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Community - posted by Infinitron on Sun 9 February 2020, 19:12:48

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

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Chris Avellone and the crazy Russians from Owlcat Games have joined forces once again to create Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, their followup to 2018 Codex GOTY Pathfinder: Kingmaker. This time we've gotten our Codex fundraiser online before the end of its Kickstarter campaign for a change. That gives us plenty of time to win one of these fabulous prizes:

$1500 - Design a Monument
$2000 - Design a Familiar
$2500 - Create an NPC Face
$4000 - Design an NPC
$5000 - Design a Quest
Just like last time, if you pledge to our fundraiser you'll get exactly what you would have gotten if you'd pledged the same amount directly to the Kickstarter. Owlcat will even set you up with an account on their backer portal so you won't have to bug us for your keys when the game comes out. Here's a list of the basic tiers:

$28 - Digital Download
$40 - Premium Digital Download (includes more bonus in-game items)
$55 - Boxed Edition
$99 - Beta Early Access
You can also add an additional $15 to your pledge to get the Alpha Early Access when that comes out. Check out the Kickstarter page for the full list of available tiers and add-ons.


Our Kingmaker fundraiser back in 2017 was a success in large part due to a generous donation from wealthy Codex philanthropist Temaperacl. Now that we know how awesome Owlcat are and with much more time to go before the end of the Kickstarter campaign, can we beat its record without him? Donate now and let's find out!

There are 48 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Codex Fundraiser - Join The Codex Crusade

Sat 22 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 22 February 2020, 23:23:56

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

The next Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous companion to be introduced is a special one. Seelah is Pathfinder's iconic paladin, a canon character from tabletop like Pathfinder: Kingmaker's Amiri. Formerly a street urchin and refugee, she chose to become a holy warrior after a fateful encounter with a group of knights during her youth.

In a world where friends become enemies and the hardships of the crusade turn good people into monsters, it is always reassuring to see the familiar face and shining armor of a true paladin. Meet Seelah, the Paizo iconic character, who has been a friend and ally to many Pathfinders in their tabletop sessions. Seelah isn’t your usual uptight paladin: life has taught her to embrace things as they are, so she laughs when she’s happy, swears when she’s angry, and can be found in a tavern when she’s thirsty. Vigorous, loud, and pure-hearted, she is the person you need when the world is burning and the soil is becoming corrupt beneath your feet.

A long time ago, when Seelah was just a teenager, her family fled the atrocities of Geb and took refuge in Solku, a bustling trade town. Their troubles seemed to be at an end, but for Seelah they had just begun. The gnolls of White Canyon slew her family during their raiding, and Seelah was left alone in the hot and dusty streets of the foreign town. Overcoming adversity with her iron will: she survived, stealing, pickpocketing, and even becoming a mercenary.

The rest of the story is known by all: when Iomedae’s knights came to defend Solku, Seelah was drawn to one paladin’s shining mithril helm... she stole it and immediately experienced something she hadn’t felt for the longest time: guilt. It only grew stronger when she saw Acemi, the robbed paladin, fighting the gnolls bare-headed… and dying from a mortal wound to her skull.

These events changed Seelah’s fate, but not her spirit. Devastated by Acemi’s death, she joined Iomedae’s knights and became a true paladin. Make no mistake: Seelah is no longer driven by grief. Her wounds have healed, and her strong, loving, and faithful nature have bloomed under the aegis of Iomedae. Now redeemed, Seelah believes in redemption for everyone. She can judge, but she is never judgmental.

But Seelah can offer you more than just cheering words and an approving smile. As an iconic character, she is the embodiment of the paladin class: sword and shield expert, master of blessings, and smiter of evil. She is a defender of the wounded and blesser of the fallen, and your shining shield in a seemingly hopeless battle.
I guess each one of Owlcat's games is going to feature one of these guest stars as a companion, and for Wrath of the Righteous it makes sense to use the paladin. Seven companions left to go.

There are 4 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #22: Seelah the Paladin

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 22 February 2020, 20:53:21

Tags: Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game; Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller

The Colony Ship closed combat beta has been running for four weeks now. Thanks to Iron Tower's dedicated team of volunteer beta testers, it's made a lot of progress during that short time. It's not ready for a public release quite yet, but it's nearly there. In fact, it sounds like it would already be out right now if not for some character animations that are still missing. As usual, the monthly development update includes a batch of new screenshots for you to criticize.

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I'm happy to report that the combat beta is going well and over 40 people are playing it at the moment. We went through 140 internal versions and 6 public updates in the last 4 weeks. Some players are true heroes who went above and beyond, testing each update and posting constructive feedback (900+ posts) which is shaping the game as we speak. The difference between the first version (that we released 4 weeks ago) and today's version is huge. If not for the remaining animations, I'd say we're almost ready for public release. So far the plan is to keep tweaking and improving until the end of the month and then re-evaluate the situation and see where we are with the animations (and whether or not we should release the demo with male models and animations only).

We added stimulants and implants. The coats are almost done, we're adding them now for the next update.
The color scheme in the character and inventory screens seems to be a bit easier on the eyes now. These small things can make a big difference.

There are 9 comments on Colony Ship Update #42: Combat Beta Progress Report #1

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Thu 20 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 20 February 2020, 23:49:05

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Today's Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter update reveals another one of the game's companions. Ember is a child-like elven witch who lives in the streets of Kenabres as a beggar. She's a good person even though the inquisitors tried to burn her and her father at the stake.

Sometimes hope is the only thing that keeps crusaders going on the battlefield. But what if there is no hope at all? You may ask Ember, who sees life and death as it is, in all its fickleness and terrifying beauty. Well, you may ask, but the answer would be as mysterious as the young witch herself.

Some say that Ember is just a mad beggar, some see her as a saint, some call her “Lucky Seven” because of her missing fingers, but Ember sees herself as a simple girl, no different from any other. And yet... this fragile, barefooted elven witch, wearing rags that scarcely cover her hideously burned skin, is one of the toughest crusaders Mendev has ever seen.

Ember was born in Kyonin the same year the Worldwound was opened. For many years, her father spoke passionately about joining the crusade, believing it a noble deed and a duty to be shared by all. One fateful day, he took Ember and traveled straight to Kenabres, but instead of being welcomed with open arms into the crusade’s ranks, the strange elves were taken for demons' servants. The inquisitors were alerted and tried to burn father and daughter at the stake. A paladin rescued Ember from the flames, but her skin and her mind have never been the same since. She has forever remained a child, innocent but wise. All these years she has lived the life of a beggar on the streets of Kenabres with her crow familiar, Soot.

Ember can’t even remember her real name, but meeting you would restore her sense of purpose: finally, after all this time, she can join the crusade.

Ember is the epitome of kindness and compassion. She sees the world as a good place where even though people sometimes do bad things, they can be redeemed and healed. She firmly believes that even demon lords can change their ways. Ember is kind to everyone she meets, though often brutally honest. She accepts snide remarks and words of pity with equal cheer, and sees a silver lining even in clouds that rain blood. However, Ember is not delusional. For her, the crusades are hopeless, so people should learn how to stand strong without hope. But in battle, Ember offers healing and blessings, surely bringing hope to her companions even in the darkest moments.
Eight companions left to go. I expect some of the others will also belong to the new classes introduced in Wrath of the Righteous.

There are 6 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #21: Ember the Witch

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 20 February 2020, 23:34:30

Tags: Conglomerate 451; RuneHeads

You might remember Conglomerate 451, the fancy-looking procedurally generated cyberpunk dungeon crawler by Italian indie team RuneHeads that was released on Steam Early Access back in May. In the nine months that have passed the game has gotten plenty of updates and today it's ready for release. Here's its launch trailer and description:

Conglomerate 451 is a grid-based, dungeon crawling first-person RPG with roguelike elements set in a cyberpunk world.

You are the CEO of a Special Agency, instructed by the Senate of Conglomerate city to restore the order in sector 451, where corrupted corporations have established their turfs. Thanks to the last constitutional decree, you are allowed to create human clones. Build your own team, manipulate DNA, train your agents, equip them with high-end weapons, choose what cyberlimbs to implant, and send the squad to the field with only one goal: eradicate crime and restore order at any cost.
  • Manage your resources - Make use of your own personal R&D department to research advanced technology, unlocking new features, powers and options for progression
  • More than just body mods - In addition to upgrading weapon and armor proficiencies, augment your body with interchangeable cyber implants that completely change your agent’s skills and utility
  • Pain and Trauma system - Even the smallest wounds can have a lasting impact. By taking damage in combat, agents risk generating permanent Traumas that will follow them between missions
  • Story or Endless Mode - It's your choice. The Story Mode brings you in a world filled by events and a war with corrupted Corporations and their propaganda. In the Endless Mode, the game will create endless content for you
  • Perks and Mutations - Your agents can acquire special skills (Perks) and obtain Mutations
  • Drugs and Disorders - buy synthetic drugs to temporarily empower your agents, with the risk that they develop Mental Disorders
  • Procedural cyber dungeons - Experience the dungeon crawling you love, mixed with future technology as you take on procedurally-generated dungeons and missions
  • If you die in the game... - Each mission could be your last thanks to agent permadeath. Consider every move, because if an agent dies in battle, they will be lost forever
  • Hack the world - Enter cyberspace mid-mission and hack your way ahead of the competition to get crucial intel and give yourself the advantage
  • Collectables and Achievements - find collectibles around the dungeons and bring them to the Collector to discover the truth
The Codex community tends to avoid Early Access these days and has never been a big fan of procedural generation, so we have little idea of whether Conglomerate 451 is any good. If you want to give it a try, the game is available on Steam now for $20, with a 15% launch discount until next week. Apparently it'll also be available on GOG after the weekend.

There are 13 comments on Conglomerate 451 Released

Wed 19 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 19 February 2020, 20:21:55

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is getting a couple of additional races via stretch goals, but it also had a new one from the very beginning. You probably know what a dhampir is. Half-human, half-vampire, good at killing vampires and other undead. The dhampirs of Pathfinder may trace their descent from one of Golarion's four vampire lineages, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Today's Kickstarter update has the details.

A dhampir is a creature born of darkness, a half-human, half-vampire, and thus heir to two birthrights. Hunted and ostracized from infancy, dhampirs are the embodiment of the phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” From early childhood, they hone their survival skills, learning to outwit and even kill those who seek to harm them. Extremely determined in nature and with a lifespan similar to that of elves, dhampirs can choose to become deadly enemies or valuable companions.

Ordinary life in mortal society holds little interest for dhampirs; they tend to become slayers, thieves, or vampire hunters. As half-vampires, dhampirs share many common traits with the undead, from their resistances to energy drain, disease, and mind-warping effects, to their affinity for negative energy and aversion to normal healing. This alone can change the course of fights with undead or other wicked creatures. Their shared traits with vampires make dhampirs perfectly suited to hunting down the accursed beings responsible for their tainted existence. For this reason, dhampirs are often prized for their talent at fighting the undead, and vampires often fear dhampir slayers above all others.

At the Worldwound, an inquisition is raging in Kenabres, seeking to find and stamp out evil, and the borders of the planar tear itself are continuing to expand, to the fear and dismay of neighboring nations. The region is full of danger and promise for dhampirs, offering them the chance to slash their way through undead raised by demon lords or powerful necromancers, or to earn money by legal or not-so-legal means, uncovering the secrets of darkness or sometimes even serving those who forever lurk in the shadows. For those driven by a hunger for glory or revenge, the Worldwound presents an opportunity too good to miss.

As vampire offspring, dhampirs vary in their heritage. Some are born from less pure or mixed heritages, but those who are not may belong to one of the following lineages: jiang-shi, moroi, nosferatu, or vetala.

Jiang-shi-born (ru-shi) are often quite gifted students, and though their stiff movements may suggest otherwise, they can be as deadly in combat as any other dhampirs. Moroi-born (svetocher) are children of the haughty and brutal moroi. They exhibit deadly strength and are incredibly good at talking their way out of almost any situation. Nosferatu-born (ancient-born) are the peculiar offspring of misshapen nosferatu. Some of them seek isolation, some revenge, and some deadly adventure; their innate strength allows them to pursue any path of their choosing. Vetala-born (ajibachana) dhampirs typically have skin the color of faded brass, allowing them to blend into society more easily than others of their kind. Their awareness of their own mortal limitations drives them to quickly absorb new knowledge and master any skill required.

What kind of story will you weave? Will you struggle against your tainted bloodline, or embrace it wholeheartedly? Will your companions stay with you till the end? And what will this end be? The decision is yours, crusader.
There are also four new classes and nine companions we haven't heard about yet, so there's plenty of material for additional updates.

There are 9 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #20: Dhampirs

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 19 February 2020, 18:28:07

Tags: Gothic (THQ Nordic Remake); THQ Nordic

Even though all the grognards on the Codex and elsewhere seem to have hated it, THQ Nordic announced today that feedback on their Gothic remake playable teaser has been "unambiguously" positive. The game will therefore be going into full production at the new THQ Nordic Barcelona studio. Players who responded to the survey did however say that the remake needs to be grittier and less colorful. Here's the announcement on THQ Nordic's website:

Barcelona, Spain / Vienna, Austria, February 19th, 2020: Just a little over two months after releasing a playable teaser for the Gothic Remake and asking the players for their feedback, the answer is clear: The fans are up for a new "old" Gothic game and the vast majority (read: 94,8%) was in favour to develop a remake of the iconic German RPG Gothic, originally released in 2001.

Over 180.000 players have played the playable teaser so far. On the evening (CET) of February 16 2020, THQ Nordic took the survey offline, and hereby publicly releases the raw data of the survey, as well as highlight graphs. With more than 43.000 answered surveys and over 9.000 (yes, really!) reviews on Steam and various discussions on all social media platforms, there is enough data to check.

Eager to check for yourself? As we want to start a transparent and open production with the community from the very start of the project, we are happy to offer you the results of our survey in a neat PDF file or - for the people who really want to dig into the raw data - the entire dataset with all 43.111 participants included.

Download the PDF:
Download the raw data (.csv and .xlsx in a zip):

Next Steps for the Gothic Remake

THQ Nordic will establish a new studio based in Barcelona, Spain, and will then assess what players liked and what they want to be different than in the playable teaser. One of the most common mentions was for example the demand for a grittier and less colourful world.

"We are up for the challenge to develop a full Gothic Remake which will stay as faithfully as possible to the original experience and transport the atmospheric world of Gothic into a high quality look and carefully modernizing certain gameplay mechanics." says Reinhard Pollice Business and Product Development Director at THQ Nordic.

The full Gothic Remake will go into production and will be developed for PC and next gen consoles. There is no release window available yet, but it will not be coming in 2020.

You want to learn more about the Gothic Playable Teaser? Check the official website:
Nice of them to make the raw survey data available. Read it and weep!

There are 16 comments on THQ Nordic's Gothic remake is getting made

Tue 18 February 2020

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Tue 18 February 2020, 23:54:00

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Pathfinder: Kingmaker was in a disastrously buggy state when it launched and Owlcat have pledged to do better with Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. One way they aim to achieve that goal is by using automated QA testing. Today's rather interesting Kickstarter update describes some of their QA tools, which include a bot that automatically plays through the game as well as various smart logging and script inspection mechanisms to assist in fixing bugs more quickly.

When development started on Wrath of the Righteous, we decided that quality was our number one priority. We carefully calculated that to achieve our goal, we would need 23 manual testers working all day, every day from now until launch. That’s an eye-watering number of man hours to spend on testing, and that doesn’t even include management, coordination, and everything else that goes into QA. We decided that the smarter approach would be to increase the number of manual testers by a sensible amount, and alongside this, to focus on strengthening our ranks with people who could build us the extra help we needed. Yes, you heard that right! In the QA department at Owlcat Games, all our in-house tools are considered part of the team, and we named them after creatures from Golarion.

Clockwork & Arbiter

The first team member we want to introduce is Clockwork, our bot that plays through the game for us. He can:
  • Play through a specific scene. This helps us to maintain the game at the quality level already achieved and, most importantly, save time on regression testing, the most labor-intensive part of the testing process. Playing through an 80-hour game in a gazillion different ways takes a long, long time. But it’s essential work, since indirect changes can cause parts of the game to break.
  • Play according to simple behavior patterns, for example, “kill everything on sight.” These exploratory excursions will help us understand how difficult the game can be, depending on the actions players choose to take.
We’ll be expanding Clockwork’s abilities even more, so that he can find the maximum number of bug combinations and regressions. But while our automation team is developing Clockwork’s new features, he’ll be spending night after night tirelessly slaying demons (current kill count: 83,452).

So, while Clockwork is busy checking the game’s mechanics, our second bot, Arbiter, is responsible for tracking visual changes in the game world. He rants indignantly whenever he detects a missing texture or model, or sees a character holding a weapon the wrong way round, or notices a drop in performance.

The best thing about our bots is that they find bugs super efficiently, allowing us to quickly figure out what’s causing the issue and resolve it. Making fixes during the dev process increases the overall quality of the game, and also saves time that would have been spent on bug reports and fixes further down the line, since this work will stop some bugs from cropping up entirely.

Aeon, Scrivenite & Bebilith

Besides direct testing, we’re also working on reducing the time spent on finding and fixing bugs. That’s where the next guys come in.

Aeon is our comms guardian. All the messages you send us through the in-game report function pass through his true-neutral hands. Since Pathfinder: Kingmaker, he’s learned how to gather more information to understand the context around a reported error. Now the developers can log all bugs directly from the game.

Aeon also notifies the devs about critical errors, holds all the necessary information about preparing the current release, and provides it on request.

The game data consists of interrelated resources. Imagine you’re waiting for the final line of dialogue in a romance storyline. You wait and wait, but it never comes. You need this line to appear before you can finally embark on a relationship with your paramour of choice. Why isn’t the line appearing? It could be there’s a problem with the line itself, or maybe there’s an issue with the conditions required to trigger it: 3 completed quests, 10 dialogue phrases spoken at just the right time, and 18 decisions that endear you to your beloved. During debugging, the time it takes to manually study all these connections is staggering.

But with Scrivenite and Bebilith, we make this process more transparent. Scrivenite contains the entire history of changes made to resources, and Bebilith records all the connections between them. They complement each other beautifully, and together they know everything about changes made to the game code.

This data-driven duo helps us quickly see how fundamental a change is, and what percentage of the game has been touched. They also hugely speed up the process of searching for an error, the author, and when the error occurred. They let us see a clear list of changes that have been made to a specific section of the game, and whether these changes may affect the rest of the game.

On top of all this, they also seriously cut down the time it takes to finalize a game build, meaning that we can get fixes out to players in record time.
This is actually the first time we've posted about a Kickstarter update for this game that wasn't about the campaign's next stretch goal. At the rate the campaign is going right now, it'll be a long time until it gets there. We'll see what other interesting updates Owlcat can come up with during this period.

There are 3 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #19: QA Automation Tools

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 18 February 2020, 18:51:10

Tags: Baldur's Gate III; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

After seven months of blowing smoke and wasting our time with Divinity: Original Sin 2 Switch ports and board games, Larian are at last ready to reveal some Baldur's Gate III gameplay. After teasing it on social media last month, today they formally announced that the game will be shown at PAX East on February 27th, live on stage with YouTube gaming personality Jesse Cox. Here's the announcement from the latest issue of the Larian Gazette:

We are excited to announce the eagerly anticipated gameplay reveal of Baldur’s Gate 3. Our Creative Director Swen Vincke will be playing live on stage with Jesse Cox, revealing more about the story, mechanics, and the answers to much asked questions. With seating for 1000 people, don’t worry if you can’t make it to the live show, it’ll also be streamed on YouTube. For those at PAX, there will also be a short, live Q&A where your questions can be asked and answered.

We will also be present in the expo hall of PAX East, with an all-new booth dedicated to Baldur’s Gate 3. At the booth, our team will be serving up live gameplay presentations for the entire weekend, starting after the live show concludes.

Baldur’s Gate 3 was announced back at E3 last year, and since then we’ve have been continuing to grow to 350 people (including outsourcers), and working on new technology and pipelines that allow the team to create a truly next-generation RPG, spanning 100+ hours of content, with all the depth you’d expect, and many surprises along the way that even fans of critically acclaimed Divinity Original Sin 2 won’t expect.

Tune in on February 27 at 1530ET to discover why we've been quiet over the past few months, and which direction the studio is heading.
The drama will be glorious.

UPDATE: Larian have announced on Twitter that their presentation at PAX East has been extended by half an hour and will now begin at 3pm ET. This is going to be big.

There are 51 comments on Baldur's Gate III gameplay to be revealed at PAX East on February 27th

Mon 17 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 17 February 2020, 23:52:53

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

After a very slow Sunday, the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter campaign finally raised enough money today to unlock the additional archetype per class. The next stretch goal is another two-for-one deal. It includes both the Oread race, which sounds weird but is actually just Pathfinder's version of the Earth Genasi, and Spanish language localization. The latter part is why this stretch goal will only be unlocked when the campaign hits a hefty $1,390,000.

23 archetypes are marching into Wrath of the Righteous! Thanks to your support, they will successfully reach their destination and increase the number of options (and rerolls).

Our next stretch goal will be 2-in-1! A new race and a Spanish localization.

Presenting oreads—descendants of outsiders from the Elemental Plane of Earth. Oreads are solidly built, their skin is colored in stony shades of black, white, brown, and gray. They have crystalline spikes for hair and eyes like glowing gemstones. Stoic and patient, they are unmovable like mountains, yet unstoppable like an avalanche when propelled into action.

Wise and contemplative, oreads prefer silence to words and the solitude of mountain peaks and deep caverns to the bustle of city life. But should they find purpose, friendship, or enemies, hardly anything can impede their slow but purposeful advance toward their goals. Anyone who tries to stop an oread will sorely regret it: an oread’s granite-hard skin is nigh impossible to pierce, and a single strike of theirs lands with the weight of a ten-ton boulder.

Drawn to the solace of the wilderness, oreads often become rangers and druids. With their wisdom helping them find their place in nature, they easily survive on their own in uninhabited lands. Harsh environments and the hazards of the wildlands may spell death for others, but the sturdy oreads shrug off these threats and trudge onward, forging a path with their immense strength.

Many oreads instead choose a path of faith. They find refuge in rigid religious teachings and monastic discipline and find comfort in living true to routines that are set in stone. They become monks, clerics, inquisitors, and warpriests, dependable and resolute, and ever ready to help or protect those around them.

And yet some oreads find themselves on the path of war, either by choice or by circumstance, becoming fighters, slayers, and barbarians. Perfect warriors, any war leader would consider oreads a dream to command and a nightmare to defend against. They hit like a sledgehammer, and trample through enemy ranks with ease. They prefer to wear the hardest and heaviest armor available, as it is scarcely a burden to them. Still, should an enemy ever pierce that armor, their weapon will find only skin of stone underneath.

Recent additions to our roster of available races have been more about dexterity and subtlety, and we hope that oreads will balance this out with their brutal strength and perseverance.

To arms, crusaders!
At the rate the campaign is going now, it's going to take quite a while to reach this one. Just as well, it looks like the next stretch goal after it might not be something our readers will care for.

There are 1 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #18: Oread & Spanish Localization Stretch Goal

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Mon 17 February 2020, 15:11:08

Tags: Alpha Protocol; Annie VanderMeer; Matt Barton; Neverwinter Nights 2; Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer; Obsidian Entertainment

As I hoped, this week's episode of Matt Barton's interview with Annie VanderMeer went into more detail about her work at Obsidian Entertainment. After the cancellation of Dwarfs, Annie joined the Neverwinter Nights 2 team where her role as junior designer was to set up and organize the distribution of the game's many items. She also contributed to the Mask of the Betrayer expansion, where she got to design some items of her own including a few with unlikely inspirations. At the same time, Annie also worked on Brian Mitsoda's initial more serious iteration of Alpha Protocol. She claims that this version of the game was scrapped after much of the voice acting had already been recorded and that none of her writing (and very little of Brian's) remains in the final release.

Voice acting was apparently one of Annie's favorite activities during her time at Obsidian, both doing her own voice work and working with professional voice actors. She contributed two of Many of One's voices in Mask of the Betrayer and did even more on Storm of Zehir, which was her final project at Obsidian. It looks like there's going to be more about Storm of Zehir in next week's episode.

There are 1 comments on Matt Chat 441: Annie VanderMeer on Neverwinter Nights 2 and Alpha Protocol

Sun 16 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 16 February 2020, 02:55:26

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

There was no Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous news yesterday (other than a very silly Valentine's Day update) as the campaign slowly climbed its way towards the reactivity stretch goal. Earlier today, Owlcat broke the silence with a Kickstarter update about the Witch, one of the game's new classes.

You enter a house. It’s old and scary, and the floor creaks loudly with every step. There is no one inside, except for several large spiders lurking in the cobwebbed corners. At first, everything seems pretty normal, but then you take a closer look… The shelves are filled with bottles, flasks, and vials containing strange mushrooms, something that looks like nails or fingers, and a host of other disturbing things. You approach a large chest, ready to open the lid to reveal the frightening truth behind this place—when you suddenly sense a presence behind you. In one quick motion, your sword is in your hand, ready to repel any danger… only to find a hunched, old woman. She lets out a hoarse cackle. Taken aback by the crone’s sudden appearance, you hesitate for a second… and fall asleep, never to wake again.

We’ve all heard stories like this before, but they’re just fairy tales, right? Wrong! On Golarion, witches are very, very real. As arcane casters, witches gain their spellcasting abilities not through study or natural talent, but by making a pact with a vague and mysterious force called a patron. This patron opens the doors to magic through a familiar, a cute animal that serves its witch as a bizarre living spellbook. Witches commune with their familiars every night to learn and memorize their spells, and to be ready for the next day.

Because of the strange source of their power, and because of the ignorance of common folk, witches are often feared and hated. Mostly, they are accused of stealing newborn babies and eating them alive, of cursing farmers’ cattle and dancing in the fields during the full moon. Well, the common folk are not entirely wrong: some witches really do such things. But in some places, people appreciate the help of a good witch: she knows herbs, heals the sick and the wounded, and calms animals in distress.

But if you happen to anger a witch—steel yourself for the consequences. Witches have the ability to use powerful hexes: special supernatural curses they can cast with a single fearsome look. Witches can make you fall into a deep sleep, turn you into a harmless animal, or even condemn you to death. But witches can also heal, protect, and even resurrect their friends just as easily. Witches can use hexes any number of times per day, but most can only be cast once on any given target (which is usually all that’s needed).

As with any class, not all witches are the same. You can be a hagbound witch, the victim of a special curse that slowly transforms them into a hag, and makes them physically powerful. Hagbound witches are capable of cursing their enemies and tearing them apart with their claws. Or perhaps you will be a hex channeler witch, who has a way of converting their patron’s powers into waves of healing energy. Not all witches use a familiar as a conduit for their patron’s powers—some, called ley line guardians, can spontaneously draw magical energies from the ley lines that cross all the planes of existence.

As a powerful arcane battlefield controller and healer, who uses both hexes and spells to keep their allies fighting and enemies unable to resist, a witch can single-handedly change the course of a fight.
It took until 4:30 AM to hit that stretch goal, and apparently Owlcat still aren't sleeping at nights. As expected, the next stretch goal at $1,195,000 is the addition of an extra archetype for each class. That's six archetypes per class in total, so much that for some classes Owlcat will have to invent archetypes of their own.

One of the greatest advantages of the Pathfinder roleplaying system is the incredible amount of customization and possible character builds. There are several crucial elements that make Pathfinder’s character mechanics so rich and rewarding, one of the best being the archetype system, which allows the player to customize their chosen class even deeper. For Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, we had already decided to increase the number of archetypes to five per class. But now, with your incredible support, we may have an opportunity to increase this number even more, to six archetypes!

And that’s great news for us: when we were choosing the archetypes for Wrath of the Righteous, some of our favorites didn’t make the cut. For example, for the fighter class, we wanted to add not two, but three archetypes. The first was the dragonheir scion, a powerful warrior with draconic blood flowing through their veins, imbuing them with the might of the great wyrms, their vitality, resilience, and resistances. The second archetype was the armiger, a future Hellknight who chooses a Hellknight order at the outset of the game and trains to resist any attempts to affect their mind. The third was the mutation warrior, who harnesses their knowledge of alchemy to physically enhance their body with mutagens and alchemical discoveries. Sadly, the last of these had to be left outside the scope of development. But not anymore!

Some of you might ask, “Hey devs, there are no archetypes in the works for my favorite class! How about an archetype that’s all about divination, or one for underwater adventuring? These three just don’t work in a video game, they’re more about social encounters and investigations, you know? What am I gonna do?!” Fear not, crusaders! We have the solution to your problem, and that solution is… to create new ones. Yes, totally new ones. We’re going to create new archetypes from scratch to fill the gaps.

For example, the arcane enforcer: a slayer archetype who is a master of special arcane tricks similar to arcanists’ exploits. While they’re not a caster and don't have their own spellbook, their understanding of arcane energies allows them to complement their martial capabilities with additional supernatural abilities. They can blast their enemies with various elements, strengthen their defense with shields, and even teleport around the battlefield, dealing strikes to the most important targets.

Every player takes their own unique approach to character creation: some decide on their character months before the game’s release, some try to find their ideal character through trials and tribulations (and, probably, through playing the first chapter of the game over and over and over), and for some, the “rule of cool” and beloved personal concepts are the way to go. But all players have something in common: we all want to make the perfect character, and the addition of new archetypes will bring us all closer to creating our ideal build.
Coming up next, another new race that you've probably never heard of.

There are 3 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #17: +1 Archetype Per Class Stretch Goal

Fri 14 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 14 February 2020, 23:23:55

Tags: Mad Sheep Studios; Urtuk: The Desolation

Urtuk: The Desolation is an open world turn-based tactical RPG by Slovakian indie outfit Mad Sheep Studios that's been in development since 2016 and has attracted some attention on our forums. The game is set in a dark fantasy world full of misery and mutation with a Darkest Dungeon-esque aesthetic to match, though the gameplay is more like a traditional tactical RPG with combat on a hex grid. An early build of Urtuk has been available on since October and today it got a full release on Steam Early Access. Here's the launch trailer and Early Access FAQ:

Why Early Access?

Right now Uruk is already really fun to play and has dozens of hours of content. Early Access allows us to gather important feedback to make the game even better.

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
We're currently estimating that the game would be in Early Access for about a year.

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
The full version of Urtuk will be more polished and have more content. Essentially the full version will be a more refined version; there shouldn't be any drastic changes or fundamental differences in core game mechanics.
The full version will have a larger variety of enemies, items, and areas to discover and battle quests. The world of Urtuk will receive more lore in the form of text hints and visual illustrations.

What is the current state of the Early Access version?
The game is playable and is polished to a nearly-finished state. The content you can expect in the game is feature complete in terms of what is listed in the section "About This Game". We believe you can play Urtuk for at least 30+ hours before you discover all elements and mechanics. We did put a great deal of effort into "mystery & exploration" for the player.

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
Our plan is to release the Early Access version with a lower price, and we'll probably raise the price as we approach the full release.

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
We're looking for feedback from players so that we can fix bugs, design issues and so on. We're interested in seeing how the gameplay experience changes as players get better at the game, and adjust the game to our best capability so that the experience stays interesting for both new and more experienced players.
We already have a stable players base, and all our communication is done in Discord and in the Steam forums.
Discord link:
Steam forum:
The Urtuk Early Access build is available on Steam now for $20, with a 10% launch discount until next week. More details about the game are available on its official website.

There are 10 comments on Dark fantasy open world turn-based tactical RPG Urtuk: The Desolation now available on Early Access

Thu 13 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 13 February 2020, 22:11:57

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

The Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter campaign scratched off another stretch goal this morning and the enhanced orchestral soundtrack is in. As fans correctly guessed, the next stretch goal at $1,155,000 is for "advanced reactivity". A rather amorphous improvement that basically means more companion dialogue and more reactivity to the player's race and class.

Golarion is a world rich with traditions, religions, and paths, where a bold and cunning adventurer can find their destiny. When making Pathfinder: Kingmaker, we tried to enliven this world for you as much as possible, making NPCs and your companions react to your race, choices, and appearance. But there is no such thing as “too much reactivity” in a CRPG. So, we decided to go beyond what we did in Kingmaker and add even more.

If we hit the next stretch goal, the Commander’s troops won’t hesitate to voice their opinion to all and sundry. The more we write them, the more we feel their personalities bloom and come to life. We get a sense of who tends to praise, who tends to joke, and who is often ready to make a snide remark. Reading each other’s dialogues, we often think: “Oh, Seelah (or another companion) has something to say about this!”, so why bottle it up?

Any hero who steps into the melting pot of the Fifth Crusade will now attract more attention and interest. And suspicion, of course. What made a tiefling with demon heritage join the crusade against their kin? Why did a noble elf leave Kyonin? And you, stranger, you’re basically an animal… right?

But it’s not just your race that will raise questions among curious crusaders and civilians. Are you picturing yourself as a skilled swordsman, warpriest, or cavalier on a glorious mount? You can bet that there will be characters who have an opinion on your chosen “career path.”

The camp, where your companions can relax and truly be themselves, is the place where bonds of friendship or mutual dislike are forged. This is the place where you can get to know your counterparts better, and now they will converse more freely around you, expressing themselves to the fullest. Long story short: we’re offering you more party banter and more reactivity, so you can experience Golarion as a living, breathing world.
More reactivity is certainly a worthwhile goal for any RPG, but the most impressive feature revealed today isn't a stretch goal at all. Back in May, a modder named Hsinyu created a remarkable turn-based combat mod for Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Due to its success, many fans expected that Owlcat would add an official turn-based mode to their next game. For a while it seemed like they weren't interested, but more recently their community manager began hinting that something was in the pipeline. This afternoon they made the big announcement that Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous will ship with an official turn-based combat mode.

We know that many of you are eager to see a turn-based mode in our new CRPG. And though our creative vision for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is real-time with pause—we’ve designed and balanced the game to be played that way—we don't want to ignore the voices of a huge part of our community that is asking for turn-based mode. We see all your comments, and we know just how much you want this. The truth is that we’ve been working on this for quite some time already, and the plan was to announce it later once we had a playable demo. But with all the enthusiasm in the community, we decided to share it with you now.

It is official now: we will be introducing a turn-based combat option in Wrath of the Righteous!

The mod community is amazing, and we are thankful for all the work they did with Pathfinder: Kingmaker. We took inspiration from Hsinyu’s mod:

Once again, we want to stress out that our new CRPG is designed and balanced for RTWP, but with that, we're aiming to develop a turn-based mode to bring the game closer to a tabletop experience and give more control over combat for those of you, who prefer to play turn-by-turn. You will be able to control every action your characters take. More than that, we want to give you more tools to plan ahead and employ tactics based on your party's unique composition and abilities. You will be able to switch between modes on the fly, without the need to reload the location, which will give you the ability to fight any encounter in either mode at any moment.

There is still much work to do: we took the user mod as a starting point, and then we spent a long time reconsidering the interface, and also adding some useful features—for example, we will add the ability to see the exact path your character will take toward their target, taking static obstacles and other characters into account. You will also be able to see any attacks of opportunity that enemies are going to make if the character takes this path.

More info on turn-based mode will be revealed later, after we finish the Kickstarter campaign.​

This is what we call massive incline. As for the next stretch goal after reactivity, it looks like it's about archetypes.

There are 7 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #14: Reactivity Stretch Goal, Turn-Based Mode

Wed 12 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 12 February 2020, 23:07:39

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

After a remarkable first week, the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter has slowed down and is now in its mid-campaign slump period. The Skald stretch goal was unlocked this morning after a full day with no updates, and the campaign finally inched past one million dollars a few hours ago. I'll post details about the next stretch goal shortly, but first here's a video from the bonus update Owlcat released this evening. It's about their process for creating the game's textures.

As somebody eventually guessed yesterday, the next stretch goal at $1,035,0000 is for an enhanced orchestral soundtrack. Once again there's not much to say about that, so Owlcat added some Worldwound lore to the Kickstarter update.

The story so far
Some may claim that Sarkoris deserved its fate, treating their arcane casters as they did, like dangerous beasts, leashing them and chaining them inside prison fortresses across the realm. It is no wonder that one of the mages broke. Areelu Vorlesh, whose brilliant mind was matched only by her cruelty, decided that enough was enough. In her attempt to escape and rain vengeance down upon her captors, she created a rift that merged Golarion and the Abyss, the plane where the demons dwell. The abyssal forces led by the demon lord Deskari invaded Golarion, bringing death and destruction to the world. Soon nothing was left of the realm of Sarkoris, its lands lay in ruins, half its citizens were dead, torn apart by demon claws, while the rest were scattered and on the run. The wasteland that was once a proud nation is now called the Worldwound, bleeding corruption through the rift into Golarion.

It fell to other nations to fight off the demon hordes and protect the world from the flames. The neighboring kingdom Mendev accepted the duty of leading the people of Golarion in a war that could easily become the world’s last. Galfrey, the righteous queen of Mendev, launched an offensive against the demons, called the First Mendevian Crusade. Reinforcements came from all over Golarion to join the fight, although only some were drawn there by duty. Many criminals and vagabonds signed up to fight in the crusades, following the scent of easy prey or the tales of the riches of the lost realm.

Despite the motley crowd it consisted of, the crusade went well – up until the point when it approached the demon-infested city of Iz, the former capital of old Sarkoris. The rift between the two planes expanded tenfold, and the second demon lord Baphomet joined the fray. The crusaders retreated, sustaining heavy losses and ceding control of one citadel after another.

All would have been lost if not for the divine intervention of Iomedae, the righteous ruler of Heaven. Her herald erected a chain of Wardstones along the border of the Worldwound to stop the rift spreading further and to provide the crusaders with a firm base for launching counterattacks. Since then, the war has been at a stalemate. The demons have tried to attack the frontier cities and fortresses containing the Wardstones. The crusaders have launched several campaigns into the Worldwound itself. Neither side has seen much success.

The start of the game

Over a hundred years have passed since the opening of the rift. The ever-young and righteous Queen Galfrey continues to lead the resistance, and yet it is clear that she is unable to put a decisive end to the demon invasion. Many join her army out of honor and duty, or to seek fame and fortune under the crusader’s banner, for whoever can stop the demons and close the Worldwound will become a legend.

The world needs a hero, and it’s your chance to roll the dice of fate and put your life on the line. But battling the demons is only the first part of the bargain. You’ll have to deal with many threats and solve the many challenges of the crusade. Will you accept the Crusader Inquisition, which has burned many suspected of being demon collaborators? How will you rule your ragtag army made up of holy paladins and chained criminals forced to fight? Will you gain the trust of Queen Galfrey, or confront her apparent inability to lead the crusades? Be prepared to meet with the Hellknights, the undead army from Geb, the infernal Dukes of Hell, the hideous but honorable mongrels, or even renegade demons, but remember – your allies have their eyes set on you, evaluating your every move. And most importantly, be prepared to wield the mythic power thought to be bestowed upon you by the goddess Iomedae herself.

If all this doesn’t scare you – then welcome to Kenabres! The frontier city is holding a celebration, oblivious to the demonic army ready to attack the Wardstone housed here. Join the crusade, become its Commander, and lead your forces to victory! Learn the true story behind the Worldwound and decide the fate of Golarion!
Not a hugely interesting stretch goal, and neither it seems is the next one. Maybe Owlcat didn't expect the campaign to do so well and have run out of them.

There are 0 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #12: Orchestra Stretch Goal, Making Textures

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 12 February 2020, 22:00:09

Tags: Geneforge 1 - Mutagen; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software

When Jeff Vogel began teasing his next game on Twitter a few weeks ago, nobody had any doubt that it was going to be a remake of Geneforge. What was a bit surprising is that he announced it was going to be on Kickstarter again, just like Queen's Wish. I guess that Jeff has finally discovered this Cool New Trick for making more money and that crowdfunding is going to be standard operating procedure for Spiderweb from now on. Anyway the remake is up on Kickstarter now and it's called Geneforge 1 - Mutagen. Here's its pitch video and description:

Our tiny little company worked on the five parts of the Geneforge Saga from 1999 to 2008. They were truly unique games, with a strange and fascinating world, complex characters, tough moral choices, and a blend of fantasy and science fiction unlike anything that had come before.

The games were big successes for us, and they have a passionate following that continues to this day.

They are also old. Really, really old.

The first Geneforge game is old enough to vote now. It is really showing its age. It doesn't run on a lot of computers and the interface and graphics are hopelessly crude. We have been wanting to give it a loving, ground-up remaster for years now.

And, with your help, that time has come!

The Remaster

When we remaster our games, we put serious effort into it. We want to bring the Geneforge games into the modern world, with a better interface, graphics, and design.

The remaster will not only be for Windows and Macintosh, but we will be bringing Geneforge, for the first time, to the iPad!

We plan to respect what our fans loved about the series. The world, the characters, the story, the game system, they will be mostly the same. We plan to expand the world, adding new characters, storylines, abilities, games systems, and other ways to go crazy with your mutant monsters.

This Kickstarter will help us to hire professionals to help with art, interface design, and adding all the other things the original game is lacking. We will take the time to rework every location, encounter, and line of dialogue.

It's a huge job. Remastering the five games of the Geneforge Saga will take years. Yet, this is one of our most beloved series, there has been a big demand about it, and we're excited to start the journey with Geneforge 1 - Mutagen! And we would love for you to come with us!​

Jeff is looking to raise $30,000 dollars for Geneforge 1 - Mutagen and he's already most of the way there. You can get a copy for $20, with beta access available for superfans willing to pay $200. Since this is a remake, it's worth noting that the stretch goals are promising new content - a new creation at $50,000 and an entirely new region at $75,000. We'll see if the campaign manages to reach them. The game is scheduled for release next year in February 2021.

There are 37 comments on Spiderweb Software's Geneforge remake is on Kickstarter

Tue 11 February 2020

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 11 February 2020, 18:47:26

Tags: Annie VanderMeer; Dwarfs; Matt Barton; Obsidian Entertainment

Matt Barton has been running his interview with Annie VanderMeer (formerly Mitsoda, formerly Carlson) on YouTube since last week. The first episode of the interview was entirely about Annie's recent work on visual novels, and thus of little interest to the Codex. So are the first 14 minutes of the latest episode, but the rest of it is more interesting. Did you know that Annie got her start in the industry at Majesco working on a cancelled GTA clone based on Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver? It sounds like it was a total mess, and so was her next job at Obsidian where the game she was hired to work on, the Snow White-based RPG Dwarfs, was cancelled two months afterwards.

Annie also mentions working on Alpha Protocol and Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, which she had to finish in nine months. Unfortunately the interview doesn't dwell long on any of these games. Too much time spent on visual novels, Matt! Hopefully the next episode will have a bit more.

There are 15 comments on Matt Chat 440: Annie VanderMeer on Taxi Driver and Her Early Days at Obsidian

Mon 10 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 10 February 2020, 22:27:33

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

As of today, the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter campaign has raised more money than Kingmaker did, with 29 days still left go. Owlcat marked this important milestone by introducing another one of the game's companions. Meet Lann, Zen Archer and mutant descendant of the first Mendevian crusaders.

Crusaders are the true heroes of Mendev, but there are always those who are erased from history, and who wait in the darkness until they are recognized and revealed to the world once more. The mongrels are one such people that history forgot, the cursed children of the First Crusade. “Lann the Man '' is one of them, a stoic zen archer and dispenser of dry wit.

Mongrels are the descendants of the first crusaders, whose souls were untouched by the corruption, but whose bodies suffered the aftereffects of the Worldwound. Their offspring were born with various mutations, and the luckiest of them — those who were able to breathe and had a full set of vital organs — faced fear and hatred because of their resemblance to demons.

The mongrels were driven into the damp and dark caves beneath Kenabres, and gradually, as one short-lived generation replaced another, the crusades themselves became the stuff of legends, and the surface an unachievable dream. To this day, the mongrels believe that they are the “crusaders below,” protecting Mendev from the monsters that lurk in the darkness.

Lann can be considered one of the luckiest of his race. Born to a mongrel father and half-elf mother, he looks half-man, half-lizard, and with a prominent horn, but his peculiar appearance doesn't prevent him from being charming in his own brusque way.

Lann hasn’t spent his entire life in the caves. For some time, his parents wandered between surface and underground, looking for a place where their unusual family could live in peace. Because of this, he speaks Common freely, and has first-hand knowledge of the world that the other mongrels fear.

Yes, Lann’s life has been full of hardship, but he is not one for brooding. He wears his sense of humor like armor, and uses jokes to cheer those around him. His reliable nature makes him the perfect companion for a dangerous journey.

A cave isn’t the best training ground for an archer, but Lann had no other place to master his skills: his tribe's survival depended on his ability to hunt anywhere. This harsh training has made him the perfect zen archer—patient, but quick to shoot. Rest assured, with Lann at your side, the enemy won’t even get close.
Just over an hour after this update was published, the evolving animal companions stretch goal was unlocked. The next stretch goal at $985,000 is indeed a new class - the Nordic warrior poet known as the Skald.

The joy of music, the sound of battle, the history of conflict, the beauty of the rhythm that emerges from the chaos—those who seek it, record it, experience it, are skalds. Historians and poets, skalds balance on the brink of violence and civilization. They record heroic battles and the deeds of great leaders from the front lines, never shying away from performing a leading role.

Skalds themselves are no strangers to violence, for how can someone ignorant of the bloody realities of war translate them into songs? And those songs are destined to be sung neither for noble courtiers nor for tavern rabble—only for war. In the midst of battle, the skald recites them, driving allies into a murderous rage, inspiring them to superhuman feats of strength, and striking terror into their enemies. Sometimes the skald’s poetry reaches even the dead, reminding them of their duty and bringing them back to life for a short time to continue the fight.

Skalds are keepers of lore, and their knowledge is not limited to war—they are learned in traditions and the world, in nature and religion, and in magic as well. Talented spellcasters, just like bards they learn spells to aid their allies in battle and to break their enemies. Keeping not only lore but also military traditions, skalds perfect their skills with their chosen weapons, merging performance and martial efficiency into a deadly art.

Yet no one knows better than skalds that mere skill is not enough to win against overwhelming odds—emotions, morale, rage, and righteous wrath rule over the battlefield. Like barbarians, skalds foster their rage and study its different facets and powers, and then channel it into their frenzied songs. This deep understanding of their primal side brings them closer to barbarians—always on edge and ready for battle.

Of course, as civilizations and cultures advanced and branched off from one another, some found the need for different types of skalds. A battle scion fits better with disciplined armies that act as well-oiled machines, concentrating more on teamwork than on the primal aspects of rage. A demon dancer channels abyssal wrath into their songs, fighting like a demon and warping the minds of those around them. A hunt caller focuses on the animalistic aspects of rage and can literally transform allies into animals. A herald of the horn uses songs to awaken companions that are afraid or that have fallen under the effects of enemy spells, and specializes in destructive magic. Court poets, meanwhile, find themselves in different battles altogether, be it deadly palace intrigues or duels between mages.
We're not sure yet what the stretch goal after this one is, but given that it'll be the first one after the campaign hits $1,000,000, it's bound to be something interesting.

There are 3 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #10: Lann the Zen Archer, Skald Stretch Goal

Sun 9 February 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 9 February 2020, 23:45:00

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

The furries did not disappoint and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter campaign hit its new race stretch goal this evening. Before that even happened however, Owlcat decided to release a bonus update revealing the game's main theme music. It's by Dmitry Silantyev and it's pretty nice.

As was expected, the next stretch goal at $915,000 is about animal companions. Formerly they were simple, but now they'll become customizable. Name them, equip them, level them up with feats, and select their archetype.

What could be better than riding a bear into battle? Riding an armored bear into battle, that’s what! A bear clad in magic armor and wearing magical jewelry. A bear that knows martial arts, specializing in blind fighting and intimidation, and that can breathe fire. That might sound a little insane, or maybe more than a little. Still, it’s possible in pen-and-paper Pathfinder, and we even caught some flak for not implementing this feature in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. This stretch goal has come to right that wrong, unlocking several levels of animal companion customization.

Animal companions have always been an essential part of many classes in Pathfinder, and we know that some of you are big fans. And now, with the introduction of mounted combat, the role of animal companions has become even more significant. With this stretch goal, we intend to introduce four ways to customize your animal companions. You will be able to name them, equip them, select their feats on level-ups, and select their archetype.

You will be able to equip accessories on your animal companions — giving them belts of giant strength, rings of protection, and amulets of mighty fists. But your choice won’t be limited to the equipment worn by regular characters. There will be items unique to animal companions: belts, rings, and amulets used only by them, as well as entirely unique item types such magical armored bardings and special magical implements that improve their teeth, claws, and hooves. And some of those items will, of course, be seen on the model of your animal companion in game.

On level-ups, you will be able to select any feats that your animal companion fits the prerequisites for. You will be able to choose Power Attack and Weapon Focus to boost your animal companion’s damage, Dodge and Armor Proficiency (with magical bardings) for defensive bonuses, or maybe combat maneuver feats, or Dazzling Display. Or any other combination. Also, all party members will now select special mythic feats and abilities when the main character gains a mythic level, and animal companions will also be presented with this selection.

But the customization won’t end there — despite lacking a class, animal companions will still have archetypes. The bodyguard is always ready to defend their master and can survive longer thanks to defensive abilities such as uncanny dodge. The charger is trained for war, suffering fewer penalties to mobility from armor and truly shining during charges (hence the name). Draconic animal companions are resistant to the elements of their heritage and can unleash a draconic breath. And that’s just to name a few.

We hope that this will add some much-desired depth to animal companions, strengthen their blows, and brighten your day. Good luck, crusaders. Take care of your pets. Put some armor on them, or something.​

Looks like the next stretch goal after this one is another new class. And there's still 30 days left to go. This game's going to be crazy.

There are 2 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #8: Main Theme, Animal Companions Stretch Goal

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 9 February 2020, 02:03:12

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

It's nearly 4 AM in Moscow and the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter campaign just reached its Mythic Paths stretch goal. Because Owlcat apparently don't ever sleep, they immediately published the Kickstarter update for the next stretch goal at $845,000. As expected it's for a new race, or more accurately for a new furry race. Catfolk, Ratfolk or Kitsune - backers will get to decide which one after the campaign ends.

Do you sometimes look at the choice of races in fantasy games and think: “That’s not enough”? Do you yearn for more? For something less conventional? You’re in luck, for reaching this stretch goal will allow us to implement a whole new race that differs dramatically from the ordinary humans and their ilk. Which race will it be? Well, this time the choice will be yours — after the Kickstarter campaign ends, every backer will be able to vote on which of the three races you want us to add to the game. Choose wisely, as only one of the following races will make the cut.

The first available choice is the catfolk, a race of natural explorers whose curiosity knows no bounds. Their trailblazing is not limited to searching for new horizons in distant lands; they are just as likely to find themselves on a quest for personal growth and enlightenment. Or pondering solutions to age-old problems, and questioning even the most entrenched philosophical certainties of the day. Or finding and composing new songs and stories. Or even accomplishing what no one else has ever dared to try before. Nimble, capable, and curious, these charismatic and often energetic creatures make for perfect bards, rogues, sorcerers, and oracles.

The second choice is the ratfolk — a race of small, rodent-like humanoids renowned for their natural cunning. Masters of commerce, especially when it comes to mechanical or magical devices, ratfolk can now be seen everywhere on Golarion. Their small stature is their most striking feature and their greatest vulnerability, so ratfolk shy away from engaging larger foes in contests of strength, preferring to achieve victory with their natural intelligence and agility. A ratfolk is ideally equipped to be an alchemist, wizard, or rogue, and sometimes even a magus or witch.

The third choice is the kitsune, or fox folk — a race of vulpine shapeshifters known for their love of both trickery and art. Kitsune possess two forms: a human form and their true form, that of an anthropomorphic fox. Kitsune prize loyalty among their friends but delight in good-natured mischief and trickery. They take pleasure in the pursuit of creative arts and in all forms of competition, especially the telling of stories interwoven with tall tales and falsehoods. Keenly interested in adding their own names to the myths and legends of explorers and heroes of old, Kitsune adventurers make excellent bards, rogues, oracles, and sorcerers.

Whatever your choice will be, we believe that any one of these races will make a fun and colorful addition to the game, and we eagerly await the results of the poll, which will take place after the end of the campaign.

Good luck, crusaders, and ready yourself to make a choice.
We'll see if the furries are worth enough to hit this stretch goal by the end of tomorrow. It looks like the next stretch goal might be related to animals too.

There are 11 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #6: New Race Stretch Goal

Gibs us money to put a monument in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

TARGET: $2,500 USD

RAISED: $2,099.50 USD (83%)

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