Disliked Elements, Mechanics, and Tropes

Making intimidating a skill seems weird to me. Sure some skill could be used, but if you’re 6’6" with a face scar you can be a total teddy bear in most of your interactions. Doesn’t mean you can’t turn on the intimidation.

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I don’t like it when female and male versions of RO are described in the game and visually shown (drawing, Artbreeder) as very similar. Seriously, if I wanted that RO androgynous, I’d choose "They/Them’.


I’d like to push back on the idea that nonbinary characters are expected to be androgynous - the nature of being nonbinary is that it can cover any kind of gender expression or presentation. (And you can be androgynous or otherwise gender nonconforming without being nonbinary or using they/them pronouns.)

With the description, do you mean the way they look physically (like their body shape etc), or how they dress/do their hair? Or is it a behaviour thing?


Oh, one of the ROs in Falrika the Alchemist is a non-binary and androgynous elf, but is still biologically female. They chose to be this way for a more practical purpose. In their own words, “I chose to blend with the darkness and the uncertainties that come with it… so the light of justice and the salvation of the victims will shine.”


Personally, I think non-binary characters are very often described in a very sexless way, even when they’re an RO. Like, in an effort to avoid having the character seen as “oh they’re basically a man/woman then” the character isn’t given any real gender expression or presentation and their body is never described. This, IMO, makes a lot of them feel pretty vaguely androgynous. Like, in all the games here I’ve played, I can’t think of any non-binary NPCs off the top of my head who have any description in that way or any actual gender expression/presentation.

The most common way that information seems to be relayed to the player is usually through misgendering and correction, like the Amazonian in the Relics games or the nonbinary RO in Teahouse of the Gods, where you can go “Well, if they’re misgendering this person as a man then they’re probably AMAB or masc-presenting or something along those lines, even if their all of their actual description/presentation is pretty androgynous”.


Relics of the Lost Age Sam is enby and they definitely have gender presentation. They’re not an RO, though.


I suspect that some authors (including me, absolutely) go for androgyny for nonbinary characters for this reason, or maybe because they may that this is a correct(?) way to show those characters. I don’t think that’s a bad thing necessarily… I guess I just want to remind that for some nonbinary people androgyny is a “gender presentation”, or they may consider the way they dress or do their hair an absence of gender, or they might just not care, or it might mean something totally personal and different to them.


1- when 99% choices of the game’s choices are inconsequential and trivial like “respond with a joke or respond stoically or stay silent” all the way through out the game like the author actually wanted to write a novella but found their way into an IF by mistake

2- that weird choice line where I have to pick every choice one by one with the last one usually ending with a “scream” or “cry for help”.

3- trivializing human interactions by simply telling you “keep clicking on the flirt button to initiate romance” despite the fact that your character and the ro have entirely different personalities, agendas, backgrounds…etc

4- forced narratives with stats being only a place holder for advancing scenes( click on the choice that represents your highest stat )

5- adopting the “errand boy on a quest” mechanic which is suitable for video games because it allows you to explore the world, fight monsters…etc but it misses the chance when it’s in a text-based game because the setting allows for far more opportunities of exploring other roles than the “goody two shoes hero who saves the town”( for example war of the west doesn’t paint you as a hero who travels from town to town and fixes everyone’s problems but rather a manor lord simply managing his dutchy)

6- stats with some of them having similarities i.e: charisma and diplomacy, then having a choice of “talk your way out” without knowing which stat does this choice represent
7- forcing character actions down the player’s throat despite him not making any choice to do it( 1- I helped her because x, 2- I helped her because y )


I do wish that was more commonly available to the player. Assuming a game has any level of gender presentation customization, it’s either tied to pronouns or your options are masculine or dress/skirt, which can be tolerable for me if I can chose the masc option, but a specifically androgynous/mixed option is always nice. Guess I know I’m in a pretty severe minority of minorities with that, though, being soft butch


Yeah, Sam definitely does have it. I forgot about them because I was thinking about ROs, and didn’t remember them until I’d after I’d hit submit. I was just coming back to edit them into that post and you beat me to it.

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This is super nitpicky. So in some games you can for example press shift or some other button to highlight objects that you can interact with. I find it so annoying when you have to continue holding the button down to keep the items highlighted, instead of it being a toggle.

Please STOP assuming everyone likes the beach! I HATE THE BEACH! I wear glasses which means extra glare, yes, even with sun tint. I don’t like hot weather. SAND FLEAS. Sand everywhere you don’t want it. The stink of synthetic “coconut” fragranced sunblock. Seagulls. Dehydration. OTHER PEOPLE. Jellyfish. The constant noise of the frickn’ waves. The sea stank. Somehow getting that one fragment of seashell that stabs you in your instep. FEET. Seaweed and other trash. OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN. Sunburn in spite of both melanin and sunblock. Roving bands of horndogs. Salt in my hair. Other people’s dogs. That one jerk with the bicycle. THE BEACH AS A WHOLE.


Yes. Except for the beaches where I grew up, which - except during summer - were nice and cool, rainy, windy, deserted, “miserable” places I quite liked. Somehow beaches like that are never the ones meant.


It’s always a tropical beach somewhere. I’d like a cold, windy, deserted, pebbly beach, if I simply must pick one. Better yet, give me the verge of a cool, misty woodland with the sound of wind rushing over the grass in the nearby grasslands. I’d love that.


I love the beach, so it’s hard to imagine someone not even liking it. That being said, authors of IF should avoid pushing opinions onto the player as much as possible. It can get annoying fast


Well, the beach I featured in my WIP (Falrika the Alchemist), Puerto Talipanan, is a good mix of tropical and pebbly. It’s also near the grasslands.

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I’m a Midwestern introvert, if that helps you understand my stance. When I was a kid we had family reunions in the summer on the east coast and that always meant the beach and far too many people/too much noise.

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Feelings, yes. Opinions, let the player have their opinions on events. “I claim not to have controlled events , but confess plainly that events have controlled me”. Have the right balance of player agency.

And back to the question, everyone likes to include some sort of beach into their story. I must have a highway of some sort into mine.

Feelings, reactions and the like. See above.

I can’t tell you the number of times I need to pick between coffee and tea in stories :c So inconsequential yet I have reflexively closed stories when it came up 'cause it’s so annoying to me. I know, I’m not the character, but I try to play as though I’m in that role and I hate hot drinks; as such I’ve basically never had either and have no desire to (I seriously find it hard to even humor it in a story), yet it’s like you must like one of those, like it’s incomprehensible to just not have either. At least some stories have water as the neutral third option, but otherwise I just have to choose tea (assuming I don’t quit out of frustration/decision paralysis) since at least that isn’t as addictive and horrific for your body.