Video Game / The Age of Decadence

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Iron Tower Studio's turn-based Role-Playing Game set in a post-apocalyptic Low Fantasy world reminiscent of The Roman Empire and built on the Torque engine. The website can be found here. Currently has a combat demo, showing off its rather versatile Turn-Based Combat, and has plans for a "true" demo and actual game in development. The game was on Steam as Early Access but as of October 2015, it has been released.


Tropes featured in Age of Decadence include:

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Loremasters specialize in digging up artifacts in the ruins of the old world and selling them to the highest bidder. Okay, that's the ideal. Most loremasters (including a PC with the Loremaster background, at least at first) are bookworms who rarely set foot outside the safe parts of town, but old-school ones learned their trade while delving ruins, killing monsters and taking their stuff.
  • After the End: After a great Magitek war, humanity has been reduced to huddling in three cities in the middle of a wasteland, with most technology being reduced to an Iron Age level.
  • Bonus Boss: The "inn fight" in the combat demo.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: Some quests play out like this. They use lots and lots of skill checks.
  • Concussion Frags: Averted with blackpowder bombs, as there are both regular bombs and a distinct schrapnel-filled variety.
  • Crapsack World: After the great war, the old imperial society plummeted quickly. Poverty runs rampant, brutal violence is an everyday affair and war is always looming on the horizon.
  • Critical Hit: A significant part of the combat system, with their likelihood governed by the Critical Strike skill. Some weapons (like swords) are also more likely to inflict them then others (i.e hammers.)
  • Dialogue Tree: Very extensive ones, with 5 responses being the norm rather than the exception. They also tend to be unique for every character, because many options appear only with certain character’s skills and background, staying hidden for others.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted in at least one early side quest, where the player is told to remove an undesirable character from the starting town. This can be achieved by simply telling him to leave, without even needing high persuasion skill to do so. However, the guy ends up bearing a grudge, and will try to make your life miserable in any way short of a violent confrontation.
  • Elemental Crafting: There are five tiers of metal used to craft metallic weapons and armor: bronze, iron, steel, blue steel (a tempered steel alloy) and Sky Metal.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: It's Rome, albeit a (previously) more steampunk-esque version of it. Various background references refer to other countries and cultures with variations on their commonly used name ("Kemet" for Egypt, the Egyptian name for it) or not even that (Phrygians, an actual people).
  • Gladiator Games: The Arena in Maadoran is a textbook example: duels to the death, and a Champion waiting for you at the top.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Spears allow you to impale characters through the stomach (or indeed, be impaled yourself). The corpse will often stand half-upright, supported only by the spear shaft.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: There’s a Day-Night cycle, and all the functions associated with it.
  • Item Crafting: The "create expendables" and "improve existing items" types exists as separate skills. It is possible to forge new weapons, craft traps, create blackpowder bombs and turn a regular poison into a potent one, amongst other things.
  • Karma Houdini: The player character if the decision to blow up Inferiae is taken in the buried tower.
  • Knockback: Both knockback and knockback are possible with certain weapons. In particular, bombs will always knock people down if they score a critical on them.
  • Low Fantasy: It's a cynical, brutal, low-magic world set After the End. Pretty much all magic is of the enchantment type: unlike many other Role Playing Games, being a wizard is simply not an option here, as your character will never be able to cast a single spell.
  • Magitek: Most of the relics of the Magi are some version of this.
  • Meaningful Name: The Assassins’ Guild in the game is known as the Boatmen of Styx: as in, the people that send others beyond the river Styx, a boundary between the world of the dead and the living.
  • Money for Nothing: This can screw the player two separate ways. On the one hand, unless you complete a quest that leaves you flush with cash, combat characters have to be careful with their cash - consumable items are as expensive as they are vital. On the other hand, items are in limited supply - once you buy up a particular store, that's it. Furthermore, what you can buy is pretty limited; real artifacts are almost impossible to buy, and of course nobody sells meteor metal - if you want a weapon made from that, you'll have to find the appropriate ingots and craft it yourself. Even blue-steel weapons can't be found in shops (though the metal itself can, if you want to try to work it).
  • Multiple Endings: Every major questline can change the outcome of the plot in very different ways.
    • Physical God: One of the endings allows you to become one. It's also an Ambiguous Ending, as final slides for it give you very little information on what has become of the world - you are free to imagine any outcome.
    • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: several endings are reached by punching out Agathoth. The game hints several times that such a feat is only possible due to very special circumstances and character's extreme martial prowess.
    • I Love Nuclear Power: a few endings revolve around a literal nuclear bomb. You're also free to use it wreck what little is left of civilized world.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: the eight backgrounds on offer. They don’t have any effect on your character’s main stats, but they do affect their standing with the game’s seven factions, as well as the dialogue options available for them. It is also possible to remain an unknown stranger with no background, and no associated strengths or weaknesses; however, the Drifter does still have its own opening that draws the character into the plot.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Boatmen of Styx will assassinate anyone for the right price. The group originated as a Praetorian Guard within the Legions back during the days of the Empire, and specialized in removing threats to the Emperor's safety. After the Empire went belly-up, the Boatmen went freelance and continued to ply their trade. This has led to a rivalry with the Imperial Guards, who are another ex-legionary group devoted to keeping the peace between the Houses.
  • Nintendo Hard: Loading screens for the game often say that “You will die. Save often.” They really do mean it.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Failing nearly any of the skill checks in dialogue leads to you getting one shotted in a cutscene, with no chance to fight back. Its that kind of game.
  • Off Model: At this stage, at least, the combat animations are far from the best.
  • Optional Stealth: The sneak skill, which allows your character to bypass ambushes, perform clean burglaries, and more, assuming that it is high enough for the situation at hand.
  • Our Gods Are Different:
    • In the war against the Qantari demons, the Magi of the Empire supposedly created gods to fight for them, but exactly what happened is unclear.
    • The gods, known as Tngri in Ordu and as Yazatas in the language of the Magi, are actually void-dwelling Eldritch Abominations who were called into the world to possess the bodies of human volunteers. The volunteers had been warded so that they would control the beings in their bodies, but the wards were sabotaged and the volunteers were possessed instead, and four of the gods allied with the Qantari and declared war on the Empire; the other three opposed these and sided with the Empire and the Magi. A god is not omnipotent, but is a match for a human army in battle. As of the time of the game, all of the gods are either slain, banished back to the Void or imprisoned somewhere, but several endgames revolve around their return.
  • Point Build System: Rather than winning XP toward a Level Up, you win points that can be applied directly to skills, and only for quest completion.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Weapons coated in poison inflict bonus damage in the 3-11 range, while potent poison has the range of 6-14. Oh, and poison doesn’t dry off the blade until the 20th hit.
  • Powered Armor: A suit of ancient power armor can be found in the game.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Ordu live only for war and are a constant threat for the few city-states remaining.
  • Rat Stomp: Lampshaded and averted. You can ask NPCs if they need to have any rats killed, but that will simply result in puzzled looks.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • You can find one of the Gods at the bottom of the Abyss. Let's just say that centuries after being left in the bunker without being able to move have destroyed its sanity a bit. If you decide to unleash it instead of putting him out of his misery, it destroys Maadoran to the last stone.
    • Another god is sleeping in the Temple of Thor-Agoth. Awaken it, and it will ask you to pick a ruler through whom it can rule the world.
  • Shown Their Work: Even in the demo, there are plenty of allusions to obscurer facets of non-Hollywood Rome. Sadly, all gladiator fights seem to be to the death.
  • Spin Attack: One is possible with most weapons.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Fallout and the many others that are also spiritual successors to it (such as Arcanum and The Fall Last Days Of Gaia). It's also quite similar to Darklands in several aspects, being based on a low-magic pseudo-historical setting with a brutal difficulty curve.
  • Shout-Out: The achievements "300" and "Game of Thrones" can be acquired following the Imperial Guard and the Merchant Guild questlines.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Averted, as the things player can do depend on their skills and reputation alone, and so for every door that opens before the player, another is closed. I.e. playing non-violently increases your reputation with factions like the Commercium, but also means that the Assassins’ Guild will not even talk to you.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: The highest level of common weapon to be found.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Averted in many ways. For instance, stripping down to your underpants normally elicits no reaction in Role Playing Games. Here, the guards will stop your character, inquire if he’s drunk, mock him (“Just between you and me, there’s not much to see here anyway.”) and finally tell him to put some clothes on.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: Generally averted, unless the question to be answered was "How to get killed as soon as possible?" In the tutorial alone, some NPCs will wipe the floor with you in a fair fight, even if you pour all starting points into combat-related skills.
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder: Two-handed weapons default to this when out of combat.
  • Weapon of Choice: Unusually for almost any video game, each preforms widely different in combat in practice (even if how they do so is hard to describe). Also unusually is none of the weapons are "second tier" weapons for non-primary-combat characters, they are all roughly equal.
    • Heroes Prefer Swords: Will critical more often and can hit everyone around you in a whirlwind attack.
    • Knife Nut: Has low AP cost and accurate, will bypass armor often, and can "flurry" to get in even more attacks.
    • Blade on a Stick: Can push back enemies that try to advance, has "reach". (Un)suprisingly effective when combined with crippling legs and backing away from foes. Can impale foes.
    • An Axe to Grind: High damage for high AP. Also can access the whirlwind attack.
    • Drop the Hammer: Each hit has an additional chance to wear down armor and shields.
    • Archer: Can attack from range, but not up close. Downsides include ammo issues (this game does not use Money for Nothing), low skill characters will often miss, low armor penetration (or if using pierceing arrows, low damage). Like all ranged weapons, shield users have a bonus to their block rate against ranged attacks.
    • Crossbows: Can attack from range, but not up close. High power with each shot, but slow to reload, like the bow has access to barbed/plain/piercing ammo for each grade.
    • Throwing weapons: Being the only one handed ranged weapon, it is the only one that can use a shield alongside it. Are expensive, hard to resupply, and have low range, but can attack at close ranges unlike other ranged weapons, and deal more damage.


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