The No-Frauds Club ยป Onitar: The Pretense of War


The Pretense of War


Onitar: The Pretense of War is a 2D action game set in an original science-fantasy universe and made in the Antikythera engine.

Onitar is inspired by RTS, ARPG, and MOBA games. It sports a backdrop that achieves the middling scale of the average RTS, the customizability of isometric ARPGs, and a control scheme that closely resembles that of isometric MOBAs.

Unlike conventional MOBAs, abilities, passives, and attacks are entirely sourced from items, which can only be placed in specific item slots depending on their type. The concepts of static minion waves and lanes are also absent from Onitar, with fully-fledged RTS-style AI allies constructing outposts mid-game and dispatching attack waves along dynamic vectors across complex levels.

Onitar preserves a distinction between ground and air combatants, allowing for transport craft to ferry attack waves along impassable terrain, and wings of fighters to be sent on surgical strikes. Though many items provide players with attacks that can target both ground and air units, some builds will be more reliant on abilities and allies to defend against flyers.

Maps are varied in Onitar, with an expected minimum of five distinct battlegrounds to be available early on in development. Additionally, Onitar matches are not always a tale of two teams; free-for-alls between a diaspora of factions will be present in some of the larger battlefields.

AI allies will be fully-configurable in custom lobbies, allowing for a wide variety of starting conditions, from the factions at play to their personalities and playstyles. In matchmaking, players will be able to queue with a specific list of allowed factions, which will allow them to control which kinds of RTS-styled allies they serve on the battlefield.

Ultimately, the scope of Onitar is far broader than the average MOBA, which will result in a more dynamic game flow, while providing more tools for all players to express their skill and personality.

Game Flow

In Onitar, players act as versatile warriors known as avatars. They serve alongside more ordinary soldiers called supplicants, which are in turn controlled by computerized commanders known as obsidians. Avatars are tasked with razing the monoliths that house enemy obsidians, and will lose if all of their team's monoliths are destroyed.

Before a battle begins, players are contained in a deployment zone near their team's initial monolith for 30 seconds. During this time, avatars on the same team can discuss their intended roles, make item purchases, and plan their opening strategy with one another.

After the starting timer concludes, the gates are lifted and the battle horns sound. Avatars can scout for information, escort initial attack waves, assault nearby miscreant camps, and engage in immediate skirmishes with their rivals. Obsidians dispatch dedicated scouting parties to find information on one another and attempt to adapt their composition based on the map state, which can be further augmented by attentive avatars.

Initial waves of warring supplicant groups meet alongside the more straightforward paths between each team's base. Avatars maintain shared vision with their obsidian's soldiers and infrastructure, which allows them to make informed decisions about which front of the battle to supplement, and which sectors of the warzone have yet to be contested.

Another early target of many avatars lies in the form of miscreant camps, which guard certain treasures and resources. More powerful bands of these denizens maintain control over vital strategic nodes, ranging from conduits of power that enchant items for a cost to beleaguered shopkeepers that will sell their masterwork gear once the coast is clear. The most powerful of all miscreants reside in dens and promise immense rewards, but be warned - taking on such monumental beasts is not for the faint of heart!

Wherever the avatars find themselves as the battle begins, one thing is for certain - the opposing team's avatars will be a prime target. Combat against other avatars is some of the most challenging, with only the swift and the durable poised to survive. With enough coordination, the more stationary and fragile avatars can endure long enough to dish out unforgettable amounts of damage - and once hostile avatars are felled, any loot stored in their backpack can be nicked if left unguarded.

As the battle lines are drawn, obsidians make a concerted effort to expand their spheres of influence and claim more resources for their war efforts. In more compact battlefields, supplicants will jockey for control over base sites, while larger arenas would see obsidians assaulting neutral camps of miscreants to plunder the materials they guard. Avatars are often incentivized to aid in the annexing of unclaimed ash deposits, as more resources mean more allies on the battlefield.

When equipped with additional sources of income, obsidians can more easily establish forward outposts to guard more distant avenues of attack. Reinforcing the frontlines with defensive emplacements is a common sight, and avatars can influence obsidian decisionmaking by placing requests using a control panel. Avatars will always have information on their computerized ally's current focuses and resources.

At great cost, additional monoliths can be constructed to provide massive defensive power and serve as a backup location for the team's obsidian. Monoliths also serve as imposing defensive emplacements that can hold off small armies on their own. Such important structures benefit avatars, as well, with additional item shops and bounty boards providing more choices for the versatile combatants.

Not all items can be bought - especially not from allied shops, which cannot provide the highest-grade equipment. Bazaars, initially held hostage by gangs of miscreants, can be liberated to obtain powerful mastercrafts. These items will serve avatars well, but the most ascendant of all weapons and armor are only bestowed in exchange for a completed bounty.

Bounties are obtained from bounty boards and call for specific recipes before they can be turned in, which tends to result in avatars with all the required ingredients being quite attractive targets for their opponents. Bounties require the destruction of specific enemies, ranging from more mundane supplicants and miscreants to structures, chieftains, and avatars - but the rewards they provide are more than worth the effort.

Eventually, all monoliths of an opposing team are felled, and thus, the victor is decided.


All projectiles, from standard attacks to ability effects, can be dodged or intercepted by hostile targets. Homing attacks which always fly towards the designated target are rare. Projectiles never strike allies unless an ally is the intended target.

Effects and shields:
Some projectiles have effects attached to them. Positive effects are referred to as buffs, while negative ones are called debuffs.

Additionally, some targets will have shields - a secondary lifebar that blocks debuffs. If a projectile breaks its victim's shields, any debuffs attached to that projectile would pass on to the victim.

Some projectiles act as cleanses for any debuffs when targeting allies. If an enemy is struck by a cleansing projectile, the timers for any debuffs they have are refreshed.

Death and revives:
Upon taking fatal damage, avatars begin respawning in a process that takes 15 seconds. Like most entities, avatars create a corpse on death, but they also create a gravestone.

During the respawning process, enemy avatars may pilfer the contents of the fallen warrior's backpack by channeling on their gravestone for 5 seconds.

The respawning process is instantly finished if any avatar channels on the gravestone for 5 seconds. If their backpack has not been stolen, they will respawn with it.

Corpses and rubble:
Most enemies leave behind corpses, which can be interacted with via specialized abilities.

Some debuffs consume corpses when the victim dies. Revived units never leave behind corpses on death.


Below is a list of all stats in Onitar. All stats can be modified with items, buffs, and debuffs.

Vital stats:
  • HP - a resource measuring vitality; dropping to zero results in death
  • Shields - an additional vital resource that receives damage before HP
  • Energy - a resource used for ability casts
  • HP regeneration - the amount of HP you regenerate every second
  • Energy regeneration - the amount of energy you regenerate every second
  • Armor - the amount of incoming damage that is reduced; countered by armor penetration
  • Movement speed - the number of tiles you can traverse per second
  • Turn rate - the number of angles you can turn per second
  • Sight range - the number of tiles you can see in a radius
  • Weight - the amount of space you occupy in a transport or garrison
  • Item factor - the factor that item stat bonuses are multiplied against

Combat stats:
  • Attack damage - the amount of damage you deal with each projectile hit
  • Weapon factor - the number of projectiles you fire with each attack; multiple projectiles have staggered firings
  • Target count - the number of unique targets you can fire upon simultaneously
  • Armor penetration - the amount of armor your attacks ignore
  • Damage over time - the amount of damage your attacks deal, once per second, over your damage over time duration
  • Damage over time duration - the number of seconds until your damage over time expires
  • Weapon range - the maximum number of tiles you can attack from
  • Inner splash radius - the number of tiles that your weapon deals full area damage
  • Outer splash radius - the number of tiles that your weapon deals minimum area damage
  • Weapon cooldown - the number of seconds that you must wait between attacks
  • Projectile speed - the number of tiles your projectiles can traverse per second
  • Attack angle - the maximum number of angles before you must turn to face your target

On-hit stats:
  • Stack count - the number of ability stacks applied to victims with each successful attack
  • Lifesteal - the percentage of your final damage that is converted to self-healing
  • Energy siphon - the percentage of your final damage that is converted to energy
  • Energy burn - the percentage of your final damage that damages your victim's energy
  • Harrying - the percentage of your victim's movement speed you reduce with each successful attack; expires after 2 seconds of not being refreshed
  • Overheating - the percentage of your victim's attack speed you reduce with each successful attack; expires after 2 seconds of not being refreshed

Ash, Bounties, and Trophies

  • The currency used by Obsidians and Avatars alike is called ash.
  • Obsidians collect ash by harvesting them directly from ash deposits.
  • Avatars collect ash in the following ways:
    • Slaying enemy supplicants and miscreants drops trophies, which can be sold at item shops. Trophies dropped in this way expire after 60 seconds.
    • Destroying enemy structures drops a high-value trophy. High-value trophies are evenly divided into smaller trophies based on how many avatars are present on a team. These trophies also expire after 60 seconds.
    • Defeating enemy avatars drops a high-value trophy and temporarily enables the plundering of their backpack. If their backpack is stolen, their unspent ash, unequipped items, and bounties can be plundered.
    • Selling items grants all of that item's value in ash.
    • Turning in completed bounties grant rewards, which always include ash.
    • One tenth of allied obsidian ash income is granted passively.

  • Avatars can purchase bounties from bounty boards, which are attached to allied monoliths and town centers.
  • Purchased bounties cannot be dropped, but are stored in the backpack, and thus can be stolen by enemies.
  • Bounties require recipes, comprised of trophies and specific items, before they can be turned in. Unless otherwise called for by the bounty itself, recipe components must not have had an owner prior to you collecting them.
  • When turned in, bounties reward ash, and may also bestow items or supplicants. Ascendant items can only be acquired through bounties.
  • The more allied bounty boards on the map, the more bounties are available. Bounties grow in diversity with the number of unique enemies and actions on the map.
  • Multiple bounties can be activated by individual avatars. Individual bounties are unique on a per-team basis.

  • As stated above, trophies drop from every slain combatant and structure, and vary in value.
    • Serviceable trophies are dropped from most supplicants and miscreants. These value at between 10 and 100 ash.
    • Fetching trophies are dropped from most structures and elite combatants. These value at between 100 and 500 ash.
    • Bountiful trophies are dropped from avatars, monoliths, and the most powerful of all supplicants and miscreants. These value at between 500 and 1,000 ash.
  • Trophies are automatically acquired when an avatar collides with them, and are sorted into stacks based on their origin. Trophy stacks can be split, dropped, and sold in accordance with the avatar's needs.
  • An option to trade in all trophies in an avatar's backpack is also available while within range of a shop.


Avatars begin as equals, purchasing their initial gear upon deployment and further augmenting their capabilities with additional items. They have high base mobility, which can only be improved by their gear.

Avatars can teleport to any completed allied structure. This teleportation requires a 2-second channel, and is interrupted by taking damage or if manually canceled.

AI-controlled avatars seek out items and employ tactics based on their predefined personalities. In custom games, these tendencies can be configured by map authors or lobby hosts.

Base stats:
  • 100 HP
  • 100 energy
  • 5 HP regeneration
  • 5 energy regeneration
  • 0 armor
  • 5 movement speed
  • 4320 turn rate
  • 10 sight range
  • 5 weight
  • 1 item factor
  • 1 target count
  • 0 damage over time
  • 5 damage over time duration
  • 1 stack count


Item table

The primary way for avatars to customize their combat capabilities is through equipping distinct items. Each item in Onitar has a corresponding inventory slot, which can only house a single item at any given time.

The most fundamental inventory slot is the core. Avatars are given a common core of their choice for free at the beginning of the game, before being able to purchase additional items. Cores inform the general combat role of an avatar, providing stat increases, a single ability, and a single passive. Cores are universally unstable, meaning they disintegrate if unequipped, which adds a cost to the action of an avatar changing their core (and thus, their "role") mid-game.

Inventory slots:
  • Core - soft role definition and guidance
  • Primary hand - primary weapon
  • Primary glove - attack and utility; can enhance the primary hand slot
  • Off-hand - utility, secondary weapon, and secondary armor
  • Off-glove - attack and utility; can enhance the off-hand slot
  • Head - vision and secondary armor
  • Pendant - utility; can enhance the head slot
  • Chest - primary armor
  • Cloak - utility; can enhance the chest slot
  • Legs - secondary armor and mobility
  • Boots - mobility and utility; can enhance the legs slot

Item classes:
  • Nemesis - sustained damage and mobility abilities; specialized in eliminating enemy avatars
  • Massacre - splash damage and area-denial abilities; specialized in controlling crowds
  • Firebrand - high range and burst-damage abilities; specialized in base destruction
  • Iris - disruptive abilities; specialized in information gathering and combat chaos
  • Shepherd - restorative and enchanting abilities; specialized in supporting allied avatars
  • Architect - defensive stats and reinforcing abilities; specialized in deploying and augmenting fortifications
  • Tyrant - controlling abilities; specialized in dominating hostile supplicants

Item tiers:
  • Common - conventional items, purchasable from monolith shops; provide limited stat bonuses
  • Potent - active items, purchasable from monolith shops and dropped from high-tier enemies; provide stat bonuses, abilities, and passives
  • Masterwork - conventional items, purchasable from bazaars, dropped from high-tier enemies, and awarded from bounties; provide powerful stat bonuses and passives
  • Ascendant - active items, awarded from bounties; provide powerful stat bonuses, abilities, and passives

Item traits:
  • Starter - an item provided to all avatars upon initial deployment
  • Two-handed - requires both hand slots to equip; receives benefits from both glove slots
  • Singular - a one-of-a-kind item with no duplicates
  • God-touched - part of a set of legendary items
  • Possessed - bound to an entity that interacts in battle
  • Duplicitous - an item that drops when its owner dies
  • Finite - provides an ability or effect that has limited uses, with charges being refilled when near an allied town center
  • Unstable - destroyed when unequipped

Item sets:
  • God-touched items belong to an item set. When 2 items of the same set are equipped, an additional bonus is bestowed on the wielder.
  • More than 2 items of the same set do not bestow additional unique bonuses.
  • Item sets contain one item per inventory slot.

Item shops
  • Allied item shops are attached to allied monoliths and town centers. Maintaining more allied item shops unlocks more expensive and powerful items for sale.
  • Neutral item shops are scattered throughout the map, and sell more expensive and powerful items.

Some item configurations provide multiple instances of the same passive or ability. In such cases, the stats of such passives and abilities are increased by 50%.


Obsidians are computerized superintelligences that command vast armies. Having been imbued with uncanny personalities, their mannerisms and strategies vary from module to module. No matter the obsidian, it is not uncommon for avatars to receive words of encouragement from their digital overlords.

When avatars first take to the field, they are allowed to cast their vote on which strategy their team will make use of. Strategies imply the team's course of action in the early-game, and describe how much aggression will be levied at either miscreants or opposing teams. This decision is passed on to the obsidian, who implements the chosen strategy to the best of its ability.

Obsidians are housed in monoliths - massive structures with powerful defensive capabilities. Once all monoliths of a given team are destroyed, that team is defeated. Normally, only one monolith per team is present at the beginning of a battle, but more of the superstructures can and often are deployed as time goes on, especially as more resource nodes are secured.

In addition to monoliths, obsidians will attempt to construct several other installations. Harvesting structures are built over ash deposits, and the fruits of their labor allow obsidians to deploy additional troop facilities, increasing the strength of that team's military.

Production structures require a small injection of ash to be operated. This "tax" is 10% of the ash cost of the facility, which starts out as a negligible sum and increases as the battle rages on. Avatars are always aware of their obsidian's income and upkeep, and obsidians will deactivate training centers if their total tax exceeds their current income.

Defensive emplacements are commonly assembled near chokepoints and other areas of import. If allowed, obsidians will continue to expand and strengthen their defensive holds in an attempt to contain their opponents. When combined with strengthened attack waves and competent avatar escorts, this maneuver can be quite deadly.

Construction efforts are constrained to wide regions around monoliths and outposts, the latter of which must be deployed on-site via specialized supplicants. These expansionist craft are often seen being escorted to their final destination by a veritable platoon of supplicants, as their high cost and slow movement speed make them prime targets for opportunistic avatars.


Supplicants are combatants that take to the battlefield, in service to obsidians. They come in many forms, but most follow the same directives, with organized groups being tasked with specific orders.

Specialized structures for troop production prepare individual supplicants for battle. Each production structure creates a specific type of supplicant, and new supplicants are trained synchronously, with each wave of soldiers emerging from their training facilities at once. These centers require a small tax for every new supplicant deployed, which can result in a temporary suspension of operations if an obsidian's economy is sabotaged.

While most supplicants operate on the ground, some take to the skies as flyers, with specialized craft even being capable of transporting grounded combatants over impassable terrain and directly into enemy encampments. Nimble flyers are often used for harassment and scouting purposes, but can also augment the power of more conventional forces.

Powerful supplicants of both grounded and airborne varieties make use of energy similar to avatars, and are capable of exhibiting powerful behaviors to turn the tide of engagements. Though individual supplicants rarely rival avatar opponents, their true strength comes from their composition, and at times, their sheer number. No matter a supplicant's strength or size, slaying one will always drop a trophy, which can be looted by avatars and sold for ash.

Supplicant groups are organized based on supplicant type, proximity, and the current state of the battlefield. As an example, if several production structures are grouped together, the supplicants that are trained there will undoubtedly be grouped and collectively ordered to carry out a specific task.

Dedicated defense groups will establish patrols in contested territory, and meet enemy assault forces head on. Obsidians will always order supplicants to defend nearby infrastructure, should it be under attack. Only in grave situations - such as a concerted assault on a monolith - will all supplicants be summoned to defend, regardless of their initial location.

If there are no enemy threats in the immediate vicinity, and the dedicated defense groups are not in need of reinforcements, supplicants will be given assault orders that target the enemy's high-value strongholds and outposts. In some cases, supplicant groups of extreme power will be given priority targets, such as hostile avatars.

Order types:
  • Defense - The supplicant group is given a target and must defend it and all nearby allies.
  • Assault - The supplicant group is given a target and must eliminate everything in their path to it.
  • Scout - The supplicant group is given a target and must gather information along their path to it.
  • Harass - The supplicant group attempts to sidestep enemy defenses and disrupt their economy or reinforcement waves.
  • Escort - The supplicant group escorts a high-value ally, attempting to guard it from hostile action.
  • Seek and Destroy - The supplicant group is given a highly-specific target and must find and destroy it.


Miscreants are denizens of the local battleground, thoroughly outclassed by the more organized militaries that serve the obsidians. Their goals are to simply survive, but they are equipped with the means of strengthening their own defensive positions, making them harder to root out the longer they endure.

Bands of miscreants will attempt to defend high-value locations in any battleground, and their standing armies will only grow more imposing with the passing of time. Rooting miscreants out from ash deposits is particularly important for bolstering a team's economy, and conquering miscreant dens will yield peerless rewards.

Just like supplicants, the more powerful a miscreant is, the more impressive its trophy. Miscreants can also be the target of bounties, and thus serve as a kind of resource unto themselves for avatars to plunder. Future-minded teams will often preserve the neolithic dens in order to reap a perpetual trickle of miscreant trophies, but many of these forlorn abodes promise valuable trophies and noteworthy items when destroyed.

Miscreants will never lay claim to new land, but their ambition grows with the size of their band, resulting in dangerous attacks into hostile territory if they are ignored for too long. Such aggressive strikes often leave their standing forces depleted, however, opening the door for lethal counter-attacks if their assaults are unsuccessful.

Map Elements

Map elements are strategic objects, initially guarded by miscreants. Each element offers a different tangible advantage to the team that claims it, though some are more fleeting than others.

Map elements:
  • Ash deposits - resource nodes, claimed by obsidians to fuel the war efforts
  • Bazaars - shops set up in contested territory, sought after to provide both expensive and powerful items
  • Conduits - totems of power, claimed to enchant avatar items
  • Dens - miscreant lairs, preserved for hunting, and destroyed for vast rewards


Players in Onitar have a reputation system known as notoriety.
  • After a game, every player can increase or decrease your notoriety once. This vote can be rescinded in future games if you play with the same players.
  • Your notoriety is displayed on the in-game scoreboard and communicates your general reputation.
  • Players with positive notoriety scores are assumed to be good team players, while those with negative notoriety scores are assumed to be more selfish.
  • Over time, notoriety serves to inform your teammates about how reliable you are, and what they can expect from you.
  • Notoriety resets each season. Your notoriety score for all past seasons is visible on your profile.

Additionally, players in Onitar can specify their preferred roles, which will be communicated with the correlating symbols during the deployment phase of games.

The following elements are customizable by players:
  • Avatar model
  • Avatar voice
  • Team-specific accent color
  • Profile icon
  • Profile banner
  • Friends list status message


  • Conceptual
    • Core rules
    • Game elements
    • Item classes
    • Items
    • Factions (Obsidian/Supplicant)
    • Factions (Miscreant)
  • Technical
    • Inventory system
    • Item shops
    • Bounty boards & bounties
    • Avatar AI
    • Obsidian personalities & AI
    • Supplicant factions & AI
    • Miscreant bands & AI
    • Editor features