Sunday, July 14, 2019

Just Lettin' 'Em Talk It Out

I ran another session of Night's Black Agents: Dracula Dossier yesterday. I'm going to brag a little bit. It was the least amount of work I've had to do as a GM at the game in possibly forever, and it was amazing. Two of the players were running late, so rather than dive into the plot, the other players just started in talking in-character and planning for the next op. This lead to them reflecting on some of the props I'd given them in a previous session, and suddenly they found themselves deeper in character discussing the ramifications of a letter they'd intercepted. The other players showed up, and they had to bring them up to speed on it. This started a whole new round of debate and even philosophical discussion, as they pieced together the frame of a plan on how to bring the fight to the enemy. I didn't have to do anything. For over 4 hours they bantered back and forth, with everyone super-engaged and excited.  I played one NPC, for about 30 seconds, near the very end of the session when they decided they wanted to phone a friend. Other than that it was all them. And they enjoyed it so much, everyone kept complimenting my GMing and the depth of the world I'd created, as I mostly just twiddled my thumbs.

Now, to be fair, I did a ton of work before and between sessions to set this up. I worked out the rules of what vampirism is in the game world (as NBA provides a toolbox for the GM to design their own unique take on what the evil in the world really is). I built a huge roster of NPCs each with their own agenda and timelines and loyalties, and let that simmer in the background. And then I dangled tantalizing clues about the true nature of things before the players eyes in the form of some nifty props.

Without the context of everything that's happened in the game, this probably reads as maddeningly obtuse, but my players were able to decipher it enough to hatch a scheme to turn Rasputin, Paracelsus, Graf Orlok, Jack The Ripper, Mina Harker and a Moroccan Djinn named Aisha Qandesha against Count Dracula. It's going to be epic.

1 comment:

Reu Writing said...

I'm glad I found this page and I would love to see all of your notes, especially yout roster of NPCs.