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[LP CYOA] 傳

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

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Well, your interest in the Ashina and Yunzi isn't shared by every voter, I'm sure. As already evidenced in some of the responses to this update. :lol:

    Trying to match up voter intent with the character's is difficult.

    There also isn't much to say if Yunzi is consistently shifted to a lower priority. First the tournament is more important (and really, if Lantu came to participate he's likely able to speak Han), then your mission is more important, now the impending attack on the Wudu is more important.

    You might argue it is unfair, that you could not be expected to choose anything but B given how dramatic and important it appears to be, but it seems that doesn't stop people from voting A and coming up with rational arguments for it.

    So, yes, Jing might care about her - he obviously does, in a way - but if you're consistently building him up as the sort of character who holds duty to his mission and loyalty to his liege above his personal life whenever you get the choice, you can't be surprised when as a character he favors his obligations over the people he cares about.

    That doesn't mean he'll eventually lose all interest and care for them, of course, but it's hard to argue that they are as important if you never make the conscious attempt to try and elevate their importance in the character's mind (by picking the related choices). Because it is possible that she'll never be a priority, that there'll always be other, more urgent things to accomplish, that you'll always pick the choices that drive you two apart.
     
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  2. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Precisely, come on people vote for A, a vote for A is a vote for an independent Jing!

    Also we will be going to a Cult, we may get tentacles, fire tentacles :incline:.
     
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  3. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Oh yeah, I'm not saying that not voting A here means he'll suddenly not give a shit anymore about Yunzi and the Ashina. Nothing as drastic or permanent as that will ever happen, I reckon.
     
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  4. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    We'll probably meet them at the tournament.

    Assuming we get there. :troll:
     
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Makes sense, and that's part of why I want us to go with A: get a little more selfish, a little more interested in our own life and satisfaction instead of loyalty and duty. Ending the campaign with Jing an emotionless, absolutely selfless tool of Emperor Shun doesn't sound all that appealing, I'd rather steer Jing into a more independent mindset.

    Shun, smart as he is, will be fine with the Wudu, especially if he has guys like Gao and the Minamoto, I have faith in his skills. We don't have to go there, it is not a must, we do have a choice in the matter.
     
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  6. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    On the other hand, you don't earn a Great title just for cunning, you'll have to demonstrate you can hang in there with monsters like the Grand Taoist, the Abbot and Zhang Jue in a fight. Sure, he might not be able to take on 10,000 soldiers by himself, but Tulu Huodu is very powerful in his own right.

    :troll:
     
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  7. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    So, what you're saying is, the hundred man battle wasn't at all noteworthy and didn't count as a major bonus to our prestige?

    And it will be "was powerful" after we accidentally help Shun off him.
    :lol:
     
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  8. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    I told you, I'd rather have saved it for a hundred man battle against the Eight Sects' best. It's impressive for a beginner, but in the context of what the top tier fighters can do, not very much.
     
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  9. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Thanks for the tip. I think we'll need to win the Cult's tournament for the authority to call such a challenge. And all three options offer interesting opportunities for training: the western Fire Cult with their unique and unknown techniques, the Wudu (if we save them) will definitely have some deadly agility-based moves and some trickery with pressure points (treave, do we know what kind of martial arts they specialize in besides poison and thrown weapons like Quilin) and if we get really fortunate, then.maybe Shun can give us some grizzled, crusty one-eyed veteran as a trainer for a while (he's the crown prince/almost emperor, he can do whatever the fuck he wants to with his personal guard). While C is the obviously optimal choice with Yu, the Emei and their Yuchang technique, and maybe we can talk Changfeng into teaching us some brutal unorthodox moves.

    And way to crush my sense of achievement. :lol:
     
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  10. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Hmm my plan in B is to make Jing act as neutral party preferably emissary from Wudu trying to oficialy surrender, giving Shun pretext to met him privately. Course what we would wish to achieve there depends on what we will find out.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    And if I want exactly the opposite, to make him into a character who favors the people he cares about over his obligations? I mean, I do not believe Shun needs our help, but I am certain that Qilin does, and, most importantly, we can help her. Out of these two, Qilin and Yunzi, the situation the Qilin found herself in is much more urgent and dire. I just can't see Jing enjoying a date while the families of his friends are being murdered.

    B is as much about Qilin as it is about Shun, if not more so, and both of them are our friends, first and foremost.

    Now, that's just exaggerating beyond reason. You know this was my goal since the beginning, and I don't think B deviates from it.
     
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  12. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Well, B could work that way, only that he favors Qilin/Shun over Yunzi, perhaps? I do recognize the situation is more dangerous there, but there are still rationalizations around it. He's not exactly going to the Fire Cult for a date - given the menace and power they appear to have, it wouldn't be unwise to check them out before the challenge happens.

    But yeah, that point was more addressing the previous two choices than this particular one. Fact is, when given the chance in a relatively no-pressure environment (as mentioned multiple times, Zhang never really cared for the tournament, it was not mandatory), the first things to get priority were 'Zhang's challenge', 'the tournament', 'Shun's mission'. Of course, the voters then subsequently voted to 'go for every sidequest in between here and the actual progression of the mission', so...

    Anyway, how his character progresses next will depend on what you do while at the Wudu Cult. I mean, going B doesn't mean you're some cold hunting dog of the prince and I didn't mean to imply that at all. I'll keep the in-depth analysis of the situation for until we arrive there though. No point wall-of-texting here when I can save it to pad out the update. :lol:
     
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  13. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I haven't had the time to really consider this vote. So look, blame me if it goes tits up.

    A
     
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  14. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Whatnow? A fellow scapegoat? Well, I'm not too fine for that. I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around. :bro:
     
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  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Anabanana - C
    Zero Credibility - B
    XenomorphII - B
    Nevill - B
    Smashing Axe - C
    Baltika9 - A
    Elfberserker - C > A
    Kipeci - A > C
    asxetos - B
    Rex Feral - B
    Fangshi - A
    Sir Arvedeth - C
    Esquilax - A
    Jester - B
    Grimgravy - B > C
    Mystiknight - B
    Kashmir Slippers - B
    ScubaV - A
    The Brazilian Slaughter - A > B
    ERYFKRAD - B
    Azira - A
    TOME - B
    Tigranes - A

    ***

    Final tally:

    A - 8
    B - 11
    C - 4
     
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  16. Kayerts Arcane

    Kayerts
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    I'd vote A, but it looks like it won't matter at this point. (Reasoning: Shun's mission probably suggests that we should do this over helping Shun, and the Fire Cult does seem to contain the current kings of big dick mountain in terms of fighting skill. That said, if we manage to clear the Wudu in choice B, that will both gain useful allies and presumably hamper the actual poisoners.)
     
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  17. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    March on Guizhou

    You sniff the air. The weather is becoming cooler – autumn is here. It had been summer when you left Maniac Island. The Fire Cult’s challenge would take place on the winter solstice, some months away. Strange, that a group that identified itself with fire would pick the coldest time of the year. You stoke the campfire slowly. “You know, I thought you’d have chosen to go with the Fire Cult girl,” says Qilin suddenly, sitting opposite you. “Why didn’t you?” Cao’er is busy preparing some medicines, her back to you, but you notice her movements slowing down. Though she does not say anything, she is probably listening for your answer too.

    You had parted ways with Yunzi back at Emei, though not without her reminding you that you owed her a rematch at the Fire Cult’s challenge, when you would hopefully be fully healed. It was a promise you hoped to keep – this time you’ll finally beat it into her head that you are the superior fighter, once and for all. Then, you had chased after Qilin. “Is it so strange that I’d want to come here?” you ask with a disbelieving chuckle.

    “Yes. I really didn’t think you would actually offer to accompany me,” says Qilin seriously. Then, a small, sly grin reveals itself, and she asks teasingly, “Or did you actually come here for my sake? Oh dear, have you fallen for me?”

    “Ha, you can keep on dreaming about that!” you laugh. Though that is probably not too far from the truth – you were also here because of Shun – you would rather die than admit that you came to help her. She would probably be even more insufferable if you admitted to caring about her wellbeing. A fleeting emotion crosses Qilin’s face for an instant before dissolving into her familiar, mischievous look. “Well, I was just kidding. You wouldn’t come for my sake, I know that. It must be the Crown Prince… I can think of no other reason.”

    “I’m not sure what you are talking about.”

    “Oh, come on. Remember what Lady Ji said that night at Luoying Manor? I’m not stupid, you know. I can make some pretty good guesses. You had a noble’s education, you came from the palace, and you chose to came here once you heard about the Crown Prince. So, what’s your relationship with the prince? Are you two… you know… like that?” She makes a rather vulgar gesture for a girl, grinning cheekily.

    “No! Nothing like that,” you reply, suddenly flustered as the memories come back to you. The chambermaids had told you many tales of decadent royal princes and their male companions during your night training, and you had been prepared in body and mind to heed such a request if it was made, yet Shun had never asked.

    “It’s okay…” Cao’er speaks up suddenly. “Even if Jing is… like that… I will accept it.”

    “I already said that it wasn’t like that,” you grumble. Qilin laughs at your discomfort, pleased at having found another way to assault your psyche. “Anyway,” you say quickly, trying to change the topic, “I checked out the situation from a few of the nearby villages this morning. Here’s how things stand at the moment…”

    The three of you had arrived before the army began their attack. Qilin had told you that the Wudu Cult headquarters were nestled within Wudu Gorge, which itself was hidden somewhere within a vast sea of bamboo trees. You are in that forest right now, following a path only Qilin knew. The closest settlement to the Wudu Cult was Chishui Town; that is very likely where the ten thousand soldiers would make camp, building a temporary fort on the outskirts of the town as their base of operations in this region. Shun is here, without a doubt, but he is also accompanied by General Lu Bu, an experienced military man who had been a decorated veteran of the Tujue war.

    “Do we know when the attack is going to start?” asks Qilin.

    “They’re still scouting, but given their manpower it is only a matter of time until they find it. If I were your uncle, I would have used this time to evacuate. Do you think he has done that?”

    “I don’t know,” says Qilin, biting her lip. “He can be a bit stubborn at times. Besides, where would we go? Not counting the families, the Wudu Sect has more than five hundred members.”

    “You could scatter amongst the villages, hide yourselves there… no, that might not work.” You catch your mistake quickly. As far as you know, Shun had come here to exterminate the Wudu Cult.

    That meant only one thing – if the Wudu members hid amongst the people, the Tang army would operate on the assumption that the villagers were harbouring enemies to the throne.

    They would launch a real campaign of extermination. Pulling back on your oft-forgotten knowledge of politics, you manage to remember some important facts, and realize that this would be easybecause it was Guizhou. The local population in this particular region of Guizhou was largely Miao, and there had always been proposals for settlement of the area with actual Han bandied about amongst the officials.

    You do not know if this was a factor in the decision to mobilize, but you cannot rule it out.

    “You are sure that the Wudu Cult would never do such a thing?” you ask Qilin.

    “Of course not!” replies the girl indignantly as she puts her hands on her hips. “Uncle Huodu said that there is not enough gold in the world to pay for the trouble we would get into for poisoning the current Emperor. I cannot believe he would do something so stupid, knowing just how stupid it is!”

    “What about the other members of the sect? Ones that you don’t know that well? It might be enough to entice them – they could think that they would be able to take the payment and run.” Of course, you suspect that if the conspirators actually found a lesser member of the Wudu Cult perform the deed, it’s quite likely they would ensure all trails leading back to them were removed… thoroughly. Whoever was hired would not find a happy ending.

    “None of them would be good enough to do the deed,” remarks Qilin bluntly. “The current Emperor Taisheng was an extreme paranoid in recent years. The only ones with enough skill to get past all that security and poison-testing would be my father and my uncle. No, it would be easier for someone already in the palace to betray the Emperor and strike.”

    That could happen, but it would need every Grand Eunuch and much of the first-ranked Ministers to agree for it to even succeed – basically, the Emperor would have had his entire court united in wanting him dead, or at least comatose. You are not sure if that is possible… but you cannot rule it out.

    Then, of course, there was yet another possible answer: the immortality pills that Emperor Taisheng was so fond of taking. His pursuit of immortality was nothing new; many Emperors, upon realizing that they would not rule forever, delved into alchemy and superstition to find a path to eternity. None of them have ever succeeded. From your herbalism training, you had found out that many of the pills that the Emperor took were likely to be toxic. You wouldn’t be surprised if he had ended up poisoning himself.

    Still, there was too little to go on for now. You would have to find some more leads before you can come to a conclusion about this matter. Despite your misgivings about Emperor Taisheng’s character, he was still the one that plucked you up from poverty and brought you into the palace. You think that you should at least attempt to uncover the truth, as best as you can.

    “How far is your home from here?”

    “We should reach the gorge by tomorrow,” says Qilin. “Chishui Town is in another direction, but even closer. What do you plan to do? Do you want to come with me so I can introduce you to my father, or do you want to visit your beloved prince? If you are going to Chishui, I will meet up with you there after I check back home. It might take a day or two, though.”

    ***

    A. You will follow Qilin all the way to the Wudu Cult. It is probably best that you speak with these expert poisoners and get an idea of what they plan to do about the impending assault, as well as their opinions on this poisoning.

    B. You travel to Chishui Town; the Tang fort is built right next to it, and the Crown Prince will likely be within it. You would like to find out what the military's plans are first, and Shun will probably be easier for you to persuade.
    1. You will attempt to sneak into the fort under the cover of darkness, using your stealth skills to enter his lodgings undetected.
    2. You and Cao’er will put on an act of being wandering, patriotic physicians to gain entry. You’ll try to contact Shun from there.
    3. You boldly declare your identity at the gates of the fort and request to see the Crown Prince.
     
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  18. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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  19. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    Let's think about how we proceed so we don't get fucked.

    I am pretty sure we can't pull off something like B1. The crown prince is attacking a sect of poisoners and assassins. He sure as fuck is going to have his guards doubled or tripled. More so he is going to be watched and protected by imperial agents like Gao Ying. I believe we will be dead before even setting eyes on him.

    B2 sounds like something that might work, especially with Cao'er's help. Though it relies very much on not being recognized by Ying or someone else. And I doubt a couple of "patriotic physicians" are going to get anywhere near the Crown prince. We might as well be poisoners under the guise of phisicians coming to assassinate Shun.

    B3 seems ridiculously simple but I think it might actually work. Sure, there goes our undercover status as Shun's agent, but from the 3 B choices it seems to be the only one that might succeed immediately. Or some of the Prince's enemies capture us the moment we declare our allegiance and he never hears about us. That might happen too.

    A seems the most risk free, though if we go for it, we might miss the chance to save Shun's life, should he be in immediate danger.

    I'm waiting to hear more arguments.
     
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  20. Elfberserker Liturgist

    Elfberserker
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    hmm.. I am torn between A and B2.

    B2 relies heavily on that no one, but shu recognize us. Jing himself is quite showman, so he could be quite convincing about patriotic physician act while Cao'er skills pretty much assures that we are legit physicians. The only downside in this is that Jing has quite reputation himself and if Gao is there then it won't end well...Unless he is Shu's agent and is literally by his side all the time. Of course we shouldn't count out rest of secret police either. If we succeed at meeting Shu then negotation between Wudu cult and Shu is going to be that much easier.

    A lets gave us deeper understanding at the wudu side of the plot.

    I am waiting arguments wiser members than myself before deciding voting.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I am not sure I caught this. Why can't Wudu people hide among the villagers? Because it puts the populace at risk? Or because they are of different ethnicity than the local populace, and it would never work? Or the populace being not Han makes it easier to issue an Exterminatus on the area? Or is it because the local Han would give them away?

    What exactly are the ramifications of this line?

    We don't have much to tell the prince, except that we are here, so I'd rather not go to him first.
     
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  22. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Nevill, the Wudu Cult can't hide among the villagers because the government will kill every single person there just to be on the safe side. They operate under the old principle of "death solves all problems; no man, no problem" so if they simply exterminate everyone there, then they are bound to kill off a bunch of Wudu Cult members. The ramifications of the latter line, to me, imply that there are certain interests within the Court that probably want to displace the native population in the area so that Han can settle there. This seems like a great pretext for some genocide, in fact.

    I don't like A so much because our usefulness in this situation lies in the fact that we can act as a liaison between Shun and the Wudu Cult. If Shun knows that we're here and that we have an in with the Cult, that might allow him to devise a plan to avoid this extermination campaign.

    As for the B choices, B1 is obviously idiotic, not worth dwelling on further. B2 might work, but it would require some incredibly crafty speech choices. Cao'er is obviously going to be much better than any Imperial Doctor, but with how tense the situation is, how are we going to convince these people to let a couple of random wanderers who could be spies or with the Cult work on their soldiers? B3 actually seems crazy enough that it just might work; even the meticulous and watchful Gao Ying might give us a chance to prove our identity in this situation. However, it could also blow our cover in the pugilistic world completely.
     
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  23. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    Yeah, no point going to the prince since we have nothing to tell him. We could find out their attack plans to save the Wudu cult, but without finding leads to the real poisoner we would be undermining Shun's influence.

    A.
     
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  24. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Oh, wow. I guessed the situation was bad, but that is on a whole new level.

    Well, then. We either attempt to contact the prince and try to gauge how (or if) we can help him in this situation, or we go straight to the Wudu Cult and try to find a solution on our own. If the prince has a plan, it certainly does not include us, though having someone to pass the message to the Cult might come in handy for him, if he has something to tell them. Then again, if he needed that, wouldn't it be easier to send an agent to get captured by them in a forest?

    He might devise a new plan based specifically on our presence here, but I am trying to think of what can we do for him that he otherwise can't, and so far, I have surprisingly little. Anyone there with a better imagination care to help me out?

    Since I am not worried about him in the first place, this leaves me with A.
     
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  25. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    We were cast out from Shun's side to look into the unorthodox sects that might cause him harm. I'd rather we go through with that than pretend we'd taken the secret service route from the start. I'd rather that we spend time with Chi Quilin anyway, now that we've taken B.
     
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