Inspectres is a role-playing game--but it is one that will knock you out of that comfortable little mindset you have been playing with all these years. You see Inspectres makes the move to put the power in the player's hands and not the game master's. I will get back to this...

Imagine what kind of a world you would have if you combined Ghostbusters and fast moving atmosphere of the startup scene of the late Nineties... You and your fellow Inspectres are either starting or are members of a franchise of Inspectres. You take care of people's paranormal problems discreetly for a fee. In this world weird things happen, but if anything people are more embarrased than frightened about them.

The game follows a predicatable path (if you have seen Ghostbusters, you basically know it):

  1. The client approaches the franchise with their problem.
  2. The team researches and does some field work to figure out what is going on.
  3. The team gets their gear, suits up, and does battle with whatever it is that is creating the disturbance.
  4. The team reaps the rewards--builds up the franchise a bit and take a much needed vacation.

Now, getting back to the revolutionary aspect of the game... It has its greatest impact in the above mentioned second step. In your standard RPG the GM would have everything all planned out--they would know who the villain was, the places the players would have to go to, the clues they would have to decode, etc. It doesn't happen that way in Inspectres.

You see, in the beggining, the GM knows about as much about what is going on as the players do. The GM knows what the client said the problem was--the symptoms as it were. He doesn't know what the diagnosis is though--that is for the players and the GM to figure out together.

Whenever anything is in doubt in Inspectres you make a dice roll. Depending on how the roll comes out either the player or the GM will describe the outcome. Five out of six times the player has input on how the outcome proceeds (even if it is negative).

Now let me say this one more time, and this time a little more explicitly: More than half the time the player determines the outcome and description of an attempted action!

What does this mean? Why am I getting so vocal? Well here is a little example:

After the client has informed the team of the problem they hit the library and do some investigating. Joe (the bookworm) wants to hit the library - he describes all the books he wants to check out, etc. The GM makes him roll, he is successful. The GM says "So what did you find out?" The player tells him what he found (yes, the player controls the plot for once).

Tom (the gumshoe) wants to go scope out the client's house. He says how he is going to sneak around and do some surveillence overnight. The GM asks him to roll, he is successfull. The GM asks "So what went on last night?" The player describes what his character saw (yes, yet again the player is controlling the plot).

Oh, and if this isn't enough to get those control-freakish GMs in a lather there is the Confessional. Have you ever seen one of those reality TV shows? Know those times where one of the people goes into a tiny room with a camera and tells their part of the story? You get to do that to in Inspectres. The player gets to take their character "off to the side" to tell what happened. Whatever they say could have happened in the past, the present, or even the future--but the player says what happen(ed/s).

Okay, now I hear you all of these miles away saying "that's too much power for a player, let alone all players to have! They will run rampant and power hungry and do whatever and everything they want! You have to keep them in line!" Why? Are the players little children with no maturity? No desire to tell a fun/scary/exciting story? If so, they shouldn't play. Or is it that you can't get out of the mindset of The GM Is God?

Inspectres can be played any way you want, but is intended for humor and horror. Everyone can have fun with it as long as they leave their preconceptions at the door. Unfortunately there are few things harder than that.

It is only available as a pdf, on the web at and no, I have no affiliation with the author.

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