Project Eternity's Kickstarter keeps rolling right along, with a pledged amount approaching $1,800,000. A new update has appeared on the Kickstarter page, as Obsidian discusses how souls and technology work in Project Eternity. Souls are "A Big Deal" in Project Eternity, even if the mortal world in the game has not unlocked all the secrets on how the souls "work." Basically all that is known is the souls "move through an endless cycle of waking life and purgatorial slumber among the gods." That slumber can last for years of "real" time, but it could be very brief as a soul moves to a new life. Moving is not a perfect process, as souls can "fracture" over time, transform, or even not work properly.
Some people and cultures "place a high value on "strong" souls, souls with a "pure" lineage, "awakened" souls that remember past lives, "traveled" souls that have drifted through the divine realms, or those that co-exist with other souls in one body." The opposite is also true, however, as there can be negative discrimination or even violence, so just be on your guard in the game. A few people can, through certain techniques (martial training, meditation, mortification of the flesh), draw on their souls to perform extraordinary feats. These can range from superhuman to the "explosively magical," and while a strong soul makes the feats easier, a fractured one can supposedly work, too. How exactly the process works is described by Obsidian as:
Thinkers, spiritualists, and scientists of the world have theorized for thousands of years about the nature and purpose of this process, but others have turned to prayer for answer. Rather than illuminate the presumed higher purpose of this cycle, the gods have obfuscated the truth, at times spreading cosmological lies, pitting believers and empowered chosen agents against each other, and tacitly approving the prejudices of their followers to maintain power.
Whatever the fundamental nature of mortal souls is, the people of the world accept the reality of what they have observed: that all mortal bodies contain perceptible energy bound to the individual, and that once they die, their energy will move forward in the eternal cycle that they are all a part of -- that as far as they know, they have always been a part of.
Now, to shift over to technology, many of the cultures in Project Eternity are in something similar to Earth's high or late Middle Ages. Some areas are still in the Stone or Bronze Age, but not many. The most aggressive or powerful civilizations are in our early modern period technologically, despite not going through a cultural Renaissance. Basically, what that means is:
For most large civilizations, this means that all of the core arms and armor of medieval warfare have reached a high level of development: full suits of articulated plate armor, a variety of military swords, war hammers, polearms, longbows, crossbows, and advanced siege weaponry. Architecturally, these cultures also employ technologies found in Earth's Gothic structures, allowing them to create towering vertical structures.
Large, carrack-style ships and black powder firearms are present in the world, however the printing press has not been invented. Cultures with "large navies and mercantile traffic" are out exploring the world and discovering unknown lands, societies, and settlements. Unfortunately, monstrous sea creatures prevent exploration further out, as even the most well-armed ships are outmatched. Black powder firearms are not widely used due to their slow reload times, but some do use them to cut through the arcane veil: a "standard magical defense employed by wizards." Veils are powerful, but not enough to stop a fast moving projectile from a firearm. As a result, more wizards are wearing traditional armor to provide more protection from firearms.
That is a ton of information concerning Project Eternity, but there is some more on the Kickstarter update page. A new $5,000 tier has been added that lets supporters name their own band of enemy adventurers in addition to the rewards of the other $5,000 tier, but the new one is very nearly sold out. Obsidian is also partnering with GOG.com to offer a DRM-free version of the game for PC users, while a DRM-free Mac version is still being planned as GOG does not support the platform. There are 25 days to go to unlock more stretch goals for Project Eternity and secure a copy of the game, so do what you can to get the impressive-sounding RPG loaded with more features!