I'm a big fan of role playing games, be they digital or pen and paper. Occasionally, however, I develop a profound sense of torpor - RPG fatigue if you will - that's invariably brought about by the same thing: XP grinding.
While character development is one of the things that make RPGs so exciting, the endless grind for seemingly arbitrary parcels of experience points does get tiring. More than once I've found myself doing a quest in an RPG not out of genuine interest, but so I can watch a number that doesn't make me happy flash up on the screen for a moment. Which is exactly why I found Underrail so refreshing.
Underrail, an isometric RPG that launched late last year, has an XP system based around oddities. Oddities are strange artefacts that can be found in the world and on certain enemies. Aside from completing quests, they're the only way to gain experience; miss them, miss out. In their frequently grisly nature (rathound ear, anyone?) they take on an eldritch quality that helps enhance the subterranean world of Underrail. They also make it less about you and your nifty skillset, mr, mrs or ms protagonist, and more about the game world itself.
Have a look in the video below. Sorry for being rubbish at turn-based combat.
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