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Punktilious' Guide To Cultist Simulator
This page is intended to be a quick guide to gameplay for new players.
Obviously, this page will rob you of the experience of experimenting and learning about the game yourself, and should be read only if you are aware that the themes of the game center around exploration, secrecy, mystery, and discovery, and while reading this page will help you accomplish Events in the game, it will not give you the truest experience of the occult.
First game basics
When you start the game for the first time, you will be an acolyte with access only to a manual labour job. When the screen comes up, you will see two icons: One is a box with a hand with a sign on it, and the other is slimmer icon with a number of silhouettes in a walking position; these represent Work and your manual labour job respectively.
Clicking on the Work box will open a dialogue which allows you to perform work Events. The rounded black rectangle is a hole which can be filled with a number of appropriate cards. You only have one option, so dragging the labour job into the hole is the natural option. As an alternative, you can drag the labour job onto the work box and it will automatically fill the empty spot. It will not start immediately, requiring you to click the [S]tart button or press S.
It will begin processing your Event, giving you a timer. It will continue whether the dialogue is open or closed, with a circular halo around the box when it closes to keep you informed of the progress.
After allowing the timer to progress to completion, it will unlock another box, marking the passage of time. As the game progresses, more Events will be opened up to you, and you will gain more resources.
General case basics
Important Pre-Play Glossary
- The surface on which you play. All elements exist on the Table. Your camera view includes space that is not on the Table, but you cannot place game elements there.
- Beveled boxes, appearing raised off the table. They represent occurrences in the game, including: the passage of time, the ending of worlds, and going to work.
- More slender objects, similar to cards, which are used in different events in the game. These include investigators trying to jail you, your abstract passions, and locations you remember.
Handy UI tips
Clicking an empty slot in an Event box will highlight cards that match the needs of the slot. Dragging a Resource card around the board may highlight places it can fit. In both cases, some combinations will not produce a result despite being permitted. (For example, Talking to your followers about Passion will do nothing.)
There are six basic Events that will be unlocked early in the game: Explore, Talk, Study, Dream, Work, and Time.
Time is a special case Event: It will automatically consume Funds to keep you relatively healthy. If you do not have funds before the end of a time cycle, you will fall ill. You may not actively begin or end a Time Event. Work is the first Event most lifestyles begin with. Among its uses are the following: Working a Job, Writing a Paper, Performing a Rite. Dream allows you to: Restore Drained Attributes, Explore the Dream World, Meditate on an Attribute. Study allows you to: Read and Translate Books, Examine Lore, Exercise an Attribute. Explore allows you to: Mount Expeditions, Explore the City, Delegate Exploration, Visit a Location. Talk allows you to: Recruit Followers, Attract Attention, Assign Followers, Visit Contacts, Organize Cult Activities.
The above lists are not complete, but suggestive.
It is possible to accidentally end up in a state where you do not have access to all Events (for example, as a Detective who fails to show up to work.) This does not make a game unwinnable, but is not something you should consider if you're reading a beginner's guide.
There are a number of additional Events which pop up from time to time, including things like Illness, Despair, Exotic Cravings, The Perils of Renown, and many more. If something is occurring to you, it is occurring inside a Event.
Some Events will automatically pull Resources from your table; some will not, in spite of being very, very important. Some Events will consume your Resources; some will simply require their existence. There are icons at the bottom of the Resource slots that indicate if it will pull automatically or if it will consume your resource.