Scenario Writing

Where new Keepers can ask "stupid" questions without fear of hazing.
Thomas R. Knutsson
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Re: Scenario Writing

Post by Thomas R. Knutsson » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:42 pm

As it's a Horror RPG, I have one good tip. Make it personal. With that I mean, if you know what your players are afraid of, throw in something that will scare or creep them out. Throw also in things that you find creepy, chances are that some of your players will also be freaked out by it. And if possible, try to tie in things with the background of their characters, in case that is something they've fleshed out. The closer and more personal it becomes to both the players and the characters, the more horror you've managed to infuse into the horror game.
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Re: Scenario Writing

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:08 am

Thomas R. Knutsson wrote:As it's a Horror RPG, I have one good tip. Make it personal. With that I mean, if you know what your players are afraid of, throw in something that will scare or creep them out. Throw also in things that you find creepy, chances are that some of your players will also be freaked out by it. And if possible, try to tie in things with the background of their characters, in case that is something they've fleshed out. The closer and more personal it becomes to both the players and the characters, the more horror you've managed to infuse into the horror game.
I couldn't agree more. Because I agree infinity.

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Re: Scenario Writing

Post by Koakai » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:41 pm

Alright, just some stuff on here since I do not know I will ever get to forming this anywhere but in my own head unless I write it down somewhere, and here at least gives me the sharing it aspect.

I came up with this plan upon learning of Cole Island, a former british naval site, turned Canadian naval site, turned abandoned military urban exploration target. It is unique because it is very close to the town of Victoria, yet isolated in the middle of the harbour. It was used for many years as a magazine storage base until the 1940's, when during the second world war it was decommissioned as newer and closer magazines were built in the military base of Esquimalt. It is interesting in that it was built very early in the British rule over this coast, in 1859. Overall it is a very small island, so any action on it would be quite condensed. http://www.maureenduffus.com/cole-island.html

I was thinking of moving it off shore a little more, and making it slightly bigger but keeping the same general time scale. It would be a base that they were rapidly decommissioning for 'reasons of national security' in that it would be harder to protect with the new japanese threat.

There were a great number of buildings on this island during it's heyday, including a filling shed, gun cotton storage, and similar. It is possible that one or more of these could have been abandoned at some point and/or decommissioned early.
colemap.jpg
Map of buildings
colemap.jpg (96.94 KiB) Viewed 5496 times
This gives me a spot to have the investigators discover and/or research.

Now there is also a marine unit living area that could have old records, which at the time would stretch back nearly a hundred years if I allowed them to still be there. This could include older buildings such as above that are not in use, or these old records may have been stuffed into the walls as insulation as was often the case with 'scrap paper'. Maybe a sharp eyed investigator would spot a rat hole and a nest of old papers from the british admiralty, disregarded as useless and relegated to this task.

But what investigators? I was thinking of having them be members of the PCMR, or pacific coast militia and rangers, and assigned here to decommission the base as a voluntary duty to relieve fighting men for whatever action is going on at the time. Given a quick crash course in explosives they are sent here aboard a converted fishing trawler (a gumboot navy vessel) to take on this task. These men would be from all over, from miners and foresters, to just men who were too old for the fighting but wanted to serve. This gives us our typical investigator tropes in a place where mythosy things can happen. We can also isolate them by removing the fishing boat (going back on sub patrol/the shelling of the lighthouse nearby has them on high alert), to large winter storms suddenly making travel impossible.

More thoughts to come.
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Re: Scenario Writing

Post by Howard » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:03 pm

Giving the Investigators a tie-in from the get go is the easiest. PCMR works. I'm always curious when I listen to new scenarios on AP podcasts how the Keeper is going to get complete strangers to give up their time and their lives and hunt cultists together to the death. The role-playing "Social Contract" is that you, the player, just go along with whatever they, the Keeper, come up with. Sometimes it works and sometimes I'm listening and I think, "that character should just run away"

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Re: Scenario Writing

Post by MrEben » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:11 pm

I really like this island as a setting. I understand the impulse to move it further offshore from Victoria, but leaving it somewhat nearby might actually serve to heighten the isolation once the boat has returned to the mainland. I mean what could be worse than being absolutely trapped on the island, but just being able to see the freedom of the inaccessible mainland?

Also, a closer to shore island would be more accessible to cultists or other NPCs by small craft. I imagine an abandoned naval base would be quite attractive to those up to no good.


I am psyched to see what you do with this. I have been messing around with a similar concept, based around the abandoned pig iron works in Fayette, on Michigan's upper peninsula.
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Re: Scenario Writing

Post by Eibon » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:36 am

I think you have a sound setting, and the PCMR gives you a set of pre-gereated player characters for a one-shot. Personally I'd go for a fog bank to cut the island off, it reduces visibility so allows for spooky encounters when travelling from building to building, it's easy to loose track of where people are, and it stops signals to the shore. If there's a lighthouse nearby then you can have a mournful fog horn sound effect for atmosphere, and it will be chilly. All good moody stuff.

You seem to be suggesting that the British found something when they built the fort. I would work on the back story and the Mythos connection next. Was the island visited by Deep Ones. Is it the "cap stone" of a Great Old One's sealed tomb? Did the British garrison members go mad and mess with the Occult (read Mythos)? Does it just happen to be situated at a point where the dimension barriers are thin (like The House On The Borderlands) or did a "Philadelphia Experiment" style project cause problems as someone tried to use Mythos entities as weapons? Do any of the PCMR (including NPCs) have prior knowledge or an interest in the "secret" of the island? How were the Canadian soldiers effected by whatever it was? Do the Navy know the secret?

Then you need something to trigger events. If the secret has lain dormant from the 1860s, then why is it a threat now? Who has "poked it with a stick"? And once it's active, what is its plan and timescale for achieving that plan. Is there an urgency, or could people just leave and it would be fine?

Consider something like John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness" (not his best film, but certainly Lovecraftian). In this a group of archeologists find a container with a swirling liquid inside it in the vault of an old church. The liquid is liquified Devil and over time it would have precipitated back into a solid, but at the moment it is still swirling about. If the archeologists had just walked away, the world would have been safe for a few more millennia, but they try to open the container and some of the liquid evil escapes and brings about the end of the world. The danger is triggered by the archeologists, the Devil's plan is to destroy the world, and that plan required human intervention for the Devil to achieve his aim within a year or two of his release from the container.

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