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Author Topic: Spione Dry Run For OrcCon  (Read 3094 times)
jburneko
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Posts: 1429


« on: February 04, 2008, 04:11:12 PM »

Hello,

Allow me a moment of angst.  Sometimes I feel like I have no "right" to run Spione which I know is absurd.  I bought the book.  I'm free to do with it as a I please.  However, I find myself hesitating to refer to it as a "game" because the book doesn't.  Ron has built up the idea that the Spione project is something larger than just the "activity" presented in Chapter 6 and really that "activity" is all I'm interested in.  I enjoy espionage fiction for the human questions and ramifications of The Cold.  The political and historical ramifications?  Eh, not so much.  I'm not afraid to admit I've always been a C history student.  Not that I'm proud of that.

That said, I think our Spione session was fairly successful.  There were five of us in attendance, myself, Denys (OrcCon RPG co-coordinator), Laura, Holly and Will.  Only two of us (Denys and myself) were familiar with Le Carre but all of us have gamed together in some configuration before even if just in passing at conventions.  So there was a fairly strong social context, if not a particularly strong literate or historical one.  What I found was that the idea of The Cold was easily grasped and utilized even among those not particularly familiar with the literature or history.

It should also be noted that this game took place in public at a shop called Game Empire in Pasadena.  It's a very large, well lit and clean establishment with a HUGE open gaming area and none of the club-house insider vibe some places can give.  Some of us have taken to meeting there for convenience and I see it as a kind of indie-advocacy as occasionally our games attract outside attention.  Spione by far attracted the most outside attention.  I noticed people listening or coming by to see what we were up to.  One person even asked to photograph the book for later reference.

As far as setup was concerned we had a 1950s context with Emily Kiesel (run by Laura) spying for the CIA on the British NATO offices and Manny Byrne (run by Denys) spying for the VfD on the HVA penetrated radical group.

I think the most difficult part a lot of us had was the lack of "in character" back and forth dialog during Maneuvers.  On the one hand we all understood that "turns" weren't supposed to be monologues but shared discussion with designated editorial power.  On the other hand we also understood that turns are meant to be on the short side and didn't want to turn any one person's turn into a 15 minute back-and-forth dialog refining down to a conflict.  Walking that line between organized group discussion and gut "in character" responses was difficult.  Laura later described the experience as like narrating into a void.  Someone would say something awesome and it would just hang there with no immediate feedback with perhaps the next persons narration not even being relevant as it went towards the other spy's scene.

However, the accordian card mechanic was a HUGE hit.  Everyone enjoyed the strategy involved.  It didn't take very long to execute.  The narrative momentum it created was appreciated by all.  Afterwards there was even some discussion about how to incorporate it into Primetime Adventures to add a little more depth to the resolution.  Basically using Screen Presence as Card Numbers and spending budget and fan mail for more card draws.  Flashpoints even generated a little humor as it was suggested that I bring some disco lights and an audio stinger ala cheesy game shows like Who Wants To Be a Millionaire to usher in a "Flashpoint"

Two Issues.

1) Some of us found single-card narration difficult.  It has to provide momentum without really resolving anything permanently.  Denys at one point said, "Be awesome, but not too awesome."  This wasn't perceived as a problem so much as a noted creative challenge.

2) No-shots on the other hand were a real issue.  It was tremendously difficult to come up with things that "annulled or interrupted" a situation that didn't also resolve the situation one way or another.

I find commenting on the created fiction difficult other than to say: It worked.  Emily story was a little bit more emotional and Manny's story was a little bit more political.  As such I found it easier to contribute to Emily's story and felt myself being more of an audience for Manny's story.  Overall I found the story moved VERY VERY fast.  I'm not sure what factors exactly contributed to this.

It could be that we wanted to wrap in a single session and thus there was much hard and purposeful driving towards eliminating supporting cast.  To the point that Holly kept commenting, "Who are we going to kill next?"  Only Manny Disclosed so we had to wipe out Emily's supporting cast very purposefully through Flashpoints.

Another factor is that we did have a tendency to drive things to conflict and Flashpoint very rapidly which I'm not sure is the intention of the rules.  At one point it was asked of me if we were supposed to drive things to Flashpoint.  My thoughtful answer was, "No.  Maneuvers are supposed to place the spy in The Cold which are likely to result in conflict and Flashpoints as a side-effect."

Things in Spione seem to resolve with finality and not much follow-up.  That's not to say consequences didn't occur or weren't rewoven into the story but that there were no "color scenes" like you would see in other media.  For example, at one point Emily's husband was killed and there was no funeral scene that was *just* a funeral scene.  There were no narrations of Emily wandering the rain soaked streets with grief that were *just* narrations of her wandering the rain soaked streets.  Similarly, there were no pure relationship conflicts like Emily fighting with her boyfriend purely over the relationship issues.  I suppose we COULD have used Maneuvers to establish such scenes but that didn't seem to jive with the "place the spy into The Cold" mandate.  So either this is a feature of the game or we took the "place the spy into The Cold" mandate a little too strictly.

Another example would be the use of the Fate Deck.  The fate of Manny's German political contact, Maximilian, was determined this way.  Much of the story involved Manny trying to recruit Maximilian for the BfV.  He succeeded and then later after a Fate Card draw it was decided that Maximilian is ultimately promoted to higher rank and status within the organization.  But that fact never enters the fiction in "classical narrative" form.  There are no scenes revealing it.  There are no scenes describing how, why or when it happens.  How that fate fits in with the time line of the rest of the fiction is never an issue. 

Note: Such narrative gaps exist in It Was A Mutual Decision since you jump from conflict to conflict and from stage to stage with nothing in between but for some reason they didn't stand out as much to me there.  I'm thinking of starting another thread just to deal with this issue of abandoning the narrative flow of other media.

Spione is the only game I have ever wanted to slow down.  That said, it still took 5 hours so I"m not sure how much slower it could have gone.

Rules Issues

1) I was a little unclear on how scene transitions are supposed to work.  Especially on a Principle's turn.  There were many points, for example, where someone would frame a scene with Emily's handler asking her to do something.  Then Laura would narrate how Emily says something to her handler, walks away and goes to do X, before continuing to ultimately do Y.  That almost felt like double or even triple dipping on her "turn."  Like she ended the current scene glossed over a potential second scene (even though no conflict was glossed over) and began a third scene.

2) Are there any limits on the time and space of Flashpoint narrations?  At one point Maximilian comes to Manny asking him for help because he thinks he's being watched.  Durring the Flashpoint (which in retrospect perhaps was undershooting because I think we were a little unclear on Manny's agenda), Holly used a double narration to describe how Manny uncovers evidence that Maximillian is a KGB agent.  In other words Manny LEFT the confrontation in a kind of "I'll get back to you" way and does some basic digging around to discover this information.  This seemed a bit iffy to me but the rules only talk about what a narration can "accomplish" but is light on limits on how this comes to be accomplished.

3) Do the "No Shot" rules apply to not having ANY card in the line up or not having a STARTING card in the line up?  I was under the impression it had to do with having no STARTING card but this lead to an interesting bit of strategy.  If a Principle player had very few cards in the line up they could play the according game such that they moved their cards to all be in covering positions (i.e. Help or Hinder positions) and thus engineer themselves a No Shot to a null or interrupt the situation at hand.  We didn't know if this was intentional or not.

4) When the supporting cast were removed both players took the "bow out now" option but I failed to notice the addition of, "without further narration" in the text.  So both spies got epilogues.  Had the "without further narration" clause been observed the endings would have been far more bleak and ambiguous.  The final Manny Flashpoint didn't even have Manny in it.   Manny's story would have ended with Manny's handler planting evidence that implicates Manny for a murder Maximilian committed because Maximilian was "more valuable."  Emily's story would have simply ended with her shooting her final Supporting Cast member in the back of a car.  I'm not sure using the "until the next Flashpoint" option would have helped.  Unless the Principle is killed there seems to be a strong desire for someone to say something about what ultimately happens to the spy in the long run.

All-in-all a fun and successful time with a few cognitive stumbling blocks and I look forward to playing it again.

Jesse
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WillH
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 05:31:23 PM »

Jesse, the only thing I have to add is I found the nonprinciple no shot narration difficult.  There was so little you were allowed to narrate.  The first time I was faced with it I ended up just saying it was raining.  I guess that did work.  The rain became something of a constant, serving both to set the mood and as comic relief.  My last no shot narration, which was also the last narration of the game, also seemed to work.  I went forward in time to show Emily's personal goal would be achieved, but would set the stage for even greater personal tragedy.  It made for a good epilogue.  However, I have a feeling I exceeded the limits of what I had authority to narrate.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 08:24:34 PM »

Oh ... my God. That is a fantastic first shot at Spione. It ranks up there with Emily and Clinton's game (the one where they used a gun pointing at you to designate turns, OK, a cap-gun, but geez!). I also greatly appreciate the public venue and the apparently very successful, impromptu promotion. Only you, Jesse, would suffer angst over this.

Actually, as long as you brought that up ... I do have some related questions. Did anything about Berlin and the Cold War become more interesting to you, through having played the game? Both of the spies were working for western-bloc agencies. Do you think you validated those agencies, thematically? You realize that stuff like what you did could have happened, right? Or more accurately, that whatever human crises were generated in your story, that same kind of thing could have been going on? What do you think of the agencies that featured in your story, now?

Hey Will, how about you?

OK, let's do the technical stuff.

1. In-character dialogue does happen in Spione, but it's a little different, and also a little varied. In one way, the person with the turn simply relates the conversation, speaking in conversation when and if he or she feels like it. Everyone else chimes in with suggestions and maybe a bit of voice-acting of their own, but never adding things or decisions in an authoritative way. As a simple example, on your turn, you might have a VoPo order someone out of a car, and I, sitting at the table, belt out "Raus!" in my best German. I'm not playing the cop in any sort of taking-him-as-a-character way, I'm coloring the existing narration. That can be a little more substantive if, for instance, you narrate two lovers quarreling and I say, "No, she'd say X!" and provide some sort of familiar argument-tactic that seems to me to fit. In either case, it's subject to your judgment, because all this is your turn and I'm merely helping.

Now, the very same things can also be treated in a more round-robin way, in that you have (for instance) had the VoPo order the guy out of the car, and now it's my turn, and now I snarl "Raus!" It's different in a key way, that I'm now delivering this information as the authority-holding participant, not as a suggestion.

In the first case, the person with the turn gets to keep the turn a tad longer as long as major revelations or events are kept singular; in the second, the turns are quite rapid and create a mosaic of authority over what is happening. Both work.

Regarding Laura's point about narrating into a void, I think that this is the necessary feel during the first stages of the second case. It's actually kind of fun and unpressured, like establishing shots in the early part of a film. I suggest embracing it - let the pot come to a boil, as Callan described it in the other thread, without watching it and urging it to do so. If something doesn't get picked up at this point, it can always be returned to.

2. That's Flashpoint, not "Flashdance," wise-ass.

3. Single-card narration is a very nifty thing because it sets up new scenes and conflicts. Say a person is bleeding from a wound; you can begin your turn by talking about him getting bandaged up somewhere. It's not so much about the direct effects of the wound (i.e. it was only one card, so it hurt, dammit, but that's all), but about what a person in such a condition would reasonably find himself or her doing next. My point is that these sorts of results get around the sense of being stuck or unrooted in the current narrative. In fact, it's the very best way not to have to narrate into the void.

4. No-shot narration: yeah, it's hard, but not impossible. I think practice is probably the best solution. I tend to think of it as the kind of thing in which a couple are arguing, but right as certain un-unsayable things are about to be said, the phone rings and it's important. Or two gunmen face off in the shadows and fog, but then shots ring out from elsewhere and they both have to duck and dive away for cover, and when they look around, neither can see the other any more. My inspiration for that rule, by the way, is ties in My Life with Master.

5. Moving fast, too fast (or maybe not)

a) It's more fun to kill or incarcerate someone if we know who they are. I suggest beginning scenes that simply show a Supporting Cast member doing something normal, either mildly interesting or totally routine, which also requires letting go of one's need to control or plan what will happen based on others' impulses.

b) A couple of your points are related: not enough atmospheric reaction scenes, and moving toward Flashpoint really fast. I do think your thoughtful answer was absolutely correct. However, I hope that seems consistent with the idea that you can certainly begin a scene with Emily walking in the rain, and there's nothing stopping the player from saying, "Hey guys, I kind of don't want that to go to Flashpoint, just let it end there." It's only a request, but the next person may well agree and frame her into a new scene. As I see it, that's a fine example of the Cold anyway, at least symbolically, because everyone gets the idea that Emily is freezing inside even if the next scene takes place in a hot sweaty nightclub. Imagine that scene beginning with the exact same expression on her face. In my experience, quite a few turns in Spione play are used for phrases and images of this kind. Me, I have the characters ride around on the S-Bahn, because most of Berlin is iron-gray and stone, so it's really depressing-grim just to sit on the train expressionlessly.

c) I think that "pure relationship" scenes are an excellent example of (a) and (b) together. I recommend such scenes. They make the real Cold hit much harder. The rules say "get the spy into the Cold," not "the Cold hits, now now now!" Pacing is an emergent property of this kind of play, and I bet your group's second time around (which I hope you do and dammit record it, OK?) will display some really pleasant surprises for how well you do it.

6. Scene transitions

Quote
I was a little unclear on how scene transitions are supposed to work.  Especially on a Principle's turn.  There were many points, for example, where someone would frame a scene with Emily's handler asking her to do something.  Then Laura would narrate how Emily says something to her handler, walks away and goes to do X, before continuing to ultimately do Y.  That almost felt like double or even triple dipping on her "turn."  Like she ended the current scene glossed over a potential second scene (even though no conflict was glossed over) and began a third scene.

In practice, double-dipping is mediated by the group. Laura has full authority on her turn ... over one substantive story/scene addition, and that's all. If the group wants to afford her a little bit more, then there's no problem, but if someone wants to call out, "Wait a minute, that's it for your turn, I think," then that's OK.  I know this sounds squishy, but it really works well if Laura remembers that she can finish her turn with the first thing, then say what she would like Emily to be doing next to see if the next players want to pick it up.

7. Time and space for Flashpoint narrations: Manny's narration was perfectly legal. The only constraint on stretching time and space during Flashpoints is the same one found in all narrative media, that other stuff going on can't be elided by skipping its pieces. I've seen one especially long and nasty Flashpoint proceed from a character getting grabbed by the CIA, escaping to Russia via the KGB, being welcomed as a hero, and getting "rewarded" a decade later with a nine-gram medal, i.e. a bullet in the base of the neck. It worked because the other spy's story had been sewn up and we had all the room in the world to work with.

8. Your understanding of the No Shot rules are 100% accurate; it refers to not having a starting card in the lineup. The strategy you are talking about is a deliberate design decision, and no, I'm not bullshitting you about that. You spotted a thing I hoped people would realize.

Will, I guess I'm seeing your post as confirming the goals of the No Shot option. So even though it seemed difficult, the results are impressive.

9. The "bow out" now option is definitely designed to be ambiguous, and whether it's bleak or not depends on the spy's story so far. In one game I was in, Fiona blew up SIS headquarters during the Flashpoint which removed her final Supporting Cast through a Fate draw. The player decided he really liked the final image of her as a Robert Rodriguez shot, walking toward us as the explosion hits in the background ... and that's it. No explanation for what she does next, just fades out of the Spider's Web of Cold War Berlin spying, escaping forever. If you want more events and nuance in the spy's story after that point, then you'll need that new Flashpoint, and as you know, Flashpoints ain't trustworthy. But that's the choice. No epilogues in the My Life with Master sense, in Spione, for anyone except Supporting Cast.

Here's a big question for everyone involved: how did you like the Trespass rules and their implementation? Did play get any sort of focus or charge out of (a) Disclosure on the one spy's part and (b) failure to Disclose, on the other's? I've found that this effect is common, but not at all really noticed during play itself. Only afterwards.

Thanks again, folks!

Best, Ron
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WillH
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Posts: 14


« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 05:57:18 AM »

Actually, as long as you brought that up ... I do have some related questions. Did anything about Berlin and the Cold War become more interesting to you, through having played the game? Both of the spies were working for western-bloc agencies. Do you think you validated those agencies, thematically? You realize that stuff like what you did could have happened, right? Or more accurately, that whatever human crises were generated in your story, that same kind of thing could have been going on? What do you think of the agencies that featured in your story, now?

i wasn't familiar with La Carre's fiction before playing Sunday, but  I am somewhat familiar with  Cold War history.  Most of what I know about Berlin centers around the human drama of people separated by the wall and trying to cross the wall reunite with family or simply to escape to West.  I think that would be great subject matter for a game, but that's another discussion.  Both spies did work for Western-bloc agencies, but I think it's interesting to note one was spying on an ally and the other on its own nationals.  I'm not sure how that colored play.  If I was playing one of the principle characters, I probably would have given some thought to whether my spy was OK with it or not.

I was not very knowledgeable of the various German intelligence agencies.  I understand you cover this in the book, but I was coming in cold.  Since I wasn't up to speed on the names and roles of the German agencies I kept getting them confused.  That wasn't a fault of the game.  I only mention it because I think it would be good to keep in mind when playing with someone who has not had a chance to read the book and you're explaining the rules too.

We didn't really have any actual Spying scenes.  We just focused on how being a spy impacted the lives of the spies.  Is this common?  I think actual real world spying is much less interesting than the human story, so I didn't really miss it. 
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 06:09:09 AM »

Hi Will,

Spione as a process skews strongly toward the human costs of spying, as opposed to the moments of spying itself. However, whether that process is told mainly from or about those people's point of view is strictly a function of the characters people choose to open scenes with. It's perfectly all right to begin scenes with the Network characters, and to flesh them out through any number of initially-neutral interactions. Therefore the tensions, personalities, and personal circumstances of the spy's handler, spymaster, or informant can all be major components of whatever conflicts develop. Given what-all's going on with the agencies, it's guaranteed that whatever happens in such scenes will turn into grief for the spy and/or the Supporting Cast.

That's how many spy novels and films work - telling the story from the viewpoint of the agency bureaucracy (-ies), or more accurately, people inside it with conflicting values and goals. However, the core, what filmmakers call the spine of the story, is always the people close to the spy who become collateral damage due to his or her deceptions. A lot of those novels and films work from that point of view too, or combine it with the more personal lens. Spione allows the full spectrum of that emphasis.

For first-time players without a strong starting spy interest, the agency emphasis will probably be minimal because that's the most alien information. That's what I've observed, anyway. However, the Spider's Web diagram can really help, and, after all, it is a lot simpler than the totally made-up conspiracies and organizations and clans that role-players memorize by the dozens. If and when you play again, especially if you get a chance to read the book, you'll find that there's a lot of rich and perturbing material just by looking at that diagram as you go over the agency handout for a given decade.

One recent game of Spione included two people with intelligence backgrounds, and I was not at all surprised to learn that their story displayed a much stronger role for the members of the Network, along with the Supporting Cast.

Best, Ron
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1429


« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 12:12:16 PM »

Will,

Given Ron's example Flashpoint above your final narration about the Munich Olympics was not actually a rules violation at all.  In fact Emily's story ended with a more correct application of the rules than Manny's did.

Ron,

Like Will before reading Spione my knowledge of the German agencies was Zero.  And even though I've read the book I still can't keep them straight.  Reading and playing Spione certainly has renewed my interest in Le Carre.  WAY back when you first posted Zero to the Bone I got curious and I bought a whole bunch of his novels and started reading them in publication order.  I got through the first three which includes the second one which is really just a straight up murder mystery and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.  I've also seen the film adaptation of that title.  I want to read more.

I think when I read Spione the big shocker for me was the diagram that's simply labeled, "This is not the situation:.... This is:"  I honestly did not know that Berlin was wholly contained in East Germany and suddenly the whole situation got a lot more frightening and the premise to Escape From New York suddenly seemed a lot less absurd.  I honestly don't know if I could live like that.

From our game itself I think I was most fascinated the idea that so much horribleness could happen totally on the Western side.  We had Western Agencies spying on Western Organizations, granted for "enemy" penetration.  But only Emily's story actually involved uncovering that penetration.  In fact, it seemed to me that the story was wholly unconcerned with the importance or relevance of the spy's activities and simply concerned that the agencies involved had more guys in their column than the other agency had in their column.  It raises the question of whether that was a function of our ignorance of what exactly would be relevant out of a British NATO office in 1950 or a product of the bureaucratic paranoia.

Jesse

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GreatWolf
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 12:16:06 PM »

I think when I read Spione the big shocker for me was the diagram that's simply labeled, "This is not the situation:.... This is:"  I honestly did not know that Berlin was wholly contained in East Germany and suddenly the whole situation got a lot more frightening and the premise to Escape From New York suddenly seemed a lot less absurd.  I honestly don't know if I could live like that.

I had a similar experience when Ron was first introducing me to Spione.  For me, it was the fact that the Wall went all the way around West Berlin.  I mean, duh, this makes perfect sense, but I always thought of the Wall as just a dividing line between halves of a city.  Cold War Berlin became, for me, the kind of place that proves that reality is stranger than fiction.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
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jburneko
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 11:29:59 AM »

Hello Again,

I realized I didn't address Ron's question about the Trespasses.  I think of the Trespasses as Spoine's social trust fall and openly refer to them as such when explaining the game to others.  The first thing I observed about them was the reaction at the table when I swept the remaining non-selected Trespasses off the table and went to destroy them "unread."  More than one person audibly went, "Oooooooooo."

I think that really help to set the mood of, "there will be things that enter play that will go unanswered, unaddressed or unexplained."  It immediately diffused the notion that everything that enters play has to be explained and tied up in a neat little ball like the solution to a tightly plotted mystery novel.  It made the ambiguities of just what the hell was really going on, Okay.

As for Disclosure it definitely had a certain element of "shock value"  Especially since I knew it was real.  I'm not 100% sure what kind of in play effect it had.  Denys had only hinted at the Trespass once before disclosing.  And as I said our game was flying by at lightening pace.  I can say that Manny's story ended up revolving more and more around the one Supporting Cast member that ended up being the victim of the Trespass.

Laura I know was kind of miffed about the whole "don't talk about the Trespasses" thing because she said, "See, now I WANT to know the story behind THAT."  In hindsight I might have been a little too Fight Clubish about the Trespasses.  "The first rule of Spione is, don't talk about Trespasses.  The second rule of Spione is, don't *TALK* about Trespasses."  I think next time I'll amend that with "while the game is going on."  Obviously what ever element of our personal lives we want to discuss with each other is up to us but the game shouldn't get side tracked into a personal discussion after Disclosure.

I admit that when I first read Spione I was kind of surprised to discover that Disclosure was a) optional and b) done by Principle player fiat because I feared it would make the game drag on and on forever since I felt that the Fate Deck was the most reliable way to remove Supporting Cast members.  I was wrong about that and was ultimately glad that Emily never Disclosed for the simple reason of seeing both how the Fate Deck takes out Supporting Cast members and how removing Supporting Cast members through Flashpoints can be a great focusing element.

Also, the Fate Deck is much much kinder.  Principles, if you want your Supporting Cast members to have any CHANCE of having happy endings, Disclose, Disclose, Disclose.

Jesse
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008, 11:57:22 AM »

Also, the Fate Deck is much much kinder.  Principles, if you want your Supporting Cast members to have any CHANCE of having happy endings, Disclose, Disclose, Disclose.

Which is, IMHO, a genius part of the game.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 07:16:25 PM »

I appreciate the kind comments from you both, and I'm glad you like that feature.

Does anyone remember the "dangerous and wrong" comments made about the Trespass notion (then called something else) in Zero at the Bone?

It's also interesting that I'd considered permitting Supporting Cast to reach positive outcomes and "escape" the story via Flashpoints, and decided against it after some playtesting. Jesse's right - if you don't disclose, those characters are doomed. Which is often a perfectly reasonable choice on a person's part, especially since in Spione, like Sorcerer, one's choices have a tendency toward feeling obvious, even inevitable, in the moment.

Best, Ron
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jburneko
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2008, 07:47:48 PM »

It's also interesting that I'd considered permitting Supporting Cast to reach positive outcomes and "escape" the story via Flashpoints, and decided against it after some playtesting. Jesse's right - if you don't disclose, those characters are doomed.

This is confusing.  I though the only restriction on removing Supporting Cast members via Flashpoints were the same ones for all Flashpoint narrations.  That is Principle Players narrate in interest of the Principles and vice versa for Non-Principle Players.

Doesn't this mean that a supporting cast member could have a positive exit if the Principle Player uses their narration to remove the character favorably?  Such as having a loved one escape to safety?

Similarly couldn't a non-Principle narrate a Supporting Cast member defecting to the other side which isn't great but isn't exactly death and imprisonment either?

Jesse
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2008, 08:05:55 PM »

I appreciate the kind comments from you both, and I'm glad you like that feature.

Does anyone remember the "dangerous and wrong" comments made about the Trespass notion (then called something else) in Zero at the Bone?

What made the difference for me was the adjustment from "worst thing that you've done" to "a bad thing that you or someone you know has done".  There's just enough wiggle room in that to make a difference.  Now, each Trespass represents something morally abhorrent from a player's experience, but not necessarily due to his commission.  That has enough "punch" to make the game spin.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2008, 08:12:31 PM »

This is confusing.  I though the only restriction on removing Supporting Cast members via Flashpoints were the same ones for all Flashpoint narrations.  That is Principle Players narrate in interest of the Principles and vice versa for Non-Principle Players.

Doesn't this mean that a supporting cast member could have a positive exit if the Principle Player uses their narration to remove the character favorably?  Such as having a loved one escape to safety?

Similarly couldn't a non-Principle narrate a Supporting Cast member defecting to the other side which isn't great but isn't exactly death and imprisonment either?

Jesse,

My understanding of the game is that, while you could certainly narrate all those things for a Supporting Cast member, none of them would count as an exit from the story.  So, yeah, during Flashpoint, your Principal's Turkish girlfriend successfully flees Germany to the States.  Yay!

But now the CIA rounds her up and interrogates her, to get further information on your Principal.  Or maybe she is haunted by the memory of your Principal, pining after him, making little phone calls to his flat in Berlin, not knowing that his phone is tapped.  Or...oh, I don't know.  Other bad stuff.

Apart from the Fate Deck, the only exit for a Supporting Cast is death or imprisonment.  Until then, the story still has its hooks into him and will not let him go.
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 547


« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2008, 11:12:02 AM »

My understanding of the game is that, while you could certainly narrate all those things for a Supporting Cast member, none of them would count as an exit from the story.  So, yeah, during Flashpoint, your Principal's Turkish girlfriend successfully flees Germany to the States.  Yay!

But now the CIA rounds her up and interrogates her, to get further information on your Principal.  Or maybe she is haunted by the memory of your Principal, pining after him, making little phone calls to his flat in Berlin, not knowing that his phone is tapped.  Or...oh, I don't know.  Other bad stuff.

Apart from the Fate Deck, the only exit for a Supporting Cast is death or imprisonment.  Until then, the story still has its hooks into him and will not let him go.

Yes, and more than that: the story end only when all the supporting cast for both principals are "out of the story" (pag. 165), so if someone narrates during a flashpoint that one character from the supporting cast flee to the USA, the story can't end until (1) someone narrates that something happen to that character that kill or imprison him/her, or (2) the principal's player, having Disclosed, use the Fate Deck to get him/her out of the story.

If the principal's player don't disclose the trespass, all the principal's supporting cast MUST be killed or imprisoned at the end of the story.
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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
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