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Stoneshard is a Roguelike for the PC, developed by the Russian studio Ink Stains Games (which had earlier created 12 is Better Than 6). It was funded on Kickstarter on June 16th 2018, with only an hour left before the deadline, and was later released onto Steam Early Access on February 6th, 2020.
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Stoneshard is notable for functioning like a traditional roguelike, with the same sort of unforgiving simultaneous turn-based gameplay as opposed to the real-time roguelites of 2010s, yet at the same time possessing lush pixel art graphics that are a far cry from the ASCII of classics like Nethack or Angband, or even the comparatively simple tilesets later added to games like Ancient Domains of Mystery. It also has sound effects and a soundtrack that is already an hour long - again, in sharp contrast to the classics, which are normally entirely silent.

The game also has a considerably more developed plot than is usual for the genre. It has a largely scripted and voice-acted prologue, which places you in the shoes of an aging mercenary Verren, who finds that a job about retrieving a Stoneshard from a supposedly abandoned abbey had suddenly involved a lot more than he bargained for. Afterwards, the player's true character is a younger mercenary under Verren's command, who'll have to untangle the growing conspiracy entanging the war-torn fantasy realm of Ardor on their own.

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Tropeshard:

  • An Axe to Grind: Axes are an available weapon type, and they deal extra damage to limbs and armor.
  • Anti-Armor/Armor-Piercing Attack: Two-handed weapons in general and axes in particular are a bit of both, as they both deal extra damage to worn armor, and partially bypass it due to the sheer momentum of their attacks.
  • Armor of Invincibility: Solid plate armor gives so much protection that very few weapons in the game can do any sort of serious damage, and many can't even hurt you at all. Of course it's expensive, very heavy, and may not actually do anything against non-physical attacks (like magic) to compensate.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Abbot's diary pages in the prologue, which detail how the plague has spread through the abbey and turned them into vampires. The last page is blood-stained, as the early stages of the transformation consist of the blood pouring out from the pores and even from the eyes.
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  • A-Team Firing: Bows are wildly inaccurate, generally around 30-40% for early game bows, compared to melee weapons typically having 90+% accuracy. The first talent in the Ranged Weapon tree allows you to spend a turn aiming to increase accuracy and damage, although it will half your rate of fire since you have to use it every other turn.
  • Back Stab: By default, the attacks against unaware targets are an automatic critical hit.
  • Bear Trap: These are present in the wooded areas, as well as occasionally in dungeons.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Bears in the game are some variety of Brown Bear, meaning they are several hundred pounds of muscle more than capable of killing almost anything they run into. A bear slaughtering a group of bandits while only losing 10% of it's health is pretty normal, and even higher level players are probably better of leaving bears alone.
  • Breakable Weapons: All of the weapons and armor pieces have a set amount of durability. As it runs down, it starts to suffer stat degredation until it is completely useless.
    • Strangely enough, even rings and necklaces have durability.
  • Bullfight Boss: Ascended Archon has shades of this with his Bestial Charge attack. Luckily, it is telegraphed a turn before it happens, so you'll have time to side-step (and watch him lose HP from missing you and slamming into a wall) unless you were affected by something like a leg injury.
  • Cardboard Prison: In the prologue, Verren is the last of the people who had been imprisoned by the vampire cult Crimson Covenant. Luckily for him, the only shackles the cult found for him were so rusty he broke out of them, while a cellmate who died soon after imprisonment turned out to have had lockpicks on him.
  • Checkpoint: Saving requires resting in a bed, in contrast to the more common roguelike approach of saving the game on exit.
  • The Chosen One: Averted. The game tutorial explicitly tells you that you are NOT a hero, you can't take on a room full of monsters single-handed, you are a simple mercenary and need to be careful not to bite off more than you can chew.
  • Counter-Attack: Present, with their chance dependent on the Agility stat.
  • Crate Expectations: While the first lootable objects in the prologue are barrels, Verren soon discovers a storage room full of crates, and comments that he'll "surely find something" in them.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted, as the attacks that don't kill still damage body parts or cause injuries, which inflicts a range of debuffs - from reducing energy and morale to reducing hit chance/dodge chance, or making the character walk slower as well as hampering stealth in case of leg wounds. Even being in pain as the result of taking large amounts of damage makes the character more prone to sustained damage.
  • Critical Hit: Every attack has a crit chance associated with it. Backstabs on unaware targets are automatic criticals; otherwise, investing in Perception stat will make crits more likely, while greater Strength will increase their damage once they do occur.
  • Demonic Spiders: Venomous snakes can be this for an unprepared player. They hide in bushes until a target gets close, ambush the player and if they manage to get in their poison bite on someone not carrying antidotes around they will most likely die before they can limp back to town.
  • Dialogue Tree: These become available once you get past the prologue.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Items like barrels can, and should, be broken in order to get the loot inside them. You can even attack things that won't have loot inside.
  • Dual Wielding: Any two one-handed melee weapons can be wielded together, and there is a dedicated skill tree for that.
  • Elemental Powers: The various branches of Sorcery.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: The geomancer magic is about spells like earth armor, stone spikes, petrification and various boulder attacks.
    • Playing with Fire: The Pyromancy magic, which is also the one Verren discovers first in the prologue. The starting spell, Fire Barrage, launches three (relatively) weak fireballs at once.
    • An Ice Person: A character with high knowledge of cryomancy spells will become this.
    • Poisonous Person: The practitioners of Venomancy.
    • Shock and Awe: What the electromancy magic is about.
    • Time Master: You can develop these powers through chronomancy.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Abbey boss, the Archon, will summon zombies by reanimating them from a pile of drained corpses in the chapel's corners until the statues protecting him are destroyed. Since they were already drained, they are destroyed quickly and mostly just serve to soften the player up before the real fight begins.
  • Everything Fades: Averted. The corpses will persist, and so will the blood they have shed. If the deceased was set on fire while they died, their body will continue to burn for a few more turns as well!
  • From Bad to Worse: Abbot's Diary in the prologue details how the plague has been spreading through the abbey, and all attempts at curing it failed, so they had to resort to quarantining the sick brothers in the catacombs. Things might have had stopped there...except that it turned out the healer they had once brought from the outside had also caught the illness, and infected his settlement. The hopelessly sick mob tried to burn the abbey to the ground, forcing the rest of the monks to go down into the same catacombs.
  • Green Rocks: The titular Stoneshards may not be necessarily green, but they are still distinctly rocky artifacts with mysterious origins and flexible powers.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game is still in early beta but there are a lot of tricks that players have to figure out through trial and error or consult a guide to find
  • Holy Burns Evil: Vampires have a resistance to Unholy damage, but are vulnerable to Sacred damage.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The Ascended Archon boss is able to heal through eating corpses.
  • Intro-Only Point of View: The prologue follows Verren's escape from the Crimson Covenant, after which the game follows your player character under his command due to his severely injured leg.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The grid based inventory system combined with the hunger/thirst/health mechanic guarantees a constant headache for the player as they have to balance carrying enough supplies to keep them alive with hauling back enough loot to make an expedition worth it.
  • Life Drain: All but the weakest vampires will be able to restore slight amounts of health in this manner when they attack. The stronger ones have a dedicated Life Leech skill as well.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The shields predictably increase block chance and power, as well as making the wearer more resistant to knockback. However, they also slightly reduce overall energy amount and make stealth more difficult.
  • Morale Mechanic: Present, alongside Sanity, and will provide bonuses when it's up high.
  • Necromancer: One of the possible dungeon bosses. Can resurrect enemies the player already killed.
  • One-Winged Angel: The very first boss, the Archon, "ascends" by turning into a winged vampire beast form after you deal with the first phase by destroying the two statues keeping up the magical barrier around him.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The notes in the prologue strongly imply the transformation is a result of a plague, and is a very nasty and unpleasant process, which grants those who undergo it few powers, at least at first.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: You learn skills through discovering their dedicated Treatises, and there are also books with "pure" lore as well. Both of these are limited to 2-4 pages at most.
  • Regenerating Health: There is a slow health restoration going on over time. However, it cannot deal with the wounds, whose presence reduces overall max health on their own.
  • Sanity Slippage: There's a Sanity meter, which is separate from Morale, and the player character can suffer from panic attacks when it's low.
  • Simple Staff: Staves are one of the earliest weapon types you can obtain.
  • Spikes of Doom: Metal spikes that suddenly pop out of the ground unless disarmed are first seen in the prologue, and can be found in the main game as well. They will not usually result in an instant kill, but are still substantially stronger then the early monsters' attacks, which will break your leg if your boots aren't sturdy enough.
    • The basic attack spell of the geomancers is casting stone spikes.
  • Taken for Granite: One of the main advantages of focusing on geomancy is the petrification spell. Besides simply dealing with the foe for good, the resultant statue will also buff the player's other geomantic spells.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Eating and drinking is a necessity for survival in this world. In fact, foodstuffs like bread may slightly increase Thirst even as they stave off Hunger. Oh, and the food will also spoil after a set amount of time.

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