Dante's Abyss 2023 Rules

Your handy-dandy compendium for Dante's Abyss XIV: Kaiju Daikessen.


Dante’s Abyss is the premier event in survival.

The Syntech Corporation will be hosting its latest installment in its long-running drama series, 'Dante's Abyss'. This year's event, "Dante's Abyss XIV" will bear the subtitle of ‘Kaiju Daikessen’ and feature another unique approach to the formula.

This year’s event will send our participants down to the dreaded landscape of Opealon, which has recently seen an increase in Unmade activity years after the area was rocked by a tragedy. Entire Unmade islands have started to ‘sprout’ from the oceans, festering with creatures and dreadful machinations. Entrants into this event will be separated into two teams and dispatched to compete with one another to determine who can clear the most of this infection (or die trying). Direct conflict between teams is also welcome.

Make sure to take out your ‘Life Insurance’™ prior to signing on the dotted line.

The objective? Out score the enemy team. Points will be obtained by participating in fights. More points will be obtained by actually winning those fights. For PvP, the loser literally loses their points to the winner. There will also be specific scenarios available that will reward points, as well as opportunities for collaboration among the two rival teams.

Will your team claim victory in the fight over these darkened waters?

Or will you simply hunt down and eliminate the competition?

Oh, yea, I forgot to mention. Contestants, once the event starts, will participate not as themselves but as a bonded entity of very large proportions. After all, these are BIGGO monsters out there in the ocean. Entrants will be collared up and, upon arrival, join with their Bond. You don’t want to fight the Unmade by yourself.

The staging area is, as always, a lavish and modern facility comprised of the following landmarks/areas:

  • The ‘Lobby’ – A grand hallway where the arrivals filter in from the various Worlds of the Crossroads. The Lobby is connected to four large domes. At the far end of the hallway is an elevator that leads up to the barracks on the top floor.
  • The Library – A massive, multi-floor room containing books, newspapers, and audio recorders from various points in history and various realities.
  • The Recreation Dome – This contains various restaurants and bars serving a plethora of cuisines spread out across a few levels. The top several floors contain a handful of high-tech movie theatres screening blockbusters old, new, and alien.
  • The Park – A large ‘outdoor’ area contained within a dome. The park resembles Central Park and contains a small lodge where they sell picnic goods and rent athletic equipment.
  • The Dojo – This area contains a mixture of gym equipment and physical fitness courses. There are even a few private dojos where people can get in some last minute training in anything ranging from combat to general survival skills.
  • The Barracks – At the highest point of the Dante Preshow Area is the barracks, where the contestants selected for the game will be ushered (via the elevator at the far end of the Lobby) upon their selection. The barracks contains a common area for the contestants to hang out, if they so desire. Each contestant has a very small room to sleep in that contains a bed.

Go to Top

The Collar (Focus and Consumable Rules)

As with before, participants are outfitted with a collar that functions to create a slightly more leveled playing field. For some people, the collar is a debilitating weight around their neck (metaphorically, since these things look and weigh virtually nothing), but for others, they won’t find the collar inhibiting much.

“Do I have to?” – In another throwback, Karl has created two alternate options for collar this time around. If you don’t like the metal band, you may opt to wear a metal bracelet around your wrist or ankle. Same rules apply.

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 collar also acts to track individual's locations and provide audio/video feeds for the viewing audience.

The following Effects are prohibited due to the collars your characters must wear in the competition:

  • All of them. Lol.*

*please see next sections of the rules, thank you

Consumables, Trinkets, Relics

You can bring Consumables and Trinkets and use them, sure … unless they’re really stupid. I’ll make a case-by-case basis for most and reserve the right to ban anything that I think is too ‘game breaking’ or otherwise annoying to manage as a host.

You can bring Relics (remember Focus rules and Ability rules and adjust their Effects accordingly). Please be aware that Relics drop upon death. Death in this event can come from PvP fights, PvE fights, or even by making terrible decisions when prompted to do so. You consent to potentially losing your Relics and drop-on-death Items if you sign up for this event, even if your death isn’t ‘your fault’. I also reserve the right to deny access to Relics or other things that I think are too irritating to manage as a host.


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.

Your Focus is your Bond’s Focus, regardless of the different rules for creating the Bond.

“Using Focus” – Focus may be used both within Face to Face encounters (scenes written by me) or outside of them (there may be moments where you write out your own fights). Focus use must be ‘queued up’ prior to a Face to Face being posted so don’t wait until you see that ‘oh shit’ situation to PM/DM me asking for an advantage. Spending Focus will give you a slight edge if the situation is clearly not in your favor, 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.

Go to Top

The Objective (aka ‘What’s New?’ and ‘How Win?’)

‘Kaiju Daikessen’ is a Dante’s Abyss event of epic proportions. Players will sign up to the event, but they WILL NOT be participating as themselves. Instead, they will be designing a kaiju or mech with which they will pilot/control. We’ll refer to this as ‘the Bond’ or ‘bonded creature’ or ‘bonded entity’ from time to time. The collars, as noted above, inhibit all of an individual’s Abilities and survivability, but they grant them perfect control of a massive weapon of destruction. The next section of the rules will go into detail about Bonds, so for now, let’s just focus on win mechanics.

This Dante’s Abyss will have contestants randomly sorted into two opposing teams. Yes, random. However, the two teams don’t have to directly fight each other, unless they’d like to do that. Instead, the two teams will be competing to ‘clean up’ a section of ocean that has been ‘polluted’ by the Unmaking. This has resulted in the creation of islands on the ocean’s surface, and an entire Unmade metropolis has even emerged from the depths.

Contestants will deploy to various locations on a map to either fight the general corruption in the area or to combat special Boss monsters. Contestants on opposing teams cannot team up*, which means that they will have to PvP if they attempt to ‘claim’ the same location. Keep this in mind.

At the end, the team that has accumulated the most Points will win, regardless of how many surviving characters they may or may not have.

NPCs and Boss Battles

This years Dante’s Abyss will feature extra ‘environmental dangers’ to compensate for the fact that ‘yinz’ don’t have to necessarily kill every living soul to win. Like all previous Syntech events, NPCs will be present as contestants (multi-time winner Arthur Morgan™ will be present, as always, in his fantastic red spandex and dapper assless chaps). These contestants will work akin to PCs controlled by me, as they have in the past. Some NPCs are glorified set decorations while others will be more insidious.

“Wait, bosses?” – These will be optional encounters where players can team up (or not) to defeat an opponent that would otherwise trounce one or a few players. This will be similar to last year … only giant size.

*The only exception will be for the ‘Final’ boss event, where – in standard DA fashion – everyone will be able to throw themselves into one last encounter to risk death for glory (and Points).

Go to Top

The Bond

The Bond is the giant monster or mechanized creation that your character will be bonded to throughout the event. As noted, the collar this year gives you total telepathic control over the creature, but the range requires you to be essentially on them (either in a cockpit, on a harness, or some other creative idea you might have).

Perhaps the biggest change this year involves Joining, because you’ll need to creature your Bond from scratch. You will do this as if you were designing a mobile Base with a budget of 40,000 Coin. Specific to the Bond, you’ll treat their rank Cap as if they were a Level 7 character (Rank Cap 8). Otherwise, all normal pricing and rules apply.

Size Note: The internet told me that modern Godzilla is ~90 cubic meters in volume (also about 110 meters in overall height), which is the Size 6 (x6) modifier. Something like your average Tallgeese gundam is about a tenth of that height. Most enemy monsters in this event will likely fall into Size 4+ territory, so you should plan accordingly.

Bet on yourself – If you’d like, you can ‘bet on yourself’ by using your own Coin to purchase consumables for your Bond. Like with all other consumables, you should buy these separately and beforehand.

The following effects are either limited or prohibited… mostly for the sake of in-character mechanics:

  • Healing is Prohibited, outside of Focus-based applications
  • Teleportation is limited to Rank 5 and cannot be used to escape Face to Face encounters
  • Speed is limited to Rank 5
  • Flight is limited to Rank 5 and has the Limited: ‘Only on/above Islands’ Modifier
  • Summoning Effects should be limited in scope and should not include anything sentient (so no ‘extra monsters’). Keep it restricted to like, drones or mindless support monsters.
  • Go to Top

    Time and Movement on the Comet

    Similarly to Dante’s Abyss: Conquest, time in this event will roughly follow a ‘1 Day OOC = 1 Day IC’ rule of thumb.

    Every day OOC that you are NOT in an active combat situation, you may move to an adjacent island. If you’re unclear, you can check with me ahead of time. Movements will be proceeded at roughly the same time every day, and that time will be finalized once I have a good idea of my daily schedule (let’s just say ‘Morning’ for now).

    Remember that we use Central Time here for all Dante’s Abyss-related deadlines. I try to be good about stamping on a ‘CST’, but if you don’t see it, assume it’s there. I also think I have a fairly good track record of being flexible for our Europeans and Australians.

    Movement is optional. It is possible that the other PC team might go full heel at attack your islands, so you might want to sit on safe terrain. Likewise, you might be away from the computer for a few days and not want to get into a Timed situation. This is okay, but if you plan to be away for more than four days, you should let me know.

    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 (so a 1v3+). This is a linear scale, so a 2v6+ or 3v9+ (jesus) would also be ‘Cornered Tiger’ situations. Call it desperation. Call it tenacity. 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 are ‘converged’ upon by two separate groups.

    Group Movement Rules: There are no limitations to group movement.

    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 occupied by what team. I may occasionally post updates of the island map, but you shouldn’t rely on this to know what island is hostile and which is not. 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.

    Go to Top

    Competition and Judgement (the F2F)

    Anytime that two or more non-allied characters land on the same island at the end of their Movement, a ‘face to face’ will occur. More commonly, this will trigger when characters enter a hostile island. In the latter, they may or may not be fighting a specific individual but possibly a horde of hostiles. I’ll be as clear as I can in the opening post.

    A ‘Face to Face’ is a confrontation where the two writers will have a short window of time to write fighting each other. 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 and the time limit to write a response post. It’s important to communicate with the other person so that you’re not ‘writing on top of each other’. A big part of Multerra is community writing, so … y’know, communicate. After the expiration of that time period, the Host of Dante’s Abyss will post a quick resolution.

    Face to Face
    Sigfied Hunin, Piper

    Depending on the characters involved and the complexity of judging the confrontation, the results of a Face to Face will be up as soon as 15 minutes or as late as an hour and a half. In some cases, the Host might opt to let the winner write a quick resolution if the Host is afraid they may ‘leave people hanging’ for too long due to summer job obligations or real life chicanery.

    Once you’re in a Face to Face, you’re locked into it until the time limit expires (or until all participants post and a resolution is provided).

    Face to Face ‘Cooldown’ - After a Face to Face, all surviving participants have a ‘cooldown’ period of 12 OOC hours where they will be safe from a Face to Face if someone else enters their square. This cooldown can be waived if you are actively searching out more enemies. Some people toggled this off for the duration of the event. You do you.

    This approach is not dissimilar to some previous events. In the case of this specific Dante’s Abyss, the emphasis is to try and enjoy writing giant monster fights, hence why participants will be writing more of the conflict than in other event types. Remember that you can always opt to not write a response post to a Face to Face. That doesn’t mean you’ll instantly lose, but it isn’t recommended..

    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, Writing, Malarkey, and My Opinion.

    1. 1 – A character who already has a lot of injuries will be at a natural disadvantage in a fight. That’s just ‘real’ life. If you have 1 arm and the person trying to kill you has 2, you better have a way to get around your handicap.
    2. 2 – As noted above, ‘writing’ specifically refers to the context of the Face to Face.
    3. 3 – ’Malarkey’ is a catch-all term for things—unseen or widely known—that could shift the advantage in a fight. They could be something like a Relic, an Easter Egg item, a fight being a 2 on 1, or any other element that is ‘game-ier’.
    4. 4 – By ‘my opinion,’ I essentially mean just that. I'm the sole judge. That means everything is based off my opinion and mine alone. I'm not biased to an individual, but I do hold bias towards how I like to read things. Obviously, I can't control what I do and do not enjoy, but I can be fair and let you in on it.

    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…

    • Do I want to find out more about this character?
    • Do I feel this character can bring bigger things to him/herself or others?
    • Do I want to continue to root for, or against this character?

    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.

    Go to Top

    Damage, Injuries, and Death

    Damage results from ‘Face of Face’ posts and certain Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Choices. This damage is applied to your bonded monster/machine, not your actual character.

    The only way to heal damage is if you have a Weapon/Support Item whose stated purpose is to heal damage or by ‘burning Focus’ to use Healing. 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 bond’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 their in-character severity are listed below:

    • Story Injury – These are extremely insignificant injuries, like a small cut or abrasion. They are for roleplay purposes only, although they may be upgraded to a ‘real’ injury after a future Face to Face.
    • Minor Injury – Minor injuries will hinder you, but they are not terribly serious. These are like deep cuts that may take a while to stop bleeding. These also include things like sprains and minor head injuries. They can be healed completely with 1 use of a healing Support Item.
    • Major Injury – These are things like broken limbs, impaired senses (like blindness), serious head injuries, and lacerations that won’t stop bleeding on their own. These can be healed down to Minor Injuries with a healing Support Item but won’t go away completely.
    • Insane Injury – These are injuries you CANNOT heal whatsoever. Things like lost limbs. An insane injury guarantees that you’re not going to enjoy the rest of the game.
    • Mortal Injury – These are very rare, but they can happen. These are insane injuries that will kill you within 12 IC hours unless you are healed. Unlike an Insane Injury, a healed Mortal Injury becomes a Major Injury.

    Note – All injuries vanish upon leaving the comet.

    Death – At some point, your Bond will reach the point where they can’t continue. You *will* die with them. Mortality takes us all in the end. Have an insurance policy.

    Go to Top

    Special Events

    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.

    ‘Choose-Your-Own-Adventure’ — From time to time, you might get a public or a private prompt from me, in which you’ll have some type of situation you need to make a snap decision about. These can resolve positively or negatively – it’ll 100% be RNG. When these moments happen, you’ll receive a PM and have six hours to reply (or eight hours if I message you after 10 PM).

    Go to Top

    Updates and Messaging

    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.

    At the start of the event, I’ll send you a PM titled ‘*Your Character’s* Movement and Updates.’ So long as you are solo, that will be the spot for us to communicate. This has worked wonders for me since the move to Xenforo, so it’s what I do now. When groups are formed, you (or me) will make a temporary group PM thread. This ‘PM as Proxy Private Thread’ system cuts down on lost messages and excessive inbox stuff—it really is the best.

    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.

    Lastly, I will not always reply to your update messages. If I read it, you can assume that you’re updated.

    Templates for Movement Messages (Simple)

    Here are some sample messaging templates you can chose to use if you’re confused about how to format certain actions.

    Templates for Movement Messages (Complex)

    Go to Top

    How to Join

    Who Can I Join As?

    Hi. You can only join as one of your account-bound characters, an NPC you have 'rights' to use, or a custom-made NPC. Please note that if you join as ‘Joe Schmoo NPC’, they get all in-character prizes. See rules on transferring between NPCs and PCs or ask questions for clarity if needed.

    How to Join

    1. Step 1 – Write a roleplay in which your character heads to the registration booth. There they will find queues for several identical booths. Once at the front of the line, your character will be asked to provide their name and demonstrate ‘what they bring to the competition’ for the cameras. After this, they will provided with a form and ushered into another line where they’ll wait to enter a teleportation room. They will then be teleported to Dante’s Comet, and they will arrive in the Lobby of the Preshow Complex.
    2. Step 2 – You, the writer, will fill out the below information and send it to the host. These forms will be posted publicly for the host and other contestants. If you are using your account character, this will probably be easy to do by pulling from your roster, but if you're using another character, you may have to do a little more with this form.
      • Appearance – Your character’s appearance (a simple link to an image is perfectly fine)
      • Personality – Your character’s personality
      • Possible Reactions – How may your character respond to certain situations? How may they respond when confronted by certain types of people?
      • Relationships – State any important friendships/rivalries you have with other contestants. Is there someone your character would want to murder? Someone they would protect? Important for people in groups but maybe not so much for loners.
      • ‘Combat’ Style – Now by this I don’t mean a fighting style. I’m looking more at how your character will react if thrown into violent situations. Do they go fists flying? Will they retreat to find a better advantage? Will they be cowardly? Will they defend their allies above all?
      • Extra – Anything you think I must know to properly write your character.
      • Quotes – List a quote or two your character has said or may say.
      • Threads/Post - Link a FEW threads or specifics posts that you think best capture the mood/spirit/persona of your character.
    3. Step 3 – Your Bond – You, the writer, fill out the following information about your bonded creature. Bear in mind that some of the sections may not be applicable to your design, and you may want to add more under extras.
      • Appearance
      • - Your bond monster or mech’s appearance (a simple link to an image is perfectly fine
      • Personality
      • - Machines and monsters might have personality independent of their operator, or they may just be an extension of the operator.
      • Abilities
      • - As a reminder: Each contestant has a free budget of 30,000 Coin to design their Bond, which functions as a Level 7 character in terms of Rank Cap rules. Please note that Bonds do not have Affinities and will not benefit from your Character’s Affinities. Bonds likewise access your Character’s Focus and do not have one of their own. Bonds may use a character Trinkets or Relics, with all the normal rules applying there-in. Have fun but don’t go overboard by creating something complex and obtuse. It’s just a giant monster.

        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.