Empyrean, Beta, Stats, etc

Yes it’s EXACTLY SAME. AND IT HAPPENS WITH ALL STATS. if you are in the middle you sometimes know about a thing and next check you totally forgot about it and text acts like you never know about that it is broken.

Later in the game.

        *if tech > 60 
		#I follow my father into the abandoned jewelry store. I can get in and out fast enough to still reach Strephon.
			You have no trouble getting inside. The lock is good, but nothing you haven't encountered before, and in seconds you're in.
			*goto machine_base
	*if tech <= 60
		#I follow my father, heading into the abandoned jewelry store, even if it means abandoning Strephon to his fate.
			Predictably, the lock on the door proves beyond your abilities, but you manage to get inside by finding a loose iron grating and wrenching it free.
			*set strephon_fated true
			*goto machine_base

A good out come and a bad outcome, because over the course of the game you forgot how to pick a lock. It literally says in the bad outcome that it is beyond your abilities, not that you are distracted.

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Ah, then regrettably it was probably a sacrifice made to make the coding easier. After a bit of analysis, I can sort of understand the author’s intentions of using mutually exclusive choices, but I certainly cannot deny that doesn’t seem ideal for Tech vs Sensitive. All the other ones doesn’t seem as problematic.

All of the other skill checks have the same problems, you can do something one minute, but pick the wrong choices that increase/decrease certain stats, and you are suddenly failing something you could do a chapter ago. The only trait that is fine is the Loyalty (Ambition) - Rebelliousness trait, because it isn’t a skill check thing, its a personality thing.

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All the other stats works the same … One minute I could keep my nerves and text says how strong my will is … One choice later I am a all contrary and couldn’t maintain the cover because You have always been a excited person incapable of control… WTF?

I recommend you read the code if you don’t believe me. But as role player text HAS NO DAMN SENSE … one scene I am an art knowledge last scene I can’t difference between a potato and a noble portrait. Text saying I am not sensible… all in same chapter SAME CHAPTER …

Ambition opposite stats is the only that works fine and have sense.

I like the writing and the world building a lot HOWEVER GAMEPLAY IS UTTERLY BROKEN.

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I just checked some of the code for Midsummer. I loved that game. The skill reductions you spoke about were minor, and let you focus on playing a character to a personality you create, without hugely punishing you for choosing other options. Being the same as, learning a language, then learning a different language, you fall a little out of practice with the first language, but do not have to completely forget the first to learn the second. Unlike here.

So the issue would be in Midsummer if you chose to make Wit and Artistry intrinsically tied. So instead of Wit %+15 and Artistry %-5 (or something), there were equal gains and losses as %+15 and %-15. Meaning as you got smarter you inexplicably forgot how to act, rather than just letting the skills get slightly out of practice.

(I remember Pendragon having similar problems as Empyrean except worse, where your skills are hugely reduced if you choose to do one thing over the other. There you have to absolutely 100% turn your character 1 dimensional with no deviations of warrior or diplomat or leader to be able to pass ANY skill checks AT ALL, which is idiotic. By getting more diplomatic my MC mysteriously forgets how to hold a sword!)


I see your point–that “predictably” in the description might affect immersion. Now I understand that aspect of the issue: Good example.

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I think I’ve found a way to state the problem more clearly.

Within the first 2-3 chapters you can get the Tech skill up to 60-70, enough to pass the early lock and the lock later in the game. If you then choose all the options that increase Sensitivity (which decreases Tech) you can end up with 20-30 Tech by the time you reach that later game lock, which is no where near enough to pass the lock at the beginning of the game, essentially forgetting how to pick a lock, instead of being good enough to pick the early lock and not good enough to pick the later lock.

If the skills/traits were separate and not opposed, and started low, like at 10, and the skill checks more like 20-30 early lock and 50-60 later lock, if you increased the tech skill enough to pass the first lock, then only choose options that increased Sensitivity for the rest of the game, you would be able to pass big skill checks that required high Sensitivity, while still being able to pass small skill checks that required Tech if you ran into another simple 20-30 lock.

Even if you still wanted Sensitivity and Tech to impact each other (which still makes no sense to me) while still being separate, chances are if you started out with a reasonably high Tech in the first few chapters, and the gains/losses were %+10 or %+20 to %-5 or %-10, the fairmath system would probably still let you pass low to medium skill checks for Tech later in the game even if you focused on Sensitivity throughout, rather than completely losing all Tech ability in equal measure to how well you begin to relate with other people.


This whole conversation is making me rethink my approach to stats. Maybe the best thing to do is simply award increases to stats and make the trade off simply the opportunity cost of not getting to raise another stat, rather than decreasing (even slightly) another stat along with it.

There is something I don’t like about that decrease for a non opposed stat check. I often find myself saying, well, the MC just successfully discussed poetry at a dinner party, so that’s

*set culture %+15

And then I sigh and say, man, what can I take away.

*set bold %-5

Because if you are well-read you might not be bold, I feebly attempt to justify. The logic is tenuous.


@Gower Disagree. That leads to the Four Point Trap and the Trouble.

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I know it. That is why I have been doing it–but is there another out, by starting with low starting values,and then slowly raising stat test targets, while also including some lower stat test targets?

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Four Point Trap and the Trouble

did not help me at all. What is it?

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I am not sure exactly how the four point trap operates here, actually. That is when the same four stats are tested all the time and you have to play “find my highest stat” all the time.


What you’re describing here is pretty close to the Trouble, and the Trouble is what leads to the 4PT.

Now, admittedly, more Declined Testing Choices could help mitigate the Trouble, but then you have to be prepared to write those declinations.

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I am a role player I play to maintain a role consistently. Maintain a persona. I can’t maintain a character if choose a logical action… Like say Mara is cunning and ambitious so I totally see her picking a lock , however she is a well educated noble a snob that believes she is from a superior chaste to mere workers that are sub human for her (like in Metropolis) An she loves art… Half of game I was a Brute who barely knows who wrote Julius Caesar… Half of time I am art enthusiasts Who can describe artists in a gallery but can’t open a damn door with a panel.Same time text is saying both stuff… And don’t let me enter in the pain is cunning vs leadership…

Reading a text like that is broken my friend. I can’t be Ophelia and Macbeth same time in same text. You have guts of iron and next phrase you shake like a coward …


All I know is that how the stats worked for Empyrean and Pendragon Rising made playing the games frustrating and kind of ruined the experience, while most of the other games were much more fun. My favorite games are still Tin Star, the Heroes Rise trilogy and Midsummer. With the Infinity series, Samurai of Hyuga series, and Diabolical not too far behind.


The Four Point Trap is when you set up all choices to have 4 options, each one aligned with a single stat. A player knows the only way to succeed is to pick the option that reads most like their highest stat.

To avoid this, a writer needs to vary options with stat changes.

Not sure what the Trouble is. I haven’r written for the official label in a while.


I believe the Trouble is “the Trouble with unipolar variables” and has to do with stat inflation. This happens when choices are all candy, no cavities.


Would it be better to get this game now or during the steam sale? I’m curious cause I want to buy the game, but I also am kinda a miser…

Now; I think you can’t put a game on sale twice in one month, so it may not be on sale for a discount during the steam sale.