Exploration & Interaction
The Bard's Tale IV is being designed from the ground up to celebrate the depth and challenge found in many party-based RPGs. With non-linear level design (including inside dungeons), traps, obstacles, monsters, and puzzles, you can expect a challenging and highly interactive experience.
The Bard's Tale IV brings you back to locations you know and love in the bustling, under-construction town of Skara Brae, though the events of the past years have changed it in ways you might not expect. As always, many taverns dot the city for the party to quaff down large tankards of ale and wet their parched throats. The Adventurer's Guild is still open and ready to assist. The descendants of the original Skara Brae have picked up where their ancestors left off, so magic users can regenerate at the reliable Energy Emporium (Roscoe Jr.) and restock in the ever-ready Garth's Equipment Shoppe.
The world of The Bard's Tale IV will take you through a series of dungeons, forests, crypts and castles within, underneath, and around Skara Brae, as well as worlds beyond the lands of men - the mystical realms of Elves, Dwarves and Trow. The emphasis is on mystery, discovering new locations, and fighting your way through traps and monsters.
You'll be encouraged to choose your own path through our non-linear world. Your actions in and around Skara Brae can change the town forever. As you make choices and complete your quests, other local bards will sing songs of your exploits, which may change the attitude of noblemen, modify the friendliness of merchants, or unlock previously inaccessible buildings. Quests are either offered or revoked based on your influence in the world, so you must choose them wisely. Choice and consequence are a passion of ours and The Bard's Tale IV embraces this concept, leading to a more believable immersive world that reacts to the player's choices.
Devious Dungeons & Open Ended Gameplay
We have a passion for non-linear level design and The Bard's Tale IV embraces this concept. While you explore the world, you will reach areas, obstacles, and monsters you won't be able to defeat. By venturing out into new areas, developing additional skills and spells, or finding enchanted weapons and armor, you can return with a new set of tools better equipped for the job. Definitely expect a challenge; this game won't be easy.
Challenges beyond combat await you, however. Dangerous traps dot the dungeons, and you'll need a deft hand to find your way through them – as well as a keen sense of mapping. With the full rights to use all of the content, story, and setting of the original games, we are returning to many of the familiar trappings and challenges. But don't worry. If you find yourself completely stuck, just turn your way to a Magic Mouth, those perfectly ordinary hint-givers that come in the shape of giant talking stone walls.
Puzzles & Physical Manipulation
Throughout the game, we will be placing great emphasis and attention to detail into the environments - and objects - you will be interacting with, right down to the smallest details. Many items, weapons, and armors hold secrets of their own that can be discovered by carefully examining them. By physically manipulating their individual components you can find ways to enhance or modify their properties.
For example, after looting a chest, you might find a dagger with suspicious holes dotting the blade. After examining it closer and rotating two oddly shaped discs on the hilt of your newly-found weapon, a small compartment opens, revealing a clock-like dial. Twisting this dial properly and locking it into place, you notice a viscous poison dripping from the blade which will add additional damage to each attack.
Throughout the game you'll have plenty more chances to perform this level of interaction with the environments as well. Our puzzles, both in and outside of dungeons, will demand you pay attention to the world, and use your spells, abilities and items to overcome them. With The Bard's Tale IV we will be bringing a never-before-seen level of interactivity and detail to role-playing games.
A robust crafting system will allow you to find ingredients and components throughout the world to make all kinds of game modifying potions, items and weapons. By tying this in with our magic system, you will be able to influence your newly-created items directly through many of your party's abilities. Powers from a specific school of magic, or a spell, or even a Bard's song will be able to give your items modifiers and new, unique capabilities.