Posts Tagged ‘thin blue line’


Thin Blue Line, update 4

13 March, 2011

A further excerpt from the draft game text.

The setup session

OK, so you’ve gathered a handful of friends, three to four is recommended, and somehow convinced them to play a game of Thin Blue Line. It is a great advantage if everyone has read the game text. If that’s not the case, it’s up to those who have to guide the group through the process. Personally I think it’s a reasonable request for everyone involved to have read the game and made their mind up that they are going to trust the rules and also are willing to contribute to the game.

The setup session is part of play, and it’s an important part. This is where you as a group begin to collaborate, create and share the fiction in your game. This is also where you establish the buy-in from everyone, which is essential for the game to be enjoyable.

What type of crime

Let everyone around the table state what kind of crime they are interested in for the game, and why, if they know. Perhaps you have read a great novel or played a game or listened to some music that inspired you. Perhaps there’s a story in the news or in the past you would like to examine.

Agree on something than everyone finds interesting, and leave aside anything that one or more players don’t like.
It’s fine to discuss here were the group should draw the line in relation to what’s happening in the game. What about rape? Male rape? Children? Is some of this OK if you do it “off screen” in the game for example, or is it entirely no-no? Make sure that any concerns players may have are discussed out in the open. Don’t spend hours on this, but it’s important everyone is on board.

When and where

Agree on a location for your game. It could be a specific city (Baltimore), a made-up city (Big City), a country or area. Sometimes it’s great to set your game in a city well known to the players, such as your home city or town, but it also works with a location that none of the players are familiar with. Then pick a year or decade you want you game to take place in, from today and all the way back to the late 19th century.

What your special task force is

Come up with a reason why you police task force was created. Has it been put together especially for this case, or is it a long-running task force? Is the real reason behind the force to make some chief or politician look good? Is it in fact a disguised internal affairs unit looking at police corruption? Is it the new mayor’s vehicle to launch his crime policies?


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