Powered by Jitbit .Net Forum free trial version.

HomeFallen London » The Bazaar

This is the place to discuss playing the game. Find tips, debate the best places to find certain items and share advice.

August's Exceptional Story: The Attendants Messages in this topic - RSS

Pnakotic
Pnakotic
Posts: 179

13 days ago
dov wrote:
babelfishwars wrote:
(You actually *could* fail to persuade them. That so few people did is interesting - and suggests we should look at how we set the difficulty level.) Please don't consider this a 'well actually', but a 'this discussion is useful, thank you'.

Thanks for the clarification.

But please do note that even if this was a 50% chance for all players, the problem is still this:
  • Antiquarian: "I only want them to stay if they really want to. Please find out, since you're a neutral party."
  • Player character: Convince them all to leave.
  • Player: Huh?

Yeah, the wording is awkward. I really had to think about it for a while. If the choice was just "Speak with X person" I think it would have made more sense for the apparent narrative of the story

--
J. Ward Dunn, a midnight, sinister, terrifying and lethal gentleman
+4 link
Dudebro Pyro
Dudebro Pyro
Posts: 142

13 days ago
Pnakotic wrote:
I'm still curious about the the "Friendship of the Company" quality influences the story, if at all. Having the dialogues be quality-driven would have made a bit more sense than a simple persuasion check.

This. I didn't see it actually get used anywhere.
Same goes for your drunkenness tracker.

This seems to support the theory proposed above that some content was intended to be in the story, and was cut. If there was a more lengthy scene where you talked to each guest and got to know their opinions and attitudes, it would also make sense for your closeness to their clique to play a part in how much they open up to you, while being drunk would understandably make it harder to convince anyone either way.
If this had been the case, maybe they'd have had varying opinions, and you could get a more interesting/better ending by convincing everyone to stick together - whether it be leaving or staying. For instance, getting everyone to leave would let you drag the Antiquarian along (as it does now), while getting everyone to stay would net you some extra lore from the grateful princess - while having them split up would just leave you with "and then these went home with you while these stayed, the end" (in a similar vein to the current ending should you not attempt to convince anyone). Plus, if these checks were based on the Friendship and drunkenness, it would be stat-agnostic, and thus there would be no problem with scaling difficulty.

Of course, that entire wall of text is just pure wishful thinking of no practical value, but maybe it might provide some food for thought.

--
Dudebro Pyro, eccentric scholar
+3 link
suinicide
suinicide
Posts: 2001

13 days ago
My understanding was that drunkenness made challenges harder, while the friendship quality made it easier to persuade people to leave.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/profile/sunnytime
A gentleman seeking the liberation of knowledge, with a penchant for violence.
RIP suinicide, stuck in a well. Still has it under control.
+1 link
slickriptide
slickriptide
Posts: 96

12 days ago
Any motivation at all would have helped. I'd have been perfectly happy with something like, "No more 'Felicity Beauchamp, Relic Hunter' novels? UNTHINKABLE!"

Sure, you don't want to dictate the player characters preferences, but the Garroulous Novelist could just as easily have asked, "Have you read one of my novels?" and let the player choose whether buxom, half-dressed archaeologists and ancient curses really are his or her cup of tea instead of assuming that the PC is above such things.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Slickriptide
+2 link
Kukapetal
Kukapetal
Posts: 1259

12 days ago
Exactly! I was certain my character had not only read all her novels, but had the Triple Platinum Collector's Set :P
edited by Kukapetal on 8/4/2017
edited by Kukapetal on 8/4/2017
+3 link
genesis
genesis
Posts: 757

9 days ago
I haven't seen anyone discuss the new hieroglyph that appears in the art of story.

I am no Egyptology so I had to rely on Wikipedia to get even some sense of it. But I feel it's a major clue of *something*.

Ignoring the outer oval of the glyph, it consists of two elements. On the top is the sun glyph and on the bottom is the "butcher's block" glyph. Together they form the hieroglyph "Sun on block" which means "day time" or "course of the day". This would be quite a dull Easter egg as it might simply refer to the "The Slow Passage of Time" quality or just the overall theme of the story referring to trying to recapture sunlight and daytime in Parabola. So no secret messages there.

However, the fact that the hieroglyph appears inside an oval suggests that it is intended to be a cartouche (albeit without a horizontal bar), which would imply that it refers to a royal name.

If so, then there might be flexibility to attach different interpretations to the hieroglyph.

The sun glyph - This, quite obviously, can refer to the sun. It can also refer to some concept of time like a moment or an instant. Finally, and specifically in cartouches, it can refer refer to the sun god Ra. In Amarna Ra was equated with Aten.

The butcher's block glyph - the main meaning is the concept of "below" or "under". Perhaps, be-Neath? Alternatively, it can also have the following associations. It's a butcher's block so it can refer to something being butchered or segmented.

So what do we have overall? It can of course refer to "the sun in the Neath" - the idea of the Palace of the Rising. Or it could simply refer to the fall of Aten (as in Akhenaten/Amarna). Curiously, another entity that is associated with the phrase "The sun below" is "The sun below the sea" - Salt. I have no idea what that would have to do with this story but it's interesting to note. Finally, the Second City is also associated with Mr Eaten who was certainly butchered and segmented.

Anyway, I don't have any definitive theories but I thought it's a worthwhile angle to ponder.
edited by genesis on 8/7/2017

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/mikey_thinkin

Keeping track of incomplete content and loose ends in Fallen London
+5 link
alekth
alekth
Posts: 3

9 days ago
It definitely felt disconnected at the end, without any investment in either side. I ended up leaving everyone behind with the reasoning that since I'd started the story as the Antiquarian's ex-lover, I'd leave him some company for old times' sake.
+2 link
Dudebro Pyro
Dudebro Pyro
Posts: 142

9 days ago
Also worth adding that I started the story as a complete stranger to the Antiquarian (staying true to life, as I'd never seen him before in-game), which didn't actually end up affecting the story in any way except to make everything even more absurd - the text states that the Antiquarian invited you, the player, because you didn't know the other members, with strong hints that you are an old acquaintance of his and hence he could trust you. Yet in my case, he ended up inviting a completely random stranger for the purpose of an objective/detached judgement, which really seems quite extreme (in an amusing way).
It did, of course, make the last choice even more meaningless - ironically, I felt more attachment to the Princess than anybody else, and based my choice to let everyone stay off that.

--
Dudebro Pyro, eccentric scholar
+2 link
Tystefy
Tystefy
Posts: 257

6 days ago
Ooohhhh... it's this cult. Yeesh.

These sisters are part of an actual old cult that broke away from the Egyptian religion where they worshiped Atun as their main deity.

Atun is the sun disc, or the sun, that was wielded by Ra, the sun god.

To worship Atun is pretty much equivalent to worshiping Zeus's lightning bolt, Thor's hammer, or the literal cross of Christ. I'm talking about worshipping the cross, the physical object, and not what it represents.

That just doesn't sit right with me.

If I'm not mistaken, this cult not only worshipped Atun, but worshipped Atun INSTEAD of Ra, replacing him. Frankly, I'd be mad if that happened to me. If people sent gifts to your Waxwall Knife, and you were not allowed ownership of said gifts because they're for your weapon, wouldn't you be annoyed?

--
I am the eyebrow dog, yes.
0 link
phryne
phryne
Posts: 853

5 days ago
Got round to playing this one earlier than expected and immensely enjoyed it - even for the exact reasons others found objectionable, it seems. Sorry in advance for the wall-of-text, but reading through this thread prompted some thoughts about ES writing in general.

I did not find the ending to be anticlimactic. In fact, I'd like to point out how much I appreciate the fact that my character could just leave¹, without being forced to talk to or try and persuade anyone. As someone above has pointed out, "making other people's decisions for them seems to be an ES staple". Of course, I can totally see why that's the case: it's pretty hard to write an engaging, meaningful story without giving the PC some power over NPC's actions. What the writers of ES should try to do as often as possible though is to leave it to the player whether to interfere at all - and I feel like The Attendants achieved exactly that.

Of course I'm not saying there should never be situations where you're given power over an NPC's fate. But these situations lose meaning when they happen all the time instead of just, say, once or twice throughout the story. I think one of the most unrealistic things that interactive fiction can do is put you into a setting where NPCs ask you to influence their course of action all the time. Because that's just not how life works.² I also feel that, in those instances where interfering is possible, the existence of an option not to interfere is incredibly important. Being able to remain passive makes those moments when my char does take action - or has to make decisions - all the more meaningful.

In this story, I was invited by someone I didn't know to a party where I didn't know anyone either. I got the opportunity to explore the host's very interesting abode, both before and after dinner. During dinner, I was able to concentrate on food and drink, and was even kindly provided with the option to be unspeakably rude to anyone trying to engage me in conversation. I wasn't forced to participate in the seance either. At the end, I got to make an even more interesting trip to Parabola, said my goodbyes, and left. For basically throughout this story I hardly had to do anything but explore and observe, and still hugely enjoyed myself and learnt a great deal of lore. I feel like that's as remarkable an achievement by the writer as, for example, the exciting showdown in Web of the Motherlings

I also don't think it's an example of bad writing that all the (seemingly) threatening hints about some sinister plan on behalf of the Assistant turned out to be just the PC being paranoid - in fact, that's extremely realistic! Just imagine the situation: you're in a strange place with people you do not know. The host never shows up, and his assistant makes it plain inviting you wasn't her idea. Of course you're likely to become slightly worried at every hint of possible threat coming from her, and start seeing things that aren't there. To have my expectations so thoroughly contradicted is, to me at least, delightful. I chuckle at the thought of my monster-hunter moving stealthily through the mansion, prepared at every turn to be attacked by something hideous, only to find out that it really was just a game of hide-and-seek after all.

If, by the end of the story, I had been in any way inclined to further interfere with these peoples' lives, the options to do so were there. Not being forced into taking any of them was delightful.

I had high expectations for the Season of Ruins, and so far they've been met. Can't wait for the concluding story!


¹ There have been one or two ES where I craved an option to do just that, since I couldn't see any reason for my char to be interested in interfering at all. The most egregious example was, of course, Our Lady of Pyres, as others have pointed out already.

² For me, the worst example here was The Heart, the Devil and the Zee where I was asked to advise an NPC on matters most private, concerning their family and even their love life. Aside from the fact that why my char would care for this stranger, or why they would be entrusted with these decisions, was never really addressed - having such absolute power over the NPC's life was just totally unbelievable. (The story's saving grace, however, was the wide variety of final options it provided.) Contrary to that, in All Things Must End's final choice the writers did a great job by subtly suggesting the Undertaker being so wracked with indecision, she would just go along with whatever the PC chose. Sometimes the whole plot's credibility depends on details like that.

³ Generally, what I expect above all of Exceptional Stories is probably that they provide some variety. Overall, I was always satisfied on that end and feel like the FB writers have become even better at it recently.
------
edited by phryne on 8/11/2017

--
a Scarlet Sainta Monster-Huntera Memory
Exceptional Stories poll results: 20162017
List of useful thingsFavours & Renown Guide
+4 link
Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 707

5 days ago
Is it just me, or does this story feel a lot like a parser-based IF adventure? I feel like it could've been ported to Inform and lose nothing in process.

--
This is my profile and this is my light.
These are my words to the merciful night.
0 link
annalibertas
annalibertas
Posts: 83

4 days ago
phryne wrote:
I also don't think it's an example of bad writing that all the (seemingly) threatening hints about some sinister plan on behalf of the Assistant turned out to be just the PC being paranoid - in fact, that's extremely realistic! Just imagine the situation: you're in a strange place with people you do not know. The host never shows up, and his assistant makes it plain inviting you wasn't her idea. Of course you're likely to become slightly worried at every hint of possible threat coming from her, and start seeing things that aren't there. To have my expectations so thoroughly contradicted is, to me at least, delightful. I chuckle at the thought of my monster-hunter moving stealthily through the mansion, prepared at every turn to be attacked by something hideous, only to find out that it really was just a game of hide-and-seek after all.

If, by the end of the story, I had been in any way inclined to further interfere with these peoples' lives, the options to do so were there. Not being forced into taking any of them was delightful.


For the most part i agree with you on this one, being able to get sloshed instead of interfering was delightful (though I felt like it maybe could have made the occasional check harder in hide and seek? i maxed the quality and the assistant, as far as im aware, was completely sober) and the majority of the story was interesting and had some fun implications lore wise.

Like a lot of other people in this thread though, I did find it annoying that i couldn't try to find out the other guests views on staying, only convince them to leave which I hadn't been given any reason to do so I found that kind of jarring

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Anna%20Libertas
Accepting all social actions & boxed cats
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Julliah%20Randolph
Alt, will accept all social actions whenever I log on
+2 link
Amalgamate
Amalgamate
Posts: 224

4 days ago
Yeah, at 200, all the challenges were straightforward. I even put on a Talkative Rattus Faber and everything was still 100%.

I decided to convince the Garrulous Novelist. I figured that since she'd given up archaeology for trashy archaeology-themed novels, that she wouldn't really want to spend her life building a palace in Parabola. I guessed that the others were sincere, and besides, it's not like they're trapped there forever, technically the assistant can let them go back anytime.

--
My profile is at http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/amalgamate .

Social invitations of all kinds welcome!
0 link
Mr. Secrets
Mr. Secrets
Posts: 93

3 days ago
Well Amalgamate, the challenges should all be easy for a level 200. That would be the point, exceptional stories are meant for characters of all stat levels. For the most part, anyway. After all, wouldn't you be annoyed if as a low level character you paid real money for a story you cannot reasonably complete due to low stats?

Regardless of the ease of difficulty, which is found in pretty much every exceptional story, I had the same issues that others expressed. The game of hide and seek in the house was interesting, as was the conversation with the woman in the mirror. However, after that conversation I found myself rather confused.

The archeologist asked me to talk to folks and see if they were willing to stay...and then my only option for talking with them was to ask them to leave with me. Testing with the novelist, I found that there was no option to convince them back the other direction and it was simply a "take some, all, or none" situation. Which didn't sit right with me, there were so few opportunities to get information from or about the other characters. We did not even get a chance to talk to them about the temple/palace/place in the mirror. Heck, I only vaguely could tell the two male NPCs apart and it was mostly because of their pictures rather than their personalities. I had no idea if these folks had families or children to provide for that would lose them if they stayed on their side, or what kind of life awaited them if they stayed on the other side of the mirror. Convincing everyone to leave didn't make much sense, neither did sabatoging the project. I was given no reason to do either of these things, they were simply options that were available. Its like if the game had a button that said "I dare you to punch this puppy," why would I? They had done no harm to me, nor seemed as if they were going to do harm to anyone else, and everyone involved was basically a volunteer.

At the end, I get an enigma and then never see any of the characters ever again...no epilogue card, no word from the Duchess...nothing. I left, the novelist left, the novelist never contacted me, and I never found out what happened to the ones who remained. The story culminated into...nothing.

Meh, to be honest this is the first "mediocre" exceptional story I have run into and I'm not a fan.

--
Mr. Secrets - We Are In Our Ascendance. There Will Be Ten And Then All Shall Be Well And All Shall Be Well And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well.

The Straveling Solider - The Straveling Soldier, The Straveling Soldier hates and hates the beings Solar.
+2 link




Powered by Jitbit Forum 8.0.2.0 © 2006-2013 Jitbit Software