26th Jun 2020, 11:27 PM
Get some sip

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Get some sip
It occurs to you that you may be able to pick the lock on the chest.

Well, you can't, currently, but it's a thing to keep in mind for later. Kate probably knows how to pick locks, and even if she doesn't, you can always look up tutorials online. You probably need hairpins, or... a lockpick kit. Or something.

You leave the small office and head west. The lights are beginning to dim, you feel mostly drained, and you remember that the far corner room is absolutely packed with barrels. You open the door and, with... a little more time and effort than you'd like to admit, you finally manage to use your taped knife to pry one of the barrels open.


You take your helmet off.


You take a deep breath.


You listen closely. The only "I have a right to know" you hear is very, very far off, and very muffled.



Hesitantly, you take a very tiny sip of yellow wine.



The moment you swallow it, you are immediately overcome by the effects. Your mana is once again completely filled, all the torches in the area brighten up to their original levels, and for several seconds it is difficult to do anything except grit your teeth and hold the edge of the barrel. It's... almost as bad as last time. Both the nauseous, confused feeling, and the sharp burning all throughout your body.

You think about this. You have time, and it's not like you're getting anything else done for a moment. What the fuck is this sensation, and why is it still so dramatic?

These aren't your veins burning, for starters. You can feel them distinctly, the energy stabbing its way through you in a tangled, pulsing network but these are not where arteries and shit go. You're not a doctor, but this doesn't feel right. It's not blood flow, it's... something else.





Last time you drank a bunch; this tiny sip shouldn't hit you nearly as bad, but it does.

Both drinks (the big gulp and the lil sip) fully restored your mana.

There's the possibility that the wine in this barrel is more potent than the wine upstairs, but you find this unlikely. The barrels look identical, the taste is the same, it's the same shade of gold. Nothing suggests that this wine should be inherently different--and in real life that wouldn't mean anything, but if this were some sort of super wine the dungeon system as you have come to know it hence far would definitely label it or make it stand out somehow. You feel confident about that.

...But that leaves a lot of questions, up to and including what the god damn relationship is between

a.) the amount that you drink

b.) the amount of MP you recover

c.) the amount of pain/dizziness/sickness you experience afterward

because you just drank the tiniest amount, regained ALL your mana and felt what is in your experience a below average, at best, amount of suffering for it. What the fuck are wine mechanics

also why is your hidden talent for never receiving answers without also finding twelve more questions now extending to the fucking BARRELS, is nothing god damn sacred?

The worst of your mana sickness passes more quickly than last time, but a lesser version of it sort of lingers for a while.

Taking out your red pen (which has black ink), you draw a salamander with a 7 in it (like you did on the blood notes), and an arrow pointing toward the stairs, on the side of the open barrel. That way, if Cici passes through here she'll know which direction you went.

You draw another seven salamander and arrow combination on the two doors surrounding the stairs, both pointing inward to further clarify your route.


You take a moment to evaluate.

You have the taped knife, you have a torch, you have your armor, your ring, and your helmet and all your pocket stuff except for the house key...

you glance back down the hall, toward the corner room you just left.

You have a grudge against barrels.

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26th Jun 2020, 11:37 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
Juiced up, now to go down the stairs and see what fresh horrors await.
27th Jun 2020, 12:03 AM
27th Jun 2020, 1:14 AM
Lunar Waffles
onward, to the lower floor(s)! here's hoping there is a safe room between every floor. Fingers crossed! aka +1 (... i seem to be in a mood for the dramatic)
27th Jun 2020, 7:54 AM
Limrix
+1, ascending and descending are both huge themes in souls games, let's go down a floor and take stock of our surroundings.
27th Jun 2020, 9:52 PM
Frission
"Jacked up and good to go!"
27th Jun 2020, 12:08 AM
Welp, that's highly worrisome. I suspect we didn't get so sick this time because the mana drink had already made inroads into... apparently tunneling through our chi. So it had less tunneling to do the second time. Or, more mundanely, we're building up a tolerance. Still, that's probably not good. Let's try to avoid drinking the fancy pattern juice.

Anyways, onwards and downwards!
27th Jun 2020, 12:46 AM
Snervalton
I wonder if this energy network inside Plaire is what generates the dream dungeon, which is a projection of her psyche? That would explain why drinking the mana wine allows her to stay in the dream longer.
27th Jun 2020, 1:48 AM
IWILLDERPYOU
It might do stuff with lore like how opening up meridians brings out mental, spiritual, magical, and physical power. The design with the third eye is either cultivation stuff and similar lore, cthulu stuff, or a mixture of the two.
27th Jun 2020, 6:17 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
we might want to look into cultivation stories. could be useful, might not. might have some sort of application in regards towards mana efficiency.
27th Jun 2020, 7:48 AM
Limrix
While the effects of this potion are very useful, I'm afraid I'll have to agree. The yellow color and forceful opening remind me too much of the eldritch sky.

Continue to make use of OP strats to defeat monsters where possible and conserve mana.
27th Jun 2020, 12:11 AM
Snervalton
Maybe we should use the Do Not Reset tape from the knife to tie the door to the office so that it stays open for tomorrow night? That way we can use our house key to open the chest inside the office tomorrow night.
27th Jun 2020, 12:29 AM
Lapdragon
I'm more in favor of blocking the door open with the taped knife/sword and spending part of the day learning to pick locks from Kate, and just pack a lockpick set in our pocket (or the toolbox).

Next question: if we bring Kate, we probably can't bring the toolbox, as she's too small to carry the box like Cici does - if we bring Cici, we should rework the fightball pads so that she can hang onto us better.

For now, we should head for the Dadboss room, and work towards heading towards the castle, so we know which of them to bring tomorrow. Kate for fast and sneaky, or Cici for big and shooty.

Also, have we tested bringing anything out of the dungeon with us in the morning? Maybe we can somehow "do not reset" tape a little bit of the mana wine with us and bring it to Maria or the comic shop tomorrow to take a look at.
27th Jun 2020, 12:43 AM
Snervalton
I suggested that we tie the door open with the tape instead of using the knife as a doorstop because we might not make it back to the office tonight. That way we could be sure that the door stayed open and that we could keep the knife to use as a weapon.

I think if we ever choose Kate as an accomplice we should ask if we can use her backpack instead of the toolbox. In fact I'd suggest we do that from now on, whoever we may choose as our accomplice because the backpack wouldn't be as easy to lose the way we did the toolbox tonight.

-1 to heading back to the Dadboss room. We should investigate the triangle downstairs and try to activate the fast-travel system first. That may allow us to teleport directly to the candle room up there anway.
27th Jun 2020, 1:40 AM
IWILLDERPYOU
...Why not do both? Just tie the door open with the knife connected to it.
27th Jun 2020, 2:16 AM
Snervalton
I was thinking we would tie the door open because we might not make it back to the office tonight then keep the knife with us as we go explore downstairs, in case we need it as a tool/weapon later.
27th Jun 2020, 7:44 AM
Limrix
Kate has a backpack, which is better than a toolbox for carrying things. It would be good if we could get a backpack too, maybe see if Kate's mom has any hand-me-downs we could buy.
27th Jun 2020, 12:55 AM
LeRageFace5
Maybe the deal with the wine is that Plaire's mana pool is relatively small, at least compared to what is restored by the wine, and she didn't need to take a big gulp last time. Like, if she just had a sip of the upstairs wine, it would still have restored her mana to full, just like this wine.

Maybe once she starts eating better and stuff, getting healthier and having a larger mana pool as Morgenstern seems to be suggesting will happen, she will start seeing differences in the amount of mana different amounts of wine provide.

Also, just finished both BiM and MDA for the first time. Hi everyone!
27th Jun 2020, 1:04 AM
Lunar Waffles
hello! (new, now old blood) welcome to being caught up(!) and with it the unrivaled power of suggestion! (time for you to be able to influence the story like the rest of us ^-^ ) feel free to just say +1 if you agree to something, or even nitpick it(whether or not you agree to it), that often times helps refine ideas into better ones.
27th Jun 2020, 1:46 AM
IWILLDERPYOU
Alright. We have good stock of the situation. Some things to be aware of: 1, get something to contain mana-juice for later, so we don't have to walk back. 2,explore more, obviously. 3, we don't know if the dad boss stays dead for every playthrough, so we should keep that in mind. 4, keep the lookout for more candles, waypoints are going to be extremely useful, and we should probably hunt for more. 5, when we fade out, we should try fading out in a saferoom, and see if that still depletes our total. For now,let's leave the area with the tube monsters and explore, thinking about the above while doing so.
27th Jun 2020, 3:49 PM
Snervalton
+1 to fading out in a safe room.
27th Jun 2020, 1:52 AM
The drink is simply making Plaire more consciously aware of her composition in this medium, which thus far has been abstract. Mana sickness is just that awareness and its not agreeing with us.

Her abilities here depend on the jumble of subconscious suggestion and her association of this place as being a dream. The more real it gets, the less we may be able to do.

Worse, drinking enough may make us so aware of ourselves here that we don't have the cognitive dissonance needed to "wake up"

... Following from that. Check the note in the bedroom. I'm worried we might be burning through our "lives," which could be our ability to experience this place and still call it a dream.
27th Jun 2020, 2:03 AM
Come on, Plaire. Barrels are contructs. Embodiments of a gaming trope.
They don't collectively deserve a full-on grudge.

The barrel doesn't judge you. It holds mana liquor with weird side effects. It doesn't treat you like shit and spit the juice in your face.
You can respect that.
You can focus your negative energies on those who deserve it.

Finding Cici sounds like a more worthy goal right now.


... ok, maybe let some steam off on a single (1) barrel. Don't waste too much time on it, though.
27th Jun 2020, 3:09 AM
Small nit-pick: Shouldn't the Small Office square be shaded now that it's been explored (and an update to the description that it contains a locked chest)?

Mana-wine theory: Plaire's max mana is so low that small amounts of mana-wine fill it to full. Moreover, there's a mechanic in place that if you OVERFILL your MP, you get mana-sickness (which is the horrible feeling Plaire experiences).
This is based on a LOT of presumptions though, and the only way I can think of to really test the theory is for Plaire to be at death's door mana-wise and try drinking OR simply endure the dungeon long enough that a level-up mechanic might exist to increase max MP eventually. Addendum to the last idea: If the dream dungeon operates like a rogue-like (and given the whole resetting thing, there's every indication that it does), it might not be possible to test a level-up mechanic between sessions; only during single, long sessions.
27th Jun 2020, 8:04 AM
Hmm, that could also be it. Gotta find a way to level either in or out of there...
27th Jun 2020, 3:18 AM
Hari_Seldon
Off to the triangle room to unlock fast travel!

Keep the Do Not Reset knife in case we do not find a Heart Room. Do not use the knife to keep doors unlocked.
27th Jun 2020, 3:58 AM
27th Jun 2020, 3:57 AM
Add find magic and witchcraft stuff to learn when in the real world. witches used to live in the house and a vampire mayor wanting the house imply its a place of power, we better draw from it.
27th Jun 2020, 4:33 AM
...just a thought here, so far we know this dungeon has some connection to our past, right? The severity of the negativity of concept associations and memories and personal relations creating traps, trials, and monsters. Positive memories and concepts must also exist for us, right? Part of this dungeon exist beyond just us though, and that bit is leading toward a layout that defends against us, bumps up the difficulty slider. But it's leaning towards our concept of good game design, correct?

Please, just try something for me, even if you feel stupid after and nothing happens, this will test for something of extreme import. Find a decent spot to meditate, and do just that. Clear your mind, and focus on your status.... you just might get access to your stats screen and the menu that comes with it. The stats menu will tell you a lot about the core game your in, and any clues will help us right now. How many hundreds of RPGs do you have knowledge of to draw from?

It's not like you have anything to lose (cept maybe 5min).
27th Jun 2020, 5:28 AM
Lunar Waffles
probably best to do this in a safe room / checkpoint, it might also burn mana, so might need to get that mana cap upgraded, but if the next area is a safe spot, yeah, sure +1
27th Jun 2020, 6:05 AM
pkrankow
The office is pretty safe. A safe room is probably better. +1 to a brief meditation attempt.

I think Plair still needs to try to use her ID on the locked chest.

However Cici is missing, and presumed flying to the end of the sewer, so onward and downward is ultimately necessary.
27th Jun 2020, 7:36 AM
Limrix
I think I would only feel comfortable doing this in a heart room, since the bon-bons can travel through the walls.
27th Jun 2020, 9:57 AM
Could her ID show her stats in the dram. I don't remember her bringing it into the dream before
27th Jun 2020, 10:06 AM
pkrankow
It is listed in the journal under pockets
27th Jun 2020, 4:35 PM
Snervalton
+1 to meditating the next time we find a heart room. Also +1 to checking our ID in the dream, just in case it is any different in here.
27th Jun 2020, 5:17 PM
27th Jun 2020, 5:48 PM
27th Jun 2020, 6:51 PM
Lunar Waffles
+1 to ID check, if that doesn't work maybe next time we can bring in a blank DnD character sheet?
27th Jun 2020, 4:18 PM
+1. I meant if we brought it into the dream it might show plaire her own stats and thanks for pointing out the journal for me.