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The Games that Inspired LotRT

Legends of the Round Table is a game fueled by passion, created by enthusiasts for other enthusiasts! We're excited to show you some games that inspired our creative universe and made us want to create the best Arthurian RPG ever!

"Illustration of the map of Britain at the Round Table in LotRT with the title: "Our Inspirations".

From tabletop role-playing games...

Without the emotion and depth of the worlds developed in tabletop role-playing game sessions, LotRT would certainly not exist!

Greg Stafford founded the Chaosium publishing house, which released one of the most famous tabletop role-playing games: Call of Cthulhu (1981), based on Lovecraft's work, where complex plots filled with puzzles often lead to fatal outcomes.

His own creations include Rune Quest (1978) (a medieval-fantasy setting) and Glorantha (1978), where he explores the world of ancient myths. In 1985, he created Pendragon, a vast Arthurian game that draws from medieval myths to bring the legend to life. The personalities and passions of the knights are emphasized, as well as their evolution and that of Arthur's kingdom over the years. The character is not reduced, by the game system, to his simple function defined by his class, as in many medieval-fantasy role-playing games.

Pen and paper RPG materials for Pendragon (1985), such as the map, character sheets, and books.

On the other hand, Mark Rein-Hagen definitively shifted role-playing games towards narrative, myth, and emotion with titles like Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, or Mage: The Ascension in his World of Darkness universe (1991-1995). Created a little earlier, his Ars Magica (1987) is set in a mythical Middle Ages, akin to that told by troubadours. The historical research done for the game is exceptional! Players embody mages, servants, and companions united within an Alliance that becomes almost a character in itself. This is reminiscent of our Round Table, which we consider as a character in its own right. video games!

Our inspirations span from a healthy mix of games from the 90s to today! Here, we'll focus on those whose creative choices appear to us as the most ambitious.

Conquest of Camelot (1989) is a game from the publisher Sierra that blends various genres: adventure, action, RPG, and puzzles. Despite a limited number of colors (we're in the early 90s!), the emphasis is on a colorful and bright aesthetic, with each scene appearing as a full-fledged painting.

Spirit of Excalibur (1990) is a pioneering game set just after Arthur's death. It successfully blends RPG elements, puzzles, adventures, combat simulation, and mass battles. By the way, LotRT will also feature large-scale battles!

Spirit of Excalibur (1990): DOS screenshot showing a portion of Britain on the map screen.
Spirit of Excalibur (1990)

Age of Empire II - The Age of Kings (1999) inspired us by embodying historical and epic moments through heroes - who are unique units - all through campaigns narrated by a distinctive voice.

Several more recent creations have also inspired us:

The Banner Saga (2014) showcases a Viking world with a distinctive and stylized visual aesthetic, featuring turn-based combat, themes rooted in folklore and myth, a significant emphasis on storytelling, and a tragic undertone. What Banner Saga is to Viking legends, we hope LotRT will be to Arthurian legends.

Gameview of Darkest Dungeon (2016) showing four player characters in turn-based combat against three mobs.
Darkest Dungeons (2016)

Even though the tone is very dark, Darkest Dungeons (2016) must be mentioned. Like in LotRT, it recruits characters who embark on small adventures punctuated by battles that can quickly turn deadly. Between adventures, one must return to the village each time – much like our knights who return to the Round Table. It's also essential to make the right choices and assemble the best team possible to survive.

There's also games that underwent extensive historical research, such as Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018) and Crusader Kings III (2020). Others have inspired us for the quality of their writing and the importance placed on narration like Disco Elysium (2019), or for the historical authenticity of their musical score like Astrologaster (2019). Finally, Apotheon (2015) successfully revitalized an ancient art form - drawings and motifs adorning Greek vases - and brought it forward as its aesthetic signature, much like what we're doing with 13th century illuminated manuscript artstyle in LotRT.

We hope you enjoyed this brief, by no means exhaustive, overview of the games that inspired LotRT!

Clélia & Artifice Studio team


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