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Tales out of Anchor : A Game of Rise & Fall

The Rules of Play

Tales out of Anchor is a free-form, rules-lite system, focusing on the relationships between your characters, the rise and fall of your character's fortunes and the making and breaking of alliances.

Here, you can read more about how to play the game, along with the different kinds of documents that you may encounter in your travels.

These are different from the Event Rules, which tell you a number of out-of-character rules about safety and how players are expected to treat each other while on-site.

In-Character & Out-of Character

  • There are a number of in-character areas - the majority of the ground floor is in-character, though the kitchen is not. Other out of Character areas will be clearly marked. The toilets are always out-of-character.
  • Referees will be introduced at the start of the event. In-Character, they will take roles as Swifts - the various staff around the Perch. They can also be found by going to the Admin desk or the Crew Room.
  • Various Non-Player-Characters (NPC's) are the “extras” of the story, who are played by members of our crew. NPC's may also communicate via letter.
  • Anyone with two fingers in the air is invisible and cannot be seen in-character. This is for use by the Crew in order to deploy into areas they cannot access without being seen.
  • If you are in the in-character areas and wish to speak to somebody out-of-character, you should preface your sentence with the words “Out-of-character:…”

Out Of Character Calls

The following calls are out of character information calls used for safety or organisational purposes:

  • 'Stop the Game' : Shouted when someone is injured Out-Of-character. When you hear this call stop role-playing immediately and remain stationary until instructed otherwise. Please take up the call yourself if you hear it: this ensures that the nearest Ref and any other players have also heard the call.
  • 'Time stop' : Stop role-playing. This call is used to pause the game in order to avoid accidents or dangerous situations, and occasionally to allow Refs to make changes that would be impossible to do in real-time.
  • 'Time in' : Begin/resume role-playing.
  • 'Time out' : Role-playing has ceased for the weekend. Tales out of Anchor is 24-hour time-in - if you are in the in-character area at any point during time-in, you are expected to role play your character.

Combat and duelling

This is covered further in the following pages


  • In-Game items (including in-character paperwork) can be stolen from you by other characters.
  • If you steal another character's property, you should tell the referees you have done so as soon as possible.
  • Hand in the phys rep as soon as possible, no later than the end of the event.
  • If the player comes to the referees and asks us out of character if this item has been stolen, we will tell them it has, but not by who.
  • If the player wants the phys-rep back we will ask you to return it to us and we will give it to the player in a discrete fashion. They must then keep it out of the IC Area.

The legal system looks extremely dimly upon the act of theft and participating in a theft in the closed environment of the Perch is highly likely to result in legal consequences.

In-Character Documents

When you arrive, make your way to the Admin desk to register. You will be handed a pack with a number of in-character documents.


Each character will be issued with a Ration Book, which you can fill in with your character's details.

Your Ration book also contains your character's identification Papers. You may be expected to present your papers to Auditors, or other officials working for the Bureaucracy, so please fill them in as legibly as you are able.


Some characters may have Incidental Licenses for resources that they control during the event. You can use these to effect changes on the game world - usually by filling them out and sending instructions via Swift to off-screen NPCs. An Incidental Licence can be used four times during the event- once during each Night City and twice during the Day City. It may be possible to gain additional uses in play. For more information on Incidental Licences see the Influence page.

Water Tokens

100 years ago, during the Judgement, Anchor sky-rocketed above the cloud deck. The Bureaucracy imposed Austerity measures on water and other resources-austerity measures that are still in place. Water Tokens are an in-game currency that reflects this.

Your Character will be issued with a number of water tokens that represent the pocket-change your character has with them. You can use these to gamble, buy swift papers, tea or other refreshments, engage in light bribery or donate to Charitable Causes - the methods by which you can perform changes in the world at large.

  • Water Tokens do not carry over between Audits, so you should attempt to use them by the end of the event.

Swifts and Contacts

Because your character is not usually permitted to leave the grounds of the Perch until Audit day is concluded, the site is regularly visited by Swifts - the messenger service that works all across the city. As part of a standardised system, Swifts can exchange water-tokens for special Message-paper that they will then carry anywhere in the city for you.

These Message-papers have a word limit on them, which you should keep to. You should write legibly, or find a scribe to write for you.

  • Swifts are happy to scribe for players who cannot write their own messages.

Message-papers can be used to send letters to Contacts, who are other non-player characters in the City that may be petitioned for aid or who, equally, may ask help of you.

* This link has a video demonstration of how Swifts are folded, or you can ask Swifts to help you in-game.

Business Cards

Some characters will have Business Cards with the names and addresses of Contacts in the City that you can write letters to.

Contacts write for business - not for pleasure, particularly during the busy period of Audit Day, so you should ensure you have something that will catch their interest - casual conversation will normally be ignored. For more information on Contacts see the Influence page.


Merits are assigned to each character by the Plot Team based upon their background and represent a specific resource (item/skill) which the character has access to.

Some merits are themselves non-transferable, but some of the resources can be handed over to other players or NPCs.

Merits will be represented by a Merit Card and any relevant extra paperwork as appropriate.

Examples of types of Merits:

  • PROMISSORY NOTES/BLUEPRINTS: The player gains two options to boost a charitable cause. Represents a significant amount of in-game assets.
  • GOSSIP SLIPS: The player is given 5 pieces of invaluable gossip from a suitable status body that can be used to gain influence or influence NPCs during the game.
  • SAVAGE: The player has one extra Take That! every Day or Night City (cannot be used during duels)
  • LUCKY: The player has one extra Missed! every Day or Night City (cannot be used during duels)
  • MASTER DUELLIST: The player has one extra duelling card they can use throughout the event.
  • SPOT CHECK: The player may request to examine another player's papers. In addition, they are able to spot forgeries.
  • FORGER: The player is able to produce forged documents given sufficient time.
  • BACKGROUND CHECK: The player is able to request a background check on another character.
  • FILTHY RICH: The player has one Promissory Note as described above, and a nr of additional water tokens.
  • UNPREDICTABLE DUELLIST: The player has access to all duelling schools but must draw their duelling card at random at the start of each duelling round.
  • OFF DUTY SWIFT: The player starts play with extra blank swift papers
game_rules.txt · Last modified: 02/11/17 21:58 by stacatto123