All good Nerdooks go to Magister: A Qt3 Threead Title

I searched for “Magister” using the Discourse search function and didn’t see anything relevant until I got bored scrolling, so if there’s already a Magister thread and it didn’t show up, that’s a Discourse problem, not a me problem. (Maybe we should upgrade to some modern forum software like vBulletin? But I kid!)

Anyway, the inauspiciously named Nerdook has released his follow-up to Monstar Slay0rz, and it is called The Magister.

That’s right, this game provides the backstory in which you see the origin story of the Magister from Solasta: Crown of the Magister. Very cool crossover.

I have provided the idiotic, misspelled Qt3 thread title as mandated by law.

My work here is done.

I clicked on this thread thinking, huh, interesting thread title but I have no idea what it’s about. Maybe if I click on it, the content of the thread will explain everything! But no. It did not.

Navel-gazey bloviating on forum in-jokes: check
Description of the game: ???
Screenshot/Video: ???
Store Page Link: ???


I think it’s a card game.

I’m out.

I played the original demo (tied to the Steam event at the time) months ago and played The First Two Days demo (see below) a few days ago. Loved them both, and will buy this after finishing this post.

Play the first two days for free:

use ‘Tactical Diplomacy’ to pacify those who stand in your way

A truly American card game.

Just played the first 5 minutes of the game, and all I can say is… I’m going to need some Tomsplaining. (first question, if a card says it does 20 damage, why does it actually do more than that)

I had The Magister on my watchlist so I was notified that it was out. Came in here to find out why I listed it. Still don’t know.

Monster Slayers was really good and it was quite popular here. This guy knows how to do card battler games. This time it’s murder mystery fantasy card battling which is really cool. Plus, it’s a good price to boot.

I’m in for sure.

It’s 20 damage base, but sometimes there’s a 25% bonus to damage if the enemy is cornered from a previous hit (can’t be pushed back further).

it kinda is, but I’d say about 30% of the game is actual card battles and the rest is running around solving the murder or working towards the solution. of course if that’s not your cup of tea either, you will just be out again, hah.



I came here because I saw “Nerdooks” written in it. Not disappointed.
Actually, just a bit: no Mac version this time. But this is to be expected considering all the Apple dick moves. Maybe it’ll work in Wine?

Woah, this has an entire thread now? Kudos! Cross-posting this from a more general thread after several hours of play . . .

Okay, so about The Magister . . .

It is rather special, rather unique, and therefore not so simple to describe. Recap that it is a murder mystery and you are a Magister with 15 days to solve a murder.

It has point and click adventure elements, perhaps most similar to games like Secret of Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Kings Quest etc. This is the way by which you move around the world, talk to characters, and try and develop clues and knowledge.

Characters you talk to have a simple 3 star relationship to you and typically you need to reach 3 stars to get the most from them, such as a clue or key information. You get to 3 in various ways, missions with combat, finding an item they want, selling or buying stuff from them.

As you go about tasks and missions, there are two forms of combat, mental and physical. The mental combat - Tactical Diplomacy - is thematically similar to that in Griftlands whilst having some mechanics similar to those in Star Realms … You are trying to reduce ‘rage’ via empathy. You do so by playing a card game where you make choices about which additional cards to buy from an ever-refreshing set of 3, with these cards costing empathy, which is the same resource you use to reduce rage, and all within a time-limit. So you have this challenging trade off between growing your economy and actually exploiting what you have to try and reach the goal line. It seems to work well.

The physical combat is played out turn-based, but with the space between turns determined by how many seconds of action your turn takes up. It is something comparable to the combat seen in the Banner Saga. Each turn you get 4 cards, with potential for extra draw, and you can play all or none. You can also play cards for their direct effect or discard them for other effects. It seems to add up to a highly variable, significantly engaging and thoughtful combat. Definitely not Trials of Fire clever, but highly credible. Whilst you control just your own character most or all fights are conducted with allies. In contrast to games where allies are just a pain in the ass to try and save or workaround, it really seems to work here particularly because there is nothing critical tied to the outcome for those allies, and both allies and enemies rout and run once they reach low health.

Then there are the RPG elements. You gain XP, you level up, and doing so enables you to choose a new skill from three groups of 9 themed around brawn, intellect and guile. This after you start out by choosing an archetype combining some significant bonuses together with a significant weakness, such as alcoholic and insomniac.

The murder mystery is procedural, and it does look like several replays may be worth enjoying. I am loving it. It seems to be from the same team or developer that made Monster Slayers, the pre-Slay the Spire Slay the Spire-like, and I would rate it as equal in appeal and quality.

In other words yes, @Hereafter and @JoshL should be buying this lickety split.

@Misguided Caveat*, I loved the Griftlands diplomacy, and far more so than the Griftlands combat to the point that I preferred it in every scenario in which there was an option to choose between them.

That said, the “diplomacy” here is very different. For one, it has a hard timer, a strict number of turns before you auto-lose, so you have to shoot for efficiency and cannot turtle.

Second, there is generally less going on. Each turn you play your cards, one, two, three, and decide whether to buy from the tableau or bank whatever empathy you have built up. The trade-off is that you begin with a card that reduces ‘rage’, which is the win / lose metric, that costs 5 empathy to play . . . the first time. Next time 6 empathy, after that 7 etc.

So you play a tight little game of finding a way to reduce rage via buying new and better cards and waiting for them to cycle back for benefit, or banking and trying to ‘rush’. Oh yeah, negative cards start getting added in, but you can also buy cards that draw and discard or delete, so you can counter them.

In sum, much shorter, somewhat simpler than Griftlands diplomacy fights, but still with challenge.

@Lykurgos thanks for the indepth review! I think I’m too far into Monster Train to stop for anything right now. Let see how many hours I can resist the siren call…

I didn’t even know Magister is from Nerdooks. Monster Slayers is one of my favorite deckbuilders and the one to really get me into the genre.

This is good with only minor mechanical and UI issues.

I have some doubts about the replayability though. After the first playthrough it seems to me to come down to grinding each person’s cooperation by doing samey quests.

Replayability is over-rated in a world where we’re buried in our backlogs.

I might end up treating this similar to Griftlands, one full playthough with each character archetype - brawler, thinker, sneaky spy. I am finding each of the game elements pretty good fun - combat, diplomacy, deduction.

Current playthrough, I just caught out a character in a lie about where they were on the night of the murder and wow, this was done really well. Kinda thrilling, authentic to and fro narrative, and a great graphical and musical score change to accompany the drama.