ANNOUNCE: Python - The RPG

Martijn Faassen m.faassen at
Wed Feb 28 00:43:32 CET 2001

Python - The RPG

The Hype

  A Python role playing game! Play your favorite Python community
  member! While said member watches! Travel through time! Save the

The Scenario

  The aliens are not expected to unleash their whitespace eating
  nanovirus to Earth for decades, right? There is no Python Secret
  Underground trying to put a stop to this, right?

When? Where?

  This is to be determined. Tentative time is the evening of wednesday
  the 7th of january.

  * Benevolent Dictator For the Game (BDFG)

  * A number of Players playing Characters

  * Members of the public (if sufficiently quiet)

Sounds Great! How can I play?

  Mail the BDFG at m.faassen at with a convincing explanation
  on why you want to play a particular character. Don't mail him after
  sunday; it's no use -- talk to him at the conference. Playing
  yourself is illegal; you have to pick someone else. Write-in
  characters are allowed and encouraged, if you can convince the
  BDFG. If you don't get to play a character, never fear; members of
  the public have voting rights if deemed Worthy.

  The use of humor is a good way to convince the BDFG.

Cast of Possible Characters

  Suggestions for new characters and/or character attributes are
  welcome. If people feel offended, sprinkle the following generously
  with smileys and <winks> in your mind. Yes, you can play any of
  these characters and others, if you manage to convince the BDFG.

  The advantages and disadvantages are expected to be roleplayed,
  mainly. They may also influence people's voting patterns during task
  resolution (see the rules section).

  Guido van Rossum (AKA BDFL)
      * BDFL. Other Python Community Members will tend to listen to
        Guido. Guido can tell them what to do, and especially what
        they shouldn't do. When team members are deciding on an
        action, Guido can vote -1, thereby overruling the team members
        (note that this does not affect success determination, just
        whether the team will try something).

      * Access to time machine. Years ago Guido received a mysterious
        envelope containing the complete plans to a working time
        machine. He uses it mainly to implement features for Python
        before they're even suggested on comp.lang.python. Of course,
        the PSU uses it as well.


      * Dutch Bluntness. His Dutch bluntness may be a disadvantage
        when negotiating with NPCs.
  Tim Peters (AKA the timbot)


      * Channeling Guido. Whenever Guido is absent, Tim Peters can
        Channel Guido. Tim can use this to gain extra authority over
        any Python Community Member. Tim can vote the overruling -1 in
        the absence of Guido.

      * Invisibility. Tim can turn invisible for a short while,
        allowing him to hide his secret identity, and to attend IPC8
        (last year's Python conference) without being seen.


      * Robot. Tim's secret identity is that he's a robot, which may
        shock some people. Not just an android robot like the effbot
        and the martellibot -- those look like real people. No, the
        timbot is a genuine lumbering metallic robot with blinking
        lights, and a heap of Perl scripts running the innards.

      * Distracted by side issues. Tim can go on at length on issues
        which are not really the core of the problem, complicating
        said problem for himself and everybody else.
  Fredrik Lundh (AKA the effbot)


      * Gadgeteer. A problem? The effbot can frequently construct a
        small gadget to solve it, often enlightening people in the


      * Grouchiness. The effbot does not suffer fools gladly. This may
        may complicate his interaction with some NPCs, as well as
        other team members.

  Alex Martelli (AKA the martellibot)


      * His erudite, knowledgable and *lengthy* discourse. This will
        either convince NPCs, or otherwise make them fall asleep
        (which in the case of enemies is good).


      * Erupts into berserker rage when reminded of the print >>
  Jim Fulton


      * Engineering. Ability to understand and build amazingly
        complicated machinery.


      * Can inadvertantly make people's heads explode when attempting
        to explain how something works, rendering them unable to think
        very well for a while.

  Christian Tismer


      * Can accomplish the impossible by changing the meaning of truth.
        Mystic ability influencing the fabric of reality.

      * Inspired Koreans. Christian can inspire hundreds of Koreans to
        the Pythonic cause. This should come in handy for something.


      * A hard time explaining to other people what he's
        doing, or convincing them. Particilarly Guido.  


  The style of play is very light on actual rules. The only mechanical
  thing that may sometimes occur is task resolution by voting.

  Whenever a character wants to accomplish some task in the game, the
  BDFG decides whether success is trivial or not. For trivial success
  (for instance, adding simple a bug fix to the standard Python
  library) or trivial failure (for instance, adding a Perl style $ to
  the Python language) the BDFG just says whether something succeeds
  or fails, and that's all there is to it.

  In case of non-trivial success or failure, the BDFG has the option
  to put the resolution to a vote. In a vote each player can issue one
  vote, -1, 0, and +1. The BDFG can vote as well.

  If the total vote count is above 0, the action succeeds. If it's
  negative, the action fails. If it's exactly 0, a coin is tossed to
  determine success.

  If there is a public, members of the public who are deemed Worthy by
  the BDFG can participate in the voting process. Members of the
  public who are too loud at critical moments will likely not be
  deemed Worthy.

  Finally, if the BDFG thinks it's necessary, the BDFG can overrule
  the outcome of the vote.


   The PSU's Existence Revealed

  Roswell: The Truth

  Python Labs moves to Digital Creations

  Status of the PSU

do-I-really-want-to-post-this-oh-well-here-goes-ly yours,

History of the 20th Century: WW1, WW2, WW3?
No, WWW -- Could we be going in the right direction?

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