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Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #11: Classes and Races

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Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #11: Classes and Races

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 26 June 2015, 17:26:43

Tags: Eric Schwarz; inXile Entertainment; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep; Thomas Beekers

In the final Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter update for this week, inXile finally offer some detail on their vision for the game's character system - specifically, the classes and races. Here are the relevant parts:

Character Classes

If you are unfamiliar with the original The Bard’s Tale trilogy, it used a class-based character system, meaning the “Class” or profession of your characters was one of the first things you could choose. There were ten different classes in the first The Bard’s Tale, eight of which could be picked from the start: Warrior, Paladin, Rogue, Bard, Hunter, Monk, Conjurer and Magician.

With Chris “The Director” Keenan taking point on all things design, we absolutely want to bring back each of these classes. Many of the character class concepts from the original trilogy serve as a great base to make them interesting and unique. Each character class will have a very distinct role that they play, with the ability for you to make decisions along the way on how you want to tweak and modify their core class abilities. We want to give you more freedom in how you put together a party, so you’re not dictated a specific balance in melee or ranged, in weapons or magic, and you’re not required to take certain classes. Of course, this doesn’t mean that every party make-up is as viable as the next. A healthy mix is encouraged.

Each class has a unique function within the party, though that comes with some flexibility depending on the class. Some, like Warrior, Monk or Paladin, are best taking the direct approach, jumping straight into the fray, but their particular role in that position is unique for each. Warriors can use just about any weapons or armor and do very well taking and dealing as much damage as possible. Monks will embrace a bit of a unique combat concept, where they will continue to get stronger as fights or even dungeon exploration progresses, making them more powerful the more you push on (incidentally discouraging rest spamming!). Finally Paladins (with requisite +1 Holy Sword) serve as your faithful shield, protecting the party and providing various status modifiers to your party or enemies. It will be fun to explore more of these concepts with you moving forward.

In addition to the starting eight classes, we will be expanding the class roster. For example: currently we’re adding a Cleric, who will be a master of the healing arts, able to use restorative blessings. While not usually one of the main damage dealers, they can be surprisingly effective when fighting the undead and dark magics.

One of the more interesting notions in the original trilogy was the idea of magic users starting out as Conjurers or Magicians but evolving into different types later on, like the Archmage. Never fear, this is another concept we fully intend to maintain and expand to cover more classes, but that’s a giant system that we will save for a later update.

Character Races

The original Bard’s Tale games also let you pick a race for your characters, a system we plan to return and expand upon. Your race choice will be represented in gameplay modifiers, though we intend to do so in a way that avoids forcing you towards a set of particular race/class combos.

One of those expansions will be that the races you pick will have an influence in certain spots in the game, with NPCs reacting to the presence of a Trow in your group in certain, perhaps not always favorable ways. Some options may open or close to you depending on who you have in your party. As you know, we're huge fans of reactivity in our games, and that's one way we can use the character system to add more depth.

Speaking of the Trow, we’re looking to make some new additions to the roster of races based on the specific lore of The Bard’s Tale IV. The Trow is one such example of a mythological creature from Orkney Island folkloric tradition that we’re making available as a playable race.

As you may be able to tell from all the above, we’re not looking to make The Bard’s Tale IV a simpler game than its predecessors. We’ll have clever ways to introduce you to the game’s systems and ease into it for newer players, but if you are the type who loves building a full roster of heroes, carefully going over the options and considering your possibilities and spending hours to craft your perfect party, then The Bard’s Tale IV is very much the game for you!
Yeah, nothing particularly groundbreaking here, but as the update explains, they just don't have the hard details of this stuff pinned down yet. I'm actually more interested in that bit of lore underneath the concept art. Sounds like it could make an awesome level.

UPDATE: The campaign has raised $1.35M dollars, unlocking the crafting stretch goal. In a short new Kickstarter update, inXile celebrate the occasion, and also take the opportunity to tease further news using a suspiciously familiar silhouette...

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