Down in the Braemar Combat Testing Facility, Alley Oop, and I decided to try out the new Explosive Potion, the Haste Potion and the Caltrops to see what sort of damage they can do and how best to use them. Alley Oop was leading the experiments and we chose the proving grounds of Ravenswood North. Who’s going to care if we set the forest on fire with a bunch of skeletons in it, right?

The first part of the experiment was to try the Haste Potion. It’s purpose is to improve attack speed, but Alley Oop is already lightning fast and thus no improvements could be made or the increase was negligible. I also gave it a try and really couldn’t see a noticeable improvement either and we all know I move like a lummox. It’s sort of hard to tell what is actually supposed to be improved so for right now the verdict is out on this one.

Next up was the Explosive Potion, which I have to admit had me on pins and needles with excitement to see how it worked. It’s a Molotov Cocktail of good fun and makes a satisfying boom when it goes off! The skeletons seemed quite surprised as they caught fire. It’s hard to tell if there’s any damage over time or if the Explosive Potion is a one-hit wonder. There are a couple of advantages though. One, it doesn’t fizzle so it’s an almost guaranteed hit. I say almost since if your target is moving you may not hit the intended area before the target moves. Two, you don’t need to keep a slew of reagents on hand unlike the fireball spell, which this sort of emulates. Three, it can help the melee fighter throw some damage from across the room before engaging multiple enemies. This can be an advantage to the brute force player like myself who has clearly proven himself to have some limitations when it comes to magic. Finally, it’s just fun to throw explosives around. Seriously, you can’t beat that. They are a touch expensive, but there is a recipe to make your own. Makin’ explosives in the basement! Let’s get to it!

For our last experiment, we tried the Caltrop. I wasn’t quite sure what these were, but they’re shrapnel you throw on the ground to slow down your enemies and cause damage as they walk around trying to knock your block off. I tried these out on the Bandits of Ravenswood North and it seemed to cause them some pain and distress in their feet as they stood attacking me. It’s not huge damage, but every little bit helps. I can see these being used to draw out a series of enemies and coax them toward you and laugh as they walk over a blanket of barbs. Obviously not going to have an impact on ghosts or Lich.

So what’s the verdict from our testing? Well, we clearly concluded that Alley Oop is far to badass for these to improve her ability to dispatch enemies. We also proved that I would get myself blown up as I have a tendency to throw explosives all over the place with complete disregard to the safety of my party.

Those two things aside, the potions and caltrops take a long time to get ready once you get into combat. All your other skills will be ready and you will have used them once or twice before the potions become available. Haste makes waste, but we’re not sure Haste actually makes you faster. This needs more investigation. Explosive is fun and does provide some help to the melee player. They are expensive, but they don’t fizzle. If they have damage over time, they would be pretty darn useful. And they look cool! Caltrops can be useful, but you have to plan ahead to use them. Narrow hallways are the ideal use, so open areas won’t do much for you. You also need the right enemy that actually touches the floor.

As an aside, we also learned that you can’t fight the Bandits while swimming in the pond. However, there are certain parts where they can touch the bottom and attack, but you’re still swimming and can’t attack back. I noticed a couple of times they were walking and we were swimming while in the same spot.

Overall, not a bad first iteration. They show some promise for certain types of players. I can see someone (me) having fun, standing in the corner on top of a barrel raining these down on an enemy, not that I’ve spent too much time thinking about such things.

After the combat experiment was done, we headed back to Kingsport and came across a hearty game of King of the Mountain, or perhaps in this case it was Queen of the Mountain. It seems a war of factions has broken out in Kingsport. I’m not sure if we have a land dispute, stolen sheep, cat napping, or if a score must be settled, but there is tension in the air and battles on the rocks.

Combat isn’t limited to Kingsport. Once back in Braemar, we came across two warriors grappling in the streets, right in front of the tavern. But unlike other battles we’ve seen, this didn’t contain any magic. There were no spells being cast from yards away. This was an up close and personal duel, man to man, hand to hand. They traded blows in true gladiator style. To be honest, it was Epic! They stood toe to toe until the end. You don’t see that sort of combat very often. Most of the time they dance around each other and launch a spell from the safety of a hidden corner. These two duked it out the old fashioned way. Most impressive.

So we learned a few things and saw a few things. Not a bad night of combat and who can complain about setting skeletons and bandits on fire?? SotA_01-06-15_21-03_1

Look who’s on fire now!! That’s what you get for shooting me in the ass! No one shoots PeteWi in the ass and gets away with it! No one!


Kind of creepy to have this guy running toward me like that. I guess he’s a bit miffed about the fireball I threw. Good aim though.


Taking a break to keep the armor clean. Why does it look like I’m boiling or doing something woefully unsavory in the water? Oh yeah, and no battling Bandits while in the pond.


Alley Oop trying out the Explosive Potion. At least I think it was the Explosive Potion. Maybe she just got fed up and set him on fire the old fashioned way. Either way, he was on fire. I was amused.


Hello Bandit! Nice shade of orange you’re wearing there.


A mighty game of Queen of the Mountain over in Kingsport.


Battling it out on the streets of Braemar.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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