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Seeking Playtesters for "The Files" -- a le Carré-style espionage RPG

Started by StevenS, April 14, 2010, 05:58:33 PM

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I am looking for playtesters for version 0.2a (yes, I'm giving myself a lot of development space ;)) of "The Files", an espionage RPG that is trying to emulate the novels of John le Carré, rather than the more Fleming/Ludlum inspiration of games such as "Top Secret" or "Wilderness of Mirrors".  It is much more in the spirit of "Spione", though aiming for a broader world to simulate.

In addition to tackling a genre I haven't really seen dealt with before, the game attempts to work with the following dilemmas/issues:

How to deal with the gap between player knowledge of a field and character knowledge, as well as differing levels of genre understanding between players and GM (hint: build in 'handicaps' in terms of points players can spend)

How to accumulate the massive amounts of data required to generate the requisite uncertainty for a good espionage game (hint: let the players provide a lot of their own answers and red herrings)

and how to deal with the psychological elements of interrogation/subversion without resorting to either torturing your players or simply making willpower checks.

This is not really a beginner's game -- but I figure most of the people on here are not beginners. ;)

I'm interested in all sorts of feedback -- I believe the rules to be comprehensible to someone who isn't me, but then again, my local playtest group had access to me to ask questions directly, so I can't be 100% sure. 

If you're interested, please contact me at, and I'll send you a PDF of the rules.

Designer, "The Files" -- espionage a la le Carre, and "Free Your Head" -- psychedelic conspiracy.