Each turn of Brainwave is divided into two main phases: Uptime and Downtime. What happens in each of these phases is summarised here.
Uptime refers to the live sessions on Tuesday evenings where players are allowed to post and interact with each other and the game world in the Brainwave Discord server.
In Brainwave, Uptime will represent the Cranium Conference in real time. The session lasts from 7pm to 10pm U.K. time.
Actions you may take during Uptime include:
During Uptime, you will have access to text channels, both IC and OC. They will be listed in the channel sidebar on the left-hand side and will be appropriately named so it is clear what they are for. Channel names always start with a # (hash) symbol. Selecting one will allow you to view them, and if you have permission to do so, type in it. Some channels you may be able to only type in sometimes, or view but not type in. If you feel there are errors, contact a GM (who will be listed under the “GM” subheading in the user sidebar on the right-hand side) in the channel labelled “#oc-tech-support” by tagging them in your message with “@GM” or “@<their username>”.
During the game, new text channels may appear to you, and old ones may disappear. This does not mean they no longer exist, but you no longer can view them. This may reflect a change in location, status, or another in-game occurrence that would help or hinder your communications with others. You may find pinned messages in channels: these will be pinned by GMs, and represent information you gain upon entering the channel (eg location description). If you believe there has been an error, message a GM before messaging in the channel. There will be mechanics by which you can request special channels with other characters. These will be arranged and monitored by GMs.
You will have a personal channel which only you and the GM team can see. If you ever need to contact the GM team without other players being able to see what you write, this is the place to do that.
Please note that, although on Discord you have the ability to send messages directly to other users, please do not use this to send IC messages. This is because GMs cannot see direct messages and need to know what people are sending each other to properly run and moderate the game. Direct messages should only be used if you need to contact a specific GM in confidence.
IC, Downtime represents the time between each of the Cranium Conference meetings. During Downtime, you will send IC emails to other characters and write your Turnsheet, which explains what your character is going to try and achieve during Downtime.
As with previous Society Games, we have set up an email system which allows players to communicate with each other and with GMs after a session ends; IC, these emails represent anything from letters to in-person conversations between characters to just plain old emails. Each character has their own email address which is based on their name – the complete list of in-character email addresses can be found on the Player Characters page.
GMs are copied into all IC emails so as to keep track of plans and developing themes within the game, but please bear in mind that GMs may not be able to read all emails in detail due to the number of emails often sent by players.
You can also direct emails to GMs if you'd like to ask us anything you didn't get round to mentioning during Uptime, and this should be your main method of OC communication with GMs once a session ends – we won't necessarily be checking our Discord messages between sessions! IC communication with NPCs can also be done this way by emailing the GM who plays that character. In either case, please add “[FAO: GM/NPC name]” to the subject line so that we don't miss your message!
If you're having trouble receiving emails from GMs or players before or during the game, try checking your Junk inbox – if game emails tend to be filtered out, you may want to whitelist the 'brainwave.oxfordrpg.com' domain.
We ask that all email exchanges be wrapped up by 23:00 on the Thursday after session, one hour before the Turnsheet deadline. This is partly so that no one's Turnsheet plans end up changing at the last minute, and partly so that everyone can get a break from their inbox for the rest of the week!
A Turnsheet details what you would like to do in Downtime after session and after IC emails have taken place. In Brainwave, we are giving players a Primary Action and a Secondary Action per turn, which should be the two main things your character is trying to achieve during Downtime. The GMs will then respond before the following Uptime with information about how your character's choices turn out. Your Turnsheet may also include any number of Minor Actions. Minor Actions are significantly more limited in scope than the Major Action and will usually only receive a one-line response from the GMs. See below for more details on Primary, Secondary, and Minor Actions.
Your Turnsheet and the response given are only visible to you and the GMs (so feel free to detail all your secret evil plans and betrayals if you feel so inclined).
Once your character has been approved by the GMs, we will send you a link to your private user page - this can also be found by clicking the human-shaped icon at the very top right of the Wiki. At the bottom of your user page should be a series of red links, named 'Turnsheet #'. These link to pages that don't exist yet, so when you are ready to begin writing up your Actions, click on the link for that week and then click the 'pencil sign' icon on the right-hand toolbar to get started. Hovering over it will bring up the 'Create this page' dialogue.
Once created, the Turnsheet page will have a handy template to save you time and to allow your GM easy reading. You don’t have to stick to it 100%, but similar layouts allows us to quickly and easily see what you are attempting to do with your time. (Please don't delete
at the bottom of the page or we won't be notified when you've submitted it!)
While we very much enjoy reading your writings, it's usually best to keep your Turnsheets concise so we can clearly see the focus of your Action; a single sentence with no detail obviously isn't very helpful, but neither is a very long plan that aims to do too much in one go! Bullet points may be helpful.
When you're happy with your Turnsheet, click the save button in the bottom left and you'll have a Turnsheet that both you and all the GMs can see. It’s worthwhile doing a quick preview before saving, to check that everything reads how you want it to, but don’t forget to then save.
You can continue to edit your Turnsheet until the deadline (23:59 on Thursday) as nothing will be taken as final by the GMs until that point.
Primary and Secondary Actions are something that it would take your character significant time and effort to accomplish. Examples include:
Your Actions should include an overarching goal of what you want to achieve, a plan of how you intend to achieve it, and a note of what use of Proficiencies, Powers and Quirks you think might be useful to or affect the action. Be sure to note other PCs or NPCs who are involved in your Action in the relevant section of the template too!
Try to be as concise as possible when writing your plans. Don’t try to achieve too much with one Action and remember that longer plans don’t always mean better plans.
The difference between Primary and Secondary Actions is mainly in how much of a response the GMs will provide for you. Primary Actions are your main objective for the week between conference sessions, and will receive a longer, more flavourful writeup of roughly 400 words. Secondary Actions don't have to necessarily be smaller in scope, but will generally receive a smaller, less descriptive writeup from the GMs, so it is generally advised that you make your Primary Action the one you wish to get a longer writeup for.
If you wish to join another PC on their Primary Action, it is generally advised that you make this at least your character's Secondary Action.
If in doubt, ask. Please contact the GMs and we will do our best to help with any Action or Skill/Quirk based queries you may have.
A Minor Action is something that takes little time or effort to do, and doesn't advance the plot significantly. Examples include:
You can have as many Minor Actions as you want within reason, but they should each be limited to one or two sentences of description, and should usually be able to be responded to by the GMs with “You do this”. The GMs may ignore Minor Actions if they become too numerous or significant.
If you are giving something to another player please note this in your Minor Actions, even if the exchange occurred as part of your Primary or Secondary Actions. It can be helpful to list any items you are expecting to receive, but if you put it in your Turnsheet and the sender does not Turnsheet to give the item to you, the response will likely be along the lines of “You wait patiently, but it doesn't turn up”.
As a part of your Turnsheet, you will be asked to advance your character's Skills. Each turn, you will receive one point which can be used to either gain a new Proficiency or increase the level of one of your Powers.
The deadline for Turnsheets is 23:59 on the Thursday after session. This is a strict deadline as the GM team need time to read through and prepare in advance for our meeting on Saturday afternoon. We do know life gets in the way sometimes and late Turnsheets do happen, but you must request an extension if you are expecting to hand in your Turnsheet late so we can accommodate it into our plans. Failure to do so will likely incur the considerable wrath of the GM team.
We will aim to get a response to your Turnsheet to you on Monday before each session. These responses will be added to the end of your submitted Turnsheet on the Wiki. Your GM will email you when they have completed your Turnsheet response, but it's worth checking your Turnsheet to be sure. If you have any questions about your Turnsheet response, please contact your GM before the start of the session and we'll try to clear everything up.