Redoubtable Downtown Space Abbey - Player Postmortem

It’s always a bittersweet moment for me when we arrive at the end of another Badass adventure. I certainly hope you enjoyed playing a part in this story and watching it evolve over the last [checks calendar] five(?!) months. I want to thank everyone for double checking my work, correcting my numerous errors, and tolerating the various delays along the way.

For long-time players, returning players, and new players alike: thank you. I can sketch these things in my head all day, but they only come to life through your wit, your humor, and your enthusiasm. Thanks for being a part of this. This was a particularly experimental experimental concept and I hope it was more fun for you than it was frustrating.

As always, I like to do a postmortem at the end to get feedback on what worked well and what didn’t in an effort to make the next one even better - I look forward to the feedback and criticism. Everyone brings a different play style and mindset to these games, so there are no right or wrong answers. Every vantage point helps bring me greater insight in how to construct these madcap, bespoke adventures.

In particular, I’m always extra excited to get feedback from brand new players, so @nimelennar and @mrmonkey should feel extra welcome to join the exercise.

I’ll start by listening instead of talking. I’m happy to answer questions about anything along the way: underlying mechanics, design choices, plot aspects, the works, but player discussion takes center stage here.

This thread is purely out of character. We’ll wrap up the in-character stuff in the Epilogue thread over the next few days, and I’ll wrap it up and put a bow on it on Sun Jun 10. We can continue discussion here as long as we like.


Okay, this is going to take a while. Probably several posts.

I’m going to warn you in advance that I’m going to go into a lot more detail about issues that I encountered than the things I really enjoyed. I tend to dwell on negatives; it’s an unfortunate habit. Please don’t take this to mean that I didn’t enjoy myself; I certainly did.

I’ve divided each phase of the game into “The Good” (things I enjoyed), “The Bad” (niggling details that could be improved), and “The Ugly” (things that seriously impacted my enjoyment of the game).

That disclaimer out of the way, let’s start at:

The very beginning (a very good place to start)

The Good:
The description of the world gave lots of information about the world in which the game was taking place; I had more than enough to build a character to fit into the setting. The character template gave enough structure to build something upon, but not so much as to stifle creativity.

The Bad:
There were several key details missing from the beginning that came as unpleasant revelations later, in that I had to substantially re-think my character in reaction. First and foremost, that “Citizen-Pretenders” were supposed to be analogous to Regency-era women, instead of (in addition to?) the lower classes. I made several characterizations of CPs that were based upon the latter, which I would have done differently if that was obvious. I could have built the “women are people” revelation into a solid character arc, but, by the time that became obvious, it was almost the end of the game. Also, the idea that you could buy rank (through a military commission) as opposed to renting it, and, most of all…

The Ugly:
One of the biggest problems that I ran into was that the game was built into phases, and that wasn’t transparent from the start. At the beginning, the instructions said something to the effect of “Keep your character in balance, or you’ll find yourself overextended.” I took that to mean, “concentrate some of your money building up rank, some building up attributes, and some building up more money.” However, the fact that the ability to increase income would stop after a few turns wasn’t well foreshadowed, so I went for balance, and found myself with far too little money, which really ruined my prospects for the future (especially when combined with the “you can just buy Rank outright” revelation).

You all meet in an inn…

The Good:
The idea of an “invitation to the Leviathan Club” for socializing was, I thought, a very nice way to introduce the characters to each other (a high-class spin on the old “the party meets at a tavern” trope).

The Bad:
The reason that this is such a beloved trope is that the GM can get hands-on and take charge of the introductions. In this case, though, everything was left up to the players, and not much socializing was accomplished. As I said in my character’s little prologue, this should have been a moment to meet with everyone, size people up, and gain influence. Instead, I think SPH met three (four?) characters, and two of them were immediately dismissed as unsophisticated because of rude behaviour.

The Ugly:
Speaking of rude behaviour… When a rule is established, there are a bunch of things a character can do: they can follow it, they can try to stick their toe to the edge of it, they can ignore it, they can flout it. But there should be consequences to each of those behaviours. As a rule, you should get out of a gaming session what you put into it. If someone makes an effort to stick to the rules, they should be presented with opportunities which correspond to that, and lose opportunities that contradict that, and there should be similar effects for those who don’t. It seemed like the rules about polite conduct were just there for flavour text, and had no effect on the game itself. Now, maybe these were supposed to be enforced socially, but there was both little opportunity to do that (I’ll touch on this again later), and not much interest among the players to do so.

TCB (Every Day)

The Good:
I really enjoyed the wealth-building part of the game. Making the different choices based on in-character decisions provided interesting writing challenges, and really allowed me to solidify who my character was. It also allowed people to take different paths forward, which was also a good idea.

The Bad:
Again, although “investment opportunities are drying up” was mentioned at least once in the paper, it wasn’t very well foreshadowed that once the investment opportunities were gone, players would have no opportunity whatsoever to acquire further assets. If nothing else, I wouldn’t have let Karekin make off with that solicitor had I known it was the only way to get more assets (or made such frivolous use of the one that was provided to me for a turn).

The Ugly:
The one thing I really didn’t enjoy about the first part was the immediate introduction of the plague. Before I could even get my character’s feet underneath him… Bam! He was infected, and I chose, responsibly, to have him drop out of sight, thinking that it wouldn’t get much worse, a decision I had to walk back when it did get worse.

Swan Song

The Good:
I really liked the mechanics of the duel. It worked about as well as I can ever imagine a duel-by-karaoke working, for which, I really have to applaud your ability to bring such an absurd concept to life. It also provided one of the best points of character development for SPH, when he balked at finishing off @manwich’s character, and allowed him to feel guilty when <pleasing hum> died anyway.

The Bad:
The duties of the second should really have been spelled out earlier. When I declared the duel, I expected highly dramatic meetings between the two seconds while trying to resolve it, each arguing on their primary’s behalf. Instead, there wasn’t a second on <pleasing hum>'s end until the moment of the duel itself, which robbed the whole scenario of most of its potential for interesting character interaction.

The Ugly:
Honestly, I can’t think of anything to put here.

…Like a horse and carriage

The Good:
I liked the multi-step courtship system, where you had to first catch attention, and then get interest, etc., etc. I liked how there was a wide selection of potential partners, and that some of them were even controlled by other players.

The Bad:
This is one place where knowing in advance that the Citizenship split was really supposed to be a gender split would have been so nice. Had that been the case, I would have interacted a lot more with the Sea Pea characters, so that I could build a storyline indicative of that. Instead, I’d been treating the wards with utter dismissal, so reacting to any of them with romantic interest wouldn’t have made sense as a character.

The Ugly:
One of the main criticisms I’d have for this whole game is exemplified through the courtship process: I didn’t feel like I was ever really interacting with other players through the mechanics of the game. So, since I chose not to pursue one of the other players’ secondary characters, I was really just acting with myself, which isn’t nearly so fun. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t write up the walk in the park: I had no connection to this “Madeline Penumbra” character: knew nothing at all about her, really. Sure, I could have made something up, but I wasn’t really getting the impression that any extra effort I was putting into the character was having any consequence.

In any story, the plot is just there to throw a bunch of interesting characters together so you can see how they bounce off each other. We had the opportunity to interact through Leviathan’s, but no real way of affecting each other. You have two characters who have the same love interest? Make them compete for that person! Add some drama to it, instead of just mechanics. I never felt that what anyone else did affected my character in the slightest (beyond the whole ordeal with the duel), and vice versa, and that was starting to kill my motivation to participate (especially near the end).

War and Endings

The Good:
Once things started ratcheting up for the war, I have to say that the character interactions really started getting good. I really started forming connections to these other players through their stories. It was a good note to end on. I also liked the ability to choose a final challenge and go out in your own way.

The Bad:
Although it was a good note to end on, it also seemed like it was far too obviously what was coming. Every month, there was a mention of New Prussia, and every month it got worse, and there was no real indication that any action that we were taking was having any effect on that outcome whatsoever. There was, and I’m extending this beyond the New Prussia situation, either a lack of consequences to the actions we were taking, or a lack of communication of what those consequences were. At the end of the story, I should be able to point to Mayor Tidewell’s election and say, “[This] is how electing someone less bellicose affected the war with New Prussia,” but I can’t. That’s completely opaque to me, and when you can’t see the consequences of your actions, it’s hard to tell if you’re having any.
Also, in regards to the Final Challenge: One of the best ways to write a character is to give that character a goal. Sure, you can tell players that they can’t start progress on their Final Challenge until near the end, but the characters should have a decent idea of what they want in life. This should have been set up much earlier, if not at the very beginning of the game.

The Ugly:
Yes, I realize that it was a thing that actually happened in the Regency, but nothing in this whole campaign pissed me off so much as the ability to buy Rank, through either military service, or simple charitable donation. It wasn’t the idea that money could buy Rank and skills, so much as that that was the only way the transaction could go. Aristocracy is made up of multiple feedback loops: yes, money gets you power, and money gets you skill improvement, but money also gets you more money, and power gets you money, and power gets you elusive instructors, and power gets you more power, and skills get you money, and having a high skill attracts teachers willing to get that skill even higher, and it attracts the interest of powerful patrons.

I made this complaint, in SPH’s voice, in the Handbook thread, but I’ll say it again: setting the game up for people to buy Rank outright was a complete inversion of what I thought Rank signified in this campaign. Furthermore, it rewarded people who ignored your advice to choose balanced characters in the first round, making the correct option, in retrospect, to load up on making as much money as you could, because you could just spend it on Rank later. This is why SPH and I agreed to not participate in it, and donated to the causes in question while declining any reward. It was a protest against the idea that social standing could be bought so easily, when SPH had been working so hard to achieve it by making social connections and hobnobbing with other high-Rank people. Donating freely was my concession that I could no longer win the game by achieving the highest Rank. And, really, the only reason that I got the best PER score in the end was that no one else chose that as their final challenge.

The fact that my character could go from leading the pack to a nobody, in the field that they wanted to stand out in, in a single turn, because I followed the GM’s advice at the start and chose to keep the character in balance early… Yeah, that did not make me happy.


Again, I really enjoyed this whole endeavour; I enjoy writing, and SPH was a fun character to get into the feathers of. I’d be interested to see how many of the little easter eggs and subtexts I dropped along the way were actually spotted (and who figured out the Voice’s identity before I revealed it).

The setting was well thought-out; I liked the plot (although the ending at least seemed to be a railroaded conclusion); I think I could have used the CP/woman metaphor to do some really nice exploration of themes had it been more obvious that that’s what the analogy was; and I would have really liked to have some meaningful interaction with other characters beyond dialogue, but the dialogue itself was a lot of fun.

I might have a couple more points to bring up, but I think that was most of the main stuff.

Thank you, @messana, for all of your hard work running the game; it really shows in how well everything was set up. It’s just a shame you couldn’t get that lazy @Bartlebot to automate things properly.

And thank you, everyone, for putting up with my annoying little bird.


I enjoyed this one a lot. My biggest complaint isn’t aimed at the game at all. My biggest game complaint is that the time commitment was woefully underestimated. This game took effort, and a lot of thinking, and a whole lot of back-and-forth if one ever hoped to actually interact with the other players. The social cues and rankings and such were properly labyrinthine, and translating everything to and from Regency English (with all the unspoken and implied subtext intact) simply got out of reach for me. So I cheated a bit, and just used my old lizards from BASD and had them impersonate a “real” TC and CP (intentionally badly) and miraculously got away with it, but mostly because nobody had the heart to call me out.

So my biggest complaint was my own limited time. I worked on a TV pilot in April, but otherwise was unemployed; I should have had plenty of time for this game. But I’ve been dealing with kid things and job search, and incredibly time-consuming DIY roof repair, and so I had to skate by with minimal time investment in the game, and though I’m well satisfied with my own characters’ outcomes, I feel I should have spent much more time engaging the other characters. I got some wonderful and sorely-needed help from @old and @penguinchris and @david_falkayn at a critical juncture, but I don’t feel like I was able to pay them back in any meaningful way, which is my own fault.

But despite those regrets, I had a great time.


I agree with the previous two assessments. I would like to note though that despite the difficulty and extra time needed in keeping up with the labyrinthine and opaque structure (which, to be fair, was pointed out would be the case at the beginning), everyone kept up and contributed as best they could - many with truly remarkable characters and stories.

That is a strong testament to the overall quality of the game and the setting created for it, so, bravo. Even though there are certainly ways to improve upon it for next time, the many bold choices and deviations from past games definitely paid off.

I’m with @Donald_Petersen in regretting not having enough time to commit to this. I had fun doing what I did and though I always wish I had done more in these games, that’s especially true this time.

I was also a little disappointed (echoing @nimelennar) that despite seeming to be set up to encourage character interaction, that didn’t really work out. I mean, that’s always hard in these, but I do hope we can work out a way to enable that more in the future.

I also actually kind of feel bad that I did so well; again echoing @nimelennar, the only reason I did well is because I didn’t have that much time to think about my choices early in the game so I just tried to achieve the highest income I could (and then later, rank). This turned out to be the best strategy, but left behind many who had far better contributions to the game and who were going for more nuanced strategies.


One of the weird things about Badass games is that win conditions are generally unclear. In fact, they’re pretty much entirely beside the point, but that’s never made clear up front. In Pat Race’s games, for instance, I always played for GRIT, while talking like I was playing for profit. Essentially, I was going for making the most entertaining splash as possible, like a class clown who fears no consequences. Death held no terrors for me, as long as it was a sufficiently amusing death. I left the conservative min/maxing to the Monopoly players; Space Lizards are table flippers (though never at the expense of the other players or the established narrative). Since it was made plain by BASD 1.0, still the best and purest Badass experience, that just playing was waaaaayyyy more fun than “winning,” I have never played to win.

Look at it this way: though the final rankings show that I did well in Rank, I did terrible in every other stat. I’m the only player to have fully achieved my Legacy goal 10/10 (it was to have a memorial statue erected of me, essentially as a Savior or Hero of Weatherby), and it meant that I’d pretty much need to kill off my character in the service of the colony. So, in a sense, I “won”… but in another sense, being stone dead in both my TC and CP characters, I lost.

But look at all the fun I had shooping up Jane Austen book covers with farting lizards in MSPaint!

So much Win! :grin:


There’s another point I wanted to raise that I missed in the previous post, and that’s the matter of


The heart of a good story is the conflict between the protagonists as they exist at the beginning of the story (the thesis) and the antagonists who upend the status quo (the antithesis). At the end of the story, the protagonists, having grown from the lessons taught by the antagonists, create a new status quo, stronger than the one at the start (the synthesis).

Rather than chronologically like my previous post, I’m going to tackle this in reverse order of prominence, with the primary antagonist being:

New Prussia/Admiral Pandora:
This foe was in the background for practically the entire campaign, ever increasing in terms of threat, and it was obvious that New Prussia and Weatherby were going to come into conflict eventually. That said, I have no idea who New Prussia are or what they want (beyond that they’re bellicose, incompetent, and that they want to invade Weatherby).

We’ll start with incompetence: Weatherby was an easy target. The Voice of Weatherby was so focused on unity because the country was badly divided. Even so, I never really had any expectation that folks would turn on Weatherby because they were given no real incentive to do so. New Prussia didn’t have any message to the protagonists beyond, “We’ll give whoever personally cooperates certain benefits, we won’t firebomb you if you surrender, and then the only difference you’ll see is that you’ll be a colony of New Prussia rather than Britannia Prime.”

Had New Prussia sent their own Ambassadors to Weatherby, who started pointing out the legitimate social issues (Citizen Pretenders being held down, Britannia Prime legitimately not caring for its colony in times of plague/blight/occupation, social services being funded by charity instead of by government, and so on…), that is, presented a credible alternate future for Weatherby, then there would have been some tension about who might legitimately want such a transition. Instead, they came as bullies, and the propaganda to unite the people against them was easy to write.

And I never got a sense that conciliatory efforts or compromise might work, either, since I didn’t know what they wanted Weatherby for. They might as well have been Vogons, clearing Weatherby out of the way for a new hyperspace bypass.

There was no antithesis presented for us to incorporate into the old status quo and provide synthesis. SPH could have had his mind changed to support rights for Citizen-Pretenders, but with no antagonist to point out to him just how badly the current system was failing them, he had no reason to change.

Mayor Tidewell
Tidewell would have been a great choice for an antagonist for the group (and worked well as a personal antagonist for SPH): a cynical opportunist who was willing to sell out her Citizen-Pretenders to a plague-ridden death for profit, and eventually turned traitor.

Except all of that was kept hidden (although I tried to obliquely hint at it in SPH’s monologues). Again, the information that could have informed the conflict between PC and antagonist was out of sight.

Had Tidewell defected publicly, we could have stormed the Mayor’s office. We could have staged a full-scale revolt in the streets. SPH would have led it; as previously mentioned, he had good reason to believe she was an amoral opportunist. We could have had character development, where we reflected on the cost of supporting Tidewell’s repression of C-P rights. Instead, we were just told at the end, “Oh, and the Mayor and the Governor were traitors.” Unsatisfying, and a wasted opportunity.

<Pleasing hum>
Another good personal antagonist for SPH, I would really have liked to see @manwich’s character stay alive and explore the idea of a malevolent possessing entity, and see how the interactions with SPH proceeded after SPH inflicted lethal damage on him. I respect @manwich’s decision to bow out, but that actually had the best potential for a good antagonist plot out of any of them.

The Ripper
I honestly haven’t the foggiest what was going on in the alley; was this a side plot by @messana, or was it being run by PCs? I stayed out of it because I was completely stumped by this whole thing. If it was a PC killing other PCs (or even NPCs)… I get how a Ripper mentality suits the time, but, like the snake oils, it seems an anachronism when the cops would have futuristic tech to track such a person down.

This is less a complaint than it is an observation about a different path events might have taken. We were in a free-for-all with sixteen characters, and, while there evolved some nice hostility between the individuals, we never really had any factionalization, by which I mean, people with a common agenda, coming together to work against other factions with different agendas. As I’ve said previously, story is a chance for a bunch of different characters with different goals to bounce off each other, but we never really had “different goals”; we had each had the same goal (maximize [x] stat), but for ourselves.

Had, let’s say, the people competing for Rank been tasked with keeping the CPs down, the EDU with lifting them up, the Income group with increasing their economic mobility but keeping them ignorant, the FSH with figuring out what was the most popular opinion and exploiting it, the BUS with achieving some sort of stability, and the PER with finding a solution that a supermajority would have been okay with, and we had people belonging to multiple groups with conflicting agendas at onceThat would have made for some intrigue. Instead, the goals we were given didn’t really compete with each other, so each person just really pursued their own goals in isolation.


While having a clear antagonist in the end certainly helped us achieve a cinematic ending, it really didn’t do much for the growth of the characters. A good villain provides a solution to a legitimate problem with the status quo, although the solution being provided should be untenable in its own ways, leaving the characters to provide a resolution to both the problems inherent in the original status quo, as well as the problem posed by the villain. None of the antagonists really tried to solve anything.

The conflict itself was entertaining and suspenseful, as we had to wait and see whether we’d succeed, and what the cost demanded of us for that success would be. But it lacked a certain satisfaction that comes with having to confront the villain, instead of just having to eliminate him.


In retrospect, many of your constructive criticisms directly recall what made the original game so great. As @Donald_Petersen points out, the original games were best played for GRIT, a stat that is not related to any of the actual gameplay. It was rewarded basically arbitrarily for being entertaining, in whatever form that took.

More importantly though, the original game had a much looser narrative structure than this one, but it did have many of the key elements you suggest - it had player factions later in the game (just two, but strongly defined) and a strongly defined enemy that had real character (Don Mondo, Space Amphibian, who did pop up here). So it had carefully-chosen, precise moments where Pat Race shaped the story with a strong prompt for the players to fill in the details, but was otherwise pretty open.

Of course the basic idea, which was that everyone is a space privateer and takes on freelance missions each turn, is a big part of why it felt so open and free-form. Here there was a tradeoff - there was much more room for narrative complexity in this setting, and it was a much richer world to play within, but just like the real-life Regency, it was also confining and constricting in some ways.

When @Donald_Petersen, Jonas_Eggeater, and I ran our version of the game (I think we felt we needed three people to come close to matching Pat Race’s genius), it’s fair to say we went too far in pushing our own not-that-open-ended narrative, as fun as the story was. We did have a lot of great and inventive character interaction, I thought, but it was clear eventually that it was just not as effective and exciting of a space to play with characters as the original was.

This latest iteration felt somewhere in-between. I feel that our actions as players did strongly influence the overall plot, but there was also quite a lot that felt pre-ordained. In the meantime, we the recurring players have become not just vaguely more familiar with how it works, but very specifically specialized in our roles. My character is basically always the same, @Donald_Petersen’s was literally the same characters, and of course Falkayn lives (and we wouldn’t want it any other way). I suspect for us three these are all thinly-veiled versions of our real-life selves (though having met Donald I do know he’s not a lizard, unless he has a very convincing human-suit). It would possibly help if we took the concept of “role-playing” truly to heart and changed things up a bit :sweat_smile:


I’m kind of wondering what New Prussia took the place of, since it was something I made up for a throwaway joke letter. Was there always meant to be an external antagonist like that?


Here’s my ramblings:

This has been my favorite game thus far. The first badass I participated in was pretty well just fumbling about, The next time I participated it was a lot of fun. Highlander was my least favorite only due to the fact I rushed a character concept and then after play began had a much better one.

I think Hieronymoose had a decent run. I was trying to play him as a straight moose. No ulterior motives but to get ahead in business and stay there. I think ending up with the 2d lowest PER worked for Hieron. I mean, he was still doing Karaoke seasons after it was passe. I would have liked more turns and opportunities to settle our fortunes. My poor dear cousin (@hadley) seemed near destitute so often my poor heart broke for her. Speaking of Elizabeth Mary Farnsworth VI, it was nice to have family on Weatherby even if they were from that side of the family.

The CP murders seemed to be a story that never went anywhere and was something I was interested in knowing more about.

I am curious if RDSA - turn 6: You’ve encountered an ‘unexpected individual’ @messana ever had any effect on anything. I kept waiting for something and if it materialized I glossed over it.

Time was a factor some turns. Even during Intermezzo, I’d had the outline for an encounter with Richard Forester drafted up and probably an hour away from posting when the turn was over. Lizzy is a fine companion, but Richard still has my heart. (I’m sorry Doctor (@Old), I stole him away and then left him alone and dear Jean-Rhys (@MrMonkey) Lizzy deserved better that this old Moose.)

The wards were a fun sub-plot. I wished I’d had more time, but honestly, I had one browser with @Rockford_Julius logged in, so it was only at that PC I could be bothered to let him out. Thank You Cmdr Damerl (@pogo) from saving poor Rocco from ending up as some fop’s mistress.

Rank seemed to elude me. I suppose I could go back through my moves and see what I could have improved upon, but I’d hoped for better.

All in all though, I was amused and entertained. The characters were fun although I kept getting a few crossed up in my mind. More interaction would have been great, but difficult unless players happen to be online at the same time. I know Karekin (@David_Falkayn) had messaged me on a couple of occasions and I didn’t notice in a timely manner.

In summary, Great game, would have liked more time up front to build characters and relationships before the Plague stepped in. Aaaakzeee St-Patrick-Hartbrooke III (@nimelennar) I’m sorry I didn’t stop by more while you were Ill, terrible manners.


I enjoyed this, but I had no idea what I was doing, screwed accumulating money up early on and felt I was on the back foot throughout. I could never catch that up.

I don’t think my writing ability is up to what a game like this requires and I didn’t get as involved as I should have. I definitely didn’t do my ward justice.

I slacked off a bit too much this time, wasn’t sure what to do.


[Listening intensifies.]


Similar ideas have been raised before but I think perhaps this game proved that we need to do away with space banking as a core game mechanic. I think there was really a lot of good stuff done with the other stats in this one (well beyond the previous games), which really added a lot, but the fact that you needed money (and a lot of it in most cases) to really do anything seemed unnecessary and I could tell that many players felt held back by it.

Of course, inequality is a key component of the inspiration for this setting, but there’s nothing fun about inequality.


I, for one, would like a full refund.


Allow me an aside:

@manwich , you were awesome!!


I should have done what I was tempted to do (and thought that @pogo was doing one time), and just put orders in that were far beyond what I could afford - i.e. just rent property I couldn’t afford, or buy a senior commission.

Living wildly beyond my means would have been true to the historical character I initially based mine on, too…


I was really hoping you would!


I thought perhaps the absurd prices on the top commissions were an intentional prompt to do that in the last turn or two, since nobody could ever have afforded it.


I would like to discuss an Out-of_game issue that I haven’t successfully addressed.

Because of the my history going back to the original Badass, and how those past interactions have wonderfully led to great things in my out of game life, I feel constrained on how I can operate my character.

For example, there was a moment when five characters ( Jules, Heirynomouse, Jean-Rhys, Skwiddish, St Patrick) had complete control of where the game was going.

As a player, I would have LOVED to have Jules organize a “sell out” to New Prussia. But there is no way I, the human behind the character , would risk that scale of a betrayal because of my fear that I would jeopardize important out of game relationships, --even though Jules the character was wonderfully positioned to execute exactly that maneuver.

That’s not a complaint. I am a lucky bastard to even have this “problem.”

Rather I want to use this opportunity to expose an offer I made to Messana before this game began: To operate “Falkayn” as an NPC to benefit the game.

As we move our focus to the next, I really need to solve this problem, as my characters are getting… boring.

I welcome suggestions on how others see this.

Thank You.

(Mr. Collins was supposed to be an interminable bore who killed everyone else)


As a player, I would have LOVED to have Jules organize a “sell out” to New Prussia.

Hieronymoose tried to get buy in from the PM cliques I was in, but the sentiment wasn’t there. So, like all good business moose, he backed the winning side.


That opportunity could have been there, under different circumstances.

SPH was a politician and an aristocrat. His principles were spouted loudly but not held deeply. Most of the internal monologue I wrote wasn’t SPH deciding what to do based on his principles; it was SPH deciding what he wanted to do, and then retroactively justifying it to be based on his principles. He was loudly royalist, patriotic, and religious, but his main goals were to get into better position, use that position to privately benefit himself but publicly benefit the public, thereby gain wealth and influence, to trade in that wealth and influence for an even better position, rinse, repeat.

Had New Prussia had anything to offer towards that end, he could have easily been convinced to defect, if it could be publicly justified as being for the benefit of the public.

At the start of those final rounds, SPH had fallen behind his compatriots in wealth/income and Rank. He was losing the influence game, the game he’s been trained to play since birth. A desperate manoeuver to recover his ability to win that game (by promising him not Rank the stat, but Rank in the form of a leadership position - Hey, sir, you’re running for Mayor, how would you like a whole lot of money and the Governor’s chair?) would have been an enticing option, but again, only if it could be justified. A guaranteed heir to carry on the S-P-H line would have also presented a tempting offer (not TC-ship for his daughter and wife, he liked the current social structure; I mean a new heir, guaranteed to be a TC).

Even then, though… From my perspective (and therefore SPH’s), Britannia Prime was a decent, if not responsive, administrator for the colony, and New Prussia was the belligerent voice in the newspapers, and then an adversary blowing up unarmed ships with no provocation, then an oppressor forming a blockade and threatening bombardment from orbit. They could have offered SPH a seat by the Konig’s side, and the Crown Jewels of Britannia Prime, and he wouldn’t have taken that offer. He wants Rank (the demonstrated ability to be “the sort of person” who should be in a leadership position), not “Rank” (the stat on a character sheet).

It goes back to what I said about antagonists. If SPH had any reason to expect that New Prussian rule would be good for the colony, if Britannia Prime had faltered in its leadership (beyond a mere slow response time to plague and blight and letting a murderer run loose, I mean if things got really bad, and people started blaming BP for it and rioting in the streets), and if NP had stepped into that gap and proven themselves to be honourable and trustworthy, then sure. SPH could totally have been convinced to switch sides, if it was in his personal interest to do so. It wouldn’t even need to get as bad as described above, as long as he could publicly spin it that way.

But the antagonist, as presented, was just a problem. They didn’t solve any problems for SPH, beyond giving him a threat he could use to unite the populace behind him. And so, his best option was to stick to his patriotic guns, to encourage the citizenry to partake in Resistance, and to threaten any defectors with personal retribution to make sure that his side of the war won.

SPH would totally have seen defection as a personal betrayal (and would probably have followed through on that threat to hunt you down and duel you, should Britannia Prime’s leadership have withstood the test and justice not been done). I wouldn’t have been upset, though; it would have been an interesting twist, in an ending was otherwise fairly straightforward.

Including SPH on the treason conversation in the current situation (with no benefit to him in the public’s eye for defecting) would have been a bad idea, though… He would have totally backstabbed you by setting up his own little meeting with the other TCs, and suggesting that they go along with your plan to your face and then re-defect back to BP and hang you out to dry.

(Besides, I was already enamoured with the Resistance option at that point).