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Explaining Primetime Adventures
Traveler of Karn
Joined: 2006/9/29
From Howling Bluff, Senton
Posts: 363
Creation Points : 1244
Hit Points : 2 / 32
MEP or PEP : 121 / 3747
Earned Skill Points : 77
From recently talking to Timmer, I realized that some people may not have understood the concept behind the game I talked about a while back, Primetime Adventures (PTA). Some may have thought it was limited in strange ways or really all about being a "TV" game. The game is a Role-Playing game and a "Story Game" in all senses of both terms.

The game is actually played in two parts (at least in the first session). The "Pitch Session" and the "Episodes".

In the Pitch Session (which is what starts out a series of games within the same show) you all play the creators/writers/producers of the proposed show. You talk out ideas and decide on the concept of the series you are going to create, including characters that each of you later represent. You also decide on season length and the organization of "key episodes" for each character (which has an effect on their conflicts during those episodes).

This is the only time during play where you really play the people "behind the scenes" of the show. This is nothing more than a group world creation process and shared character creation process, just as you might do in any RPG where you want to have a group created setting.

Once you start playing out an episode, you portray your character on the show, with some minor input on how other things are included and play out. The Producer (the GM of PTA) actually does most of the description work still, although they do it based on the input of the player who has the right to "set up" the scene.

Each scene is set up by a different player (including the Producer), usually taking turns as you go around the table, and the Producer then describes the set-up of the action of the scene. At this point the players involved in the scene describe what their characters would be doing in the scene, just as with a classic RPG (only without rolling for every action they do). The scene plays up to a point where someone calls for a conflict, which doesn't mean it has to be a fight, just a point where multiple interesting outcomes can happen as a result of what's happening.

This is when the scene stops for a moment and everyone involved in the conflict lay out their stakes. Cards are then dealt (with numbers based on their standing in the episode, what traits they are tapping, and any fan-mail they are using) and the outcomes are determined. The winner(s) of the conflict get their stakes and succeed. The winner of narration then gets to say HOW these play out, taking the outcome of the conflict and stakes into account. They don't have to tell a whole story or anything, just a few descriptions of what happens and the Producers and others are allowed to help if they want it.

This all works together to create the plot of the episode you are playing out. As a group, lead by the Producer, creates it from nothing as they play out their character's actions. You are playing the characters, not the people behind the scenes of the show, not the actors, not the writers, etc.

The only other change to things is that after you have you pitch session and play out your Pilot episode, you are allowed to make changes to the show, format, characters, and everything based on how it went. This is just like a real pilot episode used to test the waters. After this the game sessions are each played out like episodes of the show without ever stepping back to the level of writers or creators again.

This is not a game about playing the creators of the show. This is not a game about the behind the scenes politics of hollywood TV creation. This is not a game about actors. ... well, not necessarily, but it could be. If you decided to play a show about people who work in hollywood. Kind of like playing out a game version of Studio 60 or Sports Night or Ron Burgundy the Series... not that I would want to.

The game is as open to all the same styles, genres, and options as TV is open to. You are creating a show, not a specific type of show. It can be a comedy, drama, mystery, sitcom, serial, anthology, action, sci-fi, cop show, horror, spy, thriller, or any combination of these or anything else you can think of.

The game is great and a lot of fun, I just wanted to clear up what it was and wasn't. I really want to play this game with our group at some point. Hopefully, once we start our new schedule we can in some of the "off weeks".
Dragavan: Land of Karn - Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - Dragavan's Den
Posted on: 2008/8/28 23:19
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