Round 0 - 0 Million Years
I noticed that the evolution forum game in the vein of the original went on hiatus last year, and I’ve been wanting to try a ruleset that quantifies fitness, so here goes.
This game will skip the cellular level and begin right at the advent of specialized tissues. This should span a good 30 or so turns of play, or until someone
becomes monke achieves sapience. I can handle anywhere from three to eight players.
Rather than have failed rolls put species at risk of extinction, a player’s vote will always succeed. Two votes can be cast per turn.
Instead, survival depends on how well they can thwart predators in the same habitat - or, as predators, compete with their peers. Predator/prey dynamics will be ruled by three stats:
- Stealth: Ability to sense the signature of enemies while obscuring their own. Inverse to scale.
- Speed: Mobility in the chase.
- Strength: Weapons, defenses, and physical toughness. Correlates with scale.
In real life, hunts fail more often than not. So long as a prey species has the advantage in one of these stats over its predators, it will typically survive predation attempts, and an equilibrium will be established. Conversely, a predator will keep itself fed as long as it has at least one stat advantage in turn (this represents them targeting the young, old, and sick).
A prey species bested by a single predator in all three stats will gradually decline to extinction, and the same is true of predators finding no success anywhere in the hunt. Meanwhile, two equal predators competing for a single prey item will share Near Threatened status. For every one stat beneath that of its adversaries, a competitor with no advantage to compensate will fall down a level, starting at Vulnerable. If their enemies are performing better in all three stats, the species will be Critically Endangered and face imminent extinction.
Scale (from the old wiki):
- Tiny: Around the size of a mouse. 3.0 times more Stealth.
- Small: Around the size of a cat or chicken. 2.5 times more Stealth, 1.5 times more Strength.
- Medium: Around the size of a dog or chimpanzee. 2.0 times more Stealth, 2.0 times more Strength.
- Large: Around the size of a bear or cow. 1.5 times more Stealth, 2.5 times more Strength.
- Huge: Around the size of an elephant. 3.0 times more Strength.
A predator cannot sustain itself off of prey that is two sizes below it.
Not all mutations have to apply to the above. Things like shelled eggs and lungs/spiracles are still necessary to establish yourself in new environments, and a skeletal and vascular system are needed to sustain complex functions. That being said, if you believe a mutation should enhance a stat, please say so.
(These rules are subject to change if it turns out they’re not fun, of course.)
Events will take place on every sixth round (60 million years). I will roll for scale and severity - they can be anything from localized disasters to global extinction events. Even a benign disturbance can be a death sentence for a species who is on the ropes.
(Everyone will branch off from this creature.)
Starter - Thrivittifera sciocontensis - LC
- Tiny Detrivore
- Habitat: Coasts
Thrivittifera can be seen crawling on the seafloor, sucking up anything organic. Its flat, oblong body has a digestive tract, but no gills or bloodstream. Gas exchange takes place at the skin, and nutrients diffuse freely inside. The two light-sensitive spots on its “head” allow it to distinguish night from day.
- 1*3 = 3 Stealth
- 1 Speed
- 1 Strength
Preys On: Chlorogyra filamentosa
Predated By: N/A
- Light-Sensitive Eyespots (+1 Stealth)
- Muscular Tissue (+1 Speed)
- Filter Mouth (+1 Strength)
- Digestive Tract
- Diffuse Nervous System
NPC - Chlorogyra filamentosa - LC
- Tiny Producer
- Habitat: Coasts, Rivers
Chlorogyra grows in fresh and salt water with plenty of sunlight. Its box-shaped cells line up in long filaments, their chloroplasts forming distinctive spirals. While colonies can survive anywhere in the water column, they form clusters at the surface and floor that Thrivittifera has trouble breaking up with its simple mouth. In still waters, Chlorogyra can form a green carpet over rock and silt alike.
Coasts: Warm, saline waters surrounding the supercontinent. The floor lies as deep as 150 meters beneath the surface.
- Flora: Chlorogyra
- Fauna: Thrivittifera
Rivers: A network of waterways found all over the supercontinent, but especially the West and South.
- Flora: Chlorogyra
Badlands: A muddy, rainswept land spanning much of the supercontinent.
Great Mountains: A jagged wall of mountains at the heart of the supercontinent.
Eastern Desert: A vast rain shadow desert on the eastern half of the supercontinent.
Round 1 - 10 Million Years
Round 2 - 20 Million Years
Round 3 - 30 Million Years
Round 4 - 40 Million Years
Round 5- 50 Million Years
Round 6 - 60 Million Years - Underwater Fault Line Collapse