The Golden Rose (WIP) - Updated 5th of December, 2018

low-fantasy
gender-choice

#1

maybe

"As the artist mourns his fortune
So the Dynasty falls to crumble,
And the two branches snatch asunder"

On the night Emperor Nero draws his last breath, a wave of destruction sweeps the Roman Empire to dust. The shining jewel of the West vanishes without a trace and so does change the course of History.

A millennia later, and the dark Inquisition roams the lands but it hunts far more than public heresies. The sovereigns of Europe hide behind their empty thrones while their people are left to govern themselves. Pirates control the seas and outlaws battle for land. Tensions rise and somewhere far below the earth, an Ancient Madness stirs in its sleep.

You are a recent member of The White Company, a mercenary guild on the far side of the law. Your job consists mostly of hunting artifacts and roaming ruins that the Church has forbidden to mention. One of your expeditions, however, leads you down a path that is much deeper than you ever anticipated.

Do you believe in destiny?

Try the updated demo here.

Last Updated: 30th of November, 2018
Current Wordcount: 81k (code excluded)
Average playthrough length: 18k

Changelog

28th of August

  • Demo posted.

3rd of October

  • Finished chapter one and the first Interlude;

  • Reworked the first part of chapter one according to feedback.

  • Changed some stats since the previous ones didn’t make much sense.

  • Added a very rudimentary inventory system.

7th of October

  • Added the new weapon choices.

  • Added achievements.

  • Added the option for a same-sex MC to express romantic interest in Alessa and Hadrian. Plus a few more scenes specifically for them.

  • Added a choice for those who don’t want to ask for no one’s help whilst falling.

  • Improved the Inventory. Added Outfit, Weapon and Special Items descriptions.

  • Fixed some typos and inconsistencies.

  • Character relationships now appear in text form instead of percentages.

  • Added Chapter Headers.

  • Added scenes for MCs with broken and amended fingers.

30th of November

  • Finished Chapter 2.

  • Added a save system.

  • Added Loner vs Team Player stat.

  • Added Corruption points.

  • Added a Character Guide.

  • Improved clothing, relationships, and weapon descriptions.

  • Improved the look of the Stats page.

  • Changed the witch’s familiar.

  • Added more achievements.

  • Fixed some typos, annoying bugs, inconsistencies and stats mistakes.

  • Added the option to skip the prologue.

  • Changed the suggested names for the MC.

  • Cleaned the code on Chapter 1.

  • Removed the Sword and Shield weapon choice.

5th of December

  • Added the option to kill Garrett.

  • Fixed grammar mistakes, continuity issues and a couple of bugs. If you are male and express concern for Hadrian (or are romancing him), he should be the one to help you with Billy, not Alessa.

  • Expanded some dialogue options, as well as rewrote a couple of scenes based on provided feedback.

  • Added one achievement.


Hello!

I’m a long time lurker and occasional poster and I’ve decided to try my hand at a CoG game.

Premise

I’m not very good at summaries as I always preferred to discover the story by myself, but essentially you play as a treasure hunter/mercenary in a medieval Europe which is not quite like our own. Travel the world, build relationships and try to find answers to the mysteries that plague the continent.

In a broken land where everyone seems to be for themselves can you really trust anyone? And most importantly - can anyone trust you?

This is a low-fantasy adventure and will be story and character focused.

Characters

I will be adding more as they appear.

  • Hadrian: One of the two companions you start your journey with. He’s a former Templar turned mercenary, but somehow has managed to keep his values untouched. Honest, friendly and apparently reliable. Just don’t probe too much into his past.

  • Alessa: A long-standing member of The White Company, the mercenary band you’re currently a part of. Never one to waste a pointless word, Alessa is careful with what she says - and how she does so. Often hiding behind an expressionless mask, she seems cold and unforgiving. To most people, anyway.

  • Tarek: Current infamous leader of The White Company. You don’t know much about him - yet.

  • Rafael: A bastard.

Romance

For now, it’s planned to be:

  • 6 bisexual characters: 3 males and 3 females.

  • 2 straight characters: 1 male and 1 female.

  • 2 homosexual characters: one gay male and one lesbian.

Confirmed ROs
  • Hadrian: Bisexual, has only experienced women.

  • Alessa: Bisexual, has only experienced men.

If you decide to try the demo, I would love to hear any feedback you’re willing to give.
Thanks in advance! :rose:

To note: I am not a native English-speaker so it’s likely that there will be grammar mistakes and awkward sentences. If you see any and are feeling generous I would really appreciate you pointing them out.

Also, the banner thing was drawn by my sister because she’s awesome.


Most anticipated HG WIP?
#2

Thus far, it was such a good read of the story… you had laid a very good foundation :slight_smile:

However, what worry me is that your story seems to be repeating the same "mistake " of Haze under windbroke , that is too many pages of story with too few choices… i need to re-read your story again in order to understand whether my comment was fair, but in my first read, i had a familiar feeling of reading Haze … i personally don’t mind a good read of story , but those who dislike Haze may give similar comment they gave to Haze. However, since it was only until chapter 1, perhaps i spoke too early?

By the way , in chapter 1 we are given choices to turn left or right 3 times , will our choice make any difference ? I meant will we end up in different room based on our choice? If you had design multiple outcomes based on our choice, that was a marvelous job :slight_smile:


#3

feel like a Tomb raider game :stuck_out_tongue:

Tell your sister , that banner look awesome indeed !

Just a question : is this gender locked ? cose…can’t tell from that beginning .


#4

I enjoyed the small demo very much, tbh! You have a beautiful way of describing the atmosphere and places the mc finds themself in and everything is very vivid, so that one can easily follow it. I’m very interested in the way the game will turn out in the following time :slight_smile:️


#5

That was quite lovely, I love your style of writing and can’t wait to read more.

I don’t think so because my stats say female. Also, there was an option that said Venus versus Mars, I think that’s the way the author chooses male or female.


#6

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, it’s an American saying (also a book) so yes you are correct. Kinda neat and weird to have the choice worded that way (at least to me)


#7

I just finished reading through this demo and I think you payed an excellent base for a great story. This story had a lot of potential, keep up the good work.


#8

Is the game gender locked?If so,that might be something you need to tell people upfront.


#9

Nope. The gender choice was in the “venus or mars” choice. You were only temporarily playing as the man in the beginning.

Edit: Thats weird, I thought the saying “men are from mars and women are from venus” was common. I’m not from the us so im not sure.


#10

Low fantasy with some noir? You have my interest.


#11

Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

And yes, I agree with you. I re-read through chapter one and I think there’s too much going on. I’ll probably cut some parts and make it more to the point. When I was writing it I was still world-building in my head so I kept a lot of random ideas that probably should have been cut.

And no, the turn left or right choices are there to give the reader the feeling of hopelessness and how big the tombs are. I can make different outcomes tho. So it’s certainly something to consider…

Like others have said, it’s not gender-locked. The prologue is written from the perspective of a man but your character can either be a man or a woman. In the next chapter, there will be a character customization scene.

Is the gender-choice too confusing? It seems a lot of people did not get it.

(Also, my sister says thanks!)

They say to write about what you love, right? :wink: Noir detective stories are awesome but I also adore fantasy so why not blend them together.

@bruisedsoldier @TheBum @Aiden7203
Thank you for your words. I really appreciate it. :grinning: It gives me a boost to keep writing.


#12

I was thinking to simplify your story would be sad… why don’t you keep them but add some fake choice or add choice of character customization between those pages ? It allows reader something else to play while reading your story :slight_smile:

Oh… noir, do you mean something like John Wick ? :slight_smile:


#13

It’s not so much simplifying as it is trying to make the chapter a bit neater. Nothing is set on stone tho. Right now I want to finish writing the rest of the demo, then I’ll do the re-write.

Hmm John Wick? I actually haven’t seen the films yet (it’s a series, right?).


#14

Hahaha… no no it was a movie, currently they already had 2 movies, the third is in the making , it was an attempt to make the assassin world looks cool , an assassin who kills other assassins , they said such theme is a noir … the same go with Blade runner 1 and 2 (which was the theme of a genetic enhance super human becoming a hunter to hunt other super human) :slight_smile:

Yes, you are correct … you can finish the demo with your idea and see how it can be re-integrate into a final product :slight_smile:


#16

Update

Chapter One is done! Oof, that took longer than I expected, but uni has a unique way of eating away my time. The link to the updated demo is in the first post - if you care to go through it, I would love to hear your thoughts. :grinning:

Current word count: 33k (but my code isn’t the most effective one as I’m still learning. I’m sure I could take away like 5k words or so). It passed Randomtest but if you see any discrepancy and weird texts, please let me know. Sometimes paragraphs cling together and it gets messy.

I’ve also changed the main post with more information regarding the plot, characters, and romance.


Anyway, things implemented on the update:

  1. Finished chapter one and the first Interlude;

  2. Reworked the first part of chapter one according to feedback. I’m still not 100% satisfied with it tho.

  3. Changed some stats since the previous ones didn’t make much sense.

  4. Added a (very rudimentary) inventory. I’m still trying to make the stat page look better. I want to figure out how to display the character relationships with text and not a percentage. Hopefully next update.


Now, for those of you who have played through chapter one, I have a question. I want to add an extra weapon choice (more than four might be a bit overwhelming for me), but I can’t decide. Which one would you guys be most interested in?

  • Short Sword and Shield
  • Battleaxe
  • Crossbow
  • Mace
  • Spear
  • Other (comments)

0 voters


#17

The demo was amazing!! This game has a lot of potential. :+1:t3:(The banner looks beautiful!)


#18

I enjoy Alessa, I look forward to see where you end up going with this. Anything that lets me use Dual Daggers is a win for me~


#19

Wow… that is an engaging and wonderful first chapter, i especially like the potential romance interaction with Alessa and Haldrian… the dialogue with them is cute :slight_smile:

But there is one thing that i am pondering … so if we are not commited to Faith , or should i say the Faith of Haldrian, we will be consider Sinful … which i feel is a bit “weird” , because even if MC is interested in an alternate Faith such as the old Faith in the altar of the ruin , it shouldn’t be consider a sin right? :slight_smile:

Oh… so Haldrian is an Ex Templar ? I am interest with him and especially the residue of Knight Templar… will we be getting to know what happen to the remainder of the knight Templar after the Betrayal of the pope and the French king ?

Do you think you will add characters from the Teutonic Knights and Knight Hospitality? Well… i notice that while many story add in story about the Templar, none choose the Teutonic or Hospitality order… so i think it will be refreshing or invoke more interest if either a Teutonic or Hospitality Order character be introduce as Hadrian’s rival :-):sweat_smile:


#20

You just inflated mine and my sister’s ego - so a big thank you for your comment :grin:

Glad you enjoyed her. Alessa is extremely fun to write. I can’t wait to show you more about her.

Also, team rogue for life! I love double daggers too. They’re so badass.

That’s good to hear :slight_smile: To be honest, writing character interactions is one of my favorite things to write about. Right after descriptions.

I’m kinda fearful that some of the “romance” interactions may appear too early in the game, but the characters have already developed an attachment to the MC. And they act accordingly. Hopefully, if someone is not interested, I gave satisfactory ways to turn them down.

Oohh it’s definitely considered a sin. In the eyes of the Vatican- who pretty much holds absolute power over the lands - if you follow another “alternate” religion then it is a heresy. One of the highest ones.

The Sinful/Pious stat tracks how you feel about the religious status quo. In this case, the Catholic Church.
I’m definitely planning to add the option for the MC to not only learn about “alternative” religions but also to practice them in secret. But by then your Sinful meter will be all the way up.

Regarding Hadrian… Hadrian is an ex-Templar but not because his former Order was disbanded. He left (or was kicked out - that’s for you to discover). In this alternative timeline, Philip IV of France never prosecuted The Knights Templars. They still exist - but there are more Orders now, according to the region they are on. Which makes for an interesting power struggle.

The Templars in the game are mostly inspired by the Order of Christ (also known as Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ) - The Portuguese Order of Templars. Mainly because it’s the one I know most about lol.

I’m still not sure if I will make up a new order or simply use the Order of Christ tho. I’ll have to think about that. But if Hadrian was apart of any of the authentic orders, it would be that one.

I actually don’t know who the Knights of Hospitality are, but regarding the Teutonic Order? There may be a character that is apart of it. Jerusalem’s name is on everyone’s tongue, after all.

But what do you particularly like about those Orders? What sets them apart? What kind of things would you like to see in-game?


#21

Oh… if i am not mistaken, the 3 most famous christian orders during medieval time are Templar, Teutonic and Hospitality

Templar and Hospitality are involve in Jerusalem, however Hospitality seems to be the modest of them all, they mainly provide refuge and medical treatment , but also involve in the war or battle… In fact the Kark de Chevalier fortress , strongest fortress and most unbreakable by sheer military force was defend by the knight Hospitalier …
However, this order is mostly underated as compare with the Templars…

The Teutonic Order involve in the holy war of Eastern Europe, against the so called “Pagan” religion… if i am not mistaken Teutonic Order stronghold was in Prussia/Germany and their main rivals are Polish/Lithuania… Well these teutonic Knights wore fancy terrifying Helmet when rode in battle , their knighs are the most heavily armour and most skillful combatants …they also have admirable military formation and discipline


See those helmet with the horn? Typical Teutonic Uniform… awesome right??

Well… i read that both Teutonic Order and Hospitality retain their order out of formality till these days, they still have a Grand Master of their order:-)

Oh … and you definitely have great talent writing romantic interaction, and it was presented in a soft, intriguing way :slight_smile:

Well… i guess this is the first time i am going to be a Sinful protagonist …Lol I initially was worry that the sinful meter increase if i have romantic interaction with Alessa, now i am relief that the Sin is not based on romantic interaction :-):joy: