Memory Lane – Estates of Seth

Now this one I do remember. Following the dismal ???? of Seth (discussed in last week’s blog) I approached my next game more methodically. I wanted to do a full rewrite of the Pits engine. No more of the round-robin combat – now you’d actually have locations to worry about. I think we also put minor magic into the game, so there were wizards and archery, too. Now everything was done on a grid, with ranges and blocking squares and all that.

The Estates were outside of town, a ruin of a mansion with walls around it, fallen- down, roofless rooms inside and a level of vaults below. You could actually walk wherever you wanted, even leaving the party (those slugs!) and go wherever you pleased. And wandering monsters actually wandered, occasionally leaving their lairs to bump around the halls for a bit before returning. Oh, there was even an “outside” town-to-estates-and-back game, automatically linking the first Pits game to the second. And, oh, the things we could do with fonts. I even had the writing in an olde-englishe font.

It was an okay game – we played it on and off for a bit. I think most of us were transitioning in our lives – I was leaving home to go to Tech and my brother and his friends were budding out of the larval stage and becoming something resembling pre-formed humans. It was a good game, probably better designed and written than the other two, but for some reason just not as much fun as the original. And that’s the thing about game design. You might think that you’ve made great strides over your former games but when it’s all said and done, it’s just, well, meh.

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