[Play by Post Recruiting] Anomaly - SCP meets The Quiet Year

Howdy folks! I recently listened to Friends at the Table play a rad game called Anamoly. As the itch.io page below says:

Anomaly is a Tarot based gmless storytelling game about a sinister organization investigating a supernatural anomaly.
With mechanics inspired by The Quiet Year by Avery Alder.

I don’t play a lot of indie table top games with real life friends, but this seems like it could be a fun play by post game for these forums! It is already turn based, and involves a lot of solo narration that can work well in a post based format. The game is best for 2-5 players.

So for now, let’s use this thread for 3 things.

  • Anyone who’s interested, reply below saying as such, then we can see how many potential players we have.
  • Ask questions about the process of playing. We can establish ground rules about expectations like post length and frequency. When we’re actually playing, I can do the rules refereeing and do the random card draws for everyone (if it makes people more comfortable I can abstain from playing and act only as a referee)
  • Flag anything that you would not like to be part of this game. If you have a phobia of clowns, we can make sure none appear in the game. Anything at all you’d rather just not come up. There’s no need to explain your reasoning at all, just flag a topic you don’t want included and it will not be. If you would prefer you can use this Google form to do this anonymously. You can also flag things mid play, even in response to something that has been introduced. These boundaries are important and must be respected for everyone to have a good time.

Any other questions comments or whatever are welcome even if you’re unsure if you want to/can take part! Hopefully this can be a fun game experience for folks to play and read. :slight_smile:

Currently our players are:

CulturalSnowCrash, creditinthestr8world, Blackie62, mundanesoul and SuperBiasedMan

(not set in stone yet if any adjustments need to be made here before we start proper :slightly_smiling_face:)

And also, some flags to make sure do not feature in the game:

  • Elections
  • Rape
  • “Onscreen” queer-bashing or racist violence

Of course all the forum’s usual rules apply, and this list may be updated further (I’ll post clearly if/when this happens)

Ooo, having played and loved Control not too long ago, this looks like a lot of fun. Count me interested!

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Also count me interested.

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Super interested. I’ve been vaguely thinking about a game halfway between the Area X trilogy and Tannis, and this seems basically it!

EDIT: was this in a FATT Patreon exclusive? I’d love to hear this!

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I’d also be interested! I probably wouldn’t be available to post anything v substantial more than once a day or so, though.

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4/5 players is great! I’ll leave sign ups for anyone else who might not have seen this yet. We could potentially run 2 games if there are more interested people.

Yes, it’s currently available as part of the $5 (at least right now, if it’s posted in the public feed I can update about it).

This brings up a good point! We should agree to a pace that works for everyone.

  • Given the game is turn based, I think it makes sense that we expect posts to take up to a day.
  • When posting about cards drawn and turn actions, I’ll make sure to flag with people who’s turn it is now and next, so everyone’s aware when it’ll be time to post.
  • If you think you’ll need longer, just update us in the thread so we know it’s coming.
  • If there’s no update after a day, I can message just to check in.
  • If there’s no update on the thread at all after 3 (?) days, we must unfortunately conclude that the Anomaly has stolen you away and move on. People are free to rejoin the game after a period of absence, but I think it’s best to not retroactively finish turns and just move forward.

Let me know if there’s any feedback or ideas about those points. Especially the last one, I’m not sure if 3 days before moving on is too harsh (especially over holidays). So I’m open to adjusting that.

At a mods great suggestion, I’ve set up a Google form where people can anonymously post feedback or request topics to exclude from the game. You can find it here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5FbZS2JW-vFujKVX9z6W6YHqcAURlGs4l5JARDPVVo-lEVg/viewform

Feel free to use it to respond to things like the guidelines I suggested above, if for any reason you’re less comfortable doing it publicly.

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I have now bought the game and I’m even more eager to play it. It looks truly awesome.

I’ll edit this into the initial post but it looks like right now the players are:

CulturalSnowCrash, creditinthestr8world, Blackie62, mundanesoul and SuperBiasedMan

(not set in stone yet if any adjustments need to be made here before we start proper :slightly_smiling_face:)

And also, some flags to make sure do not feature in the game:

  • Elections
  • Rape
  • “Onscreen” queer-bashing or racist violence

Of course all the forum’s usual rules apply, and this list may be updated further (I’ll post clearly if/when this happens)

Great! And also a handy segue to something I meant to put in the initial post. We’ll all need our own copy of the pdf rulebook from the link up top, (it’s $5 + taxes for some people). If anyone doesn’t have access to one let me know and I can send you a key for one (I’ll just need an email to send it to).

Outside of that, I think we’re ready to start the pre-game set up. We need to define 4 things:

  1. the Organisation researching the strange events
  2. the Anomaly itself
  3. the Setting where this is all happening
  4. the Population of locals that have just been here

The pdf has some suggestions and roughly sketches out these as the set up and gives some suggestions as starting points but we can go with whatever we like.

When we begin proper turn order I’ll set up the main game thread, but to ease us in I think we can just discuss ideas for this here and come to an agreement. Ideally we can just all get on the same page and decide when we’re ready with what we’ve set up, but we can use a poll to break any deadlocks if we aren’t sure which idea we want to go with for something.

I have just one idea to bring to the table for now.

I kinda want the Setting to be some sort of cheap Christmas village or Santa’s grotto like in a shopping centre/mall. A place that’s trying (not that hard) to be magical on a tight budget. Lots of busy people queueing up. All joining in a shared myth even without the Anomaly involved.

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This sounds like so much fun! Looks like the first game is full but I’d love to be a part of a second game if that works out!

Depending on what others think, even with current numbers we could run 2 games of 3 people each! (in separate threads, to avoid confusion :sweat_smile:)

That’s a fun idea. My first thought for the Organization, then, would be something like:

ORGANIZATION: The Helpers

An association of agents, founded and funded by parties unknown, who discreetly watch over scenes of festivity where disturbances may arise. They have been rumored to appear as bouncers, attendant elves, food cart operators, magicians’ assistants, waiters, and costumed mascots. It is said they can be, if not recognized, then perhaps vaguely indicated by their smiles, which are always held a moment too long to be reassuring.

That’s just a first sketch, of course; I’m totally open to other ideas.

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ORGANIZATION: The Helpers

I’ll attempt a spin on this. I love the Settings idea of something weird happening at a very mundane and “fake” festivity scene but I’d like the Organization to be a super serious one so we can work with contrast? Maybe it’s not an organization that only supervives scenes of festivity but overall occourrences of the word magic in the world because sometimes, and only sometimes, invoking magic actually does something? They could be an extremely overworked organization, constantly trying to triage and prioritize new possible threats because everything is magic in our world.

And, of course, this:

They have been rumored to appear as bouncers, attendant elves, food cart operators, magicians’ assistants, waiters, and costumed mascots. It is said they can be, if not recognized, then perhaps vaguely indicated by their smiles, which are always held a moment too long to be reassuring.

would stil hold up perfectly.

And I’m super fine splitting in two groups! (Maybe we could even split in timezones-friendly groups, so we can be slightly faster)

Good timezone point, it’s worth saying what zones we’re all from to see how that works out. I’m in BST. Also to be clear, if there are 2 games I’ll still run the mechanics on both so no-one else has to worry about that.

I love the idea of the helpers. I’m not sure how it was originally intended but I definitely read them as still being quite serious science people who might also be wearing elf ears. I was picturing a very Hitman-esque style of blending in.

The magic idea is very fun, I don’t have a proper idea for an Anomaly but it would be funny if it was being caused/accelerated by a long forgotten old Christmas single that contains 217 VMOs* in it’s 2 minute 25 second run time. Due to a mismanagement of funds, a certain Christmas Village has just a single CD, playing this song on loop for hours.

*Verbal Magic Occurences: Instances of the word “magic” either as a standalone word or as part of another word. eg. Magical, magician etc.

I’m in GMT+1, which if I understand the arcane and mysterious science of timezones correctly is the same as BST.

It currently is yes (only “currently” because daylight savings time ruins everything)

I’m in EST, which would be six hours behind BST, and I’m on board with both of yr takes on the Helpers–I was imagining them as being both absurd and extremely earnest about their objectives, like the Blue Rose agents in Twin Peaks.

I’m in CST, one hour behind credit. Open to whatever splitting, etc. we need to do. Hoping to grab the PDF very soon so I can look this over!

Will be back to contribute some ideas soon!

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I’m PST which is GMT -8, two hours behind Mundane.

I do have an idea brewing: You know those places that pop up around Christmas, with rows and rows of Christmas trees from some farm setup to be sell on what would otherwise be a vacant lot for the rest of the year? Like the one Charlie Brown finds the sad little Christmas tree in in that holiday special. One of those but it’s a phantom Christmas tree sale… thing. It appears literally overnight and the entire business and farm is completely untraceable. The people running it, possibly don’t exist, possibly long dead. And by the morning of December 25th the whole place is gone without even pine needles left.

Also, and I know this is actually not part of the normal design of Anomaly/The Quiet Year, I’m going to force a semi-non sequitur instance of characters talking about how the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas actually slaps.

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