Do Not Go Gentle: Directing the Game
Playing the Game
The game is run by the Director who oversees the plot arc and sets the overall story.
The players of the game are dubbed Scriptwriters, and the role they fill is halfway between the player-character role of traditional gaming, and the consensual storytelling role of avant-garde gaming.
Scriptwriters control a single actor-protagonist character at a time, but during the course of the story can switch back and forth between a pool of characters under their remit.
The story is split into several Acts, each of which spans a different set of decades.
The goal of the Director is to guide the story, provide a world to play in and ensure the enjoyment of the player-scriptwriters. The goal of the Scriptwriters is to collaborate in creating the story, and ultimately to bring the story to the conclusion of the final Act.
The following terms are important to the game. They are out-of-character terms, used by players and the GM rather than the characters.
Director: The chap running the game, aka me.
Actor: A character in the game. Includes protagonists, antagonists, supporting cast and extras.
Scriptwriter: The players, who in turn control…
Protagonists: A player-character, potentially (though not necessarily) controlled by a Scriptwriter.
Antagonist: A non player-character, who is normally an adversary for the characters.
Supporting Cast: A non-starring character, who is nonetheless important to the story. Can potentially be controlled by a Scriptwriter.
Extra: A non-starring character, who hasn’t got a full character sheet.
Act: A single story, spanning one or more decades. Consists of multiple game sessions.
Session: A single evening’s play.
Sequence: An event or number of events linked together in a single timeframe, with the same protagonists throughout. Scriptwriters cannot change Actors during a single sequence. At the start of each Sequence, however, a Scriptwriter can change to any Actor in his Protagonist Portfolio, can keep with the same Actor, or can choose to play a Supporting Cast member for the upcoming Sequence.
Protagonist Portfolio: A list, unique to each Scriptwriter, of the Protagonists that the Scriptwriter can control. The Protagonist Portfolio starts only with a single Protagonist of the Scriptwriter’s choice, but can grow in size as the Scriptwriter gains more credit.
Writing Credit: Experience points of a sort, attached to a Scriptwriter rather than an Actor. Scriptwriters earn Writing Credit for each Sequence they are involved in, and also for various other tasks. They can spend Writing Credit on various things, but primarily to increase their Protagonist Portfolio.
Screen Time: Experience points of a sort, attached to an Actor rather than a Scriptwriter. Actors earn Screen Time for each Sequence they are involved in. Screen Time is never spent, but with a certain level of Screen Time, characters gain different special advantages.
The game is unusual in that there is a strong distinction between the players (Scriptwriters) and the Player Characters (Actors). Writing Credit is given to Scriptwriters, who can then spend it for various purposes.
Each Scriptwriter starts off 0 Writing Credit, and has a single Protagonist in his Protagonist Portfolio, selected from the characters that the GM will have pre-generated.
Earning Writing Credit:
• Scene done. Whenever you complete a Sequence in which you were involved, you gain 1 Writing Credit.
• Thanks for the donkey work, old boy. At the end of a Sequence where you depicted a Supporting Cast member instead of a Protagonist Actor, you gain an additional 1 Writing Credit.
• New character done. If you create a new character which is accepted by the Director for use, you gain bonus Writing Credit. 5 Writing Credit for an idea, or an outline. 10 Writing Credit for a character typed up and completed to standard of existing characters. 15 Writing Credit for one that is written up above and beyond the standard quality, for example with extensive background info and RP hooks. To avoid spamming of this bonus, the Director can choose not to accept for use a character you write up, so its best to pitch your ideas before you start working to avoid unnecessary work.
• Other creative work. If you do any other creative work for the game (e.g. an in-character diary, a character sketch for an Actor, a 1940s style poster, or whatever, the Director will give you a Writing Credit bonus, typically 5, 10 or 15.
• Reader Appreciation. Readers of the Actual Play write-up on rpg.net can each, once per session, give a “reader appreciation” point to one Scriptwriter. A Scriptwriter can only gain a maximum of five of these per session, and they are received at the start of the next session they attend.
• Kudos. The Director can give out Writing Credit (typically 1, 2 or 3) as a general show of kudos for an excellent scene, great role-playing, etc. etc. Ah the power, it is overwhelming!
Spending Writer Credit:
• Expanding portfolio. Between Sequences, you can spend 15 Writer Credit to add a character to your protagonist portfolio. You can’t add a character that you created yourself.
• The Writers are in Control now. You can spend Writer Credit to directly effect the story, either dictating the content and outline of the sequence you want next, or change the events happening in a Sequence running at the moment. The cost of this is variable: 5 for a thematic/timeframe request or a minor change, 10 for a specific scene request or a major occurrence, 15 for a specific scene request with a railroaded outcome, or for a massive change to the sequence, or even a complete “do-over” of a scene.
Actors earn one point of Screen Time at the end of a Sequence that they are present in. Note that this applies to Protagonists and Antagonists only, never to Supporting Cast.
Screen Time is never spent, but with a certain level of Screen Time, characters gain different special advantages.
• Screen Time 0-10: No special advantages.
• Screen Time 11-30: Limited plot immunity. The Actor will never be killed arbitrarily without the Screenwriter’s permission. Anything that kills him, he’ll have had a chance to avoid, whether through actions or dice rolls.
• Screen Time 31-50: Major plot immunity. The Actor will only die if his controller gives consent. The same applies for any changes that would effect the character sheet – e.g. disability or crippling injury. A Scriptwriter who agrees to a proposed change gets Writing Credit in compensation.
• Screen Time 51+: Played out: The Actor loses all plot immunity benefits. Still, Scriptwriters gain bonus Writing Credit to compensate for adverse changes or character death.
This page by Asklepios 07:24, 29 April 2008 (PDT)