[Primetime Adventures] A Quick Tip

My friends and I got to play the next episode of our Primetime Adventures game, Star Wars: The Sith Triumvirate. I will be writing a complete episode report in the next few days, but I wanted to put out this one tip for all Primetime Adventures players out there independent of the write-up (I know those go long and not everyone reads them).

When playing an episode where a player character(s) has a Screen Presence of 3, sit the player(s) immediately to the right of the Producer. Since game play in PTA goes clockwise from the Producer, when the last round of play comes about, this will leave the character(s) with the main spotlight to have their scene last, thus giving them the chance to end their spotlight episode with a bang!

We learned this the hard way. The character with SP 3 was sitting first to the left of the Producer. When he framed his scene, it turned out to be the climatic scene for that character, and in effect ended the episode, even though we went to the next scene and fought with it for almost 20 minutes before we truly realized the episode had already (organically) ended and we were, honestly, just messing things up. If this player had been sitting to my right, that scene could have properly closed the episode with the proper bang.

Consider it for your next PTA game.


  1. Your post is a little confusing to me, Daniel. You make it sound like position at the table determines which scene is last.


  2. The way I’ve played PTA, both this game and the Gen Con Star Wars game, we’ve always gone clockwise doing the scenes, and when the last round is called, once it gets back to the Producer, it’s over and we do the Next Time On. Only once, at GC, did we end an episode in a scene before this round-the-table thing was done, because it seemed like that was the organic end.

    Are we misunderstanding something about how an episode’s scenes should flow?


  3. That sounds like a house rule, a perfectly fine one, but a houserule nevertheless. It assumes everyone gets an equal number of scenes, which isn’t required. And it might get confusing when you remember that the spotlight player requests the second scene after the producer.

    Probably what I’d do if you wanted everyone to get equal opportunity is put the spotlight player on the producer’s left. That starts the episode in the right order. Then the producer can frame the last scene for the spotlight player or go one more and give the spotlight player the last scene and one more than everyone else.


  4. Daniel,

    We never consciously played this way. We ended our Star Wars sessions based on how many coins I had left in the pot.


  5. I’m running to make it home for Shabbat, so I’ll reply more in depth later. I’ll also reread the book, because I know PTA more from how we played at Gen Con than how the book says it is played.


  6. So I read through the PTA book today and I realize I’ve been playing “wrong” all along. I use quotations because I guess how we’ve been doing it can work fine, but I was playing using only half the information. I set our game in PR based on how the game at GC was done, except now I realize that I was listening to half of the conversation, so to speak.

    Judd used the clockwise-round-the-table for the pilot because everyone has SP 2, and when we played the other episodes last year, I think we just followed that format out of rote or simply because no character had SP 3 yet (the missing half of the conversation being that Judd, as someone who had played PTA before, quite assuredly knew that if a 3 was at the table, the scene-calling order would have been different). For my pilot, the round-the-table worked fine, again because everyone is SP 2, as it did for the first episode with a mix of SP 1s and 2s. For this last episode we played, with a character at SP 3, it totally failed (in retrospect) since neither I nor the other players really gave the spotlight character the true attention he should have gotten. He did get to have his shinning moment and achieve a major development anyway, but it could have been done a lot better.

    Next episode will also break the rules as it has three characters at SP 3 (I reduced the number of episodes so we could play it all while I am in Puerto Rico), so that’ll be another mess, though now I know how to handle it a bit better (we also had problems with multisided conflicts).


  7. Hi Daniel, I still do not understand what would have being different? If I understand correctly those this means that I could have had more scenes than the other???


  8. @The Enforcer – Yes, more or less. You sat to my left, so after my opening, you had the first scene; that was good. When all was said and done, you had one more scene than everyone since we ended up tossing that other scene in Hoth that just wasn’t working. In that sense, you were fine. But ideally, more scenes should have had the focus on you, since it was your spotlight episode (like, the other characters should have been calling for scenes with you in them). Going over the audio, it shows you were quite present during the entire episode, so overall I think it really was Master Doom’s spotlight for sure; it’s more of a “we could have been doing this more consciously than by chance” kind of thing.

    Was that helpful?


  9. Actually yes it was helpful, that is the way I was thinking the episode would go. For my surprise it was not but is cool I understand.


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