Hexfinder WiP - Play Chapters 1-8 (Steam page up, artwork reveal!)

Sorry if this has been asked before, but who are the RO´s?

Wait there are romance options in this one?

I believe I promised heretical smooching :wink:

There aren’t really any romantic scenes in the Chapters shared to date (just a light hint, here and there), but yes, you’ll be able to share some ~moments~ with Richard, Anna and Nico. In addition, there is one path where you can become a particular favourite of Queen Charlotte.

I’m a little wary of over-promising here because romance isn’t really my main thing - but I do like to include it and test my range. Plus it’s fun, and can add more depth of character! If you’ve played Mask of the Plague Doctor you can expect a similar degree of romance here, I think :slight_smile:


Does having a older character prevents you from romancing them?

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No, not at all! In general, the thing that would prevent a blossoming romance would be if the character doesn’t like you all that much (as a result of things you’ve done in the game). Or if you get propositioned and just choose to turn that person down, of course.


In honour of the final Ember Day of 2022, the upcoming December Solstice, and any new visitors from the Upcoming CoG Releases 2023 thread - it’s new chapters time!

Hexfinder: December 17 2022 Edition

What do these two add?

Chapters 7 and 8 form the bulk of the Second Act, where your intrepid hexfinder has been sent to Broughton Castle. Or Ipsden. Slight spoiler about destinations: You’ll go to both, but the order changes how things play out.

When I planned this game and added a branching path in the central act, I didn’t quite realise it would take me 200k+ words and more than a year to resolve. But here we are, lessons learned :smiley:

This portion of the game is wrapped up in Chapter 9, and I originally intended to wait until all of that was done before updating the WIP. But since it’s been over a year since I shared anything, I want to get more words out there in the world.

What kind of feedback would be most useful here?

As usual, most comments are helpful and welcomed. But what I’m especially hoping to get ironed out is instances where it seems like the code may have redirected you somewhere incorrect. There are LOT of semi-overlapping parts and moving pieces in Chap 7-8, and plenty of spots where one or more characters may or may not be present in a scene. So if somebody shows up who shouldn’t be there, or it bounces you to a point in the story that makes no sense, let me know! Such bugs need to be squashed.

I keep succeeding/failing at everything I try, what’s going on?

Stat boosts/checks are not at all final, and probably only semi-balanced. They shouldn’t be TOO weird though - so if anything seems egregious, do mention that. In general, I intend to tune things to the more forgiving side.

Will my old dashingdon save work?

I doubt it! The earlier chapters have a few minor changes as well. Save system is implemented again though (with three slots).


Hey nice you are back will play the update in a bit


I appreciate the wonderful Winter Solstice gift.

Thank you @PParrish


How many chapters do you have plan for the full game

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Looking like twelve at the moment (or eleven, plus epilogues - similar to how I did it in Plague Doctor).

If any of the chapters turn into a beast and need to be split, there will be more.


I forgot to screenshot the first one before this.


Another edit:

What happen? I know this is not the ending yet after I read the 8_broughton_and_ipsden02.txt


Thanks! I’ve fixed the three errors you’ve highlighted.

I’ll wait a little longer before pushing an updated WIP version (don’t want to accidentally mess up people’s progress just yet), but those bugs/typos are gone in the master copy :slight_smile:

Regarding the edit: That is the current end point. I can tell because the third error you spotted came from 8_broughton_and_ipsden02! Although Chapter 9 isn’t called 03, it does have significant parts of the Broughton/Ipsden act in it.


Playing though the update right now but I want to ask can we eventually reveal our name if we choose not to pick one. Perhaps near or at the end of the game it might make for a cool moment

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I have never heard this before lol! It may have to do with the fact that even though I am decently versed in Christian history, I am one of those “Baptists, white with foam!” The song mentions. Which in truth, is a very accurate description of many a Baptist I’ve met in my thirty-one years as a “P.K.”(Pastor’s Kid). They do be frothy guys up in the Southern Baptist Conference which I spent most my childhood a part of.

All true. I just assumed it was a double entendre, about the agressive zealot like behavior associated with my native denomination.

This part in chapter 3 feels like it needs one more choice for someone with a high level of scrutiny. It feels left out. I mostly upped the percentage of that by picking choices to improve wits and knowledge but seeing as that is my main skill means I fail this stat check no matter what because every answer is for the other stat checks like Occultist and Pistoleer
And I guess I don’t have enough Pedantry for the first choice even though its my 2nd best skill. I guess its okay since Ursula comes to the rescue haha


I chose not to give the bowl to Hopequins yet the game say that I do not have it with me. Looking at the code it’s because I choose to just talk about how we should search both Ipsden and Broughton which doesn’t include a check about not giving the bowl to Hopequins meaning that the game forgots that i have it

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Ooh, that’s a bad one, thank you for spotting that (and diagnosing where the problem is, even). Appears I forgot to make the “withheld bowl from Dorty” check on a few options in that ‘basically on the General’s good side’ tree.

I think this is now rectified! We’ll see if it accidentally breaks anything else.

I’m going to update the WIP with this fix (and the previous minor ones) since this is a pretty significant bug that affects later chapters. Sorry to anybody in the middle of a run if it messes up a save.

Edit: Amended version is now up.

I’ve had this in mind, especially for the romance paths. Would be kind of weird not to at least have the option to tell somebody your real name in those circumstances. And kind of amusing to have the choice to attempt to engage in some manner of relationship while still keeping your name 100% secret.

Might be some other meaningful points where revealing a name should be a possibility too.

I’ll have a look at this! It’s tricky, because there should always be some situations where you can’t just use a main skill and succeed, but I understand the frustration of not having any chance at all because your secondary isn’t high enough either.

In this case though there IS a successful fall back, as you mention. If you avoided putting Ursula on trial back in Ifley (using your skills and so on!), then she’ll bail you out.


Great to see this updated again!

General Comments

I really enjoyed how Chapters 7 and 8 dove into the more raw consequences and open wounds of the Civil War, given the more horror-themed Chapter 6. Ipsden shows the religious conflict of the time (which previously had only really been alluded to), while Broughton the political one.

The branching also made for a really hard choice at the end of Chapter 6, and while I think the routes weren’t so balanced in enjoyment (I’ll expand on this later), the overall idea was good and ratcheted up the tension even more by introducing a time element.

That Elias is a diehard Godly Royalist (which is something that could be missed) adds realistic and complicated dimension to the conflict (since the Book of Common Prayer was one of the instigators of the conflict).

The Two Routes

While I enjoyed and have played both routes, it felt like the Broughton-first route was the superior of the two new chapters, and that the Ipsden-first route was a little underwhelming.

The Broughton route really has everything. There’s the infiltration of the castle (and the various ways about it), and the decision of whether to help the Parliamentarians or not (which is a great and needed opportunity for Parliamentarian PCs to do something after so much Royalist stuff). In addition, you experience most of the Ipsden plotline after the attack on the castle. If anything, arriving at Ipsden having not been there in time to stop Elias was more impactful than arriving in the simmering village in the Ipsden-first route.

If you go to Ipsden first, the Bonvica situation can be dealt with before Elias can start his show trials. This is more of a “golden ending”, but the themes really aren’t explored as much. In the Broughton-first route, you see a side of Alyson and the absent-Giles that you don’t see in the Ipsden-first route. The Ipsden-first route being more of a “golden ending” makes sense – it’s mentioned as being time-sensitive – but it did feel a little dry compared to the other route.

The rest of the chapter felt a lot like a re-hash of Chapters 1 and 2 in that you’re trying to defend an accused from a mob. The Broughton-first route was a breath of fresh air in that regard with the whole Castle subplot. The Ipsden-first route was also very much focused on Richard and his familial troubles, which made it feel a bit slow and pedestrian compared to the other route.

In addition, I found myself disengaging with Richard’s character in Chapters 7 and 8, and I can’t really put to words why. At the start of the game, Richard was somewhat more combative, which made for an interesting dynamic given how people treat hexfinders. As the game progressed, he mellowed out, which makes sense as he gets to know the PC. But this mellowing, the (understandable) relationship he was with Elias, and the fact that Richard’s family troubles took up a large proportion of the Ipsden-first route, didn’t help this feeling I had. Richard on the Broughton-first route was a more interesting character given his reaction to Elias’ actions.

Anna’s the more interesting of the two as a personality, at least in my opinion. She has her back-and-forth with the PC, her idiosyncrasies, her smuggling backstory and her brother. That Chapter 7 starts with a relatively large section devoted to the PC reconnecting with Anna (regardless of which route you go on) sort-of made me regret going to Ipsden.

Ipsden does have its appeal though, via the differences in religious outlook between the villagers. Giles and Alyson were bit-characters if you go to Ipsden first, but their roles are greater if you to to Broughton first. Giles is an Anglican who’s got sympathy for the Pontifex, and Alyson’s a Godly Covenant (I think?) who’s uneasy with Elias’ radicalism. It could have just been the path I took when going to Ipsden first, but these differing attitudes are only shown if you go to Broughton first and show just how complex and divided the religious situation is.

Of course Cromwell’s head is probably the best part of the Broughton route, which made Bonvica a bit underwhelming in hindsight. Bonvica’s an out-of-context problem, but Cromwell’s intimately (or at least more obviously) connected to the lore and the Parliamentarian plot. An indestructible semi-alive head is also more disconcerting than a banshee which hasn’t gone on a murdering spree yet.

I don’t know if the Ipsden-first content in Chapter 8 is complete yet, but I feel it would be a disservice if they got to Broughton only in Chapter 9 and where everything’s finished up. The Siege and Cromwell’s head are just too good to miss, I feel.

As an aside, I do like various homages to bits of British history in Chapters 7 and 8. The tale of Cromwell’s head and its disappearance throughout history, Boudica’s Revolt. And I guess Lady Milton is this world’s equivalent of John Milton?

When talking to Cromwell’s possessed head, perhaps an ex-Parliamentarian PC could call them “General” instead of “Cromwell”, for flavour?

Typos, errors etc

I didn’t get any continuity errors on my part though there are instances of brackets appearing in the text:

Chapter 6

After scouring the few stalls remaining in the market place at this late hour, you find a man in front of a pair of buildings of Georgian design, willing to part with a half dozen of reasonable length and quality.

I don’t know if this was intentional, but it seems like a lore era? Given the time period, Georgian architecture seems out of place? Or at least the term, unless there’s been a monarch named George/Georgia?

You bid Richard good night in the corridor outside, and he returns the farewell with a kind glance falling eyelids}. With the glow of his rushlight still illuminating the landing behind you, Dorty leads the way back downstairs.

Bracket appears in text

Chapter 7

Her tone makes you bristle. “I gave him my report as a respected member of the Order, I was not hauled anywhere.”."

Extra quotation marks?

“My uncle.” Richard gives the cauldron a stir, leaving the ladle resting inside as he steps away. “Cold Ashby was….” He pauses, starting his sentence afresh. Lambwell thinks I’ll have more luck in Ipsden. He is family, after all}."

Bracket appears in text

Commanding {horse_name} into a trot, the two of you leave the camp of displaced villagers behind.

Horse’s name doesn’t show up correctly

Chapter 8-Broughton

“Hold…steady.” Another voice. One still wracked by pain. Yet, somehow untangled from its prior portents."

Extra quotation marks?


Very useful, thank you!

Typos, stray code brackets etc have been corrected (at my end, not the dashingdon version yet.) Good catch on the ‘Georgian’ buildings - wish I could say that was a clever bit of lore, but think I was just reading about architecture in Daventry and sleep walked into that one. They are now ‘Plantagenet’ style, perhaps implying a longer reign for that family in my version of history.

The perspective you have on the two routes through the game is really helpful. I’m not TOO worried if one branch ends up being favored among people over the other (I’m hoping most players will give both a go!), but I obviously want to keep them somewhat close in interest and worth.

More on that:


Ipsden (late visit) may have benefited from being a second pass at similar material. I could reuse a lot of stuff I wanted all players to see (eg: Herna’s information that not ALL magic is ‘Hexcraft,’ you idiots, you fools), but also had these slightly new situations which required NPCs. And hey, I’ve already got these guys called Alyson and Giles, I’ll use them! So in the process they end up with expanded character roles.

Thinking about it further, the time sensitive nature of each route has them unfold as - infiltrate siege/find village in full grip of zealous religious turmoil and find village simmering with unrest/siege aftermath. In retrospect (and it’s too late to do anything radical about changing this, really), yeah, that first path is going to be more action packed.

I can confirm that Cromwell’s head is still a feature of arriving at Broughton ‘late,’ so don’t worry about that. No siege infiltration though. Lady Milton (who is indeed my gender-swap version of John Milton) still features too, but is already captured.



Hopefully I can win you back to Richard! He is a man at a bit of a loose end, drifting about between skills and jobs. I intend to find him more purpose (and spark some of that fire back up) as the story goes on.

Nico will also be reappearing soon, after their extended absence (especially if you didn’t enlist their cameo ‘remote’ aid during either of the routes).