I Bumped into this Kickstarter the night before last and gave it a look over. It’s just about over 1/3 of the way to its goal with 19 days left.
So what is Bump in the Night ? It’s title plainly states that it is a Role playing game of paranormal Investigation.
At first I thought to myself that there are plenty of games out there at already do this style of play very well. Could another game in this genre work ? So I looked deeper, And you discover the interesting nice that the author is carving out. Your play a team of investigators building an agency from the ground up.
Immediately my mind began to race. You could play Mystery Inc . Or T.A.P.S (Ghost Hunters) or even Ghostbusters to name a few ! If this agency system is set up well. Now that my friend is a new slant other than chasing after flesh bound books and fleeing for your lives as your sanity melts away like hot butter in the Carolina heat.
The game promises a class system built around investigator roles and open skill lists working in a “Class-Light” system. So that it is easy to customize your character. It works off a 3D6 based system. A style I rarely play with but a solid dice system.
My worry here is very little info in the first part of the kickstarter informing you about what the “Agency” is. They tell you that the common driving goal of your team is to build your Agency and chose your Agency’s goal. Now I know that to the Author it more than likely sounds very straight forward because they understand the vision of what an Agency is. But for me I need some more meat and potatoes for what my Agency brings to the table in the game.
I know your thinking but Shane you just mentioned above we could be Ghostbusters ! Yes but was back when I saw this was a class light system focusing on the players actions and descriptions. This strikes me as a great concept for a light one shot or quick 2-3 session story driven game. But when the Agency comes in we now are enter the realm of long-term game. And in a long-term game if the Agency is my goal I need to understand better what it brings to the table in terms of game play.
Worry not ! Someone (not me) slapped down the ten buck on the project and asked the big question ! What is an agency and what does it do for me ! Well not really but that was part of the answer that was given and here it is.
As for what sets Bump apart from other games, the two big things that we focused on in design and testing were a focus on business and investigation. A big part of a group’s progression is the creation of an Agency. A group’s Agency provides the space, supplies, and clients necessary to be a legitimate organization rather than a group of people just running around with video cameras. We also wanted to make sure the game had a focus in investigating paranormal activity rather than either fighting it or merely going mad from the revelation, as in many other games that came up when I was researching the idea.
–Casey Hasyes (creator)
Casey further elaborates with his first update telling us that;
Once the players know what kind of Agency they want to run, the group builds the Agency as its own type of character. The Agency gets points in several attributes, including Space (how much space can the Agency physically support), Resources (supplies bought for the Agency, as well as possible salaries for its members), and Publicity (how much effort goes int advertising the Agency.) As the group successfully completes cases, the Agency grows with them, allowing for more space, prestige, and usefulness.
The goal of an Agency is to “Hit it Big” allowing them to choose more direction such as TV Shows and such and attract NPC’s
All and all an interesting Idea and one I would like to see a session of. I would love to see more detail about intent of how to keep the investigative interests and flavor for a long-term ghost hunt going… But the Ghost Hunters have pulled it off for 7+ years I can imagine a GM can pull it off.
Pro: The game is done ! and in beta .. your just kicking for a copy of PDF or hard copy !
Con: My personal Jury is still out on Agency and the longevity of a game of this type
Would I get it ? I Think so, I might use it for cool one shots and short games with Pre-worked Agency’s for the players to use at the time of the game. I find the idea fresh but I think This would not be a long-term game in my collection. That said, I have a friend that has played the same Cthulhu game for nearly 5 years now. So this will fill an itch some players have had the desire for.