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Tales of the Arabian Nights» Forums » General

Subject: first play, a couple observations rss

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eryn roston
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We just finished playing this for the first time tonight and it was pretty cool.

One of the things that I noticed from my end is that I never used a single skill. I also ended with the LEAST amount of skills (5...maybe 6). During encounters I would typically choose options that seemed to suit the skills I had (until I became insane of course) but that didnt seem to help. I would chose things like "hide" (since I had steal/stealh) and the reader would say something like "do you have the 'magic' skill?" DOH!

I suppose I should not make a decision based on my skills...but then...whats the point of having them (much less choosing them).

I was wondering, are they evenly distributed in terms of how often they appear?

Another thing I wasn't expecting was repeat paragraphs. At least...I wasn't expecting them so soon. We had paragraphs repeat within out first game. Is that normal?

-E
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Chris Jacobson
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Game arrived for me today, and had some friends over.

As Ali Baba, I never got to use my skills while I had a chance, spent most of the game Insane; then Insane and Wounded; then Insane, Wounded, and Grief Stricken... Getting Sex Changed then Scorned was just insult to injury!

It was hilariously funny, turned into "What would befall poor Ali Baba next?"

The other two players rarely used their skills, the most notable instance was Sinbad using his Master Weapon Use to fight off some mermen at sea (which became brigands on a hill once we read the paragraph).

I think you need to 'play to your skills' and pick reactions that seem appropriate for the skills you have. Being Insane kept me from doing that :-(
 
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Matthew LaClair
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One of the things that I noticed from my end is that I never used a single skill.

It happens.

During encounters I would typically choose options that seemed to suit the skills I had (until I became insane of course) but that didnt seem to help. I would chose things like "hide" (since I had steal/stealh) and the reader would say something like "do you have the 'magic' skill?" DOH!

Playing to your skills is important, but what you really need to do is act appropriately for the encounter. Having the Weapons Use skill may imply that your character knows how to fight, but it's still probably not a good idea to attack a charging elephant. Maybe you think you can trick that wise e'freet because you have Beguiling, but common sense should tell you that you may want Acting and Diguise or Quick Thinking as well. Then again, since it's a genie and all, and he could turn you into a monkey if you make him mad, you should seriously consider grovelling regardless of your skills.
 
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Nick McElveen
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baditude wrote:
We just finished playing this for the first time tonight and it was pretty cool.

One of the things that I noticed from my end is that I never used a single skill. I also ended with the LEAST amount of skills (5...maybe 6). During encounters I would typically choose options that seemed to suit the skills I had (until I became insane of course) but that didnt seem to help. I would chose things like "hide" (since I had steal/stealh) and the reader would say something like "do you have the 'magic' skill?" DOH!

I suppose I should not make a decision based on my skills...but then...whats the point of having them (much less choosing them).

I was wondering, are they evenly distributed in terms of how often they appear?

Another thing I wasn't expecting was repeat paragraphs. At least...I wasn't expecting them so soon. We had paragraphs repeat within out first game. Is that normal?

-E


That has been my experience as well. The skills never seem to be useful/relevant in situations that you'd think they would, and choosing the dumbest/funniest/craziest reactions generally leaves you no worse off than choosing wise/intuitive reactions. All that means is that this isn't a strategy game, it is a story experience. And a fun one at that.
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MGS
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I see it differently. I think the skills make sense to a degree. There is a good strategy article with a subjective rank of the skills by their usefulness. The list may or may not be accurate but I tend to agree that the skills are not all made equal and if your skills are from the less useful group, you might go a whole game without using them.

I try to further optimize my skill selection by choosing skills that belong to a similar group. People often when generating RPG characters, they decide on a class or concept. For example, "I am going to create a thief" and choose attributes and skills that make sense with the concept.

I have been doing the same for TOTAN with reasonable success. Tonight I made an "intelligent character". I had Scholarship, Magic and Quick Thinking (I would rather choose Piety but my wife got it and I wanted some variety). I was able to use my skills very often. Using skills from a similar group helped because I would examine something hoping to use Scholarship but the thing would turn out to be enchanted and Magic would kick in instead.

I was able to stay away from nasty statuses for the most part. This worked the other day when I made a "Thief" as well. OTOH, a lot of bad things happened in the game I did not try this.
 
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Kevin Maroney
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baditude wrote:
I was wondering, are they evenly distributed in terms of how often they appear?


Seamanship shows up in a *lot* of sea-based encounters, not always to your benefit. We tried to distribute the skills pretty evenly, but some paragraphs (Court/Matrix A) will show up more often than others (Attack/Matrix O). I think you'd have a really hard time doing a full statistical analysis of how often each skill comes up, even leaving aside questions of Master skills and Statuses.
 
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