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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 126 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: PTA: Imperivm Confidential  (Read 4674 times)

Posts: 35

« on: September 13, 2003, 01:15:57 AM »


Thursday at UGX, we made characters for Imperivm Confidential--a purposefully anachronistic, noir-flavoured Imperial Rome miniseries run with the Prime Time Adventures ruleset.  The characters are senior watchmen (or vigiles) who investigate crimes and who report to the Praefect of Rome.  We're going to run five or six episodes.

Our characters are all somewhat inspired by L.A. Confidential.  Jeff has the Kevin Spacey / Jack Vincennes role; his character is spinning his wheels, subconciously chasing a greatness that he knows isn't in him.  Matt (Mr. PTA himself) has the Guy Pearce / Ed Exeley character; his guy is bright and idealistic and is known as the most honest man in Rome, and he's also got a legacy from his pop that brings out the worst in him.  John H. has the Russell Crowe / Bud White role, with a hint of Ed Crane from "The Man Who Wasn't There"; he's a thuggish ex-legionnaire who had the feelings bashed out of him by twenty years of Germanic campaigning.  John has a terrific Issue: he's a total tool for his patron and for others, and his story will be about how that social role transforms.  So we've got a dynamic cast with some compelling roles.  

I'm a little nervous about Producing this puppy.  I have a brain that spontaneously generates story, and I can get very passionate about my ideas, regardless of how hair-brained they are.  I'm going to have to remind myself to chill and roll with PTA's collaborative model.

With that in mind, I've been thinking about how I ought to be preparing.  We've agreed that the inciting incident will be the murder of a Senator, who, for reasons of omen, has campaigned for and obtained a temporary moratorium on the Games.  I think I'm going to ask that I be allowed autocratic, old-school GM power over the first scene of each character, and that'll give us a good bed of story-coals.  I might also want exclusive province over a couple or three NPC's; there are a couple in there that I like enough to want to selfishly control on my own.

Aside from that, my plan is to bring every npc that we've sketched out (between me and the cast, we have about twenty) into contact with the protags in the first two episodes.  Where there are sparks, we'll promote those npc's to guest star status; where there's no sparks, we'll drop those characters into supporting cast.  That should shape the story around the most interesting relationships, and hopefully at the end we'll have something that arcs in an interesting fashion.

First episode is next Thursday.  I'll be back with reports from the narrow, darkened streets.


http://www.johnzo.com : where the carnival goes to die
Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 1121

student, second edition

« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2003, 10:10:59 AM »

For those not in the know about Primetime Adventures, and that's probably just about everyone, the idea is that the group creates and populates a TV show, and then plays out compelling adventures with the cast.

So this whole thing Johnzo is talking about above (and thanks for posting, Jzo), is assumed to be an idea for a TV series. Next Thursday is the pilot episode. Johnzo pitched us an idea, and we played boardroom discussion to finally agree on the idea of ancient Rome and a sort of cops feel.

The TV thing is (hopefully) more than just a shtick. In prep of this game it gave us all an idea of what we should start with in terms of setting and characters. With any TV show, there's only so much in the canon for the first episode. The rest is added in play. Consider it a rebellion against 8-page character bios and multi-volume campaign settings.

One final observation I'd like to make is that being a player in this game means being a player in the kind of game I always wanted to play. How cool is that?

Plus it makes for a really good playtest perspective.


Posts: 5574

« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2003, 12:58:12 PM »

Sweet.  I'm glad to see this is still under development.  I'm interested to see what you've done with it since GenCon.

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