Wizardry III: Leapfrogging

I’m recovering from another TPK. It was a pretty anticlimactic one, too. I had just gone through a heroic effort to bring my party back unharmed from a one-way trip into a lengthy sequence of unexplored tunnels — basically, the previously-unexplorable reaches of dungeon level 2. The monsters back there don’t pose a serious threat to me any more, except perhaps through slow attrition after I run out of spells, but there was one complication: most of my party was poisoned, and losing health just from walking around. Not only that, but there was a point where the only way forward required a password. After guessing wrong twice, I really thought I that was it, but, in classic storytelling form, I solved the riddle on my third try. And I made it out without loss of life. It was the sort of adventure that leaves you elated for having beaten the odds. And then, on my next try, I blundered into a previously-unseen boss lair, was surprised, and bam. I couldn’t even run away.

Fortunately, I had another party waiting in the wings: the reclaimed remains of my last TPK. They’re not quite as advanced as the ones newly-lost, but they’re pretty close. The only real drag on my progress right now is the need to train up a new mage, as I seem to be fresh out of mages. In fact, I should probably train two. Two in the hand is worth one lying inert on the dungeon floor, right? After all, I’d be in really bad shape if the party I’m currently using got wiped out too.

But not as bad as you’d think. Spending a long time in a particular area of the dungeon means picking up a lot of redundant magic items. Even if I had to start over with level 1 characters, I think I could get through the opening stages of the game again pretty quickly if the entire front row started with +1 plate mail. Which means I have to make sure to actually give the spare gear to someone not currently adventuring. This is certainly doable, but it goes somewhat against instinct, and involves fiddling around with menus instead of just selling your loot and going straight back into the dungeon.

Still, one thing is clear: I’m going to need a much more powerful party to do the rescue this time. My best characters are going to rot in a heap until they aren’t nearly my best characters any more.

4 Comments so far

  1. paul on 14 Jan 2010

    Can you leapfrog through the game with a good party and an evil party, each of which goes to rescue the other after a tpk? I think storywise that would be interesting.

  2. katre on 14 Jan 2010

    Can you create a level 1 guy named Bucket and just leave him in town to hold spare gear for you?

  3. Carl Muckenhoupt on 14 Jan 2010

    You could certainly do that in the first two games of the series, but in this one, most of the dungeon levels are alignment-locked. If your good party dies in a good-only area, you can’t send in an evil party to rescue them. But since alignment is mutable in this game, you could try to maintain a party that’s usually evil, except when they’re rescuing a good party, and vice versa.

  4. Carl Muckenhoupt on 14 Jan 2010

    And yeah, you can have a guy who has no purpose other than to hold spare gear. If you make him a bishop, you can have him identify it too and not need a bishop in your adventuring party. (Personally, I like having a bishop in my adventuring party, if only so I can identify stuff and free up inventory slots by throwing away the junk right away.)

    But it should be noted that every character has room for only 8 items, so Bucket will run out of space before long. I sell most of my redundant items to the shop, which is willing to sell them back later at substantial markup if I need them. (And if I don’t, hey, profit!)

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