Wizardry III: Extended Level 1 Shenanigans Revisited

Despite knowing the inevitable outcome, I did bring my entire party from Wizardry II straight into Wizardry III for a ceremonial slaughtering. It just seemed wrong to do otherwise. That done, I was in for a bit of a shock: I couldn’t import any more characters. There’s a limit of 20 characters on what Wizardry misleadingly terms a “scenario disk”, and every single slot was filled with someone lying dead in the dungeon. To bring in anyone new, I’d have to delete someone. But who? My new characters? The ones that have been waiting for rescue since 2010? In the end, I opted to just wipe the disk and start over.

Now, once you’ve done such a thing once, it becomes very tempting to do it again. You lose a few parties to the maze, along with their sweet equipment. You’re only going to get a fraction of that equipment back even if you manage to recover their corpses. The dead guys are probably not worth the cost of resurrecting, and no one else has any XP. So what good is anyone? Might as well wipe the disk and stop them cluttering up the roster!

I actually tried streamlining the whole process: instead of creating a party at a time, I created 20 characters, imported them all at once, used all their gold to buy better equipment from the very start, and sent six of them into the dungeon. This might actually be closer to what the designers intended: when you’re through with Wizardry I, why wouldn’t you bring all your characters to the next game? And it worked pretty well, for a while. When one of them died, there was a replacement ready, and all I had to do was hand him the armor he had already partially paid for. But this was subject to an all-your-eggs-in-one-basket problem: when I finally did suffer a TPK, I basically lost everything. Might as well wipe the disk!

Really, I think, the key is to spread things out. XP is the real treasure here; as I noted in my 2010 posts, once you have even one level-2 character, the whole thing becomes much more survivable. So what I really should be doing is hoarding XP. When a party returns from the dungeon with more XP than they started with, don’t just send them all out again. Send one of them out again, with a bunch of new recruits wearing only as much armor as they can buy with their own funds. If they come back alive, add them to your stockpile. We’re essentially gambling here. Creating a character is ante. Sending a character with nonzero XP is a raise. You don’t want to go all in on every hand.

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