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Historical conspiracy-drama The Council reveals its RPG roots with a new trailer

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The Council is a narrative-focused adventure about a secret society in the late 1700s, whose members include historical luminaries such as Napoleon, George Washington, and you, Louis de Richet. Jockeying for political position will no doubt be at the top of the itinerary, but you've got personal business on your plate too: You're looking for your mom, who was a guest on the island a few weeks prior to the big party, and has since gone missing. 

The new trailer offers a closer look at how the game will play, and how players will be able to approach it. It's an adventure, but game director Sylvain Sechi says in the video that the core of the game is actually an RPG, reflected by the presence of distinct character classes and skill trees. Diplomats, for instance, are talented speakers and masters of persuasion, while Detectives excel at picking up on details in the world around them and don't mind getting into people's business as necessary. 

"We've got things like questioning, conviction, manipulation, very dialog-focused skills. We've also got more knowledge-based skills like linguistics and erudition that allow you to better understand the 18th century world in which the characters live," Sechi says. "The vast majority of choices in The Council have short, medium, and long-term consequences, both cosmetic and very real. Some choices are particularly critical and allow for very different outcomes depending on the chosen branch." 

It's less clear how the game will handle combat. The trailer suggests there will be moments of physical disagreement, but The Council will use a "Confrontation System" that Sechi said will "transform traditional RPG combat gameplay into something narrative and dialog-based." That's probably just an overly-wordy way of saying you'll have the option to talk your way out of fights, with bonuses or penalties based on class and skillset, but maybe there will be more to it. 

The first of five episodes of The Council will be out on Steam on March 13.   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.