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Serpent in the Staglands Expansion Announced: A Fool's Banquet + New Ruleset Health & Resting Info

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Serpent in the Staglands Expansion Announced: A Fool's Banquet + New Ruleset Health & Resting Info

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 27 February 2016, 17:40:17

Tags: Copper Dreams; Serpent in the Staglands: A Fool's Banquet; Whalenought Studios

In yesterday's Copper Dreams preview video post, Joe & Hannah of Whalenought said they'd soon have news about the Serpent in the Staglands expansion, as well as information about the health and resting mechanics in the company's new Burning Candle ruleset. Turns out that by "soon", they meant "tomorrow". First of all, the expansion, which will be titled A Fool's Banquet. It's a sequel to the Serpent in the Staglands storyline, but it has a new codebase, a new ruleset, and a different focus. The announcement explains:

As we began designing the campaign for A Fool’s Banquet, we had a ton of ideas that we wanted to implement for the expansion and for future games set in this world. While we could have shoehorned some of these into the Staglands engine, we decided to do something drastic and create an entire new engine that was set up to handle all of the new really neat mechanics and optimizations we wanted to ad in. Thus decided, we started designing and have been spending the last few months building a new and improved engine that will have much faster loading times, better performance, has taken user feedback into account and will be able to support a lot of fun new features like larger maps and stealth systems as well as utilize the height of a 3d world. We have a feature list with some highlights listed below. The mechanics will be using a new ruleset that we think you’ll love as well, but the atmosphere, lore, items, characters and, most importantly, your saved games will still be there.

A Fool’s Banquet began with one premise: authentic castles, and heists and infiltration within. Castles are fascinating, with mazes of corridors, intrigue, workers, gorgeous courtyards, and secrets waiting for a good crawl, and to adventure through all that the way we wanted, we’ve created a ton of new systems and put them in a neat package we’re calling the Burning Candle ruleset.

The Burning Candle ruleset has been designed for the Serpent in the Staglands expansion, but will also be used on our new cyberpunk game, Copper Dreams, and you can see a preview of some of the mechanics and alpha art in action here. Right off the bat you might notice a few differences, one being the game is 3d. While we love pixel art, the move to 3d is necessary to create the interesting tactics that come from height and stealth, and opens up a lot mechanics that aren’t available in a low resolution 2d game, like more accessibility in controls, UI and text. To keep the aesthetic as similar as possible and something we’ll continue to enjoy working on, we’ve chosen a 3d style that utilizes the same filterless textures as pixel art, and are really happy with how it’s turning out. We’ll have some images throughout the year for you to check out the new Vol, now in full 3d!
And here's the post about the new ruleset's health and resting mechanics, which are very different from those of most other RPGs. An excerpt:

Instead of HP points, we’ll be using stackable ailments, which are the result of D8 die rolls that vary based on your weapon. The ailments fall into three categories, lesser, greater and mortal, each with its own cap that is increased or decreased by character creation stats. For example, a player might have 12 lesser ailment slots, 6 greater ailment slots, and 3 mortal ailment slots. If any of those three categories reach the cap, a player falls unconscious, and the next ailment in any category will result in death. NPCs have slightly different rules, dying immediately if a category is full instead of falling unconscious.

These ailments vary based on the weapon or projectile that is dealing damage, and require different kits to heal different types of damage. Burns from a grenade can’t be healed by the same kit that would clean up a puncture wound. Magic items can augment ailments with magical properties or roll an additional magic D8 with its own dynamic table of injuries — a fire sword not only could cause various slash damages, but it could also scald to incinerate flesh and bone.

These ailments do not just inch you closer to death’s doorway, but also decrease your stats until heal, simulating the weakness that your player should feel if they are fighting with a few bullets in their legs, a broken kneecap and a minor concussion. Stat decreases will vary based on the ailment category and body location. Arm injuries will hurt aim while a head injury impacts logic and mental stability.

Most lesser ailments disappear at the end of a round of combat or after a certain number of actions, while greater ones can be healed and mortal ailments require the aid of resting station.

One of the things we liked best about this system is taking away the abstraction of hit points and being able to put a mental image to the risks and dangers of combat. Getting hit with 8 damage doesn’t mean much, but the pain of a punctured lung is easy enough to imagine, and certainly more enjoyable to inflict.​

See the full post for information about resting, as well as two preliminary Copper Dreams screenshots. In addition, Unity load time haters will be thrilled to learn that improving load times is a particular focus of the new Burning Candle codebase. After all, getting hit with all these harsh ailments is bound to trigger lots of players' save scumming instincts.

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