Kill or be Guild, CH6: Romanceslyvania
Let’s review my assets.
I own several properties: my one-room cottage, which during my recovery phase is more like an indoor swimming pool of loser blood, and a “robber’s nest” that in light of my personnel issues is technically neither. I have no money, goods, or rogues in my employ. My strategic cake reserve is depleted. I have some of my teeth and a couple hit points. I believe I have officially cleared out every score in town that doesn’t own a cannon.
Every crime I’ve attempted hasn’t worked, inexplicably didn’t pay anything, or was immediately punished with insuperable force. T-ball players steal more often, more skillfully, and for greater profit margins. I’m sure a practiced The Guildmaster could spin gold from my savefile, at least after a little bit of a run-up and some creative hex editing, but personally I’m running flushfuck out of ideas. I’ve read the manual back to front, done every tutorial, read every popup, and the only lesson I’ve learned is “don’t eat the free cakes everyone sends you.” The bitterest lesson of them all.
So with a heavy heart, I’m giving up my life of crime. There’s just no money in free money these days. I’ll have to turn a profit the old fashioned way: by seducing and marrying a wealthy heiress. Yes, get your bonbons and run a steamy bath: it’s time to learn the romance minigame.
As I believe I’ve mentioned, this game has a bedazzling suite of interpersonal options. I can hardly expect to find slash exploit my true love if I don’t know what the difference between “court,” “compliment,” and “beguile” is, and there’s no wise and gently uncomfortable parental figure to help me along. Guess I’ll just have to engage in a few sexy, sexy experiments.
Here’s candidate number one for my affections. I’m feeling pretty good about this one: we’ve had similar careers, and I’m pretty sure I made an impression on her while she was stabbing me into the fetal position.
I saunter up, as full of moxie and vinegar as I am void of oxygenated blood. I don’t want to be too forward, so let’s start things off nice and slow with “compliment.”
Taken aback by my suaveness, she delicately caresses my cheek at about six hundred miles an hour. And that seems to be the minimum level of forwardness I have access to. One might even call it “backwards.”
If this is the most prodigious tool in my workshop, I seem to be insufficiently endowed with charm. But hope springs eternal! And I’m literally not sure what else to do. Desperation also springs pretty indefinitely.
I discover that selecting the “court” option makes an icon appear only over the heads of eligible, love-hungry bachelorettes. I’m not looking for a one-night-stand (where’s the money in that?) so I can safely ignore anyone who comes up blank on my Wife Detector. Sad to say, options are scanty. Within the local single’s tavern I find exactly one: a serf named Marcia Porcher.
Let’s break this down. On the one hand, she’s a serf with no office or money. Unless she’s secretly a princess mingling with the commoners in a homespun, flatulent guise, that puts a fat chunky crimp in my “get rich through marriage” strat. On the other hand, she’s a rogue. This apparently means I don’t need to pay her compliments or dance, either of which I’m reasonably certain would end in lethal violence, and that she doesn’t want presents, which I emphatically can’t afford. It also means that hey, on the off chance this works out…free employee for my LLC! And isn’t that what matrimony’s all about?
Plus, let’s be realistic. I’m not the fattest catch on the market. I may as well focus my romantic efforts on a paramour who is—as the game denotes with breathtaking cruelty—“easy difficulty.”
I ask her if she wants to court, and she giggles and says yes. This apparently busts my entire romantic drive for the afternoon, because every relevant hotkey has plunged into hour-plus cooldown. Hm. That was, uh, kind of all I had going on today.
As I wander aimlessly through town, I stumble onto some green-hued rogues clogging an intersection. I’m not worried—they seem to have called off the gang war after my first two deaths—but I am intrigued by their racket. The short version is, I guess there is money in one-night stands.
Or more accurately, in soliciting fellows, offering them a “good time,” kissing them once, and briskly dismissing them, which is what happens over and over and in full view of the bailiffs. So it’s basically an open-air kissing booth? Oh, those roguish rascals.
Man, I should really check the wiki. Maybe some of these rich, horny townsfolk have a fetish for being clumsily complimented by a homely debtor. That’s almost like being a Borgia.
NEXT WEEK: THE BEGINNING OF THE END