In the Cards (WIP) Major Update - Chapter Five Up - Feb 28, 2024

Thank you! As a quick side note, if you’re interested in reading more tarot-inspired IF, I’d strongly recommend the visual novel, The Arcana. It’s already completed and has AMAZING writing and artwork. Some scenes are paywalled, but they’re not necessary to the story, they’re just bonus romantic scenes with ROs.

The Restless Dead! Yes, that was the name Brother Clarid had for vengeful spirits. It’s not a specific faction like the Butterfly Court, but more a descriptor for pretty much any spirit that has a grudge against the living. (In that sense, you’ve already encountered one of the restless dead, hanging around your uncle) There will definitely be more information about them and what they’re capable of in future chapters.

That’s a fair point. There’s not as much direct interaction with them as with, say, Echebar, despite living with them. ^^; I would like to add an extra scene or two with them in a future rewrite, but I’ll probably hold off on that until after I’ve finished the game as a whole.

That’s a great suggestion! Just the kind of feedback I’m looking for. I’ll be sure to add that in for the next update.

I’m glad! I know adding images is a bit controversial in CoG/HG, but thought they wouldn’t be too disruptive since they’re fairly simple, text-like images. I actually have a bunch more that I prepared, but didn’t want to add them in because I was a bit embarrassed at how amateurish they look. Once I clean them up, though, I’d like to add a few more (and maybe give players the option to turn off images if they want).

Oops! That’s a bug. I’ll go in and fix that. Thanks for the head’s up!

I think that’s an error on my part. The kindness/empathy of MC is measured by the “empathy” variable. It sounds like your empathy stat is 70+, which before I had written as “sensitive and empathetic,” but then I changed it because it created too many "and"s in the character description. I thought I made it the other way around, with 50-70 empathy being “sensitive” and 70+ being “empathetic,” but clearly I got it mixed up. Then again, maybe it should just be “empathetic” and “very empathetic” so it’s clearer.

Ooh, I’d love to talk more about this! Maybe I should put it in the glossary? There’s not really anywhere else to explain it since it’s pretty meta. Not sure how much you know about tarot, but the Minor Arcana consists of four suits, each with its own distinctive traits (both positive and negative). The personality stats are based on the suits. Cups is empathy and imagination; Pentacles is practicality and stoicism; Swords is order and straightforwardness; Wands is boldness and flexibility. There are more traits associated with each, but I tried to keep it simple for the game.

For example, in order to get a Cups suit affinity, you need to have 50+ empathy and low or neutral practicality, since high practicality is about being down-to-earth and more of a “realist” and low practicality suggests being imaginative or optimistic.

A Pentacles Suit affinity means 50+ practicality and low or neutral extroversion, which represents the “stoicism” aspect of Pentacles. Granted, this one’s a bit more of a stretch since not everyone who’s introverted or ambiverted is necessarily stoic. Tbh, I’m not super happy with it, so I might change it to the highest personality stat instead depending on player feedback.

Not at all! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to write all this. :smiley: Feedback is fuel! It keeps me going!

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Yes, I’ve played it before, back when it came out (and there were still really only the 3 routes). I quite liked what I read, though I never did end up playing the rest of the routes, just absorbed their contents through osmosis of others that did.

I’ve had an inkling that was the case :'). Are these kinds of spirits someone we can talk with, as in, rational and self-aware entities? Or are they more single-minded and not really capable of meaningful social interaction?

That seems very reasonable! In the editing phase after everything is written you’ll have a better hold of the pace as a whole and will be able to better see what breaks it or not.

Mmm, yes I’ve heard about that. I’d always assumed it was only adding character portraits that was the issue though. Which mind you, is also something I don’t like much since it disrupts my image of said characters. These kinds of images I’m not sure if others have as much of an issue with. If you’re still unsure though, you could always add a toggle to turn on/off the images based on player’s choice.

Well, for what is worth it, I didn’t notice anything amateurish about them ahah.

I think as is, or as you suggested, works equally fine. It wasn’t really a complaint on my part, just a curiosity. Thanks for answering my question nevertheless :))

I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it, it seems like neat lore for those who would like to learn a bit more about the arcana and how in particular they’re applied to this world. (As a side, forgot to add in the last post, but it’s really neat that we may get to meet the spirits associated with the major cards.)

Yeah that seems about right for the character I was making! I was playing a high empathy, somewhat extroverted (only slightly) and overal practical person. My initial idea was this extremely kind priestly guy which, based on what may happens next may or may not get corrupted due to his overall naive and trusting nature. I ended up picking the Hunter job and picked the option that said we’d grown a bit desensitized to corpses/killing and all that, which I think added a nice extra to the character. A priest used to working around blood and all that, very practical but without losing that kind of streak. All this random rambling to say that the way you’ve written the story works well for those who like to create characters and choose the options they would choose and build the story around that, which is a very good thing in my opinion.

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Does the wip end with wherein Niran gave us the letter a d Nefris tries to reassure us?

Good question! They’re certainly self-aware, but what marks them apart is that for whatever reason (bitterness, violent death, etc.), they’ve lost some of their rationality. Some can still be reasoned with, while others are just too far gone.

You’re too kind. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

adds to my to-do list :slight_smile:

Yay! I personally love it when a story lets you roleplay and explore your character, so to speak, so I’m glad I managed to achieve that somewhat.

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Yes, that’s correct. The next chapter is currently in progress, though I don’t have a date for when it’ll be ready yet.

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Oh thanks, I Like it, only few dabble in occult and fae court concept of things and Im happy I get to try good background story and detailed snipets of characters along the way :nerd_face:

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Jesus having to write a dozen letters to your mom just drags everything down

I was ready to move on after the first letter let alone the bloody 7th

That’s fair enough. As it is, you don’t have to write all the letters - the only ones you have to go through are the spiritual progress and tarot cards letters. After that, the option to skip the rest of the letters should appear at the bottom.

I’ll rearrange the ordering of the questions to make that more obvious for the next update. Thanks for the feedback!

I had to go through all of them except the love life ones before it let me advance

Because you did them in order from top to bottom, right? It’s an error on my part. I hadn’t planned out the letters in detail before writing, so the most important letters ended up in the middle rather than the top. I did want to reorganize when I found the time, but I completely forgot about it. :sweat_smile: Sorry about that.

I was planning to put out a minor update this weekend with some other readers’ suggestions as well, so your timing is perfect. Thanks again!

(For those who are curious from a coding aspect, there’s already a variable that ticks up when certain choices are made. Once that variable reaches 2, the option to not write any more letters appears. But the “increase variable” choices should be placed at the top since most people will choose from the top down.)

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Already posted this on Tumblr, but thought I’d mention it here, too. As of Aug 6, there’s a minor update with various edits and implementing some readers’ suggestions. Thanks again to everyone who left comments or feedback!

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Minor update! I’ve made some small edits to chapters 3-4, mostly fixing up typos and cleaning up some sentences.

I’ve made a decent bit of progress in the next chapter, as well. I’m aiming to finish it by the end of December. We’ll see how it goes!

I’m also thinking of putting together a menu in the beginning for skipping to different chapters. Would anyone be interested in something like that?

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That’s always a nice addon for WIPs. Depending on the necessary stats, and hidden values, though, a feature like that could be somewhat spoilery if not carefully considered. Particularly major hidden stats that are needed, but may not come up for a while. Those could be skipped until relevant to keep them hidden for as long as possible, then added as needed. :wink:

Skip features can come with some interesting code gremlins for this reason, too, but anything not used/critical doesn’t need to be asked about right away as you build/update the skip feature.

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This is so true, and a good suggestion. The only workaround I could think of on my own was to decide on the player’s behalf. :sob: But that’s obviously a terrible plan since it takes away so much of the player’s agency. I like your idea MUCH better!

Good point. It is a WIP, after all, so I can always change it later as needed.

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I’ve been meaning to read this for a while now, and after finally doing it, I can say I enjoyed the story a lot! I liked the pacing and the bantering between the siblings - seriously, the interactions with Ech are priceless and I hope we will get more opportunities to spend time with him.

(I also hope I won’t regret accepting the deal with Arren :slight_smile:)

some small bugs


It should be her

By the way, is N always interested in MC? Because I didn’t pick any flirt option when interacting with them, but it seemed they were flirting (with N blushing when I offered the cloak and being disappointed when I asked if I could write letters to them as friends)

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Thanks for catching those! I thought I fixed all of them on this update, but clearly I missed quite a few. :disappointed_relieved:

Yes, that’s right. Although, if you’re mean/abrupt with N, their interest dims a bit.

Slight spoiler

Depending on choices you’ve made, this part isn’t actually a spoiler, but N is the one helping MC’s mother write her letters. N developed a bit of a crush on MC in the process.

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Quicksie update! I’m done with the writing portion of chapter five and am currently in the process of debugging and ironing things out. Hopefully I’ll be able to release the next update later this month!

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I’m looking forward to the update and with that the wonderful game is pushed up :grinning:

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