Hey there, Survivors. While you get your final moves together with excruciating slowness, I wanted to make a post for new players to let them know what they’ve gotten into, and how things work step by step, and I’ll try not to leave anything out. If you’re either a new or shitty player, keep reading. If not, you’re free to skip the the part about Cursed Immunity Idols unless you’re convinced I drop hints about idols or upcoming challenges in here anywhere.

OH! On talking: It only happens at Diplochat. Do not use your email for conversations. If someone attempts to talk to you secretly this way and you forward it to me, I’ll give them one warning and, if they do it again, I’ll mod-kill them and take them out of the game.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO kids, as you know, the challenge is first. There will be several types (though you’ll note that I have a particular affinity for spreadsheets). The next one, for instance, is a word challenge created by sometimes-player Matthew Gilman.

After the challenge, every member of the losing team has to make a vote by a certain deadline, and the person who receives the most votes is eliminated. Nonsubs will automatically vote for themselves, as will people who forget to vote or attempt to abstain. Ties will be broken by nonsubs, or in the case of two people who didn’t nonsub, in the form of a two-person challenge I run over the course of one day. All votes will be public, though they won’t be attached to voters’ names. Smartass comments along with votes are welcomed and even encouraged, as I post them along with the votes.

When I post the elimination results, I’ll also post the new challenge. Rinse and repeat until the merge, when all players head together to one tribe and then Immunity goes to individuals rather than teams, and all people, including the Immunity winners, will vote for each elimination.

One way to sneak out of an elimination is with a hidden Immunity Idol. I hide Idols by dropping hints anywhere on this site where I think an idol should go, and usually you need to find the existence of an idol and then figure out how to claim it. There are five idols that will be placed in this game, although there’s no guarantee that any will be claimed. Two (the cursed ones) will be placed in this very post. They’re not even hidden! We’ll get to that. One other will be hidden on the site within the next two weeks. The last two will be hidden very shortly after the merge.

If you have an idol, you play it when your team (or the group, if you still have it at the point of the merge) has to vote and you think you’re vulnerable. Any votes cast for you in that round will not count, and the person with the second-most votes will be eliminated. Your Idol is then removed from the game. If you’re eliminated while holding it, it will not be replaced.

Idols are transferable, so the owner can play one on an ally if he wants. Idols disappear, if still held, when five players remain in the game.

You cannot play an Immunity Idol, or have one played on you, if you were a nonsub in that challenge.

Idols are hidden in the form of posts that look like nothing, words that don’t otherwise fit, word jumbles, post tags and all sorts of other nonsense. Example: I once put a couple of numbers in an otherwise innocuous post that were the latitude and longitude of Plainview, Texas and Andy Rustleund claimed the idol by emailing me the words “The Idol is hidden in Plainview.” The two placed in this post are the exception to the way they’re usually hidden.

CURSED IMMUNITY IDOLS.

For months I had a way to curse the idols. Then in the last few days I decided it was stupid. Meh, maybe I’ll fall in love with the way I was going to do it again down the road and put the concept in a different season.

So here’s the deal: each tribe has an idol that anyone can claim. Just email me and ask for the cursed Immunity Idol. That’s it!

Wait, no it isn’t. That’s not it at all. You have to be the seventh person on your tribe to claim the Immunity Idol in order to get it. Before that, the Idol’s overwhelming concentration of potassium benzoate (that’s bad) will keep them at bay. The seventh person has worked up an immunity to potassium benzoate, or whatever. Don’t think too hard about it.

It gets worse.

The eighth player on the team to attempt to claim the idol will be crushed by falling rocks. The idol was in a cave, so…you know. Rocks. This player will immediately be removed from the game. There’s no penalty for players to claim after this (not that they would, since they’ll see that they lost a teammate to rock-fall).

If you attempt to claim the idol, it has to be via email, and I’ll respond by telling you your position. If you’re sixth, you can go ahead and tell your best mate to attempt to claim, or you can remain silent. Whatever.

The Cursed Idol business will go all game long. That is, it starts now, but if nobody has claimed that idol by the time of the merge, players are still allowed to attempt to claim the Cursed Idol from their original tribe. Of course, if it still isn’t claimed by the time the Idols disappear (at five players left) it’s just gone.

Cursed Idols can be claimed anytime. During challenges, during votes, on weekends off if I end up doing weekends off here and there.

It has begun. Alright, players: get back to finishing that last move (barring ties) on Marco Polo.

Cheers, Survivors.

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