Would anybody be willing to help playtest a social adventure game using PBF?

I’ve got a Social Adventure* game I’ve been working on for a while, and I’m looking for volunteers to help me playtest it. It’s heavily influenced by on an old play-by-forum The Thing game I created about 10 years ago, and have since adapted to offline play, but this time set on a ghost ship, rather than an alien infested arctic station. Obviously now I’ve had to readapt it to online play, but I’ve done one successful run elsewhere, and this would be the second time of airing it. I’m looking for 5-8 players, and I’ll just be the moderator (IRL there is no moderator).

*A Social Deduction Adventure, in which the deduction is less important than the social and the adventure.


I’m in. Sounds fun

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Probably, it is posting only or do we need to do voice chat?

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Posting only. Asynchronous play.


What kind of frequency of posting do you think will be needed?

Once or twice a day. More is better, but that should be enough.

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Sign me up @MarkSP


Sign me up as well then.


Thanks, just 2 more needed (or more if people are interested)


I’d be very happy to help playtest this.


Hi Mark - happy to help


Thanks everyone! I’ll get the game setup, but first I ought to explain everything! If you want to read the rules and setup as written you can find them here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SdKkMJeQ6AjVDRh0A45nqOD6tzvN6LrF/view?usp=sharing

But I will be trying to summarise it for online play. Also this really is a playtest, so please do feel free to ask questions freely or via pm. And apologies for the lack of flavour text in a lot of places.

For now, a brief introduction…

You all awaken in a lounge on a ship. A bunch of strangers without recognition in your eyes. A clock chimes and you somehow know, you only have 13 hours to escape the Ghost Ship (unamed)…

In this game there are two types of player- 3 Humans and 2 Possessed.

The aim of the game for humans is to escape via the lifeboat. Possessed players need to either prevent the humans escaping, or escape alongside with them.

Humans win individually by escaping, provided not all the Possessed also escape.

Humans can also win as a team if nobody escapes by identifying all the Possessed players.

Possessed win if nobody escapes and they are not identified, or if all of the Possessed escape.


If one possessed escapes do the humans still win?

Yes- the Humans who escape win if not all the Possessed escape.

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This game is a card game. I’ve (virtually) shuffled 85 cards composed of Items, Clothing, Monsters, Events & Ghosts. I’ve made 8 decks of 9 cards, each representing a location. Everyone will be dealt a starting Item, and the left over cards will make a deck representing the Lounge.

The game is played over up to 13 rounds, with each Round comprised of 2 Phases: A Planning Phase, and an Exploration Phase. There are actions you can do during either phase, as well as actions specific to that phase, but generally during the Planning Phase you’ll be talking to each other planning where to go and what to do in this thread. After you’ve all decided a Location (from 1 to 8, or stay in the Lounge) you then go to the Exploration Phase. This takes place over PM, with all the people in each location in the same PM group. At any point you can leave that location (and PM group) and return to the Lounge (this thread). When everyone has done that the round ends and we begin the Planning Phase of the next round.

Eventually you’ll either run out of time (13 rounds), or someone will use a Winch to lower the lifeboats on the Starboard Promenade. Either way the game will end shortly after.


(just realised sharing wasn’t on google drive- you should be able to access them now!)


(I’m getting a real megagame vibe from this. :crazy_face:)


Each player starts with 8 Stamina. Stamina is incredibly important, not just for doing actions, but because at the end of the game it’ll be the players with the most Stamina who decide who escapes. If a player is ever reduced to 0 Stamina they immediately return to the Lounge and have to rest the following round.

Apart from chat, the actions you can do each round are below. You cannot spend Stamina doing an action if it would take you to 0 Stamina.
Give -Costs 0 Stamina- Give another player in the same Location one of your Items.
Attack -Costs 1 Stamina- Deal 1 Stamina damage to a player or Monster in your Location. Some Items & Events will say Attack X, in which case you deal X Stamina damage instead.
Steal -Costs 1 Stamina- Choose a player in the same location, look through their Items, and take one of them. The chosen player gets to do a Non-Steal Action before you look through their Items.
Use -Costs 0 Stamina- Use an Item (all Items which can be used will say how to use them. If they cost Stamina they will say).

In addition during the Exploration Phase there are three additional actions:
Search- Costs 1 Stamina- Take a Card from the Location deck. Your first Search each round costs 0 Stamina.
Change Location- Costs 1 Stamina- Discard down to your Item Limit and go to a different Location. If you return to the Lounge this costs 0 Stamina.
Rest (Lounge Only)- Take a Card from the Lounge deck and gain 1 Stamina (2 if currently on 0). You only gain the Stamina at the end of the phase. If you do any other action this round you do not get the Stamina.

Finally during the Planning Phase there’s one additional action players can do, which is a Seance. This is how to verify who is Human/Possessed. During setup a small deck is made up with a card for each Human player and a card saying ‘Possessed’ for each Possessed player. During a Seance, one player gets to look at the top card of that deck:

Seance- Costs 0 Stamina- Remove a Talisman and Bloody Item from the game (must be in your possession). Take a card from the Seance deck and tell the other players what it says. If you are Human you must tell the truth, otherwise you can lie. If you say the name of another player, that player is Registered as Human. Only players not Registered as Human can perform a Seance. That card is then removed from the game.

With an attack, can players attack each other? If so, is it possible to kill another player?

Also, I read this as a science fiction themed space ship, but it could also be a Sea of Thieves style pirate ship. Which one is it?

Finally (sorry not read the document), will I know if I’m a human or possessed at the start of the game?

You can attack each other, but can’t kill each other (if a player is reduced to 0 Stamina they have to go to the Lounge and Rest the following round, except during the Endgame which I’ll explain later).
The Ship is an early 20th Century Ocean Liner.
And you’ll know what you are at the start of the game- I’ll send everyone a PM. Also don’t worry about not reading the linked document, I’ll explain everything here anyway!

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