Nights Black Agents Ep 1: Red Rock Dreams part 1 of 2

3 agents head to Russia to uncover the secrets of a new and terrifying gang of drug dealers.

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4 comments on “Nights Black Agents Ep 1: Red Rock Dreams part 1 of 2

  1. Erathia says:

    I’ve never heard of this system before now, so my only knowledge about it was it was detectives and vampires. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything wrong with it, but while listening I couldn’t think of anything that it did or presented that made me like this system more than Unhallowed Metropolis, Supernatural or New World of Darkness.

  2. Angela says:

    Well, it’s far less deadly than Unhallowed Metropolis, so it has that going for it!

    I believe this will be talked about in the second half when we do our customary review (it’s been a few months since we played this so I don’t remember exactly what we said), but what I really like about the Gumshoe system (the core of Nights Black Agents as well as our recent Timewatch game) is it starts from an assumption that you’re an expert in your field, so when you’re using the investigative skills at the heart of the game, you’re almost always going to succeed, it’s just a matter of how much you succeed by. It’s also focused more on investigation than combat, which none of the other systems you mentioned can claim (investigating things is practically handwaved in Supernatural, since on the show it’s usually covered in a montage or a lucky find in the trove of Men of Letters documents). UM/SPN/NWoD games don’t HAVE to be gory kill fests, but they all lend themselves to that much more easily than Nights Black Agents (and other Gumshoe games) does, and vice versa NBA doesn’t have to be a procedural but it lends itself to that better than UM/SPN/NWoD do.

    I hope you stick around for part two to hear everyone’s thoughts!

  3. Jake says:

    I’m planning to stick around for Part 2, it was more just an observation that because I don’t know the Gumshoe system at all that there didn’t seem to be that much of the setting that really made it stand out for me. The only real thing I know with absolutely no other knowledge about the setting is vampires exist and most people don’t know, which hasn’t made this stand out yet.

    I will say I’m in complete agreement that I do very much prefer starting out with characters who actually feel like they are good at the things they’re supposed to be good at. In I believe every system I’ve played in I find combat to be the least interesting part of the game, so investigation and interactions are what I like to focus on. Dungeons with grid-based threats can die in a fire with no reflex save.

    I’ve found that NWoD actually can be run without combat quite effectively, provided that you don’t mind your players slowly going insane. I sure don’t.

  4. Syren says:

    Well I won’t lie a lot of what makes the system so cool lies under the hood. The kind of investigation the skills are built around are very based on spy style intelligence gathering and just by taking a look through it you can get that pretty clear, the sheer multifaceted means by which the players can approach getting informed is significant and can make their response even moreso. And it goes pretty deep on real intelligence work to get you in the mindset.

    On the other end is the vampires themselves, the setting at this point becomes incredibly modular with about four vampiric umbrella types and a whole mess of ways to mix and match traits along with food for thought about how your specific vampire conspiracy may have survived and thrived in reality.

    It is unlikely two campaigns supernatural setting will look exactly the same at the point of meeting the monsters and submonsters and the how behind them.

    But it is pretty hard to see all that cool junk when you see it top down and being played, but believe me its some sweet stuff.

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