Through the Ansible [OOG]

edited December 2007 in Out-Of-Game
This is the out-of-game thread for Through the Ansible. This game is for me, Emma, Mo and Brand. I'll also start an audience thread a bit later.

So lets talk about the setting and the characters.

I'm quite interested in trying something different from the Ekumen, sci-fi setting we used last time, just to see if the game works outside of that. I thought maybe fantasy? Like, maybe the characters are an embassy to a distant empire, or travellers on a merchant ship, or something like that?

What do you think?


  • I am down with that. I could go specific known fantasy system (ie. based on a book we all like, or hate, or something) or, we could just make it up as we go along.
  • edited December 2007
    I could do fantasy. Of course, I've also recently been reading up about African history and the sheer screwed-upedness of the whole thing, especially the European "discoveries" strikes me as something perfect for this game.

    (Edit: Also, YAY! I have an account!)
  • Yay!

    I think the game could definitely handle Africa, but I think that game could get kinda heavy. I'd rather avoid that this time around, if that's cool. What if the characters in the game are like, explorers, "discovering" a new part of a fantasy world?

    What if we bust out some keywords, and see what we have at the end of that process?
  • I'm here!

    Of course, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, but hey, showing up is half the battle. ;)
  • Hi! I'm glad you made it. Sorry it took so long to approve your account, I was away for a couple of days. Mo, do you have the rules of play? They're available at the link in my first post. It's only three pages, and hopefully fairly readable.

    What I think we should do now is pick some keywords. That means choosing two words which imply or evoke something you want to see in the game, whether that be a specific item, like "sword", or a concept, like "gender". Later on, we'll all have to use these words in our posts. I'll start, to give an idea:

    My words are Khan and Map.

    After we've done this, hopefully it will imply something about the question we'll be answering.
  • Mo
    edited January 2008
    Mutilation and Legacy
  • Rage and Quarantine
  • Oooh. EHJ's keywords make me want to play Centre for Disease Control doctors going into an epidemic zone.
  • These words are fantastic. Really powerful.
  • edited January 2008
    Colonial and Pyrrhic

    Sorry it took me so long, been braindead tired for days.
  • No worries, Brand.

    I'm coming around to the more "serious" type of game you guys have suggested. What if it's a kind of "Heart of Darkness" thing going on? Kind of magical-realist Africa. We could be passengers on a tramp steamer, and the question is "What happened to the trading post?" or something like that. I feel like the question needs to be more punchy though.

    What do you think?
  • I'm seeing something like "Can this venture be profitable" or "How best can we make money" -- but I'm not sure how well they'd work.

    Perhaps, "Why did the natives rebel against our rule?"
  • edited January 2008
    I like "Why did the natives rebel" but how about we punch it up even more, to something like "What caused the massacre?"
  • Ok! Unless anyone has got some more ideas, let's do this!

    The characters are passengers on a tramp steamer, headed into the jungle, somewhere in Africa, around the turn of the century. We'll encounter, and maybe answer, the question "What caused the massacre?" The keywords are:


    I think posting more or less once a week is as fast as we'll want to go. Probably no slower than once a fortnight.

    I understand that posting first is a big deal. I'd love for someone else to do it, but I'll step up and do it in a few days if no one else does.

  • I can probably do the first post this weekend, I've got some ideas. I just have to flush this flu out of my system so I can think.
  • I went ahead and started us off. Everyone, feel free to post at any time from now on. The next post should explicitly confirm something from my post (for example, mentioning some of the same characters as I did, or reporting on some of the same events). You're not required to contradict anything at this stage, but of course you should feel free to do so if you want.

    Brand, I hope your flu is ok.
  • I would really like to not be the next person to post in the IG thread!!
  • Brand, Mo?

    I totally understand if there's some real life stuff that's more important right now, but it would be cool to know what's going on. The last playtest suffered from pretty slow posting as well, and I'd really like to know whether that's just normal stuff, or whether the game actually discourages posting. Don't sweat it if you're not up to posting, but if there's something about the game itself that's making you reluctant to post, that's useful information.
  • Simon,

    I am sorry. This is not normal.

    Mo and I are in the process of (trying to) buy a house. We found a little house that we loved, only to be overbid and lose it at the last minute.

    Because of that, and the general stress of packing and doing the floors and such in this place, I've had no brain at all. I completely forgot about the game, and just didn't even think about it until I checked the bakery today.

    I'll make my post in the next 24 hours, and if this kind of thing comes up again I'll be damn sure to let you know next time rather than acting like an irresponsible jerk and leaving you hanging!
  • They say buying a house is one of the most stressful things a person can do. I completely understand, Brand. Don't sweat about it, and just post whenever you think you can. I'm fine with putting this on hiatus for a while as well, if that's what you need.

    Sorry to hear about losing the house, that sounds really painful.
  • edited February 2008

    Quick, link me to the rules again!

    I lost my copy somehow.

    Wait, nevermind, found it!
  • I also have to say, I'm mildly horrified by my own post.
  • Heh. Unconscious ethnocentrism is kinda fun to write though, huh?
  • Have we stalled again?

    Is everyone okay?

    Was my last post not usable for folks to follow up from? Would it be easier if I redid some section of it?

    Is that permissible by the rules?

    Also -- how's life? Mo and I got outbid on another house, but had a lovely birthday party this weekend.
  • Hi Brand,

    Thanks for posting. To be honest, I kind of feel like the problem here is as much the game as the players. Heck, even I feel intimidated by posting, and that's probably a bad sign. It just seems like playing the game is quite a lot of work. I'm not against keeping on with the game, but I don't want it to feel like a chore for anyone, and I'm worried that that's the case.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with your last post. I was holding off because I wanted someone else to post next, and so other people could determine more about the setting before I got in there again. I'll try posting again, and we'll see if that jumpstarts the game. If it doesn't, I'm ok with calling this iteration of the game a failure. I've got plenty of other projects.

    Life is pretty good. Sorry to hear about your house woes. My contract here in Japan finishes at the end of July, so I kind of feel like I'm on my way home already. I'm looking forward to being back in New Zealand, having a regular gaming group again, and getting a job that's more than just reading from textbooks and surfing the internet. We're enjoying what's left of our time here too though.
  • Hmm.

    Maybe we got carried away too. Like, I think your idea for the sci-fi world would have been a better place to start (as you said at the time). The dark heavy and real-world based game may be too much for a first run through.

    Live and learn, I guess.
  • Hey Brand,

    I really liked your post I am just totally intimidated by posting. I'm going to see if I can come up with something soon. Maybe. I'll try!
  • It is intimidating. Does it help if the posts are shorter? What if we try to keep posts to no more than a few hundred words - say, around 200 or less?
  • Emma, that was awesome. I'm kinda jazzed about this game all over again.
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