Jun 23, 2021 7:49 PM
Bella is an otome villainess
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"...okay, but I can also beat Alpha Centauri, and she will not be playing specifically Alpha Centauri."

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"True, she won't be better than you at Alpha Centauri. I can say that as a general category, even, she won't be better than you at things that would never come up in this universe."

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"Why is my admirer reliably into me and not her if she's so great?"

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"I...don't know. Maybe they have a history and she was less great when she was younger."

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"Arguably people's entire personalities are about what skills they can deploy and how reliably and effectively they can do it, am I going to be duplicating myself or - finding some oddly kindred spirit out there, or -"

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"That is a good question and I don't know the answer to that one either. To be fair, it does sort of seem like your central skills are more personality-centric than most people's, it doesn't usually...come up." 

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"Can I, like, conditionally take flaw-perk pairs and then not take them according to some conditions."

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"...Give me an example."

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"I can't actually think of a situation where this would make sense but I might if it's a thing I should bother thinking about. Like, I take an extra minion and Anything You Can Do if and only if this will have the result that moon-princess uh, shares my values generally, or something."

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"I think that would work but I can't promise in advance that this will definitely work for arbitrary perk-flaw pairs."

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"So I should be comfortable with the default, okay. I guess I will suck up the personal aggravation, take the flaw, get the extra personality-filtered minion. Bonus maid, promoted admirer, classmates, sort of torn between an AI and a magic cat or something."

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"Less strictly useful non-minion forms of the various minions are available," she remarks. "Not taking a maid minion wouldn't mean you didn't have any maids; not taking a Classmates minion wouldn't mean you couldn't befriend your classmates."

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"Fair enough. I may or may not get a magic cat by some less narrative route. Maid admirer classmates AI. Plus Equal Friend who doesn't count as a minion."

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"Right, Equal Friend and Extra Minion are completely separate perks." 

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"Okay. Do I have preliminary decisions in for everything, now, or is there more?"

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"No, that's everything."

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"Okay. Guess it's time to study up.

Can I leave myself - Easter eggs?"

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"Easter eggs? Uh, I think so, but expand on that?"

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"Well, there's gonna be fictitious precursors, with records, which could include, say, locked files that respond to my authorization even though if they were real there'd be no reason for them to do that. The game instance would be stuff in the software files that doesn't actually influence gameplay, or pops up as an extradiegetic 'making of' factoid. Who is going to be moved to make this game, anyway?"

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"Ah. Hm...I can't do 'will recognize and respond to you,' but I can do 'happen to have passwords which you determine and therefor know."

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"That works, yeah." Deep breath. "How many universes are there?"

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"Uh...a lot. There is a very real sense in which trying to count all of the universes that exist in all of reality everywhere would be a project akin to trying to count all the grains of sand on a planet Earth in scope and futility even to us."

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"Oh boy. How many does your boss have - remit over -"

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"To the best of my knowledge, the organization to which I belong has presided over the creation of several tens of thousands but less than a hundred thousand universes. My boss tends not to pay them much attention once they've played out as much story as he's interested in, though." 

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"And ones you guys can funnel from, like mine?"

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