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It took a while, but the long-awaited Kickstarter campaign for Heroic Fantasy Games’ Dungeons & Dragons OGL 3.5-based RPG Knights of the Chalice II is now live. The game is very much inspired by the genre’s classics and will give you a chance to once again gather your party and venture forth towards adventure. The initial goal is set at $18,325, with ambitious stretch goals going up as far as £300,000.
Even without any of the stretch goals, this upcoming game will have a staggering amount of character customization options when compared to the original Knights of the Chalice. It will also feature a unique fantasy world and come pre-packaged with a powerful editor that will let you create your own adventures.
And in case you’re someone who doesn’t like the uncertainty of supporting unfinished products, if you back Knights of the Chalice II at the £20 tier or above, you’ll get access to the Augury of Chaos module as soon as the campaign runs its course. The module will offer roughly 40 hours of gameplay and will later be followed by three additional content-rich modules (available as rewards for higher tier backers).
So, without further ado, here’s the official campaign trailer:
And an excerpt from the rather lengthy overview:
Greetings to you, worthy friends! KotC 2 is the brilliant offspring of acclaimed computer role-playing game Knights of the Chalice (now available on Steam). The new game is intended to recreate the best aspects of past 2D D&D computer RPGs such as Baldur's Gate 2, Temple of Elemental Evil, Dark Sun Shattered Lands, Champions of Krynn and Planescape: Torment.
KotC 2 uses the OGL 3.5, the ruleset at the root of tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. D&D 3.5 is well known for its tactical depth and the wealth of its character classes, feats and spells. KotC 2 expands the library of races, classes, feats, skills and spells in order to be even more Devious & Deadly than D&D!
KotC 2 comes with a powerful integrated editor giving YOU the opportunity to turn your own idea of the perfect RPG scenario into the reality that many players will enjoy in years to come. The best modules may also generate an income stream for you.
The graphic style for characters and monsters in KotC 2 has been the subject of many a debate. I say let this Kickstarter campaign be the judge of how complex the graphic style should be.
No matter the style, you can be sure that KotC 2 adventures will always give priority to the quality of gameplay : the excitement of exploration and discovery, the satisfaction of using YOUR party and YOUR intelligence to overcome cunning enemy groups, the relief of surviving through gigantic traps only to become stronger, the sense of freedom and meaning experienced only when YOUR dialogue choices actually matter.
To me, RPGs are the most fascinating kind of video game. A good RPG maintains player interest by offering various activities that seem to flow naturally from one to the other:
One of the hallmarks of a great RPG is the avoidance of the domination of any one of these activities over the others. For example, inventory management should not be overly time-consuming. KotC 2 addresses this issue by having enemies drop important items only, not their entire equipment.
- Character creation and improvement
- Exploration and world map navigation
- Tactical combat and survival
- Item collection and inventory management
- Riddle and puzzle resolution
- Coded message cryptography
- Story, quest and dialogue choices management
Likewise, puzzles should not end up taking most of the player's time or become an endless source of frustration. Dialogue and story telling, while essential, are most effective when the opportunity of enjoying a substantial tactical combat challenge presents itself frequently to the player.
Why Use Kickstarter?
Why do I need a Kickstarter campaign? Why not simply release KotC 2 Augury of Chaos (the first adventure made with the KotC 2 toolset) immediately? In fact, the amount of work and courage required for a KS campaign is significant, so any developer would be wise to hesitate!
Then again, this amount of work pales in comparison to the work I have had to put into the KotC 2 engine from 2009 to 2020 in order to bring my vision to life. Work and dedication certainly go a long way, so much in fact that, yes, Augury of Chaos could be released right now.
However, with the support of Kickstarter backers, we can transform KotC 2 from a single great game into an awesome series of adventure modules that will stand the test of time. KotC 2 was made on a shoestring budget without any support from banks, publishers or government, meaning that the game is a genuinely independent product.
A number of people generously donated their money, talent or time to the project. To these people I send a heartfelt Thank You, as this game could not exist in its present form without you!
With KS funding we can envision greater things for KotC 2. We can envision graphical environments and creatures on a par with Temple of Elemental Evil or Baldur's Gate 2. We can envision epic music on a par with that of Conan films or Neverwinter Nights 2 Storm of Zehir and Mask of the Betrayer.
We can envision a wealth of quests and companion interactions on a par with those of Baldur's Gate 2. We can envision a wealth of story telling and dialogue choices on a par with those of Planescape: Torment. We can envision the creation of new engrossing and challenging modules both by the developer and players for many years to come. With your help and support, let us turn this dream into a reality!