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Practicalities of Playing the Game

The Centre Cannot Hold is played entirely in free text. You should send us a set of orders describing what you want your character to do: this could be in narrative, in internal monologue, in a bullet-point list, in a couple of sentences of vague guidelines – whatever suits you best. We then respond with a narrative from your character's point of view (mostly) which describes the events that ensue. You don't have to stick to any particular structure, and we don't have any particular expectations or criteria for what or how you should submit. You can send orders by post, or by email as text or in any common document format.

There are two questions which people often have with freeform text games. The first is "how far in advance should I write my orders to cover?" Unfortunately there's no easy answer to this. What we generally say is "as far as you think you can reasonably predict" – eg. don't bother saying "tomorrow I do this, that and the other complicated thing, next week I do so-and-so, and in August I go on my holidays in Bognor Regis", because the chances are high that the turn will finish somewhere during the "tomorrow" part, and you will get another chance to specify your holidays nearer the time. How much time a turn covers is something that has to be evolved differently for every player / GM combination, and you will find that after the first few turns you settle into a comfortable pattern.

The other question that people usually have is "how much control can I as the player have over the behaviour and identity of NPCs and the success or failure of my actions?" or words to that effect. In many games it's common for players to effectively tell their own story, describing in their orders situations that they want to occur, people they want to meet and events they want to take place. In The Centre Cannot Hold this will in general not be appropriate: it's not a role-playing style that fits well with the thrust of the game.

The Centre Cannot Hold can be played either by post or by email. If by email, you can choose to receive either plain text or a Microsoft Word file (or any other reasonably common format). You'll get identical text whichever way you play, but if you play by post or by Word file you'll get the benefit of our design and layout. You can chop and change and try a different format each turn if you like, you don't have to commit yourself.

You should send postal turns to Undying King Games, 57 London Road, IPSWICH, IP1 2HF, United Kingdom, and email turns to

There are no deadlines to The Centre Cannot Hold; you can play as often or as infrequently as you like. The only thing we would say is that if you're interacting closely with other players we will tend to suggest that you return your next orders to us within four weeks, just so that the other players aren't waiting forever for you to act.


To play in The Centre Cannot Hold, just send GBP 15.00 to cover your setup and first two turns.
Further turns are GBP 6.00 each. Please make cheques payable to Undying King Games,
or you can pay by credit card using our secure transactions page.
You will receive a copy of the rules, map, and start form.

Like all our games, The Centre Cannot Hold can be played by post or by email, as you find convenient.

Undying King Games, 57 London Road, IPSWICH, IP1 2HF, United Kingdom


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