Originally written in 2020, I’m revisiting some of my old gaming articles as a reminder to self to give them another go for old times sake. First cab off the gaming rank is The Age of Decadence.
I remember it like it was yesterday – shopping at Harvey Norman Warnambool here in Australia for a Ricoh DVD+ burner (remember those and that brand?) and while I was there I picked up Arcanum for PC for the low price of $60. Which turned out to be a ripper game and at the time I thought the price was okay. (We’re talking around 19 years ago though..)
Flash forward to last night where I bought three games for the price of a large takeaway coffee and had them installed through Steam in half the time my PC from 19 years ago churned through installing the double disc fresh from the jewel case.
The times have changed and so has the wonderful world of RPG’s with a game I’m enjoying a lot right now, Age of Decadence.
Greetings good sir, I am but a humble merchant..
You can play other classes but this is what I’ve started with. After all, it’s not very often that’s an option in most RPGs.
Great at buying and selling things (although I haven’t done any of that yet so far) and brilliant at lying my ass off to get my way or serve my faction (I have done this a lot!) In my first hour of game play with Age of Decadence I swerved my way through so much conversation, I lost track of what was truth and what was my silver tongue spinning grand tales and talking up an absolute shit storm.
What I’m not great at being a merchant, is fighting. And I’ve been brutally murdered many times because when’s the last time a carpet salesman ever won a knife fight?
I will probably steal your stuff and sell it back to you
Because the life of a this world is mostly talking out of your ass with the occasional breaking and entering and sneaking around, flogging off whatever ill gotten gains I find. Because this is what I expect my smoked fish sellers in Age of Decadence to be behind the scenes, dodgy as all hell and not to be trusted as far as you can throw them.
HOW ABOUT I PAY YOU HALF?
Being a merchant, I’m great at spotting a dud deal and pointing it out because you can’t fool me! Most of the time I save heaps of money or make lots more money in the process. One time another merchant tried to sell me some of his overpriced wares, I pointed it out and long story short he tried to have me killed. That’s how we do business in Age of Decadence, with lots of haggling and sharp pointy things when the haggling doesn’t work.
As good as I am at getting you to sell me your entire family (with the dog thrown in for free) as mentioned above, I am not good at all in combat. Because combat in this game is bloody, brutal, very difficult and you will die lots. Especially trying to be a hero because this game will continually point out that it’s not your typical hero type RPG. No time for heroics here in Age of Decadence when you’re busying selling pots and pans and someone decides to slice you up.
–I came across a gang hassling people in an alleyway and foolishly kept walking through it. Having the chance to quickly slash the leaders throat in a very risky move when they confronted me, I completely missed (merchant remember) and got the snot beaten out of me. According to the note next, my body ended up in the dump. Whoops.
–I organised the poisoning of a band of soldiers (with $5 worth of rat bait) and then turned up an hour later to mop the floor with them, forgetting that I am but a humble seller of cutlery and even sick they’re still freaking trained soldiers. They skewered me six ways from Sunday and then went back to throwing up.
–I accidentally (I didn’t mean to) switched sides and ended up trying to take over the town, ending up in a raiding party that scaled a tower and found themselves in a pitched battle with the defenders. I tried to hit the nearest soldier unsuccessfully and sniffing a merchant trying to play soldier a mile away, they destroyed me. Maybe if I tried to sell them some carpet instead?
Age of Decadence is a tough one..
Which in a way is refreshing because it’s a big step away from grabbing a weapon and solely laying waste to anything and everything in your path. You really have to pick your spots, watch your tongue and stab people when they’re not looking.
Or pay the Assassins guild to do your dirty work instead which seems to work just as well. Save often though because you’ll be reloading pretty often.
But a couple of hours in, aside from dying plenty I’m still enjoying the wheeling and dealing and social engineering that’s going on. I’m obviously the RPG equivalent of Ryan O Reilly from the prison series OZ (although he’d last a lot longer in a fight)
EDIT – I FINALLY KNOCKED SOMEONE OFF!
Okay so it took 10 reloads…and finally I wised up and purchased some cheap armour, but I finally managed to kill someone in this game! Yes he was a basic thief armed with just a knife and clad in a sheet but up until the armour, he sliced me up something shocking. And almost beat me again with the newly added protection.
I barely made it out alive, but I got then.
Then the next person in the arena brained me with a mace in no time flat. But at least this humble merchant got one run up on that board..
Where to buy Age of Decadence for PC?
Back in 2020 I bought this through the RPG bundle at Fanatical and hilariously bought this, Rebel Galaxy and Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation for the grand total of $5.49 AUD. Yes that’s $1.83 each per game which is absolutely incredible value. Gone are the days where I’d spend $60 on a completely unknown role playing game when shopping for DVD burners..
It’s also available at Good Old Games although at the time of writing it’s back to $18.50 AUD – still pretty good value but best when part of a bargain bundle.
Now, can I sell you a carpet? It’s the bargain of a lifetime (once you look past the small blood stains in one corner..)