Greeting fellow lumpy heads, today I want to introduce you to a famous indie videogame that you might or might not have heard of. I’m talking about TERRARIA
As always, WALL OF TEXT WARNGING!! Now to the stuff…
My purpose with this post is two-fold, to recommend you this awesome game, and to find what kind of interesting and cool stuff we can get from it, seeing that it is the closest thing out there to an ICRPG videogame.
So, in Terraria you gather resources (in a similar fashion to Minecraft), craft tools, build bases and kill monsters for Loot or more resources. Your main goal is to beat every Boss in the game, unlocking new “stages” and features for your world.
There a couple of interesting things going on here. For once, even though there are distinct “Classes” in the game that play different from each other (Warrior, Ranger, Mage and Summoner), there are no skill trees or lvl ups, everything is LOOT based. The different equipment and armor sets are interchangeable and allow for a very non-linear and strategical approach on how you “build” your character and choose your playstyle. Even HP and Magic is LOOT based. Spells are “weapons” that deal magical damage and have different types of utility properties, and you need to consume Heart Crystals (found in underground mining) and Mana Stars (crafted from fallen stars during the night) in order to increase those respective stats for your char.
Then we have the world. There are “milestone” moments in the game that award you certain LOOT or enable certain enemy spawns and even cause completely new biomes to appear in your world (which is mostly randomized every playthrough). This is VERY RPG-ish, as you start the game struggling against little slimes in the forest and end up fighting the equivalent of Cthulhu in an epic fight for the world. What’s interesting is that, as you play the earlier stages, you find these places like The Dungeon or The Sunken Temple in the Underground Jungle that you can’t access right now as you either lack certain key LOOT or there is a guardian far too powerful for you to defeat at the moment.
There is a very The Legend of Zelda feel on how the progression works, which explains a lot since we know ICRPG itself was inspired to some extent by it too.
So, what can i bring to my tabletop from this awesome game? I’ve pinpointed a couple of stuff I have “ripped” myself into ICRPG, but I invite you to check out the game yourself too.
- Armor/Defense stat: Ok so, I posted in the past about different ways to implement armor as a damage reduction stat, but I recently looked back at Terraria and found that the way it works in the videogame makes a lot of sense and synergizes well with my other house-rules. You start at 0 Armor, it directly reduces how much damage you receive (so 3 armor is -3 damage taken i.e) but no hit can be reduced to less than 1 damage. I might post more about how I make to-hit rolls too but later
- Magic Points/Mana: Instead of paying the cost of casting spells and powers with HP, you can use Mana. Award your players Mana Stars (or have them hunt down fallen stars!!) to increase their pool by 10.
- Crazy loot ideas: From summoning items that bring minions to the battlefield and obsidian skull boots that allows you to literally lava-walk, to crazy spells that allows you to make ice blocks in mid air and shoot rainbows that blind enemies in AoE fashion. You can pretty much just grab whatever you like from the EXTENSIVE ammount of LOOT and directly shove it into your ICRPG games. Because LOOT is not randomly made in Terraria (not like in Diablo i.e) everything is Unique and interesting to some extent, everything is “THE Waterbolt” or “THE Paladin Shield” or (one of my favourites) “THE PWNHAMMER” haha. Like, Yo-Yos are a legitimate form of melee weaponry in Terraria and Summoners can use whips to tag their enemies so their minions swarm them… how cool is that!?
- Enemies and BOSS variety: Terraria makes use of its biomes and day cicles to bring interesting encounters, like giant spider lairs where NPCs might be trapped or certain enemies only spawning during world events like snow storms, blood moons and solar eclipses. At one point, a Goblin Army will come from one side of the map to invade your base since you’ve become powerful and known enough for them to consider you a worthy adversary. Bosses also feel like big time events, and have their own lairs in which you can fight them, like a queen GIANT bee that you fight swimming in honey pools or The Brain Of Cthulhu that you need to fight inside of the bloody and cavernous undergrounds of the Crimson biome.
Ok, this has gone long enough I think haha. What do you think?
P.D: Terraria is also fully multiplayer and even available in mobile platforms. I’ve used it many times as an alternative to gaming nights when I’m on GM burnout but still wanted to hang out with my usual suspects.