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The QuIRC RPG's name comes from its letters: Quick IRC Roleplaying Game. As its name suggests, it was created originally for IRC play, using the timeclock as a semi-random method of conflict resolution and requiring as little statistical information as possible. The ideal is to use a server-side timestamp, but IRC always labels things on the client side, which means that lag and whatnot often gets in the way.

It has been mildly playtested, and is definitely a fun experience when played, but I consider QuIRC a failure. Parts of QuIRC were inspired by the roleplaying games of Shadows, Unsung, Universalis, and the Reverse RPG. The card game Baccarat was also an inspiration. Everything else came from my Idea Pipeline, fed with a vast subconscious reservoir of creativity. If anyone else ever tries QuIRC, I'd like to hear how it went.


QuIRC RPG - Quick IRC Roleplaying

Before playing a game of QuIRC, all players should set their chat program to timestamp each message, including the hour, minute, and second. Clocks should be reasonably synchronized, but will not be exact. In addition, players should determine how they'll set apart narration and OOC actions - different channels, different text colors, certain keyboard symbols... whatever works. Finally, all players should ensure they on the same page regarding the setting, genre, and tone of their game - without this agreement, a QuIRC game could quickly become a surrealist post-modern story. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that, if that's your cup of tea, but it's still nice to know about it in advance.

Every player has a single character, their protagonist. Ostensibly, this protagonist is the focus of their play. The only fixed part of this protagonist is their name; everything else will be determined and interpreted in the game. Every player also has a single point.

Points are the currency of QuIRC, the method by which challenges are resolved. In addition to the point every player starts with, every time the clock changes hours, everyone earns another point. Points are spent to change scenes, and are also used when one player wishes to challenge the narration of another - an action that sometimes can generate more points. More on challenges and their resolution below.

One player must start the first scene - decide this amongst yourselves using any method you so desire. This narration has five minutes (or five posts, whichever comes first) to set the scene as he desires, including describing the actions and situations of the other protagonists - although remember, a player's protagonist doesn't have to be in a scene for him to affect it! After that point, all players may describe anything happening, except actions taken by the other protagonists. Whenever a scene changes, the player who changes the scene gets five uninterrupted minutes (or posts) to close out the scene and start a new one.

If something happens during a scene that a player wishes to challenge, he has 60 seconds from the timestamp of the first post to do it. A simple codeword should be decided upon beforehand, easily recognizeable by all players - "Bam" is an effective one, as is "***" all by itself on a line. Whatever the codeword, when it happens all narration should stop. In the case of multiple challenges, they are first come first serve - as judged by the person whose narration is being challenged in the case of disputes.

Challenges can be anything - "I don't want that" "I have a better idea" "that doesn't make any sense." No matter what, the challenger must give one of his points to the player he is challenging - even if the challenger changes his mind and backs out. To resolve the challenge, the timestamp on the message containing the codeword is used - again, the challenged player's timestamp is official, in case of disputes.

Each timestamp produces two values - Destiny and Nemesis. The first is calculated by taking the sum of the ones digits of the minutes number, and the seconds number on the timestamp; the second is the sum of the tens digits of the same timestamp. For example, a timestamp of 12:31:42 would give us a Destiny of 1+2 = 3, and a Nemesis of 3+4=7. If you get a number greater than ten, only the ones digit counts - a timestamp of 6:04:09 would yield a Destiny of 4+9=13, or 3, and a Nemesis of 0+0=0.

  • If Destiny is greater than Nemesis, then the challenger wins. As with a new scene, he has five minutes or five posts to narrate anything he desires, without challenge.
  • If Nemesis is greater than or equal to Destiny, the challenged wins. He has five minutes or five posts to narrate anything he desires, without challenge. If Nemesis is actually greater than Destiny, the challenger earns another point.
Now, if someone doesn't like the first Destiny and Nemesis numbers, additional points can be spent to influence the result - points spent by any player, not just the challenger. Only the challenged player is unable to spend points. The player declares the same codeword, followed by either "minutes" or "seconds." The tens and ones digits of that part of the player's timestamp, once again as judged by the challenged player, are added to the Destiny and Nemesis values. Let's look at the player at 12:31:42 - Destiny of 3, and Nemesis of 7. Now someone posts "seconds" at 12:32:31 - Destiny would become 3+1 = 4, and Nemesis becomes 7+3=10. This can be done as many times as desired, until everyone is satisfied, runs out of points, or 60 seconds has passed without challenge.

Generally speaking, each hour of play should be roughly equivalent to a segment of a television series, or a movie made for commercial breaks. Care should be taken to set up some sort of minor cliffhanger, if not a definitive ending, near the end of each hour. This takes best advantage of the Nemesis/Destiny interaction - unless points are spent to influence the results, Nemesis steadily increases during each episode, while Destiny goes up and down, until finally both reach a fever pitch and go back down to zero.


Last modified: Thursday January 01 1970 00:00:00, by Alexander Cherry
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