As the darkness deepens and settles in like a heavy fog across the earth, stories of raiding parties pillaging and burning entire townships to the ground become more common. Where once merriment and laughter spread from the depths of well lit taverns, now folks avert their eyes, fearful of their neighbour’s gaze. The same inns are now dull, lifeless. Hooded bandits sit quietly in shadowy corners, flames glinting off daggers resting at their hip. Everyone is a stranger. The sound of metal striking bone is all too common; stabbings, mutilations, duels. The smallest disagreements boil over into bloody confrontations; and everywhere, the smell of fear.
The pulsing evil of the Blood Queen has snaked its way into the water itself; madness brews in the commonfolk. Black crows crowd the rooftops, their presence an evil omen in the minds of the seers, who begin prophesying an age of terror as such the world has never seen. Livestock fall dead in paddocks without explanation, their eyes red as the last embers of a winter fire, foam pouring from bleeding nostrils.
Mystic Champions are being called from across the world to The Red Village. The Blood Queen demands violence as her power grows. She cannot be sated.
Amidst this, he begins to stir. The Bloodwraith Gaa’gore, necromancer and loyal servant of the Queen. Not seen in hundreds of years, undisturbed by the howls of direwolves and crushing cold in the Forgotten Forest. Until now. Not alive and not dead, Gaa’gore is a master of Blood Magic. He meddles with the line between life and death, blurring it; the Bloodwraith is able to Summon Champions. Through a demonic ritual spoken in an ancient tongue he calls forth Champions from another Realm from his accursed Blood Portal. These Champions are known as Halfbloods.
His camp, deep within the Forest, is a place of unbridled evil. Powerful Battlemasters venture to him with their Champions in tow, seeking to strengthen their Barracks — to create new, vicious, battle-ready warriors. The Bloodwraith obliges. But with a price.
What is Summoning?
Summoning is The Red Village answer to breeding. By combining blood extracted from two Champions in a demonic ritual, Battlemasters can create (Summon) a new, powerful fighter. This article is the first of several in the series which will explain — in depth — the way Summoning works in The Red Village, which is quite unlike anywhere else. In the village, there will always be an incentive to be an active player and contributor to the village ecosystem.
Importantly, the finer details and exact numbers are still being hammered out; Summoning is, after all, still a little way off on the Roadmap. The deflationary mechanisms that we have been working on will factor in to the process and make for some seriously entertaining gameplay. What follows, though, is an introductory guide to the Summoning process.
When can I Summon?
The Bloodwraith, like the Queen, is drawn to violence and the shedding of blood. As such, his appearance will be at times of great activity in the village; Battlemasters will be able to visit him after a certain amount of Tournaments have been completed; he will then retreat into the depths of the Forest to regain his strength before returning. In other words, the Bloodwraith is not always available, but will come and go with his Summoning ceremony, aiding in inflation control.
To begin with, for each Summoning period, Battlemasters can Summon once for each Champion that they own. Battlemasters will be able to Summon more in future from their Champions during each Summoning period, but while Tournaments are getting started it is important to the Blood Queen that the numbers of new Champions in her village do not exceed her expectations.
Who can Summon?
Champions can only Summon within their class; Wizards can only mix blood with Wizards, Rangers can only mix blood with Rangers, and so on. They cannot cross. However, all the different breeds are able to Summon together; for example Orcs and Elves, while they are sworn enemies in life, are able to mix their blood without consequence. The same goes with every other breed; the results of this, we’ll discuss a little later.
What are the Genotypes of Champions?
There are three types of Champion in The Red Village. The first are known as the Purebloods, who range from the Genotype R1 through to R12. These Champions are known as the Genesis, Mystic, Warlords, and Lionhearts. They are the most pure, and rarest of Champions in The Red Village. They have no lineage. Pureblood Champions can Summon with anyone.
The second type of Champion are known as the Halfbloods; they range from the Genotype R13 to R99. These Champions are the product of a Summoning. To calculate their Genotype, or Rnumber, you add together the Rnumbers of their ancestors and add 11. For example, if an R1 and an R7 were used in a Summoning, it would be (R1 + R7 + 11 = R19). Halfbloods can Summon with both Purebloods and Halfblood Champions.
When the Genotype is R100 or above, then the Summoned Champion is known as a ‘Soulless’, and their Genotype is denoted as unidentifiable. They are somewhat of a mystery given the records of their lineage can be difficult to trace. Battlemasters may have a beast or a peasant join their Barracks — and will be none the wiser until they venture into the Arena! Soulless Champions are the third group of Champion in The Red Village ecosystem. Soulless Champions can only Summon with Purebloods.
Public and Private Summoning
Battlemasters have the option to Summon either publicly or privately. That is, they can Summon from within their Barracks, or go outside and chance their hand in the Village Market.
Public Summoning: A Battlemaster will place their Champion in the Village Market for a fee. A minimum Summoning fee will be in place, based on a range of properties such as Genotype and Breed. The Battlemaster may set their own fee at any level above the minimum. Once a buyer is found for the Champion’s blood, the fee the buyer pays will be split into the Community Chest, The Red Village Exchequer’s Account, and into commission for the seller.
To incentivise Battlemasters to fight their Champions and expose all the warriors in their Barracks to brutal violence, the amount of commission the seller receives will depend on the number of fights the Champion has been in. In other words, the more fights a Champion has been in, the higher the percentage commission paid to the selling Battlemaster. So, whilst Battlemasters can Summon with an Unblooded Champion, they are certainly incentivised to get its hands dirty.
The buying Battlemaster will keep the Summoned Champion. Initially, Champions will only be able to Summon once per appearance of the Bloodwraith; in future, as the ecosystem grows, Battlemasters will be able to choose a larger quantity of Summonings for each Champion.
Private Summoning: Some Battlemasters will prefer to keep their Barracks pure, or will have a particularly valuable Champion that they wish to use in a private Summoning ceremony. In other words, they want to keep their Champion off the Village Market because they know they’re on to a good thing. In a private Summoning, they can. The fee is set to the minimum Summoning fee (based on properties such as Genotype and Breed), and the Battlemaster will not receive a commission for the transaction. The entire fee will go to The Red Village Exchequer’s Account and the Community Chest.
Public-yet-private: Otherwise known as a Bosey Bluff, this method allows a Battlemaster to put their Champion into the public Village Market but then use it to Summon with a Champion from within their own Barracks. This would result in them keeping the commission they would have needed to pay in a private Summoning, however, it can be a risky manoeuvre. Any other Battlemaster can enter the Village Market and Summon with the Champion; if they get there first and pay the fee, the Battlemaster will miss out on the chance to Summon with this particular Champion until the next time the Bloodwraith returns to his camp.
What about Cosmetic Traits? Who gets what?
Cosmetic traits will be hereditary; they can all be passed down from generation to generation. The exact method by which they do this is complex — and will be the subject of later articles and how-to guides. For now though, an overview.
Hair and Warpaint: As these are fairly evenly spread amongst all existing Champions, and are set that way for future Pureblood Champions too, these will be randomly generated for a Summoned Champion. In future, we may introduce a capability for Battlemasters to choose the hair and warpaint of their newly Summoned Champion, for a cost.
Breed: When two Pureblood (R1-R12) Champions mix their blood in a Summoning Ceremony, they may produce any breed, regardless of their own. There is, however, a slightly higher likelihood that the Summoned Champion will be of the same breed as its donors. The exact calculations for this will be released closer to Summoning going live, but to answer the question on everyone’s lips, yes, while it won’t be common, you can in fact Summon a Halfblood Undead or Ethereal.
When Halfbloods are used to Summon, the resulting Champion may either be random, or may follow its hereditary traits. There is a percentage likelihood that its breed will be inherited from its ancestral forebears— this means that an orc who is twice removed from an Undead will be ever so slightly more likely to Summon an Undead than one who has no relation to an Undead whatsoever.
Armour Colour: Armour colour is also hereditary. While there is a chance that it will be randomly allocated, the trait is more likely to come from either Champion that provided the blood. If the donor Champions are of different colour palettes (shades), it is less likely that the Summoned Champion will share their armour colour than if they are of the same colour palette. If the donor Champions share the same exact colour, even if that colour is ultra-rare, the chance of the Summoned Champion sharing the colour palette (shade) is high, and of it sharing the same exact colour is also relatively higher.
There is also a small chance of producing a Polished version of a particular armour colour — this can only happen when two Champions of the same armour colour come together. These Polished armours are more vibrant, more burnished, and will certainly catch the eye. Finally, there is also a minutely small chance of generating the rarest of all armour colours, Nacreous, a hue so rare and majestic that it does not feature on the colour chart, and has never yet been seen in The Red Village or the Darklands surrounding it. The Champion bearing such a shade will be a rare sight indeed.
What about Fighting Traits?
All fighting traits are also hereditary, and in fact, a big part of being a great Battlemaster is learning your Champion’s skills and attributes, and using it in Summoning ceremonies to attempt to create new and even more powerful warriors to fight for honour and glory in Tournaments and To-the-Death matches.
We’ll get into more detail about how these are passed down in future articles.
The Last Word
Summoning is a big topic, and the algorithms that drive it are complex. The team has spent an big amount of time running simulations that will make it a valuable and engaging part of The Red Village experience. We will release the exact figures, percentages, and charts that explain what to expect from the Summoning process as we get closer to the release of the feature.
For now, though, a few key takeaways from today:
- The Summoning Monster, the Bloodwraith Gaa’gore, is not always present, but comes to the Village after a certain number of Tournaments have been completed and leaves again when his Blood Magic wanes and he needs to regather his strength
- Breeds, including rare breeds such as The Undead and The Ethereal, can be passed on to Summoned Champions
- Unblooded Champions can Summon — although we will always incentivise Battlemasters to fight, to play, and to engage in the Village and in Tournaments as much as we can
- The exact formulas behind Summoning will be released prior to the feature going live
- We will be rolling out deflationary mechanisms to help keep the rate of population growth in check as we grow the ecosystem — these will be intricately tied to gameplay and the story of the village, and certainly make sense for the Battlemaster
With less than two weeks until Tournaments go live; may the Blood Queen take mercy upon your soul.
Blood, blood, everywhere. But not a drop to spare.