(WIP) The Arcanist's Journey 136 thousand words

I’ve begun work on my new game The Arcanist’s Journey.

You will play a boy/girl who has abandoned their former life doomed to poverty after discovering an aptitude toward magic. You will find yourself travelling across the continent of Michiwitt, a land rich in adventure and secrets to discover. You will train as a mage at one of the Nine Great Academies of magic, where you will find that everything isn’t as it seems. Learn to control the five basic elements of magic; Pyromancy, Hydrosophy, Theurgy, Illusion, and Summoning, as you make your way through a story of life, death and beyond.

The Wheel of Life is real. It isn’t just a folktale told to old men and women before their deaths to give them a tiny bit of hope that death isn’t the end. Reincarnation is real, and the Voidwoken are those very spirits that have been given a second, or even third chance at life. But this comes at a cost, for the Templars search for and hunt down these very Voidwoken for their own nefarious experiments. You will learn of your own nature and be thrown into a world that is hostile to your very existence. How will you survive the onslaught of those who wish to harness your powers?

To play the demo, go here: https://dashingdon.com/play/duskarcana/arcanists-journey/mygame/

Themes: [Fantasy] [Dimensional Travel] [Magic] [Cultivation]

Word Count: 132000
Average Playthrough: 50000

Story Setting

Setting: The setting of this game is an alternate fantasy reality, where things such as magic and faith along with races like elves and dwarves are common place. A common tongue is spoken on the continent of Michiwitt, which you find yourself in. Inspiration comes from portal fantasies and reincarnation fantasy and the worlds they usually depict.

There are certain guilds you can spend time in and complete quests for, namely the Adventurer’s Guild, Mage’s Guild and Alchemist’s Society, each of which comes with it’s own unique boons and bonuses.

Outskirts of Val Sola (The home of the Voidwoken)
Val Sola Outskirt

Plot Summary

You are a lone hopeful magician having cast aside your former life in the hopes of finding something better than the less than average life you would instead have. Being accepted into your chosen academy was a surprise already, but finding out that you are a reincarnated spirit is the greatest revelation you have ever had.

But finding this out has come at a great cost, you will now be chased to the ends of the Earth by your mortal enemies, the Templars, individuals who for some unknown reason have been barred from the Wheel of Life, the process by which a spirit can reincarnate. Instead of waiting for death, these demons suck out the life of any Voidwoken they find in order to prolong their own existence.

Will you find out who you once were in your previous lives? Will you find out the mysteries of the Wheel of Life or die to the cold blades of the Templars?

Romantic Options

Demeter - The dark elf lord of all that is darkness and bloodshed… and brooding (a softie on the inside but doesn’t like to show it). A true impulsive lover of all things war, you’re sure to find him wherever there’s a battle.

Mbali - Just your innocent and kind young woman who also recently found out she’s a Voidwoken (well innocent until you get to really see her true colours). Her healing powers come in very handy in more than one way.

Bami - Your first contact into the world of the Voidwoken. A pyromaniac. Fiery and aggressive but cares deeply about the fate of the Voidwoken. Her experiences with the templars have left her slightly broken and unhinged at times, due to the torture she was put through by your enemies.

Ploy - Native of the Khaeng Kingdom and your contact for some very important missions.

Solas - The man with all of the plans, a quite secretive elf that is running everything behind the scenes to keep you and your kind safe. His past is as much as mystery to you as it is to everyone else, however Bami swears to stay by his side, loyal to him as he broke her out of the dungeon she was left to rot in.


I must say I like this prospect. I will for sure be keeping my eye on this.

I will provide more in depth feedback once I’ve read the whole thing, but there is a small thing on the first page that confuses me.

On the very first page, it is stated that you are “the youngest male of your family.”

I understandbly thought, “Ok, this is genderlocked. Would prefer a choice but I’ll give it a chance.”

then immediately I was presented with a choice to choose my gender.

I don’t know if there is a word that describes whiplash while reading, but if there is then I just experienced it.

Don’t take this as an insult I love the Idea, and I hope I will love the game. :slight_smile:

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Ahaha oops, I guess I left that in there accidentally. I had recently decided to implement a non-gender locked story due to request from others. I’ll fix that immediately.

In depth feedback:

First of all, I noticed the save system on Dashingdon is not available. I don’t know if you chose specifically not to include it, but if you did want it there, then I wanted to inform you it is unavailable.

I chose the Fae academy, and to be a female.

When Estelle asks you why you chose the Fae academy, there is an option that says
“You remember that the Fae Academy is home to the highest proportion of females to males. You grin to yourself as you imagine how you will do your best to bask in the glory of being targetted by hundreds of girls to be their boyfriend.”

Playing as a female MC, this option doesn’t really make sense. Although this problem likely stems from your deciding to make the game gender customisable after starting. I’ll leave any other gender miswords I find in a small section at the bottom.

This section:
"You make your way to your dorm room, following the instructions which you find on the backside of the sheet of paper that Professor Drakath had given you.

It doesn’t take long for you to find your room door. You open the door, finding the space inside to be relatively large.

You walk into your room and close the door behind you. There is a single king sized bed in the center of the room. Beside it there is a drawer. To one corner of the room is a wardrobe, with a mirror attached to one of the wardrobe doors.

There are two doors in the room. You inspect both, finding the first door leads to your bathroom, and the second leads into a study area, where there is a desk and a couple of large, heavy books. "

This is probably just a problem with myself but I feel like “door” is said a bit too often here. It’s probably unavoidable but, “finding the first door leads to your bathroom” could probably be changed to " inside the first room, you find your bathroom,"

In the first Pyromancy lesson when Prof. Yolanda is introduced, she is described as “She is wearing a slim fit black dress” This is missing commas.

During the first dungeon, with Estelle as a partner:

“Interesting, but they made this dungeon way too easy,” she says. The girl moans. “I thought today would be interesting, I guess not. Let me get us out of here.”

These two dialouges should probably be seperated.

“You’ve also expanded your social circle, and you now know most of the people in the classes you frequent. The most notable people in your circle are Giselle, Estelle, Brandon and Song.”

Given that, in my playthrough, the only one of this list that I had met was Estelle, you might want to include more chances to meet them rather than just saying, “You are now friends with these people you’ve never met.”

I also noticed that the realtionship stat charts for the other characters never showed up in the stats menu.

“You’ve on separate occasions worked closely with each of them” should be flipped. So that it would be “You’ve worked closely with each of them on seperate occasions.”

Song turns his head and groans. “Do you ever stop talking Brandon? It’s quiet in the hall, get a hint.” He then rubs his dark, bald head and sighs. “Non stop.” - the random “Non stop”, It doesn’t really add to his previous statement and just confuses the reader.

When meeting Bami, I think there should be options to be naturally trusting, rather than assuming the MC “eyes her with suspision.”

-“Adrienne we don’t have time for your temper tantrums right now. I’m not here to hurt you, rather the opposite,” Bami says.* - A comma after the player name.

“Illusions? Interesting, I don’t think I would have picked you for that. I thought you’d be more into pyromancy. You seem like that type of person to me,” she says. - I find this statement interesting, considering I was focusing on Illusions and that it was my highest stat.

The waves are crashing against the beach, and a great wind is ploughing through the expanse, causing your hair to fly all over. - This is fine as is, considering I chose long hair. But i’d just kindly urge you to double check that this doesn’t show up for bald MCs

Gender issues

During the Affinity test:

“Man hurry your stupid self up, you’re playing with fire here.” The woman grabs you even tighter than before and starts running with you toward a wall." - will be confusing if not playing as a man.

And even if you are a man, it is missing a comma.

“Bami don’t be mean to him. He’s only a newborn, be patient.” - despite being female, there is male pronouns.

“Don’t thank me, it is only right that I help one of my brothers in arms.” - Male pronouns again.

Demeter bursts into laughter. “I love him Bami, where in the heavens did you find him?” - Again, I’m using female pronouns.

Mbali frowns. “Wait, but Adrienne hasn’t even been here for a day. Don’t you think it’s reckless to throw him into the thick of it without adequate training or time to process all of this?”

Bami grins. “Don’t worry. He’s got what is needed, trust me on that. And we don’t have the luxury of time right now.” - Prounouns again.

“Precisely,” Bami says. “Nevertheless, we are short-handed and need to verify this for ourselves. Hence we’re taking Adrienne with us so soon after his arrival.” - Pronouns

“Woah,” Mbali rushes into the middle of the pair. “Let’s simmer down. Right, we haven’t even told Adrienne about how to use his new powers from the spirit he chose.” - Pronouns

This conversation using male pronouns:
Demeter laughs. “You shouldn’t go saying things like that.”

“Why shouldn’t he?” Mbali retorts. She frowns. “He isn’t wrong at all, this is exactly why life is worth living. Surrounded by friends and family and just enjoying each other’s company.”

Demeter tilts his head back and groans. “Not what I meant. Him saying that totally jinxed this quiet peaceful life of ours. The wheel has heard his words and will throw something at us now. And anyway, none of us have a family to go back to anyway.”

You shudder at the end of Demeter’s sentence. You sigh knowingly. “He’s right. I guess we are all the family we have right now.”

I will do more later, but for now this is everything. I’ll keep the tab open so that I don’t lose progress.

I’m not sure how much is left in the demo, I just got to the point where you choose wether to go to the adventurer’s guild, the mage’s guild, or the training yard.

But I, and I cannot stress this enough, Enjoyed it.

I hope you keep working on it, keep up the good work!


You are an absolute star! These are just the perfect things I need to work on.

I’ll get to work on that immediately. And as you have guessed, I decided to add gender and hair customizations after completing the majority of the WIP and so I’ll need to go over those issues.

My sincere thanks :innocent: :smile:


Update: I’ve tweaked all of your input and suggestions and have tried to get the save file working, it seems to be okay in the code when I run the game using the files on my computer but I can’t seem to get the save file running on Dashingdon. Sorry :frowning:


a save button would be great, game is pretty good overall


In regards to the save command, which is *sm_init name | x, did you put it after declaring your variables in the startup.txt?

*create strength 10
*create dexterity 10
*comment Finished!
*sm_init IFGame | 5

This was a way for me to fix it, since the save command would not work if placed before the declaration of variables.


I’ve used the github download thing but that didn’t work, now I’ve tried the soft save file from the choicescript wiki but that only does soft save, I don’t know what to do xD

Edit: Doing what you’ve said brings me to this error at dashingdon “SaveMod: Non existent slotCount argument for *init_savemod!”

Edit: Fixed xD Thanks for your help

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Happy I was able to help. I had a similar problem, which took me four tries and a lot of tinkering with my files until I found the problem. :joy:

Also some feedback to the stats page:


Allow me to offer my suggestion that you consider adding designated segments to your “Main Stats”, as its current presentation appears somewhat compressed and haphazard. In my humble opinion, dividing the various statistics into categorized sections on the same page would not only enhance the visual appeal of your stats page, but also contribute to a more refined and polished aesthetic.

Furthermore, it can be beneficial that you design your stats with a distinct personal flair, such as utilizing the term “Might” instead of the commonplace “strength” (or even opting for the poetic “Lion’s Might” if you so desire, employing phrases like “Golden Tongue” instead of Social, …).

— Your Person —
Gender: Male
Health: 100
Mana: 10
Gold: 5

— Attributes —
Strength: 0
Dexterity: 0
Social: 0
Intelligence: 0
Observation: 0

— Magic Affinities —
Illusion: 5
Pyromancy: 5
Hydrosophy: 5
Summoning: 5
Theurgy: 5
Void: 0

Regrettably, I have yet to read far enough to provide any insight into the pacing or relationships within your project. Moreover, the grammatical problems have been previously addressed and my suggestion would be to utilize a little helper such as Grammarly. While it is not without flaws, it is a remarkably well-made grammar tool that provides valuable help.

I am impressed by your decision to incorporate numerous spells and I commend your commitment. Undoubtedly, this will give your battles an abundance of captivating nuances and imbue your project with replayability depending on your execution. It is a formidable task that yields equally formidable rewards.

In conclusion, I extend my sincerest wishes for the success of your project and wish you the very best.


Have you tried using Twine for the game instead? you could apply system like Superstition S1 and ect, it has more options for customization, easier to code and is much better than dashingdon with it’s obvious advantages.

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Thank you for your feedback!

And yes, this piece of work will take a much longer time than I anticipated :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile:
I get the feeling it’ll take at least another three to four months of non stop dedication to get to the place I want it to be at.

Thank you for the kind words, it means a lot :smiley:

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Didn’t even know that existed, i’ll check it out haha thanks

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Okay at 125 thousand words I have now finished writing down the main chunk of the work. I will now spend the next few weeks going over the coding and choices as well as adding romance choices, editing stat pages etc.

Hopefully this will be a finished product before the end of this month :smiley:


Hey great story but when you pick female it says He and you pick hair color black it says purple.

hmm in the beginning? Did you pick Fae or Draken academy?

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Added RO images to main thread.

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Solas… From Dragon Age?


Oh thank god, I thought I was the only one thinking that :joy: