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Posted (edited)

MR30/AN2: Aftermath

The Pride of Terris drew nearer to Scadrial each day. And as it approached, its crew drew nearer to death. 

Liseran’s body did not look natural. V could tell that much. The flesh was barely hanging to the skeleton, and bones poked through, bleached an unnatural white by a film of acid that seemed to linger on its surface. had heard tales of this creature before. He could scarcely believe it, but his findings led him to only one conclusion, a fell word whispered above the corpse of Liseran, sounding with the finality of a death knell. 

“Kandra,” V spoke softly. “A Kandra is among us.”

The rest of the crew stood in stunned silence. For moments, slow agonizing moments, each stood, rendered impotent by shock. Scorpion finally spoke hesitantly. “A Kandra? Isn’t that the stuff of...”—she swallowed—“not fairytales, but days long past? Why would they still be among us?”

“Yeah,” Weasel chimed in. “Besides, why didn’t any of the other corpses look like this before? I’ll give you that this corpse shows the exact signs of a Kandra as we were taught them when we were four, but what about the other corpses we found?”

V hesitated. “My only guess is that the Kandra had more time to work in the past. Perhaps making it fight to within an inch of its life made the...transition more difficult. This may have even been its first time switching bodies.” V turned around, looking at Weasel. “Hmm...if there’s only one Kandra among us, it could be you. I know Denesta and Tuatara are fine, because I work with them, and Scorpion feels like he always does. You’re the only possible one left, seemingly.”

“Not the only one.” Tuatara’s voice came as a low croak from the other side of the room. She rapped on the metal sheet covering the wall, quickly moving her fingers in a sharp pattern, undetectable to the naked ear, but a sound that came very clearly to V’s head as he burned a small amount of the tin he held. Unthinkingly, he tapped the response, sending it along to Tuatara, a rapid series of beats that he could hear thanks to the same Hemalurgic spike in him. Tuatara looked visibly relieved, but turned to Denesta. “Repeat the same pattern, please.”


Denesta, the latest host of a Faceless Immortal, shuddered as she was gradually revealed to the group. She was too slow. Her masters at Heron Industries would be very disappointed in her, if they could watch the small transport hurtling through space, and see the slow progress she was making. It was not her fault. Torture was not an option aboard a ship so small that a scream could be heard by the entire crew in less than a second. She had to rely on observation, then quick work with a knife, to kill and impersonate a person quietly and accurately. The exact techniques she had used to impersonate Liseran and Dingo, and now Denesta. They were imprecise, and left little time to commit a systematic mass slaughter of a crew that outnumbered and in some ways outmatched her. She would have to outwit them. And she was so far, failing.

In retrospect, she should have attacked the persuasive speaker, V, first. Too many informants ingratiated themselves with cops and investigators, and she should have been more wary when three “investigation agents” stepped forward “looking to guard the last informant.” Denesta’s small list of records on Tuatara and V indicated that V was truly the last person Heron wanted dead. The explosion on Kasheron Station had killed most of those who saw the incriminating files displaying Heron’s less-than-savory ventures, and with V dead, the last informant who knew the truth would be silenced. Unfortunately, Denesta now had to kill V for all that to occur. And she would have to talk her way out of this for that to happen. It would not be too difficult—she had basic background on Denesta’s personal life, and could imitate the speech patterns fairly well by now, if not perfectly. She prepared to help V accuse Weasel, when Tuatara’s voice reached her ear. “Repeat the same pattern, please.”

Denesta panicked, her newly-formed heart racing in her chest. She had been unable to acquire all the details of the tapping pattern Tuatara and V used to communicate, and now it would cost her. Her only chance was to guess at the pattern used. Hoping it was close enough, Denesta tapped a rhythm on the sheet, sending it back to Tuatara. Tuatara’s face deepened into a frown. “That’s isn’t it.” 

Denesta’s face contorted into a snarl. All her work, to be brought low by a simple pattern of taps that revealed her to the crew. She would have to act quickly. Yanking the dagger out of Liseran’s chest, Denesta lunged towards V, who sprang backwards with a surprised yelp. The dagger cut a gash in his arm, but did little else. As Scorpion rushed to tend V, Tuatara advanced with his baton in front of him, prepared to defend Weasel. Denesta held her dagger in front of her, circling and waiting for Tuatara to make a mistake. 

“Why do this, Dene-...whoever you are?” Tuatara asked. “You are a Faceless Immortal, Harmony’s own servant and a dignified, noble being to help carry out His work. Why break His codes? Why murder and lie, and use your amazing talents to help a group of corrupt officials and business leaders? Heron is wasting you,” he implored. 

Harmony is wasting me!” Denesta bellowed, stung deeply. “Every day I worked for Him I was constrained by an arbitrary code of rules he put in place to control us! Removing one of my spikes was the greatest decision I’ve ever made. I won’t let Harmony control me again.” She smiled, and lunged at Tuatara.


V listened to the body that had once been Denesta’s speak. “Removing one of my spikes was the greatest decision I’ve ever made. I won’t let Harmony control me again.” 

Spikes...why were they important? Some small portion of his brain yelled at him to wake up, that blood loss and drowsiness would overcome him while he held the key to overcoming the monster facing them. He couldn’t do it. He could feel himself slipping...

So tired.

WAKE UP!

The second voice jolted him upright. He looked up. The Kandra was sparring with Tautara, and winning. The wooden baton Tuatara was using was no match for the strong metal knife the Kandra held. The Kandra chopped down with the knife, slicing through baton and finger. Tuatara howled in agony, clutching at his hand to stem the blood loss. 

Spikes. Spikes were important...

Weasel tackled the Kandra, who fell to the ground in surprise. The spike in V’s neck tingled. He knew what to do now. Summoning a final spurt of energy, V pulled the spike from his neck and slammed it into Denesta’s back. 

Denesta screamed as Harmony took control once again. Seizing a knife, V walked up to the defeated Kandra, whose hand would slowly inch towards one of her spikes...and then be pulled down again. He scooped up Denesta’s knife, then flicked it towards her throat. “If life with Harmony is really so awful,” V said, “would you prefer me to end it for you?”

Denesta became fully herself for a moment, eyes shining with hatred even as she nodded her assent. She then closed them one last time, embracing the release of death, and the freedom it brought.


Mauve Crocodile was lynched! They were the Faceless Immortal, and the only Eliminator in the game! They were previously an Elendel Bureau of Investigation Agent

All village factions have achieved their win conditions, ending the game. The spec doc really got its win two cycles ago when Vulture was bodysnatched, but we couldn’t give away the Kandra too early ;) 

Vote Tally: 

Mauve Crocodile (3): Amethyst Scorpion, Cream Tuatara, Indigo Weasel

Indigo Weasel (2): Azure Mouse


Feel free to take a look at all the docs from throughout the game. 

Spectator/Dead Doc

Elendel Bureau of Investigations Doc

Master Spreadsheet

Full Ruleset

Other docs will be placed here once I update them to reflect the setting we chose. 


Final Playerlist

1. Amber Vulture (Elandera)- Refugee

2. Amethyst Scorpion (Stick)- Refugee

3. Azure Mouse (Itiah)- Rioter, Fleeing Informant

4. Charcoal Hyena (Straw)- Fleeing Informant

5. Chartreuse Penguin (Kidpen)- Refugee

6. Coral Swan (STINK)- Refugee

7. Cream Tuatara (Araris Valerian)- Elendel Bureau of Investigations Agent 1

8. Emerald Falcon (Snipexe)- Fleeing Informant

9. Fuchsia Ostrich (Bort)- Original Faceless Immortal

10. Indigo Weasel (Cadmium Compounder)- Refugee

11. Ivory Dragonfly (Drake Marshall)- Refugee

12. Magenta Albatross (The Young Pyromancer)- Refugee

13. Mauve Crocodile (Mr Doctor)- Elendel Bureau of Investigations Agent 2

14. Melon Dingo (Randuir)- Refugee

Edited by Fifth Scholar
Added ruleset
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That was close, in the end. Which is good.

Well played, folks.

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Nice. EBI peeps played really well. 

So I tried out a new playstyle in which I pretty much posted anything that came to my mind without a second thought. Almost no analysis involved.

Not trying that again.

Also I'm REALLY glad a kandra actually existed.

Thanks to Seonid and Fifth for GMing! :D

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Good game! I'm proud of my team for carrying it through to the end. Most of the credit goes to Itiah the blue rodent, for his strategies and analysis. I wonder if V will be contacted by the EBI with a job offerafter some much-needed R&R and extensive psychological therapy, of course.

Well done to Bort for remaining hidden for so long. That was very, very close.

At the recommendation of the fine folks in the Spec doc, sometime in the next day or two I'll post some RP of Denesta Vreaux's last moments, because that's a story that I want some closure on.

 

Another very enjoyable game. Well done to Seonid and Fifth for making it happen. Excellent writeups, very interesting game mechanics. Out of interest, what was Heron Industries up to? Or is that a story for another game?

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That was such a fun game! A huge thanks to Fifth for all the amazing write-ups, and also to Seonid for coming up with great (and definitely troll-worthy) mechanics.

Congrats to the EBI! You guys did some good planning to help the village win in the end.

And I tip my hat off to you Bort. You did a great job staying hidden as Kandra, and deflecting a lynch. I knew I should have kept my vote on you that one cycle, but I didn't have time to go back and justify it. 

This was my first blackout and anonymous game. I learned that in the future, I'm going to work on switching up my play-style and my RP style.

Also, a question for anyone: how accurate were your guesses about who was playing which account?

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1 hour ago, Elandera said:

Also, a question for anyone: how accurate were your guesses about who was playing which account?

The only one I made a guess at was Swan, who was quite obviously STINK.

It was nice to see I mostly got the Kandra mechanics right, though it didn't do me much good :P.

Anyway, this was a nice game, everyone! 

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Thanks guys, and I say again, really well done to the EIB team. You had me backed into a corner, and I didn't even know it.

@Seonid - Brilliant game, thanks for making me the Kandra. That was so much fun :D

@Fifth Scholar - Awesome write ups.

I only got Itiah and Snipexe right. Everyone else I either saw their name in 'wrong account' posts, or was completely off the mark.

@randuir - Sorry for the bodysnatch, but when you said you were going to be mostly quiet for the next two cycles, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

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6 minutes ago, Bort said:

 

@randuir - Sorry for the bodysnatch, but when you said you were going to be mostly quiet for the next two cycles, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

No hard feelings there :P , though I would like to point out I was still reasonably active the first of those cycles.

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I only needed a couple of quiet cycles to choose my next host.

I've just read the spec doc, and I have to say, thanks everyone that was rooting for me at the end there. Sorry to have let you all down :P

 

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Aftermath:

felt the warmth of Scadrian sunlight on his face, standing on real land. He was home. It had taken many dead bodies, but he was finally safe. Heron Industries would soon collapse. had been the only surviving Informant. Mentally preparing himself, walked towards Itiah Manor, the true place of his home, a scar on his arm from the knife cut the Faceless Immortal had given him. He was no longer V, as he used to call himself, no.

He was Itiah V, son of Itiah IV and grandson of Itiah III, and he was home.


Great game everyone! Seonid, you absolute legend, this game was awesome! From start to finish I was hooked. The setting, the writeups (thanks Fifth Scholar), the suspense, this whole game was epic, so thanks to everyone who worked on it. The awesomeness of this game is what propelled me to be so active.

Which brings me to the players. Woah, you guys were great, and I find it funny now how I was playing with/against players I knew without even realising it, which included the veterans I may have accidentally lynched. Bort, great play as the Kandra, and everyone else, sorry for being partially responsible for your deaths :P. In all seriousness, everyone here was great. Special thanks to all who RP'd with me.

Okay, enough about gratitudes, time for me. I honestly surprised myself with how active I was being. I don't usually RP that much or provide very detailed analysises, so this was a first for me, and judging myself by our win I'd say it went pretty well, so I might just try and do more of this stuff in later games.

On a side note, this brings me to a 50% win rate, and makes the second successful Itiah in his line, which will be fun to write about in furture SEs.

All in all, great game, awesome players, good on me, and enough of my rambling. I look forward to another one of these anonymous games, they're really a lot of fun!

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Yay! Good game to everybody, especially Bort! I have an oddly high win rate considering I play rather terribly in every game I do. Not much else to say.

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Posted (edited)

This was a lot of fun! Thanks to @Fifth Scholar and @Seonid for GMing! I enjoyed working with Mr. Doctor and Itiah, although I had no idea who they were until the end. Also great work Bort! I don't know what we would have done if I hadn't hit you with a scan when I did.

Edit: I just read through the spec doc, skimming some of it. One thing I'd like to comment on is Bort's use of IRL stuff to excuse his missing our test. I was pretty okay with that happening, because I didn't want the test to be a 100% way to catch the elim, since that would have made the EBI impossible to infiltrate.

As for not scanning Vulture when we lynched them, I still wasn't certain of the elim team composition. It didn't really cross my mind as a possibility that the Kandra might have an extra life.

Also, I now know to make sure to read all the text in my GM PM. I had no idea that I had a scan role until after Mauve mentioned that they had access to one.

Edited by Araris Valerian
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I'm glad you all enjoyed this game! Normally, this is the point when I would post my retrospective, meditating on what went right and what could be tweaked. But in this game, I don't think that I would change a thing if I were to run it again. Of course, part of the fun was with the blackout setting, but I think that this game has replay value.

I will say that I really enjoyed the limited signup size - I feel that it really helped with activity levels in this game. Even at the end, when there were very few posts, we still had just about everybody participating. Nobody went inactive, and we didn't start having activity problems until the number of players dropped so low that it was difficult to maintain conversations - especially across time zones. And that is something that no mechanic or filter can help with, so I'm not concerned at all.

In addition, we had a large amount of quality RP - a huge shoutout to everyone who participated in that. I loved how that interaction started playing into things - along with great participation in the dead doc. I recommend reading through it; we had a great deal of fun there.

I also think that the account switching/bodysnatching/kandra mechanic was a definite success (at least in this limited implementation). As a proof-of-concept for the more complicated kandra games that are almost certain to be coming up as you creative game creators start exploring the possibilities opened up, I can safely say that this is a thing that can be done well. A note to any future GMs that wish to try it, however - rollover will be especially tricky if players are waiting for the new cycle. I recommend establishing expectations as to how notification that a player's body has been taken over will be communicated well before it actually happens. This will help protect against newly taken players posting on their old accounts before they realize that they no longer should be doing so.

And, by the most important metric of any of these games, it looks like everybody had fun. So, thanks for joining this experiment with me, and thank you all for making it a successful game! Finally, thanks especially to @Fifth Scholar for co-GMing with me. I look forward to the next game I'll be GMing, and I hope you do too.

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2 hours ago, Seonid said:

A note to any future GMs that wish to try it, however - rollover will be especially tricky if players are waiting for the new cycle. I recommend establishing expectations as to how notification that a player's body has been taken over will be communicated well before it actually happens. This will help protect against newly taken players posting on their old accounts before they realize that they no longer should be doing so.

To add to this: the only reason I failed to get a post in C3 (when I'd already been taken over) was because someone was quick enough to kick me off the account right as I was about to post. I'd recommend making sure notices are sent to both the anonymous account and the players own account so that there'no chance he/she'll miss the notice.

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From my perspective the bodyswapping went pretty well, but then I wasn't really at a computer for rollover much.

Rand, I think Seonid starting doing that after your bodyswap. At least, later bodies came with a message saying they had been hijacked.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this game! This was my first blackout game of any type, and I loved it. Thank you for GMing this @Seonid (sorry, tag feature isn't working right now.) 

Anyway, I think Blackout games are my new favorite type of game. It brings a whole new element to it. I was glad I made it to the end and survived. but I think it would have been fun to have been body swapped. I'm going to have to read through the dead doc to see if anyone shared their thoughts about being body swapped. 

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Bort said:

Rand, I think Seonid starting doing that after your bodyswap. At least, later bodies came with a message saying they had been hijacked.

Yeah, he did do that after that close call, but I thought I'd bring it up again for people wanting to do something similar in the future (and they should, as its a pretty cool mechanic). We talked about it in the dead-doc but that thing is enormous, so people might miss it.

Edited by randuir
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Yep, I started doing that later. But it was still hit-and-miss. BTW, you getting logged out of your account happened because I changed the password on it. So, as long as passwords get changed before the new cycle is posted, nobody will have access to accounts they shouldn't have. It's still good to establish that before the start of the next game, so that players will expect that they might be randomly logged out of their anon account at rollover because they got bodysnatched.

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So I just wanted to go back and reveal the purposes behind a post that caused a lot of confusion in thread, and it seems as if it brought up discussion in the spec doc as well.

Quote

Indigo(Me) said, while talking to Azure mouse, @I think I am here.

1. I am still suspicious of you and amber. 2. Thanks, I have really enjoyed your RP's 3. I've really enjoyed your Analyses 4. And I know who your main account is. 5. How good are you at counting?

Let me re-write these with each number on a different line

1. I    am still suspicious of you and amber. 
2. T   hanks, I have really enjoyed your RP's
3. I    've really enjoyed your Analyses 
4. A   nd I know who your main account is. 

5. H  ow good are you at counting?

I was telling everyone who he was. Azure mouse was itiah! I thought I was pretty clever with my subtle reveal there. Also notice, that I bolded the number 5, just like the letter V, which was always bolded. :D

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Two comments on that, CadCom...

1. Show off :P

2. I disapprove. If it's an anonymous game, I don't want to know who the other players are. That defeats the point of it being anonymous.

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34 minutes ago, Bort said:

2. I disapprove. If it's an anonymous game, I don't want to know who the other players are. That defeats the point of it being anonymous.

That's part of why I tried so hard to obscure it, but still reveal it. 

But that does bring up another good point. Near the end of the game, I thought Azure was the Kandra. I ended up putting in the thread a test to verify, but I was hesitant to do so, because I was debating whether or not it felt like cheating.

I asked him:

Quote

If there is a Kandra running around, I believe it might be residing in Azure this turn. Something about his RP seemed like it had a slightly different tone of voice @Azure Mouse If you are not the Kandra, what does the V mean? I'm about 99.5% sure I know who your main account is, and revealing what the V means would prove to me that you are still who you say you are. (unless other people also know what the V means. Please, no one disclose it until after Azure has responded though. But after they respond, let me know if you also knew, so that I can see if it is a valid test.)

Ultimately I decided to do it, but I was hesitant to do so, because I'm not certain about what precedent is regarding using someone's real account to determine if they've been hijacked. Honestly, there is probably no precedent because this was the first account swapping game. But what do you all think? was this a fair method in determining if someone has been Hijacked? 

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I think it would probably count as a fair method. In the EBI doc they were using times of day for posting to keep an eye on each other, and I myself used RL as an excuse for staying quiet.

I think all of the above examples fall into the grey area that is accepted, but counts as slightly cheating, using RL info to assist in your game.

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I just noticed that Bort's reputation title is "Kandra"

How very fitting :P

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Indeed.

Also, that's awesome, CadCom! I noticed the bold 5 and I thought that was how you were showing me that you knew but I didn't even think about you secretly spelling my name! 

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I am annoyed that the one person that could have had the highest chance of saving me was an informant, and so didn't get my code.  I enjoyed the blackout aspect, but I wish I hadn't died early again.

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