Monday, 14 March 2011

A Riddle Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma

The Event is back tonight after a mid-series hiatus, which means it might actually get to some sort of conclusion.

It's probably the biggest and most blatant post-LOST series out there, although it goes with The Invaders rather than Robinson Crusoe as the basic story framework it attaches hefty layers of conspiracy and SF mystery and bemusing end-of-episode cliffhangers to.

Unlike several other examples of the subgenre it still appears to make sense, because it explained "there are nearly-human aliens around, and some other stuff" right away, although some of its extraneous "yeahbuhwha?" cliffhanger moments seem, well, extraneous.

Is this sort of series gameable?

Some would say maybe. Some would say no...

But if GURPS can produce a viable game-friendly sourcebook for The Prisoner...

The first thing to decide is how much of the conspiratorial stuff goes in the average session, versus how much of the PCs' other activities like arguing about supply lines and running from polar bears and falling in unrequited love. LOST started with one or two head-scratchers a week and made them bigger as the series continued.

The second thing to decide is what the players know versus what the PCs know. A Prime Time Adventures style version of LOST would have the players taking a hand in determining the mysteries the PCs are stuck in. While that would model the series well it wouldn't reflect how the audience experiences it, making the players the writing staff instead. I've done this now and then, but not in a game about mystery and surprise.

The third thing to decide is DECIDE WHAT'S GOING ON. This can change a bit due to player interest and new ideas, but in general start with a road map and veer off rather than going in totally blind.

Seriously. Don't.

I've considered this before but gone nowhere with it really. Partially because it's difficult to pitch. "This game is about mysterious events... which I can't explain now... and which will possibly take years to reveal..." But I think it could be done.

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