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I've been wanting to know if this is still an active project or if it has been stopped, at least for the time being or permanently?

Doing our second session Saturday with a 5th player added. Any advice on how to handle the new player? Build a Vast right away? Have him play for a session and then add a Vast in session 3? I'm leaning towards the latter to ease him in, and because the bonds don't seem to tie in as much when you're a single person added and not that familiar with the existing setup. But...making Vast is really fun so I am kinda torn.

Since Mark brought up hacks, and because I can't freakin' help myself, I did some more tinkering with the space opera idea. Here's what I came up with, super raw.

A small cosmetic difference: ages are 20 years in space opera, not 50. Characters don't automatically die after a set number of ages.

A pretty major break, instead of story points you have asset points. They are still tokens, but where story points are all about the ebb and flow of drama, asset points are more like physical resources. They are also weighted to encourage conflict rather than story. Which may actually be a horrible mistake, but it seems true to genre.

Rather than a Vast, you play a Faction. Your Faction has asset points (its resources) and Forces, which are the rough equivalent of a Vast's Realm. Each also has Technologies, which are roughly the equivalent of Attachments for a Vast, but have weird community properties. When a Faction does the equivalent of Unraveling that ends an Age.

A little more on Technologies. Same 0-5 dot ratings like Attachments. Same benefit of adding dice when relevant. But some weird stuff about getting them. Each Tech has a card in the center of the table with the number of dots, a brief description of what it represents, and a target number to actually gain the tech. At the beginning of the game and after each scene you get a chance to create a new card, and to roll to attempt to advance in one tech.

Creating a card costs 1 asset. You describe the technology and players vote on whether it actually sounds more advanced than the current level's description. If yes, the card goes on the table with 1 more dot than the current maximum, and a value equal to the last value +1d6. If another card for the same technology is created before someone actually gains the current card, it gets the same dot and value as the existing card, and when you advance you get to pick which description actually applies (the other is a research dead end.)

To advance, you roll dice equal to your dots in that Technology, and add any number of asset points you choose (before the roll). If you beat the number on the card, you get the card and the dot, and your total roll (including assets spent) becomes the new advance value. If you fail, you might still get something, see below.

Now, the weird part. You each have your own Tech track, but its affected by the other players. If you get a dot, you fill it in completely, but everyone else puts an X in it, and the advance value goes up for everyone. But if someone else manages to advance past you, they get the filled dots and you get an X, and so on. If you fail an advance check you can fill in one of your X's, but you can never fill in the last one this way. So essentially one person will always have the best rating in a technology, and everyone else will be 1 or more dots behind. Surpassing that leader will take either a really lucky roll or lots of assets (or both).

After the 5th dot, any further advance is simply a Catastrophe. When you advance to a Catastrophe you play 1 more scene and then the age ends, and all sorts of things get broken or reset.

At the start of the game each player adds a tech card for free, going around the table twice. (Depending on the number of players, you will have more than 1 potential advance for some of the technologies.) Then going around the table, each player gets 4 free dice to roll for advancement. You may spend a die to create a new card (which will be necessary if you want to reach a 2 dot technology). Once all players have used all dice you build Forces.

Before going into Forces, some mods to Wager Primacy to make things more space opera:
-You can spend a wager to add a technology to the scene. Once this is done all involved parties add their dice to future wager primacy rolls.
-You can spend a wager to attack. Attacks equal to half the target's base dice 'damage' it. Attacks equal to the target's base dice eliminate it from the scene. Eliminated targets are destroyed unless an additional wager is spent to capture it instead.
-You can spend a wager to defend. Each eliminates 1 attack from each faction against a single target. You are still damaged if half your base dice were exceeded.
-You can spend a wager to exit the scene without being captured or destroyed. You exit once you spend wagers equal to half the base dice of the unit.

Forces Types:
-Bases (4 base dice, may not exit, only one base from any player may be set in Scene Primacy)
-Ships (3 base dice, you must spend an asset to include a ship in a scene, may be added after a scene starts)
-Agents (2 base dice, no cost or limit on adding to scenes, but after start may only be added if a ship arrives)
-Troops (1 die each. Cost 1 asset per 2 troops added, and you maximum assets you can spend one one scene is equal to your dots. Can not be captured.)

You get 5 dots of Forces, and 5 temporary assets per player for complications. Like with Realm, you add definitions and the other players add a round of complication bids each time you add a dot of Forces. Each dot of bases is an individual planet. Each dot of ships is a class, and includes one named 'flagship' for the class. Each dot of agents is a unique individual. Each dot of troops is either an alien species or a type of military unit. Each instance gets a single technology strength (allowing you to add your relevant tech dots) and a single technology weakness (allowing opponents to add the relevant tech dots against you...or double if they are already adding as strength!)

You gain an asset each time one of your units is damaged, each time one is eliminated, each time you damage a unit, and each time you eliminate a unit. You can also gain assets from exposition or techno-babble during scenes. Any assets gained during a scene may not be spent until after the scene ends. If you captured a card from a player that has a top ranked technology as a strength, you gain a +1d6 bonus to advance that particular technology after that scene only.

When a technological catastrophe finally occurs, play out one more scene. (Note that the end of the scene could trigger a second catastrophe.) After that scene, pick 3 dots of Forces to keep, all the rest are destroyed (generating assets normally). All players lose ALL dots in the technology that rolled a catastrophe, and it toggles as 'lost' on the player's sheets. Instead of an advance of 0, Lost technology starts at advance 1d6. Any advances in a lost technology add +2d6 instead of +1d6. Each player also loses 1 dot of each other technology, but advances remain in place. All assets are thrown into the middle, then redistributed evenly (the banker keeps any remainder, ha!)  Then each player can purchase 2 new Forces (going around the table normally) and then the age begins. Once this age ends, any previous lost technology reverts to normal.

Burdens I am still working on. I think they'll be similar to Technology, where a player adds a part of the burden, but it actually affects everyone. And then you add descriptions and complications, and probably special keywords. So you could have "Doomsday Machines" that have 4 base dice for their Ships, or some such.

Finally got to start a game of this. Did our vast and realm creation and 1 scene as expected, hopefully will get to do the second session with Burdens before another month (but our group is flaky, so who knows). Results were cool. We had:

Gunderod, the voice from the pit. He had 2 archons, Tarmachri, the conservative pope whose only escape from her duty is an infatuation with Lars the bartender. And Nisco, the plain young reformer who has no idea the blood of Gunderod flows in his veins, and is smitten with Grizelle, another vast's archon.

Hansel, a preening beauty god. (I didn't do this one, swear!) He rules in Mothership, a bar with unmarked doors to every other world, and where only the beautiful are let in to play. His appointed are Lars the bartender who hates his job, and Eve, a supermodel trying to become an action star. She has the action chops, but is a terrible actress. Rebellion is already brewing in Hansel's world, as anyone who doesn't meet the glamorous standards have been marginalized.

Kog the Tinkerer is a gnomish sort, ruling a Victorian nightmare that's mostly cobblestone and smokestacks, but the rest is dark swamp with toxic waste from his and other worlds. His guardians are ghastly Wraiths, created whenever child laborers die in the factories. His grand-daughter Grizelle is crusading against child labor, while his appointed foreman Mr. Halloway is seeking a means to preserve the Wraith created from his only son's death.

Graham rules over Trank, the garbage world. The realm above fills with the materials that are destroyed in the dumps below, and if the bins overflow the extra literally rains from the skies. Solveig is Graham's archon, and she despises filth and wants to overthrow Graham to clean Trank once and for all. She's also arranged for the worst of the garbage to be pumped into Kog's swamps. Reginald is Graham's appointed spy.

In our one scene, Reginald met with Tarmachri at Mothership to plan a pipeline to get water from Gunderod's flooded world to the arid Trank. A minor issue with the bouncer was smoothed over with bribery, and a plan was hatched secure funding for the pipeline (as both worlds are poor) through a filming deal for Eve's new blockbuster "Waterworld".

Mark, were you planning to do some kind of central wiki where various players could post and update their Vast? (Is there a plural of Vast?) The Mega-Known or whatever. I'd love to see what other group's Vast are like.

Eternity for large tables? 

tl;dr - For introducing the game, are fewer points in Pantheon an acceptable trade off for more players?

I have a very large regular gaming group.  There is obviously much to be said for ideal experiences and smaller player counts. Obviously, any GM-less game grows more complex with more players. However,  if you are planning to introduce a bunch of people to Eternity, might it still remain somewhat playable if you drop the number of Pantheon points each player has as your table size increases, at least up to some point?

The Eternity Engine

So one of the things that really excites me about Eternity is the potential it holds for telling stories beyond The Vast. I love how the setting has evolved over time, and I'm really excited to see it come to life when the game is finished, but I've also realized that there are parts of the game that would work with different settings. In essence, the game consists of:

- Joint Character Creation
- Setting Primacy
- Character Primacy
- Wager Primacy

We call this collection of character building and scene setting mechanics The Eternity Engine. In general, it produces eternal, unending stories about powerful characters who sit in the center of a Web of Blessings and Burdens.

For example, Eternity could be hacked to be a game about Elder Vampires who lorded over Havens filled with Staff while their Childer and Ghouls conducted their nightly business. Or it could be hacked to be a game about Megacorps who send Runners and Hackers to do jobs in the City.

What settings do you think would be exciting for the Eternity Engine?

I was lucky enough to participate in all three days of 'Eternity: The Vast Know No Limits', AKA the Eternity LongCon at RinCon 2013 in Tucson. 

While the 3-session experience was very cool and contains lots of insight into how to run long-cons and how to deal with new players at the table, especially with Eternity, for now I just wanted to throw out what our table looked like and an observation of what I feel Eternity does exceedingly well. 

We ended up with a Nature-heavy collective:

Al Run, the form-seeking vengeful storm deity
Vol, the lord of perfection forged in fire and conflict
Z-Z-go, a hedonist glam-rock god of entertainment
Faygon, a dual-natured Deity of technology and nature in balance,
Ruzen, fickle and mercurial master of the wilds

Notice anything that stands out? In any other game system, that could be a problem, or at least a topic of discussion - However, Eternity's bidding system creates a sort of collaborative rudder which allows the table to be more open minded, because we have a tool to talk about how something fits, or doesn't, in the fiction, without calling a time out.

We were all nodding at one another and smiling as we thought we'd have this dynamic nature-god collective, and then we have this great left-field idea for this modern, neon-drenched superstar and his world full of concert arenas and magic drugs and rebellious managers. Instead of anyone batting an eye, we simply started sinking tendrils of neat stories into this new thing - The narcotics on this world started to become a driving thread in our story, and we incorporated it just like anything else without much thought that the tone would be a problem.

In fact, the idea that one drug in particular let people access Z-Z-Go's Lava-lamp inspired realm, and that people could ride those bodies to escape the ill effects Realms have on mortals, became a driving thread, as the plant itself became connective tissue to drag other worlds into conflict and contact. 

I feel it is safe to say that one of Eternity's great strengths, a major selling point of its collaborative methodology, is that it gives you a stake in everyone else's creativity. In Eternity, I felt more willing to go 'That sounds net, how does it fit' than a knee-jerk reaction of 'Ooh, that sounds like it might not mesh with my ideas', and it allowed us all to bring our wildest ideas to the table, and forge them in to a compelling world so rich, we couldn't even scratch the surface in three days of con games. 

I am seriously kickstarted out this year (so many good games! plus gear for my camera!) but I am a huge fan of OLBH, and this concept appeals. Also, +Mark Diaz Truman has a majestic beard. You have my attention.
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