All Quiet No Peace is one of the most ambitious Paragon playset I’ve read. Instead of only trying to play with the strengths of Agon which is mainly about power fantasy and fun rivalry, it transforms it into a convincing horror system by a few interesting changes.
The most marking and (again) ambitious one is the Terror Phase which works really well. Stress bonus dice is also here and more than just being a really really fun mechanic to play with : it changes completely your relationship to stress.
But some problems appear when going over the details.
- While the debt is a very powerful storytelling tool creatin this unifying final hope of retiring a character, no initial debt is actually suggested. This makes it seems way more frivolous than it should, an accessory instead of a central theme. It also makes the cost of reanimation useless.
- Termination does not seem to give any bonus to character going close to termination (which is fine), but the dots on the character sheet seem to indicate the opposite or are useless to play.
- Rules for long-term employees don’t work at all since termination is not definitive and only costs 2 debt and one permanent stress. It also isn’t really interesting or thematic having an advantage after a dead character when the usual paragon games ignore that problem by being about character power and having collective retiring options.
A few points may need a bit of polishing?
- I’m not sure if giving 1 merit for a won assignment is a practical joke on the players or a typo for 1 point.
- Preparation “clearing bonuses and marking new ones” does not make explicit what those bonuses are. Employee perks?
- What resolve is, really is unclear, as well as “senior rank” employees. I guess it’s an additional stress buffer. It may then be a bit too good for the cost if it also self cleans between every scenario like written page 7.
- Merits, Points and Debt. While debt is really evocative, merits and points are not, maybe something like corpocredits would be more appropriate? “Burn your debt and join the resistance”, isn’t as much as a choice as saying: “I guess you could play another game and pretend it’s this one”.
- Clarifying the limit (or lack thereof) on resurrecting an already perma stressed character. Can you resurrect 3, 4, or an infinite amount of time the same character?
- Maybe Dread being by mission should be a bit more explicit.
- Survive working with Scramble as the usual Agon battle conclusion may need to be said here, even if implied.
- The term Virtues instead of Employee Core Competencies is used on page 7.
I will continue on following it and will rate it as highly as it deserves, if and when a few of those problems are taken care of.