First off, I had seen the computer-generated Ultima maps before--but I am specifically not using walkthroughs, maps or other cheating methods while playing these games (besides the memory in my brain!) so they are not too useful. Also, Dino suggested his site for hosting my handdrawn maps, etc, but unfortunately, it is the scanner and not the web space that I am lacking ;-)
Thanks to family visiting, I haven't been eager to play as mch Ultima this weekend. I squeezed some in yesterday, though, mostly spent exploring dungeon Shame, where I was told a pirate had gone to seek treasure. Paulon asserts that Despise is connected to other dungeons besides Heftimus cave, but I haven't seen it--Shame seems totally self-contained. It did have some nice treasure, if you like gold nuggets--I found something like 30 or 40, but did not find much in the way of magic items or other cool stuff. Overall, I am disappointed by the magic item quantity in Ultima VI--You've got magic bows, some wands...armor and helm and some rings. There are also a few storm cloaks somewhere, but I don't think there are many of those at all! And I am loath to use them because they vanish eventually, as I recall.
Anyway, Shamewas fairly fun--lots of very long tunnels. I found Ybarra eventually, as well as some amusing bugginess. Sometimes when you kill a monster, you can continue attacking the same location and get a "charge broken!" response. The game designers seem to have athing for putting violent kids in dungeons, too (this tme with a reaper; note its odd appearance) because I found yet mre of them in Shame. Ybarra gave me his map in trade for some food, though he ate his belt. I don't see why he doesn't just eat some rats because they are quick to slaughter.
There comes a time in this and future Ultima games where your characters are heavily encumbered by all the junk youpick up during your quest. In Ultima V it wasn't a big deal--who cared if my party was carring 15 bows and 12 short swords and 19 sets of leather armor? But in Ultima VI, having more party members has the advantage of carrying more stuff, including a skiff for convenient water travel. With that in mind I picked up Blaine the jester gypsy, who now carries nothing but a skiff and a powder keg. I also organized the rest of my party. Zachary carries some needed items, the spellbook, reagents and whatever quest items I am currently working on (map pieces for the moment). Iolo is devoted to carrying gold, and all the not-so-useful-now quest items (rues and moonstones). Shamino is my adventuring gear man, with piles of gems and torches, spare swamp boots (for future party members) and so on. Supre carries all the heavy gear, things I might conceivably need: rope, pick, shovel, bucket and so on. Sherry is a weakling who does not carry much. Her main purpose is to crawl through grates and fences, which is very useful later in some situations. Blain, as mentioned, is about the skiff and poder keg. Weaponwise, Blain has a sling and Sherry a boomerang. Iolo and Shamino have crossbow and magic bow, respectively, while Dupre has a two-handed sword. I personally carry a halbred, which I think is the best weapon in the game--It attacks over several squares and does a pile of damage. The first time I played, I never went into combat mode for my whole party and I just killed things all alone.
I guess the next quest will be to tackle the ant hill off in the desert, and then Wrong and Covetous. That should get most of the map pieces, save one whose location I am unsure of. I think t might be Sandy, the cook, and if I get him a dragon egg perhaps he will be satisfied, but I am unsure. That means I'd have to tackle Destard, though. Aye carumba. Will Ultima VI take longer to finish than Ultima V? I would wager so--the final couple of quests are quick, but I know I have at least three more dungeons to explore after the ones I mentioned, so we shall see.
As a side note, it seems like the Shrine of Humility moved a long way from its old spot, as did the Codex shrine. I have been trying to visit the shrines without the orb of the moons (which makes the game ridiculously easy), but I gave p trying to find the shrne of Humility.