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Thin Blue Line, excerpt 2

9 January, 2011

Overview of how to play
As a group you need to set aside a session to discuss your coming Thin Blue Line game. Make sure that everyone involved is heard and each adds bits to the whole.

You are playing a group of policemen put together to try and crack a tough case – could be an old unresolved case, organised crime, drugs or whatever you and the group prefer. The first thing to decide is what kind of case it is, and where and when it is set.

Next you have to come up with ideas for why this special police task force was set up, and what kind of characters might have been chosen for it. When you have a bunch of potential characters, then it’s time for each of you, including the Chair, to choose one. Each character is then created, either from scratch or based on one of the character packs.

Then it’s time to draw up a relationship map based on the player characters and all their connections and inter-connections. This concludes the first setup session. Whoever is the Chair for the first session of play needs to prepare a bit before the next session, but it’s not much.

Each session until the case is solved, or indeed not, is divided into two equal parts: the Chair’s turn and the players’ turn. In the Chair’s turn, the Chair decides what scenes to play and what obstacles and conflicts to put in front of the player characters. In the players’ turn the roles are reversed, and each player gets to request scenes and conflicts for their player characters.

The final session is a special wrap-up session to reflect on what happened, to perhaps retire or promote certain characters. Perhaps the task force itself is dismantled and the characters go back to whatever job they were doing before joining. Perhaps some of them meet up in another group for a new game.

A complete game of Thin Blue Line will require about six sessions of play, including set-up and wrap-up.

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