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Alright dogs, as requested by the GAY THREAD, here's LONG LIVE THE QUEEN! I ran it twice and died twice to get a feel for the game, and I am steadfastly REFUSING to look ANYTHING up. Get it here. In checkout, the price might/should drop to $5 - obviously you can back out if it don't. BEGIN Our adventure begins with a conversation! Most of the game is talking. Thank Christ that the game comes with a built-in "export chatlog" function. Our first face! This is Dad. Dad's wife just died. He's pretty sad. This is us! We say nothing. We are a strong and silent type. : I know it's hard to leave your school and all your friends, but I've arranged the best possible tutors for every subject. : You'll have to work hard this year to prepare yourself before your fifteenth birthday, but I know you can do it. : You'll learn quickly and you'll make a wonderful queen. It's what your mother would have wanted. (this is the entire gameplay explained, pretty much) : This is not what Mother would have wanted! : She wouldn't have wanted to die and leave me. No. She wouldn't. But sometimes bad things happen. We have to pick up and carry on. : All of Nova depends on us. On you. : *sigh* I will be here to guide you until your coronation, but the decisions you make are ultimately up to you. : Come. Your maids are waiting. Not much to talk about here. It's the intro conversation - we don't even have any options. I'm just whipping this up so you guys can talk while I eat dinner. THE MENU We'll do a quick rundown of the options then I'll let you guys loose. SKILLS give us a quick summary of how much we suck and are likely to die. The little -1.00 and +1.00 and stuff are modifiers - basically, our mood influences how well we learn stuff. Angry makes you better at learning to fight, Cheerful makes you better at learning to flatter, so on. I haven't figured out jack for shit on what influences what, but maybe we'll figure it out together. In short: pick + yes good, pick - no bad. Our mood summary! Shoulda put this before the skills, but whatever. We can influence this once a day, and sometimes the plot will influence it for us. Or kill us. The plot likes to kill us. Outfits. We don't have any. Once you get 25 in each skill in a category (Conversation, Weapons, Military, Faith, etc) you get an outfit appropriate to the category. Wearing that outfit boosts that category of skill. That's all there is to outfits. Classes! Simple: pick two skills, one for the day one for the night, can both be the same skill, and that's what we study. This means pick a skill from the SKILLS list, not from this list - if you give me a category, I'll pick the skill inside to study myself. Also pick what we're doing next! We unlock extra stuff to do later, but for now we can: >Talk to our father (plotish conversation) >Attend court (fixed +2 Yielding, +1 Depressed, +1 Pressured) >Explore castle (fixed +1 Lonely, +1 Afraid) >Visit tomb (fixed +1 Afraid, +1 Depressed) >Walk in the gardens (fixed +1 Lonely, +1 Cheerful) >Attend service (as far as I can tell, -1 to whatever your current mood is; right now, -1 Depressed) >Sneak out (fixed +2 Willful, +1 Lonely) >Visit Charlotte, Lady Merva (plotish conversation) >Visit dungeons (currently no effect, adds +1 Anger and +1 Willful if Anger and Willful are positive, may have other effects; will attempt to compile them) SO PICK: Two skills, or two iterations of the same skill Something to do afterwards I'll tally votes and stuff sometime LATER and do another update. [spoiler=THE SKILLS THUS FAR]Public Speaking 10: You practice tongue-twisting sequences of syllables to improve your enunciation. Public Speaking 20: You take deep breaths and practice speaking loudly and clearly, projecting your voice to every corner of a room. Public Speaking 30: You memorize lists and sonnets, then recite them for your teacher and any castle staff she can round up to serve as an audience. Public Speaking 40: Your teacher asks you questions about made-up nonsense, pushing you to improvise answers smoothly and swiftly without having to worry about them being correct. Court Manners 10: You review the correct greetings for guests according to rank and when to extend your hand to another. All nobles expect their due honors. Court Manners 20: As the person of highest rank within the domain, no one may sit at any formal event unless you give them permission, and no one must ever turn their back on you. If they do, you are intended to recognize the insult. Court Manners 30: You study rules for formal dining, including the proper utensils for different dishes. As the queen, no one will comment on your mistakes, but they will notice them. Court Manners 40: You study the traditions of ballroom etiquette, how to politely accept or defer an offer, and how to avoid the impression of attachment to an individual. Court Manners 50: You memorise the correct title for every servant in the castle. Treating servants with respect ensures good service. Court Manners 60: To directly challenge someone's honor is to declare war. Never make a public accusation of cowardice, treason, infidelity, or murder unless you are prepared to face mortal enemies. And on that note, you study the etiquette of dueling. Court Manners 70: As a monarch you are expected to embody the virtues of honesty, bravery, and generosity. You should always offer aid to those in need; however, those you aid personally are expected to give you their utmost loyalty even unto death. Flattery 10: You learn that it's important to make eye contact when saying nice things about someone. Flattery 20: You learn that flattering comments have the best impact when kept short. Gushing makes people feel awkward. Flattery 30: You learn that it is always better to compliment people for their personality and their choices rather than their personal attributes. Decoration 10: You discuss the nature of beauty, looking around at landscapes, objects, and people and comparing their aesthetic elements. Voice 10: You practice deep-breathing exercises to build up your ability to sustain a note. Voice 20: You learn the differences in resonance between the chest, the head, and the nose. Dance 10: You practice curtseying, standing, and walking across the floor in a graceful manner. Reflexes 10: Your teacher walks around you slowly, prodding a finger at you slowly in order to train you in blocking those touches without triggering fear or faster breathing. Reflexes 20: You practice with a jumprope to increase the speed of your footwork. Reflexes 30: You practice solo tennis, hitting a ball against the wall repeatedly in order to train your hand and your eye to react. Reflexes 40: You practice running at high speed back and forth over a small area, making quick turns and changes in direction. Reflexes 50: You practice tennis against multiple opponents, learning to judge at a glance when a ball is too far away to reach in time. Archery 10: You learn how to twist and wax bowstring from a variety of fibers. Archery 20: You learn to cut, fletch, and tie arrows. Archery 30: You learn about different styles and sizes of bows - long, short, and recurve. Archery 40: You learn about caring for your bow - how to store it in between uses, string and unstring, and check for damage or wear. You also learn that you should never "fire" a bow without an arrow on the string. Archery 50: You strap on protective gear and practice gripping, drawing, and anchoring the bow, before finally loosing a shot. Polearms 10: You learn about a variety of long weapons, from the quarterstaff to the spear to the halberd and glaive. Polearms 20: You practice walking while carrying a long weapon, getting the feel for its size and weight and learning to maneuver without banging it into anything unintentionally. Polearms 30: You learn the basic stances, grips, and positions for staff fighting, and how to block a blow without crushing your fingers. Horses 10: You walk around the stables, meeting the royal horses, learning about their breeds and the names for different parts of their anatomy. Dogs 10: You visit the kennels and learn about different breeds of dogs. Dogs 20: You learn about dog grooming and the most common diseases and injuries that dogs suffer from. Dogs 30: You learn the standard commands for working with trained hunting dogs and retrievers. Falconry 10: You visit the mews and learn about different kinds of trainable birds, their preferred nesting sites, behavior, and food. Falconry 20: You learn about the fragility of hunting birds and the years of training necessary to develop mastery. Luckily, your royal falconer does most of the hard work for you. Falconry 30: You learn about the hood and leather jesses, how and when they are worn, and how to keep the maintained and oiled. Foreign Affairs 10: You study the relationship of Nova and its nearest neighbors. The borders have been mostly peaceful in recent years, except for the problems with Ixion to the south. However, trouble may be brewing in Pyrias as well. Foreign Affairs 20: Four years ago, the Duchess of Hellas tried to foment an insurrection in northern Ixion, just over the Galben River border. Not only did that fail, but in retaliation, Ixion pushed troops into southern Maree, and they are still refusing to leave. Internal Affairs 10: Until you have children of your own, your maternal uncle, the Duke of Merva, is next in line for the crown, and after him would be his daughter, your cousin Charlotte. Internal Affairs 20: Your maternal uncle's wife, the Countess Nix, claims kinship to the old Merva line and originally asked your mother for title to the duchy. However, no one could verify her lineage. As a compromise, your mother created her brother Duke of Merva. Internal Affairs 30: The last Duke of Mead was the older half-brother of the current Duchess. His reign was brief and highly scandalous - he defied tradition to pledge himself as the lifemate of the old Duke of Ursul, then broke that off only a year later. He retired into seclusion and died still unwed. Internal Affairs 40: The Duke of Maree has paid suit to the Duchess of Ursul to no avail. The Duchess's brother is opposed, as he will inherit if she dies childless. Your agents suspect the Duchess of Ursul is actually more interested in the Duchess of Hellas. Neither has ever been linked to a man. Internal Affairs 50: Countess Lieke of Dis married the old Duke of Sudbury, who was more than twice her age, then divorced him as soon as she'd borne him an heir in order to marry another. It was considered shockingly rude by the general nobility, but the old Duke apparently had no objection. Internal Affairs 60: The Countess of Dis is now married to the disinherited third sibling of the Duke of Maree and the Duchess of Hellas. Currently, both Duke and Duchess are unwed. If either dies without heir, a title may still pass to the Countess' husband. Internal Affairs 70: Several generations back, the rules of Elath and Sedna in neighboring Talasse married. The citizens of Elath objected to this foreign influence, and the resulting heir died in suspicious circumstances, after which the title was passed to a distant branch of the family rather than another child of the Elath-Sedna union. Internal Affairs 80: There were many dark rumors about the second husband of the Duchess of Lillah, possibly because he was a commoner. It was whispered that he once assaulted the young Duchess of Elath before her untimely marriage and demise. Internal Affairs 90: After years of marriage and three children, the Duchess of Lillah divorced her second husband and refused to say why. Shortly afterwards, he was found dead in a nearby forest. The Duchess of Lillah and her son the Earl of Io have been estranged ever since. The Earl of Io now lives with his sister, the Duchess of Mead. Foreign Intelligence 10: The current Duke of Sedna is twenty-six years old and unmarried. He might be considered a good marriage prospect for you if you desire stronger ties with the domain of Talasse. Foreign Intelligence 20: The domain of Shanjia, across the sea to the west, has been steadily increasing in size, and now controls a wide range of coastline as well as most of the navigable rivers. Foreign Intelligence 30: The political disruption in Tombula in recent years has caused a disruption of their chocolate production, which is to the benefit of Nova, particularly the duchy of Kigal. Foreign Intelligence 40: Since their recent revolution, the Tombulans have twice begun gathering troops on the Novan border. Both times, their camps were struck by fierce storms and earthquakes, and they decided to give up on the idea. Foreign Intelligence 50: Pirates are once again operating out of Orcus, although they are currently sticking to the northern seas and no threat to Nova. However, if they turn to slave raids, the Borealans may be quite vulnerable. Foreign Intelligence 60: Agents who have visited Borealis report that all known "Lumen Shamans" seem to have no magical powers at all, and perform their ritual displays with show and trickery. Foreign Intelligence 70: Rumor has it that the mother and older sister of the last Duchess of Elath were assassinated twenty years ago by agents from Sedna, which is why she, as sole remaining heir, was married off so young. Ciphering 10: You practice reading words whose letters have been arranged in reverse order - the simplest of transpositions, which anyone literate can puzzle through if they try, but sometimes useful to hide information thg is nia Ipni. Ciphering 20: You practice shifting substitution ciphers, where each letter is replaced by one a few steps further along the alphabet, so that "cake and pie" becomes "fdnh dqg slh". Ciphering 30: You practice random substitution ciphers, where the normal alphabet is replaced by one in jumbled order. This is harder to decode, but most people need a written substitution chart to read or write it, and that chart can be lost or stolen. Ciphering 40: You practice complex transposition ciphers, where messages are written down in columns or lines and then reorganized into scrambled words. This means that both an encoded and a plaintext written copy exist, which can be insecure. Ciphering 50: You practice adding code to your ciphers - that is, replacing words with other words, such as "handle" for "duke", before changing the letters in the message. Ciphering 60: You memorize special cipher alphabets where each letter is replaced by a symbol. Once these are memorized, you will not need to write down cipher sheets, and if the symbols do not look like letters they can be hidden in decorations. Poison 10: The first treatment for most ingested poisons is to purge the stomach by forcing the victim to eat powdered charcoal, which can absorb dangerous substances. Strategy 10: You study the strengths and weaknesses of different weapons in battle formations. Strategy 20: You study the effects of battle stress on troops, and how morale can turn the tide of combat. Strategy 30: You study military recruitment and the importance of training and motivation in making soldiers who can trust and depend on each other. Strategy 40: You learn about how units reinforce each other in the field, gaining strength through proximity and the covering of weaknesses. Strategy 50: You study the effects of different kinds of battle terrain for both offense and defense. Strategy 60: You study the power of ranged weapons, from arrows to thrown fire and sand, and how the threat of such attacks can shift the enemy's response. Strategy 70: You study the use of cavalry in battle, as well as the costs and benefits of traveling with large animals. Strategy 80: You study the effects of a strong hierarchy on military organisation and the ability of troops to respond to changing situations. Communication across an army can be difficult; disrupted signals can lead to chaos. Strategy 90: You study famous battles: the disasters and the mistakes which created them, and the turning points in larger conflicts and why they made a difference. Naval Strategy 10: You learn that the sea is not something you hold, it is something you travel across. Naval strategy ensures your free travel while denying it to your enemies. Naval Strategy 20: You study different kinds of ships - their names, designs, and the number of crew needed for each. Naval Strategy 30: You study different kinds of ships - their speed, maneuverability, and standard complement of weapons. Naval Strategy 40: You learn about the requirement for all civilised sailors to rescue the crew of a sinking ship, even an enemy. Naval Strategy 50: You learn about the challenges to naval warfare posed by unpredictable weather, as well as the dangers of sailing too close to an unknown coastline. Naval Strategy 60: You learn about the use of ships in transporting ground soldiers between locations. Naval Strategy 70: You study the cost, time, and materials required to construct new ships. Naval Strategy 80: You study blockades, both setting them and breaking them. Naval Strategy 90: You study the effect of cannons against coastal installations such as enemy docks and seaside villages. Naval Strategy 100: You study the difficulty of a sneak attack at sea, and ways that it can be achieved. Logistics 10: You learn about the types and amounts of food required for an army on the march, and how long they will remain edible. Logistics 20: You study the kinds of equipment that soldiers need available, such as bedding, weapons, armor, medicine, bandages, and the tools to repair anything damaged. Logistics 30: You study different kinds of transport - animals, wagons, sledges, ships, boats, and boots. Wield Magic 10: You learn to summon a small glowing light which you can then move around independently. Wield Magic 20: You learn how to cast rays of white light which can banish shadows and blind your opponents. Wield Magic 30: You learn to create tiny discs of solid light which can fly through the air and cut targets. Wield Magic 40: By concentrating, you can create a wave of discontent which panics or enrages animals in the area. [spoiler=DEATH COUNT]Elodie I: Shot to death on the 20th of June. Died due to lack of practice with archery, reflexes, and battlefield medicine.