This is an excerpt of one session from a multi-session mission. Attachments include more detail on previous sessions and more information on situation, NPCs, and game states, if you are interested. I've also attached two handouts I made for the game. I post this as an attempt to show how we played this game and as context for any comments the player or others might make on their experiences with this game system.
GM: Alan Barclay
Player: Jon Hastings Character: Ifan Webb, Agent 0713
Game: James Bond 007, Victory Games 1983
Venue: Video teleconference via Discord.com
You are MI-6 agents, serving Queen and country in the Cold War. It's 1967 and there are no mobile phones or portable computers. Europe is the primary battle ground, split by the Iron Curtain between East and West Germany. Your opposition are usually agents of Eastern Bloc countries and sometimes criminal organizations exploiting the rift between East and West.
Cinematic quality of the game will be around the Sean Connery era of Bond, not the silliness of Roger Moore, or the uber grit of the current Bond.
I decided to stick exactly to the rules explained in the text. The game had guidelines for preparing adventures which I followed to create the basics. But the general guidelines on how to GM the unfolding events showed some schizophrenia: there’s advice on going with the outcome of player actions in the main text, but many of the published modules have lots of set pieces with advice on how to channel players into them. I decided to toss this model and apply the method of The Now from Champions Now, as a means of supporting emergent story.
Plain text is narrative of what the player experienced.
Italic text focuses on game mechanics or GM thinking and dice resolution.
[Italic Text in square brackets] is action mediated by the GM and unknown to the player during the session.
Session #3, April 10, 2021: The Paris Lift, part 2
Mission: Contact Noah Wieser, assess his value and the value of the plans he’s offering. If warranted, bring Wieser and his plans to London.
Locations: Paris: Central Train Station, Crocodisc, Cafe D’Or, a hotel, Safe House
Personel; Ifan Webb, Astrid Carr (Station F number two, agent 0711)
Opposition: Jager and Mahler of the STASI, Augustsson, Stromberg Detective, and Victor Laurent, Assassin and fan of French Existentialist writers.
Webb followed instructions to bring a particular record single to the Crocodisc record store in Paris as a signal. He found another suspicious person pretending to be a patron at the store, but carried through the signal and received instructions, slipped into another record jacket, to meet at 8pm at Cafe D’or.
Crocodisc (map) https://email@example.com,2.3440257,17z
Session ended when Webb walked into Cafe D’or and saw the girl from Crocodisc waiting for him.
8:00pm. Agent Webb (Jon Hastings) is meeting the girl from Crocodisc (Lise Courbet) at Cafe D’or. She’s going to put him in touch with Wieser. Webb just spotted his tail passing the cafe. Agent Carr is in the BMW parked back around the corner, prepared to pick up Webb or take other action as necessary.
Behind the scenes:
The tail is Knut Augustsson, a detective hired by Stromberg to finger Wieser to the assassin Stromberg hired to destroy Wieser.
Agent Jager of the STASI is tailing Augustsson. He’s tailing Augustsson, on the tip that Augustsson works for Stromberg. Jager and his boss Mahler are tasked to return Wieser to East Germany.
Augustsson has alerted Victor Laurent, the assassin, to the possible connection between the girl at Crocodisc and Wieser. Laurent is currently breaking into Crocodisc and raiding their employee records. He will find her home address and her boyfriend.
After Action Report
Time 20:05. Agent Webb, Agent 0713, meets Lise Courbet, the girl from the record shop, at Cafe D’Or. He and Agent Carr arrived 30 minutes early. Carr parked the BMW down the block and remained with the vehicle, ready to assist.
[Stromberg detective Augustsson tailed Courbet to the Cafe, unaware that Agent Jager of the STASI was tailing him. Meanwhile, the assassin, Victor Laurent, breaks into Crocodisc, reads their employee records and learns Courbet’s address. (The GM made several secret rolls to determine who spotted whom.)]
Webb’s player declared a Hero Point for use with the next secret roll to perceive enemy action while at the cafe.
Agent Webb engaged Courbet to develop trust. Courbet was obviously nervous, but provided a napkin scrawled with instructions to meet Weiser the next day. [GM rolled secretly for Webb to spot Agent Jager spotting Webb in the cafe with Courbet. The roll failed, but the previously submitted hero point shifted that to a success, so…] In nervously passing over the napkin, Courbet bumped her coffee cup and knocked it over. As Webb followed the motion and the clean up, Webb spotted a heavy set man [Jager] (whom he recognized as the man who followed him from the train station the day before) watching through the window.
Webb maintained a facade of calm and tried to persuade Courbet to take him to Wieser immediately but failed. Courbet left.
Webb waited briefly, then left to speak with Carr, instructing Agent 0711 to to follow him discreetly with the vehicle. He then tailed Courbet, being cautious of the other two operatives he was aware of.
Webb made a Quality Rating (QR) 1, “Excellent,” evasion roll to tail. Neither Courbet, Augustsson, nor Jager made perception rolls to detect him.
Courbet tried some simple evasion techniques, but she failed an unskilled evasion roll, leading all three of her tails to her apartment building!
[Meanwhile, Victor Laurent had already gotten into the apartment Courbet shared with her boyfriend, Louis Gougon. Offering a large bribe, Laurent succeeds at a roll to persuade Gougon to give him the time and location of the meeting with Wieser the next day. ]
Time 21:15. Arriving at Courbet’s block, Webb observes Augustsson stop outside the entry to a four story apartment building, while Jager pretends to walk past on the far side of the street. When Jager is out of sight, Webb challenges Augustsson. (Resolved with a persuasion roll, with the quality rating acting as Ease Factor for Augustsson’s Will roll to resist.) Augustson fails and walks away.
Webb then gains entry to the apartment by deceivinging a downstairs neighbor, saying he just walked Courbet home, but she left something and he needs her apartment number. His persuasion roll is good enough to gain entry, directions, and additional information. The neighbor comments that there was another friend who arrived a few minutes earlier and “you better not be planning a loud party!”
Webb arrives outside the door of the third floor apartment. (GM secretly rolled Sixth Sense.) He overhears raised voices inside: Courbet is arguing with Gougon about Gougon betraying Wieser when Webb hears Laurent slap Courbet and intervene.
Webb busts down the door. (No roll for the door, but a PER roll to take in the scene without hesitation.) Webb’s roll succeeds. He sees Laurent hold Courbet in front of himself as a shield while aiming a silenced pistol over his shoulder at the door. Gougon is backing out of the line of fire.
We initiate the combat rules. Courbet and Gougon have speed 1, so they declare first. Gougon is backing away from the burst door, Courbet will attempt a Release action. At speed 2, Webb and Laurent roll d6 to determine order. Webb wins, so Laurent declares first, saying he will shoot Webb. [This order of declaration and execution is, according to rules, set in stone for the duration of the combat.] Webb declares that he’s going to roll into the room, evading bullets, to get close to Laurent -- in game terms, this is a Zigzag action, which makes it harder to shoot him, but does not allow him to attack in the same round.
Webb rolls into the room, closing with Laurent. Laurent fires twice, hitting the first time for a QR4, a bare success. Webb decides to spend a Hero Point to shift it one QR worse, making it a miss. (The GM struggled to justify this in fiction and doesn’t remember what he came up with.) The second shot missed. Courbet, being unskilled at hand to hand combat, fails her roll to escape Laurent’s hold.
New Round. Courbet declares attempting release again. The GM forgot about Gougon. Laurent declares shooting out the window behind him and jumping out onto the ledge. Webb declares a punch followed by a restrain.
The punch scores QR2, which Laurent alleviates by spending 3 Survival Points (The GM gave up on in fiction explanations here).But Webb’s restrain catches Laurent. The GM ruled his shots went wild, smashing the window. Courbet gets free.
New Round. Gougon and Courbet declare they will flee. Laurent will try to escape the restraint. Webb will yell at Courbet not to leave. In execution, Webb yells“there are others outside looking for you” and rolls QR1 persuasion. Courbet stops and tries to yank her boyfriend to a halt. Laurent succeeds his escape roll despite a low STR.
New Round. Courbet gathers her wits. Gougon will flee. Laurent will shoot Webb. Webb will punch Laurent. Laurent pays another survival point to make Webb’s only success a miss. Laurent misses once and hits once for a light wound and Webb makes his resist pain roll to stay functional. Gougon runs out of the apartment.
New Round. Courbet will throw a lamp at Laurent. Laurent will flee through the window onto the ledge. Webb tries again to punch. He succeeds with one, scoring a Medium Wound, but Laurent makes his Resist Pain roll. Laurent leaves, with Courbet’s lamp shattered against the window frame behind him.
Webb decides not to pursue. Chase rules not initiated. .
Webb leads Courbet out of the building, wary of tails, but spotting none. Nor does he see Agent Carr and the BMW. After some caution trail breaking, Webb and the girl arrive at his hotel. Webb gives himself First Aid, reducing his light wound one step to no wound.
[While the battle raged in the apartment, Agent Carr observed and tailed Sargeant Jager of the STASI. Jager beat information out of Augustsston and later waylaid the fleeing Gougon and learned the time and location of the meet with Wieser tomorrow. Carr tries to follow Jager (who was on foot) in her car, which is why she’s missing at the end of the session. The GM didn’t resolve the actual outcome of her actions until just before the next session of play. ]
End of Session. Time played: about 2 hours.