Video Game / Knights Of The Chalice

Knights of the Chalice is retro-styled tactical Western RPG from indie developer Heroic Style Fantasy and released for Windows in 2009. Combat is turn-based and is based on the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e D20 Open Games License. The developer has cited Temple of Elemental Evil and Dark Sun: Shattered Lands as being major influences, while the plot is mainly based on classic Dungeons & Dragons modules Scourge of the Slave Lords and Against the Giants.

You begin the game by creating a 4 character party, by choosing one of three races (human, half-elf, and half-dwarf, chosen by the author as animating them would require less resources) and classes (fighter, wizard, and cleric), which can then be further customized through attributes and feats later on. You are initially tasked by the eponymous Knights of the Chalice to find on of the missing members, but the plot is mainly there as an excuse to kill things as you go from dungeon to dungeon. The game is combat-focused, and there is little in the way of non-combat related skills and dialogue choices only affect gameplay in certain cases. The game's focus lies on varied combat encounters with a generally intelligent AI, often requiring a more tactical approach to combat, with a big emphasis on using correct positioning and the environment.

Although it has mostly fallen under the radar, it has been generally well received by those who have played it, and a much more expansive sequel is being planned.

This game contains examples of:

  • Excuse Plot: There is a plot in there, but you're mostly playing it for the combat and loot.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Pretty standard D&D classes are used (fighter, cleric and mage), but the Thief class is notably missing.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same:
    • Although the "mul" has the typical dwarven strength bonus and dexterity penalty, they aren't your typical dwarves, being crossbreeds with humans, They were borrowed from the Dark Sun setting.
    • Although not available as player characters, regular dwarves are encountered in the game, most prominently in an underground cave, where you can help overthrow their kind who has gone mad.
  • Plot Tunnel: There are several dungeons in the game where you end up having your exit blocked when reaching a certain point, and the only way to proceed is by beating a specific encounter.
  • Status Buff: Being based on D&D, these exist, but unlike many other Western RPGs you aren't able to "pre-buff", and only healing spells can be used outside battle.