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Video Game / Armello

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From Wolf to Bear, the Clans declare, the time has come to take the throne. For the Rot's creeping, it twists our King. Heroes, rise! Save Armello!

Armello is an Adventure Board Game-style computer game by Australian-based company League of Geeks. Four actual or virtual players, taking the role of the heroes of anthropomorphic animal clans, out on quests to ensure they became the next King of the Realm. The current King has been infected by the Rot, a supernatural disease that is slowly killing him and spreading The Corruption around the world. He'll be dead after about 8 days, and if he passes, the most Prestigious of heroes takes the crown. However, Klingon Promotion can be used to take the crown regardless of Prestige; whether the king dies from your sword, from your own dark powers, or using the Sacred Spirit Stones.

Armello was able to use special funds from the Australian Government to produce high quality animated Trailers. Audio books and other fiction within the game's universe are planned. The game has now been fully released on Steam and PS4. It can be bought here. The first DLC, Usurpers, featuring four new heroes, was released on 30 August 2016. The Bandit Clan DLC, which was previously limited to Kickstarter backers, finally received public release on 26 April 2017. On 21 December of the same year, the Rivals Hero Pack was released.


Armello and its expanded universe demonstrate examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Twiss the Squirrel is short and very fluffy, making her look pudgy. Despite this, she has super evasion.
  • Action Girl: Scarlet, River, Amber, Magna, and Zosha count as this.
  • Alliance Meter: Prestige is this along with being a victory points system. Basically what the royalty thinks of a hero, it increases when completing quests or defeating Banes and other heroes, decreases when killing a Royal Guard or being defeated, and drops to zero instantly if the hero attacks the King. Some Trickery cards and other events can affect Prestige count in various ways.
  • All Trolls Are Different: While they don't appear visually, trolls are featured in the flavour text of several quests. A Rat Clan mission involves saving a cub from its troll kidnapper, implying that the creatures might have a taste for Armellian flesh.
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  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Banes are raven-like creatures that embody the Rot. If they defeat your hero they infect you with The Corruption. They only move at night and are killed instantly if they enter any Stone Circles. The King's Guards will attack any Banes that come close to them.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Iron Guard, the elite protectors of the Wolf Clan's Alpha.
  • Anachronism Stew: While the game takes much of its influence from Europe during the Middle Ages, clothing and weapons from other historical periods also make an appearance occasionally. The Rabbit Clan's fashion sense seems to be derived from the late 1500s, the Black Company skins for the Bandit Clan resemble clothing from the 18th century. Mercurio also wields a pistol in his Mustachio Mercurio skin.
  • Animal Stereotypes: So very much, though some choose to subvert it. The wolves are noble and loyal to the pack (except Fang, revengeful for his exile); Rats are shady assassins and criminals, as are mustelids in the dark arts, etc.
  • Archer Archetype: River. She shoots enemies before the battle begins, automatically taking one health. If that kills them she doesn't even move from her tile.
  • Armor Is Useless: Generally averted. A few items allow damage to Pierce armor and most armor only activates in combat, meaning it's not helpful against Spells (justified in the case of lightning or magical fireballs), Trickery cards, Perils,note  or a well-placed throwing axe. Because the battle system makes hits three times as likely as blocks, however, devoting your inventory to bonus defense is often essential to stave off a Mutual Kill.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Lionheart Breastplate is the one Treasure that when equipped, will force every other player to reevaluate their strategies. While it doesn't offer as many Shields as the Heavy Plate Armour, its other property allows the hero wearing it to stand their ground no matter what. This makes it incredibly difficult to dislodge the wearer from their position purely through combat. Couple the Breastplate with other defensive equipment and you will effectively be an immovable object.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Pierce trait, applied to a single Sword of damage.
    • Thane's special. When he burns cards to gain Swords his opponent cannot block them with shields.
    • Equipping a Longbow or Hand Cannons gives you the chance to do this by burning Moon and Sun cards respectively.
    • The Iron Pike pierces with the first rolled Sword while attacking. This changes to a Reflect when defending.
    • The Silver Lance treasure provides one piercing Sun in battle; two if the battle is fought on a Plains tile.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: A battle for political power using deceit, power, and corruption over a mad king is the heart of Armello, and it is represented by talking animals in a colorful medieval fantasy setting. See Crapsaccharine World.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Fang's power only activates on the offense, thus necessitating him to constantly attack his opponents.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: The King starts out with 9 max life and 7 Battle dice, Armor that turns half of what would normally be missed dice into shields, and a Sword that steals missed dice of his opponent. Heroes start with at most 6 in either and no gear. Conversely, being strong enough to kill the King and survive before his natural death is accepted reason for succession.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: A lot of high-cost spell cards fall into this. Unless you are playing as Sana, Sargon, Ghor, Twiss, or a spirit-oriented Brun, a lot of them don't see use and are burned.
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Horace wields a single massive ax while Fang dual-wields two smaller ones.
    • The Battle Axe is the cheapest weapon available in the Items deck, costing only 1 Gold.
  • The Bad Guys Win:
    • It can be safely assumed that this happens when a Rot Victory is achieved. The Kingdom of Armello is lost to the malicious power embodied in its malevolent champion.
    • While most of the heroes are on the side of good or their motives and morality left ambiguous, Zosha, Griotte, and Sylas are indicated to have frightening plans for the Crown even if not corrupted by the Rot. Sylas in particular threatens to hang all the other heroes once he gets his paws on the throne.
  • Bandit Clan: The only other clan outside the four Great Clans, the Bandit Clan, offers a place to the outcasts of Armellian society. Gold and glory are all that matter to this party of troublemakers. Scarlet, Horace, Twiss, and Sylas are members of this clan.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: None of the characters wear shoes.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Sana, Ghor, Brun, and Yordana, though as the only one of the four to be kicked out of the Bear Clan, Brun fits this trope more. In general, angering the Bears is a poor choice, considering that they can easily blast enemies away with an arsenal of damage spells.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Death can be a tactical decision in this game for several reasons - denying an opponent Prestige for your kill when cornered, breaking an unfavorable Pact spell, gaining Rot, or quickly returning to your Clan Grounds. To that effect, most direct damage spells can be cast on oneself.
  • Benevolent Mage Ruler: If Sana, Ghor, or Brun win the throne without being Corrupted.
  • The Berserker:
    • A recruitable follower that adds a single point of Fight during battles and turns all Shield cards into Sword cards, much to Thane's benefit (not so much for Magna).
    • Fang is an archetype of one and his ability, Berzerker, allows him to take no return damage if he Slaughters (inflicts 3 overkill damage points on) his defending opponent.
  • BFS: The art for Pride's Edge shows it with a Palace Guard for scale; the sword is larger than the Guardsman.
  • Big Eater: Implied by the tubby rodent of a Poison Taster:
    "I'll test your food, but it'll take more than just one bite. Like two. Yeah, three bites. Four." - Garbo Guts
  • Blade on a Stick: Sylas and Hargrave are the only heroes in Armello to wield pole weapons, though the latter uses his pike together with the attached cannon. There are also long weapons present in the Items deck, namely the Oak Spear, the Hare's Halberd (the same weapon the king's guards use), and the Iron Pike. The Silver Lance can be found within the Treasure deck.
  • Blind Obedience: The Palace Guard will obey any orders that come from their slowly maddening king, no matter how cruel, insane, arbitrary, or simply suicidal.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted, as on the battle screen, successful attacks will definitely draw blood.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: While the Amazon Brigade that is the Wolf Clan's Iron Guard are intended to protect the Alpha of the Wolf Clan, if they show any weakness the Iron Guard is intended to...redistribute the balance of power.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Alcohol is present in-game in the form of 2 consumable items: Brazenberry Ale and Hot Rot Wine. The former adds a point of Fight (and reduces a point of Wit) for one turn, the latter provides 1 Action Point at the cost of 1 Health and the gain of 1 Rot.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Horace's ability to swap places with palace guards (As long as there is no bounty on his head). On paper, it does not sound like much, and does not really turn the tide of battle like some other abilities - yet many a player can tell you of how many times they wished they had Horace's ability due to a palace guard being in their way.
    • Shimmer Shield - changes all your card symbols to Shield. It's great if you get a poor draw full of Rot symbols meaning if someone attacks you, you can burn them all no consequence. It also is the best card you can play on a Thane preparing to attack the King by nullifying any Sword cards he's holding. It also only costs one mana.
    • If played on a hero, Wyld's Warning will grant them Evasion. This obviously provides said hero with some defensive capability, but it can also be used to push opponents out of the way; the card even works on heroes in the Palace! Assuming that you have some Piercing capabilities or the Poppet, you can damage or outright kill opponents without the risk of them counterattacking.
    • A well balanced hero between 5-7 of every other stats and only 3 spirit. Spells can bring all sorts of awesome effects, but 3 spirit is enough to cast just about all of the spells you need (and to burn a 1 mana card for good measure). 3 spirit is also enough to cast Teleport, Regeneration, or Cleansing Wyld - hands down the most useful spells in the game. And if you need more mana to cast an expensive spell (like Crystallise), Wyld-Born or Moon Juice can sometimes make up the difference.
  • Cain and Abel: If the Greymane brothers are together in the game, Sibling Rivalry is pretty much guaranteed to ensue. Fang (Cain) used to be the heir apparent to the Wolf Clan but has since been replaced by his younger brother, Thane (Abel). Needless to say, he is less than likely to accept this lying down.
  • Cards of Power: Interestingly enough, the cards that are used by players in-game are also represented as literal cards in the canon lore. The King apparently brought a deck of mysterious but powerful spell cards with him from his homeland.
    "The cards hold more power than most know. To control the cards is to control Armello itself." - Livance Underslough
  • Carnivore Confusion: Currently, it's known that fish and fowl are used as sources of protein by carnivorous and omnivorous species. It's however unclear if there are any non-sapient livestock in Armello. The bovine Miner and Blacksmith followers would raise questions about whether beef is on the menu.
  • Cast from Hit Points: This ability is acquired by hiring the Warlock follower.
  • The Chick: Sana. While the other female heroes can kick butt physically, Sana is not suited to combat at all unless it's against Corrupted characters such as Banes, Corrupted heroes, or the King, where she can use her special ability to use her Spirit stat as her Fight stat. Twiss the Bandit squirrel lacks the bonus to Corrupted targets and instead relies on the fact that she runs away when attacked, stealing the attacker's cards.
  • Child Prodigy: Barnaby.
  • The Chosen One: According to the Bear Clan's soothsayers, Sana is a child of prophecy.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Since every player is vying for the throne, don't expect the character you spared and healed the previous turn to spare you on this turn.
  • City Guards: The King's Guards are loyal to the King and will defend the kingdom from Banes and wanted criminals alike. They are relatively well-equipped and it's ill-advised to go up against them without your own good equipment.
  • Clueless Boss: According to the canon, Crag Greymane, the Wolf Clan Alpha at the time of the King's arrival in Armello and ancestor of Fang and Thane, was completely oblivious to the misdeeds of his underling Lady Boreal due to being an isolationist holed up in his headquarters. It's implied that this had been the state of things for quite a while, since the Wolf Clan had no prior knowledge of the fact that the Rat Clan had been trespassing on their lands to capture slaves.
  • Color-Coded Clan: Red for the Rats, Green for the Bears, Blue for the Wolves, Yellow for the Rabbits and Black for the Bandits.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Many Spells and Trickery cards don't work on the King or on the Palace Grounds. This prevents heroes from just standing outside the castle and using Immolation on the King for an easy win, for example.
  • The Corruption: The Rot. At low levels it hurts you constantly, and at high levels it can corrupt you. Let it get too high, and you'll end up like the King. In gameplay terms, it allows powerful magic and poison spells at the cost of increasing your Rot score each casting, and once you get 5 or more, Banes ignore you, you can steal battle dice from anyone with less Rot than you (as long as they're rotten too), and are granted Life Drain every time you kill an enemy. The normally worthless Rot dice result explodes like Spirit dice as well. In exchang for these powers, you're instantly killed hy entering Stone Circles and Wyld rolls are counted as misses. Similar to ADOM, loading yourself down with corruption points before fighting the Big Bad in hopes of being Eviler Than Thou is a viable strategy.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The colorful world inhabited by talking animals in a medieval-fantasy setting is the façade of dark and dangerous powers, corruption, deceit, and death. The opening alone should speak of the game's tone and atmosphere (under-the-table tactics, a fellow getting his throat slit by bandits, and corruption slowly seething into someone's body). See Art-Style Dissonance above.
    • And many of the cards reflect it. Take the Follower card Squire. It looks like a funny Talking Animal until you realize what its effect is, and its flavor text reflect on that.
    "You're so great. I'd die for you—What? Err... no, I said... Hey mate, look at the size of you!." -Pika Potts
  • Creepy Crows: Banes are monstrous, raven-like embodiments of the Rot. Regular ravens can also appear as portents of corruption.
  • Critical Hit: Combat and Trap avoidance uses multiple 6 sided dice. The Wyld Symbol, representing Natural magic, gives you bonus dice in addition to a success on the roll. When corrupted, the Rot Symbol, normally the Critical Failure switches roles with Wyld.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Because success in Armello is heavily reliant on the blessings of RNGesus, it's always possible for the unassuming player who has been playing rather unremarkably to suddenly snatch away victory from under the noses of the leading players.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The deer druids only appear at night, and wear creepy skull masks, but will heal your rot infection, give you a spirit stone, or the Holy Moon Scythe if you ask it of them. On the other hand, some quest flavor involves you needing to rescue Human Sacrifices from them.
  • The Dark Side: The Rot is opposed to the natural magic of the Wyld. At early corruption it is purely a hindrance, draining your life each dawn. However, if you win an Eviler Than Thou competition with a combat opponent, you gain battle strength equal to your opponent's corruption and gain health when you kill someone in battle.
  • Death by Materialism: In the Sinking Caravan quest, a merchant gets his wagon stuck in a bog. He absolutely refuses to leave it unless told by Thane to do so, and if you fail the Body test to drag it free, he gets guzzled up by the quicksand along with all his stuff.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Zig-zagged: getting killed returns a Hero to their Clan home with one lower Prestige, and a new point of Rot if they died fighting a Bane. While it's in no way a permanent affair, dying can still end up costing precious turns as you scramble to regain ground.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: You can die as many times as you want (or don't want) in the game.
  • Don't Ask: The flavour text for the Leather Armor requests that one not ask where the leather came from. Given the anthropomorphic cast, it's implied to be the Armellean equivalent of Genuine Human Hide.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: The Mirror Image spell does this, and more importantly, takes away two dice from your opponents.
  • Drop the Hammer: Barnaby uses a hammer and a power gauntlet in combat. The War Hammer is also an equipable weapon found in the Items deck.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Unlocked after completing a number of quests, the final quest will contain a key that will allow the hero entrance to the Palace Grounds, completely bypassing the Peril on the tile (though nearby Royal Guards can still attack).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Long before his debut with the release of the Rivals pack, Fang was quoted in the flavour text of the Bloodthirst spell cards.
    Nothing ignites power like a foe's lifeforce upon your fur. - Fang Greymane
  • Evil Weapon: There are five weapons, three of them Treasures, that infect their wielders with Rot, namely:
    • Poisoned Dagger: All rolled Swords are Poisonous when a Rot card is burned, +1 Rot
    • Marauder Gaunlet: +1 Sword and +1 Shield in Battle, +1 Rot
    • Raven's Beak Dagger: +1 Sword and infects slain opponents with 1 Rot, +2 Rot
    • Bane Blade: +4 dice in battle, wielder loses 1 Health if s/he fails to kill the opponent, +2 Rot
    • Reaper's Trident: +3 Poisoned Swords at the cost of 2 dice, +2 Rot
  • Eviler Than Thou: If both combatants have Rot, the one who's more corrupted gains extra fight dice. It's even possible to out-Rot the mad king. And because the number of extra dice is equal to the lower Rot score it makes Rot victories extremely risky.
  • The Exile: Both Fang and Brun were exiled from the Wolf and Bear Clan respectively. They have since returned to join the battle for the throne.
  • Expy: So, there's a creeping corruption poisoning the land and opposed to the force of good magic called the Wyld. Wolves, bears, and rats, among others, band together to fight it and...wait, this isn't Werewolf: The Apocalypse? Even the symbol for the Rot is an inverted version of Werewolf's Wyrm symbol.
  • False Flag Operation: Setting a town on fire, by trickery, declaration, or moving a Bane into a town; then "rescuing" it for the reward is a valid tactic for prestige gain; especially for Scarlet the Revolutionary. This is even demonstrated in one of the cutscenes!
  • Fantastic Fireworks: Every game ends with a fireworks display celebrating the end of the old King's reign and the victory of Armello's new ruler.
  • Fantastic Racism: Given how the citizens of Armello divided into species-specific clans, there is an unsurprising amount of distrust and suspicion held toward the other clans. The Wolves are seen as aloof brutes, the Rats untrustworthy scoundrels, the Rabbits arrogant snoots and the Bears oddball mages.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Thane is a Warrior, Mercurio a Rogue, Amber a Merchant/Bard/Samurai, and Sana a Druid in demeanor, though Priestess by name, since Druids in universe are a Fanatical Cult. Zosha is an Assassin, River a Ranger, Barnaby a melee Tinkerer, and Brun is a Magic Knight despite his naturalistic appearance. Magna is a Sentinel, Sargon a Tactician, Elyssia an Engineer and Ghor a Nature Magician. Twiss is a magic using thief, Horace a Knight in Shining Armor, Scarlet a Magnetic Hero, and Sylas a Dark Knight. Fang is a Berserker, Griotte a Gambler, Yordana a Witch and Hargrave a Gunslinger. Averted in that all characters can cast at least some magic, and with the right gear and stat boosting choices can break their molds.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Taken literally. The flavour text for the Hand Cannons treasure card says that the king had them locked up because he feared their power.
    • Hargrave of the Rivals pack, however, has a more literal and historical hand cannon...mounted on a staff. It would appear he's openly defying the King.
  • Feuding Families: The complicated political system of the Rabbit Clan pits powerful families against each other in brutal battles for influence in their warrens' House of Heritage. Amber is a Valebriar and Hargrave a Proudclaw. Due to Amber's actions in her novella, it's no surprise as to why Hargrave is out for her blood.
  • Fictionary: One of Zosha's emotes is "Veyest Dahn," which she translates as "I am sorry." It's not clear if there's any more to the language, as nobody else yet quotes it.
  • Fisher King: The kingdom progressively gets more and more corrupted as the king's condition worsens, and not just due to the king's own progressively insane proclamations. Banes appear more often and get stronger as the game (and the king's corruption) progresses.
  • From Bad to Worse: What happens to Armello should a hero win through the Rot victory. 'So, the once great King is now corrupted and turned into a merciless tyrant by the Rot? Well, we have good news and bad news. The good news is, he's about to be replaced. The bad news is, he's about to be replaced by a hero even more corrupted by the Rot than he is. Oops.'
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: While some of the heroes were born into positions of wealth and or power, others had to climb their way up from the bottom of society to become fearsome contenders for the throne. Zosha and Sylas come to mind in particular, with the former starting off as an ordinary, lowborn rodent and the latter as a simple fisherman.
  • Full-Name Basis: Some heroes have full names.
    • Amber Valebriar
    • Hargrave Proudclaw
    • Thane and Fang Greymane
  • Game Changer: Hot Rot Wine and Strategist are some of the most if not THE MOST coveted cards in the decks because of that one AP boost they offer. It negates any possibility of the other heroes acting against you by playing cards or attacking once you have breached the Palace. If acquired by Spirit Walkers, it is game over once they have breached the defenses and entered the Palace grounds.
    • Breaching the Palace grounds is this in general. Once it occurs, it tends to mean that one player is within a hair's breadth of victory... except that, barring a use of the aforementioned AP boosting cards, said player instantly becomes a massive target while simultaneously opening a way into the palace. At that point, everyone's priorities tend to shift to some combination of pursuing the new point of entry, killing any player(s) within the palace, keeping players out of the palace altogether, and completing as many last-minute personal quests as possible.
  • Genocide Backfire: Because of the misdemeanour committed by Sylas, his family and village were destroyed by the King's Guards on the order of their master. Consequently, Sylas wants nothing more in life than to bring down the King. Twiss too is motivated by the King's massacre of the Thieves' Guild which she narrowly escaped.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins can be found in a random encounter that triggers when a hero steps onto a dungeon tile during the night. They will offer a choice of a soup that infects the hero with 2 Rot, the Raven's Beak Dagger treasure or the permanent ability to Scout (for the permanent loss of 1 Body).
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Light blue represents the purest form of the Wyld, and purple is the color of the corrupting Rot.
  • The Good King: The King was apparently this before he was infected with the Rot. As the game goes on he slowly becomes more and more unhinged until he ends up doing things like sacrificing his guards to summon Banes.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: With the exception of Magna and Sargon in the DLC, all the Male heroes have higher or equal Fight and Body (combined) stats then their female counterparts (The rats being the most similar with 4/5 versus 5/4). All the Female heroes have higher or equal Spirit, and usually higher Wits. Thane and River highlight this especially with River being an actual Archer.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: The Rabbit Clan heroes are generally the Jack-of-All-Stats with a heavy coin-purse. Thus, with the right equipment and stat builds, they can more or less go toe to toe against the other clans in pretty much every department.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: About half the cast, some of them verge on Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal.
  • Hard-Coded Hostility: Banes will always attack Heroes or Royal Guards. Guards will attack Banes, Heroes who have bounties on them, or when ordered by the king.
  • Healing Potion: Wyld Weed and WyldSap instantly restore 2 and 4 health respectively.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The sword is the weapon that sees the most use among Armello's heroes. Of the current 20 heroes, Thane, Mercurio, Amber, Scarlet and Twiss wield swords.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Rot Victory path involves letting your hero get corrupted. Ironically, Sana's Hero Power makes it a particularly valid strategy for her.
  • High-Voltage Death: Anyone unlucky enough to suffer Lightning Strike at 3 health or less.
  • Holy Burns Evil: The stone circles instantly kill Corrupted (5 or higher Rot) characters that enter their spaces. Banes always start with at least 5 Rot and so can never enter them. The Rite of Wyld spell card is also described as this. In addition, any hero with 4 Spirit Stones or Spiritwalkers can cleanse any creatures with Blackheart, specifically Banes and the King himself. Considering how Banes flee such heroes and how the King reacts to being cleansed, it isn't a painless process.
  • Horrifying the Horror: You know that mad tyrant of a King who has been so twisted by the Rot that he unleashes the plague on his own people and sends his guard to attack peaceful settlements? He backs away in sheer terror of you when it turns out that the Rot has chosen you as its champion and has thus, abandoned him to a terrible fate.
  • Hub City: Before the construction of the Palace, Brimwatch stood in the centre of Armello and was considered neutral territory for the Clans to meet and interact.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Averted. All 10 females so far don't have figures inappropriate for their species.
  • Keet: Barnaby, going by his character's emotes. Of course, he is the resident Child Prodigy...
  • Idiot Savant: While the Brilliant Fool may not know the definition of a hero, the extra dice he brings with him when dealing with Perils is always handy.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The King's original reason for everything he did to unite Armello, which involved starting multiple wars, deceiving multiple people, and deliberately summoning a Bane to remove the last and largest obstacle. He believes (rightly) that such measures were necessary to create a peace that would allow the country to be united. Unfortunately, summoning the Bane ends up beginning his corruption.
  • Improvised Weapon: Griotte and Yordana are the examples of this. The latter uses a stirring spoon and a cauldron as her choice of weapon.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Invoked with the spell inflame: It does 2 damage to the target, [[Critical-hit but also allows sun-symbols on the dice to explode,]] presumably though the sheer awesomeness of being on fire.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: How being a Spirit Walker (a hero with 4 Spirit Stones) works post-patch. Any Rot points this character already has or acquires later are subtracted from their health instead.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted. According to the quest flavour text, a good number of the heroes' quests involve rescuing young animals from mortal peril, and failure almost always results in them suffering untimely ends. Barnaby, a young bunny, is also just as susceptible to death as every other hero.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Merchants can be summoned to peaceful settlements by heroes and they will arrive the following day or night. Any hero who enters the settlement may then pick one of two offered Followers from Roxy's Recruiting or Treasures from Biff's Black Market.
    Look, love. Ain't nothin' more tragic than a merc without a master. For a fee, I can fix that. - Roxy Marmalade
    No haggle. No barter! This Treasure? Rab here, he got troll claw in neck when get. Tell Rab you want cheap. - Biff Boggens
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The day moves along as the players take their turns. In addition, the following things happen before the players get a turn during the Day and Night cycles:
    • Dawn: Characters with Rot (including the King) take 1 damage. Royal Guards move. Controlled Settlements pay out 1 gold coin each. Sun symbols become successes and Moon symbols become failures.
    • Dusk: The King gains 1 point of Rot, and plays additional Perils to the game board. Banes are randomly summoned, and move. Magic points are set equal to each character's Spirit value. Moon symbols become successes and Sun symbols become failures.
    • And each clan has a favored time of the day, where they get additional dice. Wolf and Rat clans prefer the night while Bear and Rabbit clans prefer the day. The exception are the evenly-split Bandit Clan, being made of up of a mix of species; half prefer day, the other half prefer night.
  • Instant Win Condtion: Downplayed: While you can insta-purify the king once you've gathered all four spirit-stones and becomea spirit-walker, you still need to get into the places itself. This involves getting past a difficult peril, the guards, and the other players who want to win themselves.
    • Likewise, completing 4 quests rewards you with the inverse: You get another quest that lets you bypass the palace walls, allowing you to take the fight to the king directly. Get this and 4 spirit stones and you have the closest thing the game has to this trope.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Amber and River. The former leans a little more towards getting and using cards, while the latter is slightly more combat oriented.
  • Jousting Lance: Present in-game in the form of the Silver Lance treasure card.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Aflame and Immolation spells.
  • Killed Offscreen: Tau's traveling companion Mathis the rabbit ends up suffering this as Armello is united into a kingdom when he attempts to stop the proceedings due to Tau's use of the Rot to achieve his goals. The Rabbit Clan leader is not pleased and has him arrested, tried, and executed for attempting to ruin everything...and Tau is forced to let it happen.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: Quite literally. If a player successful kills the Mad King but dies in the attempt, the player with the most prestige will win the game. This winner can never be the killer, as you lose all prestige the moment you attack the king.
    • Similarly, any opening in the palace can be used by all players. You may breach the defences, only to find yourself killed or [[Weaponized Teleportation banished,]] and the opposing players winning through the hole you made.
  • Klingon Promotion: Kill (or banish) the King, you become the new King.
  • Leitmotif: Each clan has a unique instrument that plays when someone from that clan starts their turn, claims a settlement, or wins the game.
  • Lethally Expensive: It's heavily implied that the Palace key provided to the Wolf Clan heroes came at no small price.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • The King's Guard are dressed in golden armor, but as the King descended into madness their Undying Loyalty to him made them think My Master, Right or Wrong, causing them to commit horrible acts just because they were ordered to.
    • While the Wyld is mostly good and pure, the druids and Yordana are noted to be both attuned to the Wyld...and fond of sacrificing sapients to it.
  • A Load of Bull: The Blacksmith follower is a muscular bull who will add a Sword and or a Shield dice in battle depending on the hero's equipment.
    'There's nothing I can't put through a forge and have it come out stronger. NOTHING!' - Lance Ledhoof
  • Luck-Based Mission: The quests that the heroes partake in are essentially this. Unless you've buffed up the relevant stat to 10, stat buffs are still no guarantee that you will succeed. There's always a chance that that 90% guaranteed Royal Shield will end up slipping through your fingers, courtesy of RN Gesus.
  • Master of Unlocking: Vorak, the bandit locksmith, is the one who provides the Bandit heroes with the lockpick necessary to breach the Palace's defenses.
  • Mature Animal Story: It's a game about anthropomorphic animals brutally killing each other in a variety of ways.
  • Meaningful Name: With the possible exception of Ghor, the heroes of Armello have names with some meaning to them.
    • Thane: An Old English word meaning 'clan chieftain'.
    • Magna: A Latin word meaning 'great'.
    • Sana: An Arabic name meaning resplendence, light or radiance.
    • Brun: An Old French word meaning 'brown'.
    • Yordana: A Hebrew name meaning 'descended from'.
    • Griotte: A French word meaning 'Sour Cherry'.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: In general, the entire game is set in a fantasy land resembling the time period during the Middle Ages. The animals in Armello can be found in Europe, save for the King, who explicitly comes from another, distant land. In addition, most of the weapons depicted in-game are weapons that would have seen combat in the Middle Ages.
  • The Medic: Should your hero be at death's door, there's a chance that you'll stumble upon the Apothecary when entering a town. He'll heal you, make you stronger or join your quest as a follower, depending on your choice.
    "Glad I found you back there, don't think you would have made it otherwise." - Gruff Ruffcoat
  • Merchant City: The city of Esterdale is stated to have vast open marketplaces.
  • Mutual Kill: Damage is dealt by both combatants in the same round, thus allowing this. This mechanic is particularly important with fighting the King: if both the assassin and the King die in combat, the assassin does not score a Combat Victory. Instead, the King is treated as if he was killed by natural causes, and Prestige Victory is awarded to the appropriate hero. Since attacking the king sets your Prestige to zero, a mutual kill against the king is guaranteed to lose you the game unless you have items that increase your minimum prestige to a point above the current prestige of any other player.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: The King's Guard aren't bad guys, but they are absolutely loyal to their mad king. If he orders them to start terrorizing villages or killing innocent heroes for sport, they'll do so.
  • The Necromancer: An Accolade (title) earned by playing Rot-aligned cards.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Invoked with the Rot Choir decree, where the king's choir sings throughout the land, corrupting everyone.
  • One-Word Title: An example of The Place. It's named for the area that you're adventuring in and may rule.
  • Opening Scroll:
    • The Debut Trailer opens with, 'Great heroes carry the journey's burdens, not on the shoulders, but in their hearts.'
    • The Horrors & Heroes Trailer opens with, 'From great horrors, great heroes emerge.'
    • All singleplayer games open with the text found at the top of this page.
  • The Pardon: The Royal Pardon treasure gives heroes full immunity to Bounties. It's particularly useful for Horace whose talent is nullified upon getting a Bounty, but absolutely detrimental to Sylas whose talent won't activate with the Royal Pardon equipped.
  • The Place: Also a One-Word Title. Named for the area that you're adventuring in and may rule.
  • Place of Protection: The stone circles heal 1 health when entered by a hero, but Banes and Corrupted heroes with at least 5 Rot are instantly killed. Also, Banes never attack heroes or guards within a stone circle.
  • The Plague:
    • Present in-game in the form of the Plague and Plague Bearer perils. The former is far more dangerous as not only does it infect heroes with one Rot point if failed, it also poisons the hero. The Plague Bearer peril is thankfully less lethal and damaging, unless you are at 2 health or less.
      "The land dried up, the air got thick. Folks started dyin' off left an' right." - Farmer Grinmaud
    • The Rot itself is a plague that corrupts the bodies and souls of those it infects.
  • Planet of Hats: Each clan except for the Bandits has a model for its members to emulate.
    • Wolves are warriors, full stop. They have no dedicated magicians, and even the flexible River is a fighter first and anything else second.
    • Rats are sneaky and amoral; even at their best, they're almost always The Unfettered. They're a clan of thieves and rogues, and their sorcerer is a mad seer.
    • The Rabbits are intelligent and technically-inclined. Their heroes are engineers and adventurers, and Amber is also a deft politician.
    • The Bears are a highly spiritual and magically-inclined clan, though they favor Simple-Minded Wisdom over the higher intelligence of the other clans.
    • The Bandits, as mentioned, are defined by their exile from mainstream society. They lack a hat of their own.
  • Poison Is Evil: Most of the poisonous items or spells in-game inflict The Rot when equipped.
  • Poisoned Weapon: The use of Snake Venom or Poisoned Dagger will make all rolled swords gain the Poison status, meaning that if any one of these attacks damage the target, the target will be poisoned. Similarly, the Reaper's Trident is a deadly weapon that infects its wielder with 2 Rot and provides three guaranteed Poisoned swords at the cost of two dice.
  • Properly Paranoid: During their construction of the Palace, the Rabbit Clan chose to build secret tunnels that led directly into the throne room. As it turned out later on, its decision would prove incredibly helpful to the Clan's heroes intending on confronting the mad King.
  • Protective Charm: The Bane's Claw treasure causes Banes to ignore and not attack you.
    The claw of a Bane is so powerful that it is said that even a pup could walk among the black birds. - Jerome Favin
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Wolf Clan places great value on combat prowess and shows little interest in politics, trade and magic. Loyalty to the clan and their Alpha is paramount to the Wolves. Their Clan was the one to provide the King with his Guards.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The King's Guard are completely loyal to their mad king, but they are far from evil. They will not attack the heroes unless they are attacked first or a bounty is placed on a hero's head, and if a Bane is adjacent to them, they will attack the Bane until either they die or it dies.
  • Purple Eyes: Seems to be a symptom of Rot corruption, as the King, the Banes and the Warlock have them.
  • Purple Is the New Black: The Rot.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Appears in the "Sinking Caravan" quest. A merchant is late and he was last seen entering a swamp. When you get there, his wagon is stuck in a quicksand and you have the choice to either try to get it unstuck (body test) or to tell him to leave it.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Considering that entering a fortified Settlement takes the same number of Action Points as entering a Mountain tile, Elyssia must be a master builder of sorts to erect those fortifications so quickly.
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: The Rat Clan is divided into numerous families, but while most of them seem to work together to control the illicit activities of Armello, the species's constant infighting means they're simultaneously trying to foil the manipulations of the Night Mother and her agents (primarily Zosha), as well as Griotte, who has her own individual agenda.
  • The Rival: The heroes of the Rivals pack are this to the other members of their clan. The most prominent one being Fang, Thane's exiled brother who seeks to reclaim what he believes to be rightfully his.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Sylas is fueled by this, as his family and village were murdered by the King's Guards by the order of the King. His undying hatred for the King's Guards is reflected in-game through the guaranteed Pierces he gets when fighting them.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: If you score a prestige victory, it usually means you've spent the whole game going around killing banes and restoring order to towns in turmoil, leading to Fridge Brilliance as to why you'd end up king in the first place.. Unless you posess objects that give you prestige and you just wait for a "hero" to die slaying the king for you.
    • Some of the heroes are stated to be members of the nobility, including Amber and Thane.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • When you're stuck between two perils, or you have a hero, guard, or a bane in the way and you really don't want to fight...
    • While for aesthetic purposes only, the flavour text for the quests tend to make you pause to consider the repercussions of failure. In one Wolf quest, a dog merchant drowns in mud if the hero fails to save him. In another, the hero may fail to save a cub devoured by a serpent.
    • Being the Prestige Leader means you usually get to pick a decision that's favorable for yourself, but sometimes you're stuck with two equally awful choices.
    • Having an extremely damaging or time-consuming Peril such as Plague or Lightning Strike be placed on your quest destination.
  • Save Scumming: Just barely possible in single-player; while the game does auto-save every turn, it only auto-saves at the end of the appropriate turn, meaning that a player gunning for unlocks/achievements can quit and re-continue the game if, for example, they get a bad dice roll.
  • Scary Impractical Armour: The Heavy Plate Armour is the greatest protection that a hero can afford, providing 3 Shields in battle. However, it comes with a penalty of one less Action Point which in general, is incredibly punishing for heroes seeking to complete their quests as soon as possible.
    • However, Barnaby's talent enables him to shed the Heavy Plate Armour before his turn begins, averting the penalty. After his moves have been completed, he can then re-equip the Armour to enjoy its protection.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: One of the late-game royal decrees is "Desertion" - any King's Guards still at the palace finally realize that something has gone terribly wrong with their king and vanish. Guards in the field, however, stay in play.
  • She Is the King: Scarlet bears the title of "The Bandit King".
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Moon Scythe can only be obtained from a chance encounter with the elusive and mysterious Druids.
  • Situational Sword: A lot of cards fall into this category, which is why the Burn mechanic exists. Some heroes have mechanics that let them take advantage of these cards in different ways - Barnaby can swap between equipment at will, letting him deck himself out for both combat and utility as he wishes, while Yordana can turn unneeded spells into useful curses. Burning Rot cards, unfortunately, only guarantees a miss unless you're corrupted, forcing you to either use them or letting them clog up your hand.
  • Skill Gate Character: River falls under this. Her power makes getting Kingslayer much easier if you fall behind (especially on the final two turns of the game), as well as helps with attacking. However, her status as a Jack-of-All-Stats and lack of any other strengths means that she likely will fall behind unless you luck into a strong early game. Against players who know well enough to make sure to prevent other heroes from reaching the palace, she falters.
  • Skippable Boss: The Spirit Stone victory is the only victory in which you confront the King, but don't fight him (in the Prestige victory you may never set foot in the castle at all). Entering the King's tile with four Spirit Stones is an automatic victory.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The Wolf Clan, for all its real and imaginary faults, doesn't tolerate slavery within its lands in the slightest.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Communication: Level 9. Characters of different species are seen communicating with each other in the novellas.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Civilized Animal.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Zosha, whose backstory does not gloss over exactly what most career assassins are like. Sylas too fits the bill as his Boast emote indicates nothing but horrific fates for opponents and he becomes deadlier with every level of infamy gained. Griotte is also implied to be a sinister figure not unlike Sweeney Todd.
  • Soul Power: With the introduction of the Explode Pool system, Spirit has become an integral part to combat. The amount of possible Exploding dice is now limited by the Spirit stat (or in the event of Corruption, Rot), meaning a higher Spirit stat will improve one's chances in battle.
  • The Spymaster: The Spy Master follower will reveal all the heroes' quest destination.
  • The Starscream: Zosha has obeyed and defended her boss and surrogate clan mother far beyond the point of reasonableness thus far, but it's implied that if she takes the crown, she might just decide not to hand it over...
  • Stealth Expert: Given her profession, it's unsurprising that Zosha has this as her unique ability. Stealth is an in-game mechanic that allows heroes to prepare ambushes and to avoid being directly targeted by spells and trickeries.
  • Storming the Castle: It's possible to breach the Palace's defenses at any point in the game with a massive amount of luck and or the right cards to burn.
  • Succession Crisis: The premise of the entire game. The Rot-infected King of Armello is dying and is without an heir. The clans thus send out their champions to claim the throne through all possible means.
  • Suicide Attack: It's sometimes a viable option to charge at the nearest hero when at minimal health to get yourself killed and consequently, be sent back to your starting position with maximum health. Some players have a tendency of doing this against the King, breaching the Palace in the early-game before attacking the King. Whether or not they succeed depends on RN Gesus, but nonetheless, a shorter game is more likely.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Swamps inflict a point of damage on any hero that enters them. Seasoned players know to be wary of Perils in swamps; there's a high possibility of said peril being Plague Bearers or worse, Plague. There is also a quest involving a merchant caravan run afoul of quicksand set in a swamp.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: A variant: you can expect the other players to turn on you once you're close to killing the king. As entering the place goruds takes up all your remaining actions, it's not uncommon for there to be a chain of betrayals and counter-betrayal before someone can take a shot at the king.
  • Take a Third Option: Each quest gives you a Risky choice for a bonus reward based on stats (with a penalty for failure), or a safe choice that only awards the Stat boost and Prestige point. When you have the appropriate Follower or Rare Treasure equipped however, a third option appears with no chance of Failure, offering a "smaller" reward than the Risky path. These include using the Royal Pardon to deal with King's Guards, the Winged Boots to fly up mountains or over Swamps, or a Magic Staff/Follower to help break Curses.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The Teleport spell allows you to travel through (surprise!) teleportation, the Banish spell teleports the target to the furthest dungeon, normally on the other side of the map and one can stumble upon a hidden portal while exploring the dungeons.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Banish can be used to teleport players far, far away from their goal. Bet used when a player is in the place and is about the kill the king.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The Rot victory path usually requires intentionally being killed by the Banes to reach Corruption status. Also, players will often find the quickest path from their second (far from home) to third (very close to home) quest is to be killed.
  • Timed Mission: Assuming the King is not healed via such means as killing a player or the Life Support decree, nor killed by a player, he will die of the Rot at the start of the 17th turn, at which point the Prestige victory is calculated.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: The Winged Boots treasure allows heroes to traverse Mountains and Swamps without any penalties whatsoever.
    Be brave and trust in the boots! - Adlez Aniraco
  • Tsundere: Using Sylas's "nice" emotes, like "Thanks", "Well played", etc. makes him come off like this.
    "Don't expect me to thank you".
  • Underground City: As to be expected of their species, the Rabbits are adept at building subterranean settlements and have built several in their cavernous warrens.
  • Undying Loyalty: No matter what the King commands them to do, his canine Guards will obey, even if it's slaughtering innocent towns. However, one late-game "decree" has the ones in the palace desert.
  • Urban Segregation: According to the lore, the Rat Clan capital is like this, a prosperous city towering over its teeming slums.
  • The Usurper: According to the devs, the heroes of the Usurpers DLC pack are this to the first generation heroes as well as the King. Not only are they gunning for the crown, they are also attempting to take the place of their Clan's chosen hero.
  • Voodoo Doll: The Poppet treasure gives one Rot point when equipped and inflicts two damage points on the opponent should the hero and the opponent survive. It's an especially useful item for Twiss and turns her thefts into hit-and-runs.
    Crackle and sizzle, little poppet. Hurt our foes until we stop it. - The Matriarch
  • When Trees Attack: The Wake the Trees peril can only be played to forests, and causes the target to lose an action point and two cards.
  • White Stallion: Heroes infected with Rot can cross paths with a spectral horse in the 'Whyteshadow' random encounter. They are then offered the choice of a Treasure, a Spirit Stone or the restoration of all HP. However, all options come at the cost of 1 Rot.
  • Witch Classic: Yordana is basically this; what with the cauldron she drags around, her Mad Eye, her crazed cackle and a witch's hat (except with two points).
  • Would Hurt a Child: Zosha would, in the backstory. She apparently drowned the children of a bandit when he wouldn't cooperate with her boss.
  • Xanatos Gambit: While attacking the king normally Zeroes your Prestige: items that grant Prestige while worn continue to work. With the Royal Banner Treasure and the Favor Amulet, your minimum Prestige is 5. Therefore, if the 2nd place player has 4 or less Prestige, killing the King will cause your victory even if you die in the process.
  • You Dirty Rat!: The Rat Clan are not nice folks. Their clan grounds suffer from ugly Urban Segregation between rich merchants and teeming slums, their heroes range from a rogue with delusions of grandeur to a mad, likely Rot-wielding sorcerer, and in the prologue, they immediately jump on the bounty on Thane as an excuse for launching their own bid for power. Even Mercurio, the nicest of the bunch, has some ugly deeds in his past. Zosha's backstory suggests that infighting is common and bloody. A character in the novellas outright states that the Rats are incapable of trusting each other.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If the flavour text for the palace entry quest for Corrupted heroes is anything to go by, the King is about to be subjected to this by the Rot which has found a greater champion to serve its cause.
  • Your Size May Vary: The actual sizes of various species vary from their relative character models to the artwork. For instance, the Rats are (logically) the smallest, but seem to range from "about half as tall as a Rabbit" to "small enough that it takes four of them to lift a single Spirit Stone".

Example of: