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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Dirty Secrets] Two "investigators"  (Read 1660 times)
watergoesred
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Posts: 12


« on: April 25, 2009, 08:52:08 PM »

I got a germ of an idea when watching Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy", a story about someone wrongly accused of a crime: playing Dirty Secrets with two investigators. One is the investigator pursuing the wrongly accused and the other is the wrongly accused pursuing the real criminal.

Lets say we create the investigator and the wrongly accused, giving each to a different player to control. We could start with the wrongly accused player being the focus, perhaps framing a scene prior to the crime, establishing how they could be framed for the crime. Then we skip to the investigator and the evidence that is presented of the crime. We let the system establish who the real criminal is. We could use a large crime grid with two different tokens, one moved by the wrongly accused and  one moved by the investigator (though using only one token would work too). After either the investigator or the wrongly accused complete their turn's sequence, they move their token and write down a suspect. Whoever discovers the criminal in their turn finds out before the other player. In Frenzy, the wrongly accused realised who the criminal is when he is caught by the law because the criminal betrays him. Being caught, however, isn't the important part, what's important is that the wrongly accused is now pursuing the real criminal, to prove his own innocence and for revenge. The investigator also begins questioning whether he's pursuing the wrong person, maybe because the actions of the wrongly accused or by finding contradictory evidence etc. The climax is when the criminal is caught, by either the wrongly accused and/or the investigator.
 
Its worth noting that while the investigator might be on the side of the authorities investigating the crime, they need not actively pursue the wrongly accused themselves. Their aim is to collect and analyse the evidence and find the truth. They need to be not satisfied until the crime grid establishes who the criminal is.
 
The unreliable narrator, especially for the wrongly accused, could be a really powerful device.
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oli
GreatWolf
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 09:57:20 AM »

Interesting that you bring this up.

Paul Czege was involved in a playtest of Dirty Secrets at Forge Midwest 2007, and he suggested a similar idea involving two investigators. Thought you'd be interested in knowing that.

Now, this idea can be handled in unhacked Dirty Secrets, simply by making the investigator being wrongfully accused and then Declaring a Character who is investigating the investigator. Of course, in this case, you could never have a scene with the pursuer as viewpoint character....

So, if it were important to you to have two investigators, then how you outline it would probably work. I'd go with a token for each investigator, due to the pacing considerations inherent in the Crime Grid.

I'd suggest alternating scenes between the investigators and then rotating the Authority position between the remaining characters. When an investigator player isn't running his character, he can be an Advisor.

And yeah, using the unreliable narrator rules could be quite powerful....

Let me know if you run this!

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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
watergoesred
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Posts: 12


« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 02:51:23 PM »

Cheers. I will let you know if I run it.
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oli
M. J. Young
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 08:34:44 PM »

Not sure, but doing this with two investigators, could you have the outcome that the "wrongly accused" actually is the criminal?

I know that Agatha Christie did a number of mysteries in which the murderer was one of the primary investigators.  It might be interesting if the grid could still identify the "wrongly accused" as the criminal in the end.  Certainly it could also be interesting if the "wrongly accused" is actually guilty of a secondary crime.

Just some thoughts.

--M. J. Young
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 08:58:43 AM »

Not sure, but doing this with two investigators, could you have the outcome that the "wrongly accused" actually is the criminal?

I know that Agatha Christie did a number of mysteries in which the murderer was one of the primary investigators.  It might be interesting if the grid could still identify the "wrongly accused" as the criminal in the end.  Certainly it could also be interesting if the "wrongly accused" is actually guilty of a secondary crime.

Yep, you can do this if you use the "corrupt investigator" optional rule, which means that you can put the investigator's name on the Crime Grid. This does make the investigator an unreliable narrator. I've not played with this rule, but others have reported it to be a fascinating experience.

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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
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