Lying FF intro's(semi-rant)

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darksoul
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Lying FF intro's(semi-rant)

Post by darksoul » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:19 am

Alright, something unexpected came up in my discussion with you all about my WOFTM game.
I went back to check the WOFTM gamebook and learned there is a deliberate lie about the mission objective. So I'm going to explain why this is a big deal to me. You guys might notice that I mention Chasms of Malice often. There's a good reason for that, I studied and played the hell out of that book to run an AFF story in the Dark Chasm. I love and hate that book. It frustrated the hell out of me because of something in the intro. It frustrated me so much that I mapped out out EVERY(Iadd expletives here) possible choice in that story. EVERY (Add explitive) ONE! I think the book left me with PTSD. I have 4 pages of story mapping to prove it. I did that to prove to myself that Author didn't do a mistake and that I could find the proper path. For years I've thought it was an error in the story or that the author had to change the book midway. After going back to WOFTM and seeing another "error" I'm now convinced that the FF books(well these two) lie to the player/reader. I don't mean lie due to a character who is intentionally misguiding you. I mean "lies" given as "facts" as part of your mission.
I have only now discovered this. I'm not sure I have ever seen this done in other games. This has really shocked me.

Now, 2 things,
Do you recall any other book that have done this?
Have you ever put something like this your stories :twisted: and how did it go?

If you need more detail on the examples then I'll fill you in. I'm thinking that I should avoid being "spoilerish"

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Dawndeath
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Re: Lying FF intro's(semi-rant)

Post by Dawndeath » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:59 pm

I don't think you need to worry too much about spoilers - these books have been out long enough by now. And it would certainly help to know details in considering the situation you're talking about.

Even without knowing details though, I'm fairly confident there was no intention to deliberately or maliciously mislead. It was probably just oversight - a plot point got changed part way through the writing of the book, and some details got missed in going back to make corrections to already-written portions. It's difficult enough keeping things straight in writing a regular book; throw reader choices and multiple paths into the mix and I'd be genuinely surprised if at least one mistake or inconsistency didn't creep in. Frustrating for the reader, yes, especially when you have put in as much effort as you did analysing Chasms. But from having worked in a bookshop and talked to many authors about their books, I know it's almost a cliché among the writing community that no matter how much effort you put into writing a book, having it proofread and edited multiple times, finding every last mistake, the first thing you see when you open the first copy of the published book is... a mistake.

But like I said, it would help to know the specifics of what you're talking about.

darksoul
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Re: Lying FF intro's(semi-rant)

Post by darksoul » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:35 am

You make a valid point about spoilers, Dawndeath, and I thought the same thing before about the writing, I'm not so sure now. I'll give you the specifics.

In WOFTM, the narrating introduction specifically states that you need "2" keys to open the Warlocks Treasure. It's possible that this is an error except that I know both Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone had done test runs of the book & went back to make changes. They were pretty meticulous on the book material before they released it.
In Chasms of Malice, Astragal the wizard tells you that you must destroy ALL of the Khuddam before defeating Orghuz and the Malice. It's not possible to do this.
Instead, by the time you've gotten to Orghuz you can only have killed 1-4 of the Khuddam iirc. It's possible to kill Orghuz and the rest of the Khuddam indirectly in 1 blow if you picked up the clues.

The books intentionally mislead you on the facts they provide. You can still accomplish the missions, but when you get to the Warlocks chest and realize you need 3 keys, not 2 or you get to Orghuz and realize that you haven't killed the rest of the Khuddam, you end up worried about the outcome of the adventure.
That has value to me as a storyteller(and makes me question my trust in any FF book narration forevermore lol). Making players get to the end and think "we might be in trouble" is a powerful story element.

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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Lying FF intro's(semi-rant)

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:29 am

It's certainly mean for the designer to put something misleading in the intro, but to be fair the mention of two keys in WoFTM is in a section called Rumours! :)

For Chasms of Malice, at least you can rest easy that you've proved it wasn't true so no one else has to. Maybe Astragal believes what he says, and he's just wrong. Or maybe it is true but not the whole story. So it was a way to defeat Orghuz, just not one that circumstances made possible in the game, and not the only way. But rationalising it doesn't stop it being mean.
Last edited by SkinnyOrc on Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dawndeath
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Re: Lying FF intro's(semi-rant)

Post by Dawndeath » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:46 pm

Yes, those sound like errors due to alterations of the plot. Like I said, it happens more often than not that no matter how carefully a book is checked for mistakes, one inevitably slips through.

I think if the deception was intentional as a plot point, mention should have been made of the discrepancy between information given and reality. That would show the reader that it wasn't just an error. Failing to refer to an intentional discrepancy would either demonstrate poor writing, or - as has been said - a mean author.

I think misleading information can be a very powerful plot device, but the reader / player needs to know that it's not just a mistake. You want the reader / player to question the in-world information, not question the author. That only serves to remove them from immersion in the story, and that should be the last thing any author wants.

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