Joseph Vivolo of Boston indie studio King Dinosaur Games has written in to announce the development of That Which Sleeps, a turn-based fantasy strategy game in which you play an ancient evil plotting to take over the world.
[T]he player takes on the role of an awakened evil from the world’s past and must manipulate a living, reactive world from the shadows using a variety of corrupted agents as well as what armies he can muster to his cause. Players must balance an aggressive approach utilizing his considerable powers with the need for secrecy – heroes are constantly examining clues left behind by the actions of the player and eagerly hunting the player’s agents.
The main game takes place on the world map, where you can dispatch agents to villages, cities, ruins, and other places of interest to complete a variety of dynamically generated challenges. Certain agents will be better suited to certain challenges, affecting how many turns it takes for them to successfully complete the task. In the meantime, your agents and their minions may be attacked by meddling parties of heroes.
Combat occurs in the style of a Final Fantasy boss battle, except that you control the boss: “the Agent leverages and often sacrifices his minions to distract or overwhelm key members of the adventuring party while he himself utilizes his unique powers to overcome the heroes, and, as may often be the case, escape. Early combat will seldom lead to outright death, but every time a Hero loses a certain amount of health he will gain an injury, and if his willpower lowers he may gain a neurosis – both of which can be much more useful for you than a corpse.”
Damage is high on both sides, making fights quick and deadly. The developers state that the venue of a fight matters as well:
Fighting in a city may draw out guards, guildmates, or cabal mages depending on what features exist in the city. Who they fight for is up in the air, if you are “welcome at court” in the nation then they will side with you against the pesky adventurers, but if you are wanted, or a Champion of the nation is on their side, they will battle against you. Battle locations can also have traits, if you were discovered while skulking about in the catacombs the battle will be “Cramped” – and heroes won’t be able to attack you if you have a living minion, but also a single hero can guard his entire team. Fight in the swamps and the heroes may find themselves poisoned, in a Holy City you may find your “Imbued” powers significantly weakened.
The game seems to be still be fairly early in development, as there isn’t any video footage or screenshots of combat yet, but the developers have compensated by providing a really lengthy, detailed description of the game’s mechanics. All in all, it seems like you will have a few approaches available to you: brute force, subterfuge, a sort of insidious diplomacy, and various paths in-between. I’ll be copy-pasting the full description below the break.