“It’s a Seeeeecret!”

The Durham 3 talk about Secrets in Gaming — very specifically, in the first couple minutes they talk about secrets in Shadow of Yesterday, which makes it REALLY relevant for the players in the Petrana game. To whit: if you have a ‘big secret thing’ that you’re character’s all about, and you don’t tell anyone about it, there’s no way to get awarded for it by the game system, which is how ‘big things my character is all about’ are measured.

Just in general, though, I think it’s an excellent discussion of how to HAVE secrets as character, NOT have them as players, and still ENJOYING them in the game.

Generally, as a ‘nothing up my sleeve’ player/GM, I like this approach a lot, I support it — I like having that kind of open discussion and open work on character Secrets — we’re using that level of openess in The Mountain Witch, to an extent, and I think it helps everyone socket into the game. Also, discusses GM-secrets and how to approach that.
It’s just a good podcast. Recommended.


  1. To summarize:
    1. TSOY requires secrets to be secret from the other characters, not from the other players.
    2. Some folks don’t care for that, playing from “behind the eyeballs” and liking the character secret to get the “big reveal” to the other players.
    3. Some cases of that, though, turn out to be damaging to the game (esp. when being used as a power play against other players). A betrayal of the group.
    4. Frustration of having a secret *but* wanting the other players/characters to play off of it — and/or people not learning the secret until it’s forced. “Lonely fun.”
    5. Secret stuff is cool.
    6. Difference between Secrets and Reveals. GM secrets. Sometimes driven by the game/setting.
    No real conclusions, except that secrets are sometimes difficult to manage well, and that even “open” settings like TSOY sometimes require secrets (from the GM).

  2. “Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.”
    — Paul Tournier (1848-1986)

  3. Also: that quote’s from WIST, and… is that date range right? The guy lived 138 years?

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