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Towers of Twilight

This is an alpha version of the final game. All the main features are done, it is (at least in theory) possible to win it, but there is still lots of polish and little trinkets to be added in the future.

You may download the .zip file (Windows 32 binary) here:

or the alpha Linux port here:

To play the game in fullscreen mode, edit the tot.gei file and change “FullScreen = 0” to “FullScreen = 1”.

To change the party setup, edit tot.gei file (Party). Supported character classes are: Druid, Hunter, Knight, Barbarian, Elf, Thief & Bard. The party must have exactly three members or otherwise a random party will be selected. Later in the game, you can expand the party by recruiting other npcs.

To select another world/story edit the saga.gei file (RndSeed).


User Interface


Everything is done by left-clicking on the menu, icons and location graphics. When the cursor hovers above an icon or a hotspot, a pop-up window appears in the top of the screen naming the object beneath. Clicking it will focus that object, usually opening up the menu with any possible interaction.

Unless the game requires you to select something (ie during the battle when orders are given to your party members), you can cancel an action by using the ‘Close’ option in the menu.

To cancel an action or selection when chosing from a list of icons (ie casting a spell, targetting an attack or a spell...) click on any empty space in the screen.

For a more detailed explanation of the individual icons and menu options, read the User Interface Guide.


The Story


The Ragnarok is near, the forces of darkness and corruption have gathered and made their first attack on our fragile world. Three Overlords command the armies of the Undead, the Soulless and the Foul, and when the war is over, the Land will be shrouded in eternal frost and night...

To prevent that, Three Heroes were chosen according to the stars and the signs on the sky. They were offered three gifts, which they gladly accepted: The Bag of The Stork that was used to bring the world from its place of birth and may contain anything and everything, the Telltale Map that remembers everything it sees and hears, and the Eye of Banishment that will send any corrupt soul within its sight to the voids beyond creation...

The task for the Three Heroes is not an easy one, and they will need all the help they can muster in finding out who the Overlords are, and by what means they may be defeated.

[to be continued...]


The Characters


Every character in the game, both player and non-player, has the following traits:

The Level is the overall skill level of the character, influencing his every action. The level of a character may be upped by meditating when the sufficient number of experience points (XP) is gained.

The Dexterity trait is used in calculating hit and dodge probability in combat. Its governing colors are green and magenta.

The Strength trait is used in calculating damage in combat. Its governing colors are yellow and red.

The Constitution trait represents the character’s toughness. It is used to calculate the maximum number of hit points that the character has. Its governing colors are cyan and blue.

The Attack Speed trait regulates the interval between two consequtive attacks or combat actions of the character. If attack speed is high enough, double attacks become possible. This trait has no governing color and may not be changed by level upping, only by spells or magical items. Even in that case, however, only the speed of attacks and retreats is modified. The duration of other combat actions, such as maneuvering and hiding, remains unmodified.

The Magic trait is used in calculating spell power. Its governing colors are magenta, red and blue. The magenta has stronger influence, which means that it counts double in mana points maximum calculation.

The Lore trait represents the character’s knowledge of magical items and legends. It has an impact on the power of any unique items the character may be using, diplomacy, and information gathering. This trait has no governing color and may not be changed by level upping.

The Wisdom trait has an impact on spell and spell casting duration, prolonging the former and shortening the latter. This trait has no governing color and may not be changed by level upping.

The Maneuver trait is used in calculating the success of the character’s maneuvering in battle. Its governing colors are cyan, yellow and green.

The Stealth trait is rolled against an enemy character’s Perception trait roll to determine whether the character may hide / remain hidden. The trait’s numerical value is always identical to Dexterity, however, the items and spells enhancing Dexterity have no influence in Stealth rolls. Instead, specific items and spells enhance Stealth trait directly. This includes Invisibility which makes the roll unbeatable.

The Perception trait is used in determining how quickly the character(s) may search a location. The character with higher Perception is more likely to detect meaningful signs in the terrain.

The Spirit trait represents the character’s courage and willpower. It may influence any other roll except for Magic, Maneuvering, Lore and Wisdom. Spellcasters with high Spirit (and/or Constitution) have a better chance of keeping their spell when hurt. Spirit also influences healing and mana regain rate during rest. Also along with Magic and Level, it represents the character’s basic resistance to any hurtful magic.

The governing colors of the Spirit are white and black.

Stealth and Perception (though latter only in searching, not in detecting other characters) both benefit from terrain bonus. The higher the character’s level in the color of the terrain (see next chapter for color level) the higher the bonus. The colors are: forest - green, plains - white, hills - yellow, mountains - cyan.


Character Colors


At level 1, each character starts off with the traits as defined by his class. As the character develops, however, the traits will increase. The traits may also be temporarily raised by the use of a spell or a magical item.

Each individual character (not including the monster or army type characters) also possesses a number of colored stars, one star for each level. These stars are reflected in the character’s heraldics - upon the crest, a group of four same-colored stars is represented by one big star, thus the character on the picture has three white, three cyan, six yellow and two red stars, making him a Level 14 character (3 + 3 + 6 + 2 = 14).

By summing up the number of stars with a color that govern a certain trait, then dividing this number by 2, the character’s trait modifier is calculated. Ie since Heda is a Barbarian, his initial strength as defined by his class is 3. The number of stars that govern the Strength is 8 (6 yellow + 2 red), which makes his final strength 3 + 8 / 2 = 7. This number is not conclusive - Heda might also be wearing a magical armor that gives him another 3 points of strength, making it 10.

When your characters are meditating to up their level, the current location defines the color of the star that the character will gain. In Midgard, green is gained in the forest, white in the plains and inside any building, yellow in the hills and cyan in the mountains. In all other worlds, the color of that world is gained: magenta in Annwn, blue in Frost, red in Hell and black in Twilight.

You will be safe to assume that the characters originating from a certain world or region will usually have a higher number of colors associated with that world and region. The other factor that regulates the colors of the non-player characters is their class or race.


Whenever a character performs an action, and sometimes when certain conditions are tested (ie testing his resilience to damage etc), a roll is made based on one of his traits.

The roll is calculated as: random between (Trait) and (Trait + Level).

For example when Heda the Raven rolls for Strength (assuming it is 7), the ending result will be somewhere between 7 and 21 (7 + 14).

Other factors may influence the roll. In specific circumstances, they will be described later, but generally, the following rules apply:

  • To one in every four rolls, random between (0) and (Spirit) is added.
  • When the character is gravely wounded (hit points beneath 25%), the result of each roll is divided by 2. This does not apply to Magic rolls.
  • When the character is weakened, the result of each roll is divided by 2. This does not apply to Magic rolls.
  • When the character is paralysed, the result of his Dexterity roll for dodging will always be 0.
  • Any magic, including that of items, will be stronger in proximity to Runestones.
  • Any spell or skill that shares its color with the world where it is being cast, will be more powerful.
  • Spells and skills used by a spellcaster (Druid, Wizard etc) will be more powerful when the character’s weapon is a staff. The power gained is related to staff level trait.

Combat


There are several possible combat situations in the game.

The Duel

Your characters may challenge neutral and displeased (but not the Foul) characters that do not belong to your party. If the challenger wins, the challenged will pledge loyalty to you and your party. If not, your reputation will suffer.

In case of a duel, no other battle shall commence on that location. Your party may not leave the location, and likely other characters will stay as well to watch without interfering.

There are certain limitations to what spells may be used in a duel. In particular, ‘mass’ effect and weather spells are not allowed.

The character from your party is depicted on the left, and the challenged character on the right side of the screen during the duel.


The Battle

The battle always takes place between Allies (including your party) and/or Neutral characters on the left side, and the Foul on the right side of the screen.

When a battle is already ongoing, and when none of your characters is attacked by the Foul, your party will not automatically engage. You may prefer to watch the battle or, when hidden, wait for a proper moment for a stealthy intrusion... Remember however that while you only watch, the Eye of Banishing will not open, meaning all the Foul characters (as well as everyone else) are merely sent back to Twilight or some other world. If you want their death to be final, thus also letting you gain their posessions, you will need to step up bravely into the battle yourself...

There is a difference between a stealthy intrusion into a battle that is already taking place, and a stealthy attack. In the former case, all your characters will be introduced into the battle as hidden. In the latter, your initial tactical advantage will be in the range of [+0]..[+3], as opposed to [+0]..[-3] in case of enemy ambush. When none of the sides surprises the other, the initial tactical advantage will be random [-2]..[+2], but tilted according to supremacy in numbers.

When your party becomes engaged with the battle, either by attacking on your order or by being attacked, your characters will start asking for orders in turn. If the order given is to attack a certain target, the character will keep attacking that target until dead or otherwise gone, in which case he will return for another order. If the order is to maneuver, the character will keep maneuvering, along with others that may have received the same order and thus improving their odds, until the tactical advantage is gained and increased by one point. If the order is to cast a spell, use an item, hide etc, the character will return for another order immediately when that action is completed or interrupted.

You may click on your characters at any time during the battle to change their orders, unless they’re exactly in the middle of something, in which case only the empty menu will be presented.


Tactical advantage

Tactical advantage (the number which appears in square brackets []) is an abstraction of the tactical situation in the battle field. In addition to its modifying every attack and damage roll, it also limits the actions of the combatants and the targets they may attack:


[-3] You are surrounded or cornered.

Melee weapons may only be used to target melee enemy warriors.

Ranged weapons may not be used.

‘Mass’ effect spells may not be cast.


[-2] Enemy casters and marksmen are in cover.

Melee weapons may only be used to target melee enemy warriors.

Ranged weapons may only be used to target melee enemy warriors.

‘Mass’ effect spells will only be cast at melee enemy warriors, but if there are none, all enemy warriors will be affected.


[-1] Enemy casters and marksmen are in cover.

Melee weapons may only be used to target melee enemy warriors.

Ranged weapons may be used to target melee enemy warriors, but if there are none, they may target enemy casters and ranged warriors.

‘Mass’ effect spells will only be cast at melee enemy warriors, but if there are none, all enemy warriors will be affected.


[+0] Equal grounds, melee warriors protecting casters and marksmen.

Melee weapons may be used to target melee enemy warriors, but if there are none, they may target enemy casters and ranged warriors.

Ranged weapons may be used to target any enemy warriors.

‘Mass’ effect spells will affect all enemy warriors.


[+1..+3] Tactical supremacy.

Melee weapons may be used to target any enemy warriors.

Ranged weapons may be used to target any enemy warriors.

‘Mass’ effect spells will affect all enemy warriors.


All the same is true for the opposite side, only in the negative direction (ie at [+3] they may not cast ‘mass’ effect spells).

When a spellcaster engages in melee or ranged combat it automatically becomes a melee target until he hides or succesfully maneuvers.

A succesfull maneuvering will increase your tactical advantage by 1 point. Once he is ordered to maneuver, a character will keep doing that until succeeding or until ordered otherwise. You may order more than one character in your party to maneuver, as it will increase the odds of success. When advantage is gained, all the maneuvering characters in your party will stop doing so.

Tactical advantage also influences your character’s ability to hide. When a character is hidden, he may remain that way, protected from enemy attacks and spells, though eventually he may be discovered. He may also maneuver and casts spells, furtherly increasing the probability of being spotted. Or he may attack, revealing his position entirely but doubling his attack roll (sneak attack).

A character may retreat from the battle, in which case he will return later as the party starts to travel about. This does not cause any drop in party reputation. If the party retreats as a whole, however, the reputation drops by 1 point. In general, the party may only retreat the way it came from, however once it is completely scattered (all members have retreated) you may travel in any direction. As long as the party is scattered, you may not enter buildings or portals.


The Weather

The current weather modifies tactical advantage. As the Overlords control the forces of nature now, all the natural weather conditions will be set against you. However when proper spells are learned or proper items are found, you may be allowed to turn these conditions around.

The tactical modifier for specific weather conditions is: fog - 3, blizzard - 2, storm - 2.


Spells and Skills


From the standpoint of game mechanics, character skills are treated in exactly the same way as spells. They are used via the Cast option in the character menu, they cost mana points, and many have similar effects to spells. The most important difference, however, is that while spells may be interrupted and lost when the character is hurt during preparation. Skills, on the other hand, can not, and are always succesfully ‘evoked’. Other significant differences are that majority of enhancement skills may only be cast on the character himself (while spells are all either directed at a certain person, or the whole group), and that generally, a skill that is in every way identical to a spell (like ‘firebolt’ skill is to ‘fire damage’ spell), the skill will be more expensive in regards to mana.

Although many magical effects are possible in the game, not all of them are necessarily found in the form of spells, skills or item traits, even though many are shared between all the groups. Certain magical effects may only be found on items, others are spells and/or skills.

Any character or monster in the game may posess skills but only some may learn and cast spells. Inherently magical characters, like Druids (player class), Wizards and Sorcerers, may learn up to as many spells as their Level trait allows (1 for Level 1, 2 for Level 2 etc), although no more than 11. The spells are learned from books that may be found in town shops, posessed by other characters, or as treasure. Some other characters, like Bards and Knights, might also be able to learn spells, but only when they have advanced beyond a certain level, also the selection of the spells they may learn is limited.

The skills, on the other hand, are gained automatically when a character reaches a certain level (usually 1, 4, 9 and 16) and depend solely on the class of the character, although it is not impossible for a character to learn an entirely new skill by some other means, it only happens very rarely.

In certain skills, like bard songs, the calculus for effect power may be different than for spells. In particular the bard songs, the level of the musical instrument of the bard is also used.

In addition to skills and spells, some characters also posess abilities. These are passive effects, like immunities to certain spells or kinds of damage, an ability to speak a certain language, or expertise in a certain weapon or enemy race.

In the GUI, skills are represented as books, and spells as scrolls. The color of a book or a scroll signifies its governing color, meaning the character with a higher level in that color will cast that spell or skill faster and with greater efficiency.


Items


Items that can be found in the game are roughly divided into three groups: weapons, armor and treasure. Each kind comes in three subvariants: common, rare and unique. Only rare and unique items may have magical effects and powers.

Weapons

The main trait of each weapon is Damage, which is rolled along with the Strength trait of the wielder to calculate the final damage. Magical weapons may also have an Attack effect, which is cast on the defender whenever the weapon hits and causes regular damage.

Armor

Shields, helmets, vests, boots... All have a certain Armor trait. The sum of Armor trait of all the equipment worn on a character defines that character’s Armor trait. The Armor trait is rolled against the attacker’s strength and weapon Damage trait to calculate the final damage.

Treasure

Common treasure has no magical effects, but it may be sold for a good money in shops. Rare and unique treasures are much more expensive even, but may have inherent magical traits.

The magical traits may be effects which have a constant influence on the character for as long as the item is worn, or they can be powers that need to be used directly, through the Use command in the character menu. Powers usually come with a limited number of charges, especially in unique items where powers are often absolute (ie the ‘force open’ on a unique item will open any door in the game, but may only be used three times).

Unique vs Rare items

Although unique and rare items share a common list of possible effects and powers, there is a number of effects only found in unique items. Also, when the same effect is found in a rare item, the unique version will be much more powerful and sometimes have additional bonuses.


Links

 
geeny/projects/saga.txt · Last modified: 2015/11/18 07:37 by matija
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