"The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."
-- Morpheus, The Matrix

Spycraft: Prometheus PBEM Guidelines


The following guidelines are designed to keep our campaign focused and moving at a constant clip, while at the same time reducing the amount of confusion inherent in PBEM games. These guidelines are based on my own limited experience with PBEM; suggestions are always welcome.

Scenes & Rounds

Game play will be divided into individual scenes loosely based on what the scenes would be if this were a Bond flick or Alias episode. For example the investigation of a warehouse, the assault on the warehouse and the car chase afterwards would be broken into three separate scenes, even though they are part of the same, larger serial.

Each scene will be divided into rounds. A "round" is going to be a somewhat ambiguous term. When we're in role-playing mode, a "round " may take place after everyone has a chance to respond to a given post. When we're in combat mode, then a " round " will be a defined in a strictly d20 sense as we run through the initiative.

I'll note the serial, the scene, and the round using the following method:

  • S1: WAREHOUSE CHASE, Round 3

The "S1" denotes the serial, in this case, "Serial 1". The capitalized words are the name of the current scene, while "Round" is the current round within that scene As the game unfolds, I will be posting a running log summarizing the major events to the Prometheus Web site, with links to the appropriate sections of the Yahoo Group.

Pace of Game Play

Our goal is for all players to respond within 24 hours of a post during a weekday, but that's only a guideline; the hard-and-fast deadline is 48 hours. If players don't respond within that time period, I'll assume they're either sitting out this particular conversation, or taking some defensive action during combat. That said, if a player has a particularly crucial part to play in a scene or combat, I'll bug them before moving on to the next round.

Weekends are the exception to this; no posts are expected on Saturday or Sunday, though I'd like Friday posts to be responded to by the end of Monday.

In my experience, most PBEM games die when GMs keep waiting for players to respond. I'd like to avoid that as much as possible, and thus, will be nagging people if they haven't posted in a while.

Rolling Dice

We're going to be working on the honor system here -- if you cheat, you're just cheating yourself. When posting the results of your rolls to the list, please show all of the math, so I know what feats, actions and multipliers you're using.

The Map

I am working on an online map program to allow us to track where people are on the battlefield. Expect more details about that shortly.