Below, in what are hopefully simple terms, will be a shorthand to how the game is played. Those interested should look into Wilderness of Mirrors by John Wick.
At the start of the campaign, each of the players will choose one of the templates provided above as their base stat-block, and begin to design a character from there. As this is a world of secrets and shadowed pasts, they will be allowed to develop their history as the characters are played.
Each Mission begins with a Briefing. The Agents will be given an objective, or a series of objectives. At this point, each player will be given an index card and given 15 minutes.
On the index card provided above, each player will list pieces of information about the objective, as well as how it was obtained. These are truths about the mission, and the more the intel puts the group at risk, the more it is worth. The more information that is listed, the more potential Mission Points the Team receives.
“The enemy is unarmed” is not okay.
“Sources from around the neighborhood suggest the enemy is unarmed” is better.
“Having talked to some of the pimps and drug dealers in the neighborhood, I’ve heard the enemy doesn’t seem to have any weapons” is best.
The group then goes around the table, declaring their intel to the others in character, and then pass in their cards.
Once the intel is gathered, and the group is briefed, Operations assigns a Team Leader based on Expertise, the best suited to the objective and intervening complications will usually be the Leader.
Team leaders will be determined at the start of each Mission, based on the Intel provided, in order to give the person with the most useful (to the Mission) Skillsets the opportunity to strategize.
The Team Leader is then taken aside, and talked to by Operations privately. They will be given a pool of Mission Points
to divide among the Team, as well as informed of any secondary objectives.
In addition, the Team Leader may spend their own Mission Points to aid allies that can see and hear them, rerolling a failed check (at the cost of a Mission Point) and replacing the Teammate’s roll with their own.
Roleplay begins in earnest now, as the Team is transported to the vicinity of their Objective, and set loose. From here on, any communications will be from Operations; the group will not be able to contact Operations until the mission is complete.
The longer a Mission takes, the more dangerous it becomes. This is expressed by the Timer. Every 20 minutes of real time every player loses one of their Mission Points. Breaks for food, smoking, or other matters where the majority of the group is away from the table will not count towards this total.
Completing the Mission will result in more Intel on the enemy, and possibly in further potential Goals.
It should be explained at this point that I am hereafter diverting from the core dice mechanic of WoM in favor of the mechanic presented in Houses of the Blooded.
Every character has 5 Attributes, each representing a different area of Expertise. Anytime they perform an action that puts themself, or others, at risk, they roll one of these.
All rolls are made against a TN of 10, with the player allowed to keep some dice out of the roll as wagers, which will affect the way the action progresses. If the roll succeeds, the player will be given Privilege, and be able to decide whether or not they succeed. Should the roll fail, that Privilege passes to the Narrator.
If you, as the player, can give a good reason why a particular Risk should fall under a particular Expertise, then that Expertise can be used for that roll. Other players may aid in making the argument, but the decision is ultimately up to Operations to okay or to deny the attempted switcheroo.
Any available dice that the player chooses not to roll are called Wagers. These allow details to be added to the action beyond simply determining passing or failing, on a one-for-one basis. 3 Wagers means 3 Details.
Be warned, though; any Wagers you make on a failed roll are used by the Narrator to add details onto the results of your action, for good or ill.
Mission Points are a player’s personal pool of points to spend to gain additional dice on a single action, allowing them to make greater Wagers or to ensure absolute success. These points only refresh at the start of a Mission.