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[LP CYOA] 傳

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    So here we are, playing a character with an unmatched combat potential, in the LP centered on martial arts, and the very first choice we get to make is whether to join a fight or not. Going for A seems like a no-brainer, which is why I am more interested in what happens should we pursue B.

    It is highly unlikely that either choice is going to be clearly superior, and it probably affects our personality more than anything else. And I would like to mold our protagonist into something more sophisticated than "Hulk see combat, Hulk smash". Do we really like to be someone that leaps into the fight the second our superiors loosen the leash? The prince certainly expects us to do so.

    The negotiations have already gone astray. Do you think you can salvage the situation all by yourself with this little scuffle? Are you a diplomatic figure? And if it all goes wrong, who is going to be blamed for it?

    I say we let the Duke of Xiliang take the fall, and refrain from action.
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    I currently plan on closing the votes roughly one day after the previous update, keeping up this pace till the prologue ends, so if there are any flops please don't hesitate to do so.
     
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  3. Stygian Lurker Liturgist

    Stygian Lurker
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  4. Kashmir Slippers Magister

    Kashmir Slippers
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    A.

    I think this is supposed to be a gimme. treave said that if we were the Rabbit or the Goat we would be able to solve to problem because of our special abilities. As the Tiger we are the best fighter, so fighting is what we can do to potentially make a change in the souring negotiations.

    Besides, as far as our character goes accepting makes sense. We know that we can fight. We probably are a bit headstrong and wouldn't want to look like a coward in front of all these people and our prince. He has given us the all-clear. Aside from losing, which I don't think is going to happen barring luck because we have one of the best possible fighters we could make, I don't really see what could go wrong.

    Besides, we have to defend our prince's honor. The tart did just put him down in a big way.
     
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  5. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    It would not surprise me at all if our character were to fight. It is the thing he is most predisposed to.

    However, are we also so easily manipulated by false pride and our peer's expectations that we can't turn down a fight that is meaningless to us? We just might be. Comes with the archetype, I suppose.

    Or it might turn out that fighting in itself holds meaning to the character. It is up to us to shape him, but I would rather not travel this road.

    The boy won't get anywhere in life if he relies on others to protect his honor.
     
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  6. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    You're approaching this from the wrong angle. We're fourteen and Princebro is setting us up with a hawt Mongolian priestess/princess. We'd be a giant flaming faggot to decline.

    Plus, building a personal connections with the Mongolians will do wonders for our personal success. I want to build our boy up as an independent power player and wooing politicians isn't going to achieve that, he's not built for that.
     
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  7. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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  8. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    There's also the simplest reaction: Are we really going to back down because of a woman that seems remotely good at fighting? What are we, a tiger or a rat?

    There's also the fact we CAN fight, therefore we should fight.

    Some men say that fighting is unecessary. The doctrines of Monk Mondblutinus of Ingriguo says that is blasphemy, for all fights are necessary!
     
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  9. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    You bloody Eans, all of you.

    Once again: this is a personality test, first and foremost. Do we want to just be the headlong rush dude and rely on the Prince NPC to get us out of trouble? Or do we want to be smarter and more prudent than the Prince while still being his impetuous buddy?
     
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  10. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    No, I don't think it's a Biowarean "Renegade vs. Paragon" choice, our actions will have real impact on the negotiations, should we succeed.
    Really, I want the Mongols in our pocket.
     
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  11. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    A

    We were told that other signs such as the rabbit or goat would be able to talk their way out of this situation due to their strengths. It just so happens that our strength is caving in faces with the best unarmed combat stat around rather than a nice discussion. The benefits to winning would be different than a successful negotiation or something, probably, but this is what we've built ourselves for and it's just a bit silly to hang back and do nothing. The negotiation process isn't really going anywhere, and it's much better to make friends with Turks before anything goes wrong than it is to remove worst Turk following their attacks. The empire isn't exactly in its best shape right now, it's best if we practice our combat skills now so that we can keep on with martial arts duels with our countrymen instead of getting peppered by arrows from armies of horse-riding nomads.

    Also, in regards to this making us too rash, it's not as if we're demanding to arm-wrestle the Khan for the right to have his daughter become our bro's concubine. Generally, treave has been fairly good about letting us decide if we want to go leaping into any rifts or not.

    Edit: Wikipedia declares that the Tujue were known as the "Kök Türks" in their own language and I thought this was funny.
     
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  12. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Flopping to B, not that it really matters. I'm convinced discretion is the better part of valor
     
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  13. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    To clarify: just because the character is good at something doesn't mean that always picking choices that seem to play to his strengths will lead you to the best outcome in both short and long term consequences. This applies even if the character is, say, a genius. Sometimes it's better to be stupid, or at least pretend to be. I mean this in general, not in the context of this particular choice.
     
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  14. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Since A appears to be in a comfortable lead, I shall vote B. Thus I can enjoy the fruits of success if A works out, and I can cast blame while receiving none if it doesn't.

    I am so clever, I should write a book. I'll call it ScubaV's The Art of Blame.
     
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  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    It appears to be a very comfortable lead indeed, 12 votes to 5.

    Here is the update. The character sheet will be updated with the reputation tracker.

    ***

    Horseplay

    “I accept,” you reply confidently. There is a triumphant smirk on the girl’s face as she turns to face Bulun Khan. “You heard him, father.” The khan’s laughter bellows throughout the yurt as he slaps his thigh. “Excellent! I can’t say you don’t have balls, kid! Even our people would ask for the nature of the challenge before accepting it, but you agreed without hesitation! Very well, I shall arrange for the match. You will meet my dear daughter in the field tomorrow morning… I am looking forward to it.”

    Shun gives you a look of sympathy, trying not to smile. The Duke of Xiliang, on the other hand, glares at you venomously. He gets up and apologizes to the khan, excusing himself from the banquet. As he passes by your seat, he bends down and hisses, “For your own sake, do not mess this up, boy. But do not think for one second that I will overlook the rudeness you have displayed today.” Giving a deep bow to the Crown Prince, he stomps out of the yurt angrily.

    “You are in deep trouble, Jing,” muses your good friend, the one who had tacitly egged you on.

    “I’ll survive,” you say dismissively, though deep down you think that it would be better if you found a way to assuage the duke’s displeasure. Even now, he would be composing a strongly worded letter to his dear cousin the Chancellor in his head.

    Fortunately - or unfortunately - you had other, more immediate problems to think about for now, and you wouldn’t have to deal with the troublesome matters of the court until the retinue returns to Tianshui.

    ***

    The morning air is invigorating and you find yourself in good condition. The aches from your long walk have almost cleared up from a good night’s sleep, though some niggling pain still remains in your lower calves. As you head to the location of the match, you find that it is already surrounded by what seems to be every single inhabitant of the camp, right down to the elderly and the children. The mood is festive; you have this sudden feeling that everyone is here to watch the upstart Han get beaten by their princess. Making your way through the laughing crowd, you find yourself in the middle of a circle, with the onlookers acting as a living fence.

    In the middle of the field two bare-backed horses stand placidly side-by-side, one black, one white. Princess Yunzi is already there, having swapped her elaborate dress of yesternight for a more practical and plain commoner’s garment. Her hair is tied up into a tight bun, and there is a short whip rolled up and hanging from her waist-sash. As she catches sight of you, she turns away without a word.

    You spot the Duke of Xiliang and the Crown Prince standing next to Bulun, at the front of the onlookers. Shun waves at you, shouting out “Good luck!”. You wish that were so. The khan climbs up onto a wooden box set at one end of the arena and begins detailing, in a singsong voice, the events that had led to this challenge, in the dialect of his people. You don’t understand enough Tujue to make out what he is saying except for frequent mentions of both your name and his daughter’s, but by the frequent cheers of the crowd, you assume they are hearing something that they like. At the end of his speech, he switches back to Han, for your benefit.

    “The rules of the trial are simple. You are to stand atop the horses and attempt to knock each other off. The first person to touch the ground with any part of their body loses. Anyone who strikes a horse will be disqualified. You may use any weapon you wish except for blades - no blood should spill on the sacred trial grounds. The trial will begin when both parties signal that they are ready.”

    You look around the arena, and then at the girl. While she has a whip, there doesn’t seem to be anything you can use unless you start begging for weapons from the audience. You do have a sword in your tent, but the khan has just disallowed the use of blades. Yunzi catches you looking at her whip and smiles nastily. “Don’t worry. I won’t need to use it to beat you. Feel free to ask for something to help you out. Perhaps someone will throw you their dog’s stick.”

    You remark casually, “I’m not worried about that little whip, I’ve eaten worse for punishment.” That is the truth - in fact, you are more worried about the horse, given your past history with equines. Then again, standing atop a horse is difficult, even for a nomad. You are confident that your agility can match hers; this match may end up being more equal than she thinks. Yunzi ignores you, gently patting the white horse. Then, she vaults atop the animal with a single leap, landing lightly on its back. Looking down at you from her perch, the girl gives you a smirk that grates on your nerves. “I am ready,” she declares.

    You approach the black horse and place your hand on it. The horse’s big, watery eye blinks at you suspiciously. A threatening snort flares from his nostrils. With some trepidation, you grab the horse’s mane and haul yourself onto its back. It hooves the ground in protest, but it does not start bucking in an attempt to throw you off. You take that to be a good sign. Drawing your legs up and placing your feet on the horse’s back, you slowly stand up, wobbling to keep your balance as the horse shifts restlessly. You find yourself face to face with Yunzi, who is standing easily with a graceful poise. Her horse seems as still as a statue, with only the swishing of its tail to show that it is indeed a living animal. How on earth is she doing that?

    “I’ll beat you within ten moves,” she says, raising one hand in front of her in a Tujue stance.

    “We’ll see. I’m ready,” you call out, as you concentrate on your footing and balance.

    Bulun Khan shouts, giving us the signal to begin. The crowd roars in approval, singing their princess’s name. There will be no support for you here.

    Yunzi strikes without hesitation - she takes the first move and drives her fist towards your face. She is fast… perhaps faster than you are. You instinctively flinch, raising your arm to redirect her punch, but it is just a feint. Her left leg lashes out a split-second afterwards. With a grunt, you raise your knee just in time to avoid getting your shin kicked. As you are forced to shift your weight onto one foot, your horse begins to protest by shaking its flanks.

    Your balance is thrown off, just for a while, and Yunzi pounces on the opportunity eagerly.

    She throws both palms outwards in a shove, attempting to simply push you off the horse. Gritting your teeth, you fling your entire body forwards, throwing yourself into her attack. As her palms slam into your shoulders, you groan - she can hit rather hard for such a slender girl. However, your judgement is accurate, as her attack stops you from falling over. As she blinks in surprise, you bring your arms upwards, pushing her hands away. You follow up with a quick jab to her abdomen. A confident glint in her eyes, Yunzi opts to evade it instead of blocking. Her feet dance deftly across the horse’s back as your punch goes wide.

    She attempts to drive her knee into your left arm while it is still extended, but you twist your body to the left, retracting it in time. using your motion to launch a sweeping attack with your right arm. Caught by your move, she is cornered and unable to dodge. She blocks desperately - your sweep hits home, and the Ashina princess staggers slightly under the force of your blow, letting out a sharp gasp. Her eyes water - it probably hurts a lot. In the heat of battle, you had forgotten to hold back.

    Yunzi quickly regains her composure and glares at you. Her visage blurs. Your instincts warn you to move back, and you do so just in time - her feet skim the tip of your nose as the girl does a backflip. She lands on the horse’s back just as easily as she would on solid ground. That damned white horse is still standing calmly despite the action that had just taken place above it. Your horse, on the other hand, is getting more and more jumpy by the second. “If you’re thinking of holding back, don’t. I’m going to kill you.” She gives you a warning and a threat at the same time. Breathing in deeply, Yunzi adopts an unfamiliar stance and immediately begins a furious flurry of moves.

    She unleashes a continuous stream of attacks with both fist and foot, attempting to find a way past your guard. It takes all you have to defend yourself - her speed is such that you cannot find the space to attack. Suddenly, she breaks her rhythm and draws back. Your arm still raised halfway to a block, Yunzi takes advantage of the lull in combat to close the distance and places one foot on your horse. The girl swings her right fist up in an uppercut, yelling as she does so.

    You curse your carelessness and attempt to grab her fist, but your fingers close around empty air as she turns at the last minute and uses your horse as a stepping stone, smoothly pivoting into an overhead kick aimed at the back of your neck. You are forced to move your feet again, shifting your foothold so that her kick misses. This causes your horse to buck once in response, as you step on some spot you probably shouldn’t have.

    You drop your center of gravity, crouching down low to restore your balance as you watch Yunzi gracefully step back to her own horse, which is still standing there patiently as if it is the most natural thing in the world. She clucks her tongue with a look of distaste on her face, as if she can’t believe you managed to survive her assault. “Lucky idiot,” grumbles the princess. “Hey,” you call out to her, “did you feed your horse something to keep it docile?”

    “That’s rude of you to say so,” she snorts. “You are just lousy at understanding a horse’s spirit. As expected of a Han.”

    “Oh, whatever. We are just kids having a clumsy slapfight on top of the horses anyway,” you laugh, your fingers surreptitiously fiddling with the laces of your left shoe. The princess flushes and resumes the attack, displeased that you don’t seem to be taking this as seriously as she is. “If you have time to talk, stand up and lose properly!”

    The two of you exchange three more moves - with the last exchange narrowly sweeping your feet off the horse - before she attempts another of her misdirecting techniques. Just what you have been waiting for. You take the chance and swing your foot out, just as she thinks you have fallen for her feint. Surprised, she jerks backwards, but she has not accounted for your dirty shoe flying off and hitting her right in the face. There is a loud smack. The roaring crowd falls into silence almost immediately. Then, they burst into riotous laughter. Regaining your posture quickly, you snake your right arm around her left before the stunned girl can react and lock it into position, pulling her close to you by her shoulder. The crowd is audibly impressed.

    You get a whiff of sweat mixed with her fragrance as Yunzi looks at you in anger and humiliation - you are decidedly stronger and she won’t be able to break your hold easily. The advantage is now yours. “You know, I believe that it has been more than ten moves,” you say quietly, triumphantly. “Shut up and unhand me,” snarls the princess. Her fair face has turned rather red. When you refuse with a taunting shake of your head, she goes limp and lets herself fall backwards without warning. Her weight pulls at you. You are forced to let go before you are brought down together with her, though you manage to find the presence of mind to give Yunzi a little shove to help her along the way.

    Then, a sudden gust of strong wind throws you off balance; not that you had ever been really balanced on the horse anyway. As you stumble, you see the girl turning her fall into a nimble roll under her horse’s belly. She emerges on the near flank of the horse, her whip already in her left hand. Yunzi cracks her whip, the lash coming close to your steed’s eye but not hitting it. The black horse gets spooked and rears up with a loud whinny, putting you in a very precarious position. Despite all that, you can’t help but grudgingly admire her pig-headed nature - she is willing to skirt the rules of the match just to beat you.

    If you do nothing, you will fall in the next second. Already she is standing back on top of her horse, her arm raised for a second crack of her whip.

    ***

    A. You have already done enough. You allow yourself to fall, even if you could regain your balance. Best to lose honourably - a man should know when he is beaten. Besides, you have just realized - a bit too late - that if you really do win, you might actually be forced to marry this shrew.

    B. You attempt to regain your balance, but attempt to surrender the moment you do, in order to save some face. You are not sure how the Ashina might interpret this, but losing outright by touching the ground is rather embarrassing, after all the confidence you displayed going into the match.

    C. You will not give up; if she hates to lose, so do you. You jump onto her horse. You will continue the fight there - there is nothing in the rules saying that you can’t share the horse, and she did step on yours during the fight. Let’s see that stupid white horse take two people fighting on top of it.

    D. You regain your balance and focus intently on her whip. When she next lashes out, you will attempt to grab the whip and then pull her off her horse. You should be strong enough to do that. If she lets go to avoid falling, you will have the whip, and then the tables will be turned!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
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  16. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    A and B are out of the question, I have the feeling that if we lose here, we're really fucked when we get back to court: not only does Xiliang blame us for throwing off negotiations, but for being incompetent as well. Debating between C and D, I'm worried that her horse is broken in for her, as soon as we jump on it, shit will get crazy. Then again, D is just pure humiliation. Maybe we should jump on Andyman and drop to the ground with her. Hey, it'll be a draw, right?
    That's just cute. She really is Sekh. Yeah, we're definitely going to jump some Rifts. :ifyouknowwhatImean:
    :love:
    :lol: What a dick.
     
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  17. Kashmir Slippers Magister

    Kashmir Slippers
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    C. The advantage of the whip will be much less in closer quarters. Our horse is not as good, either. I see no need to give up now.
     
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  18. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Just because characters might appear to have a certain amount of tension between them doesn't mean that they're exact repeats of the same character from a previous work. Unfortunately there's only so many archetypes I know how to work with. I can't write any snarkiness between opposite sexes without it turning into a comparison these days, dagnabbit. :rpgcodex:
     
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  19. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    C. Then. No mercy from Horsebane.
     
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  20. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Hey now, I didn't say it was a bad thing. :lol: All she has to do now is call us a Dog of the Prince.
    :love:
     
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  21. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Unfortunately we did not pick Dog. Well, at least the horse didn't die yet. I did toy with the idea of just having it up and expire from under your feet, but that would have been a bit too repetitive I suppose.
     
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  22. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Horses. I guess we should have seen this coming.

    Debating between B and C. Not sure if it would be better for negotiations if we win or gracefully lose. Won't seeing their princess eating dirt upset the locals? Or would it be preferable that we win for whatever deal has been made to go through?
     
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  23. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Hahahahah holy fuck I thought we would be fighting hand to hand!
    Note to all:: Never again take a challenge without knowing what it entails.

    I'm voting D.
    First, NEVER SURRENDER!
    And second: We're stronger (of course, we are A MAN!!!!!), she's faster. Play our strength, that is wise.
    I don't want to jump on the horse, its too damn risky, both from her greater speed and our shit luck.
     
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  24. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    C just seems like a straight-up marriage proposal. "Hey, uh, wanna share a horse?"
    About that, I'm not exactly sure what use the whip will be to us in close quarters. We don't have any skill with it (unless it's classified as a "dumbfuck weapon," anyone can use it; whips are rather complex), and she did tell us not to underestimate her. D seems rather obvious.
     
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  25. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    She can certainly teach us some ... techniques. :troll:

    C, let's try and spook her horse badly.
     
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