Around the globe, you hear the call. The war needs you! All the people who actually wanted to fight have been killed, maimed or concussed out of their senses. You board boats, trains, pack animals and zeppelins toward the the Pan-Eurasian Front, which winds its way from the English Channel to the Caspian Sea. At last, you arrive at a staging point in what might be France. The landscape is nothing but craters and splintered trees, so it’s hard to tell.
You are met here by a gruff British man with an impressive wrap-around moustache and medals from the Second Boer War. He shakes each of your hands with a crushing grip, and introduces himself as Colonel Angus Carstairs. His aide-de-camp is an American woman named Lt. Esther Trout, who procedes to crush your hands even harder.
“War is the greatest adventure!” Col. Carstairs booms. “As members of the Fully Integrated First Irregulars, you will bring an element of chaos that Jerry won’t expect! Chaos!”
“Chaos!” adds Lt. Trout, enthusiastically.
Carstairs begins to stride back and forth, index finger pointed skyward. “This is a mighty undertaking,” he begins, and then an artillery shell lands directly on top of him.
Col. Angus Carstairs (InDEEEED) has died. He WASN’T ACTUALLY IN THIS GAME, BUT WANTED TO DIE AT THE BEGINNING TO UNDERSCORE THE FUTILITY OF WAR.
The blast knocks all of you down. When you stand back up, you see that Lt. Trout is still standing, although the explosion has torn the sleeves on her jacket and blown the hat off her head.
“Everyone alright?” she asks.
“No,” says someone in the back.
“Don’t worry,” she says, straightening her hair, “the first one is always the worst. It gets easier.”
She walks over to the small crater that was formerly Col. Carstairs. “Poor old man,” she says. “He was so sure he wouldn’t die. Anyway!” She claps her hands. “I’m in charge now. Let me show you the trench.”
She leads you out of the camp toward the forward line. The explosions of artillery are continuous here, like rolling thunder, and bullets zip overhead.
“I’m from Wyoming!” shouts Lt. Trout, wading through ankle-deep mud. “The folks back home are very supportive!”
A shell lands a few dozen yards away, and for a second you all think the world has ended.
“Let me show you to your quarters! Much nicer down there!”
She leads you into an underground bunker made of logs and corrugated iron. It’s lit by a kerosene lamp, and occupied by a single gaunt man sitting at a table.
“Wimbiscus!” says Lt. Trout, and he looks up. “Guys, this is Corporal Charlton Wimbiscus. Chuck, these are the new FIFI recruits. Also, Carstairs bit it and you answer to me now.”
Charlton holds up a hand and smiles weakly, seeming to stare right through you.
“He’s got a touch of the shell-shock,” says Lt. Trout in a confidential stage whisper. “I think it’s because all the other recruits from the last FIFI deployment died right in front of him. You all arrived at just the perfect time, I can’t tell you how grateful I am.”
“Wait, what?” says somebody, but she’s already showing you the amenities.
“Here’s our last mirror, if you want a shave. Here’s our box of dead people’s photographs of loved ones. You forgot you own, just grab one and pretend it’s your mom or sweetheart back home. Here’s the hand grenades. You’ll figure it out.”
You all look at each other.
“Anyway! Ten minutes to get your kit together, then I’ll meet you up in the trench.” She grabs a belt of machine gun ammo, hoists it over her shoulders, and walks back up the stairs to the surface. You’re left with Charlton. The table has some newspapers on it.
Please enjoy your complementary subscription to Trench Times, a free service of the war:
“Will the Last Person Out of Flanders Please Turn Off the Water”
- We are definitely winning.
- Rumors that the Germans have found a way to mount even more wings on their aeroplanes are unsubstantiated.
- Entente-allied rock hopper penguins have successfully repelled a devious sneak attack by Central Powers-allied emperor penguins in the Third Battle of Ross Ice Shelf.
- Scientists in the United States believe they are now less than six months from being able to mount a machine gun on a horse.
- We’re still not sure whose side Iceland is on, but they better fucking pick one.
Today’s Trading Cards
Collect all 150,000,000!
“Fragments from France”
By Bruce Bairnsfather
- Annanomally – Reposted InnDEEEEED Comments
- April LKD – King Elroy Bertrand Poopypants of East Hampshire
- BannerThief – Corporal BannerThief Vakarian
- BrittaBot – Svvëdish Chef
- Clodia –Clothilde Renou
- D. Goat – Gort v3.0
- Dr. Nick – The Internet
- DW – Merchant from Resident Evil 4
- Flubba Gunto – Officer Krazy Kat
- Grumproro – D.H. Lawrence
- Hegel Exercises
- Hohopossum – Australian wombat-ready possum
- Jake – The Luggage
- Jon Hamm’s John Ham – Jonathan Hamsworth
- Josephus Brown – Portugal. The Man
- Lamb Dance – John Laurens
Lindsay – Lena von Meow– Infantry. Died Day 1 in a duel against Mike.
Lord Stoneheart – Bidoof– Infantry. Died Day 1 in a duel against Jake.
- Louie Blue – Cheikh Khoulé
- Mac Crocodile – Lance Corporal Alistair Edmond Angela MacCrocodile III
- Mayelbridwen – Bertha “Rilla” Marilla Blythe
- Miss Rim – Dame Augusta Mimsy-Porpington of the Great Snoring Mimsy-Porpingtons
- Mr. Glitch
- Mr. I’m My Own Grandfather – Rear Brigadier Zapp Brannigan
Otakunomike– Infantry. Sent over the top at the end of Day 1.
- Owen1120 – Augustus Sebald
- Pearl Sheltie – Private Buster Keaton
- Pulprobot – John Harrison
- Ralph Waldo Wiggum – Victor Delamarre
- Shipwreck – Midshipman Hector “Shipwreck” Delgado
- Sic Humor – Steve Smith
- Sister Jude the Obscure – Mary Pickford
- Sister Mary Francis – Special Private Dolores “Babyface” Guppy
- Smapti – Smaptibus Mu, of the Mermarians of Mu
- Snugglewumps – Billy D. Orfan
- Spiny Creature – Comrade Samantha Parkington, an American girl
- Spookyfriend – Sean the 𝚏𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚕𝚢 doll
- Subsaharan – Space Corporal Subsaharan
- The Hayes Code – Deryn Sharp
- Ult Warrior
- Zecko – Thelonious “Zecko” Flashman
- Fully Integrated First Irregulars (TOWN)
2927 Infantry (Vanilla Town)
- 2 Medics
- 1 Investigator
- 1 NCO (Vigilante)
- German Spies (WOLVES)
- 1 German Officer (Wolf Roleblocker)
- 8 German Spies (Vanilla Wolves)
- Austro-Hungarian Spies (Serial Killers)
- 1 Austrian Spy (SK #1)
- 1 Hungarian Spy (SK #2)
- Win conditions:
- The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left (if the SKs are dead), or outnumber the non-wolf players (even if the SKs are still alive).
- Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killers are defeated.
- The serial killers win when it comes down to just them and one other person.
- A three-way standoff between the last town, last wolf and one or both SKs will result in a special ending.
- Night actions:
- There isn’t a hard order that night actions occur in. This is to allow as many of them to go through as possible. Roleblocks will always take precedent over the actions of the targeted player, however.
- Your night actions do not happen if you are in Stalag 69.
- In order to keep the game moving, each night will be a maximum of 12 hours long. Be sure to get your night actions in within 12 hours of twilight, or they won’t be counted.
- Role rules:
- The medics cannot medic themselves or each other. They cannot medic the same person two days in a row.
- The German roleblocker cannot roleblock the same person two days in a row.
- The investigator will be told the alignment of the person they investigate. Results are either ENTENTE (town), GERMAN or AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN.
- The medics know each other’s identities, but do not share a QT. Same for the Austrian and Hungarian spies.
- For a full list of role details, see the sign-up sheet.
- Prisoner capture and trading
- Each night, you will capture 3 or 4 enemy NPCs, and they will capture 4 of you. Their captives will go to Stalag 69, a German POW camp, and you can trade for them in a daily vote thread.
- Trades are always 1:1.
- You can only vote for one person (or “no trade”) each day. The top vote-getters will be traded for with as many NPC prisoners as you have. If one of the top votes is for “no trade,” you will save one prisoner for the next day.
- Players left in Stalag 69 too long will die (see “Kill powers,” below).
- If the number of unimprisoned players drops below one third of the original player count, a prison break in Stalag 69 will be orchestrated. Not all prisoners will be able to escape, and they will have to vote for who stays behind. Those who don’t escape will die, and there will be no more prisoner captures or trades.
- Kill powers:
- The German Spies (wolves) have a collective night kill, which will be conducted with improvised weapons.
- The Austrian Spy (1st SK) has a night kill with a Rast & Gasser M1898 revolver. Multiple kills in a single night are possible with this weapon, but only if kills are foregone on previous nights.
- The Hungarian Spy (2nd SK) has a night kill with Pontostárgy, the Doom Sword.
- The NCO (town-aligned vigilante) has a night kill with railway artillery, which can hit anyone, anywhere. There is a 25% chance it will accidentally kill someone in the same area as the target victim (either the main trench or Stalag 69).
- Any two players who are not in Stalag 69 can agree to a daytime duel, in which one of them will die. Results are immediate; odds of winning are 50%. Limit 3 duels per day.
- Players in Stalag 69 will die of disease if left there for too long. The exact length of time will be between 2 and 5 days, and each player will be told the number going in. These are night deaths, and will be publicly reported the following day.
- Vote Threads:
- Prisoner swap thread: You can only vote for one person. If necessary, I will break a tie by randomly choosing between the tied players.
- Sending people over the top (kill thread): A tie at the end of day results in no one going over the top. A majority of living players voting for any one person (or not to kill) ends the day early.
- If you die during the day, your votes (if any) in the kill thread and swap thread for that day will still be counted. However, you can’t add or change your votes after you’ve died.
- There are no secret powers or win conditions in this game. Any changes I have to make to the mechanics will be announced publicly.
- No editing posts.
- No quoting or screencapping from your QTs.
- If you have any other questions about rules, please ask in QT, and I will answer publicly here.
Current Victrola music:
Day 1 ends Thursday at 8 p.m. EST, or when a majority kill vote is reached.