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Video Game / Serpent In The Staglands

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Serpent in the Staglands is a Dark Fantasy Wide Open Sandbox Western RPG, released by Whalenought Studios on PC on May 28th, 2015.

Its mechanics mirror those of the 90s Real-Time with Pause CRPGs. It's set in the world of Vol, inspired by the late bronze age in a Transylvanian landscape - with enemies going from Romanian mythological creatures and spirits to rogue mages and mutilated outlaws.

You take the role of Necholai, a minor god of a celestial body, who descends to the world for a moonlit festival only to find his way home blocked and immortality slipping out of his grasp. Seeking answers and aid, he takes on a mortal body and the guise of a traveling Spicer.

The game uses a classless role-playing system where you create builds via any combination of the magic, combat and aptitude skills available to use on a group of up to five characters - or you can choose to find new allies during your travels across the world.


It's heavily inspired by Darklands, both in looks and in game play elements. SitS has its older brother's difficulty (albeit mitigated by modern UI improvements), Gothic/European style and overall tone.

Can be purchased from its official website (where a demo can be downloaded), Steam and GOG.

This Video Game contains the following tropes:

  • All Deaths Final: There's no way to revive your fallen comrades, so each encounter is potentially fatal.
  • All in a Row: Akin to most Real-Time with Pause RPGs, the game has many possible party formations.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Partially averted; Long bladed weapons and short bladed weapons work differently.
  • An Axe to Grind: One of the weapon types.
  • Archer Archetype: Bows and Crossbows are possible choices in the War Book.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Maces and scepters.
  • Character Customization: You can customize the appearance (portrait, sprite, sex), race, attributes, skills and traits of up to five characters.
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  • Character Level
  • Dialogue Tree: All of the conversations happen in this manner, and your skills unlock further options in them. For instance, one of the earliest dialogue options you may get is to turn a potential companion into a thrall completely bound to your will.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Since it's set in a late Bronze Age / early Iron Age European-like world, guns don't appear.
  • Five Races: literally; each race offers three unique variants of subraces with their own perks.
    • Ameythevians: purple-tinted skin and web-like ears, from a watery, purple-fogged homeland.
    • Varuchovs: white-skinned underground dwellers.
    • Lachovinians: human-like race with rune-marked skin.
    • Taratoriths: taciturn and unyielding people with orange hair and triangular ears.
    • Pasaarens: matriarchal, hunter race marked by the black feathers instead of hair and opaque pupils.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The questions asked to you in the intro of the game affect certain gameplay elements. For example, if you choose the Trickster God as your ally, his priests would be more helpful as opposed to other gods.
  • Idle Animation
  • Large Ham: You start as one, being a moon god and all.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: As in the classic IE games, there is an option to leave party control to the AI during combat or not.
  • One-Man Army: Very much averted - your party will get mowed down quite easily if you're not careful in combat.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Like Darklands, there's no quest log.
  • Pausable Realtime
  • Player Party
  • Player Personality Quiz: The intro before the actual character creation has the player answer a "biographical" questionnaire to a mysterious hooded woman that will decide what kind of god you are.
  • Point-and-Click Map: Has one.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Downplayed. While the gender doesn't affect your stats, it does change how the characters treat you. This is also combined with the effects of your race and that of the speaker; some of the races clearly place women above men, others do the opposite, and the rest are mostly egalitarian.
  • Random Drop
  • Random Number Generator: The game even admits being RNG-heavy in the first pages of its manual.
  • Savage Wolves: The bane of most starting low-level players. A pack of wolves can reduce your party to dead bodies in a heartbeat if you're not careful.
  • Scenery Porn: the pixel art sceneries and menus are amazing.
  • Shoplift and Die: don't let any owners see or hear you're stealing from them.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: skills are divided into three categories ("books"):
  • Spiritual Successor: To Darklands.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Elixirs are throwing weapons.
  • Trauma Inn: You can rest in inns but also on the wild provided you have camp equipment and a good woodsman character to stand guard.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: From the beginning you can go anywhere.
  • Whip It Good: One of the few RPGs where whips are among the weapon types.


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