Sidereal Confluence - PBF Recruitment and Discussion

PBF? Would it work?


I laughed.

It would probably work as well as having our daily team meeting for work (~12 people) over an email thread with reply all.

First off, an apology: I read your username as “Captn Butt” until I looked closer. I’ve sorted it now.
Second, a question: What Final did you win???


Cap - we gamers are all end up erstwhile designers, don’t we? Your comment has kept me thinking. It could actually work if I ran it like a fantasy sports league. Weekly (or so) Discord meetups to run the trading phase, then pure PBF to handle the econ / bid / etc phases.

It’s a thought.

Edits: those of you with cats on keyboards have nothing to a 7 month old learning to tripod sit on your desk. DADDY IS PUSHING BUTTONS. I PUSH BUTTONS. SO GOOD.


I think timezones will likely put the kibosh on real-time Discord for negotiations… But I could be wrong

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Could you try to recreate the limited time to negotiate through Maximum limits on numbers of words and messages for each player.

I.e. can’t send more 20 words per message and can only send 5 messages.

This would include reply’s.

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I’ve not played SC so don’t know how negotiation works. However when I played a Cosmic Encounter PBF the negotiation was stripped down to Offer, Counter Offer/ Accept, Accept.


Neither have I. Thinking of the comments from the SUSD review.

IF I’m remembering right the example is focusing on negotiating with someone for your benefit but someone else is competing for your attention within the time limit.

I think some form of work around could work.

Good ideas, one of them may spark at some point.

First off, let me say that though I’m at the top of the thread I don’t know how serious I am about making this work. Pillbox forked this off of the “goals” thread when @Captbnut made an idle suggestion. I’m enjoying the puzzle of how this would work.

Second - a note on the reality of trading here. It’s more akin to Pit than Cosmic. It’s live and realtime, everyone is trading at once. And every time two others make a trade, you need to know the updated game state as it may have removed something you wanted or shifted the value for the rest of the table. The trades are also complex and unlimited. You can lend cards, make future (binding) promises (e.g., give me those three cubes. I’ll keep one, convert the other two, and give them back to you next round), you can make three or four way deals, etc.

While you could take turns as “initiator” - make an offer to someone, let others interrupt etc until the conversation is over then let someone else initiate - I think the sheer volume of offers and options would bog that down into a monthlong process per round (with everyone engaged).

Voice-to-voice would work. Could also run a shared spreadsheet where people are putting up what they have and want and others can respond. Haven’t thought through the details but I think those details could be thought through.

All to say - I think the trading either has to be done in some realtime format or else severely truncated. The other direction to consider is would the game be different but still interested in a truncated format, where you have limited “offers” and “interrupts.” It would change the calculus, but possibly to a still good calculus?

Stream of consciousness here - one other thought - maybe if everyone simultaneously prepares a list of offers and desires and posts them together. Everyone can then review what everyone posted, prepare all responses, accepts, and counters etc, and follow up with another simultaneous post. Repeat until everyone passes. Early rounds could probably be done in 4-6 posts. Final rounds might take 15-20.


On the old SUSD forums, we had a fairly successful run at doing some PBF Blood on the Clocktower, a game that, when played in person, embraces the real-time nature of conversation. When played via post, a lot of adaptations must be made; it’s probably better to embrace the differences between actual Sidereal and playing by-post than to try to mitigate the limitations.

I like the idea of a shared spreadsheet. I think allowing players to have side conversations would keep the main play thread cleaner. There should be an effort to record and keep track of deals that are made (since all deals are binding, including those for future turns)

The biggest problem with playing asynchronously (I find) is losing your immersion in the game and having to rethink through everything you had thought through. Keeping logs of as much as possible may aid in that, but ultimately, trying to maintain a 2 or 3 day limit on any given phase may be a net-positive (though it may put some people in a crunch if their lives get hectic)


Just posting to note that I’m going to be watching this with great interest. I am up on the rules to Sidereal but have not ever played. If I think I might have some input I might chime in, but please do colour me highly interested in joining this ridiculous experiment.


Let me take a step back - I’m new here. How does PBF work in the general sense? Do we each have a copy of the game, and then each update our board state? Or does one player post pictures of the board state? Or is it tracked online somehow?

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Generally someone posts digital images of a board state. I have no tech skills so I don’t know how it’s done all the time, but I know TTS screenshots have been used for some games

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TTS is probably easiest. Another option that works well for some games is to use something like Inkscape, to let you drag elements around and then export a single bitmap. And of course one could just take photos of physical components.

For cards with a lot of detail, generally one wants some kind of text version as well – e.g. in the recent Fury of Dracula game COMaestro pointed us to a PDF of all the card text.

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Wondering if building on @Acacia if the GM could collate everyone’s offers into a table for everyone to see. Then maybe a round of counter offers before resolution.

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Shit. The more we talk about this the more likely it is to happen.

First off, does anyone else have the game or has anyone played it? (I have but have not played. Set it up to get a sense of how the first round would play). It’s not at all complex but there is something open / unintuitive about it. I ask because I want to gauge how prescriptive I should be.

Here’s what I think. Trade rounds would happen over a series of offer / review / accept / reject cycles. The game plays over six rounds, so I think a starting point would be Round Number + 2 (up to 8 cycles for the last round). I don’t know if this is appropriate, I think it’s a case of don’t overthink it just test it and tweak it.

Each cycle would have everyone simultaneously filling out offers in a shared template thusly:

Everyone could then review all the offers relevant to themselves as well as all the offers going on between other races (to interrupt or get in on it), before anything is final. Sidebar conversations allowed, 24 hours later you update the template again - new and revised offers, or outright accept/reject on what was put out in the previous round. If you accept, the original offerer still needs to counter-accept before it is final.

After the fixed number of cycles (3-8, depending on the round), only Accept/Reject decisions can be added.

Would it work? I think so. It would still be tough, there are a lot of cards that you need to really look at to figure out what you want and what others might want or have extra of. The Kits have an entire deck of colonies they can whisper into their tableau at any time. … but as I said, don’t over think. Test it and tweak it.


I know @Whistle_Pig has played it.

I wonder if the negotiations could cascade, one after another rather than being concurrent?

I think simultaneous negotiation might be too chaotic, at least in-thread. The shared spreadsheet looks promising though. Could be worth a couple of practice rounds before committing to a whole game, to work out any wrinkles.


I have a copy of the new edition. I’m not aware of the changes made [EDIT: eg. Whether or not the two editions might clash against one another].

My understanding is that it was all cosmetic. Honestly, the game likely hadn’t been around long enough or had enough circulation to warrant rebalancing.

Assume the best until proven otherwise?

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I played this at SHUX19, was very bad at it, but enjoyed it nonetheless. I think the shared spreadsheet is the way to go, although it should allow for three way trades/ dependent trades somehow. Some trades will depend on getting certain things, so having multiple rounds is important. (E.g, if Joe gives me a blue, then I’ll trade you a planet for a green, cause I only use a green if I also have a blue) I envision something like this:

  1. List current items available
  2. Make offers on said items
  3. Review/counteroffer
  4. Accept and finalize offers
  5. Repeat if necessary.

These could be done with realtime limits, I would say one day per step could work.