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PTA New Edition

Started by Brother, July 13, 2009, 09:26:46 PM

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PTA New Edition

What would you like to see?

Rules for running a one-one-one type session (solitary horror fest)
Rules for running a typical sword & sorcery type session (yup fireball again)


It's true that PtA is weak in the one-on-one department as it is geared toward ensemble shows.  You could do it now though, by simply allowing The Producer to award fan mail.

As for your second one, you shouldn't need to change anything.  I ran a PtA game where the players had access to all kinds of clockwork technology and it worked fine.  How technology was used in that game is exactly how I'd use magic in a fantasy game.  And just be clear, I didn't change or add any rules at all.



Rules for standalone games - one-shots, not mini-series. I think the phrase "Silver Screen Adventures" was floated at some point, and that might be the way to go... a model based on movies, maybe geared for fewer players, that takes characters through an arc in a single game session.

Matt Wilson

People play standalone episodes all the time, probably more often than they play complete series. Moose in the City from the rulebook was a standalone episode.


Oh, I know :)

But PTA aims for character arcs, and very often a single episode is presented as just a "snippet" of something obviously larger. Now, that's awesome, and I love it. But I'm wondering if a simpler arc can be somehow fit into a shorter game, in a similar way to the way PTA encourages arcs through the run of an entire season.


Quote from: Standback on July 19, 2009, 08:58:57 PM
But I'm wondering if a simpler arc can be somehow fit into a shorter game, in a similar way to the way PTA encourages arcs through the run of an entire season.

Have everyone lay out the normal spread of screen presence (either 5 or 9).

Play as normal BUT: When a conflict happen, everyone advances down the screen presence track one.  So if every scene had a conflict, you'd have either a five or nine scene episode.  A "spotlight episode" becomes a "spotlight scene."   If a scene doesn't have a conflict keep the track where it is.  That way the current focus dynamic stays the same until that dynamic gets demonstrated in a meaningful way.

This should work but would require a lot of focus and discipline on the part of the players.


Moreno R.

Issues of narration rights, content authority, and others like this one should be clarified.

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


I would love to have a copy of something like the Primetime Reminders cards (see thread) made freely available to copy, whether as pages in the hardbound or just as a referenced .pdf file.  Sadly, the original cards are no longer available, as I found them extremely useful summations of the game, and the fact that they could be cut out and stored with the actual deck of cards was awesome, even though I never actually did that.

Here are some personal thoughts on this, particularly to cover the issue of people just getting the "cards" and never purchasing the extremely cool book.  (I think my copy of the original cards I'm talking about is with my PTA book, which is currently on loan-out to a friend, so I don't actually remember everything they had.)  They probably don't need to include such little nuances as nemeses and what edges and connections actually are; those are things that you can look at the book for when making your character fairly easily.  The things that they should include are more things that you would be hunting for or completely forget about during actual play on a session-to-session basis, such as the exact game mechanics (how much budget do you start with again?), the typical acts of a successful television episode, how often a character can *use* his edge in an episode, etc.  That way, people who know the basics of PTA can use them for reminders of the details, and people who don't can get a taste for what the game is about that will hopefully whet their appetites for more.

However, whatever you do, please don't make a bookmark or other item that you have to make sure to get with the book in the first place, and that you can never lose as it is irreplaceable, a la Spirit of the Century.  That bookmark is AWESOME, but you need enough for everybody and, well, when it gets lost, you're sunk.

As for the original question that started this thread:  Please, please, please give us a one-on-one version!  (I assume this is what was meant by "one-one-one.")  I am a mother of two who's DESPERATE for a good roleplaying game but finds the combination of finding people who want to play it and a good babysitter for the same night almost insurmountable, let alone managing that on a regular-enough basis to justify playing PTA, which is definitely not a game designed for one-shots.  (I *have* gotten a couple of sessions under my belt, but that was before my second was born and before my friends figured out I'm not a great GM.)  However, I have an extremely indulgent husband who would probably be up for a few one-on-one sessions with me.  And since PTA's my favorite system, that sounds like a dream come true.



For me, the conflict part is confusing.   There has to be a conflcit in each scene, and most of the time I struggle to work out a good one.


For a stand alone story, maybe an example of how to apportion spotlight budget over the typical arc of the generic narrative frame. Or maybe how to handles the tropes of false climaxs and all that too.


For a 1on1 game, what about establishing Screen Presence along with Focus/Agenda/Location? And you get "Three minus Screen Presence" fan mail after the scene? So, by losing or giving yourself a hard time, you get resources to kick ass at a later time... something along those lines?