The RPG Scrollbars: Conning Purple

After what seems like forever, but has really just been ages, Age of Decadence [official site] is out and ready to kick your arse/ass (delete according to your ability to pronounce ‘aluminium’). I’ve not had much time to put into it myself yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so, not least because of the promise of not being your usual combat heavy RPG. There’s combat, but also plenty of scope for talking your way out of problems, as well as a cast not all patterned after the knight that can only tell the truth from that tiresome logic puzzle. You know. Towers of Hanoi.

What really caught my attention on firing it up though was one of the character classes – “Grifter”. Hmm. How would that go? No weapons, just wits. Time to hustle.

I do like the classes/background choices here. Assassin. Thief. Drifter. Loremaster. Along with the up-front warning that getting into fights is likely to end as abruptly and painfully as trying in the real world, it’s a good pointer that thinking things through will be rather more important than usual. As a Grifter, you start as a wandering unknown, no positive or negative rep with any of the different factions. Somewhat disappointingly though, while you can obviously create either a male or female character, the female ones all look distinctly like a man in a dress who lost a bet. Anyhoo, no matter.

In stats, I lower Strength and Constitution on the grounds that I don’t really want to be hit at all and pump them into Intelligence and Charisma. I give myself some sword skills and dodging, but mostly focus on Civil skills – and ooh, so many to choose from. Impersonate. Persuasion. Lockpicking? The 70 points don’t last long. As with the classes though, I love the level descriptions – Streetwise for instance going from “You’re the proud owner of a new bridge” to “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” Etiquette goes from “You can belch your own name and regularly demonstrate this talent in company” to “The brothel whores consider you quite fancy.”

I crank up the griftiest skills and head out to not give suckers an even break.

The story kicks off in the town of Brown. Sorry, Teron. It’s poor, mean, and on the edge of collapsing on its own failure. Clearly, I chose a bountiful place to harvest gullibility. As I arrive in the tavern, for once not full of handy mercenaries to join my team and die for my selfish acts, a storyteller tries to fill my head with lore. I ignore him and chat instead with an old friend and fellow con-artist, Petras. We’re just getting into it when a merchant type approaches the innkeeper demanding to see a Loremaster.

What’s that? Oh, those are some convenient robes. Yes, yes, of course I can help you. A map? Ah. I see that to the simple eye, it might look valuable. Thor-Agoth seals have that effect on the weaker minds. With luck and skill and the fact that this is a tutorial quest and so I’m pretty sure impossible to fail, I persuade him to hand both it and a bag of gems across. Petras rushes off before anyone can notice the healing potions he’s been selling are just dye in water. I head off to sell this map before anyone asks any questions. Especially “Oi, don’t I know this from somewhere?”

But first, to business. A local preacher is trying to convince a crowd that the world is spiralling into the kind of chaos and deprivation that makes Dark Souls look like a pleasant holiday destination, and I sit around for a while to see where it goes. He doesn’t have much luck, but nobody throws stones at him. That’s probably as much as he could hope for. When he’s done, I slink up and try to raise his spirits in the hope of being able to turn this to my advantage. It goes pretty well. I easily convince him that I agree with him. Time to raise the con. Can I persuade him that I’m not simply a believer, but sent by the gods themselves to guide the righteous to glory?

No. Sadly, no. “They test us, place pleasing deceptions in our path to see if we stray. I want to believe your words, but they ring false in my heart.” Spoilsport. The fun I could have had with my own cult of personality. Well. Onwards!

Knocking on a random door, a woman draped with jewels answer. “Ah! You must be Lady Anthea! I’m happy to inform you that Lord Gaelius has agreed!” It sounds convincing, though I have no idea who those people are. Luckily, the woman, Lady Camilla, does, and wants to know more. i fill her head with fictional gossip about Lord Gaelius and his delinquent nephew in need of a good wife, and my current quest to play matchmaker. All very serious stuff, you know. Camilla immediately points out that she would make a good candidate, but… oh. Oh, alas. The young man has already chosen, and it would be most embarrassing and costly and expensive to try changing his mind. Did I mention expensive? It’s like costly’s big brother. Luckily, she agrees that to make money, you have to spend money, and promptly hands over several well-cut gems.

Well, that worked out pretty well. Just think, in The Witcher 3, Geralt would have risked life and limb for that kind of reward, while the worst threat here is a slammed door or a little impromptu cardio with some guards. I pocket the loot and head off.

Exploring more, I pass the Loremaster, Feng. Ah, yes. The map. It’s probably not worth very much, but it’d be a mistake not to at least find out. I have Feng appraise it, and his eyes light up. “I… I can’t believe it! It can’t be…” He puts the map down, looking shocked. “This, my friend, is an extremely valuable artefact. I’ll be honored to research it for you, but it will cost you 50 imperials.”

Uh-huh. In the words of Sun-Tzu, “Don’t bullshit a bullshitter.” My Grifting and Streetwise skills flare up instantly. “Easy there, Feng, don’t play that one on me. Let’s leave this ‘Valuable Artefact’ act for farmers and discuss a reasonable price.’

He chuckles; no harm, no foul. “Alright. I wouldn’t pay 10 coins for it, but I know someone who’ll give you 100 Imperials. That’s what you’ll pay me 20 imperials for.”

Fair enough. Even if he’s lying, that’s pocket change. He directs me to someone called Antidas, before casually adding that as the town loremaster, he’s not a huge fan of competition. Bad news for another loremaster, Cassius, currently hanging out at the tavern. Feng promises profit if he should find himself not wishing to be in town any more, or not in need of oxygen. Either is fine. I talk him up from 50 to 60 imperials and head over to see what’s going on. For starters, it appears I’ve become psychic.

Seriously, how the crap did I know any of that?

No matter. He wants to see Lord Antidas, and coincidentally, that’s exactly the guy I need to sell a map to. I can choose to lead him to an abandoned building and introduce him to the business end of my knife, or help make that connection. Opportunity!

By leading him to Antidas and backstabbing Feng, because seriously, fuck Feng, I prove myself useful and trustworthy. Funny how these things work out, really. The guard grumbles that he had a whole other quest in mind for this, but nope. Nope. There’ll be no slaying rats or delivering packages or finding your underpants for you today.

The only catch – what if Feng’s words about the map were a lie?

Ah, hell, you mean I’ve walked right into a prophecy? Those are always trouble. Almost as much trouble as trying to keep a straight face in front of Biggus Dickus here.

Antidas spins a yarn involving temples and godlike monsters and lost treasure and all I hear is “NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE”. I smile politely and wait for the lore to stop, before making my leave without even getting my 100 Imperials. Goddamn Feng. I’m glad I stabbed you in the back. Why can’t you be more like this trustworthy fellow?

Did I say trustworthy? I meant the other thing. A total amateur. I point out that his deal is clearly too good to be true, but he’s unabashed. “If you’re having doubts and more comfortable paying double at the market, who am I to stop you?”

Right. Yeah. Why wouldn’t I trust his face? This face.

In short: haha, no. Thanks, but I’m not going to your house to buy your ‘surprisingly good value’ items. I think we both know how that would end up, don’t we?

Why, I bet there’d even be a custom death screen, like in Quest For Glory.

Just a guess, mind you. So no. Forget it. Tell it to someone who’s not a total tunahead. Or at least one not hunting around for any more opportunities in this little berg. Not every opportunity seems open to my skills. The assassins guild certainly aren’t interested in giving me a job, though the Imperial Guard only seems to care that you’re warm and breathing. They promise free daily rations and armour if you sign up, as well as the chance to see the world and kill interesting people. All you have to do is swear loyalty. And of course, swearing loyalty just means saying words. I say lots of words. It fell off a cart. Of course it’s a real topaz. Myst is a fantastic game.

Sadly, my decision to dump Strength in favour of Charisma means their doors are closed to me. Not enough muscles, not enough time to build them. “You’re not Imperial Guard material,” the guard insists. Well, fine. I didn’t want your poxy supplies anyway.

Time to leave this town and seek fortune elsewhere. Aside from anything else, I’m not entirely thrilled by how they handle justice in these parts. Whatever happened to comfortable cells where inmates get Playstations and practice macrame?

Yeah. Probably better scoot before anyone starts asking questions about their gold, their jewels, their maps, or that whole ‘quest’ thing that I intend to put off as long as possible because it sounds really dangerous. Not quite as dangerous as pulling this shit on me or anything, but, y’know, pretty darn dangerous…

Oh, please. That old routine wouldn’t scam a rube in Baldur’s Gate. You insult me.

Time to move on. The rest of the world beckons. And this is interesting – that while most games wait until the end to show you what happened, Age of Decadence warns you up-front what the results of your decisions were when you leave town.

So, Master Feng is in Ganezzar? Let me just make a mental note to avoid there until I’ve found someone to craft a really, really nice fruit basket. First though, it’s time to level up and move from rolling over a small town to an entire city. Maadoran, a place of minarets and sandstone domes and, almost certainly, many, many suckers.

Wouldn’t want to live there. But to a professional grifter, it has… potential.


  1. Lars Westergren says:

    Trying to do non-violent plays of RPGs usually consist of a whole lot of running and save-scumming, so I put several stat points into strength and constitution. I started my first playthrough as a mercenary, but damn it if you haven’t convinced me a non-violent talky character looks more appealing. I didn’t know it was this elaborate. Neat.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Normally I would too, but I wanted to see what happened if I took it at its word and went in specifically not to throw-down.

      • Lars Westergren says:

        Curious to see if they managed to keep the amount and quality of non-violent quests up, so it doesn’t do a “Lionheart”/”Vampire: Bloodlines” later. Is this the first in a series of articles? Happy if it is, otherwise I’ll have to see for myself.

      • Blastaz says:

        My first character was a merc and combat was tough but not impossible, just pick one offensive skill and one defensive skill (dodge) and pump them.

        I got to the second city and carved my way through the first sections of the arena and a humongous bandit fight outside the city gates when I decided that this provably wasn’t the best way to play the game.

        I rerolled merchant 4/4/4/8/10/10 (that’s all combat stats set as low as possible, and no skill points invested ever) and haven’t looked back. Put your skill points into persuasion, streetwise and trade then into lore/crafting. I haven’t had a single compulsory combat and have been able to blag my way through almost everything. Some of the options are deliciously evil. That preacher thinks I’m Jesus and told a bunch of his pals for example.

        In short, no combat is not just possible, it is really easy as it lets you focus in on talking with laser precision.

    • Philopoemen says:

      To be honest in this game, non-violence is the much safer option.

      I’m playing as a Praetor, and despite being a 50/50 combat character, trying combat just means dying. Conversely, beefing your social skills makes the games much easier.

      The biggest issue with this game is if you stuff up your stats at the beginning, or choose the wrong skills, you hit a brick wall – not the kind of “I’ll come back to that later” wall, but the kind that leaves you with no choice but to restart.

      • Richard Cobbett says:

        Not uncommon. It’s why I get particularly annoyed by character creation systems that don’t properly explain themselves.

        • geisler says:

          Except that this one does, if you bother to hit the F1 key and read all the information, not to mention the warning you get at the start of a new campaign. The fact that CON (and thus your hit points) is static and doesn’t scale up as you level, should be a big hint that you’ll never be an unstoppable killing machine able to take non stop battering to the face as you can in other RPGs. Hybrids in this game are risky business, as they should be in any good RPG. You shouldn’t be able to be good at everything and sleepwalk through the combat.

          • Richard Cobbett says:

            No need to jump and get defensive. Was talking about RPGs in general, which typically do a lousy job of that.

          • geisler says:

            Did not mean to come off too defensive, in part my reply was also to Philopoemen. It’s just that this gets mentioned a lot. I guess the game could be more elaborate about specific stats and their consequences on the character creation screen itself. But when approaching an RPG like this, it should go without saying that you should play the tutorial and at least read the information on the ruleset thoroughly.

          • Philopoemen says:

            As it was addressed to me, I should clarify that I’ve bought the game twice, from before it was on Steam, and then on Early Access – I’ve followed the development, and knew what I was in for with the combat; have no dramas with that. My issue is for example, you can quite easily hit a point in say the Praetor line where you can no longer advance – combat is not an option due to your skill set, and the wrong choice of skills closes off any other approach.

          • colw00t says:

            Yeah, one of my pet peeves in any RPG with skill systems is when sitting at character creation the first time, you never have any idea how often you will be able to actually use these skills, and what their relative importance is from area to area. I inevitably end up restarting almost every RPG after a few hours, because unlike tabletop, I’m always dependent on the programmers to allow me to use my character’s skills in various ways, and the implementation is never really predictable.

          • rabbit says:

            one of my pet peeves is the hyper militant communities of otherwise interesting games

          • colw00t says:

            Yeah, I think it’s pretty clear that we have some representatives from the world-famous AoD forums here.

          • geisler says:

            I agree. How dare these people get argumentative about something that they love? Lets just stigmatize them with nonsensical hyperboles like “militant” and “cultish” without saying anything relevant or even remotely intelligent. God they’re so condescending and rude because they like something we don’t like!

            Plot twist: i’m not even registered on the forum, and unless other aliases were used, neither are a lot of people here “defending” the game.

          • rabbit says:

            Well I can only speak for myself here – but personally my comment regarding the militants & super aggressive types in the AOD community wasn’t all about you. Before someone jumps in and tells me that there are way more good folks in the community than there are bad ones – I can fully believe that, but the bad/obsessive/aggressive/elitist/delusional/etc. elements of the AOD community really make their presence known whenever an AOD discussion or article pops up on another website, like this one for instance. So I think that I – incorrectly, it would seem – tarred you with the same brush because your comment teetered on the edge of being snappy in the way that ‘those’ parts of the AOD community often are. I do think it’s interesting that you used the word ‘argumentative’ to describe your approach to the situation, but actually on re reading the whole thread I’d say that you reeled it in before it got to a point where you acted in a way that I would call argumentative.

            So we cool as far as I’m concerned =)
            Tell you what though mate – do me a favour and do a CTRL+F right now and look for the comment on this article posted by the user Anaryl. That’s just about as perfect an example as I could hope to have fall in my lap of the kind of thing that I and others are wary of in this sort of circumstance. Dude flew off the fucking rails for no obvious reason, all just to defend the honour of his fair maiden AOD … honour which as far as I can tell remains very much un-besmirched on this here article.

        • Philopoemen says:

          AoD does give plenty of warning it’s a hard game, but what might be in Fallout 2 a “rather than restart the game, I’ll reduce the difficulty for this bit” moment, is a restart for AoD due to the set difficulty.

          I find myself whilst playing not spending skill points, and saving before every conversation or encounter, just to make sure I don’t spend the points on the wrong skills, and having to restart because I screwed myself.

          Most likely I’m playing it wrong, but I’m old, and constantly re-doing the same bit again and again is not my idea of fun. It does detract from the roleplaying aspect though.

          • suibhne says:

            The devs actually recommend saving your skill points until you need them. For combat builds, sure, you get pretty immediate benefit in your next combat, but social builds can keep their powder dry until they get a better sense of the challenges ahead. AoD’s skill usage isn’t always what you’d expect from other current RPGs, so it can help to get familiar with the game before going all-in on character development choices.

            I’m a big fan of the game, but the user-discoverability of its character system is definitely my biggest criticism (and has been, throughout the dev process). The learning curve can be steep for some character builds.

            All that said, it’s not hard to “beat” the game with many builds. The challenge is to use a single character to see as much as possible of the gameworld and the overall narrative – that requires a ton of skillpoint optimization, and it’s easier to just recognize that the game is highly replayable and give it a shot with 2-3 very distinct characters.

  2. Anaryl says:

    “The story kicks off in the town of Brown. Sorry, Teron.”

    Is this a comment on the content or a joke? It’s not clear. I think all you’re doing is confusing people; not good for a review.

    “Oh, those are some convenient robes”

    You mean rubes right?

    “or just don’t like it, it may get deleted.”

    Um yeah … well since your business model is predicated on advertising to readers, I think I might just take my pagehits elsewhere.

    Seriously, we all know PC journo moderators are arbitrary but to actually come out and say it is basically saying “Yeah we don’t give a shit”

    Okay well. good luck with that. And to think I would’ve kept on reading your publication if you hadn’t the temerity to announce “Hey we’re arbitrary assholes”

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      “Is this a comment on the content or a joke? It’s not clear. I think all you’re doing is confusing people; not good for a review.”

      It’s obviously a joke commenting on content, in what’s obviously not a review.

      “You mean rubes right?”

      No, I mean robes. You dress as a Loremaster.

      “Okay well. good luck with that. And to think I would’ve kept on reading your publication if you hadn’t the temerity to announce “Hey we’re arbitrary assholes””

      Pity, you seemed fun.

    • suibhne says:

      Huh…wha? First, it’s not a review. As for the rest of your post: huh?

    • Scrote says:

      I find it a little sad that people go around thinking of themselves as a pagehit.

    • hpsaucy says:

      I think you’ve had a humour bypass.

      • Erithtotl says:

        Supposedly the forums for this game are notoriously hostile to criticism. I’m guessing that they can’t / aren’t willing to differentiate between that and humor.

        Honestly, given everything about this game I’ve read I was planning to stay away, but if anything this article has made it seem a lot more intriguing.

        • suibhne says:

          I’ve actively followed the game for a decade. Anaryl probably represents those forums a lot less than I do, and I thought Richard’s post was capital.

          Really, there’s typical internets snarkiness in the Iron Tower forums, but it’s all pretty respectful compared to most other game forums (and far, far more congenial and idea-based than the Steam forums…*shudder*). Just today, a new player posted a long set of impressions and criticisms after completing the game, and the lead developer responded at great length and with a lot of patience, explaining where he disagrees and where he feels some compromises were made. You’ll also find plenty of criticisms by longtime forum participants (including me); there’s no hivemind re. this game, except that many longtime fans are excited to finally see it hit release.

          Don’t dismiss the community too quickly, in other words. With a little patience, I think you’ll find the devs to be friendly, engaged, and not at all hesitant to own up to mistakes (but also committed to holding their ground on design principles important to them, even if you disagree).

          • rabbit says:

            In response to yr comment on Anaryl not being representative of the AOD community, speaking only for myself, I can fully believe that … the problem is that his ‘type’, while maybe not too numerous on the AOD boards themselves, can always be relied on to show up when the game is discussed in other communities such as this one. So while they might only make up 5% of the regulars within the AOD community, they tend to be the AOD community rep on about 90% of articles or threads discussing AOD on other websites. So they are our most regular insight into the AOD community.

            It also doesn’t help that the guy heading up development of the game itself has stopped by in a few comment threads beneath articles on the game, including once or twice on RPS I think, and acted with a very similar sort of arrogance / pomposity.

          • Distec says:

            Arrogance and pomposity on RPS? I never.


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      phuzz says:

      Missing the point of humour I think. I prescribe some Fawlty Towers, and a bit of a lie down.

    • rabbit says:

      Why are you so angry?

    • Eddy9000 says:

      You know the spiel about deleting comments has been there for years right? Perhaps this site just isn’t for you if that gets your back up.

      • Llewyn says:

        It’s his first comment here, and hence potentially his first article, possibly brought here via the magic of Steam syndication. There seem to be a lot of people recently who discover the site for the first time and apparently wonder how on earth it’s been surviving without their wisdom.

    • Lachlan1 says:

      Relax Vince, it’s only really John who is like that here, and even then he’s such a good writer I put up with it. Richards writing is consistently great and frequently funny.

  3. Nasarius says:

    Purple? Which game had purple as a color on the con scale?

    Right now my brain can only remember a bunch of MUDs (typically no color) and EverQuest (no purple, I think).

  4. Thurgret says:

    I bought this game. I started as a mercenary. I was subjected to lots of combat where I died lots until the random number generator worked out for me. On a second run, I tried again and died less due to a slightly tweaked character build.

    But I feel like I’m missing something. Where’s the interesting story? Deep world design? Did I just accidentally choose a class that sucks? I’m reluctant to restart, since even after looking for guides on how to build a character (something I hate having to do – it also feels like a symptom of sloppy game design, and a problem many, many RPGs suffer from), some of them are over a year old, and surely only relevant to past iterations of the game.

    • Erithtotl says:

      From what I’ve read, people say those guides are a must read. Also, that it’s a mistake to create a well rounded character, instead, really, really focus on one set of skills only.

      My understanding is that the total playthrough of the game isn’t terribly long, but is rather designed for a lot of replay ability down different paths.

      • klops says:

        Guides aren’t a must read. Take the basic build without tweaking the strenght/intelligence/etc. stats much or at all (they’re meant for a basic, balanced play with that character). Savescumming or some restarting is presumable, though.

        It may be easier for the first-timers to concentrate on simple fighter if you want to fight (in demo, the assassin quests were the easiest in my mind). Don’t spread your skill points TOO wide. Cobbet’s example for a non-fighter is good.

        Still, knowing how to kill and do something else is not impossible at all. Two examples:
        1. I finished the game with a praetor great in persuasion, lore and crafting and good with swords and shield.

        2. Now I’m playing a thief with good thieving skills (lockpick, stealth, steal – not traps yet) and good crossbow skill + some extra like trade, streetwise. He just got out of Teron in the last Thieves guild mission with the help of stealth, critical strike, thieving skills, intelligence, and his kill count. Before that he sneaked to royal place and enemy mining camp and broke into couple civilian’s houses and also used streetwise and trade and his Thieves guild connections in the quests and negotiations. Not very specialized. ALTHOUGH: I’ve played the thief with demo before – it sure helped.

    • Philopoemen says:

      Its designed for replay – so you really have to specialise. AS a merc you need to just concentrate on combat, because you can’t talk for buckleys

    • klops says:

      I don’t think you’re missing anything – AoD can be annoying as hell with its metagaming with the skill points and restarting (in the early game) in order to tweak your character to more suitable one. It is understandable if some people don’t like that.

      I was also very confused about Sunless Sea’s “excellence”. It got very good reviews but the endless, tedious sailing frustrated me too much compared to the great story elements. The game just was not (that good) for me, even though I wanted – perhaps AoD is not for you?

      The merc grunt is probably the worst character storywise early on – you try to get to the Imperial Guards and then you follow their orders like soldiers do. A persuading loremaster/praetor could work better in the story sense.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Combat’s not as hard as people claim, provided you pump all combat stats and only spend non-combat skill points on “streetwise” (which is the biggest value).

      If your character has 8-10 Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, a 6ish in perception (for THC) and 4’s in intelligence and charisma you can survive all the combat in the first area of the game.

      Easy mode for this game is just putting all of your points in either “talking” or “combat” skills. It’s a relatively short game (i.e. 4-8 hours), but is significantly different depending on what class you choose. So I’d recommend min/maxing a combat or talking build for your first run and saving the weird hybrid stuff for your second time through.

  5. guygodbois00 says:

    Mel Brooks comes to mind:”Did you TRY to bullshit today?”
    Great read, by the way. Would be lovely to make it into a series.

  6. Lachlan1 says:

    Is there a way to avoid combat as an assassin? I just kept dying as it seems to force several fights.

    • Philopoemen says:

      Raise your critical strike skill – it’s in the Combat Skills, but is only used in Dialogue, make sure you have a dagger on your person (belt bag etc)

      • klops says:

        As an Obsessive AoD Commenter I must still say that:

        No. Critical stike is also a very important combat skill – it affects your chance to make critical hits and also to defend against them if I remember correctly.

        • suibhne says:

          I really like how CS is implemented in AoD. It makes perfect sense that, as you learn how to make Critical Strikes, you also learn how to limit your own vulnerability to them.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Also don’t spread combat skills thin, this game rewards min/maxing. Choose one weapon, as a mercenary who kept dying the first one/two fights the difference between leveling “sword” two or three times during character creation was a to-hit-chance of 60% and 86%, and the difference between life and death*. Choose either block or doge, but not both. As an assassin, I would guess dodge since you want light armor, high mobility and no shield.

      *(The first mercenary fights in the prologue were optional, but I wanted to role-play a guard who took some pride in his work and actually tried to save the people he was hired to protect.)

      • suibhne says:

        You’re a brave man, roleplaying a character with principles in the AoD gameworld.

        • Lars Westergren says:

          They did warn me at start, but I’m pathologically unable to play any other character than lawful-good in RPGs….

    • teije says:

      Entertaining read – thanks!

      I made the same mistake of putting too much into various skills, and got my ass handed to me repeatedly as an assassin. Dodge, critical strike and dagger are the ones to focus on. Not exactly sure of the best stats as yet, but high dex/perception are good, low on int/charisma.

      I love the variation in character experience for this game, really encourages replaying with completely different storylines. Planning on a loremaster playthrough after this one.

    • Lachlan1 says:

      Thanks everyone! :D

  7. Saarlaender39 says:

    @Richard Corbett:

    Bought this game on GOG, the second, it got released.

    Haven’t found the time to start it up yet, since I have another one running, which I want to finish first.

    But – f*** me, if you haven’t sold it to me with this article (well,…in some way…kinda…if I hadn’t bought it already…ohc’monyouknowwhatimean).


  8. Elhoim says:

    “With luck and skill and the fact that this is a tutorial quest and so I’m pretty sure impossible to fail”

    Oh, yes, you can. And Petras will show you how it’s done.

  9. Syt says:

    Many moons ago I played the beta, and had a similar experience with my character. It all fell to bits when I tried to calm down a crowd that wanted to lynch a poor sod. Let’s just say I failed miserably. :D I really need to try playing again, now that it’s fully released.

  10. MisterFurious says:

    “(delete according to your ability to pronounce ‘aluminium’)” Or your inability to pronounce ‘lieutenant’. There’s no ‘F’ in that word.

  11. Skabooga says:

    Even though it’s not the headliner image, this article deserves the “Staring Eyes” tag.

  12. Michael Fogg says:

    Now that sounds like a proper “harcore, heavy metal RPG experience”!

  13. Hitchslapped says:

    I just can’t bring myself to playing those wall of text RPGs anymore. I loved the classics back then but nowadays I really prefer a little touch of cinematic presentation.

  14. neofit says:

    There is a demo guys, so do play it, the saves can be used by the full game if you decide to buy it. Make sure you play well past the training too.

    For me it wasn’t so much the difficulty, since every thread makes it clear that one has to specialize. The thing that pushed me away, that thing that almost nobody mentions, is that it is not an RPG as one would imagine it. It’s not a Neverwinter nor a Wasteland, you won’t be running around exploring some post-apocalyptic roman land in all its nooks and crannies. It’s more of a glorified “choose your own adventure” game. You do move around a little bit, but only between locations that spring some dialog.

    For instance, here is how sneaking is implemented. There is no key for sneaking, you don’t jump from shadow to shadow, at the edge of detection, adrenaline pumping. First you allocate some points to Sneaking. Then you get close to a location … fade to black … dialog. For instance:
    “Blah blah blah you see this and that. What do you do? 1. [Sneaking]Attempt to sneak 2. Approach 3. Leave.”
    1) Sneak
    “Sneaking Successful. 1. [Dexterity]Attempt to climb wall 2. Leave”
    1) Climb
    “Climbing successful. You see a guard. 1. [Critical]Kill the Guard 2. [Sneak]Try sneaking past him 3. Attack the Guard”
    2) Sneak
    “Sneaking failed. You have 5 enemies on you”
    Dead again. Not like I didn’t half expect it.
    (in other words, “lololol, you didn’t know how much Sneaking you needed beforehand you stupid, now either allocate some more or find another dialogue path”)

    I actually liked the combat, I wish a real RPG with free roaming used it, not this dialog/reload/RNG/whatever BS.

    In short, do play the demo for as long as you can.

    • teije says:

      So it’s an actual “role-playing game” where you play a role in a game. Perfect – glad it’s not another “real RPG” since there’s room for all kinds of games in this big wide world.

      • Fenixp says:

        Main issue being that the role is confined to whatever writers could think of at the time as opposed to which role you picked at the start. There are all too many points in the game in which I could think of a dozen different ways to solve the issue, but can’t because reasons. In an old-school “real RPG with freeroaming”, options like sneak kill, steal, sneak or impersonate would be useable at any point as opposed to when creators could think of it.

      • Fenixp says:

        My first build was a Thief who is, however, quite capable with sword and shield. There’s certain fairly long mission for which you get dressed as a praetorian, and several branches of that mission turned out to be dead ends, finishing with “Single guard has spotted you and killed you.” In full armor. With very capable backup. With a weapon I could handle well.