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    My good friend Simon Carryer, of Wellington, New Zealand, recently ran a game of Cold City at Day of Games in Wellington. What made this game particularly interesting was his modifications to the system that allowed players in a convention game to have greater authority over the component parts of their character.

    Simon had created four base characters, four national/factional hidden agendas and four personal agendas. After the characters were distributed, an agenda of each type was randomly handed out to each player. It was then up to them to decide how the three things they had in front of them fitted together. Simon also used questions to elicit a greater player involvement, asking a question to be answered right now, and a question to be answered in play. Here's an example:

    CIA
    The CIA is a young but enthusiastic agency created during the war for the purpose of intelligence gathering and counterintelligence. In Europe, the CIA largely focuses on disrupting the activities of its Soviet counterparts, the GRU and the MGB.

    Your Mission: There’s a Soviet mole in the RPA. Intercepted transmissions indicate that they’ve been assigned to this mission, but don’t give any clues to their identity. Find the Russian agent and eliminate them. You have a syringe of insulin which will kill someone without leaving any traces.
    Questions:
    Answer now: How did you come to work for the CIA?
    Answer during play: Are you willing to kill a colleague, and possibly a friend?


    This seems to me to be a really interesting way of doing things and something that I might use in future one-shot games of both Cold City and Hot War.

    Simon talks in greater detail about the game over on Story Games. I'm sure if you had any insights into the game, he'd be delighted to have you post a comment.

    Cheers
    Malcolm