Author Topic: "Skald: Against the Black Priory" - A grim-dark, Lovecraftian retro RPG [Demo]  (Read 649 times)

Gallian_the_Great

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Skald: Against the Black Priory
‘Skald: Against the Black Priory’ is an old-school roleplaying game that combines modern design and a fully realised narrative with authentic 8-bit looks and charms.

Delve into a dark fantasy world, full of tragic heroes, violent deaths and Lovecraftian, cosmic horror. Explore an engaging, branching story mixed with rich exploration and crunchy, tactical, turn-based combat that will seem familiar yet innovative to RPG fans, old and new.




The game is set to enter early access in the second half of 2021 on Steam and GOG.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1069160/SKALD_Against_the_Black_Priory/
https://www.gog.com/game/skald_against_the_black_priory

The public demo is also currently LIVE:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1609100/Skald_Against_the_Black_Priory__the_Prologue/
https://www.gog.com/game/skald_against_the_black_priory_the_prologue

I'd be super happy to have you guys check it out and offer some feedback!



Also, feel free to check out some other social media stuff:

Devlog: https://www.skaldrpg.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SkaldRpg
Discord: https://discord.gg/6wrFFdW



Cheers,


AL :knight:


Jubal

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Hi, welcome!

I got the game today and had a play of it up to the "this is the end of the game so far" point - really impressed so far, nice classic style, characters are interestingly written, and I like the adventure-horror style (I don't tend to like horror games in the actual-horror sense, but horror monsters as adventure opponents are fun). I thought the humanity of the characters was well written, and the horror narrative parts were really good. Choices felt meaningful in how they were presented, though I don't know what happens if you make other ones yet (I ultimately ended up siding with the sailors, narrating my reasons for going as wanting to help whatshername, trying to save Roland and then re-meeting him).

I've not got much to suggest, but a few things that would've improved quality of life:
  • Autosaving more often would be good - the fact it doesn't autosave after a rest like in many games is a bit of a nasty surprise the first time one dies.
  • On the main map, it'd be useful to have the game clock more visible, if it was there I couldn't see it.
  • A lot of hotkeys could be improved for ease of use. Having I for Inventory consistently available (both in & out of combat) would have made the game handling a lot easier.
  • It's a bit odd for me having 1 switching between "first option on a menu" and "leave/drop/ignore" when it comes to chests.
  • Chests seem to be permanent AFAICT, so you can drop things in them then return later? It'd be good to make that clear since so many games don't have that feature. Maybe the old guy in the lighthouse could tell you that you can put stuff in the chest downstairs, that would've been useful for not getting overencumbered with crab chitin anyway.
  • My magician seemed a bit underpowered compared to the cleric & fighter companions I picked up who by the later part of the playthrough were doing basically all the work. It was often a bit dispiriting when the more powerful spells often had really really weedy results, but maybe I was just very unlucky on the RNG.
  • It feels weird that one can't flee from combat. I would be really in favour of this addition: one could have it so it's a roll against stats and, if failed, the character has to wait 5 or 10 rounds before trying again? But either way, especially since it's easy to come across enemies and not be sure of their power early on in the game, I think this would be a good addition.
  • A few quests need better explanations in the quest log, so e.g. on the gathering food for refugees it still told me "talk to the cook" even after I'd done so & I never knew how much food I needed. Also for finding Froggert I think the girl said something about where to look in the original dialogue that wasn't then in the quest log.
  • Seriously where IS Froggert? My party nearly starved to death wandering around looking for that thing.

Also some proofreading points in case useful:
  • "Continue" is misspelt on like the first screen
  • "What's happened to her?" - happened is misspelt (this line is when talking to Cato)
  • "Game too difficult?" - On death, this is misspelt as "to"
  • You have "payed" instead of "paid" a few times - the latter would be a more normal spelling.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Gallian_the_Great

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Thanks for offering feedback! Noting it all down :-)

  • Autosaving more often would be good - the fact it doesn't autosave after a rest like in many games is a bit of a nasty surprise the first time one dies.
  • On the main map, it'd be useful to have the game clock more visible, if it was there I couldn't see it.
  • A lot of hotkeys could be improved for ease of use. Having I for Inventory consistently available (both in & out of combat) would have made the game handling a lot easier.
  • It's a bit odd for me having 1 switching between "first option on a menu" and "leave/drop/ignore" when it comes to chests.
  • Chests seem to be permanent AFAICT, so you can drop things in them then return later? It'd be good to make that clear since so many games don't have that feature. Maybe the old guy in the lighthouse could tell you that you can put stuff in the chest downstairs, that would've been useful for not getting overencumbered with crab chitin anyway.
  • My magician seemed a bit underpowered compared to the cleric & fighter companions I picked up who by the later part of the playthrough were doing basically all the work. It was often a bit dispiriting when the more powerful spells often had really really weedy results, but maybe I was just very unlucky on the RNG.
  • It feels weird that one can't flee from combat. I would be really in favour of this addition: one could have it so it's a roll against stats and, if failed, the character has to wait 5 or 10 rounds before trying again? But either way, especially since it's easy to come across enemies and not be sure of their power early on in the game, I think this would be a good addition.
  • A few quests need better explanations in the quest log, so e.g. on the gathering food for refugees it still told me "talk to the cook" even after I'd done so & I never knew how much food I needed. Also for finding Froggert I think the girl said something about where to look in the original dialogue that wasn't then in the quest log.
  • Seriously where IS Froggert? My party nearly starved to death wandering around looking for that thing.

Have fixed the typos you noted!

There will be autosaving at rest and when you change maps. I just need to polish the saving a bit so it's a wee bit faster.
Yeah the clock should perhaps visible!
Hotkeys: Noted!
Chests are persistant yes!
Yeah spell effects are too swingy so I need to make the range more narrow for the effect.
Fleeing from initiated combat will not be implemented in a normal case (I THINK at least). FOr scripting purposes I need to be able to presume that if a character initiates a combat with an NPC, either the game ends or the opponent gets defeated. HOWEVER I intend to make it possible to sneak by or flee from random encounters before they trigger.
Yeah quests need lots of work.
Froggert is hidden in a barrel near the cook :-)

Jubal

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Very welcome! Hoping to get time for another run-through this weekend.

And yeah, re spell swinginess I feel like things can afford to be more swingy at higher levels where you have the ability to crack out more & more varied things to begin with... it's at low levels, especially when you're alone, where a couple of bad rolls can be a death sentence if the effects are very swingy.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...