When reporters look for a source of information, such as a person to ask questions, they must first collaborate with other players to “Find a Source.”
Collaborating players share narrative authority over that character, and can assume the role as required in scenes.
What is it
This is a collaborative rule, usually involving three players: The active reporter, a volunteer, and the editor.
The reporter and volunteer will need to reference their info sheets for key details. The editor can consult an existing plot or invent a new key detail.
When to use it
Use this rule any time you need to bring a new character into the game. This might be at the start of your investigation, or after an interview points outwards.
When not to use it
If your reporter already knows a source, skip this and go straight to Gaining Access.
If a source exists, but your player doesn’t know about it, Take Downtime to Share Information instead.
How it’s done
1. Find a volunteer
Find a volunteer player to collaborate with. If you’re interested in a specific topic or area, you might ask the player with the appropriate info sheet.
2. Collect details
- One player selects a key detail from their Beat. Optionally, they may instead invent a new detail and take an Incredible point.
- The other player does the same, but using their Neighborhood instead of Beat.
- The editor contributes a final key detail, usually related to the ongoing story.
3. Build a character
Players use these details as inspiration, coming up with an explanation for how all these different elements tie together. You’ll also want to give the character a name.
4. Record it
It’s important to write the new character’s info down! Characters will show up in later scenes, and potentially in later game sessions.
You’ll want to record the following:
- The character’s name
- The info sheets (Beat and Neighborhood) used in creation; these are known as the character’s Ties.
- The three key details which started the character.
- A quick sentence describing tying everything together.
5. Tie it to you
Finally, use all this to figure out how your reporter has learned of the character. Play out a short scene where you learn about them (but haven’t met them yet). Draw on volunteers to play other characters. You might flash back to a prior interview and let an older source give you the tip-off, talk to a street vendor, see them at a club, or hear about them when you ask around.
Both players involved, the reporter and the volunteer, gain one point of Credibility for finding a new source. The volunteer may gain a second point of credibility by inventing a new detail; the reporter may spend one point of credibility to do the same.
The method for rolling a key detail is included to make selecting one easier; it’s not mandatory. Players can select any detail from their handouts, provided one uses a Neighborhood and the other a Beat.
Once players have finished finding a source, they should have notes like the following:
- Robert BECKFORD — Gangsters, Astoria
- Details: Alliances, Rustic, Dodging Blame
- Beckford is an old country gentleman with many alliances. He’s dodging blame for the fire, which could put them in jeopardy.
- Harry CAGEROS — Politics, Gashouse District
- Details: Looming Scandal, Suspicious of Magic, Too Curious
- Harry’s suspicions about magic drive him to delve deep into its dark side. People have started to talk negatively about this.
How it looks
In the following example, three players (the active reporter, another player collaborating, and the editor) use this rule to build a source.
- I need to find a source, preferably someone with ties to Cultists. Casey, want to collaborate?
- I’d love to! We’ll use my beat and your neighborhood.
- Excellent, let’s get some details!
- Let’s see, from Astoria I rolled ‘Haunted’… what’ve you got?
- I’m gonna pick ‘Influential’ from my sheet.
- I’ll throw in ‘Stands to Profit’.
- Hrm, Haunted, Influential, and Stands to Profit… with ties to cultists.
- Maybe ‘Influential’ means they’re someone important in the cult?
- I like that! Oooh, and maybe they’re haunted by a dead rival! But what about the profit…
- Could be they killed their rival to rise in influence.
- Oh, and they’re planning to do it again!
- Let’s start writing this down— I can’t wait to see what comes out in the interview!
- Oh, almost forgot a name. Let me roll one up… Norman Gross!