Master of Firin’ Sword CH3: Knight Errands

By Rutskarn
on Nov 30, 2016
Filed under:
Lets Play

After many trackless miles slouching over the neck of Erik, my horse, I’ve concluded that he is truly owed a grander share of the credit for my accomplishments. The success of the wanderer is measured in miles, and it is no exaggeration to say that everything I have in life – every blessing Poland has yielded to me –  I owe to his tireless and patient tread.

And what do I have in life? A musket, a suit, and ten coins.

Erik, consider yourself placed on notice. You are a disappointing horse and you are jeopardizing my career.

From now on, I will introduce you not as my `associate,` but merely my `colleague.` Starting with this looter I`m about to shoot.
From now on, I will introduce you not as my 'associate,' but merely my 'colleague.' Starting with this looter I'm about to shoot.

I cross the river to the beautiful and dignified village of note to self – look up later – poland can’t spell, whose simple folk busy themselves note to self – look up what farmer does in peaceful innocence. For a moment, my tender heart regrets that I’ve come to disturb that peace and perturb that innocence. But they have a lawless murderer among them, and justice will not be served until I shoot him dead and then receive payment for doing so.

I draw myself up as I rode to confront the brigand. “Are you, sir, the infamous outlaw note to self – can’t remember name look up, whose crimes will echo throughout history?”

The bandit swallows, his eyes bulging at one glimpse of my Fanny. “Sir, surely I’m no harm to anyone.”

“Nonsense! I’m frightened of you.”

“Please, sir. I’m sure we can work this out…”

“I am confident this is the case.”

He throws up his arms as I level my musket and blast lead shot straight through him.

The gunsmoke clears. He chokes, gurgles. Reaches down gingerly to touch the bloody hole on his chest. Looks back up at me.

“Ah,” I say.

“You bastard,” he growls. I did shoot him in the chest? That is where the organs are vaulted? I thought I was clear on this–

“Here now,” I say, as he seizes his axe handle. “Let’s…”

“Sir, we are civilized men!” I shout over my horse’s protests as I charge bravely away.

“I’m going to hack your bloody head off!”

“Well, I don’t want you to do that!”

“Swedish dog!”

“Yes, well…!” I don’t have a comeback, but I do finally have the damn coarse grains in, which is better than a counterargument. I see the man’s face burn with rage as I ride at him, raise my barrel, and let my Fanny’s blast split the air.

When the smoke clears, he is…

ah…

“You can’t run forever!” he roars, bloody and sweaty and jogging after the beleaguered Erik.

“Yes, but I can keep shooting forever, for…several more shots!”

“Take your best bloody shot!”

“I will! In…just…” I fire again.

“Missed again!”

“Well, just let me know when I’ve hit, then!”

I see no reason to subject you to a tedious accounting of exactly how many shots I fired. The outcome is what matters: a shot that I fired hit him again, and my victory was made manifest.

May my triumphs be all so glorious.
May my triumphs be all so glorious.

Yes, I truly have made a name for myself this day. More specifically: “Lucas Andersson.” I made the village chronicler read it back to me twice.

`That`s right, yes. And if you don`t ever hear of me again, assume that I`ve been killed by THIS man`s bosom companion, the renowned folk hero Rutger Skarsgård.
'That's right, yes. And if you don't ever hear of me again, assume that I've been killed by THIS man's bosom companion, the renowned folk hero Rutger Skarsgård.

Some short while later I arrive at Snechko with writs in hand. I designate one barn the Taxes Barn and impel all law-abiding citizens to deposit their tribute therein. Some time into the mooing and grousing, a man comes to me with cap in hand and pleads for more lenient rates. But I am a stern and scrupulous man, and I will have none of it. I will not settle for one thaler less than these fellows rightfully owe the lord who should be collecting this.

It’s a curious thing, but have any of you noticed the way silver tarnish smells remarkably of urine?

NEXT WEEK: BEHOLD MY RETINUE

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20201656 comments. It's getting crowded in here.

From the Archives:

  1. sheer_falacy says:

    There was something in this update that absolutely shocked me. That is, when you finally killed that poor bastard, he actually turned out to have been the guy you were supposed to kill. I figured you were going to go through the whole village hoping someone would eventually be Baibak the Marksman, only to eventually realize that it was the wrong village (extra points if it was the one you were supposed to extort).

    Also, I thought a the Marksmen would have more than no guns.

  2. “And what do I have in life? A musket, a suit, and ten coins.

    Erik, consider yourself placed on notice. You are a disappointing horse and you are jeopardizing my career.”

    In the last one he ran away from bandits and danger. If he’s such a hero, why’s he shooting the farmers and dodging the bandits? I fear Mr. Rutger is exactly that, an antihero beyond measure.

    Blaming horses won’t get him far…

  3. KarmaTheAlligator says:

    To be fair, Erik did save your life while taking down your surprisingly bulletproof target, so I’d imagine that bought him some extra points.

  4. ehlijen says:

    You won’t bore us with the exact number of shots fired, but the ammo counter will. That’s a lot of shots for one guy, but not quite the infinite number I’d half expected.

  5. MrGuy says:

    It’s a bit strange to me that, in a world where normal citizens take 4-5 bullets to bring down, that a single man riding into town armed with a single shot musket would be a sufficiently overwhelming display of force that they would give up a significant portion of their wealth to a stranger.

    When the lord says “pay up,” you pay, or you face the consequences. This town has already decided NOT to pay. A town full of people shouldn’t have much trouble taking down one man, who at best can get off one shot before the horde descends upon him.

    What’s the “warlord” going to do about it? Hire TWO armed strangers next time to go get “his” money?

    • Ninety-Three says:

      It’s a bit strange to me that, in a world where normal citizens take 4-5 bullets to bring down

      My understanding is that they take one to two bullets to bring down, it’s just that these firearms are about as accurate as X-COM’s.

    • John says:

      Normally, characters in Mount & Blade games are accompanied by parties of armed men. I can’t speak to Fire & Sword, but in Warband it’s fairly easy to put together a group of 20 men or so even if you’re new to the game and don’t really know what you should be doing.

      Rutskarn is of course not new to the game and knows exactly what he should be doing. He’s just not going to do it because it wouldn’t be as funny as what he’s doing now.

      • Rutskarn says:

        In point of fact, Fire and Sword‘s a little different. You can’t just go to a town and hire soldiers anymore; you need to establish yourself within that nation first.

        The best strategy in the early game of FaS is to hire mercs. For which you need, you guessed it…

      • Ateius says:

        in Warband it’s fairly easy to put together a group of 20 men or so even if you’re new to the game and don’t really know what you should be doing.

        All of whom are on break when the peasants object to your tax-collecting, leaving only you and up to three named companions to defend yourselves. On foot. With sticks. Because apparently you left all your crossbows, maces, greatswords and fabulously expensive war-horses in your other suit of armour.

      • MrGuy says:

        Fine. But that’s sort of my point. Why should the town give you by your lonesome anything?

        Especially if there’s a mechanism that will allow you to return with an intimidating band of followers, shouldn’t this quest be unattainable until you HAVE said followers? Why on earth would they give “just you” anything? What are you going to do – threaten to kill them all if they don’t comply? Then politely ask them to form an order line to be murdered in?

        Yeah, I get it’s a video game. But this is a video game not even forcing you to use a mechanic they explicitly provide. A mechanic that seems custom designed for this quest.

        • Zeb says:

          He’s not shaking them down just based on his own personal muscle. He’s demanding taxes on the authority of the noble who governs them. Attacking the tax collector would anger the nobleman, and that guy does have bands of armed soldiers who could come back and torch the place in retaliation.

    • Rutskarn says:

      I probably could have been clearer about this, but he only took two shots to kill, and only that on account of my Mickey Mouse starting musket. The rest were misses due to:

      -My low level
      -My moving horse
      -My Mickey Mouse musket
      -The Mickey Mouse nature of muskets in general
      -The fact that I have the aiming reticule (which not only shows you where you’re shooting, but expands and contracts to show where the bullet might land) turned off. Which is, in the interest of realism, not straightforwardly preferable. People COULD historically sight down the barrel, and sometimes bothered, which is a feature the game does not have; then again, real shooters cannot count on their spread always being in the exact center of their vision.

      For the rest of the series I’m going to work on explaining the mechanics a little better, either through narrations or asides. I admit this was just kind of a rough, rushed week.

      • MichaelGC says:

        We’re all very disappointed and you have been placed on notice. Not notice of anything, I should stress. Just, y’know, general notificatory promulgata.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        I am curious, were the middle 3 shots taken while moving, or just from the horse? I’m playing Warband’s L’Aigle mod, and hitting with a carbine from a stationary horse isn’t markedly different from standing on the ground (that is, it’s still hit and miss, pardon the pun, beyond about 10 yards). But if I’m charging, I’ve to practically be on top of the enemy before I fire in order to hit him.

        Also, you have now discovered the reason that dragoons fought dismounted.

        • Rutskarn says:

          Various. The horse was always moving, but not always moving fast.

          • IIRC sighting down the barrel with black powder weapons was a good way to wind up with burning powder IN YOUR EYES.

            • McNutcase says:

              Yeah, burning gunpowder doesn’t sit still at all. And if you happen to be a bloody idiot modifying fireworks, and you spill powder on the rug, you seriously don’t want to dump the powder you scraped up in the ashtray, because when your buddy goes to stub out his cigarette, guess what happens?

              No permanent damage was done to his eyesight, but the rug was never the same again.

            • Rutskarn says:

              Maybe not shooterguy ironsights, but contemporary depictions and re-enactments do feature looking down the barrel, at least. If you look at my screenshots, where my musket’s pointing doesn’t correspond very meaningfully to what I hit.

      • WJS says:

        Ah, you have the aiming cursor turned off. That explains it. I was wondering “Is Ruts really this bad a shot, or is he throwing it for humour’s sake?”, because it really shouldn’t be that hard to shoot down one guy. Even when shooting for realistic settings, that’s one that I wouldn’t turn off because it goes too far the other way.

  6. Ninety-Three says:

    Battlespire was a unique treat, but I’m glad that we’re done with it. Now that you no longer have to spend half your wordcount on “Holy shit you guys, look at this broken garbage”, there’s a lot more room for jokes, and your jokes are really good. Makes me feel good about supporting you on Patreon.

  7. tzeneth says:

    I can’t wait to watch him get his ass kicked by the locals like I did. They take away you’re freaking gun and give you a stick to fight them. Gun beats stick. Also, playing Fire and Sword again and after taking the coward strategy, I have to say it is effective and makes sense for guns. I usually let my meat shields…I mean men, take the brunt of everything with lots of guns. Casualties are usually an issue though.

  8. MichaelGC says:

    Tiny bandit Terminator is tiny! Well, either that or we’ve got the FOV set to about 358.

  9. Ikeepforgettingwhatnameipostunderohwell says:

    The account of how Baibak the Marksman was brought to “justice” went from Blood Meridian to Blazing Saddles in two heartbeats and that is perfect.

    I love Rutskarn’s Text LPs and Mountainblade always produces absurd anecdotes so my only complaint is that I wish I could read one of these erryday! Oh well. I guess I’ll just stuff myself full of heroin to pass the time between posts.

    • MichaelGC says:

      All that smack might be slightly contributing to the forgetfulness, y’know! Hmm, what could it be? ‘Erik’ is a popular name these days, I hear. It’s not ‘Erik’, is it?

  10. Abnaxis says:

    Question for the peanut gallery (maybe I’ll ask again next post when it’s still fresh)

    I’ve never played a M&B game. For those who have, what other games would you compare it to? It seems similar to games I have enjoyed, but I’m hoping a random sampling of strangers on the internet can confirm what I’m thinking.

    Also, for someone completely new to the series (but not new to video games), what M&B title would you start with?

    • Retsam says:

      Second question is easy: Warband, definitely. It’s really just an improved version of the original, and Fire & Sword was interesting, but much less well received. (And there’s a metric ton of mods for Warband, too: if you want guns there are mods with guns)

      As for the first… I’m not really sure what to compare it to.

      It’s the only game I can think of where combat is you leading a bunch of AIs into a fight against another bunch of AIs. (Though you can play it a bit more like a really fiddly Total War game, if you decide to just sit back and give orders)

      The actual mechanics of combat I’ve heard compared to “Chivalry: Medieval Warfare” (haven’t played it though), except a lot more fiddly.

      There’s standard RPG elements in your main character (and companions), there’s more tactical RPG elements, in that you’re recruiting and training your army.

      It really plays like a lot of different ideas from a lot of different genres all smashed together, and while no idea on its own seems completely polished, somehow all of them together still make a game that’s pretty fun, despite all the rough edges.

      I like to imagine that Fire And Sword exists because the developers saw the fans were asking for a new version of Mount&Blade with more polish and severely misunderstood what they were asking for.

    • Rutskarn says:

      For those who have, what other games would you compare it to?

      Teaspoon of Skyrim in a cup of Sid Meier’s Pirates!.

    • John says:

      You should definitely play Warband. It’s basically vanilla Mount & Blade but with (i) slightly better graphics, (ii) more equipment, (iii) more quest types, (iv) an extra native faction, (v) actual politics, and (vi) the ability to start your own faction. And, as mentioned, there are a zillion mods. The various stand-alone, total-conversion-type spinoffs for which you can pay actual money tend to have massively buggy launches and less-than-stellar reputations.

      If you’re willing to wait, Taleworlds is working on a proper sequel, called Bannerlords which looks interesting. It not only promises to have faces more closely resembling actual human faces but will hopefully make sieges . . . um . . . better. And I think you’re supposed to be able to play boardgames with strangers in taverns now. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea when (or indeed if ever) Bannerlords will be finished.

    • Blue_Pie_Ninja says:

      Take an RPG, mash it with War of the Roses or Chivalry, add skyrims large open world (but as a map instead), add some Total War and bam! You have yourself some Mount and Blade.

      Get it, it is extremely fun and you won’t be disappointed, although there aren’t too many different quests to pick from, the combat more than makes up for it.

    • Syal says:

      Dark Souls.

      …I’d say Total War plus The Elder Scrolls and a looter like Torchlight, maybe throw Good Robot’s leveling in there. Pretty hard to compare properly.

      Warband added a bunch of stuff while keeping roughly the same gameplay, that’s the one to get. It also added a lot of swing directions so if you start with original it can throw you off.

      Non-game comparison description: Named characters are immortal (though they can be imprisoned for a while) and have independent traits and reputation meters but only fight as a member of their faction. Battles take place instantly if you’re in them or over time if you aren’t, and can be multi-part if there’s more people than the game is set to include at once. Monthly expenditures, procedural quests, minor experience-based, skill-based and reputation-based leveling, click-and-drag combat with directional blocking (annoyingly, shields will break but weapons never do, so you can smash someone’s wood-and-metal shield with one swing and they’ll block your next five with their wooden stick).

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