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Heroes Community > Tavern of the Rising Sun > Thread: "Erathian Cultures and Drug Abuse" - Essays from another time
Thread: "Erathian Cultures and Drug Abuse" - Essays from another time This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 07:12 PM bonus applied by OmegaDestroyer on 24 Mar 2016.
Edited by JollyJoker at 12:05, 25 Mar 2016.

A few may know these, but I stumbled on a series of 8 short essays I wrote some 15 years ago. It started with a simple thought - what kind of drugs might be en vogue in such alien towns as the Inferno, when humans drink -, and what follows basically wrote itself, everything falling into place quite nicely.

Keep in mind that this H3, so towns and heroes are a bit different than in Ashan (where things probably might work as well, albeit with different names).

I'm going to re-post the essays over the next weeks, editing this first post. You are welcome to comment.


I. THE CASTLE

In Castle society drugs are generally forbidden and the use - or abuse - of drugs is thought of as something near heresy. Fortunately alcohol isn't considered a drug (for various reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the monks invented beer brewing) so people are free to drink. The laws governing production, trade and use of drugs are pretty strict, so strict, in fact, that people are thoroughly discouraged to even try to get illegal stuff. Ingham, chief of the Clerics' Drug Department (CDD), is known for his inquisitive nature when he suspects cases of continued drug abuse. Of course, there are drugs of healing, but the authorities take great care to get their supplies from the Tower labs instead of the Rampart (for the reason see parts 3 and 2 of this study). So it comes as no surprise that Castle Taverns are pretty close-packed most of the time.

AVAILABILITY AND ADMINISTRATION:
The most common form is beer or ale. Essentially this comes in three variations: light (blonde), medium (dark) and strong (black). Every Castle town brews its own stuff, usually in the Monastery, and some brands have a country-wide reputation, but there is a fierce competition with the Dwarven-brew which is the strongest beer available in Erathia (see Rampart).
No Tavern ever lacks beer.
Wine is of course as common, but there are big regional differences in quality and a halfway decent cup of wine is rather expensive in some areas. There is the odd dive that doesn't serve wine at all.
Spirits are the most potent form of alcohol and there are some forms, especially one called absinthe, that the CDD is considering to ban because of its side effects. Spirits are distilled out of grain mostly, but there are some notable exceptions: Fruit spirits are very popular in mountain areas and there seems to be a rule that the stuff has to be all the stronger the higher up a Castle is located in the mountains. The same is true for colder regions where potent spirits are used to fight the outer chill with inner fire. A very commo spirit in those region is one distilled out of potatoes.

CLASS-SPECIFIC HABITS:
Interestingly enough Knights seem to prefer wine while the Clerics and Monks and such seem to be more fond of beer - of course both DO appreciate the spirits.

USE IN BATTLE:
Of course. Castle armies make use of alcohol in battle. Drinking a flask of spirit prior to battle is rather common for the foot-soldiers, but prohibited for Marksmen. They are allowed only light beer, apparently to guarantee a steady hand (for whatever reason those hand may tremble!). Anyway, the real reason for the loud singing you hear when Castle armies move into battle is that foot-soldiers are completely drunk.

ILL EFFECTS:
All in all it has to be said that the percentage of habitual drinkers in Castle society is pretty high: Visit any tavern in any Castle at any time and you will find people in all stages of drunkenness, from just having ordered the first tankard to lying under the table and snoring. The main reason for this seems to be a phenomenon that is causing something like a loop effect: excessive drinking, especially when mixing different kind of drink, seems to lead inevitably to a special kind of headache commonly known as "hangover" which apparently CAN be cured (provided the victim has a strong stomach) by beginning the next day with drinking a certain measure of the stuff you drunk the night before which will inevitably lead to another day (and especially night) of excessive drinking... ad infinitum.

FAMOUS KNOWN AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
The Cleric Cuthbert is a known alcoholic - and has enough reason to be one, judging by his looks. The Clerics Adelaide, Rion and Sanya are rumored to have experience with drugs of other societies (and continually and presently so: Adelaide and Sanya with Fortress and Rion with Tower), so Ingham is investigating them. Of course Ingham himself is rumored of having contacts to certain Inferno or Dungeon dealers (see there for more info), but those are probably unfounded. Lord Haart has supposedly been addictive to some unspeakably evil drug so that his high gold demand eventually had a decisive influence on him becoming a traitor. The Knights Sir Mullich and Christian are well known for their nearly Dwarfish capacity "to put away" unbelievable quantities of any known drink. Lastly Sylvia is rumoured to be at sea so often to get away from the bottle she seems to have strong ties with when on land. Of course the human foot-soldiers in Castle society are more or less alcoholics.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
1) DON'T mix it, baby!
2) Keep with light beer, at least until after dusk!


II. RAMPART

Since the Rampart society is something of a nature community this society is pretty familiar with drugs where nature produces them. The two backbone pillars of the Rampart society, Dwarves and Elves, couldn't be more different, though. Dwarves are a pretty conservative lot and need strict laws or rules to lean on while Elves are strong advocates of maximum freedom of the individual and personal responsibility. Who really has the say in Rampart society becomes obvious immediately when considering the fact that there is not even one single OFFICIAL law in effect that rules trade and use of drugs! Every member of the Rampart society is completely free to buy, sell, produce, and use every possible drug and every drug is freely available in their natural form in the healer shops that sell Druidic supplies. The Elves seem to have a natural resistance against every kind of addictiveness and as one can expect, Elves are doing pretty well under these circumstances. Dwarves, on the other hand, tend to fall into a habit pretty fast. That's why the Dwarven community, displeased with the lax Elven laws, has their own - inofficial - drug laws that are in effect for members of the Dwarven race only.

All this means, that, discounting the - mostly human - "drug tourists" for a moment, the so-called "drug-heaven" Rampart is surprisingly drug-free: you can get every known drug there, but not much is consummated regularly by their permanent members except for medical reasons, if any. Rampart makes use of every known herb for healing purposes and the Healer Druids will apply them, when necessary. Those nature products have pleasant side-effects which Druids claim are quite helpful since the mental state of a wounded or ill will affect the speed of a healing process. Of course those herbs and potions will lead to addictiveness when used too long or regularly (just as the artificial Tower products, see there) - at least when you are NOT an Elf. The Castle society prefers to import their healing drugs from the Tower society (see there) because Castle society seems to have an unwritten law that healing drugs must not have pleasant side-effects, for whatever the real reason behind that may be.

On the other hand there are strong trading ties between said Druidic herbalists and most other towns' societies because the latter buy from the former at least part of the basic substances necessary for their drugs, as far as those are parts of plants! Ties are on a more friendly basis between Rampart and Fortress because there are those plants Witches have more expertise in than Druids (see Fortress) and so both parties do profit from trading plants and knowledge.

AVAILABILITY, ADIMINISTRATION AND CLASS-SPECIFIC HABITS:
Surprisingly enough (or maybe not that surprisingly, actually) only two drugs are of importance for the daily life. Dwarves are well-known for their famous Dwarven-brew, a very potent black ale that even Ogres (see Stronghold) have a healthy respect for. Any Rampart tavern will serve the stuff, but the visitor can get imported brands, too. Wine and spirits are also available, but especially the spirits can be pretty expensive. While Dwarves will drink often and "can put away a lot" (and do), Elves won't. They are content with a mug of tea or maybe a cup of wine while smoking their "Elven-weed" (the nickname "weedeater" for members of the Elven race is actually a misunderstanding: they don't EAT the weed, they SMOKE it). Elven-weed is a mix of dried hemp leaves and the resin of the hemp blossoms (you can buy and smoke it separated, but then the stuff is named differently) - the more resin, the stronger the mix - and it is available in every tavern, but especially in the so-called "tea shops". The Elves are so versed in their herb lore that they are able to produce a couple dozen different kinds of their Elfen-weed that all have typically Elvish colourful names like Homestead-Gold and with all brands having slightly different effects, from enducing mild euphoria to stunning the user into something known as "being stoned", actually a pretty accurate description of what is happening (see under ILL EFFECTS). As a rule, with the weed it is as with the beer: the darker the resin, the more "stoning" the mix.

USE IN BATTLE:
In reality Elves are so cool and deadly bow shooters because they smoke their weed prior to every battle while Dwarves are prohibited to smoke weed prior to battle (see ILL EFFECTS) but will empty one or another tankard of their brew. Of course Elves never fail to point out how much better their way is, because medical help has much better chances of success with an empty stomach, especially in case of a belly wound! Centaurs seem to fall for the Elven propaganda (maybe because of their big bellies) because they are known to smoke the lighter weeds prior to battle. Dendroids can't smoke at all because of an instinctive fear of fire. Nothing is known about the Dragons except that they produce their own smoke sometimes when angry.

ILL EFFECTS:
Elven-weed and Dwarven-brew are the only drugs that the Dwarven community allows their members and it comes as no surprise that the Dwarves are pretty fond of those weed mixes that will make the user believe that food and drink is much tastier than usual - and pretty much all of the mixes will have this effect. In fact this has led many a Dwarf to plundering the contents of their pantries in the middle of the night. While this seems tp be more amusing than anything else it has lead to a lot of health problems with Dwarves tending to fatness and generally to a life of sweet(and of course stoned) lazyness (the worst sin in Dwarven society).

One effect of smoking Elven-weed, the fact that smokers often lose themselves in thought processes that "unstoned" people might find trivial, often convinced that they have fascinating new insights concerning every imaginable thing that virtually comes to mind (and in fact this is what being stoned is all about), leads to users appearing to be - characteristically - slow and even paralyzed. While this may be of little consequence when sitting nice and comfy in a local tea shop it can easily lead to disaster in more sensible situations like, for example, in any kind of test or in battle: it may cost valuable time when a bow shooter aims and suddenly finds something very fascinating in the way some rapidly approaching Minotaur Kings swing their battle axes with this in turn leading to some enlighteningly fresh considerations about the importance of threatening gestures in the history of society.

Another big problem is of course the so-called "drug tourism": Since the Dwarves have conceived their "holiday resorts", rentable cottages in a separated area of a Rampart - of course without any access to drug-selling shops to cater for the squeamishness of the Castle folk - "to show the townsfolk the beauty of the woods" (and of course to fill the Dwarven pockets with gold) especially humans are fond of the freedom the Elven dominated Rampart society grants in all drug-related questions and some of the bored young Castle dwellers who have heard stories from friends or were actually there on a short holiday with Mom and Dad, run away from home to make it to the promised land of poppy milk and honeyed Elven-weed. However, it is virtually impossible to obtain a permanent residence permit without being either obscenely rich or obscenely talented and most hopeful youths have to leave after a short week of relishing tea and healer shops and will have grave problems to find their way back into the unwelcoming and unforgiving arms of the harsher Castle society. A certain number will turn to other cities, mainly Inferno and Dungeon, a few even to Fortress and Tower and even fewer to Stronghold (see there) and fall victim to deadly habits pretty soon.
It has to be said, though, that all in all the "nature community" works surprisingly well - for their regular and permanent members at least.

FAMOUS KNOWN AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
All known Elven heroes and all Druids, Elf or not, smoke Elven-weed - without any apparent ill effects which in light of all the known facts isn't that much of a surprise. All Dwarven heroes are famous for their massive tolerance concerning Dwarven-brew. It is certainly true that at least all Elven heroes and probably some of the human Rampart heroes have tried other stuff, especially that of the Fortress (see there), but if so it didn't or doesn't happen on a regular or habitual basis and no one seems to have a problem with it, so there don't seem to be any insider victims.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
If you are an Elf: some people have all the luck. If not:
1) Don't mix it, baby;
2) Keep with the light resins, at least until after dusk;
3)Keep out of healer shops if NOT with a Druid to show you around and help you!


III. TOWER

The Tower society, that is, the Alchemists' labs there, are developing and producing all artificial drugs known in all Erathia - and they are pretty busy developing new and more effective ones every day. Apparently the original reason for doing this was the sincere belief of the Alchemists and Wizards, they could do better than nature and produce better, more potent and less dangerous or addictive medical drugs. That was the beginning of a nowadays blooming multi-million gold piece business that pretty soon after its establishing expanded to cover every drug-related need, not only in the strictly medical field. It IS true, that it was in the Alchemists' labs where the prerequisites were developed that are necessary for producing the potent stuffs that rule the Inferno and Dungeon societies nowadays (see there) and there is no doubt that the Tower society is far from fulfilling their promise of delivering the perfect and safe drug for every need and purpose.

Since the creation of the first so-called "designer-drug" the Tower society has gone a long way toward developing not only artificial versions or alterations of known nature drugs, but also toward designing a plethora of hitherto unknown and at least in some cases extremely dangerous substances that nature saw no reason to provide.

AVAILABILITY AND ADMINISTRATION:
Today an Alchemist's shop will provide the user with pills, powders, and potions, tonics, tabs, and treatments that will address every real or imagined problem of the user - only to give him two new ones for each one halfway cured. In the Castle society you will need a prescription of a real doctor to get the stuff and since the CDD (see Castle) is pretty sharp, abuse is not really a problem there, while the stuff would be freely available in the Rampart society, but the nature community disapproves the Tower way and consequently disapproves and rejects the Tower products. The Tower society itself has a lot of problems with it, though, since there are no regulations whatsoever (this is BUSINESS, remember, see ILL EFFECTS). Taverns are few and empty at times. Of course there is some drinking and you will get the usual drinks there, but prices are ridiculous. Taverns sell the most common feelgood pills and powders which are actually cheaper than the glass of water with which to gulp down the stuff.

USE IN BATTLE:
What do you think? Fear killers, pain killers, "speed" (see (Ill Effects), beserker stuff, you name it!

ILL EFFECTS:
Too many to name them all and of yourse each and every product has them. In a way it's the biggest victims of Tower society, the Gremlins, who got it all started. They are the work slaves of the Wizards and Alchemists since the dawn of time and in ancient times they chewed certain leaves delivered by the Rampart which helped them enduring the heavy labour in the Workshops and almost everywhere hands were needed, but since those were pretty expensive in the constantly growing quantities needed and seemed to have unpleasant side-effects in every-day-use at that, the Alchemists successfully tried to isolate the agent that was responsible for the effect of the leave to eventually come up with an artificial ersatz – actually they found a whole lot, but isolated only the strongest, a white crystalline powder called "snow", that left a lasting impression and not only in the Tower society.

Of course snow was banned shortly after that. It was the first but not the last in a long row of lab-produced stuff leaving lasting impressions. Probably the worst stuff that ever left the Tower labs was the ersatz that hit the market right after snow was banned: the so-called "amphetamines" or "speed". It wasn't long after the initial introduction of this new high in scientific achievements that the known phrase "speed kills", until that point a pretty accurate description of battlefield realities, got a completely new meaning: the regular users, and every Tower soldier was one at that point, fell victim to a new phenomenon, the "burning-out": if life was a candle those of speed users would simply burn down faster (but not necessarily brighter). Today the Gremlins are generally highly and hopelessly addicted to the artificial stimulants they help to produce (but of course they are far from being the only ones).

Probably even worse is, that generally Gremlins are used as subjects when the Alchemists test their newly designed drugs - generally, but not always, as we will hear from our interview guest who won't tell us, um, his or her real name or gender.

Question: Describe your current job, please.
Answer: I'm a designer of psycho-active substances.
Q: Psycho-active substances? Medical drugs, you mean?
A: Well, not exactly. Drugs, yes, medical, umm, I suppose, you could say so, but not in the strictest sense, if you get my drift.
Q: No, not really. Medical or not medical?
A: It can be used for medical purposes provided those puposes include the healing of mental ailments.
Q: Such as?
A: Well, depression, for one thing; euphoria for another. Violent aggressiveness, nervous insomnia, to name only a few. Mental apathy...
Q: Okay. Tell us about YBA0, please.
A: Oh, yeah. That stuff. Well. It was a pre-product, developed for Genies, initially, and it had some promise. Before we could test it...
Q: How? I mean, how will you test a product?
A: There are always volunteers. Gremlins who won't get promoted to Master, human runaways being stranded here after being banned from a Rampart... There is never a shortage of subjects. Anyway, before we could test it, some Leprechauns stole it and popped the stuff - which proved to be pretty unfortunate for them, because from then on they couldn't stop dancing anymore in their mystical gardens. They should have waited some time; we managed to refine the product to the stuff now widely known as XTC.
Q: Is it true that the Genies are pretty fond of that stuff?
A: There was a time when it seemed that they didn't react well to lamp-rubbing anymore. They had lost motivation somehow. We decided to encourage them a bit. However, for them XTC is what catnip is for cats. There are no ill effects. At least with the Genies. With humans... well. Still, probably our best work.
Q: And the Angel Dust Scandal?
A: Unfortunate name, really. Got us an official protest of the Angels and we changed the name to Giant Powder, but somehow the original name stuck.
Q: What about the Acid Incident?
A: Uh, that was embarrassing. But who'd have thought the stuff was so, umm, yielding. Actually an apprentice just cleaned the gear which apparently had some of the stuff in it. He did it at a very frequented well and a few hours later half of the town had freaked out completely. It turned out we had a delegation of Sprites on an official visit and some Master Gremlins who had drunk from the water of the well had some strange visions about them. It didn't help that the Sprites had had something from the water as well and the ensuing spectacle... well. Not many really noticed what happened because all were on their own trips. Anyway, we had to pump the well dry. And since then I can't remember any Sprites visiting us. But those things you mentioned are just small setbacks, really!
Q: Is that so? What about the...
A: Excuse me, but I really have to go now.

FAMOUS KNOWN AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
The Alchemists are more or less all victims of their own medicine. All Genies seem to be fond of XTC and the Genie heroes, whether Alchemists or Wizards, are no exception. The stuff was designed especially for them and they react on it quite different than humans. There seem to be no ill effects for Genies. Piquedram and Josephine who both have an uncanny command over the animated creatures, regularly pop a stuff called valium which seems to change them - or at least their look - so that the Gargoyles and Golems will take them for one of their own. Cyra is a speed freak (as well as virtually all the Gremlins), while Serena is known for her parties featuring surprise pills, usually in the form of drinks doctored with the hallucinogene called acid.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
1) DON'T mix it, baby;
2) Pop at most ONE pill or dose of anything on any given day - and not before dusk.


IV: FORTRESS

It's safe to say, that the Fortress society is the most mysterious of them all, and not much is known about it, but mystery has a long tradition as far as Witches are concerned. It is a common saying, for example, that all those unfortunate men who ever had the doubtable pleasure to bed a Witch (or being bedded by one), won't be able to love another woman. But let's face it, no "civilized" woman would reject this "ability" if offered or having a chance to acquire it, and there's a lot of envy showing through in this saying, not to mention something of a hint of, well, something special. What we know for sure is that the idea of the "vision" is a very important one for the magic of the Witches and their magic ways.

To create and support those visions drugs are used since the first Witch fled into the swamps to escape the prejudices of their racial mates: belladonna, thorn-apple, monk's-hood and some fungi are, as we know now, all used by Witches to "experience other facets of reality" or even to "experience facets of another reality" (whatever), whether they are human, lizardish, or gnollish. This stuff is applied in various ways, one of it being ointments that will be rubbed onto the skin. Common effects are the feeling to fly, erotic fantasies, as well as visions and the feeling of physical changes.

Looking at the Fortress creatures, Hydras, Wyvern, Basilisks, Gorgons and so on, and seeing that Gnolls and Lizardmen are as near to a human being as it gets in the swamps, it is clear that especially the human Witches (and of course the Beastmasters, too) either are mentally VERY stable (to stand that kind of freak show) or VERY nuts (to suffer that kind of freak show) and some of the so-called heroes of the Fortress society look decidedly like they were the latter.

We still don't know exactly what humans and to a lesser extent even Gnolls and Lizardmen motivates to seek the hardships and isolation of the swamps and the creatures living there, but all known evidence points to a tentative conclusion: Witches and Beastmasters seem to live in a quasi-symbiotic, drug-supported relation that shows clear symptoms of sexual bondage, but we have no clue, how big the influence of the regularly used hallucinogenic drugs really is. In reality it is a society of a few drop-outs outside the normal boundaries and restrictions of bigger communities. Partnerships seem to be working and the people seem to live in harmony with the apparently wild and freakish swamp folk.

There is some evidence that the combination of consciousness-expanding drugs, erotical understanding, knowledge and fascination and a wild and strange surrounding has created indeed a very special kind of community that probably can work only that far away from civilization. Chances are, however, that this way of living can't survive; sadly, this kind of society seems to be too good to be true, with too many hard edges and not sleek enough to survive the onslaught of the blessings of civilization should Erathia become even smaller a world as it already is.

AVAILABILITY AND ADMINISTRATION:
Taverns are few but comfy. Basic drinks are available and the folks here just like to have a beer, but there seems to be no abuse. "Witch-Drugs", ointments, fungi and so on can be obtained effortlessly, and since there are strong ties with Rampart communities nothing is impossible to get. There are no written rules or laws. Since Tower came up with their acid that stuff has found its way into the swamp, too (see Stronghold) and is indeed used now and then. It is also rumored that the Witches with their expertise in the field of erotics found a different use for the Tower-produced snow,that’s more in the tradition of their ointments.

USE IN BATTLE:
Believe it or not, no drugs are used in battle - not that surprising considering that big part of the Fortress' forces are monsters. It seems, however, that Witches use their stuff a day or so before commencing a battle to try and get a vision of what will happen.

ILL EFFECTS:
None. That is, if you disregard the possibility of losing sanity. All that Witch-stuff doesn't seem to be addictive, but is obviously dangerous nonetheless. A known phenomenon is the so-called "flashback" (and long-time regular users like the Witches may live in a permanent flashback state): the user, even though currently not under any drug influence, feels as if hurled back momentarily into a drugged state. The worrying thing about that would be the fact that dropping in and out of warped experience of reality is no longer controlled by the user, but may simply happen without warning.

Furthermore the so-called "trip" may become a bad one when the users have too many bad things (or just one, but that one all the more so) on their mind. These kind of drugs seems to enhance and even warp existing (sub)-conscious moods and this may in some cases be simply too much to bear it; once in a state of "altered conscience" a user can't just end it or go to sleep. A trip will last a few hours, but tripping in and out may continue up to 8 and even 12 hours depending on dose and stuff.

It is rather possible that regular use of those drugs will lead to a loss of contact with reality as we know it, but then it seems that the Fortress society is living outside of any reality as we know it anyway. As if commanding a Fortress army wasn't already a bad enough trip.

FAMOUS KNOWN AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
Either they are all victims or none. But even some of these die-hards may already have gone a step too far: Tazaar (Verdish seems to be a bad make-up advisor even though both seem to be happy enough with each other), Bron (Basilisks as pets in the bedroom seem a bit over the top even for their standards), and Mirlanda (permanent flashback mode) seem far gone, and that's not half of it.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
Congratulate yourself you survived the trip there in one piece and don't push your luck too hard and go for the local specialties. Except of course, when you find a Witch or Beastmaster tutoring you.


V. INFERNO

(Authors’ note: this information was compiled under great personal danger for the authors and their source, a known Inferno hero.)

The current fate of the Inferno communities is a harsh reminder of what can happen when people alien to a certain culture (and in this case alien to a whole world) use strange and unknown drugs. It didn’t take long after the first conquest of a Tower, until the white powder the Alchemists had called "snow" in turn had conquered the Inferno community. However, that in itself wouldn't have been a problem; Devils with their tough nature had no problem with the stuff whatsoever, but found it a pretty pleasant kick actually, allowing them to relax a bit while losing nothing of their sharpness. The problem was, the rest of the community demanded the stuff for use, too.

To keep most of the valuable snow for themselves the Devils would dilute the small remainder with everything that'd work and to guarantee an effect for the greedy rest of their community they mixed the stuff under the Alchemists had called "speed": it couldn't hurt when the community worked more and harder and the speed surely would motivate them. They would hand the mix over to the Pit Lords (Efreets wouldn't touch anything at that point; they would have burned anything before it could actually have an effect on them, anyway) - who'd do what the Devils already had done and so on, until the Familiars would get the pitiful remainder - more or less pure speed.

This arrangement worked surprisingly well. Inferno troops were sharp on the battlefield. The speed gave the Familiars exactly that, and usually the most dangerous moment in any battle would come when the Familiars - already being on speed - got expertly Hasted - a rare occasion, but sometimes it would happen. The pleasantly stoned Devils and the somehow not just as pleasantly stoned Pit Lords would have big problems to suppress the fit of laughter that would bubble up in them. In those cases they simply couldn't suppress laughter it was not only bad for the morale of the Familiars, no, the Magogs and Demons were asking themselves whether they would miss something and why, and of course they got ever more suspicious about their stuff.

Anyway, still all was well, even though the first ill effects (especially of the speed abuse) were showing and everything might have been well for an unknown time. Then the Efreets found out about the XTC being dveloped especially for the hated Genies and OF COURSE they demanded their own drug, too! And now the communities had a situation at their hands. They not only had to find a drug especially for the Efreets, they had to find a way to administer it to them as well!

To encourage everyone in their efforts to help finding a solution the Devils decided to increase their share of the snow once again and indeed it were the Pit Lords who - under pressure of the events - found a brilliant solution: they tried to smoke the snow - brilliantly deducing, that everything administered to the Efreets would go up in smoke anyway -, and after trying out a few mixes they succeeded in finding something else. Because the effect reminded them of the sounds their whips made in battle, they named it "whiplash", but shortly after everyone only knew it as "crack".

What they didn't know at that time was, they had just discovered probably the most addictive drug ever in Erathian history and crack immediately began its triumphiant march through Inferno society: the Efreets were pleased: now they had something as well, and as with the Genies and XTC, the effect on them was mild and pleasant. The Devils were glad the problem had been solved and everyone else were hooked after the second smoke or so. The rest of the sad story is well known: it didn’t take long, until things really started to go downhill. Crack rules Inferno land because the lower-level creatures are so hopelessly and completely hooked they can't think about anything else anymore. The Devils who aren't affected are pretty helpless and everywhere the Inferno loses their gains in Erathia. Troops are unreasonably expensive due to the high “maintainance cost”, and it’s only a question of time when they will be gone for good. Since Devils and Efreets are pretty tough and Cerberi have nothing to do at all with it, they may just survive, while the Imps may just make it, paradoxically, because they are lowest in the food chain, but the rest is surely doomed.

AVAILABILITY AND ADMINISTRATION:
Snow is snuffed, crack is smoked.
Streets aren't safe anymore in Inferno land. There is no free trade of snow since there is a constant demand but too short a supply. Taverns are mostly empty except for some humans and the business is slow. Atmosphere is hostile and chill. Crack is smoked openly - used up stuff can't be stolen anymore. The only coin buying something of value is white and powdry. Devils avoid public appearances - people know about their subtleties concerning snow distribution.

USE IN BATTLE:
Armies will fight only when they get extra snow rations or at least a believable promise of it. Battles are fought without spirit. Familiars will give up their drained Mana only in return for extra snow rations, Magogs don't care anymore about splash damage and Resurrected Demons (if the Pit Lords remember their abilities at all) will usually go back to the Tent first to get some stuff before fighting on. Only Devils, Efreets and Cerberi will still put up a good fight.

ILL EFFECTS:
Smoking crack will lead to an immediate steep and euphoric high followed soon by a steep and low depressive down. One smoke is like the story of the life of a manic-depressive in half an hour. Users naturally have the idea to get over the down by inducing another high - and that's what addiction is all about. There's rarely a way back. Sometimes high can just be too high and down too down.

Snow is another case completely. For some reasons it is a pretty sensible issue, but let's not forget there was a rather longish period when the stuff could be bought and used legally in every town and only Rampart and Fortress would hold back on it because of certain views about lab-produced stuff or reasons of drug use, even though it seems that Witches found other uses for it more in the tradition of their ointments (see Fortress). This makes it clear that there are no OBVIOUS ill effects. Fact is, there is actually no evidence for any physical addiction, but apparently you can get pretty used to the stuff mentally - and pretty fast as well.

This, however, doesn't say much more than: people like the effects and don't want to miss them. In small doses the effects are mild euphoria, well-feeling and sometimes overconfidence. People get talkative and sociable. Reported "nervousness", "trembling", the "urge to do something" and all other reported ill effects are either the result of overdosing or of the speed or other stuff mixed under the snow. In fact it is pretty impossible to get the undiluted "real thing" because the way of the Devils is the normal way this stuff is handled, mainly because so many gold pieces can be made with it.

Today there are too many misconceptions around for an unbiased discussion, mainly because the stuff is associated with the Devils, and the sorry fate of the Inferno won't change that. No matter what snow is and what not, it's safe to say that this stuff is proof for Rampart society's view of things, at least concerning drugs: keep it natural.

FAMOUS AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
All Efreets are on crack (as Genies are on XTC), but they don't suffer the ill effects usually associated with it. All Demons are at least on a snow/speed-mix. All this has led to some pretty weird skill combinations or effects, especially with the Heretics: you'd think they had picked skills and specials randomly out of some pool: Ash, for example, knows a bit Eagle Eye, but isn't a specialist; Xyron is supposedly a specialist for the Inferno spell, but can't even cast it; Calid can sniff out Sulphur - when she doesn't snuff in snow and so on. The humans are not affected; they are too far down the food chain to even get anything of the stuff and are content to sit in the mostly empty taverns, drink something and watch an alien community carry on with their collective suicide.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
Look for another holiday resort!


VI. DUNGEON

For millennia the Dungeon society has used dried poppy milk, a stuff nowadays called opium, in different ways: as a healing drug used to cure different ailments, to induce sleep, to kill pain and others. Opium would perfectly satisfy the different needs of the different members of Dungeon society: Warlocks, no matter the race, would perform dangerous spell experiments unleashing lots of energy and often ending with lots of pain and in a state of nervous fatigue; Overlords would suffer so massively under the constant pressure of the Nighon power-games that they would often have nervous stomachs or suffer from insomina; Minotaurs would explode for no reason at all and create havoc, having a temper like an infuriated bull, and just to keep them from killing and destroying just to waste some energy they would often be calmed with opium; and of course Trogs are much more willing to serve their Dungeon masters when supplied with the right incentive.

On the other hand the ability to suffer or stand pain is considered a virtue and a value in Dungeon. Society members will have to prove their value at every opportunity and it takes some time until they have proven themselves as tough and their virtue is accepted. Only then they can use opium in any form, should there be a need, without losing face. Of course there will often be a need for Warlocks and their dangerous and often painful experiments.

However, it is also known that long-term use of opium leads to a certain tolerance (the body needs ever bigger quantities for the same effect) and addiction. So some decades ago the Tower's Alchemists, intrigued by the painkilling capacities of the opium and determined to improve it, isolated the stuff responsible and came up with something new based on it. The stuff known as "heroin" was marketed and sold, initially as a non addictive healing drug for children to fight illnesses involving the respiratory ducts and also as drug to cure from opium addiction, and was as legal for a time in Erathia as was snow.

Naturally, this new wonder drug was greeted with enthusiam in the subterranian halls of the Dungeons, and not long after that the Warlocks found a way to shoot the stuff directly into their blood circulation and while the stuff seemed to perfectly satisfy their needs because it helped them for instance standing the stoning gaze of the Medusas not to mention to suffer a lot of pain while not losing consciousness when experimenting with certain dangerous spells like the one they call Implosion, they soon found out that it was also a lot more addictive than their good old poppy milk (which is one of the reasons for the last big Tower-Dungeon clash because the Warlocks took that very personal and suspected a subtle ploy).

Since the heroin never reached the masses of the Dungeon society and Warlocks aren't the way they are because they are weak-minded, most of them could eventually overcome their addiction (their suspicion against Tower's Alchemists helped) and turn back to the old Dungeon ways of controlled opium use. Today heroin is used only now and then, mostly in really bad cases of spell damage.

AVAILABILITY AND ADIMINISTRATION:
Taverns are used frequently and beside the usual drinks there's always a backroom to retreat into and have an opium smoke for some hours of pleasant dreams (and in Dungeon it seems there may be a need for pleasant dreams sometimes). Heroin is usually shot directly into the vein, but was never used widely and is known only in Warlock circles where it is used now and then, but in general not habitually.

USE IN BATTLE:
Of course opium is used after battle for healing purposes. Some Warlocks are known to shoot small quantities of heroin before battle to better being able to stand the strain and the pain of extended spellcasting. Wider use of opium or heroin wouldn't be wise prior to battle, however, since it wouldn't do for the Dungeon troops to run around like Zombies on the battlefield.

ILL EFFECTS:
The Dungeon society doesn't care much for addicts; addiction means weakness and weakness is bad. Addiction isn't even a public issue even though the high social pressure will produce addicts just fine, but then for the weak is no place there anyway. There is no one who will help addicts in any way, and those who miss the last carriage back, will die soon after, once they are rolling. This means that society members will be pretty careful with any kind of drug and especially with opium because regular smoking of opium leads to sure addiction; the user loses interest in everything and just doesn't want to leave the pleasant dreams anymore. Eventually the body will suffer under the permanent abuse, too, and death will result.

Heroin induces a mildly euphoric feeling of pleasant detachedness; pain, sorrow, problems, grief, but of course the good things, too, nothing doesn't matter anymore and everything is far, far away (which might have had their own merits in a society as harsh as the Dungeon's and could have easily led to disaster). Regular use leads to addiction fast, physically and mentally, and once hooked the way back is as hard as it gets.

FAMOUS AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
It is known that all Minotaurs will take opium once in a while to calm down, when they are too enraged in a non-battle situation, because valerian won’t do that for them (they would have to take a hell of a lot of it), and while the Tower’s valium would probably have the same effect, their general hostility to everything Towerish means, there is no valid alternative. That doesn't make them victims, however. There are rumours about Jeddite being one of the former heroin addicts who were able to get off the hook, while Damacon was supposedly seen a few times too often in some known opium dive, but the Dungeon society is pretty secretive and keeps the lid well closed and those who start a rumour often end up dead or at least severely punished, especially when the rumour happens to be true.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
Don't ever go alone into the backroom of an opium dive!


VII. STRONGHOLD

There is no homogenous Stronghold society, but rather a loose conglomerate of communities with differences depending on region and leadership. There are some things, however, that at least most of those communities seem to have in common.

It is clear that magic is a dying art in all Stronghold communities; the sentient races there are more and more suspicious of magic and its wielders. That suspicion is transferred to all drugs associated with magic or its users. Consequently the Stronghold Shamans, the so-called Battle Mages, and the Ogre Mages are the only community members making use of a certain cactus fruit growing in the rough terrain preferred by the Stronghold communities and since those mages and shamans are decreasing in numbers so is the relevance of that fruit and its hallucinogenic effects that are comparable with those of the stuff Witches use.

On the other hand the Stronghold way of life has a lot to do with reaping where others have sown and since the Barbarian communities have a certain natural cunning it didn't take them long to realize that while they wouldn't touch most of the plundered stuff a lot of gold pieces could be earned by selling it, especially the Tower stuff, but others too. That in turn means that the prospective customer will be able to buy nearly every Erathian drug at a typical Stronghold.

Some of the more clever clan leaders have used their surplus money earned with the selling of plundered drugs to buy real estate in other town communities and company shares - and since they are practical people most of them have tried to get a foot into the brewing business; after all ale and beer is the stuff all sentient Stronghold community members use, even the Cyclopses, and apparently they can't resist the idea of drinking themselves rich!

Drinking-bouts are legendary in all Stronghold communities and they have real contests, the simplest of which is about who is going to be the last man (or woman) standing. The victor will not only have won a lot of face the next day, he or she will have the worst headache, too, which is something of a compensation for the rest of the lot.

Another contest involves walking an extremely narrow catwalk over a bed of red-hot coals (after heavy drinking, of course) with falling down usually leading to a lot of guffawing - only with the bystanders, though; the fallen will lose face (sometimes literally), but win themselves some pretty nice burn scars. Winner will be the person who downed the most drink without falling down – in theory. In practise it’s often the one falling down least often.

A very popular kind of contest is the following: after downing a certain number of tankards a contender will lay the left hand (for a right-hander) onto a table and spread the fingers. While the others will count down from 10 (or 20, if they want to make it more difficult) the contender will take the knife and thrust the point down into the spaces between fingers with a referee counting the thrusts. Winner is of course the contender who manages the most thrusts. Losing a finger or two in the process is no reason for disqualification, by the way, even though a knife thrust is counted only when between two originally neighboring fingers (including the thumb), so there IS a prerequisite for partaking here (you've got to have at least two pairs of neighboring fingers on one hand) and in fact some known and famous winnners ended the contest with less fingers than they began with (which again is often a comfort for the losers, although losing doesn’t obviously guarantee not to lose a finger anyway). Sometimes especially this last contest ends with a big brawl because losers often accuse the referee of either cheating or not having counted right (which may often be indeed a not completely unfounded complaint because counting is for most community members after a couple of tankards even more difficult than usual) which may in fact be one of the reasons why this IS so popular a contest: Apparently brawls are a main source of amusement in Stronghold communities.

While even the Ogres have a healthy respect for the Dwarven brew they are always on the look for even stronger brews to shorten those rather lengthy contests. Recently some ogrish clan leaders have invested their drug-dealing money into a new project with the aim to create a stronger and blacker brew than the Dwarven stuff, a seemingly stupid idea worthy of an Ogre. Apparently they researched the qualities of a bush growing in certain mountainous regions and especially those of the green beans of that bush, and it seems one of the so-called researchers actually got a result: some of the beans accidentally fell into the camp-fire and when the Ogres put it out the next morning with some cups of water the resulting smell was so interesting they had to investigate further. Anyway, meanwhile in some Stronghold communities you can see people sitting over small cups instead of (or in addition to) the tankards containing ground roasted beans of that bush in boiling water. Because of the bitterness most prefer it honeyed and spiced, but there are those who like it that way – or with a shot of spirit. They call it coffee and the Ogres who invested money in that business indeed found another black brew and it looks like they will earn lots of money with it because it is already very popular and not only with Stronghold communities.

AVAILABILITY AND ADMINISTRATION:
Taverns have all kinds of drink, but mostly beer and ale. Meanwhile coffee is available too in most Stronghold communities and some others. The CDD is currently checking whether to allow that stuff for use in Castle communities as well and well-informed sources see good chances for that while the Tower Alchemists are already busy trying to analyze this new product to be able to offer pills of the same effect.

So-called "duty-free shops", in reality not more than roughly bolted together shacks, are selling every drug known in Erathia, sometimes even for a fair price. However, people who are not used to gruff habits, sometimes weird senses of humor and mean attitudes, which means, most city dwellers, should expect rough jokes visiting these “shops” in the hopes of acquiring otherwise unavailable stuff – at their expense.

USE IN BATTLE:
Yes and yes. Drinking stuff prior to battle is a matter of course, and most drink beer as well as coffee.

ILL EFFECTS:
For alcohol see Castle (with added "collateral damage" in Stronghold - the contests are pretty hard on their victims in some cases). Not much is known about coffee, yet, but it seems that the initial opinion, coffee would lessen the effects of alcohol isn't true. Instead it seems to deepen the effect, while knocking the users more awake, so it may just seem to lessen the effects. Barbarian coffee-drinking contests seem to hint at the stuff leading to addiction when the user drinks lots of it regularly: people used to drinking lots of coffee will suffer under headaches, tiredness and irritability when not getting their stuff anymore (of course all those effects are pretty normal in any Stronghold community anyway, so this isn't conclusive).

FAMOUS AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
All Battle Mages do their cactus fruits - it comes with the trade. Because of this most are a bit more careful with the alcohol (another reason their popularity is sinking), but they all seem to like coffee. All Barbarians are alcoholics - there is no way to avoid that fate in a Stronghold community. Of course nowadays they all drink lots of coffee as well.

It may be interesting to look at fingers: Crag Hack is missing the ring finger of his left hand; Gurnisson just has thumb and middle finger left; Tyraxor has all fingers of his left hand, but misses little one and pointer on his right; apparently he is right-hander, though. From the Battle Mages Gundula is missing the middle finger of the left hand. Terek has all fingers, but he was accused of cheating with some nifty magic and has been forbidden to ever participate again.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
Never take part in any of the contests!


VIII. NECROPOLIS

Of course the undead can't use a drug in the usual sense because they aren't able to feel anything and especially what drugs are all about: the intoxication, the ecstasy, the rush, the kick, however you name it, the same way they aren't affected by morale. Not even Vampires drinking the blood of a thoroughly intoxicated, say a drunk, would feel anything. That, however, doesn't mean they can't HAVE one. In fact they MUST have at least one because else the taverns would be pretty useless: Skeletons, Wights, Vampires, Zombies and so on sitting in a tavern drinking is a pretty silly idea. Why should they do it in the first place?

It didn't take the Necropolis leaders long to realize that their own drug would be important: the more things there are the members of a society share the better for the unity and the stronger the bonds and consequently the society as a whole. Sitting together at some place and at least creating the impression as if having a good time together relishing the specific allowed drugs of their society seemed to be important, and while this may not exactly apply to a society of undead you never know and in any case one thing was clear: no drug would be able to hurt the undead, so what?

Over the course of the centuries the Necropolis leaders have made field tests with all known drugs (see parts 1-7) and of course none had any effect on them. This wasn't good because that only led to the undead even more realizing their being-different than all the rest, and in this case their leaders couldn't sell it as being better because it led to realizing they were LACKING something all the others had: the ability to be affected by things.

When it seemed all was lost on that front a plant was found in an uninhabited region of Erathia. It isn't known whether it was the Lichen Necromancer Nagash or the Lichen Death Knight Moander who first found the plant, but it was a Lich, that much is clear. After some experimenting with this plant it seemed they had indeed found something: the leaves of this plant could be dried and either smoked, snuffed, chewed or even drunk the same way like tea - even though this last way seemed rather unhealthy, at least for living beings, when an accidentally spilled cup of that stuff killed a whole colony of maggots crawling around nearby.

Depending on the kind of undead it became soon clear that chewing and smoking were the most promising and of course practical ways - even though the stuff wasn't really chewed. Instead it was kept simply in the mouth until it was used up and beings able to produce spittle would have to spit out regularly. To smoke the stuff the dried leaves had to be cut into small pieces and then filled into a pipe. Another way was to roll the cut leaves into an uncut leaf or really fine-cut stuff into a piece of thin parchment.

The product looked promising indeed: it stinks beautifully and in a way that fits well with the rotten odor of Zombies and the like, the remains are either (fittingly) ash or a brown sauce when the stuff is chewed which is pleasantly gross and those smoking and chewing and spitting undead look pretty cool, especially when having one of those small sticks of parchment-rolled stuff in their mouths. For no known reason the plant was called "tobacco".

However, the real kicker, the icing on the cake, was a fact the Necropolis leaders have learned only a short time ago: of course the undead still wouldn't feel any effect, but what effect would the stuff had on the living except that of being deadly when used in too high quantities? Tests with living beings stupid enough to join the ranks of the undead for greater glory and faced with the choice of either marching into a Skeleton Transformer or trying out the new Necropolis stuff did, of course, the latter. The interesting result was that while all found the stuff initially distasteful and disgusting, when forced to try it again and again there would come the point when the subjects would use the stuff willingly whether they would smoke or chew it. When asked what they felt they couldn't really tell: "It tastes good." "It helps me concentrating." "It keeps me from being bored." "It keeps me from getting fat."... And so on. In fact, when the Necros withheld the stuff, subjects would ask and even beg for more if they had used it long enough.

Slowly it dawned onto the Necros that they had found the holy drug grail for the undead: it not only fulfilled every prerequisite for getting drug-status, it didn't actually do anything except hooking everyone! That of course meant, you could say the effect of it was the same on living and undead (see ILL EFFECTS). Now, if THAT wasn't something...

AVAILABILITY AND ADMINISTRATION:
Necropolis taverns sell tobacco in every form and especially the stuff known as "coffin nails": thin sticks of fine-cut tobacco rolled in thin parchments. Those are smoked and Necro taverns are pretty filled and pretty smoky these days since everyone there indulges in it. You can get a slightly modified stuff, too, which is chewed or rather kept between teeth and lips, spitting out the resulting sauce once in a while.

USE IN BATTLE:
Sure. Use of this has greatly increased effectiveness of Necro armies lately. If nothing else, it makes them look even more disgusting and uncanny, especially because they can do coffin nails while fighting. Zombies and Skeletons are an uncanny enough view to behold, but Skeletons with smoking coffin nails nudged between their everlasting grin? Lately Necropolis armies march with renewed vigor into battle.

ILL EFFECTS:
None, at least with the undead. Ill effects for the living haven't been researched because this stuff is too new and just beginning to find its way into the societies of the living. The CDD is already researching and is expected to allow it anytime now, reassured by the fact that it seemingly doesn't do anything in the way the other known drugs are acting - there is no kick or rush.

We were able to take a look into the secret research diaries of the Necros and of course THEY have investigated the stuff a lot further. It seems to be something special indeed. Using creates something like a scratch that will produce an itching when healing, that is, when NOT using. The Necros call it withdrawal symptom. Using means scratching the itch, but of course scratching means scratching bloody, so healing will producé an itch yet again to be scratched, and so on. Using this stuff is like eternally scratching bloody the same small scratch all over again because the healing itches.

How can this work? Pretty easily, the Necros say. The itching is felt as something unpleasant while the scratching is felt as something pleasant even though it only restores momentarily the state a non-user will live in the whole time (but not feel like something pleasant, but normal). A much better way to get the same effect would be to wait with eating until you are near starvation and then eat. In a way the users of this stuff humiliate themselves to suffer a bit most of the time to have a chance to relish the great feeling of not suffering anymore - and doing it every time they want at that, which is what makes it so attractive: you can always start a feelgood routine by lighting one. The literal example for the saying, that it’s a really nice feeling when it stops hurting.

In a way this is so stupid that we can't believe a living being will really fall for it. Even though the Necros seem to be convinced of it and especially of the humans being indeed stupid enough. In fact they seem to be thinking that this is the perfect drug because it makes use of the imagination of living beings and the fact that there is a phenomenon they call the "relativity of feeling" (which undead don't know anything about). This means there is no absolute well or ill feeling only a relative one. An example for this principle would be a fat rich man feeling bad about eating simple food below his normal standards while a poor starving guy would really feel well about it and the full belly it gave him. Indeed the Necros seem to believe that they will be able to hook the whole of Erathia which would give them as the producers of the stuff a lot of leverage, but that seems to be just another one in a long row of many undead world conquest plans and too far-fetched to be taken seriously.

FAMOUS AND RUMOURED VICTIMS:
All Necropolis heroes are smoking or chewing tobacco.

TIPS FOR THE VISITOR:
If you decided to take a trip there, all tips are probably wasted anyway. Still, at least try another town.

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kiryu133
kiryu133


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Highly illogical
posted March 21, 2016 07:55 PM

This

This I like

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EnergyZ
EnergyZ


Legendary Hero
President of MM Wiki
posted March 21, 2016 08:05 PM

Dang, if this was true, it'd make the games with +15 (if not higher) age rating.

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The_Polyglot
The_Polyglot


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted March 21, 2016 08:06 PM

I distinctly remember having already read these somewhere....

#halflife3confirmed

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Avonu
Avonu


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Embracing light and darkness
posted March 21, 2016 08:13 PM
Edited by Avonu at 20:13, 21 Mar 2016.

The_Polyglot said:
I distinctly remember having already read these somewhere....


Here you have: part 1 and part 2
____________
"When someone desires information, they come to me."
"Details are everything."
Pipiru piru piru pipiru pi!

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 08:26 PM

Ok, I addad part 2.

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Dies_Irae
Dies_Irae


Supreme Hero
Official spokesbirb
posted March 21, 2016 08:41 PM
Edited by Dies_Irae at 20:43, 21 Mar 2016.

Avonu said:
The_Polyglot said:
I distinctly remember having already read these somewhere....


Here you have: part 1 and part 2


Well...you just absolved JJ of the need to post it here, now that you linked to all parts and 'spoiled' it a little . Oh well, if it ever disappears from CH it will still be here.

Ontopic:
This will change the way I perceive H3. From now on I will think about stoned elves whenever I play as Rampart in H3. Thank you, Jolly, for expanding my mind about H3 (and it didn't even require a special drug, how about that ).

As for the kind of drug use in Ashan, I think someone should try and make a version of that, based on this and with your permission. Though I think that most things will be similar, like you said (for instance Haven, Sylvan, Fortress etc). Spider/Namtaru Venom will probably be drug nr. 1 according to some .
____________
==Uplay/Steam: Marblethrone==


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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 09:39 PM

Digital age for you. Can't anything secret - except those who want to view it as a TV show may voluntarily wait for the patched version.

For the thing as such - I mean, did you ever notice that nearly all fantasy is completely unacreative when it comes to drugs? It's wine and ale, maybe even some strange stuff like lotus is smoked ... god, that's like Halflings do it only straight, she lying on the back, he on her, and god forbid, those guys try something more kinky.

The interesting, even astonishing thing is, everything fell on its place, quite naturally.

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted March 21, 2016 09:50 PM

This brings back memories ^^
____________
DON'T BE A NOOB, JOIN A.D.V.E.N.T.U.R.E.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 09:59 PM

Yeah, Natalka asked me stuff, ending with sending her my H3 maps - and there they were, and I had a good laugh, having almost forgotten the stuff.

Man, did we have fun with H3, didn't we? Those maps that hid the crucial stuff? God, that was awesome, the first time you had a seemingly unpenetrable thicket, but the cursor would show a way through? An artifact invisible behind a Crypta?

H3 map editor was nothing short of sensational: you could make astonishing maps, and without being a programmer.

That's why the game was such a success. Not because it was so massive in vanilla. But because everyone could create something special for all to play.

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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 10:22 PM

The Melancholy of Jolly Joker.
It's contagious.
Please spare me, I'm not even 58 yet!
____________
Guide to a Great Heroes Game
The Young Traveler

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 10:33 PM

I hope one day you'll be, Stevie.

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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 10:40 PM

this is great stuff, jj.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 21, 2016 10:55 PM

Weell, wait until you read the Necropolis part.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 09:19 AM

Tower added.

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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 11:16 AM

lol. this just keeps getting better and better.

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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted March 22, 2016 01:57 PM

JollyJoker said:

Man, did we have fun with H3, didn't we? Those maps that hid the crucial stuff? God, that was awesome, the first time you had a seemingly unpenetrable thicket, but the cursor would show a way through? An artifact invisible behind a Crypta?

H3 map editor was nothing short of sensational: you could make astonishing maps, and without being a programmer.

That's why the game was such a success. Not because it was so massive in vanilla. But because everyone could create something special for all to play.

This pretty much his the nail on the head.  Amazingly simple recipe for longevity,  but the current owners still don't seem to get it. Even H4, a largely broken game,  enjoys continued interest because it had a workable map editor.
____________
I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. -Mitch Hedberg

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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 02:07 PM

that's what kept my interest in it for so long. if homm3 would have never had a map editor, i would have stopped playing it within a year of buying it, most likely.

no game out there beats a game that lets you create your own world. especially a world that can be near perfectly-tailored to your interests.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 02:13 PM

In the case of H4 ... I think the fact that H4 is so fundamentally different from H3 helps as well.
H4 is better suited for telling HEROIC stories, because the heroes really DO fight for themselves. For example, with H3, telling the story of Siegfried Dragonslayer doesn't really work. In H4, though? No problem.

So between those 2 you can tell all the stories you want, and that has always been the biggest advantage the brand had over the competition. I mean Disciples II is a fantastic game, but once you played the Campaigns and a couple of maps it's game over.

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Stevie
Stevie


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Undefeatable Hero
posted March 22, 2016 02:30 PM

Disciples was another type of beast. The atmosphere was not the feel-good light fantasy that Heroes had, it was dark and thick with an unique art direction that empowered immersive gameplay. I have never felt anything quite like it in any other TBS. Often times I couldn't even sleep at night just imagining the horrific demons and undead. It was penetrating your soul. Creature upgrades and the battle system were the stuff of wonder and had an addictive flavor to them too. It was a powerful game, even if the replayability was not as strong as with Heroes. To see the franchise end up the way it did was disheartening.
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Guide to a Great Heroes Game
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