Choice of Rebels Part 1 WIP thread

i want a rudeness aristocrat with so charisma than cheated commoner to follow him them become a absolution monarch but the other conspirators has to die period i need a option to kill them like traitors. even if i couldn’t be bad i could do it for the sake or freedom jajaaa =))

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“A familiiar voice cries: “Radmar! You’re alive!”” - familiar
Will probably give feedback when not so conked out, sozz.

Ran another test and tried a slightly different set of options (Trying to avoid offending the church too much.)

Alkyone Mikilatou
Status: Aristocrat

Anarchy: 39

Ruthless: 68% Compassionate: 32%
Skeptical: 50% Devout: 50%
National: 45% Cosmopolitan: 55%

Charisma: 1
Combat: 2
Intellect: 0

Wealth: 30
Followers: 353
Arms: 80
Blood: 0

The rebels who will be remembered with you in legend include:

  • Breden Reaper, charismatic and eloquent helot
  • Radmar Millstone, physically powerful and short-tempered helot
  • Elery Skinner, brilliant helot strategist
  • Zvad of Whendward, outlaw and ex-mercenary
  • Kala Swineherd, passionate and vengeful helot

HELOTS:
Though most helots still don’t trust you, your popularity and credibility as a leader are slowly growing.

ARISTOCRATS:
You are loathed by your fellow aristocrats as a bloody-handed traitor to your own kin.

PRIESTS:
The priests of Xthonos dislike you for your impious offenses against the Imperial religion.

MERCHANTS:
The few merchants who have heard of your rebellion regard you as a bandit and hope the authorities take care of you quickly.

Managed to avoid the “line 600: bad label murder” bug, but the resulting page did not read well:

"His pleas turn into a wordless scream as your sword falls. Moments later, both travelers are sprawled unmoving on the rocks. Their mule flees into the thorny undergrowth with great honks of terror.

You rip off Platon’s cloak and wipe the blood from your arms and blade. Then you stalk back to Kala, pulse hammering furiously in your throat. “You. The next time you shoot anyone without my orders – because you’re afraid I’ll be merciful? I’ll leave you looking like these two. Understood?”

The helot stares at you. “Understood, captain.” You find out who they were. There are consequences."

The last to sentences read like notes to the designer.

I’ll add that I am hoping that the updated version of the third chapter does not take too long to be finished.

Think I’ve fixed the simple errors people have pointed out (@Bloodwyche, the lack of capitalization was deliberate, as the choice text is meant to be continuing a sentence from the main text).

In terms of how much of the story goes up for free on the website as a demo, I’d thought about taking you as far as your choice of how to respond to Chirex (i.e. charismatic speech, Theurgy, attack the Alastors). That seems like a pretty good cliffhanger, and the flashbacks should have given enough of a flavor of the story to hook people or not. What do you all think?

@Galador, sorry I missed answering you before… there isn’t yet a map, but there definitely will be in one place or another. I love poring over the maps of other worlds, too… one of the great pleasures of reading fantasy.

@Drazen: yes, you’re beset on all sides by appalling misguided modernist propaganda… but is the valley of the shadow any fun, at least?

@MaraJade, I hear you. All I’ll say is that “idealistic” and “good” can diverge pretty far, and over the course of the games, I want to make the most of that opportunity. You already have the choice to kill one of your lieutenants in the game as written, and the choice to kill Breden will be available before the end of this instalment.

And again, thanks to all for the encouragement, especially @JimD, from whom it means a great deal.

Edit @Bloodwyche, yes, it does devolve a bit into design notes at the very end. And I’m afraid I can make no promises on the timing of the update. But I’ll do what I can…

My god, I can’t move for incredibly good-looking WIP’s at the moment! :stuck_out_tongue:

But yes, greatly enjoyed this one. Pleased I managed to feed my team (just about) with attacks on Imperial targets.

Responding to various comments above:

I am very strongly against IAP. I don’t want to buy half the game. I consider most CoG to be laughably underpriced, and would gladly swallow a higher price for the longer games, but being constantly asked to pay a little extra sticks in my craw.

I really hope that Breden isn’t the traitor. My helot and her go together so well!

Radmar does appear to mysteriously disappear. Some recognition that he’s around would be nice.

Keep up the good work.

The big rewrite I did at @FairyGodfeather’s instigation back in April was to flesh out Radmar and the other helots. It’s pretty much done in Ch 1, but hasn’t filtered into Ch 2 as much as it needs to… right now, Radmar and Elery can show up if you raid the de Merre estate, but otherwise I’ve not properly integrated them.

Fixing that, along with finishing the tax collector bit and opening it up for you all to test, is my next priority.

Whoa. A menu within a menu within the stat screen? I’ve been away from CS for too long apparently.

It’s been a while since I see something with its universe design this… elaborate. There goes my weekend!

Ah this game entertains me so much. Its got details and back story and fantasy intrigue galore. Well done Ser.

Irika de Serin – called Shame-Veined by the Thaumatarchy.
Status: Aristocrat

Anarchy: 2

Ruthless: 32% Compassionate: 68%
Skeptical: 50% Devout: 50%
National: 40% Cosmopolitan: 60%

Charisma: 1
Combat: 2
Intellect: 0

Wealth: 28
Followers: 48
Arms: 23
Blood: 0

The rebels who will be remembered with you in legend include:

  • Breden Reaper, charismatic and eloquent helot
  • Radmar Millstone, physically powerful and short-tempered helot
  • Elery Skinner, brilliant helot strategist
  • Zvad of Whendward, outlaw and ex-mercenary
  • Suzane de Firiac, passionate and idealistic noble

Those who have died for the cause include: None

HELOTS:
Most helots see you only as one of their traditional oppressors. It will not be easy for you to gain the credibility to lead a broad-based helot rebellion.

ARISTOCRATS:
You are unpopular with your fellow aristocrats - those who have heard of your little rebellion, anyway.

PRIESTS:
In public, all Ecclesiasts revile you as a rebel and servant of Xaos. However, you are known to be personally devout, which wins you a small degree of credibility with the priesthood.

MERCHANTS: Unknown

i love this game i achieving sly themes first time i choose wrong sorry to annoying you @Havenstone i love the stats when i end a play i would put my stats

Callen Oakfell
Status: Helot

Anarchy: 18

Ruthless: 43% Compassionate: 57%

Skeptical: 65% Devout: 35%

National: 36% Cosmopolitan: 64%

Charisma: 1
Combat: 0
Intellect: 2

Wealth: 0
Followers: 325
Arms: 46
Blood: 3

The rebels who will be remembered with you in legend include:

  • Breden Reaper, charismatic and eloquent helot
  • Radmar Millstone, physically powerful and short-tempered helot
  • Elery Skinner, brilliant helot strategist
  • Zvad of Whendward, outlaw and ex-mercenary
  • Kalt Swineherd, passionate and vengeful helot

HELOTS:
You are rapidly becoming a folk hero to the helot classes.

ARISTOCRATS:
The aristocracy despise and fear you as a rebel helot who threatens their privilege and property.

PRIESTS:
The priests of Xthonos dislike you for your impious offenses against the Imperial religion. In particular, your public displays of Theurgy have led them to accuse you of trafficking with dark powers.

MERCHANTS:
While most merchants think your rebellion is bad for business, a few of them see opportunities in working with you.

I’m well on my way to achieving my dream; a horrifying mix of the USSR and the USA! This was a fun read, and I’m excited for more.

Wow! This game is absolutely great, the writing style and the world the game is set in are both absolutely amazing! I loved being able to customise the character so much, especially what class you were from- I felt that made a big impact on the game, and really added to the replayability. Personally I’m not so keen on the IAP idea, but I’d still happily pay up, just because I feel the game is so good it warrants a bit of extra money being earned from it. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story continues!

@Havenstone Now, I’ve finally had time to give it a once-through, so, with no complaints about the writing, or the setting… I must criticise the plot itself. Or, more accurately, the plot as it runs before you take to the hills to coquette with the intellectually and fiscally impoverished footsoldiers of your cause. Y’see, one can be adequately aristocratic in how one directs one’s Rebel Alliance, - something which I rather enjoyed, - but up to that point the reasoning was entirely forced and alien. I know in a game entitled ‘Choice of Rebels’, you’ve got to actually build up to starting a rebellion, yet the slant you used to reach this is foreign and barbaric in nature to me.

Allow me to demonstrate, right from the first choice:
“You had no idea what he was talking about. You gasped out on instinct:”
– None of those things. Two degrees of nauseating benevolence, with a third option which is either terror or disgust, just don’t strike a chord with me. I mean, I know what I’d ask: ‘Where?’ I mean, that’s what I’d really be concerned about: ‘Where are the bad doggie werewolf monsters who chew on your toes while you sleep, so I can make like a tree and get the fuck out of here?’

And then I promptly get put into a difficult situation - but only because of my limited responses:
“So, child: where is the helot whose blood they smell on you?” –
‘I don’t know’ is not an option? It’s probably half-true at least, and isn’t likely to come back and bite me in the ass if I feel neither inclined to misdirect or condemn.

Proceeding chronologically, a fairly minor complaint:
“thinking numbly about your betrayal of the helot to the Karagond mage.”
– Betrayal? Insofar as I’m aware, he was very possibly a criminal. Betrayal is not really the right term. This sort of remark presupposes one to be of a helot-loving mentality from the outset; not a disgruntled zealot, atheist, noble, or suchlike, as one may very well be, and who may not really give much of a rat’s ass about such blood-sack beggars.

“You gave in to tears, wordlessly nodding and bowing your head. But when you left the house…”

  • It would have been back to normal. Albeit, with less woodland escapades. Still, one supposes a certain amount of railroading is necessary for the game to proceed; such as the railroading presumption that I’d dwell on that event to such a degree. If possible, perhaps include more of a push into the realm of conspiracy, instead of assuming the player to feel their own pull as a given?

“The day you first asked yourself, “Does it really have to be this way?” – that, in truth, was where your rebellion against the Thaumatarch started.”
– Based on the accounts of the Empire I saw, I would have answered “Meh, probably.” to that question. And that would be that. The system seems, overall, fine; A little too Roman in its bureaucratic statedom, but nothing a little Dark Age wouldn’t cure.

I mean, sure, you got the “Oh, it sucks to be in the bottom caste!” motivation down to a T. But why does that bother me? What about the other motivates you gave for the PC to have: Where is your nation’s culture being trampled underfoot, for the patriotic rebel? Where are the noble privileges being disregarded, for the right-minded indignant? (This is the sort of thing I had in my head, when thinking of an example of such: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RESdW93kgX8 ) What about examples of religious “tyranny”, for the insipid? Or of heresy, for the faithful outside of the State Church? Where is the corruption and inefficiency, we are referred to, but never shown?

You do rather seem to assume a certain leftist frame of mind; which does you ill, since you included the framework for other motivations.

Then our dear little peasant in the woods…
“That was when I…”

  • Did neither of those peculiar things. Chastised them for their upstart insolence, and departed? Why not that? Why do they not pursue me, why must I be captivated by they?

And now a departure from the criticism to praise your foresight in putting in this choice: “Its brutal disregard for the rights of the nobility and other free folk" …But after a second gripe to the peasant about how it wasn’t ruthless enough to the bourgeoisie administration, I found myself hard-pressed to bring a third complaint. I suppose, retrospectively, it was because I had been denied access to any real evidence. I only chose the first two because I would dislike it if it occurred, and thus thought it must occur, because you mentioned it. If I saw each case in practice, I could be more convinced of my choices, and undertake them with more clarity.

“how best to sum up, in your last words, your defiance of the loathed Karagond Empire and its Thaumatarch.”
– Loathed schmoathed; And the options? These are the responses of angst-ridden teenagers. The response of the slighted noble, for example, is conspicuous in its absence.

But then, as I mentioned earlier, we got on to the rebellion’s germs itself, which was far more agreeable.

One comment, though:
“and you’re not entirely comfortable with how it sets you apart from the rest of the group.”
– Well, true. The peasants might murder me in my sleep out of Bolshevik envy, after all. But the deference would be appreciated, and mandated. Take note of my distaste for demeaning my nobility by default.

Err… Do you get my general point?

:slight_smile: I have been anticipating your feedback for yea many moons, and it does not disappoint. I’ll give it my full consideration, and either make changes or try to justify my intransigence.

“The system seems, overall, fine”: my new favorite Drazenism.

I agree 100% with @Drazen’s post. You need to do one of two things, I think:

  1. Remove the noble background altogether.
  2. Support a protagonist whose primary objection to the current state of affairs is “I / people who think like me are not in charge” (vs the current default motivation of “Free the slaves – let democracy reign!”)

Note that given the popularity of CoR, there are a fairly large group of people who would like something along the lines of #2

I’ve only read through the prelude so far, as well as the data dump in the stats section, but here are some initial comments:

What exactly is Acron? A territory? It’s not in the glossary, and the theurge in the prologue mentions it.

I have an issue with becoming so scared that the MC as an 11 year old would actually consider asking someone to kill them. I know I didn’t think that way when I was 11. All my thought processes would have focused on avoiding dying, not on finding a less painful way to die.

Not all 11 year olds are as fearful or as prone to crying as the MC. It would have been interesting if the MC had the option to react in a more precocious manner to the incident with the theurge, maybe asking if he could learn to fly like the theurge, especially if he were a noble. (Young helots would have more reason to fear theurges due to the harrowing.) I also think 11 year olds are a bit old to be assumed to always run home and cry. Sure, some of them will, but quite a few will not cry, no matter how rattled they are. It’s an issue of pride with them. They are not babies, and they don’t want adults and their peers to consider them babies. They will thus hold themselves together, oftentimes better than adults.

Aside from that, this seems like a highly interesting game, with a well thought out world. I will continue reading.

There’s one bit that’s tickled my brain for a few. Considering how small the rebel/bandit camp is and how news spreads fast and how strict your father is as noble or helot, wouldn’t he be outraged by you taking Breden to your tent? Especially if you kissed him by the fire? He’s been nothing but objectional and opposed about everything you’ve done from the start and I’d expect him to be furious about your extracurricular activities. *ahem laugh snort roll on floor*

Thanks, @mreed. The noble background is here to stay. I’m seriously considering Drazen’s suggestion of a more diverse prologue, with evidence to support a broader range of “reasons to hate the Empire” – not solely the current one which does point to “free the slaves” as a bit of a default.

Regardless, though, I’ve tried to write Ch 1 in such a way that a noble can be lukewarm on freeing the slaves and more interested in other reasons that the Thaumatarch must fall. Even though your rebellion begins with a helot rising, there will be ample opportunity in later games to “switch horses” and try to parlay that into a rising driven by the aristocrats, priests, and/or merchants. I’ve been looking forward to Drazen’s feedback because I knew he’d be a healthy counterpoint to my lefty soppiness on all of this.

Still, as I said to Mara earlier, I’m interested in writing a game where the protagonist is driven by some ideal, rather than motivated by naked self-interest. The (noble) protagonist would have to start in a very different place for self-interest to drive them to rebel, rather than just politick, backstab, and connive; it simply wouldn’t be the same game at all. AotC has covered the latter ground very ably, and I don’t think I could add much of value.

On the plausibility of a pre-modern noble idealist heading off to join the lower caste revolt, I’ve been writing this with one (layman’s) eye on the history of slave and peasant rebellions in Europe. There’s historical precedent for wealthy landowners joining peasant revolts out of – as best we can tell – a religiously motivated sympathy with the peasants’ plight and grievances. Further back, it’s possible that Aristonokos of Pergamon genuinely believed in the Stoic ideals that led him to promise freedom to the slaves and serfs of Asia Minor. You could write equally plausible novels about Aristonokos in which he was simply grasping at an opportunity for power, or one in which he was an idealist like the philosophers who supported him. The latter is the story I’m interested in here.

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not bad
:-bd

@P_Tigras, really glad to have you feeding back, thanks! I’ll add Acron to the glossary – that’s an oversight.

The Plektoi are meant to be totally effing terrifying. Forget eleven year olds – fully grown adults do not get the choice to not cry when they’re alone and about to be savaged to death by Plektoi, any more than they get the choice to not piss themselves. It’s an involuntary reflex in the face of one of the worst ways to die that the world has to offer. You can have the choice to feel bad about it or not feel bad about it, and perhaps I should write that in.

@Scrivener, I do intend to write your dad’s reaction to your choices with Breden. But that’ll come in the big fight between you two later in Ch 3…

@Havenstone There were many Scottish Jacobites who fought for Good King George during the Police-Action of Independence: Not out of support for King George per se, - they were Jacobites after all, - but in defence of natural moral governance, against the Republican threat.

So, similarly, if the noblesse oblige of the aristocracy were challenged, through levelling centralised State power and an erosion of rights and duties before a vulgar torrent of legislation and administration, there would be plenty of fine, High Tory fellows who would be willing to join with the Laymen in flaying the socialist bureaucrats. Less Wat Tyler, more counter-revolution in the Vendee (Only, hopefully, without any of the genocidal reactions of the liberal French that actually followed).