemy and knocking them back) can no longer target the third rank, now only hitting the first two rows. Bellow (Exactly what it sounds like, slowing down enemies and reducing their dodge) no longer crits, and in fact no longer deals damage at all, only debuffing. It now applies a new debuff - if the enemy is a marked target, they'll recieve more crits (+5%). Command (The Man-At-Arms coordinates his team's attacks, increasing their accuracy and crit chance) now gives all team members a boost to damage when guarded (+15-+25% more damage when guarded, depending on the level of Command). Bolster (The Man-At-Arms commands his team, boosting their speed and dodge) is only usable once per battle and no longer boosts speed, instead boosting stress damage resistance. The boosts last the entire battle.

The Occultist
In Short: Guy with a turban on his head and a human skull made into a candle. Several of his skills can debuff his enemies, and his heal has the potential to fully restore the health of a party member. However, this health restore skill can heal 0 healthpoints, inflict bleed, or, worse yet, do both. And he will, trust me. Many, many times. Additionally, his damage output is quite low due to both an already low damage base and the fact many of his skills deal less than his damage base, and though he receives a damage boost against eldritch enemies with some of his attacks, it's not quite enough to make up for it. He incurs a bit of a risk if you make him your dedicated healer, but it might just be worth it... maybe.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Occultist a crit effect of increased healing (+25%). Weakening Curse (Exactly what it sounds like) now reduces a target's PROT as well as their damage output.

The Plague Doctor
In Short: Lady who might be mistaken for a guy due to the fact she wears baggy clothes and has a plague doctor mask on (duh). She can inflict blight on enemies and stun them with chemical bombs, or she can apply a sort of first aid that can cure blight and bleeding, or she can boost her teammate's stats through the use of some of her shady drugs. These shady drugs and other bizarre medieval-era treatments can also be used while camping, but unlike in real life, they actually work.

You get one of these ladies at the start of the game, just after you complete the tutorial. While her quirks, skills, name, and palette are all randomly generated, she (and future Plague Doctors) will always start with the Plague Grenade skill, which lets her inflict blight on the back two rows (usually where the more annoying enemies are located.)

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Plague Doctor a crit effect of increased blight chance (+20%). Noxious Blast (Exactly what it sounds like) now inflicts an accuracy debuff in addition to the blight effect. Blinding Gas (Also exactly what it sounds like) is now limited to three uses per battle. Emboldening Vapors' (The shady drugs mentioned earlier) boosts can now be used twice per battle, and last the entire battle. Disorienting Blast (Also exactly what it sounds like) can no longer be used in the first rank, and can no longer crit.

The Vestal
In Short: Lady who wields both a book and a blunt implement. However, if you're actually using her blunt implement to hit things, you might be doing it wrong. Her front-row attacks can debuff enemies, but she's much more useful with her reliable healing skills. Though they're not as powerful as the Occultist, she's not about to meme your team, making her a close contender with the discount Abdul Alhazred for the title of "Best Healer".

You get one of these ladies at the start of the game, just after you complete the tutorial. She again has a randomly selected name, quirks, and skills, but she (and all future Vestals) will always start with the Divine Grace skill, which lets her apply a good heal to an ally of her choice when she's in the back ranks.

The Color of Madness DLC's balance patch gives the Vestal a crit effect identical to the Occultist's - increased healing (+25%). Illumination (The Vestal summons a burst of light to damage enemies, restore the torch a little, and reduce enemies' dodge) no longer crits, but can reveal stealthed targets. Hand of Light (Exactly what it sounds like, at least one youtuber liked to call it "The Jesus Punch", originally debuffed enemy damage and accuracy while boosting the Vestal's damage output against unholy enemies) no longer debuffs enemies, instead boosting the Vestal's accuracy and damage.

Now that I've explained a bit on who these people are, it's time to decide whether you wish to send someone with your name into a place where they will be puked on, shot at, and possibly cannibalized.
I'm a seasoned dog handler so feel free to add one to your party on my behalf.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
All right, then. The first Houndmaster I add to the roster will be named Cyberangel.

Hopefully he doesn’t die too fast.

Now, for the estate’s name... I’m thinking of just calling it “The Kaleidoscope Estate”, but if you have any other ideas I’m eager to hear them.

Gesh86

  • Buddha may forgive you...
  • but Byakuren won't!
  • Nickname: Gesh
  • Gender: Male
I think the Grave Robber is cute (in a game where no one thinks of applying for any beauty contests). Rather than calling your first of those Gesh86 I'd like her to be named Satuuya though if that's ok.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Satuuya is a fine name for a fine combatant. Hopefully she won't die too fast either when she's recruited.

I'm thinking of naming the first Plague Doctor Eirin, because of the shady drugs. Not sure what to call the first Vestal, though. I'm not going to rename Dismas and Reynauld, though.
If my understanding from a very quick skim is correct then Reimu should make sense for Vestal. A bit "default"-feeling maybe, but it fits just fine. Or Sanae. Your pick, anyway.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
It seems all that’s really left is to check if the estate name is all right. Is “The Kaleidoscope Estate” okay? We won’t be able to change the name later, so if we named it “The Super Meme Estate”, the name’s gonna stay that way forever.

Gesh86

  • Buddha may forgive you...
  • but Byakuren won't!
  • Nickname: Gesh
  • Gender: Male
A name in reference to our forum is alright. I'm still going to throw "The Yakumo Estate" out there.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Well, I suppose The Yakumo Estate will do fine for an estate name.

After Dismas and Reynauld make their way with the Heir to the hamlet of the estate, they'll be joined by Reimu and Eirin for their journey.

Let's see how soon we can have our first death, eh?

I'll try to have the first actual gameplay post up by Sunday, May 20th, but no guarantees.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
It seems the guarantees I didn't make have fallen through - I don't believe I will be able to have a post up by the 20th. Perhaps the 27th will be when I make my first post, but even then I'm not 100% sure.

Thank you for bearing with me, I promise Reimu will get doused with rancid wine soon.

Incidentally, I should probably tell you that this is not a blind run of the game (If it was, How would I know so much about the game's mechanics and classes?), so while we will be at the mercy of the much-maligned RNG, we will not be at the mercy of my ignorance.

At least, we won't be at its mercy as much.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
I've decided to write a brief in-character intro to this Let's Play. If you want me to keep the more serious style, I can do that, or I can continue to flippantly joke about the deaths of others as I've been doing so far.

So, May 18th was when I first started recording footage, so we’ll say that that’s when our game starts. Mid-late May.

So, after this super-lengthy intro, it’s time for a super huge infodump alongside the gameplay I’m presenting. Hopefully it won’t make your eyes water the way the free-response questions on my AP Statistics test did.

--

It was May when the letter arrived. The brighter days were idyllic and almost... peaceful.

Not that my employees could exactly stop to enjoy the sun, of course.


“Raimbeaucourt versus Thibault! Final call for all bets!”

A bar of brawny men, a desire to see blood, and a bit of ingenuity meant that life was easy enough. The crowds of fools who gathered were all too willing to empty their purses for a chance to fill them again, and some clever manipulations meant that I’d always win back more than what I paid out.

And best of all was the crowd’s bloodthirst. No amount of violence, it seemed, could sate the desires of those who routinely rendered themselves penniless. Even a grisly set of killings from a bounty hunter a few weeks back couldn’t disrupt the fights that were going on, and if any of the fighters were killed, there would be more to take their place, eager for gore and gold. An ever-flowing fountain of coin... If one didn’t mind the blood, of course.

Life was easy enough indeed, but the affair inevitably started to grow dull. As of late, I’d begun to notice the same moves and mistakes again and again. These men were not fighters, though they certainly fancied themselves as such. They were little more than belligerent drunks, interested in  playing up their own egos and filling their coin purses, relying on what they thought was animal instinct when it was little more than the whiskey they’d inhaled moments earlier. Thorough examination revealed their existences to be empty, joyless affairs that they attempted to fill by giving in to the base desires of wrath, greed, and lust. And I was indulging in these men’s desires for what, exactly? To line my own pockets with money I would gain no joy in spending? To gorge myself with food and drink, as the others had? To stuff my bedsheets and blankets with gold to sleep with in place of companionship? The self-mocking questions rang in my head like the raucous shouting of the betting manager - everpresent, yet always grating and sickening to hear.

My memories soon began to blend together until I was seeing the same so-called techniques botched time and time again, and hearing the same so-called desires and same so-called voices of the ever-constant stream of the same so-called humans. Each day could have replaced the next, and I wouldn’t have noticed anything different. Perhaps the entirety of my own life could have passed through that bar like its patrons: Blind, confused, and ultimately accomplishing nothing.

Were it not for that day...

During a lull in the fighting, I was sitting at the bar, a mug of cool cider in my hand, when there was a tapping on my shoulder. Quickly, I whirled around, half-expecting another inebriated brute mistaking me for his competitor, or, worse yet, easy prey. I’d put down more than my fair share of those fools. Whether they believed they’d be getting an easy win or an easy score, their faces all contorted into the same shapes when they breathed their last. While the shows of violence and mercilessness would have garnered a reputation in a more sober populace, the memories of those here were little more than an ephemeral blaze - lasting for a few days before being doused by a torrent of blood, alcohol and other fluids. This was, after all, a place where patrons manipulated their own memories as they wished, discarding the unpleasantness like a broken tool.

Instead of the unwanted fight I was expecting, however, I instead beheld a young boy. His clothing was simple enough, and free from the stains that were so commonly acquired during drinking, brawling, and other activities that were common at this place. And lastly, something about my visage and motion genuinely frightened him - he threw up his hands as though the stained envelope he held in them would soften the blows that would surely come.

When he realized I would not harm him, he presented the letter to me hesitantly, not knowing what to say. The envelope the letter was in was nothing remarkable, and I paid the familiar crimson stains no mind at all, for I’d seen and even created the likes of those marks dozens of times before. The only particularly unusual feature was the wax seal holding the letter closed - the seal of a “Yakumo family”...

I was not sure if I’d ever seen the symbol on the seal before, but the name alone meant the sense of familiarity was... uncanny. Caring not who saw the letter, I tore the envelope open and read. Again, the handwriting of the sender was unfamiliar, yet I felt as though I’d known it my entire life...


    Ruin has come to our family.

    You remember our venerable house, opulent and imperial; gazing proudly from its stoic perch above the moor. I lived all my years in that ancient, rumour-shadowed manor. Fattened by decadence and luxury...and yet, I began to tire of...conventional extravagance.

    Singular unsettling tales suggested the mansion was a gateway to some fabulous and unnameable power. With relic and ritual, I bent every effort to the excavation and recovery of those long buried secrets, expending what remained of our family fortune on swarthy workmen and sturdy shovels. At last, in the salt-soaked crags beneath the lowest foundations, we unearthed that damnable portal of antediluvian evil.
   
   Our every step unsettled the ancient earth...but we were in a realm of death and madness! In the end, I alone fled laughing and wailing through those blackened arcades of antiquity...until consciousness failed me.

   You remember our venerable house...opulent and imperial.

   It is a festering abomination!
   
   I beg you! Return home, claim your birthright, and deliver our family from the ravenous clutching shadows of the Darkest Dungeon.


    Enclosed with the letter were instructions on how to reach the manor he wrote of, but I did not see them, seeing nothing at all as the memories flooded back. At so many family gatherings and occasions, there was always a lone figure. The rest of the family had their eccentricities, that was sure, but this figure was entirely solitary, always with his books and texts, chanting odd phrases to only himself, and never seeming to even notice our presence. The few times I asked about him were met with blank stares and murmured words of a distant ancestor, dabbling in things that should not be toyed with. I’d soon learned not to talk of him, his doings, or even his very existence, just as I learned not to talk of the rest of the family as I matured.

    But I still remembered. I’d nearly forgotten after the endless cycle of brawls, and yet here I was, this almost complete stranger begging me to return to a place that belonged to a youth I could scarcely to recall...

    I knew what I had to do. Thanking the boy and pressing a small purse of coin into his hands, I stood from my seat and headed for the door, ignoring his small eyes gleaming with wonder.

    I did not look back at the bar as I left, as so many heroes do when they leave their own homes for a life of adventure and glory. The bar was little more than a dalliance, a distraction - something to pass the time as I waited for something truly worthy of my attention.
   
It was no home. I was no hero. And I knew not whether I would receive either adventure or glory in these places. I knew not what would await me when I arrived at the manor and its hamlet. It could have been my own death, and I still would have made my journey.
   
It was better than this... existence here, at the bar.
   
Thankfully, I would not be making the journey alone. As I stepped into the stagecoach, the faces of two men greeted me. Dismas and Reynauld: Old friends, and of sterner stuff than those lumbering brutes back at the bar.

Dismas was a former highwayman. When he had finally been arrested - his string of cheating and robbery had finally caught up to him - the family’s mercy granted him his life in exchange for his loyalty. While his pistol and dagger were in poor condition, they were still sharp and accurate enough to be lethal, and his quick reflexes and tough head hadn’t deteriorated since the day we’d first met.

Reynauld, on the other hand, was a former crusader, turned another servant of the family when they provided the wandering warrior with a home, a purpose, and, even, perhaps, a new family of sorts. His own armor and short sword were, again, battered but functional, and his unshakable faith granted him strength during the light... Even if he did have a habit of taking things that weren’t his.

I cannot recall how we met, and it mattered not. We were here now, and these two would see me safely to the manor.
   
The man driving the stagecoach, on the other hand, was far less familiar. A set of filthy, ill-fitting glasses and the neverending grin he wore only truly began to sink in when we were already on our way.

Asking Dismas and Reynauld about his identity, I merely learned that they had been instructed to take the wagon, pick me up, and then bring me to the hamlet, where we would meet up with two more family friends, Eirin and Reimu, to begin the long and arduous task of cleansing the manor. They knew not who that man was, nor his own history with the family, but they had little choice in the matter, for none else would bring them to the manor.

As soon as they finished explaining this brief call to action, catching up with what we’d been doing, the wagon lurched ominously. The horses began to falter and neigh in fright, as the wagon began shaking far more than even the roughest roads could possibly produce.

The shaking began to become even more intense. I looked in the eyes of Dismas and Reynauld and saw fear begin to bloom as I remembered the written instructions of my Ancestor...


You will arrive along the old road. It winds with a troubling, serpent-like suggestion through the corrupted countryside. Leading only, I fear, to ever more tenebrous places.

Peering out a window at the landscape, I began to see shallow graves and even a number of dessicated, half-eaten corpses at the side of the road, as the wagon driver began to laugh, a horrible, unsettling laugh that raised our hackles and left us clutching at our weapons.

There is a sickness in the ancient pitted cobbles of the old road and on its writhing path you will face viciousness, violence, and perhaps other damnably transcendent terrors.

There were shapes moving in the forests, shapes belonging to vaguely human figures... and those of unfamiliar, horrifying creatures. The driver’s laughter only grew louder and louder as we continued...

So steel yourself and remember: there can be no bravery without madness.

With a final punctuation of psychotic cacophony, the wagon’s driver pulled on the reins hard, driving the cart far off to the left of the road as he leapt from it, a jump far higher than I’d ever thought a person could make.

The old road will take you to hell...

And the wagon was left with us, tumbling, crashing, left to our fates...

With a resounding smashing and splintering of wood, I suddenly found the cart’s floor rushing up at me.

There was a brief, blinding pain.

And then there was darkness.


but in that gaping abyss we will find our redemption.

Hope ♦ Metal

  • Royal Flares Can't Melt Steel Beams
  • Donald Trump will make waifus real
  • Nickname: RumiaWith-A-ChestMouth
I'd say keep the serious style. Although it would be kind of funny imagining Ran or Chen even being the one that is doing this stuff.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
The first drops of blood are spilled. A husk of a town.

Then the pain returned. A searing headache.
The sound. The songs of birds, already forgetting the brief disturbance we’d made.
The feeling. There was suddenly a hand on my shoulder.
I flailed out my limbs, struggling to get up, certain I was being picked over for valuables and that I would be finished off, only for my arms to be batted away.

“Calm yourself. You still live, praise the Light.”
“See, Reynauld? I told you he’d make it through, pay up!”

Opening my eyes, I saw that the crusader had donned his helmet, with his sword at his side. He and Dismas shared a brief chuckle, before the crusader extended his hand and helped me to my feet.



Climbing out of the wagon, I turned around to examine what the extent of the damage. The horses were entirely missing - likely having run off in a panic at having their guide abandon them. The wagon itself was in a pitiful state - two of its wheels had been completely smashed, and the remaining two looked ready to fall apart at any moment. Thankfully, we had chosen to travel light - all our equipment was with us, including the rations we had prepared in the event our trip took longer than expected.

Though we were no longer on the roads and the place had long become foreign to me, I was, at least, aware of our distance to the hamlet, merely a brief walk away. With a little luck, reaching safety was still perfectly possible.




Brigands have the run of these lanes... Keep to the side path. The hamlet is just ahead.

We had barely taken ten steps along the side path before Dismas gestured to us to hide. Taking cover behind some of the nearby vegetation, we heard the sound of footsteps getting closer and closer. With a nod from the highwayman, the three of us each leaped out of our hiding places, drawing our -




A hand reached around for a handle. It missed. Looking down, my heart sank when I realized the blades I’d packed had slipped from their sheaths during the chaos of the crash and were now gone. The lone brigand grinned, and drew closer, his own blades at the ready, but I was ready for him, too. All it took was a handful of dust in his eyes and a quick hand signal...



Dispatch this thug in brutal fashion, that all may hear of your arrival!



And then the fight ended almost as soon as it began, the brigand barely able to land a weak slice on Dismas before Dismas responded by opening the bandit’s throat.



A brief search of his pockets revealed a small pouch of coin, and we continued. Just as we saw the gate separating one of the rooms, we came across a small tent - belonging to the bandits, it seemed.

Leave nothing unchecked, there is much to be found in forgotten places.



Looting another small coin pouch, we proceeded to the path to the hamlet...



Only to be met with further resistance - a scarred, lumbering hulk of a man, whip in hand, with a much smaller, shorter brigand, wielding a rifle-like gun.



An ambush! Send these vermin a message - the rightful owner has returned, and their kind are no longer welcome!



The sprays of shot coming from the brigand fusliier bit into the flesh of Reynauld and Dismas, but the wounds inflicted were light and easy to ignore. Dismas returned fire with a weak shot, not for the sake of killing, but for steadying his aim. This tracking shot was accompanied by a precise slice, opening the hulking brigand’s veins to spill out his blood more easily. Seeing an opportunity, Reynauld then struck the hulking bloodletter over the head with the hilt of his blade before following up with a slash that cleaved straight through the giant’s flesh.



Despite the grievous injury, the brigand bloodletter still stood, and retaliated by savaging the pair with a flurry of whips. While the cuts the whips made were quite shallow, they were painful nonetheless. However, Dismas and Reynauld kept their cool. Then, a wicked glint appeared in Dismas’s eye as he leveled his pistol straight at the brigand fusilier’s head...



There were barely even any remains left. The battle ended quickly enough after that, but before we entered the hamlet, Reynauld called for us to wait. He’d found a small, unlocked chest, clearly belonging to the bandits.



Though something was off about it, Reynauld gleefully tried to lift open the lid only for a needle to pierce his hand - the chest had been trapped!



All too familiar with what that kind of trap meant, the three of us waited for the poison to set in...



Only for nothing to happen at all. Reynauld merely laughed at our worry.
“It will take far more than that to slay me, brothers!”
Shaking our heads at his folly, we merely continued on our path to the hamlet...




Only to find it desolate and lifeless. The only signs anyone was foolish enough to keep living there were the caretaker’s presence at the graveyard and the replacement stagecoach, already carrying our two companions Reimu and Eirin.

Welcome home, such as it is. This squalid hamlet, these corrupted lands, they are yours now, and you are bound to them.

What was it that brought the hamlet to this sorry state? When had it degraded to this point? And how were we to rebuild this, of all places?

--

Gameplay Explanation coming soon (TM).

the old guy

  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: ganpapa
  • Gender: Male, boring i know.
I like to pitch in by asking you to name the first Hellion (my favorite class) you get ether Yuugi or Suika, I'm not egotistical enough that I need my own name on a class.


But, you can name a Man At Arms after me if you so wish, assuming you don't have a one request for user rule.
My old avatars: Old ass turtle, Unzan - Second and Current Avatar by the talented Aoshi-shi

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
We've killed our first few people, now let's talk STATS!

Oh hey, someone’s actually reading this! That’s good! Means I’m not just typing out to some people who’ll never read because it’s too edgy! Now to scare you folks away with a long-winded gameplay explanation, featuring... Uh, a long long list of things that mainly have to do with characters!

So. We’ve managed to make it past the tutorial level without anyone dying. Well done, Dismas and Reynauld! You get to actually get to play a part in clearing the manor and its surrounding areas! (Note: So far I haven’t had Dismas or Reynauld die on the tutorial, but apparently it’s happened to some players.) Don’t cross your fingers yet, though! Someone has to be the first death, after all!

But before I can write about Reimu and Eirin suffering alongside these two, It might be best for me to explain the game’s systems and how they work.

As you may have noticed, this game’s battle structure is not too unlike other turn-based RPG games like Final Fantasy in that there are multiple combatants, each one taking (usually) one action per turn that they get. Attacks can hit normally, miss, crit, or be dodged. There are status effects, including debuffs, stun, and Damage Over Time (AKA DoT). Of course, this game is different than others of its kind, and to understand it better, we should take a look at the screens of our highwayman, Dismas!

You can view this character info screen by mousing over a character’s portrait and right-clicking, both during quests and at the Hamlet. Firstly: The quirks!



You see, each soldier against corruption that you recruit is their own little special snowflake, and is guaranteed to start with one to two of both positive and negative quirks. These can include things like a flat boost to speed or accuracy, an increase in stress damage taken from certain enemy types, being forced/compelled to interact with certain curios (objects that can be found in rooms, like that tent and chest from the tutorial), and probably a few other things, too.

These quirks, both positive and negative, can be acquired when a quest is ended, whether it’s abandoned or completed. The chance of getting a positive quirk is a flat 45 percent when a quest is successfully completed, with the chance of getting a negative quirk being a base 25 percent and being increased by one percent for every four points of stress up to a maximum of 25 more points. That means that at 100 stress, not only is your hero likely to be afflicted (we’ll get to that when it comes up), they’re also much more likely to gain a negative quirk. Thankfully, the odds of getting a positive quirk remain the same.

Abandoning the quest (returning to the Hamlet before the quest can be completed) is generally a good deal worse - the stress multiplier for gaining negative quirks is a bit bigger (at least, according to the wiki), the base chance of getting a negative quirk is higher, and the base chance of getting a positive quirk is smaller and is now reduced by stress.

The big takeaway from all this is: Completing quests is good. Abandoning quests is bad. Ending quests when you’re stressed is also bad. The effects permanently change how your heroes behave in a number of ways. It’s possible to change these yourself in a number of ways, too.



Now for Dismas’s stats. I’ll try not to get too wordy here.

Max HP - The amount of damage a hero can take until they’re on Death’s Door - where they are at risk of permanently dying. We’ll get into that when we get to Death Blow resistance over in the Resistances section. Dismas’s max HP is 22 right now, reduced 5% by his “Soft” quirk that he picked up after the quest.

Dodge - The chance that a hero will dodge any attack directed at them. Every single attack that isn't at 95 accuracy or above will have a chance of missing. Dodge will be added to this number - each point of Dodge is a 1% chance of dodging the enemy's attack. Dodge will be affected by hero class and armor level, as well as certain quirks, buffs, debuffs, and trinkets. Dismas currently has ten points of dodge, so an enemy attack with a base100% chance of hitting actually has a 10% chance to miss. Not that it’ll happen frequently enough to notice.

Prot - Short for protection. The percentage of PROT a hero has will reduce the amount of damage an attack inflicts, capping at 80%. The Hard Skinned quirk, as well as certain buffs and trinkets, will increase a hero’s PROT. Dismas currently has 0% PROT, so every attack will inflict full damage to him.

SPD - Short for Speed. This affects turn order. At the start of each turn, every unit rolls a number from one to eight, and the units with higher numbers go first. This means more speed is more better, as it lets you attack first and possibly stun or kill enemies, rather than the reverse. There is one specific situation where more speed can actually be worse - it’s when a unit winds up being faster than a dedicated healer when they’re suffering from a DoT effect. A DoT effect will hurt units at the start of their turn, you see, and if the unit is on death’s door, there’s a risk that they will die before the healer can do anything to help them.

Oh dammit, now I have to do a takeaway for this stat alone. Well done, me.

The big takeaway from all this is: More speed lets you hurt enemies first, but it might also let your units get hurt first if they’re bleeding. But it’s generally better to have more of this than less.

ACC MOD - Short for Accuracy Modifier. Modifies accuracy, which is your chance to hit. This is affected by a whole slew of things, including which combat skill is used, what level it is, quirks, buffs, debuffs, trinkets, and probably a few other things, too. However, a hit is only guaranteed when accuracy is at 95 or greater, as said before - this is due to a hidden +5 accuracy modifier shared by both heroes and monsters. Darkness causes monsters to become more accurate, but we’ll get into that Some Other Time (TM), I promise.

The big takeaway from all this is: Accuracy has a point where you're guaranteed to hit your enemy. This helps cut down on that XCOM 2 65% chance meme, but remember that you have to either reduce enemy dodge or increase your own accuracy before you can really ensure a hit. Never leave the killing of an enemy to just one person or you might just wind up being the ones who are killed.

CRIT - Short for Critical Hit, or, in this case, Critical Hit Chance. More of this gives you a chance of critically hitting, which inflicts more than the maximum damage of an attack, causes status effects to last longer when inflicted, causes stress heal, and generally results in all sorts of good shit. At least, when you perform them. When the enemy performs them everything goes to hell a little bit faster (ok, maybe a lot more faster), since you’re the one taking more damage. Crits also inflict a good deal of stress damage, which is super yaaaay (no it isn’t, but we’ll get to stress Some Other Time (TM)). In addition to the usual methods of boosting stats like using certain skills, trinkets, quirks, and certain buffs, darkness can also cause critical hits to be inflicted more often - by both you and the enemy.

The big takeaway from all this is: Crits that you perform are good. Crits the enemy performs are bad. You can increase crit chance by making things darker, but this boosts the enemy’s crit chance too.

Nearly forgot to mention, by the way, that critical hits (of both kinds) are usually accompanied by the sexy voice of Wayne June, which makes them all the better/worse when they do land. You haven’t played Darkest Dungeon until you’ve heard lines like “A singular strike!” or “How quickly the tide turns!”

If you don’t have the game, all the Narrator’s lines can be found here, though not all of them have the voice files.

Finally, there’s DMG - Short for Damage. This is affected by trinkets and weapons, and the amount of damage actually inflicted by skills will vary from skill to skill, as well as the enemy’s PROT.



Now, let’s get into combat skills. Each unit has a different set of skills, which may result in combinations that are really good, really terrible, or somewhere in between. Every hero type is guaranteed to have one skill that they will always start off being skilled in so that you don’t get completely screwed over by random skill assignment. For instance, see the icon of the pistol barrel that’s got the muzzle flash? That’s Pistol Shot, the skill that all Highwaymen are guaranteed to have. It can be used in all rows except the front row, and hits all enemies except the one in the front row. It deals a bit less damage than normal but inflicts extra damage against marked targets and has a 10% boost to crit chance.

The circles showed at the top of the bar, right below “Preferred Position” and “Preferred Target” indicate where the hero can use their skills and where the hero can hit. Here, Dismas can use all four of his skills from the second and third rows, while he can hit the second row with all his skills, the third row with most of his skills, and the first and fourth rows with only one or two skills.

We’ll have to keep this in mind so that we can construct a team that is can be its most effective. The back rows are generally where more fragile and dangerous enemies are, while the front enemies just hurt the first two rows. Some skills, of course, heal or buff your own teammates, and this can be seen by a glow effect around the outside of the circles in the “Preferred Position” diagram.

The big takeaway from all this is: Some attacks can only be performed at certain spots and can only hit enemies in other certain spots. Keep this in mind.



Next thing to get into is resistances. I’ll try to make this quick, but each number represents a chance to resist that effect if it gets applied. Here’s each of the effects:
Stun: Stops you from acting during that turn. Bleed and Blight will still decrease your health, and you won’t be able to do a damn thing about it. Lovely, right? Thankfully, when the stun status is removed you get a boost of 40% resistance to stun, which is there to prevent stunlocking on both sides.
Blight: Causes damage over time that ignores PROT. Antidotes and certain abilities can cure this status, and healing can outpace the damage.
Disease: These are separate from negative quirks in that they only cause big stat penalities. You’ll want to remove them as soon as possible through the use of the Sanitarium or certain camping skills. Certain enemies and curios can inflict disease.
Death Blow: When a hero hits zero HP, they fall onto Death’s Door, suffering a stress penalty and, more importantly, having a chance of dying any further time they take damage. Death Blow resist is the chance of not dying when you take damage, and this checks every single time you take damage.
Move: Some attacks can cause units to move about, messing up the formation by making some skills unusable in the position they move to. This forces them to either use less effective skills or waste a turn moving back into position.
Bleed: Similar to Blight, but comes from different sources and is cured using bandages and certain abilities (the same ones that cure blight).
Debuff: Causes stats to decrease. If too many debuffs stack up, you could find your units a lot less helpful than they might normally be.
Trap: This is actually the chance of disarming traps that can be seen in the dungeon. Note that this is completely useless if you don’t spot the trap in the first place, which requires Scouting (we’ll also get into that later.) If you trigger a trap, you can only hope you can dodge it.





Camping Skills and Diseases will both be skipped over since I explained the latter and we’ll wait until camping becomes relevant until we get to the former.



Equipment is simple - you have armor and weapon, which upgrade linearly, and two trinket slots. Think of the trinkets as perks you can equip - usually boosting one stat at the cost of another. Again, we’ll get into those when they become relevant.



Finally, we have resolve level, which determines what dungeons a character can enter as well as the maximum level weapons, armor, and skills can be upgraded to. Increasing resolve level also boosts resistances by some amount with each level.

Aaand that’s all I have for info on character stats.

The big takeaway from all this is: Each character has base stats determined by class and quirks. They can be further changed with trinkets, armor and weapon upgrades, new quirks, or increasing resolve level.

I already have the footage for the first trip into the Ruins recorded, by the way, so I might be able to have the post for that up as soon as next Sunday. Assuming I didn’t miss anything critical and/or don’t suddenly get struck by more ennui and/or sloth.

As for the suggested names for the first Two hellions and Man-At-Arms, I’ll accommodate all those requests, the old guy. As long as you’re not trying to name two characters the same name, it should be fine.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
On June 6th, I'll be leaving for China to pursue a job opportunity my dad offered me. He thinks it's a good way to experience living in another country for a time, and short of me returning early for whatever reason, I should be back in about a month and a half or so.

The fact I now have a job and the fact I'm in China (well-known for its Great Firewall) both mean this SSLP will likely be on hiatus until I return.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
So, it seems that as long as I have cellular connection, I can access this website without worries about firewalls. I plan to continue this series when I return from China, and may even toss out an update here or there before then. Anyway, on to the actual message...

As you may know, Darkest Dungeon will be recieving a new DLC on June 19th (So, sometime today, I believe.) called The Color of Madness.

As I stated in my first post, I don't own any of the DLC, so our playthrough won't feature it. More relevant to my playthrough is a balance patch to the base game, which affects, well, it's a lot of things, really, but I'll try to list a few here.

  • Critical hits will now cause status buffs on the hero who performed the crit. For instance, Plague Doctors will get a boost to Blight chance when they score a crit. Additionally, crit boosts, skills with a higher base crit chance, and crit trinkets were all boosted to make a crit strategy more effective, so that the "spikier" damage output could be as useful as the steadier damage of a straight damage build.
  • There's a certain threshold that you need in order to "always hit". Yes, this is a mechanic, one I actually got wrong - but the gist of the mechanic is that heroes won't have a guaranteed chance of hitting their enemy unless their hit chance is 95.
  • The stun resist buff units recieve when their stun ends is more powerful, and some stun skills were tweaked to make stunning less powerful. This helps prevent players from exploiting stuns to delay combat so that they can, for example, keep using Divine Grace to heal the entire party. On a similar note, there are now more criteria used to detect stalling tactics.
  • Several overall changes have been made so that each hero's role is more specific. The patch notes explicitly state they wanted players to have moments where they'd think, "I really wish I had a <classname> for this situation."
  • Virtues (which I'll get to when I talk about stress and afflictions) can expire if a hero hits 200 stress. This won't really be an issue unless you're playing the DLC's endless mode, but it will still be a factor on longer quests, and it means that the boost Virtues bring won't last forever.
  • Enemies that bosses summon are now life linked to those bosses - when the boss dies, they die, too. Most of the enemies bosses summon, anyway. This prevents having to deal with unpleasant trash cleanup after a boss is slain.

As you might have noticed, I've made an error as far as how accuracy works - when you hit 95, you're guaranteed to hit the enemy. I'll update the stats page to reflect this.

Before I finish this post, I must ask: Are you folks actually interested in seeing this series continue? I don't feel like I'm getting too many replies or a whole lot of feedback...

SpearOfLies

  • Neophyte
  • Gender: Male
There are actually two touhouvania mod as far I know. You cannot find them unless you type Reimu or Sakuya. I don't know why the author didn't add a touhou tag.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Thanks for all your love and support! I'll be sure to continue this series! Please, though, please just support my fragile, fragile ego!

--

Preparation before the first of many journeys.

At long last, we had arrived at the hamlet, still alive and well... But the same could not be said for the little town itself. After treating each other’s wounds, we gazed upon the boarded up buildings, looking for anyone besides ourselves and our  two companions.

A glint of glass caught my eye, and as we turned, we once again beheld our driver, alive, unharmed, and still bearing that sickening grin from before. His incoherent babbling and laughter, which barely an hour ago made me fear for my life, now did little more than fill me with the desire to end his. I slowly began to walk towards him, fists clenched. His excuses and apologies became ever more frantic and rushed, and he seemed to shrink at my approach. By the time he was within reach, he had fallen to the ground, laughing and quivering.

I felt my frown change from anger to sadness. I turned to Dismas and Reynauld, who were standing close - presumably to keep me from beating him into the ground. Their eyes bore into me and I suddenly felt very ashamed.

Barely my first week and I could hardly keep myself from killing the inhabitants of the very lands I’d inhabited. This was why I was no longer part of the Yakumo family. Why I wasn’t part of it for so long. And now I was already damaging my shot at becoming part of it again.

That letter, when I’d read it, awakened something in me that had been slumbering within for a long while. I could not say what it was, only that I felt... as though something had been missing. And here I was, about to make it missing yet again...

Saying nothing, I instead approached the replacement wagon, leaving the broken man on the ground to recover from my shameful loss of self-control. As I peered into the wagon’s interior, I heard the scurrying footsteps of the madman as he rushed to join me.


“Again, I’m so so sorry as to what happened earlier! I merely saw the dangers ahead and did not wish to join with the worms just yet! Now that that road has been cleared out and its trespassers sent to the place they wished us to enter, I can assure you such a thing will never happen ever again! Besides, the three of you remain aboveground presently and as such no harm is done! None that matters, in any case! Oh, and I have not even introduced myself and these two yet!  These two, Reimu and Eirin, are to join your three and become five, thus letting you so foolishly go belowground as one, I, the caretaker, remain up above to deliver more foolish corpses-to-be! Best of luck in delaying your journeys to the grave!” With a final giggle, the caretaker rushed off.

A pair of hooded figures sat within the wagon itself. One clutched a tome and mace in her hands - I recognized the tome as one common among the Church’s Vestals. It not only held the Holy Verses and descriptions of the Holy Rituals of the Light, but it also contained a hidden power only the Vestals could unlock - one that could smite foes or heal allies. This lady was Reimu. The exact details of her past were unknown to me, but the important thing was that she was here to help. I couldn’t turn down an offer like that. She may have been slower than others, and her religious devotion was no surprise, but a familiar twinkle in her eye as she examined the others in her new group suggested an almost uncanny intimacy with the bodies of others.

The second of the hooded figures was another woman, her face obscured with a plague doctor’s mask. Alongside the jagged knife she wielded there was also a number of hastily-patched cloth satchets of some sort, almost resembling bombs of some kind. This must be Eirin - a former Gandriel University student who had been expelled after stories of bizarre and immoral experiments performed on staff who had died from Blight. Her aversion to bright light and surprising devotion to religion meant that she might have difficulty recovering from stressful encounters, but something about her mannerisms made me think she would be more suited for the manor’s coves than most.

Upon seeing me, the two nodded in unison, climbing out of the wagon to join the rest of our group. Looking over our team, I nodded, and we wordlessly set off further into the town.

The voice of my ancestor rang out yet again as we approached the hastily-repaired gates to the rest of the estate.


A mecca of madness and morbidity. Your work begins...



Before we set out, I directed the team into a proper formation - Reynauld would take the front rank, where he could swing his sword freely into the enemy’s own frontlines, Dismas would be right behind him to provide assistance with his pistol and blade, Eirin’s skill with satchets and medicine alike placed her closer to the back of the group, and Reimu, our team’s healer, was kept at the very end, safe from where blade or bludgeon could do her harm - though arrows and other ranged attacks, I knew, would still be able to target her.

A classic setup, I knew. Put the tough in the front, where they could survive most of the blows that came their way and shield the more fragile of the group. In a way, the formation could be viewed as
“The Usual Suspects”.



More scurrying could be heard, this time almost familiar. The babbling shell who introduced himself as the caretaker rushed in front of our group, quickly gesturing for us to head into a small, dusty shop. Unlike the other buildings we had seen, this one’s windows were free of boards or barricades, and goods lined the shelves - glittering bottles and keys everywhere.



The cost of preparedness - measured now in gold, later in blood.

Situating himself behind the counter, the caretaker began his new introduction. “I do please please please hope you’ll forgive me for failing you yet again my dear but I must let you know that we are here to provide your group with the supplies needed to extend your short and pitiful existences,” He began, the end of his sentence punctuated with a laugh. “While they may not seem the most useful upon first glance I can assure you that each one serves its purpose without fail and may very well just prevent you from being put in the ground sooner than you would like! We have torches to let you gaze upon the horrors I have seen, keys to let you open that which should not be looked into, bottles of antidote and holy water to -- well, I’m sure you can find it all yourself, dear, you always were the observant one!” The caretaker cackled. And yet, I did still have a few nagging curiosities to settle before I could truly begin. After all, while bandits were intimidating for sure, they were hardly horrors that demanded the return of estranged family. Not when said bandits could merely be paid off or otherwise removed without violence.

The caretaker merely laughed at this first question. “Well of course it’s more than bandits I know you could not have possibly seen what is below but did you really not know what your ancestor was up to? I mean we all saw him always peering into the markings of some delightfully perished pharoah or emperor who’d come before him long before this little town’s downfall began! I cannot forget what has happened to this place and yet at the same time I cannot bear to think upon what it was exactly isn’t that cruel? I’m afraid I cannot describe the things I have seen nor how the town could come to this, my poor poor town!” The caretaker punctuated this last sentence with a burst of laughter that quickly degraded into crying. This was brought to an end quickly enough when he realized I still had more to ask him. There was, of course, the question of why I, the owner, had to pay up front for these supplies that came from the hamlet I now owned by birthright.

“Well don’t start making demands like that or the townsfolk might begin to mistake you for one of the bandits!” This was so killingly funny to him that we had to wait yet again for the caretaker to recover and fully answer my inquiry. “You see, our lands are poor, and we cannot survive on what we can bring in alone. By providing us with this gold from your coffers we can pay for the merchants to provide more supplies and thus help this sinking ruin stay afloat just a little bit longer!” No surprise there. Even when in that sad state the caretaker was still able to remember his duties to the town, however nihilistic he felt about them.

Compared with the fleeting desires of those I’d become so irritatingly aware of at the bar, this man resembled a hero, fighting against those dark desires and falling so, so many times into despair, only to emerge each time in that odd state of unyielding surrender to the madness. Nodding at his response, I merely exchanged my gold for the supplies I needed, and set out into the Ruins, that we might learn of what my Ancestor had unleashed.

--

Incidentially, you might notice Reimu's robe and hood are red. This is not actually something I did - she just happened to be wearing red when I recruited her. Characters by default only have four color palettes, so if you see a number of other red Vestals over the course of this LP, don't be too surprised.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
First Forays Into The Ruins
This first journey within the Ruins was simple enough. The exact details of the smaller battles, once fresh in my mind, soon began to fade away once I had returned to the Hamlet. All the better, for I did not wish to inflate my recordings with useless recordings of exact positions or attacks.

The groups of undead - walking bones still holding the weapons they once used in life - were small at first. But then we began to see them accompanied by cultists of some kind, staff and claw in hand, and bigger, more hulking figures, keeping Reynauld’s sword arm from reaching the other enemies in the back. Here was where Reimu’s holy power and Eirin’s skill with bombs began to reveal themselves, the two smiting and blighting the foes that would otherwise attack the rest of the party.



We were able to find quite the number of old heirlooms which looked like they might be of some value. Perhaps they couldn’t be exchanged for a sharper sword or a stiff drink, but something about them reminded me that they could be traded in for something perhaps more valuable... More permanent. But I knew not what.

As the darkness drew closer, we began to unconsciously tightened our formation closer and closer together, that we would not drift off into a distant hallway and become lost. And yet, as we battled on and on, our rewards seemed to only increase beneath the fading light. As our collective supply of torches finally sputtered out, and Reimu and the others turned to me to provide more torches, I merely shrugged, not mentioning the pair I’d kept in reserve should we truly need the safety light promised. Even as we were able to map out almost all of the hallway I ordered the team to press on to the last room, and they obliged. It wasn’t until this last battle that any of us truly came under risk, and even then, it was merely from a single well-placed arrow.

Exposed to a killing blow!



Eirin staggered, clutching at the shaft embedded in her belly, about to ask for help from Reimu only for the vestal to summon a bolt of lighting with such power it carbonized the bone arbalist that had fired at Eirin.



“Begone, foul thing!” she crowed in triumph as its remains crumbled to ash. The lone bone defender that remained was quickly brought down by Dismas and Reynauld, its shield and bones clattering to the ground to rest alongside its comrades. And with that, the final battle had been completed.

Success so clearly in view. Or, is it merely a trick of the light?



Well, the answer to that was obvious now. Returning to the hamlet, we looked over within our provisions to examine our winnings. A little over four thousand in gold, in addition to the many heirlooms that we had recovered in our battles and the three thousand in gold promised for completing the quest. And yet, this was not the only thing we walked away with. Eirin may have recovered from the crossbow arrow, but she was still somewhat unsteady on her feet. The realities of adventuring - including the fact that she could easily lose her life within these halls - were beginning to fully dawn on her. Furthermore, something about the journey had... changed Reimu. Her movements were more methodical, and, while it seemed they would return to the normal fervor when the battle began proper, her attacks wouldn’t hit as hard as they did at the very beginning of a fight.



Something about this new discovery made my head hurt. Something about this wasn’t... wasn’t right. Why was I hearing the voice of my ancestor? How was it that he could watch over us even when we had been so long separated? The undead and bandits together could more than destroy a small town like this - and yet what the caretaker had said made me think there was far more to this than mere bones and brigands...

I was glad to finally accomplish what felt like some good... but I wondered how much evil was present in this place...

--

I know I've been a little slow and inconsistent on updates, but I have to ask all the same: is anyone still reading this? Anyone at all?

Golbez

  • Nickname: Gobbles
Re: [SSLP] Darkest Dungeon: First Forays into the Ruins
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2018, 10:14:49 am »
Yup.

Well it has over 600 views, dunno how this translate in number of people, but some at least i guess?

Anyway, its nicely written. So I'll keep watching this.

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Darkest Dungeon: A Deathblow Dodger's Directory: Preface
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2018, 03:48:43 pm »
Just thought up of a way to infodump without completely taking you out of the world. Here, I present...

--

A Deathblow Dodger’s Directory
   Preface
As the old saying goes, help from a fool is twice the trouble. And who is to say that the turning of the wheel of fate will not transform me into a fool, providing a fool’s advice? I will not claim service to some greater cause - merely state that my intention is to earn enough to survive. While an arrow-shot knee is sufficient for menial tasks, adventuring is far beyond it, and if my knowledge is able to save your life after all, it will mean more can hear of this book, and I can more easily afford to eat on a daily basis.

I must warn you that while this book may save your life, it may not change it significantly. There is no advice I can provide regarding how to return to the ceaseless labor of peace after the ceaseless labor of adventuring. I cannot tell you exactly how to use the strange charm you acquired on your journey. And deciding which of two sides should receive aid was never the best among my skills. The advice this book contains should, at least, keep you from being eviscerated from a trap you failed to notice or a monster you failed to be wary of.

If you should read the rest of this book and find that it contains nothing more than inane, rambling scribblings that truly bear no value to you, at least consider that you have provided an old, tired creature the money to remain for a few more hours in this world. Additionally, the book itself should be thick and heavy enough to be a serviceable weapon or shield. It can also be used to weigh down things like pressure plates or annoying colleagues, and if hollowed out the book can be used to hide a small item like a stiletto or a vial of some kind. All those potential uses for the book should surely be worth the fifty coin you have paid for it (assuming some shrewd merchant has not seen fit to empty your purse further than that).
Good luck,

[There is a strange symbol located in place of the signature. Though it resembles a very, very messily written “D”, all attempts to copy the symbol invariably fail.]

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Darkest Dungeon: First Forays into the Ruins
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2018, 09:00:42 pm »
I haven't posted here in a few months, as you may have noticed.

And, while I hate to bump a thread this old, I'm just here to tell you that no, I am not dead. I've been quite busy becoming accustomed to university life, doing university homework, and being distracted by non-university things (the most recent distractions being Let It Die and Dragalia Lost).

I promise that, by 12:01 AM on Monday, October 1st, I will publish my post of the second journey into the ruins.

Hopefully it won't suffer too much from me actually having to complete it and all...

AzyWng

  • "Leitvol - the guy with no luck at the track. Tell me about him."
  • ".........He's one of the guys lying over there."
  • Nickname: CrazedGunman
  • Gender: Male
Re: [SSLP] Darkest Dungeon: First Forays into the Ruins
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2018, 04:30:49 am »
All the decadent horrors I have seen pale in comparison to that final, crowning thing. I could not look, nor could I look away.

It seems our exploits in the Ruins had not gone unnoticed - two of the hamlet’s buildings had been re-opened by the time we had returned. First was the church to the Light.

The cobwebs have been dusted, the pews set straight. The abbey calls to the faithful.

And what a pitiful state it was in. The boards had been removed, and lights within signaled the return of the staff, but the holes in the roof and tower remained, and even the door was falling apart. The priest - whose robes nearly overwhelmed his thin frame - walked up to us as we took a look around, apologizing for the mess while assuring us that the building’s holy status had not been sullied by the damage it had sustained. Sunday had not yet arrived, and thus these freshly-dusted pews sat empty. Reimu had followed me in, and merely offered a curt nod to the two of us before she set off towards the altar for a brief prayer, where two other crusaders were already kneeling.

The priest was clearly expecting me to either pray or leave entirely, and when I presented the plans for renovation, the hints of a smile crept onto his face for a few brief moments.

Then Reimu returned and, having finished her duties, returned to my side, waiting for me to decide where to go next.

The two knights followed, finished with their own prayers, and I wordlessly beckoned for them to follow me. As we went to the tavern next, I could feel a pair of eyes gazing upon me sadly, but I could not concern myself with them. There was much work to be done.


The tavern was in a similar state of disrepair, but it, too, was now a bustling hub of activity - much different activity, fueled by much different motivations. Although it had been completely abandoned in the passing days, once again, it had lit up to present itself as a place where desires could be not suppressed but sated.

I had only just left a place like this. I couldn’t go back. Calling forth the two knights - Bolvin and Bourdekin, I had Reimu, and Eirin take a second trip into the ruins.

Surprisingly, our quest went over rather well and uneventfully. The firewood we’d packed for the trip lasted well enough, and Bourdekin’s watchful gaze protected us through the night. In the morning, we cleared out the last of the undead in that region of the ruins, and returned to the hamlet.

Though we came and left in good condition, Bolvin and Reimu had been stressed out by what they had seen, and Reimu was once again marked by the strange happenings of the ruins - tiring out more easily as battles wore on.
 

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