This year’s Halloween party was two weeks ago, and the best so far by lots. While it was the third year running where guests showed up at the appropriate time to find me not yet in costume, this time that was the only step I hadn’t finished and it wasn’t my fault; both the downstairs toilet and the kitchen sink picked that day to back up. I could have survived one of those, both ruined my timing.
This was the first year everybody pretty much knew what to do. It was the first year people actually died before ten minutes from the end which, being a murder mystery party, helps. It was also the first year the rules required a detailed spreadsheet and an appendix. Despite being massively complicated, the mechanics seemed to work well. I put the meta-gamers in the meta-gamey roles and put the casual players in roles where they could ignore most of the rules. I will definitely be yoinking lots for next year’s game, and that’s a first too.
For the curious, the majority of the rules are under the cut.
The Dilerian Triumvirate was formed 137 years ago when the houses of Alskash, Pauj and Ketril came together into a power sharing agreement. Peace has reigned throughout the empire during their benevolent reign. Where battle and warfare were once the only tools available for those seeking power, political intrigue, back-room dealings and, occasionally, assassination now reign supreme.
The All Hallows Eve Masque is the main event for political jockeying throughout the year. Balls from the last three years alone have seen assassination attempts against each member of the Triumvirate. Guests from House Muacert and Janerre were murdered last year.
Cassiel Janerre was one of last year’s victims. She was also a famed seer. As she died from a painful poison she prophesied that this year’s ball was doomed. The poison finished her off before she could specify the type of doom. So far her prediction seems accurate. Tensions between the three factions of Dileria are tenser than ever. For the first time in 137 years, war looks possible. This is the ball that will determine the political course of Dileria for decades to come.
There are several different personal statistics for each player in the game. They are listed below.
This is an all or nothing stat. Either you’re alive or you aren’t. Don’t get killed and you are still playing your original part. Do get killed and it’s time to talk to the Mistress of Revels about a reincarnation and a new career.
Are you a merchant looking for a patron or a member of the Triumvirate? Either way you have some degree of power. More is better, of course, so you should go for that. You can get power by building a structure below you and getting protection and support from those above you. You can also get more power by removing the people who have more power above you. See the section about alliances and assassination below for more details about how to grow (or shrink) your power.
Every house and corporation has a total power ranking. This ranking is comprised of a calculation that includes wealth, status, military power and alliances. See the appendix for more detail about power calculations.
Favor tokens will be given to players at the beginning of the game. Each player will receive 1 favor token for every 200 power points they have at the beginning of the game. Favor tokens remain unique to the original owner throughout the game. In other words, if you receive a favor token from the Paujian Triumvir then trade that favor to the representative from Marmotman Inc, it will still be a favor from the Paujian Triumvir. Favor tokens can be used to force the issuer into granting a boon or intervening on your behalf. While the issuer may choose to honor the token for as much as they like, they are not required to honor them for favors that will diminish their power by more than 1.5%. For example, you could demand a gift of military power from the Alskashian Triumvir but if the amount of support you demand will reduce their overall power by 1.5% or more they do not have to honor the favor at all. The Mistress of Revels will settle questions about the validity of requested favors.
Note: Favor tokens do not have to be used for things that affect stats. If you want the Alskashian Triumvir to talk to Holicerf about forming an alliance with you can make that the request. There can be no guarantee of the result of their intervention, however.
Money and power, power and money, they go hand-in-hand. Everybody will be given a bank account number and balance before the game commences. Money can be used in alliance negotiations and to hire services. When financial transactions occur, the money will be transferred by writing out a check listing the debited bank account, the amount of money, and the credited bank account. This slip should then be presented to the mistress of revels (or her designated banker) for completion of the transaction. No information about the balances of accounts will be given out except to the owner of the account.
If a bank account is overdrawn the mistress of revels will announce that the bank account’s owner is bankrupt. A bankrupt individual has ten minutes to cover the debt. Friends, allies, or good Samaritans are free to donate to the cause of saving an individual from bankruptcy. If enough money is deposited into the bankrupt bank account to cover the debt and a 10% processing fee then the individual will be spared from bankruptcy. If not then all of their favor tokens must be turned in to the Mistress of Revels (or her designated banker).
Bankrupt individuals may be bought out of bankruptcy for the cost of their overdraft plus a 15% fee. When they emerge from bankruptcy they will receive 1 favor token for every 100 power points they have. The tokens will be distributed back to “creditors” who had the favors previously. The first to turn in the voided favor tokens will be the first to receive the new tokens. If the individual has more power upon being bought out of bankruptcy, their favors will be calculated based on their starting stat.
If an individual is murdered all of their favor tokens pass out of the game permanently. Anybody who pledged fealty to them will have to pledge fealty to one of their mutual allies. If they had no mutual allies then their pledged allies are free from their obligations. Their status bonus will be evenly split among their mutual allies.
There are two major kinds of alliances. The first of these is a mutual alliance. A mutual alliance means that you equally support to each other. If one of you is pulled into a war, both are. See the appendix on power calculations for more details about how mutual alliances and war affect your power structure. You may make as many mutual alliances as you like.
Fealty alliances are unilateral. One party will pledge fealty to another, usually in exchange for protection or favors. If the pledger is pulled into a war the pledgee is under no obligation to help them. On the other hand, of the pledgee goes to war, the pledger is obliged to total commitment. You cannot break a pledged alliance with somebody during a war. You cannot pledge fealty to somebody in a lower status. You cannot pledge fealty to more than one house. Merchant houses can pledge fealty to anybody.
An alliance becomes official when a note is passed to the Mistress of revels detailing the nature of the alliance. She will then update bank accounts and power statistics appropriately.
Alliances may be either public or secret. As of the start of the game all alliances are public. The mistress of revels will give out information about public alliances immediately once she is notified of them. On the other hand she will not discuss secret alliances until they become public. Any member of a secret alliance can take it public at any time, with or without the consent of the other members of the alliance. For example:
At the beginning of the game house Doq has pledged fealty to Pauj. Ten minutes into the game Doq forms a secret alliance with Kestril. When the mistress of revels receives notification of the alliance she will update stats accordingly, but she will not say anything to Pauj about the change in status. The alliance will only become public if
1)Pauj goes to war and discovers they no longer have military support from Doq
2)Kestril goes to war whereupon Doq’s support becomes public
3)Kestril or Doq announces the alliance publicly.
Don’t like somebody? Kill them. You can do this either through hiring somebody else to or by doing it yourself. A hired assassin is not allowed to turn you in. To kill somebody pass a note to the Mistress of revels listing your target and method. The Mistress of Revels will then inform the assassinated individual of their death. The rules governing how you personally can kill somebody will be found on your individual character sheet.
Killing is a messy business, though, and you can’t do it willy nilly without risk to yourself. If you are caught then everyone is automatically freed from their alliances with you (though they may opt to continued them). You will automatically lose all of your power points derived from honor. Reference the power appendix for details about the other stats affected by being caught for murder. Representatives from all the houses ranked above yours after adjustments have been made for your power losses will then have the opportunity to execute you. A simple majority will condemn you. The vote will take place ten minutes after you are publicly outed.
If you believe you know the identity of a murderer and can convince one other person, then you may both report to the mistress of revels. If you are right then the murderer’s fortune will be divided between you and you will be able to divide the favors the murderer has collected through the course of the game. If you are wrong then you forfeit 15% of your wealth to the accusee and lose honor.
The End of the Game
The game ends 2 and a half hours after the Mistress of Revels announces the official commencement of the Masq. In the absence of a personal win condition, walking out of the game with more power and or money is a win. Dying or otherwise losing status is a loss.
There are two kinds of power statistics, fixed and dynamic. The dynamic power stats are Status, Money, Honor and Inherent Military power. The dynamic stats are Networked Military Power and Alliance bonuses.
Status power is assigned based on where in the Dilerian status rankings you are. The number of slots in each level are fixed. If one house gains enough power to knock another out of a higher level and take their place, then the Status statistics will be reassigned.
One million dollars = 1 power point. Money statistics are updated instantly when bank transactions occur
Honor stats are assigned at the beginning of the game. If you wrongly accuse somebody of murder you will lose 15% of your honor stats. Honor stats will be added and subtracted by the mistress of revels at her discretion over the course of the game.
Inherent Military Power
Inherent Military power is assigned at the beginning of the game. It can be traded to others in the game. To transfer inherent military power to somebody else notify the Mistress of Revels of the transaction.
Networked Military Power
Networked military power is calculated using the following formula: Inherent military power + 75% of the inherent military power of your mutual allies at peace + 15% of your mutual allies at war + 100% of your pledged allies.
To declare war all you have to do is notify the mistress of revels and the house you are declaring war against. If your networked military power is 50% greater than that of the house you declare against then 25% of their inherent military power goes to you, 25% disappears and the other 50% is split among the allies of the attackee. If the attackee has no allies they all disappear.
Situations where forces are relatively evenly matched will be fought out after the ball. Surrender, treaties etc., can be discussed. The mistress of revels should be notified of all changes in status.
You get bonuses based on the strength of your allies. You get a 50% bonus for the fixed stats of your mutual allies and 90% for the fixed stats of your pledged allies.
You may use the tables in the enclosed to examine how the power stats interact with each other.
Anybody who wants to see the rest feel free to ask. I’ll forward them on via email. This is missing both FAQs, the spreadsheet, the power structure diagram, and the character sheets.