GB Feature: Project Eternity Interview

It's hard to believe that with nearly two full days left in Obsidian Entertainment's Project Eternity Kickstarter campaign that the Infinity Engine-inspired RPG has nearly tripled its original funding goal. But that's no reason to stop now, so to fuel the crowdfunding energy even further, I fired off a second set of questions to designer Josh Sawyer. I may have ever tossed in a question about Icewind Dale III for good measure, which Feargus himself picked up on at the end:
Buck: How do you intend to integrate challenging, tactical, and ultimately rewarding battles within Project Eternity without requiring long resting periods between each fight? And what are your thoughts on regeneration and early access to character resurrection?

Josh: I think that capturing the dungeon-delving feeling of the Icewind Dale games and many tabletop AD&D adventures means that there should be both strategic considerations and tactical considerations in exploration and combat. To me, that means that there's some level of upfront resource planning going on as well as a moment-to-moment consideration of "is it worth spending Resource X now or should I save it for later?" I.e. a tactical consideration can also be a strategic consideration if resources are part of a running series of battles (as most dungeons are).

However, I don't think all resources need to be per-rest, only the more powerful ones at a character's disposal. For casters, this means shifting slightly away from the AD&D/3E paradigm of most spells being linked to a per-rest spell count. Within a battle, there should be tactical considerations to using any spell, and we don't want resources to be spam-able, but a caster's base abilities will likely not require a full rest to recover.

As for regeneration, I'd like to experiment with handling health in a manner somewhat similar to the 1992 RPG Darklands. Characters have two health resources: Stamina and Health. Proportionally, the character takes much more Stamina damage from an attack than Health damage. Stamina recovers relatively quickly on its own (and with the aid of magic) but Health damage requires rest. If a character hits 0 Stamina, he or she will go unconscious. If a character hits 0 Health, he or she dies.

This sort of a system provides a buffer for characters so they can be temporarily defeated in combat without being brought to the verge of death every time. Similarly, allowing a character to recover to full Stamina over a short period of time does nothing to help his or her Health, so walking around with full Stamina and low Health would be extremely dangerous.

As far as resurrection goes, Project Eternity will not have any form of in-game resurrection. Healing magic of any sort is extraordinarily rare in this world and resurrection would pull at the fabric of the mortal reincarnation cycle. However, we may include an option to turn off permanent character death. Naturally, this would be disabled in Expert Mode.