SKALD: Against the Black Priory - An Old-school RPG Live on Kickstarter

Scape-IT, a one-man Norwegian studio, is currently working on SKALD: Against the Black Priory, a delightfully old-school RPG inspired by the Ultima series and the Gold Box games. The game's Kickstarter campaign went live yesterday, asking for roughly $8,000, which it managed to gather within the first 24 hours.

The game is expected to be finished by June of 2020. Its description promises a dark, immersive story, some vintage Commodore 64-inspired visuals, fast-paced tactical combat, and plenty of character development opportunities.

Here's the game's Kickstarter trailer:

And some additional information:

SKALD: Against the Black Priory is a classic, turn-based RPG. It's set in a dark and gritty fantasy universe: full of tragic heroes, violent deaths and eldritch horror.

With a dark, immersive plot and inspired by legendary titles such as Ultima and the gold box series, this is my love letter to classic roleplaying.

Back this project today and help me bring the SKALD universe to life!


SKALD: Against the Black Priory is a tile and turn based roleplaying game where you lead a party of up to six characters on an epic and perilous quest.

The game features:
  • Vintage graphics using the glorious Commodore 64 color palette
  • Complex level-based character development with abilities, skills and features
  • Grindless tactical combat
  • "Choose-your-own-adventure" system and dynamic, tree based dialog.
As a party based RPG, SKALD puts heavy emphasis on both roleplaying- and mechanical interaction between party members.

The current leader of the party can be swapped by the push of a button and the skills and abilities of the current leader will influence interactions with the game world. But be warned: Managing the party can be challenging with members having private agendas and motivations.

Combat in SKALD is turn- and menu-based. This leads to fast and grind-less combat (that can be automated). The design emphasis is on having interactions between abilities, tactics and situational circumstances create unique and challenging combat every time.

The game will feature a rich and highly interactive world with both scripted and systemic ways of interacting with the hundreds of NPCs, items, objects and plot points. The game will allow for, and encourage, a large range of player expression and roleplaying.

Interacting with the world takes place through tree-based dialog, "choose-you-own-adventure sequences", combat, tile-based exploration and interaction with in-game systems.

SKALD: Against the Black Priory will feature level-based character development with both numerical stats and special abilities. I also intend for roleplaying choices to affect character development by taking a leaf from classics such as Fallout 1 and 2.

As a game of dark, gritty fantasy, magic is a huge part of the world building. It will play a huge part of the game and designing a system that is both mechanically and narratively appealing is a challenge I can't wait to dig into! More on that down the line.

The game will release on PC (Windows) first with releases for Mac and handheld devices down the line. NOTE: Backer rewards are PC only.

Estimated release date is June 2020.

The Story

The Gallian Empire is in turmoil: By virtue of it's Wizard Lords, the Empire stood for a thousand years. Now the fabrics of the realm is fraying. Within, the ruling elite is losing its jealously guarded monopoly on the use of magics. Without, hordes of enemies threaten the realms of man.

In these troubled times heroes are few and far between.

On the isolated island of Idra, lies the Black Priory. Its great libraries were once a haven of enlightenment and wisdom. These days its halls see far darker practices. The Wizard Lord dispatches an elite group of his finest knights to bring Imperial justice to the accursed monastery.

However, all is nearly lost when disaster strikes on the high seas: The ship carrying the party is lost in a storm. All perish, save one: You.

Stranded on the shore of the bleak island, you are the people's last hope for Imperial justice!

Gather what allies you can and prepare to face the Black Priory - pray your sanity holds!

If this looks like something you might be interested in, Matt Barton will be chatting with Al, the game's developer, tomorrow.