Whalenought Studios’s old-school turn-based RPG Serpent in the Staglands is now available to buy for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In it, you play as a minor god called Necholai who finds his way back home blocked after descending to the Staglands for a moonlit festival. With immortality slipping from him, Necholai decides to take on a mortal body, disguising himself as a traveling Spicer.
Its campaign takes place in the world of Vol, which is described as “a fully realized setting inspired by the late bronze age in a Transylvanian landscape, with unique politics, races and gods steeped in history.” Thrown into that mix is also a heavy dose of Romanian mythology found in the monsters, spirits, rogue mages, and mutilated outlaws that you’ll go toe-to-toe with.
Oh, and if you’re wondering whether or not Count Dracula will turn up inside this fantasy world, it’s certainly possible, but he may not considering that he was the creation of Irish writer Bram Stoker, and not part of traditional Romanian mythology. That said, the man that Dracula was based on, Vlad the Impaler, is certainly part of Romanian folk stories, but his presence in Serpent in the Staglands might be inhibited by it being set in the Bronze Age (between 2500BC – 800BC) and Vlad not putting people on stakes until the 15th century AD. But, hey, this is all fantasy after all, so you never know who might turn up.
That aside, what you can expect from Serpent in the Staglands is a 90s-style cRPG with classless builds, party-based real-time combat with optional pause control, and open-world exploration leading to a non-linear storyline. Whalenought promises no hand-holding at all once you start the game, expecting you to “use your own wits to examine maps, decipher languages, decode runes and figure out how to kill the unkillable.”