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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 215 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Age of Paranoia -- test and setup run  (Read 7109 times)
clehrich
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Posts: 1557


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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2004, 09:07:18 AM »

Quote from: Jere
Quote from: Emily Care
Thanks, Rob.  Even cooler. So each card played adds to the story, not just the winning trick.  Correct?
Yep, which why its sometimes valuable to play a card out of suite. You won't win the trick but you will add to the narrative.
This was one of the most interesting things about the play, in fact.

Cups are collection, Pentacles coounter-intelligence, Wands covert action, and Swords analysis.  We're not, I think, wedded to these categories, and they certainly overlap quite a bit, but in play they were used quite effectively.

For example, as I recall it, Susan played the King of Pentacles -- counter-intelligence, quite large -- and announced that a senior henchman has been purging Western agent, but has actually been purging Soviet ones.  I played the Devil on that, and announced that this same guy does seem to be on our side at the moment, but is clearly a raving psychopath; this is when someone (maybe Jere) suggested he might actually be Saddam a long time back.  Later on, when the Russian assassin was introduced, I played the Ace (low, =1) of Swords (analysis) and said that rumors filtering out from the Soviets indicate that he may possibly be gay.  [Not to overstress my play, but nobody took detailed notes of cardplay and so I don't remember everyone else's plays very clearly.]

The idea is that the rank (value) of the card has a good deal to do with the power and extent of the player's narrative rights.  Trumps cannot win hands, but can be played out of suit and have more freeform sorts of meanings.  Thus Jess played the Tower to make the bomb go off.  I played Strength to have Weatherby pull the sheikh out by main force.

I think, for example, that a King of Wands could be used to mean an assassination, a successful extraction, etc. -- a very powerful covert operation.  A King of Cups might be a major wiretap operation against an enemy embassy, i.e. a very powerful collection operation.  An 8 of Cups might mean a successful acquisition of data from an agent in place, an 8 of Wands might be a successful "burn" against a middling enemy agent or the like, and so forth.

There's a lot of room for overlap here, of course.  If Susan had played the King of Swords instead of Pentacles, i.e. analysis instead of counter-intelligence, she could have created the same purging henchman but simply said that while we had thought him an important enemy, recent analysis has demonstrated that actually he's quite deliberately and selectively purging Soviet agents, possibly indicating that he should be approached as an agent.  Essentially the same result, but with a different structure.

The point, though, is that this stuff isn't entirely set in stone.  There's no list that says X card equals Y operation.  So as we play cards, we tell a whole story, all as background.

If this hadn't been a test-run, we'd then have gone and written up the Sheikh, his children and family, the extracted son, the psychopathic henchman, Weatherby, and the Russian assassin.  Somebody would also write up the whole case as it stood.  Over time, the Wiki will begin to resemble a little library of interlinked files and dossiers, and as I understand it once it's on the Wiki, it's in the files, and thus fair game for future manipulation so long as nothing known is actually changed.

--

Next time, we're going to do character generation.  That should be interesting!  I think we're all going to be sitting around a boardroom table at some sort of fishing rights committee, and then having backroom chats here and there as we go.  Everyone will be connected to everyone else, partly by personal contacts (both at same school, etc.), partly by past operations and the like.

Everyone will be part of either MI6 or the CIA, but in a sense "represent" different sections, factions, departments, and so forth.  That way everyone has a reason to cooperate, but at the same time lots of reasons for factionalism and strife.
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Chris Lehrich
Jere
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Posts: 58


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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2004, 11:36:26 AM »

Quote from: clehrich
Next time, we're going to do character generation.  That should be interesting!  I think we're all going to be sitting around a boardroom table at some sort of fishing rights committee, and then having backroom chats here and there as we go.  Everyone will be connected to everyone else, partly by personal contacts (both at same school, etc.), partly by past operations and the like.


The fishing committee would really be wearing my source material on my sleeve. Well, I haven't made any pretenses yet, so why start now!

Jere
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