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The Necromancer's Tale - narrative-driven RPG about about necromancy and descent into madness

LESS T_T

Arcane
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
13,582
Codex 2014
Demo is available now.



https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1315320/view/3406436063680058078

A demo of The Necromancer's Tale is now available at last! This provides material from several places in the game:
  • Chapter 1 (Prologue) - the interactive fiction that covers the period 1701-1733 including the player's early life; your choices here define your initial skills and career.
  • Chapter 2 (Homecoming) - the start of the main game, where the player arrives home for their father's funeral and begins to meet old friends and explore the city of Marns.
  • Chapter 6 (Dominion of Phobos) - the first half of chapter 6 sees the player confined to the city hospital, having fallen into a coma while attempting to re-animate a skeleton.
This is a demo so there may be bugs!
We value your opinions while improving and completing the game.

The demo has an inbuilt feedback form for small ideas and bug reports; it also links to a longer feedback form for gathering your opinions.

We will keep this Demo updated and available for an extended period while continuing to work on the game. Think of it like a free Early Access!
 

notpl

Arbiter
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
1,450
Super excited about this one, but not sure if I want to play the demo instead of just waiting for the full thing.
 

Acrux

Arcane
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,489
I tried the demo for about 30 minutes earlier today.

It's broken up into a few different mini demos: the introduction (character creation and part of the first chapter); a couple of different mini-episodes in chapters; a small combat demo.

Character creation is narrative of the Necromancer's childhood - literally from birth - up to the beginning of the game's story. A text vignette appears and you select which option your character would do, which then increase your stats. There are 9 stats, divided across 3 archetypes - Military, Academic, Diplomat. The choices usually (not always) made sense for which stat they update (between 1 to 3), and some choices increased stats across multiple archetypes.

The character creation went on for a long time - and several of the vignettes said that the content had been cut short for the demo! I was starting to wonder if the game was just a visual novel, but it's not.

The next demo (which can be run on it's own, or continued from after character creation) let's you explore the grounds of your family home. There are small icons on everything that can be interacted with, which is usually just a bit of flavor text. There were several chests to loot - I didn't find any empty chests. There are a couple of characters you can talk with. There were skill checks in dialogues, although they were ridiculously easy to pass, which I'll assume was for demo purposes. All dialogue is in past tense, which threw me off for a bit. It certainly made sense during character creation, but I assume in the chapters you can play though we are seeing the Necromancer reminiscing about his past.

The next demo was mostly text based again, and let's you see a little bit of the reputation system. Basically, you can make some checks during dialogue to raise (or I suppose lower) how people react to you. Again, these were all trivially easy, hopefully just for the demo.

Finally, there's a very short combat demo. There honestly wasn't too much to experiment with here. You have 6AP and two skeleton allies with 4AP each. Movement is on a hex grid - 1AP per hex. Your sword costs 2AP to use. One of the skeletons had a spear that cost 3AP and had extra reach. Stamina and to-hit rolls were there, but it was so basic there wasn't too much to try out. I didn't see any special attacks that could be used. There's a spellbook, but it was disabled.

I'm not sure this demo has moved me much either negatively or positively. It's an Alpha and feels like it. Hopefully in a few months there will be something meatier to try out.
 
Last edited:

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth

Interesting analytics from 450ish plays of the demo of The Necromancer's Tale. This heatmap shows that players literally went everywhere possible and poked at everything.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth


Some footage of the work we've been doing improving character animations using inverse kinematics and cloth physics, plus procedural leaning and a bunch of wearable clothes.
 

MLMarkland

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
1,663
Location
Malibu, CA
http://www.psychicsoftware.com/thenecromancer/





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Or Necro Elysium maybe. It's focused on conversation and... rituals, but the dev says there's turn-based combat too.

title-1.png


The Necromancer's Tale is a narrative-driven top-down RPG where you play the role of a minor noble in the 18th Century, drawn into the Dark Necromantic Arts as you seek knowledge and revenge. Great power awaits... along with the weird, the morbid, and a gradual descent into madness.


title-2.png


Before you lies a great spellbook, filled with powerful rites of death and reanimation. Can you decipher the pages and master its arcane rituals without losing your mind or being strung up by the townsfolk? Your progress will require great determination, cunning and secrecy, as well as a willingness to confront difficult aspects of yourself and all humankind.


title-3.png


The Necromancer's Tale focuses on conversation, narrative and ritual more than on combat. Yes, there are battles, and tactical turn-based combat; however fighting on its own will not be a route to success. Choose your words wisely, because the characters you meet are already suspicious of the eerie events in town.


title-4.png


Unlike most RPGs, this isn't a hero's journey as they rail against an evil lord. It is a person's descent into madness as they plumb the depths of black magic in their search for revenge, the terrible things it asks of them and the uncomfortable choices they make in their search for power.

Spells and rituals are not treated like guns, that you acquire and then use without a second thought: the process of gathering/manufacturing materials and knowledge and then the process of putting them into action is non-trivial and is a focus of the game.

Confusing dreams, strange distant lights through the trees, spooky voices whispering your name, a loosening grip on reality - the game focuses on the unsettling experience of becoming a necromancer and transcending mortality, whatever that may mean... The game deals with themes of death, change, morality, and a gradually eroding sense of time and place.

Blog post about the origin of the game: http://www.psychicsoftware.com/2020/the-necromancer-commune-with-the-realm-of-the-dead/

With early footage:


I owned the trademark for Neceomancer in game space for a while, guess I should have held onto to it a few more years.
 

vazha

Arcane
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
2,069
Can't say this game looks very appealing to me but the clickbait thread title did make me consider the void of CAS inspired RPGs, what I wouldn't give for a Zothique RPG in the vein of Disco Elysium.

He who has trod the shadows of Zothique
And looked upon the coal-red sun oblique,
Henceforth returns to no anterior land,
But haunts a later coast
Where cities crumble in the black sea-sand
And dead gods drink the brine.

He who has known the gardens of Zothique
Were bleed the fruits torn by the simorgh's beak,
Savors no fruit of greener hemispheres:
In arbors uttermost,
In sunset cycles of the sombering years,
He sips an amaranth wine.

He who has loved the wild girls of Zothique
Shall not come back a gentler love to seek,
Nor know the vampire's from the lover's kiss:
For him the scarlet ghost
Of Lilith from time's last necropolis
Rears amorous and malign.

He who has sailed in galleys of Zothique
And seen the looming of strange spire and peak,
Must face again the sorcerer-sent typhoon,
And take the steerer's post
On far-poured oceans by the shifted moon
Or the re-shapen Sign.

Oh my, YES.

"...Hestaiyon stood apart from the others, in a corner of the shadowy hall. He was brown and withered in his crumbling mummy-cloths; and his lightless obsidian eyes appeared to gaze still upon nothingness. He seemed not to have heard the questions of Illeiro; but at length, in a dry, rustling whisper, he responded:

‘I am old, and the night of the sepulcher was long, and I have forgotten much. Yet, groping backward across the void of death, it may be that I shall retrieve something of my former wisdom; and between us we shall devise a mode of deliverance.’

And Hestaiyon searched among the shreds of memory, as one who reaches into a place where the worm has been and the hidden archives of old time have rotted in their covers; till at last he remembered, and said:"
 

cyborgboy95

News Cyborg
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
2,831
Combat Improvements in The Necromancer’s Tale
The Necromancer’s Tale demo has had over 1500 playtesters over the past 12 months, providing lots of analytics and around 150 in-depth responses via questionnaire. We have learned what players most love about the game (the detailed world, well developed characters, and overall interactivity)- which directly led to several features being added during 2023 (e.g. wearable clothes, voice acting, and further responsiveness in the world such as a playable piano and an interactable cat).

b0914b25a8ae8fb588837b5299efad1efe3322a7.gif

That’s right. It’s a gif of a cat. It’s about to hiss at you and run off.

We have also learned that players hope that the final game will offer a range of summonable creatures and various other necromantic battle-magic spells (in addition to the ritual magic will has always formed the core of the game). The one area that players felt a bit bland was combat.

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Some powerful creatures you can enslave, and then summon to help you in battle.

The latest demo shows off our improved combat system, adding Mana, Battle Magic Spells, and Activity points carry-over. We have also made a more friendly in-game tips system during combat and generally improved the combat UX.

5b8e9e44cd1144a6a9c40ea1fa1c638e83bb6892.png


Mana: this is the game’s 10th skill, adding arcane ability to the physical, social, and mental emphasis of the existing skills. Mana will be built up in various ways as you progress through the game, either directly or through the wielding of magical artefacts. Mana has become a core skill which is now needed in order to activate undead minions in battle, as well as to cast other spells.

Battle-magic spells: we have 10 battle spells planned in total, but for now the demo offers 3. Each spell costs Mana, Action Points, and (sometimes) drains your Energy.
  • “Activate Minion” is required in order to move a minion during the current combat round. Adding this requirement makes undead minions fundamentally different to your human allies in combat, adding a tactical dimension to their positioning and activation.
  • “Death Focus” allows you to commune with the Realm of the Dead and gain a temporary Mana boost. This is a useful spell when you’re in a tight spot, perhaps during a combat round in which the randomised winds of magic are blowing only weakly.
  • “Chilling Mist” is the first of two planned area-effect spells. This one invokes a magical mist which drains the action points of all mortal creatures in the affected area. It adds more tactical nuance to your control of the battle-field’s space.

From next Thursday (Dec 7th) the game is going into its second round of playtesting on the excellent [G.Round platform][gameround.co]. If you’re interested in being involved, for The Necromancer’s Tale or other games, please check them out!
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth


I've been building the town and wilderness map of The Necromancer's Tale since late 2019. In the last year, most of the work has focused on the forest encounter areas and underground caves, crypts and tunnels.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Updated trailer:



This short trailer has some previously-unseen parts of the story, including the royal ball and a meeting with a fellow-dabbler in the black arts...
 

udm

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Aug 14, 2008
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Make the Codex Great Again!
Game has potential from what little I played of it. No wokeness, decent writing, haven't gone much into combat options yet but it's from Psychic Software which made Darkwind War on Wheels so I more than trust them to do a good job on it. :incline:
 

Tao

Savant
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Messages
364
I have high hopes for this one but the jankines i see....
 

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