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Words Over the Airwaves • 2019 rpg finalist

Packbat •

! Content Warning: Gameplay could potentially induce anxiety. !

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Dice are six-sided, rolled secretly. GMless.

== Setup ==

Each player roleplays an isolated scientist studying an inhospitable planet. They can't reach each other physically, just by satellite radio.

As a group, describe and draw out the planet and each scientist's base, including equipment and environs.

Then, a random player rolls one die for a prompt:

 1 = Base equipment failure
 2 = Imminent hazard
 3 = Pest infestation
 4 = Mysterious issues
 5 = Serious illness
 6 = Natural disaster

...invents from that their scientist's emergency, announces a timescale (example: 6:1 gametime:realtime), and alerts the others in-character.

== Play ==

During play, only interact through in-character text (group chat, social media, email, whatever). Do not announce your temporary AFKs.

Characters discuss the situation and may attempt tasks thus:

- Estimate difficulty:
 0 = trivial (no roll)
 3 = normal
 6 = risky
 9 = only theoretically possible

- Roll two dice. Succeed if either meets or exceeds difficulty.

- If dice were equal, communications interruption: roll and add for realtime minutes player must stay silent before reporting what happened.

Characters may attempt tasks to assist upcoming tasks. (Example: "I'll build a copy and test-run their machine here.") Each success lowers the final difficulty by three.

End when the emergency is resolved, however it resolves.

Author Comments

This game is dedicated to every one of my friends who live thousands of kilometers away from me.

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on this, and special thanks to Katt Sextant for her exceptionally apt and perceptive game design advice.

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