Sovereign Syndicate is an RPG with tarot instead of dice where you can play an alcoholic minotaur

A minotaur, a corsair, and an automaton
(Image credit: Crimson Herring Studios)

Sovereign Syndicate is a forthcoming CRPG from indie studio Crimson Herring, set in an alternate, steampunk version of Victorian London. There are a couple of neat-looking things about it so far, the first being its randomization, which is based on drawing tarot cards rather than rolling dice. The second is its cast of playable characters.

There are three to choose from ("Character customization" is listed as a feature so presumably you'll be able to tweak them), and they all seem intriguing. Atticus Daley is an alcoholic minotaur who happens to be an illusionist, Clara Reed is a corsair on the hunt for "the courtesan killer", and Otto is an automaton who wants to be more than just a robotic servant. They've all got "branching stories that intertwine", so replaying as each of them might be worthwhile. Which is good, because they all look pretty cool to me.

Based on what Crimson Herring has shown, Sovereign Syndicate seems a bit Arcanum and a bit Disco Elysium. The setting is an open world of opium dens and grimy docklands with "20 different locations", and there's apparently an emphasis on problems with multiple solutions. It suggests you might choose from "Combat, persuasion, magic, explosives?" Normally I'd go with persuasion, but explosives sure are tempting.

Sovereign Syndicate has a Steam page where you can learn more, and is "Coming Soon".

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.