Thin Blue Line update 3: shocking changes

21 February, 2011

I hope there are still people out there who like me are very excited about my Thin Blue Line game, formerly known as Down in the Hole. I can’t be the only one wanting a slow-mo police procedure focused game, but I want to play this very much. I also wish I could go back in time and use this system for our FBI campaign we ran more than 10 years ago, it would have made a great game even better. At that time we used a mix of fiat and hand-wavey freeform disguised within a modified Storyteller hack. That system – or: lack of explicit system – sucked ass big time. Thin Blue Line is my answer to that, Lars and 2x Thomas, if you are listening.

At the moment I’m slimming the already slim Mouse Guard system even more, hopefully without damaging the delicate system it is, and to make it possible that my friend Joe likes it and wants to play it. Joe is my target audience.

Here are the most shocking changes from Mouse Guard:

  • Persona and Fate points merge into Destiny points, and are not two different things anymore
  • Instinct is now called Hunch. It’s mostly colour, but can still earn Destiny points
  • No workhorse or MVP awards – these are gone, puff, vanished
  • You also earn “checks” for the players’ round when you fail a test (once per scene, not in conflicts)
  • Simplified advancement – not entirely sure how yet, but no more tracking passed and failed tests


    1. This sound like a great game.

    2. Sounds like some good ideas for a slim version of the rules. I like the idea that you can earn checks just by failing.

      But why change the way you advance? That was for me one of the things that worked best and it’s one of the simplest ways i have seen. also it is one of the few other things that make players want to fail a roll.

    3. Guys, thanks for the comments. Simon, I agree about MG’s advancement system, but this game’s designed for my friend Joe, who hates bookkeeping like that, so I’ll have to come up with something easier. Might not be possible, though.
      At the moment I’m toying with the idea of requiring one passed and one failed test for an ability/skill, and then using a check to set a scene to raise the stat. Suggestions welcome!

    4. See that sounds like a good idea, I like it, that way stats increase becomes part of the story. But the danger is, if it becomes to easy to raise your stats. But of cause, if the players can only do it in the player turn and have to spend a check to go up then it can not get out of control, and also this makes it even more important to gain checks during play.

    5. […] Per Fisher arbejder i sit hack med, at man får et check bare man fejler, det vil give flere checks men lidt underminere ideen med at spillerne selv skal udfordre sig selv for at optjene checks. Men en anden ide han leger med, at reducere kravet om at stige i evner kun kræver en succes og en fejl og man derefter i en spiller tur skal bruge en check på at sætte en scene for at stige i evnen. […]

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