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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 240 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [InSpectres] More Ghastly Endeavours in Ft. Lauderdale  (Read 4163 times)
Malechi
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Posts: 186


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« on: March 30, 2004, 07:25:12 AM »

Well..we've had our second and indeed third jobs now..and boy did things get strange.

Some background: these next two jobs were GM'd by two different GMs who were in turn different from the GM of the original mission (me). Obviously this has a large impact on the game.  ;)

Firstly we carry out an interview at the beginning of the session. The local city council misinterpretting our ad in the paper come looking for someone to oversee the leisure activities of the local seniors home. New characters in this game all round as well. I play Brad or "Number 34", ageing ex-high school quarterback replete with mullet and the game ball from his homecoming game (he didn't throw the winning runs, but stole the ball from the opposition quarterback "Squeeky McGee" name thusly for the wheels on his wheelchair..*ahem*...)with a dream of opening up a chain of car-washes. For now he's gettin' some cash together in this InSpectres gig. He's connected to... Derik Wilde, 70's one-hit-wonder forced to live a life as a dope-dealer. He stumbled upon his ability to rig together guitars and other ageing 70's musical instruments into tools for dealing with paranormal entities (a 1973 fender strat that when arpeggio'd causes ghosts to run away screaming...oh and the neighbours too). Finally we have Conner, 30-something out-of-work data-entry clerk. He's got some brains (apparently) but just hasn't had a lot of luck. Currently living in his In-Laws basement while his wife goes and earns the bacon. Put an ad in the paper after finding InSpectres on the Internet.

I'm not terribly sure what happened in the first session, thats a bit of a vice of mine as a player.. i tend to drift off quite quickly unless i'm directly involved, and thats not entirely assured.. suffice it to say i prefer GMing. nonetheless our job came in the form of a request from a local Finance Brokerage firm who had been having some trouble in a redevelopment area. We get to a 70's redevelopment site thats been sitting there for 30 years. The houses are there, as is the proto-mini-mall but noones home. The place never got off the ground it would seem. We poked around and it turns out the CIA/FBI had been doing some snooping as well. After some strange moments for Brad who encounters the homecoming queen from his senior year who turns out to be a ghost who is in turn vapourised by a killer solo by Derik, we discover that the CIA is also possessed by spirits... things wrap up quickly...

The Second game sees a GM change and the entrance of Max...late night radio substitute DJ lookin for some extra cash...cool character.

It seems there's a problem at Lonely Acres Elementary School..something about flying stationary.
I won't even bother you with the details.. suffice it to say the game devolves into the kind of thing a bunch of 10 year olds would play complete with dick and fart jokes and all this from a bunch of 30 year olds. Strange dimensions behind blackboards, detacheable genitalia, vindictive-unrequited-love-from-beyond-the-grave.. .ugh...my only excuse...we were tired..sad really.

Some comments: like the last game, we found the requisite franchise dice target getting eaten away really quickly. This may be a sign of our ineptness with the system, but even in this game where Stress rolls were flying, we managed to get the required amount with time to spare and we barely used any of our dice from franchise design. Any clues on this? My character in particular had a lot of stress rolls and lost a lot of dice as a result. But in the end we simply chewed up the required amount in under 2 hours per job. Some things i noticed as well was that we pretty much ignored most of the structure to the session, which was a stupid mistake. We went straight from interviewing the client to resolution it seems, without investigation, suiting up in between. I can't help but think though that this would have made our situation far more dire as the franchise dice target would have been chewed up even quicker. This left the game feeling somewhat errrr rushed or contrived. I think the lack of structure really adds to this feeling, but how is this offset against the franchise dice target getting eaten up too quickly? Are we applying rolls too often?

Also, are the players supposed to be aware of the required Franchise dice Target? We were and it was a tantalising goal in the second game that caused us to think up contrived and tenuous reasons for rolling at all just to get the final two dice required. All in all this session seemed crazier and more frenetic than the last almost to the point of being unenjoyable. This could have been due to the lack of structure to play but also perhaps due to a misunderstanding about how much "control" the GM exerts over the storyline. It seems most of the details after the initial job description was solely the creation of the "crazy players"...

anyways, we're still keen on the game as we can recognise the fault lies squarely in our handling of the game, not the game itself. Any clues to making InSpectres more enjoyable would be appreciated...

Cheers

Jason K.

p.s. I'll be running a modified game of InSpectures set on a derelict prison ship drifting in space soon. Instead of the various franchise cards I'll be using: O2 levels (Physical exertion Conflicts), Energy Stores (For operation of machinery and life-support) and a dice store for interacting with the AI on baord the ship. Has anyone done anything like this already? if so I'd love to hear about it...

cheers (again)
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2004, 09:58:03 AM »

I'm not clear on something. Did you have a GM? It seems like you might not have. It's the GM's job to discover new adversity in, well just about everything, and throw it at the players. Adversity should come from all sorts of things, not just the supernatural...
Quote from: Malechi
Some things i noticed as well was that we pretty much ignored most of the structure to the session, which was a stupid mistake. We went straight from interviewing the client to resolution it seems, without investigation, suiting up in between. I can't help but think though that this would have made our situation far more dire as the franchise dice target would have been chewed up even quicker. This left the game feeling somewhat errrr rushed or contrived. I think the lack of structure really adds to this feeling, but how is this offset against the franchise dice target getting eaten up too quickly? Are we applying rolls too often?
Did you have any stress rolls in the office? Given that you just took off, it seems like there was no time for that fun stuff. I mean, that whole thing with the ad and the senior center should have been giving somebody fits with the stress rolls that it entailed. All while getting no closer to the objective.

I think that you missed out on the "real life" aspects a lot. Yeah, if all the PCs have to do is go after the ghost, then it'll be over quickly as that's all they're rolling for. But what about schmoozing the guys at corporate? What about the phone calls from the wife asking to have lunch? What about the fact that the cable guy is due in half an hour? Did you get in your punches from these things?

Inspectres is about the juxtaposition of corporate life against the absurdity of monster hunting. If real life doesn't protrude, you miss half the point, half the humor, and half the game.  The structure is there to expose the characters to the varying elements of real life that are in the way of their goals. They are crucial to play.

Further, did the GM force players to make rolls in areas that they weren't any good at? Or was is all players calling for rolls in the areas where they are supreme? Nothing more funny than the tech guy trying to leap a shrub, or the jock trying to operate a computer. The GM's job is to see that this sort of stuff happens.

Quote
Also, are the players supposed to be aware of the required Franchise dice Target?
Not in the edition that I have. It's a secret for the GM.

Quote
It seems most of the details after the initial job description was solely the creation of the "crazy players"...
Again, did you have a GM? This is just not right, the GM is an equal participant in creation, and has all of the pacing duties.

I think if you have a GM thinking in these terms that you're play will only get better and better.

Mike
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2004, 07:44:54 AM »

Hey, Mike.  Can you give me a citation on the Franchise Dice target being a secret?  We've been playing with it as an open number, which seems to make more sense to me.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2004, 08:43:25 AM »

Quote from: GreatWolf
Hey, Mike.  Can you give me a citation on the Franchise Dice target being a secret?  We've been playing with it as an open number, which seems to make more sense to me.
I said, "my edition" because I still have that old copy that Jared was handing out before the current print copy. Which had substantial differences, as I understand it. So it may in fact be that the current official rule is that it's open. Further, my memory of the game may be faulty, remembering even the playtest versions, etc.

But in any case, I think that at least in some versions, hiding the number was quite functional.

Mike
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Bob McNamee
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2004, 01:26:10 PM »

I'd say ignoring the adventure structure is pretty big change to make.

Using it would help keep your game structured... and use up dice, provide stress opportunities ...and allow both GM and player input into where things will go in the game.
Especially the research phase.
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2004, 02:38:57 PM »

Quote from: Bob McNamee
Especially the research phase.
I get a lot of milage out of the Suiting Up Phase. It gets the PCs out from behind their desks and messing around with the stuff in the closets. That's just asking for trouble. Just ask the tech guy in the group if there's any spare junk back there. There always is. And it's always stupidly dangerous. Leading to all sorts of surprise inspections (I love having the InSpectres inspected).

Mike
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Malechi
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2004, 04:04:02 PM »

just so everyone's clear the structure was "ignored" kind of accidentally more through sheer inexperience and not any conscious change we made to the game... in our first session a few weeks ago we kept to the structure and the game was much more rewarding.. :)

JK>...
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Bob McNamee
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Posts: 685


« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2004, 06:11:56 PM »

Ahh yes...the Suiting up phase... kinda harkens back to those famous Paranioa words "Research and Development has some devices you are to field test for them in this mission... "
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
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