神龍之土 Land of the Dragon [WIP] (09/07/20 Update! The Uprising Appears!)

How will the nobles react to marriage/romance with someone who is a commoner or a guardian. Say you were to marry Chen Kun for example, would it be accepted or not?

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I would assume that a marriage between a noble and a commoner would be completely unacceptable to the other nobles seeing how some characters reacted when Chen Kun touched you after basically saving your life. And it was pretty much the norm in real life as well.


Haven’t been here for a while! Read through the new comments and updates, and generated a boatload of questions. Sorry. Not really. If the answer’s too spoilery just ignore me.

First of all, I love Fang Yun as a character. About her backstory: was the intelligence competition her idea, or the Emperor’s? Aka, does she genuinely view intelligence as the most important trait in her choice of partner, or was that a excuse to get out of arranged marriage?

Side-question: what is her definition of intelligence? The ‘intelligence’ stat in game seems (so far) chiefly about scholarship / lore / history (knowledge) and does not encompass problem solving, plotting and spotting plots, etc.

It would be lovely if we could cultivate an alliance/friendship with her by working with her on matters of state, even without romance. And also get a feel for her political views, style of governing, and sphere of influence, since she seems to be a highly opinionated and competent government official.

How did the heir to the throne get the court to agree to send him to the border? It carries a substantial risk of him dying, which, among other things, destabilizes the kingdom. Since apparently 18 is the age of becoming an adult in this setting, he would still be considered a child. Does it have anything to do with the not-biological-siblings spoiler you put out earlier?

Also interested in his military career. What rank/role did he start as? It’s a bit difficult to imagine an untested 14 year old becoming a general straight away, royal blood or not. Long Qing is described as ‘well respected’. Is it a “strategic prodigy, wins all his battles” sort of respect, or a “treats his soldiers well” sort of respect?

What was the conflict in the borderlands about? A war with our neighboring country? Seasonal raids by them? Defending against a future invasion, or planning to invade them ourselves? You mentioned earlier that there are forces seeking greater power for foreigners. Is this particular group of foreigners present in our land? Are they reviled or treated as all other groups?

The trials: did I just go through an magicky adult version of 抓周? :snake:

In our future competitions with Long Qing, will we be only building up our own support, or will we also have chances to undermine his? Will he in turn attempt to sabotage us, either premptively or in retaliation?

About worldbuilding: have you considered an optional lore dump? Skimming through the library / walking past some classrooms and having the choice to read/listen in on our chosen topic(s) or walk away, with no change in stats either way. It could also serve as a chance to define what our character is and isn’t interested in.

I’m just really curious about the fantastic world and characters you’re building, and would like to flesh them out in my own mind, make them more real to me. If you’re modeling them on any real-world events/people/situations, sending me a link would be nice. Thanks for creating this. Here, have some cake.:cake:

Also, a minor thing, but it is a bit … amusing? to read that our gender is ‘princess’. Imagine if ‘princess’ was a actual gender all in its own. The horror.
Maybe call it our title? It would still convey the same information.


In the point of view of my MC, marriage equality will probably be one of the top things on his agenda. I do plan on marrying Chen Ku. I do hope that it is still possible to get Fang Yun as an ally without marrying her. Hopefully the position of Prime Minister will be be enticing to her :smile:.

The Uprising seems quite interesting. If they also support marriage equality then at least we have something in common. Then again, I also agree with them that the Empire needs a more meritocratic system of governance. I am sure the nobles will be against this at first but I think my MC can convince them otherwise. Because, at the end of the day a meritocratic governance system is good but not good enough that it will wipe the privileges of the aristocrats.

For example, imagine the state seeking the most qualified individual who will take an important imperial administration post, while this post is formally open to everyone, we know full well that it actually is not for everyone. Who can afford to attend higher institutions of learning in order to get a job at the imperial government? Definitely not the peasants but the aristocrats have the money (and possible a few rich merchants).

So I guess my MC will also seek support from the Uprising. While it is noble of them to seek a meritocratic system of governance, unless they stipulate the state should make higher institutions of learning affordable for even the poorest of the poor, the aristocrats will still remain powerful and thus one’s upbringing will still be a determining factor on how successful they are.

Once I am done with the Uprising and have the support of the peasants, the heads of the leaders of the Uprising will naturally roll. After all, after a revolution a purge is needed to solidify the grasp on power of the new leader (me).


Short simple replies for now bc my friends r late :upside_down_face: ill get through the rest later!

@Frogs @MichaelCrank marriage of a noble to a commoner is not unheard of but rare - in fact much like back in ancient china it would’ve been the stuff of romantic legends - be it the romance of a noble girl falling in love w a humble peasant boy or a more cinderella story of a girl becoming the concubine of a noble. I think there were even instances of peasant girls being brought back by the Emperor into the harem during supervisory travels throughout the realm (to be fair ancient records of concubines usually only give their surname, if that at all)? But as for actual monogamous marriage with the commoner half being the legitimate/true spouse, it would be a huge scandal for a royal in-game, although perhaps it has happened sporadically with particularly brilliant or lucky commoners with the help of a cooperative royal family. As you may guess, neither the Emperor nor the Empress is going to approve of such a marriage sadly even w Chen Kun’s merit and connections, bc he serves a much more “appropriate” and equally exploitable role as your personal guard. Furthermore there’s the whole business of the master-guard bond between you which will be explored later which throws a whole new problem into the mix… Butttt as promised there will be (too many) many endings and one of them is bound to be marriage w Chen Kun, although the actual circumstances I cannot say for certain yet :smirk: it’s certainly to be a smaller outrage than other things u can choose to do at the end of the game, so…


@sljzz haha its okay, I love sharing tidbits of the world the haven’t made it into the game yet/I myself haven’t thought through and can address henceforth so constructive questions are always welcome!

Yes, the intelligence competition was Fang Yun’s idea to deter suitors (and it was through this that she drew the Emperor’s attention) with the additional benefit of exhibiting the intellect she’s so proud of. However, she does not actually expect superior intellect of a MC who wishes to marry her - that depends on other factors, mostly r/s in general which can be earned from high intelligence stat but that’s only 1 out of a few options. Although that being said at the beginning of the game Fang Yun does not have any plans to get married; throughout the game MC can persuade her otherwise, although certain choices late in the game may permanently lock her from a marriage to MC (this applies to all other major characters as well).

For some stats (especially combat, persuasion and magic) I am considering sub-categories, some of which r alr evident in the Trial choices. However because I’m finding it difficult to create an equal number of sub categories for stats like religion and intelligence I may scrap the idea. This is probably why all definitions of intelligence seem vague for now - although Fang Yun herself definitely prefers both in a package bc both apply to her, lol.

Yes, of course you will be able to make her your ally - or vice versa lol its debatable - without romancing her! That is one of the key tenets (?) of her personality that I had in mind when I crafted her character. On the scale w other major characters she’d be the most “ice-queen”, and I hate the idea that she’d only work with u if she’s been “melted by love”. There is even be the option to romance her while maintaining a barb tongued kinda rivalry with her. In the next update, if you choose to carriage-ride w Fang Yun, there will be some insight into her political views and strategies, so I won’t spoil that now. Throughout the next chapters you can either choose to work with or against her politically.

As will be explored further next update with the right choices, the court is currently in a rather triangular power balance. Not everyone supports the Crown Prince’s faction, and when he publicly begged permission to go to the borderlands w the army before the court to the Emperor, he was forced into agreeing both for his usually impartial reputation and bc of politicking by the other two factions. And there’s always the excuse of the trueborn MC still being around… Still this was viewed as a shocking event shrouded in mystery (that you can unveil throughout the game) bc the Crown Prince was set for a safe(r) and smoother career in court paved by his faction as already hinted in-game. Btw, the actual age of adulthood ceremony is 14 in-game as hinted in the prologue w Chen Kun (as young boys and girls were presented as ripe for marriage back in ancient china at 15? 及笄/束髮) but bc of dramatic plot purposes the age royals are presented to the realm is 18 (and they get to express themselves instead of being instructed by elders w greater free will at this age) for their coronation ceremony.

I actuallt think 14 was a p common age for boys to join the army back in the ancient world(? Although fair warning, my knowledge of the military at any period is shaky at best) although of course even w his status making him general immediately would’ve been both social and literal suicide. Long Qing is no prodigy as for example Fang Yun is, but he is has a p successful military career so far bc he does treat soldiers well (a fact exacerbated by his high birth to commoner soldiers) + bc of his status the best soldiers and advisors gather in his camp and help him secure victories. In my mind he probablt started as a squiring kinda role to a trusted military officer in his political faction and gradually was given opportunities to work his way up swiftly through the ranks, although I probablt won’t explore this much other than in brief flashbacks bc im rly not th best person to write military fiction.

The conflict in the borderlands is a nod to the ongoing skirmishes throughout dynasties by the Mongolians on Ancient China in history, the xiongnu and nuzhenzu etc, w all the historical connotations thereof. While being a reminder to the court to keep the army strong enough to deter an actual invasion, it also serves as an excuse for the bulk of the army to be kept safely away at the borderlands against rebellion. Its a delicate balancing act, and it technically could play a role late in the game, but currently it’s just a historical reference and I’ve no solid plans for that. The foreigners mentioned refer to the fictional counterparts of other great ancient civilizations that in this timeline exist in overlapping time periods bc ~magic~ and ~fantasy~ lol (it’s bc I love ancient history too much), namely the ones hinted in the ethnicity choosing. As mentioned above bc of recent rapid advancements in magic tech, portal magic has become a common privilege of aristocrats, some of whom have married/married into these foreign civilizations to maintain political balance (I think there’s a more detailed ver somewhere above in the thread) As for treatment, the realm is split on it. Cross marriage has become prevalent enough among aristocrats that even the traditionalist Emperor has taken foreign nobles for concubines (the chief of which can either be the Empress or Imperial Consort Nefertari/Yi acc to MC’s ethnicity), but some remain vehemently anti-miscegenistic. This is another plot point that ties in w the Uprising’s cause as can be read in a post above.

Yes LmAo I didn’t think of it that way, but yes. Hey at least MC is old enough to consciously decide their choices with knowledge of the consequences!

You will mostly have choices to build up your own support base compared to Long Qing’s (bc solely smearing your opponent can’t take you all the way man) but for certain political factions you will have the chance to sabotage Long Qing. Whether he attempts the same is dependent on your choices, mostly your general r/s, but w some… Spoilery exceptions.

About world building… I personally dislike long chunks of expository text which can really put me off playing/reading completely bc I prefer to experience elements of the world rather than reading a history book in the middle of a fiction lol. But I’ll consider an optional lore dump like you suggested if others express interest - however it’ll probablt be added in after I’ve written the entire game to avoid retcons or spoilers.

Hehe, definitely some of the events and names etc r inspired by mythological/historical things, although I can’t rmb all of them now… Feel free to ask about any suspicions tho haha.

accepts cake :heart_eyes: I’m glad you like it so far!

Tbh I wouldn’t mind having princess as my gender lol, but I see your point. This originated bc I didn’t want a cluttered stat chart lol.

Thanks for the long review! :smile:


Ahaha, yes Fang Yun would be greatly satisfied w the position of Prime Minister which is currently blocked to her by the power balance irregardless of her actual abilities.

Yes, supporting the Uprising will be one way to get a more meritocratic form of Govt and marriage equality by the end of the game. (I’m still thinking if a total democracy ending is logical even for this fantasy world) Be warned tho, the Uprising isnt going to be a paragon of rights and virtue either. As hinted before, there are multiple factions within the Uprising that have united For the purpose of rebellion, but have to be carefully balanced. Even Jin the official leader is not… All they seem.

Yes, I think that example is similar to the situation in the Roman Republic? Political positions such as consul were technically open to plebeians, but few had the means and power to actually even run for it.

:smirk: as for overall, if MC plays their cards right you may be able to achieve most of those in one playthrough, but perhaps not all. Politics is a tricky business after all…


How much intelligence stat would it take to beat Fang Yun in something like her competition?
Also about China, does magic exist in the rest of the world too? How powerful is China compared to other nations like the European ones? Could you try to make China a powerful empire and conquer other nations (using portal magic to cover the distance) or make alliances with them to gain influence?


:smirk: yes, magic has been developing and progressing at perhaps differing levels ofc in other fictional counterpart realms… I think as mentioned above bc portal tech is still in its early stages and utilized only by a v small privileged portion of Populations, each realm is unable to physically teleport an army to invade/aid another (although one-man transmissions and plagues… HmM there’s a thought, although definitely not for this game). Hence most are content for now to establish friendly relations to bide their time and learn more about each other w newly advanced magic tech. Therefore the relative power of each realm is really not something I’ll be exploring, and the suggested choices while intriguing and fully possible for another game, will not play a huge role in mine. After all, a main motivation for me to write this game is to centre it in (fantasy counterpart) ancient china’s culture and history - if I divulge too much, not only will it be huge to the point of unwieldy for my narrative-based style over say greater freedom of choice, it will also lose what I think is its current flavor which im aiming to set.

However, that’s not to say you cannot create a stronger Land of the Dragon by the end of the game and plan/go through the first steps of a universe wide military campaign at the very end of the game. Maybe. I’ve honestly never thought about this particular ending yet (as you guys may have noticed I’m predisposed towards the smaller picture; etc relationship based endings lol) but I’m open to discussion and suggestions! I can’t make concrete promises about this yet, but I promise to keep it in mind! Thanks for the suggestion!

And as hinted before, there won’t be narrative space in the game (at least acc to current outlines) for another intelligence competition to take place. But hypothetically, that would require godly levels in-game - maybe about 85-95%? Heh now that we’re putting it in numbers it doesn’t sound that hard. But we’ll see! That could be a nice idea for a hidden ending… (oh no there goes the list elongating again…)


I can’t wait for the next update kfkdkdldkd that carriage-ride :laughing:


It’s coming, I promise :smirk: I’ll begin updating as soon as I reach 60k, bc im p behind on original schedule lol… A few more days, probably… But the next update will have plenty of choices within choices so yall will have lots of replayable options I hope!


Looking forward to it! =) So excited!


Regarding the choices in the trial: I thought at first that it was a strategy test. As in, while both choices use the same stat, one of them is more suitable to the occasion and thus will be easier to pass or have higher rewards. For example, when I met the box spirit, I judged that since the inscription expressly said ‘silver tongue’, it would be better to charm her; honesty is a good policy, but not really what she’s trying to test here. This decision was made for this specific case and regardless of how honest / deceitful a person the MC usually is.
A bit sad that this was not the case. Come now, us lazy players have to be encouraged to use our brains somehow.

I’m looking forward to getting to know Fang Yun via her actions. How she would handle a crisis, plan a course of action, deal with her enemies, prioritize the needs of which group. Those would probably be a more accurate judge of character than words, in court. Will we get a chance to learn of the past battles of our Imperial Administrator?

Blinks at triangular. Is there a faction that hates both my MC and the Crown Prince, and are openly championing something/someone else?
(Or I’ll wait for the next update, like a patient person.)
14 was a more common age to go to war in poor families who had too many children and not enough food to feed them. An imperial heir, in peacetime? … Not so much. But I’m guessing there are forces at work here that have not yet surfaced.
So I guess the incident our brother referred to in the combat trial was really just an intimidation tactic and never actually happened?

So, we have an increasing percentage of foreigners in the families of aristocrats, through marriages, (who don’t yet hold any power themselves), but the commoners are still overwhelmingly native. Interesting. I’ll have to keep this in mind reading forward.

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Shh lol I’m trying to keep the game simple for now haha. :joy: and as explained in the previous post I was considering using the two options for different types of one particular skill, so while this is an interesting suggestion I probably won’t implement it for this part of the game lol.

Maaaybe. I’ve been thinking of adding a couple of flashback scenes either in MC dream POV or just third person POV for each of the major characters, but bc the MC will not be returning to court for a while (is this still considered a spoiler? I think I’ve mentioned it before lol) a court session w Fang Yun in full power and the MC present probably won’t be possible in real time.

HmM it’s more of a neutral kind of third faction who effectively helps prevent court politics from becoming too bipartisan and block the legislative process. As for details, next update HAHA.

Yeah, it’s definitely supposed to be uncommon and hence strange for Long Qing to enlist back then, which is a plot point. What I meant was that he wouldn’t have been the only kid in the royal army at that time. And yes, Long Qing is a more jerk-with-a-heart-of-gold character, although which side the scales tip in favor of is… Debatable especially since MC’s own actions have an impact on his character. So that was just an inappropriately dark joke/threat.

Yup! I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the game hehe, although I can’t promise to please everyone with where the plot focus goes etc.


In today’s update:

  • Carriage-Ride Scene w your major character/RO of choice, or alone if you wish!:heart_eyes:

  • Previous personality stat check fixed

For this update the replayability is p high if I do say so myself! Everyone, feel free to explore the different choices!

Btw, here’s a poll:
Who is your favourite character so far?

  • Crown Prince Long Qing
  • Imperial Administrator Fang Yun
  • Personal Guard Chen Kun
  • Empress Chen Mudan
  • Emperor Long Yi

0 voters

(Uhh this format seems kinda weird lmao. But anyways, I’ll be releasing mini stories about these characters in order of most voted to least, although this might take some time lol bc not all of them are written yet)


I am torn between Long Qing and Fang Yun. Long Qing sinc he’s my chosen RO and Fang Yun for being an interesting character. :laughing:


Parents are getting no love! :joy:
Well, that was bound to happen if you put them in a poll with our romance options.
I am very curious about the empress and emperor tbh. Just because there are probably a lot of interesting dynamics in their relationship. The empress is trying to put us on the thrown so, i’m assuming, there is a little bit of a power struggle that results from that. I always find court politics fascinating. Especially the relationships of powerful men with the women that conspire behind their backs. :grin:


I chose to ride with Fang Yun, but the last choice is blocked off?

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@PhilosoTor haha, it’s alright, I’ll still write and release their mini stories eventually according to the rankings… Here’s a little teaser(?) the Emperor’s will be w Elder Prince Long Juan as a parallel to MC and Long Qing’s (platonic!!) relationship, brotherly rivalry yo. The Empress’ will be about her relationship with Imperial Consort Yi. All of the short stories will be flashbacks.

@No_This_Is_Patrick ah, that’s because the last choice is contingent on what you chose during your first meeting w her! This is for continuity’s sake, and you can unlock it by choosing the flustered option in the first encounter. In that case the first option will be locked instead.


I chose the flustered option when I first met her, but it was still blocked off and the first choice wasn’t.

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