Fortress Occident Developer Blog


Meet The Skills: Intellect

In Metric (our character system) there are six skills that comprise your Intellect: Logic, Rhetoric, Drama, Encyclopedia, Conceptualization and Visual Calculus. They are represented here by their work-in-progress portraits.



is raw intellectual power. If you want to analyze the living daylights out of the case, take Logic. Formulate theories about what happened, or detect inconsistencies in the statements people make to you. It’s useful for not getting bamboozled.

Logic loves being right, however. To a fault. It’s a brilliant lie detector until faced with intellectual flattery. Then it starts tooting its own horn. Your Drama skill might interfere: people are pretending, manipulating you, while Logic – blinded by its own brilliance – yammers on about how infallible it is.

In heroic difficulty rolls, Logic can induce near-transcendence-like pleasure from performing raw operations on events and numbers. (It also does maths for you.) And it states the obvious. Logic loves an easy challenge, whatever it’s claims.



is your ability to debate. Nitpick, make intellectual discourse. It doesn’t need to be an argument, you can just shoot off your mouth and take hearty pleasure from it. But let’s be honest – mostly Rhetoric just bickers. About politics.

All political discourse falls under Rhetoric. You can mold it into a weapon of fascist sable rattling, evicting potato-loving kojkos and deformed himean pygmees left to right. Rid Revachol of aliens in transit! Or become the ultimate liberast (perpetrator of the sin of liberasty), extolling free trade and slimy personal freedoms at the expense of the downtrodden. This is achieved through researching political projects in your Thought Cabinet, then having them supercharge your Rhetoric skill.

A souped up, ideologically informed Rhetoric is an impressive beast, but it gets you into trouble. The twist here is that Rhetoric – our persuasion ability – doesn’t really persuade anyone. Most of the time it just makes you new enemies. While your beliefs calcify.



is your knack for trivia. It’s perhaps the talkiest of all the skills, pulling out drawers of fascinating if questionable tidbits of knowledge. Sometimes real nuggets of gold too. It’s up to you to discern between the two.

Encyclopedia adores brands, marks, makes of pistolette and motor-carriage, street names, addresses, species of cockatoo, Great Century military leaders, rock music icons, Messinian ceramic manufacturers … Buy it and max it out, if you want a deluge of lore.

You may even find special, reoccurring places within your Encyclopedia. Like visions: a blackboard of names with all the cops in East Revachol on it, with all their confirmed kills and cases solved. Or a mysterious index of radio frequencies…



is a god damn liar. Deliver believable deviations from reality, sometimes with the goal to deceive people, but not necessarily. You may just want to entertain as well.

We thought long and hard about how deceit is handled in RPGs and decided it needs to be more about performance in No Truce With The Furies. We want each of the skills to be a little world of it’s own, an investment worth considering. So lying became stagecraft, an amalgam of fourberie and deceit, with entertainment – and even singing. You can do karaoke with Drama, or perform spot on imitations of people.

Drama is also the counter to Drama. It informs you when Drama is being used on you. And although Intellect skills in general are more mentally oriented, Drama has its uses in combat as well. Feign death. Do drunken fighting. Maybe even quadrupedal movement…



is your capacity for original thought. Make fresh associations, really delve into the concepts of the world – from Jan Kaarp’s postmodernist karperie, to Revachol’s arabesque architectural style dideridada, or even the concept of hardcore as deployed by the burgeoning dance music scene – then add your own contribution to these works! It’s your general purpose cultural theorist, used for both criticism and creation.

Okay, I’ll level with you. Conceptualization makes you into an Art Cop. You get extra lines of description in scenes, and you get to come up with stuff like poems, one-liners and a cool nom de guerre for yourself. An artist’s name, if you will. Conceptualization is the difference between hanging yourself and jumping into a live volcano. (No literal live volcanos are present in No Truce With The Furies for the time being.)



is your forensics skill. It represents your grasp of the laws of physics, motion particularly. Create models of past events in your mind’s eye, trace dotted lines across the room, read tire tracks to recreate an automobile accident. Even notice tactical opportunities in combat situations – then take advantage of them. (Perception + Visual Calculus = the ultimate sniper)

We’re building a special, stylistic overlay that covers the world when certain Visual Calculus checks succeed. This lets us visualize shards of glass falling out of the window, a car backing into the fence, or political prisoners standing in front of a firing squad, half a century ago… all painted into the isometric world around you.

It looks great and I’m really sorry we haven’t shown it off yet. Just a few more tweaks first though…

I’m going to be candid and say Visual Calculus is a really cool skill and you should probably take it if you don’t want to miss out on all the cool. The only reason not to take it is that it’s a luxury. You need more essential stuff to stay alive and on top of things.


So to wrap it up – Intellect does not make you get on well with yourself, or with other people. It lets you peel off layer after layer from the world, getting to its inner workings, modelling its events and bending it’s structures. If that’s what you want, stick five or six points into it at character creation and later buy two or three skills to boot.

It’s been my ambition as a pen and paper DM to make heavy mental labour as engaging and wildly entertaining as combat, or even more so. Of the four main Attributes, Intellect was perhaps the hardest to nail. What it really comes down to is how the actual situations are written in the game — and most of all, how interestingly you play them out. The skills are just prompters in the play you’re starring in, whispering suggestions to you from within. It’s up to you to decide whose ideas you want more of, and what to do with them. But naming and dividing between areas of juristiction is everything in systems — and I’m certain this cast was worth getting together all these years.

(Next time we’ll introduce the Psyche skills to you. Inland Empire is my favourite.)

– Comments

Humble Bundle will publish No Truce With The Furies

So Humble Bundle is now a publisher, and we’re “presented by Humble Bundle”. This is the red hot piece of news we’ve kept ourselves from sharing with you for a while now. Since we just got an e-mail saying…


I think it’s safe to say the cat is out of the bag. Dear friends, fans of indie and role playing games, here is the cat:

Humble Bundle Launches Multi-Platform Publishing & Funding Initiative

New initiative brings developers together with Humble’s over 10 million customers; Humble will be evaluating games to publish during GDC and PAX East

San Francisco, CA February 9, 2017 – Humble Bundle announced the launch of a multi-platform publishing and funding initiative. The starting lineup includes seven games across a range of genres and styles, for PC, console, and mobile platforms.

A Hat in Time – The perfect ode to old-school 3D platformers, with a hat-swapping spin

HackyZack – A sticker-collecting, precision-platforming, puzzle-stunt game

Ikenfell – A heartwarming turn-based RPG about a school of magic and its troublesome students

Keyboard Sports – A cheeky adventure with Master QWERTY that uses the entire keyboard

No Truce with the Furies – An isometric role playing game that blends cop show antics with a genre busting “fantastic realism” setting, offering absurd new heights of non-combat gameplay for RPG fans

Scorn – Gripping first-person survival horror set in a nightmarish universe

Staxel – Grow your farm, meet the villagers, and join your friends online in building your world

Publishing Lead John Polson says, “Since Humble’s launch in 2010, we have earned the trust of over 10 million customers across our products. In a time when it’s harder than ever for games to find their audience, publishing feels like the next logical step in the services that we can offer to our developer partners.”

“All of our games will be ‘presented by Humble Bundle,’ carrying a seal of quality and curation that fans have come to expect. For each aspect of publishing, developers can choose the services they need, making Humble Bundle a truly modern and adaptable publisher.”


There you have it. Now we have a publishing and funding partner to fight the good fight along side us. That is: to bring No Truce With The Furies to you at the end of 2017. It’s shaping up to be a real treat for fans of story and roleplaying.

Lets end by wishing the best of luck to all the games sharing that cool-as-a-cucumber line-up with us, especially Scorn. A lot of Scorn fans here.



“We are magnificent machineries of joy.
Machines of joy and then some.”

                               – Yan Scott Wilkinson

Lets talk systems. In No Truce With The Furies your character has four Attributes. These fall into groups of two – mental and bodily. Your mental Attributes are Intellect and Psyche, your bodily Attributes are Physique and Motorics. Depending on your choices in character creation you may begin the game with 1-6 points in any given Attribute.

Every Attribute has six Skills.

In the beginning the amount of points you have in a Skill is equal to it’s parent Attribute. During the game you gain more points (Experience) by completing tasks and discovering secrets. Experience can be used to unlock Skills – it takes three points to unlock one. Once unlocked you may put more points into your Skill. The maximum amount you can spend on a Skill is equal to it’s Attribute. (Natural aptitude equals the learning cap).

Any character may attempt any task.

The 24 Skills you have cover every action under the sun. There is no difference between dialogue and combat. Just roll two six sided dice and add however much you have in the Skill that represents what you’re up to. Want to hit something, add Hand / Eye Coordination. Want to fall in love, add Electrochemistry. The sum must be higher than the task’s difficulty. A normal task takes 10 or above to complete. Some rolls are handled behind the scenes, these are called Passive. Others are performed by the player, these are called Active.

That’s it. It took us fifteen years, five designers and a handful of dedicated players to come up with it. It’s the simplest role playing system our minds could muster – with the maximum amount of depth and tension hidden in the folds. We call it Metric. 

To recap.

In character creation you decide your Attributes. These 4 scores represent both your natural aptitude and learning cap in the 24 Skills that cover everything a human being needs to function. The rest of the game is spent fleshing out – and struggling against – these limitations. There are unexpected ways to overcome yourself. And inversely, being talented at something comes with a price.

For the real lowdown — instead of telling you how the Attributes help — let me tell you how they make things worse.


A high Intellect makes you overly confident – a cocksure intellectual. You’re vulnerable to flattery, and easily lose yourself in details. (The game becomes longer). While having a low Intellect makes you dim and superficial, prone to superstition and being plain wrong.


A high Psyche comes with emotional turmoil – an unstable psychophant. Great willpower clashing with wild imagination. You may even lose your mind. While a low Psyche makes you uninspiring, inept at influencing people. Unsavoury things come out of your mouth.


Okay, you’re strong but so is your death drive – a mad man and a psycho killer. A high Physique needs to be tested, needs addiction, sex and physical confrontation. You lose your shit over small things. While being un-physical means vulnerable, un-streetwise. Lacking in animal cool.


A Motoric character is too high strung – a bit of a cokehead. A quicksilver superdetective focusing fast and then reacting (too) sharply. While being low on Motoric means you’re locked into yourself. The world has trouble finding you. You’re clumsy and slow.

We’ve found combing these weaknesses produces more unique characters than combining strengths. Sure, there are strengths too. The obvious ones and the less obvious. More on those once we get to listing the actual Skills. 

Til then,
the battle-worn design team of No Truce With The Furies.