We played InSpectres for our X-Mas session

poacher

Resident Eye
Validated User
#1
And it was really, really good! I'm in love with the game! Kudos to the genius that is Sorensen!

I have some questions, though:

1 - Although the game is specifically about normal people doing ghosthunting stuff and it's repeated throughout the game that it's funnier that way, there is no specific mechanic or reward to play them, so we felt a bit confused about it. Is the game about angst ridden people, i.e., you explore the character, or about regular people with an odd job, i.e., you explore the situation? Hopefully this makes sense. ;)

2 - We played with a new, 5 dice, Franchise, which meant 10 Franchise dice for the objective of the Mission; however, with so many stuff happening at the same time, we had already 6 dice before they got the email to kick them into action! So we agreed to jump it to 20 dice, but still it was over pretty fast; is this too much luck on the player's part, or has it something to do with the next question?

3 - Stress and Franchise dice! I was stressing them left and right, and at a time I thought I was being pretty heavy on them, until we realised I was supposed to, so they could use Franchise dice. Still, they also got some lucky rolls and managed to grab a few Cool dice. It felt they were getting them too easily, though.

4 - The player with the weird agent felt they weren't doing much to help the mission; sure, they can do lots of stuff, but the real deal, the Franchise dice that they don't get, got to the player's nerves. Has this been heavily tested? Why is it that for just 1 more die and access to Cool dice and powers, you get such a major setback?

5 - Finally, in the end, when there were only 2 Franchise dice to end the Mission, it became obvious the players weren't into it anymore. It seemed they had exhausted their creative juices; has anyone else had this experience?

6 - A minor quible on my part: I handwaved the rule for limited tech, which really got into some players' immersion: we had orbital lasers, which was not up to everybody's tastes. Also, we were playing for slapstick comedy, which was also not everyone's cup of tea. There should be some kind of rule or guideline for this, like the one for tech.

All in all, I've never had this much fun in a long, long time. :)
 

tashkal

Registered User
Validated User
#3
I've run it once for my group, and it seemed to time out fairly well. The main question I would have for you with regard to speedily accumulating Franchise dice is how often you have the group making checks. I remember being peeved when a player at my table made a check to have a business card gun (to rapidly plug their franchise, of course) and then wanted to claim a Franchise die from it. Keeping checks to when they "really matter" might work for that.

That also illustrates the thing about your final question, too -- the game ends up being what the players bring to it, so a player could well end up putting in goofy things like business card guns or extremely high tech. Letting the player have the final say on their successful rolls, but discussing it with the group somewhat too, may be a way to go there (or discussing comedic style and the like with the group during franchise building.

We had fun with it, but took some reworking of how we do games. Not necessarily a bad thing, but different.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
#4
1 - Although the game is specifically about normal people doing ghosthunting stuff and it's repeated throughout the game that it's funnier that way, there is no specific mechanic or reward to play them, so we felt a bit confused about it. Is the game about angst ridden people, i.e., you explore the character, or about regular people with an odd job, i.e., you explore the situation? Hopefully this makes sense. ;)
It starts off as a game about characters in crazy situations. With repeated play, the Franchise Dice and the Stress mechanic really kick in, so you have to make difficult decisions about keeping the company going or burning the characters out... it takes multiple missions to get that going, though.
2 - We played with a new, 5 dice, Franchise, which meant 10 Franchise dice for the objective of the Mission; however, with so many stuff happening at the same time, we had already 6 dice before they got the email to kick them into action! So we agreed to jump it to 20 dice, but still it was over pretty fast; is this too much luck on the player's part, or has it something to do with the next question?

3 - Stress and Franchise dice! I was stressing them left and right, and at a time I thought I was being pretty heavy on them, until we realised I was supposed to, so they could use Franchise dice. Still, they also got some lucky rolls and managed to grab a few Cool dice. It felt they were getting them too easily, though.
Heavy use of stress rolls is good, that's what makes the game move along. I think your experience is how it's supposed to work -- some characters get Cool dice and they're golden, others blow their rolls and just flounder more and more as the mission goes on. See question 1.

4 - The player with the weird agent felt they weren't doing much to help the mission; sure, they can do lots of stuff, but the real deal, the Franchise dice that they don't get, got to the player's nerves. Has this been heavily tested? Why is it that for just 1 more die and access to Cool dice and powers, you get such a major setback?
I think it's very much deliberate. J.S. makes it clear that he thinks the game works better with regular characters than weird ones, and so they're gimped by not getting Franchise dice. The Franchise dice are really just a way of controlling the course of the game (kind of like a Threat Rating in Wushu) -- they're an OOC resource, really, not the objective of the game at all.
5 - Finally, in the end, when there were only 2 Franchise dice to end the Mission, it became obvious the players weren't into it anymore. It seemed they had exhausted their creative juices; has anyone else had this experience?

6 - A minor quible on my part: I handwaved the rule for limited tech, which really got into some players' immersion: we had orbital lasers, which was not up to everybody's tastes. Also, we were playing for slapstick comedy, which was also not everyone's cup of tea. There should be some kind of rule or guideline for this, like the one for tech.
I think #5 and #6 are both very common issues with indie games -- they leave so much of the setting and the colorful details to the group's collective creativity, that they can be rather draining to play. Also, it often takes a bit of play experience to figure out where you're collectively most comfortable on the "tech" and "comedy" dials. If you play again (which you really should, see question 1), you can use the experience you've gained in this run to clear up what's appropriate and what's not.

Anyway, I'm no authority, just a fan.
 

poacher

Resident Eye
Validated User
#5
The main question I would have for you with regard to speedily accumulating Franchise dice is how often you have the group making checks.
They were making skill checks as often as they were asking for stuff: they wanted to talk to someone, Contact check, wanted to drive to a place, Tech check, etc.

The Stress checks were being asked in the same way, although with a bit more input in my part.
 

poacher

Resident Eye
Validated User
#6
If you play again (which you really should, see question 1), you can use the experience you've gained in this run to clear up what's appropriate and what's not.
Yes, we'll be playing it again next week as a New Year game, a more serious hellboy-ish game.
 

joewolz

Just Some Dude
Validated User
#7
I thought the Tech rolls for getting new toys were only rolled before the game starts?

Plus, why were they getting dice before contact from the client?

Usually, I just start with the call.
 

poacher

Resident Eye
Validated User
#8
And they were! However, the rules also say you get to roll Tech if you want to use the toys. ;)

They were getting their dice because I started with the interview, which called for some rolls on their part, ence the Franchise dice. The rules are not very clear about this, but some AP reports I read mentioned something like this, which gave me some freedom.
 
#9
I've only played Wierd Agents in InSpectres. One was a zombie janitor named Gus. The other was a hyper-competent InSpectres "super-agent" (Kyle) from a franchise that merged with a more profitable but less capable group.

Kyle was such a dick. You've all probably met Kyle in at least one job.

Anyway, tech rolls give you toys but shouldn't net you dice. Only rolls that help to further the "plot" (ie: job) get you dice.

And re: the Hellboy-ish game, sure. The funniest InSpectres games are the ones where everyone at the table is deadly serious. It's not a game about "being funny" -- it's a game where humor is generated from dramatic irony. The character <> the player and that makes it funny.
 
Top Bottom