Delegates signed up: thirty-Three
For more detail, keep scrolling down, but for a quick guide, read this, or read the easy five-step guide just below to help yourself get started!
Step one: Sign up on Patreon for at least $6 a month to play The Delegation Game
Step two: have a read of this form to familiarise yourself with the details and systems of the Delegation Game. If reading isn’t your jam, then have a listen to this episode to get the low down! Hopefully after reading/listening your questions will be answered, and you’ll know what you’re up against.
Step three: download this form, fill it in (it will only take a few minutes) and then email it to me at the address provided.
Step four: Join the Facebook group for secret delegates, where you can plot and scheme, and don’t forget to join the numerous Facebook messenger groups which cater to specific goals and interests!
Step five: have a look at this constantly changing spreadsheet, which shows who is playing, what their interests are and where your potential allies may lie!
Step six: get involved! The game is live and we are super eager to welcome you!
Delegates, the Delegation Game and the fantasy booking of the Paris Peace Conference
Have you ever wondered if you could make a difference to the course of history? So often I make the note that in order to understand what happened all those years ago, we must place ourselves in the shoes of those that acted. What better way to do that, then to engage with this era like never before, by playing the Delegation Game?
The Delegation Game is a Dungeons and Dragons, fantasy-football style game, where for a bit over six months (18 January-28 June 2019) we will be tracing the development of a very different kind of Paris Peace Conference. In this iteration of the Paris Peace Conference, you choose the delegate to send, and you walk in the footsteps of those that tried to change the world. Can you do a better job? Let’s find out!
Interesting, tell me more…
When the Paris Peace Conference begins on 18th January, your avatar will be playing a role that the information you gave me will help to define. It is therefore important that you fill out the form provided and send it to me on time, otherwise I will be in the dark, and you won’t be able to locate yourself within the episode. If you don’t want to give me much information, if you want to keep things mysterious and let me imagine things, then by all means do that too, but I simply must know your name! Our game will be structured by the events which occurred in that week a century before. I’ll be presenting the challenges which have emerged from that week, and giving you all options to vote on. This is how you’ll change history, but it is FAR from the only way. At any time you can suggest a time-fabric-reality altering idea yourself, and have others join you, giving you real freedom to shape the dynamic world which I will be forced to narrate!
It should go without saying that you can sign up to be a Delegate at any time after 18th January, and that you won’t be inconsequential if you happen to be late to the party. However, just as would have been the case in real life, if you arrive late to Paris, you shouldn’t expect to jump the queue of precedence, and you should be careful not to step on any virtual toes…
Wait a minute, tell me again about structure?
As I said, we will be taking as our guide the timeline of events which those present at Paris in 1919 100 years actually faced. These take the form of weekly challenges, and how everyone responds to them will be governed by the available options. However, that is to say, this will form our guide - if certain things happen to delay or prevent events from happening which happened in the real world timeline, then we can adapt to these eventualities accordingly! The point is that we aren’t rudderless, and the game has direction, but it also isn’t constrained by issues and debates where there is no need to be. All being well, this approach should ensure that our journey is framed by the most important problems, debates, decisions etc. which those at Paris faced. The question is of course, how will you and your peers respond? Will you take advantage, or will certain events blindside you and hamper your freedom of action? Will you cooperate with others in anticipation of the potential dangers to come, or will you face it all alone, confident in your ability to improvise on the fly?
What will it look like?
How will this whole thing develop? That depends very much on how much participation and engagement I see. An episode detailing the week’s events will drop every Friday, and you will be sending me your votes each week based on the weekly challenges. We can also discuss the latest events in the Facebook group or on Patreon, and groups can band together (strength in numbers!) to affect change on the ground in our virtual Paris Peace Conference. Want to march through the streets of Berlin at the head of an Anglo-French army? Find some other delegates who agree with you, and form a lobby group! The odds of your success, based on a 20-sided dice roll, will increase or decrease depending on the amount of supporters you have, with twenty schemers effectively guaranteeing that a plot will succeed.
What are we playing for?
Above all, we’re playing for fun! This is the best way to involve ourselves with the Paris Peace Conference, without actually being there in real life, and you can attempt to work some diplomatic magic of your own, lobbying among your fellow delegates to right the wrongs of the Conference, and have things your way. Or you can stand on the sidelines, preparing your weapon, and attempt to assassinate a leading figure at a critical moment. Should your assassination attempt land you in prison, then perhaps a sympathetic group will decide to bust you out, or maybe you will be killed in the attempt, and have to choose a different avatar and start from scratch?
Ideally, I would like to be able to grant a prize for the most active or influential delegate by the end of this game’s cycle, in some rewards ceremony I launch at the end. Perhaps this prize will take the form of some kind of merch care package? I haven’t quite decided, but I’m open to suggestions! The earlier you take part and the more active you are, the more likely you’ll be to receive this prize, but there will be other prizes too – most unfortunate death, most untimely arrival of another delegate, most guided by hatred for a particular person or idea, most selfless. Of course, I want to have fun with this, but I also want to encourage participation and engagement too, both within and without the usual channels.
Strength in Numbers!
Want to team up with your fellow delegate? Then why not contact them and try and work out a deal? Invite other like-minded delegates to join you in your plot, and increase your odds of success in whatever venture you choose. This is where you can affect real change, and so long as you send me evidence of this plot by 5PM GMT each Wednesday, I’m all ears!
Maybe you and ten others want to form your own lobby group? Can you imagine yourself leading them all, and to what end? So long as I am informed of what goes down in the public or private domain, we will factor it into the fantasy world which we’ll all soon be populating. The decisions you make will play themselves out over the episodic format, and it should become the closest thing to an interactive audio game that history podcasting has!
The application process is open now, and we are currently calling all delegates to take part! I would recommend that you fill out your passport and join the Delegation Game right away! After that, it’s simply a case of making a journey over to our Patreon page and signing up as a Delegate for $6 a month! A virtual world of engagement, scheming, intrigue, fun and of course historical nerdiness awaits, and I hope to see you (or whatever version of you that you decide to send as a delegate) there soon!
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions…
Q. I already support the podcast on Patreon, can I take part as a delegate?
A. Yes! So long as you are supporting at the $6 level or above, you are eligible, just make sure to let me know about your avatar so that I can properly plug you in.
Q. When will the episodes be released?
A. Once we launch on 18th January 2019, a dedicated episode on the Delegation Game will be released every Friday, for 24 weeks, until we wrap things up in a nice little bundle on 5th July.
Q. Can I just use a pre-existing historical character as my avatar?
A. Absolutely! I would encourage this if you don’t know where to start and are looking for some inspiration. The only qualification is that you can’t choose to role-play as either of the Big Three, Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau or David Lloyd George. Other than that, so long as you let me know who from history you’re choosing, the sky’s the limit!
Q. This seems really complex – where do I start?
A. Start with the kind of character you would like to play. What kind of person do you think the Paris Peace Conference needed? Do you want to make a better Treaty of Versailles a reality, or do you want to simply tear it all down and watch it burn? There’s a place for everyone here, just make sure you’re ready for the consequences!
Q. How will you determine the structure?
A. Every week, I will make you aware of the challenges which would have faced those at the Peace Conference a century before. These challenges normally take the form of the decisions which were made or passed during the Conference, and I will be presenting you guys will several options to help you alter what takes places. As I said though, this is just to ensure we have a broad structure - with it being likely that messes will be made that change the conventional timeline, we’ll be adapting accordingly depending on what you crazy delegates decide to do!
Q. I didn’t get to join before the Paris Peace Conference opened [18 January 2019], is it still worthwhile me taking part?
A. Absolutely! No matter at what stage during the Paris Peace Conference your avatar joins in, there will be a place for them, that place is determined by your character’s traits, which you will be deciding (or which you can leave to me if you prefer!)
Q. What kind of tips would you give for starting out in this process?
A. Find some allies! In a process akin to the board game Diplomacy, your ability to arrange deals with other delegates can increase your power and influence within this fantasy world, and you can find these deals wherever it suits you, be it on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else – just make sure to let me know when a deal is struck, so that I can factor in that deal when I sit down to record!
Q. What character will you be choosing Zack?
A. None! In line with the Dungeon Master role in Dungeons and Dragons, it will be up to me to organise you crazy delegates, and make sure everything goes smoothly even if someone decides to murder everyone to death a few days into it (don’t do this!)
Q. How long will this process take?
A. The Delegation Game will run for a total of 24 weeks, and it will be over when the Versailles Anniversary Project ends, provisionally on 28th June 2019 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed, with a conclusion episode the following week (5 July) to tie everything together and reflect on the lovely mess we all made together.
Q. What do we do afterwards – do all the delegates say goodbye?
A. I don’t see why we should! You may or may not know that we’ll be tackling the Thirty Years War from October 2019. I don’t see why we couldn’t apply the delegation game concept to that pivotal conflict, especially if this iteration of the game takes off.
Q. This whole thing is freakin’ insane, how did you come up with it you big nerd?
A. It was a combination of things – spitballing ways to increase engagement with the podcast, wanting to make something new, dynamic and fun that nobody else has done before, and of course, looking for some way for us to all nerd out historically together without judgement. Inspired by that feeling you get when a game of Diplomacy facilitates a series of backstabbing agreements or sneaky dealings among your so-called friends, the delegation game is designed to mirror this experience, but with the added benefit of having yours truly tracing and narrating everything that goes down.
Q. What if it all falls apart and fails epically?
A. At least we’ll be able to laugh about it later! No seriously, I have a good feeling about this, but if we get far too tangled for our own good, if it starts to feel like too much work, then refunds will of course be issued, and we will all pretend that none of this ever happened…
For more information about this concept, make sure to keep up with the latest episodes of the Versailles Anniversary Project for any developments, or contact me through the usual channels if you have any pertinent questions. Thankssss!