A Dance with Demons (update 2023-10-27)

Even after I had already told Dandy the between a ghost and a spirit she asked the same thing when told that Skye is a spirit, not a ghost.

Loved the first book, not really fond of the combat in this one, though.

Some quality of life changes I’ve added that’ll be implemented in the next update:

  • Zero Stress Mode is available from the main menu: unlimited lives, all tags unlocked.
  • Combat tutorial added.
  • You are given the option to skip all future combats after the tutorial, as well as each time you die.
  • Brief description of the three character classes provided during character creation.
  • Lore Shapers now see which choices will improve character relationships.
  • Luck Benders now automatically succeed on all choices that would otherwise be chance-based.
  • You can now independently select pronouns and body type, and/or be trans.

Again, you’ll only see these changes after the game is updated. ETA one month-ish.

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One question. Should I decide to skip combat, what then?

As someone who plans on focusing more on the Lore Shaper and Luck Bender classes, will there be anything added for the Life Taker? The new changes for the first two sound wonderful, but I worry that such benefits may make the Life Taker class less of a draw for players.

GASP!!!

How did I not know this exists until right this moment??

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Life Taker is the most challenging of the three, story-wise. If you have statview enabled, it’ll tell you which options offer an easier playing experience than others.

Then combat gets skipped. Your character blacks out and you auto-win every fight.

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The demon after my fight with Peter: “Your fighting reminds me of Zero.”
The demon after my first independent fight: “Dude, you’re taking zero to a whole new level.”

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I just found out about this WIP and I’m just too excited about it to leave a proper review just yet. My first playthrough made me realize that I really missed getting new content about Circadia.

That’s it, I just wanted to share my hype, Will. I’ll come back with a proper review once I play it again :slight_smile:

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I was thinking more of the fact the player(us) kills them, like a yandere situation or smthn😅, which would be an ‘interesting’ thing to add. I don’t often see games give you ways to be like to your lover(like be yandere or soft, or whatever). But that would suck if they just randomly die ugh- i like both of them so much!

I really enjoy the changeling subplot. Both the powers of the Lore Shaper class, and how it ties into the family itself are really well done.

On the power side, it’s a really interesting package. Beyond simply shapeshifting, it’s got really strong fae-like ties, with the intuition of how to mess with people, and most of all the narrative power. It’s really creative and fun to see. I think I’ve enjoyed every usage and outcome of the [Shapeshifter] tag. The best out of all of them.

Story and character wise, becoming like our mother, becoming more than human, is really compelling in multiple ways. There’s the background melancholy of Hel’s immortality, the lurking dread of her family dying, but now, her child will continue to live. She won’t have to be alone anymore. She might have intended to die with the father, given the promise about shifting, but now maybe she’ll have a reason to live and continue on. It’s a really nice emotional connection to the story.

Also, being the baby changeling learning how to shift and live the trickster life with her is super cute.


Unrelated, but I second the point on a combat tutorial being potentially helpful. I just save scummed through it, but that’s probably not the ideal outcome.

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I don’t know how I missed seeing this for nearly a month, but I’m glad I found it. It’s great. A Kiss from Death is one of my favorite games in this genre and I’m super excited that the orc project you’ve talked about elsewhere was a sequel to it.

I need to think about this and maybe play it a few more times to be able to give proper feedback, but the one thing I can say after one playthrough is that I think that the combat just feels kinda bad? When I lost fights, I never really felt like there was anything I could have done differently to win it. When I won fights, I couldn’t tell you why I won.

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I’m not sure if I’m particularly onboard with the premise, but “by the same dude as Ansible Station” is enough to push me over the edge, so here we go! :smiley:

In the interest of full disclosure of relevant information, AKfD failed to click for me (which is a very different thing from me saying it’s bad or even not good - for example, I think Night Road is otherwise pretty nifty, but it also didn’t click for me); just so you can calibrate any potential feedback from me.

(lol, one of the ROs is Dread Pirate Roberts)

Comments and screenshots and stoff! (yay, stoff!)

God damn you, you named a god “Limerick the Dancing Ooze” :rofl: I bet there are plushies of it.

So, the result of the second choice here is a bit weird to me. Warrior gives you strength, and changeling gives you cunning, which make sense, but I’m missing the connection between “wise oracle” and “bends luck”. EDIT: ok, it gives you the [WISE] tag, which DOES make sense, but the bends luck thing is still… weird?

Holy shit, talk about overkill!

Is clueless here used as “naive”? The way I tend to read clueless, it would contradict other tags.

Ok, so apparently [WISE] really is letting me bend luck? Is that what “wise” is supposed to be in the game’s world, instead of being actual wisdom? In ADDITION to be actual wisdom? I’m a bit lost here.

Just checking if that tag is supposed to be that:

It’d be useful to have the opponent inclinations on-screen for the entire fight (I dunno if non-Luck Benders get those).

This choice: not sure how I feel about having tag gain tied to relationship scores. :thinking:

Huh. I have no idea where I could have picked up [LIFE TAKER] or [LORE SHAPER]. Is that with a different mum, or did I inadvertently skip a section somewhere?

You use Pon’s name (start of highlight) before you introduce him (end of highlight).

Missed capitalisation.

Technically, at this point I could meet (or at least, the reader has - I’m not entirely sure if the MC is meant to be privy to those stories) Grim OR Tiana, not both, and even meeting one of them is dependent on not choosing The Mule or The Fox options at the start of the execution. EDIT: Now that I’ve played a bit further, I’m not sure there’s any advantage in limiting the vision options, neither here nor when Nyeru offers us a glimpse of the enemies. Could you tell me your reasoning for limiting them to one each time?

Nyeru’s soul talk is hilarious. “Where would it even go?”

Definitely handy, because, as things stand, my fortunes could REALLY use improving. :grimacing:

Lol. Nyeru’s great.

Mum and dad should probably not be both at the reins, methinks. Unless they’re not and I’m misunderstanding something?

Hm. I have 40 Dandy, the only choice that popped up for me that would increase it further and I didn’t take I THINK would be to charge the paladins. This 50 might be a bit high. Will there be further opportunities to unlock the romance?

“axle”, I think. (also, half-surprised that helping the nobles doesn’t require [KIND])

I’m not a native speaker, but I thought “alas” was meant to be something like “doom” or “regrettably”; here it seems to mean “regardless”. Have I been wrong this whole time?

Final stats screenshots, plus comments:
Uh. No, I dindn’t. I picked the [WISE] (IIRC) option that said the DR had to be brought down, but didn’t make any actual pledge. The game itself pointed out this distinction back then.

Wait, he was? So he was captured in a village/town/whatever several days away, brought here, and then brought back to the village for the execution? That sounds like a lot of unnecessary travel done for a dude that you’re just going to kill.

I’m not… entirely sure I understand how the combat system works? I think it’s a paper-rock-scissors thing, where Bide beats Strike, Taunt beats Bide, and Strike beats Taunt, with a success letting you deal higher amounts of damage. I presume getting trained with the blade (when it’s available in the future) will increase the base damage? It’s not EXPLAINED anywhere that I can find, though, so maybe a submenu in the stats screen would be helpful?

So far, I’m enjoying this one far more than I did the first installment, even if I was enjoying Ansible more (that might, however, perhaps be derived from Ansible’s setting and premise being less common in the CoG catalogue).

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I’m so looking forward to applying the art of fighting without fighting lol.

Have fallen behind a bit on progress. Here’s a short story instead.

Nyeru and the Vicar's Wife

The vicar’s wife was a small, portly woman with rosy cheeks and a smile she struggled to hold. She bore the vicar no children, and rumours were that she was frigid behind closed doors. In truth, the vicar kept her tucked away forever in his empty house, and he turned more quickly to drink than to her.

Her name was Samantha. Only her sisters called her that now. Since their father had married off Samantha to the vicar, her sisters had only taken a few afternoons in the past five years to visit, and had chattered only about their own domestic concerns. Samantha had no friends other than her sisters, and while the vicar worked, she did nothing but clean his home. The vicar allowed her to do little else. She was immensely lonely.

This is what drew me to her.

The first night that I appeared to her, she lay awake in the vicar’s bed. He slept noiselessly and dreamlessly beside her, in the way she has always been envious of, while she tossed and turned every night. In the vicar’s bedroom was the vicar’s standing mirror, a gift from one of the vicar’s constituents. Samantha hated it and covered it with a sheet each night lest it frighten her.

I threw that sheet off of the mirror. She was on her feet instantly, remembering the old tales her father used to tell her about how a face would twist and reshape in a mirror if seen in the dark for too long. As she brought the sheet back over the mirror, even in the darkness she noticed scratches.

First, she ran her finger along the scratches. They were irregular, evenly spaced but strangely shaped, seemingly purposeful, too difficult to read in the dark. She lit a candle.

By candlelight, she could see the words:

It was written in her own handwriting. She stifled a scream and covered the mirror with a sheet. She did not sleep that night.

It took her three months before she left the vicar to his empty house and to his drink. The words stayed on the mirror.

As the vicar sobbed into his brandy in the dead of night, I came to him. I was a cold hand on his shoulder, a warm breath in his ear. I told him what he already knew but didn’t want to hear: she would never be coming back. His wife had left him for a reason.

When he stared into the scratched mirror, he saw in the darkness his own face twist and reshape into something monstrous, and resting on his shoulder, he saw his wife’s face in place of mine. I whispered to him, silently, that there was no god.

My real work was yet to begin.

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Hello Will, I think we used to correspond a year or so back and you were very helpful to me. I found your game at the top-of-the list so I opened it up. I noticed you were working on an “Adult Setting.” I think that is cool. I would likely pick that lol. I noticed you put your word index into the Stats Screen…now I’m wishing maybe I did that…not sure yet…but very cool. Your writing is very smooth and I enjoyed the strange, ephemeral, demon thing perspective. Any play with perspective and I am likely hooked. It is a hard thing to pull of sometimes. You also had these nice alliterative descriptive phrases such as “…banal, boiler-plate answers…” These types of flowing descriptions hook me as a reader also. Ok, so I already know you are a big author already so it is hard for me to find a critique…I would say that I want more in the Stats Page; but, I think you are likely working on that…and I really just need to read on. I will post more feedback later-on. Cheers!

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Are we still kicking?

Yes, slowly but surely.

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I love Dandy.

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This was definitely an odd one. It felt a lot different from the way other COG/HG are set up, but it definitely felt like one of your games (which, all three times I’ve tried/played without recognizing your name somehow, recognized the writing style, and had to look up what else you’d written, LOL).

I really, really like the way you took the usual second-person narration in Choicescript games and made it … part of the narrative? (I’m not explaining this well, sorry.) But it’s really cool, and kind of threw off my groove for a minute. I like when authors take mechanics/features of the medium and use it in that way – it’s unique is what I mean to say. The narration and the tone kind of reminds me of Little Misfortune or Fran Bow, which are games I liked, so I’m already pretty invested in the story here.

The tag system and the fight system are also different. In general, I like that you experiment in these ways. I think it makes you a good storyteller.

Also liked that the orcs can see different colors. It reminded me of the dwarves from Gail Carson Levine’s “Fairest,” where the Snow White-esque character appeared plain to others, but was the most beautiful amongst her own people for the same reason.

Also I dunno if I trust Neiryu, but I sure trust them more than the Divine Right.

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