No Truce With The Furies

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Gaspard, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Double post to bring you some fresh news - actually something that a lot of people have been looking forward to - we´re hoping to whet your appetite with this series of articles giving you a taste of our anthropomorphized SKILLS:

    "Meet The Skills: Intellect"

    Robert Kurvitz
    Game Designer

    In Metric (our character system) there are six skills that comprise your Intellect: Logic, Rhetoric, Drama, Encyclopedia, Conceptualization and Visual Calculus. They are represented here by their work-in-progress portraits.


    is raw intellectual power. If you want to analyze the living daylights out of the case, take Logic. Formulate theories about what happened, or detect inconsistencies in the statements people make to you. It’s useful for not getting bamboozled.

    Logic loves being right, however. To a fault. It’s a brilliant lie detector until faced with intellectual flattery. Then it starts tooting its own horn. Your Drama skill might interfere: people are pretending, manipulating you, while Logic – blinded by its own brilliance – yammers on about how infallible it is.

    In heroic difficulty rolls, Logic can induce near-transcendence-like pleasure from performing raw operations on events and numbers. (It also does maths for you.) And it states the obvious. Logic loves an easy challenge, whatever it’s claims.


    is your ability to debate. Nitpick, make intellectual discourse. It doesn’t need to be an argument, you can just shoot off your mouth and take hearty pleasure from it. But let’s be honest – mostly Rhetoric just bickers. About politics.

    All political discourse falls under Rhetoric. You can mold it into a weapon of fascist sable rattling, evicting potato-loving kojkos and deformed himean pygmees left to right. Rid Revachol of aliens in transit! Or become the ultimate liberast (perpetrator of the sin of liberasty), extolling free trade and slimy personal freedoms at the expense of the downtrodden. This is achieved through researching political projects in your Thought Cabinet, then having them supercharge your Rhetoric skill.

    A souped up, ideologically informed Rhetoric is an impressive beast, but it gets you into trouble. The twist here is that Rhetoric – our persuasion ability – doesn’t really persuade anyone. Most of the time it just makes you new enemies. While your beliefs calcify.


    is your knack for trivia. It’s perhaps the talkiest of all the skills, pulling out drawers of fascinating if questionable tidbits of knowledge. Sometimes real nuggets of gold too. It’s up to you to discern between the two.

    Encyclopedia adores brands, marks, makes of pistolette and motor-carriage, street names, addresses, species of cockatoo, Great Century military leaders, rock music icons, Messinian ceramic manufacturers … Buy it and max it out, if you want a deluge of lore.

    You may even find special, reoccurring places within your Encyclopedia. Like visions: a blackboard of names with all the cops in East Revachol on it, with all their confirmed kills and cases solved. Or a mysterious index of radio frequencies…


    is a god damn liar. Deliver believable deviations from reality, sometimes with the goal to deceive people, but not necessarily. You may just want to entertain as well.

    We thought long and hard about how deceit is handled in RPGs and decided it needs to be more about performance in No Truce With The Furies. We want each of the skills to be a little world of it’s own, an investment worth considering. So lying became stagecraft, an amalgam of fourberie and deceit, with entertainment – and even singing. You can do karaoke with Drama, or perform spot on imitations of people.

    Drama is also the counter to Drama. It informs you when Drama is being used on you. And although Intellect skills in general are more mentally oriented, Drama has its uses in combat as well. Feign death. Do drunken fighting. Maybe even quadrupedal movement…


    is your capacity for original thought. Make fresh associations, really delve into the concepts of the world – from Jan Kaarp’s postmodernist karperie, to Revachol’s arabesque architectural style dideridada, or even the concept of hardcore as deployed by the burgeoning dance music scene – then add your own contribution to these works! It’s your general purpose cultural theorist, used for both criticism and creation.

    Okay, I’ll level with you. Conceptualization makes you into an Art Cop. You get extra lines of description in scenes, and you get to come up with stuff like poems, one-liners and a cool nom de guerre for yourself. An artist’s name, if you will. Conceptualization is the difference between hanging yourself and jumping into a live volcano. (No literal live volcanos are present in No Truce With The Furies for the time being.)


    is your forensics skill. It represents your grasp of the laws of physics, motion particularly. Create models of past events in your mind’s eye, trace dotted lines across the room, read tire tracks to recreate an automobile accident. Even notice tactical opportunities in combat situations – then take advantage of them. (Perception + Visual Calculus = the ultimate sniper)

    We’re building a special, stylistic overlay that covers the world when certain Visual Calculus checks succeed. This lets us visualize shards of glass falling out of the window, a car backing into the fence, or political prisoners standing in front of a firing squad, half a century ago… all painted into the isometric world around you.

    It looks great and I’m really sorry we haven’t shown it off yet. Just a few more tweaks first though…

    I’m going to be candid and say Visual Calculus is a really cool skill and you should probably take it if you don’t want to miss out on all the cool. The only reason not to take it is that it’s a luxury. You need more essential stuff to stay alive and on top of things.

    So to wrap it up – Intellect does not make you get on well with yourself, or with other people. It lets you peel off layer after layer from the world, getting to its inner workings, modelling its events and bending it’s structures. If that’s what you want, stick five or six points into it at character creation and later buy two or three skills to boot.

    It’s been my ambition as a pen and paper DM to make heavy mental labour as engaging and wildly entertaining as combat, or even more so. Of the four main Attributes, Intellect was perhaps the hardest to nail. What it really comes down to is how the actual situations are written in the game — and most of all, how interestingly you play them out. The skills are just prompters in the play you’re starring in, whispering suggestions to you from within. It’s up to you to decide whose ideas you want more of, and what to do with them. But naming and dividing between areas of juristiction is everything in systems — and I’m certain this cast was worth getting together all these years.

    (Next time we’ll introduce the Psyche skills to you. Inland Empire is my favourite.)
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  2. mobucks

    mobucks juice oTO Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    It really is looking great guys. Keep up the good work!

    Warning: if this is another MrNixon alt I will cut you.
  3. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Meanwhile, while the forumites at the Codex were touching their dicks together, we managed to float our boat in a wholly different way. (SFX: bada-bam-tsshh!)

    You´re welcome to compare that to Pillars´ new boat

  4. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  5. PlanHex

    PlanHex Useless layabout oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    Goddamn, this sounds great.

    edit: Feel like I should maybe put this on the front page...
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  6. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Feel free to just do that :D

    While the Preview thead over at RPG Codex (LINK) is still booming and discussions run hot on political topics interspersed with the occasional ad hominem jab - all in the best traditions of the Codex - I wish to grace the NMA board with another dev blog update. This week it's typed up by ZA/UM writer Helen:


    What you can see here are the capeside apartments, Rue de Saint-Gislaine 33A to be precise. The pier below has my favourite piece of urban romanticism from the game – the plaque reads: “Docking reserved for residents of: Rue de Saint-Gislaine 33A.” Simple technical worldbuilding.

    Revachol’s waterfront and the surrounding islands of Ozonne and Archipelagos have civilian boat traffic. Modern Revachol – a “gossamer state”, an occupied territory where only international and property law is enforced – has developed a rich culture of waterways. People drive boats like they drive bicycles. Well, rich people do. Poor people can’t afford boats.

    That’s just the facts of life, sunshine.

    Another word on the screenshot – it shows off our antecentennial architecture style. Havana-inspired stuff from before the turn of the century. It’s pretty bombed out now, war torn and without renovation for 40 years. We started work on the style before Dishonored 2’s campaign started, so the similarities are coincidental, stemming from common inspiration I guess. Also, we have wildly varying architectural styles in Revachol, the antecentennial is just one of them.

    Other than the disturbing lack of spumes and particle effects – the “water tech” is half finished – we’re pretty happy with this one.

    A word on the HUD (heads-up display) maybe? It’s still very much a work in progress. But this is the first iteration we’re not embarrassed to show. On the portraits, the red bars are Endurance and the blue bars are Volition.

    About those portraits – the third one in line is the one I wanted to talk about: Lena, the cryptozoologist’s wife. She’s into cryptids, the fabled hidden animals. And the whole world in general, not only the hidden part of it. If you take a closer look at the three characters standing underneath the red paint, you’ll see that one of them is in a wheelchair. That one would be Lena.

    Since we have a modern setting, we can have people in wheelchairs. Ypa! This one is a fancy, gas powered, electric motor driven wheelchair. (The wheelchair pushing animation would be too much of a hassle, plus the gas powered engine has a nice sound to it.) So we’re thinking – what if we had a wheelchair companion? We like Lena, she’s turning out nice. She’s presented us with an interesting thought experiment. How would Lena as a squadmate work?

    Currently – not so well. A gossamer state does not lay wheelchair ramps over the ruins of its monarchist past. Traversing the map becomes an instant problem. We had a look at Martinaise proper and most of it is already barricaded with those stairs that isometric level design loves so much. The rest has … navmesh problems. So we’re currently thinking of making Lena into a temporary companion for an atmospheric stroll kind of side-quest. Prototype it. Then maybe expand it into a more fleshed out thing in the future? Those navigational restrictions have some interesting gameplay and exploration possibilities …

    Anyway, these are just thoughts. It’s not guaranteed we’ll get her in there at all. It would need to be a smooth experience. There are a lot of crazy what-if’s that keep it on “Maybe?” list as of now. Just wanted to clear that up so y’all don’t expect her as a squadmate and then get angry when the gossamer state’s “who-gives-a-fuck” social policy cuts her navmesh.
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  7. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    The pic is broken but this looks fucking amazing. Keep us informed man and we will promote the hell out of this.
  8. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Hmm. Works for me... I'll look into it. And thanks!
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  9. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    Works now and it looks fucking great. The name turned me off, but now I'm a customer.
  10. namad

    namad First time out of the vault

    Aug 7, 2006
    Looks really cool. I've been dying for another game like arcanum for about 15 years. It's my #1 most favorite underrated game of all time.
    It looks enough like arcanum I'm surprised arcanum isn't a listed influence though.
  11. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    I played a lot of Arcanum back in the day and really liked it, but yeah - Torment is closer to home in those regards even though whenever we have design meetings I hold long monologues about the merits of looking at what Fallout 1 managed...


    For those who are interested in some moving pictures - if you´re lucky, you could get a glimpse at No Truce With the Furies as part of the Humble Bundle Twitch stream if you tune in on the following address at 11:30 Boston time:


    For us poor suckers not in Boston that means Humble Bundle will go live at around 18:30 ZAUM Studio time, in Moscow that is 19:30, Berlin 17:30, London 16:30 ... you get it. Do the math.
  12. PlanHex

    PlanHex Useless layabout oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    Looked pretty cool. Though probably would have been better to show the same scene in the game as two completely different characters back-to-back. Might have caught people's attention more. Though twitch chat spamming ResidentSleeper at an RPG where you're not constantly shooting lazors/magic at things is pretty much a given of course.
  13. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Hehe, yeah - twicth comments were fun. About the video: We had to cram our stuff into approximately four minutes of air time - and as the dialogues were probably going to be blurry (our boots on the ground confirmed that it was like that there on the big screen as well) - we decided to show some of that area as well instead of rushing walls of text past the audience´s eyes.
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  14. PlanHex

    PlanHex Useless layabout oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    True, hard to do more with the time you had.
  15. naossano

    naossano Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Oct 19, 2006
    What a misleading title. I spent weeks spammed by that titles on the codex without looking the associated articles because i thought it was related with puppy toys. That game seems to be going into a totally different direction that i find quite interesting. I will try to remember about this game next time i want to try something new.

    This is what i had in mind :

  16. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Yeah, people keep making that connection. It´s closer to this:

    than anything really furby related
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  17. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Recommended to a friend. Completely on board, but got his dreams a bit broken as he wished to make a detectives RPG, heh
  18. Gaspard

    Gaspard Kasparov

    May 7, 2009
    Well - there are a bunch of sword and sorcery type RPGs out there - why not detective-y RPgs as well, eh?

    What does your friend do? We might hire him :D
  19. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    I'll ask, sure.

    Swift jab
  20. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    You should see his posts in RPGCodex.

    Now I need to get down before he attack me with "Your momma" posts.
    • [Like] [Like] x 1