The Twenty-Seventh Dynasty of Kevan
13 August 2020 - 9 September 2020
Sunrise on an unexplored planet. A cloud of metallic dust shimmers into the clear, orange sky as the ISV Jenny Haniver pivots and touches down beside a towering outcrop of dark grey rock. As the ship’s landing legs lock into place, solar panels begin to unfurl in the morning sun, recharging essential circuits for the long journey back to the Jovian core system.
Raising their gloved hands against the sun’s glare, the Pathfinder crew of the Haniver make their way down the landing ramp, out into the dust. The first of the group peers intently at a handheld device with a small, spinning wheel, while two others drag a heavy crate of supplies into the shade and detach its locking bolts. “Computational wheel scans indicate this area should be relatively rich in subsurface sudorite and deltarite,” says the lead Pathfinder over the open comms channel, “and despite the plant cover, these readings suggest that any life on the planet is statistically unlikely to—”
All visors suddenly tilt up at a sharp crack of sound and light from the rocks nearby. After a beat, they turn to a lower-ranking Pathfinder still standing at the airlock, who lowers their standard-issue stun pistol with an embarrassed shrug. “I thought I saw something.”
“That’s vertorite.” says the Pathfinder with the wheel, stepping up to the dark rock to run a gloved finger across the black smudge on its surface. “Looks like our weapons don’t affect it.” They tap a button on the wheeled device, and a purple square shimmers to grey.
Replace “Gambler” with “Pathfinder” and “Emperor” with “Computer”, throughout the ruleset.
The following players were active at the start of the Dynasty:
Bais, Cuddlebeam, Darknight, derrick, Josh, Jumble, Kevan, pokes, Publius Scribonius Scholasticus, Raven1207, Zyborg, Ther
And at the end:
Cuddlebeam, derrick, Josh, Kevan, pokes, Raven1207, Riggdan, Tantusar
Posts of Interest
- Maslow's Phaser defined seven pieces of equipment and three alien discoveries (all minerals, but with plants and animals also being allowed later), with the only known effect being that the Gamma Pistol is "Harmless when applied to Vertorite".
- Stand Back, I’m Going To Try Science allowed Pathfinders to use equipment on alien scenery to find out what happened.
- Low-Key Sun created a network of locations on the planet
- May King allowed Pathfinders to craft things from other objects
- Location, Location, Location allowed players to explore and discover new locations with random names from the EFF Wordlist
- While Stocks Last limited the amount of equipment available
- Lead Deer made the highest-prestige player the Leader, who could not win; this constraint was later dropped.
- This Thing Is My Thing allowed players to submit descriptions for discoveries, and reformatted the rule's list in an unusual way. This was a scam from Josh to inject arbitrary text into the ruleset, but it relied on the Computer agreeing to perform an action, which they chose not to; this was upheld by a CfJ.
- Altum Videtur gave a system for generating discovery and location names from Latin and Greek roots
- Scarlet Cow created a recipe for a stamina-boost drink which would later be critical during endgame.
- More Than Metal allowed various strange products to be derived from the plants, animals and minerals of the planet
- Bad Day at Black Rock added the first element of risk to experimentation: if equipment was found to have a deadly effect on a mineral, that knocked out the experimenting player.
- Oh Mister Pathfinder created a Cartographer role, responsible for drawing a map of the planet's locations
- A Dangerous Land caused some equipment/discovery interactions to have ongoing effects at a location
- Try Hitting It With This grouped several pieces of equipment together as "blunt objects", all with the same effect when applied
- Fragile Tools caused some minerals to destroy the equipment that was used on them
- Base Camps allowed each player to establish a camp somewhere, which would become the main scoring mechanism of the dynasty.
- A Gun for Dinosaur created vegetable and animal hazards, and allowed them to be kept at bay in particular ways.
- Building the Best Base added a score rating for each base, derived from its location, connections and contents.
- Auto-Look Again allowed players to use an external script to generate, name and populate new locations, as the chain of actions required was getting too complex, and was just rolling dice and looking up tables.
- Haniver Base made the starting pool of equipment into a formal Base.
- Maps? Where we’re going we don’t need maps repealed the Cartographer rule, the assigned Cartographer having provided no maps since getting the job.
- Making a Home gave craft recipes for base infrastructure.
- Reaction Hero allowed some hazards to be removed.
- Bayes City Rollers made each new effect of any given equipment somewhat dependent on its previously known effects.
- Brave New World added a victory condition: highest prestige when the grid of equipment/discovery effects had filled beyond a certain proportion. Players could also convert their Base score into a prestige boost, once per round.
- Looking for Trouble gave a different way to find safe "productive" equipment/discovery interactions, which Josh would soon use to win the game.
- Action Completion ruled that players could complete actions on behalf of others, if doing so required no decision-making.
- Imperator Rex was an attempted overhaul of the game's imperative terms. It failed.
- Tenured Mentors clarified the Mentor rule, allowing idle players to act as Mentors, and for any player to request a Mentor at any time.
It was all about Prestige once the victory condition was in place - whoever had the most when New Ganymede is Understood had won.
Derrick was in a large lead for Prestige (39), with Josh in second place (30). In order to gain the boost in strength that they needed in order to win, Josh recruited Cuddlebeam, having offered a 40% chance to the Emperor mantle in exchange for their help. In order to reduce derrick's per-Sunrise Prestige gains, they linked their base's Location to the Cortex Desert, reducing its Usefulness by decreasing the distance between it and that central base (which determined its Prestige gains).
While Proposals had been made to try to prevent it, timing actions around the last Sunrise proved to be crucial. Right before it, Cuddlebeam crafted an Energy Drink and with their new Stamina, they Product Scanned Iterium and Arcti Sordia to increase the Usefulness of Josh's base, and therefore, their Prestige gains. Josh drank an Energy Drink and used their Stamina to gain Prestige for themselves as well, via Applications.
However, at the same time that Josh was making their actions, derrick was on the move as well. Josh performed Research and moved to the Haniver to win. Derrick immediately performed enough Research to take them back into the lead, but didn't return to the Haniver before the DoV had been posted, so Josh was the only player to achieve victory. (Inspecting wiki API timestamps, they showed a 40-second gap between the Josh and Derrick's Research actions, meaning that Derrick had also likely Researched after Josh had posted their DoV.)
I was snoozing pretty hard on the dynasty after the earlygame and had my Prestige floored, so I had no chance to win conventionally (and I wasn't trying to, anyways. Just waiting for a new dynasty to roll in). Thankfully, somewhat out of the blue, Josh proposed to me a 40% offer to the mantle in exchange for me helping them out. Now, they could be a Traitor-playing-as-a-Traitor, but without much of an option to gain any dynasty prizes in any other way, I accepted. Embarassingly, they had to write up what I had to do for me to copypasta because I wasn't studied on the rules, but I diligently did everything that was required of me. And Josh won by the skin of his teeth! But I lost the roll to the mantle, lol. Still, its yet another good example of how Pools are strong - they provided the boost Josh needed to catch up with derrick to win. We've had a Pool meta lately (I'm partially to blame), and I think this endgame has been a good example of how Pooling trumps Conventional play - both Josh and derrick were playing conventionally and on their own, but the addition of the Pool gave Josh that push he needed to (barely) win from being behind. Scams are stronger than Pools though, and often don't require any allies to pull off. Maybe the meta turns into that eventually, as people perhaps look for something that can overwhelm Pools. ----Cuddlebeam (talk) 07:16, 9 September 2020 (UTC)