The Iron Oath Updates, $63,674 and Counting

The ongoing Kickstarter campaign for The Iron Oath, a dark turn-based tactical RPG, reached its initial funding goal around September 1st, and now, with roughly 50 hours left to go, the campaign has passed its first stretch goal and is well underway towards reaching the second one.

During this final push the developers have been releasing new campaign updates to explain to their potential backers how certain features will work in The Iron Oath. Update #15, for example, describes the game's resource management and camping system, Update #16 unveils the ultimate $85,000 stretch goal that will add racial traits and additional customization options to the game, and Update #17 talks about guild management.

Here are a few paragraphs on camping:

Resource management during missions is vital, and before beginning any mission you will get to choose and purchase what items you wish to bring along. Every item has a capacity value associated with it, and your bag space is limited so you will need to choose wisely. Possible items include:
  • Health potions: Ranging from small to large in size, used to restore health
  • Elixirs: Elixirs can grant various buffs, condition immunities or damage resistances
  • Antidotes: Cures the poison condition and grants a temporary immunity
  • Bandages: Cures the bleed condition and reduces the effect of injuries
  • Salves: Cures the burn condition and grants a temporary immunity
  • Lockpicks: In the right hands, lockpicks can be used to open locked doors and chests.
  • Firewood: Used to set up campfires
  • Food: Used while camping to restore a small amount of health and spirit for everyone
Many rarer items also exist in the world like special incenses that can be added to campfires to ward off spirits or grant bonuses to your characters.

When missions are long enough, and provided you have firewood, you will be able to set-up a campfire to rest and restore your party’s health, spirit and mental state. When you reach an appropriate room to camp in, your characters will chime in on whether they think the location is suitable or not.

Once you begin camping, you will first choose how much firewood to use. A small fire has a lower chance of attracting attention but is less beneficial to recovery, while a larger flame does more for your characters but may also garner unwanted attention. Once the flame is lit, you will be able to consume food, use special items like incense and other consumables such as bandages.Your characters will also converse with one another during this time, discussing the task at hand or just plain small talk. Depending on what is said, your party's Spirit pools may be raised or lowered as a result.

Following that, you will then choose how long to rest for, which character(s) you want to keep watch and whether or not they should take shifts(and in which order). The longer a character is able to rest, the more health and spirit they will recover. It is possible to be ambushed by enemies while camping, so keeping watch is an important role to consider, especially if you choose to camp in an unsecured room. In addition to ambushes, there are other events that can occur as well. Depending on their perception, your lookout may hear a rustling in the distance and you can choose to wake the party, investigate, or ignore it.

Once the resting period is over, characters who managed to sleep long enough will be given a well rested bonus that will last for the next few combat encounters.

And here's an introduction to guild management:

So far, our content updates have been focusing on classes, characters and various combat-related systems, but now it’s time to step outside of the mission phase and talk about Guild Management!

Let’s begin at the top with recruiting and managing the contracts of your guild’s roster. As you probably know by now, the game can potentially span the course of centuries, and because of this you will lose characters to death, retirement, and sometimes due to mismanagement. But fear not, there are a number of ways for you bolster your ranks and recruit new characters. The first and most common form is by visiting any of the various city hubs within the world. By visiting the tavern you will be presented with a list of available adventurers within that city. Potential recruits can vary by class, age, experience, and contract expectations(cost). As I have mentioned previously, recruits are not always raw and if you have the funds you can recruit a higher ranked character, which will help to alleviate any potential grind later in the game.

You will be able to look in-depth at each adventurer: see what traits they have, what abilities and passives they possess, what their alignment is and all about their backstory and how they came to be. Your guild’s reputation also comes into play here, as some characters may not be interested in joining up with you because of past decisions or actions you have made. You will be able to negotiate a bit and offer them a higher signing bonus or contract, but not all characters morals’ will be swayed by coin.

Another way to recruit new members is in a more organic fashion, which can happen through the completion of a mission(if you help them out, they may wish to join you), or by coming across a fellow adventurer during the course of a mission. The same rules apply here, you will be able to view all of their stats and if you think they would be a good fit, you can then negotiate a contract in order to secure their service.

The third way, and part of the first stretch goal is by using the Master at Arms and Archmage within your Guild Council. Different regions of the world are more likely to contain specific classes, so if you find yourself lacking a certain class or two, you can send your Master at Arms or Archmage to find potential recruits within the assigned region. Depending on how far they have to travel, this process can take some time. They will also be unavailable to perform other tasks for you until their return. Your Guild Council members have their own stats, and the more qualified they are at their job, the better they will become at identifying promising recruits for you.

No matter how they are recruited, all characters on your roster are signed to a contract. The duration and salary of these contracts will vary for each character, depending on what you negotiated when you first recruited them(or when their previous contract expired). When negotiating, a character’s Loyalty to the guild, their Affinity with the other members, and their experience level will all play a factor in how much they expect to be paid for their next contract. If at any point you find yourself lacking in funds you will be at risk of losing some characters to desertion. Those with a higher Loyalty will give you some leniency in this regard, but others may jump ship sooner rather than later.

Speaking of Loyalty, let’s expand on that a bit. Loyalty is the rating of a character’s happiness towards the guild as a whole. It is mostly affected by the relationship between you and that specific character, but it is also influenced by their Affinity towards other members within the guild. Characters with high Loyalty are easier to manage, and they are more likely to stick around until retirement or death. Characters with low Loyalty are less likely to stay with you for their entire career. They will voice concerns over matters such as their usage on missions, or the choices you have made thus far. If you ignore these concerns, their Loyalty will continue to slip until they eventually leave the guild. There are a number of ways to increase loyalty however, and the biggest boost is by completing a character’s “Loyalty Quest.” Based on their backstory, most characters will have a “goal” in life, and after enough time passes they will approach you and ask for your assistance in achieving it.