Your handy-dandy compendium for Dante's Abyss.
Dante’s Abyss is the premier event in survival.
Across the major Worlds, stories have spread of ‘the coming of the Comet’—supposedly an annual event in the Crossroads. Inquire a little further, and you’ll discover that they speak of something called ‘Dante’s Comet’ which is the personal domain of Karl Jak.
Across the Worlds of the Crossroads, there are lavish tents being set up within (or adjacent to) the major hubs of settlement... and even some of the smaller ones. The men, women, and everything in betweens that staff these facilities introduce themselves as workers at Syntech and offer anyone who is willing the chance to travel to the comet (no Kool-Aid necessary) and participate in ‘the great game’ of Dante’s Abyss.
What is Dante’s Abyss? Well, you’ll have to travel to Dante’s Comet to discover that for yourself… or watch the live stream (coward).
The staging area is a lavish and modern facility comprised of the following landmarks/areas: (Will add hyperlinks once threads are live)
Once the field of contestants has been selected, there will be one final hour of rest and relaxation before all contestants will be teleported to random locations on the island. They will arrive with their survival bags and the mantra of the game – ‘Find each other. Kill each other.’
Over the course of the next few days, contestants must survive on the island. There is no set strategy. Characters may seek out allies and forge strong friendships in the midst of the Abyss. Another player may find fleeting friends to guard their back before stabbing them in back. You may be the hunter—seeking prey with the hopes of accumulating weapons and fame. Or you may be the person who hides out, skirting around danger zones as you hope to outlast the more violent competitors.
Either way, the game ends when there is only one person left alive on the island. That one person becomes the Grand Champion of the Abyss and will receive an exorbitant amount of fame for their accomplishment… as well as Coin, Essence, and the Belt of the Grand Champion.
Everyone who signs up for Dante’s Abyss and is accepted to the roster is fitted with a collar and stripped off all of their ‘gear’, including access to Abilities that function as items or weapons – guns, blasters, swords, sensors etc.). The collar acts as a suppressor for various Effects. Attempting to remove the collar will result in your immediate in-game death. Essentially, the collar serves to ‘level’ the playing field.
The following Effects are prohibited due to the collars your characters must wear in the competition:
The following are severely limited due to collars:
Consumables of all shapes and sizes are not permitted to be brought onto Dante's Comet (trust me, you don't need to have them). However, if you are a mech pilot or someone else who is dependent on this feature to function in a conflict situation, I can probably make an exception. Let me know.
Focus does not regenerate on its own. “The Scene” = Your entire stay on Dante’s Comet. Once you use it, you lose it; however, there are Support Items out there that can restore Focus. Find them.
“Using Focus” – You must tell me ahead of time when you want to use Focus in a Face to Face. My advice is to send this with Moves. “I want to use X uses of Focus if I stumble into a fight.” Spending Focus will give you a slight edge and can help compensate for a trash Weapon, but it doesn’t come back on its own.
You may not send me a PM as I am writing that you want to use all your Focus because you stumbled upon someone that scares you.
Note – I reserve the right to have your character use Focus if that is what will make the difference between said character limping away from a fight or dying on the ground. After all, I don’t think it’s logically for someone not to use all their tricks if they’re faced with certain death.
Double Note – Using Focus can momentarily override the collar. If you want to Focus to self-Heal (you may not Heal others), Teleport, or some other application of a ‘banned’ Effect, let me know. I won’t tell you WHAT they do publicly, but I have ‘on-comet’ applications of these banned Effects.
Every day in-character equals four days out-of-character (1 Day IC = 4 Days OOC). These cycles begin and end at 10 AM CDT.
Each IC day will consist of two threads. At the end of each ‘cycle’ (10 AM CDT), I will lock the thread for less than one hour to post an update that includes an island-wide announcement of deaths, danger zones, and mini-events, while also signaling sunrise or sunset.
Every day OOC, you may move up to 3 times (or three spaces on the grid map). You move by sending me a private message stating what squares you want to move through. This will be important once Danger Zones become more prevalent. You may not move diagonally, but you may move over one square and up one square (be aware that you’d be using two moves).
Movement is NOT optional. Your character must move at least once every 12 IC hours (two days OOC) or you risk dying via collar explosion, regardless of how much roleplaying you may have done in that timespan. You may wait until near the end of the cycle to move if you think you’ll be safe or you want to wait for someone to find you. Remember that moving in or even trying to move through a danger zone means prolonged death. Do not do it.
Remember that Moves do not accumulate or build up over time. Use them or lose them.
Group Handicap/Cornered Tiger Buff – Traveling in a group of 3 causes all your group’s Weapons to downgrade (they remain the same item but their ‘tier’ will drop). This is a ‘group handicap’, along with the movement handicap stated below.
Cornered Tiger Buff – Anytime a single individual winds up in a Face to Face with more than two other individuals, the solo combatant will receive a boost. Call it desperation. Call it tenacity. Their Weapon will count as a tier stronger than it is. If they have no Weapon, they will be treated as if they had a ‘Decent’ weapon. A Cornered Tiger with more than one Minor Injury also receives 1 free Focus if attacked by more than two people. This bonus can apply to a pair or even a trio if they wind up against something absurd like 3 or 4 extra people.
If you are moving to someone with the purpose of aligning with them, you must both confirm before you send in the move. Otherwise, I will assume that you are enemies or that one of you is planning to backstab the other.
Group Movement Rules: A group of more than 2 individuals may only move two times per OOC day. When you are in a group, be aware that any member of that group can move everyone so be certain that you’re all communicating well. If I receive multiple moves, I will go with the first one I received.
I will never allow someone to 'take back' a move for any reason.
Super Notice: It is your responsibility to keep an updated map of who is alive and what zones are disabled. I will not track this for you. I provided you with a map, and it is on you to keep it updated. My best advice is to use MS Paint. Put the map as your desktop if you need to. Do whatever it is that will keep you alive.
Your survival bag is a duffel bag (11” Height, 23” Wide, 11” Deep when empty) consisting of the following items:
An MRE is a ‘Meal Ready to Eat’ – They are ready-to-eat meals high in nutrients and calories and are very common in the armed forces. Google them if you’re still confused.
In the event that your weapon is too large, it will come in pieces that you have to assemble. Once put together, you have to carry it around with you.
As you explore the island, you may find additional items in buildings or other places. You may also hunt to secure more food. You cannot find additional weapons, but you may find other helpful survival items like torches, rope, or even random luxury items.
I repeat –
You cannot find additional weapons.
All of this is for the sake of story. For instance, you may find items that could be used as weapons (let’s face it... what couldn’t be used to defend yourself?), but this will not give you an advantage or affect the outcome of confrontations or your overall results in any way.
Anytime that two or more non-allied characters land on the same square at the end of their Movement, a ‘face to face’ will occur. If two people cross paths while moving but ultimately end up on different squares, there will be no confrontation (if that's confusing, I can clarify further with visuals).
A ‘Face to Face’ is a confrontation authored by the Host of Dante’s Abyss. The moment a ‘Face to Face’ occurs, the Host will make a post in the thread that states ‘Face to Face’ and includes the characters involved.
Depending on the characters involved and the complexity of judging the confrontation, the Face to Face will be up as soon as 15 minutes or as late as an hour and a half. Likely, I may take longer to write these if they are ‘triggered’ later in the day. My life usually takes me away from the computer during much of the afternoon and evening, but I will post in the thread (through my phone) with a Face to Face.
If you’re in a Face to Face and it’s after 12 PM CST, you can post normally while you wait for the result. When they’re ready, I’ll just delete my original post and put up a new one. Your posts should just be a continuation of what you were doing (not writing anything involving the confrontation – that’s my dooty).
Face to Face ‘Cooldown’ - After a Face to Face, all surviving participants have a ‘cooldown’ period of
12 8 OOC hours where they will be safe from a Face to Face if someone else enters their square. This cooldown is cancelled if you exit the square. This cooldown can be waived if you are actively searching out more enemies.
The Face to Face is where the action will be. It is where characters will be injured and killed. It is also the one part of the writing that is wholly out of your control. As such, when you join, you consent to having someone else write your character (that someone else being the host). You also consent to your character being hurt and (for most people) ultimately killed in some way that is outside of your direct control.
With that said, I’ll get into the meat and potatoes.
“How do you determine who wins a Face to Face?”
When I sit back and figure this out, I’m considering 3 factors – Prior Injuries, Weapons, and My Opinion.
I don’t grade things as you post them. There are no rubrics or score sheets. I'm going to simply read everything and give a final decision based off my opinion. Just to make this known ahead of time – the number of posts you make will not influence my decisions. Just because you write every day doesn't mean you are going to kick the most ass. Just because you throw out a novel doesn’t mean you’ll kick the most ass. Just because you have a lot of technical skill doesn’t mean you’ll kick the most ass.
There are many writers who may post just once and it will be more effective than 2 or 3 posts from someone else. Find your balance but do not overdo yourself in the hopes of it swinging anything in your favor. You don’t want me to get bored or feel over-saturated by your character.
In terms of post length, I prefer short to medium posts. I don’t want to read novels, and I’ll be honest, I start to get bored and zone out if a post is terribly long and not all that interesting. That is a bad thing for you.
I love emotion and reading a character's thoughts and feelings of the current situation. I don’t care for their past, pre-Crossroads or otherwise, unless it has something to do with the here-and-now.
I love descriptive posts, but on that same note, I abhor purple prose and anything that reads like you went through a thesaurus. Be genuine.
When I’m on the verge of killing someone in a fight, I will ask myself the following questions…
Things like that. It's all about the character, not just how much you write or even how great you write. You can be Stephen King, but if you’re character is lame and boring, you won’t go far. However, if you’re terrible with grammar, I’ll zone out and things will go downhill. I got enough of that during the school year.
Bottom Line - I know a lot of people simply can't change how they write. That's fine. Don't. But at least attempt to go over a few of these guidelines I've put in here and incorporate into your own style, rather than completely changing it. Above all, enjoy what you do.
If you have a style that I just can't get into, and refuse to improvise, then that's a problem for both of us. This is, above all, a contest about creating an engaging character arc in the face of great odds and high stakes. Things will frustrate you. Things will blow up in your face. There is no set strategy for victory. There are no guarantees.
That’s why it’s stressful…
That’s also why it’s fun.
Damage results from ‘Face of Face’ events.
The only way to heal damage is if you have a Weapon/Support Item whose stated purpose is to heal damage. I repeat – you cannot heal damage in any other way. Your character can improvise bandages or splints, but this will not positively impact your damage and the severity of your injuries will remain unchanged.
Injuries – Confrontations will result in injuries. Injuries build up and negatively impact your character’s survivability in future Face to Faces. They should also (honestly) provide you a means to enrich your storytelling on the island! Play them to your advantage.
Injuries and how many points they deduct are listed below:
Note – All injuries vanish upon leaving the comet.
Death – At some point, your character will reach the point where they can’t continue. Mortality takes us all in the end. Have an insurance policy.
Note – Characters who die via collar explosions (inactivity, gross violation of rules) will “die-die” and be subject to normal Death rules.
At least five NPCs will be present on the island. These NPCs may be established NPCs or NPCs created specifically for Dante’s Abyss. These NPCs will be competing in Dante’s Abyss. They will be subject to the same restrictions as any other character in the competition. They will also receive a random weapon.
Unlike player characters, the NPCs all travel at a set interval every 12 OOC hours. Near the end of each thread, I will try and post an ‘NPC Update’ that will include what the NPC has done for the last half-day.
In the event that a player enters the same square as an NPC, a Face to Face will occur just as if they had encountered another PC. Despite the fact that an NPC is involved, the F2F will follow the same rules, and I will be making the same considerations. As NPCs won’t be writing, I can’t really judge the writing/story of the character as I would with a PC. Due to this, each NPC will have a pre-set ‘Handicap’ (from 1 to 5) that I will consider when they are fighting with a PC. A higher handicap indicates a character that will be harder to kill.
Due to the random nature of weapons, do not expect NPCs to be pushovers. If you have a spork and are fighting an NPC with a high handicap who also happens to have the rocket launcher, you should expect bad things to happen.
NPCs, along with their handicap, will be included in the Profile forum.
Grouping: When traveling by yourself, there is a chance that landing on an NPC may not ‘proc’ a Face-to-Face but instead they may join you as your partner. I’ll do this if I think the two characters would be entertaining together. You may stick with the NPC as long as you desire. You can betray them if you want, and also be aware, they might betray you too. All is fair in love and war.
Note – When half of the contestants are dead, any surviving NPCs will start to roam (I will seriously just throw a dark at a printout of the island).
A special event is any event that will affect everyone on the island. Events and their duration will be broadcast during daily updates. Some special events are less impactful than others.
Weather – Assume that the weather is what you’d expect if you lived in a temperate climate in the late spring. A weather special event can be anything from a cloudy afternoon to a thunderstorm. On a rare occasion a small tornado may strike a random zone or the coast may be buffeted by high winds and waves. Tiles and travel may be affected as well. Characters that stay around in the affected areas may be injured.
‘Easter Egg’ – Every so often, an announcement will be made that an unknown prize will be available at a set location. This prize could be a Weapon of great value or flamboyant trash – it’s up to you to determine if the risk is worth the payoff. If you want your character to try and get the Easter Egg, send me a PM. With the next update, the Face to Face will be posted and the winner(s) will get whatever is in the egg. The prize may or may not be revealed prior to the Face to Face.
After the Face to Face, all characters will return to their original locations. Repeat – You do not need to use your moves to reach the location of the Fight. You just need to PM me your intention. You may not back out after you send me the message.
The private messaging system is the official way that updates will be done for Dante’s Abyss. You may ask me general questions through other media, but updates and official correspondence must go through the PM system. Do not send your movements or updates through anything else. I’ll kindly redirect you once and then just ignore you.
Keep some space in your inbox. If I get a message bounced back to me, I will not bother to do so again. This is your warning.
By default, all your messages should be copied into your ‘Sent Folder.’ Make sure this is set so you can retain the messages you receive from me, at least for the day that they are relevant. Why? I have a large inbox, but I will be deleting things as I receive them, because my space isn’t infinite and I also just hate clutter in general. As a result, I may accidentally delete a message that I shouldn’t have.
If that happens, the burden is then on you to provide me with proof. I’m a nice guy (ask my students), but for this contest, I won’t be giving you the benefit of the doubt. Send me a screenshot or a screen capture, and I’ll gladly reverse the decision.
Also be aware that a message will be in your Outbox Folder until it is read by the recipient. This way, you can know whether or not I read your private message yet, so there should be no confusion.
Lastly, I will not reply to your update messages. If I read it, you can assume that you’re updated.
Here are some sample messaging templates you can chose to use if you’re confused about how to format certain actions.
Hi. You can join as either of your account-bound characters, an NPC you have 'rights' to use, or a custom-made NPC.
The point of this is not only to provide a quick run-down of your character but also to serve as an additional aide and point-of-reference for me when I write your character. As always, you should be ready to deal with foreign or alien situations. This is Dante’s Abyss. Anything can happen.