Power Grab Feedback

Please do! I’d very much appreciate that. And it would be slightly easier for me if you post a new message instead of editing, just because I never seem to notice when people edit (But it’s no big deal either way).

I feel like my story can use a lot of improvement, and I’m not entirely proud of it at the moment, so I’m considering completely starting over from scratch and making a lot of changes, which may include completely changing things like the characters involved. So right now, I want to know what you truly think about things in the story. What are your opinions on specific characters? If nobody enjoys the presence of one of the characters, then I can get rid of them. If you enjoy some parts of a character but not others, let me know what you like and dislike so I can make appropriate changes. Or if you love everything about a character, let me know that, so that I don’t end up ruining them for you! If there is something in the plot that is confusing to you or boring, what is it?

Now is your chance to be as insulting to the story as possible, because I want to know exactly what makes my story bad so that I can improve it. Any other tips, such as, “Your writing style is confusing, because you do ___” or advice on how to make a more interesting MC would also be appreciated, so that I can know what to change.

2 Likes

I’m gonna reread the story again just so it’s fresh in my mind then I’ll get back to you on this answer soon, want to be sure of what I’m gonna write and praise or criticize on.

1 Like

Ok I’ve reread the story till the end of the demo which is stealing the blade lady’s power I believe. And I do enjoy the story so far the pacing is fine also.
Love the characters; Dakota gaint teddy bear keep as is :ok_hand:. Finley me like tho she can be annoying but that adds unique character creation flavor, but maybe the annoying part could maybe be dialed down a bit by giving her some more sympathy or perhaps less in your business vibe. Next we have Aster who reminds me of that one shy kid who is actually quite wise and fun to get to know so in a sense keep as is no touching there :slightly_smiling_face:. As for Levi, aah poor Levi reminds of a bunny thats shy but also wants attention so definitely keep him he definitely more on down low vibe needed for the story. Valencia would definitely like to get to know her but not enough interaction she needs more screen time, and yes I’m saying this because I wish to pursue a romance with her as well as I feel kind bad for single parenthood parents.
Besides that maybe the story pace could get a, a small speed up besides that I feel like I enjoy the story. The only thing I’d say missing right now is some action and we’d be good from my point of view. So hope to see more in the future :grin:. Question will we get to meet Valencia ex who’s her sons father? If we do can I beat him up a bit? :smiling_imp:

2 Likes

Yeah, I like the story in the pace it’s going.

Ooh Dakota is a lovely giant.
Finley is written very good and ruthless most times but imo I’d either tone down the craziness or ramp up the craziness of this one.
Aster, WoW lol an unique snowflake this one, shy, wise, funny and a damn flirt.
Then comes Levi, ooh he’s like a kitten, wants MC’ attention and yet so damn shy and looks like there’s a lovely poly route with
MC, Aster and MC.
And a brief encounter with Valencia and Miguel, this single parent with impressive amount of patient and the senseless kid needs some more interaction with MC.
Everett aka Snitch, oh Devils! What an a’hole, imo I think this one need to have a bit more cruel charm. And need to have a tiny bit more screentime to show how cruel he really can be.
Finally Nova and her sister sound like they’re delightful characters, lol especially Nova’ little sister, so far very very little interaction, so not much to tell.

I love to read this without re-writing but with a few tweaks and the thing that’s missing for me that MC is getting so many damn powers but so far got to use only a single power once, I’d like to see MC using the powers a bit more and some minor action and a bit more romance at this point.

2 Likes

Thanks, it was really interesting and helpful to see what you guys think about characters and the story! I still do really want to start the story from scratch and make it much better, but after giving it a lot of thought (Okay, and reading advice online—mostly that) I’m going to try to finish writing it as it is before changing everything I’ve done so far. That way I don’t get stuck in a loop of starting it over and over and never actually finishing anything. I don’t think I’m going to get to everything that I wanted to get to with this first try, but now I’m considering it a very rough draft, so I won’t worry about that and will just do what I can and improve it on my next time around. Don’t worry, I’ll still try to make this version a fun story, and I still want to hear your feedback on how to make it as good as possible. After all, this is my chance to learn what I do well and need to improve so that I can use this for future drafts.

3 Likes

Yeah and it’ll be way too much extra work re-writing everything instead of going forward with he story and then going back to fix the scenes that are not working.

1 Like

I don’t think it’ll be 100% of how you envisioned it even after it’s finished, after all you’ll get to polish it how you want it after it’s completed.

And G’Luck with the writing @LordHavoc

Oh and I’ve been meaning to ask this,
Will Dakota be joining the gang?!?
And doesn’t he have any powers?
How common are powerless in this?

Lol this might be asking for spoilers, so ya don't have to answer this unless it's not a major spoiler.

What exactly are the gymnast girl’ powers, does she have some kind of super agility?
And what are her little sister Scotty’s powers?

1 Like

Honestly, the protagonist feels like a budding All-For-One from My Hero Academia. Not that I’m complaining. It’ll be interesting to see how the protagonist uses their newfound ability to steal powers from others in the future. I’m hoping we’ll be able to affect the eventual confrontation with the protagonist’s family in some way, preferably by being able to do something EXTREMELY karmic to them. And, while I feel that reconnecting with their twin is indeed a possibility, there’s gotta be something there to motivate me to do it. From what I’ve read, the protagonist’s twin is just, generally, a piece of shit that deserves every bit of karma coming towards them. To join in on the bullying of your sibling? What in the actual fuck is wrong with them?!

5 Likes

So far, I am loving it, Aster has got to be my favorite due to the sheer energy coming off them. Can’t wait to see more

1 Like

Dakota will be joining the gang! And he does have a power, it just isn’t strength related. You’ll probably learn what it is pretty soon.

In fact, given the pollution, the percentage of people who have powers is at least in the high 90s. Possibly 100%, in fact, but it is hard for scientists to be sure, because some powers cannot be easily seen. For example, how do you know if someone has the power to live forever until they, well, live forever? And there are the occasional cases like the MC’s where something might counteract the power. (But this is very uncommon, almost unheard of.)

As for the gymnast girl’s power, it was actually mentioned by Levi when he was discussing visiting her. Her power causes people to lose their train of thought. So if, for example, a teacher called on her for a question she didn’t know, she could make them forget what they were doing and ask someone else. Or, as a more extreme example, if someone tries to stab her she can stop them at the last second. It has the unfortunate side effect of also making /her/ lose her train of thought, though, so in the knife situation she might forget to run and end up getting stabbed anyway once the killer realises what he was doing.

I only briefly touched upon what her powers do in the story, so I should probably add something to make it more obvious how it works. Maybe I’ll put these examples in the story when Levi first mentions her.

3 Likes

While I did enjoy what I’ve seen of My Hero Academia, I haven’t actually gotten far enough to understand the reference, but I’ll take your word for it!

And ah yes, the twin. As a fun bit of trivia, back when I was still trying to work out the plot of the story, I had one idea I was throwing around where you grow addicted to stealing powers. It would have been really dark and gotten into struggles of dealing with addiction, and this is something I typed out as a possible idea:

Perhaps instead of making your twin an antagonist, he finally becomes proud of you and treats you as a sibling again. (But it won’t be in a good, brotherly way, since he’d only admit to being your sibling since it makes him even MORE famous than he already is.) And he encourages you to continue stealing powers rather than helping you stop your addiction. And you’ll be disappointing him if you stop, and he’ll guilt you by reminding you of all the good times you had together as children and how you can finally have that again.

So yeah, they weren’t the greatest twin in previous versions of the story, either.

4 Likes

Will MC get the choice/chance to take Dakota and Nova’ powers too like they got the choice to take Levi’ gps like locator powers?!?

Lol now I remember what Nova’s powers are.
And what’s Nova’s sister’s powers?
Anyone has more than one power?!?
Ya kinda mentioned that these powers kinda needs recharge with duplicating power, is it only for specific type of powers?

Does this mean the twin could still powers too, or even worse could he simply by imagining to have new powers grant himself those powers? That would make him really close to a god, mostly in the sense of a D&D style diety, but still :thinking::worried:

1 Like

I think the twin’s (and MC’ supposed) powers are that they can bring any thing that COULD have a physical form that they can imagine and VISUALISE in their mind and make it real.

Lol they can imagine and visualise anything from a pin to a nuke and make it materialize into a physical object.

One of the questions I did have is could the Protagonist, in theory, give powers to other people? I mean, considering what they’ve been through, I doubt they would, but still. Would be an interesting idea to explore. Like, potentially stealing the power of your twin and then, right in front of them, giving it to someone they deemed worthless just to rub it in their face feels karmic to me.

Oh boy, that was a wild one…
I’m very conflicted about it, not gonna lie.

I adore the concept for it, really, and the general plot is very interesting. I also enjoy the pacing most of the time (would have wished for some more flashbacks of the MC’s past), and the main cast is very cool.
But then… hmm… it’s a bit hard to explain, but basically, most of the time I couldn’t play my MC as I wanted to, at all. Basically, I like to play nice and gentle MCs - or well, as nice and gentle as they can be for the setting (with some exceptions and variants depending on the game). Sometimes, a game forces the players to have a “bad guy” as MC (an actual bad guy), but then that’s okay - that’s not a game for me, and I ignore it. What happens here, is that the game gives the illusion of being able to play a good guy - and overall, the MC can have positive goals - but then he acts in very nefarious ways without player agency.

The problem is especially bad in the first chapters. It gets better around chapter 3 and especially 4.
But on occasions it comes back later… Generally speaking, well, it would be good to have more “nice” options in various places of the game, or more neutral ones. And also, sometimes (especially in early chapters), the romantic options are really very bold and flirty, and not really suited for shy MC’s. It gets better later on (again, not all the time) - at least with Levi. I didn’t go for Aster or Finley, and we only just meet Dakota when the demo ends, so I couldn’t tell about them.

And my last issue is the fact I’d really like to have a list of ROs with their descriptions in the original post, here on the forums. It’s one of my go-to way to determine if I want to play a game. I did give this one a chance because I liked the idea, but I often skip the games with no RO descriptions.

Now, with that being said, I’ll go into detail for the story elements and choices where I really felt the issues I was talking about, so read it if you want more detailed feedback and explanations about what bothers me and why. I don’t want to be too obnoxious or give the impression I’m only complaining and spitting on your work! I got so upset about it because I like the core of the story! But I can totally understand if you don’t want to check out the more detailed thing. I’ll keep the details hidden so you can open each segment if you want to check it out. :blush:

About stealing, in general:

Hmm I have a hard time accepting my character is just okay with stealing, considering I’m going for a nice one…
I can perfectly understand he was driven to it because he’d die otherwise, sure. But things like “There is a fancy charity gala today, which means that there will be plenty of people getting dressed up and wearing expensive jewelry for you to steal. You smile a bit to yourself in anticipation and look in your closet for something to wear.” bother me a lot. I’d rather imagine my MC frowning and being disgusted at himself for having to resort to that. Or he’d have a hard time looking at himself for a long time.
So yeah, it would be good to be able to determine manually, or at least via stats, what does the MC think about stealing instead of making him seemingly enjoy it.
Not to mention, aside from MC’s opinion on stealing, it would also be good to be able to select what kind of people MC targets. Like, it doesn’t make sense for a naturally kind MC to steal from pregnant women and the like.

About stealing powers:

It’s a similar issue as the stealing in general.
I do understand the need to give the MC the three first powers (well, not the acid, but maybe it comes up later - man I hate that power, because it cuts the possibility for a lot of heartwrenching moment with the MC crying and someone drying his tears). But again, the MC should be totally opposed to stealing any more powers, at least unless it’s something he HAS to do. Like, a matter of life and death, something absolutely needed to survive, taking away a dangerous power from a dangerous person…
Take that part:
“What had you planned to do today…? Oh. Yes. That’s it. You were going to try stealing a second power! Now that the realization hits you, you quickly sit up and get ready for your day. You throw on the first outfit you can find, make a quick breakfast, and head outside. Excitement courses through you. Now is your chance to find out if you really can steal powers, or if that one time was just a fluke.”
I can’t imagine the MC being excited or happy about it. Sure, stealing powers is an useful power, but if anything, wouldn’t it make him even more self deprecating, at least at first? Life has forced him to steal in order to live… and now he discovers he HAS an use for his power, but it’s also stealing. Again, I’m talking about nice MCs here. Or well, again, give the option to determine how the MC feels about that.

The game itself says “It seems that people only lose their powers after it finishes sinking into your body. And since that didn’t happen, you did not gain his power. You’re going to need to be more careful stealing powers in the future so this doesn’t happen again. Luckily, you do actually know how to get things you want without getting hurt. Your years of thieving have taught you that much. All you need to do is to treat stealing powers the same way you treat stealing items.”
The “same way you treat stealing items” - so yeah… for a nice MC who steals only because there is no choice, basically like a necessity only to be done when there’s no choice… Not haphazardly for the sake of it.

For the first choice of chapter 4, again, an option that would basically say “I shouldn’t steal any powers if I don’t HAVE to” - or something like that - would be great for going in that direction. All the options offered still imply he totally plans to continue.
Fortunately, after that point the player can decide not to steal anymore, but the tone of the options here imply the MC plans on still doing so.

About MC's sibling:

Generally speaking, it would really be nice to have the MC mourn his past relationship with his brother and wish to go back to their childhood dynamic, before the bullying started. I would understand the MC totally forgoing them if it was a childhood friend, but it’s his TWIN.
In the same way, when the MC thinks about his goal, once he discovers a way to use his power, it would be great to be able to select something like “mending my family” - or well, at least “mending the relationship with my brother” or something. But well, even if that one as a goal wouldn’t fit your narrative, then at least giving the general possibility for the MC to want things to be better with his brother instead of just hating him or wanting to beat him.

About Everett:

Considering how bad Everett is, the most logical move for the MC (before discovering his power) would be to try and find where he stores all of his memory orbs and tip the police about that. With all the dirt the dude has on a lot of people, AND his own illegal activities, surely the MC could negociate for an immunity for mere pickpocketing. Or well, since he’s such a good thief, he could even start by destroying the orb related to himself before telling the authorities.
And once he discovers his powers… well, the first goal should be stealing Everett’s power? If he does so, the orbs Everett made would probably disappear, and if they don’t on their own, the MC should be able to make them disappear. I don’t really understand why does he go to such lenghts to assemble a team etc considering how easy it would be.
And well, if you don’t want to allow that to players, then at least the MC should think of it, and it should be explained why it isn’t possible, don’t you think?
At this point, adding “I want to defeat Everett” to the goals the MC has would make more sense than “I want to defeat my brother”. Or well, make the “I want a normal life” one imply defeating Everett and sending him to jail or whatever, not merely managing to escape his company.

About Caleb:

At some point Finley scares the MC by talking about that psycho Caleb with the power to deconstruct, and how he uses it etc. Why the heck won’t the MC try to steal HIS power? The guy is a menace, and getting his power away from him would actually be a good use of MC’s power, instead of robbing a random woman and a poor kid of their powers. I feel so bad for that kid, who’ll be condemned to the same bullying the MC had to endure from now on. I can’t fathom how could a nice MC steal a kid’s power. And not even feel horrible after doing so! He more than anyone should understand what it means for that kid - he destroyed his life the same way his was destroyed.

About MC's targets:

Like I mentioned earlier, being able to choose the MC’s targets really seems like a major thing to me. Both when stealing items and stealing powers, and also for that first mission for the company, when he had to frame someone.
A nice MC could avoid people who truly look innocent or poor or whatever, like that pregnant woman. They could target thugs, and bullies. Especially bullies, considering their past!

For the person the MC frames during the job… from MC’s reaction to the woman earlier, it seems obvious he’s aware of celebrities and so on. So instead of framing a random guy, he could target a person he KNOWS is nasty. Again, it felt like the MC was enjoying himself, before rethinking it after the act:
“Your eyes wander the party and land on a man standing over by the side of the boat, smoking. His finger emits a flame which he uses as a lighter. You move behind him and slip the ring into his back pocket. You smile, pleased with your work, but then start to feel unsure of yourself.”
A nice MC shouldn’t be pleased at all - he would feel guilty from the start.

As for the powers, the fire was not on purpose, and I understand the need for the MC to have the duplication power - maybe the acid too though it wasn’t used yet and I still REALLY don’t like that power but oh well. But like, whom he steals from doesn’t need to be set in stone, right? You may make a mean MC steal from a random woman and kid, but a nice MC would steal from two bullies or something, who’d give them the same powers, but in different circumstances.

About duplication:

That is an OP power, and really, the MC doesn’t need anything else to better his life considerably. He’d still have to steal for a while (or work for a while for Everett), but then it would allow him to stop stealing.
Duplication should be used to make food and precious minerals or stones? Sure, duplicating money in order to get rich and avoid stealing is apparently impossible for him, as well as duplicating very big items. But what he should do is save money in order to purchase a small gold pebble or something similar, then duplicate pebbles and sell them. And in the meantime, duplicating food items would reduce life costs considerably and allow to save up for that gold pebble.
So yeah, right now he has the issue with the company and Everett etc, but it would be nice to start working towards that.

About Levi's necklace:

That part doesn’t make any kind of sense for a kind MC: “Showing kindness is the same as showing weakness, and returning this necklace will demonstrate to others that they can walk all over you and push you around until you give them what they want.”
Honestly, that moment almost made me quit the game - if the next page didn’t offer to actually give it back, I would have closed the game at that moment.
My character being 72% Kind at the moment of that choice, that thought shouldn’t have even crossed his mind. And even if we set aside the kindness aspect, the reasoning behind is flawed too, with the MC thinking his enemies would learn of that and come after him if he gave the necklace back. At that point, no one but MC himself and Levi know about the theft. If MC gives the necklace back, why would Levi actively seek dangerous people in order to tell them “hey, this dude stole a necklace from me, and when I asked him kindly, he gave it back!” - the MC has no reasons to think Levi would act that way, even if he doesn’t know much of him at that point. It’s enough to see how meek he is. On the other hand, if the MC doesn’t give the necklace back, not only Levi could report to the police, but also, THAT could be motivation enough to seek MCs enemies and tell them about him - after all, they’d probably seek him out anyway if they want to harm it - they just wouldn’t do so by mocking him for giving back a necklace, but some other reason. Realistically, Levi probably wouldn’t do that anyway, but that’s a way more logical conclusion for the MC.

All in all, the possibility to give back the necklace WAS given, so at least that’s good, but I feel like the entire reasoning during that part of the story is wrong.
It would be good to at least be able to give back the necklace directly (with two different options - one that would say it’s because it’s too dangerous to keep it, and one out of kindness), instead of having to refuse first and then agreeing.

About the pool scene:

Small things here, but oh well, better talk about everything now that I’m at it :sweat_smile:
Whyyyy can’t the MC throw the pool noodle at Finley instead of handing it or outright refusing? I mean, he KNOWS how Finley is - it was obvious he was going to play a nasty trick. I’m surprised there isn’t an option to throw the thing.

And on a more serious note, there’s that part:
You watch the two of them in the pool splashing each other and having fun. You wish you had brought a bathing suit. You look around impatiently. “Don’t we have a job to do?”
I don’t think a shy, serious, pessimistic AND calm MC like mine would really wish he had brought a bathing suit while watching them play in the water?

About drugs:

Is that REALLY unavoidable? Being forced to take drugs is… well… quite extreme? I don’t actually mind the darker tones of the game. Heck, half of the time I think my MC would probably start thinking about suicide or at least self-harm at that point! But it would be something self inflicted - and, in term of mechanics - a choice the player would make. In this case, the plot forces that onto the character with no player agency, and… it seems a bit much? And believe me when I say I rarely think something is a bit much!
At the very least, I think the MC accepted too easily. If keeping fully in character, I can more easily imagine my MC saying “no” and “to hell with consequences” than agreeing.
Or well, I guess it would be more palatable (pun totally intended), in a weird way, if Finley or Everett physically forced the MC to swallow the thing. At least it wouldn’t be the MC just agreeing…
And on a side note, it would be nice if, afterward, the MC could be really more upset about that, or becoming way more depressed. It’s a very extreme thing, for MCs who wouldn’t naturally take drugs.

Small coding error:

After Aster learns about MC’s power:

All my friends are online, and I don’t think they’d care all that much to hear about one guy’s power halfway across the world." person’s power halfway across the world."

Both the male (accurate) and non-binary (not accurate) versions of the text appear.

Instances of choices where I would wish for another option to choose from:
  • When Levi visits MC’s home for the first time and MC’s wondering if he’ll do something special, wouldn’t it make sense to have a positive but calm option? The party is excessive, but preparing some tea or something simple like that would be nice, instead of just doing nothing or being mean?
  • At the amusement park with Levi, after the haunted house, a shy option would be good when Levi hugs the MC, for people who want to romance him. Earlier on, the MC could blush just from him getting too close. So it’s safe to assume it would be worse from the hug, especially considering Levi’s reaction.
    And generally speaking, during the early interractions with Aster and Finley, shy options would be good too.
  • Before the “big job” (the drug one), when the MC ponders about it - something like “I hope they won’t force me to harm anyone again…” would be a nice addition.
  • When the MC thinks about the changes in his life - the part where he can think he’s glad for the changes, that he doesn’t know what to make of the changes or that his life is worse now - it would be good to have an option to say his life is just as bad now as it was before, but in a different way. That’s totally different from being undecisive, and also a totally true statement in case of MCs like mine.

Oh god, I’ve finally reached the end!
Sorry for it being SO. DAMN. LONG.
I really don’t mean to discourage you… Like I said, if I didn’t care about the premise and the general plot as much as I do, I wouldn’t be so upset about these things and I’d just forget about this WIP, but it really left a huge impact on me.

If you checked all of that out, I sincerely hope it helps in any way. But of course, feel free to disregard if you don’t think this critique is constructive or useful or simply if you disagree…
I always feel very bad about pointing out so many thing that bothered me, especially considering it may give the impression I don’t like the work… :fearful:

Still, I hope it won’t bother you. I’m really really sorry if it does!

5 Likes

Lol that was accidental, MC gets the kid’s duplication power by accident.

2 Likes

It didn’t feel that way though? :thinking:
He didn’t PLAN on stealing from him beforehand, but it seemed like he used the opportunity since the kid crashed onto him.

MC can’t actually duplicate whenever and whatever they want, it needs LOTS of energy and it also kinda like needs a recharge.

1 Like