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I used to be a big fan of SOAP, a fun house game of soap opera mayhem. In this document, the term "star" refers to player characters, "extra" refers to non-player-characters, and "character" refers to both types indiscriminately. This seems appropriate for a soap opera style game, where extras come and go, but stars are forever.


Multiple Characters

It seems to make sense that a player could have multiple stars; more stars means more plot complications and more inbreeding in the game. Of course, players can already post about as many characters as they want, even crafting sentences about other stars, so why would they want that?

Simple: Plot immunity. There is a palpable difference between stars and extras, not only in terms of effective screen time, but in terms of protection. Stars have a home set, they have relationships, they have traits and most importantly, they have a secret that keeps them from getting killed. Extras don't have any of that, and players may wish to see their favorite characters protected.

  • A character may not become a star until he is introduced as an extra. Also, an extra may only become a star while on-screen.
  • A player must spend a Plot Token to claim an extra and turn him into a star. Instead of writing a sentence on his turn, he must write up the character sheet (keeping the secret hidden, of course) and post it for all to see.
  • Anyone who doesn't like the introduction of a new star can contest it; if the star is successfully contested, it remains an extra. The turn, however, is still lost.
  • Stars belonging to a player use a communal pool of Plot Tokens.
  • A player may never gain any points for guessing the secret of one of his stars. This should be a given, but better safe than sorry!
  • Players still get an equal number of turns; they just have a greater variety of opportunities to gather Plot Tokens in various scenes.
  • Players may only earn Plot Tokens from one character at a time, regardless of how many of their characters might be in a scene.
  • If any one star is killed in a sentence and the player cannot stop it, that player is out of commission for two turns.

Character Advancement

Whenever a character accomplishes a goal, loses all ability to accomplish a goal through the actions of other characters, or dies through the actions of another character, in addition to choosing a new goal (if warranted), he may also change the background text of the character as appropriate to the change in the character's circumstances. He continues to only have five Traits, but he may change what those five Traits are. He may also change relationships at this time, if it would make sense.

In addition, whenever two stars are on-screen in the same scene, either star may attempt to add a new Relationship between them while writing a sentence. This costs one Plot Token, and the other star has the opportunity to pay one Plot Token to reciprocate that Relationship. The sentence is very likely to get contested; if another character succeeds, in addition to editing the sentence as desired, the character may change the nature of the Relationships or edit them out entirely. No matter what, either star who paid a Plot Token to get a Relationship is out that Token. On the other hand, a Relationship may be dropped at any time.

Flashbacks

Flashbacks. Dream sequences. Hallucinations. Psychic visions. Scenes within scenes, these are currently missing from the basic SOAP ruleset, and so this particular expansion allows them to be used.

  • A flashback may be started from within another scene, by the scene's creator. He pays a Plot Token to do so, and narrates a sentence that facilitates the transfer. Flashbacks are treated like normal scenes apart from the stipulations below.
  • Alternatively, a scene may be created as a flashback from the start. The scene's creator does so as above, but announces "OOC" that it is a flashback. Like below, after the flashback ends, the scene returns to the "present" and another sentence must be used to end the scene.
  • Although characters are limited to only being in one normal scene at a time, they may be in any number of Flashbacks. Bringing a character into a Flashback is treated the same way as any other scene.
  • Although characters may "die" in Flashbacks, this is not treated as character death. The player may still take turns as normal. Rather, that character is simply unable to return to the flashback scene.
  • When the creator of a flashback scene chooses to end it, all other individuals within that scene are immediately exited, and the scene returns to the "present." Another sentence must be used to end the scene.
  • Characters who are otherwise permanently dead may be brought into a Flashback. If this was a star, the original character's owner may collect Plot Tokens from the character, apart from Secret Words (as a permanently dead star has had their secret already guessed).

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