The Daemonologists

a Love & Dating by pugpup1

Commended by mizal on 8/25/2019 7:50:40 AM

Player Rating6.22/8

"#132 overall, #12 for 2019"
based on 79 ratings since 07/30/2019
played 2,465 times (finished 98)

Story Difficulty6/8

"wandering through the desert"

Play Length6/8

"It'll be a while, better grab a Snickers®"

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.

Daemons have preyed upon humans since the Fall of Man, but in the civilized world they must first fight the daemonologists. Armed with knowledge, they wield learning and magic to protect the innocent from the dark spirits that would do them harm. It has been your dream to join them, to study at their College and then go forth to do battle with infernal warriors, but lately you've had to contend with other dreams, nightmares of a mysterious woman, pale and strange and beautiful. Who is she, and what role will she play in the great unfolding drama of the daemonologists?

Player Comments

I have rather mixed feelings on this one. I'll begin with the positives, then move on to what I disliked... There WILL be spoilers, so if you just want to know my general thoughts on it, it's a 5/8, bordering on 6, but with a few things keeping the story from reaching its full potential.

I really enjoyed the opening. It competently sets up the world that the story takes place in, introduces the main plot, characters, and sews in some intrigue/mystery by beginning with the brief nightmare sequence, and then adding even more question during the encounter in the wheat fields. Prose & dialogue were good, and what kept me from putting down the story. Didn't resort to an overabundance of sentences that start with "You"

As mentioned in Cricket's review, there are several similarities to Necromancer, which I of course appreciated. Most notable comparisons were the magic school, the alluring woman from another plane of existence hinting at the protagonist's higher destiny, (Different context, I admit) the optional extra background information, and a poor relationship between the protagonist & his father. Not saying that this in any way ripped Necromancer off, just noticing some similarities that were done in different enough ways so as not to make me feel as if I should just reread a different story instead.

I enjoyed the supporting characters, though I dislike how the brother character vanished from the plot after a certain point in the story. Peter was intriguing, the professors all varied from serviceable to likable, and Seria... Alright I didn't like Seria too much, since it's fairly obvious her intentions are far from good, and not much was done to differentiate her from any other Succubus.

The negatives (OK, so a few might have leaked in earlier as well):
I don't know if this story in ANY way benefits from being a CYOA rather than a traditional book. There are long dry spells of single option pages, and the few choices you do get barely matter. There are only really two branches and both follow the same story beats of you assaulting the school with a cohort of daemons like an idiot. A lot of choices resulted in bad ends, most made sense, but going for a walk in one of the routes resulted in getting beaten to death, and choosing to read the book didn't do much for the story, so why even give the choice at all?

Despite my negativity, I didn't hate it. 5/8
-- Realdeaal on 12/14/2019 10:58:48 AM with a score of 0
After reading and enjoying the virtuosic "Father Leofwine is Dead," which was published just weeks after "The Daemonologists" by the same author, I went into this story with high expectations. But in the end I found this to be a technically great story... with a problematic plot twist.

And since I can't review this story without addressing events that occur in the second half of the story, I'll just focus on the technical aspects of this story.

In terms of writing quality, this storygame is top-tier. Pugpup1 wowed us twice this summer with two great pieces of fiction, both with high word counts, intriguing characters, and compelling situations. This is high-caliber storytelling, despite my qualms with this story.

As a storygame, the structure is what we call a "gauntlet", meaning there are choices sprinkled conservatively throughout the narrative, but little actual branching until the very end. For the most part, if you choose poorly, you get a well-written death ending. This is usually annoying, but the main storyline is interesting enough here that I wasn't concerned. It's only in the final climactic sequence where the reader encounters some branching, with four almost equal endings.

My problem with this story comes during a major reveal late in the story. I can't discuss this in a review without giving too much of the story away, so I won't; if you must know, go and search the forums. But in short: actions are taken that are brutal in nature and disproportionate to the "crimes" that were supposedly committed. I kept waiting for a counter-reveal that never came, at which point I decided I didn't much care for two central characters the story required me to sympathize with.

Therefore I rated this one a 6/8, because the writing is great but the story is flawed.

-- Bill_Ingersoll on 9/9/2019 12:03:28 AM with a score of 0
“The Daemonologists” is a very entertaining, engaging, and well-written story. However, it does have one, to some people, quite large flaw concerning the spacing between choices.

The story did not overly interest me at first, but the writing was good enough that it was not a chore to read through. I also liked the information pages I saw early on that were separate from the main story in the manner EndMaster does his. This was good, because I think this format suits the CYOA style very well and it helps give background information without bogging the story down or causing someone who is rereading to have to read through everything again.

The story is structured so that every choice leads to either death or a unique path. This is good. However, it was hard to tell that there would be any real amount of branching until halfway through, on account of the sheer number of one-link pages in between choices—choices that early on led only to an instant loss or continuation along the main path. Perhaps if there had not been so many pages, the distance between choices would have seemed a bit shorter.
My favorite ending was probably the Give In one. I was expecting that one to lead to an instant loss, but it was fun to see that he was actually an undead slave.

It was interesting to see how the author showed indirectly the demonic influence in the actions and thoughts of the main character. While the main character was convinced he was fighting for justice and all that, I was watching him be led into making dumb decisions based off delusion and hatred, yet the story was written in a way that it did not leave me cringing at how impossibly idiotic he was.

If you faggot who reads reviews before reading the story don’t mind having a good bit of patience now and then, go give “The Daemonologists” a shot.

-- Cricket on 8/4/2019 7:15:39 PM with a score of 0
Oh no... too much cheesecake consumed by the time of completion... never-the-less, this would make a better fantasy romance novel with a bang here and a boom there. Had a 'fun fun' though!
-- Zinthinial on 1/18/2021 10:21:28 PM with a score of 0
This is an amazing story.
-- holylemonaple on 9/17/2020 11:28:49 AM with a score of 0
Engaging, yet concise.
-- Myles on 3/23/2020 4:25:11 AM with a score of 0
I really loved this game! I'll never write something like this without help. I love your imagination! Just gave it 8 points :)
-- mellowwind on 3/22/2020 8:43:49 PM with a score of 0
I enjoyed this little foray rather promptly, foregoing any inclination that such a well written, well structured article could contain, in my opinion, vile subjects. In truth, I had to stop reading after the protagonist allowed his cousin/girlfriend to beat his father's skull into paste. During such, I repeatedly uttered unto my being "what the f***", for such was the only response applicable to such happenings. While I don't present my being a admirable, ethical individual, I still separate my p**n from my murder and incest. To be more critical would be my folley, for this is genuinely well written, with only a few random dead-ends so that it could be posted as a CYOA. However, I find it difficult to praise such impulsive, fetishistic writing, masquerading as a understandable and coherent.

P.s, I avoid proper gramatical form for only haste.

4/8, read at your discretion.
-- Pancake the eviscerator on 3/20/2020 4:49:23 PM with a score of 0
I loved it
-- cayla on 3/10/2020 4:10:08 PM with a score of 0
Pleasure the senses, and you wouldn't notice it.
-- Obra on 2/19/2020 1:02:42 PM with a score of 0
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