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    • CommentAuthorjburneko
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     

    Hello,

    So over the last few days I've read Spione straight through. And, wow, I'm impressed and I learned a thing or two. I'm very excited about giving the game a try. I feel like I understand almost everything except a few niggling details about Flashpoints. I really like the text in the Maneuvers section about Overshooting and Undershooting. The situations I'm thinking about for Flashpoints are similar and so I'm calling them Underrunning and Overrunning.

    Underrunning I think is a non-issue but I want to talk about it to make sure I understand. So as I understand it the cards come out once BOTH principles are in a Flashpoint. When the cards dictate narration opportunity that person can choose which of the two Flashpoints he's affecting.

    So, what happens if the central conflict in both Flahspoints get resolved but there are still cards left to go through? Here's the vastly over simplified situation I'm imagining: Both principles are involved in gun standoffs and the first two column of cards are stacked and both people to narrate simply have each of the principles kill their attackers. What do people do with the rest of the cards?

    Here's why I think it's a non-issue: Even though the conflict is over, per se, it's still possible to make this situation better or worse. For example someone could narrate how as the assailant's body hits the ground an ear piece falls into view and we hear crackling calls of, "Joseph? Joseph? What was that sound? Please respond."

    Overrunning, on the other hand I'm not so sure about. My understanding is that single starting cards mostly add and relieve tension but don't fully resolve things, while stacked cards are where the definitive stuff happens. What happens when you run out of cards but there's still unresolved stuff in the Flashpoint?

    This is the vastly oversimplified situation I'm imagining. Principle A's Flashpoint begins as a chase and Principle B's Flashpoint is about something else entirely, doesn't matter what. Everyone with stacked cards uses their narration on Principle B. Everyone with single starting cards narrates some back and forth elements of Principle A's pursuit and therefor the pursuit is never resolved and we're out of cards.

    Other stuff I understand:

    I understand that Spione doesn't have stakes or goals like PtA, Trollbabe or Dogs in the Vineyard. I think this is key to why Under and Overrunning are actually non-issues as I've demonstrated with Underrunning but I'm not fully sure how to apply that to Overrunning. I do understand that Principle A could look at the cards and realize he's not going to get away and therefore use his narration (if he has one) to totally change the nature of the conflict by narrating how he turns around and wounds his pursuer or something like that but that might NOT happen and the situation I'm describing could still happen and I'm not sure what happens at that point.

    Here's the only part of the Spinoe rules I literally do not understand:

    "No shot narrations: a person whose principle does not have a Flashpoint scene narrates how the Flashpoint situation was interrupted or annulled in some way."

    How is it possible for a principle not to have a Flashpoint scene? I thought you only dealt cards once BOTH principles were in a Flashpoint. So how can one of them not have one?

    Jesse

    • CommentAuthorGreatWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     

    Overrunning, on the other hand I'm not so sure about. My understanding is that single starting cards mostly add and relieve tension but don't fully resolve things, while stacked cards are where the definitive stuff happens. What happens when you run out of cards but there's still unresolved stuff in the Flashpoint?

    Then you just keep going. Flashpoint isn't conflict resolution. It's more like a potential release of tension. So, in maneuvers, you wind up the tension, then see how it explodes (or doesn't!) in Flashpoint.

    So, if there's still unresolved stuff, that just means that the next set of Maneuvers starts more tightly "wound".

    How is it possible for a principle not to have a Flashpoint scene? I thought you only dealt cards once BOTH principles were in a Flashpoint. So how can one of them not have one?

    I don't have my copy of the book in front of me, but my recollection is that this rule affects if the principal doesn't get any cards in the Flashpoint. Similar to Color narration for a player without a principal who doesn't get a card.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf

    • CommentAuthorjburneko
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     

    Seth,

    Both of your replies confirm my suspicions. Regarding "No shot" I was confused by the language in the book because the Color paragraph specifically says, "no card" and the No Shot paragraph says, "no Flashpoint scene" making them seem like two different things despite being conceptually linked via layout.

    That then makes me curious as to how Flashpoint narration from Non-Principle Players interacts with No Shot. Does that mean Non-Principle Players can't affect that Principle's Flashpoint at-all in light of the fact that it's going to be "interrupted or annulled"?

    My instinct again says, no, because this is probably the most remarkable thing about Spione: It seems wholly unconcerned with guaranteeing things. As you point out Flashpoints may or may not actually resolve conflicts. There is no mandate by the text that all tension in a scene must be relieved by the end of a Flashpoint. There is no mandate in the text that Disclosure happen even though a key element of endgame relies on it. There isn't even a mandate that Principles must live until the end. There are absolutely no social "safety nets" AT ALL.

    It's Story Now in the most literal interpretation I have ever seen.

    Jesse

    • CommentAuthorGreatWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     

    Oops! I'm wrong! I looked at an older draft of the text, and it does say "scene". I'm suddenly realizing that No Shot is dealing with your example above where the entire Flashpoint gets focused on one principal. In that case, the player of the other principal gets to say why nothing actually happened. My mistake. Still fairly straightforward, though.

    And, yes, you're pretty much correct about Spione's lack of guarantees. Honestly, the vast majority of the game exists on the social level, driven by people's reactions to specific words, concepts, people, or agencies. The game is a toolkit for emergent play, but this isn't really obvious upon an initial read.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf

    • CommentAuthorjburneko
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     

    Seth,

    Hmmm... if what you're saying is true than that doesn't address the case where SOME attention is given to the Principle's Flashpoint but is insufficient to resolve the conflict of interest. Does that count as No Shot? Or do you do exactly what you said, just roll into Maneuvers?

    Jesse

    • CommentAuthorGreatWolf
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2007
     

    Just roll into Maneuvers. Everything I said about entering the next Maneuver more tightly wound still applies.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf

  1.  

    Hi there!

    Seth, that was great. "What he said."

    With any luck, I can add to the No Shot clarification without making it worse instead of better. I'm sort of buried under babies and laptop and stuff at the moment, so I'm not going to jump up and grab my book ... so without being sure, I think you might have discovered an error or at least a poor phrasing.

    The actual rule is this: if you're playing a principal, and at the end of card-moving there are no columns of cards (one or more) that begin with your card, then that means your principal basically got cheated out of participating in the Flashpoint. Yes, you went into the Flashpoint with a scene, but for whatever reason, we didn't get to see it! Logistically, in terms of cards, either your card never showed up or you felt the urge to participate in some other column instead and moved it or them. So you, the person with that principal, does get to address the Flashpoint situation to some extent at the end of the narration process.

    By "with no scene," I intended to mean "whose Flashpoint narration was left out" due to the way cards were drawn and played.

    Does that help? It so happens that often, the choice between keeping one's principal in the Flashpoint and participating in someone else's column is extremely significant during play.

    Thanks for all the kind words, too. I think you're really soaking up what I wanted to do with this book.

    Best, Ron

  2.  

    Hey Jesse,

    I read over the posts again, more slowly, and found one possible misunderstanding that affects all the points. It doesn't affect how the questions were answered, but it strongly affects how the players might find themselves in your situation of underrunning and overrunning.

    You wrote,

    So as I understand it the cards come out once BOTH principles are in a Flashpoint. When the cards dictate narration opportunity that person can choose which of the two Flashpoints he's affecting.

    That's not quite right. Let's say the first column of the Flashpoint sequence begins with the King card, and that's you (you're running a Principal). You don't have a choice about which scene to affect. You narrate regarding your Principal's situation, in that character's interest, period. The two people playing Principals are strongly constrained during Flashpoints; when a column begins with the card belonging to one of them, that's what happens, do not pass Go & forget the $200.

    What you say is correct, however, for everyone else in the game, regarding any column which begins with any card aside from the King and Queen. Note that narrations that begin such columns must act against the interest of the Principal that the person chooses to target.

    Best, Ron

    • CommentAuthorjburneko
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     

    Hey Ron,

    I'm cool with the "no starting card for the Principle Player" if that's the rule but it seems to me that doesn't equate to "we don't get to see the scene." Imagine a game with 5 players. That's two principle players and three non-principle players right? Okay, Flashpoint. It's entirely possible that Principle Player A doesn't have any starting cards and Principle Player B has at least one. However ALL the non-principle players use their narrations to fuck-up Principle A's day. So we've seen Principle A's scene despite his lack of starting card, it's just all bad (or potentially bad) depending on how covering cards are used. We've seen way less of Principle B's scene even though he does have a starting card.

    Jesse

    • CommentAuthorjburneko
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     

    I think I cross posted with your second post, but I just wanted to acknowledge it and say, "Yes, I understand that in full." In fact those rules are what make the whole game work for me as I strongly dislike games which just organize speech with no constraints on fictional momentum.

    Jesse

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