The Chronomantic Adventures of Professor Gower: Office Hours

Player Rating5.64/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 25 ratings since 11/05/2019
played 265 times (finished 29)

Story Difficulty4/8

"march in the swamp"

Play Length5/8

"Not going to lose any sleep"

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.

Professor Gower sits in his big, big oak desk, glasses perched precariously on his nose. He lays a fountain pen down atop his grade book and steeples his hands with something of a patient sigh.

He has warned his students:

The purpose of this thread is to have a place to talk about smallish issues of language, style, syntax, grammar, word choice, paragraph structure, or whatever. This is for microlevel issues, not big stuff like "what should I write about?" or "how do I make interesting choices?" or "is that mole bigger than yesterday?"

Bring a piece of your work-in-progress, and let's all discuss it together.

It's worth 40% of your grade, and you may not have an extension.

Alas, no one has come to his office today. This is not an issue though: Professor Gower has better things to do.

Authors Note:

Time travel story-game requested by Microblue with permission from Gower.

Special thanks to TheChef for play-testing and proofreading.

The Description was mostly written by Gower, and the rest is the author's original account of the real adventures of the English professor that travels in time to ensure the safety of literary classics. While you can read this story on its own, it's recommended that you have some familiarity with the classic authors Homer, Marie de France, and Euripides. It's also recommended that you read The Iliad, Lanval, Medea, and Beowulf before reading this story. General knowledge of those works will be accepted for this story but will do nothing for your grades on Gower's quiz to follow.

There are two possible endings. There are also four authors to meet, four literary gems to save, and four historic items to frame in Gower's office; however, there is only one epilogue.

Please enjoy as you travel to the past to meet Gower's favorite authors.

Player Comments

Well this was a wholesome bit of fanfiction.

The writing and grammar of the story were decent, and it was interesting to see a story that portrayed Professor Gower in a way that didn't involve some level of insanity. Or perhaps it did. This is all just the fantasy of an insane man. I like that.

The structure was very linear. I am pretty sure there is only one winning ending, and it wasn't hard to reach at all. All choices have only one correct option, save those on who to visit, and the other leads to a game over. Because of this, the structure is lacking no matter if "The Chromatic Adventures of Professor Gower: Office Hours" is considered as a CYOA story or a game.

There wasn't much in general that stood out to me about the story itself. I got the general impression that I was watching an episode in an educational children's series.
Some of you faggots who read reviews before reading stories might be into that, but I was not.

Overall this story wasn't bad. I just wasn't all that interested in it, and it lacked in what makes a storygame a storygame.
-- Cricket on 12/18/2019 12:40:18 AM with a score of 0
Stories on time usually aren't that good in my opinion. It's a difficult subject to write about. But this was written well enough to keep me from tossing it aside and eventually really liking it.

When going in don't take this too seriously, it's a fun story to enjoy when you have free time.

In order to get the full experience, you'll need to be well versed in literature throughout the ages or look them up. I can definitely see why someone who has practically no knowledge of these characters wouldn't enjoy it much.

The difficulty, at least for me, felt a bit strange. Without spoiling anything, in Euripedes content, for example, the author was extremely concerned about something while completely uninterested in another. Choosing to support the other leads to a game over. There doesn't seem to be a reason I'd ever want to pick such a thing. An easy choice if you pay the slightest bit of attention.

In Homer's bits, you could either do a limerick or do something more advanced to impress his kids. The limerick outrages Homer, the other deeply impresses him. The choice here is minefield difficulty. I felt I may have missed out on a part of the experience because I was not completely familiarized with both authors. A quick wikipedia check and a synopsis of the stories they write won't do justice for the depth of the character shadowdrake27 is attempting to reach.

I particularly liked Homer's story. If there's any complaint I'd make regarding this, it's that the episodic adventures the main character go through are paced a bit too quickly. Just as I'm enjoying one episode on this adventure, I fall into the next. There's so much potential in the adventures and, to me, they end on notes that feel very incomplete. Another criticism I'd have on this is that descriptions are repeated in a rather irritable way.

Though I believe some of what the author was trying to convey was lost on me, I really did enjoy the adventure for what it was.
-- sersafir on 11/7/2019 11:40:04 PM with a score of 3
Having had some time on my hands, and an empty office, I actually played this particular game about ten years ago, and it was a pleasure back then. It has been difficult for me to wait until now to comment on it, but naturally I did not wish to cause a time paradox, having meddled enough with literary endeavors.

But at last, you have published it, and I can comment. Naturally, there's some difficulty in your having revealed what I use my office for when office hours are slow, and the treasures I keep therein--I shall have to invest in more security, I suppose. But I suppose that your having peeled back the curtain a bit on my secrets will keep my courses fully enrolled, and that's for the best.

Your knowledge of what I do is spot on. Almost eerily so. You catch the bitter, *annoying* tone of Euripedes almost a bit too well, almost as if you were there, and I have the sense that you too must be caught up in my time adventures, Shadowdrake, that you must have been there as well. I would venture a hypothesis about you, but I would not wish to deprive the readers of your narrative, so I will remain silent for now, although have you could have known what I said to Natalie when she came to my office makes me wonder.

She, of course, was dreadfully jealous of Marie, but I explained to her that the past is the past, especially when it's the serious past, as with Marie. But I'm glad you didn't go into that business with Marie in any detail.

I do hope it does not affect the threads of time to tell you that the next four games in this series are top-notch--the one after that a bit weaker, I'm afraid--and then the one after *that* becomes the #3 game on the site.
-- Gower on 11/6/2019 6:15:16 AM with a score of 3
That was really fun! It's not really a storygame, what with the lack of branching and all that stuff, but it was still a fun read nonetheless. Thank you for writing this one!
-- JohnKL on 4/28/2021 12:26:54 PM with a score of 3
Well, I certainly really liked it. The writing was polished, and investigating the different historical periods was interesting. I think perhaps I might have enjoyed this a bit more if I had read through the works being discussed in this CYOA, that way I could relate to the references being made. But it was still an enjoyable read for someone unfamiliar with the pieces.

There was a little bit of coding involved, which (SPOILERS): allowed you to remember the time bandits chasing after you, regardless of which of the three paths you picked first. I also really enjoyed the twist in the true end, where (SPOILERS): I came face to face with my future self. That was unexpected, and interesting.

I do feel like a bit more suspense could've been added to the narrative. The bandits chasing after you offered this a bit, but I think more could have been done here. I also wish more background had been given on these pieces and historical time periods, for those not familiar with them . It may have helped me catch more of the references.

Overall, this is a relatively short (apx. 20 minute) read that was both well-polished and enjoyed. Good work.
-- Reader82 on 1/16/2020 4:59:03 PM with a score of 3
Of the various stories I've read from Shadow so far, this is certainly the best written. Is it the best storygame? Of that, I have some quibbles.

Certainly, the premise is very interesting: the "dour" college professor, feeling unneeded in his own time, goes hopping through history to bask fanboy-style in the company of his favorite authors. The original intent is just to meet these long-dead figures, but in so doing he becomes wrapped up in some adventure to help preserve some priceless literary treasure. Although I know nothing about the biographies of any of the three historical figures, I was able to follow along. Each was drawn well enough to make the story interesting.

There was enough of a basis for a story here to suggest several ways in which this tale could be greatly expanded. As currently written, each encounter with one of the figures comes across as a short episode, but obviously if we're going back to places like ancient Greece there is a lot of potential material to work with. The arrival of the time wraiths at the end of each chapter further suggests a much longer story.

But as a storygame, there is effectively no branching, just a series of advance-or-die choices, with each of the three main episodes looping back to the original "Office Hours" page. And the false endings are remarkably similar: upset the historical author and somehow erase that person's influence over all future literature, or fail to evade the time wraiths. Then the story resets, making this seem like a better-written but easier-to-beat story than "Inheritance House."

Like any story about time travel, the discussions on temporal mechanics will leave your head spinning. But I tend to doubt that the deletion of a single writer from the historical record would result in such devastating losses to the arts. For instance, losing one female poet doesn't mean no other woman would write again, or losing one Greek tragedian doesn't mean we would never know drama. This is like saying that if Thomas Edison fell off a cliff as a child, we'd never have light bulbs; in reality, the loss of one genius would just be an opportunity for another. Certainly, history would change, but the destruction to the timeline would need to be far more wholesale to shoot it as full of holes as suggested in this story.

In terms of writing quality, this was pretty good. There were a couple passages I could quibble with, but that's neither here nor there. I do want to point out a scripting issue on the "Office Hours" page, which the reader visits multiple times. I'm guessing most people are just skipping to the bottom of the page, thinking they've already read the text. However, it looks like the text is intended to change upon each reading, but what I observed was that the multiple versions of the same passage are accumulating with each loop.

In short, this is a smart and engaging story that I enjoyed reading. However, as a storygame the structure is nothing like the literal cave of time it describes.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 12/22/2019 9:27:21 PM with a score of 3
(Spoiler Warning!)

Wow! Shadowdrake, you absolutely crushed it like blew it out of the water. This story is impressive. You managed to the impossible to make an exciting time travel game by bending the rules and changing the format for that I am really proud of you. This story was outstanding and really interesting. I very much enjoyed it, and here is what I have to say.
The Grammar was perfect throughout the whole story. There were no grammar issues in the story that were noticeable or seemed to be.
Now let's get to the juicy stuff. The actual story itself was muy Fuego. I loved it, especially considering how hard it is to write an exciting time-traveling story. I loved the way you depicted the famous authors of the past so well. Personally, my favorite timeline was the Euripides one while Homer and Marie are not far behind. I like how you made each character have individual personalities, and you brought me into the story. There was maybe a glitch in the scripting you could enter into the final time travel place before you visited Euripides, but it ended in death, so there’s that.
This story, although being really good, had a lot of potentials. You lead a whole life with a family and a job, so I understand you can’t put all your effort into the stories, but this story's potential is crazy.
Each timeline could have been adventures where he spent hours to days in the timeline so Gower could get the token and then leave. That would leave you with more room for characterization and plot development. I think that would take the story to the next level from being a top 150 story game to a top 50 story game.

One thing I did feel was wrong in the story was the pacing. In all honesty, the pacing in the story was very quick. It was a lot of words to read, but because of the smaller amount of pages, it felt a lot faster than it actually was. But the stories have a lot of potentials, and they could have been expanded to an even larger story.
Overall, your story is terrific and has a lot of potentials. I loved the work you did and how you manipulated the concept. I especially liked the amount of references that only avid CYStia citizens would understand. Your story is an excellent fun story to read, and I’ll rate it a 6/8.
-- Davefaster on 11/16/2019 5:48:37 PM with a score of 0
It was a pleasure to play-test this game, and I'm glad to see snippets of any sort of minor criticism remedied in the final version.

Of course, there is the criticism of, upon drawing a tree diagram of this game, it would look very linear and symmetrical. Some stories aren't meant to have 30 different endings, but hardly ever should they follow a formula, in my opinion.

That being said, I enjoyed my several read throughs immensely, and liked your characterization of all three of Gower's favorite authors. It should also be noted that you're extremely prolific, and have been cranking out games that have been steadily improving since the very first one. So keep writing! 7/8
-- TheChef on 11/10/2019 4:46:33 PM with a score of 3
A very nice fan-fiction sort of game about Professor Gower and what he does during his 'off' hours. It is fairly linear, with the only branching there is either leading to death or moving on, so it reads a little more like a short story than a game save the parts where you can use inventory items. I like that the items have their own description, and the literary flavor of the story is great.

Some of the repeated description got old, but the time travel aspect was well done. There did seem to be a plot hole where one item that should have been 'lost' Gower still gets to take home.

It's pretty cool that now we have our own resident time traveling professor like Professor Chronotis in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

-- Camelon on 11/6/2019 10:59:53 PM with a score of 3
I enjoyed this story. While a lot of it went over my head, as I’m not that well versed in famous writers, I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was fun to read through and see all of these famous writers interact with Gower, on his amazing adventures through time. This story is made even better as it features a well liked forum personality as it protag. When you take a real person such as a famous author from a long time ago or fourm personality it makes people a lot more drawn to your work as they know of that person.

I also noticed that you could go into the last area before going into the third author's time. Not sure if this was a mistake or intentional, though figured I would point it out. Marie’s storyline was my favorite storyline, as I felt the most attached to her. I just liked it, and the fact that she can handle that goweri is from the future is great.

I have mixed feelings about the branching. On the one hand the branching exists, and that is nice, though it is pretty limited. The story suffers from trying to pack in 3 storylines that don’t affect each other into the game. Instead of one being super fleshed out, you have three that are sort of fleshed out. Though it wouldn’t have had the same impact as one, I just feel that the storylines feel underdeveloped.

In conclusion, I like this game. It does have some problems, though despite that it is a nice read. It has some decent length to it, and I feel that most will enjoy this story, especially if they frequent the forum or discord. I am between a 5 and a 6 on this one, though I’m not sure what to go for. Guess I’ll go up this time

6 out of 8
-- MicroPen on 11/6/2019 8:59:00 PM with a score of 0
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