The Choices

Definition

The Choices are questions about the Playset that the players answer together.
  • A Playset has four Choices to make.
  • Each of the Choices establishes a broad truth about the setting.
  • It then offers two options to further elaborate on that truth in different–sometimes opposing–directions.

Intention

While the Playset is mostly pre-written, these Choices give players a feeling of authorship over the world their story will take place in.
Aim to make one of the options for each Choice consistent with The Pitch, so that players can easily create a world that meets their expectations. You can be more experimental with the other option.
The scope of each Choice should be limited enough so that any possible combination of the four Choices makes sense.
These Choices can also be used to establish the tone of the story, through decisions on violence, politics and other sensitive elements of the setting.

Example – Introduction

The story of Saint-Lazare begins in the coastal city of Marseille, but the real action begins when our cast of characters moves to Paris—the grand capital.
However, we aren’t trying to make a historical facsimile of this famous city. Here, we’ll shape this rich source material into something we're all excited to explore.
As we go, we should make notes on the board, reference media touchstones and ask clarifying questions. We can always revise our answers if a better idea emerges.
– The Count of Saint-Lazare Playset, Jack Harrison

Example – Choice

ANCIENT ORDERS, ARCANE TRUTHS
Despite their science, many follow the old ways. Choose one:
  • Many of the rich and powerful swear fealty to an enduring secret society—each one a Hand of the prophetic Paper Queen.
  • Magic is real, but only the clergy are permitted to use it. That doesn’t stop the underclasses from trying though...
– The Count of Saint-Lazare Playset, Jack Harrison