Author Topic: Numbers of encounters in a serial  (Read 1243 times)

Manic Man

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Numbers of encounters in a serial
« on: March 18, 2014, 10:11:13 AM »
My next question is again related to ELs, but more to do with figuring out how many challenges to present of what EL within a serial.  Once again, the Classic Spycraft Espionage Handbook had the right idea by providing Control with some tools to assist with this.  In the "Encounters" section of Chapter 9, starting on p. 263 and continuing on p. 264 and 265, there is a discussion and even a small chart.  I will quote from p. 264 "Assuming a team of four facing an encounter of equal level, you can roughly assume a 20% loss of resources (wp, gadgets, etc.). Four such scenes is about all such a team can handle; a fifth would overwhelm them."

Interestingly, just four paragraphs below the aforementioned quote, there is an example provided that I will again quote for ease of discussion: "Example: If you were designing a ten-encounter serial for a team of agents with an average level of 3, you should consider having five challenging encounters (EL 3), two encounters which are easy if handled properly (EL below 3 with elements that make it more difficult), two very difficult encounters (EL 4-8), and one easy encounter (EL below 3)."

Is the assumption here that Control should only allow the characters to encounter a subset of the ten encounters in this example serial, and then provide them with some way to take a break in order to heal and resupply?  Because otherwise I'm thinking this example serial would likely result in TPK, possibly twice over, based on the advice in the earlier paragraph.  Should perhaps a ten encounter serial largely consist of scenes with EL's two lower than the party average, and then only include maybe one or two equal EL scenes?  I didn't see anything in the errata PDF I purchased via Drive Thru RPG, so I figure I may just be misinterpreting what I'm reading again, sorry.

Nevertheless, despite what I see as sections that need some clarification, I still strongly applaud the inclusion of these tools in the original Spycraft Handbook and would like to see them included again in upcoming version 3.  Thanks again for any help that is provided in advance.


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Re: Numbers of encounters in a serial
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 08:45:41 PM »
This part of the rules is very much subject to GC purview, and there are far fewer hard-and-fast rules than there are loose suggestions. The table and example in question are trying to jointly show how you can apply the basic rules of thumb to a range and variety of serial constructions, but probably need more language indicating that they aren't an absolutely full view of the variations in play.

Glad you're liking the game! Hopefully Spycraft Third will speak to you as Classic clearly has.
Patrick Kapera
Crafty Games

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