I recently received the latest draft of New Hope City: PI. It has grown as it nears completion. The first draft I received was only about 15 pages, this latest draft has grown quite a bit.
The changes to the Setting the Crime section I completed in the last session were minor. “When” the crime occurred has been added to the section. A quick roll on the table & I discover that Harold Radvinski went missing Late in the evening. My scientist victim has been promoted. “Scientist” now appears as a Mover instead of an Ordinary Joe. That’s good news for my detective, Gus. It means he gets paid more if he solves the crime. Gus now stands to make 20 items plus expenses on this caper. With the scientist being a “Mover” & the crime occurring “Late”, the crime took place at the scientist’s home in Hope Heights.
There is a new section on meeting the employer. You use the “Chillin'” encounter from New Beginnings, but you use the “Where Are They?” table in New Hope City: PI to determine where the encounter takes place. Since Gus has already met Valara Radvinski, I chose not to replay that encounter.
Setting the Crime generates a lot of information & you will collect even more information as you look for clues. To help with this, there is now a “Case Notebook” form that you can print & fill out.
The biggest change is the introduction of “circles”. In the last version, people came from different groups. In this version, you have the various social circles with which a person is affiliated. You will refer to these Circle tables to find “people of interest” to investigate. Among the “people” generator, you will be delighted to discover 8 new aliens. None as beautiful as a Xeog, but some pretty tough fellows. Also, later in the book are the official stats of the Cyndee just in case your investigation turns up one of these lethal beauties.
With all of the set up work done, I’m ready for the next encounter. Since it is the first clue, the encounter will take place at the crime scene. In this case the home of the scientist where he was last seen. I roll on the Advancing the Investigation table & discover that I’m to get information from a Person of Interest. Well this one is a no brainer, the spouse is the person I’m going to question. There is even a bullet point that states the Spouse is always a Person of Interest & should be questioned as soon as possible.
There are a few things I need to do before my star arrives at the home of the scientist. The first is that I need to see if there is a “Travel Encounter”. The travel encounter is exactly the same as the one in New Beginnings, but the one in New Hope City: PI has a table for the Traveling Results, whereas in New Beginnings, you only have text. Luckily, nothing happens & Gus & Valara safely travel to the Radvinski’s condo in Hope Heights.
Even though Gus rode in Valara’s car to the condo, I consult the New Hope Transit System map. The rectangle for Hope Heights has 2 numbers in each corner for each part of the day. The first number in each corner tells me the number of starting PEFs for the encounter & the second number tells me the law level. Gus & Valara met at the end of Gus’ morning workout, so the day part when they arrive in Hope Heights is “Day Time”. There will be 2 PEFs and the law level is 4.
I took a sheet of 18″ x 24″ paper & sketched out the Radvinski’s condo on the 8th floor of a 14 floor high-rise, complete with the hallways bordering the next door condos. Since this encounter takes place inside of a building, the PEFs are not placed as normal. Instead you do a “defining moment” when you enter the building & will have one of these defining moments for each day part that you remain inside of a building. You resolve the defining moment just like a PEF. So Gus & Valara step off of the elevator to the 8th floor & run into Rhona Blake, a minor executive officer for a company, on her way out of the building. They exchange pleasantries & move on.
Gus & Valara enter the condo without encountering anyone else. Gus decides to question Valara, which is probably the wrong time & place to do it. Valara gets additional d6 for being in a higher social circle than Gus & for being on her home turf. As a result, Gus encounters “Complications” to her willingness to answer questions. She attempts to cast doubt on Gus’ ability, but she is unable to discredit Gus. Gus tries again, this time he spends 3 items to suck up to the “social elite” & he is successful. Valara will answer his questions. Now Gus & Valara use their people skill & roll on the questioning table. The result is that Valara has provided Gus with valuable information & this counts as one clue solved.
In game terms, I’m now ready to move to the next encounter. In story terms, I now have a framework to write the next part of the story.