: Now that we’ve cleared out all the sidequests in that farm, it’s time to head for the swamp.
: Risen does this really weird thing where instead of just giving you the map for an area, or having you fill it out as you discover it, they have an NPC outside each major area who gives you a map of that area. This is Doug, and he’ll automatically approach you when you walk by. It’s possible to avoid him, but most of the stuff in the swamp will destroy us at this point.
: “I’m just taking a look around.”
: “Ha ha. Just messin’. Have to make my own entertainment. Gets a bit boring around here, apart from the Rotworms eating people.”
: While there are in fact Rotworms in the swamp, there’s only four of them in the entire area. Two of them are extremely easy to avoid entirely, while the other two can be avoided if we chose not to do any of the sidequests here. Even if we weren’t going Weedlord, we want to get as much EXP as possible, so we’ll do everything. I’m playing this assuming that Weedlord is going to win.
: “Believe me, beaten eaten by those creatures is not the way a man should go. Hang on, I think I’ve got a map somewhere you can have.”
: Doug does sell some weapons, but he’s a bow user.
: One thing I think Risen does very poorly is showing you which NPCs have actual things we need. Doug has a sidequest, but you have to dig through a large amount of dialog to get to it. This will become relevant a bit later in this update.
: “What do you hunt in the swamp?”
: “Less and less. There are only a few beasties. They may look unappetizing, but you’d be surprised what our cook can do. About the only thing left big enough to feed us all is this large worm over to the west.”
: The worm is less than twenty steps from Doug’s position. In fact, if I turned the foliage detail down I’m pretty sure we could see it from here.
: “He’s a big fella. I really need help to take him down. Probably a bit of help to keep him down after I’ve eaten him too.”
: This sidequest is something we can do right now. It’s worth a fair bit of EXP, and if we play our cards right we get even more.
: The sidequest is kind of a farce. Doug is extremely well-armored compared to us, and even though his weapon sucks (he’s using a hunting knife) he can still easily kill this worm by himself.
: Rotworms hit like a truck and also have an unblockable puke attack that takes off half our health. What we basically want to do is watch Doug fight the thing, and then step in at the last second…
: And kill it. This gets us 250 EXP we would not have gotten if we had let Doug kill it. The way this works is that most enemies that have a quest somewhere to kill them have a sort of “generic quest” attached to them in case you kill them without knowing where the quest is.
: We can then talk to Doug and get another 200 EXP for doing the hunt with him, plus another 25 for some reason. This is over half a level at this point in the game.
: Remember how I said last update that we didn’t want to cook any of our raw meat apart from the one we had to give to Sara? This is why. Doug gives us 5 raw meat, and the worm had 2 more on it. The quest where we turn this in wants 10 meat. Meat isn’t that hard to find, but by the time we get 10 more we’ll be in Harbor Town.
: I also wanted to show Doug’s shop inventory, because his inventory is a colossal trap. See this jaw chisel? There are only a handful of rotworms in the game, and they each drop one tooth - provided we have this tool AND the “gut animals” skill, which costs another 100 gold to learn. We would never break even on that deal. The other item he sells, the wing shears, can be useful for wizards… but gut animal is such a shit skill that it’s never worth taking.
: We can also ask Doug about the swamp and the Don, but I’ll just summarize it here: the bandits used to be in Harbor Town until the Inquisition came in and kicked them out.
: Just down the path is the front door to bandit town. These guys up front are largely unimportant.
: Brogar, the head fighter, sits behind them. He spends his entire day sitting here smoking weed and drinking beer.
: Just behind him, we have this area with the blacksmith. Rachel the cook is also up here. What we’re really here for though is the red-haired guy next to us. He is one of the two most important people in the bandit camp, and we should talk to him right now.
: “Don’t you worry about it, I’ll take care of you.”
: “Who are you?”
: “I’m Craig. And if you want a fortune in gold, I’m your man.”
: Craig has a lot of very unimportant dialog: some 15 lines, to be precise. In essence, he’s the camp’s bookie for people betting on fights in the arena, because there is always an arena in every RPG. It’s the law.
: After all that bullshit, we get to this question. This is the important one, because it opens Craig as a trainer.
: If you’ll remember, I said level-ups in Risen don’t do a whole lot, and they don’t. Levelling up gets you a few extra HP and 10 “learning points”. To use those, you have to find a trainer and pay them gold. Craig gives us three options: he can train us in strength or in swords. Strength is ALWAYS the best option to the point where we’d probably put a few points in even for a wizard run. In this case, we had 20 points sitting around so I blew them all on strength.
: I should also explain how the stats work. Strength is the best stat in that it increases all melee damage, regardless of what weapon type you’re using. The reason you wouldn’t typically just keep upgrading strength is that it gets progressively more expensive to do so each time you do. Dexterity increases all ranged weapon damage.
: Wisdom is different, though. You can’t increase Wisdom at a trainer and it doesn’t do anything by itself. The only ways to increase Wisdom are by reading books or by finding a special item.
: If we go to the right instead of going up to where the blacksmith is, we find Hawkins. He’s another important NPC in the camp, in that he gives us one of the two major sidequest lines for this area.
: “Me? I’m the one the rest of them treats like dirt. Day in, day out me and my workers try our best. And they need us, the bosses. But do they realize that?”
: “I wish they’d come out and see what it’s like. See if they like being eaten by swamp worms.”
: “Why is it so bad here?”
: “We keep losing men to the worms. And there are even worse fates, too. I’d rather be anywhere else. But we have to collect anything made of gold and take it to Beppo.”
: “We didn’t expect to have to fight the monsters here. We’re not trained for it. And that bastard Brogar should be protecting us. But do his fighters ever come and help? Do they help. Too drunk, most of them.”
: “Are you in charge of the workers here?”
: “Yeah. I’m supposed to oversee the workers at the excavations. But morale is so low that the men don’t care anymore.”
: This is kind of a recurring theme in the camp. No one likes Brogar, but they can’t oust him because he’s the head of the fighters. Anyway, now we’ve got a quest to do Brogar’s job for him.
: Most of the workers gather around here, by the fire. The ones we need to talk to for the quest are elsewhere in the swamp. There IS something we want to do here, though.
: See this weird patch of dirt with tools all around it? We want to grab those tools first. Two of them are shovels, and the third is a pickaxe.
: If you have a shovel and left-click near one of these piles of dirt, our budding weedlord here will try to dig for treasure. I think I read somewhere that there’s 17 of these spots in the game, and three of them are in the swamp.
: The chest has a scroll in it. Scrolls can be cast by anyone, and contain various utility spells that range in usefulness from utter trash to gamebreaking. This one is pretty useless.
: Behind the treasure spot is a beer, which we will need at least four of if we want to finish all the sidequests here. The chest has a joint in it, which we immediately take.
: Before I progressed on with Hawkins’s quest, I went hunting for some dank swamp weed. There’s roughly 28 in the swamp, and we’re going to want all of them because we’re going to be a weedlord.
: On the way, I ran into a Bog Body. Bog Bodies are super rare, I think there’s a grand total of four of them in the entire game. If you’re having trouble seeing it, it’s that way in the game: they’re basically green guys made of muck who use staves or one-handed swords. Normally, Bog Bodies are something we’d have to train to an NPC for help, but because we have 30 strength we can kill it fairly easily.
: If you’re doing a wizard run, you absolutely want to kill one of these even if it means dragging it to the NPCs. The item they drop is called a Cold Heart and is used for a quest on the wizard path. We won’t be seeing that quest as a weedlord.
: Right near where the Bog Body was is a second treasure spot with some vendor trash and a potion in it.
: On the far west side of the bandit camp is the arena. We’re not so much interested in it as we are that fenced-off area up above.
: Branon, the guy sitting by the fire, wants us to go clear a bunch of grave moths out of his work area, and also talk to one of the fighters to see if we can get him some protection.
: For the latter part, we can talk to Ricardo by the entrance of the camp, who refuses to do anything. We somehow get 150 EXP for this and don’t even have to do anything.
: Right across from where Hawkins is (you can see his fire in the top-left) are a bunch of grave moths.
: At 30 strength, the moths go down in two hits each even with our basic sword. I happen to know that if you’re at base strength, it can take several combos to kill one.
: The third and final dig point in the swamp is on the worksite the bugs were guarding. It contains the only unique drop out of all of the treasure spots here: the Ring of the Axe Fighter. Unlike strength, boosting your weapon skill only really changes how your combo works - up until the very high levels where you get things like the ability to equip two handed swords in one hand. Even with that kind of boost, upgrading strength is still usually better.
: There’s also two chests with items we are absolutely going to need going forward. One is the Fragment of a Sword, which is a quest item. The second is the Useless Amulet, which is also a quest item.
: We can get Branon to go back to work after clearing out the bugs and talking to Ricardo, which gets us even more experience. You might be noticing a pattern here - namely that a lot of the quests here are worth a fuckload of EXP. We actually levelled twice just in the recording I did for this update. If you were to go right to Harbor Town (or get captured by the Inquisition) you would lose out on quite a bit.
: Before we go find the other worker, we want to talk to Brogar. The reason for this is that the second worker we need to find is near some quest enemies that might aggro us if we try to talk to him, and Brogar gives the quest for those enemies.
: “Whoa there. Someone shoot your dog?”
: “Stupid and mouthy don’t wash well around here. 'specially not from workers.”
: “So, you’re in charge here?”
: “I’m in charge of the fighters! They’re the ones that beat the shit out of lazy workers. Now enough questions. I’m hungry. Bring me a haunch of fried meat from Rachel, the cook up by the smithy.”
: “Bit snooty, but a looker. The Don’s a lucky man. Course, with him in that temple all the time, she might need a bit of… company.”
: Naturally, Brogar is into NTR, because of course he is.
: As Brogar kind of insinuated, Rachel is the Don’s wife.
: “Are you the cook around here?”
: “One day you’ve a sword in your hand. The next, a ladle. And the cooking relaxes me. If you call stirring wild boar and Brugleweed cooking.”
: Brugleweed is Risen’s version of pot which confirms that yes, not only does everyone at the bandit camp smoke weed every day, they also eat it (and drink it, as we’ll see later). The Don is raising an army of soldiers powered entirely by weed.
: “Sorry, forgotten my manners. I’m Rachel. Here, new mouth, take this meat. Freshly cooked.”
: Rachel has a quest line, but it’s the very last thing we’re going to do while we’re in the swamp.
: We now get a quest to find a replacement guard for Phil, who is the second most useful NPC in the camp. We’ll see him probably at the end of this update when we go to see the farm Brogar is talking about. That farm will be where we become a weedlord.
: Before we go talk to Clay, we’re going to want to upgrade our sword. Using all the vendor trash treasures we found (minus the pearl necklace) we can buy a Skullsplitter, which has almost double the base damage of our sword. We’re also going to want this for… weedlord-related reasons. You’ll see. Oscar also sells a slightly better shield, but we can get one free from a quest here.
: With our mace equipped, we can find Clay by the fire like Brogar said.
: Clay doesn’t have much dialog, but we can either fight him or pay him 10 gold to do his job. Fuck that, let’s get into our first fight against a human opponent.
: Human opponents are pretty janky to fight. They spend most of their time blocking, though on occasion you can slip an attack through their block.
: It’s hard to show in a screenshot, but the way you typically want to fight human enemies is either getting them on higher ground so that you can hack away at their unprotected legs… or stepping to the right while blocking their attacks, which leaves them open for a combo.
: There’s a difference between us killing an NPC and mobs doing it - namely that we can’t permanently kill NPCs. When you reduce an NPC’s HP to zero, they fall unconcious for about two minutes. They also drop their weapon and shield if they have one. During this time, you can loot them and also freely steal anything in their house without them noticing. There are ZERO consequences for this - they’ll get back up and just act like it never happened.
: One important thing to note is that NPCs will magically generate a new weapon if you take theirs… though sometimes they won’t bother to pick their weapon up even if you don’t touch it. This weapon is usually garbage: it’ll normally be a club or a wooden branch staff. With bandit NPCs, they usually have woodsman axes, which do a bit more damage than our sword did but are two-handed and much slower.
: Beating up Clay gets us 200 EXP. We can also talk to Phil on his way down from the weed farm.
: That’s what the swamp farm is, by the way. It’s a weed farm. Phil is important because he can teach us how to pick locks. I would’ve learned it right here, but didn’t have the money to do so. Phil gives us a quick 25 gold and 25 EXP but none of his dialog is important. Let’s go report back to Brogar, and get the quest I was actually after.
: “Most of 'em owe their lives to me, one way or another.”
: “So you know where they are at all times?”
: “Course. Well… usually. One of them has gone missing. The pillock’s probably got himself lost. Or eaten.”
: This gives us a new quest to go find the missing fighter. As it turns out, I didn’t NEED to pick this up because you don’t get any extra EXP, but it’s something we have to do anyway.
: On the way down to where the missing fighter is, we run into Luis, the other hunter. Luis is a pain in the ass because he’s a drunk and demands a beer every time you talk to him. I had him tank a rotworm for some free EXP.
: There’s also these quest stingrats outside of where the missing fighter is. Luis will point you to this area if you give him several beers, but we only have so many of them and we need at least four to clear all the quests. I should mention that Luis can teach you bow skills and gut animal, but all of those are useless.
: Once we clear those out, we can go from Luis to the other corner of the swamp (south-west) to meet the other missing worker.
: This quest is real dumb. Enrico keeps talking about hearing voices, and what you’re supposed to do is go back to Hawkins who tells you to give him something to “protect him” so he’ll go back to work. It’s implied that Enrico is either insane or just really stupid.
: Seriously, the devs cared about this part of the quest so little that there are camera angles during the conversation with him that are just shots of foliage.
: We get Enrico to go back to work by handing him the “useless amulet” we found in one of these chests in the swamp.
: To finish the missing workers quest, we have to talk to Beppo here. Beppo’s dialog is also mostly unimportant, other than that he tells us the Don is very interested in gold and artifacts and all of the crates at the dig sites are full of them.
: All we have to do to finish it is talk to Dwight, who is by the same fire Clay was, and threaten to murder him unless he goes back to work. Unlike Clay, Dwight just caves in to our demands. Now, we could go do the rest of the “find the missing fighter” quest, but that involves a fight that can be pretty tough. Hawkins will now sell us some low-quality armor, but it costs 500 gold and we have a grand total of maybe 100. It’s time to take our first foray into being a weedlord.
: To do this, we want to go to the weed farm. If you pick every weed plant in the swamp, plus the two near the farm, you wind up with 25 weed.
: Obel here is a useless NPC who works on the weed farm. The only time he’s ever borderline useful is if you have the fan-made patch installed for this game, which turns him into a second source of the prospecting skill. He sells weed and blunts, and we’re going to buy it all with the last of our money. I know, this sounds crazy. Bear with me.
: Up on the platform behind Obel is Rhobart, the owner of the weed farm. If you are playing this game on the last official patch instead of the fan one, Rhobart is both the most powerful weedlord in the swamp and also probably some kind of demigod. He’s also the single most important NPC here that isn’t a trainer, even though he is a trainer (he teaches Alchemy).
: “Protection money?”
: Apart from sounding like Metal Gear, this alludes to a quest we’re going to be picking up in the next update.
: “Is this your land?”
: I forgot a screenshot, but this confirms that all the alcohol in the game is ALSO made of weed.
: Rhobart then gives us a quest, aptly titled “Rhobart Needs Weed”. He’ll give us 70 gold and 50 experience if we bring him 10 units of weed.
: Now, if you’re playing with the fan patch, Rhobart will not give you experience again once you turn in the weed the first time. He’ll still give you 70 gold. You can’t see it, but I paid 10 gold per weed from Obel, so technically we lost money on that… or did we?
: On the official patch, however, Rhobart will continue to give you 50 experience in addition to the 70 gold every time you turn in 10 units of weed. Within a few seconds, we’ve traded 30 of our weed for 150 EXP and 210 gold. Not great, but not bad either.
: It’s raining in the swamp, and it’s a shitty day outside. We’ve been working our asses off. Let’s just have a joint. I mean, everyone else is doing it… right?
:"Shit! Rhobart! Hey, Rhobart! This shit’s real fucking dank man, you gotta try some… Rhobart?
: “Looks like he hit the ganja a bit too hard. Some weedlord he is. I wonder how dank his shit is if it fucked him up that bad. Let’s take a look…”
: It was then that our hero, still high on weed, got a brilliant idea.
: “Whoa, dude. I think this weed might be a little too dank. It’s like, every time I give it to Rhobart, he… tries to smoke some and then passes out… and then I can take it back… and sell it back to him…”
: Eventually, our budding weedlord managed to farm over 1,000 gold from Rhobart, who for some reason seemed to have more money than even the Don did.
: With this, he went to Phil and learned how to pick locks. He also upgraded his strength to 40 and bought an upgraded shield because why not? It wasn’t like Rhobart was running out of money anytime soon.
: He also, of course, bought the Worker’s Clothes.
: If we continue down the weedlord route, I’ll need some input. There’s two ways we can go: we can either keep pumping strength forever, funded by our good friend Rhobart. Alternatively, we can pump the sword fighting skill (or axe fighting if you’d prefer) and learn the Immortal Sword Technique that can kill even the mightiest of warriors without a scratch. Let me know what you’d like to see. The Wizard/Weedlord vote is still open, because technically we aren’t an official weedlord yet and I could always do a second run if we want to go the Wizard route. Most of the quests wouldn’t change apart from me having to kite things more. Next time, we’ll finish up with the swamp, at which point the Wizard/Weedlord vote will close.
: Also, in case you’re wondering how the Rhobart thing actually works. In the last official patch for Risen, the devs made it so that NPCs who ask for items for a quest put them in their personal inventory when you hand them over… where they can be robbed. In this case, it’s super easy because Rhobart sucks at fighting and also because Rhobart is completely alone and no NPCs will come to help him.