2:45 Forum Game - Proposal and "Sign-ups"

[CENTER]A new age in counter-terror was about to begin. The disparate security organizations of the world had proved unable to contain the motley of merciless criminals. NATO, the executives of the civilized peoples, called for a bold, unyielding and unilateral apparatus. They formed a bureaucracy. One contrived in secrecy and forged with the fire from Olympus: no accountability. Thus began the global jurisdiction of the Quango Terricide Ubiety, thankfully forever after known as QTU.

[LEFT]This experimental forum game is something I’d like to do as my swan song of sorts for Quarter to Three. It is not a vampire (or mafia) game, but secrecy and questions of trust should be fundamental to the play. It will allow for every forum member who wishes to join to play and run for as long as enough members are interested. The players themselves will have most of the freedom to define their roles based on the choices available to them. I will be serving as the Gamemaster (GM), but the game will be dictated by rules with little improvisation or interference by the GM. All of the game rules will be specifically defined, however not all of the rules will be publicly posted. The rules will also evolve and change over the course of the game. Death in the game will be permanent, but barring that, forum members may play as long as they wish and may even take time off.

The game will basically consist of actions taken during a game round, which will be an in-game Day. The series of game Days will be separated into Episodes which will generally signify the ultimate success or failure of a master plan. The game has a playing field that consists of 500 real world locations. Players will each have eponymous characters which are defined by abilities and an inventory of items. One way to join the game is to simply PM me with the starting location of your choice.

There will be two teams, QTU and Terror with which players may be affiliated. Affiliation may grant access to other abilities restricted to a particular team. It is not necessary for players to work towards their affiliated team’s goals. There is also a third state of being unaffiliated, or a free agent. Most player characters will start the game as free agents. Players may renounce their affiliation and forfeit associated abilities to return to free agency.

Identity is a key game mechanic. It is simply a player’s forum username. Due to the open admission of the game, the questions of who is in the game and what is their role are often critical to making game decisions. A player character cannot change their identity (using alternate usernames in this game will bar you from playing.) A character’s identity is known simply by the revelation that a forum member is playing the game, however their role can change over the course of the game. Be very wary of who you discuss your game involvement with in private messages (PM) and non-forum related communication.

Location is another key mechanic. A location is any city in the provided list of 500 major real world cities around the globe. All player characters will have a current location. Most actions require a location. Any action taken against another player character requires the location of that target character to be known.

Abilities are assigned to each character. A group of General Abilities will be assumed for every player character. General Abilities will allow any player to perform certain actions during a Day. They include actions such as traveling to another location, exchanging an item with another player character, or broadcasting anonymous messages to certain locations. Special Abilities will be limited to certain players. They may be granted by obtaining certain items, or they may be assigned to the character itself. These abilities may give players additional options for actions, give characters resistance to certain actions, or some other unique opportunity. The QTU team will have a headquarters which will be in a specific location. Up to twelve QTU players may ‘staff’ the HQ. All of the players in the HQ will have access to a number of Special Abilities.

An in-game Day serves the function of a game turn in which each player may execute one or more actions. To perform actions, players may PM the GM with the relevant information or alternatively post their daily actions in the game thread if desired. Actions are categorized as Fullactions, Quickactions, and Special actions. One Fullaction may be performed per day. Performing a Fullaction will end the Day for the player. A Quickaction may be performed prior to a Fullaction. A second Quickaction may be performed in substitution of a Fullaction. Performing a second Quickaction will end the Day for the player. Special actions will be described on a case by case basis. Initially, a game Day will equal two full real time days to allow for timezones and let players become adjusted.
Day = Quickaction + Fullaction or 2nd Quickaction

During the game players may elect to encrypt their sent broadcasts, posts, messages, etc. If a player character possesses a code book item they may apply the corresponding monoalphabetic substitution cipher to whatever text they desire. Only the pre-assigned and GM controlled cipher keys can be used for the game. Players creating their own ciphers, whether monoalphabetic substitution or otherwise, for use in any communication relating to play, may be forced to leave the game. A controlled number of cipher keys will exist in the game and each will be described by a color name. Code Book items will be colored to the corresponding cipher key, i.e., A Red Code Book will grant the owner access to the predesignated Red cipher key. Any public message that includes encrypted text will have the corresponding cipher color prefixed to the ciphertext. Any player is free to attempt breaking encrypted messages. This java applet should be very helpful to the encryption breaking process. Code words, ambiguous or unrelated words used to identify characters, locations or actions, will not necessarily be regulated by a GM.

Posting in the game thread of any kind is considered game activity. Some players will be able to post in the game thread without any additional consequences, but most players risk having their location and/or affiliation exposed by the media if they post in the game thread. Any QTU agent at HQ may post freely without revealing the location of the HQ. This may create an effect of ‘working in a fishbowl’, where QTU agents are free to organize, plan and announce, but while monitored by terror agents and free agents. Additionally QTU agents in the field will generally not risk revealing their location by posting. Free agents and Terror agents who interject the game thread may at the GM’s discretion have their location and affiliation revealed either in immediate breaking news or in the next day’s news headlines. Forum members that have not formally joined the game, who interject the game thread will automatically be assigned a location and considered an active player. This is not necessarily a punishment.

Now that I’ve scared everyone into being tight lipped, I’m going to ask that some of you express your interest in playing (if anyone) at some point. I will semi-randomly select a few for the initial roles from those that express interest. The others will be left to enter the game on their own. The game probably won’t be starting for another week at least, but it is almost ready to go. If someone wants to run another vamp game or if a number of potential players want to hold off longer, this can wait. There is a bit to digest. I’m posting this now so that people can consider what this game might be like to play and how best to approach it. More detailed rules and definitions will follow. As GM, I will never tolerate players disputing my rulings or attempting to negotiate the rules. However, I do want to be open to suggestions and revisions. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the concept and hopefully clarify any questions that I think should be clear. There are a number of rules that either aren’t completely explained or will only go into effect later in the game or haven’t even yet been made, so don’t worry if I don’t fully respond to all suggestions. I am reading and would like input from anyone, whether or not they plan to ever play the game.

The Rules[/CENTER]


Affiliation - This is the team which the character has aligned, QTU or Terror. However, the player is not obligated to further the goals of their affiliated team. Unaffiliated characters are known as free agents.

Agent - A character that has access to the General Abilities. Almost all characters will be agents.

City - A Location.

GM - Gamemaster, or moderator of the game.

Identity - The forum username of a player in the game, which is also the character name for the player.

International Press - Liberal traitors to law and order. A non-player apparatus through which the GM may influence the game.

Locality - A specific place within a Location such as the QTU HQ, a terror camp, a bank, etc (a sub-location.) Any character at a Location with one or more known Localities is considered to have access to all of them.

Location - Any of the 500 listed cities.

NATO - The defenders of the civilized world from the unwashed masses. A non-player apparatus through which the GM may influence the game. Also provides the funding for QTU.

PC - Player Character. Characters are almost universally named after the username of the player, i.e. Agent ceasarbear. Players may only have one character so the terms Player and Character can be interchanged in use.

QTU HQ - This is a unique locality for the QTU team. QTU agent characters are considered HQ staff when they are in the location that contains the HQ. A maximum of twelve staff can benefit from the extra abilities and opportunities of the HQ. A minimum of five staff are required to use any of the extra abilities it provides.

S.T.A.K.E. Operation - A mission of Swift Torture by Awkward Ktenology Enthusiasts.

Zombie - Any player who’s character has died. Zombies cannot post in the game thread but may be allowed to post in a zombie thread using extreme caution. Zombies are encouraged to stick around as the GM may have use for them. If they request it, the zombies can have their own secret Google group to post in, away from those creepy alive players.

[CENTER]General Abilities[/CENTER]

Travel I[/I] [fullaction] - The PC can move to another Location of their choice. Regardless of actual real distance, the PC’s current location will change to the new location at the start of the next day and not before.

Transfer Item I[/I] [quickaction] - The PC can transfer an item they possess to any other PC in the same location. Tracking Beacons cannot be transferred. When Code Books are transfered a copy is given to the target and the original retained. The copy of the Code Book is marked with fingerprints of the originating PC, but not a fingerprint “trail” extending beyond the originator. Transfers are not anonymous but may be performed without consent.

Broadcast I[/I] [quickaction] - The PC can send a message to any Location(s). The target within the Location(s) can be all players, all unaffiliated, all affiliated with QTU or Terror, or all affiliated in general. Messages can be anonymous (unless wiretapped at origin) and are routed through the GM. Broadcasts to a single city have little risk of being detected by NATO intelligence or the International Press. Broadcasts sent to multiple cities raise the risk of detection based on number of Locations  and targets . Broadcasts to over 15 cities or 30 targets are detected automatically. The PC will not know how many targets will receive the broadcast. Worldwide broadcasts are the same as International News and can only target all players.

Search For PC I[/I] [quickaction] - The PC can investigate their current location for the presence of one specific target character. Searches are only done by username (identity) and cannot work with code names or special character names. The search will only confirm if the target is present or not. Targets might not be alerted to the search.

Break-in I[/I] [fullaction] - Break-ins can be performed on other characters or localities. If the PC suspects a character target is at their current location, they can attempt a break-in to steal an item from the target. Naming the item to steal will greatly increase the chances of a successful theft if the target is in possession of that item. Code Books of various colors are counted as separate items. If the target performs a search for the PC on the same day, the break-in will fail. If the PC suspects an item to exist at a specific locality, i.e. a Bag of Money at a Bank, they can attempt a break-in. Localities may be on alert for break-ins which will greatly decrease the chances of successful theft. If the PC suspects an abducted character is at the PC’s current location, they can attempt a break-in for the purpose of immediately releasing the abducted character from capture. Failed break-ins against other characters may reveal the PC to the target. Failed break-ins against localities may reveal the PC in the press. Successful break-ins against localities may leave behind the fingerprints of the PC. Successful thefts may not be revealed to the target until the next day.

Recruit (all affiliated) [fullaction] - All free agents in the PC’s current location are anonymously offered the opportunity to affiliate with the PC’s team. If they accept they may optionally be given a copy of a Code Book that the PC currently possesses. The PC will be informed how many agents accepted affiliation at that location the next day, but does not learn their identities. The PC may optionally assign a code name to the new recruits as a group. The code name is anonymously revealed to the target(s) when they accept affiliation.

Bugsweep (all affiliated) [fullaction] - Any wiretaps at the PC’s current location are removed, excluding those of the PC’s team members. The wiretapper(s) are not revealed and no fingerprints discovered, but the number of removed wiretaps are reported the next day. At least two PCs must perform this on the same day and in co-location for the sweep to be successful. Unsuccessful sweeps report as no wiretaps found.

[CENTER]QTU HQ Facility Abilities[/CENTER]

S.T.A.K.E. Operation I[/I] [fullaction for all staff] - QTU agents at HQ can vote to S.T.A.K.E. any character by their identity who’s current location is suspected. A majority vote by HQ staff must be reached or no S.T.A.K.E. mission occurs. If the location is accurate the S.T.A.K.E. victim’s affiliation and special abilities are revealed before they “accidentally” die. Any items in their possession are immediately transfered to QTU HQ storage.

Agent Census I[/I] [quickaction] - Reveals the number of unaffiliated free agents at the location of the player’s choice.

Relocate HQ I[/I] [fullaction] - With a majority vote by HQ staff, QTU HQ and all assigned assets and players are moved to a new (GM sanctioned) location. No other actions by QTU agents at HQ can be performed during this move. The location change goes into effect at the start of the next day.

Fingerprint Analysis I[/I] [quickaction] - By expending a fingerprint set item, the PC has a 90% chance to learn the identity of the fingerprint target. The results may be immediate or take up to multiple days (without occupying the player) depending on the level of activity of the target.

Install/Remove Tracking Beacon I[/I] [quickaction] -


Requisition Item I[/I] [quickaction] - Any HQ staff can possess an item currently in HQ storage.

Global Terror Warning I[/I] [special] -


Declare Rogue I[/I] [special] -



<Color> Code Book - A cipher pad with one monoalphabetic substitution cipher key. All Code Books of the same color contain the same cipher key.

Wiretapping Kit - Gives the owner the wiretap ability.

Fingerprint Inspection Kit - Gives the QTU owner the fingerprinting ability.

Fingerprint Set - Prints can be expended at the QTU HQ to find an identification.

Surveillance Kit - Gives the owner the Surveillance ability.

Tracking Device - Gives the owner the Tracking ability.

Tracking Beacon - Beacons cannot be transferred or stolen from the player.

[CENTER]Special Abilities[/CENTER]

Tracking (item based) [quickaction] - The PC can learn the current location of a tracking beacon by querying it’s number.

Surveillance (item based) [special] - While conducting surveillance the PC is notified of any other character arriving or departing the PC’s current location. This ability requires one full action per day and is assumed to be active until the player takes a different fullaction.

Wiretap (item based) [quickaction] - A wiretap may be placed at the PC’s current location. All broadcasts involving that location are relayed to the PC. If the broadcast originates from the wiretapped location, the broadcasting character’s identity is revealed to the PC. PCs need not be present at the the wiretap location for it to work.

Fingerprinting (QTU/item based) [quickaction] - The PC can target a locality or item possibly resulting in a fingerprint set item for each character in contact with the target. The fingerprint set must be analyzed to reveal an identity.

Abduction [special] - The PC can abduct a target at the PC’s current location.               .           .       items are forfeited   .         reveals their abilities   .       the target may escape by spending a quickaction,        . Targets cannot be killed by the PC or any other player during the abduction as that job is naturally left to incompetent henchmen.       .

Suicide Bomb I[/I] [fullaction] - Some or all assets and characters in the PC’s current location are removed from the game. This kills the PC.      .

Create Training Camp I[/I] [fullaction] -


Terror Training I[/I] [fullaction] - At a terror training camp locality the PC can          .

Lockdown [quickaction] -         .  , ,  , ,        . During a lockdown suicide bombing attack effectiveness is reduced .       no  agent may travel to or from     . No items can be placed in or removed from  .

Escape Artist [special] -


Propagandist [special] - The PC may make public forum posts without giving away their exact location.             .

Declare Renegade (Terror) [special] -


Rogue [special] -


Generate Code Book [special] - The PC may add a new color of Code Book item to the game. The corresponding cipher and color is determined by the GM.

Again let me state that the game has not started and will not start for at least several days. Now is the time to discuss the game if you wish as no one is a player yet. but if you’re really paranoid (and already into the game) you can route your questions and comments through me and I will post them with anonymity.

I’m interested but somewhat frightened.

So where’s the PDF character sheet file for players to print out? And how many different types of dice will we need for this?

Jesus this seems way too complex for a forum game.

Reminds me of a spy agency vs spy agency game a friend of mine created in high school using the Top Secret RPG rules as the basis.

“Looks good, but dangerous?”

It’s a trap!

I’ve had enough cougars try to get their paws on me, in my day.

I’m frightened but somewhat interested.

Has “tl;dr” ever been more fitting?

Ok, I’m in, I’ll play Elisha Cuthbert’s mundane controversy laden older seasonal boyfriend that Jack will have to call-in about once every hour on his cell phone to empower his fatherly ways.

I’m in.

I’m in, as long as Kevin keeps posting pics of himself.

I am giving you more than a week to read it.

“swan song”? Are you going to retire from Quarter to Three?

Not until after the game in finished.