Kill or Be Guild, CH3: Plague Honey and Sick Pie
Now that I’ve passed the tutorial for The Guild II: Renaissance, I’m big enough to admit I should have done it sooner. I’d have been a lot better prepared for this game if my first experience with it had been this.
Midway through the Tudorial, a voiceover prompts me: “Click on the weaver’s shop with the floating coin over it.” I search the entire village, but no building anywhere has a coin over it. When I click on a random weaver’s shop, I’m instructed to buy it using an action prompt that doesn’t exist. I click on a different building at random. “Congratulations!” pipes the narrator; “You have passed this portion of the tutorial.”
As I return to my save file, my heart is not giddy. I’ve picked up a grab-bag of button prompts and not a lot else. I must say that the tutorial afforded very little time to the Rogue class and its underpinnings, and rather more time to—say—how to install new windows in your residence. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but if taking over Romania’s underworld requires knowing how to do crimes or purchasing a weaver’s shop, my dynasty could be in very serious trouble.
But I guess it’s unrobberly to complain about not being classically trained. You want to be able to clap your crime-child on the shoulder and tell them you learned everything the old fashioned way: by wading expensively through a sea of henchman gore. With that in mind, the one thing I’ve managed to do successfully is strong-arm a business into paying protection. Well, they didn’t actually seem to pay, but maybe that’s the sort of thing I can work up to over the course of a few dozen extortions.
Gamely, I send good Tramp to the…pesthouse? Like, ratmongers or pesto artisans? I should probably bring up a window and look that up, but either way, I can’t see the cozzers getting too het up about us robbing them. Tramp away, my Tramp.
A tooltip appears telling me the pesthousemates refuse to pay. I’m just about to look for another victim when—quite unprompted—Tramp yalps like a goosed viking and pounces. He bursts through the reinforced double-doors just as Google explains that a “pesthouse” is a plague quarantine.
I watch the doors in mounting discomfort. After what sounds like a brief scuffle, Tramp tears out princess-carrying a unlabeled sack. Mischief managed, he sets off casually towards my Robber’s Nest. For God’s sake, I think, put down that infected goodybag you snatched from the poxy fingers of the walking dead. Do not bring that apocalypse sack into our place of business.
But I never actually send the order. Can’t bring myself to. This might be the first concrete score of the game, after all, and I don’t know how else I’m going to feed my cohort’s Tramplings. All I can hope is that whatever’s in that sack isn’t going to conjure up any gross pox-related mental images.
Swell! It’s “honey!”
So that’s probably fine, then. Let’s just head straight to the farmer’s market and sell our artisinal, extremely probiotic honey. And in a few days, if there’s a public health crisis among scone aficionados? I guess we’ll be in a bit of a jam.
What you don’t see in this picture, because you are not as acquainted with the arts of stealth as my dear Tramp, is that I’ve cunningly arranged an ambush for the green carter. Yes, after a few unsuccessful but educational trial runs, I’ve concluded that the best place to waylay people is not on a busy crossroads where the police just murdered a passerby. Instead I’ve posted up my bandit on a lonely road between the town market and a rival scum franchise. The ambush radius drawn around him goes ten feet in every direction, and he’s right in the middle of the road. And now we wait.
And continue waiting as the carter trundles placidly by.
And cease waiting as I kick Tramp into drawing his dagger and running down the road after her.
There’s some logistics I haven’t taken into consideration. You see, Tramp is quick when he wants to be. And carters, laden as always with wares, are rather slow. Which means that Tramp finds it very easy to catch up with the carter, and decide to attack, and decide how to attack, and wonder what kind of cool line to say while attacking, and—oh dear, she’s gone a pace down the road now. She doesn’t seem worried, but then, he doesn’t seem worrisome. She makes it all the way down the length of the map and deposits her goods as Tramp stands by, threatening to threaten at any moment.
So the bad news is that I’m still not exactly sure how my main line of income is supposed to work. The good news is, I’ve figured out how to eat cakes!
I watch proudly as my avatar scarfs the entire family-sized dessert. And then, instantly:
The sad part is I can’t even narrow it down.
NEXT WEEK: GUILD WARS, TOO
So, I played a fair bit of The Guild II a few years back. It was the most buggy mess I’d ever seen, and that was before the Renaissance version. So it looks like that version is somehow even buggier! It could be good fun once your character got going, though. Rogues were particularly good at breaking the game over their knee.