Downfall (Regular and Cat editions)

I’m late getting September games up, so I’ve got two sessions for the end of the month. We’ll be playing Downfall by Caroline Hobbs. These are two separate sessions telling two separate stories. The second session has a special stipulation: we’ll be playing a society of cats.

These sessions are scheduled for three hours. They will be recorded and posted with players’ permission.

We will be playing Downfall by Caroline Hobbs. There are two sessions, but each tells a separate self-contained story, so there is no pressure to attend both. You must RSVP for each session you want to attend. We will be joined by special guest and new Gauntleteer Kristina B.

“Our home is breaking, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. We built a flawed society, and soon it will destroy itself. Though most of us can’t perceive the coming doom, a Hero arises to fight against the impending collapse. Downfall is the story of how we try to save our society and ourselves, and fail.” Downfall is a game about creating, then destroying, a society. No prior knowledge of the system is required.

The X card, lines and veils, and the open door policy will be in effect. This event abides by the Gauntlet Inclusivity Policy.



Excited to play with everyone. Looking forward to it!


Iuoyun, I don’t see your name on the list of players. You may have hit the Calendar button, which just lists the event on your Google calendar, instead of the RSVP button, which signs you up for the game. (“RSVP” is an acronym for a French phrase, “Répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is commonly added to invitations in English to indicate that a response is necessary if you wish to attend.)

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Thank you for pointing that out. In this particular case, a spot was reserved for me (I am the aforementioned Kristina B in the third paragraph of the original announcement). It is my understanding that reserved spots do not appear in the event as open spots normally do.


Oh, got it—sorry for the confusion.

Sorry, I forgot that Kristina’s username on here is different. (And I’m pretty sure we all know what RSVP means.)

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Native English speakers probably know, yes, but we’ve had non-native speakers who didn’t understand what the buttons meant.

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@stevendj While I’m sure there was no harm meant in your original reply, I find it a bit strange that you would assume I am not a native English speaker. Based on what? My username?

Your rely was helpful up to the point that it assumed I needed a pedantic lecture on etymology.


Yes, I thought there was a possibility that you were a non-native English speaker, based on the fact that you apparently believed you had signed up for the session and the mistaken observation (based on my not reading the text of the posting carefully) that you weren’t signed up for it; based in part on the possibility that your user name might indicate a non-English mother tongue; and based on having previously seen non-English speakers mistakenly believe they had signed up for games due to being confused by the interface. I hesitated with whether to risk over-explaining or risk under-explaining, and I made the wrong call. I’m sorry. (In hindsight, I should have asked if you were sure you’d pushed the RSVP button, and then explained only if you expressed confusion over what that meant.)


@Stentor_Danielson actually most of my friends here in Germany don’t know what RSVP stands for and two people already didn’t hit that button when they wanted to get into one of my games since they couldn’t decipher the abbreviation. I only learnt what it means since I lived in English speaking countries.

So, thank you @stevendj for explaining although it was a misunderstanding in the end.

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I want to follow up on Kristina’s point, as I understand it, because it’s important: You acknowledge that you thought Kristina may not be a native English speaker based partly on her username, @luoyun – which sounds Chinese. In fact, there are many Chinese(-descended) people who speak English as their primary language or are fluent in it. Your assumption that people with Chinese(-sounding) names are less likely to speak English perpetuates the racist idea of Asians as perpetual foreigners. In places like the U.S. where I live, people (often white) assume that Asian-Americans don’t speak English well because they are seen as outsiders, even if they were born and raised here. Regardlessly of your intentions, your response to Kristina was a micro-aggression that sends the message that Asian people don’t belong here. I urge you and others to learn more about the perpetual foreigner stereotype and the harm that it causes on an individual and societal level. Here’s one resource:

I’m pointing this out because it’s important for us as a community to make the Gauntlet a safe and welcoming place for people of color who deserve to enjoy this hobby just as much as white people. It’s also the responsibility of white people to actively fight against racism in ourselves and others. To do that, we have to be open and hold each other accountable when we mess up. I have said and done many racist things that hurt people who I care about. I have tried to learn from those mistakes and become more anti-racist. It has helped me tremendously to have honest feedback from friends. I offer you this message in that spirit.

I can’t speak for Kristina. But I don’t think she should shoulder the burden of speaking up, either.

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I’m not very happy with the perception that “native English speaker” = default. That has not been my experience with the Gauntlet.

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@SabineV5, you are correct to point out the problematic assumption I made; I apologize for this and also for my pointed use of “pedantic” in my earlier reply. I will be more careful in my future forum posts.

To @Larry_S ‘s points, I think this is a great discussion to have, I’m just not sure this is the right post for it or that I am the right person to put forth these topics. I am PoC and I am female-presenting. Despite my username, I am not of Asian descent (this is the pinyin of the name I use whenever I communicate in Chinese). My given name and my likeness make me easily able to pass for white, and as a result I am very careful to navigate conversations surrounding racism and the like with care.

I apologize for the misunderstandings my name and posts have caused. I look forward to playing Downfall in a few weeks.