Rogues

a Fantasy Adventure by EndMaster

Commended by BerkaZerka on 6/9/2018 11:28:28 PM

Player Rating7.67/8

"#3 overall, #1 for 2018"
based on 400 ratings since 06/08/2018
played 24,345 times (finished 625)

Story Difficulty8/8

"mosie through a minefield"

Play Length8/8

"Even light has to break at the rest stop"

Maturity Level7/8

"anything goes"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 18. If this were a movie, it would probably be R.

From humble beginning to infamy and beyond!

Additional notes:

This story is a fully self contained one and can easily be read on its own, however it also acts as a "sequel" to Innkeeper.

As with any of my writings, the story comes before the game. However while there isn't a complex inventory and all of that, you can technically "win" by getting one of the 12 epilogues.

Player Comments

I think I've read everything in Rogues as it's currently published, and I've definitely read to every epilogue ending. Some general thoughts first and then some more specific.

As usual, Endmaster does a great job here at making completely different paths that all work as satisfying stories. I don't really mean the differences between choosing Klyton or Holgard but that different storylines are focused on completely different things. These range from vampires to gang wars to more individual or even romantic "rogue" plots (with Tanya, Annah, or whoever). Another author might be able to make each of these separate ideas work as separate stories, but here they all fit together in the same world and with many of the same characters, and none seems out of place once you've read them all.

The characters are another strength. Each has at least one interesting trait that makes them memorable, and the more important characters have more developed personalities and backstories. Depending on the paths, you get different amounts of this information for different characters (Sneaks, for example, can be a major character or someone you meet right at the end of the story. Same for Heather or, in a different way, Annah).

I think it is the Rogue himself which unites all these characters and storylines. His character is pretty consistent no matter what situation he ends up in- obviously not moral but never completely monstrous (even when a vampire), usually a loner even when he's in an organization, and without much tolerance for being bothered. These are the same kinds of traits as the Eternal and other Endmaster protagonists, and the fact that he can write similar characters so often and still make the stories so engrossing is a testament to his skill.

Some more specific observations:

1. My favorite endings were the most wholesome- when the Rogue ends up happily married to Annah or Yvette and leaves his life of crime. Oddly enough the ending with Ghoul Lisa fits here too (surprisingly sweet). My favorite Eternal ending was Eternal Bliss, so maybe I'm just sympathetic for this kind of thing, but it was nice to see the Rogue's life turn out in a "good" way, where he's happy and not doing anything too terrible.

2. That being said, Tanya was my favorite love interest. Unlike most of the others, she could clearly hold her own against the Rogue, but, unlikely Isabella, she had a vulnerable side too which made her a little more appealing. I liked Yvette a lot too, but she didn't get quite as much screen time as Tanya.

3. As I said, the characters were a strongpoint. A few in particular stood out as especially memorable- Warts started off as basically comic relief, but he ended up as one of the Rogue's only real friends in any path. Virgil the drunk priest was another good one, as he ends up trying (if usually failing) to be a good person and his scenes are entertaining, and Heather was another.

4. I thought I remembered reading that there was some connection between Rogues and the Innkeeper universe and Eternal, but if so I didn't find it. Fel was a lot like Dendrin, but then shadow gods are all going to be pretty similar.

All in all, another excellent story. I think Eternal is still my favorite, but this is a strong contender. I'm very excited to read about the sister's adventures.
-- pugpup1 on 7/25/2019 11:08:20 AM with a score of 0
Absolutely amazing. The writing is genius, the character development and flow of narration are perfect. And now for spoilers, which you really shouldn't be reading until you've played.

Endmaster from what I understand tends to usually write two types of characters: the wageslave loser who gets beat down vs the immortal tyrant who conquers worlds.

(Get ready for me to butcher and fail to remember names.) That is effectively the choice between Klyton and Holsgard(?)

In Klyton, all the paths seem surreal, but the main character is weak-willed. I know he's weak, but to just walk away while the girl he's escorting is raped and enslaved? I know she was a prick, but it just feels so pathetic when the mc is forced to do that. Things he could be doing right he ends up botching. He's not a badass, just a peasant trying to get by. People don't give him much dignity, he really doesn't earn much there. He usually ends up fat and feeding scraps to his family if they're not all murdered by the gangs that bully him.

In D Kingdom you get tempted into drug courier service and immediately get sold out, sentenced to prison without any out. There's no epilogues, no escapes, just dread. Maybe we'll see some of those guys in the sequel?

Finally, our last destination is way more chaotic. Any path you follow usually ends up with you being a huge dick, but also incredibly amazing. You can be a wizard's servant later a vampire, get sent back through time and act out what I think is a futurama episode where you kill your great great grandfather, annihilate all of your allies and betray almost every loved one and become known as a legendary "hero."

The problem I have with it is one town your a powerless shmuck usually with a sense of decency, the other you're a depraved monster with none. Though I have to say, I didn't dock points, since this is a matter of personal preference and not reflective of whether or not it was still a good game.

Fair warning, the game has excessive smut. In fact... now that I think about it... I don't think a single girl the main character hooks up with is "pure" save for, ironically, the succubus who doesn't seem to enjoy her first time. Heck, even the girl who is part angel dated a few guys, your adopted daughter played around when u mess up as a parent.


8/8
-- sersafir on 9/29/2018 4:52:46 PM with a score of 0
Well, I’m finally allowing myself to give a review since I’ve read everything. I’ll try to avoid spoilers for those assholes who read reviews before playing the storygame.

Also, holy cow. This is a friggen good story. There were also quite a few memorable characters which is not something I can say about many stories I’ve read here. Annah, Mara, and (of course) the Rogue were particularly outstanding (though I may be biased since they held my two favorite paths as well). The decades long semi-relationship between Annah and Rogue was fun. For some reason, I also really liked the arc with Mara.

One thing I liked was how the Rogue was just a dude. It sorta reminded me of Death Song’s protagonist. Of course, Rogue could rise to powerful levels, but he had to work (well, do Rogue stuff to be specific) for what he got. His selfish but somewhat principled outlook on life allowed the character to have a multidimensional thought process. He also had a “Screw it” attitude that fit quite well with the spelling and grammar errors. Why? The author said, “Screw it. These bastards shouldn’t complain about some grammar crap when they have half a million words to read.”

As for the branching, it was an interesting setup. Within the first few clicks, the reader has placed themselves on one of three major pathways leading to 12 epilogues. Often, a choice might seem right at first, only to lead to a premature ending (though not necessarily death). I think Ground Zero had something similar if I remember correctly. (Semi Spoilers approaching.) Straying away from the path’s “theme” (like choosing to get rid of your ghoulfriend) ends the story. Other times, something seemingly small (like choosing to flee from the party or to hide in a room) leads to very divergent paths.

The paths also interlock. (Screw it. Here comes friggen spoilers.) I got to the Mara path before I did anything in Holgard. Thus, Sneaks mentioned how his old Thieves Guild boss had “feelings” for his “daughter”, so I thought to myself, “Huh, EndMaster’s put in his normal references to debauchery. Ok.” Later, I made different choices which led me to Holgard and met said father-daughter duo which was very fun to experience as it was happening. I often wonder what happened to so-and-so character if I choose a path where we never cross paths. Does Tanya (I think that’s here name. The demon girl.) become a succumbs if I never interact with her? What happened to Mara if I was never there to help her? I’ll have to pester you about those questions eventually.

I’ve seen one person complain about the limited choices of the paths. He’s dumb. There’s a ton of choices. Yes, many lead to immediate death, but many don’t. Btw, death by getting eaten by faeries (or was it sprites?) over a week was my favorite death. The vampire endgame choice that had the Rogue torn in half was hilarious (since he was alive and complaining).

As for the Epilogues (SPOILERS!), a few stood out. Epilogue 10 was the badass one (since the Rogue killed two major criminal organizations, two religions, a cult, an invading army, the leader of another religious organization, a bunch of random women like some psychotic Jack the Ripper dude, had a ton of sex with a succumbs who fell in love with him, killed/outlived just about every named character during that story arc, and made friends with Warts). Damn. Oh, and the Epilogue extension was awkward, funny, and totally EM levels of screwed up (though I saw that coming the moment the incident occurred). The other would be Epilogue 12, my favorite. He was just a “normal” rogue and he fell in love with his childhood sweetheart. Then, he reconnected with his father and had twins. It was so sweet. :)

Anyway, this was incredibly entertaining to read. Thanks for all the effort you put into this, EM. Rogues is truly an epic. This’ll be one of CYS’s staple storygames… Eternal(y).
-- WouldntItBeNice on 6/21/2018 7:41:56 AM with a score of 0
seeing as I just finished reading through all the paths, I'm excited to say this story is one of the most diverse that I've had the pleasure of reading. Endmaster seems to have a way with words and worlds that always seems to suck me in. anyone that has an appreciation of fantasy worlds, will enjoy this immensely, so If ya haven't read this yet, I'd ask ya to stop reading this, and read the frikin story.

onto the spoilers!

one thing I am actually disappointed in was the fact that the DK was an option to go after killing klint. ya get there, and get sort of recruited by the ECS, but then you just get caught and killed no matter what. it felt like Endmaster wanted explore the DK and the ECS, but after building all the other paths decided that was enough and just left that path hanging. that was going to be that last place I went, but it didn't go anywhere unfortunately.

A similar thing happened with seemingly minuscule choices. an example would be when Isabella kicks Rouge out of his Holgard tomb. he leaves, but we never explore what happens next, which I'm sure him being an immortal vampire and all, he could have done some sort of exciting stuff. Just look at Isabella, she lived through tons of countries rise and fall, she saw the beginnings of the ECS! what would Rogue have seen or been apart of? and thats just one example.

Okay, done with the criticisms, so for those who managed to read through my rant, I got lots more complements, because I gave this an 8/8 on the rating thing despite those two issues. this story is extremely immersive, so immersive I'd say that it's easy to become invested in all of the characters and romances. even some characters that got basically no screen time still seemed to seem interesting. the baroness is an honorable mention for me, because even though I personally wouldn't want to go to one of her parties, it was still a spectacle to read. warts was my favorite non-romantic interest character, because of how he always seemed to be there for Rogue, no matter what crap Rogue would give him. also I liked his gift when he started working for the baroness, it made me laugh to think that Warts thought that Rogue would like it, even though he did.

on to the romances. my personal favorite just had to be Tanya, I mean, how could you not find it adorable that even though she is a friggin succubus, she's still a virgin. I know that she's only half succubus, and that she avoided sex just to not become one, but it still makes me laugh. also, I really like how she interacts with Rogue, and how their interactions slowly become more warm and open. it's slow (not story-wise, but in-world-wise), but works well. Tanya is an angel despite the fact that she's a demon, and you can't convince me otherwise.

speaking of angels, my third favorite romance (i'm sorry for skipping NO. 2, but this just flowed too perfectly on accident) would be Yvette, even though she is 1/4 angel, she's close enough that it counts. I don't have too much to say about her due to her not having too much screen time, but she's still an angel. The fact that there are also celestials in this universe make me so amazed, even though in a way it kinda makes sense. god's would have to have immortal servants, cuz the mortal ones are too fickle. Yvette is really sweet. I'm kinda sad that I had to lie to end up with her, but in the end, Trinity was totally worth it, the little children in this book are perfect (except for Mara when she was a kid) it's easy to get attached to them too.

number 2 favorite romance would have to be Zal. she's the only real competition in my eyes against Tanya, because even though she does come off as "a bit guiding," she always tries to stick by you. when I was introduced to her after Annah comes with Rogue, I instantly liked her, and I liked that she changed, and slowly stopped wanting to be a criminal. after the first taste of what I liked about her as a character, I actively searched for a way to end up with her, which makes me happy that that comes true in epilogue one, which by default due to this ended up being my favorite ending, even though Tanya isn't in it.

now that I'm done with that, y'all's can learn about my favorite endings.

as I said epilogue 1, Son of Innkeeper, is my favorite because Rogue ends up with Zal. What I did not say however was WHY else I liked it. one of those reasons was that it was so interesting to know that this story comes full circle with Innkeeper. he becomes a pretty decent person, gets married, has a loyal group of friends, doesn't have any targets on his back, and his family can be proud of him. most other endings can't say the same about many of these things. also, I find it funny that he ends up having to vote for Mr. Reynolds.

second place would then have to go to epilogue 10, Hero. this one makes Rogue out to be frikin amazing. he takes out 2 criminal organisations, leads his own, gets a succubus to fall in love with him, defends Holgard from an entire invasion, gets so in love with Tanya that he ends up killing other girls that he had sex with just because they were inferior to her in a literal and sexual way. warts somehow sticks by him, and he's one of the only main side characters that survive as long as Rogue.

also, honorable mention to epilogue 5, stability. this ending is great because ya know, Trinity.

anyone still reading this is crazy, but if ya did, congratulations! this story was amazing and rivals that of eternal on amazingness. 20 gold stars. Endmaster keep being an amazing creator on this website!
-- jcopman on 8/2/2019 8:37:00 PM with a score of 0
This is End's best work, IMO
-- RealKuriosIasoun on 7/28/2019 9:21:28 PM with a score of 0
My eye ouch
-- Brum_Brum on 7/23/2019 7:36:14 AM with a score of 0
Simply amazing. I truly enjoy all of Endmaster's stories due to their intense and diverse character development, colorful battle descriptions, excellent details and very strong and rather unique story lines. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading more.
-- MeetaCheeta on 7/19/2019 3:52:36 PM with a score of 0
Incest is wincest!
-- Kingsmen on 6/30/2019 3:03:20 PM with a score of 0
I seemed to pick the prison rout but it just makes me want to explore the rest of the paths!
-- pk on 6/29/2019 11:32:31 AM with a score of 0
This is currently the best storygame on the site by quite a margin IMO.
I've been an admirer of EndMaster's work for several years now, and like many others have been impressed by the rich worlds, backstories, characters, and excellent branching to multiple successful endgame scenarios.

What's so much better about this one?

Well for a start the old storygame explanation notes that serve to inform the reader/player about aspects of the world, characters, etc are not here. While they can save some page space for those rushing through scenarios seeking successful endings, it's a clunky way of informing.
The way that all that information is incorporated into the main narrative (like a traditional novel) gives a significantly better reading and playing experience - allowing you to more easily become part of the world rather than an observer.

The sheer level of complexity in the pathway branching, recurring characters that are different on various paths due to when you interact with and influence them, and the widely different winning scenarios (12) make "Rogues" stand out as something special.
Of all the other games, only "Eternal" is in similar class IMO.

Another thing I noticed that seemed to elude some others is that your character behaves with more or less confidence partly based on how safely you play the game - the greater the risk, the greater the potential payoff - or risk of death lol.

Even the death scenes and various methods stand out as interesting and noteworthy in many cases.

Congratulations - you've lived up to your name and past work yet again!
-- Keyfor2050 on 6/23/2019 2:40:26 PM with a score of 0
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