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Archive for May, 2010

Edge of Midnight Monday: The Hornet’s Nest

by Azrael

Case One – The Death of Harry Fontaine

Chapter Six – The Hornet’s Nest

Morning, 29th October, 1949

It never ceases to amaze me how money can open up doors, even the ones with solid steel bars and obstinate locks to go with ‘em. Despite the eye witnesses in the case of the destroyed building and the other evidence against Giles, Ruby’s fancy lawyer and her donation to the judge’s retirement fund got Giles sprung loose before the arraignment hearing was even over. A short while after that he vanished in a limo to Ruby’s mansion, and I have to wonder if he knows what he was letting himself in for.

Meanwhile, things are hotting up with the investigation into my murder. Shirley not only spurned Inich and Matthew’s advances but threatened the assistant lab-rat with a gun, too. I don’t know him too well, but I can’t help but think that ain’t the kind of insult that either of them is going to take lying down.

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Deciding on Game Linearity

By Skimble

Roleplaying games don’t have to be like any other storytelling medium.

While branching or interactive stories have been developed to one extent or another in other media, nothing can rival the flexibility afforded by the dynamic nature of a tabletop roleplaying game session.

In a book, video game, film or a TV series the narrative is pre-defined or, at best, built with branch points that enable the consumer to select from a limited number of choices. Even “sandbox” or “open world” video games that offer self-generated content provide only limited flexibility in the primary story experienced by the player.

Contrast this with a tabletop roleplaying game, where the player(s) can theoretically do anything that fits within the constraints provided by the game’s rules and its setting.

In practice however most games have a degree of structure and linearity imposed upon them by the GM. To an extent this is necessary; without having any idea what is at least likely to occur, how can the GM plan ahead in preparing his sessions?

The question is, how much linearity is too much?

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Edge of Midnight Monday: Date With Death

by Azrael

Case One – The Death of Harry Fontaine

Chapter Five – Date With Death

Late Evening, 28th October, 1949

I heard about it weeks before I got given a one-way ticket to the afterlife, but frankly I never had the guts to look into it. I wasn’t sure that I could stand another stab in the guts, another slap in the face, another dead end in my never-ending search for the dame who tore me apart and left me like roadkill.

All the while I knew there was a classy number who matched the description of my Eva dancing in that Eastowne cabaret, I could hold on to the hope, the fantasy that it would be her. We’d be reunited, and she’d fall into my arms, tears of shame and joy smudging her perfect mascara as she begged me to come back to her.

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Edge of Midnight Monday: Life is a Cabaret

by Azrael

Case One – The Death of Harry Fontaine

Chapter Four – Life is a Cabaret

28th October, 1949

So next thing I knew, Giles was trying a jumpsuit with arrows on for size. With Ruby busy pullin’ strings to try and get him out, that left the other three on the job. I didn’t know how much longer I could expect this mismatched trio to keep their own lives on ice while they tried to find out who put an end to mine, but frankly I was grateful for all the help I could get.

They’d been tossing around theories while, across town, Giles was getting the screws put on him by the Crystal Ball Squad, but I couldn’t quite believe where one of their theories was taking them.

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Edge of Midnight Monday: Boiling Point

by Azrael

Case One – The Death of Harry Fontaine

Chapter Three – Boiling Point

28th October, 1949

I hoped that Giles would be too caught up in the hunt for my killer to dwell on the fact that he was all alone again, and it seemed to be working, for a while. Sure, he was still acting hinky, with the mumbling and the strangeness, but a few eccentricities are understandable when you’ve been through as much as that poor sap has.

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Edge of Midnight Monday: Dead Men Tell No Tales

by Azrael

Case One – The Death of Harry Fontaine

Chapter Two – Dead Men Tell No Tales

27th October, 1949, 11:25 AM

The mobster, the socialite, the historian, the private dick, the crazy scientist; they had nothing in common with each other except my death, and a few minutes after they crammed themselves into my office there were already signs of strain. Only time would tell whether they could stick together long enough to do anything productive before exploding like a cheap firework.

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