Fool’s Theory is a Polish studio headed by Jakub Rokosz, formerly senior quest designer on The Witcher 2 and 3 at CD Projekt Red. Relations must still be good between them, since Fool’s Theory is currently working on the remake of the first Witcher game, with CDPR having “full creative supervision.”
In addition, Fool’s Theory has an original game in the works, which it recently revealed. The Thaumaturge is an isometric RPG set in a version of early 20th century Warsaw in which spirit beings called salutors are summoned and tamed by occultists for their own ends. We’ll be playing one such salutor-botherer, who can be seen in the gameplay trailer commanding a couple of spirits, as well as getting in fistfights and jogging around various parts of Russia-controlled Warsaw.
Those spirits are a bukavac—the eyeless four-armed one with all the hooks and chains—and an upyr—the friendly looking skull-faced chap with the fur hat, who is apparently the ghost of a vengeful nobleman.
The salutors can be controlled in The Thaumaturge’s turn-based combat, where they have a variety of abilities to contribute. The bukavac, “A hideous monstrosity that embodies punishment for atrocious crimes,” can cause damage with a Syrmian Whisper or a Howl attack, as well as inflicting a debuff called Suffering that causes attrition damage. It also has a Bloody Wedding skill that causes more damage the more enemies are suffering from Suffering. They’re basically Pokémon, only real fucked-up.
The Thaumaturge also promises to have investigation mechanics, choice-and-consequence moral decisions, and the ability to develop the main character in different ways that will open up different options for solving problems.
Like the Witcher remake, The Thaumaturge is being developed in Unreal Engine 5, which should help its heavily researched recreation of Warsaw look pretty. At least, until the undead turn up.
Fool’s Theory previously assisted Larian as a support studio on Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Baldur’s Gate 3, as well as releasing an RPG called Seven: The Days Long Gone in 2017. This time the studio is working with 11 Bit, the creator of Frostpunk, who is acting as publisher for The Thaumaturge. No release date has been announced yet, but it’ll be available on Steam (opens in new tab), GOG (opens in new tab), and the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab).