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Scab Thread #1: Thatcherobics

Discussion in 'General Carnal Souls Discussion' started by Dolfuss, Mar 5, 2020.


Is there an alternative?

  1. No

    3 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  1. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Aug 10, 2016
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    Because no hardworking Carnal Souls forumer should be deprived of the God-given right to answer questions by the fickle, authoritarian whims of collectivist oppression!

    As a consumer, you can exercise your freedom of choice through any of the following Educational Videos™!
    * This selection is sponsored by The British Petroleum Company plc.

    Now that I've got your attention, here are a couple questions on my own. They're fairly open-ended so feel free to answer in long form; I've included my own replies to help stoke discussion.
    (These came to mind over the last week or two, so I'm not dipping into Larry's backlog. ;))

    How should language be used in erotic text adventures?

    I recently got back into CoC2, and while I have no complaints about the game design, I realized I've really been out of the loop when it comes to Fenworks' writing. Given the breadth of fetishes they're expected to accommodate, it's natural that different scenes will lend themselves to different tones: a headstrong working-class mercenary like Miranda (FoE) is going to be radically different from a dedicated breeder like Amily (CoC).

    But the BDSM has bled in here too, not just in how the writers seem to like painting the PC as a bit of a creep (take a shot for every "slut"), but also in the way they like to (over)use the sort of words a teenager thinks sound sexually self-empowering—and the sort that Literotica writer's guides warn never to use if you want anyone to take you seriously. Think "fuckstick", "man-meat", or my new favourite: "baby bag". I'm not asking for Shakespeare (or maybe I am; he's a master of sexual euphemism), but can we at least try to sound like we passed sixth grade?

    What is the optimal balance between character development and sex scenes?

    This has been touched on in answers to previous threads, but I don't recall it as a question in itself. The principal appeal of eRPGs is the e, but there's a fair bit of disagreement over how much of a veneer of personability a character should put up before offering sexy times. Following the LT blog, it's rather amusing how frustrated some people are that virtually all the main NPCs have a relationship/quest quotient before they're sexable; meanwhile I still find it jarring that you'll have just met someone in CoC2 and you're given a platter of hardcore scenes. Obviously no-one wants to wait too long, but as I said way back in Thread #2, sex with permanent characters should feel earned. Case in point: Gwyneth has a minor prereq for proper sex, but even before then you can pet her naked, and it's described as though you're intimates even if it's literally your first visit.

    MAIN (and only) QUEST (that you are most definitely not being coerced to perform):

    Reply to Thread 115.

    P.S. I still love you Larry <3
    Nechrom and Benji like this.
  2. Benji

    Benji Director Staff Artist Writer

    Apr 4, 2016
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    In a word, respectfully. That's just my opinion, of course, but by respectfully I mean with respect to the reader. A character calling a penis a 'fuckstick' is one thing, and speaks to that person's character, but the narrative itself using language like that tends to give the writing a juvenile tone, as you said. Not objectively bad, but not my taste.

    I think how you said it I couldn't improve upon much, really. It should feel earned, because if the player's willing to invest time into something they should get something back for that. They should also, when possible, be given the chance to invest that way.

    Good thread, Dolfuss. <3 Your poll made me giggle.
    Floppyantennae and Dolfuss like this.
  3. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Aug 10, 2016
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    Hopefully Larry's back by the 18th, or I'll have to start brainstorming the Reagan thread. :cool:
  4. WildRosey

    WildRosey Active Member Member

    Apr 27, 2019
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    i'm just gonna say one thing which i've drawn from the energy of my mind:
    *leftism noises*
    *need to read more theory owo*

    glad someone filled in for now, i hope to see everyone back and talking :(

    On tone, I really enjoy how different characters vary tonally. I really, have nothing, but positivity in that basic aspect.

    Now, on to BDSM. I like sub-dom characteristics, but I think it definitely feels odd to be included in every scene. What I would like to see in relation to sub-dom tones is just some kind of deeper characterization for the narration. I don't think that the personality system of CoC2 is enough to truly produce different elements of speech. I suppose, it would be nice to have a player character acknowledge that someone is hot, but not a slut. Yet, the player character could acknowledge that another character is a slut.

    Onto the weird language, ugh... I think there's definitely some weird feeling to the descriptive words we see. I get that people want to use different words, perhaps, but I definitely think it messes with the atmosphere of the whole world? I guess, hearing "fuckstick" or "man-meat" makes me feel kind of kookie. At the same time, it's that kind of language that makes the story and reading less serious.

    I suppose, for something like Carnal Souls, from what I can tell, the tone definitely feels more on the serious side(maybe I'm wrong). In my perspective, I don't see TiTs or CoC2 as urgent games. I can say that I see CoC2 as much more urgent, but high fantasy atmosphere gives even the more serious moments some warmth. To get to the important thing here, I think stuff like "fuckstick" is just silly. I kind of like it, but I also think it depends on the tone a writer is going for.

    As a patron of dark fantasy, I'd like to give some focus to a adult visual novel "Seeds of Chaos". Now, I haven't played it in a while, but when I did play it, I went through all the available content. The sex scenes didn't disturb the dark tones of the game, nor did they truly change it at all, but to be plain, I think it was just sexy.

    I don't know anymore, i've confused myself.

    Yeah, I think there's definitely a nice aspect to getting immediate sex, but I like the reward of actually getting somewhere with a character. I think that this problem is, as you said, really because of the culture around eRPGs. People are used to getting sex from cool characters, but I don't think it's out of the question at all that we could see more characters who actually require some effort put into them. For me, what's important is that if people do want to have some hardcore sex easily, you can do that. Maybe, that could be with characters who are majorly slutty. I think that might be a world problem also. eRPGs have very sexual worlds. It's gonna be hard to come across characters that will actually keep you from having sex with them.

    What if, the larger question is, how many characters that you would have to work to have sex with can exist in the world's of CoC and TiTs?

    To put it bluntly, I think there are three or four types of categories for people in a world where sex is much more casual:

    1. The closeted: It's a dumb name, but I kind of like it. This character is either incredibly shy or simply prude. Sex is either not important to them, or they're a virgin unconcerned with sex until they get to know someone they like. I'm not sure if this category actually works, but I think I actually want to focus on the prude more than the virgin: The prude, like the virgin, may not want to be interested in a romantic partner, but is interested in a very specific type of partner who they must get to know. A virginal character could be in another category, but simply a virgin.

    2. The romantic: Before you think, "one can be sexual and romantic though," let's just ignore that for this category. The romantic is exclusively focused on romantic relations before sex. This is the type of character in which you would have to work for their intimacy. A romantic character could be polyamorous, but still want to be more personal with a person.

    3. The platonic: This is a step up from the romantic, perhaps it doesn't even need to exist, but a platonic character functions similarly to the romantic, but in that all you need to do is level your trust with them. The platonic character could be very easy to reach sex with, or somewhat challenging. I feel like a lot of characters we see in eRPGs lie in this category, and are more on the easy side to become "personal" AKA a few dialogues. I think it would be cool to have tougher build-up in FWB-type characters. A platonic character could also be poly.

    4. The promiscuous: After reaching this category, I've come to the weird realization that a lot of poly characters are just bunched in with being the promiscuous type... I wanna see poly characters who aren't promiscuous -.-. Anyway, the promiscuous character category is definitely the umbrella a lot of characters fall under. I think that even though sex might be a very hyperfocus in these worlds, it is definitely possible to lower the promiscuous and convert them to platonic. Along with that, it's definitely possible that poly characters can still be very challenging in having sex with.

    Anyway, I think categories like the closeted, romantic, and platonic should be given more focus.

    Glad I responded,

    love yall <3
    Dolfuss likes this.
  5. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Aug 10, 2016
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    crap how'd I forget this one

    That's an interesting point. In CoC, Lethice has essentially already won, to the point that the Champion is written off as a ritual sacrifice, so it's no surprise hardcore sex permeates just about everything—lore-wise you're actively encouraged to indulge, since it's "inevitable" you're gonna lose anyway. CoC2 is a little different since Kassyra is actively catalyzing the sex cultists and you get a sense that the stakes are immediate, but again, there's so much innate lewdity to most of the principal characters already that it's hard to get a sense of how much of a crisis this is: "Oh damn, she wants to claim your soul? That's rough, mate!"

    Then there's TiTS, whose long arc is... beating your asshole cousin to the family fortune.

    The effect, as you say, is to dampen the sense of urgency and basically steer you into the sex. Which isn't necessarily a problem: LT does the same thing, with one key difference being the story starts on the down-low and everyone is basically going about their daily lives, so a casual attitude makes sense. Not to keep harping on the same point, but what makes Fenworks stand out in this regard is how the writers seem to conflate 'casual' with 'crass' = I've read a lot of smut in my life and while the stories might not be great, it is entirely possible to depict a hardcore scene without constantly disparaging the parties involved like some chad meme aspirant.

    Based on the Codex, CS looks to continue in this 'casual' trend, and as per Benji's post above intends to do so with a playful tongue-in-cheekness: irreverent, but not irrelevant. ;)

    It occurs to me, The Last Sovereign is (once again) a great example of having one's cake and eating it too. On the one hand, most of the sex is upfront since lore-wise it's how most of the girls are recruited into the party; on the other, the characters themselves span all four of your categories and for some sex is entirely incidental to the actual relationship. Simon himself is a clever deconstruction of presumed character tropes: at the start of the game he participates only grudgingly, but contrary to what that may imply, he is not some prudish virgin, and he is not inexperienced.

    The other thing TLS gets right that a lot of games barely even seem to register is intra-party relations. CoC had a couple scripted interactions between followers and CoC2 has some unique dialogue depending on which companions are present for certain scenes (I haven't played enough of TiTS to know what it does), but in TLS the girls have entire side stories between themselves, some of which even fold back into the main plot. With a nod to the "urgency" of story above, rather than divert attention, the sex is often a strategic component—as I've said before, "fucking someone into lucidity" sounds like a Silly Mode scene in the Feniverse... in TLS it damn near made me cry.


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