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[LP CYOA] 傳

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

  1. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Our qi is a bad example: unique condition that they didn't know anything about it.

    Also, the reasoning is flawed in that Yuhua doesn't have pugilists, their technique is punishment for delinquent customers; the WiBs aren't a known organization, if they evaded the Secret Police and the Grandmasters, what makes you think scholars and artists would know anything about them on the description "dress in black and have cruel qi?"
    This just feels like a stan-in-the dark to me, I'd rather know of our own background and how this whole mess in the Empire started, facts and arts is what these people specialize in.
    Show Spoiler
    And demonology, hopefully.
     
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  2. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Well, the reason why I think that our character's arrival into the Prince's service is related to the Emperor's enemies is because quite a few of us suspect that we were chosen as a lightning-rod to draw misfortune away from the Prince. Finding clues about our origin might be a good way to learn why we were chosen, and that in turn could lead to who the Emperor's enemies are. There is definitely something bigger behind the circumstances of our birth and our subsequent upbringing.

    However, I think that your variation of the question here is much more interesting. Perhaps we're looking at the wrong things here - maybe we should be looking at the particular sort of neigong that the impostor on the rooftops struck us with.

    Maybe something like "What sort of techniques or neigong can imbue an attack with cruel, persistent qi and who teaches it?" The scholars here would be far more likely to know that sort of question, which I just might flop to.

    Edit: treave, it's pretty clear that Master Zhang based his signature style off a lot of Shaolin techniques. Provided we have the required skill, could we reverse-engineer some Shaolin unarmed techniques once we are a master at that particular skill?
     
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  3. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    If you are a master you should be developing new techniques, not recreate old ones that aren't even lost. And no, it's not really based off a lot of Shaolin techniques, rather the foundation is Shaolin and there are other influences.
     
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  4. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I believe IV and V are winning. Moar?
     
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  5. Kipeci Arcane

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    That mass flop to IX needs to happen soon, guys.
     
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  6. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Is it possible to amend V to also include the major events of the two wars without starting a new vote? Since it's closely related and all.
     
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  7. Ifeex Scholar

    Ifeex
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  8. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I feel kinda bad for not voting my own question. So here goes.

    Unvote IV, vote IX.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

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    treave, could you tell us if we are nearing the end of the chapter? It is titled "The Eight Sects' Challenge", but the recent events make it ambigous as to which challenge was referenced. It feels like the start of a completely new plot ark.
     
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  10. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    The chapter is going to go on until the end of Zhang's quest. And I believe IV, V takes it, even after the flops.
     
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  11. Azira Arcane Patron

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    I smell an update incoming. +M
     
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  12. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Yuhua in Yangzhou

    Despite popular belief, some people insist that General Yang Xue betrayed his country not because of lust for power, or greed for wealth, but for the love of a woman. No matter his reason, however, his name will go down in history as the traitor that allowed the Tujue to invade. By the time the Imperial Court finally realized the treachery of their greatest general, the horses of Guruldai Khagan had already swept past the mountains of Xiliang and were riding on Chang’an.

    The invasion of the Tujue was swift, effective and brutal. Unlike his predecessors, Guruldai of the Ashina had ambitions to establish a permanent seat of power and crown himself Emperor of a new dynasty. Instead of sacking and looting cities, he conquered them. Emperor Gaosheng retreated from Chang’an, fleeing south as the Tujue continued their onslaught. Though the Tang had a million men at arms, they were also focused on threats to the northeast and the south. It took time to redirect their armies at the nomadic horsemen – horsemen that should have been kept in check by Yang Xue’s forces.

    The bulk of the resistance in the early years of the war fell to the populace. It was during this time that the sects’ prominence began to wax. The skilled martial artists served as both leaders and spies, traversing the battlefront and risking their lives to defend the victims of war. Soon they had banded together under the leadership of the Taoist Wang Zhengchong, a disciple of Wudang, forming an irregular force that operated mainly behind enemy lines. They distracted and slowed down the Khagan’s advance enough for the main Tang armies to launch a successful counter-offensive, recapturing city after city.

    It was then that General Yang Xue returned to the forefront of the war, his whereabouts prior to this unknown since the early days of the invasion. Taking command of the Tujue tribes, he directed a series of smashing victories against the Tang forces, before almost breaking them for good at Moyue Pass. Thanks to Yang Xue’s abilities, it seems that Guruldai Khagan’s ambitions would come to fruition. The Tang still had one card up their sleeves, however.

    Finally heeding the Emperor Gaosheng’s desperate request, Wang Zhengchong and the monk Fangzhang embarked upon a suicidal mission, penetrating deep into the heart of the enemy camp by themselves. They reappeared the next morning with the heads of the enemy Khagan and the traitor Yang Xue, bloodied and battered by their ordeal.

    This was more than enough to demoralize the Tujue. Under pressure from the regrouping Tang armies, they scattered, fleeing the Central Plains.

    The five year war had severe and long-lasting effects on the country. In the aftermath, the freed northern regions had relied heavily on the relatively untouched south to rebuild. Emperor Gaosheng raised taxes drastically to fund the reconstruction, creating even greater unease amongst the populace. Still, the vast riches and well-established bureaucracy of the government meant that this would not deal a fatal blow to the dynasty. Meanwhile, his sons, the royal princes that had played a part during the war, began to squabble amongst themselves, each seeing opportunity in the dynasty’s weakness to gain more influence over the Imperial Court.

    As the country began the uneasy process of recovery, tensions seethed underneath the surface.

    This boiled over a mere three years after the Tujue had been driven off, when Emperor Gaosheng died suddenly of a mysterious illness. His designated heir, Crown Prince Li Xiude, did not survive to take the throne as he passed from a dagger in his back mere hours after receiving news of his father’s death. From Gaosheng’s twenty six surviving sons, three major factions emerged.

    The Second Prince Li Wang led the largest faction, with eight brothers at his back. After the Crown Prince, he was said to be the most excellent of the princes, with both strength and smarts.

    The Eleventh Prince Li Suguang, had influence over six other brothers. He was an ambitious and powerful man who had made his name in the Tujue war.

    The Sixth Prince Li Zhou, led five of his brothers in vying for the throne. Though his group was the smallest, he was said to be a charismatic speaker and kind leader.

    The various generals, military prefects, and martial arts sects threw their support behind each of the factions thanks to the work the various princes had done behind the scenes. This resulted in open war.

    As the conflict progressed, the Imperial princes began dying from blades that they saw coming, those that they did not see coming, and those that they should have seen coming. Surprisingly, the Eleventh Prince was one of the first, dying in an ambush with two of his brothers.

    In the end, however, the winner was an unexpected contender. The Twenty-Seventh Prince, Li Ming. In the midst of the conflict, he had managed to secure support from his siblings in all three factions. The rival princes had their feet swept out from under them. Li Ming was ruthless and quick in his actions. Cornering his siblings within a month from the time he made his move, he finally ended the civil war by capturing and beheading fifteen princes, including the Second and the Sixth, when they approached him to negotiate peace.

    The next day, he crowned himself Emperor Taisheng.

    The continuous battles taking place across the country had exacted a serious toll on the treasury. As a response, the government of the new Emperor began enacting policies to decentralize the bureaucracy, giving the prefects leeway to do what they will as long as taxes to the Imperial Court were paid on time.

    This, coupled with the concentration of military power in the Imperial Court’s hands and the summary execution of the entire families of prefects that did not heed Emperor Taisheng’s instructions upon the pretext of corruption, had the effect of galvanizing the prefectures to ensure the taxes were submitted duly in order to avoid the capital’s gaze from falling upon them.

    Of course, this only meant that corruption began to take place in other ways…

    ***

    The sleep-inducing history lesson you received at Luoying Manor was half-forgotten by the time you made your way to Yangzhou. The scholars had droned on for hours with plenty of details, but you only managed to remember part of it. It was definitely not something you could memorize that easily – you are not some sort of brilliant scholar that could absorb in an hour the knowledge that took them decades to collect. What they said was insightful in its own way, but in the end you learnt nothing that would help you with your goals.

    As for the misfortune of your birth, the only thing they could determine was that the Taisha star shone upon you. You would bring about the downfall of the order of Heaven, sharing your misfortune with the entire country, but the scholars did not know enough to go into specifics. They said that they could be easily wrong about their readings; they were scholars after all, and not astrologers.

    Lady Ji had appeared to you shortly before you left and recommended in her mysterious manner that you seek out the All-Seeing Astrologer, Hua Jin, if you desired to know your destiny. She does not know where he is now; according to her, it would be fate if you found him, and fate if you didn’t.

    No matter.

    You put all thoughts of fate and destiny away from your mind. After days of travel, during which you studied the manual Master Yao gave you, you have reached your destination. You are in Yangzhou now, the most prosperous city in the entire empire. It may not be as populous as Chang’an, but the bustling, thriving activity in Yangzhou cannot be matched even by Xuzhou. More than anywhere else, Yangzhou was the economic center of the Tang Dynasty, where the largest merchant houses were located… and also where the most renowned brothel operated.

    You find yourself outside Yuhua Hall soon enough; it was not hard to find. Now that you are finally here, the only thing you need to do is to enter and begin searching for information.

    From the looks of it, however, it would be rather hard – or rather, expensive – to gain entry. An elegantly written flyer near the brothel stated that entrance alone would require a deposit of easily a quarter of your finances. You have no idea how much more you would be expected to spend within. It is a good thing that you had your share of earnings from betting at the tournament.

    No matter what, you would probably have to make yourself more respectable – that meant spending on clothes to replace your tattered and dirty ones.

    ***

    A. You enter Yuhua Hall as a client, spending your winnings in order to obtain information.

    B. You attempt to enter Yuhua Hall as a servant, finding a way to sell yourself into servitude.

    C. You attempt to enter Yuhua Hall as a merchant, peddling Yao’s Protective Sheath.

    D. You attempt to sneak into Yuhua Hall like a thief, attempting to obtain information without revealing yourself.
     
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  13. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    C - A good preliminary, it makes sense, and it gives us cash. Would we be able to replace it, treave? I thought Yao taught us how.
     
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  14. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    D>B, assuming B being menial labour.
     
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  15. Esquilax Arcane

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    I don't see Jing as being charismatic enough to sell this:

    Jing is charming, sure, but it takes a really slick, Glenngarry Glen Ross type to sell something that is this unmarketable. This thing fucking reeks, how is Jing supposed to convince people to buy this stuff with only CHA 7? I just don't see it happening, I think you need a really charismatic type to pull this off.

    Entering the place as a servant has some potential, but I could see us also being denied access to certain places as well. Going in as a thief can work as well (and it might very well be lucrative) but it also means a ton of risk to sneak into a place in which we're not sure what exactly we're looking for. We can sneak in, but assuming that we're successful, what do we do after that? treave, what sort of information would Jing seek to obtain in D?

    Guys, we made all that money in the tournament, and we can't hoard it like a bunch of Jews. Spending a chunk of our winnings gets us in the door and provides us access to most of the place at least. Going in openly and with everyone understanding that we've come in with our tournament winnings also gives us a really good pretext to initiate a private conversation with the madam of the brothel:

    If we just tell her why we're here and that we're good friends with Wang and Fangzhang, I think that she might be willing to accommodate us.

    Money comes and goes. A
     
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  16. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Making money off the prostitutes sounds like something Jing would have done. Do we also get to do a live demonstration?
     
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  17. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Eavesdropping, ransacking drawers etc
     
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  18. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Guise, there might be some merit to joining as a servant in Yuhua Hall. I'm speculating that if our WiB is a rogue section of courtesans, there are good odds that someone had them made, which follows that IF someone is covertly recruiting from Yuhua, said person would be something of a frequent customer.
    I'd say that we're better off observing Yuhua over a longer period than can be sustained by acting like a customer or merchant, or even a thief.

    What do you guys think?

    Also previous vote redacted[/b.]
     
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  19. Ifeex Scholar

    Ifeex
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  20. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    If we are able to make multilples, C.

    Orherwise, A.
     
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  21. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    C
    Sound like quite good pretext to meet the Madame directly that should be doable with his high charisma, doubt that he will be able to sell it though. All friends of masters sound like very interesting person.
     
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  22. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    First things first, "only CHA 7"? You were able to dance on top of a buckling horse with "only AGI 7", and I didn't hear anyone complaining about our performance. A value of 7 in a stat means that it is significantly higher than for the most of the populace. It does not make you exceptional, 1-in-a-million kind of a person, but that should not diminish your opinion about your capabilities.

    Second, how did you come under the impression that we need to sell this thing? Selling it straight away is almost as bad as being chased out - "here is your gold, thank you for your business, come again and don't forget to close the door on your way out". We did not come here to make money, we came here to learn who's who and what's what around here. You have your ware, its advantages are obvious for a place that should place healthcare as one of its top priorities, its drawbacks are equally evident to the ones that need to keep the customers happy. This is where the haggling begins. It opens up an opportunity for communication without announcing your presence as you would do in A.

    A, however, might be our best bet if we want to start asking questions. You buy these women, you can do as you please with their time - including them answering your inquiries. However, we do not yet know what we are searching for, and asking wrong questions to the wrong people may alert our enemies - assuming there are any around here, of course.

    B would be great, and very in-character for Jing.
    I would be very disappointed if it only means menial labor.

    D is what NinJing was made for. However, since we are not breaking out any friends or stealing any valuables, I find it a bit counter-productive to our goals. We want information, and this is best achieved by talking to people, not avoiding them.

    I want to go with C just to hear Jing's sales pitch. What are you afraid of in case of a failure - being arrested for a false advertisement? The most probable outcome is that we get to meet someone who will likely take the plot in an unexpected direction. Otherwise there wouldn't be anything that would prevent us from coming here again as a client - we pose as a merchant, and that identity means we are likely to have some money to spare.

    But I don't have a strong preference for a single option, so I guess I'll wait.
     
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  23. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    C. Even if they dont want to buy, the madame is friend with Yao and might recognise his work.
    treave do we lose the seath if they want it or do we make copies?
    I can see this LP turning into a Condom Tycoon :D
     
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  24. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Note though, the sheath is great, but you need the protective ointment to make it really work, so they'll need someone to show them how to concoct that. Such as Jing. 5 in herbalism is good. Not near mastery, but still pretty good.
     
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  25. Random Word Arbiter Patron

    Random Word
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    This is Clearly the most amusing best choice.
     
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