Mask of the Plague Doctor - WIP


#114

Yo @PParrish
Will we have an option of violently purging the whole place and the entire populace with a Ye Oldy flamethrower?

Haven’t played the game yet but I’ll buy it on release just for the option to do that.


#115

I’ve always thought that your ability to bluff should be independent of your personal beliefs. My suggestion for that example would be to make the option for such a bluff unavailable in the first place if your pious stat is too high, then make a panache check for the bluff itself. You could then add to the blasphemous stat as a consequence of attempting such a bluff.

Pious would only be used in such an ability check if you had to quote scripture or something, but even then I’d think that someone with enough savvy/panache would have a chance to wing it.

If the plague runs unchecked then the Crown will do it for you. You’ll also be part of the kindling.


#116

That just means I have a head start now don’t it?


#117

If @PParrish allows it and you don’t mind an early game over, I suppose. To be clear: you & the other doctors are included in any option involving exterminatus, as you yourselves became potential carriers the moment you entered the town & started work.


#118

My friend my friend my friend.
If there is no town.
There is no evidence.
There is no plague :slight_smile:


#119

Good luck with that.

You’ll find out in the very first scene of the game that there’s an entire military garrison camped outside town bearing witness to all that happens. It is commanded by the local Baron, and its purpose is to:

  1. Maintain quarantine by ensuring that nobody in town gets out (that includes you).
  2. Perform exterminatus if it is deemed necessary.

#120

@Pheriannath
I hear metal armour makes people burn well :slight_smile:
And it also isn’t too hard to get a massive mob of zealots ready to purge, especially when you have a magic contraption that shoots fire I think most peasants would respect that authority whether god made it or not.
So yeah. Burn the army, burn the town, burn the people.
Also you could kill massive chunks of the garrison by burning them while they sleep in their barracks or wherever they sleep, and by burning points of interest making them need to come deal with the fire before they become the kindling for said fire.


#121

Aight chief @PParrish I read your story and I got some stuff to say now.
The stories concept is really cool and its done alright so far but there are some things I have issues with it.

First of all the characters voice when you are communicating and interacting with people in between choices seems EXTREMLY static so far, sorry if that isn’t the case but that’s what it feels like. For instance I have been role playing as a asshole doctor who gives no fucks about anyone unless they are a patient and may begrudgingly start to prefer your presence over others if he is subjected to it for long enough, but if you are sick or injured he will do fucking anything to fix yah, I also like to pretend he cant pick up on social queues or is easily distracted since I routinely ignore people to pat animals.

So I have been picking anti social options and “Dickish” options, such as telling a person im operating on to stop bitching, wearing my mask to dinner even though I was explicitly told not to, and intimidating people every chance I get. And when people ask about my morals or try to get me into political schemes my options have always been “Ok I don’t care go away” or “Its my duty to heal people stop annoying me”. However in between choices the character I have been lovingly crafting is just poof gone. The character voice that appears is extremely neutral and… well generic. Just average Joe that makes quips now and again, follows along with everything and is leaning to be more nice then asshole.

Which makes things a bit jarring for when my character is acting relatively nice but then I get the option to be a dick head, which I always pick. I cannot recall explicit examples of this but I am quite sure this HAS happened.

Speaking of character personalisation the option to basically never take off you mask would be nice, I know this is very minor but I personally would love that option. For instance during the dinner event where you can choose to keep your mask on but are forced to remove it and your character resists, complains and is a general nuisance, THAT felt like the character I was crafting and it was quite nice to see my boy back. Since I felt like the more the story progresses the more generic the voice becomes in dialogue, this may not be in the case but it felt like early on there were more anti social options and more choices in general so I could keep my asshole streak a rolling, but when choices start to show up less and less options to make me a stand offish asshole present itself, since sadly that isn’t always an option :C, my characters voice becomes more and more diluted.

Now Im gonna complain about the stat system a bit. It seems like your stats can only be raised at certain intervals through the story, and you cannot raise them at all through normal choices. And from memory at the start of the story you can only raise two stats, my choices were toughness and surgeon I quickly regretted the first choice though.

This isn’t inherently bad but it did get on my nerves a bit when I kept trying to intimidate people, I did it a lot, but I ALWAYS failed, even my first chance to intimidate someone failed. So I was like “Huh whats going on?” so I checked my stats like 5 chapters into the game and noticed my Intimidation stat was basically untouched.

So it just felt like since I didn’t choose intimidation at the start I was locked out of it for the rest of the story, or a good chunk at least, since it cannot rise outside of specific “Stat Events” which also appear to give like Fuck all stats annoyingly. Like I think the starting stat choices gave 20 something which is cool, I obviously don’t expect every choice to be that strong that be op, but about 5 chapters in I saw an option to up intimidation so I took it and was like “YES FINALLY I CAN BE AS SCARY AS I TRY TO BE!” clicked it, checked my stats and saw!!!.. my intimidation rose by 6% from 40%.
Hm. :frowning:
This made me a sad boy since most stat events only let you pick between three stats to upgrade and you can only pick one. So I only recall seeing an intimidation stat event once, again halfway through the game chapter 5 of what will be 10 and while writing this I just got to chappy 6 but I am having a break to do other stuff and write this comment. But yeah waiting THAT long to try and upgrade my intimidation stat which was apparently so low that it was seemingly impossible to intimidate anyone, I hadn’t had one successful encounter, seeing it rise by a measly 6% kinda made me annoyed.

And now Im gonna talk about the plague.
Plagues are interesting things, especially the biggest baddest coolest plague of them all the Bubonic Plague. So when I saw this WIP title I was like “Fuck yeah time to walk over corpses, pop buboes in the streets, listen to people cough and vomit more then talk, watch characters become horribly disfigured and grotesque over a matter of days, and amputate a fuck ton of people as I am a medieval plague doctor and have no fucking idea what Im doing!” but the “Waking Death” plague found in this game is not that. Its kinda boring to be honest. Like this is the cleanest plague I have ever heard of.

I don’t think it even makes people cough it seems to just make people be unable to go to sleep and then they die.
Hm ._.
Das a bit lame. Like half the time it didn’t feel like I was in a town with a deadly plague rolling through it since the plague is so tame that it dosnt even have any noticeable symptoms. Like it would have been really cool if you and other characters got visibly sicker and more ghastly as a horrible bubonic style plague has hit the town and it would give you a feeling of “FUCK we are on the clock we have to fix this shit!” But no sadly. You get some bad insomnia then go die die. Im sorry if I sound really harsh here but like, again, this plague is just so… clean. Like when we went to the cemetery and a corpse cart was mentioned I was like “Fuck yeah the moment I have been waiting for! A chance to see the horrors of the pla- wait there are only two people in their?”

You almost had me chief, you were so close to making me properly believe the Plague was actually a proper threat, but like… 2 people? Again sorry that I sound like an ass here but I was suuuuuper underwhelmed when I saw that this supposably awful plague had only killed like two people in assumedly a day/night. So I try to make my character take the plague seriously but as a player I am really not invested, since compared to something like the “Big Bad Please Kill Me To End My Pain” Black Death, the Waking Death is kinda just underwhelming and feels like a baby plague as I really just wanna tell my character “Man if this is the extent of what you have to deal with your lucky aintcha?”

Onto a new topic now, the factions. Im glad you gave us the option to stay neutral, since again my character can not give any less of a shit about politics or intrigue, he is here to cure a plague and fuck off a second after. However a few times it seems like I wasn’t allowed to stay neutral and I had to make an opinion, normally to do with the crown, I think I have a few points in loyalist or whatever that stat is even though I always try to stay neutral and to the point. The factions themselves though arnt the most interesting things out there however.

Factions, mild spoilers

You got:
Many McNasty Mayor and Noble who are mean and nasty to you
Fer Der Peeples McVaguleyCommunist good guy
The Religious People, who’s depth I have just explained. They are religious. And People.
And finally the more interesting cult people who fucking hate you and everyone else for some reason, but hey they got a cool gimmick with thorns going on so they are the most interesting faction, though they appear to be unjoinable since… they wanna kill yah.

And now, finally, to talk about 3 events that went weirdly.
ONE: The event where you make the crowd not lynch the people with swords, I picked the surgeon option which equated to me saying “Guys, guys. Swords fuck a bitch up.” Which the mob replied with “Yeah so what?” then I said “But they fuck a bitch up” so they begrudgingly left. This felt awkward and WAAAAAAAAAAAY to easy. Like my character literally just walked over to these very distrustful angry and assumable pitchfork armed villagers and said “I’ve seen what swords can do!” then within that paragraph everyone just left. Ok? I was expecting my character to tell of a horrific experience where some person who seemingly got only a flesh wound later died of some horrible and painful infection, or he would go into detail about how he saw a battlefield and people resembled bloody chunks more then humans and go into some gory shit. It was just way too quick and easy.

TWO: The hobo guy that hangs out in the Tannery, the option to say “Fuck off I don’t care what you do” or something like that would be nice. Would it be useful to your objectives? Fuck no. Would it be helpful for roleplaying characters that don’t care about what some randoms do in their free time? Yis. Or maybe instead of that give a “Make yourself useful and stop cowering peasant” option where they randomly pick an option but you scare them in the process, get a recruit to one of the options while also upping your asshole stat.

THREE: When one of your helpers pisses off a monk and you can pick sides I immediately berated her and told her to apologise in public to everyone that wanted one and stop screwing around, this allowed her to stay but at the cost of being mildly humiliated and being yelled at, but then she looked at me and said “Thanks for defending me” which I thought was sarcastic but from the rest of the page and my characters response it seems like she actually believes I defended her. Ok :man_shrugging:
So yeah that was a bit weird.

FOUR: My character routinely intimidates people and has on multiple occasions suggested brute force or at one point to get the sword people to intimidate for me, but when a person from the sword people show up in stolen robes and my characters asks if they killed someone for it, and they say no, my character “Sighs in relief” which felt… weird to say the least. For characters like mine to sigh in relief at this seems out of character. For violent characters a “Hm” and a sideways glare/look would seem more appropriate. Sighing out of relief seems like a more nice guy thing.

And yeah that’s it. This game was enjoyable but needs some work to make it properly stand out, maybe some tweaking and maybe some rewriting. I would rate what I read, up to the beginning of chapter 6, like a 6/10 or so. Since it was alright, but nothing like “Wow!” worthy and roleplaying was hard at times as my characters dick head or antisocial traits were not always options which would make me pick something out of character, or just witness my character act strangly without anything I can do about it, this is my biggest gripe, if you change nothing else but make roleplaying characters and personalisation better and easier I would rate this much better since I play these games to roleplay after all.

And I know that not every game will allow me to roleplay perfectly but when this game started in chapter one I felt like I was able to roleplay my character very well! I was having a fun time being this dick headed scary doctor that would do anything to help someone in need out of sense of duty. And my enjoyment lasted up till around chapter 3 I think when roleplaying this character became ever harder as more “Normal” and “Nice” choices appeared to replace the ones that let me conceive this person in the first place.

So yeah hope to fuck you read this took a fuck ton of effort to write all this. And I do like what your going for here and I believe in you chief, you got some good stuff going for you but you just need some BAM factor something that will make me want to make friends play it, something that will make me want to replay it. But sadly it just isn’t their YET but it CAN be there.

I believe in you chief!


#122

Last person to call me chief this much was a floating skull buddy in a mortuary :skull:

Anyway - don’t even worry about whether I’m going to be reading. You bothered to play through the existing chapters and write an essay about them; I’m always going to be reading that! There’s a lot here, so I’m not going to be replying to everything point by point, but you’ve got some good stuff I do want to respond to.

Let’s call this first section “roleplaying as a jerk.” I know what you’re saying here, and I think it falls in a similar area to the people earlier who wanted more neutral type options in places. There’s definitely room for me to go back and add some more (or alter existing) choices for the more anti-social player. The part you mention with the guy in the tannery - yeah, that’s the sort of spot where I can pitch the tone a little different. Same with specific spots like being relieved Lucia hasn’t killed somebody.

It’s interesting you say that those drop off a bit after Chapter 3-4 … I’ll look into that. Could be that the demands of THE PLOT™ have had me mellow out the MC a bit too much.

As a broader issue (“but in between those options I sometimes seem like a nicer person”) it’s … I gotta say, probably insurmountable. Short of writing unique dialogue parts for every possible role-played personality (nice thought, but ehhhh, I don’t think anybody would appreciate the 2024 release date, and I wouldn’t appreciate not getting paid for the next five years), that’s always going to err towards more generic speech outside of major choice moments. But! Like I said, certain individual jarring moments can certainly be improved with a bit of *if (ruthless) type code, or whatever.

I have specific plans to go back and include more unique references to background choices to make that feel more meaningful, and I think some of this sits in the same area.

Stats: Yeah, these aren’t final or anything. May very well be adding more chances to boost the main talents (or apply larger boosts in fewer doses) during final draft testing. Noted.

Plague-o-rama: Can’t really change how you felt about this, but I think here I’m just going for a different tone to what you were hoping for. I find silent, slow killers that rob you of memory and function a lot more disturbing than the flashy fever and pustules of the Black Death. That’s just how it goes.

I will say … Every time you encounter somebody with the later stages of the Waking Death they’re in agony and basically wanting to end their life. Sleep deprivation over multiple days would be an absolutely horrific way to die. The infirmary is always described in grim terms (and getting worse as time goes on and it fills up). It’s true that there are only a couple of people on that day’s corpse cart, but that sequence literally ends at a mass grave.

There’s a sequence which triggers in Chapter 5 (you got a different one involving the recruits) involving an outbreak of vomiting that gets pretty detailed, so you’d have that to look forward to at least. Quite a few chances to do dubious amateur surgery too - bound to be more of those as I go along.

Something else!

Haha, yep, that’s an unintended inconsistency. Definitely on the list to fix.

And one more bit … Later, you will be able to work with the sect.

All right, hope you don’t feel short-changed by the length of this reply, but I’ve got a seventh chapter to wrap up. Thanks for writing all of that out! And for giving this a try - I won’t be adopting every suggestion, but every bit of rooting out inconsistencies or piece of feedback that leads to neat extra additions will make the game better for everyone in the end, so cheers.


#123

All good chief thanks for the reply :slight_smile:
On the point of making every character personality viable throughout the whole game I understand completely how its basically impossible to do, well not impossible but it would take a stupid amount of time, I just talked about it a fair bit since it at least felt like at the beginning the personality line I was going with was more accessible then later on, since later on during decision making the voice tends to always be neutral while during just talking moments I can pick asshole options. And as the story goes on you make more choices which would make it seem my character becomes more and more neutral.

And about the plague, yeah that’s fine that you don’t change that, don’t expect ya to just wanted to give my opinion on it, my comment turned into a semi review so I thought I should bring it up.

And its fine if you don’t adopt any suggestions, your story after all :slight_smile:
I just left a big blob of things so you could have a look and go “Oh I understand may change/tweak that” if you deem something necessary of it. But its perfectly understandable not to change anything Id be actually astonished if you changed or added even half of what I mentioned.

Also Im glad stats will be getting tweaked, those annoyed me a decent bit at times.

So yeah thanks for the reply, ill be watching this one and will probably have another go at it once it gets to chappy 7 or 8.

(And I kinda just got in a habbit of calling people chief, iz what I do :stuck_out_tongue: )


#124

so you’re playing as House M.D in the medieval ages


#125

Yis


#126

“Sorry Blackadder, I’m trying to romance Wilson again.”


#127

Spoilers for house the tv show

Wilson is terminal why!:cry: also look up fact fiend house on youtube to discover that the director of house didn’t know hugh Lawrie was british