Background Information for the Discerning Scholar:
My WIP aims to do a lot - it’s ridiculously ambitious and, surprisingly, going fairly well. It explores a world of magic in ways… ahem… assimilated from various fictional sources. That is to say, there’s a complex and unintuitive design to how magic works.
There are numerous ways to make magic happen, including (but not limited to):
The player can freely decide to pursue any or all of these methodologies. They affect the way the player makes magic, and interacts differently depending on what gift of magic the player has. The gifts - the ‘type’ - of magics, are as follows:
A Little Dilemma for the Enthusiastic Problem Solver:
I’m about six thousand words in, I haven’t gotten to the actual magic-ing part yet (but so, so close… I can smell it! It smells like sulfur and cheap wine), and the very first thing the player does is, other than selecting a gender, select their gift. IN LITERALLY THE MOST OBSCURE WAY EVER!
No, seriously, I’m glad I had this realisation before I got much further, because, as it stands, the current method of selecting a gift goes like this:
I wonder, given the path you have chosen to take, what do you think happens to the soul after the flesh dies? *fake_choice #I cannot say. The chaotic nature of the soul is beyond me. *set talent "chaos" *goto d #The soul is immaterial. It is beyond our understanding. *set talent "aether" *goto d #There is no proof of the soul's existence. *set talent "science" *goto d #The soul will be eternal, as it has always been. *set talent "time" *goto d #The soul will drift along the currents of the winds. *set talent "wind" *goto d #The soul will flow where it can. *set talent "water" *goto d #The soul will turn to dust, just like the body. *set talent "earth" *goto d #The soul will burn eternal. *set talent "flames" *goto d #The soul live on without the body. *set talent "life" *goto d #The soul will die with the body. *set talent "death" *goto d #The soul will shine in other realms. *set talent "light" *goto d #The soul will fade to darkness. *set talent "shadows" *goto d
That’s it. No actual indication that the player is making a choice that will effect the entirety of the game. No indication of what the choices actually mean. Nothing of that sort.
As I see it, my options are: Make it clearer that an important choice is being made; clarify what the choices do, or; burn in the deepest pits of the Academy of Arcana’s Flame Forests.
It’s just - and this might be a very subjective and biased standpoint - I kinda actually really like the obscurity of it. That was sort of the idea when I started conceptualising the idea few days ago - that the gift is innate and not a real matter of choice, but rather outlook, philosophy and choice are based on the inherent nature of the gift.
So, that is to say, a person with the innate gift of shadow might believe that the soul fades to darkness when the flesh dies.
In a nutshell:
Would you be exceptionally annoyed when, two chapters down the line you realise you’re a Prodigy of Light/Runist of Entropists/Weaver of the Flames Guild/…/…?