Introducing the Blacksmith’s Daughter (part 2)

We learned about the Smith’s Daughter and her crafting skills in the dim and misty past of last week. Now we’ll take a look at how she changes as she gains experience, and veer wildly to see how the Below advancement system is changing from the prototype.

Check it out after the break.

Out with the old, in with the new

As before, you learn new abilities by spending Experience. In the prototype, each character had a gaggle of skills they could learn in any order. It was messy. Not all abilities were created equal, and it was hard to balance – if a combination was particularly powerful, everyone would end up taking it.

Now, abilities have been grouped into themed paths. The ones later in each path cost more experience and are more potent. You can focus on one path at a time, or dabble in more than one. Each character has two paths (currently) and there are three steps on each path. Each step grants a new ability, improves an old one, increases a stat, or a mix of the above.

In addition, characters can buy reputations. These are general abilities that anyone can buy as long as they’ve accomplished certain things (like completing a dungeon, or dying and coming back). Reputations are organised into paths, too.

Defiance and Inspiration

The Smith’s Daughter’s skill paths are Defiance and Inspiration. There’s a third one planned out – Seventh Child – but abilities are time-consuming to design and implement, so we’ll start with two for each character and expand if the game is a success.


The defiance skill path concentrates on resilience and battle. Its steps are:

  1. Warrior: You’ve can wield weapons like swords and spears. You can also craft a new item: a sword.
  2. Resolute: When things are most grim, you find strength. If your Spirit is 3 or below, you’ll occasionally get a chance to increase it without needing to draw from the Above deck. You can also use your smithing to improve your sword.
  3. Brave: Increases your Boldness by 1 permanently, and adds a new sword to your list of possible masterpieces. In addition you can cast off the Dread condition more easily. Dread is a new, serious condition that prevents you from resting, limits your options in camp, and gradually saps your spirit.


The inspiration path focusses on crafting and excellence. Its steps are:

  1. Tinkerer: You can trade Secrets for Gear (useful for crafting!), and learn to craft a Ring of Finding.
  2. Adversity: You gain experience more quickly, and the deeper you are in the dungeon, the faster you’ll earn it. You learn to craft a Ring of Fortune.
  3. Practical: Your get a permanent increae to your Wits, your Tinkerer ability improves (and sometimes grants Memories of Home) and you add two rings to your list of possible masterpieces: the Ring of the Hearthfires, and the Ring of the Rivers.

(The planned Seventh Child path will be about luck and the strange auspices of the Smith’s Daughter’s birth.)

The Barefoot friar’s abilities will be revised to fit a similar structure, too. His paths are Tithing and Understanding. He’s getting a greater emphasis on his Faith ability (which is being renamed to Sanctity), and will gain abilities that grant him bonuses based on the conditions he’s suffering from. When things are darkest, the faithful find strength.

Right. Back to work on getting the beta ready. See you back here soon!



  1. Oliver January 16, 2013 12:49 pm  Reply

    Loving the sound of everything here, and thoroughly enjoyed the prototype. I’m also kicking myself that I didn’t back the kickstarter early, instead being one of those who would ‘hang on’ until nearer the end. Keep going and I look forward to seeing the results (in beta or otherwise).

    One quick question – any characters that have finished the prototype but haven’t been deleted to make way for a new one – will they still be useable in the revised game or has it changed so much that we’ll need to start over regardless?

    • Chris January 16, 2013 1:12 pm  Reply


      I’m pretty sure characters will have to start over – the changes behind the scenes are pretty huge. Not quite sure how I’m going to manage that yet, though…

  2. Sivartis January 17, 2013 1:24 am  Reply

    Loved the prototype, liking what you’ve said so far. My question is: what, if any, content will be behind a paywall in the revised version?

    • Chris January 17, 2013 10:53 am  Reply

      Hi Sivartis!

      I’m still finalising details about paid-for content. It partly depends on what’s available for launch and what’s released later, but the current plan is as follows.

      Characters: the Barefoot Friar and the Smith’s Daughter will be free characters. Additional characters would be paid for.

      Dungeons: There’ll be at least one free dungeon at launch, and one or two paid-for ones. Each dungeon has three different quests of varying difficulty to do in it. I really, really want to add a second free dungeon if time allows, too, but I may not be able to manage it for launch.

      Rebirths: if your character dies, they get one shot to return from death for free. Well. Not quite “free”, because Death drives a hard bargain and will want something in exchange – a payment, a promise, a life… After that first one, additional rebirths would be paid for.

      Other stuff: they may also be a separate system where you can buy extra little nuggets of story along with some in-game resources, but I’m still working out the details of that. It’d be background story, not stuff that’s vital to your character, and just a few Nex per nugget.

      Let me know if you’ve got any questions!

  3. Urthdigger January 17, 2013 6:49 am  Reply

    I have a question: I noticed the Smith’s Daughter was listed as being choosable with “Beta Access 1″. I’m guessing that’s staff only, or is there some way for fans to test the new features?

    • Chris January 17, 2013 10:55 am  Reply

      Everyone who backed the Kickstarter and expressed an interest in the beta gets access. It hasn’t started yet, but it’s getting close. I’m just doing all the necessary rewiring behind the scenes.

      If anything breaks for you because of the rewiring, let me know! It means I’ve probably crossed the green wire and the blue wire…

      • Urthdigger January 17, 2013 12:33 pm  Reply

        Alright, thanks. Sadly, I didn’t back the kickstarter, but I look forward to seeing the project completed nonetheless.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *