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Author Topic: InSpecteres- Bugs or Features?  (Read 3525 times)
Drew Stevens
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Posts: 154


« on: February 28, 2003, 01:02:59 PM »

So, I ran a lil' InSpecteres one shot a few nights ago, and it went reasonably well.  Some of the players much more clearly 'got' the mood and feeling and mechanics of the game (such as one guy who turned what I had thought was going to be a Johny the Homicdial Maniac inspired monster into Don Knots, the Bloodgeist... but anyways :)

However, two mechanics issues cropped up during the game to make me blink and go 'wha?'

1) Front loaded Mystery Solvers.  Most of the InSpecteres could manage to roll four or five dice for the first several rolls- meaning that the chance of them getting a 5 or 6 was around 80%.  Which meant that early on, they were stomping left right and center, while midway through the game (as a few Stress penelties hit from things Going Very Wrong) and beyond they slowed down and became less and less competent.  Combine that with the group (six agents, no weirdies) and there were 14 Franchise dice well before the 'midgame'.  Several of those franchise dice, however, were aquired by less than mystery-solving actions (partly due to some of the Player's not understanding the idea of 'player narration leads to the solution of the myster).

2) Stress = Arbitrary doom.  Your first roll on a Stress check tended to determine how well you'd take stress in the future- if you got a six, you were golden, and if you got a 1, you're abilities became so impaired that you were likely to get even /more/ Stress in the future from failures.

Were these bugs or misunderstood features?
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2003, 01:16:03 PM »

Quote from: Drew Stevens
1) Front loaded Mystery Solvers.  Most of the InSpecteres could manage to roll four or five dice for the first several rolls- meaning that the chance of them getting a 5 or 6 was around 80%.  Which meant that early on, they were stomping left right and center, while midway through the game (as a few Stress penelties hit from things Going Very Wrong) and beyond they slowed down and became less and less competent.  Combine that with the group (six agents, no weirdies) and there were 14 Franchise dice well before the 'midgame'.  Several of those franchise dice, however, were aquired by less than mystery-solving actions (partly due to some of the Player's not understanding the idea of 'player narration leads to the solution of the myster).


Six agents = HUGE game. I actually ran a con game last year with 7 (!) players (started with 4 then everyone else wanted it on it). Four agents is a good number. At 6+ agents I'd be tempted to run two groups of agents on two different missions. 14 Franchise dice sounds okay to me but how many did you start them with? For a big group, figure 2 Franchise Dice per peep for the biz, which makes the mission requirements jump to around 24 Franchise Dice. Also, remember that you only get Franchise Dice during play when the die roll relates directly to the mission.

Quote
2) Stress = Arbitrary doom.  Your first roll on a Stress check tended to determine how well you'd take stress in the future- if you got a six, you were golden, and if you got a 1, you're abilities became so impaired that you were likely to get even /more/ Stress in the future from failures.


Stress kinda defines how the game is going to work. Hit the golden 6 on your first Stress 1 roll and you're going to be Bill Murray. Hit a 1 and you're Dan Ackroyd. So yeah, it is supposed to work that way. Talents, Confessionals and Card Dice should help to pick up the slack when the agents start getting covered in ectoplasm.

Remember the source material. The guys in Ghostbusters didn't really do anything *well*. In fact, the big moment at the end ("Cross the streams? I thought that was bad.") is a result of a wild guess on the part of Egon (more or less). Up to and including that point, the boys in grey were kinda hopeless when it came to doing their job...

- J

Oh yeah...I welcome feedback from other InSpectres players.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2003, 09:08:06 PM »

I really like the idea of the Stress roll determining who gets to be the straight man and who get to be the funny guy. I've got to use that the next time I play.

Stress also plays into another of the features I want to explore next time I run the game: the business angle. Ron (surprise, surprise) explains it really well on this RPG.net thread commenting on SteveD's recent review. Basically, stress gives agents a reason to eat into company profits by taking vacation. Next time, I'm going to run a couple of mini-missions (5-10 franchise dice) in a single session, so they can have fights about "You were in Malibu for a week on the company's account." "Hey, I'm the one who broke my arm shoving the genie back into the bottle, so I deserved some R&R."
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Tim C Koppang
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2003, 11:33:50 PM »

I've also had some problems with the group earning all of their required franchise dice before things could really get rolling--and this was with only three players.  Basically they end up doing boatloads of research and such which means they get their dice before things get a chance to move into scary territory.  And I don't mean that to sound like they were trying to be abusive either.  It's just the way it worked out.

I guess I'm unlcear on when and for what players should get franchise dice.  Do you get them at any time after "Getting the Call" or only during "Fieldwork?"
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2003, 04:45:06 AM »

Quote from: fleetingGlow
I've also had some problems with the group earning all of their required franchise dice before things could really get rolling--and this was with only three players.  Basically they end up doing boatloads of research and such which means they get their dice before things get a chance to move into scary territory.  And I don't mean that to sound like they were trying to be abusive either.  It's just the way it worked out.

I guess I'm unlcear on when and for what players should get franchise dice.  Do you get them at any time after "Getting the Call" or only during "Fieldwork?"


Anytime after the # of required dice is assigned.

Again, this is intentional. If a group wants to play detective, it's a research game. If they want to play a more action-filled game, it's all about fieldwork. One way I've seen it happen is that some of the agents are back at HQ doing research and the other is out in the field (again, see GhostBusters. Venkmen checks out Dana, er, her apartment I mean...while Ray and Egon stay home and read). With InSpectres, it's perfectly reasonable to pull out the "I show up..." move with a Confessional so you're not stuck in the office unless you want to be there.
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
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