SA Game Notes

This page is here to collect notes on various aspects of the game as it continues.

The Universe As It Stands

Right now we're at the default starting point. All the civilizations and societies from the main rules are still around, as well as the societies from Travelogue. The civilizations in Travelogue have been formally introduced only recently, and folks from the other side are still somewhat of a novelty in each other's spaces.

The characters are employees of the Patent Office.

Rules for Forum Play

Here are a few tricks we can play using the technology on the forum.

Whited-Out Text

You'll occasionally find parts of description that are whited-out. This indicates that only someone with specific Capabilities will be able to read them. For instance:

Two gangs of delinquents loiter around the town square. (Metatech 5 or Locality (Tao) 5: One of the groups is local, the other seems out of place.) In the center of the square is a fountain depicting a general on his horse.

Highlight the white text to read it. This is created with the following syntax: ##white| Write what you want in white here.## Obviously this works on an honor system. You cannot use Reserve to boost your scores for this purpose - either you have the tech and experience, or you don't.

During a conflict you don't have to post your full Capability or Profession scores. If you want to hide your full power, you can post a false score with a note that says Nano X / Meta Y, where X and Y are your own Nano and Meta scores minus two.

Diceless Rules

There are a few alterations that we're making to the rules in order to have the play-by-post game run more smoothly.

Difficulty Ratings

When you come up against an obstacle, there will be a difficulty rating for it, generally from 1-10. Sometimes these will be known; other times they will be unknown. Compare your score in an appropriate Capability or Profession to the difficulty rating, and use the following guidelines:

  • Less than the difficulty: Your efforts fail. You must spend one point of Reserve to try again, and you will need help or more Reserve in order to succeed. A Twist can wipe this away without the need to spend Reserve.
  • Equal to the difficulty: Your efforts succeed, but slowly and grudgingly, with some setbacks. Spend twice as long as you expected.
  • Difficulty +1: Your efforts succeed with some work on your part.
  • Difficulty +2: Your efforts succeed quickly and easily. Spend half as long as you expected.
  • More than that: Your efforts succeed immediately and almost effortlessly. Move the timescale one step down the standard Metatech chart (Year -> Month -> Week -> Day -> Hour -> 10 Minute -> Minute -> 10 Seconds -> Second), and you can spend one Reserve to move it down one additional step (but no more than that).

If your efforts succeed, you can spend one point of Reserve after the fact to move your success up to the next level. In all cases, the player may choose to narrate the resulting success or failure.

Extended Conflicts

Extended conflicts follow a specific pattern. Players set out their characters goals and starting commitment, then employ strategies, then settle the final outcome.

  • First Exchange: Lay of the Land. Each person in the conflict posts once. The post includes:
    • Some nice descriptive text.
    • The combatant's goals. These can be whited out with a Meta 5 note.
    • The amount of skill brought to the conflict. The skill should be a number from 1-20+, adding Profession and Capability together, with separate scores for Defense (or Escape) and Offense. Reserve may be spent at this stage to increase this number, but other modifiers should not be included. You don't have to post your full skill at this time; you can choose to lowball it. Post the real skill whited out with a Nano / Meta note (see the whiteout rules above).
  • Second Exchange: Strategies Employed Each person antes one point of Reserve and posts again.
    • Those wishing to Escape declare it at this time. Anyone with a higher Offense score than the runner's Escape score may post a reply simply stating "escape denied" (with a bit of descriptive text). Reserve may be spent only once on this mini-exchange - the attacker first, then the evader. Those who escape lose any spent or anted reserve.
    • Those wishing to Fold state it at this time, and lose any spent or anted Reserve. They acquiesce to their opponent's originally stated Goal. Opponents changing their goals have the option of turning down a Fold.
    • Those intending to "drill down" to a shorter-timescale conflict can do so now. This starts a new conflict. Any spent or anted Reserve from this conflict remains unavailable in the shorter-scale one.
    • Those still in the conflict post their revised Profession + Capability scores.
      • These should include any modifiers from the Types of Conflict section in SA (starting page 107), many of which make good fodder for descriptions.
    • Goals may change during this exchange.
  • Third Exchange: Final Efforts. Ante one more point of Reserve. Final posts.
    • Describe what you're doing, of course.
    • Folding is still an option; escape or drilling down are not. Folders lose any anted Reserve.
    • Final Profession + Capability scores, including any Reserve spent (but not anted Reserve).
    • Goals may not change during the final exchange.

The folks at the end of the third exchange who have a: points of Reserve remaining, b: a higher Offense score than their opponent's Defense score, and c: non-conflicting goals, are the winners. Winners of the conflict achieve their desired goal and may narrate it. They do not lose any anted Reserve. Those who lose the conflict without folding lose all their remaining Reserve in any Offense and Defense scores.

It's possible to have a non-definitive conflict, where two sides both have high Offense and low Defense (or vice versa). In such situations, add the two scores together for a single number and compare that instead, or just settle it out of the conflict.

((I'll figure out how to handle Subtle Conflicts when they come up. Maybe with a Nano & Soldier-based white-text post.))

Various Advantages

  • Core Values: These add directly to your Metatech score, as in the main rules. They do not add to any Professions.
  • Help: To help you, someone must have a score at least half your own (before any other modifications). Each person helping adds +1 to your score. You can't benefit from more than five people helping. Help comes in during the second exchange of an extended conflict.
  • Reserve: You can spend Reserve to improve your Capability or Profession scores on a 1:1 basis for the duration of one task. In extended conflicts Reserve can be spent at any stage, and is also anted at the beginning of the second and third exchanges.

Themes and Twists

Themes work basically as they do in the regular game. Players may choose to narrate the effects on their own, or turn it over to the GM. It is imperative to remember that Themes do not work on other players' characters without their consent!

As for Twists, every player starts with one Twist. Extra Twists will be handed out at specific points during the game, and excess Twists will be removed at specific points that will be announced ahead of time. In general, Twists will disappear at what seems like the obvious end of a story.

Rule Alterations and Errata

None so far. Check out the Errata part of the SA forums.

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