Idea I had for an adventure

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Canageek
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Idea I had for an adventure

Post by Canageek » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:30 am

I phoned some of this in, but thought I'd write it out, since it was um, split up over 4 calls, which might mean it is too long for the show.

Anyway, I had an adventure idea that I had some trouble with based on this Washington Post article.

The players get a call for help from a friend who has joined this community, asking for help. The people here do not trust the police or government, but are scared, and this person got help from the players way back. (Possibly a former NPC or PC?)

It seems people are going missing. First it was hikers, hunters and an ATV driver. Not super unusual except for the number: You break your leg in the woods without having told anyone where you are going, well, chances are they might find your body in a decade or two. However, then they find a truck by the side of the road. AR-15 assault rifle still attached to the drivers seat, keys still in the ignition, seatbelt still done up and doors locked. Between when the players are called in and when they arrive someone has gone missing from their home. They were cleaning their weapons, all of them spread out at the table, like Mal did on Firefly, but then vanished.

On the plus side, the players won't have to deal with any police or government forces, as the locals don't trust them and don't want them around. However, the players are themselves outsiders with no authority and people are scared, armed and distrustful of outsiders.

What I don't have is why the newcomers to the region are being targeted? The Aryan Brotherhood had a compound there for a long time, and they weren't attacked by ghosts. So what has this new group of outsiders done to be targeted? My current idea is a wife who's husband spent their life savings on land here and survival supplies, then forced her to retire her with him against her wishes. She dies, and has returned to target all the men of the region, possibly (in classic ghost fashion), not realizing that he died in the same accident as he did.

I posted this to a few places on Google+ and got some outstanding feedback.

At the Suppressed Transmissions group I got two responses:
The first from Helen Calder who said it sounded to her more like a "clan of enraged Sasquatches" and elaborated:
here are some who regard them as nature spirits that are corporeal only some of the time. That's the reason some people give for the lack of bodies. There are a lot of stories of people confronted with them being either unable to lift their weapon/camera and a few of people firing at something that they shouldn't be able to miss but not finding a corpse or blood.
and "As If" suggested that there had been something imprisoned in the Aryan Brotherhood compound that has now broken free, and Carrie Schutrick who then suggested that whatever broke free is targeting people that are similar to those that imprisoned it.

At That's Gameable! David Jacobs game me the following, which I'm going to repost verbatim:
It's a bit outside their historical range, but the Dane-zaa Indians believed in the wechuge, a cannibalistic phenomenon similar to the wendigo.

People or objects could be imbued with power through pacts with ancient animal spirits. These spirits were so powerful and dangerous, though, that the Dane-zaa observed taboos to keep the spirits in check. If somebody (usually an oblivious outsider) broke a taboo, then the unleashed spirit could become "too powerful" and possess the shaman or owner of the object who was party to the pact, and the latter would become a wechuge. The wechuge, possessed by the ancient spirit, would start to hunt people, using their greed and desires to lure them to their doom.

The taboo in question might be something relatively innocuous, such as (in an example I read) using flash photography, which resembled sufficiently the flash in the eyes of an eagle spirit that the old man being photographed had made a pact with, that he ran and hid, lest the eagle spirit be unbound and turn him into a wechuge.

With all these (predominantly white) survivalists flocking to the area, it's easy to imagine one of them violating a long-forgotten taboo in the deep forest, and an unwitting local, whose lands boast abundant fish and berries, becoming possessed by an unusually hungry and wily grizzly spirit.

So, what could be used to ensnare survivalists? Food? Guns? Anonymous sex in the woods? Insatiable curiosity?
Several of these ideas could obviously be combined into one, and I'd love to see other suggestions.
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Canageek
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Re: Idea I had for an adventure

Post by Canageek » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:22 pm

I've gotten some more feedback on my idea:

C Huth has an idea on why the attacks are recent:
That's because someone in the [Aryan Brotherhood] knew to buy off the forest-things (ghosts? sasquatches? tsonoqua?) with a blót of human meat. Now that that person is in prison on drug-manufacturing charges, things are getting out of hand.
In the same thread, Justen Robertson, suggested Wendigo again, and then another idea: Satyr!
There are lots of things that might dwell in a remote, relatively pristine forest, but which ones would be attracted to preppers in particular (as opposed to more mainstream wilderness lovers and hermits?)

Wendigo? It's a little far west for wendigo, but maybe certain sympathies with their mentality and lifestyle attracted one anyway? Or maybe one of the preppers became wendigo, since they're pretty close to that line. From the wikipedia article on wendigo:

"The Wendigo is sick because it’s cut off from its roots. It’s a ghost with a heart of ice. It eats everything in sight. Its hunger knows no bounds. When there is nothing left to eat, it starves to death. When it sees something, it wants to own it. No one else can have anything. This illness feeds on a spiritual void."

[...]

Straying from local mythology:

A satyr, maybe, disgusted by their paranoia and conservative values?
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KeeperAntUK
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Re: Idea I had for an adventure

Post by KeeperAntUK » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:38 am

You could really play with the expectations of your players. Have several legends and stories like those described, let the players go hunting Wendigo or Satyr, chase down local legends and people, and end up with something more modern.

Maybe someone whose (Wife/Husband/Son/Daughter etc) has joined the group, brainwashed or seduced or similar, is in the town nearby trying to see their loved one. Maybe they have an object in their motel room belonging to an old sorcerer that allows them to spirit walk (they think they're dreaming or dont remember) and take the survivalists. Perhaps it's not one person but a group, all living in motels in town trying to recover their loved ones. Something in town acts as a magnifier and now has enough juice to work with (with all the families). The magnifier focuses all the anger and creates an avatar that attacks the survivalists; no one family member is responsible and can have alibis for one of the attacks, perhaps they all remember flashes of 'bad dreams' .

Added twist. The mystical object works by tapping the power of a mythos entity, and it's use attracts the entities attention.

Just need to sprinkle a few really subtle clues through the early part of the adventure; maybe the avatar understands modern tech etc, something the more traditional legends wouldn't.

Canageek
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Re: Idea I had for an adventure

Post by Canageek » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:05 pm

Oh, that is nice. You could make them less heroic as well; It is a shady real estate agent. They are running out of land in the area, so are disappearing people and then buying the land back and reselling it. That way the murdered person has spent a bunch on improvements and such that they can build into the cost of reselling the land. This of course relies on the relatives he buys the property back from not knowing the value of the improvements, which so far has been pretty safe as he targets those who's next of kin are outsiders or estranged, so they have trouble talking with the locals.
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