The Trials Of Codex - A Guild Choose Your Own Adventure Novel

alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
edited June 2014 in Community Creations

So a few months ago I foolishly promised to post something original on these forums, and because I would feel anxious posting something that wasn't directly G&S related, I ended up with this. I can't promise hi-quality writing, or perfect play balance, but if you're a fan of The Guild, then you MIGHT enjoy the odd line or two*.

(*And people say there's no truth in advertising.)

THE TRIALS OF CODEX - GOOGLE DRIVE LINK (Updated - 27/3/2014)

THE TRIALS OF CODEX - DROPBOX LINK  (Link Updated - 25/6/2014)

Note: The internal hyperlinks (blue text) do not function during basic on-screen reading. This does not prevent play, but does make it slightly awkward. If you are happy to download the document, then you'll end up standard 1.5MB PDF that retains fully functioning links throughout. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes :-(

 

After a night of schmoozing and boozing at San Diego Comic Con, you wake to find yourself in a new land.

A land where the locals insist on calling you Codex, and proclaim that you are chosen to free them from the hate filled grip of the Troll King.

With the aid of magic unbidden, and a motley band of heroes known only as the Knights of Good. You must overcome dastardly traps, fiendish puzzles, and terrifying monsters in order to liberate The Land.

Will Felicia overcome her foes, and make it back home in time to feed Cubby?

Only YOU can decide.

 

- Fully Hyperlinked* 330 page PDF. (*Download Only)

- 431 Numbered sections leading to 29 possible endings.

- Appearances from most major characters from season's 1 through 6, and a number of other faces who may prove familiar.

- Simple, original rules system using nothing but a pair of d6. Choose your spells, and later choose your guildies.

- Battle monsters, dodge traps, solve fiendish math puzzles, experience multiple mini-games, and enjoy the "Awesome" poetry.

- Estimated play time: 30 mins - 2 hrs*

(*This is extremely speculative, dependent on choice of route and speed of reading. Given that the entire playtest team is me, and that I know the rules reasonably well, its difficult to assess how long it will take to learn at first. I would imagine 2 hours is enough time for a full run-through, and that subsequent Part 2 runs should be possible in about 30 mins or so. Maybe?)

If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, corrections, or hate filled rants about how much they wish I was dead. Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

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Comments

  • torontogaltorontogal Member, Moderator
    @AlanAlmeria - Ohmigosh! - I recall you making some references to the existence of this, in previous forum-posts.  It's so cool that you actually posted it - you have such an articulate writing style and a witty sense of humor, and thus when I can carve out some time, I'm excited to read through this!  I used to love those old-school Choose You Own Adventure books, and you have such a great handle on The Guild characters - so I'm sure this will be awesome!

    For now, I just wanted to commend you for sharing something you've worked so hard on - as you hinted at above, it takes a lot of courage! :)
  • @torontogal isn't very effective with hate-filled rants, so you'll have to settle for boundless enthusiasm and encouragement, I'm afraid.  

    I've played through once, and enjoyed myself quite a bit.  You did a great job capturing the voices of the Knights of Good, and a really impressive job layering all the options, advantages and risks into a balanced adventure.  I left the Land in the capable, if tipsy, hands of Queen Clara, and can only hope that King Wiggly has some ameliorating influence on her irresponsible side.  

    I came within a hair's breadth of defeat at the hands of Fawkes, in the battle for the Staff of Codex, after pulling all the wrong chains and failing a few speed rolls.  My only healing spell netted me an "awesome" +1 health roll, so I was very happy when I leveled up and was healed to full life as we shifted into Part 2.  

    I ventured south, impressed the Templars with a holy smite spell, and came through the dreamlands with a super-pissed Tink who now dealt 4 points of retaliation damage.  She took out the first round of the Axis pretty much by herself.  As for the Troll King, I guess the Spirit of Fawkes had a surprisingly effective boost to my dice, because I took that green blob down hard and fast.  I had no spells left, by then, so most of his special abilities were irrelevant.  Never go against Codex, when death is on the line.  

    Seriously impressive work, @alanalmeira!  I started out on my iPad, but the google version I opened didn't scroll well, so once I got into Part 2, with bigger jumps between sections, I switched over to my PC to finish the story.  I didn't know which version would be more accessible, so I just picked the first one.  Much easier to scroll through the pages on the PC, but the blue text links at the end of each section did nothing.  It looks like they're meant to zip you directly to the section they describe?  I don't know if it is possible to have an index with the section headings, in place of the page index, but that might be a quicker way to navigate.  

    I'm curious enough to go back and choose a different route another time.  :}
  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
    edited March 2014 PM

    Thanks @Farlander for the awesome feedback. Do you mind if I ask roughly how long it took you to play through? I was kind of worried that it might take forever, but your reply seems to suggest that it wasn't that bad.

    Re the Technical Issues -Yep it seems both Google Drive and Dropbox, remove the hyperlinks for onscreen viewing !!!! Stupid human technology. Both sites do have the option of downloading, which takes about 3 seconds and leaves you with a bog standard, 1.5MB PDF document, that retains all of the internal hyperlinks. I imagine that would also help out with your iPad. (I assume it has a PDF reader of some type, either Adobe Reader or something else such as iBooks.)

    Of course that does mean making people download TTOC which I was hoping to avoid :-(

    I'll look into the options on both platforms, and maybe I can find some way to add the hyperlinks back in?

    As for the gameplay, your review makes me kind of hopeful, I was worried that things may end up being far to easy, but it looks like you had a few scrapes on the way, not to mention the help of a super overpowered Tink :-)  

    @TorontoGal thanks as always for your ridiculously kind words, you always do such a good job of making me feel better about my lousy, poorly written posts :-)  Of course given that the eventual aim is to give a hard copy of this to Felicia, I don't consider it to be hard work at all <3

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

  • I didn't notice exactly when I started playing, but I'd guess I spent around 2 hours? Some of that was slower navigation on the iPad and then a short break before starting part 2 on the PC. Next time, I'll try downloading and see if it goes quicker using the links. Oh, and for the first playthrough, I took a little while writing out the stats and spells for handy reference, as well as finding some six-sided dice. It'll be quicker starting out, the second time.
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    Oh wow, that looks brilliant on first glance! I hope I'll find the time to play a little tomorrow and have some comments for you later. :-)
    If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

    I try to attack ideas and not people. If I fail, let me know. You may be wrong but I still love you. ;-)

    G+: https://plus.google.com/+DanielWallace/
    twitter: @evildanwallace
  • Second playthrough, just under 1 hour.  I chose differently at just about every opportunity.  Despite making seven consecutive successful speed checks throughout the adventure, I perished in the mountains (presumably) after the Troll King slaughtered Cubberus in two blows.  Section 389 doesn't seem to have a final chapter linking to it; there's a link for if you defeat the Troll King, but no follow-up text or link if he wins, which he totally did.  The whole sequence starting with the avalanche is pretty grim, and I made my speed check.  I managed to handily defeat a goblin, Goraknesh the spider, a group of brigands, Kwan, a pair of Fae bridge guards, Fawkes, Gruel the Ogre, and some Hags, but the avalanche crippled me despite all my quickness and left my fate in the paws of an elderly, three headed hound from the animal rescue shelter.  He just wasn't up to the fight.  :(

    I was able to download the story on my iPad using the dropbox link, and then open it in iBooks, at which point it worked flawlessly in terms of the links.  
  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
    edited March 2014 PM

    @Daniel_Wallace don't be fooled by the flim-flammery, make sure to keep your expectations low. Like Marianas Trench level low. (Wait, Marianas is in the dictionary for this site... wow.)

    @Farlander Awesome to hear that the hyperlinks are working fine, though it does make the fact that the default online reader fails to identify them a little bit more annoying.  Good to see that your overall playtime was well down as well. Its probably due to working links, and the fact that the rules are so simple to learn, that aside from the odd mini-game or special quality, its all in your head now. That should make it possible for non-gamer guildies to play, which was kind of the idea.

    You're also at the point now where you can basically jump straight in at part 2. You've likely seen the majority of part one now, and I don't think the writing is good enough for people to want to revisit the same sections time and time again. On the other hand, 25-30 mins to run through a utterly/mostly new part 2, sounds a little more plausible.

    Re 389 you're right, I've treated it as a "standard death", but because of the proxy nature of the fight, I can understand why you would want an ending section. Not sure what I would write, describing Felicia being beaten to death by the Troll King would fit the nature of the line, but I'm pretty sure that's something I don't want to do. Maybe she can wake up to find Cubby taking a shower, and that it was all just a dream.*  

    (*That's a Dallas reference for everyone under the age of 30.)

    In terms of the grim nature of the line, its not surprising that happened. Whilst writing in second person is interesting, there are times when I just want to start doing normal narrative, and more often than not the things I write tend up being slightly dark.

    PS: I'm kind of mind blown by the fact that you've wasted about 3 hours of your life on this. Just think in that time you could have cured cancer, or solved world hunger. Boy do I feel bad now.

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    Alan, maybe you should see it this way: Farlander could also theoretically have spend these three hours watching FOX News. So, you basically saved his life. ;-)
    If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

    I try to attack ideas and not people. If I fail, let me know. You may be wrong but I still love you. ;-)

    G+: https://plus.google.com/+DanielWallace/
    twitter: @evildanwallace
  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
    @Daniel_Wallace, I don't know, there's always something entertaining about having the chance to exclaim: "What did FOX say!?"

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

  • You know, I thought about curing Cancer, but there would still be eleven other horoscopes to plague us, so why even bother? :}

    How many hours did you spend making the Trials of Codex, @alanalmeira? Time enough that you could have folded a thousand origami cranes, gained a wish, wished for the time-traveling DeLorean from Back to the Future, revved it up to 141.622 kilometers per hour, driven back in time to 2007, moved to California, and finagled your way into the original production of The Guild, season 1! So think about that! Actually, while that would be awesome for you, I'm glad you wrote the Choose Your Own Adventure book instead, because now there's more cool Guild stuff in the world.
  • You know, I thought about curing Cancer, but there would still be eleven other horoscopes to plague us, so why even bother?

    OMG that's an hilarious quote. Can I add it to my signature? Fully attributed, of course.
    New to the Forum? Check out our Forum Guidelines | Introduce yourself here! | Join the G&S Community Online Game Night!

    You know, I thought about curing Cancer, but there would still be eleven other horoscopes to plague us, so why even bother? - Farlander
  • @Molokov, consider it yours. Your lucky numbers are 16, 43, 9, 77, and c.
  • I just DL'd it... looking forward to giving it a read through!
    image

    Website: TheJerd.com
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  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator

    @TheMightyJerd thanks for joining the party, I hope you enjoy your quest, and if not, well I still had a lot of fun scribing it :-)

    @Farlander sadly based on the results of a quick Google search, it looks as though I could have crafted 10k cranes in the time it took to write TTOC. On the plus side I can't imagine wishing for anything other than making Felicia smile, and TTOC has a chance of doing that for maybe 2-2.5 seconds. That's assuming she doesn't do anything rash, like say try to read it.

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
    edited August 2014 PM

    @Zuffy Whilst I feel strongly obligated to not recommend that course of action. Now that you've drawn this abomination to the surface, in order to taunt us all before exploding. I will take a moment to thank @Farlander for his earlier comments, which resulted in the addition of a new 29th ending and a slightly uneven 431 overall sections. (I also reshuffled the last handful of sections, to avoid the new ending being section 431 - mainly because if its at the very end, some people might mistake it for the "official" ending.)

    I updated all the relevant links at the end of March, yet somehow forgot to post about it at the time :-?

    As to Felicia, who you so graciously tagged*, given that the introduction to the print edition began will me specifically asking her not to read it, I'm going to hope that she hasn't.

    *An act that hasn't made me at all anxious FYI

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

  • You know, I kept seeing this in your sig I meaning to check it out.  I just downloaded it.  Looks like fun!! :)
  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
    edited August 2014 PM

    So lets take this point by point:

    @Zuffy - I'm enjoying it so far!   Give it time.

    a certain way of describing the effects of taking damage making it feel awful  Actually that's a compliment I'll take. Because I'm not great at writing perfectly detailed combat sequences, I tend to focus on making sure the reader can feel the pain. It works great initially, but can become somewhat de-saturated after a while.

    I've had to use google translate Its not cheating, how do you think I wrote it? Besides it doesn't make a huge difference, its just a way of referencing the show. Putting a huge plot point behind a foreign language would be almost as cruel as putting the best spell in the game behind a HORRIBLY complicated math sequence :-)

    As for tagging feliciaday, well, I do like to help  Gee thanks.

    Just arrived at section 330 To clarify, this is the one section where my bad writing is thematically correct.

    various sources of bias.  This x1000

     

    @Ayzil there's still time to save yourself. Fly you fool. Fly....

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

  • torontogaltorontogal Member, Moderator
    edited August 2014 PM
    @AlanAlmeria and @Zuffy - I know that Alan is self-deprecating as always, but it would be really cool if Felicia ended up reading through his work!

    I guess the tricky thing is a lot of writers take a cautious approach to fan-fiction, for legal reasons.  The following is not a quote from Felicia, but it's a stance that a lot of writers end up taking...

    Given the potential land mines that fanfic presents, most authors adopt a don't ask, don't tell approach. They can't safely grant permission to write in their worlds or admit that they've read fanfic pieces based on their worlds. This is the approach that Patty is taking. If you want to write a story in her world, you'll have to do it without official permission. If Patty happens to read it, and thinks it's the best thing ever written, she can't write to tell you so. It's not because she doesn't like you or your work, but because it's legally risky, and she has to protect her ability to write and play in the worlds she's built.

    I'm not sure what Felicia's official stance is on fan-fiction - knowing her history, I'm sure she'd be honored and flattered that people love her characters enough that they'd create new adventures for them, etc.  And I'm sure she was touched by @AlanAlmeria's kind gift.  But if she decided to take a peek at the story itself, she may not be able to *say* that she did, for the sake of legal tip-toeing :)

    Switching gears - back when the story was originally posted, I think I was off in a hotel in the United States, somewhere.  So I happily downloaded it and started reading through it, only to realize that I wouldn't have the necessary dice!  Stupid poorly stocked hotel room, lol.  So like @Zuffy, I need to spend some time on a revisit, as @AlanAlmeria is a fantastic writer, and I know this was a labor of love :)
  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
    edited August 2014 PM

    @Zuffy

    I will never see... lock-picking... the same again. :D     LOL

    I think your definition of a 'clear pattern' is a little off...hmm.  Yeah, self testing puzzles turned out to be one of the hardest parts of the creation process, and that one is probably the most complex of them all. Knowing exactly how many data points people will need to see the pattern was basically impossible, and given that the number of guesses they have varies based on which piece of poetry they saw, means it was always going to end up a little potluck-ish. Still based on your ending you managed to guess correctly.

    EDIT: Go Vork!  What no sympathy for the Champion of Might?

    Ooh, ending 1/29!  Yay a good ending, and one inspired by a certain special brand of YouTube commenter,  :-) 

    alanalmeria If I tweeted the link to this would you favourite it?  Given that the only thing I do on twitter is favor things its a possibility. But given that the only people who would be interested are already on this forum, it seems like a total waste of time.

    Also, write another one!  Its not impossible that there may be outlines for Fall of Knights, and Return of the Queen sitting on my hard drive right now. However given that TTOC took basically a year to write, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit and playtest. It might take a while. (Though Fall of Knights is intended to be a series of shorter stories occurring simultaneously around The Land, and could therefore be released in seperate sections.) Even though TTOC was designed to standalone, you can't be a sci-fi/fantasy writer without including potential sequel tags, and there are several things left hanging or hinted at across the various storylines. In fact based on your ending number, I'm fairly sure you have no idea how the villain actually arrived in his current location. (Yay for spoiler free/confusing comments)

    @TorontoGal whilst I appreciate the sentiments and comments, summed up beautifully as always :-). I can't help but hope Felicia avoids reading it, not because of any potential copyright issues, but simply because of how little free time she has. She already gives far too much of herself to her work and to the community, that the possibility that she might waste some of the limited free time reading this is a pretty repellant notion. And yes that does make me a gigantic asshole for creating the book, and then giving it to her. But everyone here already knew that right :-D

    Fortunately the reasons you gave, the letter I included asking her not to read it, and simple common sense, dictate that she won't read it. Which is one of the reason's I made sure that it looked awesome, that way she won't be embarrassed having it sitting on a shelf somewhere.

    (Plus if she's not prepared to read the Penny/Bad Horse fanfic she was given, why would she ever consider reading an inferior work?)

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

  • alanalmeriaalanalmeria Member, Moderator
    edited August 2014 PM

    @Zuffy

    1) Phew! Crisis averted

    2) I considered using a clock face, but having numbers linked to other number seemed even worse. Up, Right, Left, Down, Might work. But Up Up Right - sounds a little weird, especially in context 8-)

    3) :-)

    4) Its your choice, however there's about another half dozen routes through part 2, and I think only 2-3 of them will give you an answer. That's assuming you don't find new questions :-)

    5) Can you imagine the conversation - "Hi Felicia, thank you for being such an wonderful positive person, for changing my life for the better, and inspiring me to create. Here have this story where you share intimacy with a horse."

    Love The Guild and/or Choose Your Own Adventure Novels? Then make sure to check out The Trials of Codex.

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