We welcome you for a third time to Lord Mortimer’s island. Please, help yourself to some wine.
Today, the topic of discussion is the RPG systems of The Council, and how they complement the narrative adventure genre.
As we have already revealed, The Council is a game of consequences - you decide who to help or hinder, which path to follow and how to survive on the island. This is not as simple as binary decisions at key moments in the story. Louis de Richet’s capabilities are entirely at your discretion, and how you use them will shape the story as much as anything else.
The first major decision in this area is your class. Early in the story you’ll be able to characterise Louis as a smooth-talking diplomat, experienced occultist, or cunning detective. This determines your starting selection of abilities, and makes advancing those cheaper - but you aren’t locked into that class skill tree. Experience points are given out at the end of each quest, meaning several times each episode.
Whatever your class choice, you’ll have all 15 skills to pick from. They range from knowledge of politicians or religious figures the world over to manual dexterity for lockpicking and the raw strength of a boxer. Every skill unlocks its own paths while exploring the mansion or is usable in confrontations and opportunities to get the upper hand on your fellow guests.
Your abilities are not infinite, it takes effort to manipulate and charm your way to the top. The more adept you are at a skill, the less of your Effort Points it will cost to use. This is affected by the difficulty of the task at hand, while a number of special Talents and Items are there to help you as well.
Talents are extra, passive bonuses that Louis unlocks as you progress through the story. There’s a massive range available, with numerous different triggers and effects, and you can see all of them in the menu, letting you aim for the ones you prefer. Meanwhile, Items are acquired throughout the game via exploration. They have powerful effects like refunding effort points, or making skill uses free - but they’re rare, so use them wisely and only in urgent circumstances.
The Council is not just a narrative adventure - the RPG aspects of your class, skills, talents, and items control your fate as much as any other decision.
The Council Episode 5: Checkmate releases December 4 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC digital stores. The Complete Season contains all five episodes.