Scene Budget

So each player gets three scenes per game (1 Color, 1 Interstitial, and 1 Building or 1 Conflict). However, in, say, a three-player (and 1 GM) game, there won’t necessarily have to be 9 player scenes, right? Because we might take a Building scene together (per page 289), or my Interstitial may be yours, too. Right? Simultaneous Building scenes are clear from the book, but there’s nothing about simultaneous Interstitial (or Color, for that matter), but it seems like those might blend pretty well into counting for both players.

If players are smart, they’ll use every bit of the scene economy at their disposal. Wasting color and interstitials is bonkers.

Interstitials tend to get eaten up quickly anyway. Colors seem hard to do…until you realize that you need them to create tech.

We played it that interstitials are always separate, charged against the budget of the player who framed them. Like if I need an interstitial with the Archcotare (because I activated the church faction and I need to use the scene to tell him to do something), and you want to talk to me, you can just say “I buttonhole Devin’s character in our secret headquarters” and start your scene, and then later I can run my scene with the Archcotare.

Otherwise you get these nasty situations where I’m like “No! No you don’t! I don’t answer my comm, I’m running down the hall to my aircar, I’m late for my appointment with the Archcotare!” because sure, in the fiction, we’d talk. But in the game, I need need need to use my interstitial for something else, so I can’t let you frame a scene that chews up both of our interstitials.

But there’s nothing saying you have to take every interstitial and color scene available to you, as a player. Sometimes it just isn’t necessary, and other times the relevant communication happens naturally during builders and conflicts. (If the conflict is a big DoW in the council chambers, with every major PC and NPC present, you won’t need to frame a ton of interstitials just to talk to people.)

Yeah, we played tonight for the first time and I wanted every scene I could damn well get. I felt the burn! Scenes went a lot faster than I expected. Funny how you have an idea of how the game will work from reading it that can only be borne out (or not) in play!

Because of a (mistakenly) broken rule–we let two building scenes blend together, which blossomed into all three characters’ building scenes blending together–the pacing of the game was a little wonky and one player didn’t get their color and one didn’t get their interstitial. I’m pretty sure they’re going to want all their scenes next week, though.

Devin: All that makes a lot of sense to me, now that I’ve played a session. Thanks.

Thanks for a great game, Luke! I’m already enjoying it, and it’s pushing me down some weird alleys that I’m not used to. Your stuff makes my game design brain work.