Ebb and Flow

Ballads of the Bay is going to be a story that spans multiple years. There will be a number of ongoing tasks the player will be responsible for, along with a general cycle for the game.

Please see below for details:

Event Setting

Typically I would control the game flow in a political intrigue game by seasons. Because the world of A Song of Ice & Fire has seasons that fluctuate for multiple years ranging from two to twelve, it does not seem practical to do so.

An Event Setting is the back drop where multiple sessions will take place for a period of time in Ballads of the Bay. An event setting will typically be planned around a big event such as a tourney, a wedding, a funeral, a ball or a battle. Around this big event, a number of smaller events might take place within game sessions.

New Event Settings will be chosen based on which houses are intending to host an event. If there is only one house willing to host an event, then they win the right to do so so long as they can afford the cost of the event type they wish to host.

If multiple houses wish to host competing events, then a Game of Influence occurs. Houses will have one week to put their influence behind any of the competing events, or none at all. The event with the most influential houses backing it will be the selected Event Setting. All other events will occur in the background. If players are present at these alternate events, then they will be played out in Open Sessions or Whisper Sessions.

As the first Event Setting has been announced already, we can use it as an example. The first event setting will be the wedding of Ser Merdraut Erwin and Regan Lannister at Windhamsport.

Game Session

A Game Session would be any time players get together to roleplay within an event setting. There are two types of game sessions, scheduled sessions and open sessions.

A Scheduled Session is a game session where the narrator has taken the initiative and plans to move the game storyline forward. In most cases, the narrator will be prepared to move plot forward within the event setting. Scheduled sessions will usually have in game timeframes as well as a real life scheduled date.

An Open Session is a game session where two or more players agree to get together for roleplay. These sessions must always be logged and sent to the narrator. An Open Session will most often take place within an Event Setting, though it is possible to have an open session between Event settings. The back drop for an open session should be consider travel restrictions given the timeline.

News and Gossip

There will be a list of posted News and Gossip. These topics are posted outside of game sessions. They might occur between Event Settings, before a new Event Setting or after a specific session.

News posts pertain to events with more factual evidence than rumors. They will typically pertain to topics evident to most anyone present at the Event setting. If they are more player-specific news, it will be securely shared.

Gossip posts pertain to the talk of nobles and servants alike. A gossip post will be a dialogue between two or more anonymous figures relayed in a casual manner as it might be overheard. Though the information that is found here has hints of truth, it can vary from inaccurate speculation to absolute unguarded truth.

The anonymous source can be discovered through game rolls by anyone interested in doing so. This is typically done outside of game. The roll can be made using any appropriate Intrigue Technique along with a brief description as to how your character is going about looking into the source. All rolls are made in the dice roller and submitted via email or private message on Obsidian Portal.

House Upkeep

House Fortune Rolls should have an Acting Steward. The Acting Steward is the character making the House Fortune Roll for the house. If you have a Maester, it should likely be the maester that does so. House Fortune Rolls will also have a Designated Roller. This is the player (not character) or by default, narrator; who will be performing the House Fortune Rolls. Please note it is entirely possible for a player to roll on behalf of their maester or steward (another NPC) if they wish to do so.

House Actions should have a Acting Lord. The Acting Lord is the character making the decisions for future house strategies. This is typically the lord of the house, though their are often exceptions when it comes to heirs. The Lord of the House will be the one who has the final say on house matters, therefore House Actioins are typically performed by the Narrator by default. If a character is not acting lord and would like to perform the House Action in place of the lord, she may do so but may be asked to make an appropriate intrigue role for success.

Also, House Upkeep has changed slightly from the standard rule set found in the book. Rather than House Fortune Rolls and House Actions taking place for every in-game month, they will take place for every three months in-game. I have modified it this way as we will be frequently time skipping three to six months, and monthly upkeep would be far too hard to maintain for most people.

All House Fortune rolls should be made with the Narrator witnessing them, or two other players and logged when they are submitted. These rolls can be submitted via email to robert.conway@gmail.com or in Obsidian Portal messaging.

Character Advancement

Character advanacement is quite straightforward. I have it broken down below:

Destiny Points
Spending Destiny Points means that they are gone temporarily. You earn back all your spent Destiny Points at the beginning of the next Event Setting.

Burning Destiny Points means they are gone for good. You may earn new Destiny Points by completing your beliefs. Please see the title Earning Destiny Points on the Destiny Points page for further information on Beliefs

A Character can Invest Destiny Points between sessions. Treat investments exactly as spending experience (below) save for when

Style Points
Style Points begin at two for every player and do not refresh when spent. To learn more about Using and Earning these points, please head to the Style Points page.

Every Player Character’s Growth Pool for Relationships refreshes back to 5 at the beginning of a new Event Setting. Please note that your Growth Pool is not cumulative with unspent points from the last event setting.


Earning Scheduled Session Experience
Players will earn 1 to 8 Experience points per scheduled session. The norm will likely be somewhere around 2 or 3 experience. Reaching 8 Experience in a session will be rare, involving great play and epic storylines.

Some of the online game elements that will reduce the Experience Handout:

  • PC’s and their players seem to be lacking drive.
  • Players are slow in response times during scheduled scenes.
  • Players will earn 0-1 experience for a no show. 1 Experience will be rewarded for letting the Narrator know in advance that you are not able to attend.

Earning Open Session Experience

  • Players earn an experience point per open session they are involved in during an Event Setting. Please note that the Maximum number of experience that can be earned by open sessions during a single event setting is 2.

Spending Experience

  • Experience point costs in the book are accurate.
  • All Experience Spending needs to be approved by the Narrator before they can be used. Please send them to robert.conway@gmail.com or by PM on Obsidian Portal between game sessions.

Ebb and Flow

Ballads of the Bay morethanbob