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Game News Esoteric Ebb is a 5E ruleset Disco-like where you play as a cleric unraveling a political conspiracy

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Tags: Esoteric Ebb

A number of RPGs to be announced in recent years have been inspired by the success of Disco Elysium, but Esoteric Ebb is probably the first one to explicitly describe itself as a "Disco-like". Set in a Sigil-esque "post-arcanapunk" fantasy metropolis, Esoteric Ebb puts you in the role of a municipal cleric tasked with investigating a terrorist attack on the eve of the city's first election. Interestingly, the game uses an adaptation of the 5th Edition OGL ruleset, with dialogue checks based on the standard D&D attributes and some sort of implementation of divine spellcasting. Developed by Swedish fellow named Christoffer Bodegård, who has been working on it as a side project since 2019, the game appeared on Steam in August and today it received its first proper trailer.



Esoteric Ebb is a 5e isometric Disco-like CRPG in which you unravel a political conspiracy in a unique post-arcanapunk fantasy setting. Inspired by classics like Planescape Torment & Baldur's Gate, it features colorful and really weird characters you get to interact with through deep and branching dialogs.

The City of Norvik is holding its first ever election. The tension on the streets is sizzling, and somebody just blew up a tea shop. Great. Since no one else wants to touch it with a ten-foot pole, it's up to you and your goblin companion Snell to unravel the political web of intrigue and shine a light on the secrets hidden within this ancient city. Is it a divine mission? A quest for justice? Or is your first step towards complete political dominion? Only you can decide on your personal & sacred journey as a devoted government employee.

An open-ended QUEST. The tea shop on Tolstad blew up just a week before the election, and nobody is doing anything about it - except you! Solve this mystery in any way you want by exploring the streets, towers, and dark tunnels of Norvik.

A strange fantasy setting. Based on a homebrew 5e campaign of weird fantasy, Esoteric Ebb takes place in a world where mythological creatures sell newspapers at corner shops and ideologies overtake the ramblings of dead gods.

Set-piece combat sequences. Clerics in Norvik are taught to use violence as a last resort only, although not everyone follows the mantra so strictly. When need does arise, a roll of the dice determines life or death.

Deep Cleric Customization based on the 5E ruleset. As a government employee, a helm and uniform is required of course. But no one said anything about accessories! Customize the look and abilities of your cleric as you choose how to engage the many tense encounter in Norvik.

Warp reality to your whim, with MAGIC. As an expert in arcana, your cleric can learn powerful spells during his QUEST. Heal wounds! Detect evil lurking around every corner! Speak with the dead! Speak with cats! They might even respond if you're lucky!

Unique plot mechanic, THE QUESTING TREE. A branching representation of your cleric's goals and ideas, where each node is a unique dialog to be explored and solved. Both useful to keep track of the various leads you'll follow, and also a means to change your cleric's mind... who knows, you might even unlock unique dialog options.​

I worry about the viability of these one-man Disco Elysium clones (when's the last time you heard about Clam Man 2?) and the cel shaded MS Paint look won't be for everyone, but otherwise I'd say the game is worth keeping an eye on. A few additional details about it are available on Christoffer's official website.
 

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Similar insufferable writing style as Disco, certainly.
 
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Maxie

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hmm very promising. but is it deep&mature with soulsian enemies and crafting
 

Darkozric

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Infinitron You're not disgusted by the shit that you post in the front page, but you're disgusted by a cat throwing up? So weak.
 

Junmarko

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Anything claiming to be inspired by Pinko Elysium goes straight to the bin.
 

Bohrain

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I didn't like the inner voices aspect in DE, but it at least made some thematical sense there.
But doing the same thing with DnD stats? Really?
 

Tavernking

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If you purchase this game, then know you are pushing the CRPG genre in this direction... It's not for me to say if that's a good thing or not
 

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If you purchase this game, then know you are pushing the CRPG genre in this direction... It's not for me to say if that's a good thing or not
Can't wait till 2024 when journos will be writing articles about how the genre should get rid of combat altogether.
 
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