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Outwitting, Outfighting, and Backstabbing Everyone! Hawkwing Plays The Sci-Fi Roguelike Deckbuilder Griftlands


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Well, I really wanted to avoid double-posting, but I've been unable to edit my accidental post. So uh... yeah. Sorry for the double-post!

Spoiler
On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

I mean, one of Sal's flourishes is stomping on her opponent...

...

Go To Horny Jail | Know Your Meme

 

Yes, you're starting to understand.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

Considering Sal has the easiest time gaining a pet, and one of her flourishes is calling in a bunch of yotes, Sal is totally an animal person.

I would not be surprised if she uses Kashio's Bounty to start a zoo.

Sal's Pals. Grand opening today!

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

Personally, I like to imagine that he wanted to start the fight with weapons drawn but then his arm blades malfunctioned, so he called in some goons to save face.

I don't think a newcomer would get the joke, though.

Hahahaha... Good explanation, I like it.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

Swapping between the two screenshots was a ton of fun. It looked like Nadan was flapping his arms so much he wanted to fly 

Ahahaha! Oh, the flashbacks that just gave me...

W1VFq8mV_o.gif

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

Perhaphs Oolo knew that Nadan would then drink a glass without issue just to spite her, so she didn't give him the chance to fire back.

I can just imagine them exchanging an intense glare as Nadan prepares to drink a glass of water as if his life depended on it.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

gF5r89NjfSPHCqiRUJqWn0RPyCrmWxG7KMB7S3ehyDzEM8I-Mr_ZLRg2c1HTrukOnvj85Z5LZ4CcmBMa2d-IKtGo3NnbjWqafQEi5wLlvyFzAUZ4IhyQ4MRtnIEkujmsJWXa4wQ-cGYe8JPtNdW6y1zgCEv_aVnsz-vtaneVMDITgOzoq-ht0oe9Cg

Hobby?

m9Ov_vntTPBZ-dLkNOSfNOcstI7DVeEy611xwHH8hm7ESsso9f38u3gwd053NWhmZ6rPOoRb_KMtkospPVPozvSvUtfvtexJDW6Mi9tyh3Y5H6io-5iPhCaEVW-y4lwtDyEAFyA7lxZVg7c0pYoOcPJZHQ_0YRTbCas7RzirxmMf4gTBY60qCI6DUg

Gahahahahah... Oh, God, the poor regulars of her bar, though.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

A little out of nowhere, but this talk of traps makes me want to play Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves again. Apparently, it’s the most Canadian game ever made, with lumberjacks fighting werewolves while drinking beer for buffs to an amazing soundtrack

Those are some pretty neat tunes.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

bpbJA2V577e8WYXMSfaCQLcOVfpqxzO2ZRONA3JswPHAO3yx0JYc9SLquu9DXtHB0-FX4YlmU5kojHitIjBfQa-sKuu8k8Dx5fI2ZZ0PifTB_mbGLXUL01n9LfYcUcN2_UrzKGbQfEvi_l4Q4hM-muTZ8xGWYZfbAoEcLeozp2NxMf1GWuWPPHaGyQ

Ah so we're playing Papers Please now.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

Yeah, one of the randomized guard missions you get is having to assassinate a friend of yours.

That's brutal. Friggin' Oolo...

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

1HCS0J8OEIVi1tUJrx7C0N3jpnNcCofnBFrYIVVmEUwtSbKHZT7kxEt4VXCd0_6ynNRxKGDFyTbRW-F-yuvgliG6QL2RAsOgz-UtgwVW93vfbJVt-EISSZtOQWMf0HDFswtaPVnjxSdykRW3Ix8etcPk_W45cec1E572DtJHDKygsKA8EkrdWF-A4w

Fortunately for me, workers, well, work, meaning they don’t have the energy for long conversations.

Goodness, I didn't remember this. That's a big number...

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

8LHxRcld_gcwhoJ5G_Ohcvtyxf6flCKcrkrrQ_oVdwCxLnomLRn9UM_R5MLBGM03UszjgLAHjNnzRC06XgzUzAZ_c5AQ1iKn4x7jgY-nQr0IVvM-yw6YfWNSIyXq_AlPJqZGYsHFIVmrIdAf0gS3EUgS6_RZUke-Cg9Xueqv4Tz1DJ7dpsrIMrZjxg

I just know I’m making someone agitated with my blatant disregard for Gnaks ability to gain composure every time I add an argument.

Hahahahahaha... Oh, dearie.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

3v-dO3T6ohxmmFc4d63sx5kkPsvQ-Ei3nNpqXWziFzKgO36THUT0Guq_UgkI3O_Xph4xV-wvIzKJT-vY7iSrQcH1_C4rowMUqEjL9zfcHrj-OPLClgBD1ahPubyDcLitLR93IozxytwVY_EW8LO4B1aQk9R2NH_sYuNoS3ypYA9riDlFvNORj1GlEg

Sad to lose a drinking buddy, but I can always find another.

I wonder what would've happened if you accepted the surrender. "Yeah sorry I beat you up for no apparent reason, now scram. Hey Oolo, yeah sorry, didn't work out."

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

y-zYW1J9zdptC1kIDG0AgT1g1vVIGfNgiDoGTt2JOthRm_v0ejSlw0wqwlSS53COf8O96fTIvvHb2N66qAChbKLzCNnCMr_c0X3hWCx7-ROqNycAT5KofobNHaGJeKa-yvdDYruiFhaKZP6hoF7BPKrcK_iATv6r6NRMwdnpGzU7eb5tM1HSDNjnyQ

You know, this always felt like her regular face to me. She looks subtly cheeky.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

n-GWYiOWbk9H_saN0WtfTkdsB1_rGQilzOSp0YFjk6t7tm9JVW0xtJxaF6zjQeJ5nkZBhrh42qeHwcYl_ZOvX0Hh-PEIGl-EY4gU-1byACIn_n0xKzaxyiWrsQjsqH8OOgUcuw5kcGG0up6F8jq0Tzz48_9mGf0u5SU9ljNqNlmNLVQ1EiH8Pelybw

This is the only time Hundruthor appears in the entire game.

I dig the Kra'deshi flesh mustache.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

l7V5BcTh9YhbSJJZHROgTLnq88jJ_gje_cJFx2bKFtjWoHrEDm4l8b784A_SfQXkanrJ-MlQU_xmvhU9T9U_UXUGFKZIQpFes4paMgiTsR865Gae7xJW65HC8lE53zWuvuCwHKlPKEV1URcoDQngvQAaJV_SEysVMqXUBJ3jRZheMhHPzvrrKZ20Xg

Wha-- This dude? Jesus Christ, he still thinks he stands a chance!

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

5pXWxox_YCuIz6lamT2hZlu-FzQLRfeFUNsPfzSuh6RLvDFhFsyuxjKrOGHosY7MRA9vUc8mHAQv29XjfLiuLX_B3quebHVuGDxCzZSE4PS0mspy0PyruQg4REBwy-H_mq14huEncwtdtpxMlr-_hcdk6nq8Sn50GkHYestOuG_V_I5rGFVjoTWDHA

Wait, who in the world is that? I don't remember right now, is this the guy you mentioned once that appeared in cards but nowhere else?

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

oSrs5kpjZSthUfjwDZzeQPRI3_Ao4rw8SLMtGQNKAMqhuYZ-TKqMCm08io9tw1cRFjkye7TyW4kq7aEHQ92CJfm-OEVNUpDUQicutjngx6c-C5gnv4iFW6xj5oVsI348sX7ddLQ4bpQ00SknpDzStj5ADtxAQMgaCt-RBf7VLTGlakfGzlODuBG7uw

Being a Known Thug somehow helps me out in an auction

They'd rather give you items than have you violently steal them. They know you won't heed their requests for basic decency.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

Also, I just want to give huge kudos to the artists for putting this much effort into card artwork that will only appear in this specific, skippable event. I really haven’t been praising the artwork as much as I should, which I know I’ve said before, but I really mean it. I love Griftlands presentation.

Yeah, this game has pretty cool visuals. Grungy, ugly in a good way. Suits the game like a glove.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

mSe9oNiYsrQfKqwVDaU_hqSqMRxTX6evjilcCtakDtOFXXV7LkIdSGQtfP5Uyyd25EH5okaBk7Ngje2c8w_n9usxXajaHI0NgeQcaLi9a8KYN-XYAYetoHdaSRZDgt7drAe_rrwrKW14PBpW28knVsZmitwNyCEkwQq_0bxprrVqwx6Do3sebxeHyw

Kashio’s jump animation doesn’t look silly

If you look close enough, she almost looks sad here, for some reason.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

5-GsK7iRv-OfgFdGUqKoCz7LCVeaJFBXjlolzUhnrmTLQDICcecWtZ7XLEz_DKdR5VjlXuBtRnut9ftxkp0kM67igmTuBvR36OjJQhCK1LMIEregKx1lQPfUiBj8yyMAygSNSCaIjJZ07navhihM9v9zaTppQSl-Omf2vqE87zKPdKRHOAbWHwR35Q

Oh hell yes!

Oh Christ, it works on expend cards, doesn't it...

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

nloxfaLK0NNJLDo_OdmsAzAjMlGYteJKrZ_p_heUwsyg9GfiGiINiSvXZlPRNfj-MGdO2FIUB0Zr_S4KsX5lCYisqLVL-7QViSJJT3LytDv37v1eJCvInvA_LRMRM93EmoSGrCI3mP50VUC6GNXc5m8f2O6eTuDSJjy3ZmC3-CvS0e5BSZrzElx7xg

I’ll crush her twice!

Hoo boy. Poor, poor Kashio.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

A5asjPObaLGvI68oB6lConslBP5jGWU_bGiRNqK0KJz9_1piYf3tX0_1408ON0hLjCRMwdaxn7g86MzDzsx5VQb_VWjiR_VPYt9P271Y_xe8KJ9tiFfCFuwIS2SXgl1cgHLflqluBjQFaRjbVIUfdItcOHT9jeZAhIvTTaPspFpJegCAZzW-IMYTMA

Your sacrifice will not be in vain, Gnak!

"Sacrifice"

 

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

SRAJWiEbLxG3w3FVEZG2tYABB3SHcNCNb6EL3FPdmTOkpAqznYaLXU0DPfylx8rYNqqJgb4Y2-Oq2MWZ05c0Pkz6LktqGRGYzbeVZZz2uh0olvYyocB2bNCyo2umLw52_xDXt_SfTFOVPcw0m9LNQox6U47qw5T2ZV6_WaiMkLPG6gKcGD-3PfSI4g

Yeet will live to fight another day.

Holy shit, my heart is pumping just remembering this fight.

No wonder. Cutting it close here, everyone's health is way too low.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

CpfehsbVtV5FrQ5MBs881i00-3K2LT-H2pBY2J9KG1nzH5RuAocqiJ_fHIQ-FUvhEY3aM9bpF9hXjo5B6M3WKV6IJaOBPvN0p2o2tDvb1lllkjrlluahGzNGEURzEmM5REaOpdeKrZMgK45OgKcV0UeWlvFx81WBGqteU8kzdrLiU3pmyz7NOWp9ew

Behold, one of the best exchanges in the entire game.

Seriously, I convinced @Saint Rubenio to buy Griftlands after I showed him this specific dialogue.

Hahahaha! Oh yeah, I'd almost forgotten. Yeah, this is amazing. Oolo is the best.

On 10/29/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hawkwing said:

I know that this Let’s Play is far from over, but I just want to say it right now: Thank You for Reading.

The idea of doing a Let’s Play of this game has been bouncing around in my head for over a year now, and I’m grateful to finally see it come to fruition. I’m also thankful that the two things I was worried I would struggle with before I started, getting screenshots and finding things to say, instead ended up being the two things that came the most naturally. Most importantly, I had fun making this. I don’t care if this is only seen by 5 people or 100, I had fun playing the game, commenting on what happened, providing tips and tricks, replying to people, taking and arranging screenshots, and overall bringing more attention to a game I love.

Sure, there are some things I would do differently. I wish I learned a few behind the scenes tricks earlier to save myself some time, and I do wish that I brought more attention to the artwork and flavor text. However, even the mistakes I realize I made after posting an update and reading it, I laugh at. Besides, I have two more characters to go through, each with their own strengths and hurdles.

Once again, thank you for reading, and we’ll continue the journey soon!

Awww, you're welcome. Glad to see you're enjoying yourself! Look forward to the mustache man's campaign.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congrats on finishing!  I beat all the stories, but I'd love to see how you do it.  Now to do the other endings.

Spoiler

I went with the "punch Kashio out for good" route, because she couldn't bribe her way out of being dead.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Intermission 1

What is this? Hawkwing hasn't posted in weeks, and the next update is an intermission?!

I know I said I would take a break before continuing with Rook, but I honestly did not intend to take this long. It was a combination of visiting relatives in another state earlier this month, not wanting to be online during the political "discussions" that occur during and after voting, taking a college class on my own time to cover a subject I didn't feel I fully understood when getting my associates degree (not the first time I've done this) and playing through Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle in preparation for the sequel which I intend to get as a Christmas gift. Thus I didn't always have the time or wasn't always in the mood to move screenshots around so that Steam wouldn't take them seconds after I pressed the button.

Now why an intermission? I wanted to share aspects of the games development I found interesting, show off some my favorite cards and descriptions, and otherwise cover topics that didn't show up in the Let's Play. I have a general plan for what to share and when, but even when writing this update, I found some things to add or remove, so I'll solidify how these work as time goes on. For now...

Also, almost every image will come from this source: https://forums.kleientertainment.com/forums/topic/120141-grifting-through-the-files-aka-datamining/#comments. It contains a lot of interesting background into the game while it was being developed. Do note that spoilers are everywhere there, though, so I don't recommend visiting if you want to find things out for yourself. 

Griftlands Was Originally an Open World RPG

Spoiler

Griftlands was originally planned as an open world game with a heavy emphasis on an everchanging world that reacted to the players actions. NPCs and factions would remember if you helped or hindered them which would come back to haunt you. There was an entire in-game economy, so if you kept robbing caravans, the price for those items would keep increasing. There was an in-depth crafting system, and factions has several dynamics to each other, with or without your involvement. It was an ambitious game that aimed to give the player a ton of freedom in how to act in Havaria.

Unfortunately, this was a case where individual pieces worked but never fit into a cohesive whole. Actions and consequences that were supposed to feel dynamic and organic instead felt linear and robotic, too many mechanics felt disconnected from each other and while the setting was interesting, it wasn't actually fun to explore. The developers saw that people loved the world and the manipulation aspects of the game the most, and decided to focus on that to build the Griftlands we have to day. It should be noted that the original idea was shelfed, not scrapped, and they're open to returning to the original premise, though that will likely be far in the future.

Original Pictures for Sal's Intro and Ending

Spoiler

Intro:

sal_prologue_1_1.thumb.png.1d8b7f11d2f4c1316be61c4b6f03c9ba.pngsal_prologue_1_2.thumb.png.30bd3886ba324a0998da52f12dd0b24b.pngsal_prologue_1_3.thumb.png.46ce9a22715cf044553f6fae2745261a.pngsal_prologue_2_1.thumb.png.857c1a8bdfc3d9200d74ff86948ce018.pngsal_prologue_2_2.thumb.png.9cce813b4362e036f4dbe05d2f788a72.pngsal_prologue_2_3.thumb.png.02279357c679a3cddc4fe81ff90be67e.pngsal_1.thumb.png.37db42e45687590fbeab7ab707a60910.pngsal_2.thumb.png.89dfdfd61640d98248b24548521b2404.pngsal_prologue_3_1.thumb.png.094fea4392a35a60720b9cacc9189c79.pngsal_prologue_3_2.thumb.png.ce28c97dcd8381b7d5a093ffd1deae38.pngsal_prologue_3_3.thumb.png.a00d9c9176f2a9b27c8ae7acd3c3be18.pngsal_prologue_4_fail.thumb.png.e43ad3c11e1a876355482a4988570d4f.pngsal_prologue_4_success.thumb.png.9abc470642e1a693c21aaf51d015edf0.png

In-Development Endings:

sal_act4_slide_01.thumb.png.0d57a335448ca4241cd264b5fbc8fb81.pngsal_act4_slide_02.thumb.png.01cbc7d2a55686ef713d8238d22aa77c.pngsal_act4_slide_03.thumb.png.92bffcd5160726d576253be3a1cbc1ad.pngsal_act4_slide_04.thumb.png.2dda3fc3dfdefe42807a05866daebc13.pngsal_act4_slide_05.thumb.png.47900dfb047599a314cb2dc389fc09ca.pngsal_act4_slide_06.thumb.png.73f042c00545c5e7417910ca48846ca3.pngsal_act4_slide_07.thumb.png.a43e2a6e75946eaebfa34048fd7394fc.png

Unused Ending:

sal_finale_1_1.thumb.png.13f268b13826318bb55d48b7cb3c6356.pngsal_finale_1_2.thumb.png.f2d032e0faf6c53c580c807f9d323331.pngsal_finale_1_3.thumb.png.0bdf40c0e6a980d2f6944280e227f214.png

Favorite Combat Cards for Sal

Spoiler

These aren't in any particular order, I just like the card effect, the artwork, the description, or all three. I planned on being specific when I started taking screenshots, before deciding to just highlight a few. There were too many I liked: 

QI8V2z1se9ygPyxnKKIP1c0hxuMvfk2mF2LznrFc5_PDaZCytMbdjoXLOHW2Sst9PEkFd_kk0EfPROUK_eemNNwp6wsR82tDpHKHQPw7p1kgGTaWy7D3S4K7ndpL3TwXt5Wu0SFBbKgAggd3GOO1OE02mBBUqlR6boO6hWB0iKvJWqA0EcddMT_Tg75Y_SA_obzU5T_lKGuP1RvSDOcT-8RNfZ-jjTN5SpdN3s3S0p4Jk4kS_x7QNdo7svPIusfZ1FQkZnVqfC3vXu3RZSCooS9crB3axuZQhoTBzd8nt45BgvOfQrLh9S8Des353tHQIBUrBkWa3gm2z7FEvjoCryM4W3B4tMOaAQvc6rIl_gIcxR44KWnJjEYGOkBoaiXadeMlRGrAhK9fHrTzJvyJ2G52q_V9FUrv3D3l5pUlsEGguCy0pbXfcyH8tDHitmsBf8okPpuVvsed0lN52rqVpWfG3ogQ6DBIZSRNhl_3eD_vCia9eKtdRJMsB6rgXmEQC-Gr8lfMTxsg7ax82YsS8mWu87aGtVFsNS4FGqvU7Na5nBsH0fHzv1pj8of7NcU-DlyViWFRb-J-pJepEGRJuXwiEQvtx3VQCqUe9GdCBR6mTqXIBCPMQ5YbJWC9xFPDE40Z6ZiK7BxGmgK4LUz0aodV-VAYAxqmUymUzh93Y5Muclh3npzsEZhwQuDmQG348QUqZJWUbu3Y4Hd7W1IHdyStyrHXj-mTfIyu5dvto959lMCqWjjB1mTF6Pq3R6MajiXYCmGwkRjZqqsSnhICPOgNGkbY1EIzLDMXNNQLjMN_-oUP9p0nZev2Ztqp0En0S2S75SQOIMUzm01DfnBo674H8VahdOXFM_MH8ybxu3kc57v5YzPiUtk5GmccbE0-7AhGkD9iVwdVsdW9QAHQFbVlk4-n9oQm-u8dE8pC-g3WQyIVY6seenPjCpzwocQpeoJ-NbHgfJDSo-QHplyTiPWjMrsAZIrKqAZ7jgnhONBncwbWNfZo1LK01ym7r4at4wK2WT0SrTpFcsk5gpvFLepyv9gHV02T-NsPpV1AwBHouOg8-y2Xt-gPDMe4saJ7KPoWLcrZCEJUbDmVTGMxDpURnYmUirwANa0fne8ydrMWv26vfeyPeiRP0EyKa_cGfSZ3GmtrM9AJxZvCZ5OQue-4iLRMVez3HFCZEmiMMzcmfA71TtY2q3MEasZULHrqd2cKBDB36A3GYLFfndLGHtaZcNC9nwiHOwP-SNxeatXj6DtpbHgag8rGQe-NNbyYc8fo1jPcn0aTdpVIwhESXtAz6gtuSpw-PL4Kj7TIX5vy0VnFyl_5j3bKddlfXfzac792tnqGRCskXlD7yu7rpo6OH_v6uL0zqFQjnd9IEc4clfKVSyn1dhnXk_BEgtI-G4vxoTBNNqt6Y6WZr2_h1tI_slDTAM74Dh394iEMSjYUut-bIDdBKx0UXl4EDpe4VGI_bc1SVg2SoEnMgmR-h9JHOlKWrBuuFcRT0kfQ3VwvPK6v_rkAgtbiht7_OK7hJn-xTHHdBrRTwYBNtE0u-1UAmlPCtouhUdvzqu8LuSEElGVQCPqSOodqaxYPqiV41SCFRYF5ob2pE3SqDtLyrcea-jypKTnGolXASEREr2qR5kIeHIrJ6ES7L3mE4slCocs4cblFrzcufUkSDzTXqi4WAEuX0HcYaWe6v5O58Iw4ydZ74LQsWAyZWEjB_Sqqh7RvPn-cLnvL1G3ekdWkeaXPaC32dPNpkoMqSPWzshX1lHsA_YTTDrECaz1HApLSKyYTrRHrdSKV2_bNx3S_z5ZSoxvOc511u6I_M-Jz8ohG2fm1Pn4IZxhnZc9ySLZjzKZEFJZdlC8mMb1kPlEYafEvl85wNd5YZmcMOV4Zl2i_mn1E3FMOWm46e4X4yw5SxqF8yk85wdBdaI_Zs4egpX5GfcBtPJ3YLDtvGu4TWPDjYYfQNRsFMErb-W2w2bjjrDbt4MgUJIvdaNKkDI7qfRNPjIrviwlgKy61ptEPlzRDlFgI0kWhiPcC8ScbdEGf00Ax_bINwyf4QRj0miPgscOaFVV6enLp8CR0LpZBgHzo46kZU3ZJOPKOnbYbB8YMXYtHC-n6uQD6tsASWOhw9K5MGreS8xMfaW-hAzyL7K9XWVNPtqHD4EMTkn9Sn9dXyKFpHRfIwGJnGLZ7huFWTxrUlozbW5sPmgh2wC9n9DklITQP0V96YLhTNALWVoM0-soGnG1SM6Jlbzg6bcuZfbQOYwIsBsEjz2JwGe_5muttSNE5QDS2NNzBg3ujrFBonA_D_wNlw1I7QqabLYC2FBjy43SSVx2q_Dq25hMsHVtllWHi0vqJRCTKv3-kKHg6BTjNxw1eA8o2fnCkljTqD9eJn_7RFjE0Q_I6eifLBXnn1cMprZI82qeCd1UmevS1tBDaRKpE5Zow7EAnPV8Pdh1aVXRld-TGLP4PnKt33WO2291zlpgt4cLJnaxyCyjiAaj87lazHgC18exzbCq6jQsRZSghrht0L0TJA7-1RktHG773z5TQNPJcVULnrXJObYZEA5blxUylAmj6X8b9IdIVXvLu4J1EVh2I-Ko9KLTsWXxtUXniupjnycKq7uisb0KDQ_Zk-waupd38ZTHxnCcQiIjk8WMd3PtWgK7khzweH-ODHp_SS1k9Ib_RKXVOS5TURZIEmaXmzNzorUTU2w1-qaHredrcrHSeCHvrL5yxQR0adYVwFHrswEc7LKoiE72GmHLJJAa1JMmqBy4VVKiSCF1wFjA0Av5-1TvA_nV3iFzqUmmTGrvGWJWRvfoyyDAWAR4kPTuQkPQoHqkfU6Em46iOLdsztkxkh9Ti-oAqHfEa1uwG59_p8PUy3TJ8KLfIWdf_Og762vQPK0a6tgitc53fDD2gZgFQiOSua48u27OWqB27R2pm9iQ0oZUpY-cY3h8hVm286Ei3pdGkM959y6K0T2bAdjNnV7NrFvq0AU3l0JIxVqdUCjnFtxdqfMOoITKZEIfG_qr7h3LKT2J8j8qUB29NJeBoauSR3SaX1TksAkBCQHtqto1u6ucgC-m3KjhvOL3byex7g0VvykAKyOU5e8o5T0zLVErfPZ_JdsGYyn_mmE-tUImrKqVTCqPieaOFJgF2LvdrQGqVlEXecxt7_UDeWIn6Uz6eFjTjuFicbOCW4w2V3Im2dbFnfhCOKwj68yj8qdDiwdw6eli23CM1deRIvxsBhhkiwMUoy8ncgVUQca3IvYKcqGTUfztfAbf49R6S2rENnB1DueVk7q738lHkzZp6ko-Lm4lwxKlsMeS_xm_2mJ8D_yNzRemA2PImFYvTh6pdE7pvlf8yLQ0YheToTa0NH9JLt0Yg0KmNn7mcQjyQbuQiFvXne4ckPoOBOtcvGnp4q2dbwP2j5KWmpfiq49Aagpbyau387RYhDH_I7-mgOz44PfMNFvjC8ikZTh-UMqUthjT4TcbwmUWprXONjfXzsKdUeHJNKmrK1KKoEHRq3HNiIGLohPJRE8K_EBauC3O2ClRfSNzZmze4M4E_FRyi34oPa2W3gUu6DjW55FyvtJRG-GupUyoOWma0mA2PBYIys-b8FT6VJO81O539VR-WF1gGTVXrALy8wFYaLKaGSJZLq4X_-yBivyGYZn2rF8_ufD_NpM2Z9n7_IhLMBSac7ot_fiWWcVa2k-z6-ktjdieMriunHb7-pV9aQRIFbeCy5VXOqW_OU9n0YHoo_J6wLOdUCZvAgddy2E0Bqz9shU7-jqEUv4nyNJTrgPM6NZTvouGLypR8J6-XmEmQP4Wka98SYCx896yJ1UR7yqgIrPxahfM3mOz0l55s9eLV8fag4Wli0HKCjOlmS1a_99O1eIx400BIAaGuUFQp_Su40EyBdRwezbHUTSccwB0JUFdZWeaxdYnzjQeoZfh5xoSLhqDDwpX4YZbqf1LNDGLyr4w1Vv2F6n35CcfKfZ8FCn7JgdF5TEuSY0DWtwjUEnmovmhc-AG-9jUIibfR1Da53somLPv3iwCsh9lxBHtNGHF_8n-9UOdlhkM1FCqtTVHi4veNWUnwGg7qDQrB_K0KImyXFmxd_xvsrJ6gnnegPCLN8hCkv9jqBD_UDnVodzKZVs-cMiOQFgCiZNlxsW8JWlGjL-M5U1sTG_NGoNSLEUz70BVVKdJ40LwsgKgc8pV5smrRTJYDnIY2g5prmxL6Tb3_f_J_4FB1yg6txpVSAquaHRV-Nx6TjHuI-SXZk-JGC0K-1dDKawDnRcjztQnODRk_RUBAJZ3gN4FJX6EO1mfyuGwfFg-q1AgdN9-3TlnI8F1tDrVRdamlgtehUCwz-JYTGe0MWozJPFYRLKn-Yh4ZXMzaWwC8CxixPrU15igsvFIHOOilZeM4o7B9gsVJgqTxBhi3_DEsw87qMWS19J5Wa0EjEGj1INTG4WYOVrK-R8OW-A8W7gK3noMDlpjd9rz6mM9pE1oE2wGrItubR2jNd7E_CkyERZATrkgea_TRvAn0LOLAWw9U04BOOuS0DrU_cPIiaQnX5se4QUrfPHjF_CvURZj0yuK3_oxpQDj12FppMW7USRf3yg1OtvurQe0uguW1gyqQvfOnRs6Z66JtsmoD6BpnlXIi-a0ErBhVCX1EFrzGPCbfUZAjzb1KpVkwP2dn2PSlH4sx_9D_aK1JUsfJLCfIBH-4piMXavo1owC_b0VZQeQToPowmp7vdQmpwCAQBXVZy7MT4qWlqDsr8Z-XGqZSlfdt8Gipy8uuC4f4dnjFQdgOGSjUwj3wq12Btag6VhDghynmNr3q65Ise3i8xgzVBmlaEhjkQdMDEVBnzeKsERs5ml81B-Zx3o9VMEZCReVglSOMOrVxsvxOKUo1fC30mNxBdjQbtgu-n1EUxRkfANb3-NN6hM3HltDryFIq4u4t5iu_FNqqcykcAgMdQng70wHjlSyKGfnGbrNBXPWPxfgiqhvsN9Bb4gMVNZdsfrc7fL70y8V7YhDg9nwUigb6ox5Xt--jHfeOFVN_MymMMm9OX9I7EnZ3T6oMmDDAqpNEE2I3huR88jtgKQCvmw-KYtgPHcjUZMRwAIemW7prmxPTRmSYbOyyH0ZfF9VKpr104NLimaT2EzJzCADhb6saWHhmBhd7E-Lh0pu5A_muvWlfDgUEgRQpOdudhW0Bo12w0-HvF6JA3jy0nUyVOvZKSGZYRBe42mDlOAodw8SrY3205x-Ryfj8heK0QETg-Z2raxnOp3frBfCtAFQOaL1I8lVSmyw139U2t84ZvpOLjvy93a1fu3dfobRyhVmNi0NysrR0u2UjYftui6MnDsgLAyFHXRVNR9m6gt_39m7GrX2mMSd9zMRnJ_V5ftABU_NmXGSl_NS3HfRxwtptB3PycODOpCksfR03luWMD8D56lhqL0cqFQLtjG251I8JEE7Q-9pKN3su0lpULEcDLs5KfGURMwaTCY7V40N0vZUwfNKEjWo3-cHI_966PPQ5S4uYFq4rdbh0FLPv14PuOIBJ3knnNN_V5tNRmfQcPOABrvcSAckODGof6ELfiw-zWsyWyjukVbXIc-poL83i5JwVDU_KnPDApwxxgapAbYN3qdu0rj5wu2Mxc4bYXMeeocjSqCJZzSexwiC7b0j6mKz40nmNs9_Sw0MUPnpy-3Smc1hha0IgXGzKvo7UyRsi0xVMwlw-3JcvU46uEbqOnF8cm2kAw7hYZZbK_ek6dJ97caN9J-Wgb0SZtx4u3856Ivh0frKK9v-GN2B0L7jjBpmGhYjKuXz-7tqnbSDthWsOqCEQDw5gIpcEKxWLALP-5w7Wl-9e5O9kReEevCt7aLecmktvIjR41JfAHLMDNsq_J6ut-SPUQSjEDZTFHcvUElGYlYHXXmk17o16w1xF5SUYZJweLrxOSE9lK3lfByDdSXZvwo3jjvowKTzSYj2hOVeHyCZAqDSrBuic-crEgYOY8DO-NoOsnc1j8aCDQwFOXitcqCoQd-0dX6Prm-RJZ-S1fk7iY9c8MR2hwuqZwa3qz1u-gtdME5dyZrgFuiLWxelfEREzOme_65ZzFpxjo4Un5zkoBn4kQeuI6WEsrgg55KS4tDk3KcJ3jOQosGVjRg1Emg85GtaQXuSLn6v8h2ptDb8MAp1wxjuFrxHRyJxiMORmE7SXPjxn0NOq742RE7-pU8b-kpnG1uepNIgPweMkxsieOsKyER2yYhqFwNQexeBFjUstKa9zylAPhpMs93LPqIALxo_AGpw7hdKnVkPGhfEoYfndHBwdNaUKvQa6kpJUp6Em4aa3gnmVrTHdMsGWUcwQtIUIvHlHjXghl3PGw14o8biohwBfmbQuY0M585tiaDtshkrNxlpNfpfjl0OGWtSd-gZ3NmXlQNt9DzW23A0QGLNPVfyMOH0M2wmEu1f0IHtftUkw3dSsEtrBs-3eRYykNSO0j78XT37-puOlfC1A74uSWZc8Ry7bFDuzaFslY3VlpzZvNjPfOzZZ1nco5KZpKj9yEUCucFl708Kal7R3-cMNtP4bU26CP-r5DsQxVfJjkSQ6xjtxBIE7FID_K-SdWHn60lS8sgIKUkfNKNYpIMGFMUo_EFbiLkg4ecLKSjsFM9OtOO_C1hFj4WAVYyAJMJmLP2mSXAZfqZtEPKWJn-6JlfPeicV55iE3RKfxp-MAYmOzsBsYbPjGk88sPUkZfDsFUHArKXWI7i4CncdNZKm7NiBptrpdcJImdP6Ih4OnoIAGVk6jPt8_cHKa

Favorite Negotiation Cards for Sal

Spoiler

These aren't in any particular order, I just like the card effect, the artwork, the description, or all three. I planned on being specific when I started taking screenshots, before deciding to just highlight a few. There were too many I liked:

HbBoSNn_gaQQIJ9np1CHsengQ1m-yPdqB5dT_vwqcxkp13_Op9D7bSiTY31MU7Ap_YvXJ2KMpOtkFbKdxwHO8s1x6REXpyGI7MO0xEXv25YuFyeh4zQB_od8Qcu_SI20Uhjq3VDCuMNXLmsD96rWR67fvYP8jII40d5nWQklzObpcWUh0rwuIWdMihUfIEHug_dsgOYZknoBQYDlL9q_ko7gkMPPI09dd2RLvCZZe71u42NwgfEzH7dOrViNAOULSY4a-cQT7u0n9JiYMpK3UebswJK3u3N62HEZAW1PbuModGtlcEXw4OtZ2dSH_00byhCLTx20TtjKj0_wRyMzDhhv5R8Cp-WQ3vhYLIL3Z_GOxwHsSNFIHlzWejM5CGxu2NhivrMlkuVDeavweJNi3p0jSqR764AuUrBX_RHu2P5SAOwDZLOTNYzc0DDHjNWdD1ea0aPH5_s7msTNyLTomv0t7z8PLUzlITAcBPEhzteqUl-sN_C9uU3sDBEgF9hABJI13LpIZwuXlDFVFB0EXYgGyj2BSA-ONggLMe_NixtrPGVnDWwefNKjBo_rzoM3hmM1s3elJTIGpwaVChdYI9oRVyaXDV9WLks_MQ0SxcCLwkhr6RBinehvSKYmw2a6PEcpP3MFaLOXbP1HBiyP3St6lQJujplUW_tzM9RLEj0vfo9yBfkO4z5gh1ClZC5cnnronw9MLYmfhok8DaiIL4jgiqXHASzbe0Q5J4vs_6Oy7Nk0wdFZp3LYFspmzmGjJQkNZ8QRIaEvY4SuPPNBxhsFyogtQSjKd9ja6NIG4FdGQ_NnesG3xkBdQy15UjFtqbQTbSeE1t5CKqV4lHHrpH7yhMrt7kwJgd0MO14VFw1hpoBgAcyFMucRLw65Zh0KJ2dZ4MyW_690FLSQIvipXo_miVCXygBhIxpiAiSbh3HiKMYLl-GoTgBasrKFmQherTfxQcP-ifm1kVIt6te8u46-VKCzCuoqA2pixJkFmgJaOc__NNwQGIeLV76I7aV_VlruG_WFWfQSNDRtmKKH-KnquIbJuuqpOrG8-KABlwJrEw0pyyZlNPrdJigz1Hoxs8W02SFDO__AJZ66WYqHDavhiz1S436pgNePbKwehy0E3bMvgRE_no3QsYdX7BEG79CI97gGNMnFFOKzUzf2LO-MleRIP6Xw70gMf16WgRoXFhwzHpngurYhwGqq6VZqGiKrfKkVgHb7epLaoUHO4POrk3iKmOc1eqGZ6HVAB12iJJvF2I42XafWWsHy5yXSx0noaV06Fe0wAOQ3o0yt1nolt9dS0FdndpkW6oQjEbIZkC2Erfh1HDOXENBqk4dYKjVd1JDI_A14APk_IY6SdifEzaeKHGQJLRwBY-ZZXuk0FtIY43u0Wkr9NhtoPYCWUp8KrhsJ_XG3bKvVZC6bjgFmWGM6Ygx0_HNVVKiQa_C-NBe7LmVgXLZ-dm3alOmJcPB0v9B2fH_syrE8jyKs2e_INVlYzQ1sEWLsZ6nAJyZ8qmOySgG1uifwZcINTESQ2PVBKcFQOlXH0Bm0tREWpYuntNjvVtV77nJwj8MvdnxKr-jLKtVsqZ1n0UkBCU4ShF8xxSdxwo0a5sfUlo11bBViQ8iEkPVdBPZn9lq4g6-kWRAbKPZHua2vBerC7LkuymFpbrsHQzztESQHUlto2mG47j5Kk7vvEU5CXXfQwlN7AwiSlpDMlSrCW9jDs3T76z6uv-fjNMuitcsH2tiRlEqyWaeWuBDBJcIhuGFxi-Q-o2Kkximoxz9YjL-vWon4sNtk6tO5YHj8WN4sDuApcEHPiORIqm3NV6eg-clc0Wj9hVFKrWhgKD8OdIHyJTKUACK3QD0GNhf1VJDPJmWBFWg1

Temporary Art and the Final Product

Spoiler

So while this didn't happen a lot during the Alpha, some cards artwork was labeled temporary. This is because the card is designed first, a quick sketch is drawn next to covey the general idea and give the artist, Daniel Yu, a blueprint upon which to finish them. A good example:

card_art_klei.png

Some other fun examples of temporary artwork:

waylay_tex.png.ead8559826b2d7d63b90e5e562f7f024.pngdugout_tex.png.0935ee23cede13e6f8f635f33926ebe8.pngenergy_loop_tex.png.fc19c0869e1775ca8eddc05f227a3c0a.pnggarbage_day_tex.png.ae17ab7100e99eb7d718bb3a05cf033c.pnglever_tex.png.55b919001ca83bf399e5b0168a0ad521.pngtight_spot_tex.png.a47c58e173fa6b37525793c76045984d.png

Compared to the finalized versions:

waylay_tex.png.ef7f261c2476172eb257bf825b200375.pngdugout_tex.png.dbe537ba1b759f18430f92799d401249.pngenergy_loop_tex.png.77a7dfb84131ae269f9edbba048cd9a0.pnggarbage_day_tex.png.84ede1d3e04c8c617f0283e4106ff581.pnglever_tex.png.a747cb7060a08c68cf52c9755ade6a76.pngtight_spot_tex.png.534cb1e56fda8bffe3054e79b9b21953.png

This obviously isn't all of them in the topic, but I want to save some for when we reach Rook and Smiths stories.

A Joke I Wanted To Do But Sadly Couldn't

Spoiler

 

No one in the game is named Klogg, so sadly I can never do this joke.

The soundtrack for Skullmonkeys and by extension Neverhood is incredibly unique and amazing, by the way. Give it a listen next time you're on Youtube or something.

Replies

Spoiler
On 10/30/2022 at 10:35 AM, Saint Rubenio said:

Well, I really wanted to avoid double-posting, but I've been unable to edit my accidental post. So uh... yeah. Sorry for the double-post!

It's a Let's Play dude. Unless you spammed replies, I don't think the mods would strike you for double-posting.

  Hide contents

Yes, you're starting to understand.

Blame the amount of people that wanted to be stepped on by Lady Dimitrescu from Resident Evil 8. I never understood it. Why in the world would someone want their bones broken and organs crushed by a tall vampire lady? Hell, I don't even get what supposedly made her so attractive. There are plenty of tall people in the world.

Now when I learned that she could transform into a dragon, that's when my curiosity was piqued. More First Person Shooters need dragons as enemies

Sal's Pals. Grand opening today!

...Sal's Pals is such an amazing name that I regret not thinking of it first.

Hahahaha... Good explanation, I like it.

Considering how much damage the group did when he decided to fight solo, it was probably a good move on the developers parts

Ahahaha! Oh, the flashbacks that just gave me...

W1VFq8mV_o.gif

Engage better have a mage that casts spells like that

I can just imagine them exchanging an intense glare as Nadan prepares to drink a glass of water as if his life depended on it.

I have an easy time picturing that, and I love it.

Though I was also reminded of this scene from The Dark Knight, and yeesh. I wonder how many drinks and food would be difficult/painful to eat with half your face missing.

Gahahahahah... Oh, God, the poor regulars of her bar, though.

Hey, they never went there for the food in the first place.

Those are some pretty neat tunes.

More games need Canadian music as battle music.

Ah so we're playing Papers Please now.

Sure, except instead of calling for the guards, we kill them directly.

That's brutal. Friggin' Oolo...

It wouldn't be a roguelike without some hard choices now, would it?

Goodness, I didn't remember this. That's a big number...

Considering how frequently they can gain defense and one of their arguments reduces the amount of damage diplomacy cards can deal, I appreciate having a way to end the debate faster.

Hahahahahaha... Oh, dearie.

I apologize to anyone who was annoyed by that, but I still find the whole situation to be hilarious.

I wonder what would've happened if you accepted the surrender. "Yeah sorry I beat you up for no apparent reason, now scram. Hey Oolo, yeah sorry, didn't work out."

I'll have to try that on the story difficulty sometime. While I don't normally care for "play this difficulty if you just want the plot" modes, I'm okay with it in Griftlands. There are some choices I wouldn't risk going through with on harder difficulties, but story mode is a nice way to test out the more questionable decisions or intentionally fail a negotiation to see the dialogue without screwing over the rest of the run.

Spoiler

Especially when failing a vital negation near the end of Rook's campaign offers some very interesting insight into his potential motivations and why he's taking the job at all...

You know, this always felt like her regular face to me. She looks subtly cheeky.

Sal does have a determined yet mischievous look to her, I agree.

I dig the Kra'deshi flesh mustache.

Alien mustaches are extremely underrated. Even though I don't want to think about shaving.

Wha-- This dude? Jesus Christ, he still thinks he stands a chance!

Hey, if he bought me a gift, I might start giving him the time of day.

Wait, who in the world is that? I don't remember right now, is this the guy you mentioned once that appeared in cards but nowhere else?

He is Sir Briefly-Appeared-in-the-Background-of-a-Trailer-Whose-Design-is-Nowhere-Else-in-the-Game

They'd rather give you items than have you violently steal them. They know you won't heed their requests for basic decency.

Guess Hundruthor knew that his request at the beginning wouldn't be fully heeded.

Yeah, this game has pretty cool visuals. Grungy, ugly in a good way. Suits the game like a glove.

I really enjoy the worn-down, beat-up aesthetic everything has without looking hopeless. It manages to look dirty, yet colorful, and every faction and character looks distinct.

If you look close enough, she almost looks sad here, for some reason.

Ruthless as Kashio may be, I doubt she savors the thought of killing the child of former friends and a kid that used to look up to her.

Oh Christ, it works on expend cards, doesn't it...

Yep!

Which remined me that before Brawl was reworked, there was a unique graft that played the first card of every turn twice. It's as overpowered as it sounds, but the engaging kind of overpowered. There was some real decision making between having to pick between using your hardest hitting card first, gaining more defense than usual, gaining a status buff twice, or playing an expend card twice. Shame that it was removed, but to be honest, I don't miss the old brawl. It could be fun, but it could also throw you into some bullcrap situations.

Hoo boy. Poor, poor Kashio.

I still consider the boss fight with Kashio to be the most consistently vicious in the entire game. It nails that these two have a history and hatred between them and neither will hold nothing back.

"Sacrifice"

I wanted to be polite. There aren't a lot of ways to kindly say "your death loot was helpful!"

No wonder. Cutting it close here, everyone's health is way too low.

It's only in brawl where this fight feels like a joke, and that's because you can hire people to join the fight. I've never had a fight with Kashio that felt easy.

Hahahaha! Oh yeah, I'd almost forgotten. Yeah, this is amazing. Oolo is the best.

There are other pairings I enjoy in this game, but I have to say that Sal and Oolo have my favorite dynamic. They bounce off each other so well.

Awww, you're welcome. Glad to see you're enjoying yourself! Look forward to the mustache man's campaign.

Thank You! Hopefully you were patient enough to wait several weeks.

 

 

On 11/10/2022 at 6:39 PM, eclipse said:

Congrats on finishing!  I beat all the stories, but I'd love to see how you do it.  Now to do the other endings.

Thank you! I'm curious which factions and people you sided with for each character.

  Hide contents

I went with the "punch Kashio out for good" route, because she couldn't bribe her way out of being dead.

I killed Kashio by accident the first time I beat Sal's route. Counter and bleed have lead to so many accidental deaths I swear...

I do find the dialogue from killing Kashio to pretty interesting, especially with Oolo. I'll have to share it sometime, if I manage to get those screenshots

 

 

I'll get started on Rook after posting this. I have no idea when the next update will appear, especially since this is Thanksgiving week, but it (hopefully) won't take nearly a month to proceed.

Also, a new trailer for Engage appeared. I'm still not certain what my overall thoughts on the game are, as I am becoming increasingly interested and engaged (heh) with the gameplay, yet the costumes and general art direction frequently jolts me out the experience. I don't hate the designs, thankfully, but so many of them fall into the "so bad it's good" category to the point I can't imaging taking the game seriously. I'll wait for word of mouth on this one.

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ROOK'S CAMPAIGN DAY 1 MISSION 1: The Bog Job

Update:

Spoiler

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Each character has their own menu screen, as well as their own menu music. The different menu was there when I first started playing, but the music was a neat addition.

Here’s Sal's, since I forgot to link it last time.

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“The Spy” is a pretty fitting title for Rook, though it wasn’t his only one throughout development. Similar to how Sal is referred to as a bounty hunter, Rook has been called a “Veteran” and an “Operator”.

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The Bog Job is Rook’s main story, just as Hunting Kashio was for Sal.

A heads up for Rook’s brawl; for some reason they replace several of his bar visits with starting a campfire. While this doesn’t sound bad on paper, as you have the choice to freely recover health or resolve or instead opt to hire/rob a random passerby, in practice it means that if you want help for an upcoming mission/boss fight, you have to hope that you you're lucky enough for the character that shows up to be within your price range, and keep in mind that’s passing up on the ability to heal before a boss. The most egregious cases have you potentially fighting solo for bosses that intentionally give you allies during the campaign. It’s never impossible, as all the bosses were designed to be defeated without help, but I’ve lost a number of good runs with Brawl because I was unable to hire an ally. I’m bitter enough about it to write a paragraph for a part of the game I won’t be showing off. 

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In terms of perks, I’m replacing Forgiveness with Perfect Shape. As powerful as Rook can become, of all the characters he struggles the most with combat early on, especially on the higher difficulties. One extra damage may not sound like a lot, but it goes a surprisingly long way.

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Just like last time, I’ll be playing on the highest difficulty. May as well flex again.

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With that out of the way, it is time to start Rook’s story.

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The music for Rook’s introduction, which also plays during the pause menu. The first few notes seem emotional, before quickly switching to an all business spy theme. A pretty fitting description of Rook’s actions in his campaign.

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This is my favorite intro of the three characters. I love every line here and wouldn’t change a thing.

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Of course the ancient spaceships had to crash land in a swamp. If spacefaring were easy, there wouldn’t be an entire faction dedicated to recovering the lost tech.

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Sometimes the character descriptions seem oddly appropriate.

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You’d really think I’d try to bribe someone with my starting cash?

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Rook takes advantage of Vectorini not being very good at his job.

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There’s a reason why one of the first actions you can take with Rook is negotiating. While Sal’s Core Argument ability is helpful, if forgettable, and Smiths synergizes well with his playstyle, Rook revolves around flipping his lucky coin for various bonuses and effects. His starting coin grants composure if it lands on Heads, and deals damage if it lands on Tails, or "Snails" because Klei wanted to be cute.

Also, Rook's negotiation theme, which gives off the vibe of being a silver tongued spy handily.

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I keep forgetting if I showed off the flavor text for Sal’s starting cards, but I remember to do it here.

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And since it will block all damage, I start off defending.

6-4bzzb3WH54jB4HIajKMtizDGPweOvL_KdVXvS3TUPlGRwLYlWYfHqfEisf97E_nJC2gRFItbPx_5LI5RUq9jIVcaUMaEbvmL8kpyQmxtYFfzR0hJwgIrk8nxP5259orm48KKQfMwCq8YytcPkyTy5D7w9ohGvVVBnGaAEuA0CDEwOQK10NmpQcp0rzzQ

While Rook has ways of gaining influence, it’s not as frequent or easy when compared to Sal. In fact, none of his starting cards have the ability to add influence or dominance. To compensate, Rook’s coin landing on heads allows Pleasantries to deal max damage.

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Commenting on the weather is a common pleasantry. Though I don’t know if I’d call anything about Grout Bog “nice”.

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Landing on Snails gives a similar effect to dominance, at least for Grumble.

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I supposed Rook’s grumbling about his teeth. I don’t know whether they compliment his mustache or do the opposite.

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I take no damage…

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Wait, what…?

VSDXuEfMxNg_AiGDMuStdi_8jF8sE-twWbT70HgQLZfGj1eu-c6yRwvVIdNpoSOGaA5dCXg6STyP61gdWbZ7X7-wDFPsvA6Ynkc88oGkC4JJ0nEuTUUtCNelMuz8wQJH6vrLpquXuRxBcKBucD2nV7EhQcBmSIIXESOcH-aVFaIe7huDRo6lZvTCMWXxWQ

He stole two of my cards!

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Yeah, the core argument ability of Spark Barons allows them to steal two of your cards and hold them hostage.

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You can destroy the argument to rescue the cards, but then you gain vulnerability.

To be honest, there are more frustrating abilities and arguments to deal with. I wouldn’t call Spark Barons pushovers in negotiations, but unless my resolve is already dangerously low, I never really worry about debating with them.

Also, because they steal cards every turn, I’m likely to forget to screenshot which cards they take, as I don’t always pay attention even when playing normally.

On a third and final note, I’m not entirely certain how this ability works in-universe. Perhaps Spark Barons are aware of your tricks and act annoyingly smug when you try to use them again?

olc-b4VW4Q9CXM51ZQBB2Z4fyNcX6QGhQKPTnBaH0AfSHQpeU_vUk2DmncZNSG3-aLBXPL_iCL99zXB0zgX9hO4dyZi5DxRYVf-9OrIGzQ9yYdHRi1pxriGwvpGO9vRD4h5lWvFDT2rYYRDJRqMc__SYZeutP1OvtXL2jzQ7QfhuE0umIcRG9RqEEAizgA

While it didn’t matter this round, Spark Barons deploy the All Business argument on their first turn, which grants them 1 composure for every hostility card Rook draws. Sometimes this argument doesn’t have any effect, like it does now, and other times it’s pretty annoying.

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Which is why I’m dealing with it now before it becomes a nuisance later.

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I attack Vectorini’s core argument with my remaining Pleasantries card and defend.

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I will probably screenshot every frame of Rook's coin flipping animation by the end of the run.

Gamble causes Rook to flip his coin, and while Call It is the most common way to do so, it is far from the only card with this ability.

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Since it landed on Snails, it dealt one damage to a random argument.

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Since Call It is free, and I could use another point of damage or composure, Rook flips his coin again.

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It lands on Heads, so once again I take no damage.

I’m not certain what the in-universe explanation is for why Rook’s coin(s) have the effects they do. I will say that some card combinations have him flip his coin so frequently that it leads to some hilarious mental images of Rook aggressively flipping his coin during a heated debate.

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Vectorini adds an argument to my side, and I take no damage.

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He also steals two more cards.

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The Straw Man bounty adds Vulnerability when it is destroyed. To be honest, the more annoying part about this bounty is that it’s easily destroyed and thus can mess with predicting where any leftover damage will go. While Vulnerability could be compared to Wound in the sense that it increases the amount of damage taken, the former doesn’t stack so it’s not as bad as it sounds. Vulnerability is still an undesirable debuff, but there can be times it’s hard to notice it’s there.

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It’s hard to see, but I target the Appropriated bounty that has 1 health left in order to gain some more damage dealing cards this turn.

x4LfMjFLxONonCw1YqhVlvnk_mYO9iNBogimpV5l_8SxTQ3l-gc0AQn4ivNVs6Y1iq0SVC2AdbLktJJRkX9ZHo-y_SvGSUYnJglafLI5FxJuCRgK2r28bO5Zm1W0Ic4B_DRwn_CTwEaSeOSAP-5Ht0FeLR3KUyu0X7cIYE0X3JWoVCQ8oe7wDee8cCPXCwc4y9qr_5ASwQpU8SsJ4pyr_e_BWeULc7elArNz-KGwKlTGoxXtuuIIjRQa_u91gjWBgUr6uV1221OKA2P0r2aOZYB0RNQChRpnzpNZwpmfRXE1S3XS9scuDiD9MExW_CkOMIr2bjM1mjE4BuwsvGDAcsQGNT3Qk3V-kDvzcEakllLLTecbgfSfyh32fL2w

It works

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And I see an opportunity to end the negotiation this turn, so I take it.

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Unfortunately, this targets the other Appropriated bounty instead of Vectorini’s Core Argument.

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In hindsight, I should have played the stronger Grumble here, but I was distracted with gaining more experience for Call It.

DTHag-6EaTFssm1gVl-kvfHB2Jr2l5ORtfETIyJFYLEX5c2Zo31pIUjUuIRdp3m6dHqC12Xy60wSG8qaZYsLoFspZk2uidwjvFelLaNhjsvyPO6Yb6BECn1-Jagd4Hh8tF4WE-GIpWYLwChWEfJaMlRMF6uCfkiOFK_EjX-o6zrj8x_4sw6WrFuA4GHjnw

At least the composure won’t go to waste.

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Annoyingly, It was only one point away from finishing the negotiation.

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Strawman is destroyed, and I take damage to my core. Annoying, but fortunately Vectorini will be defeated this turn.

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The first debate with a Spark Baron, and I’ve already forgotten to screenshot what cards he stole.

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Since I can end the negotiation easily with either of my two damage dealing cards, I gain experience on my defensive cards first.

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And with that, the first negotiation with Rook comes to a close.

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Dead Draw: You spend two actions to draw two cards and hope Rook's coin lands on Heads to play said cards for free… compared to using those two actions to play two cards. I suppose it could be useful if you have some cards that require more than one action to play, but even then I would ask why you would spend two actions for the chance of drawing one of those high cost cards. Maybe the upgrades are worthwhile? I’ll have to check that later.

…I wrote more than I expected to just to say I've never used this card.

Bottom Snail: Rook has a handful of discard cards, though not to the point where I would say it’s a good idea to revolve your deck around it. It’s possible, but it requires getting consistently lucky with what cards you're offered. Bottom Snail is another card I’ve never used.

Grunt: Gee, can you tell which of the three cards I actually use? Anyway, Grunt deals solid damage on its own, but if it’s your left-most card? Then it can pack a punch and potentially keep the damage going depending on which card it draws. Especially useful if you have some cards or arguments that allow you to Prepare a card (which allows you to move a card to the left-most side).

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Is anyone really surprised?

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Once negotiation in, and we haven’t even asked any questions about what Rook is doing here.

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I really wish I could say this was the strictest restriction the Spark Barons imposed.

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I start off asking about Grout Bog.

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Phroluk was hunting a grawkit all the way back during Day 1 for Sal. They thankfully don’t appear much during Rook’s campaign, if at all, though rest assured the marsh contains several… other… creatures to be concerned about.

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Next up is the gate.

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It’s an unfortunate but unsurprising aspect of humanity that we quickly find destructive uses for things that could just as easily be constructive.

I almost said more about this point, as well as Vectorini’s comment about “profit”, but it started to delve into politics and there are better places for those conversations.

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It's typically prisons that have walls meant to keep people in…

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This point will be relevant more than once.

Also, it’s refreshing to have an older protagonist, particularly since I’m commenting on a forum for a game series that’s not always good about featuring older characters, much less playable ones.

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We never see the Bread Fields, and they’re not discussed that often in the first place. I will say there is a tidbit about the place I’ll share much later…

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A rebellion’s stewing, and Rook’s not called “the spy” for nothing…

Anyway, I’ve exhausted all my questions.

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Vectorini makes this comment if you ask questions first.

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Okay, so initially I was planning on this being a choice to vote on, since both these cards are useful but more importantly they dictate whether you start your first mission working with the Spark Barons or a new faction. However, my previous run with Sal barely featured the former and the latter went unmentioned, so I doubt most newcomers would know what to expect.

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I went with the Shovel, as the Spark Barons make enough appearances in Sal and Smith’s routes for you to get an idea of how they operate, while this new faction requires some explaining.

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As a card, the Shovel is pretty versatile. The alternative, Blacklist, is no slouch either, and can easily be dealing a hefty amount of damage by the end of the game, but we’ll see that next time.

I’ll explain what the heck cells and charges are in the future.

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We can gain something for free.

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Predictably, I go for the extra cash.

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I ask about Kalandra before heading off.

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That’s an interesting face, Rook.

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You’ve probably guessed what the conflict is by now. We’ll be getting more info soon…

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Rook's Map Theme. It's more interesting than Sal's, and is overall a solid spy theme.

I could meet an old friend and start working for the Spark Barons.

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But let’s see if those rumors mean anything about Kalandra being part of the Rise…

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I’ve barely started Rook’s story and already he’s giving us amazing faces.

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I meet Pluk before talking to Kalandra

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Time to set the gears in motion

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Kalandra straight up has my favorite theme in the entire game.

She’s also the only NPC that has more than one outfit, though it may be a while until we see her alternative costume.

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One of the better code phrases I’ve seen, to be honest.

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I can ask about what I’ll be doing before accepting the job.

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I really like Kalandra. Of all the leaders in the game, I’d say she’s the best at actually leading.

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To Kalandra’s credit, she sticks to her word here. While several of her missions have moralistic leanings and she does discuss why she’s helping people or stopping the Spark Barons, she never tries to persuade Rook to do the mission for those reasons.

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This is part of the reason why narratively, the Rise are my favorite faction in the game. They’re not interested in overthrowing their masters and seizing power; rather, they’re fighting for fairness and rights. Their flaws are also pretty interesting to dissect, as we’ll see in the future.

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As bloodthirsty as Kalandra sounds, she’s far from the only Rise member who is unafraid to resort to violence against the Spark Barons if that is what’s necessary.

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Grist for the Mill has a lower reward in exchange for offering multiple opportunities to engage in negotiations. Speak Power to Power meanwhile has a single negotiation and pays slightly better.

Since I haven’t unlocked the bar yet to recover lost resolve, I go with the safer and more lucrative option.

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As long as he lives, Kalandra doesn’t care how I make Del more “empathetic”.

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Del is at the company store, meaning that there will be witnesses and a guard if I try to beat him up.

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I’ll have to be using my words with this one.

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This is the company store. They apparently sell jackets in the background and not much else.

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Similar to Toeren, I really like Brill's design mostly because of the hat.

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I meet everyone else in the store before talking to Del.

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Oh, how fittingly ironic the description is for the current situation.

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I’ve done factory work before, so I understand Del’s desire to get shit done, no matter how much his workers complain.

I draw the line severely at compromising workplace safety in order to meet said quota.

w5fklc2wMZ9G6y5CNA5RBnBAnDUups3Mo1JLCT1Xi701QWIFVLVeNH4HFlo29t0jrmsEPzqw_mz8OzCATzjYJ7XnMQFkn3UOFmPxz8FdzY_NGbdC8GBfzN2ZoczwSbq6oeL0lGBd_xY7FW-83qnoilGKFRXhJ06XNICHKUVKssroCCSQjaYkYKd8rZ5BRQ

A fairly standard intimidation negotiation.

R9xkrmgK0XceAads1F7jkqkgDO5TFpOvGyYifczKsePxusFS4qXn-uEdOu7sgVUx-Q37J_OWHz-bZ6rvYnqtC6R3iNc7gNzlAj4mYTAGIeq_Rra_Srvr5t8tt298K8rUSECvPEAeuqAvdUGmZtiU0SZmyjss0oqG8ToPNb5PkZiK0jwgOKZ2Fr0YKqaN8g

Huh, Waandra doesn’t seem interested in doing her job as a guard, which normally includes protecting potential customers. That should make beating Del up easier.

Then again, I might piss Allyn off by starting a fight in her store…

jj6mx8_6Dqx4IxsIBajZlYNnDzLPNXl68ajSsq1SJ9KAHqZWNMNQwZk9LLQEQpgQEj92KR90yUSEzirZQ5qsaJw2PyUpJI37P-1Oig3zsHouARJch_88Vofhprv6qeJkOuSghZ9j3z2tke-By_vyCUNeEkjIHNHwxVTa3USbR03HV4hn13fBfFO39np5CA

I go with threatening him with words instead of force.

ZSZ2rJtyjdwAkzkqDYrSdynQ6J5ZMbVk0R5usu4yztJdYoaYqgbTK9ipckK_FBlmJzAwAdsNxknTHMJ2d5uobdmvlHUDw94UVscYus_5he4DEaQ9hQomaUWkwk2KK-oHhe27KQRSsQjCe0z7fG1zbsDcYSuMStjreom3nREq4bezSgBhaJqnDeFWQWKZbwWgAd6_wRS7dZq3Ki6n230Z8OQl6QIJhaMMqpBdAp2UUb4ytg0B-yV9qm8W_yEvIogxurzbJhl6IMMPw6wZktTVMQ4SgcpdpJAqKQoZbbPtgvljUgyFe7ktqs8kyJSeDZPPJfoILmBOvtektG-w19X5se5kBzxx8INkR2ky2RkNrDaf7M8HFHtE54K6chFw

I’m trying to remember if I ever had an intimidation negotiation as Sal. Regardless, you gain a few Intimidate cards into your deck, which cause hostile cards to deal more damage, though they lose strength every time you play a non-hostile card. It’s... fine, but I can’t say it’s the most helpful bonus in the game, and it certainly isn’t the most interesting negotiation gimmick.

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Delegator is really annoying to deal with. You have to deal a specific amount of damage if you want to destroy his arguments, which either requires wasting time to defend first, hoping you get lucky on damage rolls, or you just grin and bear it as you focus on the core argument instead. Overall, not a fan.

IA0mU-N-cxH9JnQRbSU4AtgvfpQMWNlsW4qnXqfh87QSxSvWc7AIiE_T1m3GNy5pVSWP7pSsuolg5T9AYpdh4Br7OIOqI9Y-0ZaOHTp7xs42QHPLRdTWz34lg-mIwx8dKePaEb8qmn3h-4B1HOakNuCwAlQQ3XU9ewsKPlaBKWdeyWrT-AE83ULRmgPw1w

I focus on defending first before going on the offensive with Grumble.

MHg_DgKahOQEW2u1-qKPbdcjMFhbhVlwTAf1gLPccxxqSFEUIJTKBbBJvq-86rrD4oXTSx5TTZKfrgF9FzMkkFq4Ho8mKBevYd_mI6kmiUdPKDw4WIMNCKUmKjkfIeGS75-w3arqpudkG9I7XbWRB_tD2q-D1UygMXsx6A9XhKHdbPWwFPDMH9hcIUKTtAojDcFUN_ZMsQNp3glIxsBSWMBV2590R_SgTq6x6TjdJNwzBtvLsRO7gM8o-4QDM3jggUzeb0ug3mp4ncirBSG-hMOEwucguj3G09WxxKBE6OFax-FjZLWyn5sDSoQwaRT-chz2eeORnxuNL1-T4XeUBUY5wlAnW1RJHrc3rg-APN3a1xC4Sl2ROWfvtccwx6GZc7KXNxRTNdZqK9S8p5E2c-OxR2vcj1s15sszdeVaJFTDEMo6wPYGYbR6vEaMGBS-fwFTMvXmnnGu1QeH1772l1IbLnWG0ERZkOmc6EAGqcTmc9kv-rNvuDgbD9C39UBCBw47D3myInfREfpVq1BE33rmITcowjiMHWMoeoLG4KwtcxGjhBdxSl1v4A

Of course both cards decide to deal minimal damage.

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Del deals no damage, and he’s intimidated.

RbksuKadxfqcq_DBAIeN96aDbP1tKB0_6gkwdpuNkFoJkUpR3FMVfjadgviBoTxK01q-NMQejUz4NOGKjpT3NySHSL9hM_rViMGYRkAzGrjgLvtMtjQ2MgxwOu9OrzaIi_hrHRxbrUOwGZh9G8wr9uMH5JFk6wqCfnn2KOsTj1P4l55X0z4XjqDMqSYcmA

Grindstone has 2 health, as his Delegation ability wouldn’t mean anything if his arguments were easy to destroy without leftover damage

6ovMI4T6AcJUzUZvf5fLFzfEKtn94N95bPAM_vnxL4n93pT4aRsFE_76L9xXXDsAd_N4Vc54OmoXI-7B1NG-Ocw6Ci42g-F5W20p10S7089KfbIcZZsbOuCKsF0ooExDd5_kNjK-HBpI0F8i16DGDY-8HornJYui46c8QcMsLY7P3bMgYKYhOplj2SdA8A

Because I have no hostility cards, Del won’t be intimidated for long.

ssdCNolIZu3YnRqDHNqyvHP_LDQ7RaYdonZDky6k3Wsk5xCjr45UIAMSk-_GMDnbeRAqyBsOpjGDg36FMo5yvMhNA-AKiVoeQSkoTe9w4Hy3FWyYGX95OoNixT2r-KuehAUm7M0z9adbuCwkRx9fc0ieD6ijiDBA85xratoDgQxCydvDwUB4H-SAwdNnmA

Since I have no defensive options, I see what Trickery, Rooks improvisation card, offers.

QXhbJpP23Qm9bnJk92El2gkZjqgJlRrw9WAr0QQdV5fmB6wcIYPvZSzkfRFEW81gACAlr5SHWqSKzf79k-utcw-WwIaJ1n5b-0mtfXxVbVLKNYkX0pMS7ncV4bijNdFn84Fe7A2J8xCTvOouUvWfkhijGDWP1fORsKod1jZ5fieM9OoMwrT7Mi8PVlw0ng

Reduced damage is better than taking full damage, I suppose.

Enjoy the artwork of Rook with a full beard while you can.

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With nothing else to do, I target Del’s core argument with Pleasantries.

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Del loses Intimidated. Though with Rook’s smile, perhaps he should have kept the debuff.

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Since I’m fine with either composure or damage, I gamble twice

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Grindstone takes 1 damage, which I’m fine with.

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I’m happy that this dealt damage, but unfortunately it didn’t destroy Del’s argument.

_v2b2sSQghayT9FkUZuhK42Uclzao4uUFFsJqvylmKjH5v3FqPQT-Trp6CVyU9SjDymzUyY1IrKWlF9bMNTRKGrz0onh5ESc02SYcJABe8xMX3nI-1MqK6Uzf0dtJvSRZMgHqmjwFWpl7dTmtsYlbuMyhWTMdEcg2nAkunA_sP5ZqZEg3oZO4ljwbemqpQgSvtrN8ga1RALFeKSDwIg3-9oxjkFpMvrh4N_3S3RWIiHaN_sQf3pC26vZVDOIvIXmByMpNak2hkEJC028BAVkZvU3teddG9sTymKo7iUIQQER8qmaOtAEBrOMNNHrUKQ34nsqhNTSR3Xm-2YJ9P3piWMgy77WfsYXxmzABsZZjk_lLi5eD630IDmOLkWg

Of course he adds another Grindstone.

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Grunt will deal 3 more damage if it was the leftmost card…

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I was going to defend anyway.

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The extra damage is just a bonus.

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Grunt did 7 damage and drew Grumble. Since I can see the potential in ending this negotiation the next turn, I defend to keep as much resolve as I can.

vQfctSdsOHOygXVf6c2iWrZin_Ctw3LvwgdQbJV3_atnfSJKsRHqYQ6SAwPJOkne2SUPU2RmVACtGf8dBsFoxTsH0jUg7jV8S40R821bdABXdDFIUS7d8Bh9g4TMFcjchl9xNTVuaKaYY_v2Tn61GY3pWaqHpOsuvCrZLSOpi1UGoCCDqNhtJxV_b0Y_OgJsGWWaY5pphTaXhb6YXl27iMFl03xYGp2Zpsqj_BLhDJch9CLVVNPTMk7EjJd239X5bS1gochi119Tt-TEzrwPhUsp28LOh66zvQEaFEVev_NrIhnfsbm_HxQ16Ju798Z1qkvpI24DktevSjMWgnVxv7A-ZFXiOFJm7SXwSRBhvUs8X-HP0DZkN2E0tO-Qkgw4XipJXDtBFmXKJ6eo_OZqK1CxVsVhlbRBFOlRsGIlriPZM6qel1Z9hxuZ_Y4LkB7DgbUn8S9Nq4sIP13Ynf0wryVyAI-mbdRNuKJNmmaNUymZ-rp0IhHBoZL7iolyy26qUVL_Bh0rv759k9h_P0lzEr3ARmv4CzFL1Au93lexYW1AVEkyl9a7GWFpQQ

Del adds yet another Grindstone as I take damage.

foMGTaw5t4e7vwLxfUI1ZiEdFkYbg-nYw3_4wA_XK7ymFMF9mBx_1Zjy43FwD4b8df1OS_p_MBrtB8iNi94TJWYR07BBFdBLLJfqxFh71l1x2ifp0dvSuSKR3mW076HVAcmi0mWgE2GY6BDaia69LZV7uv7-qIkEF_qdRRvr6EV-NhGEhV0B49bd7fGUaw

Okay, so not as many attack cards as I wanted. I see what Trickery has to offer.

50BalgL2wkk8Lbosp7pT9lutgharoSW07AcBGGvPvNotNsN8uTDq3XYflYYn9rhbq8f8NV1FFpvDY_Fpg8uwGAQNcQKTpw1e7u_TMkbgUTDFW0wvV_n987sXy9Coth43g4XoxigJYiFLVIDUFuxoOCP66bvv4fhZ2LKBy3aYDtc7DpOnuddIZFdAaJyiZw

Seems I only cared about gaining new cards.

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One of them was Call It. I gamble to see if it will land on heads.

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It does!

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I can’t win this turn, but I can help speed things up for next time.

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Del’s decision to add composure to the only Grindstone argument that took damage instead means I can destroy it without activating his Delegation ability.

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I gamble again, and gain another point of composure.

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Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t do the other mission. Several negotiations in a row without access to a bar could have gone south quickly.

Ke8HA8rOfGRnBG8BTQpelNqLmUEZteeb6-FMBDOWvvZTqqvKBKZ3V83vpNoFrUBMQqK1tBdILCG-Mq67m-v6S6v9ypduglnZc4Z-ii6HyidF8EDRdcLOIRW4ujWBPtGoK72VoN6z53PFTuTGvGvqbbJFn01XzLJp-MS9IWlqbv_TovkX1ieiMcZb4Dg4Qw

Deadline is an interesting bounty that allows you some freedom to take out some of the other arguments.

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However, since I can end the negotiation this turn, I gain experience on Rational before attacking with my other cards.

tAMEQrgLfrfjVBmixWIgCA0wrjqQXI5ytC3gFRgzCe5UcOt-W_QqRws5tUZZeNBUC4_0W4axJGcRQizzt3KwT1vWOnSCpMMGiHFLUScPmIHlWj9DOJh60mlTAH_pf1BY6WpIlCpB95OJWzSc4D4w5DDf77HGuMZ2_YSMiski-_MDRwb9LhewC-cJCo0m4g

Next, I’ll reduce Del’s core argument to 1 resolve.

6tjO2uITUUVAhuKGU1FolYwVBZ-92Lc2widG5EDUtOTI3fssMJF4GCJiE_RYavBtkOFNYvBSyXqNpxuzYrDwoTRsL2_j5IrXv5ZkSBsKRYJrDf68YD_sVI8Ed8rTlg3Q6M8IJuEh4LS2THoacWlHWEXvQtdq9rCeeQK1erTaqEk42we3AX-VZGWkRwQqQQ293isTGQ1pvxEhYtUyDTofAdpn9smFnkrKTjsPn0wJAMgi5yPagELPTZzmRndokWEoi2W9UO6hIQt7DLGMhd-loba99QkUXrNy-TA69SaOQMTh87lT1xRNbW2aXEWuie40AWg5mUSZbY0faiPQamsb7gip71OVFwpPUj-y9JqKxVOnNHQXLw48ICrLv8xA

And finish things off with Grumble.

CTFK2chz8sRc-Y0JJpga5KdDrn2OKgiQj1dcc3K-9NBumhqsSOExE1L8ut54fsERydR4ooiqsVVj811HrNS9QX0D1q7sPD2TSM5gFgnyEZEF-95jfbi8rrfVbOwY8LwPjf1idjD9-GFq4rwObmziNSMP-hCInQp8ap1gFrnXXqY9HKVMF0F5HBp8Yp2v_gR37H2izPunk4q26mwuAVUPL0wiKlqMFixlQCzY_ssiTqn_gxzadOTxkKAbPtxW04VpePa6SXgDwyN1w4-UyWVOtF2eR3Jc79XHGNKOxaBH_HXT0iwqOuKkpMJwMacJw3YlHuqcQdiDuBLoBF64t3NEXA3lsDwedd11H49aRWG6HsXfm6gNqS7IRek0XlJwqKIsJn6QjMRPzKkQJ8gztMHfZniRMvaA3Z47BF9WiZ4UFOWoqUEhCdUhNiq_Jn5X_pFMqICVdpVv3T7ZCGjtPqJZqqQKhuqGwYV1SPkvAohavrUjpJ03soQxRiic4onqjH80VXBEyVqCdtsXr_kX0HkDCzztL0VAIYCGXgDbN5cvATwxX7DlpSI35gRvjQiJ-L1snj6r9AdpE5u0K3A0JJ25lgnVmU_Ki4HusN_mnbpy8SDkVLl4Kxl7nljbjrtFf1oAahTt51s4a43dszB4KQCS31ZIHYwkTI3Ppkp1kllnsXbBcmg54FiSVvD7NFbKfTk9JNJ2dSkPtOsrDtQ1NCPNUMq4J-DWSI-jAAs9AayQ2LXbJFMjz5irCLUAaNMN77CBrAqmz_M6h0VSwdV4TSGc3SaZrqiSfhjdPeuwetIWNRlUhyun9yTpgf370RiIuRRjac8HnGCakFG0xg0LAC7pepiKdb0j2BCd2-2pitye0o0GQ7zfPJALYe_qWNNUyIMXGtPpE4uShnexwxt5A99Fb6lr06qkY2H0NQMRa7Ds4rVw5TKZQTrk0g

Dilemma: 4 actions seems like a lot, but considering how often you’ll be gambling, it’s pretty easy to reduce the cost to 1 or 0. Heck, I’ve reduced the cost to zero without even intending to almost every negotiation with this card.

Clear Head: Rigging allows you to guarantee what side of the coin it will land on whenever Rook gambles. Preparing a card is a neat bonus, considering that Rook has numerous cards that have a useful effect when prepared. Not a bad card, but I’m typically using that action to do something else.

Snag: Rook has enough cards with an effect when they’re discarded for this to have some use. Not to the point that I’ve ever bothered to snag Snag.

sjzPckw3KTKFCZ5wqk-oOhCQsvCCEIiEfJDbxn03OGtg0W9WEruyZWxwBT6yLUh7-ygfsk3zE_ZIYCfzxLDyDL9Exo8PNo0esCCFqNUi0WVQHk1Q-UuSDZ9R6CRye5IYYy8JP35xL2zhuRCuUA0Uo9ZXiVSW2WR2I26tQTabo4hjSl9fnzvZnLCrkw7ndA

I'm used to the fluctuating cost of Dilemma to the point I barely have to plan ahead on how to take advantage of it.

0ywonW9seGoJMcmxvva-1eVF_kKT5VWaNG57FmBod2icAx7m-ZDHTaaYBRHLwLKGfBvIXPxOR3Z9gIuACgGN3kFqN-x2Ms8-4s6A4mnB_MJbZjVhA-liQum2ZDvgDaHZX7L82QI4PAqfJYT-PbIqtdq3xNFzShdr0BzBPcdutqm2dVSKNCt0gKA_ZGfcVgOWvk2toNkDpkSm0M2g0mgh3SWoLYnUPiHVaNevvTy9gwhyLZx6SOPUrozANrrdl68v-ofZO7VqUUn9a8JJf_URkdNYhnqlOEoFjj3i4XE9qGnNE7egCLhVO_DS8-IQCkNenwEWSJIawNZkFtJzOV8PMHjehKoil5NurxMDuo53XXH5I1JSfD2jHRklr5Vw

Amazingly, that toothpick never falls out of Del’s mouth.

RO_0XQr5xHg7gQphGrmqmfyOHFJv4L3xMjp9ZtgTGw_reSKPe8MjaEpSADrK_i2kUOSUY1l-ivCB5i5CGY4JKzCXeyLAyqCWESmfSHzu2E2l1Klv_A62TKaMGTOseN4fGE5K4D3SeocfAIa6Gzdc5prDVa3sdOm0hXmT4nQaYKPy_eQEyWZPGH8vzFO6jQ

Another day in Havaria, another person gets yelled at in a public place without anyone batting an eye.

LsvOunbo2MpLTnf2ig4BaWlfWQEBFRQ8SfO_AZHYnEByUtGpuKmWNfzoUtWdeaal3tX-mK1VZIg1Iqh2470eHTKVtCgHMg3WHtzZfVxN3SVdbAiq2EHw18hHV1o88tVwCIxEU432HxdilsIE0O28VFcMpEz_0DPxu8Nk_h3sgwWm9TpB1fm6Rm_EwOcR5g

I head back to Kalandra to inform her that the interrogation worked. Nothing happens on the way there.

qwrqzl_SO3Ngj2RVL9MKY_P0hntuH9um2tYrSHIzEri7vkbQuzKeBIvPAcnILwboARYUxGzbU3iBp8Rb3aK9ozOW-HmD87_JcdMH1Q1o8-9QtXfYbGMozzQbzcLD8GapoJ5zmDvj7cmF5GJ-s3ChhTcCtenPGoA2ck64IJ9ZvVh095llFxTebM1LCkO-YQN806nGb4x9SqjVcKXpQea0ywJdniaCS2Q3COWFHq2JGrAE8HnSPS5Iv0V_sEY2UHwD-v8y4UuYGtPJrLLycepSQpq5yDRlTtDwu3kUu8e5qUWgtyYkIsnP6cus-U6FypSIwi4mDhgf8eVmKhNe2LJgtKdYeweSC2-d2nmx9gCNubWij5hFUBHA2hNoUIWAox6z2rLL_NQr9wtd8TZyPaUzHd23WMg8yjt6bU3USj_mNVb9LpGMmoeY0Y-4zfwAzt4cQx_mRkAsILGEVp5GlsvDsYwduA8ygSO5NAQyiYuy_5dIvvdpIMyVu9vEb7FC6IE3Q6iwzoRz88ejJaoAZsi_MQjgn1ajpirHkyCvvUyDHgcdcLmK96gAVOkKZgPk933-3mFS62NzbcqHQ0Ov8NnzTLq-JwXxs39IMpayK7kpt2Zb5vsIji-5BaBVbSx18Wrc0eKLVTQdU3vSCeZruw5wRbgG-NRDDV6v99acOr_xgQ8WBUcbZsTiTY6LZmLPIBLIofWRadrt2ISc0x9VDyfITPnbZ9udhOXLoujxEgE5AVjNIDyVHUyNnlZAfKv0sxLS1lUtCELne6uGroYvmobdKmZim_Shp_64aZv0P1oT0MVO1nlFeI_bSlgwLGvDf6D2LMtwiKC0aihg-yJhvqhkWf_seOsvtsI2KGL7qW7nfu9LRIepV8f9wrbgXT2-RkHZvKq88IKp1YgweyoaRJPodkZj4ZiJ2Nj8GhN_ykL6ev87LpMg8SinMA

You wouldn’t have hired Rook if he didn’t have a silver tongue.

IBpbYDUOhmW8tb0AiOAGxktU-zBIH_Od5C4oK28-ihBlZnqEtfzxcH_OegXbBsWEv6ZCZmG6u3cS0joriBa1mQ_94Ji9ru3Ueep7KRMX1F8PYbx-YyYAy4J6yvn_RdqJSQVbbmPpH0csURGQNBaWgyW4Xotih5_u_dZ2uv25AsPBFCg3z3SDuOEt2-AL_A

Nice, I get some extra shills.

*****

My initial plan was to do another mission for the Rise, as it’s another quick series of negotiations. Looking ahead at the screenshots, though, there are a lot of pictures dedicated to questions and exposition, and this update has a fair amount as is. I spent a good chunk of the day getting this far, and I don’t feel like testing the internet of Serenes Forest by adding more, especially since the site been incredibly erratic on my end.

On the bright side, I already know for the most part what I'm going to say, so unless life throws me a curveball, the next update should come sooner than later.

 

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Spoiler

Intermission:

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

sal_finale_1_1.thumb.png.13f268b13826318bb55d48b7cb3c6356.pngsal_finale_1_2.thumb.png.f2d032e0faf6c53c580c807f9d323331.pngsal_finale_1_3.thumb.png.0bdf40c0e6a980d2f6944280e227f214.png

That looks like a bad ending of sorts. Interesting.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

energy_loop_tex.png.fc19c0869e1775ca8eddc05f227a3c0a.png

I love this one. They should've kept that one. Unedited. Who cares if it stands out? It does so in a good way. It's not as funny when he has eyebrows.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

No one in the game is named Klogg, so sadly I can never do this joke.

Klogg is clogging Heaven's toilets now.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

Blame the amount of people that wanted to be stepped on by Lady Dimitrescu from Resident Evil 8. I never understood it. Why in the world would someone want their bones broken and organs crushed by a tall vampire lady? Hell, I don't even get what supposedly made her so attractive. There are plenty of tall people in the world.

Yeah, that's basically it. She's outrageously tall and domineering, and that tingled people's gravy givers. Never mind the murderous part.

Quote

Now when I learned that she could transform into a dragon, that's when my curiosity was piqued.

...Well. That's an interesting statement.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

...Sal's Pals is such an amazing name that I regret not thinking of it first.

It's okay, you've my permission to steal it.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

Engage better have a mage that casts spells like that

If only.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

I apologize to anyone who was annoyed by that, but I still find the whole situation to be hilarious.

Don't apologize, it was fun.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

Thank You! Hopefully you were patient enough to wait several weeks.

Of course, of course. Don't worry about it.

On 11/23/2022 at 4:01 AM, Hawkwing said:

Also, a new trailer for Engage appeared. I'm still not certain what my overall thoughts on the game are, as I am becoming increasingly interested and engaged (heh) with the gameplay, yet the costumes and general art direction frequently jolts me out the experience. I don't hate the designs, thankfully, but so many of them fall into the "so bad it's good" category to the point I can't imaging taking the game seriously. I'll wait for word of mouth on this one.

More or less on the same camp here. There are a few designs I genuinely enjoy, most notably Vander, Timerra (somehow) and... funnily enough, Alear. But for the rest I'm waiting on the alternate outfits. Still, gameplay is as you know my main interest with FE, so I am increasingly pleased with the look of this game.

And I will say one thing: While I find the whole "summon old protags" premise to be underwhelming at best, I am positively impressed by the fact that every single character's appearance changes entirely based on their engagement. That's a massive effort and I love it. At this point I'm more hyped to see how all the different combinations look than anything else.

...Aaaaand then you dropped another update.

Rook:

Spoiler
8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

fp2lAsReBrO2S9EWztQp2cqUJCmsKmspug1-ciaG1W7nVnaSPWvKgYO5d2MMass_CJEG6KMSIbULsX3eM2-G83Uzd6E2ds2Ctp41ReJYC8xtbCEMxWjYawMzjQMD7uTzNCnqUOxI8ATr6OodJ1FiTPxAggJusY-krOT2_-4RHqRYYUUZyST--F_qhlzvDg

Each character has their own menu screen, as well as their own menu music. The different menu was there when I first started playing, but the music was a neat addition.

Here’s Sal's, since I forgot to link it last time.

I like how this screen features two of the tale's mai ncharacters, and then a throwaway boss.

Also you didn't link Sal's music properly lol

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

VD_oo9IITfeMYgkCJbZPk9A10tUFrDF6qK2A02tbHXNk3KYS2yK_Rr6DyD-uW2s3y6w6lxtNP7gpK-5z7AZ-2D8j_3eO1O7fnvLpIpc1tlP7Bh1vxmKlIci3kEwToRXcnQoVwbmexPZGwrpZ_EZrlxrkQPyrZXzBrdsByXDt0MtuM5ackLzP25TjLezGUg

There’s a reason why one of the first actions you can take with Rook is negotiating. While Sal’s Core Argument ability is helpful, if forgettable, and Smiths synergizes well with his playstyle, Rook revolves around flipping his lucky coin for various bonuses and effects. His starting coin grants composure if it lands on Heads, and deals damage if it lands on Tails, or "Snails" because Klei wanted to be cute.

Rook's coin is really fun. And broken, if my first try victory was anything to go by.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

rGXTcQUzzynAHp-zsckPuaccRn5dzBhPKdDbh8OTBYMDd2ZEGZZyq-F25x6WhAmcysfDg-ob0ZUX-4elr4evITgXIjJ7Bi6qzZk-RRfRmCSx5dAdA7ZMzaIF21y9bikO5qduTZdcla42P1knfy6yWolG6EGwh-xnTZpAj4HrKOr4HjYFP-07UkNemj_o-A

Commenting on the weather is a common pleasantry. Though I don’t know if I’d call anything about Grout Bog “nice”.

He's being sarcastic. That's the art that hurts.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

VSDXuEfMxNg_AiGDMuStdi_8jF8sE-twWbT70HgQLZfGj1eu-c6yRwvVIdNpoSOGaA5dCXg6STyP61gdWbZ7X7-wDFPsvA6Ynkc88oGkC4JJ0nEuTUUtCNelMuz8wQJH6vrLpquXuRxBcKBucD2nV7EhQcBmSIIXESOcH-aVFaIe7huDRo6lZvTCMWXxWQ

He stole two of my cards!

He's just trying to help Rook with his grumpy mood! He literally stole his ability to grumble. What a hero!

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

SpwUmuJK5zKEuV5sSPb7wptlllxDY8M5G2_VYw5L5t1zdmPqAW-DDGdtjdcUs1S2QnTh12F4-z33aqxpLPXxecG4CWz647Vcik0LZSLvai7Bkgf-bCULtKq9JDQbnuenZHfiu4jmXotuto8q-KlD3ZDcQqUGKDY7CT0tacQBqRid4ZYVCz97Y5FCK9Uclw

It lands on Heads, so once again I take no damage.

I’m not certain what the in-universe explanation is for why Rook’s coin(s) have the effects they do. I will say that some card combinations have him flip his coin so frequently that it leads to some hilarious mental images of Rook aggressively flipping his coin during a heated debate.

Well, there you have it. That's how his coin-flipping deals damage or reduces the effectiveness of the enemy. They are immensely intimidated by this guy's aggressive coin flipping. Probably afraid he'll toss it at their eye if they make him too angry.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

1HWV9JpCfNeVqE-tZVHW9BTlzd-_P-TaaOcmC9z41DKzB22Cnv2YFrwgaT7_q3VIJiBXRs1lTNncta4EfJngNvWrzv1vKS9yMmoOgBIurYoDuKcmVjQ_TcpTzcSLAsQNrZxD7RB1Hl9MTMY1q6Kp4gBxd5mgG6ktF-jgOq0hNwTRm5Ix-59jscUVtHOdlw

I love how this lined up. Those two lines together make for a great effect.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

ZDsuL_1tYzsUulQjfkrEHdk92uIyRef0zo4NjCBxkC-G-GKJ5SbOkxPLSLqmGaOS7aZRfe5q2iteBq1u4deYHRlwNtF-90C7YJKsAzQHRl97Xy_i-mQP526p1SmCr8th2WrLdfZQhtIjgqTl_HDZ5iz1bGxas23CIv2wwW4-h4KiplmE265T5opt8Y_aDQ

This point will be relevant more than once.

Also, it’s refreshing to have an older protagonist, particularly since I’m commenting on a forum for a game series that’s not always good about featuring older characters, much less playable ones.

Engage is going to be a high tier FE just because Vander exists

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

C_F3CFqB2A2UX8nMXgeV7wZrNy9tCnfmu3d3Cgn3jH5y5QnIrgSmw0NC5ho8JzF_cnQNvwON3gm4Ul_I_xqrxj7IQ9TMOlkhFGgT9GzAE875LCZdN801rurKIeCZLbtVJfOIRg0UOzND6i0-sSHUOMC8Jmdv95ZFDBTpVpSvmm3mb3fhtzJwVrx4-qbQmw

Okay, so initially I was planning on this being a choice to vote on, since both these cards are useful but more importantly they dictate whether you start your first mission working with the Spark Barons or a new faction. However, my previous run with Sal barely featured the former and the latter went unmentioned, so I doubt most newcomers would know what to expect.

Yeah, when you go blind you pretty much just pick based on the card. It's what I did, at least.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

gluXRl7sVBvEFcMTy9j-ZD51-QFtlX31c5ylnwciVxi085iKA5ibp_xKDrrGsb2mlxHQDCLs7mTPGktD--QfbGu87bGL6NqjiBGizM7m8DnxgUlL8xRObOlfxsyhyP4RmYdUgPi_DT6e5644jwOKUOIa5elcBl7hOnksE6Ho5l0disagpFOYYcsTRu857g

That’s an interesting face, Rook.

I wish I had something witty to say, but no. It's just really funny.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

RcZlABbmN-Y9-vbrOIKKXlUn1Ie3NS1e_HuUB-TvGOAsJo2_M0gk8xthpV4KglSz9be8W1tEjH6mkg_5ZVHMOaaKSJi9A2WiUKa1ZjF1_MW0UxGzY9saurbiVKpD_QQJb1l0W_6qH7erxwdsYsHdhTW7Y0d9U1YmVQAPd3dNTI-rkOlEs1d1DkWco4tEBw

I’ve barely started Rook’s story and already he’s giving us amazing faces.

I think I prefer the earlier version. The dumbfounded stare suits that :v face a lot better.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

It is pretty nice. Though I went with Fellemo first and he had a really good theme, too.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

x8-lFIXDZQetNOt69uEeo_PVnSAnIeIn2KbBCWCoJuhkgtxrEzKC0OIYtiuAdkF_5eWV0I0H4bJjTTfefPK3uk9M5ZQQJnNTIx2okk2l4bFE9V3kPRq2PJSXhAdw8zEMLAHawaciqs12cs02TLjJySBL6N9XRAMbuPWbbT68jdZqRjy3uTD8B6I5JZYkjQ

C'mon Rook, what kind of a spy are you? You don't need to ask, it says right under her name label!

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

OlczTlF9G-sND4xNcDjZ3gQqYojbUOr87sEuZ5wdOoi1EYP4MCDijmbP0kOa9ekIIH8NEOO9Tl4fHllOwQkQTaaoIAyMqusmHrKGY09bD348kvXtd_biXksmvYitU9VSVeoAq6rHxmSv6k2iWbrKmUNMkj0dBpYHds22ycHhBjogwE3miFh-coSIFHy3jw

I really like Kalandra. Of all the leaders in the game, I’d say she’s the best at actually leading.

She also looks REALLY evil here for some reason. That grin is something else.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

PHcy_btX6U541fQepgbciXr9SdBQOEBJM6C90DKz6riB8OhiO0NEKIELygA2BLK4ylrUzBubblGYr2zFL-dHuT0KwBkxxQD0jEU8cDxr3Tevk58gB--nNN1jJNzIiwopp1UoFSPrRHmswdGQtaPfGtbb2WoGDinrSB7BBCWFPyh9s7Ackj_icNAlXvKGzA

It's her

I think it's her, at least. The one bastard that kicked my ass that one time.

Kill her.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

6jAihmJwfGBKhFcQ5EeBSuHx-2F6hF3cH1wAOQDWCoO1Mfc1pBBY2dRaf4cORo4yodYGkB6__DrucI3Vgte7OpZLHoaZFXsDhHnDp5r6L8m8LwkJYsq_l4Jo75Aj7QWYOi-18txblLXqgKX1V33NHK6pJocACtJ-3MAJv8so_tx2nrNGnZMG86f6ux2eRg

Oh, how fittingly ironic the description is for the current situation.

You aren't showing his description

 

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

sl66y2L9Dp1jCNVZvStQNpCGmK0-OE2qVMy86MPrauUK0cZvZdF3954NREA5DDUjanmI2tHnlU9hgaqqeJXOHmhkJ4PaXeVuuRzp6Pcml3I20LfbYXG_sxlSVt2G0L2ADw7NMoY7boQzUeGJ-Ch9wxbUukb0EmtbuoelL-qRmcck6W-fHzXmlcszcfLyCw

Delegator is really annoying to deal with.

I like how Del is using delegator.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

OWvk2toNkDpkSm0M2g0mgh3SWoLYnUPiHVaNevvTy9gwhyLZx6SOPUrozANrrdl68v-ofZO7VqUUn9a8JJf_URkdNYhnqlOEoFjj3i4XE9qGnNE7egCLhVO_DS8-IQCkNenwEWSJIawNZkFtJzOV8PMHjehKoil5NurxMDuo53XXH5I1JSfD2jHRklr5Vw

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Okay, Rook's :v face has been bested in record time. That's absolutely amazing.

Also that toothpick is definitely jammed through his tongue. Ow.

8 hours ago, Hawkwing said:

I spent a good chunk of the day getting this far, and I don’t feel like testing the internet of Serenes Forest by adding more, especially since the site been incredibly erratic on my end.

Yeah, better not risk it. I still have nightmares about the final battle of TRS...

 

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Strangely enough, I had the easiest time in combat with Rook.  Negotiation wasn't too bad, and I took the time to get my cards back from the Barons.  They kept stealing my coin flip cards, and I objected to that!

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ROOK'S CAMPAIGN DAY 1 MISSION 2: The Day is Saved by an Intro to Economics Teacher 

On 11/26/2022 at 10:17 PM, Hawkwing said:

On the bright side, I already know for the most part what I'm going to say, so unless life throws me a curveball, the next update should come sooner than later.

Well, I was right in that the update itself didn't take long to write. I was however busier than expected last week, for both legitimate and not so legitimate reasons.

There were a lot of movie trailers that released last week, and still the highlight was Scott the Woz's Charity Bonanza. The madman made over 50 videos and 30+ hours of content for a charity event. I might be an obnoxious Scott the Woz fan later and talk about my ability to spend money on Scott the Woz merch. For Charity.

Replies:

On 11/27/2022 at 6:48 AM, Saint Rubenio said:
  Hide contents

Intermission:

That looks like a bad ending of sorts. Interesting.

I love behind the scenes stuff, and Griftlands cut content is thankfully more interesting than depressing. 

I love this one. They should've kept that one. Unedited. Who cares if it stands out? It does so in a good way. It's not as funny when he has eyebrows.

I don't know how easy it would be to do, but I would love for a cheat code or unlockable to show the games temporary artwork. I would also love easy access to the games placeholder dialogue, because it's golden:

image.thumb.png.19177c6ddffd17e0effa9662552cd089.pngimage.thumb.png.f4359f815c5a4dbd3be4803d7d6255ab.pngimage.thumb.png.915b24e6f70d85f5d03896c5a4aa42be.pngimage.thumb.png.f11c43ce0498398b808732a69ebac08c.pngimage.thumb.png.5280acfab7ed708321dc063c1f0c7cd4.png

Source: https://forums.kleientertainment.com/forums/topic/119879-bestfunniest-writing-thread/page/3/#comments

Klogg is clogging Heaven's toilets now.

A joke I could almost see the game doing, though it's humor is more interested in the other end of the human body.

Yeah, that's basically it. She's outrageously tall and domineering, and that tingled people's gravy givers. Never mind the murderous part.

It's really the sheer extend and number of people that repeated the sentiment that I don't get.

...Although when I sat down to think about it, not as many fictional tall ladies came to mind as I expected. Maybe that's why?

...Well. That's an interesting statement.

I say in the very next sentence that I want to kill them. With guns and rocket launchers.

And yes, I know Earth Defense Force is a thing. However I don't know if the game is fun as a single player experience

It's okay, you've my permission to steal it.

I'll mention you somewhere when finalizing the trademark.

If only.

Fire Emblem in general needs fancier spells and ways of casting them. How coolness factor visually speaking is so all over the place across the franchise.

Don't apologize, it was fun.

I just know that some of those videos of people playing games intentionally poorly can sometimes be hilarious, and other times painful.

To those that found it painful, I found it hilarious.

Of course, of course. Don't worry about it.

I certainly wasn't the plan, but being able to focus on other games for a while was nice.

More or less on the same camp here. There are a few designs I genuinely enjoy, most notably Vander, Timerra (somehow) and... funnily enough, Alear. But for the rest I'm waiting on the alternate outfits. Still, gameplay is as you know my main interest with FE, so I am increasingly pleased with the look of this game.

The presence of alternative costumes is the main reason I'm not tearing into the art direction more, as chances are if I don't like what's currently shown, I can swap it out for something else I do like. It helps that I found most of the outfits to fall into the "so bad it's good" category personally, so I have an easy time laughing at it. I'll take Engage's silliness over Awakening/Fates "characters literally fight in their underwear" schtick.

And I will say one thing: While I find the whole "summon old protags" premise to be underwhelming at best, I am positively impressed by the fact that every single character's appearance changes entirely based on their engagement. That's a massive effort and I love it. At this point I'm more hyped to see how all the different combinations look than anything else.

Mechanically, engaging seems interesting, but I'd like to get my hands on the game first too see how it works in practice. Especially since I know the trailers are more interested in making the game look cool and interesting than discussing mechanical depth.

It's not my preferred crossover either, as I would have liked to see different characters from across the series interreact with each other in a standard Fire Emblem strategy game that mechanically ties to gather aspects across the franchise. However, execution is what matters at the end of the day, so I'll reserve judgement until the game comes out.

Though I wouldn't mind "Fire Emblem at The Olympic Games". Though that's mostly out of disappoint over how the recent "Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games" cut corners and events from previous games that really didn't need to be cut.

...Aaaaand then you dropped another update.

I know this pain all too well.

Rook:

  Hide contents

I like how this screen features two of the tale's mai ncharacters, and then a throwaway boss.

Eowne-I mean, Gorgula (I am still not used to that name change) may be a boss that may not even show up during Rook's story, but I don't mind that she's on the main menu screen.

Eonwe_Screenshot.png

I had to screenshot this picture because I couldn't find a better picture elsewhere.

Surprising as it may sound, this is my favorite design in the entire game. At a glance, you can tell that this is someone with a story. Someone who's been beaten up, scarred, and has sacrificed much. Yet despite those hardships, they press on, determined, moving forward no matter what life throws at them. 

There may be more interesting designs in the game, yet the history the character has that can be noticed at a glance is a big reason why I love Eowne/Gorgula's design.

Also you didn't link Sal's music properly lol

Whoops. Must have messed with the text by accident. Here it is:

Rook's coin is really fun. And broken, if my first try victory was anything to go by.

While there are times where I'd say Rook can be overreliant on his coin, particularly for composure, it is a really fun mechanic to work with. And you aren't necessarily wrong with it being broken; I consider the flourish that allows you to flip his coin after every action to be the most powerful one in the game (for negotiations)

He's being sarcastic. That's the art that hurts.

Rook changes his tune so much I wouldn't be surprised if he alternates between being sarcasm and sounding genuine just to throw off his opponent.

He's just trying to help Rook with his grumpy mood! He literally stole his ability to grumble. What a hero!

Pfffft, okay. This got a good laugh out of me. Though he also stole my ability to comment of the weather.

Well, there you have it. That's how his coin-flipping deals damage or reduces the effectiveness of the enemy. They are immensely intimidated by this guy's aggressive coin flipping. Probably afraid he'll toss it at their eye if they make him too angry.

Well, the flavor text with Rook's Headshot card does imply that he accidently flips it onto their head sometimes.

Now I want to see a dialogue focused game have flipping a coin be a option, just to see what it would do.

I love how this lined up. Those two lines together make for a great effect.

That does sometimes happen in this game.

Engage is going to be a high tier FE just because Vander exists

Meanwhile, other games:

Warhammer_Moment.png

Source (The dialogue is fun, if a bit odd if you're unfamiliar with Warhammer)

I don't know anything about Warhammers time systems but this joke came to mind, so I'm going with it.

Yeah, when you go blind you pretty much just pick based on the card. It's what I did, at least.

Yeah, I went with the shovel first. I think the card being free had something to do with it.

I wish I had something witty to say, but no. It's just really funny.

Of all characters to give us hilarious faces, I was not expecting Rook to provide them.

I think I prefer the earlier version. The dumbfounded stare suits that :v face a lot better.

The :V face is funny in general.

It is pretty nice. Though I went with Fellemo first and he had a really good theme, too.

Fellemo has one of the most fitting themes in the game, which I'll talk about later.

C'mon Rook, what kind of a spy are you? You don't need to ask, it says right under her name label!

image.thumb.png.1e48a624d27e201d8d5db897eaa7ef27.png

Same source as the pictures from earlier.

Doesn't help that Kalandra has a Rise patch on her uniform. The outfits are good for stealth, though not so much for blending in, it seems.

She also looks REALLY evil here for some reason. That grin is something else.

Most grins in the game look evil. Embrace the genuine smiles while you can.

It's her

I think it's her, at least. The one bastard that kicked my ass that one time.

Kill her.

It could be Takt, another shroke merchant.

I'm not going to kill her today. I'm just going to talk.

You aren't showing his description

It's in the white box above his comment. Don't blame you, as I miss the descriptions being there too sometimes.

I like how Del is using delegator.

I doubt the name is a coincidence.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Okay, Rook's :v face has been bested in record time. That's absolutely amazing.

Animation pauses in general are surprisingly hilarious. It's amazing how many tricks there are to making animation seems smooth in motion.

Also that toothpick is definitely jammed through his tongue. Ow.

That or it's stuck inbetween his teeth, and he's keeping it there as a fashion statement.

Yeah, better not risk it. I still have nightmares about the final battle of TRS...

Not going to lie, finding stopping points was not easy for Rook's first day.

 

On 11/29/2022 at 8:45 PM, eclipse said:

Strangely enough, I had the easiest time in combat with Rook.  Negotiation wasn't too bad, and I took the time to get my cards back from the Barons.  They kept stealing my coin flip cards, and I objected to that!

Oh, I love Rook's combat! It contains my favorite mechanics in the entire game. Though strangely enough it's a hurdle on the harder difficulties, at least early on.

Don't blame you for targeting the Barons to get Gamble back. It's the bread and butter of Rook's negations, after all.

 

Update:

Spoiler

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Last time I ended the update early out of concern that it would grow too large and start causing problems with Serenes Forest internet. Today we’ll see if that was the right call or if I made the decision too hastily.

Anyway, two more missions: Let Sleeping Bogs Die and Bulk Discount. As nice as it would be to see some combat, I’ll take upgrading my card over removing one.

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Sounds small, but considering that Grout Bog is a giant swamp, boots are likely worn down and lost at a high rate.

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Finally, I have access to the bar! I’ll need a drink or two before lowering the price on some boots.

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I reach the Last Stand without issue, and am greeted by this

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For being an elite stealth force, Aerostat officers have an easy time spotting each other outside of the field.

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I decide to compliment Pengemunt on his perception to be nice. Warning Pengemunt to mind his own business just changes the dialogue. The choice doesn’t affect anything else.

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Predictably, Pengemunt is how you get new coins.

I like Pengemunt. He’s not the deepest character, admittedly, but in a story that will have a lot of backstabbing and double-crossing, it’s refreshing to have a friendly dude with a normal hobby.

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May as well swap out my coin sooner than later.

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I typically go with the Marsh Coin, as I find that Rook has an easier time dealing damage than gaining composure in negotiations.

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With that out of the way, I meet the other patrons of the bar.

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I don’t know where Wrux works. As far as I can tell, The Last Stand is the only bar in Grout Bog.

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Time to meet Hebbel, the owner of the Bar.

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Good time to ask some questions, which Day 1 is filled with.

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I start off asking about Grout Bog. Again.

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I’m no expert on land values, but I imagine swamps and marshes aren’t high in price, and you’ll probably spend more money trying to make the land bearable than you would buying the property itself. Even the prospect of the territory containing ancient technology doesn’t seem too appealing when you have to dig it out of a marsh and transport it out of a swampland.

Rook, on the other hand, just sees this as your typical adventuring location. Although I haven’t heard anyone say “the swamp level is the best part of the game!” yet.

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Next up on the questions list is the Spark Barons.

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The Cult is still influential, but their power structure is not as stable as they make it out to be. On the flip side, while the Spark Barons do hold an impressive monopoly, it doesn’t get them as many places as they think it would.

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Continuing off this point, I ask about the laborers.

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Unfortunately, humans are consistent in finding ways to get cheap labor, even as the methods change throughout the ages.

On a side note, I could have mentioned this earlier, but I appreciate that Griftlands draws attention to indentured servitude. It’s a terrible practice that I find is often overshadowed because worse ones exist.

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I already intimidated a guy into following workplace safety rules again, and after this I’ll be off to decrease the price on boots. I’m already helping their cause, however gradually.

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Finally, I ask Hebbel about himself.

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There’s a story somewhere there about someone crazy enough to start a bar in the middle of a bog. Possibly crazier to keep it as a family business.

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Though maybe Hebbel’s grandfather saw some wisdom in maintaining a neutral ground with the strife that followed.

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Rook’s face continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.

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Hebbels voice becomes incredibly aggressive when he says these lines. He knows his role, and takes the matter seriously.

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Rook thankfully gets the message.

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I’ve exhausted all the available questions. My next one is if I can buy a drink.

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Hard to tell if Rook is being sarcastic, or if he’s trying to start off on the right foot by being overly friendly.

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Looks like it's time to get our first graft.

Rook starts off with one extra graft slot. Likely a perk of being former military.

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There are some negotiations where I prefer Snails over Heads, and I for the life of me can't get a use out of Conductor is, so I go with Pocket Bomb.

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The flavor text implies this might explode. It never will, of course, but I don’t want to think about the owners of previous models…

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Unlike Sal, Rook has to work to unlock a place to buy cards and grafts. The bright side being that the black market is open at all hours.

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That was a long stretch of dialogue.

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I’ll ask for that drink now.

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Since Hebbel’s relationship with Rook is strictly business, I’ll have to deal with drinks costing 37 shills for the rest of the run.

And no, there’s no way to improve (or as far as I can tell, worsen) your relationship with Hebbel throughout Rook’s story. It’s one of the earliest signs that Rook’s campaign is going to be subtly harder than Sal’s.

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30 resolve will do. I head off.

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I’ll check out the Black Market later.

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For now, I’ll return to the Company Store.

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Del’s still here, and will probably heckle me when talking with Allyn.

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Now to ask about prices while I wonder in which cabinet or box do they store the boots.

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Cheaper than a drink or meal.

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Oh, that’s more than the price of a drink or meal.

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More like exploitation, at that price.

I12fHJgdACggnnXBsNkDgZOXcqtB3dYLZd3QQp-dPJw_-McrTMRG7F1GntpXt_Eg2gtHZAycHxZAI2be8olxBKQa4EFtKVjHYgKRTX2bpmuvSnFzem6S_hakzgrQ9Rr7G4ojGcDYSQ3u1Hd-WOROV32oW9mLTYeAZ9JzWw-5e17hpF8Hr6bm19Ncy0SDeA

I could school Allyn in economics…

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Throw some threats around…

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Or just beat her up.

Apparently Waandra only protects her boss, not the customers. While that makes sense, as Allyn is likely in charge of her paycheck, Allyn might want to extend Waandra’s responsibilities. Getting beaten up in a store while the guard just stood around is not a good way to get repeat customers.

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Since arranging a ‘bulk discount’ is the only option that doesn’t cause Allyn to dislike me, I go with it.

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Economics class time!

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Del’s not happy to see me again.

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I start off with Rationale, like any good economic discussion should.

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Since I plan on using Grunt for the extra damage when Prepared, I gamble first to see whether or not Pleasantries will deal max damage.

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It lands on Snails, which I’m fine with.

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I focus on getting rid of Del sooner than later so I won’t have to deal with the extra damage.

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It may not have landed on heads, but Pleasantries dealt full damage all the same.

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I mentioned this during the last update, but as a reminder: A card is Prepared if it’s the leftmost card. Grunt is deals a fair amount of damage normally, but now it can destroy Heckler and still deal some leftover damage.

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Like so

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It also drew Dilemma, but that card will be useful later anyway.

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Remember Kickback? Been a while since I last debated with a merchant.

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Seeing as I have three actions and don’t intend on using Kickback or getting rid of Slurred Speech, I play the three remaining cards in quick succession.

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I can live with losing 1 resolve each turn right now.

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I’ll see whether or not Tribute is worth targeting.

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First, I see what Trickery has to offer.

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Looking back, I maybe could have gone with Flipside so that Pleasantries deals max damage, then play Call It to see what it does, but you know what they say about hindsight being 20/20.

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Regardless, I set the coin.

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Since the only attack card I have in my hand (that won’t cost me shills, anyway) is Pleasantries, I go with Heads.

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This can’t be targeted by the enemy, though it won’t last long anyway.

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While Rooks coin flipping animation will always show a shills icon, the artwork for his core argument will change depending on which coin you're using. It’s a nice touch.

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May as well

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I gain Composure before ending the turn.

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I take no damage and have another Kickback is added.

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…Grrr…

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Since I have Dilemma in my hand, I may as well Gamble to give it an affordable cost.

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Luckily, it lands on Snails while I have Grumble in my hand.

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It’s risky, but I can potentially do enough damage to end the negotiation this turn…

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This discussion on economics is over

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Dilemma: I’ve had games where having multiple Dilemma cards were useful, but those were also runs where I had more ways to gamble than just Call It.

Helmet: Requires having a way to prepare cards to be of any use, and even then Helmet has to be in your hand to gain the composure, which is also distributed randomly. I’m making it sound worse than it is, as there are ways to consistently prepare cards; I just haven’t had access to them yet.

Also, enjoy Smith wearing Rook’s hat, as Kra’deshi rarely have headgear.

Kicker: I think the game is trying to tell me something about discarding. The description is straightforward and I’ve gotten use out of it before, but of course it requires having a way to discard cards for it to be helpful.

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I decide to skip this round. None of these are bad cards, but they require set up at a point in the game where I’m still figuring out which direction to take my deck.

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The prices are reduced. Hopefully forever, and at least for a while.

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My business here is done. Time to go back to Kalandra.

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I’m interrupted heading back to the Labor Office.

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Turns out, the prices were high because some Spark Barons were getting a piece of the pie. Maybe this was the ‘demand’ part that Allyn mentioned earlier?

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Don’t know whether the description is fitting or ironic. Perhaps both.

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I could give her half of my money…

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Defend myself against a competent opponent…

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Or explain the concept of demand elasticity.

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While there are certainly wackier and more creative negotiation situations, I love that Rook can resolve this mission by simply being an Intro To Economics teacher.

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Rook flips his coin at the start of every negotiation. It landed on Snails, so Keebee took one damage before I played a card. Nice.

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I take advantage of Snails by playing Grumble. It deals minimum damage, but I’ll take 2 damage over 1, of course.

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To be safe, I defend.

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Then I Gamble and hope to land on Heads.

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I can live with dealing damage.

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Though I wish we would do more than the minimum this turn.

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All Business is added, and I take 1 damage.

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Grumble and Pleasantries were stolen. Annoying, but not an immediate threat yet.

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Keebee gained 1 Composure thanks to All Business and Grunt. I start off the turn seeing what Trickery will grant me.

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I’ll take the Composure and dealing full damage with Pleasantries, thank you.

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I defend first

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And get rid of All Business before it causes more trouble.

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I take no damage

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This could be a problem…

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My deck is shuffled, so Pocket Bomb activates, helpfully destroying the argument that gets rid of half of Keebee’s resolve!

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It isn’t Prepared, but Grunt can grant me two more attack cards during a turn where I can’t do much.

63qlhQw46WCWZGvXR0_PT9WuM720QykkFajBfYddJ1Vj96oRQcVicbhwwWisu4t1oTjKFE36u5eoc_6JfQr4Ao_N1dOTZpMuIpf77LrSUI1H2Y6qxhYHof8QmiuCx7aBUTm9XR672jqqCrHmwwl4O58C9ynTTRL1bAVTfQGA8g82SxyNagkl3MchFxdMCwzV7wA9p7jmzZSK_oQScw2-wo1tFyo4OgXuNbf5FSTOGdEySKAx9mmCtVmSOBvL7tgfzO2sbytjzXNEymBT_qDgnauyiSlsP_DKvOl_hhHrzknAdMmfZZhlOhyD1zoPhqBh776sSIDoVbNUcEsRfFgN6ZsZXNR11H-RZNRLJ4k08bwZmgXZ9_385r__VZeQ

The Vulnerability isn’t a huge issue, but I realize I can’t win the negotiation this turn. Thus, I defend…

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And get my Rational cards back!

ccpyPQriEjXCnzGOB_NatCgSZ011UTjsgt27Fc1vMoLFtab6turvrvtw8qjnyNZkaWXLNX5el3EzYCLDQCpP_CYy_gmbzTw7_CQuA6Au_siOCP9KXmhwpDMgmuhrBGbVynAOfizovd-I_csBrvHM1Wd_D6FF5zK4QlBKHxoHOswIhE4Kak85SL1zfRAucAfwMhuDF7hbiGOiG5_DYF4rw1hQ6phbiDMfNwDvWDr2SFlUtjhKbD4GyezPLen2Wsrz0LusMPMNMdbnTMWnNHc9Oclo-b_LY5x37EJP-O3dU76o9IPrXQw2aam3TZYNnCUl0rbhVPM_-ANDCPM-VN9a3aqg7MLku09CQGHw4fDrhCee2BWVQ1JJCDztbzvA

Keebee’s core argument takes 1 damage, and I’m stuck with Vulnerability for a while.

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May as well, since it’s free

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Hard to say no to free damage, no matter how small.

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Rook’s core argument takes a total of 3 damage, though I won’t be getting rid of that Vulnerability anytime soon.

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Keebee steals the same type of cards as she did at the beginning of the negotiation.

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Pocket Bomb strikes again!

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I see how much damage Grumble will do…

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4 damage! I can end the negotiation this turn!

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Before conquering this conversation by grunting, I gain experience on Trickery first.

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Meh, any of those cards would have been fine.

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Time to end this

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Trade: Not a bad deal. Really, it’s only held back by how Rook only has a handful of ways to gain influence.

Overwhelm: The description is fun, and so is this card. It does require having some argument cards first, though.

Roughneck: Either your opponent loses their composure, or you take it for yourself. It’s a win either way.

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It may be situational, but I'd like to have the chance to easily get rid of annoying stacks of composure.

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Ah, economics. Several Havarians aren’t wise to how they work, and I wish that wasn’t also true of the real world.

Like I’m one to talk. I understand and can even explain several economic theories, yet have a difficult time actually putting them into practice, whether in games or real life. I’m not much of a risk taker, especially with money, and though I understand the importance of things like marketing and sales, I have difficulty visualizing how they’ll pay for themselves.

-Z0RlhxhHhkZhFuyyAtJa_qZShM1f9rBN6bELcOrC3pkmX4lPI-27-xSEPeel5iQCJ95R0Pst1Fue0tvcmQuE6LL3TUkN0z11JxMBeBn5LCTGwbQv1v7ZKVzzdtmy3Kx6G7lRgGCKjagWuHn6pNSS6ZC5glS4maLA6Tn4kjaE8NnIsuMU3k_Gjh5ruu5EQ

With that out of the way, I return to Kalandra to inform her that the boot issue is resolved.

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Well, I am a proponent of the phrase “Speak softly, and carry a big stick”.

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I haven’t seen any combat yet, so I’ll get a head start on one of Rook’s battle cards.

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I love Rook’s combat mechanics, but I’ll explain them later.

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Crank is a card that I tend to upgrade later than sooner, so I save myself the hassle now.

I’ll explain what the heck Charge is in the future.

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Kalandra didn’t hire a former Aerostat spy just to bully a foreman and lower the price on some boots.

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Normally, I’d end it here, but there’s no combat or negotiations for the rest of the update, and I’d like to start off the next one with Kalandra’s larger plan.

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I can either meet a street gambler, or buy an autodog.

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The autodog’s not a bad deal, but I’ve played the game enough to know that meeting this gambler will pay off in the long run.

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Krog is a semi-consistent character, similar to Rug. He won’t always appear, but when he does, Krog’s in the mood to gamble. His description is also pretty fun.

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Well, which game of chance are we playing?

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Played before? It’s the entire basis of Rook’s negotiation style!

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Eh, I can sacrifice 10 shills.

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I’ll catch the full animation in screenshot form gradually. If I remember correctly, this is the only time a character other than Rook uses the animation.

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Predictably…

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Rook is generous enough to show Krog what years of coin tricks can do.

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Apologies for the barrage of screenshots, but this animation is played three times in quick succession.

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I can trade my current coin for Krog’s Weighted Coin.

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Tell him to be careful in the future.

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Give up some shills so he can go back to Murder Bay

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Or just rob him.

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I can afford to sacrifice 50 shills, and Dockhands have one of the best Boons in the game anyway.

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The discount includes meals and drinks. Bargaining is easily one of the best Boons in the game, as there is ultimately a limited number of shills you can earn on any run, and being to buy even more stuff is always helpful, no matter the situation.

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Before ending things off, I see what’s at the black market.

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Hebbel did say they were a cagey bunch.

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Oh hi Enit! Nice to see you again.

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The feeling isn’t mutual, apparently.

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I ignore her request to walk away, and instead ask some questions

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Well that’s a mood.

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Great as Rook is at his job, there are times I wonder if he deliberately asks risky questions just to make things more interesting.

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I get that you’re trying to be intimidating, Enit, but you just look like you need a cup of coffee or a nap.

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I could try to convince Enit I’m not just going to window shop at a black market…

_9dukBbyp0torZ3L37bWw0rMtg1o_2lX1NTkRO2lw4S5R3kYx6EjCw96UjwHSQRAoXMnqkq3sNRnHCB2K3cpHKRl_OymfxiXPQNgZjMeJe9ZJtV_9DjNONeecWO21zvckI6ySDAp3vm8mr9T4uywfDvDRmTVLQQCDr-ZuyUbyt-i4YsN9JKZ3tMDuWSqhA

Or give up half my money for a membership…

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Or I could mention that I gave 50 shills to Krog.

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I helped Krog mere minutes ago. I appreciate you putting in a good work for me, Krog, but mentioning that I helped with your financial troubles in this environment will only lead to future troubles for the both of us.

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Unlike the Night Market for Sal, there’s only one shopkeeper who sells cards here. Plocka ‘The Swab’ is still here to sell grafts. While better than the Night Market in the sense that it’s open at all hours, your options are far more limited. Another sign that Rook’s campaign won’t be as easy as Sal’s.

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The description is a fun pun, and I kidnapped Queek off the street once as Sal. That’s when I learned that apparently Sal carries gags around for some reason.

…Why the hell did that come back?

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Let’s see if Queek has anything to offer real quick.

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…Nothing I’m willing to spend money on at the moment.

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I love the running gag with Plocka, and I have theory about her that I’ll share when we get to Smith.

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For now, I’ll ask why a Spark Baron is hanging out with some Jakes.

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Phroluk may be my favorite recurring character in the game, but Plocka isn’t far behind.

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These negotiation grafts aren’t bad, but I don’t feel like spending money on them.

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I went back and forth on whether or not to buy this, but considering that Rook hasn’t been in combat yet, I’d like to have a boost when he inevitably does, even if it’s for only one turn.

*****

Odd place to end things, I know, but next time we’ll see what Kalandras larger plan is.

 

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On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

I don't know how easy it would be to do, but I would love for a cheat code or unlockable to show the games temporary artwork. I would also love easy access to the games placeholder dialogue, because it's golden:

This kind of meta dialogue is always fun.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

...Oh.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

It's really the sheer extend and number of people that repeated the sentiment that I don't get.

...Although when I sat down to think about it, not as many fictional tall ladies came to mind as I expected. Maybe that's why?

Right on the money. People cling to what they can.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

I say in the very next sentence that I want to kill them. With guns and rocket launchers.

Still an interesting statement.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Fire Emblem in general needs fancier spells and ways of casting them. How coolness factor visually speaking is so all over the place across the franchise.

They can never beat Berwick Saga

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

The presence of alternative costumes is the main reason I'm not tearing into the art direction more, as chances are if I don't like what's currently shown, I can swap it out for something else I do like. It helps that I found most of the outfits to fall into the "so bad it's good" category personally, so I have an easy time laughing at it. I'll take Engage's silliness over Awakening/Fates "characters literally fight in their underwear" schtick.

Yeah, that's true. Sure, Ivy's spike shoes and gloves are absolutely hilarious, but at least... well, her dress is rather skimpy, but it feels more elegant than shit like Fates's

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Mechanically, engaging seems interesting, but I'd like to get my hands on the game first too see how it works in practice. Especially since I know the trailers are more interested in making the game look cool and interesting than discussing mechanical depth.

Yeah, fair enough. I need more of the map design, primarily. What we've seen has looked pretty nice already, but I'd rather be sure.

Quote

It's not my preferred crossover either, as I would have liked to see different characters from across the series interreact with each other in a standard Fire Emblem strategy game that mechanically ties to gather aspects across the franchise. However, execution is what matters at the end of the day, so I'll reserve judgement until the game comes out.

I would've prefered that too, but oh well.

Quote

Though I wouldn't mind "Fire Emblem at The Olympic Games". Though that's mostly out of disappoint over how the recent "Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games" cut corners and events from previous games that really didn't need to be cut.

Ike and Oliver face off in a race

Oliver wins

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Surprising as it may sound, this is my favorite design in the entire game. At a glance, you can tell that this is someone with a story. Someone who's been beaten up, scarred, and has sacrificed much. Yet despite those hardships, they press on, determined, moving forward no matter what life throws at them. 

There may be more interesting designs in the game, yet the history the character has that can be noticed at a glance is a big reason why I love Eowne/Gorgula's design.

Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. I did get those vibes from her appearance ingame, too (I got her in my one run). She spoke as if she and Rook had an extensive story... Even though she didn't have much of an appearance, she makes the most of what she gets.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Meanwhile, other games:

Warhammer_Moment.png

Inb4 Hadron is that young-looking guy next to the big guy

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

It's in the white box above his comment. Don't blame you, as I miss the descriptions being there too sometimes.

Oh.

...F for me, then.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Most grins in the game look evil. Embrace the genuine smiles while you can

i-have-always-related-to-this-i-wanted-t

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Animation pauses in general are surprisingly hilarious. It's amazing how many tricks there are to making animation seems smooth in motion.

It's something all right. I still remember all the creepypastas from my LPs. You never notice stuff like that when it's in motion.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Last time I ended the update early out of concern that it would grow too large and start causing problems with Serenes Forest internet.

The eternal struggle: Fear of the bugs.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Finally, I have access to the bar! I’ll need a drink or two before lowering the price on some boots.

Frenetic action to start off, I se.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

MqtUuR3v-aIMRhG26iNPc99F5xUYxQc-do2jMwrKesFXuIS8Xk_djURIE-bvYjN40242FIImMmv_cFH4c_YNfaCksz3VtQVZYrxKeHTuJXzeiJE71USo3LmQKkZTL04VEuGuP_G12tOvmHS85KpO73X2Dk8tddH_9yYUjoHGo1iKk99WYVKckSwUoDf2JQ

For being an elite stealth force, Aerostat officers have an easy time spotting each other outside of the field.

They wear recognizable attires so you lower your guard when they don't.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

JL2rtHrI0Gse538j6h7GQNagXgKO3BDJoC6lrHqPVszstqrVwQ-a5kyh-hlQZeIUol9mCLgCXByN7w-fRV8ucfG7pCW4URed1vsOq2shNLNVegeca94sfSaPnSJWNIdtx6VBWXKH0MNeyaSahghlzziOQ_6Q5UO8hm51lQWKYT9MsxeRLwjrooUNNRzz3g

Predictably, Pengemunt is how you get new coins.

I like Pengemunt. He’s not the deepest character, admittedly, but in a story that will have a lot of backstabbing and double-crossing, it’s refreshing to have a friendly dude with a normal hobby.

No agenda, no lies. Just a dude that likes coins.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

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It's not the :V face, but I always found Rook's big mustache smile to be really funny. He looks like a kindly grandpa all of a sudden. All the better for his deception, I guess.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Although I haven’t heard anyone say “the swamp level is the best part of the game!” yet.

Well, Berwick Saga's swamp map was pretty sweet, but... It's not the best, so... eh.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

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Finally, I ask Hebbel about himself.

Rook, rude. Don't show the guy your tongue.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

S0HPqiRsGi-R86slU7U3tGLzztIppztn_QeQYjZFqdZ_ayYmDPfPB89p7IBmcNTPcTfNhzGszQ-WZei37A2hmSY_YvdZ8NqjNWvX1jPr4m8lAKQDHV8Wj-SqL5wQ7l42KL8v5aUeeUmo_P_ywC5ByOI33kBu8Qx_omUWxcMnhFwbq385Anx-JkvM58CdBg

Rook’s face continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

I don't know, Hebbel, if there ever was a time to go against your policy... He looks like he's about to tie you down to the railway and wait for a train to run you over.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

e-3VFG1BMBc1EoSZwYI_uFGWMxy8UazRrjRq4j_GH8gm2_y-TTK863gUutqct3uAhMRCBW0CsvlE1WO6NMrm7TM4vI5oJHqYp-kj2JjxQnPdDgLWVchiDCH2JSCOlAiPBFBnPs8AFt0pZ6BTCN8JjW4v0HyyPKhMxwmN7fnHJmJahjlxJwmE8QCRreNMWw

Since Hebbel’s relationship with Rook is strictly business, I’ll have to deal with drinks costing 37 shills for the rest of the run.

And no, there’s no way to improve (or as far as I can tell, worsen) your relationship with Hebbel throughout Rook’s story. It’s one of the earliest signs that Rook’s campaign is going to be subtly harder than Sal’s.

lol not if my first try victory is any indication

Still, nice bit of flavor there. Rook's nothing more than a guy staying at Hebbel's bar, and Hebbel's nothing more than the guy Rook's renting a room from. People don't usually try to befriend the owner of the hotel where they spend the holidays.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Or just beat her up.

Apparently Waandra only protects her boss, not the customers. While that makes sense, as Allyn is likely in charge of her paycheck, Allyn might want to extend Waandra’s responsibilities. Getting beaten up in a store while the guard just stood around is not a good way to get repeat customers.

To be fair, where else are they gonna go? That's the whole point of the mission you're currently doing lol, they can do whatever they want because it's them or the bog.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

Also, enjoy Smith wearing Rook’s hat, as Kra’deshi rarely have headgear.

It looks cursed. Highly cursed.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

stcB96I0dz-bb6s5oxRFlFF-6eLr5nKf7bZLi0UMj0TZ5Z8q9TMJl5flrMyQr4dkzIBHdQ8egYTAbZL9iYIu1-aMN359-UfBvEtwt3lVxeb2LgVYWl6aCz8JtqQqUWJwOwJmANMzCGkzgiLfldseFophqdH4sVUsxfUmwf6faPT8646aK5IU2WvczjasoQ

Turns out, the prices were high because some Spark Barons were getting a piece of the pie. Maybe this was the ‘demand’ part that Allyn mentioned earlier?

All the repeats of "cut" here made me expect Keebee'd finish the sentence with "that makes me want to cut you." What a missed opportunity.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

bpXE0YZHh1EGclOiKEZEE-0FdNi8tIYDFonVmNfjGQBUsfCK5Rsy6WttrNqw2N3B8OBsdIJmvYBaOO49oxUf2b0LXSs-mnYms0-6OGimPU4B4PLUEYCUySj4P-ss3FJ7FOzrThFg9r2TvI0dJviVSbr1J91SG06j2Y_3tHWhn_7KFXDU7xEsT2YLik3_kw

The discount includes meals and drinks. Bargaining is easily one of the best Boons in the game, as there is ultimately a limited number of shills you can earn on any run, and being to buy even more stuff is always helpful, no matter the situation.

Those 50 shills will pay for themselves. Just three purchases and already you'll have profitted from this decision.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

BjBCr-ZHe6YgTIyuYl6an4EUKK-KotnqQWX3pWMJQAoAsCQBj8f1pFwiOm0DKjckX6wQAIS5yN1gzdbvCLn_hzHgdBdGM1L3gZMUNYuLU7c00Zhu83EkxpzGeootFqgAC6HPOipusCLVxMa2BrcY4-9McAMgH6mZdvZ1DpikmqyiotW_o7kWdSCRcnq0Qw

Well that’s a mood.

Hahahaha... That's a great answer, Enit.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

eufsEvG0Ph9kpTtPEQEBpSyydx0Ny38KW3b70XrkfhA_ibsjtap-ygf4cHZutP309qTVXMCbQSq2K-R7BnrUk2Skj7A09WzGdvM56z24QE_Pd-fm_mRTow_nACs_zoLY5oAMNPMtFO2m8de_9CIQdcdJtmeWFmKBeDGOGI3uMQQDLNOi68L1fR5kVLy2HQ

Z9c_QpOOpUgr1x1f7tXqGGfar-pnsSvizGUdDJhSL6vMsJlA65TSVki4f2ga0zy1QhmyRYIYsCokkpgnAaljKGWbYxJ2r1ZsZ9-iybf1lNKWxQCfTltKhXj3hjg-whMF2I_sBBWunj4KvLRRWNZGK_pKFxGL8JXNR0SKA_UDM6qWy7JCj_Y7yL91nbb-cA

Great as Rook is at his job, there are times I wonder if he deliberately asks risky questions just to make things more interesting.

Ah yes, casual out-of-nowhere racism. Class act, Rook.

On 12/4/2022 at 11:29 PM, Hawkwing said:

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The description is a fun pun, and I kidnapped Queek off the street once as Sal. That’s when I learned that apparently Sal carries gags around for some reason.

…Why the hell did that come back?

It always comes back to the gag, don't it...

 

On 11/30/2022 at 2:45 AM, eclipse said:

Strangely enough, I had the easiest time in combat with Rook.  Negotiation wasn't too bad, and I took the time to get my cards back from the Barons.  They kept stealing my coin flip cards, and I objected to that!

It doesn't sound that strange to me haha, I had the easiest time with Rook myself. I mean, heck, I won his campaign on the first try, somehow. His RNG mechanics

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14 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

 

It doesn't sound that strange to me haha, I had the easiest time with Rook myself. I mean, heck, I won his campaign on the first try, somehow. His RNG mechanics

I got the weighted coin, and that made things a lot easier for negotiations.  For combat, I went with the zero charge strategy.  It held up for a surprisingly long time.

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ROOK'S CAMPAIGN DAY 1 MISSION 3: The Friends We Make Along The Way

The more I see of Engage, the less I know what to make of it.

Replies:

Spoiler
On 12/6/2022 at 11:12 AM, Saint Rubenio said:
  Hide contents

This kind of meta dialogue is always fun.

Makes me wonder if any other developers have fun with placeholder text.

...Oh.

Perhaps I should have specified Neverhoods crude humor when stating that.  The rest is largely slapstick with a few literacy jokes thrown in there:

The Neverhood Download | GameFabrique

Yes, you can read the entire thing. It takes a while.

Right on the money. People cling to what they can.

I suppose.

There's not much more I can add to this discussion without repeating "The meme was more widespread than I expected" over and over.

Still an interesting statement.

Looking back, I forgot to finish the Earth Defense Force joke. I was going to say that it fulfills said wish of shooting dragons with rocket launchers, though I'm not certain how fun the game is single player, or if my computer can handle it. Though that perception could be because my only knowledge of the game comes from RussianBadger (which on a side note, is the only time I've seen America's military budget be a point of both mockery and pride). 

They can never beat Berwick Saga

Berwick Saga straight up has the most under-appreciated sprite work I've ever seen.

Yeah, that's true. Sure, Ivy's spike shoes and gloves are absolutely hilarious, but at least... well, her dress is rather skimpy, but it feels more elegant than shit like Fates's

Engage gives me "intentionally wearing a goofy costume during serious cutscene" vibes, which I can easily laugh at. Whereas with Fates, I feel like I always have to mention that I enjoy the game in spite of the dumb outfits. Which is a shame, because I would say that Fates has some of the best designs in the entire franchise for certain classes in the franchise, while at the same time having some of the absolute worst.

Yeah, fair enough. I need more of the map design, primarily. What we've seen has looked pretty nice already, but I'd rather be sure.

While map design isn't a make-it-or-break-it factor personally, the mechanics and maps so far seem at the very least interesting. I'm still taking the "wait and see" approach, though.

I would've prefered that too, but oh well.

Hey, there's nothing saying it can't happen. It will probably be a few years before they attempt another crossover game, but then again Nintendo fans are used to waiting for new games.

...A new F-Zero, Star Fox, and/or Punch-Out game would be nice. I'd like to see more action games on the Nintendo Switch instead of farming sims and RPGs.

Ike and Oliver face off in a race

Oliver wins

Hey, seeing Bowser do rhythmic gymnastics is part of the fun of the Mario & Sonic games. Oliver outrunning Ike would totally be a plausible situation in Fire Emblem at the Olympic Games.

I'm honestly surprised that for all the wacky events that Heroes has, they never had one focused on sports. It's not like the game is a stranger to anachronistic situations, and there are so many sports in the world that they could easily have themed banners.

Which is barely related, but I have an excuse to once again ask IS for a taguel on trampoline alt. I know it's not a very funny running gag, but dammit! I want an opportunity to at least once be that obnoxious asshole that laughs like a maniac and yells "I Fucking Called It!" while everyone else is confused. Years after people stopped caring about the game. It might be funny.

Also because I'd really like for Panne and/or Yarne to get an alt.

Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. I did get those vibes from her appearance ingame, too (I got her in my one run). She spoke as if she and Rook had an extensive story... Even though she didn't have much of an appearance, she makes the most of what she gets.

I would say all of Rook's Day 1 bosses do a fantastic job giving the impression of having a history with Rook despite their limited screentime. I also enjoy each of their designs too, now that I think about it.

Inb4 Hadron is that young-looking guy next to the big guy

It's actually the Tech-Priest talking over the radio. Which makes me wonder why I haven't quoted Mechanicus more often considering that game has my favorite script of all the games I've played this year. Seriously, I have over a thousand screenshots for the game, and only about 20 of them focus on gameplay.

...Then again, I'm already looking through hundreds of screenshots when making these updates, so the prospect of searching through thousands of pictures just to find one or two great lines isn't as appealing.

Oh.

...F for me, then.

Hey, I still sometimes forget the character descriptions. Which makes it all the more fun to look through them again!

i-have-always-related-to-this-i-wanted-t

Ah, Team Fortress 2. One of the more unique first person shooter multiplayer games I've seen. A game I have an interest in playing, but know that people have been competing in it for decades at this point and know the maps inside and out. I also know I'm not that good about the "Team" part of multiplayer games.

That, and space. I recently had to uninstall Halo: The Master Chief Collection because an update took up too much space, and I have enough games I want to play but don't have room for.

It's something all right. I still remember all the creepypastas from my LPs. You never notice stuff like that when it's in motion.

I always find it interesting just how many tricks there are to make animation look as natural as it does. Watching animations in slow motion is a really neat experience.

The eternal struggle: Fear of the bugs.

I've had Serenes Forest delete my work on less busy posts before. The fear always remains no matter how much I write.

Frenetic action to start off, I se.

It's not my fault the boot quest had the better reward this time around.

They wear recognizable attires so you lower your guard when they don't.

Fair point, even though the Grifters and Kalandra are the only characters with more than one outfit.

No agenda, no lies. Just a dude that likes coins.

Glad we're in agreement about Pengemunts character.

Because now I can share a different interpretation of the dude.

It's not the :V face, but I always found Rook's big mustache smile to be really funny. He looks like a kindly grandpa all of a sudden. All the better for his deception, I guess.

I love how expressive Rook's mustache is. It's a little cartoony, but never to the point it becomes distracting.

Well, Berwick Saga's swamp map was pretty sweet, but... It's not the best, so... eh.

There are swamp levels that I thought were okay, but never actively look forward to replaying them.

Rook, rude. Don't show the guy your tongue.

Hebbel works in the only bar in the middle of a brutal marshland. I think he's seen worse.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

I don't know, Hebbel, if there ever was a time to go against your policy... He looks like he's about to tie you down to the railway and wait for a train to run you over.

Considering Hebbel immediately gets aggressive after Rook says this, I don't think the barkeep get's intimidated easily.

lol not if my first try victory is any indication

I beat Rook's campaign on my first try too. It's surprising how much the reduced health and resolve and stronger enemies affect Rook the most during the early game, as things become more stable after you nab a few cards and upgrades.

Still, nice bit of flavor there. Rook's nothing more than a guy staying at Hebbel's bar, and Hebbel's nothing more than the guy Rook's renting a room from. People don't usually try to befriend the owner of the hotel where they spend the holidays.

Hebbel seems to be in the know that Rook is a spy for someone, but you are correct in that their relationship is simply business and nothing more.

To be fair, where else are they gonna go? That's the whole point of the mission you're currently doing lol, they can do whatever they want because it's them or the bog.

Fair point. It just seems that asking your guard to protect customers wouldn't be too much to ask, espeically when not doing so is a pretty predictable way to get people interested in joining a rebellion group like the Rise.

It looks cursed. Highly cursed.

Just wait until we get to Smith's story...

All the repeats of "cut" here made me expect Keebee'd finish the sentence with "that makes me want to cut you." What a missed opportunity.

A bit of a spoiler, but Keebee reappears in this update. I don't think she's good at noticing opportunities for puns.

Those 50 shills will pay for themselves. Just three purchases and already you'll have profitted from this decision.

I appreciate the variety of boons and banes Griftlands has. Bartering may not directly help in combat or negotiations, but it can certainly help in purchasing cards and grafts that make those things easier. Same with how some banes hurt you in combat or negotiations, but not always in a direct way.

Hahahaha... That's a great answer, Enit.

While I know that some people are annoyed by how there are multiple Anna's and how money hungry they are, I wouldn't mind a Fire Emblem game that brought back the secret shop and gave each of the Anna's a different personality for each store. One of them I image would give this answer ad verbatim if you found the shop but didn't have the card.

Ah yes, casual out-of-nowhere racism. Class act, Rook.

It's not racism, since he's not talking about their species. Rather it's... factionalism? Making assumptions about a party or group?

I had to stop myself from going on a rant, as people making assumptions about a group just by the mere mention of a word and how varied those assumptions can be is... something I find incredibly annoying, if not downright frustrating. And it happens too often and can make discussing some topics way more difficult than it should be. That's all I can say before things take a more political turn, and that's the last thing I want to do here.

It always comes back to the gag, don't it...

It just came out of nowhere, I had to reread the sentence several times to make sure I was seeing things correctly, and it raises questions that I'm not sure I want answered.

 

It doesn't sound that strange to me haha, I had the easiest time with Rook myself. I mean, heck, I won his campaign on the first try, somehow. His RNG mechanics

I might be overselling the difficulty of Rook's story a little bit, but that's really only the early game on the harder difficulties. Once he gets some experience, it tends to be smoother sailing.

 

On 12/7/2022 at 1:28 AM, eclipse said:

I got the weighted coin, and that made things a lot easier for negotiations.  For combat, I went with the zero charge strategy.  It held up for a surprisingly long time.

Never got the weighted coin, though that's mostly because I tend to find both sides to be useful. I usually default to the zero charge strategy as well, mostly for the free defense.

Update:

Spoiler

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Last time, I helped Krog with his financial problems and bought a graft at the black market.

Now we’ll see what Kalandra’s larger plans involving Rook are.

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While one of the more natural ways for the game to switch to nighttime, I imagine it would be pretty boring.

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Now it’s time for the bigger picture.

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Kalandra could easily talk Del into following workplace safety again or convince the General Store to reduce prices on some boots.

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Time for Rook’s past as a spy to shine.

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Before kidnapping a thief, I can ask even more questions.

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As far as I can tell, this plot point never comes up again. I have a guess at what the invention is, but nothing confirms it.

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Hierarchies work in high risk, life or death situations, where following orders efficiently is a necessity.

What the Spark Barons have set up isn’t one of those situations.

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Kinda? If you create a useful invention, and/or can get Vagrant age technology working without it exploding, the Spark Barons seem to hire you.

On a side note, I find it interesting that the two factions that are the most at each other’s throats are also the two factions that have the most varied racial members. If you can get Vagrant age technology working again, the Spark Barons will hire you. If you care about workers rights, the Rise will let you join.

While almost every faction has a mixture of species, one of the races tends to be a majority, yet that isn’t really the case with the Rise or the Spark Barons. Just an interesting observation I wanted to share.

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Fellemo worked side by side with Rook and knows what he’s capable of. A few choice words should convince Fellemo that Rook is a worthwhile hire.

…It’s going to appear a whole lot like nepotism, though.

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…What corporations did the Admiralty want sabotaged?

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Now the main draw of Rook’s campaign: being a double agent.

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Without a choice to back out, Rook accepts.

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Before capturing a Gode, I have a drink.

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I went with Cleme. I’ll be interacting with the Rise from different angles as a double agent, and it will be nice to have a friend during those moments.

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Huh, another random event appeared so soon.

Also, since I forgot to post this earlier, Rook’s Map themeDon't have much to say other than it's a nice sounding Spy theme that fits Rook well.

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So either I get a grenade, or I help someone find something in the bog.

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The Spark Baron’s wouldn’t set up shop here unless something of worth could be found.

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Slime? Sure. Danger? I suppose. Death? Not yet.

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I suppose Wikka is one of the “unlicensed rogues who plunder dig sites” that was mentioned all the way at the beginning of Rook’s story.

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That, or someone sold a map to her at the black market and Wikka fell for it when they mentioned treasures.

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Still, I can make a quick shill by being a bodyguard.

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Erchins are walking furballs with teeth that somehow fit in with the setting despite being kind of silly when I look at them too long.

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More annoying than Slurred Speech thanks to having an actual negative effect, but at least it has the same cost to get rid of.

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I miss the animation here, but Rook has a bad habit of twirling his pistols. Gun twirling BREAKS EVERY SINGLE GUN SAFETY RULE. It’s a major pet peeve of mine in fiction, and Griftlands is no exception.

I tolerate it here because I love the game and it’s stylish, but I don’t excuse it, either.

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It’s day 1, so I doubt the game would throw any of its nastier beasts at us yet.

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I barely have a sense of smell, so thankfully I can’t imagine this.

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I forgot Erchins had horns. Still, I wasn't wrong when I said they’re walking furballs with teeth.

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This is a pathetically easy fight, which I’ll take to gain some experience.

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Running away is an option, but I see no reason to do so.

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Okay, so this might be a little complicated at first, but Rook’s Charge is straight up my favorite mechanic in the entire game.

At the start of every turn Rook gains 1 charge. At the end of every turn, Rook gains defense for every empty cell. When Rook’s cells are filled out, he gains Overcharge, which increases the maximum damage every attack can do.

Obviously, several cards spend Charge for an effect, usually more damage. Other cards add Charge. Several have a bonus when all his cells are empty, others when it’s full. Some even add, spend, and otherwise use Overcharge.

It’s a mechanic that the game takes full advantage of, with benefits from spending or saving charge that requires both planning ahead as well as on the fly thinking to get the most out of.

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Anyway, I start the actual round by defending.

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Since the Shovel is free and doesn’t gain experience, I Blast the Erchin.

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It deals the maximum damage of 7, meaning I can kill the Erchin with the Shovel.

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Since I still have an action left, I may as well get rid of a Tipsy card.

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… For my paragraph long explanation of Rook’s mechanics, I sure didn’t use them this round.

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Still, I’ll take a turn one kill.

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I’ll probably keep forgetting this exists, but it’s hard to complain about removing any composure. Now whether it’s worth spending the Erchin Musk on is a different story.

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Robo-kick: There are ways to reliably gain overcharge, but I don’t have many at this point in the game.

Cheap Shot: An interesting card that encourages spending charge over keeping it. I tend to roll with that playstyle anyway given the extra defense, but it depends on the game.

Tight Spot: A pretty interesting defensive card. 8 defense is nothing to scoff at, but Burnout means that if you don’t use it that turn, then the card will expend. Obviously, this leaves you with the conundrum of turns where you’ll draw Tight Spot when you aren’t being attacked, so you have to decide whether to play Tight Spot in order to keep the card, or instead focus on offense and have it expend.

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I’ll cover my defenses before focusing on the crazier attacks Rook can execute.

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Well, erchins certainly look like hairballs.

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Not the craziest thing the Bog has done to someone's mind.

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I could convince Wikka to just give me cash.

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Or I could play along.

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After all, the real secret of the bog…

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…Is being able to buy cheaper drinks!

I’ll appreciate this “secret” while I can. The other secrets Grout Bog holds are… not so pleasant...

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That classic adventure lesson out of the way, I go to kidnap Gode.

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Though not before running into another event.

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Oh! It’s Rug! Wonder what new recipe he cooked up this time.

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Especially in a marsh.

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Man, after I finish Smith’s campaign, I’m going to be taking hundreds of screenshots of my favorite character descriptions.

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The drumsticks sound like the safest option, although I don’t want to know what “scab-roasted” means.

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Pffffft okay. The description of Hawbs made me laugh.

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Don’t know if I’ll use it much, but it’ll likely come in handy sometime.

Feel free to place your bets now if you think I’ll save it until the final boss.

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Too bad I can’t use the drumstick as a bludgeon to capture this thief.

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Man, if this were a stealth game, I would have been debating whether to tranq Gode from this distance, or try to sneak up on him to deliver a chokehold, or throw a stun grenade, or drop a supply crate on his head, or Rocket-punch him, or ask Quiet or D-Dog to take them out non-lethally…

…I really, really love Metal Gear Solid V. I can legitimately talk about that game for hours on end.

Alas, this is Griftlands, so it’s not going to be as stealthy.

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That’s rude. Though about to be true.

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Though I could talk…

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Or beat him up…

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I may as well listen to his offer first.

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Imagine your employers thinking you were a rebel to the point the rebellion itself thought you were on their side for a while just because you evaded your taxes a few times.

…Which feels like a joke Scott the Woz would do as some point, not going to lie.

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Hard to pass up on the chance to gain a boon.

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I’ll have to talk my way in, now.

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Authority cards are helpful, though not necessarily game-changing. They count as status cards, which can either be helpful or annoying depending on what grafts you have installed.

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I don’t have a thief, but I did gain a boon. One I’ll be using soon as Rook will have to rely on his silver tongue to join the Spark Barons.

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Arnit has her own theme, and unsurprisingly will play a role as Fellemo’s Lieutenant. “Mercenary” is a pretty good summarization of her character.

This may come up later during Smith’s campaign, but Shroke’s don’t get high positions in the Cult, and the few that do are placed in combat roles like Luminari. There’s an interesting event with Sal I didn’t get this time that deals with this matter.

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Arnit is very savvy, I will give her that.

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Still, Rook can make a good argument for why he’s still a worthwhile hire.

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An example of an authority card. By The Book can be situational in a few arguments, but in most negotiations it’s helpful.

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Grumbling then showing that you’ve been drinking is not the way to make a good first impression.

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I’ll gladly take the composure.

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Arnit stole two of my basic attack cards.

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Since Spark Barons add an argument every turn, By The Book is effective against them.

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There’s a joke or commentary somewhere by destroying an argument called "All Business" by using a card called "By The Book," but nothing came to mind.

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I start getting a little impatient during this negotiation, and start playing cards faster than I can screenshot them.

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May as well get those cards back.

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Rook’s negotiation flourish is now available, though I won’t be using it for this debate. Arnit’s resolve is half-way depleted, and I’d like to save the flourish for a new conversation.

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I don’t know why Arnit stole the Erchin Musk, though not having access to Grunt is annoying.

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Spooked discarded a card, so I see what Trickery has to offer.

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Apparently, Aloof was the only worthwhile card.

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May as well get rid of this sooner than later. It could possibly go beyond an annoyance if I have more negotiations after this.

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Always hard to complain about composure.

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Arnit adds Vulnerability, but otherwise only does a single point of damage.

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A reminder that I’m so used to seeing this prompt when dealing with Spark Barons that sometimes I’ll forget to screenshot it. Anyway, it was a Rational card that was stolen.

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I’d like to have Grunt back, thank you.

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Which I’ll use now.

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I end the turn by defending.

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I take two damage…

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The negotiation is so close to being over that I can live with these two being stolen.

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Speaking of which, I can end the conversation this turn!

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For the experience, I target one of Arnit’s arguments with Grumble.

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Which I’m glad I did, since it dealt full damage.

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Negotiation’s over

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I can upgrade one of my Grumble cards!

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As useful as Setting the coin can be (which lets you choose which side it lands on), I’d rather not take the option that expends.

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I think the game is trying to tell me something about discards.

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I don’t listen.

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Rook’s spy charms appear to have worked, though Arnit seems pretty reluctant about the whole ordeal.

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I sometimes forget how many good lines Arint has.

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