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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I agree with Esquilax, and have already explained how C is stupid and we want to try and cut a deal somehow. That says, Baltika9 has a good point about making sure we conclude it in a way that satisfies the Prince and increases our standing. Listen, let's not be so hasty. We have the option of A3 that treave has given; why are we not using it? Let's try and hammer out a deal that is the most beneficial for us.

    Our objectives are:
    • For the Tamur invasion, which if not imminent can certainly be caused by the Concordat, to be put off;
    • For Dio to appear to conclude the negotiations in a way that is testament to his loyalty and competence to the Empire and to Runikylos;
    • For Dio to derive whatever personal benefits possible from the Concordat.
    Now, we certainly couldn't go as far as, say, just combining A1 and A2. After asking for the Tamur invasion to be called off, we can probably only ask for minor things. Possibilities:
    • Information. We could frame it as, fine, we accept your deal (A1), but on one condition; Dio accompanies Zhang inside the Labyrinth. They go in, come out together, and Dio keeps what he learns to himself. Surely Zhang does not expect us to have a foreign dignitary enter unaccompanied to a dangerous location? It is our responsibility to make sure he does not come to any untoward harm! It would be a grave breach of protocol for us...
    • Blackmail Fodder. Zhang, you tell us that the Concordat will prevent a Tamur invasion, but how can we be sure? And what if they still want to invade 5,10, 20 years later? How long shall your guarantee hold? Perhaps it is much more reasonable that you give us, if you can, some piece of information, some evidence, that can be used to blackmail or manipulate Tamur's leadership / King (I need to reread the lore update...); the advantage here for us is that not only do we achieve A1, we have something we can use to leverage Tamur ourselves when we need to. It could be a scandal, or some kind of critical military or economic knowledge we can use to cripple their war efforts, whatnot.
    • Whatever else we think up...
    In short, let's try and think about what we can do with A3 rather than jump so hastily to A1 or A2.
     
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  2. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Tigranes, I like the idea of accompanying the dignitary inside. However, if we do that, we must also get a promise that he will not, under any circumstances, harm, kill or undertake any action that may do so to Dio, knowingly.
     
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  3. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    I have an idea: Could we arrange a marriage between our soldier buddy and a Tamurian princess? After all:

    Something tells me that our soldier buddy trusts us, is dutiful, and he won't exactly mind that we arranged for him to marry a beautiful princess for the good of the kingdom without his consent beforehand. The problem of course, lies in the fact that King Tamur is all balls and no brains, so he'd be against a marriage. This is where Zhang would come in, using his connections to arrange a marriage between the Hero of Korinthos and a Tamurian princess. This would make it much harder for them to attack us, but more importantly, it would allow us an excuse to have our Watchers infiltrate the area and find out what the Concordiat is up to.

    Sure, it isn't ideal in terms of information gathering (that's what B would be for) but this at least gets our foot in the door and gives us a way in. If we establish a diplomatic relationship with the Concordiat's vassal, that just means it's way easier to use that as a base from which to see what the mysterious Easterners are up to.

    So my vote right now would be A3: Ask Zhang to use his connections to arrange a marriage between the Hero of Korinthos and a suitable princess of Tamur, ostensibly in order to avoid a war, but in reality to allow us to find out what the Concordiat is up to.
     
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  4. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Esquilax that's a really good idea. We picked to develop closer ties to the soldier, right? But we haven't had any word on it yet? It all risks being a bit too fast (we don't want him to get married before he is ingratiated to us and properly recognizes us as the benefactor), but if it works out it can be a very good use of assets and opportunities on our side.

    Baltika9 I assume that's a given, really. If he can harm us and wants to he will no matter what, if not he won't. But sure.
     
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  5. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Haven't had much time to really squeeze it into the update, but yes, he's really buddy with you. Naive little village boy who you've shown the wonders of the big city, that sort of thing. That's why Dio's willing to install him as a king.
     
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  6. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    And that would get us what, exactly? Tamur XXX (I do indeed see what you did there) doesn't really strike me as a fellow that likes the Shinar all that much. Sure, we can marry our friend off, but what guarantee do we have he won't invade anyway? You said it yourself: all balls, no brain. And if we send off our stalwart warrior to him, what guarantee do we have he won't at least try to kill him, if not succeed.

    It is, by no means, a bad plan, it's just too weak on it's own in the current circumstances. Now, if we combined it with A1, on the other hand, it would be a great synergy.

    Personally, though, I like Tigranes's idea. More story!
     
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  7. newcomer Learned

    newcomer
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    If Tamur invade & lose (which it will because the hero of Korinthos is an Ean), the hero will have enough legitimacy to install himself as the king of Tamur. So it's a good move I guess.

    A3 (Esquilax)
     
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  8. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    What guarantee is there that he won't invade even if the Concordiat tries to halt his efforts with A1? He might be a hothead, but he is not a complete idiot. Bonds of marriage between countries aren't something to be taken lightly - he can't wage a war if say, one of his sisters is married to a Shinari hero. This gets us a lot more than A1, which would leave us blind, because it gives us presence inside Tamur without needing to invade it. So we'd be able to have Watchers in there, as well as the occasional appearance by our soldier buddy himself to keep us appraised of events. It allows us a lot more room to maneuver and figure out what's going on than just letting Zhang into the Labyrinth and then letting him do whatever he wants unimpeded.

    Furthermore, this would propel our status with Runikylos while allowing us to maintain the control of information at the same time. It wouldn't be the threatening power play that A2 would be, but at the same time, it would still give us assets in terms of knowledge in the area.

    The problem with Tigranes' idea is that Zhang might just outright refuse it. It seems apparent to me that he's not going to tell us why the Labyrinth is important to the Concordiat, because, as he said, they can find other ways of getting in:

    I think it's just trying to have your cake and eat it too. You want to know his motivations, but he's not willing to lay his cards on the table. If we accept his offer, our best bet will be to try and entrench our power base/spy network in Tamur in hopes of figuring out the Concordiat's plans. I see a marriage as the best way of doing that.

    Also, option B and C are there for a reason. It's there if you don't trust his deal (opening up a sealed Labyrinth that might be full of the undead is good reason to be suspicious), so if you want to gather information, those are your choices. Offering to go into the Labyrinth with him might result in a refusal instead of an amicable split like in B.
     
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  9. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Alright, the Esquilaxian A3 it is, since it's a better form of the 'blackmail' option. I thought going to the labyrinth would be cool story-wise and net us some benefits, and I don't know if treave would reject any deal that Zhang would, or allow us to screw up like that.
     
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  10. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    You could go in if you really wanted to. If he didn't want you to go in no matter what, he wouldn't have let you know about the entrance and asked you to open the door, instead opting for other methods. /hint?
     
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  11. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Esquilax, let's not lose track of our primary goal: keep the Empire together and the status quo in power. Dividig our attention between different tasks is not wise in the current situation.

    Installing spies is all well and good, but not when it puts the Empire at risk. And your plan, by itself, does. First, we have no guarantee he will get us a priness with strong ties to the throne. It might be a second cousin of the grandmother of the uncle of the father of Tamur XV. At least specify in your demands, he seems exactly the guy who will fuck us over on our wording (don't stab you in the back? But cutting your head of doesn't count!)
    Keeping with that, he can indeed give us a princess. But we didn't ask him to hold the invasion off, so he didn't and now we are torn between Tamur and our own rebellions. All to the benefit of the Concordiat. This MHD isn't our friend, yet, so we shouldn't cout on him to do us any favors.

    Combine it with A1 however, and it is a strong plan.

    Edit: I'm leaning more and more to going inside.
     
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  12. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Good point on the marriage, Baltika9. We'd probably get a marriage to some cousin at best, not someone really close to the throne. But it's still something, and it gets our hooks into Tamur.

    Going into the Labyrinth would be really fucking cool, you're right. But there are a few hurdles: (1) I'm speculating, but there might be a shitload of undead, and (2) I'm not convinced that we're equipped to deal with any dangers inside the Labyrinth since we've invested in making our character better at telepathy rather than battle. I'm worried that going in will mean getting our asses kicked, and I still haven't recovered from the rift debacle yet. That means that whatever we do, we're going to have to solve our problems with a little bit of finesse. I'd rather go in there with our soldier buddy in the near future, if possible.
     
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  13. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    While our priority should be the Empire. See the problem I'm trying to highlight? And just this once I think going all "Let him attack! EAN, FUCK YEAH!" is a bad idea.

    Lastly, this dignitary is not our friend and he has no interest in our wellbeing, or that of the Empire. Expect him to act accordingly.
     
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  14. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I hadn't thought of this before, but would marriage bring the Tamur princess to the Empire as the soldier's bride, or would the soldier take up a position in the Tamur court?

    If the latter, I think I'm flopping to the Tigranian A3, that is, A1 + Accompany to Labyrinth; not only has treave more or less said it would work, I don't want our soldier buddy to be a million miles away from us when we got him on our side precisely as our at-hand Brawn.
     
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  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    It would have to be specified in the choice. Due to the free-form nature of A3 I'm leaving this choice open for a while.
     
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  16. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Flopping to Tigranian A3.
     
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  17. Arpad Educated

    Arpad
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    Tigranian A3
     
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  18. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    On the other hand, maybe exploring unknown depths without martial skill or flamethrowers is not such a good idea. Especially with a Gieloth at your side.
     
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  19. newcomer Learned

    newcomer
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    So now instead of using other alphabets, Codex begins to name choices with the dynastic name of the person who suggests it :obviously:

    I'll jump to the Tigranian BAndwagon
     
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  20. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Wait, Tigranes, would your plan involve going into the Labyrinth without our soldier buddy tagging along or only with Zhang? If it's the latter, then this is really ill-advised. Diogenes hasn't invested in combat abilities or elementalism, so he's actually not much more powerful than an average Joe. Even the update itself said as much:

    Really, if we decide to go in without making sure our friend isn't with us, it's asking for another rift fiasco to happen again. Going into a dangerous area for some vague, uncertain gain without any backup - does any of this sound familiar? So I'm against it unless he's with us. I'm all for taking risks at the right time, but going in with someone we suspect to be a Gieloth and who we mistrust is foolish. There could be a horde of undead in there.

    And why would we be going in in the first place? To find out what Zhang wants inside the Labyrinth? If you want to do that, that's what C is for (which is stupid, but for other reasons). I dunno, this just seems like another ill-advised misadventure if we don't have the proper backup.
     
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  21. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    The soldier is not on Crete, obviously. He isn't your bodyguard. I would have mentioned his presence if he were.
     
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  22. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I'd have thought the Watchers would follow, really, unless we explicitly schemed to lock them out (which would get their panties in a knot).

    I'm happy with either of our A3s (and I am pleased to have inaugurated the dynastic naming scheme), but i just think entering the labyrinth has a clear benefit of knowledge (I doubt it would be a red herring of totally useless knowledge for us), while the marriage risks being a long term thing with zero payoff. If we send the soldier off to Tamur, we won't have him around to protect us and do stuff; if the princess comes here, then our leverage and influence on the Tamur court is diminished.
     
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  23. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    What good will the Watchers be against the things inside, if there are any? At this point, they are even more average than Dio.

    And Esquilax's A3 will work with A1, which is why I flopped to it.
     
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  24. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    They'll both work with A1, or that's the idea.
     
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  25. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Actually, how about this for A3: we open the labyrinth in exchange for the secrets of Chinese gunpowder and rifles. If anyone can negotiate that, it would be Dio.

    Besides, what was the point of choosing the diplomacy skill if we're not going to use it?
    Edit: if we pull it off, then we not only earn the gratitude of Lil' E, but also the adoration of the Adeptus Scholasticus and we will be able to bridge the gap between the Shin'ar and the Tentacle Oligarchy in the long run, as well as give the loyalist troops an edge should a revolt break out.

    Very risky, though, in that he might refuse.
     
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