This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
The Iron Oath: Dark Turn-based Tactical RPG
The Iron Oath: Dark Turn-based Tactical RPG
A gritty turn-based RPG with a focus on tactics and the management of your guild within a dynamic world.
A gritty turn-based RPG with a focus on tactics and the management of your guild within a dynamic world. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
About this project
The Iron Oath is a turn-based tactical RPG that is set in a dark fantasy world. Recruit, manage, and embark on missions with a roster of adventurers, testing the limits of their mortality. Every decision made carries weight and can have a minor or major influence on your characters and the world that surrounds them. As you and your guild progress, the world changes dynamically, enabling new storylines to discover and resulting in a unique experience for every playthrough.
- Tactical turn-based Combat: Deadly foes, traps and destructible objects means one misstep could be your party’s undoing. Proper planning and execution is vital to your success.
- A Large and Dynamic Overworld: 9 regions with over 50 hubs to visit. Cities can be overtaken, destroyed and rebuilt; while various factions can emerge, rise and fall. A playthrough can potentially last hundreds of years, resulting in many changes to the initial world state.
- In-depth Guild Management: Control your guild's finances, resources, alliances and roster. Your characters will age, retire and frequently die in combat and you will need to recruit and train their replacements.
- Character Development: Every recruitable character has their own personal backstory, incorporating events that have taken place during your playthrough. Their motives, alignment and traits all stem from this, but each of the three is subject to change as their career progresses.
- Dynamic Dialogue: Characters will converse over a variety of subjects such as the current state of the world or relevant past experiences, along with offering their input on any decisions you face.
- Decisions Matter: Your choices bear consequences and they can affect your characters, your guild and the many factions that exist throughout the world.
- Detailed Pixel Art: Meticulously hand-crafted pixel art characters, animations and environments help set the mood for your journey.
There are 2 main aspects of gameplay in The Iron Oath: The Mission phase & the Overworld phase. Missions focus on combat and exploration, while the Overworld deals with managing your guild's affairs and traveling.
Combat is a near certainty in any mission you choose to undertake. You will have to overcome your enemies' strengths and exploit their weaknesses by carefully planning your party's composition, formation and using each class's skill-set to its fullest potential.
Every character class has a set of unique abilities that cost Spirit to use. The key is not just understanding how to use your abilities, but also when to use them. Resource management is paramount during missions and Spirit is your most valued resource. Do you use the Paladin’s ‘Holy Barrage’ now to deal with the horde of undead that are upon you? Or do you instead employ your Spirit more conservatively in case a greater threat lies beyond?
Your characters will react accordingly to various events and abilities that will see their Spirit pools fluctuate. Striking a critical hit, killing blow or casting abilities at key moments will spur your character's confidence and increase their Spirit. Conversely, having an ally get knocked down or even killed can see it plummet.
Combat in The Iron Oath is turn-based and occurs on a hex grid. The size and shape of the grid varies depending on the the environment, and can be further altered by various destructible objects, traps & abilities. You might find that certain party compositions fare better in confined quarters with choke points, while others excel in wide open areas. There are many viable compositions for every situation, and you will be encouraged to experiment and discover your favorites!
In between combat engagements, you will explore procedurally generated dungeons on your way to completing your mission. Enemies are not the only obstacle that your party must overcome. Traps, hazards, rare events & scarce resources will all seek to challenge your resolve and that of your characters.
Not everything is a detriment to your party however, there are many interactable objects and events that can prove beneficial. Hidden passages can be uncovered, unlocking secret areas that contain rare loot or long forgotten artifacts. Shrines of ancient Gods can grant their blessing to those who are deemed worthy. You may even stumble across an NPC who requires your assistance, or one who offers theirs to you.
Much like combat, exploration has a heavy emphasis on resource management and decision making. If your party is low on health or Spirit, perhaps it would be best if you left that corpse alone rather than risk an unwanted battle. Whenever there is a choice to be made, your characters will offer their opinion on what they believe is the correct course of action. Heeding their advice is generally wise, but they will not always agree with one another and ultimately you will have the final say.
When dungeons are long enough you will be given the opportunity to set up camp. Doing so allows your party to rest and recover their HP, Spirit and possibly remove any negative traits that they have acquired on the way. Your party may even end up with a few well-rested bonuses providing the conditions are met. Choosing when and where to camp are both equally important; camping too early may squander its benefits, and choosing to camp in an unsecured room could prove disastrous.
The overworld is comprised of 9 unique regions with over 50 cities and towns for you to visit. The map begins the same for every playthrough, but as time passes, world events and the choices you make will dynamically change the economy and political makeup of it. There are a variety of events that can occur in the world, triggering outcomes such as wars, the destruction of cities, or even the complete collapse of a once powerful faction. All of these events and their outcomes shape what storylines and missions are made available to you.
The decisions you make on your journey can also have a profound influence on the world and your guild. You may choose to spare a powerful sorcerer who bargains for his life, only to see him spawn a large faction of undead that begins to threaten or overtake the region. There are a number of encounters you will face while in the Overworld, and you will need to consider your choices and their consequences carefully.
As you travel throughout the overworld and complete missions of your choosing, you will earn gold and reputation for your actions. Gold is obviously valuable, but your guild’s reputation can be equally important. Do you want to be known as cut throat mercenaries, leaving a pile of bodies and enemies in your wake? Or do you want to remain honorable by helping those in need and forging meaningful alliances. Whatever path you choose will have an effect on the missions and opportunities made available to you. Keep in mind, your characters have their own motives, opinions and a sense of loyalty towards the guild. Making choices that they do not agree with can decrease their Loyalty, leading them to question, abandon or even betray you.
Maintaining your guild is a costly venture; you will need to pay expenses for travel, accommodations, and supplies. Your characters don't risk their lives for free either, and they will expect to be paid on time and by the terms of their contracts. Planning out your travel route and accepting the right missions goes a long way to running a successful organization.
As time passes your characters may retire, leave or die and you will need to be on the lookout for new recruits. Recruiting can be done while visiting towns and cities, but you will also have the chance to recruit some NPCs that you encounter in the overworld or while completing a mission.
When it comes time to begin a mission, choosing the right party and provisions are crucial to success. There are a few important factors to consider for this:
- Are they willing? Depending on the mission, some of your characters may not be inclined to participate, either for moral, psychological, or other reasons. You may force them if you wish, but it could lead to problems within the dungeon or even further down the line.
- Are they fit for duty? Your characters can succumb to a number of negative traits, illnesses and injuries that should all affect your decision to include them in the party.
- What threats are you likely to face? Certain classes and compositions perform better than others against a particular foe, and taking along the right potion or antidote may just save a life.
- Do these characters get along? Your characters have an Affinity rating to one another which can affect the party’s synergy. If two of your members dislike each other, tensions between them could potentially unravel the mission.
Many class compositions will be viable for any given situation, but you will need to take into account all aspects of your characters in order to form the most effective party.
Every character that is available for you to recruit has their own backstory. Their backstory is comprised of moments in their life that shape who they are, and incorporates world events that have occurred during your playthrough. Perhaps they grew up in a small town that was ransacked during a recent war, and lost their home and family. A character’s goals, traits and alignment are determined by these moments in their backstory. Using the above example, they may want revenge on the offending faction or they may simply hold a general dislike towards them. Moments often have a character trait associated with it, which can be either positive or negative.
There are a number of ways for you to develop and customize your characters as well. Once a character has earned enough experience to level up, you will be able to spend an ability point to augment one of their abilities. Each ability has its own skill tree of enhancements for you to choose from such as: increased potency, reduced cost or added crowd control effects.
Traits are another aspect that you have some partial control over by way of the Mentor System. This feature allows you to assign an experienced character to mentor another of the same class. By doing this, the mentor will be able to pass on some of their more positive traits, and also increase the rate at which the apprentice gains experience. Additionally, if the mentor manages to survive until their retirement, they will pass on their passive ability to the apprentice.
Lastly, gear allows you to further customize your characters. A Diablo-like loot system allows you to obtain a variety of equipment through merchants, quest rewards and by looting either enemies or misplaced chests of treasure.
We are planning to launch the game with 12 distinct classes, each possessing 6 unique active abilities and up to 2 possible passive abilities. We’ve also fully mapped out another 9 classes that we'd like to eventually add to the game.
The 4 classes currently implemented are the Paladin, Pyrolancer, Stormcaller, Valkyrie. The other 8 are the Grappler, Hellraiser, Shifter, Sage, Warden, Nightstalker, Trickster, Troubadour. Read more about each class in THIS update!
There will be numerous enemy types to provide you with both variation and challenge, such as: beasts unique to each region, bandits & various human factions, undead creatures, demons, and the Blighted.
You will also come across many neutral NPCs on your excursions including merchants, blacksmiths, other adventurers and more. Your choices during these encounters can have a number of possible outcomes for your guild and potentially the world.
In the first age humanity was young and vulnerable. Then came the Gods, who shared their wisdom and knowledge. The Gods shielded humanity from the threat of the Blighted, and they grew into prosperity.
However as time passed, so too did the Gods. They were replaced by a great being of darkness; one that brought only death and disease to the land. Those afflicted by its blight lost their minds, their bodies and their souls as they slowly became abominations of the flesh and outcasts to society.
Yet in the wake of this tragedy heroes began to emerge, taking up the mantle left vacant by the gods. They defended the realm with their lives for centuries, but eventually they too would fade. So humanity endures, waiting for new heroes to rise up that can perhaps put an end to the suffering that has plagued them for so very long.
A fragile peace now exists between the factions of the world. Every few decades, the dragon(whose exact origins remain a mystery) ventures out from its slumber within the Void, returning to the realm and inflicting its sickness upon the people. Those afflicted are known as the Blighted, and they slowly transform into aggressive abominations who are often then shunned, excommunicated or killed.
The game begins on the eve of the dragon’s return(or so the people believe). Uncovering and completing the main storyline of the game is entirely optional, and you may choose to ignore it and let events unfold without your input.
The Iron Oath boasts a dark fantasy orchestral soundtrack produced by talented composer Alex Roe. Alex draws from a wealth of experience in writing remixes & original music based on the Dark Souls and Bloodborne series. Other influences for the soundtrack comes from titles such as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Shadow of the Colossus and Soul Sacrifice.
If you'd like to hear more of Alex's work, we encourage you to visit his Bandcamp: http://alexroe.bandcamp.com
The Iron Oath will be released on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux. DRM-free versions will be made available through The Humble Store. Our targeted release date is Q1 of 2019.
We’d also love to bring the game to consoles but as we’re a small team we cannot yet commit to the idea. Whether or not it happens will depend on opportunity and the success of this campaign
For more detailed information on each stretch goal, check out this update HERE.
Your pledge means everything to us, but there are other ways you can support the campaign too! Help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, drop a tip to your favorite journalist, tell your family, your friends, even your cat! Every goal reached pushes us one step closer to unlocking the following rewards:
- 4 Goals: We’ll unveil another playable class in a campaign update: the Grappler (ACHIEVED! To be revealed shortly)
- 8 Goals: An alternate skin for every class will be added to the game
- 12 Goals: Our artist will create a video tutorial explaining his process and tips for designing & animating characters
- 16 Goals: Enlarged and improved character portraits will be added for all cinematic & dialogue sequences.
- 20 Goals: Discover the hidden secrets of our game’s world by completing a multi-stage quest which will unlock an additional character class in the game.
Links for Social Goals:
- Follow on Twitter: Follow @TheIronOath on Twitter
- Retweet Us: Retweet this Tweet on Twitter
- Follow on Tumblr: Follow our Tumblr account
- Share on Facebook: Share our pinned post on Facebook
- Like Us on Facebook: Like The Iron Oath's Facebook page
- YouTube Trailer: Re-watch and Like our YouTube trailer
This is our dream game and we’ve been working on it nearly full-time for the last year. In order for us to continue in a full-time capacity and hit our 2019 release date, we need your support! Part of your funding will go towards our basic living expenses, but we also need to pay our composer, hire a sound designer and additional pixel artists to help with the art and animation workload.
Any funds raised above our target will be put towards our large list of stretch goals that we had to place on the back burner during the designing stage. There’s a lot of potential there that we’re really excited about and we hope to get the opportunity to reveal and discuss our ideas with you!
And finally, the community we build through this Kickstarter will help provide us with valuable feedback on various aspects of the game’s development. We cannot thank you enough for your interest and support and we hope you believe in our project enough to back us and tell your friends!
Concept Art by @mobiusu14
Follow us on social media and keep up to date by signing up for our newsletter!
- Twitter: @theironoath
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/theironoath
- Website & Newsletter: theironoath.com
- Tumblr: theironoath.tumblr.com
- YouTube: youtube.com/user/CuriousPandaGames
- PressKit(): indiedb.com/games/the-iron-oath/presskit
- Alex Roe's Bandcamp: alexroe.bandcamp.com
- Mobiusu's Deviant Art: mobiusu14.deviantart.com
Risks and challenges
So far we’ve been developing The Iron Oath on our own time without funding, and the core of the game and many of its features are already in place. We are completely aware that there is still a long road of development ahead of us, and naturally that comes with its own set of challenges & uncertainties. But with the experience of already having released a game together(and with previous experience in the industry) we have every confidence in ourselves to see The Iron Oath through to the end.
Of course, no one can predict the future with things like technical problems, health problems or unforeseen delays, but no matter what curveballs come our way we will do whatever is necessary to see this game completed in its entirety.
-Curious Panda Games
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