Skill Paths

September 16th, 2016

On top of working on some new campaign art I’ve been tackling some of the many features that have until now only existed in rough conceptual form. One of these is character progression, which has taken several forms during the design of Iron Tides. About six months ago I came up with a card-based system that presented the player with a choice between two fates when they leveled up. Each of these fates granted a different set of new attribute boosts and traits. If you didn’t like either fate you could sacrifice to the gods and redraw another set of two to choose from.

This was a pretty interesting take on progression, but eventually I figured it was a bit too cumbersome, given that characters in Iron Tides are relatively expendable. So I distilled the concept down into a simpler and more familiar form: a procedurally generated skill path. As in the fate system, there is a sequence of upgrades with most of them hidden. But you’re always shown what the next skill on the path is, and by assigning skill points you have more control over how to build a character. If you’re not a huge fan of the currently revealed skills, you can race ahead on the skill path, spending only a single point at each step. Then when you find a skill you really like you can invest into it.

Another interesting outcome of this system is that higher level characters are more defined in their characteristics. A level 1 character only has 2 points to work with, so at most can only have the first three skills revealed. Their potential is still largely unknown, and is up to you to uncover. By comparison a veteran of many raids will have nearly all their skills, and will have diverged a great deal from what’s usually expected of their class.


– Peace and progress


Posted in Ideas and Lore, Iron Tides, Project Previews | Comments Off on Skill Paths


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