Deep Future

A “Make-as-You-Play” game, by R. Winder (edited by Avery Lychee)

Humanity has inherited the stars, but humanity being what it is, the stars forever slip from its grasp. Even the First Sovereignty, which scattered humanity to a million worlds, has collapsed, consigned to oblivion. No one remembers what brought it about, whether a withering apathy, rebellions across its repressed worlds, or the impenetrable whims of the enigmatic, inhuman Xeno. Yet humanity is tenacious. There are always more fledgling civilizations ready to rise to the heights of power and culture, invent new technologies, and usher in a new millennium.

Deep Future is a card-driven board game for 1-3 players of empire and innovation spanning the rise and fall of the countless worlds of the galaxy. You will settle on planets, expand your influence across sectors, invent new technologies and rediscover old ones, and face challenges that threaten to tear your civilization apart as you try to achieve one of several paths to victory.

Deep Future is a “Make-as-You-Play” game, which means that the game starts with a few materials (a map, paper, index cards, and colored cubes) and the remaining components will be generated as needed during play. Each game will see the addition of new cards, which represent the worlds in the galaxy, the techs invented, and the lasting impact of previous civilizations.

The rules include tables and guidelines for creating new cards as needed, and this makes every copy of Deep Future an evolving galaxy. In addition, it means that each game inherits all components added or changed in the previous games. The galaxy’s content — its worlds, techs, and history — can grow endlessly over a connected campaign as players return to see what each new era holds for the future of humanity.

What You Need

Card Suits and Numbers

Each card has a number and a suit on it. The number is between 1–6, and the suit is one of these:

☀️Sun | 🌘 Moon |
♥ Heart | 💀 Skull |
✊️Hand | 👣 Foot |

TBD: fix this table

Suits are used to take specific actions and determine challenges.

Generating Randomness

If the rules ask you to

generate a random number
draw and discard a card from the deck. The number on the card is the one applied
generate a random suit
draw and discard a card from the deck. The suit on the card is the one applied
generate a new card
draw 2 cards. The first is the number of the new card, the second is the suit. Write these down on the top left and bottom right corners of a blank index card.

Notice that this means the deck has an uneven distribution of numbers and suits on its cards, giving each galaxy its own unique biases and makes certain tasks easier or more difficult in that campaign.

Campaign Setup

Games can be played in succession using the same deck in a campaign. Before the first game, print out a fresh galaxy map and collect 36 new index cards. Make these index cards into the initial deck by giving them an even distribution of the numbers and suits. A combination of each number 1–6 and each of the 6 suits should be drawn in the top left and bottom right corners of each card.

Most of the cards will remain blank, but 12 of them will be given some starting content for the campaign. Shuffle the deck, then deal out 12 cards. On each of these cards, generate a world (according to the rules later in the rulebook), but set the era number to 0 and don’t give the world a name.

Once the worlds have been generated, shuffle them and deal them evenly to each player. Each player names the worlds they were dealt, and then puts them back into the initial deck.

Then, take the chronology sheet and write a 1 in the first line, to indicate the game beginning in the first era.

Game Setup

At the beginning of an individual game, players choose a colour for their civilisation and collect the cubes of that colour. These will represent their power in the sectors of the galaxy.

Now, shuffle the deck. One by one, each player will select their homeworld by drawing 5 cards, choosing 1 World to be their homeworld, and discarding the rest. Later players cannot choose a world in the same sector as another player.

If a player doesn’t draw a world, then they must create and name a homeworld on a new card, following the rules for generating a world as usual.

Once all players have homeworlds, check that the number of advancements on each homeworld is the same. If any players’ homeworlds have less than any others, then they must generate new advancements (with the advancement table) until everyone has the same number.

Players place their homeworlds in their tableau in front of them, and add 3 cubes of their colour to the map sector where their homeworld is located.

Next, the neutral worlds line is created. Discard cards from the deck, adding world cards to the neutral world line. If any is in the same sector as a player world, it is discarded. The process ends when there are 6 worlds in the line, OR if a card with a number matching a world already in the line is discarded (this world is not added). There will be between 1 and 6 worlds in the line – sort them in order of number. For each of these worlds, add 3 neutral cubes to their sector. If multiple worlds are in the same sector, add 5 cubes to that sector instead.

On all remaining empty sectors that a player named in a previous game, add 1 neutral cube. This represents a civilisation that must be dislodged before a player can move into that area. If there are more than 12 neutral sectors, add a cube to each sector with a wonder, then generate 12 random sectors, adding a cube to each sector not occupied by a player. This may cause a sector to have multiple cubes.

Players than place cubes of their colour on the circles of the starting tracks. A starting player is determined randomly.

Generating a World

  1. Generate a new card. (unlesss you are in campaign setup, where you will use 1 of the 12 cards you just drew).
  2. Draw a curve at the top right of the card. This will represent the planet. Leave enough space inside the curve for the planet’s sector number and name, and enough space outside for 3 advancements.
  3. Generate 2 random numbers, write these as the sector (inside the curve), followed by a dot (don’t do this if you are making a world for a specific sector)
  4. Name the world. Write the name of the planet after the dot.
  5. Below the curvve, write the era number, then a dot, then the word “World”.
  6. Below that, add the first advancement. Generate this with the advancment table. On the card, the advancment takes up 2 lines. The first line is the suit, then the name of the advancement and what era it was added in. The second line is which action it relates to and a note about what it does.

Here’s an example card:

insert graphic here