Game Play Example
The Protocol Game Series relies on the scene-framing technique of many new games, but with a unique twist. The game series breaks down games into four different types of scenes - vignettes, interrogations, interludes, and ensembles - and into 13 different thematic catagories (based on the game being played).
The game opens with a quick character creation segment that takes no more than 10 minutes. It includes a few card draws (from a standard poker deck) and some Q&A. Then a player is selected to direct a quick a vignette (as prescribed by the game) before the game really starts.
Once the game is underway, a player takes on the role of director and draws two cards. The first card indicates the scene type and the second card indicates the location. Together, these elements help the director frame the scene.
Each card suit acts as a modifier, while the card value acts as a focus. For instance, a scene card drawn as a 5 of hearts might be Worry (5) and Interlude (hearts), while a location card drawn as an 8 of spades might be an apartment (8) and isolated (spades). [Charts are provided in each game.]
From these elements the director selects two characters (interludes have only two) and decides to place them in abandoned apartment complex where they are concerned about a friend who has gone missing. The director leaves the two characters to roleplay and calls scene when he or she has seen enough.
This cycle continues until each player has been the director four times. After that, the game enters the finale, and each game has its own rules for what to do then.
There are even special rules for a permanent director/gamemaster, if that's your style.
The games also include rules for drama points, which are a simple means of the players impacting the story even further. In the end, your aim is to tell a good story, not “win XP.”
The system is simple, elegant, smooth, and most of all fun. I'm serious here. I love playing this game. Why am I talking to you? I'm off to play Nacht Engel.
Next Update: Voting for the two extra games.