Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Orange Key -RoQIV

To reach the inner chambers of the eighth level, the party descended one of the numerous pits leading to a hidden room which Gnarshm had marked in the center of his map.

The hidden room was full of short waterlogged passages which seemed to go nowhere in particular until Elvira spotted a neatly disguised lever at the end of one of the passages.

Upon pulling the lever, the wall to the north gave way leading to a secret room containing a pedestal. On top of the pedestal, a sparkling key seemed to glow a flourescent orange which reflection shone down upon a cold and flooded room.


Iscreem’s boots slushed and trudged through the water as he walked the length of the room to take the key off the pedestal.

Before Iscreem’s outstretched hand could grasp hold of the key, Elvira shouted in warning. “Wait! It could be a trap. Everyone be still for a moment. I think I hear something.”

“I hear something too. Whatever it is, its getting louder.” Greenhat replied.

Suddenly the passages shook and a large thunderous wall of water came racing down the passage towards the adventurers. “A ton of water! Quick! Grab the key.” Gnarshm shouted as the sheer force of the water knocked the gnoll off his feet.


The kobold’s hand clasped the orange key. He barely had time to turn and brace himself when the wall of water smashed into Iscreem, knocking the key out of his hand and back into the water.

As Iscreem again reached for the key, the water changed shape lashing out at the warrior with a set of enormous fangs.

“Water elements! there are elementals in the water!” the kobold shouted as he slashed and cut with his sword.

“The water level is rising!” Sammy yelled in alarm.


“If the water level rises any further we’re gonna be drowning in our metal armors.” Iscreem said as he unhooked his plate mail and tossed it into the water, then dove into the water to retrieve the glowing orange key.

“I’ll fix this.” Twiggy said as she began an incantation while reading from her book of spells.  A giant ball of fire formed about the ceiling, then came searing down scortching the water, evaporating much of it. Within seconds the room was filled with steam making it near impossible to see.

Iscreem’s voice echoed through the steaming room. “I’ve got the key! Now let’s get out of here.” he shouted victoriously after defeating the last of the water elements.




Time Lord #7 – RoQIV

Elvira inserted a quartz key and unlocked the door to the seventh time lord’s lair. After a few steps forward, the party heard an evil laughter echo through the moldy stone passage, and then suddenly Crumm shouted.


“WAIT! I HAVE IDEA!” the ogre warrior said loudly and inarticulately.

“What? You never have an idea, Crumm.” Twiggy blurted out in a seemingly automatic response.

“It must be that Tome of Magi that you gave him to read.” Greenhat suggested.

“Well, what is it Crumm?” Iscreem asked.

“MAGIC USERS GO FIRST!” Crumm continued.

“What? Are you crazy! We’d get slaughtered up there!” Twiggy exclaimed.

Ruby nodded in agreement.

“Wait, that might actually be a good idea. It would give us spellcasters a chance at first dibs to give the old time lord a taste of his own medicine. Then after our spells are cast, Crumm and the rest of the group can charge the time lord and hack him down!” Greenhat stated.

The spellcasters thought it over and reluctantly agreed. The party regrouped in a magic users first formation.


As the party marched through the time lord’s lair, the deathly grasp of liches drew near and reached for the party.


Ruby and Greenhat instantly pulled their crosses and holy books and began reciting the prayer to exile the undead. Ruby began to worry. In between alternating prayer verses the hobbit warned. “The undead are coming near. They will drain us!”

“Focus on your spells, not the vile creatures!” Greenhat exclaimed upon finishing his prayer verse. A beam of light pierced the time lords lair through the stone ceiling from the daylight miles above the dungeon. The liches fall to the ground and burn to ashes.


Red dragons exchanged breath of fire with the magic user. Twiggy sent the flames backwards onto the dragons fighting fire with fire and disintegrating the dragons.


Crumm and Iscreem lead the charge and hack down the Time Lord to pieces. All fought valiantly to take down the seventh time lord.


Victory at last!


Artwork of Don Greer

I’ve recently stumbled across the artwork of Don Greer.

This image is amazing and depicts what I’d imagine if Crumm were to ever fall from the evil hoardes, Iscreem’s reaction would be of that of the warrior in the image below.


Upon doing a bit more searching, I found something even more amazing.

Down in the Dungeon – Don Greer, Rob Stern, 1981

The artwork in Down in the Dungeon is classic rpg style, some really good stuff there.


Making animated .GIF’s with GIMP


Animation above is just under 350 images (screenshots of every move and turn from level one to level seven[battle images were excluded so to just show the path the party took]). The party begins at the entrance of the dungeon and travels through seven levels, reaches the northwestern section of level seven, then Greenhat casts “word of recall” and teleports everyone back to level one where we visit the castles inn and marketplace before again descending to the start of the dungeon where the animation repeats itself infinitely.

Animation with GIMP is easy to use and simple. GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. GIMP is a program that is similar to Photoshop, but free!


First, take the screenshots or images that you want to animate.

1 1.gif

2 2.gif

3 3.gif

4 4.gif

Number your images so that the start of your animation begins with 1.gif or 01.gif or 001.gif depending on how many images you are going to use and each consecutive image has a higher number and store all your images in a folder.

Then open GIMP and click File>Open as Layers. Select the first image and shift-click the last image so you select all of your images that you want to animate. This will add all of your image as their own Layer in GIMP.


If the Layers menu is not visible to you, then click Ctrl+L and the Layer menu will appear like the image above.

Now that you have added all of your desired animation images, click on File>Save As, then make sure to name the file with a .gif extension and also select GIF image(*.gif) in the dropdown selector.

In the next screen you select to “Save as Animation” and click on Export. You can add a comment to describe your animation file if you want, select Loop Forever, and decide how long the Delay between each image will be displayed. For the Lich animation I have chosen 700 milliseconds and selected “Use delay entered above for all frames.

The result is…


Pretty simple right?

There is also an option to convert the animation to greyscale.



Light (L) [priest spell] see darkness

Detect Magic (M) [wizard spell] see teleporters

Invisibility (I) [priest spell] see avoid combat

Wizard’s Eye (W) [wizard spell] see secret doors

Find Traps (T) [priest spell] see pits

Detect Evil (E) [priest spell] see initiative

True Sight (S) [priest spell] see everything

At certain points in the game, these non-combat spells are of vital importance. Light to see in darkness zones, Detect Magic to avoid teleporters and spinners, Invisibility to avoid combat (extra helpful when mapping the dungeon), Wizard’s Eye to locate secret doors, Find Traps to locate pits and to descend pits without falling+hurting characters HP’s, Detect Evil to stop monsters from getting the first attack, True sight for all except invisibility.

The further you descend in the dungeons, the more likely you will bump into Wights, Spectres, and other undead or demon creatures that Drain levels from your characters.

Iscreem had 200+ hit points, and Ruby had 99, but I made the mistake of wandering the dungeon without the aid of Detect Evil (E), ran into a bunch of undead and they got whacked back a few levels as the undead creatures made their initiative rolls and attacked the party before I could do anything to stop them.

Now, when wandering the dungeons I almost always have Detect Evil (E) and Detect Magic (M) activated. Having Detect Evil cast allows my party to always get the first attack. Then my spellcasters can cast spells against monsters with special attacks first so there’s less of a chance for monsters to DRAIN my team’s levels. The last thing you want is to get enough points to train a level, but then get hit multiple times with a Wight’s Drain attack. When we’ve racked up enough XP, it’s time to go back to the castle and train.


Appendix D: Monsters lists all the possible attack types that monsters may use.

BREATH – monster breathes fire at your whole party

CAST – cast a spell to inflict automatic damage against you

CHARM – paralyze by saving throw VS charisma

DEATH – death magic with saving throw VS constitution

DRAIN – drain player’s level with saving throw VS constitution

ERODE – destroy armor by saving throw VS dexterity

GAZE – turn player to stone with saving throw VS intelligence

HEAL – monster heals itself

POISON – player is poisoned when failing to save VS constitution

STUN – paralyze by saving throw VS wisdom

SUMMON – monster cries out for additional reinforcements

SWING – normal melee attack

Age – RoQIV

Per the Realms of Quest IV Manual…

“AGE” found in the table represents the number of years that the player can reach before they’re considered to have achieved old age–and begin to deteriorate in their abilities. 1-3 points will be deducted from one of the six basic characteristics every year that has passed after reaching old age. When one of these reaches zero, that means that the player has died permanently from old age. Elves are not affected by aging, as long as they aren’t killed in the Dungeon, they can remain immortal.

Average AGE attributes according to race in the RoQIV (for reaching old age) is as follows…


While it is not uncommon for players to feel a need to use certain items like books, tomes, and other rare items that give increases to player character stats to their usual locations……(i.e. giving spellcasters a +1 to INT, or giving a thief a +1 to DEX etc.),   in the Realms of Quest IV, age presents a risk to your characters, and the older that they get, the more likely it will be that they die of old age.

Old age will likely affect certain races quicker than others, not only in the fact that certain races only live to reach certain ages set forth in the manual, but also in that some races have below average stats to begin with.

In the stat table above, the symbols mean the following…

+ =means higher than average

* = means average

– denotes below average

Characters with a — notation will have a higher likelihood that they will have a low stat.

+ When you have a character with multiple low stats, like Crumm, who as an Ogre, has an average death age of 60 (similar to humans), but unlike humans, he has a minus modifier of — for INT, WIS, DEX, and CHA, you might start to think that differently about where you give items that give bonuses to character stats.

Crumm….before using a Tome of Magi, and Potion of Long Life (notice INT and AGE)


Then, Crumm after using the Tome of Magi, and Potion of Long Life…


(Now, again…notice the INT and AGE)

The potion of long life took 1 year off of Crumm’s age, and the tome of magi added 1 point to INT.

Now, if Crumm were to reach an age of  61, 1-3 points would be deducted from one of the six stats for every year beyond an Ogre’s old age of 60. Now, if that stat had also happened to be INT and the dice roll had happened to be 3, he’d still have 1 INT point left, saving Crumm from certain death. :o)