Mask of the Plague Doctor - WIP

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gender-choice

#21

Out of curiosity , is the choice of success depends on the highest stat of our talents … for example if my Mysticism is highest, i should pick choice based on Mysticism right ? :slight_smile:


#22

I usually do that. Like if I choose ‘charm’ I would only pick choice that based on ‘charm’ mostly


#23

I had read the mention of Deity a lot… i am assuming if our Mysticism is very high …there should be some sort of divine intervention from the Deity in future ? :slight_smile:


#24

Oh, I love the history of medicine. I can’t wait to try and play this.


#25

:heart_eyes: This sounds exactly like my kind of game!


#26

That description alone is giving me a Pathologic vibe. Excellent start!

I’m off to give this a try. I’ve always wanted to play as one of those crow-headed bastards (granted, those weren’t doctors, but still…)


#27

@PParrish -
Building on this feedback: CoG has quite a few history hobbyists in their reader audience. As such many of them will be familiar with the medical realities of the 14th century being depicted.

To prevent the disconnect they might experience when finding things that don’t match history, either a bit more exploration of your world-building in the beginning (ie a preface as in Choice of Rebels) or a devoted stat-page “Reference/Glossary” as in Sabres of Infinity would go a long ways in keeping the 4th wall intact.

I understand that this is not usually done but for special genres that attract these readers of CoG’s audience the investment in time and effort would pay off. Your game is an example where this applies. This would be doubled or even trebled down if you plan on writing any prequels, sequels or additional games set in the same world-verse.

@Mary_Duffy - Thank you for also coming forth and participating in this WiP. In CS gaming the editor’s participation will help everyone involved and will be an important part of a project’s success.

Edit - More focused feedback eventually will be given; sorry for the delay.


#28

First welcome to the forum. Is great have a project like this here .

  1. The atmospheric descriptions and flow is magnetic and engaging. The wording is very clear and easy to follow even for a not native. The paragraphs length is very easy to read in a mobile device.

  2. I found very strange that first time I checked Stats there is a explaining of stats then afterwards is gone. I found have explained stats always really useful when I read games in small travels in bus etc… If Sometime has passed I could forget the stat meaning.
    3.In Spanish medieval tradition doctors were feared terribly and were received with high hostility by Church. Inquisition had very controlled doctors and by many people. A doctor’s and a heretic alchemist were the same. Salamanca the oldest university in Spain was filled by caves were medics go there to investigate with corpses . Inquisition considered that a coven of devil cult and necromancy.

So I found very Interesting that seem here, medics are seen as some kind of religious figure.

4.I miss options of want a personal gain or some kind of get a better social situation. I am trying to portrait a focused in money or obtaining power doctor that goes for feudal to achieve that. As it is now text seems try to hard to make me do honorable stuff. I desire more a character that is: “I don’t care poor people I want stop being poor myself” .
4. But is really a great demo and a very Interesting setting. So I love it so far.


#29

I’ve just run through the demo a few times. Thanks @PParrish and @Mary_Duffy for giving us the opportunity!

I’m going to echo what @James_Marsh and @Eiwynn has mentioned - I think a background in the medical education and/or popular worldview of the period would help immensely. I tried playing as a university-trained, cutting-edge scholar from the big city and I spent most of the time wondering what my character actually knew. I’d have been entirely lost if I hadn’t chatted with Alice and gotten a grasp of what medical concepts were considered ‘contemporary’.

Also near the end of chapter four, I was asked by the mayor to ‘disregard any lies’ about her. I felt quite limited by my choices, like I was being forced to side one way or the other; either make her happy or antagonise her. I’d like to constantly have an option to be noncommittal or maintain a ‘neutral as all hell’ attitude - the MC’s here for Science, doesn’t care about politics, doesn’t care about human welfare or any such distractions.

In overall I think there has to be room for the MC to stay aloof. I was trying to be a detached, cold-blooded man of Science but found that in many situations my options forced me to be emotional in some way - either kind or angry, compassionate or menacing. I get that we’re all humans with emotions, of course, but there are people in the world - and I expect not least among academics - that simply have it in their nature to keep it all hidden.


#30

I agree here completely. The job of a Doctor is to help people, not get involved in their inconsequential and petty squabbles. I noticed when you first meet the baron, there is sort of an option to be neutral, but it gets more limited as you go through.

@PParrish, I am glad you have taken some care to be historically accurate, makes it more real in my opinion. It also seems to be relatively accurate medically, and the parts that aren’t are mostly just so the story can happen. I also like that there is the option to view it from a religious perspective. Does this mean the plague could be cured without ‘modern’ medicine? That would certainly be interesting.


#31

The option I’m looking for is to be able to say “plague respects no rank or title. Rich or poor, common or noble, native or foreign, it will claim all alike unless you shut up and do as we say!” “but the disease hasn’t spread to the mayor’s household.” “Yet.”


#32

In Spain during the black death several doctors fake have an antidote to it and sell to the nobles. In theory with blood of babies and virgins. Then inquisitors burned them.

I am dying to see here how people will react at the end to the plague doctors as angels of salvation or as angels of death and hell
That’s several old stories old people related to kids here during centuries and even has adapted to several urban legends. In Galicia were I am our native language is filled with swears and said against doctors that in theory came from the hate plague doctors caused burned houses and let people to die jailed in their homes dying one after other.
The fact many doctors were jews were used as religious fuel.


#33

Yeah, doctors get that sort of thing often, even today. Fact of the matter is they can’t cure everyone and they’ll demand quarantines and forbid funeral customs and order corpses burned or dissolved in quicklime, and when someone comes by and takes someone for treatment and then their charred bones are dumped into a mass grave that’s real unpopular.

Which is the main reason to not necessarily just tell people to shut up and do as they’re told because there’s just three doctors and we didn’t get to bring the baron’s army into the town to enforce our commands, so we need cooperation to maintain quarantine and get the bodies burned. But it’s decidedly what I was thinking; I’m personally opposed to the deep inequalities of medieval life but doing something about it seemed a distraction we can ill-afford in the face of an uncontained outbreak of an invariably fatal plague. Focus on inequality too much, and everyone will be equal, all right; the mayor and the lowest laborer can share a funeral pyre. Respect Deity customs too much and we’ll have to hope the Shepard decides to pitch in or at least gives us all a good afterlife, though for a devout plague doctor maybe there’s no point in saving people in this life if it costs them the next (I’m assuming we have varying qualities of afterlife). I’ll probably explore several routes, but my planned “main” playthrough is to put the Waking Death above all other concerns; if I can fit it in I’ll help the tanner’s guild (actually if we believe in the miasma theory then getting their homes away from the foul miasma of the tannery is plague control) and whether or not I believe in the Shepard I don’t want to disrespect the beliefs of the people providing me with a hospital, but ultimately I want everyone to put this all on hold while I resolve the fact that we’re all going to die. So I want to avoid taking sides if possible because I need to talk to the tanners to find out who was Patient Zero and thus how the plague spreads and I need the militia’s help if I’m to impose a quarantine and I need the faithful to keep providing medical aides.

For the mayor conversation @Pheriannath mentioned, the option I was looking for was something like “I have no interest in baseless rumors” and let the mayor figure out if that’s “yes” or “no” but actually it’s “if I find evidence of crimes I’ll report them to the baron and you’ll face the Crown’s justice”


#34

What I would really do as character Is Burning the tannery and burn the illness there with poors inside.
Probably too Evil for the setting.

However the game is presented hard as a good person trying to be good and save people. Is writing with minset Poor good Feudal power crown bad. The games trying hard makes me choose what i don’t want that’s is be proo poor.

If one route is so suggested and almost forced makes the others shallow in a way. i don’t find cool that feeling that i am choosing the wrong path.
I know is a beta so I am trying to improve the game options.


#35

Well, I figure the assumed context of “The Plague Doctor’s Mask” is that you’re here in the expectation of curing the plague and that implies caring if the poor live or die because if nothing else the Crown will be very disappointed if you don’t.

As for containing the plague by incinerating the tannery and the infected, that’s basically the fallback option if you fail. You earn your salary by fixing plagues without resorting to incinerating all the infected; the baron’s soldiers could do that. And probably if the order comes down it’ll be to make absolutely sure and when the soldiers move in you’ll burn with all the rest. You could have been infected too, after all.


#36

That is what I see as meta gamer but as character I have no offered any reasons to keep pooors alive from the perspective of a Feudalism character that only cares important people. Absolutely all reasons are writing from perspective of a character that is empathetic and thinking poors are same level as rich citizens. That’s not a feeling that is necessary in a Feudalism setting. In many cases ritch let poor stave out of walls during the black death. Or pick all their food and them jammed their doors with they inside.

Another thing would be a clearer. If you save the tannery commerce and guild you will receive this bonus in money or this jewel. Doctor’s were mercenaries in a historical setting so that’s should be a reason. Not because… well poor poors.


#37

@poison_mara and @James_Marsh let’s give some other folks the opportunity to comment


#40

@PParrish
I definitely think the stats screen needs to be changed, so the explanation of the talents is always visible.


#42

(Pardon my headcanon…)

Given the working title, I think something special can be done about the MC’s character development and the initial path they choose in the beginning, specifically “Thornback Hollow is under quarantine, what’s your business here?”

I had the idea that this initial choice could influence the origin and cause of the plague. Using the following choice tree as a reference, I’ll explain what I mean:

*fake_choice
	#"I'm here to see the Baron. I've got a summons from the Crown."
		*set feudalist %+10
		You pull out the parchment from its leather pouch and offer it to your interrogator. She studies the document, darting her eyes from the sigil on the page to the coat of arms on a nearby pennant and back again.
	#"Your troubles are over, I'm here to save the town!"
		*set jovial %+10
		The soldier lets out a halting laugh. "Nobody can save Thornback Hollow, friend. May your deity preserve you if you're heading to that place."
	#"No time to chat, which way to the plague?"
		*set med_principles %+10
		"Well the town is that way, but—"
	#"Wherever there is suffering, my deity compels me to act."
		*set pious %+10
		"How very noble," the soldier says. "If virtue is the tonic, the town's as good as cured."
	#Gesture at your plague doctor mask.
		*set jovial %-10
		You make an exaggerated motion at your plague doctor mask. The woman stares back. You shrug.

		"Oh, another one of you," she says at last. "Could've just said so."
  • First option - The plague is of biological origin, caused by filthy/subhuman conditions imposed by the barony.
  • Second - Biological origin. I immediately thought of a Joker character somehow using the plague for a sick laugh. Since this is the jovial option, the plot twist could be that the MC is the very one responsible for the plague and is just pretending to cure it for the entire story.
  • Third - Bioengineered. Well, as much as that is possible given the time period, although this is fantasy… maybe created by an educated source like an alchemist who wants to conduct live experiments.
  • Fourth - Supernatural origin. The plague could easily be a curse enacted by an angry deity for whatever reasons; I’m thinking that there could be a tie-in with the evil barony path (option one) and a deity created this curse (or divine punishment) to punish the Baron.
  • Fifth - Adaptable origin. The serious nature of the last choice lends itself to supporting any given plague origin, and means to combat it. Perhaps here the MC sees the results of the plague first hand and then becomes the evil alchemist who bioengineers the plague in a different timeline? Anything is possible.

Having said all that, the “something special” I envisioned would be to connect all of the 5 paths as far as the storyline is concerned. The entire, big-picture story would only be revealed by playing through as all 5 … personas? … for lack of a better term.

I think doing it that way could well justify placing so much emphasis on the mask, in the title of the story. After all, a mask not only hides one identity, but allows a person to assume an entirely different one.


#43

A couple people have mentioned the last scene, where the mayor asks you to ignore rumors about her. What I noticed there is that the responses are somewhat faction-locked; the only feudalist response is to accept, the only clerical response is to refuse, etc. But I could see a feudalist character reasoning that, as a servant of the Crown, it’s their duty to expose any of the Mayor’s abuses to her superiors. Or a religious character agreeing to turn a blind eye because they believe the Mayor’s authority derives from the gods. In other words, two people with roughly the same opinion on an issue might take their beliefs on it in wildly differing directions.