Play aid

The Open-Ended Machine’s player crib sheet

Use what you know and your imagination to get you playing faction to achieve its objective(s).

Strategy tips
You own the conch : Provide strong arguments so the outcome of your next initiative becomes true.
You don’t : Provide strong counter-arguments to wrestle the conch from the phasing player’s hands into yours.

Keep in Mind
Be aggressive, honest and fair. You are playing because your input matters. May everyone learn something on the scenario’s topic.

Game Flow
  1. Conch-holder proposes an initiative
  2. Everyone propose arguments (pro or against).
  3. The umpire tally all pro (+1) and counter-arguments (-2).
  4. If the sum of 3D6 is equal of less than 10 + tally: the outcome becomes true AND the conch remains in the same hands for the next round.
  5. If not, the umpire gives the conch to the player who should have the initiative next.

Building an initiative
  1. Describe an action or an event. Be as detailed as needed, but no more.
  2. Describe one or more outcomes. An outcome is a fact that becomes true if the initiative succeeds.
  3. State facts explaining why the event/action will lead to the outcome.
  4. You may raise facts explaining why the event/action will NOT lead to the outcome (or else someone else may do it better than you will).
Rule of thumb on Statistics
An unsupported initiative has a base probability of 50%. Each supporting facts roughly double the odds, each counter-arguments cuts the odds by 4.

Skill based Target Numbers
In some cases, the base target number can be set to something else than 10. This table summarises the target for some verbal likelihood levels, or based on training levels and task difficulty.




very unlikely




neutral prob.

very likely


 As a rule, ...






For example: a trained playing faction attempting a simple task is very likely to succeed without the loss of the initiative (base target of 12).

The Open-Ended Machine by Christian Blouin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.