Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Pitch In The Dark

Fred has opened the door to pitches for a book of Don't Rest Your Head hacks, which is a fantastic idea. You can find out more details, you can check out his post, and if the idea appeals to you, I strongly encourage you to consider writing a pitch.

I've had an idea for a DRYH hack for years, and this seemed like a good opportunity, so I crafted a pitch[1]. After passing it along to Fred and Ryan, I asked if they would be cool with me putting it out there in public, both as example an encouragement. They gave the thumbs up, so I'm going to share it here in hopes it helps someone considering their own pitch.

Proposal #1: Don't Turn Your Back
~2000 Words
Rob Donoghue - [redacted]
I've Written for Evil Hat, MWP, WOTC and White Wolf.

Don't Turn Your Back: A game of action, espionage, and the prices to be paid for both.

This is, for all intents and purposes, a hack for using DRYH to run stories in the style of Casino Royale - superspy stories with all the trappings of gadgetry and badassery, but with nightmares and madness being replaced with the growing threat of compromise and moral decay. Characters are Agents, badass masters of espionage, assigned to stop The Opposition from carrying out their Sinister Master Plan.

While this was conceived in the vein of Daniel Craig's James Bond, the idea is flexible enough to handle much of the "action-espionage" genre. This is not suited to games of quiet intrigue - it is for a game where intrigue is shaken (not stirred) with excitement, violence and sex.

Mechanical Tweaks:
  • Exhaustion is now moral exhaustion, the toll of taking lives and trying to live in the strange limbo of a spy's life. Go to far, and you're In the Wind.
  • Madness is Support (sounds nice, doesn't it) - you can draw on it for resources and gadgets, but doing so runs the risk of Blowing Your Cover.
  • Talents - Two Statements, one "I Always" and one "I Never", both with a qualifying conjunction from the GM(A la Mortal Coil)
  • Despair is The Master Plan, and serve as a clock for the game.

    New Elements:
  • Asset Dice - A single blue die to represent that NPC helping you out. Useful, but expendable. Works like extra discipline, and can be sacrificed to recover from being In The Wind or a Blown Cover, but the Asset goes to the GM.
  • Help and Trust - Loan another agent your discipline dice for a roll, but he may choose to put any bad outcome on you.
  • Secret Agendas - In multi-agent games, everyone has their own agenda over and above stopping the opposition.

    [back] 1 - My wife's comment was 'only you would apply for a job at your own company'
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