Torment: Tides of Numenera Update #48: New AST, Crisis Gameplay Footage

A new post-funding Kickstarter update for Torment: Tides of Numenera has gone live today. For backers at high tiers, it's notable because it announces that a new Alpha Systems Test has gone live today, and for the rest of us, it's notable because it contains some new gameplay footage, showcasing one of the "Crises" in the game, tense turn-based situations that may or may not include combat.

First, though, an excerpt on the aforementioned Crises:

Crisis System Rules

When things get tense (and, more importantly, time-sensitive) in TTON, we enter a turn-based mode. Each individual character, as well as some elements of the environment, take one turn at a time. The order in which characters act is based on an initiative roll at the start of combat. Items, skill training, and abilities can provide an edge on this roll.

In a Crisis, you control the Last Castoff and any companions you may have. When it's a character's turn, they can take one Anoetic Action, one Occultic Action, set up one Defensive Maneuver (disabled for C0), as well as move (with the movement distance available determined by items, skills, and abilities).

The Anoetic Action is a quick, optional action, useful for triggering support abilities and cyphers. These include switching weapons, activating buffs, or employing traversal abilities like teleports for instance, the companion Aligern can activate his Living Tattoos, providing a buff to the next action he takes. PCs don't need to use their Anoetic Action every turn, but when the circumstances are right they provide an opportunity to maximize effects and add to your tactical advantage.

Occultic Actions are the main actions for the turn. Attacks, most esoteries, and more complex and powerful cyphers consume this action. Alternately, PCs can use this action to interact with objects in the environment or even strike up a (fast-paced) conversation with their enemies. As described in the Crisis Concept document, interacting with objects and people is a key part of our Crisis design. Taking advantage of these options can tip the scales of a combat encounter or even end it outright.

For AST C0, we've chosen to leave the last type of action - Defensive Maneuvers - out for now. There are a couple reasons for this: 1) We didn't feel like the UI was quite ready for primetime; 2) We felt like there were plenty of mechanics for our players to learn as is; 3) The scenario used for C0 occurs early in the game, when your party would have relatively few defensive options available.

When we do include the feature in a future release, Defensive Maneuvers will function as toggles. You use them to set up how the PC will behave off-turn. For example, a crafty jack might choose to trade off some defensive readiness for the opportunity to attack enemies who become flanked or otherwise distracted. A brave glaive might choose to sacrifice for his allies, interposing himself between an enemy and his besieged friend.

Then, a look at some gameplay, portraying one of them in practice: