[Lex Talionis] [WIP] The Scribe's Cascade (v0.1) 10/20ish chapters finished

Here goes nothing…

Current Version: v0.1.3

Download Here (Google Drive)

Hello fellow FE enthusiasts! This project has been in-progress for a long while now, having gone through both the old and new LT engines. I’m extremely excited to present to you The Scribe’s Cascade, and I hope you enjoy what’s here. The only implemented difficulty is Hard, so please use that. As with any WIP fangame/hack, please give me feedback if you decide to play it! It would help me a ton.

Story Blurb:
Vallyth, once known for its plentiful lands, now suffers from an unnatural blight affecting their crops. Looking for any cure to their growing starvation, citizens and nobles alike are latching onto the conspiracy that manaketes have corrupted the land to bring an end to humankind. Leesha, a newly graduated scholar, seeks to discover the true cause of the disease. Jackson, a lieutenant in the Vallythian army, is just trying to keep his head above water while the country fractures beneath him.


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  • Free Roam areas in between some levels. If you’ve played Blade and Claw, it’s mostly the same. Basically you can move around the level, check out areas and talk to people, like in Gaiden.

  • Combat arts, with a twist! After a few rounds of combat, all melee characters get access to the ability ‘Knockout’. This allows the unit to stun an enemy, making the target unable to attack or move for a turn. Units knocked out can have their items stolen. Since gold is very limited, this is your main way to get weapons. Be sure to check the map for enemies with items you might like! (Just don’t try it on bosses, they’re tougher than that).

  • Magic items do NOT have durability, instead using a new stat called ‘Mana’. Each unit has their own limited pool of mana to use that gets refreshed after the map completes. Because Mana total is a stat, that means units also have a mana growth rate.

More Gameplay Details
  • Since magic and ranged units (like archers) can’t use knockout, they instead have unique combat arts they can use!

  • Every unit has their own unique personal skill and the ability to shove (like Tellius). Most enemies do not have skills, so you shouldn’t have to deal with skill overload. If you still feel overwhelmed PLEASE LET ME KNOW! That is not intentional!

  • Varied map objectives like Escape and Defend, as well as plenty of side objectives.

  • Enemies and player units with Conquest-like stats. Both you and the enemy hit hard, so player phase is important!

  • Bonus experience rewards for accomplishing side objectives, quick play, and for knocking out enemies. Functions similar to Path of Radiance bonus experience.

  • A Base menu in between maps, allowing you to view more conversations that help flesh out characters and the world.

Coming Soon
  • Support conversations. Supports themselves are there (and are pretty tame like in Echoes), but do not have conversations when a new rank unlocks. Once the story is finished, the supports will come next. Hopefully the base conversations will still give you a good grasp on what makes each character tick.
  • More pretty graphics.
  • [EXTRA CREDIT] A World Map with narration, kind of like in Tellius/FE7. For now, you can use the map and follow along as the story progresses. (Fantasy novel style).
World Map

The Southeast is Vallyth, the North is Terys, the West is Harth, and the islands at the far west are the Astral Isles.

About Lex Talionis

Lex Talionis is an engine created by rainlash, with major development work from mag and KDports. Without the LT engine’s flexibility, this fangame would never have been made. To try it out for yourself, go here. If you want to learn more about the engine and all the wickedly talented and friendly people that use it, feel free to check out the discord!


Scribe's Cascade Credits - Google Docs

Known Issues
  • Villager escape AI is weird. It sometimes doesn’t move unless allies are three tiles near. I’m still looking into it. UPDATE: It’s because of an engine change that broke their behavior.

  • Audio balancing is off, with music being too loud in general. I’ve tried doing some audio normalizing with Audacity, but it needs to be normalized better.

  • Some base conversations happen even when one of the characters is dead. Ghosts haven’t been implemented in TSC yet, so this is a bug.

  • Sometimes the turnwheel doesn’t replenish or appear before a map starts. The game is balanced around not needing the turnwheel (hopefully I give enough units and warnings to allow for playing past mistakes), but it should still be an option for those that want it.


I can’t wait to try out your excellent work. I’m looking forward to it. Good luck

Hmm, I must say I don’t like how weapons are obtained. It seems like Thracia 776 but more cumbersome/complex. What is a few rounds of combat, exactly? Will the player know this number? The fact it’s not 1 means enemies will have to be kited around until your unit of choice has knockout. Doesn’t sound fun.

It’s specified in an opening chapter, but the combat round is 3. So if you attack an enemy on player phase, then two enemies attack you on enemy phase, it’ll be up. I tried to put the more valuable weapons on enemies farther away, so in my testing you usually have at least someone with the combat art up.
There’s actually a reason I didn’t just use Thracia capture. In Thracia, once you capture an enemy you have to hold on to them. You usually don’t capture an enemy unless it’s pretty safe to do so, because of this. I liked that in Thracia because enemies are relatively weak anyway, but if I wanted enemies to be buff, then capturing becomes way more risky. I wanted knockout to be a tool you used to get yourself out of hairy situations. I also like the player having to choose between saving the skill for an enemy with a weapon you want, or using it now to make the next enemy phase easier.
From that wall of text, you can tell I really like the gimmick, but if the general consensus after playtesting is that it’s NOT fun, I will be more than happy to rework it.

Minor update out (version is now v0.1.1). Mainly bugfixes and minor gameplay improvements.

  • Fixed Tam’s skill name typo: ‘Chivaly’ to ‘Chivalry’

  • Reduced enemy density in the northwest corner of Chapter 1. Should make that chapter more enjoyable.

  • Updated AI for Chapter 1 to be more consistent when Mundal starts attacking.

  • Changed map sprites for Leesha and Jackson to be more grey.

  • Gave Augustus a palette.

  • Removed the torch in the brigand’s inventory in Chapter 2. Added a torch in two enemies’ inventories in Chapter 6 instead.

  • Added rainlash fix that made the Unit Speed option update. Before, if you increased or decreased the Unit Speed option, it wouldn’t take effect until you restarted the game.

Unfortunately, the Chivalry typo update means old saves won’t work with this new patch. If you’ve already finished Chapter 1, I’d recommend just continuing your playthrough instead, since these changes are mainly just for that chapter.


So, I completed this release and I have some feedback.

Mindy’s introduction has an oversight. If you don’t unlock the door, Mindy will run past the chest to unlock it, then go allll the back up to grab then the left chest, then flee from the map, completely ignoring the chest on the right.

The game says that mana is supposed to regenerate 1 per turn, but this doesn’t ever happen. This, coupled with the steep cost of using non basic staves and tomes, makes mages worthless when they reach 0 mana, as they can’t even defend themselves or heal.

Leading into a gameplay design that’s completely bad, in my opinion. Luxembourg, the druid boss, has Nosferatu. It heals 100% of the damage done, and he does a lot of it, even to units that have high resistance. This, coupled with the fact that mana does not regen, except for him, makes fighting him an absolute nightmare. Because I couldn’t heal, because my units were out of mana and it doesn’t regenerate, and any damage I dealt was immediately healed back up, along with him being on a healing throne, I basically had to sacrifice my units to deal damage, and then get lucky enough that he missed occasionally. This would have been impossible to do if I were playing classic mode.

Another issue is weapon availability, player durability, and enemy density. Enemies are plentiful and their equipment is strong. They pretty much all rush you every chance they get, and because you’re locked to very weak weapons, unless you steal them, it becomes an issue later on when your units start to die in like two hits. Especially because the highest hp unit is Willow. Everyone else has health in the mid to low 20s, so surviving more than two or three blows is not something most units will be doing.

And the shop never changes, it gives weak weapons the entire play through. And because you never get gold besides what you take from enemies, there’s no point in stealing the gold in the first place, you might as well take their items. Which becomes an issue when many enemies are attacking you at once and you have to choose between getting better items and subduing a dangerous enemy for a turn.

These factors culminate in making the game more frustrating than fun, especially when trying to get any second objectives. Most secondary objectives are getting villagers to escape, but they usually just get mowed down by the many enemies that attack them. They will run straight into packs of them, too. This, coupled with the low amount of bonus experience you’ll get, and the conversion rate for bonus experience, makes going for secondary objectives not worth it. Towards the end of the playthrough, a lot of my units were in the 10 levels or near it. 100 bonus experience converted to, like, 30 exp. And I’d often only get a few tens of points because the villagers would die and i’d take so long to complete the chapter, so bexp quickly became pretty much pointless. If the rewards weren’t just bexp, they might be worth going for, but currently they are not.

And you’re also chased by very strong promoted units, so you can’t waste too many turns, or you’ll get overrun quickly. This isn’t as big a deal for casual mode, but in my casual playthrough, many units died over and over because of the tight timing and strong enemy phase. If I were playing classic, I would’ve just given up playing this game, to be honest.

I think the story and music choices are very good. I’d argue that it’s one of the best parts of the game. If the gameplay were a bit more forgiving, I’d like this project more, but I think it has a lot of potential.

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Thank you so much for playing and giving feedback! Your comments are going to help a lot in making this fangame a more fun experience. I’ve been working last week on reducing reinforcement density (and unit density in general). It sounds like the “time to leave” reinforcements also need to get delayed more.

As to bosses in general, the next release is going to have nerfs to Luxembourg (renamed to Herne), Faulkner, Carmichael and Fini. I agree that Luxembourg is especially unfair. Even replaying the hack last week to catch bugs, I found he one-shot the lords with Eclipse even when the units are using their average level 9 stats. He’s the textbook definition of ‘bad FE boss’ and I plan on kneecapping him. I’ll probably change his Nosferatu to a different weapon as well, after seeing your comments about it. I think I just always fought him while he had Eclipse equipped so I never realized how bad he could get.

The weapons in the shop being E-rank is actually intentional, as a fail-safe for those who run out of weapon uses. If money was more plentiful and the market had good weapons, then there wouldn’t ever be a good reason to take an enemy’s weapons, except for enemies with very rare weapons.

Making allies have low HP was intentional. I wanted juggernauting to not be a thing, because I find it a boring way to play FE. If the average unit is dying after three hits, the game is working as intended. The bulkier units should be able to handle a few more (like Ophello and Isaac). It sounds like they might benefit from some extra bulk, however, so I’ll probably buff them a little as well. Better safe than sorry.

The enemy density is the main problem. Biggest issue I’ve noticed so far is I have a serious blind spot to difficulty. I’ve spent too much time worrying about “is there action on every turn” that I’ve ignored the question of “is there TOO much action every turn?” Last thing I want is my game to be like PoR Maniac mode or Birthright Lunatic mode.

As to BEXP, I will increase the amounts you get later on in the game (and most likely increase the windows where you can get rewards). I haven’t done much tweaking with BEXP because I wanted to see where it landed first with players. I’d rather be generous than stingy with it.

I’m really sorry the hack was frustrating. That was the last thing I wanted. On the other hand, man am I glad the story is resonating with people. I was scared it would be too ‘edgy’, but it sounds like so far that hasn’t been the case.

That’s not the case. Even adding like one or two steel weapons to the shop would make stealing gold useful or help. You don’t have to give really good items, but having only iron weapons pretty much eliminates the need to even choose it in the menu, since you can just steal them from the enemy. But like I said before, you’re having to juggle that with pushing ahead, surviving, subduing dangerous enemies, taking secondary objectives, and stealing good items.

Allies having low hp on their own isn’t such a bad thing, but coupled with the fact that time limits are low, enemies are plentiful and strong, and you’re being chased by reinforcements and bombarded by a lot of enemies all at once, the game expects you to throw yourself into danger without delay, it becomes an issue. There’s no room for error at all.

Not all these things are issues on their own, but when added up, they turn into issues. You don’t have to implement all the changes, but just ones that make the game a little more manageable and the ones you find align with your goal for the game.

I enjoyed playing the game, but only because I was free to sacrifice a unit, as a last resort, knowing they’d return next chapter. On most of the escape maps, I pretty much had to only let Leesha and the other lord escape, and let everyone else die.

I’m looking forward to more releases, especially if the mana regen bug is fixed.

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Yikes, okay that’s even worse than I thought. That will definitely be fixed next release. Honestly, I’m really thankful you even bothered playing the rest of the maps after dealing with stuff like that. I promise I will tone difficulty down a lot, and you convinced me on adding steel weapons to the shop. Thanks again for playing.

Not that it was necessary to sacrifice that many, but it became far easier to just let them die. Also, that reminds me, on chapter 8, I had to do that with Leesha.

Chapter 8, the explanation for the wind blowing was a little misleading. So, I thought the wind would blow the enemy in the direction I choose, but was defeated my first run when I found out it just lowered the movement of enemies who started in the zone. I think a more clear explanation would help there. Also, would it feasible to make the zone have terrain cost rather than give the enemy a movement debuff? There were several times where enemies would fly through the wind and attack someone at full movement range because that enemy unit started just outside the zone.

And that leads into the next part too. After I soft reset using A + B + Start, I loaded the chapter and Leesha was on the map with no mana. She’s supposed to be in the carriage, so this bug was kinda funny. She was also forced, so I couldn’t undeploy her. But she had no mana, so I had to work to keep her out of range of the enemy until I could make her escape. On a successful run, the carriage ran right into the middle of the enemy, farther than I could safely go, and got killed, but the map kept going, so I just beat it anyway lol.

I ran into that Leesha bug last night. The next patch will fix it.

I will add an explanation to the map to make this more clear. I also like your idea of having the wind area change terrain instead, and I think there’s a way to make that work in LT using map layers. The wagon dying not causing a game over is a bug that will be fixed, but I’ll reduce the difficulty for Chapter 8 to balance it out.

You’d have to make sure it reduces only the enemy’s movement then.

Promise this’ll be the last time I bump the post for a while.

New update out (v0.1.3)

Mostly just bugfixes and reducing unit density. Wanted to get it out fast since the first release’s difficulty was too much. Mana now regenerates 1 per turn, bosses (especially the raidboss formerly known as Luxembourg) have been nerfed, less enemies in general, and ‘time to leave’ reinforcements show later. If there are still issues with difficulty, I can reduce it further in the next release (when I have some new maps finished).

Full patch notes listed below:

  • Added new support ranks (not convos, those come later)

  • New base convos for Chapter 7, 8 and 9.

  • -2 MT to all siege tomes.

  • Changed Chapter 5 to give you a different reward when you save all the villagers, (it’s an item now). (Future release will make it clear for all subsequent chapters, since every chapter you rescue all allies, you get a bonus item.)

  • Fixed a bug where destroying the wagon in Chapter 8 didn’t give you a game over.

  • Added a hint dialogue for Chapter 8 to better explain the wind mechanic.

  • Slightly buffed HP growth for a few units.

  • Renamed Luxembourg to Herne, and also nerfed the strength of all bosses.

  • Fixed Mindy’s AI priorities.

  • Reduced enemy density on every map, including reinforcements.

  • Added steel weapons to market from Chapter 7 onwards.

  • Increased BEXP gain across the board.

  • Tweaked audio balancing

The wind in Chapter 8 hasn’t changed yet. I’m still figuring out a way to make a terrain layer that doesn’t affect allies, so that will have to come later as well.