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  • Writer's pictureRobert "Bob" Bagby

Gordian Quest Basics Guide

This guide will explain the basics of Gordian Quest. The goal of this guide is to help you understand all the complex and competing systems in this game so you can enjoy it.

What is this game?

Gordian Quest is a cross-section of a few game styles. At its heart, it's a turn-based battler and deck-building game, but it does have roguelike and roguelite elements. Thankfully how much those are influenced is based on what game mode you opt into. The game can be found on Steam currently and offers a lot of content for the price point. During my playthrough, I used a mouse and keyboard.

Game Modes

This game has 3 main game modes:

Campaign mode: A story-driven mode where you go across multiple continents, growing your party and completing story and side quests.

Realm Mode: This mode is pure gameplay; see how long you can last in quick run or endless and get rewards that you can use in Campaign mode.

Skirmish: This game's PvP. Pick 3 characters, edit their deck and do some one-on-one battles.

When selecting campaign mode for the first time or starting a new campaign, you also select the difficulty as well as what level of rogue mechanic you want to play with.

Basics of Battling

This is a turn-based RPG, so you will be taking actions, but instead of selecting them from a menu each turn, you draw cards from your deck and use those as your actions. Each Card has one of 5 colors tied to how they scale based on the character's stats:

Red - Strength

Green - Dexterity

Blue - Intelligence

Purple - Best stat

Black - No Scaling

Diamond Icons indicate the rank of the skill; green diamonds, however, show you that items or another external source are boosting the skill.

When it comes to fighting your opponents, each of you has two opposing grids to move your characters around on.

The Grid

The grid is divided into lanes and rows. Each skill can only attack certain lanes or rows, so placement and movement are key. Rows are divided up into Back, Middle, and Front and are based on the Heroes' and enemy's perspectives. So in the above image, neither team has anyone in the Back row, and each has 2 in the Center row and 1 in the Front row.

The bottom left circle on the screen shows how many actions you can take before having to end your turn.

Up top is the turn order based on a die roll at the beginning of combat. Everyone's health, armor, and status effects are displayed, so no information is hidden as you make your choices.

Some of the other information displayed includes your Strategy Point (SP) meter. Playing any skill builds it up; you can use it to play more powerful cards or to perform combo attacks.

Leveling up and Equipment

Leveling up in this game is entirely automatic. You need to spend your skill points on a skill grid and eventually expand the grid with 1 point per node. As you expand your grid, you will select the new grid as it clips onto your old one so you can choose how your grid expands into it. This makes it to where even if you have the same character and started with the same base build, you can have wildly different characters as you are experimenting.

As you adventure, you will get various equipment to use that give additional benefits such as more armor, more attack damage, and even abilities. This is where you can edit your deck so you can have a higher chance to draw certain cards and remove cards that do not play into your strategy. So for all you min-maxers out there, welcome to your new home for the game. This is also the screen where you can check out to see various stats and really nail down what characters are good at what.

Exhaustion and Exploration

The final part of this guide is probably the most important to survival over a long period. As you explore the map, you will run into events. This is where you roll a 20-sided die against a score. A 1 always loses a natural 20 always wins. You can stack the odds in your favor by choosing a character with a higher stat modifier in the right attribute, such as dexterity, and even more so by using a card to boost it even further.

Note that if you use a card that way, it will not be able to use in combat, and instead, you will draw a card labeled “Exhaustion” in its place, which is completely unusable.

This effect is removed by resting in camp, in town, or by certain consumables. Another way of gaining exhaustion is by running out of supplies while traveling from node to node on the map. This, among other things, is why it is vital to stop by the town not just to turn in your quests but to restock and resupply by using the Inn, buying from the merchants, and buying newer gear or selling old gear at blacksmiths. Of course, if a character does die and you can always revive them if you are playing on standard using the church, and visiting brings you up to half health for free.

Final thoughts and advice

Honestly, this is a lot to absorb at once but feel free to experiment and don't feel afraid of failure with this game. The game does ease you into all of this nicely but feel free to refer to this guide in case you feel like you are overlooking something. This game has just enough depth to it to have a fun time expressing yourself without feeling like you are drowning, but for more of a challenge, there is the roguelike settings to make it nail-biting hard.

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