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[Griftlands] A deckbuilding game where you have battles and combat negotiations?

MNC DoverMNC Dover Full-time Voice ActorKirkland, WARegistered User regular
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Griftlands is a single-player, roguelike deck building game created by Klei, where everything is negotiable: money, loyalty, and even morality. Choose your character and make your fortune in the Griftlands. If you've ever played Slay the Spire style games, you should be just fine.

You may know Klei from such games as Mark of the Ninja, Invisible Inc, Shank 1/2, Don't Starve, or Oxygen Not Included. Now they're bringing their unique art and gameplay styles to the deckbuilding genre. The game is still in Early Access and is available on Epic and Steam.

https://youtu.be/jtfYao-lr28

GAMEPLAY

The basic game revolves around your selected character meeting people and choosing missions to do for them. Everyone in the Griftlands is up to something though, so expect lots of backstabbing. Unlike most deckbuilders that focus on combat, Griftlands will have you managing two decks; one for traditional combat and one for negotiations. Yup, in addition to fighting, you'll have to talk with other characters. Sometimes you're intimidating them, other times you're trying to parlay a peace treaty. Knowing when to fight and when to talk is important, although sometimes no amount of words can stop a fight from erupting.

CARDS

You'll start with two decks, each filled with common stuff. Combat cards involve damage, defense, buffs, debuffs, and so forth. Negotiation cards are similar, but instead of saying attack and defense, you'll have arguments and composure. Make sure to build your deck around synergies (Burn cards, discard effects, etc) so you don't end up with a hand of junk.

Cards gain XP each time they're used and level up over time. You'll want to balance out combat and negotiations in order to keep both decks upgraded.

GRAFTS

If you've played Slay the Spire, Grafts are basically Relics. They are permanent items that provide buffs/upgrades through your run. They also level up over time. You can equip several for Negotiations or Battles. You'll find merchants that can give you more slots, for some money and HP.

BOONS/BANES

Boons and Banes are like Grafts, except you get them from getting people to Love or Hate you. As you do things for others, you'll earn their trust or mistrust. You could save their life or buy them a drink to earn their support. Or, you could rob them blind or kill their friend to make them hate you. It's almost impossible to have everyone like you, and oddly enough, sometimes having a Bane can work with your decks.

PERKS

Perks are bonuses you get when you start the game. You unlock them by completing in-game goals (kill X enemies, play X cards, etc), not to be confused with achievements. You spend Perk points to give yourself a leg-up on your next run. You can take up to 3 perks, spread across 5 tiers. Things such as start with more money, extra HP, have a random person like you, and so on.

METTLE

Mettle is a new meta-currency that you gain in the game by completing quests, winning battles and negotiations, and through various opportunities as the story progresses. Once you've met a special shopkeeper in-game, you can permanently upgrade each character with it. Mettle stays with your character even after a run is completed, successfully or not. Use these points to give your cards extra XP from the start or maybe earn some extra money when you decide to decline new cards.

That's all I got for now. I'm pretty new to the game, so I'd love to add more strats, tips, and advice to the OP from people who've played the game a lot.

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    IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    edited February 2021
    I did one playthrough to completion when the game first came to Steam. I enjoyed it a lot. I liked the parallel decks - fighting and talking - and improving one often came at the cost of improving the other. I tried to play a fast talker, and when that failed it we ended up in a fight I was always sweating things a bit for not being on my preferred turf. Then I put it aside to wait for full release.

    The art was great, the writing good, and there seemed like a pleasing amount of complexity under the hood for future exploration. I'm looking forward to this one getting out of early access. :)

    EDIT: There's a demo up? Sweet!

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    SeGaTaiSeGaTai Registered User regular
    Game is fun and have been into it for awhile - waiting on them finishing up the 3rd character.

    I think Sal's story I was able to complete the first time through, but Sal's definitely took a few tries to get through

    PSN SeGaTai
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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Im hoping they don't stop at 3 characters and do stories for each of their alien races.

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    MNC DoverMNC Dover Full-time Voice Actor Kirkland, WARegistered User regular
    I died on my first run with Sal. Beat Rook’s story on the first time. Unlocked the third person, so I’ll see what they’re about next.

    My biggest early complaint is how long the game takes. I was thinking I’d be doing 30-60 minute runs, but they last hours. I’m guessing that time goes down once you’re used to the cards and stuff.

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Griftlands was conceptualized as an RPG first and announced for release back in 2017. But then Klei took a look at what they had and didn't feel the gameplay was enough to their usual standard and quietly shelved it. When it resurfaced they had changed the gameplay to be a deckbuilder but its still important to note that's its more of an RPG with card based battles than a pure run based game.

    The daily runs are built to be more like Slay the Spire if that's what you're looking for. The story mode is meant to tell more of a story than just being a roguelike. I think switching between the characters is more fun than just running one character and trying to get prestige. Its also a game that you can put down for a month or two and come back to, especially being its still in early access.

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    AistanAistan Tiny Bat Registered User regular
    I've been looking forward to this leaving early access for a while now. It seems great but I don't want to burn out on it before it's done.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Bedlam wrote: »
    Griftlands was conceptualized as an RPG first and announced for release back in 2017. But then Klei took a look at what they had and didn't feel the gameplay was enough to their usual standard and quietly shelved it. When it resurfaced they had changed the gameplay to be a deckbuilder but its still important to note that's its more of an RPG with card based battles than a pure run based game.

    The daily runs are built to be more like Slay the Spire if that's what you're looking for. The story mode is meant to tell more of a story than just being a roguelike. I think switching between the characters is more fun than just running one character and trying to get prestige. Its also a game that you can put down for a month or two and come back to, especially being its still in early access.

    There's also the brawl mode you unlock that's basically an extremely stripped down random run. Basically just a random series of encounters. Not as much room to really dig in and extract upgrades etc like you can in story mode, but gives some additional upgrades and starting bonuses to kind of balance it out.

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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    MNC Dover wrote: »
    I died on my first run with Sal. Beat Rook’s story on the first time. Unlocked the third person, so I’ll see what they’re about next.

    My biggest early complaint is how long the game takes. I was thinking I’d be doing 30-60 minute runs, but they last hours. I’m guessing that time goes down once you’re used to the cards and stuff.

    You can also look into the speed up options in the game settings. I enable fast mode, set negotiation speed to 4x, and battle speed to 2x. My last run took just over 2 hours though I still read most of the text since I haven't seen a lot of the random events. I've tried the brawl mode but I find myself really missing the the quest mechanics in the campaign.

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    MNC DoverMNC Dover Full-time Voice Actor Kirkland, WARegistered User regular
    I got to the final boss in Sal's story and got trashed. He was way stronger than I expected him to be. Then again, my battle deck wasn't all that hot, but still, I thought I'd be able to at least hang for a bit. Is that a normal experience because progression in rougelikes or did I just get unlucky?

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    SaurfangSaurfang Registered User regular
    I do think Sal's final boss is a jump in difficulty. I try to keep it in mind when playing Sal and look for opportunities to fight in order to improve the combat deck.

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    IblisIblis Registered User regular
    I think they recently tried to turn up the difficulty in Sal's campaign to make her final boss less of a big jump, but they may not have fully succeeded with this. It absolutely wrecked me my first time as well.

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    MNC DoverMNC Dover Full-time Voice Actor Kirkland, WARegistered User regular
    OK cool, glad it wasn't just me. Having something like 60hp to his 250 was quite shocking. And he hits like a truck, like multiple double digit damaging attacks. I'll have to look to get more followers and pets next time.

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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    A key aspect of the Kashio fight you likely wouldn't notice the first time around
    Her abilities in the fight are drawn from the leftover items in the auction. You can obtain up to two items and any remaining will be available in her pool. Specifically I recommend taking Blast Chamber and Suitcase Grenades to deny them from Kashio since they give her extra attacks.

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    MNC DoverMNC Dover Full-time Voice Actor Kirkland, WARegistered User regular
    Tertiee wrote: »
    A key aspect of the Kashio fight you likely wouldn't notice the first time around
    Her abilities in the fight are drawn from the leftover items in the auction. You can obtain up to two items and any remaining will be available in her pool. Specifically I recommend taking Blast Chamber and Suitcase Grenades to deny them from Kashio since they give her extra attacks.

    Ah, I hadn’t noticed that. I’ll keep my eye on that next time. Thanks!

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    edited February 2021
    They are planning to finish Smith's story with the next update on March 4th.

    Bedlam on
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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    You got things mixed up. March 4th is the stability and balance patch. The Smith finale will be part of the 1.0 release which is TBD.

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Oh. :(

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Tertiee wrote: »
    The Smith finale will be part of the 1.0 release which is TBD.
    Its been upgraded to "summer"

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Finished another run with Rook and got to try out the new stuff since I played last.

    Perks and Mettle are nice ways to customize your characters/make them better over time.

    Flourishes are neat and if you purchase more they dont replace the ones you have, you can pick your flourish when your meter fills.

    Looks like they added new boss music when you talk to someone important. Adds some levity to talking to important people versus talking to randoms.

    Anyway it all seems great. Cant wait till Smiths story is finished.

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    Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    I picked this up and it was good fun up until I cleared it once and now I can't bear to play it for some reason. It's the strongest cliff edge of interest I've ever experienced

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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    Flourishes can really turn a fight/negotiation around. With the right combo, like a big AoE attack, you can even get back all of the meter spent on it. For mettle I wish it stated why a quest is giving X mettle as a reward. It isn't solely tied to difficulty as two quests with the same star rating can give different amounts.
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I picked this up and it was good fun up until I cleared it once and now I can't bear to play it for some reason. It's the strongest cliff edge of interest I've ever experienced

    I felt this way after beating Sal's campaign but it went away when I started Rook's. I like his card mechanics a lot more for both fights and negotiations.

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Griftlands is a good game to take breaks with between runs. The stories for one character will hit largely the same beats but the variety between the characters is good as well.

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    edited May 2021
    PC Launch is on June 1st. Console ports are coming June 4th.

    Bedlam on
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Oh man I should do another Smith run now that he has more chapters. I had an absolutely busted one going on EA that abruptly ended and it made me so mad. Pretty sure that one could have carried me to the end.

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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    For those starting out here are several tips from the early access period.
    • Keep negotiation and battle decks adequately leveled as both will be useful throughout the campaign. Note that losing all resolve might mean a failed quest but losing all health will kill your character.
    • Diplomacy cards focus on consistent damage/composure while Hostility cards focus on scaling damage. Generally you want to favor one or the other though there are builds which utilize both.
    • You can remove item cards (dark green background) for free by going into the deck menu, click on the card, and press the Trash button.
    • Consider prolonging encounters an extra turn if you are not fatigued. You'll want to level up cards ASAP especially the basic ones.
    • Shops will refresh their stock when time passes. This occurs when the map background changes from day to night or vice versa.
    • If you kill an enemy there is a chance you will lose reputation with one of their friends, unless the battle was marked as Isolated.
    • If things start to go sideways you can run away from most encounters. You may fail the quest but it can be worth it if you believe your build has potential.

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    EriktheVikingGamerEriktheVikingGamer Registered User regular
    Additionally, when a card levels up you can preview what choices that card will give you and hold on to that level up choice until you have a better idea of what your deck needs.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Holy butts, I've played the game a bunch and didn't know you could trash items.

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    BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    So, i've been playing this game for the past few days, and I only have one clear with each character, but does it seem like negotiation cards are fun and awesome and battle cards are boring and lame? Is that just me.

    Like I just had a run with Sal, and when I played my 3rd dominance card in a turn, my whole deck just exploded. I generated extra arguments, and got free hits and drew cards.

    And my battle deck was just like, you can discard this 4 damage card, and now it will do 8 damage! (wet fart)

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    EriktheVikingGamerEriktheVikingGamer Registered User regular
    edited June 2021
    Sal's campaign is slanted to towards negotiations in general (and diplomacy more specifically. Diplomatic Instincts is one the best diplomacy cards in Sal's campaign, imo). Her combat deck is very basic, takes a lot of resources to turn into something amazing, and is the weakest between hers and Rook's (I haven't played Smith).

    You can definitely make a powerful and interactive combat deck for her, but you have to unlock all/most of her cards to really start putting such a deck together because there's a lot of interactions you're just straight up missing with only her base cards.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Sal is very much the Character number 1. I didn't find her combat to very interesting compared to the other two, but it was way more approachable, and I got my first clear with her in far fewer runs than with either Rook or Smith. Same with negotiations.

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited June 2021
    I just completed a very silly Smith run in which I got Powder Keg, a negotiation card that creates a friendly argument with 6 resolve. When it's destroyed, it does 8 damage to random enemy argument and then creates another copy of itself.
    Combined with cards like Turnabout (destroy a friendly argument and add composure equal to it's max resolve to every friendly argument) and a couple other's that let me create copies of cards and arguments, once I got that thing out, thing's escalated very quickly.

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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    Playing Smith's deck with a build where you attack/destroy your own arguments feels so weird I'm amazed it works out in the end. It's thematic given that's how most of the other characters react to Smith himself. Also tried switching up my usual perk selections and I've forgotten how much I rely on reducing the max XP for cards (Basic Training,Fast Learner). Days 1 and 2 are really rough when you are forced to use the basic cards.

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    edited June 2021
    Sal is good when you can commit to a synergy. Stacking bleed or taking advantage of combo/finisher can be really good. She also has the advantage of adding new characters to her party the easiest, so you can fill out a full team when you know you are going to be up against a boss.

    My Smith runs so far are an actual dumpster fire. Im failing multiple missions because I accidently killed my target instead of making them panic :|

    Bedlam on
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    I did the on the first boss fight at least once. Also failed a couple of missions because I kept going along with the church stuff for the reward not realizing that eventually to stop being able to disrupt it.
    Most of my Smith runs I get maybe 2 grafts of each type whereas Sal and Rook I usually fill up.

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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    Bedlam wrote: »
    My Smith runs so far are an actual dumpster fire. Im failing multiple missions because I accidently killed my target instead of making them panic :|

    Are your allies killing the targets inadvertently? I have this issue with Sal's bleed build but Smith doesn't have that problem unless you're completely forgetting about trauma.

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Tertiee wrote: »
    Bedlam wrote: »
    My Smith runs so far are an actual dumpster fire. Im failing multiple missions because I accidently killed my target instead of making them panic :|

    Are your allies killing the targets inadvertently? I have this issue with Sal's bleed build but Smith doesn't have that problem unless you're completely forgetting about trauma.
    Yeah that's it, playing with adrenaline and completely forgetting about trauma stacks :rotate:

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    BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    edited June 2021
    Got the option to start a Smith run skipping level 0 and got bodied in my first fight.

    Then beat through Level 0 and Level 1 without a loss.

    Dont know how many times I got the red skull only to survive due to moxie/defense and then come back with more health than I started the fight with. (at least 3 between the two runs)

    Smith is an anime.

    Bedlam on
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    joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    I really like the narrative twist on the deckbuilder formula here and would like to see it done by more games or more characters in this world.

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    TertieeTertiee Registered User regular
    A moxie build can be great with just a few cards. You barely need defense
    except against one of the bosses.
    I really like the narrative twist on the deckbuilder formula here and would like to see it done by more games or more characters in this world.

    I would too though they've stated in their forums there are no current plans for more content.

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