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[Kickstarter] Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones - A Narrative Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror cRPG [funded]

KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
edited June 2016 in Off-Topic
Not sure how many Lovecraftians we have on this website, but anyhow. Might as well give this upcoming narrative cosmic horror cRPG its own thread here.

Those who frequently visit kickstarter may already know about Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones. It is the start of a new cRPG franchise by Cultic Games. They took inspiration from Planescape: Torments, the early Fallout games, the AD&D Dark Sun series, Heroes of Might and Magic and mixed it with H.P. Lovecraft's works. Hand drawn 2D backgrounds and art assets together with turn-based combat system, skills, classy 1920's archetypes/classes and unique game elements makes this title rather fascinating in my eyes. My favourite components are the Believe System and Angst System.

And of course there are lots of text and dialogue choices:

They are currently at €38.795 and get funded when reaching their €55.000 goal. That should be more than doable with 18 remaining days.

Of note is that the physical game disk come together in a very special case. Not plastic, nor metal... it is real leather:

There are even plans of gifting the Merry Folk from the Stars Children's Book in .pdf format to all backers when they reach the 1000th's Like on facebook.
Beautifully illustrated, 1920's children's book about a little girl's pact with the Old Ones to punish all the grown-ups. A haunting bedside publication which greatly contributed to humanity's demise. This doomsday book is also featured in its own related quest in the game.
Perhaps @Anduin and @lolien may be interested in reading their kids stories where the Old Ones get awakened by a little girl to punish the grown ups? :p

Post edited by Kamigoroshi on


  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Interesting classes, horrible graphics.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    A matter of taste, I'd wager. Personally I feel abstract surrealism like this fits H.P Lovecraft's stories rather nicely. Although I agree it's not for everyone out there.

  • onelasttry84onelasttry84 Member Posts: 52
    Love this! Are there any other cthulhu-themed crpgs out there?

  • brusbrus Member Posts: 944
    Art style is wonderful. I think particle system sprites should improve.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    We're at €51.227 now and 9 days to go. At this point, I think it's save to say that this project will get funded for certain. Same probably goes for unlocking the 1st stretch goal as well. Needless to say I'm crossing all my tentacles for this project to reach as many goals as possible:

    Also, In the newest kickstarter update, Cultic Games clarifies Stygian's skills and their related perks. It's really refreshing to see such vastly different skills from the usual D&D, Pathfinder or d20 rule systems.
    Skills reflect your choices, aspirations and experiences in Stygian. Different combinations will open different paths to reach your goals. With twelve skills and numerous perks, players will have many opportunities to shape their own fate and face the challenges of Stygian.

    Let's have a look at our Skills along with some of their related Perks.

    Investigation: The skill of observing one's surroundings; finding clues, hidden items and subtle connections.
    Related Perks: Photography, Tracking, Questioning

    Occult: The skill of comprehending the unknown; knowledge of the mythos and the other realities. Occult skill is obligatory for casting spells and performing rituals.
    Related Perks: Spell-weaving, Ritual Mastery, Sacrifice

    Psychology: The skill of sensing the motives of others, knowing the mechanics of the mind and stabilizing one's and others' mental health.
    Related Perks: Psychoanalysis, Mental Barrier, Therapy

    Speechcraft: The skill of influencing others with words, creating sympathy or fear in them and performing the art of lying.
    Related Perks: Manipulation, Intimidation, Seduction

    Melee: The skill of hand to hand fighting and close quarters combat with melee weapons.
    Related Perks: Martial Artist, Fencing, Exotic Weapons

    Firearms: The skill of operating all kinds of firearms from pistols to machine guns.
    Related Perks: Gunslinger, Rifle Expert, Special Weaponry

    "A player character using his Investigation skill to learn more about the cause of death of the strange fossilized creature"

    Science: The skill of understanding the rational world, making inventions, grasping the principles of scientific facts and researching mythos beings to find weaknesses in their metabolisms.
    Related Perks: Advanced Autopsy, Great Inventor, Metabolism Expert

    Stealth: The skill of not being seen and heard, moving without being detected and eavesdropping.
    Related Perks: Vanishing, Silent Running, Assassination

    Survival: The skill of withstanding pain and extreme conditions.
    Related Perks: Snake Eater, Camping, Sentry

    Medicine: The skill of understanding the human body, curing diseases and stabilizing one's and others' physical health.
    Related Perks: Xeno-Botany, Drug Expert, Purifier

    Athletics: The skill of moving gracefully, dodging attacks and performing athletic manoeuvres.
    Related Perks: Escape Artist, Exceptional Reflexes, Daredevil

    Subterfuge: The skill of dirty tricks, lock-picking and stealing.
    Related Perks: Cheat, Master Thief, Dirty Fighting

    "An academic character using his Science skill on a wrecked fire engine to salvage some machine"

    On a similar note, their previous backer update revealed a theme song (possibly even the main theme?) of Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones. Lovely little tune for bedtime stories. ;)

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    It might interest some as to why exactly Cultic Games decided to go for the current graphic style. Luckily for us, their newest update focuses on exactly that:

    Beauty in Madness: Environment Art of Stygian

    Greetings fellow admirers of the macabre!

    In this update we'd like to give you more information on the creation process of our environment art along with sharing some images from different stages of production. Our environment artist Elwira Pawlikowska is responsible for breathing life into the eerie landscapes you'll visit in Stygian. Her painstaking, authentic pencil drawing style and background in architecture made her the perfect choice for Stygian's backgrounds.

    Our Environment Artist Elwira Pawlikowska

    Our creative director Can decided Elwira was the right choice after seeing such illustrations of the artist.

    Let's hear Elwira's thoughts on the process:

    "Hi there lone fighters against the forces of darkness! I'm Elwira - the environment artist responsible for giving the right shape to the Stygian's settings.

    What was needed was a hand drawn 2D world reflecting the mood of Lovecraft's universe, saturated with decay, hopelessness and madness.

    The first step was "research" ie becoming familiar with book and newspaper illustrations "from the era" (1920s), analyzing approach to contours, shading and texturing. It also meant browsing through plenty of images related with US industrial districts from the prohibition time and ... photos of extremely weird mushrooms.

    The next step was making precise pencil drawings of my own designs (buildings, vehicles, plants, environment in general). After scanning them it was time for "digital inking" with a graphic tablet, which enabled the graphic crew to work freely with all the files, but also helped to maintain a retro feel.

    Many visual aspects were already carefully thought out by the game designers from the beginning, however there were still space for my imagination! The best moment was elaborating all the tiny little details of the ruined city, indicating, that something dreadful has happened there. As an architect of education I'm much more accustomed to creating than devastating. Thus creation of devastation for Stygian awoke dormant areas of my consciousness..."

    It's great to have Elwira on board!

    They also provided a shoutout for another ongoing kickstarter project: Andromeda, an 8-Bit sci-fi exploration/bullet hell game. People who liked late 80's console games will have their nostalgia buttons pushed.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Aaaand... Stygian reached its funding goal of €55.000 today~! Can't wait until the game gets released in Nov 2017. :smiley:
    Now all that's left is to see how many stretch goals it reaches with the remaining 7 days. :)

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Finally! Another update by Cultic Games and their maddening, crazy work of cosmic horror~! :D
    The leather binding of their physical game edition looks especially nice. Definitally something different from the all too common plastic cases and steelbooks.

    Welcome to the Fathomless Depths of Stygian's Inventory System!

    Greetings Fellow Collectors of Eldritch Artifacts!

    In this update we'd like to share Stygian's inventory system.

    Let's start with a video showcasing the system, and then talk more about its features and our design approach.

    Stygian's inventory consists of the following sections:

    Paper Doll - shows all the items the player currently has equipped, including weapons, outfits, artifacts, a backpack and things of that sort. We are pretty sensitive about customization and aim to display the player's choices with as many visual representations as possible. We're also designing unique models for special items such as rare weapons and gadgets. We are keenly aware of the fact that we RPG players love to play with our dolls, preferably voodoo dolls...

    Equip your character, in style...

    Statistics - shows almost all of the secondary statistics which affect combat and exploration. Potential effects of the items will be displayed as a tool-tip in the form of colored numeric modifiers.
    We haven't forgotten you Min-Max scholars

    Party inventory - shows all items in the party's possession. Stygian uses a shared inventory system so you won't need to spend time shifting carried items from one character to another. Less item management, more black magic, count us in!

    Did we tell you that we're also fans of adventure games?

    Item category tabs - grant easy access to all the items you'll need to prolong your hopeless struggle against the shapeless horrors of the abyss. Tabs are divided into the following categories: Weapons and ammo, outfits, consumables, tools and gadgets, artifacts, books and tomes, quest-related items, miscellaneous, and of course the favorites tab, which can be customized by the player.

    Quick items - allows you to set certain items to be instantly available during combat and exploration. Don't forget to add your favorite smokes to one of the quick item slots. Cigarettes are essential for reducing stress but remember not to smoke them all because the Cigs have become Arkham's rising currency!

    As you can see, we tried to build upon the inventory features typical of western role playing games while balancing convenience and thematic flavor. We also chose to use larger icons for our items in order to include more detail, increase immersion, and show off the efforts of our talented artists.

    Finally, for the closure of this unholy update, Cultic Games present you the talented leather artisan, Master Sebo, working on our Special Edition Game Tomes! These hand made books of madness will bring doom to your neighborhood when the game is out.

    No human skin was used in production of our special edition tomes

    So please share your opinions with us fellow cultists and seekers of the forbidden knowledge. Are we walking the path of desolation gracefully?

    Until we meet again, sailing through the tides of the black unknown...

    Team Cultic

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    I have been wishing for a Lovecraftian crpg for so long. Definitely keeping an eye on this.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    edited June 2017

    Rest Activities or How I Learned Getting Ready for the Dark Times Ahead

    Greetings fellow Cultists of the Dreaming Sheikh!

    In this update, we'd like to share some detailed information about our Rest System. As you probably know, resting in Stygian is not a just a mere tool for refilling your consumed stats in the blink of an eye but a defined side system of preparation, risk assessment and research. We, the folk at Cultic Games tend to do all these before going to sleep, don't you too?

    First things first! Let's have a look at our Rest Screen:

    Outsider does not socialize

    In Stygian resting also represents the idle time your character and companions spend before going to sleep (or leaving for the Dreamlands). Each character has 5 Rest Points to allocate to a variety of activities which are connected to the acquired skills.

    The descriptions of our Rest Activities are as follows:

    Note: "Gouging your own eyes out" activity is discarded in the current build for balancing reasons.

    Socialize: The character spends her time socializing with a companion, increasing the sanity of both party members.
    Related Skill: Speechcraft

    Keep Watch: The character stays awake and alert to possible dangers. Decreases the encounter chance while resting in Danger Areas.
    Related Skill: Survival

    Psychological Treatment: The character provides therapy to a mentally disturbed companion, raising the sanity of the target.
    Related Skill: Psychology

    Medical Treatment: The character provides medical treatment to herself or a companion, raising the health of the target. Requires Doctor's Bag.
    Related Skill: Medicine

    Weapon Maintenance: The character performs maintenance on weapon to improve its performance until next rest.
    Related Skill: Firearms or Melee

    Physical Exercise: The character performs a series of physical exercises to improve physical endurance and ease the mind until next rest.
    Related Skill: Athletics

    Gambling: The character takes part in a gambling session in a suitable rest area, gaining Cigs in the process. If things go right...
    Related Skill: Subterfuge

    Scout: The character scouts the surrounding area for an escape route in case of ambush. The progression escape route will be opened more easily should the party get attacked.
    Related Skill: Stealth

    Reconnaissance: The character investigates the area to find the best spot to camp, providing a tactical advantage should the party get attacked.
    Related Skill: Investigation

    Pray: The character prays to her faith’s God, raising the sanity of the character. Requires a religious item.
    Related Belief System: Divine

    Read: The character reads a book or other publication in relation with her belief system, raising the sanity of the character. Requires a book.

    Medical Research: The character searches for a formula by examining medical components in the inventory.
    Related Skill: Medicine

    Scientific Research: The character searches for a blueprint by examining science related crafting components in the inventory.
    Related Skill: Science

    Occult Research: The character studies a chosen tome, manuscript or artifact to gain more insight on the forbidden arts. Occult research is used for learning new spells along with identifying the powers and maledictions of artifacts.
    Related Skill: Occult

    Rest More: The character spends her remaining idle time by resting more, gaining additional health and sanity points.
    Related Skill: None

    The report screen you get after deciding on the activities

    Our next stop is the updated Character Screen, ladies and gents. We aimed to create a detailed yet streamlined and functional design.

    Blue highlights indicate the statistics affected by the character element you hover your cursor over

    The right portion of the screen is dynamically designed to allow the viewing of Secondary Statistics, Perks and Abilites or ANGST tabs while preserving the primary statistics area of the screen. With this approach, we wanted to make the attributes, skills and other core character data always visible while checking other statistics such as perks for easier stat comparison and character progression.

    No, we're not done yet. We wanted to conclude our update by delving more into the realm of the unknown. At your discretion, we present you the Grimoire of Stygian:

    Seeing any "magic torpedos" around?

    Nothing further will be discussed about this issue since we already meddled with the dark forces enough...

    Until the next update cult brethren!

    Continue dreaming the glorious fall.

    Team Cultic

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Hear, hear! The Old Ones at Cultic games have released a HD gameplay video!
    This time it's all about the Character Creation process:

    Details can be found in Stygian's newest update Character Creation, Gamescom and More!
    So much insanity rich eyecandy~. Worth noting is that there will be an 2h gameplay demo on September 25th next month.

    But the real hard fact which was revealed to us in this update was this:
    Stygian will be delayed from the initial targeted release date of November 2017 all the way to the end of 2018.

    That's a big, bitter pill to swallow merely three months before of the old release date. Still, 1 year delay is better than portioning Stygian into episodic releases for each game chapter... I guess. Which indeed would be the case as shown in the kickstarter project comment section. I really hope the extra 365 days of development time will be worth it.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 4,131
    edited August 2017
    I'm just seeing this. Yeah!
    A nice tune that was. I like that belief and angst system idea, his characters always do have some 'issues. to face in the stories.
    Mostly though...
    I want that lil book for the kiddies, myself. B)
    (It will look nice next to my ol copy of The King in Yellow by Chambers.

    EDIT: Shoot, I can't be a guy that finds out he's turning into one of The Deep Ones? Man... :'(
    I hope they get some 'nice' whippoorwill sounds in there somewhere. B)
    Written and illustrated By Whateley, hehheh. Nice touch.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    Is the demo gonna be available for everyone, or just backers?

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    edited August 2017
    ThacoBell said:

    Is the demo gonna be available for everyone, or just backers?

    The September demo is for backers only. But visitors of the Gamescom will also be able to play a demo build at their Bahcesehir University booth stand at Hall 10 / Floor 2, area E-033.

    Post edited by Kamigoroshi on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    Darn. I miss when game companies actually released demos.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Been thinkin' I've been too slow as of recently. But now I''m certain of it...
    There has been something moving in the dark at Cultic Games studio earlier this year:

    For those who are still left clueless in the dark: Cultic Games released the public demo of Stygian on steam.

    But the more dreaded news is that Stygian's release date has been delayed 'till next year... again.
    Hoh boy... 2019 can't come soon enough now....

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    I was interested before, now the demo has me fairly optimistic. I'm super glad we were able to build our own character for it. There are quite a few options to choose from, and I can get a good amount of fum out of just building different characters. I went with a scientist who focused on mind and presense. All the sciencey goodness and able to talk my way out of trouble. I was a little worried that I was gimping my combat abilities too much, but there was a LOT to do just talking to people.

    I was able to talk my way into companions who fought better than me, and enough resources that my characters weak combat ability didn't feel like a handicap. About my only complaint was that combat feels SLOOOW.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Yeah, tried pretty much the same but with an elderly Occultist character and the minimum amount of physical fitness. Tried solo and died an insanely and horrendous death. Loved every second of it!

    Cultic Games mentioned in earlier updates that there will be settings for adjusting the game's pace in the final product. So it should be just so slow because the configuration (+ save & load) menu had been disabled in the beta.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311

    Here's a lenghty and insightful 1 hour interview about Cultic Games and Stygian. It's in Turkish because, well, they're an Turkish studio. (surprise, surprise) But since the video also has English subs available, it's not a problem either way. :)

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Newest update is all about the maps. I especially dig the fact that they seem to the hand drawn scribbles rather than the all-too-common beautiful standard maps we see in games. Really adds to the atmosphere of an alien plane of existence where insanity rules supreme.

    (Fun fact, the heraldic creatures on the Area Map are actually real this time... and just as deadly to encounter)

    And there you have the Regional Map. You can read the full kickstarter update here.

    Also, have a video about Stygian's crafting and publishing system:

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    My anticipation grows. When will the stars finally align?

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    The newest Kickstarter update gives us an even closer look at the GUI. I don't know about you folks, but I just adore what I'm seeing there! :)

    I have to wonder... am I the only one who wants that font on their gravestone? Not sure if they are tentacle-like letters or letter-like tentacles.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    I was just thinking about this yesterday.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Another update from the Far Realm. The short of it:
    • The Cultist robes have been tailored
    • The leathery, grimoire-like DVD cases for the physical limited editions were finished
    • The cosmic horror children books "Merry Folks from the Stars" is also completed AND all backers who pledged €12 or above will receive a digital copy for free to boot
    • Last but no least: Backer Portraits are also finished

    (I bet you all can imagine my favourite of the bunch :p )

    No release date as of yet. But it seems the devs are targeting somewhere around Autuumn 2019.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    Well helloe there, Mr. Feather Cap, I think I've found my first character. Between this and Bug Fables, I think I'm gonna have a pretty good gaming experience this year.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,426
    Those who frequently visit kickstarter may already know about Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones. It is the start of a new cRPG franchise by Cultic Games. They took inspiration from Planescape: Torments, the early Fallout games, the AD&D Dark Sun series, Heroes of Might and Magic and mixed it with H.P. Lovecraft's works.

    I must say, that's one of the coolest combinations of inspirations they could have for a game!

  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 7,705
    Any word on a GOG release??

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