Honor Bound: Creme de la Creme 4—Protect a boarding school as a military bodyguard! [Ch 5 public/Ch 6 Patreon, updated Apr 8]

There was some feedback on earlier chapters, and then some for the Patreon version that went up yesterday, which asked for the chance to show more ways in which a PC has been psychologically impacted by what happened to them before the start of the game. It’s something I’ve wanted to lean further into in a similar way to how the game is responsive to the amount of the PC’s physical pain. After all, the game is about a character who has been through something difficult, and is navigating the aftermath - as well as potentially interacting closely with others who have been through difficult things too and are handling that in various ways.

When I was first planning the game, I also knew I wanted to have plenty of chances for hurt/comfort for PCs who want it, and for PCs who don’t want that to be able to reject it or feel ambivalent, and so on. While I’ve been writing beyond what’s currently playable, I’ve been aware that I wanted to include more opportunities for a PC who is not OK to open up (or not) about it to other characters. Although I tweaked some descriptions in the last update, it wasn’t anything major and it was a gap that I knew I wanted to improve, especially as it felt right for some characters to notice and mention if something stressful was going on with the PC.

It’s also the case that in Chapter 7, which I’m writing at the moment, there is some very stressful stuff happening for the PC and I knew I needed a firmer foundation in the mechanics of how a PC’s stress is described and whether NPCs have had a chance to notice or bring up what’s been going on before that point.

Anyway: in the current version starting in Chapter 2, there are now some more specific responses the PC can have to stressors around them; some Chapter 3 stress points and NPC responses; in future chapters, I’ve written further stressors, PC responses, and NPC interactions/responsivity.

Most, though not all, of this text triggers in response to how much physical and mental pressure the PC is under. I’ve gone back and forth about whether, and how, to display this score on the stats page. At the moment, there’s a sentence descriptor under “Health” that gives some information about how the PC is doing; I will probably tweak how this displays, or the way it’s worded, over time.

As ever, this is all subject to plenty of iteration and I’m very happy to consider any feedback of whatever kind - about this or anything else in the game!

(Earlier today I also fixed a couple of errors in the chapter skip file, so there’s that too, though that’s less interesting!)

(This edit puts the public demo version at around 140,000 words.)