Wow, that was a nice story on par with Eternal. Perhaps in many ways I enjoyed it better than Eternal. Keep it up Endmaster! Several thoughts and commentary *SPOILERS BELOW* :
1. Endmaster's stories all have 1 template for a girlfriend/lover, with surface variations. They all tend to have a strong personality, nurturing, have mental baggage, either manipulative or naive, selfish (most would betray protagonist if he didn't change for them or meet their standards), sexually and romantically forward (even shamelessly slutty sometimes), and all of them either match or exceed the protagonist in an area of skill/power/planning.
2. The Kingdom path...was sadly not a path at all. Perhaps a false choice. Would like to see an expansion where we get to do more stuff in what seems to be the capital city in the area. Perhaps join and rise up in the Ebon Claw Syndicate?
3. Sucks there wasn't a path to save the Thieves Guild, although I guess the Nocturnal League path was basically it. But would have been cool for a path that preserved the Thieves Guild and its principles and characters.
4. The Ebon Claw Syndicate was frustratingly too powerful. I mean I get the Crimson Talons couldn't stand up to them. But the Nocturnal League also cooperated with law enforcement and politicians and had magic allies to balance out shadow magic. There should have been an option to go to war with the ECS and come out on top. So I think that path should not have been forced to pay tribute if they didn't want to. The Nocturnal League in the Rogue Nation path should have been even more powerful because they weren't even infiltrated. I was hoping for an option to war with the ECS and beat them as the Nocturnal League.
5. Crimson Talons path should have had an option to build up and dominate like the Nocturnal League or ECS. Sadly wasn't a choice where the team could rise up the ranks. Maybe ally with a the local mages and bump off Reynolds and secure political influence/power?
6. The independent plotline should have had a Romance Epilogue with Heather.
7. So, the Rogue sleeps with his sister and in the epilogue do they get together? Kind of weird but would like to see a firm resolution on this hilarious and awesome cliffhanger.
8. Dendrin?Fel should have a story one day where a guy finally kicks his ass.
9. Pirate and Galpatis storyline were cut too short, hopefully we get an expansion where you become Privateer/Pirate or some sort of future changing guy in Galpatis.
10. The Protaganist doesn't seem to be exceedingly good at building up an organization without either Demonic help (Reynolds/Tanya). There seems to be a glass ceiling where the protagonist's organization and leadership skills just stagnate to the point where either the Klyton Militia or the ECS forces him to relocate. He is frustratingly bad at going up against the ECS even with mage allies and the literal government behind him. Having Holgard or Jicol's entire state behind him, the protagonist shouldn't have been owned by the ECS every time they directly fought against them (again related to my above comment that I think the plotline should have had an option to win against the ECS as either Holgard's Spymaster, Jicol's Nocturnal League, or Holgard & Jicol's Nocturnal League).
Overall! A+ on the well written and engaging story. Hoping for a storyline from the POV of the Bard Sister.
1. I’ll get back to that one later.
2. I always had plans on making a “Kingdom path.” Just need to have time to get around to it. I mentioned it in the Rogues thread in the Writing Workshop.
Though its more of a “prison path” but joining the Syndicate is going to be a major path.
3. Originally I was going to have a path where the Thieves Guild survives, but of course things get cut for various reasons.
4. The ECS being pretty powerful is sort of one of the reasons why the Thieves Guild couldn’t survive.
You do sort of beat the ECS in the Rogue Nation path since you’re dealing with them more as an equal power. You’re trading shit with them rather than paying tribute (You've already become entrenched and consolidated the entire island by the time of the epilogue).
You also beat them in the “Hero” path, but that’s more of a personal victory rather than an organization effort.
5. I thought about doing this as well, but again stuff gets cut for various reasons, plus I sort of wanted to emphasis that Klyton was just slowly becoming more of a isolationist police state (Hence why the ECS couldn’t really get in there either) and the Talons were more or less doomed anyway.
Originally Sneaks was going to be a former Crimson Talon that left to help start up the Thieves’ Guild, but just never got around to adding that in and he didn’t really need that much extra background anyway.
It’s always possible that I might include another former Crimson Talon in the Kingdom path. Maybe someone trying to get them started up as a prison gang or something.
6. Again, there was a potential plan for this too. Originally I was going to have a path where you convince her to go north with you while you try to figure out a cure. Ultimately it would have still ended badly for her and the Dornians would have hunted her down and killed her (And you would have killed the surviving ones of course)
In any case, I thought Heather being ambitious and ultimately always putting herself first was a better trait for her.
7. I deliberately left that ambiguous.
8. He’d probably not risk ever tangling with anyone of equal or more power than himself.
9. Toyed with the idea of having more pirate stuff, but since I was planning on his sister having a path with some pirate stuff as well, didn’t want to overlap too much. As for Galpatis, I thought as much of the past needed to be in the story as it was. Didn’t want to branch off into yet another direction since when I introduced the whole time travel bit, it ended up being a bit longer than I planned anyway.
10.I dunno, he does pretty well given that he’s ultimately just a small town rogue that didn’t really have any major life goals anyway.
And again, he pretty much does win against the ECS in the Rogue Nation and “Hero” path. They either have to deal with him as an outright equal and/or leave him alone. He still gave them multiple black eyes in those paths and they sort of just have to sit there and take it. He was never going to be able to wipe them out completely though.
Nope, I didn’t forget to address the first question which is more of a statement I suppose, but anyway.
1. Its all a delicate balance.
You generally want the love interest to have some sort of strong personality otherwise she’s going to be forgettable.
The nurturing part, well she’s a love interest so there’s usually a need for that trait somewhere on some level. While stone cold bitches are fun, they don’t usually make that great of a long term love interest.
Mental baggage. I usually don’t like anyone to be perfect. 99% of the time people got some sort of baggage they bring with them in a relationship and it either gets dealt with or it doesn’t work out. Manipulative, naivety, selfishness, are just some of the traits I use as far as the baggage goes mainly because those are usually more fun to work with in a story.
Sexually and romantically forward. Well this one might be more of an author preference. Though not for the obvious reasons.
In most romance stuff in games/stories its always a case that you have to click the right dialogue and then “true love” falls out. (Or you fuck her, whatever) It’s sort of boring and annoying most of the time or cringey in the case of Bioware’s shit.
Not just games though, it’s really damn annoying to see countless movies/tv shows where people obviously like one another, but they’re like “We like each other, but oh wait, we can’t fuck yet because stupid ass reasons.”
I generally prefer to get some of that out of the way with most of the potential love interests being more like “You like me? Well I like you too, let’s just take advantage of that situation and get naked now.”
After all it’s not the physical aspect that’s the main focus, it’s the rest of the shit that comes along with a relationship that’s the focus (Hence the baggage)
And 95% of the time its shown as the woman that’s holding out, fuck that. They like sex just as much as guys do.
Now obviously sometimes I do the more traditional thing of the girl holding out despite there being obvious attraction, but there’s usually a good reason for it. Tanya’s situation for example. Hell, I even reverse that a bit later where YOU’RE holding out on Vera due to the curse you think you have.
Finally, the last bit where they match or exceed the protagonist in some way. Well generally speaking you don’t want a pathetic love interest that you have to keep saving all the time. I mean maybe you do, but I certainly don’t want to write one. Lol.
So she needs to be at least equal in ability on some level. For Rogues, Lisa and Mara were the only two LIs that were really “below” your own power level. (Lisa even more so) but even then they weren’t useless and did what they could within their range. And Mara probably would eventually match you or become better anyway due to her being younger and staying in regular practice.
Since we're on the topic of Rogues I guess this is the best place to put this.
I remember back in Legends there was a route involving a demon in a gem (I believe his name was Azoth if memory serves correctly) that you bond with and enter an uneasy partnership. It was one of the more enjoyable routes in the story, and I had a blast taking over an orc stronghold and raiding my old home town.
And while I absolutely loved every page of Rogues I was a bit disappointed that that route seems to have been scrapped, do you have any plans to add something like that in the future, perhaps with the sister?
Yep, old Azoth. Trapped demon in a gem, sound familiar? It should, Zelvix in Eternal was trapped in a gem. (Nope, not the same demon, just used an old idea)
And yes, I had plans for the sister to encounter a trapped demon. (Who probably won't be in a gem or Azoth)