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Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Commended by mizal on 9/9/2019 7:42:24 AM

On the grounds that many of you are not going to be buying a CoG game, and on the grounds that I want to show you how ChoiceScript does cool things with choice design and branching, I will be running Tally Ho here, my own game.

If you would like to play, just chime on what choice you'd like, and when I feel like it (I'll do it a few times a day if at least three people voted) I'll post the next section and update the stats.

Let's Plays are the most fun when people talk about their choices and why they are making them, but there's no pressure--you can simply vote if you like.  Anyone can join in or drop out as they wish.

The rule:  Vote by replying to the section with the choice you are voting on.  Votes elsewhere will not be recorded.  General comments can reply to this initial message.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Don't reply to this messsage.  I will update it as we go along.

 

We have stats in this game.  Feel free to ignore these if you don't care about stats.

 Bold: 55%

Culture: 32%

Intellect: 20%

Observe: 31%

Persuade: 25%

Skullduggery: 25%

Soothing: 41%/Abrasive: 59%  

Your Reputation:

 Renown: 17%

Tranquility: 42%

Suspicion: 10%

Relationships:

Rory: 55%

Frankincense: 37%

Aunt Primrose:  46%

Ready Monies: 65

Bold is a measure of both your physical derring-do and your ability to act in a vigorous manner. It would include both leaping from high places and interrupting the prime minister.

Culture is a measure of your aesthetic sophistication, your etiquette, and your ability to act. It would include impersonating a duchess, setting a table correctly, and quoting a poem accurately.

Intellect is a measure of your raw problem-solving ability, including your ability to put clues together and play chess. It would include recall of important information, and solving a puzzle.

Observe is a measure of your ability to spot things or to read subtle behavior cues. It would include noting a tiny but telltale mud stain on a cuff and finding the apricot preserves way in the back of a crowded larder.

Persuade is a measure of your overall ability to get people to see things your way, a key skill for anyone in domestic service. It would include getting someone to discard an offensive pair of shoes.

Skullduggery is a measure of your ability to do all of the things you aren't supposed to do, or doing things in a surreptitious manner. It would include elaborate ruses, lock picking, or sleight of hand.

Soothing/Abrasive is a sliding measure of the way people perceive your general affect. A Soothing servant puts people at ease, often telling them what they want to hear, while an Abrasive servant challenges people and is more willing to buck social norms. Some people like one, some like the other, and some like it in between.

The above qualities are very often tested together. So, for example, trying to publically humiliate someone by outsmarting them might be Abrasive and Intellect. A particularly bold lie might be both Bold and Skullduggery. Attempting to pass yourself off as the mayor might be a combination of Culture, Observe, and Persuade.

Expect to see these qualities rated between 25-75 for most of the game. Lower than 30 is subpar; a 40 is above the norm; a 60 is notably good; a 75 is breathtaking and worthy of approbation in the finest clubs and dining establishments.

Readies is a rather abstract measure of the amount of money available to you at the moment.

Renown is a measure of your astonishing performance as a servant. Doing something striking, glorious, or simply intriguing will raise Renown. Doing things that make you look foolish will lower Renown. A servant with high Renown will eventually find that they have doors opened to them that otherwise would remain firmly closed.

Tranquility is a measure of your ability to make things easier for people. It is a wondrous and ephemeral quality, which can accrue even when nobody is looking, when you do a deed to ease someone's path.

Suspicion is a measure of to what extent you are seen as a potential criminal by those in authority. A high Suspicion may have an unfortunate effect on your future employment.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

 

Standing at the front window of your employer's flat, you take a moment's respite from your cleaning tasks to enjoy the sights and sounds of a late October afternoon in the better part of London.

A cool breeze wafts through the window almost playfully, as if to say all is well with the world—but the moment does not last, as a groan issues from the master bedroom, followed by a muffled crash and then a sort of whimper.

Your employer, Rory Wintermint, was out quite late last night, and was helped back to the flat by some friends, in what might be termed an "impaired state" after an evening's carousing. You have taken advantage of the morning's quiet to do some tidying, all of the ironing, and the dishes. Now it is late afternoon, and your employer appears to have finally awakened.

Another groan and some incoherent gurgles emerge as you stride to the kitchen and prepare Rory's tray.

What is on the tray you have prepared?

1. A hearty platter of seeded rye toast with butter, three link sausages, four scrambled eggs with a dash of hot pepper, and two large mugs of extraordinarily strong black coffee.

2. A calming cup of chamomile tea and an antacid tablet.

3. A cocktail cunningly designed to ease Rory's hangover.

4. An attractive iris in a bud vase and a cup of fragrant oolong tea.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1, because a good servant will do all they can to please their employer, even if it means serving them damn near a whole buffet of food.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Edit: I was told antacid helps when you have an upset stomach, so I'm switching my vote to 1. I'll keep the old reasoning bellow for transparency.

Hmm. Let's go with 2. Antacid's a painkiller, right?

1 is the only option with food, so I first wanted to pick that one. After all, at this point this fella's likely going to be hungry, and I bet 1 likely wouldn't be an option if he didn't eat a lot. But there is a possibility he doesn't, and besides, if he has a hangover, we should be thoughtful and prepare something for it. Shows we've been paying attention.
3's another good choice. However, a cocktail might look suspicious. Wouldn't want our employer to think we're poisoning him or something.
4's the worst option. I highly doubt this fellow would care much for flowers.

Of course, most likely I am overthinking this and all of these are good choices. After all, from what I've learned of COG games, the first few choices always just determine the stats you get and have no bad consequences.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
I looked it up and eggs and coffee are both good choices for recovering from a hangover.

If it doesn't work and just makes him throw up or something instead, that will also be hilarious. Although, as Maya said, this is probably just a stat choice. Bold maybe? Is a hearty breakfast indicative of boldness?

I'm also pretty hungry right now myself so ***Option 1*** looking good.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

My guess is that Gower wouldn't swoop so low as to have predictable stat padding choices, that is to say, I don't think these four tie to the first four stats.

I imagine it might be something like:

  • Renown -- such a magnificence breakfast!
  • Soothing -- it is literally calming! This one might be tranquility...
  • Abrasive -- a cocktail to ease a hangover? What a buck to social norms!
  • Tranquility -- wouldn't a lovely flower make things easier? Might be soothing instead...

Granted, I have no idea, and feel I could swap some things, but I guess we'll find out soon enough...

Anyway, because the choice is already clear, I'll just go with Option 3. They all have their appeals, but I do think establishing a cunning ability to solve problems is good... but I won't complain about the first option winning.

e - although I will say that looking at the stats again, I might've been trying to overthink it...

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I want to increase our skullduggery stat so 3.

And everyone else playing should do likewise.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1, because I'm hungry.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3, of course

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Awh! This looks fun!!! I'll go with 1, because if Rory's not particularly hungry, then I can steal the leftovers! ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Probably 1. But hey, he may pitch a fit that we didn't supply him with his favorite oolong tea. Only time will tell.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
I enjoyed the story when I read it, but it's been a while so I barely remember it. Will be fun to experience it again in this LP.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

After a night on the town, Rory will need a hearty breakfast and a great deal of coffee to get through the day with some measure of coherence. You ensure that more water is boiling, in case additional coffee needs to be brought to bear.

You began working for Rory about five years ago, when you answered an advertisement in the back of a fashionable monthly magazine asking for…

1…a man who could serve as a gentleman's gentleman.

2…a woman who could serve as a lady's maid.

3…a person who could serve as a lady's servant.

4…a person who could serve as a gentleman's servant.

 

This choice will set our character's sex, Rory's sex, and also make some other changes in the game.  The "person" choices are nonbinary.)

(Bold +11; Soothing -5)

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 1*** We are the perfect butler, and under our guidance Rory will learn to punch crime whether he likes it or not.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
4. Because why the hell not? I'll get out-voted anyway, but might as well make it seem like this place is progressive. :)
Come on, join me. Let's play a nonbinary Protagonist. A butler so mysterious, you can't even determine their gender! It'll be fun!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Well, I would go with 2, but it looks like I'll be very highly outvoted, so I'll back Mayana and go with 4. Nonbinary butler FTW! ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 1, very clearly. Trying to be the very best Alfred I can, sounds grand. 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1, so we can be an authentic Alfred Pennyworth.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1 obviously.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

…a man who could serve as a gentleman's gentleman.

Rory Wintermint was a young man of the leisure class, known amongst those in service as a person of whom something might be made if the right valet took him in hand firmly.

The advertised position noted that the position would require some simple cooking and light housekeeping, in addition to maintaining Rory's sartorial elegance.

As the position looked acceptable, and you were presently in search of gainful employment after leaving the Cygnet-Signet family's employ, you wrote a letter of interest, and were gratified to receive a request for an interview.

The interview, as you recall, was not a grueling one. Rory was sitting at his piano, idly playing the first few notes of a popular tune, sipping a clear cocktail, and glancing briefly at the letter you had written.

"Good morning," Rory said. "Now, I'm not really what you would call an interviewing expert. But let's have a go and see what you're all about. You can't be worse than the last three blighters. If I seem out of sorts, it's because my well-meaning-but-meddling Aunt Primrose has wagered that I would be unable to quit smoking, which I have done successfully. Indeed, I have quit smoking every day for the past two weeks. Today makes two hours in a row that I've gone without. But she seems to feel that she's won the wager. Tell me, what is your opinion of interfering aunts?"

That was his first question to you when you met five years ago. How did you respond?

1. I sympathized with him regarding this Aunt Primrose, saying she sounded difficult to please but clearly loves him.

2. I spoke out rather directly on how sensible such an aunt sounds, and that she ought to be obeyed.

3. I told him in no uncertain terms that Aunt Primrose sounded like a menace to all right-thinking people.

4. I said, "Indeed, sir?"

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
4. Because that's the snarkiest option for a snarky butler.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

My apologies Master Rory, I have no previous experience with interfering aunts, as all my previous Masters have been orphans with no other family connections and a penchant for destroying all my well-polished furniture with their bat related antics... So, 4 it shall be.

(Also kind of hoping that "Indeed, sir?" is going to be a viable option for every dialogue choice.) ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 4
After long contemplation, I'm also going to say Option 4. I'm not sure it's what Alfred would say, but since he doesn't have a relationship with Rory yet, he has not yet built up positive regard, I'll say the more hidden response. When Alfred had something negative to say, he rather didn't like to say it.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
I'll go with ***Option 1*** again, the smartest thing is just to say what he's probably thinking himself.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
I'll go with 1. So early on, it's best not to make a bad impression, so we should not say anything rude about either one of them (even if it already looks like this fellow's ... not that bright).

And answering a question with an unrelated question sounds weird to my ESL Ears.

"Tell me, what is your opinion of interfering aunts?"
"Indeed, sir?"

Since it's written by Gower, it's no doubt correct. It just doesn't seem like it to me.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

To me, "Indeed sir?" sounds like a butler's go to option when what they really mean is, "Sorry sir, I wasn't listening, but you're my boss, so I agree with whatever it is you said."

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
4. It says all that needs to be said.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I said, "Indeed, sir?"

Rory paused to see if you intended to continue, and seeing that you were remaining respectfully silent, charged forward. "Very much indeed, I should say. I'm in my prime, and she need not make idle wagers with me to influence my behavior."

Rory looked around for a pen to make a note and, finding none, took a drink. "Now, let me see, what did you say your name was? I suppose I should have asked that first. I imagine it says somewhere on your letter, but I seem to have misplaced it."

"My given name is…"

1. "…Oscar."

2. "…Reginald."

3. "…Alfred."

4. "…Waylon."

5.  I'll make up my own first name.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
THREE

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
333THREE333 As if there were any other option.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Do you even need to ask? :p

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
5. Francelj.
Just kidding. 3! I reckon everyone'll murder me if I don't select 3. :P

But damn. I knew 4 was a bad idea. Don't be snarky during your job interview, kids!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

"My given name is Alfred," you said. "However, naturally, I am accustomed to being addressed by my surname, which is…"

 

1 "…Passepartout."

2 "…Betteredge."

3 "…Poppins."

4 "…Hudson."

5 I'll make up my own last name.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
5. Pennyworth. We will make Rory into Batman.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Pennyworth

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
5. Pennyworth

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Hmm... I don't know. Alfred Poppins actually sounds kind of tempting. :p

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Alright boys, time to kill Avery.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

But... But he could have a flying umbrella and everything!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

And apparently he can fit, maintain and repair stoves too. ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
5. Worthpenny.

Ahem. Pennyworth. Excuse me, I must be getting tired.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Outstanding. 5: Pennywise.

Wait no! 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

"Very good, very good, Pennyworth," Rory said. "Now let me see. There are particular sorts of questions one asks in this situation. What would you say your best quality is?"

1. "People find themselves fond of me. I have an inimitable way about me that is difficult to resist."

2. "I am well versed in the liberal arts. One might call me something of a polymath."

3. "It has been said of me that I have a keen and penetrating mind. One that I would be pleased to use in your service."

4. "Very little eludes my notice, sir. You might say that I am rather detail-oriented."

5. "I speak my mind in nearly all circumstances."

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
4, because we must impart our detective skills onto Rory so he can become Batman.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

3, because we must impart our genius onto Rory so that he can become Batman. ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3. We failed earlier, with that "Indeed, sir?" But, from now on, we'll play a wise butler. The kind of butler that can give out good advice and make epic speeches. Rory will be able to rely on us to give him a good combination of empathy and common sense.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1 because who the hell doesnt love Alfred, or Pennywise.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
2, because we must impart our liberal arts skills onto Rory so he can become Batman.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 4***, same reason as Chris.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

4

Same reason as Mizals reasoning for Chris reasoning

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

5. An unending supply of venomous sass is an adventurer's greatest resource.

... However, if this option never comes to a head (and it likely won't) consider this a vote for 4, as was government mandate.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

"Very little eludes my notice, sir. You might say that I am rather detail-oriented."

"Is that so? Then perhaps you wouldn't mind a little test?"

"Not at all."

"Where are my slippers? I've been looking for them all morning."

"They are wedged beneath the cushions of your sofa, sir. I noticed them when I first stepped in."

"Is that so?" Rory turned around, spotting them. "Why would they be there?"

"I could not say."

"I think you've demonstrated your skill. Impressive."

Rory thought for a moment. "Ah, I have a firecracker of a question. This is a real tough one, so prepare yourself. What is your worst quality? Be honest now."

1. "I have an unfortunate habit of lying and stealing, given the opportunity, often without due thought or reflection."

2. "My work consumes me at times, to the exclusion of other things."

3. "I'm reluctant to challenge authority at times."

4. "A tendency to become overly…emotionally involved with my employer. And I just cannot hide my emotions when they arise."

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

This is a tough one. I feel like 3 is the most interesting flaw out of the bunch for a protagonist to have. 4 feels like it could lead to some entertaining circumstances, too. I get the feeling that 2's going to win because we must be batman, but my vote personally goes to 1, in the interest of being skullduggerous enough to support the sort of options that I might vote for in future.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 2*** is true, it's extremely unusual for Alfred to take a day off or leave anything unfinished. I can cite at least one episode of Batman:TAS for that, and I'm sure there are other sources.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

We appear to have a defective Billionaire.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 2 is a definitive Alfred fact.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
2. It's a great way to subtly say that you're a super hard worker and dedicated to the job, thus turning the answer into a positive.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

4, im playing me not alfred

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Someone like you could never be Alfred.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 3 is the most interesting and enjoyable IMO. Let's be a proper butler.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Let’s go with 2.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

"My work consumes me at times, to the exclusion of other things."

"Work too hard, eh?" Rory said. "You know, that's actually a good quality, when you think about it. What a clever answer. You've managed to turn my difficult question regarding your potential flaw into something that speaks well of you. Well done, Pennyworth. I like a focused worker."

Rory briefly considered, and then stood. "Well, I feel like I've gotten a fairly good sense of your personality. Now, I seem to remember that you have a fascinating hobby. Tell me about it while I put my shoes on."

"Indeed, sir, before entering service, I developed an interest that might have some slight bearing on this position, which I thought worthy of mention."

What was your fascinating hobby?

1. I have had some training in boxing.

2. I assisted my cousin in her art gallery.

3. I was a jewel thief…which perhaps I won't say outright.

4. As a child, I was a performer in a traveling circus—a lion tamer.

 

(Note that this choice, in addition to stat changes, will open/close some options and affect the story)

(Also, hilariously, the weakness you chose harmed your Observe stat which you chose for your strength.   So you have an all-rounder, which is actually not at all a bad thing.  But your hobby choice will affect stats as well.)

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***OPTION 1*** It may be awhile before Rory is up to punching crime, and so we may have to punch some crime for him. And whoa, Cricket's reasoning for the last one was prophetic.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1.

Sounds like we're minmaxing.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

By the way, if I may shamelessly hijack my own thread, if you are reading this, and you haven't yet, please rate my CYS storygame unless you hate it, in which case let us pretend we never had this conversation.  I want to get to 50 ratings!  Here.

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I mean, 1, of course. But 3 is a close second. 4 is pretty cool too. Really, anything but 2.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Agreed.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I have had some training in boxing.

"I could offer some measure of personal protection, having had some experience in fisticuffs, sir."

Rory considered carefully. "This is most unusual."

"Yes, sir. I do not suggest that it is typical."

"I'm not often involved in what you would call melee, or a fracas. Is fracas the word I want?"

"I believe so, sir."

"And yet it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Your experience interests me strangely. Consider me intrigued."

Rory paused for a moment with eyes closed, seemed to make a decision, and then stood up.

"I say, I'm going to pop round to the tobacconist's for a moment. It's just downstairs. Make yourself comfortable. I won't be a moment."

Rory was out for ten minutes. What did you do in that ten minutes that made him hire you at once?

1. I tidied his living room, making neat stacks of his papers, carefully organizing the sheet music on the piano, and arranging his books by author and subject.

2. I mixed him a refreshing pomegranate champagne cocktail, a popular drink amongst the cognoscenti.

3. I followed him, and convinced him not to purchase cigarettes.

4. I simply began unpacking my belongings in the servant's room and making myself at home.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

This decision is really interesting. I want to give this some thought. If we can assert that our Alfred can compell Rory to change his lifestyle and make better decisions, we might should do so.

I don't think there is a bad option here, but Number 2 isn't an Alfred thing to do.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
4, obviously.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Gonna go with 1, that's the most butler-y thing.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 1.

If I was playing this on my own, I'd likely go with 2. Rory seems like a guy that enjoys alcohol, and in an interview, it's important to impress him (or kiss his ass, I suppose). However, while I don't know as much about Alfred, it doesn't really seem like his kind of thing.

I imagine if it was our plan to stop him from smoking so early on, we would've already scolded him earlier. Option 4 is lazy, and therefore out of question. So, 1 it is!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
E: actually, screw it, changing to ***Option 4*** given the last line is asking what "made" him hire us. Clearly a man so weak willed needs us, or he will never be Batman. Not hiring us is not an option he can be allowed, for his own good.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
>We don't have the right relationship for 3 yet, and coming between a smoker and their cigs is dangerous. Can confirm, am a smoker, if someone gets between me and my cancer sticks I'll gut them.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Let's go with 4

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
ngl, 4 is a pretty good power move.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1. I normally hate when people come organize my shit for me, but obviously we have some sort of superpower if we can do that all in 10 minutes, and it's a superpower I want.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I tidied his living room, making neat stacks of his papers, carefully organizing the sheet music on the piano, and arranging his books by author and subject.

Mr. Wintermint had a decidedly eclectic attitude towards decoration. Most of his belongings seemed to have been acquired on impulse from persuasive door-to-door salespersons. A trombone, for example, stood leaning against the wall, next to a slightly spindled original replica print of an etching of a water lily. An overturned teacup threatened to drip tea on the print, so you mopped up the spill, and dried the floor.

Stacks of books, many of them long overdue to the circulating library, filled the floor. Many of them had bookmarks in them at about the tenth page. You organized these, and put the ones that were due to be returned in a stack by the door.

You were sorting his papers by urgency, amount of money due, and the party to whom the money is due, when Rory returned, cheerfully puffing on a cigarette.

"Good Lord," he said. "You are a wonder, Pennyworth. You're hired."

"Thank you, sir. I already took the liberty of discarding the other applicants' letters."

----

And Now, Five Years Later

----

Laden tray in hand, you open the door to the suffering Rory's bedroom.

"Your tray, sir."

"Oh, thank heavens, Pennyworth. You are a celestial messenger bearing tidings of great joy unto me."

You place the tray on the bed, and Rory attempts to heave himself to a sitting position, but then flops back on the pillow, clutching his head.

"I am not well, Pennyworth," Rory intones. "I will likely die before sundown. If I die, I leave you half my kingdom."

"Very good, sir. But before that dreadful event, I wonder if you might care for a beverage."

Rory catches wind of the feast you have arranged for him and seems to perk up.

"The coffee…is that freshly ground?"

"Of course, sir. Finely ground, a dark roast, from Colombia, I believe."

Rory makes a mighty effort and grasps one of the mugs of coffee, drinking deeply. After a deep draught, Rory tucks into the food with a will, while you replace various things knocked off shelves since your last tidying.

"That's the stuff!" Rory says at last, with a contented sigh.

Rory suddenly makes a sour face and claps his hand to his forehead. "Is today Thursday? I had completely forgotten. Aunt Primrose is coming to dinner tonight! She rang up the other day and, like an ass, I said, 'Very well.' We'll have to work swiftly, Pennyworth."

He leaps up, and you whip the tray away so that its contents don't spill. Rory rushes to the vast wardrobe and begins to pull clothes out of it haphazardly.

"As you well know, Pennyworth, thanks to the proviso in my father's will, my Aunt Primrose holds control over all of my money whilst I remain unmarried. Now, this is not usually a problem, as Aunt Primrose sends off my monthly checks as steady as can be. But, this month, I seem to have dug myself into a bit of a trench, debt-wise."

"How so, sir?"

"It's a funny thing, actually. I was absolutely certain of this one particular horse in the third race. They called him Surefire. Can they do that? Isn't that false advertising? At any rate, I spent the whole monthly check on Surefire, and it was not to be. And now the bill collectors are coming round and demanding that I render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, as the fellow says. We may have some small risk of having thuggish debt collectors arrive with lead pipes."

1. "If it helps in any way, I would be willing to work for free this month, sir."

2. "If any debt collectors show up, I'll see them out. Never you fear about that, sir."

3. "Ah…I understand the importance of Aunt Primrose's visit."

4. "Most distressing, sir, to be sure."

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
What? How could people refuse that awesome power move? Oh well, #3.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3. No reasoning beyond it's what Alfred would do.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 2, sir. Might as well put those boxing lessons to use. I'll give them the old one two, by Jove. ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 4*** Alfred is VERY used to this kind of shit by now and just deadpans an answer to keep from rolling his eyes. Has the stats page been fully updated? I'm a little concerned by that lack of intellect. We seem to be way smarter than our character, collectively, which is just nonsense. He's Alfred Pennyworth.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

It has been.  Taking the boxer background hurts your intellect (clearly some blows to the head over the years), but buffs your bold and your observe.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2. Let's put those boxing skills to use!

EDIT: Briar had the exact same idea. But the point still stands!

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3 months ago

Two votes for #2, two votes for #3, one vote for #4.

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3 months ago

#4. It's the most soothing option and our butler could be like a nice cup of liquid Xanax.

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3 months ago
Breaking the tie = bad. Making it a three way tie = good.

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3 months ago
3

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3 months ago

#2. 

kek

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3 months ago

I declare that in the case of intractable ties, the person with the most points voting for one of the tied for first place option wins.  That is Avery, voting for #2.  So #2 it is.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
The seems like a backwards and foreign way of doing things. Policy should be that the person who can edit everyone else's votes if they want just wins automatically imo.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 3.
We sure as hell ain't working for free this month; that'd just make Rory think he can pay us less later, too. Trying to avoid debt, or even worse, beating debt collectors, is not very heroic. And I've a feeling 4 could turn out to be another "Indeed, sir?".

Edit: Ah come on! 2 minutes late? I'm really not lucky today.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

"If any debt collectors show up, I'll see them out. Never you fear about that, sir."

"I have no doubt that you will protect my person," says Rory, gently, smiling at you. "But the issue at hand is deeper and wider. No, Pennyworth, we need money, and lots of it, quickly."

"I see," you say, considering carefully. "If I might make a suggestion: your aunt might be more inclined to be generous with her funds, were we to offer her an exquisite dinner. She is known to appreciate a hearty meal."

"Hm," says Rory, mulling this over. "Get her in a right jolly mood with refreshments, and then touch her for the money to the extent possible. I think we should be able to handle that. Now let's see about some clothes."

Rory considers and rejects a number of articles of clothing one by one.

"Pennyworth, where on earth is my lavender plus fours with the checks? I want to wear my spats with it."

You take a moment to consider your answer.

1. "I took the liberty of discarding that outfit with yesterday's rubbish, sir. May I suggest an outfit less…sudden in its effect?" I say, calmly.

2. "Yes; note carefully, sir: it is of course mixed in with the outfits for fancy dress balls. Permit me."

3. "An unstylish choice, I'm afraid, sir, but would you permit me to offer a more modish selection?"

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1. WE SHALL GUIDE HIM IN WHATEVER WAY IT TAKES.
Also Coins is a fag.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 1***

I'm not really sure what Alfred would do in this discussion, but two guys discussing clothes at this level is just uncomfortable. Let's move on.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3. A reasonably polite choice. If he obeys us, we won't even ever have to mention that that outfit is gone!

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3 months ago

I'm going to choose Option 3

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3 months ago

1

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3 months ago
1

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3 months ago
1. Snarky time.

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3 months ago

Option 1, sir. It is my belief that a true gentleman always wears black. (And sometimes very, very dark grey) ^_^

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3 months ago
I understood that reference.

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3 months ago

Yey for Lego! ^_^

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3 months ago

Option 3.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

"I took the liberty of discarding that outfit with yesterday's rubbish, sir. May I suggest an outfit less…sudden in its effect?" I say, calmly.

"You…discarded it?"

"It was the only way to be certain that it was gone forever, sir."

"That was my favorite outfit!"

"It was most unsuitable. It offended the eye, and repulsed all who beheld you. I held my tongue, but I feel now it is my duty to speak up."

Rory seems rather irritated, and finally pulls out a simple waist-seam coat and white flannel trousers.

"I am unaccustomed to having my clothing discarded," Rory says. "I assume you approve of this ensemble?"

"Much better," you say, and help Rory into his far more appropriate outfit.

Finally dressed, Rory strolls into the living room, and slumps onto the easy chair, plucking up a book from the end table.

"We have plans to make, Pennyworth. Dinner must be cooked, and I must finish this god-awful book."

Rory holds the book up. "Releasing the Hidden Potential of Your Hitherto-Unawakened Mind in 12 Easy Steps, by Professor Clarence Q. Hickory. It's my opinion that this Professor Hickory is an ass of the first order. Listen to this excerpt."

"…there are several primal mechanisms by which emotional energies that lie dormant, perhaps suppressed by the desire to cleave to social norms, may be brought forward and thus integrated into one's personality. However, in order for psychoanalytic intervention to be effective, the patient must regress through a series of archetypical stages, to shed or replay four psychodramatic stages, to recapitulate one's phylogeny via ontogeny, as Ernst Haeckel has demonstrated."

Rory looks up. "Why Aunt Primrose felt I needed to read this drivel is beyond me. It seems to be in no particular order whatsoever. Just a series of words helter-skelter across the page. She's certain to quiz me on it, and I need to have some semblance of an answer. Does it mean a thing to you at all?"

1. Volunteer to read the book myself and give Rory the highlights.

2. Aid Rory in bluffing his way through a discussion of the book.

3. Encourage Rory by saying that the book is surely within his capacity to read and understand.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 3. We must get Rory to embrace intellect so that he can become Batman. I'd suggest 1, but reading the book would do us no good, considering we're not the ones trying to become Batman. If Rory fails, we will become Batman ourselves.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 1.

Yes yes, not what Pennyworth would do. But let's face it. 3 will fail. Horribly.

Sure, 1 could fail, too. I imagine it's a stat check against culture, which we don't have much of. But if we doesn't, then at least Rory will read the highlights, and maybe even remember a thing or two. With 3, he'll likely just give up, because we're not terribly persuasive.

Perhaps he'll be Batman some day, but we will unfortunately have to take small steps.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 3***

1 would be tempting, but we already made intelligence our dump stat.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 3

Sounds right to me

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 3, sir. I shall fetch the thesaurus presently.

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3 months ago
2. Teaching Rory how to use his time effectively is important.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3, we must encourage Rory's intellect.

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3 months ago

3. While I'm not sure about this whole Batman plan, we'll definitely have to make Rory our foil. He can be the smart, fast-talking, but ultimately clueless everyman, while we can be the big dumb badass with a taste for the finer things.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Encourage Rory by saying that the book is surely within his capacity to read and understand.

"But surely you should be able to read and comprehend it given enough time," you say. "It may be complex, but it should be well within your capacity. At least, to a certain extent. Or, to put it a different way, it's well worth the effort, even if you fail." This isn't quite coming out the way you intended it.

Rory flops down on the sofa. "It's no use, Pennyworth. I can hear your meaning behind the mask of your well-meant words."

"I didn't mean to suggest…"

"No, no." Rory waves your words away. "You spoke from your heart. I am not learned. Aunt Primrose—and you—will have to accept me, warts and all."

Tying on your apron, you step into the kitchen and begin to consider your options for dinner. You make a quick calculation, taking into account the ingredients at your disposal and the time you have remaining before the arrival of the notoriously punctual Aunt Primrose.

As you see it, you have three options. Aunt Primrose's favorite dish is veal ragout with truffles and apricot compote, but she is finicky about it, and it is not a simple dish.

You could also make roast beef au jus with haricots verts, which is certainly simpler, although less impressive.

Finally, in a pinch, you could make a cheese omelet, and shave the truffles onto it. Aunt Primrose might be unimpressed, but at least it's quickly cooked and difficult to make badly.

What should you cook?

1. Veal ragout with truffles and apricot compote.

2. Roast beef au jus with haricots verts.

3. Cheese omelet with rosemary and shaved truffles.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
I knew that would backfire, you all should never bandwagon when I make choices. That said, Option 2. It's a fine balance between risky and safe. Aunt Primrose won't be too impressed, but she should be okay with it. Maybe.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 1, sir. How hard can it be? I'll just shove some mince meat in the oven, put some alphabet spaghetti in a pan and tip a couple of petit filous on top. ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Wtf are haricots verts?

Anyway, ***Option 1***.

We may be stupid and uncultured, but we know what will impress her and we're bold enough to go for the gold and not worry about all the ways it will backfire horribly.

.....this would be about the time I restarted and got a more Alfred-like stat build were I playing on my own. We're like Alfred's special ed brother at this point.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
You know what, I vote option 4: we restart the game so we can be more Alfred-like.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
That's cheating I'm afraid. But I would have done without the fisticuffs had I known they hurt intelligence.

Which is nonsense really when Batman punches people all the time, and he's the greatest detective in the world.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I looked it up on google and it said "The french expression they use to describe your body type", so I guess deepmind knows too much.

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3 months ago

Image result for haricot vert

Haricots Verts

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3 months ago
Just say green beans. Wow.

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3 months ago
2. Rory can tell Aunt Primrose that the roast beef reminded him of her.

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3 months ago

I'd prefer 2. Not because we have a higher chance of success, but because dammit, that sounds more delicious than either of the other dishes combined.

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3 months ago

3

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3 months ago

 

Roast beef au jus with haricots verts.

 

The roast beef is clearly the best choice. While it isn't Aunt Primrose's favorite, it is a significantly less fussy meal to cook, and as you know all too well, a poorly cooked meal would be certain to put Aunt Primrose in a truly grouchy mood. It would be wiser to cook a simpler, more dependable meal.

You begin to gather the ingredients for the roast beef. Wait a moment. What about dessert?

1. Chocolate mousse would go well, and it's fairly easy to whip up.

2. A port-poached pear tart with homemade raspberry-streaked crème fraîche.

3. Let's skip dessert.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2, again, because I don't care if it's fancy. It's clearly the most delicious one!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 2*** I hadn't even thought about dessert. With a good simple meal that needs to cook on its own awhile there's plenty of time to use this as the finishing touch to impress her instead.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2 Obviously, 1 is inhumane save the turtles!! I mean mice. And skipping desert is also inhumane.

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3 months ago
2. I like poached pears.

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3 months ago

3

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3 months ago

3

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3 months ago

2

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3 months ago

A port-poached pear tart with homemade raspberry-streaked crème fraîche.

A fancy, complex dessert will be just the thing to mollify Aunt Primrose, and a tart is both visually pleasing and a tasty conclusion to the meal.

You square your shoulders, take a deep breath, and begin to cook dinner, as Rory paces back and forth in the living room, gnawing on a fingernail, and looking out the window tensely.

You pick up the knife, and…

…what would you say is your general approach to cooking?

1. Playful and improvisational.

2. Careful attention to a popular recipe, ensuring a comforting familiarity.

3. Irritated and slapdash, filled with shortcuts and work-arounds.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1

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3 months ago
2.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
2 Let's try and get Alfred back on track for being Alfred. And British.

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3 months ago

Option 2... And tehehehe... Tarts are visually pleasing. ^_^

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3 months ago

2 without a doubt.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Careful attention to a popular recipe, ensuring a comforting familiarity.

You pick up the knife, and with no small measure of precision, you begin to finely mince fresh herbs, sorting them into carefully organized piles; you then measure out all of the ingredients and place all necessary utensils within easy reach.

After a great deal of hard work, you have a dinner to be proud of. Your roast beef looks just like the roast beef in the cookbook you referred to as you worked. It may have taken you a while, but you are confident in your results.

You smile with satisfaction as all the ingredients come together to make a feast that is certain to please.

"My word, Pennyworth," cries Rory, peeking into the kitchen. "You've outdone yourself! The aroma alone is feast enough. Hordes of angry men, women, and children from three blocks distant must be fetching battering rams to force entry and take a seat at my table." As Rory watches, you plate the roast beef with enviable precision, and add the garnish, per the recipe.

"And dessert, too!" Rory exclaims. "Aunt Primrose is bound to practically levitate off her seat with delight and whimsy. Well, well, well."

Forty minutes later, an imperious ring of the doorbell announces the arrival of Aunt Primrose (or as she is more correctly addressed, Mrs. Primrose Patterson, née Wintermint, the sister of Rory's father). Rory leaps up as you open the door for Aunt Primrose.

She strides into the middle of the room, in her rather smart-looking long, dark green jacket with brass buttons and dark green skirt, and a broad hat with flowers on it. Aunt Primrose is a tall woman who gives the impression of taking up thrice as much space as she rightly ought to.

"Hallo, Rory!" she barks cheerfully, handing you her parasol and hat. "Good day, Pennyworth. You're looking well. Better than Rory, at any rate, whom I see you have managed to drag out of bed before nightfall. Well done!"

She casts a critical eye up and down Rory. "You look less foolish than usual. I assume that's your doing?" she says, looking at you. You give her the most imperceptible of nods. "Well, well, well. You look somewhat presentable."

"Now, I say…" Rory begins, but Aunt Primrose hushes him with a wave of her hand as she eases herself into a chair.

"You're looking very well, Aunt Primrose," Rory says.

"And what is this?" she says, ignoring him. "What sort of trash are you filling your mind with?" She leans down and plucks down a slender, garishly illustrated novel from off a shelf.

"It is a very well-regarded piece of literature, perhaps the best-selling series there is right now," Rory says.

"Although She Knew Better, by Miss Fifi Buttercup. The sixth volume in the How Wicked Was the Earl? series," reads Aunt Primrose, holding her lorgnette to her eyes. "Shockingly bodice ripping. Pennyworth, what do you think of Rory's taste in literature?"

1. "Actually, madam, that novel is mine, not Mr. Wintermint's. I find the work of Fifi Buttercup most illuminating."

2. "Deplorable, madam."

3. "I prefer not to say, madam."

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Note that we now have a new Relationship stat:  Aunt Primrose.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 1. We'll help Rory out. Maybe if we continue to help him out he'll understand that he needs to start dressing as a bat and punching crime.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1

I don't know much about Alfred or butlery in general, but I feel as though being willing to put your (impeccable) reputation on the line for your employer is part of the job description. And if it isn't, it is now.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1 Seems like the best answer.

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3 months ago
3. 1 would lower our relationship with Primrose, 2 with Rory. We are beyond such petty fights. We'll help Batman when needed, of course, but he has to solve some fights on his own.

Granted, just like with reading that book earlier, he'll probably fail. But one sometimes has to, to learn.

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3 months ago
1.

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3 months ago

3

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3 months ago

"Actually, madam, that novel is mine, not Mr. Wintermint's. I find the work of Fifi Buttercup most illuminating."

"Do you now?" Aunt Primrose's eyes narrow, and she shakes her head, tossing the book aside. "I must say, I had the impression that you had more sense than that. These stories of young men and women cavorting around in hedge mazes and sneaking in and out of bedrooms in the dead of night are what I would call tawdry. I did not expect a taste for the tawdry from you, Pennyworth."

"I will return it to the circulating library at the earliest opportunity," you say.

"See that you do," she says. "And see that you do not taint Rory with your ill-advised literary taste."

Rory stretches and smiles at Aunt Primrose. "Well, now, Auntie. I suppose you look pretty foolish right about now. No, my taste in literature tends towards the complex, not this sort of paltry time-waster."

"Speaking of books," Aunt Primrose says. "Where's that book I loaned you? What did you think of it? Did it stimulate that so-called brain of yours?"

Rory steeples his hands and assumes a thoughtful expression. "Ah, I believe you are referring to Releasing the Hidden Potential of Your Hitherto-Unawakened Mind in 12 Easy Steps, by Professor Clarence Q. Hickory, are you not? I have it for you just here." He hands her the book with a flourish. "Wonderful book. Excellent binding."

"Yes, I know bloody well what book I loaned you," snaps Aunt Primrose, drumming her fingers on the table. "Let me make it quite plain. I asked you to read this tome because although you have little to no intellectual merits, you have in the past demonstrated a certain honesty in your evaluations, however inarticulately expressed. This Professor Hickory approached me several weeks ago bearing a copy of this book of his, and wanted to know if he could address the Ladies' Intellectual Society, of which you know I am chairwoman. But I wanted another opinion, and you, poor sap, were the only person I could think of to ask at a moment's notice."

"And it was my pleasure to offer my assistance," says Rory.

"Did you read it?"

"Aunt Primrose, the facts of the matter are this. I was unable to satisfy you vis-à-vis the book in question."

"Oh?"

"Specifically…I didn't read it."

"Not a word?"

"I gazed upon some of the words for a while," Rory says. "For what that's worth."

Aunt Primrose throws up her hands. "Well," she says. "What more did I expect? I only wanted a second opinion on this Professor Hickory fellow and whether he seems a good candidate to invite for a talk, but you have been no help whatsoever. Oh, buck up, young egg. You needn't weep. Auntie Primrose isn't going to scold you. Didn't I watch over you when you were a mere tadpole, and shake a rattle at you hundreds of times?"

"You did."

"There now. I'll simply know better than to ask you to accomplish intellectual tasks, that's all."

Rory looks rather unhappy, and he shakes his head slowly and mournfully at you.

"Where's dinner?" cries Aunt Primrose. "I'm famished. All I had today to eat was a buttered roll at the train station."

1. Commiserate with Aunt Primrose regarding the buttered roll.

2. Inform her that she will not be disappointed about the evening's repast.

3. Offer Aunt Primrose a glass of wine as she sits down.

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 2. I was going to say 3, but for all we know Aunt Primrose is on the wagon.

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3 months ago

1 is the funniest option, I think. None of the other options imply that dinner is going to be finished anyway, so I think we should just have fun while we wait.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Read 2 as informing her that she will not be disappointed about the evening’s rapist, but then I was disappointed that was not in fact what it said.

Anyway picking 3 in the hopes of getting her drunk and being less unfun.

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3 months ago

2

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3 months ago
1. And smh, this is why we should have taught him the art of bullshitting.

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3 months ago

1. Alfred doesn't care about Aunt Primrose but he does care about the careful art of fine cusine (and I guess buttered rolls are close enough to that).

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 3, sir. Perhaps Aunt Primose may find herself in a generous mood if we get her a little tipsy ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Commiserate with Aunt Primrose regarding the buttered roll.

"Station restaurants are not what they once were," you say, as you prepare to bring out dinner.

"No, they are not. When I was a small girl, one could order pheasant under glass with cranberry preserves at the station restaurant."

You make a tsk-tsk noise as if to suggest that the glories of the world have passed you all by.

"But enough lingering over past times," says Aunt Primrose. "Let's eat."

Rory and Aunt Primrose arrange themselves at Rory's small table.

"Now, tell me, Aunt Primrose," Rory says. "Not that I do not relish the pleasure of your company with all familial duty and so forth, but why the sudden trip to London?"

"I have some things to ask you, and I wanted to ask you to your face," she says.

"Ah, that's lucky, as I have something I wanted to ask you as well," Rory says. "By way of background information, I don't suppose you've ever heard of the horse, Surefire, which ran in the third race a few days ago?"

"What are you talking about? None of your nonsense until after dinner. Ah, thank you, Pennyworth—just in time."

You bring out the food, but you are very much aware of how tense Rory is. As you serve Aunt Primrose, and then Rory, you…

1…break the tension with a conversational gambit.

2…put your hand on Rory's shoulder to comfort him.

3…stand at attention, awaiting further orders.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
EDIT: Option 3. Cel_Larkspur makes a good point, Alfred never touches people.

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3 months ago

Option 1, sir. I do know an absolutely riviting story about a bridge. ^_^

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3 months ago

3. Alfred is British and a British butler would never talk or touch people unless strictly required. 

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3 months ago

3

Cant become the dark knight of tea and crumpets if he is constantly being babied.

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3 months ago

1, for the sake of argument!

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3 months ago
***Option 3***, it's what butlers are supposed to do and Aunt Primrose would not approve of a glorified waiter barging in on family conversation. For all we know she'd hold it against Rory for not knowing how to manage servants well.

Rory's bringing up the horse already and surely about to fuck things up, but we'll be on standby to save him.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1.

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3 months ago

Option 3 is the only proper butlery thing to do.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

…stand at attention, awaiting further orders.

You stand respectfully behind Aunt Primrose, scanning the table to see if anything is missing. Rory is very anxious, but there is little you can do about that now.

Ah yes, you think, as you consider the table. Aunt Primrose is missing a fork. With lightning-like reflexes, you dart back to the kitchen and slip one under her hand just as she reaches for it.

"Ah, roast beef," Aunt Primrose says. "with haricots verts, eh? Nice, hearty fare. Well, let's see if it's any good."

Rory leans forward, holding his breath.

"Mmm, mmm." Aunt Primrose makes approving noises as she chews. "Very good. Very good indeed. Well seasoned, too. I shall enjoy this immensely."

Rory nearly laughs out loud from relief. "Enjoy, Aunt Primrose, enjoy."

An hour later, Rory and Aunt Primrose are sitting on the sofa with a bit of port. It is beginning to grow dark, and the wind is picking up.

Rory clears his throat. "Aunt Primrose, I have a matter of some import to ask. A bit earlier, I may have mentioned the horse, Surefire, who ran in the third race…"

Aunt Primrose ignores Rory, and looks to you. "I'll just take the dessert here on the sofa," she says.

You offer Aunt Primrose a generous helping of the port-poached pear tart, a dollop of raspberry-streaked crème fraîche adorning it.

Aunt Primrose takes a taste, and then another. Her eyes roll back a bit. "Hits the spot," she declares with gusto, and then continues to devour the tart.

Aunt Primrose seems in a hearty mood, and over the next hour or so, she chats amiably with Rory, cheerfully reminiscing about times they spent together when Rory was young, and trading anecdotes about mutual acquaintances.

Her cheeks a bit flushed from the port, she turns to include you in the conversation.

"Pennyworth," she says, "We've known each other for many years. You've spent a good deal of time on my estate. I like to think that you have had the opportunity to see me in my many moods."

You nod to acknowledge this truth.

"And I have always thought of you as a pull-no-punches sort. Someone who says what they mean. That's the sort of man I need to give me some advice."

"Of course," you say, perching on the edge of the sofa. "Go on."

"Well, it's a knotty problem. It's a problem of young, untamed hearts."

"Will swift, decisive action be required?"

"It will."

"Excellent."

"Well, Pennyworth, let me explain. You know, of course, my young and tenderhearted niece Mopsie?"

Of course you do. You think about the young woman who you have known since she was fifteen—an energetic, loud, and emotionally voluble girl who saw you as a trusted friend and adviser from the moment she met you. Although you haven't seen her in a little while, you remember Mopsie as…

1…the most annoying young woman you have ever met.

2…a charming and clever young woman with whom I have enjoyed spending time.

3…a disobedient, willful, and mischievous young woman.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Go with ***Option 3***....I'm not sure if making Rory into Batman is going to work out anymore. Maybe we can create Catwoman instead?

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 3. As Mizal said, Rory is no Batman, but mayhaps Mopsie can be molded into Catwoman.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2 because if we're going to be molding someone else into a hero it mind as well be someone we like 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
2. I don't know if it's the sort of thing Alfred'd thing; and at this point, I don't much care. Imitating him clearly isn't working out all that well for this game. Let's just try to have a good relationship with her, it'll no doubt be useful later.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
3

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I think we have enough annoying characters. Clearly our billionaire is busted. We'll have to make due and have someone we actually like.

Option number 2

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Just pointing out that nothing about Option 3 says we dislike her. The first choice is the only one that's negative.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

yes but if we're gonna mold someone they might as well be more inclined to listen to us in general

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

If you think of this in CYS terms:

1. Thara

2. Cricket

3. Mayana

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
I change my vote to 2.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
I laughed. Because it's true.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 3, sir. I have a long and painful history of minding willful, disobedient children. >.<

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

We are tied with 4 votes for #2, and 4 votes for #3.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Go with 3, Gower. You know you want to.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Miz has the most points! We win! ^_^

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 3, please don’t kill me!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Oh I'm sorry, I should have paid more attention to the whole thread. That was extremely clumsy of me.
Wish you courage to go through all of this and be sure that even if it isn't much we think of you and we're here to talk if you need to.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Just a note, Gower's just said in the discord that he's had a family emergency. It might be serious so I'm not sure when he might update this again. Please pray for him.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I will

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Like I said in the Discord, he'll be in my thoughts. Hope everything turns out okay.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Yes, ma'am.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Well it's not good.

Not sharing details without permission, but he's going to be away for awhile.

Gower has to be the nicest person I know and has become one of my favorite people here on the site. (Or maybe just in general.) Wishing him and his family all the best and that God will be with them as they get through this.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Oof. 

I had not intended to post again but this is just sad. Gower, you're the only mod I like. Hang in there man,

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Oh God, that's horrible. Really hope that Gower's going to be okay.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Gower wanted Kelly Unicornstrider to have 50 ratings. Let's make sure it's there when he eventually returns.  Here

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Yes, I need to do that instead of my usual thing of "This is good, I need to review it when I get home!"

*doesn't review it*

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

You do that and I'll get Love is for the Birds up to 49.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Finished the review. Kind of unhappy with the amount of spoilers, but there's almost nothing you can say about the story without getting into them. Everyone should play this game, and play it blind. But you don't have to play my goofy rushed contest game about squirrels, it's okay JJJ, really.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Wish you the best Gower, hope things sort out well.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

First of all, thank you for all the love and support.  I cannot believe that this site, in just six months, would become such an amazing support for me.  I would make some sort of cynical joke to undercut the raw emotion, but I don't quite have it in me yet.  Today I mourned my dad, and tomorrow I'm going to be with my family.  But I *will* need to be entertained while I'm away, so I'm going to update this thread when I can.  Thanks, everyone.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Wait you've only been here six months? Jesus, I could've swore it's been around a year. Anyway, I wish you and your family the best Gower, and hopefully our antics of trying to mold Rory into Batman Moxie into Catwoman will keep you entertained.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I joined the forum end of March, but the Discord in January.  Yeah, it feels significantly longer. 

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Thank you for the update on the situation, and I'm glad you're back with us even if just for today. Again, sorry for all you're going through, and I hope your mom will hold up okay. Also, although it goes against all of my sacred anti-CoG principles, I have just purchased Tally Ho. I had planned to earlier when I wasn't sure when you'd be online again and figured I may as well follow through. Something about your writing style always makes me smile, the light heartedness and complete lack of edge is just refreshing. (Like that Kelly Unicornstrider...such a heart warming and innocent affair...) And anyway it's your favorite game! That you also played for nearly 40 hours! It must be just that good. I'm going to try and find the path where we drop this stuck up British nonsense and finally start tallying dem hoes.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I'm really, really sorry about your Dad, Gower. We're always here if you want to talk at all.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

…a disobedient, willful, and mischievous young woman.

"How could I forget her?" you ask.

You think back to the time that she borrowed her parents' roadster without leave, and crashed it into the side of a barn, destroying a good deal of property in the process. Granted, she was only fifteen at the time, but she has learned little since then. Luckily, she has a great deal of charm on her side. It's hard to stay mad at Mopsie.

"I seem to remember that you and she got on all right, Pennyworth."

"Reasonably so, madam."

"Well," says Aunt Primrose, "The problem is this: young Mopsie has become involved in an ill-advised love affair. She has become enamored of a local ne'er-do-well by the name of Figaro Fairfield, and he is completely unsuitable."

Rory goggles at this news. "Did you say, 'Figaro Fairfield'?"

"I did. Do you know him?"

"Of course I know Figs!" cries Rory. "We were at school together. I haven't seen Figs in years. Whatever is he doing now? He was nice and all that, but not what you'd call strong of mind."

"I will have more to say to you on the subject of ill-advised romances in a moment. Now I am speaking to Pennyworth." She turns back to you. "This 'Figs' is what is called a bohemian artist. He lives in a garret atop a thrift shop. He produces completely rubbish art that he tries to pawn off on unsuspecting tourists."

"Now that's not quite fair," Rory interjects.

"The man has no talent, no prospects, and no money. Therefore, Mopsie is completely head over heels, the more so because her parents have strictly forbidden them from seeing one another. And so they've sent her to my estate, that she may recover from her unfortunate affection. But so far, she has not recovered. In fact, I have reason to believe that she has been attempting to sneak off of my property and elope with this man in the dead of night. And so I ask you, Pennyworth, what am I to do? How can I ensure that a young, resourceful woman will be unable to sneak off with her would-be lover on my watch?"

1. "Perhaps appoint some guards? Some trustworthy people who can patrol about the property, who will alert you if she does something rash."

2. "I know you have an enviable collection of hunting dogs: perhaps allowing a few of them to roam about at night? They would let the household know at once if Mopsie were trying to sneak out."

3. "This isn't a case for increased security at all. Instead, simply tell her you trust her."

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
EDIT: Actually, gonna go with Option 1. To mold Mopsie into Catwoman, we must make sure she can sneak past security.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 1*** On the contrary, Chris, how will she ever be Catwoman unless she can learn to slip past security?

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 2! Avoiding guard dogs is a vital skill fo Catwoman!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
#2 sounds like more potential challenge for Catwoman per dollar spent than the guards.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Let’s go with 2.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

3

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Infinite Points breaks the tie:  "I know you have an enviable collection of hunting dogs: perhaps allowing a few of them to roam about at night? They would let the household know at once if Mopsie were trying to sneak out."

Aunt Primrose snaps her fingers. "Of course! I knew you'd think of it. She won't be able to sweet-talk a dog, and their barking would wake us all up and then we'd catch her in the act. I think it'll work…yes. I like it." Thank you, Pennyworth. I may ask you for more help, of course, when you get there. But this is a good start."

"Of course," you say, and begin to clear the port glasses.

"Did you say, 'when you get there?'" Rory asks. "Whatever are you talking about?"

"Oh, didn't I say? You are coming to my estate for several days. Arriving this weekend." Aunt Primrose folds her arms and pushes her chin out as if daring Rory to gainsay her words.

"No, no, no, no." Rory holds up his hands. "You have this all wrong."

"I do not. You will be coming to my birthday celebration this weekend, so that I can have the pleasure of seeing you together with your new fiancée, Miss Frankincense Cygnet-Signet. I have taken the liberty of inviting her as well, that I may have the dubious pleasure of seeing you two together. Now, when precisely were you thinking of telling me? I had to hear that you became engaged from her mother, whom I met just the other day."

What do you do upon hearing that Rory has become engaged?

1. Drop one of the port glasses that I was clearing away.

2. Offer Rory my formal congratulations.

3. Bite my lower lip ever so slightly.

4. Continue clearing away implacably.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 4. We shall continue our job, for that is what a gentlemanly butler would do.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2. Any good butler would congratulate his master about getting married.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1 and 3 imply some sort of hidden gay feelings for Rory so not surprised Fisted Dave picked one of those.

2 is showing too much emotion for an upstanding reserved butler like Alfred.

So the only proper answer is 4.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Thanks, Dad.
#4. We ain't homoseckshuals.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 4***

Congratulating him seems reasonable, but if we're trying to push the idea Rory isn't a disorganized fuckup, we don't necessarily want the aunt to know we've only just heard of this.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

This is a tough one. I'm trying to remember how Jeeves handled it every time Wooster accidentally got engaged to some girl or his Aunt Agatha tried to marry Wooster off, since this story reminds me so much of that dynamic.

I'm going to go with #2, but it would probably be in some sort of subtly sarcastic way implying that Pennyworth doesn't actually believe the engagement is a real thing or was Rory's idea. Mostly because Rory could be expected to get moony and sappy over any girl he actually liked and not hide it, but might be oblivious to a girl with designs on him.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

3 does sound pretty gay, but 1 could also be like *CRASH* "Rory!? Are you shitting me right now!? The only household with eligible bachelorettes he frequents is the streetcorner!"

I feel like 4 is also something that a gay affair guy would do just because he's mad that Rory's engaged and trying to hide his feelings, so, in truth, 2 strikes me as the option furthest away from Romance with Rory, since Alfred goddamn Pennyworth romancing some young english dude is a mental image we do not need. But it's also going to confirm that this was a secretive engagement in front of his aunt, so there will be drama either way. I prefer this conflict.

With that reasoning, 2 gets my vote.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

I adore how this is written. The narrator's tone is wonderful and consistent.

Option 4, near nothing rattles Alfred. His knowledge or lack there of on any topic should be imperceptible to the eye.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Continue clearing away implacably.

You offer no visible response to the news. Rory looks over at you, obviously embarrassed that he did not tell you.

"…I suppose, in some sense, I did become engaged. Did I? It all happened so fast the other day. Frankincense and I met up purely by chance at a bistro, and we got to talking, and she brought up the subject of love, and I said love seemed like a perfectly nice thing, and then she said that I was quite a sweet-talker, and then I said that she was such a kidder, and then she looked at me for a very long time and said that she knew that I had been in love with her for such a long time, and that finally she would relent and agree to take my hand in marriage, as it were, and I didn't know quite what to say, so I said I would order some champagne, and then she said, yes, champagne, just the thing to toast our mutual alliance, and then, er, then she kissed me, and everyone applauded. But we haven't made a formal announcement. So…I'm engaged now, am I?"

What are you feeling right now?

1. I'm…in love with Rory.

2. I feel an odd, wistful feeling of pain or some strange jealousy at the thought of Rory's engagement.

3. I am consistently amused by Rory's ability to get himself into ridiculous situations. It is all I can do to keep from laughing.

4. Miss Cygnet-Signet is a most unsuitable marriage prospect for Rory. This alliance should probably be broken off.

5. We will need to pack and make the arrangements for the trip at once.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 3***

Really if anything it's surprising that this is only the first time.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Option 3. Rory is really such a fuckwit.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1. (No homo)

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1. So real.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

3 Obviously.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
#3

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

OK, last update before I leave for the airport.

I am consistently amused by Rory's ability to get himself into ridiculous situations. It is all I can do to keep from laughing.

You attempt to compose yourself, but your lips quiver ever so slightly as you try to keep yourself from laughing out loud at Rory's explanation. Rory looks so put out that it is impossible to maintain a straight face, and so you turn away slightly, to avoid being caught in the act of being amused by the situation.

"In my opinion," says Aunt Primrose. "You've done the family proud. Whereas your cousin Mopsie attempts to ally herself with a starving artist, you have found yourself affianced to a Cygnet-Signet, a family whom I understand has untold wealth and prosperity. Although I am a touch miffed that you neglected to inform me or ask my advice. Pennyworth, you used to work for the Cygnet-Signets before coming to work for Rory, didn't you? What do you make of Frankincense?"

 

1. "Frankincense and I had a reasonably pleasant relationship with each other."

2. Frankincense and I had a torrid and passionate affair, but I cannot say that.

3. "I was not among Frankincense's many admirers, let us say."

4. What they do not know is that Frankincense and I had fallen deeply in love with one another, but I cannot say that.

5. But I was still reeling from the news of Rory's engagement, and could not respond.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2. But make Frankincense secretly a guy.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

2 ftw

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
#1. WE MUST MAKE FUTURE BATMAN UBER RICH.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING??

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Shut up, queer.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

You're turning our butler into a passionless bot :((((((

#getinthetent

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Wtf do you think a butler even is?

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 3***

Unless Option 1 is losing to one of the others, then change my vote to that.

OZONI DAMMIT STOP TRYING TO TURN US GAY!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

#getinthetent 

not

#ace

 

Let's make our butler the best homewrecker chad on Earth.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

3!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Change mine to #3

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

3, and im really gay not even close to straight

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1 is perhaps the most batman-like of the options and will get us closer to catwoman, but 3 provides us with more drama, and of course I'm not the most fond of this whole megachiropterous nonsense anyhow. As always, Alfred being romantic is not a mental image anybody wants!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

#1, since it seems the most butler-like response regardless of the truth. It would be interesting if Pennyworth had done something to make Frankinscense dislike him, though. Maybe he took the liberty of burning her favorite bonnet as a crime against fashion.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 1, because that gives us a decent starting relationship.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1 is good because Batman always has absurd amounts of money!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Frankincense and I had a reasonably pleasant relationship with each other.

"I found Miss Cygnet-Signet both kind and warm to me. I am looking forward to seeing her again." 

Aunt Primrose stands at last and smooths her skirt briskly. "So, it's settled then. You'll come for a nice visit and Pennyworth will help me figure out how to keep Mopsie away from her beau, and then I can be the judge of whether Frankincense and you are a match that meets my approval. Then, for a special treat, if you please me, which I have no doubt you will, you can come into the village and watch the home team win dozens of blue ribbons at the Harvest Festival." 

"No, no, no, I…" 

"Now what was it you wanted to ask me about the horse, Surefire, in the third race, if I remember rightly?" 

"I simply wondered…" 

1.  Let Rory finish.

2. Smoothly break in and make the request for a loan on Rory's behalf.

3. Offer Aunt Primrose a respectful compliment before Rory asks for money in order to smooth his path.

 

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

#1 Rory is bumbling, but at least he's finally got a word in edgewise and he's started to actually answer the question. If Pennyworth interferes now, for good or ill, Rory might not get a better chance to ask.

Plus, if it really all does go down in flames, maybe Rory will learn the perils of gambling. If Pennyworth rescues him too easily, he might just do the same thing next month.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
Option 1. We aren't the smoothest of talkers so butting in would likely make things worse.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
***Option 1***

He dug this hole, it's up to him to climb out.

I'd go with Option 2 but I'm not sure we're smooth enough anyway...

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

1. We're not on good enough terms with Aunt Primrose, and a compliment would be too transparent.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
1

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

Let Rory finish.

 

"…if you could see it clear to loan me…that is…if possible, a bit of the readies to pay the piper, and tide me over until next month," Rory says. "I'd be ever so grateful." 

Aunt Primrose laughs heartily. "Oh, you," she says, playfully batting at Rory's hand. "Well, how can I say no, when you've given me such a lovely evening? You outdid yourself tonight, by which I mean that you have exceeded the extraordinarily low expectations that I had for my entertainment here."

"Glad to oblige," Rory says.

"Yes, yes, I'll send you the money you so foolishly squandered, and give you a bit of walking-around money in the meanwhile." She gets a cagey look in her eyes. "But you'll still come over this weekend. You wouldn't take money from my hand and then reject me in my time of need."

"Never," Rory says, although you can see that the thought had clearly crossed his mind.

"Good," she says. "I expect you with all promptness. Will you fix the problem with Mopsie and her most unwelcome suitor?"

"Between me and Pennyworth, consider your problem solved."

"And will you come with Auntie when we go a-hunting, without complaint, and lend a hand at the village Harvest Festival?" 

"All this we swear," Rory says.

"I will see you tomorrow," she says. "And may I remind you that I will be celebrating my birthday. I will have several respectable guests there, and you may wish to put more thought into the gift you bring than the one you offered last year." 

And with that, Aunt Primrose departs, waving over her shoulder. Rory waves and closes the door firmly after her.

Rory turns back to you.

"We've done all right, Pennyworth," he says. "A bit of money in the black ink portion of the ledger as weighed against the prospect of having to dance to Aunt Primrose's tune this weekend. But that's all right. There's always something pleasant enough to do there, even if I'd much rather simply stay home. But it is not to be."

"I fear not, sir. I recommend a good night's sleep. There is a great deal of packing and preparing to do." 

"Oh, very well." Rory clasps his hands behind his back. "Very strange, this being engaged thing. 'Till death do you part' and so forth."

"I understand it is the marriage itself that is described in so permanent a way, not the engagement."

"Hm," says Rory. "Hm," he says again. "I have a lot to think about. Thank you, Pennyworth. That will be all tonight." 

"Good night, sir."

(end of chapter one—I will continue this in the chapter two thread)

 

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago
We did it, boys. Rory's debt is no more.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

It was totally worth the full half hour of rereading the entire thing.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

3 months ago

This is all so Wodehousey, I absolutely love it!

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

2 months ago

As we finish each chapter, it was my intention to write a bit about the structure of that chapter, just for interest--usually I'll do it right after we finish each one.

So this chapter is the simplest chapter, structurally. 

Aside from the stat building, it is built around three big challenges.  It's hard to build a character who can succeed at all three challenges the first time around.  The challenges are Rory reading the book, making the meal, and Rory getting the debt taken care of.  The first two challenges, though, are important in that they modify the chances of Aunt Primrose paying the debt.  So you passing the crucial one.

Lots of little things feed into those three challenges (Rory's appearance, your attitude towards the two of them) but the endpoint of the chapter will always hit either a full success (debt paid); partial success (partly paid); or failure (not paid) which matter to the player in terms of Rory's mood, the amount of money you start ch.2 with, and which class train car you are allowed to pick.

So in a standard branch and bottleneck, you might look at the challenges as just funnels that take you to one of the above results, and then channels you into the start of ch.2, and only the stats are different and a bit of flavor text.

However, Tally Ho does a lot of delayed branching.  The choices you make in ch.1, some of which seem like they are stat building are actually building up ramifications for later chapters.--obviously your previous relationship with Frankincense; whether you are romantic with Rory; (or with both); how you advise Primrose to deal with Mopsie; your previous occupation, and your weakness--these things create branching and additional options later on in a delayed fashion that the standard branch and bottleneck can't quite capture.

My general goal is to have every choice mean something--at minimum a stat change, but as often as possible opening up branches.  I actually really like delayed branching rather than immediate branching, because I like to create the feeling in a player of, "...oh.  Yes.  That is exactly stemming from the choice I made three chapters ago, and this has ended up entangling me in a predicable manner."  I think of this as the make your bed/lie in it structure.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower

2 months ago
I've already seen the results of a few of these and it made me smile each time. The 'special talent' choice and yes, my own suggestion for Mopsie were the big ones I noticed, but I'm sure there's more. I've been constantly impressed by how Tally Ho rewards multiple playthroughs and different character builds to get noticeably stories. If all CoG games were like this they wouldn't have the reputation they do here. And everybody swears by Time Cave here but I've always been a fan of delayed consequences. Trying to implement some of that in my first game here was what orginally got me off the basic bitch editor and into learning variables and scripts. It just makes the plot more realistic and flexible; both IRL and in fiction most people don't immediately get hit with the results of their actions, whether they're positive or negative. And as a reader I love that little moment of realization. Delayed consequences are something that I'm planning to be a big part of the fantasy epic I'm working on. It's almost unavoidable because of the open nature of the world.