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Epic of Serinor Manual

Introduction


Welcome to the world of Serinor! Form a party of heroes to stop an invasion that threatens all the warring peoples of the world. Travel across Serinor exploring the countryside, winning allies, and recruiting new heroes to unite the races and end the threat to the existence of everything. All of Serinor depends upon you!


Importing Saved Games from Previous Versions:

You MUST unzip this release of Epic of Serinor to a new directory. If unzipped into an existing Epic of Serinor directory, the files WILL NOT be updated properly. Once the files are extracted, you may transfer your save games to this new directory from the old one. The save files are named serinor1.sav-serinor5.sav.

Also, Epic of Serinor has been updated to a new build of the underlying VERGE engine. In most places, this is nothing but a massive improvement. However, the format of the save files from previous builds of VERGE are not compatible with the newest engine. To correct this, open verge.cfg in a plain text editor such as Textpad and change the line "releasemode 0" to "releasemode 1". Then run the included "Convert Saves" utility before running the VERGE program as usual. This will convert your save games to a format the new build can read. It is recommended you resave your game immediately upon loading it for the first time in the new build.

A Note from the Designer:

The game you are about to play is incomplete. It is not subtle in its incompleteness, throwing it constantly in the player's face. The overarching story guiding the course of play is never referred to after its initial mention in the opening sequence. Artwork is inconsistant and haphazard, towns are empty, and dungeons dull. There are nearly a dozen accessible locations that exist only as a placeholder and a name, and several times that number that do not even receive that much.

All told, given full knowledge of where to go, what to do, and how best to accomplish it, I would estimate that Epic of Serinor, in its current quasi-incarnation, will yield between ten and twelve hours of gameplay. Without that knowledge, or given the desire to experiment with a variety of party compositions, that estimate can easily double. Tripling it would likely reduce gameplay to a tedium not commonly seen outside of MMO's.

I do not like sharing incomplete work. Part of me rails against letting this monstrous half-thing see the light of day. The rest of me looks at a save file with twelve recorded hours, knows that I still have much work to do in that game, and admits that perhaps Serinor has merit enough to warrant sharing. And so I share.

May the fraction of Serinor you can experience give you as much joy in the playing as it has given me frustration, tedium, and, above all else, love in its creation.

--Benjamin Eldritch

A Word About Inns:

Most major cities have two different inns. One of these will likely be a branch of the Journeyman's Rest. The Journeyman's Rest has branches in most major cities, each kept by an appointed Tender who takes money and cares for the beds. The most noticeable difference between the Journeyman's Rests and other inns is that the Journeyman's Rest normally costs over twice as much as the local inn would.

However, the Journeyman's Rest does have an advantage. Unlike the local inns, Journeyman's Rests will allow you to spend the night regardless of your faction with the locals. Also, if you don't have enough money to stay at the local inn, the Journeyman's Rest will let you stay for free. The Tender knows if you have money in your vault, though, and if you have sufficient funds stored to pay the bill, you will not be allowed to stay for free. For this reason, it is wise to carry an Astral Purse or two when adventuring out in unfriendly territory.

Tips for the Budding Hero:
  • Human temples offer the cheapest resurrections in the world. Also, most places that offer resurrections will resurrect heroes for free if they do not have the funds to pay for the donation. The priests always know, however, if you have money stored in your vault.

  • Learn to use the initial hate values granted by party order to your advantage. These values will climb based on character class and level. Monsters will usually go for those within 10 points of the most hated hero, but a hero is not completely safe until the difference grows to 20 points.

  • Be wary of the actions of heroes with less health and weaker armor. A strong attack can easily draw a monster's attention, but a strong heal can draw the wrath of many monsters at once. And only the most skilled fighter can out-taunt a stun spell.

  • While individual fights may not be overly difficult, a long stream of them can wear down and eventually kill even a well-prepared party. The largest problem with travel is not a single fight but an endless series of single fights with no chance to rest in between. Gaining levels may not make heroes significantly stronger, but it lets them survive longer between breaks.

  • It may be useful for travel purposes to remain bound at a place far from where you are adventuring, but if the party ever falls, it can be difficult to return to the site of the adventure.

  • Beware quests that involve rescuing or assisting normal people in hostile territory. While all adventuring parties are composed of immortal heroes, most normal people stay dead when they die. A quest can be permanently failed if the people involved are allowed to die.

  • Hero Shrines can be found in all major cities and even in some places out in the countryside. Pray often at the shrines to ensure that the party will be saved if catastrophe ever comes for you.

  • Stay out of cities where you are not welcome. Most hostile races will allow heroes to use the Hero Shrine or Journeyman's Rest on the outskirts of their city, but will not tolerate them entering the city itself, and will often attack those brazen enough to try.

  • Summoned items are permanent. If you need a large supply of any summoned item, summon them all then stay at the inn to regain the spent magic points. You'll have all the items you need and all your magic points too.

Basic Troubleshooting:
  • If Epic of Serinor won't start at all, there are a couple things you can try. First, open verge.cfg in a text editor such as Notepad. Change the line that reads:

    windowmode 0

    to:

    windowmode 1

    This will force the VERGE engine to run in a window, which solves many problems with video cards that have difficulty running VERGE in full screen mode. However, your desktop will need to be running in either 16-bit or 32-bit color depth; if the color depth is set to 24-bit, VERGE will not run properly. If, however, you're running Windows 98, you may need to resize the window manually by dragging the corner until the window is the proper size. (Windows 98 is actually not on particularly friendly terms with VERGE and may encounter other problems as well.)

  • If this does not correct the problem, open verge.cfg again and change the line that reads:

    releasemode 1

    to:

    releasemode 0

    This will force the VERGE engine to compile the source code and has corrected issues in the past. Releasemode is a bit buggy in my experience, but it does save a bit of time and makes the game appear cleaner. If the game runs after the initial compile, it is probably safe to turn releasemode back on by changing the 0 back to a 1.

  • If none of this corrects your problem, there's little I can do to help you. I'll direct you to the VERGE Help Forum. Post your issues there and hope that somebody knows how to help you. Another excellent resource is the VERGE FAQ. Troubleshooting is item 4 on their list. If nothing works, then you have my sincere apologies, but the engine is not mine.

All contents copyright 2003-2004 Benjamin Eldritch