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Caravel Forum : DROD RPG Boards : RPG Holds : The 'Neatherhood (Traditional hold with small numbers)
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9.0/10 (5 votes)
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Author Name:Kieran Millar
Submitted By:kieranmillar
Hold Name:The 'Neatherhood
Theme:Traditional hold with small numbers
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:3
Number of Rooms:48
Number of Monsters:255
Version:DROD RPG: Tendry's Tale (1.2)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:12 (+12 / -0)
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File: The Neatherhood.drh (29.8 KB)
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License: Other
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icon The 'Neatherhood  
The 'Neatherhood is a fairly short hold where the numbers remain small and the focus is on collecting resources at the right time. With no equipment and the item multiplier remaining at 1 throughout the hold, you will need everything you can get to beat the odds and defeat the big bad.

Thanks to all who tested and I hope you enjoy the hold!

Note: There are no hot tiles, aumtlich beams or greckle doublers in this hold.
03-25-2015 at 07:27 PM
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schep
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icon Re: The 'Neatherhood (+2)  
This is a nice hold, not too difficult. Bonus points for the cute frame story.

09-27-2015 at 04:06 PM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: The 'Neatherhood (+2)  
So I've finally mastered this hold the other night, and it's really good. I haven't played a lot of RPG holds, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the best-balanced hold released so far, which might be connected to the fact that the architect is one of the best RPG optimizers out there, so he must know how to create interesting choices.

This hold is small and about the right difficulty for casual players like me. It consists of four different areas connected by a central corridor. All of these areas have their own set of custom monsters and a each of them a very unique but clever layout.

Plus, the story, though it's more or less just an excuse plot, is really funny thanks to the framing device.

I'd love to see more RPG holds like this :)

(Fun fact: I decided to give this hold another go because I wanted to figure out how the custom brains work. Turns out you just have to give them brain appearance. D'oh! Totally worth it, though)

[Last edited by Lucky Luc at 03-01-2016 01:31 PM]
03-01-2016 at 01:29 PM
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Punf
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icon Re: The 'Neatherhood (+6)  
Having just finished this fine hold, it seems logical to write a review of it. Minor spoilers follow, obviously, but I'll enclose any bigger spoilers in secret tags.

Starting with what we're all here for: the gameplay. The hold has a clear division into four sections. Within each section there's all the things you're used to: monsters and doors blocking your path, stat gems, potions and keys to help you through them. And a boss to mark the end of each section. Very traditional - even a little minimalistic.

The 'Neatherhood is a very "pure" hold. Maybe the most pure hold on the holds board. By that I mean that there are no accessories, no altars, no hot tiles, and certainly no trapdoor puzzles. (Okay, there's technically one accessory, but it's basically a fancy key.) In fact, there isn't even any equipment. This gives the hold a very incremental feel: there aren't any big moments where your power suddenly jumps a lot, but instead your stats all grow gradually. And your performance in the hold depends on all the little decisions that add up.

Fortunately, the architect is quite generous with giving you the information to make those decisions. Within each section (with a minor exception at the start of the first) you're allowed visual access to all of the rooms from the beginning. The architect even went to special trouble in the third to fit a little hallway into an already tight room to let you preview it. At the same time the sense of exploration is still there - upon beating the boss, you get access to nine new rooms, and thus lots of places to make decisions.

It's worth remarking on the decision to place the entire hold in one level, rather than spread it out across four. I can only commend this choice. In any hold that allows backtracking (and they do seem to be the majority) the player needs to keep in mind the options available from earlier sections. So why not put them on the same level, so they can be accessed from the map? Perhaps for a longer hold the map would grow too large and unwieldy, but for this hold at least, it worked. I hope more architects consider this option in future. (I can think of a few other examples, such as Funky Grapple.)

One other gameplay design choice stands out. Greckle gates have their standard cost (a constant 10, as the multiplier is always x1) but greckle rewards, instead of increasing as the standard monsters do, are also constant: every monster is worth 2. The effect is dramatic. You know how in most holds, greckles are valuable initially, start to become abundant towards the end of the first level, and become completely worthless every level after that? A few solutions have been tried: some holds give you large greckle purchases to save up for, so that collecting them still means something. But the poor greckle gates still end up a useless element when opening one costs 50 and each fight gives out hundreds. The' Neatherhood goes for a simple solution: stop handing out so many greckles! And so greckle gates become a meaningful obstacle, almost like a fourth colour of door after the usual three, with one fifth of a key inside every monster.

The aesthetic design of the hold is excellent. Each section has a very distinct layout. Go look at the map: it's easy to tell them apart. This adds a sense of variety to the hold and helps to avoid the "same thing with bigger numbers" feeling, as well as tying in with the plot. One downside: navigating the third section (the labyrinth) got tedious after a while. But it never got bad enough that I considered quitting, and the architect's considerate colour coding of the floors helped a lot.

The storyline is serviceable; I enjoyed it and it got a few chuckles out of me. A lot of holds have very minimal plot, so The 'Neatherhood clearly stands out from the pack in that regard. It also explains exactly why the player doesn't have a sword, and has so much trouble with ordinary dungeon roaches - a question that springs to my mind every time I start a hold as Tendry.

Finally, some spoilery stuff. If you haven't found any secret stuff and want a hint:
Click here to view the secret text

And spoilers:
Click here to view the secret text


Anyway, that's The 'Neatherhood. Pretty sweet hold, all in all, in a number of ways. You should probably try it.
07-23-2021 at 04:48 PM
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