Choice of Rebels-Uprising Help/Hints


That first choice that popped up when we first meet Breden kind of confused me as well. Took me a few retries to get it.

I thought the first two options were purely for deciding what Breden’s gender would be, with the remark about them being attractive something a non-asexual would notice about Breden regardless of sexual orientation. The asexual option at the bottom I understood perfectly.

I guess I found it odd that our sexual orientation is tied directly to an NPC’s gender. But that’s just an odd kink I found about the game before, the author’s clarifications justified this for me so it’s not really an issue now.

I still love the game to bits (11/10, waiting for the sequel)


Unfortunately it also makes you attracted to Breden specifically, which my mc isn’t, not under any circumstances. In my headcanon my mc has of course been in love twice before the Breden encounter, with Dann and Ganelon even if that ultimately went absolutely nowhere and in the latter case becomes very hurtful and troubling for my mc later on.

The asexual and bi representation (and I assume the nb one, starting from the next game) is commendable, but I would have liked the option to be a sexual person without being attracted to Breden, even if Breden is the mc’s preferred gender. I.e. the mc saying in their head “I’ve felt attracted to/been in love with men, women or both before, but I just don’t fancy Breden that way”.
Like @Ramidel said Breden’s charisma might draw even an hesistant mc (mine just needed the flimsiest of pretexts to rebel anyway) into their rebellion, without wanting to make every sexual person jump their bones.
The scene where the mc’s bisexuality with female Breden is most grating for me is the optional dance after the winter, where my mc doesn’t sleep with Breden because he first of all isn’t into women that way, but that is not an option the game provides in that instance as Breden is very insistent and takes poorly enough to the mc demurring, that in real life, if someone of the gender I do not fancy were that persistent with me and did not take to more circumspect hints, I’d just flat-out tell them I’m gay.

Whereas my mc would rather have Breden’s potential “love” be unrequited. Particularly since I always make Breden my non-preferred gender exactly because my mc isn’t attracted to them.

It is still one of the game’s more awkward and irksome moments and one that I do not exactly like as to for the male mc to be exclusively gay Breden has to be male and you have to be attracted to them, which isn’t the case for my mc, on both counts.
It’s ironic in a way too because @Havenstone had already and probably unintentionally written a guy my character mc was very much attracted to with Ganelon, so I would rather have had the option to say my mc used to be wildly attracted to them, but not so much to Breden.

Agreed, I did not push the issue as much as I do in some games because dating here is a) very secondary and b) with my primary mc Ganelon’s “betrayal” may well have hurt him enough to turn him off of sex and romance for years, if not permanently.


Thanks for your reply. It doesn’t seem unusual when put into that perspective. Loving the game btw it’s probably the funnest and most challenging CYOA novel I’ve ever played.


Would like to just generally detail my thoughts here specifically as an ace person playing the game (which I really sincerely love), since I haven’t exactly posted them publicly before and I’m not sure if the feedback is helpful/useful or not but just, my two cents. I don’t think there’s anything explicitly spoiler-y here but maybe don’t read through if you want to play an ace character Breden romance without being told what happens beforehand.

The first several times I played through the game, I didn’t pick the “ace option”; I totally get the ‘if you’re at all attracted to [whatever gender] Breden is your exact type at least physically’, and my character was pretty prepared to fall for him very fast. I’m not aromantic & I didn’t want my character to be either, and the “third option” implied that to me. Therefore the options later on around the feast felt a bit wonky to me; I could tell Breden I wasn’t comfortable having sex /yet/ & he took to it fine, but it was something that inevitably happened later on. I had to accept that my character wasn’t ace after all – which is fine! There was an option there and I’d chosen not to go with it for whatever reason and I still loved the romance with Breden.

So later on I replayed using the “third option” and trying my ace-but-not-aro run there. This was a lot more brutal and emotionally devastating to me which I’m sure was intentional and well-crafted but still packed a pretty severe punch.
There were a few lines/options that felt a little wonky to me, like the statement that my character’s feelings for Breden (which he still had, since Breden is still his type) were something “completely new” and that he’d never felt like that about anyone before – which may have been true, so it didn’t bother me too much! But it did feel a bit like the initial choice was “ace and aro” and I was then walking that back a bit. The later statement that came with Suzane also felt a bit wonky in that, well, sure he wasn’t going to have sex with either of them but the potential for attraction/romance was still hypothetically there, and especially given some indications that Suzane might be on the ace-spectrum it felt a bit weird and furthered the “ace means aro [even if you have an Exception for Breden]” feeling that I got. This didn’t bother me too much though, since at least the option for Breden wasn’t locked out.

The conversation between Breden and I at the feast was emotionally upsetting. It felt strange to me (not unrealistic, though) that Breden took my character’s statement that he wasn’t comfortable having sex a lot differently than he had when my character wasn’t ace, but just chaste. It became sort of an argument and Breden’s suggestion about opening the relationship caught me off guard and definitely hurt my character’s feelings. My character shut down the option & Breden apologized and comforted him and assured him that he didn’t actually need that.

That turned out not to be true, as he found out when proposing marriage to Breden later and being rejected. They had a pretty intense argument. I really want to applaud Havenstone for giving my character the option to be deeply upset and angry throughout all of this; it weirdly made the storyline a lot easier to play through because, while this really sucked for my character, at least he had the ability to express that. When Breden came to reconcile, again, my character was ready to do so, since he was still deeply in love and was always going to be. Breden made a statement that “If it’s true [that you don’t want to lose me] then you won’t” and then made the same ultimatum that he had earlier. It didn’t work out.

My character was emotionally devastated, but before he even had the chance to mourn the fact that he’d just been dumped by the person who he’d just proposed to, there was Suzanne asking in “subtle” terms if he couldn’t just change his asexuality in order to be with her. This really just felt like being slapped in the face after being grievously wounded. The question of what “nature” is and when nature can “change” was always meant to be a theme of the story, and I completely get Havenstone’s intent there. I’m just going to say it was a lot easier to bear when, for instance, my character was gay and either happily in a relationship or single, and being asked this by someone he had a friendship with but nothing more; it was a lot harder when he was ace and had just been left by his serious partner because he wouldn’t change, and was then confronting this situation again in a “casual” environment, directly after the fact. He responded to Suzanne extremely harshly and possibly too-cruel, but I want to thank Havenstone again for the option because it was immensely cathartic.

Later on/during the aftermath of the poisoning and the choice of who to take into Xaos, Breden acted as if there had never been anything between them. This maybe hurt the most.

Like I said, the story was well-crafted, and being my being hurt by a story is only a testament to that. I’m not decrying any of this for being unrealistic. It’s exactly because it was “realistic”, or it’s what I’ve heard a billion times in my own life, that it affected me so emotionally severely. When you’re ace and want to be with a partner who isn’t, the question of changing nature or “compromising” your identity is always brought to the forefront. People jump to say that “some ace people Can have sex” or “open relationships exist”. Those are indeed two potential options, but they don’t work for everyone, and it’s striking to me that nobody ever jumps to say that “Some [even many] allosexual people are fine with being in a relationship without sex”, even though in fact it’s true. My current partner is allo, and we’re immensely happy together, and they have done a lot to reassure me that it’s not a “sacrifice” to be with me, but that’s the rhetoric that we’re told all the time. That we’re not enough, that we don’t have anything special to offer that someone else (who is also offering sex) can’t offer.

So I really feel for my poor heartbroken character; he’s been through absolute hell romance-wise thus far, while going through absolute hell revolution-wise. I just hope in future games he has the chance to make an intimate connection with someone who he can share his devotion to a better world with, who doesn’t ask him to change a thing about who he is.

In the meantime, I played through again on the same route and didn’t propose marriage to Breden (but still stayed with him); they’re both still in love, and together in the Xaos-lands. There was no second confrontation. But I’m sure the storm is coming for them in the future and it will be no less painful. :worried:


Thank you so much for voicing your experience so candidly, I myself have not tested that path in the story but have been curious to see how another pair of moccasins feel. I have the opposite issue in that I’m allo but aro but can commiserate in how devasting it feels to have relationships not work due to clashing emotional/carnal needs. I’m very happy to hear things are working out for you though!


can someone give a guide on how much the anarchy increases when you raid/steal mules from nobles/merchants/temples/alastors/yeomanry/helots/tithe barns/architelone?



Thanks for playing through that. And thanks for the warning. As someone who is ace, but not aro I was leery of that choice and now I see that I should not play it. (It opens some very real life wounds, that I do not want reopen. Just your recounting brought frustrated tears to my eyes.)

And I am glad you’ve found a real life partner. I, personally, don’t have any hope left and don’t think I can play trough that. Ever. I hope you continue to review the ace-path of later games here. It is nice to have someone else play through it.


Raiding helot grain stores: No anarchy, it’s pretty much BOHICA as usual for them.
Most hits, particularly grain raids, are +1 anarchy. +1 extra for burning a barn.

Harrower: +1/+2
Nobles and market towns: Between +1 and +6 depending on how nasty you are.
Alastors’ mules: +2
Alastors: +4/+6
Architelone: +6/+9, possibly some more for the raid on Bleys.


how about the temples and tithe barns?
btw, thank you so much!!!


It’s all in the message.


Hey, no problem! I completely understand, I’m not going to say there weren’t quite a lot of tears on my end when I played through. <3
It’s my impression that there’s a happier romance route for an ace character if you go for Suzanne, if that’s something you’re interested in. I’m not sure, though, I haven’t tried it for myself!


I do like Suzanne, and I like the small bit of the romance I saw, with my second character, but I am leery of going for the confirmed ace-route for her, because I am afraid the same will happened, just further down the route.

I have been burned a lot of times with the so called ace options, in COGs so I rarely trust them. So far I do what I do with most COGs and just pick (allo)-bi and then put off sex for as long as the game lets me.


How well do you really know Matt Bomer, amigo? How much did you learn about his personality before you first took note of his gorgeousness? :slight_smile:

My assumption in writing this scene was that the experience of noting someone’s physical attractiveness at first sight will be familiar to most readers who aren’t well out on the ace spectrum. When you later get to know the hottie’s personality, that may well be a total turn-off…but the fact that your MC is utterly unattracted to Breden once you know him/her has nothing to do with that first reaction.

It’s why the choice comes before Breden’s done barely anything on which you could judge their personality, any reason why you would say “I just don’t fancy him/her that way” (unless you’ve yet to fancy anyone “that way”). There are lots of subsequent examples to tell Breden you don’t fancy them, once you’ve learned more about them. But of course, there are none that changes the fact that Simon isn’t accessible to an exclusively gay MC (without a healthy amount of squinting past authorial intent).

Enormously so, thanks. I never know quite what to say when told that one of the scenes of emotional devastation I wrote was, well, devastating. But I can assure you that this isn’t the only way for relationships to play out for an ace character. Breden may only be happy with (at most) an open relationship, but other allo characters who fall in love with the MC will welcome a long-term asexual romance.

Including Simon/Suzane. For an ace MC who doesn’t fancy Breden and thus isn’t coming to that Ch 4 conversation with recent emotional wreckage, the “I can give you my heart, ${zmilady} de Firiac, though not my body,” option may be more thinkable. And while it doesn’t get far this game, I promise it won’t end in de Firiac grumbling about sacrifices.


Fair enough and the answer is (practically, well the same as your average fan of any actor really, which amounts to the same thing) nothing, particularly since I first saw him acting in White Collar, where his character’s entire personality is an act. :wink:
Male Breden however quickly does things that would make my mc question (starting with why he is even still alive and relatively “free” in helot terms, as my mc remembers what happens to helots who are too handsome, like his former friend and crush Dann) him and that are mostly a huge turn-off.
As an aside we don’t know how pretty the helot mc is supposed to be and if he would have been the next target on Calea’s little list after poor Dann. :thinking:

Fair enough, the less attractive things about male Breden only start to show from the moment of the Harrowing onwards anyway.

There is still the awkward bit that the mc can really only be exclusively gay if they make Breden male though, but since this is not a dating game that’s only a minor issue.

Let’s not forget the “it’s raining men” mod that the resident Tiger helped me build, that’s pretty much explicitly crafted to bypass the authorial intent regarding the gender-flipping characters and make Simon available to my exclusively gay mc.
Just to satisfy my curiousity will there be other “canonical” guys for male helots who are not into male Breden once they get to know him better? Thus far all we know about the next game is the aristo exclusive guy for Mara and the new, non-binary RO?


While you are not the worst example of this, I really wish writers would stop doing this. Allo- vs Asexual is not black and white, but a huge greyzone and by saying your find Breden physically attractive, if you experience any physical attraction you are excluding a huge group.

It is just that COG really doesn’t have the best record when it come to ace and aro inclusivity and thus your game, authorial intentions aside, write itself into a history which once again convinces me to never, ever pick the ace option in COG game.

The worst part is that it actually makes me like Breden less than, than I would normally since they make a pretty bad first impression on me.


Even noble MCs are forced to still feel attracted to Breden months later at the end of winter celebration even if the MC has had months to come to dislike Breden.

I actually think Breden is worse than those two. When I first played this game, I actually liked Breden. However, the problem with Breden is that “less is more”, by which I mean “the less you know Breden, the more you’ll like Breden”. Conversely, “the more you know Breden, the less you’ll like Breden”. Breden is not only a RO shoved down our throats, Breden is a deliberately intensely flawed RO who after you have played enough different paths proves to be both arrogant and cowardly.

As stated by @Havenstone in the XOR 1 WIP thread:

Breden belongs (by definition) to a sex that you’re attracted to. That’s part of the mix that’s meant to make your relationship with Breden complex and memorable. I’m still not convinced that the initial pang of attraction should be a choice, any more than I get a choice in real life to feel attracted to a striking, highly charismatic woman. As you get to know Breden better, there are almost immediately options that take you down a not-attracted-to-this-individual path. As a noble, you can be pissed off at her manipulation of you in the helot meetings, you can reject her, and when she forces the issue in Ch 2, you can shut it down permanently. I wholly understand people hankering for noble romance options from your preferred sex, but I’m afraid I don’t intend those to crop up until Game II – when they will crop up in abundance.


The MC isn’t forced to like Breden. She’s attractive, and starts the game interested in you; but you can have a wide range of responses to her, many of which will quickly put the relationship into collegial or hostile territory. And yes, a non-bi MC has Breden or no one in Game 1. (Unless, as Taylor says, you interpret the initial “you couldn’t help noticing how attractive s/he was” as, for example, the way I inevitably recognize Channing Tatum as an attractive guy despite being straight myself). Other ROs will pop up in Game 2.

The first game is already out so I am less concerned with things that are too late to change than with how the sequels will be.

If the MC is a covert wisard and stops the Fourth Harrowing with a speech involving knowledge of the weak position of the Theurges, then Breden actually joins in though whether the MC feels Breden deserves any credit for that depends on whether or not the MC thinks Breden is a traitor and thus whether or not Breden’s life was ever at risk.

However if the MC stops the Fourth Harrowing as an overt wisard then Breden contributes absolutely nothing so my MC feels stronger grounds for suspecting Breden. Then if the MC gives the perfectly honest and reasonable answer that the MC is not sure who to trust, Breden actually has the gall to say:

Breden’s face hardens. “I thought I’d earned more of your trust than that, de Serin. Damn it, how do you hope to lead this band without relying on anyone?”

You keep your voice and eyes steady. “I’ll rely only on people who prove themselves trustworthy. The stakes are too high for me to make an exception for my friends. Even close friends.”

“Close friends? Xthonos burn you, you brainsick dandy. This isn’t about finding traitors. You’re just like the rest—behind all your pretty words, you still believe that only nobles can be trusted to lead.” You open your mouth to protest, but Breden cuts you off. “See how many helots will give you their trust when you’re so sparing with your own.” He stalks away.

My noble MC gave up EVERYTHING and risked the MC’s own life to try to save the MC’s friends while Breden did absolutely NOTHING. I don’t know whether or not the noble culture permits or encourages dueling to resolve disputes. If so, then Breden should count himself/herself lucky my MC had COM 0 or my MC would have been tempted to draw steel to settle that. As it is, I imagine my MC clutching tightly to the phials of aetherial blood and repeatedly reasoning out that Breden is not worth wasting blood for wisardry on.

At the end-of-winter celebration, the MC is forced to still feel attracted to Breden and Breden has the oblivious gall to ask the MC to dance. Rather than attraction, it would be closer to barely contained fury. In the strongest possible terms, I resent that the MC is still forced to feel attracted to Breden months after their first meeting and months after the mortal insults Breden gave to the MC. The only aspect of my MC that would still feel an irresistible attraction to Breden by the end-of-winter celebration after how insulting and arrogant Breden had been is my MC’s steel blade. Just because my MC treats helots with the same decency as any human being would deserve does not mean my MC is willing in any way, shape, or form to forgive or forget Breden’s arrogant oblivious rudeness.


Not if you’re an arrogant noble - then Breden won’t try to start a relationship. Which fortunately means that Alya doesn’t have to worry about that filthy helot’s conupiscence, because he knows that he wouldn’t be able to enter a true relationship with her.


Actually Breden’s main strength is her/his charisma and organising skill… Breden’s charm help to unify the rebels and for my case, she help get me donation in term of Mules , food, money and shelter for the children… these are essential for my rebellion since i am leading “minimum violence” rebellion … where i never even once rob and raid other villages , my anarchy remain 2 at the end of winter, everyday me and Breden had to visit different place to request donation to get us through the winter without robbing, and with her charisma added to mine, the discontent among my rebels basically are non existence …

under real life situation , charm and charisma are the Beacon of hope … which i am grateful that Breden is on my side :slight_smile: and she gave me her Kryptast code , which is the most sacred weapon of the spy-assassin organisation :slight_smile:

Choice of Rebels: Uprising — Lead the revolt against a bloodthirsty empire!

This goes for any mc at the Harrowing, doubly so for an open theurge. Of course the helot mc doesn’t have to give up anything, quite the contrary. Still Breden is always highly suspicious and at least somewhat unreliable no matter what.
The helot also doesn’t get called a “dandy”. :wink:

Show me any noble who isn’t, I mean even Simon has got shades of it, but the arrogent noble mc really is more arrogant than what their own barely “noble” status should merit.

Breden doesn’t show much more then average organizational abilities, at best and they use their charisma to undermine any mc who wants to stand and fight, which has the effect of making the fight more difficult then it should have been due to sapping our followers morale at the crucial moment. It’s also the moment Breden irrevocably places themselves on my mc’s little list. Expect a purge as soon as my mc has found a suitably charismatic and hopefully more skeptical replacement for them in the inner circle.

Choice of Rebels: Uprising — Lead the revolt against a bloodthirsty empire!

I mean the “arrogant” options like calling Breden out on his presumption.

The game allows an aristocratic PC to play at being one of the helots, even if nobody else will buy it. Thankfully, Alya doesn’t play that game.