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STORY
“Seek the Shadow Song. Begin in Ithredain.”

The cryptic final words of your murdered parents was what brought you to the ruins of Ithredain, on the edge of the Great Wastes. When you arrived, you were surprised to meet two other strangers with the exact same fate, with each of you bearing the exact same tattoo on your left arm. Seeking to unravel the mystery of your birth, the three of you form a team to track down this Shadow Song. And thus your adventure begins…

CHARACTERS
Create your own unique team from 4 fantasy races and 5 classes. Then customize each hero with powers and feats using a Job Point system.

Latest Blog

About this game

OVERVIEW
I’ve always wanted to put elements of tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons&Dragons or Pathfinder into an RPG Maker game. Shadow Song is my first major effort in this direction. It is my hope that this game invokes a similar feeling as the old TSR "gold box" games or Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale, but with a JRPG aesthetic.

You will notice it is a hybrid in that the game uses a Final Fantasy like side view battle as opposed to strategic grid battles. However, tabletop rules are implemented in the battle calculations. So under the hood your heroes are rolling 1d20’s vs the enemy’s AC. This makes for a much different battle flow than traditional JRPG battles. First of all, missing attacks is normal. Second, this game has a lot less battles but each battle (or “encounter”) counts a whole lot more. Third, the unseen dice rolls will rule your world, as a series of bad rolls can turn a seemingly easy encounter into a bloodbath.

A simple skill check system has also been implemented for non-combat challenges. I don’t think I’ve used it very well yet, but I believe it has potential.

DEMO
The demo should take your party to level 6. So in tabletop rpg length, that’s about 2~3 adventures. There are plans to eventually make the game covering an entire campaign taking your characters to level 20.
  • Production
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  • RPG Maker MV
  • RPG
  • 06/21/2016 12:54 PM
  • 08/07/2016 05:14 PM
  • 12/30/2016
  • 15300
  • 3
  • 193

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May I suggest removing the Overview and Demo information and maybe making them a blog post instead? That way potential players can jump straight to the story. (Or at least put the plot description at the top?)

Sounds interesting, though!
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Taking a break on RM for now. Will be back. I promise.
2964
Sure! Done.
Well, did the first quest and all I can say is that it took more time than you'd think a simple 'go down into the basement and kill slimes' quest would. Though I suppose that had to do with the mechanics of accuracy in this game. I suppose accuracy is actually important in this particular game unless you want to miss like crazy.

Anyway, items seem to work differently for each character? Like Elk ring increases the Hp of Human Fighter/Halfling Rogue but drops the SP of Elf Mage by 1. Or maybe it's just because the former two have low SP to start with? A Bronze Dagger is +2 Atk/-2 Spd in the hands of the Human Fighter but is only +1 Atk/-3 Spd when given to the Halfling Rogue (why does a lightweight weapon lower your Spd anyway?).

In the chest where you get Wood weapons, I notice I got one for each of the weapons you have equipped. A way to refund you somewhat for spending money on starter equipment I suppose.

When leveling up gets you more skill points, it's a no-brainer to get the exp boost passive ASAP. This is especially true in those upgrade games like Temple Run where you try to go as far as possible, then spend the coins you earned on stuff so you go even farther next time. So yeah, got Quick Learner for everyone even though that meant my Elf Mage couldn't use any spells til I leveled up.

Does Filch only take gold or can it snag items too? I'm guessing no or at least not the variant in games like Final Fantasy that can snatch rare equipment. After all, that would unbalance this game if you didn't pick the Rogue. Wait... if you take gold from the enemy, aren't you actually taking what they already would give you for defeating them?

How much does Filch take? I suppose extra gold is always nice though ultimately by end-game you have more than you need (unless there's stuff that pays gold to deal higher than normal damage or an expensive but permanent mercenary). Not like my characters are fully-outfitted when the next upgrade of equipment is available. I'm of the mentality that I don't really need armor for the most part so that's half off the expenses right there (only bought an axe and dagger for the first quest). In most games, the monsters are so weak that it's more effective to be able to kill them faster anyway. Though I suppose it'll be more important here (at least for squishy mages) since it won't be a simple 'spam normal attack to win'.

How damage does Ultimate Strike? 'full attack damage' doesn't tell me much.

What does charisma stat do? Speechcraft?

The random target skills like Chain Lightning can reduce an enemy's HP to 0... and then strike them again since they don't die until after the attack is finished. Not so bad when you're fighting one enemy but against multiple enemies that can waste a hit or two. Granted, random target skills suck and you should skip them over for the all-target skills but just thought I'd mention it.

So Elves have higher magic or is it SP? I assume the latter since all mages start off with 4 Magick regardless of race. Which kind of makes a Elf Mage moot when you can make a Human Mage. The fact that one starts off with one less skill pt and the other two additional ones kind of cinches it. The way race+class interact is kind of strange sometimes like trying to make a Dwarf Mage. They have 13 Armor as a Fighter but when you swap them to Mage they have 4... like every other race. Not that I'd make a Dwarf Mage but just pointing it out. Making a non-Rogue Halfling results in a high Spd drop.

So I feel like Elves got penalized with -1 skill point for no reason. Dwarves are resistant to a status (poison) and are tough but slow. Elves are resistant to Charm and are strong in magic but weak in body. Halflings are Silence-resistant and have less attack but more speed. The three are balanced with the same parameters (+stat/-stat) yet Elves get -1 skill pt.

If you don't have high enough Perception to notice hidden doors when you first get there, can you come back when the stat is higher? Or is it permanently inaccessible unless you locate it the first time around?

Does Feral Rage's atk/def boost come from the buff or is it from the Rage status (will curing it remove the boosts)?

How long do the Mage's Element Shrouds last?

Stun is not the same as paralysis?

Suggestions:
Have HP Skills (cost percent instead of set amount).

Have more risky skills like Powersurge. Like a skill that stuns you on the turn after you use it or a buff that drops your defense but raises your attack and something else. Maybe even something like Earthquake which will hit not only enemies but allies as well.

Have equipment that gives you a skill so long as you're wearing it. Also equipment that sacrifices something for improved stats/effects. Like maybe an armor that decreases the effectiveness of healing skills/potions on the wearer but offers superb armor/aura defenses and maybe status resist.

Include a beast race (I like animal-eared humanoids; don't judge me!)

Dual-wielding with the offhand/shield slot?

Weapon/passive with a chance to inflict poison.
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Taking a break on RM for now. Will be back. I promise.
2964
@HikiNeet

Thanks for for such a thorough playthrough! Well..I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

Items work the same but some items change the percentage of the stats while some add fixed stats. The rings for example changes the HP/SP percentages, so it would be different for each actor.

Treasure chest items are all randomized. :)

You're right the exp boost is very useful in the long run, but its effects are less noticeable in this demo as your heroes will only reach level 6.

Filch only takes gold. It uses the Yanfly plug-in which bases the gold on a luck formula. The steal items are not implemented in this game. As for where the gold came from...think of it as hidden places you wouldn't normally find after dead body search, hence the extra gold. lol

Actually...armor is very important as it boosts your AC, preventing you from getting killed too quickly. I must warn you the monsters are VERY STRONG relative to the player in this game. Their stats are based on comparative Dungeons & Dragons monsters of the same level, which if you ever played D&D you would know they are quite hard.

Say your actor's attack is 10, that means she usu deals 1-10 random damage. Full attack damage means she will definitely do 10 damage.

Charisma? It affects a variety of things.

Yes, you're right the animation for the chain lightning could be improved.

Elves get a little more SP, Magick, Aura, and Speed. They have lower HP and Defense. The Classes actually determine the bulk of the stats.

Elves in general have better overall stats than all the other races, hence the -1 JP. Which again, is very bad in the beginning, but less noticeable in the end game. So elves would have a bigger advantage in a longer game.

Yup. Perception is important. :) Yes, if you boost your perception skills and come back later you will see traps and secrets you didn't notice before.

Feral Rage gets boosts from both status and its own boosts.

Element Shrouds last 3-5 rounds.

Stun is only 1 round. Paralysis is more or less permanent unless you have the proper remedy.

Thanks for the suggestions too! Oh and I do like beast races too but couldn't get the generator working properly in time.
If you throw an elemental potion, is the damage based on your Magick stat?

Why do some Bow description say 'First strike'?

Shouldn't wood equipment make you weaker to fire attacks? Though I really don't see the point in making weapons that are weaker than your starting shop ones. I also find it unnecessary to have both Bronze + Copper equipment when the only difference is +1/2 Spd. The Elk/Bear/Crane/Lion rings also bother me since they all seem to do the same +HP/-SP or viceversa. No need to create a second item that does the exact same thing but with a different name.

Nature, Insight, what do they do?

Hate how Filch can miss. Though from what I see, getting pocket change doesn't really matter so this and double victory gold can be skipped over for skills that will actually help you win a battle. In other words, wish I could I reset my points but I suppose I have to live with my mistakes.

Can you not enter the building south of the blacksmith's that's surrounded by rocks?

Took like several tries but finally killed that mage and three mercs... and that's only cause I got lucky with a blizzard and crit-ed the mage to death. Why didn't I just talk them into leaving? Well, I wanted the gold/exp from the battle. Then again, maybe getting that stun immunity would have helped. Those mercs do love using their stun attack after all.

Then I looked in the building expecting to find a reward... but examining the shelves gave me nothing. Then I backtracked to the inn/tents to see if anything changed or if I could go south from the inn now but nope. So I went back into that building and decided to check the walls and found a fake one. Then I busted it down 'cause I ain't wasting a key for that since I'm stingy like that

Hate Sarhiri not only on account of her being creepy but also because she can block the path through the stairs with her random walking. And considering I backtracked out of the cave and back to the inn to heal my SP a lot... she definitely annoyed me by wasting my time by getting in my way.

Random Target attacks are just eh. Whether it be poison gas or Antics (Rogue's Def debuff), any of them can waste a hit striking the same enemy. Though I suppose Whirlwind Blade is okay (3 hits) when there's only one target.

Expected to get betrayed
but thought it would be eyepatch dude and his orc. Oh well, killing Sarhiri was more satisfying. That'll teach her to get in my way. Fun fact: I double-casted Antics in the battle and both times it hit the same snake all three hits. FML. Anyway, I beat her with fire spells (everyone had steel helm). Amusingly enough, two of characters were low health when she did her triple attack but I somehow managed to survive with them both at 1 HP.


Why doesn't the Firestone Staff boost Magick?

Was hoping to be able to break into people's houses in Miramon with my level 9 lock-picking. Then again, I suppose that would get me in trouble with the guards.

Haven't found any secrets yet. Do I have to manually feel up every wall or does it naturally reveal the location?
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Taking a break on RM for now. Will be back. I promise.
2964
@HikiNeet

Ok, more Q&A!

Elemental potions are not stat based so they have the same effect no matter who uses them, which can be useful in certain situations.

Yes I suppose wood should have a fire weakness, didn't think of that.

The items differ slightly in stats, not by a lot especially if they are of a similar level.

Good advice. You're right Filch should have a greater effect.

That building? Well originally there was content for that but we ran outta time so it got cut. :p So no, you can't enter it.

You killed the mercs?! That was designed to be a nearly unbeatable battle! Congratulations, I guess you proved that it is technically possible. :D Still people, that event is designed so you need to talk your way out of it.

The other way of opening that door is a key that you can spot with enough Perception in another room.

Oh good. I am glad Sarhiri proved to be annoying. Ha ha ha.

Firestone does boost magic but only a little bit. The Firestone material is better for melee weapons.

Ah the lockpicking. I am thinking maybe in the future implement a Fame/Infamy system like the Elder Scrolls where you can pick locks and get thrown in jail if not careful.

There's not too many secrets in the demo so I wouldn't worry too much.
Oh good. I am glad Sarhiri proved to be annoying. Ha ha ha.
Move snitch, get out the way. Get out the way snitch, get out the way. Also...
I came back to the starting town with Ser Charo to clear out the skeletons/ghosts I skipped over and Sarhiri is still walking around after I tanned her snake hide (wait, why didn't I make leather armor out of her skin?). O___O

Firestone does boost magic but only a little bit. The Firestone material is better for melee weapons.
Well, actually what I meant is that it doesn't have higher magic stat in comparison to other staves (bronze) available at that point. Neither does Silver Staff.

Fish says it recovers 1$ SP

Is the green chest in the Well supposed to be empty?

Xhola: Then I'll arrange for him to repay the towns people
townspeople is one word (end dialogue of Holy Water quest)

The uhh, confrontation theme that plays when you're trying to persuade someone keeps playing even after you win. This happens at the Pub in the Docks for the three NPCs you get info from.

After doing the 3 tasks given to you by the captain, talking to her triggers the event where a soldier will walk in and report. However, if you position your team in a 7 or L shape position when talking to her, the soldier will get blocked by the last person at the end of the "tail" and you will be unable to move because the event will never end. So I suppose you should make him turn right one space sooner.

Does the price of raising skills like Speechcraft increase when your characters are level 5? 'Cause after dealing with the Dock murderer, raising Picking Locks went from 88 to 100-ish. Also, Nature, which I neglected (lv 3), costed 100-ish to raise.

Do Silver weapons (Holy property) work on ghosts despite them being near-immune to physical attacks?

Increasing movement speed or allowing dash on the world travel map would be nice.

Managed to kill the Bandit Boss the first time (with some lucky 20s to the mooks from Ser Charo's spin attack) but redid it because a hostage died in the second part. The second try I killed the mooks and the boss was almost dead but apparently the battle is timed so I got cheated out of exp/gold for not finishing it. So I redid it again. I thought the Mercs were bad but these Bandits just love to Chain Whip stun you. So died a few times to being stun-locked or because they all decided to gang up on my squishy Mage instead of hitting the tanky Ser Charo who is outfitted in full silver.

Then I got to the second part again after finally beating the boss again. But a hostage died and I said screw it. Do I get anything significant for keeping them both alive? Kind of amusing that the male farmer has dialogue even if he's the one that got killed. When I go back to talk to either farmer, I expect them to be upset that their spouse died or hate me for being unable to save them but the woman just tells me 'good day'. Well okay then... Taking care of the crops is gonna be rough by herself but this is just a game so we don't think about the implications of how a widow will survive with their breadwinner dead.

Below the statue in Miramon, there's a red building that has an open ceiling and a wooden door visible (which made it stand out from other buildings). You can't enter, I take it?

Destroyed the Dark Circle in the Catacombs. Was that all there was to it?

Finished the demo. Look forward to future updates and new skills/feats. Maybe a Beast race too. Mage armor would be appreciated since mine can't wear anything but the Cloth Robes in the starting shop.

Oh, and putting how the Animal Rings alter HP/SP (Increases by % and decreases by%) in the description would be helpful. Though I've always believed that boosting Def is better than a minor increase in HP since Def reduces the damage taken overall. So the Pendant of Protection is a better investment.
watermark
Taking a break on RM for now. Will be back. I promise.
2964
@HikiNeet Thanks so much for playing the game so comprehensively! You've given such good advice.

Now, development for Shadow Song has been temporarily suspended for now because its commercial potential is questionable. And us being a poor indie studio, the top priority now is to get something out there that will make enough to sustain us for future development. So Shadow Song was an interesting experiment of using Dungeons & Dragons mechanics within a RPG Maker game. But for now dev on this will be put on pause indefinitely.

BUT!

Much of the code and experience gained in this project will live on in future projects. For example, our next game, a dungeon crawler "99". It's still quite incomplete now but you can see some screenshots here if you like HERE. The goal is to get a demo of this out by end of August. It uses much of the mechanics of Shadow Song, but will be a very different game.

Thanks again! And just to answer your questions:

No. The Green chest thing is a bug with Moghunter's treasure script, which we are no longer using in future games until it gets fixed.

Skills don't raise automatically. You have to train them specifically.

You really do like to take on the supposedly unbeatable battles hmm? :)
I will keep that in mind for the future when we design challenges&rewards for players like you.

Ah yes, we forgot to do the dialogue of the farmers when one of them dies. Actually originally we planned to have them give you a much bigger reward if you manage to keep both of them alive.

Yes, that building was going to be a restaurant, but we ran outta time so we closed it.

Well after you destroy the dark circle the nun gives your JP points, which we think is pretty nice.

And thanks for pointing out the other bugs!
99 heroes, hmm? Even though I like variety, I think it would be difficult to make a unique skillset for that many characters.

With a name like Chronos, I think time skills will be part of his repertoire. Whether it be Haste/Slow/Pause, a delayed skill with a timer countdown before it "explodes", cooldown skills (can only be used every # turns; mimicking hours), DoTs & HoTs (maybe a skill that compresses multiple turns of poison damage all into one turn's worth?), a 'Hyper Beam'-type skill that either requires one turn to charge or leaves you vulnerable the turn after. Maybe even a skill that changes effect based on whether you use it on an even or odd number turn.

Battle Alchemist is a neat concept though I suppose it wouldn't be as good if placed in Shadow Song since you can make potions if you join the Alchemy Guild (not available in Demo). Elemental potions would be a good way for Clerics to deal dmg once you can brew them, assuming the Herbalist perk not only affects the healing potency of potions but also their damage.

The vampire? Zarina could have some blood spells that cost a % of her HP.

A class that can unlock multiple monster forms (shapeshifter?) would be interesting. Quite strategic since they would all have different elemental resists/skillsets.
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