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The latest post-funding update for The Bard's Tale IV was penned by art director Maxx Kaufman, who offers a general overview of the Celtic-inspired direction the team has opted to use for the art, before showing some renders of a number of new creatures that will be present in the game. As always, everything is work-in-progress, but the team's general ideas and direction are pretty obvious.
As with all updates concerning art, images say more than a thousand words ever could, but I'll still quote a couple of snippets concerning the general inspirations and one of the creatures, the Trow:
The Bard's Tale IV is based on legends and folktales, and our artwork and designs are meant to be evocative of all the beauty and artistic traditions of the Celtic and other pre-Christian peoples of the north. This world and its inhabitants are accented everywhere with Celtic elements that we are using to bring a particular personality and design that feels unique to the game, with its own mystical and ancient flair while also still feeling true to the high fantasy feel of the classic Bard's Tale games.
The Trow are a mainstay of Scottish folklore, and they will be making an appearance in The Bard's Tale IV. Trow are a bit like goblins short, a bit ugly, and mischievous, with goatlike features. They are most often found in dark places, like mounds, caves and dungeons, far from the light. We're exploring including them as playable characters in your party, but they will also appear throughout the game in other forms, including as enemies.
In gameplay terms, Trow are intended to be lower-level creatures, but still have some tricks up their sleeves. In battle, they will attack with simple weapons like clubs, hammers, and thrown daggers. We want to bring a lot of personality to our creatures in the game, and in the case of the Trow, that means they'll be troublemakers for your average adventuring party. For instance, some of them may be able to cast spells to confuse or charm the player's own summoned creatures, or summon their own magical underlings, making it important for you to deal with them quickly.