The First Dynasty of JonathanDark
December 6, 2022 - January 9, 2023
You wake up, as if from a dream. You can't remember where you came from or how you got here, or where here even is. After blinking a few times, you see that you're in a dimly lit room that you don't recognize, and you're lying on the floor. The light comes from a pile of flashlights in the center of the room. Around you are other people you've never seen before, also lying on the floor and apparently in the same confused state as you. Before you have a chance to say or do anything, a disembodied voice speaks with a low rumbling tone:
Welcome to Banewood Mansion. It's been a long time since we've had guests here. I've been quite lonely since they...departed. But now you're here. Please...do pick up a flashlight and have a look around. I think you'll find the rooms of this house quite interesting. They may even take your breath away. However, do not think of leaving. It is impossible to do so until I've judged you worthy. Furthermore, only one of you will be so lucky. The rest...well, the ones who don't make it might just become a permanent addition to the "entertainment" you'll find here. Enjoy your stay!
The voice ends the last phrase with a long echoing laugh that fades away into the dark recesses of the house.
The dynasty's theme shall be "Banewood Mansion"
Repeal all dynastic rules except the rule "Grillin'"
Change Proprietor to Narrator and Group to Explorer
Change the gamestate tracking page to "Banewood Mansion"
Set the Special Case rule "Dynastic Distance" to Active. Leave all other Special Case rules at their current values.
This dynasty is inspired by the board game Betrayal at House on the Hill, which is about exploring a haunted house and surviving the horrors within.
I like the idea of mentioning Imperial Styles, so for this dynasty, mine will be: Guide, Protective, Powerhouse, Scam-Neutral, Guarded, Methodical
The following players were active at the beginning of this Dynasty: Benbot, Brendan, Bucky, Darknight, Habanero, JonathanDark, Josh, Jumble, Kevan, Raven1207, SingularByte, Snisbo, Trapdoorspyder
The following players were active at the end of this Dynasty: Benbot, Bucky, Chiiika, Darknight, Habanero, Janet, JonathanDark, Josh, Kevan, quirck, Raven1207, SingularByte, Trapdoorspyder
Posts of Interest
In which the basic shape of the game was constructed.
- Starting in the Foyer (JonathanDark): Defined a general network of rooms, a drawn map of them, and a turn-based dynasty with two phases
- The Spirit of Katastrophe (Josh): Created "the spirit of an ancient demon" which could possess a single player
- Spooky Grid Action (Bucky): Put the map onto a north/south/east/west/up/down grid of nodes and allowed players to move in a direction each turn by publicly declaring
- I'm Right Behind You (Kevan): Allowed players to submit secret "ploy" moves which would override their public ones
- Hello Darkness My Old Bro (Josh): Made some rooms dark
- Exit Light, Enter Night (Josh): Gave some rooms "Malfeasances" - malevolent and secret actions which could be performed in the dark
- Do You Love Cats (Quirck): Created the Black Cat, who would wander at random around the mansion
- The House of Katastrophe (Kevan): Transferred some abilities (creating rooms and items, moving the Cat) from the Narrator to the player (if any) who was possessed by Katastrophe
- Connective Tissue (Josh): Completed the possession mechanic: if the Black Cat found a player alone, Katastrophe would possess them.
- Identical Reproposal (Bucky): Allowed players to attempt to discover new rooms by walking into apparent walls
Although the majority of players did not yet know it, a player was now possessed by Katastrophe.
- The Hands of Fate (Kevan): Removed a leftover Room creation ability from the Narrator, leaving only the freedom to create secret passages
- Piece It Together (Bucky): Created the victory condition, which hinged on collecting three Fragment items
- Cold Iron (Kevan): Made new items appear at random rather than by Katastrophe's hand
A Game of Tag(Bucky): Noteable because had it passed, it would have been a major change in the way that Katastrophe collaborated with other Explorers Giving Up the Ghost(Bucky): Noteable because had it passed, Katastrophe might not have had enough turns left to play kingmaker
- No combos (Josh): Effectively removed Katastrophe's power to create Rooms and connections
- Turn 1 - Tentative Exploration
- Turn 2 - Running Around
- Turn 3 - Tea Time: SingularByte is alone with the Black Cat in the Dining Room and becomes possessed by Katastrophe during the next Mansion Phase
- Turn 4 - Up, Up, and Away: Bucky spots the Black Cat in the Dining Room but holds on to this information. It would be the last time the cat's location was known by anyone other than SingularByte.
- Turn 5 - It's More Fun in the Dark
- Turn 6 - Where there is Smoke
- Turn 7 - Fancy Old Things
- Turn 8 - A Fragment of a Chance
- Turn 9 - Power in their hands: Trapdoorspyder grabs his first Fragment, solidifying the collaboration between him and the possessed SingularByte
- Turn 10 - New Year, Same Old House: Bucky grabs a Fragment
- Turn 11 - Is this some sort of funhouse?: SingularByte as Katastrophe creates a Room and connections that allow Trapdoorspyder to quickly get to the Gymnasium to pick up the next Fragment
- Turn 12 - Defying the Laws of Physics: Trapdoorspyder grabs his second Fragment
- Turn 13 - Lucky 13
- Turn 14 - Feeling a little Uneasy: SingularByte invokes the Kidnapping malfeasance in the Dressing Room that he created earlier and takes Trapdoorspyder to the Utility Room to grab his third and final Fragment
- Turn 15 - The Summoning: Josh grabs a Fragment; SingularByte discovers that the Utility Room also has a Kidnapping malfeasance and uses it to place Trapdoorspyder away from everyone else while Trapdoorspyder successfully performs a Summoning Attempt
- Rewording Tags (SingularByte): Tidied the Tags rule, and removed the [Victory] tag
Tick Tock(Josh): Proposed an "Endgame Lockdown" mechanic, which was popular but withdrawn in case it enacted during (and locked) the next dynasty.
SingularByte has become Possessed by Katastrophe on turn 3, and had successfully kept the role for the entire game. Not wanting to be Emperor themselves, they used the role to kingmake, agreeing to help Trapdoorspyder when approached. SingularByte used their powers to keep the Black Cat away from all other players, to assist Trapdoorspyder by creating new rooms and connections, and to build up a sizeable bank of contingency plans based on rooms created with useful Malfeasances in known positions. At the end of Turn 15, Trapdoorspyder had gained the required three fragments, and had been Kidnapped to a position of safety by SingularByte; he therefore chanted with the third fragment while having no other Explorer in the same Room or in any connected Room, and achieved victory.
Quote from the Discord chat by Josh:
The rules definitely didn't anticipate a totally altruistic Katastrophe
Quote from Kevan:
Big three takeaways from that dynasty for me were:
- Always avoid resolving ties randomly, as much as possible; a placeholder at most, until you can tiebreak another way. It would have been disappointing if the endgame there had come down very plainly to a single coin flip on which equal-speed action happened first.
- As players, make sure that the ruleset matches the game that you think you’re playing. Although that dynasty was superficially “one player is secretly the antagonist, hiding their identity”, it was much closer to just “one random player has more power than everyone else, with no downside”. I was holding off on an accusation mechanic so that I could tailor it to whichever prime suspect actually emerged, but left it too late.
- We really do need something like the Tick Tock endgame lockdown, rather than leaving it up to unpredictable, veteran-friendly etiquette to decide when the time for proposals has passed.
Quote from Bucky:
Things that I’d propose early if we restarted the dynasty from the final ruleset but a new mansion:
- Giving Up the Ghost verbatim
- More ways to discover already-existing Malfeasances
- New players start with a flashlight
...All in the spirit of spreading the fun around more.
Other commentary: Escape from Banewood Mansion