Game Play: Infrastructure

The rules of Sufficiently Advanced are intended for human-scale characters and conflicts, but they can also handle events on the scale of starships, cities, even nations. Because of their interconnected nature and need for support, SA denotes these groups with the Infrastructure descriptor, which has three levels:

I. Starships, cities, thousands of people working together or tens of thousands with weak interconnection.
II. Societies, provinces and nations, armies, millions of people working together or tens of millions with weak interconnection.
III. Civilizations: multiple nations working together on one or many worlds.

Characters with Infrastructure

Characters with Infrastructure I increase their Tech score by 1. This has the usual side-effect of reducing their Import by 1. You cannot play a character with more than one level of Infrastructure.

Self-affecting Theme use (such as Plot Immunity) is not more expensive for characters with Infrastructure.

Conflicts with Infrastructure

In a conflict between groups with differing levels of Infrastructure, the larger group applies the maximum Teamwork bonus for the type of conflict involved: +4 for most conflicts, +6 for highly parallel ones.

If the larger group would suffer a Complication, the level of that Complication is reduced by one step for each level of Infrastructure. If the smaller group also has Infrastructure, use the difference in levels to find the reduction. This reduction also applies to any Advantage the smaller party might try to gain.

Groups with Infrastructure suffer Complications and gain Advantages commensurate with those listed below, rather than the more typical character-level Effects.

Large-Scale Effects

As with individual-level Effects, the numbers in parentheses are used to rate the severity of the Complication or Advantage. The slashes separate costs for groups of Infrastructure I, II, or III. Because of the sheer number of Twists required, and the ten-Twist cap, it is typically impossible to buy this kind of Effect with a one-time Twist expenditure. Instead, use the Plot rules or Conflicts to generate these Complications.

  • Trivial (2/3/4): Trivial complications involve immediate and minor impact. Government officials annoyed or distracted. Lose track of a single being who is not being actively followed. A civ-wide CV is challenged publicly. Minor infosphere crash. A handful of casualties.
  • Minor (6/9/12): Minor complications are short- term, low-impact, and involve skeletal information. They can be annoying if not addressed (or if several build up), but they are unlikely to be a problem in the short term. An opposing group successfully disengages from a long-term conflict, though not without losses. Slightly delayed in your plans. Hundreds or thousands of casualties. Government officials likely refer to this event as a “national tragedy.” Classified information is revealed to a group currently neutral to you. Minor but noticeable monetary loss.
  • Moderate (10/15/20): Moderate complications are long-term or high-impact, but not both. A single political campaign is decided in a particular direction. Major classified information revealed to the enemy. Tens of thousands of casualties. Lose control of a town. Join an unwise alliance. An agency’s plans are significantly delayed. Substantial economic losses or market crash. Opposing group disengages conflict without significant harm.
  • Major (14/21/28): Major complications are both long-term and high-impact. Complications at this level can remove a level of the Infrastructure descriptor. Intelligence services return significant incorrect results. Citizens convinced of a particular fact or falsehood. Millions of casualties. Important state secrets revealed to the enemy. Lose control of a major city. Martial law declared or revoked for a substantial part of the populace. Other groups turn against you, though not your closest allies. A Society rejects the entire civilization. Government ignores wisdom from its advisors. A Core Value is reinterpreted.
  • Critical (18/27/36): Collapse of the civilization or worse. Complications at this level may bring the Rule of Force into play. Over half of the population brainwashed, dying, or near death. A Core Value is removed or changed. Government living in exile. The group’s peoples are driven from their homelands. Economy, military, or intelligence agencies fall completely under external controls. Allies turned against you. Long-term plans ruined. This condition does not fade quickly or easily.


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