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SKALD: Against the Black Priory, a retro RPG inspired by Ultima and Gold Box, now on Kickstarter

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SKALD: Against the Black Priory, a retro RPG inspired by Ultima and Gold Box, now on Kickstarter

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 4 June 2019, 01:57:30

Tags: High North Studios; SKALD: Against the Black Priory

There have been a bunch of Ultima-inspired RPG Kickstarters recently, such as Code of the Savage and the tragically vaporous Unknown Realm. There's something timeless about that style, I guess. We don't post about every retro RPG we come across, but Scape-IT's SKALD: Against the Black Priory is another one that's too cool not to mention. SKALD combines classic Ultima-style exploration with the more complex character and combat systems typical of the Gold Box games, but it also has more modern elements such as scripted narrative sequences with dialogue trees. The game has been in development since the beginning of 2018, starting out as an RPG engine simply called SKALD. The actual Against the Black Priory campaign was first unveiled at the end of 2018 and in March creator Anders Lauridsen announced his decision to bring it to Kickstarter, which he did today. Without further ado, here is SKALD's rather brief pitch video and an excerpt from its campaign page:

SKALD: Against the Black Priory is a tile and turn based roleplaying game where you lead a party of up to six characters on an epic and perilous quest.

The game features:
  • Vintage graphics using the glorious Commodore 64 color palette
  • Complex level-based character development with abilities, skills and features
  • Grindless tactical combat
  • "Choose-your-own-adventure" system and dynamic, tree based dialog.
As a party based RPG, SKALD puts heavy emphasis on both roleplaying- and mechanical interaction between party members.

The current leader of the party can be swapped by the push of a button and the skills and abilities of the current leader will influence interactions with the game world. But be warned: Managing the party can be challenging with members having private agendas and motivations.

Combat in SKALD is turn- and menu-based. This leads to fast and grind-less combat (that can be automated). The design emphasis is on having interactions between abilities, tactics and situational circumstances create unique and challenging combat every time.

The game will feature a rich and highly interactive world with both scripted and systemic ways of interacting with the hundreds of NPCs, items, objects and plot points. The game will allow for, and encourage, a large range of player expression and roleplaying.

Interacting with the world takes place through tree-based dialog, "choose-you-own-adventure sequences", combat, tile-based exploration and interaction with in-game systems.

SKALD: Against the Black Priory will feature level-based character development with both numerical stats and special abilities. I also intend for roleplaying choices to affect character development by taking a leaf from classics such as Fallout 1 and 2.

As a game of dark, gritty fantasy, magic is a huge part of the world building. It will play a huge part of the game and designing a system that is both mechanically and narratively appealing is a challenge I can't wait to dig into! More on that down the line.

The game will release on PC (Windows) first with releases for Mac and handheld devices down the line. NOTE: Backer rewards are PC only.

Estimated release date is June 2020.​

SKALD: Against the Black Priory can be yours for a mere 99 Norwegian Kroner (about $11) with alpha access available at 199 NOK (~$23) and beta at 349 NOK (~$40). The game is well on its way towards its very attainable 70000 NOK (~$8000) funding goal and is scheduled to be out next June. Check out the official website for more details.

There are 28 comments on SKALD: Against the Black Priory, a retro RPG inspired by Ultima and Gold Box, now on Kickstarter

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