Halfway Heroes – Session Five

This session started on May 11, 2022 (in-game). It opened up with me describing a panel where Ed Kalvar is contemplating getting back at Connie. He hasn’t sought out her arrest. He wants revenge.

Samuel Holt (aka The Huntsman) works a day at the Damage Control job site, cleaning up after another battle between Bugmorph and The Whispering Snipe. During his day, he searches for anything to salvage from the struggle but fails the Intuition FEAT. All he finds is weaponry that has been melted into disuse by Bugmorph’s acid attack.

After work, The Huntsman follows the directions from the carrier pigeon to visit his master, KYBELE, in her extra-dimensional domain. The portal is in Central Park. KYBELE’s domain is a lush boreal forest populated by oversized and mythical animals. The Huntsman meets his master in her grove, and they have a long conversation.

To summarize the conversation:

– KYBELE is upset that The Huntsman did not visit her immediately after getting out of prison.
– The Huntsman explains that he has obligations in the secular world.
– KYBELE inquires about the man who is opening dimensional portals to dispose of garbage — which is both an absurd and dangerous idea.
– The Huntsman inquires about what he is supposed to be doing for the cause — halting the progress of climate change.
– KYBELE says that the portal generator is a more dire threat as it can potentially allow invasive species and other entities from other dimensions to enter ours. KYBELE sees the bigger picture of ensuring that our dimension is not contaminated or threatened by forces from other dimensions. She suggests that The Huntsman should destroy this (and other) portal generators and try to bury the dangerous knowledge that allowed the creation of this technology in the first place.
– KYBELE also offers her domain as a sanctuary from secular authorities.
– The Huntsman asks her how he could evade The Silver Shield’s lie-detecting shield. She says she will create a talisman for this.

Now we turn to Connie Bleak. She senses that Ed Kalvar is planning something and asks Jill Damarov (of the Damarov crime family) for a safe house. Connie also communicates her intentions for her will if Ed were to kill her. Connie’s assets should go to her father. Jill assures her that her wishes will be honored and swears to avenge Connie.

Connie also talks about her arrangement with Mecano (Fenucci). Jill scoffs at Fenucci and his inability to see the big picture. Fenucci only cares about taking over Ryker’s, whereas the Damarov family operates worldwide. Jill suggests that Connie disassociates herself with Fenucci on her terms to avoid getting dragged into Fenucci’s obsession with the prison.

Connie calls her Specter Industries union contact Samantha Sol to tell her the plan is on. She will deliver some “data exfiltration” devices for Samantha to deploy at the Specter Industries data centers. In reality, these are explosive devices, and Connie is trying to dupe Samantha into using her union resources to destroy the data centers.

Connie this visits the lab. Fenucci is there to check up on her. He is concerned about the research she destroyed. Connie explains the high-frequency trading device she was building that used her density control/phasing technology to speed up transactions. Fenucci appreciated the ingenuity and then mused that they could use it to raise money to hire more men to infiltrate Ryker’s. This confirmed Fenucci’s one-track mind to Connie, pushing her over to Jill’s side.

The Huntsman sneaks onto the waste disposal site to gain unauthorized access to the portal generator. The plan was to cast Apparition to phase through the windshield of the foreman’s truck to steal the binder containing the access codes and instructions for the portal machine. The Huntsman fails the Agility FEAT to perform this action stealthfully, alerting the foreman and his crew.

The Huntsman then decides he will drive the foreman’s truck into the water nearby. The vehicle control FEAT also fails. While weaving around and being chased by construction workers (cue Benny Hill music), the truck hits one of the workers non-fatally. This action is enough to deter the construction workers.

At this point, The Huntsman activates the portal generator and jumps into a portal. Operating the machine and going to a safe destination requires a Reason FEAT and a Psyche FEAT. The Huntsman succeeds at both and lands himself in Avalon. We cut there. Before the jump, The Huntsman tells the workers: “Tell the First Responder to come and find me!”. He also left behind some blue woad at the scene.

The Huntsman earned 60 Karma for “Committing a Violent Crime” creatively and 20 more Karma for “Committing Theft” creatively.

Connie goes to Samantha’s house to deliver the devices. She phases into the place while Samantha and her husband are having dinner. Connie hides in the corner, waiting for them to notice her. The husband sees her first and becomes alarmed. Samantha then notices her. I roll an Intuition FEAT for Samantha to figure out that this is Connie (Connie is currently in her $P3CTR suit). Samantha cools the situation and scolds Connie. Samantha has earned Connie’s respect at this moment. Samantha sends her husband away so that she can have a private conversation with Connie.

Connie asks why Samantha is collaborating with her. Samantha explains she believes in the union cause and has worked her way up from the bottom. She truly wants to reform the bad practices at Specter Industries and hopes to gain access to sensitive information that will cause a scandal and reorganization of the company.

At this point, Connie confesses that she brought explosive devices instead of data exfiltration devices. Samantha is outraged and thinks this is acting against her cause. She doesn’t want to hurt anybody; she wants to expose the bad actors in the company and improve people’s lot.

Connie says she will carry out her part of the plan. She will deploy one of the devices at the Specter Industries HQ. She will do this, regardless of Samantha’s objection. To paraphrase: “This is happening. It is an opportunity for you. Take your time and think about it. I could use your help to get the other devices deployed.”

We end the session there with something for Samantha to contemplate.

The Huntsman ended with 140 Karma, 10 Popularity, and 98 Resources. Connie Bleak ends with 50 Karma, 1 Popularity, and 3 Resources. I missed some expenditures and awards in my notes but got the totals from the players.


19 responses to “Halfway Heroes – Session Five”

  1. I should have just bought a hardhat

    David's narrative does not quite convey the "Oh Jesus, my plan is shot to hell, how do I get out of this?" aspect of the Huntsman's misadventures.

    Back in Session 1, right after meeting with his telepathic parole officer, the Hunstman stole a hardhat from surveillance guru & construction magnate Peter King.  At the time, I wasn't thinking long-term: it looked like a painless way to gain +10 Villain Karma for committing theft.  

    But by the end of session 3, when that same telepathic parole office confronted Connie about any recent crimes, I realized, "Oh dang, he's going to ask me about that hardhat!"  I don't have a high enough Psyche to block the telepathy outright.  And since I fully intend on committing crimes, I'd be looking at a large, recurring Karma expense to keep fending off the Silver Shield's inquiries.  The hell with that!  

    So in Session 4 I began exploring ways to kill, incapacitate, de-power, or blackmail the Silver Shield.  My occasional employer, Peter King, was useless.  My mentor, Kybele, wanted to help, but it didn't sound like any remedy would be ready by Friday.

    So I decided to investigate the weird portal-machine from Session 3.  Maybe it's the kind of super-science device that would open up a hellmouth, and then the Huntsman could get credit for stopping it, and evade scrutiny.  Or maybe it could be weaponized.  I'd have to study it…

    …Except I bungled my stealth rolls.  And then I bungled my getaway roll, hospitalizing several construction workers.  At this point, stealing the hardhat had escalated into several counts of attempted vehicular homicide!  

    Sometimes the only way out is through.  I immediately decided, "Let's pretend this was the plan all along," activated the portal, taunted my enemies, and escaped into another universe.

    I still need to cross over to Connie's plot line, but I think I have an idea about that.

  2. The Calendar as Social Secretary

    One thing I've been thinking about is whether/should these protagonists intersect. 

    The GM is a creative participant in the game, and should feel free to steer the game to his preferences, so long as that's within their authorities. 

    This community, and its predecessors, spent a LOT of time trying to figure out the theoretical limits to that authority.  Without going into it, I think a lot of us have a healthy aversion to GM'ing with too strong a hand, and sometimes that can get in the way of things.

    But I don't think that's always the explanation, and it's definitely not the case here.  

    A GM can arrive at the same result not because they're gunshy, but because they may be trying to balance a couple of mutually incompatible desires.  On the one hand: yes, slam these two characters together and see what happens.  On the other hand: look, let's just play the world, see what happens, and if these guys bump into each other organically it'll be that much more rewarding. 

    Is it more creatively satisfying to do the straightforward thing, or do you run an experiment?  The question can't be answered in the abstract.  I have my own preferences as a GM, but that shouldn't matter to David as long as he's coloring within the lines, so to speak.

    Here, I think we ended up predisposed to "run the experiment" about intersections, due to how we handled the flow of time, initially.  

    Breaking time up into scenes implies an editor, someone making deliberate choices about what is, and isn't, significant.  It's a very powerful technique, but it's a contrivance. 

    Viewing time as hours and hours of raw documentary footage implies no particular agenda, other than naturalistic observation.  I strongly identify with Sam, and I appreciate the problems he's facing.  But if we're really in the head of a guy who just got out of prison after three years, he's probably not spending his first week of freedom to arrange a super villain team-up with someone he barely knows.  (We would, in theory, meet once a week while waiting to talk to the parole officer, but it's barely been a week!)

    It turns out that, after session 7, Connie has become an extremely flagrant industrial saboteur.  And it turns out after session 7, that Sam's going to need an industrial saboteur, and may have something valuable to offer in exhange.  We'll see!  

    Having that emerge naturalistically (with the risk that it never will!) seems to have worked out.


    • Scene-transitions, time-jumps

      Scene-transitions, time-jumps…

      "Calendar as an adversary" and my preconceptions about "togetherness" are two things I was interested in exploring when I was preparing this game. I am pleased that we're now talking about them because they turned out to be important variables in play, for better or worse. Noah made one statement in an earlier post that really struck me because it highlighted a gap in my experience: "Could we play scene-transitions and time jumps a bit more loosely?"

      On the surface, this describes something quite ordinary in play that people have been doing forever (intuitively), but the language is particularly striking to me based on my background of having missed most of the 2000s. 

      A scene, as a unit of play, makes perfect sense. It is not controversial at all to me when Ron says "a room is just a scene" (quoting from People and Play). I totally agree with that. There were scenes, but we (myself and the people I played with) didn't call them that or do most of the things that arose from that realization. That's the experiential divide for me. I am curious about how and when this crept into our collective vocabulary (anyone?). It is a very useful bit of terminology. I know it only crept in for me last year when I returned to playing role-playing games after a long break. I had probably encountered it, possibly through games like Feng Shui, but it never really sunk in as a thing before. Now it is just the common parlance.

      Even without "calendar as an adversary," I am still not entirely acclimated to thinking in terms of scenes (and framing, editing, etc.) in play, even if it is easy for me to think about when I am not playing. I have some experience with it from playing Burning Wheel, but there is a particular approach in that game (either in the games I have played or in the play culture) that feels much more like characters teleporting around. I do have a preference for something more naturalistic than that.

      Ron raised a good point about some reluctant GMing on my part. James is also correct about trying to balance mutually incompatible desires (and I am still patient and optimistic that they will get resolved in play). It is a bit of both. We've done the groundwork and seen the characters blossom from their individual journeys. A nudge from me at this point wouldn't detract from any of that, but it seems we're on the cusp of it happening as Sam and Connie can potentially complete each other via industrial sabotage. I am very excited to see what the next few sessions will bring.

      Regarding scene framing, I am of the mindset (due to force of habit) that time is the first variable. Location, participants, situation, etc follow time for me. There are many ways to slice this up, and different games present different views of it but advancing the clock is my what I think of first. Location would be the second variable for me. Playing this game has brought this to my attention. Now that I am aware of how I habitually do things, this is something to experiment with and explore in the future. How do other people approach and think about it?

      James and I chatted for a few minutes about these topics at the beginning of session seven while waiting for Noah to join. We came up with some alternate techniques for playing the weekly stuff in the Karma rules.

      Obviously, we could montage the little things with the appropriate scene-transitions and time jumps. I did it this way in the past with Marvel Super Heroes to the extent that I paid attention to the weekly Karma stuff. I've done the same in many other games, even without using these terms or being intentional about it.

      We also imagined a scenario where people played weekly, and in-game time was kept in sync with real-time when people weren't playing. A session could begin by going around the table and asking people what their characters did that week. This is interesting because players could start with a little Karma pool based on the week's activities. I am not sure that anybody played this way. I have heard similar things about people (even Gary Gygax) playing D&D in this style in some proto-West Marches way. (Proto-West Marches is not my assessment but rather how these speculations were presented). I cannot authenticate that either. It seems somewhat plausible in either the Marvel or the D&D case. Still, unless somebody says they actually played that way, it is just speculation (and probably projection in the case of Gary Gygax). Does anybody have any thoughts or experiences to report about this?

    • Two historical things to

      Two historical things to share! I think I'll do a comment for each.

      About scenes as terminology and any degree of referrring to them in or about role-playing, RPG history features examples in texts going back a long ways. Until the 2000s, these were scattershot and rarely identifiable as procedures ("rules"), and if they were, almost always associated with direct, even literal tie-ins to other media. "Let's make role-playing more like theater," in Theatrix, as well as generally invoking other media's devices when playing topics that correspond to specific sources in those media. A couple of standouts which stayed close to role-playing as its own thing were Over the Edge (or at least that's how I read it) and Maelstrom.

      My own history as a role-player regarding that exact topic would interest anyone who is myself, but I'll spare everyone else. Skipping to the early 2000s, the extensive discussions at the Forge about playing Sorcerer exposed the "reality" of scenes as intrinsic to role-playing as a process and in whatever fiction it produced, if that latter word can be tolerated. In other words, role-playing includes scenes because it's a fiction-making medium, not because, in isolated cases of role-playing, we're aping other media with scenes.

      First, a lot of people realized, pretty much as individual moments, that they/we were all scene-framing already, merely with hobby-specific vocabulary. Whether one can find a single smoking thread at the Forge as the one spot where this happened, I don't know. Universalis (2002) and My Life with Master (2003) clinched the concept of explicit play-as-scenes. I wrote Trollbabe so that "rules" applied to every moment of play, with scenes, although purposefully dialing back from the turn-based, your-scene methods in those games. A lot of the collective epiphany occurred in many real-world conversations over varying overlapping friendships, especially with Clinton and Matt Wilson.

      Second, Matt's Primetime Adventures (2004) was a turning point which turned out to be double-edged in the long run. On the one hand it embraced the scene-y-ness with useful, fun procedures (which I consider generally unknown and unused, but that's another topic). On the other, and through no real fault of its own, it could be misunderstood as a backslide to scenes as understood in other media, that we "do scenes" in PTA because television shows have scenes. I won't go into the history and my associated rage regarding post-PTA "writers' room" bad design, but effectively the later online culture landed the words "scene" and "framing" with false associations and irrecoverably damaged RPG discourse.

      [deleted expletive expletive] Said I wouldn't go there. Moving on.

    • Time’s passing,  with or

      Time’s passing,  with or without skips, often across several locations, is a great topic in role-playing history. I can’t be completist with titles and names but I hope I can make a little sense and not be too wrong.

      I guess the main point is that a big-picture view, with characters in various locations, doing different things at different time-scales, with necessary blurred “aheads” or playing “but back then, a few days ago,” was the default for many centers of play-culture. It was certainly the default for superhero role-playing as I mentioned recently, and often included the somewhat strange expectation you mentioned, strictly to track in-game time with real-time. You can find plenty of rules like “every game session represents one week of real-world time.”

      [The alternative can be found at the same time, historically, especially the blatant disregard for anything that doesn’t happen in a dungeon in Tunnels & Trolls, which rapidly became a feature of some D&D play cultures, as Gygax furiously criticizes in the 1979 AD&D DM Guide.]

      The texts written from this big-play track-time perspective tended to be weak on the actual practice, which necessarily has to be wiggly, e.g., to fix discrepancies like three sessions to play a five-minute combat. When characters’ individual time-circumstances diverge enough to be annoying, the GM (by whatever name) has to start pruning, like decreeing, “OK, for you, three months later.” If the player says “but but I wanted to,” then say, “Look, screw it, three months goes by and nothing happens, now Wizard Bob shows up with your new sword.”

      A session could begin by going around the table and asking people what their characters did that week. This is interesting because players could start with a little Karma pool based on the week's activities. I am not sure that anybody played this way.

      I can totally attest to this phenomenon in practice, both for the groups I played in and for many people I knew regarding other groups, for fantasy, science fiction, and superheroes. In my case, and I think for many others, we began with a pretty strict fiction:real-world time tracking, but relaxed it over time to be more like what you see in TV and comics, keeping the latest installment culturally current without troubling too much about the exact dates, but shifting with the seasons or events enough to indicate time passing. Specifically, though, what you’re describing about “what did you do over the past week or so” – that was standard, desired, and expected, and it often entailed nominally retroactive rolls for investigations or specific interactions. Many systems reinforced it with procedures, e.g., preparation rolls to see whether your nemesis will appear (implying “what they’ve been up to recently”).

      In fact, I’m pretty sure none of us could imagine playing any other way, including a certain contempt for one-shot bottle episode play which we associated with “mindless” dungeon extermination squad expeditions.

    • Does anybody have any

      Does anybody have any thoughts or experiences to report about this?

      I can attest to this style of play for most of superhero games that I have been involved with. This would be MSH, Champions of all stripes, and Aberrant as the ones most played. In particular, with MSH, we would often engage in a meta discussion where our characters were real people, but also comic book characters. Bewteen sessions we might get together for a solo adventure, a team up with an NPC or another player, that kind of nonsense. The GMs were trying to establish some continuity with regard to events, not necessarily exact time keeping. With Aberrant, the time between typically dealt with the characters' celebrity status and individual political goals.

      In D&D we have generally just continued where we left off, but with Runequest, a strict calendar was kept both for traveling and knowing when to roll for skill gains. And we would often mark off whole seasons if the group was doing training. 

      In both cases though, when the group was together our characters were also together. Whatever the characters did between sessions determined how much time passed. 


    • Hi Ron,

      Hi Ron,

      I won't go into the history and my associated rage regarding post-PTA "writers' room" bad design, but effectively the later online culture landed the words "scene" and "framing" with false associations and irrecoverably damaged RPG discourse.

      Leaving history and rage aside, can you say more about these false associations, or what the features of the bad design are?

    • Sorry Manu, I’ve been so

      Sorry Manu, I've been so explicit and thorough in my critique of those things that I've talked myself out. You can find it practically anywhere throughout this site and my presentations, especially during the first year here. Right now I'd rather that we focus on the topics that James and David have raised.

    • C’mon man, no, stop pushing.

      C'mon man, no, stop pushing. I'm sick and tired of the subject, and it's not on-topic.

  3. Time, and Marvel Super Heroes RPG Specifically

    The text we're using, Marvel Super Heroes, published in 1984, is largely silent about how it's supposed to be played.  But several different things happen in weekly cycles.

    • If you were critically injured, your Endurance goes up one rank per week
    • You get Karma for going to your job / classes / hanging out with family
    • You lose Karma if you don't go on patrol or practice during the week
    • Villains gain Karma through henchmen on a weekly basis
    • Your Resources replenish
    • Popularity (optionally) may shift each week depending on news coverage

    My take is that the game is designed with the unstated assumption that there's roughly a week of fictional time between sessions.  If you're playing that way, most sessions would begin with a small injection of Karma and Resources, to keep the economy flowing.

    When I was messing around with this game with Fano a year or two ago, I thought it might be fun to have an "official downtime menu" of stuff you could do during that week, with corresponding mechanical consequences.  Not only did I never get the menu into a satisfactory state, it didn't add anything to the game that couldn't be addressed by, "What do you do with your week?" keeping in mind that free time is a precious commodity and the game penalizes you for skipping your social life or failing to patrol.



    • You’ve exposed something

      You've exposed something really important!

      My take is that the game is designed with the unstated assumption that there's roughly a week of fictional time between sessions.  If you're playing that way, most sessions would begin with a small injection of Karma and Resources, to keep the economy flowing.

      "Unstated assumption is right," not just for this game, but for the entire way to play for me and for everyone I know regarding superhero and other more-or-less modern-day, in-this-world play. And sometimes for less real-world play (fantasy, science fiction) when it emphasizes a strong location and real-life-ish activities.

      It's not the precise measure of a week or any other unit that matters, merely the presumption that since we last played, and if we didn't finish at some obvious "to be continued in this instant" fashion, then some fictional time will have gone by for our characters, and we'll catch up through dialogue and apply whatever needs to be done about it. To clarify: most of those activities would be deemed successful and integrated into whatever the GM was about to do, unless they were some kind of confrontation, in which case we went to that point instead and played it.

      I mean, rock solid – this is how it goes, there is no other way unless, as I said, we'd been forced to end a session in the middle of a fight. Without some such "OK, freeze, we start here next time" statement, if a GM were to start a session from the very moments of play at the end of the previous session, everyone would be startled and pissed off. 

      Think about it this way: it's always been easy to discuss the technique of "skip ahead in time" by referencing the possibility that someone might have been skipped over when there was something they wanted to do right away. But the strength of that discussion lies in the hypothetical quality of the contrast. In my decades of play, I don't recall that ever happening. My experience suggests otherwise that the opposite is the more real concern: that in not moving ahead for some time, as expected, a player would be irritated because they'd been … what do we call it, un-skipped, and therefore prevented from, i.e., dialed back before, doing something they had planned to do during "that week or so between" sessions.

      It has never occurred to me to mention it. Not for Sorcerer, in which it is a serious component of understanding play at all. Not for Spione, ditto. It would be like explaining dice as angled things we roll, or a pencil as something that writes on paper. Recognizing that it was evidently a source of confusion for Circle of Hands led me to outline it very, very carefully in that text, and apparently to this day it's a primary stumbling block for people introducing that game. It's fundamental to blue-booking, a very common grassroots practice for first-generation Champions … and maybe now I see why people seem so baffled when I describe blue-booking. Did this entire idea or practice – not just blue-booking, the whole topic at hand – disappear from role-playing in the 1990s? How could that be?

      Anyway, the thought of playing Marvel Super Heroes without default low-pressure downtime, often, to tend to things like family and friends, or the various community activities that get heroes Karma, or casual crimes in the case of a villain-centric game, has never occurred to me.

    • In thinking about my own

      In thinking about my own decades of play … what I see is, it's totally true and important that a "some time passed" assumption happens between sessions. Occassionally not (mid-combat, or if the session ended right before/after a dramatic roll/event), or maybe it's just minutes/overnight rather than a week, but fundamentally – fictional things happen, typically (though not of neccessity) without rolls/etc., between sessions. Usually, we talk about that as the session starts, and sometimes if we don't, play might get off to a confusing start (for one, some, or maybe even all of us).

      Outside of what the fiction does between sessions, the question of what the real people do has been a subject of interest to me for quite a while, recently sharpened by the People & Play-fueled insight that most of what we call "playing" is only the bottom-right quadrant of the overall context of play. A thing I see/have seen done a lot, for e.g., is people spending that between-play time on "how will I level-up my character?" But that's probably a different subject.

  4. This session was a pivot

    This session was a pivot point for me, primarily because of how much I enjoyed how David played Ed Kalmar. When David asked me many sessions ago what Connie’s $P3CTR suit looked like, I told him it was straight up Madame Medusa— functional, but also a little blocky, a little theatrical, even a little cheap. I told him that I hate what the Marvel movies have done with their technocrats in ultra-militaristic uniforms: Connie might own an iPhone, but she can't stomach wearing one.

    When David described Ed phasing through the floor in his sleek $P3CTR suit 2.0, he made sure to emphasize how it looked like Ed had stepped out of the MCU (though with the slight flab of a middle-aged executive) — a wonderful bit of reincorporation.

    And when I say “enjoyed,” I mean that what David said inspired me, made me want to listen more intensely and respond in kind. Playing Connie, I felt her sudden embarrassment at facing off with a tedious billionaire who was unable to delegate the task of fighting me to a professional because of a mid-life crisis. 

    The phrase that occurred to me, like it was the first time I’d heard it and not a cliche, was “I want to live.” Connie realized she had better things to do than reenact a revenge drama on an enemy from decades ago. This moment had profound effects on how I approached the following sessions, and I’m excited to discuss them further.

    • Noah, is it all right me to

      Noah, is it all right me to enter into a review of reincorporation with you here?

    • Of course! Please note that I

      Of course! Please note that I employed the term in its looser colloquial sense. If you would prefer to edit the above instance to "callback" and thus avoid potential terminological confusions, please feel free.

    • No editing necessary, as I

      No editing necessary, as I want to ask about the (my) technical action anyway.

      I've been paying a lot of attention to what happens to anything stated into play, as fictional content. Think of it as "playing my character" although I'm talking about anyone at the table and any imaginable entity or event or quality or whatever.

      • No reincorporation
        • It vanishes. I mean, it was audible, but that's it.
        • You say anything later about what it is, does, what happens to it, whatever, but no one else does (effectively, you're talking to yourself).
      • Reincorporation
        • Someone else says anything later about what it is, does, what happens to it, whatever.

      That's just review from the course, and not even my own notion in the first place, although I'm refining it a bit and focusing on it as the medium of play. (as opposed to, for instance, the audible content, or the imagination)

      What I want to shift to now, based on your comment, is the origin point for reincorporation. I think that reading something from one's sheet or notes, or hearing suggestions or input from some other person as table-talk or preparatory chat, doesn't count. I don't care where the thing came from prior to its inclusion in play, or who made it up. I'm conceiving of reincorporation as occurring after a thing is in play, like really "in," not merely mentioned or suggested – the key concept being, later, whether it gets heard and returned by someone else.

      How much of that is occurring, do you think? Not outside chat about Connie's appearance or preferences, prompting an in-play response, as you described for the Spectr3 2.0 outfit. That's starting-point incorporation, no "re-." I recognize that your description may not be complete, so I'm not accusing you of failing at anything. For example, it may well have been the case in play that you or anyone had made a point before that point about her appearance or preferences (clunkier, not MCU spiff) in and as play, then yes, the appearance of the 2.0 outfit has the "re-."

      Obviously reincorporation is happening throughout your play experience, otherwise there wouldn't be any play. I'm asking if you are reflecting upon how much, as opposed to the outside-info-to-one-time-in-play phenomenon, and among whom, e.g., not solely GM-player-GM per player.

    • One of my favorite soundbytes

      One of my favorite soundbytes from the course was you explaining reincorporation (of course I am paraphrasing) as, "It's not complicated. It's one person saying, 'There's a hill,' and another saying at some later point, 'I climb to the top of the hill.'"

      As you've noted, because we're playing, we're reincorporating. I like tracing reincorporation across sessions (this is really how 'what happened' happens, right?). At a high level:

      • I said Connie was known in prison as a genius who worked like a "human computer" for the Damerov crime family. 
      • When Connie left prison, she was met by Finucci, who knew her by reputation and offered her a lab to work at.
      • Later, I said, "Connie goes to the lab." While there, I created some explosives as part of my planned attack on Ed's company. 
      • I brought the explosives to Samantha Sol, and ended up telling her the truth about them. 
      • When I launched my attack, those explosives we're wielded by operatives under Samantha's direction. David decided that, instead of going along with my plan, she used my terror attack and the bombs as cover to attempt to exfiltrate the data she needed to launch legal action against the company (pretty smart move!)

      You can see the almost call-and-response pattern of reincorporation that produced these events. However, as I noted here (and in light of the conversation you and I had  about duets here), I didn't didn't always feel the opportunity to reincorporate material from the Huntsman's scenes. 

      After seeing what happened in our latest session, where Connie and the Huntsman crashed into each other and it felt like a cascade of reincorporation across our respective sectors of the larger situation, I completely agree with you that, in many procedural arrangements of authorities, there is something exponential that occurs when there are 3+ agents of reincorporation bouncing off each other, creating those "triangular" shapes.

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