I’ve made mention on a few episodes of a game I’ve been developing for a long time called Time and Tide. While the current version of it uses a modified version of the mechanics from Hot War, it started out as something quite different.
Several years ago, I pitched a game to play at the Milton Keynes RPG club that would be set in a new town built on the site of old Innsmouth, where the majority of residents had no idea of the local history, but some were inextricably linked with it. The idea was to play it as a TV series, a bit like Twin Peaks in tone. I didn’t have any other details planned out beyond the basic premise , so I wanted everyone at the table to help shape it. The obvious system to use was Primetime Adventures, and this turned out to be the perfect choice. We spent a few hours talking about the setting and then nine weeks playing out a series set there. It was one of the best games I’ve been involved with.
There isn’t a sole factor that makes Primetime Adventures a great game. It’s light and versatile, and by using the language of television, it is immediately accessible even to non-gamers in a way few other RPGs can manage.
I’ve run many campaigns and one-shots over the years, including a whole bunch of convention games, and I can’t think of many other games that are as reliable for getting everyone involved quickly and having fun.
The aforementioned versatility of Primetime Adventures is simply amazing. I’ve been the Producer (GM) for such diverse series as a family drama about drug-smuggling in the Carribean, a buddy cop show set after a zombie apocalypse, a 1970s-style British sitcom based on the works of Dennis Wheatley, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about a recruitment agency for supervillains’ minions and a light comedy about a vampire-run strip club facing a hostile takeover from the Russian Mafia. The system has supported each seamlessly, turning from comedy to drama to horror without missing a beat.
The only problem with Primetime Adventures is that it’s been out of print for a few years. Matt Wilson has been developing a new edition with a few minor-but-excellent rules tweaks, and he has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its release. At the time of posting, the campaign is almost funded, with 29 days to go, so it’s definitely going to happen. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new edition!