Well, I couldn’t stand it any longer. Got tired of tweaking and looking for tweaks, so went into the game for real. Of course, the smears were even worse here than in the training mod.

Anyway, we begin with the tutorial section, the Harvest Fair. Unlike the first game, this one is somewhat relaxed. No heavy combat or incursions. At least not yet.

I picked up two companions, Amie and Bevin (or Bevis, or something like that). She’s a wizard, and he’s a fighter, CG and LG respectively. My character is Neutral Good (I won’t abbreviate ;), so I’m right in between them.

There are four contests at the fair, and you have to win at least three. One is a Brawl with clubs. I started as a fighter, so with two of us, we handled that one nicely.

The second was an archery contest, which I aced using a crossbow. The third was a tricky one, requiring rogue skills. Since I’m dual-classing with rogue, thought I wouldn’t need one, but of course they wanted pickpocketing, which I didn’t have.

So I had to pull in this kid called Kip. Just needed him for that skill, since I was able to detrap and open lock on my own. We were looking for three feathers, and one was in (naturally) someone’s pocket.

The last contest was magic, so Amie did that one. Fortunately, the tutorial told me exactly what to do as far as the spells to cast. This one was a pushover.

Having won the four contests, we got a bonus quest to uncover a bit of trickery in another one. We did give the guy a chance to bow out, but he refused so he was exposed.

That’s where things stand now. Everyone is ready to level up to 3, and probably start looking into things not so nice and easy.

As far as the display, I really don’t like that minimap. It’s too big and I don’t like the placement or the fact I can’t make it go away. And there’s no compass, which is bad for me because my direction sense is poor.

In looking over the companions, I couldn’t find any way of making someone stay in place. There’s a “behavior” tab on the character display with a lot of options (micromanagement strikes again!), but nothing for “hold your ground” or similar.

We don’t have a lot of gold, either. My character did start with some armor, but no weapons. I do have the xbow from the contest, but no ammo. And I’m sure the training club won’t be of much use in a real fight.

Since I’ve reached the end of the tutorial (all that’s left is some ceremony for winning), that has me a little worried. I remember what happened the last time there was a ceremony. Brrrr!