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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Number of Episodes in a Season?  (Read 1335 times)
higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« on: April 17, 2010, 06:33:39 AM »

Have I understood correctly that the number of episodes should correspond to the number of players you have?

Examples in the book have four players, so, book recommends 1+4 or 1+4x2 episodes. But if I have three players, would I need to run 1+3 or 1+3x2 episodes? And in case of five players, 1+5 or 1+5x2. I think this makes sense, as it allows everyone a spotlight episode. Or should I stick to 5 or 9 formula and thus having an episode with no spotlight if I have three players? And a mandatory double-spotlight episode in case of five players?

I think changing the number of episodes makes more sense, but how have you guys handled it?
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Welkerfan
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Posts: 43


« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 07:05:17 AM »

Stick to the 5 or 9 (plus maybe a pilot) formula.  Those two numbers give enough time for the meta-plot beyond the characters' personal issues to develop and provide the proper building structure for characters to place their spotlight episodes.  It's okay to have episodes without a spotlight character; in fact, those are some of my favorite episodes.  They let the Producer have a lot of fun with the premise of the show.  If the show has a villain, those are the episodes where the villain gets to beat the characters over and over again.

It does work very well to use precisely 5 or 9 episodes in a season arc.
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Brenton Wiernik
Matt Wilson
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 07:31:24 AM »

I'd go with a 5-ep season unless you have a lot of people in the group.
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higgins
Member

Posts: 44


« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010, 03:39:40 PM »

Stick to the 5 or 9 (plus maybe a pilot) formula.
Hm, I thought pilot was included in those 5 or 9 as the first episode. No?
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010, 08:08:07 PM »

Stick to the 5 or 9 (plus maybe a pilot) formula.
Hm, I thought pilot was included in those 5 or 9 as the first episode. No?

From page 25 of the current edition:

Special Pilot Episode Rules<
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Ciao,
Moreno.

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

Posts: 44


« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 11:55:19 PM »

I simply took that paragraph to mean as an encouragement that there's no obligation to go on if everybody feels the first session was a failure. But then indeed all 1+5, 1+4, 1+9 and 1+8 episode seasons ("1" marking the pilot) correspond to the rules as you can both count the pilot in and not count the pilot in.

Pilot as first episode made most sense to me as this is the point where everybody (including the players themselves) have only an outline and an idea of who their character actually is and how will he or she act in a certain situation. So, it made most sense to have the first episode as pilot for equal ground to each with no spotlight. Of course there are exceptions such as Lost with begins with Jacks flashbacks right away if I recall correctly, but that show has a huge number of main characters too (can't really afford to have an episode without one) plus it's very distinctive to the show -- a thing that would get viewers hooked.

How do most of you handle the pilot episode? Do you put everybody on screen presence 2 for the 1st episode by default, or do you make separate pilot episodes and then map out the story arc?
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Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 10:39:49 AM »

I always play the game "by the book", so we play with a Pilot episode called "pilot episode" from the beginning, with screen presence at 2 for everyone, and with the explicit knowledge at the table that "this is a try-out, everything can be changed before the stsrt of the season, we could even throw away everything and play another different Pilot".  I never had to play more than a pilot, but this usually ease the player's fears and make for a smooth start of the game, nobody is forced to play 5 weeks with the choices done at the beginning.

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Ciao,
Moreno.

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