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September's Exceptional Story: Trial and Error Messages in this topic - RSS

Catherine Ravenscraft
Catherine Ravenscraft
Posts: 1

9/1/2017
I must say I was quite relieved to have the option to call on the Brass Embassy for aid. I do live there, after all.
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Kukapetal
Kukapetal
Posts: 1349

9/3/2017
This one felt a bit unfinished to me. It explained what the machine was and how it was useful to the Barrister, but didn't seem to go beyond that. Why did that Deviless build the machine? What was she going to do with it? Why was she helping the Barrister win his cases? I felt tlike what I learned was only the beginning of a deeper mystery, but then the whole thing was dropped to focus on the trial.

That said, the trial was still fun, the Barrister was a rather endearing jerk, and the description of the machine and the things that happened when you messed with it were a pure delight. VERY fun and creative!
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 Saklad
Saklad
Posts: 414

9/4/2017
I absolutely loved the references to minor characters throughout this Exceptional Story. The Garrulous Novelist, the Voiceless Dancer… It’s details like these that really make the Neath come alive. I’d love to see more of this when it fits, rather than allowing characters to fall by the wayside after a storyline concludes.

I cannot for the life of me understand how the law furnace works with regards to the cases. Is it just forging them? What’s so special about that? I know a much more pleasant device for that living under a house. Besides, I always thought the “law” being made in these things was a bit more tangible than common law precedent. I am starting to suspect they are powered by souls, by the way. Considering that the Judgements assimilate souls themselves, it is possible that all concrete laws in the Fallen London universe derive from that principle.

As for the role of women in Fallen London, my personal view is that people stopped caring about gender pretty fast after things like squid, golems, and space-bats came into the picture. Gentlemen say “damn”, ladies obliterate competitors in prizefights, everyone lives in perfect harmony and gangs up on green. Women voting in the Mayoral Elections may have just been a misunderstanding of the Masters when they were starting them up again. Everyone who cared was probably too scared to broach the subject, anyway.

As for the choices, I agree that it was a bit linear. That’s not inherently bad. Hell, most books are terrible at railroading the reader. Still, I feel there were some choices I would have liked to see.

To start with the very beginning, I feel there’s a middle ground between “ex post facto law is okay” and “all law is useless bureaucratic misdirection”. I chose the latter, of course, since retroactive rules are an abomination, but I still would have preferred another choice.

I’m pleased with the option to demolish the enemy with your intelligence. When I realized the Cuffless Barrister was going to try and face me (a stat-capped Extraordinary Mind and major Watchful specialist) in court, I smiled and thought “Oh, he is going to die. Metaphorically speaking”. I was not wrong.

As one of the other players said, I was hoping for a bit more “Ace Attorney”-esque back and forth. The mechanics of the Web of the Motherlings battle, which I consider one of the best standoff systems in Fallen London, would do nicely here.


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    Sir Frederick
    Sir Frederick
    Administrator
    Posts: 3057

    9/4/2017
    Saklad wrote:
    I cannot for the life of me understand how the law furnace works with regards to the cases. Is it just forging them? What’s so special about that?


    I took it to be retroactively rewriting reality so that the appropriate precedents were already in place. Basically, forging them by altering history so that they're genuine. But also fake. We've previously seen how the devils and anarchists of the Iron Republic enjoy toying with the laws of man and god - but the interaction between the two has always had a satirical flavour, warping the universe to turn judge's wigs into currant buns and vice versa. This is the first time we've seen someone use that same technology to try to actually interfere with mortal law in practice.

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    Cleomenes
    Cleomenes
    Posts: 12

    9/4/2017
    So... what exactly does happen when your commandeer the law machine for your own purposes?

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    suinicide
    suinicide
    Posts: 2159

    9/4/2017
    It looks like the big effect is if you do not have maxed stats, it will let the rng play with them (likely for the worse) There are some small menace increases as well.

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    dnighthawk
    dnighthawk
    Posts: 1

    9/5/2017
    When I was given the choice of what to do with the machine, I assumed that using it for my own means meant I would gain some form of special item exclusive to this story, at the cost of bad things happening. I was confused when it said it was broken, and thought I had done something wrong- I was fully capable of defending myself using my own intelligence. I wish that this had been better telegraphed.
    edited by dnighthawk on 9/5/2017
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    Dungerson
    Dungerson
    Posts: 41

    9/7/2017
    Saklad wrote:
    I’m pleased with the option to demolish the enemy with your intelligence. When I realized the Cuffless Barrister was going to try and face me (a stat-capped Extraordinary Mind and major Watchful specialist) in court, I smiled and thought “Oh, he is going to die. Metaphorically speaking”. I was not wrong.


    I like this option too, and in fact picked it for myself... though not so much its outcome. It ticks me off that the Cuffless Barrister only ended up with mild embarrassment and can pretty much continue his practices despite having so brazenly tampered with the law. (Then again, I guess the Embassy and B & F likely won't punish him either, they'll just use him to their advantage. Such is life in Fallen London.)

    EDIT: Although thinking about it, I guess we're not that much better. We escaped from prison and did all sorts of unsavoury stuff against the law too, so maybe I shouldn't cast the first stone.

    Cuffless is still a jerk though.
    edited by Dungerson on 9/7/2017

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    Estelle Knoht
    Estelle Knoht
    Posts: 1717

    9/7/2017
    As intelligent as you are, I don't think you can exactly use "he is literally bending law with a machine" in a court argument without sufficient evidence that doesn't implicate you in shady investigative hijinks (and it will looks disproportionate to charge of public indecency).

    I do think the court case ended too fast... and a missed opportunity for people with, say, high Church Renown to just claim moral superiority in some sort of corrupt way and dismiss the case :P

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    Dudebro Pyro
    Dudebro Pyro
    Posts: 243

    9/7/2017
    Estelle Knoht wrote:
    I do think the court case ended too fast... and a missed opportunity for people with, say, high Church Renown to just claim moral superiority in some sort of corrupt way and dismiss the case :P

    Austere 10, Hedonist 1, Scandal 0
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    Lamia Lawless
    Lamia Lawless
    Posts: 601

    9/11/2017
    I enjoyed this. I feel like it moved along more smoothly than other stories. I don't usually pay attention to the mechanics of how options and follow-throughs are set up but when those things were easier to play through than usual, I noticed. I was able to play through the entire story without using up all of my actions, even when I wasted a few, and I appreciated that.

    [spoiler]I immediately made the connection to the devils, just on account of we have so many joking references to soulless lawyers and infernal contracts in the game. :P I was NOT expecting the machine, though. I liked how this story built off of previous stories involving Hell and gave a little more information about how the Embassy's hierarchies work.[/spoiler]

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    Sir Frederick
    Sir Frederick
    Administrator
    Posts: 3057

    9/11/2017
    Dungerson wrote:
    It ticks me off that the Cuffless Barrister only ended up with mild embarrassment and can pretty much continue his practices despite having so brazenly tampered with the law. (Then again, I guess the Embassy and B & F likely won't punish him either, they'll just use him to their advantage. Such is life in Fallen London.)


    [spoiler]For what it's worth, if you inform on him To Baseborn and Fowlingpiece, they end up ejecting him from their firm. And, it's implied, taking the law-engine for themselves. So, it's not an absolute victory for legal purists, but the Barrister does at least get boxed about the ears a bit.[/spoiler]

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    dov
    dov
    Posts: 2151

    9/13/2017
    I've finally had time to play this and collect my thoughts.

    I think, despite a very strong premise, this is not a good story. It's too bad, since the concept had so much potential.

    What's good:
    • The concept is excellent. I like exploring London's legal system. Having laws change retroactively against you is an intriguing problem to tackle.

    What didn't work well (for me):

    • Completely linear and short. Practically no choice to be made anywhere except one at the end (which amounted to: "Press A, B, C, or D to select the manner in which you'll inevitably win").
    • No interesting characters. The Barrister was completely one-dimensional, and the deviless barely existed as a character.
    • No real implications on either our character or the world/setup.
    • No payoff to the lore implications. The Law Furnace is a fascinating concept that it barely touched. Compare to the Persona Engine for a much more interesting build-up and payoff as to what such a machine can do in the wrong (and right) hands.
    • No payoff to the setup. The game tells us the trial is a week away. Where are the actions to scramble around London to prepare as time is slowly running out?
    • No use of interesting mechanics: Where are the options during the trial itself to either win/lose some standing based on decisions and preparation? It would have been so fitting to add more variety at trial based on our character's development (e.g. an option for Extraordinary Minds, an option for those with high Renown: Constables, etc.).
    • It never felt that anything was really at stake.
    • And how about asking the player if they want that "all shall be well"? This could allow for a riskier playthrough with real consequences to losing (at a bare minimum, an immediate exile to the Tomb-Colonies upon losing the trial).

    I wanted to score this higher just because the premise was so interesting at first, but I was really disappointed by the actual story.


    Personal ranked list of all Exceptional Stories below:
    [spoiler]
    Excellent:
    • Lost in Reflections
    • Cut with Moonlight
    • Hojotoho!
    • The Frequently Deceased
    • The Waltz that Moved the World
    • Flint
    • All Things Must End
    • The Century Exhibition
    • The Twelve-Fifteen From Moloch Street
    • The Persona Engine
    • Where You and I Must Go
    • The Attendants
      Good:
      • The Web of the Motherlings
      • The Pentecost Predicament
      • The Calendar Code
      • The Art of Murder
      • The Chimney Pot Wars
      • The Final Curtain
      • The Heart, the Devil and the Zee
      • Our Lady of Pyres
      • The Clay Man's Arm
      • Five Minutes to Midday
      • Discernment
      • The Haunting at the Marsh House
        Meh:
        • Trial and Error
        • The Last Dog Society
        • The Seven-Day Reign
        • The Court of Cats

        [/spoiler]
        edited by dov on 9/13/2017

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        Amneiger
        Amneiger
        Posts: 8

        9/16/2017
        Dungerson wrote:
        It ticks me off that the Cuffless Barrister only ended up with mild embarrassment and can pretty much continue his practices despite having so brazenly tampered with the law. (Then again, I guess the Embassy and B & F likely won't punish him either, they'll just use him to their advantage. Such is life in Fallen London.)


        [spoiler]I chose to inform the Brass Embassy (I recalled that earlier in the story there was some talk about how the Harried Courier was doing something that her infernal superiors might not approve of) and the Barrister was disappeared after the trial ended.
        [/spoiler]

        Also, another vote for wishing that the trial had been a bit more involved. Maybe we could have had some choices about when and how to use the clues we'd picked up earlier to bypass some of the Barrister's arguments, or some additional options that hinged a bit more on remembering what had happened earlier in the story.
        edited by Amneiger on 9/16/2017

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        ochrasy
        ochrasy
        Posts: 155

        9/19/2017
        I just played the begging so I unlock the story, but I study law and like. goddamn

        [spoiler] that barrister is really dumb. but okay, I get it, it's the 19th century. sigh [/spoiler]
        edited by ochrasy on 9/19/2017

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        Catherine Raymond
        Catherine Raymond
        Posts: 1793

        9/20/2017
        I just finished this ES this morning.

        It includes some good writing and some excellent elements (the Infernal Engine that spits out laws, the trial, the Injurious Princess).

        But the elements did not combine. I expected a story that would let me learn at least a little more of the Injurious Princess, and of Venture. But she's only a framing device. I also hoped to learn more of the Infernal Engine and why it was made. All I got was a courtroom story which, though nice, could have been set almost anywhere except for its dubious ties to the Infernal Engine.

        I agree with the posters who complained that the story was thin, short, and less than completely unsatisfying. However, since I am a lawyer IRL, it was kind of fun to choose to beat the barrister at his own game, without external help or devices!
        edited by cathyr19355 on 9/21/2017

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        Sir Frederick
        Sir Frederick
        Administrator
        Posts: 3057

        9/20/2017
        I'm guessing that, being the person we're collecting things for over the course of the season, we'll be seeing more of the Princess across the next two Exceptional Stories and at the conclusion event.

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        Jermaine Vendredi
        Jermaine Vendredi
        Posts: 349

        9/26/2017
        Finally got cracking on this when I realised I hadn't unlocked it properly.
        This was one I found disappointing. Very thin and linear, and even where it widened out, the number of options was very limited.
        But the main issue for me was the unevenness of the writing. Some passages, mainly at the beginning, were stylish and elegant, but too much seemed wooden and awkward, especially later on in the story (the description of the machine for example). The awkwardness included missing little words (prepositions, articles), questionable grammar and a fair few typos. I realise many people won't be concerned about such things, but I value the quality of the writing in FL, so I am always sad to see it fall off.
        I greatly enjoyed the previous stunning Season of Ruins, so hopefully the next Sceptres instalment will be an improvement.

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        Skinnyman
        Skinnyman
        Posts: 1066

        9/27/2017
        Just a friendly reminder: don't forget to unlock this story until tomorrow!

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        Lallinka
        Lallinka
        Posts: 121

        9/28/2017
        I've been putting this one off in favour of governing over a certain island until the very last minute, but since the new ES is dropping in like 1minute or so, here's my thoughts:

        My expectations for this story were quite low due to the rather underwhelmed reaction of my co-delicious friends here, but I have to say, I quite liked the story!

        Now, sure, it wasn't one of FBG's best, I admit that and I also might be biased because I am a law student, so this subject felt like something I actually knew a bit about (unlike, say, choosing whether an orphan should stay with the urchins or pursue other things).

        I liked that for once it was my character's reputation that was at stake. I wasn't pulling any strings and manipulating others, I wasn't trying to protect or expose anyone, it was ME who could be ruined had the trial gone awry.

        I also really appreciated that the choice I made about what I'd do with the Barrister's secret actually mattered throughout the rest of the story and not just once. That's usually my slight issue with the "big" choices that aren't the final ones; there's one storylet specifically made to acknowledge them and then you're back on track.

        And I loved the trial. It was a bit straightforward, yes, but you always had at least somewhat a say in your strategy and I enjoyed that very much.

        Thanks to my choice (Telling the Embassy), the consequences for the Barrister seem to be rather...permanent.

        The one thing I didn't like is that I found out virtually nothing about the Courier and that her consequences seem to be non existent.

        As a first instalment to a new season, I think this was a very adequately done story and I'm looking forward to more.

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