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Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment.
73,986 backers pledged $3,986,929 to help bring this project to life.

Update #24: Less than 30 Hours to go! Life and Death, and Audio CD Soundtrack!

Posted by Obsidian Entertainment (Creator)

By the time this update is posted, we'll have only about 30 hours or so before the end of our Project Eternity Kickstarter campaign. You've helped us make amazing progress over the weekend, easily surpassing the $3.0 Million Stronghold stretch goal -- and it looks like we may, in fact, Dream the Impossible Dream of Big City #2 at $3.5 Million.

Physical Audio CD of the Project Eternity Soundtrack

For the last final hours of the Kickstarter, we have a limited run add-on of the Project Eternity Soundtrack in a physical audio CD format for $20. You need to be at a physical tier ($65, $100, $140, $250+) to add-on the audio CD soundtrack.

Tonight, don't forget to tune in and watch some Obsidian dungeon-delvers tackle a one-shot D&D 3.5E Forgotten Realms adventure in a live stream of BLOOD IN THE BRINE (there will be weresharks). Check out the live stream on USTREAM starting at 5PM PST. A recording of the play session will be made and released later for those that miss it.

Life and Death in the Dyrwood

For today's update, I was supposed to do a lore update, but I decided that I wanted to talk about a specific subject and how lore and mechanics tie into that subject. Today's subjects are LIFE AND DEATH. Project Eternity is a fantasy RPG inspired by several A/D&D-based settings in which death is, for those with means, a temporary setback (for the Nameless One, it's even less problematic). The priests of the Forgotten Realms run around with boatloads of cure x wounds spells, the ability to banish disease, and even the power to bring the dead back to life.

In Project Eternity, prospects are not so bright. And when death comes, some try to stay, some choose to go, but most people believe that once they make the trip to the other side, there is only one way back: to begin a new life.

Common Mortality
Project Eternity's world is one with limited medicine and medical understanding. Unlike many fantasy settings, there is very little access to curative magic. Remedies for health problems often have only a palliative or placebo effect at best, owing their continued use more to folk beliefs and tradition than any basis in scientific methodology. Though soul-based magic has helped the great exploring cultures from suffering massive pandemics and has helped some individuals overcome illness over the long-term, there is no quick magical "cure" for disease or illness. Most people go through life and death in the ordinary way -- unless they put themselves in harm's way, that is.

Stamina and Health
In Project Eternity's combat, players need to be concerned with two elements of a character's vitality: Stamina and Health. The majority of damage a character takes is subtracted from his or her Stamina. Stamina represents how much general abuse a character can take before falling unconscious. Characters lose it quickly and regain it relatively rapidly, even without assistance. Soul-based abilities are able to help replenish or regenerate Stamina and are often used on the battlefield to turn the tide of combat. If a character hits 0 Stamina, he or she is knocked out. Intervention from another character can bring an unconscious character back into a fight.

For players, the Health of their party members is a tether that makes them consider how far they are willing to venture from a safe resting spot. Though Health is typically lost at a lower rate, when the PC or a companion hits 0 Health, he or she is maimed (in standard play) or killed (in Expert mode or as an option in standard play). Magic may help mitigate damage to Health and slow the tide, but once characters have died (in Expert mode), there is no known magic that can bring them back.

A Lottery of Souls
The world belongs to mortals. As time has progressed, mortals have lifted themselves out of ignorance and into ages of increased self-awareness, harnessing the power of their own souls to amazing effect. So... why worship the gods, anyway? For many mortals, worship is a matter of respect and tradition. They consider their gods (or, in some cases, all gods) to be their creators. They follow the guidelines of religion because history tells them that the gods have punished individuals -- and entire nations -- for ancient episodes of religious disrespect and dismissal.

For others, religious worship is a matter of karmic self-interest. Often, people believe that if an individual's soul arrives in the realm of a pleased god, the god will place that soul into the body of someone who will have a good life. To such believers, choosing to not worship or is to risk spiritual confusion and aimlessness in the afterlife. They speculate that the faithless are entered into a "lottery of souls" from which many will wind up no better -- or much worse -- than they did in their last life. Some of the same faiths also believe that religious apostasy or lax observance is a cause of soul splintering upon death, which many consider to be an even worse fate.

Gods for All Seasons
People worship many gods, but usually the ones who are most associated with their way of life. Farmers may worship gods of light, growth, or storms. Warriors worship gods of battle and fortune. Though some faiths are exclusionary, most people will say a prayer to any god when the circumstances are right -- farmers praying to a god of battle when their lands are invaded, warriors praying to a god of growth when they're starving in the wilderness.

Sometimes the same god -- or gods -- may have a different identity in a different part of the world. The most notable is one of the most widely honored, if not warmly embraced. Called Berath in Aedyran and Cirono in Vailian, it is the god of cycles, of doors, and of life and death itself. People commonly place or carve the figure of Berath in doorways, windows, and other "portals" from one place to another, figurative or literal.

In Eír Glanfath's ruins, explorers have discovered two common figures, Caoth i Bhád and Bád i Caothaí (Life in Death and Death in Life, respectively), semi-skeletal female and male figures who occupy positions opposite each other in doorways -- like a twinned display of the split aspects of Berath/Cirono.

Necromancy
Despite the assumed natural cycle of things, there are individuals in the world of Project Eternity who either want to know more about that cycle or who choose to alter that cycle. Broadly speaking, "necromancy" refers to any attempt to do either, whether that involves speaking with the soul of a dead mortal, attempting to tap into the unconscious past lives of a living soul, or to bind soul energy or a complete soul inside of a dead body.

These acts are viewed with differing levels of criticism depending on the culture. Many folk share the interest of necromancers and would like to understand more about the eternal cycle, but are also afraid of what they might learn. Some extremists are opposed to any and all necromancy, and tales say that a quiet and powerful cult that has worked for centuries to discredit, trap, and even murder necromancers for their efforts. To the people who oppose necromancy with such violent passion, mortal understanding should have limits, and they fear the consequences for the world should those limits be unraveled.

That's all for today's update! Thanks for reading.

FORUMS: Discuss Sagani, Life and Death, and the rest of Update #24 in the forums.

FACEBOOK: Like Obsidian on Facebook! 40,000 Likes for another dungeon level!

Update By Josh Sawyer

Comments

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    1. will_ssi on

      @Kilrathi

      I couldn't agree more. I never understood why modern games use TV personalities / actors for voice overs. It seems to me that the radio actors guild would be much more suited to furnishing individuals that have to rely _solely _ on their voice- not people who have, out of the necessity of the medium, relied on physical and visual cues to augment spoken delivery. That, and I think that using RAG members would probably be a lot cheaper :P

      Anyway, here here to correct pronunciation and non-english accents!

    2. Missing avatar

      Mark Bauermeister
      Superbacker
      on

      So how do I add the soundtrack CD to my $250US reward? Is it enough to simply up the pledge by $20US?

      Furthermore, is this the only way to get the soundtrack or is it already included somewhere else?

    3. Anthony on

      I Agree upon the physical strategy guide(and almanac) being an option to purchase as well.

    4. Missing avatar

      Kristoffer on

      How about an add-on pledge to have your collector's book signed?

    5. Kilrathi on

      I'd back for a physical strategy guide, too... digital ones just replicate what I can find on gamefaqs or elsewhere so they aren't that interesting, but a good physical copy of the strat guide (and almanac) would definitely make me bump my pledge.

    6. Missing avatar

      Lucreto on

      I want a physical strategy guide. One more chance to do it. I have to consider the soundtrack tomorrow.

    7. Jack Hepburn Raine on

      @willie she is a dwarf she is also ont he painting along with the other 4 companions.

    8. Ciaran O'Brien on

      Lots of celtic-sounding names there. For the love of all that's holy, I hope the voice actors are given the correct pronunciations. I still twitch after The "Tuatha" fiasco from Kingdoms of Amalur. Nails across a blackboard, so it is.

    9. tedd on

      maybe a 3.8 mil goal :) or even 4.0 mil

    10. Sight Unseen- Lone Wolf of the OO on

      @ Tech and Tedd

      Possibly a source of conflict for the expansion?

    11. Jonathan-Chevalier of the Obsidan Order on

      i was gonna write something long but everyone's pretty much echoed my sentiment that this is a fantastic update and can't wait to load the ustream for some obsidian DnD while i also play... granted its going to be unhallowed metropolis/necropolis... but still fun =)

    12. tedd on

      tech that's why I was wondering if they would include a small cluture the struggle between science and faith in a predominantly religious world, would make the store so much deeper for me and maybe explain the firearms

    13. J. "Tech" Priest on

      I'd have loved to see a struggle with science though. Dunno if they may plan it in a future game. Time will tell :).

    14. J. "Tech" Priest on

      @tedd
      They said technology isn't going to be in except for small firearms like muskets and such. Nothing super fancy like science unfortunately.

    15. tedd on

      will there be a a sort of technical culture that relies more on science and technology? I think that would be cool, sort of the non believers maybe

    16. Missing avatar

      Thathane on

      Your approach of life & death is absolutely not old school. IMO, this is good.

      I Hate D&D way of life and death (that is a metagame approach rather than a storyteller one) and this silly idea that a pantheon is a supermarket where you pick your powers.

    17. Shiroco-Librarian of Unwritten Tales 542 on

      Great update. Still crossing fingers for 3.5m and 2-3 additional lvls ;P

    18. Paul D on

      Another great update, thank you for more of a window into the lore.

    19. Missing avatar

      Jack on

      ET3D: Perma-death is disabled on normal mode.

    20. ET3D on

      I hope that the game will be designed such that death is easily avoided. I'm not a hardcore player, and I don't want to feel like I have to repeatedly reload battles just to make sure I don't lose people.

      Unfortunately almost every update of this game makes it feel like it's not a game for me. I still trust that it will have a good story, I just don't trust that I'll enjoy playing it that much, because it feels like it will be too much of a chore.

    21. Rhynns on

      Im in the same boat Sylrissa :) it will be well spend though!

    22. Willem on

      Great update 24 as usual Josh and crew. Just one thing, please add some dwarven (I really love dwarves) and more "exotic" companions as well (ala Torment), some more "out there" characters. I would really appreciate that. The characters so far seem very intriguing, but I would sorely miss not having a dwarf (female even) companion or even a more exotic race or two companions (instead of just humans and elves). Other than that, again I wish to commend you guys on an awesome KS campaign (you really put a massive amount of effort into this) and wish us all the best in reaching that second city!

    23. Chris Wardley on

      If anyone was going to bring back the genre of cRPG, it would be you Obsidian, i've never felt so safe putting faith in a company as i have with you all. My mind is blown and you havent even begun yet

    24. Jozsef Bereczki on

      It is good to have permanent death. Makes you think about what you do.

    25. Rhynns on

      Cheers Björn, had to update my pladge manually to 280$ then cause I don't think it would have been shipping otherwise :D ( Or I gotta pick up the package personally... :) )

    26. Missing avatar

      Dragan on

      feedback on ideas on life and death in PE: sounds great. looking forward to how you implement it in practice.

    27. TanC on

      Whoops. Too many project pages open at once. Fail.

    28. Björn Fallqvist on

      Geert, I do believe it is added to the pledge amount. So a total would be 280$ for the 250$ level.

    29. TanC on

      Help computer. Start all the downloadin'! :)

      Thanks OCR!

    30. Rhynns on

      This may have been written somewhere ( cant find it specifically :'( ), but if one pledges for a Physical Tier that needs International Shipping added, do you add that amount as well on the pledged amount ( example 250$ + shipping is having you pledge 280$ ) Or is the shipping to be payed at the end as well?

    31. Björn Fallqvist on

      So...how do I add-on the CD?

    32. Missing avatar

      Madao on

      Jack
      Same thing on the world-building scale. You get your beleifs, architecture and your cultural developments based on past religions and so on. And there will always be those who await the gods' return and preach their ideas to "pass the time". First Dragonlance books are a good example of this.

      So, basically, dead gods will change some plot points and factions, but won't affect the world building itself.

    33. Missing avatar

      Sirinac on

      The end draws near!

      @Everyone who hasn't liked Obsidian on Facebook, yet: Please consider liking Obsidian on Facebook to "deepen" the Überdungeon! Remember: 20K likes = 1 level more!

    34. Stevepunk on

      BTW I've always wanted a game like this. I've thought for a long time that my only chance to play it would be to make it myself. I guess I still will, but thanks all the same :D

    35. Missing avatar

      Justin Bell on

      Hey everyone! Answering some questions about adding-on the Physical Soundtrack Add-on...

      If you have questions about the Add-on process:
      - Check out this post on how to add-on items - http://project-eternity.tumblr.com/post/33543990284/project-eternity-add-on-list
      - Read the first couple paragraphs, that explains how the add-on process works

      Other Physical Soundtrack questions:
      - The Physical Soundtrack is an Add-on only. It is not included in any tier.
      - See above for how add-ons work.
      - You must have a Physical Reward tier to get the Physical Soundtrack CD Add-on
      - If you have a Digital Reward tier starting at $35 or higher, you get the Digital Download Soundtrack

    36. Stevepunk on

      Gods may have different names in different lands.
      This is certainly true of Zeus/Thor and Neptune/Poseidon.
      Exciting stuff.

    37. Missing avatar

      Jack on

      Madao: There is another option: Dead gods. They were here, they were powerful, and then they died. Clerics draw on the remnants of their infinite strength, but it's a non-renewable resource and no one knows how long their reservoirs of power will last, and some of the lesser corpse-gods have already been drained...

    38. Missing avatar

      Madao on

      Павел Ліпніцкі
      If something works -don't touch it. Rule number one.

      In any case there are really only 3 options: No god, one god and many gods.

      No god-doesn't works couse there won't be clerics and this is bad.
      One god is boring. We're not waiting for Project Vatican after all.
      Many gods - is the right way to go.

      Easy as that.

    39. Paul Eipper on

      Interesting health system, I wonder how armor comes into play, maybe with an absorption rate that redirects specific types of damage to draw from the stamina instead of from the HP?

    40. Missing avatar

      Jack on

      This is actually going to make it isn't it? There are going to be two metropolises. (Metropoli? Whatever.) I can't believe this is happening. This and Wasteland 2 happening at the same time prove that there is a market for games of an older tradition where literacy and imagination was key and choices mattered beyond what bar you were filling for an ending. Thanks Obsidian!

    41. Rainmaker on

      Stamina bar is wise choise, Upgraded my pledge

    42. Missing avatar

      Kyle on

      For those who keep commenting on White March: A march is a frontier or border area.

    43. Missing avatar

      andtalath on

      First bad news for me so far, namely, no real HP management.

      HP management has always been one of the things making "uninteresting" battles relevant, if you can lose all your HP every combat then you don't have to manage it.

    44. Pierre, Endless Paths guide of the ∞ on

      Perfect (for me). Just curious, what about agnostic people?

    45. Павел Галякевiч on

      Colorful pantheon of d*ckheads. The Simpsons Already Did It (and 1001 RPG as well)

    46. Warrior1986 - #BYDHTTMWFI on

      I'm sorry but I have to agree with some of the above comments. While the soundtrack CD should be considered an add-on for some of the lower tiers, it should absolutely be included in the $250 and up tiers. ESPECIALLY considering that the digital soundtrack is included starting at just $35, which includes a FLAC version which would take all of a few minutes to burn to a CD.

    47. Missing avatar

      Madao on

      Павел Ліпніцкі
      Paganism - IS cool. I'd be very disappointed if instead of a colourfull pantheon we had just some one God-dude.

    48. Missing avatar

      gz33 on

      @Justin there will be a survey later

    49. Павел Галякевiч on

      Oh, bummer, paganism again...Fantasy cliche. Boooooring!