Turning Wheel DevBlog

The official Turning Wheel LLC devblog

A quick story on how the Conjurer and Accursed DLC classes came together.

Since we originally started planning our original Myths and Outcasts DLC, our feature set changed a lot during development. I'm looking back through old documents now, and we never had new classes on the table when we first talked about it - just races!

The Conjurer Class

Some people might recall a Magicstaff of Conjure Familiar in the game files when Barony: Blessed Addition was released in 2018, accessible only via the /spawnitem console command. When I added new magicstaffs for Bloodletting and Stoneblood, I also kept Conjure Familiar in as a placeholder to maybe one day mimic the effects of a Scroll of Summon. I loved the idea of summoning monsters - but the follower AI at the time couldn't be controlled at all by the player and we already had the Scroll of Summon in the game to suit this purpose. By the end, its only use was to be a stick for debugging particle effects as I worked on Blessed Addition, kept in as a personal TODO item.

In June 2018 - three months after Blessed Addition came out, I added the follower menu so you could order your companions around and actually have a chance at keeping them alive in the dungeon. Finally - a use for my staff! When talk started around DLC I wanted to get at least 1 new Conjurer class in alongside the playable races since we were back to adding new content into the game.

As we talked about new class archetypes, the idea of linking classes with races came up and the Skeleton Conjurer seemed like a perfect fit! You needed mana to resurrect yourself, and if you had excess mana you could summon allies and store your magic power inside them!

The Accursed Class

For the Accursed Vampire, the complement of a class/race pairing gave us a lot more freedom to create a new "hard" game option which might not have happened otherwise.

I wanted a new hard mode character and initially designed the Vampire to be just that - a stealth killing machine where every run was a race against time. However it didn't feel right to commit a quarter of our DLC to be extremely difficult, so the Accursed class was created with the "cursed" hunger mechanics and the OG Vampire race was toned down to be easier.

Splitting the DLC into classes and races turned out to be a much better solution since we could provide a new hard mode AND also let you play as a more casual Vampire! It felt great to come to an accessible design that let everyone use the cool Vampire blood mechanics and HP-as-mana system.

Remember the Stick

So there you have it - we only planned for races at the start and maybe an extra class. Eventually 1 class became 2, 2 then became 4 and suddenly we knew what Myths and Outcasts was going to look like!

Sadly in the end, the Magicstaff of Conjure Familiar never got added to the level drop lists. The spell was balanced to be castable from the start of the game and your skeleton buddies would level up with you. A magicstaff version ended up being found too late or not have enough charges to make your allies strong enough to match your level progression. Nevertheless, you can still play around with it in-game currently using the console command "/spawnitem magicstaff of conjure familiar". Hold it, and remember the history behind the stick.

Conjure Familiar 2017 Initial Conjure Familiar particle effect testing. Would you believe this clip is from 2 years ago?