Directors Cut 1

Create New Game?


We're really pleased that so many people in the Playtest Group have been asking how they can start their own campaigns using the Flashback Rules!
The latest pre-release rules can be found here, but we openly acknowledge that they are still missing a lot of key details that new groups need to get started. We're working hard to release new chapters as early as possible, but unfortunately it takes us a lot of time to proof-read, edit and publish them.

So to help new groups get started, we set out to write a sample adventure: something simple with step-by-step instructions for first-time Directors. We wanted it to be exciting, easy to pick up and (most importantly) allow new Directors to gently introduce the core mechanics and the innovations that make Flashback different from other tabletop RPGs.

But after several attempts, nothing we came up with was working out. The adventure ideas were all solid: Pirates hunting down a gargantuan sea-monster, Big game hunters out to bag a massive creature's head as a trophy, A town under-siege by a ferocious elemental Titan! These were all epic adventures that we had lots of fun writing and will probably get run in our own game sessions at some point.

Off the Hook

But they just didn't work as first-time introductions to a new game, a new world and a new set of players. Here's why:

There are just too many things that can go wrong when starting a new game, particularly when the rules are still in a prototype stage. We realised that a starter adventure was actually not what new groups needed to have a successful game - the story and the world are the two things that we are not trying to test!

Instead, we want to encourage existing RPG groups to have fun their own way and in their own style. The Flashback rules are compatible with any setting and any genre - all the numbers are normalized on a scale of 1-10, so it should be easy to translate pretty much any campaign idea, existing item or encounter into a compatible format.

Have it Your Way


This is the first in a series of "Director's Cut" articles, where we'll present tips and hints that we hope will help Directors and Players make up for the gaps in the prototype rules and find their own enjoyment with the game:
		<ul>
			<li> Introduce new rules gradually. In all our playtest sessions, we try not to overwhelm new players with content. Most of the adventures are simple 3-4 encounter stories, each one layering on a little more complexity until the finale when players need to apply everything they have learned.</li>
			<li>
			Be prepared to use Stamina and Flukes as a de-facto currency. The design goal behind Stamina was to have a resource to "Pay for Success". Players should always be asking themselves: Do I want to spend my energy now or should I save it for later? However, in the playtest sessions we have observed that (like real currency), it also serves as a medium of exchange to bend and push the rules in both directions.</li>
			<li> Flashback sequences are the difference between a fun game and a fantastic game. Keep encouraging the players to actively participate in the storytelling process, and reward them for enriching their characters. Level 1 skills cost 10XP (players start with 20XP and earn more after each Scene) and must include details on <em>When</em> and <em>Where</em> they acquired their skills. <br>
			But don't stop at the minimum! Anyone at the table can ask questions or push for more details:
			<ul>
				<li>You learned how to Swordfight at the Academy? Did you make any friends while you were there?</li>
				<li>Your grandfather taught you how to Hunt when you were a child? What happened to him after you left home?</li>
				<li>Ah, so you became proficient at Climbing while working aboard a ship? Who was the captain? Did you get along with the rest of the crew?</li>
			</ul>
			</li>
		</ul>
		The key is to ask <a href="https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_88.htm">open questions</a> and take a “<a href="http://mythcreants.com/blog/using-yes-and-in-tabletop-roleplaying/">Yes, And</a>” attitude to the story. If you let them, players will gift you with the perfect adventure hooks for next time!
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