The Return of Talking Time

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Old 02-09-2018, 11:50 AM
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Default Let's play Not Alone together

It is the 25th century. Many generations have passed since humanity made its escape to the stars. Yet despite years of exploration at the far reaches of the galaxy, no other signs of intelligent life have been found.

While searching the archives of Old "Earth, you discover something strange. All information on a planet called Artemia seems to have been wiped from official records and charts. Intrigued, you mount an expedition to investigate.

Preliminary scans of Artemia suggest a class-M planet, home to a wide range of flora and fauna and capable of sustaining human life. The moment your ship enters the atmosphere, however, a powerful magnetic pulse knocks out its systems and sends it plummeting towards the surface. Tapping out a brief SOS, the captain orders the crew to evacuate.

You awake unharmed after the crash, and are starting to explore when you hear the captain screaming in pain. In the distance, you make out the silhouette of something watching you. You are not alone...

What is this game?

Not Alone is an asymmetrical game for 2-7 players. One player (the Creature) plays against the others (the Hunted).

The Hunted explore Artemia, using the abilities of its locales to evade capture long enough for help to arrive.

The Creature hunts down the other players, wearing down their will and assimilating them into the planet's ecosystem.



How does it work?



The planet of Artemia consists of ten Places. Each of these has a unique effect. At the start of the game, the Hunted have cards 1-5 (corresponding to those places).

[PHASE 1: Exploration] At the start of each turn, each Hunted plays one of their Place cards face-down.

[PHASE 2: Hunting] The Creature then places the Creature Token on one of the Places.

[PHASE 3: Reckoning] The Hunted reveal their Place cards. Each Hunted who explored a Place without the Creature gets to use the Place's power (or take back a discarded card - more on that later). And if they explored the Creature's Place? Well, then they don't get to use the Place's power. Also, bad things happen.

[PHASE 4: End of Turn] Each Hunted discards their Place card face-up. The Creature gets to see which Places are unavailable to each player. The Rescue counter moves forward one space -- if the Hunted only last long enough, they will win.



How does it work, but in greater detail?

Not Alone is not a terribly complicated game. I left out some details for the sake of brevity, but if you read the above, you know all you need to know to get started. Nevertheless, more detailed rules are spoilerpopped below.

Will

The Hunted each start the game with 3 Will, and they can never go over 3. Will represents their desire not to be assimilated and lose the game.

There are a few ways a player can lose Will:

[Getting caught] Anytime a player explores a Place where the Creature is present, that player not only loses the effect of the Place but also loses 1 Will. Then, regardless of how many players were caught, the Assimilation marker moves 1 space. The Creature wins if the Assimilation marker reaches the end before the Rescue marker, and this is the primary means of advancing it.

[Resisting or Giving Up] Playing a Place card each turn is mandatory. But what if you don't have one? You can Resist -- forfeit 1-2 Will to take 2-4 Place cards from your discard -- or Give Up -- forfeit all of your Will to take back your entire discard pile. If you only have 1 Will left, you're always better off Giving Up.

Anytime a player runs out of Will, that player draws back to 3 Will tokens, then the Assimilation marker advances. Unlike when players are caught, this can advance the Assimilation marker multiple times per turn. If you run out of Will by being caught, then the Assimilation marker moves up two spaces -- once for getting caught, once for running out of Will -- and you don't get any Place cards back. Try to avoid that!


Cards

Each Hunted starts the game with one Survival card. These cards do various nice things. Once you play a Survival card, it's gone.

The Creature starts the game with three Hunt cards. These cards have effects that range from annoying to downright nasty. The Creature may play one Hunt card per turn, and in phase 4, the Creature draws back up to 3.

Each card can only be played in a certain phase. If a card lists Phase 1, it must be played before the Hunted decide on their card plays. If a card lists Phase 2, it must be played before the Creature picks a location.


Artemia

When the Hunted draw close to victory, the planet itself starts fighting back. The Creature gains the Artemia token, which it places in addition to the Creature token during phase 2. Any Hunted who explores where the Artemia token is present loses the Place's power and discards an additional Place card. However, this doesn't count as being caught by the Creature, so they don't lose Will or advance the Assimilation marker.

Some Hunt cards will allow the Hunted to use the Artemia token earlier in the game, usually giving it additional effects.


Places

[1: The Lair] Take back to your hand the Place cards from your discard pile OR copy the power of the place with the Creature token. Lose 1 extra Will if caught by the Creature token.

The Lair is a very powerful card, allowing Hunted to retrieve their entire discard pile or copy the Place the Creature is hogging (usually the Rover). Getting caught here carries an increased penalty (unless you only have 1 Will anyway).

[2: The Jungle] Take back to your hand this Place card and 1 Place card from your discard pile.

The Jungle is an efficient way to get cards back. Remember, though, that you always have the option to forego your current Place's effect in favor of retrieving a discarded card. The Jungle is better than doing that, of course, since you also get the Jungle back.

[3: The River] Next turn, play 2 Place cards. Before revealing, choose one and return the second to your hand.

The River is a near-guarantee that you will not be caught on your next turn. The Creature needs to have cards of its own to have a chance at catching you.

[4: The Beach] Place the Marker counter on the beach OR remove it to move the Rescue counter forward 1 space. (Max 1x/turn)

Want to get home faster? The Beach will let you do that. The wording is a little confusing; the short version is that it takes two uses of the Beach to advance the Rescue counter. Only one player can use the Beach each turn. Remember that the Rescue counter automatically moves up at the end of each turn, no matter what else happens, so the Beach is never a location that you must visit.

[5: The Rover] Take from the reserve 1 Place card you do not own and add it to your hand.

The Rover is the most important card in the game. Hunted start the game only able to access the first five Places, and the Creature really wants to keep it that way. Once the Hunted start wandering off into the rest of the planet, they're much harder to catch.

[6: The Swamp] Take back to your hand this Place card and 2 Place cards from the discard pile.

The Swamp is the Jungle, but better. The Creature can rarely justify hunting the bottom row, so it's very easy to get your cards back this way.

[7: The Shelter] Draw 2 Survival cards. Choose one and discard the second.

Survival cards can be very good. They can also be a bit disappointing. The Shelter gives you a good chance of getting a good card.

[8: The Wreck] Move the Rescue counter forward 1 space. (Max 1x/turn)

The Wreck is the Beach, but better. Not much else to say about it.

[9: The Source] The Hunted of your choice regains 1 Will OR you draw 1 Survival card.

This is the only source of "healing" in the game. You can't go above 3 Will, but you can draw a Survival card instead.

[10: The Artefact] Next turn, play 2 Place cards. Resolve both places. You may not copy the Artefact.

The Artefact is the River, but... worse? There's probably a case to be made for it, but whereas the River makes you very difficult to catch, the Artefact makes you easier to catch. Expansions replace this card with a different one, and for good reason: I've never seen anyone use it. Feel free to prove me wrong!



Why is this game good?

Not Alone boasts a very flexible player count with tough decisions at a very modest playtime of 30-45 minutes. That playtime isn't going to be nearly as obvious in this format, so trust me when I say that this is a filler-length game that punches way above its weight.


Can I play?

Almost assuredly! There are seven player slots.

Only one of you can be the Creature. If you are interested in playing as the Creature, mention this in your sign-up post. I will pick one of you at random. Anyone who doesn't make it as a Creature can be Hunted instead.

Last edited by Mogri; 03-08-2018 at 08:54 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2018, 12:02 PM
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I think I'd try playing Hunted.
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2018, 12:34 PM
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I'll give it a try. (as hunted)
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
The Creature hunts down the other players, wearing down their will and assimilating them into the planet's ecosystem as poop
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:15 AM
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Is that a sign-up?
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:22 PM
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Well, I'm terrible at play by post games, but I guess I'll try this one as the Hunter if turtle joins the game.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:53 PM
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Well, I'm terrible at play by post games, but I guess I'll try this one as the Hunter if turtle joins the game.
why have you done this to me
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:10 PM
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You know why.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2018, 07:45 AM
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Two more slots for Creature-bait. This is a fine player count, though, so if we don't get any more volunteers, we'll start in a day or so.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:01 PM
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Oops sorry! There are actually three more Hunted player slots available. It'd be great to have at least one more player but you know no pressure or anything

Welcome to Artemia



While Artemia has ten scenic Places for you to visit, the Hunted can initially only reach the first five. The Rover [#5] is the key to reaching the other Places, and so the Creature must jealously guard it.



How to win and/or lose



So simple! Just put your counter on the glowing "victory" space before the other counter gets there. (Note that the starting position for both counters depends on the number of players.) "But how do I move the counter?" you ask. Good question.


Moving the Rescue counter

There are three ways the Rescue counter can move:
  • At the end of each round, the Rescue counter moves automatically. How convenient!
  • Visiting the Beach [#4] will let you spell out messages by arranging rocks in the sand. This is not very efficient, and it will take two visits to the Beach to move the Rescue counter one space. But I mean what else are you doing with your time?
  • If you figure out how to visit the Wreck [#8], you can use the onboard radio to send for help and advance the Rescue counter.


Moving the Assimilation counter

There are but two ways to advance the Assimilation counter:
  • If the Creature catches one or more Hunted, the Assimilation counter advances one space (regardless of how many Hunted were caught).
  • If a Hunted ever runs out of Will, the Assimilation counter advances one space, and that player receives 3 Will. You lose 1 Will when the Creature catches you, and you can spend Will to take cards from your discard pile at the start of the round.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:02 PM
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And we're off~

Round 1, Phase 1 [Exploration]




aturtledoesbite

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
In discard: Nothing


Gerad

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
In discard: Nothing


Taeryn

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
In discard: Nothing


Hunted: Please PM me your card plays. Specify the number and the name of the Place so that I know you know where you're going.

Creature: If you want, you may also PM me your play during phase 1. If the Hunted play a Survival card during phase 1 or 2, you can revise your choices.

Peanut gallery: Let me know if there's interest in a champagne room.

Last edited by Mogri; 02-15-2018 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:51 PM
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Hunted moves are in, so it's

Round 1, Phase 2 [Hunting]

But nothing else has changed.

Lucas, where to?
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:41 PM
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Round 1, Phase 2 [Hunting]



The Creature smells something at the Rover! What is it, boy? Did the humans fall in the well?

But wait, there's more

You activated my Trap card!



Round 1, Phase 3 [Reckoning]

Where do you reckon everybody went?

aturtledoesbite

aturtledoesbite heads directly to the Creature's den. A bold and daring choice, and turtle will be rewarded with the Place card of his choosing.


Gerad

Gerad realizes that he has not showered today. He bathes in the River, which will make him that much harder to sniff out next turn.


Taeryn

Taeryn decides to take in the Artemian scenery. The Beach is so nice this time of year that Taeryn completely forgets to move the Marker counter! Or it could be that someone interfered with his plans. Who knows?

Since Taeryn's discard pile is empty, he doesn't have the option of taking back a card instead of using the Place power. He'll just have to chalk this one up as a loss.



Round 1, Phase 4 [End of Turn]

Our intrepid explorers discard their Place cards, and the Rescue counter creeps forward.



Round 2, Phase 1 [Exploration]




aturtledoesbite

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8
In discard: 1


Gerad
[River]

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 4, 5
In discard: 3


Taeryn

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 3, 5
In discard: 4


turtle: Post your Place card choice publicly. It goes to your hand immediately.

Gerad: Send me two Place cards this turn. You'll make your decision in phase 3.

Last edited by Mogri; 02-15-2018 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:15 PM
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Round 2, Phase 2 [Hunting]



The Creature needs to do its laundry this round. It isn't actually doing any hunting, but woe betide the human who sees it air its dirty laundry.



Round 2, Phase 3 [Reckoning]

aturtledoesbite

It's tanning weather! aturtledoesbite will soak in rays and/or send off a smoke signal. (The Marker counter moves onto the Beach.)


Gerad

It's a secret to everybody!


Taeryn

Whoa hey what's this Creature doing here


Sorry, Boss! I dropped your action and one of your Will! Also, the Assimilation marker moves up by one.


Gerad: Where to?
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:22 PM
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The Rover!

And I'll take...uh...The Shelter.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:09 PM
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You heard the man! beast! thing!

Gerad goes to the Beach, but seeing that turtle has already sent up an SOS, he revisits his plans and grabs the River from his discard.



Round 2, Phase 4 [End of Turn]

Discard, advance Rescue.



Round 3, Phase 1 [Exploration]

[please imagine I put an image of the track here]


aturtledoesbite

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 2, 3, 5, 8
In discard: 1, 4


Gerad

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 3, 4
In discard: 5


Taeryn

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 5
In discard: 3, 4


By the way: I am skipping through phases for the sake of expediency, but you can always back-play your Survival/Hunt cards as long as the relevant phase is in the most recent update.

Last edited by Mogri; 02-16-2018 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
By the way: I am skipping through phases for the sake of expediency, but you can always back-play your Survival/Hunt cards as long as the relevant phase is in the most recent update.
Convenient!

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Old 02-16-2018, 03:52 PM
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Round 3, Phase 2 [Hunting]



Welcome to the Jungle!



Round 3, Phase 3 [Reckoning]

aturtledoesbite

After hearing that the Creature was spotted in the River, turtle heads over to see if he can get a look. No luck!


Gerad

Gerad just can't get enough of this Beach. (The Marker counter moves onto the Beach.)


Taeryn

Taeryn is just palling around with the Creature at this point. They're basically best buds.


No cards back for you! Also, the Assimilation marker moves up by one.



Round 3, Phase 4 [End of Turn]

But hey, so does the Rescue counter!



Round 4, Phase 1 [Exploration]



[Beach Marker]


aturtledoesbite
[River]

Will: ***
Survival cards: None
In hand: 2, 5, 8
In discard: 1, 3, 4


Gerad

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 2, 3
In discard: 5


Taeryn

Will: ***
Survival cards: []
In hand: 1, 5
In discard: 2, 3, 4


However: Lucas will probably play a card before the end of round 3. Hang on tight!
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:17 PM
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What do the A markers mean on the rescue board?
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:30 PM
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I believe that's where the creature gets the Artemia token to put on a second place for catchin' interlopers.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
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I believe that's where the creature gets the Artemia token to put on a second place for catchin' interlopers.
A+
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:56 PM
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are the hunted allowed to talk to each other?
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeryn View Post
are the hunted allowed to talk to each other?
I heartily recommend it!
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeryn View Post
are the hunted allowed to talk to each other?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
yes, but only in this thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
I heartily recommend it!
Still need moves from Gerad and Lucas!
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:40 PM
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I imagine "yes, but only in this thread, and if you do it, then the Creature can just hear/see what you're saying, so effectively no"
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:51 PM
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FYI, it's going to take me a bit to get up to speed. I'll try to make a move by the end of the night.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:46 PM
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I think I'll take the #8: The Wreck.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:38 AM
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I hope you remembered to check yourself, because... well, you know.

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Old 02-15-2018, 07:11 AM
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on the whole that turn seems more good than bad.
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:26 AM
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Oh for sure! Any turn you don't get caught is a success. With this player count, you start out 15 spaces from the end, and the Creature is 9 spaces away. That means it only needs to catch someone probably a little less than half the time to win.
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