Tainted Grail: final thoughts - SPOILERS!

(This post contains information that spoils what happens in the second part of the Tainted Grail campaign. Please read my previous spoiler-free post for general impressions if you intend to or are currently playing the game).


End of the campaign... Mine finished in Chapter 14, not 15. I checked to see what I was missing, and apparently it was nothing: 'find a fitting end for your heroes' (as in 'complete a random sub-quest'). Boo. This should just be an addendum in the end of Chapter 14.


Chapter 14, which was at least more specific and offered some closure to the story, was anti-climactic. Perhaps this explains Chapter 15: 'find a fitting end for your hero... because the one we give you is a bit meh'. I had been wandering around the map for ages in Chapter 13, searching for two safe places where people could move in. I found one at the edge of the map (Farpoint), and another at the First Farmhold. The First Farmhold happens to be just around the corner from Cuanacht. So, to complete Chapter 14, all I had to do was move three spaces from my village to another village. All these people had to do to escape the Wyrdness had nothing to do with Grails, Knights, Foredwellers, Tuathan and whatnot. They just had to move to the next village! Okay, I could have made this a bit more elaborate and move them to fancy Farpoint. It would just take me longer and the result would be exactly the same: Game over, thanks for playing, see you at the expansion.


One thing about Chapter 13: it has an impossible task to carry out, impossible for Ailei at least. Kill a Wyrm of 40 health points. Even though Ailei's Combat deck was fully upgraded, it simply wasn't good enough. What was I to do? I obviously killed the Wyrm by the power of cheating.


Let's go back to a cardinal point of the story in Chapter 8: the journey into Tuathan. I liked that it was a bit different than the rest of the game, it really felt like entering a strange place. Dice rolls have to be regulated, in my opinion, so that the player gets to experience most of what the Chapter has to offer. So, if you roll the same numbers, just change them so that you read a different paragraph each time and make the most of what's in there. Of course I met Arthur and was fooled into thinking Excalibur was worth fighting for. Useless piece of junk. Didn't employ it in future battles at all and even forgot I had it with me.

Chapter 10 sends you out to find a way to build Menhirs. Okay, we make our crude Menhir. Then we supposedly carry it around. Which doesn't make any sense, as it must be way too heavy. So what I ended up doing was light Menhirs in the usual manner when I had the resources, and when I didn't, just used my portable Menhir as if I had it folded in my backpack...


Having finished the game now, my opinion hasn't changed. Tainted Grail is a unique story-telling adventure but can at times tire the player out. Especially if the hero is on the verge of death and insanity, as it takes a lot of effort (time) to bring them round. The story has a few weak points, as mentioned above, but the overall experience is worth it. Even though it is replayable if one chooses a different character and follows an alternative story branch, I suspect I will jump straight into the expansions when they arrive and won't replay the base game. In any case, kudos to Awaken Realms for pulling off this difficult game genre.


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