DISCO ELYSIUM is a groundbreaking blend of isometric RPG and hardboiled cop show. Solve a massive, open ended case in a unique urban fantasy setting. Kick in doors, interrogate suspects, or just get lost exploring the gorgeously rendered city of Revachol. What kind of cop you are — is up to you.
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March 23


Hey all!

As mentioned in the last post Meet The Skills: Psyche, our Lead Designer Robert Kurvitz previously talked about the Intellect Skills on our website.

In Metric (our character system) there are six skills that comprise your Intellect: Logic, Rhetoric, Drama, Encyclopedia, Conceptualization and Visual Calculus. They are represented here by their work-in-progress portraits.


Logic is raw intellectual power. If you want to analyze the living daylights out of the case, take Logic. Formulate theories about what happened, or detect inconsistencies in the statements people make to you. It’s useful for not getting bamboozled.

Logic loves being right, however. To a fault. It’s a brilliant lie detector until faced with intellectual flattery. Then it starts tooting its own horn. Your Drama skill might interfere: people are pretending, manipulating you, while Logic – blinded by its own brilliance – yammers on about how infallible it is.

In heroic difficulty rolls, Logic can induce near-transcendence-like pleasure from performing raw operations on events and numbers. (It also does maths for you.) And it states the obvious. Logic loves an easy challenge, whatever it’s claims.


Rhetoric is your ability to debate. Nitpick, make intellectual discourse. It doesn’t need to be an argument, you can just shoot off your mouth and take hearty pleasure from it. But let’s be honest – mostly Rhetoric just bickers. About politics.

All political discourse falls under Rhetoric. You can mold it into a weapon of fascist sable rattling, evicting potato-loving kojkos and deformed himean pygmees left to right. Rid Revachol of aliens in transit! Or become the ultimate liberast (perpetrator of the sin of liberasty), extolling free trade and slimy personal freedoms at the expense of the downtrodden. This is achieved through researching political projects in your Thought Cabinet, then having them supercharge your Rhetoric skill.

A souped up, ideologically informed Rhetoric is an impressive beast, but it gets you into trouble. The twist here is that Rhetoric – our persuasion ability – doesn’t really persuade anyone. Most of the time it just makes you new enemies. While your beliefs calcify.


Enclyclopedia is your knack for trivia. It’s perhaps the talkiest of all the skills, pulling out drawers of fascinating if questionable tidbits of knowledge. Sometimes real nuggets of gold too. It’s up to you to discern between the two.

Encyclopedia adores brands, marks, makes of pistolette and motor-carriage, street names, addresses, species of cockatoo, Great Century military leaders, rock music icons, Messinian ceramic manufacturers … Buy it and max it out, if you want a deluge of lore.

You may even find special, reoccurring places within your Encyclopedia. Like visions: a blackboard of names with all the cops in East Revachol on it, with all their confirmed kills and cases solved. Or a mysterious index of radio frequencies…


Drama is a god damn liar. Deliver believable deviations from reality, sometimes with the goal to deceive people, but not necessarily. You may just want to entertain as well.

We thought long and hard about how deceit is handled in RPGs and decided it needs to be more about performance in No Truce With The Furies. We want each of the skills to be a little world of it’s own, an investment worth considering. So lying became stagecraft, an amalgam of fourberie and deceit, with entertainment – and even singing. You can do karaoke with Drama, or perform spot on imitations of people.

Drama is also the counter to Drama. It informs you when Drama is being used on you. And although Intellect skills in general are more mentally oriented, Drama has its uses in combat as well. Feign death. Do drunken fighting. Maybe even quadrupedal movement


Conceptualization is your capacity for original thought. Make fresh associations, really delve into the concepts of the world – from Jan Kaarp’s postmodernist karperie, to Revachol’s arabesque architectural style dideridada, or even the concept of hardcore as deployed by the burgeoning dance music scene – then add your own contribution to these works! It’s your general purpose cultural theorist, used for both criticism and creation.

Okay, I’ll level with you. Conceptualization makes you into an Art Cop. You get extra lines of description in scenes, and you get to come up with stuff like poems, one-liners and a cool nom de guerre for yourself. An artist’s name, if you will. Conceptualization is the difference between hanging yourself and jumping into a live volcano. (No literal live volcanos are present in No Truce With The Furies for the time being.)

Visual Calculus

Visual Calculus is your forensics skill. It represents your grasp of the laws of physics, motion particularly. Create models of past events in your mind’s eye, trace dotted lines across the room, read tire tracks to recreate an automobile accident. Even notice tactical opportunities in combat situations – then take advantage of them. (Perception + Visual Calculus = the ultimate sniper)

We’re building a special, stylistic overlay that covers the world when certain Visual Calculus checks succeed. This lets us visualize shards of glass falling out of the window, a car backing into the fence, or political prisoners standing in front of a firing squad, half a century ago… all painted into the isometric world around you.

It looks great and I’m really sorry we haven’t shown it off yet. Just a few more tweaks first though…

I’m going to be candid and say Visual Calculus is a really cool skill and you should probably take it if you don’t want to miss out on all the cool. The only reason not to take it is that it’s a luxury. You need more essential stuff to stay alive and on top of things.

So to wrap it up – Intellect does not make you get on well with yourself, or with other people. It lets you peel off layer after layer from the world, getting to its inner workings, modelling its events and bending it’s structures. If that’s what you want, stick five or six points into it at character creation and later buy two or three skills to boot.

It’s been my ambition as a pen and paper DM to make heavy mental labour as engaging and wildly entertaining as combat, or even more so. Of the four main Attributes, Intellect was perhaps the hardest to nail. What it really comes down to is how the actual situations are written in the game — and most of all, how interestingly you play them out. The skills are just prompters in the play you’re starring in, whispering suggestions to you from within. It’s up to you to decide whose ideas you want more of, and what to do with them. But naming and dividing between areas of juristiction is everything in systems — and I’m certain this cast was worth getting together all these years.

We'd love to know what your favourite skills are so far, from the Psyche and Intellect posts! Let us know below!
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March 17


In a previous blog post hereLead Designer Robert Kurvitz introduced the Intellect skills, which allow you carve up the world every which way, and assemble new and wondrous things from the pieces. Now one of our writers Olga Moskvina, is here to talk about the six Psyche skills — Volition, Inland Empire, Empathy, Authority, Suggestion, and Esprit de Corps.

Generally speaking, these six unstable dudes will make you into a more sensitive person. This is both good and bad. Of all our four Attributes, Psyche is the most schizophrenic. You will be a magnetic personality able to pick up on other people’s feelings, a powerhouse of imagination and charisma. But this will also make you a greater burden on yourself.


Volition is the foundational skill for Psyche, as Logic is for Intellect. However, while Logic may sometimes succumb to the temptation of intellectual arrogance, Volition is more consistent in getting you out of trouble. It’s your inner good guy.

Volition is all about having a moral compass and the willpower to resist temptations — from the sweet smell of liquor to unsavory urges. Yes, you can bear the profound tragedy of human existence, Volition tells you. No, you do not need to take a swig from that bottle of vodka to help you do it.

And when your ego is being inflated by self-congratulation and flattery (say Logic and Authority are having a big old party in your attic, egging each other on), Volition intervenes to cut you down to size before you do something abominably stupid because you’re feeling almighty. Volition is the party pooper.

It’s also the skill associated with your Morale — one of the two life bars in the game, along with Health. It represents your will to finish the investigation, redeem yourself in the eyes of others. Run out of Morale and you’ll give up in a series of excruciating “I don’t wanna be a cop any more scenes” where your friends get exceedingly tired of talking you back from the ledge.

Inland Empire

Inland Empire is your unfiltered emotions, dreams, and forebodings. Basically, Inland Empire has a lot of interesting (read: wrong) ideas about the world. It lets you know when there might be something mysterious or spooky going on. Why would you want to be just a regular old cop when you could be a para-natural detective, groping your way through invisible dimensions of reality? it asks you. (Inland Empire is, after all, the Lynchian skill.)

Inland Empire can also offer helpful hints via gut reactions – though you can never be sure when and to what extent to trust its enigmatic messages.

Of all the skills in the game, Inland Empire has been one of the wildest to write, since it also represents your uncontrollable imagination. When Conceptualization under Intellect is an art critic, Inland Empire is an unwitting creator. It turns inanimate objects animate and lets you have conversations with your gun, the corpse of the deceased – maybe even one of your items of clothing. The information it provides may prove right… in retrospect.


Empathy is your ability to pick up on subtle cues that indicate that something is happening beneath the surface of other characters. Not that they’re lying to you, exactly — Drama (under Intellect) is your go-to for picking up on lies. Rather, Empathy lets you know when there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Perhaps a hidden sadness that a good detective should be able to coax out of the people he’s questioning. Or hidden resentment toward the detective himself.

Have too little of Empathy and you turn into an ungainly beast who is unable to read basic social circumstances and may or may not be forced to become a virulent… well, let’s just say, you may not have as much control over some of your politics as you’d like. Empathy is not all honesty and feelings, it’s also a basic social survival skill that makes you come off as caring and emotionally intelligent. (Even if you’re not!)


Authority is the skill that likes to fly into a rage when it feels like you and your profession aren’t being RESPECTED. It constantly urges you to reassert your dominance over those around you. Was there a hint of sarcasm in that elderly scientist’s “It’s a pleasure to meet you, officer?” Demand that he change his tone, or else!

Every so often, Authority also supplies useful information. For example, it can help you understand the power dynamics of a group of thugs, or let you know how far you can push someone before they push back. But, to be honest, it’s mostly about displays of self-assertion, which are quite important in police work.

Authority is perhaps the craziest skill to have little of. Yell at teenagers, start crying while you’re angry, verbally abuse your partner to no avail. Threaten to arrest people, then back off. If you constantly fail at asserting yourself as a police officer, you run the risk of becoming the fabled Meltdown Cop.


Suggestion is the skill of manipulators and charmers. Need to talk someone into something or out of something? Suggestion will hint at the right approach to take.

In contrast to baton-flailing Authority, Suggestion is all about soft power — why threaten someone when you can make them believe their interests are aligned with yours instead? You’ve just gotta find the right words, man.

Suggestion also lets you know when someone is trying to charm you, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s just an innocent flirtation – but how can you be sure?

Suggestion is also what people in Brittain call a slimey-limey. It’s oleaginous, even when it succeeds. And when it fails… oh boy. If you thought failing at Authority was bad, try failing at Suggestion, Casanova Cop. Aka Copponova. Aka Romeo Returns Alone.

Esprit De Corps

Esprit De Corps is your “meanwhile, back at the ranch” skill. It’s distinct from all the other skills in Metric in that it supplies the player with information that is beyond the scope of the protagonist’s present experience. Not in a para-natural way – rather, as literature. Esprit de Corps produces flash-sideways mini novellas of your cop friends, doing their cop stuff while you do yours.

Thus it draws parallels between your travails and those of your fellow officers all throughout Revachol. Esprit de Corps represents your connection to the RCM – Revachol Citizen’s Militia – the police force you’re a part of. And, more specifically, your Station – Precinct 41.

Esprit de Corps also looks in on your partner, Kim Kitsuragi, when he happens to be away. Thus, this system allows us to show what your party member is doing when he’s not in the party.

Take this skill if you like postmodern trickery. It’s a luxury skill, of course. But we see great potential for it in future titles. Esprit de Corps tells you: it’s not all about you. There are other stories happening parallel to yours. There’s a constellation of cops out there, solving cases, giving up and picking themselves up again…

That’s the gang this time around. Max out on Psyche in character creation, and these skills will argue, fight, and play tug-of-war with one another, attempting to make you follow this or that irrational impulse. It’ll be a blast, but make sure to buckle up!

A high Psyche goes well with most builds. Combine it with high Fysique for an absolute raving mad man. Or high Intellect for a mental bastion. Or high Motorics for one cool cat and charismatic leader.

Till next time!

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"At once a re-invention and a return to the roots of the RPG genre."

"With a captivating isometric aesthetic, that channels nostalgia in a good way, it has a killer look to match an off-beat premise."
Kotaku UK

"There are so many fresh ideas in the writing, systems, and artwork here that when the creators say “The role playing game is an emergent art form – and we’re set to light it on fire,” you can believe them. It seems like a lot to pull off, but heck, I reckon they can do it."
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About This Game

Follow the development of Disco Elysium on all of our social media channels! (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

Disco Elysium is a groundbreaking blend of isometric RPG and hardboiled cop show with a unique urban fantasy setting.

You play a disgraced lieutenant detective in Revachol West, a shore town where corruption’s out of control, murders go unsolved, and the kids just wanna dance. Kick in doors, interrogate suspects, or get lost exploring a gorgeously rendered city and unraveling its mysteries. All the while, tensions rise around you as Revachol threatens to explode.

Disco Elysium’s completely original skill system makes your innermost feelings, doubts, and memories an integral part of every conversation. Level up your rational faculties, sharpen your wits, or give in to your basest instincts. What kind of cop you are is up to you.


  • A massive, open-ended case you can solve however you choose.
  • An utterly unique urban fantasy setting where bell-bottoms meet muzzle-loaders.
  • Set-piece combat sequences you can avoid or dive into at your peril.
  • Develop your own cop persona with 24 colourful skills.
  • Ditch your cop uniform for real disco threads to impress, intimidate, or seduce.
  • An inventory for your thoughts where you can research clues and then put them to use in the game.
  • Original score by the rock’n’roll band British Sea Power.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT520M or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce 940 or equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: These specifications are not final and are subject to change as the game nears launch.
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