Ultima Journeys: Courting Trouble (in Savage Empire)

Linguistic Dragon has emerged from his lair and published a new entry on his ongoing — though recently dormant — Ultima Journeys blog:

When last I left our intrepid heroes (ages ago – I suppose this really is a valley stuck in time, isn’t it?) I was preparing for a trip to Tichticatl, the grand capital city of the Nahuatla. There, I would find a way to restore a king to his rightful place, clinching the support of the most advanced tribe in the valley, and guaranteeing their aid in the efforts against the Myrmidex.

But first, I stopped to talk to a lizard.

As always, you’ll want to read the whole thing; I can’t even begin to think where to excerpt from in the post. Well, except to maybe highlight a bit or two from Linguistic’s closing thoughts:

I have some thoughts about the plot of the game as a result of this update, but I think I’ll reserve those for the game’s culmination proper. For now I’ll just say that an open world can lead to some pacing issues when it comes to game story, and I think that came into play a bit during this session. It’s nice to finally get some backstory and a sense of the larger scheme of things, but the fact I waited this long to get to the Nahuatla city meant that I didn’t get that particular piece of the plot until much later, and I think it would have helped having it earlier.

That’s not to say that I think it’s necessarily bad, but– well. Again, I think that’s something to be saved for my eventual wrap-up post.

I did have one other thought while putting this together, though, and that’s an inexplicable aversion to calling my merry band of adventurers a “party.” I’ve consciously avoided using the word while composing the narrative of my travels through Britannia and beyond, and I still can’t figure out exactly why. At first I thought it was simply a term that sounded too “game-ish” to my ear, and I’ve made an effort to make these posts, at least the bits describing my gameplay, to feel a bit more story-like. But then I remembered that I’ve had no hesitation about including things like leveling up, which is very much a game mechanic aspect that I haven’t had any compunction about throwing about willy-nilly.

Here’s hoping that Linguistic can find more time to continue playing through Ultima games in the near future. And, maybe, to rejoin Spam Spam Spam Humbug as well; I know that you all miss his presence there as much as we do!