Cosmic Patrol Development: Narrations

In Building The Story I talked about how the improv-style game flows in Turns, Scenes and Mission Briefs. And within each turn a player has a Narration, where he contributes to the building of the story.

But how does a player narrate? It’s simply about describing what the character is doing–exploring a room, repairing a device, engaging in combat and so on–that helps to build the current story. When ever a player runs into mental block and can’t quickly react to the previous person’s Narration, there are a host of Cues to spark a player’s imagination.

While some Cues exist on each Mission Brief, it’s the host of Cues directly on a Patrolman’s Dossier (character sheet) that should ignite an idea of what to say and how to proceed in a variety of situations.

Below is a preview of the two pages of the dossier for a Cosmic Patrol Heavy Marine, Ken Costigan.

Patrolmen Dossiers_HeavyMarine_Page1_Preview.jpg

Patrolmen Dossiers_HeavyMarine_Page2_Preview.jpg

The top part of the second page includes the dice mechanics as I discussed in It’s Full of Dice…, while the middle section displays a host of Cues. They capture the flavor of this character and are meant to be the opening lines of a Narration off of which a player can build.

You’ll notice that neither page includes a detailed back history of the character. That’s something we wanted to leave up to each player. Between the Disposition, Vital Factors, art and role/race paragraph–not to mention those wonderful Cues–a player is left with a solid sense of how a character acts and reacts when confronted with various situations, thus allowing players to immediately leap into playing the game. However, a more detailed back history that players can really sink their teeth into creating is left up to their imaginations.

While above is a great example of a player character, a host of non-player characters must populate your universe…especially a universe like Cosmic Patrol, where danger lurks under every space rock! Below is a sample NPC dossier for the Cometarians.

Patrolmen Dossiers_Cometarians_Page1_Preview.jpg

Patrolmen Dossiers_Cometarians_Page2_Preview.jpg

In a future blog I’ll get into how armor/health/weapons/equipment work within the game.

Till next episode…



07 2011

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