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Author Topic: Agency vs. Freelance  (Read 1624 times)
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« on: July 16, 2012, 02:53:06 AM »

Hi Guys,

so third edition... sounds intriguing... back to the spy roots is a good thing (I've always stayed true to the classic version)

anyway to the question...

when considering the spy genre, I always see 2 different approaches  "Agency" vs "Freelancer", maybe a bit of  an example…
 
“Agency” for me is more “Bond”, “Spy Game”, “SFA”, “Spooks”, “Alias”,… that kind of stuff…
“Freelancer” is more the heist  “Ocean’s <insert number her>”,  “Italian Job”, “Fast & Furious” (ever seen a team of wheelmen working together?),…

it worked in the other versions as well, but there was always the $$ vs Budget Points/Gadget Points things… how are you guys going to approach this?

back from the dead

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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 08:33:51 AM »

I think all of us are interested in the upcoming answer.
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 08:35:23 PM »

It's been in the mission statement since the outset of our design - both the Agency and Freelance models will be supported. The big question at the moment is how much of the Freelance model winds up in the core game and how much becomes part of a supplement for the line, and that's not a question we'll be able to answer for a while yet. It has to do more with presentation than space, honestly. We'll be picking the distribution that helps make both books easiest to read and use.
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 08:39:44 PM »

Thanks, Pat! Hope you enjoyed Comic Con
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 09:21:20 PM »

Thanks, Pat! Hope you enjoyed Comic Con

It was great. I have many Off-Topic updates - including pictures! - but first, getting back to all of you who emailed me over the weekend. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 11:25:45 PM »

Thx Pat,

Looking forward to it...

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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 10:12:22 AM »

It's been in the mission statement since the outset of our design - both the Agency and Freelance models will be supported. The big question at the moment is how much of the Freelance model winds up in the core game and how much becomes part of a supplement for the line, and that's not a question we'll be able to answer for a while yet. It has to do more with presentation than space, honestly. We'll be picking the distribution that helps make both books easiest to read and use.

IMO, I need to be able to run Bond, Burn Notice, Spy Kids, Sneakers, the Bourne Identity, and the Expendables out of the box.
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 10:21:08 AM »

Remember - the more goes in, the bigger the book is, and the bigger the book is, the harder it is to learn, teach, and use. It's a universal truth with RPGs. Thus the dilemma.

We'll figure it out. It won't be perfect for everyone - it can't be - but it'll hopefully work for most folks, and expand well for others, and that will have to be enough.
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 10:58:49 AM »

Remember - the more goes in, the bigger the book is, and the bigger the book is, the harder it is to learn, teach, and use. It's a universal truth with RPGs. Thus the dilemma.

Pat ,

Personally I prefer a lean but complete book.  It does not have to cover everything in a single book.  It's daunting to open a 500page book of rules.... (or more recently a 200mb pdf)

Main book  'basic concept'.... additional books 'agency how to + examples' and/or 'freelance how to + examples'

But that's just my take

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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 11:24:37 AM »

The thing is, Agency + Freelance don't really mean anything in terms of gearing up.  The team can be fully agency backed, but still gear up with Cash (discrete operations budget, for example).  On the flip side, the team can be totally freelance, but still gear up with gear picks/points/whatevers (via a private armoury/cache/stockpile).

The real difference between Agency and Freelance is the result of exposure, your support net, and varied access to specialised gear.  Not how you gear up.  The two really need to be divorced.  All that matters is that the mechanics support different methods of gearing up - the "why" is up to the GM.

In many ways, Agency and Freelance should be more like Renown tracks in Fantasy Craft (just extended) - get caught, and Agency guys can call in governmental legal aid, while Freelance guys call on a mate to bust them out.
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 11:40:32 AM »

It's true that "Agency vs. Freelance" isn't the best analogy, and that it really is more about method of acquisition which can apply to either (and that's how we've been looking at it for some time, even though we've adopted the same shorthand many have for discussing the matter).

The problem arises if either of those systems becomes too cumbersome, or worse, both do. Alex and I had a long discussion about gear at the last summit and we worked up a great but far, far too detailed system to make gear exactly what every group wants - on their own terms. That system may honestly never see the light of day, as it's just too complex - perhaps even too complex for a supplement.

As I say, I'm confident we can cover the core necessities in the core book. I'm also sure there will be compromises. It's just the name of the game unless you're putting out an opus - and this time, at least, we're not.
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 11:42:43 AM »

Pat, I trust you and Alex to give us the best overall work you can by blending what you need to. This community is highly talented and skilled in improvise solutions not in the text in case we fill we need to provide a third option solution. We trust you.
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 11:57:53 AM »

Pat, I trust you and Alex to give us the best overall work you can by blending what you need to. This community is highly talented and skilled in improvise solutions not in the text in case we fill we need to provide a third option solution. We trust you.


Ditto
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 09:54:48 PM »

The problem arises if either of those systems becomes too cumbersome, or worse, both do. Alex and I had a long discussion about gear at the last summit and we worked up a great but far, far too detailed system to make gear exactly what every group wants - on their own terms. That system may honestly never see the light of day, as it's just too complex - perhaps even too complex for a supplement.

I'd be really happy to see that.  If only out of curiousity, knowing that it likely won't see the light.
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 03:37:13 AM »

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Seems to be the season for old guard to come in from the cold....

I've seen a lot of debate elsewhere on the internet recently about the merits of 'lots of smaller books' vs 'a couple of big books'. Depending on the pricing, it seems that people prefer less books, though that may be an ingrained dislike of WotC's 'ALL OF THE BOOKS' system.

Personally, I err on the side of less books overall, but eBooks are starting to swing me back the other way. Laptops can make really good GM screens...
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