The Daemonologists

a School-Based by pugpup1

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

Player Rating5.98/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 24 ratings since 07/30/2019
played 567 times (finished 24)

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

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
Wow, this story was great. The amount of worldbuilding and exposition was amazing. I really enjoyed this.


First off the writing. This was an extremely well written piece. Very, very few spelling mistakes, good formatting, interesting dialogue and it kept me enraptured throughout the story. My only real complaint I guess would be that this is certainly more story than game. On the couple pages we have more than one choice, one of those choices often times leads to a game over. But honestly, the story was good enough that it really doesn't matter.

Second, the worldbuilding. The story was set in 1777 Britain, but honestly the setting doesn't matter a whole lot. What did matter was the scenes at the university really felt like a real place. The professors all ha distinct personalities as did your characters friends and colleagues. The lessons were fascinating and you really managed to make me look forward to the different classes. I also thoroughly enjoyed the succubi lore and how you added numerous ways our character tried to protect ourselves. It truly felt like a fleshed out setting.

Third, the characters. Seria, the succubi, was a very interesting character. What seemed like a typical succubi turned out to be much more complex of a character than we first imagined. The relationship between our character and her became rather sweet, in a kind of messed up way. And when I was forced to kill her I genuinely felt bad about it. She had noble goals and a good heart, but we just couldn't be together. Her death scene was heartbreaking. The professors were all unique. And the twist with Dr. Hopkins was very unexpected. I couldn't bring myself to kill him though. After all, if our mom was an angel, she probably wouldn't want me to murder someone. Peter was a good friend too. I enjoyed the scenes he was in and he felt like a real person, if that makes sense. I really don't have any complaints about the characters.

So yeah, this was a great story. Lots of lore, good characters, and an interesting plot. It kept me hooked through the whole thing. Great work pugpup1.
-- TurnipBandit on 7/31/2019 1:59:21 PM with a score of 0
While I appreciate the quality of this work holistically, my enjoyment of the storygame was jeopardised by a weak introduction. This was only exacerbated by the gauntlet structure. The lack of any choices for consecutive pages, in addition to an 'unfocussed' beginning, detracted from my first impressions and threatened my engagement. Several pages are spent establishing setting, character and a peripheral conflict - the protagonist's personal pursuits chafe against his father's expectations. To be frank, it was a slog. Details for completely tangential aspects were presented, frustrating me with no later payoff. I didn't need to know what our character had for breakfast, to what extent a random was nervous for the entry exam, and so on. Incisiveness is key. Let me tear into the guts of the story - get all that orientation stuff done ASAP unless special emphasis absolutely needs to be placed on something. Instead of being charmed, and subsequently eager to continue reading, I wondered if we could have transitioned from the first page to an 'in media res' beginning. Our protagonist just passed the exam. He's now staring at the ankh in his palm. The daemonologist carefully regards him from his seat. Outside, others are celebrating or lamenting. But instead, we're inside a darkened study - suffering the aftermath of umbral visitings. In two pages, you could have continued seamlessly by furthering the core supernatural theme and the dire conflict. I believe the gauntlet approach demands even more concise writing than usual. If there is going to be only one or two central narratives, with only pivotal choices, let me get to those pivotal choices by, say, the fourth page.

The later segments are, thankfully, more incisive. I may be coming off as overly-preoccupied with this problem, but that's because I want to emphasise the importance of a strong introduction. If I hadn't persisted, the overall merits would not have been evident.

Characters - strong point. Interesting, and at times compelling. The protagonist is, at times, just a bit stoopid though (which, I thought, was not really intended).

And I could keep ticking things off but focussing on the good never really helped as feedback.

Thank you pugpup1 for your commendable contribution to the Succubus Contest.
-- Ozoni on 9/30/2019 1:38:35 PM with a score of 0
Extremely well written story! Really enjoyed it. Very well done. Definitely not perfect, but considering it was written in like a month, I’m extremely impressed.

First, let’s start with the bad stuff. This obviously wasn’t proof read… Like at all. I mean I understand it was rushed, and I kind of expect games to have the odd spelling mistake here and there, but the main problem I kept seeing was quite a few instances where the writing would just stop, mid-sentence. What I’m guessing happened is that you accidentally deleted large chunks of text and didn’t notice. (To be fair, I do that all the time. Hate it when that happens.) So yeah, always proof read your own games before publishing.

Second, I’m really, really, REALLY not a fan of the gauntlet structure in text-based games, where every now and then you’ll get a choice, but making the wrong choice will just lead to your death. It’s usually pointless and makes it feel like you’re reading a shirt story instead of playing a game… That said, I didn’t actually mind so much with this game. I enjoyed the story enough that the fact it didn’t branch hardly bothered me. More importantly, you only had like a month to write this, and I think it turned out a lot better as a long, extremely linear story than it would’ve done if you’d made a branching story with lots of short paths.

Third… The protagonist was a fucking moron. I think I spent the last third of the game banging my head against the computer screen, waiting for the game to give me a choice where I get the option not to be a brain-dead bloody idiot, and it takes the guy sprouting a pair of fucking wings before he finally figures out… “Duuuuuuuuh… Maybe letting myself get seduced by a soul draining succubus, twiddling my thumbs while she bashes my father’s brains in, going along with her plan to brutally murder my teacher and then summoning a whole bunch of blood-thirsty demons and setting them loose on my school wasn’t such a good idea?” … … … No fucking shit, Sherlock! Then when he sees that the blood-thirsty demons are killing all his classmates and teachers, he’s like, “Oh my God! You’re telling me the literal demonic, hell-spawn weren’t attacking the school for selfless and benevolent reasons? Why, I am shocked and appalled! And they seemed like such nice guys, too.” I mean… I get it’s kind of essential to the story that the protagonist is heavily influenced by the succubus. Still, the kind was just too much of a drooling idiot for me to feel any kind of sympathy for him at the end… In fact, he get let off bloody easy. I’d have said setting an army of demons loose on your school should warrant a good, old-fashioned hang, draw and quatering. ^_^

And lastly (and this is just me being nitpicky) there were a lot of characters in that game… And most of them were so forgettable I could barely remember which name went with character. I actually think it bothered me most because the characters that were fleshed out were really good. I liked Peter! His friendship with the protagonist felt really genuine. Like the Ron to my Harry! (… Well, let’s be honest here, Peter was probably the Harry.) Mrs Littlethwaite was adorable and I liked Dr. Hopkins and his terrible dad jokes… Other than that, I don’t think I had a clue who any of them were. So, I spent a lot of time reading names and trying to remember who the fuck everybody was. At the end, it mentions that Dr. Thewliss is dead, and I was just like… Oh no!!! Not… That guy… Which one was he again? … I hope he wasn’t the one with the funny accent.

So, now that I’m done ranting for several paragraphs about how much this game sucked… I’ll sum up by saying that I REALLY liked it! Sure, it had it’s flaws, but that’s understandable considering that you only had a month to write it. I certainly wish I could be this productive in a month. The characters that I do remember, I absolutely loved! The story was really gripping, the setting was very inventive and interesting, and all together, just a really, really enjoyable read. Great work! ^_^
-- Avery_Moore on 9/11/2019 5:52:04 PM with a score of 0
At first I thought it was one straight path. But it was not. There are two pretty well written ending. Angelic and demonic. I really enjoyed it. But one advice brother. Maybe you want to increase the choice a bit. No one saying to create more different scenarios but give the players a sense of choice and then bam. It will be best of the best
-- PH4N70M on 8/22/2019 8:31:13 AM with a score of 0
-- Reywalker786 on 8/18/2019 11:05:10 AM with a score of 0
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