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Humble Battles of Yore Bundle has plenty for Linux and Steam Deck

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A collection of RPGs, grand strategy and more modern spiritual successors to legendary PC games of yore apparently. Humble have an interesting bundle of titles in the Battles of Yore Bundle.

Looks like all of them will work on Linux too with Steam Play Proton, and plenty of them also have a Playable rating through Deck Verified for the Steam Deck. So here's the usual round-up of what to expect from it:

  • CROSSBOW: Bloodnight - Not rated for Steam Deck, ProtonDB listings really old
  • Ember - Steam Deck Playable
  • Field of Glory: Empires - Not rated for Steam Deck, ProtonDB listings really old
  • Gordian Quest - Steam Deck Playable
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Enhanced Plus Edition (Linux Native) - Steam Deck Playable
    • + Royal Ascension DLC
    • + The Wildcards DLC
  • Plebby Quest: The Crusades - Steam Deck Playable
  • Tyranny - Deluxe Edition (Linux Native) - Not rated for Steam Deck but Linux version should work fine

See the full bundle here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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12 comments
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slaapliedje 18 May
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Funny thing is, with the Deck I can now waste hours of my life playing through my Steam library rather than watching Netflix!
hardpenguin 19 May
Even minimum $1 tier is worth it with Tyranny alone 🥰
foobrew 19 May
Anyone played Pathfinder: Kingmaker? Been wondering about that one. I know very little about the Pathfinder universe except that it's very similar to D&D.
soulsource 19 May
Quoting: foobrewAnyone played Pathfinder: Kingmaker? Been wondering about that one. I know very little about the Pathfinder universe except that it's very similar to D&D.

Yes, I've played through it, then the successor (Wrath of the Righteous) and am now at the beginning of my second play-through of Kingmaker again.
It's one of the best CRPGs I've played up to now, even though it has some issues.

The Pathfinder rule system is indeed very similar to D&D 3.5, and the setting, Golarion, is pretty close to the "default" D&D setting too. You won't find any of the trademarked D&D monsters though, and some things are named differently and also have different lore. In addition there are some interesting features on Golarion, that you might not find in most D&D settings, like the Silver Mount (a crashed spaceship) or the Worldwound (a nation ravaged by demonic corruption due to planar rifts that lead into the Chaotic Evil plane of the Abyss).

However, Kingmaker is set in an area named the River Kingdoms, which is mostly what you would expect from an "early renaissance" fantasy setting. The River Kingdoms border Numeria though, the nation where the Silver Mount crashed, and the Sellen River, a very prominent feature on Kingmaker's map, also flows through the Worldwound further downstream, so you can expect to hear of those two areas during the game.

The story of the game is also "normal" fantasy. A local leader, swordlord Jamandi Aldori, offers you a barony if you can rid the area of bandits. And that's where your path towards a kingdom begins. The game mixes a (not too complex) d20 based kingdom management layer with regular top-down-view role playing game segments.
Basically, you build up the kingdom, until an emergency strikes, at which point you (and a significant part of the ruling council..) march off to take care of the problem personally - by punching it in the face, sticking a sword in it, or setting it on fire - your choice.

The combat mechanics, and since the game is mostly about combat also the main game mechanics, are very well implemented. They do not reach the same level as they did in Temple of Elemental Evil, but they are close. You can play combat in turn based mode, or you can battle in real time with pause (though I don't see why one would want that).
Beware that in Kingmaker placement of characters seems to be more important than in Wrath of the Righteous. You'll always want to flank enemies, you will need to use crowd control spells (think: Grease), and you will also want to quicksave often (or play on low difficulty).

Equipment in Kingmaker is very easy to come by. By mid-game you'll be swimming in magical weapons and armour, and most of your kingdom's finances will come directly from the loot you collect while doing quests. That said, you can still invest a significant amount of time equipping your party, as you'll likely want to have a weapon specialization feat on all your characters, and finding a good suitable weapon for this can take a while (especially since Kingdom artisans are creating items from a random pool).

The progression in the game is well pulled off, with you being able to reach the maximum level of 20 near the end of the game. In other words, if you plan on getting the semi-overpowered level 20 class abilities, you can do so as long as you play the side-quests and don't multiclass.

Speaking of character levels, the character sheets in Pathfinder are in general a bit less complex than in D&D 3.5 and in Kingmaker some variant rules for skills are used that make it even less intimidating. You can still spend hours pondering which Feats you are going to take, or in which of the skills you invest your points though. In addition, you can multiclass, and there are prestige classes you might aim for.

One of your companions, Octavia, is for instance perfectly suited for the Arcane Trickster prestige class. Similarly, her boyfriend Regongar can benefit a lot from taking a few levels as Dragon Disciple, and Valerie, who is likely to become your main tank, has "Stalwart Defender" written on her armour. If you don't like the pre-made companions, there's also the option to just create characters from scratch. However, not travelling with the pre-made companions means missing out on a lot of story.

The game's story is fun to play for almost all of the game, and there's a lot of dialogue to enjoy - sadly only partially voiced. The encounters tend to be challenging, and are varied enough to remain entertaining until the last chapter, which sadly is not up to par to the others.
This is the only real negative point I can say about this game, by the way. In the last chapter you'll nearly exclusively face the same types of enemies again and again, with only minor variation in the enemy group composition. It's not that those encounters would be particularly hard, but they become boring and repetitive, and since those enemies have very annoying abilities, you will have to reload a few times if you accidentally moved into their aggro range without pre-buffing.
Oh, there's a second negative point... The loading screens take relatively long, what is quite punishing if you die, because in addition to loosing, you are also punished with waiting time.

Aaand, that brings us to technical details. Kingmaker is one of those games that I'd call an outstanding example when it comes to gamepad support on Linux. Not only did this game work perfectly fine with my DualShock 4 controller, it did also display the correct icons for the controller's buttons. (I still played it mostly with mouse and keyboard though.)
The Linux version itself works pretty well too. And yes, it is a native Linux build, even though the binary file is named Kingmaker.exe. Performance is good throughout most of the game, but near endgame you will probably notice that FPS will go below 60 (CPU bound). This is not an issue of the Linux version, but happens on Windows as well.
For me the game also crashed a few times, with a nasty tendency to do so at the island on Lake Candlemere.
Still, Kingmaker is definitely on my top-list when it comes to good Linux support and (relatively) few bugs.


Whoa, that became a huge wall of text for just wanting to say that it's an awesome game and you should definitely give it a try.


Last edited by soulsource on 19 May 2022 at 8:14 pm UTC
slaapliedje 20 May
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Quoting: foobrewAnyone played Pathfinder: Kingmaker? Been wondering about that one. I know very little about the Pathfinder universe except that it's very similar to D&D.
So from my understanding of it, (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) when D&D hit 3rd edition, they created the OGL (Open Gaming License) which allowed third parties to publish games using the D20 system. There were tons of games for this, from Prime Directive (Star Trek) to some vampire games, etc. This of course, as always is the case with RPGs, to a 3.5 edition of D&D, where they took some of the newer books and cleaned them up and made the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide fatter. I believe Pathfinder is based upon this, and many consider it a 'patched' 3.5e, or sometimes like a 3.7 Edition.

Now with D&D 5th Edition out. Paizo seems to have taken the SRD (System Reference Document) and eaten it, and crapped it out, but then molded it into a different creature altogether. Like the Golgothan Demon from Dogma. It's original being kind of stinky and somewhat useless, and into a formidable beast known as Pathfinder 2nd Edition. The layout of his compared to the D&D books is insanely good.

Now that being said, there have not been any video games that are using the PF2e rules. The two Pathfinder games out there are using the 1st edition.

Now there is the game Solasta: Crown of the Magister that is using the 5e SRD (which has a lot of third party support as well), so that'd be closest out there to playing that, as far as computers go.

For the OGL / SRD, I think of them like I do of say the open source games, like Doom, where you can recompile and mod all you want, but the assets are still proprietary. Same goes for D&D, can't use the monsters, artwork, etc. But all the other stuff is fair game.
foobrew 22 May
Quoting: soulsourceWhoa, that became a huge wall of text for just wanting to say that it's an awesome game and you should definitely give it a try.

Thanks for that very thorough response/review! Looking forward to giving it a shot now.
soulsource 24 May
By the way, I received my Steam Deck yesterday, and Pathfinder: Kingmaker is working pretty well on it.
(I had to disable Steam Input for my DualShock 4 though, otherwise the game would show Xbox button guides.)
slaapliedje 24 May
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Quoting: soulsourceBy the way, I received my Steam Deck yesterday, and Pathfinder: Kingmaker is working pretty well on it.
(I had to disable Steam Input for my DualShock 4 though, otherwise the game would show Xbox button guides.)
Nice! Though why would you use the DualShock 4 with the Steam Deck?

I was trying to get emulation working last night. Managed to get the D&D:Heroes working almost okay... quite choppy on xemu. Gauntlet: Dark Legacy for the PS2 runs flawlessly, in fact I think better than on real hardware. But Champions of Norrath still can't smoothly play the intro. And is terribly slow all around.
soulsource 24 May
Quoting: slaapliedjeNice! Though why would you use the DualShock 4 with the Steam Deck?
While it's docked and connected to the TV.
slaapliedje 25 May
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Quoting: soulsource
Quoting: slaapliedjeNice! Though why would you use the DualShock 4 with the Steam Deck?
While it's docked and connected to the TV.
I haven't tried this yet... but can't you hook it to a TV and use the large screen for the game, and still use the built in controls? What would be killer is for games to have a mini screen so you could have the Deck's screen be a map, and the rest of the game display on the TV/Monitor. Like Fallout 4 could have the map on a Tablet/phone.
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