Third session of my Cold War game, and conclusion of the first plot arc, and I think things fell into place. Not going to do a full on recap, but I want to hit on a few points that I think are generally useful.
- Found a solution to the Fate Point problem. First off, by generally raising the stakes and making thins harder, there were more rolls that were harder to make, so they saw more use. I also budgeted them based on which of the character’s aspects I’d used to plan the adventure, in this case 2,2, and 3. I’m pretty happy with this because it also serves as an informal spotlight mechanism, and as a GM it makes me check that I’ve included everyone. If one player is starting with zero fate points, that’s probably a bad sign.
- Morgan got to demonstrate the power of a concession. His super-soldier was fighting a guy in an exo-suit who was slowly kicking his ass, and it was looking bad, he offered the concession that he lose, but that he dragged it out. I went with that, and his opponent eventually resorted to gassing the room because Bull just wouldn’t go down. I think the net result was a loss that was also satisfying to Morgan. Bull did get a rematch later, which went somewhat better by opening the fight by hitting his opponent with a jeep.
- It is good to plan, but sometimes unnecessary. The bad guys had an elaborate double cross planned, and had many contingencies in place to try to get Anne alone (she’s the one who got 3 fate points because many bad things went here way this time) but sometimes your players will just do all the work for your.
- I did have one badass NPC ally, which I always feel uncomfortable about, but I think I kept his contribution to a minimum, and I think people were ok with it because a) he’s an important part of Anna’s backstory and b) through a sequence of bad luck, Anna was the only person who didn’t actually get to see him, which annoyed the player (in a good way).
- One big trick I’m finding with espionage is that I need to quash my instinct to answer questions. I normally like to make sure things are tidily wrapped up, if only to show that I didn’t cheat, but not for this. Every improbable coincidence or strange-seeming turn of events is fodder for play, and the answers need to be _earned_.
- Similar, I’m happy that the cast of supporting character has grown. That this session ended with a still-breathing enemy inspiring profound hatred is a good sign.
- I got anchors from people right before the game, so I haven’t even looked at them yet, but I look forward to folding them into the next session.
- I added a little bit more mechanic to the fight scening, enough that I feel it covered Bull’s fight, but Grey ended up in a gunfight with some guards which ended up, mechanically, kind of flat. Next thing to fix, I think.