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Video Game / Dead In Vinland

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From left to right: Eirik, Blodeuwedd, Freyja, Moira, Kari, Björn.
"We came to this island broken and empty-handed but at least we had each other. We did all we could to build a new home. Every bit... exhausting. And then we did more."

One night, Eirik and his family are attacked by an angry mob. They are forced to flee, but their ship is destroyed in a storm and they end up castaway on a strange island. Though frazzled, they are all alive and set up camp. When all looks like it might be okay after all, they are visited by the tyrant Björn Headcleaver and his goons. He tells them that he'll only allow them to share the island with them if they provide resources for him, and then beats them up some for good measure. Now the family not only has to survive the island, they also have to produce enough resources for Björn to keep them alive...

Dead In Vinland is a strategy/resource-management game set in the Viking age. There are also adventure parts where you explore the island and occassionally run into turn-based combat with Björn's goons. The characters all have a set of skills that can be upgraded and improved upon, and determines whether they manage the skill checks strewn across the map.

The game can be found on Steam and is part of the "Dead In..." series.

The game contains examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Healing is much easier and faster than it would be in reality. Characters heal broken bones and serious diseases all on their own in the span of few days. Or instantly, if you slap a home-made bandage on it.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The blue-skinned Atlanteans who inhabit the island.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can take a limited number of people into your survivor community. Justified, as the limit is dictated by the available room in your shelter. Upgrading it allows you to fit more people in, but you still won't be able to recruit every character.
  • Characterisation Click Moment: Character events are filled with these, not only revealing more of the characters' backgrounds but actually allowing you to characterize them in specific ways through your choices in events.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Averting this trope is how you get the better ending.
  • Class and Level System: When it comes to combat each character has a specific class and a trait combination to them that dictate their combat performance. Classes determine what skills and abilities are available to characters in combat and traits give them a persistent useful effect. The classes are Warriors (melee damage dealers), Defenders (close range protectors), Shooters (nimble ranged fighters), Mystics (supportive magic users) and Civilians (have some support and crowd control abilities but generally aren't good at combat), while traits are Fast (gain extra initiative from hitting enemies), Precise (inflict extra damage with critical hits), Sturdy (enemy attacks on them cannot crit), Healers (reduce injury gained after combat where they are present) and Looters (gain extra rewards from winning a battle where they are present).
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Implied with Parvaneh, who cheerfully relates how her mother was killed in front of her.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Zigzagged. Unsated needs actually negatively affect your characters' performance long before they kill you, and some negative traits resulting from injuries also hamper your skills. On the other hand, none of your states actually bar you from engaging in any ativities. You may be near-dead from hunger, fatigue and sickness, have a broken arm, a concussion or fractured ribs and you can still go hunting or quarrying rocks (though at this level it is likely to kill you, but not before you return home with some produce).
  • Driven to Suicide: What maxing out a character's Depression stat results in - they just drop everything and go and hang themselves.
  • Early Game Hell: The game is brutal at the beginning, when you both don't have enough people at the camp to cover all your needs and at the same time there are not enough workstations to let all of your survivors do something useful. Tributes don't help either. By the time you get access to several food sources and recruit more additional survivors things get easier.
  • Fire of Comfort: Your campfire, used for cooking, making potable water and keeping survivors warm at night. Maintaining your fire and not letting it go out is one of your most crucial tasks, as relighting it is very difficult and without a fire it's much more difficult to survive the night and outright impossible to make drinkable water.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: Your only way to relight your fire is through the use of Fire Mushrooms (tinder fungus), and opportunities to get one are very limited - without Loki you can expect to find two or three mushrooms in the whole game. So watch your fire level carefully.
  • Hostile Weather: Zigzagged. Weather conditions come into effect during the play, and apart from the Fair weather most of them are hostile in some way but also have their complementary benefits. Drought, for example, comes with an increased risk of dehydration but helps with drying food quicker and is easy on your fire (to the point that with upgrades you can have fire's level increase throughout the day), while Rain and Storm smother your fire and randomly damage your camp stations but automatically refill your water supplies.
  • The Medic: Any character with a good enough healing skill can fill this role, but Moira and Gudrun are the best at it.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two main endings to the game, depending on whether or not you dealt with the volcano before defeating Bjorn.
  • Optional Character Scene: A great number of these happen in the camp, depening on which Optional Party Member you have recruited. The Norse Side Stories DLC adds even more of those.
  • Power Crystal: Fire Crystals. They seem to serve as an inexhaustable source of heat that requires no fuel, used as rare crafting components for certain camp upgrades.
  • Plot Coupon: The orichalcum beads. Interestingly, you don't actually have to gather them at all to beat the game unless you want to get the good ending.
  • The Quiet One: Grim, on account of being mute.
  • Random Number God: The vast majority of the game mechanics are affected by random numbers. From skill checks during events to weather to the number of resources you get from camp activities and/or their quality, to layout of exploration sites (with some exceptions) - everything is randomised. As you start a new game you are even given some options to customize the underlying random number generation mechanics, like affecting the spread of the results or adding some tendencies to the rolls or making it truly random.
  • Relationship Values: Each member of your camp has a value that indicates their level of affection towards every other individual member. Survivors with positive affection work more productively when assigned together at the same camp station, but people who dislike each other get worse results. Affection can be affected either way by story events and also gradually improves from working together. There's also Vallhund's level of affection (that indicates what skills you can try training him in), and Bjorn's animosity level (which shows how close he is to killing you all).
  • Romance Sidequest: Certain chains of events can end up with two characters becoming romantically involved with each other.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: Exploration events don't have a requirement on who can attemp to deal with them. The ones concerned with the main plot are usually restricted to the core family members but it still doesn't matter whether it's, for example, Eirik or Kari who try to talk to Freyja or to extinguish the volcano. Optional events are available to anyone.
  • Supreme Chef: Blodeuwedd has the highest stats in cooking when the game starts, but anyone can get the stat to 100.
  • Translator Microbes: The island brings together a number of people from many different cultures who should only speak their own tongues, yet everyone can communicate with each other with no difficulties. Characters don't really question it, but Freyja later explains it as the effect of the field surrounding the island.
  • Vortex Barrier: The island is actually protected by one, that prevents anyone not of Atlantean heritage from ever finding it and diverting those who don't fit away. Even a miniscule amount of Atlantean ancestry is sufficient, however, and every single person on the island (including both the survivors and Bjorn) have a drop of Atlantean blood in them
  • Walk It Off: Zigzagged. Various injury and disease traits can vanish in time on their own, including things that would be very severe in real life like broken limbs or serious diseases, with no treatments or limitations in activity. There are some exceptions, (Poisoned does not go away on its own and only gets worse, for example), but they are few. On the other hand, the raw states of Injury and Disease never decrease on their own, requiring treatment and special items to reduce.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending shows what happens to each of your camp's surviving members.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: And not just food. Every character has a set of five states - Fatigue, Hunger, Disease, Injury and Depression. These states get filled with time by certain values, mostly from activity and traits, but Fatigue and Hunger fill on their own. If even one state gets filled to the max the character dies. Thirst is handled by the Dehydration trait instead, which has a chance to be assigned to a character every evening. Left unsated Dehydration is gradually replaced by its more severe levels, and reaching Dehydration 4 (which is possible in as many days of not getting enough water) means death.