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These are the preliminary notes for a story-telling game on the drawing board. The goal of this game is to follow up on the success of Slipstream and attempt to apply the lessons to a closed environment with a strong implied soultion. In other words: crime solving in a city.

The question that I hope to answer is whether, from entirely random seeds, an alledged crime can be identified to have occured in the past, and then whether by using the investigation tools uncover the means, motive and opportunity. And then place all that on to a similarly generated person, or group.

Technically it should work. That is the beauty of experimentation: to expose your theories to the real world.

At the purely mechanical level, the setting will be classical Chinese inspired fantasy (Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers and so on), coupled with the writings of Robert van Gulik and his crime fighting character Judge Dee, based in a city.

The city basics will be donated by City State of the Invincible Overlord, a Big Boxed Set that I have carried around for 20 years without it seeing a guernsey. There is considerable work that needs to be done to this material before it is ready. For example: temples of Odin and so on need to become Budhist, Taoist, Confucionist and Animist. Moreover, as I read it now, I can see how childish we all were back then. I see there is a butcher. Just one. But where are the cattle yards? Where does the meat come from? Where is is slaughtered? I see that the city sits by a river. Where are the docks? There is one, but what about all the fishermen? And finally, the whole map just stinks of a sterile wide-open-spaces Disneyland city. Patches of lawn? I don’t think so. In their place will be the shantytowns. The streets will be closed in with awnings and stalls. The listed places are only the permanent structures. In the gaps are hundreds more shitboxes.

We will use our Query Chart.

We will use the Answer Deck to generate random motivations and left-field seeds.

We will use Une for the NPCs.

We will use Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and fable for deeper insights into events, and to find the names of people we meet.

I’m really looking forward to it.