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Zwackus

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About Zwackus

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  1. I really like the recently added "Explore the "Location"" options now available since the Content Patch. However, it seems like there should be a few more options added - Callomantia Gym and Tertulloid Observatory seem likely candidates. I find this especially important because I have yet to have a character who is capable of effectively using the explore ability. It almost always fails at the beginning, and thus I don't try. However, some of my characters have not even had the explore skills revealed, so I don't even have an option of improving my exploration ability. I know you've been tweaking explore and whatnot, so maybe this is already fixed. However, it seems there are a bunch of super-standard areas that I should be able to find, very easily, without any explore knowledge. Things like my school's Common Room, which I have never found, but know exists as a place because I randomly found one on a rare successful Explore in my very first playthrough. Perhaps if the roll for the explore ability was not of a sucess/fail nature, but rather common/uncommon/rare. That is, an incredibly low roll would revel a common location that should be findable by just about anyone. Higher rolls would pull from a list of more obscure locations, and the rarest and most secret of places would only be found by characters with exceptional Explore skills. As it is, the threat of failing an action entirely is sufficiently off-putting that I'm never use the Explore ability, even though I desperately want to find new locations. I have similar feelings towards research, which seems just as failure-prone, but as research really doesn't matter to anything, it's not such a big deal. In my current game I'm trying to research the Diary of Edward Lamont, just for the heck of it, despite near weekly attempts have yet to get past 3, even though my research skills are all between 7 and 10. Perhaps if research was performed on the skill-step system, and the research roll was not of the pass/fail nature, but of the "how many levels of success will I achieve" sort. Then every attempt will accomplish something, but more skillful researchers will be more quickly rewarded with progress in their studies. Oh, and finally, I found a revision sheet, an item that seems to grant +2 bonus to any skill I want, as many times as I want. While this is nice and all, it seems utterly absurd. It would be cooler, and make more sense, if I had to Craft the revision sheet myself, using Calligraphy skills, and possible enchant it with a pheme or two, and if it was set upon the time of manufacture to a single skill. So, I make a revision sheet for Geometry Problems, and it will temporarily increase my Geometry Problems skills upon use. The All-Powerful Revision Sheet of Awesomeness should be a rather rare, and highly valued, artifact.
  2. Amada Kieffler's quest has all kinds of problems. I'm not sure if this has been mentioned previously, so I thought I'd say something here. First off, the names are all bugged. Clique names appear instead of character names, character description instead of names, etc. Often the highlighted name section appears merged with a sentence of dialog. Second, the difficulty levels are just insane. I needed skill levels of 10 or more to get a purple chance, nearly every single challenge. For what I believe to be the final challenge, my dance skill of 9, insight of 4, and Charm of 7, and Sleuthing of 9, are not enough to get me even a purple chance at any of the options - they're all red! In some situations this makes sense. I totally understand that making the horseless carriage move should be difficult. However, given that the challenge is being asked to dance by a boy, and that my character is a well-trained and skilled dancer, that level of difficult just seems silly. If there are other sub-skills that are being referenced, like flirting, dating, or romance or whatnot, then some sort of hint that these are the stumbling block would be useful. There are too many possible skills in most situations to just guess. In my previous playthrough, I ran into similar difficulty issues with friend quests. Every single challenge required maxed out scores in random abilities, and even extensive training wasn't enough to get even a slight chance of success. On the other hand, the Captain of Mineta adventures were quite simple - most of the time, I was well ready to accomplish those tasks on the first attempt.
  3. Another idea or two for possible adventure threads . . . Who is the nurse? Help her out some. The groundskeeper is mentioned in the Lore - maybe an adventure focused on getting to know him, or helping him out. How about the master of the Forge, or the head Cook? The different head Librarians who work in all the schools' libraries? The School Stationer, if that idea from the other thread is implemented? How about the various farmers who work the fields? Conversely, if you want to play an evil little punk, maybe an adventure composed of nothing more than a series of nasty pranks on these people. The adventures could be exclusive, like the Pirates and Captain of the Guard adventures - you either help them out, as a good little boy/girl, or you terrorize them. An "annoying roommates" adventure might also be amusing - your dorm mates snore loudly, leave their messes everywhere, steal your stuff, etc., and over a series of several days or weeks you gradually come to an understanding with them. Or an adventure focused almost entirely on the gate guards, learning their schedules, and figuring out ways to get around them. OF course, this would work much better were the whole "1st year students can't go into town at all!" theme was better explained and implemented, with exceptions for some study-related things for which you can get passes from your professors. Several random encounters give you a chance to help out thieves . . . maybe have an adventure that expands on that topic, where you collaborate with the thieves guild and help them steal stuff. Or for that matter, the Swashbucklers. Any of the possible part-time jobs could be adventures - working at the newspaper, working as a bank clerk, working at the Corner Tailor, working at Brisbane's, etc. In fact, it would perhaps make more sense if the part-time job was made available only after completing the adventure tied to that particular location/job.
  4. More silly ideas . . . In the Lore, there are several references to phemes being etched, carved, or written onto various objects, like clothes and whatnot. It seems like it'd be a cool ability, to either etch, carve, or embroider items (depending on their material components) with individual phemes. Have this as a combo of Orthography and the appropriate artisan skill, maybe. So, I could have an especially alluring hat, for example. Perhaps these are extra-detectable items, though, and they can easily get you in trouble - worth the risk?
  5. You take a quick shortcut between some hedges to avoid <Random Low Relationship Character>. “I saw you, @Player Name@!” <he/she> calls. <he/she> is following you! Just then, you spot a hole under an old stone wall. It’s just big enough to climb through, and you know <he/she> isn’t going to follow you there and get all dirty. You scramble through on your hands and knees and emerge on the other side just in time to hear <Character> run past. You’re safe now! Only then do you notice where you are . . . at the entrance to some kind of hedge maze! 1 – You’ve heard rumors of a dangerous maze that traps students, and you don’t have time to deal with that now. (Exit, -1 to Curiosity) 2 – Memorization – Try to remember if you’ve heard something about this before. Investigate – Success – Mysterious hedge maze, walled off, near Avila College . . . yes, you have heard something about that. Unfortunately, it was when you were listening in to a conversation between some older students, and you couldn’t understand most of what they were talking about. It definitely had something to do with geometry, though. – Result, show Geometry option. Investigate – Failure – You remember hearing a story <Random High Relationship Character> told you about a maze that closed up behind you. The only way to survive was to run as fast as you can! – Result – show Running option. 3 – Puzzles – Enter the maze, and leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind you so you don’t get lost. (Very Hard) Success – You enter the maze, confident that there’s no puzzle you can’t solve. The maze is tricky. It seems like it loops back on itself in ways that should be impossible, but you ignore that and focus on your goal. It’s a puzzle, and like any puzzle, there’s a solution. Patience, logic, and dedication eventually pay off when you emerge from the hedges into a small clearing at the maze’s center. There’s a small plaque on a pedestal. Etched onto the plaque is a map of the maze, which makes your mind swim if you consider it carefully, and a small caption explaining that the maze was built as a physical solution to Hans Edlun’s Fourth Geometric Quandry. <Insert better name/problem from lore here> Hmn, interesting. (Exit, +1 Puzzles, +1 Geometry Problems Research) Fail – You start off confident, but quickly realize that this maze is no ordinary puzzle. Straight lines are not straight, right angles don’t behave properly, and turning around has unpredictable results. When you unexpectedly end up back at the start of the maze, your frustration turns to relief, and you leave the whole thing behind you. (Exit, -1 Confidence, +2 Stress) 4 – Climb – Climb a nearby tree, and try to figure out the layout of the maze. Investigate – Success – You slowly make your way up the tree, looking carefully for branches that seem strong enough to hold you. When you look down at the maze, though, something is not right! The paths twist and fold into themselves in ways that are impossible, and seem to shift every time you blink. It makes you dizzy, and before you know it, you’ve slipped off the branch and fallen onto the soft ground below. You wake up hours later, just moments before curfew, and run back to your dorm. (Exit, Vitality -1) Investigate -- Fail – Climbing the tree is more difficult than it looks, and after fifteen minutes you’re right back where you started. (No effect) 5 – Geometry Problems – Tackle the maze as a giant geometry problem. Success – Four right angles make a squared triangle, but if you cut across the center vertex and divide by . . . the twists and turns of the maze become less a physical space and more an expression of profound and inexplicable geometric laws. The twists and turns are not directions laid out on a two-dimensional map, but rather arguments and statements in a giant geometric puzzle. Fortunately, it’s a puzzle that was solved long ago, and you studied it in class. Seeing the solution made into physical space is an incredible experience. At the center of the maze there is a small clearing, with a marble pedestal and a bronze plaque. The plaque shows the formal solution to Hans Edlun’s Fourth Geometric Quandry, the very same solution you just retraced in the maze. Cool. (Exit - +1 Confidence, +1 Geometry Problems, +1 Geometry Laws) Failure – The maze definitely has something to do with geometry – impossible geometry! You quickly realize that this is simply beyond your level, and make for the exit. ( Exit - -1 Confidence) 6 – Running – You set off at a sprint, pushing ahead at your top speed, turning the corners as quickly as you can. However, no matter how fast you run, you don’t seem to be getting any closer to the center. Still, you can’t shake the feeling in your gut that you’re getting closer . . . to something. Something important. Gasping for breath, you make one final turn . . . and see the entrance to the maze. All that running, and you’re right back where you started. Well, at least the maze didn’t eat you! (Exit, +1 Running)
  6. I can see that lending itself to a series of entirely inappropriate pranks . . .
  7. On that point, I do sort of wonder if it is sensible for things like Accept Comission, or being invited to use the Master's Forge, to be at all possible for students in Year 1, no matter how good their skills. I mean, I got a personal workstation more or less just by going to class. That seems way, way too easy. Further, my character has a puny strength of 1 - no matter how much theory and magic I know, you're not going to shape iron with the lowest possible strength a 13 year old can muster. You're not even going to lift the hammer more than twice! Super-stringent requirements, above and beyond those that might be attained in class, and perhaps only unlocked after a hard adventure?
  8. One thing I've been sort of thinking about is the Rimball system. I didn't see much about it when I played a female character, but when I played a male character, all of a sudden I was on a Rimball team, and kept having Rimball random events pop up. This is interesting and all, except I really think something like participation in organized sports should be a bit more structured, and a bit more open to player choice. Not everyone would imagine their character playing on a team, and characters who don't take Athletics, and have poor Strength and Fitness, don't make obvious choices for the team. First off, are Rimball teams created by student choice, or are the house-associated? Does every year have its own Rimball team, or group of teams? Basically, how is the game supposed to work in the lore? Is there any gender connection, or was that just random luck? If it's ad-hoc teams that play of their own volition, then I think a simple modification of the Clique mechanics could work to form Rimball teams. These ad-hoc teams would train and practice together, maybe as a scheduled event or something. Depending on the players on the team, their skills, and their abilities, you could have a set of Team Skills/Attributes, and then another score, like Study, representing how much the team practices together. Maybe certain more athletically or competitively minded characters could bring special Rimball-specific bonuses or negatives to the team. Finally, the players should have the option of joining a team, or trying to start one on his/her own. The next part gets more difficult, though. I think it would be really cool to have a system wherein the different existent Rimball teams challenge each other to matches, and then use a variant of the Dueling system to resolve the match. I guess you could have a series of plays or whatnot to choose from that would shift the momentum of the game in one direction or another, and this, modified with the Team Attributes and Practice Level, might give each team a greater or lesser chance of scoring in that round. Maybe have 4 or 8 rounds to play. Finally, you could tweak all those Rimball-match random events to only take place if you're involved on a Rimball team, and then adjust the results accordingly so that they have team effects as well as individual effects. Thinking about it, similar modifications of the Dueling mechanic might be cool for other contests, like crafting contests, debate contests, insult contests, etc. Then you could add the chance of starting a contest to several random events, making particularly aggressive event choices lead to real consequences.
  9. No, it's not a permenant loss, just temporary. Which is fine, really, except that it strikes randomly, and there's nothing in the text about it. I just wanted to point it out, so it could all be made consistent and coherent if possible.
  10. On the topic of "Not as useful as could be . . ." Flower Child's explore boost ability . . . instead of having it triggered +3, have it +2/+1 permenant, maybe? Or something.
  11. This may well have been mentioned already, but in almost all forge locations, tons and tons of possible passive locations show up, several of which are incredibly strange looking. Even the Earth Sprite Nest suffers this problem. In other location news . . . J. Circus Freak Show - the passive ability there doesn't work, though it sounds like you're changing that to an active ability anyway. There's the location where you can Tour the Tapestry Room, an active ability. I failed to do it. That seemed odd. Are there supposed to be frequency limits on places like the Gamers Guild? I unpredictable lose the ability to go there. How about for some of the Libraries? I've been using the Library of Mantele quite a bit, and thus suddenly I lost the ability. Honestly, it would make sense to restrict both of these locations a bit, but just do it clearly.
  12. In the Lizard - Observatory Race adventure, if you succeed on the observe roll, you find a hole into the Observatory, which looks interesting, but then when it cycles back, there is no new option available - only the standard Compete, which I'm gathering is incredibly tough. Random Event Glitches . . . There's the event where you see a tail walk into the Janitor's Closet. The Observation roll told me that it was a rare Smoke Puppy, but then no extra action was provided as a result, I was left only with the Brute Force option - the text of which told me I should have paid more attention before charging! There's the event where you're helping people practice for a play, and you start speaking a magical dialect. I did the observation, found some gum in my pocket, but once again, nothing showed up. Fortunately I was able to use the Composure option to successfully complete the event, but . . .
  13. Typos or sorta-typos . . . There's an event where you help sort some animated Artifice books, and get one as a prize. The un-identified version is totally blank. Secure an Apprenticeship with Brisbane - in the description of the results are cut off with an etc., and after having accomplished it, all I see is something about Memory, etc. Looks like an un-filled placeholder. Isasos Holiday text - I changed places with professor He, who was soon revealed to be the History professor. Not He of the Grand Wizardly Army, sadly. The Merchant's Seal that one gains from the Vernin adventure has no description. It's also un-identified, which seems odd.
  14. Yeah, the cost/beneift ratio of the familiars needs to be looked at a bit, I think. So, you can train them in skills up to their bond level. Raising their bond level requires raising each of the 3 bonds by one point, so that's at least 3 actions right there. Then there's the actual skill training itself. And, there are no fancy bonus locations for familiars, like there are with people - when you train your familiar, it's slowly, one step at a time. A possible fix here would involve the fact that familiars seem to go off on their own and do their own thing during class and study time. So, maybe when you're in class, the familiar has a chance of auto-boosting skill points. Not necessarily in the class you're studying, but maybe from a set of skills that your breed might partake in. These skills won't surpass the bond level, I suppose, but it'd be something. Further, I'm really unclear on the relationship between character skill level and familiar skill level. If your character has 0 in a skill (Say, Navigation), but you train you familiar up in that skill, what does it mean? How should that even be possible? On the other hand, if I have a 10 skill in Navigation, and my familiar has 0, does my familiar get some bleed-over effect from my character's skill level? How exactly does that work?
  15. Yes, seen from that perspective, (which is not all that uncommon amongst gamers), shortcuts here and there do make quite a bit of sense.
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