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Project 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.
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!

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. Flint Sky on October 15, 2012

      How about Vinyl LP of Soundtrack?

    2. Merin
      Superbacker
      on October 15, 2012

      Nice update.

    3. Missing avatar

      Madao on October 15, 2012

      A question about souls: do we chose at character creation whether our character has a strong or a fractured soul?

      I, for one, would like an option to play not as a high and mighty Soul-shiner, but as someone less presentable. You know, like in Torment, where everyone gives The Nameless One a hard time for being such an ugly bloke. Or like in DA:O, where my favourite origin is that of a dwarven thug.

      To me these imperfections make characters feel more alive and real, so I'd like to have this option. Plus some extra character customization is a good thing.

    4. Wendy Wolk Ryan on October 15, 2012

      I did the main pledge here and the add on on PayPal... should that be ok? I was also wondering what the grand total is including PayPal Donations?

    5. September Abraxas on October 15, 2012

      I like where this is going with the theology within Eternity the game. I do hope maiming is possible even if the death option is selected. I also hope you change the name of "White March" as it seems a bit... well, you know.

      I hope we get to 3.5 million without breaking any budgets.

    6. James McKendrew on October 15, 2012

      @Justin: Add $20 to your pledge, and they'll survey you later to find out what it was for.

    7. Missing avatar

      nin on October 15, 2012

      Justin, from what others have said, you just pledge extra on top of your reward, and they send an email/survey after the KS closes. See here: http://project-eternity.tumblr.com/post/33543990284/project-eternity-add-on-list

    8. Aleister Crow on October 15, 2012

      @Justin houk:
      Add $20 to your pledge. When the kickstarter ends, you'll get a survey to tell them what the extra money is for.

    9. Missing avatar

      gz33 on October 15, 2012

      We have the same pc speakers :O

    10. Missing avatar

      Justin Houk on October 15, 2012

      Oh man, sign me up for one of those physical soundtracks. Wait. How *do* you sign up for a physical soundtrack? Do I just add $20 to my physical tier pledge and you guys will know what that means? Or is there a ticky box to select somewhere that I'm missing?

    11. Ash Meredith on October 15, 2012

      10 levels of Dungeon come on

    12. James McKendrew on October 15, 2012

      (Er, digital copy of the SOUNDTRACK, not the Map.) Compare the verbage on the $65 tier to the $140 tier.

    13. Bud Kulpecz on October 15, 2012

      Interesting stuff. Let's get it to $3.5m folks!

    14. James McKendrew on October 15, 2012

      @John: My take is that the CD isn't included in any tier. They're pretty clearly specifying the tiers to which you can add-one-on....
      @Sondre: I'm guessin' the cloth map is the bonus gimme for the Collector's Edition. All the tiers $35 and up seem to include a digital download of it, though...

    15. Klarden on October 15, 2012

      So, Endurance and Health it is after all. I'm actually happy with it, wanted to see something like that in a CRPG for a long time (or even not in an RPG but other videogame)

    16. Constance - Chantress of the OO on October 15, 2012

      ARGH. Physical Cd... DAMN YOUUUUU +Pledge upped

    17. Zombra on October 15, 2012

      So I assume that Berath is also the god of loading screens?

    18. Timothy Roger Scheel on October 15, 2012

      I always really liked the multitude and handling of the Forgotten Realms Gods. Sounds great so far!

    19. Klaus Ullrich on October 15, 2012

      Please don't make infections a 15% chance and if it happens you have a ton of negativity to deal with. It is just so much more easy to reload - but just NO fun at all. Could you please elaborate a bit more on that?

    20. Missing avatar

      Christopher Moore (deleted) on October 15, 2012

      I see I'm still not the only person left in the world with an old crt std-def TV.

    21. Ed D. on October 15, 2012

      I do think this should be included in some of the tiers like the 250+, but I understand if it is not.

    22. T.J. Brumfield on October 15, 2012

      This update makes me particularly happy. I've always found it problematic that in fantasy RPGs the players have access to resurrection spells, but death is permanent for everyone else in the world. Why? Shouldn't the ability to resurrect the dead have profound impact on a world/setting?

    23. Jalister on October 15, 2012

      Life of the paladin, death of the marshmallow!

    24. James McKendrew on October 15, 2012

      Let's put the romanc(e) back in Necromancy! (If you bring your best bud back from the dead, is it NecBromancy?)

    25. Wojciech on October 15, 2012

      For the gods old and new, I beg of you, this DND session MUST BE ARCHIVED ONLINE.

    26. Sondre
      Superbacker
      on October 15, 2012

      Isn't there a Soundtrack CD included in the Collector's Edition?
      -
      If so what seperates the Limited editon form the normal edition?

    27. Missing avatar

      nin on October 15, 2012

      " You need to be at a physical tier ($65, $100, $140, $250+) to add-on the audio CD soundtrack."

      Just to be clear, this is an ADD ON, yes? IE Not included with any tier? Just want to be sure! Thanks!