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Runemaster - All News

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Thursday - December 04, 2014
Tuesday - October 21, 2014
Tuesday - October 07, 2014
Wednesday - September 24, 2014
Tuesday - September 16, 2014
Tuesday - September 09, 2014
Sunday - September 07, 2014
Thursday - August 28, 2014
Tuesday - August 26, 2014
Saturday - August 23, 2014
Friday - August 15, 2014
Tuesday - August 12, 2014
Tuesday - July 29, 2014
Thursday - July 17, 2014
Wednesday - July 02, 2014
Friday - June 20, 2014
Tuesday - June 17, 2014
Wednesday - June 11, 2014
Friday - June 06, 2014
Tuesday - May 27, 2014
Tuesday - May 20, 2014
Tuesday - May 13, 2014
Wednesday - May 07, 2014
Tuesday - April 29, 2014
Tuesday - April 15, 2014
Tuesday - April 08, 2014
Wednesday - April 02, 2014
Tuesday - April 01, 2014
Wednesday - March 26, 2014
Tuesday - March 25, 2014
Tuesday - March 18, 2014
Tuesday - March 11, 2014
Monday - March 10, 2014
Tuesday - March 04, 2014
Tuesday - February 25, 2014
Friday - February 21, 2014
Wednesday - February 19, 2014
Monday - February 17, 2014
Sunday - February 16, 2014
Sunday - February 09, 2014
Wednesday - February 05, 2014
Friday - January 31, 2014
Thursday - January 30, 2014
Tuesday - January 28, 2014
Thursday - January 23, 2014
Box Art

Thursday - December 04, 2014

Runemaster - Development Frozen

by Killias2, 18:53

After the good news about Dead State comes bad news about Paradox Development Studio's first RPG, Runemaster:

I have some news to share with you today regarding Runemaster. After much internal debate we have made the decision to freeze development of the project until further notice and move the development team working on it to other projects within Paradox Development Studio.

This was not an easy decision to make - Runemaster was a very ambitious project for us, and the team working on it brought all of their passion, dedication, and talent to the table. Despite our best efforts and a couple of re-scopes, Runemaster in its current form was unable to live up to the standards we set for ourselves here at Paradox.

Runemaster was a different type of game for us, and even though we were not able to fully realize our vision for it, we will take the lessons we learned to heart as we move forward with new endeavors. We will also look into how we can re-use the best parts of the game in other ways.

Our aim is to let all the talented developers who worked on the project to remain with Paradox Development Studio and bring their expertise to the other great games currently in development.

I hope Paradox finds a way to make this work in the future, but, in general, I am happier to see Paradox and PDS kill a project rather than release something below expectations.

Tuesday - October 21, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #27

by Couchpotato, 05:32

Here is the next Development Diary update from Paradox for Runemaster. This time the update has more information on the gameworld Alfheim.

Runemaster - Dev Diary 27 - World: Alfheim

Time really flies by - have we really written 26 dev diaries? We have a lot more planned for our upcoming Tactical RPG Runemaster, and this week we'll talk about the most beautiful of worlds - Alfheim.

The Races of Alfheim

Alfheim is also known as Ljosalfheim. The first part, "ljosalf", means "Lightelf" and the second part, "heim", means home. So essentially the name means "home of the Lightelfs" and so this is the world they call home. Though the Lightelfs were the first to claim Alfheim as their home, the Trolls wander through the world in search of their lost goddess Fjorgyn and have a few permanent settlements here and there.

The Lightelfs do not like metal and use bone for many of their weapons. They fight mostly with daggers, spears, bow and arrow and occasionally swords. They are usually dressed lightly with leather armor, feathers, twigs, or moss which gives the Lightelfs a natural camouflage. Alfheim is a very fertile and warm world, so the Lightelfs can spend less of their time foraging and hunting and more on leisurely activities such as music and dancing.

Hidden among the trees in Alfheim are the dwellings of the Lightelfs, formed by shaping the trees into whatever form they wishes. The Aeropon is a robust plant whose aerial roots are used by the Lightelfs to weave bridges, floors and walls. The bridges between the treetops offer great mobility to the inhabitants, enabling them to scamper across the forest at great heights. Fire is forbidden in the homes of the Lightelfs and all food is prepared on the ground beneath the treehouses.

There are Trolls in Alfheim, and we have talked about their lifestyle in earlier dev diaries: dev diary 18: Midgard and dev diary 22: Trolls. Let's quote from the dev diary about Midgard: "The Trolls move freely from place to place, between Midgard and Alfheim, bringing only the most necessary things with them. They are a traditionally nomadic race and build no permanent shelter. Though they have cattle and other herd animals, they do not farm or grow crops.[..]"

Tuesday - October 07, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #26

by Couchpotato, 01:32

Here is the next Development Diary update from Paradox for Runemaster. This time the update has more information about the race of Darkelfs.

Runemaster - Developer diary 26 - Race: Darkelfs

Monday is usually not my favorite day of the week, but it gets a lot better when I remember that it is time to post a new dev diary for Runemaster! This week we'll have a whole post about the Darkelfs, inhabitants of Svartalfheim.


In Norse mythology there is a bit of confusion and disagreement regarding the Darkelfs. There are Dökkálfar, Svartalfs and Dwarfs, which some scholars interpret as being different names for the same race. While the Dökkálfar and Svartalfs are seldom mentioned, Dwarfs are referenced a lot more frequently. Both Dökkálfar and Svartalfs loosely translate to "Darkelfs", which is why we decided to use that name for the main race of Svartalfheim, which itself translates to "home of the Darkelfs".

When we started making concept art for the various races, we tested different approaches for each of them. While designing the Troll, we made many different versions and one of them turned out to be perfect for the Darkelfs, and so we continued iterating on that until we were more than satisfied with them. Here's the first concept art for the Darkelfs and a NPC portrait:

We imagine the Darkelfs as bald and sombre shaped by the world they live in, as Svartalfheim is depicted as being under ground. The Darkelfs also borrow some features from bats, especially their ears. These are long and go straight up, unlike other elfs whose ears tend to tilt to the back.

Wednesday - September 24, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #25

by Couchpotato, 01:47

Here is the next Development Diary update from Paradox for Runemaster. This time the update has more information about the race of Dwarfs.

Developer diary 25 - Race: Dwarfs

This is the 25th dev diary for our upcoming Tactical RPG Runemaster! Isn't that cool? This time we'll talk about the Dwarfs, who are so awesome that they get to live in two cool places: Svartalfheim and Jotunheim.


Our main inspiration for dwarfs is Norse Mythology, which has sort of become the ur-text for dwarfs in most fantasy fiction. The father of fantasy literature, J.R.R. Tolkien based his dwarfs on what he knew of Norse legend and even took their names and made them into his own. Yes, Dvalin, Balin and even Gandalf are dwarf names.

Dwarfs are known as a mountain-dwelling race with great blacksmithing skills, known for their mead, the creation of important artifacts with magical qualities and their lust for goddesses. One legend tells how the goddess Freya wanted to buy a beautiful necklace or torq from four Dwarfs, who refused her gold and silver. Instead, they insisted that she spend one night with each of them. She paid the price and is never seen without Brisingamen, although there are stories about Loki stealing it or it being broken when she grows angry.

The Mythology: The Creation of Dwarfs

There are two creation myths of Dwarfs. One tells of how the mixture of the blood and bones of Ymir created them, another says that they were mere maggots that festered in the flesh of Ymir which the Aesir gods gifted with reason. We choose to believe that both are true, the Dwarfs were created by the blood and bones but did not gain reason until Odin and his brothers found them feasting on Ymir.

Odin then chose four Dwarfs and placed them in each of the four corners of Midgard, to uphold Ymir's skull or, in a sense, the sky. Their names were Nordri, Sudri, Austri and Vestri, or "North, South, East, and West". The Dwarfs are thankful to the Aesir for giving them reason, although there have been occasions where they have clashed. Loki, known for his mischief, has bothered the Dwarfs many times and stolen or cajoled them into giving him and the Aesir magical artifacts such as Sif's golden hair, Freyr's ship Skíðblaðnir, Odin's spear Gungnir, the golden-bristled boar Gullinbursti, the hammer Mjölnir and the ring Draupnir.

The Appearances of Dwarfs

Dwarfs are a fairly common fantasy race who are often portrayed as a bearded, short, beer-bellied and inventive race. We have of course taken inspiration from this, and after some deliberations we decided to not change too much about the physical appearances of Dwarfs. No matter their gender, our Dwarfs have beard which they take care of in varying degrees.

Tuesday - September 16, 2014

Runemaster - Preview @ Worldsfactory

by Couchpotato, 05:02

I found a new hands-on preview ths week for Runemaster at Worldsfactory.

In development by Paradox Development Studio (you may know them for strategy classics like Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron and Crusader Kings) and coming out on both PC & PS4, Runemaster could become a surprise hit when it releases later this year. Your gender may be tied to your class, but don’t expect to play the same game twice with Runemaster.

Tuesday - September 09, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #24

by Couchpotato, 03:18

Here is the next Development Diary update from Paradox for Runemaster. This time the update has more information on the gameworld Svartalfheim.

The Races of Svartalfheim

Svartalfheim is named for the Darkelfs that inhabit the world; it translates to "the home of the Dark elf". Dwarfs and Darkelfs grudgingly share this world but the races are not fond of each other and wars are common between them.

The Dwarfs are known for their blacksmithing, especially weapons and armor and these skills have seen them grow rather rich from trade of their military equipment for other resources, such as foodstuff and materials scarce in Svartalfheim, like wood and leather.

Dwarfs live in beautiful chambers and corridors carved into the solid rock where they make their home. Their lives are strenuous and hazardous, which means that the average dwarven lifespan can be very short. But, if they survive the hardships of mining and smithing, a Dwarf can live for a very long time. They are the most skilled blacksmiths, and mine their mountains for precious metals and stones to use for their tools, weapons and armor.

Darkelfs are known for their backstabbing, their plotting, their devious ways and decadent lifestyle. They revel in all known pleasures and are known to go to great lengths in order to ensure that they have what they want. Forgotten by the gods, buried deep beneath the earth in Svartalfheim, the Darkelfs have little time and little esteem for the gods.

The Darkelfs' compact castles are carved from the rock and look as if they have been swallowed by a mountain, with only doors, windows, balconies and bridges visible among the rubble of rock. Each of the Darkelf castles contains several hundred Darkelfs, and as its population grows, so does the castle. The lower in rank a Darkelf is, the lower the floor where she or he lives. The Darkelf rulers depend on slaves for their decadent living and do not lack anything. Most of them never leave their castles and let their warriors and servants act in their behalf

Sunday - September 07, 2014

Runemaster - Preview @ Strategy Informer

by Couchpotato, 05:22

Strategy Informer is the next site this week to post a new preview of Runemaster, and  concludes the game has potential if it gets balanced right.

Although it’s nigh-on impossible to place any subjective opinion on a 30-minute hands-off demo at a venue such as Gamescom, what I saw of Runemaster was certainly promising. Its dual-fate, good-vs-evil storyline might not be the most original concept in the world, but the attempt at procedural generation within its world and questlines are what really intrigue. The resulting cocktail of RPG and strategy elements will be difficult to balance, but the potential is there for something just a little different. That alone makes it worth watching.

Thursday - August 28, 2014

Runemaster - Gamescom 2014 Previews

by Couchpotato, 06:02

Paradox Interactive released a list of links from GamesCom 2014 for Runemaster. The list contains previews, and a few videos that show gameplay footage of the demo.

Runemaster previews - GAMESCOM 2014:

TWITCH STREAMS with Regina & Solsara:

13th of August Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/twitch/b/557643505

(Starts at 01:29:20)

14th of August Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/twitch/c/4911030

(Starts at 01:42:20)

Hooked Gamers preview: Runemaster Gamescom 2014: Perfect blend between RPG, adventure and strategy

“Runemaster has only just reached alpha stage, which means that very little of what we saw is set in stone. What is there, though, is looking pretty exciting already. The procedural quest generation system - in my eyes the star of the game - looks firm, especially when you consider the incredible attention to script writing. Paradox Development Studio seems to be making all the right choices for creating the perfect blend between RPG, adventure and strategy game and I can’t wait to see more of it.”

GameSpot Game demo: Can You Smell What the Ragnarok is Cookin'?

“We caught up with Paradox Development Studio at Gamescom 2014 to see their new Norse mythology turn-based RPG game Runemaster.”
Link: http://www.gamespot.com/videos/can-you-smell-what-the-ragnarok-is-cookin-runemast/2300-6420873/

GameInformer preview:  Procedurally Generated Tactical Fantasy

"The adventure appears to let you quest and explore with a high degree of freedom, with different points being acquired for every decision you make. Decide to stand firm against a band of ruffians? You might get some bravery experience. You’ll be making choices like that regularly, so your own personality and choices will eventually be reflected in in your character’s skills and abilities.”http://www.gameinformer.com/games/runemaster/b/pc/archive/2014/08/17/runemaster-procedurally-generated-tactical-fantasy.aspx

Allaboutgames: Runemaster preview

“I was dropped into a 3D isometric perspective world, reminiscent of Titan Quest or Diablo. Much like the Blizzard game, the world is procedurally generated and whilst the quests objectives are fixed, the locations of them are much more flexible. Even which quests you are on is not set in stone, either. I was given a number of examples over how these systems work as the quest system also has an element of randomness to it. Whilst the overall story progresses along a set path, many of the optional quests have an element of chance as to whether they appear. In the build I saw, the character decided to take on a large spider; I managed to slay the beast, but in the full game this has the potential to trigger new quests. In one incarnation, animals would begin to eat from the carcass of the creature, mutating them and letting them loose on the nearby towns. Letting the spider live may lead down a completely different path, and in other games slaying the spider has no consequence at all.”

RPG Codex: Runemaster preview

“What I liked about Runemaster was the inclusion of an “allegiance meter”, a way of depicting where you stand on the matter of Ragnarok, whether you are closer to Thor and order or Loki and chaos. Supposedly, every quest and decision made in the game will influence this meter, with some real and tangible instances of choice and consequence, and quests where the outcomes aren’t always obvious. Some decisions will have very predictable effects, but others that might look predictable will end up completely ass-backwards. Couple that with proper (non-voiced) dialogue trees, and the fact that the player will also have different reputations with every race in the game, and Runemaster’s narrative layer looks like it could actually turn out very cool.”


Link: http://www.gamereactor.eu/grtv/?id=186524


“…Runemaster has a number of ‘Paradox-isms’ that really set it apart from other RPGs. Each game is procedurally generated, so no two stories will be alike. Sure, every game will be funnelling the plot towards the same eventual conflict of Ragnarok, but your path along the way will be different every time you play. It was hard to grasp this from the short demo, but as you complete quests, your character gains traits that they become known for, which will in turn shape your future. Come across as a greedy mercenary? Then you’re more likely to find quests that will pay you well. Come across as a pious hero? Then you’ll get more people asking you for help saving their family and friends.”

Tuesday - August 26, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #23

by Couchpotato, 05:48

Well its time for another Development Diary update from Paradox for Runemaster. This time the update has more information about the aftermath of GamesCom, and GenCon.

Boel and I, together with Mr.Nibbles, AndrewT and many other Paradoxians were sent to GamesCom to talk about Runemaster, our Tactical RPG. Runemaster was also present at GenCon, with Troy Goodfellow and Tomas Härenstam teaming up with Alexandra Marie Travis who cosplayed as a Gydja from the game. This Monday we thought we would share with you what we did and saw at GamesCom and GenCon.

They also share some new links for previews from GamesCom.

After talking to at least 30 journalist at GamesCom, we expect to see some previews of Runemaster in the foreseeable future. Here's a couple early ones:

Hooked Gamers

"Paradox Development Studio seems to be making all the right choices for creating the perfect blend between RPG, adventure and strategy game and I can't wait to see more of it."


"Runemaster is an RPG split between exploratory questing and a tactical battle map, set in a fantasy world that draws on Ragnarok and the rest. Paradox say Norse mythology is "at once tragic and comic", and that's steered the tone of the game." http://www.pcgamesn.com/runemaster/i...crusader-kings

Game Informer

"If you're familiar with the Heroes of Might and Magic series and its turn-based grid combat, that's a solid starting point to understand how Runemaster combat works. Terrain and positioning play a big role, and holding the high ground can make a huge difference. Each battle may have additional requirements for victory, such as not letting a crucial NPC die or to take out a specific enemy." http://www.gameinformer.com/games/ru...l-fantasy.aspx


A developer walkthrough, Boel Bermann is talking and I am playing: http://www.gamespot.com/videos/can-y.../2300-6420873/

Saturday - August 23, 2014

Runemaster - Preview @ Hooked Gamers

by Couchpotato, 05:17

Hooked Gamers has a new preview of Runemaster based on a demo from Gamescom.

Norse folklore and mythology are treasure troves when it comes to drawing inspiration for telling great stories, and that’s exactly what Paradox Development Studio has set out to do with Runemaster. We sat down with Boel Bermann and Sara Wendel-Örtqvist at Gamescom to learn more about their upcoming RPG, one in which Paradox’s strategy roots are tangibly present in the form of tactical battles.

Friday - August 15, 2014

Runemaster - Gameplay Story Trailer

by Couchpotato, 06:06

Paradox released a new gameplay trailer for Runemaster at Gamescom this week.

In Runemaster (PC & PS4), players will write their own sagas as they guide customised heroes through a chaotic conflict across six worlds of Norse mythology. Turn-based tactical combat will separate the brave and cunning from the common folk, while an emergent narrative told through procedural quests and an ever-changing world will ensure every story is unique to its player.

Tuesday - August 12, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #22

by Couchpotato, 06:00

Well its time for another Development Diary update from Paradox for Runemaster. This time the update has more information on the race of trolls in the game.

Runemaster - Developer Diary 22 - Race: Trolls

Last week we said that we would be talking about Svartalfheim, the home of Darkelfs and Dwarfs. But then the Trolls started bullying us into writing a dev diary about them, and it is very hard to say no to a Troll, especially the bigger ones… So today you get to read about the Trolls! Hurray! (Stop poking me with that stick… fine, I'll keep writing!)


It was easy finding inspiration for the Trolls in Runemaster. We are very fond of the art of John Bauer, who is famous for his illustrations in the book series "Bland Tomtar och Troll" ("Among Gnomes and Trolls") which is a compilation that every Swedish child is familiar with. His dark and detailed portraits of Trolls whose sizes range from as small as a mushroom to bigger than a mountain was a perfect source for Runemaster. We have tried to honor his memory by making the Trolls in Runemaster look as though he could've painted them himself, and I hope you agree that our Concept Artist and our art team have done a great job capturing the feel and look of John Bauer's Trolls. The artist Theodor Kittelsen was also a great inspiration for us. His art is reminiscent of Bauer, but Kittelsen has a much darker, sinister feel in his trolls. I would recommend searching for both of them and compare their art style with that of Runemaster’s. Let us know what you think about them!

The Mythology: The Creation of Trolls

The Trolls all pray to and honor the goddess that created them. She is the daughter of the giant Nótt (the night) and, according to some, also the mother of the god Thor. She has many names but the trolls only refer to her as the Goddess, the Mother or the Mother in the East. It is said that in the old days the trolls lived with her and she created them as the guardians of nature. Then one day she was gone. The trolls made it their quest to find her and that is why they wander from place to place and only stop for short times at their holy sites. As their goddess is a Giant, the Trolls believe that they are somehow related to the Giants, something the Giants deny fervently. This is not a major issue for the Trolls, who are satisfied with their own race as companions. Still, this alleged blood tie means that some Trolls feel that they and the Giants should be allied against the troublesome races of the universe.

Tuesday - July 29, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #21

by Couchpotato, 17:30

Paradox has posted the next Development Diary for Runemaster a few days late. This time the update has more information on the race of Giants.

Runemaster - Dev Diary 21 - Race: Giants

I hope you are prepared for a new dev diary about our upcoming Tactical RPG Runemaster! If you wonder why we did not post a dev diary last Monday, it is because we have decided to post dev diaries every other week up until August 25th and then we’ll return to our usual weekly schedule.

So what’s on the menu today? Well, I thought we should talk about the giants of Jotunheim, their world, culture and values. As you probably know, we have six different races in Runemaster, with two residing in Jotunheim, Giants and Dwarfs. Giants named the world Jotunheim, as their name for themselves actually is Jotun, and heim means home. So Jotunheim equals “home of the Giants”.

Thursday - July 17, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #20

by Couchpotato, 04:57

Paradox has posted the next Development Diary for Runemaster a few days later than usual. This time the update has more information on the games world Jotunheim.

Runemaster - Dev Diary 20 - World: Jotunheim

This dev diary got a bit late due to vacations and me coming back to work thinking this dd was going up next monday and not two days ago. Currently slightly less than half the team is out getting some of that precious sun we get so little of during the rest of the year and the rest of us are working hard on getting the builds we're taking to Gamescom in Cologne as ready as can be. In contrast with the warm summer weather that we're enjoying on the northern hemisphere right now, this dev diary will take you to ice cold Jotunheim.

Wednesday - July 02, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #19

by Couchpotato, 04:32

It's time for the Monday update from Paradox with the next Development Diary for Runemaster. This time the update has more information on the human race.

Dev Diary 19 - Race: Humans

Our upcoming Tactical RPG game Runemaster will feature six different races, and today we will talk about the Humans. Might as well start with the familiar, right?


As could be expected, we've taken much inspiration from Viking culture and society in designing the Humans: their homes and some of their traditions are all fairly similar in style and tone to what we know of the Vikings. We should emphasize, though, that Runemaster is not a Viking game. This is a fantasy game set in Norse mythology; this is a fictional world. Although the Humans are based on the Vikings, don't expect them to be realistic Vikings in every way.

The Mythology: The Creation of Humans

Long ago, Odin was out walking with his brothers Vili and Ve, looking at the world they had created. The more they walked, the more they felt that the world was empty. The other worlds had Jotuns, Dwarfs, Trolls, Light- and Darkelfs, but Midgard lacked something. True, the Trolls visited from time to time, but that made the world feel even more empty. It needed something or someone to give it life and energy. As they walked, they found two pieces of driftwood - one from an ash and one from an elm. The three gods carved the two pieces of wood into their own likeness and made a man from the ash and a woman from the elm. They were named Ask and Embla. Odin gifted them with breath, life and spirit. Vili gave them brains, feelings and sense. Ve gave them hearing, sight and blood. The humans were given Midgard as their domain to protect, use and thrive in.

The Appearances of Humans

Most Humans are between 1.5 and 2 meters tall, with skin that easily reddens in the sun. Humans can be dark haired with brown eyes, but most are red haired or even fair haired. Their clothes are made from cloth, leather and fur, with some metal reinforcements for fastening. They trust their own strength and stamina more than heavy armor ,and so are dressed in flexible chain mail or leather in battle. Humans are fond of wielding swords, axes and spears, often combined with a shield, in battle

Friday - June 20, 2014

Runemaster - Exclusive First Look @ Paradox Live

by Couchpotato, 05:12

Paradox posted the live stream from last Thursdays Twitch.tv event that gives an exclusive first look with the development team behind Runemaster.

Last January (2014) we announced Paradox's Development Studio's next
game; Runemaster.We sit down with the lore team to talk about the game and show the first footage.

Tuesday - June 17, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #18

by Couchpotato, 05:46

It's Monday where I live and Paradox has once again posted the next Development Diary for Runemaster. This time the update has more information about Midgard.

Dev Diary 18 - World: Midgard

Summer is here and that means vacation time! Parts of our team are leaving the worlds of Runemaster to search for sun and warmth in the Swedish summer. Some have already found it, while others are awaiting their turn. To keep you in suspense over the summer, we will post dev diaries every other week up until August 25th and then we’ll return to our usual weekly schedule.

Now, enough about the beautiful weather that is trying to lure us out of our development caves. This dev diary will talk about one of Runemaster’s six worlds: Midgard.

The Races of Midgard

Each of the worlds in Runemaster is shared by two races, and in Midgard you will find the Trolls and the Humans. They share the world grudgingly, and are not fond of each other. Though the Humans and Trolls share a common language, their cultures and traditions - including their beliefs and ruling systems - differ greatly.

The hardships of Midgard have made the Humans grow hardy and strong. They till and hunt for food, toil to build shelter and aspire to simply make the world a little bit better for their offspring. They are the dominant race of Midgard, beloved by the gods.

The Trolls move freely from place to place, between Midgard and Alfheim, bringing only the most necessary things with them. They are a traditionally nomadic race and build no permanent shelter. Though they have cattle and other herd animals, they do not farm or grow crops. This wandering lifestyle naturally puts them at odds with their human neighbors who mark borders, build walls and improve the land.

The Creation of the Worlds

Before any world existed, there was only the gaping abyss of Ginnungagap, a place of silence and darkness that lay between Muspelheim, the region of fire, and Nifelheim, the region of ice. Frost and fire from the two regions met in the middle and created the being Ymir, whose sweat turned into Giants. He nursed from the cow Audhumbla, who licked the salt from the ground and uncovered Buri, grandfather of Odin.

When Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve were old enough, they killed Ymir and constructed the worlds from the remains of his body. Ymir’s blood became the oceans, his skin and muscles the soil, his hair the vegetation, his brain the clouds and his skull the sky. When they were done, the gods took Asgard as their realm and had Midgard made from the great giant Ymir's eyebrows as a defense against the Giants that had taken residence in Jotunheim.

A great ocean surrounds Midgard and underneath its surface lies the great Jormungandr, the World Serpent, whose body encircles Midgard. It is said that Odin threw the serpent into the ocean when Loki presented his three monstrous children, including Jormungandr to the gods.

The world tree Yggdrasil unifies the nine worlds, with one root stretching down to Asgard, the realm of the Aesir; one to Jotunheim, realm of Giants; and the third to Nifelheim. Midgard lies in the middle, between Asgard and Jotunheim.

Midgard was a very empty place, little more than a buffer zone, but the gods decided to create the first two humans from two tree trunks so they could fill it. The first humans were named Ask and Embla and given Midgard as their realm. The origin of the Trolls is more obscure. Most Trolls are convinced that they are related to the Giants, which is something the Giants deny and do not wish to talk about.

The Climate and Creatures of Midgard

Of all the worlds, Midgard resembles Scandinavia the most, with its thick pine forests, marshes, mountains and fields. Though being a bit harsh in climate, it pales in comparison to the other worlds. Midgard is a very fertile world, and only Alfheim and Asgard are more prosperous. Crops grow in abundance, although the soil might be salted with rocks and roots. It is a struggle to keep crops and animals, but few, if any, humans risk starvation. The forests and plains are plentiful with berries, nuts and edible roots, the rivers teem with salmon and other fish. Hunters can live off their trade, as they have few competitors over the elks, rabbits and deer that live in Midgard. Only wolves and bears threaten their livelihood.

Midgard is home to your typical range of wildlife, from boars and wolves to stags and goats. Larger creatures of legends like dragons, wyrms and giant spiders are not an uncommon sight in Midgard, although they are more elusive than the ordinary animals.

In Runemaster, you can choose to start in Midgard with either of the two local races. Humans are allied to Thor and will seek to maintain the balance in this world, a balance that has served them well since the blessing of the Aesir have helped them flourish for centuries. Trolls, on the other hand, are loyal to Loki, and, like him, seek to upend the status quo that see them pushed to the margins of Midgard. Your choice - and you will always be able to choose - is whether to fight Loki and stop him from bringing about Ragnarök, or go against Thor and stability, to help birth a new world for all

Wednesday - June 11, 2014

Runemaster - New Diary & Twitch.tv

by Couchpotato, 06:09

Here is the next Development Diary from Paradox about Upgradeable Units & Abilities.

 Developer Diary 17 - Upgradeable Units & Abilities

As you know, a war is coming and no one knows what the outcome will be. Every soul will have to choose side before the end and when the Gods are going to war, you don't want to be the ones caught in the middle – rather be a strong force on the side you choose to support. So how do you make yourself an invincible force? You make sure the men and women in your army are the best that can be found. If they are scrawny and weak when you recruit them, then you need to make sure they become experienced and skilled before Ragnarök.

Therefore, this week I'll talk some about how unit upgrades work in Runemaster. Some of the details of what I tell you may change before the release, since this is still very much a work in progress, but I can at least give you the gist of the basic design

All of the units in your army have a level, from one to eight. Most units are recruited at level one and will then gain experience from taking actions in combat. When enough experience has been accumulated, it gains a level and will be ready for upgrading. The unit can then be taken to a "training ground" location where you pay gold to upgrade the unit to the next level. For each level gained, the unit will gain some basic stats depending on the unit and you get to choose between two different bonuses. These bonuses can either be an additional stat increase, a new ability, an upgrade to an existing ability or an increase of sub-unit count.

This gives you the opportunity to tailor your units to match your play style, while still keeping the micromanagement under control. If you never replace units and get 15 units up to level eight you'll have made 105 upgrade choices which is a lot, but still manageable over the course of a long game.

And that's not all the developers will be hosting a new Twitch.tv stream on Thursday the 12th at 15:15 CEST.

Last January we announced Paradox Development Studio latest game; Runemaster. Now, several months down the line it's time to sit down with the team to discuss how development is going and what the guys & girls from the team feel the game should look and feel like. You'll be able to catch a broadcast on our Twitch channel this Thursday.

Friday - June 06, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #16

by Couchpotato, 04:07

I missed the latest Development Diary from Paradox on Moday so here it is a little late of course. This time we get more information on the basics of combat.

Runemaster - Development Diary 16 - Basic Combat

So will you choose to seek out change for those that crave it or will you aim to keep status quo - for good or bad? For this developer diary for for our upcoming RPG Runemaster, you don't have to choose. Because no matter what side you choose, you will have to fight. In order to win battles, you will have to recruit and customize your units and direct them in combat to make your army an invincible force.

As you probably know by now, in battles your hero will be moved from the world map and into a battlefield when you encounter enemies. The battles of Runemaster will be turn-based, tactical battles based on a hex grid system made up of different terrains and contains height differences such as hills where your troops gain bonuses for high ground. Your hero will join the army and take active part in combat as a unit on the battlefield and the battles you fight will be tied to quests and their outcome will matter to your story. In this developer diary, I'll explain some of the basics of the combat system. Remember that we're still in an Alpha stage of the game and much of what you learn here can still change until release.

Move and action

Units move first and can then perform an action. Performing an action will end the activation for the unit. Attacks and abilities are considered actions. As a result you cannot engage in combat and then move away from the enemy.

Line of Sight

Attacks and many abilities requires line of sight to the target. Friendly units do not block line of sight, but hostile units do. This means that your spear throwers can stay back and fire at the enemy while being protected by your melee units, but they cannot fire at the enemy's spear throwers hiding behind their melee units. Most battlefields also have hexes that are blocked from movement and line of sight, such as large rocks, tents or larger structures like towers. Some abilities such as the Runemaster's Blocking Rune, can add temporary blockers to the battlefield to create choke points or to shield armies from line of sight from certain positions.

Zone of Control

Units consider all adjacent hexes as their zone of control. If a unit enters the zone of control of a hostile unit, their move will automatically end regardless of how many movement points they still have left. It's still possible to move through another unit’s zone of control, but only one hex each turn. This makes it easier to protect second line units from melee attacks by spreading out a couple of front line units. Some abilities such as the human cavalry unit's charge can ignore the zone of control and penetrate deeper behind the enemy's lines.

Armor and Health

The basic stat for a unit's survival is health. When health goes to zero or below the unit is removed from the battlefield. Many units also have armor. All attacks deal both health damage and piercing damage. Health damage damages health and piercing damage damages armor. A unit that has armor will not take any health damage until all armor has been removed. The attack that removes the last armor will deal 50% health damage as well. Some units are specialized in dealing either health or piercing damage making it important to combine different unit types to maximize performance of your army.

Terror and Discipline

Apart from dealing damage, most attacks also deal terror. Terror accumulates in a unit and each time new terror is added, the total terror + a die roll is tested against the unit's discipline to see if the unit panics. Panicking units will use one turn to move away from the closest enemy and the next turn to rally at the new position. Units recover some of their accumulated terror each turn. Armored units do not take any terror until they actually take health damage from attacks, but some abilities deal terror only damage and ignore the armor of the defending unit.

High Ground

Using height differences is one important tactical feature in Runemaster. Attacking a unit at a higher height gives the defending unit a defensive bonus, reducing all damage by 25% (this number has not been balanced yet) making it stupid to try to trade punches with a unit that has high ground. Attacking a unit at a lower height will give the attacking unit a terror bonus making it more probably that the defending units panic and flee.

That's it for this weeks developer diary, hope you liked it. I'll be back in a later Dev diary to explain the more advanced combat features and the details that make units from different races act differently!

Tuesday - May 27, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #15

by Couchpotato, 01:23

Well it's Monday where I live and Paradox has posted the next Development Diary for Runemaster. This time the update has information on Reputation & Recruitment.

Runemaster - Developer diary 15 - Reputation & Recruitment

Last week's Dev Diary we presented some info on how armies are structured and used. Today, we'll tell you how to raise those armies. And we'll go into the reputation system, as well.

Units are recruited in two ways. You can either go to a barracks structure or you can broker a deal with a NPC.


The barracks are the primary location for recruiting new units. Each city has a barracks where units of the same race as the city can be recruited. There may be hidden barracks in more uncharted areas of the map, though, so keep your eyes open. There’s a limit to how many units of each type can be recruited from barracks. Some quests can unlock new unit types and increase the number of units of an existing type that you can recruit from a certain barracks.

Not all barracks will offer you troops, however. Each barracks is tied to a faction in the game and only barracks of the factions that have reason to like you will open their doors for your character. So if you complete quests for characters from a hostile or neutral faction, one possible ancillary reward is that the barracks of that faction will open their services to you.


Some NPCs are just sellswords and will offer their services for a price. Others will join you as a quest reward or they might give you an exotic unit of some kind if you help them. Units gained from NPCs are standard units but can start at a higher level than those units recruited from barracks. Some units can only be acquired from NPCs.


In Runemaster, it's important to manage your actions so you can keep your reputation high with those factions that are important for you. Where you stand between Change and Stability can be considered a special faction, since that decides which side you’re helping during your journey towards Ragnarök. If you go too far towards Change, you're considered a collaborator of Loki and you'll have a hard time being allowed to help Thor at the end of the game. If you tend too much towards Stability, then you're considered an ally of Thor and it will be difficult to set Loki free when the time comes. If you balance it right, even the gods won't know which side you're on until the final moments.

Tuesday - May 20, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #14

by Couchpotato, 05:39

Well it's Monday and as usual Paradox has posted the next Development Diary for Runemaster. This time the update has information on Armies & Banners.

Developer Diary #14 - Armies and Banners

We know many of you have been waiting for more information about the combat system in Runemaster and this week we'll share some of that information.

To start off, let's talk about how armies are structured.

As you already know, combat in Runemaster is turn based tactical combat. You move your character freely in the world until a combat is initiated, for example from a guard blocking your path. You're then taken to a hex based battlefield where your individual units each occupy a single hex. Hexes can have different height and terrain and your units benefit from having high ground when fighting the enemy. Your hero takes active part in the combat fighting side by side with your other units (and in some cases alone).


The units in an army are divided into squads and squads are used, among other things, to decide what units can be activated at any given time. If two armies fighting each other have the same number of squads, the armies will take turns activating one squad at a time (in an order decided when the battle starts). Should one army have more squads than the other, those extra squads will activate at the end of an activation cycle. When a squad is activated, its units can be act in any order. It's also possible to start moving one unit, then switching to a squad mate, move that unit and then continue with the first unit. This allows for more flexibility and cooperation between units from the same squad and also opens up for more complex maneuvers. Units from the same squad will also set up next to each other at the start of a combat.


Banner items are a certain category of items that can be equipped by a squad. Banner items give similar benefits that items used by the player character gives, but to all units of that squad. To maximize the effects of a banner you might need to restructure your army.

Some units have abilities that benefit all members of a squad which further impacts what units to place in the same squad. Non-player armies are free to organize their squads in whatever fashion they (usually a scripter or an AI) choose but the player has some restrictions:

  •     A maximum of five squads.
  •     No more than three ordinary units in a squad
  •     Either the main character or a banner item

This means that the largest army a player can field will be 16 units strong.
The main character is not considered a standard unit and can attach itself to any squad prior to the battle, extending the maximum size of that squad to four. Not only will this make that squad 33% larger than the others, but each class also have one or more abilities that will boost all members of the own squad. Not having the main character in a squad allows that squad to equip a banner which can be better at enhancing stats used by certain units or make up for weaknesses of certain units.

Tuesday - May 13, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #13

by Couchpotato, 01:45

Well it's Monday again so that means it's time for another Development Diary for Runemaster. Paradox talks about the Runemaster class this time.

Development Diary 13 - The Runemaster

This is developer diary 13 for our upcoming RPG Runemaster, and the hero class in focus this week is the one who has given its name to the game - The Runemaster.

Odin, the Allfather, hanged himself from the world tree Yggdrasil for nine days and nights, pierced by his spear Gungnir. During these days and nights Odin learned the wisdom of the runes, which gave him power in the nine worlds. Each day he learned two magical songs, and each night he learned two magical runes.

Odin survived this sacrifice to himself, the highest of the gods, and learnt the secret of the seidr, the magic that imbues every creature and being in the nine worlds. Odin has been known to be munificent with his knowledge and thus, slowly and surely, a few select individuals called Runemasters gained power over the runes. The runes wielded by the Runemaster may protect the troops and conjure damaging Fireballs or

Thunderbolts. The Runemaster can coax and change the nature of the battle, weaken the enemy side, strengthen their own or lay devastating damage on the enemy with the help of the runes.

With the use of certain runes, the Dwarf Runemaster can increase the discipline of his squad, decrease the enemy squad's discipline or cast a fire rune upon a target that injures both the target and the surrounding troops.

The Troll Runemaster can put a protection on her troops, coax and change the nature of the battle, weaken the enemy side, strengthen the own or lay devastating damage on the enemy with the help of the runes.

The control over runes gives the Lightelf Runemaster the power to protect her troops, damage her enemies and put terror into their hearts.

The Darkelf Runemaster can use the carved runes as he desires. One word shields his troops, another kills with fire, while the third breaks the enemy and sends them crying into the darkness.

We end this dev diary with three of the Runemaster's unique abilities:
Rune of Courage - Increases the Discipline of all squad members by 25%. Lasts 4 turns.
Rune of Fire - Deals damage equal to 100% of your Spell Power.
Rune of Fear -Reduces the Discipline of an enemy unit by 25%. Lasts 5 turns.


Wednesday - May 07, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #12

by Couchpotato, 07:22

Paradox has released the next weekly Development Diary update for Runemaster on their forums that talks about one of the games classes called The Berserker.

Development Diary 12 - The Berserker

We are back with another Dev diary, this time we’ll talk about the ones that go mad in battle - the Berserkers! This is Dev diary 12 for our upcoming RPG Runemaster, and the hero class in focus this week is - The Berserker.

The Berserker goes mad with rage in battle, a rage that quenches any pain and might block the memory of the battle afterwards. The sting of blades or the burn of fire cannot stop the Berserker. Some legends tell of Berserkers who in their battle rage could not differentiate between friends or foes, and had to be physically restrained at the end of a battle until it was safe to release them, when the battle rage had left them exhausted to the brink of death.

The first sign of a Troll Berserker is the biting of his shield while he froths at the mouth. The howl that erupts from his throat is beastly, and then he attacks without feeling the blades that tear at his flesh. Though he runs mad with rage, he knows the difference between allies and foes.

In the heat of battle, the Dwarf Berserker is gripped by fury and howls like a wild animal, bite the edge of her shield and goes mad with blood rage. She can smell fear like a rabid wolf and pounce upon those of her enemies that fear her the most.

The Human berserker is a warrior who during battle enters into a deadly rage. They feel no pain from wounds inflicted upon their body, they keep attacking until the last enemy lies dead and often do not remember the battle afterwards. Their enemies are not safe in battle, though their allies can fight safely by their side.

Beware the Giant Berserker, her madness comes from her thirst for battle and her ferocity is gargantuan. Enemies scatter before her, and in her rage she targets them with a frenzy unknown to most.

Tuesday - April 29, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #11

by Couchpotato, 05:38

Paradox has released the next weekly Development Diary update for Runemaster on their forums that talks about one of the games classes called The Skald.

Runemaster - Development Diary 11 - The Skald

I hope your Easter holiday was as great for you as it was for us! After having eaten a ton of candy and eggs, and candy eggs, we have regained our strength enough to write another Dev diary for our upcoming RPG Runemaster. This week we will talk about the hero class Skald.

The Skald rely on the magic of their songs to inspire their troops, augment their skills, heal the wounded and strike terror into the heart of the enemy. Their songs are as old as the worlds, their poetry both beautiful and deadly at once. Music so powerful it can enslave the enemy or reinforce the strength of their allies.

The Human Skald wields a bow and is thus vulnerable to close combat. Preferring to hold a defensive position and support its troops from behind, the Human Skald concentrates on augmenting its own troops’ strengths and abilities.

The Darkelf Skald with its crossbow inspires its troops to greater feats, heals them when they are wounded and has a terrifying voice which brings darkness and despair into the enemies' hearts.

The Giant Skald is an ax-throwing defensive hero whose great strength makes them able to throw an ax faster and longer than most can shoot an arrow. A Giant’s terrible strength makes every bow or crossbow crumble in their hands, and so they have resorted to throwing axes instead.

The Lightelf Skald’s greatest strength is their voice, and the songs can enrage the enemy, strengthen their own troops and make the enemy flee in terror. Wielding a bow, the Lightelf Skald supports its troops from behind and holds a defensive position on the battlefield.

We end this dev diary with three of the Skald’s unique abilities:

  1. Heroic Song - Increases the Damage of all squad members by 10%. Lasts 10 turns.
  2. Eagle Eye - Deals damage equal to 100% of your Ranged Damage. Can attack any enemy on the battlefield.
  3. Healing Song - Heals all squad members for 5 Health.

Tuesday - April 15, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #10

by Couchpotato, 05:45

Paradox released the next weekly Development Diary update for Runemaster on their forums that talks about the games Skill Trees & Abilities.

Development Diary 10 - Skill Trees and Abilities

When you begin your adventure, you start with basic abilities and each time you level up you will be able to add perks, increase your stats or improve on your existing abilities for your hero. What perks you choose depends on your hero’s level and the perks previously chosen. To shape your hero and make him/her sharper and stronger in the areas of how you play is of course vital to the gameplay.

So, let's take the basics first! When you begin your saga, every class have two skill trees, one for defense and one for offense. I am more of an offensive player and tend to focus more on damaging abilities and boni when I play RPGs, but I can’t argue against having more armor or an ability that gives more protection, both for my troops and for my hero. When your hero levels up, you will get a skill point that you can use to upgrade him or her. A skill point can be spent once to unlock a perk from one of the skill trees. Each perk gives your hero either a stat bonus, a new ability or upgrades an existing ability. It is possible to mod this and it is possible to make a perk give the Hero both a stat bonus and an ability.

There are several tiers in each skill tree, and you need to invest a certain amount of skill points in order to get to the next tier.

All the three classes you can choose from - Berserker, Skald and Runemaster - start with three unique abilities. As your character levels up, you get to choose whether you wish to upgrade the starting abilities or gain new ones. Therefore you will be able to customize and choose what direction you want to take your hero. You will be able to upgrade both new and old abilities should you wish to, to make sure your hero is a perfect match for your playstyle, but naturally some abilities might be better than others…

We are still in the beginning of making abilities, and we have a lot of work to do before they are done and balanced, therefore I'm keeping it a bit brief here. There are a couple already made, but their names and their boni or abilities might get changed. We will talk about a couple of perks we have, so be aware that these aren’t the final design nor the final names of them.

Tuesday - April 08, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #9

by Couchpotato, 05:40

Paradox released the next weekly Development Diary update for Runemaster on their forums that talks about the games loot, and items you can use.

 Development Diary 9 - Items and World Loot

Welcome to Developer Diary 9 for Runemaster and this week we will talk about Items and loot! What is a RPG without items and loot? Well… still a RPG but not as much fun!


Quest Items, as I am sure you have already surmised, are items you gain as part of a quest. These can be anything from a long lost ring to a pyramid of dwarven skulls. These items cannot be equipped by the player, but may have many uses in the quests themselves. These are plot sensitive items and aren’t really of much use outside of their quest purpose - but could have immense power or value in the course of the quest. Quest items are necessary for the completion of some quests.


We will have at least five different item types your Hero can equip: Belts, Weapons, Rings, Runes and Amulets. Each can be used, and all of them will have a bonus. Your Hero will only be able to wear one of each of these items at a time - so no stacking amulets for extra bling and/or lightning damage

We are using a system of prefixes and suffixes for randomized items you can find. A low level weapon can be named “Feeble sword of…” while a high level weapon may be “Glorious sword of…”. This will be an easy shorthand to know whether you are carrying something of great value or just another minor blade.

A random item will always give a bonus to one or two stats. The viable combinations are limited by the type of item and the item level. Firtt, the item generator chooses a major stat to modify and then a minor stat is selected depending on the major stat chose and level of the item.

Wednesday - April 02, 2014

Runemaster - New Concept Artwork

by Couchpotato, 04:19

Lightning Gaming News has a few more pieces of concept artwork for Runemaster.

The concept art shows characters such as the thunder god Thor, the main antagonist Loki, a male berserker and a female human. While Runemaster features no side quests, its main ones are structured in a way that makes every one of your choices in them count towards your end goal. Furthermore, some quests as well as their paths may also be class or race specific, resulting in varied playthroughs. Traits are another factor that can change dialogue, and offer varied choices and actions.

Tuesday - April 01, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #8

by Couchpotato, 06:12

Paradox released the next weekly Development Diary update for Runemaster on their forums. This time we get informaion about the basic mechanics of quests.

 Developer diary 8 - Quests: Basic Mechanics

Welcome to developer diary 8 for our upcoming role playing-game Runemaster, where we will talk about Quests and Basic Mechanics! With Runemaster, we really want every single playthrough to be a unique saga, but how are we working to make that happen?

We have previously told you that we are building the RPG on the attributes of emergent storytelling, so that the game’s procedural quest system will take note of your deeds and challenge you accordingly. Every quest counts toward the goal at the end and the game mechanics will make sure that no quest is made in vain. But how will these quests work? With triggers, configurators, stages and dialogue - among other things. Welcome behind the scene for a sneak peak.

Wednesday - March 26, 2014

Runemaster - New Concept Artwork

by Couchpotato, 04:40

Lightning Gaming News has some new artwork, and one screenshot for Runemaster.

Paradox Development Studio have issued a few images from Runemaster, their epic RPG based on Norse mythology being developed with the Clausewitz Engine. The screenshot below depicts a Hero outside a small farm in the realm of Midgard, while the artwork is of a troll and a human settlement. Set to arrive on the PC in Q4 this year, the game focuses around the player choosing to trigger Ragnarök AKA the end of the world or prevent this from taking place, which means that you choose either the trickster Loki or thunder god Thor.

Tuesday - March 25, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #7

by Couchpotato, 04:33

Paradox released the next weekly Development Diary update for Runemaster on their forums. This time we get informaion on the games Change vs Stability.

Runemaster - Developer diary 7 - Change vs Stability

Welcome to the 7th developer diary for Runemaster where we will talk about Loki and Thor and the struggle between Change and Stability! The main plot in Runemaster revolves around where you as a player try to decide whether to trigger the end of the world as you know it or postpone it for as long as possible. You will choose who to side with - Thor or Loki.

Change & Stability

Runemaster is not about the struggle between Good and Evil, it is the struggle between Stability and Change. If Ragnarök occurs, the old world will be destroyed but a new world will arise. Change is not evil; it is only change which can be both bad and good. Same with Stability. Stability is accepting the old world and doing nothing to change it. Stability is set in its current ways and have no desire to change, no matter how bad the current tracks are. Change might not always be good, but it will always take you forward and you decide whether Change is good or bad. In the end, you will reach the choice where to fight Thor, free Loki and make sure Ragnarök happens in order for a new world to take the old ones' place or fight Loki, bind him firmly to his stone slabs and make sure Ragnarök will not happen.

Tuesday - March 18, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #6

by Couchpotato, 05:05

Paradox released the next Development Diary for Runemaster on their forums. This time we get informaion on the games worldmap, and exploration.

 Developer diary 6 - Worldmap and Exploration

Welcome to the 6th developer diary for Runemaster. Today we’re going to tell you more about exploring the worlds in the game. Details on each of the different worlds will come in future dev diaries, so today we’ll just focus on how the world is generated and how you explore it within the game.

Procedural Worlds

We’ve said before that our worlds are procedurally generated, but what does that mean?

Initially, we made a procedural landscape made of mountains, plains, highlands and ocean, and we simulated rainfall and placed rivers, swamps forests and arid areas accordingly. Cities, bandit camps, iron mines, farms and other locations were placed based on factors like the availability of fresh water, proximity to the ocean, presence of mountain passes and more. The result was cool, and it could have looked good if it wasn’t done with programmer art and random assets from CK2, but didn't work for the game we wanted to make. We’re making a role-playing game, not a grand strategy game, and while we had some control over the gameplay aspects of this world, we didn't have enough.

It wasn't an easy decision, but, as the saying goes, sometimes you have to kill your darlings, be it in writing literature or making software.

Back to the drawing board

So making a “realistic” world wouldn't give us the world we thought we needed, but what did we really need? What are the design goals of a Runemaster world? First of all, we needed a world that would support our quests, especially our main quest line. This means one that is plausible, that works with the quest arcs and that has the right sizes and distances to have the quests make sense. Secondly we wanted to be able to create memorable locations that allowed for exploration - we want the worlds to vary because that’s important for replayability but each playthrough has to create something meaningful in regards to the setting. And thirdly, we wanted to be able to control the flow of the game in some way. The world generation needed to be consistent in creating the worlds we wanted. Every player needs to get a world that gives a great gaming experience!


At the start, the world is unknown to you and there’s only one way to unveil its secrets. You have to travel the lands and meet its inhabitants, see its monuments and plunder its riches (if your character fancies riches, that is). Some places are connected by roads and others you have to reach by moving through forests, spiky rocks or along the shore of a poisoned lake. Every player will have to do some exploring, even if it just means going wherever the quests tell you to go, but if you find exploration interesting, there will be areas that are more hidden and off the beaten path of the main quest. Here you will find side quests, lore, loot or just an unexpected encounter. This will be especially true for the worlds in which you didn't start your journey and you’ll choose which you’ll delve deeper into.

Tuesday - March 11, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #5

by Couchpotato, 04:39

Paradox released the fifth Development Diary for Runemaster on their forums. This time we get informaion on how combat attributes work in the game.

Runemaster - Development Diary 5 - The Combat Attributes

Welcome to developer diary 5 for Runemaster where we focus on combat attributes! As you should know by now, Runemaster will focus on your hero in the quests and on the main map - but when the battle starts, your hero will be moved from the world map and into a battlefield when you encounter enemies. The battles of Runemaster will be turn-based, tactical battles based on a hex grid system. There your Hero joins his/her army and take active part in combat as a unit on the battlefield. And there are several combat attributes that govern how well the character performs during combat.

There will absolutely be more dev diaries describing the combat system later, but for now we’ll give you a quick overview of the combat attributes that all units have:

  •     Health
  •     Armor
  •     Melee damage
  •     Melee piercing
  •     Ranged damage
  •     Ranged piercing
  •     Range
  •     Magic damage
  •     Magic resistance
  •     Terror
  •     Discipline
  •     Movement speed

Health controls how much damage a unit can take before being removed from the combat. Armor is used to prevent damage and piercing removes armor. Ranged units are usually weak in melee. Magic damage is used to control the effects of a lot of aggressive magical abilities and magic resistance protects against magic damage. Discipline makes units hold their ground longer before breaking and falling back on the battlefield and terror makes units break faster.

The system is built such that we can create different rock-paper-scissor scenarios where some units (such as units with high armor) are best countered with other types of units (units with high piercing).

Modders should be happy to know that traits and attributes are fully scriptable and there’s no limitation in the number and types of attributes. There are triggers and effects that manipulate attributes and traits that can be used to control quests and dialog.

So, that was a teaser on the combat attributes for your hero and units. We will definitely delve more in this subject further along the development, rest assure!

Monday - March 10, 2014

Runemaster - Women from Norse Mythology

by Couchpotato, 04:37

Paradox has a new post for Runemaster about women from Norse Mythology.

The Stories of Women from Norse Mythology

In Runemaster, you alone will determine the fate of the world. Until then, we invite you to read the stories of women from Norse Mythology and discover their sagas, before you embark on your own .

These women we mention are only a few that changed the world of Norse Mythology. When you play Runemaster, you will be able to create your own hero – man or woman – and change the fate of the world. So prepare for a journey into the unknown, because you alone are the master of your own saga. And if you want to bring forth a strong woman from Norse Mythology, please do so in the comments of this thread .

Tuesday - March 04, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #4

by Couchpotato, 06:09

Paradox released the fourth Development Diary for Runemaster on their forums. This time we get informaion on how personality traits work in the game.

Runemaster - Development Diary 4 - Personality Traits

Welcome to the 4th developer diary for Runemaster. Today we will delve deep in the trait system, since you can’t have a role-playing game without traits and attributes. RPGs can take a number of different approaches to defining what kind of person the main character is. In some games, there is little choice in how your character acts, in others you can be either good or bad, and in some you have to decide on personality yourself and then make sure you act it out because the game light let you switch at any given moment. In Runemaster, however, we want the personality of your character to be formed by the decisions you make throughout the game.

Your choices have a direct impact on your quests

Runemaster is an RPG with an element of emergent storytelling, so our goal is to have the choices you make directly impact the quests you can embark on. The game’s procedural quest system will take note of your deeds and challenge you accordingly. The way you act determines not only what type of person you are, but also what personality traits you develop and what quests you get in future. (Would you hire a bloodthirsty murderer to save a wagonload of orphans?) One of the cornerstones of every Paradox Development Studio game is replayability, and the personality traits combined with the quest system will play a huge part in making every playthrough different.

Tuesday - February 25, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #3

by Couchpotato, 05:55

Paradox released the third Development Diary for Runemaster on their forums.

Runemaster Development Diary 3 - Main Story

RPGs or role-playing games rely heavily on stories to create a compelling and immersive world. Runemaster is no different but as we are making the game, we are focusing on creating quests and a world that changes with the player’s choices and actions. We take much inspiration from Crusader Kings II’s narrative and storytelling, in that it is the player, not the game, that should create and tell a story. We will make sure that the worlds we create are inhabited by interesting people who you can interact with, do quests for or maybe fight. There is a greater limitation in making a story for a RPG than a grand strategy game, and we need to rely more on the imagination of the game- and quest writers than we have previously done. Quests differ a lot from events and are both more complex to make and to write. Those of you who have played CKII and has come upon the event serie Gate of Hell, imagine that but several times longer, more complicated and perhaps even more interesting. Then you’ll get one of Runemaster’s quests.

Even a game as purely random like Nethack has a story. It has a goal of obtaining the Amulet of Yendor, but nothing else. The story is in your mind as the mechanics fit together to form a story of unexpected encounters.

The Witcher 2, on the other hand, has several minor quests that you might not even think is a quest when you take action. In one region of the game you are able to either aid a couple of guards who are looking for elves or help the elves escape. Your choice of action will affect the game in a small way; if you save the elves you will be approached by someone later on in the game who will thank you and give you a small reward. The Witcher 2 is filled with things like that. It also has a great story with several different paths through it, and depending on which you choose you’ll experience a whole other story. We intend to take it a step further and make sure your every choice will impact the game in some way.

Friday - February 21, 2014

Runemaster - Preview @ Eurogamer

by Couchpotato, 04:57

Eurogamer takes a look at Runemaster and comes to the conclusion Paradox is stepping out of its comfort zone. Here is a small part of the article.

Runemaster is an ambitious and unusual departure for Paradox Development Studio, but it doesn't look like the developer is showing any apprehension, nor any willingness to compromise on either scope or production values. Andersson is particularly excited to talk about working on something he's wanted to make since, he says, he was very young, and it will only be a year before he gets to share it with the world. Runemaster is slated for release in early 2015, when gamers will be able to decide whether they're happy with the worlds he's given them, or whether they want to tear them down to create something new.

Wednesday - February 19, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #2

by Couchpotato, 05:01

Paradox released the second Development Diary for Runemaster on their forums.

Runemaster - Development Diary 2 - Art & Lore

We’ll start our Runemaster dev diaries from an artistic point of view. This group of diaries will discuss things like scenery and character design, and and explain our thinking behind the races, worlds, heroes etc. in the game, as well as relevant lore for each of these. Our Lead Artist, Fredrik Toll, and Senior Lore Developer, Sara Wendel-Örtqvist, will be co-writing these dev diaries. Most of these will appear later, but for the moment I want to focus on the general artistic thoughts about the game, and some of the challenges we have faced in conceiving the project.

From an artistic standpoint, Runemaster is a whole new level of challenge for Paradox Development Studio. We need to create much more content than we have for any other game we have ever made. The amount of and level of 3D-modeling and animation is breathtakingly large for us. With Runemaster we have no historical reference to rely on, and, therefore, we have had to create lots of concept art in order to create a world from our own imagination. The game writing is a challenge of its own, as a role-playing game demands a lot more writing and a much different kind of writing than our previous titles.

Monday - February 17, 2014

Runemaster - Development Diary #1

by Couchpotato, 04:46

Paradox released the first Development Diary for Runemaster.

Runemaster Developer Diary 1 - Our Vision

Welcome to our first development diary for our upcoming RPG Runemaster. My name is Johan Andersson, studio manager at Paradox Development Studio and I am very happy and proud to present this game and give you weekly information during our development!

Why create an RPG?

As a kid, I kept making my own games on the C64. I made lots of different types of games, games me and my friends had great fun playing together. My dream has always been that I wanted to create grand strategy games and a great RPG. Now, after twenty years of making games for a living, I think I can say that I’ve made a few decent strategy games :) However I still haven’t made an attempt at a good RPG, and I truly believe Runemaster will be that game!

As some of you might know, Paradox Development Studio started as the computer games development wing of Target Games, a company that was built on making pen & paper roleplaying games. And we’re still some people old enough to still be around from that age.

We at PDS don´t just love strategy games passionate. We also deeply love playing RPG’s. (We had great fun with our World of Warcraft guild for several years, and whenever there is a new Bioware or Bethesda RPG out, there is quite a lot of lunch conversation about them.) Our team is so excited about putting their vast experience of making games into making their dream come true!

Our Vision & Goal!

So what do we want with Runemaster?

We want to make a truly repayable RPG with tactical elements, where every single play through is a unique saga.

We want you to be able to weave your own Viking Saga and explore the beautifully rendered six Norse worlds.

We want to make you a enjoyable game out of the expected from Paradox Development Studio.

What will make Runemaster unique?

We aim to have the game stand on three pillars:

First of all, the exploration of six worlds rich on Norse Mythology. With procedural generated worlds this will add on uniqueness to each game you start.

Secondly, our tactical combat system. With terrain & elevation, multiple unit types and depth of options will make for an awesome experience.

Finally, we are building on the truly unique attributes of emergent storytelling. Your decisions will have direct impact on the journeys you embark on.

Sunday - February 16, 2014

Runemaster - Interview @ Angry Joe

by Couchpotato, 05:11

Angry Joe interviewed Johan Andersson of Paradox to talk about Runemaster.

Sunday - February 09, 2014

Runemaster - Interview @ Gamereactor

by Couchpotato, 02:36

Gamereactor interviews Paradox Studios about their new RPG Runemaster.

Paradox Development Studio is pretty much synonomous with the grand-strategy genre. Sure others dabble in it, but with Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings and Victoria - this is a rather significant niche these days that Paradox commands. But there has always been that itch to stretch outside of the comfort zone and do something different. They've tried in the past, but perhaps the less said of Valhalla Chronicles (2003) the better.

"When I grew up back in the old days, hundreds of years ago, I wanted to make three different computer games," says studio manager Johan Andersson. "I wanted to make a football manager game. I wanted to make an awesome strategy game played on maps, which I may have succeeded with a few times I guess. And I also wanted to make a cool RPG. And I wanted an RPG that you could replay, and replay and replay."

The team is staying away from calling the sides of the conflict good and evil - opting for the more ambigious conservative and radical.

"There are three races that are conservative and three races that are radicial," says Andersson. "And notice that we're not saying good or evil. But there are the three races that are humans, dwarves and light elves. They want to keep the current order and they want to stop Ragnarok from happening. Then you have three other races - trolls, giants and dark elves. And they want to see change. They want to remove the current Gods and usher in Ragnarok and make a fresh plate for everyone with them in more power."

Wednesday - February 05, 2014

Runemaster - Interview @ Gameswelt

by Couchpotato, 00:55

Gameswelt interviews two developers from Paradox about their upcoming RPG Runemaster. They also have another interview with the CEO Frederik Wester.

Enjoy and remember the beginning is in German, but the full interview is in English.

Friday - January 31, 2014

Runemaster - Preview @ Strategy Informer

by Couchpotato, 03:42

Strategy Informer is the next site this week to preview Paradox's RPG Runemaster.

As it’s all still early days, all we’ve really got to go on is early screenshots and wishes, essentially. The release date is set for next ‘winter’, but that could be late this year or early next depending on how things go over the coming months. Like I said above, I’m hesitant to get too excited about this game given all the factors, but it’ll be good for them to branch out I think, do something else. As long as the PDS guys give it the same care, attention and patience they’ve been showing to their grand-strategy titles post-CK2, then there’s no way this will be a terrible game. How good it’ll be though really depends on how well their team can adapt to an unfamiliar genre. Also worth noting at this point is that platforms are ‘TBD’, so it’s possible this could be part of Paradox’s new console line-up, but there’s no point speculating much there right now.

Thursday - January 30, 2014

Runemaster - Preview @ IncGamers

by Couchpotato, 01:49

IncGamers has a new preview of Paradox's New RPG Runemaster.

We were shown from the character creation process of a Human Berserker. The normal map mode has the character in the center of the screen, with the camera pulled back behind the character and raised in the air. The character spawned at a starting city and began to run around, we were told that it would be the same view even when you have a large army.

We didn’t get to see Runemaster’s tactical combat but we were told that “It will be on a hex grid with forces opposing each other. Terrain will matter, and objects can be used to block areas. Units on the grid can be singular or many, the hero or a giant might take up a space but a squad of dwarfs might fit 6 or 8 in a single space. Troop types will be varied and the army composition is a tactical choice by the player. Based on your hero’s class the supporting army should be different.”

Linda told us that “Runemaster will feature an emergent story system, a quest system that shapes future experiences. If you choose greedy types of things in quests, you will get more greedy options in future quests.”

Tuesday - January 28, 2014

Runemaster - Preview @ Escapist Magazine

by Couchpotato, 01:52

Escapist Magazine has a new preview for Paradox's new RPG Runemaster.

Everything I was told about Runemaster sounds like it will be a blast to play, and my short glimpse of the UI and the top down view of the game world certainly looked stellar, but the development is a long way from complete. The projected release window is "winter", and Runemaster could come out anywhere between December 2014 to February 2015. It's in alpha right now, and the team has a lot of design work left to do before the polishing and bug-squashing begins. Paradox has gotten better with releasing games relatively bug free but the new genre could present additional problems. If the team delivers what they outlined last week, Paradox could very well have a hit on its hands.

Thursday - January 23, 2014

Runemaster - New Turn-Based RPG

by Couchpotato, 21:01

Paradox Interactive has announced a new Viking-themed turn-based RPG called Runemaster. Here is the the new trailer and some details.

Runemaster is an RPG set in a fantasy realm based in the rich, majestic traditions of Norse mythology, casting each player in the role of a unique champion in a time of chaotic upheaval. Procedural maps and quests will ensure that no two playthroughs are identical, allowing players to tell a saga that is uniquely their own. Explore vast vistas through the six worlds of Norse myth, command troops in tactical combat, and define your champion through the choices they make.

Information about


Developer: Paradox Development

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Canceled
· Publisher: Paradox Interactive