Chaos Chronicles Interview

08 Sep 2012

The folks at RPG Codex have chatted with Coreplay's technical director Peter Ohlmann about the upcoming turn-based RPG Chaos Chronicles, and as customary for them, they ask in-depth questions about its role-playing mechanics. Here's an excerpt on combat which, as it turns out, is based on the D&D 3.5 ruleset (or, to be technical, the 3.5e OGL ruleset):
RPG Codex: With your previous game, Jagged Alliance: Back in Action (JA:BIA), you decided to ditch turn-based combat mid-development in an attempt to make the game... more dynamic. This begs the question: how can fans of turn-based combat be assured you will not decide to suddenly ditch turn-based combat with Chaos Chronicles?

PO: This statement isn’t 100% correct, because JA:BIA wasn’t planned as a turn-based game. And as a contractor we weren’t involved in those kind of decisions anyway. Our company was hired for this production and there have been serious discussions about this topic on both sides. For further details, please ask the publisher of JA:BIA. We are pleased with the introduced Plan&Go combat system, although we can fully understand those angry fans who expected the original turn-based mode of Jagged Alliance 2.

But ‘Chaos Chronicles’ is a different story. It’s our concept, our game and we planned to use turn-based combat from the beginning of the concept phase. In contrast to our previous production, we have full control about any creative decision in CC. By the way, we wrote about this particular topic on our development blog lately.

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RPG Codex: Going by the classes and stats you have already revealed to us, the game's character and combat systems seem heavily inspired by D&D. Knowing the licensing issues, we assume you will not be using D&D. What is the reason you are not using the 3.5 OGL or Pathfinder? Pathfinder is widely considered the most improved and efficient version of D&D 3.5, and since it is open, what made you choose not to use it?

PO: We are using the D&D 3.5e Open Game Content and our guides regarding the combat implementation are Temple of Elemental Evil and Knights of the Chalice. If you like the combat system of those games, you will like ours as well. We didn’t choose ‘Pathfinder’ because nobody in our team had any relation to it – we didn’t even evaluate it because of that reason. And, as far as we know, Pathfinder still has some copyright regarding the characters, scenarios and campaigns.

RPG Codex: Since you are not using D&D or Pathfinder, In what ways does your system differ from D&D and what are the similarities?

PO: We will use the D&D 3.5e OGL in many aspects of the game, but in some details we will choose our own solutions. Especially when it comes to the skill system and spell memorizing. We will talk about those details in future blog entries after we fully tested those changes in the game.

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RPG Codex: Tell us more about how combat plays out. Do you intend to include combat actions like Ready actions, Grapple, Bull-rush, Trip, 5-foot-steps etc.?

PO: At the moment we are experimenting with all 3.5e combat features and soon we will be able to talk about our final feature set. At this moment, I can only say that we want to implement as many 3.5e combat features as possible. But we honestly don’t like the fact that all classes can perform all combat actions to the same degree. Actions like ‘Charge’, ‘Bull Rush’ or ‘Grapple’ should be Fighter-only in our opinion. And compared to melee classes, spellcasters are already very powerful in D&D and it wouldn’t hurt to disallow those (obvious melee-like) actions for them.