We have now played our 3rd Episode and it was absolutely fantastic. That is if you sat at the table at the time. I am rather happy that I’m only the Producer, neither the director nor the cutter of this series. How our enthusiasm translates to the screen is something you have to decide for your own. But I really hope it does.
(See Let’s put up another TV show for the first post about this game.) As you can see from the diagram we are now more than halfway through the season and the pace is certainly picking up. From now on there will be one protagonist in the center of each Episode. I really enjoy how the outcomes of conflicts and things that have been said and done in earlier episodes influence what is happening now. This game really encourages all around the table to develop their TV series by contributing, listening to each other, and reincorporating what happened into their narration and new scene requests. When we call a conflict and the stakes are announced those are things that count. They will influence the future of everybody involved.
Keep in mind that a conflict doesn’t mean players are up against each other when drawing cards. When a conflict is declared a player describes what’s at stakes for their protagonists. The cards determine whether that will be part of the outcome of the conflict or not. For example:
Rune and Manne (one of the support cast) are in a conflict, Isabella is in the scene too as are a couple other support cast. Runes player declares what’s at stakes for Rune, Isabellas player is free to declare something that is at stakes for her or to say there is nothing at stakes for her in this situation. Important, while I as the producer will draw cards too I can not declare any stakes for Manne or anybody else! Ignoring the details, for example others around the table may draw cards too and support whatever/whomever they like, the cards drawn for the different stakes are separately compared to the cards drawn by the producer. The results can be any combination of none of the protagonists have things going their way, one of them will have things going their way or nobody will get what they hoped for. Whoever then has to do the narration may need a break to figure out how that has happened. As you can see there is no way a single person can steer “the story” in a certain direction or predict what is going to happen. This is one of the reasons why I do like the game so much.
We do have a relatively small cast, it just so happened. In theory both the producer and the players can request new cast members to appear when requesting a scene. The producer can have cast members appear in scenes unannounced due to things happening of screen. Despite that we so far have mainly seen the protagonists Connections acting as supporting cast. Nobody seems to feel the need for more people out front. Instead everybody happily tries to figure out what happens to protagonists and other cast members due to unexpected events and developments.
For this Episode we were joined by some guests and that really made the show better, so I hope they’ll stay for the rest of the series. The game actually provides tools to let Audience members participate in play. It’s just a small paragraph at the very end of the appendices, easily missed if you don’t look for it. Audience members can request scenes and give, receive and use Fan mail. In conflicts they get one card (covered) and have to decide what stake they want to support/oppose before turning it around. It didn’t take our guests long to figure out what is going on in the series and they really contributed to an extraordinary Spotlight episode for Rune.