Another Example of Play

What follows is the dialogue between a Game-master (named Jessica) and the player (named Dave), who is playing his own secret agent character in the James Bond RPG (sadly out of print).

They are playing out a sequence from the movie Goldfinger. It occurs right after Bond and Tilly Masterson have been discovered sneaking around Goldfinger's plant in Switzerland and have tried to escape in Bond's car, the Aston Martin.

``Jessica, I cannot believe you're doing this to me.''

``What are you talking about, Dave? You're the one whose character didn't make the Perception roll! Besides, you haven't been doing too badly. Didn't you earn three Hero Points during the chase?''

``Yeah, I even managed to destroy two of the cars. But now this. Why didn't I catch on when I forced that one car over the cliff with the smokescreen. I look out the front window. Tell me what I see.''

``Nothing. One either side of the car you can see grass, and off about 25 feet to the left is a grove of trees. But in fron of the car the ground falls away sharply.''

``Nuts. I couldn't used those Hero Points to better the Quality Rating of that Perception roll when I encountered Tilly. Then I could have circumvented that trip wire and gotten away. Now I'm surrounded and have to take care of a rank amateur.''

``That's about where it stands. What will you do?''

``First I'll raise the bulletproof screen. Are the cars still where they stopped?''

``Yes, but there are now people moving around them. Before the screen blocks your view, you see the moonlight glinting off their machineguns.''

``Are we still in the chase sequence?''

``Not at the moment.''

``Then I'm going to tell Tilly to stay put until I tell her to run for the trees. She'll be safer there. Then I'm going to open my door and run around it so I can use it for cover.''

``The guards will be able to get off a few shots.'' Jessica rolls the dice in secret. ``They missed, but it was close. Now what? Your Speed is higher than theirs.''

``I'll give fire while telling Tilly to run. Does she do it?''

``Yes. Now roll D100 to see if you hit anyone. They're at Medium range so there are no modifiers for that. But, since their headlights are pointed at you, I'll give you a -2 Ease Factor because of the glare.''

``Oh no.''

``Look, if it was easy, anyone could do it. Now roll.'' Dave rolls the dice. ``You missed both shots. Now they return fire. You're lucky. Due to the modifier for your cover behind the car, they missed.''

``Good, now . . . ''

``Wait a minute. They're not done yet. You can see the silhouette of a large man with his hand extended.''

``Is there a weapon in it? Or a razor-brimmed hat?''

``You don't see anything in his hand, but there is a sound of something flying through the air off to your right.'' Jessica rolls dice. ``Uh-oh. There is a thud, a crack, and a short scream.''

``I look in that direction.''

``You see Tilly fall to the ground. David, why do you have your face in your hands?''

``The brightest thing to do now would be to get in the car and try to get out of there, but since my character has a weakness for women, I'll run over there. I'll Zigzag to avoid being hit by bullets. Are they shooting?''

``No, you get there intact. It does not take a Perception roll to determine that Tilly is dead. On the ground next to her is Oddjob's hat.'' Jessica rolls dice. ``I just tried a Sixth Sense roll for you but it failed. I had to give you a negative modifier due to the shock of seeing Tilly dead. You are now surrounded by the guards and Oddjob. Do you want to put up a fight?''

``That would be suicide. No.''

``Well then, they lead you back to the car, put a guard in next to you and have you follow one of their cars. They have another car following you. Going to try anything? Nothing at all?''

``What can I do?''

``Okay. They get you back to the complex and an old woman opens the gate. Still not going to try anything?''

``What can I try with the guard in the passen... darn, that's right. I forgot all about the ejector seat and the car's modifications.''

``I'm glad you remembered. The only other thing I could do was hold up a neon sign.''

``All right, at the first possibble turn-off I'm going to try to Flee. I assume they will try to Pursue.''

``You assume well. You're obviously at Close range. So, let's get right to the bidding of the chase sequence. You, as always, get to bid first.''

``I bid Ease Factor 4.''

``Hmm . . . daring, but I'm not going to bid any lower. Do you want to go first?''

``No, I'll let them go first; that way since there is nothing happening this round I'll have virtually a free turn and they won't have a chance to catch up this round. I'm trying to Flee.''

``Good thinking. They cann't do anything except keep escorting you. Roll away.'' Dave rolls D100. ``You've rolled a 33. With a Success Chance of 90, that's a Quality Rating of 3. You can increase the range between you and them from Close to Long if you like.''

``I'd like. Now they'll have to catch up to get even a clear shot. Let's see how good they are. Okay, I bid Ease Factor 6.''

``Ease Factor 5.''

``Ease Factor 4.''

``Okay, David, you win. Who goes first?''

``They will.''

``Fine. They are going to Pursue. The roll is only a Quality Rating 4 so they are now at Close range. Before you declare your action, I have to tell you that the foot guards are preparing to fire on you from in front of the car.''

``Drat. Okay, I want to force the guards to scatter, increase my distance, and activate the ejector seat.''

``To do all that means this has to be considered a Trick maneuver.''

``Fair enough.'' David rolls. ``A Quality Rating of 3. Well, I'll live with it, and save my Hero Points for when I really need them.''

``Well, you're successful. Your passenger is attempting to make like a bird, the guards are doing impersonations of Jesse Owens, but because of the number of things you were trying to do, I'll let you increase the range only from Medium back to Long. There are still lots of guards scurrying around the grounds and you are going to be subjected to a Fire Combat attack each round.''

``All right, since I have to get out of the complex, I'm going to head for the front gate. How long will that take?''

``Barring any mishaps, you can reach it in this round. But the guards are still all over the place and are going to get off a few rounds no matter what.''

``I expected as much.''

``Now, let's start the round. Make your bid.''

``Ease Factor 4.''

``Ease Factor 3.''

``Three?! Wow, those bad guys must really want me. Let's see what they want. Who'll go first?''

``They will. The cars behind you attempt to close in.'' Jessica rolls dice. ``They don't make their roll, so I have to check to see if they had a mishap.'' Jessica rolls again. ``They did not make the Safety roll. According to the chart, that means they have taken Medium Damage. Let's just say one of them is out of the running. The guards in the car fire, three guards from the side fire, the little old lady comes out of the house with an Uzi and blocks your way out of the gate.''

``Even the little old lady? Jeez. Do the shots from the guards hit me?''

Jessica rolls the dice. ``Indeed they do. And the amount of damage they inflict is just enough to do Light Damage to your car. Your speed will be reduced by 25%.''

``No way. How many Hero Points will it take to reduce the damage to nothing?''


``You've got it. That leaves me with two.''

``What do you want to do now?''

``I can't get out the front gate without crashing through the old lady? Okay, then I won't go out the front gate, but I will try to put some distance between us.'' David rolls. ``All right! An 02 which gives me a Quality Rating of 1! That puts me beyond Extreme Range and gets me a Hero Point. But since I'm still stuck in the complex, I suppose I don't escape.''

``Good supposing.''

``What do I see in front of me? In fact, where am I?''

``You're racing down a narrow alleyway between two brick buildings. Let me check for obstacles.'' Jessica checks here notes. ``Ahead you can see two headlights heading straight for you. Make your bid.''

``Do I have to bid to use the machineguns mounted in the car?''


``That's what I do. Any effect?''


``What do they have, a tank? What do I see along the buildings? Can I try a Perception roll?''

``No, I'll make one for you.'' Jessica rolls. ``The headlights coming at you are very bright and glaring, but you think you can make out an overhead door ahead and to your left.''

``The Aston should be able to take out a door. I'm going to turn into the doorway.''

``Wait a minute, we've got to bid. Be my guest.''

``Ease Factor 4.''

``Ease Factor 3.''

``Ease Factor 2.''

``Calm down, David, or you'll break your pencil. You win. Who'll go first?''

``I will, of course. I will attempt a Trick maneuver of making the turn and smashing through the door.'' David rolls. ``Why are you shaking your head?''

``There is a jarring impact. In the glare from your headlights, you can see it was not a door but a light-colored portion of the brick wall. Try your Safety roll, Dave.'' Dave rolls the dice. ``Sorry, you didn't make it. Let's see, you were at an Ease Factor 2 for your Trick Maneuver, so your vehicle suffers an Incapacitation and you suffer a Heavy Wound.''

``Well, I'll trade in a Hero Point so the whole thing didn't happen.''

``Wait a minute. Hero Points can change the Quality Rating of your roll, but they can't be used to change damage once it's happened. You can't change the course of events by using Hero Points. The place where you should have used the Point was during the Perception roll I made for you. You can't change what happened just because it didn't go your way.''

``Okay, okay. I won't change the damage. Even if I go out, I'd have to contend with the guards and I don't think my luck will hold that long. Let's see if I can make my Pain Resistance roll. No? Oh, well, I won't change that, either. Let's see what happens if I get captured. By the way, did the other car manage to stop before hitting me?''

``There was no other car.''


``It was a large mirror reflecting your own headlights back at you. That was the obstacle in your path. When I made the Perception roll, the result was a failure. I gave you false information.''

``But if there was no other car, who in heaven's name was I bidding against?''

``Yourself, really. Look, if you didn't have to bid, then you would have known there was no toher car and done something different with your character. By the way, in your Incapacitated state someone knocks you out.''

``Great. Do I ever wake up?''

``Of course.''

``Can I move?''

``There is something holding you down.''

``I open my eyes. What do I see?''

``It is obvious you are strapped to a table. Leaning over you is Goldfinger.''

``Does he say anything?''

`` `Good evening, 004.' ''

`` `My name is Michael Tucker.' ''

`` `Of course, if that is what you wish. People in your line of work make it a point to stay anonymous, but you have been identified by one of your opposite numbers. I must tell you that you gave us a hard time. Especially with that car of yours. My scientists will enjoy studying it. But we all have our playthings. This one is mine.' As he moves to the side, you see suspended above you a barrel-like device with a small cylinder at the end, projecting towards you. David, are you listening?''

``I was just wondering how upset Q will be about the Aston Martin.''

``Pay attention. Goldfinger is still talking. `This laser is powerful enough to project a spot on the moon or cut through metal.' ''

``Is the table I'm strapped to made of metal?''

``Feels that way.''

``Why doesn't that surprise me?''

``Anyway, Goldfinger signals some Koreans sitting at a control panel, and the laser moves to the base of the table. There is a click and a hum, and a red beam shoots out, hitting the table between your feet. The gold top of the table glows hot and starts to melt. When this happens, the laser beam slowly starts moving up the table. Kind of like the old buzzsaw in the Perils of Pauline.''

``He sure knows how to hurt a guy.''

`` `Mr. Tucker, you are lying on gold. I love gold, the color, the feel of it. I will do anything to increase my store of gold.' ''

`` `I can see why you like it, Goldfinger, and the laser is really impressive, but I think I get the point. You can turn it off now.' ''

`` `You are a very funny man, Mr. Tucker. Let's hope your wit keeps you laughing until you split yourself wide open. It is quite apparent to me now why we had our first two meetings. I do not want to take a chance on a third. Goodbye, Mr. Tucker.' With that he begins to walk away.''

``He doesn't ask me any questions?''

``No. He just waves nonchalantly goodby and continues away.''

``And the laser beam is still moving up?''

``You got it.''

`` `I won't talk.' ''

`` `Who wants you to talk? I want you to die.' ''

`` `If I die, there will be others to replace me.' ''

`` `Let's hope they are a little brighter than you are.' He starts to walk away.''

``Then I'm going to have to Persuade him to keep me alive.''

``Go ahead, but you don't have much of a chance. There's a -6 Ease Factor due to his Opposition to you.''

``So be it. It's the only chance I've got. Let's see, that takes the Ease Factor down to 1/2. Bummer. Ah well, let's roll. Come on, 10 or less.'' David rolls. ``An 09, I made it!''

``Maybe so, but Goldfinger's Willpower is a 9, which means that he is sufficiently strong to turn down your request. C'est la vie.''

``Wait a minute. I can use Hero Points here, can't I?''

``Sure, go ahead.''

``How many will it take to convince him to let me live? That laser must be getting awfully close?''

``Indeed it is. It'll take three Hero Points to make him agree, but only one to earn you another Reaction Roll. Do you want to take the chance on doing better?''

``No thanks. I'll spend the Hero Points.''

``Very well. Goldfinger is still not saying anything to you or ordering the laser stopped. But a smallish Oriental man is speaking with Goldfinger in tense whispers. Goldfinger shakes his head no and appears to be speaking in a soothing manner. The Oriental man is insistant. Finally Goldfinger shrugs, holding his hand up to calm the man down. Suddenly the laser stops and Goldfinger announces that he agrees you are worth more alive.''

``Did I just waste three Hero Points''

``Not at all. This is happening because of the Hero Points. Just keeping the continuity going. With that a technician comes over and pulls a strange looking gun from behind his back. In your restrained state you cannot offer resistance. He calmly pulls the trigger and shoots you. Everything goes black.''

``Wait a minute! I thought you said he was going to keep me alive? Don't shrug like that! Am I dead or not?''

``No, David, you're not dead. It turns out the projectile was filled with a sleeping drug.''

``But what happens next?''

``Gee, it's getting late, David. Let's pick this up next week, shall we?''


Last modified: Sat Sep 9 12:00:32 2006