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 Post subject: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:30 am 


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Joined: 11 Apr 2012
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Location: Germany
hello,

i would like to dive into the wonderful world of classic old shool pc rpgs
like jagged alliance, fallout, baldurs gate, bards tale and so on.

which is the best and most comfortable/cheapest way to play these games?

i don´t have a pc by the way. XD

thanks
gbaplayer
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:18 am 


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Dosbox or updated versions for modern systems like they sometimes sell on steam or gog are the easiest ways but -

gbaplayer wrote:
i don´t have a pc by the way. XD


- that's going to make things a lot harder.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:09 pm 


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"The Bard's Tale" released for PS2, Xbox and PC A.D. 2004 has precious little in common with the original Bard's Tale series, but the "real" Bard's Tale trilogy can be found on its disc, packaged with emulator, so you technically can play it on a console without much trouble. The second thing that comes to mind is Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragon Bone Staff (PS2 title) which I have not played, but the English Wikipedia is telling me that's practically the "old" King's Bounty, enhanced graphically to an extent, but hardly changed otherwise. I believe that some oldies like the original Wizardry (before branching off as a Japanese series) got ported to early console systems.

Now, how "classic" or even "RPG" you consider those is none of my business, but I've had a good time with the PSX Diablo port in its shared screen 2 player mode, also, if the PSX Darkstone port (?) is any good, that's one way of playing it without a PC (I found Darkstone more adventurous than about every Diablo clone I recall playing myself, Diablo II numbered among them).
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:08 pm 


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All of the titles you mentioned will easily run on your grandmother's ancient Pentium running Windows 98 or possibly even XP. Old computers shouldn't be too hard to find and aren't likely to set you back much.

Failing that, your choices are limited to running PCem or one of the better DOSBox forks on a fast machine or getting your games off GOG.
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:47 am 


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I'm in a similar boat in that I want to work my way up to Planescape Torment by playing Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 first. I never played these back in the day as my family computer was a Mac :?.

I was always jelly of the people that got to play these games when they first came out. The only WRPG experience that I had back then was the Exile games from Spiderweb Software.

Technically speaking I'm all set. I got the whole set on Steam and they seem to run well on my 2011 Macbook Pro. I'm not averse to playing old RPGs (replayed Phantasy Star 2 on Genesis a couple of years back, also recently beat the Ages version of Phantasy Star on Switch). What I need is help ripping a hole in the space-time continuum so that I have time to complete these 100 hour beasts. I guess getting into the late 90s early 2000s head-space would help as well.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:11 pm 



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I've been wanting to make a real effort on Septerra Core, but this is the kind of game that relies on legacy software and I doubt quicktime has been supported in ages. Heck I don't think it even has a replacement that will work with it.

Now I've tried Diablo 1 on windows 10, but I think I've got the 2-screen bug that takes my screen out and I have to get a set of unofficial patches for it. This makes me scared D2 is going to run into something similar.
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:57 pm 


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Cool thing with Diablo 1 is that the OG disc still runs just fine natively on Windows 7(well, there's probably some software back-compat at play, but you know what I'm saying : no virtual machine required)! I bought a copy at a thrift store last year and took a chance and threw it in my day to day pc which is running on Windows 7, and there you go, I was playing Diablo. Chose VGA resolution and it showed as such on my TV.

Only thing is that you gotta disable Aero desktop in display configs(which is transparency layer for the Windows explorer and desktop)


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:03 pm 


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As much as I enjoy the Baldur's Gate series, I'm not sure if I'd recommend them to people nowadays. The games are very inaccessible if you're not familiar with the obsolete D&D 2nd edition ruleset.

Specially if you start with Baldur's Gate 1. A lv1 character is so weak even a common rat can kill you. For story-related reasons, metal weapons break very easily and it'll take quite a bit of time to fix that. The THAC0 and armor class system makes no logical sense. And at the first place you go in the game, you meet an enemy wizard that can easily kill you. There are too many hurdles that will scare away newcomers.

If you start with BG2, you will begin at a higher level but you need to know the game mechanics to not end up creating a gimped character and having issues later on. I found the dungeon you start in to be quite a slog too.

They are amazing games, that's for sure, but you need to be willing to invest a lot of time to enjoy them.
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:22 pm 


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I never thought about it that way, but I suppose you are right for most people now. Especially younger people.

Even back on BG2 release I went into it without much knowledge and beat it the first go round.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:48 pm 


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Ruldra wrote:
As much as I enjoy the Baldur's Gate series, I'm not sure if I'd recommend them to people nowadays. The games are very inaccessible if you're not familiar with the obsolete D&D 2nd edition ruleset

That's a good point, I never thought about it this way. For me though those caveats are precisely why I liked Baldur's Gate :mrgreen: I know the 2nd edition D&D rules by heart (including THAC0, never had a problem with that, it's just how I learned the game), I love the challenge of starting with weak-ass barely-stronger-than-a-peasent character and building him up, risking getting anihilated by bumping in a boss that's best being faced much later in the game, etc etc etc


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:28 pm 


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I'll never understand why people have a hard time with THAC0. Roll your attack die, add the opponent's armor class -- is greater than or equal to your THAC0? If so, you hit.

It's really a lot easier than 3Es BAB.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:24 pm 


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Location: Berkeley, CA
Ruldra wrote:
As much as I enjoy the Baldur's Gate series, I'm not sure if I'd recommend them to people nowadays. The games are very inaccessible if you're not familiar with the obsolete D&D 2nd edition ruleset.

Specially if you start with Baldur's Gate 1. A lv1 character is so weak even a common rat can kill you. For story-related reasons, metal weapons break very easily and it'll take quite a bit of time to fix that. The THAC0 and armor class system makes no logical sense. And at the first place you go in the game, you meet an enemy wizard that can easily kill you. There are too many hurdles that will scare away newcomers.

If you start with BG2, you will begin at a higher level but you need to know the game mechanics to not end up creating a gimped character and having issues later on. I found the dungeon you start in to be quite a slog too.

They are amazing games, that's for sure, but you need to be willing to invest a lot of time to enjoy them.


Thanks for the advice. That's why I haven't started playing BG yet, I think I knew instinctively that It won't do any good to start playing until I'm ready to invest the time researching the system.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:03 pm 


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Obscura wrote:
I'll never understand why people have a hard time with THAC0.

Same


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:14 pm 


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Doesn't really count, but Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is a pair of fantastic diablolikes. They're PS2/Xbox games, though the first was also on GameCube for some reason. Sure wish the second one was on GC...
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:37 pm 


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Despatche wrote:
Doesn't really count, but Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is a pair of fantastic diablolikes. They're PS2/Xbox games, though the first was also on GameCube for some reason. Sure wish the second one was on GC...


Both of them and the Champions games are great fun with a couple friends.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:54 am 



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You don't need to know AD&D rules to play the Baldur's Gate games. Just because it shows you the underlying ruleset doesn't mean it's important to understand every part of it.

Why would you for example need to understand AC? Plate mail is more protective than leather armor. Within like, 5 seconds of experimenting with that you'll realize lower numbers are better. THAC0? Higher numbers are better which you should figure out after 5 seconds of looking at expensive magic weapons in shops. It's not like the game is demanding you throw the dice and calculate the results yourself.

That said, I wouldn't recommend playing Baldur's Gate, just skip straight to the sequel which is a much better game.
scrilla4rella wrote:
Thanks for the advice. That's why I haven't started playing BG yet, I think I knew instinctively that It won't do any good to start playing until I'm ready to invest the time researching the system.

Don't do that. Baldur's Gate II is way, way too easy if you understand it.
headlesshobbs wrote:
I've been wanting to make a real effort on Septerra Core, but this is the kind of game that relies on legacy software and I doubt quicktime has been supported in ages. Heck I don't think it even has a replacement that will work with it.

GoG have sold versions of Septerra Core that works on modern systems, Steam still do.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:59 am 


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I´m really looking forward to the recently announced console ports of Baldurs Gate, Planescape Torment and Neverwinter Nights.
They will be release from Skybound games later this year and from PAX 2019 i expect more news.
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:57 pm 


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ZellSF wrote:
THAC0? Higher numbers are better which you should figure out after 5 seconds of looking at expensive magic weapons in shops. It's not like the game is demanding you throw the dice and calculate the results yourself.

Except low THAC0 is better, not high. THAC0 is the number you need to roll at or above to hit an opponent with AC 0. Weapons have attack bonuses expressed as modifiers to the attack roll, not THAC0, which is why "+5" is good.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:20 pm 



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Obscura wrote:
ZellSF wrote:
THAC0? Higher numbers are better which you should figure out after 5 seconds of looking at expensive magic weapons in shops. It's not like the game is demanding you throw the dice and calculate the results yourself.

Except low THAC0 is better, not high. THAC0 is the number you need to roll at or above to hit an opponent with AC 0. Weapons have attack bonuses expressed as modifiers to the attack roll, not THAC0, which is why "+5" is good.

Pretty much proves my point though, I have played the infinity engine games a ton of times and I still messed that up. I probably would've known if I thought slightly about it, but the weapon descriptions is all you'll ever need to look at anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:56 pm 


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I used to have a problem with folks speaking of, say, Diablo and Planescape: Torment as if they belonged to the same genre, but seeing some of titles mentioned above, I have to ask whether anyone else's kept fond memories of Divine Divinity? Much like Darkstone, to me it seemed like a more inspiring implementation of Diablo-style gameplay than most Diablo clones on PC. Also, I thought the graphics in DD looked pretty handsome, in a fairly time-proof kind of way (on LCD it is essential to make sure there's no scaling, though, has to be razor-sharp).
The very moment I'm typing this, Heroes Orchestra plays the Stronghold tune from HoM&M3 on the radio, never heard about them before. Apparently as they slowly run out of HoM&M themes not yet arranged, plans are being made for extending their repertoire to Baldur's Gate, Gothic and NWN themes, yay.

gbaplayer wrote:
I´m really looking forward to the recently announced console ports of Baldurs Gate, Planescape Torment and Neverwinter Nights.
They will be release from Skybound games later this year and from PAX 2019 i expect more news.

Don't expect the gaming experience without mouse & keyboard to match the comfort of playing with them. Just saying.
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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:30 am 


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I've recently found out that archive.org has a ton of DOS games that can be played in a browser. Seems like it might be the sort of thing you're looking for? I dunno if I'd want to play through an entire, super long game that way but it should be good for shorter games or for trying things out.


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 Post subject: Re: How to play classic PC RPGs?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:03 am 


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I recommend trying Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Hong Kong. They run on Macs too.
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