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Torment Kickstarter Update #44: Kevin on Production, Adam on Fettles, Colin on Lore
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 23 June 2015, 19:20:03Tags: Adam Heine; Colin McComb; InXile Entertainment; Kevin Saunders; Thomas Beekers; Torment: Tides of Numenera
The Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter update for today sees a return to the classic Torment Triumvirate format. Kevin Saunders delivers a progress report on the game's development, including the status of the Alpha Systems Test (still no ETA), Adam Heine describes the game's status effects, which the team are calling "fettles", and Colin McComb offers another generous helping of lore, this time about a place known as the Valley of Dead Heroes. As per my habit, I'll quote Adam's section of the update:
"What the hell is a fettle that's not even a word."
Right. See, that's exactly what I said when Kevin suggested 'fettle' as our term for lingering conditions and effects. But yeah, it's totally a word, one perfectly suited to the linguistical atmosphere we're shooting for in Torment.
Fettles are conditions that affect player characters in and out of combat. Some examples that will be immediately familiar to RPG players are things like Poisoned, Bleeding, Slowed, or Hasted. Any condition that has effects beyond the immediate probably qualifies as a fettle.
Being set in the Ninth World, Torment has some stranger fettles as well. A character might be Energized (giving her extra damage and changing all his damage to a specific type, like heat, cold, or gravitic), she might be in Stasis (paralyzed), or even Phased (bonus to defense and protecting her from most physical damage types).
But the beauty of the fettle system is that it's not just about buffs and debuffs. We can use status fettles to keep track of whether a character is Hidden, Knocked Down, in Low Light, or Hovering. We have a Distracted fettle for when a character has too much to keep track of in combat, like if he's flanked by too many enemies or someone successfully Taunts him. And a character that's completely mobbed would be worse than distracted, they'd be Overwhelmed.
These status fettles last only as long as the situation demands, of course. If a character downs one of the enemies flanking him, he'll no longer be Distracted, or if he attacks someone from the shadows, he will no longer be Hidden.
Most other fettles last for a specific duration. But Torment doesn't use a real time clock to keep track of durations, so we have to get more creative with how long fettles last. In combat, that's simple—fettles last for a number of rounds or until combat is over—but what about a Diseased fettle that lasts after the Crisis is over, or a character has been Dismayed by an ancient, mental booby trap? In these cases, we use the rest system.
I talked about the rest system some on the forums, but in short each character gets a limited number of rests per day to recover some of their Stat Pool. They will also get a single Sleep that acts as a rest, restores all their other rests, and counts as a "day" for the purposes of time passing.
For fettles outside of combat, then, we specify the duration as "until next rest" or "until next Sleep." In this way, the player controls how fast time passes—whether they want to spend some of their Stat Pool to heal right away, or else Sleep and risk things changing (or coming after you) by passing time. This is just one of the systems we're implementing to make combat (and non-combat) more tactical, and to put the power of choice into the player's hands.
Update: There's also a new interview with Adam and Kevin over at Red Bull. It's basically a more detailed restatement of things we already know, but notable for the fact that it offers an up-to-date figure on the number of battles in the game. There'll be 12-15 full-blown Crises encounters, along with "several" optional tussles.