Diaspora (WIP) - Updated 12.22.18



@pimenita Thanks for the bug notes; will get on those ASAP. Also, this was one place where a high charisma build (for the lying liars among you) was definitely an asset. Double also, puns are basically oxygen, so…

@squarelyblue You’re getting warmer.

@sljzz MacGuffin questing is definitely part of it, but only part.

Thanks for all the feedback, guys, both here and on the blog. It’s really helpful to get it, and of course we’re always interested in knowing what choices people were drawn to and how they worked out for you, as well as what your conjectures are for what’s up next. The interlude to follow should ease some of the apparent itches for more, uh, personal interactions with some of the NPCs; it’ll also cover quite a bit of IC time, so there will be some opportunities to do a little more strategizing about overall Cine strategy for the future.


((charismatic evil laugh))

At least you didn’t answer me using a pun.

My body is ready.


I’m sorry. The thought comes through clear as day, and the last image that reaches you is of a smiling woman, laughter in her dark eyes and sunlight shining in hair like fire. You know that if you turn your eyes just a little down, just a little to the left, you’ll see your daughter, too, but the light is fading. Your vision blurs, darkens. And then it is gone.”

Maybe I’m just overly sensitive but I cried a bit?.. Anyways, this is wonderful, and I’m definitely looking forward to playing it whenever it comes out :relaxed:

(On a different note, I really like the ROs you created??? Pursued Cormac in my first playthrough of your demo and it’s pretty funny because despite my intentions, I have a low friendship with him compared to the others XD Maybe it’s because I was trying to be a diplomat? It was still enjoyable, haha)


Before chapter 5, I was probably going to go with the Empire because they seem more like the type who my MC would agree with (prefer not to fight or whatever), but I guess I’m going Iskendi now. Great update! Loving the story so far. And Aisling is amazing.


@LauraSikdar The opportunities for friendship/approval gain are definitely not equal between all the companions, and guessing from my own test playthroughs I think Cormac’s +friend chances are slightly on the low side. But I think as long as you’re near or above the 30% mark right now it should consider your MC and him to be pretty good friends.

@thegreatlorddragon Glad we could make the choice a little more difficult for you! That was one of our goals with this chapter, and going forward in general. We don’t want any path to be perfect and flat-out better, but we also don’t want any of them to feel wrong either. Hopefully it’ll all be up to the player’s preference, and how they feel their MC would navigate the situation.


Also on Pan: weak for the hand holding trope as a precursor to romantic feels / worrying about the MC and making sure they rest (or checking on them post ritual) as also another precursor to romantic feels

And Orlan! Lightly smacked with feelings as to what his last thoughts were but am waiting for the angst meter to rise when we find out more about him and his travels :stuck_out_tongue:

Overall very excited to see the update when it happens


In this chapter the Iskendi served my MC a shameless dose of emotional manipulation, as well as shown themselves to be not entirely honest. Both of which I am not opposed to, in general, but… they still haven’t made a pitch for why we should help them beyond ‘your father liked us’?

Yes, the general is a pain, and the empire is no saint, but they did have some good parts, like culture and infrastructure. Whereas the Iskendi, as a people, are still giving off an impression of ‘vengeful raiders’. Judging from the duel they seem to operate on some unspoken code of honor, but that doesn’t tell me much.

We already know what Empire-occupied Tarracina would look like. Will we get the chance to ask Baltasar his plans for the city, if the Iskendi take it back?


Did they lie? I don’t remember that, in fact, I remember them being quite honest, which was one of the reasons why I picked them over the Empire.


Refuse the ritual, and then ask the Iskendi leader what he would have done if you had agreed. You’ll see.


Ah. I agreed to the ritual, so I guess that’s why. Still, on my path so far, they’ve been honest, so that’s how I’m keeping my viewpoint of them lol.


The dishonesty happens regardless; but you only figure it out if you refuse the ritual.

I do admire craftiness. But the Sage seems nicer.


It’s good that this is all so debatable! That’s what we were going for.

Baltasar’s behavior is consistent across choices, by his own sort of internal logic. How much of that the PC catches on to depends in part upon their intuition stat, which is kind of the “reading people” ability in game, just as charisma here allows for more successful deceptions on the PC’s part. But even people with high intuition aren’t going to be able to just psychically know why he does all the things he does. In a lot of cases, NPC behavior has several layers to it, as we wanted to reflect the complex nature of the situation everyone’s in here.

I will say that he genuinely liked and admired Orlan, but for now I’ll leave the rest to your interpretation.

Of course, we’ve also tried to write this so that everyone has good reasons for what they do, and depending on how you view various means to ends, individual players (or their characters) might find some transgressions worse than others, some societal flaws more or less tolerable, and some personalities more or less likable. As August has mentioned, we definitely don’t want there to be a single obviously better side. Or perhaps more accurately, we don’t want everyone to be in unproblematic agreement about which side that is!

So naturally the debate is really cool to see. Not all the information’s out yet, of course, and more pieces of history, backstory, and motives will be revealed as the story carries on, but it’s fun to see people really thinking about what side to take in the central conflict. :slight_smile:


So what’s everyone’s strategy?

My Deamon honestly wants a friendly productive relationship with the empire, heck, my Deamon gets along with Pan like a house on fire, but he also plans on making attacking his clan more trouble than its worth.

Which makes getting in between the raiders and the empire rather awkward, because that’s probably going to get his clan attacked by someone.

So getting magic mcguffin of weather control? Perfect!

An incentive for everyone to play nice if they don’t want to say hello to a tsunami or tornado or whatever.


I suggest that just play neutral for the moment then try and get the until you get the magic stone then you attack the empire then the raiders because it seems that both obviously would betray you at some point :smiling_imp:


My captain’s thoughts right now:

“I’ve learned two things. My father was a fool. And I am going to kill Balthasar.”

That was an intense chapter, gods. I’d read the teaser, but I still didn’t expect that punch to the gut when I realized I was in the trance. The writing was incredibly powerful, bravo. As both a writer and a reader, I also really appreciated the bracketing moments with choosing a companion to make the cut and seeing the person who’s with us when we wake up. I had Sangarinus for both, and the sheer comfort from having him there really made strong counterpoints to the emotional pain of the vision.

Also, I love the little detail where he asks permission to touch you, and then when the captain’s passed out he’s still so cautious about not touching them. That is some good characterization

I’m hoping at some point that we get to make the Hold on/Let go choice in our captain’s own time . My captain’s sworn not to repeat her father’s mistakes, but when it comes down to it…


Not a real fan of any of the factions i would rather just remain neutral or just raid them both plus were vikings yes so why don’t we take slaves never seen vikings that don’t take slaves vikings were just well equipped bandits really that travel and raid everyone even each other and on the rare occasion they would trade with you that’s it really.


@Andrew_Stapleton Hi there! Thanks for checking out the game, sorry the factions aren’t really appealing to you.

We are aware of who vikings were and what they did and all that, and while we take inspiration from places for the Cine, the Cine are not vikings. They’re the Cine. Our fantasy factions have different beliefs and habits from the real world peoples they are somewhat inspired by because that’s sort of the fun of fantasy, you know? Otherwise we’d have just tried to write historical fiction.

This also probably isn’t the right story for players looking for some sort of power trip through unfamiliar lands. It’s a story of a beleaguered clan led by a chief that wants to change their ways, and that clan finds itself forced to manage a delicate situation between two peoples more than powerful enough to annihilate them if forced to it.

There will be at least one opportunity to raid if the player chooses, but this is a major point in one character’s arc that we’d like to treat very seriously, as raiding either Castulia or the Iskendi could have serious ramifications for the clan.


That’s kinda what I want my MC to be, realise there’s no chance utilising our old ways to survive and instead adapt to the new environment I.e. don’t need to raid, be negotiable, help potential allies, etc… but at the same time, evaluate risks, plan contegencies and retaliate when it’s the last resort. Doesn’t earn bragging points with Dagnan, but C’est la vie.


Its a good story but am just saying these guys seem way to nice to be even classed as Vikings i was really hoping to be able to do some classic viking acts. But i really did love that duel that you could have with that captain lady it was bad ass.


More calmer thinking vikings towards the tail end of the Viking expansion or perhaps the beginning of it may possibly have thought like this if they were also cast out or thier clan was dieing due to agricultural or conflict. Nessesity would breed niceness if the thought that violence would lead to in their case not a honorable and glorious death. I may be looking at it to logically and from to much of a strategic thought process instead of a more tactical short term.

I am aware this isn’t historical so no need to say anything about this part.