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Nocte Animam

Game Title

Nocte Animam

Genre

Horror RPG

High Concept

In a future dominated by creatures of nightmare who use humans as little more than slaves and food, you must navigate a world of the undead, werewolves, and more. Explore the dark world, battle epic monsters, and make the decisions that will spell prosperity or destruction for the races of horror

Play Mechanic

Nocte Animam is primarily an action/adventure RPG, consisting of a mix of melee and ranged combat. The player’s customizable character will gain a variety of abilities based on his/her race. The player can also steal powers from defeated foes, which will help in combat and in interacting with the environment. Parts of the game will include puzzles to escape horror scenarios. The decisions you make in conversation and action will affect the complex political relationships of the varying races.

Plot Summary

The story starts as the player’s character, nicknamed Digger, has a vision that instructs him/her on how to escape a death sentence. In doing so, Digger gains a weapon that can steal the essence of others and gain their abilities. To pay back the benefactor, Scotus, the God of Darkness, Digger begins the quest to solve the mystery behind the disappearances of important figures among the races. Eventually, the player will discover that the god is behind it all and is trying to start a war. If Scotus succeeds, Digger, along with countless others, will be destroyed. The decisions the player makes in interacting with the other races will help or hinder the quest to save the world.

Platforms

PC/Mac and console.

Target Audience

The primary audience is 18-35-year-old males interested in fantasy, horror, and games with epic stories. Since the player avatar can be female as well as male, the game will target females with the same interests as well.

Competition

The primary competition for this kind of game will be the different incarnations of The Elder Scrolls. Another competitor will be the Dragon Age games.

CHARACTER PROFILES

Digger

Purpose: The player’s character has a customizable name, but is commonly referenced as Digger. The nickname comes from the reference to those condemned by the vampire council, who are made to dig their own graves. The player will use this character to explore the world, interact with NPC characters and fight enemies.

Lore: The history of Digger will depend largely on the player’s choices when constructing the character. The primary choice that will determine the story behind Digger is race.

Human: Digger joined a group of human rebels that liked to compare themselves to the ancient tale of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. They organized a raid on a vampire stronghold in order to feed a nearby human settlement. The vampires were ready for the attack and took the survivors as prisoners to be executed as examples.

Necrull: Digger’s master, a necrull mage who revived Digger to life and mindless slavery, died in a duel. This released all necrull in his thrall to full consciousness. Those who gain this freedom are classified as ghouls. The standing law is to destroy any ghoul so that the necrull population doesn’t overrun the others. Digger escaped the initial purge of his master’s household and adopted the guise of serving a master in a far-off city. While visiting the vampire capital of Sanguara, an inquisitive vampire found the lie and informed the guards.

 Lycan: Digger rose to prominence among the lycans and gained a position within the werewolf embassy in Sanguara. While passing through security to attend a dinner party for some of the noble and elite of the races, a “random” search found some vampire artifacts among Digger’s things. The artifacts had been missing from a particularly murderous crime scene. Knowing someone planted the evidence, Digger could do nothing to save himself from execution or the declining relationship of the two races.

Vampire: Adept at tactics and combat, Digger had risen through the military ranks of the vampires to join the elite task force, Tooth. While on a solo reconnaissance mission of the lycan headquarters of Lunar Tower West, Digger walked right into a well-informed ambush of werewolf law enforcement. They lycans accused Digger of espionage and attempted sabotage. The vampire government disavowed knowledge of Digger’s existence and actions, agreeing to execute the criminal themselves with a lycan overseer.

Appearance: Customizable. The player can adjust and modify facial and body traits of their Digger, within the limits of the chosen race’s characteristics. Digger can wear various types of clothing, from heavy armor to flowing robes to salvaged tech.

Barks

·      Tagline/Idle: “Do I fight for or against the darkness?

·      Alert: “These fools will learn what the power of Scotus feels like.

·      Success: “You never had a chance. I wield the power of a god.

·      Failure: “Is it time for me to enter the light already?

Erebio

Purpose: Erebio acts as the player’s assistant and comic relief through most of the game, finding missions for the player, acting as a shop, and helping on specific missions. However, in reality, he is the God of Darkness, Scotus, in human form, manipulating the events through the player.

Lore: Erebio has been a scoundrel in the human-centric Undercity for as long as anyone can remember. Arguably the oldest human alive, even the other ancients talk of him as if he had been a cranky senior citizen when they were children.

According to Erebio, he has done a bit of everything in his life. He started out as a young man in construction with a partner. Erebio would work on the foundations, framework, and guts of the house, while his partner focused on the presentation, conveniences, and overall ambiance of the house, even if it undermined some of Erebio’s work. If anything was wrong with the home, his partner would inevitably blame Erebio, since all his partner’s work looked magnificent. After his partner tried to push him out of the business, Erebio found himself a new partner, and their business easily took over. But after only a short while, Erebio’s new partner betrayed him and took control of the assets that he had supplied in the first place. Since then, Erebio has been a beggar, a merchant, a gambler, a town crier, and more, but most often, a thief. However, he never would never commit a crime of much import, so the authorities never bothered to keep him for long.

His long life has given him a treasure trove of knowledge about the world. He can talk about the nature and history of all the races, including whisps, shades, imps, and more. Most people’s knowledge is limited to the dominant vampires, lycan, and necrull. Though, where Eberio got this knowledge is anyone’s guess, since nobody has ever seen him leave Undercity. That is, until his recent pronouncement of going to save the world.

Appearance: Eberio is an old man covered in rags that used to be fine clothes. These pieces of cloth hide his physique and always keep his left hand hidden. Long, white wisps of hair fall from his balding head. Only a few teeth are present in his mouth, which almost constantly has a crooked grin.

Barks

·      Tagline/Idle: “Young people these days have no respect. Gimme a stick, and I’ll teach them to appreciate what we’ve given ‘em.”

·      Alert: “Could you dispatch of these useless diggers quickly? We need to get back to important stuff, like getting me my prune juice.

·      Success: “Well, you pulled through that alright, didn’t you? You’ll probably die next time though.

·      Failure: “Looks like I’ll have to find someone else to save the world. The village idiot might be an upgrade.”

ITEMS AND EQUIPMENT

Key Item: Hand of Scotus

Short Description: This is the glove given to me by Scotus, the God of Darkness, as he freed me from death and chose me as his representative on Earth. Ever since that moment, I haven’t been able to take it off.

Function: The Hand of Scotus allows the player to steal the life force and abilities of some of the enemies he/she encounters, granting new forms of combat or interaction with the world.

Appearance: The Hand of Scotus is more like a second skin that covers the hand and half the forearm. It is black as night and ripples with the energy it absorbs for the player.

Lore: Whispers about the Hand of Scotus have circulated among the creatures of the night since they first lurked in the shadows. Whether the artifact is real or not is the subject of much debate among all the races. If it is real, most scholars and rumors agree that it has been used on earth at least three distinct times throughout history.

The first probable use of the Hand occurred during what humans refer to as the Dark Ages. At this time, terror and fear reigned over much of the world in forms like the Black Plague, Spanish Inquisition, and other atrocities. They believe the Hand gave certain malicious beings the power to torment humans, whether directly or through other humans.

Little is said about the artifact until the second human world war, which caused destruction and death across three continents. Some theorize that the Hand of Scotus was under the control of humans at the time, though none have proposed a theory on how that might have happened.

The most recent and most widely agreed upon time that the Hand of Scotus is thought to have influenced the world occurred during the Great Dusk. This event gave rise to the dominant societies of the creatures of the night. One record even describes it somewhat poetically. “It was as if an all-consuming black hand had closed over the earth.” Some believe that the hand has touched the world many more times. However, the loss of records during the Great Dusk impedes further research.

Some of the greatest minds in all the races have speculated on the nature of the divine tool, though if any have known for certain what it does, none have spoken of it. Some have said that it allowed Scotus to create the darkness at the beginning of time. Some say that any who are touched by it will suffer a fate worse than death. And still, others say that those who wield it can bend reality to their will.

The reason the Hand of Scotus appears in history is also the topic of much debate. Some say Scotus himself bestows it upon those who would follow his desires. Others say it becomes lost in the chaos it creates, only to be found hundreds of years later by some lucky archaeologist or explorer. Still others believe that those who wield the Hand are born with the power and a great destiny. What they all agree on is that if someone has the Hand of Scotus, the world will change.

LEVELS AND LOCATIONS

Major Location: Lunar Tower West, a city surrounding a soaring spire.

Short Description: Lunar Tower West is one of the two cities under the complete control of lycans. Here, the werewolves have the most power, both individually and as a society.

Appearance: The Lunar Tower, at first glance, seems like a huge tower sprouting from the forest around it. With a closer look, the large city sprawls beneath the treetops. All of the buildings are constructed around the landscape they cover, often incorporating the living trees into their very structure. The city has a very natural feel to it while maintaining a metropolitan culture. The unnatural tower itself pierces into the never-ending clouds of the grey sky. The top of the tower, never seen from the ground, reaches above the clouds to become a giant mirrored dish covered in pipes and strange technology combined with magic. Inside the tower is a mix of cultural and government centers with technological mazes.

Contents: NPCs within the tower can be hostile or friendly depending on player decisions in the game. Several NPCs are key characters that will be able to speak with the player. Some areas of the tower contain traps and monsters that will attack the player on sight, despite allegiance to the werewolves.

Lore: Lunar Tower West is one of two major hubs of civilized lycan activity in the post-Dusk world, the other being Lunar Tower East. The two towers stand on exact opposite sides of the earth.

When the Great Dusk brought the permanent layer of cloud cover that blocked all direct light from the heavens, all the races were affected. The lack of the moon greatly hindered the werewolves, cutting them off from the powerful beasts that waited within them. To solve this dilemma, they struck a deal with the magically adept necrull. In return for a time of service as bodyguards equal to the time of construction, the undead mages built the towers to reach past the clouds and into the light.

The design of the towers is a combination of ancient technology and magic meant to gather moonlight in the dish at the top of at least one of the towers, filter and funnel it down through the core of the building, and release it below the clouds. This process creates an effect much like a greenhouse, granting the moon’s light to the werewolf population around the entire earth. The controlled and filtered exposure not only returned the ability of the wild race to unleash their inner beast, but it also allowed them to retain their rational minds while permanently transformed.

Because the enormity of the towers make it impossible for the werewolves to attend to all of it, the necrull designed them to run unmanned. As such, defenses permeate the tower between the courts in the lower levels and the dish at the top. An emergency teleporter can take people directly to the top, used on a routine patrol, but it is rumored that it will kill anyone other than a werewolf attempting to use it. Though the elite warriors that guard the teleporter might have something to do with that belief.

The vampires have always been wary of the towers, and would rather they not exist, but trying to do anything about it would spark a war between the races, and fighting the werewolves so close to the source of their power would be akin to a suicide mission.

The inner workings of the towers are a mystery to all but the mages who created them hundreds of years ago, and though they may still be alive, their identities are also a mystery. Those who venture beyond the floors that are the seat of government for the werewolves never return.

The city of Lunar Tower West, and its lower levels are a hub of activity where the player will be able to buy and sell equipment, gain missions, and improve or destroy your reputation with the lycan community. It is inside the tower itself that the player will choose to sabotage the efforts of the werewolves to gain dominion over the vampires, destroy the tower for the vampires, assist the werewolves in their plan to kill vampires, or try not to make a choice. The player’s decision will result in a battle with either a vampire assault team, or the elite werewolf guard.

While the city of Lunar Tower West has a very natural feel to it, very different from the lifeless landscape most of the world, the inside of the tower is very unnatural. It glows with magical and ancient lights that are either too bright to look at or don’t reach into the shadows of the twisting and turning corridors, resulting in an overall feeling of confined blindness where anything can appear, anywhere.