Path of a Prophet [WIP w/ brief demo]

low-fantasy
gender-choice
#1

This is a thread for a ChoiceScript project that I’ve been working on in the last few days called Path of a Prophet. You will get to play as the prophet(ess) of a previously unknown god in a low-fantasy universe and navigate social and political challenges to spread your new faith throughout the world.

First, a little bit about myself: I’m a 20-year-old college student studying computer science and economics. I’ve enjoyed playing games from CoG and Hosted Games for at least a few years now–my favorites have been Life of a Wizard, the Lost Heir series, and Choice of Robots. My writing experience, besides my two semi-successful attempts at NaNoWriMo in high school, mostly consists of contributions to the SCP Foundation wiki. I have about ten or so articles under the same username that I have here, Univine.

Setting

The setting is a low-fantasy universe called Solgea. Humans are the only (physical) intelligent race in Solgea. Magic can only be accomplished either by collecting energy from the prayers of devoted believers, or with the aid of immaterial beings called spirits, which can affect the world on your behalf.

Solgea is dominated by a monolithic empire called Marantium or the Marantine Empire. Hundreds of years ago, the Marantines had the aid of an especially powerful spirit called Maranata, who they worship as a god. With Maranata’s help, the Marantines have conquered the entirety of the civilized world, including your home province of Sormendia on the eastern coast of Solgea’s supercontinent. The Marantine conquests have brought considerable bloodshed and subjugated dozens of cultures, but it could be worse… at least the Marantines are big fans of gender equality. At the moment, Marantium is in a state of decline: Maranata has stopped aiding the empire a long time ago, the provinces are on the verge of rebellion, and the current Empress, the young Filimara IX, is basically powerless next to her regents’ influence.

Plot

You are the prophet(ess) of a previously unknown god. A vision of your god inspires you to learn more about your god, only to find out that no one has ever heard of your god before. You will go on to proselytize to the people in your province, either cooperating with the authorities or opposing them. If you cooperate with the authorities, you will eventually be invited to Marantium to an audience with Filimara IX; you can support her in her attempt to seize power from her regents and maybe get your religion to become the state religion. If you oppose the authorities, you can try to lead a rebellion to liberate Sormendia and other provinces from imperial rule. There might also be special endings if you stay neutral and keep both sides happy.

Also, at some point, you will discover that either your god is actually a spirit influencing you through dreams, or that you are a Channeler capable of channeling prayers into reality. This will turn out to be pretty helpful.

Characters and ROs

The concept of this game probably doeesn’t lend itself easily to ROs, but there will be at least a few of them. I know that many people enjoy the romantic paths, and it would be an interesting challenge for me, as someone who isn’t very experienced with writing about romance.

The characters you will interact with include:

  • Myron (M)/Myra (F), your sibling. Exclusive with Royce (M)/Rose (F), your spouse. Not an RO, for obvious reasons.
  • Royce (M)/Rose (F), your spouse. The first RO that you will encounter (in-game, you’ve been married for years).
  • An early follower of your religion. Will probably have multiple iterations depending on what social groups you appeal to first. Name(s) TBD. The second RO that you will encounter.
  • If your god turns out to be a spirit, you will interact with your god directly. Otherwise, you just pray and do whatever you think your god wants. Celibacy will be an “RO”; you can either just abstain from relationships or engage in some kind of spiritual marriage with your god.
  • Sabanetes (M), the provincial governor of Sormendia. You can either overthrow him or work with him over the course of the game. Not an RO.
  • Filimara IX (F), the Empress of Marantium. Like the provincial governor, you can rebel against her rule or cooperate with her in the capital. If your religion turns out to be really helpful for establishing power and you are 100% loyal to her reign, you might be able to romance her, but it will probably be extremely difficult. If you manage to pull it off, you will achieve a special ending.

Here’s a link to the demo.

There’s not much to it yet; it’s mostly just the character creation sequence and some exposition. Still, it should give you a taste of my writing style. Let me know what you think about the dialogue, and especially the romantic bit if you select the Royce/Rose path–I’m worried that it will might seem a bit phony or wooden.

46 Likes
#2

I very much enjoyed the writing style. It was very clean and moved the game on without dwelling on things, I always find that that makes the world feel more “real”. I was a little bit surprised at how fast my brother accepted that I’d had a communication with the divine, though. Is that not that surprising in this world or is he particularly open to that kind of thing? He just seemed overly apologetic for waking me up. I feel like he should have almost accused me of being drunk after I told him but then have gotten more serious when he saw that I was serious. But, if this all makes sense in this world then forget I said anything.:yum:

The idea of playing a prophet/ess is a really cool approach that I don’t think I’ve really seen before. Do you have any idea how far you’re going to go with that? Is our God going to give us clear messages or are we going to be in effect “interpreting their intent” (i.e. lying to get our way)? Will we get future prophecies and get to decide whether we let them play out or not? There’s a lot of fun stuff you can do with this idea and I’m excited to see where it goes!

I also found a couple of missing words. I’m not as clever as other people on this forum and can’t work a screenshot for the life of me so I just copied the paragraphs and enclosed the missing words in square brackets:

Missing Words

“When [you?] go to the Grove today, you could ask the Grounds-Marshal about Aelius. If He really is from another province, there’s going to be a decent chance that the Grounds-Marshal has heard of Him. We could also take a look inside the Hieratic Library and see if they have any papyri about Aelius.”

As you enter the Grove, you stop to take in the enormous movement of human beings taking [place?] before you. Not only have most of the residents of Arelone come to the Grove, whether paupers or nobles, but so have throngs of peasants from the surrounding countryside. You have heard that for the furthest of them it is an entire day’s trek!

2 Likes
#3

Found an error. Forgot to screenshot, but it happened when I select my god’s gender as “he.” Custom appearance god. Error message tells something “variable god_form exists, but no value.”


New concept, interesting. Too bad I can’t continue on due to the bug.

A comment from me, especially since I had this discussion about god and deities on other community. Would you consider for our god to be an all-powerful god that has no gender suitable for themselves ('cuz gender is for mortals), and even looking at them is such a great burden that they appear only in the form understandable by their follower?

3 Likes
#4

Um. I get to make my own religion? I am so down for this! Will you be able to use the principles of your religion to shape the empire and/or the provinces? On a different note, I have been enjoying your writing style. I am finding it very clear and easy to follow.

3 Likes
#5

Can we actually choose what the principles of our religion are? Or will we only be able to choose how we wish to spread our religion:aristocracy or peasantry, militaristic or peaceful and so on?

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#6

Not an error per say but I find it amusing that should you select the dove as the form of your god, having a winged dove is an option.

I mirror what’s said above. I would be interested in how in-depth we can be about our religion, and how we might be able to go about spreading it.

Excited to see where this goes and yeah, love your style.

Edit: also the ability to use a they/them pronoun for the god seems appropriate

3 Likes
#7

@Revache If you told the average person that you had a vision of a god in this world, they probably wouldn’t believe you, but your spouse/sibling is supposed to be extremely supportive of your efforts in general. (You’re going to have to really screw up to get them on your wrong side.) Considering that this is a world where worship has direct physical consequences, I think their reaction isn’t too extreme.

As for communication with your god, it will depend on which magical path you take later in the game. The first I mentioned in the OP is discovering that your god is a spirit (an immaterial being capable of magic). In that case, you actually get to talk to your god, but their directives probably end up being pretty vague. The second that I mentioned is are a Channeler capable of turning prayers (with enough volume) into reality. That option will be a bit more “realistic” in that you will just have to pray or meditate to figure out what your god wants. Also, thanks for catching the missing words, those should be fixed now.

@Szaal The crash should be fixed now. The custom appearance was the issue. As far as whether your god actually has a gender or a comprehensible form, I’ll leave that up to the reader’s headcanon. If you take a particularly monotheistic path, that might make sense, but if you are polytheistic and accept idol worship that just actually might be the appearance of your god.

@Jeeshadow1 Eventually, yes, once I get past writing exposition! :slight_smile:

@kyros There will be some combination of both. I probably won’t track the principles too closely, but you will get to choose them and have an impact on your stats.

@hachimachi Yeah, the winged dove/eagle was just kind of lazy, that should be fixed now. I hope to give you a reasonable amount of depth about your religion–you’ll be able to at least decide on the key tenets and your organizational structure. Also, I just added the they/them pronoun. I hesitated at first because it would require different tenses than the others, but I found a pretty helpful forum post about how to do it.

4 Likes
#8

CK2 player here. I don’t get it, what are the reasons?

More seriously, how tolerant are the Marantines? Should I expect a new career as bear feed/Colosseum entertainment, or passive-aggressive hostility, or just a shrug and a “you do you” from the government?

Or does that all depends on the kind of religion the player makes?

2 Likes
#9

No Xwedodah in this game, unfortunately.

The Marantines will be as tolerant as you are useful to them. if you play nice and praise their rule they’ll tolerate you and maybe even give your religion official status, but if you rebel against their rule you’ll start getting into the realm of crucifixions and the like.

4 Likes
#10

Our own sibling is an RO?

#11

There have been historical religions which allow or even support incest so, I mean, would it really be that much of a surprise if that was a possible RO?

2 Likes
#12

They’re not a romance.

#13

That post was a joke in response to Malvastor’s joke about Crusader Kings 2. As it and the OP both say, your sibling is definitely not an RO.

1 Like
#14

Good. I’m very much relieved.

#15

This is fricking sick!!! I can feel a good deal of potential from this WIP. Count me the hell in!!!

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#16

I’m hoping that we can have warrior monks that follow if you are polytheistic the god of war

3 Likes
#17

Im not sure if you wanted to refer to female gods as goddesses or not but maybe you should given the fact that you gave us the choice to choose our gods gender. Its pretty neat though, this could be pretty successful.

1 Like
#18

Short so far, but I like it!

The only thing I would say really is be careful with how many options and variations you give in customizing your god. Depending on how much the options cause the scenes to vary and how often you plan to have us interact with our god, it could be a whole lot of extra work.

#19

Was meant to post this earlier;

Little typo, that’s if you choose your god to be a male human, describing them as a ‘he’

Also, you asked to check the dialogue for both spouses, I personally feel there is no problems with what has been written. Beyond that, keep up the good work.

#20

the Patriarchic bit needs to be rewriten comes across as bit acidic and memey, the Combination of Only mentioning empresses and then mentioning Patriarchy, just comes across as caricature of what you are intending.

In the Marantine Empire, which rules over all of the civilized world, men and women are regarded as equal, and the many Empresses which have reigned over the years–including the current, Filimara IX–have not been shy about enforcing this cultural norm upon the provinces. The patriarchy that previously held sway in the provinces has long been abolished, and at this point even the most traditionalist provincials have little interest in reviving this particular institution, especially since many of them are women!

I think it might be The part of regarded as equal and patriarchy being abolished and then Mentioning That only empresses have ruled without explaining the inconsistency between the society and the Rulership

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