Friday, April 17, 2015

Calabozo Mas Oscuro

The developers of Darkest Dungeon (Red Hook Studios) have gone on record saying that their game was heavily influenced by the 1908 surreal horror novel House on the Borderland.  The author, William Hope Hodgson, was an Englishman writing about fictional events taking place in a remote part of Ireland.  As such, Darkest Dungeon has a very northern European vibe to its locals and characters.  Now, there's nothing wrong with that in itself, but part of me wishes that southern European locations like Greece, Italy and Spain were more well represented.

Given the technology on display in the world of Darkest Dungeon it feels like it's set sometime in the sixteenth century, which was the "golden era" for the Spanish Empire.  Granted, what I'm getting at here is a pipe dream barring a major content update, full-on sequel or serious modding effort.  Still, I think it would be interesting to have a similarly accursed estate on the isle of Minorca which is part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean.  Classes in particular could have a distinct look and feel, setting them apart from more generic fantasy IPs.  At the same time they wouldn't be entirely unfamiliar either.  Let's explore some possibilities, shall we?
  • Caballero, or "Knight" wears a buff coat, high boots, short cape and wide brimmed hat with a feather plume.  He sports a huge mustache and duel wields a Milanese side-sword plus "Vizcaina" (or parrying dagger).  Abilities include a lunging attack, bleed inducing cut, and twin slash similar to the brigand cut-throat.  Personality-wise these individuals tended to be short-tempered and overly proud.  
  • Matador, or "Bullfighter" has a flamboyant costume with gold trim and a red cape which he uses to draw agro.  He can also mark targets with barbed javelins called "réjons" and deliver a powerful deathblow with his estoc.  Stats-wise he should have high dodge and crit, but low HP.  He's also a real show-off, who shouts "olé!" to his teammates.    
  • Rodolero, or "Sword-and-Buckler-man" is outfitted with an open-faced helm and "coselete" (brestplate).  He holds a basket-hilt sword and small metal shield, which he uses for both attack and defense.  In other respects I imagine he's similar to the man-at arms class. 
  • Conquistador, or "Conqueror" is akin to the crusader in many respects.  He wears heavy armor and a full-faced Argonese helm.  Under stress he becomes outright masochistic.
  • Mochilero, or "Backpacker" is a stand-in for the merchant class.  Basically this youth increases the amount of gear which can be carried by the adventures, as well as having a useful set of camping abilities.  In a pinch though he does have poniard to use in combat.
  • Harquebuiser, or "Musketeer" carries a matchlock gun and stand, as well as a baldric with "The 12 Apostles" (rounds of ammunition) hanging off it.  He also has extra fuse cord tided bellow his knees. 
  • Hidalgo, or "Noble" without a landed title, is a delusional old man who wears a Toledo steel blade at his hip, a burgonet helm on his head and demi-lancer armor from the neck down.  His faithful "escudero" (squire) accompanies him wherever this Don Quixote goes.  Abilities are probably similar to the Houndmaster with all that entails...  
  • Inquisitor has a his classic red robes and sash.  In combat his abilities including zealous accusation, buffs, debuffs, and a powerful "auto-dé-fé" attack that does massive damage to any marked target (including allies!). 
  • Apothecary has spectacles and a jerkin with ruffled white collar.  His only weapon is a stiletto, but he has a variety of support abilities that can cure status ailments, restore lost HP and debuff enemies or blight them.  
  • Pistoleer, or "Reiter" if you prefer the German term, carries twin wheel-lock pistols that he can only use from the back two rows.  Moving back while firing is one option, shooting two adjacent targets at reduced accuracy is another.  A trick shot ability allows him to hit one random enemy with a small boost to damage.
  • Janissary is an elite soldier from the ottoman empire.  Armed with an iconic yatagan or kilij saber, these professionals also make use of two handed weapons such as flintlocks and halberds.  
  • Corsair, but of the Barbary coast rather than the Caribbean, attacks using scimitars or hand axes, in addition to firearms.  Other abilities tend to be similar to the grave robber, including a good chance of successful scouting and trap disarmament.
Having finished my brainstorming session, it occurs to me that none of the classes mentioned are female.  Perhaps I'm being a bit too historically accurate in that regard.  On the flip-side the Occultist and Leper work extremely well as is.  If you happen to be a Darkest Dungeon modder (or developer) feel free to steal, borrow, modify or the list of ideas above.

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