Unfortunately, it was too late to submit a demo for the Steam Next Fest, but the good news is that the alpha demo for Archquest is done and now available.
This demo features character creation, exploration of a two-level dungeon, and a turn-based tactical combat system.
Get it now on itch.io and send your feedback on the community page.
Development Log #1
Let's take some time to talk about the rules in Archquest- namely the PF2 RPG rules which Archquest is based on. You are probably already familiar with the OGL 3.5 SRD rules or PF1 rules. While PF1 was an incremental update to 3.5 that fixed some perceived problems of that ruleset, PF2 goes much further to distinguish itself from its predecessors. Here are some of the most important changes from the perspective of a video game-
Action Economy- Instead of having move actions, attack actions, full-round actions, and other manners of actions, Archquest has a simple and easy system where you get three actions to do with you'd like with. Moving is an action, and attacking is an action. Some actions use more than one action, while most spells take two actions. Some spells allow you to spend a variable amount of actions of the spell, with greater effects the more points you put into it. Some spells, like Haste, give you more actions. In many ways, this could be considered an Action Point system, and when I first read about it, Divinity: Original Sin 2 immediately came to mind. If you like systems like that, you'll feel at home in Archquest.
Scaling-Instead of having Base Attack Bonus(BAB) and a chart for saving throw advancement, almost everything you can do is based on Proficiency. If you are at least Trained in a given ability, you get to add a bonus based on proficiency level, plus your level to the roll or DC. This applies to attack rolls, saving throws, skills, and AC. This means that the system scales very well into higher levels, and should be easier to balance at all levels.
Feats-You may remember the mountains of Archetypes and Alternative Class Features in PF1. This will no longer be a thing, as most class abilities now have to be taken in the form of class feats. This allows you to customize your class considerably. There are a few class feats that can be taken by different classes, but most are unique to a specific class. There are still General Feats to be taken, but the pickings are much slimmer there now.
There are many other differences. I should point out that while Archquest is based on the rules of PF2, it will not be the same. The most obvious one being the "race as a class" system, which allows me to constrain the scope of the project while also maintaining an old-school vibe. One idea I thought would be interesting is experimenting with a full-blown action point system, where the number of AP you have is higher, and depends on your ability score, and different weapons cost different amounts of AP. Think Fallout meets D&D.
The game is still in the early stages of development of this game, so any feedback would be welcome.