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Cultist Simulator: Priest and Ghoul DLC out now! Anthology Edition available!

BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
edited May 2019 in Games and Technology
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Cultist Simulator is a game of apocalypse and yearning from Alexis Kennedy, creator of Fallen London and Sunless Sea. Play as a seeker after unholy mysteries, in a 1920s-themed setting of hidden gods and secret histories. Perhaps you're looking for knowledge, or power, or beauty, or revenge. Perhaps you just want the colours beneath the skin of the world. It is being published by Humble so please consider purchasing at Humble Store which typically goes for the same sale price as from Steam directly, plus you support charity.

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The gameplay takes place on a tabletop, with face up cards as your resources and action slots to put them in. So you might put your health card into the work slot, and that will get you some pay but it might also give you an injury which you must then try to cure. There is a survival aspect where your funds are always depleting so you must work to acquire funds. The goal is peal back the mysteries of arcane knowledge while keeping your sanity, health, and notoriety in check lest a hunter bring you to court for unspeakable crimes.

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Please mark spoilers. Discovery and exploration are an important part of the game and we are all in different spots. Heres the launch trailer if you would like to know more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heaH_KvB4eU

Bedlam on
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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Hoorah! I was hoping this deserved a full thread. Reposting what I just put in Steam Thread:

    I started Cultist Simulator yesterday afternoon. Since then I lost the rest of the day, neglected various task I needed to do, stayed up far too late, eventually drifted off to sleep pondering mysteries and then dreamed of constantly ticking dials and cards. Today I'm massively spaced out and over tired at work, but my brain is still stuck going round those same mysteries and I can think of little more then getting home as soon as possible and resuming plumbing the depths of forbidden knowledge.

    So I'm saying it works very well at being thematic.

    I'm enjoying faffing flailing around discovering things by experiment, but a quick hint, is there a way to increase chances of getting particular lore? I'm pretty much only getting things through the auction house and book shop, and as those are random the RNG (elder) gods always seem to decree I will get no more of a lore as soon as I make it my cult.

    Come to think of it, possibly I should hold back on starting the cult until I've actually plumbed a few deeper mysteries and pick my lore based on my discoveries rather than trying to force a path and cursing that luck doesn't give me what I want.

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    Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    This seems right up my alley. Thanks for the heads up. Love Failbetter stuff, so more in a similar vein is always good.

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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    Things I've learned (so far):

    Hard labor is good for your health.

    Nobody raises an eyebrow when you're out recruiting cultists, but painting things might make certain people take an interest.

    Recruit a bunch of cultist with varied skills before sending them off on Expeditions.

    'Leveling up' pieces of Lore doesn't always need the same things. So if you failed at studying whatever secret because you didn't have any Glimmering for example, just try again. Perhaps this time around you'll only need Reason or Passion.

    You'll randomly go insane and die and there isn't really anything you can do about it because you can't reliably get the countermeasures.

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    KisidanKisidan Registered User regular
    I'm loving this game so much.

    And I am so bad at it.

    I played it for 8 hours yesterday and still haven't actually done anything genuinely occult other than have some weird dreams across 5 or 6 games.

    I AM getting better at surviving the loop, though. There are some tricks to avoid insanity and death which mostly boil down to 'don't commit everything you have and try to keep a steady stock of vigor / contentment laying around'.

    I suspect they will change the painting profession because it is stupid easy to survive indefinitely off the back of your ability to paint.

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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    I've... uhm... initiated some of my followers deeper into the mysteries of the Cult.

    You should probably check out the descriptions of your named followers. They get updated.

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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Is there a reliable source of:
    Dread to counteract shining (or brightness or whatever it is called)?

    Contentment seems really easy to get even without resorting to Opium
    Walking the night streets, visiting the naughty hellfire club, dreaming on body,

    so I'm never at risk from despair, but if I actively want Dread to calm myself down I struggle.

    Jam Warrior on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    I believe you can get that...
    By talking to the Hunter about your Society. Fairly sure that'll always get you Dread.

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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    There's a logic to that!

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    akajaybayakajaybay Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Dreaming with Reason can also generate Dread. But only about as reliably as getting contentment from dreaming with health. The hunter trick sounds like a good one.

    I’ve gotten far enough to see what I would need to do to win, but I am far from the resource goal.

    Any tips on learning arcane languages?

    akajaybay on
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    Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    I have no idea how to obtain the occult lore required to do actual magic or rituals besides initiating people into my cult. The farthest I've ever gotten is to the Woods. And also stalling perpetually on an exploration thing because I couldn't break a ward and I had no idea how to get the things to move past it.

    Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. - Lincoln
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    akajaybayakajaybay Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    In those early stages farm books like crazy to study and gather up lore and also build up a healthy stable of believers before you attempt the expeditions.
    Once you're on an expedition open up the pane and click on the icons mixed in with your followers. Whatever obstacles they're going to face are listed in there with a description of what types of skills might work well against them, you want to then be able to add people that match that type so that when the check comes they'll clear it. So it can be tough to cover those if you still only have 2-3 people in the cult. But you can also send hirelings on expeditions as well.

    Another fun hireling tip, if you have a good one you want to keep around you can reup their contract by talking to them about money.

    akajaybay on
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    akajaybay wrote: »
    Any tips on learning arcane languages?

    Books you can buy in the shop or at the auction house can teach you ancient languages. Sometimes, when recruiting followers, you'll attract a patron instead and some of those patrons can teach you an ancient language as well.

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    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    akajaybay wrote: »
    Any tips on learning arcane languages?

    Books you can buy in the shop or at the auction house can teach you ancient languages. Sometimes, when recruiting followers, you'll attract a patron instead and some of those patrons can teach you an ancient language as well.

    Those languages are the easy ones.
    Phrygian can be taught by some summoned entities (I know of a Grail aspected one that can). Vek can be learned by passing the Peacock door.

    Polaritie on
    Steam: Polaritie
    3DS: 0473-8507-2652
    Switch: SW-5185-4991-5118
    PSN: AbEntropy
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    akajaybayakajaybay Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    akajaybay wrote: »
    Any tips on learning arcane languages?

    Books you can buy in the shop or at the auction house can teach you ancient languages. Sometimes, when recruiting followers, you'll attract a patron instead and some of those patrons can teach you an ancient language as well.

    Those languages are the easy ones.
    Some more specific language talk
    Phrygian can be taught by some summoned entities (I know of a Grail aspected one that can). Vek can be learned by passing the Peacock door.

    So I figured that may be the case but I wasn't sure how you then worked on it. Do you talk to the summon about the book, Study the summon? I did have one crazy grail summon at one point but I sent it off on an expedition.
    The talk action always has me hesitant to expiriment because you end up locked into talking to that person even if you don't find a decent subject to focus on.

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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Oh. Didn't know those languages even existed.

    WotanAnubis on
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    heenatoheenato Alice Leywind Registered User regular
    one thing I'm real interested in learning from other people is how you set up your bloody boards. It always ends up being a complete mess for me no matter how I try to set it.

    Well, that and how to induct more than 1 person into my cult. I haven't seemed to figure that one out yet.

    M A G I K A Z A M
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    heenato wrote: »
    Well, that and how to induct more than 1 person into my cult. I haven't seemed to figure that one out yet.
    Talk - Secret. You'll need Passion for a bit to meet an Acquaintance. Reason for a Patron.

    If you've found an Acquaintance: Talk - Cult (insert this card first) + Acquaintance + Appropriate Secret. You don't need Trappings just to induct someone into the cult.

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    akajaybayakajaybay Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    The getting more members one is pretty important.
    Talk bout your lore bits. Doesn't seem to matter which one. Basically it's you talking around about your spooky interests and someone will bite. Either a patron offering work or a possible member.
    Then you induct them by talking to your cult as a whole.

    akajaybay on
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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    heenato wrote: »
    one thing I'm real interested in learning from other people is how you set up your bloody boards. It always ends up being a complete mess for me no matter how I try to set it.

    Well, that and how to induct more than 1 person into my cult. I haven't seemed to figure that one out yet.

    There's a thing you can do that the game suggests might be bad idea when you slot the card, which is why I also avoided it for so long, but then adds a sly wink that maybe you want to do it anyway.

    Real spoiler answer:
    TALK about any lore related stuff.

    Jam Warrior on
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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    @polarite That's definitely the kind of thing that should be spoilered.

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    heenatoheenato Alice Leywind Registered User regular
    OH! Okay. That's how that works. thanks.

    M A G I K A Z A M
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    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Whoops.

    Anyways, working with tutors uses the study action.

    Steam: Polaritie
    3DS: 0473-8507-2652
    Switch: SW-5185-4991-5118
    PSN: AbEntropy
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    akajaybayakajaybay Registered User regular
    I'm not sure I'll have the proper dedication to see this through to a more complete victory, although I've gotten further each time and understand the loops much better now.
    So starting over would take a lot less time I imagine.

    But so far this is my proudest accomplishment.
    Spoils for pulling off some actual arcane rituals.
    I learned the rite that requires a human sacrifice. Coincidentally I had sent a believer off to murder my adversary. Surprisingly they brought the journalist back as a prisoner instead. Which seem liked a perfect opportunity to test out my new ritual.
    i tinkered with the components until I found a combination that would summon one of the silent dead. So I sacrificed my adversary, put a otherworldy spirit into his corpse, THEN I sent that corpse off to destory the damning evidence that the hunter had generated. That was a good day's work for the cult.

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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    So has anyone figured out what Worm/Bird does?

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    akajaybayakajaybay Registered User regular
    So has anyone figured out what Worm/Bird does?
    I think it may just be a meta thing.
    Word is it doesn't do anything mechanically.
    I found this on their kickstarter tiers.

    Early Bird: Zealot
    You'll get a Perpetual Edition copy of the game. Perpetual Edition means any/all DLC for free forever. Special price because you got in early. You will be asked whether you're a Bird or a Worm.

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    WingedWeaselWingedWeasel Registered User regular
    Is there a good video explanation of this game? I tried watching the stuff done steam earlier (without sound) and I dunno wtf I'm looking at so when I get home I want to try to look at it again.

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    BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Things I've learned (so far):

    Hard labor is good for your health.

    Nobody raises an eyebrow when you're out recruiting cultists, but painting things might make certain people take an interest.

    Recruit a bunch of cultist with varied skills before sending them off on Expeditions.

    'Leveling up' pieces of Lore doesn't always need the same things. So if you failed at studying whatever secret because you didn't have any Glimmering for example, just try again. Perhaps this time around you'll only need Reason or Passion.

    You'll randomly go insane and die and there isn't really anything you can do about it because you can't reliably get the countermeasures.

    There are somewhat reliable ways to get better and to get contentment.
    study heath or work health to get a vitality and sleep with an injury or sickness(and vitality) to clear it. You can also sleep with money to clear it.

    work 1 passion (with nothing else) to usually get a contentment, sleeping with health can get it for you. And if you find the house of ill repute (crab something?) you can explore + money to guarantee it.

    BSoB on
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    heenatoheenato Alice Leywind Registered User regular
    BSoB wrote: »
    Things I've learned (so far):

    Hard labor is good for your health.

    Nobody raises an eyebrow when you're out recruiting cultists, but painting things might make certain people take an interest.

    Recruit a bunch of cultist with varied skills before sending them off on Expeditions.

    'Leveling up' pieces of Lore doesn't always need the same things. So if you failed at studying whatever secret because you didn't have any Glimmering for example, just try again. Perhaps this time around you'll only need Reason or Passion.

    You'll randomly go insane and die and there isn't really anything you can do about it because you can't reliably get the countermeasures.

    There are somewhat reliable ways to get better and to get contentment.
    study heath or work health to get a vitality and sleep with an injury or sickness(and vitality) to clear it. You can also sleep with money to clear it.

    work 1 passion (with nothing else) to usually get a contentment, sleeping with health can get it for you. And if you find the house of ill repute (crab something?) you can explore + money to guarantee it.
    The cabaret house does not guarantee contentment. it sometimes gets you notoriety, or some other card about hunger.

    M A G I K A Z A M
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    38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    Can anyone describe what the actual gameplay is like? It is heavily text like Fallen London?

    38thDoE on steam
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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    38thDoe wrote: »
    Can anyone describe what the actual gameplay is like? It is heavily text like Fallen London?

    It's a real time, pausable card game with reasonably heavy flavour text but if you're going in for a super strong narrative rather than a distinct mood you'll be disappointed.

    That said it's an exceptionally compelling mix of card games, time management and point and click esoterics.

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    38thDoe38thDoe lets never be stupid again wait lets always be stupid foreverRegistered User regular
    Thanks! That's not at all what I was picturing.

    38thDoE on steam
    🦀🦑🦀🦑🦀🦑🦀🦑🦀🦑🦀🦑🦀
    
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    akajaybayakajaybay Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    38thDoe wrote: »
    Can anyone describe what the actual gameplay is like? It is heavily text like Fallen London?

    Yes and no. There's less text than Fallen London.

    I'll spoiler this simply because figuring out how it all works is definitely a percentage of the game's thing. But what's inside is only the very very basic concepts. So it's not really spoiling much of anything.
    Gameplay takes place on a table, not unlike Tabletop Simulator in that you can move the various elements around the table in whatever way you want.
    Those elements are a series of Actions.
    Work, Dream, Study, Explore, Talk
    and one you don't have control over Time.

    Your initial story will provide you with a few cards.
    you'll have cards that represent your own values. Your Reason, Passion, Health and Funds.
    You take cards and drop them into the action slots to trigger events.
    If you let's say place one of your Heath cards on the Explore action, You wander around the city and see what you can find.
    It's probably take a certain amount of time before you have a result. Maybe you'll find a place you haven't been before and you'll get a card that represents that place. So then you could put that place on the Explore action to go there.

    There's flavor text on the events and on the cards. It's well done but it's not as verbose as Fallen London.
    You'll have goals you want to aim towards but often not really know what you need to do to work towards them. There's a lot of let's see what happens if I do this plays until you get used to things.

    That Time action will consume your Funds. if you run out of money altogether you'll have issues with you know...starving to death.
    It'll also trigger other events that might need you to deal with them in order to avoid end states or problems. Or maybe it's just a nice day outside today and you get a temporary Contentment card etc.

    Many cards have set times before they expire and go away, or when they turn into something else. So some resources can be temporary, so are some of the negative things you don't want etc.

    akajaybay on
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    GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    I managed to play through to one "standard" victory (passion), and have to say that the end-game in this just drags. Maybe I wasn't aggressive enough early on with doing expeditions, but it took a really long time to fulfill the requirements to finish the game, and there was no risk of any sort after a certain point, as you can eventually deal with any danger handily, so long as you're proactive about it. I'm hoping DLC adds a bit more meat to the late game, at which point I'd be interested in doing the other victories.

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    EtiowsaEtiowsa Registered User regular
    Is there a reliable source of:
    Dread to counteract shining (or brightness or whatever it is called)?

    Contentment seems really easy to get even without resorting to Opium
    Walking the night streets, visiting the naughty hellfire club, dreaming on body,

    so I'm never at risk from despair, but if I actively want Dread to calm myself down I struggle.
    Working with decrepitude will always generate dread. And is generally less annoying than hunters to have around. Just let an illness or injury time out to get one. It also wouldn't hurt wait till you have a bigger health pool to do this.

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    CalescentCalescent Registered User regular
    I already posted in the Steam thread but, just in case there is anyone reading this thread who is on the fence and hasn't purchased the game yet, I have a 10% coupon to give away that expires this Thursday, June 7, at 11am.

    Steam: Calidaria
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    WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    Garthor wrote: »
    I managed to play through to one "standard" victory (passion), and have to say that the end-game in this just drags. Maybe I wasn't aggressive enough early on with doing expeditions, but it took a really long time to fulfill the requirements to finish the game, and there was no risk of any sort after a certain point, as you can eventually deal with any danger handily, so long as you're proactive about it. I'm hoping DLC adds a bit more meat to the late game, at which point I'd be interested in doing the other victories.

    So this game really is like Sunless Sea then.

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    21stCentury21stCentury Call me Pixel, or Pix for short! [They/Them]Registered User regular
    i mean, I found my current run to be real safe.
    so long as I don't commit crimes, Agnes. Murdering people is a crime, Agnes. Don't murder people, Agnes.

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    XaviarXaviar Registered User regular
    So. The problem with this game is that you typically have 2-3 things in motion at any given time.

    So "one-more-turn-itis" is a problem, because I'll just stop when x is done. But while I'm waiting I need to get y spinning before it decays. Oh x is done now, but I'll just wait to see what happens with y finishing. Oh, z is done that's a neat new thing, let's put it into a thing and see what it does. Oh y finished, but I really want to see what z does before I stop..

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    Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    So, painting:
    I assumed I would be able to find dastardly pigments to use in the final turn of a painting instead of money, and just got one from an expedition! I'm scared to use it now though because I don't want it to vanish after one use for something that I didn't use the right inspiration for, I guess.

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    LeumasWhiteLeumasWhite New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I've found the meat of the game is in learning the mechanics, because actually working with them gets real tiring when you know what you have to do, but also know that you've got a few more hours of grinding lore to get there. I wish they'd at least make the requirements for lore research static.

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