Inspectres keeps getting deeper

June 24, 2009

I’m gearing up for some Inspectres in a couple of weeks, and I swear, everytime I pick up the book, I discover new, awesome design features about it. It’s like it’s infinitely deep in it’s elegance. Here’s what I noticed this time

Mutual character building

During a Confessional, you can assign a characteristic to another PC (“Clumsy”, “Flirty”, “Muttering”, “Missing Finger”, etc.)

And though the other player doesn’t have to actually play that, you get bonus Franchise dice if they DO. And Bonus Franchise Dice are really the best way to get grow your business and NOT catch Stress.

So an “optimal” strategy is to make sure to assign each other characteristics each game, and play up the ones you get, and maximize your bonus Franchise dice. (the group is rewarded for accepting each other’s input).

Also- design feature- players are rewarded for pushing focus on developing each other’s characters AND accepting input.

Know when to fold’em

There’s a larger scale game at hand- figuring out how to make more Franchise dice than you lose from having people catch Stress rolls. If you’re getting bonus dice from playing as above, it becomes a more viable strategy to end a mission early and lose 1/2 the Franchise dice, especially if it looks like it’s going to tank completely, instead of digging deeper into the hole by trying to push through on a failing venture. (see how that mirrors a startup as well? Brilliant).

Weird Agents for the assist

So Weird Agents always start with Cool dice, and they often have stupid high scores in certain areas. Because Weird Agents can’t score Franchise dice, this means they’re no good at completing the mission directly- but they do serve as great assistants for the normal agents.

How? After a normal agent catches a lot of Stress and perhaps is weak in a Skill, the Weird Agent can step in, make the roll to change the situation until the Normal Agent can make rolls with an undamaged Skill.

Don’t forget that Weird Agents can also use Teamwork for the Normal Agents too. They also make good “shields” for stress by letting them deal with the stuff you know is going to be crazy.

It’s all about the fictional positioning

On that note- I was surprised at how much of the game runs on fictional positioning. Again, it’s not a good thing when you have a Stress freakout- but you can do some things to change your situation so you, or your teammates, can bring in some better skills.

“I freak out and totally jump through the magic portal before it shuts! When I wake up, I’m in the middle of the hidden Chamber of the Kings… and it’s covered in undamaged hieroglyphs… Oh, hey, my Talent is Ancient Languages, lucky that!”

Again, using your narration power to force the kinds of rolls, or the people making the rolls, to the most favorable situation.

Planning for Disaster

So many people overlook the value of the official titles- CEO, Chief Technical Officer, and Chief Financial Officer- but when you realize the first (in theory) has authority and the latter two control actual resources (tools and technology and funds, respectively)

So, the way any business is successful is when people actually coordinate and get things running smoothly. Here, the game gives responsibility/power over through the titles, but doesn’t give you any actual procedures or policy to follow…

Which means the team is forced to negotiate policy on the fly. While being Stressed and maybe trying to save the world…

No wonder a lot of people’s Franchises tank…

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