Immerse yourself in a medieval fantasy world in this classic top-down single player adventure RPG. Journey through a seamless open world and progress through dialogue options to uncover the story of Rothar Sunmeadow – the cursed Lord of Mistywoods. Acquire skills and powerful items by defeating enemies of varying types, interact with world objects and NPCs and discover engaging side-stories along the way. As you gain experience, you will be able to perform special attacks with differing weapons and learn a great number of unique spells, which will surely aid you in your fight against your enemies.
Rothar Sunmeadow is the lord of Mistywoods; a rural and peaceful land that rests mostly forgotten in a world otherwise rich with great kings, queens, sorcerers and intrigue. At least, that is the way things used to be. One fateful day Rothar’s path crosses that of a wizard, Gabrius, who is both tremendously powerful and hopelessly questionable of character. As a result, Rothar finds himself caught in a mortal feud between powerful wielders of magic, bound by a curse he desperately needs to break away from. As events unfold, Rothar also comes to discover how his lands have fallen into disrepair while his eyes have been shut. Order must be restored if Rothar is to know peace. And perhaps most importantly, Gabrius needs to be taught the error of his ways.
The spellbook in particular aims to offer a most interesting variety of both combat and non-combat utility. Finding and learning new spells may prove a challenge in itself, and casting more demanding spells will require preparation, such as gathering specific ingredients. Feel free to create your own playstyle by using any combination of ranged and melee weapons and spells!
Alongside combat skills, you will be able to level crafting skills, through which you can acquire powerful artefacts. Although the world offers a ready selection of lootable weapons and armour, the most interesting and powerful items must be crafted by yourself. You may also craft and buy various trinkets and potions, which can be consumed for mighty temporary effects. Such items may be necessary too in the face of the most powerful adversaries. However, beware that crafting the most special gear will require you to find exceptional materials from potentially dangerous and hard-to-reach areas of the open world.
But if you do manage to acquire the most powerful items, take care to protect them! There is no manual save/load system in The Black Grimoire, and while the character you play is undying, it is entirely possible to leave your items behind in a tight spot if you are ambushed by too many strong enemies. If you choose to go exploring the more remote areas and dungeons and you are unsure of what you may be walking into, it may be prudent to leave exceptional items behind in a safe stash. You may also take comfort in that ultimately no item is irreplaceable or irretrievable.
Level any of the 11 skills you deem most important to your playstyle. The skills are separated into combat, gathering and crafting skills; for instance, you will gain experience in archery the more you shoot arrows at your enemies, whereas collecting metals and precious minerals with the trusty pickaxe will improve the mining skill, and forging them into weapons and armour will make you a better blacksmith.
Ultimately The Black Grimoire is meant as an adventure, where you can explore and discover the world, its places, characters and stories by yourself. You will start your journey at a low point, but if you keep your eyes open and your wits about you, the opportunities to seize power will surely present themselves. As you find ways to increase the power of the main character, you might just help him to break free of his curse and restore order to his beloved Mistywoods. Welcome to the world of The Black Grimoire!
Hello and welcome to a small dev diary post about the quest and dialogue design in The Black Grimoire: Cursebreaker. Our game is designed to be an open-world solo RPG adventure; as such it will contain a single main story quest line, which is accompanied with a multitude of smaller side quests and tasks. The side quests tend to have distinct steps or phases to them, which involve navigating through dialogue, while tasks are simple objectives the player may encounter while out in the world. For example, these tasks may require killing a monster that is nearby, escorting an NPC to safety, or perhaps destroying a barrier or performing another action that involves a skill check. If the player’s path is blocked by woods and shrubbery, passing through may require a certain level of skill in woodcutting for instance.
The main quest in the Black Grimoire has you play through the story of Lord Rothar Aercrest, a former ruler to the Lordship of Imberthale (names of characters and places may or may not still change). As the game starts, Lord Rothar has in fact been dead for some time and his spirit dwells in the afterlife known as the Dream, where the dead dream of moments that took place during their lives. However, Rothar’s dream is soon to be rudely interrupted, as an evil wizard known only as Gabrius uses necromancy to raise him from the dead. Rothar becomes bound by magic to serve Gabrius as his blackguard. But while Rothar is forced to roam the world carrying out Gabrius’ petty will, he may yet run into an opportunity to break free from the wizard’s command. Ultimately, however, there is only one way to end Rothar’s curse of undeath – Gabrius must die. This may prove to be more difficult than expected due to a mysterious black grimoire the dark wizard carries with him.
The main story quests involve plenty of dialogue, which we’re designing to have the shortest path to skip to the end, while also having optional branches that may offer additional information about the quest or lore in general. We’re also adding small in-game cinematics to certain points as the story progresses. Of course, sometimes the dialogue options can be consequential too; it may be possible to haggle on prices, conflicts may be resolved either peacefully or through violence, and so on.
Although the story itself is linear in the sense that there aren’t many different ways it can play out, we are looking for smaller ways to weave meaningful player choices into the quests. One such example is a quest reward changing based on the choices the player made during the quest. If the player takes the “evil” option they might be rewarded with an aggressive weapon, while the “kind” choice may award the player an item with certain utility, etc. Additionally, some choices may lead to rewards while others do not. And perhaps poor choices are met with punishments, such as debuffs that require dispelling.
Naturally we are sharing screenshots of our work and can’t wait to share more of our progress in the future. We wish happy Christmas times to everyone and hope you stay away from viral infections!
The Black Grimoire: Cursebreaker is now public and open to wishlists on Steam!
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