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DEAD IN VINLAND is a survival/management indie game with RPG and adventure elements, and is the sequel of DEAD IN BERMUDA. Exiled on a faraway, unknown land, lead Eirik and his family on their quest to survive. Manage their physical and mental health, explore the island, organize your camp and deal with other human beings. Some will help you, if you want, and some will be less docileā€¦

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Hello survivors!

Today, we’re going to talk about traits in Dead in Vinland.

In Dead in Vinland, we have several types of traits:

  • Historical & random traits that are available at the start of a new game.
  • Traits that you gain throughout the game
  • Temporary traits
  • Traits that are diseases/wounds

Before going further, let’s explain what a trait is. A trait is a characteristic that is given to each character. They will have many effects. They can for instance give a bonus of XP or decrease the skills of a character.

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Finally, the traits can be either good or bad for the character. Hence, there are 2 columns in the traits menu: traits in the green column will give a bonus to the character, while those in the red one will give him/her a penalty.

Now, we’ll talk about the historical and random traits at the start of the game. As you know, each character has his/her own personality. For example, in the game, Eirik blames himself for what happened to his family, and Kari loves adventures. Well, that has an impact in the game! Each character has one good and one bad historical trait when you start the game.

When designing the characters of the Dead In series, we’ve always faced 2 problems: we wanted replayability and random elements, but we want real, living characters, not just faces without stories. It’s kind of contradictory, because the backstory and physical characteristics of characters give you strong constraints that will stick to this character. For example, an old man couldn’t have the skills of a strong, fierce young man. Things like that. So, we must deal with FIXED, logical characteristics for characters, and add a little randomness whenever it’s possible.

That’s why in Dead in Vinland each character starts with a set of HISTORIC traits, that are fixed and tailored for him/her only, and a set of random, lesser characteristics drawn from a pool of traits. Each character starts with 2 historical Trait, and 2 random negative Traits, and each time you level up you may choose between 5 positive traits for your character. They start quite bad at everything, but they’ll soon learn to be true survivors.

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“Potential hero” and “lasting remorse” are Eirik’s historical traits while “Coward 1” and “Stubborn” are random traits

Let’s take this example. Potential Hero will increase Eirik’s Concentration and Endurance skills 50% faster. However, because of “lasting remorse”, his depression will decrease 25% slower. That’s not all! Each character will have 2 red traits that are generated randomly. For example, Eirik can have as his random traits “Coward 1” and “Stubborn”. But it’ll be different for each player!

We implemented those two systems because we wanted the characters’ personality to have a true impact of the game. Plus, this allows each player to have a different experience.

Next, we’ll talk about the traits that you gain throughout the game. When you explore the island for example, your choices may trigger some new traits.

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A pyromaniac Moira… What is happening to her?

Those traits won’t disappear over time. That’s why you should be very careful with your choices, as they could add some new layers of difficulty. We really want the players to feel they’re playing with deep characters that can evolve throughout the game, and the choices they make can have quite big consequences.

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Hum, looks like Moira got a “Blessed” trait, and this one could be helpful. How did she get it though?

Then, let’s mention the temporary traits. They can also be gained in the game, but the difference with the previous ones is that they disappear over time. You’ll also gain them in the game because of your choices (dialogue choices for example).

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Kari didn’t want to upset her dad, and now she’ll be depressed for 3 days.

Those traits won’t be as impactful, but you should still be wary of them, as depression is one way to die in Dead in Vinland for example.

Finally, in Dead in Vinland, you can get diseases or wounds. Those also count as traits. There are 2 ways to get those. During exploration, when you miss a skill check for example.

And finally, if you lose too many HP in battle, you can get some injuries. Those will count as traits.

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Blodeuwedd’s arm will take 5 days to heal.

And that’s a wrap about traits! As you saw, there are many traits in Dead in Vinland, and some are quite beneficial (the green column), others will add penalties to the characters, and the player will have a harder time to survive. But it will be fun. We promise.

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Happy surviving!

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