Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Is it an Original Sin, or Simply Forsaken Virtue?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 8, 2013

The sale on Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon continues this week, for 50% off here and on Desura.  Just in case you were wondering, unlike Sim City or Diablo III or the rumored next-gen XBox, Frayed Knights never requires you to be online in order to play. I’m getting to the point where I’m about to call that a competitive advantage of indie games over their AAA cousins…

Now, over the weekend, we had a little contest. It’s a little thing, but anyone who commented was entered into a drawing (well, actually, it was a dice roll) for naming a character in Frayed Knights 2. I was somewhat amused to find Christer “McFunkypants” Kaitila – game developer and major game jam dude – ended up winning the roll.  Christer, check your email later today if you didn’t see something from me already for details.

Yeah, little things, but I thought it would be fun. Thanks everyone for commenting.

Today’s trivia question is for (gasp!) another copy of Torchlight, via Steam. The low number of responses last time leads me to believe that pretty much everybody here already has Torchlight, but I’ve got more copies to give away, so I’m doing it! Today’s contest can be answered in the comments – add the note “N/G” to your comment if you aren’t interested in the game – and all that respond with an answer will be entered into the drawing (or dice roll). There is no correct answer… but here’s the setup:

Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues finished its Kickstarter over the weekend, promising a return to Ultima-style fantasy RPGing, invoking memories of the original Quest of the Avatar (Ultima IV). In Ultima IV, you had to achieve Avatarhood by becoming the embodiment of all virtues, often having to balance conflicting requirements. Justice or Compassion? Honesty or Humility?

Well, in Frayed Knights, you play a group of four adventurers: Arianna, the half-elven warrior with a chip on her shoulder; Benjamin, the somewhat zoned-out nature-priest; Chloe, the somewhat ditzy sorceress with flashes of brilliance (and violence); and Dirk, the attention-hungry, adrenaline-junky rogue.  Today’s question for the comments is this:

Which of the four Frayed Knights would be the first to FLUNK the quest of the avatar, and why?

Have fun!


Moving along somewhat… with the Kickstarter for “Forsaken Virtues” complete, we’ve got another one at about the halfway stage entitled Divinity: Original Sin – the next in the Divinity series.  And while they lack Richard Garriott, they do cite Ultima VII as an influence and something of an idea.  This week, Matt Barton interviewed Swen Vanke of Larian studios about this upcoming game and Kickstarter. I’ve only played a bit of the original, strangely named “Divine Divinity.” But I found that this Matt Chat interview was nicely candid, and full of lots of bits and pieces of real-world developer issues. Certainly low on the B.S. It cemented my decision to up my backer pledge a bit. But even if you have no interest in funding this project, it’s an extremely insightful interview.

Plus, I’m kind of amused at back-to-back RPG projects duking out Original Sin vs. Forsaken Virtues.



Throw in comments below! And be sure to answer which of the Frayed Knights would flunk the Quest of the Avatar first (and why) for a chance to win a free copy of the original Torchlight.

Filed Under: Frayed Knights, Game Announcements, Rampant Games - Comments: 9 Comments to Read

  • TheOldFarmer said,

    I think Dirk is a bit too self serving and of the me me first type of personality. So he would be the first to fail as the avatar of virtue.

    I too am a big fan of Divinity Original Sin. The game looks very promising and their stretch goals look doable but as is typical for Euro games in kickstarter they just don’t seem to draw the big bucks. That’s too bad as Sven Vanke seems like a down to earth kind of guy, a gamers gamer.

  • Lee said,

    Arianna may let her pride get the better of herself. The others still stand a chance. However Benjamin would never care enough.
    I vote for Benjamin.

  • Galenloke said,

    I’ve admittedly, only played a bit of Frayed Knights, but if I had to hazard a guess (and I do since, free Torchlight) I’d mark Arianna as the first to flunk out of Avatarhood. She doesn’t seem the type to promote peace, much less forgiveness when she’s been slighted. I’d imagine being Avatar is going to be much like being Spiderman with great power and great responsibility. Arianna seems capable but too aggressive and lacking some mercy where enemies are concerned.

  • LateWhiteRabbit said,

    N/G (Man, how did we all end up with so many copies of Torchlight?)

    My vote is for Benjamin failing the Quest of the Avatar, for one simple reason. He’s too much of a people pleaser. He just goes along with whoever has the strongest force of personality near him. I could see all the rest of the party enforcing Justice, but Benjamin wouldn’t really have the backbone for it on his on.

  • RedJohn said,

    I first have to get my knee-jerk reaction out of my system:

    Dirk. Humility? Really?

    More seriously Ben seemed a mixture of naive well-wishing and apathetic complacency. I don’t think he’d find it easy to care about such a quest, and even if he did have its import impressed on him, I don’t think he’d have the force of will to balance competing demands that were tough choices. Count me as a second vote for Benjamin.

  • Patrick said,


    This is an interesting question, so I’ll answer it an incredibly rules-lawyer-ish fashion. The question has several parts, but we can break it down as such:

    *Who would start the quest?
    *If they did, would they make actual progress?
    *Having made progress, who would fail first?

    Chloe and Dirk wouldn’t actually start. Oh, they might “join the quest”, but would never once seriously try to do it. They’d go out for their own self-enrichment, not self-improvement. Since they never seriously try for it, they couldn’t actually fail.

    At this point, it becomes a straight contest between Arianna and Benjie. Here’s where it gets complex: despite her various failings, Arianna has strong will. But Benjamin is far more easy-going and patient.

    While Benjamin’s wishy-washyness will eventually lead to him failing, he’ll probably do so after Arianna screws it up. Even if Pride is the last test, Arianna is likely to screw up earlier. But the order in which they attempt to take the tests could matter. Arianna has the spirituality of a brick, and little Compassion or Humility. But Benjamin is likely to completely flunk out of Valor or Honor; it’s not that he’s totally failed at any virtues, but that he’s average all-around.

    But for that reason my vote goes to Arianna as the first to fail. Benjamin would eventually lose for being a wet rag, but Arianna will go ragefully PO’d first.

  • alanm said,

    Let’s imagine it’s a Pixar take on the Grail quest: The Frayed Knights and the Quest of the Avatar. Our heroes receive a vision of the Avatar, and bind themselves to the quest with an oath before setting out on their separate ways.

    There’s not a lot going on behind Chloe’s blue eyes that isn’t entirely self centered, and in our Pixar movie she’s the one who fails the very first hurdle, in the scene directly after setting out, to prove that the writer is serious. On the Grail Quest race card she’s Morgana la Fay: scratched.

    Like Gawain on the Grail quest, Benjamin is only really there because his friends went too. His intentions are fundamentally good, and he bumbles through a few challenges, more by luck than anything else. But he knows that he lacks the courage of his convictions, and in the end is advised by a wise hermit to repent his sins, give up the quest and return to Camelardin.

    Dirk’s lines in FK1 come across to me like he’s taking the piss with people’s preconceptions of him, and in our Pixar movie he struggles through a his challenges before a moment of crisis forces him to abandon his tough-guy mask and show a glimpse of vulnerability beneath. This last desperate act of selflessness isn’t enough. He fails the challenge and is carried wounded to a nearby abbey. Despite his failure we’re left feeling good that his character has developed during the story.

    Arianna, like Lancelot in the Grail quest, sets out in the knowledge that her flaws will inevitably prevent her from winning the prize. But she wants it the most and so she grits it out, toughing her way through challenge after challenge by force of will, preparation and plain old faking it. Finally, lying asleep near a chapel she is granted a vision of the Avatar but fails to awaken as other, purer knights bear it away. Awakening she knows that her quest is over and forsakes a life of adventure, retiring to a hermitage.

    Who is the Galahad in the story? I don’t know, but we’ll need an answer before pitching this to Pixar…

  • Albert1 said,

    @TheOldFarmer: I think that one of the reasons european games don’t draw big bucks is because people, especially after the Cyprus affair, don’t trust to invest money on Europe-based companies – the risk to see those dollars seized by governments is too high! Yeah, I know that Belgium is not Cyprus/Greece/Spain/Italy, etc but EU as a whole is becoming, day after day, a second USSR.
    My pet project is nothing amazing, yet even with a super-duper game, I’d never launch a kickstarter campaign because I don’t trust EU (where I live) and I’d feel so guilty if backers’ money get seized by gov.
    This said, I wish Larian all the best for their incredibly promising game.

  • Xenovore said,

    Off-topic (the mention of Torchlight reminded me): For a great, free-to-play alternative to Torchlight and Diablo 3, check out Path of Exile. It has some cool ideas for skills and trade; and seems more the spiritual successor to Diablo 2 than Diablo 3 actually was. Definitely take a look.