Running original Baldur’s Gate on Windows 10

I have an original set of Baldur’s Gate & Tales of The Sword Coast CDs from a long time ago!

Baldurs Gate CDs

The Enhanced Edition has some changes to NPC companions, so I wanted to get the original edition running again. So, below are the steps I took to get it working on Windows 10, without using an addons or mods.

Install options

Here are the options I took:

1) Custom Install
2) Cache size set to 240MB
3) CPU above 200MHz
4) Selected all components
5) Got an error message that there wasn’t enough space to install (I ha 700GB free!) but clicked Continue
6) Installed ToTSC again choosing Custom and all the components
7) Selected No for installing DirectX 6.1

Game patch

Then, I patched the game by applying the BGTalesUK5512 patch. You may need to choose other patches depending on your locale.

Windows 10 settings

Right clicking on the application, I choose Run As Administrator but I kept receiving a Windows error. It stated:

BGMain2.exe - Application Error
The application was unable to start correctly (0xc000022). Click OK to close the application.

BGMain2.exe Application Error 0xc0000022

In order to make Baldur’s Gate run, I then:

1) Opened Control Panel
2) Clicked on Programs and Features.
3) In the upper left corner, I clicked “Turn Windows Features On or Off”
4) Under Legacy Components, I expanded it and checked the Direct Play item
5) Then I clicked OK.

After this, Baldur’s Gate ran absolutely fine.

In the future, I may play around with trying to get a widescreen / higher screen resolution or no-CD mod working. But for now I’m content to head back into the game and experience it in it’s original form.

Lost Mine of Phandelver: Session 1

This post contains spoilers for the D&D Starter Campaign, The Lost Mine of Phandelver.

Session 1: 12 Aug 2017

After surviving a goblin ambush on the Triboar trail and following some casual dead horse throwing, Narcoleptics Incorporated headed into Phandalin. Seemingly unconcerned about the fate of Daemarr’s cousin, Gundren Rockseeker and his friend Sildar Hallwinter, they settled into a gallon of fine ale in the Stonehill Inn.

The next morning the intrepid adventurers spoke with several upstanding members of the village, many of whom were concerned about the thuggish Redbrands whom had been terrorising the good people of Phandalin. Also many of these villagers seemed incapable of sorting out their own concerns and were in dire need of assistance on a variety of matters.

Deciding that they had to deal with the Redbrands, the adventurers survived a street brawl before venturing into the ruins of Tresendar Manor. After stocking up in the armoury against the global shortage of crossbow bolts, they overcame a nothic in order to repeatedly review the Redbrands’ choice of bedlinen in the barracks. They had an erudite and enlightening conversation with a beleaguered goblin named Droop, who reminded the adventurers about the poor kidnapped wife and children of Thel Dendrar whose corpse was rotting at the bottom of the nothic’s crevasse.

After an epic battle against a rat, Narcoleptics Incorporated first crippled and then captured Iarno “Glasstaff” Alberk, head of the Redbrands in the area. Whilst Glasstaff was spilling the beans on an ominously named drow called The Black Spider, Solar – the homicidal halfing – decided to exact his revenge and slit Glasstaff’s throat. Covered in arterial blood, the adventures trooped back to the Stonehill Inn for more ale and a better class of bedsheets.

Elmar Barthen was becoming very distressed about Gundren’s failure to arrive in Phandalin and eventually the adventurers agreed to return to the scene of the goblin ambush to search for the dwarf. After a fall, a bruised buttock and pride, Narcoleptics Incorporated headed into a hideout of the Cragmaw goblins. After worrying about feral wolf rights, they managed to save Sildar Hallwinter from the clutches of the goblins. He has returned to Phandalin to speak to his contact Iarno Albrek, whom he was rest assured was alive and well.

We left the intrepid adventurers in a cave with a waterfall and twin pools…

Outstanding quests:

– A grumpy old miner named Lanar wants to be left alone in the stables but also mentioned that orc raiders had been seen at the east end of the Triboar Trail

– Daran Edermath, is not only puzzled about missing a few apples from his orchard, but also about reports of undead up the ruins known as Old Owl Well

– Sister Garaele wants the party to give Agatha, the banshee up at Conyberry, a silver comb in exchange for information about a spell book

– Qelline Alderleaf and her son Carp are wondering why her troublesome nephew Solar hasn’t visited her yet

– Droop informed the adventurers that Cragmaw Castle is up north near the big load of trees

– Mirna Dendrar thinks that there might be a valuable heirloom hidden up in the south east part of Thundertree

– A drow called Black Spider is searching for the long lost Wave Echo Cave to find the Forge of Spells

– Sildar Hallwinter informed the adventurers that the three Rockeseeker brothers recently located an entrance to Wave Echo Cave and Gundren had a map. Klarg, the leader of the goblin band had orders from the Black Spider to waylay Gundren and bring the dwarf to him. Sildar believes it’s most likely Gundren has been taken to the goblin chief at Cragmaw Castle

– And, Elmar Barthen is wondering whether that higfalutin Lord Kosef is ever going to return the wagon and two oxen he borrowed…

LMoP: Character tokens and table cards

This week the players have chosen their characters and character names, so I spent the day creating the character tokens and table cards.

Character tokens

I really wish I was talented enough to be able to draw. Since any attempt looks like something from a primary school art lesson, I found these great character images by searching on Pinterest (links below).

I scaled them down to be 1.25″ diameter and adjusted the heights to account for the differences between the different races. A check on Reddit advised on the fonts in the D&D 5th Edition Players Handbook and then I googled for free alternatives (see below) – hopefully this means that the name labels look similar.

Player Tokens

I printed out two copies on photographic paper, SprayMounted them together and laminated them. Unfortunately, they are a little loose in the stands but I was limited to thickness that the laminator would take. That said, I think they look cute.

Character table cards

I saw these character table cards on Reddit and they looked amazing. I thought that these would help our new group understand each other’s stats.

Player Cards

Also, I thought it might help me easily see some of their stats without having to keep flicking through my DM folder. Whilst I think they look nice for the players to see a larger image of their character, I got the font size too small to read across the table ! D’oh !

References

Images:

Fonts:

D&D Spell Cards, Crib Sheet and Monster Tokens

In a couple of weeks time, I’ll be embarking on running my first D&D campaign – The Lost Mine of Phandelver. Ahead of the session, I’ve started preparing some of the game aids I think we’ll need.

Spell Cards

First up, was the Cleric and Wizard spell cards. These cards will make it easier for the players to review their spells, remind them what spells they have memorised and choosing new spells when they level up.

spell cards

I found these excellent free D&D spell cards so I printed out the relevant pages on nice photographic paper, stuck them together with SprayMount and then laminated them. Luckily for me, the starter campaign doesn’t require all the spells available in D&D, which is good considering the Wizard deck runs to 58 pages !

Having a guillotine was a must for ensuring all the cards are the same size. I’m really pleased how nicely they turned out, especially since buying these decks would cost around £30.

Players’ Crib Sheet

Next up, I’ve created a crib sheet for the players from the information in the LMoP Starter Set Rulebook.

LPoM Player Reference Guide

I took the basics from the LMoP Basic Rules. Also, I borrowed bits from the Rules Reference page of morepurplemorebetter’s Character Sheet pack on the Dungeon Master’s Guild.

Monster tokens

I’m expecting that small skirmishes will be conducted in the ‘theatre of the mind’. But I am planning to use a battle map for some of the bigger encounters. So I found some LMoP tokens on Reddit for these monsters.

game tokens

These were also printed on photographic paper. Rather than going crazy trying to cut out all these circles, I found a circular punch with exactly the right diameter, which worked brilliantly. In order to give the tokens some weight, I’ve stuck them onto 1″ zinc plated washers that I bought from a craft store. I’ve only shown some regular monsters here, so as not to spoiler the campaign !

Materials

So it’s been a bit of a crafty weekend and I’m really happy with how things have turned out so far. Here is a list of the supplies I used:

Spell Card and Monster Token Supplies

Dragon Age: Inquistion – done!

So after a wonderful 150 hours, my first playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition and the 3 single player DLCs – Jaws of Hakkon, Descent and Trespasser – on Normal mode, is done.

As to be expected from Bioware and especially from this franchise, the storytelling was superb. I laughed, cried and definitely clapped out loud in delight through the whole epic storyline. It really has been a wonderful gaming experience.

Leodra, my dual-wield rogue from my Normal playthrough in Dragon Age Inquisition
Leodra, my dual-wield rogue from my Normal playthrough in Dragon Age Inquisition

I still need to complete my Hard and Nightmare playthroughs and pick up some missing achievements…so I will definitely be returning to Thedas in the near future.

If you haven’t heard about Dragon Age: Inquisition, which garnered over 130 Game of the Year awards in 2014, here’s a little preview.

Robin of Sherwood: Knights of the Apocalypse

I loved Robin of Sherwood when I was growing up. The dashing hero (always Michael Praed for me) and the mix of pagan elements was a draw.

So the cast of Robin of Sherwood are re-uniting for a crowd-funded audio production. The script is adapted from a screenplay by Robin of Sherwood creator, Richard “Kip” Carpenter, whom passed away in 2012.

Any additional funds raised will go to the charities, the British Red Cross and the Sherwood Forest Trust.

Star Wars Cross Stitch

May The Force Be With You

Currently, I am going through the process of moving house. When my stress levels rise, I find that a good distraction is to create or craft something. In addition, one of my good friends, @psmorrison, had a birthday coming up and I think it is nice to give gifts that have taken time to find or make.

Surfing through Etsy, always a dangerous past time on my wallet, I found this lovely little Star Wars cross stitch pattern from pixelpowerdesign.

After a few nights, voila…

May The Force Be With You Cross Stitch

Dragon Age Inquisition trailer

The first Dragon Age Inquisition trailer was shown during E3.

I love this series of games and this trailer shows glimpses of the next chapter in the engaging storyline, building on Dragon Age: Origins, Awakening and Dragon Age II.

The trailer features the Dragon Age II characters of Varric, Morrigan and Cassandra.

The game is slated to launch Autumn 2014.

Cinematic Intro to Neverwinter MMORPG released

Cryptic Studios have released the cinematic introduction to their new Neverwinter MMORPG, ahead of the recent open beta. It showcases four out of the five current available classes – Trickster Rogue, Devoted Cleric, Control Wizard and Great Weapon Fighter and is well worth a watch.

Having played both a Devoted Cleric and a Control Wizard in the closed betas so far, I think this is going to be a fun MMORPG to explore.