An Act is a collection of Agents and Rests with a connecting theme.
Players progress through Acts over the course of the game, choosing a fixed number of Agents from an Act before moving on to the next to continue choosing.
The available Rest periods can also change between Acts.
A Lost & Found game typically has three Acts, with players choosing two Agentsfrom a possible four in each Act.
Acts are one of the most potent ways to control the shape of stories told with a Lost & Found game. By thematically grouping content, you can have players engage with different themes in a fixed order.
They also give some control over how long a game will take to complete.
Newly Forged, which is broadly optimistic and humble.
A Time of Glory, which is more bombastic and momentous.
The Ruination, which is about decline.
Each Act has four Keepers (Agents) and six time periods for Rest. Players choose two Keepers from each of the first two Acts, and then continue choosing Keepers from the third Act until they have Rested for a total of 10 minutes or more. They can also end their story in the third Act whenever they feel it's appropriate.
The themes and ordering of Acts will provide the default shape of stories told with your game:
Artefact tends to produce 'bell shaped' stories—humble beginnings followed by celebrated events, ending with decline.
Bucket of Bolts is more of a downhill slope, starting bright & hopeful and growing grittier and more oppressive as the story progresses. This is intended to emulate the media it's inspired by, like Star Wars.
When deciding which Agents to place in each Act, youdon't need to have all of them fit the theme exactly. You might offer a counterpick, an outlier that a player might choose to derail the story in an interesting way.
The selection of time periods to include for Rest is also important. Short time periods suggest that the Object is passing fairly rapidly between Agents, and thus in frequent use. Inversely, longer time periods suggest that the Object is more often being lost or forgotten. Longer time periods can also involve the Tables, which can mean more Change for the Object and the world around it.