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The Executioner — a Horror RPG about a monster in every man project video thumbnail
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    • Русский
$6,124 pledged of $19,000 goal
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By Lesser Evil Games
$6,124 pledged of $19,000 goal
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About this project

 

 

You're the executioner, and there's a criminal strapped to the chair in front of you. What do you do? Torture till you get a confession or risk angering your employer? Do you satisfy the crowd’s thirst for cruelty or grant a merciful death to the man you’re not even sure is guilty?

We at Lesser Evil Games are creating The Executioner to put such choices in front of the player. Starting with Ludum Dare 37 where we launched a bare-bones version of the game we’ve been hard at work turning it into what it was meant to be:

An RPG horror that puts you in the shoes of a man who tortures people for a living and has to fight to preserve his own waning sanity.

Hapless victim in the torture chamber
Hapless victim in the torture chamber

It’s a game about the price we pay both for cruelty and for mercy, about how much you’re willing to sacrifice to get to the truth — or to satisfy a bloodthirsty crowd and your exalted employer. It is a quest of self-discovery. Like Philip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram the game asks:

  • Do you know who you are?
  • How far are you willing to go?
  • Do you want to live this way?

With your help we want turn our prototype into a rich experience with fleshed-out characters, gripping gameplay, art and soundtrack and a story that might help answer those questions. With a dash of pain and despair on top.

 

Spread the word of the atrocities to come!

Want to help the game happen? Oil the iron maiden, sharpen your axe and execute the sharing sentence for the victims below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are the new Royal Executioner. Your father, who you've succeeded on this post, was beheaded for treason by the mercy of His Majesty the King. He was a lucky man. Normally he would’ve been hanged, quartered and drawn.

Now it’s your job to get confessions from criminals and execute them in front of a crowd craving a bloody spectacle.

A little hanging will cheer people up
A little hanging will cheer people up

People see you as an agent of Death which makes you feared and despised in equal measure. Your own perception however due to a peculiar mutation is both very clear and bizarre — you can not only tell lies from the truth, but sense things normal people can’t.

It’s a useful but dangerous gift — people have been burned at the stake for smaller things.

Lies looks purple
Lies looks purple

And if that wasn’t enough the world around you is ripping at the seams. The King occupies the throne yet the borders are besieged by rival armies. Young science emerges out of medieval ignorance yet doctors still buy bodies supplied by the gallows (and you) to study their anatomy. And somewhere on the fringes of the city sacrifices are still being made to appease ancient gods.

If you listen closely there’s whispers all over the city: revolution is almost upon us.

Thу world is changing. Will it drag you with it, helpless and screaming? Will you break under the pressure of your grim duty? Or will you become an avatar of that great change yourself?

Theodor decides to execute his Father himself
Theodor decides to execute his Father himself

That’s up to you really.

Unless you share your father’s fate. Or go mad. Or kill yourself. Or get devoured by an angry mob because the quartering you performed didn’t have enough zest.

The Game:

  • Your own torture chamber: study your victims, find their weak spots, use your extensive arsenal (or their loved ones) to break them.
  • Dead flesh market, its economy and you as the main supplier.
  • A rich occult underground and mysticism built around medieval artifacts: the Hand of Glory, Mandrake Root and Tarot Cards.

The Hero:

  • An outcast and a death-dealer: it’s a lot easier for you to intimidate or beat answers out of people, than persuade them.
  • Synesthesia: your unique perception makes you a walking lie detector and opens the door into the occult.
  • You torture and kill people for a living. Being efficient and staying sane is a constant balancing act.

 Gameplay: Torture Chamber

You're gonna spend a lot of time in here. This is your first workplace (the second one being the scaffold) and it's worth taking an in-depth look at how everything works, what tools you have at your disposal and how to get the answers that you need out of some very uncooperative individuals.

Here's a brief glance at what you can do and how far you can go with a criminal in your chair on both physical and mental level.

The many faces of pain and insanity
The many faces of pain and insanity

This video is done with a demo so if you're eager to try to get some answers out of the Gamekeeper yourself, back us for an early access.

Gameplay: Global Variables

When we said in the video that your in-game actions affect the world around you, we really meant it. "The Executioner" has seven global variables, six of them are paired: Rational vs. Mystical, Monarchy vs. Revolution and Humanity vs. Sociopathy. The seventh is the all-encompassing Chaos.

Global variables
Global variables

The choices you make over the course of the game will tip the scales one way or the other, and at first it might seem like they only affects the protagonist himself: choices that support the Occult paradigm will open doors for him into the mystical arts, pro-Crown choices will strengthen Theodor's monarchistic views and so on.

But Theodor Grim is no ordinary man. As isolated as his life and upbringing have been, his action have a greater impact than even he realises. We'll stop here to avoid spoilers. Suffice to say when the Executioner makes up his mind about something the universe says "yes" and... adjusts.

As far as Chaos goes, think of it as the fire under the world's feet. The higher its level — the more intense, dynamic and bloody the story will be.

In-Game Credits

Immortalize your name as fan of psychological horror games and "The Executioner" in particular.  

Exclusive Wallpaper

Get a piece of beautifully dreadful digital art that will throw a shadow over your day right from your desktop.

Digital Game

Steam + GOG, you know the drill.

Digital Journal of Theodor's Father

This is no simple PDF. It's a collection of facts, stories, hints and secrets that drive the whole game. A roadmap to the Executioner's story with blasphemous messages and notes from Theodor's father you won't find in the game on account of their outrageous impiety!

Digital Artbook

All the grim art of The Executioner delivered to your inbox in a PDF format.

Access to Beta Testing

You'll get an earlier access to the game, the earliest we can manage. We'll be developing and testing the game in batches, and you'll watch the Executioner's story unfold, get polished and perfected right before your eyes. And with your feedback, of course. 

Hand of Glory

Our craftsmen friends have agreed to take this sin upon their souls and create a batch of Hands out of silicone engraved with occult symbols according to ancient rites. The master-form shall be made out of а severed hand of a mannequin hanged for a crime he didn't commit.

Victim Design (Judge Reward)

We'll work closely with you personally via skype and email to create a victim according to your exact specifications (show you preliminary sketches etc.) with her or his own history, portrait and plot elements (subject to approval by the team).

We will also send you an actual physical scroll that lists your victim's crimes and sentence, with a seal and everything. Shipping is on us.

Victim Design (Separate Reward from Stretch Goals)

You'll get a questionnaire, and once you fill it and send it back to us, we'll create a new victim, but unlike the victim from the Judge reward this one will only be used in an Endless torture Mode and have no portrait. However, there's no limit to that reward and you can get as many victims with the name, description, crime and punishment of your choice as you like. :)

You as a member of Royalty

As with the victim design in Judge reward, but we'll create a member of the Royal family (a King, Queen, a Prince or a Princess) that fits your description, likeness (subject to approval by the team) and has a number of your signature features. Again with his or her own art and plot elements that will have a huge impact on the game world overall.

  

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

We've started working on "The Executioner" more than 6 month ago, creating plot lines, writing texts and balancing mechanics in between our freelance or full-time jobs with zero budget, but a lot of enthusiasm to make this game a reality.

Now that the prototype including most of the game's internal logic, mechanics and plot is done, the stream of content is steady and controlled, and we have a great artist working with us, we're sure the Executioner will be delivered.

There are only two questions: how soon will the game be done and how close will it be to what we've conceived.

With this campaign and your support we'll be able to switch from working on the game part-time (or during sleepless nights) to full-time development with no distractions. Which means the game will come out this year and with all the beautiful and dark storylines that we've created.

We can't exclude the possibility of missed deadlines, health problems or other unexpected hiccups entirely, but we have a solid established workflow, and we're determined to keep our promises to you and to deliver the best version of "The Executioner" that we can.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Assistant

    We thank you for your support! Your contribution will help make "The Executioner" a reality, and we'll immortalize that fact by including your name in the credits! You'll also bet all the backer-exclusive updates and a grim wallpaper to cheer you up!

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    • In-Game Credits
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    Executioner (early bird)

    Due to your excellent work ethics and never being late on the job, we chose to lower your taxes for this season. Enjoy.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the game
    • Executioner's journal (digital)
    • Wallpaper
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Executioner

    Please remember that you're responsible for keeping your own tools in shape. Your first vic... criminal of the day awaits in the chamber.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the game
    • Executioner's journal (digital)
    • Wallpaper
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    A Poet of Blood

    After a long hard day in a torture chamber it's nice to enjoy some ale and appreciate what's left of beauty in this wicked world.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the game
    • Artbook (digital)
    • Executioner's journal (digital)
    • Wallpaper
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Royal Executioner

    Welcome to His Majesty's service! Feel free to survey the torture chamber as it's being renovated for your convenience.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the game
    • Access to Beta testing
    • Artbook (digital)
    • Executioner's journal (digital)
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Warlock

    Executioner by day, a practitioner of the occult by night. My, you are a multitasker. Enjoy this fine artifact. Your victims certainly won't.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the game
    • Hand of Glory
    • Access to Beta testing
    • Artbook (digital)
    • Executioner's journal (digital)
    • Wallpaper
    • In-Game Credits
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Judge

    Your word means life and death, and you've waited for a long time to grant the latter to this particular criminal.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the game
    • Victim of your own design
    • A scroll with your victim's sentence
    • Access to Beta testing
    • Artbook (digital)
    • Executioner's journal (digital)
    • Wallpaper
    • In-Game Credits
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    Monarch

    Your Majesty! *deep bow* Your cake has been served and the "occult trinket" you've requested awaits in you in the study. Please pay no mind to the commotion outside. That's your executioner hard at work, nothing more.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the game
    • A member of the royal family designed after you
    • Hand of Glory
    • Access to Beta testing
    • Artbook (digital)
    • Executioner's journal (digital)
    • Wallpaper
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Funding period

- (35 days)