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The Etherstone Council – A Community-Driven Evolution

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Gon
January 23, 2024 5 min read

Abstract:
This white paper outlines the community-centric approach of Etherstone, a board game that places the power to shape its narrative and gameplay mechanisms in the hands of its players. The Etherstone Council, consisting of 1000 seats, is an initiative aimed at fostering a deep sense of community involvement, allowing players to influence the fate of the game’s story and the development of future gameplay mechanics.

Introduction:
In the dynamic landscape of tabletop gaming, Etherstone seeks to redefine the relationship between game developers and players, while giving a good direction on the future of the game.

By embracing a community-driven evolution, Etherstone not only ensures player engagement but also fosters a sense of ownership and pride among its dedicated player base. This model serves as a reminder of the commitment of Thundergryph Games to create a truly immersive and collaborative gaming experience. As the Etherstone Council embarks on its journey, it invites players to join hands in shaping the future of Nobura’s story and the exciting mechanisms of the game.

Evolution on the white paper:
Depending on the community response and the various scenarios that may unfold during this social experiment, a dedicated team of 10 individuals, comprising members from the Thundergryph Team and other stakeholders who invested in Etherstone, will be responsible for enhancing or modifying this white paper. Their primary objective is to steer the course of this social experiment in the most fitting direction by taking into account the general opinion of the members of the council.

STAGE 1 – The stillness preceding the upheaval

Council Membership:
Membership to the Etherstone Council is an exclusive privilege given through Council Cards, obtainable in different ways:

  • Back Etherstone on Kickstarter while being a returning backer (with 3 backed campaigns or more) 
  • Back Etherstone at the Council pledge level
  • Win physical or digital tournaments
  • Participate in special events/contests
  • Claim with points in the Thundergryph Club
  • More ways to get a Council Card will be revealed in the future

Council Cards and Activation:
Council cards contain a scratchable code that, when claimed on the official website, activates a seat within the Etherstone Council. The activation process ensures that each seat is held by a distinct and engaged member of the Etherstone community.

Triggering Stage 2:
The Etherstone Council is designed to come to life once all 1000 seats are claimed. This milestone marks the initiation of Stage 2, unlocking the full potential of the community-driven decision-making process. No voting or decision will take place until the 1000 seats are taken.

STAGE 2 – The genesis of the council

Decision-Making:
Council members, each possessing a single vote, actively participate in determining the trajectory of Etherstone’s storyline (for the Etherstone Novel) and the implementation of future gameplay mechanisms. This democratic approach ensures that the collective wisdom of the community guides the evolution of the game.

Head of Council and Extended Voting Power:
It’s essential to note that even if the initial 1000 Head of Council seats are taken, individuals holding Council cards for seats numbered 1001 and beyond retain their voting power, ensuring that the influence of dedicated players extends beyond the initial 1000 seats. However, the Head of Council members will wield double the voting power and enjoy additional perks. 

Voting Phase:
When the team is ready to take on a new story and expansion, the top 1000 highest-level seats from the Head of Council will be discussing closely with the Etherstone team to create a list of options before voting on both the story and mechanisms. This will be done through live streams and thread discussions on Discord. More ways of discussion will be revealed in the future.

Once the list is set, the vote will be prepared and launched. The first stage will be deciding on the fate of Nobura and its factions, the second stage will involve the mechanisms of the expansion.

Seat Empowerment:
To discourage concentration of power, a member with multiple Council cards will not claim multiple seats. Instead, their influence will be consolidated, resulting in an empowered seat. For instance, two Council cards held by an individual will elevate their seat to level 2, enhancing their possibility of staying as Head of Council (Top 1000 seats with the most concentration of power).

Tie-Breaker Mechanism:
In the presence of more than 1000 council seats with the same power, the tie-breaker mechanism will consider the chronological claim order.

Recent claims will be given precedence and take place in the Head of Council over older claims of Head of Council members who didn’t vote in the previous game cycle (lore and gameplay voting), ensuring that active and engaged members are prioritized. This approach enhances fairness and reflects the ongoing commitment of players to the Etherstone community.

Head of council perks (TOP 1000):

  • Double voting power
  • Information about future expansions in advance
  • Council gifts when backing new crowdfunding campaigns
  • Randomly given drops, which represent small promos or gadgets normally given after a voting cycle. Drops arrive without any prior announcement directly on the Thundergryph Club account.
  • More perks announced in the future

Members of the council perks (Council Sit 1001 and beyond):

  • Voting power
  • Information about future expansions in advance
  • Council gifts when backing new crowdfunding campaigns
  • More perks announced in the future

Triggering Stage 3:
This phase will activate and be disclosed exclusively when the average Heads of Council (TOP 1000) possess a power level exceeding three times that of the average council member (1001 and beyond).

[White paper v1 – Jan 23rd 2024]

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