Fortress Occident Developer Blog

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INTRODUCING METRIC – (ARGUABLY) THE WORLD’S SIMPLEST ROLE PLAYING SYSTEM

“We are magnificent machineries of joy.
Machines of joy and then some.”

                               – Yan Scott Wilkinson

Lets talk systems. In No Truce With The Furies your character has four Attributes. These fall into groups of two – mental and bodily. Your mental Attributes are Intellect and Psyche, your bodily Attributes are Physique and Motorics. Depending on your choices in character creation you may begin the game with 1-6 points in any given Attribute.

Every Attribute has six Skills.

In the beginning the amount of points you have in a Skill is equal to it’s parent Attribute. During the game you gain more points (Experience) by completing tasks and discovering secrets. Experience can be used to unlock Skills – it takes three points to unlock one. Once unlocked you may put more points into your Skill. The maximum amount you can spend on a Skill is equal to it’s Attribute. (Natural aptitude equals the learning cap).

Any character may attempt any task.

The 24 Skills you have cover every action under the sun. There is no difference between dialogue and combat. Just roll two six sided dice and add however much you have in the Skill that represents what you’re up to. Want to hit something, add Hand / Eye Coordination. Want to fall in love, add Electrochemistry. The sum must be higher than the task’s difficulty. A normal task takes 10 or above to complete. Some rolls are handled behind the scenes, these are called Passive. Others are performed by the player, these are called Active.

That’s it. It took us fifteen years, five designers and a handful of dedicated players to come up with it. It’s the simplest role playing system our minds could muster – with the maximum amount of depth and tension hidden in the folds. We call it Metric. 

To recap.

In character creation you decide your Attributes. These 4 scores represent both your natural aptitude and learning cap in the 24 Skills that cover everything a human being needs to function. The rest of the game is spent fleshing out – and struggling against – these limitations. There are unexpected ways to overcome yourself. And inversely, being talented at something comes with a price.

For the real lowdown — instead of telling you how the Attributes help — let me tell you how they make things worse.

INTELLECT

A high Intellect makes you overly confident – a cocksure intellectual. You’re vulnerable to flattery, and easily lose yourself in details. (The game becomes longer). While having a low Intellect makes you dim and superficial, prone to superstition and being plain wrong.

PSYCHE

A high Psyche comes with emotional turmoil – an unstable psychophant. Great willpower clashing with wild imagination. You may even lose your mind. While a low Psyche makes you uninspiring, inept at influencing people. Unsavoury things come out of your mouth.

PHYSIQUE

Okay, you’re strong but so is your death drive – a mad man and a psycho killer. A high Physique needs to be tested, needs addiction, sex and physical confrontation. You lose your shit over small things. While being un-physical means vulnerable, un-streetwise. Lacking in animal cool.

MOTORICS

A Motoric character is too high strung – a bit of a cokehead. A quicksilver superdetective focusing fast and then reacting (too) sharply. While being low on Motoric means you’re locked into yourself. The world has trouble finding you. You’re clumsy and slow.

We’ve found combing these weaknesses produces more unique characters than combining strengths. Sure, there are strengths too. The obvious ones and the less obvious. More on those once we get to listing the actual Skills. 

Til then,
the battle-worn design team of No Truce With The Furies.

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SKETCHES FOR SKILL VISUALS

We are absolute LOONS for icons here at ZA/UM. Video games have always had great iconography — think of the iconic Pipboy or the sci-fi minimalism of Alpha Centauri’s technologies. Both came up when we started thinking of the logos for the 24 Skills that represent You in No Truce With The Furies.

They need to feel precious, special, hard earned. Personal. After long, arduous consideration we have begun to look into using paintings as logos. These paintings change visually into different states in-game (become more colourful, change expressions, get extra snippets of detail), as you progress through the dialogues and your thoughts begin to mature.

Today we present four sketches for the Intellect attribute skills. They are still very much a work in progress and a constant delve into the depths of what’s possible and what we actually need.

Intellect attribute skills – can you guess what each one represents?