|Developer||Julian Mensch, Richard Tew|
|Released||2007 Jul 28|
|Updated||2015 August 14 (0.6.9Y19)|
|P. Language||C++ | IncursionScript|
|Game Length||10-20 hours|
|Official site of Incursion|
Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King is a freeware roguelike game based on the mechanics of the d20 system, available under the Open Game License by Wizards of the Coast. The game boasts 9 races, 10 classes, 45 skills, and 18 choices of god (including no god), each requiring totally different strategies to be played effectively.
The game is unfinished but deemed to be complete enough to have an active playing community during the early 2010s. Its source code has been released, and for some time it was maintained by someone other than its original creator.
With mechanics strongly based on pen & paper and some unique design goals, Incursion offers a quite different experience than most roguelikes nowadays.
While most roguelike gameplay focuses on learning to beat many quirks and pitfalls, Incursion focuses more on player character design, the diversity of choices your character can make in regards to development, anti-grinding philosophy not very different from Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, and resource management.
Incursion is notable in several ways; in most roguelikes, resting has little downside, but in this game, it takes eight hours, is often very dangerous, and causes new monsters to generate on your level, eight hours worth. While treasure is randomly generated, an entire levels treasure is generated when you first enter it, and newly created monsters have little treasure; this obviates the strategy of camping in a particular level range to get an item you want as a random drop by just waiting for monsters to gen and killing them. Hit points are normally non-regenerating, which forces the player to save resources and choose dungeon encounters carefully.
What's most interesting, however, is the degree to which skills and feats are essential; they are purposefully more powerful than most magic items, and choosing and using them effectively is vital. Thus, advancing your character isn't just a matter of leveling up plus some lucky magic finds but is more a matter of consciously and strategically planning the route your character takes.
The game has a steep learning curve even for a roguelike but is still fair. Most of the difficulty stems from the need to read various in-game manuals, item and monster descriptions, and knowing how to build your character. So, the difficulty in Incursion is more akin to Dwarf Fortress than it is to NetHack.
Tabletop knowledge won't help you very much, since mechanics have been somewhat altered to be more fit for a roguelike.
Since it's a PnP-like adventure, Incursion places much more weight on the depth and believability of its fantasy world rather than your usual roguelike rescue-the-world plot. There are very few things expected from the player to do (just kill that goblin), and the game is a mix of a wide-open sandbox and a typical dungeon crawler. Very well-written in-game descriptions help. In other words, use your imagination.
According to its creator, Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King was "a promo game for the upcoming roguelike epic Incursion: Return of the Forsaken", which would have featured overland map, multiple dungeons, towns, more prestige classes and other features.. Return of the Forsaken was slated in the best-case scenario for a release in the last quarter of 2011.
A detailed tech doc about the game used to be provided via its website. It has been added to roguebasin for archival purposes at Incursion Tech Doc. It could prove useful in roguelike development.
On 2013-04-14, its creator posted a proclamation that development on Incursion was finished; having moved on to other interests, he no longer had time or interest in maintaining the project. On 2014-03-16, after offers to maintain the codebase and fix the bugs, he posted to the Incursion Google group announcing the release of the source code for the last couple of released versions.
The original website, http://incursion-roguelike.net is down as of 2022
The officially released source code can be built by following the instructions given in the release post. Unfortunately, it is based on an old, unsupported version of Allegro, which has been a source of many show-stopper bugs.
An updated version can be found on bitbucket. It has been modified to use libtcod, in place of Allegro, fixing many of the long-time crash and interface bugs.
Since there is currently no official website for the game, the latest modernized version can be downloaded at the bitbucket repo